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not without some feelings of astonish “ On concluding this fearful predicment and lear that I saw the place emp- tion, Janet Morison walked away to ty on which the young and beautiful her cottage-agile and erect-mingled maiden stood but a moment before wrath and desire of revenge supplied her she must have melted upoo the spot, or with uousual strengtb.- 1 stood one sunk into the ground--but it was evi- moment looking on tbis aged and sindent the youth observed her departure, gular being—and then on the young for he strained his eyes like one gazing lord, who seemed lost for a moment in on a distant and dim ohject, and gradu- that pondering and, bewildering stupor ally regained his usual tranquillity of of a criminal who hearkens bis doomlook. The old woman seemed con- a brace of dogs that had wbined and scious of some unusual thing, for she cowered at his feet-laying their heads suddenly veiled her eyes with her on the ground, as if expecting correchands, and muttered words that sound- tion, while the maotled maiden remained like rhymes, and seemed the reliques ed, leaped up now, caressing and fawpof some ancient and half-forgotten forming on their master, and evidently parof blessing and invocation. * Janet taking, with a kind of brute instinctive Morison,' said the youth, assuming bis sympathy, in the anguish of his feelings
. usual imperious tone of voice, and evi- - Doomed,' said he, to the rack, ibe dently relieved from the presence of axe, and the hound, and that for sboct. something that had agonized him, thou ing her damned ravens--and doing shall have that withered brow stamped something that she counts as bad if with the iron stamp of good Saint An- there's faith in flint and powder, I shall drew, for these cursed cantrips of thine bave a shot at another raven, and bin -thy brood of blood ravens hae haunt- der her from croaking my death note;' ed me these three days and nights, and he began to re-load his carbine, and the very children called aloud, see! whistling the while, though his band there'll be sometbing of shook, and kis whole frame was disor. him.'-I shall teach thee 10 bring the dered.—I was revolving in my own shadows of the dead back !—home nor mind how I should interpose to prevent habitation shall be thine by to-morrow's the mischief I saw he was meditating, sud-rise.'—On him looked the old wo- and had fairly resolved to argue the man with a face of inimitable compo- matter with tongue and with timbersure--and she even began to smile-I an ancient custom in Scotland—when, pray never to behold such a smile again on having loaded bis piece, he looked, --for death and judgment were in it, and something met his eye, which and she addressed him in a voice gentle changed his resolution and his bue at and affectionate as that of a mother once. He turned bis head aware who condoles with the babe of her bo- gave no second glance-and, diving insom. "Fair fall thee for thy benison, to the groves of holly, disappeared, but my boony lad !--and did my brood of the rapid crashing of the boughs betokblood ravens croak for a piece of the ened the anxiety of one too hurried to innocent lamb!--gowks that they were select his steps. —they'll never taste a morsel of thy “ Though something very mysterious dainty limbs--Na! Na! the rack, the and boding hung over all that I had headsman's axe, and the hungry bound beard and witnessed, I felt no desire to maun, and shall be served before all the be gone, and so firmly was I possessed fowls of heaven.. And I am to be of the belief of Janet Morison's evil ioturned out of hame and haddin?—But
, fluence and power, that like him who my bonny bairn, the dust of Auld Janet wanders on a haunted road, I thought Morison shall sleep sound and sound it more dangerous to return than prounder the gowany turf, when the town ceed. Into the cottage I walked—not dogs are toolying for thy bosom banes! by a step and a stridebut silently and --Now gang yere ways
, and if ony slow, inch after inch--moving as the ane ask ye, say I said it.'
shadow moves on a dial plate. TW
beautiful maiden who wore the black something opposite, that gave her pain. maotle was departed—but there sat the I now looked around from gazing on old woman herself—on the old square the old woman, and it was not without stone-ber broad palms spread and fear that I beheld seated on the square clutched on her knees, her head decline seat of stone, the same beautiful maiden ed on her breasts, and crooning in a low I had found in possession of it before. and mournful voice a broken and dis. She sat completely shrouded from head joiuted ballad—some of the lines seem to foot in her sable drapery, and her ed old--some seemed new, but they all sighings and sobbings were again rarelated to her family name. I can only newed. Thrice were words of concharge my remembrance with forgetting dolence and cheer on my tongue, and ope verse,
as often was I stayed from addressing THE MORISONS.
her by the altering looks of Janet
Morison, who broke out at last with 1. • From Burnswark top to deep Glenae,
a voice that made me shudder. Mark Carlaverock bank to Drumlanrig brae,
Macrabin, yere ane of a fearless race; A bauld race ruled—the Morisons brave,
but if ye want to be ane auld in an and They travelled the earth and they stemmed the wave, ane honoured, speak in this house to They bore the red cross-they barefoot trod Jerusalem's sands, and they gallantly rode
nothing but me. It might have been In the ranks of war, when the sword had trust the beaming of the sun through two of the Church's fame and the martyrs’ dust small panes of coarse green glass wbich It is rise in tale and in minstrel story,
dazzled my sight, and made me see The Morisons' might and the Morisons' glory.
