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been bad Alice had the use of her eyes, but with a sense and education beyond your appearance, and greater air of neainess than was upon the whole to that I hope you will continue to reside on this property have been expected.
of mine rent-free for your life." "Babie." said her mistress, "offer some bread and "I hope I shall," said the old dame, composedly oney to the Lord Keeper and Miss Ashton--they "I believe that was made an article in the sale of will excuse your awkwardness, if you use cleanliness Ravenswood to your lordship, though such a trifling and despatch."
circumstance may have escaped your recollection." Babie performed her mistress's command with the "I remember-I recollect," said his lordship, somegrace which was naturally to have been expected, what confused. "I perceive you are too much moving to and fro with á lobster-like gesture, her attached to your old friends to accept any benefit from feet and legs tending one way, while her head, turned their successor." in a different direction, was fixed in wonder upon the "Far from it, my lord; I am grateful for the bene, laird, who was more frequently
heard of than seen by fits which I decline, and I wish I could pay you for his tenants and dependents. The bread and honey, offering them, better than what I am now about to however, deposited on a plantain leaf, was offered say." The Lord Keeper looked at her in some surand accepted in all due courtesy.The Lord Keeper, prise, but said not a word. "My lord," she continustill retaining the place which he had occupied on the ed, in an impressive and solemn tone, "take care decayed trunk of a falten tree, looked as if he wished what you doyou are on the brink of a precipice.' lo prolong the interview, but was at a loss how to in- Indeed ?" said the Lord Keeper, his mind revert: troduce a suitable subject.
ing to the political circumstances of the country, "You have been long a resident on this property ?" "Has any thing come to your knowledge any plot he said, after a pause.'.
or conspiracy?" " It is now nearly sixty years since I first knew "No, my lord; those who traffic in such com. Ravenswood," answered the old dame, whose con modities do not call into their councils the old, blind, versation, though perfectly civil and respectful, seemed and infirm. My warning is of another kind. You cautiously limited to the unavoidable and necessary have driven matters hard with the house of Ravenstask of replying to Sir William.
wood. Believe a trụe tale--they are a fierce house, You are not, I should judge by your accent, of and there is danger, in dealing with men when they this country originally ?" said the Lord Keeper, in become desperate." continuation.
"Tush," answered the Keeper ; "what has been "No; I am by birth an English woman." between us has been the work of the law, not my
"Yet you seem attached to this country as if it doing; and to the law they must look, if they would were your own.".
impugn my proceedings. "It is here,” replied the blind woman," that I have "Ay, but they may think otherwise, and take the drank the cup of joy and of sorrow which Heaven law into their own hand, when they fail of other destined for me. I was here the wife of an upright means of redress." and affectionate husband for more than twenty years "What mean you?" said the Lord Keeper. "Young --I was here the mother of six promising children- Ravenswood would not have recourse to personal it was here that God deprived me of all these bless-violence ?" sings--it was here they died, and yonder, by yon "God forbid I should say so! I know nothing of ruined chapel, they lie all buried-I had no country the youth but what is honourable and open-honourbut theirs while they lived--I have none but theirs able and open, said I ?-I should have added, free, how they are no more.'
generous, noble. But he is still a Ravenswood, and But your house," said the Lord Keeper, looking may bide his time. Remember the fate of Sir George at it, "is miserably ruinous ?".
Lockhart."* Do, my dear father," said Lucy, eagerly, yet bash- The Lord Keeper started as she called to his recolfully, catching at the hint, "give orders to make it lection a tragedy, so deep and so recent. The old better, that is, if you think it proper."
woman proceeded : "Chiesley, who did the deed, was " It will last my time, my dear Miss Lucy,” said the a relative of Lord Ravenswood. In the hall of Rablind woman; "I would not have my lord give him- venswood, in my presence, and in that of others, he self the least trouble about it."
avowed publicly his determination to do the cruelty “But,” said Lucy, "you once had a much better which he afterwards committed. I could not keep house, and were rich, and now in your old age to live silence
, though to speak it ill became
my station. in this hovel !!!
