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(Chap. VIII. the Master of Ravenswood. The tenor was as fol- | the times of the first i and second Charles, and of lows:
the last James, truly I see little reason, that, as a man
or a patriot, I should draw my sword for their de “Right Honourable our Cousin,
scendants." “Our hearty commendations premised, these come "Humph !" rephed Bucklaw; so you have set yourto assure you of the interest which we take in your self down to mourn over the crop-eared dogs, whom welfare, and in your purposes towards its augmenta- honest Claver' se treated as they deserved ? tion. If we have been less active in showing forth our "They first gave the dogs an ill name, and then effective good will towards you than, as a loving kins- hanged them," replied Ravenswood. “I hope to see man and blood-relative, wo would willingly have de- the day when justice shall be open to Whig and Tory sired, we request that you will impute it to lack of op- and when these nick-names shall only be used among portunity to show our good-liking, not to any coldness coffee-house politicians, as slut and jade are among of our will. Touching your resolution to travel in apple-women, as cant terms of idle spite and raniforeign parts, as at this time we hold the same little cour:". advisabe, in respect that your ill-willers may, accord "That will not be in our days, Master-the iron has ing to the custom of such persons, impute motives for entered 100 deeply into our sides and our souls." your journey, whereof, although we know and believe "It will be, however, one day,” replied the Master: you to be as clear as ourselves, yet natheless their men will not always start at these nick-names an words may find credence in places where the belief in at a trumpet-sound. As social life is better protect them may much prejudice you, and which we should ed, its comforts will become too dear to be hazarded see with more unwillingness and displeasure than with without some better reason than speculative politics. means of remedy.
"It is fine talking,' answered Bucklaw ; "but my “Having thus, as becometh our kindred, given you heart is with the old song, our poor mind on the subject of your journeying
• To sco good corn upon the rigs, forth of Scotland, we would willingly add reasons of
And a gallows built to hang the Whigs, weight, which might materially advantage you and And tho right restored where the right should be, your father's house, thereby to determine you to abide O, that is the thing that would wanton me.'" at Wolf's Crag, until this harvest season shall be passed over. But what sayeth the proverb, terbum "You may sing as loudly as you will, cantabri sapienti,--a word is more to him that hath' wisdom vacuus,"':-answered the Master; "but I believe the than a sermon to a fool. And albeit we have written Marquis is too wise, at least too wary, to join you in this poor scroll with our own hånd, and are well such a burden. I suspect he alludes to a revolution assured of the fidelity of our messenger, as him that is in the Scotuish Privy Council, rather than in the Britmany ways bounden to us, yet so it is, that sliddery ish kingdoms." ways crave wary walking, and that we may not peril “O, confusion to your state-tricks!" exclaimed upon paper matters which we would gladly impart to Bucklaw, "your cold calculating manauvres, which you by word of mouth. Wherefore, it was our pur- old gentlemen in wrought nightcaps and furred pose to have prayed you heartily to come to this our gowns execute like so many games at cheas, and barren Highland country to kill a stag, and to treat of displace a treasurer or lord commissioner as they ịhe matters which we are now more painfully indict- would take a rook or a pawn. Tennis for my spori, ing to you anent. But commodity does not serve at and battle for my earnest! My racket and my sword present for such our meeting, which, therefore, shall for my plaything and bread-winner! And you, Master, be deferred intil sic time as we may in all mirth re so deep and considerate as you would seem, you have hearse those things whereof we now keep silence. that within you makes the blood boil faster than suits Mean time, we pray you to think that we are, and will vour present humour of moralizing on political truths. still be, your good kinsman and well-wisher, waiting You are one of those wise men who see every thing but for times of whilk we do, as it were, entertain a with great composure till their blood is up, and then twilight prospect, and appear and hope to be also your --wo to any one who should put them in mind of effectual well-doer. And in which hope tre heartily their own prudential maxims!" write ourself,
Perhaps," said Ravenswood, "you read me 'Right Honourable,
more rightly than I can myself. But io think justly "Your loving cousin,
will certainly go some length in helping me to act so. A
But hark! I hear Caleb tolling the dinner bell." *Given from our poor
"Which he always does with the more sonorous house of B, &c."
