house, I mixed the contents of the packet with the "I had many objects, but the chief was that inso jar of succory-water. They seldom fail to drain it, lent page. and the woman loves it over all."

"The boy !-thou inhuman man,", exclaimed the "It was a work of hell,” said the Lady Lochleven, lady; "what could he do to deserve thy malice?" "both the asking

and the granting - Away, wretched "He rose in your favour, and you graced him with man, let us see it aid be yet too late!"

your commissions--that was one thing. He rose in "They will not admit us, madam, save we enter by ihat of George Douglas also-that was another. He force, I have been twice at the door, but can obtain was the favourite of the Calvinistic Henderson, who no entrance."

hated me because my spirit disowns a separated priest"We will beat it level with the ground, if needful - hood. The Moabitish Queen held him dear-winds And hold-summon Randal hither instantly:-Randal from each opposing point blew in his favour-the old here is a foul and evil chance befallen-send off a boat servitor of your house was held lightly among ye instantly to Kinross the Chamberlain Luke Lundin above all, from the first time I saw his face, I longed is said to have skill--Fetch off, too, that foul witch to destroy him." Nicneven; she shall first counteract her own spell, "Whai fiend have I nurtured in my house!" replies and then be burnt to ashes in the island of Saint Serf. the Lady. ‘May God forgive me the sin of having Away, away-Tell them to hoist sail and ply oar, as given thee food and raiment !". ever they would have good of the Douglas's hand?" "You might not choose, Lady,” answered the stew.

Mother Nickneven will not be lightly found, or ard. ,"Long ere this castle was builded-ay, long ere fetched hither on these conditions," answered Dry- the islet which sustains it, reared its head above the fesdale.

blue water, I was destined to be your faithful slave, "Then grant her full assurance of safety-Look to and you to be iny

ungrateful mistress. . Remember it, for thine own life must answer for this lady's re- you not when I plunged amid the victorious French covery."

in the time of this lady's mother, and brought off your "I might have guessed that,” said Drysesdale, sul husband, when those who had hung at the same lenly; "but it is my comfort I have avenged mine breast with him dared not attempt the rescue ?-Re own cause, as well as yours. She hath scoffed and member how I plunged into the lake when

your grandscripped at me, and encouraged her saucy minion of son's skiff was overtaken by the tempest, boarded a page to ridicule my stiff gait and slow speech. I felt and steered her safe to the land. Lady-the servant it borne in upon me that I was to be avenged on of a Scottish baron is he who regards not his own life, them."

or that of any other, save his master. And, for the "Go to the western turret," said the Lady, "and death of the woman, I had tried the potion on her remain there in ward until we see how this gear will sooner, had not Master George been her taster. Her terminate. I know thy resolved disposition-thou death-would it not be the happicst news that Scotwilt not attempt escape."

land ever heard? Is she not of the bloody Guisian "Not were ihe walls of the turret of egg-shells, and stock, whose sword was so often red with ihe blood the lake sheeted with ice," said Dryfesdale. "I am of God's saints? Is she not the daughter of the wretch well taught, and strong in belief, that man does ed typant James, whom Heaven cast down from hi! naught of himself, he is but the foam on the billow, kingdom, and his pride, even as the king of Babylon which rises, bubbles, and bursts, not by its own effort, was smitten ?". but by the mightier impulse of fate which urges him. *Peace, villain!" said the Lady-a thousand varied Yet, Lady, if I may advise, amid this zeal for the life recollections thronging on her mind at the mention of the Jezebel of Scotland, forget not what is due to of her royal lover's name; "Peace, and disturb nos thine own honour, and keep the matter secret as you the ashes of the dead-of the royal, of the unhappy

dead, Read thy Bible; and may God grant thee to So saying the gloomy fatalist turned from her, and avail thyself beiter of its contents than thou hast ye stalked off with sullen composure to the place of con- done!" She departed hastily, and as she reached finement allotted to him.

the next apartment, the tears rose to her eyes so has. His lady caught at his last hint, and only expressed tily, that she was compelled to stop and use her ker. her fear that the prisoner had partaken of some un chief to dry them., "I expected not this," she said, wholesome food, and was dangerously ill. The castle "no more than to have drawn water from the hard was soon alarmed and in confusion. Randal was flint, or sap from a withered tree. I saw with a dry despatched to the shore to fetch off Lundin, with such eye the apostasy and shame of George Douglas, the remedies as could counteract poison; and with farther hope of my son's house the child of my love; and instructions to bring Mother Nicneven, if she could yet I now weep for him who has so long lain in his le found, with full power to pledge the Lady of Loch- grave for him to whom I owe it, that his

daughter leven's word for her safety.