'You are devising a dreadful crime,' I said, 'foi "It is as good as I deserve, Miss Lucy, if my which you must reckon, before the judgment-seat. heart has not broke with what I have suffered, and Never shall I forget his look, as he replied, 'I musi seen others suffer, it must have been strong enough, reckon then for many things, and will reckon for this and the rest of this old frame has no right to call | also.' Therefore I may well say, beware of pressing itself weaker."
a desperate man with the hand of authority. There is "You have probably witnessed, many changes," blood of Chiesley in the veins of Ravenswood, and said the Lord Keeper; "but your experience must one drop of it were enough to fire him in the circum; have taught you to expect them."
stances in which he is placed- I say, beware of him." "It
has taught me to endure them, my lord," was The old dame had, either intentionally or by acci. the reply.
. President of the Court of Session. He was pistolled in the " Yet you knew that they must needs arrive in the High Street of Edinburgh, by John Chiesley of Dalry, in the course of years ?'' said the statesman.
year 1689. The revenge of this desperate man was stimulated Ay; as I know that the stump, on or beside by an opinion that he had sustained injustice in a decreet-arbiwhich you sit, once a tall and lofty tree, must needs vision of about L.93 in favour of his wife and children. He is one day fall by decay, or by the axe; yet I hoped my said at first to have designed to shoot the judge while attending eyes might not witness the downfall of the tree which upon divine worship, but was diverted by some feeling conovershadowed my dwelling.".
cerning the sanctity of the place. After the congregation was
of "Do not suppose," said the Lord Keeper, " that you on the south
side of the Lawnmarket, in which the President's will lose any interest with me, for looking back with house was situated, and shot him dead as he was about to enter regret to the days when another family possessed my it. This act was done in the presence of numerous
spectators estates. You had reason, doubtless, to love them, and The assassin made no attempt to fly, but boasted of the deed I respect your gratitude. I will order some repairs in had at least given him fair warning, as Jack cade says on a your cottage, and I hope we shall live to be friends similar occasion. The murderer, after undergoing the torture, when we know each other better."
by a special act
of the Estates of Parliament, was tried before "Those of my age, returned the dame, "make no ed to be dragged on a hurdle to the place of execution to have
the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, as high sheriff, and condemnnew friends. I thank you for your bounty-it is well his right hand struck off while he vet lived,
and, finally, to be intended undoubtedly, but I have all I want, and I hung on the gallows with the pistol wherewith he shot the cannot accept more at your lordship's hands.
President tied round his neck. This execution took place on "Well, then," continued the Lord Keeper, " at least a dreadrul instance of what the law books call the perfervidum
the 3d of April, 1689; and the incident was long remembered a allow me to say, that I look upon you as a woman of inpentum Scolorum,
deni, harped aright the fear of the Lord Keeper. The by the scarlet colour of Miss Ashton's nsantle, or by desperate and dark resource of private assassination, one of those fits of capricious ferocity to which the BO familiar to a Scottish baron in former times, had dispositions are liable, detached himself suddenly even in the present age been too frequently resorted from the group which was feeding at the upper ex. to under the pressure of unusual temptation, or where tremity of a grassy glade, that seemed to lose itself the mind of the actor was prepared for such a crime. among the crossing and entangled boughs. The Sir William Ashton was aware of this, as also that animal approached the intruders on hiş pasture young Ravenswood had received injuries sufficient to ground, at first slowly, pawing the ground with his proinpt him to that sort of revenge, which becomes a hoof, bellowing from time to time, and tearing up the frequent though fearful consequence of the partial ad- sand with his horns, as if to lash himself up to rage ministration of justice. He endeavoured to disguise and violence. from Alice the nature of the apprehensions which he The Lord Keeper, who observed the animal's de entertained; but so ineffectually, that a person even of meanour, was aware that he was about to become less penetration than nature had endowed her with mischievous, and, drawing his daughter's arm under must necessarily have been aware that the subject lay his own, began to walk fast along the avenue, in near his bosom. His voice was changed in its accent hopes to get out of his sight and his reach. This was as he replied to her, that the Master of Ravenswood the most injudicious course he could have adopted, was a man of honour; and, were it otherwise, that for, encouraged by the appearance of flight,
the bull the fate of Chiesley of Dalry was a sufficient warning began to pursue them at full speed. Assailed by a to any one who should dare to assume the office of danger so eminent, firmer courage than that of 'ne avenger
of his own imaginary wrongs. And having Lord Keeper might have given way. But paternal hastily uttered these expressions, he rose and left the tenderness, "love strong as death," sustained him. place without waiting for a reply.
