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and the song of the harvest home; to catch the sound of the flail and the cackle of the poultry, as we pass by the snug farmhouse encircled by its belt of ricks; and to scent the dank dead leaves in the midst of woodland glades such as greet us in the canvas of Linnell. It was in these years too that he wrote his History of the Protestant Reformation," which, wrong-headed as it may be in numerous particulars, 'is written in a style which rivets our attention to the book, and carries us along with the author in spite of the mental protest which we all along endeavor to maintain. Take the following passage, for instance:
portance. Lord Macaulay, to compare great things with small, was a man of whom it may equally be said that materiem superabat opus, and his fascinating style has made much miserable logic, and much erroneous narrative, pass muster as undeniable truth. At a long interval, Cobbett resembled him. His style was just as fascinating to one class of readers as Macaulay's to another; and truth and error were mixed in about equal proportions in the writings of both. But in Corbett there are inconsistencies and absurdities into which the better-trained mind of Lord Macaulay never betrayed him: he is, in fact, a mass of contradictions. He Go to the site of some once opulent conthought highly of the feudal system, and Look at the cloister, now become, in regretted the expulsion of the Stuarts; yet the hands of a rack-renter, the receptacle for he abused Sir Walter Scott's poems, which dung, fodder, and faggot wood: see the hall, had done so much to rescue both from obwhere for ages the widow, the orphan, the loquy. We have seen him scolding Mr. aged, and the stranger found a table ever Pitt for his preference of low men; respread: see a bit of its walls now helping to minding the English people of the virtues make a cattle-shed, the rest having been hauled of the old country gentry, and lamenting away to build a workhouse: recognize, in the the disappearance of the ancient families side of a barn, a part of a once magnificent before the Ricardos, the Peels, and the chapel; and if, chained to the spot by your melancholy musings, you be admonished of the Barings. Yet elsewhere we find him deapproach of night by the voice of the screech-nouncing with all his energy the principle owl, issuing from these arches, which once, at the same hour, resounded with the vespers of the monk, and which have for seven hundred years been assailed by storms and tempests in vain: if thus admonished of the necessity of seeking food, shelter, and a bed-lift your eyes and look at the whitewashed and dryrotten shell on the hill, called the "gentleman's, house," and, apprised of the "board wages' and the spring guns, suddenly turn your head, jog away from the scene of devastation, with "Old English Hospitality" in your mind; reach the nearest inn, and there, in a room half lighted and half warmed, and with reception precisely proportioned to the length of your purse, sit down and listen to an account of the hypocritical pretences, the base motives, the tyrannical and bloody means, under which, from which, and by which that devastation was effected, and that hospitality ban
ished forever from the land.
of "birth" and the belief that there could be any virtue in long descent. Now he complains that the land has been so heavily burdened that the ancient proprietors have been ruined; and now that it has escaped from its just liabilities, accepted with the original grants. At one time of his life he abhorred Parliamentary Reform and all who recommended it; and within a very few years, not more than five or six, he declared it to be the only thing which could save the country, and its champions the only men who deserved the confidence of the people. At one time the Church of England was a venerable and beneficent institution, against which it was sacrilege to raise a little finger; at another it was a selfish and dishonest sect, battening on the ill-gotten grains which it had come by at
the Reformation. Cobbett was the friend This is passionate and persuasive rhet- of Pitt, and he quarrelled with Pitt. He oric. Yet we cannot help suspecting that, was the friend of Windham, and he quarhad Cobbett lived in those days, he would relled with Windham. He was the friend have been a sharper thorn in the sides of of Sir Francis Burdett, and he quarrelled these venerable brethren then than he was with Sir Francis Burdett. But perhaps the even in the sides of their despoilers. As most extraordinary instance of inconsissome men speak, so do others write, very tency, or as it is often called "tergiversamuch above themselves: that is to say, tion," which his writings supply, is affordwith a degree of excellence out of all pro-ed by the contrast between the consideraportion to the general range of their abilities. Such a man was Cobbett; and finding the effect which he created by his writings, he became puffed up with the most unconscionable sense of his own im
