was to guide us to this night;'and I am sure that; if he destroyed, an affectionate father murdered! Why, in is taken, he will tell all the truth of me, and twenty our old Scottish days, lie that sat quiet under such lies of you, in order to save himself from the withie. wrongs, would have been held neither fit to back a

They mounted, and rode off in company accord- friend nor face a foe." ingly, striking off the ordinary road, and holding "Well, Master, I am glad to see that the devil deals their way by wild 'moorish unfrequented paths, with as cunningly with other folk as he deals with me; which the gentlemen were well acquainted from the for whenever I am about to commit any folly he per. exercise of the chase, but through which others suades me it is the most necessary gallant, gentlewould have had much difficulty in tracing their man-like thing on earth, and I am up to saddlegirths course. They røde for some time in silence, making in the bog before I see that the ground is soft. And, such haste as the condition of Ravenswood's horse you, Master, might have turned out a murdpermitted, until night having gradually closed around homicide, just out of pure respect for your father's ihem, they discontinued their speed, both from the memory. difficulty of discovering their path, and from the "There is more sense in your language, Bucklaw," hope that they were beyond the reach of pursuit or replied the Master, "than might have been expected observation.

from your conduct. It is too true, our vices steal * And now that we have drawn bridle abit,” said upon us in forms outwardly as fair as those of the Bucklaw, "I would fain ask you a question, Master" demons whom the superstitious represent as intrigu

“Ask, and welcome,” said Ravenswood, “but for- ing with the human race, and are not discovered in give my not answering it, unless I think proper." their native hideousness until we have clasped them

"Well, it is simply this,"answered his late antago- in our arms." nist, -"What, in the name of old Sathan, could "But we may throw them from us, though," said make you, who stand so highly on your reputation, Bucklaw, "and that is what I shall 'think of doing think for a moment of drawing up with such a rogue one of these days,--that is, when old Lady Girningas Craigengelt, and such a scape-grace as folk call ton dies." Bucklaw ?

"Did you ever hear the expression of the English Simply, because I was desperate, and sought des- divine ?" said Ravenswood". Hell is paved with perate associates."

good intentions'-as much as to say, they are more And what made you break off from us at the near- often formed than executed." est ?' again demanded Bucklaw.

"Well," replied Bucklaw, "but I will begin this " Because I had changed my mind,” said the Mas- blessed night, and have determined not to drink ter, "and renounced my enterprise, at least for the above one quart of wine, unless your claret be of, present. And now that I have answered your ques- extraordinary quality; tions fairly and frankly, tell me what makes you "You will find little to tempt you at Wolf's Crag," associate with Craigengelt, so much beneath you said the Master. "I know not that I can promise both in birth and in spirit ?”

you more than the shelter of my roof; all, and more "In plain terms,” answered Bucklaw, "because I than all, our stock of wine and provisions was exam a fool, who have gambled away my land in these hausted at the late occasion." times. My grand-aunt, Lady Girnington, has taen a "Long may it be ere provision is needed for the new tack of life I think, and I could only

hope to get like purpose," answered Bucklaw; " but you should something by, a change of government. Cragie was a not drink up the last flask at a dirge; there is ill luck sort of gambling acquaintance; he saw my condition; in that.' and, as the devil is always at one's ow, told me “There is ill luck, I think, in whatever ngs to fifty lies about his credentials from Versailles, and his me," said Ravenswood. “But yonder is Wolf's Crag, interest at Saint Germains, promised me a captain's and whatever it still contains is at your service." commission at Paris, and I have been ass cnough to The roar of the sea had long announced their apput my thumb under his belt. I daresay, by this time, proach to the cliffs, on the summit of which, like the he has told a dozen pretty stories of me to the govern- nest of some sea-eagle, the founder of the fortalice ment. And this is what I have got by wine, women, had perched his eyry. The pale moon, which had and dice, cocks, dogs, and horses."

hitherto been contending with fitting clouds, now “Yes, Bucklaw," said the Master, "you have in- shone out, and gave them a view of the solitary and deed nourished in your bosom the snakes that are naked tower, situated on a projecting cliff that beenow stinging you.'

