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Title: Old Mortality, Volume 1

Author: Walter Scott

Release date: August 22, 2004 [eBook #6939]
Most recently updated: December 30, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Widger, with assistance from an etext produced by
David Moynihan




by Sir Walter Scott



























List of Illustrations





First Series


The Graveyard

Tillietudlem Castle

Edith on the Battlements


The Duel


First Series


The origin of "Old Mortality," perhaps the best of Scott's historical romances, is well known. In May, 1816, Mr. Joseph Train, the gauger from Galloway, breakfasted with Scott in Castle Street. He brought gifts in his hand,—a relic of Rob Roy, and a parcel of traditions. Among these was a letter from Mr. Broadfoot, schoolmaster in Pennington, who facetiously signed himself "Clashbottom." To cleish, or clash, is to "flog," in Scots. From Mr. Broadfoot's joke arose Jedediah Cleishbotham, the dominie of Gandercleugh; the real place of Broadfoot's revels was the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, at Newton Stewart. Mr. Train, much pleased with the antiques in "the den" of Castle Street, was particularly charmed by that portrait of Claverhouse which now hangs on the staircase of the study at Abbotsford. Scott expressed the Cavalier opinions about Dundee, which were new to Mr. Train, who had been bred in the rural tradition of "Bloody Claver'se."

     [The Editor's first acquaintance with Claverhouse was obtained
     through an old nurse, who had lived on a farm beside a burn where,
     she said, the skulls of Covenanters shot by Bloody Claver'se were
     still occasionally found. The stream was a tributary of the

"Might he not," asked Mr. Train, "be made, in good hands, the hero of a national romance as interesting as any about either Wallace or Prince Charlie?" He suggested that the story should be delivered "as if from the mouth of Old Mortality." This probably recalled to Scott his own meeting with Old Mortality in Dunnottar Churchyard, as described in the Introduction to the novel.

The account of the pilgrim, as given by Sir Walter from Mr. Train's memoranda, needs no addition. About Old Mortality's son, John, who went to America in 1776 (? 1774), and settled in Baltimore, a curious romantic myth has gathered. Mr. Train told Scott more, as his manuscript at Abbotsford shows, than Scott printed. According to Mr. Train, John Paterson, of Baltimore, had a son Robert and a daughter Elizabeth. Robert married an American lady, who, after his decease, was married to the Marquis of Wellesley. Elizabeth married Jerome Bonaparte! Sir Walter distrusted these legends, though derived from a Scotch descendant of Old Mortality. Mr. Ramage, in March, 1871, wrote to "Notes and Queries" dispelling the myth.

According to Jerome Bonaparte's descendant, Madame Bonaparte, her family were Pattersons, not Patersons. Her Baltimore ancestor's will is extant, has been examined by Old Mortality's great-grandson, and announces in a kind of preamble that the testator was a native of Donegal; his Christian name was William ("Notes and Queries," Fourth Series, vol. vii. p. 219, and Fifth Series, August, 1874). This, of course, quite settles the question; but the legend is still current among American descendants of the old Roxburghshire wanderer.

"Old Mortality," with its companion, "The Black Dwarf," was published on December 1, 1816, by Mr. Murray in London, and Mr. Blackwood in Edinburgh.

The name of "The Author of 'Waverley'" was omitted on the title-page. The reason for a change of publisher may have been chiefly financial (Lockhart, v. 152). Scott may have also thought it amusing to appear as his own rival in a new field. He had not yet told his secret to Lady Abercorn, but he seems to reveal it (for who but he could have known so much about the subject?) in a letter to her, of November 29, 1816. "You must know the Marquis well,—or rather you must be the Marquis himself!" quoth Dalgetty. Here follow portions of the letter:

     I do not like the first story, "The Black Dwarf," at all; but the
     long one which occupies three volumes is a most remarkable
     production. . . . I should like to know if you are of my opinion as
     to these new volumes coming from the same hand. . . . I wander about
     from nine in the morning till five at night with a plaid about my
     shoulders and an immensely large bloodhound at my heels, and stick
     in sprigs which are to become trees when I shall have no eyes to
     look at them. . . .

     I am truly glad that the Tales have amused you. In my poor opinion
     they are the best of the four sets, though perhaps I only think so
     on account of their opening ground less familiar to me than the
     manners of the Highlanders. . . . If Tom—[His brother, Mr. Thomas
     Scott.]—wrote those volumes, he has not put me in his secret. . . .
     General rumour here attributes them to a very ingenious but most
     unhappy man, a clergyman of the Church of Scotland, who, many years
     since, was obliged to retire from his profession, and from society,
     who hides himself under a borrowed name. This hypothesis seems to
     account satisfactorily for the rigid secrecy observed; but from what
     I can recollect of the unfortunate individual, these are not the
     kind of productions I should expect from him. Burley, if I mistake
     not, was on board the Prince of Orange's own vessel at the time of
     his death. There was also in the Life Guards such a person as
     Francis Stewart, grandson of the last Earl of Bothwell. I have in my
     possession various proceedings at his father's instance for
     recovering some part of the Earl's large estates which had been
     granted to the Earls of Buccleugh and Roxburgh. It would appear that
     Charles I. made some attempts to reinstate him in those lands, but,
     like most of that poor monarch's measures, the attempt only served
     to augment his own enemies, for Buccleugh was one of the first who
     declared against him in Scotland, and raised a regiment of twelve
     hundred men, of whom my grandfather's grandfather (Sir William Scott
     of Harden) was lieutenant-colonel. This regiment was very active at
     the destruction of Montrose's Highland army at Philiphaugh. In
     Charles the Second's time the old knight suffered as much through
     the nonconformity of his wife as Cuddie through that of his mother.
     My father's grandmother, who lived to the uncommon age of
     ninety-eight years, perfectly remembered being carried, when a
     child, to the field-preachings, where the clergyman thundered from
     the top of a rock, and the ladies sat upon their side-saddles, which
     were placed upon the turf for their accommodation, while the men
     stood round, all armed with swords and pistols. . . . Old Mortality
     was a living person; I have myself seen him about twenty years ago
     repairing the Covenanters' tombs as far north as Dunnottar.

If Lady Abercorn was in any doubt after this ingenuous communication, Mr. Murray, the publisher, was in none. (Lockhart, v. 169.) He wrote to Scott on December 14, 1816, rejoicing in the success of the Tales, "which must be written either by Walter Scott or the Devil. . . . I never experienced such unmixed pleasure as the reading of this exquisite work has afforded me; and if you could see me, as the author's literary chamberlain, receiving the unanimous and vehement praises of those who have read it, and the curses of those whose needs my scanty supply could not satisfy, you might judge of the sincerity with which I now entreat you to assure the Author of the most complete success." Lord Holland had said, when Mr. Murray asked his opinion, "Opinion! We did not one of us go to bed last night,—nothing slept but my gout."

The very Whigs were conquered. But not the Scottish Whigs, the Auld Leaven of the Covenant,—they were still dour, and offered many criticisms. Thereon Scott, by way of disproving his authorship, offered to review the Tales in the "Quarterly." His true reason for this step was the wish to reply to Dr. Thomas McCrie, author of the "Life of John Knox," who had been criticising Scott's historical view of the Covenant, in the "Edinburgh Christian Instructor." Scott had, perhaps, no better mode of answering his censor. He was indifferent to reviews, but here his historical knowledge and his candour had been challenged. Scott always recognised the national spirit of the Covenanters, which he remarks on in "The Heart of Mid-Lothian," and now he was treated as a faithless Scotsman. For these reasons he reviewed himself; but it is probable, as Lockhart says, that William Erskine wrote the literary or aesthetic part of the criticism (Lockhart, v.174, note).

Dr. McCrie's review may be read, or at least may be found, in the fourth volume of his collected works (Blackwood, Edinburgh 1857). The critique amounts to about eighty-five thousand words. Since the "Princesse de Cleves" was reviewed in a book as long as the original, never was so lengthy a criticism. As Dr. McCrie's performance scarcely shares the popularity of "Old Mortality," a note on his ideas may not be superfluous, though space does not permit a complete statement of his many objections. The Doctor begins by remarks on novels in general, then descends to the earlier Waverley romances. "The Antiquary" he pronounces to be "tame and fatiguing." Acknowledging the merits of the others, he finds fault with "the foolish lines" (from Burns), "which must have been foisted without the author's knowledge into the title page," and he denounces the "bad taste" of the quotation from "Don Quixote." Burns and Cervantes had done no harm to Dr. McCrie, but his anger was aroused, and he, like the McCallum More as described by Andrew Fairservice, "got up wi' an unto' bang, and garr'd them a' look about them." The view of the Covenanters is "false and distorted." These worthies are not to be "abused with profane wit or low buffoonery." "Prayers were not read in the parish churches of Scotland" at that time. As Episcopacy was restored when Charles II. returned "upon the unanimous petition of the Scottish Parliament" (Scott's Collected Works, vol. xix. p. 78) it is not unnatural for the general reader to suppose that prayers would be read by the curates. Dr. McCrie maintains that "at the Restoration neither the one nor the other" (neither the Scotch nor English Prayer Books) "was imposed," and that the Presbyterians repeatedly "admitted they had no such grievance." No doubt Dr. McCrie is correct. But Mr. James Guthrie, who was executed on June 1, 1661, said in his last speech, "Oh that there were not many who study to build again what they did formerly unwarrantably destroy: I mean Prelacy and the Service Book, a mystery of iniquity that works amongst us, whose steps lead unto the house of the great Whore, Babylon, the mother of fornication," and so forth. Either this mystery of iniquity, the Book of Common Prayer, "was working amongst us," or it was not. If it was not, of what did Mr. Guthrie complain? If it was "working," was read by certain curates, as by Burnet, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, at Saltoun, Scott is not incorrect. He makes Morton, in danger of death, pray in the words of the Prayer Book, "a circumstance which so enraged his murderers that they determined to precipitate his fate." Dr. McCrie objects to this incident, which is merely borrowed, one may conjecture, from the death of Archbishop Sharpe. The assassins told the Archbishop that they would slay him. "Hereupon he began to think of death. But (here are just the words of the person who related the story) behold! God did not give him the grace to pray to Him without the help of a book. But he pulled out of his pocket a small book, and began to read over some words to himself, which filled us with amazement and indignation." So they fired their pistols into the old man, and then chopped him up with their swords, supposing that he had a charm against bullets! Dr. McCrie seems to have forgotten, or may have disbelieved the narrative telling how Sharpe's use of the Prayer Book, like Morton's, "enraged" his murderers. The incident does not occur in the story of the murder by Russell, one of the murderers, a document published in C. K. Sharpe's edition of Kirkton. It need not be true, but it may have suggested the prayer of Morton.

If Scott thought that the Prayer Book was ordained to be read in Scotch churches, he was wrong; if he merely thought that it might have been read in some churches, was "working amongst us," he was right: at least, according to Mr. James Guthrie.

Dr. McCrie argues that Burley would never have wrestled with a soldier in an inn, especially in the circumstances. This, he says, was inconsistent with Balfour's "character." Wodrow remarks, "I cannot hear that this gentleman had ever any great character for religion among those that knew him, and such were the accounts of him, when abroad, that the reverend ministers of the Scots congregation at Rotterdam would never allow him to communicate with them." In Scott's reading of Burley's character, there was a great deal of the old Adam. That such a man should so resent the insolence of a soldier is far from improbable, and our sympathies are with Burley on this occasion.

Mause Headrigg is next criticised. Scott never asserted that she was a representative of sober Presbyterianism. She had long conducted herself prudently, but, when she gave way to her indignation, she only used such language as we find on many pages of Wodrow, in the mouths of many Covenanters. Indeed, though Manse is undeniably comic, she also commands as much respect as the Spartan mother when she bids her only son bear himself boldly in the face of torture. If Scott makes her grotesque, he also makes her heroic. But Dr. McCrie could not endure the ridiculous element, which surely no fair critic can fail to observe in the speeches of the gallant and courageous, but not philosophical, members of the Covenant's Extreme Left. Dr. McCrie talks of "the creeping loyalty of the Cavaliers." "Staggering" were a more appropriate epithet. Both sides were loyal to principle, both courageous; but the inappropriate and promiscuous scriptural language of many Covenanters was, and remains, ridiculous. Let us admit that the Covenanters were not averse to all games. In one or two sermons they illustrate religion by phrases derived from golf!

When Dr. McCrie exclaims, in a rich anger, "Your Fathers!" as if Scott's must either have been Presbyterians or Cavaliers, the retort is cleverly put by Sir Walter in the mouth of Jedediah. His ancestors of these days had been Quakers, and persecuted by both parties.

Throughout the novel Scott keeps insisting that the Presbyterians had been goaded into rebellion, and even into revenge, by cruelty of persecution, and that excesses and bloodthirstiness were confined to the "High Flyers," as the milder Covenanters called them. Morton represents the ideal of a good Scot in the circumstances. He comes to be ashamed of his passive attitude in the face of oppression. He stands up for "that freedom from stripes and bondage" which was claimed, as you may read in Scripture, by the Apostle Paul, and which every man who is free-born is called upon to defend, for his own sake and that of his countrymen. The terms demanded by Morton from Monmouth before the battle of Bothwell Bridge are such as Scott recognises to be fair. Freedom of worship, and a free Parliament, are included.

Dr. McCrie's chief charges are that Scott does not insist enough on the hardships and brutalities of the persecution, and that the ferocity of the Covenanters is overstated. He does not admit that the picture drawn of "the more rigid Presbyterians" is just. But it is almost impossible to overstate the ferocity of the High Flyers' conduct and creed. Thus Wodrow, a witness not quite unfriendly to the rigid Presbyterians, though not high-flying enough for Patrick Walker, writes "Mr. Tate informs me that he had this account front Mr. Antony Shau, and others of the Indulged; that at some time, under the Indulgence, there was a meeting of some people, when they resolved in one night . . . to go to every house of the Indulged Ministers and kill them, and all in one night." This anecdote was confirmed by Mr. John Millar, to whose father's house one of these High Flyers came, on this errand. This massacre was not aimed at the persecutors, but at the Poundtexts. As to their creed, Wodrow has an anecdote of one of his own elders, who told a poor woman with many children that "it would be an uncouth mercy" if they were all saved.

A pleasant evangel was this, and peacefully was it to have been propagated!

Scott was writing a novel, not history. In "The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border" (1802-3) Sir Walter gave this account of the persecutions. "Had the system of coercion been continued until our day, Blair and Robertson would have preached in the wilderness, and only discovered their powers of eloquence and composition by rolling along a deeper torrent of gloomy fanaticism. . . . The genius of the persecuted became stubborn, obstinate, and ferocious." He did not, in his romance, draw a complete picture of the whole persecution, but he did show, by that insolence of Bothwell at Milnwood, which stirs the most sluggish blood, how the people were misused. This scene, to Dr. McCrie's mind, is "a mere farce," because it is enlivened by Manse's declamations. Scott displays the abominable horrors of the torture as forcibly as literature may dare to do. But Dr. McCrie is not satisfied, because Macbriar, the tortured man, had been taken in arms. Some innocent person should have been put in the Boot, to please Dr. McCrie. He never remarks that Macbriar conquers our sympathy by his fortitude. He complains of what the Covenanters themselves called "the language of Canaan," which is put into their mouths, "a strange, ridiculous, and incoherent jargon compounded of Scripture phrases, and cant terms peculiar to their own party opinions in ecclesiastical politics." But what other language did many of them speak? "Oh, all ye that can pray, tell all the Lord's people to try, by mourning and prayer, if ye can taigle him, taigle him especially in Scotland, for we fear, he will depart from it." This is the theology of a savage, in the style of a clown, but it is quoted by Walker as Mr. Alexander Peden's.' Mr. John Menzie's "Testimony" (1670) is all about "hardened men, whom though they walk with you for the present with horns of a lamb, yet afterward ye may hear them speak with the mouth of a dragon, pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides." Manse Headrigg scarcely caricatures this eloquence, or Peden's "many and long seventy-eight years left-hand defections, and forty-nine years right-hand extremes;" while "Professor Simson in Glasgow, and Mr. Glass in Tealing, both with Edom's children cry Raze, raze the very foundation!" Dr. McCrie is reduced to supposing that some of the more absurd sermons were incorrectly reported. Very possibly they were, but the reports were in the style which the people liked. As if to remove all possible charge of partiality, Scott made the one faultless Christian of his tale a Covenanting widow, the admirable Bessie McLure. But she, says the doctor, "repeatedly banns and minces oaths in her conversation." This outrageous conduct of Bessie's consists in saying "Gude protect us!" and "In Heaven's name, who are ye?" Next the Doctor congratulates Scott on his talent for buffoonery. "Oh, le grand homme, rien ne lui peut plaire." Scott is later accused of not making his peasants sufficiently intelligent. Cuddie Headrigg and Jenny Dennison suffice as answers to this censure.

Probably the best points made by Dr. McCrie are his proof that biblical names were not common among the Covenanteers and that Episcopal eloquence and Episcopal superstition were often as tardy and as dark as the eloquence and superstition of the Presbyterians. He carries the war into the opposite camp, with considerable success. His best answer to "Old Mortality" would have been a novel, as good and on the whole as fair, written from the Covenanting side. Hogg attempted this reply, not to Scott's pleasure according to the Shepherd, in "The Brownie of Bodsbeck." The Shepherd says that when Scott remarked that the "Brownie" gave an untrue description of the age, he replied, "It's a devilish deal truer than yours!" Scott, in his defence, says that to please the friends of the Covenanters, "their portraits must be drawn without shadow, and the objects of their political antipathy be blackened, hooved, and horned ere they will acknowledge the likeness of either." He gives examples of clemency, and even considerateness, in Dundee; for example, he did not bring with him a prisoner, "who laboured under a disease rendering it painful to him to be on horseback." He examines the story of John Brown, and disproves the blacker circumstances. Yet he appears to hold that Dundee should have resigned his commission rather than carry out the orders of Government? Burley's character for ruthlessness is defended by the evidence of the "Scottish Worthies." As Dr. McCrie objects to his "buffoonery," it is odd that he palliates the "strong propensity" of Knox "to indulge his vein of humour," when describing, with ghoul-like mirth, the festive circumstances of the murder and burial of Cardinal Beaton. The odious part of his satire, Scott says, is confined to "the fierce and unreasonable set of extra-Presbyterians," Wodrow's High Flyers. "We have no delight to dwell either upon the atrocities or absurdities of a people whose ignorance and fanaticism were rendered frantic by persecution." To sum up the controversy, we may say that Scott was unfair, if at all, in tone rather than in statement. He grants to the Covenanters dauntless resolution and fortitude; he admits their wrongs; we cannot see, on the evidence of their literature, that he exaggerates their grotesqueness, their superstition, their impossible attitude as of Israelites under a Theocracy, which only existed as an ideal, or their ruthlessness on certain occasions. The books of Wodrow, Kirkton, and Patrick Walker, the sermons, the ghost stories, the dying speeches, the direct testimony of their own historians, prove all that Scott says, a hundred times over. The facts are correct, the testimony to the presence of another, an angelic temper, remains immortal in the figure of Bessie McLure. But an unfairness of tone may be detected in the choice of such names as Kettledrummle and Poundtext: probably the "jog-trot" friends of the Indulgence have more right to complain than the "high-flying" friends of the Covenant. Scott had Cavalier sympathies, as Macaulay had Covenanting sympathies. That Scott is more unjust to the Covenanters than Macaulay to Claverhouse historians will scarcely maintain. Neither history or fiction would be very delightful if they were warless. This must serve as an apology more needed by Macaulay—than by Sir Walter. His reply to Dr. McCrie is marked by excellent temper, humour, and good humor. The "Quarterly Review" ends with the well known reference to his brother Tom's suspected authorship: "We intended here to conclude this long article, when a strong report reached us of certain transatlantic confessions, which, if genuine (though of this we know nothing), assign a different author to those volumes than the party suspected by our Scottish correspondents. Yet a critic may be excused for seizing upon the nearest suspected person, or the principle happily expressed by Claverhouse in a letter to the Earl of Linlithgow. He had been, it seems, in search of a gifted weaver who used to hold forth at conventicles: 'I sent for the webster, they brought in his brother for him: though he, maybe, cannot preach like his brother, I doubt not but he is as well principled as he, wherefore I thought it would be no great fault to give him the trouble to go to jail with the rest.'"

Nobody who read this could doubt that Scott was, at least, "art and part" in the review. His efforts to disguise himself as an Englishman, aided by a Scotch antiquary, are divertingly futile. He seized the chance of defending his earlier works from some criticisms on Scotch manners suggested by the ignorance of Gifford. Nor was it difficult to see that the author of the review was also the author of the novel. In later years Lady Louisa Stuart reminded Scott that "Old Mortality," like the Iliad, had been ascribed by clever critics to several hands working together. On December 5, 1816, she wrote to him, "I found something you wot of upon my table; and as I dare not take it with me to a friend's house, for fear of arousing curiosity"—she read it at once. She could not sleep afterwards, so much had she been excited. "Manse and Cuddie forced me to laugh out aloud, which one seldom does when alone." Many of the Scotch words "were absolutely Hebrew" to her. She not unjustly objected to Claverhouse's use of the word "sentimental" as an anachronism. Sentiment, like nerves, had not been invented in Claverhouse's day.

The pecuniary success of "Old Mortality" was less, perhaps, than might have been expected. The first edition was only of two thousand copies. Two editions of this number were sold in six weeks, and a third was printed. Constable's gallant enterprise of ten thousand, in "Rob Roy," throws these figures into the shade.

"Old Mortality" is the first of Scott's works in which he invades history beyond the range of what may be called living oral tradition. In "Waverley," and even in "Rob Roy," he had the memories of Invernahyle, of Miss Nairne, of many persons of the last generation for his guides. In "Old Mortality" his fancy had to wander among the relics of another age, among the inscribed tombs of the Covenanters, which are common in the West Country, as in the churchyards of Balmaclellan and Dalry. There the dust of these enduring and courageous men, like that of Bessie Bell and Marion Gray in the ballad, "beiks forenenst the sun," which shines on them from beyond the hills of their wanderings, while the brown waters of the Ken murmur at their feet.

               Here now in peace sweet rest we take,
               Once murdered for religion's sake,

says the epitaph on the flat table-stone, beneath the wind tormented trees of Iron Gray. Concerning these Manes Presbyteriani, "Guthrie's and Giffan's Passions" and the rest, Scott had a library of rare volumes full of prophecies, "remarkable Providences," angelic ministrations, diabolical persecutions by The Accuser of the Brethren,—in fact, all that Covenanteers had written or that had been written about Covenanteers. "I'll tickle ye off a Covenanter as readily as old Jack could do a young Prince; and a rare fellow he is, when brought forth in his true colours," he says to Terry (November 12, 1816). He certainly was not an unprejudiced witness, some ten years earlier, when he wrote to Southey, "You can hardly conceive the perfidy, cruelty, and stupidity of these people, according to the accounts they have themselves preserved. But I admit I had many prejudices instilled into me, as my ancestor was a Killiecrankie man." He used to tease Grahame of "The Sabbath," "but never out of his good humour, by praising Dundee, and laughing at the Covenanters." Even as a boy he had been familiar with that godly company in "the original edition of the lives of Cameron and others, by Patrick Walker." The more curious parts of those biographies were excised by the care of later editors, but they may all be found now in the "Biographia Presbyteriana" (1827), published by True Jock, chief clerk to "Leein' Johnnie," Mr. John Ballantyne. To this work the inquirer may turn, if he is anxious to see whether Scott's colouring is correct. The true blue of the Covenant is not dulled in the "Biographia Presbyteriana."

With all these materials at his command, Scott was able almost to dwell in the age of the Covenant hence the extraordinary life and brilliance of this, his first essay in fiction dealing with a remote time and obsolete manners. His opening, though it may seem long and uninviting to modern readers, is interesting for the sympathetic sketch of the gentle consumptive dominie. If there was any class of men whom Sir Walter could not away with, it was the race of schoolmasters, "black cattle" whom he neither trusted nor respected. But he could make or invent exceptions, as in the uncomplaining and kindly usher of the verbose Cleishbotham. Once launched in his legend, with the shooting of the Popinjay, he never falters. The gallant, dauntless, overbearing Bothwell, the dour Burley, the handful of Preachers, representing every current of opinion in the Covenant, the awful figure of Habakkuk Mucklewrath, the charm of goodness in Bessie McLure, are all immortal, deathless as Shakspeare's men and women. Indeed here, even more than elsewhere, we admire the life which Scott breathes into his minor characters, Halliday and Inglis, the troopers, the child who leads Morton to Burley's retreat in the cave, that auld Laird Nippy, old Milnwood (a real "Laird Nippy" was a neighbour of Scott's at Ashiestiel), Ailie Wilson, the kind, crabbed old housekeeper, generous in great things, though habitually niggardly in things small. Most of these are persons whom we might still meet in Scotland, as we might meet Cuddie Headrigg—the shrewd, the blithe, the faithful and humorous Cuddie. As to Miss Jenny Dennison, we can hardly forgive Scott for making that gayest of soubrettes hard and selfish in married life. He is too severe on the harmless and even beneficent race of coquettes, who brighten life so much, who so rapidly "draw up with the new pleugh lad," and who do so very little harm when all is said. Jenny plays the part of a leal and brave lass in the siege of Tillietudlem, hunger and terror do not subdue her spirit; she is true, in spite of many temptations, to her Cuddie, and we decline to believe that she was untrue to his master and friend. Ikuse, no doubt, is a caricature, though Wodrow makes us acquainted with at least one Mause, Jean Biggart, who "all the winter over was exceedingly straitened in wrestling and prayer as to the Parliament, and said that still that place was brought before her, Our hedges are broken down!" ("Analecta," ii. 173.) Surely even Dr. McCrie must have laughed out loud, like Lady Louisa Stuart, when Mause exclaims: "Neither will I peace for the bidding of no earthly potsherd, though it be painted as red as a brick from the tower o' Babel, and ca' itsel' a corporal." Manse, as we have said, is not more comic than heroic, a mother in that Sparta of the Covenant. The figure of Morton, as usual, is not very attractive. In his review, Scott explains the weakness of his heroes as usually strangers in the land (Waverley, Lovel, Mannering, Osbaldistone), who need to have everything explained to them, and who are less required to move than to be the pivots of the general movement. But Morton is no stranger in the land. His political position in the juste milieu is unexciting. A schoolboy wrote to Scott at this time, "Oh, Sir Walter, how could you take the lady from the gallant Cavalier, and give her to the crop-eared Covenanter?" Probably Scott sympathised with his young critic, who longed "to be a feudal chief, and to see his retainers happy around him." But Edith Bellenden loved Morton, with that love which, as she said, and thought, "disturbs the repose of the dead." Scott had no choice. Besides, Dr. McCrie might have disapproved of so fortunate an arrangement. The heroine herself does not live in the memory like Di Vernon; she does not even live like Jenny Dennison. We remember Corporal Raddlebanes better, the stoutest fighting man of Major Bellenden's acquaintance; and the lady of Tillietudlem has admirers more numerous and more constant. The lovers of the tale chiefly engage our interest by the rare constancy of their affections.

The most disputed character is, of course, that of Claverhouse. There is no doubt that, if Claverhouse had been a man of the ordinary mould, he would never have reckoned so many enthusiastic friends in future ages. But Beauty, which makes Helen immortal, had put its seal on Bonny Dundee. With that face "which limners might have loved to paint, and ladies to look upon," he still conquers hearts from his dark corner above the private staircase in Sir Walter's deserted study. He was brave, he was loyal when all the world forsook his master; in that reckless age of revelry he looks on with the austere and noble contempt which he wears in Hell among the tippling shades of Cavaliers. He died in the arms of victory, but he lives among

                         The chiefs of ancient names
     Who swore to fight and die beneath the banner of King James,
     And he fell in Killiecrankie Pass, the glory of the Grahames.

Sentiment in romance, not in history, may be excused for pardoning the rest.

Critics of the time, as Lady Louisa Stuart reminds Sir Walter, did not believe the book was his, because it lacked his "tedious descriptions." The descriptions, as of the waterfall where Burley had his den, are indeed far from "tedious." There is a tendency in Scott to exalt into mountains "his own grey hills," the bosses verdatres as Prosper Merimee called them, of the Border. But the horrors of such linns as that down which Hab Dab and Davie Dinn "dang the deil" are not exaggerated.

"Old Mortality" was the last novel written by Scott before the malady which tormented his stoicism in 1817-1820. Every reader has his own favourite, but few will place this glorious tale lower than second in the list of his incomparable romances.



As I may, without vanity, presume that the name and official description prefixed to this Proem will secure it, from the sedate and reflecting part of mankind, to whom only I would be understood to address myself, such attention as is due to the sedulous instructor of youth, and the careful performer of my Sabbath duties, I will forbear to hold up a candle to the daylight, or to point out to the judicious those recommendations of my labours which they must necessarily anticipate from the perusal of the title-page. Nevertheless, I am not unaware, that, as Envy always dogs Merit at the heels, there may be those who will whisper, that albeit my learning and good principles cannot (lauded be the heavens) be denied by any one, yet that my situation at Gandercleugh hath been more favourable to my acquisitions in learning than to the enlargement of my views of the ways and works of the present generation. To the which objection, if, peradventure, any such shall be started, my answer shall be threefold:

First, Gandercleugh is, as it were, the central part—the navel (si fas sit dicere) of this our native realm of Scotland; so that men, from every corner thereof, when travelling on their concernments of business, either towards our metropolis of law, by which I mean Edinburgh, or towards our metropolis and mart of gain, whereby I insinuate Glasgow, are frequently led to make Gandercleugh their abiding stage and place of rest for the night. And it must be acknowledged by the most sceptical, that I, who have sat in the leathern armchair, on the left-hand side of the fire, in the common room of the Wallace Inn, winter and summer, for every evening in my life, during forty years bypast, (the Christian Sabbaths only excepted,) must have seen more of the manners and customs of various tribes and people, than if I had sought them out by my own painful travel and bodily labour. Even so doth the tollman at the well-frequented turnpike on the Wellbrae-head, sitting at his ease in his own dwelling, gather more receipt of custom, than if, moving forth upon the road, he were to require a contribution from each person whom he chanced to meet in his journey, when, according to the vulgar adage, he might possibly be greeted with more kicks than halfpence.

But, secondly, supposing it again urged, that Ithacus, the most wise of the Greeks, acquired his renown, as the Roman poet hath assured us, by visiting states and men, I reply to the Zoilus who shall adhere to this objection, that, de facto, I have seen states and men also; for I have visited the famous cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the former twice, and the latter three times, in the course of my earthly pilgrimage. And, moreover, I had the honour to sit in the General Assembly (meaning, as an auditor, in the galleries thereof,) and have heard as much goodly speaking on the law of patronage, as, with the fructification thereof in mine own understanding, hath made me be considered as an oracle upon that doctrine ever since my safe and happy return to Gandercleugh.

Again,—and thirdly, If it be nevertheless pretended that my information and knowledge of mankind, however extensive, and however painfully acquired, by constant domestic enquiry, and by foreign travel, is, natheless, incompetent to the task of recording the pleasant narratives of my Landlord, I will let these critics know, to their own eternal shame and confusion, as well as to the abashment and discomfiture of all who shall rashly take up a song against me, that I am NOT the writer, redacter, or compiler, of the "Tales of my Landlord;" nor am I, in one single iota, answerable for their contents, more or less. And now, ye generation of critics, who raise yourselves up as if it were brazen serpents, to hiss with your tongues, and to smite with your stings, bow yourselves down to your native dust, and acknowledge that yours have been the thoughts of ignorance, and the words of vain foolishness. Lo! ye are caught in your own snare, and your own pit hath yawned for you. Turn, then, aside from the task that is too heavy for you; destroy not your teeth by gnawing a file; waste not your strength by spurning against a castle wall; nor spend your breath in contending in swiftness with a fleet steed; and let those weigh the "Tales of my Landlord," who shall bring with them the scales of candour cleansed from the rust of prejudice by the hands of intelligent modesty. For these alone they were compiled, as will appear from a brief narrative which my zeal for truth compelled me to make supplementary to the present Proem.

It is well known that my Landlord was a pleasing and a facetious man, acceptable unto all the parish of Gandercleugh, excepting only the Laird, the Exciseman, and those for whom he refused to draw liquor upon trust. Their causes of dislike I will touch separately, adding my own refutation thereof.

His honour, the Laird, accused our Landlord, deceased, of having encouraged, in various times and places, the destruction of hares, rabbits, fowls black and grey, partridges, moor-pouts, roe-deer, and other birds and quadrupeds, at unlawful seasons, and contrary to the laws of this realm, which have secured, in their wisdom, the slaughter of such animals for the great of the earth, whom I have remarked to take an uncommon (though to me, an unintelligible) pleasure therein. Now, in humble deference to his honour, and in justifiable defence of my friend deceased, I reply to this charge, that howsoever the form of such animals might appear to be similar to those so protected by the law, yet it was a mere deceptio visus; for what resembled hares were, in fact, hill-kids, and those partaking of the appearance of moor-fowl, were truly wood pigeons, and consumed and eaten eo nomine, and not otherwise. Again, the Exciseman pretended, that my deceased Landlord did encourage that species of manufacture called distillation, without having an especial permission from the Great, technically called a license, for doing so. Now, I stand up to confront this falsehood; and in defiance of him, his gauging-stick, and pen and inkhorn, I tell him, that I never saw, or tasted, a glass of unlawful aqua vitae in the house of my Landlord; nay, that, on the contrary, we needed not such devices, in respect of a pleasing and somewhat seductive liquor, which was vended and consumed at the Wallace Inn, under the name of mountain dew. If there is a penalty against manufacturing such a liquor, let him show me the statute; and when he does, I'll tell him if I will obey it or no. Concerning those who came to my Landlord for liquor, and went thirsty away, for lack of present coin, or future credit, I cannot but say it has grieved my bowels as if the case had been mine own. Nevertheless, my Landlord considered the necessities of a thirsty soul, and would permit them, in extreme need, and when their soul was impoverished for lack of moisture, to drink to the full value of their watches and wearing apparel, exclusively of their inferior habiliments, which he was uniformly inexorable in obliging them to retain, for the credit of the house. As to mine own part, I may well say, that he never refused me that modicum of refreshment with which I am wont to recruit nature after the fatigues of my school. It is true, I taught his five sons English and Latin, writing, book-keeping, with a tincture of mathematics, and that I instructed his daughter in psalmody. Nor do I remember me of any fee or honorarium received from him on account of these my labours, except the compotations aforesaid. Nevertheless this compensation suited my humour well, since it is a hard sentence to bid a dry throat wait till quarter-day.

But, truly, were I to speak my simple conceit and belief, I think my Landlord was chiefly moved to waive in my behalf the usual requisition of a symbol, or reckoning, from the pleasure he was wont to take in my conversation, which, though solid and edifying in the main, was, like a well-built palace, decorated with facetious narratives and devices, tending much to the enhancement and ornament thereof. And so pleased was my Landlord of the Wallace in his replies during such colloquies, that there was no district in Scotland, yea, and no peculiar, and, as it were, distinctive custom therein practised, but was discussed betwixt us; insomuch, that those who stood by were wont to say, it was worth a bottle of ale to hear us communicate with each other. And not a few travellers, from distant parts, as well as from the remote districts of our kingdom, were wont to mingle in the conversation, and to tell news that had been gathered in foreign lands, or preserved from oblivion in this our own. Now I chanced to have contracted for teaching the lower classes with a young person called Peter, or Patrick, Pattieson, who had been educated for our Holy Kirk, yea, had, by the license of presbytery, his voice opened therein as a preacher, who delighted in the collection of olden tales and legends, and in garnishing them with the flowers of poesy, whereof he was a vain and frivolous professor. For he followed not the example of those strong poets whom I proposed to him as a pattern, but formed versification of a flimsy and modern texture, to the compounding whereof was necessary small pains and less thought. And hence I have chid him as being one of those who bring forward the fatal revolution prophesied by Mr. Robert Carey, in his Vaticination on the Death of the celebrated Dr. John Donne:

          Now thou art gone, and thy strict laws will be
          Too hard for libertines in poetry;
          Till verse (by thee refined) in this last age
          Turn ballad rhyme.

I had also disputations with him touching his indulging rather a flowing and redundant than a concise and stately diction in his prose exercitations. But notwithstanding these symptoms of inferior taste, and a humour of contradicting his betters upon passages of dubious construction in Latin authors, I did grievously lament when Peter Pattieson was removed from me by death, even as if he had been the offspring of my own loins. And in respect his papers had been left in my care, (to answer funeral and death-bed expenses,) I conceived myself entitled to dispose of one parcel thereof, entitled, "Tales of my Landlord," to one cunning in the trade (as it is called) of book selling. He was a mirthful man, of small stature, cunning in counterfeiting of voices, and in making facetious tales and responses, and whom I have to laud for the truth of his dealings towards me. Now, therefore, the world may see the injustice that charges me with incapacity to write these narratives, seeing, that though I have proved that I could have written them if I would, yet, not having done so, the censure will deservedly fall, if at all due, upon the memory of Mr. Peter Pattieson; whereas I must be justly entitled to the praise, when any is due, seeing that, as the Dean of St. Patrick's wittily and logically expresseth it,

               That without which a thing is not,
               Is Causa sine qua non.

The work, therefore, is unto me as a child is to a parent; in the which child, if it proveth worthy, the parent hath honour and praise; but, if otherwise, the disgrace will deservedly attach to itself alone.

I have only further to intimate, that Mr. Peter Pattieson, in arranging these Tales for the press, hath more consulted his own fancy than the accuracy of the narrative; nay, that he hath sometimes blended two or three stories together for the mere grace of his plots. Of which infidelity, although I disapprove and enter my testimony against it, yet I have not taken upon me to correct the same, in respect it was the will of the deceased, that his manuscript should be submitted to the press without diminution or alteration. A fanciful nicety it was on the part of my deceased friend, who, if thinking wisely, ought rather to have conjured me, by all the tender ties of our friendship and common pursuits, to have carefully revised, altered, and augmented, at my judgment and discretion. But the will of the dead must be scrupulously obeyed, even when we weep over their pertinacity and self-delusion. So, gentle reader, I bid you farewell, recommending you to such fare as the mountains of your own country produce; and I will only farther premise, that each Tale is preceded by a short introduction, mentioning the persons by whom, and the circumstances under which, the materials thereof were collected.



The remarkable person, called by the title of Old Mortality, was we'll known in Scotland about the end of the last century. His real name was Robert Paterson. He was a native, it is said, of the parish of Closeburn, in Dumfries-shire, and probably a mason by profession—at least educated to the use of the chisel. Whether family dissensions, or the deep and enthusiastic feeling of supposed duty, drove him to leave his dwelling, and adopt the singular mode of life in which he wandered, like a palmer, through Scotland, is not known. It could not be poverty, however, which prompted his journeys, for he never accepted anything beyond the hospitality which was willingly rendered him, and when that was not proffered, he always had money enough to provide for his own humble wants. His personal appearance, and favourite, or rather sole occupation, are accurately described in the preliminary chapter of the following work.

It is about thirty years since, or more, that the author met this singular person in the churchyard of Dunnottar, when spending a day or two with the late learned and excellent clergyman, Mr. Walker, the minister of that parish, for the purpose of a close examination of the ruins of the Castle of Dunnottar, and other subjects of antiquarian research in that neighbourhood. Old Mortality chanced to be at the same place, on the usual business of his pilgrimage; for the Castle of Dunnottar, though lying in the anti-covenanting district of the Mearns, was, with the parish churchyard, celebrated for the oppressions sustained there by the Cameronians in the time of James II.

It was in 1685, when Argyle was threatening a descent upon Scotland, and Monmouth was preparing to invade the west of England, that the Privy Council of Scotland, with cruel precaution, made a general arrest of more than a hundred persons in the southern and western provinces, supposed, from their religious principles, to be inimical to Government, together with many women and children. These captives were driven northward like a flock of bullocks, but with less precaution to provide for their wants, and finally penned up in a subterranean dungeon in the Castle of Dunnottar, having a window opening to the front of a precipice which overhangs the German Ocean. They had suffered not a little on the journey, and were much hurt both at the scoffs of the northern prelatists, and the mocks, gibes, and contemptuous tunes played by the fiddlers and pipers who had come from every quarter as they passed, to triumph over the revilers of their calling. The repose which the melancholy dungeon afforded them, was anything but undisturbed. The guards made them pay for every indulgence, even that of water; and when some of the prisoners resisted a demand so unreasonable, and insisted on their right to have this necessary of life untaxed, their keepers emptied the water on the prison floor, saying, "If they were obliged to bring water for the canting whigs, they were not bound to afford them the use of bowls or pitchers gratis."

In this prison, which is still termed the Whig's Vault, several died of the diseases incidental to such a situation; and others broke their limbs, and incurred fatal injury, in desperate attempts to escape from their stern prison-house. Over the graves of these unhappy persons, their friends, after the Revolution, erected a monument with a suitable inscription.

This peculiar shrine of the Whig martyrs is very much honoured by their descendants, though residing at a great distance from the land of their captivity and death. My friend, the Rev. Mr. Walker, told me, that being once upon a tour in the south of Scotland, probably about forty years since, he had the bad luck to involve himself in the labyrinth of passages and tracks which cross, in every direction, the extensive waste called Lochar Moss, near Dumfries, out of which it is scarcely possible for a stranger to extricate himself; and there was no small difficulty in procuring a guide, since such people as he saw were engaged in digging their peats—a work of paramount necessity, which will hardly brook interruption. Mr. Walker could, therefore, only procure unintelligible directions in the southern brogue, which differs widely from that of the Mearns. He was beginning to think himself in a serious dilemma, when he stated his case to a farmer of rather the better class, who was employed, as the others, in digging his winter fuel. The old man at first made the same excuse with those who had already declined acting as the traveller's guide; but perceiving him in great perplexity, and paying the respect due to his profession, "You are a clergyman, sir?" he said. Mr. Walker assented. "And I observe from your speech, that you are from the north?"—"You are right, my good friend," was the reply. "And may I ask if you have ever heard of a place called Dunnottar?"—"I ought to know something about it, my friend," said Mr. Walker, "since I have been several years the minister of the parish."—"I am glad to hear it," said the Dumfriesian, "for one of my near relations lies buried there, and there is, I believe, a monument over his grave. I would give half of what I am aught, to know if it is still in existence."—"He was one of those who perished in the Whig's Vault at the castle?" said the minister; "for there are few southlanders besides lying in our churchyard, and none, I think, having monuments."—"Even sae—even sae," said the old Cameronian, for such was the farmer. He then laid down his spade, cast on his coat, and heartily offered to see the minister out of the moss, if he should lose the rest of the day's dargue. Mr. Walker was able to requite him amply, in his opinion, by reciting the epitaph, which he remembered by heart. The old man was enchanted with finding the memory of his grandfather or great-grandfather faithfully recorded amongst the names of brother sufferers; and rejecting all other offers of recompense, only requested, after he had guided Mr. Walker to a safe and dry road, that he would let him have a written copy of the inscription.

It was whilst I was listening to this story, and looking at the monument referred to, that I saw Old Mortality engaged in his daily task of cleaning and repairing the ornaments and epitaphs upon the tomb. His appearance and equipment were exactly as described in the Novel. I was very desirous to see something of a person so singular, and expected to have done so, as he took up his quarters with the hospitable and liberal-spirited minister. But though Mr. Walker invited him up after dinner to partake of a glass of spirits and water, to which he was supposed not to be very averse, yet he would not speak frankly upon the subject of his occupation. He was in bad humour, and had, according to his phrase, no freedom for conversation with us.

His spirit had been sorely vexed by hearing, in a certain Aberdonian kirk, the psalmody directed by a pitch-pipe, or some similar instrument, which was to Old Mortality the abomination of abominations. Perhaps, after all, he did not feel himself at ease with his company; he might suspect the questions asked by a north-country minister and a young barrister to savour more of idle curiosity than profit. At any rate, in the phrase of John Bunyan, Old Mortality went on his way, and I saw him no more.

The remarkable figure and occupation of this ancient pilgrim was recalled to my memory by an account transmitted by my friend Mr. Joseph Train, supervisor of excise at Dumfries, to whom I owe many obligations of a similar nature. From this, besides some other circumstances, among which are those of the old man's death, I learned the particulars described in the text. I am also informed, that the old palmer's family, in the third generation, survives, and is highly respected both for talents and worth. While these sheets were passing through the press, I received the following communication from Mr. Train, whose undeviating kindness had, during the intervals of laborious duty, collected its materials from an indubitable source.

     "In the course of my periodical visits to the Glenkens, I have
     become intimately acquainted with Robert Paterson, a son of Old
     Mortality, who lives in the little village of Balmaclellan; and
     although he is now in the 70th year of his age, preserves all the
     vivacity of youth—has a most retentive memory, and a mind stored
     with information far above what could be expected from a person in
     his station of life. To him I am indebted for the following
     particulars relative to his father, and his descendants down to the
     present time.

     "Robert Paterson, alias Old Mortality, was the son of Walter
     Paterson and Margaret Scott, who occupied the farm of Ilaggisha, in
     the parish of Hawick, during nearly the first half of the eighteenth
     century. Here Robert was born, in the memorable year 1715.

     "Being the youngest son of a numerous family, he, at an early age,
     went to serve with an elder brother, named Francis, who rented, from
     Sir John Jardine of Applegarth, a small tract in Comcockle Moor,
     near Lochmaben. During his residence there, he became acquainted
     with Elizabeth Gray, daughter of Robert Gray, gardener to Sir John
     Jardine, whom he afterwards married. His wife had been, for a
     considerable time, a cook-maid to Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of
     Closeburn, who procured for her husband, from the Duke of
     Queensberry, an advantageous lease of the freestone quarry of
     Gatelowbrigg, in the parish of Morton. Here he built a house, and
     had as much land as kept a horse and cow. My informant cannot say,
     with certainty, the year in which his father took up his residence
     at Gatelowbrigg, but he is sure it must have been only a short time
     prior to the year 1746, as, during the memorable frost in 1740, he
     says his mother still resided in the service of Sir Thomas
     Kirkpatrick. When the Highlanders were returning from England on
     their route to Glasgow, in the year 1745-6, they plundered Mr.
     Paterson's house at Gatelowbrigg, and carried him a prisoner as far
     as Glenbuck, merely because he said to one of the straggling army,
     that their retreat might have been easily foreseen, as the strong
     arm of the Lord was evidently raised, not only against the bloody
     and wicked house of Stewart, but against all who attempted to
     support the abominable heresies of the Church of Rome. From this
     circumstance it appears that Old Mortality had, even at that early
     period of his life, imbibed the religious enthusiasm by which he
     afterwards became so much distinguished.

     "The religious sect called Hill-men, or Cameronians, was at that
     time much noted for austerity and devotion, in imitation of Cameron,
     their founder, of whose tenets Old Mortality became a most strenuous
     supporter. He made frequent journeys into Galloway to attend their
     conventicles, and occasionally carried with him gravestones from his
     quarry at Gatelowbrigg, to keep in remembrance the righteous whose
     dust had been gathered to their fathers. Old Mortality was not one
     of those religious devotees, who, although one eye is seemingly
     turned towards heaven, keep the other steadfastly fixed on some
     sublunary object. As his enthusiasm increased, his journeys into
     Galloway became more frequent; and he gradually neglected even the
     common prudential duty of providing for his offspring. From about
     the year 1758, he neglected wholly to return from Galloway to his
     wife and five children at Gatelowbrigg, which induced her to send
     her eldest son Walter, then only twelve years of age, to Galloway,
     in search of his father. After traversing nearly the whole of that
     extensive district, from the Nick of Benncorie to the Fell of
     Barullion, he found him at last working on the Cameronian monuments,
     in the old kirkyard of Kirkchrist, on the west side of the Dee,
     opposite the town of Kirkcudbright. The little wanderer used all the
     influence in his power to induce his father to return to his family;
     but in vain. Mrs. Paterson sent even some of her female children
     into Galloway in search of their father, for the same purpose of
     persuading him to return home; but without any success. At last, in
     the summer of 1768, she removed to the little upland village of
     Balmaclellan, in the Glenkens of Galloway, where, upon the small
     pittance derived from keeping a little school, she supported her
     numerous family in a respectable manner.

     "There is a small monumental stone in the farm of the Caldon, near
     the House of the Hill, in Wigtonshire, which is highly venerated as
     being the first erected, by Old Mortality, to the memory of several
     persons who fell at that place in defence of their religious tenets
     in the civil war, in the reign of Charles Second.

     "From the Caldon, the labours of Old Mortality, in the course of
     time, spread over nearly all the Lowlands of Scotland. There are few
     churchyards in Ayrshire, Galloway, or Dumfries-shire, where the work
     of his chisel is not yet to be seen. It is easily distinguished from
     the work of any other artist by the primitive rudeness of the
     emblems of death, and of the inscriptions which adorn the ill-formed
     blocks of his erection. This task of repairing and erecting
     gravestones, practised without fee or reward, was the only
     ostensible employment of this singular person for upwards of forty
     years. The door of every Cameronian's house was indeed open to him
     at all times when he chose to enter, and he was gladly received as
     an inmate of the family; but he did not invariably accept of these
     civilities, as may be seen by the following account of his frugal
     expenses, found, amongst other little papers, (some of which I have
     likewise in my possession,) in his pocket-book after his death.

Gatehouse of Fleet, 4th February, 1796.
To drye Lodginge for seven weeks,....... 0 4 1
To Four Auchlet of Ait Meal,............ 0 3 4
To 6 Lippies of Potatoes................ 0 1 3
To Lent Money at the time of Mr. Reid's
     Sacrament,......................... 0 6 0
To 3 Chappins of Yell with Sandy the
     Keelman,*.......................... 0 0 9

     Total,............................L.0 15 5
Received in part,....................... 0 10 0
Unpaid,............................... L.0  5 5

     *["A well-known humourist, still alive, popularly called by the name
     of Old Keelybags, who deals in the keel or chalk with which farmers
     mark their flocks."]

"This statement shows the religious wanderer to have been very poor in his old age; but he was so more by choice than through necessity, as at the period here alluded to, his children were all comfortably situated, and were most anxious to keep their father at home, but no entreaty could induce him to alter his erratic way of life. He travelled from one churchyard to another, mounted on his old white pony, till the last day of his existence, and died, as you have described, at Bankhill, near Lockerby, on the 14th February, 1801, in the 86th year of his age. As soon as his body was found, intimation was sent to his sons at Balmaclellan; but from the great depth of the snow at that time, the letter communicating the particulars of his death was so long detained by the way, that the remains of the pilgrim were interred before any of his relations could arrive at Bankhill.

"The following is an exact copy of the account of his funeral expenses,—the original of which I have in my possession:—

"Memorandum of the Funral Charges of Robert Paterson,
who dyed at Bankhill on the 14th day of February, 1801.
To a Coffon................... L.0 12 0
To Munting for do............... 0 2 8
To a Shirt for him.............. 0 5 6
To a pair of Cotten Stockings... 0 2 0
To Bread at the Founral......... 0 2 6
To Chise at ditto............... 0 3 0
To 1 pint Rume.................. 0 4 6
To I pint Whiskie............... 0 4 0
To a man going to Annam......... 0 2 0
To the grave diger.............. 0 1 0
To Linnen for a sheet to him.... 0 2 8
                               L.2 1 10
Taken off him when dead,.........1 7 6
                               L.0 14 4

"The above account is authenticated by the son of the deceased.

"My friend was prevented by indisposition from even going to Bankhill to attend the funeral of his father, which I regret very much, as he is not aware in what churchyard he was interred.

"For the purpose of erecting a small monument to his memory, I have made every possible enquiry, wherever I thought there was the least chance of finding out where Old Mortality was laid; but I have done so in vain, as his death is not registered in the session-book of any of the neighbouring parishes. I am sorry to think, that in all probability, this singular person, who spent so many years of his lengthened existence in striving with his chisel and mallet to perpetuate the memory of many less deserving than himself, must remain even without a single stone to mark out the resting place of his mortal remains.

"Old Mortality had three sons, Robert, Walter, and John; the former, as has been already mentioned, lives in the village of Balmaclellan, in comfortable circumstances, and is much respected by his neighbours. Walter died several years ago, leaving behind him a family now respectably situated in this point. John went to America in the year 1776, and, after various turns of fortune, settled at Baltimore."

Old Nol himself is said to have loved an innocent jest. (See Captain Hodgson's Memoirs.) Old Mortality somewhat resembled the Protector in this turn to festivity. Like Master Silence, he had been merry twice and once in his time; but even his jests were of a melancholy and sepulchral nature, and sometimes attended with inconvenience to himself, as will appear from the following anecdote:—

The old man was at one time following his wonted occupation of repairing the tombs of the martyrs, in the churchyard of Girthon, and the sexton of the parish was plying his kindred task at no small distance. Some roguish urchins were sporting near them, and by their noisy gambols disturbing the old men in their serious occupation. The most petulant of the juvenile party were two or three boys, grandchildren of a person well known by the name of Cooper Climent. This artist enjoyed almost a monopoly in Girthon and the neighbouring parishes, for making and selling ladles, caups, bickers, bowls, spoons, cogues, and trenchers, formed of wood, for the use of the country people. It must be noticed, that notwithstanding the excellence of the Cooper's vessels, they were apt, when new, to impart a reddish tinge to whatever liquor was put into them, a circumstance not uncommon in like cases.

The grandchildren of this dealer in wooden work took it into their head to ask the sexton, what use he could possibly make of the numerous fragments of old coffins which were thrown up in opening new graves. "Do you not know," said Old Mortality, "that he sells them to your grandfather, who makes them into spoons, trenchers, bickers, bowies, and so forth?" At this assertion, the youthful group broke up in great confusion and disgust, on reflecting how many meals they had eaten out of dishes which, by Old Mortality's account, were only fit to be used at a banquet of witches or of ghoules. They carried the tidings home, when many a dinner was spoiled by the loathing which the intelligence imparted; for the account of the materials was supposed to explain the reddish tinge which, even in the days of the Cooper's fame, had seemed somewhat suspicious. The ware of Cooper Climent was rejected in horror, much to the benefit of his rivals the muggers, who dealt in earthenware. The man of cutty-spoon and ladle saw his trade interrupted, and learned the reason, by his quondam customers coming upon him in wrath to return the goods which were composed of such unhallowed materials, and demand repayment of their money. In this disagreeable predicament, the forlorn artist cited Old Mortality into a court of justice, where he proved that the wood he used in his trade was that of the staves of old wine-pipes bought from smugglers, with whom the country then abounded, a circumstance which fully accounted for their imparting a colour to their contents. Old Mortality himself made the fullest declaration, that he had no other purpose in making the assertion, than to check the petulance of the children. But it is easier to take away a good name than to restore it. Cooper Climent's business continued to languish, and he died in a state of poverty.





                    Why seeks he with unwearied toil
                    Through death's dim walks to urge his way,
                    Reclaim his long-asserted spoil,
                    And lead oblivion into day?

"Most readers," says the Manuscript of Mr Pattieson, "must have witnessed with delight the joyous burst which attends the dismissing of a village-school on a fine summer evening. The buoyant spirit of childhood, repressed with so much difficulty during the tedious hours of discipline, may then be seen to explode, as it were, in shout, and song, and frolic, as the little urchins join in groups on their play-ground, and arrange their matches of sport for the evening. But there is one individual who partakes of the relief afforded by the moment of dismission, whose feelings are not so obvious to the eye of the spectator, or so apt to receive his sympathy. I mean the teacher himself, who, stunned with the hum, and suffocated with the closeness of his school-room, has spent the whole day (himself against a host) in controlling petulance, exciting indifference to action, striving to enlighten stupidity, and labouring to soften obstinacy; and whose very powers of intellect have been confounded by hearing the same dull lesson repeated a hundred times by rote, and only varied by the various blunders of the reciters. Even the flowers of classic genius, with which his solitary fancy is most gratified, have been rendered degraded, in his imagination, by their connexion with tears, with errors, and with punishment; so that the Eclogues of Virgil and Odes of Horace are each inseparably allied in association with the sullen figure and monotonous recitation of some blubbering school-boy. If to these mental distresses are added a delicate frame of body, and a mind ambitious of some higher distinction than that of being the tyrant of childhood, the reader may have some slight conception of the relief which a solitary walk, in the cool of a fine summer evening, affords to the head which has ached, and the nerves which have been shattered, for so many hours, in plying the irksome task of public instruction.