He continued to support and drag onward his daughter, until, her fears altogether depriving her of the
power of flight, she sunk down by his side; and CHAPTER V.
when he could no longer assist her to escape he Is she a Capulet?
turned round and placed himself betwixt her and the O dear account ! my life is my foe's debt.
raging animal, which adyancing, in full career, its
SHAKSPEARE. brutal fury enhanced by the rapidity of the pursuit, The Lord Keeper walked for nearly a quarter of a was now within a few yards of them. The Lord mile in profound silence. His daughter, naturally, Keeper had no weapons; his age and gravity, distimid, and bred up in those ideas of filial awe and im- pensed even with the usual appendage of a walking plicit obedience which were inculcated upon the youth sword, --could such appendage have availed him any of that period, did not venture to interrupt his medi- thing. tations.
It seemed inevitable that the father or daughter, or "Why do you look so pale, Lucy?" said her father, both, should have fallen victims to the impending turning suddenly round and breaking silence. danger, when a shot from the neighbouring thicket
According to the ideas of the time, which did not arrested the progress of the animal. He was so truly perinit a young woman to offer her sentiments on any struck between the junction of the spine with the subject of importance unless especially required to do skull, that the wound,
which in any other part of his so, Lucy was bound to appear ignorant of the mean- body might scarce have impeded his career, proved ing of all that had passed betwixt Alice and her father, instantly fatal. Stumbling forward with a hideous and imputed the emotion he had observed to the fear bellow, the progressive force of his previous motion, of the wild cattle which grazed in that part of the ex- rather than any operation of his
limbs, carried him tensive chase through which they were now walking up to within three yards of the astonished Lord
Of these animals, the descendants of the savage Keeper, where he rolled on the ground, his limbs herds which anciently roamed free in the Caledonian darkened with the black death-sweat, and quivering forests, it was formerly a point of state to preserve a with the last convulsions of musular motion. few in the parks of the Scottish nobility. Specimens Lucy lay senseless on the ground, insensible of the continued within the memory of man to be kept at wonderful deliverance which she had experienced. least at three houses of distinction, namely, Hamilton, Her father was almost equally stupified, so rapid and Drumlanrick,
and Cumbernauld.' They had degene unexpected had been the transition from the horrid rated from the ancient race in size and strength, if we death which seemed inevitable, to perfect security. are to judge from the accounts of old chronicles, and He gazed on the animal, terrible even in death, with from the formidable remains frequently discovered in a species of mute and confused astonishment, which bogs and morasses when drained and laid open. The did not permit him distinctly to understand what had bull had lost the shaggy honours of his mane, and the taken place; and so inaccurate was his consciousrace was small and light made, in colour a dingy ness of what had passed, that he might have supwhite, or rather a pale yellow, with black horns and posed that the bull had been arrested in its career by hoofs. They retained, however, in some measure, the a thunderbolt, had he not observed among the ferocity of their ancestry, could not be domesticated branches of the thicket the figure of a man, with a on account of their antipathy to the human race, and short gụn or musquetoon in his hand. were often dangerous if approached unguardedly, or This instantly recalled him to a sense of their situawantonly disturbed. It was this last reason which tion-a glance at his daughter reminded him of the has occasioned their being extirpated at the places we necessity of procuring her assistance. He called to have mentioned, where probably they would otherwise the man, whom he concluded to be one of his have been retained as appropriate inhabitants of a foresters, to give immediate attention to Miss AshScottish woodland, and fit tenants for a baronial ton, while he himself hastened to call assistance. forest. A few, if I mistake not, are still preserved at The huntsman approached them accordingly, and Chillingham Castle, in Northumberland, the seat of the Lord Keeper saw he was a stranger, but was too the Earl of Tankerville.
