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CHÁP XXX
THE ABBOT. .

99 bitter irony; "our poor house hath been but seldom The Lady-made no answer--perhaps did not hes graced with royal smiles, and will hardly, with my his words, as she presently left the apartment. By choice, exchange their rough honesty for such court- the command of Drvsesdale, the rest of the attend nonour as Mary of Scotland has now to bestow." ants were dismissed, some to do the duty of guard,

"They,” replied Mary, “who know so well how to others to their repose. The steward himself re-
take, may think themseives excused from the obliga- mained after they had all departed; and Roland
tion implied in receiving. And that I have now little Græme, who was alone in the apartment, was sur-
to offer, is the fault of the Douglasses and their allies." prised to see the old soldier advance towards him

"Fear nothing, madam," replied the Lady of Loch- with an air of greater cordiality than he had ever
leven in the same bitter tone, you retain an exche- before assumed to him, but which sat ill on his
quer which neither your own prodigality can drain, scowling features.
nor your offended country deprive you of. While you "Youth," he said, “I have done thee some wrong
have fair words and delusive smiles at command, you -it is thine own fault, for thy behaviour hath seemed
need no other bribes to lure youth to folly."

as light to me as the feather thou wearest in thy hat; The Queen cast a not ungratified glance on a large and surely thy fantastic apparel, and idle humour of mirror, which, hanging on one side of the apartment, mirth and folly, have made me construe thee someand illuminated by the torch-light, reflected her beau-thing harshly. But I saw this night from my casetiful face and person. “Our hostess grows complai- ment, (as I looked out to see how thou hadst disposed sant," she said, “my Fleming; we had not thought of thyself in the garden,) I saw, I say, the true efforts that grief and captivity had left us so well stored with which thou didst make to detain the companion of that sort of wealth which ladies prize most dearly." the perfidy of him who is no longer worthy to be

"Your Grace will drive this severe woman fran called by his father's name, but must be cut off from tic," said Fleming, in a low tone. "On my knees I his house like a rotten branch. I was just about to implore you to remember she is already dreadfully come to thy assistance when the pistol went off; and offended, and that we are in her power.”

the warder (a false knave, whom I suspect to be "I will not spare her, Fleming," answered the bribed for the nonce) saw himself forced to give the Queen; "it is against my nature. She returned my alarm, which, perchance, till then he had wilíully honest sympathy with insult and abuse, and I will withheld. To atone, therefore, for my injustice tugall her in return-If her words are too blunt for wards you, I would willingly render you a courtesy, il answer, let her use her poniard if she dare!"

you would accept of it from my hands." "The Lady Loch leven," said the Lady Fleming May I first crave to know what it is ?" replied dloud, " would surely do well now to withdraw, and the page. to leave her Grace to repose."

Simply to carry the news of this discovery to ** Ay," replied the Lady," or to leave her Grace, and Holyrood, where thou mayst do thyself much grace, her Grace's minions, to think what silly fly they may as well with the Earl of Morton and the Regeni next wrap their meshes about. My eldest son is a himself, as with Sir William Douglas, seeing thou widower--were he not more worthy the flattering hast seen the matter from end to end, and borne nopes with which you have seduced his brother ?- faithful part therein. The making thine own fortune Crue, the yoke of marriage has been already thrice fit will be ihus lodged in thine own hand, when I trust ted on--but the church of Rome calls it a sacrament, thou wilt estrange thyself from foolish vanities, and and its votaries may deem it one in which they can learn to walk in this world as one who thinks upon not too often participate.".

the next." “And the votaries of the church of Geneva," re- "Sir Steward,” said Roland Græme, “I thank you plied Mary, colouring with indignation, "as they for your courtesy, but I may not do your errand. I deen marriage no sacrament, are said at times to pass that I am the Queen's sworn servant, and may dispense with the holy ceremony.”—Then, as if not be of counsel against her. But, setting this apari. afraid of the consequences of this home allusion to methinks it were a bad road to Sir William of Lochthe errors of Lady Lochleven's early life, the Queen leven's favour, to be the first to tell him of bis son's added, " Come, my Fleming, we grace her too much defection-neither would the Regent be over well by this altercation; we will to our sleeping apart- pleased to hear the infidelity of his vassal, nor Morment. If she would disturb us again to-night

