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power to act in all his affairs. He departed from jibbing, I must say, the devil's in ye, when ye neither Scotland upon his mission, which, it was supposed, know what you would have, nor what you would might detain, him upon the continent for some want. months.
"T!l tell you my meaning in a word,” answered
Bucklaw, getting up and walking through the room; CHAPTER XXVIII.
"I want to know what the devil is the cause of Miss Was ever woman in this humour wooed !
Ashton's changing her mind so suddenly ?"
And what need you care," said Craigengelt,
Richard the Third.
"since the change is in your favour?''. Twelve months had passed away since the Master " I'll tell you what it is," returned his patron, “I of Ravenswood's departure for the continent, and, never knew much of thai sort of fine ladies, and I although his return to Scotland had been expected in believe they may be as capricious as the devil; but a much shorter space, yet the affairs of his mission, there is something in Miss Ashton's change, a devilor, according to a prevailing repori, others of a nature ish deal too sudden, and too serious for a mere fisk personal to himself, still detained him abroad. In the of her own. I'll be bound Lady Ashton understands mean time, the altered state of affairs in Sir William every machine for breaking in the human mind, and Ashton's family may be gathered from the following there are as many as there are cannon-bits, martinconversation which took place betwixt Bucklaw and gales, and cavessons for young colts." his confidential bottle companion and dependent, the And if that were not the case," said Craigengelt, noted Captain Craigengell.
"how the devil should we ever gei them into training They were seated on either side of the huge sepul- at all ? chral-looking freestone chimney in the low hall at And that's true too,” said Bucklaw, suspending Girnington. A wood fire blazed merrily in the grate; his march through the dining-room, and leaning a round oaken table, placed between them, supported upon the back of a chair. - And besides, here's Raa stoup of excellent claret, two rummer glasses, and venswood in the way still; do you think he'll give up other good cheer; and yet, with all these appliances Lucy's engagement". and means to boot, the countenance of the patron "To be sure he will," answered Craigengelt;"what was dubious, doubtful, and unsatisfied, while the good can it do him to refuse since he wishes to marry invention of his dependent was taxed to the utmost
, another woman, and she another man?" lo parry what he most dreaded, a fit, as he called it, "And you believe seriously," said Bucklaw," that of the sullens, on the part of his protectos. After a he is going to marry the foreign lady we heard of ?" long,pause, only interrupted by the devi. tattoo, "You heard yourself,' answered Craigengelt, "what which Bucklaw kept bearing against the hearth with Captain Westenho said about it, and the great prelke toe of his boot, Craigengelt at last ventured to paration made for their blithsome bridal." break silence. May I be double distanced,” said "Captain Westenho," replied Bucklaw, "has rather he, "if ever I saw a man in my life have less the air too much of your own cast about him, Craigie, to of a bridegroom! Cut me out of feather, if you have make whai Sir William would call a 'famous witnot more the look of a man condemned to be hanged.' ness,' He drinks deep, plays deep, swears deep, and
"My kind thanks for the compliment,” replied I suspect can lie and cheat a little into the bargain. Bucklaw; "but I suppose you think upon the pre-Useful qualities, Craigie, if kept in their proper sphere, dicament in which you yourself are most likely to be but which have a litile too much of the freebooter to placed ;-and pray, Captain Craigengelt, if it please make a figure in a court of evidence." your worship, why should I look merry, when I'm Well, then," said Craigengelt, "will you believe sad, and devilish sad too ?"
Colonel Douglas Ashton, who heard the Marquis of And that's what vexes me,” said Craigengelt. A say in a public circle, but not aware that he " Here is this match, the best in the whole country, was within ear-shot, that his kinsinan had made a and which you were so anxious about, is on the better arrangement for himself than to give his fapoint of being concluded, and you are as sulky as a ther's land for the pale-cheeked daughter of a broken. bear that has lost its whelps."
down fanatic, and that Bucklaw was welcome to the "I do not know," answered the laird, doggedly, wearing of Ravenswood's shaughled shoes." "whether I should conclude it or not, if it was not "Did he say so, by heavens!" cried Bucklaw, that I am too far forwards to leap back."..
breaking out into one of those incontrollable fits of Leap back !" exclaimed Craigengelt
, with a well- passion to which he was constitutionally subject, assumed air of astonishment, that would be play- if I had heard him I would have torn the tongue ing the back-game with a witness! Leap back! out of his throat before all his peats and minions, Why, is not the girl's fortune"
and Highland bullies into the bargain. Why did not "The young lady's, if you please," said Hayston, Ashton run him through the body?”. interrupting him.
