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hospitality was splendid, even to ostentation; her overlooked the ocean were hung with thick and heavy address and manners, agreeable to the pattern mist, when the portals of the ancient and half-ruin. most valued in Scotland at the period, were grave, pus tower, in which Lord Ravenswood had spent the dignified, and severely regulated by the rules of eti- last and troubled years of his life, opened, that his quette. Her character had always been beyond the mortal remains might pass forward to an abode yet breath of slander. And yet, with all these qualities more dreary and lonely. The pomp of attendance, to excite respect, Lady Ashton was seldom mentioned to which the deceased had, in his latter years, been a in the termsof love or affection. Interest,--the inter- stranger, was revived as he was about to be consigned est of her family, if not her own,-seemed too obvi- to the realms of forgetfulness. ously the motive of her actions, and where this is the Banner after banner, with the various devices and case, the sharp-judging and malignant public are not coats of this ancient family and its connexions, foleasily imposed upon by outward show. It was seen lowed each other in mournful procession from under and ascertained, that, in her most graceful courtesies the low-browed archway of the court-yard. The and compliments, Lady Ashton no more lost sight of principal gentry of the country, attended in the deepher object than the falcon in his airy wheel turns his est mourning, and tempered the pace of their long quick eyes from his destined quarry; and hence, train of horses to the solemn march befitting the oc something of doubt and suspicion qualified
the feelings casion. Trumpets, with banners of crape attached with which her equals received her attentions. With to them, sent forth their long and melancholy notes her inferiors these feelings were mingled with fear; an to regulate the movements of the procession. An impression useful to her purposes, so far as it enforced immense train of inferior mourners and menials ready compliance with her requests, and implicit obe closed the rear, which had not yet issued from the dience to her commands, but detrimental, because it castle-gate, when the yan had reached the chapel cannot exist with affection or regard.
where the body was to be deposited. Even her husband, it is said, upon whose fortunes Contrary to the custom, and even to the law of the her talents and address had produced such emphatic time, the body was met by a priest of the Scottish influence, regarded her with respectful awe rather Episcopal communion, arrayed in his surplice, and than confiding attachment; and report said, there prepared to read over the coffin of the deceased the were times when he considered his grandeur as dearly funeral service of the church. Such had been the purchased at the expense of domestic thraldom. Of desire of Lord Ravenswood in his last illness, and it this, however, much might be suspected, but little was readily complied with by the tory gentlemen, or could be accurately known; Lady Ashton regarded cavaliers, as they affected to style themselves, in the honour of her husband as her own, and was well which faction most of his kinsmen were enrolled. aware how much that would suffer in the public eye The presbyterian church-judicatory of the bounds, should he appear a vassal to his wife. In all her argu- considering the ceremony as a bravading insult upon ments, his opinion was quoted as infallible; his taste their authority, had applied to the Lord Keeper, as was appealed to, and his sentiments received, with the nearest privy-councillor, for a warrant to prevent the air of deference which a dutiful wife might seem its being carried into effect; so that when the clergyto owe to a husband of Sir William Ashton's rank man had opened his prayer-book, an ofħcer of the and character. But there was something under all law, supported by some armed men, commanded him this which rung false and hollow; and to those who to be silent. An insult, which fired the whole assem. watched this couple with close, and perhaps malicious bly with indignation, was particularly and instantly scrutiny, it seemed evident, that
in the haughtiness of resented by the only son of the deceased, Edgar, a firmer character, higher birth, and more decided popularly called the Master of Ravenswood, a youth views of aggrandizement, the lady looked with some of about twenty years of age. He clapped his contempt on her husband, and that he regarded her hand on his sword, and, bidding the official perwith jealous fear, rather than with love or admira- son to desist at his peril' from further interruption, tion.
commanded the clergyman to proceed. The man Still, however, the leading and favourite interest attempted to enforce his commission, but a s a hun of Sir William Ashton and his lady were the same, dred swords at once glittered in the air, he contented and they failed not to work in concert
, although with himself with protesting against the violence which out cordiality, and to testify, in all exterior circum- had been offered to him in the execution of his duty, stances, that respect for each other, which they were and stood aloof, a sullen and moody spectator of aware was necessary to secure that of the pub- the ceremonial, 'muttering as one who should say, lic.