, she ion to learn he falsehood of his kinsman. must cause the door to be forced." So saying, she "Um!" said the steward, making that inarticulate retired to her bedroom, followed by her two women. sound which expresses surprise mingled with disLady Lochleven, stunned as it were by this last sar; pleasure. “Nay, then, even fly where ye list ; foi, casm, and not the less deeply incensed that she had giddy-pated as ye may be, you know how to bear you drawn it upon herself, remained like a statue on the in the world." spot which she had occupied when she received an "I will show you my system is less selfish than ye affront so flagrant. Dryfesdale and Randal endea- think for,” said the page; " for I hold truth and mirth voured to rouse her to recollection by questions. to be better than gravity and cunning--ay, and in the

"What is your honourable Ladyship's pleasure in end to be a match for them. You never loved me the premises ?”

less, Sir Steward, than you do at this moment. I "Shall we not double the sentinels, and place one know you will give me no real confidence, and I am upon the boats and another in the garden ?" said resolved to accept no false protestations as current Randal.

coin. Resume your old course-suspect me as much "Would you that despatches were sent to Sir Wil- and watch me as closely as you will, i bid you defiliam at Edinburgh, to acquaint him with what has ance--you have met with your match." happened ?'' demanded Dryfesdale; "and ought not By Heaven, young man," said the Steward, with the place of Kinross to be alarmed, lest there be force a look of bitter malignity, "if thou darest to attempt upon the shores of the lake?"

any treachery towards the House of Lochleven, thy "Do all as thou wilt," said the Lady, collecting head shall blacken in the sun from the warder's turherself, and about to depart. “Thou hast the name ret!" of a good soldier, Dryfesdale, take all precautions. "He cannot commit treachery.who refuses trust," --Sacred Heaven! that I should be thus openly in- said the page; "and for my head, it stands as securely sulted !"

on mine own shoulders, as on any turret that ever "Would it be your pleasure," said Dryfesdale, hesi- mason built." tating, "chat this person-this lady-be more severely "Farewell, thou prating and speckled pie, said restrained ?"

Dryfesdale, that art so vain of thine idle tongue “No, vassal!" answered the Lady, indignantly, and variegated coat! Beware trap and lime-twig?" my revenge stoops not to so low a gratification. But “And fare thee well, thou hoarse old raven,' I will have more worthy vengeance, or the tomb of swered the page; "thy solemn flight, sable hue, and my ancestors shall cover my shame!"

deep croak, are no charms against bird-bolt or hail And you shall have it, madam,” replied Dryfes- shot, and that thou mayst find-It is open war bedale-"Ere two suns go down, you shall term your- twixt us, each for the cause of our mistress, and God self amply revenged."

show the right!"

ari

" Amen, and defend his own people," said the stew- | Spanish romance--instead of being in his þedroom, ard. “I will let my mistress know what addition thou when Douglas came to hold communication with hast made to this mess of traitors. Good night, Mon- him on our project ?") sieur Featherpate."

"And why, said the page, "defer to so late a "Good night, Seignior Sowersby," replied the moment, so important a confidence?". page'; and, when the old man departed, he betook " Because your communications with Henderson, himself to rest.

and-with pardon--the natural impetuosity and fiekleness of your disposition, made us dread to intrust

you with a secret of such consequence, till the last CHAPTER XXXI.

moment ???

And why at the last moment ?" said the page, Poisoned-ill fare !-dead, forsook, cast off!

offended at this frank avowal ; ". why at that, or any King Jern.

other moment, since I had the misfortune to incur so HOWEVER weary Roland Græme might be of the much suspicion ?" Castle of Lochleven-however much he might wish "Nay-now you are angry again,” said Catherine; that the plan for Mary's escape had been perfected, I and to serve you aright I should break off this talk; question if he ever awoke with more pleasing feelings but I will be magnanimous, and answer your question than on the morning after George Douglas's plan Know, then, our reason for trusting you was twofold. for accomplishing her deliverance had been frus- In the first place, we could scarce avoid it, since you trated. In the first place, he had the clearest con- slept in the room through which we had to pass. In viction that he had misunderstood the inuendo of the second place"the Abbot, and that the affections of Douglas were "Nay," said the page, you may dispense with a fixed, not on Catherine Seyton, but on the Queen ; second reason, when the first makes your confidence and in the second place, from the sort of explanation in me a case of necessity." which had taken place betwixt the steward and him,