Capote me if I know," said the Captain. "He "Well, well, no disrespect meant-Will Miss Ash- deserved it sure enough ; but he is an old man, and a ton's tocher not weigh against any in Lothian ?". minister of state, and there would be more risk than
"Granted," answered Bucklaw: " but I care not a credit in meddling with him. You had more need to penny for her tocher-I have enough of my own. think of making up to Miss Lucy Ashton the disgrace
"And the mother, that loves you like her own that's like to fall upon her, than of interfering with a child ? "Better than some of her children, I believe," said hand to reach him.
man too old to fight, and on too high a stool for your Bucklaw, "or there would be little love wared on the "It shall reach him, though, one day," said Back matter.”
law, "and his kinsman Ravenswood to boot. In the " And Colonel Sholto Douglas Ashton, who desires mean time, I'll take care Miss Ashton receives no the marriage above all earthly things ?"
discredit for the slight they have put upon her. It's “Because," said Bucklaw," he expects to carry an awkward job, however, and I wish it were ended; the county of through my interest.
I scarce know how to talk to her, -- but fill a bumpet. "And the father, who is as keen to see the mateh Craigie, and we'll drink her health. It grows late. concluded, as ever I have been to win a main ?". and a night-cowl of good claret is worth all the cor"Ay," said Bucklaw, in the same disparaging man- sidering-caps in Europe."
it lies with Sir William's policy to secure the next best match, since he cannoi barter his child to
CHAPTER XXIX. save the great Ravenswood estate, which the English House of Lords are about to wrench out of his
It was the copy of our conference
In bed she slept nok, for my urgira it: clutches."
At board she sed not, for my urging it; "What say you to the young lady herself ?" said Alone, it was the subject of my there; Craigengelt; "the finest young woman in all Scot
In company I often glanced at it.-Comedy of Errors. land, one that you used to be so fond of when she was The nex: morning saw Bucklaw,' and his farthful cross. and now she consents to have you, and gives Achates, Craigengel, at Ravenswood Castle T'nce VOL. III.
were most courteously received by the knight and his (you comprehenu what I have been saying; and no lady, as well as by their son and heir, Colonel Ashton. wonder, for den me if I understand it myself! But, After a good deal of stammering and blushing. --for however, once for all
, and in broad Scotch, your father Bucklaw, not withstanding his audacity in other mat- and mother like what is proposed, and if you can ters, had all the sheepish bashfulness common to take a plain young fellow for your husband, who will those who have lived little in respectable society, -he never cross you in any thing you have a mind to, I contrived at length to explain bis wish to be admitted will place you at the head of the best establishment to a conference with Miss Ashton upon the subject of in the three Lothians; you shall have Lady Girning. their approaching union. Sir William and his son ton's lodging in the Canongate of Edinburgh, go looked at Lady Ashton, who replied with the greatest where you please, do what you please, and see what composure, " that Lucy would wait upon Mr. Hays- you please, and that's fair. 'Only I must have a corton directly. I hope," she added with a smile, “that ner at the board-end for a worthless old play-fellow as Lucy is very young, and has been lately trepanned of mine, whose company I would rather want than into an engagement, of which she is now heartily have, if it were not that the d-d fellow has persuaded ashamed, our dear Bucklaw will excuse her wish, that me that I can't do without him; and so I hope you I should be present at their interview ?".
