Rob Roy
 9780748628384

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THE EDINBURGH EDITION OF THE WAVERLEY NOVELS      - -      Professor David Hewitt

 The Royal Society of Edinburgh : The University of Edinburgh    Bank of Scotland   Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, Chairman Sir Eric Anderson : Professor Andrew Hook Professor R. D. S. Jack : Professor Sir Neil MacCormick Professor Douglas Mack : Professor Susan Manning Allan Massie : Professor Jane Millgate Professor David Nordloh : Sir Lewis Robertson   Dr J. H. Alexander, University of Aberdeen Professor P. D. Garside, University of Edinburgh Professor Claire Lamont, University of Newcastle Dr Alison Lumsden, University of Aberdeen G. A. M. Wood, University of Stirling Typographical Adviser The late Ruari McLean

  ROB ROY

EDINBURGH EDITION OF THE WAVERLEY NOVELS

to be complete in thirty volumes Each volume will be published separately but original conjoint publication of certain works is indicated in the     volume numbering [4a, b; 7a, b, etc.]. Where     editors have been appointed, their names are listed 1 2 3 4a 4b 5 6 7a 7b 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18a 18b 19 20 21 22 23a 23b 24 25a 25b

Waverley [1814] P. D. Garside Guy Mannering [1815] P. D. Garside The Antiquary [1816] David Hewitt The Black Dwarf [1816] P. D. Garside The Tale of Old Mortality [1816] Douglas Mack Rob Roy [1818] David Hewitt The Heart of Mid-Lothian [1818] David Hewitt & Alison Lumsden The Bride of Lammermoor [1819] J. H. Alexander A Legend of the Wars of Montrose [1819] J. H. Alexander Ivanhoe [1820] Graham Tulloch The Monastery [1820] Penny Fielding The Abbot [1820] Christopher Johnson Kenilworth [1821] J. H. Alexander The Pirate [1822] Mark Weinstein and Alison Lumsden The Fortunes of Nigel [1822] Frank Jordan Peveril of the Peak [1822] Alison Lumsden Quentin Durward [1823] J. H. Alexander and G. A. M. Wood Saint Ronan’s Well [1824] Mark Weinstein Redgauntlet [1824] G. A. M. Wood with David Hewitt The Betrothed [1825] J. B. Ellis The Talisman [1825] J. B. Ellis Woodstock [1826] Tony Inglis Chronicles of the Canongate [1827] Claire Lamont The Fair Maid of Perth [1828] A. Hook and D. Mackenzie Anne of Geierstein [1829] J. H. Alexander Count Robert of Paris [1831] J. H. Alexander Castle Dangerous [1831] J. H. Alexander The Shorter Fiction Graham Tulloch and Judy King Introductions and Notes from the Magnum Opus edition of 1829–33 Introductions and Notes from the Magnum Opus edition of 1829–33

WALTER SCOTT

ROB ROY

Edited by David Hewitt

 University Press

© The University Court of the University of Edinburgh 2008 Edinburgh University Press 22 George Square, Edinburgh Typeset in Linotronic Ehrhardt by Speedspools, Edinburgh and printed and bound in Great Britain on acid-free paper at Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham, Wilts.  978 0 7486 0569 9 A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without the prior permission in writing from the publisher.

FOREWORD

T  P           of Waverley in 1814 marked the emergence of the modern novel in the western world. It is difficult now to recapture the impact of this and the following novels of Scott on a readership accustomed to prose fiction either as picturesque romance, ‘Gothic’ quaintness, or presentation of contemporary manners. For Scott not only invented the historical novel, but gave it a dimension and a relevance that made it available for a great variety of new kinds of writing. Balzac in France, Manzoni in Italy, Gogol and Tolstoy in Russia, were among the many writers of fiction influenced by the man Stendhal called ‘notre père, Walter Scott’. What Scott did was to show history and society in motion: old ways of life being challenged by new; traditions being assailed by counter-statements; loyalties, habits, prejudices clashing with the needs of new social and economic developments. The attraction of tradition and its ability to arouse passionate defence, and simultaneously the challenge of progress and ‘improvement’, produce a pattern that Scott saw as the living fabric of history. And this history was rooted in place; events happened in localities still recognisable after the disappearance of the original actors and the establishment of new patterns of belief and behaviour. Scott explored and presented all this by means of stories, entertainments, which were read and enjoyed as such. At the same time his passionate interest in history led him increasingly to see these stories as illustrations of historical truths, so that when he produced his final Magnum Opus edition of the novels he surrounded them with historical notes and illustrations, and in this almost suffocating guise they have been reprinted in edition after edition ever since. The time has now come to restore these novels to the form in which they were presented to their first readers, so that today’s readers can once again capture their original power and freshness. At the same time, serious errors of transcription, omission, and interpretation, resulting from the haste of their transmission from manuscript to print can now be corrected. D D  University Press

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

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General Introduction

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ROB ROY Volume I

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Volume II

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Essay on the Text . . genesis

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composition

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the later editions

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the present text

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Emendation List

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End-of-line Hyphens .

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Historical Note

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Explanatory Notes Glossary Map .

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Scott Advisory Board and the editors of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels wish to express their gratitude to The University Court of the University of Edinburgh for its vision in initiating and supporting the preparation of the first critical edition of Walter Scott’s fiction. Those Universities which employ or once employed the editors have also contributed greatly in paying the editors’ salaries, and awarding research leave and grants for travel and materials. In addition to the universities, the project could not have prospered without the help of the sponsors cited below. Their generosity has met the direct costs of the initial research and of the preparation of the text of the novels appearing in this edition.    The collapse of the great Edinburgh publisher Archibald Constable in January 1826 entailed the ruin of Sir Walter Scott who found himself responsible for his own private debts, for the debts of the printing business of James Ballantyne and Co. in which he was co-partner, and for the bank advances to Archibald Constable which had been guaranteed by the printing business. Scott’s largest creditors were Sir William Forbes and Co., bankers, and the Bank of Scotland. On the advice of Sir William Forbes himself, the creditors did not sequester his property, but agreed to the creation of a trust to which he committed his future literary earnings, and which ultimately repaid the debts of over £120,000 for which he was legally liable. In the same year the Government proposed to curtail the rights of the Scottish banks to issue their own notes; Scott wrote the ‘Letters of Malachi Malagrowther’ in their defence, arguing that the measure was neither in the interests of the banks nor of Scotland. The ‘Letters’ were so successful that the Government was forced to withdraw its proposal and to this day the Scottish Banks issue their own notes. A portrait of Sir Walter appears on all current bank notes of the Bank of Scotland because Scott was a champion of Scottish banking, and because he was an illustrious and honourable customer not just of the Bank of Scotland itself, but also of three other banks now incorporated within it—the British Linen Bank, Sir William Forbes and Co., and Ramsays, Bonars and Company. Bank of Scotland’s support of the EEWN continues its long and fruitful involvement with the affairs of Walter Scott. viii

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          Between 1992 and 1998 the EEWN was greatly assisted by the British Academy through the award of a series of research grants which provided most of the support required for employing a research fellow, without whom steady progress could not have been maintained. In 2000 the AHRB awarded the EEWN a major grant which ensured the completion of the Edition. To both of these bodies, the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board, the Advisory Board and the editors express their thanks.   The Advisory Board and the editors also wish to acknowledge with gratitude the generous grants and gifts to the EEWN from the P. F. Charitable Trust, the main charitable trust of the Fleming family which founded the City firm Robert Fleming Holdings, now incorporated within J. P. Morgan; the Edinburgh University General Council Trust, now incorporated within the Edinburgh University Development Trust; Sir Gerald Elliott; the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland; the Modern Humanities Research Association; and the Robertson Trust.   The editor acknowledges with great gratitude the generosity of the late David Law Dixon in allowing access to the manuscript of Rob Roy, and for lending it to the National Library of Scotland, and later to Aberdeen University Library, to facilitate the textual investigation. The manuscript of Rob Roy is the last of Scott’s major manuscripts to be privately owned, and it took twenty years to locate it. The eventual success owes much to Mr A. S. Bell and Mr Patrick Cadell. The Bank of Scotland offered to meet the cost of getting the manuscript to Edinburgh; its help was crucial, and the editor wishes to thank specifically its then Governor Sir Jack Shaw, and its chief archivist, Mr Alan Cameron. A large proportion of the other manuscripts consulted in preparing this edition—Scott’s correspondence, the publishing records, and other relevant papers—are held by the National Library of Scotland, and, without access to the facilities and materials provided by that great institution, it would have been impossible to produce a proper scholarly edition. As always Dr Iain Brown’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the Library’s Scott holdings was repeatedly called upon. The Longman correspondence is in Reading University Library, and the assistance of Michael Bott, is gratefully acknowledged, as too is the permission of Longmans to publish material from the archive. Thanks are due to all those academic and public libraries whose editions of Rob Roy the editor examined. Particularly heavy use was made of the Special Collections of Aberdeen University Library, including the Bernard C. Lloyd Sir Walter Scott Collection which was purchased by the University of

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Aberdeen in 2002 with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The editor would like to thank Principal C. Duncan Rice, Dr Iain Beavan, head of Special Collections, the reading-room supervisor Ms Michelle Gait, and her colleagues, for all they have done for this edition of Rob Roy over many years. Elucidating Scott’s novels requires knowledge that no one person possesses, but those who read and work on Scott constitute a community on whose col-lective experience the editor drew liberally. Professor Jane Millgate is always hugely supportive, and her Union Catalogue of Walter Scott Correspondence was repeatedly used. The editor’s indebtedness to the published work of Professor Ian Duncan, Professor David Stevenson, and Professor William B. Todd is registered in the notes, and the Edition’s consultants, Professor John Cairns (Law), Professor Thomas Craik (literary allusions), Dr Caroline Jackson Houlston (popular song), Professor Donald Meek (Gaelic), Mr Roy Pinkerton (Classics) were generous in sharing their expertise. In addition the editor would like to thank all those who answered his many questions, or provided directions on the way: Sir Eric Anderson, literary executor to the late Dr James C. Corson, who kindly made available Dr Corson’s notes to the Waverley Novels, the late Professor David Buchan, the late Dr Iain Fraser, Professor Andrew Hook, the late Dr Alexander Law, Dr Andrew MacKillop, Professor Silvia Mergenthal, the late Mr David Murison, Professor Wilhelm Nicolaisen, Mr Peter Osbaldeston, the late Dr James Reed, Mr Angus Stewart, Q.C., and Mr Robert Tyson. The Rev. Dr Ian Clark (whose knowledge of books and history converts proof-correcting into intellectual enhancement), Dr Sheena Ford, Ms Ainsley McIntosh, and Ms Rachel Halliday found much, and corrected more. It is impossible to overstate what the editor owes to his immediate Scott colleagues. The work and the wisdom of Professor Peter Garside, Professor Claire Lamont and Mr G. A. M. Wood enriched this edition in countless ways. The textual investigation gained immeasurably from the skill and acumen of Dr Alison Lumsden when research fellow on the Edition. The criticism of Dr J. H. Alexander, who as general editor was involved in every aspect of the editing of Rob Roy, from selecting emendations to assessing the intellectual adequacy of the notes and the preparation of the glossary, has throughout been pertinent and acute. If this edition meets the standards set elsewhere in the series it is Ian Alexander who ensured that it does so. It has taken a long time to prepare Rob Roy, during which time the editor’s wife and family had to live with obsessive commentary on how a quotation was tracked, and on the extraordinary learning and creativity of Walter Scott: he thanks them for maintaining their supportive curiosity over such a long period. The General Editor for this volume was Dr J. H. Alexander, who also prepared the glossary.

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

What has the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels achieved? The original version of this General Introduction said that many hundreds of readings were being recovered from the manuscripts, and commented that although the individual differences were often minor, they were ‘cumulatively telling’. Such an assessment now looks tentative and tepid, for the textual strategy pursued by the editors has been justified by spectacular results. In each novel up to 2000 readings never before printed are being recovered from the manuscripts. Some of these are major changes although they are not always verbally extensive. The restoration of the pen-portraits of the Edinburgh literati in Guy Mannering, the reconstruction of the way in which Amy Robsart was murdered in Kenilworth, the recovery of the description of Clara Mowbray’s previous relationship with Tyrrel in Saint Ronan’s Well—each of these fills out what was incomplete, or corrects what was obscure. A surprising amount of what was once thought loose or unidiomatic has turned out to be textual corruption. Many words which were changed as the holograph texts were converted into print have been recognised as dialectal, period or technical terms wholly appropriate to their literary context. The mistakes in foreign languages, in Latin, and in Gaelic found in the early printed texts are usually not in the manuscripts, and so clear is this manuscript evidence that one may safely conclude that Friar Tuck’s Latin in Ivanhoe is deliberately full of errors. The restoration of Scott’s own shaping and punctuating of speech has often enhanced the rhetorical effectiveness of dialogue. Furthermore, the detailed examination of the text and supporting documents such as notes and letters has revealed that however quickly his novels were penned they mostly evolved over long periods; that although he claimed not to plan his work yet the shape of his narratives seems to have been established before he committed his ideas to paper; and that each of the novels edited to date has a precise time-scheme which implies formidable control of his stories. The Historical and Explanatory Notes reveal an intellectual command of enormously diverse materials, and an equal imaginative capacity to synthesise them. Editing the texts has revolutionised the editors’ understanding and appreciation of Scott, and will ultimately generate a much wider recognition of his quite extraordinary achievement. The text of the novels in the Edinburgh Edition is normally based on the first editions, but incorporates all those manuscript readings which were lost through accident, error, or misunderstanding in the process of xi

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converting holograph manuscripts into printed books. The Edition is the first to investigate all Scott’s manuscripts and proofs, and all the printed editions to have appeared in his lifetime, and it has adopted the textual strategy which best makes sense of the textual problems. It is clear from the systematic investigation of all the different states of Scott’s texts that the author was fully engaged only in the early stages (manuscripts and proofs, culminating in the first edition), and when preparing the last edition to be published in his lifetime, familiarly known as the Magnum Opus (1829–33). There may be authorial readings in some of the many intermediate editions, and there certainly are in the third edition of Waverley, but not a single intermediate edition of any of the nineteen novels so far investigated shows evidence of sustained authorial involvement. There are thus only two stages in the textual development of the Waverley Novels which might provide a sound basis for a critical edition. Scott’s holograph manuscripts constitute the only purely authorial state of the texts of his novels, for they alone proceed wholly from the author. They are for the most part remarkably coherent, although a close examination shows countless minor revisions made in the process of writing, and usually at least one layer of later revising. But the heaviest revising was usually done by Scott when correcting his proofs, and thus the manuscripts could not constitute the textual basis of a new edition; despite their coherence they are drafts. Furthermore, the holograph does not constitute a public form of the text: Scott’s manuscript punctuation is light (in later novels there are only dashes, full-stops, and speech marks), and his spelling system though generally consistent is personal and idiosyncratic. Scott’s novels were, in theory, anonymous publications—no title page ever carried his name. To maintain the pretence of secrecy, the original manuscripts were copied so that his handwriting should not be seen in the printing house, a practice which prevailed until 1827, when Scott acknowledged his authorship. Until 1827 it was these copies, not Scott’s original manuscripts, which were used by the printers. Not a single leaf of these copies is known to survive but the copyists probably began the tidying and regularising. As with Dickens and Thackeray in a later era, copy was sent to the printers in batches, as Scott wrote and as it was transcribed; the batches were set in type, proof-read, and ultimately printed, while later parts of the novel were still being written. When typesetting, the compositors did not just follow what was before them, but supplied punctuation, normalised spelling, and corrected minor errors. Proofs were first read in-house against the transcripts, and, in addition to the normal checking for mistakes, these proofs were used to improve the punctuation and the spelling. When the initial corrections had been made, a new set of proofs went to James Ballantyne, Scott’s friend and partner in the printing firm

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which bore his name. He acted as editor, not just as proof-reader. He drew Scott’s attention to gaps in the text and pointed out inconsistencies in detail; he asked Scott to standardise names; he substituted nouns for pronouns when they occurred in the first sentence of a paragraph, and inserted the names of speakers in dialogue; he changed incorrect punctuation, and added punctuation he thought desirable; he corrected grammatical errors; he removed close verbal repetitions; and in a cryptic correspondence in the margins of the proofs he told Scott when he could not follow what was happening, or when he particularly enjoyed something. These annotated proofs were sent to the author. Scott usually accepted Ballantyne’s suggestions, but sometimes rejected them. He made many more changes; he cut out redundant words, and substituted the vivid for the pedestrian; he refined the punctuation; he sometimes reworked and revised passages extensively, and in so doing made the proofs a stage in the creative composition of the novels. When Ballantyne received Scott’s corrections and revisions, he transcribed all the changes on to a clean set of proofs so that the author’s hand would not be seen by the compositors. Further revises were prepared. Some of these were seen and read by Scott, but he usually seems to have trusted Ballantyne to make sure that the earlier corrections and revisions had been executed. When doing this Ballantyne did not just read for typesetting errors, but continued the process of punctuating and tidying the text. A final proof allowed the corrections to be inspected and the imposition of the type to be checked prior to printing. Scott expected his novels to be printed; he expected that the printers would correct minor errors, would remove words repeated in close proximity to each other, would normalise spelling, and would insert a printed-book style of punctuation, amplifying or replacing the marks he had provided in manuscript. There are no written instructions to the printers to this effect, but in the proofs he was sent he saw what Ballantyne and his staff had done and were doing, and by and large he accepted it. This assumption of authorial approval is better founded for Scott than for any other writer, for Scott was the dominant partner in the business which printed his work, and no doubt could have changed the practices of his printers had he so desired. It is this history of the initial creation of Scott’s novels that led the editors of the Edinburgh Edition to propose the first editions as base texts. That such a textual policy has been persuasively theorised by Jerome J. McGann in his A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism (1983) is a bonus: he argues that an authoritative work is usually found not in the artist’s manuscript, but in the printed book, and that there is a collective responsibility in converting an author’s manuscript into print, exercised by author, printer and publisher, and governed by the nature of the understanding between the author and the other parties. In Scott’s case

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the exercise of such a collective responsibility produced the first editions of the Waverley Novels. On the whole Scott’s printers fulfilled his expectations. There are normally in excess of 50,000 variants in the first edition of a three-volume novel when compared with the manuscript, and the great majority are in accordance with Scott’s general wishes as described above. But the intermediaries, as the copyist, compositors, proof-readers, and James Ballantyne are collectively described, made mistakes; from time to time they misread the manuscripts, and they did not always understand what Scott had written. This would not have mattered had there not also been procedural failures: the transcripts were not thoroughly checked against the original manuscripts; Scott himself does not seem to have read the proofs against the manuscripts and thus did not notice transcription errors which made sense in their context; Ballantyne continued his editing in post-authorial proofs. Furthermore, it has become increasingly evident that, although in theory Scott as partner in the printing firm could get what he wanted, he also succumbed to the pressure of printer and publisher. He often had to accept mistakes both in names and the spelling of names because they were enshrined in print before he realised what had happened. He was obliged to accept the movement of chapters between volumes, or the deletion or addition of material, in the interests of equalising the size of volumes. His work was subject to bowdlerisation, and to a persistent attempt to have him show a ‘high example’ even in the words put in the mouths of his characters; he regularly objected, but conformed nonetheless. From time to time he inserted, under protest, explanations of what was happening in the narrative because the literal-minded Ballantyne required them. The editors of modern texts have a basic working assumption that what is written by the author is more valuable than what is generated by compositors and proof-readers. Even McGann accepts such a position, and argues that while the changes made in the course of translating the manuscript text into print are a feature of the acceptable ‘socialisation’ of the authorial text, they have authority only to the extent that they fulfil the author’s expectations about the public form of the text. The editors of the Edinburgh Edition normally choose the first edition of a novel as base-text, for the first edition usually represents the culmination of the initial creative process, and usually seems closest to the form of his work Scott wished his public to have. But they also recognise the failings of the first editions, and thus after the careful collation of all pre-publication materials, and in the light of their investigation into the factors governing the writing and printing of the Waverley Novels, they incorporate into the base-text those manuscript readings which were lost in the production process through accident, error, misunderstanding, or a misguided attempt to ‘improve’. In certain cases they also introduce into the base-texts revisions found in editions published almost immediately

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after the first, which they believe to be Scott’s, or which complete the intermediaries’ preparation of the text. In addition, the editors correct various kinds of error, such as typographical and copy-editing mistakes including the misnumbering of chapters, inconsistencies in the naming of characters, egregious errors of fact that are not part of the fiction, and failures of sense which a simple emendation can restore. In doing all this the editors follow the model for editing the Waverley Novels which was provided by Claire Lamont in her edition of Waverley (Oxford, 1981): her base-text is the first edition emended in the light of the manuscript. But they have also developed that model because working on the Waverley Novels as a whole has greatly increased knowledge of the practices and procedures followed by Scott, his printers and his publishers in translating holograph manuscripts into printed books. The result is an ‘ideal’ text, such as his first readers might have read had the production process been less pressurised and more considered. The Magnum Opus could have provided an alternative basis for a new edition. In the Advertisement to the Magnum Scott wrote that his insolvency in 1826 and the public admission of authorship in 1827 restored to him ‘a sort of parental control’, which enabled him to reissue his novels ‘in a corrected and . . . an improved form’. His assertion of authority in word and deed gives the Magnum a status which no editor can ignore. His introductions are fascinating autobiographical essays which write the life of the Author of Waverley. In addition, the Magnum has a considerable significance in the history of culture. This was the first time all Scott’s works of fiction had been gathered together, published in a single uniform edition, and given an official general title, in the process converting diverse narratives into a literary monument, the Waverley Novels. There were, however, two objections to the use of the Magnum as the base-text for the new edition. Firstly, this has been the form of Scott’s work which has been generally available for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; a Magnum-based text is readily accessible to anyone who wishes to read it. Secondly, a proper recognition of the Magnum does not extend to approving its text. When Scott corrected his novels for the Magnum, he marked up printed books (specially prepared by the binder with interleaves, hence the title the ‘Interleaved Set’), but did not perceive the extent to which these had slipped from the text of the first editions. He had no means of recognising that, for example, over 2000 differences had accumulated between the first edition of Guy Mannering and the text which he corrected, in the 1822 octavo edition of the Novels and Tales of the Author of Waverley. The printed text of Redgauntlet which he corrected, in the octavo Tales and Romances of the Author of Waverley (1827), has about 900 divergences from the first edition, none of which was authorially sanctioned. He himself made about 750 corrections to the text of Guy Mannering and

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200 to Redgauntlet in the Interleaved Set, but those who assisted in the production of the Magnum were probably responsible for a further 1600 changes to Guy Mannering, and 1200 to Redgauntlet. Scott marked up a corrupt text, and his assistants generated a systematically cleanedup version of the Waverley Novels. The Magnum constitutes the author’s final version of his novels and thus has its own value, and as the version read by the great Victorians has its own significance and influence. To produce a new edition based on the Magnum would be an entirely legitimate project, but for the reasons given above the Edinburgh editors have chosen the other valid option. What is certain, however, is that any compromise edition, that drew upon both the first and the last editions published in Scott’s lifetime, would be a mistake. In the past editors, following the example of W. W. Greg and Fredson Bowers, would have incorporated into the firstedition text the introductions, notes, revisions and corrections Scott wrote for the Magnum Opus. This would no longer be considered acceptable editorial practice, as it would confound versions of the text produced at different stages of the author’s career. To fuse the two would be to confuse them. Instead, Scott’s own material in the Interleaved Set is so interesting and important that it will be published separately, and in full, in the two parts of Volume 25 of the Edinburgh Edition. For the first time in print the new matter written by Scott for the Magnum Opus will be wholly visible. The Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels aims to provide the first reliable text of Scott’s fiction. It aims to recover the lost Scott, the Scott which was misunderstood as the printers struggled to set and print novels at high speed in often difficult circumstances. It aims in the Historical and Explanatory Notes and in the Glossaries to illuminate the extraordinary range of materials that Scott weaves together in creating his stories. All engaged in fulfilling these aims have found their enquiries fundamentally changing their appreciation of Scott. They hope that readers will continue to be equally excited and astonished, and to have their understanding of these remarkable novels transformed by reading them in their new guise.   January 1999

ADVERTISEMENT W       E  of the following volumes published, about two years since, the work called “The Antiquary,” he announced that he was, for the last time, intruding upon the public in his present capacity. He might shelter himself under the plea, that every anonymous writer is, like the celebrated Junius, only a phantom, and that therefore, although an apparition of a more benign, as well as much meaner description, he cannot be bound to plead to a charge of inconsistency. A better apology may be found in the imitating the confession of honest Benedict, that when he said he would die a bachelor, he did not think he should live to be married. The best of all would be, if, as has eminently happened in the case of some distinguished contemporaries, the merit of the work should, in the reader’s estimation, form an excuse for the author’s breach of promise. Without presuming to hope that this may prove the case, it is only further necessary to mention, that my resolution, like that of Benedict, fell a sacrifice to temptation at least, if not to stratagem. It is now about six months since the Author, through the medium of his respectable Publishers, received a parcel of Papers, containing the Outlines of this narrative, with a permission, or rather with a request, couched in highly flattering terms, that they might be given to the Public, with such alterations as should be found suitable. These were of course so numerous, that, besides the suppression of names, and of incidents approaching too much to reality, the work may in a great measure be said to be new written. Several anachronisms have probably crept in during the course of these changes; and the mottoes for the Chapters have been selected without any reference to the supposed date of the incidents. For these, of course, the Editor is responsible. Some others occurred in the original materials, but they are of little consequence. In point of minute accuracy, it may be stated, that the bridge over the Forth, or rather the Avondhu, (or Black River,) near the hamlet of Aberfoil, had not an existence thirty years ago. It does not, however, become the Editor to be the first to point out these errors; and he takes this public opportunity to thank the unknown and nameless correspondent, to whom the reader will owe the principal share of any amusement which he may derive from the following pages. 3

ROB ROY  

Chapter One How have I sinn’d, that this affliction Should light so heavy on me? I have no more sons, And this no more mine own.—My grand curse Hang o’er his head that thus transform’d thee. Travel! I’ll send my horse to travel next. Monsieur Thomas

Y                me, my dear friend, to bestow some of that leisure with which Providence has blessed the decline of my life, in registering the hazards and difficulties which attended its commencement. The recollection of those adventures, as you are pleased to term them, has indeed left upon my mind a chequered and varied feeling of pleasure and of pain, mingled, I trust, with no slight gratitude and veneration to the Disposer of human events, who guided my early course through much risk and labour, that the ease with which he has blessed my prolonged life, might seem softer from remembrance and comparison. Neither is it possible for me to doubt, what you have often affirmed, that the incidents which befel me among a people singularly primitive in their government and manners, have something interesting and attractive for those who love to hear an old man’s stories of a past age. Still, however, you must remember, that the tale told by one friend, and listened to by another, loses half its charms when committed to paper; and that the narratives to which you have listened with interest, as told by the voice of him to whom they occurred, will appear less deserving of attention when perused in the seclusion of your study. But your greener age and robust constitution promise longer life than will, in all human probability, be the lot of your friend. Throw, then, these sheets into some secret drawer of your escrutoire till we are separated from each other’s society by an event which may happen at 5

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any moment, and which must happen within the course of a few,—a very few years. When we are parted in this world, to meet, I hope, in a better, you will, I am well aware, cherish more than it deserves the memory of your departed friend, and will find in every detail which I am now to commit to paper, matter for melancholy, but not unpleasing reflection. Others bequeath to the confidents of their bosom portraits of their external features—I put into your hands a faithful transcript of my thoughts and feelings, of my virtues and of my failings, with the assured hope, that the follies and headstrong impetuosity of my youth will meet the same kind construction and forgiveness which has so often attended the faults of my matured age. One advantage, among the many, of addressing my Memoirs, if I may give these sheets a name so imposing to a dear and intimate friend, is, that I might spare some of the details, in this case unnecessary, with which I must needs have detained a stranger from what I have to say of greater interest. Why should I bestow all my tediousness upon you because I have you in my power, and have ink, paper, and time before me? At the same time, I dare not promise that I may not abuse the opportunity so temptingly offered me, to treat of myself and my own concerns, even though I speak of circumstances as well known to you as to myself. The seductive love of detail, when we ourselves are the heroes of the events which we tell, often disregards the attention due to the time and patience of the audience, and the best and wisest have yielded to its fascination. I need only remind you of the singular instance evinced by the form of that rare original edition of Sully’s Memoirs, which you (with the fond vanity of a book-collector), insist upon preferring to that which is reduced to the useful and ordinary form of Memoirs, but which I think curious, solely as illustrating how far so great a man as the author was accessible to the foible of selfimportance. If I recollect right, that venerable peer and great statesman had appointed no fewer than four gentlemen of his household to draw up the events of his life, under the title of Memorials of the Sage and Royal Affairs of State, Domestic, Political, and Military, transacted by Henry IV., and so forth. These sage recorders, having made their compilation, reduced the Memoirs containing all the remarkable events of their master’s life into a narrative, addressed to himself in propria persona. And thus, instead of telling his own story, in the third person, like Julius Cæsar, or in the first person, like most who, in the hall, or the study, undertake to be the heroes of their own tale, Sully enjoyed the refined, though whimsical pleasure, of having the events of his life told over to him by his secretaries, being himself the auditor, as he was also the hero, and probably the author of the whole book. It must have been a great sight to have seen the ex-minister, as bolt

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upright as a starched ruff and laced cassock could make him, seated in state beneath his canopy, and listening to the recitation of his compilers, while, standing bare in his presence, they informed him gravely, “Thus said the duke—so did the duke infer—such were your grace’s sentiments upon this important point—such were your secret counsels to the king upon that other emergency,”—circumstances of which all must have been much better known to their hearer than to themselves, and most could only be derived from his own special communication. My situation is not quite so ludicrous as that of the Great Sully, and yet there would be something whimsical in Frank Osbaldistone giving Will Tresham a formal account of his birth, education, and connections in the world. I will, therefore, wrestle with the tempting spirit of P.P., Clerk of our Parish, as I best may, and endeavour to tell you little or nothing that is familiar to you already. Some things, however, I must recal to your memory, because, though formerly well known to you, they may have been forgotten through lapse of time, and they afford the ground-work of my destiny. You must remember my father well, for as your own was a member of the mercantile house, you knew him from infancy. Yet you hardly saw him in his best days, before age and infirmity had quenched his ardent spirit of enterprize and speculation. He would have been a poorer man indeed, but perhaps as happy, had he devoted to the extension of science those active energies, and acute powers of observation, for which commercial pursuits found occupation. Yet, in the fluctuations of mercantile speculation, there is something captivating to the adventurer, even independent of the hope of gain. He who embarks on that fickle sea, requires to possess the skill of the pilot and the fortitude of the navigator, and after all may be wrecked and lost, unless the gales of fortune breathe in his favour. This mixture of necessary attention and inevitable hazard,—the frequent and awful uncertainty whether prudence shall overcome fortune, or fortune baffle the schemes of prudence,—affords full occupation for the powers, as well as for the feelings of the mind, and trade has all the fascination of gambling without its moral guilt. Early in the eighteenth century, when I (Heaven help me) was a youth of some twenty years old, I was summoned suddenly from Bourdeaux to attend my father on business of importance. I shall never forget our first interview. You recollect the brief, abrupt, and somewhat stern mode in which he was wont to communicate his pleasure to those around him. Methinks I see him even now in my mind’s eye; the firm and upright figure, the step quick and determined, the eye which glanced so keen and so penetrating a glance, the

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features on which care had already planted wrinkles,—and hear his language, in which he never wasted word in vain, expressed in a voice which had sometimes an occasional harshness, far from the intention of the speaker. When I dismounted from my post-horse, I hastened to my father’s apartment. He was traversing it with an air of composed and steady deliberation, which even my arrival, although an only son unseen for four years, was unable to discompose. I threw myself into his arms. He was a kind, though not a fond father, and the tear twinkled in his dark eye, but it was only for a moment. “Du Bourg writes to me that he is satisfied with you, Frank.” “I am happy, sir”—— “But I have less reason to be so,” he added, sitting down at his bureau. “I am sorry, sir”—— “Sorry and happy, Frank, are words that, on most occasions, signify little or nothing—here is your last letter.” He took it out from a number of others tied up in a parcel of red tape, and curiously labelled and filed. There lay my poor epistle, written on the subject the nearest to my heart at the time, and couched in words which I had thought would work compassion, if not conviction,—there, I say, it lay, squeezed up among the letters on miscellaneous business in which my father’s daily affairs had engaged him. I cannot help smiling internally when I recollect the mixture of hurt vanity, and wounded feeling, with which I regarded my remonstrance, to the penning of which there had gone, I promise you, some trouble, as I beheld it extracted from amongst letters of advice, of credit, and all the common-place lumber, as I then thought, of a merchant’s correspondence. Surely, thought I, a letter of such importance (I dared not even say to myself so well written,) deserved a separate place, as well as more anxious consideration, than those on the ordinary business of the compting-house. But my father did not observe my dissatisfaction, and would not have minded it if he had. He proceeded, with the letter in his hand. “This, Frank, is your’s of the 21st ultimo, in which you advise me, (reading from my letter) that in the most important business of forming a plan, and adopting a profession for life, you trust my paternal goodness will hold you entitled to at least a negative voice—that you have insuperable—aye, insuperable is the word—I wish, by the way, you would write a more distinct current hand, draw a score through the tops of your t’s, and open the loops of your l’s—insuperable objections to the arrangements which I have proposed to you. There is much more to the same effect, occupying four good pages of paper,

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which a little attention to perspicuity and distinctness of expression might have compressed within as many lines. For, after all, Frank, it amounts but to this—that you will not do as I would have you.” “That I cannot, sir, in the present instance—not that I will not.” “Words avail very little with me, young man,” said my father, whose inflexibility always possessed the air of the most perfect calmness and self-possession. “Can not may be a more civil phrase than will not, but the expressions are synonymous where there is no moral impossibility. But I am not a friend to doing business hastily; we will talk this matter over after dinner.—Owen!” Owen appeared, not with the silver locks which you were used to venerate, for he was then little more than fifty. But he had the same, or an exactly similar suit of light brown clothes—the same pearl-grey silk stockings—the same stock, with its silver buckle—the same decent periwig—the same plaited cambric ruffles, drawn down over his knuckles in the parlour, but in the counting-house carefully folded back under the sleeves, that they might remain unstained by the ink which he daily consumed—in a word, the same grave, formal, yet benevolent cast of features, which continued to his death to distinguish the head clerk of the great house of Osbaldistone and Tresham. “Owen,” said my father, as the kind old man shook me affectionately by the hand, “you must dine with us to-day, and hear the news Frank has brought us from our friends at Bourdeaux.” Owen made one of his stiff bows of respectful gratitude; for in those days, when the distance between superiors and inferiors was inforced in a manner to which the present times are strangers, such an invitation was a favour of some little consequence. I shall long remember that dinner party. Deeply affected by feelings of anxiety, not unmingled with displeasure, I was unable to take that active share in the conversation which my father seemed to expect from me; and I gave too frequently unsatisfactory answers to the questions with which he assailed me. Owen, hovering betwixt his respect for his patron, and his love for the youth he had dandled on his knee in childhood, like the timorous, yet anxious ally of an invaded nation, endeavoured at every blunder I made to explain my no-meaning, and to cover my retreat, manœuvres which added to my father’s pettish displeasure, and brought a share of it upon himself, instead of protecting me. I had not, while residing in the house of Du Bourg, absolutely conducted myself like A clerk condemn’d his father’s soul to cross, Who penn’d a stanza when he should engross.

But, to say truth, I had frequented the counting-house no more than I had found absolutely necessary to secure the good report of the

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Frenchman, long a correspondent of our firm, to whom my father had trusted for initiating me into the secrets of commerce. In fact, my principal attention had been dedicated to literature and exercises. My father did not altogether discourage such acquirements, whether mental or personal. He had too much good sense not to perceive, that they sate gracefully upon every man, and he was sensible that they relieved and dignified the character to which he wished me to aspire. But his chief ambition was, that I should succeed not merely to his fortune, but to the views and plans by which he imagined he could extend and perpetuate the wealthy inheritance which he designed for me. Love of his profession was the motive which he chose should be most ostensible, when he urged me to tread the same paths; but he had others with which I only became acquainted at a later period. Impetuous in his schemes, as well as skilful and daring, each new adventure, when successful, became at once the incentive, and furnished the means, for farther speculation. It seemed to be necessary to him, as to an ambitious conqueror, to push on from achievement to achievement, without stopping to secure, far less to enjoy, the acquisitions which he made. Accustomed to see his whole fortune trembling in the scales of chance, and dexterous at adopting expedients for casting the balance in his favour, his health and spirits and activity seemed even to increase with the animating hazards on which he staked his wealth; and he resembled a sailor, accustomed to brave the billows and the foe, whose confidence rises on the eve of tempest or of battle. He was not, however, insensible to the changes which increasing age or supervening malady might make in his own constitution; and was anxious in good time to secure in me an assistant, who might take the helm when his hand grew weary, and keep the vessel’s way, according to his counsel and instruction. Paternal affection, as well as the furtherance of his own plans, determined him to the same conclusion. Your father, though his fortune was vested in the house, was only a sleeping partner, as the commercial phrase goes; and Owen, whose probity and skill in the details of arithmetic rendered his services invaluable as a head clerk, was not possessed either of information or talents sufficient to conduct the mysteries of the principal management. If my father was suddenly summoned from life, what should become of the world of schemes which he had formed, unless his son was moulded into a commercial Hercules, fit to sustain the weight when relinquished by the falling Atlas? And what would become of that son himself, if, a stranger to business of this description, he found himself at once involved in the labyrinth of mercantile concerns, without the clue of knowledge necessary for his extrication? For all

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these reasons, avowed and secret, my father was determined I should embrace his profession. And when he was determined, the resolution of no man was more immoveable. I, however, was also a party to be consulted, and, with something of his own pertinacity, I had formed a determination precisely contrary. It may, I hope, be some palliative for the resistance, which, on this occasion, I offered to my father’s wishes, that I did not fully understand upon what they were founded, or how deeply his happiness was involved in them. Imagining myself certain of a large succession in future, and ample maintenance in the meanwhile, it never occurred to me that it might be necessary, in order to secure these blessings, to submit to labour and limitations unpleasant to my taste and temper. I only saw in my father’s proposal for my engaging in business, a desire that I should add to those heaps of wealth which he had himself acquired; and imagining myself the best judge of the path to my own happiness, I did not conceive that I should increase it by augmenting a fortune which I believed was already sufficient, and more than sufficient, for every use, comfort, and elegant enjoyment. Accordingly, I am compelled to repeat, that my time at Bourdeaux had not been spent as my father had proposed to himself. What he considered as the chief end of my residence in that city, I had postponed to every other, and would (had I dared) have neglected it altogether. Du Bourg, a favoured and benefitted correspondent of our mercantile house, was too much of a shrewd politician to make such reports to the head of the firm concerning his only child, as would excite the displeasure of both; and he might also, as you will presently hear, have views of selfish advantage in suffering me to neglect the purposes for which I was placed under his charge. My conduct was regulated by the bounds of decency and good order, and thus far he had no evil report to make, supposing him so disposed; but, perhaps, the crafty Frenchman would have been equally complaisant, had I been in the habit of indulging worse failings than those of indolence and aversion to mercantile business. As it was, while I gave a decent portion of my time to the commercial studies he recommended, he was by no means envious of the hours which I dedicated to other and more classical attainments, nor did he ever find fault with me for dwelling upon Corneille and Boileau, in preference to Postlethwayte, (supposing his folio to have then existed, and Monsieur Du Bourg able to have pronounced his name), or Savary, or any other writer on commercial economy. He had picked up somewhere a convenient phrase, with which he rounded off every letter to his correspondent. “I was all,” he said, “that a father could wish.” My father never quarrelled with a phrase, however frequently

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repeated, provided it seemed to him distinct and expressive; and Addison himself could not have found expressions so satisfactory to him as, “Your’s received, and duly honoured the bills inclosed, as per margin.” Knowing, therefore, very well what he desired me to be, Mr Osbaldistone made no doubt, from the frequent repetition of Du Bourg’s favourite phrase, that I was the very thing he wished to see me; when, in an evil hour, he received my letter, containing my eloquent and detailed apology for declining a place in the firm, and a desk and stool in the corner of the dark counting-house in Crane Alley, surmounting in height those of Owen, and the other clerks, and only inferior to the tripod of my father himself. All was wrong from that moment. Du Bourg’s reports became as suspicious as if his bills had been noted for dishonour. I was summoned home in all haste, and received in the manner I have already communicated to you.