"Good now,

hold thy peace,” said Catherine. "In he felt himself at liberty, without any breach of ho- the second place, as I said before, there is one foolish nour towards the family of Lochleven, to contribute person among us, who believes that Roland Græme's his best aid to any scheme which should in future be heart is warm, though his head is giddy-that his formed for the Queen's escape; and, independently of blood is pure, though it boils too hastily-and that the good-will which he himself had to the enterprise, his faith and honour are true as the loadstar, though he knew he could find no surer road to the favour of his tongue sometimes is far less than discreet." Catherine Seyton. He now sought but an oppor This avowal Catherine repeated in a low tone, with tunity to inform her that he had dedicated himself to her eyes fixed on the floor, as if she shunned the this iask, and fortune was propitious in affording him glance of Roland while she suffered it to escape her one which was unusually favourable.

lips-"And this single friend," exclaimed the youth in At the ordinary hour of breakfast, it was introduced rapture; "this only one who would do justice to the by the steward with his usual forms, who, as soon as poor Roland Græme, and whose own generous heart it was placed on the board in the inner apartment, taught her to distinguish between follies of the brain saic to Roland Græme, with a glance of sarcastic and faults of the heart-Will you not tell me, dearest imporu, "I leave you, my young sir, to do the office of Catherine, to whom I owe my most grateful, my most sewer-it has been too long rendered to the Lady heartfelt thanks ?". Mary by one belonging to the house of Douglas." "Nay," said Catherine, with her eyes still fixed on

"Were it the prime and principal who ever dore the ground, "if your own heart tell you nor"'the name," said Roland, " the office were an honour Dearest Catherine!" said the page, seizing upon to him."

her hand, and kneeling on one knee. The steward departed without replying to this "If your own heart, I say, tell you not," said Cathe bravade, otherwise than by a dark look of scom. rine, gently disengaging her hand, “it is very ungrate Græme, thus left alone, busied himself as one en- ful; for since the maternal kindness of the Lady gaged in a labour of love, to imitate, as well as he Fleming''could, the grace and courtesy with which George The page started on his feet. "By Heaven, Catheof Douglas was wont to render his ceremonial ser- rine, your longue wears as many disguises as your vice at meals to the Queen of Scotland. There was person! But you only mock me, cruel girl. You know more than youthful vanity--there was a generous the Lady Fleming has no more regard for any one, devotion in the feeling with which he took up the than

hath the forlorn princess who is wrought into task, as a brave soldier assumes the place of a com- yonder piece of old figured court tapestry." rade who has fallen in the front of battle. "I am " It may be so," said Catherine Seyton, “but you now," he said, their only champion; and, come should not speak so loud." weal, come wo, I will be to the best of my skill and Pshaw: ? answered the page, but at the same power, as faithful, as trustworthy, as brave, as any time lowering his voice, "she cares for no one bat Douglas of them all could have been."

herself and the Queen. And you know, besides At this moment Catherine Seyton entered alone, there is no one of you whose opinion I value, if I contrary to her custom ; and not less contrary to her have not your own. No-not that of Queen Mary custom, she entered with her kerchief at her eyes. herself." Roland Greme approached her with beating heart " The more shame for you, if it be so,” said Catieand with downcast eyes, and asked her in a low and rine, with great composure. hesitating voice, whether the Queen were well ? Nay, but fair Catherine," said the page " wby

"Can you suppose it?" said Catherine; "think you will you thus damp my ardour, when I am devoting her heart and body are framed of steel and

iron, to myself

, body

and soul, to the cause of your mistress ?" endure the cruel disappointment of yester even, and It is because in doing so," said Catherine, the infamous taunts of yonder puritanic hag ?-Would debase a cause so noble, by naming along with it to God that I were a man, to aid her more effectually!" any lower or more selfish motive. Believe me," she