grace, in proportion to the meagerness of the cheer Superscribed—"For the right honourable, and our
which he has provided," said Bucklaw; 'as if that uonoured kinsman, the Master of Ravenswood- infernal clang and jangle, which will one day bring These, with laste, haste, post hasteride and run until the belfry down the cliff, could convert a starved hen these be delivered.”
into a fai capon, and a blade-bone of mutton into a
haunch of venison." "What think you of this epistle, Bucklaw ?" said "I wish we may be so well off as your worst the Master, when his companion had hammered out conjectures surmise, Bucklaw, from the extreme all the sense, and almost all the words of which it solemnity and ceremony with which Caleb seems to consigted.
place on the table that solitary covered dish," "Truly, that the Marquis's meaning is as great a “Uncover, Caleb !'uncover, for Heaven's sake! riddle as his manuscript. He is really in much need said Bucklaw; "let us have what you can give us of Wit's Interpreter, or the Complete Letter-Writer, without preface-Why, it stands well enough, man, and were I you, I would send him a copy by the bearer. he continued, addressing impatiently, the ancient He writes you very kindly to remain wasting your butler, who, without reply, kept shifting the dish, time and your money in this vile, stupid, oppressed until he had at length placed it with mathematica country, without so much as offering you the counte- precision in the very midst of the table. pance and shelter of his house. In my opinion, he " What have we got here, Caleb?" inquired the has some scheme in view in which he supposes you Master in his turn. can be useful, and he wishes to keep you al hand, to "Ahem! sir, ye suld have known before; but his make ţise of you when it ripens, reserving the power honour the Laird of Bucklaw is so impatient, of turning you adrist, should his plot fail in the concoc- answered Caleb, still holding the dish with one hand, tion."
and the cover with the other, with evident reluctance * His plot ?-then you suppose it is a treasonable to disclose the contents. business," answered Ravenswood.
“But what is it, a God's name-not a pair of clean What else can it be?" replied Bucklaw; "the spurs, I hope, in the Border fashion of old times ?" Marquis has been long suspected to have an eye to "Ahem anem!" reiterated Caleb, "your honor Saint Germains."
is pleased to be facetious-natheless, I might presumg " He shonld not engage me rashly in sych an !o say it was a convenient fashion, and used, as aaven ure” said Ravenswood ; " when I recollect I have heard, in an honourable and thriving famir
Bat touching your present dinner, I judged that this: "Any one you will, Caleb--my wardrobe, I suppose, being Saint Magdalen's Eve, who was a worthy is not very extensive. queen of Scotland in her day, your honours might "Not extensive !" echoed his assistant; "when judge it decorous, if not altogether to fast, yet only
to there is the gray and silver that your lordship besustain nature with some slight reaction, as ane stowed on Hew Hildebrand, your outrider-and the saulted herring or the like.” And, uncovering the French velvet that went with my lord your fatherdish, he displayed four of the savoury fishes which he (be gracious to him!)---my lord your father's auld mentioned, adding, in a subdued tone, " that they wardrobe to the puir friends of the family, and the were no just common herring neither, being every drap-de-berry'ane melters, and sauted with uncommon çare by the "Which I gave to you, Caleb, and which, I suppose, housekeeper (poor Mysie) for his honour's especial is the only dress we have any chance to come at,
except that I wore yesterday-pray, hand me than * Out upon all apologies!" said the Master, "let us and say no more about it.' eat the herrings, since there is nothing belier to be “If your honour has a fancy," replied Caleb, "and had-but I begin to think with you, Bucklaw, that doubtless it's a sad-coloured suit, and you are in We are consuming the last green leaf, and that in mourning-nevertheless, I have never tried on the spite of the Marquis's political machinations, we drap-de-berry-ill wad it become me and your honour must positively shift camp for want of forage, with having no change of claiths at this present--and Nut waiting the issue of them.”
it's weel brushed, and as there are leddies down yonder''
"Ladies !” said Ravenswood; "and what ladies, CHAPTER IX.
pray ?” Ay, and when huntsmen wind the merry hom,
"What do I ken, your lordship, ?-looking down at And from ita covert starts the fearful prey,
them from the Warden's Tower, I could but see them Who, warm'd with youth's blood in his swelling veins, glent by wi' their bridles ringing, and their feathers Would, like a lifeless clod, outstretched lie,
Auttering, like the court of Elfand." Shut out from all the fair creation offers ?