"You'll rue the day that clogs me with this anTheir union was crowned with several children, of swer." whom three survived. One, the eldest son, was ab- The scene was worthy of an artist's pencil. Under sent on his travels; the second, a girl of seventeen, the very arch of the house of death, the clergyman, and the third, a boy about three years younger, resided affrighted at the scene, and trembling for his own with their parents in Edinburgh, during the sessions safety, hastily and unwillingly rehearsed the solemn of the Scottish Parliament and Privy-council, at service of the church, and spoke dust to dust, and other times in the old Gothic castle
of Ravenswood, ashes to ashes, over ruined pride and decayed pros. to which the Lord Keeper had made large additions perity. Around stood the relations of the deceased, in the style of the seventeenth century.
their countenances more in anger than in sorrow, Allan Lord Ravenswood, the late proprietor of that and their drawn swords which they brandished form ancient mansion and the large estate annexed to it, ing a violent contrast with their deep mourning hab continued for some time to wage ineffectual war with its. In the countenance of the young man alone, rehis successor concerning, various points to which sentment seemed for the moment overpowered by their former transactions had given rise, and which the deep agony with
which he beheld his nearest, and were successively determined in favour of the wealthy almost his only friend, consigned to the tomb of his and powerful competitor, until death closed the litiga- ancestry. A relative observed him turn deadly pale tion, by summoning, Ravenswood to a higher bar. when, all rites being now duly
observed, it became the The thread of life, which had been long wasting, gave duty of the chief mourner to lower down into the way during a fit of violent and impotent fury, with charnel vault, where mouldering coffins showed their which he was assailed on receiving the news of the tattered velvet and decayed plating, the head of the Inss of a cause, founded, perhaps, rather in equity than corpse which was to be their partner in corruption in law, the last which he had maintained against his He stepped to the youth and offered his assistance, powerful antagonist. His son witnessed his dying which, by a mute motion, Edgar Ravenswood rojectagonies, and heard the curses which he breathed ed. Firmly, and without a tear, he performed that against his adversary, as if they had conveyed to him last duty. The stone was laid on the sepulchre, the * legacy of vengeance. Other circumstances hap door of the aisle was locked, and the youth took pospened to exasperate a passion, which was, and had session of its massive key. long been, a prevalent vice in the Scottish disposi- As the crowd left the chapel, he paused on the steps
which led to its Gothic chancel. Gentlemen and It was a November mo ung, and the cliffs which | friends," he said, ' you have this day done no com
mon duty to the body of your deceased kinsman, I'D "CHAPTER III. "
Over Gods forebode, then said the King,
"That thou shouldst shoot at me. tian, would this day have been denied to the body of your relative-not certainly sprung of the meanest **
William Bell, Clim o' the Cleugh, 6-4, house in Scotland-had it not been assured to him by Ok the morning after the funeral, the legal officer," your courage: Others bury their dead in sorrow and whose authority had been found insufficient to effect tears, in silence and in reverence, our funeral rites an interruption of the funeral solemnities of the late tre marred by the intrusion of bailiffs and ruffiang, Lord Ravenswood, hastened to state before the and our grief-the grief due to our departed friend-is Keeper the resistance which he had met with in the chased from our cheeks by the glow of just indigna- execution of his office. tion. But it is well that I know from what quiver The statesman was seated in a spacious library,' this arrow has come forth. It was only he that dug once a banqueting-room in the old Castle of Ravens the grave who could have the mean cruelty to disturb wood, as was evident from the armorial insignia still the obsequies; and Heaven do as much to me and displayed on the carved roof, which was vaulted with more, if I requite not to this man and his house Spanish chestnut, and on the stained glass of the the ruin and disgrace he has brought on me and casement, through which gleamed a dim yet rich mine!"
light, on the long rows of shelves, bending under the A numerous part of the assembly applauded this weight of legal commentators and monkish histori speech, as the spirited expression of just resentment; ans, whose ponderous volumes formed the chief and but the more cool and judicious regretted that it had most valued contents of a Scottish historian of the been uttered. The fortunes of the heir of Ravens- period. On the massive oaken table and reading. wood were too low to brave the farther hostility which desk, lay a confused mass of letters, petitions, and! they imagined these open expressions of resentment parchments; to toil amongst which was the pleasure must necessarily provoke. Their apprehensions, how- \ at once and the plague of Sir William Ashton's life, ever; proved groundless, at least in the immediate His appearance was grave and even noble, well consequences of this affair.