"To me these evening strolls have been the happiest hours of an unhappy life; and if any gentle reader shall hereafter find pleasure in perusing these lucubrations, I am not unwilling he should know, that the plan of them has been usually traced in those moments, when relief from toil and clamour, combined with the quiet scenery around me, has disposed my mind to the task of composition.

"My chief haunt, in these hours of golden leisure, is the banks of the small stream, which, winding through a 'lone vale of green bracken,' passes in front of the village school-house of Gandercleugh. For the first quarter of a mile, perhaps, I may be disturbed from my meditations, in order to return the scrape, or doffed bonnet, of such stragglers among my pupils as fish for trouts or minnows in the little brook, or seek rushes and wild-flowers by its margin. But, beyond the space I have mentioned, the juvenile anglers do not, after sunset, voluntarily extend their excursions. The cause is, that farther up the narrow valley, and in a recess which seems scooped out of the side of the steep heathy bank, there is a deserted burial-ground, which the little cowards are fearful of approaching in the twilight. To me, however, the place has an inexpressible charm. It has been long the favourite termination of my walks, and, if my kind patron forgets not his promise, will (and probably at no very distant day) be my final resting-place after my mortal pilgrimage. [Note: Note, by Mr Jedediah Cleishbotham.—That I kept my plight in this melancholy matter with my deceased and lamented friend, appeareth from a handsome headstone, erected at my proper charges in this spot, bearing the name and calling of Peter Pattieson, with the date of his nativity and sepulture; together also with a testimony of his merits, attested by myself, as his superior and patron.—J. C.]

"It is a spot which possesses all the solemnity of feeling attached to a burial-ground, without exciting those of a more unpleasing description. Having been very little used for many years, the few hillocks which rise above the level plain are covered with the same short velvet turf. The monuments, of which there are not above seven or eight, are half sunk in the ground, and overgrown with moss. No newly-erected tomb disturbs the sober serenity of our reflections by reminding us of recent calamity, and no rank-springing grass forces upon our imagination the recollection, that it owes its dark luxuriance to the foul and festering remnants of mortality which ferment beneath. The daisy which sprinkles the sod, and the harebell which hangs over it, derive their pure nourishment from the dew of heaven, and their growth impresses us with no degrading or disgusting recollections. Death has indeed been here, and its traces are before us; but they are softened and deprived of their horror by our distance from the period when they have been first impressed. Those who sleep beneath are only connected with us by the reflection, that they have once been what we now are, and that, as their relics are now identified with their mother earth, ours shall, at some future period, undergo the same transformation.

"Yet, although the moss has been collected on the most modern of these humble tombs during four generations of mankind, the memory of some of those who sleep beneath them is still held in reverent remembrance. It is true, that, upon the largest, and, to an antiquary, the most interesting monument of the group, which bears the effigies of a doughty knight in his hood of mail, with his shield hanging on his breast, the armorial bearings are defaced by time, and a few worn-out letters may be read at the pleasure of the decipherer, Dns. Johan—de Hamel,—or Johan—de Lamel—And it is also true, that of another tomb, richly sculptured with an ornamental cross, mitre, and pastoral staff, tradition can only aver, that a certain nameless bishop lies interred there. But upon other two stones which lie beside, may still be read in rude prose, and ruder rhyme, the history of those who sleep beneath them. They belong, we are assured by the epitaph, to the class of persecuted Presbyterians who afforded a melancholy subject for history in the times of Charles II. and his successor. [Note: James, Seventh King of Scotland of that name, and Second according to the numeration of the Kings of England.—J. C.] In returning from the battle of Pentland Hills, a party of the insurgents had been attacked in this glen by a small detachment of the King's troops, and three or four either killed in the skirmish, or shot after being made prisoners, as rebels taken with arms in their hands. The peasantry continued to attach to the tombs of those victims of prelacy an honour which they do not render to more splendid mausoleums; and, when they point them out to their sons, and narrate the fate of the sufferers, usually conclude, by exhorting them to be ready, should times call for it, to resist to the death in the cause of civil and religious liberty, like their brave forefathers.

"Although I am far from venerating the peculiar tenets asserted by those who call themselves the followers of those men, and whose intolerance and narrow-minded bigotry are at least as conspicuous as their devotional zeal, yet it is without depreciating the memory of those sufferers, many of whom united the independent sentiments of a Hampden with the suffering zeal of a Hooper or Latimer. On the other hand, it would be unjust to forget, that many even of those who had been most active in crushing what they conceived the rebellious and seditious spirit of those unhappy wanderers, displayed themselves, when called upon to suffer for their political and religious opinions, the same daring and devoted zeal, tinctured, in their case, with chivalrous loyalty, as in the former with republican enthusiasm. It has often been remarked of the Scottish character, that the stubbornness with which it is moulded shows most to advantage in adversity, when it seems akin to the native sycamore of their hills, which scorns to be biassed in its mode of growth even by the influence of the prevailing wind, but, shooting its branches with equal boldness in every direction, shows no weather-side to the storm, and may be broken, but can never be bended. It must be understood that I speak of my countrymen as they fall under my own observation. When in foreign countries, I have been informed that they are more docile. But it is time to return from this digression.

"One summer evening, as in a stroll, such as I have described, I approached this deserted mansion of the dead, I was somewhat surprised to hear sounds distinct from those which usually soothe its solitude, the gentle chiding, namely, of the brook, and the sighing of the wind in the boughs of three gigantic ash-trees, which mark the cemetery. The clink of a hammer was, on this occasion, distinctly heard; and I entertained some alarm that a march-dike, long meditated by the two proprietors whose estates were divided by my favourite brook, was about to be drawn up the glen, in order to substitute its rectilinear deformity for the graceful winding of the natural boundary. [Note: I deem it fitting that the reader should be apprised that this limitary boundary between the conterminous heritable property of his honour the Laird of Gandercleugh, and his honour the Laird of Gusedub, was to have been in fashion an agger, or rather murus of uncemented granite, called by the vulgar a drystane dyke, surmounted, or coped, cespite viridi, i.e. with a sodturf. Truly their honours fell into discord concerning two roods of marshy ground, near the cove called the Bedral's Beild; and the controversy, having some years bygone been removed from before the judges of the land, (with whom it abode long,) even unto the Great City of London and the Assembly of the Nobles therein, is, as I may say, adhuc in pendente.—J. C.] As I approached, I was agreeably undeceived. An old man was seated upon the monument of the slaughtered presbyterians, and busily employed in deepening, with his chisel, the letters of the inscription, which, announcing, in scriptural language, the promised blessings of futurity to be the lot of the slain, anathematized the murderers with corresponding violence. A blue bonnet of unusual dimensions covered the grey hairs of the pious workman. His dress was a large old-fashioned coat of the coarse cloth called hoddingrey, usually worn by the elder peasants, with waistcoat and breeches of the same; and the whole suit, though still in decent repair, had obviously seen a train of long service. Strong clouted shoes, studded with hobnails, and gramoches or leggins, made of thick black cloth, completed his equipment. Beside him, fed among the graves a pony, the companion of his journey, whose extreme whiteness, as well as its projecting bones and hollow eyes, indicated its antiquity. It was harnessed in the most simple manner, with a pair of branks, a hair tether, or halter, and a sunk, or cushion of straw, instead of bridle and saddle. A canvass pouch hung around the neck of the animal, for the purpose, probably, of containing the rider's tools, and any thing else he might have occasion to carry with him. Although I had never seen the old man before, yet from the singularity of his employment, and the style of his equipage, I had no difficulty in recognising a religious itinerant whom I had often heard talked of, and who was known in various parts of Scotland by the title of Old Mortality.

The Graveyard

"Where this man was born, or what was his real name, I have never been able to learn; nor are the motives which made him desert his home, and adopt the erratic mode of life which he pursued, known to me except very generally. According to the belief of most people, he was a native of either the county of Dumfries or Galloway, and lineally descended from some of those champions of the Covenant, whose deeds and sufferings were his favourite theme. He is said to have held, at one period of his life, a small moorland farm; but, whether from pecuniary losses, or domestic misfortune, he had long renounced that and every other gainful calling. In the language of Scripture, he left his house, his home, and his kindred, and wandered about until the day of his death, a period of nearly thirty years.

"During this long pilgrimage, the pious enthusiast regulated his circuit so as annually to visit the graves of the unfortunate Covenanters, who suffered by the sword, or by the executioner, during the reigns of the two last monarchs of the Stewart line. These are most numerous in the western districts of Ayr, Galloway, and Dumfries; but they are also to be found in other parts of Scotland, wherever the fugitives had fought, or fallen, or suffered by military or civil execution. Their tombs are often apart from all human habitation, in the remote moors and wilds to which the wanderers had fled for concealment. But wherever they existed, Old Mortality was sure to visit them when his annual round brought them within his reach. In the most lonely recesses of the mountains, the moor-fowl shooter has been often surprised to find him busied in cleaning the moss from the grey stones, renewing with his chisel the half-defaced inscriptions, and repairing the emblems of death with which these simple monuments are usually adorned. Motives of the most sincere, though fanciful devotion, induced the old man to dedicate so many years of existence to perform this tribute to the memory of the deceased warriors of the church. He considered himself as fulfilling a sacred duty, while renewing to the eyes of posterity the decaying emblems of the zeal and sufferings of their forefathers, and thereby trimming, as it were, the beacon-light, which was to warn future generations to defend their religion even unto blood.

"In all his wanderings, the old pilgrim never seemed to need, or was known to accept, pecuniary assistance. It is true, his wants were very few; for wherever he went, he found ready quarters in the house of some Cameronian of his own sect, or of some other religious person. The hospitality which was reverentially paid to him he always acknowledged, by repairing the gravestones (if there existed any) belonging to the family or ancestors of his host. As the wanderer was usually to be seen bent on this pious task within the precincts of some country churchyard, or reclined on the solitary tombstone among the heath, disturbing the plover and the black-cock with the clink of his chisel and mallet, with his old white pony grazing by his side, he acquired, from his converse among the dead, the popular appellation of Old Mortality.

"The character of such a man could have in it little connexion even with innocent gaiety. Yet, among those of his own religious persuasion, he is reported to have been cheerful. The descendants of persecutors, or those whom he supposed guilty of entertaining similar tenets, and the scoffers at religion by whom he was sometimes assailed, he usually termed the generation of vipers. Conversing with others, he was grave and sententious, not without a cast of severity. But he is said never to have been observed to give way to violent passion, excepting upon one occasion, when a mischievous truant-boy defaced with a stone the nose of a cherub's face, which the old man was engaged in retouching. I am in general a sparer of the rod, notwithstanding the maxim of Solomon, for which school-boys have little reason to thank his memory; but on this occasion I deemed it proper to show that I did not hate the child.—But I must return to the circumstances attending my first interview with this interesting enthusiast.

"In accosting Old Mortality, I did not fail to pay respect to his years and his principles, beginning my address by a respectful apology for interrupting his labours. The old man intermitted the operation of the chisel, took off his spectacles and wiped them, then, replacing them on his nose, acknowledged my courtesy by a suitable return. Encouraged by his affability, I intruded upon him some questions concerning the sufferers on whose monument he was now employed. To talk of the exploits of the Covenanters was the delight, as to repair their monuments was the business, of his life. He was profuse in the communication of all the minute information which he had collected concerning them, their wars, and their wanderings. One would almost have supposed he must have been their contemporary, and have actually beheld the passages which he related, so much had he identified his feelings and opinions with theirs, and so much had his narratives the circumstantiality of an eye-witness.

"'We,' he said, in a tone of exultation,—'we are the only true whigs. Carnal men have assumed that triumphant appellation, following him whose kingdom is of this world. Which of them would sit six hours on a wet hill-side to hear a godly sermon? I trow an hour o't wad staw them. They are ne'er a hair better than them that shamena to take upon themsells the persecuting name of bludethirsty tories. Self-seekers all of them, strivers after wealth, power, and worldly ambition, and forgetters alike of what has been dree'd and done by the mighty men who stood in the gap in the great day of wrath. Nae wonder they dread the accomplishment of what was spoken by the mouth of the worthy Mr Peden, (that precious servant of the Lord, none of whose words fell to the ground,) that the French monzies [Note: Probably monsieurs. It would seem that this was spoken during the apprehensions of invason from France.—Publishers.] sall rise as fast in the glens of Ayr, and the kenns of Galloway, as ever the Highlandmen did in 1677. And now they are gripping to the bow and to the spear, when they suld be mourning for a sinfu' land and a broken covenant.'

"Soothing the old man by letting his peculiar opinions pass without contradiction, and anxious to prolong conversation with so singular a character, I prevailed upon him to accept that hospitality, which Mr Cleishbotham is always willing to extend to those who need it. In our way to the schoolmaster's house, we called at the Wallace Inn, where I was pretty certain I should find my patron about that hour of the evening. After a courteous interchange of civilities, Old Mortality was, with difficulty, prevailed upon to join his host in a single glass of liquor, and that on condition that he should be permitted to name the pledge, which he prefaced with a grace of about five minutes, and then, with bonnet doffed and eyes uplifted, drank to the memory of those heroes of the Kirk who had first uplifted her banner upon the mountains. As no persuasion could prevail on him to extend his conviviality to a second cup, my patron accompanied him home, and accommodated him in the Prophet's Chamber, as it is his pleasure to call the closet which holds a spare bed, and which is frequently a place of retreat for the poor traveller. [Note: He might have added, and for the rich also; since, I laud my stars, the great of the earth have also taken harbourage in my poor domicile. And, during the service of my hand-maiden, Dorothy, who was buxom and comely of aspect, his Honour the Laird of Smackawa, in his peregrinations to and from the metropolis, was wont to prefer my Prophet's Chamber even to the sanded chamber of dais in the Wallace Inn, and to bestow a mutchkin, as he would jocosely say, to obtain the freedom of the house, but, in reality, to assure himself of my company during the evening.—J. C.]

"The next day I took leave of Old Mortality, who seemed affected by the unusual attention with which I had cultivated his acquaintance and listened to his conversation. After he had mounted, not without difficulty, the old white pony, he took me by the hand and said, 'The blessing of our Master be with you, young man! My hours are like the ears of the latter harvest, and your days are yet in the spring; and yet you may be gathered into the garner of mortality before me, for the sickle of death cuts down the green as oft as the ripe, and there is a colour in your cheek, that, like the bud of the rose, serveth oft to hide the worm of corruption. Wherefore labour as one who knoweth not when his master calleth. And if it be my lot to return to this village after ye are gane hame to your ain place, these auld withered hands will frame a stane of memorial, that your name may not perish from among the people.'

"I thanked Old Mortality for his kind intentions in my behalf, and heaved a sigh, not, I think, of regret so much as of resignation, to think of the chance that I might soon require his good offices. But though, in all human probability, he did not err in supposing that my span of life may be abridged in youth, he had over-estimated the period of his own pilgrimage on earth. It is now some years since he has been missed in all his usual haunts, while moss, lichen, and deer-hair, are fast covering those stones, to cleanse which had been the business of his life. About the beginning of this century he closed his mortal toils, being found on the highway near Lockerby, in Dumfries-shire, exhausted and just expiring. The old white pony, the companion of all his wanderings, was standing by the side of his dying master. There was found about his person a sum of money sufficient for his decent interment, which serves to show that his death was in no ways hastened by violence or by want. The common people still regard his memory with great respect; and many are of opinion, that the stones which he repaired will not again require the assistance of the chisel. They even assert, that on the tombs where the manner of the martyrs' murder is recorded, their names have remained indelibly legible since the death of Old Mortality, while those of the persecutors, sculptured on the same monuments, have been entirely defaced. It is hardly necessary to say that this is a fond imagination, and that, since the time of the pious pilgrim, the monuments which were the objects of his care are hastening, like all earthly memorials, into ruin or decay.

"My readers will of course understand, that in embodying into one compressed narrative many of the anecdotes which I had the advantage of deriving from Old Mortality, I have been far from adopting either his style, his opinions, or even his facts, so far as they appear to have been distorted by party prejudice. I have endeavoured to correct or verify them from the most authentic sources of tradition, afforded by the representatives of either party.

"On the part of the Presbyterians, I have consulted such moorland farmers from the western districts, as, by the kindness of their landlords, or otherwise, have been able, during the late general change of property, to retain possession of the grazings on which their grandsires fed their flocks and herds. I must own, that of late days, I have found this a limited source of information. I have, therefore, called in the supplementary aid of those modest itinerants, whom the scrupulous civility of our ancestors denominated travelling merchants, but whom, of late, accommodating ourselves in this as in more material particulars, to the feelings and sentiments of our more wealthy neighbours, we have learned to call packmen or pedlars. To country weavers travelling in hopes to get rid of their winter web, but more especially to tailors, who, from their sedentary profession, and the necessity, in our country, of exercising it by temporary residence in the families by whom they are employed, may be considered as possessing a complete register of rural traditions, I have been indebted for many illustrations of the narratives of Old Mortality, much in the taste and spirit of the original.

"I had more difficulty in finding materials for correcting the tone of partiality which evidently pervaded those stores of traditional learning, in order that I might be enabled to present an unbiassed picture of the manners of that unhappy period, and, at the same time, to do justice to the merits of both parties. But I have been enabled to qualify the narratives of Old Mortality and his Cameronian friends, by the reports of more than one descendant of ancient and honourable families, who, themselves decayed into the humble vale of life, yet look proudly back on the period when their ancestors fought and fell in behalf of the exiled house of Stewart. I may even boast right reverend authority on the same score; for more than one nonjuring bishop, whose authority and income were upon as apostolical a scale as the greatest abominator of Episcopacy could well desire, have deigned, while partaking of the humble cheer of the Wallace Inn, to furnish me with information corrective of the facts which I learned from others. There are also here and there a laird or two, who, though they shrug their shoulders, profess no great shame in their fathers having served in the persecuting squadrons of Earlshall and Claverhouse. From the gamekeepers of these gentlemen, an office the most apt of any other to become hereditary in such families, I have also contrived to collect much valuable information.

"Upon the whole, I can hardly fear, that, at this time, in describing the operation which their opposite principles produced upon the good and bad men of both parties, I can be suspected of meaning insult or injustice to either. If recollection of former injuries, extra-loyalty, and contempt and hatred of their adversaries, produced rigour and tyranny in the one party, it will hardly be denied, on the other hand, that, if the zeal for God's house did not eat up the conventiclers, it devoured at least, to imitate the phrase of Dryden, no small portion of their loyalty, sober sense, and good breeding. We may safely hope, that the souls of the brave and sincere on either side have long looked down with surprise and pity upon the ill-appreciated motives which caused their mutual hatred and hostility, while in this valley of darkness, blood, and tears. Peace to their memory! Let us think of them as the heroine of our only Scottish tragedy entreats her lord to think of her departed sire:—

               'O rake not up the ashes of our fathers!
               Implacable resentment was their crime,
               And grievous has the expiation been.'"


               Summon an hundred horse, by break of day,
               To wait our pleasure at the castle gates.

Under the reign of the last Stewarts, there was an anxious wish on the part of government to counteract, by every means in their power, the strict or puritanical spirit which had been the chief characteristic of the republican government, and to revive those feudal institutions which united the vassal to the liege lord, and both to the crown. Frequent musters and assemblies of the people, both for military exercise and for sports and pastimes, were appointed by authority. The interference, in the latter case, was impolitic, to say the least; for, as usual on such occasions, the consciences which were at first only scrupulous, became confirmed in their opinions, instead of giving way to the terrors of authority; and the youth of both sexes, to whom the pipe and tabor in England, or the bagpipe in Scotland, would have been in themselves an irresistible temptation, were enabled to set them at defiance, from the proud consciousness that they were, at the same time, resisting an act of council. To compel men to dance and be merry by authority, has rarely succeeded even on board of slave-ships, where it was formerly sometimes attempted by way of inducing the wretched captives to agitate their limbs and restore the circulation, during the few minutes they were permitted to enjoy the fresh air upon deck. The rigour of the strict Calvinists increased, in proportion to the wishes of the government that it should be relaxed. A judaical observance of the Sabbath—a supercilious condemnation of all manly pastimes and harmless recreations, as well as of the profane custom of promiscuous dancing, that is, of men and women dancing together in the same party (for I believe they admitted that the exercise might be inoffensive if practised by the parties separately)—distinguishing those who professed a more than ordinary share of sanctity, they discouraged, as far as lay in their power, even the ancient wappen-schaws, as they were termed, when the feudal array of the county was called out, and each crown-vassal was required to appear with such muster of men and armour as he was bound to make by his fief, and that under high statutory penalties. The Covenanters were the more jealous of those assemblies, as the lord lieutenants and sheriffs under whom they were held had instructions from the government to spare no pains which might render them agreeable to the young men who were thus summoned together, upon whom the military exercise of the morning, and the sports which usually closed the evening, might naturally be supposed to have a seductive effect.

The preachers and proselytes of the more rigid presbyterians laboured, therefore, by caution, remonstrance, and authority, to diminish the attendance upon these summonses, conscious that in doing so, they lessened not only the apparent, but the actual strength of the government, by impeding the extension of that esprit de corps which soon unites young men who are in the habit of meeting together for manly sport, or military exercise. They, therefore, exerted themselves earnestly to prevent attendance on these occasions by those who could find any possible excuse for absence, and were especially severe upon such of their hearers as mere curiosity led to be spectators, or love of exercise to be partakers, of the array and the sports which took place. Such of the gentry as acceded to these doctrines were not always, however, in a situation to be ruled by them. The commands of the law were imperative; and the privy council, who administered the executive power in Scotland, were severe in enforcing the statutory penalties against the crown-vassals who did not appear at the periodical wappen-schaw. The landholders were compelled, therefore, to send their sons, tenants, and vassals to the rendezvous, to the number of horses, men, and spears, at which they were rated; and it frequently happened, that notwithstanding the strict charge of their elders, to return as soon as the formal inspection was over, the young men-at-arms were unable to resist the temptation of sharing in the sports which succeeded the muster, or to avoid listening to the prayers read in the churches on these occasions, and thus, in the opinion of their repining parents, meddling with the accursed thing which is an abomination in the sight of the Lord.

The sheriff of the county of Lanark was holding the wappen-schaw of a wild district, called the Upper Ward of Clydesdale, on a haugh or level plain, near to a royal borough, the name of which is no way essential to my story, on the morning of the 5th of May, 1679, when our narrative commences. When the musters had been made, and duly reported, the young men, as was usual, were to mix in various sports, of which the chief was to shoot at the popinjay, an ancient game formerly practised with archery, but at this period with fire-arms.

     [Note: Festival of the Popinjay. The Festival of the Popinjay is
     still, I believe, practised at Maybole, in Ayrshire. The following
     passage in the history of the Somerville family, suggested the
     scenes in the text. The author of that curious manuscript thus
     celebrates his father's demeanour at such an assembly.

     "Having now passed his infancie, in the tenth year of his age, he
     was by his grandfather putt to the grammar school, ther being then
     att the toune of Delserf a very able master that taught the grammar,
     and fitted boyes for the colledge. Dureing his educating in this
     place, they had then a custome every year to solemnize the first
     Sunday of May with danceing about a May-pole, fyreing of pieces, and
     all manner of ravelling then in use. Ther being at that tyme feu or
     noe merchants in this pettie village, to furnish necessaries for the
     schollars sports, this youth resolves to provide himself elsewhere,
     so that he may appear with the bravest. In order to this, by break
     of day he ryses and goes to Hamiltoune, and there bestowes all the
     money that for a long tyme before he had gotten from his freinds, or
     had otherwayes purchased, upon ribbones of diverse coloures, a new
     hatt and gloves. But in nothing he bestowed his money more
     liberallie than upon gunpowder, a great quantitie whereof he buyes
     for his owne use, and to supplie the wantes of his comerades; thus
     furnished with these commodities, but ane empty purse, he returnes
     to Delserf by seven a clock, (haveing travelled that Sabbath morning
     above eight myles,) puttes on his cloathes and new hatt, flying with
     ribbones of all culloures; and in this equipage, with his little
     phizie (fusee) upon his shoulder, he marches to the church yaird,
     where the May-pole was sett up, and the solemnitie of that day was
     to be kept. There first at the foot-ball he equalled any one that
     played; but in handleing his piece, in chargeing and dischargeing,
     he was so ready, and shott so near the marke, that he farre
     surpassed all his fellow schollars, and became a teacher of that art
     to them before the thretteenth year of his oune age. And really, I
     have often admired his dexterity in this, both at the exercizeing of
     his soulders, and when for recreatione. I have gone to the gunning
     with him when I was but a stripeling myself; and albeit that
     passetyme was the exercize I delighted most in, yet could I never
     attaine to any perfectione comparable to him. This dayes sport being
     over, he had the applause of all the spectatores, the kyndnesse of
     his fellow-condisciples, and the favour of the whole inhabitants of
     that little village."]

This was the figure of a bird, decked with party-coloured feathers, so as to resemble a popinjay or parrot. It was suspended to a pole, and served for a mark, at which the competitors discharged their fusees and carabines in rotation, at the distance of sixty or seventy paces. He whose ball brought down the mark, held the proud title of Captain of the Popinjay for the remainder of the day, and was usually escorted in triumph to the most reputable change-house in the neighbourhood, where the evening was closed with conviviality, conducted under his auspices, and, if he was able to sustain it, at his expense.

It will, of course, be supposed, that the ladies of the country assembled to witness this gallant strife, those excepted who held the stricter tenets of puritanism, and would therefore have deemed it criminal to afford countenance to the profane gambols of the malignants. Landaus, barouches, or tilburies, there were none in those simple days. The lord lieutenant of the county (a personage of ducal rank) alone pretended to the magnificence of a wheel-carriage, a thing covered with tarnished gilding and sculpture, in shape like the vulgar picture of Noah's ark, dragged by eight long-tailed Flanders mares, bearing eight insides and six outsides. The insides were their graces in person, two maids of honour, two children, a chaplain stuffed into a sort of lateral recess, formed by a projection at the door of the vehicle, and called, from its appearance, the boot, and an equerry to his Grace ensconced in the corresponding convenience on the opposite side. A coachman and three postilions, who wore short swords, and tie-wigs with three tails, had blunderbusses slung behind them, and pistols at their saddle-bow, conducted the equipage. On the foot-board, behind this moving mansion-house, stood, or rather hung, in triple file, six lacqueys in rich liveries, armed up to the teeth. The rest of the gentry, men and women, old and young, were on horseback followed by their servants; but the company, for the reasons already assigned, was rather select than numerous.

Near to the enormous leathern vehicle which we have attempted to describe, vindicating her title to precedence over the untitled gentry of the country, might be seen the sober palfrey of Lady Margaret Bellenden, bearing the erect and primitive form of Lady Margaret herself, decked in those widow's weeds which the good lady had never laid aside, since the execution of her husband for his adherence to Montrose.

Her grand-daughter, and only earthly care, the fair-haired Edith, who was generally allowed to be the prettiest lass in the Upper Ward, appeared beside her aged relative like Spring placed close to Winter. Her black Spanish jennet, which she managed with much grace, her gay riding-dress, and laced side-saddle, had been anxiously prepared to set her forth to the best advantage. But the clustering profusion of ringlets, which, escaping from under her cap, were only confined by a green ribbon from wantoning over her shoulders; her cast of features, soft and feminine, yet not without a certain expression of playful archness, which redeemed their sweetness from the charge of insipidity, sometimes brought against blondes and blue-eyed beauties,—these attracted more admiration from the western youth than either the splendour of her equipments or the figure of her palfrey.

The attendance of these distinguished ladies was rather inferior to their birth and fashion in those times, as it consisted only of two servants on horseback. The truth was, that the good old lady had been obliged to make all her domestic servants turn out to complete the quota which her barony ought to furnish for the muster, and in which she would not for the universe have been found deficient. The old steward, who, in steel cap and jack-boots, led forth her array, had, as he said, sweated blood and water in his efforts to overcome the scruples and evasions of the moorland farmers, who ought to have furnished men, horse, and harness, on these occasions. At last, their dispute came near to an open declaration of hostilities, the incensed episcopalian bestowing on the recusants the whole thunders of the commination, and receiving from them, in return, the denunciations of a Calvinistic excommunication. What was to be done? To punish the refractory tenants would have been easy enough. The privy council would readily have imposed fines, and sent a troop of horse to collect them. But this would have been calling the huntsman and hounds into the garden to kill the hare.

"For," said Harrison to himself, "the carles have little eneugh gear at ony rate, and if I call in the red-coats and take away what little they have, how is my worshipful lady to get her rents paid at Candlemas, which is but a difficult matter to bring round even in the best of times?"

So he armed the fowler, and falconer, the footman, and the ploughman, at the home farm, with an old drunken cavaliering butler, who had served with the late Sir Richard under Montrose, and stunned the family nightly with his exploits at Kilsythe and Tippermoor, and who was the only man in the party that had the smallest zeal for the work in hand. In this manner, and by recruiting one or two latitudinarian poachers and black-fishers, Mr Harrison completed the quota of men which fell to the share of Lady Margaret Bellenden, as life-rentrix of the barony of Tillietudlem and others. But when the steward, on the morning of the eventful day, had mustered his troupe dore before the iron gate of the tower, the mother of Cuddie Headrigg the ploughman appeared, loaded with the jackboots, buff coat, and other accoutrements which had been issued forth for the service of the day, and laid them before the steward; demurely assuring him, that "whether it were the colic, or a qualm of conscience, she couldna tak upon her to decide, but sure it was, Cuddie had been in sair straits a' night, and she couldna say he was muckle better this morning. The finger of Heaven," she said, "was in it, and her bairn should gang on nae sic errands." Pains, penalties, and threats of dismission, were denounced in vain; the mother was obstinate, and Cuddie, who underwent a domiciliary visitation for the purpose of verifying his state of body, could, or would, answer only by deep groans. Mause, who had been an ancient domestic in the family, was a sort of favourite with Lady Margaret, and presumed accordingly. Lady Margaret had herself set forth, and her authority could not be appealed to. In this dilemma, the good genius of the old butler suggested an expedient.

"He had seen mony a braw callant, far less than Guse Gibbie, fight brawly under Montrose. What for no tak Guse Gibbie?"

This was a half-witted lad, of very small stature, who had a kind of charge of the poultry under the old henwife; for in a Scottish family of that day there was a wonderful substitution of labour. This urchin being sent for from the stubble-field, was hastily muffled in the buff coat, and girded rather to than with the sword of a full-grown man, his little legs plunged into jack-boots, and a steel cap put upon his head, which seemed, from its size, as if it had been intended to extinguish him. Thus accoutred, he was hoisted, at his own earnest request, upon the quietest horse of the party; and, prompted and supported by old Gudyill the butler, as his front file, he passed muster tolerably enough; the sheriff not caring to examine too closely the recruits of so well-affected a person as Lady Margaret Bellenden.

To the above cause it was owing that the personal retinue of Lady Margaret, on this eventful day, amounted only to two lacqueys, with which diminished train she would, on any other occasion, have been much ashamed to appear in public. But, for the cause of royalty, she was ready at any time to have made the most unreserved personal sacrifices. She had lost her husband and two promising sons in the civil wars of that unhappy period; but she had received her reward, for, on his route through the west of Scotland to meet Cromwell in the unfortunate field of Worcester, Charles the Second had actually breakfasted at the Tower of Tillietudlem; an incident which formed, from that moment, an important era in the life of Lady Margaret, who seldom afterwards partook of that meal, either at home or abroad, without detailing the whole circumstances of the royal visit, not forgetting the salutation which his majesty conferred on each side of her face, though she sometimes omitted to notice that he bestowed the same favour on two buxom serving-wenches who appeared at her back, elevated for the day into the capacity of waiting gentlewomen.

Tillietudlem Castle

These instances of royal favour were decisive; and if Lady Margaret had not been a confirmed royalist already, from sense of high birth, influence of education, and hatred to the opposite party, through whom she had suffered such domestic calamity, the having given a breakfast to majesty, and received the royal salute in return, were honours enough of themselves to unite her exclusively to the fortunes of the Stewarts. These were now, in all appearance, triumphant; but Lady Margaret's zeal had adhered to them through the worst of times, and was ready to sustain the same severities of fortune should their scale once more kick the beam. At present she enjoyed, in full extent, the military display of the force which stood ready to support the crown, and stifled, as well as she could, the mortification she felt at the unworthy desertion of her own retainers.

Many civilities passed between her ladyship and the representatives of sundry ancient loyal families who were upon the ground, by whom she was held in high reverence; and not a young man of rank passed by them in the course of the muster, but he carried his body more erect in the saddle, and threw his horse upon its haunches, to display his own horsemanship and the perfect bitting of his steed to the best advantage in the eyes of Miss Edith Bellenden. But the young cavaliers, distinguished by high descent and undoubted loyalty, attracted no more attention from Edith than the laws of courtesy peremptorily demanded; and she turned an indifferent ear to the compliments with which she was addressed, most of which were little the worse for the wear, though borrowed for the nonce from the laborious and long-winded romances of Calprenede and Scuderi, the mirrors in which the youth of that age delighted to dress themselves, ere Folly had thrown her ballast overboard, and cut down her vessels of the first-rate, such as the romances of Cyrus, Cleopatra, and others, into small craft, drawing as little water, or, to speak more plainly, consuming as little time as the little cockboat in which the gentle reader has deigned to embark. It was, however, the decree of fate that Miss Bellenden should not continue to evince the same equanimity till the conclusion of the day.


               Horseman and horse confess'd the bitter pang,
               And arms and warrior fell with heavy clang.
                                             Pleasures of Hope.

When the military evolutions had been gone through tolerably well, allowing for the awkwardness of men and of horses, a loud shout announced that the competitors were about to step forth for the game of the popinjay already described. The mast, or pole, having a yard extended across it, from which the mark was displayed, was raised amid the acclamations of the assembly; and even those who had eyed the evolutions of the feudal militia with a sort of malignant and sarcastic sneer, from disinclination to the royal cause in which they were professedly embodied, could not refrain from taking considerable interest in the strife which was now approaching. They crowded towards the goal, and criticized the appearance of each competitor, as they advanced in succession, discharged their pieces at the mark, and had their good or bad address rewarded by the laughter or applause of the spectators. But when a slender young man, dressed with great simplicity, yet not without a certain air of pretension to elegance and gentility, approached the station with his fusee in his hand, his dark-green cloak thrown back over his shoulder, his laced ruff and feathered cap indicating a superior rank to the vulgar, there was a murmur of interest among the spectators, whether altogether favourable to the young adventurer, it was difficult to discover.

"Ewhow, sirs, to see his father's son at the like o' thae fearless follies!" was the ejaculation of the elder and more rigid puritans, whose curiosity had so far overcome their bigotry as to bring them to the play-ground. But the generality viewed the strife less morosely, and were contented to wish success to the son of a deceased presbyterian leader, without strictly examining the propriety of his being a competitor for the prize.

Their wishes were gratified. At the first discharge of his piece the green adventurer struck the popinjay, being the first palpable hit of the day, though several balls had passed very near the mark. A loud shout of applause ensued. But the success was not decisive, it being necessary that each who followed should have his chance, and that those who succeeded in hitting the mark, should renew the strife among themselves, till one displayed a decided superiority over the others. Two only of those who followed in order succeeded in hitting the popinjay. The first was a young man of low rank, heavily built, and who kept his face muffled in his grey cloak; the second a gallant young cavalier, remarkable for a handsome exterior, sedulously decorated for the day. He had been since the muster in close attendance on Lady Margaret and Miss Bellenden, and had left them with an air of indifference, when Lady Margaret had asked whether there was no young man of family and loyal principles who would dispute the prize with the two lads who had been successful. In half a minute, young Lord Evandale threw himself from his horse, borrowed a gun from a servant, and, as we have already noticed, hit the mark. Great was the interest excited by the renewal of the contest between the three candidates who had been hitherto successful. The state equipage of the Duke was, with some difficulty, put in motion, and approached more near to the scene of action. The riders, both male and female, turned their horses' heads in the same direction, and all eyes were bent upon the issue of the trial of skill.

It was the etiquette in the second contest, that the competitors should take their turn of firing after drawing lots. The first fell upon the young plebeian, who, as he took his stand, half-uncloaked his rustic countenance, and said to the gallant in green, "Ye see, Mr Henry, if it were ony other day, I could hae wished to miss for your sake; but Jenny Dennison is looking at us, sae I maun do my best."

He took his aim, and his bullet whistled past the mark so nearly, that the pendulous object at which it was directed was seen to shiver. Still, however, he had not hit it, and, with a downcast look, he withdrew himself from further competition, and hastened to disappear from the assembly, as if fearful of being recognised. The green chasseur next advanced, and his ball a second time struck the popinjay. All shouted; and from the outskirts of the assembly arose a cry of, "The good old cause for ever!"

While the dignitaries bent their brows at these exulting shouts of the disaffected, the young Lord Evandale advanced again to the hazard, and again was successful. The shouts and congratulations of the well-affected and aristocratical part of the audience attended his success, but still a subsequent trial of skill remained.

The green marksman, as if determined to bring the affair to a decision, took his horse from a person who held him, having previously looked carefully to the security of his girths and the fitting of his saddle, vaulted on his back, and motioning with his hand for the bystanders to make way, set spurs, passed the place from which he was to fire at a gallop, and, as he passed, threw up the reins, turned sideways upon his saddle, discharged his carabine, and brought down the popinjay. Lord Evandale imitated his example, although many around him said it was an innovation on the established practice, which he was not obliged to follow. But his skill was not so perfect, or his horse was not so well trained. The animal swerved at the moment his master fired, and the ball missed the popinjay. Those who had been surprised by the address of the green marksman were now equally pleased by his courtesy. He disclaimed all merit from the last shot, and proposed to his antagonist that it should not be counted as a hit, and that they should renew the contest on foot.

"I would prefer horseback, if I had a horse as well bitted, and, probably, as well broken to the exercise, as yours," said the young Lord, addressing his antagonist.

"Will you do me the honour to use him for the next trial, on condition you will lend me yours?" said the young gentleman.

Lord Evandale was ashamed to accept this courtesy, as conscious how much it would diminish the value of victory; and yet, unable to suppress his wish to redeem his reputation as a marksman, he added, "that although he renounced all pretensions to the honour of the day," (which he said some-what scornfully,) "yet, if the victor had no particular objection, he would willingly embrace his obliging offer, and change horses with him, for the purpose of trying a shot for love."

As he said so, he looked boldly towards Miss Bellenden, and tradition says, that the eyes of the young tirailleur travelled, though more covertly, in the same direction. The young Lord's last trial was as unsuccessful as the former, and it was with difficulty that he preserved the tone of scornful indifference which he had hitherto assumed. But, conscious of the ridicule which attaches itself to the resentment of a losing party, he returned to his antagonist the horse on which he had made his last unsuccessful attempt, and received back his own; giving, at the same time, thanks to his competitor, who, he said, had re-established his favourite horse in his good opinion, for he had been in great danger of transferring to the poor nag the blame of an inferiority, which every one, as well as himself, must now be satisfied remained with the rider. Having made this speech in a tone in which mortification assumed the veil of indifference, he mounted his horse and rode off the ground.

As is the usual way of the world, the applause and attention even of those whose wishes had favoured Lord Evandale, were, upon his decisive discomfiture, transferred to his triumphant rival.

"Who is he? what is his name?" ran from mouth to mouth among the gentry who were present, to few of whom he was personally known. His style and title having soon transpired, and being within that class whom a great man might notice without derogation, four of the Duke's friends, with the obedient start which poor Malvolio ascribes to his imaginary retinue, made out to lead the victor to his presence. As they conducted him in triumph through the crowd of spectators, and stunned him at the same time with their compliments on his success, he chanced to pass, or rather to be led, immediately in front of Lady Margaret and her grand-daughter. The Captain of the popinjay and Miss Bellenden coloured like crimson, as the latter returned, with embarrassed courtesy, the low inclination which the victor made, even to the saddle-bow, in passing her.

"Do you know that young person?" said Lady Margaret.

"I—I—have seen him, madam, at my uncle's, and—and elsewhere occasionally," stammered Miss Edith Bellenden.

"I hear them say around me," said Lady Margaret, "that the young spark is the nephew of old Milnwood."

"The son of the late Colonel Morton of Milnwood, who commanded a regiment of horse with great courage at Dunbar and Inverkeithing," said a gentleman who sate on horseback beside Lady Margaret.

"Ay, and who, before that, fought for the Covenanters both at Marston-Moor and Philiphaugh," said Lady Margaret, sighing as she pronounced the last fatal words, which her husband's death gave her such sad reason to remember.

"Your ladyship's memory is just," said the gentleman, smiling, "but it were well all that were forgot now."

"He ought to remember it, Gilbertscleugh," returned Lady Margaret, "and dispense with intruding himself into the company of those to whom his name must bring unpleasing recollections."

"You forget, my dear lady," said her nomenclator, "that the young gentleman comes here to discharge suit and service in name of his uncle. I would every estate in the country sent out as pretty a fellow."

"His uncle, as well as his umquhile father, is a roundhead, I presume," said Lady Margaret.

"He is an old miser," said Gilbertscleugh, "with whom a broad piece would at any time weigh down political opinions, and, therefore, although probably somewhat against the grain, he sends the young gentleman to attend the muster to save pecuniary pains and penalties. As for the rest, I suppose the youngster is happy enough to escape here for a day from the dulness of the old house at Milnwood, where he sees nobody but his hypochondriac uncle and the favourite housekeeper."

"Do you know how many men and horse the lands of Milnwood are rated at?" said the old lady, continuing her enquiry.

"Two horsemen with complete harness," answered Gilbertscleugh.

"Our land," said Lady Margaret, drawing herself up with dignity, "has always furnished to the muster eight men, cousin Gilbertscleugh, and often a voluntary aid of thrice the number. I remember his sacred Majesty King Charles, when he took his disjune at Tillietudlem, was particular in enquiring"—"I see the Duke's carriage in motion," said Gilbertscleugh, partaking at the moment an alarm common to all Lady Margaret's friends, when she touched upon the topic of the royal visit at the family mansion,—"I see the Duke's carriage in motion; I presume your ladyship will take your right of rank in leaving the field. May I be permitted to convoy your ladyship and Miss Bellenden home?—Parties of the wild whigs have been abroad, and are said to insult and disarm the well-affected who travel in small numbers."

"We thank you, cousin Gilbertscleugh," said Lady Margaret; "but as we shall have the escort of my own people, I trust we have less need than others to be troublesome to our friends. Will you have the goodness to order Harrison to bring up our people somewhat more briskly; he rides them towards us as if he were leading a funeral procession."

The gentleman in attendance communicated his lady's orders to the trusty steward.

Honest Harrison had his own reasons for doubting the prudence of this command; but, once issued and received, there was a necessity for obeying it. He set off, therefore, at a hand-gallop, followed by the butler, in such a military attitude as became one who had served under Montrose, and with a look of defiance, rendered sterner and fiercer by the inspiring fumes of a gill of brandy, which he had snatched a moment to bolt to the king's health, and confusion to the Covenant, during the intervals of military duty. Unhappily this potent refreshment wiped away from the tablets of his memory the necessity of paying some attention to the distresses and difficulties of his rear-file, Goose Gibbie. No sooner had the horses struck a canter, than Gibbie's jack-boots, which the poor boy's legs were incapable of steadying, began to play alternately against the horse's flanks, and, being armed with long-rowelled spurs, overcame the patience of the animal, which bounced and plunged, while poor Gibbie's entreaties for aid never reached the ears of the too heedless butler, being drowned partly in the concave of the steel cap in which his head was immersed, and partly in the martial tune of the Gallant Grames, which Mr Gudyill whistled with all his power of lungs.

The upshot was, that the steed speedily took the matter into his own hands, and having gambolled hither and thither to the great amusement of all spectators, set off at full speed towards the huge family-coach already described. Gibbie's pike, escaping from its sling, had fallen to a level direction across his hands, which, I grieve to say, were seeking dishonourable safety in as strong a grasp of the mane as their muscles could manage. His casque, too, had slipped completely over his face, so that he saw as little in front as he did in rear. Indeed, if he could, it would have availed him little in the circumstances; for his horse, as if in league with the disaffected, ran full tilt towards the solemn equipage of the Duke, which the projecting lance threatened to perforate from window to window, at the risk of transfixing as many in its passage as the celebrated thrust of Orlando, which, according to the Italian epic poet, broached as many Moors as a Frenchman spits frogs.

On beholding the bent of this misdirected career, a panic shout of mingled terror and wrath was set up by the whole equipage, insides and outsides, at once, which had the happy effect of averting the threatened misfortune. The capricious horse of Goose Gibbie was terrified by the noise, and stumbling as he turned short round, kicked and plunged violently as soon as he recovered. The jack-boots, the original cause of the disaster, maintaining the reputation they had acquired when worn by better cavaliers, answered every plunge by a fresh prick of the spurs, and, by their ponderous weight, kept their place in the stirrups. Not so Goose Gibbie, who was fairly spurned out of those wide and ponderous greaves, and precipitated over the horse's head, to the infinite amusement of all the spectators. His lance and helmet had forsaken him in his fall, and, for the completion of his disgrace, Lady Margaret Bellenden, not perfectly aware that it was one of her warriors who was furnishing so much entertainment, came up in time to see her diminutive man-at-arms stripped of his lion's hide,—of the buff-coat, that is, in which he was muffled.

As she had not been made acquainted with this metamorphosis, and could not even guess its cause, her surprise and resentment were extreme, nor were they much modified by the excuses and explanations of her steward and butler. She made a hasty retreat homeward, extremely indignant at the shouts and laughter of the company, and much disposed to vent her displeasure on the refractory agriculturist whose place Goose Gibbie had so unhappily supplied. The greater part of the gentry now dispersed, the whimsical misfortune which had befallen the gens d'armerie of Tillietudlem furnishing them with huge entertainment on their road homeward. The horsemen also, in little parties, as their road lay together, diverged from the place of rendezvous, excepting such as, having tried their dexterity at the popinjay, were, by ancient custom, obliged to partake of a grace-cup with their captain before their departure.


          At fairs he play'd before the spearmen,
          And gaily graithed in their gear then,
          Steel bonnets, pikes, and swords shone clear then
          As ony bead;  Now wha sall play before sic weir men,
                    Since Habbie's dead!
                                        Elegy on Habbie Simpson.

The cavalcade of horsemen on their road to the little borough-town were preceded by Niel Blane, the town-piper, mounted on his white galloway, armed with his dirk and broadsword, and bearing a chanter streaming with as many ribbons as would deck out six country belles for a fair or preaching. Niel, a clean, tight, well-timbered, long-winded fellow, had gained the official situation of town-piper of—by his merit, with all the emoluments thereof; namely, the Piper's Croft, as it is still called, a field of about an acre in extent, five merks, and a new livery-coat of the town's colours, yearly; some hopes of a dollar upon the day of the election of magistrates, providing the provost were able and willing to afford such a gratuity; and the privilege of paying, at all the respectable houses in the neighbourhood, an annual visit at spring-time, to rejoice their hearts with his music, to comfort his own with their ale and brandy, and to beg from each a modicum of seed-corn.

In addition to these inestimable advantages, Niel's personal, or professional, accomplishments won the heart of a jolly widow, who then kept the principal change-house in the borough. Her former husband having been a strict presbyterian, of such note that he usually went among his sect by the name of Gaius the publican, many of the more rigid were scandalized by the profession of the successor whom his relict had chosen for a second helpmate. As the browst (or brewing) of the Howff retained, nevertheless, its unrivalled reputation, most of the old customers continued to give it a preference. The character of the new landlord, indeed, was of that accommodating kind, which enabled him, by close attention to the helm, to keep his little vessel pretty steady amid the contending tides of faction. He was a good-humoured, shrewd, selfish sort of fellow, indifferent alike to the disputes about church and state, and only anxious to secure the good-will of customers of every description. But his character, as well as the state of the country, will be best understood by giving the reader an account of the instructions which he issued to his daughter, a girl about eighteen, whom he was initiating in those cares which had been faithfully discharged by his wife, until about six months before our story commences, when the honest woman had been carried to the kirkyard.

"Jenny," said Niel Blane, as the girl assisted to disencumber him of his bagpipes, "this is the first day that ye are to take the place of your worthy mother in attending to the public; a douce woman she was, civil to the customers, and had a good name wi' Whig and Tory, baith up the street and down the street. It will be hard for you to fill her place, especially on sic a thrang day as this; but Heaven's will maun be obeyed.—Jenny, whatever Milnwood ca's for, be sure he maun hae't, for he's the Captain o' the Popinjay, and auld customs maun be supported; if he canna pay the lawing himsell, as I ken he's keepit unco short by the head, I'll find a way to shame it out o' his uncle.—The curate is playing at dice wi' Cornet Grahame. Be eident and civil to them baith—clergy and captains can gie an unco deal o' fash in thae times, where they take an ill-will.—The dragoons will be crying for ale, and they wunna want it, and maunna want it—they are unruly chields, but they pay ane some gate or other. I gat the humle-cow, that's the best in the byre, frae black Frank Inglis and Sergeant Bothwell, for ten pund Scots, and they drank out the price at ae downsitting."

"But, father," interrupted Jenny, "they say the twa reiving loons drave the cow frae the gudewife o' Bell's-moor, just because she gaed to hear a field-preaching ae Sabbath afternoon."

"Whisht! ye silly tawpie," said her father, "we have naething to do how they come by the bestial they sell—be that atween them and their consciences.—Aweel—Take notice, Jenny, of that dour, stour-looking carle that sits by the cheek o' the ingle, and turns his back on a' men. He looks like ane o' the hill-folk, for I saw him start a wee when he saw the red-coats, and I jalouse he wad hae liked to hae ridden by, but his horse (it's a gude gelding) was ower sair travailed; he behoved to stop whether he wad or no. Serve him cannily, Jenny, and wi' little din, and dinna bring the sodgers on him by speering ony questions at him; but let na him hae a room to himsell, they wad say we were hiding him.—For yoursell, Jenny, ye'll be civil to a' the folk, and take nae heed o' ony nonsense and daffing the young lads may say t'ye. Folk in the hostler line maun put up wi' muckle. Your mither, rest her saul, could pit up wi' as muckle as maist women—but aff hands is fair play; and if ony body be uncivil ye may gie me a cry—Aweel,—when the malt begins to get aboon the meal, they'll begin to speak about government in kirk and state, and then, Jenny, they are like to quarrel—let them be doing—anger's a drouthy passion, and the mair they dispute, the mair ale they'll drink; but ye were best serve them wi' a pint o' the sma' browst, it will heat them less, and they'll never ken the difference."

"But, father," said Jenny, "if they come to lounder ilk ither, as they did last time, suldna I cry on you?"

"At no hand, Jenny; the redder gets aye the warst lick in the fray. If the sodgers draw their swords, ye'll cry on the corporal and the guard. If the country folk tak the tangs and poker, ye'll cry on the bailie and town-officers. But in nae event cry on me, for I am wearied wi' doudling the bag o' wind a' day, and I am gaun to eat my dinner quietly in the spence.—And, now I think on't, the Laird of Lickitup (that's him that was the laird) was speering for sma' drink and a saut herring—gie him a pu' be the sleeve, and round into his lug I wad be blithe o' his company to dine wi' me; he was a gude customer anes in a day, and wants naething but means to be a gude ane again—he likes drink as weel as e'er he did. And if ye ken ony puir body o' our acquaintance that's blate for want o' siller, and has far to gang hame, ye needna stick to gie them a waught o' drink and a bannock—we'll ne'er miss't, and it looks creditable in a house like ours. And now, hinny, gang awa', and serve the folk, but first bring me my dinner, and twa chappins o' yill and the mutchkin stoup o' brandy."

Having thus devolved his whole cares on Jenny as prime minister, Niel Blane and the ci-devant laird, once his patron, but now glad to be his trencher-companion, sate down to enjoy themselves for the remainder of the evening, remote from the bustle of the public room.

All in Jenny's department was in full activity. The knights of the popinjay received and requited the hospitable entertainment of their captain, who, though he spared the cup himself, took care it should go round with due celerity among the rest, who might not have otherwise deemed themselves handsomely treated. Their numbers melted away by degrees, and were at length diminished to four or five, who began to talk of breaking up their party. At another table, at some distance, sat two of the dragoons, whom Niel Blane had mentioned, a sergeant and a private in the celebrated John Grahame of Claverhouse's regiment of Life-Guards. Even the non-commissioned officers and privates in these corps were not considered as ordinary mercenaries, but rather approached to the rank of the French mousquetaires, being regarded in the light of cadets, who performed the duties of rank-and-file with the prospect of obtaining commissions in case of distinguishing themselves.

Many young men of good families were to be found in the ranks, a circumstance which added to the pride and self-consequence of these troops. A remarkable instance of this occurred in the person of the non-commissioned officer in question. His real name was Francis Stewart, but he was universally known by the appellation of Bothwell, being lineally descended from the last earl of that name; not the infamous lover of the unfortunate Queen Mary, but Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, whose turbulence and repeated conspiracies embarrassed the early part of James Sixth's reign, and who at length died in exile in great poverty. The son of this Earl had sued to Charles I. for the restitution of part of his father's forfeited estates, but the grasp of the nobles to whom they had been allotted was too tenacious to be unclenched. The breaking out of the civil wars utterly ruined him, by intercepting a small pension which Charles I. had allowed him, and he died in the utmost indigence. His son, after having served as a soldier abroad and in Britain, and passed through several vicissitudes of fortune, was fain to content himself with the situation of a non-commissioned officer in the Life-Guards, although lineally descended from the royal family, the father of the forfeited Earl of Bothwell having been a natural son of James VI.

     [Note: Sergeant Bothwell. The history of the restless and ambitious
     Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, makes a considerable figure in
     the reign of James VI. of Scotland, and First of England. After
     being repeatedly pardoned for acts of treason, he was at length
     obliged to retire abroad, where he died in great misery. Great part
     of his forfeited estate was bestowed on Walter Scott, first Lord of
     Buccleuch, and on the first Earl of Roxburghe.

     Francis Stewart, son of the forfeited Earl, obtained from the favour
     of Charles I. a decreet-arbitral, appointing the two noblemen,
     grantees of his father's estate, to restore the same, or make some
     compensation for retaining it. The barony of Crichton, with its
     beautiful castle, was surrendered by the curators of Francis, Earl
     of Buccleuch, but he retained the far more extensive property in
     Liddesdale. James Stewart also, as appears from writings in the
     author's possession, made an advantageous composition with the Earl
     of Roxburghe. "But," says the satirical Scotstarvet, "male parta
     pejus dilabuntur;" for he never brooked them, (enjoyed them,) nor was
     any thing the richer, since they accrued to his creditors, and are
     now in the possession of Dr Seaton. His eldest son Francis became a
     trooper in the late war; as for the other brother John, who was
     Abbot of Coldingham, he also disposed all that estate, and now has
     nothing, but lives on the charity of his friends. "The Staggering
     State of the Scots Statesmen for One Hundred Years," by Sir John
     Scot of Scotstarvet. Edinburgh, 1754. P. 154.

     Francis Stewart, who had been a trooper during the great Civil War,
     seems to have received no preferment, after the Restoration, suited
     to his high birth, though, in fact, third cousin to Charles II.
     Captain Crichton, the friend of Dean Swift, who published his
     Memoirs, found him a private gentleman in the King's Life-Guards. At
     the same time this was no degrading condition; for Fountainhall
     records a duel fought between a Life-Guardsman and an officer in the
     militia, because the latter had taken upon him to assume superior
     rank as an officer, to a gentleman private in the Life-Guards. The
     Life-Guards man was killed in the rencontre, and his antagonist was
     executed for murder.

     The character of Bothwell, except in relation to the name, is
     entirely ideal.]