tions for the people of England on the renewal of the war in 1803, to which we have already referred, and an article in the Political Register in 1807, in which he declaims against those who have fomented
this terror of the French in terms which, | from him) should have combined to crehad he been a serious instead of a comic ate a really erroneous impression of the satirist, Sydney Smith might have envied. man during his lifetime, and to perpetuate Another very curious instance of the same it after his death. There is no reason to infirmity, and drawn from a totally differ- doubt that Sir John Malcolm's account of ent subject matter, is the advice which he his journey with him from Birmingham to gives to young men never to trifle with the Manchester, in 1832, is a perfectly correct affections of a young woman, combined narrative; and it certainly shows Cobbett with the obvious fact that he himself did in most offensive and most pitiable colors. trifle with the affections of a young woman It has been said, and probably with truth, in America, to a culpable extent, and that that he owed many of both his good and he tells the story of it in the same book, bad qualities to Swift, for whose character not indeed without some self-reproach, but and writing he never lost his early admirawith a degree of contrition wholly inade- tion, from the day when he spent his last quate to the offence.' threepence in buying the "Tale of a Tub," Cobbett was a keen observer of facts, which he read supperless under a hayand an acute reasoner on all that came im- stack. Both suffered in their youth some mediately before his eyes. On all such wrongs at the hands of the great; and questions he formed opinions correspond- both, perhaps, entered public life with ing to the strength of his character. But some bitterness of spirit. With the dithey had no roots in the soil, and faded one rectness and simplicity of Swift's style, it after another, to be replaced by new ones is quite possible that Cobbett caught someof a like transitory nature. He was able, thing both of his coarseness, and of his from personal experience, to contrast the boisterous and bustling self-importance; condition of the agricultural laborer in the but on the better, and gentler, and more beginning of the nineteenth century with poetic side of his character, he reminds what he remembered it in the middle of one of another great writer with whom he the eighteenth. And on this subject he is has never been compared, and of whom he always to be trusted, and his opinion never seems never to have heard. Both were changed. He saw, too - what of course born to the plough: both were Jacobites was equally undeniable that the feudal and Radicals: and both learned to write system and the monastic system had their mother tongue with a force and fire saved the necessity of taxes and poor- which has made them famous forever. A rates; and, delighted with his discovery, really attentive study of Cobbett's works as a self-educated man naturally would be, and character will persuade most people he never paused to inquire what still that I am guilty of no profanity in suggestgreater evils had attached to these sys-ing his resemblance to Burns. In conclutems. The charges brought against the monks he dismisses with a sneer at the Church of England, and the abuses of feudalism are apparently beneath his notice. In the two systems he had got exactly what he wanted-a theme for declamation and picturesque description, and a field for the indulgence alike of his utilitarian and his imaginative tendencies. But when he came to the remedy for his wrongs, he either drifted from one idea to another, as the current of events bore him, or he merely expressed more violently what hundreds of other people were saying more moderately. His views on the currency and the corn laws, and peculation and corruption, were not peculiar to himself, though he was very anxious to have it thought so.
It is matter for regret that his egregious vanity, his habitual boastfulness, and the exaggerated violence of his language (babbling slave-filthy scribbler ferocious tiger were among the mildest epithets he applied to every one who differed
sion: when we cast our eye back over his
THE BRIDE'S PASS.
"6 WHAT SHE CAME THROUGH," "LADY BELL," ETC. CHAPTER XV.
