The Project Gutenberg eBook of Philip Rollo, Vol. I (of 2), by James Grant
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Title:Philip Rollo, Vol. I (of 2)
or, the Scottish Musketeers
Author: James Grant
Release Date: March 01, 2021 [eBook #64669]
Language: English
Character set encoding: UTF-8
Produced by: Al Haines







"'Tis a tale of campaigning, of love, and invading,
Of marches, of routes, bivouacs, enfilading;
Of batteries and breaches, howitzers and mortars,
Of posts and intrenchments; of in and out quarters;
Of advancing in line, by columns, divisions,
And fighting whole days without rum or provisions."






Book the First.


I.—Of my Family, and the Misfortune of not having a Large Mouth
II.—How I became a Soldier of Fortune
III.—Sir Donald and his Regiment
IV.—We Sail for the Elbe
VI.—After escaping a fall into the Elbe, I am in danger of falling in Love
VII.—The Repast
VIII.—Our Cantonment
IX.—The Mysterious Door—a Discourse on Nymphs

Book the Second.

X.—Full effect of a Spanish Petticoat
XI.—My First Guard
XII.—Who Prudentia's Spouse proved to be
XIII.—Two Kisses for ten Doubloons
XIV.—I prevail on Prudentia to accept of a Ring
XV.—My Goddess deceives me. I quarrel with the Haüsmeister, and run him through the body

Book the Third.

XVI.—The Scottish Standard
XVII—The Sconce of Boitzenburg
XVIII.—How our old Scottish blades pommeled the Imperialists
XIX.—The Crown of Fire
XXI.—The Fair Hair and the Dark Hair

Book the Fourth.

XXII.—Dandy Dreghorn
XXIII.—Ernestine and Gabrielle
XXIV.—Probability of escaping, and leaving my Heart behind me
XXV.—A serious Mistake, and a learned Discussion on Women
XXVI.—The Scout, and the Effect of a Sneeze
XXVII.—The March towards Lauenburg
XXVIII.—Count Tilly's Opinion of the Presbyterians
XXIX.—Cairn na Cuimhne!
XXX.—The Jesuit
XXXI.—Of the Good Deeds our Musketeers were undoing

Book the Sixth.

XXXII.—The Merodeurs
XXXIII.—The Hunter's Cot
XXXIV.—I obtain a Company of Musketeers
XXXV.—Proteus again!
XXXVI.—A Forest on Fire
XXXVII.—The Prisoners of the Pistoliers

Book the Seventh.

XXXVIII.—The Pass of Oldenburg
XXXIX.—The Night of Horrors at Heilinghafen
XL.—We sail for the Isles of Denmark
XLI.—On Board the good ship Anna Catharina
XLII.—The Rittersaal
XLIII.—March for the Castle of Nyekiöbing


At a sale of the effects of an eminent antiquary lately deceased, it was our happiness and good fortune to become the possessor of a certain little MS. volume, closely written, in a neat small hand of the 17th century. It is very thick, contains nearly a thousand pages, is bound in black leather, and is fastened by two brass clasps. On the title-page was written, "The Storie of my Lyffe, concludit to this year 1660."

On examining our literary and antiquarian treasure, which we did with ardour, we found that it was the adventures of a Scottish gentleman, of that stirring period indicated by the date, who had served for a time, as a soldier of fortune, in the armies of Denmark. We found the book interesting, from the glimpses of wild adventure, hair-breadth escapes, high military courage, and raciness it exhibited; thus, the more we read, the more pleased did we become.

Philip Rollo, for such was the name of the writer, seemed to be beside us relating his own startling adventures; and we were upon the point of handing over the MS. to our enterprising friends of the Bannatyne Club, when, lo! we discovered that there were two serious gaps in it. Though having little doubt that the archaeologists would gladly publish these curious memoirs even in their mutilated state, we preferred to restore the thread of the narrative, so far as we could do so, from the quaint pages of the Amsterdam Courant, the Swedish Intelligencer, the warlike story of Colonel Monro and others, and, after modernising the spelling and language of the whole, so as to make it more generally readable, handed over our transcript to our friend Mr. Routledge, of London.

Those portions of the work which have been made up from contemporary authority, we are much too cunning to point out; though we have little doubt that the critical reader will easily recognise them. But we may add that, historically considered, we have found the military details to tally so closely with those given in the Low Dutch "Relation," "Ye Danish Warres," and other works, that our soldier of fortune may defy the closest scrutiny.

When we read the memoirs of any eminent man of whom no portrait is extant, we are naturally curious to know what like he was—the colour of his eyes, of his hair, and so forth; and, most fortunately, before entering upon the adventures of Philip Rollo, we are enabled to afford the reader a pretty good idea of these matters; for at the same extensive sale, where it was our fortune to find the MS., a portrait of the cavalier was "knocked down" to us for a comparative trifle—nothing, absolutely, when we consider that it was a real and well-authenticated Jamesone, an artist, so justly esteemed the Vandyke of Scotland, and who studied with Sir Anthony under Rubens at Antwerp.

This portrait, which appears, by a date inscribed thereon, to have been painted about the year 1630, exhibits an eminently handsome cavalier in the gallant and picturesque costume of that time. The face is oval—the forehead white and high—the mustaches and imperial well pointed—the eyes are dark—the hair long and of the deepest brown. The left hand rests in the bowl hilt of a long Spanish rapier, which hangs in a magnificent baldric, worn sash-wise over the right shoulder; the right hand rests on a helmet, to show that it is the portrait of a gentleman and soldier. We have also an admirable example of the Scottish costume of the period. This cavalier's doublet having loose sleeves, slashed with white, the collar being covered by a falling band of the richest point lace; a short crimson cloak hangs jauntily on the left shoulder; the breeches are of blue velvet, fringed with point lace, and meet the long riding boots, which have tops of ruffled lace. A military order sparkles on his breast, and a dagger dangles at his right side. Under the helmet there peeps out a slip of paper, on which is written, Philip Rollo, hys portraitoure.

There is a proud and lofty expression in the face of this old portrait (which is now hanging above my writing-table), that is remarkably pleasing and impressive. While gazing at it, the dark eyes seem to fill with dusky fire—the proud lips to curl, and the manly breast to expand with the high military spirit the original once possessed, while the clouds of battle, which envelope the background, seem once more to roll around him on the wind. This is power of the Jamesone's pencil—that magic power which the lapse of more than two hundred years has failed to obliterate; and we hope that the reader will, erelong, be as interested as we are ourselves in the fortunes and misfortunes, loves and adventures, of Philip Rollo, whose personal memoirs appear to have been compiled by himself for his own amusement, rather than for that of others.


Book the First.



I was born in the year after King James VI. acquired the dominion of England, at my father's tower of Craigrollo, which overlooks the great bay of Cromartie. The youngest of four sons, I was (God knows why) a child of ill-omen from my birth; for, before that event came to pass, my mother had various remarkable dreams, which were darkly and mysteriously construed by certain Highland crones of the district; and the whole family made up their minds to expect that I should never be the source of aught else but discomfort and disgrace to them.

All unconscious of the disagreeable impressions regarding me, I was ushered (poor little devil!) into this world on a Friday, the most ominous day of the week for such an arrival; when a furious storm of wind was rolling the waves of the North Sea against the Sutors of Cromartie; and a tempest of rain was lashing the walls and windows of the old tower, and drenching the older pine-woods that surrounded it. A knife and spade had been placed below my mother's bed, a Bible below her pillow, and the room was plentifully sprinkled with salt, to avert the mal-influence of the fairies, and every way the old fashions of the Highlands were complied with strictly.

My father had been particularly anxious for a daughter, that he might marry her to his nephew, M'Farquhar of that Ilk, to whom he was tutor or guardian; and various wise women, who had been solemnly convened in council before I was born, had all been morally certain that my mother would have a daughter.

"You have long loved French apples," said old Mhona Toshach; "your ladyship is sure to have a daughter."

My sudden appearance upset all their calculations, and none more than those of my father.

"The devil's in the brat!" said he. "There goes the estate of M'Farquhar, with its five hundred broadswords;" for, in our Scottish fashion, he was what we call the tutor of the property.

As if to increase the general prejudice against me, I squalled right lustily, which made all the old crones of the household, and the wise women of the parish, with Mhona Toshach, my mother's nurse, at their head, tremble and predict that, through life, "sore trials and evil would attend the course of the Friday's bairn." All the crickets in the bakehouse disappeared that day for ever, a surer foreboding of dire calamity.

Though we were a branch of a Lowland or Perthshire family, the gallant Rollos of Duncruib, my father, partly to humour my mother, who was a daughter of the race of M'Farquhar, and partly to please his Highland neighbours, resolved to celebrate my arrival in the old country fashion. The old family banner, with its azure chevrons, on which the spiders had been spinning their webs since it had been last unfurled on the birth of my brother Ewen, (for my father was eminently a peaceful man,) was displayed on the old tower; and more than one gallant puncheon of ale, and bombarde of Flemish wine were set abroach in the yard. I was baptized over a broadsword. Then came the solemn and important ceremony of placing in my mouth "the Rollo spoon," which was done in presence of the whole household; and which, from the consternation it occasioned, requires some explanation.

An ancestor of ours, Sir Bingan Rollo of that Ilk, who had accompanied Earl Douglas (afterwards Marshal of France and Duke of Touraine) on his successful invasion of England, in the year of God 1420, when sacking the manor-house of a certain English squire, found therein a silver spoon of great size and curious workmanship, which he brought home with him to Cromartie, leaving in place thereof his right eye, which he lost by an English arrow in the assault. This spoon, doubtless the palladium of a long race of well-fed Saxons, became the heirloom of the house of Rollo, on which it produced a very remarkable effect—not unlike that which Rigord tells us the loss of the true cross at Tiberiade, had upon all children born afterwards in Christendom—for instead of thirty teeth they had but twenty. So all the future Rollos of the Craig, came in time to be distinguished by the unusual size of their mouths from the first year after this spoon was deposited in the oak charter-chest of the family. I had a great-uncle whose mouth, when born, extended from ear to ear; but still it was almost insufficient to contain this capacious English spoon, which was quite round, measured three inches in diameter, and on which our valiant ancestor had engraved his crest, a stag's head, with the legend,

"This spune I leave in legacie
To the maist mouthed Rollo, after me.
        RINGAN ROLLO, 1421."

Thus, whenever a son or daughter of the family was born, the insertion of this remarkable heirloom into their mouths was one of the usual ceremonies, and was considered as indispensable as marriage or christening. Such a trophy was considered something to be vain of, by the Rollos of the Craig, who were sorely jealous of their neighbours, the Urquharts of Cromartie, who deduced their descent from Alcibiades the Athenian!*

* See Sir Thomas Urquhart's Works.

It had been remarked that every Rollo of the Craig, whose mouth would not admit this spoon, or at least a portion of it, was remarkably unfortunate; thus, of my father's ten brothers, three, who were so unhappy as to have mouths like other people, after being distinguished for their facility in getting into quarrels and turmoils, were all cut off, early in life; one being slain by the English at the Raid of the Redswire; a second with Buccleuch in the Lowlands of Holland; and the third, who had become an officer in a Scottish frigate, being taken by the cruel pirates of Barbary, who basely murdered him. Most happily for themselves, my three elder brothers were blessed with enormously wide mouths—in fact, they were like nothing that I can remember but the mouth of a cannon, or the stone gutters of a cathedral; but I—poor little wretch!—had a mouth so remarkably small, that no part of this capacious spoon would enter therein—not even a segment of it; and from that moment I was unanimously considered as a lost, an untrue Rollo. My father turned his back upon me from that day, and vowed there was less of the Rollo than the M'Farquhar about me; so, from thenceforward, I was, as it were, delivered into the hands of mischance and misfortune.

A goodly volume would be required to narrate all the heart-burnings and sore taunts I endured in boyhood, for the smallness of my mouth; the studied coldness of my father; the gibes and laughter of my brothers; the ominous forebodings and doleful anticipations of the old nurse, Mhona Toshach; and the equivocal taunts of the good-natured friends and tenantry, among whom I seemed to be viewed like the poor dog, that should be hung after acquiring the bad name, the mob and their misdeeds, have given him. That diabolical old spoon was the bane of my existence; and, influenced by certain hints from my poor mother, who, having a very small and very pretty mouth herself, sympathised with me, I made more than one essay, to obtain possession of it, for the purpose of throwing it into the deepest part of Cromartie bay, with a pretty heavy stone attached thereto. But the ancient charter-chest, with its iron bands and triple locks, defied all my efforts; and many a hearty kick I gave it, in pure rage and despite, after every attempt of myself and Mhona had failed to widen my mouth to the family size, by the simple mode of inserting our fingers therein, and pulling the corners in contrary directions.

Had my father (worthy man!) been of a jealous disposition, I doubt not that it might have occasioned some dispeace between him and my mother, who told him often, that "he ought to love my mouth the more for being so like her own;" but, wedded to his own opinions, based as they were on the traditions and predictions of two hundred years, the old gentleman, who had himself a singularly open countenance, was inexorable, and sorely dreaded that little Philip was foredoomed to bring disgrace, or at least mischance, on the Rollos of the Craig.

Save this peculiar prejudice, he was one of the best men in the county; and was one of those old gentlemen who are always looking back and never forward: he stuck manfully to the bombasted doublets and fashions of his father's days, and never allowed a Michaelmas to pass without eating a St. Michael's bannock, or a Christmas without seeing the yule log laid on the hearth, and never was known to kill a spider, in memory of the good service once rendered to Scotland and the Bruce in the days of old.

Though I suffered severely from his strange pique, it was perhaps the source of good to me ultimately. Instead of being retained at home, like my brothers, spelling over the Auld Prymar, and trembling under the ferrule of Domine Daidle, the tutor, fiddler, and factor of the family, and spending three parts of the day in hunting, shooting with the bow, banqueting, dancing, and learning to handle the claymore and target, I was despatched to the King's College at Aberdeen, where I was duly matriculated in 1621, about the time when the battle was fought in Leith Roads between the Spaniards and the Admiral of Zealand; for I remember well that it formed the constant topic of conversation among my brother students, many of whom were from the south country.

Here my usual mischance accompanied me, for I was always involved in quarrels with the ruffling gallants of the Brave City, or lost my money among cheats and sharpers at post and pair, or the old game of trumps. Lord knows! I never had much to lose, and I nearly reached the end of my wits and my purse together. Then, to crown all, I fell deadly sick of that terrible pestilence which has so frequently desolated Aberdeen, having swept away its citizens no less than ten times between the years 1401 and 1647. So great was the panic latterly, that the classes of the universities were removed to Peterhead; but I, unable to accompany them, was borne to the huts erected for the sick on the Links, where we were strictly guarded by soldiers, to prevent the infection spreading.

While there, I received a letter from my father condoling with me on my doleful case, and hinting broadly, that, had my mouth been larger, I could have eaten more, and should assuredly have escaped, like my brothers, who were strong and well. As I had been robbed of my last plack by the cruel nurses, a few silver crowns had been more welcome, and I crushed up the poor man's letter, for the least mention of my "small mouth" was sufficient to make me tremble with rage. My dear mother sent me two jars, one filled with usquebaugh, and the other with honey; but as the soldiers drank the first, and the nurses eat the second, I got no use of either. There, among the pest-stricken, I lingered long, hovering, as it were, between life and death, sighing to be beside my mother, to feel her gentle hand on my hot and throbbing brow, and to hear her kind voice whispering in my ear; for, boy like, I thought if I were only once again beside that kind parent, and she touched me, I should become whole and well.

I thought of the old tower too, though, save one, none loved me there; I saw the dark pines that shaded its old grey walls; the whin rocks, the heath-clad hills, and the blue bay of Cromartie, with the great Sutors, like two Cyclopean towers, that overhang its narrow entrance; and sorely I longed to see them all once again, before I died.

Weary, weak and feeble, I hoped to die soon; but by the blessing of God, and the strength of my own constitution, I recovered; nor must I omit to make honourable mention of that worthy chirurgeon, Donald Gordon, author of the learned "Pharmaco-pinæ, or Table and Taxe of the Vsual Medicaments contayned in his Apothecarie and Chymicall shope, in New Aberdene;" and but for whose skill and kindness, I had never lived to write these my memoirs.

I recovered, the plague passed away, the Senatus Academicus once more returned to the King's College, and the classes were resumed. I commenced my studies again with renewed ardour, and again became immersed in the classic pages of Plutarch, of Sallust, and of Nepos. I longed to become a great scholar, a renowned statesman, or a gallant soldier—any thing famous and lofty, that I might cast from myself the slur that hateful heirloom of the Rollos had fixed upon me; that I might leave for ever the atmosphere of ill omens with which it had surrounded me, and the dark predictions that were ever grating in my ears and rankling in my memory. I perfected myself in mathematics and the humanities, and spent my whole spare time in acquiring the use of arms; thus, before I completed a year at King's College, I could handle the bow and the arquebuse, toss the pike and throw the bar, vault and ride, use pistolette, rapier, and backsword to perfection, so that the oldest and stoutest—yea, and the boldest—of our students were somewhat wary of offending me; for on the shortest notice, off went my gown, and out came bilbo and poniard.

I know not whether it was the nature of my studies, the force of circumstances, or my natural inclination towards high enterprise, that have guided me; but this I may boldly aver, that never, to my knowledge, have I swerved from the proper path which a gentleman of honour and cavalier of spirit ought to pursue in his intercourse with society.



Having completed my studies at the King's College, I left it in the June of 1626, and returned to my father's house, from which I had been so long absent, and as I felt with bitterness, unregrettedly so, by all save my poor mother, whom to my sorrow I found on the verge of death. She had long been suffering from a pain in her side, and was divining away (as we Scots say,) but I was not prepared to see her only live to bless me, and then close her eyes for ever.

I felt that the only friend I possessed on earth had left both it and me! I was very—very desolate.

Many a ghastly visage, and many a stiffened form, have I seen since that day of grief, which passed so many years ago; but that pale face, and those kind sinking eyes, come vividly before me at times, out of the mist of the years that have gone. My father, as he closed her eyes, averred sorrowfully, "that, had her mouth been larger, she would have respired more freely, and might have lived for ten good years longer;" but she died—and on a bed of pigeons' feathers too, to the dismay of all the wise women in Cromarty; for it is an old superstition, that one cannot die on the feathers of those birds.

Though a numerous host of relations were around that gloomy bed, and crowding the chambers of the old tower, I felt lonely (for such was the miserable prejudice against me), and that I was viewed as somewhat of an alien among them—even by those of my own blood and kindred; and the consciousness of that filled my heart with mingled rage and grief.

My father was cold as ever, the more so, perhaps, as his heart was full of sorrow, and sorrow is ever selfish; but my brothers, Farquhar, Finlay, and Ewen, were colder still with unkind envy, for they had heard such glowing reports of my progress in all those studies which most become a gentleman. Being certain that I had outstripped their slender knowledge, which was confined to the narrow limits of Dominie Daidle's classes, they were so full of jealousy, that our mother had scarcely been lowered down into her dark and lonely home, before these youths, who were now grown into tall and swinging Highlandmen, challenged me to various trials of strength and skill. Though I could easily encounter them with broadsword and target, or with single-stick, Farquhar could beat me at throwing the hammer, and Finlay at tossing the bullet, as Ewen could at bringing down an eagle on the wing with a single shot, or splitting a tree by one blow of a Lochaber axe; for they were all strong as young horses, untamed as mountain goats, and from their cradles had been wont to sup usquebaugh with their porridge.

My mother's funeral was celebrated after the good old fashion of the Highlands, and we buried her by torchlight in the ancient kirk of St. Regulus. Under their chief, Ian Dhu, three hundred of her kinsmen, the M'Farquhars, came down from the hills, with six pipers playing before them, and I shall never forget the sad, low wailing of the lament performed by those mountain minstrels, as the long funeral procession wound by night, along the margin of Cromartie Firth. The pall was emblazoned with sixteen proofs of her gentle blood, and the nearest kinsmen carried her poor remains on a bier, around which all the old women of her own clan, and my father's barony, moved in a melancholy crowd, beating their breasts, tearing their dishevelled hair, and lamenting wildly.

There was no prayer at the grave, because we were old Protestants; but the Seanachie of her father's race pronounced a long oration on her virtues; the M'Farquhars fired their pistols in the air, with an explosion which nearly blew out all the church windows; then followed a frightful shovelling of earth, the careful adjusting of a large stone slab—and all was over.

I was the last who left the darkened church.

I followed the procession, which, with the pipers strutting in front, returned to the tower of Craigrollo, where the funeral feast was spread and the dredgie to be drunk, the great silver spoon of Sir Ringan being laid, on this solemn occasion, beside my father's platter, which stood above the salt.

The dredgie I willingly pass over, and would as willingly commit to oblivion; for I may safely assert that, of four hundred men who were in the tower, not one was sober when the morrow dawned; and not less than two hundred gallons of mountain whisky were consumed as a libation in my mother's honour. Happily there was no fighting, but only a blow with a dirk and a slash with an axe exchanged between a M'Farquhar and a Rollo of Thanesland, about precedence at table.

After six years of a quiet life at King's College, being somewhat unused to our Highland manners, I was scared by this terrible debauch; for, amid it all, I saw by the hall fire, a chair which stood vacant, and there seemed to be ever before me that black coffin, with its gilded handles and armorial blazon—the wreath of rosemary and the hour-glass on its lid—the deep dark grave yawning horribly, in the red light of the torches, that had glared on the groined vaults of the ancient kirk. On the morning after the dredgie, leaving the hall encumbered by more than four hundred armed Celts, who, in their plaids, were sleeping and snorting on the floor, I walked forth from the tower to ruminate, and view again the old familiar scenery from which I had so long been absent.

Rising in his full refulgence from the sea, the morning sun was soaring high above the noble Firth of Cromartie, and no prospect that I have since beheld, (and in my wandering life I have looked on many,) can compare, in my estimation, with the wild mountain shores of my own native bay.

Its entrance is by two steep and lofty hills named the Sutors, which are covered with wood, and overhang the water about a mile apart; between these natural towers, as between the piers of a floodgate, the morning sun poured all his splendour on the Firth, which at my feet spread out for seventeen miles in length, until it vanished in the deep bosom of the Ross-shire mountains, and those of the Black Isle. It is the grandest bay in Britain, and after experience has shewn me, that, if its promontories were fortified by cannon, there is no place wherein our Scottish ships could ride with greater security.

In pure white haze the morning mists were rising from the pine-covered glens, and the fishermen were putting forth their nets upon the Firth, which was dotted by the brown sails of their little craft. The sky was cloudless, and the waters of Crom Ba (the winding bay) slept like a sheet of polished gold and crystal blue, at the base of its steep green bordering mountains.

I sought M'Farquhar's Bed, a large and rocky cavern which lies below the southern Sutor of Cromarty. It had been a favourite haunt of mine in boyhood; for there an ancestor, Doughal Glass, had once found shelter and concealment, after having slain an Urquhart of Cromartie by a blow of his dirk in a sudden quarrel.

The rock in which this cavern yawns, and above which the hill rises, possesses an enormous arch, forming a grand natural bridge, below which the waves are ever chafing and booming; and within it lies another, hollowed by the billows of the eternal sea. From the roof and sides of this cavern, there is a continual dropping of water, which petrifies whatever it falls upon, into a hard substance, whiter than snow; thus myriads of white pendants cover the walls and deep recesses of this cavern, the whole sides and roof of which glitter as if built of ice, of crystal, and alabaster, presenting the most wonderful and beautiful appearance when a casual ray of the sun glides along the waves which roll within it, lighting up the countless prisms of its rocks and stalactites.

To sit there, as in a fairy palace, and dream, with the summer sea murmuring at my feet, and the Sutors shaking their dark green woods above me, had been my favourite employment in other days; and now, with a heart saddened by recent events, and somewhat anxious for the future, on this fair morning in June, I sought my old familiar haunt.

When approaching, I was surprised on being suddenly confronted by the figure of an armed Highlander, in the M'Farquhar tartan, with his plaid belted and claymore at his side. My first thought was of Grey Doughal, whose spirit is said to haunt the place which yet bears his name; but when he turned, I recognised the dark locks and handsome face of my mother's nephew, young Ian Dhu, who, having been earlier abroad than even I, impelled by his own solitary thoughts, had sought this place of so many old memories and dark traditions, the shelter of our common ancestor.

"Your servant, my cousin," said he, drawing off his gauntlet to shake me warmly by the hand.

The keen expression of Ian's clear bright eye, showed that he was a Duinewassal of spirit and bravery, while the ardour of his manner and the full tone of his rich voice, betokened a good and sensible heart. After some conversation upon the beauty of the morning, the wonderful grotto in which we had met, and then a few observations on the sad ceremony of yesterday, Ian became impressed by the melancholy of my manner.

"You say that in my kinswoman, the good lady, your mother, you have lost your only friend," said he; "Dioul! I marvel much, cousin Philip, that you continue to tarry here, where all men show you the boss of their bucklers, and the crust of the loaf, your father's race and kindred though they be."

"True, Ian," I replied; "but what would you have me to do?"

"Push your way in the world, to be sure."

"But I have no friends," said I.

"Friends! what other friend than his sword does a brave fellow require? With a good buff belt to keep it at your thigh, it will go all over the world with you, and is the best knife I know of, with which to carve out a fair fortune; for it will never fail you, if you are but true to it. Now, Philip, when all the brave spirits of Scotland are flocking to the German wars, in tens of thousands, why should you stay behind? All the troops of the great Gustavus Adolphus are led by brave Duinewassals and Lowland cavaliers—yea, every company, regiment, and brigade of his Swedes and allies. All his cities and fortresses are governed by Scotsmen, and there are not less than fourteen thousand valiant Scots covering themselves with glory and honour in the war against the tyrants of the empire. Ten thousand other Scots are going to Denmark to fight the battles of King Christian against Ferdinand of Hapsburg; and my cousin, Sir Donald of Strathnaver, is now raising three thousand soldiers for that service. Under his banner, I am to lead a hundred of my father's men to the Lochlin of the bards of old."

"For what?"

"Dias Muire let! Can you ask? to seek honour for ourselves, and to add one ray to the martial glory which for ages has encircled the tribes of the Gael."

Fired by the romantic energy of my stately Highland kinsman—

"Ian," I replied, "I am sorely tempted; for you open up the path I have so long wished to pursue. Here I have nothing left to care for, and, if you allow me, I will gladly trail a pike under your orders, and march to the wars of Low Germanie."

"There spoke the M'Farquhar blood, and I was thinking you no better than a Lowlander!" said Ian, his eyes flashing as he clapped me on the shoulder; "but it shall never be said that a kinsman so near and so dear to Ian Dhu, trailed a pike as a private man under our banner, when so many Gunns, Grants, and Munroes, cock their bonnets as commissioned officers. I shall write to my kinsman, Sir Donald, and in a fortnight from this time you shall hear from me. Come, take new courage! together we will push our fortune in these foreign wars, and in the hour of battle and danger, my hundred steel hearts of your mother's tribe will be ever as a shirt of mail around you, Philip!"

I gave my hand upon it to this high-spirited youth, whose energy—as he spoke in his native Gaëlic—I cannot infuse into this dialogue, which is written from memory.

"I will leave this place, Ian, with sensations of bitterness rather than regret," said I, as we ascended to my father's tower; "the only being who would have wept for my departure we laid yesterday in yonder chapel, on which the morning sun now shines so redly. None seem to love me here——"

"The more reason to march—eh?"

"From my birth my father has hated me, because——" (I could not mention the ridiculous reason, for it always filled me with anger.)


"I was not a girl, whom you might have married."

Ian burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, and kissed the silver brooch by which his plaid was fastened.

"By my soul! I think my good uncle was mistaken; for the more sons a baron hath to defend his hearth-stone and hall-door, the better in these unruly times."

"I was born on a Friday, too, and that day has ever been regarded in all countries as an unlucky one."

"Because it was the day on which our Saviour died," said Ian, uncovering his head; "and doubtless," he added with a smile, "it is an unlucky day on which to march, to fight, to hunt, or to marry; but as for being born—Dioul! as that is an event over which we possess no control in our own proper persons, I cannot see any ill fortune in it. And you will quit your student's cap for the bright helmet, your studies for the camp and leaguer, without regret?"

"Without regret, and with ardour!"

"It is true that here, at Craigrollo, you have no great scope for indulging your taste for book-learning——"

"Our literary resources are indeed small; for the only book in the tower is Bishop Carsewell's Prayer-Book for the Reformed Kirk, which Robert Lickprivick printed in Gaëlic, in 1567, and even that lacks half its leaves, Ewen having used them as wadding for his pistols."

This gallant mountaineer, to whom my heart drew the more closely because there were few or none else for whom it could care, marched back to his native glen with his people, and I waited anxiously for his expected letter.

Punctually at the close of the fourteenth day, Ian's henchman, Phadrig Mhor M'Farquhar, a tall strong Highlander, presented himself at the tower of the Craig, and taking a letter from his sporran, kissed the seal to shew that it had been respected, and handed it to me with the deepest reverence, for it contained the handwriting of his chief. While Mhona, who was now housekeeper, gave refreshments and a stoup of whisky to Phadrig Mhor, I opened his missive, which proved as unintelligible to me as Sanscrit, being written in that ancient character the Litir Eireinich, or Gaëlic letter, which bears some resemblance to the Hebrew, but was even then (1626) becoming somewhat obsolete and antiquated. I was compelled to have recourse to old Dominie Daidle, by whose aid I learned that the missive ran as follows:—

"For my Right Honourable Cousin, Philip Rollo of the Craig—these,

"LOVING COUSIN,—I have conferred with our kinsman, Mackay of Strathnaver, and he was proud to have the honour of appointing you to be an Ensign in my company of pikes. Our cousin M'Alpine is your lieutenant, so that it will be no dishonour to be commanded by one who shares our blood. Sir Donald will embark with the entire regiment for Denmark in two king's ships, which are to be waiting us in the Bay of Cromartie, immediately below your father's tower, about the end of this month; so that, against that time, I beg you will prepare your best coat-of-mail, consisting of back, breast, and pot, together with the breacan fheile of the Mackay tartan.

"I need scarcely remind you again of how many brave Scots, by their good swords, their true hearts, and indomitable valour, have raised themselves from humbler rank than ours, to the highest honours a subject can attain, in the courts and camps of that glorious arena on which we are about to enter! Loving cousin, the wide world is all before us, and we have our fathers' swords! If we live to return to the land of the Gael, I hope we shall do so covered with wounds (here the dominie shrugged his shoulders) and with honour; if we fall, we shall do so gloriously, fighting for the civil and religious liberties of Europe. We may die far from our homes; but, believe me, the dew of heaven, as it falls on our unburied faces, will not be the only tears shed over us, Philip. I have but one real regret—that we may find our last home, so far from the homes of our kindred; for the dying wish of the true Highlander is ever to be laid in the grave of his fathers, beneath the purple heather and the yellow broom. But away with such fears, for it matters little where a heart moulders, if that heart be true; and so, with the assurance that you will be in readiness to meet us on the day we march into Cromartie, I commit you, loving cousin, to the protection of God.


"Post Scriptum.—The bearer, my cousin and henchman, who is to be a sergeant in our said regiment of Strathnaver, will afford you all other information."



From an eminent armourer in the Castlegate of the Brave Town of Aberdeen, I had purchased a suit of plain but well-tempered armour, such as a gentleman might wear, and such as no gentleman could be without in those days, before the wars of the Covenant. It consisted of back and breast plates, curiously inlaid with many rare and quaint devices; steel gloves, arm-pieces, a gorget and open helmet, with three iron bars, to protect the face from sword-cuts. As leg-pieces had now gone out of fashion, and withal I was to wear a kilt like my comrades, tassettes were not required. I had a good pair of our Scottish pistols, with iron butts, a back sword and dagger. These cost me many pounds Scots, all of which I had saved, with some trouble, from the small sums sent me by my poor mother, per the favour of John Mucklecuits, the Aberdeen carrier.

On receiving the letter of Ian, I showed it to my father, and so strong was his silly prejudice against me, that he said—with an unmoved aspect which stung me to the soul—he feared much I would never return again; for my uncle Philip, whose mouth was too small for the spoon of Sir Ringan, never again darkened the door of his father, and so forth; but, having pledged my word to our kinsman, I must march, or rather sail for Low Germanie, whither his blessing would assuredly follow me.

Filled with ardour at the prospect before me, and the life of wild and warlike adventure, happiness, and pleasure (for such I deemed it,) on which I was about to enter, I spent my whole time in putting on and taking off my harness, polishing the pieces, burnishing the handles of my sword and Glasgow pistols, until they shone like silver; and I hailed with joy the appearance of two of our Scottish ships of war, which, on rising from bed one morning, I saw at anchor in the Firth of Cromartie. The early dawn was beautiful, and I remember well how gallantly those vessels rode, with their heads to the wind, and the pennons of St. Andrew streaming astern.

Sent round from Leith, by order of the Privy Council and of His Grace James Stewart, Duke of Lennox, who in that year was Lord Great Chamberlain and Lord High Admiral of Scotland, they were the Unicorn and Crown Royal, two of our bravest ships. Each of them carried thirty gross culverins, and had two galleries on each side. Their poops and aftercastles, which rose like towers above the water, were carved over with trophies of artillery, and blazons of honour. Their cabins were all loopholed for musket shot, and two gallant frigates they were, as ever unfurled our Scottish flag above the waters. And so I thought, as on that beautiful morning in September I saw them riding in the noble bay, with their gilded sides, the polished muzzles of their brass cannon, and their snow-white canvass shining in the rising sun. Their captains breakfasted at the tower of Craigrollo, and about midday, with a beating heart I began to arm me in good earnest; for afar off, on the western hills, the glitter of steel announced that my future comrades from the wilds of Ross were approaching the shore.

The bitter pang of leaving my father's roof, perhaps for ever; of breaking bread where I might never break it more; of performing the little routine and courtesies of our family circle, each as I felt sorrowfully for the last time, had all to be endured on that morning. My father's austere look was softened, and it seemed at times that his usually cold eye almost glistened when he gazed on me. I thought that my three uncouth brothers were kinder and gentler than was their wont. All this might be fancy, but my heart was full. I was hearing their voices for the last time, I was going far away for a long and indefinite period; the future was full of danger and obscurity, and never more might I be under my father's rooftree. But I flung these chilling thoughts from me as one would do a wet plaid, and betook me to my armour.

For the first time I put on my kilt and hose, and to my surprise, found that they were not only exceedingly warm, but easy and comfortable; much more so than the bombasted breeches I had hitherto worn.

The aspect of Sir Donald's men, this brave regiment of Strathnaver, whose name in future wars was fated to carry terror and defeat into the ranks of the Austrian and Spanish Imperialists, would have fired even a coward-heart with a glow of chivalry, as on that morning they marched down, by the shores of the Firth of Cromartie, fifteen hundred strong; raised entirely among his own clan and kinsmen in Farr, Strathnaver, and Strathalladale, together with a few Munroes and Gunns. The regiment of Sir Donald well deserved the name given it in the "Svedish Intelligencer," the Scottish Invincibles.

Though it was the fashion in foreign armies to have companies of infantry varying from one hundred and fifty to three hundred men, those of Sir Donald were regularly composed of one hundred men each, the officers being invariably the kinsmen of their soldiers; thus my cousin Ian led the company of M'Farquhars, and young Culgraigie the company of Munroes; the Laird of Tulloch led a company of the clan Forbes, and old Kildon, the company of Mackenzies, and so on. In the Lowlands, and among the English, it was then customary to have a colour for each company, with a certain number of halberdiers to guard it, then so many musketeers to flank the halberts, while the pikes in turn flanked the muskets; but the regiment of Strathnaver, with five hundred pikes and a thousand muskets, had only two standards, our Scottish national ensign, and the great banner of Mackay, bearing a chevron argent, charged with a Reabuck's head, and two hounds grasping dirks. The same designs were painted on all the drums, and on the little flags that waved from the pipers' drones.

The whole fifteen hundred were uniformly accoutred in steel-caps and buff-coats, the officers being fully armed in bright plate to the waist, and having plumes in their headpieces; their kilts were of dark green tartan, and belted up to the left shoulder, according to the custom of Highlandmen when going on service. The musketeers carried their powder in bandoliers; and, in addition to his dirk, every officer and man wore the claymore, or genuine old Highland sword, which could be used with both hands. Their purses were of white goatskin, and profusely adorned with silver.

Marching in sections of six abreast, this noble regiment poured down the steep and narrow pass overhung by Craigrollo, and I shall never forget how my heart expanded, when I beheld them moving far down below where I stood, with their colours waving, the tall reedy pikes, the burnished musket barrels, helmets, and breastplates glittering in the sun; the waving of the tartans; the regular motion of the bare brown knees and gartered hose; the hoarse bray of ten great war-pipes, and the hoarser battle of fifteen drums, beating the old Scottish march, and making wood, rock, and water echo, as if the thunder of heaven was floating over them. The waving plaids and nodding plumes, the flashing steel and martial music, the measured tramp of so many marching feet, all combined to raise a wild glow in my bosom, and I exulted to think that I was one of these, and never assuredly did finer men depart for foreign wars. They were the flower of Ross and the Lewis, but chiefly from Duthaich Mhic Aio, or the Land of the Mackays; and many of them exhibited a strength and stature such as our Lowlanders never attain, having always at their command the best of game and venison, with all manner of animal food, for the mere trouble of shooting or slaying.*

* How different with the poor Highlanders now!

Though accoutred like the rest, and wearing the Mackay tartan, I knew the company of M'Farquhars by the badges in their steel caps, and by the remarkable plume of Ian, who marched at their head. It was the whole wing of an eagle, with the feathers expanded over the cone of his helmet, which gave him all the formidable aspect of a Roman warrior. As I descended the rocks, he sprang from the ranks to greet me.

"My cousin and captain," said I, laughing, "a thousand welcomes to Cromartie!"

"Philip, a thousand welcomes to our ranks! My children," he added in Gaëlic to his company, "this gentleman is one of ourselves—'tis our kinsman, Rollo of the Craig—his mother was a daughter of our race; remember that, and be his Leine Chrios (his shirt of mail) in every danger."

A wild Highland hurrah was Ian's response.

While the regiment marched down towards the beach, Sir Donald of Strathnaver, my colonel, in obedience to a courteous invitation which I tendered him in my father's name, turned aside to visit our poor tower on the Craig, and attended only by his henchman, and a piper who played before him, rode his horse slowly and carefully up the steep and rocky path which led to the outer gate.

Mackay was somewhat lofty and reserved in manner, but brave and generous as a prince of romance; his dark grey eyes were keen and bright; his form was sinewy, but flexible and full of grace; he was about forty years of age, and, although long reputed to be one of the most ferocious and predatory among the western chiefs, he had a singularly pleasing suavity of manner. All the Highlands were then ringing with the story of the terrible vengeance he had recently taken on the bandits who dwelt in the vast cave of Ben Radh, a mountain in his parish of Reay; and I gazed on him with no ordinary interest, for he was the chief to whom I had committed my fortunes, and whom I was to follow to far and foreign battle-fields.

Two sturdy Highland pages carried his armour; and thus the handsome olive doublet, which he wore slashed, after the Spanish fashion, imparted a somewhat courtly aspect to his lordly figure, and formed an agreeable contrast to his tartan truis, his steel gauntlets, and cliobh, or basket-hilted sword. Conforming to the spirit of his forefathers, who, coeval with the Lollards of Kyle, had been among the earliest promoters of the Reformation, this brave chief raised at different times no less than three thousand men for the German wars; such was his enthusiasm in the cause of religious freedom and of Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James VI., whom, with her husband Frederick, the Austrians had driven from the kingdom of Bohemia.

I cared not for the elector Frederick, for we Scots deemed him but a pitiful German princeling; but I sympathised with the fair queen who had honoured him with her hand, for she was a Stuart and a Scot, born in our ancient palace of Linlithgow; and, when at college, I had heard much of the sufferings which her husband's base cowardice compelled her to endure after the great battle of Prague. Yearly our stout-hearted Scots were crowding in thousands to the German wars; I longed, like them, to have an opportunity of avenging her on the cruel and aggressive Imperialists; and it was this sentiment which shed the glory of chivalry around our mission.

Our hereditary enemies, the English, who naturally hated us as Scots, were wont to taunt us as mercenaries, who sold our swords and our blood to the highest bidder; though, God wot! we got more blows and bullets than silver dollars in Low Germanie; and once, by the banks of the Rhine, for lack of those same silver dollars, I saw old General Morgan's brigade of English and Dutch refuse to attack the enemy, when our Scottish invincibles, and a regiment of gallant Irishmen, fell briskly on, and did their work with pike and rapier.



The culverins of the Unicorn and Crown Royal fired a salute to the chief of Strathnaver as we embarked, on the first day of October, though contrary winds delayed us till the tenth, when we set sail. I have an indistinct recollection of feeling then a suffocating sense of sorrow—the more bitter and suffocating because pride compelled me to repress it—sorrow at finding myself fairly adrift from my old parental home; and the pressure of my father's hand, the first kindly pressure it had ever bestowed on mine, yet lingered there; and, amid the din and hurry of the embarkation, I still seemed to hear his parting blessing, mingled with the obstreperous lamentations of old Dominie Daidle, to whom I promised to bring a real metal horologue from Germany, which was then famous for that new invention.

The anchor was weighed, and the sails spread; the sun was setting behind the mountains; the shores of the Black Isle receded fast, the figures on the beach lessened to small black dots, and then faded away. My father's tower grew less and less, while the old chapel of St. Regulus, where my mother lay in her dark and narrow home, had long since disappeared. There was a roar and din of voices around me, and it seemed sad and strange, that the good being who had loved me so dearly should know nothing of this eventful day, which threw me on the world like a leaf on the blast; but, as I gazed upwards on the blue sky, I hoped that her eye was still upon me.

The waters of the Firth were gleaming in gold, and the clouds cast a purple shadow on their bosom.

The deep green or russet-brown tints of the hills gradually became blue, and as I lay against a culverin, watching—with a heavy heart—the setting sun and the receding shore, I felt like the hundreds around me, very sorrowful and very sick.

I knew that when again the sun whitened our sails, we should see those old familiar hills no more. The wind favoured, and as the strong current which is ever passing in, or flowing out between the steep Sutors, ran with us, the two ships rolled heavily. On our larboard lay the old town of Cromartie, and as we passed, a great copper bombarde, which belonged to the provost, was repeatedly discharged in our honour. A flag was displayed at the ancient cross, which was then at the town-end; though I had heard my poor mother tell me, that its place, was wont to be the centre of the royal burgh, before the sea swallowed up one half its streets, the ruins of which, covered with seaweed, were visible to us as we passed along the shore.

The cavern of M'Farquhar's Bed seemed to open and shut again as we shot past it; we were soon between the stupendous brows of the Sutors, against whose shining rocks vast sheets of snow-white foam were hurled by the Murray Firth, though within the bay we were leaving—perhaps for ever—the water was smooth as a mountain lake. Being sharply built, and swift sailers, our ships glided through the narrow passage like shafts from a bow, and almost immediately the shores of the inner firth, the town of Cromartie, Craigrollo with its tower—already diminished to a speck—vanished from our view; and, like an ocean-gate fenced by the Sutors, two mighty towers of rock, with a narrow stripe of water between, was all that remained of the place we had left. The tide was ebbing, and the sunken reefs, known as The King's Seven Sons, were showing their naked and ghastly heads above the foam; there, as Mhona Toshach told me, the seven sons of a king had perished by shipwreck.

The features of the shore lessened and changed in hue and aspect, while the deep green water was thrown up beneath our bows in spray, leaving under our quarter galleries a long track of white froth on the ocean path behind us; but no sooner were the vessels clear of the Sutors, than a very sensible alteration in their motion made us remember that they were ploughing the stormy waves of the Firth of Murray, amid whose waters I saw the hills of Cromartie, reddened by the last flush of the sun that had set, sink gradually low and melt, as it were, away.

Till darkness settled on the northern deep, the sides of the ships were lined with soldiers, who gazed with sad and eager eyes at the last blue stripe of their native land; many wept, and uttered emphatic ejaculations of sorrow, with all the poetical energy of their native Gaëlic.

Though feeling far from comfortable in many respects, I drew to the side of M'Farquhar, who, being accustomed to boating expeditions on the vast lochs of the Great Glen, kept his feet manfully; and, as the shore and the daylight had faded away together, he was now gazing by the light of the moon on the large silver brooch which fastened his tartan plaid.

"A love gift, Ian?" said I.

His dark eyes flashed in the moonlight, as he replied with one of his honest smiles—

"Yes—the brooch of Moina Rose, which she gave me before we parted at the chapel of Gill Chuimin. If I should be slain, Philip, you will take it back to Moina, by the hills that look down on Loch Oich?"

"I will, Ian; but if I, too, should be slain——"

"Chut! then some other brave fellow will surely live to do so. There is Munro of Culcraigie, or Mackenzie of Kildon, or our kinsman, Phadrig Mhor, for we cannot all be knocked on the head. My poor Moina!"

"Take care you do not forget her among the blue-eyed Danish damsels."

"Forget!" reiterated Ian, with honest warmth; "I swore by the great Chief of the universe, and by our fathers' graves in Iona, to be faithful and true to Moina, and, as we dipped our hands together in St. Chuimin's well, she pledged the same to me. Nay, nay, Philip, judge me not, as you would by a rake-helly student of the King's college."

Ian kissed the brooch, which is the dearest gift of a Highland love; for, among the mountains, the bridegroom gives his bride, not a ring, but a brooch, engraved with some heraldic device, or affectionate inscription, and as the same gift served for many generations, those love-tokens became priceless reliques of remembrance, by their hallowed and enduring associations, and such was the brooch of Moina. It had been her mother's, and Ian was to wear it until he returned to espouse her in Kill Chuimm.

"And why did you leave her, Ian?"

"Eighteen months ago—fully six months before I was so happy as to know and to love her, at a great hunting match on the braes of Lochaber, I unfortunately pledged my word to Sir Donald that I would go with him to Germany. Like a generous gentleman, he offered to release me from my promise; but a hundred of my people expected that I was to lead them, and I alone; thus it would ill become M'Farquhar to keep his sword in the scabbard when he had pledged his word to unsheath it. I could have made Moina mine before I left the hills of our race; for a missionary priest, who acts as chaplain to her family, Sheumas Stiubhart, or James of Jerusalem, as the Lowlanders call him, offered to unite us secretly at Kill Chuimm; but I would not run the risk of leaving Moina a wedded mourner, a widowed bride, like the dames of Fingal's warriors, who spent half their time sitting upon the seashore, with hair unbound and harp in hand, looking towards the ocean for the return of their absent spouses. Thus, if in three years and three days I come not again, I will hold Moina free to be wooed and free to won by another."

Ian's voice quavered, though he endeavoured to assume an air of bravado, but I saw through the sickly effort.

"From your gay manner yesterday, Ian, I deemed you happiest of the happy; but, doubtless, every heart has some inward sorrow which the eye sees not."

"True, true, the loudest laugh does not always come from the lightest heart."

"Thank God!" said I, observing how his dark eye glistened, "that I have no regret of this kind to render yet more sad this day of parting with my home."

"Be happy, Philip," said he; "for all who love you truly are here—myself and the hundred brave men of your mother's name, who follow the banner of Mackay."

"And you will return in three years?"

"If alive, I will return in one year, despite the offers of our Lowland Chancellor, who has promised me a feudal charter of my hereditary estate, to be granted under the Great Seal at Holy rood, on the day we enter Prague. Dioul! as if M'Farquhar valued the right that was held otherwise than as it was won, by the edge of the sword. Nay, nay, as Donald of the Isles said, I hold my lands by this (laying his hand on his claymore), and not by a sheepskin."



His Danish majesty, the gallant King Christian IV., whom we were about to reinforce, was at this time waging with the vast forces of the empire, an unequal warfare in the same cause which the great Gustavus Adolphus, a few years after, maintained so successfully, though he did not survive to behold the conclusion of that bitter contest, which from the gates of Prague spread along the banks of the Po and the shores of the Baltic.

The edict of toleration granted by the Emperor Rodolph II. to the Bohemians, had been revoked; and thus they rose in arms. They had been defeated at the White Mountain, where the chivalry of the Empire trod the standards of the elector Frederick in the dust, and the laurels of the Imperialists were drenched in Protestant blood. Though wedded to a princess of the house of Scotland, the Elector was the basest of cowards, and fled, leaving his queen to her fate. Two hundred thousand persons had been driven into exile; and though the illustrious Count of Mansfeldt, and Christian Duke of Bavaria, for a time defended the Bohemians and the Reformed faith with the most heroic valour, they were driven headlong before the conquering Tilly, whose ferocious legions burst like a torrent into Lower Saxony, giving all to fire and sword, and carrying terror and despair into the hearts of the Protestants.

It was at this desperate crisis, and while Gustavus of Sweden was warring with Poland, that Christian IV. of Denmark, anxious to have the entire glory of saving the Reformed Church of Germany from utter destruction, commenced, as it were, a new crusade against the mighty power of the Emperor Ferdinand, and drew to his banner the flower of the Saxon circles and of the Danish isles, and I may add of our own dear Scottish mountains; for, in addition to nearly fourteen thousand Scots who followed the standard of Gustavus, there were in the Danish army, in addition to our own regiment of fifteen hundred men, Sir Alexander Seaton's, of five hundred; Sir James Leslie's, of a thousand musketeers; while in the same year we were joined by John Maxwell, Earl of Nithsdale. Alexander Lindesay, Lord Spynie (a gallant grandson of Cardinal Beaton), and Sir James Sinclair, son of John Master of Caithness, levied each a regiment of three battalions; and each battalion being a thousand strong, made altogether about eleven thousand Scottish soldiers, who were marching under the Danish cross.*

* Here the Denmylne MSS. corroborate our Cavalier.

The noble King Christian, then the rival of the Swedish conqueror, from his peculiar position, as sovereign of Lower Saxony, of Jutland, and of Denmark (the isles of which secured for him a strong retreat in case of reverses), had many advantages which induced the Protestant powers to give him the command of those forces raised by them to protect the liberties of Germany. Christian urged on Gustavus the necessity of co-operation; but that brave prince being at war with Poland, the Dane was left single-handed, and fearlessly he undertook the terrible task of waging battle with the overgrown empire.

Trusting to those supplies which were promised to him from every part of Reformed Christendom, he had attended the convocation of the Saxon states, held at Lauenburg, in March, 1625, where he entered into a league with the rich burghers who inhabited the free cities of the circle, and was chosen Captain-General of the confederate army, which was to muster in the duchy of Holstein. From thence, with 25,000 Danes, Scots, and Germans, he crossed the Elbe, and was joined at the Weser by 7000 Saxons.

Under Tilly, the forces of the Catholic league hovered on the opposite bank; while Wallenstein, attacking Count Mansfeldt at Dessau, cut to pieces 10,000 Protestants, and received the title of Prince of Friedland. Mansfeldt died of a broken heart. Duke Christian died soon after; and thus the Danish monarch was left alone to cope with the two greatest generals the empire ever possessed.

One town after another became their prey, and at a decisive battle fought near the castle and village of Lütter in Barenberg, the Danes and their Scottish allies were defeated by the Catholics, with the loss of sixty standards, their whole artillery, many officers of distinction, and four thousand men, who were left dead upon the field.

This was on the 27th August, 1626, a full month before we sailed from Cromartie. This severe blow at Lütter compelled Christian to retreat to Stade, in the duchy of Bremen, and to that place we supposed Sir Donald would march the small portion he commanded, of the quota sent by our mother Caledonia to the German war.

After an easy voyage of five days, during which the Unicorn and Crown Royal never lost sight of each other, on the 15th of October we entered the broad bosom of the Elbe; and, just as the hazy sun was setting, dropped our anchors in the mud, opposite Glückstadt, a little city on the northern or right bank of the river.

The spire of the great church, and the cannon on the ramparts, were shining in the last rays of the sun, and the many trees which encircled the fortifications gave a pleasant aspect to the place. The harbour is large, and at the end of the canal which ran from it into the town, there was a large tower built on piles of oak, encircled by platforms having batteries of cannon to command the Elbe. This tower has long since disappeared. Our cannon saluted the Danish cross which was flying on the wooden tower, the cannon of which replied by a salute of forty pieces to our double flags; for, according to the order of his majesty James VI., issued in 1606, we carried the interlaced crosses of St. Andrew and St. George at our main-masthead, and the Scottish ensign on the colour staff at our stern. Soon after we anchored, Sir David Drummond (a cavalier of the house of Meedhope), who commanded two thousand Danish foot in the city, came off in a gay pinnace to bid us welcome, and pay his respects to our colonel, the great Sir Donald Mackay of Farr and Strathnaver.

Being Scotsmen, we naturally looked for hills in surveying the coast, but we might as well have looked for the pyramids of Egypt; for there were only swampy morasses lying on both sides of the turgid Elbe, which was dyked, to keep out the water from the fields where the fat sleepy cattle were chewing the cud, surrounded by rich grass, and the drowsy hum of the evening flies.

The broad river flowed slowly and turgidly, and being impregnated with mud, was all of a yellow colour, unlike the pure deep blue of those fierce torrents, that, bearing trees and rocks with them, rush from the giant mountains of our native land. The fortifications were built on piles, and innumerable water-rats were swimming and paddling among the mud and slime that oozed between the timber.

Though the sun was shining, a frowsy pestilential fog rested on the bosom of the river, and overhung the town; there was a closeness, a stillness in the atmosphere, which imparted a strange dulness to the place, and seemed to infect us; for our soldiers while they crowded the sides of the vessels, instead of being full of gesture and animation like Highlanders, were silent and inert, like the fat old burghers who sat on the parapets, smoking their long Dutch pipes without any sign of motion or life. The sentinels stood like statues on the ramparts, and their motionless pikes glittered like stars in the sunlight.

By break of day next morning—at least an hour before the sun had risen from the flat morasses, and while the same white mist was resting on the river—we disembarked in large flat-bottomed boats, and drew up in order under our colours, by companies on the quay, while our pipes played Mackay's pibroch, Brattach bhan clan Aiodh, till the Holsteiners stuck their fingers in their ears, and the stones of the street shook below us.

Here Captain Torquil M'Coll of that Ilk lost his brother, who was sergeant of his pikes. Falling overboard into the muddy river, despite all our efforts to save him, the poor man sank under the weight of his headpiece, back, breast and bracelets, and was drowned, or rather suffocated. In my haste to succour this unfortunate, when floundering among that hideous mud, I nearly fell in after him, but was saved by Ian grasping my plaid.

"Dioul!" said he, "the tide is out—are you mad? the water is thick as piper's brose—the man is lost—would you too lose your life?"

It was fortunate my strong kinsman seized me, otherwise I might have perished with M'Coll. The sergeant was a brave man, and had fought for his majesty James VI. at the battle of Belrinnes, twenty-eight years before.

That maxim of the great Count Tilly, "a ragged soldier with a bright musket," applied not to us, for our harness was polished as bright as when the armourer had sent it from his shop; and I was astonished by the finery displayed among our poorest private soldiers. The mouths of their sporrans, the brooches of their plaids, and the hilts of their dirks, were either ornamented with silver, or such precious stones as their own mountains afforded—the topaz, the amethyst, the cairngorm, and the river pearl; for it was their ambition that, if they were slain, or should die far from their home, there should be wherewithal on their persons to pay for a respectable funeral.

My brave comrades! too many of them were doomed to find no other grave than the maws of the gorged and hideous crows that hovered over the battle-fields of Low Germanie, when the boom of the culverin summoned them from the four winds of heaven to their terrible feast.

We were formed in line, three ranks deep, on the quay, and there were exactly one thousand five hundred and forty men in their helmets; the colours, with the pipes and drums, were in the centre; the pikemen flanked the musketeers. Well mounted, and clad in a magnificent suit of Italian plate, which was covered with so many rare and gold devices that it was usually believed to be enchanted, Sir Donald, with his claymore drawn, gave the words of command rapidly, as became a cavalier of spirit.

"Gentlemen, height your musketeers—dress your ranks, pike-men! To the right—turn; quick march."

The colours bent forward rustling in the wind, five hundred pikes and a thousand muskets were sloped in the sunshine, and with our drums beating that brave Scottish march, which has led so often to death but never to defeat, we entered Glückstadt, being duly saluted at the gates with all the honours of war, by the Laird of Craigie's regiment of Danes, who formed line, with pikes advanced and drums beating.

This city of Glückstadt had been so strongly fortified by King Christian IV., in 1620, that it held out against the besieging forces of the Emperor Ferdinand II. for two years, and defied the whole power of the imperialists to take it by sea; and, being then all unused to regularly fortified towns, to me it seemed the strongest place in the world. Its locality was originally a mere swamp, and there is still a possibility of laying the whole outworks under water. We crossed several of the canals by which it is intersected, as we marched through the narrow streets into the quaint and old-fashioned market-place, where we halted before the great church, which stands at one corner thereof, and wherein the German colonists and the old Catholics were both allowed a chapel for their own worship—a toleration and good-fellowship which somewhat surprised our Scottish cavaliers, who believed it could exist nowhere but in the Highlands; for there the real and traditionary ties of clanship were dearer and stronger than those of religion, the powers of the patriarchal chief being superior alike to those of priest and presbyter.

In the market-place we received our billets from the burgomaster; and by good fortune, as it afterwards proved, my cousin the captain, M'Alpine our lieutenant, and myself, were quartered in one house—a tall building, situated immediately over against the great church.



Though the majority of the inhabitants of Glückstadt had retired to adjacent villages or elsewhere, on the town being occupied by foreign troops, a considerable crowd surrounded us in the market-place, attracted no doubt by the martial and imposing aspect of the garb we wore. The women—they interested me most, of course—seemed to be all rather pretty, with blooming complexions and fair tresses; and I—being fresh from King's College—was reminded of those yellow-haired dwellers by the banks of the Elbe, of whom I had read in Lucan. They were all gaudily dressed in hoods, cloaks, and fardingales, of many colours, among which the Danish red predominated.

By command of the magistrates, the whole regiment had free inquartering on the burgesses; and thus, after marching our colours, under a guard of pikes with pipes sounding, to the residence of Sir Donald, who had been invited to occupy the mansion of our good countryman the governor, I looked about for my billet, which, as I have said, was at a corner of the Platz, and almost opposite the great church of the town.

The house was a large building of Dutch brick and plaster, crossed in various ways by diagonal bars of wood, like many of the old timber-fronted "Lodgings" in the borough-towns at home in the Lowlands; it had a row of poplars before it, and was surmounted by a high peaked roof, with a double tier of dormer windows. Several solemn-looking storks sat on the sharp ridges, twisting their long throats and clapping their wings. I would not have discovered the place (each fantastic house being just like its neighbour) but for the kindness of a cavalier whom I met in the street, and knew by his white silk scarf to be one of my countrymen. This was the renowned Sir Quentin Home, rittmaster of a corps of mounted Holsteiners, of whom more anon. On showing him my billet order, addressed Otto Roskilde, Hausmeister, he led me at once to the place.

Like the houses of the Scottish and French towns, this mansion had six or seven stories, opening on each side from one common staircase; but, as nearly all its inhabitants had either fled or perished of the plague, there were but two flats occupied, and one of these was by a personage who styled himself the Hausmeister, having been appointed by the proprietor, as he afterwards told me, to watch over the building and its tenants, and generally to attend to its safety and preservation. Among the Austrians, I have since met with many such officials, who were considered little better than gate-porters or link-boys; but my Holsteiner, or Dane, or Dutchman (for I could not discover what country claimed the honour of giving him birth), received me with all the formality of the governor of a fortress welcoming his successor. There was an ill-concealed scowl on his forbidding face as he met me at the door, on which I had knocked loudly more than once, with the hilt of my dirk, before it was opened.

"Otto Roskilde?" said I inquiringly, shewing my slip of paper, stamped with the town arms.

He replied with a "Yes," which sounded like a long yawn, and bowed. He was a great and powerful fellow, with a broad tiger-like mouth, and sinister eyes, that shone like pieces of grey glass. He wore enormous red roses on his shoes; a plum-coloured doublet, a pair of bombasted fardingale breeches, Spanish leather boots with lawn tops, a high sugar-loaf hat, which every puff of wind that shook the poplars threatened to blow away; a long Dutch espadone and spurs, though I suppose the fellow never had a horse in his stable, or rode any other nag than the wooden mare, or cheval de bois, with a six-pound shot at each of his heels. To my words of compliment—craving pardon for my intrusion and so forth—he answered by another profound bow, which tilted up the end of his great sword; then, ushering me in, he shut the door, and left me to shift for myself.

The staircase was dark, the building silent; I felt as if still in the rolling ship, and my footing seemed wavering and uncertain, as I ascended. Every apartment sounded hollow, and appeared to be empty—unfurnished and uncarpeted. I knew that my billet was to be on the third floor, and continued my ascent, but by mistake tried the doors on the second. Six different apartments which I entered were empty, destitute of furniture, cold, desolate, and rendered damp by the slimy atmosphere of the canal, which flowed beneath the window. I was on the point of retiring, and descending again to seek this rude and unceremonious host or Hausmeister, who treated me with such inattention, when before me there appeared a door half open, revealing beyond an apartment, that was, at least, furnished.

"Zounds!" thought I, "right at last—this is the floor, and that is my room!"