tled on the German Ocean. On three sides the rock " That's home as well as true, Master,” replied his was precipitous; on the fourth, which was that tocompanion; "but, by your leave you have nursed in wards the land, 'it had been originally fenced by an your bosom one great goodly snake that has swal- artificial ditch and drawbridge, but the latter was lowed all the rest, and is as sure to devour you as my broken down and ruinous, and the former had been half dozen are to make a meal on all that's left of in part filled up, so as 10 allow passage for a horseBucklaw, which is but what lies between bonnet and man into the narrow court-yard, encircled on two boot-heel."

sides with low offices and stables, partly ruinous, and "I must not," answered the Master of Ravens- closed on the landward front by a low embattled wood, "challenge the freedom of speech in which I wall, while the remaining side of the quadrangle was have set example. What, to speak without a meta- occupied by the tower itself, which, tall and narrow, phor, do you call this monstrous passion, which you and built of a grayish stone, stood glimmering in the charge me with fostering ?''.

moonlight, like the sheeted spectre of some huge "Revenge, my good sir, revenge ; which, if it be as giant. A wilder, or more disconsolate dwelling, it. gentleman-like a sin as wine and wassail, with their was perhaps difficult to conceive. The sombrous d cæteras, is equally unchristian, and not so blood and heavy sound of the billows, successively dashing less. It is better breaking a park-pale to watch a doe against the rocky beach at a profound distance beor damsel, than to shoot an old man."

neath, was to the ear what the landscape was to the "I deny the purpose," said the Master of Ravens. eye-a symbol of unvaried and monotonous melanwood. “On my soul, I had no such intention; I choly, not unmingled with horror. meant but to confront the oppressor ere I left my Although the night was not far advanced, there native land, and upbraid him with his tyranny and was no sign of living inhabitant about this forlorn its consequences. I would have stated my wrongs so abode, excepting that one, and only

one of the narthat they would have shaken his soul within

him." row and stanchelled windows which appeared at “Yes,' answered Bucklaw," and he would have irregular heights and distances in the walls of the collared you, and cried help, and then you would have building, showed a small glimmer of light. shaken the soul out of him, I suppose. Your very There," said Ravenswood, "sits the only male look and manner would have frightened the old man domestic that remains to the house of Ravenswood; to death."

and it is well that he does remain there, since ɔther. "Consider the provocation," answered Ravens- wise, we had little hope to find either light or finc. wood-consider the ruin and death procured and But follow me cautiously; the road is nairow, and caused by his hard-hearted cruelty-an ancient house admits only one horse in front."

[ocr errors]

In effect, the path led along a kind of isthmus, at hen without thinking twice on it ; let them care that the reninsular extremity of which the tower was come ahint.-No to say it's our best dwelling," he situated, with that exclusive attention to strength added, turning to Bucklaw; "but just a strength for and security, in preference to every circumstance of the Lord of Ravenswood to flee until --that is no to convenience, which dictated to the Scottish barons flec, but to retreat until in troublous times, like the the choice of their situations, as well as their style of present, when it was ill convenient for him to live building.

farther in the country in ony of his better and mair By adopting the cautious mode of approach recom- principal manors; but, for its antiquity, maist folk mended by the proprietor of this wild hold, they think that the outside of Wolf's Craig is worthy of a entered the court-yard in safety. But it was long ere large perusal.”. the efforts of Ravenswood, though loudly exerted by And you are determined we shall have time to knocking at the low-browed entrance and repeated make it,” said Ravenswood, somewhat amused with shouts to Caleb to open the gate and admit them, the shifts the old man used to detain them without received any answer.

doors, until his confederate Mysie had made her pre" The old man must be departed,” he began to say, parations within. "or fallen into some fit; for the noise I have made "O, never mind the outside of the house, my good would have waked the seven sleepers."

friend," said "Bucklaw; let's see the inside, and let At length a timid and hesitating voice replied, our horses see the stable, that's all." Master Master of Ravenswood, is it you?" "O

yes, sir-ay, si-, ---ụnquestionably, sir-my lord Yes, it is I, Caleb ; open the door quickly ?". and ony of his honourable companions "But is it vou in very blood and body? For I "But our horses, my old friend-our horses; they would sooner face fifty deevils as my master's ghaist, will be dead-foundered by standing here in the cold

even ten times my master, unless ye come in bodily shape, therefore, once more, our horses, exclaimed Buck lith and limb."