Great personal strength, and dexterity in the use of his arms, as well as the remarkable circumstances of his descent, had recommended this man to the attention of his officers. But he partook in a great degree of the licentiousness and oppressive disposition, which the habit of acting as agents for government in levying fines, exacting free quarters, and otherwise oppressing the Presbyterian recusants, had rendered too general among these soldiers. They were so much accustomed to such missions, that they conceived themselves at liberty to commit all manner of license with impunity, as if totally exempted from all law and authority, excepting the command of their officers. On such occasions Bothwell was usually the most forward.

It is probable that Bothwell and his companions would not so long have remained quiet, but for respect to the presence of their Cornet, who commanded the small party quartered in the borough, and who was engaged in a game at dice with the curate of the place. But both of these being suddenly called from their amusement to speak with the chief magistrate upon some urgent business, Bothwell was not long of evincing his contempt for the rest of the company.

"Is it not a strange thing, Halliday," he said to his comrade, "to see a set of bumpkins sit carousing here this whole evening, without having drank the king's health?"

"They have drank the king's health," said Halliday. "I heard that green kail-worm of a lad name his majesty's health."

"Did he?" said Bothwell. "Then, Tom, we'll have them drink the Archbishop of St Andrew's health, and do it on their knees too."

"So we will, by G—," said Halliday; "and he that refuses it, we'll have him to the guard-house, and teach him to ride the colt foaled of an acorn, with a brace of carabines at each foot to keep him steady."

"Right, Tom," continued Bothwell; "and, to do all things in order, I'll begin with that sulky blue-bonnet in the ingle-nook."

He rose accordingly, and taking his sheathed broadsword under his arm to support the insolence which he meditated, placed himself in front of the stranger noticed by Niel Blane, in his admonitions to his daughter, as being, in all probability, one of the hill-folk, or refractory presbyterians.

"I make so bold as to request of your precision, beloved," said the trooper, in a tone of affected solemnity, and assuming the snuffle of a country preacher, "that you will arise from your seat, beloved, and, having bent your hams until your knees do rest upon the floor, beloved, that you will turn over this measure (called by the profane a gill) of the comfortable creature, which the carnal denominate brandy, to the health and glorification of his Grace the Archbishop of St Andrews, the worthy primate of all Scotland."

All waited for the stranger's answer.—His features, austere even to ferocity, with a cast of eye, which, without being actually oblique, approached nearly to a squint, and which gave a very sinister expression to his countenance, joined to a frame, square, strong, and muscular, though something under the middle size, seemed to announce a man unlikely to understand rude jesting, or to receive insults with impunity.

"And what is the consequence," said he, "if I should not be disposed to comply with your uncivil request?"

"The consequence thereof, beloved," said Bothwell, in the same tone of raillery, "will be, firstly, that I will tweak thy proboscis or nose. Secondly, beloved, that I will administer my fist to thy distorted visual optics; and will conclude, beloved, with a practical application of the flat of my sword to the shoulders of the recusant."

"Is it even so?" said the stranger; "then give me the cup;" and, taking it in his hand, he said, with a peculiar expression of voice and manner, "The Archbishop of St Andrews, and the place he now worthily holds;—may each prelate in Scotland soon be as the Right Reverend James Sharpe!"

"He has taken the test," said Halliday, exultingly.

"But with a qualification," said Bothwell; "I don't understand what the devil the crop-eared whig means."

"Come, gentlemen," said Morton, who became impatient of their insolence, "we are here met as good subjects, and on a merry occasion; and we have a right to expect we shall not be troubled with this sort of discussion."

Bothwell was about to make a surly answer, but Halliday reminded him in a whisper, that there were strict injunctions that the soldiers should give no offence to the men who were sent out to the musters agreeably to the council's orders. So, after honouring Morton with a broad and fierce stare, he said, "Well, Mr Popinjay, I shall not disturb your reign; I reckon it will be out by twelve at night.—Is it not an odd thing, Halliday," he continued, addressing his companion, "that they should make such a fuss about cracking off their birding-pieces at a mark which any woman or boy could hit at a day's practice? If Captain Popinjay now, or any of his troop, would try a bout, either with the broadsword, backsword, single rapier, or rapier and dagger, for a gold noble, the first-drawn blood, there would be some soul in it,—or, zounds, would the bumpkins but wrestle, or pitch the bar, or putt the stone, or throw the axle-tree, if (touching the end of Morton's sword scornfully with his toe) they carry things about them that they are afraid to draw."

Morton's patience and prudence now gave way entirely, and he was about to make a very angry answer to Bothwell's insolent observations, when the stranger stepped forward.

"This is my quarrel," he said, "and in the name of the good cause, I will see it out myself.—Hark thee, friend," (to Bothwell,) "wilt thou wrestle a fall with me?"

"With my whole spirit, beloved," answered Bothwell; "yea I will strive with thee, to the downfall of one or both."

"Then, as my trust is in Him that can help," retorted his antagonist, "I will forthwith make thee an example to all such railing Rabshakehs"

With that he dropped his coarse grey horseman's coat from his shoulders, and, extending his strong brawny arms with a look of determined resolution, he offered himself to the contest. The soldier was nothing abashed by the muscular frame, broad chest, square shoulders, and hardy look of his antagonist, but, whistling with great composure, unbuckled his belt, and laid aside his military coat. The company stood round them, anxious for the event.

In the first struggle the trooper seemed to have some advantage, and also in the second, though neither could be considered as decisive. But it was plain he had put his whole strength too suddenly forth, against an antagonist possessed of great endurance, skill, vigour, and length of wind. In the third close, the countryman lifted his opponent fairly from the floor, and hurled him to the ground with such violence, that he lay for an instant stunned and motionless. His comrade Halliday immediately drew his sword; "You have killed my sergeant," he exclaimed to the victorious wrestler, "and by all that is sacred you shall answer it!"

"Stand back!" cried Morton and his companions, "it was all fair play; your comrade sought a fall, and he has got it."

"That is true enough," said Bothwell, as he slowly rose; "put up your bilbo, Tom. I did not think there was a crop-ear of them all could have laid the best cap and feather in the King's Life-Guards on the floor of a rascally change-house.—Hark ye, friend, give me your hand." The stranger held out his hand. "I promise you," said Bothwell, squeezing his hand very hard, "that the time will come when we shall meet again, and try this game over in a more earnest manner."

"And I'll promise you," said the stranger, returning the grasp with equal firmness, "that when we next meet, I will lay your head as low as it lay even now, when you shall lack the power to lift it up again."

"Well, beloved," answered Bothwell, "if thou be'st a whig, thou art a stout and a brave one, and so good even to thee—Hadst best take thy nag before the Cornet makes the round; for, I promise thee, he has stay'd less suspicious-looking persons."

The stranger seemed to think that the hint was not to be neglected; he flung down his reckoning, and going into the stable, saddled and brought out a powerful black horse, now recruited by rest and forage, and turning to Morton, observed, "I ride towards Milnwood, which I hear is your home; will you give me the advantage and protection of your company?"

"Certainly," said Morton; although there was something of gloomy and relentless severity in the man's manner from which his mind recoiled. His companions, after a courteous good-night, broke up and went off in different directions, some keeping them company for about a mile, until they dropped off one by one, and the travellers were left alone.

The company had not long left the Howff, as Blane's public-house was called, when the trumpets and kettle-drums sounded. The troopers got under arms in the market-place at this unexpected summons, while, with faces of anxiety and earnestness, Cornet Grahame, a kinsman of Claverhouse, and the Provost of the borough, followed by half-a-dozen soldiers, and town-officers with halberts, entered the apartment of Niel Blane.

"Guard the doors!" were the first words which the Cornet spoke; "let no man leave the house.—So, Bothwell, how comes this? Did you not hear them sound boot and saddle?"

"He was just going to quarters, sir," said his comrade; "he has had a bad fall."

"In a fray, I suppose?" said Grahame. "If you neglect duty in this way, your royal blood will hardly protect you."

"How have I neglected duty?" said Bothwell, sulkily.

"You should have been at quarters, Sergeant Bothwell," replied the officer; "you have lost a golden opportunity. Here are news come that the Archbishop of St Andrews has been strangely and foully assassinated by a body of the rebel whigs, who pursued and stopped his carriage on Magus-Muir, near the town of St Andrews, dragged him out, and dispatched him with their swords and daggers." [Note: The general account of this act of assassination is to be found in all histories of the period. A more particular narrative may be found in the words of one of the actors, James Russell, in the Appendix to Kirkton's History of the Church of Scotland, published by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Esquire. 4to, Edinburgh, 1817.]

All stood aghast at the intelligence.

"Here are their descriptions," continued the Cornet, pulling out a proclamation, "the reward of a thousand merks is on each of their heads."

"The test, the test, and the qualification!" said Bothwell to Halliday; "I know the meaning now—Zounds, that we should not have stopt him! Go saddle our horses, Halliday.—Was there one of the men, Cornet, very stout and square-made, double-chested, thin in the flanks, hawk-nosed?"

"Stay, stay," said Cornet Grahame, "let me look at the paper.—Hackston of Rathillet, tall, thin, black-haired."

"That is not my man," said Bothwell.

"John Balfour, called Burley, aquiline nose, red-haired, five feet eight inches in height"—"It is he—it is the very man!" said Bothwell,—"skellies fearfully with one eye?"

"Right," continued Grahame, "rode a strong black horse, taken from the primate at the time of the murder."

"The very man," exclaimed Bothwell, "and the very horse! he was in this room not a quarter of an hour since."

A few hasty enquiries tended still more to confirm the opinion, that the reserved and stern stranger was Balfour of Burley, the actual commander of the band of assassins, who, in the fury of misguided zeal, had murdered the primate, whom they accidentally met, as they were searching for another person against whom they bore enmity. [Note: One Carmichael, sheriff-depute in Fife, who had been active in enforcing the penal measures against non-conformists. He was on the moors hunting, but receiving accidental information that a party was out in quest of him, he returned home, and escaped the fate designed for him, which befell his patron the Archbishop.] In their excited imagination the casual rencounter had the appearance of a providential interference, and they put to death the archbishop, with circumstances of great and cold-blooded cruelty, under the belief, that the Lord, as they expressed it, had delivered him into their hands.

     [Note:  Murderers of Archbishop Sharpe. The leader of this party was
     David Hackston, of Rathillet, a gentleman of ancient birth and good
     estate. He had been profligate in his younger days, but having been
     led from curiosity to attend the conventicles of the nonconforming
     clergy, he adopted their principles in the fullest extent. It
     appears, that Hackston had some personal quarrel with Archbishop
     Sharpe, which induced him to decline the command of the party when
     the slaughter was determined upon, fearing his acceptance might be
     ascribed to motives of personal enmity. He felt himself free in
     conscience, however, to be present; and when the archbishop, dragged
     from his carriage, crawled towards him on his knees for protection,
     he replied coldly, "Sir, I will never lay a finger on you." It is
     remarkable that Hackston, as well as a shepherd who was also
     present, but passive, on the occasion, were the only two of the
     party of assassins who suffered death by the hands of the

     On Hackston refusing the command, it was by universal suffrage
     conferred on John Balfour of Kinloch, called Burley, who was
     Hackston's brother-in-law. He is described "as a little man,
     squint-eyed, and of a very fierce aspect."—"He was," adds the same
     author, "by some reckoned none of the most religious; yet he was
     always reckoned zealous and honest-hearted, courageous in every
     enterprise, and a brave soldier, seldom any escaping that came into
     his hands. He was the principal actor in killing that arch-traitor
     to the Lord and his church, James Sharpe." See Scottish Worthies.
     8vo. Leith, 1816. Page 522.]

"Horse, horse, and pursue, my lads!" exclaimed Cornet Grahame; "the murdering dog's head is worth its weight in gold."


               Arouse thee, youth!—it is no human call—
               God's church is leaguer'd—haste to man the wall;
               Haste where the Redcross banners wave on high,
               Signal of honour'd death, or victory!
                                                  James Duff.

Morton and his companion had attained some distance from the town before either of them addressed the other. There was something, as we have observed, repulsive in the manner of the stranger, which prevented Morton from opening the conversation, and he himself seemed to have no desire to talk, until, on a sudden, he abruptly demanded, "What has your father's son to do with such profane mummeries as I find you this day engaged in?"

"I do my duty as a subject, and pursue my harmless recreations according to my own pleasure," replied Morton, somewhat offended.

"Is it your duty, think you, or that of any Christian young man, to bear arms in their cause who have poured out the blood of God's saints in the wilderness as if it had been water? or is it a lawful recreation to waste time in shooting at a bunch of feathers, and close your evening with winebibbing in public-houses and market-towns, when He that is mighty is come into the land with his fan in his hand, to purge the wheat from the chaff?"

"I suppose from your style of conversation," said Morton, "that you are one of those who have thought proper to stand out against the government. I must remind you that you are unnecessarily using dangerous language in the presence of a mere stranger, and that the times do not render it safe for me to listen to it."

"Thou canst not help it, Henry Morton," said his companion; "thy Master has his uses for thee, and when he calls, thou must obey. Well wot I thou hast not heard the call of a true preacher, or thou hadst ere now been what thou wilt assuredly one day become."

"We are of the presbyterian persuasion, like yourself," said Morton; for his uncle's family attended the ministry of one of those numerous presbyterian clergymen, who, complying with certain regulations, were licensed to preach without interruption from the government. This indulgence, as it was called, made a great schism among the presbyterians, and those who accepted of it were severely censured by the more rigid sectaries, who refused the proffered terms. The stranger, therefore, answered with great disdain to Morton's profession of faith.

"That is but an equivocation—a poor equivocation. Ye listen on the Sabbath to a cold, worldly, time-serving discourse, from one who forgets his high commission so much as to hold his apostleship by the favour of the courtiers and the false prelates, and ye call that hearing the word! Of all the baits with which the devil has fished for souls in these days of blood and darkness, that Black Indulgence has been the most destructive. An awful dispensation it has been, a smiting of the shepherd and a scattering of the sheep upon the mountains—an uplifting of one Christian banner against another, and a fighting of the wars of darkness with the swords of the children of light!"

"My uncle," said Morton, "is of opinion, that we enjoy a reasonable freedom of conscience under the indulged clergymen, and I must necessarily be guided by his sentiments respecting the choice of a place of worship for his family."

"Your uncle," said the horseman, "is one of those to whom the least lamb in his own folds at Milnwood is dearer than the whole Christian flock. He is one that could willingly bend down to the golden-calf of Bethel, and would have fished for the dust thereof when it was ground to powder and cast upon the waters. Thy father was a man of another stamp."

"My father," replied Morton, "was indeed a brave and gallant man. And you may have heard, sir, that he fought for that royal family in whose name I was this day carrying arms."

"Ay; and had he lived to see these days, he would have cursed the hour he ever drew sword in their cause. But more of this hereafter—I promise thee full surely that thy hour will come, and then the words thou hast now heard will stick in thy bosom like barbed arrows. My road lies there."

He pointed towards a pass leading up into a wild extent of dreary and desolate hills; but as he was about to turn his horse's head into the rugged path, which led from the high-road in that direction, an old woman wrapped in a red cloak, who was sitting by the cross-way, arose, and approaching him, said, in a mysterious tone of voice, "If ye be of our ain folk, gangna up the pass the night for your lives. There is a lion in the path, that is there. The curate of Brotherstane and ten soldiers hae beset the pass, to hae the lives of ony of our puir wanderers that venture that gate to join wi' Hamilton and Dingwall."

"Have the persecuted folk drawn to any head among themselves?" demanded the stranger.

"About sixty or seventy horse and foot," said the old dame; "but, ewhow! they are puirly armed, and warse fended wi' victual."

"God will help his own," said the horseman. "Which way shall I take to join them?"

"It's a mere impossibility this night," said the woman, "the troopers keep sae strict a guard; and they say there's strange news come frae the east, that makes them rage in their cruelty mair fierce than ever—Ye maun take shelter somegate for the night before ye get to the muirs, and keep yoursell in hiding till the grey o' the morning, and then you may find your way through the Drake Moss. When I heard the awfu' threatenings o' the oppressors, I e'en took my cloak about me, and sate down by the wayside, to warn ony of our puir scattered remnant that chanced to come this gate, before they fell into the nets of the spoilers."

"Have you a house near this?" said the stranger; "and can you give me hiding there?"

"I have," said the old woman, "a hut by the way-side, it may be a mile from hence; but four men of Belial, called dragoons, are lodged therein, to spoil my household goods at their pleasure, because I will not wait upon the thowless, thriftless, fissenless ministry of that carnal man, John Halftext, the curate."

"Good night, good woman, and thanks for thy counsel," said the stranger, as he rode away.

"The blessings of the promise upon you," returned the old dame; "may He keep you that can keep you."

"Amen!" said the traveller; "for where to hide my head this night, mortal skill cannot direct me."

"I am very sorry for your distress," said Morton; "and had I a house or place of shelter that could be called my own, I almost think I would risk the utmost rigour of the law rather than leave you in such a strait. But my uncle is so alarmed at the pains and penalties denounced by the laws against such as comfort, receive, or consort with intercommuned persons, that he has strictly forbidden all of us to hold any intercourse with them."

"It is no less than I expected," said the stranger; "nevertheless, I might be received without his knowledge;—a barn, a hay-loft, a cart-shed,—any place where I could stretch me down, would be to my habits like a tabernacle of silver set about with planks of cedar."

"I assure you," said Morton, much embarrassed, "that I have not the means of receiving you at Milnwood without my uncle's consent and knowledge; nor, if I could do so, would I think myself justifiable in engaging him unconsciously in danger, which, most of all others, he fears and deprecates."

"Well," said the traveller, "I have but one word to say. Did you ever hear your father mention John Balfour of Burley?"

"His ancient friend and comrade, who saved his life, with almost the loss of his own, in the battle of Longmarston-Moor?—Often, very often."

"I am that Balfour," said his companion. "Yonder stands thy uncle's house; I see the light among the trees. The avenger of blood is behind me, and my death certain unless I have refuge there. Now, make thy choice, young man; to shrink from the side of thy father's friend, like a thief in the night, and to leave him exposed to the bloody death from which he rescued thy father, or to expose thine uncle's wordly goods to such peril, as, in this perverse generation, attends those who give a morsel of bread or a draught of cold water to a Christian man, when perishing for lack of refreshment!"

A thousand recollections thronged on the mind of Morton at once. His father, whose memory he idolized, had often enlarged upon his obligations to this man, and regretted, that, after having been long comrades, they had parted in some unkindness at the time when the kingdom of Scotland was divided into Resolutioners and Protesters; the former of whom adhered to Charles II. after his father's death upon the scaffold, while the Protesters inclined rather to a union with the triumphant republicans. The stern fanaticism of Burley had attached him to this latter party, and the comrades had parted in displeasure, never, as it happened, to meet again. These circumstances the deceased Colonel Morton had often mentioned to his son, and always with an expression of deep regret, that he had never, in any manner, been enabled to repay the assistance, which, on more than one occasion, he had received from Burley.

To hasten Morton's decision, the night-wind, as it swept along, brought from a distance the sullen sound of a kettle-drum, which, seeming to approach nearer, intimated that a body of horse were upon their march towards them.

"It must be Claverhouse, with the rest of his regiment. What can have occasioned this night-march? If you go on, you fall into their hands—if you turn back towards the borough-town, you are in no less danger from Cornet Grahame's party.—The path to the hill is beset. I must shelter you at Milnwood, or expose you to instant death;—but the punishment of the law shall fall upon myself, as in justice it should, not upon my uncle.—Follow me."

Burley, who had awaited his resolution with great composure, now followed him in silence.

The house of Milnwood, built by the father of the present proprietor, was a decent mansion, suitable to the size of the estate, but, since the accession of this owner, it had been suffered to go considerably into disrepair. At some little distance from the house stood the court of offices. Here Morton paused.

"I must leave you here for a little while," he whispered, "until I can provide a bed for you in the house."

"I care little for such delicacy," said Burley; "for thirty years this head has rested oftener on the turf, or on the next grey stone, than upon either wool or down. A draught of ale, a morsel of bread, to say my prayers, and to stretch me upon dry hay, were to me as good as a painted chamber and a prince's table."

It occurred to Morton at the same moment, that to attempt to introduce the fugitive within the house, would materially increase the danger of detection. Accordingly, having struck a light with implements left in the stable for that purpose, and having fastened up their horses, he assigned Burley, for his place of repose, a wooden bed, placed in a loft half-full of hay, which an out-of-door domestic had occupied until dismissed by his uncle in one of those fits of parsimony which became more rigid from day to day. In this untenanted loft Morton left his companion, with a caution so to shade his light that no reflection might be seen from the window, and a promise that he would presently return with such refreshments as he might be able to procure at that late hour. This last, indeed, was a subject on which he felt by no means confident, for the power of obtaining even the most ordinary provisions depended entirely upon the humour in which he might happen to find his uncle's sole confidant, the old housekeeper. If she chanced to be a-bed, which was very likely, or out of humour, which was not less so, Morton well knew the case to be at least problematical.

Cursing in his heart the sordid parsimony which pervaded every part of his uncle's establishment, he gave the usual gentle knock at the bolted door, by which he was accustomed to seek admittance, when accident had detained him abroad beyond the early and established hours of rest at the house of Milnwood. It was a sort of hesitating tap, which carried an acknowledgment of transgression in its very sound, and seemed rather to solicit than command attention. After it had been repeated again and again, the housekeeper, grumbling betwixt her teeth as she rose from the chimney corner in the hall, and wrapping her checked handkerchief round her head to secure her from the cold air, paced across the stone-passage, and repeated a careful "Wha's there at this time o' night?" more than once before she undid the bolts and bars, and cautiously opened the door.

"This is a fine time o' night, Mr Henry," said the old dame, with the tyrannic insolence of a spoilt and favourite domestic;—"a braw time o' night and a bonny, to disturb a peaceful house in, and to keep quiet folk out o' their beds waiting for you. Your uncle's been in his maist three hours syne, and Robin's ill o' the rheumatize, and he's to his bed too, and sae I had to sit up for ye mysell, for as sair a hoast as I hae."

Here she coughed once or twice, in further evidence of the egregious inconvenience which she had sustained.

"Much obliged to you, Alison, and many kind thanks."

"Hegh, sirs, sae fair-fashioned as we are! Mony folk ca' me Mistress Wilson, and Milnwood himsell is the only ane about this town thinks o' ca'ing me Alison, and indeed he as aften says Mrs Alison as ony other thing."

"Well, then, Mistress Alison," said Morton, "I really am sorry to have kept you up waiting till I came in."

"And now that you are come in, Mr Henry," said the cross old woman, "what for do you no tak up your candle and gang to your bed? and mind ye dinna let the candle sweal as ye gang alang the wainscot parlour, and haud a' the house scouring to get out the grease again."

"But, Alison, I really must have something to eat, and a draught of ale, before I go to bed."

"Eat?—and ale, Mr Henry?—My certie, ye're ill to serve! Do ye think we havena heard o' your grand popinjay wark yonder, and how ye bleezed away as muckle pouther as wad hae shot a' the wild-fowl that we'll want atween and Candlemas—and then ganging majoring to the piper's Howff wi' a' the idle loons in the country, and sitting there birling, at your poor uncle's cost, nae doubt, wi' a' the scaff and raff o' the water-side, till sun-down, and then coming hame and crying for ale, as if ye were maister and mair!"

Extremely vexed, yet anxious, on account of his guest, to procure refreshments if possible, Morton suppressed his resentment, and good-humouredly assured Mrs Wilson, that he was really both hungry and thirsty; "and as for the shooting at the popinjay, I have heard you say you have been there yourself, Mrs Wilson—I wish you had come to look at us."

"Ah, Maister Henry," said the old dame, "I wish ye binna beginning to learn the way of blawing in a woman's lug wi' a' your whilly-wha's!— Aweel, sae ye dinna practise them but on auld wives like me, the less matter. But tak heed o' the young queans, lad.—Popinjay—ye think yoursell a braw fellow enow; and troth!" (surveying him with the candle,) "there's nae fault to find wi' the outside, if the inside be conforming. But I mind, when I was a gilpy of a lassock, seeing the Duke, that was him that lost his head at London—folk said it wasna a very gude ane, but it was aye a sair loss to him, puir gentleman—Aweel, he wan the popinjay, for few cared to win it ower his Grace's head—weel, he had a comely presence, and when a' the gentles mounted to show their capers, his Grace was as near to me as I am to you; and he said to me, 'Tak tent o' yoursell, my bonny lassie, (these were his very words,) for my horse is not very chancy.'—And now, as ye say ye had sae little to eat or drink, I'll let you see that I havena been sae unmindfu' o' you; for I dinna think it's safe for young folk to gang to their bed on an empty stamach."

To do Mrs Wilson justice, her nocturnal harangues upon such occasions not unfrequently terminated with this sage apophthegm, which always prefaced the producing of some provision a little better than ordinary, such as she now placed before him. In fact, the principal object of her maundering was to display her consequence and love of power; for Mrs Wilson was not, at the bottom, an illtempered woman, and certainly loved her old and young master (both of whom she tormented extremely) better than any one else in the world. She now eyed Mr Henry, as she called him, with great complacency, as he partook of her good cheer.

"Muckle gude may it do ye, my bonny man. I trow ye dinna get sic a skirl-in-the-pan as that at Niel Blane's. His wife was a canny body, and could dress things very weel for ane in her line o' business, but no like a gentleman's housekeeper, to be sure. But I doubt the daughter's a silly thing—an unco cockernony she had busked on her head at the kirk last Sunday. I am doubting that there will be news o' a' thae braws. But my auld een's drawing thegither—dinna hurry yoursell, my bonny man, tak mind about the putting out the candle, and there's a horn of ale, and a glass of clow-gillie-flower water; I dinna gie ilka body that; I keep it for a pain I hae whiles in my ain stamach, and it's better for your young blood than brandy. Sae, gude-night to ye, Mr Henry, and see that ye tak gude care o' the candle."

Morton promised to attend punctually to her caution, and requested her not to be alarmed if she heard the door opened, as she knew he must again, as usual, look to his horse, and arrange him for the night. Mrs Wilson then retreated, and Morton, folding up his provisions, was about to hasten to his guest, when the nodding head of the old housekeeper was again thrust in at the door, with an admonition, to remember to take an account of his ways before he laid himself down to rest, and to pray for protection during the hours of darkness.

Such were the manners of a certain class of domestics, once common in Scotland, and perhaps still to be found in some old manor-houses in its remote counties. They were fixtures in the family they belonged to; and as they never conceived the possibility of such a thing as dismissal to be within the chances of their lives, they were, of course, sincerely attached to every member of it. [Note: A masculine retainer of this kind, having offended his master extremely, was commanded to leave his service instantly. "In troth and that will I not," answered the domestic; "if your honour disna ken when ye hae a gude servant, I ken when I hae a gude master, and go away I will not." On another occasion of the same nature, the master said, "John, you and I shall never sleep under the same roof again;" to which John replied, with much, "Whare the deil can your honour be ganging?"] On the other hand, when spoiled by the indulgence or indolence of their superiors, they were very apt to become ill-tempered, self-sufficient, and tyrannical; so much so, that a mistress or master would sometimes almost have wished to exchange their crossgrained fidelity for the smooth and accommodating duplicity of a modern menial.


               Yea, this man's brow, like to a tragic leaf,
               Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.

Being at length rid of the housekeeper's presence, Morton made a collection of what he had reserved from the provisions set before him, and prepared to carry them to his concealed guest. He did not think it necessary to take a light, being perfectly acquainted with every turn of the road; and it was lucky he did not do so, for he had hardly stepped beyond the threshold ere a heavy trampling of horses announced, that the body of cavalry, whose kettle-drums [Note: Regimental music is never played at night. But who can assure us that such was not the custom in Charles the Second's time? Till I am well informed on this point, the kettle-drums shall clash on, as adding something to the picturesque effect of the night march.] they had before heard, were in the act of passing along the high-road which winds round the foot of the bank on which the house of Milnwood was placed. He heard the commanding officer distinctly give the word halt. A pause of silence followed, interrupted only by the occasional neighing or pawing of an impatient charger.

"Whose house is this?" said a voice, in a tone of authority and command.

"Milnwood, if it like your honour," was the reply.

"Is the owner well affected?" said the enquirer.

"He complies with the orders of government, and frequents an indulged minister," was the response.

"Hum! ay! indulged? a mere mask for treason, very impolitically allowed to those who are too great cowards to wear their principles barefaced.— Had we not better send up a party and search the house, in case some of the bloody villains concerned in this heathenish butchery may be concealed in it?"

Ere Morton could recover from the alarm into which this proposal had thrown him, a third speaker rejoined, "I cannot think it at all necessary; Milnwood is an infirm, hypochondriac old man, who never meddles with politics, and loves his moneybags and bonds better than any thing else in the world. His nephew, I hear, was at the wappenschaw to-day, and gained the popinjay, which does not look like a fanatic. I should think they are all gone to bed long since, and an alarm at this time of night might kill the poor old man."

"Well," rejoined the leader, "if that be so, to search the house would be lost time, of which we have but little to throw away. Gentlemen of the Life-Guards, forward—March!"

A few notes on the trumpet, mingled with the occasional boom of the kettle-drum, to mark the cadence, joined with the tramp of hoofs and the clash of arms, announced that the troop had resumed its march. The moon broke out as the leading files of the column attained a hill up which the road winded, and showed indistinctly the glittering of the steel-caps; and the dark figures of the horses and riders might be imperfectly traced through the gloom. They continued to advance up the hill, and sweep over the top of it in such long succession, as intimated a considerable numerical force.

When the last of them had disappeared, young Morton resumed his purpose of visiting his guest. Upon entering the place of refuge, he found him seated on his humble couch with a pocket Bible open in his hand, which he seemed to study with intense meditation. His broadsword, which he had unsheathed in the first alarm at the arrival of the dragoons, lay naked across his knees, and the little taper that stood beside him upon the old chest, which served the purpose of a table, threw a partial and imperfect light upon those stern and harsh features, in which ferocity was rendered more solemn and dignified by a wild cast of tragic enthusiasm. His brow was that of one in whom some strong o'ermastering principle has overwhelmed all other passions and feelings, like the swell of a high spring-tide, when the usual cliffs and breakers vanish from the eye, and their existence is only indicated by the chasing foam of the waves that burst and wheel over them. He raised his head, after Morton had contemplated him for about a minute.

"I perceive," said Morton, looking at his sword, "that you heard the horsemen ride by; their passage delayed me for some minutes."

"I scarcely heeded them," said Balfour; "my hour is not yet come. That I shall one day fall into their hands, and be honourably associated with the saints whom they have slaughtered, I am full well aware. And I would, young man, that the hour were come; it should be as welcome to me as ever wedding to bridegroom. But if my Master has more work for me on earth, I must not do his labour grudgingly."

"Eat and refresh yourself," said Morton; "tomorrow your safety requires you should leave this place, in order to gain the hills, so soon as you can see to distinguish the track through the morasses."

"Young man," returned Balfour, "you are already weary of me, and would be yet more so, perchance, did you know the task upon which I have been lately put. And I wonder not that it should be so, for there are times when I am weary of myself. Think you not it is a sore trial for flesh and blood, to be called upon to execute the righteous judgments of Heaven while we are yet in the body, and continue to retain that blinded sense and sympathy for carnal suffering, which makes our own flesh thrill when we strike a gash upon the body of another? And think you, that when some prime tyrant has been removed from his place, that the instruments of his punishment can at all times look back on their share in his downfall with firm and unshaken nerves? Must they not sometimes even question the truth of that inspiration which they have felt and acted under? Must they not sometimes doubt the origin of that strong impulse with which their prayers for heavenly direction under difficulties have been inwardly answered and confirmed, and confuse, in their disturbed apprehensions, the responses of Truth itself with some strong delusion of the enemy?"

"These are subjects, Mr Balfour, on which I am ill qualified to converse with you," answered Morton; "but I own I should strongly doubt the origin of any inspiration which seemed to dictate a line of conduct contrary to those feelings of natural humanity, which Heaven has assigned to us as the general law of our conduct."

Balfour seemed somewhat disturbed, and drew himself hastily up, but immediately composed himself, and answered coolly, "It is natural you should think so; you are yet in the dungeon-house of the law, a pit darker than that into which Jeremiah was plunged, even the dungeon of Malcaiah the son of Hamelmelech, where there was no water but mire. Yet is the seal of the covenant upon your forehead, and the son of the righteous, who resisted to blood where the banner was spread on the mountains, shall not be utterly lost, as one of the children of darkness. Trow ye, that in this day of bitterness and calamity, nothing is required at our hands but to keep the moral law as far as our carnal frailty will permit? Think ye our conquests must be only over our corrupt and evil affections and passions? No; we are called upon, when we have girded up our loins, to run the race boldly, and when we have drawn the sword, we are enjoined to smite the ungodly, though he be our neighbour, and the man of power and cruelty, though he were of our own kindred, and the friend of our own bosom."

"These are the sentiments," said Morton, "that your enemies impute to you, and which palliate, if they do not vindicate, the cruel measures which the council have directed against you. They affirm, that you pretend to derive your rule of action from what you call an inward light, rejecting the restraints of legal magistracy, of national law, and even of common humanity, when in opposition to what you call the spirit within you."

"They do us wrong," answered the Covenanter; "it is they, perjured as they are, who have rejected all law, both divine and civil, and who now persecute us for adherence to the Solemn League and Covenant between God and the kingdom of Scotland, to which all of them, save a few popish malignants, have sworn in former days, and which they now burn in the market-places, and tread under foot in derision. When this Charles Stewart returned to these kingdoms, did the malignants bring him back? They had tried it with strong hand, but they failed, I trow. Could James Grahame of Montrose, and his Highland caterans, have put him again in the place of his father? I think their heads on the Westport told another tale for many a long day. It was the workers of the glorious work—the reformers of the beauty of the tabernacle, that called him again to the high place from which his father fell. And what has been our reward? In the words of the prophet, 'We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble—The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan; the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land and all that is in it.'"

"Mr Balfour," answered Morton, "I neither undertake to subscribe to or refute your complaints against the government. I have endeavoured to repay a debt due to the comrade of my father, by giving you shelter in your distress, but you will excuse me from engaging myself either in your cause, or in controversy. I will leave you to repose, and heartily wish it were in my power to render your condition more comfortable."

"But I shall see you, I trust, in the morning, ere I depart?—I am not a man whose bowels yearn after kindred and friends of this world. When I put my hand to the plough, I entered into a covenant with my worldly affections that I should not look back on the things I left behind me. Yet the son of mine ancient comrade is to me as mine own, and I cannot behold him without the deep and firm belief, that I shall one day see him gird on his sword in the dear and precious cause for which his father fought and bled."

With a promise on Morton's part that he would call the refugee when it was time for him to pursue his journey, they parted for the night.

Morton retired to a few hours' rest; but his imagination, disturbed by the events of the day, did not permit him to enjoy sound repose. There was a blended vision of horror before him, in which his new friend seemed to be a principal actor. The fair form of Edith Bellenden also mingled in his dream, weeping, and with dishevelled hair, and appearing to call on him for comfort and assistance, which he had not in his power to render. He awoke from these unrefreshing slumbers with a feverish impulse, and a heart which foreboded disaster. There was already a tinge of dazzling lustre on the verge of the distant hills, and the dawn was abroad in all the freshness of a summer morning.

"I have slept too long," he exclaimed to himself, "and must now hasten to forward the journey of this unfortunate fugitive."

He dressed himself as fast as possible, opened the door of the house with as little noise as he could, and hastened to the place of refuge occupied by the Covenanter. Morton entered on tiptoe, for the determined tone and manner, as well as the unusual language and sentiments of this singular individual, had struck him with a sensation approaching to awe. Balfour was still asleep. A ray of light streamed on his uncurtained couch, and showed to Morton the working of his harsh features, which seemed agitated by some strong internal cause of disturbance. He had not undressed. Both his arms were above the bed-cover, the right hand strongly clenched, and occasionally making that abortive attempt to strike which usually attends dreams of violence; the left was extended, and agitated, from time to time, by a movement as if repulsing some one. The perspiration stood on his brow, "like bubbles in a late disturbed stream," and these marks of emotion were accompanied with broken words which escaped from him at intervals—"Thou art taken, Judas—thou art taken—Cling not to my knees—cling not to my knees—hew him down!—A priest? Ay, a priest of Baal, to be bound and slain, even at the brook Kishon.—Fire arms will not prevail against him—Strike—thrust with the cold iron—put him out of pain—put him out of pain, were it but for the sake of his grey hairs."

Much alarmed at the import of these expressions, which seemed to burst from him even in sleep with the stern energy accompanying the perpetration of some act of violence, Morton shook his guest by the shoulder in order to awake him. The first words he uttered were, "Bear me where ye will, I will avouch the deed!"

His glance around having then fully awakened him, he at once assumed all the stern and gloomy composure of his ordinary manner, and throwing himself on his knees, before speaking to Morton, poured forth an ejaculatory prayer for the suffering Church of Scotland, entreating that the blood of her murdered saints and martyrs might be precious in the sight of Heaven, and that the shield of the Almighty might be spread over the scattered remnant, who, for His name's sake, were abiders in the wilderness. Vengeance—speedy and ample vengeance on the oppressors, was the concluding petition of his devotions, which he expressed aloud in strong and emphatic language, rendered more impressive by the Orientalism of Scripture.

When he had finished his prayer he arose, and, taking Morton by the arm, they descended together to the stable, where the Wanderer (to give Burley a title which was often conferred on his sect) began to make his horse ready to pursue his journey. When the animal was saddled and bridled, Burley requested Morton to walk with him a gun-shot into the wood, and direct him to the right road for gaining the moors. Morton readily complied, and they walked for some time in silence under the shade of some fine old trees, pursuing a sort of natural path, which, after passing through woodland for about half a mile, led into the bare and wild country which extends to the foot of the hills.

There was little conversation between them, until at length Burley suddenly asked Morton, "Whether the words he had spoken over-night had borne fruit in his mind?"

Morton answered, "That he remained of the same opinion which he had formerly held, and was determined, at least as far and as long as possible, to unite the duties of a good Christian with those of a peaceful subject."

"In other words," replied Burley, "you are desirous to serve both God and Mammon—to be one day professing the truth with your lips, and the next day in arms, at the command of carnal and tyrannic authority, to shed the blood of those who for the truth have forsaken all things? Think ye," he continued, "to touch pitch and remain undefiled? to mix in the ranks of malignants, papists, papa-prelatists, latitudinarians, and scoffers; to partake of their sports, which are like the meat offered unto idols; to hold intercourse, perchance, with their daughters, as the sons of God with the daughters of men in the world before the flood—Think you, I say, to do all these things, and yet remain free from pollution? I say unto you, that all communication with the enemies of the Church is the accursed thing which God hateth! Touch not—taste not—handle not! And grieve not, young man, as if you alone were called upon to subdue your carnal affections, and renounce the pleasures which are a snare to your feet—I say to you, that the Son of David hath denounced no better lot on the whole generation of mankind."

He then mounted his horse, and, turning to Morton, repeated the text of Scripture, "An heavy yoke was ordained for the sons of Adam from the day they go out of their mother's womb, till the day that they return to the mother of all things; from him who is clothed in blue silk and weareth a crown, even to him who weareth simple linen,—wrath, envy, trouble, and unquietness, rigour, strife, and fear of death in the time of rest."

Having uttered these words he set his horse in motion, and soon disappeared among the boughs of the forest.

"Farewell, stern enthusiast," said Morton, looking after him; "in some moods of my mind, how dangerous would be the society of such a companion! If I am unmoved by his zeal for abstract doctrines of faith, or rather for a peculiar mode of worship, (such was the purport of his reflections,) can I be a man, and a Scotchman, and look with indifference on that persecution which has made wise men mad? Was not the cause of freedom, civil and religious, that for which my father fought; and shall I do well to remain inactive, or to take the part of an oppressive government, if there should appear any rational prospect of redressing the insufferable wrongs to which my miserable countrymen are subjected?— And yet, who shall warrant me that these people, rendered wild by persecution, would not, in the hour of victory, be as cruel and as intolerant as those by whom they are now hunted down? What degree of moderation, or of mercy, can be expected from this Burley, so distinguished as one of their principal champions, and who seems even now to be reeking from some recent deed of violence, and to feel stings of remorse, which even his enthusiasm cannot altogether stifle? I am weary of seeing nothing but violence and fury around me—now assuming the mask of lawful authority, now taking that of religious zeal. I am sick of my country—of myself—of my dependent situation—of my repressed feelings—of these woods—of that river—of that house—of all but—Edith, and she can never be mine! Why should I haunt her walks?—Why encourage my own delusion, and perhaps hers?—She can never be mine. Her grandmother's pride—the opposite principles of our families—my wretched state of dependence—a poor miserable slave, for I have not even the wages of a servant—all circumstances give the lie to the vain hope that we can ever be united. Why then protract a delusion so painful?

"But I am no slave," he said aloud, and drawing himself up to his full stature—"no slave, in one respect, surely. I can change my abode—my father's sword is mine, and Europe lies open before me, as before him and hundreds besides of my countrymen, who have filled it with the fame of their exploits. Perhaps some lucky chance may raise me to a rank with our Ruthvens, our Lesleys, our Monroes, the chosen leaders of the famous Protestant champion, Gustavus Adolphus, or, if not, a soldier's life or a soldier's grave."

When he had formed this determination, he found himself near the door of his uncle's house, and resolved to lose no time in making him acquainted with it.

"Another glance of Edith's eye, another walk by Edith's side, and my resolution would melt away. I will take an irrevocable step, therefore, and then see her for the last time."

In this mood he entered the wainscotted parlour, in which his uncle was already placed at his morning's refreshment, a huge plate of oatmeal porridge, with a corresponding allowance of butter-milk. The favourite housekeeper was in attendance, half standing, half resting on the back of a chair, in a posture betwixt freedom and respect. The old gentleman had been remarkably tall in his earlier days, an advantage which he now lost by stooping to such a degree, that at a meeting, where there was some dispute concerning the sort of arch which should be thrown over a considerable brook, a facetious neighbour proposed to offer Milnwood a handsome sum for his curved backbone, alleging that he would sell any thing that belonged to him. Splay feet of unusual size, long thin hands, garnished with nails which seldom felt the steel, a wrinkled and puckered visage, the length of which corresponded with that of his person, together with a pair of little sharp bargain-making grey eyes, that seemed eternally looking out for their advantage, completed the highly unpromising exterior of Mr Morton of Milnwood. As it would have been very injudicious to have lodged a liberal or benevolent disposition in such an unworthy cabinet, nature had suited his person with a mind exactly in conformity with it, that is to say, mean, selfish, and covetous.

When this amiable personage was aware of the presence of his nephew, he hastened, before addressing him, to swallow the spoonful of porridge which he was in the act of conveying to his mouth, and, as it chanced to be scalding hot, the pain occasioned by its descent down his throat and into his stomach, inflamed the ill-humour with which he was already prepared to meet his kinsman.

"The deil take them that made them!" was his first ejaculation, apostrophizing his mess of porridge.

"They're gude parritch eneugh," said Mrs Wilson, "if ye wad but take time to sup them. I made them mysell; but if folk winna hae patience, they should get their thrapples causewayed."

"Haud your peace, Alison! I was speaking to my nevoy.—How is this, sir? And what sort o' scampering gates are these o' going on? Ye were not at hame last night till near midnight."

"Thereabouts, sir, I believe," answered Morton, in an indifferent tone.

"Thereabouts, sir?—What sort of an answer is that, sir? Why came ye na hame when other folk left the grund?"

"I suppose you know the reason very well, sir," said Morton; "I had the fortune to be the best marksman of the day, and remained, as is usual, to give some little entertainment to the other young men."

"The deevil ye did, sir! And ye come to tell me that to my face? You pretend to gie entertainments, that canna come by a dinner except by sorning on a carefu' man like me? But if ye put me to charges, I'se work it out o'ye. I seena why ye shouldna haud the pleugh, now that the pleughman has left us; it wad set ye better than wearing thae green duds, and wasting your siller on powther and lead; it wad put ye in an honest calling, and wad keep ye in bread without being behadden to ony ane."

"I am very ambitious of learning such a calling, sir, but I don't understand driving the plough."

"And what for no? It's easier than your gunning and archery that ye like sae weel. Auld Davie is ca'ing it e'en now, and ye may be goadsman for the first twa or three days, and tak tent ye dinna o'erdrive the owsen, and then ye will be fit to gang betweeu the stilts. Ye'll ne'er learn younger, I'll be your caution. Haggie-holm is heavy land, and Davie is ower auld to keep the coulter down now."

"I beg pardon for interrupting you, sir, but I have formed a scheme for myself, which will have the same effect of relieving you of the burden and charge attending my company."

"Ay? Indeed? a scheme o' yours? that must be a denty ane!" said the uncle, with a very peculiar sneer; "let's hear about it, lad."

"It is said in two words, sir. I intend to leave this country, and serve abroad, as my father did before these unhappy troubles broke out at home. His name will not be so entirely forgotten in the countries where he served, but that it will procure his son at least the opportunity of trying his fortune as a soldier."

"Gude be gracious to us!" exclaimed the housekeeper; "our young Mr Harry gang abroad? na, na! eh, na! that maun never be."

Milnwood, entertaining no thought or purpose of parting with his nephew, who was, moreover, very useful to him in many respects, was thunderstruck at this abrupt declaration of independence from a person whose deference to him had hitherto been unlimited. He recovered himself, however, immediately.

"And wha do you think is to give you the means, young man, for such a wild-goose chase? Not I, I am sure. I can hardly support you at hame. And ye wad be marrying, I'se warrant, as your father did afore ye, too, and sending your uncle hame a pack o' weans to be fighting and skirling through the house in my auld days, and to take wing and flee aff like yoursell, whenever they were asked to serve a turn about the town?"

"I have no thoughts of ever marrying," answered Henry.

"Hear till him now!" said the housekeeper. "It's a shame to hear a douce young lad speak in that way, since a' the warld kens that they maun either marry or do waur."

"Haud your peace, Alison," said her master; "and you, Harry," (he added more mildly,) "put this nonsense out o' your head—this comes o' letting ye gang a-sodgering for a day—mind ye hae nae siller, lad, for ony sic nonsense plans."

"I beg your pardon, sir, my wants shall be very few; and would you please to give me the gold chain, which the Margrave gave to my father after the battle of Lutzen"—"Mercy on us! the gowd chain?" exclaimed his uncle.

"The chain of gowd!" re-echoed the housekeeper, both aghast with astonishment at the audacity of the proposal.

—"I will keep a few links," continued the young man, "to remind me of him by whom it was won, and the place where he won it," continued Morton; "the rest shall furnish me the means of following the same career in which my father obtained that mark of distinction."

"Mercifu' powers!" exclaimed the governante, "my master wears it every Sunday!"

"Sunday and Saturday," added old Milnwood, "whenever I put on my black velvet coat; and Wylie Mactrickit is partly of opinion it's a kind of heir-loom, that rather belangs to the head of the house than to the immediate descendant. It has three thousand links; I have counted them a thousand times. It's worth three hundred pounds sterling."

"That is more than I want, sir; if you choose to give me the third part of the money, and five links of the chain, it will amply serve my purpose, and the rest will be some slight atonement for the expense and trouble I have put you to."

"The laddie's in a creel!" exclaimed his uncle. "O, sirs, what will become o' the rigs o' Milnwood when I am dead and gane! He would fling the crown of Scotland awa, if he had it."

"Hout, sir," said the old housekeeper, "I maun e'en say it's partly your ain faut. Ye maunna curb his head ower sair in neither; and, to be sure, since he has gane doun to the Howff, ye maun just e'en pay the lawing."

"If it be not abune twa dollars, Alison," said the old gentleman, very reluctantly.

"I'll settle it myself wi'Niel Blane, the first time I gang down to the clachan," said Alison, "cheaper than your honour or Mr Harry can do;" and then whispered to Henry, "Dinna vex him onymair; I'll pay the lave out o' the butter siller, and nae mair words about it." Then proceeding aloud, "And ye maunna speak o' the young gentleman hauding the pleugh; there's puir distressed whigs enow about the country will be glad to do that for a bite and a soup—it sets them far better than the like o' him."

"And then we'll hae the dragoons on us," said Milnwood, "for comforting and entertaining intercommuned rebels; a bonny strait ye wad put us in!— But take your breakfast, Harry, and then lay by your new green coat, and put on your Raploch grey; it's a mair mensfu' and thrifty dress, and a mair seemly sight, than thae dangling slops and ribbands."

Morton left the room, perceiving plainly that he had at present no chance of gaining his purpose, and, perhaps, not altogether displeased at the obstacles which seemed to present themselves to his leaving the neighbourhood of Tillietudlem. The housekeeper followed him into the next room, patting him on the back, and bidding him "be a gude bairn, and pit by his braw things."

"And I'll loop doun your hat, and lay by the band and ribband," said the officious dame; "and ye maun never, at no hand, speak o' leaving the land, or of selling the gowd chain, for your uncle has an unco pleasure in looking on you, and in counting the links of the chainzie; and ye ken auld folk canna last for ever; sae the chain, and the lands, and a' will be your ain ae day; and ye may marry ony leddy in the country-side ye like, and keep a braw house at Milnwood, for there's enow o' means; and is not that worth waiting for, my dow?"

There was something in the latter part of the prognostic which sounded so agreeably in the ears of Morton, that he shook the old dame cordially by the hand, and assured her he was much obliged by her good advice, and would weigh it carefully before he proceeded to act upon his former resolution.


               From seventeen years till now, almost fourscore,
               Here lived I, but now live here no more.
               At seventeen years many their fortunes seek,
               But at fourscore it is too late a week.
                                                  As You Like it.

We must conduct our readers to the Tower of Tillietudlem, to which Lady Margaret Bellenden had returned, in romantic phrase, malecontent and full of heaviness, at the unexpected, and, as she deemed it, indelible affront, which had been brought upon her dignity by the public miscarriage of Goose Gibbie. That unfortunate man-at-arms was forthwith commanded to drive his feathered charge to the most remote parts of the common moor, and on no account to awaken the grief or resentment of his lady, by appearing in her presence while the sense of the affront was yet recent.

The next proceeding of Lady Margaret was to hold a solemn court of justice, to which Harrison and the butler were admitted, partly on the footing of witnesses, partly as assessors, to enquire into the recusancy of Cuddie Headrigg the ploughman, and the abetment which he had received from his mother—these being regarded as the original causes of the disaster which had befallen the chivalry of Tillietudlem. The charge being fully made out and substantiated, Lady Margaret resolved to reprimand the culprits in person, and, if she found them impenitent, to extend the censure into a sentence of expulsion from the barony. Miss Bellenden alone ventured to say any thing in behalf of the accused, but her countenance did not profit them as it might have done on any other occasion. For so soon as Edith had heard it ascertained that the unfortunate cavalier had not suffered in his person, his disaster had affected her with an irresistible disposition to laugh, which, in spite of Lady Margaret's indignation, or rather irritated, as usual, by restraint, had broke out repeatedly on her return homeward, until her grandmother, in no shape imposed upon by the several fictitious causes which the young lady assigned for her ill-timed risibility, upbraided her in very bitter terms with being insensible to the honour of her family. Miss Bellenden's intercession, therefore, had, on this occasion, little or no chance to be listened to.

As if to evince the rigour of her disposition, Lady Margaret, on this solemn occasion, exchanged the ivory-headed cane with which she commonly walked, for an immense gold-headed staff which had belonged to her father, the deceased Earl of Torwood, and which, like a sort of mace of office, she only made use of on occasions of special solemnity. Supported by this awful baton of command, Lady Margaret Bellenden entered the cottage of the delinquents.

There was an air of consciousness about old Mause, as she rose from her wicker chair in the chimney-nook, not with the cordial alertness of visage which used, on other occasions, to express the honour she felt in the visit of her lady, but with a certain solemnity and embarrassment, like an accused party on his first appearance in presence of his judge, before whom he is, nevertheless, determined to assert his innocence. Her arms were folded, her mouth primmed into an expression of respect, mingled with obstinacy, her whole mind apparently bent up to the solemn interview. With her best curtsey to the ground, and a mute motion of reverence, Mause pointed to the chair, which, on former occasions, Lady Margaret (for the good lady was somewhat of a gossip) had deigned to occupy for half an hour sometimes at a time, hearing the news of the county and of the borough. But at present her mistress was far too indignant for such condescension. She rejected the mute invitation with a haughty wave of her hand, and drawing herself up as she spoke, she uttered the following interrogatory in a tone calculated to overwhelm the culprit.

"Is it true, Mause, as I am informed by Harrison, Gudyill, and others of my people, that you hae taen it upon you, contrary to the faith you owe to God and the king, and to me, your natural lady and mistress, to keep back your son frae the wappen-schaw, held by the order of the sheriff, and to return his armour and abulyiements at a moment when it was impossible to find a suitable delegate in his stead, whereby the barony of Tullietudlem, baith in the person of its mistress and indwellers, has incurred sic a disgrace and dishonour as hasna befa'en the family since the days of Malcolm Canmore?"

Mause's habitual respect for her mistress was extreme; she hesitated, and one or two short coughs expressed the difficulty she had in defending herself.

"I am sure—my leddy—hem, hem!—I am sure I am sorry—very sorry that ony cause of displeasure should hae occurred—but my son's illness"— "Dinna tell me of your son's illness, Mause! Had he been sincerely unweel, ye would hae been at the Tower by daylight to get something that wad do him gude; there are few ailments that I havena medical recipes for, and that ye ken fu' weel."

"O ay, my leddy! I am sure ye hae wrought wonderful cures; the last thing ye sent Cuddie, when he had the batts, e'en wrought like a charm."

"Why, then, woman, did ye not apply to me, if there was only real need?—but there was none, ye fause-hearted vassal that ye are!"

"Your leddyship never ca'd me sic a word as that before. Ohon! that I suld live to be ca'd sae," she continued, bursting into tears, "and me a born servant o' the house o' Tillietudlem! I am sure they belie baith Cuddie and me sair, if they said he wadna fight ower the boots in blude for your leddyship and Miss Edith, and the auld Tower—ay suld he, and I would rather see him buried beneath it, than he suld gie way—but thir ridings and wappenschawings, my leddy, I hae nae broo o' them ava. I can find nae warrant for them whatsoever."

"Nae warrant for them?" cried the high-born dame. "Do ye na ken, woman, that ye are bound to be liege vassals in all hunting, hosting, watching, and warding, when lawfully summoned thereto in my name? Your service is not gratuitous. I trow ye hae land for it.—Ye're kindly tenants; hae a cot-house, a kale-yard, and a cow's grass on the common.—Few hae been brought farther ben, and ye grudge your son suld gie me a day's service in the field?"

"Na, my leddy—na, my leddy, it's no that," exclaimed Mause, greatly embarrassed, "but ane canna serve twa maisters; and, if the truth maun e'en come out, there's Ane abune whase commands I maun obey before your leddyship's. I am sure I would put neither king's nor kaisar's, nor ony earthly creature's, afore them."

"How mean ye by that, ye auld fule woman?—D'ye think that I order ony thing against conscience?"

"I dinna pretend to say that, my leddy, in regard o' your leddyship's conscience, which has been brought up, as it were, wi' prelatic principles; but ilka ane maun walk by the light o' their ain; and mine," said Mause, waxing bolder as the conference became animated, "tells me that I suld leave a'—cot, kale-yard, and cow's grass—and suffer a', rather than that I or mine should put on harness in an unlawfu' cause,"

"Unlawfu'!" exclaimed her mistress; "the cause to which you are called by your lawful leddy and mistress—by the command of the king—by the writ of the privy council—by the order of the lordlieutenant—by the warrant of the sheriff?"

"Ay, my leddy, nae doubt; but no to displeasure your leddyship, ye'll mind that there was ance a king in Scripture they ca'd Nebuchadnezzar, and he set up a golden image in the plain o' Dura, as it might be in the haugh yonder by the water-side, where the array were warned to meet yesterday; and the princes, and the governors, and the captains, and the judges themsells, forby the treasurers, the counsellors, and the sheriffs, were warned to the dedication thereof, and commanded to fall down and worship at the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music."

"And what o' a' this, ye fule wife? Or what had Nebuchadnezzar to do with the wappen-schaw of the Upper Ward of Clydesdale?"