imperfectly, but I really imagined I saw 2. • But in the battle, when shafts flew thickest,
the form of the maiden melting into And the Morisons' sword fell sheering quickest something like a pillar of impure and But in the church, when prayers were longest, mottled light, such as the sun throws And the Morisons voice prayed loud and strongest through the unwashen window of a se; But in the field when the lilies were springingWhen the bridal bells were bedward ringing
pulchre. This fearful thing lingered When the hunters' horns were merriest blowing against the wall in shadowy outline, When the ladies' bosoms were heaving and glowing, and gradually waxed dimmer and dimIn court-in camp-in church or hame
mer, like sunshine over which an inAn ancient curse still clung to their name.3.
creasing cloud is passing, till it vanish. It is sad to hear--though it's brief to tell,
ed entirely away, and neither shadow How the curse that maun cling to their name befel.- or substance were left in the room save It came with a lass-it maun gang wi' a lass, Janet Morison and me. In sorrow and shame!--and away let it pass
“ What all this might be or bode This throbbing heart, and this eye in sorrow-Shall be mute and be dry ere the sun-rise of inorrow,
I had little time to examine ; the old And she that sings this sang o' their shame
woman arose, and I arose also; I had Is the last of the Morisons' lineage and name a kind of dread of being alone in this But rife in tale and the minstrel story
sable chamber with its shadowy guest, Is the Morisons' might and the Morisons' glory.'
tho', as I had never heard that spectres “Her voice, mournful and low at the were visible in sunshine, I thought all commencement of the ballad, waxed full appearances might be accounted for and flowing as she proceeded, but sunks without supernatural aid. all at once into a kind of hollow and and taking me by the band said “ Come murmuring tone at the last verse, and wi' me, my bonny lad, yere come in she evidently laboured under some over- pleasant time for me ; for muckle need mastering einotion. So intent was I in bave I to be cheered with the presence listening to, and learning this rude and of some kindly flesh and blood beingtraditional rhyme, that I took little no- and it may be pleasant for thee too---it tice of the old woman's altered mood will sober down the flightiness of youth and manner towards the close of the to bave a last lang look of a dying creasong. She sat upright-her looks chan- ture.' I looked acquiescence, and she ging as an April sky from brightness to lrd me out of the smoky and sooty gloom, and she looked as if she saw spence into a lesser chamber, furnisher
and kept in a much more comfortable among the ivy, while a slender spring plight. A clear peat fire sparkled on ran, or rather trickled, through the pebthe hearth ; a cat sat purring in concert bles at its entrance. A circular screen with innumerable crickets, and a clean of witch-tree and holly, both red with copper pan glanced on the fire, full of their glowing bunches of berries, was new-milked milk, to make porridge, the wound about the top of this fiery root; common and delicious breakfast of the and between the eye and this sweet farmers of Scotland. A bed, netted and scene, a slender branch of the river, rooled, of long and beautifully plaited having lost its way in the crevices of straw, and hung in the front with cur- the rock above, fouod a passage to the tains bleached among the daisies, as pinnacle of a projecting crag, and finalwhite as driven snow, occupied a kind ly, leaped from this vantage ground of recess, and formed a comfortable past the window to join its fellow stream place of repose : a large oak chest stood below-forming, in its descent, a long full of meal--a broad chimney front rainbow line of light, pure as a starhung full of dried hams and kipper'd sal- beam. Beautiful as the scene was, it mon, and a cupboard showed besides a spoke more of past than of present noble ewe-milk cheese, the heads of sun- grandeur, and nature, in all this remarkdry bottles, the imported contents of able place, seemed fast hastening to rewhich were thought worthy of wearing a sume ber dominion from the power of seal. Besides all these infallible tokens man. I connected, as I gazed forth, of substantial comfort, I observed the the song of Janet Morison with the ends of webs of fine linen-part of the landscape, and my heart began fast to patriachal portions of the thrilty maidens sympathize with the bitter feelings in of Scotland—and webs of barley-pickle which she sung the former glory and napery-equal almost in beauty to the present wretchedoess of her doomed unrivalled labours of the Cameronian name. “Mark Macrabia, my good loom of James Macgee-long may helad,” said Janot, laying her hand on move the foot and the hand to the com- my shoulder, “ that's a bonny, bonny fort and delight of the maidens and field ; and mony a bonny cbield of matrons of the Vale of Nith!