much agitated to make any farther remarks. In a It was to her finding herself in the vicinity of a few hurried words, he directed the shooter, as stronger group of three or four of these animals that Lucy and more active than himself, to carry the young lady thought proper to impute those signs of fear, which to a neighbouring fountain, while he went back to had arisen in her countenance for a different reason. Alice's hut to procure more aid. For she had been familiarized with the appearance of The man to whose timely interference they had the wild cattle, during her walks in the chase; and it been so much indebted, did not seem inclined to was not then, as it may be now, a necessary part of leave his good work half finished. He raised Lucy 1 young laoy's demeanour, to indulge in causeless from the ground in his arms, and conveying her gremors of the nerves. On the present occasion, through the glades of the forest by paths with which nowever, she speedily found cause for real terror. he seemed well acquainted, stopped not until he laid
Lucy had scarcely replied to her father in the words her in safety by the side of a plentiful and pellucid we have mentioned, and he was just about to rebuke fountain,
which had been once covered in, screened ner supposed timidity, when a bull, stimulated either and decorated with architecturalornaments of a Gothic character. But now the vault which had covered it the tale had a more remote origin in the ancient being broken down and riven, and the Gothic font heathen mythology. Al however agreed, that the ruined and demolished, the stream burst forth from spot was fatal to the Ravenswood family, and that the recess of the earth in open day, and winded its to drink of the waters of the well, or even approach way among the broken sculpture and moss-grown its brink, was as ominous to a descendant of that stones which lay in confusion around its source. house, as for a Grahame to wear green, a Bruce to
Tradition, always busy, at least in Scotland, to kill a spider, or a St. Clair to cross the Ord on a grace with a legendary tale a spot in itself interest Monday. ing, had ascribed a cause of peculiar veneration to It was on this ominous spot that Lucy Ashton first this fountain. A beautiful young lady met one of drew breath after her long and almost deadly swoon. the Lords of Ravenswood while hunting, near this Beautiful and pale as the fabulous Najad in the last spot, and, like a second Egéria, had captivated the agony of separation from her lover, she was sealed affections of the feudal Numa. They met frequently so as to rest with her back against
a part of the afterwards, and always at sunset, the charme of the ruined wall, while her mantle, dripping with the water nymph's mind conipleting the conquest which her which her protector had used profusely to recall her beauty had begun, and the mystery of the intrigue senses, clung to her slender and beautifully proporadding zest to both. She always appeared and disap Loned form. peared close by the fountain, with which, therefore, The first moment of recollection brought to her her lover judged she had some inexplicable connexion mind the danger which had overpowered her senses She placed certain restrictions on their intercourse, -the next called to remeinbrance that of her father. which also savoured of mystery. They met only once she looked around-he was nowhere to be seen a-week-Friday was the appointed day-and she ex- *My father-my father!" was all that she could plained to the Lord of Ravenswood, that they were ejaculate. under the necessity of separating so soon as the bell "Sir William is safe." answered the voice of a of a chapel, belonging to a hermitage in the adjoining stranger-" perfectly safe, and will be with you inwood, now long ruinous, should toll the hour of stanuly.' vespers. In the course of his confession, the Baron Are you sure of that?" exclaimed Lucy-"the of Ravenswood intrusted the hermit with the secret bull was close by us-do not stop me-I must go to of this singular amour, and Father Zachary drew the seek my father!" necessary and obvious consequence, that his patron And she arose with that purpose; but her strength was enveloped in the toils of Satan, and in danger of was so much exhausted, that, far from possessing the destruction, both to body and soul. He urged these power to execute her purpose, she must have falle. perils to the Baron with all the force of monkish rhe against the stone on which she had leany, probably toric, and described in the most frightful colours, the not without sustaining serious injury. real character and person of the apparent lovely The stranger was so near to her, that, without Naiad, whom he hesitated not to denounce as a limb actually suffering her to fall
, he could not avoid of the kingdom of darkness. The
lover listened with catching her in his arms, which, however, he did with obstinate incredulity, and it was not until worn out a momentary reluctance, very unusual when youth by the obstinacy of the anchoret, that he consented interposes to prevent beauty from danger. It seemed to put the state and condition of his mistress to a as if her weight, slight as it was, proved too heavy certain trial, and for that purpose acquiesced in Za- for her young and athletic assistant, for, without chary's proposal that on their next interview the feeling the temptation of detaining her in his arms vespers bell should be rung half an hour later than even for a single instant, he again placed her on the usual. The hermit maintained and bucklered his stone from which she had risen, and retreating a few opinion, by quotations from Malleus Mali ficarum, steps, repeated hastily,, " Sir William Ashton
is perSprengerus, Remigius, and other learned demonolo- | fectly safe, and will be here instantly. Do not make gists, that the Evil One, thus seduced to remain be yourself anxious on his account-Fate has singularly hind the appointed hour, would assume her true shape preserved him. You, madam, are exhausted, and and, having appeared to her terrified loyer
as a fiend must not think of rising until you have some assistof hell, would vanish from him in a flash of sulphur ance more suitable than mine." pus lightning. Raymond of Ravenswood acquiesced Lucy, whose senses were by this time more effectin the experiment, not incurious concerning the issue, ually collected, was naturally led to look at the stranthough confident it would disappoint the expectations ger with attention. There was nothing in his appearof the hermit.