'NOT CARRIED OFF, BUT DONE FOR." LORD MOYDART sat in his study looking over a "paper" for he dabbled in literature as well as in Celtic antiquities which he proposed to read at a meeting of the Highland Society. He had a little
time to spare this morning, for he had "I have prevented it," said Frank in a remained in the house in order to accom- low tone, but distinctly enough. pany the countess and Lady Jean to the "You!" exclaimed the earl, springing minister's daughter's wedding. It was a from his seat unable to restrain himself. tremendous bore, but he was in the country" Do you know what you are saying, where he was accustomed to bid for popu- Frank?" he demanded sharply, telling larity; and it would not do for him to for- himself that he must exert all his presence get that little Craigdhbu had been an old of mind and take the upper hand without ally of big Castle Moydart, while Farquhar a moment's delay. Then as he was a Macdonald was a Highland gentleman, and | brave little man he sat down again, and not half a bad fellow for a parson. There- prepared to face and control with his firm fore Lord Moydart was not out of humor eye the unhappy young man. as he pursed up his mouth in self-complacence, ran his fingers through his straggling red hair, and read with approval the last contribution to Gaelic literature. He was interrupted by a servant showing in Frank Tempest.
Lord Moydart was not a man of great penetration, and he did not remark any thing unusual in the air of the young man whom he rose to welcome.
"Good morning, Tempest," he said, "glad to see you. Are you come to bid us good-bye? or are you going to join our party to this wedding?" Lord Moydart's mind was of a nimble order, and it had already darted to the consideration of Frank Tempest's foolish soreness with regard to the event of the day. And his lordship leaped to the conclusion that it would be less awkward to attack the subject boldly and at once, in an easy, off-hand fashion, than to betray that he was thinking particularly of it thus giving in to the monstrous delusion that it was of any serious importance to one of the speakers by beating about the bush and avoiding a natural reference in conversation.
"Neither, Lord Moydart," answered Frank Tempest, with a solemnity altogether out of keeping with the occasion.
"What! have they not sent you an invitation? Now that was shabby of them, seeing that the lady was an old flame of yours,' ,"exclaimed the earl, pursuing his light policy.
"There will be no marriage," announced Frank gloomily.
"No marriage!" repeated the earl in a high key of wonder and incredulity; then he said to himself in extreme dismay, "the lad is not given to wine, and he cannot have been drinking at this hour of the day. By Jove, he has lost his reason! and what am I to say to his people, the Knightley-Delavals, for permitting such a frightful calamity to come about? What is there to prevent the marriage?" he urged uneasily, but trying to look careless, as he turned over the leaves of his blotting-book.
Look here, Lord Moydart," said Frank advancing a step, "you know I wanted Miss Macdonald for my wife." ("I knew nothing of the kind," Lord Moydart replied promptly in his own mind. "I could not conceive that you were such a romantic lunatic of a boy as that came to, or I should have called in your relations to take you in charge-and a good thing too-long ere now.") "I should have won her," went on poor Frank, in ignorance of the running commentary delivered silently on his fevered speech, "if it had not been for that cursed, wicked contract." ("The language of the stage and bedlam applied to a very proper and natural family arrangement," the earl decided, shaking his head imperceptibly.) Then he spoke aloud, administering a spur to the speaker, who stopped to draw a long, weary breath.
"Eh? What next, man?" questioned Lord Moydart, under a positive necessity of knowing what Frank had been doing, as well as in excited curiosity.
"I did my best to protest, as any honest man, without an interest in the matter, might have done," alleged Frank sullenly, ("A cut at me, and a general censure on and suspicion of everybody-horribly symptomatic," reflected the earl), "and when it was no good I got the two Macgregors, the innkeeper at the Ford's brothers, to join me," went on Frank doggedly, as he came to the most humiliating part of his statement, the confession that he had demeaned himself to confer his confidence unworthily, and to seek low confederates. "You are aware these Macgregors owe an old grudge against the Macdonalds?"
"What of that?" asked Lord Moydart mystified, and speculating if Frank, who had been tolerably coherent as yet, was beginning to wander to irrelevant matter after the manner of those unlucky people whose heads were touched.