Morison blood has laid aside his plum. “ The window, which threw its eas- ed helmet to give his brow the dewy tern light on all these rustic treasures, air of that sweet nook, and mooy looked on a scene of limited extent, but a lovely dame of the Morison's name of unequalled and particular beauty. has dandled her baby on her knee, and Beneath, and perpendicular as a plum- loot its feckless bands play with the met would drop, the natural rock reced- long strings of blossomed honey-suckle ed; its seams and crevices had been that hang sae greenly down from the garnished in spring with knots of prim- upper sward. Even I, withered, and roses, and at the bottom of the rock worn, and frail as I am dow-led by rushed the river, so swift and so strong the ravens, as I may say, and the bounto take its second leap, that a common tith of honest shepherds—the last of the sized pebble, thrown on its surface, bauld and the manly Morisons,-have would not have sunk to the bottom. daodled my ain sweet boy on my koee On the other side of the stream, nature in that sweet nook, and anither creahad amused herself in elbowing out a iure, sweeter and dearer still, wha bas deep recess on the freestone rock, and dreed and fulfilled the ancient curse had seated it round with pieces of stone, that clung to our name, and sae to the over which the moss, and the ivy, and mools we maun gang.”—Even as she the honey-suckle, had cach, in their spoke, I observed something beginning turo, thrown their verdure and their to darken in the scene before me, and blossom. On the crest of the crag in the glancing of an eye, the beautiabove, the remains of an ancient strong- ful maiden, dressed from head to foot hold werè visible, and beneath, the in her sable mantle, occupied, as a stamouth of a cavern appeared, half hid tue does a pedestal, one of the seals,
The old woman's glance grew dark as tempted to run three separate ways, he looked, and, in a half sigh and none of which presented an outwhisper she said, “ Sweet, sweet, and let for escape. The old woman gave a hapless being! shall soon be with grim smile, and said, “ Here's the door, thee: sad was the sentence that de- man ; diona ding down bigget wa's. creed thy lovely face and youthfu' blood -“ Eb! praise be blest, auld cannie to bear shame and ruin for sins of auld cummer, and this is you ?” said the date.”—Here Janet Morison looked man of Annandale ; “and what should on me with an eye moist in tears, and I be rad for? Conscience, cummer ! seeing that I strove to prevent the rea- I thought this Canferonian chip was dy tears from escaping to my cheek, wark • thine ! and I wad rather said, in a tone of composure, “ It's grip by the neck the boordliest child a cauld dowie den to look upon after a', e'er a Cameronian gat, than face a creaand I'me'en thinking yemight slip some- ture o' thy raising !-else may I be thing less welcome atween your teeth hounded up Dryfsedale and down than a good horn spoon reeking with Ae, by a' the hungry town tykes of rich milk parrith ;” and with ready Loughmaben-dom me if I wadna !" Scottish hospitality, that asks one to _“And what brings thee here ?" have, and presents the viands at the said the dame, in a tone harsh and same time, she placed me at a kind forbidding; for she evidently wisbed of sideboard, sei a goan of porridge to repel the intrusive familiarity of before me, laying an ample spoon her assistant. “ Brings me here !" in the vicinity of this tempting dish, said Sandie Macbirn, in a tone suffiand motioning me to the undisturbed ciently humble; " ye way weel spier enjoyment of a rural breakfast in her that,” unwinding, as he spoke, a large chamber. I had scarcely finished my cheese from the corner of his plaid. meal, and resumed my bonnet, when “ Conscience ! ye see, cummer, I shall I heard a footstep, heavy and slow, e'en tell ye, and syne crave your helpapproach the door. Presently a gen- ing hand. I hae sax kye-Hawk, tle rap was given, and the latch was Pawk, Paddie Whawk, Cherry, and lifted, while a voice, naturally rough, Brown Mag, and ane that answers but softened down for the occasion to when ye cry Hurleydodiema' as fasomething between a whisper and a mous milkers as e'er striddled a goan, ballo, said, “ Peace be here ! douce but now as yell as my pikestaff. Now and cannie cummer! Peace be here !” I needpa tell ye, cummer, what I and having paved the way by this want wi' them, Gie me back my preparatory introduction, in floun- rich milk and my gowden butter. Aweel dered a moorland rustic, bearing an -I hae forbye a hirsel of sheep, hairy enormous cheese in the nook of his hippet limmers, black-faced and broshepherd maud. On seeing, instead ket--nae mair
to be compared to the of an old, aad, to use his own words, auld stock o' Tinwald, or the gimmers a douce and cannie cummer, a sapling of the Cheviot, than a sow's left lug youth, somewhere between a boy and to a lappet of velvet. Now, cummer, a man, the man of the mountains gin ye wad make thae creatures, that stepped back, protruding his hand be. are no worth twal shillings the day, hind bim to grope for the door, and worth thirty white shillings by the exclaiming, in the broad dialect of Rood-Fair o' Dumfries, ye wad be a Aonandale, “ Eh ! lord, l’se rad !- dainty ane !—it's little to thee, but a l'se rad !”—“Rad ! for what, Sandie great deal to me.”—The remainder of Macbirn ?” said Janet Morison, en- the sentence, which should have exprestering and laying her hand on the re- sed the extent of the bribe for this sintrograding person of the rustic. At gular good service, was neither speech this unexpected intrusion behind, he or action-but both—he made a full leaped perpendicularly from the floor pause, looked in her face, which grew the height of an ellwand, and then at- exceeding dubious and dark, turning
3A ATHENEUM VOL. 7.