Ethwald, Act I. Scene I.
"Well,' well, Caleb," replied the Master, " help me on with my cloak, and hand me my swo
belt. LIGHT meals procure light slumbers; and therefore What clatter is that in the court-yard?" it is not surprising, that considering the fare which "Just Bucklaw bringing out the horses,": said Caleh's conscience, or his necessity, assuming, as will Çaleb, after a glance through the window, "as if sometimes happen, that disguise, had assigned to the there werena men eneugh in the castle, or as if I guests of Wolf's Crag, their slumbers should have couldna serve the turn of ony o' them that are out o' been short.
the gate." In the morning Bucklaw rushed into his host's Alas! Caleb, we should want little, if your ability apartment with a loud halloo, which might have were equal to your will," replied his master. awaked the dead.
And I hope your lordship disna want that muckle,” "Up! up! in the name of Heaven-the hunters are said Caleb; "for, considering a' things, I trust we sup: out, the only piece of sport I have seen this month; port the credit of the family as weel as things will and
lie here, Master, on a bed that has little to permit of,-only Bucklaw is aye sae frank and sae recoin mend it, except that it may be something softer forward. - And there he has brought out your lordthan the stone floor of your ancestor's vault." ship's palfrey, without the saddle being decored wi
"I wish,” said Ravenswood, raising his head peev- the broidered sumpter-cloth! and I could have brushed ishly you had forborne so early a jest, Mr. Hayston it in a minute." -it is really no pleasure to lose the very short repose " It is all very well,” said his master, escaping from which I had just begun to enjoy, after a night spent him, and descending the narrow and steep winding in thoughts upon fortune far harder than my couch, staircase, which led to the court-yard. Bucklaw."
"It may be a' very weel," said Caleb, somewhat “Pshaw, pshaw!" replied his guest; get up- peevishly; "but if your lordship wad tarry a bit, I get up the hounds are abroad-I have saddled the will tell you what will not be very weel.” horses myself, for old Caleb was calling for grooms “And what is that?" said Ravenswood impaand lackeys, and would never have proceeded without tiently, but stopping at the same time. two hours apology, for the absence of men that were "Why, just that ye suld speer ony gentlemen hame a hundred miles off.-Get up, Master--I say the to dinner; for I canna mak anither fast on a feast hounds are out-get up, I say-the hunt is up." And day, as when I cam ower Bucklaw wi' Queen Maroff ran Bucklaw.
garet-and, to speak truth, if your lordship wad but "And I say,” said the Master, rising slowly," that please to cast yoursell in the way of dining wi' Lord nothing can concern me less. Whose hounds come Bittlebrains, l'se warrand I wad cast about brawly so near to us ?"
for the morn; or if, stead o' that, ye wad but dine wi "The Honourable Lord Bittlebrains'," answered them at the change-house, ye might mak your shift Caleb, who had followed the impatient Laird of Buck for the lawing; ye might say, ye had forgot your law into his master's bedroom, "and truly I ken nae purse-or that the carline awed ye rent, and that ye title they have to be yowling and howling within the wad allow it in the settlement." freedoms and immunities of your lordship's right of "Or any other lie that came uppermost, I suppose?" free forestry
said his master. “Good by, Caleb;
I commend your * Nor
I, Caleb,” replied Ravenswood," excepting care for the honour of the family. And, throwing that they have bought both the lands
and the right of himself on his horse, he followed Bucklaw, who, at forestry, and may think themselves entitled to exercise the manifest risk of his neck, had begun to gallop the rights they have paid their money for."
down the steep path which led from the Tower, as It may be sae, my lord,” replied Caleb; "but it's soon as he saw Ravenswood have his foot in the no gentleman's deed of them to come here and exer- stirrup: cise such like right, and your lordship living at your Caleb Balderstone looked anxiously after them, ain castle of Wolf's Crag. Lord Bittlebrains would and shook his thin gray locks" And I trust they will do weel to remember what his folk have been." come to no evil-but they have reached the plain,
And we what we now are," said the Master, with and folk cannot say but that the horse are hearty and suppressed bitterness of feeling. “But reach me my in spirits.". cloak, Caleb, and I will indulge Bucklaw with a sight Animated by the natural impetuosity and fire of his of this chase. It is selfish to sacrifice my guest's temper,
young Bucklaw rushed on with the carelesa pleasure to my own.