Chapter Two I begin shrewdly to suspect the young man of a terrible taint— poetry! with which idle disease if he be infected, there’s no hope of him in a state course. Actum est of him for a commonwealth’s man, if he go to’t in rhyme once. B J    ’  Bartholomew Fair

M        had, generally speaking, his temper under complete self-command, and his anger rarely indicated itself by words, except in a sort of dry testy manner towards those who had displeased him. He never used threats or expressions of loud resentment. All was arranged with him upon system, and it was his practice to “do the needful” upon every occasion, without wasting words about it. It was, therefore, with a bitter smile that he listened to my imperfect answers concerning the state of commerce in France, and unmercifully permitted me to involve myself deeper and deeper in the mysteries of agio, tariffs, tare and tret; nor can I charge my memory with his having looked positively angry, until he found me unable to explain the exact effect which the recent depreciation of the louis d’or had produced upon the negociation of bills of exchange. “The most remarkable national occurrence in my time,” said my father, (who nevertheless had seen the Revolution) “and he knows no more of it than a post on the quay!” “Mr Francis,” suggested Owen, in his timid and conciliatory manner, “cannot have forgotten, that by an arret of the King of France, dated 1st May, 1700, it was provided that the porteur, within ten days after due, must make demand”——

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“Mr Francis,” said my father, interrupting him, “will, I dare say, recollect for the moment any thing that you are so kind as to hint to him.—But body o’ me! how Du Bourg could permit him——hark ye, Owen, what sort of a youth is Clement Du Bourg, his nephew there— in the office—the black-haired lad?” “One of the cleverest clerks, sir, in the house; a prodigious young man for his time,” answered Owen; for the gaiety and civility of the young Frenchman had won his heart. “Aye, aye, I suppose he knows something of the nature of exchange. Du Bourg was determined I should have one youngster at least about my hand who understood business—but I see his drift, and he shall find that I do so when he looks at the balance-sheet—Owen, let Clement’s salary be paid up to next quarter-day, and let him ship himself back to Bourdeaux in his uncle’s ship, which is clearing out yonder.” “Dismiss Clement Du Bourg, sir?” said Owen, with a faultering voice. “Yes, sir, dismiss him instantly—it is enough to have a stupid Englishman in the counting-house to make blunders, without keeping a sharp Frenchman there to profit by them.” I had lived long enough in the territories of the Grand Monarque to contract a hearty aversion to arbitrary exertion of authority, even if it had not been instilled into me with my earliest breeding; and I could not refrain from interposing, to prevent an innocent and meritorious young man from paying the penalty of having acquired that proficiency which my father had desired for me. “I beg pardon, sir,” I said when Mr Osbaldistone had done speaking, “but I think it but just, that, if I have been negligent of my studies, I should pay the forfeit myself. I have no reason to charge Monsieur Du Bourg with having neglected to give me opportunity of improvement, however little I may have profited by it—and with respect to Monsieur Clement Du Bourg”— “With respect to him, and to you, I shall take the measures which I see needful,” replied my father. “But ’tis fair in you, Frank, to take your own blame on your own shoulders—very fair, that cannot be denied. I cannot acquit old Du Bourg,” he said, looking to Owen, “for having merely afforded Frank the means of useful knowledge, without either seeing that he took advantage of them, or reporting to me if he did not. You see, Owen, he has natural notions of equity becoming a British merchant.” “Mr Francis,” said the head clerk, with his usual formal inclination of the head, and a slight elevation of his right hand, which he had acquired by a habit of sticking his pen behind his ear before he spoke

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—“Mr Francis seems to understand the fundamental principle of all moral accounting—the great ethic rule of three—Let A do to B, as he would have B do to him; the product will give the rule of conduct required.” My father smiled at this reduction of the Golden Rule to arithmetical form, but instantly proceeded. “All this signifies nothing, Frank; you have been throwing away your time like a boy, and in future you must learn to live like a man. I shall put you under Owen’s care for a few months, to recover the lost ground.” I was about to reply, but Owen looked at me with such a supplicatory and warning gesture, that I was involuntarily silent. “We will then,” continued my father, “resume the subject of mine of the 1st ultimo, to which you sent me an answer which was unadvised and unsatisfactory. So now, fill your glass, and push the bottle to Owen.” Want of courage—of audacity, if you will,—was never my failing. I answered firmly, “I was sorry that my letter was unsatisfactory— unadvised it was not; for I had given the proposal his goodness had made me my instant and anxious attention, and it was with no small pain that I found myself obliged to decline it.” My father bent his keen eye for a moment on me, and instantly withdrew it. As he made no answer, I thought myself obliged to proceed, though with some hesitation, and he only interrupted me by monosyllables. “It is impossible, sir, for me to have a higher respect for any character than I have for the commercial, even were it not yours.” “Indeed!” “It connects nation with nation, relieves the wants, and contributes to the wealth of all; and is to the general commonwealth of the civilized world what the daily intercourse of ordinary life is to private society, or rather, what air and food are to our bodies.” “Well, sir?” “And yet, sir, I find myself compelled to persist in declining to adopt a character which I am so ill qualified to support.” “I will take care that you acquire the qualifications necessary. You are no longer the guest and pupil of Du Bourg.” “But, my dear sir, it is no defect of teaching which I plead, but my own inability to profit by instruction.” “Nonsense—have you kept your journal in the terms I desired?” “Yes, sir.” “Be pleased to bring it here.” The volume thus required was a sort of common-place book, kept

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by my father’s recommendation, in which I had been directed enter notes of the miscellaneous information which I acquired in the course of my studies. Foreseeing that he would demand inspection of this record, I had been attentive to transcribe such particulars of information as he would most likely be pleased with, but too often the pen had discharged the task without much correspondence with the head. And it had also happened, that, the book being the receptacle nearest to my hand, I had occasionally jotted down memoranda which had little regard to traffic. I now put it into my father’s hand, devoutly hoping he might light on nothing that would increase his displeasure against me. Owen’s face, which had looked something blank when the question was put, cleared up at my ready answer, and wore a smile of hope, when I brought from my apartment, and placed before my father, a commercial-looking volume, rather broader than it was long, having brazen clasps and a binding of rough calf. This looked business-like, and was encouraging to my benevolent well-wisher. But he actually smiled with pleasure as he heard my father run over some part of the contents, muttering his critical remarks as he went on. “Brandies—Barils and barricants, also tonneaux.—At Nantz 29— Veltes to the barique at Cognac and Rochelle 27—at Bourdeaux 32— Very right, Frank—Duties on tonnage at custom-house, see Saxby’s Tables— That’s not well; you should have transcribed the passage—it fixes the thing in the memory—Reports outward and inward— Corn debentures—Over-sea Cockets—Linens—Isingham—Gentish— Borelaps—Stock-fish—Titling, cropling, lub-fish. You should have noted that they are all, nevertheless, to be entered as titlings.—How many inches long is a titling?” Owen, seeing me at fault, hazarded a whisper, of which I fortunately caught the import. “Eighteen inches, sir”— “And a lub-fish is twenty-four—very right. It is important to remember this, on account of the Portugueze trade.—But what have we here?—Bourdeaux founded in the year—Castle of the Trompette— Palace of Gallienus—Well, well, that’s very right too.—This is a kind of waste-book, Owen, in which all the transactions of the day, emptions, orders, payments, receipts, acceptances, draughts, commissions, and advices, are entered miscellaneously.” “That they may be regularly transferred to the day-book and ledger,” answered Owen; “I am glad Mr Francis is so methodical.” I perceived myself getting so fast into favour, that I began to fear the consequence would be my father’s more obstinate perseverance in his resolution that I must become a merchant, and, as I was determined on the contrary, I began to wish I had not, to use my friend Mr Owen’s

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phrase, been quite so methodical. But I had no reason for apprehension on that score; for a blotted piece of paper dropped out of the book, and, being taken up by my father, he interrupted a hint from Owen, on the propriety of securing loose memoranda with a little paste, by exclaiming,“To the memory of Edward the Black Prince —What’s all this?—verses!—By Heaven, Frank, you are a greater blockhead than I supposed you!” My father, you must recollect, as a man of business, looked upon the labour of poets with contempt; and as a religious man, and of the dissenting persuasion, he considered such pursuits as equally trivial and profane. Before you condemn him, you must recal to remembrance how too many of the poets in the end of the seventeenth century had led their lives and employed their talents. The sect also to which my father belonged, felt, or perhaps affected, a puritanical aversion to the lighter exertions of literature. So that many causes contributed to augment the unpleasant surprise occasioned by the ill-timed discovery of this unfortunate copy of verses. As for poor Owen, could the bob-wig which he then wore have uncurled itself, and stood on end with horror, I am convinced the morning’s labour of the friseur would have been undone, merely by the excess of his astonishment at this enormity. An inroad on the strong box, or an erasure in the ledger, or a mis-summation in a fitted account, could hardly have surprised him more disagreeably. My father read the lines sometimes with an affectation of not being able to understand the sense,—sometimes in a mouthing tone of mock heroic,—always with an emphasis of the most bitter irony, most irritating to the nerves of the author. “O for the voice of that wild horn, On Fontarabian echoes borne, The dying hero’s call, That told imperial Charlemagne, The Paynim sons of swarthy Spain Had wrought his champion’s fall.

“Fontarabian echoes!” continued my father, interrupting himself; “the Fontarabian Fair would have been more to the purpose. Paynim? What’s Paynim? could you not say Pagan as well, and write English, at least, if you must needs write nonsense.— “Sad over earth and ocean sounding, And England’s distant cliffs astounding, Such are the notes should say How Britain’s hope, and France’s fear, Victor of Cressy and Poitier, In Bourdeaux dying lay.

“Poitiers, by the way, is always spelled with an s, and I know no reason why orthography should give place to rhyme.—

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“ ‘Raise my faint head, my squires,’ he said, ‘And let the casement be display’d, That I may see once more The splendour of the setting sun Gleam on thy mirror’d wave, Garonne, And Blaye’s empurpled shore.’

“Garonne and sun is a bad rhyme. Why, Frank, you do not even understand the beggarly trade you have chosen. “ ‘Like me, he sinks to Glory’s sleep, His fall the dews of evening steep, As if in sorrow shed. So soft shall fall the trickling tear, When England’s maids and matrons hear Of their Black Edward dead. “ ‘And though my sun of glory set, Nor France, nor England shall forget The terrors of my name; And oft shall Britain’s heroes rise, New planets in these southern skies, Through clouds of blood and flame.’

“A cloud of flame is something new—Good-morrow, my masters all, and a merry Christmas to you!—Why, the bellman writes better lines.” He then tossed the paper from him with an air of superlative contempt, and concluded,—“Upon my credit, Frank, you are a greater blockhead than I took you for.” What could I say, my dear Tresham?—There I stood, swelling with indignant mortification, while my father regarded me with a calm but stern look of scorn and pity; and poor Owen, with uplifted hands and eyes, looked as striking a picture of horror as if he had just read his patron’s name in the Gazette. At length I took courage to speak, endeavouring that my tone of voice should betray my feelings as little as possible. “I am quite aware, sir, how ill qualified I am to play the conspicuous part in society you have destined for me; and, luckily, I am not ambitious of the wealth I might acquire. Mr Owen would be a much more effective assistant.” I said this in some malice, for I considered Owen as having deserted my cause a little too soon. “Owen?” said my father—“The boy is mad—actually insane— And, pray, sir, if I may presume to enquire, having coolly turned me over to Mr Owen, (although I may expect more attention from any one than from my son) what may your own sage projects be?” “I should wish, sir,” I replied, summoning up my courage, “to travel for two or three years, should that consist with your pleasure—otherwise, although late, I would willingly spend the same time at Oxford or Cambridge.”

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“In the name of common sense!” said my father, “was the like ever heard?—to put yourself to school among pedants and jacobites, when you might be pushing your fortune in the world! Why not go to Westminster or Eaton at once, man, and take to Lily’s Grammar and Accidence, and to the birch too, if you like it?” “Then, sir, if you think my plan of improvement too late, I would willingly return to the continent.” “You have spent too much time there to little purpose, Mr Francis.” “Then I would choose the army, sir, in preference to any other active line of life.” “Choose the d—l,” answered my father, hastily, and then checking himself—“I profess you make me as great a fool as you are yourself. Is he not enough to drive one mad, Owen?”—Poor Owen shook his head, and looked down.—“Hark ye, Frank,” continued my father, “I will cut all this matter very short—I was at your age when my father turned me out of doors for some hasty words to my step-mother—he turned me out of doors—and settled my legal inheritance on my younger brother—I left Osbaldistone Hall on the back of a brokendown hunter, with ten guineas in my purse. I have never crossed the threshold again, and I never will—I know not, and I care not, if my fox-hunting brother is alive, or has broken his neck, but he has children, Frank, and one of them shall be my son if you cross me farther in this matter.” “You will do your pleasure,” I answered, rather, I fear, with more sullen indifference than respect, “with what is your own.” “Yes, Frank, what I have is my own, if labour in getting, and care in augmenting, can make a right of property—and no drone shall feed on my honeycomb. Think on it well—what I have said is not without reflection, and what I resolve upon I will execute.” “Honoured sir—dear sir,” exclaimed Owen, tears rushing into his eyes, “you are not wont to be in such a hurry in transacting business of importance. Let Mr Francis run up the balance before you shut the account; he loves you, I am sure; and when he puts down his filial obedience to the per contra, I am sure his objections will disappear.” “Do you think I will ask him twice,” said my father, sternly, “to be my friend, my assistant, and my confidant?—to be a partner of my cares and of my fortune?—Owen, I thought you had known me better.” He looked at me as if he meant to add something more, but turned instantly away, and left the room abruptly. I was, I own, affected by this view of the case, which had not occurred to me, and my father would probably have had little reason to complain of me, had he commenced the discussion with this argument.

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But it was too late. I had much of his own obduracy of resolution, and Heaven had decreed that my sin should be my punishment, though not to the extent which my transgression merited. Owen, when we were left alone, continued to look at me with eyes, which tears from time to time moistened, as to discover, before attempting the task of intercessor, upon what point my obstinacy was most assailable. At length he began, with broken and disconcerted accents,—“O l—d, Mr Francis!—Good Heavens, sir!—My stars, Mr Osbaldistone!— that I should ever have seen this day—and you so young a gentleman, sir—For the love of Heaven! look at both sides of the accompt—think what you are going to lose—a noble fortune, sir—one of the finest houses in the city, even under the old firm of Tresham and Trent— and now Osbaldistone and Tresham—you might roll in gold, Mr Francis—And, my dear young Mr Frank, if there were any particular thing in the business of the house which you disliked, I would” (sinking his voice to a whisper) “put it in order for you termly, or weekly, or daily, if you will—Do, my dear Mr Francis, think of the honour due to your father, that your days may be long in the land.” “I am much obliged to you, Mr Owen,” said I,—“very much obliged, indeed—but my father is best judge how to bestow his money —he talks of one of my cousins—let him dispose of his wealth as he pleases. I will never sell my liberty for gold.” “Gold, sir?—I wish you saw the balance sheet of profits at last term —it was in five figures—five figures to each partner’s sum total, Mr Frank—and all this to go to a Papist, and a north-country booby, and a disaffected person besides—it will break my heart, Mr Francis, that have been toiling more like a dog than a man, and all for love of the firm—think how well it would sound, Osbaldistone, Tresham, and Osbaldistone—or, perhaps, who knows,” (again lowering his voice) “Osbaldistone, Osbaldistone, and Tresham, for our Mr Osbaldistone can buy them all out.” “But, Mr Owen, my cousin’s name being also Osbaldistone, the name of the company will sound every bit as well in your ears.” “O, fie upon you, Mr Francis, when you know how well I love you— your cousin, indeed!—a Papist, no doubt, like his father, and a disaffected person to the Protestant Succession—that’s another item, doubtless.” “There are many very good men Catholics, Mr Owen,” rejoined I. As Owen was about to answer, with unusual animation, my father re-entered the apartment. “You were right,” he said, “Owen, and I was wrong—we will take more time to think over this matter.—Young man, you will prepare to give me an answer on this important subject this day month.”

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I bowed in silence, sufficiently glad of a reprieve, and trusting it might indicate some relaxation in my father’s determination. The time of probation past slowly, unmarked by any incident whatever. I went and came, and disposed of my time as I pleased, without question or criticism on the part of my father. Indeed, I rarely saw him, save at meal times, when he studiously avoided a discussion which you may well suppose I was in no hurry to press onward. Our conversation was of the news of the day, or of such general topics as strangers discourse upon to each other, nor could any one have guessed, from its tenor, that there remained undecided betwixt us a dispute of such importance. It haunted me, however, more than once, like a nightmare. Was it possible he would keep his word, and disinherit his only son in favour of a nephew, whose very existence he was not perhaps quite certain of? My grandfather’s conduct, in similar circumstances, boded me no good, had I considered the matter rightly. But I had formed an erroneous idea of my father’s character, from the importance which I recollected I maintained with him and his whole family before I went to France. I was not aware, that there are men who can indulge their children at an early age, because it interests and amuses them, and who can yet be sufficiently severe when the same children cross their expectations at a more advanced period. On the contrary, I persuaded myself, that all I had to apprehend, was some temporary alienation of affection;—perhaps a rustication of a few weeks, which I thought would rather please me as otherwise, since it would give me an opportunity of setting about my unfinished version of Orlando Furioso, a poem which I longed to render into English verse. I suffered this belief to get such absolute possession of my mind, that I had resumed my blotted papers, and was busy in meditation on the oftrecurring rhymes of the Spenserian stanza, when I heard a low and cautious tap at the door of my apartment. “Come in,” I said, and Mr Owen entered. So regular were the motions and habits of this worthy man, that in all probability this was the first time he had ever been in the second story of his patron’s house, however conversant with the first; and I am still at a loss to know in what manner he discovered my apartment. “Mr Francis,” he said, interrupting my expressions of surprise and pleasure at seeing him, “I do not know if I am doing well in what I am about to say—it is not right to speak of what passes in the comptinghouse out of doors—one should not tell, as they say, to the post in the warehouse, how many lines are in the ledger. But young Twineall has been absent from the house for a fortnight and more, until two days since.” “Very well, my dear sir, and how does that concern us?”

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“Stay, Mr Francis—your father gave him a private commission; and I am sure he did not go down to Falmouth about the Pilchard affair; and the Exeter business with Blackwell and company has settled; and the mining people in Cornwall, Trevanion and Treguilliam, have paid all they are like to pay; and any other matter of business must have been put through my books; in short, it’s my faithful belief that Twineall has been down in the north.” “Do you really suppose so?” said I, somewhat startled. “He has spoken about nothing, sir, since he returned, but his new boots, and his Rippon spurs, and a cock-fight at York—it is as true, Mr Frank, as the multiplication-table. Do, Heaven bless you, my dear child, make up your mind to please your father, and to be a man and a merchant at once.” I felt at that instant a strong inclination to submit, and to make Owen happy by requesting him to tell my father, that I resigned myself to his disposal. But pride—pride, the source of so much that is good and so much that is evil in our course of life, prevented me. My acquiescence stuck in my throat; and while I was coughing to hawk it up, my father’s voice summoned Owen. He hastily left the room, and the opportunity was lost. My father was methodical in every thing. At the very same time of the day, in the same apartment, and with the same tone and manner which he had employed an exact month before, he recapitulated the proposal he had made for taking me into partnership, and assigning me a department in the compting-house, and requested to have my final decision. I thought at the time there was something unkind in this, and I still think that my father’s conduct was injudicious. A more conciliatory treatment would, in all probability, have gained his purpose. As it was, I stood fast, and, as respectfully as I could, declined the proposal he made to me. Perhaps,—for who can judge of their own heart,—I felt it unmanly to yield on the first summons, and expected farther solicitation, as, at least, a pretext for changing my mind. If so, I was disappointed, for my father turned coolly to Owen, and only said, “You see it is as I told you.—Well, Frank,” (addressing me) “you are nearly of age, and as well qualified to judge of what will constitute your own happiness as you ever are like to be—therefore, I say no more. But as I am not bound to give in to your plans, any more than you are compelled to submit to mine, may I ask to know if you have formed any which depend on my assistance?” I answered, not a little abashed, that being bred to no profession, and having no funds of my own, it was obviously impossible for me even to subsist without some allowance from my father; that my wishes were very moderate; and that I hoped my aversion for the

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profession to which he had designed me, would not occasion his altogether withdrawing his paternal support and protection. “That is to say, you wish to lean on my arm, and yet to walk your own way—that can hardly be, Frank—however, I suppose you mean to obey my directions, so far as they do not cross your own humour?” I was about to speak—“Silence, if you please,” he continued. “Supposing this to be the case, you will instantly set out for the North of England, to pay your uncle a visit, and see the state of his family. I have chosen from among his sons (he has seven I believe) one who I understand is most worthy to fill the place I intended for you in the compting-house. But some farther arrangements may be necessary, and for these your presence may be requisite. You shall have further instructions at Osbaldistone Hall, where you will please to remain until you hear from me. Every thing will be ready for your departure to-morrow morning.” With these words my father left the apartment. “What does all this mean, Mr Owen?” said I to my sympathetic friend, whose countenance wore a cast of the deepest dejection. “You have ruined yourself, Mr Frank, that’s all—when your father talks in that quiet determined manner, there will be no more change in him than in a fitted accompt.” And so it proved; for the next morning, at five o’clock, I found myself on the road to York, mounted on a reasonably good horse, and with fifty guineas in my pocket; travelling, as it would seem, for the purpose of assisting in the adoption of a successor to myself in my father’s house and favour, and, for aught I knew, eventually in his fortune also.

Chapter Three The slack sail shifts from side to side, The boat, untrimm’d, admits the tide. Borne down, adrift, at random tost, The oar breaks short, the rudder’s lost. G  ’  Fables

I           with rhyme and blank verse the subdivisions of this important narrative, in order to seduce your continued attention by powers of composition of stronger attraction than my own. The preceding lines refer to an unfortunate navigator, who daringly unloosed from its moorings a boat, which he was unable to manage, and thrust it off into the full tide of a navigable river. No school-boy, who, betwixt frolic and defiance, had executed a similar rash attempt, could feel himself, when adrift in a strong current, in a situation more awkward

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than mine, when I found myself driving, without a compass, on the ocean of human life. There had been such unexpected ease in the manner in which my father slipt a knot, usually esteemed the strongest which binds society together, and suffered me to depart as a sort of outcast from his family, that it strangely lessened the confidence in my own personal accomplishments, which had hitherto sustained me. Prince Prettyman, now a prince, and now a fisher’s son, had not a more awkward sense of his degradation. We are so apt, in our engrossing egotism, to consider all those accessories which are drawn around us by prosperity, as pertaining and belonging to our own persons, that the discovery of our unimportance, when left to our own proper resources, becomes inexpressibly mortifying. As the hum of London died away on my ear, the distant peal of her steeples more than once sounded to my ear the admonitory “Turn again,” erst heard by her future Lord Mayor; and when I looked back from Highgate on her dusky magnificence, I felt as if I were leaving behind me comfort, opulence, the charms of society, and all the pleasures of cultivated life. But the die was cast. It was, indeed, by no means probable that a late and ungracious compliance with my father’s wishes would have reinstated me in the situation which I had lost. On the contrary, firm and strong of purpose as he himself was, he might rather have been disgusted than conciliated by my tardy and compulsory acquiescence in his desire that I should enter into commerce. My constitutional obstinacy came also to my aid, and pride whispered how poor a figure I should make, when an airing of four miles from London had blown away resolutions formed in a month’s serious deliberation. Hope, too, that never forsakes the young and hardy, lent her lustre to my future prospects. My father could not be serious in the sentence of forisfamiliation, which he had so unhesitatingly pronounced. It must be but a trial of my disposition, which, endured with patience and steadiness on my part, would raise me in his estimation, and lead to an amicable accommodation of the point in dispute between us. I even settled in my own mind how far I would concede to him, and upon what articles of our supposed treaty I would make a firm stand, and the result was, according to my computation, that I was to be reinstated in my full rights of filiation, paying the easy penalty of some ostensible compliances to atone for my past rebellion. In the meanwhile, I was lord of my person, and experienced that feeling of independence which the youthful bosom receives with a thrilling mixture of pleasure and apprehension. My purse, though by no means amply replenished, was in a situation to supply all the wants and wishes of a traveller. I had been accustomed, while at Bourdeaux, to act as my own valet; my horse was fresh, young, and active, and the

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buoyancy of my spirits soon surmounted the melancholy reflections with which my journey commenced. I should have been glad if I had journeyed upon a line of road better calculated to afford reasonable objects of curiosity, or a more interesting country, to the traveller. But the North Road was then, and perhaps still is, singularly deficient in these respects; nor do I believe you can travel so far through Britain in any other direction without meeting more of what is worthy to engage the attention. My mental ruminations, notwithstanding my assumed confidence, were not always of an unchequered nature. The Muse too,—the very coquette who had led me into this wilderness,—like others of her sex, deserted me in my utmost need, and I should have been reduced to rather an uncomfortable state of dulness, had it not been for the occasional conversation of strangers who chanced to pass the same way. But the characters whom I met with were of a uniform and uninteresting description. Country parsons, jogging homewards after a visitation; farmers, or graziers, returning from a distant market; clerks of traders, travelling to collect what was due to their masters in provincial towns, with now and then an officer going down into the country upon the recruiting service, were, at this period, the persons by whom the turnpikes and tapsters were kept in exercise. Our speech, therefore, was of tithes and creeds, of beeves and grain, of commodities wet and dry, and the solvency of the retail dealers, occasionally varied by the description of a siege, or battle, in Flanders, which, perhaps, the narrator only gave me at second hand. Robbers, a fertile and alarming theme, filled up every vacancy, and the names of the Golden Farmer, the Flying Highwayman, Jack Needham, and other Beggar’s Opera heroes, were familiar in our mouths as household words. At such tales, like children closing their circle round the fire when the ghost story draws to its climax, the riders drew near to each other, looked before and behind them, examined the priming of their pistols, and vowed to stand by each other in case of danger; an engagement which, like other offensive and defensive alliances, sometimes glided out of remembrance when there was an appearance of actual peril. Of all the fellows whom I ever saw haunted by terrors of this nature, one poor man, with whom I travelled a day and a half, afforded me most amusement. He had upon his pillion a very small, but apparently a very weighty portmanteau, about the safety of which he seemed particularly solicitous, never trusting it out of his own immediate care, and uniformly repressing the officious zeal of the waiters and ostlers, who offered their services to carry it into the house. With the same precaution he laboured to conceal, not only the purpose of his journey, and his ultimate place of destination, but even the direction of each

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day’s route. Nothing embarrassed him more than to be asked by any one, whether he was travelling upward or downward, or at what stage he intended to bait. His place of rest for the night he scrutinized with the most anxious care, alike avoiding solitude, and what he considered as bad neighbourhood; and at Grantham, I believe, he sate up all night to avoid sleeping in the next room to a thick-set squinting fellow, in a black wig, and a tarnished gold-laced waistcoat. With all these cares on his mind, my fellow traveller, to judge by his thewes and sinews, was a man who might have set danger at defiance with as much impunity as most men. He was strong, and well-built; and, judging from his gold-laced hat and cockade, seemed to have served in the army, or, at least, to belong to the military profession in one capacity or other. His conversation also, though always sufficiently vulgar, was that of a man of sense, when the terrible bugbears which haunted his imagination for a moment ceased to occupy his attention. But every accidental association recalled them. An open heath, a close plantation, were alike subjects of his apprehension, and the whistle of a shepherd lad was instantly converted into the signal of a depredator. Even the sight of a gibbet, if it assured him that one robber was safely disposed of by justice, never failed to remind him how many remained still unhanged. I should have wearied of this fellow’s company, had I not been still more tired of my own thoughts. Some of the marvellous stories, however, which he related, had in themselves a cast of interest, and another whimsical point of his peculiarities afforded me the occasional opportunity of amusing myself at his expence. Among his tales, several of the unfortunate travellers who fell among thieves, incurred that calamity from associating themselves on the road with a well-dressed and entertaining stranger, in whose company they trusted to find protection as well as amusement; who cheered their journey with tale and song, protected them against the evils of overcharges and false reckonings, until at length, under pretext of shewing a nearer road over a desolate common, he seduced his unsuspicious victims from the public road into some dismal glen, where, suddenly blowing his whistle, he assembled his comrades from their lurking-place, and displayed himself in his true colours, the captain, namely, of the band of robbers to whom his unwary fellow-travellers had forfeited their purses, and perhaps their lives. Towards the conclusion of such a tale, and when my companion had wrought himself into a fever of apprehension by the progress of his own narrative, I observed that he usually eyed me with a glance of doubt and suspicion, as if the possibility occurred to him, that he might, at the very moment of speaking, be in company with a character as dangerous as that which his tale

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described. And ever and anon, when such suggestions pressed themselves on the mind of this ingenious self-tormentor, he drew off from my side to the opposite side of the high road, looked before, behind, and around him, examined his arms, and seemed to prepare himself for flight or defence, as circumstances might require. The suspicion implied on such occasions seemed to be only momentary, and appeared to me too ludicrous to be offensive. There was, in fact, no particular reflection on my dress or address, although I was thus mistaken for a robber. A man in these days might have all the external appearance of a gentleman, and yet turn out a highwayman. For the division of labour in every department not having then taken place so fully as since that period, the profession of the polite and accomplished adventurer, who nicked you out of your money at White’s, or bowled you out of it at Marybone, was often united with that of the professed ruffian, who, on Bagshot Heath, or Finchley Common, commanded his brother beau to stand and deliver. There was also a touch of coarseness and hardness about the manners of the times, which has since, in a great degree, been softened and shaded away. It seems to me, on recollection, as if desperate men had less reluctance then, than now, to embrace the most desperate means of retrieving their fortune. The times were indeed passed, when Anthony-a-Wood mourned over the execution of two men, goodly in person, and of undisputed courage and honour, who were executed without mercy at Oxford, merely because their distress had driven them to raise contributions on the highway. We were still farther removed from the merry days of “the mad Prince and Poins.” And yet, from the number of uninclosed and extensive heaths in the vicinity of the metropolis, and from the less populous state of remote districts, both were frequented by that species of mounted highwaymen, that may possibly become one day unknown, who carried on their trade with something like courtesy; and, like Gibbet in the Beaux Stratagem, piqued themselves on being the best behaved men on the road, and on behaving with all appropriate civility in the exercise of their vocation. A young man, therefore, in my circumstances, was not entitled to be highly indignant at the mistake which confounded him with this worshipful class of depredators. Neither was I offended. On the contrary, I found amusement in alternately exciting, and lulling to sleep, the suspicions of my timorous companion, and in purposely so acting as still farther to puzzle a brain which nature and apprehension had combined to render none of the clearest. When my free conversation had lulled him into complete security, it required only a passing enquiry concerning the direction of his journey, or the nature of the business which occasioned it, to put

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his suspicions once more in arms. For example, a conversation on the comparative strength and activity of our horses took such a turn as follows:— “O sir,” said my companion, “for the gallop, I grant you—but allow me to say, your horse (although he is a very handsome gelding—that must be owned) has too little bone to be a good roadster. The trot, sir,” (striking his Bucephalus with the spurs), “the trot is the true pace for a hackney, and, were we near a town, I should like to try that daisycutter of yours upon a piece of level road (barring canter) for a quart of claret at the next inn.” “Content, sir,” replied I; “and here is a stretch of ground very favourable.” “Hem, ahem,” answered my friend with hesitation; “I make it a rule of travelling never to blow my horse between stages—one never knows what occasion he may have to put him to his mettle—and besides, sir, when I said I would match you, I meant with even weight—you ride four stone lighter than I.” “Very well; but I am content to carry weight. Pray what may that portmanteau of yours weigh?” “My p—p—portmanteau,” replied he hesitating—“O very little— a feather—just a few shirts and stockings.” “I should think it heavier from the appearance. I’ll hold you the quart of claret it makes up the odds betwixt our weight.” “You’re mistaken, sir, I assure you, quite mistaken,” replied my friend, edging off to the side of the road, as was his wont on these alarming occasions. “Well, I am willing to venture the wine—or, I’ll tell you what, I will bet you ten pieces to five, that I carry your portmanteau on my croupe, and out-trot you into the bargain.” This proposal raised my friend’s alarm to the uttermost. His nose changed from the natural copper hue which it had acquired from many a comfortable cup of claret, or sack, into a palish brassy tint, and his teeth chittered with apprehension at the unveiled audacity of my proposal, which seemed to place the bare-faced plunderer before him in full atrocity. As he faultered for an answer, I relieved him in some degree by a question concerning a steeple, which now became visible, and an observation that we were now so near the village as to run no risk from interruption upon the road. At this his countenance cleared up, but I easily perceived that it was long ere he forgot a proposal which seemed to him so fraught with suspicion as that which I had just hazarded. I trouble you with this detail of the man’s disposition, and the manner in which I practised upon it, because, however trivial in themselves, these particulars were attended by an important influence

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upon future incidents which will occur in this narrative. At the time, this person’s conduct only inspired me with a sort of pity mingled with contempt, and confirmed me in an opinion, which I already entertained, that of all the propensities which teach mankind to torment themselves, that to causeless fear is the most irritating, busy, painful, and pitiable.

Chapter Four The Scots are poor, cries surly English pride. True is the charge; nor by themselves denied. Are they not, then, in strictest reason clear, Who wisely come to mend their fortunes here? C

T  , in the days of which I write, an old-fashioned custom upon the English road, which I suspect is now obsolete, or practised only by the vulgar. Journies of length being made on horseback, and, of course, by brief stages, it was usual always to make a halt upon the Sunday in some town where the traveller might attend divine service, and his horse have the benefit of the day of rest, the institution of which is as humane to our brute labourers as profitable to ourselves. A counterpart to this decent practice, and a remnant of old English hospitality, was, that the landlord of a principal inn laid aside his character of publican upon the seventh day, and invited the guests who chanced to be within his walls to take a part of his family beef and pudding. This invitation was usually complied with by all whose distinguished rank did not induce them to think compliance a derogation, and the proposal of a bottle of wine after dinner, to drink the landlord’s health, was the only recompence ever offered or accepted. I was born a citizen of the world, and my inclination led me into all scenes where my knowledge of mankind could be enlarged; I had, besides, no pretensions to sequester myself on the score of superior dignity, and, therefore, seldom failed to accept of the Sunday’s hospitality of mine host, whether of the Garter, Lion, or Bear. The honest publican, dilated into additional consequence by a sense of his own importance in presiding among the guests on whom it was his ordinary duty to attend, was in himself an entertaining spectacle, and around his genial orbit, other planets of inferior consequence performed their revolutions. The wits and humourists, the distinguished worthies of the town or village, the apothecary, the attorney, even the curate himself, did not disdain to partake of this hebdomadal festivity. The guests, assembled from different quarters, and following different professions, formed, in language, manners, and sentiments, a curious

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contrast to each other, not indifferent to those who desired to possess a knowledge of mankind in its varieties. It was upon such a day, and such an occasion, that my timorous acquaintance and I were about to grace the board of the ruddy-faced host of the Black Bear, in the town of Darlington, and bishoprick of Durham, when our landlord informed us, with a sort of apologetic tone, that there was a Scotch gentleman to dine with us. “A gentleman?—what sort of gentleman?” said my companion, somewhat hastily, his mind, I suppose, running upon gentlemen of the pad, as they were then termed. “Why, a Scotch sort of gentleman, as I said before,” returned mine host; “they are all gentle, ye man knaw, though they ha’ narra shirt to back—but this is a decentish hallion—a canny North Briton as e’er crossed Berwick-bridge. I trow he’s a dealer in cattle.” “Let us have his company, by all means,” answered my companion; and then, turning to me, he gave vent to the tenor of his own reflections. “I respect the Scotch, sir, I love and honour the nation for their sense of morality—men talk of their filth and their poverty, but commend me to sterling honesty, though clad in rags, as the poet saith. I have been credibly assured, sir, by men on whom I can depend, that there was never known such a thing in Scotland as a highway robbery.” “That’s because they have nothing to lose,” said mine host, with the chuckle of a self-applauding wit. “No, no, landlord,” answered a strong deep voice behind him, “it’s e’en because your English gaugers and supervisors, that you have sent down benorth the Tweed, have ta’en up the trade of thievery over the heads of the native professors.” “Well said, Mr Campbell,” answered the landlord; “I did neet think thou’d’st been sa near us, mon. But thou kens I’m an outspoken Yorkshire tyke—And how go markets in the south?” “Even in the ordinar,” replied Mr Campbell; “wise folks buy and sell, and fools are bought and sold.” “But wise men and fools both eat their dinner,” answered our jolly entertainer; “and here a comes—as prime a buttock of beef as e’er hungry mon stuck fork in.” So saying, he eagerly whetted his knife, assumed his seat of empire at the head of the board, and loaded the plates of his Sunday guests with his good cheer. This was the first time I had heard the Scottish accent, or, indeed, that I had familiarly met with an individual of the ancient nation by whom it was spoken. Yet, from an early period, they had occupied and interested my imagination. My father, as is well known to you, was of

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an ancient family in Northumberland, from whose seat I was not very many miles distant. The quarrel betwixt him and his relatives was such, that he scarcely ever mentioned the race from which he sprung, and held as the most contemptible species of vanity, the weakness which is commonly termed family pride. His ambition was only to be distinguished as William Osbaldistone, the first, at least one of the first, merchants on Change; and to have proved him the lineal representative of William the Conqueror, would have far less flattered his vanity than the hum and bustle which his approach was wont to produce among the bulls, bears, and brokers of Stock-alley. He wished, no doubt, that I should remain in such ignorance of my relatives and descent as might ensure a correspondence between my feelings and his own on this subject. But his designs, as will happen occasionally to the wisest, were, in some degree at least, counteracted by a being whom his pride would never have supposed of importance adequate to influence them in any way. His nurse, an old Northumbrian woman, attached to him from his infancy, was the only person connected with his native province for whom he retained any regard; and when fortune dawned upon him, one of the first uses which he made of her favours, was to give Mabel Robson a place of residence within his household. After the death of my mother, the care of nursing me during my childish illnesses, and of rendering all those tender attentions which infancy exacts from female affection, devolved on old Mabel. Interdicted by her master from speaking to him on the subject of the heaths, glades, and dales of her beloved Northumberland, she poured herself forth to my infant ear in descriptions of the scenes of her youth, and long narratives of the events which tradition declared to have passed amongst them. To these I inclined my ear much more seriously than to graver, but less animated instructors. Even yet, methinks I see old Mabel, her head slightly agitated by the palsy of age, and shaded by a close cap, as white as the driven snow,—her face wrinkled, but still retaining the healthy tinge which it had acquired in rural labour. I think I see her look around on the brick walls and narrow street which presented themselves from our windows, as she concluded with a sigh the favourite old ditty, which I then preferred, and—why should I not tell the truth—which I still prefer, to all the opera airs ever minted by the capricious brain of an Italian Mus. D.— Oh the oak, the ash, and the bonny ivy tree, They flourish best at home in the North Country!

Now, in the legends of Mabel, the Scottish nation was ever freshly remembered, with all the embittered declamation of which the narrator was capable. The inhabitants of the opposite frontier served in her narratives to fill up the parts which ogres and giants with seven-

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leagued boots occupy in the ordinary nursery-tales. And how could it be otherwise? Was it not the Black Douglas who slew with his own hand the heir of the Osbaldistone family the day after he took possession of his estate, surprising him and his vassals while solemnizing a feast suited to the occasion? Was it not Wat the Devil who drove all the year-old hogs off the braes of Lanthorn-side, in the very recent days of my grandfather’s father? And had we not many a trophy, but, according to old Mabel’s version of history, far more honourably gained, to mark our vengeance of these wrongs? Did not Sir Henry Osbaldistone, fifth baron of the name, carry off the fair maid of Fairnington, as Achilles did his Chryseis and Briseis of old, and detain her in his fortress against all the power of her friends, supported by the most mighty Scottish chiefs of warlike fame, and had not our swords shone foremost at most of those fields in which England was victorious over her rival? All our family renown was acquired,—all our family misfortunes were occasioned, by the northern wars. Warmed by such tales, I looked upon the Scottish people, during my childhood, as a race hostile by nature to the more southern inhabitants of this realm; and this view of the matter was not much corrected by the language which my father sometimes held with respect to them. He had engaged in some large speculations concerning oak-woods, the property of Highland proprietors, and alleged that he found them much more ready to make bargains, and extort earnest of the purchase-money, than punctual in complying on their side with the terms of the engagements. The Scotch mercantile men, whom he was under the necessity of employing as a sort of middle-men on these occasions, were also suspected by my father of having secured, by one means or other, more than their own share of the profit which ought to have accrued. In short, if Mabel complained of the Scottish arms in ancient times, Mr Osbaldistone inveighed no less against the arts of these modern Sinons; and between them, though without any fixed purpose of doing so, they impressed my youthful mind with a sincere aversion to the northern inhabitants of Britain, as a people blood-thirsty in time of war, treacherous during truce, interested, selfish, avaricious, and tricky in the business of peaceful life, and having few good qualities, unless there should be accounted such, a ferocity which resembled courage in martial affairs, and in commerce a sort of wily craft, which supplied the place of wisdom, in the ordinary commerce of mankind. In justification, or apology, for those who entertained such prejudices, I must remark, that the Scotch of the period were guilty of similar injustice to the English, whom they branded universally as a race of purse-proud arrogant epicures. Such seeds of national dislike remained between the two countries, the natural consequences of

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their existence as separate and rival states. We have seen recently the breath of a demagogue blow these sparks into a temporary flame, which I sincerely hope is now extinguished in its own ashes.* It was, then, with an impression of dislike, yet at the same time of interest, that I contemplated the first Scotchman I chanced to meet in society. There was much about him that coincided with my previous conceptions. He had the hard features and athletic form, said to be peculiar to his country, together with the national intonation and slow pedantic mode of expression, arising from the desire to avoid peculiarities of idiom or dialect. I could also observe the caution and shrewdness of his country in many of the observations which he made, and the answers which he returned. But what I was not prepared for was an air of easy self-possession and superiority, with which he seemed to predominate over the company into which he was thrown, as it were by accident. His dress was as coarse as it could be, being still decent; and, at a time when great expence was lavished upon the wardrobe, even of the lowest who pretended to the character of gentlemen, this indicated mediocrity of circumstances, if not poverty. His conversation intimated, that he was engaged in the cattle-trade, no very dignified professional pursuit. And yet, under these disadvantages, he seemed, as a matter of course, to treat the rest of the company with the cool and condescending politeness, which implies a real, or imagined, superiority over those towards whom it is used. When he gave his opinion on any point, it was with that easy tone of confidence used by those superior to their society in rank or in information, as if what he said could not be doubted, and was not to be questioned. Mine host and his Sunday guests, after an effort or two to support their consequence by noise and bold averment, sunk gradually under the authority of Mr Campbell, who thus fairly possessed himself of the lead in the conversation. I was tempted, from curiosity, to dispute the ground with him myself, confiding in my knowledge of the world, extended, as it was, by my residence abroad, and in the stores with which a tolerable education had possessed my mind. In the latter respect, he offered no competition, and it was easy to see that his natural powers had never been cultivated by education. But I found him much better acquainted than I was myself with the present state of France, the character of the Duke of Orleans, who had just succeeded to the regency of that kingdom, and those of the statesmen by whom he was surrounded; and his shrewd, caustic, and somewhat satirical remarks, were those of a man who had been a close observer of the affairs of that country. On the subject of politics, Campbell observed a silence and mod* This seems to have been written about the time of Wilkes and Liberty.