law. "It is I, you old fool," answered Ravenswood, "in "True- ay- your horses - yes - I will call the bodily shape, and alive, save that I am half dead with grooms;" and sturdily did Caleb roar till the old cold.'

lower rang again,-"John, William-Saunders The light at the upper window disappeared, and The lads are gane out, or sleeping,'' he observed, after glancing from loop-hole to loop-hole in slow succes- pausing for an answer, which he knew that he had sion, gave intimation that the bearer was in the act no human chance of receiving , "A' gaes wrang of descending, with great deliberation, a winding when the Master's out by; but I'll take care of your staircase occupying one of the turrets which graced cattle mysell.", the angles of the old tower. The tardiness of his "I think you had better," said Ravenswood, "otherdescent extracted some exclamations of impatience wise I see little chance of their being attended to at from Ravenswood, and several oaths from his less all." patient and more mercurial companion. Caleb again "Whisht, my lord,—whisht, for God's sake,” saia paused ere he unbolted the door, and once more Caleb, in an imploring tone, and apart to his master; asked, if they were inen of mould that demanded "if ye dinna regard your aiņ credit, think on mine; entrance at this time of night?

we'll hae hard eneugh wark to mak a decent nighi "Were I near you, you old fool,” said Bucklaw, "10'wi' a' che lees I can tell;". would give you sufficient proofs of my bodily con Well, well, never mind," said his master; "go to dition.'

the stable. There is hay and corn, I trust ?" “Open the gate, Caleb," said his master, in a more "Ou ay, plenty of hay and corn" this was uttered soothing tone, partly from his regard to the ancient boldly and aloud, and, in a lower tone, there was and faithful seneschal, partly perhaps because he some half fous o' aits, and some taits o' meadow. thought that angry words would

be thrown away, so hay, left after the burial." long as Caleb had a stout iron-clenched oaken door "Very well,” said Ravenswood, taking the lamp betwixt his person and the speakers.

from his domestic's unwilling hand, "I will show the At length Caleb, with a trembling hand, undid the stranger up stairs myself." bars, opened the heavy door, and stood before them, "I canna think of that, my lord ;-ıf ye wad but exhibiting his thin gray hairs, bald forehead, and have five minutes,, or ten minutes, or, at maist, a sharp high features, illuminated by a quivering lamp quarter of an hour's patience, and look at the fine which he held in one hand, while he shaded and pro- moonlight prospect of the Bass and North-Berwick tected its flame with the other. The timorous cour- Law til I sort the horses, I would marshal ye up, as teous glance which he threw around him--the effect reason is ye suld be marshalled, your lordship and of the partial light upon his white hair and illumined your honourable visiter. And I hae lockit up the silfeatures, might have made a good painting; but our ler candlesticks, and the lamp is not fit”. travellers were too impatient for security against the “It will do very well in the mean time," said Ra. rising storm, to permit them to indulge themselves in venswood, and you will have no difficulty for want studying the picturesque. "Is it you, my dear mas- of light in the stable, for, if I recollect, half the roof is ter ? is it you yourself, indeed ?" exclaimed the old off.” domestic. "I am wae ye suld hae stude waiting at Very true, my lord," replied the trusty adherent, your ain gate; but wha wad hae thought o' seeing ye and with ready wit instantly added, " and the lazy sae sune, and a strange gentleman with a--(Here he sclater loons have never come to put it on a' this exclaimed apart, as it were, and to some inmate of while your lordship.". the tower, in a voice not meant to be heard by those "If I were disposed to jest at the calamities of my in the court) - Mysie-Mysie wonian! stir for dear house," said Ravenswood, as he led the way up stairs life, and get the fire mended; take the auld three poor old Caleb would furnish me with ample means. legged stool

, or ony thing that's readiest that will His passion consists in representing things about our make a lowe.--I doubt we are but puirly provided, no miserable menage not as they are, but as, in bis opiexpecting ye this some months, when doubtless ye nion, they ought to be; and, to say the truth, I have wad hae been received conform till your rank, as gude been often diverted with

the poor wretch's expedients right is; but natheless"

to supply what he thought was essential for the credit Natheless, Caleb," said the Master," we must of the family, and his still more generous apologies have our horses put up, and ourselves too, the best for the want of those articles for which his ingenuity way we can. I hope you are not sorry to see me could discover no substitute. But though the tower sooner than you expected ?"