speed of a whirlwind. Ravenswood was scarce mom Sacrifice !'' echoed Caleb, in a tone which seemed moderate in his pace, for his was a mind unwillingly to imply the total absurdity of his master making the roused from contemplative inactivity, but which least concession in deference to any one-"Sacrifice, when once put into motion, acquired a spirit of forcimdeed but I crave your honour's pardon--and ble and violent progession. Neither was his eager bilk doublet is it your pleasure to wear ?"
ness proportioned in all cases to the motive of impulso
but might be compared to the speed of a stone, which With his statelyi hend bent down; his sides white rushes with like fury down the hill, whether it was with foam, his eyes strained betwixt rage and terror, first put in motion by the arm of a giant or the hand the hunted animal had now in his turn become an of a boy, He felt, therefore, in no ordinary degree, object of intimidation to his pursuers. The hunters the headlong impulse of the chase, à pastime so came up one by one, and watched an opportunity to natural to youth of all ranks, that it seems rather to assail him with some advantage, which, in such cirbe an inherent passion in our animal nature, which cumstances, can only be done with caution. The levels all differences of rank and education, than an dogs stood aloof and bayed loudly, intimating at once acquired habit of rapid exercise.
eagerness and fear, and each of the sportsmen seemed The repeated bursts of the French horn, which was to expect that his comrade would take upon him the then always used for the encouragement and direc- perilous task of assaulting and disabling the animal. tion of the hounds, the deep, though distant baying The ground, which was a hollow in the common or of the pack-the half-heard cries of the huntsmen moor, afforded little advantage for approaching the the half-seen forms which were discovered, now stag unobserved; and general was the shout of triemerging from glens which crossed the moor, now umph when Bucklaw, with the dexterity proper to an sweeping over its surface, now picking their way accomplished cavalier of the day, sprang from his where it was impeded by morasses; and, above all
, horse, and dashing suddenly and swiftly at the stag, the feeling of his own rapid motion, animated the brought him to the ground by a cut on the hind leg Master of Ravenswood, at least for the moment, with his short hunting sword. The pack, rushing in above the recollections of a more painful nature by upon their disabled enemy, soop ended his painful which he was surrounded. The first thing which struggles, and solemnized his fall with their clamour recalled him to those unpleasing circumstances, was the hunters, with their horns and voices, whooping feeling that his horse, notwithstanding ail the advan- and blowing, a mort, or death-note, which resounded tages which he received from his rider's knowledge far over the billows of the adjacent ocean. of the country, was unable to keep up with the chase. The huntsman then withdrew the hounds from the As he drew his bridle up with the bitter feeling, that throttled stag, and on his knee presented his knife to his poverty excluded him from the favourite recrea- a fair female form, on a white palfrey, whose terror, tion of his forefathers, and indeed their sole employ- or perhaps her compassion, had till then kept her at ment when not engaged in military pursuits, he was some distance. She wore a black silk riding-mask, accosted by a well-mounted stranger, who, unob- which was then a common fashion, as well for preserved, had kept near him during the earlier part of serving the complexion from sun and rain, as from his career.
an idea of decorum, which did not permit a lady to "Your horse is blown," said the man, with a com- appear barefaced while engaged in a boisterous sport, plaisance seldom used in a hunting field. "Might I and attended by a promiscuous company. The richcrave your honour to make use of mine ?"
ness of her dress, however, as well as the mettle and "Sir" said Ravenswood, more surprised than form of her palfrey, together with the silvan complipleased at such a proposal, "I really do not know ment paid to her by the huntsman, pointed her out to how I have merited such a favour at a stra iger's Bucklaw as the principal person in the field. It was hands."