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eration which might arise from caution. The divisions of Whig and Tory then shook England to her very centre, and a powerful party, engaged in the Jacobite interest, menaced the dynasty of Hanover, which had been just established on the throne. Every ale-house resounded with the brawls of contending politicians, and as mine host’s politics were of that liberal description which quarrelled with no good customer, his hebdomadal visitants were often divided in their opinion as irreconcileably as if he had feasted the Common Council. The curate and the apothecary, with a little man, who made no boast of his vocation, but who, from the flourish and snap of his fingers, I believe to have been the barber, strongly espoused the cause of High Church and the Stuart line. The exciseman, as in duty bound, and the attorney, who looked to some petty office under the crown, together with my apprehensive fellow-traveller, who seemed to enter keenly into the contest, staunchly supported the cause of King George and the Protestant Succession. Dire was the screaming—deep the oaths! Each party appealed to Mr Campbell, anxious, it seemed, to elicit his approbation. “You are a Scotchman, sir—A gentleman of your country must stand up for hereditary right,” cried one party. “You are a Presbyterian,” assumed the other class of disputants; “you cannot be a friend to arbitrary power.” “Gentlemen,” said our Scotch oracle, after having gained, with some difficulty, a moment’s pause, “I havena much dubitation that King George weel deserves the predilection of his friends; and if he can haud the grip he has gotten, why, doubtless, he may make the gauger, here, a commissioner of the revenue, and confer on our friend, Mr Quitam, the preferment of solicitor-general; and he may also grant some good deed or reward to this honest gentleman who is sitting upon his portmanteau, which he prefers to a chair. And, questionless, King James is also a grateful person, and when he gets his hand in play, he may, if he be so minded, make this reverend gentleman arch-prelate of Canterbury, and Dr Mixit chief physician to his household, and commit his royal beard to the care of my friend Latherum. But as I doubt mickle whether ony of the competing sovereigns would give Rob Campbell a tass of aquavitæ if he lacked it, I give my vote and interest to Jonathan Brown, our landlord, to be the King and Prince of Skinkers, conditionally that he fetches us another bottle as gude as the last.” This sally was received with general applause, in which the landlord cordially joined; and when he had given orders for fulfilling the condition on which his preferment was to depend, he failed not to acquaint them that, for as peaceable a gentleman as Mr Campbell was, he was,

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moreover, as bold as a lion—seven highwaymen had he defeated with his single arm, that beset him as he came from Whitson-Tryste. “Thou art deceived, friend Jonathan,” said Campbell, interrupting him; “they were but barely two—and two cowardly hallions as man would wish to meet withal.” “And did you, sir, really,” said my fellow-traveller, edging his chair (I should have said his portmanteau) nearer to Mr Campbell, “really and actually beat two highwaymen yourself alone?” “In troth did I, sir,” replied Campbell; “and I think it nae great thing to make a sang about.” “Upon my word, sir,” replied my acquaintance, “I should be happy to have the pleasure of your company upon my journey—I go northward, sir.” This piece of gratuitous information concerning the route he proposed to himself, the first I had heard my companion bestow upon any one, failed to excite the corresponding confidence of the Scotchman. “We can scarce travel together,” he replied, drily. “You, sir, are doubtless well mounted, and I—for the present—travel upon foot, or on a Highland shelty, that does not help me much faster forward.” So saying, he called for a reckoning for the wine, and throwing down the price of the additional bottle which he had himself introduced, rose as if to take leave of us. My companion made up to him, and, taking him by the button, drew him aside into one of the windows. I could not help overhearing him pressing something—I supposed his company upon the journey, which Mr Campbell seemed to decline. “I will pay your charges, sir,” said the traveller, in a tone, as if he thought the argument should bear down all opposition. “It is quite impossible,” said Campbell, somewhat contemptuously; “I have business at Rothbury.” “But I have no great hurry—I can ride out of the way, and never miss a day or so for good company.” “Upon my faith, sir,” said Campbell, “I cannot render you the service you seem to desiderate. I am,” he added, drawing himself up haughtily, “travelling on my own private affairs, and if ye will act by my advisement, sir, ye will unite yourself with no stranger on the road, nor communicate your line of journey to those who are asking ye no questions about it.” He then extricated his button, not very ceremoniously, from the hold which detained him, and, coming up to me as the company were dispersing, observed, “Your friend, sir, is too communicative, considering the nature of his trust.” “That gentleman,” I replied, looking towards the traveller, “is no friend of mine, but an acquaintance whom I picked up on the road. I

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know neither his name nor business, and you seem to be deeper in his confidence than I am.” “I only meant,” he replied hastily, “that he seems a thought rash in conferring the honour of his company on those who desire it not.” “The gentleman,” replied I, “is best judge of his own affairs, and I should be sorry to constitute myself a judge of them in any respect.” Mr Campbell made no farther observation, but merely wished me a good journey, and the party dispersed for the evening. Next day I parted company with my timid companion, as I left the great northern road to turn more westerly in the direction of Osbaldistone Manor, my uncle’s seat. I cannot tell whether he felt relieved or embarrassed by my departure, considering the dubious light in which he seemed to regard me. For my own part, his tremors had ceased to amuse me, and, to say the truth, I was heartily glad to get rid of him.

Chapter Five How melts my beating heart! as I behold Each lovely nymph, our island’s boast and pride, Push on the generous steed, that sweeps along O’er rough, o’er smooth, nor heeds the steepy hill, Nor faulters in the extended vale below. The Chace

I  my native north, for such I esteemed it, with that enthusiasm which romantic and wild scenery inspires in the lovers of nature. No longer interrupted by the babble of my companion, I could now remark the difference which the country exhibited from that through which I had hitherto travelled. The streams now more properly deserved the name, for, instead of slumbering stagnant among reeds and willows, they brawled along beneath the shade of natural copsewood, were now hurried down declivities, and now purled more leisurely, but still in active motion, through little lonely vallies, which, opening on the road from time to time, seemed to invite the traveller to explore their recesses. The Cheviots rose before me in frowning majesty; not, indeed, with the sublime variety of rock and cliff which characterizes mountains of the primary class, but huge, roundheaded, and clothed with a dark robe of russet, gaining, by their extent and desolate appearance, an influence upon the imagination, which possessed a character of its own. The abode of my fathers, which I was now approaching, was situated in a glen, or narrow valley, which ran up among those hills. Extensive estates, which once belonged to the family, had been long dissipated by the misfortunes or misconduct of my ancestors; but

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enough was still attached to the old mansion, to give my uncle the title of a man of large property. This he employed (as I was given to understand by some enquiries which I made on the road) in maintaining the prodigal hospitality of a northern squire of the period, which he deemed essential to his family dignity. From the summit of an eminence, I had already had a distant view of Osbaldistone Hall, a large and antiquated edifice, peeping out from a Druidical grove of huge oaks; and I was directing my course towards it, as straightly and as speedily as the windings of a very indifferent road would permit, when my horse, tired as he was, pricked up his ears at the enlivening notes of a pack of hounds in full cry, cheered by the occasional bursts of a French horn, which in those days was a constant accompaniment to the chase. I made no doubt that the pack was my uncle’s, and drew up my horse with the purpose of suffering the hunters to pass without notice, aware that a hunting field was not the proper scene to introduce myself to a keen sportsman, and determined, when they had passed on, to proceed to the mansionhouse at my own pace, and there to await the return of the proprietor from his sport. I paused, therefore, on a rising ground, and, not unmoved by the sense of interest which that species of sylvan sport is so much calculated to inspire, (although my mind was not at the moment very accessible to impressions of this nature,) I expected with some eagerness the appearance of the huntsmen. The fox, hard run, and nearly spent, first made his appearance from the copse which clothed the right-hand side of the valley. His drooping brush, his soiled appearance, and jaded trot, proclaimed his fate impending; and the carrion crow, which hovered over him, already considered poor Reynard as soon to be his prey. He crossed the stream which divides the little valley, and was dragging himself up a ravine on the opposite side of its wild banks, when the head-most hounds, followed by the rest of the pack at full cry, burst from the coppice, followed by the huntsman, and three or four riders. The dogs pursued the trace of Reynard with unerring instinct, and the hunters followed with reckless haste, regardless of the broken and difficult nature of the ground. They were tall, stout young men, well mounted, and dressed in green and red, the uniform of a sporting association, formed under the auspices of old Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone. My cousins! thought I, as they swept past me. The next reflection was, what is my reception likely to be among these worthy successors of Nimrod? and how improbable is it, that I, knowing little or nothing of rural sports, shall find myself at ease, or happy, in my uncle’s family. A vision that passed me interrupted these reflections. It was a young lady, the loveliness of whose very striking features

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was enhanced by the animation of the chase and glow of the exercise, mounted upon a beautiful horse, jet black, unless where it was flecked by spots of the snow-white foam which embossed its bridle. She wore, what was then somewhat unusual, a coat, vest, and hat, resembling those of a man, which fashion has since called a riding-habit. The mode had been introduced while I was in France, and was perfectly new to me. Her long black hair streamed on the breeze, having in the hurry of the chase escaped from the ribbon which bound it. Some very broken ground through which she guided her horse with the most admirable address and presence of mind, retarded her course, and brought her closer to me than any of the other riders had passed. I had, therefore, a full view of her uncommonly fine face and person, to which an inexpressible charm was added by the wild gaiety of the scene, and the romance of her singular dress and unexpected appearance. As she past me, her horse made, in its impetuosity, an irregular movement, just while, coming once more on open ground, she was again putting it to its speed. It served as an apology for me to ride close up to her, as if to her assistance. There was, however, no cause for alarm; it was not a stumble, nor a false step; and if it had been, the fair Amazon had too much self-possession to have been deranged by it. She thanked my good intentions, however, by a smile, and I felt encouraged to put my horse to the same pace, and to keep in her immediate neighbourhood. The clamour of “Whoop, dead, dead!” and the corresponding flourish of the French horn, soon announced to us that there was no more occasion for haste, since the chase was at a close. One of the young men whom we had seen approached us, waving the brush of the fox in triumph, as if to upbraid my fair companion. “I see,” she replied,—“I see—but make no noise about it; if Phœbe,” she said, patting the neck of the beautiful animal on which she rode, “had not got among the cliffs, you would have little cause for boasting.” They met as she spoke, and I observed them both look at me and converse a moment in an under tone, the young lady apparently pressing the sportsman to do something which he declined shyly, and with a sort of sheepish sullenness. She instantly turned her horse’s head towards me, saying,—“Well, well, Thornie—if you wont, I must, that’s all.—Sir,” she continued, addressing me; “I have been endeavouring to persuade this cultivated young gentleman to make enquiries at you, whether, in the course of your travels in these parts, you have heard any thing of a friend of ours, one Francis Osbaldistone, who has been for some days expected at Osbaldistone Hall?” I was too happy to acknowledge myself to be the party enquired

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after, and to express my thanks for the obliging enquiries of the young lady. “In that case, sir,” she rejoined, “as my kinsman’s politeness seems to be still slumbering, you will permit me (though I suppose it is highly improper) to stand mistress of ceremonies, and to present to you young Squire Thorncliffe Osbaldistone, your cousin, and Die Vernon, who has also the honour to be your accomplished cousin’s poor kinswoman.” There was a mixture of boldness, satire, and simplicity in the manner in which Miss Vernon pronounced these words. My knowledge of life was sufficient to enable me to take up a corresponding tone as I expressed my gratitude to her for her condescension, and my extreme pleasure at having met with them. To say the truth, the compliment was so expressed, that the lady might easily appropriate the greater share of it, for Thorncliffe seemed an arrant country bumpkin, awkward, shy, and somewhat sulky withal. He shook hands with me, however, and then intimated his intention of leaving me that he might help the huntsman and his brothers to couple up the hounds, a purpose which he rather communicated by way of information to Miss Vernon than as an apology to me. “There he goes,” said the young lady, following him with eyes in which disdain was admirably painted,—“the prince of grooms and cock-fighters, and blackguard horse-coursers. But there is not one of them to mend another.—Have you read Markham, Mr Osbaldistone?” “Read whom, ma’am?—I do not even remember the author’s name.” “O lud! on what a strand are you wrecked?—a poor forlorn and ignorant stranger, unacquainted with the very Alcoran of the savage tribe whom you are come to reside with—Never to have heard of Markham, the most celebrated author on farriery: then I fear you are equally a stranger to the more modern names of Gibson and Bartlett” “I am, indeed, Miss Vernon.” “And you do not blush to own it—why, we must forswear your alliance. Then, I suppose, you can neither give a ball, nor a mash, nor a horn?” “I confess I trust all these matters to an ostler, or to my groom.” “Incredible carelessness!—And you cannot shoe a horse, or cut his mane and tail; or worm a dog, or crop his ears, or cut his dew-claws; or reclaim a hawk, or give him his casting stones, or direct his diet when he is sealed; or”— “To sum my insignificance in one word, I am profoundly ignorant in all these rural accomplishments.”

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“Then, in the name of Heaven, Mr Francis Osbaldistone, what can you do?” “Very little to the purpose, Miss Vernon; something, however, I can pretend to—When my groom has dressed my horse, I can ride upon him, and when my hawk is in the field, I can fly him.” “Can you do this?” said the young lady, putting her horse to a canter. There was a sort of rude over-grown fence crossed the path before us, with a gate, composed of pieces of wood rough from the forest; I was about to move forward to open it, when Miss Vernon cleared the obstruction at a flying leap. I was bound, in point of honour, to follow, and was in a moment again at her side. “There are hopes of you yet,” she said. “I was afraid you had been a very degenerate Osbaldistone. But what on earth brings you to CubCastle?—for so the neighbours have christened this hunting-hall of ours. You might have staid away, I suppose, if you would?” I felt I was by this time on a very intimate footing with my beautiful apparition, and therefore replied in a confidential under-tone.— “Indeed, my dear Miss Vernon, I might have considered it as a sacrifice to be a temporary resident in Osbaldistone Hall, the inmates being such as you describe them, but I am convinced there is one exception that will make amends for all deficiencies.” “O, you mean Rashleigh?” said Miss Vernon. “Indeed I do not; I was thinking—forgive me—of some person much nearer me.” “I suppose it would be proper not to understand your civility, but that is not my way—I don’t make a curtsey for it, because I am sitting on horseback. But, seriously, I deserve your exception, for I am the only conversible being about the Hall, except the old priest and Rashleigh.” “And who is Rashleigh, for Heaven’s sake?” “Rashleigh, for Heaven’s sake, is one who would fain have every one like him for his own sake.—He is Sir Hildebrand’s youngest son —above your own age, but not so—not well looking, in short. But Nature has given him a mouthful of common sense, and the priest has added a bushelfull of learning—he is what we all call a very clever man in this country, where clever men are scarce. Bred to the church, but in no hurry to take orders.” “To the Catholic Church?” “The Catholic Church. What church else?—But I forgot they told me—you are a heretic?—is that true, Mr Osbaldistone?” “I must not deny the charge.” “And yet you have been abroad, and in Catholic countries?”

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“For nearly four years.” “You have seen convents?” “Often—but I have not seen much in them which recommended the Catholic religion.” “Are not the inhabitants happy?” “Some are unquestionably so, whom either a profound sense of devotion, or an experience of the persecutions and misfortunes of the world, or a natural apathy of temper, has led into retirement. Those who have adopted a life of seclusion from sudden and overstrained enthusiasm, or in hasty resentment of some disappointment or mortification, are very miserable. The quickness of sensation soon returns, and, like the wilder animals in a menagerie, they are restless under the confinement, while others muse or fatten in cells of no larger dimensions.” “And what,” continued Miss Vernon, “becomes of those victims who are condemned to a convent by the will of others? what do they resemble? especially, what do they resemble, if they are born to enjoy life, and feel its blessings?” “They are like imprisoned singing-birds, condemned to wear out their lives in confinement, which they try to beguile by the exercise of those accomplishments which would have adorned society, had they been left at large.” “I shall be,” returned Miss Vernon—“that is,” said she, correcting herself,—“I would be rather like the wild hawk, who, barred the free exercise of his soar through heaven, will dash himself to pieces against the bars of his cage. But to return to Rashleigh,” said she, in a more lively tone, “you will think him the pleasantest man you ever saw in your life, Mr Osbaldistone—that is for a week at least. If he could find out a blind mistress, never man would be so secure of conquest— but the eyes break the spell that enchants the ear. But here we are in the court of the old hall, which looks as wild and old-fashioned as any of its inmates. There is no great toilette kept at Osbaldistone, you must know; but I must take off these things, they are so unpleasantly warm, and the hat hurts my forehead too,” continued the lively lass, taking it off, and shaking down a profusion of sable ringlets, which, half laughing, half blushing, she separated with her white slender fingers, in order to clear them away from her beautiful face and piercing hazel eyes. If there was any coquetry in the action, it was well disguised by the careless indifference of her manner. I could not help saying that, judging of the family from what I saw, I should suppose the toilette a very unnecessary care. “That’s very politely said, though, perhaps, I ought not to understand in what sense it was meant,” replied Miss Vernon; “but you will

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see a better apology for a little negligence, when you meet the Orsons you are to live amongst, whose forms no toilette could improve. But, as I said before, the old dinner-bell will clang, or rather clank, in a few minutes—it cracked of its own accord at the day of the landing of King Willie, and my uncle, respecting its prophetic talent, would never permit it to be mended. So do you hold my palfrey, like a duteous knight, until I send some more humble squire to relieve you of the charge.” She threw me the rein as if we had been acquainted from our childhood, jumped from her saddle, tripped across the court-yard, and entered at a side-door, leaving me in admiration of her beauty, and astonished with the overfrankness of her manners, which seemed the more extraordinary at a time when the dictates of politeness, flowing from the court of the Grand Monarque Louis XIV., prescribed to the fair sex an unusual severity of decorum. I was left awkwardly enough stationed in the centre of the court of the old hall, mounted on one horse, and holding another in my hand. The building afforded little to interest a stranger, had I been disposed to consider it attentively; the sides of the quadrangle were of various architecture, and with their stone-shafted latticed windows, projecting turrets, and massive architraves, resembled the inside of a convent, or one of the older and less splendid colleges in Oxford. I called for a domestic, but was for some time totally unattended to, which was the more provoking, as I could perceive I was the object of curiosity to several servants, both male and female, from different parts of the building, who popped out their heads and withdrew them, like rabbits in a warren, before I could make a direct appeal to the attention of any individual. The return of the huntsmen and hounds relieved me from my embarrassment, and with some difficulty I got one clown to relieve me of the charge of the horses, and another stupid boor to guide me to the presence of Sir Hildebrand. This service he performed with much such grace and good will, as a peasant who is compelled to act as guide to a hostile patrole, and in the same manner I was obliged to guard against his deserting me in the labyrinth of low-vaulted passages which conducted to “Stun-hall,” as he called it, where I was to be introduced to the gracious presence of my uncle. We did, however, at length reach a long vaulted room, floored with stone, where a range of oaken tables, of a weight and size too massive ever to be moved aside, were already covered for dinner. This venerable apartment, which had witnessed the feast of several generations of the Osbaldistone family, bore also evidence of their success in field-sports. Huge antlers of deer, which might have been the trophies of the hunting of Chevy Chace, were ranged around the

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walls, interspersed with the stuffed skins of badgers, otters, martins, and other animals of chace. Amidst some remnants of old armour, which had, perhaps, served against the Scotch, hung the more valued weapons of sylvan war, cross-bows, guns of various device and construction, nets, fishing-rods, otter-spears, hunting-poles, with many other singular devices and engines for taking or killing game. A few old pictures, dimmed with smoke, and stained with March beer, hung on the walls, representing knights and ladies, honoured, doubtless, and renowned in their day; those frowning fearfully from huge bushes of wig and of beard; and these looking delightfully with all their might at the roses which they brandished in their hands. I had just time to give a glance at these matters, when about twelve blue-coated servants burst into the hall with much tumult and talk, each rather employed in directing his comrades than in discharging his own duty. Some brought blocks and billets to the fire, which roared, blazed, and ascended, half in smoke, half in flame, up a huge tunnel, with an opening wide enough to accommodate a stone-seat within its ample vault, and which was fronted, by way of chimneypiece, with a huge piece of heavy architecture, where the monsters of heraldry, embodied by the art of some Northumbrian chisel, grinned and ramped in red free stone, now japanned by the smoke of centuries. Others of these old-fashioned serving men bore huge smoking dishes, loaded with substantial fare; others brought in cups, flaggons, bottles, yea barrels of liquor. All trampled, kicked, plunged, shouldered, and jostled, doing as little service with as much tumult as could well be imagined. At length, while the dinner was, after various efforts, in the act of being arranged upon the board, the “clamour much of men and dogs,” the cracking of whips, calculated for the intimidation of the latter, voices loud and high, steps which, impressed by the heavyheeled boots of the period, clattered like those of the statue in the Festin de pierre,* announced the arrival of those for whose benefit the preparations were made. The hubbub among the servants rather increased than diminished as this crisis approached,—some called to make haste, others to take time,—some exhorted to stand out of the way, and make room for Sir Hildebrand and the young squires,— some to close round the table, and be in the way,—some to open, some to shut a pair of folding doors, which divided the hall from a sort of gallery, as I afterwards learned, or withdrawing room, fitted up with black wainscoat. Opened the doors were at length, and in rushed curs and men,—eight dogs, the domestic chaplain, the village doctor, my six cousins, and my uncle. * Now called Don Juan.

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Chapter Six The rude hall rocks—they come, they come,— The din of voices shakes the dome;— In stalk the various forms, and, drest In varying morion—varying vest, All march with haughty step—all proudly shake the crest. P     

I  S   H  Osbaldistone was in no hurry to greet his nephew, of whose arrival he must have been informed for some time, he had important avocations to allege in excuse. “Had seen thee sooner, lad,” he exclaimed, after a rough shake of the hand, and a hearty welcome to Osbaldistone Hall, “but had to see the hounds kennelled first. Thou art welcome to Hall, lad—here is your cousin Percie, your cousin Thornie, your cousin John, your cousin Dick, your cousin Wilfred—and—stay, where’s Rashleigh—aye, here’s Rashleigh—take thy long body aside, Thornie, and let’s see thy brother a bit—your cousin Rashleigh—So thy father has thought on the old Hall and old Sir Hildebrand at last—better late than never— thou art welcome, lad, and there’s enough—Where’s my little Die— aye, here she comes—this is my niece Die, my wife’s brother’s daughter—the prettiest girl in our dales, be the other who she may—And so now let us to the sirloin.” To gain some idea of the person who held this language, you must suppose, my dear Tresham, a man aged about sixty, in a hunting suit which had once been richly laced, but whose splendour had been tarnished by many a November and December storm. Sir Hildebrand, notwithstanding the abruptness of his present manner, had, at one period of his life, known courts and camps, had held a commission in the army which encamped on Hounslow Heath previous to the Revolution, and, recommended perhaps by his religion, had been knighted about the same time by the unfortunate and ill-advised James II. But his dreams of farther preferment, if he ever entertained any, had died away at the crisis which drove his patron from the throne, and since that period he had spent a sequestred life upon his native domains. Notwithstanding his rusticity, however, Sir Hildebrand retained much of the exterior of a gentleman, and appeared among his sons as the remains of a Corinthian pillar, defaced and overgrown with moss and lichen, might have looked, if contrasted with the rough, unhewn masses of upright stones in Stonehenge, or any other druidical temple. The sons were, indeed, heavy unadorned blocks as the eye would desire to look upon. Tall, stout, and comely,

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all and each of the five eldest seemed to want alike the Promethean fire of intellect, and the exterior grace and manner, which, in the polished world, sometimes supply mental deficiency. Their most valuable moral quality seemed to be the good-humour and content which was expressed in their heavy features, and their only pretence to accomplishment was their dexterity in the field-sports, for which alone they lived. The strong Gyas, and the strong Cloanthus, are not less distinguished by the poet, than the strong Percival, the strong Thorncliffe, the strong John, Richard, Wilfred Osbaldistones, were by outward appearance. But, as if to indemnify herself for an uniformity so uncommon in her productions, Dame Nature had rendered Rashleigh Osbaldistone a striking contrast in person and manners, and, as I afterwards learned, in temper and talents, not only to his brothers, but to most men whom I had hitherto met with. When Percie, Thornie, and Company had respectively nodded, grinned, and presented their shoulder, rather than their hand, as their father named them to their new kinsman, Rashleigh stepped forward, and welcomed me to Osbaldistone Hall, with the air and manner of a man of this world. His appearance was not in itself prepossessing. He was of low stature, whereas all his brethren seemed to be descendants of Anak; and, while they were handsomely formed, Rashleigh, though strong in person, was bull-necked and cross-made, and, from some early injury in his youth, had an imperfection in his gait, so much resembling an absolute halt, that many alleged that it formed the obstacle to his taking orders, the Church of Rome, as is well known, admitting none to the clerical profession who labours under any personal deformity. Others, however, ascribed this unsightly defect to a mere awkward habit, and contended, that it did not amount to a personal disqualification from holy orders. The features of Rashleigh were such, as, having looked upon, we in vain wish to banish from our memory, to which they recur as objects of painful curiosity, although we dwell upon them with a feeling of dislike, and even disgust. It was not the actual plainness of his face, taken separately from the expression, which made this strong impression. His features were, indeed, irregular, but they were by no means vulgar, and his keen dark eyes, and shaggy eye-brows, redeemed his face from the charge of common-place ugliness. But there was in these eyes an expression of art and design, and, on provocation, a ferocity tempered by caution, which nature had made obvious to the most ordinary physiognomist, perhaps with the same intention that she has given the rattle to the poisonous snake. As if to compensate him for these disadvantages of exterior, Rashleigh Osbaldistone was pos-

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sessed of a voice the most soft, mellow, and rich in its tones that I ever heard, and was at no loss for language of every sort suited to so fine an organ. His first sentence of welcome was hardly ended, ere I internally agreed with Miss Vernon, that my new kinsman would make an instant conquest of a mistress whose ears alone were to judge his cause. He was about to place himself beside me at dinner, but Miss Vernon, who, as the only female in the family, arranged all such matters according to her own pleasure, contrived that I should sit betwixt Thorncliffe and her, and it can scarce be doubted that I favoured this more advantageous arrangement. “I want to speak with you,” she said, “and I have placed honest Thornie betwixt Rashleigh and you on purpose. He will be like Featherbed ’twixt castle wall And heavy brunt of cannon ball;

while I, your earliest acquaintance in this intellectual family, ask of you how you like us all?” “A very comprehensive question, Miss Vernon, considering how short while I have been at Osbaldistone Hall.” “O, the philosophy of our family lies on the surface—there are minute shades distinguishing the individuals, which require the eye of an intelligent observer, but the species, as naturalists, I believe, call it, may be distinguished and characterized at once.” “My five elder cousins, then, are, I presume, of pretty nearly the same character.” “Yes, they form a happy compound of sot, game-keeper, bully, horse-jockey, and fool—but, as they say there cannot be found two leaves on the same tree exactly alike, so these happy ingredients, being mingled in somewhat various proportions in each individual, make an agreeable variety for those who like to study character.” “Give me a sketch, if you please, Miss Vernon.” “You shall have them all in a family-piece, at full length—the favour is too easily granted to be refused. Percie, the son and heir, has more of the sot than of the game-keeper, bully, horse-jockey, or fool—My precious Thornie is more of the bully than the sot, game-keeper, jockey, or fool—John, who sleeps whole weeks amongst the hills, has most of the game-keeper—Dickon, who rides two hundred miles by day and night to be bought and sold at a horse-race has most of the jockey—And the fool predominates so much over Wilfred’s other qualities, that he may be termed a fool positive.” “A goodly collection, Miss Vernon, and the individual varieties belong to a most interesting species; but is there no room on the canvas for Sir Hildebrand?” “I love my uncle,” was her reply: “I owe him some kindness, (such

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it was meant for at least,) and I will leave you to draw his picture yourself, when you know him better.” “Come,” thought I to myself, “I am glad there is some forbearance; after all, who would have looked for such bitter satire from a creature so young and so exquisitely beautiful?” “You are thinking of me,” she said, bending her dark eyes on me, as if she meant to pierce through my very soul. “I certainly was,” I replied with some embarrassment at the determined suddenness of the question, and then endeavouring to give a complimentary turn to my frank avowal. “How is it possible I should think of any thing else, seated as I have the happiness to be?” She smiled with such an expression of concentrated haughtiness as she alone could have thrown into her countenance. “I must inform you at once, Mr Osbaldistone, that compliments are entirely lost upon me. Do not, therefore, throw away your pretty sayings—they serve fine gentlemen who travel in the country, instead of the toys, beads, and bracelets, which navigators carry to propitiate the savage inhabitants of newly discovered countries. Do not exhaust your stock in trade—you will find natives in Northumberland to whom your fine things will recommend you—On me they are utterly thrown away, for I happen to know their real value.” I was silenced and confounded. “You remind me at this moment,” said the young lady, resuming her lively and indifferent manner, “of the fairy tale, where the man finds all the money which he had carried to market suddenly changed into pieces of slate. I have cried down and ruined your whole stock of complimentary discourse by one unlucky observation. But, come, never mind it—You are belied, Mr Osbaldistone, unless you have much better conversation than these fadeurs, which every gentleman with a toupet thinks himself obliged to recite to an unfortunate girl, merely because she wears silk and gauze, while he wears superfine cloth with embroidery. Your natural paces, as any of my five cousins might say, are far preferable to your complimentary amble. Endeavour to forget my unlucky sex—call me Tom Vernon, if you have a mind— but speak to me as you would to a friend and companion—you have no idea how much I shall like you.” “That would be a bribe, indeed,” returned I. “Again!” replied Miss Vernon, holding up her finger; “I told you I would not bear the shadow of a compliment. And now, when you have pledged my uncle, who threatens you with what he calls a brimmer, I will tell you what you think of me.” The bumper being pledged by me, as a dutiful nephew, and some other general intercourse of the table having taken place, the con-

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tinued and business-like clang of knives and forks, and the devotion of cousin Thorncliffe on my right hand, and cousin Dickon, who sate on Miss Vernon’s left, to the huge quantities of meat with which they heaped their plates, made them serve as two occasional partitions, separating us from the rest of the company, and leaving us to our têtea-tête. “And now,” said I, “give me leave to ask you frankly, Miss Vernon, what you suppose I am thinking of you?—I could tell you what I really do think, but you have interdicted praise.” “I do not want your assistance. I am conjuror enough to tell your thoughts without it. You need not open the casement of your bosom, I see through it. You think me a strange bold girl, half coquette, half romp, desirous of attracting attention by the freedom of her manners and loudness of her conversation, because she is ignorant of what the Spectator calls the softer graces of the sex—and perhaps you think I have some particular plan of storming you into admiration. I should be sorry to shock your self-opinion, but you were never more mistaken. All the confidence I have reposed in you, I would have given as readily to your father, if I thought he could have understood me. I am in this happy family as much secluded from intelligent listeners as Sancho in the Sierra Morena, and when opportunity offers, I must speak or die. I assure you I would not have told you a word of all this curious intelligence, had I cared a pin who knew it or knew it not.” “It is very cruel in you, Miss Vernon, to take away all particular marks of favour from your communications, but I must receive them on your own terms.—You have not included Mr Rashleigh Osbaldistone in your domestic sketches.” She shrunk, I thought, at this remark, and hastily answered, in a much lower tone, “Not a word of Rashleigh! his ears are so acute when his selfishness is interested, that the sounds would reach him even through the mass of cousin Thorncliffe’s person, stuffed as it is with the beef, venison-pasty, and pudding.” “Yes,” I replied; “but peeping past the living screen which divides us, before I put the question, I perceived that Mr Rashleigh’s chair is empty—he has left the table.” “I would not have you be too sure of that,” Miss Vernon replied. “Take my advice, and when you speak of Rashleigh, get up to the top of Otterscope-hill, where you can see for twenty miles round you in every direction—stand on the very peak, and speak in whispers—and, after all, don’t be too sure that the bird of the air shall not carry the matter. Rashleigh has been my tutor for four years—we are mutually tired of each other, and we shall heartily rejoice at our approaching separation.” “Mr Rashleigh leaves Osbaldistone Hall, then?”

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“Yes, in a few days!—did you not know that?—Your father must keep his resolutions much more secret than Sir Hildebrand. Why, when my uncle was informed that you were to be his guest for some time, and that your father desired to have one of his hopeful sons to fill up the lucrative situation in his counting-house, which was vacant by your obstinacy, Mr Francis, the good knight held a cour pleniere of all his family, including the butler, housekeeper, and game-keeper. This reverend assembly of the peers and household officers of Osbaldistone Hall was not convoked, as you may suppose, to elect your substitute, because, as Rashleigh alone possessed more arithmetic than was necessary to calculate the odds on a fighting cock, none but he could be supposed qualified for the situation. But some solemn sanction was necessary for transferring Rashleigh’s destination from starving as a Catholic priest, to thriving as a wealthy banker; and it was not without some reluctance that the acquiescence of the assembly was obtained to such an act of degradation.” “I can conceive the scruples—but how were they got over?” “By the general wish, I believe, to get Rashleigh out of the house,” replied Miss Vernon. “Although youngest of the family, he has somehow or other got the entire management of all the others, and every one is sensible of the subjection, though they cannot shake it off—if any one opposes him, he is sure to rue having done so before the year goes about—and if you do him a very important service—you may rue it still more.” “At that rate,” answered I, smiling, “I should look about me, for I have been the cause, however unintentionally, of his change of situation.” “Yes! and whether he regards it as an advantage or disadvantage, he will owe you a grudge for it—But here come cheese, radishes, and a bumper to Church and King, the hint for ladies and chaplains to disappear—and I, the sole representative of womanhood at Osbaldistone Hall, retreat, as in duty bound.” She vanished as she spoke, leaving me in astonishment at the mingled character of shrewdness, audacity, and frankness which her conversation displayed. I despair conveying to you the least idea of her manner, although I have, as nearly as I can remember, imitated her language. In fact, there was a mixture of untaught simplicity, as well as native shrewdness and haughty boldness in her manner, and all were modified and recommended by the play of the most beautiful features I had ever beheld. It was not to be thought that, however strange and uncommon I might think her liberal and unreserved communications, a young man of two-and-twenty was likely to be severely critical on a beautiful girl of eighteen, for not observing a proper distance towards

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him. On the contrary, I was equally diverted and flattered by Miss Vernon’s confidence, and notwithstanding her declaration that it was conferred on me solely because I was the first auditor who occurred, of intelligence enough to comprehend it. With the presumption of my age, certainly not diminished by my residence in France, I imagined, that well-formed manners, and a handsome person, both which I conceived myself to possess, were not unsuitable qualifications for the confident of a young beauty. My vanity thus enlisted in Miss Vernon’s behalf, I was far from judging her with severity, merely for a frankness which, I supposed, was in some degree justified by my own personal merit; and the feelings of partiality, which her beauty, and the singularity of her situation, were of themselves calculated to excite, were enhanced by my opinion of her penetration and judgment in her choice of a friend. After Miss Vernon quitted the apartment, the bottle circulated, or rather flew around the table in unceasing revolution. My foreign education had given me a distaste to intemperance, then and yet too common a vice among my countrymen. The conversation which seasoned such orgies was as little to my taste, and, if any thing could render it more disgusting, it was the relationship of the company. I therefore seized a lucky opportunity, and made my escape through a side-door, leading I knew not whither, rather than endure any longer the sight of father and sons practising the same degrading intemperance, and holding the same coarse and disgusting conversation. I was pursued, of course, as I had expected, to be reclaimed by force, as a deserter from the shrine of Bacchus. When I heard the whoop and hollo, and the tramp of the heavy boots of my pursuers on the winding stair which I was descending, I plainly foresaw I should be overtaken unless I could get out into the open air. I therefore threw open a casement on the stair-case, which opened into an old-fashioned garden, and, as the height did not exceed six feet, I jumped out without hesitation, and soon heard, far behind, the “hey whoop! stole away! stole away!” of my baffled pursuers. I ran down one alley, walked fast up another, and then, conceiving myself out of all danger of pursuit, I slackened my pace into a quiet stroll, enjoying the cool air which the heat of the wine I had been obliged to swallow, as well as that of my rapid retreat, rendered doubly grateful. As I sauntered on, I found the gardener hard at his evening employment, and saluted him, as I paused to look at his work. “Good even, my friend.” “Gude e’en—gude e’en to ye,” answered the man, without looking up, and in a tone which at once indicated his northern extraction. “Fine weather for your work, my friend.”

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“It’s no that mickle to be complained of,” answered the man, with that limited degree of praise which gardeners and farmers usually bestow on the very best weather. Then raising his head, as if to see who spoke to him, he touched his Scotch bonnet with an air of respect, as he observed, “Eh! gude safe us!—it’s a sight for sair een, to see a gold-laced jeistiecor in the Ha’ garden sae early at e’en.” “A gold-laced what, my good friend?” “Ou, just a jeistiecor*—that’s a jacket like your ain, there. They hae other things to do wi’ them up yonder—unbuttoning them to mak room for the beef and the bag-puddings, and the claret-wine, nae doubt—that’s the ordinary for evening lecture on this side o’ the Border.” “There’s no such plenty of good cheer in your country, my good friend, as to tempt you to sit so late at it.” “Hout, sir, ye ken little about Scotland; it’s no for want of good vivers—the best of fish, flesh, and fool hae we, by sybous, ingans, turneeps, and other garden fruit. But we hae mense and discretion, and are moderate of our mouths; but here, frae the kitchen to the ha’, it’s fill and fetch mair frae the tae end of the four and twenty till the t’other. Even their fast days—they ca’ it fasting when they hae the best o’ fish frae Hartlepool and Sunderland by land carriage, forbye trouts, gilses, salmon, and a’ the lave o’t, and so they make their very fasting a kind of luxury and abomination—and then the awfu’ masses and matins of the puir deceived souls—but I should nae speak about them, for your honour will be a Roman, I’se warrant, like the lave.” “Not I, my friend; I was bred an English presbyterian, or a dissenter.” “The right hand of fellowship to your honour, then,” quoth the gardener, with as much alacrity as his hard features were capable of expressing, and, as if to shew that his good will did not rest on words, he plucked forth a huge horn snuff-box, or mull, as he called it, and proffered me a pinch with a most fraternal grin. Having accepted his courtesy, I asked him if he had been long a domestic at Osbaldistone Hall? “I have been fighting with wild beasts at Ephesus,” said he, looking towards the building, “for the best part of these four and twenty years, as sure as my name’s Andrew Fairservice.” “But, my excellent friend, Andrew Fairservice, if your religion and your temperance are so much offended by Roman rituals and southern hospitality, it seems to me that you must have been putting yourself to an unnecessary penance all this while, and that you might have found a service where they eat less, and are more orthodox in their worship. I *Perhaps from the French justaucorps.

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dare say it cannot be want of skill which prevented your being placed more to your satisfaction.” “It doesna become me to speak to the point of my ain qualifications,” said Andrew, looking round him with great complacence; “but nae doubt I should understand my trade of horticulture, seeing I was bred in the parish of Dreepdaily, where they raise lang-kale under glass, and force the early nettles for their spring kale—and, to speak truth, I hae been flitting every term these four and twenty years, but when the time comes, there’s aye something to saw that I would like to see sawn, or something to maw that I would like to see mawn,—or something to ripe that I would like to see ripen, and sae I e’en daiker on wi’ the family frae year’s end to year’s end. And I wad say for certain, that I was ganging to quit at Cannlemas, only I was just as positive on it twenty years syne, and I find mysel still turning up the mouls here, for a’ that. Forbye that, to tell your honour the even-down truth, there’s nae better place ever offered to Andrew. But if your honour wad wush me to ony place where I wad hear pure doctrine, and hae a free cow’s grass, and a cot, and a yard, and mair than ten punds of annual fee, and where there’s nae leddy about the town to count the apples, I’se hold mysel mickle indebted to you.” “Bravo, Andrew; I perceive you’ll lose no preferment for want of asking patronage.” “I canna see what for I should; it’s no a generation to wait till ane’s worth’s discovered, I trow.” “But you are no friend, I observe, to the ladies.” “Na, by my troth, I keep up the first gardener’s quarrel to them. They’re fasheous bargains—aye crying for apricocks, pears, plums, and apples, summer and winter, without distinction o’ seasons—but we hae nae slices o’ the spare rib here, be praised for’t! except auld Martha, and she’s weel aneugh pleased wi’ the freedom o’ the berrybushes to her sister’s weans, when they come to drink tea on a holiday in the housekeeper’s room, and wi’ a whin codlings now and than for her ain private supper.” “You forget your young mistress.” “What mistress do I forget?—whae’s that?” “Your young mistress, Miss Vernon.” “What! the lassie Vernon—She’s nae mistress o’ mine, man. I wish she was her ain mistress—and I wish she mayna be some other body’s mistress or it’s lang—She’s a wild slip that.” “Indeed!” said I, more interested than I cared to own to myself, or show to this fellow—“why, Andrew, you know all the secrets of this family.” “If I ken them, I can keep them,” answered Andrew; “they winna

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work in my wame like barm in a barrel, I’se warrant ye. Miss Die is— but it’s neither beef nor brose o’ mine.” And he began to dig with a great semblance of assiduity. “What is Miss Vernon, Andrew? I am a friend of the family, and should like to know.” “Other than a gude ane, I’m fearing,” said Andrew, closing one eye hard, and shaking his head with a grave and mysterious look—“something glee’d—your honour understands me.” “I cannot say I do,” said I, “Andrew—but I should like to hear you explain yourself;” and therewithal I slipped a crown-piece into Andrew’s horn-hard hand. The touch of the silver made him grin a ghastly smile, as he nodded slowly, and thrust it into his breeches pocket, and then, like a man who well understood that there was value to be returned, stood up, and rested his arms on his spade, with his features composed into the most important gravity, as for some serious communication. “Ye man ken, then, young gentleman, since it imports you to know, that Miss Vernon is—” Here breaking off, he sucked in both his cheeks, till his lanthorn jaws and long chin assumed the appearance of a pair of nut-crackers; winked hard once more, frowned, shook his head, and seemed to think his physiognomy had completed the information which his tongue had not fully told. “Good God!” said I, “so young, so beautiful, so early lost!” “Troth, ye may say sae—She’s in a manner lost, body and saul, for forbye being a papist, I’se uphaud her for”—and his northern caution prevailed, and he was again silent. “For what, sir?” said I, sternly. “I insist on knowing the plain meaning of all this.” “Ou, just for the bitterest jacobite in the haill shire.” “Pshaw! a jacobite—is that all?” Andrew looked at me with some astonishment, at hearing his information treated so lightly; and then muttering, “It’s the warst thing I ken aboot the lassie, howsoe’er,” he resumed his spade, like the King of the Vandals, in Marmontel’s late novel.