I knocked gently, however, but without receiving an answer; pushed the door fully open, and entering, found myself in a bedchamber furnished with innumerable articles of ornament and luxury.

In the chimney, which was lined with the blue ware of Delft, a cheerful fire burned on the hearth, between the brass-knobbed andirons. Warm tapestry covered the walls, which were hung with pictures and gaudily tinted engravings, by the great Westphalian engraver, Israel Van Meknen, who died in the last century; statues of alabaster and vases of flowers, jars of red Bohemian glass and little figures, decorated the mantelpiece and oak side-tables; a guitar and music-book lay on a chair in one corner; a small library occupied another, and within a recess stood a most enchanting little bed, with graceful silk drapery. There, indeed, beauty might sleep softly, intrenched among downy pillows edged with the finest lace.

"All this for me?" I muttered aloud; "Oh no! it cannot be—there is some mistake."

One glance had just made me acquainted with all these items of luxury, when another made me aware that this pretty little boudoir, or bedchamber, had an occupant; for on a sofa, which stood between me and the fireplace, a young lady lay fast asleep, with a book in her hand. She had fine features, a brilliant complexion, long lashes, and the most luxuriant jet hair. Her figure was small and graceful in its contour; her hands and fine bosom white as snow, for though she wore a high ruff, it opened considerably in front. She had on a great tub-fardingale of crimson satin, with a monstrous hoop, like those of the Countess of Essex (of happy memory), flounced and slashed with black velvet; but this, instead of spoiling her figure from her position, gave it rather a new charm; for it permitted more than usual to be seen of two very handsome taper ankles, encased in scarlet silk stockings, which were embroidered with silver about eight inches above the shoe, in the Spanish fashion.

In the whole aspect of this sleeping beauty there was a nameless charm, which extremely interested me. Courtesy compelled me to retire immediately; but I could not restrain my desire to know what book she had been reading, and it proved to be a Spanish drama by Cervantes, that brave soldier whose name will ever reflect immortal lustre on the noble profession of arms.

Charmed with the air of innocence and candour which pervaded this unknown beauty, I would fain have kissed the little hand that drooped over one arm of the sofa; but hearing voices, I softly and hastily withdrew, mentally resolving—like a rogue who had fought his way through all the classes of the King's College—that our acquaintance should end less abruptly than it had begun.

Ascending to the third story of the great and seemingly desolate house, I found myself in presence of my cousin Ian, and our lieutenant M'Alpine, for, as I have said, we had all been happily billeted in the same edifice; and in one of its unfurnished chambers Phadrig Mhor was lighting a fire, and preparing a meal with all the ease and rapidity of a Highland mountaineer.



"Welcome, Philip, as we are here before you," said Ian; "in the name of mischief's mother, where have you been wandering to?"

"Over all this empty house, which I vow is like a great castle, and is almost without furniture."

"Almost!" replied Ian; "why, my cousin, except this room, and that one occupied by the Hausmeister, it seems quite deserted. Its inhabitants have all died of the plague——"

"The plague!—pleasant that, for their successors."

"This was four years ago; or else they have fled to Copenhagen, to escape the chances and mischances of war—the troubles (as the Hausmeister calls them) which always attend the march of foreign troops."

"Troubles?" said I.

"Ay," replied our lieutenant, Angus Roy M'Alpine, who had been in the Low Countries and Germany before; "troubles—for so the Hausmeister was pleased to name free inquartering, and the occasional abduction of a pretty maid or a wine-cask, things that will now and then happen, where soldiers shake their feathers."

"He is an ill-looking dog, that Hausmeister," I observed, "and wears a devilish odd hat and pair of breeches—I hate the aspect of the varlet!"

"Hate no one, Philip," said M'Alpine, quietly; "for hatred and anger are sure to go together—and sorrow perchance may follow; but I instinctively dislike this person, too."

M'Alpine, a fine-looking soldier, and brave fellow, was somewhat of a gloomy and thoughtful cast. Having once slain a friend in a single combat (as we were informed)—the result of a sudden quarrel—he made a vow to wear crape on his left arm till the end of his days, and never to give another challenge, though he had often received them, and been compelled to fight more than once in defence of his honour and reputation.

"I am sorry you are averse to the Holsteiner," said Ian; "for I have invited him to dine with us."

"Dine!" we exclaimed together; "surely it was more his part to have invited us."

"Four hungry Highlandmen to dine with one German or Dane," replied Ian; "oich! gentlemen, the thing was not to be thought of."

"I hope I shall not quarrel with him," I continued, remembering how he had received me; "in those green eyes of his are the very smile of a Campbell."

"And you know the adage?" added Tan, as he flung aside his sword, plaid, and pistols.

"While there are leaves on the trees, there will be guile——"

"Do not say in a Campbell," said the sergeant, Mhor, pausing in his culinary occupation, and bluntly interrupting M'Alpine; "do not say so, lieutenant, for my great-grandmother was a daughter of Barcaldine."

"I crave your pardon, sergeant," replied M'Alpine; "but my father, Torquil Dhu, was slain at Glenlivat by the men of Loch Awe, and I have a score to settle with that tribe."

"Hush!" said I, "here comes our Dane."

"Dane—dost thou call him?" said Angus; "nay, being a Holsteiner, he is pure German."

"What a clatter he makes!"

"'Tis his espadone on the stair."

"Dioul!" said my cousin; "and now let us to dinner."

We all rose to receive this personage, whom our Highland education made us disposed to treat with the utmost respect as the master of the house, or husbonde, as the Danes would call him (though only his deputy); Ian bade him welcome in Gaëlic, and Phadrig Mhor, whose vast stature made the Northman open wide his eyes, placed a chair for him, and we proceeded to dine.

I have said each of the five or six stories of the mansion had two dwellings, consisting of several apartments. Phadrig Mhor had ransacked the whole place, and collected within our chamber such furniture and utensils as he could procure among the vacated and desolate rooms. From one he brought a table; from another a high-backed antique chair; from a third a stool; from a fourth a tabourette; from another a pot, a kettle, and so on, until he had almost furnished our damp chamber, which overlooked the row of poplars, beyond which, in the Platz, we saw a regiment of Scottish pikemen being drilled to the use of the pike, according to the new fashion, as laid down in the Pallas Armata of that eminent tactician, Captain Sir Thomas Kellie of Edinburgh and that Ilk.

Our dinner dishes had been borrowed from the old housekeeper of Otto Roskilde; for knives each of us had his skene-dhu, and for cups each had his hunting-quaigh or shell, hooped with silver; but Otto Roskilde brought his own pewter pot which reminded me of a Low lander's beechwood bicker. A saddle of mutton, which Phadrig had procured (Heaven alone knows how), with boiled Russian tongues, bread and cheese, composed a repast on which Fingal himself might have fared with satisfaction; and we brewed a brave tappit hen in a gigantic Flemish jug, with Dutch skeidam and hot water in equal proportions, sweetened with sugar from the Indian isles. Beside this, we had four bulbous-looking flasks of French brandy, which Phadrig had found when foraging about the rooms, and to the evident chagrin of our host, whose grey eyes glistened with surprise at the discovery, and anger at our henchman.

As neither M'Farquhar nor Phadrig Mhor (whom as his fosterer we always treated as an equal) could speak one word of any language but their native Gaëlic, nearly the whole conversation fell to the share of the lieutenant, M'Alpine, and myself. He spoke a little German, having served in the Low Countries under Sir James Ramsay, and I knew a little Spanish, having acquired it at King's College.

Now it chanced that both these languages were spoken by the Hausmeister, who, though at first somewhat reserved even to sullenness and silence, when his heart warmed by the contents of our gallant tankard, became loquacious in the extreme.

Though his name was Scandinavian enough in its sound, having imbibed certain undefinable suspicions about this man—awakened doubtless by the deep and secret smiles which I detected stealing over his sallow and swarthy face, like the quiet ripples on the surface of a Dutch canal—I found myself baffled in deciding to what country he belonged; for one moment there was something of the Danish softness in his voice, the next it had the deep twang of the Swedish, or the harsh growl of the German; and all these various tones were least discernible in his Spanish, which he spoke with the greatest fluency.

Filling up his quaigh to the brim, my cousin Ian, believing that we were in presence of a Holsteiner, stood up and drank courteously—

"To the honour of the brave and faithful Holsteiners."

I translated this to Otto Roskilde, who thereupon stood up in his great calf-skin boots, and returned thanks with tolerable politeness; then we all drank to each other's healths again, clinking our cups together, above, below, and side by side, in the old German fashion. The peg-tankard was refilled, and, as the afternoon subsided into evening, the evening into night, and the shadows of the Platz were thrown upon the stagnant canals, our good-fellowship increased; and we spoke openly of the chances of the war, and our hopes of beating the Imperialists back to the gates of Vienna. At this our Hausmeister shook his great curly head of black hair, assuring us that all the power of the North could never withstand the torrent which the Emperor Ferdinand was rolling against it.

"And which way do you march, sirs, on leaving Glückstadt?" he asked.

"We know not," replied M'Alpine.

"Towards the Weser, probably?" he continued, with a casual but inquisitive tone.

"That is as King Christian shall direct," said I.

"Your route must be towards the Weser; for all the Danes, Holsteiners, and Germans who follow Christian IV., have been marching in that direction since the battle of Lütter was won."

"I thought a Holsteiner would have said lost," observed M'Alpine.

"True!" replied Otto, with some confusion of manner, "for it was indeed lost to the princes of the Protestant confederation; but how many more of your brave countrymen are coming to join king Christian?"

"We know not," said I; "but if they come here as they are flocking to the standard of Gustavus Adolphus, like his, the army of Christian will be all Scots, I think, and nothing bub Scots."

"And you know not how many more are expected?"

"You are very inquisitive," said I, laughing; "about nine thousand."

"All Scots?"

"All—Murkle's, Spynie's, and Nithsdale's regiments—each being a brigade."

"And of the English, how many?"

"We know nothing about the English," replied M'Alpine, imbibing somewhat of my distrust at these categorical queries; "nothing save that, when we sailed, Scotland expected a war with them about this new court called the Commission for Grievances, which King Charles is about to thrust upon us, and we consider to be only that devilish Star-chamber under another name."

"Then, are there no English coming?"

"One regiment of pikes," I replied briefly, "for they generally prefer the service of the Prince of Orange; but why are you so anxious for all this information, Herr Otto?"

The blood rushed into his sallow face, and he stammered—

"Is it strange that I, a Holsteiner, should be anxious to learn the number of our friends?"

"Oh! 'tis quite natural," said I, feeling the justice of his reply; "but now, Herr, since I have answered all your questions, will you please to answer a few of mine?"

"It will afford me the utmost gratification if I can do so," he rejoined, filling up his cup, and letting out another button of his doublet to make room for its contents. "On what matter can I give you information?"

"Who is that very attractive damoiselle that occupies one of the apartments below?"

"Damoiselle!" he reiterated, while the paleness of anger overspread his face in the twilight; "you are mistaken, young gentleman; there is—assuredly there is no young lady there."

"Come, Herr, rally your thoughts," I continued, with a loud laugh, as the liquor mounted to my brain; "you will be sure to remember her—fair and handsome, with the most beautiful dark hair, and the longest eyelashes in the world. I warrant me, there is not a prettier jung-fer in all Holstein!"

"You mean Jung-fraü," replied Otto, with another of his quiet but obnoxious smiles, and this time the fellow was laughing in earnest, for I had made—what I afterwards learned to be—a mistake; "but I beg to assure you, that no young damoiselle could be hereabout without my knowledge."

"I am aware of that," I continued in my tone of banter; "but, pray, make no more assertions; I have no wish to pry into your little secrets, Herr—not I, though doubtless this damoiselle is the prettiest little woman in Glückstadt."

"Were this St. John's night, when our fairies and white women are all abroad, I would swear thou hadst seen a Trold; for there is no woman here but the old crone my housekeeper, to whose smiles thou art welcome. There is none, I vow to you, by the soul of Holger Danske!"

Confounded by the earnestness of the man, struck by a sudden and ferocious gleam that passed over his glassy eyes, and supposing there was in the affair some strange mystery with which I had no right to meddle, I dropped the subject, and assisted to fill and refill the tankard; nor did we separate until the midnight moon was shining on the broad waters of the Elbe, and the strong round tower of Glückstadt.

Then Otto Koskilde retired, and the moment he was gone we rolled our tartan plaids around us, and lay down on the hard boarded floor, with our targets and claymores for pillows.



The next day's sun rose bright and radiant; the birds sang in the green poplars; the storks screamed on the red gable-tops; the great frogs were croaking hoarsely among the bronze-like slime which was generated on the bosom of the stagnant canals, and the business of life commenced in Glückstadt.

"I'll find her out;" I muttered, as we sat down to breakfast on the remains of our supper, together with a can of Dantzig beer, a ham and basket of eggs, which our invaluable Phadrig had procured from some confiding sutler in the Platz; "I will find her out, if she is between the rooftree and the ground-stone!"

"Who?" asked Ian, overhearing my Gaëlic.

"A fair young lady, whom I discovered yesterday."

"Dioul! we have been but one night in this land of Holstein, and this inflammatory student hath fallen in love!" replied Ian, laughing aloud, for he thought I was jesting. "How these petticoats influence the fate and the fancies of men!"

"And where does this fair dame dwell?" said Angus.

"Below us; did you not hear me speaking about her to the husbonde, Hausmeister, or whatever yonder august man in boots considers himself."

"How could we? you spoke in Dutch."

"Or Spanish, or some such gibberish, known only to yourselves," said Ian, slicing down the ham with his dirk.

"Below us, too," continued Angus Roy; "that is good! Why, Phadrig Mhor and I investigated the whole place when we came in yesterday, and saw no woman but that delectable old housekeeper, with her linen coif and wrinkled visage. Depend upon it, there is no lady here!"

"You are as bad as that sullen dog, the Herr; for I assure you there is a woman—a lady—a very pretty one, too! Pass the beer-can, Angus, please."

"'Tis a fairy," said the sergeant, Mhor, breaking his sixth egg.

"She is fair as the daughter of the snow—that love of Fingal, of whom I have heard you sing a hundred times, Phadrig," said I.

"Here, in this desolate house?"

"Below us, Ian, as I have said, in a magnificent chamber, too."

"Come, now," replied Ian, "he is jesting with us all; this is some quip he has picked up at college. Look at us again, cousin Philip, have our ears grown, since we marched in yesterday?"

"Cousin Ian, I never was more serious in my life."

"Why, you might as well tell us there was snow last night, as that this beautiful lady and stately apartment are in this mansion, when we searched every nook and corner of it for food, fuel, and furniture, and the sergeant thrust his Lochaber axe into every hole we could not enter ourselves. And pretty, you say?"

"Actually beautiful! a dazzling skin—dark hair—an adorable figure—the air of a countess."

"What a diamond?" exclaimed Angus Roy, shaking back the thick red hair which gained him that sobriquet; "what a love of a little woman she must be! By the grey stone of M'Gregor, I would give my best brooch to see her! however," he continued, pouring some skeidam into his silver-hooped hunting quaigh, "I drink to her health."

"A fairy's health?" said Ian.

"Nay, to the countess thou knowest about, Philip," and then the whole three laughed loudly, like frank hearty mountaineers, as they were.

"Beware of snares, Philip," said Ian, as he adjusted his graceful plaid with the brooch of Moina Rose; "as for me, I would not give my brown-eyed Highland maid for all the dames of Almaynie—by St. Colm of the Isles, I would not!" and, as he buckled on his sword, the light-hearted young chief began to sing an old Gaëlic song.

"Gu ma slàn a chì mi,
    Mo chaillin dileas donn;
Air 'n d' fhas an cualan reidh,
    'S air an deise dh'eireadh fonn.

"How happy could I be with thee,
My bonnie brown-eyed maid!
In thy loveliness and beauty,
With innocence array'd.

"Se cainnt do bheoil bu bhinne leam,
    'Nuair bhiodh mintinn trom;
'Stu thogadh suas mo chridhe
    'Nuair bhiodh tu bruidhiun reum.

"Thy voice to me was music
When my poor heart was sad;
With thee, how fled the fleet hours,
Conversing in the shade!

Breakfast being over, we took our swords and bonnets, and sallied forth to the sunny Platz, where the regiment was parading under the colours to commence the course of drill, and training to march and countermarch by files, sections, and companies. As to the handling of arms, our clansmen had known that since their childhood; for they were all men of that glorious old race, whose first food in infancy was received from the point of their father's sword; and who were reared like the Spartans of old by their Highland mothers, whose prayers were ever, that their warlike sons might have the grace to die—not on their beds like sloths or hounds—but on the field of battle, with their shields below and their plaids above them. Thus were the Scottish clansmen reared in arms, and trained to war and daring; and hence we cannot wonder, at finding the Highland brigades of Christian IV., and of Gustavus Adolphus, the terror of the Poles, the Muscovites, and the Imperialists.

"Now, cousin Philip," said Ian, as we descended the great staircase of the mansion; "show us the bower of your invisible countess."

Undeterred by their jesting, I examined all the doors of the empty flats below our billet; but found no trace of the one I looked for. Every chamber appeared to have been long deserted; the walls were damp; the dust lay on the floors; there was rust on the andirons and grates, and spiders had spun their webs across the small thick panes of the windows. Though completely silenced by the disappearance of the chamber, and by the consequent jests, laughter, and disbelief of my friends, I was not the less convinced that there lurked some strange mystery in the lady's concealment, and the Hausmeister's connivance thereat.

This mystery I secretly resolved to probe and unravel. It was doubtless a very impertinent determination; but there was less beard then on my chin than now, besides I was very heedless and rash.

I applied my powers of persuasion to the old housekeeper; but she was deaf as a cannon, shook her paralytic head, determined not to understand me, and pouched with true German avidity a gold Scottish noble, or a twelve shilling piece, which I gave her in mistake for a dog-dollar.

The old pile of building became invested with an interest which otherwise it would never have possessed. My friends, who frequently discovered me searching for the lost chamber, laughed at me for a time without mercy; and none entered more into their spirit of raillery than Otto Roskilde, who swore that it was a spirit I had seen, a Danish Trold from Juteland—a spirit of the Elbe—a white woman from the forests of Bremen—or a Trold, and nothing but a Trold!

Rather provoked by all this, I frequently ascended and descended the staircase alone; examined all the doors, and tapped on the walls of the desolate rooms; listened for a sound, but heard none save the guttural voices of the people in the Platz the croaking of the frogs in the canal, or the hoarser croak of Roskilde's old timber-toned housekeeper, dame Krumpel, singing a monotonous ditty of Holstein to the birr of her spinning-wheel. My beauty was certainly not in the apartments of her master; he had but two, and I had taken the liberty of examining them both, twenty times. Having been educated at the college of James IV., and moreover been a residenter in "the brave city" of Aberdeen for so many years, I considered myself more than usually acute; but I was now forced to confess, that with all the knowledge of the world I had gathered at the London of the North, in this affair of "my countess" (as Ian and Angus named her), I was completely baffled.

At Glückstadt on the Elbe we lay in quarters for some time, during which we improved in all points of discipline, according to the rules of war then practised by all noble cavaliers of the Scottish nation, who had first carried them into the armies of northern Europe.

By speaking our pure old Lowland language, I found little or no difficulty in making myself understood by the Danish officers, and by the brave and honest Holsteiners, whose peculiar dialect of the German I soon acquired.

Our pay was poor. A captain had about £130 per annum, and mine, as ensign of musketeers, was only a slet-dollar per day, out of which I had to furnish myself with wine and beer; but we had come to fight for honour and glory, not for the base lucre or copper skillings—for Elizabeth Stuart, and her uncle, the brave king Christian—for the liberties of Germany and the freedom of the Protestant religion—for, Vivat! we were all true Scottish cavaliers. Yet there were many among us who, when the season became moist and the marsh fevers thinned our ranks, grumbled sorely, and openly averred we would have been better at home, fighting our own neighbours, the English, than gasping among the frowsy fogs of Holstein.



On the 6th day after our landing, Ian and his sergeant, Phadrig Mhor, with sixty of our pikemen, were on guard in the great tower at the harbour mouth. After spending the forenoon in lounging with them on the ramparts of their post, from whence we had an extensive view of the flat and fertile country, with its houses of bright red brick roofed with yellow straw, and sheltered by rows of tall elms and taper poplars; after explaining to them in Gaëlic, some chapters of a treatise on fortification by Errard of Bois le Duc—for we had all resolved to become perfect soldiers; after a few glasses of wine with them an a tavern close by the guardhouse, and having some lively good-for-nothing chatter with the pretty jungfers, or waitresses, whose plump round figures, in their short petticoats and spotless white vests, made them as charming and piquant as the soubrettes or grisettes of Paris, I returned slowly to our billet, passing through the evening crowds in the Platz, with my bonnet cocked smartly on one side, my plaid waving behind me, and my claymore under my arm, feeling very much satisfied with my own appearance, and proud that I belonged to a regiment whose fifteen hundred pair of sturdy bare legs were the admiration of all the women in Glückstadt.

I entered the vast and silent house of Otto Roskilde, and was ascending the stair, with my head full of ravelins and breastworks, pretty ankles and counterscarps, waitresses and fortifications, flying sap and salient angles, when a sound struck my ear; I suddenly paused—drew breath, and listened.

The notes of a guitar and of a clear female voice, sweetly modulated, made my heart beat like lightning; for a guitar was in the apartment of that sleeping beauty, whom I had nearly forgotten.

I approached softly; the door of the same apartment I had formerly seen was standing partly open, and I again saw the same fair young girl, who had been asleep on the sofa, running her fingers over a beautiful guitar, to which she was softly singing a lively Spanish song. Her back was towards me, and her neck and shoulders (where visible between her thick lace veil and high Spanish ruff) were dazzlingly white. I could distinctly see her face, which was reflected in an opposite mirror. Her hair was dressed loftily over a high pearl-studded comb, after the fashion of her countrywomen; she had bright lively eyes, the most wicked smile, and the finest teeth, in the world. The little coquette seemed to be studying smiles and positions in the mirror, and, as she did so, a little dimple appeared in each of her cheeks, which were pale, or exhibited the faintest tinge of red—altogther unlike the full blushing cheeks of the German maids of Holstein. Then, as she sang, her voice rang clearly and beautifully as a little silver bell. It was a Tonadilla, from a play of the old dramatist, Lopez de Vega; but from which of them Heaven only knows; for old Lopez wrote such an incredible number, that I do not believe he would have recognised it himself.

"Gentil Donna, gentil donna—
Gentil donna, goddess bright!
Fairer than the morning light!
How long shall I be doom'd to feel,
The wound thy hand alone can heal?
Gentil donna, gentil donna—
Gentil donna, to me give
The hope from this dear wound to live.
Gentil donna—see, the dart
Of love has pierced my bleeding heart."


"Caballero, caballero,
Caballero, hence away,
Lest I laugh at what you say:

Suddenly, in the mirror's polished depth, her eye caught a glimpse of my reflected figure, with its shining cuirass and dark green tartans. The guitar dropped from her hand, and she turned towards me with a pale and startled expression. It was now my turn to be confused, for I had no business there.

"Pardon me, señora," said I, in my most dulcet Spanish, for I had perceived at once that she was a Spaniard; "I have mistaken the way to my own apartment, and—and——"

She appeared to rally her spirits, and bowed.

"This old house," I continued, advancing one pace, "with its long wooden stairs, its dark passages, so full of doors to the right and to the left—you understand me, señora?"

"Oh yes! señor—I think I do."

"Its wainscoted galleries and ambulatories," I continued, advancing another pace, "are quite perplexing, and I feel that I am an awkward intruder."

"You look, señor, just like one dropped from the moon," said she with a smile, as she resumed her guitar with its broad blue ribbon; "but I have the honour to wish you a good day——"

"And you pardon my intrusion?"

"Pardon—oh yes! but, in ascending the stair, keep always to the right, remember. I cannot be angry with so gallant a cavalier," (galante caballero.)

There was a wicked smile on her lips; but my heart beat quick, and I remained gazing upon her, fascinated by the expression of her eyes.

Those beautiful orbs attracted me more than the curved brows, the straight nose, the fine nostril and short upper lip, their accessories. They were somewhat of a blue black, or violet colour, and sparkled under long fringes of silk, which chastened and subdued the fire of their expression. They were full of obscure language, of inspiration, and undefined thoughts, those beautiful eyes! They were full of sweetness too, and of power: I could imagine that their expression would have been magnificent in love, and terrible in rage; but at that moment they expressed only the most charming archness and timidity.

"Come, señor—are you going?" said she.

"Certainly, señora," said I, with confusion; "but permit me to kiss your hand, in token that you really forgive me."

"There, señor—and now begone; for, on my honour, you tire me."

I kissed her pretty hand with all the confusion of a boy, and hurried away. Such was my flutter, and such my tumult, that I omitted to mark well the features of the passage, that I might find my way back again.

I saw only those timid, dark, and seducing eyes!

I sprang up-stairs to our apartment, in search of any of my friends.

"Rollo, Angus M'Alpine!" cried I.

"Dia! what is the matter?" cried the tall lieutenant of our company, as he sprang from a table where he was playing at chess with the Hausmeister, and in doing so overset the board and their wine-pot together; "is the house on fire?"

"No! but I have found her."

"Her—who?" he asked, while the Hausmeister changed colour very perceptibly.

"I have seen her again."

"What, thy countess?" said Red Angus, laughing.

"Yes—and spoken with her."

"I wish you had tarried with her; for you have spilled our wine, and spoiled our game."

"It is all an illusion—an impossibility," said Herr Roskilde; "for I swear to you, gentlemen, there is no such person——"

"Hold, Rollo," said M'Alpine, gravely, on perceiving that I was getting wroth; "perhaps there is something supernatural in all this."

"Nothing supernatural at all, Angus. I spoke with her—saw her, and kissed her hand."

"Oho! Mahoud! thou art getting on apace," said the lieutenant, laughing.

"Beware!" growled Otto in his deep German bass, "for these Trolds are mere unsubstantial forms; hollow behind——"

"Trolds be hanged!" said I; "hollow behind, indeed! Do you laugh at me, friend Otto?"

"No—but I say, that I think you have been deceived."

"Nay, may I die if I ever touched a hand more fair, more round, more beautiful! And then her eyes! Ah, Master Otto! 'tis for yourself you keep this fair prize so slily locked up—but you cannot deceive me. Come with me, gentlemen, and I will show you whether or not I have been deceived by the Herr or my own eyes, and whether I have deserved the jests of Ian for the last week."

Angus took his sword in case of accidents; we all descended the stair, and I confidently led the way to the lower landing-place, turned to the right, and advanced along the passage. Passing several doors, I paused: for lo! that one which led to the chamber of my Spaniard had vanished again. I was perplexed—thunderstruck; while both M'Alpine and the German laughed immoderately. I felt conscious that I looked exceedingly foolish; but knew not what to say. Gaping about me, I felt all the walls, and sounded them with the pommel of my poniard; I listened for the tinkle of the guitar, and bell-like notes of that soft warbling voice, but all was still as the grave.

"'Tis the work of the devil!" said I.

"Then you agree with me at last, Herr Ensign?" said Otto.

"You have been at the wine-house, Philip," added M'Alpine, "and the memory of some red and rosy jungfer has been haunting you."

"Beware, young man!" continued the Hausmeister, with a dark and most inexplicable look; "it may be a wile of the evil one, or perhaps of Holger Danske, to bear you away. She may be one of the Elle people, whose touch is bewitching, and whose breath produces pestilence and sickness. They dwell among the sedges of the canals, and the moors of Juteland; but there are times when they venture to enter cities."

"Have the Elle women beautiful eyes?"

"They are fair and winning in aspect, but are a mere appearance, being hollow like a dough trough. They excel in playing upon stringed instruments, the notes of which are enchanting; and young men like you, Herr Ensign, find the utmost difficulty in resisting their fascinations. They are most frequently to be met with in the moonlight nights, dancing among the long soft grass, or in summer evenings under the shadow of trees, to the music made by grotesque gnomes, who play on enormous fiddles; and no young man whom they meet, ever experiences a cold reception or denial of any thing. You hear me, Herr?"

"By the soul of king Alpine!" said Angus, "they are just like our Daoine-shie at home! For God's sake and your own, Philip Rollo, beware, or we may find a bunch of reeds, or a bundle of rotten sticks, in your place some morning when the drum beats! Then how would it sound for the sergeant-major to report to Sir Donald, that Ensign Rollo had been carried off by the fairies!"

"I have heard old Dominie Daidle expatiate on the Lamiæ of the early Greeks—evil demons, who assumed the forms of beautiful nymphs, and enticed young men——"

"Especially ensigns," suggested Angus.

"Into lonely places, where they devoured them."

"Bones and all—oh Lord!" said Angus.

"Well, Herr," continued Otto Roskilde, "such are our Elle women in Denmark and Holstein, and such may be the fair spirit you have seen; so I would beseech you to be wary."

Honest M'Alpine half believed him; but I observed there was a ray of secret mirth twinkling under the glassy surface of this man's grey, deceitful eyes; I felt certain that he was jewing me, but resolved to "byde my time."

Book the Second.



Notwithstanding the rampant Calvinism of the duchy, the Lords of Holstein—for the province has a nobility of its own, and a most important, bulbous-looking nobility they are—had established a theatre near the market-place; and on this night there was to be a performance, as several large red and yellow bills, posted on the corners of the Platz and porch of the great church, informed those who could read them. Accompanied by M'Alpine and Ian, who had never witnessed any thing of the kind before, and who stole away for an hour or so from his guard at the Round Tower, I bent my steps towards the place. We paid a rixdollar for one of the best seats, and found ourselves lodged completely to our satisfaction.

I had heard old people speak much of the theatrical representations made at Aberdeen in 1603, by one William Shakespear (whose dramas are becoming popular among his countrymen) and other English players, who had been sent by Elizabeth, their queen, to perform before his majesty King James VI. of wise memory, and his good subjects of "the brave city," to the great scandal and indignation of the Calvinist clergy, who abhorred all such matters as trumpery, that savoured too much of the popish mysteries of the past age. I had seen one or two representations on the Schoolhill (when I was at college), which forcibly reminded me of the remarks of that gallant soldier, Cervantes, when writing of Lopez de Rueda; "until whose time," says he, "we were not acquainted with all the machinery now necessary, nor with the challenges given by the Moors to the Christians, and which are now so common. We saw no figures rise from underground, nor cloud-borne angels come to visit us; the simple ornament of the theatre was an old curtain, behind which certain minstrels and musicians performed an old romance." Thus had I seen, or rather heard, the plays of Davie Lindsay in open daylight, and I must confess to being in no way prepared for the brilliancy of the spectacle which burst upon us, when entering the theatre of Christian IV. at Glückstadt; and as for my cousin Ian, being but a plain Highland gentleman, wholly unaccustomed to cities and their splendours, reared in the voiceless solitude of a wooded glen, he was for a time struck dumb.

The large hall of an old-fashioned house, the three wooden gables of which were propped on columns of oak, and overhung the Platz, had been recently fitted up for the occasion, and for the first time in Holstein a famous dancer was to make her debut.

Across the upper end, as on a dais, the stage was erected, and curtained off from the main body of the hall; before it sat the members of the orchestra, and behind them were the people of the town, seated in close rows on wooden benches. Along the sides were balconies hung with crimson cloth, emblazoned with the arms of all the princes of the Protestant League, and lighted by oil lamps of warmly-coloured glass, for the accommodation of the pompous burgomaster and grandees of the city. The stage, which was surmounted by the arms of the duchy, and the triple helmet, was profusely gilded, and brilliantly illuminated by rows of wax candles, having reflectors, which threw a blaze of light upon a blue curtain, leaving the audience comparatively in the shade.

We were all attention, and as we occupied the most prominent stall next to those of the burgomaster and Sir David Drummond, governor of the town, we had a good opportunity of observing the citizens as they crowded into their places. This species of entertainment was almost new in Glückstadt; thus, as the expectation and excitement were great, the theatre was soon filled, and in the most prominent part of the pit I observed our Hausmeister, with his bombasted breeches, high ruff, and great basket-hilted espadone, and with a Dutch pipe in his mouth, like most of the men around him, enveloping himself in a cloud of smoke, which soon concealed him from the indignant glances of the blooming female audience. These were dames whose gay dresses made the area appear like a parterre of flowers; and I observed that they were generally softly featured, and brightly complexioned—the young wearing their fair hair dressed over high combs of fretted silver or gold, after the ancient fashion of Holstein; while the old and the married wore large linen coifs, like those of our Lowland women at home.

Many of our Scottish cavaliers, in their bright corslets and laced doublets, with their high ruffs and white scarfs, and a few of the counts and barons of the swampy neighbourhood, were in the balconies; and some of the wild-looking clansmen of my own valiant regiment, in their tartan plaids and buff coats, were scattered here and there, gazing with active-eyed wonder from among the mass of stolid-visaged Holsteiners, some of whom wore hats and ruffs, in fashion a hundred years old. The people waxed impatient, and the clatter of heavy swords and spurred boots on the floor, announced it from time to time, though the orchestra endeavoured to soothe them by performing a piece of music with their fiddles, viols, sacbuts, shalms, and flutes.

I was just wondering who a very pretty damsel, in a brocaded boddice and low-bossomed ruff, might be, when Ian exclaimed—

"Ece! behold!" and I turned towards the stage.

The blue curtain had suddenly vanished, and a beautiful scene was disclosed.

It was a bright shore, beyond which lay a brighter sea, whereon an orient sun was shining; rocks lay in the foreground, with light green vines overhanging them, and many a heavy cluster of the purple grape. On one side lay the ruin of a temple; on the other, an ancient fountain poured forth its sparkling current from a Triton's shell into a marble basin, which, without overflowing, seemed to receive the whole current of that living water. Afar off, the capes and promontories of that fairyland seemed to be sleeping in the glorious sunlight, vanishing away into the summer haze exhaled from an azure sea; and so real seemed the whole, that I am sure our wild Mackays and fierce M'Farquhars in the seats below, as they crossed themselves under their belted plaids, and muttered to each other under their thick mustaches, thought it was all reality, or framed by the spells of the Daoine-shie.

Anon the musicians struck up a Spanish dance, the sound of castanets was heard, then, like a dazzling vision, a light and beautiful girl appeared before us. Whether she was a human being or a fairy, it seemed for a moment difficult to decide; until recollection—quick as the flash of a cannon—came upon me, and I recognised my mysterious beauty, and gazed upon her, wonderstruck and speechless.

Her native charms, which were very great, were enhanced to the utmost by the elegance of her costume, which reached scarcely below the knee, and had innumerable little red and black flounces. Her boddice and stockings were of scarlet—the former was low-bosomed, and revealed the beautiful contour of her form; her arms were bare, round and white as snow; but how shall I describe the smallness of her feet and hands, for every way this being seemed perfect? The luxuriance of her glossy hair was braided into a coronet, and amid its darkness shone a row of pearl pins, from each of which depended a little golden ball. Her smiles seemed full of love and fascination; and her dark and glorious eyes were full of joy and ecstasy.

In the lightness of her movements she seemed to float upon that flood of melody, which filled the whole theatre, and made all our hearts swell and leap, we knew not why. Mine was full of new and delightful sensations—my voice was gone—I had only eyes. While beating time with her castanets, the beautiful Spaniard, turned, whirled, and bounded with the lightness of a spirit, at every pirouette making her whole muslin dress stand out in a circle around her waist; thus my eyes wandered in astonishment from her finely formed ankles to her snowy arms, from her white shoulders to her braided hair, her smiling face, and flashing eyes.

Young, inexperienced, and susceptible, having but lately left my native land, where no such exhibition would have been tolerated for a moment, under penalty of the iron jougs and cutty-stool, I was borne, as it were, away from myself; my whole soul was riveted on the graceful motions of this dazzling dancer, who seemed to move amid a sea of light and harmony, nor did I rally until a roar of applause shook the rafters of the theatre.

"How she pirouettes!" said an old countess in the balcony near us; "oh, the light flounces—the pretty feet!"

"The devil! she is quite enchanting! beautiful—beautiful! such ankles!" said a major of Reitres.

"She dances like a fairy, a trold, an Elle woman!" said the burgomaster's wife.

"Or like the Lady Margarette of Skofgaard, who danced twelve knights to death!" added the burgomaster, Dubbelsteirn.

"Herr Baron," said I to Baron Karl of Klosterfiord, a captain of Danish pistoliers, when the blue curtain had fallen, and the lady retired, "how is this fair damsel named?"

"We only know her as the Señora Prudentia Bandolo."

"What a charming name for a woman so pretty!" said a cavalier in crimson and gold lace, who accompanied the baron, and whom I recognised to be a Sleswiger.

"Where does she live?" I asked carelessly.

"I would give my best horse to know," replied the cavalier, laughing.

The baron gave an expressive cough, and said—

"You would not be half so foolish, Fritz."

"But she involves herself in a cloud of mystery," replied Fritz, who was major of the Sleswig musketeers; "and the fact is, she is a charming little darling, and would look very well riding at the head of our regiment."

"Beside the chaplain, eh? Your staff would then be complete, Fritz," replied the baron laughing, and curling up his fair mustaches. "Under protection of the truce between King Christian the Emperor," he added, turning to me, "she has only come to Glückstadt until the troops march towards the Weser; and, as she will dance here a hundred dollars into her purse every night, she may form a pretty prize for a foraging party, when we approach the frontiers of the empire."

"Then we musketeers of Sleswig may have her, after all!" yawned Fritz, as he polished his cuirass with his gauntlet; "do you know, Karl, that since she has been here among us, she actually pretends to have turned Protestant."

"Pretends!" I reiterated, shocked at the manner in which these rough soldiers spoke of a being so beautiful; "surely you mistake, for I think there is a great appearance of sincerity about her. I would say all was candour, and there was no concealment."

"Do you judge by the fascination of her smile, or the scantiness of yonder Spanish petticoat?" said the major, Fritz, still polishing his cuirass.

"I judge by her face; its expression is quite artless—she really does not seem to be aware of her own charms."

"The devil! thou art quite smitten!" said the captain of pistoliers, with a boisterous laugh. "That idea amuses me extremely; I would give my best helmet to see a woman who was so little aware of her own beauty that she required to be told of it. I assure you, sir, that these pretty creatures are quite as artificial as their scenery."

The Sleswig cavalier pulled up his high ruff to conceal how he smiled; and, though I felt indignant at their severe remarks on the actress, there was such a frank, pleasant, and soldierly air about them both, that I could not quarrel with them. They were much alike, having both the same devil-may-care aspect; having mustaches shorn off at the corners of their mouths, with broad foreheads and bold restless eyes; over his right temple the pistolier had a sword-cut, which was scarcely healed. After a pause—

"I say, Fritz," said he; "have you, who are an enterprising genius, actually never discovered where this girl lives?"

"How can I with certainty! No one knows any thing about where she lives—save that she does not live at home." There was a flourish of music.

"Ece! the curtain rises again!" said M'Alpine, waving his bonnet; "and again all eyes turn towards her, like flowers towards the sun."

My goddess was again upon the stage, but in a very different dress. The scene disclosed was a far stretching valley between beautiful mountains; over one of these rose the pale light of the moon; on the other died away the last glow of the west; the calm current of a starlit river wound between the shaded hills, and the lofty arches of a ruined bridge spanned it; their downward shadows were reflected deep in the stream below. The white columns of a ruined temple, such as might have stood in Lybian deserts, arose on one side; on the other stood the red square keep of a guarded fortress, and dark Italian pine-woods threw their gloom around them. The white-orbed moon soared slowly into the blue sky, which became studded by innumerable stars; it edged the ruins, the rocks, the leaves, and the riplets of the stream below with a silvery wavering light; and, lo! there seemed to be nothing but objects of nature standing palpably before us.

Clad in long and graceful drapery, which was white as snow, girdled by a glittering zone or bandelet below her rounded bosom, with her arms bare to those dazzling shoulders, on which her long hair rolled unbound, with a lyre in her hand, and a bright star sparkling on her radiant brow, Prudentia, as the Genius of Poetry, arose from the ruin of a fallen column, around which the leaves of the ivy, the vine, and acanthus were clustering, and came forward greeted by a storm of applause. I know not whether it was the style of her dress, or the subdued light around her; but she seemed paler, and if possible more beautiful, than before.

The play was a tragedy, which I now remember not, neither have I any recollection of the other characters; for all my ideas were absorbed by the fair Spanish jigurante, who now made her appearance as a singer, and after a short prelude on her lyre, the notes of which seemed to come from the orchestra, she began to warble, with all the sweetness of a little bird, a Spanish song, and it seemed to be somewhat like the serenade I had overheard her practising; and, however absurd it might seem for a maid of Magna Græcia to sing in the language of Old Castile, it served the honest Holsteiners quite as well as the purest Greek that was spoken in the days of Pythagoras.

If I was entranced while this siren sung, I was equally delighted by her acting. My heart beat like lightning; but I had one source of disappointment—she never once turned her dark eyes towards me, nor seemed to observe me, although the balcony occupied by M'Alpine, the two other cavaliers, and myself, was made sufficiently conspicuous by the richness of our dresses. I detected, however, one bright glance of recognition thrown among the closely packed masses of the pit; I followed the smiling glance, and discovered the round bullet-head and grey glistening eyes of our Hausmeister.

Remembering the stuff he had so recently told me, about trolds and fairies and women who were hollow behind, I was making mental resolutions to punch a bole or two in his doublet, when the sudden descent of the curtain, and rapid extinction of half the lights, broke the spell of the place; but the voice of Prudentia still seemed to linger in my ear, as, in closing the epilogue, she sang the last verses of Lopez de Vega.

"Will she appear again to night, Herr Baron?" I asked the captain of the pistoliers.

"No, thank Heaven!" said he, yawning; "the drama is over."

"And I am tired to death," added Fritz, wrapping his mantle about him; "why, Herr Ensign, you do not mean to say you could endure another hour of this?"

I neither waited to see their covert smiles, nor bid them adieu, but avoided Ian and M'Alpine by mingling with the crowd, and hurried away, that I might see Prudentia as she left the theatre, or at least contrive to intercept her as she entered that mysterious house which seemed to be our common residence.

After the glare and heat of the theatre for so many hours, the moonlit street seemed by contrast to be dark and cold. I rolled my plaid about me, and, in the shadow of a projecting doorway, stood watching at the corner of the Platz; still and sluggish as a stream of ink, the canal lay on one hand; the dark and dirty street, through which the crowd was dispersing, opened on the other. The storks were making uncouth sounds on the gables overhead, and before me stood our tall mansion, the door of which (after my two friends had entered) was unclosed no more; and I watched in vain till the Laird of Craigie's drums began to beat reveillée, and I heard the shrill fifes pouring the old Lowland air to the morning wind—

"Cauld an' raw the wind does blaw,
Oh, sirs! it's winter fairly;
But though the hills be owre wi snaw,
We maun up in the mornin' early!"

Every person in Glückstadt had long since retired to their homes, but I saw nothing of my charming actress, and remembered the remarkable observation of Major Fritz—that she lived every where but at home.

I thought of Herr Roskilde, who seemingly had not returned either, and my mind began to exchange its obstinacy for anger and jealousy. Grey morning stole along the waveless waters of the Elbe; the quaint houses threw their heavy shadows against each other; and the stars, which had been shining in the puddles of the unpaved streets, disappeared. The kites, the crows, and other ravenous birds, which, with the storks, formed then the only scavengers in Glückstadt, were all busy burying their long bills among the heaps of mud and other debris of the silent streets, before it occurred to me that I looked very like a fool or a housebreaker, to be shivering there at such an untimeous hour.

With this pleasant conviction I returned to my quarters, cold and weary, vexed and sleepy.

On ascending the stair, I saw the broad hat, the brown cloak, and espadone of Herr Otto, hanging as usual on three pegs at the first landing-place; and, on pausing there for a moment, I heard him snoring as he did every night, like a sow-gelder winding his horn.

"'Zounds!" said I, as I lay down to sleep completely mystified; "for one moment I have never taken my eyes from that door; none have entered but Ian and Angus Roy, and here is our Hausmeister, whom I left at the theatre, snorting comfortably in his own bed!"



In my dreams she danced again before me, and her voice was lingering in my ear. I could still see that fairy figure, with the star beaming on her brow, the robe of muslin, the glancing ankles and shoulders, and hear the notes of that modulated voice, whose accents were like the tinkle of fairy bells. At twenty years of age, one only requires a day or two to fall (as one supposes) completely in love:—I was only twenty; the object of my secret adoration was beautiful, and I had seen her surrounded by all those accessories that will enhance beauty to the utmost extent. As a student, I had no time to fall in love; as a soldier, it seemed to be quite a matter of course—for I remembered the great Spanish novelist, who asserted that a soldier without a mistress, was like a ship without a compass.

The moment I was out of bed and dressed, I instituted another search for her chamber door.

"The very devil is in it!" said I, for none was visible.

I was not so far gone in love as to lose my appetite; I made a hearty breakfast with my friends, put on my headpiece, corslet, kilt, and sword, and sallied forth to our place of arms.

I was for guard that day, and marched with fifty musketeers of our regiment to relieve my cousin Ian at the old round tower and gate of Glückstadt, which adjoined it.

We approached the post with a pipe playing, our arms carried, and matches lighted. Ian drew out his guard in line to receive us; his piper, in reply to ours, played the Mackay's Salute; then arms were presented, and the posts delivered over.

"Now, Philip," said Ian, before he marched off the old guard, "I have received from the governor, Sir David Drummond, in person, the most strict orders to examine all persons who pass or repass this barrier; and these orders I was to deliver to you, who must in turn repeat them to your successor. It would seem that there are spies in the city, who communicate with the Imperialists. Two days after our landing here, our arrival and our strength were both known to the generals of the Empire; hence it is believed that Count Tilly will leave no means untried to cut us off on our march to join the king."


"Yes—as Sinclair's clan-regiment was cut to pieces among the Norwegian Alps; so look well to it, Philip Rollo, and see that none pass this gate without a written order from Sir David Drummond."

"And what of the burgomaster?"

"Dioul! the burgomaster Dubbelsteirn is under the baton just now. When a drum beats, the voice of law is dumb," replied Ian, throwing his plaid over his shoulders.

"You will return, Ian, and share my dinner?" said I.

"And why came you not to share mine yesterday? but I need scarcely ask. Doubtless you were searching all day for that imaginary door, which leads to where the spirit lives."


"The Trold—did not that fat Holsteiner tell us it was a fairy?"

"The Holsteiner is a lying poltroon," said I, with sudden passion, "and I will trouble you to tell him that I said so; and, moreover, that I mean to run him through the body if he will afford me a proper opportunity."

Ian left me laughing, and for some hours I sauntered dreamily on the gun platform of the tower, watching the gaudily painted and peculiarly built ships of the Lübeckers, the Hamburgers, and others who frequented the port, and were pouring in grain, beef, powder, and stores of every kind, for the use of that strong army which King Christian hoped to lead into central Germany. Among the foreign shipping were several bearing the blue Scottish ensign of St. Andrew, and others which displayed the white flag of England.

This guard being my first, I was of course extremely zealous; I posted all the sentinels, and in person heard them deliver over their orders to each other, being resolved that, so far as I was concerned, no suspicious or unauthorised person should leave the gates of Glückstadt. As none of my sentinels could speak any language but their native Gaëlic, and persons requesting ingress and egress were brought before me every five minutes, the time was not permitted to hang heavily on my hands.

A tall figure in the mountain garb, with a feather in his bonnet, and his belted plaid waving behind, with the tassels of his sporran and the hilt of his claymore sparkling in the sunshine, came along the ramparts, under the trees which overshadowed them, and cast also a comparative gloom on the yellow bosom of the turgid and barge-encumbered canal which lay below. Long before the Highlander had reached the steps of the wooden tower, and sprung up the platform, I recognised my handsome cousin, the chief and most stately gentleman of the great Clanchattan.

"So you have seen her again?" said he.

"Who told you so, Ian?" I asked.

"Red Angus M'Alpine, who was with us at the tragedy last night."

"I never told Angus that I recognised my unknown in the fair Spanish dancer."

"Angus, the best huntsman between Strathalladale and Strathearn, is not so blind as a bat; and, like many smart persons in this world, can see things without being told of them. He said, that you seemed to see nothing but her figure, and to hear nothing but her voice; to be all ear and eye—to devour every motion, and that you were a lost man. 'A lost man! Angus Roy,' said I; 'tuts! think you my cousin, Rollo of the Craig, will forget that he is a gentleman of birth and coat-armour, and that she is but a Spanish posture-maker, who exhibits her painted limbs at so much per night to all the boors of Glückstadt. A pretty wife she would make to take home to Cromartie Firth, and to the old tower of Craigrollo! I wonder if the old spoon of Sir Ringan would suit her dainty mouth!' And so you see, Philip, I quite laughed Angus out of the notion."

I felt that Ian was laughing a little at me, too; and the quick blood which had suffused my face while he was rallying me, announced that his suspicions were well founded, and that, if I was not fairly in love with the beautiful danzador, I was very near it.

"Take care, Philip," said Ian, whose keen Highland eyes had been regarding me with a half smile under his bonnet; "and beware, for there must be something shameful about her."

"Shameful!" I reiterated, shocked at a word so disrespectful; "shameful, Ian!"

"Immoral, then—which you will," continued Ian Dhu a little doggedly, "or why the d—l does your damsel conceal herself so closely? I do not half like that beetle-browed fellow, Roskilde, either."

"I dislike him wholly, and distrust him, too."

"He has some bad reason for concealing her, depend upon it; but then, cousin Philip, you know 'tis no business of ours."

"No—no—of course not," said I, coughing, to conceal the annoyance I felt at the idea of their being a liaison between my beautiful Spaniard, and that hideous Holsteiner in the bombasted breeches and calfskin boots.

"Ah, my faith!" I added, grasping my dirk, as my chagrin and perplexity broke forth—"to be supplanted by such a rival!"

"Ay, a handsome cavalier like you, Philip, by a great bombarde such, as Herr Otto!" continued Ian, laughing.

"I swear to you, by my existence, that I will cut his life short suddenly; for the fellow has laughed at me, and played the fool with me, too."

"Let the poor man alone! What right have you to molest him, or search out his secrets with a sword-blade; besides, we march for the camp in a few days, and then, Philip, come battles and sieges, the leaguer and storm!"

"But he has given me the lie."

"Dioul! that is true," said Ian, gravely; "I had forgotten that. He insisted so sturdily that you were mistaken, and that she was a Trold, and so forth. You must exchange a few passes with him, and rip up a yard of his great breeches, were it only to let a few pounds of bran out of them; or we might order Phadrig Mhor to fling him into the canal—but we will see about it to-morrow, when you come off guard."

Ian had soon to leave me for the place of arms, where the regiment was exercised according to the rules prescribed by the Scottish officers in Denmark and Sweden; for the king's orders, that we should be trained with the utmost expedition, were stringent, as his entire forces were soon to take the field against Count Tilly.

The day passed on.

I longed for the morrow, which was to free me from my duty, and leave me at liberty to unravel the mystery which surrounded my beauty, and to punish the insolence of Roskilde, who had so openly trifled with my simplicity, and against whom I had conceived a most unmitigated aversion. Night, as it drew on, brought with it the sensations of irksome annoyance; for by the crowds which were passing into the Platz, I conjectured that my pretty actress was again upon that brilliant platform, with a thousand eyes bent in admiration on her graceful figure, her flowing dress and floating hair, her pure brow, and the star of light that beamed upon it; but, restrained by the strict order about spies in the city, I could not visit the theatre to behold her again, or hear that soft voice, which memory brought ever and anon so palpably to my ear.

The sun had set, and the storks retired to their nests on gable-nook and chimney-top; the canals turned from pale yellow to a muddy brown, and then became white, as the moon, partly obscured by a thin veil of gauzy mist, rose behind the square tower of the great church, and threw its black shadow far across the waters of the Elbe. That broad river seemed then, by the moonlight reflected from fleecy clouds, white and spotless as milk; but the shadows of its shores were black and opaque, for its depths gave back the strong and clear, but inverted, outline of every chimney-head and pointed roof—of every tree, and boat, and barge—just as one may see them in the pictures of the Low Country masters.

A vault of the fortifications was appropriated for the guardroom of the officer on duty at the wooden tower (or the Tower of Rats, as it should have been named), and there I sat ruminating, and watching the figures of the changing embers, which burned on the stone hearth, and endeavouring to decipher (by the light of a candle, which stood in an iron holder on the fir table) the innumerable caricatures of the Emperor Ferdinand, of Count Tilly, of Count Carlstein, and the Duke of Friedland, with which my predecessors had disfigured the plastered walls, frequently representing the whole four hanging on one gallows, held up by the devil, from whose mouth proceeded scrolls full of Danish invectives and low German ribaldry.

I then betook me to reading Captain Jean de Beaugue's Histoire de la Guerre D'Ecosse, with his campaigns there in 1548 and 1549, and had become deeply interested in the assault made by M. de la Mothe Ronge with his arquebussiers, and the chief of the Kerrs with his clan, upon the Tower of Pherniherst, and its garrison of English archers, whom they cruelly cut to pieces, making literally and savagely a foot-ball of their commander's head, when I was interrupted by my sergeant, Diarmed M'Gillvray, a cadet of the family of Drumnaglas, who came to inform me that Gillian M'Bane (a short and thickset clansman from the braes of Rannoch), who was sentinel at the tower-gate, had captured a very suspicious-looking personage; and that, as Gillian was sorely puzzled to know whether he had taken a man, woman, or goblin, Diarmed begged I would come with him to the post.

On arriving at the archway, the strong gate of which was closed all save the klinket, or wicket of three palisades, we found Gillian M'Bane swelling with importance, and standing on his guard, with his musket charged breast high, and ever and anon he blew the match, the lurid light of which glowed on his dark tartans, his steel cap, red beard, and brick-red face, shedding a crimson glow over them all; and he was uttering hoarse threats in Gaëlic, for the dress and face of the prisoner he had made, were fully calculated at least to startle and perplex his unsophisticated mind.

I immediately perceived the captured person to be a woman, who wore a mask of purple velvet, which, though a common enough article of apparel in the cities of the Lowlands, had never been seen so far north as the Black Mountain, or the shores of the Uisc Dhu. Hence the alarm of Gillian, on beholding a purple face with two eyes that shone through it like stars. The female, who was rather undersized, wore an enormous French hood, a plain buffin gown, and green silk apron, like the smart little wife of a citizen of Holstein.

"You have a pass I presume, from the governor, Sir David Drummond?"

"I have left it at home," replied the little mask, in German nearly as bad as my own, but in a tone that made me start.

"You are of Sleswig, I think?"

"Si, señor—that—that is—Mein Herr," she added with evident consternation. My heart seemed to rise to my lips!

"You have betrayed yourself," I replied, trembling in turn, for I knew my actress in a moment. Oh, how could I fail to recognise that charming voice!

"I swear to you, Mein Herr, that you mistake me for some one else. I am the poor little wife of a citizen, Juliane Eichhörn—who sells groceries in the Bürger-platz. My husband has been maltreated by the boors, and is lying in deadly peril at a farmhouse, some ten miles distant. A hundred yards from the gate I am to meet a messenger, who will tell of his health. Oh, Mein Herr! excuse me—excuse the order; for I swear that I have lost it, and am dying with anxiety to hear how my husband—my dear husband—my Reichardt, is."

All this was said with such an air of candour and sincerity, and accompanied by so many sobs and tears, that I was greatly moved and perplexed. Duty on one hand urged me to send her back to the city or guard-house, from whence, if her story was false, she might be sent to the Rasp-haus; curiosity, love, and jealousy, all prompted me to fathom the story, and send her on her mission.

"I will follow her for a hundred yards or so—'tis only a falcon shot from the gate," said I; "but, lest there should be treachery, lend me your pistols, Diarmed, and if you hear me fire send out a few files to my assistance. You may pass, lady," said I in Spanish, "but pray excuse my accompanying you."

I led her through the klinket, stuck Diarmed's pistols—a handsome pair of Highland pops, mounted with silver and bushed with gold—in my belt, and, with a mixed feeling of curiosity and apprehension, followed my mysterious little dancer; with curiosity and eagerness to make her acquaintance, and apprehension lest I might be led into some wicked ambush, or be found absent from my guard when the governor went his rounds, which he did every night at a certain hour. And what think you decided me in perpetrating this rashness? only a glimpse of a pretty foot and ancle, as my dancer was about to step through the klinket!

Avoiding the road which led to Crempen, she struck into a solitary pathway that led between low hedgerows, along the north bank of the Elbe.

"Señora," said I, in Spanish, "you walk very fast."

"Señor—I walk as I please," she replied in the same language.

"Oho! then you acknowledge that you are not of Sleswig, but a Spaniard?"

"I acknowledge nothing," she replied, with some asperity.

"And that you are not the little wife of a citizen who sells groceries, but the charming Prudentia?"

"I acknowledge nothing," she repeated, but with a smile that shewed her fine teeth under the dark mask.

"But I have every reason to suppose——"

"Cavalier, you may suppose just what you please. I am outside the barrier now; ha, ha!" and she laughed.

"But I may take you prisoner yet."

"Scarcely," said she, with another of her ringing laughs, as her small jewelled hand held before me the blade of a short but sharp stiletto of polished steel.

"The devil!—bright eyes and a dagger!—'tis quite a tragedy this!"

"It may end as a comedy, if you are kind to me."

"Well," said I, "the hour is late; here is midnight tolling in the steeple of the great church—allow me to act properly as your cavalier, and I shall be delighted."

"Many thanks, señor," she replied, and took my proffered hand. My heart beat like lightning; my head became giddy. Was it possible that I could be alone—at midnight, too—with that beautiful being, half woman, half fairy? I knew not what to say, and the light pressure of her little hand on mine, sent every moment a thrill to my heart, but then the other lay on the haft of a dagger!......

We seem to love very truly at twenty—then it is quite an enthusiasm, a second nature that can feed itself on smiles and sighs; but, with all this, I could not help reflecting that Prudentia was leading me a devil of a distance. I thought of my guard, and trembled lest Sir David should discover my absence—a catastrophe which would lead to inevitable degradation, and realise all the prophecies of my father. My companion addressed me—

"Señor, you have become very silent—cannot you speak, to enliven this dreary road?"

"I was thinking, señora, how charming you looked last night—and how adorably you sang."

"A great many have told me that fifty times."

"Then you must have a great many lovers?"

"Do you think that all who see me, love me?"

"If I judge from my own heart, I would say——"


"Yes—that they must be compelled to do so," I added, with a tremulous voice.

"Oh, that is delightful! but recollect, señor, that though I shall be most happy to have you for my friend, my lover you cannot be."

"Come—that is not bad," said I, assuming somewhat of her tone of raillery, while her frankness charmed me. "I must, of course, be your friend first, señora."

"And then——" she added archly.

"Ah! there is no saying what I may be."

"Oh! 'tis quite a compact—we shall be friends!" she added, laughing and clapping her hands.

"I trust you have not much further to go," said I, as we approached the muddy margin of the Elbe; "for I fear me greatly, I am already liable to be tried by a court-martial."

"Consejo de guerra?" she repeated, turning on me her bright eyes, which shone like stars through the holes in her mask. "I should be miserable if I occasioned that; but you need come no farther. My husband's messenger is standing under yonder tree, and, as I have no wish that you should hear all the tender messages my Reichardt sends me, I beg you will stand here until I return."

"By that wicked smile I see you have no husband."

"You shall see that I have; but on your honour, as a soldier and cavalier, do not follow me, and permit none to approach us."

"Whoever does so, must pass over my body," said I, unsheathing my claymore.

With a light step she hurried to the water-side, where, from under the shadow of a group of willows, I saw a tall male figure step out of a boat, which lay concealed among the thick long reeds. To Prudentia he made a bow, the brevity, or rather hauteur of which, was indicated by the lofty nod of his feathers, and then they entered into conversation, and I saw her deliver into his hand a packet, which he placed in his breast.



The moon shone palely through a thin white haze that floated over the Elbe; the level shore lay all sunk in dark shadow, and its reflection in the water was darker still. The river had still the same white appearance, and, where edged by the moonbeams, the drooping foliage of the group of willows seemed turned to bright crystal.

"Zounds!" thought I; "if it should really prove a husband, after all!" and I could not repress a sensation of bitterness and jealousy, when I saw Prudentia in close conversation with a tall, swinging fellow.

A brighter gleam of the moon revealed this person to me; he was a richly accoutred cavalier, and, being partly armed, his polished corslet glittered, and his white plumes were nodding in the breeze.

"Oho!" said I; "this is neither a citizen who keeps a booth in the Bürger-platz, nor a citizen's messenger; but a stout fellow who, like myself, feeds him with the blade of his good bilbo." Then, all at once, a horrible suspicion came over me. "Heavens! if Prudentia is the spy Sir David Drummond referred to! It must be so—else, whence all this mystery and contradiction?"

I cocked one of M'Gillvray's pistols, blew the match, and, considering that my suspicions warranted a closer examination, advanced boldly with my sword drawn, and discovered that a low flat boat, with six armed men, was concealed close by among the sedges of the bank.

"Now, sir, what seek you here?" I asked the tall cavalier, who wore a broad hat with white feathers, and over whose shoulder I recognised the crimson and gold scarf of our enemies, the Imperialists.