can make a scoffing and a jest of my name! But she Mean while the Lady of Lochleven herself held par- is his daughter-my heart, hardened against her fer ley at the door of the Queen's apartment, and in vain so many causes, relents when a glance of her eye urged the page to undo it.

places her father unexpectedly before me--and, as Foolish boy!" she said, "thine own life and thy often, her likeness to that true daughter of the house Lady's are at stake-Open, I say, or we will cause of Guise, her detested mother, has again confirmed the door to be broken down."

my resolution. But she must not-must not die in "I may not open the door without my royal mis- my house, and by so foul a practice. Thank God tress's orders," answered Roland; "she has been the operation of the potion is slow, and may be coulvery ill

, and now she slumbers—if you wake her by teracted. I will to her apartment once more. using

violence, let the consequence be on you and O! that hardened villain, whose fidelity we held in your followers."

such esteem, and had such high proof of! What mira "Was ever woman in a strait so fearful!" exclaim- cle can unite so much wickedness, and so much ed the Lady of Lochleven-"At least, thou rash boy, truth, in one bosom!". beware that no one tastes the food, but especially the The Lady of Lochleven was not aware cow far jar of succory-water."

minds of a certain gloomy and determined cast is She then hastened to the turret, where Drysesdale nature, may be warped by a keen sense of petly inju had composedly resigned himself to imprisonment. ries and insults, combining with the love of gain, and She founa him reading, and demanded of him, "Was sense of self-interest, and amalgamated with the hy fell potion of speedy opera tion?",

crude, wild, and indigested fanatical opinions which Slow," answered the steward. "The hag asked this man had gathered among the crazy sectarics of me which I chose-I told her I loved a slow and sure Germany; or how far the doctrines of fatalism, which revenge. Revenge, said I, is the highest-flavoured he had embraced so decidedly, sear the buman condraught which man tastes upon earth, and he should science, by representing our actions as the result a sipil by little and little-not drain ií up greedily at inevitable necessity. once.

During her visie to the prisoner, Roland had con Against whom, unhappy man, couldst thou nou- municated to Catherine the tenor of the conversatici TIBA so fell a revenge ?"

he had had with her at the door of the apartmeot


[ocr errors]

The quick intelligence of that lively maiden instantly). As she advanced to the door, the voice of Cathecomprehended the outline of what was believed torine. Şeyton was heard from within-"No one can have happened, but her prejudices hurried her beyond enter here the Queen sleeps." the truth.

"I will not be controlled, young lady," replied the "They meant to have poisoned us,” she exclaimed | Lady of Lochleven ; "there is, I wot, no inner bar, in horror, " and there stands the fatal liquor which and I will enter in your despite." should have done the deed !-Ay, as soon as Douglas." There is, indeed, no inner bar," answered Cathe-' ceased to be our laster, our food was likely to be fa- rine, firmly," but there are the staples where that bar tally seasoned. Thou, Roland, who shouldst have should be; and into those staples have I thrust mine made the essay, wert readily doomed to die with us. arm, like an ancestress of your own, when, better O, dearest Lady Fleming, pardon, pardon, for the in- employed than the Douglasses of our days, she thus juries I said to you in my anger-your words were defended the bedchamber of her sovereign against prompted by Heaven to save our lives, and especially murderers. Try your force, then, and see whether a that of the injured Queen. But what have we now to Seyton cannot rival in courage a maiden of the house do? that old crocodile of the lake will be presently of Douglas." back to shed her hypocritical tears over our dying "I dare not attempt the pass at such risk," said the agonies.-Lady Fleming, what shall we do ?" Lady of Lochleven: "Strange, that this Princess, with

Our Lady help us in our need!" she replied;"how all that justly attaches to her as blameworthy, should should I tell ?-unless we were to make our plaint to preserve such empire over the minds of her attendthe Regent."'.