not without a feeling of pity, approaching even to “Never ask a question about it, Master, said contempt, that this enthusiastic hunter observed her Bucklaw, who, with great unwillingness, had hi therto refuse the huntsman's knife, presented to her for the reined in his own gallant steed, not to outri de his purpose of making the first incision in the stag: host and entertainer. "Take the goods, the gods breast, and thereby discovering the quality of the veniprovide you, as the great John Dryden says stay son. He felt more than half inclined to pay his com. --here, my friend, lend me that horse; I see yo a haye pliments to her ; but it had been Bucklaw's missorbeen puzzled to rein him up this half hour. 'I ll take tune, that his habits of life had not rendered hin fathe devil out of him for you. Now, Master, do you miliarly acquainted with the higher and better classes ride mine, which will carry you like an eagle." of female society, so that, with all his natural auda
And throwing the rein of his own horse to the Mas- city, he felt sheepish and bashful when it became ter of Ravenswood, he sprang upon that which the necessary to address a lady of distinction. stranger resigned to him, and continued his career at Taking unto himself heart of grace, (to use his full speed.
own phrase,) he did at length summon up resolution "Was ever so thoughtless a being !'' said the Mas- enough to give the fair huntress good time of the day, ter; "and you, my friend, how could you trust him and trust that her sport had answered her expecta with your horse ?""
tion. Her answer was very courteously and modestly * The horse," said the man, "belongs to a person expressed, and testified some gratitude to the gallant who will make your honour, or any of your honour. cavalier, whose exploit had terminated the chase so able friends, most welcome to him, Aesh and fell." adroitly, when the hounds and huntsmen seemed
" And the owner's name is -?" asked Ravens- somewhat at a stand. wood.
“Uds daggers and scabbard, madam," said Buck. "Your honour must excuse me, you will learn that law, whom this observation brought at once upon his from himself. If you please to take your friend's own ground, "there is no difficulty or merit in that horse, and leave me your galloway, I will meet you. matter at all, so that a fellow is not too much afraid after the fall of the stag, for I hear they are blowing of having a pair of antlers in his guts. I have hunted him at bay.”
at force live hundred times, madam; and I never yet “I believe, iny friend, it will be the best way to saw the stag at bay, by land or water, but I dursi recover your good horse for you,", answered Ravens- have gone roundly in on him. It is all use and wong, wood; and mounting the nag of his friend Bucklaw, madam ;, and I'll tell you, madam, for all that, it he made all the haste in his power to the spot where must be done with good heed and caution: and you the blast of the horn announced that the stag's career will do well, madam, to have your hunting-sword was nearly terminated.
both right sharp and double-edged, that you may These jovial sounds were intermixed with hunts- strike either fore-handed or back-handed, as you see men's shouts of: Hyke a Talbot! Hyke a Teviot! reason, for a hurt with a buck's horn is a perilous and now, boys, now!" and similar cheering halloos of the somewhat venomous matter.' olden núnang-field, to which the impatient yelling of "I am afraid, sir," said the young lady, and her the hounds, now close on the object of their pursuit, smile was scarce concealed by her vizard, “I shall gave a lively and unremitting chorus. The strag, have little use for such careful preparation. kling riders began now to rally towards the scene of "But the gentleman says very right for all that, my actiun, collecting from different points as to a com- lady," said an old huntsman, who had listened to mnou centre.
Bucklaw's harangue with no small edification; Bucklaw kept the start which he had gotten, and I have heard my father say, who was a forester at the arived first at the spot, where the stag, incapable of Cabrach, that a wild boar's gaunch is more easily mustaining a more prolonged fight, had' turned upon healed than a hurt from the deer's, horn, for so says the hounds, and, in the hunter's phrase, was at bay. I the old woodman's rhyme
"U thou be hurt with horn of hart, it brings thee to thy bier
eri. “You seem a gallant young gentleman, sir," he Bat tusk of boar shall leeches heal-thereor have lesser fear."
said, "and yet appear as indifferent to this brave "An I might advise," continued Bucklaw, who sport, as if you had my load of years on your shoulwas now in his element, and desirous of assuming ders." the whole manageinen!, as the hounds are surbated "I have followed the sport with more spirit on other and weary, the head of the stag should be cabaged in occasions," replied the Master ; at present, late order to reward them; and if I may presume to events in my family must be my apology-and be speak, the huntsman, who is to break up the slag, sides,” he added, I was but indifferenily mounted at ought to drink to your good ladyship's health a good the beginning of the sport. lusty bicker of ale, or a tass of brandy; for if he "I think," said the stranger, "one of my attendants breaks him up without drinking, the venison will not had the sense to accommodate your friend with a keep well."