"If those who carry pistols, and batoons, and pon- saíd, with kindling eyes, and while the blood mantled iards," said the page, "are not men, they are at least on her cheek, they think vilely and falsely of woAmazons; and that is as formidable."

men-1 mean of those who deserve the name who "You are welcome to the flash of your wit, sir," deem that they love the gratification of their vanity, keplied the damsel; “I am neither in spirits to enjoy, or the mean purpose of engrossing a lover's admiraor to reply to it."

tion and affection, better than they love the virtue "Well, then," said the page," list to me in all serious and honour of the man they may be brought to pre truth. And, first, let me say, that the gear last night fer. He that serves his religion, his prince, and his had been smoother, had you taken me into your coun- country, with ardour and devotion, need not plead his Eels."

cause with the commonplace rant of romantie pas "And so we meant; but who could have guessed sion-the woman whom he honours with his love, ilsat Master Page should choose to pass all night in becomes his debtor, and her corresponding tection the garden Ike some moon-stricken knight in a lis engaged to repay his glorious toil."

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youth, bending his eves on her with enthusiast said

"You hold a gloriou

may too work your shroud

," And be it so, Catherine," said the page, in the full Catherine. He that should free this injured Princess glow

of youthful enthusiasm and do thou work my from these dungeons and set her at liberty among her shroud! and if thou grace it with such tears as fall loyal and war ke nobles, whose hearts are burning now at

earl's mantle would my living body. But whom the love of such a hero would not honour, shame on this faintness of heart the time craves a were she sprung from

the blood royal of the land, and firmer mood-- Be a woman, Catherine, or rather be a he the offspring of the poorest cottager that ever held man-thou canst be a man if thou wilt." a fost a plough!

Catherine dried her tears, and endeavoured to smile. **I am determined,” said Roland, " to take the ad "You must not ask me," she said, " about that venture. Tell me first, however, fair Catherine, and which so much disturbs your mind; you shall know speak it as if you were confessing to the priest- all in time nay, you should know all now, but that This poor Queen, I know she is unhappy-but, Cathe -Hush! here comes the Queen.” DO 15dy rine, do you hold her innocent ? She is accused of Mary entered from her apartment, paler than

usual,

and apparently exhausted by a sleepless night, and by Do I hold the lamb guilty, because it is assailed the painful thoughts which had ill supplied the place by the wolf ?" answered Catherine ; " do I hold yon- of repose ; yet the languor of her looks

was so far der sun polluted, because an earth-damp sullies his from impairing her beauty, that it only substituted the beams?

frail delicacy of the lovely woman for the majestic The page sighed and looked down. Would my grace of the Queen. Contrary to her wont, her toiconviction were as deep as thine! But one thing is lette had been very hastily despatched, and her hair, clear, that in this captivity

she hath wrong-She ren- which was usually dressed by Lady Fleming with dered herself up on a capitulation, and the terms have great care, escaping from beneath the head-tire, been refused her-I will embrace her quarrel to the which had been hastily adjusted, fell, in long and death!"

luxuriant tresses of Nature's own curling, over a neck "Will you-will you indeed ?” said Catherine, tak- and bosom which were somewhat less carefully veiled ing his hand in her turn. "O be but firm in mind, as than usual.

fa)

fara TOHO thou art bold in deed and quick in resolution; keep As she stepped over the threshold of her apartment, but thy plighted faith, and after ages shall honour Catherine, hastily drying her tears, ran to meet her thee as the saviour of Scotland !"

royal mistress, and having first kneeled at her feet, " But when I have toiled successfully to win that and kissed her hand, instantly rose, and placing her Leah, Honour, thou wilt not, my Catherine," said sell on the other side of the Queen, seemed anxious to the page, "condemn me to a new term of service for divide with the Lady Fleming the honour of support that Rachel. Love?"

ing and assisting her. The page, on his part, ad“Of that,” said Catherine, again extricating her vanced and put in order the chair of state, which she hand from his grasp, "we shall have full time to usually occupied, and having placed the cushion and speak; but Honour is the elder sister, and must be footstool for her accommodation, stepped back, and won the first."