ants !--Damsel, I give thee my honour that I come "Make our plaint to the devil,” said Catherine, im- for the Queen's safety and advantage. Awaken her, patiently, "and accuse his dam at the foot of his burn- if thou lovest her, and pray her leave that I may ening throne !- The Queen still sleeps--we must gain ter-I will retire from the door the whilst.". time. The poisoning hag must not know her scheme “Thou wilt not awaken the Queen ?" said the Lady has miscarried; the old envenomed spider has but too Fleming." many ways of mending her broken web.-The jar of "What choice have we?" said the ready-witted succory-water," said she--"Roland, if thou best a maiden, "unless you deem it better to wait till the man, help me-empty the jar on the chimney or from Lady Lochleven herself plays lady of the bedchamthe window-make such waste among the viands as ber. Her fit of patience will not last long, and the if we had made our usual meal, and leave the frag- Queen must be prepared to meet her." ments on cup and porringer, but taste nothing as thou “But thou wilt bring back her Grace's fit by thus lorest thy life. I will sit by the Queen, and tell her, disturbing her.". at her waking, in what a fearful pass we stand. Her “Heaven forbid !" replied Catherine; "but if so, it sharp wit and ready spirit will teach us what is best to must pass for an effect of the poison. I hope better be done. Mean while, till farther notice, observe, things, and that the Queen will be able when she Roland, that the Queen is in a state of torpor-that wakes to form her own judgment in this terrible criLady Fleming is indisposed--that character" (speak- sis. Mean while, do thou, dear Lady Fleming, pracing in a lower tone) " will suit her best, and save her tise to look as dull and heavy as the alertness of thy wits some labour in vain. I am not so much indis- spirit will permit." posed, thou understandest."

Catherine kneeled by the side of the Queen's bed, ** And I ?" said the page

and, kissing her hand repeatedly, succeeded at last in "You?'', replied Catherine, "you are quite well awakening without alarming her. She seemed sur-who thinks it worth while to poison puppy-dogs or prised to find that she was ready dressed, but sate up

in her bed, and appeared so perfectly composed, that Does this levity become the time?" asked the Catherine Seyton, without further preamble, judged page.

it safe to inform her of the predicament in which they “It does, it does," answered Catherine Seyton; were placed. Mary turned pale, and crossed herself "if the Queen approves, I see plainly how this discon- again and again, when she heard the imininent dancerted attempt may do us good service."

ger in which she had stood. But, like the Ulysses of She went to work while she spoke, eagerly assisted Homer, py Roland. The breakfast table soon displayed the

-" Hardly waking yet, appearance as if the meal had been eaten as usual ;

Sprung in lier mind the momentary wit," and the ladies retired as softly as possible into the and she at once understood her situation, with the Queen's sleeping apartment. At a new summons of dangers and advantages that attended it. the Lady Lochleven, the page undid the door, and ad- "We cannot do better," she said, after her hasty mitted her into the anteroom, asking her pardon for conference with Catherine, pressing her at the same having withstood her, alleging in excuse, that the time to her bosom, and kissing her forehead: "we Queen had fallen into a heavy slumber since she had cannot do better than to follow the scheme so happily broken her fast.

devised by thy quick wit and bold affection. Undo "She has eaten and drunken, then ?'' said the Lady the door to the Lady Lochleven-She shall meet her of Lochleven.

match in art, though not in perfidy. Fleming, draw “Surely," replied the page, "according to her close the curtain, and get thee behind it-thou art a Grace's ordinary custom, unless upon the fasts of the better tire-woman than an actress; do but breathe church."

heavily, and, if thou wilt, groan slightly, and it will " The jar," she said, hastily examining it, "it is top thy part. Hark! they come. Now, Catherine empty-drank the Lady Mary the whole of this of Medicis, may thy spirit inspire me, for a cold northwater ?

ern brain is too blunt for this scene !" "A large part, madam; and I heard the Lady Ushered by Catherine Seyton, and stepping as light Catherine Seyton jestingly upbraid the Lady Mary, as she could, the Lady Lochleven was shown into the Fleming with having taken more than a just share of twilight apartment, and conducted to the side of the what remained, so that but little fell to her own lot.". couch, where Mary, pallıd and exhausted from a

And are they well in health ?" said the Lady of sleepless night, and the subsequent agitation of the Lochleven.

morning, lay extended so listlessly as might well con "Lady Fleming," said the page, “complains of firm the worst fears of her hostess. lethargy and looks duller than usual; and the Lady * Now, God forgive us our sins !" said the Lady of Catherine of Seyton feels her head somewhat more Lochleven, forgetting her pride, and throwing herself giddy than is her wont."

on ber knees by the side of the bed; "it is too trueHe raised his voice a little as he said these words, she is murdered!" to apprise the ladies of the part assigned to each of “Who is in the chamber ?" said Mary, as if awak them, and not, perhaps, without the wish of convey- ing from a heavy sleep. Seyton, Fleming, where ing to the ears of Catherine the page-like jest which are you? I heard a strange voice. Who waits ?--Call Jurked in the allotment.