is none

of the largest, I shall have some trouble with Sorry, my lord !-I am sure ye sall aye be my lord out him to find the apartment in which there is a wi' honest folk, as your noble ancestors hae been fire." these three hundred years, and never asked a whig's As he spoke thus, he opened the door of the hall leave. Sorry to see the Lord of Ravenswod at ane o' “Here, at least,” he said," there is neither hearth noz his ain castles! (Then again apart to his unseen harbour." associate behind the screen)-Mysie, kill :he brood It was indeed a scene of desolation A large vaulted

[ocr errors]

room, the beams of which, combined like those of with an emphasis of strong scorn at the implied Westminster-Hall, were rudely carved at the extre- doubt, - "How should there be any question of that, mities, remained nearly in the situation in which it and us in your lordship's house? --Chance of supper, had been left after the entertainment at Alan Lord indeed !--but ye'll no be for butcher-meat? There's Ravenswood's

funeral. Overturned pitchers, and walth o' fat poultry, ready either for spit or branderblack jacks, and pewter stoupg, and flagons, still The fat capon, Mysie !" he added, calling out as boldly cumbered the large oaken table; glasses; those more as if such a thing had been in existence. perishable implements of conviviality, many of which “Quite unnecessary,” said Bucklaw, who deemed had been voluntarily sacrificed by the guests in their himself bound in courtesy to relieve some part of the enthusiastic pledges to javourite toasts

, strewed the anxious butler's perplexity, “if you have any thing stone floor with their fragments. As for the articles cold, or a morsel of bread." af plate, lent for the purpose by friends and kinsfolk, The best of bannocks!" exclaimed Caleb, much those had been carefully withdrawn so soon as the relieved; "and, for cauld meat, a' that we hae is ostentatious display of festivity, equally unnecessary cauld eneugh,-howbeit maist of the cauld meat and and strangely timed, had been made and ended. No pastry was gien to the poor folk after the ceremony of thing, in short, remained that indicated wealth; all interment, as gude reason was; nevertheless' the signs were those of recent wastefulness, and pre- “Come, Caleb,” said the Master of Ravenswood, sent desolation. The black cloth hangings, which, 'I must cut this master short. This is the young on the late mournful occasion, replaced the tattered laird of Bucklaw; he is under hiding, and therefore, moth-eaten tapestries, had been partly pulled down, you knowand dangling from the wall in irregular festoons, dis- “He'll be nae nicer than your lordship's honour, closed the rough stone-work of the building, un- l' se warrant," answered Caleb, cheerfully, with a nod smoothed either by plaster or the chisel. The seats of intelligence; "I am sorry that the gentleman is thrown down, or left in disorder, intimated the care- under distress, but I am blithe that he canna sa less confusion which had concluded the mournful muckle agane our house-keeping, for I believe his as revel. “This room,” said Ravenswood, holding up pinches may match ours ;-no that we are pinched, the lamp -"this room, Mr. Hayston, was riotous thank God," he added, retracting the admission which when it should have been sad; it is a just retribution he had made in his first burst of joy, “but nae doubt that it should now be sad when it ought to be cheer- we are waur aff than we hae been, or suld be. Ang ful."

for eating-what signifies telling a lee? there's just They left this disconsolate apartment, and went up the hinder end of the mutton-ham that has been but stairs, where, after opening one or two doors in vain, three times on the table, and the nearer the bane the Ravenswood led the way into a little malted anti-sweeter, as your honours weel ken; and there's the room, in which, to their great joy, they found a tolera- heel of the ewe-milk kebbuck, wi!' a bit of nice butbly good fire, which Mysie, by some such expedient ter, and-and-that's a' that's to trust to." And as Caleb had suggested, had supplied with a reasona- with great alacrity he produced his slender stock of ble quantity of fuel. Glad at the heart to see more of provisions, and placed them with much formality comfort than the castle had yet seemed to offer, Buck- upon a small round table betwixt the two gentlemen, aw rubbed his hands heartily over the fire, and now who were not deterred either by the homely quality listened with more complacency to the apologies or limited quantity of the repast from doing it full juswhich the Master of Ravenswood offered. Com- tice. Caleb in the mean while waited on them with fort," he said, "I cannot provide for you, for I have it grave officiousness, as if anxious to make up, by his pot for myself; it is long since these walls have known own respectful assiduity, for the want of all other L if, indeed, they were ever acquainted with it. Shel. attendance. ter and safety, I think, I can promise you."