stood ready for service in the place usually occupied "I may not win her," answered the page; " but I by his predecessor, the young Seneschal. Mary's will venture fairly for her, and man can do no more. eye rested an instant on him, and could not but reAnd know, fair Catherine, -for you shall see the very mark the change of persons. Hers was not the secret thought of my heart,--that not Honour only female heart which could refuse compassion, at least, not only ảnat other and fairer sister, whom you frown to a gallant youth who had suffered in her cause, on me for so much as mentioning-but the stern although he had been guided in his enterprise by a too commands of duty also, compel me to aid the Queen's presumptuous passion; and the words "Poor Doudeliverance."

glas!" escaped from her lips, perhaps unconsciously, Indeed l said Catherine ; " you were wont to have as she leant herself back in her chair, and put the ker. doubts on that matter.

chief to her eyes.

1313 Ay, but her life was not then threatened,” replied Yes, gracious madam,” said Catherine, assuming Roland.

a cheerful manner, in order to cheer her sovereign, "Ard is it now more endangered than heretofore ?'' our gallant knight is indeed banished-the advenasked Catherine Seyton, in anxious terror.

ture was not reserved for him; but he has left behind "Be not alarmed," said the page; " but you heard him a youthful Esquire, as much devoted to your the terms on which your royal mistress parted with Grace's service, and who, by me, makes you tender the Lady of Lochleven ?"

of his hand and sword."'"aligoma to for "Too well-but too well,” said Catherine; "alas! "If they may in aught avail your Grace," said Rothat she cannot rule her princely resentment, and land Græme, bowing profoundly.in refrain from encounters like these!"

"Alas!" said the Queen, what needs this, CatheThat hath passed between them," said Roland, rine?-why prepare new victims to be involved in, "' for which woman never forgives woman. I saw the and overwhelmed by, my cruel fortune ?-were we not Lady's brow turn pale, and then black, when, before better cease to struggle, and ourselves sink in the tide all the menzie, and in her moment of power, the without further resistance, than thus drag into deQueen humbled her to the dust by taxing her with herstruction with us every generous heart which makes shame. And I heard the oath of deadly resentment an effort in our favour?-I have had but too much of and revenge which she muttered in the ear of one, plot and intrigue around me, since I was stretched an who by his answer will, I judge, be but too ready an orphan child in my very cradle, while contending executioner of her will.

nobles strove which should rule in the name of the

பார்egai all You terrify me,” said Catherine.

unconscious innocent. Surely time it were that all this "Do not so take it-call up the masculine part of busy and most dangerous coil should end. Let me your spirit--we will counteract and defeat her plans, call my prison a convent, and my seclusion a volunbe they dangerous as they may. Why do you look tary sequestration of myself from the world and its upon me thus, and weep ?"

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to be kissed by the page, she arranged with the other wouldst slay thy sovereign-Call my French guardo the clustering locks which shaded the bold yet lovely -a moi! à noi! mes Francais !-1 am beset with hrow of the high-spirited Catherine.

traitors in mine own palace-they have murdered my "Alas! ma mignone," she said, for so in fondness husband-Rescue! rescue! for the Queen of Scotslie often called her young attendant, " that you and!” She started up from her chair--her fealures, should thus desperately mix with my unhappy fate late so exquisitely lovely in their paleness, now inthe fortune of your young lives!- Are they not a lovely famed with the fury of frenzy, and resembling those couple, my Fleming

? and is it not heart-rending to of a Bellona. “We will take the field ourselt," she lluink that I must be their ruin ?"

said; "warn the city---war Lothian and File-sad. “Not so," said Roland Græme, “it is we, gracious dle our Spanish barb-and bid French Paris see our Sovereign, who will be your deliverers."