Courcelles." "I will enter the Queen's chamber," said the Lady " Alas! her memory is at Holyrood, though her Lochleven; "my business is express.

body is at Lachleven. Forgive, madam." continuer

pages ?"


the Lady, if I call your attention to me I am Mar- | bow, her hands clasped together, and pointed towards garet Erskine, of the house of Mar, by marriage Lady the castle, and her attitude, even at that distance, ex Nouglas of Lochleven."

pressing enthusiastic eagerness to arrive at the land"O, our gentle hostess," answered the Queen, “who ing-place. They arrived there accordingly; and while nath such care of our lodgings and of our diet-We the supposed witch was detained in a room beneath, cumber you too much and ioo long, good Lady of the physician was ushered to the Queen's apartment, Lochleven; but we now trust your task of hospitality which he entered with all due professional solemnity. is well nigh ended."

Catherine had, in the mean while, fallen back from Her words go like a knise through my heart,” the Queen's bed, and taken an opportunity to whissaid the Lady of Lochleven-"With a breaking heart

, per to Roland, "Methinks, from the information of I pray, your Grace to tell me what is your ailment, the threadbare velvet c.oak and the solemn, beard, that aid may be had, if there be yet time?"

there would be little trouble in naltering yonder ass. "Nay, my ailment,” replied the Queen, "is nothing But thy grandmother, Roland-thy grandmother's worth telling, or worth a leech'3 notice-iny limbs zeal will ruin us, if she get not a hint i dissemble." feel heavy-my heart feels cold-a prisoner's limbs Roland, without reply, glided towards the door of and heart are rarely otherwise-fresh air, methinks, the apartment, crossed the parlour, and safely entered and freedom, would soon revive me; but as the Es- the antechamber; but when he attempted to pass tates have ordered it, death alone can break my pri- farther, the word '" Back! Back !" echoed from one son-doors."

to the other, by two men armed with carabines, con"Were it possible, madam," said the Lady, "that vinced him that the Lady of Lochleven's suspicions your liberty could restore your perfect health, I would had not, even in the midst of her alanıns, been so far myself encounter the resentment of the Regent--of lulled to sleep as to omit the precaution of stationing my son, Şir William-of my whole friends, rather sentinels on her prisoners. He was compelled, therethan you should meet your face in this castle!" fore, to return to the parlour, or audience-chamber, in

Alas! madam," said the Lady Fleming, who con- which he found the Lady of the castle in conferecce ceived the time propitious to show that her own ad- with her learned leech. dress had been held too lightly of; "it is but trying “A truce with your cam phrase and your solemn what good freedom may work upon us; for myself, I foppery, Lundin", in such terms she accosted the think a free walk on the greensward would do me man of art, “and let me know instantly, if thou canst much good at heart."

tell, whether this lady hath swallowed augh, that is The Lady of Lochleven rose from the bedside, and less than wholesome." darted a penetrating look at the elder valetudinary. "Nay, but, good lady--honoured patroness-to Are you so evil disposed, Lady Fleming?"

whom t'am alike bondsman in my medical and offi"Evil disposed indeed, madam," replied the court cial capacity, deal rensonably with me. If this, mine dame," and more especially since breakfast.". illustrious patient, will not answer a question, saving

"Help! help !" exclaimed Catherine, anxious to with sighs and moans--if that other lionourable lady break off a conversation which boded her schemes will do naught but yawn in my face when I inquire no good; "help! I say, help! the Queen is about to after the diagnostics and if that other young damsel, pass away. Aid her, Lady Lochleven, if you be a who I profess is a comely maiden"woman!