horse." This yery agreeable prescription received, as will "I was much indebted to his politeness and yours," be readily believed, all acceptation from the hunts- replied Ravenswood. "My friend is Mr. Hayslon of man, who, in requital, offered to Bucklaw the com: Bucklaw, whom I dare say you will be sure to find in pliment of his knife which the young lady had the thick of the keenest sportsmen. He will return declined. This polite proffer was seconded by his your servant's horse, and take my pony in exchange mistress.
--and will add,” he concluded, turning his horse's “I believe, sir," she said, withdrawing herself from head from the stranger, “his best acknowledgments
circle, that my father, for whose amusement to mine for the accommodation." Lord Biulebrains' hounds have been out to-day, will The Master of Ravenswood having thus expressed readily
surrender all care of these matters to a gentle himself, began to move homeward, with the manner man of your experience."
of one who has taken leave of his company. But the Then, bending gracefully from her horse, she wished stranger was not so to be shaken ofl. He turned his him good morning, and, attended by one or two do- horse at the same time, and rode in the same direcmestics, who seemed immediately attached to her ton so near to the Master, thay without outriding service, retired from the scene of action, to which him, which the formal civility of the time, and the Bucklaw, too much delighted with an opportunity of respect due to the stranger's age and recent civility, displaying his wood-craft to care about man or wo would have rendered improper, he could not easily man either, paid little attention; but was soon strip, escape from his company; 10 his doublet, with tụcked-up sleeves, and naked The stranger did not long remain silent, "This, arms up to the elbows in blood and grease, slashing, then,” he said, " is the ancient Castle of Wolf's Crag, cutting, hacking, and hewing, with the precision of often mentioned in the Scottish records,” looking to Sir Tristrem himself, and wrangling and disputing the old tower, then darkening under the influence of with all around him concerning nombles, briskets, a stormy cloud, that formed its back-ground; for at flankards, and raven-bones, then usual terms of the the distance of a short inile, the chase, having been art of hunting, or of butchery, whichever the reader circuitous, had brought the hunters nearly back to the chooses to call it, which are now probably anti- point which they had attained, when Ravenswood quated.
and Bucklaw had set forward to join them. When Ravenswood, who followed a short space Ravenswood answered this observation with a cold behind his friend, saw that the stag had fallen, and distant assent. his temporary ardour for the chase gave way to that "It was, as I have heard,” continued the stranger, feeling of reluctance which he endured, at encoun- unabashed by his coldness, "one of the most early tering in his fallen fortunes the gaze whether of possessions of the honourable family of Ravensequals or inferiors. He reined up his horse on the wood." top of a gentle eminence, from which he observed " Their earliest possession," answered the Master, the busy and gay scene beneath him, and heard the "and probably their latest." whoops of the huntsmen gayly mingled with the cry "I-1-I should hope not, sir," answered the stran: of the dogs, and the neighing and trampling of the ger, clearing his voice with more than one cough, and horses. But these jovial sounds fell sadly on the ear making an effort to overcome a certain degree of hesiof the ruined nobleman. The chase, with all its train cation, -- "Scotland knows what she owes to thiş of excitations, has ever since feudal times been ac- ancient family, and remembers their frequent and counted the almost exclusive privilege of the aristoc- honourable achievements. I have little douby, that, racy, and was anciently their chief employment in were it properly represented to her majesty that so times of peace. The sense that he was excluded by ancient and noble a family were subjected to dilapidahis situation from
enjoying the silyan sport, which tion--I mean to decay-means might be found, ad rchis rank assigned to him as a special prerogative, and adificandum antiquam domum" the feeling that new men were now exercising it over "I will save you the trouble, sir, of discussing this the downs, which had been jealously reserved by his point farther," interrupted the Master, haughtily. "I ancestors for their own amusement, while he, the am the heir of that unfortunate House-I am the heir of the domain, was fain to hold himself at a dis- Master of Ravenswood. And you, sir, wno seem to tance from their party, awakened reflections calcu- be a gentleman of fashion and education, must be lated to depress deeply a mind like Ravenswood's, sensible, that the next mortification after being unwhich was naturally contemplative and melancholy, happy, is the being loaded with undesired commisseHis pride, however, soon shook off this feeling of ration. dejection, and it gave way to impatience upon finding “I beg your pardon, sir," said the elder horseman · that his volatile friend Bucklaw seemed in no hurry "I did not know- am sensible I ought not to to return with his borrowed steed, which Ravens, have mentioned-nothing could be farther from my wood, before leaving the field, wished to see restored thoughts than to suppose to the obliging owner. As he was about to move "There are no apologies necessary, sir," answered towards the group of assembled huntsmen, he was Ravenswood, "for here, suppose, our roads sep-ajoined by a horseman, who like himself had kept rate, and
I assure you that we part in perfect equani aloof during the fall of the deer.