petronel be charged !-Better to die at the head of ou "Ex oribus parvulorum !” said the Queen looking brave Scotsmen, like our grandfather at Flodden, upward; "if it is by the mouth of these children that than of a broken heart, like our ill-starred father!" Heaven calls me to resume the stately thoughts “Be patient-be composed, dearest Sovereign!" which become my birth and my rights, thou wilt said Catherine; and then addressing Lady Fleming grant them thy protection,

and to me the power of angrily, she added, “How could you say aught that rewarding their zeal!" -Then turning to Fleming, reminded her of her husband ?". she instantly added, " Thou knowest, my friend, The word reached the ear of the unhappy Princess whether to make those who have served me happy, who caught it up, speaking with great rapidity, was not ever Mary's favourite pastime. When 1 Husband !-whạt husband?-Not his most Chrishave been rebuked by the stern preachers of the Cal- tian Majesty,he is ill at ease-he cannot mount on vinistic heresy-when I have seen the fierce counte- horseback. Not him of the Lennox-but it was the nances of my nobles averted from me, has it not been Duke of Orkney thou wouldst say." because I mixed in the harmless pleasures of the "For God's love, madam, be patient !" said the young and gay, and rather for the sake of their hap- Lady Fleming. piness than my own, have mingled in the mask, the But the Queen's excited imagination could by no song, or the dance, with the youth of my household ? entreaty be diverted from its course." Bid him come Well

, I repent not of it-though Knox termed it sin, hither to our aid," she said, " and bring with him his and Morion degradation, I was happy, because I saw lambs, as he calls them-Bowton, Hay of Talla, happiness around me; and wo betide the wretched Black Ormiston, and his kinsman Hob-Fie! how jealousy that can extract guilt out of the overflowings swart they are, and how they smell of sulphur! of an unguarded gayety !- Fleming, if we are restored What! closeted with Morton ? Nay, if the Douglas to our throne, shall we not have one blithesome day and the Hepburn hatch the complot together, the at a blithesome bridal, of which we must now name bird, when it breaks the shell, will scare Scouand. neither the bride nor the bridegroom ? but that bride- Will

it nou my Fleming ?", groom shall have the barony of Blairgowrie, a fair gift “She grows wilder and wilder," said Fleming; even for a Queen 10 give and that bride's chaplet we have too many hearers for these strange shall be twined with the fairest pearls that ever were words." found in the depths of Lochlomond; and thou thy- "Roland,” said Catherine, "in the name of God, self, Mary Fleming, the best dresser of tires that begone! You cannot aid us here-Leave us to deal ever buskéd the tresses of a Queen, and who would with her alone--Away-away!" scorn to touch those of any woman of lower rank,- She thrust him to the door of the anteroom; yet thou thyself shalt, for my love, twine them into the even when he had ei.tered that apartment and shut bride's tresses. ---Look, my Fleming, suppose them the door, he could still hear the Queen talk in a loud such clustered locks as those of our Catherine, they and determined tone, as if giving forth orders, until would not put sheme upon thy skill."

at length the voice died away in a feeble and conSo saying, she passed her hand fondly over the head tinued lamentation, of her youthful favourite, while her more aged at- At this crisis Catherine entered the anteroom. "Be tendant replied despondently," Alas! madam, your not too anxious,” she said, " the crisis is now over; thoughts stray far from home."

but keep the door fast-let no one enter until she is "They do, my Fleming," said the Queen; " but is more composed." it well or kind in you to call them back ?-God "In the name of God, what does this mean?" said knows, they have kept the perch this night but too the page; or what was there in the Lady Flem closely--Come, I will recall the gay, vision, were it ing's words to excite so wild a transport ?" but to punish them. Yes, at that blithesome bridal, O, the Lady Fleming, the Lady Fleming," said Mary herself shall forget the weight of sorrows, and Catherine, repeating the words impatienuly; the toil of state, and herself once more lead a measure. Lady Fleming is a fool-she loves her mistress, yet -At whose wedding was it that we last danced, my knows so little how to express her love, that were the Fleming? I think care has troubled my memory- Queen to ask her for very poison, she would deem it yet something of it I should remember-canst thou a point of duty not to resist her commands. I conld not aid me? I know thou canst.'

have torn her starched head-tire from her formal “Alas! madam," replied the lady

head-The Queen should have as soon had the heart “What!” said Mary, "wilt thou not help us so out of my body, as the word Sebastian out of my Car? this is a peevish adherence to thine own graver lips- That that piece of weaved tapestry should be a opinion, which holds our talk as folly. But thou art woman, and yet not have wit enough to tell a lie!". court-bred, and wilt well understand me when I say, And what was this story of Sebastian ?'' said the the Queen commands Lady, Fleming to tell her page. "By Heaven, Catherine, you are all riddles where she led the last branle."