The stranger, who was an eminently handsome man, though advanced in years, passed a hand hurriedly across his brow, but left the señora to reply, which she did by laying a hand upon her poniard, and demanding of me, with considerable asperity, if it was thus I kept my word?

"Señora," said I, "my good-nature has been imposed upon; while I was told that you were, what I could not believe you to be—the wife of a citizen; or rather, while I believed you to be but an actress, I kept my post without advancing one step; but when I had every reason to believe that you were betraying me, by conversing with an Imperialist officer, I considered it my duty to come hither and arrest him."

"In time of truce!" said the cavalier, hastily.

"Truce, or no truce—yield, or I will shoot you through the head."

The Imperialist uttered a loud laugh.

"Stay, my young callant," said he, unsheathing his long toledo, and speaking with a strong Scottish accent; "I hope my convenience is to be consulted a little, both in the matter of shooting and taking."

"A Scot!" said I; "and under the banner of the Emperor Ferdinand?"

"When you see the Scottish musketeers of Leslie, Gordon, and Carlstien in order of battle, you will find that Scots are no rarity in Austria. Yes, young gentleman," said he emphatically, lowering the point of his rapier; "a brother Scot, but, like yourself perhaps, a poor soldier of fortune. Come, let us be friends. Your hand, for I love your spirit; and my heart warms at the sight of the tartan, as at the face of an old friend whom one has not seen for many a year. You serve the Chief of the Protestant League—I the Catholic Emperor; but we have come from the same land, and in boyhood may have climbed the same hill, and trod on the same heather. The fortune of war which places me in thy power to-day, may place thee in mine to-morrow; so let us never forget that we are kindly Scots, and that off the battlefield all soldiers are brothers. Seek not to know my errand, but return to your guard, which the señora tells me you have so foolishly left (under old Tilly, or the Count of Carlstien, that would involve the penalty of death); but return before you are discovered, and return with the conviction that you have had a narrow escape, for in my boat are six desperate fellows, who at a word from me would have blown you to pieces with their calivers. Excuse me, sir, if, instead of my name, and as a small gift to a countryman, I bestow on you this gold chain;" and, as he concluded, he threw around my neck a heavy chain, which adorned his own, bowed to the señora, sprang on board of his boat, and in another moment I saw the blades of the muffled oars plashing, as six rowers pulled hastily away towards the Bremen side of the Elbe.

I again offered my hand to the dancer, and led her back towards the town. After we had proceeded a little way in silence, which I suppose she found somewhat tiresome—

"Ah, señor!" said she, "you no longer talk with me. I perceive you are displeased."

"Nay, señora; but I am grieved."

"At what? That I am not a citizen's wife?"

"No; but at your capability, pardon me—for deceit."

"Ah señor, there is no deceit in serving one's country, or one's religion; and, in serving the Emperor, I aid the cause of both."

"But to be a spy—a spy! oh it is an occupation so base, so horrible, that the person proved to be one, is deemed worthy of instant hanging, without judge or jury, mercy or remorse."

"You tell me this," said she, pausing suddenly; "and yet I am going back among you."

As she spoke, the winning softness of the woman disappeared from her blue—almost black—eyes, and a red dusky fire, such as might have filled the orbs of a fallen angel, sparkled in them; and she placed her hand in her bosom, where the dagger was concealed.

"Trust to me, señora," said I, "rather than to that holiday poniard, which, to say the least of it——"

"I trusted at yonder willows, and was deceived. You gave me your word——"

"Not to interrupt your tête-a-tête, with Reichardt, who sells groceries in the Burger-platz, or his messenger; but I knew not that the latter would come in the shape of an Imperialist officer."

The fire of her eyes passed away, and they assumed a pensive and caressing expression.

"Señor, you task my temper too much," she said, in a broken voice; "I take Heaven—el Altissimo Dios—witness, that I am a poor but honest girl—a poor actress, and the victim of circumstances. I appear richly dressed, with jewels on my brow and smiles on my face; the bright lights are before me, and the gay scenery behind. I see a thousand admiring eyes; I sing—I seem happy; but oh, señor, this is often with an aching heart, and withal my life is miserable."

"And yet," said I, moved to hear a sob from this creature of so many impulses—"and yet I have heard you singing so merrily at times."

"Every heart will have at least a placid moment among its many sad hours, and I have mine. One day you may know all my secrets; but not now—not now—here is the gate."

"Ah, señora! after our adventure of to-night, surely you do not mean to preserve your incognito towards me? What is the secret of that confounded door, which has so puzzled me, and made me the laughing-stock of my friends?"

"If I should decline, in revenge you will perhaps discover me to the burgomaster, who would pull yonder house down to reach me."

"Oh, horror! betray you! can you harbour such a thought? Then do not tell me—farewell—I have no wish to know——"

"I love your frankness, and will tell you. On reaching the first landing-place of the stair, remember to pursue the passage to the left—look behind the first door on the right, and press a black spot which you will perceive on the wall. To-morrow I will expect you; a million of thanks for your kind escort, and for to-night, my dear señor—adieu!"

She kissed her hand to me gracefully, sprang through the klinket of the barrier, and had disappeared before Gillian M'Bane, could challenge her approach.

"Quick to your post, Craigrollo," cried he; "for the governor is going his rounds—he is approaching."

I heard the piper of the guard playing the salute, and in the moonlight saw Diarmed M'Gillvray drawing up the ranks under arms. I hurried to my place in front, just as the governor, Sir David Drummond, a grey old soldier, wearing a broad beaver hat garnished with a white feather, and having a white sheepskin doublet over his buff coat, rode up, attended by two of Rittmaster Hume's regiment of horse.

"Young cavalier," said he, "I pray you keep sure watch and ward; see that all ingress and egress is prevented, for there are spies in the city, and the very route of our troops to join the army is known the moment it is written. Believe me, sir, my most secret orders are revealed. I dare scarcely think of them, and much less write them, for some demon seems to inhabit Glückstadt."

My heart tingled, and my cheek reddened with shame, as he rode off. My soldiers, especially M'Gillvray and M'Bane, had seen the little actress, and, if they betrayed us, both she and I were lost. But, happily, they were all related to that great federal tribe to which my mother belonged—the brave Clanchattan; and thus, in security, I rolled my plaid around me, and lay down on the hard bench in the guard-room, to dream of Prudentia, and the pleasures of the coming day.



Next morning, the moment my guard was relieved by M'Coll of that Ilk and a new party, I hurried to my quarters, and found that both Ian and M'Alpine were at exercise in the Place of Arms. My heart beat lightly with pleasure and expectation; for there was a charm in the beauty of the señora, and the atmosphere of mystery surrounding her, that enhanced her value to an admirer so young as I; and I was further encouraged, by having heard the Baron Karl of Klosterfiord, and other cavaliers of the army, say that, in their loves and amours, the women of Spain and Italy always preferred strangers to their own countrymen, who were apt to place too great restraint upon them.

With peculiar care I dressed my locks, which were then very long, parting them fairly on the top of my head, in the fashion just then introduced by that true saint and martyr, his majesty King Charles I. of sacred memory,* and having a love-lock hanging far down on one side. I sighed for some more mustache, for at twenty one has such a scanty appendage of that kind. I put on my best buff coat, laced with silver, and fastened my kilt with a diamond buckle, where the end came over my left shoulder, forming the true breacan fheile of the Celtic soldier. I had a ruff of point lace, and a falling band, over which I hung the magnificent gold chain of the Imperialist; a white satin scarf sustained my claymore on one side, and my dirk studded with Scottish topazes and gold-coloured stones from Cairngorm. After the most careful arrangement of all this military foppery, I descended the stair with a beating heart, to seek the secret entrance to the bower of la señora Bandolo.

* Though our soldier served in Germany, his cavalier principles are evident.

"Ah, if she should have deceived me!" thought I, with a pang; "but here is the landing-place, and there is the passage to the left."

The first door to the right stood open, and close against the wall. I looked behind it, discovered the important black spot indicated by the señora, and pressed it with a trembling hand. A spring clicked, and a door suddenly opened right through the paneled wall of this passage, the wainscoting of which had hitherto completely concealed it. At the other end, I saw the chamber of Prudentia, whose retreat this close-fitting panel and double passage had always protected, when she chose concealment. The moment I entered, the charming actress arose from her little sofa, and hastened to receive me.

"So you have discovered my secret at last, señor; how droll that you should never have found it till now! I am so happy you have come, that I may thank you for your exceeding kindness last night. Our walk was very pleasant—and, hola! it has quite given you a complexion!" she added with a laugh, as a flush crossed my cheek.

While Prudentia ran on in this way, and while I seated myself near her on the little sofa, I know not what answers I returned, being wholly dazzled by her presence, and the perfect ease of manner she exhibited. I cannot analyse what attracted me towards her; the idea of marriage had never occurred to me; at the outset of a campaign, that would be very like running full tilt against a cannon's mouth. I thought it was merely for the pleasure of enjoying the society of a girl more charming and beautiful than I had ever met; and yet it must have been more than that; for my mind was full of passion and passionate words, which an excessive timidity repressed. I have no doubt that this timidity and admiration were expressed in my face; for when the señora looked at me from under her long silky lashes, her eyes glittered with the most beautiful smiles. She was invincibly seducing; but there were times when her expression became singular and inexplicable.

If she had appeared magnificent in her stage costume, the simplicity of her morning dress made her more handsome than ever. She wore a plain black satin fardingale, a long stomacher with an open bosom, and a high close ruff; her arms were bare to the elbow. She had a comb, and a square of black lace, which from the back of her head fell gracefully over her neck and shoulders; and nothing in this world could be more pretty than the little foot and embroidered cordovan slipper, which rested on a footstool, and was made rather more than visible as she reclined back among the soft downy cushions of the sofa. The carved hilt of her little poniard appeared at times through a slash in her boddice; all her dress was plain and black, and nothing remained of the dazzling danzador but the roguish smile, the brilliant teeth, and those beautiful Spanish eyes, with their alternate animation and subdued fire. Young, and long a stranger to female society (by the seclusion of my college life), I was timid; she saw I was so, and, with the kindest good-nature, proceeded by her prattle to relieve me from my dilemma.

"I trust, señor, your absence was not discovered last night?"

"Fortunately it was not."

"If so, what would have been the penalty?"

"Degradation, by sentence of a military court."

"And for me you ran that risk?"

"For you, señora, I would risk any thing—my life!"

"Señor—you quite overpower me."

"Ah, señora Prudentia," said I, with true and honest concern for her; "I tremble for your safety! do not, I beseech you—do not venture on such errands again. Had another cavalier been on guard at the gate of the Elbe, and had you been taken prisoner——"

"I would have smiled, and gained my liberty. I have been wrong, I know; but ah! surely," she added, casting down her fine eyes, "you cannot blame me for serving my religion, my country and king—for Spain leagues with Austria in this war against Christian of Denmark and Gustavus of Sweden. Besides, as a woman, I am alike ignorant of the laws of war, and the high punctilio of military honour."

"But you know the fate of—of—a secret informer," said I; for in such a presence the hateful word spy faltered on my tongue.

"No——" she replied, pouting.

"They are hanged on the first tree."

"Madre de Dios! and would you be so barbarous to a lady?"

"Señora," I continued, with the most sincere feeling; "from this gulf I would gladly save you. Tremble for us both, if the escapade of last night is discovered—for I would not survive you."

(Here was a good shot!) She laughed when I became so serious; then pouted her ruby lips, shook back her black tresses, and, reclining on the sofa, looked at me with a droll and languishing expression in her half-closed eyes, saying—

"What, señor, are you in love with me?"

"Oh yes! señora," I replied, quite overwhelmed by this naïveté; "indeed—indeed, you do not know how much I love you!"

At forty I could not have said more. She still continued to smile, and murmured—

"Ah, my heavens, he loves me! but, o mal hayas tu," she added, "there is no such love on earth as that of which the poets sing and romances tell us."

"It will ever be where you are, Prudentia," I continued, venturing to take her hand in mine, and feeling how fast a whirl of thoughts was coming over me. At that moment I heard a sound.

It was like a cough behind the wainscot.

I turned, but saw nothing. Had I looked more closely, a grey eye would perhaps have been discovered, glistening through a hole in the wood, from which a knot had fallen.

"Oh no!" continued the señora, hurriedly; "Lopez de Rueda of Seville, Juan Timoneda, and Alonzo de la Vega, have all sung of love, and portrayed their lovers, but none such exist. Now hear me, señor," said she, gazing fully at me with her large dark eyes; "I would not, for the whole kingdom of Castile, be troubled with a regular fit of love, and all its accompaniments of hope, fear, and anxiety. Oh no! the whole ambition of my life has been to please and receive adulation—to dazzle and be adored—but at a distance. Now," she continued, withdrawing her hand and casting down her eyes, only to raise them more seducingly than ever; "oh! I love so to be surrounded by admirers; to hear the plaudits of the crowd—the shouts that ring from pit to ceiling; to see the lights, with the music, the scenery, the joyous dance; and could I give up all these to sit and mope beside a man—and that man my husband?—oh horror, never!"

I might have been confounded by this morality, but for the tragi-comic tone in which she spoke, and the playful manner in which she had continued to draw off and on her tiny glove, to show the whiteness and beauty of her hand.

"And do you think," said I, in the same manner, "that I can give up my hopes of glory and renown, the joyous society of my comrades, the pride of their achievements, the roll of the drum and the blare of the trumpet, to mope beside a woman, and that woman my wife? Remember the words of your countryman, Matias de los Rheyes. 'One would imagine, after considering how Adam lost his innocence, Samson his power, Asher his constancy, David his holiness, and Solomon his wisdom, by having a wife, that a man would examine what measure he possessed of all these good qualities, before he committed himself to the marriage state.' But is it really possible that one so beautiful cares not to be loved?"

"I have not said so."

"Ah, señora! I think that life would be valueless without the pleasures love strews on its way." My voice actually became tremulous. "Tut!" thought I; "'tis only a little actress." But she had the eyes of a queen!

"And you love me—how droll it is!"

"Dearest Prudentia," said I, becoming quite giddy with pleasure, as I timidly placed a hand on each side of her slender waist; "dearest Prudentia, with my heart—with my soul I do!"

"O los ojos negros!" she exclaimed playfully, as with her pretty hands she patted my eyebrows. The blood rushed to my temples—I ventured to kiss her cheek, and then drew back, abashed at my own temerity; but the graceful girl merely laughed, and said—

"I assure you, Señor Don Philip, that if any other person but you had ventured to do that, I should have been exceedingly angry." With a being so playful and artificial as Prudentia, I did not reflect how much good and sincere feeling I was perhaps lavishing before the shrine of a goddess who might yield me no reward; but, as I kissed her, my whole soul seemed to tremble on my lips, for I was but a boy—an ardent and impassioned boy. In Prudentia nothing charmed me more, next to her winning manner, than the luxuriance, the gloss, and the lustre of her magnificent hair. It was her most glorious ornament; fastened by two pearl pins, which contrasted so well with its blackness, it towered behind in rich braids, and fell over her neck in a shower of ringlets. I have heard it remarked that women of good hearts and happy dispositions, have ever the most luxuriant hair and the finest teeth.

"'Tis all very well to get pretty presents from lovers," said she; "to have them applauding my songs and dances, to have them for laughing with and talking to; but as for marrying—pho! I can never marry!"

"Never!" I repeated, not knowing very well what to say; for much as I loved her, and I did so with all the heedless ardour of twenty—I had not considered the chances of a climax so awful.

"No—-never! look, at these two couples on the benches under those trees on the rampart. There is a gentleman with a scarlet cloak and white feather; see how earnestly he talks to the young lady in the hoop fardingale; he looks into her eyes, as if he would there read what passes in her heart, but her eyes are cast down, and timidly she plays with her fan, and now with the fringe of her stomacher; she is pleased and confused—he earnest and impassioned; 'tis the Baron Karl, of the pistoliers, and the burgomaster's daughter—they are lovers! Nearer, look at that cavalier in the barrelled doublet and calfskin boots, who sits beside a lady in a coif and veil. He looks superbly vacant at the still waters of the canal, while the lady gazes quite as listlessly down the vista of the opposite street. Ay de mi! they are married! 'Tis a conjugal tête-à-tête—a married pair seriously employed! Dost think that I could ever come to that, and live? Santos, no! Give me plenty of admirers, but never a husband, until I am as old as dame Krumpel. See yonder dames—one in a red and the other in an orange fardingale. They are an old baroness and a countess—yet they are the most miserable women in the world. One has had two husbands without any children—the other has two children and no husband."


"He was killed at Lütter," said the señora, with a burst of laughter.

I was somewhat silenced. I knew not whether to be perplexed or pleased by her curious morality and strange flow of spirits; but the warnings of Ian came to my memory.

"Believe me, señor, I am very happy as I am; marriage is only a traffic in which two people try to cheat each other, as sharpers would with cogged dice.

I saw that nothing would be made of this little one by gravity, and resolved to encounter her with some of that banter which one picks up so readily at camp and college, when she resumed—

"And you would have me to go with you to the camp—ha! ha! where I should be scared by the aspect of your bareknee'd Scots."

"Nay, señora, I had no such intention. The camp is not the place for one so fair—so tender. Women should never be there. Old Anacreon, who describes female beauty as being more powerful than fire or steel, was convinced of the impropriety of women going to war, as they were meant only for a soft and luxurious life."

"How!" exclaimed my actress, after the manner of Medea, in the tragedy of Euripides; "dost thou not know that I would rather stand thrice in the ranks of war, than once endure the pains of childbirth?"

Then, blushing with the most charming modesty at the vehemence she had betrayed, she said—

"Did you not hear some one laughing?"

"I heard something behind the wainscot, again."

"'Tis a rat scratching—the place is full of those animals; but now, señor, you must go, for I expect another visitor."

"A visitor," said I, as my old jealousy of the Hausmeister returned; "I vow to you I will not go; for if this visitor is a man I will run him through the brisket."

"Now, señor, do retire if you please; why linger?"

"Because I am so fond of speaking to pretty women."

"Doubtless you think to conquer in the field of Cupid, as Tilly and Wallenstein do in the field of Mars."

"Your friends the Imperialists will have another tale to tell at Vienna, when Lord Nithsdale's nine thousand Scots unfurl their banners against them."

"Señor—go—for now you annoy me."

"I am incapable of doing so."

"You tire me, then," she said, sharply.

"I am deeply sorry for that."

Prudentia saw that I was not to be beaten. A sudden gleam shot over her eyes; but she laughed, and half turning her back to me, began to read the comedy of "Florinea."

"How very unkind of you—to be displeased, because I still wish to talk with you!" said I, still bent on banter.

"Of what?"

"The admiration with which you inspire me."

"'Tis all very fine," she replied, keeping her back to me; "but none will love me as I would wish to be."

"In what way would you be loved, señora."

"To desperation." Then she burst into another fit of laughter, and I caught the rogue looking at me over her snow-white shoulder. "Señor Don Philip," said she, suddenly closing her comedy; "could you lend me six doubloons—it would be such a favour—and then, as there is no play to-night, if you will dine with me, they shall be returned then with a thousand thanks."

"I have just ten doubloons in the world señora, but they are at your service," said I, and, opening the mouth of my sporran, which was a gift from Ian, and secured by a remarkable spring, I handed over the whole money I had received from the regimental scrivener to maintain me on our march towards the Weser. Prudentia laughed excessively at the fashion of my Highland purse, and put both her hands into it. To resist kissing her again was impossible; and for that I would have given ten times ten doubloons.

"A'dios! señor Caballero, at three I will see you again; then we shall have such a nice little dinner, and a game at chess, or something else. Do not forget."

"Forget!" I exclaimed, kissing her hand; "how could I live and forget?" I hurried away, and the mysterious door closed behind me.

My heart was brimming with delight; I paused a moment in the passage, and heard a sound like the voice of the Hausmeister. He seemed to be laughing somewhere, but it might be my own fancy.

In addition to my own pay, I had lent Prudentia five doubloons of poor Ian's; so I did not wish to see him until after dinner, which was yet two hours distant, and, leaving the city, I took a quiet stroll along the sunny bank of the Elbe.



I wandered long among the fields and green hedges by the margin of the river, musing on the sudden success of my love affair, marvelling how or where it was all to end, and unable to determine, whether I was a fortunate youth or a prodigious fool. I was very much in love with Prudentia; yet on reflection could not but acknowledge to myself, that to marry her, at the outset of my career as a soldier of fortune, would be very like tying a cannon-shot to my heels; and would inevitably curb my pursuit of that honour and fortune, which I had hoped to win by my sword in the German war. But Prudentia was so beautiful, so winning and attractive—she possessed such a piquant manner and mode of expression—that I was completely blinded to the future, and felt myself falling helplessly into the snare which the little god had laid for me.

At the shop of a Jew in the Bürger-platz I procured a handsome ring for Prudentia. For this I was to pay on the morrow, when she returned me the doubloons; and lest by any chance, I should require money in the interim, the friendly Israelite lent me ten dollars, on condition that I should repay him fifteen on the third day, making in all, with the price of the ring, twenty-five dollars to be paid him. I placed the ring, which contained a fine Oriental amethyst and two pearls, on my smallest finger, and punctually presented myself at the habitation of my actress, not without fears that her door might again vanish, but happily the passage was open. As I entered, Prudentia, who was singing to the notes of her mandolin, came forward to welcome me, and motioned towards a seat with her hand, snatching it away the moment I attempted to kiss it.

"Now, señor," said she, pouting; "though I have invited you to dine with me, you must be respectful, or I shall be angry. I would expire with vexation, if you deemed this little return for your attention an equivocal advance on my part."

"How can you imagine such things?" said I, quite charmed by her frankness; "but ah, señora! why will you still repulse me?"

"Because," she replied with one of her brightest smiles; "that is the very way to attract you."

"True—I remember that Ovid makes Daphne fly from her lover, and as she flew his ardour increased."

"Ah! Ovid, knew human nature very well."

"Then you wish me to be distant and diffident?"

"Diffident at least; for diffidence is the best sign of a lover's sincerity."

"Señora! then you do permit me to be your lover?" said I, more and more enchanted, and approaching her despite her injunctions.

"Señor Don Philip, you will be my lover, whether I permit it or not."

"Oh yes!" I replied, while my heart beat like lightning and my voice sank; "for to see you, to know you, and to love you, Prudentia, are the same."

I slipped the amethyst ring upon her finger, and was just touching her downcast brow with my lips, when the door opened, and, if a look would have slain, the intruder had assuredly perished on the instant! The wrinkled dame Krumpel, who acted as servant or housekeeper to Otto Roskilde, appeared with a tray.

I now perceived for the first time that the table was covered for dinner, by a white damask cloth, edged with red silk fringe; upon it stood a trencher-salt and mustard-querne of silver, and several flasks of Malmsey, Orleans, and Spanish wine, cooling in a jar among ice. Covers were laid for two, with a knife and fork on each side of them. The latter, being a new invention in Italy and Germany, was wholly unknown among us in Scotland; and though I had read of it in "Coryat's Crudities, or Travels in High Germany," printed in 1611, being quite ignorant of how this steel instrument was to be used, I resolved to observe and imitate the fair señora, my hostess.

It may be supposed that I had but little appetite, for a true love fit always deprives one of that; but the dinner, which was both sumptuous and extravagant, by the number of dainties presented, must—as I reflected—have cost at least two of the ten doubloons I had lent to Prudentia—and would fain have given her; for it seemed altogether ungallant and intolerable to accept of them when offered back; but how was I to march without money, especially in an army like the Danish, where one had to pay for every thing, and where all plunderers were tied to a post and shot without mercy?

We dined. I remarked that Prudentia had a very good appetite, which I considered unromantic, and unfavourable to myself; the cloth was removed, and we lingered over the vino tinto de Alicante, and some of the luscious fruits of her own sunny clime. Reclined on the soft down cushions of the sofa, with her long veil spread over her shoulders, the señora lay half at length like a Moorish queen, taking from time to time a grape or a sip of her sweet wine, and looking at me with roguish eyes, through lids half closed with fun and merriment; for as the fumes of the wine mounted into my brain, I gathered new courage, and spoke only of love—love—but in broken sentences; for between two circumstanced as we were—a young cavalier and a dark-eyed coquette, a soldier and a gay actress—it may easily be conceived that darling theme was paramount.

I know not now all the tender and all the foolish things I said; but I remember that, at many of them, my pretty droll laughed immoderately.

I sat by her side. In the last gleams of the sunset her glossy hair and radiant complexion were glancing with that glow of light that made her like a beautiful picture. We were conversing hand in hand, at least mine rested on hers—but quite by chance—when she suddenly proposed that, to pass the time, we should have a nice little game, when she would afford me an opportunity of getting back my doubloons with interest.

The old slipshod dame Krumpel, who attended us, having been summoned, a pair of playing tables which stood in a corner—inlaid as for playing chess—were arranged beside the sofa, and I sat opposite Prudentia, who reclined among her cushions. Producing a pack of Spanish cards, she offered to teach the old Castilian game of ombre. I say Spanish cards, for they were essentially different from those used among us in Scotland (and against which King James VI. passed a law in the year 1621), having but forty-eight in the pack, being without a ten, and having the king represented by a crowned figure. As there is no queen, the next in rank is a knight, armed on all points, and designated el caballero.

She taught me ombre certainly—but whether after a fashion of her own, or that of the Castilians, I know not; but I rapidly lost my dollars, which she arrayed in line on her own side of the table, with the most pretty and provoking air.

Lights were brought, and then more red tent and macaroon biscuits, for the hour was growing late; still the protracted game went on, and if I regained a dollar I always lost it again; for between the attention I bestowed on the bright smiles and jewelled fingers of Prudentia, and my own intense desire to please, I was a very bad pupil and worse gambler. The moments glided away, and so did my dollars. At last Prudentia clapped her hands, and laughed loudly as she threw down all her cards. She had made me bankrupt!

"Oh foolish señor! O bravo! Que fortuna!" she exclaimed; "how ill you have played! You must beware of sharpers and knights of the post. Ay de mi! You are much too guileless for this bad world. Ah! if I had the making of it, how much better it should have done."

"Better?" said I, thinking of my dollars and doubloons.

"Yes, señor, for I would have left all the evil out of it."

"How innocent this creature is!" thought I; "and how sad it is, that she is committed to a career of such perils as the stage!"

"Now, to punish you," said she, sweeping all my cash into the pocket of her Spanish guardain fante, "I shall keep your purse till to-morrow, for really I do not think you know how to take care of your money."

"While playing, in my desire to please I did but confuse myself; yet I am sure Prudentia will pardon me—a first love will make the boldest heart timid."

"This is all very pretty," she replied, smoothing back her jetty hair, and displaying the exquisite contour of her white arms; "but lovers are so faithless!——"

"A real passion has no end but death. While one is a lover one will be true, for love retires where falsehood enters." Her free manner had infected me.

"Really," replied Prudentia, with one of her droll expressions of eye, "for a young student and soldier, you are wonderful. I begin to be quite charmed with you."

"Nay, I fear you but jest," said I, taking her right hand in mine, and passing the other over her rich dark hair; "'tis I who am charmed. Oh, Prudentia, you are indeed beautiful!"

"Stuff, señor?" She gave another of her merry ringing laughs. I sighed; but, while she continued to smile, my heart beat quicker, and my head became giddy with wine, and the thoughts that whirled through it. I sat with one arm clasping her waist.

We were both silent, but a deep crimson began to steal over the peach-like cheek of Prudentia.

"Que hora es!" said she suddenly, as a clock struck.

"Eleven!" said I.

"Eleven! oh señor Don Philip, you must go. What would be thought of me, if you were known to be in my room at eleven in the night?"

"The time has flown so quick," said I, rising with reluctance.

"But, señor, you must go—it is so late."

"And we have been so happy—but there is no remedy."

I could have slept very well in my plaid on the little sofa, or even on the mat at her door (for I was bewitched), but I dared not hint that, and took up my sword and bonnet to retire.

"And when may I renew my visit, dearest Prudentia?"

"To-morrow at noon—exactly at noon," she replied, tendering her cheek, and in another moment I found the secret door closed upon me. I was on the dark landing-place of the stair, and groped my way to that dreary apartment, where Ian Dhu, M'Alpine Roy, and strong Phadrig Mhor, were sleeping on the floor, side by side in their plaids, with their basket-hilted claymores for pillows.



After breakfasting on toast and tankard, like the English, and being rallied by Ian on my abstraction and silence; after the morning exercise with pike and musket was past, when the first note of the clock indicated the hour of noon, I presented myself at Prudentia's, and was admitted, but I knocked thrice on her chamber-door without hearing her musical voice saying, "Señor, enter."

"She is asleep—it will be a theatrical habit," said I, gently opening the door and venturing in.

The chamber was silent! The bed had not been slept on, and was stripped of its curtains; the furniture was in confusion; the mantelpiece and tables were deprived of their ornaments; every thing indicated a hurried departure; and a note addressed to me lay on the little playing table, which still remained near the sofa, where I had left it twelve hours before. The note was addressed—

"To the Ensign. Señor Don Philip, these.

"Señor—I have been discovered, and forced to fly! My safety demands it, and thus, before you read these lines, I shall be, Heaven knows how far, on the road to Vienna. I could stay no longer in Glückstadt, for the truce is at an end, and your troops march in a day or two. When you imagine the grief I feel, in being thus separated from you, dearest señor, you will pardon this sudden flight, and excuse me returning you those doubloons and dollars, in place of which I have left you a lock of my beautiful hair—a lock which I will redeem; for if ever you should have the ill-fortune to be taken prisoner, and see Vienna, fail not to seek the Señora Bandolo, at the theatre, near the Scottish convent, and so, with a deluge of tears, you are committed to the protection of God by your best friend,


So ended my first love affair, on which I had wasted ten doubloons and twenty-five dollars; and now waste four chapters. My first emotions were those of grief and mortification; my second were rage and spite, as I thought of my loss, my debts, and the amethyst ring of the Jew. The latter was but the gleam of the moment; it was the falsehood and duplicity of Prudentia which cut me to the soul. The most noble of passions had been made subservient to the most base—love to lucre.

"Dupe that I have been!" I exclaimed, tearing the letter to shreds; "but if he is within the walls of Glückstadt, that villanous Hausmeister shall smart for it. He must have been in league with her!"

I remembered having more than once reason to believe, that I had heard him laughing in her room after I had left it; and, no way grateful for the good lesson taught me by the señora, sallied forth intent on vengeance.

There was a certain tavern just without the Crempen-gate, which bore on its signboard the three golden helmets of the duchy. This, I knew, Otto frequented, and there I resolved to seek and slay him, or be slain; but having every wish to defer the latter part of the catastrophe as long as possible, I hurried to my room, put on my gorget, and stuck my pistols, loaded, in my belt. So much was I occupied by my own thoughts, that while charging these weapons I had never observed the sergeant, Phadrig Mhor, who was busy polishing Ian's armour, and who followed me, like a brave and faithful fellow as he was.

Half blinded by anger—for the idea of being so jewed and laughed at was intolerable—I hurried through the crowded Platz, bent on righting my quarrels à la mode d'Edimbourg (as the Scots Archers used to say in Paris), that is, with bare blade in the open street; and I had not gone fifty yards when I observed my man, walking slowly towards me in his great ruff and calf-skin boots; his broad hat overshadowing his round face, which was fringed by a thick beard; his great espadone clattering on the pavement, a Dutch pipe in his mouth, and his right hand thrust into the pocket of his bombasted trunk breeches. There was such an appearance of fat contentment about him, that I was somewhat confounded when he walked straight up to me, and, with the most perfect composure, said—

"So you have discovered the secret, Herr Ensign?"

"Despite your falsehoods—yes!"

"I have to congratulate you," said he, with a manner undisguisedly sarcastic, "on being the favoured cavalier of the beautiful dancer."

"I thank you, Herr," said I, in the same tone; "but will thank you more not to puff the smoke of that devilish pipe under my nose."

"Ah! she is an adorable creature. I always thought her refined taste——"

"Would have preferred you!" I exclaimed, giving vent to my passion, as I snatched the pipe from his mouth and broke it over his nose.

His grey eyes turned white, and glistened with rage.

"Were we elsewhere than in the street," said he hoarsely, "I would teach thee better than to insult me, thou pitiful dandiprat!"

"What recks it whether it be in the street or on mountain that a man rights his wrongs?" I replied, unsheathing my sword. "Guard, guard! thou beer-bloated Teuton, or I am through you in a twinkling. I tell thee, fellow, thou art a scurvy varlet and shabby rascal!"

He swore a round oath in Spanish, and then another in German. His rage had a frightful effect on his visage; it was pale, as marble, but convulsed; his eyes glistened like those of a cat, and every hair of his beard seemed to bristle with fury.

"Ha! ha! how savage this Paris is for the loss of his Helen!" said he, as he thrust his steeple-crowned hat upon his head, drew his long espadone, and attacked me with equal fury and address.

In the duels and quarrels between the students of the King's College and those of old Marischal, at Aberdeen, I had more than once drawn my sword in bitter earnest, but never against an adversary so formidable; and yet after three passes, observing that he did not guard well, and barely covered himself on the side I was opposed to, I resolved to force his sword. Springing forward, I furiously struck the fort of my blade on his, which my basket hilt arrested; and thus without risk was enabled to deliver a thrust which penetrated his collar-bone, and almost deprived him of the use of his sword-arm. Just at that moment we were separated by the people, who had gathered from all quarters, and many of whom, with that kindness and discrimination which distinguishes all mobs, seemed disposed to handle me pretty roughly, being a stranger and foreigner, but the brandished halbert of Phadrig Mhor overawed them; and on Ian, M'Alpine, Major Fritz, and Baron Karl of the pistoliers appearing, the Holsteiners retired, bearing away with them the stout paunchy Hausmeister, who kicked and resisted, storming and swearing in Spanish and German alternately.

"Dioul! are you mad, my cousin?" exclaimed Ian; "to be fighting in this way, and with our host—the master of our billet?"

"A man who is to accompany the army as a guide!" added the Baron Karl; "for he knows the country on both sides of the Weser as well as if it were his own property."

"I am sure of that," I replied, wiping my sword in my scarf before sheathing it; "for I believe him to be a spy of the Imperialists."

"Ah! how?—what reason have you to think so? He is said to be a respectable citizen—a Lübecker, who has been in Glückstadt for nearly a year, I believe—at least ever since that luckless battle at Lütter."

"I have my suspicions," I replied, unwilling, and indeed unable (without involving myself) to relate the evening adventure by the Elbe.

"Then, what have you quarrelled about?" said Ian; "not that painted dancer—your mysterious countess?"

"Painted!—the girl was beautiful as a houri!"

"Perhaps so;—but I never saw a houri, and so do not know; but be frank, and tell us, Philip Rollo."

"This way, then," said I, leading the four towards a retired part of the fortifications, where, without reserve, I related how foolishly I had entangled myself with Prudentia: how she had borrowed my doubloons, accepted my ring, and won my dollars unblushingly, and with smiles: and how I had every reason to believe that she and the Hausmeister were very good friends. Ian heard me with astonishment; for he was an unsophisticated Highland gentleman, and did not believe that such duplicity existed in the world.

"By my faith!" said he; "I think the predictions of the old people at Craigrollo are likely to prove true, and that, after all, the spoon of Sir Ringan——"

A gesture of impatience from me arrested him.

"Young gentleman," said the captain of the pistoliers, "you have been, I suspect, the dupe of two sharpers; but may the lesson teach you to beware of those pitfalls which beset the path of a soldier! This actress, the Señora Bandolo, is just what all Spanish actresses are, and never cared a rush about you; besides, without doubt, she must have been the spy who, from Glückstadt, Hamburg, and Altona, communicated all our movements to the Imperialists."

"And this varlet of a Hausmeister," said I—

"Is doubtless her majo, her cavalier, or bully," replied the Baron; "for the fellow's whole aspect, his cold pomposity, and dogged eye, announce him one. Every Spanish dancer has a majo," he continued, as we adjourned to the Three Golden Helmets, and ordered a flask or two of Orleans.

"We should know something of them, Herr Baron," said Fritz; "you remember when we served in the Spanish guards——"

"Many things better now forgotten, Fritz. They are such ruffians that not even the Holy Brotherhood dare to attack them; and they intimidate even the actresses who employ them as protectors, and have to study all their caprices. When a lady is on the stage, her majo is in the pit, with his brown sombrero drawn over his brow, and on the least gesture of impatience, or sound of dissatisfaction among the people, he throws back his mantle, uncovering the hilts of his poniard and toledo. Now," continued Karl, sipping his wine, "on the last night Prudentia danced, I saw this man, Otto, in the pit, and thought he had all the aspect——"

"Of that Spanish majo we had such a desperate brawl within the Consistorio at Madrid," said Fritz. "The Imperial camp swarms with Spanish and Italian posture-girls and their attendants; but is this suspicious fellow to be really our military guide?"

"He has been well accredited," replied the baron, smoothing his short thick mustache; "so let us not, by vague suspicion, wrong any man in the public service."

"I will always consider him a villain," said Ian, who had struggled to understand what we were saying. "Philip Rollo," he added in Gaëlic, as he turned to me with a sombre aspect on his swarthy face, "you have dishonoured the sword of a Highland gentleman by notching it on the blade of such a wretch."

"Ian, has he not leagued with this girl to rob and ridicule me? What would you have had me to do?"

"Do!" reiterated the fierce M'Alpine, with his red eyes flashing; "by the grey stone of M'Gregor, I would have shot him through the head like a fox or a wolf, and as an enemy to mankind."

The captain of pistoliers smiled at this, which he did not understand, being sputtered out in Red Angus's fiercest Gaëlic; but he said—

"When we advance into central Germany, you will find yourself among a race very different from the brave and faithful Holsteiners; so I would pray you all to beware, gentlemen."

"Some devil must have led me to her room at first," I muttered, thinking of my losses and debts.

"Nay, she had seen you looking about for our room, and, leaving the door of her own open, had thrown herself down on the sofa in a graceful attitude, pretending to be asleep; that you might enter, see and admire her, for the cunning fairy knows her own power."

"Ah—just so!" said Major Fritz; "and did she not propose to take care of your money after she had won it; give you a quotation from Euripides, and rail at matrimony in the most charming manner, saying she was only formed for love, for light, for music—to be a bird, a butterfly, and all that?"

"Never mind, Rollo," said M'Alpine; "thou seest that the same pretended innocence which bewitched thee hath beguiled others."

"But this escapade has left me penniless, and I am indebted the sum of twenty-five dollars to a Jew in the Platz; and the knowledge that I cannot pay it—even by this gold chain—stings me to the soul."

"It shall never be said that a brother soldier lacked money while Karl of Klosterfiord has a skilling to spare," replied the pistolier, placing his purse in my hand; "here are four doubloons, more than the sum required. If ever you can pay me, it will be well; if not, 'tis no matter. Money among gentlemen and soldiers, should be as a common stock. If my comrade is an extravagant dog—like Fritz here—I assist him to-day, and he assists me to-morrow. 'Tis the rule of the camp," he added laughing, as he filled up all our glasses.

"Oh, Herr Baron!" I began——

"No thanks," said he, nursing his short brown mustache; "no thanks, or positively I shall be angry. Among merchants a man always loses a friend when money is lent; among soldiers, he always gains one. But I am astonished that you could have been so duped by a dancer—a damsel who exhibits herself in such a captivating undress to any rascal who pays a slet-dollar at the door; and more especially by this señora Prudentia, whose brother is known to be the greatest ruffian in continental Europe; and who is as famous for his villanies, as the señora is for her conquests. You all know who I mean—Bandolo, the Bravo."

We all—except Fritz—said that we had not the pleasure of his acquaintance.

"'Tis our dancer's brother—Bandolo, the most finished rascal of past or present times. He was the terror of Madrid and Naples, where he practised his villanies for a season; and in these cities he is said to have despatched eighty persons to a better world, and Heaven knows how many more may fall by his hand before some man has the hardihood to cut him off! He handles the caliver, the rapier, and stiletto, but declines to use poison, alleging that there is something unmanly in it; that it is the revenge of women; and that it is as much beneath the regularly trained bravo to turn poisoner, as it is beneath the physician to turn quack doctor."

"And is this person known to gain his bread by a practice so horrible?" I asked.

"Certainly!" replied the pistolier. "When Fritz and I were in the Spanish guards, we have passed him in the streets of Madrid a thousand times; and knew him by his long lock, his long sword, his dogged visage and ferocious eye, to be Bandolo the bravo, who resided in the Plaza Mayor, and who, for ten pistoles, would strike him or me, or any man dead, on the first secret opportunity."

Having just come from our native land, where assassination was unknown, and where brave men settled all their disputes fairly by their swords, and always sheathed them on the first blood being drawn, we were as much astonished by this dark recital as two peaceful Holsteiners who were sipping skeidam and water in a corner of the tavern, and who set down their green crystal cups to listen.

"And Prudentia is sister of this ruffian?"

"The great Bandolo," said Fritz laughing. "I daresay the little dancer thinks it is quite an honour to be the sister of so famous a man; for there are some who deem it better to be famed for bad deeds than not have fame at all."

"I'll tell you a story," said the baron. "Two gentlemen of Naples—a cavalier and a knight of Malta—quarrelled; and, according to the detestable practice of Italy, each sent privately, offering a hundred pistoles, to Bandolo, and requesting him to dispose of the other. The messenger of the cavalier came first; the second was the knight of Malta, whom Bandolo poniarded just as he was paying down the hundredth pistole, and he fell dead over the table.

"The bravo wiped his poniard, swept the money into his purse, and hurried away to the cavalier, his first employer, to relate that his enemy was dead.

"'I greatly commend your dexterity, my worthy friend, Bandolo,' said the cavalier, untying his purse from his girdle; 'you are quite master of your noble profession!'

"'Si, señor,' replied the Spaniard; 'all who do me the favour to employ me, find me punctual; for I am an old Castilian, and a man of honour, whom my father—a prince of bravoes before me—trained up in the way I should go; and to convince you, señor cavalier, that I will not forfeit that transmitted honour, I must mention that the knight of Malta, whom I have just sent to the company of the saints, gave me a hundred pistoles to make an end of you?

"'But he is dead, and cannot call you to account for not fulfilling your pledge,' replied the cavalier, overcome with terror.

"'True, señor,' said Bandolo, with a profound bow; 'but I am too honourable a bravo to break my promise. Excuse me, illustrissimo, but you must—die!' and with these words he buried his poniard in the other's breast.

"The cavalier lived only to relate this story, and in less than ten minutes expired; but by that time Bandolo was beyond the walls of Naples."

"He was hanged afterwards, of course?"

"Hanged? Oh! not at all. He is now said to be with the Imperialists, attached to the suite of a Spanish general of Ferdinand, and no doubt his sister has gone to join him; for it would be a thousand pities that a pair so worthy should be separated."

Much, or nearly all, that the baron said, was totally incomprehensible to Ian; but I translated the anecdote as we walked back to the Platz, and I also imparted to him, in secresy, my night adventure with Prudentia, showed him the chain of the Scoto-Imperialist, and hinted my suspicions that she, and perhaps the Hausmeister, were the spies referred to by the governor in his orders to the guards.

"You know," I concluded, "that we have more than once heard this seeming German swear in very good Spanish."

"Stay—a thought strikes me. Dioul! if it should be the case?"

"What?" A fierce gleam shot over Ian's dark eyes.

"That this Otto may be the brother of Prudentia—the bravo to whom the baron referred."

My heart leaped at the idea of having an enemy so subtle, so ferocious, so blood-stained, and terrible.

"Impossible!" said I; "how—that fiend Bandolo residing in Glückstadt, a sleek, fat, and well-fed burgher, with wide breeches and a pipe, a thorough Holsteiner to all appearance; a man trusted by the governor—a man who is to guide the troops of King Christian against some of the German castles and barrier towns? Oh! it is impossible, Ian—besides, whoever saw a bravo with so prodigious a paunch?"

"Perhaps so," said Ian, doubtfully; for a paunch is considered a curse inflicted for evil among the clansmen. "But, thank God! we leave Glückstadt to-morrow; and then we shall have other work than idling here, marching and countermarching as a spectacle for fat burghers and market wenches, drinking skeidam and Dantzic beer, and breathing the thick air of these frowsy swamps; and when we do meet the Imperialists, Philip Rollo—those boasting Spaniards and victorious Austrians," continued my enthusiastic cousin, throwing up his bonnet, "let us not forget to shout—'Hoigh! Clanna nan Gael, an guillan a chiele!'"*

* Clans of the Gael, shoulder to shoulder!

Book the Third



The pale dawn was glimmering on the misty waters of the Elbe, and the storks were flapping their dewy wings on the steep gables and fantastic chimney-tops, when our pipers in the Bürger-platz blew loud and shrill the pibroch of Mackay. Hoarse and fierce, and wild and wailing, by turns it rang in the echoing streets "The white banner of Clan Aiodh," that martial air which so often has summoned the tribes of Strathnaver to battle and victory; and, from every street and alley, our men came forth in marching order to the place of arms. There the colours were unfurled, and Sir Donald, sheathed in his bright armour, sat on horseback with his sword drawn.

The fifteen companies of Highlanders fell quickly into their ranks; the musketeers in the centre with the colours, the pikes on the flanks, the drums, fifes, and pipes on the right of the line. Nothing military could surpass the splendid and imposing aspect of the regiment of Strathnaver, as it appeared under arms that morning in the Bürger-platz of Glückstadt; for, to the martial bearing and peculiar garb of the Scottish clansmen, our soldiers now united that steadiness, and strict unity of movement, which disciplined troops alone possess. On that morning I carried the banner of the chief; my post was in the centre, and with pride I glanced towards the flanks of that long and stately line. The bright musket-barrels, the keen pike-heads furnished by the armourers of Glasgow, and the polished headpieces, were glittering in the morning sun, but motionless as the rough hairy sporrans, the bare knees, and gartered hose; the banners, plumes, and tartans, alone rustled in the morning wind—those dark green tartans which my brave comrades were soon to dye in the best blood of the Imperialists.

On horseback, and muffled in a mantle, Otto Roskilde passed down the line towards the gate of the town; he had pistols at the front of his saddle, and a portmanteau behind it, for travelling; as in his quality of guide, or general informer, he was to repair with us to King Christian's headquarters. Whatever my secret suspicions might be, I had as yet no reasons to divulge them, or to defame the accredited guide of the king; and indeed I could not do so, without the acknowledgment of having in person somewhat contravened the orders of the governor, Sir David Drummond.

"Herr Otto, your servant," said I, politely, as he passed me; "I trust you have suffered but little annoyance from your wound."

"Until you spoke—none," said he, a deep smile on his tiger-like mouth. Offended by his brevity, I gazed sternly at him, for there was something striking, if not terrible, in the fierce smile with which he honoured me. It was as deceitful and satanic as such grey eyes as his, could assume. "But have Spaniards ever grey eyes?" thought I; "can this indeed be that frightful Bandolo, of whom the baron spoke? his sister's eyes were so beautiful——"

The order to march cut short my reflections. Ten shrill fifes and ten drums struck up merrily the famous "Scottish march;" pikes, banners, and muskets were sloped in the sun, and in broad sections we poured through the streets and fortifications of Glückstadt, the houses, bridges, and casemated ramparts of which gave back the tread of our marching feet, the rat-tat-tat of the drums, and the sharp note of the fifes, with a thousand reverberations, as we marched towards the Stor. This was not in the direction of the Imperialists; but there King Christian had planted his royal standard, and appointed the rendezvous of his troops.

It was but an easy day's march distant from Glückstadt, over a flat country; for the little duchy of Holstein, which unites the mainland of Denmark to the great continent of Germany, is almost level. The land seemed nowhere to possess what we Scots call a military aspect; there were few or no positions whereon the inhabitants might meet or repel invaders, yet the Holsteiners are brave men. The flatness of the country wearied us; we would have given the world for a glimpse of a mountain; and I frequently heard our hill-climbing clansmen marvelling how, when the country was made, the mountains were forgotten. The road lay straight before us, bounded either by heath, or cultivated fields, or by meadows, where enormously fat cattle were browsing; and from whence the pretty dairymaids, clad in short petticoats of broad-striped red and yellow stuff, with braided hair and hats of plaited straw, shading their blooming faces, ran off as we approached, being scared either by a rustic terror of soldiers, or the foreign aspect of our tartan garb. Thatched farms, shaded by pale green weeping willows, close-clipped hedgerows, or low stone dykes, succeeded each other in monotonous succession; here and there rose grassy hillocks, with reedy tarns of green and turgid water between them, or occasional thickets of beech, where the summer birds were singing; but though there was little wood generally, there were abundance of wild-roses, which flourished by the wayside, and scented the balmy air.

There were no tremendous rocks like the Sutors of Cromartie, hurling the waves of ocean back upon themselves; no deep or savage glens, like Sulbhein in Assynt; no sheets of foam rolling in thunder over a precipice, like the torrent of Foyers; no vast forests like those of the Grants; no fierce streams like the Spey and the Fiddich; and no vast lakes like those inland seas that lie in the great Glen of Albyn; but every thing was like the fat burghers of Hamburg and Lübeck, or the twenty-breeched boors of the Low Countries—flat and sleepy, quiet and insipid.

About mid-day we crossed the Stor, and entered Itzhoe, a small trading town, which lies at the foot of a gentle eminence, defended by a small castle, on which we saw the royal standard with the hearts and lions of Denmark flying, announcing that King Christian resided there.

We found the little town crowded by his troops, the streets encumbered by artillery, powder and baggage waggons; the churches and houses were filled with troops; others were bivouacked in the fields along the bank of the river, and on our approach great numbers of our countrymen, who served under the Danish banner, came forth to meet us; for in the army, which mustered about twenty-five thousand, there were not less than twelve thousand Scots, including officers; Lord Nithsdale's three regiments consisted each of three thousand men; Sir James Leslie's and ours, made two thousand more; and there were more than one thousand Scottish cavaliers, all officers, who led or served in the regiments of German Reitres, Danish Pikes, and the Count de Montgomerie's French Musketeers, many of whom I shall have occasion to mention in the course of my adventures.

On the very day after our joining the main army, we were nearly involved in a quarrel with the king, which, by disgusting his Scottish auxiliaries, might have ended all his projects of conquest, and caused his forces to melt away.

Christian IV., the hero of Denmark, the brother-in-law of our late King James VI., and uncle of King Charles I., was a gallant soldier, then esteemed no way inferior in personal qualities or reputation to his rival, the great star of the north, Gustavus Adolphus; but far his superior in military pride and keen desire for fame. Under his active government, Denmark had risen in importance, and, after her separation from Sweden, had acquired a powerful navy, a brave and well-disciplined army, a well-ordered exchequer, and, such prosperity as she never could have possessed in the days of her union; for an ancient kingdom, which possesses national institutions, should never surrender them while the sword can maintain them, and never place itself at the mercy of another; and right glad was I to see that my own native Scotland remembered this, when, in 1606, King James insidiously projected his incorporating union, which was happily baffled by the true patriots of the time, as I hope aggression will always be baffled and repelled by their posterity, lest we become a province of the southern kingdom.

Enfeebled by its unnatural union, Denmark, when once free of Sweden, began to assume a high place in the scale of European nations; and though the proud and haughty Christian could not surrender his claim to the Swedish crown, and while the Swedes gloried in their freedom, so recently acquired under Gustavus Vasa, both Christian and Gustavus Adolphus saw that the clouds of battle were gathering on the German frontier, that the day was at hand when they would be compelled to abandon their national quarrel and petty jealousies, and for common safety to unite their arms against the skill of Tilly, the courage of Wallenstein, and the vast power of the empire. A treaty of peace between Christian and Gustavus had been completed at Copenhagen on the 20th January, 1613, principally by the mediation of our king, James VI.; but the approach of external danger had only smothered for a time the dispute of the northern kings.

To return: On the day after our reaching the headquarters at Itzhoe, we were reviewed by the king, who ordered Sir Donald "to draw up the regiment in battaglia," on the plain before the gates of the town. The day was beautiful; thin as gauze, a pale haze curled up from the banks of the Stor, and the sun shone brightly on the quaint old town and older castle of Itzhoe.

Dunbar, our sergeant-major, a brave old cavalier who had served in the Scottish Horse Guards under Sir Andrew Kerr of Pherniherst, drew up the regiment in line, with colours and pikes in the centre; five hundred musketeers, with the drums, being on the left flank; and five hundred more, with the pipes, being on the right;—the ranks were three deep.

Accompanied by the Earl of Nithsdale, the Lord Spynie, the Laird of Murkle, the Baron of Klosterfiord, and various nobles and colonels, all bravely mounted and richly accoutred, King Christian approached, and we received him with the highest honours; our pipes playing a salute, our drums beating the point of war, the colours drooping, the officers in front; while the whole line presented their pikes and muskets, according to the forms which have come down to us from the chivalry of the olden time.

Leaving, at some distance behind, the brilliant cavalcade which accompanied him, the King—a brave monarch, who had been almost riddled by bullets, and had more sword-cuts in his body than slashes in his doublet—rode slowly forward, and saluted the whole regiment by uncovering his head. He wore a suit of the richest blue Utrecht velvet laced with gold, a crimson cloak of Danish silk, and long Swedish leather gloves. Everything about him was magnificent. (In 1621, Christian was rich enough to be able to lend King James VI. a hundred thousand thalers.) Around his neck hung a gold chain, like the catella of the Romans, and he wore a magnificent gold scarf. His countenance was open, manly, frank, and ruddy; having a thick red mustache, and a clear blue eye. His horse was richly caparisoned in the Danish colours, having the leopard passant in the corners of the saddlecloth, and a chamfrain made of thick leather, boiled and prepared to encase the charger's head, under the bridle, which was thickly covered with gold-headed studs.

Our good regiment of Strathnaver, afterwards known as "the Scottish Invincibles," being a Highland battalion, was viewed by his majesty with marked attention. He rode slowly down the front, and up the rear to the right flank, where he acquainted Sir Donald with his wish, that we should march past him in review order. The whole line then fell back by companies,* and marched past with pipes playing and drums beating, colours flying, pikes advanced and matches lighted. A burst of applause came from our Lowland countrymen, who, as well as the Danes, crowded from their cantonments to behold us. Now came the quarrel already referred to.

* He means, broke into open column.

The review being over, our colonel, Sir Donald Mackay, his two majors, sergeant-major Dunbar, and all the officers, were summoned to the front, that they might kiss the hand of his majesty, who expressed surprise at the fashion of our colours, and required that we should place the Danish cross above that of St. Andrew!

"May it please your majesty to excuse our compliance with this order," replied Sir Donald, concealing his indignation under a calm exterior; "for we cannot impose the Danish cross on Scottish colours without failing in our duty and allegiance to his majesty Charles I. as king of Scotland; and sure I am that all these cavaliers, my officers, will agree with me. What is your opinion, Dunbar?"

"Swords and pikes!" grumbled the old fellow under his thick mustache; "we cannot carry the Danish cross without dishonour."

"Dishonour!" reiterated the king, flushing with passion and raising his baton, but immediately lowering it on perceiving that the gauntleted hand of Dunbar sought the hilt of his claymore.

"I mean, dishonour to ourselves as Scotsman," continued Dunbar, willing to palliate his bluntness; "for a superiority of Denmark over our native country would thereby be implied."

"But you serve Denmark, not Scotland; and Denmark has given both kings and laws to England," replied the king, who wished that the Scots, like all his other auxiliaries, French and Germans, should carry the Danish colours, that all their valour and achievements might accrue to the glory of Denmark; but it was somewhat unfortunate for his project that he commenced with our regiment. The officers looked at each other darkly under the peaks of their helmets; bit their gloves, and whispered together. "Gentlemen," resumed the king, with increasing anger; "excuse me if I do not perceive the justice of your objections."

"I trust your majesty will understand," replied Sir Donald, with the utmost firmness and respect, "that it would ill become us, as subjects of the Scottish crown, to put foreign badges on these our native colours, which for ages our forefathers have borne without stain and without dishonour; since that day when the Scottish host, arrayed in battle against the Saxon kings of the Heptarchy, saw the cross of the blessed St. Andrew span the noonday sky above their lines. We cannot here acknowledge a superiority, which, since the beginning of record, no country ever possessed over ours; for even so early as the siege of Jerusalem, Hegisippus introduceth Josephus as saying, when endeavouring to dissuade the Jews from a war with the Romans, 'Scotia quæ terris nihil debet, &c., which meaneth, that 'even Scotland, which is independent of the whole earth,' was afraid of Rome."

"But therein I hold Hegisippus to be a foul liar, and Josephus another," grumbled our stout sergeant-major; "for our auld mother Scotland was never afraid as long as she had claws to scratch wi', as I will maintain body for body, on foot or on horseback, against any man in all Denmark."

A murmur of applause rose from our officers.

"Air Muire! it is well said, thou brave Dunbar," said Ian, clapping the old officer* on the shoulder, and shaking the lofty eagle's plume that adorned his own helmet; "Dioul! it would be altogether an intolerable thing if we, the descendants of those brave Scots whom the Danes could never conquer, and by whom they were overthrown at Luncarty, and in twenty other battles, should condescend to carry their red cross on our blue banners."

* Sergeant-major in those days meant Adjutant. See note concerning the colours.

Finding that he had such intractable spirits to deal with, the king concealed his anger, and relinquished his project for the present. We carried our blue national flag with its white cross against the Imperialists, without imposition or alteration; and, by my soul! they soon learned under which cross it was—the Scottish or Danish—that most heads were broken; but the king did not readily forget the affront we had given him.



On the day immediately after the review, Sir Donald, with seven companies of the regiment, was ordered to cross the Elbe, leave two companies at Stade, and march towards the Weser, where he joined the troops of that valiant Welsh veteran, old General Morgan, who with four strong battalions lay above Bremen, watching the Imperialists. King Christian was determined we should suffer in detail, and suffer sorely, for our stubborn pride in the affair of the colours; thus, while the main body of the Danish army occupied Stade, the second city in the duchy of Bremen, our company of M'Farquhars, with the wing of the regiment under the major, marched to Lauenburg, the capital of a duke who there levies a toll upon the Elbe. There the colonel joined us with one company from the Weser, leaving the other four to defend Boitzenburg, for which place Ian was ordered to march the M'Farquhars with all speed, as sergeant-major Dunbar was to be assailed by the Imperialists under the famous Count of Carlstein, who, with Tilly and the main army, was pressing forward, to drive back all the outposts of the Protestant king, to penetrate into Holstein and the Danish isles. On these marches our soldiers behaved with admirable order; there was no marauding, for, though their pay was small, our poor Highlanders were moderate in their desires. Each carried a small havresack filled with Hamburg meal, and a little of that mixed in water, morning and evening, contented them. The ability with which they could endure long abstinence and hard marching, is remarkable; for in the olden time the Celtic huntsman took but one meal in the day—his diot mhor. But there was a Lowland pikeman, Dandy Dreghorn, who, being unable to practise such abstinence, found himself impelled to swallow a whole bowl of cream, in a certain dorpe through which we passed; for this he was ordered to run the gauntlet, and that no taint of degradation from the stripes might remain, I was required (according to the custom of war) to wave thrice the ensign of St. Andrew above his head.

It was about the sunset of an evening in the middle of July, 1627, when we approached Boitzenburg, which is a small town of Mecklenburg-shwerin, pleasantly situated at the junction of the Boitze with the Elbe, the passage of which we were to defend against the Imperialists, until the last man of us had kissed the sod, for so were our orders worded.

A vast force under Tilly was approaching Denmark from the centre of Germany, and one of those columns, destined to pass the Elbe and Weser, under the great Count of Carlstein, was marching directly upon the point we were to bar. As the count was determined at all risks to pass the stream, our somewhat forlorn duty was destined to be hard and hazardous; but the affair of the colours still rankled in the mind of King Christian, and he had resolved, and even said to Lord Nithsdale, that "the regiment of Strathnaver should pay dearly for its Scottish pride!"

As we approached the town, which was surrounded by a wall, the gates were shut, and although our comrades who occupied the place knew us right well by our tartans, and the sound of our pipe, which was playing Beallach na Broige, according to the custom of war, observed in all forts on the approach of armed parties, they closed their barriers, turned out their guards, and on our halting at a hundred paces distant, sent forward an officer. This cavalier, who proved to be John Learmonth of Balcomie, the senior captain of our pikes, asked, sword in hand—

"What troops are these?"

"M'Farquhar's company of the regiment of Strathnaver, in the service of his Danish majesty," said Ian.

"You may enter, gentlemen," replied Learmonth.

Then we shook hands; the gates were opened, the piper again struck up, and we marched into Boitzenburg, where four hundred of our comrades received us with a true Highland welcome.

Old Dunbar, our sergeant-major, had every qualification for a commander. Well versed in all the theories, as well as the sterner practice of war, he had left nothing undone, that would enable him to defend his post like a man of honour; a soldier by race and name (for he was one of the Dunbars of Dyke, in the lordship of Spynie), to his natural and acquired talents he added a sound judgment, a strong mind, and the bravery of a lion, with the form and the heroism of a Wallace; and withal his disposition was mild and gentle. He issued few orders, but these were always marked by brevity, and obeyed with alacrity; and, as these orders were never unnecessary, they were fulfilled with the most perfect reliance upon his sagacity and courage.