ance which should have rendered him unwilling to At the appointed hour the lovers met, and their in- offer his arm to a young lady who required support, terview was protracted beyond that at which they or which could have induced her to refuse his assistusually parted, by the delay of the priest to ring
his ance; and she could not help thinking, even in that usual curfew. Nochange took place upon the nymph's moment, that he seemed cold and reluctant to offer outward form; but as soon as the lengthening sha- it. A shooting-dress of dark cloth intimated the rank dows made her aware that the usual hour of the ves of the wearer, though concealed in part by a large and pers chime was passed, she tore herself from her loose cloak of a dark brown colour. A Montero cap lover's arms with a sbriek of despair, bid him adiey and a black feather drooped over the wearer's brow, for ever, and, plunging into
the fountain, disappeared and partly concealed his features, which, so far as from his eyes. The bubbles occasioned by her de- seen, were dark, regular, and full of majestic, though scent were crimsoned with blood as they arose, lead somewhat sullen, expression. Some secret sorrow, ing the distracted Baron to infer, that his ill-judged or the brooding spirit of some moody
passion, bad curiosity had occasioned the death of this interesting quenched the light and ingenuous vivacity of youth and mysterious being. The remorse which he felt in a countenance singularly fittea to display both, as well as the recollection of her charms, proved the and it was not easy to gaze on the stranger without a penance of his future life, which he lost in the battle secret impression either of pity or awe, or at least of of Flodden not many months after. But, in memory doubt and curiosity allied to both. of his Najad, he had previously ornamented the The impression which we have necessarily been fountain in which she appeared to reside, and secured long in describing, Lucy felt in the glance of a mo its waters from profanation or pollution, by the small ment, and had no sooner encountered the keen black vaulted building of which the fragments still remained eyes of the stranger, than her own were bent on the scattered around it. From this period the house of ground with a mixture of bashful embarrassment Ravenswood was supposed to have dated its decay. and fear. Yet there was a necessity to speak, or at
Such was the generally received legend, which least she thought so, and in a fluttered accent she some, who would seem wiser than the vulgar, ex: began to mention her wonderful escape in which she plained, as obscurely intimating the fate of a beautiful was sure that the stranger must, under Heaven, have maid of plebeian rank, the mistress of this Raymond, been her father's protector, and her own. whom he slew in a fit of jealousy, and whose blood He seemed to shrink from her expressions of yrauwas mingled with the waters of ihe locked fountain, tude, while he replied abruptly, "I leave you, mna. as it was cosamonly called. Others imagined that dam."-the deep melody of his voice rendered povigo
ful, but not harsh, by something like a severity of tinctly heard as they seemed to be reluctantly uttered, tone"I leave you to the protection of those to and, turning from them, was immediately lost in the whom it is possible you may have this day been a thicket. guardian angel.”