Chapter Seven Bardolph. The sheriff, with a most monstrous watch, is at the door. Henry IV. First Part

I         with some difficulty the apartment which was destined for my accommodation; and, having secured myself the necessary

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good-will and attention from my uncle’s domestics, by using the means they were most capable of apprehending, I secluded myself there for the remainder of the evening, conjecturing, from the fair way in which I had left my new relatives, as well as from the distant noise which continued to echo from the Stone-Hall, (as their banquetting room was called,) that they were not like to be fitting company for a sober man. What could my father mean by sending me to be an inmate in this strange family? was my first and most natural reflection. My uncle, it was plain, received me as one who was to make some stay with him, and his rude hospitality rendered him as indifferent as King Hal to the number of those who fed upon his cost. But it was plain my presence or absence would be of as little importance in his eyes as that of one of his blue-coated serving-men. My cousins were mere cubs, in whose company I might, if I liked it, unlearn whatever decent manners, or elegant accomplishments I had acquired, but where I could attain no information beyond what regarded worming dogs, rowelling horses, and following foxes. I could only imagine one reason, which was probably the true one. My father considered the life which was led at Osbaldistone Hall as the natural and inevitable pursuits of all country gentlemen, and he was desirous, by giving me an opportunity of seeing that with which he knew I would be disgusted, to reconcile me, if possible, to take an active share in his own business. In the meantime, he would take Rashleigh Osbaldistone into the counting-house. But he had an hundred modes of providing for him, and that advantageously, whenever he chose to get rid of him. So that, although I did feel a certain qualm of conscience at having been the means of introducing Rashleigh, being such as he was described by Miss Vernon, into my father’s business—perhaps into his confidence—I subdued it by the reflection, that my father was complete master of his own affairs—a man not to be imposed upon, or influenced by any one, and that all I knew to the young gentleman’s prejudice was through the medium of a singular and giddy girl, whose communications were made with an injudicious frankness, which might warrant me in supposing her conclusions had been hastily or inaccurately formed. Then my mind naturally turned to Miss Vernon herself; her extreme beauty; her very peculiar situation, relying solely upon her own reflections—and her own spirit—for guidance and protection; and her whole character offering that variety and spirit which piques our curiosity, and engages our attention in spite of ourselves. I had sense enough to consider the neighbourhood of this singular young lady, and the chance of our being thrown into very close and frequent intercourse, as adding to the dangers, while it relieved the dulness, of Osbaldistone Hall, but I

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could not, with the fullest exertion of my prudence, prevail upon myself to regret excessively this new and particular hazard to which I was to be exposed. This scruple I also settled as young men settle most difficulties of the kind—I would be very cautious, always on my guard, consider Miss Vernon rather as a companion than an intimate, and all would do well enough. With these reflections I fell asleep, Miss Vernon, of course the last subject of my contemplation. Whether I dreamed of her or no, I cannot satisfy you, for I was tired and slept soundly. But she was the first person I thought of in the morning, when waked at dawn by the cheerful notes of the huntinghorn. To start up, and direct my horse to be saddled, was my first movement, and in a few minutes I was in the court-yard, where men, dogs, and horses, were in full preparation. My uncle, who, perhaps, was not entitled to expect a very alert sportsman in his nephew, bred as he was in foreign parts, seemed rather surprised to see me, and I thought his morning salutation wanted something of the hearty and hospitable tone which distinguished his first welcome. “Art there, lad?—aye, youth’s aye rathe—but look to thysel—mind the old song, lad— He that gallops his horse on Blackstone edge May chance to catch a fall.”

I believe there are few young men, and those very sturdy moralists, who would not rather be taxed with some moral peccadillo than with want of skill in horsemanship. As I was by no means deficient either in skill or courage, I resented my uncle’s insinuation accordingly, and assured him he would find me up with the hounds. “I doubt na, lad,” was his reply; “thou’rt a rank rider, I’se warrant thee—but take heed. Thy father sent thee here to me to be bitted, and I doubt I must ride thee on the curb, or we’ll hae some one to ride thee on the halter, if I take na the better heed.” As this speech was totally unintelligible to me—as, besides, it did not seem to be delivered for my use or benefit, but was spoken as it were aside, and as if expressing aloud something which was passing through the mind of my much honoured uncle, I concluded it must either refer to my desertion of the bottle on the preceding evening, or that my uncle’s morning hours being a little discomposed by the revels of the night before, his temper had suffered in proportion. I only made the passing reflection, that if he played the ungracious landlord, I would remain the shorter while his guest, and then hastened to salute Miss Vernon, who advanced cordially to meet me. Some show of greeting also passed between my cousins and me; but as I saw them maliciously bent upon criticizing my dress and accoutrements, from the cap to the stirrup-irons, and sneering at whatever had a new or

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foreign appearance, I exempted myself from the task of paying them much attention; and assuming, in requital of their grins and whispers, an air of the utmost indifference and contempt, I attached myself to Miss Vernon as the only person in the party whom I could regard as a suitable companion. By her side, therefore, we sallied forth to the destined cover, which was a dingle or copse on the side of an extensive common. As we rode thither, I observed to Diana, that I did not see my cousin Rashleigh in the field; to which she replied,—“O no—he’s a mighty hunter—but it’s after the fashion of Nimrod, and his game is man.” The dogs now brushed into the cover, with the appropriate encouragement from the hunters—all was business, bustle, and activity. My cousins were soon too much interested in the business of the morning to take any farther notice of me, unless that I overheard Dickon the horse-jockey whisper to Wilfred the fool—“Look thou, an our French cousin be nat off a’ first burst”—to which Wilfred answered, “Like enow, for he has a queer outlandish binding on’s castor.” Thorncliffe, however, who, in his rude way, seemed not absolutely insensible to the beauty of his kinswoman, appeared determined to keep us company more closely than his brothers, perhaps to watch what passed betwixt Miss Vernon and me, perhaps to enjoy my expected mishaps in the chase. In the last particular he was disappointed. A fox was found, when, notwithstanding the ill-omened French binding upon my hat, I sustained my character as a horseman to the admiration of my uncle and Miss Vernon, and the secret disappointment of those who expected me to disgrace it. Reynard, however, after a hard burst of several miles, proved too wily for his pursuers, and the hounds were at fault. I could at this time observe in Miss Vernon’s manner an impatience of the close attendance which we received from Thorncliffe Osbaldistone, and, as that active-spirited young lady never hesitated at taking the readiest means to gratify any wish of the moment, she said to him, in a tone of reproach—“I wonder, Thornie, what keeps you dangling at my horse’s crupper all this morning, when you know the earths above Woolverton-mill are not stopt.” “I know no such an thing than, Miss Die, for the miller swore himsel as black as my hat, that he stap’d them at twelve o’clock, midnight that was.” “O fie upon you, Thornie, would you trust to a miller’s word?—and these earths, too, where we lost the fox three times this session, and you on your grey mare that can gallop there and back again in ten minutes!” “Well, Miss Die, I’se go to Woolverton then, and if the earths are not stopped, I’se raddle Dick the miller’s bones for him.”

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“Do, my dear Thornie—horsewhip the rascal to purpose—via— fly away, and about it.”—Thorncliffe went off at the gallop—“or get yourself horsewhipped, which will serve my purpose just as well.—I must teach them all discipline and obedience to the word of command. I am raising a regiment, you must know. Thornie shall be my serjeant-major, Dickon my riding-master, and Wilfred, with his deep dub-a-dub tones, that speak but three syllables at a time, my kettle-drummer.” “And Rashleigh?” “Rashleigh shall be my scout-master.” “And will you find no employment for me, most lovely colonel?” “You shall have the choice of being pay-master, or plunder-master, to the corps. But see how the dogs puzzle about there—Come— Come, Mr Frank, the scent’s cold—they wont recover it there this while—follow me—I have a view to show you.” And, in fact, she cantered up to the top of a gentle hill, commanding an extensive prospect. Casting her eyes around, to see that no one was near us, she drew up her horse beneath a few birch trees, which screened us from the rest of the hunting field—“Do you see yon peaked, brown, heathy hill, having something like a whitish speck upon the side?” “Terminating that long ridge of broken moorish uplands. I see it distinctly.” “That whitish speck is a rock called Hawksmore-crag, and Hawksmore-crag is in Scotland.” “Indeed! I did not think we had been so near Scotland.” “It is so, I assure you, and your horse will carry you there in two hours.” “I shall hardly give him the trouble; why, the distance must be eighteen miles as the crow flies.” “You may have my mare, if you think her less blown—I say, that in two hours you may be in Scotland.” “And I say, that I have so little desire to be there, that if my horse’s head were over the Border, I would not give his tail the trouble of following. What should I do in Scotland?” “Provide for your safety, if I must speak plainly—do you understand me now, Mr Frank?” “Not a whit—you are more and more oracular.” “Then, on my word, you either mistrust me most unjustly, and are a better dissembler than Rashleigh Osbaldistone himself, or you know nothing of what is imputed to you; and then no wonder you stare at me in that grave manner, which I can scarce see without laughing.” “Upon my word of honour, Miss Vernon,” said I, with an impatient

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feeling of her childish disposition to mirth, “I have not the most distant conception of what you mean. I am happy to afford you any subject of amusement, but I am quite ignorant in what it consists.” “Nay, there’s no sound jest after all,” said the gay damsel, composing herself, “only one looks so very ridiculous when he is fairly perplexed—but the matter is serious enough. Do you know one Moray, or Morris, or some such name?” “Not that I can at present recollect.” “Think a moment—did you not lately travel with somebody of such a name?” “The only man with whom I travelled for any length of time, was a fellow whose soul seemed to lie in his portmanteau.” “Then it was like the soul of the licentiate Pedro Garcias, which lay among the ducats in his leathern purse. That man has been robbed, and he has lodged an information against you, as connected with the violence done to him.” “You jest, Miss Vernon!” “I do not, I assure you—the thing is absolute fact.” “And do you,” said I, with strong indignation, which I did not attempt to suppress, “do you suppose me capable of meriting such a charge?” “You would call me out for it, I suppose, had I the advantage of being a man—You may do so as it is, if you like it—I can shoot flying, as well as leap a five-barred gate.” “And are colonel of a regiment of horse besides,” replied I, reflecting how idle it was to be angry with her. “But do explain the present jest to me!” “There is no jest whatever,” said Diana; “you are accused of robbing this man, and my uncle believes it as well as I did.” “Upon my honour, I am greatly obliged to my friends for their good opinion.” “Now do not, if you can help it, snort, and stare, and snuff the wind, and look so exceedingly like a startled horse—There’s no such offence as you suppose—you are not charged with any petty larceny, or vulgar felony—by no means. This fellow was carrying money from government, both specie and bills, to pay troops in the north, and it is said he has been also robbed of some dispatches of great consequence.” “And so it is high treason, then, and not simple robbery, of which I am accused?” “Certainly—which, you know, has been in all ages accounted the crime of a gentleman. You will find plenty in this country, and one not far from your elbow, who think it a merit to distress the Hanoverian government by every means possible.”

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“Neither my politics nor my morals, Miss Vernon, are of a description so accommodating.” “I really begin to believe that you are a presbyterian and Hanoverian in good earnest. But what do you propose to do?” “Instantly to refute this atrocious calumny. Before whom,” I asked, “was this extraordinary accusation laid?” “Before old Squire Inglewood, who had sufficient unwillingness to receive it. He sent tidings to my uncle, I suppose, that he might smuggle you away into Scotland, out of reach of the warrant. But nuncle is sensible that his religion and old predilections render him obnoxious to government, and that, were he caught playing booty, he would be disarmed, and probably dismounted, (which would be the worse evil of the two,) as a jacobite, papist, and suspected person.” “I can conceive that, sooner than lose his hunters, he would give up his nephew.” “His nephew, nieces, sons—daughters, if he had them, and whole generation,” said Diana; “therefore trust not to him, even for a single moment, but make the best of your way before they can serve the warrant.” “That I shall certainly do, but it shall be to the house of this Squire Inglewood—which way does it lie?” “About five miles off, in the low ground, behind yonder plantations —you may see the tower of the clock-house.” “I will be there in a few minutes,” said I, putting my horse in motion. “And I will go with you, and show you the way,” said Diana, putting her palfrey also to the trot. “Do not think of it, Miss Vernon; it is not—permit me the freedom of a friend—it is not proper—scarcely even delicate, in you to go with me upon such an errand as I am now upon.” “I understand your meaning,” said Miss Vernon, a slight blush crossing her haughty brow;—“it is plainly spoken,”—and after a moment’s pause she added, “and I believe kindly meant.” “It is indeed, Miss Vernon; can you think me insensible of the interest you show me, or ungrateful for it?” said I, with even more interest than I could have wished to express. “Your’s is meant for true kindness, shewn best at the hour of need. But I must not, for your own sake—for the chance of misconstruction—suffer you to pursue the dictates of your generosity; this is so public an occasion—it is almost like venturing into an open court of justice.” “And if it were not almost, but altogether entering an open court of justice, do you think I would not go there if I thought it right, and wished to protect a friend? You have no one to stand by you—you are

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a stranger, and here, in the outskirts of the kingdom, country justices do odd things. My uncle has no desire to embroil himself in your affair—Rashleigh is absent, and were he here, there is no knowing which side he might take—the rest are all more stupid and brutal one than another. I will go with you, and I do not fear being able to serve you. I am no fine lady, to be terrified to death with law books, hard words, or big wigs.” “But, my dear Miss Vernon”— “But, my dear Mr Francis, be patient and quiet, and let me take my own way, for when I take the bit between my teeth, there is no bridle will stop me.” Flattered with the interest so lovely a creature seemed to take in my fate, yet vexed at the ridiculous appearance I should make, by carrying a girl of eighteen along with me as an advocate, and seriously concerned for the misconstruction to which her motives might be exposed, I endeavoured to combat her resolution to accompany me to Squire Inglewood’s. The self will’d girl told me roundly, that my dissuasions were absolutely in vain; that she was a true Vernon, whom no consideration, not even that of being able to do but little to assist him, should induce to abandon a friend in distress; and that all I could say on the subject might be very well for pretty, well-educated, wellbehaved misses from a town boarding-school, but did not apply to her, who was accustomed to mind nobody’s opinion but her own. While she spoke thus, we were advancing hastily towards Inglewood-Place, while, as if to divert me from the task of further remonstrance, she drew a ludicrous picture of the magistrate and his clerk. Inglewood was, according to her description, a white-washed jacobite, that is, one who, having been long a non-juror, like most of the other gentlemen of the country, had lately qualified himself to act as a justice, by taking the oaths to government. “He had done so,” she said, “in compliance with the urgent request of most of his brother squires, who saw, with regret, that the palladium of sylvan sport, the gamelaws, were likely to fall into disuse for want of a magistrate who would enforce them, the nearest acting justice being the Mayor of Newcastle, and he, as being rather inclined to the consumption of the game when properly dressed, than to its preservation when alive, was more partial, of course, to the cause of the poacher than of the sportsman. Resolving, therefore, that it was expedient some one of their number should sacrifice the scruples of jacobitical loyalty to the good of the community, the Northumbrian country gentlemen imposed the duty on Inglewood, who, being very inert in most of his feelings and sentiments, might, they thought, comply with any political creed without much repugnance. Having thus secured the body of a justice, they

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proceeded,” continued Miss Vernon, “to attach to it a clerk, by way of soul, to direct and animate its movements. Accordingly, they have got a sharp Newcastle attorney, called Jobson, who, to vary my metaphor, finds it a good thing enough to retail justice at the sign of Squire Inglewood, and, as his own emoluments depend on the quantity of business which he transacts, he hooks in his principal for a great deal more employment in the justice line than the honest squire had ever bargained for; so that no apple-wife within the circuit of ten miles can settle her account with a coster-monger without an audience of the reluctant Justice and his alert clerk, Mr Joseph Jobson. But the most ridiculous scenes occur when affairs come before him, like our business of to-day, having any colouring of politics. Mr Joseph Jobson (for which, no doubt, he has his own very sufficient reasons,) is a prodigious zealot for the protestant religion, and a great friend to the present establishment in church and state. Now, his principal, retaining a sort of instinctive attachment to the opinions which he professed openly, until he relaxed his political creed, with the patriotic view of enforcing the law against unauthorized destroyers of black-game, grouse, partridges, and hares, is peculiarly embarrassed when the zeal of his assistant involves him in judicial proceedings connected with his earlier faith; and, instead of seconding his zeal, he seldom fails to oppose to it a double dose of indolence and lack of exertion. And this inactivity does not by any means arise from actual stupidity. On the contrary, for one whose principal delight is in eating and drinking, he is an alert, joyous, and lively old soul, which makes his assumed dulness the more diverting. So you may see Jobson on such occasions, like a bit of a broken-down blood tit condemned to drag an overloaded cart, puffing, strutting, and spluttering, to get the justice put in motion, while, though the wheels groan, creak, and revolve slowly, the great and preponderating weight of the vehicle fairly frustrates the efforts of the willing quadruped, and prevents its being brought into a state of actual progression. Nay more, the unfortunate poney, I understand, has been heard to complain, that this same car of justice, which he finds it so hard to put in motion on some occasions, can on others run fast enough down hill of its own accord, dragging his reluctant self backwards along with it, when any thing can be done of service to Squire Inglewood’s quondam friends. And then Mr Jobson talks big about reporting his principal to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if it were not for his particular regard and friendship for Mr Inglewood and his family.” As Miss Vernon concluded this whimsical description, we found ourselves in front of Inglewood-Place, a handsome, though old-fashioned building, which shewed the consequence of the family.

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Chapter Eight “Sir,” quoth the Lawyer, “not to flatter ye, You have as good and fair a battery As heart could wish, and need not shame The proudest man alive to claim.” B 

O         were taken by a servant in Sir Hildebrand’s livery, whom we found in the court-yard, and we entered the house. In the entrance hall I was something surprised, and my fair companion still more so, when we met Rashleigh Osbaldistone, who could not help shewing equal wonder at our rencontre. “Rashleigh,” said Miss Vernon, without giving him time to ask any question, “you have heard of Mr Francis Osbaldistone’s affair, and you have been talking to the Justice about it.” “Certainly,” said Rashleigh composedly, “it has been my business here. I have been endeavouring,” he said, with a bow to me, “to render my cousin what service I can. But I am sorry to meet him here.” “As a friend and relation, Mr Osbaldistone, you ought to have been sorry to have met me any where else, at a time when the charge of my reputation required me to be on this spot as soon as possible.” “True; but—judging from what my father said, I should have supposed a short retreat into Scotland—just till matters should be smoothed over in a quiet way”—— I answered with warmth, that I had no prudential measures to observe, and desired to have nothing smoothed over—on the contrary, I was come to enquire into a rascally calumny, which I was determined to probe to the bottom. “Mr Francis Osbaldistone is an innocent man, Rashleigh, and he demands an investigation of the charge against him, and I intend to support him in it.” “You do, my pretty cousin?—I should think, now, Mr Francis Osbaldistone was likely to be as effectually, and rather more delicately, supported by my presence than by yours.” “O certainly; but two heads are better than one, you know.” “Especially such a head as yours, my pretty Die,” advancing, and taking her hand with a familiar fondness, which made me think him fifty times uglier than nature had made him. She led him, however, a few steps aside; they conversed in an under voice, and she appeared to insist upon some request which he was unwilling, or unable to comply with. I never saw so strong a contrast betwixt the expression of two

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faces. Miss Vernon’s from being earnest became angry. Her eyes and cheeks became more animated, her colour mounted, she clenched her little hand, and, stamping on the ground with her foot, seemed to listen with a mixture of contempt and indignation to the apologies, which, from his look of civil deference, his composed and respectful smile, his body rather drawing back than advanced, and other signs of look and person, I concluded him to be pouring out at her feet. At length she flung away from him, with “I will have it so.” “It is not in my power—there is no possibility of it.—Would you think it, Mr Osbaldistone?” said he, addressing me—— “You are not mad?” said she, interrupting him. “Would you think it?” said he, without attending to her hint— “Miss Vernon insists, not only that I know your innocence, (of which, indeed, it is impossible for any one to be more convinced) but that I must also be acquainted with the real perpetrators of the outrage on this fellow—if, indeed, such an outrage has been committed. Is this reasonable, Mr Osbaldistone?” “I will not allow any appeal to Mr Osbaldistone, Rashleigh,” said the young lady; “he does not know, as I do, the incredible extent and accuracy of your information on all points.” “As I am a gentleman, you do me more honour than I deserve.” “Justice, Rashleigh—only justice—and it is only justice which I expect at your hands.” “You are a tyrant, Diana,” he answered, with a sort of sigh—“a capricious tyrant, and rule your friends with a rod of iron. Still, however, it shall be as you desire. But you ought not to be here—you know you ought not—you must return with me.” Then turning from Diana, who seemed to stand undecided, he came up to me in the most friendly manner, and said, “Do not doubt my interest in what regards you, Mr Osbaldistone. If I leave you just at this moment, it is only to act for your advantage. But you must use your influence with your cousin to return—her presence cannot serve you, and must prejudice herself.” “I assure you, sir,” I replied, “you cannot be more convinced of this than I; I have urged Miss Vernon’s return as anxiously as she would permit me to do.” “I have thought on it,” said Miss Vernon, after a pause, “and I will not go till I see you safe out of the hand of the Philistines. Cousin Rashleigh, I dare say, means well—But he and I know each other’s sentiments.—Rashleigh, I will  go;—I know,” she added in a more soothing tone, “my being here will give you more motive for speed and exertion.” “Stay, then, rash, obstinate girl,” said Rashleigh; “you know but too

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well to whom you trust;” and hastening out of the hall, we heard his horse’s feet a minute afterwards in rapid motion. “Thank Heaven, he is gone!” said Diana. “And now, let us seek out the Justice.” “Had we not better call a servant?” “O, by no means; I know the way to his den—we must burst on him suddenly—follow me.” I did follow her accordingly, as she tripped up a few gloomy steps, traversed a twilight passage, and entered a sort of anti-room, hung round with old maps, architectural elevations, and genealogical trees. A pair of folding doors opened from this into Mr Inglewood’s sitting apartment, from which was heard the fag-end of an old ditty, chaunted by a voice which had been in its day fit for a jolly bottle song. “O, in Skipton-in-Craven, Is never a haven, But many a day foul weather; And he that would say A pretty girl nay, I wish for his cravat a tether.”—

“Hey day!” said Miss Vernon, “the genial Justice must have dined already,—I did not think it had been so late.” It was even so. Mr Inglewood’s appetite having been sharpened by his official investigations, he had ante-dated his meridian repast and dined at twelve instead of one o’clock, then the general dining-hour in England. The various occurrences of the morning occasioned our arriving some time after this hour, to the Justice the most important of the four-and-twenty, and he had not neglected the interval. “Stay you here,” said Diana; “I know the house, and I will call a servant—your sudden appearance might startle the old gentleman even to choking;” and she escaped from me, leaving me uncertain whether I ought to advance or retreat. It was impossible for me not to hear some part of what past within the dinner apartment, and particularly several apologies for declining to sing, expressed in a dejected croaking voice, the tones of which I conceived were not entirely new to me. “Not sing, sir? by our lady! but you must—What! you have cracked my silver-mounted cocoa-nut of sack, and tell me that you cannot sing!— Sir, sack will make a cat speak and sing too—so up with a merry stave, or trundle yourself out of my doors—do you think you are to take up all my valuable time with your damned declarations, and then tell me you cannot sing?” “Your worship is perfectly in rule,” said another voice, which, from its pert conceited accent, might be that of the clerk, “and the party must be conformable—he hath canet written on his face in court hand.”

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“Up with it, then,” said the Justice, “or, by Saint Christopher, you shall crack the cocoa-nut full of salt and water, according to the statute for such effect made and provided.” Thus exhorted and threatened, my quondam fellow-traveller, for I could no longer doubt that he was the recusant in question, uplifted, with a voice similar to that of a criminal singing his last psalm on the scaffold, a most doleful stave to the following effect: “Good people all, I pray give ear, A woful story you shall hear, ’Tis of a robber as stout as ever Bade a true man stand and deliver. With his foodle doo fa loodle loo. “This knave, most worthy of a cord, Being arm’d with pistol and with sword, ’Twixt Kensington and Brentford then Did boldly stop six honest men. With his foodle doo, &c. “These honest men did at Brentford dine, Having drank each man his pint of wine, When this bold thief, with many curses, Did say, ‘You dogs, your lives or purses.’ With his foodle doo,” &c.

I question if the honest men, whose misfortune is commemorated in this pathetic ditty, were more startled at the appearance of the bold thief, than the songster was at mine; for, tired of waiting for some one to announce me, and finding my situation as a listener rather awkward, I presented myself to the company just as my friend Mr Morris, for such, it seems, was his name, was uplifting the fifth stave of his doleful ballad. The high note, with which the tune started, died away in a quaver of consternation upon finding himself so near one whose character he supposed to be little less suspicious than that of the hero of his madrigal, and he remained silent, with a mouth gaping as if I had brought the Gorgon’s head in my hand. The Justice, whose eyes had closed under the influence of the somniferous lullaby of the song, started up in his chair as it suddenly ceased, and stared with wonder at the unexpected addition which the company had received, while his organs of sight were in abeyance. The clerk, as I conjectured him to be from his appearance, was also commoved, for, sitting opposite to Mr Morris, that honest gentleman’s terror communicated itself to him, though he wotted not why. I broke the silence of surprise occasioned by my abrupt entrance. “My name, Mr Inglewood, is Francis Osbaldistone; I understand that some scoundrel has brought a complaint before you, charging me with being concerned in a loss which he says he has sustained.”

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“Sir,” said the Justice, somewhat peevishly, “these are matters I never enter upon after dinner—there is a time for every thing, and a justice of peace must eat as well as other folks.” The goodly person of Mr Inglewood, by the way, seemed by no means to have suffered by any fasts, whether in the service of law or of religion. “I beg pardon for an ill-timed visit, sir; but as my reputation is concerned, and as the dinner appears to be concluded”— “It is not concluded, sir,” replied the magistrate; “man requires digestion as well as food, and I protest I cannot have benefit from my victuals, unless I am allowed two hours of quiet leisure, intermixed with harmless mirth, and a moderate circulation of the bottle.” “If your honour will forgive me,” said Mr Jobson, who had produced and arranged his writing implements in the brief space that our conversation afforded; “as this is a case of felony, and the gentleman seems something impatient—the charge is contra pacem domini regis”— “D—n Dominie Regis!” said the impatient Justice—“I hope it’s no treason to say so;—but it’s enough to make one mad to be worried in this way—have I a moment of my life quiet, for warrants, orders, directions, acts, bail bonds, and recognisances?—I pronounce to you, Mr Jobson, that I shall send you and the justice-ship to the devil one of these days.” “Your honour will consider the dignity of the office—one of the Quorum and Custos Rotulorum, an office of which Sir Edward Coke wisely saith, The whole christian world hath not the like of it, so it be duly executed.” “Well,” said the Justice, partly reconciled by this eulogium on the dignity of his situation, and gulping down the rest of his dissatisfaction in a huge bumper of claret, “let us to this gear then, and get rid of it as fast as we can.—Here you, sir—you, Morris—you, knight of the sorrowful countenance—is this Mr Francis Osbaldistone the gentleman whom you charge with being art and part of felony?” “I, sir?” replied Morris, whose scattered wits had hardly yet reassembled themselves—“I charge nothing—I say nothing against the gentleman.” “Then we dismiss your complaint, sir, that’s all, and a good riddance—Push about the bottle—Mr Osbaldistone, help yourself.” Jobson, however, was determined that Morris should not back out of the scrape so easily. “What do you mean, Mr Morris?—Here is your own declaration—the ink scarce dried—and you would retract it in this scandalous manner!” “How do I know,” whispered the other, in a tremulous tone, “how

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many rogues are in the house to back him—I have read of such things in Johnson’s Lives of the Highwaymen.—I protest the door opens”— And it did open, and Diana Vernon entered—“You keep fine order here, Justice—not a servant to be seen or heard of.” “Ah!” said the Justice, starting up with an alacrity which shewed that he was not so engrossed either by his devotions to Themis, or Comus, to forget what was due to beauty—“Ah, ha! Die Vernon, the heath-bell of Cheviot, and the blossom of the Border—come to see how the old bachelor keeps house—art welcome, girl, as flowers in May.” “A fine open, hospitable house you do keep, Justice, that must be allowed—not a soul to answer a visitor.” “Ah! the knaves—they reckoned themselves secure of me for a couple of hours—But why did you not come earlier?—Your cousin Rashleigh dined here, and ran away like a poltroon after the first bottle was out—But you have not dined—we’ll have something nice and lady-like—sweet and pretty, like yourself, tossed up in a trice.” “I can’t stay, Justice—I came with my cousin, Frank Osbaldistone, there, and I must shew him the way back again to the Hall, or he’ll lose himself in the wolds.” “Whew! sits the wind in that quarter?” answered the Justice, “She showed him the way, and she showed him the way, She showed him the way to woo.

What! no luck for old fellows, then, my sweet bud of the wilderness?” “None whatever, Squire Inglewood; but if you will be a good kind Justice, and dispatch young Frank’s business, and let us canter home again, I’ll bring my uncle to dine with you next week, and we’ll expect merry doings.” “And you shall find them, my pearl of the Tyne—Zookers, lass, I never envy these young fellows their rides and scampers, unless when you come across me. But I must not keep you just now, I suppose?—I am quite satisfied with Mr Francis Osbaldistone’s explanation— here has been some mistake, which can be cleared at greater leisure.” “Pardon me, sir,” said I, “but I have not heard the nature of the accusation yet.” “Yes, sir,” said the clerk, who, at the appearance of Miss Vernon, had given up the matter in despair, but who picked up courage to press farther investigation, on finding himself supported from a quarter whence assuredly he expected no backing—“Yes, sir, and Dalton saith, That he who is apprehended as a felon shall not be discharged upon any man’s discretion, but shall be held either to bail or commitment, paying to the clerk of the peace the usual fees for recognisance or commitment.”

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The Justice, thus goaded on, gave me at length a few words of explanation. It seems the tricks which I had played to this man, Morris, had made a strong impression on his imagination, for I found they had been arrayed against me in his evidence, with all the exaggeration which a timorous and heated imagination could suggest. It appeared also, that, on the day he parted from me, he had been stopped on a solitary spot, and eased of his beloved travelling-companion, the portmanteau, by two men, well mounted and armed, having their faces covered with vizards. One of them, he conceived, had much of my shape and air, and in a whispering conversation which took place betwixt the free-booters, he heard the other apply to him the name of Osbaldistone. The declaration farther set forth, that, upon enquiring into the principles of the family so named, he, the said declarant, was informed, that they were of the worst description, the family, in all its members, having been papists and jacobites, as he was given to understand by the dissenting clergyman at whose house he stopped after his rencounter, since the days of William the Conqueror. Upon all, and each of these weighty reasons, he charged me with being accessory to the felony committed upon his person—he, the said declarant, then travelling in the special employment of government, and having charge of certain important papers, and also a large sum in specie, to be paid over, according to his instructions, to certain persons of official trust and dignity in Scotland. Having heard this extraordinary accusation, I replied to it, that the circumstances on which it was founded were such as could warrant no justice, or magistrate, in any attempt on my personal liberty. I admitted I had practised a little upon the terrors of Mr Morris, while we travelled together, but in such trifling particulars as could have excited apprehension in no one who was one whit less timorous and jealous than himself. But I added, that I had never seen him since we parted, and if that which he feared had really come upon him, I was in no ways accessory to an action so unworthy of my character and station in life. That one of the robbers was called Osbaldistone, or that such a name was mentioned in the course of the conversation betwixt them, was a trifling circumstance, to which no weight was due. And concerning the disaffection alledged against me, I was willing to prove, to the satisfaction of the Justice, the clerk, and even the witness himself, that I was of the same persuasion as his friend the dissenting clergyman, had been educated as a good subject upon the principles of the Revolution, and as such now demanded the personal protection of the laws which had been assured by that great event.

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The Justice fidgetted, took snuff, and seemed considerably embarrassed, while Mr Attorney Jobson, with all the volubility of his profession, ran over the statute of the 34. Edwardi 3tij., by which justices of the peace are empowered to arrest all those whom they find by indictment or by suspicion, and to put them into prison. The rogue even turned my own admissions against me, alleging that since I had confessedly, upon my own shewing, assumed the bearing and deportment of a robber or malefactor, I had wilfully subjected myself to the suspicions of which I complained, and brought myself within the compass of the act, having wilfully clothed my conduct with all the colour and livery of guilt. I combatted both his arguments and his jargon with much indignation and scorn, and observed, that I should, if necessary, produce the bail of my relations, which I conceived could not be refused, without subjecting the magistrate in a misdemeanour. “Pardon me, my good sir,—pardon me,” said the insatiable clerk, “this is a case in which neither bail nor mainprize can be received, the felon who is liable to be committed on hearing grounds of suspicion, not being replevisable under the statute of the 3d of King Edward, there being in that act an express exception of such as be charged of commandment, or force, and aid of felony done;” and he hinted, that his worship would do well to remember that such were no ways replevisable by the common writ, nor without writ. At this period of the conversation a servant entered, and delivered a letter to Mr Jobson. He had no sooner run it hastily over, than he exclaimed, with the air of one who wished to appear much vexed at the interruption, and felt the consequence attached to a man of multifarious avocations—“Good God!—why, at this rate I shall have neither time to attend to the public concerns nor my own—no rest—no quiet —I wish to Heaven another gentleman in our line would settle here!” “God forbid!” said the Justice, in a tone of sotto-voce deprecation; “some of us have enough of one of the tribe.” “This is a matter of life and death, if your worship pleases.” “In God’s name! no more justice business, I hope,” said the alarmed magistrate. “No—no,” replied Mr Jobson, very consequentially; “old Gaffer Rutledge of Grimeshill, is subpœna’d for the next world; he has sent one express for Dr Killclown to put in bail—another for me to arrange his worldly affairs.” “Away with you, then,” said Mr Inglewood hastily; “his may not be a replevisable case under the statute, you know, or Mr Justice Death may not like the doctor for a main pernor, or bailsman.” “And yet,” said Jobson, lingering as he moved towards the door, “if

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my presence here be necessary—I could make out the warrant for committal in a moment, and the constable is below—And you have heard,” he said, lowering his voice, “Mr Rashleigh’s opinion”—the rest was lost in a whisper. The Justice replied aloud, “I tell thee no, man, no—we’ll do nought till thou return, man, ’tis but a four-mile ride—Come, push bottle, Mr Morris—Don’t be cast down, Mr Osbaldistone—And you, my rose of the wilderness—one cup of claret to refresh the bloom of your cheek.” Diana started, as if from a reverie, in which she appeared to have been plunged while we held this discussion. “No, Justice, I should be afraid of transferring the bloom to a part of my face where it would show to little advantage. But I will pledge you in a cooler beverage;” and, filling a glass with water, she drank it hastily, while her hurried manner belied her assumed gaiety. I had not much leisure to make remarks upon her demeanor, however, being full of vexation at the interference of fresh obstacles to an instant examination of the disgraceful and impertinent charge which was brought against me. But there was no moving the Justice to take the matter up in absence of his clerk, an incident which gave him apparently as much pleasure as a holiday to a schoolboy. He persisted in his endeavours to inspire jollity into a company, the individuals of which, whether considered with reference to each other, or to their respective situations, were by no means inclined to mirth. “Come, Master Morris, you’re not the first man that’s been robbed, I trow— grieving ne’er brought back loss, man.—And you, Mr Frank Osbaldistone, are not the first bully-boy that has said stand to a true man. There was Jack Winterfield, in my young days, kept the best company in the land, at horses and cock-fights who but he—hand and glove was I with Jack.—Push bottle, Mr Morris, it’s dry talking—many a quart bumper have I cracked, and thrown many a merry main with poor Jack —good family—ready wit—quick eye—as honest a fellow, barring the deed he died for—we’ll drink to his memory, gentlemen—poor Jack Winterfield—And since we talk of him, and of these sort of things, and since that d—d clerk of mine has taken his gibberish elsewhere, and since we’re snug among ourselves, Mr Osbaldistone, if you will have my best advice, I would take up this matter—the law’s hard— very severe—hanged poor Jack Winterfield at York, despite family connections and great interest—all for easing a fat west country grazier of the price of a few beasts—Now, here is honest Master Morris has been frightened, and so forth—D—n it, man, let the poor fellow have back his portmanteau, and end the frolic at once.” Morris’s eyes brightened up at this suggestion, and he began to

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hesitate forth an assurance that he thirsted for no man’s blood, when I cut the proposed accommodation short, by resenting the Justice’s suggestion as an insult, that went directly to suppose me guilty of the very crime, which I had come to his house with the express intention of disavowing. We were in this awkward predicament, when a servant, opening the door, announced a “strange gentleman to wait upon his honour;” and the party whom he thus described entered the room without further ceremony.

Chapter Nine One of the thieves come back again! I’ll stand close. He dares not wrong me now, so near the house, And call in vain ’tis, till I see him offer it. The Widow

“A  !” echoed the Justice,—“not upon business, I trust, for I’ll be”—— His protestation was cut short by the answer of the man himself. “My business is of a nature somewhat onerous and particular,” said my acquaintance Mr Campbell,—for it was he, the very Scotchman whom I had seen at Darlington,—“and I must solicit your honour to give instant and heedful consideration to it.—I believe, Mr Morris,” he added, fixing his eye on that person with a look of peculiar firmness and almost ferocity—“I believe ye ken brawly what I am—I believe ye cannot have forgotten what passed at our last meeting on the road.” Morris’s jaw dropped—his countenance became the colour of tallow —his teeth chattered, and he gave visible signs of the utmost consternation. “Take heart of grace, man,” said Campbell, “and dinna sit clattering your jaws there like a pair of castanets. I think there can be nae difficulty in your telling Mr Justice, that ye have seen me of yore, and ken me to be a cavalier of fortune, and a man of honour.—Ye ken fu’ weel ye will be sune resident in my vicinity, when I may have the power, as I will possess the inclination, to do ye as good a turn.” “Sir—sir—I believe you to be a man of honour, and, as you say, a person of fortune.—Yes, Mr Inglewood,” he added, clearing his voice, “I really believe this gentleman to be so.” “And what’s this gentleman’s commands with me?” said the Justice, somewhat peevishly. “One man introduces another, like the rhymes in the ‘house that Jack built,’ and I get company without either peace or conversation!” “Both shall be yours, sir,” answered Campbell, “in a brief period of time. I come to release your mind from a piece of troublesome duty, not to make increment to it.”