the large cheese round and round, and “ Mair to ask ! faith bave I ; but I having thus displayed the merits of the need hardly ask for others, when I alluring sample, he said, “I hae twa speed sae ill myself. There's Johnnie mae at Hirselcleugh that lang to keep Macgorlio of Gowkstane, sent our canthis ane company—and shall too, gin nie cummer a message as I came past; cummer be kindly-dom me, if they his yellow corn's shaking owre ripe on denna !” “ Hast thou ony maer to ask, its legs—and deil a' ane will whet a said the damne, in a tone from which sickle for't since he forsweare Kirstin no one could either augur promise or Smackagain's sweet armfu' of a lad denial. “ Mair!" echoed Sandie, wean, and broke the lassie's heart. I “ony mair! muckle mair-for sairly was sae vexed with Jock's disaster myI want the helping hand o' some cannie sel, that I laid on our muckle pot wir body like thysell.— I hae e'en put the my pikestaff till it gade owre ringing. plough to the swaird—but there's either Now, cummer, gin ye wad oblige Jock, a great internal machine turning up the e'en ca' in the tempests, and sober down stanes in the bosom of the earth, or thae sair winds." else Hirselcleugh's the very riddlings “ Janet Morison's whole face, since o' the creation !--its a ringing jingle ; she heard of the disturbed dust of ber I clapped my yoke to the only kindly fathers, bad waxed cloudier and cloudispot about it—the auld church-yard er; and now, on hearing this application i' the Chapel-croft, an' at the first tug for the perjured portioner of Gowkstane, a cursed tombstane brake my coulter her whole wrath came rushing to her in twa, and what should this be but countenance at once. The applicathe grave o' ane' o' thae auld dour tion, though made in a manner abundeevils the Morisons. I kenned it by dantly submissive, trode rudely on her the figure of a mailed man wi' a cross wounded bosom-strings, and agitated hilted brand, and a raven fluttering at those injured feelings, the nearest his feet, and aneath was written, Ro- and dearest to the human heart.NALD Morison, and the gear o'gude “ Sweet armfu' of a lad wean, and was a gear I never heard o' before broke the maiden's heart !" echoed sae I think the hale was nonsense, and Janet, leaping from her seat, and stridsae I saired it, for I smashed it into ing up to simple Sandie Macrabin seven pieces, and causeyed my byre like a warrior bastening to do battle door wi't. Its better there than lying for his home and his kindred. She deep i' the cauld grund amang moudies lifted her right hand like one who and shank banes." Lay the sculp. wishes to make a mortal thrust with a tured stane, broken and dishonored weapon-ber large grey eyes sbiniog as it is, on the brave man's dust with the fires of the fiercest anger again,” said Janet Morison, darkening —and her whole frame quivering like down her brows as she spoke ;—and, that of a falcon when it clutches its prey. at your peril, touch that burial-ground Sir! Sir-said she, with a voice like again with spade or with plough—it a trumpet—if all the blood of your is dangerous to meddle with a Mori- name flowed in your veins—and that son living—it is thrice as dangerous of all the Morison's lineage in mine, I to disgrace their dust-limb and limb. should spill it all on the earth for the must meet again—and he that scatters dogs to lap, sooner than endure a shame man's dust wantonlý, has much to like this—to ruin and break the heart of answer for. Hast thou ought more to my bonnie Nannie, my only hope and ask ?" The man of the Moorlands was stay.' • Eh, lord, hear till her! bear humbled in his hopes by this unlucky till her!' said the shepherd—"I break the adventure with the tombs of the Mori- heart o' sweet Nannie Morison !-a' sons; be looked at the old woman, and the warld kens it was our sweet young he looked at bis cheese, with a look Lord-deil pyke his banes in the lowthat said, “I bave offered thee in vain." est hệugh for't.' The poor wildered At last mustering resolution, he said, woman
heeded him 20ther brain was