won't except against Craigie, although it might be "In truth, my dear lady," said Bucklaw, "it is the easy to find much better company: very thing that I would have desired on my own "Now, out upon you, Bucklan;" said Lady Ashton, account; for I have been so little accustomed to what again interposing, -"how can you think Lucy can is called gallantry, that I shall certainly fall into some have any objection to that blunt, honest, good-naturcursed mistake, unless I have the advantage of your ed creature, Captain Craigengeli?" ladyship as an interpreter,"
Why, madam,” replied Bucklaw, "as to Craigie's It was thus that Bucklaw, in the perturbation of sincerity, honesty, and good-nature, they are, I believe his embarrassment upon this critical occasion, forgot pretty much upon a par--but that's neither here noi the just apprehensions he had entertained of Lady iherethe fellow knows my ways, and has got useful Ashion's overbearing ascendancy over her daughter's to me, and I cannot well do without him, as I said mind, and lost an opportunity of ascertaining by his before. But all this is nothing to the purpose ; for, own investigation, the real state of Lucy's feelings. since I have mustered up courage to make a plain pro
The other gentlemen left the room, and in a short posal, I would fain hear Miss Ashton, from her own zime, Lady Ashton, followed by her daughter, entered lips, give me a plain answer, the apartment. She appeared, as he had seen her on "My dear Buck law,” said Lady Ashton, " let me former occasions, rather composed than agitated; spare Lucy's bashfulness. I tell you in her presence, but a nicer judge than he could scarce have deter- that she has already consented to be guided by her mined, whether her calmness was
that of despair, or father and me in this matier. Lucy, my love, she of indifference. Bucklaw was too much agitated by added, with that singular combination of suavity of his own feelings minutely to scrutinize those of the tone and pointed energy which we have already nolady. He stammered out an unconnected address, ticed—“Lucy, my dearest love! speak for yourself, is confounding together the two or three topics to which it not as I say?" it related, and stopt short before he brought it to any Her victim answered in a tremulous and hollow regular conclusion, Miss Ashton listened, or looked voice- "I have promised to obey you, --but upon one as if she listened, but returned not a single word in condition." answer, continuing to fix her eyes on a small piece of "She means," said Lady Ashton, turning to Back. embroidery, on which, as if by instinct or habit, her law, she expects an answer to the demand which fingers were busily employed. Lady Ashton sat at she has made upon the man at Vienna, or Ratisbon, some distance, almost screened from notice by the or Paris-or where is he-for restitution of the engage deep enibrasure of the window in which she had ment in which he had the art to involve her. You placed her chair. From this she whispered, in a tone will not, I am sure, my dear friend, think it is wrong of voice, which, though soft and sweet, had some that she should feel much delicacy upon this head; thing in it of admonition, if not command, “Lucy, indeed it concerns us all." my dear, remember-have you heard what Bucklaw "Perfectly right-cuite fair,” said Bucklaw, hali has been saying ?".
humming, half speaking the end of the old songThe idea of her mother's presence seemed to have
* It is best to be off wi' the old love slipped from the unhappy girl's recollection. She
Before you be on wi' the new." started dropped her needle, and repeated hastily, and "But I thought,” said he, pausing," you might have almost in the same breath, the contradictory answers, had an answer six times told from Ravenswood. D"Yes, madam--no, my lady-I beg pardon, I did not me, if I have not a mind 'to go and fetch one myseif hear."
if Miss Ashton will honour me with the commission. "You need not blush, my love, and still less need "By no means," said Lady Ashton, "we have had you look so pale and frightened," said Lady Ashton, the, uimost difficulty of preventing Dongias(for coming forward we know that maidens' ears must whom it would be more proper,) from taking so resh be slow in receiving a gentleman's language; but you a step; and do you think we could permit you, my must remember Mr. Hayston speaks on a subject on good friend, almost equally dear to us to go to a deswhich you have long since agreed to give him a perate man, upon an errand so desperate? In fact ai] favourable hearing. You know how much your the friends of the family are' of opinion, and my dear father and I have our hearts set upon an event sp Lucy herself ought so to think, that, as this unworthy extremely desirable."
person has returned no answer to her letter, silence In Lady Ashton's voice, a tone of impressive, and must on this, as in other cases, be held to give consent, even stern inuendo was sedulously and skilfully con- and a contract must be supposed to be given up, when cealed, under an appearance of the most affectionate the party waives insisting upon it. Sir William, who maternal tenderness. The manner was for Bucklaw, should know best, is clear upon this subject; and who was easily enough imposed upon; the matter of therefore my dear Lucy". the exhortation was for the terrified Lucy, who well “Madam," said Lucywith unwonted energy knew how to interpret her mother's hints, however 'urge me no farther-if this unhappy engagement be skilfully their real purport might be veiled from gene- restored, I have already said you shall dispose of me -al observation.