"The Master of Ravenswood !" said the Lord Lucy was surprised at the ambiguity of his lan. Keeper, when he had recovered his momentary astoguage, and, with a feeling of artless and unaffected nishment-"Hasten after him-stop him-beg bim to gratitude, began to deprecate the idea of having speak to me for a single moment. intended to give her deliverer any offence, as if such The two foresters accordingly set off in pursuit of a thing had been possible. "I have been unfortu- the stranger. They speedily reappeared, and, in an nate;" she said, "in endeavouring, to express my embarrassed and awkward manner, said the gentle thanks-I am sure it must be so, though I cannot man would not return. The Lord Keeper took one of recollect what I said but would you but stay till my the fellows aside, and questioned him more closely father-till the Lord Keeper comes--would you only what the Master of Ravenswood had said. permit him to'pay you his thanks, and to inquire "He just said he wadna come back," said the man, your name?"
with the caution of a prudent Scotchman, who cared "My name is unnecessary;" answered the stran- not to be the bearer of an unpleasanterrand. ger; "your father-I would rather say Sir William "He said something more, sir," said the Lord Ashton-will learn it goon enough, for all the plea- Keeper, " and I insist on knowing what it was. sure it is likely to afford him."
“Why, then, my lord," said the man, looking You mistake him," said' Lucy 'earnestly; "he down," he said-But it wad be nae pleasure to your will be grateful for my sake and for his own. You lordship to hear it, for 'I daresay the Master meant do not know my father, or you are deceiving me nae ill. with a story of his safety, when he has already fallen "That's none of your concern, sir; I desire to hear a victim to the fury of that animal.”
words.' When she had caught this idea, she started from "Weel, then," replied the man," he said, Tell Sir the ground, and endeavoured '10 press towards the William Ashton, that the next time he and I forgather, avenue in which the accident had taken place, while he will not be half sae blithe of our meeting as of our the stranger, though he seemed to hesitate between parting." the desire to assist and the wish to leave her, was “Very well, sir," said the Lord Keeper," I believe obliged, in common humanity, to oppose her both by he alludes to a wager we have on our hawks-it is entreaty and action.
matter of no consequence. "On the word of a gentleman, madam, I tell you He turned to his daughter, who was by this time the truth; your father is in perfect safety; you will so much recovered as to be able to walk home. But expose yourself to injury if you venture back where the effect which the various recollections, connected the herd of wild cattle grazed. If you will go”-for, with a scene so terrific, made upon a mind which was having once adopted the idea that her father was susceptible in an extreme degree, was more permastill in danger, she pressed forward in spite of him- nent than the injury which her nerves had sustained. "If you will go, accept my arm, though I am not Visions of terror, both in sleep and in waking reveries, perhaps the person who can with most propriety recalled to her the form of the furious animal, and the offer you support."
dreadful bellow with which he accompanied his But, without heeding this intimation, Lucy took career; and it was always the image of the Master him at his word. “O if you be a man," she said, "if of Ravenswood, 'with his native nobleness of counyou be a gentleman, assist me to find my father ! tenance and form, that seemed to interpose betwixt You shall not leave me-you must go with me he her and assured death. It is, perhaps, at all times is dying, perhaps while we are talking here !" dangerous for a young person to suffer recollection to
Then, without listening to excuse or apology, and dwell repeatedly, and with too much complacency, on holding fast by the stranger's arm, though uncon- the same individual; but in Lucy's situation it was scious of any thing save the support which it gave, almost unavoidable.' She had never happened to see and without which she could not have moved, mixed a young man of mien and features so romantic and so with a vague feeling of preventing his escape from striking as young Ravenswood; but had she seen a ner, she was urging, and almost dragging him for hundred his equals or his superiors in those particuward, when Sir William Ashton came up, followed lars, no one else could have been linked to her heart by by the female attendant of blind Alice, and by two the strong associations of remembered danger and wood-cutters, whom he had summoned from their escape, of gratitude, wonder, and curiosity. I say occupation to his assistance. His joy at seeing his curiosity, for it is likely that the singularly restrained danghter safe, overcame the surprise with which he and unaccommodating manners of the Master of Ra. would at another time have beheld her hanging as venswood, so much at variance with the natural familiarly on the arm of a stranger, as she might expression of his features and grace of his deportment, have done upon his own.
as they excited wonder by the contrast, had their "Lucy, my dear Lucy, are you safe?-are you effect in riveting her attention to the recollection. well?" were the only words that broke from him as She knew little of Ravenswood, or the disputes which he embraced her in ecstasy.