becoming one who held a high office in the state The mourners returned to the tower, there, accord- and it was not, save after long and intimate convers ing to a custom but recently abolished in Scotland, sation with him upon topics of pressing and personal to carouse deep healths to the memory of the de interest
, that a stranger could have discovered some ceased, to make the house of sorrow ring with sounds thing vacillating and uncertain in his resolutions; an of jovialty and debauch, and to diminish, by the infirmity of purpose : arising from a cautious and expense of a large and profuse entertainment, the timid disposition, which, as he was conscious of its Imited revenues of the heir of him whose funeral internal influence on his mind, he was, from pride as they thus strangely honoured. It was the custom, well as policy, most anxious to conceal from others nowever, and on the present occasion, it was fully He listened with great apparent composure to an observed. The tables swam in wine, the populace exaggerated account of the tumult which had taken feasted in the court-yard, the yeomen in the kitchen place at the funeral, of the contempt thrown on his and buttery; and two years' rent of Ravenswood's own authority, and that of the church and state; remaining property hardly defrayed the charge of the nor did he seem moved even by the faithful report funeral revel. The wine did its office on all but the of the insulting and threatening language which Master of Ravenswood, a title which he still retained, had been uttered by young Ravenswood and others, though forfeiture had attached to that of his father and obviously directed against himself. He heard, He, while passing around the cup which he himself also, what the man had been able to collect, in a very did not taste, soon listened to a thousand exclama- distorted and aggravated shape, of the toasts which. tions against the Lord Keeper, and passionate protes- had been drunk, and the menaces uttered, at the tations of attachment to himself, and to the honour subsequent entertainment. In fine, he made careful of his house. He listened with dark and sullen brow notes of all these particulars, and of the names of to ebullitions which he considered justly as equally the persons by whom, in case of need, an accusation, evanescent with the crimson bubbles on the brink of founded upon these violent proceedings could be the
goblet, or at least with the vapours which its witnessed and made good, and dismissed his incontents excited in the brains of the revellers around former, secure that he was now master of the remainllim.
ing fortune, and even of the personal liberty, of young When the last flask was emptied, they took their Ravenswood. leave, with deep protestations to be forgotten on the When the door had closed upon the officer of the morrow, if, indeed, those who made them should not law, the Lord Keeper remained for a moment in deep think it necessary for their safety to make a more meditation; then, starting from his seat, paced the solemn retraction.
apartment as one about to take a sudden and ener Accepting their adieus with an air of contempt getic resolution. Young Ravenswood," he mut which he could scarce conceal, Ravenswood at tered, "is now mine-she is my own-he has placed ength beheld his ruinous habitation cleared of this himself in my hand, and he shall bend or break. 1 confluence of riotous guests, and returned to the have not forgot the determined and dogged obstinacy. deserted hall, which now appeared doubly lonely with which his father fought every point to the last, from the cessation of that clamour to which it had resisted every effort at compromise, embroiled me in so lately echoed. But its space was peopled by lawsuits, and attempted to assail my character when" phantoms, which the imagination of the young heir he could not otherwise impugn my rights. This boy conjured up before him-the tarnished honour and he has left behind him this Edgar-this hot-headed, degraded fortunes of his house, the destruction of hair-brained fool, has wreeked his vessel before she his own hopes, and the triumph of that family by has cleared the harbour. I must see that he gains no whom they had been ruined. To a mind naturally of advantage of some turning tide which may again e gloomy cast, here was ample room for meditation, foat him off. These memoranda; properly stated to and the musings of young Ravenswood were deep the Privy Council, cannot but be construed into an and unwitnessed.
aggravated riot, in which the dignity both of the civil The pensant, who shows the ruins of the tower and ecclesiastical authorities stand committed. A which still crown the beetling cliff and behold the heavy,fine might be imposed; an order for commitwar of the waves, though no more tenanted save by ting him to Edinburgh or Blackness Castle seerns not the sea-mew and cormorant, even yet affirms, that on improper ; even a charge of treason might be laid on this fatal night the Master of Ravenswood, by the many of these words and expressions, though God, bitter exclamations of his despair, evoked some evil forbid I should prosecute the matter to that extent. fiend, under whose malignant influence the future No, I will not:- will not touch his life, even if it. tissue of incidents was woven. Alas! what fiend can should be in my power;- and yet, if he lives till a. suggest more desperate counsels, than those adopted change of times, what follows ?-Reshitation, per Inder the guidance of our own violent and unresisted hạps revenge. I know Athole promised his interes passions?