"Only just thus far, my leddy," continued Mause, firmly, "that prelacy is like the great golden image in the plain of Dura, and that as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were borne out in refusing to bow down and worship, so neither shall Cuddy Headrigg, your leddyship's poor pleughman, at least wi' his auld mither's consent, make murgeons or Jenny-flections, as they ca' them, in the house of the prelates and curates, nor gird him wi' armour to fight in their cause, either at the sound of kettle-drums, organs, bagpipes, or ony other kind of music whatever."

Lady Margaret Bellenden heard this exposition of Scripture with the greatest possible indignation, as well as surprise.

"I see which way the wind blaws," she exclaimed, after a pause of astonishment; "the evil spirit of the year sixteen hundred and forty-twa is at wark again as merrily as ever, and ilka auld wife in the chimley-neuck will be for knapping doctrine wi' doctors o' divinity and the godly fathers o' the church."

"If your leddyship means the bishops and curates, I'm sure they hae been but stepfathers to the Kirk o' Scotland. And, since your leddyship is pleased to speak o' parting wi' us, I am free to tell you a piece o' my mind in another article. Your leddyship and the steward hae been pleased to propose that my son Cuddie suld work in the barn wi' a new-fangled machine [Note: Probably something similar to the barn-fanners now used for winnowing corn, which were not, however, used in their present shape until about 1730. They were objected to by the more rigid sectaries on their first introduction, upon such reasoning as that of honest Mause in the text.] for dighting the corn frae the chaff, thus impiously thwarting the will of Divine Providence, by raising wind for your leddyship's ain particular use by human art, instead of soliciting it by prayer, or waiting patiently for whatever dispensation of wind Providence was pleased to send upon the sheeling-hill. Now, my leddy"—"The woman would drive ony reasonable being daft!" said Lady Margaret; then resuming her tone of authority and indifference, she concluded, "Weel, Mause, I'll just end where I sud hae begun—ye're ower learned and ower godly for me to dispute wi'; sae I have just this to say,—either Cuddie must attend musters when he's lawfully warned by the ground officer, or the sooner he and you flit and quit my bounds the better; there's nae scarcity o' auld wives or ploughmen; but, if there were, I had rather that the rigs of Tillietudlem bare naething but windle-straes and sandy lavrocks [Note: Bent-grass and sand-larks.] than that they were ploughed by rebels to the king."

"Aweel, my leddy," said Mause, "I was born here, and thought to die where my father died; and your leddyship has been a kind mistress, I'll ne'er deny that, and I'se ne'er cease to pray for you, and for Miss Edith, and that ye may be brought to see the error of your ways. But still"—"The error of my ways!" interrupted Lady Margaret, much incensed—"The error of my ways, ye uncivil woman?"

"Ou, ay, my leddy, we are blinded that live in this valley of tears and darkness, and hae a' ower mony errors, grit folks as weel as sma'—but, as I said, my puir bennison will rest wi' you and yours wherever I am. I will be wae to hear o' your affliction, and blithe to hear o' your prosperity, temporal and spiritual. But I canna prefer the commands of an earthly mistress to those of a heavenly master, and sae I am e'en ready to suffer for righteousness' sake."

"It is very well," said Lady Margaret, turning her back in great displeasure; "ye ken my will, Mause, in the matter. I'll hae nae whiggery in the barony of Tillietudlem—the next thing wad be to set up a conventicle in my very withdrawing room."

Having said this, she departed, with an air of great dignity; and Mause, giving way to feelings which she had suppressed during the interview,—for she, like her mistress, had her own feeling of pride,—now lifted up her voice and wept aloud.

Cuddie, whose malady, real or pretended, still detained him in bed, lay perdu during all this conference, snugly ensconced within his boarded bedstead, and terrified to death lest Lady Margaret, whom he held in hereditary reverence, should have detected his presence, and bestowed on him personally some of those bitter reproaches with which she loaded his mother. But as soon as he thought her ladyship fairly out of hearing, he bounced up in his nest.

"The foul fa' ye, that I suld say sae," he cried out to his mother, "for a lang-tongued clavering wife, as my father, honest man, aye ca'd ye! Couldna ye let the leddy alane wi' your whiggery? And I was e'en as great a gomeral to let ye persuade me to lie up here amang the blankets like a hurcheon, instead o' gaun to the wappen-schaw like other folk. Odd, but I put a trick on ye, for I was out at the window-bole when your auld back was turned, and awa down by to hae a baff at the popinjay, and I shot within twa on't. I cheated the leddy for your clavers, but I wasna gaun to cheat my joe. But she may marry whae she likes now, for I'm clean dung ower. This is a waur dirdum than we got frae Mr Gudyill when ye garr'd me refuse to eat the plum-porridge on Yule-eve, as if it were ony matter to God or man whether a pleughman had suppit on minched pies or sour sowens."

"O, whisht, my bairn, whisht," replied Mause; "thou kensna about thae things—It was forbidden meat, things dedicated to set days and holidays, which are inhibited to the use of protestant Christians."

"And now," continued her son, "ye hae brought the leddy hersell on our hands!—An I could but hae gotten some decent claes in, I wad hae spanged out o' bed, and tauld her I wad ride where she liked, night or day, an she wad but leave us the free house and the yaird, that grew the best early kale in the haill country, and the cow's grass."

"O wow! my winsome bairn, Cuddie," continued the old dame, "murmur not at the dispensation; never grudge suffering in the gude cause."

"But what ken I if the cause is gude or no, mither," rejoined Cuddie, "for a' ye bleeze out sae muckle doctrine about it? It's clean beyond my comprehension a'thegither. I see nae sae muckle difference atween the twa ways o't as a' the folk pretend. It's very true the curates read aye the same words ower again; and if they be right words, what for no? A gude tale's no the waur o' being twice tauld, I trow; and a body has aye the better chance to understand it. Every body's no sae gleg at the uptake as ye are yoursell, mither."

"O, my dear Cuddie, this is the sairest distress of a'," said the anxious mother—"O, how aften have I shown ye the difference between a pure evangelical doctrine, and ane that's corrupt wi' human inventions? O, my bairn, if no for your ain saul's sake, yet for my grey hairs"—"Weel, mither," said Cuddie, interrupting her, "what need ye mak sae muckle din about it? I hae aye dune whate'er ye bade me, and gaed to kirk whare'er ye likit on the Sundays, and fended weel for ye in the ilka days besides. And that's what vexes me mair than a' the rest, when I think how I am to fend for ye now in thae brickle times. I am no clear if I can pleugh ony place but the Mains and Mucklewhame, at least I never tried ony other grund, and it wadna come natural to me. And nae neighbouring heritors will daur to take us, after being turned aff thae bounds for non-enormity."

"Non-conformity, hinnie," sighed Mause, "is the name that thae warldly men gie us."

"Weel, aweel—we'll hae to gang to a far country, maybe twall or fifteen miles aff. I could be a dragoon, nae doubt, for I can ride and play wi' the broadsword a bit, but ye wad be roaring about your blessing and your grey hairs." (Here Mause's exclamations became extreme.) "Weel, weel, I but spoke o't; besides, ye're ower auld to be sitting cocked up on a baggage-waggon wi' Eppie Dumblane, the corporal's wife. Sae what's to come o' us I canna weel see—I doubt I'll hae to tak the hills wi' the wild whigs, as they ca' them, and then it will be my lo to be shot down like a mawkin at some dikeside, or to be sent to heaven wi' a Saint Johnstone's tippit about my hause."

"O, my bonnie Cuddie," said the zealous Mause, "forbear sic carnal, self-seeking language, whilk is just a misdoubting o' Providence—I have not seen the son of the righteous begging his bread, sae says the text; and your father was a douce honest man, though somewhat warldly in his dealings, and cumbered about earthly things, e'en like yoursell, my jo!"

"Aweel," said Cuddie, after a little consideration, "I see but ae gate for't, and that's a cauld coal to blaw at, mither. Howsomever, mither, ye hae some guess o' a wee bit kindness that's atween Miss Edith and young Mr Henry Morton, that suld be ca'd young Milnwood, and that I hae whiles carried a bit book, or maybe a bit letter, quietly atween them, and made believe never to ken wha it cam frae, though I kend brawly. There's whiles convenience in a body looking a wee stupid—and I have aften seen them walking at e'en on the little path by Dinglewood-burn; but naebody ever kend a word about it frae Cuddie; I ken I'm gay thick in the head, but I'm as honest as our auld fore-hand ox, puir fallow, that I'll ne'er work ony mair—I hope they'll be as kind to him that come ahint me as I hae been.—But, as I was saying, we'll awa down to Milnwood and tell Mr Harry our distress They want a pleughman, and the grund's no unlike our ain—I am sure Mr Harry will stand my part, for he's a kind-hearted gentleman.—I'll get but little penny-fee, for his uncle, auld Nippie Milnwood, has as close a grip as the deil himsell. But we'l, aye win a bit bread, and a drap kale, and a fire-side and theeking ower our heads, and that's a' we'll want for a season.—Sae get up, mither, and sort your things to gang away; for since sae it is that gang we maun, I wad like ill to wait till Mr Harrison and auld Gudyill cam to pu' us out by the lug and the horn."


     The devil a puritan, or any thing else he is, but a time-server.
                                                  Twelfth Night.

It was evening when Mr Henry Morton perceived an old woman, wrapped in her tartan plaid, supported by a stout, stupid-looking fellow, in hoddin-grey, approach the house of Milnwood. Old Mause made her courtesy, but Cuddie took the lead in addressing Morton. Indeed, he had previously stipulated with his mother that he was to manage matters his own way; for though he readily allowed his general inferiority of understanding, and filially submitted to the guidance of his mother on most ordinary occasions, yet he said, "For getting a service, or getting forward in the warld, he could somegate gar the wee pickle sense he had gang muckle farther than hers, though she could crack like ony minister o' them a'."

Accordingly, he thus opened the conversation with young Morton: "A braw night this for the rye, your honour; the west park will be breering bravely this e'en."

"I do not doubt it, Cuddie; but what can have brought your mother—this is your mother, is it not?" (Cuddie nodded.) "What can have brought your mother and you down the water so late?"

"Troth, stir, just what gars the auld wives trot—neshessity, stir—I'm seeking for service, stir."

"For service, Cuddie, and at this time of the year? how comes that?"

Mause could forbear no longer. Proud alike of her cause and her sufferings, she commenced with an affected humility of tone, "It has pleased Heaven, an it like your honour, to distinguish us by a visitation"—"Deil's in the wife and nae gude!" whispered Cuddie to his mother, "an ye come out wi' your whiggery, they'll no daur open a door to us through the haill country!" Then aloud and addressing Morton, "My mother's auld, stir, and she has rather forgotten hersell in speaking to my leddy, that canna weel bide to be contradickit, (as I ken nae-body likes it if they could help themsells,) especially by her ain folk,—and Mr Harrison the steward, and Gudyill the butler, they're no very fond o' us, and it's ill sitting at Rome and striving wi' the Pope; sae I thought it best to flit before ill came to waur—and here's a wee bit line to your honour frae a friend will maybe say some mair about it."

Morton took the billet, and crimsoning up to the ears, between joy and surprise, read these words: "If you can serve these poor helpless people, you will oblige E. B."

It was a few instants before he could attain composure enough to ask, "And what is your object, Cuddie? and how can I be of use to you?"

"Wark, stir, wark, and a service, is my object—a bit beild for my mither and mysell—we hae gude plenishing o' our ain, if we had the cast o' a cart to bring it down—and milk and meal, and greens enow, for I'm gay gleg at meal-time, and sae is my mither, lang may it be sae—And, for the penny-fee and a' that, I'll just leave it to the laird and you. I ken ye'll no see a poor lad wranged, if ye can help it."

Morton shook his head. "For the meat and lodging, Cuddie, I think I can promise something; but the penny-fee will be a hard chapter, I doubt."

"I'll tak my chance o't, stir," replied the candidate for service, "rather than gang down about Hamilton, or ony sic far country."

"Well; step into the kitchen, Cuddie, and I'll do what I can for you."

The negotiation was not without difficulties. Morton had first to bring over the housekeeper, who made a thousand objections, as usual, in order to have the pleasure of being besought and entreated; but, when she was gained over, it was comparatively easy to induce old Milnwood to accept of a servant, whose wages were to be in his own option. An outhouse was, therefore, assigned to Mause and her son for their habitation, and it was settled that they were for the time to be admitted to eat of the frugal fare provided for the family, until their own establishment should be completed. As for Morton, he exhausted his own very slender stock of money in order to make Cuddie such a present, under the name of arles, as might show his sense of the value of the recommendation delivered to him.

"And now we're settled ance mair," said: Cuddie to his mother, "and if we're no sae bien and comfortable as we were up yonder, yet life's life ony gate, and we're wi' decent kirk-ganging folk o' your ain persuasion, mither; there will be nae quarrelling about that."

"Of my persuasion, hinnie!" said the too-enlightened Mause; "wae's me for thy blindness and theirs. O, Cuddie, they are but in the court of the Gentiles, and will ne'er win farther ben, I doubt; they are but little better than the prelatists themsells. They wait on the ministry of that blinded man, Peter Poundtext, ance a precious teacher of the Word, but now a backsliding pastor, that has, for the sake of stipend and family maintenance, forsaken the strict path, and gane astray after the black Indulgence. O, my son, had ye but profited by the gospel doctrines ye hae heard in the Glen of Bengonnar, frae the dear Richard Rumbleberry, that sweet youth, who suffered martyrdom in the Grassmarket, afore Candlemas! Didna ye hear him say, that Erastianism was as bad as Prelacy, and that the Indulgence was as bad as Erastianism?"

"Heard ever ony body the like o' this!" interrupted Cuddie; "we'll be driven out o' house and ha' again afore we ken where to turn oursells. Weej, mither, I hae just ae word mair—An I hear ony mair o' your din—afore folk, that is, for I dinna mind your clavers mysell, they aye set me sleeping—but if I hear ony mair din afore folk, as I was saying, about Poundtexts and Rumbleberries, and doctrines and malignants, I'se e'en turn a single sodger mysell, or maybe a sergeant or a captain, if ye plague me the mair, and let Rumbleberry and you gang to the deil thegither. I ne'er gat ony gude by his doctrine, as ye ca't, but a sour fit o' the batts wi' sitting amang the wat moss-hags for four hours at a yoking, and the leddy cured me wi' some hickery-pickery; mair by token, an she had kend how I came by the disorder, she wadna hae been in sic a hurry to mend it."

Although groaning in spirit over the obdurate and impenitent state, as she thought it, of her son Cuddie, Mause durst neither urge him farther on the topic, nor altogether neglect the warning he had given her. She knew the disposition of her deceased helpmate, whom this surviving pledge of their union greatly resembled, and remembered, that although submitting implicitly in most things to her boast of superior acuteness, he used on certain occasions, when driven to extremity, to be seized with fits of obstinacy, which neither remonstrance, flattery, nor threats, were capable of overpowering. Trembling, therefore, at the very possibility of Cuddie's fulfilling his threat, she put a guard over her tongue, and even when Poundtext was commended in her presence, as an able and fructifying preacher, she had the good sense to suppress the contradiction which thrilled upon her tongue, and to express her sentiments no otherwise than by deep groans, which the hearers charitably construed to flow from a vivid recollection of the more pathetic parts of his homilies. How long she could have repressed her feelings it is difficult to say. An unexpected accident relieved her from the necessity.

The Laird of Milnwood kept up all old fashions which were connected with economy. It was, therefore, still the custom in his house, as it had been universal in Scotland about fifty years before, that the domestics, after having placed the dinner on the table, sate down at the lower end of the board, and partook of the share which was assigned to them, in company with their masters. On the day, therefore, after Cuddie's arrival, being the third from the opening of this narrative, old Robin, who was butler, valet-de-chambre, footman, gardener, and what not, in the house of Milnwood, placed on the table an immense charger of broth, thickened with oatmeal and colewort, in which ocean of liquid was indistinctly discovered, by close observers, two or three short ribs of lean mutton sailing to and fro. Two huge baskets, one of bread made of barley and pease, and one of oat-cakes, flanked this standing dish. A large boiled salmon would now-a-days have indicated more liberal house-keeping; but at that period salmon was caught in such plenty in the considerable rivers in Scotland, that instead of being accounted a delicacy, it was generally applied to feed the servants, who are said sometimes to have stipulated that they should not be required to eat a food so luscious and surfeiting in its quality above five times a-week. The large black jack, filled with very small beer of Milnwood's own brewing, was allowed to the company at discretion, as were the bannocks, cakes, and broth; but the mutton was reserved for the heads of the family, Mrs Wilson included: and a measure of ale, somewhat deserving the name, was set apart in a silver tankard for their exclusive use. A huge kebbock, (a cheese, that is, made with ewemilk mixed with cow's milk,) and a jar of salt butter, were in common to the company.

To enjoy this exquisite cheer, was placed, at the head of the table, the old Laird himself, with his nephew on the one side, and the favourite housekeeper on the other. At a long interval, and beneath the salt of course, sate old Robin, a meagre, half-starved serving-man, rendered cross and cripple by rheumatism, and a dirty drab of a housemaid, whom use had rendered callous to the daily exercitations which her temper underwent at the hands of her master and Mrs Wilson. A barnman, a white-headed cow-herd boy, with Cuddie the new ploughman and his mother, completed the party. The other labourers belonging to the property resided in their own houses, happy at least in this, that if their cheer was not more delicate than that which we have described, they could eat their fill, unwatched by the sharp, envious grey eyes of Milnwood, which seemed to measure the quantity that each of his dependents swallowed, as closely as if their glances attended each mouthful in its progress from the lips to the stomach. This close inspection was unfavourable to Cuddie, who sustained much prejudice in his new master's opinion, by the silent celerity with which he caused the victuals to disappear before him. And ever and anon Milnwood turned his eyes from the huge feeder to cast indignant glances upon his nephew, whose repugnance to rustic labour was the principal cause of his needing a ploughman, and who had been the direct means of his hiring this very cormorant.

"Pay thee wages, quotha?" said Milnwood to himself,—"Thou wilt eat in a week the value of mair than thou canst work for in a month."

These disagreeable ruminations were interrupted by a loud knocking at the outer-gate. It was a universal custom in Scotland, that, when the family was at dinner, the outer-gate of the courtyard, if there was one, and if not, the door of the house itself, was always shut and locked, and only guests of importance, or persons upon urgent business, sought or received admittance at that time.

     [Note:  Locking the Door during Dinner. The custom of keeping the
     door of a house or chateau locked during the time of dinner,
     probably arose from the family being anciently assembled in the hall
     at that meal, and liable to surprise. But it was in many instances
     continued as a point of high etiquette, of which the following is an

     A considerable landed proprietor in Dumfries-shire, being a
     bachelor, without near relations, and determined to make his will,
     resolved previously to visit his two nearest kinsmen, and decide
     which should be his heir, according to the degree of kindness with
     which he should be received. Like a good clansman, he first visited
     his own chief, a baronet in rank, descendant and representative of
     one of the oldest families in Scotland. Unhappily the dinner-bell
     had rung, and the door of the castle had been locked before his
     arrival. The visitor in vain announced his name and requested
     admittance; but his chief adhered to the ancient etiquette, and
     would on no account suffer the doors to be unbarred. Irritated at
     this cold reception, the old Laird rode on to Sanquhar Castle, then
     the residence of the Duke of Queensberry, who no sooner heard his
     name, than, knowing well he had a will to make, the drawbridge
     dropped, and the gates flew open—the table was covered anew—his
     grace's bachelor and intestate kinsman was received with the utmost
     attention and respect; and it is scarcely necessary to add, that
     upon his death some years after, the visitor's considerable landed
     property went to augment the domains of the Ducal House of
     Queensberry. This happened about the end of the seventeenth

The family of Milnwood were therefore surprised, and, in the unsettled state of the times, something alarmed, at the earnest and repeated knocking with which the gate was now assailed. Mrs Wilson ran in person to the door, and, having reconnoitred those who were so clamorous for admittance, through some secret aperture with which most Scottish door-ways were furnished for the express purpose, she returned wringing her hands in great dismay, exclaiming, "The red-coats! the red-coats!"

"Robin—Ploughman—what ca' they ye?—Barnsman—Nevoy Harry—open the door, open the door!" exclaimed old Milnwood, snatching up and slipping into his pocket the two or three silver spoons with which the upper end of the table was garnished, those beneath the salt being of goodly horn. "Speak them fair, sirs—Lord love ye, speak them fair—they winna bide thrawing—we're a' harried—we're a' harried!"

While the servants admitted the troopers, whose oaths and threats already indicated resentment at the delay they had been put to, Cuddie took the opportunity to whisper to his mother, "Now, ye daft auld carline, mak yoursell deaf—ye hae made us a' deaf ere now—and let me speak for ye. I wad like ill to get my neck raxed for an auld wife's clashes, though ye be our mither."

"O, hinny, ay; I'se be silent or thou sall come to ill," was the corresponding whisper of Mause "but bethink ye, my dear, them that deny the Word, the Word will deny"—Her admonition was cut short by the entrance of the Life-Guardsmen, a party of four troopers, commanded by Bothwell.

In they tramped, making a tremendous clatter upon the stone-floor with the iron-shod heels of their large jack-boots, and the clash and clang of their long, heavy, basket-hilted broadswords. Milnwood and his housekeeper trembled, from well-grounded apprehensions of the system of exaction and plunder carried on during these domiciliary visits. Henry Morton was discomposed with more special cause, for he remembered that he stood answerable to the laws for having harboured Burley. The widow Mause Headrigg, between fear for her son's life and an overstrained and enthusiastic zeal, which reproached her for consenting even tacitly to belie her religious sentiments, was in a strange quandary. The other servants quaked for they knew not well what. Cuddie alone, with the look of supreme indifference and stupidity which a Scottish peasant can at times assume as a mask for considerable shrewdness and craft, continued to swallow large spoonfuls of his broth, to command which he had drawn within his sphere the large vessel that contained it, and helped himself, amid the confusion, to a sevenfold portion.

"What is your pleasure here, gentlemen?" said Milnwood, humbling himself before the satellites of power.

"We come in behalf of the king," answered Bothwell; "why the devil did you keep us so long standing at the door?"

"We were at dinner," answered Milnwood, "and the door was locked, as is usual in landward towns [Note: The Scots retain the use of the word town in its comprehensive Saxon meaning, as a place of habitation. A mansion or a farm house, though solitary, is called the town. A landward town is a dwelling situated in the country.] in this country. I am sure, gentlemen, if I had kend ony servants of our gude king had stood at the door—But wad ye please to drink some ale—or some brandy—or a cup of canary sack, or claret wine?" making a pause between each offer as long as a stingy bidder at an auction, who is loath to advance his offer for a favourite lot.

"Claret for me," said one fellow.

"I like ale better," said another, "provided it is right juice of John Barleycorn."

"Better never was malted," said Milnwood; "I can hardly say sae muckle for the claret. It's thin and cauld, gentlemen."

"Brandy will cure that," said a third fellow; "a glass of brandy to three glasses of wine prevents the curmurring in the stomach."

"Brandy, ale, sack, and claret?—we'll try them all," said Bothwell, "and stick to that which is best. There's good sense in that, if the damn'dest whig in Scotland had said it."

Hastily, yet with a reluctant quiver of his muscles, Milnwood lugged out two ponderous keys, and delivered them to the governante.

"The housekeeper," said Bothwell, taking a seat, and throwing himself upon it, "is neither so young nor so handsome as to tempt a man to follow her to the gauntrees, and devil a one here is there worth sending in her place.—What's this?—meat?" (searching with a fork among the broth, and fishing up a cutlet of mutton)—"I think I could eat a bit—why, it's as tough as if the devil's dam had hatched it."

"If there is any thing better in the house, sir," said Milnwood, alarmed at these symptoms of disapprobation—"No, no," said Bothwell, "it's not worth while, I must proceed to business.—You attend Poundtext, the presbyterian parson, I understand, Mr Morton?"

Mr Morton hastened to slide in a confession and apology.

"By the indulgence of his gracious majesty and the government, for I wad do nothing out of law—I hae nae objection whatever to the establishment of a moderate episcopacy, but only that I am a country-bred man, and the ministers are a hamelier kind of folk, and I can follow their doctrine better; and, with reverence, sir, it's a mair frugal establishment for the country."

"Well, I care nothing about that," said Bothwell; "they are indulged, and there's an end of it; but, for my part, if I were to give the law, never a crop-ear'd cur of the whole pack should bark in a Scotch pulpit. However, I am to obey commands.—There comes the liquor; put it down, my good old lady."

He decanted about one-half of a quart bottle of claret into a wooden quaigh or bicker, and took it off at a draught.

"You did your good wine injustice, my friend;—it's better than your brandy, though that's good too. Will you pledge me to the king's health?"

"With pleasure," said Milnwood, "in ale,—but I never drink claret, and keep only a very little for some honoured friends."

"Like me, I suppose," said Bothwell; and then, pushing the bottle to Henry, he said, "Here, young man, pledge you the king's health."

Henry filled a moderate glass in silence, regardless of the hints and pushes of his uncle, which seemed to indicate that he ought to have followed his example, in preferring beer to wine.

"Well," said Bothwell, "have ye all drank the toast?—What is that old wife about? Give her a glass of brandy, she shall drink the king's health, by"—"If your honour pleases," said Cuddie, with great stolidity of aspect, "this is my mither, stir; and she's as deaf as Corra-linn; we canna mak her hear day nor door; but if your honour pleases, I am ready to drink the king's health for her in as mony glasses of brandy as ye think neshessary."

"I dare swear you are," answered Bothwell; "you look like a fellow that would stick to brandy—help thyself, man; all's free where'er I come.— Tom, help the maid to a comfortable cup, though she's but a dirty jilt neither. Fill round once more—Here's to our noble commander, Colonel Graham of Claverhouse!—What the devil is the old woman groaning for? She looks as very a whig as ever sate on a hill-side—Do you renounce the Covenant, good woman?"

"Whilk Covenant is your honour meaning? Is it the Covenant of Works, or the Covenant of Grace?" said Cuddie, interposing.

"Any covenant; all covenants that ever were hatched," answered the trooper.

"Mither," cried Cuddie, affecting to speak as to a deaf person, "the gentleman wants to ken if ye will renunce the Covenant of Works?"

"With all my heart, Cuddie," said Mause, "and pray that my feet may be delivered from the snare thereof."

"Come," said Bothwell, "the old dame has come more frankly off than I expected. Another cup round, and then we'll proceed to business.—You have all heard, I suppose, of the horrid and barbarous murder committed upon the person of the Archbishop of St Andrews, by ten or eleven armed fanatics?"

All started and looked at each other; at length Milnwood himself answered, "They had heard of some such misfortune, but were in hopes it had not been true."

"There is the relation published by government, old gentleman; what do you think of it?"

"Think, sir? Wh—wh—whatever the council please to think of it," stammered Milnwood.

"I desire to have your opinion more explicitly, my friend," said the dragoon, authoritatively.

Milnwood's eyes hastily glanced through the paper to pick out the strongest expressions of censure with which it abounded, in gleaning which he was greatly aided by their being printed in italics.

"I think it a—bloody and execrable—murder and parricide—devised by hellish and implacable cruelty—utterly abominable, and a scandal to the land."

"Well said, old gentleman!" said the querist—"Here's to thee, and I wish you joy of your good principles. You owe me a cup of thanks for having taught you them; nay, thou shalt pledge me in thine own sack—sour ale sits ill upon a loyal stomach.—Now comes your turn, young man; what think you of the matter in hand?"

"I should have little objection to answer you," said Henry, "if I knew what right you had to put the question."

"The Lord preserve us!" said the old housekeeper, "to ask the like o' that at a trooper, when a' folk ken they do whatever they like through the haill country wi' man and woman, beast and body."

The old gentleman exclaimed, in the same horror at his nephew's audacity, "Hold your peace, sir, or answer the gentleman discreetly. Do you mean to affront the king's authority in the person of a sergeant of the Life-Guards?"

"Silence, all of you!" exclaimed Bothwell, striking his hand fiercely on the table—"Silence, every one of you, and hear me!—You ask me for my right to examine you, sir (to Henry); my cockade and my broadsword are my commission, and a better one than ever Old Nol gave to his roundheads; and if you want to know more about it, you may look at the act of council empowering his majesty's officers and soldiers to search for, examine, and apprehend suspicious persons; and, therefore, once more, I ask you your opinion of the death of Archbishop Sharpe—it's a new touch-stone we have got for trying people's metal."

Henry had, by this time, reflected upon the useless risk to which he would expose the family by resisting the tyrannical power which was delegated to such rude hands; he therefore read the narrative over, and replied, composedly, "I have no hesitation to say, that the perpetrators of this assassination have committed, in my opinion, a rash and wicked action, which I regret the more, as I foresee it will be made the cause of proceedings against many who are both innocent of the deed, and as far from approving it as myself."

While Henry thus expressed himself, Bothwell, who bent his eyes keenly upon him, seemed suddenly to recollect his features.

"Aha! my friend Captain Popinjay, I think I have seen you before, and in very suspicious company."

"I saw you once," answered Henry, "in the public-house of the town of—."

"And with whom did you leave that public-house, youngster?—Was it not with John Balfour of Burley, one of the murderers of the Archbishop?"

"I did leave the house with the person you have named," answered Henry, "I scorn to deny it; but, so far from knowing him to be a murderer of the primate, I did not even know at the time that such a crime had been committed."

"Lord have mercy on me, I am ruined!—utterly ruined and undone!" exclaimed Milnwood. "That callant's tongue will rin the head aff his ain shoulders, and waste my gudes to the very grey cloak on my back!"

"But you knew Burley," continued Bothwell, still addressing Henry, and regardless of his uncle's interruption, "to be an intercommuned rebel and traitor, and you knew the prohibition to deal with such persons. You knew, that, as a loyal subject, you were prohibited to reset, supply, or intercommune with this attainted traitor, to correspond with him by word, writ, or message, or to supply him with meat, drink, house, harbour, or victual, under the highest pains—you knew all this, and yet you broke the law." (Henry was silent.) "Where did you part from him?" continued Bothwell; "was it in the highway, or did you give him harbourage in this very house?"

"In this house!" said his uncle; "he dared not for his neck bring ony traitor into a house of mine."

"Dare he deny that he did so?" said Bothwell.

"As you charge it to me as a crime," said Henry, "you will excuse my saying any thing that will criminate myself."

"O, the lands of Milnwood!—the bonny lands of Milnwood, that have been in the name of Morton twa hundred years!" exclaimed his uncle; "they are barking and fleeing, outfield and infield, haugh and holme!"

"No, sir," said Henry, "you shall not suffer on my account.—I own," he continued, addressing Bothwell, "I did give this man a night's lodging, as to an old military comrade of my father. But it was not only without my uncle's knowledge, but contrary to his express general orders. I trust, if my evidence is considered as good against myself, it will have some weight in proving my uncle's innocence."

"Come, young man," said the soldier, in a somewhat milder tone, "you're a smart spark enough, and I am sorry for you; and your uncle here is a fine old Trojan, kinder, I see, to his guests than himself, for he gives us wine and drinks his own thin ale—tell me all you know about this Burley, what he said when you parted from him, where he went, and where he is likely now to be found; and, d—n it, I'll wink as hard on your share of the business as my duty will permit. There's a thousand merks on the murdering whigamore's head, an I could but light on it—Come, out with it—where did you part with him?"

"You will excuse my answering that question, sir," said Morton; "the same cogent reasons which induced me to afford him hospitality at considerable risk to myself and my friends, would command me to respect his secret, if, indeed, he had trusted me with any."

"So you refuse to give me an answer?" said Bothwell.

"I have none to give," returned Henry.

"Perhaps I could teach you to find one, by tying a piece of lighted match betwixt your fingers," answered Bothwell.

"O, for pity's sake, sir," said old Alison apart to her master, "gie them siller—it's siller they're seeking—they'll murder Mr Henry, and yoursell next!"

Milnwood groaned in perplexity and bitterness of spirit, and, with a tone as if he was giving up the ghost, exclaimed, "If twenty p—p—punds would make up this unhappy matter"—"My master," insinuated Alison to the sergeant, "would gie twenty punds sterling"—"Punds Scotch, ye b—h!" interrupted Milnwood; for the agony of his avarice overcame alike his puritanic precision and the habitual respect he entertained for his housekeeper.

"Punds sterling," insisted the housekeeper, "if ye wad hae the gudeness to look ower the lad's misconduct; he's that dour ye might tear him to pieces, and ye wad ne'er get a word out o' him; and it wad do ye little gude, I'm sure, to burn his bonny fingerends."

"Why," said Bothwell, hesitating, "I don't know—most of my cloth would have the money, and take off the prisoner too; but I bear a conscience, and if your master will stand to your offer, and enter into a bond to produce his nephew, and if all in the house will take the test-oath, I do not know but"—"O ay, ay, sir," cried Mrs Wilson, "ony test, ony oaths ye please!" And then aside to her master, "Haste ye away, sir, and get the siller, or they will burn the house about our lugs."

Old Milnwood cast a rueful look upon his adviser, and moved off, like a piece of Dutch clockwork, to set at liberty his imprisoned angels in this dire emergency. Meanwhile, Sergeant Bothwell began to put the test-oath with such a degree of solemn reverence as might have been expected, being just about the same which is used to this day in his majesty's custom-house.

"You—what's your name, woman?"

"Alison Wilson, sir."

"You, Alison Wilson, solemnly swear, certify, and declare, that you judge it unlawful for subjects, under pretext of reformation, or any other pretext whatsoever, to enter into Leagues and Covenants"—Here the ceremony was interrupted by a strife between Cuddie and his mother, which, long conducted in whispers, now became audible.

"Oh, whisht, mither, whisht! they're upon a communing—Oh! whisht, and they'll agree weel eneuch e'enow."

"I will not whisht, Cuddie," replied his mother, "I will uplift my voice and spare not—I will confound the man of sin, even the scarlet man, and through my voice shall Mr Henry be freed from the net of the fowler."

"She has her leg ower the harrows now," said Cuddie, "stop her wha can—I see her cocked up behint a dragoon on her way to the Tolbooth—I find my ain legs tied below a horse's belly—Ay—she has just mustered up her sermon, and there—wi' that grane—out it comes, and we are a'ruined, horse and foot!"

"And div ye think to come here," said Mause, her withered hand shaking in concert with her keen, though wrinkled visage, animated by zealous wrath, and emancipated, by the very mention of the test, from the restraints of her own prudence, and Cuddie's admonition—"Div ye think to come here, wi' your soul-killing, saint-seducing, conscience-confounding oaths, and tests, and bands—your snares, and your traps, and your gins?—Surely it is in vain that a net is spread in the sight of any bird."

"Eh! what, good dame?" said the soldier. "Here's a whig miracle, egad! the old wife has got both her ears and tongue, and we are like to be driven deaf in our turn.—Go to, hold your peace, and remember whom you talk to, you old idiot."

"Whae do I talk to! Eh, sirs, ower weel may the sorrowing land ken what ye are. Malignant adherents ye are to the prelates, foul props to a feeble and filthy cause, bloody beasts of prey, and burdens to the earth."

"Upon my soul," said Bothwell, astonished as a mastiff-dog might be should a hen-partridge fly at him in defence of her young, "this is the finest language I ever heard! Can't you give us some more of it?"

"Gie ye some mair o't?" said Mause, clearing her voice with a preliminary cough, "I will take up my testimony against you ance and again.— Philistines ye are, and Edomites—leopards are ye, and foxes—evening wolves, that gnaw not the bones till the morrow—wicked dogs, that compass about the chosen—thrusting kine, and pushing bulls of Bashan—piercing serpents ye are, and allied baith in name and nature with the great Red Dragon; Revelations, twalfth chapter, third and fourth verses."

Here the old lady stopped, apparently much more from lack of breath than of matter.

"Curse the old hag!" said one of the dragoons, "gag her, and take her to head-quarters."

"For shame, Andrews," said Bothwell; "remember the good lady belongs to the fair sex, and uses only the privilege of her tongue.—But, hark ye, good woman, every bull of Bashan and Red Dragon will not be so civil as I am, or be contented to leave you to the charge of the constable and ducking-stool. In the meantime I must necessarily carry off this young man to head-quarters. I cannot answer to my commanding-officer to leave him in a house where I have heard so much treason and fanaticism."

"Se now, mither, what ye hae dune," whispered Cuddie; "there's the Philistines, as ye ca' them, are gaun to whirry awa' Mr Henry, and a' wi' your nash-gab, deil be on't!"

"Haud yere tongue, ye cowardly loon," said the mother, "and layna the wyte on me; if you and thae thowless gluttons, that are sitting staring like cows bursting on clover, wad testify wi' your hands as I have testified wi' my tongue, they should never harle the precious young lad awa' to captivity."

While this dialogue passed, the soldiers had already bound and secured their prisoner. Milnwood returned at this instant, and, alarmed at the preparations he beheld, hastened to proffer to Bothwell, though with many a grievous groan, the purse of gold which he had been obliged to rummage out as ransom for his nephew. The trooper took the purse with an air of indifference, weighed it in his hand, chucked it up into the air, and caught it as it fell, then shook his head, and said, "There's many a merry night in this nest of yellow boys, but d—n me if I dare venture for them—that old woman has spoken too loud, and before all the men too.—Hark ye, old gentleman," to Milnwood, "I must take your nephew to head-quarters, so I cannot, in conscience, keep more than is my due as civility-money;" then opening the purse, he gave a gold piece to each of the soldiers, and took three to himself. "Now," said he, "you have the comfort to know that your kinsman, young Captain Popinjay, will be carefully looked after and civilly used; and the rest of the money I return to you."

Milnwood eagerly extended his hand.

"Only you know," said Bothwell, still playing with the purse, "that every landholder is answerable for the conformity and loyalty of his household, and that these fellows of mine are not obliged to be silent on the subject of the fine sermon we have had from that old puritan in the tartan plaid there; and I presume you are aware that the consequences of delation will be a heavy fine before the council."

"Good sergeant,—worthy captain!" exclaimed the terrified miser, "I am sure there is no person in my house, to my knowledge, would give cause of offence."

"Nay," answered Bothwell, "you shall hear her give her testimony, as she calls it, herself.—You fellow," (to Cuddie,) "stand back, and let your mother speak her mind. I see she's primed and loaded again since her first discharge."

"Lord! noble sir," said Cuddie, "an auld wife's tongue's but a feckless matter to mak sic a fash about. Neither my father nor me ever minded muckle what our mither said."

"Hold your peace, my lad, while you are well," said Bothwell; "I promise you I think you are slyer than you would like to be supposed.—Come, good dame, you see your master will not believe that you can give us so bright a testimony."

Mause's zeal did not require this spur to set her again on full career.

"Woe to the compliers and carnal self-seekers," she said, "that daub over and drown their consciences by complying with wicked exactions, and giving mammon of unrighteousness to the sons of Belial, that it may make their peace with them! It is a sinful compliance, a base confederacy with the Enemy. It is the evil that Menahem did in the sight of the Lord, when he gave a thousand talents to Pul, King of Assyria, that his hand might be with him; Second Kings, feifteen chapter, nineteen verse. It is the evil deed of Ahab, when he sent money to Tiglath-Peleser; see the saame Second Kings, saxteen and aught. And if it was accounted a backsliding even in godly Hezekiah, that he complied with Sennacherib, giving him money, and offering to bear that which was put upon him, (see the saame Second Kings, aughteen chapter, fourteen and feifteen verses,) even so it is with them that in this contumacious and backsliding generation pays localities and fees, and cess and fines, to greedy and unrighteous publicans, and extortions and stipends to hireling curates, (dumb dogs which bark not, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber,) and gives gifts to be helps and hires to our oppressors and destroyers. They are all like the casters of a lot with them—like the preparing of a table for the troop, and the furnishing a drink-offering to the number."

"There's a fine sound of doctrine for you, Mr Morton! How like you that?" said Bothwell; "or how do you think the Council will like it? I think we can carry the greatest part of it in our heads without a kylevine pen and a pair of tablets, such as you bring to conventicles. She denies paying cess, I think, Andrews?"

"Yes, by G—," said Andrews; "and she swore it was a sin to give a trooper a pot of ale, or ask him to sit down to a table."

"You hear," said Bothwell, addressing Milnwood; "but it's your own affair;" and he proffered back the purse with its diminished contents, with an air of indifference.

Milnwood, whose head seemed stunned by the accumulation of his misfortunes, extended his hand mechanically to take the purse.

"Are ye mad?" said his housekeeper, in a whisper; "tell them to keep it;—they will keep it either by fair means or foul, and it's our only chance to make them quiet."

"I canna do it, Ailie—I canna do it," said Milnwood, in the bitterness of his heart. "I canna part wi' the siller I hae counted sae often ower, to thae blackguards."

"Then I maun do it mysell, Milnwood," said the housekeeper, "or see a' gang wrang thegither.—My master, sir," she said, addressing Bothwell, "canna think o' taking back ony thing at the hand of an honourable gentleman like you; he implores ye to pit up the siller, and be as kind to his nephew as ye can, and be favourable in reporting our dispositions to government, and let us tak nae wrang for the daft speeches of an auld jaud," (here she turned fiercely upon Mause, to indulge herself for the effort which it cost her to assume a mild demeanour to the soldiers,) "a daft auld whig randy, that ne'er was in the house (foul fa' her) till yesterday afternoon, and that sall ne'er cross the door-stane again an anes I had her out o't."

"Ay, ay," whispered Cuddie to his parent, "e'en sae! I kend we wad be put to our travels again whene'er ye suld get three words spoken to an end. I was sure that wad be the upshot o't, mither."

"Whisht, my bairn," said she, "and dinna murmur at the cross—cross their door-stane! weel I wot I'll ne'er cross their door-stane. There's nae mark on their threshold for a signal that the destroying angel should pass by. They'll get a back-cast o' his hand yet, that think sae muckle o' the creature and sae little o' the Creator—sae muckle o' warld's gear and sae little o' a broken covenant—sae muckle about thae wheen pieces o' yellow muck, and sae little about the pure gold o' the Scripture—sae muckle about their ain friend and kinsman, and sae little about the elect, that are tried wi' hornings, harassings, huntings, searchings, chasings, catchings, imprisonments, torturings, banishments, headings, hangings, dismemberings, and quarterings quick, forby the hundreds forced from their ain habitations to the deserts, mountains, muirs, mosses, moss-flows, and peat-hags, there to hear the word like bread eaten in secret."

"She's at the Covenant now, sergeant, shall we not have her away?" said one of the soldiers.

"You be d—d!" said Bothwell, aside to him; "cannot you see she's better where she is, so long as there is a respectable, sponsible, money-broking heritor, like Mr Morton of Milnwood, who has the means of atoning her trespasses? Let the old mother fly to raise another brood, she's too tough to be made any thing of herself—Here," he cried, "one other round to Milnwood and his roof-tree, and to our next merry meeting with him!—which I think will not be far distant, if he keeps such a fanatical family."

He then ordered the party to take their horses, and pressed the best in Milnwood's stable into the king's service to carry the prisoner. Mrs Wilson, with weeping eyes, made up a small parcel of necessaries for Henry's compelled journey, and as she bustled about, took an opportunity, unseen by the party, to slip into his hand a small sum of money. Bothwell and his troopers, in other respects, kept their promise, and were civil. They did not bind their prisoner, but contented themselves with leading his horse between a file of men. They then mounted, and marched off with much mirth and laughter among themselves, leaving the Milnwood family in great confusion. The old Laird himself, overpowered by the loss of his nephew, and the unavailing outlay of twenty pounds sterling, did nothing the whole evening but rock himself backwards and forwards in his great leathern easy-chair, repeating the same lamentation, of "Ruined on a' sides, ruined on a' sides—harried and undone—harried and undone—body and gudes, body and gudes!"

Mrs Alison Wilson's grief was partly indulged and partly relieved by the torrent of invectives with which she accompanied Mause and Cuddie's expulsion from Milnwood.

"Ill luck be in the graning corse o' thee! the prettiest lad in Clydesdale this day maun be a sufferer, and a' for you and your daft whiggery!"

"Gae wa'," replied Mause; "I trow ye are yet in the bonds of sin, and in the gall of iniquity, to grudge your bonniest and best in the cause of Him that gave ye a' ye hae—I promise I hae dune as muckle for Mr Harry as I wad do for my ain; for if Cuddie was found worthy to bear testimony in the Grassmarket"—"And there's gude hope o't," said Alison, "unless you and he change your courses."

"—And if," continued Mause, disregarding the interruption, "the bloody Doegs and the flattering Ziphites were to seek to ensnare me with a proffer of his remission upon sinful compliances, I wad persevere, natheless, in lifting my testimony against popery, prelacy, antinomianism, erastianism, lapsarianism, sublapsarianism, and the sins and snares of the times—I wad cry as a woman in labour against the black Indulgence, that has been a stumbling-block to professors—I wad uplift my voice as a powerful preacher."

"Hout tout, mither," cried Cuddie, interfering and dragging her off forcibly, "dinna deave the gentlewoman wi' your testimony! ye hae preached eneugh for sax days. Ye preached us out o' our canny free-house and gude kale-yard, and out o' this new city o' refuge afore our hinder end was weel hafted in it; and ye hae preached Mr Harry awa to the prison; and ye hae preached twenty punds out o' the Laird's pocket that he likes as ill to quit wi'; and sae ye may haud sae for ae wee while, without preaching me up a ladder and down a tow. Sae, come awa, come awa; the family hae had eneugh o' your testimony to mind it for ae while."

So saying he dragged off Mause, the words, "Testimony—Covenant—malignants—indulgence," still thrilling upon her tongue, to make preparations for instantly renewing their travels in quest of an asylum.

"Ill-fard, crazy, crack-brained gowk, that she is!" exclaimed the housekeeper, as she saw them depart, "to set up to be sae muckle better than ither folk, the auld besom, and to bring sae muckle distress on a douce quiet family! If it hadna been that I am mair than half a gentlewoman by my station, I wad hae tried my ten nails in the wizen'd hide o' her!"


          I am a son of Mars who have been in many wars,
          And show my cuts and scars wherever I come;
          This here was for a wench, and that other in a trench,
          When welcoming the French at the sound of the drum.

"Don't be too much cast down," said Sergeant Bothwell to his prisoner as they journeyed on towards the head-quarters; "you are a smart pretty lad, and well connected; the worst that will happen will be strapping up for it, and that is many an honest fellow's lot. I tell you fairly your life's within the compass of the law, unless you make submission, and get off by a round fine upon your uncle's estate; he can well afford it."

"That vexes me more than the rest," said Henry. "He parts with his money with regret; and, as he had no concern whatever with my having given this person shelter for a night, I wish to Heaven, if I escape a capital punishment, that the penalty may be of a kind I could bear in my own person."

"Why, perhaps," said Bothwell, "they will propose to you to go into one of the Scotch regiments that are serving abroad. It's no bad line of service; if your friends are active, and there are any knocks going, you may soon get a commission."

"I am by no means sure," answered Morton, "that such a sentence is not the best thing that can happen to me."

"Why, then, you are no real whig after all?" said the sergeant.

"I have hitherto meddled with no party in the state," said Henry, "but have remained quietly at home; and sometimes I have had serious thoughts of joining one of our foreign regiments."

"Have you?" replied Bothwell; "why, I honour you for it; I have served in the Scotch French guards myself many a long day; it's the place for learning discipline, d—n me. They never mind what you do when you are off duty; but miss you the roll-call, and see how they'll arrange you—D—n me, if old Captain Montgomery didn't make me mount guard upon the arsenal in my steel-back and breast, plate-sleeves and head-piece, for six hours at once, under so burning a sun, that gad I was baked like a turtle at Port Royale. I swore never to miss answering to Francis Stewart again, though I should leave my hand of cards upon the drum-head—Ah! discipline is a capital thing."

"In other respects you liked the service?" said Morton,

"Par excellence," said Bothwell; "women, wine, and wassail, all to be had for little but the asking; and if you find it in your conscience to let a fat priest think he has some chance to convert you, gad he'll help you to these comforts himself, just to gain a little ground in your good affection. Where will you find a crop-eared whig parson will be so civil?"

"Why, nowhere, I agree with you," said Henry; "but what was your chief duty?"

"To guard the king's person," said Bothwell, "to look after the safety of Louis le Grand, my boy, and now and then to take a turn among the Huguenots (protestants, that is.) And there we had fine scope; it brought my hand pretty well in for the service in this country. But, come, as you are to be a bon camerado, as the Spaniards say, I must put you in cash with some of your old uncle's broad-pieces. This is cutter's law; we must not see a pretty fellow want, if we have cash ourselves."

Thus speaking, he pulled out his purse, took out some of the contents, and offered them to Henry without counting them. Young Morton declined the favour; and, not judging it prudent to acquaint the sergeant, notwithstanding his apparent generosity, that he was actually in possession of some money, he assured him he should have no difficulty in getting a supply from his uncle.

"Well," said Bothwell, "in that case these yellow rascals must serve to ballast my purse a little longer. I always make it a rule never to quit the tavern (unless ordered on duty) while my purse is so weighty that I can chuck it over the signpost. [Note: A Highland laird, whose peculiarities live still in the recollection of his countrymen, used to regulate his residence at Edinburgh in the following manner: Every day he visited the Water-gate, as it is called, of the Canongate, over which is extended a wooden arch. Specie being then the general currency, he threw his purse over the gate, and as long as it was heavy enough to be thrown over, he continued his round of pleasure in the metropolis; when it was too light, he thought it time to retire to the Highlands. Query—How often would he have repeated this experiment at Temple Bar?] When it is so light that the wind blows it back, then, boot and saddle,—we must fall on some way of replenishing.—But what tower is that before us, rising so high upon the steep bank, out of the woods that surround it on every side?"

"It is the tower of Tillietudlem," said one of the soldiers. "Old Lady Margaret Bellenden lives there. She's one of the best affected women in the country, and one that's a soldier's friend. When I was hurt by one of the d—d whig dogs that shot at me from behind a fauld-dike, I lay a month there, and would stand such another wound to be in as good quarters again."

"If that be the case," said Bothwell, "I will pay my respects to her as we pass, and request some refreshment for men and horses; I am as thirsty already as if I had drunk nothing at Milnwood. But it is a good thing in these times," he continued, addressing himself to Henry, "that the King's soldier cannot pass a house without getting a refreshment. In such houses as Tillie—what d'ye call it? you are served for love; in the houses of the avowed fanatics you help yourself by force; and among the moderate presbyterians and other suspicious persons, you are well treated from fear; so your thirst is always quenched on some terms or other."

"And you purpose," said Henry, anxiously, "to go upon that errand up to the tower younder?"

"To be sure I do," answered Bothwell. "How should I be able to report favourably to my officers of the worthy lady's sound principles, unless I know the taste of her sack, for sack she will produce—that I take for granted; it is the favourite consoler of your old dowager of quality, as small claret is the potation of your country laird."

"Then, for heaven's sake," said Henry, "if you are determined to go there, do not mention my name, or expose me to a family that I am acquainted with. Let me be muffled up for the time in one of your soldier's cloaks, and only mention me generally as a prisoner under your charge."

"With all my heart," said Bothwell; "I promised to use you civilly, and I scorn to break my word.—Here, Andrews, wrap a cloak round the prisoner, and do not mention his name, nor where we caught him, unless you would have a trot on a horse of wood."

     [Note:  Wooden Mare. The punishment of riding the wooden mare was,
     in the days of Charles and long after, one of the various and cruel
     modes of enforcing military discipline. In front of the old
     guard-house in the High Street of Edinburgh, a large horse of this
     kind was placed, on which now and then, in the more ancient times, a
     veteran might be seen mounted, with a firelock tied to each foot,
     atoning for some small offence.

     There is a singular work, entitled Memoirs of Prince William Henry,
     Duke of Gloucester, (son of Queen Anne,) from his birth to his ninth
     year, in which Jenkin Lewis, an honest Welshman in attendance on the
     royal infant's person, is pleased to record that his Royal Highness
     laughed, cried, crow'd, and said Gig and Dy, very like a babe of
     plebeian descent. He had also a premature taste for the discipline
     as well as the show of war, and had a corps of twenty-two boys,
     arrayed with paper caps and wooden swords. For the maintenance of
     discipline in this juvenile corps, a wooden horse was established in
     the Presence-chamber, and was sometimes employed in the punishment
     of offences not strictly military. Hughes, the Duke's tailor, having
     made him a suit of clothes which were too tight, was appointed, in
     an order of the day issued by the young prince, to be placed on this
     penal steed. The man of remnants, by dint of supplication and
     mediation, escaped from the penance, which was likely to equal the
     inconveniences of his brother artist's equestrian trip to Brentford.
     But an attendant named Weatherly, who had presumed to bring the
     young Prince a toy, (after he had discarded the use of them,) was
     actually mounted on the wooden horse without a saddle, with his face
     to the tail, while he was plied by four servants of the household
     with syringes and squirts, till he had a thorough wetting. "He was a
     waggish fellow," says Lewis, "and would not lose any thing for the
     joke's sake when he was putting his tricks upon others, so he was
     obliged to submit cheerfully to what was inflicted upon him, being
     at our mercy to play him off well, which we did accordingly." Amid
     much such nonsense, Lewis's book shows that this poor child, the
     heir of the British monarchy, who died when he was eleven years old,
     was, in truth, of promising parts, and of a good disposition. The
     volume, which rarely occurs, is an octavo, published in 1789, the
     editor being Dr Philip Hayes of Oxford.]

They were at this moment at an arched gateway, battlemented and flanked with turrets, one whereof was totally ruinous, excepting the lower story, which served as a cow-house to the peasant, whose family inhabited the turret that remained entire. The gate had been broken down by Monk's soldiers during the civil war, and had never been replaced, therefore presented no obstacle to Bothwell and his party. The avenue, very steep and narrow, and causewayed with large round stones, ascended the side of the precipitous bank in an oblique and zigzag course, now showing now hiding a view of the tower and its exterior bulwarks, which seemed to rise almost perpendicularly above their heads. The fragments of Gothic defences which it exhibited were upon such a scale of strength, as induced Bothwell to exclaim, "It's well this place is in honest and loyal hands. Egad, if the enemy had it, a dozen of old whigamore wives with their distaffs might keep it against a troop of dragoons, at least if they had half the spunk of the old girl we left at Milnwood. Upon my life," he continued, as they came in front of the large double tower and its surrounding defences and flankers, "it is a superb place, founded, says the worn inscription over the gate—unless the remnant of my Latin has given me the slip—by Sir Ralph de Bellenden in 1350—a respectable antiquity. I must greet the old lady with due honour, though it should put me to the labour of recalling some of the compliments that I used to dabble in when I was wont to keep that sort of company."

As he thus communed with himself, the butler, who had reconnoitred the soldiers from an arrowslit in the wall, announced to his lady, that a commanded party of dragoons, or, as he thought, Life-Guardsmen, waited at the gate with a prisoner under their charge.

"I am certain," said Gudyill, "and positive, that the sixth man is a prisoner; for his horse is led, and the two dragoons that are before have their carabines out of their budgets, and rested upon their thighs. It was aye the way we guarded prisoners in the days of the great Marquis."

"King's soldiers?" said the lady; "probably in want of refreshment. Go, Gudyill, make them welcome, and let them be accommodated with what provision and forage the Tower can afford.—And stay, tell my gentlewoman to bring my black scarf and manteau. I will go down myself to receive them; one cannot show the King's Life-Guards too much respect in times when they are doing so much for royal authority. And d'ye hear, Gudyill, let Jenny Dennison slip on her pearlings to walk before my niece and me, and the three women to walk behind; and bid my niece attend me instantly."

Fully accoutred, and attended according to her directions, Lady Margaret now sailed out into the court-yard of her tower with great courtesy and dignity. Sergeant Bothwell saluated the grave and reverend lady of the manor with an assurance which had something of the light and careless address of the dissipated men of fashion in Charles the Second's time, and did not at all savour of the awkward or rude manners of a non-commissioned officer of dragoons. His language, as well as his manners, seemed also to be refined for the time and occasion; though the truth was, that, in the fluctuations of an adventurous and profligate life, Bothwell had sometimes kept company much better suited to his ancestry than to his present situation of life. To the lady's request to know whether she could be of service to them, he answered, with a suitable bow, "That as they had to march some miles farther that night, they would be much accommodated by permission to rest their horses for an hour before continuing their journey."