as you will-till then I should commit a heavy sin in Miss Ashton sat upright in her chair, cast round her the sight of God and man, in doing what you require." a glance, in which fear was mingled with a stili wilder But, my love, if this man remains obstinately expression, but remained perfectly silent. Bucklaw, silent who had in the mean time paced the room to and fro, "He will not be silent," answered Lucy; "it is six nntü in nad recovered his
composure, now stopped weeks since I sent him a double of my former letter within two or three yards of her chair, and broke out by a sure hand." as follows:-"I believe I have been add fool, Miss "You have not you could not--you duret rot," Ashton; I have tried to speak to you as people tell said Lady Ashton, with violence inconsistent with Gie voun ladies like to be talked to and I don't think the tone she had intended to assume but instanly
What doth ensue
Correcting herself, "My dearest Lucy," said she, in her all, nothing better than a rifler--she just wels her sweetest tone of expostulation,“ how could you think singles in the blood of the partridge, and then breaks of such a thing?"
a way, and lets her fly; and what goud can the poor "No matter," said Bucklaw; "I respect Miss Ash- bird do after that, you know, except pine and die in the ton for her sentiments, and I'only wish I had been first heather-cow or whin-bush she can crawl into ?" ber messenger myself.'
“Right, Henry--right, very right," said Lucy, “And pray how long, Miss Ashton," said her mournfully, holding the boy fast by the hand, after mother, ironically, "are we to wait the return of your she had given him the wire he wanted; "but there Pacolet--your fairy messenger-since our humble cou- are more riflers in the world than your falcon, and riers of flesh and blood could not be trusted in this more wounded birds that seek but to die in quiet, matter ?"
that can find neither brake nor whin-bush to hide “I have numbered, weeks, days, hours, and mi- their heads in." nutes," said Miss Ashton;" within another week I "Ah! that's some speech out of your romances," shall have an answer, unless he is dead.---Till that said the boy; "and Sholto says they have turned your time sir,” she said, addressing Bucklaw, "let me be head. But I hear Norman whistling to the hawk-1 thus far beholden to you, that you will beg my mother must go fasten on the jesses." to forbear me upon this subject."
And he scampered away with the thoughtless gayety "I will make it my particular entreaty to Lady Ash- of boyhood, leaving his sister to the bitterness of her ton," said Bucklaw. “By my honour, madam, I re- own reflections. spect your feelings; and, although the prosecution of "It is decreed,” she said, "that every living creature, this affair be rendered dearer to me than ever, yet, as even those who owe me most kindness, are to shun I am a gentleman, I would renounce it, were it so me, and leave me to those by whom I am beset. It wged as to give you a moment's pain.”
is just it should be thus. Alone and uncounselled, I Mr. Hayston, I think, cannot apprehend that," involved myself in these perils--alone and uncoun said Lady Ashton, looking pale with anger, when selled, I must extricate myself or die." the daughter's happiness lies in the bosom of the mother. Let me ask you, Miss Ashton, in what terms your last letter was couched ?
CHAPTER XXX. Exactly in the same, madam," answered Lucy, "which you dietated on a former occasion.
But moody and dull melancholy, "When eight days have elapsed, then,” said her
Kinsman to griin and comfortless despair,
And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop, mother, resuming her tone of tenderness,
of pale distemperatures, and foes to life bope, my dearest love, that you will end this sus
Comody of Errors. pense."
As some vindication of the ease with which Buck. Miss Ashton must not be hurried, madam," said law (who otherwise, as he termed himself, was really Bucklaw, whose bluntness of feeling did not by any a very good-humoured fellow) resigned his judgment means arise from want of good-nature--"messengers to the management of Lady Ashton, while paying his may be stopped or delayed. I have known a day's addresses to her daughter, the reader must call 10 journey broke by, the casting off a fore-shoe. -Stay, mind the strict domestic discipline, which, at this let me see my calendar--the 20th day from this is St. period, was exercised over the females of a Scottish Jude's, and, the day before, I must be at Caverton family. Edge to see the match between the Laird of Kittle- The manners of the country in this, as in many girth's black mare, and Johnston the meal-monger's other respects, coincided with those of France before four-year-old coit; but I can ride all night, or Craigie the revolution. Young women of the higher ranks can bring me word how the match goes, and I hope, seldom mingled in society until after marriage, and, in the mean time, as I shall not myself distress Miss both in law and fact, were held to be under the strict Ashton with any further importunity, that your lady- tutelage of their parents, who were too apt to enforce ship yourself
, and Sir William, and Colonel Douglas, the views for their settlement in life, without paying will have the goodness to allow her uninterrupted any regard to the inclination of the parties chietly time for making up her mind."