But alas! how little on such occasions can form, "Excellent matters Master,” replied Bucklaw, however anxiously and scrupulously observed, supply

and, with a mouthful of food and wine, positively the lack of substantial fare! Bucklaw, who had eaall I can require to-night.”

gerly eaten a considerable portion of the thrice-sacked "I fear," said the Master, "your supper will be a mutton-ham, now began to demand ale. poor one; I hear the matter in discussion betwixt I wadna just presume to recommend our ale," Caleb and Mysie. Poor Balderston is something said Caleb; "the maut was ill made, and there was deaf, amongst his other accomplishments, so that awfu' thunder last week; but siccan water as the much of what he means should be spoken aside is Tower well has ye'll seldom see, Bucklaw, and that overheard by the whole audience, and especially by I'se engage for." those from whom he is most anxious to conceal his " But if your ale is bad, you can let us have some private manoeuvres--Hark!"

wine," said Bucklaw, making a grimace at the men. They listened, and heard the old domestic's voice tion of the pure element which Caleb so carnestly in conversation with Mysie to the following effect. recommended. Just mak the best o't

, mak the best o't, woman; "Wine?" answered Caleb, undauntedly, "eneugh it's easy to put a fair face on ony thing."

of wine; it was but twa days syne-wae's me for the "But the auld brood-hen ?-she'll be as teugh as cause--there was as much wine drunk in this house bow-strings and bend-leather !!!

as would have floated a pinnace. There never was Şay ye made a mistake-say ye made a mistake, lack of wine at Wolf's Crag.” Mysie," replied the faithful seneschal, in a soothing "Do fetch us some then," said his master, "in.. and undertoned voice; tak it a' on yoursell ; never stead of talking about it." And Caleb boldly deLet the credit o' the house suffer."

parted. "But the brood-hen,” remonstrated Mysie,"ou, Every expended butt in the old cellar did he set she's sitting some gate aneath the dais in the hall, a-tilt, and shake with the desperate expectation of and I am feared to gae in in the dark for the bogle; collecting enough of the grounds of claret to fill the and if I didna see the bogle, I could as ill see the hen, large pewter measure which he carried in his band. for it's pit-mirk, and there's no another light in the Alas ! each had been too devoutly drained; and, with house, save that very blessed lamp whilk the Master all the squeezing and maneuvring which his craft as has in his ain hand. And if I had the hen, she's to a butler suggested, he could only collect about half a pu', and to draw, and to dress; how can I do that, and quart that seemed presentable. Still, however, Caleb them sitting by the only fire we have ?".

was too good a general to renounce the field without "Weel, weel, Mysie," said the butler,.." bide ye a stratagem to cover his retreat. He undauntedly there a wee, and I'll try to get the lamp wiled away threw down an empty flagon, as if he had stumbled Grae them.

at the entrance of the apartment; called upon Mysie Accordingly, Caleb Balderston entered the apart- to wipe up the wine that had never been spilt, and ment, little aware that so much of his by-play had placing the other vessel on the table, hoped there was been audible there. “Well, Caleb, my old friend, is still enough left for their honours. There was indeed; there any chance of supper ?" said the Master of Ra- for even Bucklaw, a sworn friend to the grape, found venswood.

no encouragement to renew his first attack upon the Chance of supper. your lordship?", said Caleb, vintage of Wolf's Crag, but contented bimself, howay

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Old Ballad.

ever reluctantly, with a draught of fair water. Ar- snake? You see I am in the way of smothering my rangements were now made for his repose; and as vipers one by one." the secret chamber was assigned for this purpose, it "I have commenced the battle, at least, Bucklaw, furnished Caleb with a first-rate and most plausible and I have had a fair vision of an angel who de apology for all deficiencies of furniture, bedding, &c. scended to my assistance," replied the Master.

"For wha,' said he, “would have thought of the "Woe's me!" said his guest, “no vision can I exsecret chaumer being needed ? it has not been used pect

, unless my aunt, Lady Gimington, should betake since the time of the Gowrie Conspiracy, and I durst herself to the tomb; and then it would be the subnever let a woman

ken of the entrance to it, or your stance of her heritage rather than the appearance of honour will allow that it wad not hae been a secret her phantom that I should consider as the support of chaumer lang.”

my good resolutions.-But this same breakfast, Mas. ter, -does the deer that is to make the pasty run yet

on foot, as the ballad has it?" CHAPTER VIII.