Ito old Ravenswood, and here is his son alreadv ban Vol. III. N
dying and making a faction oy his own contemptible adapted to her character ; Lucy Ashton's exqui
girlish features, were of those who are watching the downfall of our admi- formed to express peace of mind, serenity, and nistration !"
indifference to the tinsel of worldly pleasure. Her While these thoughts were agitating the mind of the locks, which were of shadowy gold, divided on a wily statesman, and while he was persuading himself brow of exquisite whiteness, like a gleam of broken that his own interest and safety, as well as those of and pallid sunshine upon a hill of snow. The expreshis friends and party, depended on using the present sion of the countenance was in the last degree gentle, advantage to the uttermost against young Ravens, soft, timid, and feminine, and seemed rather to shrink wood, the Lord Keeper sate down to his desk, and from the most casual look of a stranger, than to court proceeded to draw up, for the information of the Privy his admiration. Something there was of a Madonna Council
, an account of the disorderly, proceedings cast, perhaps the result of delicate health, and of resi. which, in contempt of his warrant, had taken place dence in a family, where the dispositions of the inat the funeral of Lord Ravenswood. The names of males were fiercer, more active, and energetic, than most of the parties concerned, as well as the fact itself, her own. would, he was well aware, sound odiously in the ears Yet her passiveness of disposition was by no means of his colleagues in administration, and most likely owing to an indifferent or unfeeling mind. Left to instigate them to make an example of young Ravens- the impulse of her own taste and feelings, Lucy
Ashwood, at least, in terrorem.
ton was peculiarly accessible to those of a romantic It was a point of delicacy, however, to select such cast. Her secret delight was in the old legendary expressions as might infer the young man's culpabi- tales of ardent devotion and unalterable affection, lity, without seeming directly to urge it, which, on the chequered as they so often are with strange advenpart of Sir William Ashton, his father's ancient an- tures and supernatural horrors. This was her fatagonist, could not but appear odious and invidious.voured fairy realm, and here she erected her aerial While he was in the act of composition, labouring to palaces. But it was only in secret that she laboured find words which might indicate Edgar Ravenswood at this delusive, though delightful architecture. In to be the cause of the uproar, without specifically mak- her retired chamber
, or in the woodland bower which ing such a charge, Sir William, in a pause of his task, she had chosen for her own, and called after her name, chanced, in-looking upward, to see the crest of the she was in fancy distributing the prizes at the tourna. family, (for whose heir he was whetting the arrows, ment, or raining down influence from her eyes on the and disposing the toils of the law,) carved upon one valiant combatants; or she was wandering in the of the corbeilles
the vaulted roof of the wilderness with Una, under escort of the generous apartment sprung. It was a black bull's head, with lion; or she was identifying herself with the simple, the legend, I bide my time;" and the occasion upon yet noble-minded Miranda, in the isle of wonder and which it was adopted mingled itself singularly and enchantment. impressively with the subject of his present reflections. But in her exterior relations to things of this world, : It was said by a constant tradition, that a Malisius Lucy willingly