"With the greatest pleasure," answered Lady Margaret; "and I trust that my people will see that neither horse nor men want suitable refreshment."

"We are well aware, madam," continued Bothwell, "that such has always been the reception, within the walls of Tillietudlem, of those who served the King."

"We have studied to discharge our duty faithfully and loyally on all occasions, sir," answered Lady Margaret, pleased with the compliment, "both to our monarchs and to their followers, particularly to their faithful soldiers. It is not long ago, and it probably has not escaped the recollection of his sacret majesty, now on the throne, since he himself honoured my poor house with his presence and breakfasted in a room in this castle, Mr Sergeant, which my waiting-gentlewoman shall show you; we still call it the King's room."

Bothwell had by this time dismounted his party, and committed the horses to the charge of one file, and the prisoner to that of another; so that he himself was at liberty to continue the conversation which the lady had so condescendingly opened.

"Since the King, my master, had the honour to experience your hospitality, I cannot wonder that it is extended to those that serve him, and whose principal merit is doing it with fidelity. And yet I have a nearer relation to his majesty than this coarse red coat would seem to indicate."

"Indeed, sir? Probably," said Lady Margaret, "you have belonged to his household?"

"Not exactly, madam, to his household, but rather to his house; a connexion through which I may claim kindred with most of the best families in Scotland, not, I believe, exclusive of that of Tillietudlem."

"Sir?" said the old lady, drawing herself up with dignity at hearing what she conceived an impertinent jest, "I do not understand you."

"It's but a foolish subject for one in my situation to talk of, madam," answered the trooper; "but you must have heard of the history and misfortunes of my grandfather Francis Stewart, to whom James I., his cousin-german, gave the title of Bothwell, as my comrades give me the nickname. It was not in the long run more advantageous to him than it is to me."

"Indeed?" said Lady Margaret, with much sympathy and surprise; "I have indeed always understood that the grandson of the last Earl was in necessitous circumstances, but I should never have expected to see him so low in the service. With such connexions, what ill fortune could have reduced you"—

"Nothing much out of the ordinary course, I believe, madam," said Bothwell, interrupting and anticipating the question. "I have had my moments of good luck like my neighbours—have drunk my bottle with Rochester, thrown a merry main with Buckingham, and fought at Tangiers side by side with Sheffield. But my luck never lasted; I could not make useful friends out of my jolly companions—Perhaps I was not sufficiently aware," he continued, with some bitterness, "how much the descendant of the Scottish Stewarts was honoured by being admitted into the convivialities of Wilmot and Villiers."

"But your Scottish friends, Mr Stewart, your relations here, so numerous and so powerful?"

"Why, ay, my lady," replied the sergeant, "I believe some of them might have made me their gamekeeper, for I am a tolerable shot—some of them would have entertained me as their bravo, for I can use my sword well—and here and there was one, who, when better company was not to be had, would have made me his companion, since I can drink my three bottles of wine.—But I don't know how it is—between service and service among my kinsmen, I prefer that of my cousin Charles as the most creditable of them all, although the pay is but poor, and the livery far from splendid."

"It is a shame, it is a burning scandal!" said Lady Margaret. "Why do you not apply to his most sacred majesty? he cannot but be surprised to hear that a scion of his august family"—

"I beg your pardon, madam," interrupted the sergeant, "I am but a blunt soldier, and I trust you will excuse me when I say, his most sacred majesty is more busy in grafting scions of his own, than with nourishing those which were planted by his grandfather's grandfather."

"Well, Mr Stewart," said Lady Margaret, "one thing you must promise me—remain at Tillietudlem to-night; to-morrow I expect your commanding-officer, the gallant Claverhouse, to whom king and country are so much obliged for his exertions against those who would turn the world upside down. I will speak to him on the subject of your speedy promotion; and I am certain he feels too much, both what is due to the blood which is in your veins, and to the request of a lady so highly distinguished as myself by his most sacred majesty, not to make better provision for you than you have yet received."

"I am much obliged to your ladyship, and I certainly will remain her with my prisoner, since you request it, especially as it will be the earliest way of presenting him to Colonel Grahame, and obtaining his ultimate orders about the young spark."

"Who is your prisoner, pray you?" said Lady Margaret.

"A young fellow of rather the better class in this neighbourhood, who has been so incautious as to give countenance to one of the murderers of the primate, and to facilitate the dog's escape."

"O, fie upon him!" said Lady Margaret; "I am but too apt to forgive the injuries I have received at the hands of these rogues, though some of them, Mr Stewart, are of a kind not like to be forgotten; but those who would abet the perpetrators of so cruel and deliberate a homicide on a single man, an old man, and a man of the Archbishop's sacred profession—O fie upon him! If you wish to make him secure, with little trouble to your people, I will cause Harrison, or Gudyill, look for the key of our pit, or principal dungeon. It has not been open since the week after the victory of Kilsythe, when my poor Sir Arthur Bellenden put twenty whigs into it; but it is not more than two stories beneath ground, so it cannot be unwholesome, especially as I rather believe there is somewhere an opening to the outer air."

"I beg your pardon, madam," answered the sergeant; "I daresay the dungeon is a most admirable one; but I have promised to be civil to the lad, and I will take care he is watched, so as to render escape impossible. I'll set those to look after him shall keep him as fast as if his legs were in the boots, or his fingers in the thumbikins."

"Well, Mr Stewart," rejoined the lady, "you best know your own duty. I heartily wish you good evening, and commit you to the care of my steward, Harrison. I would ask you to keep ourselves company, but a—a—a—"

"O, madam, it requires no apology; I am sensible the coarse red coat of King Charles II. does and ought to annihilate the privileges of the red blood of King James V."

"Not with me, I do assure you, Mr Stewart; you do me injustice if you think so. I will speak to your officer to-morrow; and I trust you shall soon find yourself in a rank where there shall be no anomalies to be reconciled."

"I believe, madam," said Bothwell, "your goodness will find itself deceived; but I am obliged to you for your intention, and, at all events, I will have a merry night with Mr Harrison."

Lady Margaret took a ceremonious leave, with all the respect which she owed to royal blood, even when flowing in the veins of a sergeant of the Life-Guards; again assuring Mr Stewart, that whatever was in the Tower of Tillietudlem was heartily at his service and that of his attendants.

Sergeant Bothwell did not fail to take the lady at her word, and readily forgot the height from which his family had descended, in a joyous carousal, during which Mr Harrison exerted himself to produce the best wine in the cellar, and to excite his guest to be merry by that seducing example, which, in matters of conviviality, goes farther than precept. Old Gudyill associated himself with a party so much to his taste, pretty much as Davy, in the Second Part of Henry the Fourth, mingles in the revels of his master, Justice Shallow. He ran down to the cellar at the risk of breaking his neck, to ransack some private catacomb, known, as he boasted, only to himself, and which never either had, or should, during his superintendence, renden forth a bottle of its contents to any one but a real king's friend.

"When the Duke dined here," said the butler, seating himself at a distance from the table, being somewhat overawed by Bothwell's genealogy, but yet hitching his seat half a yard nearer at every clause of his speech, "my leddy was importunate to have a bottle of that Burgundy,"—(here he advanced his seat a little,)—"but I dinna ken how it was, Mr Stewart, I misdoubted him. I jaloused him, sir, no to be the friend to government he pretends: the family are not to lippen to. That auld Duke James lost his heart before he lost his head; and the Worcester man was but wersh parritch, neither gude to fry, boil, nor sup cauld." (With this witty observation, he completed his first parallel, and commenced a zigzag after the manner of an experienced engineer, in order to continue his approaches to the table.) "Sae, sir, the faster my leddy cried 'Burgundy to his Grace—the auld Burgundy—the choice Burgundy—the Burgundy that came ower in the thirty-nine'—the mair did I say to mysell, Deil a drap gangs down his hause unless I was mair sensible o' his principles; sack and claret may serve him. Na, na, gentlemen, as lang as I hae the trust o'butler in this house o'Tillietudlem, I'll tak it upon me to see that nae disloyal or doubtfu' person is the better o' our binns. But when I can find a true friend to the king and his cause, and a moderate episcopacy; when I find a man, as I say, that will stand by church and crown as I did mysell in my master's life, and all through Montrose's time, I think there's naething in the cellar ower gude to be spared on him."

By this time he had completed a lodgment in the body of the place, or, in other words, advanced his seat close to the table.

"And now, Mr Francis Stewart of Bothwell, I have the honour to drink your gude health, and a commission t'ye, and much luck may ye have in raking this country clear o'whigs and roundheads, fanatics and Covenanters."

Bothwell, who, it may well be believed, had long ceased to be very scrupulous in point of society, which he regulated more by his convenience and station in life than his ancestry, readily answered the butler's pledge, acknowledging, at the same time, the excellence of the wine; and Mr Gudyill, thus adopted a regular member of the company, continued to furnish them with the means of mirth until an early hour in the next morning.


               Did I but purpose to embark with thee
               On the smooth surface of a summer sea,
               And would forsake the skiff and make the shore
               When the winds whistle and the tempests roar?

While Lady Margaret held, with the high-descended sergeant of dragoons, the conference which we have detailed in the preceding pages, her grand-daughter, partaking in a less degree her ladyship's enthusiasm for all who were sprung of the blood-royal, did not honour Sergeant Bothwell with more attention than a single glance, which showed her a tall powerful person, and a set of hardy weather-beaten features, to which pride and dissipation had given an air where discontent mingled with the reckless gaiety of desperation. The other soldiers offered still less to detach her consideration; but from the prisoner, muffled and disguised as he was, she found it impossible to withdraw her eyes. Yet she blamed herself for indulging a curiosity which seemed obviously to give pain to him who was its object.

"I wish," she said to Jenny Dennison, who was the immediate attendant on her person, "I wish we knew who that poor fellow is."

"I was just thinking sae mysell, Miss Edith," said the waiting woman, "but it canna be Cuddie Headrigg, because he's taller and no sae stout."

"Yet," continued Miss Bellenden, "it may be some poor neigbour, for whom we might have cause to interest ourselves."

"I can sune learn wha he is," said the enterprising Jenny, "if the sodgers were anes settled and at leisure, for I ken ane o' them very weel—the best-looking and the youngest o' them."

"I think you know all the idle young fellows about the country," answered her mistress.

"Na, Miss Edith, I am no sae free o' my acquaintance as that," answered the fille-de-chambre. "To be sure, folk canna help kenning the folk by head-mark that they see aye glowring and looking at them at kirk and market; but I ken few lads to speak to unless it be them o' the family, and the three Steinsons, and Tam Rand, and the young miller, and the five Howisons in Nethersheils, and lang Tam Gilry, and"—

"Pray cut short a list of exceptions which threatens to be a long one, and tell me how you come to know this young soldier," said Miss Bellenden.

"Lord, Miss Edith, it's Tam Halliday, Trooper Tam, as they ca' him, that was wounded by the hill-folk at the conventicle at Outer-side Muir, and lay here while he was under cure. I can ask him ony thing, and Tam will no refuse to answer me, I'll be caution for him."

"Try, then," said Miss Edith, "if you can find an opportunity to ask him the name of his prisoner, and come to my room and tell me what he says."

Jenny Dennison proceeded on her errand, but soon returned with such a face of surprise and dismay as evinced a deep interest in the fate of the prisoner.

"What is the matter?" said Edith, anxiously; "does it prove to be Cuddie, after all, poor fellow?"

"Cuddie, Miss Edith? Na! na! it's nae Cuddie," blubbered out the faithful fille-de-chambre, sensible of the pain which her news were about to inflict on her young mistress. "O dear, Miss Edith, it's young Milnwood himsell!"

"Young Milnwood!" exclaimed Edith, aghast in her turn; "it is impossible—totally impossible!—His uncle attends the clergyman indulged by law, and has no connexion whatever with the refractory people; and he himself has never interfered in this unhappy dissension; he must be totally innocent, unless he has been standing up for some invaded right."

"O, my dear Miss Edith," said her attendant, "these are not days to ask what's right or what's wrang; if he were as innocent as the new-born infant, they would find some way of making him guilty, if they liked; but Tam Halliday says it will touch his life, for he has been resetting ane o' the Fife gentlemen that killed that auld carle of an Archbishop."

"His life!" exclaimed Edith, starting hastily up, and speaking with a hurried and tremulous accent,—"they cannot—they shall not—I will speak for him—they shall not hurt him!"

"O, my dear young leddy, think on your grandmother; think on the danger and the difficulty," added Jenny; "for he's kept under close confinement till Claverhouse comes up in the morning, and if he doesna gie him full satisfaction, Tam Halliday says there will be brief wark wi' him—Kneel down—mak ready—present—fire—just as they did wi' auld deaf John Macbriar, that never understood a single question they pat till him, and sae lost his life for lack o' hearing."

"Jenny," said the young lady, "if he should die, I will die with him; there is no time to talk of danger or difficulty—I will put on a plaid, and slip down with you to the place where they have kept him—I will throw myself at the feet of the sentinel, and entreat him, as he has a soul to be saved"—

"Eh, guide us!" interrupted the maid, "our young leddy at the feet o' Trooper Tam, and speaking to him about his soul, when the puir chield hardly kens whether he has ane or no, unless that he whiles swears by it—that will never do; but what maun be maun be, and I'll never desert a true-love cause—And sae, if ye maun see young Milnwood, though I ken nae gude it will do, but to make baith your hearts the sairer, I'll e'en tak the risk o't, and try to manage Tam Halliday; but ye maun let me hae my ain gate and no speak ae word—he's keeping guard o'er Milnwood in the easter round of the tower."

"Go, go, fetch me a plaid," said Edith. "Let me but see him, and I will find some remedy for his danger—Haste ye, Jenny, as ever ye hope to have good at my hands."

Jenny hastened, and soon returned with a plaid, in which Edith muffled herself so as completely to screen her face, and in part to disguise her person. This was a mode of arranging the plaid very common among the ladies of that century, and the earlier part of the succeeding one; so much so, indeed, that the venerable sages of the Kirk, conceiving that the mode gave tempting facilities for intrigue, directed more than one act of Assembly against this use of the mantle. But fashion, as usual, proved too strong for authority, and while plaids continued to be worn, women of all ranks occasionally employed them as a sort of muffler or veil. [Note: Concealment of an individual, while in public or promiscuous society, was then very common. In England, where no plaids were worn, the ladies used vizard masks for the same purpose, and the gallants drew the skirts of their cloaks over the right shoulder, so as to cover part of the face. This is repeatedly alluded to in Pepys's Diary.] Her face and figure thus concealed, Edith, holding by her attendant's arm, hastened with trembling steps to the place of Morton's confinement.

This was a small study or closet, in one of the turrets, opening upon a gallery in which the sentinel was pacing to and fro; for Sergeant Bothwell, scrupulous in observing his word, and perhaps touched with some compassion for the prisoner's youth and genteel demeanour, had waved the indignity of putting his guard into the same apartment with him. Halliday, therefore, with his carabine on his arm, walked up and down the gallery, occasionally solacing himself with a draught of ale, a huge flagon of which stood upoon the table at one end of the apartment, and at other times humming the lively Scottish air,

"Between Saint Johnstone and Bonny Dundee, I'll gar ye be fain to follow me."

Jenny Dennison cautioned her mistress once more to let her take her own way.

"I can manage the trooper weel eneugh," she said, "for as rough as he is—I ken their nature weel; but ye maunna say a single word."

She accordingly opened the door of the gallery just as the sentinel had turned his back from it, and taking up the tune which he hummed, she sung in a coquettish tone of rustic raillery,

"If I were to follow a poor sodger lad, My friends wad be angry, my minnie be mad; A laird, or a lord, they were fitter for me, Sae I'll never be fain to follow thee."—

"A fair challenge, by Jove," cried the sentinel, turning round, "and from two at once; but it's not easy to bang the soldier with his bandoleers;" then taking up the song where the damsel had stopt,

"To follow me ye weel may be glad, A share of my supper, a share of my bed, To the sound of the drum to range fearless and free, I'll gar ye be fain to follow me."—

"Come, my pretty lass, and kiss me for my song."

"I should not have thought of that, Mr Halliday," answered Jenny, with a look and tone expressing just the necessary degree of contempt at the proposal, "and, I'se assure ye, ye'll hae but little o' my company unless ye show gentler havings—It wasna to hear that sort o'nonsense that brought me here wi' my friend, and ye should think shame o' yoursell, 'at should ye."

"Umph! and what sort of nonsense did bring you here then, Mrs Dennison?"

"My kinswoman has some particular business with your prisoner, young Mr Harry Morton, and I am come wi' her to speak till him."

"The devil you are!" answered the sentinel; "and pray, Mrs Dennison, how do your kinswoman and you propose to get in? You are rather too plump to whisk through a keyhole, and opening the door is a thing not to be spoke of."

"It's no a thing to be spoken o', but a thing to be dune," replied the persevering damsel.

"We'll see about that, my bonny Jenny;" and the soldier resumed his march, humming, as he walked to and fro along the gallery,

"Keek into the draw-well, Janet, Janet, Then ye'll see your bonny sell, My joe Janet."

"So ye're no thinking to let us in, Mr Halliday? Weel, weel; gude e'en to you—ye hae seen the last o' me, and o' this bonny die too," said Jenny, holding between her finger and thumb a splendid silver dollar.

"Give him gold, give him gold," whispered the agitated young lady.

"Silver's e'en ower gude for the like o' him," replied Jenny, "that disna care for the blink o' a bonny lassie's ee—and what's waur, he wad think there was something mair in't than a kinswoman o' mine. My certy! siller's no sae plenty wi' us, let alane gowd." Having addressed this advice aside to her mistress, she raised her voice, and said, "My cousin winna stay ony langer, Mr Halliday; sae, if ye please, gude e'en t'ye."

"Halt a bit, halt a bit," said the trooper; "rein up and parley, Jenny. If I let your kinswoman in to speak to my prisoner, you must stay here and keep me company till she come out again, and then we'll all be well pleased you know."

"The fiend be in my feet then," said Jenny; "d'ye think my kinswoman and me are gaun to lose our gude name wi' cracking clavers wi' the like o' you or your prisoner either, without somebody by to see fair play? Hegh, hegh, sirs, to see sic a difference between folk's promises and performance! Ye were aye willing to slight puir Cuddie; but an I had asked him to oblige me in a thing, though it had been to cost his hanging, he wadna hae stude twice about it."

"D—n Cuddie!" retorted the dragoon, "he'll be hanged in good earnest, I hope. I saw him today at Milnwood with his old puritanical b—of a mother, and if I had thought I was to have had him cast in my dish, I would have brought him up at my horse's tail—we had law enough to bear us out."

"Very weel, very weel—See if Cuddie winna hae a lang shot at you ane o' thae days, if ye gar him tak the muir wi' sae mony honest folk. He can hit a mark brawly; he was third at the popinjay; and he's as true of his promise as of ee and hand, though he disna mak sic a phrase about it as some acquaintance o' yours—But it's a' ane to me—Come, cousin, we'll awa'."

"Stay, Jenny; d—n me, if I hang fire more than another when I have said a thing," said the soldier, in a hesitating tone. "Where is the sergeant?"

"Drinking and driving ower," quoth Jenny, "wi' the Steward and John Gudyill."

"So, so—he's safe enough—and where are my comrades?" asked Halliday.

"Birling the brown bowl wi' the fowler and the falconer, and some o' the serving folk."

"Have they plenty of ale?"

"Sax gallons, as gude as e'er was masked," said the maid.

"Well, then, my pretty Jenny," said the relenting sentinel, "they are fast till the hour of relieving guard, and perhaps something later; and so, if you will promise to come alone the next time"—"Maybe I will, and maybe I winna," said Jenny; "but if ye get the dollar, ye'll like that just as weel."

"I'll be d—n'd if I do," said Halliday, taking the money, howeve; "but it's always something for my risk; for, if Claverhouse hears what I have done, he will build me a horse as high as the Tower of Tillietudlem. But every one in the regiment takes what they can come by; I am sure Bothwell and his blood-royal shows us a good example. And if I were trusting to you, you little jilting devil, I should lose both pains and powder; whereas this fellow," looking at the piece, "will be good as far as he goes. So, come, there is the door open for you; do not stay groaning and praying with the young whig now, but be ready, when I call at the door, to start, as if they were sounding 'Horse and away.'"

So speaking, Halliday unlocked the door of the closet, admitted Jenny and her pretended kinswoman, locked it behind them, and hastily reassumed the indifferent measured step and time-killing whistle of a sentinel upon his regular duty.

The door, which slowly opened, discovered Morton with both arms reclined upon a table, and his head resting upon them in a posture of deep dejection. He raised his face as the door opened, and, perceiving the female figures which it admitted, started up in great surprise. Edith, as if modesty had quelled the courage which despair had bestowed, stood about a yard from the door without having either the power to speak or to advance. All the plans of aid, relief, or comfort, which she had proposed to lay before her lover, seemed at once to have vanished from her recollection, and left only a painful chaos of ideas, with which was mingled a fear that she had degraded herself in the eyes of Morton by a step which might appear precipitate and unfeminine. She hung motionless and almost powerless upon the arm of her attendant, who in vain endeavoured to reassure and inspire her with courage, by whispering, "We are in now, madam, and we maun mak the best o' our time; for, doubtless, the corporal or the sergeant will gang the rounds, and it wad be a pity to hae the poor lad Halliday punished for his civility."

Morton, in the meantime, was timidly advancing, suspecting the truth; for what other female in the house, excepting Edith herself, was likely to take an interest in his misfortunes? and yet afraid, owing to the doubtful twilight and the muffled dress, of making some mistake which might be prejudicial to the object of his affections. Jenny, whose ready wit and forward manners well qualified her for such an office, hastened to break the ice.

"Mr Morton, Miss Edith's very sorry for your present situation, and"—

It was needless to say more; he was at her side, almost at her feet, pressing her unresisting hands, and loading her with a profusion of thanks and gratitude which would be hardly intelligible from the mere broken words, unless we could describe the tone, the gesture, the impassioned and hurried indications of deep and tumultuous feeling, with which they were accompanied.

For two or three minutes, Edith stood as motionless as the statue of a saint which receives the adoration of a worshipper; and when she recovered herself sufficiently to withdraw her hands from Henry's grasp, she could at first only faintly articulate, "I have taken a strange step, Mr Morton—a step," she continued with more coherence, as her ideas arranged themselves in consequence of a strong effort, "that perhaps may expose me to censure in your eyes—But I have long permitted you to use the language of friendship—perhaps I might say more—too long to leave you when the world seems to have left you. How, or why, is this imprisonment? what can be done? can my uncle, who thinks so highly of you—can your own kinsman, Milnwood, be of no use? are there no means? and what is likely to be the event?"

"Be what it will," answered Henry, contriving to make himself master of the hand that had escaped from him, but which was now again abandoned to his clasp, "be what it will, it is to me from this moment the most welcome incident of a weary life. To you, dearest Edith—forgive me, I should have said Miss Bellenden, but misfortune claims strange privileges—to you I have owed the few happy moments which have gilded a gloomy existence; and if I am now to lay it down, the recollection of this honour will be my happiness in the last hour of suffering."

"But is it even thus, Mr Morton?" said Miss Bellenden. "Have you, who used to mix so little in these unhappy feuds, become so suddenly and deeply implicated, that nothing short of"—

She paused, unable to bring out the word which should have come next.

"Nothing short of my life, you would say?" replied Morton, in a calm, but melancholy tone; "I believe that will be entirely in the bosoms of my judges. My guards spoke of a possibility of exchanging the penalty for entry into foreign service. I thought I could have embraced the alternative; and yet, Miss Bellenden, since I have seen you once more, I feel that exile would be more galling than death."

"And is it then true," said Edith, "that you have been so desperately rash as to entertain communication with any of those cruel wretches who assassinated the primate?"

"I knew not even that such a crime had been committed," replied Morton, "when I gave unhappily a night's lodging and concealment to one of those rash and cruel men, the ancient friend and comrade of my father. But my ignorance will avail me little; for who, Miss Bellenden, save you, will believe it? And, what is worse, I am at least uncertain whether, even if I had known the crime, I could have brought my mind, under all the circumstances, to refuse a temporary refuge to the fugitive."

"And by whom," said Edith, anxiously, "or under what authority, will the investigation of your conduct take place?"

"Under that of Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse, I am given to understand," said Morton; "one of the military commission, to whom it has pleased our king, our privy council, and our parliament, that used to be more tenacious of our liberties, to commit the sole charge of our goods and of our lives."

"To Claverhouse?" said Edith, faintly; "merciful Heaven, you are lost ere you are tried! He wrote to my grandmother that he was to be here to-morrow morning, on his road to the head of the county, where some desperate men, animated by the presence of two or three of the actors in the primate's murder, are said to have assembled for the purpose of making a stand against the government. His expressions made me shudder, even when I could not guess that—that—a friend"—

"Do not be too much alarmed on my account, my dearest Edith," said Henry, as he supported her in his arms; "Claverhouse, though stern and relentless, is, by all accounts, brave, fair, and honourable. I am a soldier's son, and will plead my cause like a soldier. He will perhaps listen more favourably to a blunt and unvarnished defence than a truckling and time-serving judge might do. And, indeed, in a time when justice is, in all its branches, so completely corrupted, I would rather lose my life by open military violence, than be conjured out of it by the hocus-pocus of some arbitrary lawyer, who lends the knowledge he has of the statutes made for our protection, to wrest them to our destruction."

"You are lost—you are lost, if you are to plead your cause with Claverhouse!" sighed Edith; "root and branchwork is the mildest of his expressions. The unhappy primate was his intimate friend and early patron. 'No excuse, no subterfuge,' said his letter, 'shall save either those connected with the deed, or such as have given them countenance and shelter, from the ample and bitter penalty of the law, until I shall have taken as many lives in vengeance of this atrocious murder, as the old man had grey hairs upon his venerable head.' There is neither ruth nor favour to be found with him."

Jenny Dennison, who had hitherto remained silent, now ventured, in the extremity of distress which the lovers felt, but for which they were unable to devise a remedy, to offer her own advice.

"Wi' your leddyship's pardon, Miss Edith, and young Mr Morton's, we maunna waste time. Let Milnwood take my plaid and gown; I'll slip them aff in the dark corner, if he'll promise no to look about, and he may walk past Tam Halliday, who is half blind with his ale, and I can tell him a canny way to get out o' the Tower, and your leddyship will gang quietly to your ain room, and I'll row mysell in his grey cloak, and pit on his hat, and play the prisoner till the coast's clear, and then I'll cry in Tam Halliday, and gar him let me out."

"Let you out?" said Morton; "they'll make your life answer it."

"Ne'er a bit," replied Jenny; "Tam daurna tell he let ony body in, for his ain sake; and I'll gar him find some other gate to account for the escape."

"Will you, by G—?" said the sentinel, suddenly opening the door of the apartment; "if I am half blind, I am not deaf, and you should not plan an escape quite so loud, if you expect to go through with it. Come, come, Mrs Janet—march, troop—quick time—trot, d—n me!—And you, madam kinswoman,—I won't ask your real name, though you were going to play me so rascally a trick,—but I must make a clear garrison; so beat a retreat, unless you would have me turn out the guard."

"I hope," said Morton, very anxiously, "you will not mention this circumstance, my good friend, and trust to my honour to acknowledge your civility in keeping the secret. If you overheard our conversation, you must have observed that we did not accept of, or enter into, the hasty proposal made by this good-natured girl."

"Oh, devilish good-natured, to be sure," said Halliday. "As for the rest, I guess how it is, and I scorn to bear malice, or tell tales, as much as another; but no thanks to that little jilting devil, Jenny Dennison, who deserves a tight skelping for trying to lead an honest lad into a scrape, just because he was so silly as to like her good-for-little chit face."

Jenny had no better means of justification than the last apology to which her sex trust, and usually not in vain; she pressed her handkerchief to her face, sobbed with great vehemence, and either wept, or managed, as Halliday might have said, to go through the motions wonderfully well.

"And now," continued the soldier, somewhat mollified, "if you have any thing to say, say it in two minutes, and let me see your backs turned; for if Bothwell take it into his drunken head to make the rounds half an hour too soon, it will be a black business to us all."

"Farewell, Edith," whispered Morton, assuming a firmness he was far from possessing; "do not remain here—leave me to my fate—it cannot be beyond endurance since you are interested in it.—Good night, good night!—Do not remain here till you are discovered."

Thus saying, he resigned her to her attendant, by whom she was quietly led and partly supported out of the apartment.

"Every one has his taste, to be sure," said Halliday; "but d—n me if I would have vexed so sweet a girl as that is, for all the whigs that ever swore the Covenant."

When Edith had regained her apartment, she gave way to a burst of grief which alarmed Jenny Dennison, who hastened to administer such scraps of consolation as occurred to her.

"Dinna vex yoursell sae muckle, Miss Edith," said that faithful attendant; "wha kens what may happen to help young Milnwood? He's a brave lad, and a bonny, and a gentleman of a good fortune, and they winna string the like o' him up as they do the puir whig bodies that they catch in the muirs, like straps o' onions; maybe his uncle will bring him aff, or maybe your ain grand-uncle will speak a gude word for him—he's weel acquent wi' a' the red-coat gentlemen."

"You are right, Jenny! you are right," said Edith, recovering herself from the stupor into which she had sunk; "this is no time for despair, but for exertion. You must find some one to ride this very night to my uncle's with a letter."

"To Charnwood, madam? It's unco late, and it's sax miles an' a bittock doun the water; I doubt if we can find man and horse the night, mair especially as they hae mounted a sentinel before the gate. Puir Cuddie! he's gane, puir fallow, that wad hae dune aught in the warld I bade him, and ne'er asked a reason—an' I've had nae time to draw up wi' the new pleugh-lad yet; forby that, they say he's gaun to be married to Meg Murdieson, illfaur'd cuttie as she is."

"You must find some one to go, Jenny; life and death depend upon it."

"I wad gang mysell, my leddy, for I could creep out at the window o' the pantry, and speel down by the auld yew-tree weel eneugh—I hae played that trick ere now. But the road's unco wild, and sae mony red-coats about, forby the whigs, that are no muckle better (the young lads o' them) if they meet a fraim body their lane in the muirs. I wadna stand for the walk—I can walk ten miles by moonlight weel eneugh."

"Is there no one you can think of, that, for money or favour, would serve me so far?" asked Edith, in great anxiety.

"I dinna ken," said Jenny, after a moment's consideration, "unless it be Guse Gibbie; and he'll maybe no ken the way, though it's no sae difficult to hit, if he keep the horse-road, and mind the turn at the Cappercleugh, and dinna drown himsell in the Whomlekirn-pule, or fa' ower the scaur at the Deil's Loaning, or miss ony o' the kittle steps at the Pass o' Walkwary, or be carried to the hills by the whigs, or be taen to the tolbooth by the red-coats."

"All ventures must be run," said Edith, cutting short the list of chances against Goose Gibbie's safe arrival at the end of his pilgrimage; "all risks must be run, unless you can find a better messenger.—Go, bid the boy get ready, and get him out of the Tower as secretly as you can. If he meets any one, let him say he is carrying a letter to Major Bellenden of Charnwood, but without mentioning any names."

"I understand, madam," said Jenny Dennison; "I warrant the callant will do weel eneugh, and Tib the hen-wife will tak care o' the geese for a word o' my mouth; and I'll tell Gibbie your leddyship will mak his peace wi' Lady Margaret, and we'll gie him a dollar."

"Two, if he does his errand well," said Edith.

Jenny departed to rouse Goose Gibbie out of his slumbers, to which he was usually consigned at sundown, or shortly after, he keeping the hours of the birds under his charge. During her absence, Edith took her writing materials, and prepared against her return the following letter, superscribed, For the hands of Major Bellenden of Charnwood, my much honoured uncle, These: "My dear Uncle—This will serve to inform you I am desirous to know how your gout is, as we did not see you at the wappen-schaw, which made both my grandmother and myself very uneasy. And if it will permit you to travel, we shall be happy to see you at our poor house to-morrow at the hour of breakfast, as Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse is to pass this way on his march, and we would willingly have your assistance to receive and entertain a military man of such distinction, who, probably, will not be much delighted with the company of women. Also, my dear uncle, I pray you to let Mrs Carefor't, your housekeeper, send me my double-trimmed paduasoy with the hanging sleeves, which she will find in the third drawer of the walnut press in the green room, which you are so kind as to call mine. Also, my dear uncle, I pray you to send me the second volume of the Grand Cyrus, as I have only read as far as the imprisonment of Philidaspes upon the seven hundredth and thirty-third page; but, above all, I entreat you to come to us to-morrow before eight of the clock, which, as your pacing nag is so good, you may well do without rising before your usual hour. So, praying to God to preserve your health, I rest your dutiful and loving niece,

"Edith Bellenden.

"Postscriptum. A party of soldiers have last night brought your friend, young Mr Henry Morton of Milnwood, hither as a prisoner. I conclude you will be sorry for the young gentleman, and, therefore, let you know this, in case you may think of speaking to Colonel Grahame in his behalf. I have not mentioned his name to my grandmother, knowing her prejudice against the family."

This epistle being duly sealed and delivered to Jenny, that faithful confidant hastened to put the same in the charge of Goose Gibbie, whom she found in readiness to start from the castle. She then gave him various instructions touching the road, which she apprehended he was likely to mistake, not having travelled it above five or six times, and possessing only the same slender proportion of memory as of judgment. Lastly, she smuggled him out of the garrison through the pantry window into the branchy yew-tree which grew close beside it, and had the satisfaction to see him reach the bottom in safety, and take the right turn at the commencement of his journey. She then returned to persuade her young mistress to go to bed, and to lull her to rest, if possible, with assurances of Gibbie's success in his embassy, only qualified by a passing regret that the trusty Cuddie, with whom the commission might have been more safely reposed, was no longer within reach of serving her.

More fortunate as a messenger than as a cavalier, it was Gibbie's good hap rather than his good management, which, after he had gone astray not oftener than nine times, and given his garments a taste of the variation of each bog, brook, and slough, between Tillietudlem and Charnwood, placed him about daybreak before the gate of Major Bellenden's mansion, having completed a walk of ten miles (for the bittock, as usual, amounted to four) in little more than the same number of hours.


               At last comes the troop, by the word of command
               Drawn up in our court, where the Captain cries,

Major Bellenden's ancient valet, Gideon Pike as he adjusted his master's clothes by his bedside, preparatory to the worthy veteran's toilet, acquainted him, as an apology for disturbing him an hour earlier than his usual time of rising, that there was an express from Tillietudlem.

"From Tillietudlem?" said the old gentleman, rising hastily in his bed, and sitting bolt upright,—"Open the shutters, Pike—I hope my sister-in-law is well—furl up the bed-curtain.—What have we all here?" (glancing at Edith's note.) "The gout? why, she knows I have not had a fit since Candlemas.—The wappen-schaw? I told her a month since I was not to be there.—Paduasoy and hanging sleeves? why, hang the gipsy herself!—Grand Cyrus and Philipdastus?—Philip Devil!—is the wench gone crazy all at once? was it worth while to send an express and wake me at five in the morning for all this trash?—But what says her postscriptum?—Mercy on us!" he exclaimed on perusing it,—"Pike, saddle old Kilsythe instantly, and another horse for yourself."

"I hope nae ill news frae the Tower, sir?" said Pike, astonished at his master's sudden emotion.

"Yes—no—yes—that is, I must meet Claverhouse there on some express business; so boot and saddle, Pike, as fast as you can.—O, Lord! what times are these!—the poor lad—my old cronie's son!—and the silly wench sticks it into her postscriptum, as she calls it, at the tail of all this trumpery about old gowns and new romances!"

In a few minutes the good old officer was fully equipped; and having mounted upon his arm-gaunt charger as soberly as Mark Antony himself could have done, he paced forth his way to the Tower of Tillietudlem.

On the road he formed the prudent resolution to say nothing to the old lady (whose dislike to presbyterians of all kinds he knew to be inveterate) of the quality and rank of the prisoner detained within her walls, but to try his own influence with Claverhouse to obtain Morton's liberation.

"Being so loyal as he is, he must do something for so old a cavalier as I am," said the veteran to himself; "and if he is so good a soldier as the world speaks of, why, he will be glad to serve an old soldier's son. I never knew a real soldier that was not a frank-hearted, honest fellow; and I think the execution of the laws (though it's a pity they find it necessary to make them so severe) may be a thousand times better intrusted with them than with peddling lawyers and thick-skulled country gentlemen."

Such were the ruminations of Major Miles Bellenden, which were terminated by John Gudyill (not more than half-drunk) taking hold of his bridle, and assisting him to dismount in the roughpaved court of Tillietudlem.

"Why, John," said the veteran, "what devil of a discipline is this you have been keeping? You have been reading Geneva print this morning already."

"I have been reading the Litany," said John, shaking his head with a look of drunken gravity, and having only caught one word of the Major's address to him; "life is short, sir; we are flowers of the field, sir—hiccup—and lilies of the valley."

"Flowers and lilies? Why, man, such carles as thou and I can hardly be called better than old hemlocks, decayed nettles, or withered rag-weed; but I suppose you think that we are still worth watering."

"I am an old soldier, sir, I thank Heaven—hiccup"—

"An old skinker, you mean, John. But come, never mind, show me the way to your mistress, old lad."

John Gudyill led the way to the stone hall, where Lady Margaret was fidgeting about, superintending, arranging, and re-forming the preparations made for the reception of the celebrated Claverhouse, whom one party honoured and extolled as a hero, and another execrated as a bloodthirsty oppressor.

"Did I not tell you," said Lady Margaret to her principal female attendant—"did I not tell you, Mysie, that it was my especial pleasure on this occasion to have every thing in the precise order wherein it was upon that famous morning when his most sacred majesty partook of his disjune at Tillietudlem?"

"Doubtless, such were your leddyship's commands, and to the best of my remembrance"—was Mysie answering, when her ladyship broke in with, "Then wherefore is the venison pasty placed on the left side of the throne, and the stoup of claret upon the right, when ye may right weel remember, Mysie, that his most sacred majesty with his ain hand shifted the pasty to the same side with the flagon, and said they were too good friends to be parted?"

"I mind that weel, madam," said Mysie; "and if I had forgot, I have heard your leddyship often speak about that grand morning sin' syne; but I thought every thing was to be placed just as it was when his majesty, God bless him, came into this room, looking mair like an angel than a man, if he hadna been sae black-a-vised."

"Then ye thought nonsense, Mysie; for in whatever way his most sacred majesty ordered the position of the trenchers and flagons, that, as weel as his royal pleasure in greater matters, should be a law to his subjects, and shall ever be to those of the house of Tillietudlem."

"Weel, madam," said Mysie, making the alterations required, "it's easy mending the error; but if every thing is just to be as his majesty left it, there should be an unco hole in the venison pasty."

At this moment the door opened.

"Who is that, John Gudyill?" exclaimed the old lady. "I can speak to no one just now.—Is it you, my dear brother?" she continued, in some surprise, as the Major entered; "this is a right early visit."

"Not more early than welcome, I hope," replied Major Bellenden, as he saluted the widow of his deceased brother; "but I heard by a note which Edith sent to Charnwood about some of her equipage and books, that you were to have Claver'se here this morning, so I thought, like an old firelock as I am, that I should like to have a chat with this rising soldier. I caused Pike saddle Kilsythe, and here we both are."

"And most kindly welcome you are," said the old lady; "it is just what I should have prayed you to do, if I had thought there was time. You see I am busy in preparation. All is to be in the same order as when"—"The king breakfasted at Tillietudlem," said the Major, who, like all Lady Margaret's friends, dreaded the commencement of that narrative, and was desirous to cut it short,—"I remember it well; you know I was waiting on his majesty."

"You were, brother," said Lady Margaret; "and perhaps you can help me to remember the order of the entertainment."

"Nay, good sooth," said the Major, "the damnable dinner that Noll gave us at Worcester a few days afterwards drove all your good cheer out of my memory.—But how's this?—you have even the great Turkey-leather elbow-chair, with the tapestry cushions, placed in state."

"The throne, brother, if you please," said Lady Margaret, gravely.

"Well, the throne be it, then," continued the Major. "Is that to be Claver'se's post in the attack upon the pasty?"

"No, brother," said the lady; "as these cushions have been once honoured by accommodating the person of our most sacred Monarch, they shall never, please Heaven, during my life-time, be pressed by any less dignified weight."

"You should not then," said the old soldier, "put them in the way of an honest old cavalier, who has ridden ten miles before breakfast; for, to confess the truth, they look very inviting. But where is Edith?"

"On the battlements of the warder's turret," answered the old lady, "looking out for the approach of our guests."

"Why, I'll go there too; and so should you, Lady Margaret, as soon as you have your line of battle properly formed in the hall here. It's a pretty thing, I can tell you, to see a regiment of horse upon the march."

Thus speaking, he offered his arm with an air of old-fashioned gallantry, which Lady Margaret accepted with such a courtesy of acknowledgment as ladies were wont to make in Holyroodhouse before the year 1642, which, for one while, drove both courtesies and courts out of fashion.

Upon the bartizan of the turret, to which they ascended by many a winding passage and uncouth staircase, they found Edith, not in the attitude of a young lady who watches with fluttering curiosity the approach of a smart regiment of dragoons, but pale, downcast, and evincing, by her countenance, that sleep had not, during the preceding night, been the companion of her pillow. The good old veteran was hurt at her appearance, which, in the hurry of preparation, her grandmother had omitted to notice.

"What is come over you, you silly girl?" he said; "why, you look like an officer's wife when she opens the News-letter after an action, and expects to find her husband among the killed and wounded. But I know the reason—you will persist in reading these nonsensical romances, day and night, and whimpering for distresses that never existed. Why, how the devil can you believe that Artamines, or what d'ye call him, fought singlehanded with a whole battalion? One to three is as great odds as ever fought and won, and I never knew any body that cared to take that, except old Corporal Raddlebanes. But these d—d books put all pretty men's actions out of countenance. I daresay you would think very little of Raddlebanes, if he were alongside of Artamines.—I would have the fellows that write such nonsense brought to the picquet for leasing-making."

     [Note:  Romances of the Seventeenth Century. As few, in the present
     age, are acquainted with the ponderous folios to which the age of
     Louis XIV. gave rise, we need only say, that they combine the
     dulness of the metaphysical courtship with all the improbabilities
     of the ancient Romance of Chivalry. Their character will be most
     easily learned from Boileau's Dramatic Satire, or Mrs Lennox's
     Female Quixote.]

Lady Margaret, herself somewhat attached to the perusal of romances, took up the cudgels. "Monsieur Scuderi," she said, "is a soldier, brother; and, as I have heard, a complete one, and so is the Sieur d'Urfe."

"More shame for them; they should have known better what they were writing about. For my part, I have not read a book these twenty years except my Bible, The Whole Duty of Man, and, of late days, Turner's Pallas Armata, or Treatise on the Ordering of the Pike Exercise, and I don't like his discipline much neither.

     [Note:  Sir James Turner. Sir James Turner was a soldier of fortune,
     bred in the civil wars. He was intrusted with a commission to levy
     the fines imposed by the Privy Council for non-conformity, in the
     district of Dumfries and Galloway. In this capacity he vexed the
     country so much by his exactions, that the people rose and made him
     prisoner, and then proceeded in arms towards Mid-Lothian, where they
     were defeated at Pentland Hills, in 1666. Besides his treatise on
     the Military Art, Sir James Turner wrote several other works; the
     most curious of which is his Memoirs of his own Life and Times,
     which has just been printed, under the charge of the Bannatyne

He wants to draw up the cavalry in front of a stand of pikes, instead of being upon the wings. Sure am I, if we had done so at Kilsythe, instead of having our handful of horse on the flanks, the first discharge would have sent them back among our Highlanders.—But I hear the kettle-drums."

All heads were now bent from the battlements of the turret, which commanded a distant prospect down the vale of the river. The Tower of Tillietudlem stood, or perhaps yet stands, upon the angle of a very precipitous bank, formed by the junction of a considerable brook with the Clyde.

     [Note: The Castle of Tillietudlem is imaginary; but the ruins of
     Craignethan Castle, situated on the Nethan, about three miles from
     its junction with the Clyde, have something of the character of the
     description in the text].

There was a narrow bridge of one steep arch, across the brook near its mouth, over which, and along the foot of the high and broken bank, winded the public road; and the fortalice, thus commanding both bridge and pass, had been, in times of war, a post of considerable importance, the possession of which was necessary to secure the communication of the upper and wilder districts of the country with those beneath, where the valley expands, and is more capable of cultivation. The view downwards is of a grand woodland character; but the level ground and gentle slopes near the river form cultivated fields of an irregular shape, interspersed with hedgerow-trees and copses, the enclosures seeming to have been individually cleared out of the forest which surrounds them, and which occupies, in unbroken masses, the steeper declivities and more distant banks. The stream, in colour a clear and sparkling brown, like the hue of the Cairngorm pebbles, rushes through this romantic region in bold sweeps and curves, partly visible and partly concealed by the trees which clothe its banks. With a providence unknown in other parts of Scotland, the peasants have, in most places, planted orchards around their cottages, and the general blossom of the appletrees at this season of the year gave all the lower part of the view the appearance of a flower-garden.

Looking up the river, the character of the scene was varied considerably for the worse. A hilly, waste, and uncultivated country approached close to the banks; the trees were few, and limited to the neighbourhood of the stream, and the rude moors swelled at a little distance into shapeless and heavy hills, which were again surmounted in their turn by a range of lofty mountains, dimly seen on the horizon. Thus the tower commanded two prospects, the one richly cultivated and highly adorned, the other exhibiting the monotonous and dreary character of a wild and inhospitable moorland.

The eyes of the spectators on the present occasion were attracted to the downward view, not alone by its superior beauty, but because the distant sounds of military music began to be heard from the public high-road which winded up the vale, and announced the approach of the expected body of cavalry. Their glimmering ranks were shortly afterwards seen in the distance, appearing and disappearing as the trees and the windings of the road permitted them to be visible, and distinguished chiefly by the flashes of light which their arms occasionally reflected against the sun. The train was long and imposing, for there were about two hundred and fifty horse upon the march, and the glancing of the swords and waving of their banners, joined to the clang of their trumpets and kettle-drums, had at once a lively and awful effect upon the imagination. As they advanced still nearer and nearer, they could distinctly see the files of those chosen troops following each other in long succession, completely equipped and superbly mounted.

"It's a sight that makes me thirty years younger," said the old cavalier; "and yet I do not much like the service that these poor fellows are to be engaged in. Although I had my share of the civil war, I cannot say I had ever so much real pleasure in that sort of service as when I was employed on the Continent, and we were hacking at fellows with foreign faces and outlandish dialect. It's a hard thing to hear a hamely Scotch tongue cry quarter, and be obliged to cut him down just the same as if he called out misricorde.—So, there they come through the Netherwood haugh; upon my word, fine-looking fellows, and capitally mounted.—He that is gallopping from the rear of the column must be Claver'se himself;—ay, he gets into the front as they cross the bridge, and now they will be with us in less than five minutes."

Edith on the Battlements--Frontispiece

At the bridge beneath the tower the cavalry divided, and the greater part, moving up the left bank of the brook and crossing at a ford a little above, took the road of the Grange, as it was called, a large set of farm-offices belonging to the Tower, where Lady Margaret had ordered preparation to be made for their reception and suitable entertainment. The officers alone, with their colours and an escort to guard them, were seen to take the steep road up to the gate of the Tower, appearing by intervals as they gained the ascent, and again hidden by projections of the bank and of the huge old trees with which it is covered. When they emerged from this narrow path, they found themselves in front of the old Tower, the gates of which were hospitably open for their reception. Lady Margaret, with Edith and her brother-in-law, having hastily descended from their post of observation, appeared to meet and to welcome their guests, with a retinue of domestics in as good order as the orgies of the preceding evening permitted. The gallant young cornet (a relation as well as namesake of Claverhouse, with whom the reader has been already made acquainted) lowered the standard amid the fanfare of the trumpets, in homage to the rank of Lady Margaret and the charms of her grand-daughter, and the old walls echoed to the flourish of the instruments, and the stamp and neigh of the chargers.

     [Note:  John Grahame of Claverhouse. This remarkable person united
     the seemingly inconsistent qualities of courage and cruelty, a
     disinterested and devoted loyalty to his prince, with a disregard of
     the rights of his fellow-subjects. He was the unscrupulous agent of
     the Scottish Privy Council in executing the merciless severities of
     the government in Scotland during the reigns of Charles II. and
     James II.; but he redeemed his character by the zeal with which he
     asserted the cause of the latter monarch after the Revolution, the
     military skill with which he supported it at the battle of
     Killiecrankie, and by his own death in the arms of victory.

     It is said by tradition, that he was very desirous to see, and be
     introduced to, a certain Lady Elphinstoun, who had reached the
     advanced age of one hundred years and upwards. The noble matron,
     being a stanch whig, was rather unwilling to receive Claver'se, (as
     he was called from his title,) but at length consented. After the
     usual compliments, the officer observed to the lady, that having
     lived so much beyond the usual term of humanity, she must in her
     time have seen many strange changes. "Hout na, sir," said Lady
     Elphinstoun, "the world is just to end with me as it began. When I
     was entering life, there was ane Knox deaving us a' wi' his clavers,
     and now I am ganging out, there is ane Claver'se deaving us a' wi'
     his knocks."

     Clavers signifying, in common parlance, idle chat, the double pun
     does credit to the ingenuity of a lady of a hundred years old.]

Claverhouse himself alighted from a black horse, the most beautiful perhaps in Scotland. He had not a single white hair upon his whole body, a circumstance which, joined to his spirit and fleetness, and to his being so frequently employed in pursuit of the presbyterian recusants, caused an opinion to prevail among them, that the steed had been presented to his rider by the great Enemy of Mankind, in order to assist him in persecuting the fugitive wanderers. When Claverhouse had paid his respects to the ladies with military politeness, had apologized for the trouble to which he was putting Lady Margaret's family, and had received the corresponding assurances that she could not think any thing an inconvenience which brought within the walls of Tillietudlem so distinguished a soldier, and so loyal a servant of his sacred majesty; when, in short, all forms of hospitable and polite ritual had been duly complied with, the Colonel requested permission to receive the report of Bothwell, who was now in attendance, and with whom he spoke apart for a few minutes. Major Bellenden took that opportunity to say to his niece, without the hearing of her grandmother, "What a trifling foolish girl you are, Edith, to send me by express a letter crammed with nonsense about books and gowns, and to slide the only thing I cared a marvedie about into the postscript!"

"I did not know," said Edith, hesitating very much, "whether it would be quite—quite proper for me to"—"I know what you would say—whether it would be right to take any interest in a presbyterian. But I knew this lad's father well. He was a brave soldier; and, if he was once wrong, he was once right too. I must commend your caution, Edith, for having said nothing of this young gentleman's affair to your grandmother—you may rely on it I shall not—I will take an opportunity to speak to Claver'se. Come, my love, they are going to breakfast. Let us follow them."


               Their breakfast so warm to be sure they did eat,
               A custom in travellers mighty discreet.

The breakfast of Lady Margaret Bellenden no more resembled a modern dejune, than the great stone-hall at Tillietudlem could brook comparison with a modern drawing-room. No tea, no coffee, no variety of rolls, but solid and substantial viands,—the priestly ham, the knightly sirloin, the noble baron of beef, the princely venison pasty; while silver flagons, saved with difficulty from the claws of the Covenanters, now mantled, some with ale, some with mead, and some with generous wine of various qualities and descriptions. The appetites of the guests were in correspondence to the magnificence and solidity of the preparation—no piddling—no boy's-play, but that steady and persevering exercise of the jaws which is best learned by early morning hours, and by occasional hard commons.

Lady Margaret beheld with delight the cates which she had provided descending with such alacrity into the persons of her honoured guests, and had little occasion to exercise, with respect to any of the company saving Claverhouse himself, the compulsory urgency of pressing to eat, to which, as to the peine forte et dure, the ladies of that period were in the custom of subjecting their guests.

But the leader himself, more anxious to pay courtesy to Miss Bellenden, next whom he was placed, than to gratify his appetite, appeared somewhat negligent of the good cheer set before him. Edith heard, without reply, many courtly speeches addressed to her, in a tone of voice of that happy modulation which could alike melt in the low tones of interesting conversation, and rise amid the din of battle, "loud as a trumpet with a silver sound." The sense that she was in the presence of the dreadful chief upon whose fiat the fate of Henry Morton must depend—the recollection of the terror and awe which were attached to the very name of the commander, deprived her for some time, not only of the courage to answer, but even of the power of looking upon him. But when, emboldened by the soothing tones of his voice, she lifted her eyes to frame some reply, the person on whom she looked bore, in his appearance at least, none of the terrible attributes in which her apprehensions had arrayed him.

Grahame of Claverhouse was in the prime of life, rather low of stature, and slightly, though elegantly, formed; his gesture, language, and manners, were those of one whose life had been spent among the noble and the gay. His features exhibited even feminine regularity. An oval face, a straight and well-formed nose, dark hazel eyes, a complexion just sufficiently tinged with brown to save it from the charge of effeminacy, a short upper lip, curved upward like that of a Grecian statue, and slightly shaded by small mustachios of light brown, joined to a profusion of long curled locks of the same colour, which fell down on each side of his face, contributed to form such a countenance as limners love to paint and ladies to look upon.

The severity of his character, as well as the higher attributes of undaunted and enterprising valour which even his enemies were compelled to admit, lay concealed under an exterior which seemed adapted to the court or the saloon rather than to the field. The same gentleness and gaiety of expression which reigned in his features seemed to inspire his actions and gestures; and, on the whole, he was generally esteemed, at first sight, rather qualified to be the votary of pleasure than of ambition. But under this soft exterior was hidden a spirit unbounded in daring and in aspiring, yet cautious and prudent as that of Machiavel himself. Profound in politics, and embued, of course, with that disregard for individual rights which its intrigues usually generate, this leader was cool and collected in danger, fierce and ardent in pursuing success, careless of facing death himself, and ruthless in inflicting it upon others. Such are the characters formed in times of civil discord, when the highest qualities, perverted by party spirit, and inflamed by habitual opposition, are too often combined with vices and excesses which deprive them at once of their merit and of their lustre.

In endeavouring to reply to the polite trifles with which Claverhouse accosted her, Edith showed so much confusion, that her grandmother thought it necessary to come to her relief.

"Edith Bellenden," said the old lady, "has, from my retired mode of living, seen so little of those of her own sphere, that truly she can hardly frame her speech to suitable answers. A soldier is so rare a sight with us, Colonel Grahame, that unless it be my young Lord Evandale, we have hardly had an opportunity of receiving a gentleman in uniform. And, now I talk of that excellent young nobleman, may I enquire if I was not to have had the honour of seeing him this morning with the regiment?"

"Lord Evandale, madam, was on his march with us," answered the leader, "but I was obliged to detach him with a small party to disperse a conventicle of those troublesome scoundrels, who have had the impudence to assemble within five miles of my head-quarters."

"Indeed!" said the old lady; "that is a height of presumption to which I would have thought no rebellious fanatics would have ventured to aspire. But these are strange times! There is an evil spirit in the land, Colonel Grahame, that excites the vassals of persons of rank to rebel against the very house that holds and feeds them. There was one of my able-bodied men the other day who plainly refused to attend the wappen-schaw at my bidding. Is there no law for such recusancy, Colonel Grahame?"

"I think I could find one," said Claverhouse, with great composure, "if your ladyship will inform me of the name and residence of the culprit."