"Talk not to me of comeliness or of damsels," The Lady hastened to support the Queen's head, said the Lady of Lochleven, "I say, are they evil. who, turning her eyes towards her with an air of disposed ?-In one word, man, have they taken poigreai languor, exclaimed, "Thanks, my dearest Lady, son, ay or no ?” of Lochleven-notwithstanding some passages of "Poisons, madam," said the learned leech, "are of late, I have never misconstrued or misdoubted your various sorts. There is your animal poison, as the affection to our house. It was proved, as I have lepus marinus, as mentioned by Dioscorides and GaHeard, before I was born."

len-there are mineral and semi-mineral poisons, as The Lauy Lochleven sprung from the floor, on those compounded of sublimate regulus of antimony which she had again knelt, and having paced the vitriol, and the arsenical salts-there are your poisons apartment in great disorder, Aung open the lattice, as from herbs and vegetables, as the aqua cymbalaria, if to get air.

opium, aconitum, cantharides, and the like there are "Now, Our Lady forgive ime ! said Catherine to also"herself.'"

"How deep must the love of sarcasm be "Now, out upon thee for a learned fool! and i myimplanted in the breasts of us women, since the self am no better for expecting an oracle from such a Queen, with all mer sense, will risk ruin rather than log," said the Lady. rein in her wit!" She then adventured, stooping Nay, but if your ladyship will have patience if I over the Queen's person, to press her arm with her knew what food they had partaken of, or could see hand, saying, at the same ume, “For God's sake, but the remnants of what they have last eaten for madam, restrain yourself!"

as to the external and internal symptoms, I can dis "Thou art too forward, maiden," said the Queen; cover naught like; for, as Galen saith in his second but immediately added, in a low whisper, "Forgive book de Antidotis"ine, Catherine; but when I felt the hag's murderous ."Away, fool!" said the Lady; "send me that bag hands busy about my head and neck, I felt such dis- hither; she shall avouch what it was that she haih qust and hatred, that I must have said something, or given to the wretch Dryfesdale, or the pilniewinks died. But I will be schooled to better haviour-only and thumbikins shall wrench it out of her finger see that thou let her not touch me."

joints !" Now, God be praised !" said the Lady Lochleven, "Art hath no enemy unless the ignorant," said the withdrawing her head from the window, "the boat mortified Doctor; veiling, however, his remark under comes as fast as sail and oar can send wood through tho Latin version, and stepping apart into a corner to water - It brings the leech and a female-cer- watch the result. tainly, from the appearance, the very person I was In a minute or two Magdalen Græme entered the in quest of. Were she but well out of this castle, apartment, dressed as we have described her at the with our honour safe, I would that she were on the revel, but with her muffler thrown back, and all top of the wildest mountain in Norway; or I would affectation of disguise. She was attended by try I had been there mysell, ere I had undertaken this guards of whose presence she did not seem even trust!"

be conscious, and who followed her with an air af While she thus expressed herself, standing apart at embarrassment and timidity, which was probably yne window, Roland Græme, from the other, watched owing to their belief in her supernatural power. the buat bursting through the waters of the lake, coupled with the effect produced by her bold and unwhich glided from its side in ripple and in foam. He, daunted demeanour. She confronted the Lady of too, became sensible, that at the stern was seated the Lochleven, who seemed to endure with high disdais medical Chamberlain clad in his black velvet cloak; the confidence of her air and manner. and that his own relative, Magdalen Græme, in her "Wretched woman!" said the Lady, after essaying assumed character of Mother Nicneven, stood in the for a moment to bear her down, before she addressed

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

ner, by the stately severity of her look, "what was i wildly around, as if seeking for something to aid her in that powder which thou didst give to a servant of this collecting her powers of expression, and her lips had house, by name Jasper Dryfesdale, that he might a nervous and quivering motion, as those of one who work out with it some slow and secret vengeance ?- would fain speak, yet rejects as inadequate the words Confess its nature and properties, or, by the honour which present themselves. Mary herself caught the of Douglas, I give thee to fire and stake bcfore the sun infection as if by a sort of magnetic influence, and is lower!"

raising herself from her bed, without being able to “Alas !" said Magdalen Greme in reply, “and withdraw her eyes from those of Magdalen, waited as when became a Douglas or a Douglas's man so un- if for the oracle of a Pythoness. She waited not long; furnished of his means of revenge, that he should for no sooner had the enthusiast collected herself, than seek them at the hands of a poor and solitary woman? her gaze became intensely steady, her features assumThe towers in which your captives pine away into ed a determined energy, and when she began to speak, unpitied graves, yet stand fast on their foundations the words flowed from her with a profuse fluency, the crimes wrought in them have not yet burst their which might have passed for inspiration, and which, vaults asunder-your men have still their crossbows, perhaps, she herself mistook for such. pistolets, and daggers--why need you seek to herbs or "Arise," she said, “Queen of France and of Engcharms for the execution of your revenges ?" land! Ariee, lioness of Scotland, and be not dismayed,