received the ruling impulse from those de Ravenswood had, in the thirteenth century, been around her. The alternative was, in general, too indeprived of his castle and lands by a powerful usurper, different to her to render resistance desirable, and she who had for a while enjoyed his spoils in quiet. Al willingly found a motive for decision in the opinion of length, on the eve of a costly banquet, Ravenswood, her friends, which perhaps she might have sought for who had watched his opportunity, introduced himself in vain in her own choice. Every reader must have into the castle with a small band of faithful retainers. observed in some family of his acquaintance, some The serving of the expected feast was impatiently individual of a temper soft and yielding, who, mixed looked for by the guests, and clamorously demanded with stronger and more ardent minds, is borne along by the temporary master of the castle Ravenswood, by the will of others, with as little power of opposition who had assumed the disguise of a sewer upon the as the flower which is flung into a running stream. occasion, answered, in a stern voise, I bide my It usually happens that such a compliant and easy time;" and at the same moment a bull's head, the disposition, which resigns itself without murmur to ancient symbol of death, was placerl upon the table the guidance of others, becomes the darling
of those The explosion of the conspiracy tork place upon the to whose inclinations its own seem to be offered, in signal, and the usurper and his followers were put to ungrudging and ready sacrifice. death. Perhaps there was something in this still This was eminently the case with Lucy Ashton. known and often repeated story, which came imme- Her politic, wary, and worldly, father, felt for her diately home to the breast and conscience of the Lord an affection, the strength of which sometimes surKeeper; for, patting from him the paper on which prised him into an unusual emotion. Her elder brohe had begun his report, and carefully locking the ther, who trode the path of ambition with a haughtier memoranda which he had prepared, into a cabinet step than his father, had also more of human affecwhich stood beside him, he proceeded to walk abroad, tion. A soldier, and in a dissolute age, he preferred as if for the purpose of collecting his ideas, and re his sister Lucy even to pleasure, and to military preflecting farther on the consequences of the step which ferment and distinction. Her younger brother, at an he was about to take, ere yet they becaine inevitable. age when trifles chiefly occupied his mind, made her
In passing through a large Gothic anteroom, Sir the confident of all his pleasures and anxieties, his Walham Ashton heard the sound of his daughter's success in field-sports, and his quarrels with his tutor lute.
Music, when the performers are concealed, and instructors. To these details, however trivial, affects us with a pleasure mingled with surprise, and Lucy lent patient and not indifferent attention. They reminds us of the natural concert of birds among the moved and interested Henry, and that was enough to leafy bowers. The statesman, though little accustomed secure her ear. to give way to emotions of this natural and simple Her mother alone did not feel that distinguished class, was still a man and a father. He stopped, and predominating affection, with which the rest of therefore, and listened, while the silver tones of Lucy the family cherished Lucy. She regarded what she Ashton's voice mingled with the accompaniment in termed her daughter's want of spirit, as a decided an ancient air, to which some one had adapted the mark, that the more plebeian blood of her father prefollowing words:
dominated in Lucy's veins, and used to call her in "Look not thou on beauty's charming,
derision her Lammermoor Shepherdess. To dislike Sit thou still when kings are arming,
so gentle and inoffensive a being was impossible; Taste not when the wine-cup glistens,
þut Lady Ashton preferred her eldest son, on whom Speak not when the people listens, Stop thine ear against the singer,
had descended a large portion of her own ambitious From the red gold keep thy finger,
and urdaunted disposition, to a daughter whose sottVaernt heart, and hand, and eye,
ness of temper seemed allied t) feebleness of mind. Eagy live, and quiet die."
Her eldest son was the more partially beloved by his The sounds ceased, and the Keeper entered his mother, because, contrary to the usual custom of daughter's apartment.
Scottish families of distinction, he had been named The words she had chosen seemed particularly after the head of the house.