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“Body o’ me! then you are welcome as ever Scot was to England— but get on, man, let’s hear what you have got to say at once.” “I presume this gentleman,” continued the North Briton, “told you there was a person of the name of Campbell with him, when he had the mischance to lose his valise?” “He has not mentioned such a name, from beginning to end of the matter,” said the Justice. “Ah! I conceive—I conceive,” replied Mr Campbell; “ye were kindly afeared of committing a stranger into collision with the judicial forms of the country; but as I understand my evidence is necessary to the compurgation of ane honest gentleman here, Mr Francis Osbaldistone, wha has been most unjustly suspected, I will dispense wi’ the precaution—Ye will, therefore, please tell Mr Justice Inglewood, whether we did not travel several miles together on the road, in consequence of your ain anxious request and suggestion, reiterated ance and again, baith on the evening that we were at Darlington, and then declined by me, but afterwards accepted, when I overtook ye on the road near Cloberry Allers, and was prevailed on by you to resign my ain intentions of proceeding to Rothbury, and, for my misfortune, to accompany you on your proposed route.” “It’s a melancholy truth,” answered Morris, holding down his head, as he gave this general assent to the long and leading question which Campbell put to him, and to which he assented with rueful docility. “And I presume you can also asseverate to his worship, that no man is better qualified than I am to bear testimony in this case, seeing that I was by you, and near you, constantly during the whole occurrence?” “No man better qualified, certainly,” said Morris, with a deep and embarrassed sigh. “And why the devil did you not assist him then,” said the Justice, “since, by Mr Morris’s account, there were but two robbers, so you were two to two—and you are both stout likely men?” “Sir, if it please your worship,” said Campbell, “I have been all my life a man of peace and quietness, no ways given to broils or batteries. Mr Morris, who belongs, as I understand, or hath belonged, to his Majesty’s army, might have used his pleasure in resistance, he travelling, as I understand, with a great charge of treasure; but for me, who had but my own small peculiar to defend, and wha am a man of a pacific occupation, I was unwilling to commit myself to hazard in the matter.” I looked at Campbell as he uttered these words, and never recollect to have seen a more singular contrast than that between the strong daring sternness expressed in his harsh features, and the air of composed meekness and simplicity which his language assumed. There

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was even a light ironical smile lurking about the corners of his mouth, which seemed, involuntarily as it were, to intimate his disdain of the quiet and peaceful character which he thought proper to assume, and which led me to entertain strange suspicions that his concern in the violence done to Morris had been something very different from that of a fellow-sufferer, or even of a mere spectator. Perhaps some such suspicions crossed the Justice’s mind at the moment, for he exclaimed, as if by way of ejaculation, “Body o’ me! but this is a strange story.” The North Briton seemed to guess at what was passing in his mind, for he went on, with a change of manner and tone, dismissing from his countenance some part of the hypocritical affectation of humility which had made him obnoxious to suspicion, and saying, with a more frank and unconstrained air, “To say the truth, I am just ane o’ these canny folks wha care not to fight, but when they hae gotten something to fight for, which did not chance to be my predicament when I fell in wi’ these loons. But, that your worship may know that I am a person of good fame and character, please to cast your eye over that billet.” Mr Inglewood took the paper from his hands, and read half aloud, “These are to certify, that the bearer, Robert Campbell of——of some place which I cannot pronounce,” interjected the Justice,—“is a person of good lineage, and peaceable demeanour, travelling towards England on his own proper affairs, &c. &c. &c. Given under our hand, at our Castle of Inver—Invera—rara—A     .” “A slight testimonial, sir, which I thought fit to impetrate from that worthy nobleman, (here he raised his hand to his head, as if to touch his hat,) Maccallanmore.” “MacCallum, who, sir?” said the Justice. “Whom the Southern call Duke of Argyle.” “I know the Duke of Argyle very well to be a nobleman of great worth and distinction, and a true lover of his country. I was one of those that stood by him in 1714, when he unhorsed the Duke of Marlborough out of his command. I wish we had more noblemen like him. He was an honest Tory in these days, and hand in glove with Ormond. And he has acceded to the present government, as I have done myself, for the peace and quiet of his country, for I cannot presume that great man to have been actuated, as violent folks pretend, with the fear of losing his places and regiment. His testimonial, as you call it, Mr Campbell, is perfectly satisfactory; and now, what have you got to say to this matter of the robbery?” “Briefly this, if it please your worship; that Mr Morris might as weel charge it against the babe yet to be born, or against myself even, as

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against this young gentleman, Mr Osbaldistone; for I am not only free to depone that the person for whom he took him was a shorter man, and a thicker man, but also, for I chanced to obtain a glisk of his visage, as his fause-face slipped aside, that he was a man of other features and complexion than those of this young gentleman, Mr Osbaldistone. And I believe,” he added, turning round with a natural, yet somewhat stern air, to Mr Morris, “that the gentleman will allow I had better opportunity to take cognisance wha were present on that occasion than he, being, I believe, much the cooler o’ the twa.” “I agree to it, sir—I agree to it perfectly,” said Morris, shrinking back, as Campbell moved his chair towards him to fortify his appeal— “And I incline, sir,” he added, addressing Mr Inglewood, “to retract my information as to Mr Osbaldistone, and I request, sir, you will permit him, sir, to go about his business—and me to go about mine also—your worship may have business to settle with Mr Campbell, and I am rather in haste to be gone.” “Then, there go the declarations,” said the Justice, throwing them into the fire—“And now you are at perfect liberty, Mr Osbaldistone —And you, Mr Morris, are set quite at your ease.” “Aye,” said Campbell, eyeing Morris as he assented with a rueful grin to the Justice’s observation, “much like the ease of a toad under a pair of harrows—But fear nothing, Mr Morris—you and I maun leave the house thegether. I will see you safe—I hope you will not doubt my honour, when I say sae—to the next highway, and then we part company, and if we do not meet as friends in Scotland, it will be your ain fault.” With such a lingering look of terror as the condemned criminal throws, when he is informed that the cart awaits him, Morris arose; but when on his legs appeared to hesitate. “I tell thee, man, fear nothing,” reiterated Campbell; “I will keep my word with you—Why, thou sheep’s-heart, how do ye ken but we may e’en pick up some speerings of your valise, if ye will be amenable to gude counsel —Our horses are ready—Bid the Justice fareweel, man, and show your southern breeding.” Morris, thus exhorted and encouraged, took his leave, under the escort of Mr Campbell; but, apparently, new scruples and terrors had struck him before he left the house, for I heard Campbell reiterating assurances of safety and protection as they left the anti-room—“By the saul of my body, man, thou’se as safe as in thy father’s kail-yard— Zounds! that a chield wi’ sic a black beard, should hae nae mair heart than a hen-partridge—Come on wi’ you, like a frank fallow, anes and for aye.” The voice died away, and the subsequent trampling of their horses

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announced to us that they had left the mansion of Justice Inglewood. The joy which that worthy magistrate received at this easy conclusion of a matter which threatened him with some trouble in his judicial capacity, was somewhat damped by reflection on what his clerk’s views of the transaction might be at his return. “Now, I shall have Jobson on my shoulders about these d—d papers—I doubt I should not have destroyed them after all—But, hang it, it is only paying his fees after all, and that will make all smooth—And now, Miss Die Vernon, though I have liberated all the others, I intend to sign a writ for committing you to the custody of Mother Blake, my old housekeeper, for the evening, and we will send for my neighbour, Mrs Musgrave, and the Miss Dawkins, and your cousins, and have old Cole’s fiddles, and be as merry as the maids; and Frank Osbaldistone and I will have a carouse that will make us fit company for you in half an hour.” “Thanks, most worshipful,” returned Miss Vernon; “but, as matters stand, we must return instantly to Osbaldistone Hall, where they do not know what is become of us, and relieve my uncle of his anxiety on my cousin’s account, which is just the same as if one of his own sons were concerned.” “I believe it truly,” said the Justice; “for when his eldest son, Archie, came to a bad end, in that unlucky affair of Sir John Fenwick’s, Old Hildebrand used to hollow out his name as readily as any of the remaining six, and then complain that he could not recollect which of his sons had been hanged. So, pray hasten home, and relieve his paternal solicitude, since go you must.—But, hark thee hither, heathblossom,” he said, pulling her towards him by the hand, and in a goodhumoured tone of admonition, “another time let the law take its course, without putting your pretty finger into her old musty pye, all full of fragments of law French and dog-latin—And, Die, my beauty, let young fellows shew each other the way through the moors, in case you should lose your own road, while you are pointing out theirs, my pretty Will o’ the Wisp.” With this admonition, he saluted and dismissed Miss Vernon, and took an equally kind farewell of me. “Thou seems to be a good tight lad, Mr Frank, and I remember thy father too—he was my play-fellow at school. Hark thee, lad, ride early at night, and don’t swagger with chance passengers on the king’s highway. What, man! all the king’s liege subjects are not bound to understand joking, and it’s ill cracking jests on matters of felony. And here’s poor Die Vernon too—a manner alone and deserted on the face of this wide earth, and left to ride, and run, and scamper at her own silly pleasure—thou must be careful of Die, or egad, I will turn a

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young fellow again on purpose, and fight thee myself, although I must own it would be a great deal of trouble. And now, get ye both gone, and leave me to my pipe of tobacco, and my meditations; for what says the song— The Indian leaf doth briefly burn; So doth man’s strength to weakness turn;— The fire of youth extinguish’d quite, Comes age, like embers, dry and white. Think of this as you take tobacco.”

I was much pleased with the gleams of sense and feeling which escaped from the Justice through the vapours of sloth and self-indulgence, assured him of my respect to his admonitions, and took a friendly farewell of the honest magistrate and his hospitable mansion. We found the same servant of Sir Hildebrand who had taken our horses at our entrance, and who had been directed, as he informed Miss Vernon, by Mr Rashleigh, to wait and attend upon us home. We rode a little way in silence, for, to say truth, my mind was too much bewildered with the events of the morning to permit me to be the first to break it. At length Miss Vernon exclaimed, as if giving vent to her own reflections, “Well, Rashleigh is a man to be feared and wondered at, and all but loved—he does whatever he pleases, and makes all others his puppets, has a player ready to perform every part which he imagines, and an invention and readiness which supply expedients for every emergency.” “You think, then,” said I, answering rather to her meaning, than to the express words she made use of, “that this Mr Campbell, whose appearance was so opportune, and who trussed up and carried off my accuser as a falcon trusses a partridge, was an agent of Mr Rashleigh Osbaldistone’s?” “I do guess as much,” replied Diana, “and shrewdly suspect, moreover, that he would hardly have appeared so very much in the nick of time, if I had not happened to meet Rashleigh in the hall at the Justice’s.” “In that case, my thanks are chiefly due to you, my fair preserver.” “To be sure they are,” returned Diana; “and pray, suppose them paid, and accepted with a gracious smile, for I do not care to be troubled with hearing them in good earnest, and am much more likely to yawn than to behave becoming. In short, Mr Frank, I wished to serve you, and I have fortunately been able to do so, and have only one favour to ask in return, and that is, that you will say no more about it.— But see who comes to meet us, ‘bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste.’ It is the subordinate man of law, I think, no less than Mr Joseph Jobson.”

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And Mr Joseph Jobson it proved to be, in great haste, and, as it speedily appeared, in most extreme bad humour. He came up to us, and stopped his horse as we were about to pass, with a slight salutation. “So, sir—So, Miss Vernon—aye—I see well enough how it is—bail put in during my absence, I suppose—I should like to know who drew the recognizance, that’s all. If his worship uses this form of procedure often, I advise him to get another clerk, that’s all, for I shall certainly demit.” “Or suppose he get his present clerk stitched to his sleeve, Mr Jobson,” said Diana, “would not that do as well? And pray how does Farmer Rutledge, Mr Jobson, I hope you found him able to sign, seal, and deliver?” This question seemed greatly to increase the wrath of the man of law. He looked at Miss Vernon with such an air of spite and resentment, as laid me under a strong temptation to knock him off his horse with the butt of my whip, which I only suppressed in consideration of his insignificance. “Farmer Rutledge, ma’am?” said the clerk, so soon as his indignation permitted him to articulate. “Farmer Rutledge is in as handsome enjoyment of his health as you are—it’s all a bam, ma’am—all a bamboozle and a bite that affair of his illness, and if you did not know as much before, you know it now, ma’am.” “Law! you there now,” replied Miss Vernon, with an affectation of extreme and simple wonder, “sure you don’t say so, Mr Jobson?” “But I do say so, ma’am,” rejoined the incensed scribe; “and moreover I say, that the old miserly clod-breaker called me pettifogger— pettifogger, ma’am—and said I came to hunt for a job, ma’am—which I have no more right to have said to me than any other gentleman of my profession, ma’am—especially as I am clerk to the peace, having and holding said office under Trigesimo Septimo Henricj Octavi, and Primo Gulielmi,—the first of King William, ma’am, of glorious and immortal memory—our immortal deliverer from papists and pretenders, and wooden shoes and warming pans, Miss Vernon.” “Sad things, these wooden shoes and warming pans,” retorted the young lady, who seemed to take pleasure in augmenting his wrath;— “and it is a comfort you don’t seem to want a warming pan at present, Mr Jobson. I am afraid Gaffer Rutledge has not confined his incivility to language—Are you sure he did not give you a beating?” “Beating, ma’am!—no”—(very shortly) “no man alive shall beat me, I promise you, ma’am.” “That is according as you happen to merit, sir,” said I; “for your mode of speaking to this young lady is so unbecoming, that if you do

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not change your tone, I shall think it worth while to chastise you myself.” “Chastise, sir? and—me, sir?—do you know whom you speak to, sir?” “Yes, sir,” I replied; “you say yourself you are clerk of peace to the county, and Gaffer Rutledge says you are a pettifogger, and in neither capacity are you entitled to be impertinent to a young lady of fashion.” Miss Vernon laid her hand on my arm, and exclaimed, “Come, Mr Osbaldistone, I will have no assault and battery on Mr Jobson; I am not in sufficient charity with him to permit a single touch of your whip,—why, he would live on it for a term at least. Besides, you have already hurt his feelings sufficiently—you have called him impertinent.” “I don’t value his language, Miss,” said the clerk, somewhat crestfallen; “besides, impertinent is not an actionable word; but pettifogger is slander in the highest degree, and that I will make Gaffer Rutledge know to his cost, and all who maliciously repeat the same to the breach of the public peace, and the taking away of my private good name.” “Never mind that, Mr Jobson,” said Miss Vernon; “you know, where there is nothing, your own law allows that the king himself must lose his rights; and, for the taking away of your good name, I pity the poor fellow who gets it, and wish you joy of losing it with all my heart.” “Very well, ma’am—good evening, ma’am—I have no more to say —only there are laws against papists, which it would be well for the land were they better executed. There’s third and fourth Edward VI., of antiphoners, missalls, grailes, processionals, manuals, legends, pies, portuasses, and those that have such trinkets in their possession, Miss Vernon—and there’s summoning of papists to take the oaths— and there are popish recusant convicts under the first of his present Majesty—Aye, and there are penalties for hearing mass. See twentythird Queen Elizabeth, and third James First, chapter twenty-fifth.— And there are estates to be registered, and deeds and wills to be enrolled, and double taxes to be made, according to the acts in that case made and provided”— “See the new edition of the Statutes at Large, published under the careful revision of Joseph Jobson, Gent., Clerk of the Peace,” said Miss Vernon. “Also, and above all,” continued Jobson,—“for I speak to your warning—you, Diana Vernon, spinstress, not being a femme covert, and being a convict popish recusant, are bound to repair to your own dwelling, and that by the nearest way, under penalty of being held felon to the king—and diligently to seek for passage at common ferries, and to tarry there but one ebb and flood; and unless you can have

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it in such places, to walk every day into the water up to the knees, assaying to pass over.” “A sort of protestant penance for my catholic errors, I suppose,” said Miss Vernon, laughing. “Well, I thank you for the information, Mr Jobson, and will hie me home as fast as I can, and be a better housekeeper in time coming. Good night, my dear Mr Jobson, thou mirror of clerical courtesy.” “Good night, ma’am, and remember the law is not to be trifled with.” And we rode on our separate ways. “There he goes, for a troublesome mischief-making tool,” said Miss Vernon, as she gave a glance after him; “it is hard that persons of birth, rank and estate should be subjected to the official impertinence of such a paltry pick-thank as that, merely for believing as the whole world believed not much above a hundred years ago—for certainly our Catholic faith has the advantage of antiquity at least.” “I was much tempted to have broken the rascal’s head,” I replied. “You would have acted very like a hasty young man,” said Miss Vernon; “and yet, had my own hand been one ounce heavier than it is, I think I should have laid its weight upon him.—Well, it does not signify complaining, but there are three things for which I am much to be pitied, if any one thought worth while to waste pity upon me.” “And what are these three things, Miss Vernon?” “Will you promise me your deepest sympathy, if I tell you?” “Certainly—can you doubt it?” I replied, closing my horse nearer to her’s as I spoke, with an expression of interest which I did not attempt to disguise. “Well: it is very seducing to be pitied after all, so here are my three grievances—In the first place, I am a girl, and not a young fellow, and would be shut in a mad-house, if I did half the things that I have a mind to; and that, if I had your happy prerogative of acting as you list, would make all the world mad with imitating and applauding me.” “I can’t quite afford you the sympathy you expect upon this score,” I replied; “the misfortune is so general, that it belongs to one half of the species; and the other half”— “Are so much better cared for, that they are jealous of their prerogatives,” interrupted Miss Vernon; “I forgot you were a party interested. Nay,” said she, as I was going to speak, “that soft smile is intended to be the preface of a very pretty compliment respecting the peculiar advantages which Die Vernon’s friends and kinsmen enjoy, by her being born one of their Helots—but spare me the utterance, my good friend, and let us try whether we shall agree better on the second count of my indictment against fortune, as that quill-driving puppy

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would call it. I belong to an oppressed sect and antiquated religion, and, instead of getting credit for my devotion, as is due to all good girls beside, my kind friend, Justice Inglewood, may send me to the house of correction, merely for worshipping God in the way of my ancestors, and say, as old Pembroke did to the Abbess of Wilton, when he usurped her convent and establishment, ‘Go spin, you jade,—go spin.’” “This is not a cureless evil,” said I gravely. “Consult some of our learned divines, or consult your own excellent understanding, Miss Vernon, and surely the particulars in which our religious creed differs from that in which you have been educated”—— “Hush!” said Diana, placing her forefinger on her mouth,—“hush! no more of that—forsake the faith of my gallant fathers!—I would as soon, were I man, forsake their banner, when the tide of battle pressed hardest against it, and turn, like a hireling recreant, to join the victorious enemy.” “I honour your spirit, Miss Vernon; and as to the inconveniences to which it exposes you, I can only say, that wounds sustained for the sake of conscience carry their own balsam with the blow.” “Ay, but they are fretful and irritating, for all that—but I see, hard of heart as you are, my chance of beating hemp, or drawing out flax into marvellous coarse thread, affects you as little as my condemnation to coif and pinners, instead of beaver and cockade—So I will spare myself the fruitless pain of telling my third cause of vexation.” “Nay, my dear Miss Vernon, do not withdraw your confidence, and I will promise you, that the three-fold sympathy due to your very unusual causes of distress shall be all duly and truly paid to account of the third, providing you assure me, that it is one which you neither share with all womankind, nor even with every catholic in England, who, God bless you, are still a sect more numerous than we protestants, in our zeal for church and state, would desire them to be.” “It is, indeed,” said Diana, with a manner greatly altered, and more grave than I had yet seen her assume, “a misfortune that well merits compassion. I am by nature, as you may easily observe, of a frank and unreserved disposition—a plain honest girl, who would willingly act openly and honestly by the whole world, and yet Fate has involved me in such a series of nets, and toils, and entanglements, that I dare hardly speak a word for fear of consequences—not to myself, but to others.” “That is indeed a misfortune, Miss Vernon, which I do most sincerely compassionate, but which I should hardly have anticipated.” “O, Mr Osbaldistone—if you but knew—if any one knew, what difficulty I sometimes find in hiding an aching heart with a smooth brow, you would indeed pity me—I do wrong, perhaps, in speaking to

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you even thus far on my own situation. But you are a man of sense and penetration—you cannot but long to ask me a hundred questions on the events of this day—on the share which Rashleigh has in your deliverance from this petty scrape—upon many other points which cannot but excite your attention—and I cannot bring myself to answer with the necessary falsehood and finesse—I should do it awkwardly, and lose your good opinion, if I have any share of it, as well as my own. It is best to say at once—Ask me no questions, I have it not in my power to reply to them.” Miss Vernon spoke these words with a tone of feeling which could not but make a corresponding impression upon me. I assured her she had neither to fear my urging her with impertinent questions, nor my misconstruing her declining to answer those which might in themselves be reasonable, or at least natural. “I was too much obliged,” I said, “by the interest she had taken in my affairs, to misuse the opportunity her goodness had afforded me of prying into her’s—I only trusted and entreated, that if my services could at any time be useful, she would command them, without doubt or hesitation.” “Thank you, thank you,” she replied; “your voice does not ring the cuckoo chime of compliment, but speaks like that of one who knows to what he pledges himself. If—but it is impossible—but yet, if an opportunity should occur, I will ask you if you remember this promise; and I assure you, I shall not be angry if I find you have forgotten it, for it is enough that you are sincere in your intentions just now—much may occur to alter them ere I call upon you, should that moment ever come, to assist Die Vernon, as if you were Die Vernon’s brother.” “And if I was Die Vernon’s brother,” said I, “there cannot be less chance that I shall refuse my assistance—And now I am afraid I must not ask whether Rashleigh was willingly accessory to my deliverance?” “Not at me—but you may ask it at himself, and, depend upon it, he will say yes, for rather than any good action should walk through the world like an unappropriated adjective in an ill-arranged sentence, he is always willing to stand noun substantive to it himself.” “And I must not ask whether this Campbell be himself the party who eased Mr Morris of his portmanteau, or whether the letter, which our friend the attorney received, was not a finesse to withdraw him from the scene of action, lest he should have marred the happy event of my deliverance? And I must not ask”— “You must ask nothing at me,” said Miss Vernon; “so it is quite in vain to go on putting cases. You are to think just as well of me, as if I had answered all these queries, and twenty others besides, as glibly as Rashleigh could have done—and observe, whenever I touch my chin just so, it is a sign that I cannot speak upon the topic which happens to

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occupy your attention. I must settle signals of correspondence with you, because you are to be my confidant and my counsellor, only you are to know nothing whatever of my affairs.” “Nothing can be more reasonable,” I replied, laughing; “and the extent of your confidence will, you may rely upon it, only be equalled by the sagacity of my counsels.” This sort of conversation brought us, in the highest good humour with each other, to Osbaldistone Hall, where we found the family far advanced in the revels of the evening. “Get some dinner for Mr Osbaldistone and me in the library,” said Miss Vernon to a servant.—“I must have some compassion upon you,” she added, turning to me, “and provide against your starving in this mansion of brutal abundance, otherwise I am not sure that I should show you my private haunts. This same library is my den—the only corner of the Hall-house where I am safe from the OuranOutangs, my cousins. They never venture there, I suppose, for fear the folios should fall down and crack their skulls, for they will never affect their heads in any other way—So follow me.” And I followed through hall and bower, vaulted passage and winding stair, until we reached the room where she had ordered our refreshments.

Chapter Ten In the wide pile, by others heeded not, Hers was one sacred solitary spot, Whose gloomy aisles and bending shelves contain For moral hunger food, and cures for moral pain. A

T          at Osbaldistone Hall was a gloomy room, whose antique oaken shelves bent beneath the weight of the ponderous folios so dear to the seventeenth century, from which, under favour be it spoken, we have distilled matter for our quartos and octavos, and which, once more subjected to the alembic, may, should our sons be yet more frivolous than ourselves, be still farther reduced into duodecimos and pamphlets. The collection was chiefly of the classics, as well foreign as ancient history, and, above all, divinity. It was in wretched order: the priests, who, in succession, had acted as chaplains at the Hall, were, for many years, the only persons who entered its precincts, until Rashleigh’s thirst of reading had led him to disturb the venerable spiders, who had muffled the fronts of the presses with their tapestry. His destination for the church rendered his conduct less absurd in his father’s eyes, than if any of his other descendants

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had betrayed so strange a propensity, and Sir Hildebrand acquiesced in the room receiving some repairs, so as to fit it for a sitting apartment. Still an air of dilapidation, as obvious as it was uncomfortable, pervaded the large apartment, and announced the neglect from which the knowledge which its walls contained had not been able to exempt it. The tattered tapestry, the worm-eaten shelves, the huge and clumsy, yet tottering, tables, desks, and chairs, the rusty grate, seldom gladdened by either sea-coal or faggots, intimated the contempt of the lords of Osbaldistone Hall for learning, and the volumes which record its treasures. “You think this place somewhat disconsolate, I suppose?” said Diana, as I glanced my eye around the forlorn apartment; “but to me it seems like a little paradise, for I call it my own, and fear no intrusion. Rashleigh was joint proprietor with me, while we were friends.” “And are you no longer so?” was my natural question. Her forefinger immediately touched her dimpled chin, with an arch look of prohibition. “We are still allies,” she continued, “bound, like other confederate powers, by circumstances of mutual interest; but I am afraid, as will happen in similar cases, the treaty of alliance has survived the amicable dispositions in which it had its origin. At any rate, we live less together —and when he comes through that door there—I vanish through this door here—and so, having made the discovery that we two were one too many for this apartment, as large as it seems, Rashleigh, whose occasions frequently call him elsewhere, has generously made a cession of his rights in my favour, so that I now endeavour to prosecute alone the studies in which he used formerly to be my guide.” “And what are those studies, if I may presume to ask?” “Indeed you may, without the least fear of seeing my fore-finger raised to my chin. Science and history are my principal favourites, but I also study poetry and the classics.” “And the classics? do you read them in the original?” “Unquestionably—Rashleigh, who is no contemptible scholar, taught me Greek and Latin, as well as most of the languages of modern Europe. I assure you, there has been some pains taken on my education, although I can neither sew a tucker, or work cross-stitch, or make a pudding, or, as the vicar’s fat wife, with as much truth as elegance, good will, and politeness, was pleased to say in my behalf, do any other useful thing in the versal world.” “And was this selection of studies Rashleigh’s choice, or your own, Miss Vernon?” asked I. “Um!” said she, as if hesitating to answer my question,—“it’s not worth lifting my finger about, after all—why, partly his, and partly

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mine. As I learned out of doors to ride a horse, and bridle and saddle him in case of necessity, and to clear a five-barred gate, and fire a gun without winking, and all other of those masculine accomplishments that my brute cousins run mad after, I wanted, like my rational cousin, to read Greek and Latin within doors, and make my complete accession to the tree of knowledge, which you men-scholars would engross to yourselves, in revenge, I suppose, for our common mother’s share in the great original transgression.” “And Rashleigh readily indulged your propensity to learning?” “Why, he wished to have me for his scholar, and he could but teach me that which he knew himself—he was not like to instruct me in the mysteries of washing lace-ruffles, or hemming cambric-handkerchiefs, I suppose.” “I admit the temptation of getting such a scholar made a weighty consideration on the tutor’s part.” “O, if you begin to investigate Rashleigh’s motives, my finger touches my chin once more. I can only be frank where my own are enquired into. But to resume—he has resigned the library in my favour, and never enters without leave had and obtained; and so I have taken the liberty to make it the place of deposit for some of my own goods and chattels, as you may see by looking round you.” “I beg pardon, Miss Vernon, but I really see nothing around these walls which I can distinguish as likely to claim you as mistress.” “That is, I suppose, because you neither see a shepherd and shepherdess wrought in worsted, handsomely framed in black ebony,—or a stuffed parrot,—or a breeding-cage, full of canary birds,—or a housewife-case, broidered with tarnished silver,—or a toilette-table, with a nest of japanned boxes, with as many angles as Christmas minced pies,—or a broken-backed spinet,—or a lute with three strings,—or rock-work,—or shell-work,—or needle-work, or work of any kind,—or a lap-dog, with a litter of blind puppies—None of these treasures do I possess,” she continued, after a pause, in order to recover the breath she had lost in enumerating them—“but there stands the sword of my ancestor Sir Richard Vernon, slain at Shrewsbury, and sorely slandered by a sad fellow called Will Shakspeare, whose Lancastrian partialities, and a certain knack at embodying them, has turned history upside down, or rather inside out—and by that redoubted weapon hangs the mail of the still older Vernon, squire to the Black Prince, whose fate is the reverse of his descendant’s, since he is more indebted to the bard, who took the trouble to celebrate him, for good will, than for talents,— Amiddes of the route you might descern one Brave knight, with pipes on shield, ycleped Vernon;

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Like a borne fiend along the plain he thundered, Prest to be carving throtes, while others plundered.

Then there is a model of a new martingale which I invented myself— a great improvement on the Duke of Newcastle’s; and there are the hood and bells of my falcon Cheviot, who spitted himself on a heron’s bill at Horseley-moss—poor Cheviot, there is not a bird on the perches below, but are kites and riflers compared to him; and there is my own light fowling-piece, with an improved fire-lock; with twenty other treasures, each more valuable than another—And there, that speaks for itself.” She pointed to the carved oak-frame of a full length portrait by Vandyke, on which were inscribed, in Gothic letters, the words Ver non semper viret. I looked at her for explanation—“Do you not know,” she said, with some surprise, “our motto—the Vernon motto, where, Like the solemn vice, Iniquity, We moralize two meanings in one word?

And do you not know our cognizance, the pipes?” pointing to the armorial bearings sculptured on the oaken scutcheon, around which the legend was displayed. “Pipes!—they look more like penny-whistles—But, pray, do not be angry with my ignorance,” I continued, observing the colour mount to her cheeks, “I can mean no affront to your armorial bearings, for I do not even know my own.” “You an Osbaldistone, and confess so much!” she exclaimed. “Why, Percie, Thornie, John, Dickon, even Wilfred might be your instructor—Ignorance itself is a plummet over you.” “With shame I confess it, my dear Miss Vernon, the mysteries couched under the grim hieroglyphics of heraldry, are to me as unintelligible as those of the pyramids of Egypt.” “What! is it possible?—Why, even my uncle reads Gwillym sometimes of a winter night—Not know the figures of heraldry?—of what could your father be thinking?” “Of the figures of arithmetic,” I answered; “the most insignificant unit of which he holds more highly than all the blazonry of chivalry. But, though I am ignorant to this inexpressible degree, I have knowledge and taste enough to admire that splendid picture, in which I think I can discover a family likeness to you. What ease and dignity in the attitude—what richness of colouring—what breadth and depth of shade!” “Is it really a fine painting?” she asked. “I have seen many works of the renowned artist,” I replied, “but never beheld one more to my liking.” “Well, I know as little of pictures as you do of heraldry,” replied

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Miss Vernon; “yet I have the advantage of you, because I have always admired the painting without understanding its value.” “While I have neglected pipes and tabors, and all the whimsical combinations of chivalry, still I am informed that they floated in the fields of ancient fame. But you will allow their exterior appearance is not so peculiarly interesting to the uninformed spectator as that of a fine painting.—Who is the person here represented?” “My grandfather—He shared the misfortunes of Charles I., and, I am sorry to add, the excesses of his son. Our patrimonial estate was greatly impaired by his prodigality, and was altogether lost by his successor, my unfortunate father. But peace be with them who have got it—it was lost in the cause of loyalty.” “Your father, I presume, suffered in the political dissensions of the period?” “He did indeed—he lost his all. And hence is his child a dependent orphan, eating the bread of others, subjected to their caprices, and compelled to study their inclinations—yet prouder of having had such a father, than if, playing a more prudent, but less upright part, he had left her the possessor of all the fair baronies which his family once possessed.” As she thus spoke, the entrance of the servants with the dinner cut off all conversation, but that of a general nature. When our hasty meal was concluded, and the wine placed on the table, the domestic informed us, “that Mr Rashleigh had desired to be told when our dinner was removed.” “Tell him,” said Miss Vernon, “we will be happy to see him if he will step this way—place another wine-glass and chair, and leave the room.—You must retire with him when he goes away,” she continued, addressing herself to me; “even my liberality cannot spare a gentleman above eight hours out of the twenty-four—and I think we have been together for at least that length of time.” “The old scythe-man has moved so rapidly,” I answered, “that I could not count his strides.” “Hush!” said Miss Vernon, “here comes Rashleigh;” and she drew off her chair, to which I had approached mine rather closely, so as to place a greater distance between us. A modest tap at the door, a gentle manner of opening it when invited to enter, a studied softness and humility of step and deportment, announced that the education of Rashleigh Osbaldistone at the College of Saint Omers accorded well with the ideas I entertained of the manners of an accomplished Jesuit. I need not add, that, as a sound protestant, these ideas were not the most favourable. “Why should you use the ceremony of knocking,” said Miss Vernon,

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“when you knew that I was not alone?” This was spoken with a burst of impatience, as if she had felt that Rashleigh’s air of caution and reserve covered some insinuation of impertinent suspicion. “You have taught me the form of knocking at this door so perfectly, my fair cousin,” answered Rashleigh, without change of voice or manner, “that habit has become a second nature.” “I prize sincerity more than courtesy, sir, and you know I do,” was Miss Vernon’s reply. “Courtesy is a gallant gay, a courtier by name and by profession,” replied Rashleigh, “and therefore most fit for a lady’s bower.” “But Sincerity is the true Knight,” retorted Miss Vernon, “and therefore much more welcome, cousin. But, to end a debate not over amusing to your stranger kinsman, sit down, Rashleigh, and give Mr Francis Osbaldistone your countenance to his glass of wine. I have done the honours of the dinner for the credit of Osbaldistone Hall.” Rashleigh sate down, and filled his glass, glancing his eye from Diana to me, with an embarrassment which his utmost effort could not entirely disguise. I thought that he appeared to be uncertain concerning the extent of confidence she might have reposed in me, and hastened to lead the conversation into a channel which should sweep away his suspicion that Diana might have betrayed any secrets which rested between them. “Mr Rashleigh,” I said, “Miss Vernon has recommended me to return my thanks to you for my speedy disengagement from the ridiculous accusation of Morris—and, unjustly fearing my gratitude might not be warm enough to remind me of this duty, she has put my curiosity on its side, by referring me to you for an account, or rather explanation, of the events of the day.” “Indeed?” answered Rashleigh; “I should have thought,” (looking keenly at Miss Vernon,) “that the lady herself might have stood interpreter;” and his eye, reverting from her face, sought mine as if to search from the expression of my features, whether Diana’s communication had been as narrowly limited as my words had intimated. Miss Vernon retorted his inquisitorial glance with one of decided scorn, while I, uncertain whether to deprecate or resent his obvious suspicion, replied; “If it is your pleasure, Mr Rashleigh, as it has been Miss Vernon’s, to leave me in ignorance, I must necessarily submit; but, pray, do not withhold your information from me, on the ground of imagining that I have already obtained any on the subject. For I tell you as a man of honour, I am as ignorant as that picture of any thing relating to the events I have witnessed to-day, excepting that I understand from Miss Vernon, that you have been kindly active in my favour.” “Miss Vernon has over-rated my humble efforts,” said Rashleigh,

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“though I claim full credit for my zeal. The truth is, that as I gallopped back to get some one of our family to join me in becoming your bail, which was the most obvious, or, indeed, I may say, the only way of serving you which occurred to my stupidity, I met the man Cawmil— Collville—Campbell, or whatsoever they call him. I had understood from Morris that he was present when the robbery took place, and had the good fortune to prevail on him, (with some difficulty, I confess,) to tender his evidence in your exculpation, which I presume was the means of your being released from an unpleasant situation.” “Indeed?—I am much your debtor for procuring such a seasonable evidence in my behalf. But I cannot see why, (having been, as he said, a fellow-sufferer with Morris,) it should have required much trouble to persuade him to step forth and bear evidence, whether to convict the actual robber, or free an innocent person.” “You do not know the genius of that man’s country, sir,” answered Rashleigh; “discretion, prudence, and foresight, are their leading qualities—these are only modified by a narrow-spirited, but yet ardent patriotism, which forms as it were the outmost of the concentric bulwarks with which a Scotchman fortifies himself against all the attacks of a generous philanthropical principle. Surmount this mound, you find an inner and still dearer barrier—the love of his province, his village, or, most probably, of his clan; storm this second obstacle, you have a third—his attachment to his own family, his father, mother, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, and cousins, to the ninth generation. It is only within these circles that a Scotchman’s social affection expands itself, never reaching those which are outermost, till all means of discharging itself in the interior circles have been exhausted. It is within these circles that his heart throbs, each pulsation beating fainter and fainter, till, beyond the widest boundary, it is almost unfelt. And what is worst of all, could you surmount all these concentric outworks, you have an inner citadel, deeper, higher, and more efficient than them all—a Scotchman’s love for himself.” “All this is extremely eloquent and metaphorical, Rashleigh,” said Miss Vernon, who listened with unrepressed impatience; “there are only two objections to it: first, it is not true; secondly, if true, it is nothing to the purpose.” “It is true, my fairest Diana,” returned Rashleigh; “and moreover, it is most instantly to the purpose. It is true, because you cannot deny that I know the country and people intimately, and the character is drawn from deep and accurate consideration; and it is to purpose, because it answers Mr Francis Osbaldistone’s question, and shews why this same wary Scotchman, considering our kinsman to be neither his countryman, nor a Campbell, nor his cousin in any of the inextricable

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degrees to which they extend their pedigree; and, above all, seeing no prospect of personal advantage, but, on the contrary, much hazard of loss of time and delay of business”— “With other inconveniences, perhaps, of a nature yet more formidable,” interrupted Miss Vernon. “Of which, doubtless, there might be many,” said Rashleigh, continuing in the same tone—“In short, my theory shows why this man, hoping for no advantage, and afraid of some inconvenience, might require some persuasion ere he could be prevailed on to give his testimony in favour of Mr Osbaldistone.” “It seems surprising to me,” I observed, “that during the glance I cast over the declaration, or whatever it is termed, of Mr Morris, he should never have mentioned that Campbell was in his company when he met the maurauders.” “I understood from Campbell, that he had taken his solemn promise not to mention that circumstance,” replied Rashleigh; “his reasons for exacting such an engagement you may guess from what I have hinted—he wished to get back to his own country undelayed, and unembarrassed by any of the judicial enquiries which he would have been under the necessity of attending, had his being present at the robbery taken air while he was on this side of the Border. But let him be as far as the Forth, Morris will, I warrant you, come forth with all he knows about him, and, it may be, a good deal more. Besides, Campbell is a very extensive dealer in cattle, and has often occasion to send great droves over into Northumberland; and, while driving such a trade, he would be a great fool to embroil himself with our Northumbrian thieves, than whom no men who live are more vindictive.” “I dare be sworn of that,” said Miss Vernon, with a tone which implied something more than a simple acquiescence in the proposition. “Still,” said I, resuming the subject, “allowing the force of the reasons which Campbell might have for desiring that Morris should be silent with regard to his presence when the robbery was committed, I cannot yet see how he could attain so much influence over the man, as to make him suppress his evidence in that particular, at the manifest risk of subjecting his story to discredit.” Rashleigh agreed with me, that it was very extraordinary, and seemed to regret that he had not questioned the Scotchman more closely on that subject, which he allowed looked extremely mysterious. “But,” he asked, immediately after this acquiescence, “are you very sure the circumstance of Morris’s being accompanied by Campbell, is really not alluded to in his examination?” “I read the paper over hastily,” said I; “but it is my strong impres-

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sion, that no such circumstance is mentioned—at least it must have been touched on very slightly, since it failed to catch my attention.” “True, true,” answered Rashleigh, forming his own inference while he adopted my words; “I incline to think with you, that the circumstance must in reality have been mentioned, but so slightly, that it failed to attract your attention. And then, as to Campbell’s interest with Morris, I incline to think that it must have been gained by playing upon his fears. This chicken-hearted fellow, Morris, is bound, I understand, for Scotland, destined for some little employment under government; and, possessing the courage of the wrathful dove, or most magnanimous mouse, he may have been afraid to encounter the ill-will of such a kill-cow as Campbell, whose very appearance would be enough to fright him out of his little wits. You observed that Mr Campbell has at times a keen and animated manner—something of a martial cast in his tone and bearing.” “I own,” I replied, “that his expression struck me as being occasionally fierce and sinister, and little adapted to his peaceable professions. Has he served in the army?” “Yes—no—not, strictly speaking, served; but he has been, I believe, like most of his countrymen, trained to arms. Indeed, among the hills, they carry them from boyhood to the grave. So, if you know any thing of your fellow-traveller, you will easily judge, that, going to such a country, he will take care to avoid a quarrel if he can help it with any of the natives.—But, come, I see you decline your wine—and I too am a degenerate Osbaldistone, so far as respects the circulation of the bottle. If you will go to my room, I will hold you a hand at piquet.” We rose to take leave of Miss Vernon, who had from time to time suppressed, apparently with difficulty, a strong temptation to break in upon Rashleigh’s details. As we left the room, the smothered fire broke forth. “Mr Osbaldistone,” she said, “your own observation will enable you to verify the justice, or injustice, of Rashleigh’s suggestions concerning such individuals as Mr Campbell and Mr Morris. But, in slandering Scotland, he has borne false witness against a whole country, and I request you will allow no weight to his evidence.” “Perhaps I may find it somewhat difficult to obey your injunction, Miss Vernon, for I must own I was bred up with no very favourable idea of our northern neighbours.” “Distrust that part of your education, sir,” she replied, “and let the daughter of a Scotchwoman pray you to respect the land which gave her parent birth, until your own observation has proved them to be unworthy of your good opinion. Preserve your hatred and contempt for dissimulation, baseness, and falsehood, wheresoever they are to be met with—you will find enough of all without leaving England.—

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Adieu, gentlemen,—I wish you good evening.” And she signed to the door, with the manner of a princess dismissing her train. We retired to Rashleigh’s apartment, where a servant brought us coffee and cards. I had formed my resolution to press Rashleigh no farther on the events of the day. A mystery, and, as I thought, not of a favourable complexion, appeared to hang over his conduct; but to ascertain if my suspicions were just, it was necessary to throw him off his guard. We cut for the deal, and were soon earnestly engaged in our play. I thought I perceived even in this trifling for amusement (for the stake that Rashleigh proposed was a mere trifle) something of a fierce and ambitious temper. He seemed perfectly to understand the beautiful game at which we played, but preferred, as it were on principle, the risking bold and precarious strokes to the ordinary rules of play; and neglecting the minor and better balanced chances of the game, he hazarded every thing for the chance of piqueing, repiqueing, or capotting his adversary. So soon as the intervention of a game or two at piquet, like the music between the acts of a drama, had completely interrupted our previous course of conversation, Rashleigh appeared to tire of the game, and the cards were superseded by discourse, in which he assumed the lead. More learned than soundly wise, more acquainted with men’s minds than with the moral principles that ought to regulate them, he had still powers of conversation which I have rarely seen equalled, never excelled. Of this his manner implied some consciousness—at least, it appeared to me that he had studied hard to improve his natural advantages of a melodious voice, fluent and happy expression, apt language and fervid imagination. He was never loud— never overbearing—never so much occupied with his own thoughts, as to outrun either the patience or the comprehension of those he conversed with. His ideas succeeded each other with the gentle but unintermitting flow of a plentiful and bounteous spring, while I have heard those of others, who aimed at distinction in conversation, rush along like the turbid gush from the sluice of a mill-pond, as hurried, as early exhausted. It was late at night ere I could part from a companion so fascinating, and, when I gained my own apartment, it cost me no small effort to recal to my mind the character of Rashleigh, such as I had pictured him previous to this tete-atete. So effectually, my dear Tresham, does the sense of being pleased and amused blunt our faculties of perception and discrimination of character, that I can only compare it to the taste of certain fruits, at once luscious and poignant, which renders our palate totally unfit for

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relishing or distinguishing the viands which are subsequently subjected to its criticism.

Chapter Eleven What gars ye gaunt, my merry men a’? What gars ye look sae dreary? What gars ye hing your head sae sair In the castle of Balwearie? Old Scotch Ballad

T              chanced to be Sunday, a day peculiarly hard to be got rid of at Osbaldistone Hall; for after the formal religious service of the morning had been performed, at which all the family regularly attended, it was hard to say upon which individual, Rashleigh and Miss Vernon excepted, the fiend Ennui descended with the most abundant outpouring of his spirit. To speak of my yesterday’s embarrassment amused Sir Hildebrand for several minutes, and he congratulated me on my deliverance from Morpeth or Hexham jail, as he would have done if I had fallen in attempting to clear a five-barred gate, and got up without hurting myself. “Hast had a lucky turn, lad, but do na be over venturous again. What, man! the king’s road is free to all men, be they Whigs, be they Tories!” “On my word, sir, I am innocent of interrupting it, and it is the most provoking thing on earth, that every person will take it for granted that I am accessory to a crime which I despise and detest, and which would, moreover, deservedly forfeit my life to the laws of my country.” “Well, well, lad—even so be it—I ask no questions—no man bound to tell on himsell—that’s fair play, or the devil’s in’t.” Rashleigh here came to my assistance, but I could not help thinking that his arguments were calculated rather as hints to his father to put on a show of acquiescence in my declaration of innocence, than fully to establish it. “In your own house, my dear sir—and your own nephew—you will not surely persist in hurting his feelings, by seeming to discredit what he is so strongly interested in affirming. No doubt, you are fully deserving of all his confidence, and I am sure were there any thing you could do to assist him in this strange affair, he would have recourse to your goodness. But my cousin Frank has been dismissed as an innocent man, and no one is entitled to suppose him otherwise. For my part, I have not the least doubt of his innocence, and our familyhonour, I conceive, requires that we should maintain it with tongue and sword against the whole country.”