"Hear me, foul hag," said the Lady of Lockleven, though the nets of the hunters have encircled thee! - but what avails speaking to thee ?-- Bring Dryfes- Stoop not to feign with the false ones, whom thou dale hither, and let them be confronted together.' shalt soon meet in the field. The issue of battle is

"You may spare your retainers the labour,' replied with the God of armies, but by battle thy cause shall Magdalen Græme. "I came not here to be confronted be tried. Lay aside, then, the arts of lower mortals, with a base groom, nor to answer the interrogatories and assume those which become a Queen! True de of James's

heretical leman-I came to speak with the fender of the only true faith, the armory of heaven is Queen of Scotland-Give place there!"

open to thee! Faithful daughter of the Church, take And while the Lady of Lochleven stood confounded the keys of St. Peter, to bind and to loose !- Royal at her bildness, and at the reproach she had cast upon Princess of the land, take the sword of St. Paul, to herself, Magdalen Gräme 'strode past her into the smite and to shear! There is darkness in thy destiny; bedchamber of the Queen, and, kneeling on the floor, but not in these towers, not 'under the rule of their made a salitation as if, in the Oriental fashion, she haughty mistress, shall that destiny be closed-In meant to touch the earth with her forehead.

other lands the lioness may crouch to the power of the “Hail, Prir.cess!" she said, "hail, daughter of many igress, but not in her own-not in Scotland shall the a king, but g, aced above them all in that thou art Queen of Scotland long remain captive--nor is the called to suffer for the true faith !-hail to thee, the fate of the royal Stewart in the hands of the traitor pure gold of whuse crown has been tried in the seven- Douglas. Let the lady of Lochleven double her bolts times heated furnace of affliction-hear the comfort and deepen her dungeons, they shall not retain theewhich God and Our Lady send thee by the mouth of each element shall give thee its assistance ere thou thy unworthy servant. ---But first" -and stooping her shalt continue captive-the land shall lend its earthhead she crossed herself repeatedly, and, still upon quakes, the water its waves, the air its tempests, the her knees, appeared to be rapidly reciting some form- fire its devouring fames, to desolate this house, rather ula of devotion.

than it shall continue the place of thy captivity, 'Şcize her, and drag her to the massy-more!--To Hear this and tremble, all ye who fight against the the deepest dungeon with the sorceress, whose mas- light, for she says it, to whom it hath been assured! ter, the Devil, could alone have inspired her with S-e was silent, and the astonished physician said, boldness enough to insult the mother of Douglas in "If there was ever an Energumene, or possessed his own castle!"

Demoniac, in our days, there is a devil speaking with Thus spoke the incensed Lady of Lochleven, but that woman's tongue!: the physician presumed to interpose.

“Practice," said the Lady of Lochleven, recovering *I pray of you, honoured madam, she be permitted her surprise;" here is all practice and imposture-To to take her course without interruption. Peradventure the dungeon with her!". we shall learn something concerning the nostrum she "Lady of Lochleven," said Mary, arising from her hath ventured, contrary to law and the rules of art, to bed, and coming forward with her wonted dignity, adhibit to these ladies, through the medium of the ere you make arrest on any one in our presence, steward Dryfesdale."

hear me but one word. I have done you some wrong "For a fool," replied the Lady of Lochleven, "thou I believed you privy to the murderous purpose of your hast counselled wisely- I will bridle my resentment vassal, and I deceived you in suffering you to believe till their conference be over."

it had taken effect. I did you wrong, Lady of Loch*God forbid, honoured lady,” said Doctor Lundin, leven, for 1 perceive your purpose to aid me was sin"that you should suppress it longer-nothing may cere. We çasted not of the liquid, nor are we now more endanger the frame of your honoured body; and sick, save that we languish for our freedom.". truly, if there be witchcraft in this matter, it is held " It is avowed like Mary of Scotland," said Magby the vulgar, and even by solid authors on Demono dalen Græme; "and know, besides, that had the fogy, that three scruples of the ashes of the witch, Queen drained the draught to the dregs, it was harmwhen she hath been well and carefully burnt at a less as the water from a sainted spring. Trow ye, stake, is a grand Catholicon in such matier, even as proud woman," she added, addressing herself to the they prescribe crinis canis rabidi, a hair of the dog Lady of Lochleven, "ihat 1-l-would have been the that bit the

patient, in cases of hydrophobia. I war wretch to put poison in the hands of a servant or vasrant neither treatment, being out of the regular prac- sal of the house of Lochleven, knowing whom that tice of the schools; but, in the present case, there can house contained ? as soon would I have furnished be little harm in irying the conclusion upon this old drug to slay my own daughter!" necromancer and quacksalver-fiat experimentum "Am I thus bearded in mine own castle ?" said the (as we say) in corpore vili."