"My Sholto," she said, "will support the untaraished wi his Latin nonsense that, though his will was very honour of his maternal house, and elevate and support gude to be in the wood from morning
till night, there that of his father. Poor Lucy is unfit for courts, or would be a hopeful lad lost, and no making a man of crowded halls. Some country laird must be her hus- him. It was not so, he had heard, in Lord Ravensband, rich enough to supply her with every comfort, wood's time when a buck was to be killed, man and without an effort on her own part, so that she may mother's son ran to see; and when the deer fell, the have nothing to shed a tear for but the tender appre- knife was always presented to the knight, and he hension lest he may break his neck in a fox-chase. never gave less than a dollar for the compliment. It was not so, however, that our house was raised, And there was Edgar Ravenswood-Master of Ranor is it so that it can be fortified and augmented. venswood that is now-when he goes up to the wood The Lord Keeper's dignity is yet new; it must be ---there hasna been a better hunter since Tristrem's borne as if we were used to its weight, worthy of in, time when Sir Edgar hauds out,* down goes the and prompt to assert and maintain it. Before ancient deer, faith. But we hae lost a sense of wood-craft authorities, men bend, from customary and hereditary on this side of the hill." deference; in our presence, they will stand erect, un- There was much in this harrangue highly displeasless they are compelled to prostrate themselves. A ing to the Lord Keeper's feelings; he could not help daughter fit for the sheep-fold or the cloister, is ill observing that his menial despised him alınost avowqualified to exact respect where it is yielded with re-edly for not possessing that taste for sport which in luctance; and since Heaven refused us a third boy, those times was deemed the natural and indespensable Lucy should have held a character fit to supply his attribute of a real gentleman. But the master of the place. The hour will be a happy one which disposes game is, in all country houses, a man of great importher hand in marriage to some one whose energy is ance, and entitled to use considerable freedom of greater than her own, or whose ambition is of as low speech. Sir William, therefore, only smiled and an order."
replied, he had something else to inink upon to-day So meditated a mother, to whom the qualities of than killing deer; mean time, taking out his purse, be her children's hearts, as well as the prospect of their gave the ranger a dollar for his encouragement. The domestic happiness, seemed light in comparison, to fellow received it as the waiter of a fashionable hotel their rank and temporal greatness. But, like many a receives double his proper
fee from the hands of a parent of hot and impatient character, she was mis-country gentleman, -that is, with a smile, in which taken in estimating the feelings of her daughter, who, pleasure at the gift is mingled with contempt for the under a semblance of extreme indifference, nourished ignorance of the donor. Your honour is the bad the germ of those passions which sometimes spring paymaster," he said, "who pays before it is done. up in one night, like the gourd of the prophet, and What would you do were I to miss the buck after you astonish the obseryer by their unexpected ardour and have paid me my wood-fee?" intensity. In fact, Lucy's sentiments seemed chill, be- I suppose,” said the Keeper, smiling, "you would cause nothing had occurred to interest or awaken hardly guess what I mean were I to tell you of a conthem. Her life had hitherto flowed on in a uniform dictio indebiti ?" and gentle tenor, and happy for her had not its pre- “Not I, on my saul—I guess it is some law phrase sent smoothness of current resembled that of the --but sue a beggar, and your honour knows what stream as it glides downwards to the waterfall! follows.--Well, but I will be just with you, and if bow
"So, Lucy," said her father, entering as her song and brach fail not, you shall have a piece of game two was ended, does your
musical philosopher teach fingers fat on the brisket." you to contemn the world before you know it?-that is As he was about to go off, his master again called surely something premature. Or did you
but speak ac- him, and asked, as if by accident, whether the Master cording to the fashion of fair maidens, who are always of Ravenswood was actually
so brave a map and so to hold the pleasures of life in contempt till they are good a shooter as the world spoke him? pressed upon them by the address of some gentle Brave !--brave enough, I warrant you," answered
Norman; "I was in the wood at Tyninghame, when Lucy blushed, disclaimed any inference respecting there was a sort of gallants hunting with my lord; her own choice being drawn from her selection of a on my saul, there was a buck turned to bay made us song, and readily laid aside her instrument at her fa- all stand back; a stout old Trojan of the first head, ther's request that she would attend him in his walk. ten-tyned branches, and a brow as broad as e'er a
A large and well-wooded park, or rather chase, bullock's. Egad, he dashed at the old lord, and there stretched along the hill behind the castle, which occu- would have been inlake among the peerage, if the pying, as we have noticed, a pass ascending from the Master had not whipt roundly in, and hamstrung him plain, seemed built in its very gorge to defend the with his cutlass. He was but sixteen then, bless his forest ground which arose behind it in shaggy majes- heart ?” ty. Into this romantic region the father and daughter "And is he as ready with the gun as with the couproceeded, arm in arm, by a noble avenue
overarched teau ?" said Sir William. by embowering elms, beneath which groups of the "He'll strike this silver dollar out from between fallow-deer were seen to stray in distant perspective. my finger and thumb at fourscore yards, and I'll hold As they paced slowly on, admiring the
different points it out for
a gold merk; what more would ye have of of view, for which Sir William Ashton, notwithstand-eye hand, lead, and gunpowder ?". ing the nature of his usual avocations, had considera- "O no more to be wished, certainly," said the Lord ble taste and feeling, they were overtaken by the Keeper ; "but we keep you from your sport, Norman. forester, or park-keeper, who, intent on silvan sport, Good morrow, good Norman was proceeding with his cross-bow over his arm, and And humming his rustic roundelay, the yeoman a hound led in leash by his boy, into the interior of went on his road, the sound of his rough voice graduthe wood.
ally dying away as the distance betwixt them in"Going to shoot us a piece of venison, Norman ?" creased said his master, as he returned the woodman's saluta. The monk must arise when the matins ring, tion.
The abbot may sleep to their chime ; "Saul, your honour, and that I am. Will it please
But the yeoman must start when the bugles sing,
"Tis time, my hearts, 'tis time. you to see the sport?". "O no," said his lordship, after looking at his
There's bucks and raes on Bilhope braes,
There's a herd on Shortwood Shaw; daughter, whose colour filed at the idea of seeing the But a lily white doe in the garden goes, deer shot, although had her father expressed his wish She's fairly worth them a'. that they should accompany Norman, it was proba- "Has this fellow," said the Lord Keeper, when the ble she would not even have hinted her reluctance. yeoman's
song had died on the wind, ever
served The forester
shrugged his shoulders. "It was a the Ravenswood people, that he seems so much inte disheartening thing," he said, "when none of the rested in them? I suppose you know, Lucy, for you gentles came down to see the sport. He hoped Cap- make i, a point of conscience to record the special his tain Sholto would be soon hame, or he might shut up tory of every boor about the castle." nis shop entirely; for Mr. Harry was kept sae close * Hqudsoul. Holds out, i. 6. presents his piece..
"I am not quite so faithful'a chronicler, my dear I beneath them, and then gradually glided away from father; but I believe that Norman once served here the prospect to lose itself" among rocks and thickets, while a boy, and before he went to Ledington, whence and guide to scenes of deeper seclusion. vou hired him. But if you want to know anything It was when pausing on one of those points of exof the former family, Old Alice
is the best authority. tensive and commanding view, that Lucy told her "And what should I have to do with them, pray, father they were close by the cottage of her blind proLucy," said her father, “or with their history or ac- tegée; and on turning from the little hill, a path complishments?"
which led around it, worn by the daily steps of the "Nay, I do not know, sir ; ,only that you were infirm inmate, brought them in sight of the hut, asking questions of Norman about young Ravens- which, embosomed in a deep and obscure dell, seemed wood,
to have been so situated purposely to bear a corre"Pshaw, child!" -replied her father, yet immedi-spondence with the darkened state of its inhabitant. Ately added, "And who is old Alice? I think you The cottage was situated immediately under a tall know all the old women in the country."
rock, which in some measure beetled over it, as if "To be sure I do, or how could I help the old crea- threatening to drop some detached fragment from its ures when they are in hard times? And as to old brow on the frail tenement beneath. The hut itself Alice, she is the very empress of old women, and queen was constructed of turf and stones, and rudely roofed f gossips, so far as legendary lore is concerned. She over with thatch, much of which was in a dilapidated s blind, poor old soul, but when she speaks to you, condition. The thin blue smoke rose from it in a rou would think she has some way of looking into light column, and curled upward along the white face Four very heart, I am sure I often cover my face, or of the incumbent rock, giving the
scene a tint of exurn it away, for it seems as if she saw one change quisite softness. In a small and rude garden, surcolour, though she has been blind these twenty years. rounded by straggling elder-bushes, which formed a She is worth visiting, were it but to say you have seen sort of imperfect hedge, sat near to the bee-hives, by a blind and paralytic old woman have so much acute- the produce of which she lived, that woman old," ness of perception, and dignity of manners. I assure whom Lucy had brought her father hither to visit. you, she might be a countess from her language and Whatever there had been which was disastrous in behaviour. Come, you must go to see Alice; we are her fortune--whatever there was miserable in her not a quarter of a mile from her cottage.'
dwelling, it was easy to judge, by the first glance, * All this, my dear," said the Lord Keeper, is no that neither years, poverty, misfortune, nor infirmity, answer to my question, who this woman is, and what had broken the spirit of this remarkable woman. is her connexion with the former proprietor's family ?" She occupied a turf-seat, plaeed under a weeping
"O, it was something of a nourice-ship, I believe; birch of unusual magnitude and age, as Judah is and she remained here, because her two grandsons represented sitting under her palm-tree, with an air were engaged in your service. But it was against her at once of majesty and of dejection. Her figure was will, I fancy; for the poor old creature is always re-tall, commanding and but little bent by the infirmigretting the change of times and of property." ties of old age. Her dress, though that of a peasant,
"I am much obliged to her," answered the Lord was uncommonly clean, forming in that particular á Keeper. She and her folk eat my bread and drink strong contrast to most of her rank, and was dismy cup, and are lamenting all the while that they are posed with an attention to neatness, and even to taste, not still under a family which never could do good, equally unusual. But it was her expression of couneither to themselves or any one else!"
tenance which chiefly struck the spectator, and Indeed," replied Lucy, "I am certain you do old induced most persons to address her with a degree Alice injustice. She has nothing mercenary, about of deference and civility very inconsistent with the her, and would not accept a penny in charity, if it were miserable state of her dwelling, and which, nevertheto save her from being starved. She is only talkative, less, she received with that easy composure which like all old folk, when you put them upon stories of showed she felt it to be her due. She had once been their youth; and she speaks about the Ravenswood beautiful, but her beauty had been of a bold and maspeople, because she lived under them so many years. culine cast, such as does not survive the bloom of But I am sure she is grateful to you, sir, for your pro- youth; yet her features continued to express strong tection, and that she would rather speak to you, than serise, deep reflection, and a character of sober pride, to any other person in the whole world beside. Do, which, as we have already
said of her dress, appeared sir, come and see old Alice."
to argue a conscious superiority to those of her own And with the freedom of an indulged daughter, she rank. It scarce seemed possible that a face, deprived dragged the Lord Keeper in the direction she desired. of the advantage of sight, could have expressed cha
racter so strongly; but her eyes, which were almost
totally closed, did not, by the display of their sightless CHAPTER IV,
orbs, mar the countenance to which they could add Through tops of the high trees she did descry
nothing. She seemed in a ruminating, posture, A little smoke, whose vapour, thin and light, soothed, perhaps, by the murmurs of the busy tribe Reeking alont, uprolled to the sky,
around her, to abstraction, though not to slumber. Which cheerful sign did send unto her sight, That in the same did wonne some living wight.
Lucy undid the lateh of the little garden gate, and
solicited the old woman's attention. "My father, Lycv acted as her father's guide, for he was too Alice, is come to see you." much engrossed with his political labours, or with,
He is welcome, Miss Ashton, and so are you," society, to be perfectly acquainted with his own exten- said the old woman, turning' and inelining her head bitant of the city of Edinburgh; and she on the other ther," said the Lord Keeper, who, struck with the sive domains, and, moreover, was generally an inha- towards her visiters.
"This is a fine morning for your bee-hives, moper in Ravenswood, and, partly from taste, partly outward appearance of Alice, was somewhat curious rom want of any other amusement, had, by her fre- to know if her conversation would correspond with
it uent rambles, learned to know each lane, alley, din
"I believe so, my lord,” she replied; “I feel the le, or bushy dell,
air breathe milder than of late.". "And every bosky bourne from side to side." I
"You do not," resumed the statesman, tako
charge of these bees yourself, mother?-How do you We have said that the Lord Keeper was not indif- manage them ?" jrent to the beauties of nature; and we add, in jus- By delegates, as kings do their subjects," resumed
ce to him, that he felt them doubly, when pointed Alice; "and I am fortunate in a prime minister at by the beautiful, simple, and interesting girl, who, Here, Babie." anging on his arm with filial kindness, now called She whistled on a small silver call which hung im to admire the size of some ancient oak, and now around her neck, and which at that time was somede unexpected turn, where the path developing its times used to summon domestics, and Babie, a girl of snaze irom glen or dingle, suddenly reached an emi-fifteen, made her appearance from the hut, not alto henco commanding an extensive view of the plains gether so cleanly arrayed as she would probably have