mity on my side. This personage seemed stricken in years. He wore As speaking these words, he directed his horse's a scarlet cloak, buttoning high upon his face, and his head towards a narrow causeway, the ancient aphat was unlooped and slouched, probably by way of proach to Wolf's Crag, of which it might be truly defence against the weather. His horse, a strong and said, in the words of the Bard of Hope, that steady palfrey, was calculated for a rider who proposed to witness the sport of the day, rather than to
"Frequented by few was the grass-cover'd road,
Where the hunter of deer and the warrior trodo. share it. An attendant waited at some distance, and
To his hills that encircle the sea." the whole equipment was that of an elderly_gentleman of tank and fashion. He accosted Ravens- But, ere he could disengage himself from his compare wood very politely, but not without some embarrass-ion, the young lady we have already mentioned caulo ment.
up to join the stranger, followed by her servants. VOL III.
Daughter," said the stranger to the masked dam Caleb came; and not the paleness of the fair stráksel," this is the Master of Ravenswood."
ger at the first approach of the thunder, nor the paleIt would have been natural that the gentleman ness of any other person, in any other circumstances should have replied
introduction, but there whatever, equalled that which overcanie the thin was soniething in the graceful form and retiring cheeks of the disconsolate seneschal, when he beheld modesty of the female to whom he was thus pre- this accession of guests to the castle, and reflected sented, which not only prevented him from inquiring that the dinner hour was fast approaching. "Is be made, but which even for the time struck him abo begither, to bring lords and leddies, and a host of lutely mute. At this moment the cloud which had folk behint them, and iwal-o-clock chappit ?" Then long lowered above the height on which Wolf's Crag approaching the Master, he craved pardon for having is situated, and which now, as it advanced, spread permitted the rest of his people to go out to see the tself in darker and denser folds both over land and huny, observing, that "they wad never think of his sea, hiding the distant objects and obscuring those lordship coming back till mirk night, and that he which were nearer, turning the sea to a leaden com- dreaded they might play the truant. plexion, and the heath to a darker brown, began "Silence, Balderstone," said Ravenswood, sternly; now, by one or two distant peals, to announce the "your folly is unseasonable. -Sir and madam," he thunders with which it was fraught; while two said, turning to his guests, " this old man, and a yet Aashes of lightning, following each other very closely, older and more imbecile female domestic, form my showed in the distance the gray turrets of Wolf's whole retinue. Our means of refreshing you are Crag, and, more nearly, the rolling billows of the more scarily than even so miserable a rétinue, and a ocean, crested suddenly with red and dazzling light. dwelling so dilapidated, might seem to promise you;
The horse of the fair huntress showed symptoms of but such as they may chance to be, you may comimpatience and restiveness, and it became impossible mand them." for Ravenswood, as a man or a gentleman, to leave The elder stranger, struck with the ruined and event her abruptly to the care of an aged father or her savage appearance of the Tower, rendered still more menial attendants. He was, or believed himself, disconsolate by the lowering and gloomy sky, and obliged in courtesy, to take hold of her bridle,, and perhaps not altogether unmoved by the grave and assist her in managing the unruly animal. While he determined voice in which their host addressed them, was thus engaged, the old gentleman observed that looked round him anxiously, as if he half repented the the storm seemed to increase--that they were far readiness with which he had accepted the offered from Lord Bittlebrains, whose guests they were for hospitality. But there was now no opportunity of the present and that he would be obliged to the receding from the situation in which he had placed Master of Ravenswood to point him the way to the himself. nearest place of refuge from the storm. At the same As for Caleb, he was so utterly stunned by his time he cast a wistful and embarrassed look towards master's public and unqualified acknowledgment of the Tower of Wolf's Crag, which seemed to render it the nakedness of the land, that for two minutes he almost impossible for the owner to avoid
offering an could only mutter within his hebdomadal beard, old man and a lady, in such an emergency, the tem- which had not felt the razor for six days, "He's daft porary use of his
house. Indeed, the condition of the clean daft-red wud, and awa wi't!' But deil hae young huntress made this courtesy indispensable; Caleb Balderstone," said be, collecting his powers of for, in the course of the services which he ren; invention and resource, "if the family shall lose dered, he could not but perceive that she trembled credit, if he were as mad as the seven wise masters !" much, and was extremely agitated, from her appre. He then boldly adyanced, and in spite of his master's hensions, doubtless, of the coming storm.