interested. On such occasions, the suitor expected Sir," said Miss Ashton, "you are generous." little more from his bride than a silent acquiescence As for that, madam," answered Bucklaw, "I only in the will of her parents; and as few opportunities pretend to be a plain good-humoured young fellow, as of acquaintance, far less of intimacy, occurred, he I said before, who will willingly make you happy if made his choice by the outside, as the lovers in the you will permit him, and show him how to do so. Merchant of Venice select the casket, contented to Having said this, he saluted her with more emo- trust to chance the issue of the luttery, in which he tion than was consistent with his usual train of had hazarded a venture. feeling, and took his leave; Lady Ashton, as she It was not therefore surprising, such being the geneaccompanied him out of the apartment, assuring him ral manners of the age, that Mr. Hayston of Buckchat her daughter did full justice to the sincerity of law, whom dissipated habits had detached in some his attachment, and requesting him to see Sir Wil- degree from the best society, should not attend par. liam before his departure, "since," as she said, with a ticularly to those feelings in his elected bride, to which ķeen glance reverting towards Lucy, "against, $t. many men of more sentiment, experience, and reflecJude's day, we must all be ready to sign and seal." tion, wuuld, in all probability, have been equally indir,
"To sign and seal!" echoed Lucy, in a muttering ferent. He knew what all accounted the principal tone, as the door of the apartment closed—"To siga point, that her parents and friends, namely, were and seal-to do and die!" and, clasping her extenuated decidedly in his favour, and that there existed most hands together, she sunk back on the easy-chair she powerful reasons for their predilection. occupied, in a state resembling stupor.
In truth, the conduct of the Marquis of AFrom this she was shortly after awakened by the since Ravenswood's departure, had been such as boisterous entry of her brother Henry, who clamor- almost to bar the possibility of his kinsman's union ously reminded her of a promise to give him two with Lucy Ashton. The Marquis was Ravenswood's yards of carnation ribbon to make knots to his new sincere, but misjudging friend; pr father, Ske many garters. With the most patient composure Lucy friends and patrons, he consulted what he consiuered arose, and opening a little ivory-cabinet, sought out to be his relation's true interest, although he kneu the ribbon the lad wanted, measured it accurately, that in doing so he run counter to his inclinations. cut it off into proper lengths, and knotted into the The Marquis drove on, therefore, with the plenitudo, fashion his boyish whim required.
of ministerial authority, an appeal to the British Dinna shut the cabinet yet,” said Henry, "for I House of Peers against those judgments of the courts must have some of your silver wire to fasten the bells of law, by which Sir William became possessed of to my hawk's jesses, and yet the new falcon's not Ravenswood's hereditary property. As this ineasure, forth them neither; for do you know, after all the enforced with all the authority of power, was new in plague we had to get her from an eyry, all the way at Scottish judicial proceedings, though now so from Posso, in Mannor Water, she's going to prove, after, quently resorted to, it was exclaimed against by the
lawyers on the opposite side of politics, as an inter. 1, It was of the last consequence, that all intercourmo ference with the civil judicature of the country, equall, betwixt the lovers should be stopped, and by dint d new, arbitrary, and tyrannical. And if it thus affected gold and auihority, Lady Ashton contrived to possess even strangers connected with them only by political herself of such a complete command of all who were party, it may be guessed what the Ashton family placed around her daughter, that, in fact, no seaguered themselves said and thought under so gross a dispen- fortress was ever more completely blockaded; while, sation. Sir William, still more worldly-minded ihan at the same time, to all outward appearance, Miss he was timid, was reduced to despair by the loss by Ashton lay under no restriction. The verge of her which he was threatened. His son's haughtier spirit parents' domains became, in respect to her, like the was exalted into rage at the idea of being deprived of viewless and enchanted