Lady; "to the dungeon with her !--she shal! abye "Peace, fool!" said the Lady, "she is about to what is due to the vender of poisons and pracuser of epeak."

witchcrafts." At that moment Magdalen Græme arose from her Yet hear me for an instant, Lady of Lochlesen," knces, and turned her countenance on the Queen, at said Mary; "and do you," to Magdalen, " be silent the same time advancing her foot, extending her arm, at my command.-Your steward, lady, has by contes. and assuming the mien and attitude of a Şibyl in vion attempted my life, and those of my householt, frenzy As her gray hair floated back from beneath and this woman hath done her best to save thein, by her coif, and her eye gleamed fire from under its shaggy furnishing him with what was harmless in place of eyebrow, the effect of her expressive though emaciated the fatal drugs which he expected. Methinks I profeatures, was heightened by an enthusiasm approach- pose to you but a fair exchange, when I say I forgivo ing to insanity, and her appearance struck with awe your vassal with all my heart, and leave vengeunce all who were present. Her eyes for a time glanced to God, and to his conscience, no that you also for

give the boldness of this woman in your presence ;) part; but Magdalen Græme, collecting herself

, was for we trust you do not hold it as a crime, that she about to reply, when the Queen interposed, saying, substituted an innocent beverage for the mortal poi- "Good mother, we heartily thank you for your un son which was to have drenched our cup.'

feigned zeal towards our person, and pray you, as our "Heaven forefend, madam,” said the Lady, that liege-woman, that you abstain from whatever may I should account that a crime which saved the house lead you into personal danger; and, further, it is our of Douglas from a foul breach of honour and hospi- will that you depart without a word of farther parley tality! We have written to our son touching our vas with any one in this castle. For thy present guerdon, sal's delict, and he must abide his doom, which will take this small reliquary-it was given to us by our most likely be death. Touching this woman, her uncle the Cardinal, and hath had the benediction of trade is damnable by Scripture, and is mortally pun- the Holy Father himself;--and now depart in peace ished by the wise laws of our ancestry—she also and in silence.-For you, learned sir," continued the must abide her doom."

Queen, advancing to ihe Doctor, who made his rever. "And have I then," said the Queen, "no claim on ence in a manner doubly embarrassed, by the awe of the house of Lochleven for the wrong I have so nearly the Queen's presence, which made him fear to do too suttered within their walls? I ask but in requital, the little, and by the apprehension of his lady's displealife of a frail and aged woman, whose brain, as your sure, in case he should chance to do too much, -"for self may judge, seeins somewhat affected by years you, learned sir, as it was not your fault, though surely and suffering."

our own good fortune, that we did not necd your skill at "If the Lady Mary," replied the inflexible Lady of this time, it would not become us, however cireum Lochleven, hath been menaced with wrong in the stanced, to suffer our leech to leave us without such house of Douglas, it may be regarded as some com- guerdon as we can offer." pensation, that her complots have cost that house the With these words, and with the grace which never exile of a valued son."

forsook her, though, in the present case, there might * Plead no more for me, my gracious Sovereign," lurk under it a little gentle ridicule, she offered a small said Magdalen Græme "nor abase yourself to ask so embroidered purse to the Chamberlain, who, with exmuch as a gray hair of my head at her hands. I tended hand and arched back, his learned face stoop knew the risk at which I served my Church and my ing until a physiognomist might have practised the Queen, and was ever prompt to pay my poor life as metoposcopical science upon it, as seen from behind the ransom. It is a comfort to think, that in slaying betwixt his gambadoes, was about to accept of the me, or in restraining my freedom, or even in injuring professional recompense offered by so fair as well as chat single gray hair, ihe house, whose honour she illustrious a hand. But the Lady interposed, and poasts so highly, will have filled up the measure of regarding the Chamberlain, said aloud, "Ny servant their shame by the breach of their solemn written of our house, without instantly relinquishing that assurance of safety." - And taking from her bosom a character, and incurring withal our highesi displeapaper, she handed it to the Queen.