"I will inquire into that matter," said his enter

tainer; and, leaving the apartment, he went in search The hearth in hall was black and dead,

of Caleb, whom, after some difficulty, he found in an No board was dight ip bower within,

obscure sort of dungeon, which had been in former Nor merry bowl nor welcome bed; "Here's sorry cheer," quoth the Heir of Linne.

times the buttery of the castle. Here the old man was employed busily in the doubtsul task of burnish

ing a pewter flagon until it should take the hue and The feelings of the prodigal Heir of Linne, as ex. semblance of silver-plate. “I think it may dopressed in that excellent old song, when, after dissi- think it might pass, if they winna bring it ower muckle pating his whole fortune, he found himself the de- in the light o' the window!" were ihe ejaculations serted inhabitant of “the lonely lodge,” might per- which he muttered from time to time, as if to encour. haps have some resemblance to those of the Master age himself in his undertaking, when he was inter; of Ravenswood in his deserted mansion of Wolf's rupted by the voice of his master., "Take this," said: Orag. The Master, however, had this advantage over the Master of Ravenswood, “and get what is neces the spendthrift in the legend, that if he was in simi- sary for the family." And with these words he gave lar distress, he could not impute it to his own impru- to the old butler the purse which had on the preceding dence. His misery had been bequeathed to him by evening so narrowly escaped the fangs of Craigenhis father, and, joined to his high blood, and to a title gelt. The old man shook his silvery and thin locks, which the courteous might give, or the churlish with and Inoked with an expression of the most heartfelt hold, at their pleasure, it was the whole inheritance anguish at his master as he weighed in his hand the he had derived from his ancestry.

slender treasure, and said in a sorrowful voice, “And Perhaps this melancholy, yet consolatory reflec- is this a' that's left ??! cion, crossed the mind of the unfortunate young, no- "All that is left at present," said the Master, affectbleman with a breathing of comfort. Favourable to ing more cheerfulness than perhaps he really felt, calm reflection, as well as to the Muses, the morning, is just the green purse and the wee pickle gowd, as while it dispelled the shades of night, had a compos- the old song says; but we shall do better one day, ing and sedative effect upon the stormy passions by Caleb." which the Master of Ravenswood had been agitated "Before that day comes," said Caleb, “I doubt on the preceding day. He now felt himself able to there will be an end of an auld sang, and an auld servanalyze the different feelings by which he was agi- ing-man to boot. But it disna become me to speak tated, and much resolved to combat and to subdue that gate to yoar honour, and you looking sae pale them. The morning, which had arisen calm and Tak back the purse, and keep it to be making a show bright gave a pleasant effect even to the waste moor- before company; for if your honour would just tak a land view which was seen from the castle on looking bidding, and be whiles taking it out afore folk and pulto the land ward, and the glorious ocean, crisped with tingļt up again, there's naebody would refuse us trust, a thousand rippling waves of silver, extended on the for a' that's come and gane yet." other side, in awful yet complacent majesty, to the "But, Caleb," said the Master, “I still intend to verge of the horizon. With such scenes of calm sub- leave this country very soon, and desire to do so with limity the human heart sympathizes even in its most the reputation of an honest man, leaving no debt distạrbed moods, and deeds of honour and virtue are behind me, at least of my own contracting.' inspired by their majestic influence.

And gude right ye suld gang away as a true man To seek out Bucklaw in the retreat which he had and so ye shall; for auld Caleb can tak the wyte of afforded him was the first occupation of the Master, whatever is taen on for the house, and then it will be after he had performed, with a scrutiny unusually a' just ae man's burden; and I will live just as weel in severe, the important task of self-examination. "How the tolbooth as out of it, and the credit of the family now, Bucklaw?" was his morning's salutation- will be a safe and sound.". “how like you the couch in which the exiled Earl of The master endeavoured, in vain, to mako Caleb Angus once slept in security, when he was pursued by comprehend, that the butler's incurring the respon., the full energy of a king's resentment ?“

sibility of debts in his own person, would rather add to Umph!" returned the sleeper awakened ; "I have thạn remove the objections which he had to their little to complain of where so great a man was quar- being contracted. He spoke to a premier, too busy tered before me, only the mattress was of the hardest, in devising ways and means to puzzle himself with the vault somewhat damp, the rats rather more mu- refuting the arguments offered against their justice or tinous than I would have expected from the state of expediency. Caleb's larder; and if there had been shutters to that. There's Eppie Sma'trash will trust us for ale,“ grated window, or a curtain to the bed, I should think said Caleb to himself; "she has lived a' her lifo under it