alike!" With a face deadly pale, and a mien as if she were "You are as great a fool as Fleming," returned about to sink into the earth, the court-bred dame, no the impatient maiden; "know ye not, that on be longer daring to refuse obedience, faltered out-"Gra- night of Henry Darnley's murder, and at the blowing cious Lady-if my memory err not-it was at a mask up of the Kirk of Field, the Queen's absence was in Holyrood-at the marriage of Sebastian.” owing to her attending on a mask at Holyrood.

The unhappy Queen, who had hitherto listened given by her to grace the marriage of this same with a melancholy smile, provoked by the reluctance Sebastian, who, himself a favoured servant, marned with which the Lady Fleming brought out her story, one of her female attendants, who was near to he: at this ill-fated word interrupted her with a shriek so person ?" wild and loud that the vaulted apartment rang, and By Saint Giles," said the page, "I wonder not at both Roland and Catherine sprung to their feet in the her passion, but only marvel by what forgetfulness it utmost terror and alarm., Mean time, Mary seemed, was

that she could urge the Lady Fleming with such by the train of horrible ideas thus suddenly excited, a question.” surprised not only beyond self-command, but for the * I cannot account for it," said Catherine ; " but it moment beyond the verge of reason.

scems as if great and violent grief or horror some 'Traitress !" she said to the Lady Fleming," thou | times obscure the memory, and spread a clond. bě

is the

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that of an exploding cannon, over the circumstances, thus ?" said his mistress—"Have there been evil with which they are accompanied. But I may not tidings of my son, or of my grandchildren ?" stay here, where I came not lo moralize with your No, Lady," replied Dryfesdale,“ but you were wisdom but simply to cool my resentment agains: deeply insuited last night, and I fear me thou art as that unwise Lady Fleming, which I think hath now deeply, avenged this morning-Where is the chapBoniewhat abated, so that I shall endure her presence lain ?": without any desire to damage either her curch or "What mean you by hints so dark, and a question vasquine. Mean while, keep fast that door-I would so sudden ? The chaplain, as you well know, is absent not for my life that any of these heretics saw her in at Perth upon an assembly of the brethren. the unhappy state, which, brought on her as it has "I care not,' answered the steward ; "he is but a been by the success of their

own diabolical plottings, priest of Baal.” they would not stick to call

, in their snuffling cant, Dryfesdale," said the Lady sternly, " what meanthe judgment of Providence."

est thou? I have ever heard, that in the Low CounShe left the apartment just as the latch of the tries thou didst herd with the Anabaptist preachers, outward door was raised from without. But the bolt those boars which tear up the vintage--But the miniswhich Roland had drawn on the inside, resisted the try which suits me and my house must content my efforts of the person desirous to enter. Who is retainers." there?" said Græme aloud.

"I would I had good ghostly counsel, though,” " It is I,", replied the harsh and yet low voice of replied the steward, not attending to his mistress's che steward Dryfesdale.

rebuke, and seeming to speak to himself. “This wo. You cannot enter now," returned the youth. man of Moab" “And wherefore ?" demanded Dryfesdale, “ secing "Speak of her with reverence," said the Lady; I come but to do my duty, and inquire what means she is a king's daughter." the shrieks from the apartment of the Moabilish

* Be it so,

replied Dryfesdale; "she goes where woman. Wherefore, I say, since such is mine errand, there is little difference betwixt her and a beggar's can I not enter?"

child-Mary of Scotland is dying." " Simply,” replied the youth, because the bolt is "Dying, and in my castle!" said the Lady, starting drawn, and I have no fancy to undo it. I have the up in alarm; "of what disease, or by what accident?" right side of the door to-day, as you had last night.' ** Bear patience, Lady. The ministry was mine."

"Thou art ill advised, thou malapert boy," replied "Thine, villain and traitor!-how didst thou the steward, to speak to me in such fashion; but I dare" shall inform my Lady of thine insolence.”