line drawn around a fairy his expected patrimony. But to Lady Ashton's yet castle, where nothing unpermitted can either enter more vindictive temper, the conduct of Ravenswood, from without, or escape from within. Thus every or rather of his patron, appeared to be an offence letter, in which Ravenswood conveyed to Lucy Ashchallenging the deepest and most immortal revenge. ton the indispensable reasons which detained him Even the quiet and confiding temper of Lucy herself, abroad, and more than one note which poor Lucy swayed by the opinions expressed by all around her, had addressed to him through what she thought a could not but consider the conduct of Ravenswood as secure channel, fell into the hands of her mother. It precipitate, and even unkind. “ It was my father," could not be, but that the tenor of these intercepted she repeated with a sigh, “who welcomed him to letters, especially those of Ravenswood, should con. this place, and encouraged, or at least allowed, the rain something to irritate the passions, and fortify intimacy between us. Should he not have remem- the obstinacy of her into whose hands they fell; but bered this, and requited it with
at least some moderate Lady Ashton's passions were too deep-ruoted to degree of procrastination in the assertion of his own require this fresh food. She burnt the papers as regu. alleged rights ? I would have forfeited for him double larly as she perused them; and as they consumed the value of these lands, which he pursues with an into vapour and tinder, regarded them with a smile ardour that shows he has forgotten how much I am upon her compressed lips, and an exultation in her implicated in the matter.'
steady eye, which showed her confidence that the Lucy, however, could only murmur these things to hopes of the writers should soon be rendered equally herseli, unwilling to increase the prejudices against unsubstantial. her lover entertained by all around her, who exclaimed It usually happens, that fortune aids the machinaagainst the steps pursued on his account, as illegal, tions of those who are prompt to avail themselves of vexatious, and tyrannical, resembling the worst mea every chance that offers. A report was wafted from sures in the
worst times of the worst Stewarts, and the Continent, founded, like others of the same sort, a degradation of Scotland, the decisions of whose upon many
plausible circumstances, but without any learned judges were thus subjected to the review of a real basis, stating the Master of Ravenswood to be court, composed indeed of men of the highest rank, on the eve of marriage with a foreign lady of fortune but who were not trained to the study of any muni- and distinction. This was greedily caught up by cipal law, and might be supposed specially to hold in both the political parties, who were at once strugcontempt that of Scotland. As a natural consequence gling for power and for popular favour, and who of the alleged injustice meditated towards her father, seized, as usual, upon the most private circumevery means was resorted to, and every argument stances in the lives of each other's partisans, to urged, to induce Miss Ashton to break off her engage-convert them into subjects of political discussion. ment with Ravenswood, as being scandalous, shame. The Marquis of Agave his opinion aloud and ful, and sinful, formed with the mortal enemy of her publicly, not indeed in the coarse ierms ascribed to family, and calculated to add bitterness to the distress him by Captain Craigengelt, but in a manner suffiof her parents.
ciently offensive to the Ashtons:-"He thought the Lucy's spirit, however, was high; and although repori," he said, "highly probable, and heartily unaided and alone, she could have borne much-she wished it might be true. Such a match was fitter could have endured the repinings of her father-his and far more creditable for a spirited young fellow, murmurs against what he called the tyrannical usage than a marriage with the daughter of an old whig of the ruling party-his ceaseless charges of ingrati- lawyer, whose chicanery had so nearly ruined his tude against Ravenswood-his endless lectures on the father." various means by which contracts may be voided and The other party, of course, laying out of view the annulled-his quotations from the civil, the munici-opposition which the Master of Ravenswood received pal, and the canon law and his prelections upon the from Miss Ashton's family, cried shame upon his patria potcstas.