frowns and impatience, gravely asked, "if he should I know not if the Master of Ravenswood shared not serve up some slight refection for the young her terrors, but he was not entirely free from some- leddy, and a glass of tokay, or old sack-or" thing like a similar disorder of nerves, as he observed, "Truce to this ill-timed foolery," said the Master, "The Tower of Wolf's Crag has nothing to offer sternly,"put the horses into the stable, and interrupi beyond the shelter of its roof, but if that can be ac us no more with your absurdities.'' ceptable at such a moment”-he paused, as if the rest "Your honour's pleasure is to be obeyed aboon a of the invitation stuck in his throat. But the old gen- things," said Caleb; "nevertheless, as for the sack tleman, his self-constituted companion, did not allow and lokay, which it is not your noble guests' pleasure him to recede from the invitation, which he had to accept". rather suffered to be implied than directly expressed. But here the voice of Bucklaw, heard even above
“The storm,'' said the stranger, must be an the clattering of hoofs and braying of horns with apology for waving ceremony-his daughter's health which it mingled, announced that he was scaling the was weak-she had suffered much from a recent pathway to the Tower at the head of the greater part alarm-he trusted their intrusion on the Master of of the gallant hunting train. Ravenswood's hospitality would not be altogether "The deil be in me" said Caleb, taking heart in unpardonable in the circumstances of the case-his spite of this new invasion of Philistines, "il they shall child's safety must be dearer to him than ceremony." beat me yet! The hellicat ne'er-do-weel !--- to bring
There was no room to retreat. The Master of such a crew here, that will expect to find brandy as Ravenswood led the way, continuing to keep hold of plenty as ditch-water, and he kenning sae absolutely the lady's bridle to prevent her horse from starting at the case in whilk we stand for the present! But I trow, some unexpected explosion of thunder. He was not could I get rid of thae gapping,gowks of frunkies thai 50 bewildered in his own hurried
reflections, but that hae won into the court-yard at the back of their lie remarked, that the deadly paleness which had betters, as mony a man gets preferment, I could make occupied her neck and temples, and such of her fea- a' right yet.” tures as the riding-mask left exposed, gave place to a The measures which he took to execute this daunt. deep and rosy suffusion; and he felt with embarrass- less resolution, the reader shall learn in the next
chap inent that a fush was by tacit sympathy excited in ter. his own cheeks. The stranger, with watchfulness which he disguised under apprehensions for the safety of his daughter, continued to observe the expression
CHAPTER X. of the Master's countenance as they ascended the hill tu Wolf's Crag. When wey stood in front of
With throat unslaked, with black lips baked, that ancient fortress, Ravenwood's emotions were of
Agape they heard him call :
COLERIDGE'S " Rime of the Ancient Mariner. almost of fierceness, which seemed somewhat alien HAYSTON of Bucklaw was one of the thoughtless from the courtesies of one who is receiving honoured class who never hesitate between their friend and enests
their jest. When it was announced that the principal