"His name," said Lady Margaret, "is Cuthbert Headrigg; I can say nothing of his domicile, for ye may weel believe, Colonel Grahame, he did not dwell long in Tillietudlem, but was speedily expelled for his contumacy. I wish the lad no severe bodily injury; but incarceration, or even a few stripes, would be a good example in this neighbourhood. His mother, under whose influence I doubt he acted, is an ancient domestic of this family, which makes me incline to mercy; although," continued the old lady, looking towards the pictures of her husband and her sons, with which the wall was hung, and heaving, at the same time, a deep sigh, "I, Colonel Grahame, have in my ain person but little right to compassionate that stubborn and rebellious generation. They have made me a childless widow, and, but for the protection of our sacred sovereign and his gallant soldiers, they would soon deprive me of lands and goods, of hearth and altar. Seven of my tenants, whose joint rent-mail may mount to wellnigh a hundred merks, have already refused to pay either cess or rent, and had the assurance to tell my steward that they would acknowledge neither king nor landlord but who should have taken the Covenant."

"I will take a course with them—that is, with your ladyship's permission," answered Claverhouse; "it would ill become me to neglect the support of lawful authority when it is lodged in such worthy hands as those of Lady Margaret Bellenden. But I must needs say this country grows worse and worse daily, and reduces me to the necessity of taking measures with the recusants that are much more consonant with my duty than with my inclinations. And, speaking of this, I must not forget that I have to thank your ladyship for the hospitality you have been pleased to extend to a party of mine who have brought in a prisoner, charged with having resetted [Note: Resetted, i.e. received or harboured.] the murdering villain, Balfour of Burley."

"The house of Tillietudlem," answered the lady, "hath ever been open to the servants of his majesty, and I hope that the stones of it will no longer rest on each other when it surceases to be as much at their command as at ours. And this reminds me, Colonel Grahame, that the gentleman who commands the party can hardly be said to be in his proper place in the army, considering whose blood flows in his veins; and if I might flatter myself that any thing would be granted to my request, I would presume to entreat that he might be promoted on some favourable opportunity."

"Your ladyship means Sergeant Francis Stewart, whom we call Bothwell?" said Claverhouse, smiling. "The truth is, he is a little too rough in the country, and has not been uniformly so amenable to discipline as the rules of the service require. But to instruct me how to oblige Lady Margaret Bellenden, is to lay down the law to me.—Bothwell," he continued, addressing the sergeant, who just then appeared at the door, "go kiss Lady Margaret Bellenden's hand, who interests herself in your promotion, and you shall have a commission the first vacancy."

Bothwell went through the salutation in the manner prescribed, but not without evident marks of haughty reluctance, and, when he had done so, said aloud, "To kiss a lady's hand can never disgrace a gentleman; but I would not kiss a man's, save the king's, to be made a general."

"You hear him," said Claverhouse, smiling, "there's the rock he splits upon; he cannot forget his pedigree."

"I know, my noble colonel," said Bothwell, in the same tone, "that you will not forget your promise; and then, perhaps, you may permit Cornet Stewart to have some recollection of his grandfather, though the Sergeant must forget him."

"Enough of this, sir," said Claverhouse, in the tone of command which was familiar to him; "and let me know what you came to report to me just now."

"My Lord Evandale and his party have halted on the high-road with some prisoners," said Bothwell.

"My Lord Evandale?" said Lady Margaret. "Surely, Colonel Grahame, you will permit him to honour me with his society, and to take his poor disjune here, especially considering, that even his most sacred Majesty did not pass the Tower of Tillietudlem without halting to partake of some refreshment."

As this was the third time in the course of the conversation that Lady Margaret had adverted to this distinguished event, Colonel Grahame, as speedily as politeness would permit, took advantage of the first pause to interrupt the farther progress of the narrative, by saying, "We are already too numerous a party of guests; but as I know what Lord Evandale will suffer (looking towards Edith) if deprived of the pleasure which we enjoy, I will run the risk of overburdening your ladyship's hospitality.—Bothwell, let Lord Evandale know that Lady Margaret Bellenden requests the honour of his company."

"And let Harrison take care," added Lady Margaret, "that the people and their horses are suitably seen to."

Edith's heart sprung to her lips during this conversation; for it instantly occurred to her, that, through her influence over Lord Evandale, she might find some means of releasing Morton from his present state of danger, in case her uncle's intercession with Claverhouse should prove ineffectual. At any other time she would have been much averse to exert this influence; for, however inexperienced in the world, her native delicacy taught her the advantage which a beautiful young woman gives to a young man when she permits him to lay her under an obligation. And she would have been the farther disinclined to request any favour of Lord Evandale, because the voice of the gossips in Clydesdale had, for reasons hereafter to be made known, assigned him to her as a suitor, and because she could not disguise from herself that very little encouragement was necessary to realize conjectures which had hitherto no foundation. This was the more to be dreaded, that, in the case of Lord Evandale's making a formal declaration, he had every chance of being supported by the influence of Lady Margaret and her other friends, and that she would have nothing to oppose to their solicitations and authority, except a predilection, to avow which she knew would be equally dangerous and unavailing. She determined, therefore, to wait the issue of her uncle's intercession, and, should it fail, which she conjectured she should soon learn, either from the looks or language of the open-hearted veteran, she would then, as a last effort, make use in Morton's favour of her interest with Lord Evandale. Her mind did not long remain in suspense on the subject of her uncle's application.

Major Bellenden, who had done the honours of the table, laughing and chatting with the military guests who were at that end of the board, was now, by the conclusion of the repast, at liberty to leave his station, and accordingly took an opportunity to approach Claverhouse, requesting from his niece, at the same time, the honour of a particular introduction. As his name and character were well known, the two military men met with expressions of mutual regard; and Edith, with a beating heart, saw her aged relative withdraw from the company, together with his new acquaintance, into a recess formed by one of the arched windows of the hall. She watched their conference with eyes almost dazzled by the eagerness of suspense, and, with observation rendered more acute by the internal agony of her mind, could guess, from the pantomimic gestures which accompanied the conversation, the progress and fate of the intercession in behalf of Henry Morton.

The first expression of the countenance of Claverhouse betokened that open and willing courtesy, which, ere it requires to know the nature of the favour asked, seems to say, how happy the party will be to confer an obligation on the suppliant. But as the conversation proceeded, the brow of that officer became darker and more severe, and his features, though still retaining the expression of the most perfect politeness, assumed, at least to Edith's terrified imagination, a harsh and inexorable character. His lip was now compressed as if with impatience; now curled slightly upward, as if in civil contempt of the arguments urged by Major Bellenden. The language of her uncle, as far as expressed in his manner, appeared to be that of earnest intercession, urged with all the affectionate simplicity of his character, as well as with the weight which his age and reputation entitled him to use. But it seemed to have little impression upon Colonel Grahame, who soon changed his posture, as if about to cut short the Major's importunity, and to break up their conference with a courtly expression of regret, calculated to accompany a positive refusal of the request solicited. This movement brought them so near Edith, that she could distinctly hear Claverhouse say, "It cannot be, Major Bellenden; lenity, in his case, is altogether beyond the bounds of my commission, though in any thing else I am heartily desirous to oblige you.—And here comes Evandale with news, as I think.—What tidings do you bring us, Evandale?" he continued, addressing the young lord, who now entered in complete uniform, but with his dress disordered, and his boots spattered, as if by riding hard.


"Unpleasant news, sir," was his reply. "A large body of whigs are in arms among the hills, and have broken out into actual rebellion. They have publicly burnt the Act of Supremacy, that which established episcopacy, that for observing the martyrdom of Charles I., and some others, and have declared their intention to remain together in arms for furthering the covenanted work of reformation."

This unexpected intelligence struck a sudden and painful surprise into the minds of all who heard it, excepting Claverhouse.

"Unpleasant news call you them?" replied Colonel Grahame, his dark eyes flashing fire, "they are the best I have heard these six months. Now that the scoundrels are drawn into a body, we will make short work with them. When the adder crawls into daylight," he added, striking the heel of his boot upon the floor, as if in the act of crushing a noxious reptile, "I can trample him to death; he is only safe when he remains lurking in his den or morass.—Where are these knaves?" he continued, addressing Lord Evandale.

"About ten miles off among the mountains, at a place called Loudon-hill," was the young nobleman's reply. "I dispersed the conventicle against which you sent me, and made prisoner an old trumpeter of rebellion,—an intercommuned minister, that is to say,—who was in the act of exhorting his hearers to rise and be doing in the good cause, as well as one or two of his hearers who seemed to be particularly insolent; and from some country people and scouts I learned what I now tell you."

"What may be their strength?" asked his commander.

"Probably a thousand men, but accounts differ widely."

"Then," said Claverhouse, "it is time for us to be up and be doing also—Bothwell, bid them sound to horse."

Bothwell, who, like the war-horse of scripture, snuffed the battle afar off, hastened to give orders to six negroes, in white dresses richly laced, and having massive silver collars and armlets. These sable functionaries acted as trumpeters, and speedily made the castle and the woods around it ring with their summons.

"Must you then leave us?" said Lady Margaret, her heart sinking under recollection of former unhappy times; "had ye not better send to learn the force of the rebels?—O, how many a fair face hae I heard these fearfu' sounds call away frae the Tower of Tillietudlem, that my auld een were ne'er to see return to it!"

"It is impossible for me to stop," said Claverhouse; "there are rogues enough in this country to make the rebels five times their strength, if they are not checked at once."

"Many," said Evandale, "are flocking to them already, and they give out that they expect a strong body of the indulged presbyterians, headed by young Milnwood, as they call him, the son of the famous old roundhead, Colonel Silas Morton."

This speech produced a very different effect upon the hearers. Edith almost sunk from her seat with terror, while Claverhouse darted a glance of sarcastic triumph at Major Bellenden, which seemed to imply—"You see what are the principles of the young man you are pleading for."

"It's a lie—it's a d—d lie of these rascally fanatics," said the Major hastily. "I will answer for Henry Morton as I would for my own son. He is a lad of as good church-principles as any gentleman in the Life-Guards. I mean no offence to any one. He has gone to church service with me fifty times, and I never heard him miss one of the responses in my life. Edith Bellenden can bear witness to it as well as I. He always read on the same Prayer-book with her, and could look out the lessons as well as the curate himself. Call him up; let him be heard for himself."

"There can be no harm in that," said Claverhouse, "whether he be innocent or guilty.—Major Allan," he said, turning to the officer next in command, "take a guide, and lead the regiment forward to Loudon-hill by the best and shortest road. Move steadily, and do not let the men blow the horses; Lord Evandale and I will overtake you in a quarter of an hour. Leave Bothwell with a party to bring up the prisoners."

Allan bowed, and left the apartment, with all the officers, excepting Claverhouse and the young nobleman. In a few minutes the sound of the military music and the clashing of hoofs announced that the horsemen were leaving the castle. The sounds were presently heard only at intervals, and soon died away entirely.

While Claverhouse endeavoured to soothe the terrors of Lady Margaret, and to reconcile the veteran Major to his opinion of Morton, Evandale, getting the better of that conscious shyness which renders an ingenuous youth diffident in approaching the object of his affections, drew near to Miss Bellenden, and accosted her in a tone of mingled respect and interest.

"We are to leave you," he said, taking her hand, which he pressed with much emotion—"to leave you for a scene which is not without its dangers. Farewell, dear Miss Bellenden;—let me say for the first, and perhaps the last time, dear Edith! We part in circumstances so singular as may excuse some solemnity in bidding farewell to one, whom I have known so long, and whom I—respect so highly."

The manner differing from the words, seemed to express a feeling much deeper and more agitating than was conveyed in the phrase he made use of. It was not in woman to be utterly insensible to his modest and deep-felt expression of tenderness. Although borne down by the misfortunes and imminent danger of the man she loved, Edith was touched by the hopeless and reverential passion of the gallant youth, who now took leave of her to rush into dangers of no ordinary description.

"I hope—I sincerely trust," she said, "there is no danger. I hope there is no occasion for this solemn ceremonial—that these hasty insurgents will be dispersed rather by fear than force, and that Lord Evandale will speedily return to be what he must always be, the dear and valued friend of all in this castle."

"Of all," he repeated, with a melancholy emphasis upon the word. "But be it so—whatever is near you is dear and valued to me, and I value their approbation accordingly. Of our success I am not sanguine. Our numbers are so few, that I dare not hope for so speedy, so bloodless, or so safe an end of this unhappy disturbance. These men are enthusiastic, resolute, and desperate, and have leaders not altogether unskilled in military matters. I cannot help thinking that the impetuosity of our Colonel is hurrying us against them rather prematurely. But there are few that have less reason to shun danger than I have."

Edith had now the opportunity she wished to bespeak the young nobleman's intercession and protection for Henry Morton, and it seemed the only remaining channel of interest by which he could be rescued from impending destruction. Yet she felt at that moment as if, in doing so, she was abusing the partiality and confidence of the lover, whose heart was as open before her, as if his tongue had made an express declaration. Could she with honour engage Lord Evandale in the service of a rival? or could she with prudence make him any request, or lay herself under any obligation to him, without affording ground for hopes which she could never realize? But the moment was too urgent for hesitation, or even for those explanations with which her request might otherwise have been qualified.

"I will but dispose of this young fellow," said Claverhouse, from the other side of the hall, "and then, Lord Evandale—I am sorry to interrupt again your conversation—but then we must mount.—Bothwell, why do not you bring up the prisoner? and, hark ye, let two files load their carabines."

In these words, Edith conceived she heard the death-warrant of her lover. She instantly broke through the restraint which had hitherto kept her silent.

"My Lord Evandale," she said, "this young gentleman is a particular friend of my uncle's—your interest must be great with your colonel—let me request your intercession in his favour—it will confer on my uncle a lasting obligation."

"You overrate my interest, Miss Bellenden," said Lord Evandale; "I have been often unsuccessful in such applications, when I have made them on the mere score of humanity."

"Yet try once again for my uncle's sake."

"And why not for your own?" said Lord Evandale. "Will you not allow me to think I am obliging you personally in this matter?—Are you so diffident of an old friend that you will not allow him even the satisfaction of thinking that he is gratifying your wishes?"

"Surely—surely," replied Edith; "you will oblige me infinitely—I am interested in the young gentleman on my uncle's account—Lose no time, for God's sake!"

She became bolder and more urgent in her entreaties, for she heard the steps of the soldiers who were entering with their prisoner.

"By heaven! then," said Evandale, "he shall not die, if I should die in his place!—But will not you," he said, resuming the hand, which in the hurry of her spirits she had not courage to withdraw, "will not you grant me one suit, in return for my zeal in your service?"

"Any thing you can ask, my Lord Evandale, that sisterly affection can give."

"And is this all," he continued, "all you can grant to my affection living, or my memory when dead?"

"Do not speak thus, my lord," said Edith, "you distress me, and do injustice to yourself. There is no friend I esteem more highly, or to whom I would more readily grant every mark of regard—providing—But"—A deep sigh made her turn her head suddenly, ere she had well uttered the last word; and, as she hesitated how to frame the exception with which she meant to close the sentence, she became instantly aware she had been overheard by Morton, who, heavily ironed and guarded by soldiers, was now passing behind her in order to be presented to Claverhouse. As their eyes met each other, the sad and reproachful expression of Morton's glance seemed to imply that he had partially heard, and altogether misinterpreted, the conversation which had just passed. There wanted but this to complete Edith's distress and confusion. Her blood, which rushed to her brow, made a sudden revulsion to her heart, and left her as pale as death. This change did not escape the attention of Evandale, whose quick glance easily discovered that there was between the prisoner and the object of his own attachment, some singular and uncommon connexion. He resigned the hand of Miss Bellenden, again surveyed the prisoner with more attention, again looked at Edith, and plainly observed the confusion which she could no longer conceal.

"This," he said, after a moment's gloomy silence, "is, I believe, the young gentleman who gained the prize at the shooting match."

"I am not sure," hesitated Edith—"yet—I rather think not," scarce knowing what she replied.

"It is he," said Evandale, decidedly; "I know him well. A victor," he continued, somewhat haughtily, "ought to have interested a fair spectator more deeply."

He then turned from Edith, and advancing towards the table at which Claverhouse now placed himself, stood at a little distance, resting on his sheathed broadsword, a silent, but not an unconcerned, spectator of that which passed.


                    O, my Lord, beware of jealousy!

To explain the deep effect which the few broken passages of the conversation we have detailed made upon the unfortunate prisoner by whom they were overheard, it is necessary to say something of his previous state of mind, and of the origin of his acquaintance with Edith.

Henry Morton was one of those gifted characters, which possess a force of talent unsuspected by the owner himself. He had inherited from his father an undaunted courage, and a firm and uncompromising detestation of oppression, whether in politics or religion. But his enthusiasm was unsullied by fanatic zeal, and unleavened by the sourness of the puritanical spirit. From these his mind had been freed, partly by the active exertions of his own excellent understanding, partly by frequent and long visits at Major Bellenden's, where he had an opportunity of meeting with many guests whose conversation taught him, that goodness and worth were not limited to those of any single form of religious observance.

The base parsimony of his uncle had thrown many obstacles in the way of his education; but he had so far improved the opportunities which offered themselves, that his instructors as well as his friends were surprised at his progress under such disadvantages. Still, however, the current of his soul was frozen by a sense of dependence, of poverty, above all, of an imperfect and limited education. These feelings impressed him with a diffidence and reserve which effectually concealed from all but very intimate friends, the extent of talent and the firmness of character, which we have stated him to be possessed of. The circumstances of the times had added to this reserve an air of indecision and of indifference; for, being attached to neither of the factions which divided the kingdom, he passed for dull, insensible, and uninfluenced by the feeling of religion or of patriotism. No conclusion, however, could be more unjust; and the reasons of the neutrality which he had hitherto professed had root in very different and most praiseworthy motives. He had formed few congenial ties with those who were the objects of persecution, and was disgusted alike by their narrow-minded and selfish party-spirit, their gloomy fanaticism, their abhorrent condemnation of all elegant studies or innocent exercises, and the envenomed rancour of their political hatred. But his mind was still more revolted by the tyrannical and oppressive conduct of the government, the misrule, license, and brutality of the soldiery, the executions on the scaffold, the slaughters in the open field, the free quarters and exactions imposed by military law, which placed the lives and fortunes of a free people on a level with Asiatic slaves. Condemning, therefore, each party as its excesses fell under his eyes, disgusted with the sight of evils which he had no means of alleviating, and hearing alternate complaints and exultations with which he could not sympathize, he would long ere this have left Scotland, had it not been for his attachment to Edith Bellenden.

The earlier meetings of these young people had been at Charnwood, when Major Bellenden, who was as free from suspicion on such occasions as Uncle Toby himself, had encouraged their keeping each other constant company, without entertaining any apprehension of the natural consequences. Love, as usual in such cases, borrowed the name of friendship, used her language, and claimed her privileges. When Edith Bellenden was recalled to her mother's castle, it was astonishing by what singular and recurring accidents she often met young Morton in her sequestered walks, especially considering the distance of their places of abode. Yet it somehow happened that she never expressed the surprise which the frequency of these rencontres ought naturally to have excited, and that their intercourse assumed gradually a more delicate character, and their meetings began to wear the air of appointments. Books, drawings, letters, were exchanged between them, and every trifling commission, given or executed, gave rise to a new correspondence. Love indeed was not yet mentioned between them by name, but each knew the situation of their own bosom, and could not but guess at that of the other. Unable to desist from an intercourse which possessed such charms for both, yet trembling for its too probable consequences, it had been continued without specific explanation until now, when fate appeared to have taken the conclusion into its own hands.

It followed, as a consequence of this state of things, as well as of the diffidence of Morton's disposition at this period, that his confidence in Edith's return of his affection had its occasional cold fits. Her situations was in every respect so superior to his own, her worth so eminent, her accomplishments so many, her face so beautiful, and her manners so bewitching, that he could not but entertain fears that some suitor more favoured than himself by fortune, and more acceptable to Edith's family than he durst hope to be, might step in between him and the object of his affections. Common rumour had raised up such a rival in Lord Evandale, whom birth, fortune, connexions, and political principles, as well as his frequent visits at Tillietudlem, and his attendance upon Lady Bellenden and her niece at all public places, naturally pointed out as a candidate for her favour. It frequently and inevitably happened, that engagements to which Lord Evandale was a party, interfered with the meeting of the lovers, and Henry could not but mark that Edith either studiously avoided speaking of the young nobleman, or did so with obvious reserve and hesitation.

These symptoms, which, in fact, arose from the delicacy of her own feelings towards Morton himself, were misconstrued by his diffident temper, and the jealousy which they excited was fermented by the occasional observations of Jenny Dennison. This true-bred serving-damsel was, in her own person, a complete country coquette, and when she had no opportunity of teasing her own lovers, used to take some occasional opportunity to torment her young lady's. This arose from no ill-will to Henry Morton, who, both on her mistress's account and his own handsome form and countenance, stood high in her esteem. But then Lord Evandale was also handsome; he was liberal far beyond what Morton's means could afford, and he was a lord, moreover, and, if Miss Edith Bellenden should accept his hand, she would become a baron's lady, and, what was more, little Jenny Dennison, whom the awful housekeeper at Tillietudlem huffed about at her pleasure, would be then Mrs Dennison, Lady Evandale's own woman, or perhaps her ladyship's lady-in-waiting. The impartiality of Jenny Dennison, therefore, did not, like that of Mrs Quickly, extend to a wish that both the handsome suitors could wed her young lady; for it must be owned that the scale of her regard was depressed in favour of Lord Evandale, and her wishes in his favour took many shapes extremely tormenting to Morton; being now expressed as a friendly caution, now as an article of intelligence, and anon as a merry jest, but always tending to confirm the idea, that, sooner or later, his romantic intercourse with her young mistress must have a close, and that Edith Bellenden would, in spite of summer walks beneath the greenwood tree, exchange of verses, of drawings, and of books, end in becoming Lady Evandale.

These hints coincided so exactly with the very point of his own suspicions and fears, that Morton was not long of feeling that jealousy which every one has felt who has truly loved, but to which those are most liable whose love is crossed by the want of friends' consent, or some other envious impediment of fortune. Edith herself, unwittingly, and in the generosity of her own frank nature, contributed to the error into which her lover was in danger of falling. Their conversation once chanced to turn upon some late excesses committed by the soldiery on an occasion when it was said (inaccurately however) that the party was commanded by Lord Evandale. Edith, as true in friendship as in love, was somewhat hurt at the severe strictures which escaped from Morton on this occasion, and which, perhaps, were not the less strongly expressed on account of their supposed rivalry. She entered into Lord Evandale's defence with such spirit as hurt Morton to the very soul, and afforded no small delight to Jenny Dennison, the usual companion of their walks. Edith perceived her error, and endeavoured to remedy it; but the impression was not so easily erased, and it had no small effect in inducing her lover to form that resolution of going abroad, which was disappointed in the manner we have already mentioned.

The visit which he received from Edith during his confinement, the deep and devoted interest which she had expressed in his fate, ought of themselves to have dispelled his suspicions; yet, ingenious in tormenting himself, even this he thought might be imputed to anxious friendship, or, at most, to a temporary partiality, which would probably soon give way to circumstances, the entreaties of her friends, the authority of Lady Margaret, and the assiduities of Lord Evandale.

"And to what do I owe it," he said, "that I cannot stand up like a man, and plead my interest in her ere I am thus cheated out of it?—to what, but to the all-pervading and accursed tyranny, which afflicts at once our bodies, souls, estates, and affections! And is it to one of the pensioned cut-throats of this oppressive government that I must yield my pretensions to Edith Bellenden?—I will not, by Heaven!—It is a just punishment on me for being dead to public wrongs, that they have visited me with their injuries in a point where they can be least brooked or borne."

As these stormy resolutions boiled in his bosom, and while he ran over the various kinds of insult and injury which he had sustained in his own cause and in that of his country, Bothwell entered the tower, followed by two dragoons, one of whom carried handcuffs.

"You must follow me, young man," said he, "but first we must put you in trim."

"In trim!" said Morton. "What do you mean?"

"Why, we must put on these rough bracelets. I durst not—nay, d—n it, I durst do any thing—but I would not for three hours' plunder of a stormed town bring a whig before my Colonel without his being ironed. Come, come, young man, don't look sulky about it."

He advanced to put on the irons; but, seizing the oaken-seat upon which he had rested, Morton threatened to dash out the brains of the first who should approach him.

"I could manage you in a moment, my youngster," said Bothwell, "but I had rather you would strike sail quietly."

Here indeed he spoke the truth, not from either fear or reluctance to adopt force, but because he dreaded the consequences of a noisy scuffle, through which it might probably be discovered that he had, contrary to express orders, suffered his prisoner to pass the night without being properly secured.

"You had better be prudent," he continued, in a tone which he meant to be conciliatory, "and don't spoil your own sport. They say here in the castle that Lady Margaret's niece is immediately to marry our young Captain, Lord Evandale. I saw them close together in the hall yonder, and I heard her ask him to intercede for your pardon. She looked so devilish handsome and kind upon him, that on my soul—But what the devil's the matter with you?—You are as pale as a sheet—Will you have some brandy?"

"Miss Bellenden ask my life of Lord Evandale?" said the prisoner, faintly.

"Ay, ay; there's no friend like the women—their interest carries all in court and camp.—Come, you are reasonable now—Ay, I thought you would come round."

Here he employed himself in putting on the fetters, against which, Morton, thunderstruck by this intelligence, no longer offered the least resistance.

"My life begged of him, and by her!—ay—ay—put on the irons—my limbs shall not refuse to bear what has entered into my very soul—My life begged by Edith, and begged of Evandale!"

"Ay, and he has power to grant it too," said Bothwell—"He can do more with the Colonel than any man in the regiment."

And as he spoke, he and his party led their prisoner towards the hall. In passing behind the seat of Edith, the unfortunate prisoner heard enough, as he conceived, of the broken expressions which passed between Edith and Lord Evandale, to confirm all that the soldier had told him. That moment made a singular and instantaneous revolution in his character. The depth of despair to which his love and fortunes were reduced, the peril in which his life appeared to stand, the transference of Edith's affections, her intercession in his favour, which rendered her fickleness yet more galling, seemed to destroy every feeling for which he had hitherto lived, but, at the same time, awakened those which had hitherto been smothered by passions more gentle though more selfish. Desperate himself, he determined to support the rights of his country, insulted in his person. His character was for the moment as effectually changed as the appearance of a villa, which, from being the abode of domestic quiet and happiness, is, by the sudden intrusion of an armed force, converted into a formidable post of defence.

We have already said that he cast upon Edith one glance in which reproach was mingled with sorrow, as if to bid her farewell for ever; his next motion was to walk firmly to the table at which Colonel Grahame was seated.

"By what right is it, sir," said he firmly, and without waiting till he was questioned,—"By what right is it that these soldiers have dragged me from my family, and put fetters on the limbs of a free man?"

"By my commands," answered Claverhouse; "and I now lay my commands on you to be silent and hear my questions."

"I will not," replied Morton, in a determined tone, while his boldness seemed to electrify all around him. "I will know whether I am in lawful custody, and before a civil magistrate, ere the charter of my country shall be forfeited in my person."

"A pretty springald this, upon my honour!" said Claverhouse.

"Are you mad?" said Major Bellenden to his young friend. "For God's sake, Henry Morton," he continued, in a tone between rebuke and entreaty, "remember you are speaking to one of his majesty's officers high in the service."

"It is for that very reason, sir," returned Henry, firmly, "that I desire to know what right he has to detain me without a legal warrant. Were he a civil officer of the law I should know my duty was submission."

"Your friend, here," said Claverhouse to the veteran, coolly, "is one of those scrupulous gentlemen, who, like the madman in the play, will not tie his cravat without the warrant of Mr Justice Overdo; but I will let him see, before we part, that my shoulder-knot is as legal a badge of authority as the mace of the Justiciary. So, waving this discussion, you will be pleased, young man, to tell me directly when you saw Balfour of Burley."

"As I know no right you have to ask such a question," replied Morton, "I decline replying to it."

"You confessed to my sergeant," said Claverhouse, "that you saw and entertained him, knowing him to be an intercommuned traitor; why are you not so frank with me?"

"Because," replied the prisoner, "I presume you are, from education, taught to understand the rights upon which you seem disposed to trample; and I am willing you should be aware there are yet Scotsmen who can assert the liberties of Scotland."

"And these supposed rights you would vindicate with your sword, I presume?" said Colonel Grahame.

"Were I armed as you are, and we were alone upon a hill-side, you should not ask me the question twice."

"It is quite enough," answered Claverhouse, calmly; "your language corresponds with all I have heard of you;—but you are the son of a soldier, though a rebellious one, and you shall not die the death of a dog; I will save you that indignity."

"Die in what manner I may," replied Morton, "I will die like the son of a brave man; and the ignominy you mention shall remain with those who shed innocent blood."

"Make your peace, then, with Heaven, in five minutes' space.—Bothwell, lead him down to the court-yard, and draw up your party."

The appalling nature of this conversation, and of its result, struck the silence of horror into all but the speakers. But now those who stood round broke forth into clamour and expostulation. Old Lady Margaret, who, with all the prejudices of rank and party, had not laid aside the feelings of her sex, was loud in her intercession.

"O, Colonel Grahame," she exclaimed, "spare his young blood! Leave him to the law—do not repay my hospitality by shedding men's blood on the threshold of my doors!"

"Colonel Grahame," said Major Bellenden, "you must answer this violence. Don't think, though I am old and feckless, that my friend's son shall be murdered before my eyes with impunity. I can find friends that shall make you answer it."

"Be satisfied, Major Bellenden, I will answer it," replied Claverhouse, totally unmoved; "and you, madam, might spare me the pain the resisting this passionate intercession for a traitor, when you consider the noble blood your own house has lost by such as he is."

"Colonel Grahame," answered the lady, her aged frame trembling with anxiety, "I leave vengeance to God, who calls it his own. The shedding of this young man's blood will not call back the lives that were dear to me; and how can it comfort me to think that there has maybe been another widowed mother made childless, like mysell, by a deed done at my very door-stane!"

"This is stark madness," said Claverhouse; "I must do my duty to church and state. Here are a thousand villains hard by in open rebellion, and you ask me to pardon a young fanatic who is enough of himself to set a whole kingdom in a blaze! It cannot be—Remove him, Bothwell."

She who was most interested in this dreadful decision, had twice strove to speak, but her voice had totally failed her; her mind refused to suggest words, and her tongue to utter them. She now sprung up and attempted to rush forward, but her strength gave way, and she would have fallen flat upon the pavement had she not been caught by her attendant.

"Help!" cried Jenny,—"Help, for God's sake! my young lady is dying."

At this exclamation, Evandale, who, during the preceding part of the scene, had stood motionless, leaning upon his sword, now stepped forward, and said to his commanding-officer, "Colonel Grahame, before proceeding in this matter, will you speak a word with me in private?"

Claverhouse looked surprised, but instantly rose and withdrew with the young nobleman into a recess, where the following brief dialogue passed between them:

"I think I need not remind you, Colonel, that when our family interest was of service to you last year in that affair in the privy-council, you considered yourself as laid under some obligation to us?"

"Certainly, my dear Evandale," answered Claverhouse, "I am not a man who forgets such debts; you will delight me by showing how I can evince my gratitude."

"I will hold the debt cancelled," said Lord Evandale, "if you will spare this young man's life."

"Evandale," replied Grahame, in great surprise, "you are mad—absolutely mad—what interest can you have in this young spawn of an old roundhead?—His father was positively the most dangerous man in all Scotland, cool, resolute, soliderly, and inflexible in his cursed principles. His son seems his very model; you cannot conceive the mischief he may do. I know mankind, Evandale—were he an insignificant, fanatical, country booby, do you think I would have refused such a trifle as his life to Lady Margaret and this family? But this is a lad of fire, zeal, and education—and these knaves want but such a leader to direct their blind enthusiastic hardiness. I mention this, not as refusing your request, but to make you fully aware of the possible consequences—I will never evade a promise, or refuse to return an obligation—if you ask his life, he shall have it."

"Keep him close prisoner," answered Evandale, "but do not be surprised if I persist in requesting you will not put him to death. I have most urgent reasons for what I ask."

"Be it so then," replied Grahame;—"but, young man, should you wish in your future life to rise to eminence in the service of your king and country, let it be your first task to subject to the public interest, and to the discharge of your duty, your private passions, affections, and feelings. These are not times to sacrifice to the dotage of greybeards, or the tears of silly women, the measures of salutary severity which the dangers around compel us to adopt. And remember, that if I now yield this point, in compliance with your urgency, my present concession must exempt me from future solicitations of the same nature."

He then stepped forward to the table, and bent his eyes keenly on Morton, as if to observe what effect the pause of awful suspense between death and life, which seemed to freeze the bystanders with horror, would produce upon the prisoner himself. Morton maintained a degree of firmness, which nothing but a mind that had nothing left upon earth to love or to hope, could have supported at such a crisis.

"You see him?" said Claverhouse, in a half whisper to Lord Evandale; "he is tottering on the verge between time and eternity, a situation more appalling than the most hideous certainty; yet his is the only cheek unblenched, the only eye that is calm, the only heart that keeps its usual time, the only nerves that are not quivering. Look at him well, Evandale—If that man shall ever come to head an army of rebels, you will have much to answer for on account of this morning's work." He then said aloud, "Young man, your life is for the present safe, through the intercession of your friends—Remove him, Bothwell, and let him be properly guarded, and brought along with the other prisoners."

"If my life," said Morton, stung with the idea that he owed his respite to the intercession of a favoured rival, "if my life be granted at Lord Evandale's request"—

"Take the prisoner away, Bothwell," said Colonel Grahame, interrupting him; "I have neither time to make nor to hear fine speeches."

Bothwell forced off Morton, saying, as he conducted him into the court-yard, "Have you three lives in your pocket, besides the one in your body, my lad, that you can afford to let your tongue run away with them at this rate? Come, come, I'll take care to keep you out of the Colonel's way; for, egad, you will not be five minutes with him before the next tree or the next ditch will be the word. So, come along to your companions in bondage."

Thus speaking, the sergeant, who, in his rude manner, did not altogether want sympathy for a gallant young man, hurried Morton down to the courtyard, where three other prisoners, (two men and a woman,) who had been taken by Lord Evandale, remained under an escort of dragoons.

Meantime, Claverhouse took his leave of Lady Margaret. But it was difficult for the good lady to forgive his neglect of her intercession.

"I have thought till now," she said, "that the Tower of Tillietudlem might have been a place of succour to those that are ready to perish, even if they werena sae deserving as they should have been—but I see auld fruit has little savour—our suffering and our services have been of an ancient date."

"They are never to be forgotten by me, let me assure your ladyship," said Claverhouse. "Nothing but what seemed my sacred duty could make me hesitate to grant a favour requested by you and the Major. Come, my good lady, let me hear you say you have forgiven me, and, as I return to-night, I will bring a drove of two hundred whigs with me, and pardon fifty head of them for your sake."

"I shall be happy to hear of your success, Colonel," said Major Bellenden; "but take an old soldier's advice, and spare blood when battle's over,—and once more let me request to enter bail for young Morton."

"We will settle that when I return," said Claverhouse. "Meanwhile, be assured his life shall be safe."

During this conversation, Evandale looked anxiously around for Edith; but the precaution of Jenny Dennison had occasioned her mistress being transported to her own apartment.

Slowly and heavily he obeyed the impatient summons of Claverhouse, who, after taking a courteous leave of Lady Margaret and the Major, had hastened to the court-yard. The prisoners with their guard were already on their march, and the officers with their escort mounted and followed. All pressed forward to overtake the main body, as it was supposed they would come in sight of the enemy in little more than two hours.


                    My hounds may a' rin masterless,
                    My hawks may fly frae tree to tree,
                    My lord may grip my vassal lands,
                    For there again maun I never be!
                    Old Ballad.

We left Morton, along with three companions in captivity, travelling in the custody of a small body of soldiers, who formed the rear-guard of the column under the command of Claverhouse, and were immediately under the charge of Sergeant Bothwell. Their route lay towards the hills in which the insurgent presbyterians were reported to be in arms. They had not prosecuted their march a quarter of a mile ere Claverhouse and Evandale galloped past them, followed by their orderly-men, in order to take their proper places in the column which preceded them. No sooner were they past than Bothwell halted the body which he commanded, and disencumbered Morton of his irons.

"King's blood must keep word," said the dragoon. "I promised you should be civilly treated as far as rested with me.—Here, Corporal Inglis, let this gentleman ride alongside of the other young fellow who is prisoner; and you may permit them to converse together at their pleasure, under their breath, but take care they are guarded by two files with loaded carabines. If they attempt an escape, blow their brains out.—You cannot call that using you uncivilly," he continued, addressing himself to Morton, "it's the rules of war, you know.—And, Inglis, couple up the parson and the old woman, they are fittest company for each other, d—n me; a single file may guard them well enough. If they speak a word of cant or fanatical nonsense, let them have a strapping with a shoulder-belt. There's some hope of choking a silenced parson; if he is not allowed to hold forth, his own treason will burst him."

Having made this arrangement, Bothwell placed himself at the head of the party, and Inglis, with six dragoons, brought up the rear. The whole then set forward at a trot, with the purpose of overtaking the main body of the regiment.

Morton, overwhelmed with a complication of feelings, was totally indifferent to the various arrangements made for his secure custody, and even to the relief afforded him by his release from the fetters. He experienced that blank and waste of the heart which follows the hurricane of passion, and, no longer supported by the pride and conscious rectitude which dictated his answers to Claverhouse, he surveyed with deep dejection the glades through which he travelled, each turning of which had something to remind him of past happiness and disappointed love. The eminence which they now ascended was that from which he used first and last to behold the ancient tower when approaching or retiring from it; and, it is needless to add, that there he was wont to pause, and gaze with a lover's delight on the battlements, which, rising at a distance out of the lofty wood, indicated the dwelling of her, whom he either hoped soon to meet or had recently parted from. Instinctively he turned his head back to take a last look of a scene formerly so dear to him, and no less instinctively he heaved a deep sigh. It was echoed by a loud groan from his companion in misfortune, whose eyes, moved, perchance, by similar reflections, had taken the same direction. This indication of sympathy, on the part of the captive, was uttered in a tone more coarse than sentimental; it was, however, the expression of a grieved spirit, and so far corresponded with the sigh of Morton. In turning their heads their eyes met, and Morton recognised the stolid countenance of Cuddie Headrigg, bearing a rueful expression, in which sorrow for his own lot was mixed with sympathy for the situation of his companion.

"Hegh, sirs!" was the expression of the ci-devant ploughman of the mains of Tillietudlem; "it's an unco thing that decent folk should be harled through the country this gate, as if they were a warld's wonder."

"I am sorry to see you here, Cuddie," said Morton, who, even in his own distress, did not lose feeling for that of others.

"And sae am I, Mr Henry," answered Cuddie, "baith for mysell and you; but neither of our sorrows will do muckle gude that I can see. To be sure, for me," continued the captive agriculturist, relieving his heart by talking, though he well knew it was to little purpose,—"to be sure, for my part, I hae nae right to be here ava', for I never did nor said a word against either king or curate; but my mither, puir body, couldna haud the auld tongue o' her, and we maun baith pay for't, it's like."

"Your mother is their prisoner likewise?" said Morton, hardly knowing what he said.

"In troth is she, riding ahint ye there like a bride, wi' that auld carle o' a minister that they ca' Gabriel Kettledrummle—Deil that he had been in the inside of a drum or a kettle either, for my share o' him! Ye see, we were nae sooner chased out o' the doors o' Milnwood, and your uncle and the housekeeper banging them to and barring them ahint us, as if we had had the plague on our bodies, that I says to my mother, What are we to do neist? for every hole and bore in the country will be steekit against us, now that ye hae affronted my auld leddy, and gar't the troopers tak up young Milnwood. Sae she says to me, Binna cast doun, but gird yoursell up to the great task o' the day, and gie your testimony like a man upon the mount o' the Covenant."

"And so I suppose you went to a conventicle?" said Morton.

"Ye sall hear," continued Cuddie.—"Aweel, I kendna muckle better what to do, sae I e'en gaed wi' her to an auld daft carline like hersell, and we got some water-broo and bannocks; and mony a weary grace they said, and mony a psalm they sang, or they wad let me win to, for I was amaist famished wi' vexation. Aweel, they had me up in the grey o' the morning, and I behoved to whig awa wi' them, reason or nane, to a great gathering o' their folk at the Miry-sikes; and there this chield, Gabriel Kettledrummle, was blasting awa to them on the hill-side, about lifting up their testimony, nae doubt, and ganging down to the battle of Roman Gilead, or some sic place. Eh, Mr Henry! but the carle gae them a screed o' doctrine! Ye might hae heard him a mile down the wind—He routed like a cow in a fremd loaning.—Weel, thinks I, there's nae place in this country they ca' Roman Gilead—it will be some gate in the west muirlands; and or we win there I'll see to slip awa wi' this mither o' mine, for I winna rin my neck into a tether for ony Kettledrummle in the country side—Aweel," continued Cuddie, relieving himself by detailing his misfortunes, without being scrupulous concerning the degree of attention which his companion bestowed on his narrative, "just as I was wearying for the tail of the preaching, cam word that the dragoons were upon us.—Some ran, and some cried, Stand! and some cried, Down wi' the Philistines!—I was at my mither to get her awa sting and ling or the red-coats cam up, but I might as weel hae tried to drive our auld fore-a-hand ox without the goad—deil a step wad she budge.—Weel, after a', the cleugh we were in was strait, and the mist cam thick, and there was good hope the dragoons wad hae missed us if we could hae held our tongues; but, as if auld Kettledrummle himsell hadna made din eneugh to waken the very dead, they behoved a' to skirl up a psalm that ye wad hae heard as far as Lanrick!—Aweel, to mak a lang tale short, up cam my young Lord Evandale, skelping as fast as his horse could trot, and twenty red-coats at his back. Twa or three chields wad needs fight, wi' the pistol and the whinger in the tae hand, and the Bible in the tother, and they got their crouns weel cloured; but there wasna muckle skaith dune, for Evandale aye cried to scatter us, but to spare life."

"And did you not resist?" said Morton, who probably felt, that, at that moment, he himself would have encountered Lord Evandale on much slighter grounds.

"Na, truly," answered Cuddie, "I keepit aye before the auld woman, and cried for mercy to life and limb; but twa o' the red-coats cam up, and ane o' them was gaun to strike my mither wi' the side o' his broadsword—So I got up my kebbie at them, and said I wad gie them as gude. Weel, they turned on me, and clinked at me wi' their swords, and I garr'd my hand keep my head as weel as I could till Lord Evandale came up, and then I cried out I was a servant at Tillietudlem—ye ken yoursell he was aye judged to hae a look after the young leddy—and he bade me fling down my kent, and sae me and my mither yielded oursells prisoners. I'm thinking we wad hae been letten slip awa, but Kettledrummle was taen near us—for Andrew Wilson's naig that he was riding on had been a dragooner lang syne, and the sairer Kettledrummle spurred to win awa, the readier the dour beast ran to the dragoons when he saw them draw up.—Aweel, when my mother and him forgathered, they set till the sodgers, and I think they gae them their kale through the reek! Bastards o' the hure o' Babylon was the best words in their wame. Sae then the kiln was in a bleeze again, and they brought us a' three on wi' them to mak us an example, as they ca't."

"It is most infamous and intolerable oppression!" said Morton, half speaking to himself; "here is a poor peaceable fellow, whose only motive for joining the conventicle was a sense of filial piety, and he is chained up like a thief or murderer, and likely to die the death of one, but without the privilege of a formal trial, which our laws indulge to the worst malefactor! Even to witness such tyranny, and still more to suffer under it, is enough to make the blood of the tamest slave boil within him."

"To be sure," said Cuddie, hearing, and partly understanding, what had broken from Morton in resentment of his injuries, "it is no right to speak evil o' dignities—my auld leddy aye said that, as nae doubt she had a gude right to do, being in a place o' dignity hersell; and troth I listened to her very patiently, for she aye ordered a dram, or a sowp kale, or something to us, after she had gien us a hearing on our duties. But deil a dram, or kale, or ony thing else—no sae muckle as a cup o' cauld water—do thae lords at Edinburgh gie us; and yet they are heading and hanging amang us, and trailing us after thae blackguard troopers, and taking our goods and gear as if we were outlaws. I canna say I tak it kind at their hands."

"It would be very strange if you did," answered Morton, with suppressed emotion.

"And what I like warst o' a'," continued poor Cuddie, "is thae ranting red-coats coming amang the lasses, and taking awa our joes. I had a sair heart o' my ain when I passed the Mains down at Tillietudlem this morning about parritch-time, and saw the reek comin' out at my ain lum-head, and kend there was some ither body than my auld mither sitting by the ingle-side. But I think my heart was e'en sairer, when I saw that hellicat trooper, Tam Halliday, kissing Jenny Dennison afore my face. I wonder women can hae the impudence to do sic things; but they are a' for the red-coats. Whiles I hae thought o' being a trooper mysell, when I thought naething else wad gae down wi' Jenny—and yet I'll no blame her ower muckle neither, for maybe it was a' for my sake that she loot Tam touzle her tap-knots that gate."

"For your sake?" said Morton, unable to refrain from taking some interest in a story which seemed to bear a singular coincidence with his own.

"E'en sae, Milnwood," replied Cuddie; "for the puir quean gat leave to come near me wi' speaking the loun fair, (d—n him, that I suld say sae!) and sae she bade me God speed, and she wanted to stap siller into my hand;—I'se warrant it was the tae half o' her fee and bountith, for she wared the ither half on pinners and pearlings to gang to see us shoot yon day at the popinjay."

"And did you take it, Cuddie?" said Morton.

"Troth did I no, Milnwood; I was sic a fule as to fling it back to her—my heart was ower grit to be behadden to her, when I had seen that loon slavering and kissing at her. But I was a great fule for my pains; it wad hae dune my mither and me some gude, and she'll ware't a' on duds and nonsense."

There was here a deep and long pause. Cuddie was probably engaged in regretting the rejection of his mistress's bounty, and Henry Morton in considering from what motives, or upon what conditions, Miss Bellenden had succeeded in procuring the interference of Lord Evandale in his favour.

Was it not possible, suggested his awakening hopes, that he had construed her influence over Lord Evandale hastily and unjustly? Ought he to censure her severely, if, submitting to dissimulation for his sake, she had permitted the young nobleman to entertain hopes which she had no intention to realize? Or what if she had appealed to the generosity which Lord Evandale was supposed to possess, and had engaged his honour to protect the person of a favoured rival?

Still, however, the words which he had overheard recurred ever and anon to his remembrance, with a pang which resembled the sting of an adder.

"Nothing that she could refuse him!—was it possible to make a more unlimited declaration of predilection? The language of affection has not, within the limits of maidenly delicacy, a stronger expression. She is lost to me wholly, and for ever; and nothing remains for me now, but vengeance for my own wrongs, and for those which are hourly inflicted on my country."

Apparently, Cuddie, though with less refinement, was following out a similar train of ideas; for he suddenly asked Morton in a low whisper—"Wad there be ony ill in getting out o' thae chields' hands an ane could compass it?"

"None in the world," said Morton; "and if an opportunity occurs of doing so, depend on it I for one will not let it slip."

"I'm blythe to hear ye say sae," answered Cuddie. "I'm but a puir silly fallow, but I canna think there wad be muckle ill in breaking out by strength o' hand, if ye could mak it ony thing feasible. I am the lad that will ne'er fear to lay on, if it were come to that; but our auld leddy wad hae ca'd that a resisting o' the king's authority."

"I will resist any authority on earth," said Morton, "that invades tyrannically my chartered rights as a freeman; and I am determined I will not be unjustly dragged to a jail, or perhaps a gibbet, if I can possibly make my escape from these men either by address or force."

"Weel, that's just my mind too, aye supposing we hae a feasible opportunity o' breaking loose. But then ye speak o' a charter; now these are things that only belang to the like o' you that are a gentleman, and it mightna bear me through that am but a husbandman."

"The charter that I speak of," said Morton, "is common to the meanest Scotchman. It is that freedom from stripes and bondage which was claimed, as you may read in Scripture, by the Apostle Paul himself, and which every man who is free-born is called upon to defend, for his own sake and that of his countrymen."

"Hegh, sirs!" replied Cuddie, "it wad hae been lang or my Leddy Margaret, or my mither either, wad hae fund out sic a wiselike doctrine in the Bible! The tane was aye graning about giving tribute to Caesar, and the tither is as daft wi' her whiggery. I hae been clean spoilt, just wi' listening to twa blethering auld wives; but if I could get a gentleman that wad let me tak on to be his servant, I am confident I wad be a clean contrary creature; and I hope your honour will think on what I am saying, if ye were ance fairly delivered out o' this house of bondage, and just take me to be your ain wally-de-shamble."

"My valet, Cuddie?" answered Morton; "alas! that would be sorry preferment, even if we were at liberty."

"I ken what ye're thinking—that because I am landward-bred, I wad be bringing ye to disgrace afore folk; but ye maun ken I'm gay gleg at the uptak; there was never ony thing dune wi' hand but I learned gay readily, 'septing reading, writing, and ciphering; but there's no the like o' me at the fit-ba', and I can play wi' the broadsword as weel as Corporal Inglis there. I hae broken his head or now, for as massy as he's riding ahint us.—And then ye'll no be gaun to stay in this country?"—said he, stopping and interrupting himself.

"Probably not," replied Morton.

"Weel, I carena a boddle. Ye see I wad get my mither bestowed wi' her auld graning tittie, auntie Meg, in the Gallowgate o' Glasgow, and then I trust they wad neither burn her for a witch, or let her fail for fau't o' fude, or hang her up for an auld whig wife; for the provost, they say, is very regardfu' o' sic puir bodies. And then you and me wad gang and pouss our fortunes, like the folk i' the daft auld tales about Jock the Giant-killer and Valentine and Orson; and we wad come back to merry Scotland, as the sang says, and I wad tak to the stilts again, and turn sic furs on the bonny rigs o' Milnwood holms, that it wad be worth a pint but to look at them."

"I fear," said Morton, "there is very little chance, my good friend Cuddie, of our getting back to our old occupation."

"Hout, stir—hout, stir," replied Cuddie, "it's aye gude to keep up a hardy heart—as broken a ship's come to land.—But what's that I hear? never stir, if my auld mither isna at the preaching again! I ken the sough o' her texts, that sound just like the wind blawing through the spence; and there's Kettledrummle setting to wark, too—Lordsake, if the sodgers anes get angry, they'll murder them baith, and us for company!"

Their farther conversation was in fact interrupted by a blatant noise which rose behind them, in which the voice of the preacher emitted, in unison with that of the old woman, tones like the grumble of a bassoon combined with the screaking of a cracked fiddle. At first, the aged pair of sufferers had been contented to condole with each other in smothered expressions of complaint and indignation; but the sense of their injuries became more pungently aggravated as they communicated with each other, and they became at length unable to suppress their ire.

"Woe, woe, and a threefold woe unto you, ye bloody and violent persecutors!" exclaimed the Reverend Gabriel Kettledrummle—"Woe, and threefold woe unto you, even to the breaking of seals, the blowing of trumpets, and the pouring forth of vials!"

"Ay—ay—a black cast to a' their ill-fa'ur'd faces, and the outside o' the loof to them at the last day!" echoed the shrill counter-tenor of Mause, falling in like the second part of a catch.

"I tell you," continued the divine, "that your rankings and your ridings—your neighings and your prancings—your bloody, barbarous, and inhuman cruelties—your benumbing, deadening, and debauching the conscience of poor creatures by oaths, soul-damning and self-contradictory, have arisen from earth to Heaven like a foul and hideous outcry of perjury for hastening the wrath to come—hugh! hugh! hugh!"

"And I say," cried Mause, in the same tune, and nearly at the same time, "that wi' this auld breath o' mine, and it's sair taen down wi' the asthmatics and this rough trot"—

"Deil gin they would gallop," said Cuddie, "wad it but gar her haud her tongue!"

"—Wi' this auld and brief breath," continued Mause, "will I testify against the backslidings, defections, defalcations, and declinings of the land—against the grievances and the causes of wrath!"

"Peace, I pr'ythee—Peace, good woman," said the preacher, who had just recovered from a violent fit of coughing, and found his own anathema borne down by Mause's better wind; "peace, and take not the word out of the mouth of a servant of the altar.—I say, I uplift my voice and tell you, that before the play is played out—ay, before this very sun gaes down, ye sall learn that neither a desperate Judas, like your prelate Sharpe that's gane to his place; nor a sanctuary-breaking Holofernes, like bloody-minded Claverhouse; nor an ambitious Diotrephes, like the lad Evandale; nor a covetous and warld-following Demas, like him they ca' Sergeant Bothwell, that makes every wife's plack and her meal-ark his ain; neither your carabines, nor your pistols, nor your broadswords, nor your horses, nor your saddles, bridles, surcingles, nose-bags, nor martingales, shall resist the arrows that are whetted and the bow that is bent against you!"

"That shall they never, I trow," echoed Mause; "castaways are they ilk ane o' them—besoms of destruction, fit only to be flung into the fire when they have sweepit the filth out o' the Temple—whips of small cords, knotted for the chastisement of those wha like their warldly gudes and gear better than the Cross or the Covenant, but when that wark's done, only meet to mak latchets to the deil's brogues."

"Fiend hae me," said Cuddie, addressing himself to Morton, "if I dinna think our mither preaches as weel as the minister!—But it's a sair pity o' his hoast, for it aye comes on just when he's at the best o't, and that lang routing he made air this morning, is sair again him too—Deil an I care if he wad roar her dumb, and then he wad hae't a' to answer for himsell—It's lucky the road's rough, and the troopers are no taking muckle tent to what they say, wi' the rattling o' the horse's feet; but an we were anes on saft grund, we'll hear news o' a' this."

Cuddie's conjecture were but too true. The words of the prisoners had not been much attended to while drowned by the clang of horses' hoofs on a rough and stony road; but they now entered upon the moorlands, where the testimony of the two zealous captives lacked this saving accompaniment. And, accordingly, no sooner had their steeds begun to tread heath and green sward, and Gabriel Kettledrummle had again raised his voice with, "Also I uplift my voice like that of a pelican in the wilderness"—

"And I mine," had issued from Mause, "like a sparrow on the house-tops"—

When "Hollo, ho!" cried the corporal from the rear; "rein up your tongues, the devil blister them, or I'll clap a martingale on them."

"I will not peace at the commands of the profane," said Gabriel.

"Nor I neither," said Mause, "for the bidding of no earthly potsherd, though it be painted as red as a brick from the Tower of Babel, and ca' itsell a corporal."

"Halliday," cried the corporal, "hast got never a gag about thee, man?—We must stop their mouths before they talk us all dead."

Ere any answer could be made, or any measure taken in consequence of the corporal's motion, a dragoon galloped towards Sergeant Bothwell, who was considerably a-head of the party he commanded. On hearing the orders which he brought, Bothwell instantly rode back to the head of his party, ordered them to close their files, to mend their pace, and to move with silence and precaution, as they would soon be in presence of the enemy.


               Quantum in nobis, we've thought good
               To save the expense of Christian blood,
               And try if we, by mediation
               Of treaty, and accommodation,
               Can end the quarrel, and compose
               This bloody duel without blows.

The increased pace of the party of horsemen soon took away from their zealous captives the breath, if not the inclination, necessary for holding forth. They had now for more than a mile got free of the woodlands, whose broken glades had, for some time, accompanied them after they had left the woods of Tillietudlem. A few birches and oaks still feathered the narrow ravines, or occupied in dwarf-clusters the hollow plains of the moor. But these were gradually disappearing; and a wide and waste country lay before them, swelling into bare hills of dark heath, intersected by deep gullies; being the passages by which torrents forced their course in winter, and during summer the disproportioned channels for diminutive rivulets that winded their puny way among heaps of stones and gravel, the effects and tokens of their winter fury;—like so many spendthrifts dwindled down by the consequences of former excesses and extravagance. This desolate region seemed to extend farther than the eye could reach, without grandeur, without even the dignity of mountain wildness, yet striking, from the huge proportion which it seemed to bear to such more favoured spots of the country as were adapted to cultivation, and fitted for the support of man; and thereby impressing irresistibly the mind of the spectator with a sense of the omnipotence of nature, and the comparative inefficacy of the boasted means of amelioration which man is capable of opposing to the disadvantages of climate and soil.