fickleness and perfidy, as if he had seduced the young She might have borne also in patience, or repelled lady into an engagement, and wilfully and cause with scorn, the bitter taunts and occasional violence lessly abandoned her for another. of her brother Colonel Douglas Ashton, and the Sufficient care was taken that this report should impertinent and intrusive interference of other friends find its way to Ravenswood Castle through every and relations. But it was beyond her power effect- various channel, Lady Ashton being well aware, that aally to withstand or elude the constant and unceas- the very reiteration of the same rumour from so many ing persecution of Lady Ashton, who, layir.g every quarters could not but give it a semblance of truth. other wish'aside, had bent the whole efforts of her By some it was told
as a piece of ordinary news, by powerful mind to break 'her daughter's contract some communicated as serious intelligence ; now it with Ravenswood, and to place a perpetual bar was whispered to Lucy Ashton's ear in the tone of between
the lovers, by effecting Lucy's union with malignant pleasantry, and now transmitied to her as Bucklaw. Far more deeply skilled than her husband a matter of grave and serious warning. in the recesses of the human heart, she was aware Even the boy Henry was made the instrument of that in this way she might strike a blow of deep and adding to his sister's torments. Ono morning he decisive vengeance upon one, whom she esteemed as rushed into the room with a willow branch in his her mortal enemy; nor did she hesitate at raising her hand, which he told her had arrived that instant arra, although she knew that the wound must be from Germany for her special wearing. Lucy, as we deait through the bosom of her daughter. With this have seen, was remarkably fond of her younger brostern and fixed purpose, she sounded every deep and ther, and at that moment his wanton and thoughtshallow of her daughter's soul, assumed alternately less unkindness seemed more keenly injurious than every disguise of manner which could serve her even the studied insults of her elder brother. Her object, and prepared at leisure every species of dire grief, however, had no shade of resentment; she machinery, by which the human mind can be folded her arms about the boy's neck, and saying, wrenched from its settled determination. Some of faintly, "Poor Henry! you speak but what they tell these were of an obvious description, and require only you, " she burst into a flood of unrestrained tears. to be cursorily mentioned ; others were characteristic The boy was moved, notwithstanding the thoughtof the time the country, and the persons engaged in lessness of his age and character. "The devil fake bis singular drama.
me." said he. "Lucy, "if I fetch you' any iinore or
these tormenting messages again; for I like you i nurse than the female domestics of the family. Ailsie Dettér," said he, kissing away the tears, "than the Gourlay, sometimes called the Wise Woman of Bow. whole pack of them; and you'shall have my gray den, was the person whom, for her own strong reapony to ride on, and you shall canter him if you like, sons, Lady Ashton selected as an attendant upon her -ay, and ride beyond the village, too, if you have daughter. à mind."
This woman had acquired a considerable reputation "Who told you," said Lucy, " that I am not per- among the ignorant by the pretenaed cures which she mitted to ride where I please ?"
performed, especially in oncomes, as the Scotch call "That's a secret," said the boy; ." but you will them, or mysterious diseases, which baffle the regular find you can never ride beyond the village but your physician. Her pharmacopeia consisted partly of horse will east a shoe, or fall lame, or the castle bell herbs selected in planetary hours, partly of words, will ring, or something will happen to bring you back. signs, and charms, which sometimes, perhaps, pro-But if I tell you more of these things, Douglas will duced a favourable influence upon the imagination of not get me the pair of colours they have promised me, her patients. Such was the avowed profession of and so good-morrow to you."
"Lucky Gourlay, which, as may well be supposed, was This wra.gue plunged Lucy in still deeper dejec, looked upon with a suspicious eye, not only by her tion, as ii tended to show her plainly what she had neighbours, but even by the clergy of the district. In for some time suspected, that she was little better private, however, she traded more deeply in the occult than a prisorer at large in her father's house. We sciences; for, notwithstanding the dreadful punish. have described her in the outset of our story as of a ments inflicted upon the supposed crine of witchcraft, romantic disposition, delighting in tales of love and there wanted not those who, steeled by want and wonder, and readily identifying herself with the situ- bitterness of spirit, were willing to adopt the hateful ation of those legendary heroines, with whose adven- and dangerous character, for the sake of the influence tures, for want of better reading, her memory had which its terrors enabled them to exercise in the vi become stocked. The 'airy wand, with which in her cinity, and the wretched emolument which they could solitude she had delighted to raise visions of enchant- extract by the practice of their supposed art. ment, became now the rod of a magician, the bond Ailsie Gourlay was not indeed fool enough to acslave of evil genii, serving only to invoke spectres at knowledge a compact with the Evil One, which would which the exorcist trembled. She felt herself the have been a swift and ready road to the stake and tarobject of suspicion, of scorn, of dislike at least, if not barrel. Her fairy, she said, like Caliban's, was a of hatred, to her own family, and it seemed to her harmless fairy. Nevertheless, she "spaed fortunes," that she was abandoned by the very person on whose read dreams, composed philtres, discovered stolen account she was exposed to the enmity of all around goods, and made and dissolved matches as success her. Indeed, the evidence of Ravenswood's infi- fully as if, according to the belief of the whole neigh. delity began io assume every day a more determined bourhood, she had been aided in those arts by Beelze character.