sure, shall dare receive any gratuity at the hand of the "It is a solemn assurance of safety in life and Lady Mary." limb," said Queen Mary," with space to come and Sadly and slowly the Chamberlain raised his dego, under the hand and seal of the Chamberlain of pressed stature into the perpendicular attitude, and Kinross, granted to Magdalen Græme, commonly left the apartment deiectedly, followed by Magdalen called Mother

Nicneven, in consideration of her con- Græme, after, with mute but expressive gesture, she senting to put herself, for the space of twenty-four had kissed the reliquary with which the Queen had hours, if required, within the iron gate of the Castle presented her, and raising her clasped hands and of Lochleven."

uplifted eyès towards Heaven, had seemed to en“Knave!" said the Lady, turning to the chamber- treat a benediction upon the royal dame. As she left lain, "how dared you grant her such a protection ?" the castle, and went towards they quay where the

“It was by your Ladyship's orders, transmitted by boat lay, Roland Græme, anxious to communicate Randal, as he can bear witness," replied Doctor Lun- with her if possible, threw himself in her way, and din; "nay, I am only like the pharmacopolist, who might have succeeded in exchanging a few words compounds the drugs after the order of the media with her, as she was guarded only by the dejected ciner."

Chamberlain and his halberdiers, but she seemed to " I remember-I remember," answered the Lady; have taken, in its most strict and literal acceptation, " but I meant the assurance only to be used in case, the command to be silent which she had received by residing in another jurisdiction, she could not have from the Queen ; for, to the repeated signs of her been apprehended under our warrant."

grandson, she only replied by laying her finger on her "Nevertheless," said the Queen, the Lady of lip. Dr. Lundin was not so reserved. Regret for the Lochleven is bound by the action of her deputy in handsome gratuity, and for the compulsory task of granting the assurance."

self-denial imposed on him, had grieved the spint of "Madam,' replied the Lady, " the house of Dou- that worthy officer and learned mediciner- Even glas have never broken their safe-conduct, and never thus, my friend,” said he, squeezing

the page's hand will-100 deeply did they suffer by such a breach of as he bade him farewell, "is merit rewarded. I came trust, exercised on themselves, when your Grace's an- to cure this unhappy lady-and I profess she well de cestor, the second James, in defiance of the rights serves the trouble, for, say what they will of her, she of hospitality, and of his own written assurance of hath a most winning manner, a sweet voice, a grasafety, poniarded the brave Earl of Douglas with his cious smile, and a most majestic wave of her hand. own hand, and within two yards of the social board, If she was not poisoned, say, my dear Master Roland, at which he had just before sat the King of Scotland's was that fault of mine, 1 being ready to cure her it honoured guest."

she had ?--and now I am denied the permission to “Methinks," said the Queen, carelessly, "in con- accept my well-earned honorarium. O Galen: 0 sideration of so very recent and enormous a tragedy, Hippocrates! is the graduate's cap and doctor's scar. which I think only chanced some six-score years let brought to this pass! Frustra fatigamus remediis agone, the Douglasses should have shown themselves ægros !! less tenacious of the company of their sovereigns, He wiped his eyes, stepped on the gun wale, and than you, Lady of Lochleven, seem to be of mine." the boat pushed off from the shore, and went merrily

"Let Randal," said the Lady, take the hag back across the lake, which was dimpled by the sumpa to Kinross, and set her at full liberty, discharging wind.* her from our bounds in future, on peril of her head. And let your wisdom," to the Chamberlain, "keep make a tether or. The whole detail of the steward's supposed

* A romancer, to use a Scottish phrase, wants but a hair ta her company And fear not for your character, conspiracy against the life of Mary, is grounded up an elres though I send you in such company; for, granting sion in one of hier letters, which aftimus, that Jasper Dritese ale, her to be a witeh, it would be a waste of fagots to

murder William Douglas, (for his hve in the Queen's Osease) Jurn you for a wizard."

and averred that he would plant a dagree in Mary's on a heart The crestfallen Chamberlain was preparing to de- 1-CHALMER'S LISC of Queen Mary, voi. I. p. 378.

one of the Laird of Lochleven's stronis, bad thronteresit

« VorigeDoorgaan »