had existed betwixt her father and his, and perhaps "I am well, sir, thank God! and still more that I could in her gentleness of mind hardly have compresee you so ;--but this gentleman,” she said, quitting hended the angry and bitter passions which they had his arm, and shrinking from him, “what must he engendered. But she knew that he was come of think of me?" and her eloquent blood, Alushing over noble stem; was poor, though descended from the neck and brow, spoke how much she was ashamed noble and the wealthy; and she felt that she could of the freedom with which she had craved, and even sympathise with the feelings of a proud mind, which compelled his assistance.
urged him to recoil from the proffered gratitude "This gentleman,” said Sir William Ashton, "will, of the new proprietors of his father's house and I trust, not regret the trouble we have given him, domains. Would he have equally shunned then when I assure him of the gratitude of the Lord acknowledgments and avoided their intimacy, 'had Keeper for the greatest service which one man ever her father's request been urged more mildly, less rendered to another--for the life of my child-for abruptly, and soitened with the grace which women my own life, which he has saved by his bravery and so well know how to throw into their manner, when presence of mind. He will, I am sure, permit us to they mean to mediate betwixt the headlong passions request''
of the ruder sex? This was a perilous question to ask *Request nothing of me, my lord,” said the stran- her own mind-perilous both in the idea and in its zer, iri a stern and peremptory tone; "I am the consequences. Master of Ravenswood."
Lucy Ashton, in short, was involved in those There was a dead pause of surprise, not unmixed mazes of the imagination wlich are most dangerous with less pleasant feelings. The Master wrapt him to the young and the sensitive. Time, it is true, Belf in his cloak, made a haughty inclination towarus absence, change of scene and new faces, might proLucy, muttering a sew words of courtesy, as indis- | bably have destroyed the illusion in her instance as
it has done in many others; but
her residence re- the predicament in wliich he himself stood with young mained solitary, and her mind without those means Ravenswood, as having succeeded in the long train of of dissipating her pleasing visions. This solitude Litigation by which the fortunes of that noble
house was chiefly owing to the absence of Lady, Ashtonhad been so much reduced, and confessed it would be who was at this time in Edinburgh, watching the most peculiarly acceptable to his own feelings, could progress of some state-intrigue; the Lord Keeper he find means in some sort to counterbalance the dis only received society out of policy or ostentation, and advantages which he had occasioned the family, was by nature rather reserved and unsociable; and though only in the prosecution of his just and lawful thus no cavalier appeared to rival or to obscure the rights. He therefore made it his particular and perideal picture of chivalrous excellence
which Lucy sonal request that the matter should have no farther had pictured to herself in the Master of Ravenswood. consequences, and insimuated a desire that he himself
While Lucy indulged in these dreams, she made should have the merit of having, put a stop to it by his frequent visits to old blind Alice, hoping it would be favourable report and intercession. It was particularly easy to lead her to talk on the subject, which at pre- remarkable, that, contrary to his uniform practice, sent she had so imprudently admitted to occupy so he made no special communication to Lady Ashton large a portion of her thoughts. But Alice did not upon the subject of the tumult; and although he in this particular gratify her wishes and expectations, mentioned the alarm which Lucy had received from She spoke readily, and with pathetic foeling, concern one of the wild cattle, yet he gave no detailed account ing the family
in general, but seemed to observe an of an incident so interesting and terrible. especial and cautious silence on the subject of the There was much surprise among Sir William Asha present representative. The little she said of him was ton's political friends and colleagues on receiving not altogether so favourable as Lucy had anticipated, letters of a tenor so unexpected. On comparing notes She hinted that he was of a stern and unforgiving together, one smiled, one put up his eyebrows, a third character, more ready to resent than to pardon inju- nodded acquiescence in the general wonder, and a ries; and Lucy combined with great alarm the hints fourth asked, if they were sure these were all the let. which she now dropped of these dangerous qualities, ters the Lord Keeper had written on the subject. It with Alice's advice to her father, so emphatically runs strangely in my mind, my lords, that none of given, "to beware of Ravenswood."