"I heard you insulted, Lady-I heard you demand "The insolence," said the page, “is meant for vengeance-I promised you should have it, and I now thee only, in fair guerdon of thy discourtesy to me. bring tidings of it.” For thy Lady's information, I have answer more "Dryfesdale, I trust thou ravest ?" said the Lady courteous-you may say that the Queen is ill at ease "Irave not,” replied the steward. "That which was and desires to be disturbed neither by visits nor written of me a million of years ere I saw the light, messages.

must be executed by me. She hath that in her veins " I conjure you, in the name of God," said the old that, I fear me, will soon stop the springs of life.” man, with more solemnity in his tone than he had “Cruel villain," exclaimed the Lady, "thou hast hitherto used, to let me know if her malady really not poisoned her?" gains power on her!"

And if I had," said Dryfesdale, "what does it so She will have no aid at your hand, or at your greatly merit ? Men bane vermin-why not rid them Lady's--wherefore, begone, and trouble is no more of their enemies so ? in Italy they will do it for a --we neither want, nor will accept of, aid at your

cruizuedor." hands."

"Cowardly ruffian, begone from my sight!" With this positive reply, the steward, grumbling and "Think beiter of my zeal, Lady," said the steward, dissatisfied, returned down stairs.

"and judge not without looking around you. Lindesay, Ruthven, and your kinsman Morton, poniarded

Rizzio, and yet you now see no blood on their emCHAPTER XXXII.

broidery--the Lord Semple stabbed the Lord of SanIt is the curse of kings to be attended

quhar-does his bonnet sit a jot more awry, on his By slaves, who take incir humoars for a warrant brow? What noble lives in Scotland who has not To break into the bloody house of life,

had a share, for policy or revenge, in some such deal And on the winking of authority To understand a law.

King John.

ing?-and who imputes it to them? Be not cheared

with names--a dagger or a draught work to the same THE Lady of Lochleven sat alone in her chamber, end, and are little unlike a glass phjal imprisons the endeavouring with sincere but imperfect zeal, to fix one, and a leathern sheath the other-one deals with her eyes and her attention on the black-letter Bible the brain, the other sluices the blood-Yet, I say not which lay before her, bound in velvet and embroidery, I gave aught to this lady.” and adorned with massive silver clasps and knosps. What dost thou mean by thus dallying with But she found her utmost efforts unable to withdraw me?" said the Lady; "as thou wouldst save thy her mind from the resentful recollection of what had neck from the rope ii merits, tell me the whole truth last night passed betwixt her and the Queen, in which of this story—thou hast long been known a dangerthe latter had, with such bitter taunt reminded her ous man. of her early and long-repented transgression.

Ay, in my master's service I can be cold and sharp * Why,''

,' she said, ""should I resent so deeply, that as my sword.-Be it known to you, that, when last another reproaches me with that which I have never on shore, I consulted with a woman of skill an:1 ceased to make matter of blushing to myself ? and power, called Nicneven, of whom the country has yet, why should this woman, who reaps-ar least, has rụng for some brief time past. Fools asked her for reaped the fruits of my folly, and has jostled my son charms to make them beloved, misers for means to aside from the throne, why should she, in the face of increase their store; some demanded to know the all my domestics, and of her own, dare to upbraid future--an idle wish, since it cannot be altered ; others me with my shame? Is she not in my power? Does would have an explanation of the past-idler still, she not fear me? Ha! wily tempter, I will wrestle since it cannot be recalled. I heard their queries with with thee strongly, and with better suggestions than scorn, and demanded the means of avenging myself iny own evil heart can supply !"

of a deadly enemy, for I grow old, and may trust no She again took up the sacred volume, and was en longer to Bilboa blade. She gave me a packet-Mix deavouring to fix her attention on its contents, when that, said she with any liquid, and thy vengeance is she was disturbed by a tap at the door of the room. complete." It opened at her command, and the steward Dryfes. "Villain! and you mixed it with the food of this dale entered, and stood before her with a gloomy and imprisoned lady, to the dishonour of thy master's perturbed expression on his brow.

house po What has chanced, Dryfesdale, that thou lookest "To redeem the insultod honour of my master VOL. III. 2 X

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