It is a remarkable effect of such extensive wastes, that they impose an idea of solitude even upon those who travel through them in considerable numbers; so much is the imagination affected by the disproportion between the desert around and the party who are traversing it. Thus the members of a caravan of a thousand souls may feel, in the deserts of Africa or Arabia, a sense of loneliness unknown to the individual traveller, whose solitary course is through a thriving and cultivated country.

It was not, therefore, without a peculiar feeling of emotion, that Morton beheld, at the distance of about half a mile, the body of the cavalry to which his escort belonged, creeping up a steep and winding path which ascended from the more level moor into the hills. Their numbers, which appeared formidable when they crowded through narrow roads, and seemed multiplied by appearing partially, and at different points, among the trees, were now apparently diminished by being exposed at once to view, and in a landscape whose extent bore such immense proportion to the columns of horses and men, which, showing more like a drove of black cattle than a body of soldiers, crawled slowly along the face of the hill, their force and their numbers seeming trifling and contemptible.

"Surely," said Morton to himself, "a handful of resolute men may defend any defile in these mountains against such a small force as this is, providing that their bravery is equal to their enthusiasm."

While he made these reflections, the rapid movement of the horsemen who guarded him, soon traversed the space which divided them from their companions; and ere the front of Claverhouse's column had gained the brow of the hill which they had been seen ascending, Bothwell, with his rearguard and prisoners, had united himself, or nearly so, with the main body led by his commander. The extreme difficulty of the road, which was in some places steep, and in others boggy, retarded the progress of the column, especially in the rear; for the passage of the main body, in many instances, poached up the swamps through which they passed, and rendered them so deep, that the last of their followers were forced to leave the beaten path, and find safer passage where they could.

On these occasions, the distresses of the Reverend Gabriel Kettledrummle and of Mause Headrigg, were considerably augmented, as the brutal troopers, by whom they were guarded, compelled them, at all risks which such inexperienced riders were likely to incur, to leap their horses over drains and gullies, or to push them through morasses and swamps.

"Through the help of the Lord I have luppen ower a wall," cried poor Mause, as her horse was, by her rude attendants, brought up to leap the turf enclosure of a deserted fold, in which feat her curch flew off, leaving her grey hairs uncovered.

"I am sunk in deep mire where there is no standing—I am come into deep waters where the floods overflow me," exclaimed Kettledrummle, as the charger on which he was mounted plunged up to the saddle-girths in a well-head, as the springs are called which supply the marshes, the sable streams beneath spouting over the face and person of the captive preacher.

These exclamations excited shouts of laughter among their military attendants; but events soon occurred which rendered them all sufficiently serious.

The leading files of the regiment had nearly attained the brow of the steep hill we have mentioned, when two or three horsemen, speedily discovered to be a part of their own advanced guard, who had acted as a patrol, appeared returning at full gallop, their horses much blown, and the men apparently in a disordered flight. They were followed upon the spur by five or six riders, well armed with sword and pistol, who halted upon the top of the hill, on observing the approach of the Life-Guards. One or two who had carabines dismounted, and, taking a leisurely and deliberate aim at the foremost rank of the regiment, discharged their pieces, by which two troopers were wounded, one severely. They then mounted their horses, and disappeared over the ridge of the hill, retreating with so much coolness as evidently showed, that, on the one hand, they were undismayed by the approach of so considerable a force as was moving against them, and conscious, on the other, that they were supported by numbers sufficient for their protection. This incident occasioned a halt through the whole body of cavalry; and while Claverhouse himself received the report of his advanced guard, which had been thus driven back upon the main body, Lord Evandale advanced to the top of the ridge over which the enemy's horsemen had retired, and Major Allan, Cornet Grahame, and the other officers, employed themselves in extricating the regiment from the broken ground, and drawing them up on the side of the hill in two lines, the one to support the other.

The word was then given to advance; and in a few minutes the first lines stood on the brow and commanded the prospect on the other side. The second line closed upon them, and also the rear-guard with the prisoners; so that Morton and his companions in captivity could, in like manner, see the form of opposition which was now offered to the farther progress of their captors.

The brow of the hill, on which the royal Life-Guards were now drawn up, sloped downwards (on the side opposite to that which they had ascended) with a gentle declivity, for more than a quarter of a mile, and presented ground, which, though unequal in some places, was not altogether unfavourable for the manoeuvres of cavalry, until near the bottom, when the slope terminated in a marshy level, traversed through its whole length by what seemed either a natural gully, or a deep artificial drain, the sides of which were broken by springs, trenches filled with water, out of which peats and turf had been dug, and here and there by some straggling thickets of alders which loved the moistness so well, that they continued to live as bushes, although too much dwarfed by the sour soil and the stagnant bog-water to ascend into trees. Beyond this ditch, or gully, the ground arose into a second heathy swell, or rather hill, near to the foot of which, and' as if with the object of defending the broken ground and ditch that covered their front, the body of insurgents appeared to be drawn up with the purpose of abiding battle.

Their infantry was divided into three lines. The first, tolerably provided with fire-arms, were advanced almost close to the verge of the bog, so that their fire must necessarily annoy the royal cavalry as they descended the opposite hill, the whole front of which was exposed, and would probably be yet more fatal if they attempted to cross the morass. Behind this first line was a body of pikemen, designed for their support in case the dragoons should force the passage of the marsh. In their rear was their third line, consisting of countrymen armed with scythes set straight on poles, hay-forks, spits, clubs, goads, fish-spears, and such other rustic implements as hasty resentment had converted into instruments of war. On each flank of the infantry, but a little backward from the bog, as if to allow themselves dry and sound ground whereon to act in case their enemies should force the pass, there was drawn up a small body of cavalry, who were, in general, but indifferently armed, and worse mounted, but full of zeal for the cause, being chiefly either landholders of small property, or farmers of the better class, whose means enabled them to serve on horseback. A few of those who had been engaed in driving back the advanced guard of the royalists, might now be seen returning slowly towards their own squadrons. These were the only individuals of the insurgent army which seemed to be in motion. All the others stood firm and motionless, as the grey stones that lay scattered on the heath around them.

The total number of the insurgents might amount to about a thousand men; but of these there were scarce a hundred cavalry, nor were the half of them even tolerably armed. The strength of their position, however, the sense of their having taken a desperate step, the superiority of their numbers, but, above all, the ardour of their enthusiasm, were the means on which their leaders reckoned, for supplying the want of arms, equipage, and military discipline.

On the side of the hill that rose above the array of battle which they had adopted, were seen the women and even the children, whom zeal, opposed to persecution, had driven into the wilderness. They seemed stationed there to be spectators of the engagement, by which their own fate, as well as that of their parents, husbands, and sons, was to be decided. Like the females of the ancient German tribes, the shrill cries which they raised, when they beheld the glittering ranks of their enemy appear on the brow of the opposing eminence, acted as an incentive to their relatives to fight to the last in defence of that which was dearest to them. Such exhortations seemed to have their full and emphatic effect; for a wild halloo, which went from rank to rank on the appearance of the soldiers, intimated the resolution of the insurgents to fight to the uttermost.

As the horsemen halted their lines on the ridge of the hill, their trumpets and kettle-drums sounded a bold and warlike flourish of menace and defiance, that rang along the waste like the shrill summons of a destroying angel. The wanderers, in answer, united their voices, and sent forth, in solemn modulation, the two first verses of the seventy-sixth Psalm, according to the metrical version of the Scottish Kirk:

                    "In Judah's land God is well known,
                    His name's in Israel great:
                    In Salem is his tabernacle,
                    In Zion is his seat.
                    There arrows of the bow he brake,
                    The shield, the sword, the war.
                    More glorious thou than hills of prey,
                    More excellent art far."

A shout, or rather a solemn acclamation, attended the close of the stanza; and after a dead pause, the second verse was resumed by the insurgents, who applied the destruction of the Assyrians as prophetical of the issue of their own impending contest:—

               "Those that were stout of heart are spoil'd,
               They slept their sleep outright;
               And none of those their hands did find,
               That were the men of might.

               When thy rebuke, O Jacob's God,
               Had forth against them past,
               Their horses and their chariots both
               Were in a deep sleep cast."

There was another acclamation, which was followed by the most profound silence.

While these solemn sounds, accented by a thousand voices, were prolonged amongst the waste hills, Claverhouse looked with great attention on the ground, and on the order of battle which the wanderers had adopted, and in which they determined to await the assault.

"The churls," he said, "must have some old soldiers with them; it was no rustic that made choice of that ground."

"Burley is said to be with them for certain," answered Lord Evandale, "and also Hackston of Rathillet, Paton of Meadowhead, Cleland, and some other men of military skill."

"I judged as much," said Claverhouse, "from the style in which these detached horsemen leapt their horses over the ditch, as they returned to their position. It was easy to see that there were a few roundheaded troopers amongst them, the true spawn of the old Covenant. We must manage this matter warily as well as boldly. Evandale, let the officers come to this knoll."

He moved to a small moss-grown cairn, probably the resting-place of some Celtic chief of other times, and the call of "Officers to the front," soon brought them around their commander.

"I do not call you around me, gentlemen," said Claverhouse, "in the formal capacity of a council of war, for I will never turn over on others the responsibility which my rank imposes on myself. I only want the benefit of your opinions, reserving to myself, as most men do when they ask advice, the liberty of following my own.—What say you, Cornet Grahame? Shall we attack these fellows who are bellowing younder? You are youngest and hottest, and therefore will speak first whether I will or no."

"Then," said Cornet Grahame, "while I have the honour to carry the standard of the Life-Guards, it shall never, with my will, retreat before rebels. I say, charge, in God's name and the King's!"

"And what say you, Allan?" continued Claverhouse, "for Evandale is so modest, we shall never get him to speak till you have said what you have to say."

"These fellows," said Major Allan, an old cavalier officer of experience, "are three or four to one—I should not mind that much upon a fair field, but they are posted in a very formidable strength, and show no inclination to quit it. I therefore think, with deference to Cornet Grahame's opinion, that we should draw back to Tillietudlem, occupy the pass between the hills and the open country, and send for reinforcements to my Lord Ross, who is lying at Glasgow with a regiment of infantry. In this way we should cut them off from the Strath of Clyde, and either compel them to come out of their stronghold, and give us battle on fair terms, or, if they remain here, we will attack them so soon as our infantry has joined us, and enabled us to act with effect among these ditches, bogs, and quagmires."

"Pshaw!" said the young Cornet, "what signifies strong ground, when it is only held by a crew of canting, psalm-singing old women?"

"A man may fight never the worse," retorted Major Allan, "for honouring both his Bible and Psalter. These fellows will prove as stubborn as steel; I know them of old."

"Their nasal psalmody," said the Cornet, "reminds our Major of the race of Dunbar."

"Had you been at that race, young man," retorted Allan, "you would have wanted nothing to remind you of it for the longest day you have to live."

"Hush, hush, gentlemen," said Claverhouse, "these are untimely repartees.—I should like your advice well, Major Allan, had our rascally patrols (whom I will see duly punished) brought us timely notice of the enemy's numbers and position. But having once presented ourselves before them in line, the retreat of the Life-Guards would argue gross timidity, and be the general signal for insurrection throughout the west. In which case, so far from obtaining any assistance from my Lord Ross, I promise you I should have great apprehensions of his being cut off before we can join him, or he us. A retreat would have quite the same fatal effect upon the king's cause as the loss of a battle—and as to the difference of risk or of safety it might make with respect to ourselves, that, I am sure, no gentleman thinks a moment about. There must be some gorges or passes in the morass through which we can force our way; and, were we once on firm ground, I trust there is no man in the Life-Guards who supposes our squadrons, though so weak in numbers, are unable to trample into dust twice the number of these unpractised clowns.—What say you, my Lord Evandale?"

"I humbly think," said Lord Evandale, "that, go the day how it will, it must be a bloody one; and that we shall lose many brave fellows, and probably be obliged to slaughter a great number of these misguided men, who, after all, are Scotchmen and subjects of King Charles as well as we are."

"Rebels! rebels! and undeserving the name either of Scotchmen or of subjects," said Claverhouse; "but come, my lord, what does your opinion point at?"

"To enter into a treaty with these ignorant and misled men," said the young nobleman.

"A treaty! and with rebels having arms in their hands? Never while I live," answered his commander.

"At least send a trumpet and flag of truce, summoning them to lay down their weapons and disperse," said Lord Evandale, "upon promise of a free pardon—I have always heard, that had that been done before the battle of Pentland hills, much blood might have been saved."

"Well," said Claverhouse, "and who the devil do you think would carry a summons to these headstrong and desperate fanatics? They acknowledge no laws of war. Their leaders, who have been all most active in the murder of the Archbishop of St Andrews, fight with a rope round their necks, and are likely to kill the messenger, were it but to dip their followers in loyal blood, and to make them as desperate of pardon as themselves."

"I will go myself," said Evandale, "if you will permit me. I have often risked my blood to spill that of others, let me do so now in order to save human lives."

"You shall not go on such an errand, my lord," said Claverhouse; "your rank and situation render your safety of too much consequence to the country in an age when good principles are so rare.—Here's my brother's son Dick Grahame, who fears shot or steel as little as if the devil had given him armour of proof against it, as the fanatics say he has given to his uncle.

     [Note:  Cornet Grahame. There was actually a young cornet of the
     Life-Guards named Grahame, and probably some relation of
     Claverhouse, slain in the skirmish of Drumclog. In the old ballad on
     the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, Claverhouse is said to have continued
     the slaughter of the fugitives in revenge of this gentleman's death.

     "Haud up your hand," then Monmouth said; "Gie quarters to these men
     for me;" But bloody Claver'se swore an oath, His kinsman's death
     avenged should be.

     The body of this young man was found shockingly mangled after the
     battle, his eyes pulled out, and his features so much defaced, that
     it was impossible to recognise him. The Tory writers say that this
     was done by the Whigs; because, finding the name Grahame wrought in
     the young gentleman's neckcloth, they took the corpse for that of
     Claver'se himself. The Whig authorities give a different account,
     from tradition, of the cause of Cornet Grahame's body being thus
     mangled. He had, say they, refused his own dog any food on the
     morning of the battle, affirming, with an oath, that he should have
     no breakfast but upon the flesh of the Whigs. The ravenous animal,
     it is said, flew at his master as soon as he fell, and lacerated his
     face and throat.

     These two stories are presented to the reader, leaving it to him to
     judge whether it is most likely that a party of persecuted and
     insurgent fanatics should mangle a body supposed to be that of their
     chief enemy, in the same manner as several persons present at
     Drumclog had shortly before treated the person of Archbishop Sharpe;
     or that a domestic dog should, for want of a single breakfast,
     become so ferocious as to feed on his own master, selecting his body
     from scores that were lying around, equally accessible to his
     ravenous appetite.]

He shall take a flag of truce and a trumpet, and ride down to the edge of the morass to summon them to lay down their arms and disperse."

"With all my soul, Colonel," answered the Cornet; "and I'll tie my cravat on a pike to serve for a white flag—the rascals never saw such a pennon of Flanders lace in their lives before."

"Colonel Grahame," said Evandale, while the young officer prepared for his expedition, "this young gentleman is your nephew and your apparent heir; for God's sake, permit me to go. It was my counsel, and I ought to stand the risk."

"Were he my only son," said Claverhouse, "this is no cause and no time to spare him. I hope my private affections will never interfere with my public duty. If Dick Grahame falls, the loss is chiefly mine; were your lordship to die, the King and country would be the sufferers.—Come, gentlemen, each to his post. If our summons is unfavourably received, we will instantly attack; and, as the old Scottish blazon has it, God shaw the right!"


               With many a stout thwack and many a bang,
               Hard crab-tree and old iron rang.

Cornet Richard Grahame descended the hill, bearing in his hand the extempore flag of truce, and making his managed horse keep time by bounds and curvets to the tune which he whistled. The trumpeter followed. Five or six horsemen, having something the appearance of officers, detached themselves from each flank of the Presbyterian army, and, meeting in the centre, approached the ditch which divided the hollow as near as the morass would permit. Towards this group, but keeping the opposite side of the swamp, Cornet Grahame directed his horse, his motions being now the conspicuous object of attention to both armies; and, without disparagement to the courage of either, it is probable there was a general wish on both sides that this embassy might save the risks and bloodshed of the impending conflict.

When he had arrived right opposite to those, who, by their advancing to receive his message, seemed to take upon themselves as the leaders of the enemy, Cornet Grahame commanded his trumpeter to sound a parley. The insurgents having no instrument of martial music wherewith to make the appropriate reply, one of their number called out with a loud, strong voice, demanding to know why he approached their leaguer.

"To summon you in the King's name, and in that of Colonel John Grahame of Claverhouse, specially commissioned by the right honourable Privy Council of Scotland," answered the Cornet, "to lay down your arms, and dismiss the followers whom ye have led into rebellion, contrary to the laws of God, of the King, and of the country."

"Return to them that sent thee," said the insurgent leader, "and tell them that we are this day in arms for a broken Covenant and a persecuted Kirk; tell them that we renounce the licentious and perjured Charles Stewart, whom you call king, even as he renounced the Covenant, after having once and again sworn to prosecute to the utmost of his power all the ends thereof, really, constantly, and sincerely, all the days of his life, having no enemies but the enemies of the Covenant, and no friends but its friends. Whereas, far from keeping the oath he had called God and angels to witness, his first step, after his incoming into these kingdoms, was the fearful grasping at the prerogative of the Almighty, by that hideous Act of Supremacy, together with his expulsing, without summons, libel, or process of law, hundreds of famous faithful preachers, thereby wringing the bread of life out of the mouth of hungry, poor creatures, and forcibly cramming their throats with the lifeless, saltless, foisonless, lukewarm drammock of the fourteen false prelates, and their sycophantic, formal, carnal, scandalous creature-curates."

"I did not come to hear you preach," answered the officer, "but to know, in one word, if you will disperse yourselves, on condition of a free pardon to all but the murderers of the late Archbishop of St Andrews; or whether you will abide the attack of his majesty's forces, which will instantly advance upon you."

"In one word, then," answered the spokesman, "we are here with our swords on our thighs, as men that watch in the night. We will take one part and portion together, as brethren in righteousness. Whosoever assails us in our good cause, his blood be on his own head. So return to them that sent thee, and God give them and thee a sight of the evil of your ways!"

"Is not your name," said the Cornet, who began to recollect having seen the person whom he was now speaking with, "John Balfour of Burley?"

"And if it be," said the spokesman, "hast thou aught to say against it?"

"Only," said the Cornet, "that, as you are excluded from pardon in the name of the King and of my commanding officer, it is to these country people, and not to you, that I offer it; and it is not with you, or such as you, that I am sent to treat."

"Thou art a young soldier, friend," said Burley, "and scant well learned in thy trade, or thou wouldst know that the bearer of a flag of truce cannot treat with the army but through their officers; and that if he presume to do otherwise, he forfeits his safe conduct."

While speaking these words, Burley unslung his carabine, and held it in readiness.

"I am not to be intimidated from the discharge of my duty by the menaces of a murderer," said Cornet Grahame.—"Hear me, good people; I proclaim, in the name of the King and of my commanding officer, full and free pardon to all, excepting"—

"I give thee fair warning," said Burley, presenting his piece.

"A free pardon to all," continued the young officer, still addressing the body of the insurgents—"to all but"—

"Then the Lord grant grace to thy soul—amen!" said Burley.

With these words he fired, and Cornet Richard Grahame dropped from his horse. The shot was mortal. The unfortunate young gentleman had only strength to turn himself on the ground and mutter forth, "My poor mother!" when life forsook him in the effort. His startled horse fled back to the regiment at the gallop, as did his scarce less affrighted attendant.

"What have you done?" said one of Balfour's brother officers.

"My duty," said Balfour, firmly. "Is it not written, Thou shalt be zealous even to slaying? Let those, who dare, now venture to speak of truce or pardon!"

Claverhouse saw his nephew fall. He turned his eye on Evandale, while a transitory glance of indescribable emotion disturbed, for a second's space, the serenity of his features, and briefly said, "You see the event."

"I will avenge him, or die!" exclaimed Evandale; and, putting his horse into motion, rode furiously down the hill, followed by his own troop, and that of the deceased Cornet, which broke down without orders; and, each striving to be the foremost to revenge their young officer, their ranks soon fell into confusion. These forces formed the first line of the royalists. It was in vain that Claverhouse exclaimed, "Halt! halt! this rashness will undo us." It was all that he could accomplish, by galloping along the second line, entreating, commanding, and even menacing the men with his sword, that he could restrain them from following an example so contagious.

"Allan," he said, as soon as he had rendered the men in some degree more steady, "lead them slowly down the hill to support Lord Evandale, who is about to need it very much.—Bothwell, thou art a cool and a daring fellow"—

"Ay," muttered Bothwell, "you can remember that in a moment like this."

"Lead ten file up the hollow to the right," continued his commanding officer, "and try every means to get through the bog; then form and charge the rebels in flank and rear, while they are engaged with us in front."

Bothwell made a signal of intelligence and obedience, and moved off with his party at a rapid pace.

Meantime, the disaster which Claverhouse had apprehended, did not fail to take place. The troopers, who, with Lord Evandale, had rushed down upon the enemy, soon found their disorderly career interrupted by the impracticable character of the ground. Some stuck fast in the morass as they attempted to struggle through, some recoiled from the attempt and remained on the brink, others dispersed to seek a more favourable place to pass the swamp. In the midst of this confusion, the first line of the enemy, of which the foremost rank knelt, the second stooped, and the third stood upright, poured in a close and destructive fire that emptied at least a score of saddles, and increased tenfold the disorder into which the horsemen had fallen. Lord Evandale, in the meantime, at the head of a very few well-mounted men, had been able to clear the ditch, but was no sooner across than he was charged by the left body of the enemy's cavalry, who, encouraged by the small number of opponents that had made their way through the broken ground, set upon them with the utmost fury, crying, "Woe, woe to the uncircumcised Philistines! down with Dagon and all his adherents!"

The young nobleman fought like a lion; but most of his followers were killed, and he himself could not have escaped the same fate but for a heavy fire of carabines, which Claverhouse, who had now advanced with the second line near to the ditch, poured so effectually upon the enemy, that both horse and foot for a moment began to shrink, and Lord Evandale, disengaged from his unequal combat, and finding himself nearly alone, took the opportunity to effect his retreat through the morass. But notwithstanding the loss they had sustained by Claverhouse's first fire, the insurgents became soon aware that the advantage of numbers and of position were so decidedly theirs, that, if they could but persist in making a brief but resolute defence, the Life-Guards must necessarily be defeated. Their leaders flew through their ranks, exhorting them to stand firm, and pointing out how efficacious their fire must be where both men and horse were exposed to it; for the troopers, according to custom, fired without having dismounted. Claverhouse, more than once, when he perceived his best men dropping by a fire which they could not effectually return, made desperate efforts to pass the bog at various points, and renew the battle on firm ground and fiercer terms. But the close fire of the insurgents, joined to the natural difficulties of the pass, foiled his attempts in every point.

"We must retreat," he said to Evandale, "unless Bothwell can effect a diversion in our favour. In the meantime, draw the men out of fire, and leave skirmishers behind these patches of alderbushes to keep the enemy in check."

These directions being accomplished, the appearance of Bothwell with his party was earnestly expected. But Bothwell had his own disadvantages to struggle with. His detour to the right had not escaped the penetrating observation of Burley, who made a corresponding movement with the left wing of the mounted insurgents, so that when Bothwell, after riding a considerable way up the valley, found a place at which the bog could be passed, though with some difficulty, he perceived he was still in front of a superior enemy. His daring character was in no degree checked by this unexpected opposition.

"Follow me, my lads!" he called to his men; "never let it be said that we turned our backs before these canting roundheads!"

With that, as if inspired by the spirit of his ancestors, he shouted, "Bothwell! Bothwell!" and throwing himself into the morass, he struggled through it at the head of his party, and attacked that of Burley with such fury, that he drove them back above a pistol-shot, killing three men with his own hand. Burley, perceiving the consequences of a defeat on this point, and that his men, though more numerous, were unequal to the regulars in using their arms and managing their horses, threw himself across Bothwell's way, and attacked him hand to hand. Each of the combatants was considered as the champion of his respective party, and a result ensued more usual in romance than in real story. Their followers, on either side, instantly paused, and looked on as if the fate of the day were to be decided by the event of the combat between these two redoubted swordsmen. The combatants themselves seemed of the same opinion; for, after two or three eager cuts and pushes had been exchanged, they paused, as if by joint consent, to recover the breath which preceding exertions had exhausted, and to prepare for a duel in which each seemed conscious he had met his match.

The Duel

"You are the murdering villain, Burley," said Bothwell, griping his sword firmly, and setting his teeth close—"you escaped me once, but"—(he swore an oath too tremendous to be written down)—"thy head is worth its weight of silver, and it shall go home at my saddle-bow, or my saddle shall go home empty for me."

"Yes," replied Burley, with stern and gloomy deliberation, "I am that John Balfour, who promised to lay thy head where thou shouldst never lift it again; and God do so unto me, and more also, if I do not redeem my word!"

"Then a bed of heather, or a thousand merks!" said Bothwell, striking at Burley with his full force.

"The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" answered Balfour, as he parried and returned the blow.

There have seldom met two combatants more equally matched in strength of body, skill in the management of their weapons and horses, determined courage, and unrelenting hostility. After exchanging many desperate blows, each receiving and inflicting several wounds, though of no great consequence, they grappled together as if with the desperate impatience of mortal hate, and Bothwell, seizing his enemy by the shoulder-belt, while the grasp of Balfour was upon his own collar, they came headlong to the ground. The companions of Burley hastened to his assistance, but were repelled by the dragoons, and the battle became again general. But nothing could withdraw the attention of the combatants from each other, or induce them to unclose the deadly clasp in which they rolled together on the ground, tearing, struggling, and foaming, with the inveteracy of thorough-bred bull-dogs.

Several horses passed over them in the melee without their quitting hold of each other, until the sword-arm of Bothwell was broken by the kick of a charger. He then relinquished his grasp with a deep and suppressed groan, and both combatants started to their feet. Bothwell's right hand dropped helpless by his side, but his left griped to the place where his dagger hung; it had escaped from the sheath in the struggle,—and, with a look of mingled rage and despair, he stood totally defenceless, as Balfour, with a laugh of savage joy, flourished his sword aloft, and then passed it through his adversary's body. Bothwell received the thrust without falling—it had only grazed on his ribs. He attempted no farther defence, but, looking at Burley with a grin of deadly hatred, exclaimed—"Base peasant churl, thou hast spilt the blood of a line of kings!"

"Die, wretch!—die!" said Balfour, redoubling the thrust with better aim; and, setting his foot on Bothwell's body as he fell, he a third time transfixed him with his sword.—"Die, bloodthirsty dog! die as thou hast lived!—die, like the beasts that perish—hoping nothing—believing nothing—"

"And fearing nothing!" said Bothwell, collecting the last effort of respiration to utter these desperate words, and expiring as soon as they were spoken.

To catch a stray horse by the bridle, throw himself upon it, and rush to the assistance of his followers, was, with Burley, the affair of a moment. And as the fall of Bothwell had given to the insurgents all the courage of which it had deprived his comrades, the issue of this partial contest did not remain long undecided. Several soldiers were slain, the rest driven back over the morass and dispersed, and the victorious Burley, with his party, crossed it in their turn, to direct against Claverhouse the very manoeuvre which he had instructed Bothwell to execute. He now put his troop in order, with the view of attacking the right wing of the royalists; and, sending news of his success to the main body, exhorted them, in the name of Heaven, to cross the marsh, and work out the glorious work of the Lord by a general attack upon the enemy.

Meanwhile, Claverhouse, who had in some degree remedied the confusion occasioned by the first irregular and unsuccessful attack, and reduced the combat in front to a distant skirmish with firearms, chiefly maintained by some dismounted troopers whom he had posted behind the cover of the shrub-by copses of alders, which in some places covered the edge of the morass, and whose close, cool, and well-aimed fire greatly annoyed the enemy, and concealed their own deficiency of numbers,—Claverhouse, while he maintained the contest in this manner, still expecting that a diversion by Bothwell and his party might facilitate a general attack, was accosted by one of the dragoons, whose bloody face and jaded horse bore witness he was come from hard service.

"What is the matter, Halliday?" said Claverhouse, for he knew every man in his regiment by name—"Where is Bothwell?"

"Bothwell is down," replied Halliday, "and many a pretty fellow with him."

"Then the king," said Claverhouse, with his usual composure, "has lost a stout soldier.—The enemy have passed the marsh, I suppose?"

"With a strong body of horse, commanded by the devil incarnate that killed Bothwell," answered the terrified soldier.

"Hush! hush!" said Claverhouse, putting his finger on his lips, "not a word to any one but me.—Lord Evandale, we must retreat. The fates will have it so. Draw together the men that are dispersed in the skirmishing work. Let Allan form the regiment, and do you two retreat up the hill in two bodies, each halting alternately as the other falls back. I'll keep the rogues in check with the rear-guard, making a stand and facing from time to time. They will be over the ditch presently, for I see their whole line in motion and preparing to cross; therefore lose no time."

"Where is Bothwell with his party?" said Lord Evandale, astonished at the coolness of his commander.

"Fairly disposed of," said Claverhouse, in his ear—"the king has lost a servant, and the devil has got one. But away to business, Evandale—ply your spurs and get the men together. Allan and you must keep them steady. This retreating is new work for us all; but our turn will come round another day."

Evandale and Allan betook themselves to their task; but ere they had arranged the regiment for the purpose of retreating in two alternate bodies, a considerable number of the enemy had crossed the marsh. Claverhouse, who had retained immediately around his person a few of his most active and tried men, charged those who had crossed in person, while they were yet disordered by the broken ground. Some they killed, others they repulsed into the morass, and checked the whole so as to enable the main body, now greatly diminished, as well as disheartened by the loss they had sustained, to commence their retreat up the hill.

But the enemy's van being soon reinforced and supported, compelled Claverhouse to follow his troops. Never did man, however, better maintain the character of a soldier than he did that day. Conspicuous by his black horse and white feather, he was first in the repeated charges which he made at every favourable opportunity, to arrest the progress of the pursuers, and to cover the retreat of his regiment. The object of aim to every one, he seemed as if he were impassive to their shot. The superstitious fanatics, who looked upon him as a man gifted by the Evil Spirit with supernatural means of defence, averred that they saw the bullets recoil from his jack-boots and buff-coat like hailstones from a rock of granite, as he galloped to and fro amid the storm of the battle. Many a whig that day loaded his musket with a dollar cut into slugs, in order that a silver bullet (such was their belief) might bring down the persecutor of the holy kirk, on whom lead had no power.

"Try him with the cold steel," was the cry at every renewed charge—"powder is wasted on him. Ye might as weel shoot at the Auld Enemy himsell."

     [Note: Proof against Shot given by Satan. The belief of the
     Covenanters that their principal enemies, and Claverhouse in
     particular, had obtained from the Devil a charm which rendered them
     proof against leaden bullets, led them to pervert even the
     circumstances of his death. Howie of Lochgoin, after giving some
     account of the battle of Killicrankie, adds:

     "The battle was very bloody, and by Mackay's third fire, Claverhouse
     fell, of whom historians give little account; but it has been said
     for certain, that his own waiting-servant, taking a resolution to
     rid the world of this truculent bloody monster, and knowing he had
     proof of lead, shot him with a silver button he had before taken off
     his own coat for that purpose. However, he fell, and with him
     Popery, and King James's interest in Scotland."—God's Judgment on
     Persecutors, p. xxxix.

     Original note.—"Perhaps some may think this anent proof of a shot a
     paradox, and be ready to object here, as formerly, concerning Bishop
     Sharpe and Dalziel—'How can the Devil have or give a power to save
     life?' Without entering upon the thing in its reality, I shall only
     observe, 1st, That it is neither in his power, or of his nature, to
     be a saviour of men's lives; he is called Apollyon the destroyer.
     2d, That even in this case he is said only to give enchantment
     against one kind of metal, and this does not save life: for the lead
     would not take Sharpe or Claverhouse's lives, yet steel and silver
     would do it; and for Dalziel, though he died not on the field, he
     did not escape the arrows of the Almighty."—Ibidem.]

But though this was loudly shouted, yet the awe on the insurgents' minds was such, that they gave way before Claverhouse as before a supernatural being, and few men ventured to cross swords with him. Still, however, he was fighting in retreat, and with all the disadvantages attending that movement. The soldiers behind him, as they beheld the increasing number of enemies who poured over the morass, became unsteady; and, at every successive movement, Major Allan and Lord Evandale found it more and more difficult to bring them to halt and form line regularly, while, on the other hand, their motions in the act of retreating became, by degrees, much more rapid than was consistent with good order. As the retiring soldiers approached nearer to the top of the ridge, from which in so luckless an hour they had descended, the panic began to increase. Every one became impatient to place the brow of the hill between him and the continued fire of the pursuers; nor could any individual think it reasonable that he should be the last in the retreat, and thus sacrifice his own safety for that of others. In this mood, several troopers set spurs to their horses and fled outright, and the others became so unsteady in their movements and formations, that their officers every moment feared they would follow the same example.

Amid this scene of blood and confusion, the trampling of the horses, the groans of the wounded, the continued fire of the enemy, which fell in a succession of unintermitted musketry, while loud shouts accompanied each bullet which the fall of a trooper showed to have been successfully aimed—amid all the terrors and disorders of such a scene, and when it was dubious how soon they might be totally deserted by their dispirited soldiery, Evandale could not forbear remarking the composure of his commanding officer. Not at Lady Margaret's breakfast-table that morning did his eye appear more lively, or his demeanour more composed. He had closed up to Evandale for the purpose of giving some orders, and picking out a few men to reinforce his rear-guard.

"If this bout lasts five minutes longer," he said, in a whisper, "our rogues will leave you, my lord, old Allan, and myself, the honour of fighting this battle with our own hands. I must do something to disperse the musketeers who annoy them so hard, or we shall be all shamed. Don't attempt to succour me if you see me go down, but keep at the head of your men; get off as you can, in God's name, and tell the king and the council I died in my duty!"

So saying, and commanding about twenty stout men to follow him, he gave, with this small body, a charge so desperate and unexpected, that he drove the foremost of the pursuers back to some distance. In the confusion of the assault he singled out Burley, and, desirous to strike terror into his followers, he dealt him so severe a blow on the head, as cut through his steel head-piece, and threw him from his horse, stunned for the moment, though unwounded. A wonderful thing it was afterwards thought, that one so powerful as Balfour should have sunk under the blow of a man, to appearance so slightly made as Claverhouse; and the vulgar, of course, set down to supernatural aid the effect of that energy, which a determined spirit can give to a feebler arm. Claverhouse had, in this last charge, however, involved himself too deeply among the insurgents, and was fairly surrounded.

Lord Evandale saw the danger of his commander, his body of dragoons being then halted, while that commanded by Allan was in the act of retreating. Regardless of Claverhouse's disinterested command to the contrary, he ordered the party which he headed to charge down hill and extricate their Colonel. Some advanced with him—most halted and stood uncertain—many ran away. With those who followed Evandale, he disengaged Claverhouse. His assistance just came in time, for a rustic had wounded his horse in a most ghastly manner by the blow of a scythe, and was about to repeat the stroke when Lord Evandale cut him down. As they got out of the press, they looked round them. Allan's division had ridden clear over the hill, that officer's authority having proved altogether unequal to halt them. Evandale's troop was scattered and in total confusion.

"What is to be done, Colonel?" said Lord Evandale.

"We are the last men in the field, I think," said Claverhouse; "and when men fight as long as they can, there is no shame in flying. Hector himself would say, 'Devil take the hindmost,' when there are but twenty against a thousand.—Save yourselves, my lads, and rally as soon as you can.—Come, my lord, we must e'en ride for it."

So saying, he put spurs to his wounded horse; and the generous animal, as if conscious that the life of his rider depended on his exertions, pressed forward with speed, unabated either by pain or loss of blood.

     [Note:  Claverhouse's Charger. It appears, from the letter of
     Claverhouse afterwards quoted, that the horse on which he rode at
     Drumclog was not black, but sorrel. The author has been misled as to
     the colour by the many extraordinary traditions current in Scotland
     concerning Claverhouse's famous black charger, which was generally
     believed to have been a gift to its rider from the Author of Evil,
     who is said to have performed the Caesarean operation upon its dam.
     This horse was so fleet, and its rider so expert, that they are said
     to have outstripped and coted, or turned, a hare upon the Bran-Law,
     near the head of Moffat Water, where the descent is so precipitous,
     that no merely earthly horse could keep its feet, or merely mortal
     rider could keep the saddle.

     There is a curious passage in the testimony of John Dick, one of the
     suffering Presbyterians, in which the author, by describing each of
     the persecutors by their predominant qualities or passions, shows
     how little their best-loved attributes would avail them in the great
     day of judgment. When he introduces Claverhouse, it is to reproach
     him with his passion for horses in general, and for that steed in
     particular, which was killed at Drumclog, in the manner described in
     the text:

     "As for that bloodthirsty wretch, Claverhouse, how thinks he to
     shelter himself that day? Is it possible the pitiful thing can be so
     mad as to think to secure himself by the fleetness of his horse, (a
     creature he has so much respect for, that he regarded more the loss
     of his horse at Drumclog, than all the men that fell there, and sure
     there fell prettier men on either side than himself?) No,
     sure—could he fall upon a chemist that could extract the spirit
     out of all the horses in the world, and infuse them into his one,
     though he were on that horse never so well mounted, he need not
     dream of escaping."—The Testimony to the Doctrine, Worship,
     Discipline, and Government of the Church of Scotland, as it was
     left in write by that truly pious and eminently faithful, and now
     glorified Martyr, Mr John Dick. To which is added, his last Speech
     and Behaviour on the Scaffold, on 5th March, 1684, which day he
     sealed this testimony. 57 pp. 4to. No year or place of publication.

     The reader may perhaps receive some farther information on the
     subject of Cornet Grahame's death and the flight of Claverhouse,
     from the following Latin lines, a part of a poem entitled, Bellum
     Bothuellianum, by Andrew Guild, which exists in manuscript in the
     Advocates' Library.]

A few officers and soldiers followed him, but in a very irregular and tumultuary manner. The flight of Claverhouse was the signal for all the stragglers, who yet offered desultory resistance, to fly as fast as they could, and yield up the field of battle to the victorious insurgents.


          But see! through the fast-flashing lightnings of war,
          What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?

During the severe skirmish of which we have given the details, Morton, together with Cuddie and his mother, and the Reverend Gabriel Kettledrummle, remained on the brow of the hill, near to the small cairn, or barrow, beside which Claverhouse had held his preliminary council of war, so that they had a commanding view of the action which took place in the bottom. They were guarded by Corporal Inglis and four soldiers, who, as may readily be supposed, were much more intent on watching the fluctuating fortunes of the battle, than in attending to what passed among their prisoners.

"If you lads stand to their tackle," said Cuddie, "we'll hae some chance o' getting our necks out o' the brecham again; but I misdoubt them—they hae little skeel o' arms."

"Much is not necessary, Cuddie," answered Morton; "they have a strong position, and weapons in their hands, and are more than three times the number of their assailants. If they cannot fight for their freedom now, they and theirs deserve to lose it for ever."

"O, sirs," exclaimed Mause, "here's a goodly spectacle indeed! My spirit is like that of the blessed Elihu, it burns within me—my bowels are as wine which lacketh vent—they are ready to burst like new bottles. O, that He may look after His ain people in this day of judgment and deliverance!—And now, what ailest thou, precious Mr Gabriel Kettledrummle? I say, what ailest thou, that wert a Nazarite purer than snow, whiter than milk, more ruddy than sulphur," (meaning, perhaps, sapphires,)—"I say, what ails thee now, that thou art blacker than a coal, that thy beauty is departed, and thy loveliness withered like a dry potsherd? Surely it is time to be up and be doing, to cry loudly and to spare not, and to wrestle for the puir lads that are yonder testifying with their ain blude and that of their enemies."

This expostulation implied a reproach on Mr Kettledrummle, who, though an absolute Boanerges, or son of thunder, in the pulpit, when the enemy were afar, and indeed sufficiently contumacious, as we have seen, when in their power, had been struck dumb by the firing, shouts, and shrieks, which now arose from the valley, and—as many an honest man might have been, in a situation where he could neither fight nor fly—was too much dismayed to take so favourable an opportunity to preach the terrors of presbytery, as the courageous Mause had expected at his hand, or even to pray for the successful event of the battle. His presence of mind was not, however, entirely lost, any more than his jealous respect for his reputation as a pure and powerful preacher of the word.

"Hold your peace, woman!" he said, "and do not perturb my inward meditations and the wrestlings wherewith I wrestle.—But of a verity the shooting of the foemen doth begin to increase! peradventure, some pellet may attain unto us even here. Lo! I will ensconce me behind the cairn, as behind a strong wall of defence."

"He's but a coward body after a'," said Cuddie, who was himself by no means deficient in that sort of courage which consists in insensibility to danger; "he's but a daidling coward body. He'll never fill Rumbleberry's bonnet.—Odd! Rumbleberry fought and flyted like a fleeing dragon. It was a great pity, puir man, he couldna cheat the woodie. But they say he gaed singing and rejoicing till't, just as I wad gang to a bicker o' brose, supposing me hungry, as I stand a gude chance to be.— Eh, sirs! yon's an awfu' sight, and yet ane canna keep their een aff frae it!"

Accordingly, strong curiosity on the part of Morton and Cuddie, together with the heated enthusiasm of old Mause, detained them on the spot from which they could best hear and see the issue of the action, leaving to Kettledrummle to occupy alone his place of security. The vicissitudes of combat, which we have already described, were witnessed by our spectators from the top of the eminence, but without their being able positively to determine to what they tended. That the presbyterians defended themselves stoutly was evident from the heavy smoke, which, illumined by frequent flashes of fire, now eddied along the valley, and hid the contending parties in its sulphureous shade. On the other hand, the continued firing from the nearer side of the morass indicated that the enemy persevered in their attack, that the affair was fiercely disputed, and that every thing was to be apprehended from a continued contest in which undisciplined rustics had to repel the assaults of regular troops, so completely officered and armed.

At length horses, whose caparisons showed that they belonged to the Life-Guards, began to fly masterless out of the confusion. Dismounted soldiers next appeared, forsaking the conflict, and straggling over the side of the hill, in order to escape from the scene of action. As the numbers of these fugitives increased, the fate of the day seemed no longer doubtful. A large body was then seen emerging from the smoke, forming irregularly on the hill-side, and with difficulty kept stationary by their officers, until Evandale's corps also appeared in full retreat. The result of the conflict was then apparent, and the joy of the prisoners was corresponding to their approaching deliverance.

"They hae dune the job for anes," said Cuddie, "an they ne'er do't again."

"They flee!—they flee!" exclaimed Mause, in ecstasy. "O, the truculent tyrants! they are riding now as they never rode before. O, the false Egyptians—the proud Assyrians—the Philistines—the Moabites—the Edomites—the Ishmaelites!—The Lord has brought sharp swords upon them, to make them food for the fowls of heaven and the beasts of the field. See how the clouds roll, and the fire flashes ahint them, and goes forth before the chosen of the Covenant, e'en like the pillar o' cloud and the pillar o' flame that led the people of Israel out o' the land of Egypt! This is indeed a day of deliverance to the righteous, a day of pouring out of wrath to the persecutors and the ungodly!"

"Lord save us, mither," said Cuddie, "haud the clavering tongue o' ye, and lie down ahint the cairn, like Kettledrummle, honest man! The whigamore bullets ken unco little discretion, and will just as sune knock out the harns o' a psalm-singing auld wife as a swearing dragoon."

"Fear naething for me, Cuddie," said the old dame, transported to ecstasy by the success of her party; "fear naething for me! I will stand, like Deborah, on the tap o' the cairn, and tak up my sang o' reproach against these men of Harosheth of the Gentiles, whose horse-hoofs are broken by their prancing."

The enthusiastic old woman would, in fact, have accomplished her purpose, of mounting on the cairn, and becoming, as she said, a sign and a banner to the people, had not Cuddie, with more filial tenderness than respect, detained her by such force as his shackled arms would permit him to exert.

"Eh, sirs!" he said, having accomplished this task, "look out yonder, Milnwood; saw ye ever mortal fight like the deevil Claver'se?—Yonder he's been thrice doun amang them, and thrice cam free aff.—But I think we'll soon be free oursells, Milnwood. Inglis and his troopers look ower their shouthers very aften, as if they liked the road ahint them better than the road afore."

Cuddie was not mistaken; for, when the main tide of fugitives passed at a little distance from the spot where they were stationed, the corporal and his party fired their carabines at random upon the advancing insurgents, and, abandoning all charge of their prisoners, joined the retreat of their comrades. Morton and the old woman, whose hands were at liberty, lost no time in undoing the bonds of Cuddie and of the clergyman, both of whom had been secured by a cord tied round their arms above the elbows. By the time this was accomplished, the rear-guard of the dragoons, which still preserved some order, passed beneath the hillock or rising ground which was surmounted by the cairn already repeatedly mentioned. They exhibited all the hurry and confusion incident to a forced retreat, but still continued in a body. Claverhouse led the van, his naked sword deeply dyed with blood, as were his face and clothes. His horse was all covered with gore, and now reeled with weakness. Lord Evandale, in not much better plight, brought up the rear, still exhorting the soldiers to keep together and fear nothing. Several of the men were wounded, and one or two dropped from their horses as they surmounted the hill.

Mause's zeal broke forth once more at this spectacle, while she stood on the heath with her head uncovered, and her grey hairs streaming in the wind, no bad representation of a superannuated bacchante, or Thessalian witch in the agonies of incantation. She soon discovered Claverhouse at the head of the fugitive party, and exclaimed with bitter irony, "Tarry, tarry, ye wha were aye sae blithe to be at the meetings of the saints, and wad ride every muir in Scotland to find a conventicle! Wilt thou not tarry, now thou hast found ane? Wilt thou not stay for one word mair? Wilt thou na bide the afternoon preaching?—Wae betide ye!" she said, suddenly changing her tone, "and cut the houghs of the creature whase fleetness ye trust in!—Sheugh—sheugh!—awa wi'ye, that hae spilled sae muckle blude, and now wad save your ain—awa wi'ye for a railing Rabshakeh, a cursing Shimei, a bloodthirsty Doeg!—The swords drawn now that winna be lang o' o'ertaking ye, ride as fast as ye will."

Claverhouse, it may be easily supposed, was too busy to attend to her reproaches, but hastened over the hill, anxious to get the remnant of his men out of gun-shot, in hopes of again collecting the fugitives round his standard. But as the rear of his followers rode over the ridge, a shot struck Lord Evandale's horse, which instantly sunk down dead beneath him. Two of the whig horsemen, who were the foremost in the pursuit, hastened up with the purpose of killing him, for hitherto there had been no quarter given. Morton, on the other hand, rushed forward to save his life, if possible, in order at once to indulge his natural generosity, and to requite the obligation which Lord Evandale had conferred on him that morning, and under which circumstances had made him wince so acutely. Just as he had assisted Evandale, who was much wounded, to extricate himself from his dying horse, and to gain his feet, the two horsemen came up, and one of them exclaiming, "Have at the red-coated tyrant!" made a blow at the young nobleman, which Morton parried with difficulty, exclaiming to the rider, who was no other than Burley himself, "Give quarter to this gentleman, for my sake—for the sake," he added, observing that Burley did not immediately recognise him, "of Henry Morton, who so lately sheltered you."

"Henry Morton?" replied Burley, wiping his bloody brow with his bloodier hand; "did I not say that the son of Silas Morton would come forth out of the land of bondage, nor be long an indweller in the tents of Ham? Thou art a brand snatched out of the burning—But for this booted apostle of prelacy, he shall die the death!—We must smite them hip and thigh, even from the rising to the going down of the sun. It is our commission to slay them like Amalek, and utterly destroy all they have, and spare neither man nor woman, infant nor suckling; therefore, hinder me not," he continued, endeavouring again to cut down Lord Evandale, "for this work must not be wrought negligently."

"You must not, and you shall not, slay him, more especially while incapable of defence," said Morton, planting himself before Lord Evandale so as to intercept any blow that should be aimed at him; "I owed my life to him this morning—my life, which was endangered solely by my having sheltered you; and to shed his blood when he can offer no effectual resistance, were not only a cruelty abhorrent to God and man, but detestable ingratitude both to him and to me."

Burley paused.—"Thou art yet," he said, "in the court of the Gentiles, and I compassionate thy human blindness and frailty. Strong meat is not fit for babes, nor the mighty and grinding dispensation under which I draw my sword, for those whose hearts are yet dwelling in huts of clay, whose footsteps are tangled in the mesh of mortal sympathies, and who clothe themselves in the righteousness that is as filthy rags. But to gain a soul to the truth is better than to send one to Tophet; therefore I give quarter to this youth, providing the grant is confirmed by the general council of God's army, whom he hath this day blessed with so signal a deliverance.—Thou art unarmed—Abide my return here. I must yet pursue these sinners, the Amalekites, and destroy them till they be utterly consumed from the face of the land, even from Havilah unto Shur."

So saying, he set spurs to his horse, and continued to pursue the chase.

"Cuddie," said Morton, "for God's sake catch a horse as quickly as you can. I will not trust Lord Evandale's life with these obdurate men.—You are wounded, my lord.—Are you able to continue your retreat?" he continued, addressing himself to his prisoner, who, half-stunned by the fall, was but beginning to recover himself.

"I think so," replied Lord Evandale. "But is it possible?—Do I owe my life to Mr Morton?"

"My interference would have been the same from common humanity," replied Morton; "to your lordship it was a sacred debt of gratitude."

Cuddie at this instant returned with a horse.

"God-sake, munt—munt, and ride like a fleeing hawk, my lord," said the good-natured fellow, "for ne'er be in me, if they arena killing every ane o' the wounded and prisoners!"

Lord Evandale mounted the horse, while Cuddie officiously held the stirrup.

"Stand off, good fellow, thy courtesy may cost thy life.—Mr Morton," he continued, addressing Henry, "this makes us more than even—rely on it, I will never forget your generosity—Farewell."

He turned his horse, and rode swiftly away in the direction which seemed least exposed to pursuit.

Lord Evandale had just rode off, when several of the insurgents, who were in the front of the pursuit, came up, denouncing vengeance on Henry Morton and Cuddie for having aided the escape of a Philistine, as they called the young nobleman.

"What wad ye hae had us to do?" cried Cuddie. "Had we aught to stop a man wi' that had twa pistols and a sword? Sudna ye hae come faster up yoursells, instead of flyting at huz?"

This excuse would hardly have passed current; but Kettledrummle, who now awoke from his trance of terror, and was known to, and reverenced by, most of the wanderers, together with Mause, who possessed their appropriate language as well as the preacher himself, proved active and effectual intercessors.

"Touch them not, harm them not," exclaimed Kettledrummle, in his very best double-bass tones; "this is the son of the famous Silas Morton, by whom the Lord wrought great things in this land at the breaking forth of the reformation from prelacy, when there was a plentiful pouring forth of the Word and a renewing of the Covenant; a hero and champion of those blessed days, when there was power and efficacy, and convincing and converting of sinners, and heart-exercises, and fellowships of saints, and a plentiful flowing forth of the spices of the garden of Eden."

"And this is my son Cuddie," exclaimed Mause, in her turn, "the son of his father, Judden Headrigg, wha was a douce honest man, and of me, Mause Middlemas, an unworthy professor and follower of the pure gospel, and ane o' your ain folk. Is it not written, 'Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites?' Numbers, fourth and aughteenth—O! sirs! dinna be standing here prattling wi' honest folk, when ye suld be following forth your victory with which Providence has blessed ye."

This party having passed on, they were immediately beset by another, to whom it was necessary to give the same explanation. Kettledrummle, whose fear was much dissipated since the firing had ceased, again took upon him to be intercessor, and grown bold, as he felt his good word necessary for the protection of his late fellow-captives, he laid claim to no small share of the merit of the victory, appealing to Morton and Cuddie, whether the tide of battle had not turned while he prayed on the Mount of Jehovah-Nissi, like Moses, that Israel might prevail over Amalek; but granting them, at the same time, the credit of holding up his hands when they waxed heavy, as those of the prophet were supported by Aaron and Hur. It seems probable that Kettledrummle allotted this part in the success to his companions in adversity, lest they should be tempted to disclose his carnal self-seeking and falling away, in regarding too closely his own personal safety. These strong testimonies in favour of the liberated captives quickly flew abroad, with many exaggerations, among the victorious army. The reports on the subject were various; but it was universally agreed, that young Morton of Milnwood, the son of the stout soldier of the Covenant, Silas Morton, together with the precious Gabriel Kettledrummle, and a singular devout Christian woman, whom many thought as good as himself at extracting a doctrine or an use, whether of terror or consolation, had arrived to support the good old cause, with a reinforcement of a hundred well-armed men from the Middle Ward.

     [Note: Skirmish at Drumclog. This affair, the only one in which
     Claverhouse was defeated, or the insurgent Cameronians successful,
     was fought pretty much in the manner mentioned in the text. The
     Royalists lost about thirty or forty men. The commander of the
     Presbyterian, or rather Convenanting party, was Mr Robert Hamilton,
     of the honourable House of Preston, brother of Sir William Hamilton,
     to whose title and estate he afterwards succeeded; but, according to
     his biographer, Howie of Lochgoin, he never took possession of
     either, as he could not do so without acknowledging the right of
     King William (an uncovenanted monarch) to the crown. Hamilton had
     been bred by Bishop Burnet, while the latter lived at Glasgow; his
     brother, Sir Thomas, having married a sister of that historian. "He
     was then," says the Bishop, "a lively, hopeful young man; but
     getting into that company, and into their notions, he became a
     crack-brained enthusiast."

     Several well-meaning persons have been much scandalized at the
     manner in which the victors are said to have conducted themselves
     towards the prisoners at Drumclog. But the principle of these poor
     fanatics, (I mean the high-flying, or Cameronian party,) was to
     obtain not merely toleration for their church, but the same
     supremacy which Presbytery had acquired in Scotland after the treaty
     of Rippon, betwixt Charles I. and his Scottish subjects, in 1640.

     The fact is, that they conceived themselves a chosen people, sent
     forth to extirpate the heathen, like the Jews of old, and under a
     similar charge to show no quarter.

     The historian of the Insurrection of Bothwell makes the following
     explicit avowal of the principles on which their General acted:—

     "Mr Hamilton discovered a great deal of bravery and valour, both in
     the conflict with, and pursuit of, the enemy; but when he and some
     other were pursuing the enemy, others flew too greedily upon the
     spoil, small as it was, instead of pursuing the victory; and some,
     without Mr Hamilton's knowledge, and directly contrary to his
     express command, gave five of those bloody enemies quarter, and then
     let them go; this greatly grieved Mr Hamilton when he saw some of
     Babel's brats spared, after that the Lord had delivered them into
     their hands, that they might dash them against the stones. Psalm
     cxxxvii., 9. In his own account of this, he reckons the sparing of
     these enemies, and letting them go, to be among their first
     steppings aside, for which he feared that the Lord would not honour
     them to do much more for him; and says, that he was neither for
     taking favours from, nor giving favours to, the Lord's enemies." See
     A true and impartial Account of the persecuted Presbyterians in
     Scotland, their being in arms, and defeat at Bothwell Brigg, in
     1679, by William Wilson, late Schoolmaster in the parish of Douglas.
     The reader who would authenticate the quotation, must not consult
     any other edition than that of 1697; for somehow or other the
     publisher of the last edition has omitted this remarkable part of
     the narrative.

     Sir Robert Hamilton himself felt neither remorse nor shame for
     having put to death one of the prisoners after the battle with his
     own hand, which appears to have been a charge against him, by some
     whose fanaticism was less exalted than his own.