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“Rashleigh,” said his father, looking fixedly at him, “thou art a sly lown—thou hast ever been too cunning for me, and too cunning for most folks. Have a care thou prove na too cunning for thysell—two faces under one hood is no true heraldry.—And since we talk of heraldry, I’ll go and read Gwillym.” This resolution he intimated with a yawn, resistless as that of the Goddess in the Dunciad, which was responsively echoed by his giantsons, as they dispersed in quest of the pastimes to which their minds severally inclined them.—Percie to discuss a pot of March beer with the steward in the buttery,—Thorncliffe to cut a pair of cudgels, and fix them in their wicker-hilts,—John to dress May-flies,—Dickon to play at pitch and toss by himself, his right hand against his left,—and Wilfred to bite his thumbs, and hum himself into a sleep which should last till dinner-time, if possible. Miss Vernon had ensconced herself in the library. Rashleigh and I were left alone in the old hall, from which the servants, with their usual bustle and awkwardness, had at length contrived to hurry the remains of our substantial breakfast. I took the opportunity to upbraid him with the manner in which he had spoken of my affair to his father, which I frankly stated was highly offensive to me, as it seemed rather to exhort Sir Hildebrand to conceal his suspicions, than to root them out. “Why, what can I do, my dear friend?” replied Rashleigh; “my father’s disposition is so tenacious of suspicions of all kinds, when once they take root, which, to do him justice, does not easily happen, that I have always found it the best way to silence him upon such subjects, instead of arguing with him. Thus I get the better of the weeds which I cannot eradicate, by cutting them over as often as they appear, until at length they die away of themselves. There is neither wisdom nor profit in disputing with such a mind as Sir Hildebrand’s, which hardens itself against conviction, and believes in its own inspirations as firmly as we good catholics do in those of the Holy Father of Rome.” “It is very hard though, that I should live in the house of a man, and he a near relation too, who will persist in believing me guilty of a highway robbery.” “My father’s foolish opinion, if one may give that epithet to any opinion of a father’s, does not affect your real innocence; and as to the disgrace of the fact, depend on it, that, considered in all its bearings, political as well as moral, Sir Hildebrand regards it as a meritorious action—a weakening of the enemy—a spoiling of the Amalekites— and you will stand the higher in his regard for your supposed accession to it.”

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“I desire no man’s regard, Mr Rashleigh, on such terms as must sink me in my own, and I think these injurious suspicions will afford a very good reason for quitting Osbaldistone Hall, which I shall do whenever I can communicate on the subject with my father.” The dark countenance of Rashleigh, though little accustomed to betray its master’s feelings, exhibited a suppressed smile, which he instantly chastened by a sigh. “You are a happy man, Frank—you go and come, as the wind bloweth where it listeth—with your address, taste, and talents, you will soon find circles where they will be more valued, than amid the dull inmates of this mansion; while I——” He paused. “And what is there in your lot that can make you or any one envy mine, an outcast, as I may almost term myself, from my father’s house and favour?” “Ay, but,” answered Rashleigh, “the gratified sense of independence which you must have attained by a very temporary sacrifice, for such I am sure yours will prove to be—the power of acting as a free agent, of cultivating your own talents in the way to which your taste determines you, and in which you are well qualified to distinguish yourself—Fame and freedom are cheaply purchased by a few weeks residence in the North, even though your place of exile be Osbaldistone Hall.—A second Ovid in Thrace, you have not his reasons for writing Tristia.” “I do not know,” said I, blushing as became a young scribbler, “how you should be so well acquainted with my truant studies.” “There was an emissary of your father’s here some time since, a young coxcomb, one Twineall, who informed me concerning your secret sacrifices to the muses, and added, that some of your verses had been greatly admired by the best judges.” Tresham, I believe you are guiltless of having ever essayed to build the lofty rhyme, but you must have known in your day many an apprentice and fellow-craft, if not some of the master-masons in the temple of Apollo. Vanity is their universal foible, from him who decorated the shades of Twickenham, to the veriest scribbler whom he has lashed in his Dunciad. I had my own share of this common failing, and without considering how little likely this young fellow Twineall was, by taste and habits, to be acquainted either with one or two little pieces of poetry, which I had at times insinuated into Button’s coffee-house, or to report the opinion of the critics who frequented that resort of wit and literature, I almost instantly gorged the bait, which Rashleigh perceiving, improved his opportunity by a diffident, yet apparently very anxious request, to be permitted to see some of my manuscript productions.

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“You shall give me an evening in my own apartment,” he continued; “for I must soon lose the charms of literary society for the drudgery of commerce, and the coarse every-day avocations of the world. I repeat it, that my compliance with my father’s wishes for the advantage of my family, is indeed a sacrifice, especially considering the calm and peaceful profession to which my education destined me.” I was vain, but not a fool, and this hypocrisy was too strong for me to swallow—“You would not persuade me,” I replied, “that you really regret to exchange the situation of an obscure catholic priest, with all its privations, for wealth and the society and pleasures of the world?” Rashleigh saw that he had coloured his affectation of moderation too highly, and, after a second’s pause, during which, I suppose, he calculated the degree of candour which it was necessary to use with me, (that being a quality of which he was never needlessly profuse) he answered with a smile,—“At my age to be condemned, as you say, to wealth and the world, does not, indeed, sound so alarming as perhaps it ought to do. But, with pardon be it spoken, you have mistaken my destination—a catholic priest, if you will, but not an obscure one—No, sir, Rashleigh Osbaldistone will be more obscure, should he rise to be the richest citizen in London, than he might have been in a Church, whose ministers, as some one says, ‘set their sandall’d feet on princes.’—My family interest at a certain exiled court is high, and the weight which that court ought to possess, and does possess at Rome, is yet higher—my own talents not altogether inferior to the education I have received—In sober judgment, I might have looked forward to high eminence in the church—in the dream of fancy, to the very highest—Why might not,” (he added, laughing, for it was part of his manner to keep much of his discourse hovering betwixt jest and earnest,)— “why might not Cardinal Osbaldistone have swayed the fortunes of empires, well-born and well-connected, as well as the low-born Mazarin and Alberoni the son of an Italian gardener?” “Nay, I can give you no reason to the contrary, but in your place I should not much regret losing the chance of such precarious and invidious elevation.” “Neither would I,” he replied, “were I sure that my present establishment was more certain, but that must depend upon circumstances, which I can only learn by experience—the disposition of your father for example.” “Confess the truth without finesse, Rashleigh; you would willingly know something of him from me?” “Since, like Die Vernon, you make a point of following the banner of the Good Knight Sincerity, I reply—certainly.”

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“Well, then, you will find in my father a man who has followed the paths of thriving more for the exercise they afforded to his talents, than for the love of the gold with which they are strewed. His active mind would have been happy in any situation which gave it scope for exertion, though that exertion had been its sole reward. But his wealth has accumulated, because, moderate and frugal in his habits, no new sources of expence have occurred to dispose of his increasing income. He is a man who hates dissimulation in others; never practises it himself; and is peculiarly alert in discovering motives through the colouring of language. Himself silent by habit, he is readily disgusted by great talkers; the rather, that the circumstances by which he is most interested afford no great scope for conversation. He is severely strict in the duties of religion; but you have no reason to fear his interference with yours, for he regards toleration as a sacred principle of political economy. But if you have any jacobitical partialities, as it is naturally to be supposed, you will do well to suppress them in his presence, as well as the least tendency to the highflying or Tory principles, for he holds both in utter detestation. For the rest, his word is his own bond, and must be the law of all who act under him. He will fail in his duty to no one, and will permit no one to fail towards him—to cultivate his favour, you must execute his commands, instead of echoing his sentiments. His greatest failings arise out of prejudices connected with his own profession, or rather his exclusive devotion to it, which makes him see little worth praise or attention, unless it be, in some measure, connected with commerce.” “O rare-painted portrait!” exclaimed Rashleigh, when I was silent —“Vandyke was a dauber to you, Frank. I see thy sire before me in all his strength and weakness, loving and honouring the King as a sort of lord mayor of the empire, or chief of the board of trade, venerating the Commons, for the acts regulating the export trade, and respecting the Peers, because the Lord Chancellor sits on a wool-sack.” “Mine was a likeness, Rashleigh; yours is a caricatura. But in return for the carte de pays which I have unfolded to you, give me some lights on the geography of the unknown land”—— “On which you are wrecked,” said Rashleigh. “It is not worth while —it is no isle of Calypso, umbrageous with shade and intricate with sylvan labyrinth, but a bare ragged Northumbrian moor, with as little to interest curiosity as to delight the eye—you may descry it in all its nakedness in half an hour’s survey, as well as if I were to lay it down before you by rule and compass.” “O, but something there is, worthy a more attentive survey—What say you to Miss Vernon? Does not she form an interesting object in the landscape, were all around as rude as Iceland’s coast?”

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I could plainly perceive that Rashleigh disliked the topic now presented to him; but my frank communication had given me the advantageous title to make enquiries in my turn. Rashleigh felt this, and found himself obliged to follow my lead, however difficult he might find it to play his cards successfully. “I have known less of Miss Vernon,” he said, “for some time, than I was wont to do formerly. In her early age I was her tutor; but as she advanced towards womanhood, my various avocations,—the gravity of the profession to which I was destined,—the peculiar nature of her engagements,—our mutual situation, in short, rendered a close and constant intimacy dangerous and improper. I believe Miss Vernon might consider my reserve as unkindness, but it was my duty; I felt as much as she seemed to do, when compelled to give way to prudence. But where was the safety in cultivating an intimacy with a beautiful and susceptible girl, whose heart, you are aware, must be given either to the cloister or to a betrothed husband?” “The cloister or a betrothed husband?” I echoed—“Is that the alternative destined for Miss Vernon?” “It is indeed,” said Rashleigh, with a sigh. “I need not, I suppose, caution you against the dangers of cultivating too closely the friendship of Miss Vernon—you are a man of the world, and know how far you can indulge yourself in her society, with safety to yourself and justice to her. But I warn you, that, considering her ardent temper, you must let your experience keep guard over her as well as yourself, for the specimen of yesterday may serve to show her extreme thoughtlessness and neglect of decorum.” There was something, I was sensible, of truth, as well as good sense, in all this; it seemed to be given as a friendly warning, and I had no right to take it amiss; yet I felt I could with pleasure have run Rashleigh Osbaldistone through the body all the time he was speaking. The deuce take his insolence! was my internal meditation. Would he wish me to infer, that Miss Vernon had fallen in love with that hatchet-face of his, and become degraded so low as to require his coyness to cure her of an imprudent passion? I will have his meaning from him, was my resolution, if I should drag it out with cart-ropes. For this purpose, I placed my temper under as accurate a guard as I could, and observed that, for a lady of her good birth and acquired accomplishments, it was to be regretted that Miss Vernon’s manners were somewhat blunt and rustic. “Frank and unreserved, at least, to the extreme,” replied Rashleigh; “yet, trust me, she has an excellent heart—to tell you the truth, should she continue her extreme aversion to the cloister, and to her destined husband, and should my own labours in the mine of Plutus promise

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to secure me a decent independence, I shall think of renewing our friendship, and sharing it with Miss Vernon.” With all his fine voice, and well-turned periods, thought I, this same Rashleigh Osbaldistone is the ugliest and most conceited coxcomb I ever met with. “But,” continued Rashleigh, as if thinking aloud, “I should not like to supplant Thorncliffe.” “Supplant Thorncliffe! is your brother Thorncliffe,” I enquired, with great surprise, “the destined husband of Diana Vernon?” “Why, ay—her father’s commands, and a certain family-contract, destine her to marry one of Sir Hildebrand’s sons. A dispensation has been obtained from Rome to Diana Vernon to marry Blank Osbaldistone, Esq., son of Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, of Osbaldistone Hall, Bart., and so forth, and it only remains to pitch upon the happy man, whose name shall fill the gap in the manuscript. Now as Percie is seldom sober, my father pitched on Thorncliffe, as the second prop of the family, and therefore most proper to carry on the line of the Osbaldistones.” “The young lady,” said I, forcing myself to assume an air of pleasantry, which, I believe, became me extremely ill, “would perhaps, have been inclined to look a little lower on the family-tree, for the branch to which she was desirous of clinging.” “I cannot say,” he replied. “There is room for little choice in our family; Dick is a gambler, John a boor, and Wilfred an ass. I believe my father really made the best selection for poor Die, after all.” “The present company,” said I, “being always excepted.” “O, my destination put me out of the question; otherwise I will not affect to say, that, qualified by my education both to instruct and to guide Miss Vernon, I might not have been a more creditable choice than any of my elders.” “And so thought the young lady, doubtless?” “You are not to suppose so,” answered Rashleigh, with an affectation of denial, which was contrived to convey the strongest affirmation the case admitted of—“friendship—only friendship—formed the tie betwixt us, and the tender affection of an opening mind to its only instructor—Love came not near us—I told you I was wise in time.” I felt little inclination to pursue this conversation any farther, and, shaking myself clear of Rashleigh, withdrew to my own apartment, which I recollect I traversed with much vehemence of agitation, repeating aloud the expressions which had most offended me. “Susceptible—ardent—tender affection—Love! Diana Vernon, the most beautiful creature I ever beheld, in love with him, the bandylegged, bull-necked, limping scoundrel, Richard the Third in all but

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his hump-back!—And yet the opportunities he must have had during his cursed course of lectures—and the fellow’s flowing and easy strain of sentiment—and her extreme seclusion from every one who spoke and acted with common sense—ay, and her obvious pique at him, mixed with admiration of his talents, which looked as like the result of neglected attachment as any thing else—Well, and what is it to me that I should storm and rage at it? Is Diana Vernon the first pretty girl that has loved or married an ugly fellow—and if she was free of every Osbaldistone of them, what concern is it of mine?—A catholic—a jacobite—a termagant into the boot—for me to look that way were utter madness.” By throwing such cool reflections on the flame of my displeasure, I subdued it into a sort of smouldering heart-burning, and appeared at the dinner-table in as sulky a humour as could well be imagined.

Chapter Twelve “Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse fustian with one’s own shadow?” Othello

I   told you, my dear Tresham, which probably was no news to you, that my principal fault was an unconquerable pitch of pride, which exposed me to frequent mortification. I had not even whispered to myself, that I loved Diana Vernon, yet no sooner did I hear Rashleigh talk of her as a prize which he might stoop to carry off, or neglect at his pleasure, than every step which the poor girl had taken, in the innocence and openness of her heart, to form a sort of friendship with me, seemed in my eyes the most insulting coquetry. “Soh! She would secure me as a pis aller, I suppose, in case Mr Rashleigh Osbaldistone should not take compassion upon her! but I will satisfy her that I am not a person to be trepanned in that manner— I will make her sensible that I see through her arts, and that I scorn them.” I did not reflect for a moment, that all this indignation, which I had no right whatsoever to entertain, proved that I was any thing but indifferent to Miss Vernon’s charms, and I sate down to table in high ill-humour with her and all the daughters of Eve. Miss Vernon heard me, with surprise, return ungracious answers to one or two playful strokes of satire which she threw out with her usual freedom of speech; but, having no suspicion that offence was meant, she only replied to my rude repartees with jests somewhat similar, but polished by her good temper, though pointed by her wit. At length she

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perceived I was really out of humour, and answered one of my rude speeches. “They say, Mr Frank, that one may gather sense from fools —I heard cousin Wilfred refuse to play any longer at cudgels the other day with cousin Thornie, because cousin Thornie got angry, and struck harder than the rules of amicable combat, it seems, permitted. ‘Were I to break your head in good earnest,’ quoth honest Wilfred, ‘I care not how angry you are, for I should do it so much the more easily, but it’s hard I should get sound raps over the costard, and only pay you back in make-believes’—Do you understand the moral of this, Frank?” “I have never felt myself under the necessity, madam, of studying how to extract the slender portion of sense with which this family season their conversation.” “Necessity? and madam?—you surprise me, Mr Osbaldistone.” “I am unfortunate in doing so!” “Am I to suppose that this capricious tone is serious, or is it only assumed to make your good-humour more valuable?” “You have a right to the attention of so many gentlemen in this family, Miss Vernon, that it cannot be worth your while to enquire into the cause of my stupidity and bad spirits.” “What? then I am to understand you have deserted my faction, and gone over to the enemy.”— Then, looking across the table, and observing that Rashleigh, who was seated opposite, was watching us with a singular expression of interest on his harsh features, she continued, “Horrible thought!—Ay, now I see ’tis true, For the grim-visaged Rashleigh smiles on me, And points at thee for his——

Well, thank Heaven, and the unprotected state which has taught me endurance, I do not take offence easily; and that I may not be forced to a quarrel, whether I like it or no, I have the honour, earlier than usual, to wish you a happy digestion of your dinner and your bad humour.” And she left the table accordingly. Upon Miss Vernon’s departure, I found myself very little satisfied with my own conduct. I had hurled back offered kindness, of which circumstances had but lately pointed out the honest sincerity, and I had but just stopped short of insulting the beautiful, and, as she had said with some emphasis, the unprotected being by whom it was proffered. My conduct seemed brutal in my own eyes. To combat or drown these painful reflections, I applied myself more frequently than usual to the wine which circulated on the table. The agitated state of my feelings combined with my habits of temperance to give rapid effect to the beverage. Habitual topers, I believe,

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acquire the power of soaking themselves with a quantity of liquor which does little more than muddy those intellects, that, in their sober state, are none of the clearest. But men who are strangers to the vice of drunkenness as a habit, are more powerfully acted upon by intoxicating liquors. My spirits, once aroused, soon became extravagant; I talked a great deal, argued upon what I knew nothing of, told stories of which I forgot the point, then laughed immoderately at my own forgetfulness; I accepted several bets without having the least judgment; I challenged the giant John to wrestle with me, although he had kept the ring at Hexham for a year, and I had never tried so much as a single fall. My uncle had the goodness to interpose and prevent this consummation of drunken folly, which, I suppose, would have otherwise ended in my neck being broken. It has even been reported by my maligners, that I sung while under this vinous influence, but, as I remember nothing of it, and never attempted to turn a tune in all my life before or since, I would willingly hope there is no foundation for the calumny. I was absurd enough without this exaggeration. Without positively losing my senses, I speedily lost all command of my temper, and my impetuous passions whirled me onward at their pleasure. I had sate down sulky and discontented, and disposed to be silent—the wine rendered me loquacious, disputacious, and quarrelsome. I contradicted whatever was asserted, and attacked, without any respect to my uncle’s table, both his politics and his religion. The affected moderation of Rashleigh, which he well knew how to qualify with irritating ingredients, was even more provoking to me than the noisy and bullying language of his obstreperous brothers. My uncle, to do him justice, endeavoured to bring us to order, but his authority was lost amidst the tumult of wine and passion. At length, frantic at some real, or supposed injurious insinuation, I actually struck Rashleigh with my fist. No Stoic philosopher, superior to his own passion and that of others, could have received an insult with a higher degree of scorn. What he himself did not think it apparently worth while to resent, Thorncliffe resented for him. Swords were drawn, and we exchanged one or two passes, when the other brothers separated us by main force, and I shall never forget the diabolical sneer which writhed Rashleigh’s wayward features, as I was forced from the apartment by the main strength of two of these youthful Titans. They secured me in my apartment by locking the door, and I heard them, to my inexpressible rage, laugh heartily as they descended the stairs. I essayed in my fury to break out, but the window-grates, and the strength of a door clenched with iron, resisted my efforts. At length I threw myself on my bed, and fell asleep

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amidst vows of dire revenge to be taken on the ensuing day. But with the morning cool repentance came.

I felt, in the keenest manner, the violence and absurdity of my own conduct, and was obliged to confess that wine and passion had lowered my intellects even below those of Wilfred Osbaldistone, whom I held in so much contempt. My uncomfortable reflections were by no means soothed by meditating the necessity of an apology for my improper behaviour, and recollecting that Miss Vernon must be a witness of my submission. The impropriety and unkindness of my conduct to her personally, added not a little to these galling considerations, and for this I could not even plead the miserable excuse of intoxication. Under all these aggravating feelings of shame and degradation, I descended to the breakfast-hall, like a criminal to receive sentence. It chanced that a hard frost had rendered it impossible to take out the hounds, so that I had the additional mortification to meet the family, excepting only Rashleigh and Miss Vernon, in full divan, surrounding the cold venison-pasty and chine of beef. They were in high glee as I entered, and I could easily imagine that the jests were furnished at my expense. In fact, what I was disposed to consider with serious pain, was regarded as an excellent good joke by my uncle, and the greater part of my cousins. Sir Hildebrand, while he rallied me on my exploits of the preceding evening, swore he thought a young fellow had better be thrice drunk in one day, than sneak sober to bed like a presbyterian, and leave a batch of honest fellows, and a double quart of claret. And to back this consolatory speech, he poured out a large bumper of brandy, exhorting me to swallow a hair of the dog that had bit me. “Never mind these lads laughing, nevoy,” he continued; “they would have been all as great milk-sops as yourself had I not nursed them, as one may say, on the toast and tankard.” Ill-nature was not the fault of my cousins in general: they saw I was vexed and hurt at the recollections of the preceding evening, and endeavoured, with clumsy kindness, to remove the painful impression they had made on me. Thorncliffe alone looked sullen and unreconciled. This young man had never liked me from the beginning, and in the marks of attention occasionally shewn me by his brothers, awkward as they were, he alone had never joined. If it was true, of which, however, I began to have my doubts, that he was considered by the family, or regarded himself, as the destined husband of Miss Vernon, a sentiment of jealousy might have sprung up in his mind from the marked predilection which it was that young lady’s pleasure to shew for one, whom Thorncliffe might, perhaps, think likely to become a dangerous rival.

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Rashleigh at last entered, his visage as dark as mourning weed, brooding, I could not but doubt, over the unjustifiable and disgraceful insult I had offered to him. I had already settled in my own mind how I was to behave on the occasion, and had schooled myself to believe, that true honour consisted not in defending, but in apologizing for, an injury so much disproportioned to any provocation I might have to allege. I therefore hastened to meet Rashleigh, and to express myself in the highest degree sorry for the violence with which I had acted on the preceding evening. “No circumstances,” I said, “could have wrung from me a single word of apology, save my own consciousness of the impropriety of my behaviour. I hoped my cousin would accept of my regrets so sincerely offered, and consider how much of my misconduct was owing to the excessive hospitality of Osbaldistone Hall.” “He shall be friends with thee, lad,” cried the honest knight, in the full effusion of his heart; “or d—n me, if I call him son more. Why, Rashie, dost stand there like a log? Sorry for it is all a gentleman can say, if he happens do any thing awry, especially over his claret.—I served on Hounslow, and should know something, I think, of affairs of honour. Let me hear no more of this, and we’ll go in a body and rummage out the badger in Birkenwood-bank.” Rashleigh’s face resembled, as I have already noticed, no other countenance that I ever saw. But this singularity lay not only in the features, but in the mode of changing their expression. Other countenances, in altering from grief to joy, or from anger to satisfaction, pass through some brief interval, ere the expression of the predominant passion supersedes entirely that of its predecessor. There is a sort of twilight, like that between the clearing up of the darkness and the rising of the sun, while the swollen muscles subside, the dark eye clears, the forehead relaxes and expands itself, and the whole countenance loses its sterner shades, and becomes serene and placid. Rashleigh’s face exhibited none of these gradations, but changed almost instantaneously from the expression of one passion to that of the contrary. I can compare it to nothing but the sudden shifting of scene in the theatre, where, at the whistle of the prompter, a cavern disappears and a grove arises. My attention was strongly arrested by this peculiarity on the present occasion. At Rashleigh’s first entrance, “black he stood as night!” With the same inflexible countenance he heard my excuse and his father’s exhortation, and it was not until Sir Hildebrand had done speaking, when the cloud cleared away at once, and he expressed, in the kindest and most civil terms, his perfect satisfaction

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with the very handsome apology I had offered. “Indeed,” he said, “I have so poor a brain myself, when I impose on it the least burthen beyond my usual three glasses, that I have only, like poor Cassio, a very vague recollection of the confusion of last night— remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly—a quarrel, but nothing wherefore—So my dear cousin,” he continued, shaking me kindly by the hand, “conceive how much I am relieved, by finding that I have to receive an apology, instead of having to make one—I will hear not a word said upon the subject more; I should be very foolish to institute any scrutiny into an accounting when the balance, which I expected to be against me, has been so unexpectedly and agreeably struck in my favour—you see, Mr Osbaldistone, I am practising the language of Lombard Street, and qualifying myself for my new calling.” As I was about to answer, and raised my eyes for the purpose, they encountered those of Miss Vernon, who, having entered the room unobserved during this conversation, had given it her close attention. Abashed and confounded, I fixed my eyes on the ground, and made my escape to the breakfast-table, where I herded among my busy cousins. My uncle, that the events of the preceding day might not pass out of our memory without a practical moral lesson, took occasion to give Rashleigh and me his serious advice to correct our milksop habits, as he termed them, and gradually to enure our brains to bear a gentlemanlike quantity of liquor, without brawls or breaking of heads. He recommended that we should begin by piddling with a regular quart of claret per day, which, with the aid of March beer and brandy, made a handsome competence for a beginner in the art of toping. And for our encouragement, he assured us that he had known many a man who had lived to our years without having drunk a pint of wine at a sitting, who yet, by falling into good company, and following good example, had afterwards been numbered among the best goodfellows of the time, and could carry off their six bottles under their belt quietly and comfortably, without brawling or babbling, and be neither sick nor sorry the next morning. Sage as this advice was, and comfortable as was the prospect it held out to me, I profited but little by the exhortation, partly, perhaps, because, as often as I raised my eyes from the table, I observed Miss Vernon’s looks fixed on me, in which I thought I could read grave compassion blended with regret and displeasure. I began to consider how I should seek a scene of explanation and apology with her also, when she gave me to understand she was determined to save me the trouble. “Cousin Francis,” she said, addressing me by the same title

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she used to give to the other Osbaldistones, although I had, properly speaking, no title to be called her kinsman, “I have encountered this morning a difficult passage in the Divina Comedia of Dante, will you have the goodness to step to the library and give me your assistance? And when you have unearthed for me the meaning of the obscure Florentine, we will join the rest at Birkenwood-bank, and see their luck at unearthing the badger.” I signified, of course, my readiness to wait upon her. Rashleigh made an offer to accompany us. “I am something better skilled,” he said, “at tracking the sense of Dante through the metaphors and elisions of his wild and gloomy poem, than at hunting the poor inoffensive hermit yonder out of his cave.” “Pardon me, Rashleigh,” said Miss Vernon; “but as you are to occupy Mr Francis’s place in the counting-house, you must surrender to him the charge of your pupil’s education at Osbaldistone Hall. We shall call you in, however, if there is any occasion, so pray do not look so grave upon it. Besides, it is a shame to you not to understand field-sports—What will you do should our uncle in Crane-Alley ask you the signs by which you track a badger?” “Ay, true, Die, true,” said Sir Hildebrand with a sigh. “I misdoubt Rashleigh will be found short at the leap when he’s put to the trial. An he would ha learned useful knowledge like his brothers, he was bred up where it grew, I wuss—but French antics, and book-learning, with the new turnips, and the rats, and the Hanoverians, ha changed the world that I ha known in Old England. But come along with us, Rashie, and carry my hunting-staff, man—thy cousin lacks none of thy company as now, and I wonna ha Die crossed. It’s neer be said there was but one woman in Osbaldistone Hall, and she died for lack of her will.” Rashleigh followed his father, as he commanded, not, however, ere he had whispered to Diana, “I suppose I must in discretion bring the courtier, Ceremony, in my company, and knock when I approach the door of the library.” “No, no, Rashleigh,” said Miss Vernon; “dismiss from your company the false archimage Dissimulation, and it will better insure you free access to our classical consultations.” So saying, she led the way to the library, and I followed,—like a criminal I was going to say to execution, but, as I bethink me, I have used the simile once, if not twice before. Without any simile at all then, I followed, with a sense of awkward and conscious embarrassment, which I would have given a great deal to shake off. I thought it a degrading and unworthy feeling to attend one upon such an occasion, having breathed the air of the continent long enough to have imbibed

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the notion that lightness, gallantry, and something approaching to well-bred self-assurance, should distinguish the gentleman whom a fair lady selects for her companion in a tete-a-tete. My English feelings, however, were too many for my French education, and I made, I believe, a very pitiful figure, when Miss Vernon, seating herself majestically in a huge elbow-chair in the library, like a judge about to hear a cause of importance, signed to me to take a chair opposite to her, (which I did, much like a poor fellow who is to be tried) and entered upon conversation in a tone of bitter irony.

Chapter Thirteen Dire was his thought, who first in poison steep’d The weapon formed for slaughter—direr his, And worthier of damnation, who instill’d The mortal venom in the social cup, To fill the veins with death instead of life. A

“U   , Mr Francis Osbaldistone,” said Miss Vernon, with the air of one who thought herself fully entitled to assume the privilege of ironical reproach, which she was pleased to exert, “your character improves upon us, sir—I could not have thought that it was in you.—Yesterday might be considered as your assay-piece, to prove yourself entitled to be free of the corporation of Osbaldistone Hall. But it was a master-piece.” “I am quite sensible of my ill-breeding, Miss Vernon, and can only say for myself, that I had received some communications by which my spirits were unusually agitated. I am conscious I was impertinent and absurd.” “You do yourself great injustice,” said the merciless monitor—“you have contrived, by what I saw and have since heard, to exhibit in the course of one evening a happy display of all the various masterly qualifications which distinguish your several cousins—the gentle and generous temper of the benevolent Rashleigh, the temperance of Percie, the cool courage of Thorncliffe, John’s skill in dog-breaking, Dickon’s aptitude to betting, all exhibited by the single individual Mr Francis, and that with a selection of time, place, and circumstance, worthy the taste and sagacity of the sapient Wilfred.” “Have a little mercy, Miss Vernon,” said I; for I confess I thought the schooling as severe as the case merited, especially considering from what quarter it came, “and forgive me if I suggest, as an excuse for follies I am not usually guilty of, the custom of this house and

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country. I am far from approving it, but we have Shakespeare’s authority for saying, that good wine is a good familiar creature, and that any man living may be overtaken at some time.” “Ay, Mr Francis, but he places the panegyric and the apology in the mouth of the greatest villain his pencil has drawn. I will not, however, abuse the advantage your quotation has given me, by overwhelming you with the refutation with which the victim Cassio replies to the tempter Iago. I only wished you should know, that there is one person at least sorry to see a youth of talents and expectations sink into the slough in which the inhabitants of this house are nightly wallowing.” “I have but wet my shoe, I assure you, Miss Vernon, and am too sensible of the filth of the puddle to step farther in.” “If such be your resolution,” she replied, “it is a wise one. But I was so much vexed at what I heard, that your concerns have pressed before my own.—You behaved to me yesterday, during dinner, as if something had been told you which lessened or lowered me in your opinion. I wish to ask you what it was?” I was stupified—the direct bluntness of the demand was much in the style one gentleman uses to another, when requesting explanation of any part of his conduct in a good-humoured yet determined manner, and was totally devoid of the circumlocutions, shadings, softenings, and periphrasis, which usually accompany explanations betwixt persons of different sexes in the higher orders of society. I remained completely embarrassed, for it pressed on my recollection, that Rashleigh’s communications, supposing them to be correct, ought to have rendered Miss Vernon rather an object of my compassion, than of my pettish resentment; and had they furnished the best apology possible for my own conduct, still I must have had the utmost difficulty in detailing what inferred such necessary and natural offence to Miss Vernon’s feelings. She observed my hesitation, and proceeded in a tone somewhat more peremptory, but still temperate and civil. “I hope Mr Osbaldistone does not dispute my title to request this explanation. I have no relative who can protect me—it is therefore but just that I be permitted to protect myself.” I endeavoured with hesitation to throw the blame of my rude behaviour upon indisposition—upon disagreeable letters from London. She suffered me to exhaust my apologies, and fairly to run myself aground, listening all the while with a smile of absolute incredulity. “And now, Mr Francis, having gone through your prologue of excuses, with the same bad grace with which all prologues are delivered, please to draw the curtain, and shew me that which I desire to see. In a word, let me know what Rashleigh says of me—for he is the

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grand engineer and first mover of all the machinery of Osbaldistone Hall.” “But, supposing there was any thing to tell, Miss Vernon, what does he deserve that betrays the secrets of one ally to another?—Rashleigh, you yourself told me, remained your ally, though no longer your friend.” “I have neither patience for evasion, nor inclination for jesting, on the present subject. Rashleigh cannot—ought not—dare not, hold any language respecting me, Diana Vernon, but what I may demand to hear repeated. That there are subjects of secrecy and confidence between us, is most certain, but to such, his communications to you could have no relation, and with such, I, as an individual, have no concern.” I had by this time recovered my presence of mind, and hastily determined to avoid making any disclosure of what Rashleigh had told me in a sort of confidence. There was something unworthy in retailing private conversation; it could, I thought, do no good, and must necessarily give Miss Vernon great pain. I therefore replied, gravely, that nothing but frivolous talk had passed between Mr Rashleigh Osbaldistone and me on the state of the family at the Hall, and I protested, that nothing had been said which left a serious impression to her disadvantage. As a gentleman, I said, I could not be more explicit in reporting private conversation. She started up with the animation of a Camilla about to advance into battle. “This will not serve your turn, sir—I must have another answer from you.” Her features kindled—her brow became flushed —her eye glanced wild-fire as she proceeded. “I demand such an explanation, as a woman basely slandered has a right to demand from every man who calls himself a gentleman—as a creature, orphaned, friendless, alone in the world, left to her own guidance and protection, has a right to require from every being having a happier lot, in the name of that God who sent them into the world to enjoy, and her to suffer. You shall not deny me—or,” she added, looking solemnly upwards, “you will rue your denial, if there is justice for wrong either on earth or in Heaven.” I was utterly astonished at her vehemence, but felt, thus conjured, that it became my duty to lay aside scrupulous delicacy, and gave her briefly, but distinctly, the heads of the information which Rashleigh had conveyed to me. She sate down and resumed her composure, as soon as I entered upon the subject, and when I stopped to seek for the most delicate turn of expression, she repeatedly interrupted me, with “Go on, pray, go on; the first word which occurs to you is the plainest, and

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must be the best. Do not think of my feelings, but speak as youwould to an unconcerned third party.” Thus urged and encouraged, I stammered through all the account which Rashleigh had given of her early contract to marry an Osbaldistone, and of the uncertainty and difficulty of her choice—and there I would willingly have paused. But her penetration discovered that there was still something behind, and even guessed to what it related. “Well, it was ill-natured of Rashleigh to tell this tale on me. I am like the poor girl, in the fairy tale, who was betrothed in her cradle to the Black Bear of Norway, but complained chiefly of being called Bruin’s bride by her companions at school. But besides all this, Rashleigh said something of himself with relation to me—did he not?” “He certainly hinted, that were it not for the idea of supplanting his brother, he would now, in consequence of his change of profession, be desirous that the word Rashleigh should fill up the blank in the dispensation, instead of the word Thorncliffe.” “Aye? indeed?” she replied; “was he so very condescending?— Too much honour for his humble hand-maid, Diana Vernon—And she, I suppose, was to be enraptured with joy could such a substitution be effected?” “To confess the truth, he intimated as much, and even further insinuated”—— “What? let me hear it all!” she exclaimed hastily. “That he had broken off your mutual intimacy, lest it should have given rise to an affection by which his destination to the church would not permit him to profit.” “I am obliged to him for his consideration,” replied Miss Vernon, every feature of her fine countenance taxed to express the most supreme degree of scorn and contempt. She paused a moment, and then said, with her usual composure, “There is but little I have heard from you which I did not expect to hear, and which I ought not to have expected, because, bating one circumstance, it is all very true. But as there are some poisons so active, that a few drops, it is said, will infect a whole fountain, so there is one falsehood in Rashleigh’s communication, powerful enough to corrupt the whole well in which Truth herself is said to have dwelt. It is the leading and foul falsehood, that, knowing Rashleigh as I have reason too well to know him, any circumstance on earth could make me think of sharing my lot with him. No,” she continued, with a sort of inward shuddering that seemed to express involuntary horror; “any lot rather than that—the sot, the gambler, the bully, the jockey, the insensate fool, were a thousand times preferable to Rashleigh;—the convent—the jail—the grave, shall be welcome before them all.”

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There was a sad and melancholy cadence in her voice, corresponding with the strange and interesting romance of her situation—so young, so beautiful, so untaught, so much abandoned to herself, and deprived of all the support which her sex derives from the countenance and protection of female friends, and even of that degree of defence which arises from the forms with which the sex are approached in civilized life, it is scarce metaphorical to say, that my heart bled for her. Yet there was an expression of dignity in her contempt of ceremony—of upright feeling in her disdain of falsehood—of firm resolution in the manner in which she contemplated the shelves by which she was surrounded, which blended my pity with the warmest admiration. She seemed a princess deserted by her subjects, and deprived of her power, yet scorning those formal regulations of society which are created for persons of an inferior rank, and still, amid her difficulties, relying boldly and confidently on the justice of Heaven, and the unshaken constancy of her own mind. I offered to express the mingled feelings of sympathy and admiration with which her unfortunate situation and her high spirit combined to impress me. But she imposed silence upon me at once. “I told you in jest,” she said, “that I disliked compliments—I now tell you in earnest, that I do not ask sympathy, and that I despise consolation. What I have borne I have borne—What I am to bear, I will sustain as I may—no word of commiseration can make a burthen feel one feather’s weight lighter to the slave who must carry it. There is only one human being who could have assisted me, and that is he who has rather chosen to add to my embarrassments—Rashleigh Osbaldistone.—Yes! the time once was that I might have learned to love that man—But, great God! the purpose for which he insinuated himself into the confidence of one already so forlorn—the undeviating and continued assiduity with which he pursued that purpose from year to year, without one single momentary pause of remorse or compassion—the purpose to which he would have converted into poison the food he administered to my mind—Gracious Providence! what should I have been in this world and the next, in body and in soul, had I fallen under the arts of this accomplished villain!” I was so much struck with the scene of perfidious treachery which these words disclosed, that I rose from my chair, hardly knowing what I did, laid my hand on the hilt of my sword, and was about to leave the apartment in search of him on whom I might discharge my just indignation. Almost breathless, and with eyes and looks in which scorn and indignation had given way to the most lively alarm, Miss Vernon threw herself between me and the door of the apartment. “Stay,” she said,—“stay—however just your resentment, you do

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not know half the secrets of this fearful prison-house.” She then glanced her eyes anxiously round the room, and sank her voice almost to a whisper—“He bears a charmed life—you cannot assail him without endangering other lives, and wider destruction. Had it been otherwise, in some hour of justice he had hardly been safe even from this weak hand. I told you,” she said, motioning me back to my seat, “that I needed no comforter—I now tell you, I need no avenger.” I resumed my seat mechanically, musing on what she said, and recollecting also what had escaped me in my first glow of resentment, that I had no title whatever to constitute myself Miss Vernon’s champion. She paused to let her own emotion and mine subside, and then addressed me with more composure. “I have already said, that there is a mystery connected with Rashleigh, of a dangerous and fatal nature. Villain as he is, and as he knows he stands convicted in my eyes, I cannot—dare not, openly break with or defy him. You also, Mr Osbaldistone, must bear with him with patience, foil his artifices by opposing prudence, not violence, and, above all, avoid such scenes as that of last night, which cannot but give him perilous advantages over you. This caution I designed to give you, and it was the object with which I desired this interview, but I have extended my confidence farther than I designed.” I assured her it was not misplaced. “I do not believe that it is,” she replied. “You have that in your face and manner which authorizes trust. Let us continue to be friends. You need not fear,” she said, laughing, while she blushed a little, yet speaking with a free and unembarrassed voice, “that friendship with us should prove only a specious name, as the poet says, for another feeling. I belong, in habits of thinking and acting, rather to your sex, with which I have always been brought up, than to my own. Besides, the fatal veil was wrapt round me in my cradle, for you may easily believe I have never thought of the detestable condition under which I may remove it. The time,” she added, “for expressing my final determination is not arrived, and I would fain have the freedom of wild heath and open air with the other commoners of nature, as long as I can be permitted to enjoy them. And now that the passage in Dante is made so clear, pray, go and see what is become of the badger-baiters —My head aches so much that I cannot join the party.” I left the library, but not to join the hunters. I felt that a solitary walk was necessary to compose my spirits, before I again trusted myself in Rashleigh’s company, whose depth of calculating villainy had been so strikingly exposed to me. In Du Bourg’s family, (as he was of the Reformed persuasion), I had heard many a tale of Romish priests, who gratified, at the expense of friendship, hospitality, and the most

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sacred ties of social life, those passions, the blameless indulgence of which is denied by the rules of their order. But the deliberate system of undertaking the education of a deserted orphan of noble birth, and so intimately allied to his own family, with the perfidious purpose of ultimately seducing her, detailed as it was by the intended victim with all the glow of virtuous resentment, seemed more atrocious to me than the worst of the tales I had heard at Bourdeaux, and I felt it would be extremely difficult for me to meet Rashleigh, and yet to suppress the abhorrence with which he impressed me. Yet this was absolutely necessary, not only on account of the mysterious charge which Diana had given me, but also because I had, in reality, no ostensible ground for quarrelling with him. I therefore resolved, as far as possible, to meet Rashleigh’s dissimulation with equal caution on my part during our residence in the same family, and when he should depart for London, I resolved to give Owen, at least, such a hint of his character as might keep him on his guard over my father’s interests. Avarice or ambition, I thought, might have as great, or greater charms for a mind constituted like Rashleigh’s, than unlawful pleasure; the energy of his character, and his power of assuming all seeming good qualities, were likely to procure him a high degree of confidence, and it was not to be hoped, that either good faith or gratitude would prevent him from abusing it. The task was somewhat delicate, especially in my circumstances, since the caution which I threw out might be imputed to jealousy of my rival, or rather my successor in my father’s favour. Yet I thought it absolutely necessary to frame such a letter, leaving it to Owen, who, in his own line, was wary, prudent, and circumspect, to make the necessary use of his knowledge of Rashleigh’s true character. Such a letter, therefore, I indited, and dispatched to the post-house by the first opportunity. At my meeting with Rashleigh, he, as well as I, appeared to have taken up distant ground, and to be disposed to avoid all pretext for collision. He was probably conscious that Miss Vernon’s communication had been unfavourable to him, though he could not know that they extended to discovering his meditated villainy towards her. Our intercourse, therefore, was reserved on both sides, and turned on subjects of little interest. Indeed, his stay at Osbaldistone Hall did not exceed a few days after this period, during which I only remarked two circumstances respecting him. The first was, the rapid and almost intuitive manner in which his powerful and active mind seized upon and arranged the elementary principles necessary in his new profession, which he now studied hard, and occasionally made parade of his progress, as if to shew me how light it was for him to lift the burthen which I had flung down from very weariness and inability to carry it.