"I knew that Donald Drumchatt would ride over to the manse this morning, leaving the company at his place to follow later," continued Frank, grasping the back of a chair to steady himself, and keeping
his agitation under by a great force, that ment of many days and nights, together he might remain calm, and finish what he with the physical fatigue, commenced to had got to do; "and we were at the rock tell on Frank Tempest. His tall, broadin the pass where his ancestor spoiled Gil-shouldered figure swayed visibly where he lies Macgregor's bridal procession, for the stood. His embrowned face took a sickly purpose of meeting Donald Drumchatt in tint. his turn. I intended to require him to reconsider our relative claims, and to relin quish his, which had been made to triumph by the use of undue influence. And if he refused we were prepared to wheel round his pony and convey him back over the hills-not to his own house, of course, but to an out-of-the-way sheiling, where he might have been detained for a few days till I had won a hearing, and persuaded the Macdonalds, Fearnavoil, to think twice of the marriage."
"You do not say," cried Lord Moydart, almost beside himself, "that a crime has been committed, and you are the criminal?” "I suppose that is the proper way to put it," said Frank, rallying from his faintness to bear the penalty he had incurred. would not listen to me, and dared us to come on. I only know there was a scrimmage, and when I struck out he went down like a shot, and fell over the bank. Then she ran forward, and when I went after her, and would have done what I could to make up for what had happened, she for
said I was getting them into trouble, while they were only acting at my bidding-if I stayed till the other people, who were coming up the pass, arrived at the spot."
"But it would have been carrying off the man by force," protested Lord Moy-bade it. And these Macgregor fellows dart, dismissing the idea of insanity as quickly as he had taken it up, when he found there was method in the madnessthough he was ready to swear roundly afterwards that a young man who could give himself up to so fantastic a dream as that of spiriting away a Highland laird on his own land, in broad day, in this nineteenth century, might escape the consequences in any court in Europe on the ground of a
Carrying off a man or a woman did not form such an extraordinary event here at one time," said Frank, "unless your chronicles lie."
"You foolish fellow ! there has not been a case of abduction in the Highlands for a hundred years or more. I dare say the last was that with which Robin Oig, a son of Rob Roy's, had to do. He carried off a poor young widow for the sake of her late husband's goods, and I may tell you for your comfort that he was hung for his little game. But then the victim died partly from the effects of his treatment," added his lordship, relenting a little in the middle of his righteous indignation.
"I thought a hundred years were nothing here," said Frank a little sardonically. "However, it does not signify. I should not have minded carrying off a man so much," he proceeded with youthful candor, and at the same time with the calmness of despair, "but it is a great deal worse than that. Our job has miscarried. He is not carried off, and I am afraid he is done for," and at the recollection of Donald's look as he lay panting on the bank, and of the undying reproach in Unah Macdonald's eyes, followed by his Own miserable thoughts when he came straight over to Castle Moydart-the unrest and excite
"What other people? and who was she? and how did she know to be there in the nick of time? I cannot make out your story," said Lord Moydart impatiently. "But I imagine there is something in it, though I thought gentlemen left rows to grooms and ghillies. Upon my word it is. a pretty mess! Do I understand you rightly that Drumchatt has been injured by your means in this abominable piece of folly? He is a delicate fellow and could not stand being knocked about; but I should hope that happily he has come round, and is all right by this time and able to go on with his marriage. It is so absurd an affair, and shows so little delicacy where Miss Macdonald is concerned, that he may not choose to prosecute, otherwise you will very likely be indicted for assault, and compelled to put in a public appearance at the court in the county town. It is a disgrace for a lad in your position that I should like very ill if it were incurred by my son. I must say, Tempest, that your relations will have good reason to be indignant, and that I shall feel exceedingly sorry for them."
The earl was very much provoked, especially when he thought of the scandal in the country, and of the blame which might attach to himself through his very innocence and his confidence in an old public schoolboy and Cantab's proving able to look after himself, with Lord Moydart's consequent neglect of .practising any particular surveillance over Frank Tempest. The earl believed he did well to take the wild, reckless young fellow severely to task,
as the difference in their years and the family friendship permitted.