Passing through the town, we crossed the river by a bridge, and took up our quarters in a strong sconce, which Dunbar had erected on the Luneburg side, and which, with the assistance of Captain Learmonth (who acted as his trench-master or engineer), had been flanked out in such a manner that, with twenty pieces of cannon, it swept the river above and below the bridge, the centre of which he had carefully undermined to cover our retreat, in case we should have to retire.

The bastions of this redoubt were of earth, faced up with smooth turf, the embrasures being well splayed out to afford a range for our culverins; the front was high and based with stone, as a pretty deep graff was dug round them, and filled by water from the Elbe. Within these defences were several substantial stone houses, which by good fortune stood there before the war, so that we were very comfortably quartered; and as all the country to the southward had been laid under contribution, we had a good store of bread, beer, bacon, cattle, with fodder for them, not forgetting several kegs of skeidam, and low country wine.

The town of Boitzenburg had been long before abandoned by its inhabitants, who fled with their most valuable effects at the approach of the Imperialists; thus while doors, windows, and floors were to be had for the mere trouble of carrying them away, we had no lack of fuel, and laid up a great store, for the double purpose of supplying ourselves and burning the place, if compelled to abandon it. The evening of the third day was just closing, and the broad, yellow, and lurid sun was shedding his farewell rays along the waveless bosom of the Elbe, on one side throwing into deep shadow the walls of the town, the arches of the bridge, and the ramparts of our redoubt, while the other side was all bathed, as in a deluge of warm light, when one of our sentinels (Gillian M'Bane) fired his musket, and announced the approach of the Imperialists.

The report of that musket made every heart leap. The drum beat hoarse and rapidly! From the desolate town our stragglers hurried into the redoubt; the sluice which fed the wet ditch was opened; the klinket of the palisades was closed and barricaded; the cannon were run back and double shotted; we stood to our arms, hoisted the Danish colours, but placed our own Scottish ensign on the highest parapet, and with the last gleam of sunset saw the enemy debouching heavily in column, among clouds of dust from the Reinsdorf road, and from the green woods and undulations of the fertile country.

With his helmet open, and a grim expression on his bearded face, old Dunbar was observing them closely through his Galileo glass as they poured along—the musketeers, in buff coats and steel caps, marching with matches lighted and their rests slung to their sword-belts, the pikemen well armed in back, breast, and head-pieces, with tassettes to cover their thighs, and the horsemen in complete mail, with swords, calivers and demi-lances; six pieces of cannon, and a howitzer for throwing shells—a new invention of that great warrior, Ernest Count of Mansfeldt, that prince of soldiers of fortune, and champion of the Queen of Bohemia, for in many a bloody field he bore her glove upon his helmet.

"Swords and pikes!" said Dunbar, closing his glass sharply; "there are ten thousand men under yonder blue banner, not a helmet less, and we have here but five hundred true Scottish hearts to make good the sconce against them!"

They halted, but beyond cannon-shot, their infantry remaining in dense column, with the horse on their flanks and the artillery in front; and in a few minutes after we saw an officer, with a white flag displayed from his demi-lance, ride forward, accompanied by a trumpeter, who sounded a parley.

"Ensign Rollo," said Dunbar to me; "you know something of scholar-craft, and speak other tongues than our auld mither Scots, take a stout fellow with you—go forth, and learn what yonder gay galliard requires of us."

Pleased with this opportunity, and proud of the selection among so many men of good birth and acknowledged valour, I summoned Phadrig and Gillian, gave a last look to the clasps of my harness and the locks of my pistols, drew my sword, and leaving the sconce by a private klinket, deliberately approached the Imperialist, who remained on horseback motionless as an iron statue, observing me narrowly between the ears of his horse; for I have little doubt that one part of my garb—the kilt—must have impressed him as being somewhat remarkable.

His own attire was singularly magnificent, even for the service to which he belonged; for there were many of the general officers, such as Count Carlstein, who affected the grandeur of princes, and had frequently a troop of cuirassiers as their guard; while the colonels of the raggamuffin Walloon infantry kept their gilded coaches in camp, and ate and drank out of vessels of silver, some of them having even a secretary, who (as few of them could write) was generally the most useful of their vast train of servants.

His helmet, cuirass, and the tassettes which covered his thighs, were of the brightest steel; the open sleeves of his doublet were cloth of gold, the inner were of crimson velvet; his gloves were of steel, and reached to his elbows; his boots were of black leather, furnished with enormous jinglespurs, having metal balls in lieu of rowels; his long toledo hung in a scarf of crimson and gold interwoven, and from its hilt dangled a sword-knot of gold and black silk.*

* Still worn by the Austrians to commemorate the loss of Jerusalem.

His figure is yet impressed upon my memory.

Tall, handsome, and about forty years of age, his features were stern, grave, and sometimes sad; though, when his eyes became animated, they filled with fire. A deep scar on his forehead shewed that before this he had met death face to face; and there was a frank bluntness in his manner which showed a long familiarity with danger, and with every phase of life.

"Your servant, my young friend," said he, in a strong Scottish accent, and smiling, as we saluted each other with our swords; "if you have forgotten our meeting by the Elbe near Glückstadt, and the pretty actress Prudentia, I have not."

"Pardon me, sir, but I did not recognise you in your helmet. Yet see—in memory of that meeting, I have still worn your gold chain."

"Ah! you must prize it more when I tell you, that it is formed from the gold of that identical cup with which Knox and Calvin so often administered the sacrament to the English refugees at Frankfort. Old Spürrledter, one of my troopers, picked it up on the march through there, and so I had it made into a chain."

"It were a thousand pities to deprive——"

"Tush! I shall soon find another; if you offer it back, I shall fling it into the Elbe."

"You wished to parley with us, sir?"

"The fact is, we are anxious to cross the river, and you have most annoyingly cast up a sconce right in our way; and, as this sconce is garrisoned by five companies of Highlanders, we count upon a desperate resistance."

"You reckon rightly, sir," I replied proudly; "there is a high spirit among my comrades in yonder place. This will be the scene of our first encounter with your Austrians; and I will answer for it, that as Scottish soldiers, with the high memory of a great and glorious past urging us to win new honour for our fatherland, many a heart must pour forth its best blood before either the Counts of Tilly or Carlstein shall cross the Elbe."

At that moment a roll was beaten on a drum within the redoubt.

"Thou art a fine fellow!" said the cavalier of fortune, "and I hope to spend an evening with you over a can of wine, after you are taken prisoner; but your comrades are waxing impatient—tell the sergeant-major, Dunbar——"

"Hah—you know that we are commanded by Dunbar!"

"The bravest man under the Danish flag! I know more; for I am aware that he has but five hundred Highlandmen in the sconce, under the captains M'Farquhar, M'Coll of that Ilk, Learmonth of Balcomie, Munro of Culcraigie, and M'Kenzie of Kildon; for you cannot sneeze on the Danish side of the Elbe but straightway we Imperialists hear of it at Vienna."

"I believe there are spies among us," said I, thinking of the Hausmeister.

"Tell Dunbar that the famous Count of Carlstein—(ah! he is a devil of a fellow, that Count!)—with ten thousand old iron-faces, the flower of Tilly's Austrians and Spaniards, is about to force the passage of the Elbe; that he would gladly, for the sake of Elizabeth Stuart, the Bohemian queen, spare the lives of her countrymen; and that, if they will leave the bridge of Boitzenburg free, they shall have leave to march wherever they please, with all the honours of war."

"Cavalier," I replied, "you may tell the great Count of Carlstein that we could never accept of such terms with honour. Our orders are to defend the banks of the Elbe to the last gasp, and so will we defend it, or die by its shore!"

"Well," said he, as he reined back his horse and sheathed his sword, "on your own heads be the blood that is shed, and you will have but Dunbar to blame for the extermination that awaits you—farewell!"

He galloped off, accompanied by his trumpeter, and I returned to the sconce to make my report to Dunbar.

"Ye hae dune weel, my young birkie," said he; "ah, pikes and pistols! Let them come, and we will show Count Carlstein that we care as little for Austrians as our forefathers did for Rome, despite that lying loon, Hegisippus. Hallo, provant master! serve the lads round wi a quaigh fu' o' brandy; and let us all drink 'Tir nan beann, nan glean, a' nan gnaisgeach!' (the country of mountains, of valleys, and heroes,) for it may be the last drop many among us will taste in this world, and my mind misgives me that we'll no get muckle in the next. Let the pipers blow fire into our hearts, while Balcomie's company pile their pikes, and stand by the bastions to work the cannon!"



As we had secured, sunk, or destroyed, all the boats and other craft on the Elbe, the Imperialists had no other means of crossing but passing, at push of pike, the long stone bridge which spanned the river by its strong and stately arches; and as the whole line of it, and the approaches thereto, were liable to be raked by the cannon and musketry of the sconce, they made immediate preparations to gain the latter by assault.

There were not less than ten thousand men approaching to force this passage, which our five hundred Highlanders were left to defend. They were led by the great Count of Carlstein, whose name was only less familiar to us than that of Count Tilly. He was said to be a distinguished soldier of fortune, on whom the ambitious but generous Emperor had freely bestowed (that which did not belong to him) a Bohemian coronet, together with a free gift of that magnificent Castle of Carlstein, built by Charles IV., eight miles from Prague, and where the regalia of the conquered palatinate were kept.

At length, then, we saw them, and were invested and surrounded by those haughty, proud, and ferocious soldiers of the Empire, to whom battle was a pastime, and human blood as water; the terror of the Protestants and scourge of Bohemia; those sons of rapine and outrage, steeped to the lips in the darkest crimes, yet flushed by the memory of a hundred victories. Numerous though they were, our little band of kilted clansmen stood to their arms undauntedly, feeling an honest confidence in their own valour, with a hatred of their enemies; for in the name of religion, with the cross of God on their standards and on their breasts, those Imperialists, wherever they had been victorious, at Fleura, at Bergen-op-Zoom, and after every field from Prague to that of Lütter, had committed such atrocities as would have made even the heart of a Nero recoil.

Full orbed, and round as the shield of Fingal, the unclouded moon rose brightly above the Elbe; its glassy waters rolled in light, and the woods and thickets which fringed the southern bank, together with the old fantastic houses of Boitzenbnrg on the north, were all bathed in that silver sheen, which in brightness contrasted so strongly with the deep black shadows.

Under the central arch of the bridge three red lights were reflected in the current of the river. These were the lanterns of our miners, who, under the direction of the Laird of Balcomie, were sinking a chamber in one of the piers, and charging it with powder. So bright was the lustre of the July moon that we could discern every movement of the enemy as clearly as if it were noonday.

A regiment of musketeers, clad in white buff coats and steel caps, and having two large banners with the Austrian Eagle and Burgundian Cross, poured along the road, and, under a discharge of their cannon (which took possession of an eminence about five hundred yards distant), advanced to storm and destroy the palisades which protected the outer side of our wet-graff; two other regiments endeavoured to outflank the redoubt, and force, by the river side, a passage to the tête-du-pont, but a heavy fire met them at every angle; their cannon-shot began to knock splinters of stone and clouds of earth about us, or crashed into our parapets, and now began in earnest the whole uproar of war, which now I heard for the first time.

Our company of M'Farquhars had to defend that face of the sconce which swept the roadway; and over our earthen parapets we poured a close and deadly fire, to which the Imperialists replied with equal rapidity, but not with equal effect; for while our men levelled over a rampart, which protected them breast high, the assailants were wholly exposed, and levelled their long matchlock-muskets over iron forks; but the front rank came on with arms slung, and using only hatchets attacked the palisades, hewing them down frantically in their efforts to force a passage to the ditch.

"Shoulder to shoulder, my men! fire close, and fire low!" cried Ian, whose eyes flashed brighter as the conflict increased; and though it was his first, he was as cool as old Dunbar, who had served with the Scottish bands under Hepburn in Bohemia. His example strung my heart, and recalled my somewhat scattered energies, which had become a little confused; for every instant a heavy cannon-shot boomed over our heads, to crash among the roofs of the town, or with a dull heavy sound, sank deep into the turf breastwork of the sconce; while the hiss of the musket-balls, which flew past us like a leaden storm, was ceaseless as the splash of rain upon the casement. The whole fort was enveloped in smoke, for as our mousquetade mingled with theirs, we could no longer see the enemy; but we heard the crash of the axes among the falling palisades, the cries of the wounded, and the yells of the fierce and eager; their incessant war-cry of "Sancta Maria! Sancta Maria!" and the din of their drums beating the charge; but into the dark and opaque cloud, from the bosom of which all these dire sounds proceeded, our brave clansmen shot fast and sure, at the practised level; and Balcomie's lieutenant, a brave old soldier, David Martin of that Ilk, inspired his pikemen to handle our brass culverins in such wise, that every bullet must have made a frightful lane through the dense column of attack.

A triumphant shout—the true wild scraigh of the Scottish Highlandmen—mingled with the shrill notes of the pibroch ringing from the four angles of our fort, announced that, baffled in their efforts to reach the bridge, the Imperialists had fallen back, and we redoubled our efforts.

Many of our finest men lay dead or bleeding profusely around us. Ian and I took the muskets of two, turned over their bodies, and emptying their cases of bandoliers, fell into the front rank, and fired like private men; but in silence, for our gallant Highlanders required neither voice nor action to urge them to the performance of their duty as soldiers; for they were all stanch men and true, of that old race which, as our bards say, sprang from the soil, and which in other years had tamed "the eagles of the kings of the world."

The assailants were now so close to us that the musket-balls pierced breastplates and buff coats like silken vests; and as many of our poor fellows who were unable to crawl away, bled to death just where they fell, the planks of the platforms soon became plastered with a horrid and slippery mire of blood and earth, for every moment the cannon-balls of the Austrians tore the latter from the faces of the embrasures, and cast it in showers about us. There were some frightful wounds received by our comrades that night.

Ronald Gorm, a sergeant of pikes (in other times a rich gentleman-drover from the braes of Lochaber), had his face shot away by a ball from a basilisk; another had his lower-jaw torn off by the ball of a falconet; and a piper, Red Fergus of the Clan Vurich, was shot through the nose and eyes, but lived for three days in blindness, and such agony that it would have been a mercy under God to have pistoled him outright.

This was my first bout with an enemy, and that these horrors impressed me I am not ashamed to own. More than once my heart shrank within me on seeing a strong and stately fellow doubled up like a tartan plaid, and hurled out of the ranks, with a cannon-ball fairly through his body. The cries of the wounded were piteous, but there was no time to heed them; though every instant we had to drag away the fallen men, whose bodies encumbered the wheels of the cannon and parapets, through the embrasures of which we suffered severely from the fire of the assailants.

At last, seeing probably the futility of attempting to storm a work so resolutely defended, until he had prepared means to effect the passage of the ditch which encircled it, and which was both deep and broad, the baffled Count of Carlstein, about midnight, and just when the moon was waning, made his trumpets sound a retreat. The fire of the artillery ceased on the eminence; the infantry retired under cover of some rising grounds beyond it, where they bivouacked, lighted their fires, and set about cooking, acting true to the soldier's proverb—"The dead to their graves, and the quick to their suppers;" the smoke cleared away, and we saw the shattered stockades; the Reinsdorf road heaped with bodies piled over each other, swords, pikes, drums, helmets and muskets; and by the light of the sinking moon, we could see the miserable maimed, crawling on their hands and knees towards the Elbe, seeking water to quench that fiery thirst, which the exhaustion of the assault and the agony of their wounds made more poignant.

I was gazing dreamily at this sudden change in the prospect from the redoubt, and still seeming to hear the united roar of the attack in my ears, when the loud clear voice of Dunbar aroused me.

"Piper—blow the gathering! M'Farquhar, Kildon, brave gentlemen, muster your companies, call the roll, and number the dead!"



For us, a mere "handful," opposed to a column so powerful, there could be no rest; thus, while one half of our slender force remained under arms, the others worked hard at the repair and further strengthening of the works, by means of cannon-baskets filled with earth, sandbags, beds and mattresses, taken from the houses, and chandeliers made of roofs and flooring sawn into billets, trussed up in bundles, and banked over with turf. We made the utmost exertion, because, though unmolested, we augured, by the constant report of fire-arms in the Imperial bivouac, that the troops were busy discharging, cleaning, and preparing their fire-arms for a second attack.

In one deep grave, within the sconce, we buried our dead, placing more than forty of them side by side, and so covered them up. The last we put in was the sergeant, Ronald Gorm.

"Poor Ronald!" said Phadrig Mhor; "'tis thou must perform the faire-chloidh;" for it is a Highland superstition that the soul of the last person buried in any place, must keep watch there until another corpse is brought, whose spirit relieves the former.

"Ronald's ghost will not be long on guard," said Ian; "for I am much mistaken if more heads will not be broken before to-morrow." The piper played a sweet and sad lament at this unseemly funeral; in the old Highland fashion, we placed four large stones above that ghastly tomb, and, in the language of the bards, bade them speak to other years, and to the men of other times.

The wounded we sent off to Glückstadt in rough country carts, through the open joints of which their blood ran dripping on the dusty road. As a protection, a small guard of pikes accompanied them; for our stragglers and sick were frequently murdered by the boors, whose cupidity their silver buttons and ornaments served to excite.

A ration of skeidam was served round to us all; and about sunrise, after doubling the guards and seeing that the Imperialists, though within cannon-shot, were not intending to molest us, Dunbar ordered our men to "pile arms," and take some repose. Poor fellows! they lay down to sleep in their armour, and with their bare legs on the gory platforms or cold earth; and there, amid the scattered shot, the exploded shells, the blood gouts, and the broken weapons, I enjoyed the sound sleep of a wearied soldier, and undisturbed by the reflection that it might be the last I should ever enjoy; and you, good reader, would have slept sound also, after the toil, the carnage, and excitement of such a night as that at Boitzenburg.

Anxious to defend his post with honour, Dunbar—that brave old cavalier—never slept, but remained watching every movement of the enemy, whom we permitted, without molestation, to bear away their wounded from under the very muzzles of our cannon; but the moment this was over, the pipes sounded, the drums beat, and we were again roused to man the ramparts, for again they were coming on, and with renewed vigour, for three battalions of Spanish Imperialists had joined the Count in the night.

"Pikes and pistols—here they are again!" cried our veteran major, or sergeant-major, for according to the Danish etiquette we called him both; "but fear not, my brave hearts, for God is with us, and His hand is over us. Believe me, gentlemen, our cannon are noway inferior to theirs for not having Latin mumbled, and holy water sprinkled, over them by the superior of the Jesuits. So to your guns, my wight cannoniers—to them again with handspike and linstock—with rammer and quoin!"

About the closing in of the evening, a dense column of Spanish infantry, with pikes and musketeers intermingled, suddenly debouched upon the roadway from behind the little eminence which had sheltered them, and poured impetuously forward, to assail again the stockades of the graff; while a brigade of Austrians rushed towards the sluice which admitted into it the water of the Elbe; and though thrice, by sheer dint of cannon and musketry, we drove them back, they forced a passage to the angle of the ditch, and climbing literally over piles of their own dead and dying, cut the chains by their axes, and, closing the sluice by sledge-hammers, retired with a loud hurrah; for immediately the water in the ditch began to subside. On this the furious Spaniards redoubled their efforts to carry the palisades; but as these projected at the angle of forty-five degrees from a steep bank, and were swept by our fire, it was a task of the greatest danger and difficulty; yet these valiant hearts accomplished it, and reached the inner edge of the ditch, but as fast as they mounted they were shot down, and when struck we could see the blood spouting from their buff coats and corslets as if ejected from a syringe.

"Fire on the sluice!" cried Dunbar to Captain Learmonth, whose pikemen still worked our cannon; "break through the planks—admit the Elbe, and fill the graff again."

"It is impossible!" replied that cavalier; "for our guns cannot be depressed so low."

"Then Heaven help us! for they will soon gain this poor sconce by storm."

"We can still retire by the bridge," said Learmonth.

"Without orders?" exclaimed Dunbar, the umbriere of whose helmet was, at that moment, torn away by a shot; "nay, I will die first!"

Learmonth, who was levelling a cannon, was about to make some devil-may-care reply, when two musket-balls struck him; one pierced his cuirass, and wounded him in the breast; the other tore away three fingers of his left hand, and he fell without a cry, but with a heavy groan, while his lieutenant, old Martin of that Ilk, assumed his place.

"This, to avenge thee, Balcomie," said he, discharging the cannon, and unhorsing a cavalier, whose bright armour and waving plumage made him dangerously conspicuous above the dense mass of Spaniards who were swarming over the stockades, and lowering their ladders into the now almost empty fosse.

"Well done, stout Martin!" said Dunbar, brandishing his sword; "to thy cannon again, and give me another good shot—another like that for the Queen of Bohemia! Down with that tall fellow in the gilt armour! Cocksnails, man!—he may be Carlstein himself! Down with the black eagle, and down with the cross of Burgundy! Load with cartridge shot my cannoniers, and sweep the stockade; sweep, my comrades, and be stanch as your swords of steel. Ah! pikes and pistols—my poor Martin—and thou, too?" he added, as a ball from a falconet passed through the head of the old lieutenant, and killed him on the spot: he was the last of the Martins of that Ilk, a good old family ruined in the affair of the Spanish Blanks, since when he had fed himself with the blade of his sword among the Scottish bands in Bohemia, or elsewhere.

It was frightful! Poor Martin's brains flew over me, and, half blinded, I wiped them off my face with my scarf; while, enraged by the loss of two favourite officers (though Lowlanders), our clansmen redoubled their energies, and thus the din increased as the smoke and slaughter deepened around us.

Brightly the evening sun was shining on the blue water and green banks of the Elbe; but enveloped in the white cloud of war, inspired with ferocity, and bent on carnage and destruction, we saw nothing but the enemy and our dying comrades, who every moment fell heavily down in their accoutrements, bleeding and in agony, or stone dead, as the fated shot might strike them; but closing up, shoulder to shoulder, the little band of survivors stood firm on the parapet ready to repel the assault; for still the Danish flag was flying on the colour-staff, and still the Scottish cross was streaming on the rampart. We—the officers—fought side by side with our musketeers, till our mustaches were all matted by the wet powder of bitten cartridges, and our shoulders ached with the exertion of incessant firing, while the barrels of our muskets became so hot that there was eminent danger in recharging them; yet still we toiled on. And now came the crisis; for though three successive storming parties had been swept away, our ammunition began to fail, and, as the bandoliers emptied, our fire slackened, and then the Spaniards and Austrians—pikemen, halberdiers, and musketeers, all mingled pell-mell—led by officers having pistols in their belts, and swords, daggers, and demi-lances, poured into the ditch; rushing down their ladders, and planting them against the wall, they swarmed up its face in hundreds.

Sheathed in brilliant armour, magnificently inlaid with gold, having his visor closed, a sword in his right hand and a poniard in his left, which also grasped a light rondelle or buckler, the tall and stately Count of Carlstein, wearing above his gorget the Golden Fleece and the White Eagle, led the forlorn hope.

"Victoria! Victoria!" we heard him crying. "Forward, forward! swords and pikemen!"

"Sancta Maria!" replied his soldiers, in a thousand varying tones uniting in one roar; "Sancta Maria! Vivat—vivat!" and that wild cry of the Austrians was echoed by the wilder hurrah of a regiment of Croats, who had leaped from their white horses, and were levelling their long carbines at us, point-blank over their saddles, with deadly precision. As the foe approached I looked at Ian. With his eyes flashing under the peak of his helmet, and both hands clenched on the hilt of his claymore, he was surveying the scene below with stern calmness. Phadrig Mhor, with a Lochaber axe, stood by his side, and the M'Farquars, with their empty muskets clubbed, stood grimly in their ranks. They were a dark, a savage, and picturesque group.

"You see, my cousin," said Ian, in that grim jesting tone which he could assume at times; "that King Christian has resolved we shall pay dearly for declining the Danish cross. We shall all find our graves by the shore of the Elbe."

"Ye say truth, M'Farquhar," said Dunbar, as he pressed to the front with a partisan in his hand, and a pair of pistols in his belt; "but if ever we have a Hegisippus to relate our story, he shall never, like a lying loon, have it to say that we feared the face of man. But that king, whose life was saved by the Scottish Rittmaster Hume, on the day he fled from the battle of Lütter, should have remembered that trifling circumstance; and also that his sister had the honour to be queen of fair Scotland. But bide ye—hark!"

Above the uproar in the trench below us, the fire of the Croatian calivers, and the shouts of the stormers, we heard the clang of a horse's hoofs on a paved street, and saw a cavalier lightly armed, galloping in mad haste across the bridge of the Elbe, and in three seconds he dashed into the heart of the sconce amongst us.

"The Baron Karl of Klosterfiord, aide-de-camp to the king!" exclaimed Ian and others.

"Herr Dunbar," said he, breathlessly: "you are to abandon the sconce, spike the cannon if you cannot bring them off, blow up the bridge of the Elbe, and retire to Lauenburg or Glückstadt."

"'Tis too late, baron—these orders have come too late to save us," replied Dunbar, as hand to hand we met the Imperialists, hewing them from their ladders with swords and halberts, thrusting them down at push of pike into the fosse, where many of them, by falling head foremost, perished miserably among the mud and sap below.

Right in the gorge of our embrasure stood the Count of Carlstein, fighting with sword and buckler against Ian, whose powerful form, overtopped the foe, though he could not stand erect while swaying his two-handed sword. Their soldiers pressed on behind them, and deadly was strife at that point; for against it the enemy were pouring all their strength and fury. Save an occasional pistol shot, the din was occasioned alone by the cries of the combatants, and the clash of their weapons, steel sparkling on steel; and nothing could surpass the bravery of Count Carlstein and his Spaniards, but that of Ian Dhu and his company.

Hurled over each other in whole sections by our levelled pikes, we rolled them into the ditch; but other sections came up in their places, and their cries rent the air.

"Viva Ferdinand! A Dios! a Cristo y al Espiritu Santo, gloria y gracias! Victoria! Victoria!" For lack of powder our men hurled sand, earth, and stones, right into their faces, and Phadrig Mhor hewed away with his pole-axe like a mower in a ripe clover field.

Amid this dense mass in the embrasure, while pikes were crashing, swords ringing, and colours flying, swaying to and fro—now on this side, and now on that—many frightful wounds were given and received. Ian's right knee, being bare and unprotected, was drenched in blood from a stab, which raised his Highland blood to the boiling pitch, and, by one headlong stroke, he hurled the count, as if he had been a mere puppet, into the heart of the ditch; but his place was immediately supplied by another cavalier wearing the Imperial scarf, and carrying in one hand a demi-pike, in the other a banner with the black eagle.

With one foot on a culverin, and the other on the cope of the parapet, during this meleé I was handling my half-pike so prominently that I was the mark of many a bullet, but escaped them all, though receiving innumerable bruises. While he fought with others, the sword of my noble cousin shred off many a pike-head, and broke down many a sword, which menaced me; for, like wight Wallace of old, it was no uncommon event for Ian Dhu to encounter four men at once, and knock them all on the head in succession, aiding his friends the while by many a casual thrust and blow.

In this desperate and destructive struggle their native strength and skill in the use of their weapons, together with their lofty position, gave our bare-kneed warriors an immense superiority over the Spanish or Austrian stormers; but it was evident that, step by step, by main force of numbers, they would drive us into the heart of the place, where we would infallibly be all cut to pieces or taken. Major Wilson, Sir Patrick Mackay, Culcraigie, Kildon, M'Coll of that Ilk, and others, all fought valiantly in their own ranks; and it was a glorious sight to see so many brave Scottish cavaliers, all handling sword and pike as if they had come into the world with harness on their backs.

But, meanwhile, where was old Dunbar? for he, who usually was in the thickest of every fray, was not now in the front with his two-handed cliobh. Our soldiers, who soon missed him, were beginning to lose heart, and cried repeatedly—

"A Dunbar! a Dunbar!"

"I am here, my comrades! Ah, pikes and pistols—clear the way!" replied the sturdy veteran, as he sprang into the embrasure, and hurled among the assailants something which seemed to me like an immense hoop.

It was enveloped in light smoke, and became covered with flames as it fell among the dense masses of armed men in the graff below; a sudden yell arose from thence, and an immediate panic followed.

This wary old veteran, who had served with Camp-Marshal Hepburn and Sir Andrew Gray in Bohemia, and with Count Mansfeldt in Flanders, in expectation of an assault, had prepared a couronne foudroyante, which was composed of four iron hoops, bound together with wire, and studded by loaded pistol barrels, crackers, pointed pieces of iron, glass bottles filled with powder, and bunches of grenades (those notable inventions of 1574), the whole being covered with tarred and oiled flax, which wreathed the hoops with fire as they rolled, a blazing and exploding mass among the stormers. The barrels of the pistols, which were loaded to the muzzle, as they became redhot vomited their leaden contents every where; the bottles of powder burst, and the grenades exploded, scattering death and mutilation as their showers of splintered iron, stones, and nails, were driven among the shrinking storming party, which fled in every direction up the ladders, over the stockades, and to the farthest ends of the ditch. For five minutes the panic was general; but those five minutes saved the soldiers of Dunbar, who cut and destroyed the scaling-ladders.

A hoarse shout for vengeance burst from the foe. Led on again by the Count and the cavalier with the black eagle, the Imperialists poured in thousands into the ditch; bub before fresh ladders were planted upon those corpse-strewn heaps which filled it, and before the infuriated pikemen had gained the summit of the parapet, we had drawn back our twenty brass culverins, traced the horses to them, and retired in double-quick time by the bridge.

In close ranks, with pikes sloped, and muskets trailed, the three hundred Highlanders who survived crossed the Elbe; and the horses galloping at full speed, drew the heavy culverins over the broad arches with the sound of thunder. Holding his startled charger by the bridle, Dunbar stood near the klinket of the sconce to spring the mine the moment the last of us were passed. The M'Farquhars were the last who retired.

"The colours—the standard! Ensign Rollo, you have left your colours behind!" cried the old man in a furious tone; "they are still flying on the parapet, within arm's length of the enemy."

Thunderstruck by his words, I paused irresolutely.

"God's death!" he cried passionately; "the Imperialists have never yet gained one from our Scottish bands, and shall the first be taken from the regiment of Strathnaver? Pikes and pistols!—at the risk of your life, youngster, bring off that standard, or die under it."

He levelled a pistol at me; but at that time I scarcely heard all he said, as I rushed back to the bastion, where in the hurry of bringing off the cannon we had left St. Andrew's cross flying. The Austrians were indeed within arm's-length; a storm of bullets swept around me, as I tore it down and sprang after my comrades, followed by a swarm of Imperialists, who now poured over the undefended rampart like a living flood.

Closely pursued by a volley of oaths and bullets, I ran towards the bridge of the Elbe, and had almost reached the tête-du-pont when, lo! the arches rocked beneath my feet, there was a tremendous explosion, with a broad blaze of lurid light, and then a cloud of darkness, dust and stones arose before me, and I knew not whether I was in the clouds or on the earth, as the mine was sprung, and the great centre arch blown into the air. Like the shower of a volcano, the debris descended upon the crystal current of the Elbe. Before me, a deep chasm yawned between the ruined piers; behind me, were the fierce Imperialists! On the opposite ruin stood Dunbar, still grasping his restive horse by the bridle.

"I could not help it, Rollo," he cried; "better that one should be lost, than all!"

I thought my heart would burst under its band of steel; but tearing the silken colour from its staff, and placing a stone within it, I flung it across to Dunbar. He snatched it up, sprung into his saddle, and galloped after the retiring Highlanders, who had now disappeared in the silent streets of Boitzenburg.

Though encumbered by my back, breast, and headpieces, my heavy tartan kilt and accoutrements, my first thought was to spring into the river and swim it, as I had often swam the Dee and Don; but a bullet, almost spent, struck my head. The good steel cap prevented it from piercing my brain, but I sank on the spot, and felt the ruin crumbling under me, as, with one arm overhanging the water, I lay upon the fragment of the bridge.

I remember no more.



I lay long insensible, concealed by a mound of rubbish which the explosion of the bridge had thrown up between me and the sconce, where the fierce Croats and savage Spaniards had barbarously slain all our poor wounded men, and thrown them into the river; for the first objects which appeared when sense returned, were several corpses in dark green tartan floating on the surface of the Elbe almost below me, and in the yellow flush with which the setting sun tinged the broad river. Many of these bodies were half-stripped by those infamous women who followed the Imperialists in such numbers, and who found an unwonted prize in the silver brooches and jewelled biodags of the Highland soldiery.

"Oh cursed bigotry, and accursed ambition!" thought I, when reflecting on these horrors; for ambition had produced the war of aggression, and religious bigotry had inflamed the minds of the enemy, and urged them to that atrocious pitch of cruelty, of which the sack of Magdeburg was an example so terrible! I was about to stagger up to seek a draught of water—for the agony I endured from thirst cannot be written—when a heavy hand was laid upon me, and a somewhat familiar voice said—

"If you would escape death, lie still as if you were dead."

I looked up, and in the splendidly armed cavalier who addressed me, recognised by his military orders the great Count of Carlstein, and by his voice that Imperialist who had bestowed on me the golden chain, and from whom I had received the flag of truce.

"Lie still," he continued hurriedly, "till nightfall, at least, and then I will have you conveyed away. I had an order from Tilly to put all to the sword in forcing a passage here, and his orders must be obeyed by all who receive them. Feign death if you would escape."

Unable to reply, I sank again, and how long I remained so, I have not the least idea; but, when aroused fully, I found myself on horseback, and supported on the saddle on one side by a gentleman in bright armour; on the other, by a man in the Celtic garb of my own regiment. The whole landscape swam around me, but I perceived that there was a brilliant moon shining; that the Elbe with its ruined bridge lay on my right, and yellow fields, with rustling trees and green hedges, extended to the left. A mouthful of brandy and water revived me, and I said to the soldier—

"Who are you?"

"Dandy Dreghorn, sir, of puir Captain Learmonth's company," he replied, and then I recognised him as one of the Low Country pikemen, of whom we had a few in the regiment, from the counties on the Highland border.

"And how did you escape?"

"By feigning mysel stane deid, sir, sae they just dookit me in the Elbe; but I could swim like a cork, and hid myself among the green rashes till this gentleman saved me. Oh, sir, it was an awesome butchery! mair than forty gallant fellows, who were sairly wounded, shot deid, or hacked to pieces by knives and whingers, and flung into the river. If ever I spare an Imperialist after this night o' bluid, my name is no Dandy Dreghorn!"

"And where are we going—why in this direction?"

"To a house that I wot of, not far from this," replied the gentleman, who had a large red plume in his helmet; "there, orders have been given to convey you."

The country became more woody as we proceeded, and the moonlit road wound past various lonely tarns, overgrown by broad-leaved plants and water lilies; the deep water on which they floated, being rendered yet darker by the shade of many an aged oak. After a pause, I said—

"From whom have you orders concerning me?"

"The Count of Carlstein," replied the stranger.

"That ferocious butcher! Then I am hopelessly a prisoner."

"That depends upon the count," he replied, laughing; "but I am sorry you should have such a bad opinion of him."

"Pardon me, sir"—said I, checking the bridle of the horse; "what have I permitted myself to say? I now perceive that you are the count himself!"

Dandy started on hearing this; but the count—for it was indeed he—smiled, and said—

"I thought you would soon recognise me."

"Good Heaven! you are a Scotsman, and yet can butcher your own countrymen thus!"

"I do not butcher them," he replied in a broken voice; "they defended that bridge after a fair warning of what they might expect if the fort was stormed, and bravely have they fought, leaving it without one cannon lost or colour taken. Besides, sir, please to remember that I am not the only Scotsman who serve the Emperor. We have more than one regiment of our countrymen, and many a Scottish commander, in the army of the Empire."

"And why is this?"

"Because, like myself, they are all true Catholics, and serve the Catholic League, whose princes are pledged to exterminate Protestantism. And yet, sir, I was not always a Catholic. I remember well when I toddled at my poor mother's apron to our village kirk at home; I remember its time-worn arches, the pointed windows, and the gloomy pews; I can remember the venerable minister, with his thin haffets and lyart pow, his benignant face, and smooth Geneva bands; I remember the deep religious awe with which I lent my little voice to swell the choral psalm, and heard him expound who in his youth had heard Knox preach and Spottiswoode declaim! I can remember the grave, attentive faces of the congregation, the laced lairds and plaided shepherds, the young girls who have now become grandmothers, and the old people who are now in their graves—rest them, God!—ay, graved in Scottish earth, where I may never lie. Yes—yes—I can remember the day when I was a stanch Presbyterian, and would have looked—like you—with horror on the cross and eagle of the Empire. But if you knew all that I owe to the Church of Rome, you might pardon me for having rushed into its arms. Early in life, my misfortunes—it matters not what they were, or how they came about—made me, with others—a slave in Barbary. There I remained for five long years. Oh! what years these were, of hardship and repining; of toil and stripes; of hunger and mortification; of pain of body and agony of mind. Yet no effort was made by our countrymen in Scotland to relieve us, though we were numerous—gentlemen, seamen, and merchants—chained together like felons or wild beasts...... As Christian men—though Scots, heretics, and Presbyterians—ten of us were redeemed from slavery by the poor monks of the blessed Order of Redemption. Those true servants of God brought us to the Italian shore, and there upon the sands of Porto Fino, just where the Levanter landed us, on our knees we vowed to fight for that religion which had saved us from a life that was worse than a thousand deaths. We joined the army of the Emperor Ferdinand II.—ten of us—all privates in a troop of Lindesay's Scottish Reitres. We fought against the Elector Frederick, against Mansfeldt, old Sir Andrew Gray, and the Margravine of Anspach; hewing our way through Lusatia, Upper Austria, and the Palatinate of Bohemia. The storming of Frankenthal saw the ninth of my comrades slain, and me a captain; the siege of Bergen-op-zoom saw me a colonel of pikes. I was sergeant-major di battaglia, under Don Gonzalez de Cordova in Hainault, and am now Camp Master-general and Count of Carlstein, Lord of Geizer and Koningratz, under the Black Eagle. I believe, young gentleman, you will acknowledge that I owe these old monks of Redemption much; for I should have waited long enough, if I had tarried until some of our Scottish ministers came to Barbary to release me, to heal my scars and break my fetters. But enough of these prosy explanations," he added loftily, haughtily—almost fiercely; "I have saved your lives, when I might have left you both to your fate. Taunt me not with the loss of those poor fellows at Boitzenburg—for they had a fair warning to march off without firing a shot, or being fired on—to withstand an assault and risk extermination."

"May I ask to what family you belong, and what is your Scottish name, Sir Count?"

"I belong to a family that never regretted my loss, so I disown it," he replied bitterly. "The Imperialists call me Rupert-with-the-Red-Plume; but what is your name, and who are your family?"

"Like your own, count, my family were not much distressed by my departure; so their name matters little—their memory less; but our Highlandmen call me Philip M'Combich, which means Philip, the son of my friend."

The Count laughed at this mode of retorting upon his reserve, saying—

"Well, well, let us each keep our little secrets; but here we are arrived at last. This is my temporary chateau, and a very comfortable one you will find it."

With their copper vanes glittering in the moonlight, the highpointed and old-fashioned gables of a hall now appeared above some thick copsewood. Entering an avenue of old beech-trees, we were alternately in light and shadow as we passed their ivied stems; we came to a broad fosse full of long reeds and wild water-plants, chiefly floating lilies, and over this we passed by an old and moss-green bridge of stone, at the end of which was an archway surmounted by armorial bearings which proved afterwards to be those of my friend, the Baron Karl of Klosterfiord, one of whose mansions on the Luneburg side of the Elbe had been appropriated by the Imperialists as the quarters of the Count of Carlstein and a troop of Reitres, whose horses were stabled in all the lower apartments where the doors would admit them.

The vast and irregular façade of the old chateau, with its broad balconies, its steeple-like turrets and indented gables, was bathed in white moonlight, a number of noisy and half-armed soldiers thronged the courts, or played at dice and shovelboard, over cans of German beer in the stone chambers on the ground floor, where they burned large fires on the tesselated pavement, and recklessly were never in want of fuel, while doors, windows, and furniture lasted.

As we entered the court, two young ladies in light-coloured dresses appeared at the upper balcony, and waved their handkerchiefs to the Count, whom I immediately concluded to be as gay as other generals of Ferdinand II. I was surprised, however, at not seeing more of the fair sex, for a vast number followed the soldiers of the Catholic League; and there are several instances of their garrisons, which, on obtaining permission to march out with the honours of war, brought away more women than men—death-hunters and ammunition-wives. In morality the Imperialists formed a strong contrast to the armies of the Protestant champions, Christian of Denmark and Gustavus of Sweden, who would not permit camp-followers of any description to hang upon the skirts of their forces.

Under their black iron helmets, the tipsy Reitres of Carlstein savagely eyed poor Dandy Dreghorn, who kept close by my side as we crossed the quadrangle to the door of the vestibule, where the count kindly assisted me to dismount, and gave me his arm to lean upon when ascending the stair. Dandy was following us closely, when the count desired a greyhaired lance-spesade of the troop, whom he called Gustaf Spürrledter, to "take him among the soldiers, and be answerable for his safety and comfort, limb for limb—and body for body."

We entered a brilliantly lighted room, where a magnificent supper was laid, with covers for three; it was waiting for the count, towards whom the young ladies sprang with a cry of joy, and embraced him—

"My daughters," said he; "Ensign Mac—upon my word, I forget your name!"

I bowed, and tottered to a seat, for the effect of my contusion, and the ride on horseback over a villanous road, were telling severely upon me now.

I could only perceive that one lady was very dark, that the other was fair, and that both looked kindly and pityingly upon me.

"Off with his helmet, girls!" said the count, "and bring him a cup of wine."

I felt my steel cap removed, then a deluge of warm blood spread over my eyes, and blinded me. A cry burst from the young ladies.

"Poor boy!" I heard the count saying; "poor boy! Ho, Gustaf Spürrledter—away with him to bed—quick there below!"



The sun, as it shone upon my eyes next morning, awoke me. I started, gazed around, and sunk again, for I struggled with a dreamy sense of pain and oppression. I was not in a bivouac, lying on the hard earth with a sword for a pillow and a plaid for my covering, but on a bed of the softest down; and the glance I had given revealed to me a tapestried room, the hangings of which were old and dark, representing huntsmen in the antique German costume of the fourteenth century, antlered deer peeping from among the leaves, and large Danish hounds in the foreground. The warmth of the sunshine was playing on my cheek, and the fragrance of a thousand flowers, with the merry notes of the birds as they sang their summer songs, came through an open window, wafted on the breeze together—music and perfume. I heard the murmur of a distant cascade, and the foliage rustling on the old oaks, the yellow linden-trees, and copper beeches.

The furniture of the apartment was rich and luxurious; but, as all was confusion in my mind, for a time I forgot how it came to pass that I was there, and still imagined myself at the fort of Boitzenburg. I saw the stately forms of Ian Dhu and Phadrig Mhor, of Learmonth and Dunbar, as they hewed down the Imperial escalade. I still heard the din of the conflict, the war-cry of the Spaniards, the wild slogan of the Highlanders, and the wilder yells of the Croatian horsemen; and then I gave a convulsive start to find myself in a comfortable bed, which suggested ideas of Craigrollo, and the college of James IV. Thus, when again I dosed, the old familiar features of my home passed before me—those scenes whose solemn grandeur makes, on the mind of the young mountaineer, that lively and peculiar impression which the denizen of a flat country cannot conceive; and thus, on that feverish couch, many a face and many a dream of other days floated before me.

Near my father's house there flowed a linn—a deep, dark linn, where the wee burnie poured over a ledge of rock; it was crossed by a large stone, and I remember the time when that brigstane was quite a bridge to me. I seemed to hear the murmur of the linn and the rustle of my paternal woods, and saw the white blossoms of the sweet-scented hawthorn birks that grew beneath the old tower wall. I heard the bleat of the sheep that browsed upon my father's hills; the rich perfume of the purple heather, and of the bells of that beautiful broom, from which the sweetest honey is gathered by the mountain bee, were wafted towards me. I heard my mother's gentle voice, but it seemed to come from a vast distance on the drowsy hum of summer, and all my soul was stirred within me. I was a child again, and I wept in my sleep like the lonely boy I was. I wept, but I knew not why, unless it were that through these tender visions there came an oppressive sense of their unreality. The past conflicted with the present, and I felt that I was far away from those dear hills of Cromartie, from the shores of their blue Firth, and the dusky peaks of the Black Isle—sick, weary, and wounded—a stranger in the land of the stranger and foe. Oh! I may be pardoned in thinking, that no heart like the heart of the Scot and the Switzer feel that dire loneliness when so far from home; and none like they are haunted by the strange sad fear, of being buried far from the graves of their kindred. Yet how many of our brave Scottish hearts have mouldered into dust on the plains of Flanders and Germany; by the shores of the Elbe and the Oder, the Rhine and the Danube, the Zoom and the Zuiderzee!

When again I unclosed my eyes and gazed between the parted hangings of the bed, I perceived two young ladies at the foot of the apartment. They were conversing in a low tone, and placing flowers in a large vase. They were the daughters of the count; but as ladies have the privilege of giving the first recognition among us in Scotland, and as their presence in my apartment might be a mistake, I waited until they should address me.

I observed that one was a fair girl, clad in that pale bine silk which so well becomes persons of her complexion; but the elder and the taller of the two, a beautiful girl with jetty hair, was dressed in orange-coloured satin, a tint which so well consorted with her dark hair and fine complexion. You would have loved the youngest had you seen her face, there was such a sweet expression in its pretty mouth and dove-like eyes; but the eldest—her form was beautiful, her features irreproachable, her profile was noble, and the freshness and delicacy of her complexion were remarkable. Her fashion of dress, her air, her mode of holding up her head, had something more of gentle blood in them than her sister; and though it would have been difficult to find two more lovely girls, each after her own style—the eldest seemed to be the proudest pet of nature.

"He seems to be still asleep, Gabrielle," said the dark beauty; "but uneasily—for I have heard him moan."

"Hush—you will wake him—how loud you do talk, Ernestine!"

So, one is called Gabrielle, and the elder is Ernestine, thought I. Such pretty names these are—and they speak German, too! I would have sworn Ernestine was a Spaniard, but her black hair has come with her Scottish blood.

Having completed their arrangement of the vase, they approached, placed it on a little tripod table near me, and softly drew back one of the rich curtains of the bed. I felt very much inclined to laugh.

"Poor young man!" said Ernestine; "he is smiling in his sleep."

I endeavoured to assume a look of the most charming candour.

"His hair is dark and curly," said Gabrielle.

"He reminds me somewhat of poor Lerma, who was slain at Lütter."

I heard Gabrielle sigh.

"She has lost a lover at that unlucky battle," thought I, and was in some degree correct; for these fair girls had many lovers, but they had never distinguished any, save one, the gallant young Conde de Lerma, son of the Spanish duke of that name, to whom Gabrielle had been betrothed at an age which was too tender to possess any other love than such as a brother might have for a sister; and like a brother the boy count had loved his little wife; but a cannon-ball had decapitated him at Lütter in the moment of victory, and there was an end of it. Gabrielle had wept for the loss of her young friend—Lerma had been nothing more—and she still retained his betrothal ring on the fourth finger of her right hand.

"Oh yes!" said she; "he is just like Lerma."

"With the same amount of mustache," added Ernestine.

"Lerma had less—but he was so young."

My hand lay upon the coverlet, and, with her soft warm hand, Ernestine touched it gently by chance.

"He is hot and feverish—we must be very kind to him, Gabrielle. Poor boy!"

The touch of Ernestine's hand made my heart vibrate; but I remembered Prudentia, and resolved to steel my heart against all soft impressions and nonsense for the future.

She is very beautiful and charming, of course, thought I; but let me beware how I fall lightly into that troublesome trap again.

Now, reflecting that it was unfair, by a seeming sleep, to impose upon them thus, I made preparations to awake, on which they let the hangings drop, and glided noiselessly to some distance.

On my drawing back the curtain, they both approached me again, and Gabrielle, who possessed either less pride or more frankness than Ernestine, asked me, with the most winning kindness, "How I was," and bade me "good-morning."

I replied that the pain of my bruise was gone, that a little giddiness remained; but that I suffered greatly from thirst.

On hearing this they hurried to a side table, and in a minute returned with a silver salver, bearing some warm refreshment, of which I partook because it was offered by the white jewelled hand of Gabrielle, though I would have given the world for a cup of pure cold water.

"I am too much honoured by such attendance—I beseech you to retire, and send to me the soldier, my fellow prisoner. I recognise in you the daughters of the count, who so kindly saved me, when our wounded—poor souls!—were so mercilessly slaughtered at Boitzenburg yesterday."

"Our father has desired us alone to attend you, and, as his countryman, we quite love you already," said the frank Gabrielle, with one of her delightful smiles; "you can have no other attendants save us, or Corporal Spürrledter, and perhaps the soldier who accompanies you."

"Honest Dandy Dreghorn?"

"But both you and he," added the graver and statelier Ernestine, "must remain concealed closely; for, as Count Tilly will be here in the course of to-morrow, to explain reasons for our request were a needless task."

"Tilly!" I reiterated, giving a convulsive start, and glancing about for my claymore and biodag, on hearing the name of that terrible leader of the great crusade against the Protestants of Germany and the liberties of Northern Europe. "If Tilly is to pass this way, then Dandy and I have been too long here, for to the Protestant soldiers of Christian IV. he shews such mercy as a cat shews to mice. Ah! he is a merciless old savage, and will shoot us as a mere matter of course."

"John of Tserclä, the Count Tilly, is general of all the armies of the Empire!" said Ernestine proudly, and with an air of pique.

"Ah! sister, but he is very cruel," urged Gabrielle, gently.

"Yet fear nothing, sir; my father's influence will protect, and our care conceal you. Simply, he thinks it better or safer, that Tilly should not know you are here."

"But take the nice little breakfast we have prepared for you," said the childlike Gabrielle; "to-morrow you will be stronger, and we shall all talk more together."

Ernestine stood, for she seemed all unused to stoop; but Gabrielle knelt down by the side of the low bed, and, holding before me the silver salver, gave me a green crystal cup containing a certain alimentary infusion named coffee, which was to be taken warm and sweetened with Canary sugar, which, like the beverage itself, was then a luxury unknown among us in Scotland. I have since been told, by those cavaliers of our army who were taken prisoners at Worcester, that this coffee has been introduced into England by a person named Pasqua, a Greek, who came to London in 1650, with a Turkish merchant named Edwardes, and who sold it at his shop in Lombard-street, as a medicated restorative for the sick. Never having tasted any thing of this kind before, I felt so wonderfully refreshed and invigorated by one cup, that I was easily prevailed on to take a second, with a little biscuit of honey and flour.

I thanked these two beautiful girls politely and sincerely, and, after the hardships endured by us since leaving Itzhoe, could not help expressing my sense of the luxuries with which they had surrounded me.

"You owe us no thanks for that, sir," said the proud Ernestine; "this house is as much yours as ours, being so by the right which the chance of war gives us over every thing that comes in our way. We accompany our father's column of the Imperial army, and, as he always selects a pretty house for us, I hope you approve of his taste. This mansion belongs to the Baron of Klosterfiord, an officer of Danish pistoliers."

"He is my good friend, and a brave soldier!"

"But a Protestant," said Gabrielle, quietly.

"And consequently a foe of ours," said the other beautiful Imperialist, shaking back her dark curls.

"Never mind, sister," added Gabrielle, laughing; "a month hence our dear father may select apartments for us in the castle of Copenhagen."

"Your father never will, lady," said I, piqued at her words; "for there are too many of our tough Scottish blades to keep the passes of the Elbe against both the pride and the power of the Empire."

"Here our father comes, and he will best tell you the chances of that," replied Ernestine.

At that moment I heard a horse ridden rapidly into the quadrangle; then the clank of spurs and the jarring of a long sword, as a cavalier dismounted, entered the vestibule, and approached the room where I lay, and from whence the two young ladies hurried to meet him.

Book the Fourth



After a few minutes' delay, the count entered alone. He was armed just as I had seen him yesterday, and appeared somewhat jaded and fatigued.

"Ah, my friend and countryman! I have again the honour to salute you," said he, seating himself by my bedside. "A thousand cannonades! how well you are looking this morning; you will be with your regiment in a week. Ah, that fine regiment!—King Christian's Invincibles, we call them now. But say, have these lasses, my daughters, been kind to you?"

"Kind as sisters."

"Right! for every soldier—more especially a Scottish soldier—should be their brother, as he is mine, when off the battle-field. The girls are warm-hearted, for they have been reared, not in courts and cities, among the parasites of kings and slaves of fashion; but in camps and garrisons, among frank soldiers and generous hearts—the gallant Austrians and daring Croats; and all they inherit of old Scotland comes from me. I have been twice married, my dear boy. The mother of Ernestine was a Spanish lady of Flanders; the mother of Gabrielle, as you may see by her blooming cheek and fair hair, was of Hainault—'Hainault the Valiant!' hence the name of Gabrielle. They are two pretty pets; I love my dear girls, but think, at times, I would rather they had been boys, that they might have fought for the Catholic faith, and transmitted my hard-won title to posterity. At other times," continued the count, who seemed in high spirits and in a talking humour; "I am seized with sore longings to see old Scotland again—to see my father's tower, the blue waters, the purple mountains, and the pine-woods of my native place. But I was a younger son. I have made me a new name, a new fame, and patrimony of my own; I have hewn them out by my sword, and fenced them round by gallant deeds. I will never again have to enact the sorner or the trencherman at the hall-table of a kinsman, or stoop to eat a vassal's bread, though given by an elder brother, when here I am lord of three manors, Carlstein, Geizar, and Kœningratz, and camp-master of horse, under the Emperor. Yet my heart bled yesterday at the slaughter of my poor countrymen! Would to God they came crowding to the banners of Ferdinand, as they now crowd in tens of thousands to those of Gustavus Adolphus and his rival, King Christian; of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and that prince of cowards, Frederick Guelph, the Elector-Palatine. Then, indeed, the northern war would end without a blow."

"Yet all your sympathy did not save our poor wounded men from massacre at Boitzenburg."

"Tilly's orders were most stringent—to put all to the sword who resisted, that a terror might be stricken into others, and the Elbe abandoned. You do not know Tilly; his orders never bear but one construction. We knew quite well that Dunbar had but five hundred Highlanders in yonder sconce. We will never lack for information while that sharp fellow Bandolo lives."

"Bandolo!" I repeated, thinking of Prudentia, the dancer, and endeavouring to recollect something else; "I have surely heard that name before."

"Thus I was ordered at all risks to force the bridge of Boitzenburg, because it was your weakest point, and strengthened only by your sconce, mounted by twenty guns, which Bandolo undertook to have spiked the night before."

"That sconce was an effort of poor Learmonth's skill; but has there been any fighting elsewhere?"

"I have not heard; but this I know, that Christian IV. struggles in vain to keep us on this side of the Elbe; for we will soon build boats, or by storming the bridges force a passage, and every where enter Holstein."

"Since you are so well informed, count, perhaps you can acquaint me where my comrades have marched to?"

"I cannot;—to-morrow our prince of spies will return from the Danish side of the river, and Tilly will meet him here; we shall then know more about them. But I implore you to keep out of the way of the generalissimo, for otherwise I could neither be answerable for your liberty or safety."

"Ah! then you do not mean to keep me a prisoner?" said I, with sudden joy.

"A prisoner!—how could you think so? No, no; only till you are well, when we must find some means of transmitting you to the Danish army, which by that time will be in full retreat."

"Then; count, I mean to be quite well to-morrow; and surely King Christian will not retreat by that time?"

"You shall not leave us so soon. When I was taken prisoner at the battle of Duneberg, Colonel Sir John Hepburn, of Athelstaneford, kept me for three weeks in his own tent before he would let me return. But now, you must excuse me; to see you I have just stolen a few minutes, and am compelled to return to where my headquarter force is cantoned, for the whole army is closing up towards the Elbe. Meantime, I leave you to the care of old Spürrledter and my daughters."

"Will they not be alarmed by your departure?"

"Nay, nay; they have been used to see me go and come in my armour for many a year. They have more than once seen me brought home shoulder-high, upon a door, with a bullet through my body; and more than twice have seen my horse Bellochio come home, with no trace of his rider but the blood on his saddle-laps. Poor girls,—they are so affectionate! Gabrielle is quite a child, but Ernestine is more of a woman, and has considered herself one ever since she was three years old; yet, with all her pride and reserve, she can at times be as gentle, as frank, and as playful as Gabrielle. Tilly will be here to-morrow, or next day at the farthest, and then we shall have warm work; so, my young friend, until I see you again—farewell!"

The count retired, with his lofty red plume dancing above his embossed helmet, and his sword Eisenhauer (or Ironhewer), as it could cut both helmets and blades of steel, under his arm; then I was left, for a time, to my reflections. About an hour afterwards, I heard stealthy footsteps approaching; the door of my chamber opened, and the broad, good-humoured Lowland face of Dandy Dreghorn—the same soldier whom we had gauntleted for his gluttony on the march—appeared, looking cautiously round the room. He had a large Dutch leather flask in one hand, a brown-ware pot in the other, and a loaf of bread under his arm. My helmet and cuirass, kilt, plaid, and other trappings, were lying upon a sofa; and the moment he espied these items, which were indicative of my presence, he advanced more boldly, and overwhelmed me with questions about my wound, and noisy exclamations of joy at having discovered me.

"'Od, sir, I'm glad I've fund ye oot, for I had a sair job seeking ye through this muckle ark, from roof to grund stane, like a puir coo in an unco loan. Eh! sir, that was an awfu' business at the Brig o' Boitzenburg; what a sicht puir Fergus M'Vurich was, wi' the shot through his nose! He was a grand piper that, and could blaw wi' his mooth fu' o' meal!"

"And how fares it with thee, honest Dandy?" said I, giving him my right hand.

"Ill eneuch, sir, Gude kens!" sighed Dandy, squatting himself upon the floor, placing the jar, the loaf, and the bottle, between his legs, and unclasping an immense jockteleg knife; "Ill eneuch! for between that dour deevil, Corporal Spürrledter, and an auld besom o' a housekeeper, that maks a' alike unwelcome, I am weel nigh starved; for they gied me naething for supper last nicht, and for breakfast this morning, but chappit cabbages."


"Ay, sir, as I'm a leevin' man—chappit wi' pepper and vinegar, sic as at hame we wadna gie to a grumphie soo. 'What the deil's this?' said I to auld Spürrledter; 'Soor Craute,' said he. 'Soor what?' said I. 'Soor Craute,' he roared out, with an oath like twa sneezes and a snort. 'The Lord hae a care o' me! is this the kind o' draff and dreg you German bodies eat?' 'Yaw,' said he, as he ladled a bowlfu' into his stamach like a kail-eating Grant o' Strathspey; 'and ver goot, too.' 'Does your billy o' an emperor eat kail-blades that way?' He nodded his grey pow, for he was owre fu' to speak. 'Preserve us a'—what a beast he maun be!' said I. The auld beggar lookit very like as if he wad hae stickit me, but I gloomed as if I didna care a brass bodle for him."

"So, then, you have neither had supper last night, nor breakfast this morning?" said I, seeing that Dandy was cutting his third slice from the loaf, and was eating and speaking with equal rapidity.

"This will never do, I thocht; 'keep your ain fish-guts for your ain seamaws, corporal,' said I; 'for before I will live on green kail-blades, or castocks either, I'll see you and your emperor baith——.' I didna say damned, but I thocht it. I then gaed awa on the forage, and in a slee corner fand this braw pat o' honey, that bottle o' skeidam, and a loaf; then I came in search o' you, sir, for I feared ye might be faring on kail-blades too; and I ken they gang sair against the stamach, unless weel boiled with beef, and mustard conform thereto."

"Many thanks, good Dandy," said I, amused by this brave fellow's garrulity; "I have already breakfasted, and have done so well."

"Then, sir, you'll let me mak mine beside ye, for the soond o' a Scots tongue is just like music to me, and gies me an appetite mairowre; for it gars me think o' the halesome breezes that blaw owre the green braes, the sweet smelling heather, and the yellow corn-rigs at hame. My hail heart and my een fill when I think on hame!" and, flourishing his flask, Dandy began to sing,—

"Comin' thro' the Craigs o' Kyle,
    Amang the bonnie bloomin' heather,
There I met a blue-eyed lassie,
    Keepin' a' her flock thegither.
Owre the muir amang the heather!
Owre the muir amang the heather!
There I met—"

"For Heaven's sake, Dreghorn, make less noise."

"Fule that I was!" continued Dandy, continuing his repast and his reflections together; "fule that I was ever to leave my plew, to follow the deil and the drum in the Danish wars—ay, a damned fule," he added emphatically, with moistened eyes, as he sliced away at the loaf, and with his jockteleg spread on the honey an inch thick, and took alternately a large circular mouthful, and a draught from the leathern flask. He then drew an oak quaigh from his sporran, and, mixing the honey with the skeidam, said, "Will ye no tak a sup, sir? this is just like Athole brose. Here's to ye, sir, and may we baith be safe wi' Sir Donald in a day or twa; 'od, there's a gude Stirling pint left yet in the flask, and I'll just pouch it."

"Have you seen the count's daughters, Dandy?"

"Ay, have I, Maister Rollo—twa saucy limmers, that laugh at me to my very face!"

"They are very handsome."

"Handsome—sune ripe, sune rotten! They couldna haud a candle to muirland Maggie at the Burnfit o' Drumlie."

"Animated by no love of glory, or desire for military fame, I cannot conceive, Dandy, what tempted you to leave your plough, and become a soldier."

"It's a lang story, sir," replied Dreghorn, with his mouth full; "but I can mak it short enough, if you'll promise never to tell ony o' our chields at the regiment; for then I wad hae to quit that, as I quat the parochin o' Drumlie."

"I pledge you my word, Dandy."

"Weel, ye maun ken, sir," continued the hungry Andrew, sighing as he spread the last of the honey on the last of the loaf; "I was a puir plew-lad, and bided wi' an unmarried aunty, an auld whaislin, wallydraigel deevil, that, because she had never gotten a gudeman, took it into her wise heid to turn witch. Noo, sir, whether she was a witch, or wasna a witch, I canna say; but she was auld enough, and ugly enough, for ane; for her hook neb and hairy chin met when she girned, and her twa een were sunk a finger length into her heid; but, my certie! they could look oot wickedly eneuch when I suppit owre muckle brose, stole her cream, or let her peas bannocks scouther on the girdle. I say again, sir, that, whether she had any dealings wi' the Auld Gentleman or no, I ken nocht, and noo I care nocht; but this I ken, that, as she never gaed to kirk or mercat, she sune got the wyte o' a' that gaed wrang in the country side."

"Well, Dandy, such as——"

"Enchanting millwheels, that stood stock-still one hour, and whirled the next as if the deil drave them; o' making toom yill-barrels dance in the browster's yard; o' croaking on lumheids like a corbie, and yowling on the sclaits like a cat; o' gieing the Dominie the palsy, and the Precentor the pest, and causing ilka other ill that happened in the parish; o' putting the hail pains o' child-birth upon Jock Tamson the ruling elder, whose gudewife was safely delivered o' three bairns, while he, gudeman, was dancing and raving about his kailyard, thinking himself bewitched, as he was. She was accused o' raising up whirlwinds; o' dancing wi the diel at the Nine-stane-rig, where he cam dressed like a Hielandman (as I am), with kilt and hose, and the Lord kens a' what mair, for she was like the colley wi' the ill name; until at last our minister, Maister Kittletext, when riding hame to the Manse on a munelicht nicht, frae a meeting o' the kirk-session, saw twa brigs at the burn o' Drumlie, and was weel nigh dooked to death by riding owre the wrang ane. Next morning, he swore before the sheriff, that frae the moment he passed our cottage he saw every thing double, whilk was naething wonderfu' in him, when pricking his auld mear hame in the gloamin'; sae the session hauled my aunty before them, screwed her with the caspie claws, pricked her wi' pins, declared she was a witch, and burned her in the loan at the end o' the toun; and, aye cankered as she was to me, I grat like a wean when I saw the bleeze, as I sat about a mile off on the hill o' Drumlie, for in that bleeze the last o' a' my kith and kin was passing away. After this, the hail parochin misca'ed me as a witch's kinsman, nane wad employ me; sae a mouthfu' o' meat, a sup o' kail, or a bite frae a bannock, wasna to be had. The men gloomed—the women gied me the gae-bye—the bairns pu'ed my plaid-neuk and cast stanes after me, till my life was weary. I grat wi' spite, and said, 'Deil tak the parish o' Drumlie, and a' that are in't! I'll turn sodjier, and march to Low Germanie'—and sae, sir, I am here."

Finding that he was wearying me, and that I was somewhat inclined to sleep, Dandy left me for the purpose of foraging for more vivres against the time of dinner, as he had a mortal aversion to having recourse to Corporal Spürrledter's basins of growte.



Two days' nursing at the hands of these charming girls made me almost well, and fit for service. The contusion on my head no longer gave me any pain; the scar closed, and grew hourly less under the soothing application of some essence or lotion which they applied to it; and they were both so kind as to bring their work—for they were very industrious—into my room, where they sat, one on each side of my bed, and sewed, embroidered, read, or chatted with me. There was something sufficiently pleasing, and perplexing too, in being thus placed between two such beautiful young women—one with dark hair and large orient eyes; the other, with mild blue orbs and soft bright curls; both animated, laughing, brilliant, and full of wit and vivacity. To say the least of it, my position was very enviable.

Ernestine was dark, and tall and stately.

Gabrielle was less so, but fair and blooming; ever smiling save when some recollection floated through her mind. Then she cast down her timid blue eyes and sighed.

Ernestine wore her long black hair, parted smoothly over her open brow, in broad and heavy braids.

Gabrielle permitted hers to float in loose ringlets, which displayed to the utmost advantage their bright golden colour.

Ernestine's deep dark eyes had usually a quiet and thoughtful expression; her sister's, though less attractive, possessed more vivacity. Ernestine had more pride, Gabrielle more frankness; and I know of no picture more beautiful than was presented by these two motherless sisters, whose home was the camp, when Gabrielle rested her fair head, with its shower of golden curls, upon the budding bosom and snowy shoulder of her more thoughtful, more contemplative, and more matron-like sister; their attitudes were so full of grace and affection.

Ernestine had the fire, the step, the glance, the dark eyes, and the dignity of Spain.

Gabrielle had the rich bloom and bright hair of her mother, the Hainaulter; but Ernestine, though she addressed me least, interested me most. In form she was finer than the most beautiful statue; her hands and arms were of the most pure and perfect form that a sculptor of the highest class could conceive; and yet, if I could make any distinction in their Samaritan attention to me, little Gabrielle was the kindest of the two. When comparing the calm, even, reserved, and well-bred style of their conversation, with the bold and forward manners of Prudentia, I felt nothing but anger and disgust at myself for having yielded so completely to her spells and her snares; and yet the beauty of that Spanish dancer was worthy of a higher sphere and better fate.

During these two days we became quite intimate, for under such circumstances friendship ripens rapidly; and hearing them addressing each other by their Christian names, I soon learned to do so likewise; but the regimental sobriquet (M'Combich), by which I had introduced myself to the count, puzzled them sorely, and they styled me Herr Kombeek. The youngest requested that I should simply call her Gabrielle; but when I addressed the eldest so unceremoniously, she gave me at times one of her proud but quiet smiles. Her reserve piqued me a little, too.

"Lady Ernestine," said I, "why is Gabrielle so much more kind to me than you!"

"I am sorry you should think there is any difference," she replied, bending her dark eyes mildly, but inquiringly, upon me; "yet, perhaps, it may be so—she has a reason for being kind to a soldier, but I have none."

"And why does she never wear ornaments or gay colours—and is one moment so merry and the next so sad?"

"For the same reason."

"What may this reason be?"

"You are very inquisitive, Herr Kombeek," said Gabrielle, bending her blushing face over her embroidering frame.

"Twice I have observed her countenance fall when I spoke of the defeat at Lütter."

"Her betrothed fell in that victory," replied Ernestine; "she is quite a little widow. Hence the gravity that occasionally clouds her merry heart, and hence, perhaps, her kindness to you—a wounded soldier—for the sake of our lost friend; for the poor Conde de Lerma was scarcely ever on the footing of a lover. He considered his marriage as a thing that must take place, quite as a matter of course."

"And you, Ernestine, have you no lover in yonder camp to make you anxious for the chance of war?"

"Ah, yes! Herr Kombeek," said Gabrielle, clapping her hands; "question her a little now."

Ernestine replied only by one of her proud smiles, and adjusted her ruff. She was offended.

"You must, you must have many," said I, sighing upon my lace pillow; "for men will love you, whether you permit them or not."

There was something in the manner and bearing of Ernestine that impressed me with respect, and interested me extremely; and yet I conversed less with her than with Gabrielle, perhaps for the simple reason that the latter conversed more with me. I could jest and laugh at trifles with such a chatty little fairy as Gabrielle; but not so with her sister. I could make doggerel rhymes, say gallant speeches, and all those pretty nothings which come so readily to one's tongue when conversing with a pretty girl; but I dared not attempt the same strain with Ernestine. They seemed altogether unsuited to her queen-like air, and high bred reserve of manner, which were sometimes a little provoking.

On the morning of the third day I arose from bed. Dandy Dreghorn assisted me to dress; and, save a little swimming of the head, I found myself almost well. My cuirass shone like silver; I placed my claymore and biodag in my belt, tied my scarf over my right shoulder, gave a finishing touch to my long locks, and that short mustache, the sprouting of which I cultivated with the utmost assiduity, and descended to breakfast, with the young ladies, in a lofty apartment, the windows of which opened upon the terrace of a garden, clothed in all the freshness, the brilliant flowers, and the beauty of midsummer. The doors, windows, and cornices, were beautifully proportioned; the ceilings and panels were covered by paintings, of the school of Reubens. Hand in hand with satyrs, a long string of immodest looking nymphs ran round the walls below the frieze, and in some places, a bearded ancestor of the Baron Karl looked grimly out of his oak frame, and under his square helmet of the fourteenth century. In this room there was the hum of the summer flies, as they floated on the warm and perfumed atmosphere. We were just sitting down to a breakfast composed of every delicacy which the fertile provinces of Bremen and Luneberg could afford, when the count, with his nodding red plume, suddenly appeared before the window, dismounting from Bellochio on the terrace, and we saw his tall figure between the embroidered curtains of Indian muslin and German hangings, like some vivid portrait of an ancient knight—for the fashion of his arms was somewhat old. His daughters sprang from the table to embrace and lead him in.

"In three hours," said he, "Count Tilly will be here, and our friend must be concealed forthwith."

"Within the house?" asked Ernestine, her eyes filling with an expression of alarm.

"Of course, girl; nowhere would he be safe out of it. The whole country is full of our troops, and the Croats and Hungarian heyducs are swarming like locusts in every village. Tilly's advanced guard (Tzertzski's regiment of musketeers, under Colonel Gordon) passed Reinsdorf this morning about daybreak—so my scouts inform me."

Through the great chateau this intelligence spread like wildfire. Corporal Spürrledter, who, with other old troopers, clad in their calfskin boots and yellow doublets, with red sashes and red worsted fringes, had been dosing in the warm sunshine, almost asleep over tric-trac, with pipe in mouth, and pots of Dantzic beer beside them, started when the trumpets blew boot and saddle, and hurried to accoutre themselves and their horses. The old German housekeeper (who, protected by her age and ugliness, had remained when others fled) was now in greater tribulation than ever; and Dandy Dreghorn, who was busy in the kitchen manufacturing some Hamburg meal, which he had discovered, into excellent Scottish porridge, made the greatest imaginable haste to get the whole (though scalding hot) under his belt, before Tilly came up with his troopers.

"Now, my young friend," said the count to me during breakfast; "I believe, that I need not inform you of the necessity of your avoiding old Tilly."

"Believe me, count, I have not the slightest wish to throw myself unnecessarily in his way, but assuredly I will not condescend to avoid him."

"You must do so! your safety imperatively demands it. Why, the old Tartar would think no more of having you hanged or shot, than I do of slicing the top of this egg; and if chance should make him acquainted with your vicinity, and if I should say you are come to join the Emperor, as many of our Catholic Scots, the Gordons of the Garioch, the Lindsays and the Leslies, have done, you will not gainsay me."

"Count, I will never stoop to this subterfuge. Pardon me," I added, on perceiving that his haughty brow clouded; "at the worst I am but a prisoner of war, and as such, have a right to expect that honourable treatment which our brave defence at yonder bridge deserves."

"The devil! you are like a redhot cannon-ball; one does not know on what side to take hold of you. By this time you should know, that in the cause of the Empire and of Catholicism, Tilly unites the enthusiasm of Peter the Hermit to the ferocity of a tiger and the cunning of a fox. Such is the general of the armies of the League. I implore you to beware of him, for the mercy he may grant, not to one, but to a thousand prisoners of war, depends but upon the miserable caprice of a moment. This is a religious war; faith fights against faith, and men's hearts are hardened and inflamed by the ferocity their preachers inculcate. We are just about to assail another party of Christian's Scottish troops, who keep that important post, the castle of Lauenburg."

"Ah!" said I, pushing away my cup of coffee; "and I, who would give the world to be there, am here!"

"The whole world!" said Ernestine; "you are a large proprietor!" I thought there was a tone of pique in her quiet remark—pique at my ungrateful wish to be gone. I gazed upon her, and her beauty seemed as perfect as female loveliness could be—as perfect as any that ever smiled on Raffaello da Urbino in the midst of his happiest reveries.

"Ernestine," said the count, raising his eyebrows, "you know who is coming with Tilly?"

"No," replied the daughter, over whose fair face there flitted a perceptible shadow, which belied her negative.

"His aide-de-camp, the Count Albert Kœningheim—Halbert Cunninghame, a cadet of the house of Glencairn," he added to me, "who has been a successful soldier in the wars of the Empire."

"Ah—indeed!" I murmured, walking to the window.

"Receive him well, Ernestine," I heard the count saying in a low voice, as he smoothed the beautiful braids of her hair; "receive him as one who deserves your utmost esteem, and has my best regard."

"Oh, father——"

"My countryman—rich, young, handsome, powerful, high in favour with the Emperor, with Tilly and the army; covered with orders and honours, you will soon learn to love him, Ernestine—will you not?"

"I will try." I thought I heard a sigh.

"Thou art a good girl—I love thee dearly," said the frank noble, as he kissed his daughter's brow; "and I will send for that magnificent set of diamonds you fancied at Vienna. I gave my word to Kœningheim, when he saved my life at Lütter, that I would make him my kinsman if I could. Ah! for my sake he ran a deadly peril there, and gave me his own horse when mine was torn almost asunder beneath me, by a cannon-shot."

Not a word of this had escaped me, and I felt something rising in my heart.

"Pshaw!" said I; "what is Ernestine to me? I shall never see her again. Yet she has been so kind, that I hope this Scoto-German count will make a good husband to her."

I think there is a sentiment—shall we call it pique or jealousy—in the minds of most young men, when they behold a beautiful young woman placed, or about to be placed, beyond their reach.

"Yes—yes!" thought I; "it is just this jealousy that animates me at present."

"You are admiring my mansion," said the count, approaching me.

"It is magnificent," said I, turning from the beautiful garden to the equally beautiful apartment, through the painted windows of which a deluge of warm morning light was shed upon the floor of polished oak, and the gilded carving of the wainscoting.

"I shall build a pretty summer-house at the end of that walk. I have received the whole place as a free gift from the Emperor."

"My poor friend, the baron Karl, has not been consulted on this transfer," said I; "but by what right does Ferdinand II. gift away these lands in Luneburg?"

"The right of conquest," replied the count, laughing. "Ah! you will never gain a fair heritage by fighting under the godly Christian IV. This will make a nice little chateau for my daughters, while we follow Christian through the Danish isles. I'll make old Spürrledter governor of it. Dost think you are well enough to ride? for, without being inhospitable, my dear friend, I would gladly have you altogether clear of this neighbourhood before Tilly arrives—and now, by heaven and earth! yonder he comes!" added the count, as the sharp note of a cavalry trumpet, followed by the rapid clank of horses hoofs, was heard in the court of the mansion. "Away with our guest, Ernestine," said the count, starting from the table; "to your care I entrust him!"

"Come with me—quick, Herr Kombeek!" said she, holding out her hand.

"Kombeek—what a devil of a name!" thought I, as she hurried me away towards a wing of the mansion which was appropriated to themselves.

"If the soldier who is with me falls into Tilly's hands, I shall never forgive myself for not saving him; and see, madame," I added as we passed a window, "yonder he stands—oh, the incorrigible ass!—eating apples on the terrace, and gazing open-mouthed at the approaching cavalcade."

I summoned him angrily from the window. He lingered for a moment to conceal his fruit in the neuk of his plaid, and then hurried to join me.

We were both consigned to a retired apartment, where we were to remain, as Ernestine said, until Tilly quitted the house to join the headquarters of his army.



Though this retreat was necessary for our safety, and plenty of provisions were sent to us, to the great contentment of Dandy Dreghorn, and though we had the full liberty of traversing certain apartments which overlooked the spacious garden of the mansion, (to me) there was something rather irritating in the conviction of being compelled to lurk like a thief, even from the terrible Tilly; the more so, as at a distance we heard the twang of trumpets and horns, and the din of cymbals and kettle-drums, as his columns of horse and foot poured on towards the fated Elbe.

The apartments and their furniture were alike elegant and luxurious; the high-backed chairs were of ebonlike oak, covered by crimson velvet and stuffed with down; the floors, of hard red Memel wood, were polished and varnished till they shone like glass; the tapestries of crimson and gold were set in broad carved frames of oak and gilded wood; the lozenged windows were tinted by innumerable coats-of-arms; some of the compartments stood open, admitting into these old chambers, which were coeval with the days of Magnus Torquatus, Duke of Luneburg, the warmth of the July sun, together with the rich perfume of the ripe strawberry-beds, the fragrant honeysuckle, the jasmine and the rose, which mingled with the bright red and blue convolvuli, that clambered up the carved mullions of the antique casements.

Within the mansion, but at a distance, I heard the sound of voices and of laughter—the loud hearty laughter of heedless soldiers; for the count was entertaining Tilly and some of the officers and cavaliers of his staff.

During the somewhat monotonous day I spent in these stately apartments, Ernestine and Gabrielle came separately to converse with me for a few minutes—to bring me books and refreshments—evincing so much kindness and sisterly solicitude in these little visits, that my heart swelled with gratitude and pleasure; and I looked forward with regret to the time that must separate me from hostesses so ladylike and so winning.

About sunset, when I had given up the expectation of seeing them any more, I heard the rustle of a silk dress in the long corridor, and saw Ernestine standing irresolutely at the farthest end of it, with the embarrassed air of one who thought she was coming too often! She stood and smiled, her timid expression contrasting strongly with the noble beauty of her face and figure. I sprang forward—I was so happy to see her; for there are so many ways in which one can be interested in a beautiful woman—but Ernestine was yet quite a girl. All I had seen of her, during those three days which we had spent constantly together under such peculiar circumstances, with her father's remarks about Tilly's aide-de-camp, increased rather than diminished this interest, for she evidently did not care a jot about her destined husband.

"I come for the last time to see you again," said she, with one of her sweet and quiet smiles; "at midnight Corporal Spürrledter will meet you at the end of this corridor, and conduct you to a secret place on the bank of the Elbe—a place that is unwatched, and to which (on burning a blue light) a boat will come off from the Saxe-Lauenburg side, and convey you away."

"I will never forget this kindness, Ernestine," I replied timidly, touching her hand with my lip; "never! You and Gabrielle have been to me as sisters. I go—and you will remember me no more; but believe me the memory of these last three days will never be effaced from my mind."

She smiled.

"And you tell me all this as if I did not know soldiers, who say the same thing to every pretty fraülein who binds up a scar, or is compelled to act hostess by a burgomaster's order. While Tilly and my father march on their troops to the conquest of Denmark, Gabrielle and I will reside here; and the count has desired me to say, that if ever you should find yourself a prisoner or a fugitive, friendless and in want of military employment, to communicate with him through the officer commanding any Austrian garrison, and he will not fail to succour and protect you. Here, at our new appanage, Gabrielle and I will remain until the war with Christian is over, and we return to Carlstein, or our new hotel near the Scots Gate at Vienna. At all events," she added, as she gave me her hand with that charming frankness which she inherited from her Scottish rather than her Spanish blood, "whatever the fortune of war may be, and though we may never meet again, you will ever be our friend."

"Your friend, Ernestine! oh, I shall ever be more than that!"

"Of course, are you not my enemy, and fighting against the great Catholic Empire? You must content you with being, if you can, my simple friend."

"Ernestine," I began, taking her hand again——

"Nay, nay," she replied quickly, in a way that somewhat reminded me of my friend the actress; "do not look lacrymose and attempt to act the lover, for lovers quarrel many times, but friends seldom more than once. Besides, rumour says that Gabrielle and I have quite too many admirers already."

There was more of Gabrielle's playfulness in this, than the queenlike manner usual to Ernestine. We gazed at each other timidly, and then smiled.

"My old confessor, Father d'Eydel, of the order of Jesus, wrote a charming little book on love and friendship," said Ernestine; "and, moreover, he dedicated it to Gabrielle and me——"

"I should like to know the Jesuit's ideas of love."

"He said that one friend was worth an army of lovers; that love is like wine—bright, beautiful, and intoxicating; but friendship is like the inexhaustible water of a pure fountain—clear, cool, and refreshing; he said that love was all hot and heedless impulse, whereas friendship embraced the finest emotions of the heart and head."

"You are quite a philosopher; and yet—ah! Ernestine—there is a merry twinkle in your beautiful eyes belying all you say."

"Moreover, Father d'Eydel told me, at the Scots convent, I should have nothing to do with lovers——"

"Father d'Eydel——" I began impatiently.

Ernestine held up her pretty white hand.

"He told me, love was like a two-edged sword——"

"Did he not tell you it was like wine, but with water too?"

"That it ennerved the hearts of the young, and failed to inspire the hearts of the old. To women, he recommended religion and the cloister——"

"This devil of a d'Eydel would soon bring the world to an end! And to men——"

"A jovial cup of wine; for it never failed alike to fire the hearts of the old and the young, the brave and the timid. But now, sir, I must leave you. Tilly is to sup with my father, who at nightfall is to make a movement up the Elbe with his own regiments, the Reitres of Giezar and Kœningratz, so that I cannot absent myself longer. Adieu!—believe me, you have all our best and kindest wishes——"

"Ernestine!" I urged, endeavouring to detain her.

"Our Lady bless you! do not forget that, at midnight, Spürrledter will be awaiting you at the end of that passage."

She retired by the door, which she had been gradually approaching, and, as it closed, my heart felt a pang at the idea that we should never meet again. But a soldier's life is full of merry meetings and sad partings. In time, I fear me, we get used to them.

Honest Dandy's loquacity, when I announced the enterprise on which we were to set forth at midnight, considerably disturbed the current of my reflections. I would rather have been alone. I longed for one more glimpse of Ernestine, and to have one word more with her. Fifty things I had left unsaid now occurred to me, and many that seemed as if they had been better left unsaid. Then came the usual fears, that I might have offended her by saying too much—"but, what matter all these thoughts?" I said; "to-morrow the Elbe will be between us, and next day we shall forget all about it." But I still seemed to see that soft feminine face, and those beautiful dark eyes, and the voice of Ernestine lingered in my ear, till, as I reclined on one of the cushioned window-seats, and gazed upon the dying twilight, night stole on; and Dandy (who had been examining with grim accuracy the edges of our swords and dirks, and had charged my pistols), finding that I was averse to conversation, wiled away the time by making a last investigation of the panelled chambers, in the hope of finding a stray edible or drinkable in some forgotten nook. Then he drew to my side as the darkness deepened; for the grotesque features, and old German architecture of the place, began to have, as he said, "an unco mirk and eerie look aboot them."



The hours stole slowly on, and as they wore away, and the hour of escape drew nigh, my anxiety increased, more perhaps than the whole occasion merited; but the wound on my head rendered me feverish and fretful, as poor Dandy Dreghorn soon found; for, growing weary of his incessant chatter, I abruptly told him to hold his tongue, and we sat moping like two owls in the dark, listening to the hours and half-hours, as they were struck slowly and sonorously by the clock over the ancient gateway of the house. The voices in distant apartments died away; the oak chamber became so black that we could not see each other's faces.

Midnight was at hand.

"Ernestine will now be in bed," thought I: "but will she be asleep, or watching for my escape?" Imagination conjured up a picture of this girl, with all her dark hair gathered in a silken caul, lying sleepless on her laced pillows, with the pretty Gabrielle nestling beside her, listening for every sound, and watching for the time which would assure them that we were free of the mansion, and safe from the dangerous vicinity of the terrible John of Tserclä.

"See, sir," said Dandy, "a licht begins to glint at the end o' yon ambulatory!"

"'Tis the corporal—and there is the first stroke of twelve! The old trooper is punctual."

From the window seat, where for hours I had been ruminating and gazing on the darkened landscape, I arose with a beating heart; loosened my claymore in its sheath, to be prepared for any emergency, and saying to Dreghorn—

"Follow, but follow me softly, and for Heaven's sake silently!" approached the light which glimmered at the end of the long corridor, and seemed to be flashing upward from the bottom of a staircase. On gaining the landing which overlooked it, we saw—not the old corporal whom we expected—but an older and decrepit cavalier, who leant with his right hand on a gold-headed cane, and with his left on the arm of a tall officer, who was brilliantly attired in a doublet of cloth of gold with hanging sleeves, with a mantle of scarlet velvet, a long rapier and plume. They were preceded by two servants bearing candles, but slowly, as the old man paused frequently to draw breath or make an observation.

Dubious whether to advance or retreat, I stood for a moment irresolute; but fearing that to be seen by any one save the family of the count might betray him and them, and compromise our own safety, I resolved on immediate concealment; but Dreghorn, in his eagerness and confusion, mistook the way back to our former lurking-place, and by advancing too far along the passage, led me into a larger and more magnificent room. This I could perceive by the moonlight, which fell in large broad flakes through the mullioned windows.

"Harkee, Dreghorn," said I, "this way—not that. Dost hear?—devil take thee, fellow, and send thee back to thy plough-stilts!"

My loud whispers were unheeded or unheard; thus I was obliged to follow, lest by some clownish blunder he might compromise us all.

"Quick—conceal yourself!" said I; "for, whoever these are, they come this way; and, if they discover us, we are both as dead men."

Perceiving that the room was hung with arras, I raised it at the foot and let it drop over my person, while standing flat against the wall, in a position which, to say the least of it, was very constrained, unpleasant, and dusty.

"Lord preserve us, and keep us! I'll be catched noo, like a rat in a girnel!" cried Dandy in great tribulation, as he ran three or four times round the room in search of a similar nook, overturning a chair or two in the dark; and, becoming more bewildered as he heard the approaching footsteps, he made a sudden dive below a large and stately bed which stood close to the wall, on one side of the chamber; and there he was barely ensconced, when all the gildings of its canopy, and of the corniced ceiling and furniture, glittered, as the two servants entered with their lights, and, placing them on the table, withdrew, retiring backwards before the little old man with a reverence which, together with his whole peculiar bearing (for I could overlook and overhear all through a hole in the decayed hangings), told me he was Tilly—the great, the ferocious, the terrible Tilly—the soldier-Jesuit—the demon-general of the Emperor Ferdinand!

"You may go," said he, to the servants, and they retired.

Leaning on the arm of the tall cavalier, and on his gold-headed cane, he crossed the waxed floor with a step rendered somewhat unsteady by age, and reached a large stuffed chair, then, seating himself, he drew several long breaths, during which the officer remained respectfully silent, with his plumed beaver in his right hand, and his left resting in the polished bowl-hilt of his long toledo.

Figure to yourself a little, lean old man, past his seventieth year, and made more aged in aspect by the asceticism of a youth passed in a Jesuit college, and by the wounds and toils of war; a thin face and high narrow forehead, alternately clouded by thought, and knit by irritability; fierce, deep eyes, like those of a rattlesnake, the hooked nose of his Spanish mother, the tiger-like mouth of his Walloon father, with a lanky cat-like mustache to show that he was a soldier, and the small remains of a tonsure to declare that he was yet a priest. A lean, bent body, encased in a leather doublet rusted over by the constant use of ill-conditioned armour; meagre thighs and crooked knees, cased in wide calfskin boots, having enormous jinglespurs; a long sword, a little mantle, a high ruff, a broad-brimmed hat of brown felt with a steeple crown, garnished by a red feather stuck into the gold image of Madonna, which, with his magnificent diamond ring, he afterwards bequeathed to our Lady of Oetingen. Such was John de Tserclä, the Count de Tilly, generalissimo of Ferdinand II. and of the troops of the Catholic League, so celebrated for his valour and cunning, his generosity to Catholics, his ferocity to Protestants—his aversion to women, to wine, and to all human weaknesses—save the fear of ghosts!

Early in life he became a follower of St. Ignatius Loyola. In the seclusion of his cloister this fierce enthusiast had a vision. The mother of God appeared before him, surrounded by the rays of glory; thirteen stars sparkled about her brow, and the lilies of purity sprang from under her feet; clouds rolled around her, and little angels bore up her long flowing garments. She urged him to take arms for the Church of Rome—for the extermination of Protestantism, and the total subjugation of Northern Europe. He became a soldier, and fought bravely; and in an incredibly short space of time attained, solely by incontestable merit, a marshal's baton and the sole command of the Imperial troops; but the camp fed rather than cured his wild and visionary schemes of a universal faith, and the conquest of the Protestant nations. Hence that mad ferocity, of which we had so many terrible examples, during the long struggle for the freedom of religion and the liberty of Germany. He was a believer in dreams, and was supposed by the Danes and Swedes to possess a charmed life, which our musketeers often put sorely to the test; hence Tilly's abhorrence of the Scottish brigades in Germany. An astrologer, he was intensely superstitious, and relied devoutly on omens; hence we find them preceding all his greatest undertakings. When he held the famous council of war at Hamelin, a hurricane blew up the powder-magazine, and, reaching devoted Madgeburg, extinguished the lamps of the wise virgins in the great cathedral. The night before the great battle of Leipzig, he quartered himself in a house which proved to be an undertakers; hence, though brave as a lion, he fought the action next day with a wavering heart, and with the certainty of meeting disaster and death.

"Count Kœningheim," said he, drawing a long breath, and pausing. I applied my eye to a hole in the tapestry, and surveyed with curiosity the personage addressed. This was his aide-de-camp, the intended husband of Ernestine, and in all things the reverse of his leader. Tall, handsome, and sun-burned, with a bushy mustache and devil-may-care eye, which announced him a jovial Reitre—a stanch comrade, a thorough bon-vivant—one of those merry fellows who wink at landladies, kiss pretty waitresses, and make themselves at home every where. I saw at a glance that he would never suit Ernestine.

"Count Albert, is Carlstein fairly away to join his column?"

"Yes, generalissimo. I heard him ride out of the quadrangle, with his aides and two Reitres, about ten minutes ago."

"Good!" muttered Tilly, laying his broad beaver on the table; "he is a tiresome fellow—too proper a man for me, and would make war after a gentle fashion of his own. He is your countryman—but you must excuse me. His column marches on the Lauenburg road—and the horse regiments of Goëtz, Wallace the Scot, and Wingarti, are moving on the same point. Ah! our pontoons will soon make us a passage across the Elbe!"

"Wingarti's dragoons are all puppies, and think more of their mustaches than their muskets."

"And this Count of Carlstein has two women in his train—ha! ha!" said Tilly, with a sardonic laugh, as he unbuckled his waist-belt and laid his long rapier on the table; "two women, Kœningheim—the man is mad!"

"He introduced them as his daughters," replied the other, colouring a little with vexation.

"A mere trick—daughters, cousins, and sisters have been introduced to me thus before! You cunning fellows begin to think me stupid."

"On my honour, Count Tilly, I swear to you they are his daughters."

"What faith you have in their mother! Daughters! well, well, so much the worse—a wise man truly to lead a column of infantry—one who has daughters! I do not love to have women following our army, Kœningheim. I have known many a brave fellow lost to Austria and God's service by the fascinations of that subtle sex, whose sole object is to create passions and rivalry among gallant men, without feeling in their own hearts one spark of this so-called love, of which idlers rave and poets sing."

"Your excellency is speaking like the Jesuit you were, and not like the brave soldier you are," replied Count Albert, with a cold smile.

"I am speaking like a man of common sense, Kœningheim," retorted Tilly, grasping the knobs of his arm-chair, and turning his snakelike eyes upon the broad honest face of the colonel of Reitres. "Beware you of their snares, count; and recollect that the first object of an Imperialist cavalier is the cause of God and of the Emperor—the Cross and the Eagle; that all private sympathies must yield to the public good. By the wiles of a woman, Adam lost his innocence, Samson his strength, and Mark Antony the fruit of all his victories. Ah! beware of them, Kœningheim, beware of them!" added Tilly, drawing his lean legs out of his enormous boots. "No man," saith Saint Jerome, "can serve God with a whole heart, if he hath any transactions with a woman."

"Corpo di Baccho! but one may very well lead a regiment of horse, serve the emperor, and love a pretty woman occasionally," said the aide-de-camp, twirling his mustaches; "the fact is, count, that what suited Saint Jerome well enough, will not suit me, or Merodé, or Wingarti, or any of us but yourself, who are quite a model of a man! Women are called the pious sex, and I have no doubt Saint Jerome had a high opinion of them in his time."

"So had Cornelius Agrippa," sneered Tilly; "he wrote a notable treatise on female excellence, and yet withal divorced his third wife. Ha! ha! What make up the sum of this love thou pratest about! Rich gauds, billets-doux, sighs, and treachery! I have seen many a gallant man, who had hewn a passage through a forest of pikes, become a woman's plaything—then flung aside and forgotten, as a toy is forgotten by a child."

"By my soul, Count Tilly, you are a million times too severe," laughed Kœningheim; "I know of no satisfaction equalling that with which a stout fellow, who had done his service in battle duly, basks in the smiles of some kind beauty."

"Tis the mere fanfaronade of Don Quixote, this—but, hark! do you not hear something?"

"I do; what the devil can it be?" said Count Kœningheim, as a very palpable sound of mastication came from below the vast tester-bed where Dandy Dreghorn had ensconced himself, and where, I had no doubt, he was satisfying his never-ending appetite with some of the provision saved over our dinner.

"Devil take thee after, glutton!" thought I; "for if taken now, the cord will be thy doom."

"This old house must be full of rats," said Tilly. "Count, I will thank you to turn that portrait to the wall. I hate to sleep among portraits of the dead, they have such a ghostly look in their staring eyes, and that old dame in her coif is like a corpse in a winding-sheet—ah, thank you!"

So this old Tartar, who fought afterwards at Leipzig, who stormed Feldberg, exterminated the Scottish garrison at Brandenburg, ravaged the margraviate of Anspach and the banks of the Danube—trembled at the sight of an old picture!

"Ay, ay!" he resumed with a yawn, as the portrait was turned; "women are strange and capricious animals. I have known one love to death a man, whom every other woman—yea, and every other man, too—detested. Now, how do you account for that, Count Albert? Obstinacy—I tell you, rank obstinacy!"

"Nay, general," yawned the aide, behind his hat, with the air of a man who was excessively tired; "there is always a cause for love."

"A cause, but not a reason. Women and wine make fools of our finest men."

"Surely it is better to be fooled by a pretty woman than a paltry wine-pot."

"But I will have my soldiers fooled by neither," said Tilly, striking his withered hand upon the table. "I am a priest, and, though a soldier, know of such matters only by name. But hence with this rubbish. What is the strength of your regiment, count?"

"Eight hundred under baton, your excellency."

"Any married men?"

"Not one."

"Good! when Reitres marry they should be struck off the muster roll. Yet I could have sworn I saw some of your fellows on the march yesterday, with women en croupe behind them."

"Only ammunition-wives, your excellency."

"Ah! I have heard that there are some thorough-bred rascals in the regiment."

"The fact is, general, that Stalhofen's troop is composed, like the honourable regiment of Merodé, entirely of thieves from Vienna."

"Diavolo! dost thou say so! Then the sacking of the Danish towns will suit their humour to a hair, without fear of the gallows. Ah! wait till we reach Kiobenhafen!"

The count uttered a shout of laughter; Tilly added one of his frightful grins, and rubbing his lean brown hands, said—

"I blush that such rascals as the regiment of Merodé march beneath our consecrated colours; yet the end will sanctify the means. If there was one rogue among the twelve apostles, there may easily be one regiment of rogues among the thousands of the Imperial host. War is the pastime of kings, but it manufactures many a thief and beggar."

"Hah!" said Kœningheim, as a horseman rode into the court; "that will be our scout returned from Saxe-Lauenburg."

"Send him up then, Kœningheim, and thereafter you may retire to bed, for we must all be in our saddles at cock-crow; but I have two hours' work before me yet, having all my office to say over, for I have never forgotten in the camp the duties I took upon me in the cloister."

The handsome aide-de-camp gladly hurried away. Tilly drew from his breast a small and well-used volume, containing probably the "office," or prayers he referred to—placed a mark between the leaves, and devoutly crossed himself. Then he paused; a heavy step approached, the door was opened, and a personage wearing a broad felt hat and large Spanish cloak towered between me and the light, as he advanced towards Tilly, who, shading his sharp eyes, gazed with a keen rat-like expression at this stranger, who, immediately upon entering, had carefully closed the door, as if he had that to communicate, which none must overhear.



"Welcome, thou prince of spies, and my scoutmaster-general!" said Tilly in Spanish; "be seated, señor."

The scout removed his broad hat, let the folds of his cloak fall, and seated himself opposite the count with an air of fatigue.

"Have you collected much intelligence of the enemy's movements?" asked Tilly, drawing a large and well-filled purse from his girdle—a motion which made the eyes of the scout flash.

"I have, señor generalissimo," replied the stranger, in a voice which I recognised, and which made me start, for it was either that of the Hausmeister or the devil (a personage of equal merit). Then I heard the purse clink, as it was thrown by the count like a bone to a dog—and caught by the adroit hand of the spy.

"Then you can tell me of those Scots auxiliaries who were at Boitzenburg—quick, señor Bandolo!"

"Bandolo!" A new light broke upon me, and, applying my eye to the tapestry, I recognised the broad ruffian face, the cold fierce eyes and square mouth of my old acquaintance, Otto Roskilde—the Hausmeister of Glückstadt—whom I now discovered to be one and the same with that terrible Bandolo, of whom the Baron Karl had given us an account—the brother of Prudentia! His dress was somewhat different; but his false paunch and rotundity (assumed for disguise) were gone, and he stood revealed—a strong, wiry, and athletic ruffian—a bravo, with his long sable locks, and long daggers in his belt.

"The troops who were at Boitzenburg have retired down the Elbe. I tracked them to Lauenburg, in the castle of which their commander——"

"The commandante, d'Umbar?"

"Si, señor conde—left two companies, and marched with the remainder to Glückstadt, from whence he moved immediately to take possession of Rantzau's castle of Bredenburg."

"Who commands the two companies in the castle of Lauen?"

"A certain Major Wilson."

"Wilson—Wilson!" muttered Tilly, turning over the leaves of a memorandum book; "oh—here he is! a brave and determined cavalier—commanded five hundred of the Scottish auxiliary musketeers at the battle of Lütter, and captured a standard of Merodé's regiment. He will give us trouble, but we shall pay him a visit to-morrow. God's curse on these heretic Scots! for they meet us every where now, by the Rhine, the Elbe and the Oder. They lead all the troops in Northern Europe. What more hast thou heard?"

"That Major-general Slammersdorff is concentrating near Rapin a large force, which King Christian means to march into Silesia."

"Dost thou say so?"

"For vida del demonio—I do!"

"I should like to see this force in Silesia," said Tilly, with a quiet smile.

"Rittmaster Hume de Carrolside, with a troop of Scottish pistoliers, has arrived to reinforce Otto Louis, the rhine-grave."

"Scots again!" said Tilly, with a terrible smile, as he scratched his leg, which a Scottish musketeer had pierced by a bullet in the Hartz forest; "Maladetta! it is too much!—Ere-long we shall not have room to move between the Black Sea and the Baltic for this Protestant scum."

A mysterious sound was heard below the bed again; it sounded like the grunt of a pig, and Tilly raised his head to listen.

"Heaven keep Dreghorn awake!" thought I; "for if he sleeps and snores we are lost!"

"This old house is wonderfully full of rats," said Tilly; "well, have you heard any thing more?"

"Nothing, señor generalissimo, save that King Christian, by the erection of redoubts and turf sconces, is leaving nothing undone to secure every where the banks and the passage of the Elbe."

"The fool! when too late he will learn the power of the Empire."

"Your excellency is the greatest general under heaven; vaya usted à los infernos!" he added in a low voice, as he counted the gold pieces under the shade of the table. "Away to the infernal regions, for a beggarly old skinflint!"

"Go, my priceless Bandolo," said Tilly; "recross this muddy Elbe; become once more a Dane, a Dutchman, or a Holsteiner, for I know thou art a very Proteus, and spread every where the rumour that I am about to retire towards the Weser. I know that thou art faithful to the empire, Bandolo; though I have heard it said, that he who betrayeth one cause will betray another. The Count of Carlstein hath said to me more than once, that he considered the principle of secret intelligence as dishonourable. A chivalric fool! If a battle is gained, or a city won, what matters it whether or not the victors owe their success to force or fraud? No man is qualified to lead an army unless he is inclined to obtain tidings of the foe by every possible means that do not include open assassination or public dishonour."

Bandolo smiled.

"I have found thee invaluable, my good Bandolo, and would gladly yield thee some nobler recompense than that base gold, for which thou perillest life and soul every hour thou art beyond the Austrian lines."

"Señor generalissino, I will freely give back all the gold you have given me for three years past——"

"A goodly sum, Señor Bandolo!"

"Yea—I will do more; I will undertake to secure to you the passage of the Elbe if——"

"If what——" said Tilly, whose eyes glared with impatience.

"You will procure for me a wife, and this wife must be Ernestine, the Lady of Giezar, daughter of Count Rupert-with-the-red-plume."

This was said with the utmost confidence and deliberation; but the daring speech made the pulses of my heart to flutter.

"Devil take thee, blockhead," said Tilly, "for elating my heart so high, and then sinking it so low! For aught that old John de Tserclä cares, you may have all the women in the empire; but, friend, be assured you might as well look at the moon (what the deuce is shaking that tapestry so?) as this count's dark-eyed daughter. I have seen the dainty dame. Why, Bandolo, she would shrink from thy touch as from a toad. But I am neither her guardian nor her father, (thank Heaven!) and believe me, my poor presumptuous ragamuffin, you might as well raise your eyes to a princess of the House of Hapsburg, as a daughter of this proud soldier of Fortune. Maladetto! but you rate your services high."

"Because I rate them myself."

"The vilest rogue will always bring a goodly sum if sold at his own valuation," muttered Tilly, with one of his hideous smiles. I believe sincerely, that nothing would have afforded his cynical heart greater delight than to see the high-bred and accomplished Ernestine mated to the ruffian (if such a catastrophe were possible), from the very incongruity of such a union, and to humble the high military pride and boasted spotlessness of character possessed by the count, her father. "Bandolo," said he, gravely, "no more of this wild fantasy, which may hang thee, my prince of spies. Lady Ernestine is, I believe, to be the wife of my aide-de-camp, Count Kœningheim, poor man!"

"Hah!" muttered Bandolo, as his hand was covertly and almost involuntarily raised to the hilt of his murderous poniard.

"But there is no saying what we may achieve if your scheme for the passage of the Elbe is a good one," said Tilly, with a smile in his ferret eyes, as he rubbed his lean legs, which were cased in fustian breeches.

"I have learned (how, matters not, señor conde) that Rupert-with-the-red-plume has in his hands two Danish prisoners—Scots——"

"Mai hayas tu! Scots again!—hah—he told me not of that!"

"They were saved from the sconce at Boitzenburg."

"Yet I said that all there should die; and, had this order been obeyed, we should not now have to storm either the castle of Lauenburg or that of Bredenburg. Ah, those Presbyterians!" added Tilly, grinding his fangless jaws; "if I had but a few of them enveloped in pitch and sulphur, they would light our bivouac, even as the early Christians were made into candles to light the Roman circus. But quick—your scheme!" continued Tilly, while the supposed scraping of rats was again heard beneath the bed.

"Obtain these two Scots, and march them with the troops against Lauenberg. Approach in the night, and make one betray his comrades."

"How betray? thou laughest at me again, Bandolo, knowing well that these Scottish heretics are stubborn as their native rocks."

"Lead them within earshot of their sentinels, and then place a loaded pistol to the head of each."

"Good—I'll see to it!" grinned Tilly, with one of his horrible smiles, which might have frightened even the dead; "but where, in the name of good and evil, are the two Scots you speak of?"

At that moment, as the devil would have it, a tremendous sneeze was heard under the bed.

"Madre de Dios! there is some one concealed here!" exclaimed little Tilly, starting up with lire glaring in his eyes, as he unsheathed his long rapier. "Look under that bed, Bandolo, while I prick the tapestry."

Drawing his poniard, Bandolo raised the little curtain which surrounded the rails of the bed, on looking below which he was instantly grasped and dragged down by the strong hands of Dandy Dreghorn, who (rendered desperate by finding discovery inevitable, and knowing that we had but two assailants) encircled the bull-neck of the powerful Spanish ruffian with a tiger-like clutch, and rolled him on the floor, shouting—

"Strike in, Maister Rollo—strike in, for gudesake! Gie that auld wallydraigel in the breeks a jagg wi your dirk, while I pu' this ane through the heckle-pins!"

Taken completely by surprise, Bandolo was almost smothered by the dust under the bed, where he was so suddenly and ignominiously rolled. He struck furiously and at random with his poniard till the blade broke against the oak planks of the floor, down upon which Dandy pressed his throat until he was nearly strangled, vociferating all the time—

"I'll cheat the wuddy o' ye, that I will! Hech, ye damned tyke, think ye I'll ever lippen to a bodach that wore breeks!" Then he came forth panting and breathless.

Seeing that without one desperate venture all was over with us, I had rushed from my hiding-place, thrown down the table, extinguished the lights, closed with the frail, old Tilly, and escaping a pistol-shot, which he fired within a yard of my nose, wrested and tore away from his hand the long rapier with which he menaced me. Had I chosen, I could there have run it through his heart, and saved Denmark, yea, and Germany, from the Thirty Years' War; but he was an aged man, and I was not an assassin.

"Awa, sir—awa! Hide or rin, flee or soom—let us awa, or we'll tyne our lives!" cried Dreghorn, and we rushed from the dark apartment, to find the corridor and staircase crowded by Reitres and pikemen, with drawn swords, lighted torches, and stable lanterns; for the uproar and the pistol-shot had alarmed Tilly's guard of honour, and brought all the soldiers, like a swarm of hornets, to his rescue.

"Dreghorn—farewell to life," said I; "it is all over with us!"

"We've owre mony maisters noo," he groaned; "as the puddock said, whan ilka tuith o' the harrow gied him a tid."

Before this flood of armed men we retired backward into the darkened room, where Tilly was reclining breathlessly against a post of the bed, from beneath which Bandolo, with a savage and lacrymose visage, blackened and distorted by rage and strangulation, was already crawling forth.

We were about to be cut down without farther parley, when Tilly, remembering that I had spared his life, and Count Kœningheim, who hurried forward in his breeches and boots, minus vest and doublet, threw themselves between us and death, and saved us for a time.

"Withhold your hand, Bandolo—count, secure these villains!" said Tilly; "away with them to the quarter-guard, I will deal with them in the morning. Search this, and all the other apartments; double all the sentinels, for I fear me much there has been treachery."

We were immediately hurried away to a lower apartment, and handcuffed together.

On the way we passed old Spürrledter, who had been alarmed by the uproar, and appeared in his shirt, blowing the match of his carbine. On beholding us, he gaped with well-feigned astonishment, which we understood quite well, and thus neither compromised the count nor the old corporal, who, with horses for our flight, had been waiting in an adjacent thicket for three hours, as he afterwards told me; and further, that the moment Tilly was fairly in his own apartment, that he—the corporal—had come in search of us, and, being totally unable to account for our mysterious disappearance at a time so critical, had retired to bed in the stables, supposing that we had escaped without him.

Book the Fifth.



It may be easily supposed that neither Dandy Dreghorn nor I slept much for the short remainder of that eventful morning. Poor Dandy's lamentations for the plight into which his sneeze had brought me, were incessant. The honest fellow never uttered a complaint for himself; but, having lost his appetite, resisted all the gruff invitations of our guard, who offered to share us their miserable ration of black bread and Danish beer. It required all my efforts to pacify my comrade, and convince him that he had no more power over an irrepressible desire to sneeze, than over the wind.

With the grey dawn Tilly came forth, accompanied by several officers muffled in their mantles, with their helmets closed or their plumed hats slouched well over their faces, for the morning air was chilly. The sharp notes of the trumpet summoned a troop of Kœningheim's Reitres to horse, and with these Tilly trotted away, leaving four dismounted men, with their carbines loaded, and orders to conduct Dreghorn and myself to a certain place which he named. As we were marched off, I gave a parting glance at the gothic lattices of the old mansion, and two female figures caught my eye. They were those of Ernestine and the kind-hearted Gabrielle. I perceived that the latter was weeping, but the former only waved her hand in adieu. I gave a profound bow, for which the surly corporal of our escort gave me a punch with his carbine, and we were compelled to move on.

While I was reflecting that Ernestine might have displayed some more emotion, for the worst of perils encompassed us, Spürrledter came running after the soldiers to give them a glass of brandy; and, while their minds were intent upon the flask, he approached me, and slyly, with his hand behind him, thrust into mine a purse, with a brief whisper:—

"My young lady sends you this, Herr Kombeek—it is a long march to Vienna."

The purse was of blue velvet, embroidered with silver thread, and the generous girl seemed to have filled it well. To have declined the gift in my desperate circumstances, would have been uncourteous to her, folly to myself, and false modesty; I concealed it at once in my sporran, and a glow of gratitude kindled in my heart.

"I shall end by loving Ernestine, but I shall see her no more," thought I; "the interest we take in each other is pure and sincere. I could not have loved Prudentia at all. Oh, no! I grow sick when I reflect on my folly. 'Twas the dream of a day, and she is the sister of Bandolo!"

I saw little of the country during the march, for my whole attention was excited by the vast bodies of Imperialists then pouring along the left bank of the Elbe—horse, foot, and artillery—in tens of thousands, towards the ducal capital of Saxe-Lauenburg; and on that day's march I observed and learned more of their internal economy, than a hundred battles with them could have taught me.

Though rusty armour and patched doublets, plumeless helmets and battered morions, were very common in the Imperial ranks, nothing military could surpass the magnificence of many of the officers. Their mantles and trunk hose were of the richest velvets Florence and Genoa could produce; their armour of the most gorgeous gilded plate from Venice and Milan, covered with sacred mottoes' figures, and charms, either religious or necromantic, to render them invulnerable—for they all believed implicitly in fated bullets and enchanted mail; their pistols and daggers were from Parma; their swords from Bilboa and Toledo. On their breasts sparkled the stars of St. George of Austria, of the Golden Fleece, and other knightly orders peculiar to the Empire. Here I saw Tilly's weatherbeaten Walloon infantry, and that savage Croatian force which had slaughtered our wounded Highlanders in cold blood at Boitzenburg; among these were one regiment of horse, the Krabats of Castanovitz, lightly armed with steel helmets and fur pelisses; another of infantry or Uskokes, famous for their agility in all rapid movements. But Tilly's best troops were the fine old Imperial Reitres in their black armour; the pikemen of Pappenheim, the cavalier of a hundred wounds; the musketeers of Wrangel, of Gordon, and Camargo; the Italian bands of Savelli, and the glittering Spanish infantry, so easily distinguished by their fine lofty bearing, their brilliant arms, and short quick step on the march.

His regiments usually consisted of men armed in five different ways; thus, in each company of a hundred soldiers, fifty were musketeers, thirty were pikemen, ten were halberdiers, and ten arquebussiers, armed also with swords and daggers; but these numbers varied so much, that I have seen companies of three hundred files, and regiments of three thousand. Every company carried a standard, and their order of battle was eight ranks deep.

Hard drinking, gaming, and licentiousness prevailed to the utmost extent, and thus (unlike the orderly armies of Christian and Gustavus) the Imperial camp swarmed with jugglers, dancers, posture-makers, and women of every description, from the luxurious ladies of the rich and powerful nobles, down to the cruel and dastardly death-hunter, who acted the lascivious wanton in the soldier's tent, and who murdered him when wounded, that she might plunder him with impunity when dead. Discipline was relaxed; yet desertion, punishment, grumbling, the saying of prayers and masses were incessant. The corps were destitute of surgeons and chaplains; but (attracted by the presence of Tilly, a brother of their order) a swarm of long-robed and severe-visaged Jesuits hovered on the skirts of the army. Tilly's cavalry gave all their horses romantic names after great warriors renowned in song or antiquity. Thus, Count Merodé rode Amadis of Gaul; Count Kœningheim had the Cid Rodrigo; a third rode Palmerin of England; a fourth, Tirante the White, and so on. Prisoners were never exchanged, all being shot who could neither pay ransom, or stoop to serve under the eagle. A colonel's ransom was £1000; a subaltern's, as much as he could scrape together.

The Scottish and Irish soldiers of fortune frequently passed from one service to the other; for, being passionate rogues, it sometimes happened that in quarrels they shot their senior officers, or ran them through the body; for, though we took their pay and fought their battles for glory and pleasure, we despised all these foreigners in our hearts, and made it a rule never to submit to the slightest encroachment or annoyance even from the best of them. Hence our quarrel with the king.

There were several regiments of Scottish and Irish musketeers in the Imperial service, and the best and bravest officers of the empire were Scots and Irishmen. Among the former, I may mention Field-marshal Count Leslie, who became governor of Sclavonia; the Gordons, one of whom became Colonel-general of infantry, and High-chamberlain of the empire, and who slew the great Duke of Friedland; the M'Dougals, one of whom became a general of horse, and the Lindesays of Crauford, and others. Of the gallant Irish nation, were Colonels Macarthy, Grace, O'Neill, and Walter Butler, all brave men as ever looked face to face on Death; but save the old Welshman, Colonel Morgan, there was no Englishman of note in these wars—but Morgan was in himself a host.

About mid-day our surly corporal halted at a little farmhouse. The proprietor, proving to be a good Catholic, escaped shooting, and his house escaped the flames. Being an honest fellow, he made us—though prisoners—quite as welcome as the military ragamuffins who guarded us, and we all dined jovially together on fried bacon and Danish beer. Dandy Dreghorn ate voraciously to make up for the loss of his breakfast; and his applications to the "gudeman for anither slice o' the grumphie," and to the corporal for "anither cogue o' the yill," were incessant. A fair-haired and blue-eyed little girl (the daughter of our host) gazed at me with terror, from time to time, from behind her father's chair.

"Come hither, Wilhelmina," said he, with a broad laugh; "thou seest these Scottish soldiers have but one head, like ourselves—not two, as Father d'Eydel told thee."

I soon made a friend of this little lady, and hastened to assure her that I never had more than one head; I placed her on my knee, where she laughed and pulled my mustaches; while her little brother was peeping fearfully towards the end of my kilt, to see that forked tail which he understood all Protestants possessed.

Contrasted with the horrors of war, I envied the contentment that pervaded this good man's hearth; but the sentiments of repugnance to rapine and strife, became fainter the more often we are impressed; till at last they are worn out, like the rough thistles on our Scottish pennies, which obliterate as they are used. I can remember all the horror, the breathless shrinking, I felt on first seeing a poor fellow near me torn in two by a cannon-shot at Boitzenburg; but a time came when I could gaze without emotion at the sack of a city and the slaughter of a multitude. Curiosity and horror were then alike effaced; they had passed away, and callousness alone remained behind, till peace again restored the feelings to their proper tone. However, I sighed as I left the house of the German farmer, and resumed that weary march, the end of which I could not foresee.

On the road I was frequently accosted by Scots Imperialists, who spoke to me kindly, and expressed indignation to see me marched thus on foot, and fettered to a private soldier. In short, a general excitement on the subject soon prevailed among them; and, after Gordon's musketeers had passed me, Tilly's aide-de-camp, Count Kœningheim, came up with an order to relieve me from the ignominy I endured, and the fetter was transferred to poor Dandy's other hand. He stared meanwhile in blank astonishment at the count, who had addressed me in our pure native dialect.

"So you are a Scot, sir?" said I.

"Had I not been that," said he, "I had left you to wear your bracelet; but dinna think o' escape; for Tilly's a dour auld carle, and never tholes muckle."

"You have become so foreign in aspect and manner, that I never could have recognised in you a kindly Scot."

"But I am a kindly Scot!" he retorted with a sparkling eye. "At hame, in auld Glencairn and on the banks of the Urr, I am kent as Hab Cunningham o' the Boortree-haugh; but here I am Albert Count Kœningheim, your friend and countryman. You must sup wi' me to-night; I'll hae three or four mair—a' Scottish gentlemen, to join us in a glass, for puir auld Scotland's sake. But excuse me, sir—for I see Count Tilly requires me. He hates the Scots like death or the deil, but he canna do without me;" and, with his long plume streaming behind, this gay soldier galloped towards the head of the column of infantry.



Passing through Bleckede, a small town which is overlooked by a baronial castle, and through Radegast, both of which were plundered by the advanced guard of Croatian uskokes, we followed the course of the Elbe towards Lauenburg. As we passed an ancient tower in the dusk, I remember hearing the notes of the watchman's horn, when (in the old German fashion) he proclaimed the first hour of the night. By three long halts, Tilly delayed his march in such a manner, that though the distance was short, night had descended on the Elbe and its shores before we saw the lights twinkling in the old castle, which was occupied by two companies of my own regiment, under Major Wilson. The little town was deserted, for the inhabitants had all fled into Holstein by the bridge, which the castle defended by its cannon.

The town is situated at the confluence of a stream named the Stecknitz with the Elbe; its castle, which is said to have been built by Heinrich the Lion, Duke of Saxony, was strong, and crowned an eminence which Bernard, Prince of Anhalt, the successor of Heinrich, had left nothing undone to strengthen; but their old towers of the twelfth century, though black, and strong, and grim, were never meant to withstand the dint of cannon-shot.

At the foot of the steep eminence, and about a pistol-shot from the walls, was an ancient gate, surmounted by the demi-eagle of Anhalt carved on stone; and there Major Wilson had posted a picquet or outguard of my brave comrades, as Bandolo, who had crept forward to reconnoitre and espy, informed Tilly, who, acting upon his suggestion, and in revenge for the trick Dreghorn and I had played him during the preceding night, now resolved to turn our presence and services to account.

The advanced guard halted at the distance of two musket-shots from the bridge of Saxe-Lauenburg, in front of which stood a solitary sentinel of Wilson's picquet, in the very centre of the roadway. The bridge was ancient and narrow, with high parapets; but as the cannon and musketry of the castle could rake it with deadly effect, it was of the utmost advantage to Tilly that the bridge should be crossed, and the gateway passed without an alarm; thus he had cruelly resolved on destroying the sentinel, a project which the circumstance of our being his prisoners, and the dense darkness of the night, greatly furthered.

The whole country around us was deserted; the Croatians had captured or shot all the wayfarers and straggling peasantry: thus, neither my comrades under Major Wilson in the castle, nor their guard at the bridge, had the most remote idea that Tilly's troops, more than thirty thousand strong, were in their immediate vicinity. The major had been desired to rely on Herr Otto Roskilde for information as to the enemy's movements, and that worthy, whom we now know under another name, had completely deceived him by tidings that the Imperialists had fallen back towards the Weser.

Still, dark and unbroken by a ripple, the broad and starless current of the Elbe poured through the arches of the bridge; the opposite bank was veiled in obscurity, all save the upper ramparts of the castle, which we saw standing forth in dark outline against the gloomy sky, and towering high above the level landscape. Not a sound was heard; the most deathlike stillness prevailed, and the whole current of life seemed as still and turgid as the waters of the Elbe.

Tilly's leading column had halted for more than an hour, and we knew not till afterwards that this great general delayed the attack until he had consulted an augur as to his hopes of success, and his confessor as to his prospects elsewhere, in case of being shot; thus he poured into the ear of Father Ignatius d'Eydel that confession which he always made, if possible, before engaging. Apart from his host, at the foot of a blasted oak by the wayside, the terrible John de Tserclä was on his knees, bareheaded and in the dust, before a brother of his order.

Escorted by the same soldiers, who now guarded some Walloons in addition, Dandy Dreghorn and I were seated near the wall of a ruined cottage; around us were our guards, leaning in silence on their arms. Dandy was occupied at supper on some meal, which (during our march) he had contrived to secure and prepare. He offered me a portion, but I declined; so he supped alone, talking all the while, that no time might be lost, for he made every meal with the air of a man who expected never to make another.

"Thou incorrigible glutton!" said I, "can you eat thus, when these overwhelming forces are about to assail our poor comrades in yonder small castle?"

"'Od, sir, I dinna see that it will mak meikle odds to them, whether I tyne my supper or no!"

"Upon my honour, Dandy, eating is quite a science with you, I perceive, and abstinence would be mere want of taste."

"I aye eat whan I can, for I kenna whan or whar the neist cogue may come frae. I took some groats frae an auld trooper's saddlebags at the last halt, and made thae braw sawans o' them before he kent they were tint; and sae I squatted mysel' doon here to sup withouten fear o' a hecklin. I daursay there's some braw soorocks in the burn yonder, if we could only find them. 'Stolen waters are sweet, and breid eaten in secret is pleasant,' saith Solomon, and he was a wise auld buckie, for a' that he had as mony wives as an Imperialist; but this water," he added, producing a leather bottle from his plaid-neuk, "is baith stronger and sweeter than Solomon's. It's the real stuff! hae a drap yoursel, sir."

I took a few mouthfuls, and then returned the leather bottle to Dandy, who, after pouring the remainder down his throat, with much mock politeness handed the flask to the corporal of escort. That sulky commander finding it empty, kicked it away with great contempt, and was drawing the ramrod of his carbine to chastise my companion, though fettered, when an armed cavalier appeared beside us on horseback. It was Albert Count Kœningheim.

"You must follow me," said he, "the generalissimo requires your presence."

"In this dusty dress?" said I, jestingly.

"Tush!" he replied, "a soldier is a companion for a king in any dress. I fear, sir, when you see Tilly, you will not jest. Corporal, bring these prisoners this way."

These prisoners; it was a very unpleasant sound, besides this lover (or intended lover) of Ernestine's spoke so gravely, that I had immediately some unpleasant anticipations. Nor was I deceived. Stumbling forward in the dark, over prostrate hedges and ruined garden walls, among neglected furrows and unsown fields, we reached the right flank of the advanced guard, where, sheltered from the view of those in the castle by a thick group of trees, Tilly stood in the centre of a number of steel-clad cavaliers and officers, whose bronzed visages and long mustaches were revealed by their open helmets, and the dim light of a stable lantern, which hung upon a demi-lance stuck in the earth. With his meagre figure cased in half-armour and buff with tassettes descending almost to his withered knees, half propping himself against his long sword with one hand, and grasping with the other a baton and the bridle of his horse, Count Tilly stood a little in front of his picturesque staff. There was a diabolical smile playing upon the lines of his thin wan mouth, though none was twinkling in his deep and fiery eyes, which searched the hearts of all.

"Welcome, thou jackfeather gallant!" said he in German, making me an ironical bow, to which I replied by another, haughtily enough; while Dandy, who kept close to me, saluted him as well as the fetter which chained his hands together would permit.

At that moment a tall red plume towered above the crowd of helmets; the group near Tilly parted on each side like the waves of the sea, and the stately Count of Carlstein approached with a fiery gleam in his full clear eyes—a cold and freezing expression of anger on his Grecian brow and finely formed upper lip.

"Ah—my camp-master general," said Tilly, with another ironical bow; "in searching for rats at your new castle in Luneburg, we found other vermin, as you may see."

The count bit his nether lip, but did not reply; and it was perhaps fortunate for him, that I (remembering Tilly's observations about treachery) had contrived, during the march, to explain to the aide-de-camp how we happened to be concealed in that apartment last night.

"Señor Bandolo," said Tilly.

That meritorious individual immediately appeared among us, in his large cloak and brown Dutch hat, with a cockade which was Danish on one side and Austrian on the other. Undisguised scorn was expressed by every face present, save that of the unscrupulous Count of Merodé, of whom more anon.

"Bandolo," said the general, "describe what you have seen."

"An officer, who wears an eagle's wing in his helmet, with a sergeant and fourteen musketeers, guard the gate which closes the other end of the bridge, and is, in fact, the outer barrier of the castle." (I listened with eagerness; this officer was evidently Ian.) "A single sentinel is posted at this end of the bridge."

"It is narrow, you perceive, gentlemen," said Tilly.

"And troops will be long in defiling across it," added the Count of Carlstein; "and will moreover be exposed to great danger, as ten heavy culverins and a bombarde from the castle can sweep its whole length."

"Señor—you have seen the advanced sentinel?"

"I could have pistoled him, but feared to alarm the guard," growled Bandolo.

"There is no sconce at this end of the bridge, as at Boitzenburg," said Tilly; "it is fortunate! But it is of the utmost importance, in case the arches should be undermined, that we capture the guard without alarming the garrison in the castle. This can only be done by deceiving the sentinel; and if one of these prisoners will lead an armed party to the gorge of the bridge, and reply to the challenge, in his own barbarous language; on one hand I offer him a thousand pistoles, with free leave to enter any regiment in the Imperial service; and on the other, instant death, and such a burial as the wolf and raven give. Sir—officer! translate this to your fellow-prisoner," he added to me, with a terrible frown.

"Dreghorn," said I, after translating the request, "what answer shall we give him?"

"Tell the auld tyke, that we'll baith see him hanged first—yea, high as Haman, and that then we wadna do it!"

"Count Tilly!" I exclaimed: "is this the honour—this the faith of an Imperial soldier?"

"Faith!" he retorted, "and dost thou speak to me of faith? Did not a council of our church, more than two hundred years ago, declare that no faith should be kept with heretics?"

A cloud came over the faces of the Counts of Carlstein and Kœningheim.

"Generalissimo," said the former, "what is this you would do? Assassinate a poor soldier because he will not betray his comrades? What! is the cause of the Empire and of Catholicism fallen so low, that we must become bravoes and murderers?"

"Darest thou to dictate?" cried the little man grasping his baton tighter, while a dark gleam shot from his fiery eyes; "dost think that I who have never shown mercy to the Flemish and German followers of Luther and Calvin, will mince matters with this Presbyterian spawn of their worthy colleague, Knox? No—nor will I now, so help me God; and, by my part of paradise! may the boom of our cannon sound every where as the funeral knell of those accursed Protestants—this unshriven spawn of Scotland, of Denmark, and the devil. They are your countrymen, count—true, but remember that on the brows and on the banner of your nation are written the curse of heresy, and the crime of sacred blood—the blood of a cardinal-priest, and that blood is yet unrevenged!"

"Lord hae a care o' us! what a deevil o' a body—what a bull o' Bashan!" muttered Dandy, as Tilly spurted out his fury in crackjaw German, though he usually swore in Spanish.

"Will this fellow obey my orders, if you will not?" he asked, with increasing wrath.

"He treats your offer with the scorn that it merits," said I.

"Maldicion de Dios! then stab him to the heart, Bandolo!" cried the merciless Tilly.

The unfortunate Dreghorn seemed to comprehend this terrible order; for, as the unscrupulous rascal raised his poniard, Dandy wrung my hand, and then in the old Scottish fashion mantled his head in his plaid, even as Caesar veiled his in his toga, to hide the death-stroke and its agony.

At that moment poor Dandy Dreghorn, the humble ploughman—the private soldier—was sublime! He was the grandest figure amid that stately group; but I caught the descending arm of Bandolo with one hand, and dashed him to the earth with the other.

"Do yer warst, ye dour auld walydraigel!" cried Dandy, shaking his fettered hands in Tilly's startled face; "I maun een dree my weird, syne ye gar me thole't!"

"Lead them both forward to the bridge," said Tilly, who was literally choking with passion. "To thee, Bandolo, I entrust them; six Croats will follow you; blow out their brains, if they refuse to reply that friends are approaching. The report of your pistols will be the signal for crossing and making a general assault. The regiments of Camargo and Merodé will lead the van; for, as Wallenstein says, God always helps the strongest brigade—forward!"

We were dragged away by Bandolo and the six dismounted Croats, all of whom were men of that amiable docility to orders, that they would have shot their own fathers without the slightest scruple, had such been the pleasure of Count Tilly or their prince, the Ban.



I secretly resolved that, whether I was shot or whether I escaped, a pretty loud alarm should be given; Dandy Dreghorn was of the same opinion, for, notwithstanding his strong predelictions for porridge and good feeding, he was a brave fellow, and vowed to stand by me to the last. Being aware that Bandolo knew neither our Scottish language nor the Gaëlic, we were resolving how we could bring both him and Tilly into a trap of their own constructing as we approached the end of the bridge, almost groping among the dark and smoke-like vapour, which was now beginning to spread along the river, and over the deserted town and the castle which commanded it.

At the gorge of the bridge I could perceive a Highland soldier standing perfectly motionless, resting on his musket, and apparently gazing straight before him, into the obscurity which veiled the army of Tilly. His powerful form had the aspect of a dusky statue. I could perceive his plaid waving at times; he was whistling a monotonous pibroch as we crept softly towards him; then he chanted a song; and doubtless the thoughts of home it raised within him, turned his eyes and heart back—as it were, back upon himself—and prevented him from observing the group of Croats, who approached him so stealthily, with their carbines cocked, under the shadow of the Dutch willows that fringed the narrow pathway. I have said the whole place was still as death; thus the clear, manly voice of the clansman as he sung "Failirin, ilirin, iulirin O," was distinctly heard. That old Highland air is so sad and slow, that it moved my heart within me, even amid the fierce impulses of that most critical hour.

"Not the swan on the lake, or the foam on its shore,
Can compare with the charms of the maid I adore;
Not so white is the snow on the mountain or dale,
Or the wild-rose that blooms on the bough in the vale.
As the clouds' golden wreath, on Ben Lomond's high brow,
The locks of my loved one luxuriantly flow;
And her cheek has the tint our wild-roses display,
When they blush in the bloom of a morning in May."

"Dreghorn," I whispered, "that is Gillian M'Bane, one of my own company—a Strathdee man! My God! what shall I do?"

"Let us baith set up a yowl, sir."

We still crept forward, and after a pause Gillian sang another verse of that tender old love-song; while my heart beat quicker, and my breath became more and more contracted.

"Like thy star oh, Ul-lochlin! that beams o'er the grove,
Are the slow-rolling eyes of the maid that I love;
High bosom'd, her girdle diffuses the light
Of the moon, when she beams on the ocean at night.
The lark and the linnet, they welcome the morn,
In a chorus of joy from yon time-gnarled thorn;
But the linnet and lark pour their chorus in vain,
When the maid that I love sings her sweet Highland strain."*

* Translation from the original Gaëlic, by Dominie Daidle.

Suddenly he perceived something, and, pausing again in his song, blew the match of his musket, and cried in his native Gaëlic—

"Stand!—who comes here?"

Bandolo raised his pistols and blew the matches; then a sound followed, as the Croats, who crept like snakes along the ground, imitated his example.

"Speak!" said he in a fierce whisper to Dreghorn and to me. He spoke in broken German, with a word or two of Spanish, and placed a pistol to each of our heads. I felt the cold muzzle against my left temple. My heart stopped—then there was a terrible conflict within it; but I knew the narrow path that honour required me to pursue. Again the sentinel challenged, and cocked his piece.

"Maldetto! will you speak—or you?" growled Bandolo.

"No—never!" said Dreghorn; "not to be made king o' a' braid Scotland—Heevin bless every inch o't!"

"Maldicion!" howled the bravo, gnashing his teeth.

"Treachery, M'Bane!" I shouted in Gaëlic; "treachery, treachery! The Imperialists are upon you! Cairn na cuimhne! Claymore and biodag!"

There was a red flash as he fired his musket, and a Croat fell beside me, kicking up his heels in the dark; two pistol-shots followed, and, shot through the brain, poor Dandy Dreghorn sank dead at my feet. I thought myself also slain—for an instant all was chaos! I fell across his body, yet fortunately my cheek was only scorched by powder, while the ball had grazed my helmet, but with sufficient force to knock me down. My escape was miraculous, and Bandolo deemed me shot when I fell on the roadway, and, luckily for myself, close to a small recess in an abutment of the bridge, where I lay unobserved; for to advance would be to fall a sacrifice to the fire of my comrades, who with Ian guarded the gate of the bridge; to retire, would be to perish among the ferocious Imperialists.

Firing a volley through the loopholes of the archway, the Highland guard closed the klinket of the well-barricaded gate, and retired double quick into the castle; and now began one of the grandest scenes of war I ever had the fortune to witness! From the high ramparts of the gothic fortress, there burst upon the midnight gloom and on the narrow bridge a flood of light, with a storm of cannon-shot and musketry.

"To the assault! to the assault! and death be the doom of the first who turns his back!" cried Tilly, rushing on foot across the bridge at the head of his pikemen, with a standard in his left hand, and a horse-pistol in the right; for the old Jesuit, though he trembled last night before an antique picture, and had implicit faith in quacks and astrologers, was brave as a lion. "Forward, my hardy rogues! there are a hundred hogsheads of good wine in yonder castle—all the spoil of the heretical Bishop of Hildesheim. On, on brave cavaliers and valiant pikemen! Remember that every blow of your swords, and thrust of your pikes, is beheld with joy by the mother of God! Strike for the good cause! thrust for the blessed cause! Strike and thrust for the Cross and the Empire!"

The hoarse hurrah of the German infantry, the yells of the Croats, and the chivalric war-cry of the Spaniards, replied to his urgent address.

"Santiago! Santiago! and close, Spain! Viva el Conde Tilly! Viva Juan de Tserclä! Viva el Espiritu Santo!"

A flood of armed men—the regiments of Merodé and Camargo—poured along the bridge against that gate, which formed the only barrier between them and the fertile and unravaged provinces of Saxe-Lauenburg, Holstein, and Denmark, and they rushed impetuously against it, their pioneers being in front, with axes and sledge-hammers, petards and levers. Other corps followed, column after column, with all their bright points and uplifted pikes gleaming in the blaze of a light-ball, which (by Major Wilson's orders) was now burned on the summit of the castle, and which poured a torrent of dazzling radiance on every object. This engine (so useful for revealing the position and number of a foe at night) is usually a large bomb, filled and covered with powder, saltpetre, turpentine and rosin, well rammed with birchwood charcoal, and covered by innumerable coats of paper steeped in melted pitch.

On the grey battlements of Lauenburg this blazed like a comet, and enabled the Highlanders to direct their fire of musketry from the parapets above, and the Barbette batteries below—so named because, in their passage, the shots from them shave the cope of the rampart. The shower of missiles that swept the bridge was terrible! Two great basilisks, or 48-pounders, loaded with musket-balls, did frightful execution, while the enormous bombarde vomited stang-balls, or shot with double heads, having fourteen inch bars to connect them; these shred away whole ranks of men, who, as they crowded upon the bridge in their eagerness, impeded the operations of those who assailed the gate.

"Cairn na cuimhne!" rang at times above the uproar from the castle wall. I thought I could detect the voice of Ian; for it was the war-cry of the M'Farquhars—their Cairn of Remembrance on the hills of Strathdee.

The yells, cries, and tumult upon the narrow bridge were appalling, and almost equalled the din of the fire-arms and artillery in Lauenburg. What a contrast now was there! ten minutes before the stillness had been like that of a desert, unbroken save when the solitary sentinel sang, or when the wind shook the rushes of the Elbe, and swept along its darkened waters with a moaning sound.

A thick mist arose from its bosom, and on that mist fell the ghastly and sulphurous glare, amid which—yet half in obscurity—were seen the columns moving to the attack, like troops of spirits, with their armour and weapons gleaming as if tipped with blue fire, among that cold white vapour.

Down from the lofty rampart, lighting up its grim architecture of the twelfth century, poured that torrent of flame, revealing every object, even to the checks in the tartan plaids of the Highlanders; larger it grew, broader and brighter, until every ornament and stud upon the coats-of-mail were visible. The whole fortress was illuminated; the spire of Saxe-Lauenburg, the houses and their windows, the rolling mist, the broad river, and its clumps of pale green weeping willows and dusky copper beeches; the advancing columns with their umbered arms and rustling banners; the stormers on the bridge, swarming and swearing, jostling and crushing forward over the dead and dying, and uttering yells of rage and defiance, whenever a cannon-shot made a lane of carnage through their living mass, were fully and fearfully visible.

Surmounted by the demi-eagle of Anhalt rising from its ducal crown, before them lay the old archway with its deep dark mouth, having a false portcullis jagged with iron teeth, flanked by the Barbette batteries, and swept from innumerable loopholes of the casemates, from the recesses of which red streaks of fire and wreaths of pale blue smoke—blue even amid that pallid glare—burst forth incessantly, as the radiance of the blazing fireball enabled the Scottish musketeers to direct their deadly aim with precision and security.

At last this light from the castle began to subside and die away; but just then the Austrian petardiers blew up the Anhalt gate, and half their number with it; the din of hammers and axes followed; then another wild shout of triumph, and the musketeers of Merodé, the pikemen of Camargo, and the Croats of Castanovitz, with the whole of Tilly's column, began to pour along the bridge, through the shattered archway, and entered the duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg.

The Scottish major had undermined the bridge; but the powder found a vent somewhere, and the chamber was fired without effect; then a triumphant shout of fear, derision, and defiance arose from the soldiers of the Empire! The Rubicon was passed; the passage of the Elbe achieved, but with great loss; and the castle was immediately outflanked and environed on every side.

Column after column—horse foot and artillery—defiled along the bridge, until the whole main body of the Imperialists had passed, but not without severe loss; for my brave comrades fired incessantly until their bandoliers were empty, and their cannon had become so hot, that to cool them they were compelled to cease for a time; and then, on day breaking, the gallant Lowland cavalier who led them, finding the castle invested on every point, craved a parley by beat of drum, and, through the intervention of Tilly's aide-de-camp, and of his confessor, Father Ignatius d'Eydel, an influential Jesuit, obtained permission to march out with all the honours of war, and to retire without molestation down the right bank of the Elbe, to the fortress of Glückstadt.

While these arrangements were being made, I again became a prisoner, having been discovered by some Croatian women, who, in the twilight of the morning, had been stripping the killed and wounded on the bridge, and using their knives freely on the latter, if they resisted. Some of those wretches were on the point of assassinating me for the lace and jewels of my Highland garb, when a corporal of Reitres knocked two of them down with the butt-end of his carbine, and committed me to the care of Tilly's quarter guard. Escape was now impossible, and I feared to offer bribes, least these unscrupulous soldiers might deprive me of Ernestine's purse, as well as its contents.

Exactly at sunrise Major Wilson came forth with his little garrison, and two regiments of horse, with standards displayed and kettle-drums beating, were drawn up to salute the passing Highlanders. With one pipe playing, two drums beating the Scots march, and the major's own standard bearing the Lion Rampant displayed, they marched down from the castle, not quite two hundred strong, but a grim and determined little band as ever waved their tartans in the face of an enemy. Their faces were blackened by dust and powder, and most of them had bandages about their heads, their arms, or sturdy bare legs; but they all marched past, like brave fellows as they were, looking at the iron line of Tilly's Reitres as if they cared not a pinch of snuff for them.

With a heart that swelled within me, I stood among my escort by the wayside, and recognised many a face as my comrades passed. The first company was Captain Mackenzie of Kildon's; the next was Ian's—the stately men of Strathdee; and I saw him, with his arm in a sling, marching at their head, and those colossal sergeants, Phadrig Mhor, and Diarmed M'Gillvray, each with his enormous Lochaber axe, keeping close by his side—and Red Angus M'Alpine too, with the crape on his arm in memory of his secret sorrow. Had uncounted gold been mine, I would have given it for the power to rush into their ranks and claim their friendship and protection; but I was an unransomed prisoner of war, and they dared not receive me. I caught the eye of Ian as he passed. He grew pale with astonishment; then he reddened with joy and indignation; the M'Farquhars uttered a shout, but were compelled to march on; yet Ian sprang from their ranks and wrung my hand.

"God bless you, cousin Philip!" said he, "we thought you were gone with poor Learmonth and Martin to render Heaven an account of our good service in Germany."

"Rollo," added M'Alpine, hurriedly, "we cannot tarry a moment! We march by the way of Hamburg; a wood lies some twenty miles distant, near Bergedorf; escape, if you can, and some of us may meet you thereabout on this side of Glückstadt—farewell!"

They sprang back to their places, and marched on; but many a face was turned backward, and many a hand was waved to me in kindly recognition, till I lost sight of them, as the Reitres wheeled into broad squadrons to follow and cover their retreat.



Retaining ten thousand men under his own command, Count Tilly immediately despatched the Counts of Carlstein and Merodé, with the remainder of his force, along the banks of the Elbe, with orders to turn the flank of all King Christian's outposts; after which they were all to reunite, and advance again to the conquest of the Danish isles.

Devereaux's Irish regiment occupied Lauenburg, where the German pioneers buried the dead in great trenches, and many were quite warm, with the blood still oozing from their wounds when flung in. The vast depth to which they dug these pits excited my surprise, and I was informed by Count Kœningheim that it was "to prevent any vampires who might be among the slain ascending to upper earth;" for I found that, from the frightful atrocities of the Imperial troops, they had the most implicit belief in these imaginary monsters, and supposed that many were in their ranks.

Several prisoners, who had incurred Tilly's displeasure for various reasons, were now selected by the sergeant of the quarter-guard, and put aside for hanging at sunset. To my horror, I found myself placed among these doomed men! I remonstrated with the sergeant with all the earnestness of one whose life depended upon his own exertions, assuring him that I had done nothing worthy of a death so detestable.

"Very well," said he coolly; "make some interest with an officer, and we may shoot you instead—forward, escort!" and we were marched to a small open shed, which stood under some large trees that grew near the river. Against one of these trees stood a ladder, and Bandolo, who on this occasion had constituted himself assistant to the provost-marshal, superintended the arrangement of certain cords, having ugly loops thereon, from the branches of the trees. My fellow prisoners were six Croats and two Germans. They were all tied with cords; the Croats sat on the ground in sullen silence, glaring at their guards from under their fur caps and savage elf-locks; the two Germans had smoked themselves into a state of dreamy indifference, and sat with their lack-lustre eyes fixed on the flowing river. Around us, the soldiers of the escort were quietly cleaning their arms, rubbing down their horses, and cooking their rations on a large fire (composed of tables, chairs, &c., taken from a neighbouring house), previous to marching.

Though I could face death in any form when encountering him in the ranks, with the colours above and my comrades beside me, to die thus was a very different thing. To be left hanging like a dog or a thief from the branch of a tree (though the sergeant assured me "it was a most respectable gibbet")—I, a gentleman and soldier, in the manly garb of my native country—to die thus—and to die without a crime! The reflection was intolerable!

But there was not one to whom I could apply for mercy or for succour. Count Carlstein had marched, and Kœningheim, had gone, no one knew whither.

Devereux's Irishmen cared nothing for me. I was not their countryman; besides, I had not the means of communicating with them.

As the day wore on, with an agony which cannot now be written, I watched the summer sun verging to the westward, and shedding along, the whole bosom of the Elbe its bright evening beams, throwing far across the river and its bordering meadows the lengthening shadows of every spire, and house, and tree; for as still, as glassy, and waveless as ever, the stream flowed on towards the German Sea—the same sea that washed the Scottish shore. The sun sank lower and lower; the days were then long, and the landscape was flat; yet it was within an hour of setting.

Only an hour! .......

I sprang up, and walked to and fro with an air of perturbation which I could not conceal; but which my phlegmatic German guard, viewed with the most perfect indifference. A torrent of bitter thoughts poured through my heart; I had quitted a home where none regretted me, with the hope that all I left behind should one day be proud of my actions, and might boast of my glorious death if I fell in battle or siege—but now the noose was waving over my head! I felt that it was impossible for me to meet such a death, and so unmerited, with resolution or with resignation, and without a struggle—a desperate struggle—if not for liberty at least for revenge. It was better, a thousand times better, to die sword in hand, and be hewed to pieces, than to be hung like a pitiful marauder.

A weapon! I saw none save in the hands of the strong guard which surrounded us, laughing and jesting through their bushy mustaches just as if nothing unusual was to happen, and nine poor devils were not to be hanged at all.

While full of these bitter thoughts, I perceived a man whom I knew by his attire to be a priest of the order of Jesus—one of the many who followed the army of Tilly—walking slowly towards the trees whereon the fatal nooses were dangling, and at the foot of which the Croats and Germans were seated in sullen and listless apathy.

He stooped down and addressed them all in succession; but they cursed, and bade him begone "to the devil." Then he paused, with the air of one who conferred with himself whether it were worth while to continue so ungrateful a task; and, after some hesitation, he approached and gazed at me from head to foot.

His thin, tall figure is yet before me. Worn evidently by asceticism and conventual severity, he stooped a little forward; his forehead was broad and impending; his features were harsh, while a prominence of mouth and chin indicated more firmness of purpose than mildness and benignity—yet, in many respects, his face belied the good man's disposition. His eyes—keen, penetrating and hard in expression—inspired awe, and commanded respect from all on whom he bent them; but their decided expression belied the humility with which he crossed his bony hands upon his bosom, and humbly bowed his head even unto the most humble.

Educated a Presbyterian, and being the soldier of a Protestant king, I gazed with some distrust at this brother of that order whose name excites so many jealous feelings, and which has been so obnoxious to the princes of Europe generally; for in my own time I have seen the Jesuits, as the result of their intrigues, expelled forcibly from Venice and Prague, from Naples and Flanders.

He halted before me, crossed his hands upon his breast, and slightly bent his lofty figure.

"Your servant, reverend sir," said I, in my own language.

"God be with you, my son," he answered in the same. I had used it inadvertently, but now my attention was excited, and I gazed at him inquiringly. "I am sorry," he continued, "to see a Scottish gentleman in this sad predicament."

"I fear me, good sir, your regrets will not mend the matter much," I replied sourly, for the most intense hatred of the Imperialists was swelling in my breast; "you cannot do any thing for me, I presume."

"Perhaps not—I am only poor father Ignatius."

"The confessor of Count Tilly!" I exclaimed, thunderstruck; "pardon me, sir—I have often heard of you."

"For little that is good—if in the Danish camp."

"Nay, sir—even there I have heard you spoken of with respect, as the possessor of a thousand virtues."

"Though a Jesuit—'tis wonderful! Though I am known as Ignatius in the Order of Jesus, at home, in poor old Scotland, I was kent but as David Daidle, the neer-do-weel o' the parish schule, and son o' auld Davie o' the Daidleysheugh, at the Rollo's Craig. Ye see, gude sir, I've no forgotten our auld Scottish whilk my puir mither taucht me."

"How!" I exclaimed, clasping both his hands in mine; "are you the brother of my old Dominie Daidle, at home in dear Cromartie?"

"The same—the same!" he sighed, with a flushing cheek and a kindling eye; "my brother did become a dominie; but I, with James of Jerusalem, and Father Leslie, now superior of the Scottish college at Douay, became followers of Ignatius Loyola. But my puir brother—when saw ye him last?"

"But a few months ago; the poor dominie plays the fiddle as well as ever, and still leads the choir of our parish kirk. I promised to bring him from Germany the object of his greatest ambition—a metal horologue, which he is not likely to receive, however," I added, glancing at the setting sun, and the noose which dangled over my head.

"Young gentleman, it seems to me as if your face was familiar to me, and your voice, too; yet I must have left old Scotland, years before you were born. You are a son of our father's laird and patron, Rollo of Craigrollo?"

"Compelled to become a soldier of fortune, because of a certain unlucky heirloom——"

"The Rollo spoon," replied the Jesuit, a broad smile spreading over his usually grave features; "I remember well that quaint heirloom of old Sir Ringan; I remember too, with gratitude, the many favours your family have for ages bestowed on mine, the hereditary vassals of your house. Oh! I would gladly repay but one of these, if in my power——"

"You can more than repay them all, sir, for indeed you owe us nothing. If we did service to the dominie's family, they did good service to ours. Whose sword hewed a farther passage into Huntly's pikemen at Glenlivat, than old Davie Daidle's? I am to be hanged in ten minutes—hanged like a dog, because I have done my devoir as a soldier against these rascally Imperialists, and would not betray to them my kinsmen, the M'Farquhars. If you can save me——"

"Save you!—I can and will——"

"There is but little time, then; for, by my soul, yonder come Bandolo the bravo, and the provost-marshal with his guard and assistants, carrying the fatal ladder, by which they mean to accommodate us in mounting the branches of these high trees."

"Follow me, Mr. Rollo, and let me see who will dare to interrupt you."

The soldiers fell back and presented arms to this well-known and formidable priest, who was as familiar to the armies of Tilly as the terrible Father du Tremblay was then known in those of France, but in a very different way—for every good, and not for every evil. Like his master's, the will and command of Ignatius d'Eydel (for so had they rendered his homely name) were as much law to the soldiers as if the cruel thin lips of Tilly had expressed them.

As we passed the provost, he respectfully saluted the priest who stood by my side, in his long flowing garments. Bandolo scowled at me with rage and disappointment, but was compelled to pass on, leaving me untouched. I remembered the cruel murder of poor Dandy Dreghorn, and could scarcely keep my hands from his throat; but hoped that an hour of retribution was coming.

After walking in silence along the road for some hundred yards, on looking back I saw the convulsed bodies of my eight recent companions dangling from the trees, while the provost and his guard retired leisurely towards their quarters in the town of Lauenburg.



My heart sickened at the thought of all I had so providentially escaped, by the casual intervention of a passing priest.

"Come, master Rollo," thought I, as gayer ideas suggested themselves; "you must not deem these Jesuits such bad fellows after all! Indeed this one seems remarkably amiable. Reverend sir," said I, as we passed the extreme outposts of Tilly's troops, and proceeded along the margin of the Elbe, "I hope you will not incur the count's displeasure by setting me free."

"Displeasure—oh no! My brother, John of Tserclä—for I presume you are aware that he is a priest of our order—cannot quarrel with me for a trifling act of mercy like this."

"This trifling act has saved my life, but you value existence lightly on the Imperial side of the Elbe. I am full of joy and gratitude for the service you have rendered me; but why, good sir, do you seem so much dejected?"

"I am indeed dejected, and sorrowful—exceedingly sorrowful!" he replied, folding his hands heavily upon his breast, and bending his eyes upon the ground.

"For what, good sir?"

"To see my own countrymen arrayed in tens of thousands against the good cause. Ye are come to uproot and destroy that tree of knowledge whose leaves were faith, and whose fruit was life everlasting; that stately tree which, in other times, our pious countrymen, from the holy Isle of Iona, in the far west, transplanted among the barbarous Goths of Germany. For hither in those dark ages of the world, from our old Caledonian shore, came Boniface, who, after converting all the savages of Thuringia and Saxony, became first Archbishop of Mentz, as we may find in the writings of Trithemius. While his Scottish disciples founded the noble abbey of Fulda, Patto (also a Scot) converted Westphalia, and was made Bishop of Verden. In the 8th century, St. Robert, the son of a Scottish king, converted Theodo lord of Bavaria, with all his people, and is now the apostle of their descendants; while Callum Bane and Gallus of Argyle rescued Swabia from the darkness of paganrie; and the latter ceased not from his blessed labours until he perished among the Switzers, who yet preserve his reliques in the convent of St. Gall; and all these things ye are come to undo! Nor need I tell you how John the Scot became Bishop of Mecklenburg, and died a martyr, being slain by the Wendish apostles, who, in 1066, cut off his hands and feet, leaving this man of godliness to perish miserably by the wayside; or how, in the year 1000, Callunianus, the son of a Scottish prince, converted all Austria, where he was martyred, and where his reliques are yet preserved in the convent of our countrymen, near the Scottish Gate at Vienna. Argobastus," continued my companion, warming with enthusiasm and reckoning on his fingers—"Argobastus, the converter of Strasburg, and William who founded a Scottish monastery at Cologne, another at Nuremburg, another at Aix-la-chapelle, two at Ratisbon, and another at Würtsburg, were also Scots, as we may read in the writings of Baronius and Trithemius; and all these blessed works ye are come from the same land, with your muskets and bandoliers, to undo! Virgilius the Scot, was made perpetual legate of Germany by His Holiness Gregory VII.; nor need I expatiate on the piety, the virtues, and the suffering of Kilian, the Culdee of Iona, who converted all Franconia; and that ye are come to subvert and undo! Oh! why seek to convert these lands to heresy and heathendom by the sword? with drums beating and banners displayed? Why not try it, like the Scots of other times, with no other weapons than the staff and the sandals—prayer and exhortation?"

"By my faith, reverend sir, a salvo of good cannon-shot is the best exhortation for such a congregation as Tilly and his Croats," said I, half stunned by the vehemence of the Jesuit, and the facility with which he enumerated so many barbarous names. "My good father and countryman," I added; "we came hither neither to convert like the Scots of old, nor to persecute like Count Tilly. But we are come to fight the battles of those who cannot fight for themselves; to win honour and fame like true cavaliers, to clip the wings of the Austrian eagle, and to defend the civil and religious liberties of Northern Europe—a high and a glorious mission!"

"To overturn the faith of God!—the church which is founded on the rock of ages, and is cemented by the blood of many a martyr. Oh! were you to see, as I have seen at Melek, the body of our countryman St. Colman, undecayed, uncorrupted, pure and fair, as on that day in the year 1012, when, after returning there barefooted from Jerusalem, the barbarians hanged him on a tree, where he swung untainted by the weather, and untouched by the ravens, until the good Bishop of Aichstadt conveyed his reliques to Alba Regulis, upon a mountain in Hungary, where they have converted many by the miracles they work daily; but all these good and wondrous things ye are come with your pikemen and musketeers to subvert and undo!"

"By Jove! Father Daidle, I do not think the corbies would have respected me as they did this good man; but sure I am, that so far as toil and fasting go, our poor Scottish soldiers endure now as much as ever your Scottish saints did in the olden time, though not so patiently perhaps; as we can relieve our minds, now and then, by a good round oath."

The Jesuit paused, and said gravely, as if displeased, "Here we part, sir. I free you as a countryman, though as a heretic, and the soldier of a heretic king, I should have left you to the mercy of the provost-marshal."

"Do not be chafed by my heedless way, good sir," said I, glad to perceive that the close of this long harangue had brought me to the verge of a small wood. "I owe you more than I can ever repay—more than I can ever express—my life—my honour!"

"I would gladly give you a horse (though your kilt is scarcely suited for the saddle), but I possess only a poor ass for the march."

"Why not mount yourself better? I saw nags enough and to spare, among the Imperialists."

"It would ill become us to ride chargers, when our Master, who is in heaven, contented himself with the humbler animal, and in memory thereof marked it with his cross. If you escape all the dangers of this disastrous war, and return to our common home by the shore of Cromartie, bear my blessing to my poor brother, the dominie—for, alas! it is all the poorer Jesuit has to send him. Keep the path that is before you; by it your comrades marched this morning—it leads straight to Hamburg, and to Glückstadt—farewell."

We separated—

He to return to Tilly's disorderly cantonment, and I to pursue my solitary way.

Book the Sixth.



From the place where I parted with Father Ignatius, Lauenburg, was about three miles distant, and the Elbe about one. The dusky evening was giving place to duskier night. At a little distance from the road lay a German village, with two or three large, old, and crumbling houses overhanging the narrow thoroughfare, and a number of picturesque little cottages, built of dark and intricate wood-work, carved and plastered. The coppice or wood near me was composed of lofty beeches, which fringed a small and quiet lake; a large misshapen block carved with ancient Runes stood among the long grass, and between the stems of the distant trees, I saw the moon rising afar off, and shedding a soft pale light upon the hazy landscape.

One or two small stags flitted past me, and a solitary stork flapped its large wings on the branch of a hawthorn-tree. Every thing was silent, and the place was so lonely that I sat down on the Runic-carved stone of other times, to reflect on my position.

I was seventy miles at least from Glückstadt; my comrades were a full day's march—thirty miles—in front of me; and though they, by force of numbers, could make their way in safety, I knew the case was different with an individual; for the officers and soldiers of our regiment, who straggled far from camp or quarters, were frequently maltreated, and even murdered by the savage boors, for the sake of their military finery.

Though permitted to retain my back, breast, and head-pieces, I had been deprived of my sword and dirk, yet fortunately my skene-dhu, which was of course stuck in the garter of my right leg, had escaped unseen, and my sporran or purse had a curiously constructed mouthpiece or clasp, containing four small pistol barrels, which were cocked by the pressure of one spring, and discharged by the pressure of another. This remarkable piece of Highland mechanism had been a gift from Ian, and was the work of Thomas Caddel, whose manufactory of pistols at the Doune of Menteith, was soon after to become so celebrated. To this clasp and its deadly secret, I more than once owed my life. I kissed the velvet purse of poor Ernestine, and sighed to think I should never behold her again; I examined my skene-dhu, and was about to commence my journey, when several soldiers suddenly appeared at a short distance off.

Sinking softly down among the long grass, and enveloping myself in my green plaid, I lay still and scarcely breathed, as they passed close by me, hewing at the bushes with their brandished swords, drunk, swearing, and intent on outrage. By the colour of their doublets I could perceive they were musketeers of the Count de Merodé's regiment—a band so infamous for cruelty, that in its members first originated the now familiar term marauders—from Merodeurs. Their colonel, a brutal and licentious noble, was afterwards slain by John de Wart, a colonel of irregular horse; but from his outrages, and those of his soldiers, in the capture of provinces and sack of towns, the name of Merodé will ever be remembered with abhorrence by the maids and mothers of Germany.

Expecting nothing but instant death for the value of my accoutrements if discovered, I was happy to find that the ruffians passed me without observation, and bent their steps towards the adjacent village, between two green hedge-rows which concealed me from them; I then sprang up, threw my plaid across me, grasped my black-knife, and commenced my long and solitary journey towards Glückstadt.

As I walked quickly away, the noise of pistol-shots and screams announced that the Merodeurs were committing some outrage upon the quiet and unoffending villagers; and by a blaze of light, that shot up between the trees, it was evident that several of the cottages had been set on fire.

I was now in the territory of Saxe-Lauenburg; and, being aware that its duke, Rodolph Maximilian, served under Tilly as colonel of horse, and was one of the six brothers of that gallant House, all of whom fought in this war of aggression, I felt somewhat dubious as to my chances of escaping all the boors and peasants, his vassals, whom I was certain to meet before reaching the territory of Hamburg, over which I knew that King Christian claimed sovereignty as Count of Holstein.

I suffered excessively from hunger and thirst; the excitement so recently undergone conduced greatly to increase the latter, and being aware that, if refreshment was not soon procured at all risks, the whole night would assuredly be passed without it, I resolved to put a bold face upon the matter, and, entering the first village I came to, knocked boldly at the door of a house, on the front of which swung a sign, bearing an eagle of a colour so undecided that it could not fail to please all the troops who, by chance or misfortune, might happen to march that way.

The host was somewhat surprised to behold me; but, bustling out my plaid, I swaggered in with an air of unconcern, and ordered supper to be laid for myself before my comrades came in. As this indefinite term might have referred to the whole Danish army, the host bowed to the very rosettes at his knees, and summoned Karoline, the jungfer or waitress, to attend me. Such was the wholesome terror imparted by the announcement of approaching troops, that in their anxiety to please I had host and hostess, jungfer and ostler, all attending me at once. Candles were brought; a joint of cold meat, with a piece of clean white paper twisted about the end, by which it was to be grasped for carving; eggs, cheese, snow-white bread, strong waters, and Danish beer, were all brought with edifying celerity, and I supped sumptuously. Dismissing all my attendants, I retained only the waitress, a pretty girl of Holstein, the bright expression of whose merry blue eyes announced a decided disposition for coquetry.

"Come, jungfer," said I, my spirits rising as I began to feel comfortable; "you will take a little glass of wine?"

"I would rather be excused—the Herr looks so wickedly," said she, hesitating.

"My pretty Karoline—that is your name, I believe—what you call wickedness is mere admiration. It is a way we soldiers have—that is all."

I kissed the pretty waitress in a soldierlike way, and she seemed no way displeased; I was giving myself all the airs which I had seen the Baron Karl, Major Fritz, and others, play off with such ease in similar places, when the host put in his round stupid face to say, that he "heard the drums of my comrades approaching!" I had no small trouble in concealing my discomposure at this strange intelligence, the source of which was in the good man's brain alone; for his fear of soldiers had conjured up the distant sound of drums, though drums are seldom beaten at night, and never by marching troops. But I immediately rose to depart.

"'Tis my friends," said I, putting on my headpiece.

A dollar for supper, four more for an old rapier which I bought from the host, were paid, and I walked anxiously to the door. The night was calm, and no sound broke the stillness of its starry sky or of the landscape, which slept in the pale splendour of the August moon.

"I am going to meet my comrades," said I.

"What may their force be, Mein Herr?"

"About two thousand."

"Two thousand!" reiterated the host; "Mein Gott! they will eat us up."

"Eat you up, rogue! I think not, if they pay you as I have done, with rix instead of slet dollars."

"You have paid like a prince," said he bowing. "Two companies wearing the same garb as Mein Herr passed through the village about noon—but they behaved like honest gentlemen, and paid for every thing."

"That is the way to Korslack, is it not?"

"That is the way you have just come, Mein Herr," said the host with surprise.

"Ah! true—how stupid of me to forget!"

"As the Herr has been so kind," said he again; "perhaps he will escort Karoline past these troops, so far as the pathway which leads to the little chapel of St. Patto; she has to adorn the altar with flowers for service to-morrow; and, perhaps, she will be safer there, too——"

"Than in a village among soldiers—you think right. But you put great trust in me. May I not run off with her?"

"I know that the soldiers of King Christian are not like our Imperialists. Ah! Mein Herr, do you imagine I would make such a request of one of them! It would be setting the wolf to guard the lamb. Besides, the Herr has an expression of so much candour."

I bowed; for the confidence this stranger placed in me was the highest compliment I ever received. In a little hood and cloak, with a large basket of beautiful flowers on her arm, the jungfer accompanied me through the village, pausing every two or three paces to hearken for the rat-tat of the drums, which, she said, "had ceased." I walked on by her side, well satisfied with myself; for being well supped, having a good sword in my belt, and a purse in my pocket, I felt that I could have faced the devil; and strutted on, chatting as gaily to my pretty companion as if I had been lord of all Lauenburg.

At the door of his inn, the host stood watching us until we reached the end of the street, where a little wicket gave admittance to the narrow lane that led to the chapel of St. Patto. There I bade my little devotee adieu, with proper gallantry; and, glad that my brief halt had terminated so pleasantly, walked on quickly by the highway that led to Korslack, a town which lay something less than eighteen of our Scottish miles distant. I resolved to pass beyond it, and not halt again until I reached Bergedorf, in the territory of the quiet and industrious Hamburgers, where I expected to find comparative safety.

After the keen and varied excitement of the last day or two, there was something soothing and pleasing in this solitary night march through a strange and foreign country; and, like a kaleidoscope, my mind was full of ever-changing thoughts and figures, as I journeyed on.

Midnight came.

I had passed through several little villages of grotesque old houses, but they were buried in silence, as their quiet inmates were asleep. Not a sound was heard in them but the occasional bay of a watch-dog, the boom of a stork's wing overhead, or the solemn chime from the ivy-clad spire of an old gothic church; and I reflected with a sigh, on how soon—to-morrow, perhaps—fierce Tilly's lawless Croats and Merodé's musketeers would carry rapine, murder, and a thousand crimes through these rural and sequestered districts.

A white gauzy mist overspread the sailing moon; a light shower fell—just sufficient to lay the dust; and then a rich fragrance arose from the teeming earth, from the dewy flowers, and from the tossing leaves. Again the moon came forth unclouded, and the shadows of the fleecy vapour were seen chasing each other across the fields of ripening corn.

I had walked about ten miles, when far behind I heard the hoofs of horses ringing on the hard beaten road; and the fear of being pursued, or overtaken by some patrol, made me look for a place of concealment; for by the light of the moon I could discern two horsemen, diminished to mere black specks on the far stretching roadway. Close by me was a large beech-tree covered with dense foliage; no better place of concealment offered; and, clambering in, I hid myself among the branches.

In less than two minutes the riders came near, and, slackening their pace as they approached, reined up their blown and foam-covered horses immediately below my lurking-place. They were bareheaded—one had a sword in his hand; the other grasped a pistol.

"It is useless, Gustaf," said the last, in whom I recognised my late host of the Eagle; "quite useless, my poor boy! The vagabond Scot cannot have had time to accomplish this dreadful deed, and thereafter proceed this length on foot. We must long ere this have overtaken him."

"Karoline—my poor little Karoline!" sobbed the young man; "to perish thus!—Heaven—Heaven—cruel Heaven! There were two wounds in her bosom—here—here—just here! poniard wounds——"

"Had the villain but murdered her alone, Gustaf——"

"My Karoline!" said Gustaf, letting his reins fall as his hands sank by his side, and the tears ran over his cheeks; "so pure—so happy—so merry!"

"The Scot carried a poniard."

"The assassin!"

"All these Scots of King Christian carry poniards," continued the host. "Oh, Gustaf! I was indeed mad to trust him; but he had such an honest look. There must have been a fearful struggle, Gustaf: for in her hands there were fragments of a man's lace collar, and I think the Scot wore one."

This was true. I had one over my gorget, or rather part of it; the rest having been rent away in some of my recent scuffles.

"There was a figure before us, on the road. Now, where has it vanished to?"

"Ah! if it should be the Scot," said Gustaf, "and concealed not far from us!"

"In that tree, perhaps."

"Fire your pistol into it."

"Come down, murderer!" cried the host of the Eagle.

"Come down, thou vile Merodeur!" added the young man, as they each cocked a pistol. My heart beat like lightning. It was evident that they spoke at random; but both levelled their pistols, and fired right among the foliage. The balls whitened the branches as they crashed through the leaves, without touching me; I sat still as death, waiting for the next act of this desperate drama, and feeling a violent inclination to let four bullets fly at them in return, from the pistol-barrels concealed in the lock of my sporran.

There was a pause as they reloaded, during which the young man Gustaf wept bitterly.

Some frightful crime was undoubtedly imputed to me! The poor girl whom I had left a few hours before, had been most barbarously murdered, and these men, her lover and her master, had come in pursuit of me; but I felt assured, that to come forth and attempt any explanation with men so excited, and so prejudiced against me, would be recklessly throwing away my life. Her hands held the fragments of a man's ruff, and mine was torn—but by the hands of Tilly's soldiers. Honour then required that, at all risks, I should no longer lurk within earshot of those who imputed to me a crime so terrible, and I was just about to descend when the lover exclaimed furiously—

"I can never return the way we have come! On—yet on—for my heart is on fire!" and, spurring their horses, they galloped away at headlong speed, and were quickly out of sight.

The next moment I dropped from the tree, and paused with irresolution. My first impulse was to return to the village, though ten miles distant, and confront my accusers; my second reflection urged me to continue my flight, as the chances of mercy from the exasperated peasantry on one hand, and the Imperialists on the other, were very slender. Striking across the fields, I made a detour to the right for the purpose of avoiding the high-road; about that time the waning moon became enveloped in clouds, and I found myself on the borders of a wood.



I had lost the path, and knew not which way to turn; yet the necessity for action made me walk hastily forward in the line which seemed parallel with the road I wished to pursue; but on becoming confused among the trees and thickets of large bushes, I lost the way irretrievably, and stumbled on through the wood, deprived of the waning moonlight, and even that of the stars, while having, moreover, to fear the wild animals, and other denizens of a more dangerous character, who usually haunt the German forests.

After pursuing a narrow path for nearly half an hour, I came to an open space where the trees had been cleared away, and in the centre of which stood a hut of the most rustic description.

Four trees, yet rooted, formed its four corners; the walls were of spars with the bark on; the roof was composed of planks covered by bark and moss, with large stones placed at intervals to keep down the eaves, and make the whole erection steady; while above the little doorway, which was almost buried under a mountain of sweet honeysuckle and wild-roses, a deer's skull and antlers were elevated on a large pole, and served to inform me that it was the dwelling of a huntsman.

After some hesitation I knocked, and though the hour was unusually late, or rather early, the door was opened almost at the first summons, for a huntsman is as easily roused as a soldier. Before me stood a man half dressed, blowing the match of his carbine, and viewing me narrowly from head to foot.

"Your business, Mein Herr?" he asked, with surprise.

"I have lost my way, and will reward——"


"Ay, handsomely, any one who will be so kind as be my guide," I added, surprised at Lis parenthetical remark; "will you do so?"

"That depends upon which way yours may be," replied the fellow gruffly, lowering his carbine.

"My way is the road to Bergedorf."

"Are you sure it is not Bredenburg? there were some of your countrymen in garrison there yesterday."

"Nay, Bergedorf, I tell you!" said I, becoming impatient at the fellow's incivility.

"You are nearly four miles from the direct road, and could never find it alone; but if you would choose to pass the night, or rather I should say the remainder of the morning, with me, I will gladly set you on the right road for a draught of beer at the first tavern."

"That would not be a very handsome reward," said I, entering; "so, you are not an Imperialist, then?"

"I am nothing but the humble servant of Mein Herr, and, being under the authority of Duke Rodolph Maximillian, care not a jot either for the King of Denmark or the Emperor Ferdinand."

"But your lord serves under the banner of Austria."

"I have no lord," replied the hunter gruffly, as he shut the door with a bang that shook the cottage; "I am an enemy to all lords—I am a free forester, and own no master. Der teufel! what between the taxes of the Duke, the knights of Ertemberg, who would hang us for shooting the deer, and the bishops of Anhalt and Bremen, who would burn us because we will not go to mass, life is not worth having save in the woods, where one is free."

The interior of the hut was as rude as its exterior had promised. In a small chimney built of rough stones a fire was smouldering; on the plain wooden table, something like a cold supper of meat and bread, with beer, in one of those large glazed bowls which come from Muscovy, was standing, as if awaiting a belated visitor; and by the smoky oil lamp that hung from a rafter of the roof, and shed a light over the rudely constructed and humble edifice, I could perceive that, under his bushy eyebrows, my host scanned me frequently in a scrutinizing manner, which, to say the least of it, was very unpleasant.

His bearing and expression were by turns full of oily civility and sullenness; his figure was strong and athletic—short, and somewhat bow-legged; his head and face were large, and the latter had a very unprepossessing cast of features; the nose of a hawk, wide cracked lips of a livid colour, teeth like fangs, but coated with tartar; a low brow overshadowed by a forest of hair, and ears partly shorn off—in their mutilation announcing most satisfactorily the reason of his aversion to the bishops, knights, and lords of the district. In short, he was hideous.

"I fear I have disturbed you, my friend," said I.

"Not in the least—make no apologies, I pray you. All night I have been waiting for a friend who is journeying from Bredenburg to the castle of Lauenburg. Here is his supper, of which you may partake if you choose, and then pass the remainder of the morning on these deer-skins, or in that poor bed in the little room within."

"Many thanks, woodman," said I; "though not much used to luxuries of late, I shall be but too happy to accept of your little bed."

"The Herr may please himself," he muttered gruffly.

"At what hour of the morning do you usually set forth?"

"In these woods all hours are alike, Mein Herr—say, six."

"But, I have not a horologue, and how shall we know?"

"When the sun shines between the forked branches of a tree opposite, I know at this season the hour of six."

"I have five hours to sleep, then—fail not to waken me, and when we pass the boundary of the Hamburg territory, I will give you all I can afford at present—ten rixdollars!"

"'Tis a bargain—I will not fail," he replied, as a deep gleam shot over his sullen eyes, and he ushered me into a little room, where, setting down the light, he left me. The bed was little better than a palliase, filled with dry rushes or straw, spread upon a sparred frame; but to me, who had slept so often on the bare ground in my belted plaid, and when hunting had slumbered on the winter moors till my locks were frozen to the whitened heather, even that palliase was a luxury; and after laying against the door a few large billets of wood, to prevent ingress without my knowledge, I was about to extinguish the light, when several stains of blood upon the floor—blood recently spilt, arrested me; but the quarters of a deer which hung in a corner seemed sufficiently to account for them.

I blew out the lamp, and threw myself upon the truckle-bed to sleep.

Familiarity with danger certainly deadens at times the keener sense of it; and now, when reflecting upon the adventures of that morning, I can perceive that my position was full of perils, which sufficiently indicated themselves. Far from my comrades, close to the Imperialists, solitary and alone, I had entrusted myself to a foreign outlaw, a man of whom I knew nothing, save that his ears had been shorn off by a common executioner—the half savage denizen of a German forest, who in my sleep might slay me for the value of my jewelled brooch or gilded corslet.

The small aperture, which in the daytime lighted the inner room of this little log-hut, overlooked the dense obscurity of the forest, and was securely fastened by a crossbar of oak. Retreat that way was impossible, even had I thought of looking for it; but that idea never occurred to me, for suspicions scarcely suggested themselves. Thus, I lay placidly down to sleep, and the monotonous rustle of the forest leaves, and creaking of the laden branches, soon nursed me into the land of dreams.

I had slept about two hours, when one of those convulsive starts, which come so unaccountably in one's sleep, awoke me to all my energies. I heard a noise in the outer apartment, and through the roughly boarded partition saw a light shining into the darkness around me. The sound of hoofs were heard, and several men dismounted at the door of the hut.

I sprang up, and, placing my eye to the partition, beheld through the aperture Bandolo, the spy, enter, accompanied by three soldiers of the regiment of Merodé, who immediately attacked the platter of victuals, and drained by alternate draughts the wooden bowl of beer.

I gave myself up for lost!

"Well, Bernhard, my jovial schwindler, here we are at last!" said Bandolo, adding with a mighty oath, "and a rough ride I have had of it from Bredenburg. (Give me a glass of strong water.) I have just left Dunbar, the Scottish major, there. He will not surrender, he swears, while he has breath to draw; and begs King Christian to relieve or reinforce him, as the post must fall (some beef, Bernhard), and as the respectable Hausmeister, Otto Roskilde, I bear his urgent letter to——"

"To the Danish king?"

"No, to Count Tilly!" said Bandolo, with a loud oath and a hoarse laugh; "the old Scot may wait long enough for succour. If I could respect any quality but wealth, I should certainly respect his valour. He gave me six doubloons to carry this letter to King Christian!"

"Six doubloons!" muttered the Merodeurs, whose eyes sparkled at the idea of such a sum being in the pockets of a man who was within arm's length of them.

"When I give it to Tilly," said Bandolo, speaking with his mouth full, "he will pay me six doubloons more—happy dog! Maldicion de Dios! I shall retire from business some of these days, and buy me a count's patent in the Electorate of Hanover. The avenues will all be blocked up to-morrow night, and the poor old fool of a Scot, who trusts to me as the king's messenger, will be deceived by me, as Count Tilly's friend."

"Friend!" reiterated the Merodeurs with a roar of laughter.

"Then the Scot will be taken," said Bernhard.

"Nay," said a soldier of Merodé; "he may be taken dead, but never alive. I am one of Tilly's old grumblers, and have met with this ironheaded Scot before. He will never surrender—but I remember me, Bandolo, he was too free in giving thee wine at Bredenburg."

"Ah! when I said that Tilly was retreating towards the Weser—Rollo, Bernhard, another cup of the strong water!" Bandolo swore in German and Spanish alternately, though he was disguised again in a brown hat, a black cloak, and false paunch, like the well-fed Holsteiner, our old Hausmeister at Glückstadt. "Drink, Bernhard, drink!—to the amiable and generous Count Tilly, who hath the face of a rat, with the heart of a tiger! Drink to the eternal perdition of all Protestants, my merry Merodeurs, and to the continuance of this glorious war, which pours the doubloons into the pockets of Bandolo, who will erelong give you all a right welcome to his county in Hanover! Drink, drink—or, maldetto! I will dash my glass in the face of the first who refuses!"

"Hush!" said the forester, with a prolonged whisper, laying a hand upon his mouth, and pointing towards the little chamber I occupied.

"Hush—why? is there any one there who knows me?"


"I am glad of it—for I am becoming such a well-known rascal; but have you women, there? if so, you must lend me another ruff, for mine was torn to rags overnight."

(My heart beat quicker! I remembered the story of the village girl's death, and that her clenched hand retained the fragment of a man's ruff or collar—and now I saw that Bandolo's broad lace one, of point d'Espagne, was nearly all torn away. This ruffian—this bravo—the assassin of poor Dreghorn—this man of a hundred murders—had just added another item to his frightful list of atrocities!)

I was pondering whether or not his false paunch was pistol proof, while my host whispered something rapidly in his ear. The wretch set down his glass, and grew red and white by turns.

"'Tis he—'tis my man!" said he in a low thick voice, as he arose and flung aside his cloak.

"Who—who?" asked the Merodeurs.

"A prisoner who has escaped from Tilly's quarter-guard—a scurvy Scottish musketeer. He knows me, Bernhard, and has recognised me frequently. Thus, if once he reaches the Danish lines or garrisons, I can never act the spy and befriend the Count Tilly again; for I tell you all he has discovered me—and must die! For Vida del Demonio! I have killed many a better man before this, and shall I," he added, with a satanic smile on his fierce Spanish mouth, "shall I leave in my path this adder, whom I can crush with so little danger—here in Bernhard's hut—far from help or succour? Has he pistols?"

"No—nor dagger; for of course I looked well," replied the forester in the same low voice.

"We have pistols and daggers," said Bandolo, as he and the three Merodeurs unsheathed their long poniards, and examined the edges and points of the keen broad blades, which gleamed in the lurid light of the smoky lamp. Its rays fell on the dogged visage of the forester, on the bloated and ferocious features of the Merodeurs, browned by exposure, fringed by black beards, and seamed with the scars of battle and brawl; and on the face of Bandolo, whose eyes gleamed with cruelty, and whose lips were compressed with determination.

It is impossible for me to describe my emotions during this conversation, every word of which I had heard with a painful distinctness, which has impressed it upon my memory. I was single-handed against five! Resistance, though it might revenge, could never save me. The window was a fixture; the door I had not the means of barricading; and the roof of bark and planks, against which I thrust with all my strength, was too solid for a single hand to move. My goatskin Highland purse, the gift of Ian, with its four concealed pistol-barrels (though each of them was not bigger than a man's middle finger), could alone save me—and the ruffians thought I was without pistols.

I seized the clasp of this priceless sporran. I pulled the spring, cocked the secret locks, and placed my skene-dhu between my teeth. Then, while these five men, intent on wanton murder, were in the very act of examining their weapons, I softly opened the door, and, by a single turn of my hand, fired the contents of four barrels right amongst them, and then with sword and skene in hand, dashed through in the smoke, and gained the outer door.

It was all the work of a moment!

Two Merodeurs had fallen wounded, and so completely were the third, Bandolo and the forester, taken by surprise, that I had time to give the spy a back-handed blow, which broke his right arm, and thereafter reach their horses, which the Merodeurs had stolen, and which were fortunately standing close by, with their bridles thrown over the broken branch of a tree.

Though kilted, and in no way prepared for riding, I sprang across the saddle of the first nag that came to my hand, and, dashing at random along the forest road, was soon far from the hunter's cot—that almost fatal trap in which I had so witlessly enclosed myself.

Thus, between the sunset and sunrise, I had thrice narrowly escaped death.

Avoiding by something like a miracle the vast forces of Tilly, who were then moving on to capture Bredenburg, I reached Hamburg in safety. Long before this I had let loose the Merodeur's horse; for, being aware that it was stolen, I feared suspicion or discovery if found with it in my possession.

Thus, I could not overtake Major Wilson's party, as they were a full day's march before me on the Glückstadt road.

Though anxious to reinforce the gallant Dunbar of Dyke at Bredenburg, their honour was pledged to refrain from hostilities until they had reached the place mentioned in their capitulation, and thus the poor sergeant-major was left with only four hundred of our Highlanders to contend with a column of the Imperialists, ten thousand strong.

This column was led by Tilly in person, and it invested on all sides the town and castle of Bredenburg, the principal stronghold of the Counts of Rantzau, a noble and warlike family of Holstein. I heard the cannonading on my right hand, while proceeding on my solitary way; but I only learned the frightful slaughter when I rejoined the regiment.

Whether owing to Bandolo's treachery, or that King Christian remembered our quarrel about the Scottish and Danish crosses, and omitted wilfully to send succour, I knew not; but succour never came, and Dunbar refused all terms, vowing that "the Scots, who never feared the Romans—nathless what that liar Hegisippus said—would never surrender to Germans or Spaniards, while they had breath to draw!" and this answer will be found in the Amsterdam Courant.

The place was stormed on all sides; and old Dunbar, who maintained the breach for nearly an hour with his two-handed sword, was killed by a musket-shot, and every one of his brave Scots was put to the sword, save Ensign William Lumsdaine, who escaped by swimming the wet graff.

Before Captains Carmichael and Duncan Forbes, with the last of the four hundred, were slain, nearly a thousand of the Imperial dead were piled up within the slimy fosse.

Our Highlanders all died like good soldiers and true; for, of the four companies who perished there, three were composed of the very flower of the great Clan Chattan.*

* The Imperialists on this occasion shamefully mutilated the body of Dunbar. "They ripped up his breast," according to Colonel Munro; "tooke out his heart, sundered his gummes, and stuck his heart in his mouth; they also killed our preacher, who, being on his knees begging life, was denied mercy."



The Imperialists were rapidly penetrating into Holstein, and every where the troops of King Christian were falling back before them; the Lords Nithsdale and Spynie with their Scottish battalions, the Count de Montgomerie with his regiments of French Protestants, were all retiring, and the advance of Wallenstein, who was marching out of Hungary with his powerful army to reinforce Tilly, promised to lay prostrate for ever the pride and power of Denmark. Yet the heart of the gallant Christian IV. never failed him; and in that ferocious and desultory war, his little army of thirty thousand Danes, Scots, and Germans, disputed hand to hand every inch of the ground over which they were compelled to retreat.

When beaten from one castle or town, they garrisoned the next; and thus the Imperialists, whose natural brutality was inflamed by fanaticism and exasperated by resistance, committed the most atrocious cruelties upon the poor inhabitants—carrying fire and sword, death and devastation, wherever their drums beat, or their banners waved.

At Hamburg I met with Major Fritz, of the Sleswig musketeers, with whom I travelled to Glückstadt in his coach, a comfortable vehicle, covered with carving and gilding, and made by Heinrich Andersen of Stralsund, in Pomerania, the same person who obtained a royal patent from James VI. to run a stage coach between Edinburgh and Leith. Andersen was then the most famous coach-manufacturer in Europe.

Glückstadt was almost the last fortress in the German states possessed by Christian IV. There my comrades received me with a true Highland welcome, and the warm-hearted Ian embraced me like a brother—as one recovered from among the dead. Some changes had taken place since we were last in that city.

The large house of the spy in the Platz, was now converted into a barrack for the Laird of Craigie's pikemen, and old dame Krümpel had been turned adrift, to resume her former occupation of fish-fag. The theatre had been turned into a cavalry stable for the Baron Karl's pistoliers, to the great satisfaction of old Dubbelstiern, the burgomaster, who was a strict Calvinist, and professedly hostile to all such amusements.

All the troops were marched to church, to join in solemn prayer for the success of their arms against the foe, who was now almost at Hamburg.

"We pray earnestly to Heaven for success," said the Baron Karl to me in a low voice, as he leant with a lounging air against one of the shafted pillars of the great church; "Tilly, and his Jesuits, are probably saying solemn mass for the success of their arms also."

"How is Heaven to judge between us?" asked Major Fritz, whose mother was one of the principal ladies at the Imperial court.

"Come now, Fritz," said the baron; "do not be staring at that lady in a way so peculiar."

"Excuse me, gentlemen," said Fritz, slipping from among us; "'tis a little beauty I met at Hamburg."

On seeing the major approach, the lady, who was elegantly dressed, but, according to a dangerous custom then fashionable, wore a black velvet mask, retired from the church, and Fritz, who in such affairs was undaunted, followed her. After having been in camp for some time, he had a great desire to make some important conquest among the fair sex. His inamorata, who looked round at him slyly from time to time with two bright eyes, seemed to be the little wife of a citizen, and, to a half worn-out rake like the major, there was something excessively attractive in the pretty white stocking, drawn smoothly over the handsome leg and ankle, which she shewed from time to time, when holding up her silk dress. The major followed, stroking his short mustache, and saying a hundred fine things, to which she responded briefly, and by bursts of laughter—for so he afterwards told us; but she led him a devil of a dance through all Glückstadt, and to the barrier of the Hamburg road.

"I did not think Glückstadt contained a neck and ankles half so pretty," lisped the major; "but upon my soul, little one, I don't think I am very wise in following you so far."

"It is better to be happy than wise," replied the lady, in her soft low voice.

The musketeer was enchanted.

"Ah—if I could only see its pretty face!" said he.

"Come with me to Pinneberg, and you may."

"That is only twelve miles—I will go with you to the end of the earth."

"A long way, Major Fritz," laughed the lady.

"The deuce, my pretty one, you know my name!—we are acquainted, it seems." Again the little mask laughed immoderately, and the major thought her the merriest conquest he had ever made. He handed her into one of Heinrich Andersen's hackney coaches, and, just as the gates were closing, they drove off for Pinneberg.

The major was confounded by all the charming mask told him of his most secret affairs; the amount of his income—his expectations from his uncle the Baron of Uberg, and his cousin the Count of Flensbörg; his love adventures, too, were all known to her—it was very perplexing! Pinneberg was reached—the major proposed they should alight at the door of a celebrated restaurant, but the lady declined peremptorily, and he was compelled to let her please herself. They stopped at the door of a charming little house; the servants were richly liveried, the vestibule lighted and carpeted. She led him up-stairs into a magnificent apartment, where a cold collation—wine, fruit, crystal and plate—lay on a spotless table-cloth, under the perfumed light of wax candles placed in beautiful girandoles.

"I am dying with curiosity," said the major; "do tell me your name, or at least shew me the charming face I have come so far to see!"

The lady took off her mask, and he beheld his own mother—the Baroness Fritz of Vibürg, who he thought was at Vienna.

The old lady laughed heartily at the trick she had played, and repeated all her son's soft speeches over again. At first he was ready to sink with mortification—then he uttered a shout of laughter; but the most serious part was to follow. The old lady—for, notwithstanding her youthful figure and grace, she was very old—told him, that she had come all the way from Vienna to Glückstadt, for the purpose of entrapping him, and bringing him over from the allegiance to the paltry Count of Holstein (Christian IV.), that he might enter the Imperial service, where higher honours and greater rewards awaited him than could ever be obtained by adherence to falling Denmark.

"I am extremely sorry, madam, that it is quite out of my power to gratify you," replied the major, as he walked towards the door. "Ah—treacherous old devil!" he muttered, on finding himself confronted by six or eight of Camargo's stoutest pikemen.

By this trick, and his own folly, he was made a prisoner, and carried away to Vienna; after which, for a long time we heard no more of him.

After a four days' halt, the companies of Major Wilson were commanded to march with all speed to the Upper Elbe, with orders to cross into Silesia, and join Major-general Slammersdorf, who, on that side of the river, was maintaining a desperate and desultory struggle with the Imperialists.

"Dioul!" said Ian, as, with our pipes playing, we marched from Glückstadt on a dark foggy morning about the end of August; "Heaven be praised we are again out of this dull solemn town, with its high bastions and deep ditches, where the slime floats and the frogs squatter in the mud—its dull canals and duller streets—its fat burghers and close-clipped trees. I would give a bonnet full of silver for one glimpse of a dark pine forest or a steep heather mountain; for there is nothing about us but what is flat and stale as Rostock beer."

"M'Farquhar, are the pretty market maidens—those blooming Holsteiners, with their red petticoats and handsome legs, their bright eyes and rosy cheeks—all as nothing?" asked McAlpine.

"Yea, as less than nothing to me," replied Ian, as he fastened his graceful plaid with the brooch of Moina, and began to hum his favourite song, "The bonnie brown-eyed maid," and shook the great eagle's wing which adorned the cone of his helmet; "I should be sorry if they made me the more pleased with Glückstadt. Believe me, cousin Angus, I shall never—if I can avoid it—do aught that will cause me regret!"

"Or remorse—you are right," muttered M'Alpine, as a cloud passed over his face, and he adjusted that broad scarf of crape, which he had made a vow to wear to the last of his days.

We had no idea of how we were to reach Silesia, as Tilly's troops lay partly between us and that country (of which the Emperor is duke, as King of Bohemia); and Wallenstein, against whom we were advancing, had just succeeded in driving into Hungary Count Mansfeldt, that great leader and champion of the Bohemian queen, who was compelled to sell his baggage and artillery, and disband his soldiers, after which he retired to Zara, where he died of a broken heart. Christian, Duke of Brunswick, died about the same time, and the unfortunate King of Denmark was left single-handed to cope with the two greatest generals of the German empire.

On came Wallenstein, and he poured his army, one hundred thousand strong, like an irresistible torrent into Mechlenburg, Brandenburg, and Silesia; General Slammersdorf was there irretrievably beaten and outflanked. The Danes and their auxiliaries, Scots and Germans, now retired from all their outposts along the Havel, the Elbe, and the Weser; and Wallenstein prepared at once to carry the war into the heart of Denmark.

We received these startling tidings from the Baron of Klosterfiord, who overtook us at Horst, with a despatch from the king, ordering Major Wilson to change his route, and with all speed join the remnant of Slammersdorf's defeated army, which was intrenching itself at the Isle of Poel, being almost cut off from the king, who was then retiring out of Holstein into Denmark with his main body, abandoned by his former allies, the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, and the electoral Duke of Brandenburg.

The remainder of our valiant regiment were with Sir Donald Mackay, under Slammersdorf, and our hearts yearned to be with them, that together we might stand or fall in the good cause of Denmark; for, remembering the glorious struggles of our own native country for that freedom which we transmit to our posterity, unfettered as we received it from our Celtic fathers, we had a sincere interest in seeking by our valour to defend the Danes from the mighty masses of the aggressive empire.

If these Danes proved stanch to their fatherland, we had no fears for Denmark or its king. Our own history has shown us how, against greater powers than those of the Imperialists, Scotland has preserved her name, her nationality, and her liberty, amid the wars of long successive ages, since that remote time when her frontier formed the boundaries of the Roman empire on the west, and all who dwelt beyond were free.

One sword drawn for freedom on the slope of the Grampians, has ever been worth a thousand in the ranks of the invader; for God will ever aid a people fighting for their liberties, and the land he has given them.

We were sixty miles distant from the Baltic, and Tilly had actually pushed forward his advanced posts between us and its shore; yet we pressed on, and passed the whole distance in an incredibly short time; for we could usually march thirty miles a day, though our soldiers carried snapsacks or clothes-bags, like the Swedes.

We saw nothing of the Imperialists but the smoke of burning villages, which rose at the verge of the flat horizon, and served frequently to indicate where their ravagers were at work; but they were so far off, that our men never once unstrapped the hammerstalls from their locks and matches.

Two unpleasant affairs happened to me on this march.

During a halt at Segeberg, where, for a few hours, we occupied the old castle which the Emperor Lothaire built to keep the Sclavonians in check, I remember having a serious quarrel with Mr. Amias Paulet, an English cavalier who had come to seek his fortune in these wars. While taking a glass of Würzburger together in a tavern, his name unfortunately led me to ask if he "was any relation to that Sir Amias Paulet, the infamous abettor of Elizabeth in her treachery to Mary, queen of Scots?"

He bluntly told me that he was the younger son of the said Sir Amias, though a man well up in years; and thereafter spoke of our queen's memory in a manner which I, as a Scottish gentleman, considered insulting to myself. I threw my glove in his face, drew my sword, and required him "to retract;" but Gaffer Englishman, being a stout and brave fellow, declared that he "would see me in a warmer climate than Holstein before he would do so!" Upon this, I invited him to the parade before the castle gate, where the Danish guard came forth to see the sport, and enforce fair play. There, at the second pass, I ran him fairly through the lungs, and, with my sword at his throat, compelled him to retract, as a lesson in future to speak mercifully of the dead, and of injured women. I left him in charge of the castellan, without having time to see to his wound, for our piper blew the gathering for the march in ten minutes after the rencontre; but he recovered, to die long afterwards, a prisoner—poor fellow!—in the hands of the Imperialists, at the castle of Dillingen, on the Danube.

My next little affair was nothing less than burning the house of a contumacious boor about his ears.

Marching by a road, each side of which was richly bordered by laden fruit-trees, or fields skirted by wild hops wound over hedges, where the mint and the red barberry grew in the ditches, we passed a farm-house, a picturesque little place, two stories high, painted brown, surrounded by a gallery to which a flight of steps gave access, and having a broad-eaved roof, covered with turf of emerald green.

I commanded the rearguard, which consisted of twenty musketeers, all M'Phersons. Hot and dusty with our march, I halted, and civilly requested a draught of water for each man. This modest request—the host, a sulky boor, who appeared at the door with four servants armed with crossbows and carbines, and dressed in white coats and peaked hats—acceded to most unwillingly; for, like a true German, he looked coldly on the soldiers of Christian, because the tide of war was setting in hard against them.

Perceiving this, I demanded, instead of water, a glass of Rostock beer for every man, and, accompanied by Sergeant Phadrig Mhor, entered the kitchen of the house, where the first objects I observed were two of those many pasquils or caricatures of his majesty James VI., which were then circulated through all Germany, in ridicule of the poor and tardy assistance he sent to his son-in-law, the timid Elector of Bohemia. One represented the king in a Scots bonnet and plaid, with a number of men striving in vain to draw his sword from its scabbard; the other depicted three armies marching into Bohemia—King James VI. of Scotland at the head of a hundred thousand ambassadors, Christian IV. at the head of a hundred thousand herring-barrels, and the States-general leading the same number of butter-firkins.

I endeavoured to deface or tear down these pasquils, upon which the farmer dealt me a blow with the boll of his carbine, that would assuredly have ended all my campaigns but for the interposition of Phadrig's axe; after which, to punish the fellow, we cleared the house, threw the grate with its burning coals into the middle of the floor, heaped the furniture thereon, and leaving the whole place in flames, hurried after our main body. It made little difference to the farmer, as the Croats would undoubtedly have burned his premises next night.

Without snapping a musket we reached the western shore of the Baltic, and, seizing such vessels as we could find (being on the king's service), sailed through the Gulf of Lübeck, and reached the Isle of Poel, where Slammersdorf lay with the wreck of his Silesian army, only ten thousand strong, including horse and artillery, but all resolute and well-appointed men. Our arrival there caused the utmost astonishment, for the major-general considered himself as completely cut off from all communication with Holstein; and, indeed, one day after, even we could not have reached the Baltic by the same route.

At Poel our Highlanders were mustered under baton by Sir Donald, and were found to be about eight hundred, for so had the defence of Bredenburg, Lauenburg, and the Boitze reduced them; no less than seven hundred men had fallen in these paltry affairs since our first landing at Glückstadt.

By this sad slaughter I found myself a captain, and Ian succeeded to poor Dunbar's commission; our old patents or commissions being assigned to other cavaliers, who were on their way from Scotland with six hundred new recruits from the Highlands. On the day after our landing at Poel I carried my half pike as captain, and went through the pleasant ceremony of presentation to the regiment—a custom which we Scots have copied into our army from our ancient allies, the French.

The whole battalion being drawn up in line, and in review order, the colours, pikes, and drums in the centre, musketeers and pipers on the flanks, the officers in front with their half pikes advanced, the colonel, Sir Donald, bearing my new commission in one hand, led me forward with the other, fully accoutred with back, breast, and head pieces, sword, pistol, steel gloves and dagger, and said in Gaëlic—

"Gentlemen and soldiers, by the will of the king, you will receive and acknowledge Philip Rollo of the Craig, to be captain of the company lately commanded by M'Farquhar of that Ilk; and you will obey in that capacity for the good of the Danish service."

Immediately upon this, the regiment presented arms, the drums beat the Point of War, the pipes struck up "Mackay's Salute"—the officers crowded round and drew off their gloves to congratulate me; after which we all spent a merry night in my quarters over a few dozen of right Würzburger, while my company regaled themselves on Rostock beer.

M'Alpine also became a captain, and Ensign Lumsdaine, the only survivor of Bredenburg, a gallant cadet of the family of Invergellie in Angus, became my lieutenant.

The most pleasant feature in this promotion was, that my increased exchequer enabled me to repay to the Baron Karl the money he had so generously advanced to me in the days of my first folly at Glückstadt; for I had been sorely afraid I might be shot in action, and leave that debt unpaid.



Major-General Slammersdorf had once been one of the happiest old fellows in the Danish service; but having had the misfortune to distinguish himself at Carelia, in the Swedish war, and never having that good service requited as he thought it deserved, he forthwith became a grumbler; and "the affair at Carelia" was the pet grievance of his life. Every old soldier has one. This martial fragment of the Danish wars had lost a leg at the siege of Elfsburg, an arm at Marstrandt, and had left his best eye with the Imperialists at Lütter, having altogether received eight wounds, three of which he was in the habit of averring were mortal.

While he employed our most skilful trenchmasters and sturdy soldiers in fortifying the Isle of Poel with ravelins and redoubts, stockades and graffs, we heard that King Christian attributed his successive defeats, and lastly, the desertion of his allies—the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, and the Duke of Brandenburg—to the secret intelligence derived by the Emperor from behind the Danish lines, and to the endless intrigues of Tilly, maintained by the medium of his able scoutmaster, Bandolo, whom I had so frequently encountered; and for whom, in consequence of my information and description, a strict watch was maintained throughout the whole Danish frontiers; and orders had been issued to kill him, without mercy, wherever he should be found.

"To discover this fellow will be no easy task," said our friend, the Baron Karl, as he sat with me on a gun-carriage, overlooking our soldiers who were at work in the trenches; "for he is master of several languages, and possesses a great power of visage, with a mind which, to the cunning of the fox, unites the ferocity of the tiger; he is a very Proteus, and may, for aught we know, be among us at this very moment, and in this little Isle of Poel."

"I could almost rejoice at that idea," said I; "for believe me, Herr Baron, I have a heavy account to settle with him."

"You are, indeed, particularly his enemy, and have most cause to dread him, having been the means of rendering his character first known to us, and making the king aware that Otto Roskilde, the stout and respectable burgher of Glückstadt, who resided there in time of truce, was the bravo Bandolo, the tool, the paid spy of Count Tilly. We know the man now, and that he is a source of terror even to that terrible Tilly, to Wallenstein, to Carlstein, and Merodé—to the very men he serves, and who pay him like a prince; for, though suspected of a hundred assassinations at Naples and Vienna, this subtle Spaniard has continued to elude every inquiry."

"If the Count of Carlstein was aware, as I am, of the man's presumption," said I, remembering bitterly the daring proposal he had made to Tilly concerning Ernestine, "he would assuredly have him hanged."

"Hanged! what—the right hand of the venerable Jesuit!" reiterated the bantering baron; "why, this amiable individual is as necessary to the leader of the Imperialists as his soothsayers and stargazers; for we know that old John of Tserclä never fights a battle without having an omen of victory, or a long consultation with the stars. But, come—let us have a flagon of wine; and harkee, my Fourrier, broach this beer cask for our thirsty pioneers."

The Danish baron was the beau-ideal of a soldier; his figure was tall and strong; his hair was just becoming grizzled; but his healthy brown cheek and white teeth declared his happy temper; while his broad brow and bold bright eye betrayed an open heart and fearless soul. He was a man whose fine intellects neither war nor time could destroy.

"If Bandolo," said I, "were but once covered by my pistol, he should have such mercy as he gave my poor companion at Bredenburg."

"Cousin Philip," said Ian, "a wretch so vile deserves not to die by the hand of a gentleman. And yet, good sooth! it is not meet that the blood of the humblest of our companions, should dye this foreign earth unavenged."

"There spoke the true Celt!" said the baron, laughing; "but I fear me, Major M'Farquhar, you shall have many to avenge before we see King Christian's camp again; for cut off, as we are here in Poel, by the thousands of the enemy, if the king's ships do not afford us timely relief in flight, we shall have but two alternatives—to die by our cannon, or die of starvation."

To prevent all possibility of the latter catastrophe we laid the whole country under contribution, as far as Grevismühlen in Mecklenburg; still, as the Imperial troops were pouring into Holstein, and a strong body of them under the Scottish colonel, Graham, had seized the free town of Wismar in our immediate vicinity, the chances of our ever rejoining the main army under the king, or reaching him through the duchies of Sleswig and Holstein became extremely slender.

After remaining at Poel more than a month, working constantly to strengthen the isle, and only laying aside the shovel and pickaxe to take up the sword and musket, disproving the assertion of Gustavus-Adolphus, "that, with all their bravery in the field, the Scots were too proud to work as pioneers," eight ships of Leith,* in the Danish service, came from Copenhagen to transport us to a point of Holstein where we were to land, and, at all risks, cut a passage to the king, whose circumstances were now more desperate than ever.

* Gustavus had at this time seventeen Scottish ships of war in his service.—See Hepburn's Memoirs.

These orders were a source of sincere satisfaction to my comrades, but I must own to feeling a singular indifference on the matter; for it seemed that, by this removal towards Denmark, I was conveyed further from that pretty chateau in Luneburg, and from Ernestine, to whom I owed so much; and whose memory came ever and anon to me, with mingled sensations of gratitude, pleasure and jealousy, for I knew not how high the Count of Kœningheim might stand in her favour; at all events, he was her father's choice, and handsome enough to be a dangerous rival to me. Returning from the daily turmoil of the trenches to indulge in reverie, I frequently asked myself, "What am I to Ernestine, or what is Ernestine to me, that I should think so much about her? nothing—of course." But her image was ever before me, and I pondered frequently on the distance that lay between us from Poel to the shore, and from thence to Luneburg—a bird's flight of seventy miles—and the chances of our ever—or rather never meeting more, were all considered again and again. I knew that I could never see her more but at the price of my liberty, and perhaps my life. This probably enhanced her value, for we are strange and perverse mortals; ever prizing that which is beyond our reach. It seemed odd to me, that I should think so much of this dark-haired girl—that the interests of my heart should wander so far beyond the Imperial outposts; and that there should now be a being who excited imaginary fears and pleasures in my breast—a being of whose existence I was perfectly ignorant three months ago. Let me fling these fancies from me, thought I; they are absurd!

Leaving Major-general Slammersdorf to defend the Isle of Poel with two thousand men, Bernard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, embarked with eight thousand horse and foot, including our regiment of Strathnaver, and sailed for Heilinghafen, a town in the province of Wagria (an appendage of Holstein), which forms a peninsula in the Baltic; and there without loss or accident, on a beautiful day of September, that gallant prince landed his whole force, with their horses, arms, and cannon.

Notwithstanding the vast number of Tilly's forces, we had few doubts of our ability to force a passage through them, when led by the immortal Duke of Saxe-Weimar, the bravest of eleven brave brothers, all of whom had bled for German liberty. His valour at the great siege of Brissac, before the gates of which he was victorious in four pitched battles, where he captured four generals, and where he had no less than six horses killed under him, together with his long and desperate combat with Colonel John de Wert, have embalmed his memory in the annals of German chivalry; even as his generosity, which bequeathed his whole fortune to the wounded officers and soldiers who followed his banner, was long the theme of the veterans of Christian and Gustavus. Duke Bernard was all that a soldier should be—handsome, gallant, frank, and lavish of his means; for no soldier of any nation ever lacked money while the conqueror of Savelli, and the preceptor of Turenne, had a guilder to spare or a jewel to sell.

We cavaliers of fortune adored him, and it was with the utmost exultation that, on a beautiful evening of September, as I have said, when the last rays of the sun were shining on the broad blue Baltic, on the flat green isle of Fehmarn and the narrow Sound, that we put off in boats, pulled by the blue-bonneted mariners of our eight native ships, and with three hearty cheers drew up under our colours in the streets of Heilinghafen.

War and rapine have changed the town since those days; but I remember that its houses were old and irregular—that their upper stories projected far over the lower, and had steep gables, with galleried fronts that rested on gaudily painted wooden columns. Inscriptions in Latin or German were carved upon the door-lintels to keep away evil spirits, as in our Scottish towns at home; and the drowsy storks, with drooping wings, nestled under the lee of the chimneys. We saw these birds every where perched upon trees, steeples, and house-tops; for they are considered sacred and useful, as they kill the little snakes and adders that are bred among the slime and corruption of the marshes.

The setting sun gilded the rent edges of the ruddy clouds; dotted with white sails, the sound of Fehmarn and the blue Baltic stretched far away to the dim horizon; but few persons were abroad in the streets of Heilinghafen, though several gazed with fear and apprehension from the upper windows, as the troops passed through the town, accompanied by all the sounds of a marching army, the tramp of feet, the shrill fifes and brattling drums, the trumpets of the cavalry, and the sharp clang of hoofs, with the hoarse lumbering roll of the artillery over the hard and stony streets.

Sheathed in bright steel, with the colours of Weimar on his housings, and his mother's crest, the demi-eagle of Anhalt, on his helmet, Duke Bernard, accompanied by Sir Donald Mackay, rode at our head, mounted on Raven, that famous black horse which he had so often ridden in battle, which the Imperialists believed to be enchanted, and which, at his death, he solemnly bequeathed to the Count of Nassau.

His first dispositions were to order the Baron of Klosterfiord, with his troop of pistoliers, to ride at full speed towards Oldenburg, for the purpose of reconnoitring; while I, with my company of Highland musketeers, followed double quick to support him, with instructions to lie en perdue in a wood, which I would find some miles in front of the town.

"Now, gentlemen," said Sir Donald jestingly as we filed forth, "I hope you have put your worst doublets under your armour, for there will be many a helmet on the grass to-morrow."

"By my faith, colonel," replied Ian; "I have but one—my best and worst; so, if ever it comes to the drum-head, remember, gentlemen, that Tilly's Croats abstracted my wardrobe on the Elbe."

"Yes, but will it not be rather extravagant, M'Farquhar, to be killed with diamond buckles on your brogues?" asked Phadrig Mhor, his henchman and fosterer.

"What," retorted my cousin; "would you have Ian Dhu to lie on the field without other badge than his eagle's feather to shew that he deserves a deeper grave or a higher cairn than a gillie or trencherman?"

"Farewell, Sir Donald, and farewell, Ian," said I; "forward, gentlemen and soldiers!" and with our muskets trailed, at a double quick march, we took the road towards the pass of Oldenburg—the last road which many among us were ever to tread again.

By the time we were clear of the town, we could see the pistoliers far in advance of us, with their forked pennon of red silk fluttering on the wind, and their bright helmets flashing as they galloped to the front along the level roadway, from which the polished hoofs of their horses rolled up the smoke-like dust.

Our hearts beat high with excitement, for we expected every moment to see them rein up and halt, as a signal that the enemy's outposts were in sight; but they continued galloping on, and at last disappeared beyond that wood which had been indicated to me by the duke, and we scanned the horizon in vain for those columns of smoke,, which, from burning villages, and ravaged farms, invariably announced the scene of Tilly's operations, and the movements of his troops.

The ripe corn waved in the unshorn fields on each side of us; but with the moon a thick mist rose as usual from the meadows and pasture-lands, which gleamed like silver lakes through a veil of gauze. We passed a few wayside cottages, roofed with red tiles or bright yellow thatch; their owners had fled, and no places were occupied but the wooden dovecot—a perforated box, or old beer-barrel, elevated on the summit of a painted post, or on some scathed and leafless tree. Shortly after the rising of the moon, a man rode past us. He was dressed like a peasant of Holstein, in wide breeches having rows of metal buttons at the sides; a low broad hat and canvass doublet, belted with a rough baldric; coarse grey stockings, red garters, and wooden-soled shoes. He rode a strong and active horse.

"Softly, sir," said I, "a word with you."

He still rode on without attending to me.

"Harkee, fellow—dost hear?" I added, as Gillian M'Bane blew the match of his musket. Upon this the peasant turned back his horse, and touched his hat.

"Are you deaf, fellow?"

"A little, sir," said he, pointing to a bandage which encircled his head; "a Croatian sabre has laid bare my head from ear to eye."

"Are you a Dane?"

"I am of Schönburg."

"Have you travelled far to-day?"

"About three pipes," said he, taking his pipe from his mouth.

"Where did you come from last?" I asked, impatiently.

"Oldenburg, Mein Herr."

"Have you seen any thing of the Imperialists?"

"Heaven be blessed, no! They would have made but a mouthful of me. I am a poor, inoffensive man—a dealer in cattle, Mein Herr—I am going to Heilinghafen."

"You will find customers enough and to spare, my Schönburger; for Duke Bernard is there in quarters with eight thousand hungry men."

The trader appeared somewhat startled by this intelligence, but politely begged me to be assured that the Imperialists had not yet passed the Stoer; and then asked if I required his services in any way—on which I thanked him, and we parted. He galloped off.

His last observations had been less brief than others; they caused something of a familiar voice and manner to flash upon my memory. I paused and looked back; he had turned aside from the Heilinghafen road, and was riding headlong through the ripe corn-field in an opposite direction, but far beyond our reach.

"Oh no!—it cannot be—and yet, his voice! Fool that I am—was I blind?" I exclaimed.

"What—what is it?" asked Lieutenant Lumsdaine and Phaclrig Mhor together.

"But for his white eyebrows and beardless face, I could have sworn that was Bandolo."

"Oh—impossible!" said Lumsdaine; "Bandolo wandering here, in that way; besides, like a true German or Dutchman, he measured the distance by the smoking of his pipe. Cunning as he is, I do not think a Spaniard would ever have thought of that. It was so natural."

"True—but this man is a spy by profession, and practises all these little things."

"Dioul!" muttered Phadrig Mhor, shaking his halbert; "why did you not think of that before, captain?"

"There was a glamour before his eyes," said Gillian M'Bane in a whisper.

"No," replied Phadrig, gravely, as he shouldered his enormous axe; "but the spy's time is not yet come; it may come with our next meeting, if the captain looks better, for the oldest man that ever lived had to die at last."

I was both ashamed and exasperated at being so outwitted by a rascal like this Spaniard.

"May my tongue be blistered!" thought I; "for, if that was really Bandolo, between his cunning and my folly Duke Bernard will never reach the main army." I remembered the accurate numerical information I had afforded, and had no doubt he was riding as fast as his horse's heels could carry him to communicate with Tilly, who as yet was ignorant of our landing.

We halted at the wood—the remnant of a venerable fir forest, covering about a square mile. I placed a sentinel in front of it, and towards the road; then we penetrated to the centre, and there in an open space piled arms, lighted a fire, and after carefully fencing it round with stones to prevent it reaching the roots of the trees, prepared to cook the provisions our havresacks contained.



The poultry gleaned up by our foragers from the houses we had passed (deserted houses, remember), and the beef provided by our Fourrier de Campement before leaving the good ship, Scottish Crown of Leith, were boiled together in camp-kettles; and while I, with Lieutenant Lumsdaine and my ensign, Hugh Rose (of the Kilravock family), and Phadrig, with Gillian M'Bane, and three other gentlemen-musketeers of my company, formed one little mess, the rest of our comrades formed another, and were squatted on the grass, rending the tough beef with their teeth, and cutting the fowls with their dirks and skenes, and each was as merry as a man may be whose life is so uncertain as a soldier's, and who tries to make the most of it while it lasts.

Phadrig and Gillian were both duinewassals, and when at home in Strathdee both wore the wing of the Iolar in their bonnets. Honest Phadrig had lately declined a commission in another Scottish regiment, preferring his sergeant's halbert to the certainty of rank and being separated from Ian Dhu, whom his mother had nursed, and to whom he was hereditary henchman, loving him with that strong and reverential love which none but a Scottish Celt or an Irish peasant can understand.

Supper over, we rolled our plaids about us, and, after posting fresh sentinels at the verge of the wood, lay down to sleep on the soft dry moss and grass which grew under the thick trees of this old primeval wood—the last fragment of an ancient forest that once had spread from sea to sea.

At the same hour last night we had been breasting the waves of the Baltic.

Watching the changing features of the wood as the last embers shed their fitful light upon the tossing branches, I endeavoured to court sleep—but in vain, for the anxiety necessarily felt by every officer—especially a young one—when in charge of that most important of all duties, an outpost, kept me restlessly wakeful. I knew that the Baron of Klosterfiord was far in advance of me with his pistoliers; but then I expected momently to hear the sharp report of pistols and clang of hoofs upon the distant roadway, announcing that his reconnoitring troop was driven in by Tilly's Reitres.

As the few brands that crackled on our watch-fire brightened and reddened up to die away again, I lay watching the varying and fantastic shadows of the midnight wood, the gnarled trunks of whose red pines shone ruddily in the casual glow, then wavered indistinctly, and became black even as their wiry foliage, or the deeper black beyond, where the thick vista stretched away into obscurity. Above, not a star was visible; for the thick, broad branches were densely interwoven, and formed a roof, beyond which the tall black spires of the firs rose against the sky; and as the passing wind, when penetrating to the place where we lay, fanned the dying brands into a scarlet glow again, the passing gleam revealed the old knotty stems and branches twisted into a thousand fantastic shapes, red and black, or silver grey, like the freakish demons and stinted gnomes of Danish story, or the rude carvings in some grotesque cathedral aisle.

In the middle and dark ages, that peninsula had been covered by dark forests, in whose depths the pagan Wends, when spreading along the shores of the Baltic, worshipped their four-headed god of light; even in his own time (the 11th century), Adam of Bremen tells us, that only the shores of Denmark were inhabited, the interior being all a dark and impenetrable forest. I remembered the wild Holstein legend of the Pale Horse, which yearly bore the assassin of St. Erik the king, sweeping over hill and hollow, accompanied by shadowy hounds and the distant echoes of infernal horns, from that morass near the Eyder, where, embarrassed by the weight of his armour, he sunk and died; to the river where, in the preceding year, he had thrown the body of his murdered prince, and from thence to the royal vault at Ringsted, where the canonized victim lay. Once in each returning year, since that fatal night in 1252, the Holsteiners see the shadowy assassin making his terrible pilgrimage to the scenes of his sorrow, his crime, and his grave, where horse and man go down with a shriek that startles the Eyder in its oozy bed.

I thought of this and many another tale, while to my drowsy eyes all was becoming indistinct: my bare-kneed comrades slept beside me soundly and in close ranks; officers and men lay side by side, for, like friendship and misfortune, campaigning levels many petty distinctions. The lingering light of the fire fell upon their piled muskets with one last gleam, and then expired.

The almost palpable darkness of the forest banished my drowsiness, and I began to reflect on the strange tide of circumstances which had brought me so far from my secluded home, that old tower among the woods and rocks of Cromartie, and from my quiet and gloomy little chamber at the King's College, in the granite city, to the land of these wild scenes and bloody conflicts; and all because—but you will laugh when I say it—an antique silver spoon would not suit my poor little mouth when a child.

I smiled at my father's ridiculous prejudices, and, blessing the poor old man, uttered a fervent wish that in this protracted war I might yet win me a name, which would make him hail with pride the return of the son he had banished. Already I was a captain of musketeers, and I made a mental resolution that the fame of many a great feat should precede my return to my home, or that, like too many perhaps of my gallant comrades, I would lay my bones on the foreign battle-field for ever.

And Ernestine! I thought then of Ernestine—of her goodness and her beauty; of her father's wishes concerning that rough Reitre, Count Kœningheim; I writhed in my plaid at the thought of them, and grasped my dirk on recalling the conversation between Tilly and his ruffian follower.

By separation from Ernestine, the tender impression she had made upon me was increased—for such is the strength of imagination. This fancy or attachment I might doubtless have vanquished by an effort; but I had no reason to exert this effort, and so the fancy lingered in my breast, and strengthened there.

Something startled me.

Raising myself on an elbow, I looked round. Near me a hundred men were sleeping in the darkness; but beyond, at the skirts of the wood, a strange glow appeared between the trees. Some distant town was perhaps in flames; but no, it grew redder, deeper, broader, and then came a crackling sound, with a strong smell of smoke and burning wood. On turning round, the same appearance met my eye on two opposite points; and the lights brightened so fast, that I could see the helmets of the sleepers close beside me shining in the yet distant gleam.

Our sentinels fired their muskets. A pang of horror and dismay shot through my heart.

"Up, up! gentlemen and comrades!" I exclaimed, starting to my feet; "to your arms—to your arms! In three places the wood is on fire!"

At this appalling cry, the whole company sprang to their feet and unpiled their arms.

"The Imperialists are upon us!" cried Lumsdaine.

"The four corners of the wood are on fire," added Hugh Rose, drawing his claymore.

"Iosa—Iosa!" shouted the soldiers; "here come the flames!"

"What matters it, Captain Rollo," said Phadrig Mhor, brandishing his Lochaber axe, and belting his plaid about his giant figure; "the cowards would smoke brave men like rats, but we will break through, and do as Conan did with the devil. If bad they give, they will get no better. Into your ranks, my brave lads—close in, close in!"

"Put your plaids above your bandoleers, or they will explode!" I exclaimed; "hammer-stall your locks and matches—follow me—forward!"

"Quick, Donald M'Vurich!" cried Phadrig, administering a cuff with his gauntlet to a Highlander who lingered to poke his dirk into an abandoned camp-kettle, in the faint hope of fishing out something that might be left; "into your ranks! Is faide t-fhacail na t-fhéosag! By the Holy Iron! your teeth are longer than your beard!"

How shall I describe the scene of horror that immediately ensued!

Around us the whole wood was in flames!

Many of the pines were aged, dry, and decayed, and they stood in a bed of parched moss, thickly strewn with the old leaves and the withered branches of past summers. Running like wildfire along this inflammable stratum, the spreading flame caught the pines by their hollow trunks, and, narrowing on all sides to the centre, its frightful circle rapidly enclosed us. The glare, as the flame shot from pine to pine, from root to root, and branch to branch, though almost shrouded in the suffocating smoke of the green wood, was blinding; and the heat, blaze, and smoke increased—approaching nearer and more near.

My company became bewildered as the fiery circle narrowed round them; they were uncertain whether to advance or retreat—to keep together or to break and scatter. Volumes of smoke and columns of fire surrounded us; every knot and gnarl on the trunks of the trees, every leaf and blade of grass, every check in our tartans, became visible, as the red, livid glow that hemmed us in became closer and closer. From the broad yellow blaze which sheeted all the background, the solemn pines came forward in black outline—gloomy, tall, and towering, like conical spires. My soldiers were appalled; for the same brave hearts that would have stormed a breach or charged a brigade with all the heedless valour of their race, now quailed at the prospect of being roasted alive; and I cursed my own folly in bivouacking so far in the centre of the wood, instead of lying on its skirts; but who could have foreseen such a horrible catastrophe? Was it the result of chance, or the diabolical spirit of Bandolo?

"Dioul!" snorted Phadrig Mhor, half choked and half blinded; "we wander here like hornless cattle in a strange fold. Oich! we'll all be birselled in our iron, like partans in their shells!"

Surrounded on all sides by falling and flaming trees, and a terrific glare which, brightened and reddened as the forky flames waved in every puff of wind; while the roar of the conflagration, the hiss of the green branches, and the crackling of the knots and fissures as the old fir trunks were torn asunder, increased, till at last we felt the frightful glow upon our faces; and the burning moss, as the spreading fire consumed it almost under our feet, raised a smoke that had already suffocated more than one of my poor comrades.

Driven from their nests in the branches above, and their lairs in the roots and brambles below, the birds and other wild tenants of the wood flitted about us, blinded by terror.

Bewildered as we were, another minute had perhaps destroyed us; for the crash of every tapering pine, as it fell prostrate across our devious path, shot a million of sparkles and burning brands in every direction. Suddenly I perceived one dark spot!

There a rivulet trickled through the moss, in a broad and swampy channel, which the flame could not pass, and thus as yet the trees that overhung it were untouched.

"This way, comrades!" I exclaimed; "follow me—quick! Let us pursue the track of the burn; on—on! we have not an instant to lose."

This saved us; but still we had many perils to encounter, and by the way lost several men, who were suffocated by the smouldering moss, and the smoke it emitted, or were mutilated by the explosion of their bandoliers, or by the falling trees; for every moment, as I have said, some tall pine sheeted with flame came thundering down across our tortuous path, hissing in the little stream, scorching our bare legs, and blinding us still more with sparks and smoke. In a few minutes we were free, though fifteen men were left behind us; and next day we found them roasted in their corslets like tortoises in their shells.

On getting clear of this frightful place, the smoke of which enveloped all the country, and rolled across the waters of the Sound, we found ourselves upon the highway, where three of our sentinels, who had been posted in front of the wood, joined us. The fourth we found lying dead, with a poniard buried in his neck, and his musket gone, together with all the silver buttons which had adorned his doublet. To the poniard was attached a slip of paper. On this one word was written—Bandolo!

"And this act of horror has been his!" I exclaimed, looking back to the yet blazing wood; "truly, Count Tilly fights with worthy weapons."

"Tush!" said Lieutenant Lumsdame, shaking from his plaid and hair the sparks that yet retained there; "I heard Tilly order poor Dunbar's heart to be torn from his gallant breast, and then to be forced between his teeth! He saw this done by the hands of Bandolo, and then he turned deliberately to pray to an old pewter Madonna that adorns the band of his steeple-crowned hat. Ah!—you don't quite know Tilly yet."

And his ruffian had escaped me but a few hours before, though I had determined to have shot him like a wild beast, if there was not time for hanging him. In imagination, I often had him within my grasp as closely as once upon a time he was; and now I had seen him, conversed with him, and been again baffled by his confidence and matchless cunning! When I thought of that, and the sixteen brave men we had lost, I clenched my hands and ground my teeth with grief and anger.

"Gentlemen and soldiers!" I exclaimed, unsheathing my sword; "like true Highlandmen, swear with me to avenge the deed of this night. By wayside or hillside, by field or by forest, in hall or in homestead, swear that, if you cannot give him up to graver justice, you will slay this man Bandolo without mercy, even as the king has commanded; for, had he a thousand lives, his crimes require them all."

The whole company unsheathed their claymores, took one step forward, and, raising their eyes to heaven with their blades raised aloft, exclaimed in Gaëlic, and with an energy excited by the hot smart of many a scorch and scar—

"By M'Farquhar's soul, and by our fathers' graves, we swear it!"

Then in the Highland fashion, when swearing thus upon the Holy Iron, they kissed the bare blades, and, thrusting the points into the turf at their feet, stood for a moment in solemn silence.

"Now, my brave hearts," said I, "fall into your ranks—take off your hammerstalls and prepare for service! Hark, I hear the clink of hoofs!"

"And the drone of the Piob Mhor," added Phadrig, pricking up his ears; "hark you, my captain—if that is not Beallach na Broige, call me a Lowland bodach."

And as he spoke, the morning wind—for it was then about the hour of three—brought towards us distinctly the notes of the bagpipe.



The horsemen came up rapidly. We challenged, and they proved to be the baron's troop of pistoliers retiring from the front with a dozen of prisoners, whom they had taken somewhat by mistake, when falling suddenly among the cantonments of the enemy, having been misled, as their leader informed us, by the statements of a Schönburg cattle-dealer as to the locality of Tilly's outposts.

So dense was the smoke which had rolled from the burned wood across the country, that we could scarcely discern each other, and the baron's inquiries about the conflagration which had so greatly alarmed him were soon satisfied; and now, like a true man of the sword, perceiving that among the prisoners there were two ladies on horseback, I approached to discover whether they were young or old, pretty or plain, and prepared to sympathize with them. Both were clad in dark riding habits, and broad hats with gracefully drooping feathers; and both wore masks of black velvet.

"We have given the enemy's outguards an alerte," said the baron, "and, in revenge for it, some of the restless Croats will assuredly come this way. Allow me to direct that you should halt your musketeers here, until I report unto the Duke of Saxe-Wiemar the utter impracticability of attempting to make any junction with the king's troops by the way of Holstein; besides, I have just learned that he has fallen back on Flensburg, and that the whole duchy is in the possession of Tilly's troops, while those of Wallenstein are daily pouring in from Silesia."

"Then we must again seek flight by our ships."

"Such would be our wisest course; but no doubt Duke Bernard, who is brave as a lion, will endeavour to fall down into Holstein, if the sword can cut a passage for him. He will remember how Mansfeldt's Scots and Germans hewed their passage through the Spaniards at Fleura."

"And your fair prisoners—who are they?"

"Ladies of rank I believe, or," he added with one of his impudent winks, "ladies attached to the staff of one of Tilly's generals. By her voice, and her hands when ungloved, I could swear that the tallest one—she who sits in her saddle so erectly—is the most beautiful woman in Germany. 'Pon my soul I am quite enchanted, and shall become ensnared at last, like Mark Antony. As for that little one, with her nose somewhat retroussé, she is, also, enchanting."

"Where did you pick them up?" I asked, a little piqued at hearing any woman so praised—but one.

"We fell suddenly upon them near a village—shot four of the escort—scattered the rest—dismounted the officer (a dainty cavalier wearing a black velvet hat and white feather), and carried them off, with three other prisoners and ten horsemen, as you may perceive.

"Sir," said one of the ladies in a low voice, urging her horse sidelong towards me; "I beseech you to protect me from insult, if you have not forgotten that old chateau of Luneburg."

"Ernestine!" said I, as my blood rushed back upon my heart.

The Count of Carlstein had obtained the baron's castle and estate; and now the baron had unwittingly made reprisals by seizing the count's two daughters. Here was a catastrophe the end of which it was impossible to foresee.

"Ah, madame!" said I, timidly touching the hand which grasped her riding whip, "I owe you my life, and with that life I will protect you. And this is——"

"My sister Gabrielle!"

"Ah, Herr Kombeek!—I knew it was the Herr Kombeek," cried Gabrielle, almost riding me over, as she pushed her horse towards me; "ah, speak to me—I have not had one good laugh since you left us. How merry we used to be!"

"You are safe among us, ladies," said I, kissing the little hand of the childlike Gabrielle; "for we have no regiments of Croats or Merodeurs under the banner of Christian IV."

"His soldiers have indeed the reputation of being good and gentle, as they are valiant and strong," replied the haughty Ernestine; "but we are now prisoners, and at the mercy of these uncourteous pistoliers——"

"Mention my name to any one who would insult you; and believe me, madame, it will be a sufficient protection in the Danish camp."

"Oh yes!" said Gabrielle, bustling up in her saddle, "I will just say our friend is Herr Kombeek—or M'Combeek, is it?"

"The Highlanders call me M'Combich, because I am the friend of their chief; but my proper name——"

Here the baron uttered an impatient cough.

"Klosterfiord," said I; "you will protect these ladies, and see them conveyed to a place of safety."

"Undoubtedly—I have commanded a baggage guard before this."

"In both I have discovered friends——"

"What! is one the señora Prud——"

"Pshaw!" I exclaimed, placing my glove before his mouth; "treat them with every respect; to-morrow we shall have a cartel for their release. They are the daughters of the great Count of Carlstein, camp-master and colonel-general of the Imperial horse."

"Der teufel! the holder of my fief in Luneburg!"

"The same."

"By Jove! my boy, I shall take most particular care of them," replied the baron, twirling his mustaches; "they are my prisoners, and the price of ransom lies with me. This is a fortunate stroke of the goddess—that blind jade with the wheel. Ha! ha! Sir Count—thou hast my domain, with its parks and woods; my house, with its library, its wine-cellar, and other appendages—I have thy daughters. Let us see which we value most. 'Pon my soul, as things go I would rather have the women than the old house."

Knowing the baron to be somewhat of a gay man, and a roué, I felt my anger rise at his remarks; while he, probably piqued at the familiar terms on which I stood with his fair captives, said suddenly—

"You will halt here, my friend, until orders are sent to you to withdraw, and fear not for the ladies. I have had the care of all the women of an army before this——"

"Now, Karl, I must protest against this appropriation."

"Der teufel! appropriation—are they not my prisoners? ha! ha! ha! Do you want both, my unconscionable Scot! Wait till to-morrow, and we may share the spoil in fair camaraderie, but not till then. Pistoliers—forward—trot!"

The troop moved off towards Heilinghafen; I received a wave of the hand from Ernestine; Gabrielle brandished her whip, and then the whole group disappeared into the smoke which still rested on the face of the peninsula, for we occupied but a narrow headland which jutted out into the Baltic.

Any pleasure which I felt at the prospect of being able again to enjoy the society of Ernestine and her sister, and of having it perhaps in my power to return them the kindness with which they had treated me at Luneburg, was considerably clouded by the knowledge that they were the prisoners of this gay and provoking baron, whose gallantry and intrigues had gained him rather an evil reputation in our camp, and at the quiet court of Copenhagen. Besides, though both of us were captains, he was doubly my senior officer, for the Danish pistoliers ranked next to the king's regiment of guards. I knew not how he might be disposed to treat them; for the appropriation of his German property by the count, would naturally make the baron a little vindictive. One reflection consoled me; while they were Danish prisoners, I knew that Ernestine would be safe from the addresses of Count Kœningheim on one hand, and the daring stratagems of his worthy rival, Count Tilly's friend, on the other; but then they might be exposed to the insults of drunken soldiers or hostile boors, to the hardship and danger of that wandering and desultory warfare we were about to maintain among the Danish Isles; and, if I was shot or taken prisoner, they might be utterly unfriended.

My speculations had just reached this point, and I was about to become pathetic at the double prospect of my own demise and their unprotected condition, when day began to dawn; a rising wind rolled away the vapour, and, amidst the beautiful green of the landscape, we saw the scathed site of the burned wood, and the blackened trunk of many a pine, standing scorched and branchless among the mass of ashes and charcoal. In some places, a slight puff of smoke arose, to show where the embers yet were smouldering.

On that dark spot lay the bodies of sixteen of our comrades—men who yesterday morning were in the full enjoyment of life and all their faculties; but we had no time to bury them, so their poor remains were left to the wild animals, the "devouring dogs and hungry vultures," or to the polecats and weasels that lurked among the adjacent marshes.

While the morning was yet grey, the right wing of our regiment under the colonel, Sir Donald, came up with pipes playing; we joined, and together advanced towards the enemy.

"I have heard of all that has happened overnight, Captain Rollo," said the colonel; "and this day, before sundown, you shall perhaps have ample room to revenge your danger and loss. Duke Bernard has ordered us to seize the pass of Oldenburg and maintain it against Tilly until he has reimbarked his troops for Flensburg, as we have not the slightest chance of successfully reaching it by the way of Holstein. Our Scottish ships, and three others of the Danish fleet, are now close in shore at Heilinghafen."

"But can we undertake this desperate service with honour to ourselves?"

"With honour to ourselves we can undertake any thing," said Ian proudly; "and with honour to ourselves we hope to fulfil whatever we undertake. Look on the blade of my sword, Philip, and see what my ancestor, Gillespoc M'Farquhar, wrote there before he drew it against the Danes at the glorious battle of Luncarty, where we fought under King Kenneth III."

Ian held the blade, then brown with age, before my eyes, and I read upon it the noble sentiment, in the old Gaëlic letter, "Na tarruig mi gun obhair, 'sna cuir air ais mi gun onair."*

* It is curious, that many old Persian sabres are similarly inscribed.—Draw me not without cause—sheathe me not without honour.

"If ever I fall in battle, Philip, this sword is yours, but you must convey it to my father's house in Strathdee; for while they possess this sword, the Clan Farquhar will flourish, at least unto the tenth generation."

The sun rose brightly from the azure Baltic, the flowers put forth their perfume, and with our war-pipes pouring an old Highland march on the breeze—the cool fresh breeze of the autumn morning that floated over the fields—we advanced, with the fate of Duke Bernard's army in our hands (for we had to cover their retreat or perish), and entered the narrow pass of Oldenburg, four hundred strong; all stout fellows of the best clans in Scotland—resolute hearts as ever met death front to front, by flood or field.

In an hour we reached Oldenburg, a venerable town where Otho the Great founded a bishopric in the eighth century. It once had a noble harbour; but in the wars of Margaret of Denmark, whose chemise was carried on a lance against the armies of the Count of Holstein, the port and town were alike destroyed, since when it has been a poor place, and of little consideration. But it is of great antiquity; for I remember reading in an old MS. history, that on Harold Klack, King of Sleswig in 826, turning Christian, and being defeated in battle by his subjects near Flensburg, he took shelter in Oldenburg, and had himself, with his favourite wife and charger, built up in a stone wine tun, where the lady is heard to sing, the charger to neigh, and the king to wind his war-horn, until this day. We made the MS. up into ball cartridges; thus the reader may be assured, this account of Harold Klack's exit would be found in no other book extant than these memoirs.

We took possession of the pass, and proceeded at once to cut a trench across the road, to throw up a breastwork, and get under cover, on being further reinforced by the baron's pistoliers and a few Danish field culverins of brass, upon travelling carriages.

Book the Seventh.



Here again, as at Boitzenburg and elsewhere, the desperate duty of keeping Tilly in check until Duke Bernard's Danish forces were re-embarked, was reserved for the Highlanders of the regiment of Strathnaver. Well did the duke know, that if they failed, no other troops could perform this all but hopeless and most arduous duty. Bent on cutting off the retreat of our able and valiant leader, Tilly was marching all his force against that little peninsula, the neck of which is occupied by the venerable Oldenburg.

In the pass or hollow way through which the high-road wound, we threw up a strong barricade or redoubt of earth and turf, embrasured for six pieces of cannon, with the talus sloped for musketry; a ditch lay in front, and in the angle a small sallyport, by which our troop of pistoliers could pass out and retire again. We had this small troop of horse to assist us if compelled to retire; for it was then becoming customary to post squadrons of cavalry between platoons of infantry—a tactique first adopted by the Swedes after their great defeat in 1614.

We made the place very strong, flanked it out to give a cross fire, and availed ourselves of some ruinous walls, the fragments of an ancient fort—old perhaps as the days of Dan, the supposed founder of the Danish monarchy. The whole day we toiled, and with evening saw our barricade completed, then we rested for a time from our labours, which included the demolition of several houses for materials to construct the work, and the usual appropriation of their furniture for fuel to make ourselves comfortable.

On this evening—the last which many were doomed to see—the sun set gloriously. Sinking behind crimson bars, like an orb of burning gold, it lingered long in the shining west, for the scenery was level, or gently undulated, and interspersed by clumps of pale green birch and darker beech, and little marshy lakes, where the wild-goose and the snow-white swan were floating as yet undisturbed. Towards the pass where we were posted, the sunlight stole along the verdant hollows, tinging with a deep purple flush the little stream which last night had saved us, and was now gliding on without obstruction, and stealing imperceptibly towards the Baltic. The horizon was all of a violet hue; the spire of Oldenburg seemed a cone of flame, and the ocean a mirror of blue and gold. The corn was waving in yellow ear; the heather moss was in purple flower, just as we might see it in our own dear mountain home; the honey-bee was floating over the wild-flowers that grew by the wayside; while the woodlark and goldfinch sang in the scattered coppice, and the brown sparrow and the robin redbreast twittered on the green hedges. I remember that Ernestine told me a beautiful old German legend about that honest bird the robin, and how its breast first became reddened by flying against the side of our wounded Saviour, when bleeding upon the cross. It is an ancient and pretty legend, and, like others, will soon be forgotten.

In the warm sunshine, I lay on the grassy sward reflecting on the deadly struggle which was about to ensue, and had inevitably to be encountered before I could have the least chance of again seeing Ernestine.

I might be carried on board, wounded perhaps, to be again under her tender care; or I might perhaps be placed on board another vessel; or, more likely than, either, I might be left behind, shot in the pass, to lie there—left unburied by the Imperialists; left, like too many of our brave men, to gorge the maws of the wolf and the raven.

Amid this gloomy reverie, I heard the drums beat and the pipes sound the gathering; all my dark thoughts were forgotten in a moment; I fastened my plaid, drew my sword, and sprang up to lead my company to its duty.

The Imperialists were coming on, and now were less than half a mile distant; the head of the first column was marching straight towards us, as we could distinctly perceive by the cloud of dust which rolled along the roadway, and the brightness of their arms, which, as they were advancing, reflected the sun's rays steadily and perpendicularly, for it is necessary to march with arms shouldered when the matches are lighted. If the glitter of arms is varied and uncertain, outposts may always be assured that the enemy are retiring.

Galled by our six pieces of cannon, which every moment ploughed frightful lanes through their deep formation, three heavy columns came on, leaving a long train of killed and wounded behind them. The din of this cannonade brought out the other wing of our regiment from Heilinghafen to support us.

Loud and long blew Torquil Gorm, our piper-major and his companions; and, as the wild pibroch of Mackay floated over the level country, we heard the drums of the Imperialists beating in defiance and reply. By the aid of his Galileo glass, Sir Donald, our colonel, discovered that the attacking column was the ferocious regiment of Merodé, with the red cross and black eagle on its colours.

Their cannon slew many of our men; the first struck was my ensign, Hugh Rose of Kilravock, whose leg was torn off immediately below the kilt, by the ball of a spirole, or serpentine gun, and he was carried to the rear across the Lochaber axes of Phadrig Mhor and Sergeant M'Gillvray; but the brave boy's spirit never quailed, and he frequently cried,

"Stand by the white banner—the brattach bane! Stand by the Scottish cross, my brave comrades! I shall march with you on a wooden stump yet."

"Children of the Gael," cried our colonel in Gaëlic; "keep shoulder to shoulder; here is the white banner of Clan Aoidh—blow your matches—guard your pans—give fire!"

Like a stream of red light, the rapid musketry poured death over the summit of the dark earthen bank, and we saw the Imperialists falling over each other, like fish shaken out of a net; while the thirsty soil literally smoked with their Austrian blood. There was a momentary pause! But the ranks were closed up; the colours were bent forward, and their officers with brandished pikes and rapiers led them on. A lurid streak of fire ran along their ranks; closely and simultaneously it flashed from all the levelled muzzles, and a hail-storm of bullets was poured against us, but they generally sank thick and fast into the breastwork, or swept harmlessly over our heads. A few rattled among our helmets, and I heard a heavy clattering on my right and left, as a few of our soldiers fell prone with all their accoutrements on the ground.

On pressed the undaunted foe with tumultuous shouts; with standards waving and hoarse drums beating rapidly, they spread before us like a glittering mass, and our men fired point-blank into it, being sure, as the colonel said, that "every bullet would kill more than its man."

"To your duty! to your duty! my brave hearts of Strathnaver! level low, and level surely!" exclaimed our colonel, waving his sword over the parapet, his scarlet plaid and rich Spanish doublet making him the aim of a hundred muskets. "They break, but they do not recoil; they are again advancing. Well done, men of Lochnaver-side—my father's people! To your duty, clan Aoidh, clan Vurich, and clan Chattan!" he added, to compliment and encourage the men of the various tribes who composed the regiment.

Ian, M'Coll of that Ilk, Munro of Culcraigie, M'Kenzie of Kildon, and others, imitated his example; and a wild Highland cheer responded to the bold chieftain of Mackay, the hero of a hundred feudal conflicts and daring creaghs; while the rattle of brass buts and ramrods, the casting about of muskets, with the incessant and rapid fire volleyed over the breastwork, evinced how arduously our soldiers fought; and every time the smoke cleared away, we saw the brave pikemen of Camargo, and the hardy musketeers of Merodé writhing on the ground, and rolling over each other in their agony. In many places there were others who lay still enough indeed.

Led by officers of the most heroic courage and devoted zeal,—among whom I recognised the Count of Carlstein, conspicuous by his brilliant armour, red plume, and beautiful horse, brandishing Ironhewer—again the first column flung themselves like a living sea against the redoubt, and leaped into the rough trench, officers and musketeers, pikemen and halberdiers, pell-mell, with standards, scaling-ladders, axes, and sledge-hammers.

"Pikes against stormers," cried Sir Donald; "pikemen to the front—shoulder to shoulder, my children! Fire, musketeers!—fire low, and push with your pikes, my gallant pikemen! The bullet misses, but the pike never. To your duty, my brave duinewassals—my true Scottish cavaliers! Claymore—claymore and biodag!"

Loaded to their muzzles with musket-shot and grape, our cannon, swept the ditch, and cleared it of all but the dead and the dying, who lay there in frightful heaps, with their maimed bodies and torn armour drenched in that red current which the thirsty soil imbibed. Again and again they came on, and again and again we repelled them—maintaining the pass against them for two hours with the most desperate valour.

Thrice I saw the count—the brave father of Ernestine—fall, when, struck by successive shots, his horse sank under him; but he seemed to have a charmed life, and thrice his noble horse was again dragged to its feet by the assistance of Count Kœningheim, his aide-de-camp, whose sword-arm was tied up by a blood-stained scarf. Thus was the contest continued until our men became exhausted by casting about their muskets, and their bandoleers were emptied.

We then fell back and gave place to our left wing under Ian; again the fury of the Imperialists was severely curbed, and again the deadly strife was renewed with them, till the encumbered ditch was almost piled breast-high with dead. For every Highlandman who lay killed or wounded behind the redoubt, at least ten Austrians lay before it; for in showers our cannon shot tore through their dense ranks, which were eight and twelve deep, an ancient order of battle which Tilly obstinately retained, and which is coeval with the wars of Julius Caesar.

To me this carnage was nothing then; my blood was fairly roused, and the poor shattered fragments of humanity that lay in the trench, were of little more moment than the fallen leaves of a forest. Yet I could recall the time when I had shuddered at the puncture of a doctor's lancet; but none save an old soldier can know how (for a time) such scenes will harden the human heart.

We formed in rear of the left wing, and almost beyond musket-shot; but our hearts were still on fire, and again we longed to join in that fierce strife before us. The sun had set; but the moon was rising from the Baltic to aid the long lingering twilight of the north, and above the clouds of snow-white smoke which enveloped the sconce, the pass, and the assailing columns, we saw the black ravens floating in mid-air; for these dire birds had learned to know the sound that usually preceded their ghastly banquets.

Our dead and wounded lay around us thickly; and among the former, I found my poor young ensign, Hugh Rose. He lay within three feet of a bright brooklet, which gurgled among the long grass and the wild-flowers. Left to bleed to death, the unhappy sufferer had evidently expired in a futile attempt to reach the water, and many others who had crawled so far lay dead within it; thus, crimsoned with their blood, that flower-bordered rivulet soon became a hideous puddle; yet therein our wounded and weary would still continue to slake their thirst, crowding and jostling each other as they drank out of their helmets and hands.

As I viewed this painful scene by the cold glare of the moon, I thought of the old Danish ballad of the great battle at Chalons, where the vassal kings of Attila, the scourge of God, fought against the warriors of Ætius; for it is related that there a similar incident occurred.

Meanwhile, the roar of musketry continued in front, and the brave men of our left wing, under my valiant kinsman the major, kept the foe in check until the night was fairly set in, when Rittmaster Hume of Carrolside, colonel of the Scottish pistoliers, arrived from Duke Bernard with an order for us to retire, as his troops, horses, and cannon were all re-embarked, but this was afterwards proved to be a mistake. Immediately upon this our cannon were spiked to render them useless—a fashion first introduced by Gaspar Vimercalus of Bremen; the redoubt was abandoned; our left wing fell back double quick, and formed with the right into one solid square, with the pikes without, the musketeers and colours within.

We retired as fast as we could, aware that if the Imperial cavalry and artillery got through the barricade at the pass, all would be over with us; as the former would inevitably cut us to pieces if we formed line, and the other might slaughter us by whole companies if we retreated in square.

With yells of fierce triumph, like a pack of unkennelled blood-hounds, we could perceive the regiments of Merodé and Camargo swarming over the deserted breastwork, where their helmets and weapons flashed and glittered in the moonlight as they formed in some order and pursued us double quick.

At that decisive moment they received a sudden check; for the gallant Baron of Klosterfiord, taking advantage of their partial formation, advanced against them with his troop, which was principally composed of sturdy Holsteiners.

"Holstein, Holstein!" cried the baron, rising in his stirrups and brandishing his sword.

"Holstein Glaube! Holstein Glaube!" cried the pistoliers, and with plumes of white horse-hair waving on their steel helmets, and the blue blades of their rapiers flashing in the moonlight, they swept forward; and their heavy horses—the large, dark, glossy bays of Holstein and Jutland—burst headlong into the Austrian ranks, and rode right through them. There was a tremendous crash—a yell—a horrible confusion, and a flashing of swords; then a discharge of fire-arms was followed by the sound of a trumpet, and the brave pistoliers rejoined us at a hand gallop, leaving only a few of their number behind them. It was, indeed, a brilliant charge!

Captains M'Kenzie of Kildon, the Red M'Alpine, Sir Patrick Mackay, and the laird of Tulloch, with Lieutenant Stuart, and five ensigns, were severely wounded in this affair; so many officers had been killed that we had scarcely enough left to command our pikes; and the colonel's own company, which was almost entirely composed of young duinewassals, or Highland cavaliers of good family, was literally reduced to a skeleton.

Between us and the enemy it was now a race for who should first reach Heilinghafen; but in rapidity of movement they were no match for the barekneed men of the Scottish mountains.



Without firing another shot, we reached Heilinghafen, and found the town in a state of unparalleled uproar. Terrified by the noise of the cannon and musketry at Oldenburg, and still more by the rapid advance of the enemy, the mariners of the Danish and Scottish ships, with their masters and mates, would not leave their anchorage to haul inshore and embark the troops, who were all crowded on the beach and mole—officers and soldiers, horse and foot, women, baggage, and pioneers, pikemen and musketeers, without formation or discipline, and struck with a panic by the vicinity of the foe—a panic which our appearance, as we advanced in dense column towards the beach or pier, with arms sloped and matches lighted, increased.

I thought of Ernestine and Gabrielle; where were they amid all that frightful commotion?

The enemy were close at our heels; there was not a moment to be lost between deciding upon instant embarkation, or a surrender of the whole eight thousand men to Count Tilly. Duke Bernard and his bravest and most distinguished officers, even the Baron Karl and Rittmaster Hume, had lost all authority, for a terror of the victorious Imperialists bore all before it; and there, as if to tantalize us, was our fleet lying in the roadstead, with the loosened sails glimmering in the broad moonlight, which shed a blaze of splendour on the wide blue Baltic.

A mole, or broad pier of stone, which jutted out into the sea, was densely crowded by a column of cavalry, nearly a thousand German Reitres and Danish lancers, who were waiting the approach of two large vessels, the Scottish Crown of Leith, and a Dane, whose crews, more courageous than others, were fast warping inwards, and had approached within fifty yards of the shore. A shout of rage burst from our ranks, when we found ourselves compelled to halt before this hopelessly disorganized mass.

"Duke of Saxe-Weimar," said our colonel to the general, "after holding the pass of Oldenburg for the whole evening against ten thousand men, are my brave soldiers—the children of my tribe—to fall into the hands of the foe, because these Danish cowards will neither fight nor flee!"

"Taunt me not, Sir Donald Mackay," replied the brave Bernard, lifting the umbriere of his helmet by one hand, and reining in Raven, his fiery war-horse, by the other; "for they have sealed their own doom—not I. But they have covered with disgrace the name I have won me on two-and-twenty battle-fields."

"Seven hundred brave hearts yet remain to you," replied the stately chief, who was an old comrade of the duke, "and these will embark your excellency, or perish on the shore."

"By the grey stone of M'Gregor, we will!" added M'Alpine, who led the first company.

"Dioul! it was well said, stout colonel," said Ian; "shall we be the victims of these hen-hearted cowards! Are these figures in iron, women or slaves?"

"Let us clear the pier of the horsemen! Let us attack and cut to pieces this band of cowards who bar the way!" cried McAlpine.

"Let us form square and fire on them," said M'Kenzie of Kildon.

"But they will charge us," added another officer.

"Dioul!" said Tan; "let us charge them, and then their blood be on their own heads. Hark—by the Holy Iron! there are the cannoniers of the enemy."

"Pikemen to the front—to the front against horsemen!" cried Sir Donald in a voice of thunder, while high in his stirrups he raised his towering form; "heed not the wolves behind—but bear away those sheep in front! Shoulder to shoulder, Highlandmen—forward, charge!"

At this terrible moment the yell of our pibroch, and the distant boom of the Imperial cannon, were but additional spurs to us. Formed in line, eight ranks deep, the whole breadth of the mole, our pikemen rushed like a hedge of steel upon the mass of mailed horsemen, whose officers strove, but vainly, to put them in some order to resist an attack so unexpected.

"Draw swords—unsling carbines! blow matches—goad flanks! Denmark! Denmark! Vivat Christian IV!" we heard them exclaiming, and endeavouring by the unsparing use of their swords to enforce obedience, but in vain. The horses in front recoiled madly upon those in rear, and in two minutes the unwieldy crowd was driven over the shelving edge of the open pier, headlong into the water, where they fell in piles over each other surging heavily down, horses and riders, for our charge was so fatally victorious that the old Count of Rantzau alone escaped.

The fiery temperament of the Highland soldier admirably calculates him for the assault and charge; thus, in every battle since the field of Luncarty, a charge of clans has been irresistible. In the onset, the fierce enthusiasm spreads along the line from heart to heart, like wild-fire or lightning; for if the impetuous rush and shock of falling headlong, and weapon in hand, among the ranks of a shrinking foe, will kindle a blaze of chivalry even in the dullest heart, how much must it inspirit and inspire a race of hereditary soldiers, like the clans of the Scottish Gael!

Along the side of the pier, on both hands, the scene was literally awful!

Heilinghafen was now in flames; for the Duke, like a wise general, to prevent the foe from finding shelter, had fired the old wooden town in six places, and thus six columns or sheets of fire shed a livid blaze of light upon the harbour, where in a seething mass of foam—the result of their frantic efforts—a thousand armed horses and their mailed riders were drowning or struggling for life. Among the froth and surf, the men clung wildly to each other, and to their horses, sinking in groups, and rising singly to disappear again. The cries of the despairing and the drowning, the splashing of their futile struggles for life, as they swam or sank among a mass of maddened chargers, terrified by the blood-red blaze shed from the burning town upon the water, were piteous in the extreme. The commotion made by them in the surf, actually rolled it in billows on the shore—billows which soon became tinged with blood; for the Imperial cavalry, which now came up with a few light falconets, cruelly opened a fire upon this frightful chaos, and thus the few of the Danish horsemen who might have escaped the waves and a watery grave, perished under the shower of iron poured upon them from the shore.

Our soldiers made a halt, and a half-smothered cry of pity rose from their ranks; for these drowning troopers had been our comrades in more than one encounter.

At that moment a man appeared at the edge of the mole, to which he had scrambled up—Heaven alone knows how—and with a light hatchet he hewed with furious zeal to sever the warps by which the ships were approaching to save us.

"Bandolo, the spy!" I exclaimed, recognising my Schönberg trader in the canvass doublet. "By Heaven, it is Bandolo!"

Gillian M'Bane, Donald M'Vurich, and another soldier, levelled their muskets; all fired at once, and with a yell Bandolo tumbled headlong into the water, to swell the list of the drowning.

"Ah—spy and assassin—thou art gone at last!" thought I.

"Captain Rollo, the enemy's horse are close upon us. Cover our rear with your company until Duke Bernard is on board," said Sir Donald, as he passed me on foot, dragging by the bridle his snorting charger.

Aided by a temporary gangway, our soldiers crowded on board the first ship that reached the mole; and, in token that she was ours, Sir Donald planted the Scottish ensign on her poop.

Though they were fired at by the panic-stricken Danes, who crowded the beach in thousands, two regiments of Austrian horsemen swept along the pier to cut us off; but with my company of musketeers I boldly confronted them. Ian, M'Alpine, Phadrig Mhor, and stout sergeant M'Gillvray were close by my side, and we all fell on with pike and musket, like true Scottish hearts. M'Alister of Lairgie, a poor young ensign, who had lost Kildon's company in the confusion and joined mine, was shot dead; but I snatched from him the Brattach Bane, the white banner of Mackay, as he fell into the water, and, throwing myself forward with it in my left hand, and a cocked pistol in my right—

"Gentlemen and comrades!" I exclaimed, "if you would not lose your honour, defend this standard, for thus far shall the enemy come—but no farther." I placed the staff between two stones of the pier, and a fresh conflict began around it. I was the aim of a hundred pistols; but, though horsemen seldom or never hit their mark, the bullets tore the standard to pieces.

Conspicuous among the black-mailed Reitres, I recognised the Count of Carlstein in his polished steel, with his scarlet plume, the golden fleece at his breast, and his beautiful charger Bellochio streaming with blood.

"On—on, Kœningheim!" we heard this splendid soldier exclaiming as he brandished his sword—the famous Ironhewer (so often mentioned in the Svedish Intelligencer.) "Charge with your lancers and Reitres! To the left—to the left; upon the Danes and down with them, but spare the poor lads in tartan! Close up—close up! forward Kœningheim, for my daughters are on board one of those very vessels!"

How my heart beat at these words, which I heard distinctly amid the hellish uproar around me and below.

On came the Reitres and lancers mingled, their armour dimmed by blood and dew; on—on, seeming like men and horses of black marble, when seen between us and the red blaze of the town, now sheeted with flame, in their rear. There was a shock, as with levelled weapons and bare knees on the ground, our pikemen met them like a wall; then sharp swords rang on polished helmets; bright lances reeking with blood flashed in the air, as they were thrust, withdrawn, and thrust again; banners rustled and bullets whistled; musketry rattled and cannon boomed along the echoing beach; while the dull roar of the conflagration, and the last cries of the still drowning horsemen, made up a medley of horrors which no mortal pen could ever relate, or pencil portray.

From the poop and forecastle our musketeers, under Kildon and Culcraigie, now opened a fire upon the Austrian horsemen, levelling right over our heads, while our drums were beating for us to retreat on board, that the warp might be cut or cast off.

"On—on, Kœningheim! On, Halbert Cunningham of the Boortree-haugh!" I heard the count again crying, but in his own mother tongue; for in the excitement of the moment, his German passed away. "Let us spare, if we can, our kindly Scots; but press on—thou to recover thine affianced wife—I my daughters. To your pistols, my Reitres, and fire on the Danish mariners; to your pistols!"

All my company were now on board save myself and a few more. All at once I found myself beneath this brave soldier of fortune, who, in his rage and anxiety to recover his daughters; had forced a passage to the very gunnel of the ship. By one downward blow his sword broke mine; his next would have been through me; but I sprang upon him and grasped Ironhewer by the blade, which almost cut my gloves and hands to boot. To the very edge of the pier he spurred his plunging horse, and, in striving to shake me from his sword, kicked me repeatedly with his heavy jackboots, which were strongly ribbed with iron; for, in his blind efforts to thrust me into the water, it was evident that he never recognised me.

"Count, count!" I exclaimed, hanging wildly on his sword; but in a moment I was free, for by one blow of his ponderous Highland blade, Ian almost clove asunder the head of his already wounded horse. Then, with its rider, the dying Bellochio fell heavily into the water, while Phadrig Mhor like a giant grasped me by the plaid, and half dragged, half threw me on board of the ship. "Save him, Ian!" I exclaimed; "let us save him at least—he is the father of Ernestine!"

"The father of—who do you say?" asked Ian and Phadrig.


"Who is she?—but it is too late—too late—he is swept away! If he were Father Adam, or Father Time himself, we could not save him; away with the warp—out sweeps—hurrah!" cried twenty voices.

At that moment a horseman in full armour galloped madly along the mole; burst through the Austrians like a thunderbolt; and dealing a deadly blow at Kœningheim, who tried to intercept him, then urged his horse to a frantic leap, and bounded on board of the ship, which was already in motion, and receding from the pier! It was one of the most daring feats of horsemanship ever performed!

"It is the duke—Bernard of Saxe-Weimar!" cried a hundred voices, all expressive of astonishment.

What a scene did the water around us exhibit! Here and there a drowned or dying horse drifted past, with the rider's spurred boots still in the saddle, though perhaps his whole body was reversed and below water; a few kettle-drums were floating about like anchor-buoys; here and there rose and sank a gauntleted hand or a helmeted head; and, thick as rushes on a mountain lake, the demi-pikes and cavalry standards were floating on the surge.

Swimming near a dead horse, we saw one solitary trooper, who cried to us to save him.

His horse was white, and the drenched plume in his helmet was red. It was the count, and Ian recognised him; this was fortunate, for a severe bruise, obtained I know not how, incapacitated me from rendering the least assistance at that time.

"For your sake, Philip, I will save him," said my gallant cousin; "a brave soldier is ever grateful; but now, while I souse me overboard, make our master-mariner lay his foreyard to the wind."

Ian threw off his helmet and cuirass, tied a cord to his waist, sprang over and swam to the sinking veteran, whom he saved from a miserable death. The count had Eisenhauer grasped firmly in his hand; but poor Bellochio had gone to feed the fishes of the Sound.

The moment the count and his rescuer were both on board, we bore away; and, by the dying blaze of Heilinghafen, could perceive the wreck of Duke Bernard's army surrender their horses, their cannon, colours, drums, and themselves to the Imperialists—in all thirty-six troops of horse, and five strong regiments of Danish and German Infantry. Rittmaster Hume's Scottish pistoliers, who had preserved their discipline, cut a passage towards Flensburg in triumph; but of the foot, the regiment of Strathnaver had alone escaped!



By this stroke of misfortune, forty stand of Danish colours, even those of Karl's pistoliers (gules with the nettle-leaf of Holstein), became the trophies of Count Tilly; and the fertile provinces of Holstein, with north and south Juteland, were lost by King Christian, whose operations from that day until the great siege of Stralsund, were but a series of flights. The wreck of his own army retired across the Little Belt, while another column of infantry, which had escaped to the northern promontory of Juteland, and passed the Lïïmfiord into Yendsyssel, were there forced to lay down their arms; and, for a time, the Austrian eagle spread his wings from the banks of the Elbe to the shores of the Skager Rack.

The ship on board of which we—with the general—had so fortunately escaped, was the Anna Catharina, so named after the queen of Denmark, and built by Sinclair, a Scottish ship-builder, who was then master of the Danish dockyards. She was a large ship with two flush decks, a forecastle, and poop adorned with three gigantic lanterns; she had thirty ports for demi-culverins, and elsewhere carried twenty falconets; with these, Ian and some of our cavaliers sent an occasional shot at the shore as the yards were squared, and before a western breeze we bore away from Holstein for the Danish Isles, with our prow turned towards the Little Belt.

Cleaning their arms, stanching wounds, cooking, laughing, and making light of the past danger, our soldiers crowded the fore-decks; but in the great cabin, full of deep and bitter thoughts, Bernard of Saxe-Weimar sat writing to the king a sad detail of the loss of his troops and territories.

Around him, on couches, on lockers, on gun-carriages, and on the floor, were a number of Highland officers, many of them severely wounded, resting after the toils of the late contests at Oldenburg and Heilinghafen; and on their bronzed faces, their dark tartans, and battered armour, the light of an iron lamp fell fitfully, as it flickered and swung from a beam of the deck above. Near the duke sat the master, a short, thickset man, red-bearded and sunburned, wearing a flat fur cap, and enormous pair of crimson breeches. He had a keg of schnaps under his arm, and from it he was liberally filling the quaighs of those around him.

"Thy name?" said the duke abruptly, laying down his pen.

"Nickelas Valdemar, your excellency," replied the skipper, humbly removing his fur cap, being somewhat startled by the abruptness of the duke's manner.

"Kneel down, sir," said Bernard, unsheathing his sword.

"I beseech your excellency to spare me—to pardon me, if—if——" faltered the poor man, tottering down on his knees, and eyeing the bright blade askance with startled eyes; "if—if," he paused again.

"If what, sir—dost think I am going to kill thee?"

"If I was too long of hauling inshore; but I assure your excellency that the wind was right ahead——"

"Nay, my good man, better late than never. Of all my coward fleet, thou and yonder gallant Scot didst alone warp shoreward, and saved me with the help of this brave regiment; for that good deed I dub thee knight—arise, Sir Nickelas Valdemar!"

"Knight Valdemar!" reiterated the honest skipper, drawing up his punchy figure to the full extent of its short height, and taking a complacent view of himself from his red beard to his brass shoe-buckles. "Knight Valdemar!—oh, your excellency! what news this will be for my poor old mother, who sells tallow and pitch at Helsingör. I shall now carry my pennant through the Sound at the mainmast-head, like the king himself or any other knight of the Dannebrog—and who shall say me nay? not the admiral of Zeeland himself. Knight Valdemar!—oh, your excellency——"

"Your ship is named——"

"The Anna Catharina, your excellency."

"Oh—did you receive on board the prisoners I sent you yesterday morning?"

"Four in number—yes, your excellency."

"The Count of Carlstein would pay his respects to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar," said Ian, entering unhelmeted, and leading in the brave Imperialist, who had now somewhat recovered from the effect of his dangerous immersion.

"The Count of Carlstein, now colonel-general of the Imperial horse! I knew not that a soldier so renowned in arms was our prisoner," replied the duke, rising; and then they saluted each other with the utmost politeness.

"We meet under different circumstances now than when last we met, Saxe-Weimar," said the count, with a smile.

"Yes, at Lütter, just below the castle wall. I was at the head of my German cavalry, and you——"

"At the head of Cronenborg's invincibles."

"We had a tough two hours of it with pistol and spada," said the duke, laughing; "but remember that now, saved as you have been from drowning, Count of Carlstein, you are not to be considered as our prisoner. Go—I free you; retain that sword which you have ever drawn with honour against us, and unransomed rejoin your victorious soldiers on the first opportunity; for us, they are too fatally victorious. To-day I have lost my dukedom, and to-morrow Denmark may lose her crown."

"A thousand thanks, gallant Bernard! This is so like the modern mirror of chivalry we consider you; like that gallant warrior who defended himself amid the flight and carnage at Lütter with the strength and valour of Achilles. But I will not hold my freedom so cheap, and from this hour you must consider my castle and town of Geizar in Bohemia your own. It may repay you; but how can I repay the debt of eternal gratitude I owe unto this gallant Scottish gentleman—my countryman—my friend;" said the count, taking the hands of Ian in his own; "for in a moment of unparalleled peril, at the risk of his own life, he saved mine from amid that mass of drowning Danes and plunging chargers. Ha—I have here another friend!" he added, in our own Scottish tongue, as he turned to me; for, dubious of how he might greet me, I stood a little back from the group, and leaned upon a handsome sword M'Alpine had given me. "By my soul, young sir! you nearly ruined me with Count Tilly, by that escapade at Luneburg. What the deuce were you doing under the auld carle's bed? He vowed by all the saints of Rome that I had a design to assassinate him."

"I entered the chamber of Tilly by mistake," said I; "and my blundering follower, in his fear and confusion, crept under the bod."

"And now, sirs," said the count, as he suddenly changed countenance; "may I ask if you know aught of two ladies who, with their servants, were yesterday taken prisoners by a patrol of Klosterfiord's pistoliers?"

"They were delivered to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar," replied Sir Donald Mackay.

"Duke, duke! these ladies are my daughters," said the count—with a faltering accent.

"They have been treated as such," replied the duke, "and I rejoice, count, in being able by one graceful act of kindness to draw a veil over the horrors of to-night."

The duke suddenly drew back a double door, revealing another cabin beyond, where we saw two ladies seated together, half embraced, and near a table lighted by a lamp.

"Ernestine—Gabrielle!" cried the count. He sprang forward, and, with a mingled cry of surprise and joy, his daughters threw their arms around him.

The keen blue eyes of the gallant Bernard glistened, and with much good feeling he softly closed the door upon this tender scene.



As I ascended to the upper deck my heart was full of joy, at the thought that Ernestine, whom I had considered all but lost to me for ever, was so suddenly restored; that her father was with us, and that we were now all together sailing quietly on the Danish waters, and far from the rival he had proposed—that Count Kœningheim, whom—though he was a brave and honest fellow—I cordially wished at the bottom of the Red Sea.

The first sentiment that Ernestine had awakened within me returned with renewed force; the sound of her voice—one glimpse of that well-remembered form—had recalled it all, as it were, from the depth of my heart, and I felt that I loved her as she deserved to be loved. But the count, her father!—the thought of him gave me an unpleasant twinge. What would he, a Catholic, an Imperialist, a noble and high military officer under that ambitious Emperor who had bestowed upon him so many princely gifts, think of me loving his daughter; for I was but a poor soldier of fortune—a captain of musketeers, under the unfortunate King of Denmark.

My heart sank at the comparison; but I reflected that the count was brave, generous, and not indisposed to love me: that he, too, had probably left our Scottish hills, a poor cavalier with no other inheritance than his sword: and that my birth and blood were perhaps as good as his own. My heart rose again at these thoughts, and now I looked towards the shore.

The wind had changed. We were lying a westward course, and had run about fifteen Danish miles; the lights of the burning town had disappeared upon our larboard quarter, and we were now off the mouth of the bay of Kiel; the glassy sea and the level shores within it, lay sleeping in the moonlight, in the cold white lustre of which our sails shone like new-fallen snow. Here and there, to mark a promontory or a shoal, a great beacon of coals or other fuel was blazing on the summit of a cairn or an ancient tower, and shedding a long and tremulous line of light upon the heaving water.

As we passed the mouth of the Kielerfiord, we saw afar off the capital of Holstein, with its spires; for the pure blue of the northern sky made all beneath it, distinct to us, as at noonday, and what a change of scene was that quiet shore, with its gentle slopes, its thatched farm-houses and green islets, its clumps of waving trees and glassy water, all steeped in the silver splendour of a full autumnal moon, when compared to the carnage and the horrors I had witnessed a few hours before!

The pride of my profession sank in my breast, and a disgust at war almost arose within me. For a moment I wondered not at the old Danish story of Adolphus IV., the conquering Count of Holstein, who, in the thirteenth century, exchanged in old age his armour for the cassock of a mendicant friar, and, surrendering all he possessed to God and the poor, begged his bread from door to door through the streets of yonder town, his capital of Kiel; and I sorrowfully reflected that in another day the victorious legions of Tilly would spread over these fair districts like a desolating flood.

Like a courteous noble and gallant soldier, Duke Bernard resigned the great cabin to the count and his daughters; and he supped with us that night on salted Hamburgh beef and Rostock beer. We drank deep bickers to the health of Christian IV.; to our countrywoman the fair Queen of Bohemia; and to the confusion of those Imperialists, against whom the little power of Denmark was struggling so fruitlessly; and the lights of Skovbye were shining on the waters of the Lesser Belt before we rolled ourselves in our plaids, and lay down to sleep on the hard planks of the lower deck; for there—as in the field—the officer could fare no better than the private musketeer.

Next morning the wind blew freshly from the shore; the water was rough, and the Anna Catharina lurched heavily.

A message from the count and his daughters, invited Ian and me to join them at breakfast in the great cabin; and we put ourselves in the best attire that circumstances would permit. We were still in our fighting doublets. Phadrig Mhor, with a piece of buff belt, polished our corslets and gorgets till they shone like mirrors; we adjusted our plaids and garters, curled our long love-locks, gave our mustaches a trim, and presented ourselves at the cabin door. I heard my heart beating.

"The brave gentleman who saved me from a frightful death," said the count, presenting Ian to his daughters, who hastened towards him with their eyes full of tears, and their young hearts brimming with gratitude.

Ernestine, at all times self-possessed, presented her pretty hand with the air of a princess; but the more impulsive or less guarded Gabrielle clasped Ian's hands in her own, and kissed them before he could prevent her.

"'Tis well that a certain Moina is not here," thought I; "for the young lady might have good reason to be jealous."

"And here is that other brave soldier who was the means of nearly drowning me," continued the laughing count; "our old friend, Herr Kombeek, as Gabrielle calls him."

"I am lost," thought I. "They will never forgive me for that, count," I said; "on my honour I did all that man could do to avoid you. I grasped your sword at the risk of having my hands cut off, and cried aloud to you. I knew not that you recognised me," I added, at the recollection of how he had striven to throw me into the water.

"Nor did I, my brave friend, until the moment when my poor horse Bellochio was cloven through the head by your major's broadsword, and then I fell over the pier. My dear fellow, I do but jest. We met there, not like friends as we do now, but as enemies in our harness—enemies under banner and baton; and what would it have mattered then if you had shot me, instead of wounding Merodé's captain-lieutenant, for I saw your pistol bring him down!"

"Shot you—you, count!" I reiterated with a shudder, as I glanced at Ernestine. "Oh! I should never have forgiven myself for so unfortunate an act—not even until my dying hour."

"Tush—heed it not, captain; let us to breakfast, and dismiss all memory of the last night's camisado, with its contingent horrors. Let us converse about poor old Scotland, and tell me whether our unwise king and valiant kirk are likely to be embroiled."

On such a topic, I alone could afford any information. Ian, as a Highland gentleman, disliking, or perhaps disdaining, the Lowlanders, neither cared for nor knew of any thing that passed beyond the Highland frontier;—the fishing and hunting expeditions of his clan, and the endless feuds and intrigues of his neighbours the Grants, and Frazers, their creaghs, battles, and lawsuits, had sufficiently occupied his attention to prevent him entering into politics; though to please our kinsman, M'Coll of that Ilk, he had once marched five hundred claymores as far as the Garioch to fight the Gordons of Huntly.

Eminently handsome and noble in aspect and bearing, he was the beau-ideal of a Scottish chief; and, had his heart not been left in his own beloved glen, I might have found him a formidable though unintentional rival; for the fair sisters chatted with him without cessation, and as their conversation was maintained in a strange compound of German and Spanish, mingled with our own language, the medley and its mistakes excited frequent and immoderate bursts of merriment.

The breakfast passed, and my breast expanded with delight, for I found myself firmly established as the friend of the count and his two charming daughters, and every hour we were on board increased this intimacy; for in a ship there are innumerable little attentions which gentlemen may, and must, bestow upon a lady, thus affording a thousand opportunities for kind and graceful services, which cannot be offered upon the land. On board of ship, ladies are naturally restless; thus, if Ernestine wished to enjoy the fresh air on deck, my arm was immediately proffered, and we clambered to the weather quarter. There she got her dress wetted, and her pretty mouth filled by the salt spray.

Then we slid to leeward, where the water came in through the gun-ports and scupper-holes, causing her infinite alarm.

Then she wished to be below again, and we descended once more to the cabin; but no sooner was my fair charge safely deposited on the sofa, than the rolling of the vessel, the creaking of the timbers, the scraping of the gun-slides, and the noise on deck, made her sick, and she longed to reach the poop again. At last, as the strait narrowed, the wind blew right ahead, and the high-pooped vessel laboured heavily, shipping many a tremendous wave; the fair prisoners became too ill to remain on deck; we sat chatting in the cabin, playing chess and ombre at intervals, or watching from the little windows of the stern the sunlight fading on the Isle of Alsen. The rolling of the ship increased; but even then, under all these disadvantageous circumstances, I could not help being struck by the different appearance of the sisters.

Gabrielle, being fair and blue-eyed, appeared pale and languid; the brightness of her expression had faded, and the rosy tinge of her cheek had died.

The dark orbs of Ernestine—those magnificent eyes, which she inherited from her mother, a lady of Spanish Flanders—still presented their wonted fire and brilliance. Gabrielle's gentle spirit sank; she became fearful, docile, and child-like; but when the ship lurched, the wind freshened, when chairs and tables went crashing all to leeward, when the loose cannon-shot rolled from side to side, and the weather-guns strained their lashings until the ringbolts almost started from the stancheons, the proud Ernestine—wilful, and perhaps unmanageable at other times—laughed at her sister's terror.

Then the count praised her firmness, calling her his brave girl, and Gabrielle his poor little baby.

Every moment increased the respect and tenderness, the vague sensation of mingled joy and sadness, with which the merit and beauty of Ernestine had first inspired me; and I felt, that if she had not already divined my important secret, I could not conceal it very long. A hundred times I was on the point of recalling to her memory—or rather, seeking to resume—our last conversation, and my farewell to her at Luneburg. I was certain she could not have forgotten it; but now an unconquerable timidity repressed me.

Being young, and but a plain soldier, I was naturally backward. One moment I resolved to let events develop themselves, and the next to declare my passion to the count and to her; but there was a polished dignity—a terrible air of self-possession about them both—that put all my resolutions completely to rout; for the fear of her refusal, the memory of his preference for Count Kœningheim, and his promise to him, damped my rising courage, and I felt that I would rather, a thousand times, have faced a brigade even of Lowland pikes, than ventured on a subject which seemed so distant from their thoughts, though it involved my whole future happiness and fate.

"The count might ask," I reflected, "where are your estates?" I could but lay a hand on my sword, and "Here—with this blade I clothe and feed myself." "And your home, Master Philip?"—"Wherever the colours of my regiment happen to be." These soldier-like answers would assuredly do very well for a baggage-wife, but were scarcely suited to the present purpose; and so I cogitated, until I—poor devil!—made myself as miserable as it was possible to be.

Without any determination being come to on my part, four days passed, and the Anna Catharina came to anchor close by the wooden pier of Assens, in the isle of Funen. We had lost much time in touching at various ports inquiring for the residence of the king, of whose exact locality we had some doubts. The whole regiment prepared at once for disembarkation, while Duke Bernard sent an officer (Red Angus M'Alpine) to the king, who was then residing in an old castle near the small town of Assens, with a hastily prepared despatch, announcing the loss of his division, and his arrival with the wreck or remnant thereof—the Scottish invincibles of Sir Donald Mackay.

His letter (which I afterwards transcribed from the Svedish Intelligencer) was in that style of military brevity which so delighted the brave spirits of that sanguinary war.

"To the most excellent Prince, Christian IV., King of Denmark, of the Goths and Vandals; Duke of Sleswig, Holstein, Stormar, and Ditmarsch; Earl of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst; Knight of the Garter, the Dannebrog, and Elephant—these,

"Comrade and Confederate,—Ruined by their own cowardice, the soldiers of my division have surrendered to the Emperor, and taken service under his standard. All are lost save the Scottish regiment of Strathnaver.




It was autumn now.

The day was dark and stormy; a grey sky spread its cold background beyond the picturesque gables and wooden fronts of the old houses of Assens. The solemn storks had all disappeared to warmer latitudes; rain, and even sleet, poured down into the narrow and muddy streets; a variety of tints were spreading over the woods; the beeches were becoming yellow, but the hardy pine of the north yet wore unchanged its dark and wiry foliage. All betokened gloom and the misfortunes that threatened Denmark, as we landed in the boats of Sir Nickelas Valdemar, and marched into the town with drums beating and colours flying.

It was a dilapidated place, very little of it having survived the warlike operations of old John of Rantzau, who, ninety years before, had routed there the army of Christopher, Duke of Oldenburg, slain Güstaf Troll, archbishop of Upsala, and levelled nearly all Assens to the ground. In the houses that remained, our soldiers were billeted by the burgomaster; while Duke Bernard, with all the officers, the count and his daughters, repaired to the adjacent castle, to be presented to the king and court.

The Scottish musketeers of the Lord Spynie, and the Danish guards, with their kettle-drummer beating on his famous silver drum, received us with all honour at the castle gate; and many a hand was held out from the ranks of Spynie, to grasp ours in warm welcome as we passed them. The brass culverins boomed from a cavalier before the gate, as a salute to our colonel and the Duke of Saxe-Weimar.

"Ah! my old trooper, dost thou smell powder again?" said he, stroking Haven, his curveting horse, which was led by a page, for, in compliment to the ladies, this gallant prince accompanied us on foot.

He gave his arm to the Count of Carlstein; ungloved I led Ernestine by the hand; Ian led Gabrielle; Sir Donald and our brother officers followed in a group behind us; and the whole were marshalled forward to the Bittersaal, or saloon of the knights, where the king awaited us.

Through folding-doors of carved oak, ushers in the royal livery admitted us to this magnificent old hall, at the upper end of which, under a canopy and upon a dais, stood King Christian, with a glittering group of courtiers.

Grotesquely carved in stone, many a column and corbel projected from the wall; from thence sprung the arched roof; between were hangings of leather embossed with gold arabesques, which had assumed a sombre brown by age. The arched fireplace, within whose vast recess a company might have dined, had around it stone benches on three sides, as in our ancient towers at home; in the centre, a pile of pine roots and Meinel logs were crackling and blazing in an enormous basket of iron.

Above the king's crimson canopy hung the moth-eaten remnant of the miraculous Dannebrog, the far-famed banner of Denmark, which was said to have been sent by the pope, for Waldemar II. to unfurl against the Pagans of Livonia; but which was taken by the warlike Ditmarsches in the war of 1580, and retaken from them by the valiant Frederick II.

A flood of crimson and yellow light fell from the painted windows on the king and his group, which, from the length of our interview, I had every means of observing. Christian was plainly attired in a military undress of buff, with gold trimmings, and buff gloves edged with gold; over one shoulder was his scarf of silk; over the other was the broad blue riband; under his left arm was a broad beaver hat edged with rich galloon; his neck was encircled by a chain of gold, at which hung the order of the Elephant, bearing on its back a silver tower studded with diamonds, and full of armed men. A black silk patch concealed the loss of his left eye, which had been destroyed by a splinter in one of those naval battles which have rendered his memory so dear to Denmark. Near him stood his queen, Anna Catharina, of the House of Brandenburg, a fair and somewhat florid-looking German, and another lady whom he had wedded with the left hand, according to the usage of the times—a fairer and more beautiful Dane, whose peculiar position imparted a gentle and retiring expression to her soft features; though that position was deemed so far from equivocal, that he created her Countess of Fehmarn (the Saraos of the north), and one of her daughters was espoused by the grand-master, Corfitz Ulfeld.

The venerable queen-mother was also present; she was a grave and stately old dame, attired in a long fardingale of scarlet taffeta, with a stomacher studded with diamonds, and her grey hair highly frizzled. Near the king were the Counts of Rantzau and Aschefeld; the Barons of Nybourg, Alsen, Fœyœ, and others (for there are but two titles of nobility in Denmark); all of these were grim-looking riders, clad in armour of a fashion considerably older than I had ever seen worn in Scotland. Rantzau was Lord of Elmeshorne and Bredenburg, that castle which old Dunbar had defended so valiantly. The grand chancellor, the mareschal of the court, and the Liveknecht, with several other gentlemen, wore the large medal of the Knights of the Armed Hand, an order of twelve created by Christian ten years before in the castle of Kolding, on his being chosen general of the circle of Lower Saxony.

The ladies remained near the queen, and, like the Danish gentlewomen in general, they were graceful, fair-haired, blue-eyed, softly-featured, and exquisitely feminine; but there were neither fire, loftiness, nor dignity about them. They seemed gentle and languishing; and in truth, tall Ian with his giant plume, red M'Alpine with his crape scarf, Sir Donald with his swarthy visage, and all our bare-kneed Scottish officers, occupied much more of their attention than the splendid cavaliers of the court.

"Such an engaging air—what a beautiful dark girl!" I heard King Christian say as Ernestine appeared. He spoke to old Rantzau, his Liveknecht, or squire of the body, who as such could never be without his sword, or far from the royal person; "her eyes sparkle like lance-heads—yet they are soft as a summer-moon."

"Though war hath left your majesty but one eye, it is a sharp one for beauty," replied his grim old comrade; "but I would prefer her fair sister, with those mild and sweet blue eyes, and the rich Madonna hair."

At these somewhat too audible remarks, the sisters coloured deeply, and the ladies near Anna Catharina whispered together, and tittered behind their fans.

Though her attire was plain (for Karl's pistoliers had made somewhat free with her baggage at Oldenburg), there was something striking and triumphant in the beauty of Ernestine. On finding herself the object of so many eyes, that gazed with curiosity and scrutiny, she assumed a proud bearing, which I can liken only to that of a stately Arab horse; while poor little Gabrielle quailed, coloured, and drooped her long eyelashes in the most charming confusion; for with much that was noble and graceful, she had in her nature more that was timid and infantile.

The gallant Duke Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, wearing in his helmet the glove of his future bride, a German princess of Dourlach, led forward the Count of Carlstein, saying—

"Allow me to present to your majesty one of the bravest of the Imperial officers—the colonel-general of the German cavalry."

"A brave soldier is always welcome here—even though an enemy," replied Christian, with a haughty bow, to which the count replied by another quite as haughty. "Duke, I have received your fatal despatch, and M'Alpine the Scottish captain has told me all—all—and more than I could have wished to hear. And these ladies, count, are your daughters?"

"In my ardour to rescue whom, I this day stand before your majesty a prisoner," replied the count.

"Nay," said Christian; "Duke Bernard, I understand, has but anticipated me. Saved from that mass of drowning cowards at Heilinghafen, you are not a prisoner, but a freeman, and must retain the sword my general returned to you—Ironhewer, the theme of so many camp songs. But enough of this—lead forward these fair girls. By the Dannebrog! John of Rantzau, they are beautiful as summer flowers!"

On being presented, Ernestine and Gabrielle were about to kneel, when the brave king anticipated them, by kneeling and kissing their hands.

Anna Catharina smiled disdainfully, and threw a furtive glance at the drooping Countess of Fehmarn, her rival of the left-hand. A gleam of pleasure passed over the features of Carlstein, and he said, while his eyes moistened——

"Your majesty does my poor girls infinite honour."

"Nay, count, I stand as a soldier before them; but as a king before you. We cannot pay too much homage to beauty. I have said, count, that you are free, and you may, when you please, rejoin the Imperialists."

"I owe your majesty a thousand thanks; but, with these two girls, how can I now, unattended, pursue a journey so long and so difficult—through hostile Juteland?"

"Ah—that is true!" grumbled old Rantzau, rubbing his thick beard; "der teufels braden!"

"Count of Carlstein," said the old queen-dowager, in high Dutch, "alone you may rejoin your comrades, but these poor maidens could never survive the toil and danger of such a journey."

"True—madam—true!" said the count.

"Where you go, father, Ernestine will go, too," said his eldest daughter, with a proud smile, as she clasped her hands upon his arm.

"And I, too," said Gabrielle, clinging to him on the other side.

"I thank you, my brave girls; but I see that now we must indeed part—and I thank your majesties for your sympathy," said the count, with a sad smile. "Would to Heaven that I had listened to the advice of the good empress when at Vienna, and left in her charge, my motherless girls! But we have never been separated; they would accompany me, even beyond the Elbe, for such is the dear wilfulness of one, and such the affection of both. I am a soldier of fortune, royal lady. In these and other wars I have fed myself with my sword. In the camps and cities of strangers, far from my own home, I felt that I had one wherever my daughters were; my whole soul is bound up in these two girls, and through a thousand dangers God has spared me for their sakes—spared me to protect and love them—as I feel assured that he will spare me from a thousand more."

The count paused, and his voice trembled. It was a fine scene. Old John of Rantzau rubbed his beard again; the queen gazed immoved, with a stolid expression on her German face; but she whom the king loved best, the Countess of Fehmarn, was visibly affected, and drew nearer to her these two little girls, who were all but princesses, and, who alone of all that glittering group remained by her side—for she was their mother.

"After the freedom so graciously bestowed by this kingly duke, and ratified by a princely king," said Carlstein, "my honour requires that I should immediately rejoin my troops, who are now without any other leader than the Count of Merodé; but my daughters—my daughters——"

"Count," said the aged queen-mother again, as Carlstein paused, "I am about to retire to my own castle of Nyekiöbing in the isle of Laaland; permit your daughters to go with me, and I will protect them as if they were my own until this hapless war is ended, or until you can again receive them."

"Madam, it is a gracious offer, and worthy of her who is the mother of a gallant monarch—one whom future times shall tell of," replied the count. "Kneeling, madam, I thank you from my soul—nay, Ernestine, look neither sad nor proud," he added in a whisper, "for it must be so;" and from some protest she was about to make, she was awed to silence by her father's firmness and the presence in which she stood.

"My fairest one," said the brave king, "you have heard what her majesty, our august mother, proposes. You are at liberty to go, and your gallant father may accompany you. From Laaland he can more easily rejoin his victorious comrades; and, if our poor Denmark is conquered, he may still more easily rejoin you at Nyekiöbing."

The king smiled as he said this; but old John of Rantzau, and those fierce Danes who felt their scars of Lütter smart, twirled their red mustaches, and eyed the count with hostility and hatred.

And now, by the invitation of the queen-dowager, Ernestine, her father, and sister were led away to another part of the castle. Queen Anna Catharina, the Countess of Fehmarn, with all their ladies, followed, and I felt sadly that Ernestine was about to be secluded from me; but she gave me a kind farewell glance on retiring through the folding-doors of the Rittersaal—a glance that sank deep in my heart, and made it leap with joy.

The moment they were all gone, a cloud descended upon the brow of Christian IV.; he turned towards the duke and us, and, striking together his gauntleted hands, exclaimed bitterly—

"Bernard! Bernard! oh what a disastrous week this has been. I concealed my grief before that proud Imperialist and his daughters—but my heart bleeds for Denmark; and now I see nothing but flight from isle to isle—defeat, disgrace, and death! Oh! after all I have endured for Denmark, the battles I have fought by sea and land, the friends I have lost, the blood I have shed, the treasure I have spent, and the territories I have lost, has it come to this?"

"It seems to be the will of Heaven," replied the duke, gloomily, "that those savage Imperialists should triumph over us, and subvert the Protestant religion of northern Europe. I have lost my dukedom, and am now an outcast; eleven of my brothers have bled in this war, for we are the hereditary and irreconcilable enemies of the House of Hapsburg. Tilly's troops are invincible; but I say unto your majesty, that had your Danes and my Germans behaved as these Scottish troops have done, the old Jesuit had told another story at Vienna."

"I thank you, gentleman," said the king, bowing to us. "Adversity is the school for soldiers and for kings; but if I suffer, Herr Donald," he added, taking our colonel by the hand, "it is in the cause of your countrywoman, my fair niece, the queen of Bohemia, who, unfortunately for herself and Protestant Europe, is the wife of a coward—the chief of a race of cowards and gluttons—who can neither fight for her, nor his electoral hat. The main column of my army is retreating fast through Juteland, and will be taken; I still have Glückstadt, where Sir David Drummond, with the Laird of Craigie's pikemen and two of Nithsdale's regiments keep the foe in check,—but that too may fall. My God! I feel the crown my brave father left me totter on my brow; but let me hope that my soul is still too soldierly to mourn departed state or empty greatness. I have now but twenty thousand men; Tilly with thirty thousand has overspread the duchies, and Wallenstein with a hundred thousand has marched against us from Hungary. Every ally has abandoned me—all on whose aid I relied when I engaged in this unequal war; and Gustavus of Sweden yet lingers in his capital, I know not why. The God we fight for, gives and takes away—and I bless his name not the less. I have still my sword, Duke Bernard; and if I cannot win me a name like my brave forefathers, Thierri the Fortunate, or Gerhard the Warlike, my fleet still remains, and after every inch of Danish ground is drenched in Danish blood and lost, I will commit myself to the ocean, like those Vikingr from whom I am descended. Better are the wild waves they loved so well, and the pure air of the wide Baltic, or the stormier Northern Sea, than the Austrian prisons of Ferdinand of Hapsburg!"

"It is said like a gallant king," replied the proud chief who led us; "the cause of the Scottish princess caused Denmark these disasters, and we, as Scottish soldiers, ought cheerfully to die for your majesty."

"Well, gentlemen and comrades, as the proverb has it, Enough for the day is the evil thereof; between us and Juteland there yet rolls the same sea wherein the Emperor Otto I. flung his lance, as the limits of his invasion against King Harald Blaatand. The Imperialists are yet far distant from our gates; so let us to dinner, comrades, and drink in German wine and Juteland beer to the hope of better times, and to the memory of those brave men who have fallen so unavailingly at Lütter, at Bredenburg, and the Boitze."



On the following day it was announced that Sir Donald was to leave us for Scotland, where he meant to recruit for the battalion among his own clan, and others that were friendly to him; that Ian, as lieutenant-colonel, was to command the regiment, which was to be broken into detachments; two companies were to remain at Assens, three companies in other parts of Funen, and four, under Ian, were to march for, and occupy the Isle of Laaland, which was the dowery of the queen-mother, and was now endangered by the capture of Fehmarn by the Imperialists, who always considered it the key of Denmark.

On the morning parade our colonel informed us of this separation, at which our soldiers grieved sorely, for every man loved and revered him as a father; and the regiment was like a band of brethren, as every regiment should be—a clan, or one great family; one half of its members were kinsmen, being Mackays, and reared in the same strath where the Naver flows. This arrangement touched me deeply too, fearing that I would now be separated from Ernestine; that I might never see her again; and that thus all my hopes would be crushed in the bud. I gazed eagerly after her, as, with the ladies of the court—for the king and queen were present—she passed along our line while arms were presented, the colours lowered, and the pipes played Mackay's salute. After being joined by Duke Bernard, whom the king embraced and kissed in the old German fashion (as I had often seen a couple of bearded cuirassiers do, to the astonishment of our Highlandmen), Christian and the colonel went down the ranks, addressing some words of compliment or congratulation to every officer; for all had done their devoir like gallant men. He paused before me, observing that I was very young, and was posted three paces in front of the line as commanding a company.

"Cavalier," said he—for, like Gustavus Adolphus, that was his favourite phrase when not speaking Danish—"your company shall be marched to Laaland, to quarter at Nyekiöbing, and guard our royal mother."

In profound salute I lowered the point of my claymore, and felt my heart dance with joy; for it was to Laaland that Ernestine and her sister were to accompany the old queen-dowager.

"I thank your majesty for this choice," said Sir Donald; "the youth is my own peculiar care, assigned to me by his father, an old knight of Cromartie, who sent him to the German wars, because——" I trembled with anger, lest Sir Donald had caught the story of that rascally spoon; "because he was the only lad of spirit in the family."

"Well, he shall march to Nyekiöbing," said the frank monarch, with a wink of his solitary eye, and a dry and peculiar cough, a sure sign that some deep idea was fermenting in his honest brain. He then whispered something to Sir Donald, gave his steel tassettes a slap, and laughed heartily. A sly smile twinkled in the dark eyes of the Highland chief, and the blood mounted to my temples.

What could this by-play mean?

I trembled lest the proud Ernestine should discover or observe it, for she was quite near us, and I afterwards learned that it had direct reference to herself: for these good souls—though one was a haughty Highland chief, and the other an ambitious king—in openness of heart, in honesty of purpose, and goodness of intent, were pure soldiers.

"Captain Rollo," said the king with a smile, "it is agreed that you shall guard the castle of Nyekiöbing," and he passed on to Captain M'Kenzie (Kildon), who commanded the next company.

Attended by her ladies, Queen Anna Catharina next went down the line on foot, and suspended with her own white hands, at every officer's neck, a silver medal attached to a blue riband. These had been lately struck at Glückstadt by the king's order, to commemorate his undertaking the defence of the Protestant religion. One side bore a man in armour, grasping a naked sword in one hand, in the other a Bible, and inscribed for Religion and Liberty. On the other was a lighted candle, half burned, encircled by the legend,

Christianus IV.    Dan.    Norv.    Vand.    Goth.    Rex.

To every soldier a rixdollar was given to drink his majesty's health.

That evening a ship—the Scottish Crown of Leith—was lying off Assens, about to sail for poor old Schottland (as they name her in that part of the world.) The colonel was to sail next day; and all who could write were busy inditing letters to their friends, parents, and lovers at home—all but myself, who had none that cared much to hear from me. That was a sad and bitter reflection. Even the scrivener of the regiment was busy transferring to paper the regards, remembrances, promises, and prize-money of those who could handle their swords better than their pens. Ian wrote a letter to his Moina, and thereafter appended to it remembrances from half the soldiers of my company to their friends in Strathdee, condolences to the parents of the brave who had fallen, with a request that the names of Phadrig Mhor, Diarmid M'Gillvray, and other gallant men whom he mentioned, should be inscribed on the kirk-doors for three successive Sundays—the greatest ambition and glory of the poor Highland soldier when far from his native glen.

Next morning Sir Donald sailed for Scotland, to bring succour to the king, and urge his desperate state upon the government at Edinburgh. We saw his vessel as she bore northwards down the Belt, while the four companies under Ian paraded by sunrise and prepared to march across the Isle of Funen with sealed orders, which he was to open at Rodbye. Attended by the count's daughters and many other ladies on horseback, with pages and riders in the royal livery, the queen-mother rode forth from the archway of the castle, and we all received her with presented arms.

Ernestine and Gabrielle were gracefully attired in light blue riding-habits laced with silver, with hats and feathers suitable to their age; but the old queen wore the dress of Christian III.'s time, and was cased in a long straight stomacher, all fenced about with bars of whalebone, and thick enough to have turned a sword-thrust. On each side her fardingdale jutted out, and over all she had an enormous riding-skirt of crimson cloth, with a pair of those voluminous sleeves which Stubbs the Englishman condemned in the Anatomy of Abuses (written in the days of his queen, Elizabeth). Like her coif and ruff, these were all stiffened, as the quaint Stubbs saith when reprehending the attire of women, "in that liquid matter called starch, wherein the devil hath learned them to wash and dive their ruffs, which, on being dry, will then stand stiff and inflexible about their necks;" and, like Master Stubbs, in truth I have known more than one gay cavalier who got his nose scratched by coming too close to those same ruffs, which hedge round a pretty face as sweyne's feathers do a square of infantry.

By the queen's bridle rode the Count of Carlstein; his daughters on their Danish nags came curveting behind, and waved their whips to us as they passed. Ernestine, all blooming and smiling, was in high spirits, and her drooping black feather shaded her beautiful face. She let a rose drop from her hand. I hurried from my place to restore it; then a sudden thought made me crave permission to retain it.

"No great boon, Herr," said she, "as it is all over dust now, and has lost half its leaves; nevertheless, if its poor remains will be such a source of gratification to you, I make you welcome to them," and, whipping up her horse, she darted after the group of equestrians, who were now fast leaving us behind.

"Keep at the head of your company, cousin Philip," said Ian drily, "and do not spoil your tartans by picking old flowers out of the dust."

"I would have picked it up under a shower of musketry, Ian," said I.

"Dioul!" he replied, laughing; "'tis more than I would do, even for Moina: there are bounds to love, but none to folly. A shower of musketry! Zounds, I do not think I would leave my ranks under that, to pick up the crown of Scotland if it lay at my feet!"

It was a beautiful autumn morning, and every thing around me seemed in unison with the lightness of my own heart. A warm summer had brought on an early harvest, and every where the grain had been hastily reaped and gathered by the husbandman, who trembled at the rapid approach of an irresistible foe. A strong fragrance arose from the fresh morning earth; the sunshine was warm, yet tempered by the cool breeze that came from the azure waters of the Lesser Belt, that stretched away into dim and far obscurity on our right. In our rear lay Assens with its castle, and on our left the landscape spread out in long and verdant vistas, tinted by dun autumnal hues; its faded green being interspersed by newly ploughed fields of rich brown land, the furrows of which glistened in the sun, while the water left in them by the recent rains, glittered in long and silvery lines.

From these the sun exhaled a hazy vapour, making somewhat obscure the more distant objects, and even those which were nearer at hand. Thus, at times, we saw in opaque outline the sturdy figure of a well-fed Danish boor, who was turning up the glistening soil with a plough of ancient fashion, drawn by two fat brindled kine, with curving horns and switching tails, around which the clouds of gnats were dancing; and there, between the stilts of his plough, the clod-pated boor would pause, and gaze at us with lack-lustre eyes as we marched past, four hundred strong, with our tartans waving, our arms and appointments glittering in the sun, while the hoarse drums rattled, and the wild war-pipes poured a Highland quick-step to the morning wind; for four hundred bare-kneed clansmen was a sight for a boor of Funen to remember, and describe to his grandchildren in after years to come.

"You are still looking after that blue skirt and black feather," said Ian, just as the queen and her group of attendants disappeared among the vapour far in front; "I pray you, kinsman, keep such vagaries as love out of your head."

"Love is an affair of the heart, Ian, and the head has nothing whatever to do with it."

"The greater is the pity, Philip; but allow me to advise——"

"You consider me a lover, and yet think I will take advice. Whoever heard of a lover that did so?"

"It is too true; but I hope you are not yet come to that. Love and its sentimentality are all nonsense in a true man of the sword."

"Ian!" I exclaimed; "and Moina——"

He coloured, and haughtily shook his eagle's plume.

"Moina is at home in Glen Mhor na' Albyn. Here, she would interfere with the performance of my duty to my colonel and the king. As it is, she rather aids them; for she is my guiding star in the hour of danger, and the wish that I may return worthy of the daughter of a brave chief, fires me to emulate the heroes of other times. On the long weary march, and in the dull lonely hours of the night; by the guard fire and the bivouac, or in the comfortless cantonment, with my plaid for a mantle, my sword for a pillow, I think of my brown-eyed Highland bride—I think of Moina Rose with sorrow and joy—sorrow that I am so far, far away from her, and joy that she loves me. Moina is a single-hearted and guileless mountain girl; to love her, is very different from the fancies now floating through your giddy brain, kinsman of mine. I am too true a son of the Gaël to regard strangers otherwise than with jealousy; and court ladies at best are slippery as eels. Remember how many dark-eyed maids at home are all looking for husbands, and ought to have the preference before all these foreign trumpery. There is the tall daughter of old Ferintosh, with her lint-white locks and a fair slice of land, with a good strong tower that, with six brass culverins, guards the highway to Milnbuy, and can levy a pretty good toll thereon; and there is little Oina Urquhart, the daughter of old Sir Thomas of Cromartie, whose dowery I know to be five hundred black cattle, which her spouse is to levy (if he can) among the clans in Ross; and Mary M'Alpine (Red Angus's cousin) whose tocher is still better; a castle in the Black Isle, with five hundred good claymores to defend it."

Without interruption, I permitted Ian to run on and enumerate all the heiresses in Nairn, Ross, and Cromartie, whose tochers consisted of short-legged cattle and long claymores, whinstones and fair purple heather; but the result was, that he put me into a very bad humour, which did not find vent until we entered Faaborg, after a march of about thirty Danish miles—a cannon-shot more or less.

The evening was closing as we marched in, and the church bells were ringing, as they are always rung about sunset in the Danish villages and towns.

We—the officers—were billeted by the Herredsfoged (or magistrate) on a tavern or hostelry named the Dannebrog, as it bore the Danish banner on its signboard. The roof of this place was (I remember) considerably depressed, as the host informed us with the utmost good faith and in a whisper, by the passage of King Waldemar, the wild huntsman, whose spectral train had swept over it on St. John's night, last year. He had just concluded his story when Will Lumsdaine, my lieutenant, came to inform me, that the ration of beer served out by the Herredsfoged to our company was only fit for swine.

"Have you told him so?" I asked.

"I did."

"And what was his reply?"

"That it was good enough for Scots."

"Air Muire!" cried Ian, buckling on his sword; "where is this fellow to be met with?"

"At his own house," replied Lumsdaine. "I would have punished him there; but I love not to draw on a man under his own roof-tree."

Now ensued a friendly contest about who should punish the Herredsfoged; Lumsdaine claimed the duty as the insult had been given to him; I claimed it as his senior, and Ian as mine. We tossed up a dollar, and the lot fell to me. I snatched up my sword, hurried away, and found my man smoking a pipe in his back garden.

"You are the Herredsfoged?" said I, drawing my claymore.

"I am," said he, with the utmost composure, for he was a strong fellow—a miller, and nearly a head taller than me. Requesting him to walk with me into a little plot which was screened by a privet hedge, I sternly commanded him to retract and apologise for his remarks anent the ration beer; but the Herredsfoged was a brave fellow, and swore by all the devils in Denmark, he would "never retract while there was a drop of blood in his heart!"

We then measured our swords, and fell on like a couple of wild Tartars; I received a scar on one of my bare knees, by an ill-parried thrust; and the second, by piercing my left arm, disabled me for a time from using my dirk; but at the third pass I ran him through the left side, close by the ribs, and flung him prostrate, with his weapon hand below him. Then with my sword at his throat, while he lay grovelling among his own tulips and broken flowerpots, I compelled him to retract, and repeating after me word for word, acknowledge "that the said beer was only fit for dogs or Danes." I then helped him into the house, and had his wound looked to. We marched next day, and all kept the story of the duel as secret as possible; for such encounters had been expressly forbidden by an edict of Christian IV. in 1618.

At Faaborg we found that the queen and her train had embarked for Laaland, and that nothing remained for us but to follow by the first shipping we could procure. For one night we occupied the little town, which has the waters of the Lesser Belt on one side, and those of deep marshes on the other. It had been burned in former wars by the army of Christian III., and now the greater portion of it consisted of ruins, encircling a shallow and unsheltered port.

About noon on the following day we disembarked on the isle of Longeland, in one of the towns of which we had a quarrel with the people. A merchant of the place having accused two of my company of pilfering a quantity of kirschwasser from his store in the market street, the Herredsfoged instituted a search, and with Sergeant Phadrig Mhor I went round the billets in person, but without discovering the wine, though in the quarters of Torquil Gorm, our piper-major, and Donald M'Vurich, a musketeer (our shoemaker), I saw a very suspicious-like liquid in a large tub, with some Highland brogues swimming on the surface thereof, and that liquid, the rogues told us next day, when on the march, was the very wine we were in search of, and that a good draught of it was still at our service; but as neither Phadrig nor I had any relish for wine flavoured by brogue leather, we declined their offer, with the threat of a good battooning if such tricks were ever discovered again.

Marching across that long and narrow isle, we took shipping in small sloops for Rodbye in Laaland, for whence (to my great disappointment) we found that the active old queen and her train had again departed before us; and we were a whole week travelling by land and water among these flat and sandy islands, before we drew up under our colours on the beach of Rodbye. There Ian opened his sealed orders, by which the king, fearing that the Imperialists might seize upon those isles, directed him to leave Kildon's company at Rodbye; those of Angus Roy, M'Alpine, Munro of Culcraigie, and Sir Patrick Mackay, were marched to the town of Mariboe, where they occupied an edifice that, in former times, had been a spacious convent, the walls of which were bordered by a beautiful lake; but we continued our route to the pleasant little isle of Falster, to guard the queen-mother in her own castle or jointure-house. There we arrived on Michaelmas-day, about sunset, wearied by our sea and land journey, and the long nights we had spent in open boats, exposed to the cold air of the Baltic.

Her majesty came forth with her train, in person, to welcome us to her castle of Nyekiöbing, and ordered a can of German wine to be served to every soldier; while the officers, i.e., Ian, Lumsdaine, and myself (for we had not yet an ensign), were invited to sup at the royal table.

Her castle was a strong and stately edifice, overlooking a regular and well-built town on the Guldborg-sound, a narrow passage usually studded with ships, as it is the way from the shores of Zealand to those of Germany. Every foot's-pace of this beautiful island, which teemed with fertility, was under cultivation, or covered with the richest copse wood; and from the castle windows we saw the stately beeches, brown with autumnal leaves, casting the evening shadows along the calm blue waters of the narrow sound. The only troops in the place were a few of the vassals or serfs, singularly clad in mail shirts like modern Tartars, or like the effigies on an antique tomb, and armed with the battle-axe, which, like the halbert, was of old the national weapon of the Danish islesmen. The good queen-mother had more of the frankness of an old German baroness about her than the frigid and empty dignity of courtly state. She sat at the head of her own table in the old castle hall; her steward, the Baron Fœyœ, a knight of the Armed Hand, a short, stout, and irritable old Dane, sat at the foot, and we enjoyed a merry and a sumptuous meal.

To my joy I found myself seated beside Ernestine, her father the count was opposite.

She perceived my arm in a sling, and immediately inquired the cause.

"It is a wound!" said I.

"A wound!—where and when did you receive it?" she asked, while I imagined with exultation that there was an ill-concealed expression of alarm depicted in her charming eyes.

"It is a secret!" said I, and knowing how a rencontre sets off a cavalier in the estimation of a pretty woman, I now resolved to make the most of mine.

"In what manner is it a secret, Herr?"

"Because, if divulged to King Christian, he would remember the law of 1618, and send me prisoner to Cronenborg."

"You have, then, fought a duel!"

"Hush—it was only a clean thrust with a rapier."

"And what did you fight about?"

"A lady!" I replied, laughing, and observing her narrowly.

"A lady!" she reiterated, unmoved as a rock, to my great disappointment.

"Nay, nay, Ernestine!" said I, "it was about nothing more than a can of beer."

"A reputable reason, certainly—a valuable commodity to peril one's life for!"

"Every other day I peril my life for the price of it, however; but a point of some importance was involved—a national insult." I then related my quarrel at Faaborg, and she declared that my indignation had been justly roused, but very improperly satisfied.

"But you must not speak of it, Ernestine—nor tell Gabrielle."

"Oh, fear not—your secret shall be kept!" said she.

I found that this story raised me higher in her favour, and I had the felicity of being helped by her to several things, while, to save all exertion of my poor wounded arm (of which I was very much inclined on this occasion to make the most), a servant in the red livery of Denmark cut my food for me, after which I could feed myself by one of those German forks with which the table was furnished.

The moment supper was over, we all shook hands and separated. As we parted, I raised my plaid and shewed Gabrielle where (in the breast of my doublet) I had preserved the withered rose, which had dropped from her sister's hand on the morning we had marched out of the east gate of Assens. I was too timid to make Ernestine aware that I had preserved this trivial gift; but hoped that Gabrielle would tell her to the letter, who was so gay and childlike, I could say more than I dared to Ernestine; for on her good or bad opinion hung the balance of my fate. My heart was too much interested in the stake to act boldly.



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