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The other remarkable circumstance was, that, notwithstanding the injuries with which Miss Vernon charged Rashleigh, they had several private interviews together of considerable length, although their bearing towards each other in public did not seem more cordial than usual. When the day of Rashleigh’s departure arrived, his father bade him farewell with indifference; his brothers, with the ill-concealed glee of school-boys, who see their taskmaster depart for a season, and feel a joy which they dare not express; and I myself with cold politeness. When he approached Miss Vernon, and would have saluted her, she drew back with a look of haughty disdain; but said, as she extended her hand to him, “Farewell, Rashleigh—God reward you for the good you have done, and forgive you for the evil you have meditated.” “Amen, my fair cousin,” he replied with an air of sanctity, which belonged, I thought, to the seminary of Saint Omers; “happy is he whose good intentions have borne fruit in deeds, and whose evil thoughts have perished in the blossom.” These were his parting words. “Accomplished hypocrite!” said Miss Vernon to me, as the door closed behind him—“how nearly can what we most despise and hate approach in outward manner to that which we most venerate!” I had written to my father by Rashleigh, and also a few lines to Owen, besides the confidential letter which I have already mentioned, and which I thought it more proper and prudent to dispatch by another conveyance. In these epistles, it would have been natural for me to have pointed out to my father and my friend, that I was at present in a situation where I could improve myself in no respect, unless in the mysteries of hunting and hawking, and where I was not unlikely to forget, in the company of rude grooms and horse-boys, any useful knowledge or elegant accomplishments which I had hitherto acquired. It would also have been natural that I should have expressed the disgust and tædium which I was likely to feel among beings, whose whole souls were centered in field-sports or more degrading pastimes —that I should have complained of the habitual intemperance of the family in which I was a guest, and the difficulty and almost resentment with which my uncle Sir Hildebrand received any apology for deserting the bottle. This last, indeed, was a topic on which my father, himself a man of severe temperance, was likely to be easily alarmed, and to have touched upon this spring would to a certainty have opened the doors of my prison-house, and would either have been the means of abridging my exile, or at least would have procured me a change of residence during my rustication. I say, my dear Tresham, that, considering how very unpleasant a

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prolonged residence at Osbaldistone Hall must have been to a young man at my age, and with my habits, it might have seemed very natural that I should have pointed out all these disadvantages to my father, in order to obtain his consent for leaving my uncle’s mansion. Nothing, however, is more certain, than that I did not say a single word to this purpose in my letters to my father and Owen. If Osbaldistone Hall had been Athens in all its pristine glory of learning, and inhabited by sages, heroes, and poets, I could not have expressed less inclination to leave it. If thou hast any of the salt of youth left in thee, Tresham, thou wilt be at no loss to account for my silence upon a topic seemingly so obvious. Miss Vernon’s extreme beauty, of which she herself seemed so little sensible,—her romantic and mysterious situation,—the evils to which she was exposed,—the courage with which she seemed to face them,—her manners, more frank than belong to her sex, yet, as it seemed to me, exceeding in frankness only from the dauntless consciousness of her innocence,—above all, the obvious and flattering distinction which she made in my favour over all other persons, were at once calculated to interest my best feelings, to excite my curiosity, awaken my imagination, and gratify my vanity. I dared not indeed confess to myself the depth of the interest with which she inspired me, or the large share which she occupied in my thoughts. We read together, walked together, rode together, and sate together. The studies which she had broken off upon her quarrel with Rashleigh, she now resumed under the auspices of a tutor whose views were more sincere, though his capacity was far more limited. In truth, I was by no means qualified to assist her in the prosecution of several profound studies which she had commenced with Rashleigh, and which appeared to me more fitted for a churchman than for a beautiful female. Neither can I conceive with what view he should have engaged Diana in the gloomy maze of the casuistry which schoolmen called philosophy, or in the equally abstruse, though more certain sciences of mathematics and astronomy; unless it were to break down and confound in her mind the difference and distinction between the sexes, and to habituate her to trains of subtle reasoning, by which he might at his own time invest that which was wrong with the colour of that which is right. It was in the same spirit, though in the latter case the evil purpose was more obvious, that the lessons of Rashleigh had encouraged Miss Vernon in setting at nought and despising the forms and ceremonial limits which are drawn round females in modern society. It is true she was sequestered from all female company, and could not learn the usual rules of decorum, either from example or precept. Yet such was her innate modesty, and accurate sense of what

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was right and wrong, that she would not of herself have adopted the bold uncompromising manner which struck me with so much surprise on our first acquaintance, had she not been led to conceive, that a contempt of ceremony indicated at once superiority of understanding, and the confidence of conscious innocence. Her wily instructor had, no doubt, his own views in levelling those outworks which reserve and caution erect around virtue. But for these, and for his other crimes, he has long since answered at a higher tribunal. Besides the progress which Miss Vernon, whose powerful mind readily adopted every means of information offered to it, had made in more abstract science, I found her no contemptible linguist, and well acquainted both with ancient and modern literature. Were it not that strong talents will often go farthest when they seem to have least assistance, it would be almost incredible to tell the rapidity of Miss Vernon’s progress in knowledge, and it was still more extraordinary, when her stock of mental acquisitions from books was compared with her total ignorance of actual life. It seemed as if she saw and knew every thing, except what passed in the world around her, and I believe it was this very ignorance and simplicity of thinking upon ordinary subjects, so strikingly contrasted with her fund of general knowledge and information, which rendered her conversation so irresistibly fascinating, and rivetted the attention to whatever she said or did; since it was absolutely impossible to anticipate whether her next word or action was to display the most acute perception, or the most profound simplicity. The degree of danger which necessarily attended a youth of my age and keen feelings from remaining in close and constant intimacy with an object so amiable, and so peculiarly interesting, all who remember their own sentiments at my age may easily estimate.    

ROB ROY  

Chapter One Yon lamp its line of quivering light Shoots from my lady’s bower; But why should Beauty’s lamp be bright At midnight’s lonely hour? Old Ballad

O          at Osbaldistone Hall was too uniform to admit of description. Diana Vernon and I enjoyed our time in our mutual studies; the rest of the family killed theirs in such sports and pastimes as suited the season, in which we also took our share. My uncle was a man of habits, and by habit became so much accustomed to my presence and mode of life, that, upon the whole, he was rather fond of me than otherwise. I might probably have risen yet higher in his good graces, had I employed the same arts for that purpose which were used by Rashleigh, who, availing himself of his father’s disinclination to business, had gradually insinuated himself into the management of his property. But although I readily gave my uncle the advantage of my pen and my arithmetic so often as he desired to correspond with a neighbour, or settle with a tenant, and was, in so far, a more useful inmate in his family than any of his sons, yet I was not willing to oblige Sir Hildebrand, by relieving him entirely from the management of his own affairs; so that, while the good knight admitted that nevoy Frank was a steady, handy lad, he seldom failed to remark in the same breath, that he did not think he should ha missed Rashleigh so much as he was like to do. As it is particularly unpleasant to reside in a family where we are at variance with any part of it, I made some efforts to overcome the illwill which my cousins entertained against me. I exchanged my laced hat for a jockey-cap, and made some progress in their opinion; I broke 115

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a young colt in a manner which carried me further into their good graces. A bet or two opportunely lost to Dickon, and an extra health pledged with Percie, placed me on an easy and familiar footing with all the young squires except Thorncliffe. I have already noticed the dislike entertained against me by this young fellow, who, as he had rather more sense, had also a much worse temper than any of his brethren. Sullen, dogged, and quarrelsome, he regarded my residence at Osbaldistone Hall as an intrusion, and viewed, with envious and jealous eyes, my intimacy with Diana Vernon, whom a certain family compact had assigned to him as an intended spouse. That he loved her could scarcely be said, at least without much misapplication of the word, but he regarded her as something appropriated to himself, and resented internally the interference which he knew not how to prevent or interrupt. I attempted a tone of conciliation towards Thorncliffe on several occasions, but he rejected my advances with a manner about as gracious as that of a growling mastiff which shuns and resents a stranger’s attempts to caress him. I therefore abandoned him to his ill-humour, and gave myself no farther trouble about the matter. Such was the footing upon which I stood with the family of Osbaldistone Hall, but I ought to mention another of its inmates with whom I occasionally held some discourse. This was Andrew Fairservice, the gardener, who (since he had discovered that I was a protestant), rarely suffered me to pass him without proffering his Scotch mull for a social pinch. There were several advantages attended this courtesy. In the first place, it was made at no expense, for I never used snuff; and, secondly, it afforded an excellent apology for Andrew (who was not particularly fond of hard labour) laying aside his spade for several minutes. But, above all, these brief interviews gave Andrew an opportunity of venting the news he had collected, or the satirical remarks which his shrewd northern humour suggested. “I am saying, sir,” he said to me one evening, with a face obviously loaded with intelligence, “I hae been doun at the Trinlayknowe.” “Well, Andrew, and I suppose you heard some news at the alehouse?” “Na, sir; I never gang to the yill-house—that is, unless ony neighbour was to gie me a pint, or the like o’ that—but to gang there on ane’s ain coat-tail, is a waste o’ precious time and hard-won siller.— But I was doun at the Trinlayknowe, as I was saying, about a wee bit business o’ my ain wi’ Mattie Simpson, that wants a forpit or twa o’ peers, that will ne’er be missed in the Ha’ house—and when we are at the thrangest o’ our bargain, wha suld come in but Pate Macready the travelling merchant.”

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“Pedlar, I suppose you mean?” “E’en as your honour likes to ca’ him, but it’s a creditable calling and a gainfu’, and has been lang in use wi’ our folk—Pate’s a far-awa cousin o’ mine, and we were blythe to meet wi’ ane another.” “And you went and had a jug of ale together, I suppose, Andrew— for Heaven’s sake, cut short your story.” “Bide a wee—bide a wee; you southron are aye in sic a hurry, and this is something concerns yoursell, an ye wad tak patience to hear’t— Yill?—deil a drap o’ yill did Pate offer me—but Mattie gae us baith a drap skimmed milk, and ane o’ her thick ait jannocks, that was as wat and raw as a divot.—O for the bonnie girdle cakes o’ the north!—and sae we sate doun and took out our clavers.” “I wish you would take them out just now—pray, tell me the news, if you have got any worth telling, for I can’t stop here all night.” “Than, if ye maun hae’t, the folks at Lunnon are a’ clean wood about this bit job in the north here.” “Clean wood! what’s that?” “Ou, just real daft—neither to haud nor to bind—a’ hirdy-girdy— clean through ither—the deil’s ower Jock Wabster.” “But what does all this mean? or what business have I with the devil or Jack Webster?” “Umph!” said Andrew, looking extremely knowing, “it’s just because—just that the dirdum’s a’ about yon man’s pokmanty.” “Whose portmanteau? or what do you mean?” “Ou, just the man Morris’s, that he said he lost yonder, but if it’s no your honour’s affair, as little is it mine, and I maunna lose this gracious evening.” And, as if suddenly seized with a violent fit of industry, Andrew began to labour most diligently. My attention, as the crafty knave had foreseen, was now arrested, and unwilling, at the same time, to acknowledge any particular interest in that affair, by asking direct questions, I stood waiting till the spirit of voluntary communication should again prompt him to resume his story. Andrew dug on manfully, and spoke at intervals, but nothing to the purpose of Mr Macready’s news, and I stood and listened, cursing him in my heart, and anxious, at the same time, to see how long his humour of contradiction would prevail over his desire of speaking upon the subject, which was obviously uppermost in his mind. “Am trenching up the spurry-grass, and am gaun to saw sum Misegun beans; they winna want them to their swine’s flesh, I’se warrant— mickle gude may it do them. And siclike dung as the grieve has gi’en me—it should be wheaten-strae, or aiten at the warst o’t, and it’s pease-dirt, as fissenless as chuckie-stanes. But the huntsman guides

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a’ as he likes about the stable-yard, and he’s selled the best of the lecter, I’se warrant. But howsomever, we manna lose a turn o’ this Saturday at e’en, for the wather’s sair broken, and if there’s a fair day in seven, Sunday’s sure to come and lick it up—Howsomever, I’m no denying that it may settle, if it be Heaven’s wull, till Monday morning, and what’s the use o’ my breaking my back at this rate—I think, I’ll e’en awa’ hame, for yon’s the curfew, as they ca’ their jowing-in bell.” Accordingly, applying both his hands to his spade, he pitched it upright in the trench which he had been digging, and looking at me with the air of superiority of one who knows himself possessed of important information, which he may communicate or refuse at his pleasure, pulled down the sleeves of his shirt, and walked slowly towards his coat, which lay carefully folded up upon a neighbouring garden-seat. “I must pay the penalty for having interrupted the tiresome rascal,” thought I to myself, “and even gratify Mr Fairservice by taking his communication on his own terms.” Then raising my voice, I addressed him. “And after all, Andrew, what are these London news you had from your kinsman, the travelling merchant?” “The pedlar, your honour means,” retorted Andrew—“but ca’ him what ye wull, they’re a great convenience in a country-side that’s scant o’ borough-towns, like this Northumberland—That’s no the case now, in Scotland—There’s the kingdom o’ Fife, frae Burrowstownness to the east nook, it’s just like ae great combined city—Sae mony royal boroughs yoked on end to end, like ropes of ingans, with their hie-streets, and their booths, nae doubt, and their cræmes, and houses of stane and lime and forestairs—Kirkaldy the sell o’t is langer than ony town in England.” “I dare say it is all very splendid and very fine—but you were talking of the London news a little while ago, Andrew.” “Ay,” replied Andrew; “but I didna think your honour cared to hear about them—howsoever,” (he continued, grinning a ghastly smile,) “Pate Macready does say, that they are a’ sair mistrysted yonder in their Parliament-House about this rubbery o’ Mr Morris, or whatever they ca’ the chiel.” “In the House of Parliament, Andrew! how came they to mention it there?” “Ow, that’s just what I said to Pate, if it like your honour. I’ll tell you the very words, it’s no worth making a lie for the matter—‘Pate,’ said I, ‘what ado had the lords and lairds and gentles at Lunnon wi’ the carle and his walise?—When we had a Scots Parliament, Pate,’ says I, (and deil rax their thrapples that reft us o’t,) ‘they sate dousely down and made laws for a haill country and kinrick, and never fashed their

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beards about things that were competent to the judge ordinar o’ the bounds; but I think,’ said I, ‘that if ae kail-wife pow’d aff her neighbour’s mutch, they wad hae the twasome o’ them into the ParliamentHouse o’ Lunnon. It’s just,’ said I, ‘amaist as silly as our auld daft laird here and his gomerils o’ sons, wi’ his huntsmen and his hounds, and his hunting cattle and horns, riding haill days after a bit beast that winna weigh sax punds when they hae catched it.’” “You argued most admirably, Andrew,” said I, willing to encourage him to get into the marrow of his intelligence; “and what said Pate?” “Ou, he said, what better cou’d be expectit of a whin pock-pudding English folk?—But as to the rubbery, it’s like that when they were a’ at the thrang o’ their Whig and Tory wark, and ca’ing ane anither, like unhanged blackguards, up gets ae lang-tongued chield, and he says, that a’ the north o’ England were rank jacobites, (and, quietly, he was na far wrang maybe) and that they had levied amaist open war, and a king’s messenger had been stoppit and rubbit on the highway—and that the best bluid o’ Northumberland had been at the doing o’t, and muckle gowd ta’en aff him, and mony valuable papers; and that there was nae redress to be gotten by remeid of law, for the first justice o’ the peace that the rubbit man gaed to, he had fund the twa lowns that did the deed birling and drinking wi’ him, wha but they; and the justice tuke the word o’ the tane for the compearance o’ the tither; and that they e’en gae him leg-bail, and the honest man that had lost his siller, was fain to leave the country for fear waur had come of it.” “Can this be really true?” said I. “Pate swears it’s as true as that his elwand is a yard lang—(and so it is, just bating an inch, that it may meet the English measure)—And when the chield had said his warst, there was a terrible cry for names, and out brings he wi’ this man Morris’s name, and your uncle’s, and Squire Inglewood, and other folk’s beside,” (looking sly at me)— “And then another dragon o’ a chield got up on the other side, and said, wad they accuse the best gentlemen in the land on the oath of a broken coward, for it’s like Morris had been drummed out o’ the army for rinning awa’ in Flanders; and he said, it was like the story had been made up between the minister and him or ever he left Lunnon, and that, if there was to be a search-warrant granted, he thought the siller wad be found somegate nearhand to St James’s Palace. Aweel, they trailed up Morris to their bar, as they ca’t, to see what he could say to the job, but the folk that were again him, gae him sic an awfu’ throughgang about his rinnin awa, and about a’ the ill he had ever dune and said for a’ the forepart o’ his life, that Patie says, he looked mair like ane dead than living; and they cou’dna gate a word o’ sense out o’ him, for downright fright at their gowling and rowting.—He maun be a saft

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sap, wi’ a head nae better than a fozy frosted turnip—it wad hae ta’en a hantle o’ them to hae scared Andrew Fairservice out o’ his tale.” “And how did it all end, Andrew? did your friend happen to learn?” “Ou, ay; for as his walk’s in this country, Pate put aff his jurney for the space of a week or thereby, because it wald be acceptable to his customers to bring doun the news. It just a’ gaed aff like moonshine in water. The fallow that began it drew in his horns and said, that though he believed the man had been rubbit, yet he acknowledged he had been mistrysted about the particulars. And then the ither chield got up, and said, he cared na whether Morris was rubbit or no, provided it wasna to become a stain on ony gentleman’s honour and reputation, especially in the north of England—for, said he before them, I come frae the north mysell, and I carena a boddle wha kens it. And this is what they ca’ explaining—the tane gies up a bit, and the tither gies up a bit, and a’ friends again. Aweel, after the Commons’ Parliament had tuggit, and rived, and ruggit at Morris and his rubbery till they were weary o’t, the Lords’ Parliament they behoved to hae their spell o’t. In puir auld Scotland’s Parliament they a’ sate thegither, cheek for chowle, and than they did na need to hae the same blethers twice ower again. But till’t their lordships gaed wi’ as muckle teeth and gude will, as if the matter had been a’ speck and span new. Forbye, there was something said about ane Campbell, that suld hae been concerned in the rubbery, mair or less, and that he suld hae had a warrant frae the Duke of Argyle, like a testimonial o’ his character. And this put MacCallummore’s beard in a bleize, as gude reason there was—And he gat up wi’ an unco bang, and gar’d them a’ look about them, and wad ram it even doun their throats, there was never ane o’ the name of Campbell but was as wight, wise, warlike, and worthy trust, as auld Sir John the Græme. Now, if your honour’s sure ye are na a drap’s blude a-kin to a Campbell, as I amna mysell, sae far as I can count my kin, or hae had it counted to me, I’ll gie you my mind on that matter.” “You may be assured I have no connection whatever with any gentleman of the name.” “Ou, than we may speak it quietly amang oursells.—There’s baith gude and bad o’ the Campbells, like other names. But this MacCallummore has an unco sway and say baith amang the grit folks at Lunnon just now, for he canna preceesely be said to belang to ony o’ the twa sides o’ them, sae deil ane o’ them likes to quarrel wi’ him; sae they e’en voted Morris’s tale a fause calumnious libel, as they ca’t, and if he hadna gi’en them leg-bail, he was likely to hae taen the air on the pillory for leasing-making.” So speaking, honest Andrew collected his dibbles, spades, and

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hoes, and threw them into a wheel-barrow, leisurely, however, and allowing me full time to put any farther questions which might occur to me before he trundled them off to the tool-house, there to repose during the ensuing day. I thought it best to speak out at once, lest this meddling fellow should suppose there was more weighty reason for my silence than actually existed. “I should like to see this countryman of yours, Andrew, and to hear his news from himself directly. You have probably heard that I had some trouble from the impertinent folly of this man Morris,” (Andrew grinned a most significant grin); “and I should like to see your cousin the merchant, to ask him the particulars of what he heard in London, if it could be done without much trouble.” “Naething mair easy,” Andrew observed; “he had but to hint to his cousin that I wanted a pair or twa o’ hose, and he wad be wi’ me as fast as he could lay leg to the grund.” “O yes, assure him I shall be a customer, and as the night is, as you say, settled and fair, I shall walk in the garden until he comes—the moon will soon rise over the fells. You may bring him to the little back gate, and I shall have pleasure, in the meanwhile, in looking on the bushes and evergreens by the bright frosty moon-light.” “Vara right, vara right—that’s what I hae aften said—a kail-blade, or a colliflour, glances sae glegly by moon-light—it’s like a leddy in her diamonds.” So saying, off went Andrew Fairservice with great glee. He had to walk about two miles, a labour he undertook with the greatest pleasure, in order to secure his kinsman the sale of some articles of his trade, though it is probable he would not have given sixpence to treat him to a quart of ale. The good-will of an Englishman would have displayed itself in a manner exactly the reverse of Andrew’s, thought I, as I paced along the smooth cut velvet walks, which, embowered with high hedges of yew and of holly, intersected the ancient garden of Osbaldistone Hall. As I turned to retrace my steps, it was natural that I should lift up my eyes to the windows of the old library, which, small in size, but several in number, stretched along the second story of that side of the house which now faced me. Light glanced from their casements. I was not surprised at this, for I knew Miss Vernon often sate there in an evening, though from motives of delicacy I put a strong restraint on myself, and never sought to join her at a time when I knew, all the rest of the family being engaged for the evening, our interviews must necessarily have been strictly tête-a-tête. In the mornings we usually read together in the same room, but then it often happened that one or other of our cousins entered to seek some parchment duodecimo that

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could be converted into a fishing-book, despite its gildings and illumination, or to tell us of some “sport toward,” or from mere want of knowing where else to dispose of themselves. In short, in the mornings the library was a sort of public-room, where man and woman might meet as on neutral ground. In the evening it was very different, and, bred in a country where much attention is paid, or was at least then paid, to bien-seance, I was desirous to think for Miss Vernon concerning those points of propriety where her experience did not afford her the means of thinking for herself. I made her therefore comprehend, as delicately as I could, that when we had evening lessons, the presence of a third party was proper. Miss Vernon first laughed, then blushed, and was disposed to be displeased; and then, suddenly checking herself, said, “I believe you are very right; and when I feel inclined to be a very busy scholar, I will bribe old Martha with a cup of tea to sit by me and be my screen.” Martha, the old housekeeper, partook of the taste of the family at the Hall. A toast and tankard would have pleased her better than all the tea in China. However, as the use of this beverage was then confined to the higher ranks, Martha felt some vanity in being asked to partake of it, and by dint of a great deal of sugar, many words scarce less sweet, and abundance of toast and butter, she was sometimes prevailed upon to give us her countenance. Upon other occasions, the servants almost unanimously shunned the library after night-fall, because it was their foolish pleasure to believe that it lay on the haunted side of the house. The more timorous had seen sights and heard sounds there when all the rest of the house was quiet, and even the young squires were far from having any wish to enter these formidable precincts after night-fall without necessity. That the library had at one time been a favourite resort of Rashleigh,—that a private door out of one side of it communicated with the sequestered and remote apartment which he chose for himself, rather increased than disarmed the terrors which the dreaded library had for the household of Osbaldistone Hall. His extensive information as to what passed in the world, his profound knowledge of science of every kind, a few physical experiments which he occasionally shewed off, were, in a house of so much ignorance and bigotry, a good reason for supposing him endowed with powers over the spiritual world. He understood Greek, Latin, and Hebrew; and, therefore, according to the apprehension, and in the phrase, of his brother Wilfred, needed not to care “for ghaist or barghaist, devil or dobbie.” Yea, the servants persisted that they had heard him hold conversations in the library, when every versal soul in the family were gone to bed, and that he spent the night in watching for bogles, and the morning in

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sleeping in his bed, when he should have been heading the hounds like a true Osbaldistone. All these absurd rumours I had heard in broken hints and imperfect sentences, from which I was left to draw the inference, and, as may easily be supposed, I laughed them to scorn. But the extreme solitude to which this chamber of evil fame was committed every night after curfew time, was an additional reason why I should not intrude on Miss Vernon when she chose to sit there on an evening. To resume what I was saying, I was not surprised to see a glimmering of light from the library windows, but I was a little struck when I distinctly perceived the shadow of two persons pass along and intercept the light from the first of the windows, throwing the casement for a moment into shade. It must be old Martha, thought I, whom Diana has engaged to be her companion for the evening, or I must have been mistaken, and taken Diana’s for a double shadow—No, by Heaven— it appears on the second window, two figures distinctly traced—and now it is lost again—it is seen on the third—on the fourth—the darkened forms of two persons distinctly seen on each window as they pass along the room, betwixt the windows and the lights. Whom can Diana have got for a companion?—The passage of the shadows between the lights and the casements was twice repeated, as if to satisfy me that my observation served me truly, after which the lights were extinguished, and the shades, of course, were seen no more. Trifling as this circumstance was, it occupied my mind for a considerable time. I did not allow myself to suppose, that my friendship for Miss Vernon had any directly selfish view, yet it is incredible the displeasure I felt at the idea of her admitting any one to private interviews at a time, and in a place, where, for her own sake, I had been at some trouble to shew her, that it was improper for me to meet with her. “Silly, romping, incorrigible girl!” said I to myself, “on whom all good advice and delicacy are thrown away. I have been cheated by the simplicity of her manner, which I suppose she can assume just as she could a straw-bonnet, were it the fashion, for the mere sake of celebrity. I suppose, notwithstanding the excellence of her understanding, the society of half a dozen of clowns to play at whisk and swabbers would give her more pleasure than if Ariosto himself were to awake from the dead.” This reflection came the more powerfully across my mind, because, having mustered up courage to shew to Diana my version of the first books of Ariosto, I had requested her to invite Martha to a tea-party in the library that evening, to which arrangement Miss Vernon had refused her consent, alleging some apology which I thought frivolous

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at the time. I had not long speculated on this disagreeable subject, when the back garden-door opened, and the figures of Andrew and his country-man, bending under his pack, crossed the moonlight alley, and called my attention elsewhere. I found Mr Macready, as I expected, a tough, sagacious, longheaded Scotchman, and a collector of news both from choice and profession. He was able to give me a distinct account of what had passed both in the House of Commons and House of Lords upon the affair of Morris, which, it appears, had been made by both parties a touchstone to ascertain the temper of the Parliament. It appeared also, that, as I had learned from Andrew by second hand, the ministry had proved too weak to support a story, involving the character of men of rank and importance, and resting upon the credit of a person of such indifferent fame as Morris, who was, moreover, confused and contradictory in his mode of telling the story. Macready was even able to supply me with a copy of a printed journal, or news-letter, then seldom extending beyond the capital, in which the substance of the debate was mentioned; and with a copy of the Duke of Argyle’s speech, printed upon a broadside, of which he had purchased several from the hawkers, because, he said, it would be a saleable article on the north of the Tweed. The first was a meagre statement, full of blanks and asterisks, and which added little or nothing to the information I had from the Scotchman; and the Duke’s speech, though spirited and eloquent, contained chiefly a panegyric on his country, his family, and his clan, with a few compliments, equally sincere, perhaps, though less glowing, which he took so favourable an opportunity of paying to himself. I could not learn whether my own reputation had been directly implicated, although I perceived that the honour of my uncle’s family had been impeached, and that this person Campbell, stated by Morris to have been the most active robber of the two by whom he was assaulted, was said by him to have appeared in behalf of a Mr Osbaldistone, and, by the connivance of the Justice, procured his liberation. In this particular, Morris’s story jumped with my own suspicions, which had attached to Campbell from the moment I saw him appear at Justice Inglewood’s. Vexed upon the whole, as well as perplexed with this extraordinary story, I dismissed the two Scotchmen, after making some purchases from Macready, and a small compliment to Fairservice, and retired to my own apartment to consider what I ought to do in defence of my character, thus publicly attacked.

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Chapter Two Whence, and what art thou? M

A               a sleepless night in meditating on the intelligence I had received, I was at first inclined to think that I ought, as speedily as possible, to return to London, and by my open appearance to repel the calumny which had been spread against me. But I hesitated to take this course on recollection of my father’s disposition, singularly absolute in his decisions as to all that concerned his family. He was most able certainly, from experience, to direct what I ought to do, and from his acquaintance with the most distinguished Whigs then in power, had the full capacity of obtaining a hearing for my cause. So, upon the whole, I judged it most safe to state my whole story in the shape of a narrative, addressed to my father; and as the ordinary opportunities of intercourse between the Hall and the post recurred rarely, I determined to ride over myself to the town, which was about ten miles distance, and deposit my letter in the post-office with my own hands. Indeed I began to think it strange, that though several weeks had now elapsed since my departure from home, I had received no letter, either from my father or Owen, although Rashleigh had written to Sir Hildebrand of his safe arrival in London, and of the kind reception he had met with from his uncle. Admitting that I might have been to blame, I did not deserve, in my own opinion at least, to be so totally forgotten by my father, and I thought my present excursion might have the effect of bringing a letter from him to my hand more early than it would otherwise have reached me. But before concluding my letter concerning the affair of Morris, I failed not to express my earnest hope and wish that my father would honour me with a few lines, were it but to express his advice and commands in an affair of some difficulty, and where my knowledge of life could not be supposed adequate to my own guidance. I found it impossible to prevail on myself to urge my actual return to London as a place of residence, and I disguised my unwillingness to do so under an apparent submission to my father’s will, which, as I imposed it on myself as a sufficient reason for not urging my final departure from Osbaldistone Hall, would, I doubted not, be received as such by my parent. But I begged permission to come to London, for a short time at least, to meet and refute the infamous calumnies, which had been circulated concerning me in so public a manner. Having made up my

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packet, in which my earnest desire to vindicate my character was strangely blended with reluctance to quit my present place of residence, I rode over to the post-town, and deposited my letter in the office. By doing so, I obtained possession, somewhat earlier than I would otherwise have done, of the following letter from my friend Mr Owen. “D    M  F       , “Your’s received per favour of Mr R. Osbaldistone, and note the contents. Shall do Mr R. O. such civilities as are in my power, and have taken him to see the Bank and Custom-house. He seems a sober, steady young gentleman, and takes to business, so will be of service to the firm—could have wished another person had turned his mind that way, but God’s will be done. As cash may be scarce in those parts, have to trust you will excuse my inclosing a goldsmith’s bill at six days’ sight, on Messrs Hooper and Girder of Newcastle, per £100, which doubt not will be duly honoured.—I remain, as in duty bound, dear Mr Frank, your very respectful and obedient servant, “J      O    .” “Postscriptum.—Hope you will advise the above coming safe to hand. Am sorry we have so few of yours. Your father says he is as usual, but looks poorly.” From this epistle, written in old Owen’s formal style, I was rather surprised to observe that he made no acknowledgment of that private letter which I had written to him, with a view to possess him of Rashleigh’s real character, although, from the course of post, it seemed certain that he ought to have received it. Yet I had sent it by the usual conveyance from the Hall, and had no reason to suspect that it could miscarry upon the road. As it comprised matters of great importance, both to my father and myself, I sate down in the postoffice, and again wrote to Owen, re-capitulating the heads of my former letter, and requesting to know, in course of post, if it had reached him in safety. I also acknowledged the receipt of the bill, and promised to make use of the contents, should I have any occasion for money. I thought, indeed, it was odd that my father should leave the care of supplying my necessities to his clerk, but I concluded it was a matter arranged between them. At any rate, Owen was a bachelor, rich in his way, and passionately attached to me, so that I had no hesitation in being obliged to him for a small sum, which I resolved to consider as a loan, to be returned with my earliest ability, in case it was not previously repaid by my father; and I expressed myself to this purpose

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to Mr Owen. A shop-keeper in the little town, to whom the postmaster directed me, readily gave me in gold the amount of my bill on Messrs Hooper and Girder, so that I returned to Osbaldistone Hall a good deal richer than I had set forth. This recruit to my finances was not a matter of indifference to me, as I was necessarily involved in some expenses at Osbaldistone Hall, and I had seen, with some uneasy impatience, that the sum which my travelling expenses had left unexhausted at my arrival there, was imperceptibly diminishing. This source of anxiety was for the present removed. On my arrival at the Hall, I found Sir Hildebrand and all his offspring had gone down to the little hamlet, called Trinlayknowe, “to see,” as Andrew Fairservice expressed it, “a wheen midden-cocks pike ilk ithers harns out.” “It is, indeed, a brutal amusement, Andrew—I suppose you have none such in Scotland?” “Na, na,” answered Andrew boldly; then shaded away his negative with, “unless it be on Fastern’s-e’en, or the like o’ that—But indeed it’s no mickle matter what folk do to the midden pootry, for they had siccan a skarting and scraping in the yard, that there’s nae getting a bean or a pea keepit for them.—But I am wondering what it is that leaves that turret-door open; now that Mr Rashleigh’s away, it canna be him, I trow.” The turret-door, to which he alluded, opened to the garden at the bottom of a winding stair, leading down from Mr Rashleigh’s apartment. This, as I have already noticed, was situated in a sequestered part of the house, communicating with the library by a private entrance, and by another intricate and dark vaulted passage with the rest of the house. A long narrow turf-walk led, between two high holly hedges, from the turret-door to a little postern in the wall of the garden. By means of these communications, Rashleigh, whose movements were very independent of those of the rest of his family, could leave the Hall or return to it at pleasure, without his absence or presence attracting any observation. But during his absence the stair and the turret-door were entirely disused, and this made Andrew’s observation somewhat remarkable. “Have you often observed that door open?” was my question. “No just that often neither; but I hae noticed it ance or twice—I’m thinking it maun hae been the priest, Father Vaughan, as they ca’ him. Ye’ll no catch ane o’ the servants ganging up that stair, puir frightened heathens that they are, for fear o’ bogles, and brownies, and lang nebbit things frae the neist warld. But Father Vaughan thinks himsell a privileged person—set him up and lay him down!—I’se be caution the warst stibbler that ever stickit a sermon out ower the Tweed

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yonder, wad lay a ghaist twice as fast as him, wi’ his haly water and his idolatrous trinkets. I dinna believe he speaks gude Latin neither; at least he disna take me up when I tell him the learned names of the plants.” Of Father Vaughan, who divided his time and his ghostly care between Osbaldistone Hall, and about half a dozen mansions of catholic gentlemen in the neighbourhood, I have as yet said nothing, for I had seen but little. He was aged about sixty, of a good family, as I was given to understand, in the north; of a striking and imposing presence, grave in his exterior, and much respected among the catholics of Northumberland, as a worthy and upright man. Yet Father Vaughan did not altogether lack those peculiarities which distinguish his order. There hung about him an air of mystery, which, in protestant eyes, savoured of priestcraft. The natives (such they might be well termed) of Osbaldistone Hall, looked up to him with much more fear or at least awe, than affection. His condemnation of their revels was evident, from their being discontinued in some measure when the priest was a resident at the Hall. Even Sir Hildebrand himself put some restraint upon his conduct at such times, which, perhaps, rendered Father Vaughan’s presence rather irksome than otherwise. He had the well-bred, insinuating, and almost flattering address, peculiar to the clergy of his persuasion, especially in England, where the lay catholic, hemmed in by penal laws, and by the restrictions of his sect and recommendations of his pastor, often exhibits a reserved, and almost a timid manner, in the society of protestants; while the priest, privileged by his order to mingle with persons of all creeds, is open, alert, and liberal in his intercourse with them, desirous of popularity, and usually skilful in the mode of obtaining it. Father Vaughan was a particular acquaintance of Rashleigh, otherwise, in all probability, he would scarce have been able to maintain his footing at Osbaldistone Hall. This gave me no desire to cultivate his intimacy, nor did he seem to make any advances towards mine, so our occasional intercourse was confined to the interchange of mere civility. I considered it as extremely probable that Mr Vaughan might occupy Rashleigh’s apartment during his occasional residence at the Hall, and his profession rendered it likely that he should occasionally be a tenant of the library. Nothing was more probable than that it might have been his candle which had excited my attention on a preceding evening. This led me involuntarily to recollect that the intercourse between Miss Vernon and the priest was marked with something like the same mystery which characterized her communications with Rashleigh. I had never heard her mention Vaughan’s name, or even allude to him, excepting on the occasion of our first

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meeting, when she mentioned the old priest and Rashleigh as the only conversible beings, besides herself, in Osbaldistone Hall. Yet though so silent with respect to Father Vaughan, his arrival at the Hall never failed to impress Miss Vernon with an anxious and fluttering tremor, which lasted until they had exhanged one or two significant glances. Whatever the mystery might be which overclouded the destinies of this beautiful and interesting female, it was clear that Father Vaughan was implicated in it, unless, indeed, I could suppose that he was the agent employed to procure her settlement in the cloister, in the event of her rejecting a union with either of my cousins,—an office which would sufficiently account for her obvious emotion at his appearance. As to the rest, they did not seem either to converse much together, or even to seek each other’s society. Their league, if any subsisted betwixt them, was of a tacit and understood nature, operating on their actions without any necessity of speech. I recollected, however, on reflection, that I had once or twice discovered signs pass betwixt them, which I had at the time supposed to bear reference to some hint concerning Miss Vernon’s religious observances, knowing how artfully the catholic clergy maintain, at all times and seasons, their influence over the mind of their followers. But now I was disposed to assign to these communications a deeper and more mysterious import. Did he hold private meetings with Miss Vernon in the library? was a question which occupied my thoughts; and if so, for what purpose? And why should she have admitted an intimate of the deceitful Rashleigh to such close confidence? These questions and difficulties pressed on my mind with an interest which was greatly increased by the impossibility of resolving them. I had already begun to suspect that my friendship for Diana Vernon was not altogether so disinterested as in wisdom it ought to have been. I had already felt myself becoming jealous of the contemptible lout Thorncliffe, and taking more notice, than in prudence or dignity of feeling I ought to have done, of his silly attempts to provoke me. And now I was scrutinizing the conduct of Miss Vernon with the most close and eager observation, which I in vain endeavoured to palm on myself as the offspring of idle curiosity. All these, like Benedick’s brushing his hat of a morning, were signs that the sweet youth was in love; and while my judgment still denied that I had been guilty of forming an attachment so imprudent, she resembled those ignorant guides, who, when they have led the traveller and themselves into irretrievable error, persist in obstinately affirming it to be impossible that they can have missed the way.