     "As for that accusation they bring against me of killing that poor
     man (as they call him) at Drumclog, I may easily guess that my
     accusers can be no other but some of the house of Saul or Shimei, or
     some such risen again to espouse that poor gentleman (Saul) his
     quarrel against honest Samuel, for his offering to kill that poor
     man Agag, after the king's giving him quarter. But I, being to
     command that day, gave out the word that no quarter should be given;
     and returning from pursuing Claverhouse, one or two of these fellows
     were standing in the midst of a company of our friends, and some
     were debating for quarter, others against it. None could blame me to
     decide the controversy, and I bless the Lord for it to this day.
     There were five more that without my knowledge got quarter, who were
     brought to me after we were a mile from the place as having got
     quarter, which I reckoned among the first steppings aside; and
     seeing that spirit amongst us at that time, I then told it to some
     that were with me, (to my best remembrance, it was honest old John
     Nisbet,) that I feared the Lord would not honour us to do much more
     for him. I shall only say this,—I desire to bless his holy name,
     that since ever he helped me to set my face to his work, I never
     had, nor would take, a favour from enemies, either on right or left
     hand, and desired to give as few."

     The preceding passage is extracted from a long vindication of his
     own conduct, sent by Sir Robert Hamilton, 7th December, 1685,
     addressed to the anti-Popish, anti-Prelatic, anti-Erastian,
     anti-sectarian true Presbyterian remnant of the Church of Scotland;
     and the substance is to be found in the work or collection, called,
     "Faithful Contendings Displayed, collected and transcribed by John

     As the skirmish of Drumclog has been of late the subject of some
     enquiry, the reader may be curious to see Claverhouse's own account
     of the affair, in a letter to the Earl of Linlithgow, written
     immediately after the action. This gazette, as it may be called,
     occurs in the volume called Dundee's Letters, printed by Mr Smythe
     of Methven, as a contribution to the Bannatyne Club. The original is
     in the library of the Duke of Buckingham. Claverhouse, it may be
     observed, spells like a chambermaid.


     "Glaskow, Jun. the 1, 1679.

     "My Lord,—Upon Saturday's night, when my Lord Rosse came into this
     place, I marched out, and because of the insolency that had been
     done tue nights before at Ruglen, I went thither and inquyred for
     the names. So soon as I got them, I sent our partys to sease on
     them, and found not only three of those rogues, but also ane
     intercomend minister called King. We had them at Strevan about six
     in the morning yesterday, and resolving to convey them to this, I
     thought that we might make a little tour to see if we could fall
     upon a conventicle; which we did, little to our advantage; for when
     we came in sight of them, we found them drawn up in batell, upon a
     most adventageous ground, to which there was no coming but through
     mosses and lakes. They wer not preaching, and had got away all there
     women and shildring. They consisted of four battaillons of foot, and
     all well armed with fusils and pitchforks, and three squadrons of
     horse. We sent both partys to skirmish, they of foot and we of
     dragoons; they run for it, and sent down a battaillon of foot
     against them; we sent threescore of dragoons, who made them run
     again shamfully; but in end they percaiving that we had the better
     of them in skirmish, they resolved a generall engadgment, and
     imediately advanced with there foot, the horse folowing; they came
     throght the lotche; the greatest body of all made up against my
     troupe; we keeped our fyre till they wer within ten pace of us: they
     recaived our fyr, and advanced to shok; the first they gave us
     broght down the Coronet Mr Crafford and Captain Bleith, besides that
     with a pitchfork they made such an openeing in my rone horse's
     belly, that his guts hung out half an elle, and yet he caryed me af
     an myl; which so discoraged our men, that they sustained not the
     shok, but fell into disorder. There horse took the occasion of this,
     and purseued us so hotly that we had no tym to rayly. I saved the
     standarts, but lost on the place about aight or ten men, besides
     wounded; but he dragoons lost many mor. They ar not com esily af on
     the other side, for I sawe severall of them fall befor we cam to the
     shok. I mad the best retraite the confusion of our people would
     suffer, and I am now laying with my Lord Rosse. The toun of Streven
     drew up as we was making our retrait, and thoght of a pass to cut us
     off, but we took courage and fell to them, made them run, leaving a
     dousain on the place. What these rogues will dou yet I know not, but
     the contry was flocking to them from all hands. This may be counted
     the begining of the rebellion, in my opinion.

     "I am, my lord,

     "Your lordship's most humble servant,

     "J. Grahame.

     "My lord, I am so wearied, and so sleapy, that I have wryton this
     very confusedly."]


               When pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
               Was beat with fist instead of a stick.

In the meantime, the insurgent cavalry returned from the pursuit, jaded and worn out with their unwonted efforts, and the infantry assembled on the ground which they had won, fatigued with toil and hunger. Their success, however, was a cordial to every bosom, and seemed even to serve in the stead of food and refreshment. It was, indeed, much more brilliant than they durst have ventured to anticipate; for, with no great loss on their part, they had totally routed a regiment of picked men, commanded by the first officer in Scotland, and one whose very name had long been a terror to them. Their success seemed even to have upon their spirits the effect of a sudden and violent surprise, so much had their taking up arms been a measure of desperation rather than of hope. Their meeting was also casual, and they had hastily arranged themselves under such commanders as were remarkable for zeal and courage, without much respect to any other qualities. It followed, from this state of disorganization, that the whole army appeared at once to resolve itself into a general committee for considering what steps were to be taken in consequence of their success, and no opinion could be started so wild that it had not some favourers and advocates. Some proposed they should march to Glasgow, some to Hamilton, some to Edinburgh, some to London. Some were for sending a deputation of their number to London to convert Charles II. to a sense of the error of his ways; and others, less charitable, proposed either to call a new successor to the crown, or to declare Scotland a free republic. A free parliament of the nation, and a free assembly of the Kirk, were the objects of the more sensible and moderate of the party. In the meanwhile, a clamour arose among the soldiers for bread and other necessaries, and while all complained of hardship and hunger, none took the necessary measures to procure supplies. In short, the camp of the Covenanters, even in the very moment of success, seemed about to dissolve like a rope of sand, from want of the original principles of combination and union.

Burley, who had now returned from the pursuit, found his followers in this distracted state. With the ready talent of one accustomed to encounter exigences, he proposed, that one hundred of the freshest men should be drawn out for duty—that a small number of those who had hitherto acted as leaders, should constitute a committee of direction until officers should be regularly chosen—and that, to crown the victory, Gabriel Kettledrummle should be called upon to improve the providential success which they had obtained, by a word in season addressed to the army. He reckoned very much, and not without reason, on this last expedient, as a means of engaging the attention of the bulk of the insurgents, while he himself, and two or three of their leaders, held a private council of war, undisturbed by the discordant opinions, or senseless clamour, of the general body.

Kettledrummle more than answered the expectations of Burley. Two mortal hours did he preach at a breathing; and certainly no lungs, or doctrine, excepting his own, could have kept up, for so long a time, the attention of men in such precarious circumstances. But he possessed in perfection a sort of rude and familiar eloquence peculiar to the preachers of that period, which, though it would have been fastidiously rejected by an audience which possessed any portion of taste, was a cake of the right leaven for the palates of those whom he now addressed. His text was from the forty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

"And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

The discourse which he pronounced upon this subject was divided into fifteen heads, each of which was garnished with seven uses of application, two of consolation, two of terror, two declaring the causes of backsliding and of wrath, and one announcing the promised and expected deliverance. The first part of his text he applied to his own deliverance and that of his companions; and took occasion to speak a few words in praise of young Milnwood, of whom, as of a champion of the Covenant, he augured great things. The second part he applied to the punishments which were about to fall upon the persecuting government. At times he was familiar and colloquial; now he was loud, energetic, and boisterous;—some parts of his discourse might be called sublime, and others sunk below burlesque. Occasionally he vindicated with great animation the right of every freeman to worship God according to his own conscience; and presently he charged the guilt and misery of the people on the awful negligence of their rulers, who had not only failed to establish presbytery as the national religion, but had tolerated sectaries of various descriptions, Papists, Prelatists, Erastians, assuming the name of Presbyterians, Independents, Socinians, and Quakers: all of whom Kettledrummle proposed, by one sweeping act, to expel from the land, and thus re-edify in its integrity the beauty of the sanctuary. He next handled very pithily the doctrine of defensive arms and of resistance to Charles II., observing, that, instead of a nursing father to the Kirk, that monarch had been a nursing father to none but his own bastards. He went at some length through the life and conversation of that joyous prince, few parts of which, it must be owned, were qualified to stand the rough handling of so uncourtly an orator, who conferred on him the hard names of Jeroboam, Omri, Ahab, Shallum, Pekah, and every other evil monarch recorded in the Chronicles, and concluded with a round application of the Scripture, "Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the King it is provided: he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood: the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it."

Kettledrummle had no sooner ended his sermon, and descended from the huge rock which had served him for a pulpit, than his post was occupied by a pastor of a very different description. The reverend Gabriel was advanced in years, somewhat corpulent, with a loud voice, a square face, and a set of stupid and unanimated features, in which the body seemed more to predominate over the spirit than was seemly in a sound divine. The youth who succeeded him in exhorting this extraordinary convocation, Ephraim Macbriar by name, was hardly twenty years old; yet his thin features already indicated, that a constitution, naturally hectic, was worn out by vigils, by fasts, by the rigour of imprisonment, and the fatigues incident to a fugitive life. Young as he was, he had been twice imprisoned for several months, and suffered many severities, which gave him great influence with those of his own sect. He threw his faded eyes over the multitude and over the scene of battle; and a light of triumph arose in his glance, his pale yet striking features were coloured with a transient and hectic blush of joy. He folded his hands, raised his face to heaven, and seemed lost in mental prayer and thanksgiving ere he addressed the people. When he spoke, his faint and broken voice seemed at first inadequate to express his conceptions. But the deep silence of the assembly, the eagerness with which the ear gathered every word, as the famished Israelites collected the heavenly manna, had a corresponding effect upon the preacher himself. His words became more distinct, his manner more earnest and energetic; it seemed as if religious zeal was triumphing over bodily weakness and infirmity. His natural eloquence was not altogether untainted with the coarseness of his sect; and yet, by the influence of a good natural taste, it was freed from the grosser and more ludicrous errors of his contemporaries; and the language of Scripture, which, in their mouths, was sometimes degraded by misapplication, gave, in Macbriar's exhortation, a rich and solemn effect, like that which is produced by the beams of the sun streaming through the storied representation of saints and martyrs on the Gothic window of some ancient cathedral.

He painted the desolation of the church, during the late period of her distresses, in the most affecting colours. He described her, like Hagar watching the waning life of her infant amid the fountainless desert; like Judah, under her palm-tree, mourning for the devastation of her temple; like Rachel, weeping for her children and refusing comfort. But he chiefly rose into rough sublimity when addressing the men yet reeking from battle. He called on them to remember the great things which God had done for them, and to persevere in the career which their victory had opened.

"Your garments are dyed—but not with the juice of the wine-press; your swords are filled with blood," he exclaimed, "but not with the blood of goats or lambs; the dust of the desert on which ye stand is made fat with gore, but not with the blood of bullocks, for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. These were not the firstlings of the flock, the small cattle of burnt-offerings, whose bodies lie like dung on the ploughed field of the husbandman; this is not the savour of myrrh, of frankincense, or of sweet herbs, that is steaming in your nostrils; but these bloody trunks are the carcasses of those who held the bow and the lance, who were cruel and would show no mercy, whose voice roared like the sea, who rode upon horses, every man in array as if to battle—they are the carcasses even of the mighty men of war that came against Jacob in the day of his deliverance, and the smoke is that of the devouring fires that have consumed them. And those wild hills that surround you are not a sanctuary planked with cedar and plated with silver; nor are ye ministering priests at the altar, with censers and with torches; but ye hold in your hands the sword, and the bow, and the weapons of death. And yet verily, I say unto you, that not when the ancient Temple was in its first glory was there offered sacrifice more acceptable than that which you have this day presented, giving to the slaughter the tyrant and the oppressor, with the rocks for your altars, and the sky for your vaulted sanctuary, and your own good swords for the instruments of sacrifice. Leave not, therefore, the plough in the furrow—turn not back from the path in which you have entered like the famous worthies of old, whom God raised up for the glorifying of his name and the deliverance of his afflicted people—halt not in the race you are running, lest the latter end should be worse than the beginning. Wherefore, set up a standard in the land; blow a trumpet upon the mountains; let not the shepherd tarry by his sheepfold, or the seedsman continue in the ploughed field; but make the watch strong, sharpen the arrows, burnish the shields, name ye the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens; call the footmen like the rushing of winds, and cause the horsemen to come up like the sound of many waters; for the passages of the destroyers are stopped, their rods are burned, and the face of their men of battle hath been turned to flight. Heaven has been with you, and has broken the bow of the mighty; then let every man's heart be as the heart of the valiant Maccabeus, every man's hand as the hand of the mighty Sampson, every man's sword as that of Gideon, which turned not back from the slaughter; for the banner of Reformation is spread abroad on the mountains in its first loveliness, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

"Well is he this day that shall barter his house for a helmet, and sell his garment for a sword, and cast in his lot with the children of the Covenant, even to the fulfilling of the promise; and woe, woe unto him who, for carnal ends and self-seeking, shall withhold himself from the great work, for the curse shall abide with him, even the bitter curse of Meroz, because he came not to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Up, then, and be doing; the blood of martyrs, reeking upon scaffolds, is crying for vengeance; the bones of saints, which lie whitening in the highways, are pleading for retribution; the groans of innocent captives from desolate isles of the sea, and from the dungeons of the tyrants' high places, cry for deliverance; the prayers of persecuted Christians, sheltering themselves in dens and deserts from the sword of their persecutors, famished with hunger, starving with cold, lacking fire, food, shelter, and clothing, because they serve God rather than man—all are with you, pleading, watching, knocking, storming the gates of heaven in your behalf. Heaven itself shall fight for you, as the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. Then whoso will deserve immortal fame in this world, and eternal happiness in that which is to come, let them enter into God's service, and take arles at the hand of his servant,—a blessing, namely, upon him and his household, and his children, to the ninth generation, even the blessing of the promise, for ever and ever! Amen."

The eloquence of the preacher was rewarded by the deep hum of stern approbation which resounded through the armed assemblage at the conclusion of an exhortation, so well suited to that which they had done, and that which remained for them to do. The wounded forgot their pain, the faint and hungry their fatigues and privations, as they listened to doctrines which elevated them alike above the wants and calamities of the world, and identified their cause with that of the Deity. Many crowded around the preacher, as he descended from the eminence on which he stood, and, clasping him with hands on which the gore was not yet hardened, pledged their sacred vow that they would play the part of Heaven's true soldiers. Exhausted by his own enthusiasm, and by the animated fervour which he had exerted in his discourse, the preacher could only reply, in broken accents,—"God bless you, my brethren—it is his cause.—Stand strongly up and play the men—the worst that can befall us is but a brief and bloody passage to heaven."

Balfour, and the other leaders, had not lost the time which was employed in these spiritual exercises. Watch-fires were lighted, sentinels were posted, and arrangements were made to refresh the army with such provisions as had been hastily collected from the nearest farm-houses and villages. The present necessity thus provided for, they turned their thoughts to the future. They had dispatched parties to spread the news of their victory, and to obtain, either by force or favour, supplies of what they stood most in need of. In this they had succeeded beyond their hopes, having at one village seized a small magazine of provisions, forage, and ammunition, which had been provided for the royal forces. This success not only gave them relief at the time, but such hopes for the future, that whereas formerly some of their number had begun to slacken in their zeal, they now unanimously resolved to abide together in arms, and commit themselves and their cause to the event of war.

And whatever may be thought of the extravagance or narrow-minded bigotry of many of their tenets, it is impossible to deny the praise of devoted courage to a few hundred peasants, who, without leaders, without money, without magazines, without any fixed plan of action, and almost without arms, borne out only by their innate zeal, and a detestation of the oppression of their rulers, ventured to declare open war against an established government, supported by a regular army and the whole force of three kingdoms.


               Why, then, say an old man can do somewhat.
                                             Henry IV. Part II.

We must now return to the tower of Tillietudlem, which the march of the Life-Guards, on the morning of this eventful day, had left to silence and anxiety. The assurances of Lord Evandale had not succeeded in quelling the apprehensions of Edith. She knew him generous, and faithful to his word; but it seemed too plain that he suspected the object of her intercession to be a successful rival; and was it not expecting from him an effort above human nature, to suppose that he was to watch over Morton's safety, and rescue him from all the dangers to which his state of imprisonment, and the suspicions which he had incurred, must repeatedly expose him? She therefore resigned herself to the most heart-rending apprehensions, without admitting, and indeed almost without listening to, the multifarious grounds of consolation which Jenny Dennison brought forward, one after another, like a skilful general who charges with the several divisions of his troops in regular succession.

First, Jenny was morally positive that young Milnwood would come to no harm—then, if he did, there was consolation in the reflection, that Lord Evandale was the better and more appropriate match of the two—then, there was every chance of a battle, in which the said Lord Evandale might be killed, and there wad be nae mair fash about that job—then, if the whigs gat the better, Milnwood and Cuddie might come to the Castle, and carry off the beloved of their hearts by the strong hand.

"For I forgot to tell ye, madam," continued the damsel, putting her handkerchief to her eyes, "that puir Cuddie's in the hands of the Philistines as weel as young Milnwood, and he was brought here a prisoner this morning, and I was fain to speak Tam Halliday fair, and fleech him to let me near the puir creature; but Cuddie wasna sae thankfu' as he needed till hae been neither," she added, and at the same time changed her tone, and briskly withdrew the handkerchief from her face; "so I will ne'er waste my een wi' greeting about the matter. There wad be aye enow o' young men left, if they were to hang the tae half o' them."

The other inhabitants of the Castle were also in a state of dissatisfaction and anxiety. Lady Margaret thought that Colonel Grahame, in commanding an execution at the door of her house, and refusing to grant a reprieve at her request, had fallen short of the deference due to her rank, and had even encroached on her seignorial rights.

"The Colonel," she said, "ought to have remembered, brother, that the barony of Tillietudlem has the baronial privilege of pit and gallows; and therefore, if the lad was to be executed on my estate, (which I consider as an unhandsome thing, seeing it is in the possession of females, to whom such tragedies cannot be acceptable,) he ought, at common law, to have been delivered up to my bailie, and justified at his sight."

"Martial law, sister," answered Major Bellenden, "supersedes every other. But I must own I think Colonel Grahame rather deficient in attention to you; and I am not over and above pre-eminently flattered by his granting to young Evandale (I suppose because he is a lord, and has interest with the privy-council) a request which he refused to so old a servant of the king as I am. But so long as the poor young fellow's life is saved, I can comfort myself with the fag-end of a ditty as old as myself." And therewithal, he hummed a stanza:

'And what though winter will pinch severe Through locks of grey and a cloak that's old? Yet keep up thy heart, bold cavalier, For a cup of sack shall fence the cold.'

"I must be your guest here to-day, sister. I wish to hear the issue of this gathering on Loudon-hill, though I cannot conceive their standing a body of horse appointed like our guests this morning.—Woe's me, the time has been that I would have liked ill to have sate in biggit wa's waiting for the news of a skirmish to be fought within ten miles of me! But, as the old song goes,

               'For time will rust the brightest blade,
               And years will break the strongest bow;
               Was ever wight so starkly made,
               But time and years would overthrow?'"

"We are well pleased you will stay, brother," said Lady Margaret; "I will take my old privilege to look after my household, whom this collation has thrown into some disorder, although it is uncivil to leave you alone."

"O, I hate ceremony as I hate a stumbling horse," replied the Major. "Besides, your person would be with me, and your mind with the cold meat and reversionary pasties.—Where is Edith?"

"Gone to her room a little evil-disposed, I am informed, and laid down in her bed for a gliff," said her grandmother; "as soon as she wakes, she shall take some drops."

"Pooh! pooh! she's only sick of the soldiers," answered Major Bellenden. "She's not accustomed to see one acquaintance led out to be shot, and another marching off to actual service, with some chance of not finding his way back again. She would soon be used to it, if the civil war were to break out again."

"God forbid, brother!" said Lady Margaret.

"Ay, Heaven forbid, as you say—and, in the meantime, I'll take a hit at trick-track with Harrison."

"He has ridden out, sir," said Gudyill, "to try if he can hear any tidings of the battle."

"D—n the battle," said the Major; "it puts this family as much out of order as if there had never been such a thing in the country before—and yet there was such a place as Kilsythe, John."

"Ay, and as Tippermuir, your honour," replied Gudyill, "where I was his honour my late master's rear-rank man."

"And Alford, John," pursued the Major, "where I commanded the horse; and Innerlochy, where I was the Great Marquis's aid-de-camp; and Auld Earn, and Brig o' Dee."

"And Philiphaugh, your honour," said John.

"Umph!" replied the Major; "the less, John, we say about that matter, the better."

However, being once fairly embarked on the subject of Montrose's campaigns, the Major and John Gudyill carried on the war so stoutly, as for a considerable time to keep at bay the formidable enemy called Time, with whom retired veterans, during the quiet close of a bustling life, usually wage an unceasing hostility.

It has been frequently remarked, that the tidings of important events fly with a celerity almost beyond the power of credibility, and that reports, correct in the general point, though inaccurate in details, precede the certain intelligence, as if carried by the birds of the air. Such rumours anticipate the reality, not unlike to the "shadows of coming events," which occupy the imagination of the Highland Seer. Harrison, in his ride, encountered some such report concerning the event of the battle, and turned his horse back to Tillietudlem in great dismay. He made it his first business to seek out the Major, and interrupted him in the midst of a prolix account of the siege and storm of Dundee, with the ejaculation, "Heaven send, Major, that we do not see a siege of Tillietudlem before we are many days older!"

"How is that, Harrison?—what the devil do you mean?" exclaimed the astonished veteran.

"Troth, sir, there is strong and increasing belief that Claver'se is clean broken, some say killed; that the soldiers are all dispersed, and that the rebels are hastening this way, threatening death and devastation to a' that will not take the Covenant."

"I will never believe that," said the Major, starting on his feet—"I will never believe that the Life-Guards would retreat before rebels;—and yet why need I say that," he continued, checking himself, "when I have seen such sights myself?—Send out Pike, and one or two of the servants, for intelligence, and let all the men in the Castle and in the village that can be trusted take up arms. This old tower may hold them play a bit, if it were but victualled and garrisoned, and it commands the pass between the high and low countries.—It's lucky I chanced to be here.—Go, muster men, Harrison.—You, Gudyill, look what provisions you have, or can get brought in, and be ready, if the news be confirmed, to knock down as many bullocks as you have salt for.—The well never goes dry.—There are some old-fashioned guns on the battlements; if we had but ammunition, we should do well enough."

"The soldiers left some casks of ammunition at the Grange this morning, to bide their return," said Harrison.

"Hasten, then," said the Major, "and bring it into the Castle, with every pike, sword, pistol, or gun, that is within our reach; don't leave so much as a bodkin—Lucky that I was here!—I will speak to my sister instantly."

Lady Margaret Bellenden was astounded at intelligence so unexpected and so alarming. It had seemed to her that the imposing force which had that morning left her walls, was sufficient to have routed all the disaffected in Scotland, if collected in a body; and now her first reflection was upon the inadequacy of their own means of resistance, to an army strong enough to have defeated Claverhouse and such select troops. "Woe's me! woe's me!" said she; "what will all that we can do avail us, brother?— What will resistance do but bring sure destruction on the house, and on the bairn Edith! for, God knows, I thinkna on my ain auld life."

"Come, sister," said the Major, "you must not be cast down; the place is strong, the rebels ignorant and ill-provided: my brother's house shall not be made a den of thieves and rebels while old Miles Bellenden is in it. My hand is weaker than it was, but I thank my old grey hairs that I have some knowledge of war yet. Here comes Pike with intelligence.—What news, Pike? Another Philiphaugh job, eh?"

"Ay, ay," said Pike, composedly; "a total scattering.—I thought this morning little gude would come of their newfangled gate of slinging their carabines."

"Whom did you see?—Who gave you the news?" asked the Major.

"O, mair than half-a-dozen dragoon fellows that are a' on the spur whilk to get first to Hamilton. They'll win the race, I warrant them, win the battle wha like."

"Continue your preparations, Harrison," said the alert veteran; "get your ammunition in, and the cattle killed. Send down to the borough-town for what meal you can gather. We must not lose an instant.—Had not Edith and you, sister, better return to Charnwood, while we have the means of sending you there?"

"No, brother," said Lady Margaret, looking very pale, but speaking with the greatest composure; "since the auld house is to be held out, I will take my chance in it. I have fled twice from it in my days, and I have aye found it desolate of its bravest and its bonniest when I returned; sae that I will e'en abide now, and end my pilgrimage in it."

"It may, on the whole, be the safest course both for Edith and you," said the Major; "for the whigs will rise all the way between this and Glasgow, and make your travelling there, or your dwelling at Charnwood, very unsafe."

"So be it then," said Lady Margaret; "and, dear brother, as the nearest blood-relation of my deceased husband, I deliver to you, by this symbol,"—(here she gave into his hand the venerable goldheaded staff of the deceased Earl of Torwood,)—"the keeping and government and seneschalship of my Tower of Tillietudlem, and the appurtenances thereof, with full power to kill, slay, and damage those who shall assail the same, as freely as I might do myself. And I trust you will so defend it, as becomes a house in which his most sacred majesty has not disdained"—

"Pshaw! sister," interrupted the Major, "we have no time to speak about the king and his breakfast just now."

And, hastily leaving the room, he hurried, with all the alertness of a young man of twenty-five, to examine the state of his garrison, and superintend the measures which were necessary for defending the place.

The Tower of Tillietudlem, having very thick walls, and very narrow windows, having also a very strong court-yard wall, with flanking turrets on the only accessible side, and rising on the other from the very verge of a precipice, was fully capable of defence against any thing but a train of heavy artillery.

Famine or escalade was what the garrison had chiefly to fear. For artillery, the top of the Tower was mounted with some antiquated wall-pieces, and small cannons, which bore the old-fashioned names of culverins, sakers, demi-sakers, falcons, and falconets. These, the Major, with the assistance of John Gudyill, caused to be scaled and loaded, and pointed them so as to command the road over the brow of the opposite hill by which the rebels must advance, causing, at the same time, two or three trees to be cut down, which would have impeded the effect of the artillery when it should be necessary to use it. With the trunks of these trees, and other materials, he directed barricades to be constructed upon the winding avenue which rose to the Tower along the high-road, taking care that each should command the other. The large gate of the court-yard he barricadoed yet more strongly, leaving only a wicket open for the convenience of passage. What he had most to apprehend, was the slenderness of his garrison; for all the efforts of the steward were unable to get more than nine men under arms, himself and Gudyill included, so much more popular was the cause of the insurgents than that of the government Major Bellenden, and his trusty servant Pike, made the garrison eleven in number, of whom one-half were old men. The round dozen might indeed have been made up, would Lady Margaret have consented that Goose Gibbie should again take up arms. But she recoiled from the proposal, when moved by Gudyill, with such abhorrent recollection of the former achievements of that luckless cavalier, that she declared she would rather the Castle were lost than that he were to be enrolled in the defence of it. With eleven men, however, himself included, Major Bellenden determined to hold out the place to the uttermost.

The arrangements for defence were not made without the degree of fracas incidental to such occasions. Women shrieked, cattle bellowed, dogs howled, men ran to and fro, cursing and swearing without intermission, the lumbering of the old guns backwards and forwards shook the battlements, the court resounded with the hasty gallop of messengers who went and returned upon errands of importance, and the din of warlike preparation was mingled with the sound of female laments.

Such a Babel of discord might have awakened the slumbers of the very dead, and, therefore, was not long ere it dispelled the abstracted reveries of Edith Bellenden. She sent out Jenny to bring her the cause of the tumult which shook the castle to its very basis; but Jenny, once engaged in the bustling tide, found so much to ask and to hear, that she forgot the state of anxious uncertainty in which she had left her young mistress. Having no pigeon to dismiss in pursuit of information when her raven messenger had failed to return with it, Edith was compelled to venture in quest of it out of the ark of her own chamber into the deluge of confusion which overflowed the rest of the Castle. Six voices speaking at once, informed her, in reply to her first enquiry, that Claver'se and all his men were killed, and that ten thousand whigs were marching to besiege the castle, headed by John Balfour of Burley, young Milnwood, and Cuddie Headrigg. This strange association of persons seemed to infer the falsehood of the whole story, and yet the general bustle in the Castle intimated that danger was certainly apprehended.

"Where is Lady Margaret?" was Edith's second question.

"In her oratory," was the reply: a cell adjoining to the chapel, in which the good old lady was wont to spend the greater part of the days destined by the rules of the Episcopal Church to devotional observances, as also the anniversaries of those on which she had lost her husband and her children, and, finally, those hours, in which a deeper and more solemn address to Heaven was called for, by national or domestic calamity.

"Where, then," said Edith, much alarmed, "is Major Bellenden?"

"On the battlements of the Tower, madam, pointing the cannon," was the reply.

To the battlements, therefore, she made her way, impeded by a thousand obstacles, and found the old gentleman in the midst of his natural military element, commanding, rebuking, encouraging, instructing, and exercising all the numerous duties of a good governor.

"In the name of God, what is the matter, uncle?" exclaimed Edith.

"The matter, my love?" answered the Major coolly, as, with spectacles on his nose, he examined the position of a gun—"The matter? Why,—raise her breech a thought more, John Gudyill—the matter? Why, Claver'se is routed, my dear, and the whigs are coming down upon us in force, that's all the matter."

"Gracious powers!" said Edith, whose eye at that instant caught a glance of the road which ran up the river, "and yonder they come!"

"Yonder? where?" said the veteran; and, his eyes taking the same direction, he beheld a large body of horsemen coming down the path. "Stand to your guns, my lads!" was the first exclamation; "we'll make them pay toll as they pass the heugh.—But stay, stay, these are certainly the Life-Guards."

"O no, uncle, no," replied Edith; "see how disorderly they ride, and how ill they keep their ranks; these cannot be the fine soldiers who left us this morning."

"Ah, my dear girl!" answered the Major, "you do not know the difference between men before a battle and after a defeat; but the Life-Guards it is, for I see the red and blue and the King's colours. I am glad they have brought them off, however."

His opinion was confirmed as the troopers approached nearer, and finally halted on the road beneath the Tower; while their commanding officer, leaving them to breathe and refresh their horses, hastily rode up the hill.

"It is Claverhouse, sure enough," said the Major; "I am glad he has escaped, but he has lost his famous black horse. Let Lady Margaret know, John Gudyill; order some refreshments; get oats for the soldiers' horses; and let us to the hall, Edith, to meet him. I surmise we shall hear but indifferent news."


                    With careless gesture, mind unmoved,
                    On rade he north the plain,
                    His seem in thrang of fiercest strife,
                    When winner aye the same.

Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse met the family, assembled in the hall of the Tower, with the same serenity and the same courtesy which had graced his manners in the morning. He had even had the composure to rectify in part the derangement of his dress, to wash the signs of battle from his face and hands, and did not appear more disordered in his exterior than if returned from a morning ride.

"I am grieved, Colonel Grahame," said the reverend old lady, the tears trickling down her face, "deeply grieved."

"And I am grieved, my dear Lady Margaret," replied Claverhouse, "that this misfortune may render your remaining at Tillietudlem dangerous for you, especially considering your recent hospitality to the King's troops, and your well-known loyalty. And I came here chiefly to request Miss Bellenden and you to accept my escort (if you will not scorn that of a poor runaway) to Glasgow, from whence I will see you safely sent either to Edinburgh or to Dunbarton Castle, as you shall think best."

"I am much obliged to you, Colonel Grahame," replied Lady Margaret; "but my brother, Major Bellenden, has taken on him the responsibility of holding out this house against the rebels; and, please God, they shall never drive Margaret Bellenden from her ain hearth-stane while there's a brave man that says he can defend it."

"And will Major Bellenden undertake this?" said Claverhouse hastily, a joyful light glancing from his dark eye as he turned it on the veteran,—"Yet why should I question it? it is of a piece with the rest of his life.—But have you the means, Major?"

"All, but men and provisions, with which we are ill supplied," answered the Major.

"As for men," said Claverhouse, "I will leave you a dozen or twenty fellows who will make good a breach against the devil. It will be of the utmost service, if you can defend the place but a week, and by that time you must surely be relieved."

"I will make it good for that space, Colonel," replied the Major, "with twenty-five good men and store of ammunition, if we should gnaw the soles of our shoes for hunger; but I trust we shall get in provisions from the country."

"And, Colonel Grahame, if I might presume a request," said Lady Margaret, "I would entreat that Sergeant Francis Stewart might command the auxiliaries whom you are so good as to add to the garrison of our people; it may serve to legitimate his promotion, and I have a prejudice in favour of his noble birth."

"The sergeant's wars are ended, madam," said Grahame, in an unaltered tone, "and he now needs no promotion that an earthly master can give."

"Pardon me," said Major Bellenden, taking Claverhouse by the arm, and turning him away from the ladies, "but I am anxious for my friends; I fear you have other and more important loss. I observe another officer carries your nephew's standard."

"You are right, Major Bellenden," answered Claverhouse firmly; "my nephew is no more. He has died in his duty, as became him."

"Great God!" exclaimed the Major, "how unhappy!—the handsome, gallant, high-spirited youth!"

"He was indeed all you say," answered Claverhouse; "poor Richard was to me as an eldest son, the apple of my eye, and my destined heir; but he died in his duty, and I—I—Major Bellenden"—(he wrung the Major's hand hard as he spoke)—"I live to avenge him."

"Colonel Grahame," said the affectionate veteran, his eyes filling with tears, "I am glad to see you bear this misfortune with such fortitude."

"I am not a selfish man," replied Claverhouse, "though the world will tell you otherwise; I am not selfish either in my hopes or fears, my joys or sorrows. I have not been severe for myself, or grasping for myself, or ambitious for myself. The service of my master and the good of the country are what I have tried to aim at. I may, perhaps, have driven severity into cruelty, but I acted for the best; and now I will not yield to my own feelings a deeper sympathy than I have given to those of others."

"I am astonished at your fortitude under all the unpleasant circumstances of this affair," pursued the Major.

"Yes," replied Claverhouse, "my enemies in the council will lay this misfortune to my charge—I despise their accusations. They will calumniate me to my sovereign—I can repel their charge. The public enemy will exult in my flight—I shall find a time to show them that they exult too early. This youth that has fallen stood betwixt a grasping kinsman and my inheritance, for you know that my marriage-bed is barren; yet, peace be with him! the country can better spare him than your friend Lord Evandale, who, after behaving very gallantly, has, I fear, also fallen."

"What a fatal day!" ejaculated the Major. "I heard a report of this, but it was again contradicted; it was added, that the poor young nobleman's impetuosity had occasioned the loss of this unhappy field."

"Not so, Major," said Grahame; "let the living officers bear the blame, if there be any; and let the laurels flourish untarnished on the grave of the fallen. I do not, however, speak of Lord Evandale's death as certain; but killed, or prisoner, I fear he must be. Yet he was extricated from the tumult the last time we spoke together. We were then on the point of leaving the field with a rear-guard of scarce twenty men; the rest of the regiment were almost dispersed."

"They have rallied again soon," said the Major, looking from the window on the dragoons, who were feeding their horses and refreshing themselves beside the brook.

"Yes," answered Claverhouse, "my blackguards had little temptation either to desert, or to straggle farther than they were driven by their first panic. There is small friendship and scant courtesy between them and the boors of this country; every village they pass is likely to rise on them, and so the scoundrels are driven back to their colours by a wholesome terror of spits, pike-staves, hay-forks, and broomsticks.—But now let us talk about your plans and wants, and the means of corresponding with you. To tell you the truth, I doubt being able to make a long stand at Glasgow, even when I have joined my Lord Ross; for this transient and accidental success of the fanatics will raise the devil through all the western counties."

They then discussed Major Bellenden's means of defence, and settled a plan of correspondence, in case a general insurrection took place, as was to be expected. Claverhouse renewed his offer to escort the ladies to a place of safety; but, all things considered, Major Bellenden thought they would be in equal safety at Tillietudlem.

The Colonel then took a polite leave of Lady Margaret and Miss Bellenden, assuring them, that, though he was reluctantly obliged to leave them for the present in dangerous circumstances, yet his earliest means should be turned to the redemption of his character as a good knight and true, and that they might speedily rely on hearing from or seeing him.

Full of doubt and apprehension, Lady Margaret was little able to reply to a speech so much in unison with her usual expressions and feelings, but contented herself with bidding Claverhouse farewell, and thanking him for the succours which he had promised to leave them. Edith longed to enquire the fate of Henry Morton, but could find no pretext for doing so, and could only hope that it had made a subject of some part of the long private communication which her uncle had held with Claverhouse. On this subject, however, she was disappointed; for the old cavalier was so deeply immersed in the duties of his own office, that he had scarce said a single word to Claverhouse, excepting upon military matters, and most probably would have been equally forgetful, had the fate of his own son, instead of his friend's, lain in the balance.

Claverhouse now descended the bank on which the castle is founded, in order to put his troops again in motion, and Major Bellenden accompanied him to receive the detachment who were to be left in the tower.

"I shall leave Inglis with you," said Claverhouse, "for, as I am situated, I cannot spare an officer of rank; it is all we can do, by our joint efforts, to keep the men together. But should any of our missing officers make their appearance, I authorize you to detain them; for my fellows can with difficulty be subjected to any other authority."

His troops being now drawn up, he picked out sixteen men by name, and committed them to the command of Corporal Inglis, whom he promoted to the rank of sergeant on the spot.

"And hark ye, gentlemen," was his concluding harangue, "I leave you to defend the house of a lady, and under the command of her brother, Major Bellenden, a faithful servant to the king. You are to behave bravely, soberly, regularly, and obediently, and each of you shall be handsomely rewarded on my return to relieve the garrison. In case of mutiny, cowardice, neglect of duty, or the slightest excess in the family, the provost-marshal and cord—you know I keep my word for good and evil."

He touched his hat as he bade them farewell, and shook hands cordially with Major Bellenden.

"Adieu," he said, "my stout-hearted old friend! Good luck be with you, and better times to us both."

The horsemen whom he commanded had been once more reduced to tolerable order by the exertions of Major Allan; and, though shorn of their splendour, and with their gilding all besmirched, made a much more regular and military appearance on leaving, for the second time, the tower of Tillietudlem, than when they returned to it after their rout.

Major Bellenden, now left to his own resources sent out several videttes, both to obtain supplies of provisions, and especially of meal, and to get knowledge of the motions of the enemy. All the news he could collect on the second subject tended to prove that the insurgents meant to remain on the field of battle for that night. But they, also, had abroad their detachments and advanced guards to collect supplies, and great was the doubt and distress of those who received contrary orders, in the name of the King and in that of the Kirk; the one commanding them to send provisions to victual the Castle of Tillietudlem, and the other enjoining them to forward supplies to the camp of the godly professors of true religion, now in arms for the cause of covenanted reformation, presently pitched at Drumclog, nigh to Loudon-hill. Each summons closed with a denunciation of fire and sword if it was neglected; for neither party could confide so far in the loyalty or zeal of those whom they addressed, as to hope they would part with their property upon other terms. So that the poor people knew not what hand to turn themselves to; and, to say truth, there were some who turned themselves to more than one.

"Thir kittle times will drive the wisest o' us daft," said Niel Blane, the prudent host of the Howff; "but I'se aye keep a calm sough.—Jenny, what meal is in the girnel?"

"Four bows o' aitmeal, twa bows o' bear, and twa bows o' pease," was Jenny's reply.

"Aweel, hinny," continued Niel Blane, sighing deeply, "let Bauldy drive the pease and bear meal to the camp at Drumclog—he's a whig, and was the auld gudewife's pleughman—the mashlum bannocks will suit their muirland stamachs weel. He maun say it's the last unce o' meal in the house, or, if he scruples to tell a lie, (as it's no likely he will when it's for the gude o' the house,) he may wait till Duncan Glen, the auld drucken trooper, drives up the aitmeal to Tillietudlem, wi' my dutifu' service to my Leddy and the Major, and I haena as muckle left as will mak my parritch; and if Duncan manage right, I'll gie him a tass o' whisky shall mak the blue low come out at his mouth."

"And what are we to eat oursells then, father," asked Jenny, "when we hae sent awa the haill meal in the ark and the girnel?"

"We maun gar wheat-flour serve us for a blink," said Niel, in a tone of resignation; "it's no that ill food, though far frae being sae hearty or kindly to a Scotchman's stamach as the curney aitmeal is; the Englishers live amaist upon't; but, to be sure, the pock-puddings ken nae better."

While the prudent and peaceful endeavoured, like Niel Blane, to make fair weather with both parties, those who had more public (or party) spirit began to take arms on all sides. The royalists in the country were not numerous, but were respectable from their fortune and influence, being chiefly landed proprietors of ancient descent, who, with their brothers, cousins, and dependents to the ninth generation, as well as their domestic servants, formed a sort of militia, capable of defending their own peel-houses against detached bodies of the insurgents, of resisting their demand of supplies, and intercepting those which were sent to the presbyterian camp by others. The news that the Tower of Tillietudlem was to be defended against the insurgents, afforded great courage and support to these feudal volunteers, who considered it as a stronghold to which they might retreat, in case it should become impossible for them to maintain the desultory war they were now about to wage.

On the other hand, the towns, the villages, the farm-houses, the properties of small heritors, sent forth numerous recruits to the presbyterian interest. These men had been the principal sufferers during the oppression of the time. Their minds were fretted, soured, and driven to desperation, by the various exactions and cruelties to which they had been subjected; and, although by no means united among themselves, either concerning the purpose of this formidable insurrection, or the means by which that purpose was to be obtained, most of them considered it as a door opened by Providence to obtain the liberty of conscience of which they had been long deprived, and to shake themselves free of a tyranny, directed both against body and soul. Numbers of these men, therefore, took up arms; and, in the phrase of their time and party, prepared to cast in their lot with the victors of Loudon-hill.


          Ananias. I do not like the man: He is a heathen,
          And speaks the language of Canaan truly.

          Tribulation. You must await his calling, and the coming
          Of the good spirit. You did ill to upbraid him.
                                             The Alchemist.

We return to Henry Morton, whom we left on the field of battle. He was eating, by one of the watch-fires, his portion of the provisions which had been distributed to the army, and musing deeply on the path which he was next to pursue, when Burley suddenly came up to him, accompanied by the young minister, whose exhortation after the victory had produced such a powerful effect.

"Henry Morton," said Balfour abruptly, "the council of the army of the Covenant, confiding that the son of Silas Morton can never prove a lukewarm Laodicean, or an indifferent Gallio, in this great day, have nominated you to be a captain of their host, with the right of a vote in their council, and all authority fitting for an officer who is to command Christian men."

"Mr Balfour," replied Morton, without hesitation, "I feel this mark of confidence, and it is not surprising that a natural sense of the injuries of my country, not to mention those I have sustained in my own person, should make me sufficiently willing to draw my sword for liberty and freedom of conscience. But I will own to you, that I must be better satisfied concerning the principles on which you bottom your cause ere I can agree to take a command amongst you."

"And can you doubt of our principles," answered Burley, "since we have stated them to be the reformation both of church and state, the rebuilding of the decayed sanctuary, the gathering of the dispersed saints, and the destruction of the man of sin?"

"I will own frankly, Mr Balfour," replied Morton, "much of this sort of language, which, I observe, is so powerful with others, is entirely lost on me. It is proper you should be aware of this before we commune further together." (The young clergyman here groaned deeply.) "I distress you, sir," said Morton; "but, perhaps, it is because you will not hear me out. I revere the Scriptures as deeply as you or any Christian can do. I look into them with humble hope of extracting a rule of conduct and a law of salvation. But I expect to find this by an examination of their general tenor, and of the spirit which they uniformly breathe, and not by wresting particular passages from their context, or by the application of Scriptural phrases to circumstances and events with which they have often very slender relation."

The young divine seemed shocked and thunderstruck with this declaration, and was about to remonstrate.

"Hush, Ephraim!" said Burley, "remember he is but as a babe in swaddling clothes.—Listen to me, Morton. I will speak to thee in the worldly language of that carnal reason, which is, for the present, thy blind and imperfect guide. What is the object for which thou art content to draw thy sword? Is it not that the church and state should be reformed by the free voice of a free parliament, with such laws as shall hereafter prevent the executive government from spilling the blood, torturing and imprisoning the persons, exhausting the estates, and trampling upon the consciences of men, at their own wicked pleasure?"

"Most certainly," said Morton; "such I esteem legitimate causes of warfare, and for such I will fight while I can wield a sword."

"Nay, but," said Macbriar, "ye handle this matter too tenderly; nor will my conscience permit me to fard or daub over the causes of divine wrath."

"Peace, Ephraim Macbriar!" again interrupted Burley.

"I will not peace," said the young man. "Is it not the cause of my Master who hath sent me? Is it not a profane and Erastian destroying of his authority, usurpation of his power, denial of his name, to place either King or Parliament in his place as the master and governor of his household, the adulterous husband of his spouse?"

"You speak well," said Burley, dragging him aside, "but not wisely; your own ears have heard this night in council how this scattered remnant are broken and divided, and would ye now make a veil of separation between them? Would ye build a wall with unslaked mortar?—if a fox go up, it will breach it."

"I know," said the young clergyman, in reply, "that thou art faithful, honest, and zealous, even unto slaying; but, believe me, this worldly craft, this temporizing with sin and with infirmity, is in itself a falling away; and I fear me Heaven will not honour us to do much more for His glory, when we seek to carnal cunning and to a fleshly arm. The sanctified end must be wrought by sanctified means."

"I tell thee," answered Balfour, "thy zeal is too rigid in this matter; we cannot yet do without the help of the Laodiceans and the Erastians; we must endure for a space the indulged in the midst of the council—the sons of Zeruiah are yet too strong for us."

"I tell thee I like it not," said Macbriar; "God can work deliverance by a few as well as by a multitude. The host of the faithful that was broken upon Pentland-hills, paid but the fitting penalty of acknowledging the carnal interest of that tyrant and oppressor, Charles Stewart."

"Well, then," said Balfour, "thou knowest the healing resolution that the council have adopted,—to make a comprehending declaration, that may suit the tender consciences of all who groan under the yoke of our present oppressors. Return to the council if thou wilt, and get them to recall it, and send forth one upon narrower grounds. But abide not here to hinder my gaining over this youth, whom my soul travails for; his name alone will call forth hundreds to our banners."

"Do as thou wilt, then," said Macbriar; "but I will not assist to mislead the youth, nor bring him into jeopardy of life, unless upon such grounds as will ensure his eternal reward."

The more artful Balfour then dismissed the impatient preacher, and returned to his proselyte.

That we may be enabled to dispense with detailing at length the arguments by which he urged Morton to join the insurgents, we shall take this opportunity to give a brief sketch of the person by whom they were used, and the motives which he had for interesting himself so deeply in the conversion of young Morton to his cause.

John Balfour of Kinloch, or Burley, for he is designated both ways in the histories and proclamations of that melancholy period, was a gentleman of some fortune, and of good family, in the county of Fife, and had been a soldier from his youth upwards. In the younger part of his life he had been wild and licentious, but had early laid aside open profligacy, and embraced the strictest tenets of Calvinism. Unfortunately, habits of excess and intemperance were more easily rooted out of his dark, saturnine, and enterprising spirit, than the vices of revenge and ambition, which continued, notwithstanding his religious professions, to exercise no small sway over his mind. Daring in design, precipitate and violent in execution, and going to the very extremity of the most rigid recusancy, it was his ambition to place himself at the head of the presbyterian interest.

To attain this eminence among the whigs, he had been active in attending their conventicles, and more than once had commanded them when they appeared in arms, and beaten off the forces sent to disperse them. At length, the gratification of his own fierce enthusiasm, joined, as some say, with motives of private revenge, placed him at the head of that party who assassinated the Primate of Scotland, as the author of the sufferings of the presbyterians. The violent measures adopted by government to revenge this deed, not on the perpetrators only, but on the whole professors of the religion to which they belonged, together with long previous sufferings, without any prospect of deliverance, except by force of arms, occasioned the insurrection, which, as we have already seen, commenced by the defeat of Claverhouse in the bloody skirmish of Loudon-hill.

But Burley, notwithstanding the share he had in the victory, was far from finding himself at the summit which his ambition aimed at. This was partly owing to the various opinions entertained among the insurgents concerning the murder of Archbishop Sharpe. The more violent among them did, indeed, approve of this act as a deed of justice, executed upon a persecutor of God's church through the immediate inspiration of the Deity; but the greater part of the presbyterians disowned the deed as a crime highly culpable, although they admitted, that the Archbishop's punishment had by no means exceeded his deserts. The insurgents differed in another main point, which has been already touched upon. The more warm and extravagant fanatics condemned, as guilty of a pusillanimous abandonment of the rights of the church, those preachers and congregations who were contented, in any manner, to exercise their religion through the permission of the ruling government. This, they said, was absolute Erastianism, or subjection of the church of God to the regulations of an earthly government, and therefore but one degree better than prelacy or popery.—Again, the more moderate party were content to allow the king's title to the throne, and in secular affairs to acknowledge his authority, so long as it was exercised with due regard to the liberties of the subject, and in conformity to the laws of the realm. But the tenets of the wilder sect, called, from their leader Richard Cameron, by the name of Cameronians, went the length of disowning the reigning monarch, and every one of his successors, who should not acknowledge the Solemn League and Covenant. The seeds of disunion were, therefore, thickly sown in this ill-fated party; and Balfour, however enthusiastic, and however much attached to the most violent of those tenets which we have noticed, saw nothing but ruin to the general cause, if they were insisted on during this crisis, when unity was of so much consequence. Hence he disapproved, as we have seen, of the honest, downright, and ardent zeal of Macbriar, and was extremely desirous to receive the assistance of the moderate party of presbyterians in the immediate overthrow of the government, with the hope of being hereafter able to dictate to them what should be substituted in its place.

He was, on this account, particularly anxious to secure the accession of Henry Morton to the cause of the insurgents. The memory of his father was generally esteemed among the presbyterians; and as few persons of any decent quality had joined the insurgents, this young man's family and prospects were such as almost ensured his being chosen a leader. Through Morton's means, as being the son of his ancient comrade, Burley conceived he might exercise some influence over the more liberal part of the army, and ultimately, perhaps, ingratiate himself so far with them, as to be chosen commander-in-chief, which was the mark at which his ambition aimed. He had, therefore, without waiting till any other person took up the subject, exalted to the council the talents and disposition of Morton, and easily obtained his elevation to the painful rank of a leader in this disunited and undisciplined army.

The arguments by which Balfour pressed Morton to accept of this dangerous promotion, as soon as he had gotten rid of his less wary and uncompromising companion, Macbriar, were sufficiently artful and urgent. He did not affect either to deny or to disguise that the sentiments which he himself entertained concerning church government, went as far as those of the preacher who had just left them; but he argued, that when the affairs of the nation were at such a desperate crisis, minute difference of opinion should not prevent those who, in general, wished well to their oppressed country, from drawing their swords in its behalf. Many of the subjects of division, as, for example, that concerning the Indulgence itself, arose, he observed, out of circumstances which would cease to exist, provided their attempt to free the country should be successful, seeing that the presbytery, being in that case triumphant, would need to make no such compromise with the government, and, consequently, with the abolition of the Indulgence all discussion of its legality would be at once ended. He insisted much and strongly upon the necessity of taking advantage of this favourable crisis, upon the certainty of their being joined by the force of the whole western shires, and upon the gross guilt which those would incur, who, seeing the distress of the country, and the increasing tyranny with which it was governed, should, from fear or indifference, withhold their active aid from the good cause.

Morton wanted not these arguments to induce him to join in any insurrection, which might appear to have a feasible prospect of freedom to the country. He doubted, indeed, greatly, whether the present attempt was likely to be supported by the strength sufficient to ensure success, or by the wisdom and liberality of spirit necessary to make a good use of the advantages that might be gained. Upon the whole, however, considering the wrongs he had personally endured, and those which he had seen daily inflicted on his fellow-subjects; meditating also upon the precarious and dangerous situation in which he already stood with relation to the government, he conceived himself, in every point of view, called upon to join the body of presbyterians already in arms.

But while he expressed to Burley his acquiescence in the vote which had named him a leader among the insurgents, and a member of their council of war, it was not without a qualification.

"I am willing," he said, "to contribute every thing within my limited power to effect the emancipation of my country. But do not mistake me. I disapprove, in the utmost degree, of the action in which this rising seems to have originated; and no arguments should induce me to join it, if it is to be carried on by such measures as that with which it has commenced."

Burley's blood rushed to his face, giving a ruddy and dark glow to his swarthy brow.

"You mean," he said, in a voice which he designed should not betray any emotion—"You mean the death of James Sharpe?"

"Frankly," answered Morton, "such is my meaning."

"You imagine, then," said Burley, "that the Almighty, in times of difficulty, does not raise up instruments to deliver his church from her oppressors? You are of opinion that the justice of an execution consists, not in the extent of the sufferer's crime, or in his having merited punishment, or in the wholesome and salutary effect which that example is likely to produce upon other evil-doers, but hold that it rests solely in the robe of the judge, the height of the bench, and the voice of the doomster? Is not just punishment justly inflicted, whether on the scaffold or the moor? And where constituted judges, from cowardice, or from having cast in their lot with transgressors, suffer them not only to pass at liberty through the land, but to sit in the high places, and dye their garments in the blood of the saints, is it not well done in any brave spirits who shall draw their private swords in the public cause?"

"I have no wish to judge this individual action," replied Morton, "further than is necessary to make you fully aware of my principles. I therefore repeat, that the case you have supposed does not satisfy my judgment. That the Almighty, in his mysterious providence, may bring a bloody man to an end deservedly bloody, does not vindicate those who, without authority of any kind, take upon themselves to be the instruments of execution, and presume to call them the executors of divine vengeance."

"And were we not so?" said Burley, in a tone of fierce enthusiasm. "Were not we—was not every one who owned the interest of the Covenanted Church of Scotland, bound by that covenant to cut off the Judas who had sold the cause of God for fifty thousand merks a-year? Had we met him by the way as he came down from London, and there smitten him with the edge of the sword, we had done but the duty of men faithful to our cause, and to our oaths recorded in heaven. Was not the execution itself a proof of our warrant? Did not the Lord deliver him into our hands, when we looked out but for one of his inferior tools of persecution? Did we not pray to be resolved how we should act, and was it not borne in on our hearts as if it had been written on them with the point of a diamond, 'Ye shall surely take him and slay him?'—Was not the tragedy full half an hour in acting ere the sacrifice was completed, and that in an open heath, and within the patrols of their garrisons—and yet who interrupted the great work?— What dog so much as bayed us during the pursuit, the taking, the slaying, and the dispersing? Then, who will say—who dare say, that a mightier arm than ours was not herein revealed?"

"You deceive yourself, Mr Balfour," said Morton; "such circumstances of facility of execution and escape have often attended the commission of the most enormous crimes.—But it is not mine to judge you. I have not forgotten that the way was opened to the former liberation of Scotland by an act of violence which no man can justify,—the slaughter of Cumming by the hand of Robert Bruce; and, therefore, condemning this action, as I do and must, I am not unwilling to suppose that you may have motives vindicating it in your own eyes, though not in mine, or in those of sober reason. I only now mention it, because I desire you to understand, that I join a cause supported by men engaged in open war, which it is proposed to carry on according to the rules of civilized nations, without, in any respect, approving of the act of violence which gave immediate rise to it."

Balfour bit his lip, and with difficulty suppressed a violent answer. He perceived, with disappointment, that, upon points of principle, his young brother-in-arms possessed a clearness of judgment, and a firmness of mind, which afforded but little hope of his being able to exert that degree of influence over him which he had expected to possess. After a moment's pause, however, he said, with coolness, "My conduct is open to men and angels. The deed was not done in a corner; I am here in arms to avow it, and care not where, or by whom, I am called on to do so; whether in the council, the field of battle, the place of execution, or the day of the last great trial. I will not now discuss it further with one who is yet on the other side of the veil. But if you will cast in your lot with us as a brother, come with me to the council, who are still sitting, to arrange the future march of the army, and the means of improving our victory."

Morton arose and followed him in silence; not greatly delighted with his associate, and better satisfied with the general justice of the cause which he had espoused, than either with the measures or the motives of many of those who were embarked in it.