bub himself. The worst of the pretenders to these A soldier of fortune, of the name of Westenho, an sciences was, that they were generally persons who, old familiar of Craigengelt's, chanced to arrive from feeling themselves odious to humanity, were carelese abroad about this time. The worthy Captain, though of what they did to deserve the public hatred. Real without any precise communication with Lady Ash- crimes were often committed under pretence of magiton, always acted most regularly and sedulously in cal imposturo; and it somewhat reueves the disgust support of her plans, and easily prevailed upon his with which we read, in the criminal records, the con friend, by dint of exaggeration of real circumstances. viction of these wretches, to be aware that many of and coining of others, to give explicit testimony to them merited, as poisoners, suborners, and diabolicaļ the truth of Ravenswood's approaching marriage. agents in secret domestic crimes, the severe fale to
Thus beset on all hands, and in a manner reduced which they were condemned for the imaginary guilt to despair, Lucy's temper gave way under the pres- of witchcraft. sure of constant affliction and persecution. She Such was Ailsie Gourlay whom, in order to attain became gloomy and abstracted, and, contrary to her the absolute subjugation of Lucy Ashton's mind, her natural and ordinary habit of mind, sometimes turned mother thought it fitting to place near her person. A with spirit, and even fierceness, on those by, whom woman of less consequence than Lady Ashton had she was long and closely annoyed. Her health also not dared to take such a step; but her high rank and began to be shaken, and her hectic cheek and wan. strength of character set her above the censure of the dering eye gave symptoms of what is called a fever world, and she was allowed to have selected for her upon the spirits. 'In most mothers this would have daughter's attendant the best and most experienced moved compassion; but Lady Ashton, compact and sick-nurse "and mediciner' in the neighbourhood, firm of purpose, saw these waverings of health and where an inferior person would have fallen under intellect with no greater sympathy than that with the reproach of calling in the assistance of a partner which the hostile engineer regards the towers of a and ally of the great Enemy of mankind. beleaguered city as they reel under the discharge of The beldam caught her cue readily and by innuendo, his artillery; or, rather, she considered these starts without giving Lady Ashton the pain of distinct exand inequalities of temper as symptoms of Lucy's planation. She was in many respects qualified for expiring resolution ; as the angler, by the throes and the part she played, which indeed could not be efliconvulsive exertions of the fish which he has hooked, ciently assumed without some knowledge of the hubecomes aware that he soon will be able to land him. man heart and passions. Dame Gourlay perceived To accelerate the catastrophe in the present case, that Lucy shuddered at her external appearance, Lady Ashton had recourse to an expedient very con- which
we have already described when we found her sistent with the temper and credulity
of those times, in the death-chamber of blind Alice; and while inbat which the reader will probably pronounce truly ternally she hated the poor girl for the involuntary detestable and diabolical.
horror with which she saw she was regarded,
she commenced her operations by endeavouring to efface or overcome those prejudices which, in her heart
she resented as mortal offences. This was easily done, CHAPTER XXXI.
for the hag's external
ugliness was soon balanced by a show of kindness and interest, to which Lucy had
of late been little accustomed; her attentive services In which a witch did dwul, in loathly weeds, And wilful want, all careless of her needs ;
and real skill gained her the ear, if not the confidence, So choosing solitary to abide,
of her patient; and under pretence of diverting the
captive by the legends in which she was well skillea, Falry Queen.
and to which Lucy's habits of reading and reflection
induced her to "lend an attentive ear. Dame Gour The health of Lucy Ashton soon required the assist- lay's tales were at first of a mild and interesting ance of a person more skilful in the office of a sick character