, upon the whole, an improvement in your accom- the family—and maybe wi' a soup brandy-1 canna modations."

say for wine-she is but a lone woman, and gets her "It is, to be sure, forlorn enough," said the Master, claret hy a runlet at a time-but I'll work a wee drap looking around the small yault; but if you will rise out o' her by fair means or foul. For doos, there's the and leave it, Caleb will endeavour to find you a better doocot--there will be poultry amang the tenants breakfast than your supper of last night."

though Luckie Chirnside says she has paid the kain "Pray, let it be no better," said Bucklaw, getting iwice ower. We'll mak she, an it like your honourup, and endeavouring to dress himself as well as the we'll mak shift-keep your heart abune, for the house pbscurity of the place would permit,-"let it, I say, sall haud it's credit as lang as auld Caleb is to the be no better, if you mean me to persevere in my pro- fore." posed reformation. The very recollection of Caleb's The entertainment which the old man's exertions beverage has done more to suppress my longing to of various kinds enabled him to present to the young open the day, with

a morning-draught than twenty gentlemen for three or four days, was certainly of no sermons would have done. And you, Master, have splendid description, but it may readily be believed it you been able to give battle valiantly to your bosom-1 was set before no critical guests ; and even the dis.


[ocr errors]


tresscs, excuses, evasions, and shifts of Caleb, afforded There already existed in his bosom two contraamusement to the young men, and added a sort of dictory, passions, -a desire to revenge the death of interest to the scrambling and irregular style of their his father, strangely qualified by admiration of his table. They had indeed occasion to seize on every enemy's daughter Against the former feeling he had circumstance that might serve to diversify or enliven struggled, until it seemed to him upon the wane; time, which otherwise passed away so heavily. against the latter he used no means of resistance, for

Bucklaw, shut out from his usual field-sports and he did not suspect its existence. That this was acjoyous carouses by the necessity of remaining con- tually the case, was chiefly evinced by his resuming cealed within the walls of the

castle, became a joyless his resolution to leave Scotland. Yet, though such and uninteresting companion. When the Master of was his purpose, he remained day after day at Wolt's Ravenswood would no longer fence or play at shovel Crag, without taking measures for carrying it into exeboard--when he himself had polished to the extremity cution. It is true, that he had written to one or ewo the coat of his palfrey with brush, currycomb, and kinsmen, who resided in a distant quarter of Scotland, hair-cloth-when he had seen him eat his provender, and particularly to the Marquis of A-intiinating and gently lie down in his stall, he could hardly help his purpose ; and when pressed upon the subject by envying the animal's apparent acquiescence in a life Bucklaw, he was wont to allege the necessity of 80 monotonous. “The stupid brute," he said, " thinks waiting for their reply, especially that of the Marquis, neither of the race-ground or the hunting-field, or his before taking so decisive a measure. green paddock at Bucklaw, but enjoys himself as · The Marquis was rich and powerful; and although comfortably when haltered to the rack in this ruinous he was suspected to entertain sentiments unfavourvault, as if he had been foaled in it; and I who have able to the government established at the Revolution, the freedom of a prisoner at large, to range through he had nevertheless address enough to head a party the dungeons of this wretched old tower, can hardly, in the Scottish Privy Council, connected with the betwixt whistling and sleeping, contrive to pass away high church faction in England, and powerful enough the hour till dinner-time.”

to menace those to whom the Lord Keeper adhered, And with this disconsolate reflection, he wended with a probable subversion of their power. The conhis way to the bartizan or battlements of the tower, sulting, with a personage of such importance was a to watch what objects might appear on the distant plausible excuse, which Ravenswood used to Buckmoor, or to pelt, with pebbles and pieces of lime, the law, and probably to himself