Frank Tempest was not resentful, a fact which was in itself ominous. But, indeed, he had paid no heed to Lord Moydart's last words. He replied to an earlier remark, as if his attention had been arrested by it. "I don't think Donald Drumchatt will get over it," Frank observed, as if he hardly knew what he was saying, yet with a slight involuntary twitching of the lips and a shiver running through him. "It would have been nothing to any other fellow, but I tell you he seemed done for. He looked awfully ill, and he drew his breath as if his chest was hurt."
"Good heavens! then it is manslaughter you are guilty of?" cried Lord Moydart electrified in the most painful manner a second time that morning. "And you come to me, of all people, with the story? Are you aware that I am a justice of the peace, and bound to commit you on your own declaration, if regard for your family does not hinder me from the discharge of my duty?"
Had there been an unconcerned audience present to take note how naturally Lord Moydart looked first at his own minor share in the tragedy, and that the earliest impression it made on his mind was a sense of exasperation at the awkward dilemma it involved for himself, the cynicism which is so marked an element of the modern mind might have been amply gratified. But to do the nobleman justice, though he was a selfish man, he did not all at once take in the conviction of peril to Donald Drumchatt's life, with the terrible consequences to Frank Tempest. As they dawned upon him he put himself for the moment out of view, and considered hurriedly. "Your best course was to get off at once if there was the slightest doubt of Drumchatt's recovery. I trust you are not too late; but there is no time to be lost."
"And do you think I will stir a foot from Fearnavoil, and leave her to bear the brunt?" burst out Frank, proving himself as mad on one point as Lord Moydart had reckoned him in all. "She is as free from any foreknowledge of the deed as a child or an angel; but from the manner in which you yourself spoke this morning she may not escape unfounded suspicion, unless I stay to vindicate her by telling the truth. And if Donald Drumchatt is to die," continued Frank with his voice failing, and his heart sinking again. before the intolerable dread, "will it signify what becomes of My life must be a burden to me anyhow. And do you think I am such a
heartless brute as to care for myself and look out for my own safety if he is badly injured, while I can stay where I shall soonest hear tidings of him? They may let me do that, though she would not suffer me to touch him."
He finished in an undertone of pain; for it was evident the first realization of his wrong-doing had been drawn from Unah's shocked rejection of his aid, and the cir cumstance still stood prominently out in the labyrinth of misery and remorse in which he found himself entangled.
No argument served to move him from his standpoint, which was entirely a nineteenth-century standpoint, and proved incontestably, had any indication been wanted, what a gross anachronism his act had been. For when poor Donald Drumchatt's ancestor had supplied the prece dent for the drama, he had not been haunted by any troublesome scruples before the event, neither would they have arisen to dog his footsteps after it. He had felt nothing save a fierce delight in wreaking his revenge; a little blood more or less on a hand-the hue of which was red enough before that day, signified little to the ruthless old chief. But civilization had softened men, if Christianity had not renewed them.
At last, Lord Moydart, after he had despatched on horseback his own man, whose discretion he could trust, to gallop over to Fearnavoil and bring his master back within an hour's space confirmation of Frank Tempest's fears, saw himself forced to the conclusion that the wisest step he could take, even for the preservation of secrecy in the affair, was to go with Frank Tempest to the county town. He would see the lad surrender himself to the procurator fiscal, and get the offender quietly lodged in such quarters for first. class sinners as the northern prison afford. ed, there to wait the devoutly to be prayed for chance of Donald Drumchatt's recov. ery.
The earl would have been fain to depart on his errand without previously communicating the disaster to the ladies of the house. But at that very moment they were going to dress for the marriage in Fearnavoil manse, and the countess was sending a footman to the study to remind the earl he had promised his attendance. The countess could not believe her aristocratic ears. Lady Jean was awe-stricken, conscience-stricken, for had she not anticipated the crisis with a degree of childish levity, and without an attempt at preven tion, which to be sure would probably