these advices contain the root of the matter." But that very Ravenswood, of whom such unjust But no secret letters of a contrary nature had been suspicions had been entertained, had, almost imme-received, although the question seemed to imply the diately, after they had been uttered, confuted them, possibility, of their existence. by saving at once her father's life and her own. Had "Well,', said an old gray-headed statesman, who he nourished such black revenge as Alice's dark hints had contrived, by shifting and trimming, to maintain seemed to indicate, no deed of active guilt was neces- his post at the steerage through all the changes of sary to the full gratification of that evil passion. He course which the vessel had held for thirty years, "I needed but to have withheld for an instant his indis- thought Sir William would hae verified the auld pensable and effective assistance, and the object of his Scottish saying, as soon comes the lamb's skin to resentment must have perished, without any direct market as the auld tup's." aggression on his part, by a death equally fearful and "We must please him after his own fashion," said certain. She conceived, therefore, that some secret another, " though it be an unlooked for one." prejudice, or the suspicions incident to age and mis- "A wilful man maun hae his way," answered the fortune, had led Alice to form conclusions injurious to old counsellor. the character, and irreconcilable both with the gene- "The Keeper will rue this before year and day are rous conduct and noble features of the Master of out,” said a third; "the Master of Ravenswood is Ravenswood. And in this belief Lucy reposed her the lad to wind him a pirn." hope, and went on weaving her enchanted web of "Why, what would you do, my lords, with the poor fairy tissue, as beautiful and transient as the film of young fellow.?" said a noble Marquis present; "the the gossamer, when it is pearled with the morning Lord Keeper has got all his estates-he has not dew, and glimmering to the sun.
cross to bless himself with." Her father, in the mean while, as well as the Mas- On which the ancient Lord Turntippet replied, ter of Ravenswood, were making reflections, as fre
***If he hasna gear to fine, quent though more solid than those of Lucy, upon the
He has shins to pine'singular event which had taken place. The Lord and that was our way before the Revolution-Luitur Keeper's first task, when he returned home, was to cum persona, qui luera non potest cum crumenat ascertain by medical advice that his daughter had Hegh, my lords, that's gude law Latin." sustained no injury from the dangerous and alarming "I can see no motive," replied the Marquis," that situation in which she had been placed. Satisfied on any noble lord can have for urging this matter farther; this topic, he proceeded to revise the memoranda let the Lord Keeper have the power to deal in it as he which he had takon down from the mouth of the per- pleases." son employed to interrupt the funeral service of the 'Agree, agree-remit to the Lord Keeper, with any late Lord Ravenswood. Bred to casuistry, and well other person for fashion's sake-Lord Hirplehooly, aceustomed to practise the ambidexter ingenuity of who is bed-ridden-one to be a quorum-Make your the bar, it cost him little trouble to soften the features entry in the minutes, Mr. Clerk-And now, my lords of the tumult which he had been at first so anxious there is that young scattergood, the Laird of Bucklaw's to exaggerate. He preached to his colleagues of the fine to be disponed upon-I suppose it goes to my Privy Council the necessity of using, conciliatory Lord Treasurer ? measures with young men, whose blood and temper "Shame be in my meal-poke, then," exclaimed were hot, and their experience of life limited. He did Lord Turntippet, "and your hand aye in the nook
of not hesitate to attribute some censure to the conduct it! I had set that down for a by bít between meals of the officer, as having been unnecessarily irritating for mysell."
These were the contents of his public despatches, "To use one of your favourite saws, my lord,” re The letters which he wrote to those private friends plied the Marquis, you are like the miller's dog, that into whose management the matter was likely to fall
, I licks his lips before the bag is untied—the man
is not were of a yet more favourable tenor. He represented fined yet." that lenity, in this case would be equally politic and " But that costs but twa skarts of a pen," said popular, whereas, considering the high respect with Lord Turntippet ; "and surely
there is nac
noble lord which the rites of interment are regarded in Scotland, that will presume to say, that I wha hae complied wl any severity exercised against the
Master of Ravens- a compliances, tane all manner of tests, abjured all wood for protecting those of his father from inter that was to be abjured, and sworn a' that was to be ruption, would be on all sides most unfavourably sworn, for these thirty years bypast, sticking fast by construed. And, finally, assuming the language of a generous and high spirited man, he made it his par- Wind him a pira, proverbial for preparing a' troublesome bu. ticular request that this affair should be passed over
siness for some person.
* 1. e. Let him pay with his person, who cannot pay with ble without severe notice. He alluded with delicacy to VOL. III.