, for continuing his resisea-mews and cormorants which established them- dence at Wolf's Crag; and it was rendered yet more selves incautiously within the reach of an idle young so by a general report which began to be current, of

a probable change of ministers and measures in the Ravenswooq, with a mind incalculably deeper and Scottish administration. These rumours, strongly more powerful than that of his companion, had his asserted by some, and as resolutely denied by others, own anxious subjects of reflection, which wrought as their wishes or interest dictated, found their way for him the same unhappiness that sheer ennui and even to the ruinous Tower of Wolf's Crag, chiefly want of occupation inflicted on his companion.' The through the medium of Caleb the butler, who, among first sight of Lucy Ashton had been less impressive his other excellences, was an ardent politician, and than her image proved to be upon reflection. As the seldom made an excursion from the old fortress to the depth and violence of that revengeful passion, by neighbouring village of Wolf's-hope, without bringwhich he had been actuated in seeking an interview ing back what tidings were current in the vicinity. with the father, began to abate by degrees, he looked But if Bucklaw could not offer any satisfactory obback on his conduct towards the daughter as harsh jections to the delay of the Master in leaving Scotland, and unworthy towards a female of rank and beauty. he did not the less suffer with impatience the state of Her looks of grateful acknowledgment, her words of inaction to which it confined him; and it was only the affectionate courtesy, had been repelled with some ascendency which his new companion had acquired thing which approached to disdain; and if the Mas. over him, that induced him to submit to a course of ter of Ravenswood had sustained wrongs at the hand life so alien to his habits and inclinations. of Sir William Ashton, his conscience told him they "You were wont to be thought a stirring active had been unhandsomely resented towards his daugh- young fellow, Master," was his frequent remonstrance; ter. When his thoughts took this turn of self-re-"yet here you seem determined to live on and on like proach, the recollection of Lucy Ashton's beautiful a rat in a hole, with this trifling difference, that the features rendered yet more interesting by the circum. wiser vermin chooses a hermitage where he can find stances in which their meeting had taken place, made food at least; but as for us, Caleb's excuses become an impression upon his mind at once soothing and longer as his diet turns more spare, and I fear we shall painful. The sweetness of her voice, the delicacy of realize the stories they tell of the sloth. --we have her expressions, the vivid glow of 'her filial affec- almost eat up the last green leaf on the plant, and tion, embittered his regret at having repulsed her gra- have nothing left for it but to drop from the tree and atude with rudeness, while, at the same time ihey break our necks.". placed before his imagination a picture of the most Do not fear it," said Ravenswood ; "there is a fate seducing sweetness.

watches for us, and we too have a stake in the revoluEven young Ravenswood's strength of moral feel- tion that is now impending, and which already has ing and rectitude of purpose at once increased the alarmed many, a bosom." danger of cherishing these recollections, and the pro- "What fate-what revolution ?" inquired his com. pensity to entertain them. Firmly resolved as he was panion. "We have had one revolution too much to subdue, if possible, the predominating vice in his already, I think." character, he admitted with willingness nay, he Ravenswood interrupted him by putting into his summoned up in his imagination, the ideas by which hands a letter. it could be most powerfully counteracted; and, while "O," answered Bucklaw, "iny dream is out-1 he did so, a sense of his own harsh conduct towards thought I heard Caleb this morning pressing some the daughter of his enemy naturally induced him, as unfortunate fellow to a drink of cold water, and if by way of recompense, to invest her with more of assuring him it was better

for his stomach in the grace and beauty than perhaps she could actually morning than ale or brandy." claim.

"It was my Lord of

A's courier," said Ra. Had any one at this period told the Master of Ravenswood, who, doomed to experience his ostenverswood that he had so lately vowed vengeance tatious hospitality, which I believe ended in sour beer against the whole lineage of him whom he considered, and herrings--Read, and you will see the news he hus. pot unjustly, as author of his father's ruin and death, brought us. he might at first have repelled the charge as a foul "I will as fast as I can,” said Bucklaw; “but I am. calumny; yet, upon serious self-examination, he no great clerk, nor does his lordship seem to be the would have been compelled to admit, that it had, at first of scribes.", one period, some foundation in truth, though, accord- The reader will peruse, in a few seconds by the aid ing to the present fone of his sentiments, it was diffi- of our friend Ballantyne's types, what took Bucklaw cult to believe that this had really been the case. a good half hour in the perusal, though assisted by Vol. 11.

Hi Lai


[ocr errors]

فيه في

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »