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turing with which they were favoured by child, and was an interest apart, and, in their stepmother. They remained out in the fact, subordinate, to Lady Ross's feelings early moonlight till they had buried their of family consequence. Young Douglas dogs ; came in, and went heavily up to their would have justified a nobler pride. Frank, own room, where they were yet heard sob- intelligent, spirited, and yet amenable to bing and talking for a while; and, in the true discipline now that such discipline had morning, the two little rebels were missing. replaced the alternate neglect and tyranny They had run away.
of home, he was popular alike with masThe preparations made by children on ters and companions; while the simplicity of these occasions are not very extensive. A such early training as he had had, rendered bag of oatmeal, a few apples, and a very him insensible to the shallow compliments slender remainder of pocket-money, would of strangers, struck with his personal beaunot have taken them far on their pro- ty and free untutored grace of manner. jected road to high fortune; though in their The holidays of many a “ half” to come, first eager four miles they had considered it were days of rapture. To see Kenneth quite a settled thing that Douglas should waiting and watching under the tall firbecome a warrior and statesman like the trees at the turn of the road where the Duke of Wellington, and Kenneth, at the mail-coach was to drop him; to leap down, very least, Lord Mayor of London.
and strain him to his heart; to exhibit his They were pursued and brought back — prize-books, on which the younger brother footsore, hungry, and exhausted, at the would gaze with a sigh of curiosity -- and end of their first day's march; before they then to plunge back into the wild happy had got even to the suburbs of the market- life of the Highlands, this made home a town from which this plunge into worldly temporary paradise. “ Days amang the success was to be made.
heather” are days which, to those who While they crept once more (less loth have been brought up in the wild mounthan boyish pride might have avowed) into tain-life of Scotland, are days of intoxicattheir accustomed beds, a parental council ing joy. Once more with his brother; was held. Lady Ross was of opinion that once more in his kilt, clambering here they should both be “flogged for their es- and there, lounging under the silver birches capade within an inch of their lives ;” her by the blue lake's side, gliding over its silhusband, that no further notice should be ver surface in the coble-boat, fishing for taken of it, since they probably bad had a trout, and waking the echoes, as they rowed sickening of such attempts, in their failure home, with many a snatch of song ; uncovand fatigue. But the upshot of the debate ering his glossy head for very sport in the was, that Douglas and Kenneth were part- sudden shower, and feeling a wild delight ed; the elder sent to Eton for civilized in the mountain storms; - young Douglas's training, in token of a certain concession to holidays for the first three years were days Lady Ross's English views on the subject; of unalloyed delight. and the younger delivered over in gloom Then came the gradual change which and disgrace to a neighbouring Scotch circumstances bring, - a change which is minister, who had one other forlorn pupil, not exactly alienation, but separation, beand a reputation for patient teaching. tween those who are differently situated as
Undoubtedly the best education for man to occupations, associations, and aims. A or boy is to mingle much with his fellows; certain discontent, instead of approbation, and that is why a man educated at a pub- took possession of his father's mind. The lic school is in general better educated than prize-books were tossed aside, with some one who has received tolerably careful discouraging observation as to the value of training at home. Lessons may not be so book-learning,” and the absurd disproporwell learned, but Life is learnt'; emulation tion of such rewards with the expense of is roused; the mind is not allowed to roost such an education. Douglas himself had a and slumber, like a caged bird on a perch. sorrowful instinct that Kenneth's life was Douglas Ross owed to bis inimical step- narrowing round him, -- he was a companion mother an immense service as to his future; in all purposeless pursuits to his father, but though in her disposal of him she had mere- the main elements of improvement were ly consulted her desire to be rid of him, wanting. He smoked and sat up drinking and certain consequential notions of how whisky-toddy,- he shot and walked with “the heir” should be educated. Had she Sir Neil. But he did nothing, and learnt had a boy of her own, perhaps some grudg- nothing. It was neither the life of a boy ing might have mingled with such plans; nor a man; and the dawdling leisure leit but the sharp-browed Alice was her only from its loose occupations was spent by LIVING AGE.
· Kenneth in familiar visitings wherever a Sir Neil considered that already he had pretty face smiled on the threshold of a farm- had to much of book-learning," which was house, or a bothy in the glen ; in idle talk “never of much use," and Lady Ross told with gamekeepers, farmers, and petty ten- him that he was "puffed with presumption ants; and in making love betwixt jest and in venturing to chalk out for himself what earnest to the miller's daughter at the falls was to be done. of Torrieburn; Torrieburn being a small Even Kenneth, the loved and clung-to separate estate of Sir Neil's, which was Kenneth, was provoked; and hastily assettled on his younger son.
sured his brother it was lucky he had not In his own loving earnest way, Douglas succeded in persuading his father, for that hinted good counsel, but without good he, Kenneth, would certainly not have gone effect. Kenneth was angry; was sadden- to study for any profession whatever. He ed; was somehow suspicious that his Eton ment to live at Torrieburn, and there'd albrother was “ coming the fine gentleman ways be grouse and oatcake enough to satover him ;” and a coldness stole between isfy his notions of life. The tears started them, dreamy and impalpable as the chill into Douglas's eyes, — but there was no one white mist which rises among the hills at to heed or understand what passed in his 'the beginning of winter, and hides all our heart; and no evidence of that day's menpleasant haunts and familiar trysting-places tal struggle, except in a brief letter to his with its colourless and ghostlike veil.
Eton “chum,” Lorimer Boyd; younger son With his stepmother he was on even of that Dowager Clochnaben whose visit worse terms than during his comfortless boy- with the sickly young Earl to Glenrossie hood. Disliking her profoundly, and yet had been the exciting cause of the sudden attempting a certain show of courtesy to his execution of Jock and Beardie, and the exfather's wife, his reward was only the bitter ile of the runaway boys. The letter ran as sneer with which she spoke of him as “ that fellows: very stately and gentlemanly young gentleman, Mr. Douglas Ross.”
With his father be was restless and uncomfortable. Too young when a resident
“ To LORIMER BOYD, Esq., at home, in the memorable days of the
“ Balmossie, N. B. dog-hanging, to be the companion Keneth had gradualy become, and old enough to college ; so I shall see no more of you at
“MY DEAR LORIMER, - I am not to go now to see all the defects of such companionship, he inwardly groaned in spir- present! My father has consented, howit at his own incapacity to give or to re-ever, to my entering the army. Heaven ceive satisfaction from communion with grant I may do something more with life one who in his best days was a poor neth is to remain on at home. I am sorry
than accept the bare fact of living! Kenspecimen of what the head of a tamily should be, and whose worst days were
for Kenneth. Such a fine, quick, handdays of mingled apathy and some lad! I wish you could see him. I discontent, of absolute repugnance to the
father had given him a chance. nearest tie in it, his irritable and irritiating
Do not forget me, old fellow; I shall never wife ; of selfish craving for what amuse
I send you a little Elzevir ment or comfort he could get out of the so: times together under the trees by the river
• Horace' you and I used to read someciety of the half-educated lad he had kept at Glenrossie without a thought of his that hot summer, when you sprained your future; and of angry surprise at the trans-arm, and had to give up rowing in the boats. formation, as it seemed to him, of the love I would be glad you wrote to me. I am ly, ardent boy whose small rebellions sure you will, Lorimer. I don't mind ownagainst discipline and lady Ross he had ing to you that I feel so lonesome and disso often protected, into the proud, thought- appointed I could cry like a girl. I hope ful adolescent, who " seemed to think he you will distinguish yourself at college; you would advise the whole family.”
were much the cleverest fellow at Eton. I In this state of mind was Sir Neil, when end with a nil desperandum ; for, after all, Douglas asked that his brother might be
I trust to our future meeting. You are a put to some profession, and that he himself Scotchman, and so am I; and some day, I might be sent to one of the universities; suppose, I shall be at home again. Meanand for once Sir Neil and Lady Ross united while, since I cannot be at college, I am glad their discordant voices in a chorus of agree
to be a soldier. ment, holding that his demands were preposterous, and not to be granted.
“ DOUGLAS Ross,"
“ Yours ever,
face with that dying wistfulness which, once seen, is never forgotten, and fell back on the pillow exhausted
the anxieties, errors,
and hopes of this world at an end for ever. If there were not daily examples to fa- Brief was the time allotted to Douglas miliarize us with the marvel, we might won- for any obedience to his father's dying der at the strange way in which Nature wishes, as far as his brother was concerned. asserts herself, or the effects of Nature and Kenneth had insisted on riding home to accident combined, in the characters of Torrieburn every night, in spite of the urindividuals. We see children, all brought ging of his brother. He did not seem to beup in one home, under the same tutelage, lieve the end so near. He was wilful as to as different as night from day. Pious sons being at home in his own bachelor abode. and daughters sprung from infidel and prof. He hated his stepmother, he said, and his ligate parents ; unredeemed and incorrigi- half-sister, and did not wish to see any of ble rascals from honest and religious fathers; their mock grief for the father, who had at fools, that fritter away the vanishing hours least treated him always with affection. they themselves scarcely know how, born The night that father died, he rode away where steady conduct and deep knowledge as usual. Torrents of rain, swept to and seemed the very life of those around them, fro by the wild gusts of an autumnal storm, - and earnest, intelligent, and energetic whistling and moaning through the ancient souls springing up, like palm-trees in the fir woods at the back of the castle, greeted desert sand, where never a thought has his departure. The crash of trees blown been given to mental culture or religious down, the roar of the swollen torrent, improvement.
sounded loud in the ear of his brother, as Out of that home which looked so stately he stood grasping his hand at the open door, and beautiful among the surrounding hills, and bidding him good night. " If you will, and held such grovelling inmates the you will, Kenneth ; you were always a wilcastled home of Glenrossie — went forth at ful fellow; but what a night!” and for a least one scion of the good old name worthy few minutes yet, Douglas Ross watched the to bear it. Douglas Ross drew his sword receding form, full of grace and activity, of in the service of his country, in India, in the handsome rider. * I shall be with you America, and in China; he rose rapidly to early in the morning,” were his last words, command, and proved as strict in authority as he waved his hand and put spurs to his as he had formerly been in obedience. Be- horse. But neither that nor any other loved, respected, and somewhat feared, his morning ever brought Kenneth Ross to the name was one already familiar in men's castle again. Their father died in the mouths, as having greatly distinguished night; and Douglas was still pondering himself in the profession he had chosen, over the anxious, needless recommendation when he was recalled to Scotland, with of his brother to his kindness, when the leave of absence from the military com- day dawned, as it had set, in storms of mand he held, to attend the rapidly suc- drenching rain. ceeding death-beds of his father and Plans of affection, of hope, rational use-brother.
ful plans, chased each other like the windWhether, in dying, some dim conscious- borne clouds through the mind of the newness of his folly and injustice smote Sir made heir of Glenrossie. Yes, he would Neil, - or that he was merely haunted by " look after Kenneth,” — Kenneth, and bis lingering love for the son who had been Torrieburn, and every fraction of his desleft with him through recent years, – he tiny! He would set that destiny to rights: made a sort of appeal to the elder when He would think over a suitable marriage bending anxiously over him to gather the for him. He would give, lend, do anything failing words.
“ You'll look after Ken- to get him out of the embarrassments bis neth," he said, “ he has greatly mismanaged father had hinted at. And then he remem- You'll help him-Torrieburn's been ill bered the other concluding sentence of sorted— He's let himself down, rather - that father's dying voice: "You'll have to with those people. I Be good to make amends to To whom? Could Kenneth Maybe he'll settle in the way of it be some one who had already assisted marriage, and do well yet. You'll have to Kenneth ? Or perhaps to his stepmothmake amends to
Sir Neil had never uttered his wife's Sir Neil made great efforts to conclude name; he had begged she might not be this sentence, but was unable ; he held con- present while he talked with his son at vulsively by his son's hand, looked in his that solemn midnight hour. He meant to
see her again in the morning. Could he quick ear of one who was waiting and have been going to recommend her also to watching there. For Kenneth's bachelor Douglas's kindness?
home was not a lonely one. Startling was He went to her room to break the news. the picture that presented itself in that He found her cold, impassive; indifferent drear morning's light when Sir Douglas ento the fact; suspicious of his intentions. tered. The weariest frightened form be She pronounced but one sentence: it was, ever beheld in the shape of woman, sate at " You are aware, I suppose, that I've a right the foot of the bed. Untidy, dishevelled, to stay at the castle for a year from this beautiful ; her great white arms stretched date ? Her daughter was with her; she out with clasped hands, shuddering every also looked at Douglas with her grave time that Kenneth groaned; ber reddishshrewd eyes. There was a certain beauty golden bair stealing in tangled locks from of youth and girlhood about her, and her under the knotted kerchief, which she had half-brother gazed at her with pity. He never untied or taken off since she had took her hand and said gently, “ Even if rushed out into the storm and scrambled there were no right, do you think I would down to the Falls the night before. The drive you away? This is Home.”
lower part of her dress was still soaked and Ailie drew her little thin hand out of his, dripping, covered with mud and moss — as though she had been slipping off a glove. one of her loose stockings torn at the ancle, She sat mute. She gave no token even and the blood oozing through of having heard him, except withdrawing ticoat, too, torn on that side: she had eviher eyes from bis face, and casting a sidelong dently slipped in attempting to reach the furtive glance at her rigid mother.
horse and rider. Douglas spoke first to her, While Sir Douglas still lingered — in the and he spoke to her of herself, not of bis sort of embarrassment felt by warm-hearted brother. persons who have made a vain demonstra- “ Och !” she said, and her teeth chattered tion of sympathy - a sudden tumult of as she spoke ye'll no mind me, sir! it's vague sounds, the arrival of a horseman, naething. I just drappit by one hand frae the chatter of servants, the flinging open of the brae, in amang the stanes to get at him, doors, struck beavily through the silence of and sae gat hurtit. Ou Kenneth! Kenthe room. " There is Kenneth !” said Sir neth ! Kenneth! Ou my man! my ain Douglas, as he hastily turned and opened man!” and, rocking wildly to and fro, while the door into the broad handsome corridor the rain beat against the window, and at the head of the great oak staircase im- the storm seemed to rock the trees in unison mediately fronting the entrance. The old with her movements, she ceased to speak. butler was already there: he put his The dying man moved his lips with a hands out as if deprecating the advance of strange sort of smile, but no sound came. a step: " Mr. Kenneth was thrown from Douglas knelt down by him, and, as he did his horse last night, sir, and the doctor says so, was conscious of the presence of a little he'll no live till the morrow," was all he nestling child, the most lovely little face could utter.
that ever looked out of a picture, that was Another death-bed — another and a dear- sitting at the bed-head, serene and hopeful er!
in all this trouble, and saying to him with a Sir Douglas rode to Torrieburn almost as shy smile - “ Are ye the doctor? and will desperately as his brother had done the ye put daddy a' richt? We've been waitnight before. He found the handsome ing lang for the doctor." rider he had fondly watched at his depart- No doctor could save Kenneth — no, not ure, a bruised, shattered, groaning wretch. if the aching heart of his elder brother had His horse, over-spurred, and bewildered by resolved to bring him life at the price of his the drifting rain and howling storm, had whole estate. He was fast going
fast ! swerved on the old-fashioned, sharp-angled The grief of the ungovernable woman at his i bridge that crossed the Falls of Torrieburn, bed-foot only vaguely disturbed him. He close to his home, and had dashed with his was beginning to be withdrawn from earthly rider over the low parapet in among the sights and earthly sounds. But Sir Dougrocks below.
las tried to calm her. He be sought her to Close to home; luckily, close to home! be still; to go away and wash her wounded
Near enough for the wild shout he gave limb and tear-swoln face, and arrange her. as he fell, and even the confused sound of self, and return, and meanwhile he would the roll of shaken-down stones, and terrible watch Kenneth till the doctor came. No, weight of horse and rider falling on the bed she wouldn't — no, she couldn't — no, he of the torrent, to reach the house, and the might die while she was out of the way
no, she “ wad see the last o' him, and then |“ hushing her down,” till suddenly Kenneth dee.” She offered no help; she was capa- said, in a sort of dreamy voice, “ Maggie, ble of no comfort; she kept up her loud la- you'll call to mind the birken trees the ment, so as to bewilder all present, and it birken trees!” was a positive relief to Sir Douglas when, The woman held her breath. There was with a sudden shiver through her whole no need to quiet her now :frame, she slid from the bed-foot to the floor .“ The birken trees by the broomy knowe,” in a swoon.
repeated he dreamily ; and, in a low clear By this time the doctor had arrived, with tone, he added — " I'm
sorry, Maggie.” an assistant, both of them common “ bone- Then, opening his eyes with a fixed look, setters ” from the village of Torrieburn he said, “ Dear Douglas !” in a tone of exrough, untutored, but not unkindly; and treme, almost boyish tenderness; and then perhaps in nothing more kind than in the followed a renewed silence; broken only honest admission that beyond giving resto- by the wild gusty winds outside the house, ratives for the time being, and shifting the and the distant sound of the fatal Falls of bed a little, so as to lessen (not remove) the Torrieburn. All at once, with the rallying great agony of human pain that must pre- strength that sometimes preredes death, he face this untimely death, they could do spoke clearly and intelligibly: "Douglas ! nothing.
be kind — I'm going - I'm dying be Do NOTHING! very solemn and trying kind to my Kenneth, for the sake of days are such death-beds; when human love, that when we were boys together! Don't forseems so strong, stands helpless; listening sake him! don't deny him! Have pity on to the great dreadful sentence, “You shall Maggie!” see this man whom you love pass to the A little pause after that, and he spoke presence of his Creator in torments incon- more restlessly : “ I'm asking others, and I ceivable, and you shall not be able to lift ought to do it myself. It's I who forsake away, no, not so much as one grain of his him. It's I that didn't pity. I say — I say bitter pain, though you would give half your — are you all here? Douglas ! the doctor own life to do it."
yes, and my father's factor, — Well God's will be done! Oh! how hollow -1”. sound even those solemn words ! while we He struggled for a moment, with blue echo, as it were, the writhing we look on at, blanched lips, and, feeling for the little in the thrill of aching sympathy that goes curled head of the child, at the further side through our own corporeal frame ; and of his bed, and locking his right hand in the wait, and wait, and wait, and know that hand of the kveeling woman, he said, " I only Death — only Death - can end the trust Douglas with these. I declare Maranguish; and that, when he has ceased to garet Carmichael my WIFE, and I acknowlsuffer, we are alone for ever in the great edge Kenneth Carmichael Ross as my lawblank. No more to hear his voice, no more ful son!” to clasp his hand, no more to be conscious The woman gave a suppressed shriek ; of his love; but to know that somewhere she sprang up from her knees, and flung her there is a grave, where be who suffered so arms round the dying man, with a wild, much lies stiff and still, — and that “his “Oh, I thank ye! I thank ye! and mither spirit has returned to God who gave it.” 'll thank ye for ever! Ou! my Kenneth!”
When the doctor had arranged that dying He turned his head towards her with that bed for the best, - and had attended to the unutterable smile that often flits over dying miserable woman who had fainted, and had faces. Brighter and fonder his smile could brought her back, pale, exhausted, but not have been in the days of their first love: quieter, to the sick chamber, — Kenneth by the broomy knowe, under the birken made a feeble effort to raise himself; an trees; ” and perhaps his thoughts were exertion which was followed by a dreadful there, even in that supreme hour. No other groan. Then he murmured twice the name word, except a broken ejaculation of prayer, of “ Maggie!- dear Maggie!” and Sir came from him; only the by-standers “saw Douglas rose up, and made way for the a great change” - the change there is no trembling creature so called upon, to kneel describing — come over his brow. The andown in his place; adjuring her, for the love guish of mortal pain seemed to melt into of heaven – for the love of Kenneth — not peace. A great sigh escaped him, such as to give way, but keep still; getting only bursts from the bosom in some sudden relief from her a burst of sobbing, and the words, from suffering, and the handsome man was “ Kill me, och! kill me ! and then maybe a handsome corpse. He who had been so ye'll hush me down.” There seemed no much to that wailing woman, had become