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Chapter Three It happened one day about noon, going to my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man’s naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand. Robinson Crusoe

W              feelings of interest and jealousy which were engendered by Miss Vernon’s singular situation, my observation of her looks and actions became acutely sharpened, and that to a degree, which, notwithstanding my efforts to conceal it, could not escape her penetration. The sense that she was observed, or, more properly speaking, that she was watched by my looks, seemed to give Diana a mixture of embarrassment, pain, and pettishness. At times it seemed that she sought an opportunity of resenting a conduct which she could not but feel as offensive, considering the frankness with which she had mentioned the difficulties that surrounded her. At other times she seemed prepared to expostulate upon the subject. But either her courage failed, or some other sentiment impeded her seeking an eclaircissement. Her displeasure evaporated in repartee, and her expostulations died on her lips. We stood in a singular relation to each other, spending, and by mutual choice, much of our time in close society with each other, yet disguising our mutual sentiments, and jealous of, or offended by, each other’s actions. There was betwixt us intimacy without confidence; on one side love without hope or purpose, and curiosity without any rational or justifiable motive; and on the other, embarrassment and doubt, occasionally mingled with displeasure. Yet I believe that this agitation of the passions, such is the nature of the human bosom, as it continued by a thousand irritating and interesting, though petty circumstances, to render Miss Vernon and me the constant objects of each other’s thoughts, tended, upon the whole, to increase the affection with which we were naturally disposed to regard each other. But although my vanity early discovered that my presence at Osbaldistone Hall had given Diana some additional reason for disliking the cloister, I could by no means confide in an affection which seemed completely subordinate to the mysteries of her singular situation. Miss Vernon was of a character far too formed and determined, to permit her love for me to overpower either her sense of duty or of prudence, and she gave me a proof of this in a conversation which we had together about this period. We were sitting together in the library I have so often mentioned. Miss Vernon, in turning over a copy of the Orlando Furioso, which belonged to me, shook a piece of written paper from between the

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leaves. I hastened to lift it, but she prevented me. “It is verse,” she said, glancing at the paper and then unfolding it, but as if to wait my answer before proceeding—“May I take the liberty —nay, if you blush and stammer, I must do violence to your modesty, and suppose that permission is granted.” “It is not worthy your persual—a scrap of a translation—my dear Miss Vernon, it would be too severe a trial, that you, who understand the original so well, should sit in judgment.” “Mine honest friend,” replied Diana, “do not, if you will be guided by my advice, bait your hook with too much humility, for, ten to one, it will not catch a single compliment. You know I belong to the unpopular family of Tell-truths, and would not flatter Apollo for his lyre.” She proceeded to read the first stanza, which was nearly to the following purpose:— “Ladies, and knights, and arms, and love’s fair flame, Deeds of emprize and courtesy, I sing; What time the Moors from sultry Africk came, Led on by Agramant, their youthful king— He whom Revenge and hasty Ire did bring O’er the broad wave, in France to waste and war; Such ills from old Trojano’s death did spring, Which to avenge he came from realms afar, And menaced Christian Charles, the Roman Emperor. “Of dauntless Roland, too, my strain shall sound, In import never known in prose or rhyme, How he, the chief of judgment deem’d profound, For luckless love was crazed upon a time—

“There is a great deal of it,” said she, glancing along the paper, and interrupting the sweetest sounds which mortal ears can drink in,— those of a youthful poet’s verses, namely, read by the lips which are dearest to them. “Much more than ought to engage your attention, Miss Vernon,” said I, something mortified; and I took the verses from her unreluctant hand—“and yet,” I continued, “shut up as I am in this retired situation, I have felt some times I could not amuse myself better than by carrying on, merely for my own amusement you will of course understand, the version of this fascinating author, which I began some months since, when I was on the banks of the Garonne.” “The question would only be,” said Diana, gravely, “whether you could not spend your time to better purpose?” “You mean in original composition,” said I, greatly flattered; “but to say truth, my genius rather lies in finding words and rhymes than ideas, and, therefore, I am happy to use those which Ariosto has prepared to my hand. However, Miss Vernon, with the encouragement you give—”

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“Pardon me, Frank; it is encouragement not of my giving, but of your taking. I meant neither original composition nor translation, since I think you might employ your time to far better purpose than in either. You are mortified,” she continued, “and I am sorry to be the cause.” “Not mortified—certainly not mortified,” said I, (with the best grace I could muster, and it was but indifferently assumed;) “I am too much obliged by the interest you take in me.” “Nay, but,” resumed the relentless Diana, “there is both mortification and a little grain of anger in that constrained tone of voice—do not be angry if I probe your feelings to the bottom—perhaps what I am about to say will affect them still more.” I felt the childishness of my own conduct, and the superior manliness of Miss Vernon’s, and assured her, that she need not fear my wincing under criticism which I knew to be kindly meant. “That was honestly meant and said,” she replied; “I knew full well that the fiend of poetical irritability flew away with the little preluding cough which ushered in the declaration. And now I must be serious— Have you heard from your father lately?” “Not a word,” I replied; “he has not honoured me with a single line during the several months of my residence here.” “That is strange—you are a singular race, you bold Osbaldistones. Then you are not aware that he has gone to Holland to arrange some pressing affairs which required his own immediate presence.” “I never heard a word of it until this moment.” “And further, it must be news to you, and I presume scarcely the most agreeable, that he has left Rashleigh in the almost uncontrolled management of his affairs until his return?” I started, and could not suppress my surprise and apprehension. “You have reason for alarm,” said Miss Vernon, very gravely; “and were I you, I would endeavour to meet and obviate the dangers which arise from so undesirable an arrangement.” “And how is it possible for me to do so?” “Every thing is possible to him who possesses courage and activity,” said she, with a look resembling one of those heroines of the age of chivalry, whose encouragement was wont to give champions double courage at the hour of need. “And to the timid and hesitating every thing is impossible, because it seems so.” “And what would you advise, Miss Vernon?” I replied, wishing, yet dreading to hear her answer. She paused a moment, and then said firmly,—“That you instantly leave Osbaldistone Hall, and return to London. You have perhaps already,” she continued, in a softer tone, “been here too long—that

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fault was not yours—every succeeding moment you waste here will be a crime—yes a crime—for I tell you plainly, that if Rashleigh long manages your father’s affairs, you may consider his ruin as consummated.” “How is this possible?” “Ask no questions,” she said; “but, believe me—Rashleigh’s views extend far beyond the possession or increase of commercial wealth: he will only make the command of your father’s revenues and property the means of putting in motion his own ambitious and extensive schemes. While your father was in Britain this was impossible— during his absence, Rashleigh will possess many opportunities, and he will not neglect to use them.” “But how can I, in disgrace with my father, and divested of all controul over his affairs, prevent this danger by my mere presence in London?” “That presence alone will do much—your claim to interfere is a part of your birthright, and is inalienable. You will have the countenance, doubtless, of your father’s head-clerk, and confidential friends and partners—above all, Rashleigh’s schemes are of a nature that”— (she stopped abruptly, as if fearful of saying too much)—“are, in short,” she resumed, “of the nature of all selfish and unconscientious plans, which are speedily abandoned so soon as those who frame them perceive their arts are discovered and watched. Therefore, in the language of your favourite poet— To horse! to horse! urge doubts to those that fear.”

A feeling, irresistible in its impulse, induced me to reply,—“Ah! Diana, can you give me advice to leave Osbaldistone Hall?—then indeed I have already been a resident here too long.” Miss Vernon coloured, but proceeded with great firmness. “Indeed, I do give you this advice—not only to quit Osbaldistone Hall, but never to return to it more. You have only one friend to regret here,” she continued, forcing a smile, “and she has been long accustomed to sacrifice her friendships and her comforts to the welfare of others—in the world you will meet an hundred whose friendship will be as disinterested—more useful—less encumbered by untoward circumstances —less influenced by evil tongues and evil times.” “Never!” I exclaimed, “Never! the world can afford me nothing to repay what I must leave behind me.” Here I took her hand, and pressed it to my lips. “This is folly!” she exclaimed—“This is madness!” and she struggled to withdraw her hand from my grasp, but not so stubbornly as actually to succeed, until I had held it for nearly a minute. “Hear

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me, sir!” she said, “and curb this unmanly burst of passion. I am, by a solemn contract, the bride of Heaven, unless I could prefer being wedded to villainy in the person of Rashleigh Osbaldistone, or brutality in that of his brother. I am, therefore, the wife of Heaven, betrothed to the convent from my cradle. To me, therefore, these raptures are misapplied—they only serve to prove a further necessity for your departure, and that without delay.” At these words she broke suddenly off, and said, but in a suppressed tone of voice, “Leave me instantly— we will meet here again, but it must be for the last time.” My eyes followed the direction of hers as she spoke, and I thought I saw the tapestry shake, which covered the door of the secret passage from Rashleigh’s room to the library. I conceived we were observed, and turned an enquiring glance on Miss Vernon. “It is nothing,” she said, faintly; “a rat behind the arras.” “Dead for a ducat,” would have been my reply, had I dared to give way to my feelings, which rose indignant at the idea of being subjected to an eve’s-dropper on such an occasion. Prudence, and the necessity of suppressing my passion, and obeying Diana’s reiterated command of “Leave me! leave me!” came in time to prevent any rash action. I left the apartment in a wild whirl and giddiness of mind, which I in vain attempted to compose when I retired to my own. A chaos of thoughts intruded themselves on me at once, passing hastily through my mind, intercepting and overshadowing each other, and resembling those fogs which in mountain countries are wont to descend in obscure volumes, and disfigure or obliterate the usual marks by which the traveller steers his course through the wilds. The dark and undefined idea of danger arising to my father from the machinations of such a man as Rashleigh Osbaldistone,—the halfdeclaration of love which I had offered to Miss Vernon’s acceptance, —the acknowledged difficulties of her situation, bound by a previous contract to sacrifice herself to a cloister, or to an ill-assorted marriage, —all pressed themselves at once upon my recollection, while my judgment was unable deliberately to consider any of them in its just light and bearings. But chiefly, and above all the rest, I was perplexed by the manner in which Miss Vernon had received my tender of affection, and by her manner, which, fluctuating betwixt sympathy and firmness, seemed to intimate that I possessed an interest in her bosom, but not of force sufficient to counterbalance the obstacles to her avowing a mutual affection. The glance of fear, rather than surprise, with which she had watched the motion of the tapestry over the concealed door, implied an apprehension of danger which I could not but suppose well grounded, for Diana Vernon was little subject to the nervous emotions of her sex, and totally unapt to fear without actual

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and rational cause. Of what nature could these mysteries be with which she was surrounded as with an enchanter’s spell, and which seemed continually to exert an active influence over her thoughts and actions, though their agents were never visible? On this subject of doubt my mind finally rested, as if glad to shake itself free from investigating the propriety or prudence of my own conduct, by transferring the enquiry to what concerned Miss Vernon. I will be resolved, I concluded, ere I leave Osbaldistone Hall, concerning the light in which I must in future regard this fascinating being, over whose life frankness and mystery seem to have divided their reign, the former inspiring her words and sentiments, the latter spreading its misty influence over all her actions. Joined to the obvious interest which arose from curiosity and anxious passion, there mingled in my feelings a strong, though unavowed and undefined infusion of jealousy. This sentiment, which springs up with love as naturally as the tares with the wheat, was excited by the degree of influence which Diana appeared to concede to those unseen beings by whom her actions were limited. The more I reflected upon her character, the more I was internally, though unwillingly, convinced, that she was like to set at defiance all controul, excepting that which arose from affection; and I felt a strong, bitter, and gnawing suspicion, that such was the foundation of that influence by which she was overawed. These tormenting doubts strengthened my desire to penetrate into the secret of Miss Vernon’s conduct, and in prosecution of this sage adventure, I formed a resolution, of which, if you are not weary of these details, you will find the result in the next chapter.

Chapter Four I hear a voice you cannot hear, Which says, I must not stay; I see a hand you cannot see, Which beckons me away. T

I   told you, Tresham, if you deign to bear it in remembrance, that my evening visits to the library had seldom been made excepting by appointment, and under the sanction of old Dame Martha’s presence. This, however, was entirely a tacit conventional arrangement of my own instituting. Of late, as the embarrassments of our relative situation had increased, Miss Vernon and I had never met in the evening at all. She had therefore no reason to suppose that I was

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likely to seek a renewal of these interviews, and especially without some previous notice or appointment betwixt us, that Martha might, as usual, be placed upon duty. But, on the other hand, this cautionary provision was a matter of understanding, not of express enactment. The library was open to me, as to the other members of the family, at all hours of the day and night, and I could not be accused of intrusion, however suddenly and unexpectedly I might make my appearance in it. My belief was strong, that in this apartment Miss Vernon occasionally received Vaughan, or some other person, by whose opinion she was accustomed to regulate her conduct, and that at the times when she could do so with least chance of interruption. The lights which gleamed in the library at unusual hours,—the passing shadows which I had myself remarked,—the footsteps which might be traced in the morning dew from the turret-door to the postern-gate of the garden, —sounds and sights which some of the servants, and Andrew Fairservice in particular, had observed and accounted for in their own way, all went to shew that the place was visited by some one different from its ordinary inmates. Connected as this visitant must probably be with the fates of Diana Vernon, I did not hesitate to form a plan of discovering who or what he was,—how far his influence was likely to produce good or evil consequences to her on whom he acted—above all, though I endeavoured to persuade myself that this was a mere subordinate consideration,—above all, I desired to know by what means this person had acquired or maintained his influence over Diana, and whether he ruled over her by fear or by affection. The proof that this jealous curiosity was uppermost in my mind, arose from my imagination always ascribing Miss Vernon’s conduct to the influence of some one individual agent, although, for aught I knew about the matter, her advisers might be as numerous as Legion. I remarked this over and over to myself, but I found that my mind still settled back in my original conviction, that one single individual, of the masculine sex, and, in all probability, young and handsome, was at the bottom of Miss Vernon’s mysterious conduct. And it was with a burning desire of discovering, or rather of detecting, such a rival, that, escaping from the dinner table at an hour even earlier than usual, I stationed myself in the garden to watch the moment when the lights should appear in the library windows. So eager, however, was my impatience, that I commenced my watch for a phenomenon, which could not appear until darkness, a full hour before the daylight disappeared, upon a July evening. It was Sabbath, and all the walks were still and solitary. I walked up and down for some time enjoying the refreshing coolness of a summer evening, and meditating on the probable consequences of my enterprise. The fresh and

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balmy air of the garden, impregnated with fragrance, produced its usual sedative effects on my over-heated and feverish blood, and as these took place, the turmoil of my mind began proportionally to abate, and I was led to question the right I had to interfere with Miss Vernon’s secrets, or with those of my uncle’s family. What was it to me whom my uncle might chuse to conceal in his house, where I was myself a guest only by tolerance? And what title had I to pry into the affairs of Miss Vernon, fraught, as she had avowed them to be, with mystery, into which she desired no scrutiny? Passion and self-will were ready with their answers to these questions. In detecting this secret guest, I was in all probability about to do service to Sir Hildebrand, who was probably ignorant of the intrigues carried on in his family, and a still more important service to Miss Vernon, whose frank simplicity of character exposed her to so many risks in maintaining a private correspondence, perhaps with a person of doubtful or dangerous character. If I seemed to intrude myself on her confidence, it was with the generous and disinterested (yes, I even ventured to call it the disinterested) intention of guiding, defending, and protecting her against craft,—against malice,—above all, against the secret counsellor whom she had chosen for her confidant. Such were the arguments which my will boldly preferred to my conscience, as coin which ought to be current, and which conscience, like a grumbling shopkeeper, was contented to accept, rather than come to an open breach with a customer, though more than doubting that the tender was spurious. While I paced the green alleys, debating these things pro and con, I suddenly lighted upon Andrew Fairservice, perched up like a statue by a range of bee-hives, in an attitude of devout contemplation, one eye, however, watching the motions of the little irritable citizens, who were settling in their straw-thatched mansion for the evening, and the other fixed on a book of devotion, which much attrition had deprived of its corners, and worn into an oval shape; a circumstance, which, with the close print and dingy colour of the volume in question, gave it an air of most respectable antiquity. “I was e’en taking a spell o’ worthy Mess John Quackleben’s Flower of a Sweet Savour sawn on the Middenstead of this World,” said Andrew, closing his book at my appearance, and putting his horn spectacles, by way of mark, at the place where he had been reading. “And the bees, I observe, were dividing your attention, Andrew, with the learned author.” “They are a contumacious generation,” replied the gardener; “they hae sax days in the week to hive on, and yet it’s a common observe that they will aye swarm on the Sabbath-day, and keep folk at hame frae

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hearing the word—But there’s nae preaching at Graneagain Chapel this e’en—that’s ae mercy.” “You might have gone to parish church as I did, Andrew, and heard an excellent discourse.” “Clauts o’ cauld parridge—clauts o’ cauld parridge,” replied Andrew, with a most supercilious sneer,—“gude aneuch for dogs, begging your honour’s pardon—Aye! I might nae doubt hae heard the curate linking awa’ at it in his white sark yonder, and the musicianers playing on whistles, mair like a penny wedding than a sermon—and to the boot of that, I might hae gaen to even-song, and heard Daddie Docharty mumbling his mass—muckle the better I wad hae been o’ that.” “Docharty!” said I, (this was the name of an old priest, an Irishman I think, who sometimes officiated at Osbaldistone Hall.) “I thought Father Vaughan had been at the Hall. He was there yesterday.” “Ay,” replied Andrew; “but he left it yestreen, to gang to Greystock, or some o’ thae west country haulds—there’s an unco steer amang them a’ e’enow. They are as busy as my bees are—God sain them! that I suld even the puir things to the like o’ papists. Ye see this is the second swarm, and whiles they will swarm off in the afternoon. The first swarm set off for sure in the morning. But I am thinking they are settled in their skeps for the night. Sae I wuss your honour good night, and grace, and muckle o’t.” So saying, Andrew retreated, but often cast a parting glance upon the skeps, as he called the bee-hives. I had indirectly gained from him an important piece of information, that Father Vaughan, namely, was not supposed to be at the Hall. If, therefore, there appeared light in the windows of the library this evening, it either could not be his, or he was observing a very secret and suspicious line of conduct. I waited with impatience the time of sun-set and of twilight. It had hardly arrived, ere a gleam from the windows of the library was seen, dimly distinguishable amidst the still enduring light of evening. I marked its first glimpse, however, as speedily as the benighted sailor descries the first distant twinkle of the light-house which marks his course. The feelings of doubt and of propriety, which had hitherto contended with my curiosity and jealousy, vanished when an opportunity of gratifying the former was presented to me. I re-entered the house, and, avoiding the more frequented apartments with the consciousness of one who wishes to keep his purpose secret, I reached the door of the library,—hesitated for a moment as my hand was upon the latch,—heard a suppressed step within,—opened the door,—and found Miss Vernon alone. Diana appeared surprised,—whether at my sudden entrance, or

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from some other cause, I could not guess, but there was in her appearance a degree of flutter, which I had never before remarked, and which I knew could only be produced by unusual emotion. Yet she was calm in a moment, and such is the force of conscience, that I, who studied to surprise her, seemed myself the surprised, and was certainly the embarrassed person. “Has any thing happened?” said Miss Vernon. “Has any one arrived at the Hall?” “No one that I know of,” I answered, in some confusion; “I only sought the Orlando.” “It lies there,” said Miss Vernon, pointing to the table. In removing one or two books to get at that which I pretended to seek, I was, in truth, meditating to make a handsome retreat from an investigation, to which I felt my assurance inadequate, when I perceived a man’s glove lying upon the table. My eyes encountered those of Miss Vernon, who blushed deeply. “It is one of my reliques,” she said, with hesitation, replying not to my words, but to my looks; “it is one of the gloves of my grandfather, the original of the superb Vandyke which you admire.” As if she thought something more than her bare assertion was necessary, to make her assertion true, she opened a drawer of the large oaken-table, and, taking out another glove, threw it towards me. When a temper naturally ingenuous stoops to equivocate or to dissemble, the anxious pain with which the unwonted task is laboured, often induces the hearer to doubt the authenticity of the tale. I cast a hasty glance on both gloves, and then replied gravely— “The gloves resemble each other, doubtless, in the form and embroidery, but they cannot form a pair, since they both belong to the right hand.” She bit her lip with anger, and again coloured deeply. “You are right to expose me,” she replied, with bitterness; “some friends would have only judged from what I said, that I chose to give no particular explanation of a circumstance which calls for none—at least to a stranger. You have judged better, Mr Osbaldistone, and have made me feel, not only the meanness of duplicity, but my own inadequacy to sustain the task of a dissembler. I now tell you distinctly, that that glove is not the fellow, as you have acutely discerned, to the one which I just now produced. It belongs to a friend yet dearer to me than the original of Vandyke’s picture—a friend by whose counsels I have been, and will be guided—whom I honour—whom I——” She paused. I was irritated at her manner, and filled up the blank in my own way. “Whom she loves, Miss Vernon would say.”

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“And if I do say so,” she replied, haughtily, “by whom shall my affection be called to account?” “Not by me, Miss Vernon, assuredly. I entreat you to hold me acquitted of such presumption. But,” I continued, with some emphasis, for I was now piqued in return, “I hope Miss Vernon will pardon a friend, from whom she seems disposed to withdraw the title, for observing”— “Observe nothing, sir,” she interrupted, with some vehemence, “excepting that I will neither be doubted nor questioned. There does not exist one by whom I will be either interrogated or judged, and if you sought this unusual time of presenting yourself, in order to spy upon my privacy, the friendship or interest with which you pretend to regard me, is a poor excuse for your uncivil curiosity.” “I relieve you of my presence,” said I, with pride equal to her own, for my temper has ever been a stranger to stooping, even in cases where my feelings were most deeply interested—“I awake from a pleasant, but a delusive dream, and—but we understand each other.” I had reached the door of the apartment, when Miss Vernon, whose movements were sometimes so rapid as to seem almost instinctive, overtook me, and, catching hold of my arm, stopped me with that air of authority which she could so whimsically assume, and which, from the naiveté and simplicity of her manner, had an effect so peculiarly interesting. “Stop, Mr Frank,” she said; “ye’re not to leave me in that way neither—I am not so amply provided with friends, that I can afford to throw away even the ungrateful and the selfish. Mark what I say, Mr Francis Osbaldistone—you shall know nothing of this mysterious glove,” and she held it up as she spoke—“nothing—no, not a single iota more than you know already—and yet I will not permit it to be a gauntlet of strife and defiance betwixt us. My time here,” she said, sinking into a tone somewhat softer, “must necessarily be very short— yours must be still shorter—we are soon to part, never to meet again— do not let us quarrel, or make my mysterious miseries the pretext for farther embittering the few hours we shall ever pass together on this side of eternity.” I do not know, Tresham, by what witchery this fascinating creature obtained such complete management over a temper, which I cannot at all times manage myself. I had determined, on entering the library, to seek a complete explanation with Miss Vernon. I had found that she refused it with indignant defiance, and avowed to my face the preference of a rival; for what other construction could I put on her declared preference of her mysterious confidant? And yet, while I was on the point of leaving the apartment, and breaking with her for ever, it cost

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her but a change of look and tone from that of real and haughty resentment, to that of kind and playful despotism, again shaded off into melancholy and serious feeling, to lead me back to my seat, her willing subject, on her own hard terms. “What does this avail?” said I, as I sate down. “What can this avail, Miss Vernon? why should I witness embarrassments which I cannot relieve, and mysteries which I offend you even by attempting to penetrate? Inexperienced as you are in the world, you must still be aware, that a beautiful young woman can have but one male friend. Even in a male friend, I should be jealous of a confidence shared with a third party unknown and concealed; but with you, Miss Vernon”— “You are, of course, jealous, in all the tenses and moods of that amicable passion. But, my good friend, you have all this time spoke nothing but the paltry gossip which simpletons repeat from playbooks and romances, till they give mere cant a real and powerful influence over their minds. Boys and girls prate themselves into love, and when their love is like to fall asleep, they prate and teaze themselves into jealousy. But you and I, Frank, are rational beings, and neither silly nor idle enough to talk ourselves into any other relation, than that of plain honest disinterested friendship. Any other union is as far out of our reach as if I were man, or you woman.—To speak truth,” she added, after a moment’s hesitation, “even though I am so complaisant to the decorums of my sex as to blush a little at my own plain dealing—we cannot marry, if we would—and we ought not, if we could.” And certainly, Tresham, she did blush most angelically as she made this cruel declaration. I was about to attack both her positions, entirely forgetting those very suspicions which had been confirmed in the course of the evening, but she proceeded with a cold firmness which approached to severity. “What I say is sober and indisputable truth, on which I will neither hear question nor explanation. We are therefore friends, Mr Osbaldistone?—are we not?” She held out her hand, and taking mine, added,—“And nothing now, or henceforward, excepting friends.” She let go my hand. I sunk it and my head at once, fairly overcrawed, as Spenser would have termed it, by the mingled kindness and firmness of her manner. She hastened to change the subject. “Here is a letter,” she said, “directed for you, Mr Osbaldistone, very duly and distinctly, but which, notwithstanding the caution of the person who wrote and addressed it, might perhaps never have reached your hands, had it not fallen into the possession of a certain Pacolet, or enchanted dwarf of mine, whom, like all distressed damsels of romance, I retain in my secret service.”

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I opened the letter, and glanced over the contents—the unfolded sheet of paper dropped from my hands, with the involuntary exclamation, “Gracious Heaven! my folly and disobedience have ruined my father!” Miss Vernon rose with looks of real and affectionate alarm. “You grow pale—you are ill—shall I bring you a glass of water? Be a man, Mr Osbaldistone, and a firm one. Is your father—Is he no more?” “He lives,” said I, “thank God! but to what distress and difficulty”—— “If that be all, despair not. May I read this letter?” she said, taking it up. I assented, hardly knowing what I said. She read it with great attention. “Who is this Mr Tresham, who signs the letter?” “My father’s partner,” (your own good father, Will,) “but he is little in the habit of acting personally in the business of the house.” “He writes here,” said Miss Vernon, “of various letters sent to you previously.” “I have received none of them,” I replied. “And it appears,” she continued, “that Rashleigh, who has taken the full management of affairs during your father’s absence in Holland, has some time since left London for Scotland, with effects and remittances to take up large bills granted by your father to persons in that country, and that he has not since been heard of.” “It is but too true.” “And here has been,” she added, looking at the letter, “a headclerk, or some such person,—Owenson—Owen—dispatched to Glasgow, to find out Rashleigh, if possible, and you are entreated to repair to the same place and assist him in his researches.” “It is even so, and I must depart instantly.” “Stay but one moment,” said Miss Vernon. “It seems to me that the worst which can come of this matter will be the loss of a certain sum of money, and can that bring tears into your eyes? For shame, Mr Osbaldistone!” “You do me injustice, Miss Vernon,” I answered. “I grieve not for the loss, but for the effect which I know it will produce on the spirits and health of my father, to whom mercantile credit is as honour, and who, if declared insolvent, would sink into the grave, oppressed by a sense of grief, remorse, and despair, like that of a soldier convicted of cowardice, or a man of honour who had lost his rank and character in society. All this I might have prevented by a trifling sacrifice of the foolish pride and indolence which recoiled from sharing the labours

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of his honest and useful profession. Good Heaven! how shall I redeem the consequence of my error!” “By instantly repairing to Glasgow, as you are conjured to do by the friend who writes this letter.” “But if Rashleigh has really formed this base and unconscientious scheme of plundering his benefactor, what prospect is there that I can find means of frustrating a plan so deeply laid?” “The prospect, indeed, may be uncertain; but, on the other hand, there is no possibility of your doing any service to your father by remaining here.—Remember, had you been on the post destined for you, this disaster could not have happened—hasten to that which is now pointed out, and it may possibly be retrieved—Yet stay—do not leave this room until I return.” She left me in confusion and amazement, amid which, however, I could find a lucid interval to admire the firmness, composure, and presence of mind, which Miss Vernon seemed to possess on every crisis, however sudden. In a few minutes she returned with a sheet of paper in her hand, folded and sealed like a letter, but without address. “I trust you,” she said, “with this proof of my friendship, because I have the most perfect confidence in your honour. If I understand the nature of your distress rightly, the funds in Rashleigh’s possession must be recovered by a certain day—the 12th of September, I think, is named, in order that they may be applied to pay the bills in question; and, consequently, that, if adequate funds be provided before that period, your father’s credit is safe from the apprehended calamity.” “Certainly—I so understand Mr Tresham”—I looked at your father’s letter again, and added, “There cannot be a doubt of it.” “Well,” said Diana, “in that case my little Pacolet may be of use to you.—You have heard of a spell contained in a letter. Take this packet —do not open it until other and ordinary means have failed—if you succeed by your own exertions, I trust to your honour for destroying it without opening or suffering it to be opened—But if not, you may break the seal within ten days of the fated day, and you will find directions which may possibly be of service to you—Adieu, Frank— we never meet more—but sometimes think on your friend Die Vernon.” She extended her hand, but I clasped her to my bosom. She sighed as she extricated herself from the embrace which she permitted, escaped to the door which led to her own apartment, and I saw her no more.

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Chapter Five And hurry, hurry, off they rode, As fast as fast might be; Hurra, hurra, the dead can ride, Dost fear to ride with me? B

T          advantage in an accumulation of evils differing in cause and character, that the distraction which they afford by their contradictory operation prevents the patient from being overwhelmed under either. I was deeply grieved at my separation from Miss Vernon, yet not so much so as I should have been had not my father’s apprehended distresses forced themselves on my attention, and I was distressed by the news of Mr Tresham, yet less so than if they had fully occupied my mind. I was neither a false lover nor an unfeeling son, but man can give but a certain portion of distressful emotions to the causes which demand them, and if two operate at once, our sympathy, like the funds of a compounding bankrupt, can only be divided between them. Such were my reflections when I gained my apartment—it seems, from the illustration, they already began to have a twang of commerce in them. I set myself seriously to consider your father’s letter—it was not very distinct, and referred for several particulars to Owen, whom I was entreated to meet with as soon as possible at a Scotch town, called Glasgow, being informed, moreover, that my old friend was to be heard of at Messrs MacVittie, Macfin, and Company, merchants in the Gallowgate of the said town. It likewise alluded to several letters, which, as it appeared to me, must have miscarried or have been intercepted, and complained of my obdurate silence in terms which would have been highly unjust, had my letters reached their purposed destination. I was amazed as I read. That the spirit of Rashleigh walked around me, and conjured up these difficulties and doubts by which I was surrounded, I could not doubt for one instant, yet it was frightful to conceive the extent of combined villainy and power which he must have employed to the perpetration of his designs. Let me do myself justice in one respect—the evil of parting from Miss Vernon, however distressing it might in other respects and at another time have appeared to me, sunk into a subordinate consideration when I thought of the dangers impending over my father. I did not myself set a high estimation on wealth, and had the affectation of most young men of lively imagination, who suppose that they can better dispense with the possession of money, than resign their time and faculties to the labour

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necessary to acquire it. But in my father’s case, I knew that bankruptcy would be considered as utter and irretrievable disgrace, to which life could afford no comfort, and death the speediest and sole relief. My mind, therefore, was bent on averting this catastrophe, with an intensity which the interest could not have produced had it referred to my own fortunes; and the result of my deliberation was a firm resolution to depart from Osbaldistone Hall the next day, and wend my way without loss of time to meet Owen at Glasgow. I did not hold it expedient to intimate my departure to my uncle otherwise than by leaving a letter of thanks for his hospitality, assuring him that sudden and important business prevented my offering them in person. I knew the blunt old knight would readily excuse ceremony, and I had such a belief in the extent and decided character of Rashleigh’s machinations, that I had some apprehension of his having provided means to intercept any journey which was undertaken with a view to disconcert them, if my departure were publicly announced at Osbaldistone Hall. I therefore determined to set off on my journey with day-light in the ensuing morning, and to gain the neighbouring kingdom of Scotland before any idea of my departure was entertained at the Hall. But one impediment of consequence was likely to prevent that speed which was the soul of my expedition. I did not know the shortest, or indeed any road to Glasgow, and as, in the circumstances in which I stood, dispatch was of the greatest consequence, I determined to consult Andrew Fairservice upon the subject, as the nearest and most authentic authority within my reach. Late as it was, I set off with the intention of ascertaining this important point, and after a few minutes walk reached the dwelling of the gardener. Andrew’s dwelling was situated at no great distance from the exterior wall of the garden, a snug, comfortable Northumbrian cottage, built of stones roughly dressed with the hammer, and having the windows and doors decorated with huge heavy architraves, or lintels, as they are called, of hewn stone, and its roof covered with broad grey flags, instead of slates, thatch, or tiles. A jargonell pear-tree at one end of the cottage, a rivulet, and flower-plot of a rood in extent, in front, and a kitchen-garden behind, a paddock for a cow, and a small field, cultivated with various crops of grain rather for the benefit of the cottager than for sale, announced the warm and cordial comforts which Old England, even at her most northern extremity, extends to her meanest inhabitants. As I approached the mansion of the sapient Andrew, I heard a noise, which, being of a nature peculiarly solemn, nasal, and prolonged, led me to think that Andrew, according to the decent and

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meritorious custom of his countrymen, had assembled some of his neighbours to join in family-exercise, as he called evening devotion. Andrew had indeed neither wife, child, nor female inmate in his family. “The first of his trade,” he said, “had had aneugh o’ thae cattle.” But, notwithstanding, he sometimes contrived to form an audience for himself out of the neighbouring Papists and Church-ofEngland-men, brands, as he expressed it, snatched out of the burning, on whom he used to exercise his spiritual gifts, in defiance alike of Father Vaughan, Father Docharty, Rashleigh, and all the world of Catholics around him, who deemed his interference on such occasions an act of heretical interloping. I conceived it likely, therefore, that the well-disposed neighbours might have assembled to hold some chapel of ease of this nature. The noise, however, when I listened to it more accurately, seemed to proceed entirely from the lungs of the said Andrew, and when I interrupted it by entering the house, I found Fairservice alone, combatting, as he best could, with long words and hard names, and reading aloud, for the purpose of his own edification, a volume of controversial divinity. “I was just taking a spell,” said he, laying aside a huge folio volume as I entered, “of the worthy Doctor Lightfoot.” “Lightfoot!” I replied, looking at the ponderous volume with some surprise; “surely your author was unhappily named.” “Lightfoot was his name, sir; a divine he was, and another kind of a divine than they hae now-a-days. Always, I crave your pardon for keeping ye standing at the door, but having been mistrysted (gude preserve us) with ae bogle the night already, A was dubious o’ opening the yate till I had gaen through the e’ening worship, and I had just finished the fifth chapter of Nehemiah—if that winna gar them keep their distance, I wot na what will.” “Trysted with a bogle!” said I; “what do you mean by that, Andrew?” “Thit,” said Andrew, “is as mickle as to say fley’d wi’ a ghaist— gude preserve us, I say again!” “Flay’d by a ghost, Andrew! how am I to understand that?” “I did not say flay’d,” replied Andrew, “but fley’d, that is, I got a fleg, and was ready to jump out o’ my skin, though naebody offered to whirl it aff my body as a man wad bark a tree.” “I beg a truce to your terrors in the present case, Andrew, and I wish to know whether you can direct me the nearest way to a town in your country of Scotland, called Glasgow?” “A town ca’d Glasgow!” echoed Andrew Fairservice. “Glasgow’s a city, man—and is’t the way to Glasgow ye were speering if I kenn’d?— What suld ail me to ken it?—it’s no that dooms far frae my ain parish

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of Dreepdaily, that lies a bittock farther to the west. But what may your honour be ganging to Glasgow for?” “Particular business.” “That’s as mickle as to say, speer nae questions, and I’ll tell ye nae lies—To Glasgow?”—he made a short pause—“I am thinking ye wad be the better o’ some ane to show ye the road.” “Certainly, if I could meet with any person going that way.” “And your honour, doubtless, wad consider the time and trouble?” “Unquestionably—my business is pressing, and if you can find any lad to accompany me, I’ll pay him handsomely.” “This is no a day to speak o’ carnal matters,” said Andrew, casting his eyes upwards; “but if it were na Sabbath at e’en I wad speer what ye wad be content to gi’e to ane that wad bear ye pleasant company on the road, and tell ye the names of the gentlemen’s and noblemen’s seats and castles, and count their kin to ye?” “I tell you, all I want to know is the road I must travel, and I will pay the fellow to his satisfaction—I will give him any thing in reason.” “Any thing,” replied Andrew, “is naething, and this lad that I am speaking o’ kens a’ the short cuts and queer bye-paths through the hills, and”—— “I have no time to talk about it, Andrew; do you make the bargain for me your own way.” “Aha! that’s speaking to the purpose,” answered Andrew.—“I am thinking since it sall be that sae it is, I’ll be the lad that will guide you mysel.” “You, Andrew? how will you get away from your employment?” “I tauld your honour a while syne that it was lang that I hae been thinking of flitting, maybe as lang as frae the first year I came to Osbaldistone Hall, and now I am o’ the mind to gang in gude earnest —better soon as syne—better a finger aff as aye wagging.” “You leave your service then, but will you not lose your wages?” “Nae doubt there will be a certain loss—but than I hae siller o’ the laird’s in my hands that I took for the apples in the auld orchyard, and a sair bargain the folk had that bought them—a whin green trash— and yet Sir Hildebrand’s as keen to hae the siller (that is, the steward is as pressing about it) as if they had a’ been gowden pippins—and than there’s the siller for the seeds—I am thinking the wage will be in a manner decently made up—but doubtless your honour will consider my risk of loss when we win to Glasgow—and ye’ll be for setting out forthwith?” “By day-break in the morning.” “That’s something o’ the suddenest—whare am I to get a naig?— Stay—I ken just the beast that will answer me.”

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“At five in the morning then, Andrew, you will meet me at the head of the avenue.” “Deil a fear o’ me (that I suld say sae) missing my tryste,” replied Andrew very briskly; “and, if I might advise, we wad be aff twa hours earlier. I ken the way, dark or light, as weel as blind Ralph Ronaldson, the auld fiddler, that’s travelled ower every moor in the kintra-side, and does na ken the colour of a heather-cowe when a’s dune.” I highly approved of Andrew’s amendment on my original proposal, and we agreed to meet at the place appointed at three in the morning. At once, however, a reflection came across the mind of my intended travelling companion. “The bogle! the bogle! What if it should come out upon us?—I downa forgather wi’ thae things twice in the four-and-twenty hours.” “Pooh! pooh!” I exclaimed, breaking away from him, “fear nothing from the next world—the earth contains living fiends who can act for themselves without assistance, were the whole host that fell with Lucifer to return to aid and abet them.” With these words, the import of which was suggested by my own situation, I left Andrew’s habitation and returned to the Hall. I made the few preparations which were necessary for my proposed journey, examined and loaded my pistols, and then threw myself on my bed, to obtain, if possible, a brief sleep before the fatigues of a long and anxious journey. Nature, exhausted by the tumultuous agitations of the day, was kinder to me than I expected, and I sunk into a deep and profound sleep, from which, however, I started as the old clock struck two from a turret adjoining to my bed-chamber. I instantly arose, struck a light, wrote the letter I proposed to leave for my uncle, and leaving behind me such articles of dress as were cumbrous in carriage, I deposited the rest of my wardrope in my valise, glided down stairs, and gained the stable without impediment. Without being quite such a groom as any of my cousins, I had learned at Osbaldistone Hall to dress and saddle my own horse, and in a few minutes I was mounted and ready for my sally. As I paced up the old avenue, on which the waning moon threw its light with a pale and whitish tinge, I looked back with a deep and boding sigh towards the walls which contained Diana Vernon, under the despondent impression that we had probably parted to meet no more. It was impossible among the long and irregular lines of Gothic casements, which now looked ghastly white in the moonlight, to distinguish that of the apartment which she inhabited. “She is lost to me already,” thought I, as my eye wandered over the dim and undistinguishable intricacies of architecture offered by the distant view of Osbaldistone Hall—“She is lost to me already, ere I have left the

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place which she inhabits! What hope is there of my maintaining any correspondence with her when leagues shall lie between us?” While I paused in a reverie of no very pleasing nature, the “iron tongue of time told three upon the drowsy ear of night,” and reminded me of the necessity of keeping my appointment with a person of a less interesting description and appearance—Andrew Fairservice. At the gate of the avenue I found a horseman stationed in the shadow of the wall, but it was not until I had coughed twice, and then called “Andrew,” that the horticulturist replied, “I’se warrant it’s Andrew.” “Lead the way then,” said I, “and be silent if you can till we are passed the hamlet in the valley.” Andrew led the way accordingly, and at a much brisker pace than I would have recommended, and so well did he obey my injunctions of keeping silence, that he would return no answer to my repeated enquiry into the cause of such unnecessary haste. Extricating ourselves by short cuts, known to Andrew, from the numerous stony lanes and bye-paths which intersected each other in the vicinity of the Hall, we reached the open heath, and riding swiftly across it, took our course among barren hills which divide England from Scotland on what are called the Middle Marches. The way, or rather the broken track which we occupied, was a happy interchange of bog and shingles; nevertheless, Andrew relented nothing of his speed, but trotted manfully forwards at the rate of eight or ten miles an hour. I was surprised and provoked at the fellow’s obstinate persistence in this rapidity of motion which began to become even perilous, for we made abrupt ascents and descents over ground of a very break-neck character, and traversed the edge of precipices, where a slip of the horse’s feet would have consigned the rider to certain death. The moon, at best, afforded a dubious and imperfect light, but in some places we were so much under the shade of the mountain as to be in total darkness, and then I could only trace Andrew by the clatter of his horse’s feet, and the fire which they struck from the flints. At first, this rapid motion, and the attention which, for the sake of personal safety, I was compelled to give to the conduct of my horse, was of service, by forcibly diverting my thoughts from the various painful reflections which must otherwise have pressed on my mind. But at length, after hollowing repeatedly to Andrew to ride slower, I became seriously incensed at his impudent perseverance in refusing either to obey or to reply to me. My anger was, however, quite impotent. I attempted once or twice to get up along-side of my self-willed guide, with the purpose of knocking him off his horse with the butt-end of my whip, but Andrew was better mounted than I, and either the spirit of the animal

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which he bestrode, or more probably some presentiment of my kind intentions towards him, induced him to quicken his pace whenever I attempted to make up to him. On the other hand, I was compelled to exert my spurs to keep him in sight, for without his guidance I was too well aware that I should never find my way through the howling wilderness which we now traversed at such an unwonted pace. I was so angry at length, that I threatened to have recourse to my pistols, and send a bullet after the Hotspur Andrew, which should stop his fieryfooted career, if he did not relent it of his own accord. Apparently this threat made some impression on the tympanum of his ear, however deaf to all my milder entreaties, for he relaxed his pace upon hearing it, and suffering me to close up to him, observed, “There wasna mickle sense in riding at sic a daft-like gate.” “And what did you mean by doing it at all, you scoundrel?” replied I, for I was in a towering passion, to which, by the way, nothing contributes more than the having recently undergone a spice of personal fear, which, like a few drops of water flung on a glowing fire, is sure to inflame the ardour which it is insufficient to quench. “What’s your honour’s wull?” replied Andrew, with impenetrable gravity. “My will, you rascal?—I have been roaring to you this hour to ride slower, and you have never so much as answered me—Are you drunk or mad to behave so?” “An it like your honour, I am something dull o’ hearing, and I’ll no deny but I might hae maybe ta’en a stirrup cup at parting frae the auld bigging whare I hae dwalt sae lang, and having naebody to pledge me, nae doubt I was obliged to do mysell reason, or else leave the end o’ the brandy stoup to thae papists, and that wad be a waste, as your honour kens.” This might be all very true, and my circumstances required that I should be on good terms with my guide; I therefore satisfied myself with requiring of him to take his directions from me in future concerning the rate of travelling. Andrew, emboldened by the mildness of my tone, elevated his own into the pedantic, conceited octave, which was familiar to him on most occasions. “Your honour winna persuade me, and naebody shall persuade me, that it’s either halesome or prudent to tak the night air on thae moors without a cordial o’ clow-gilliflower water, or a tass of brandy or aquavitæ, or sic like creature-comfort. I hae taen the bent ower the Otterscape-rigg a hundred times, day and night, and never could find the way unless I had taen my morning—mair by token that I had whiles twa bits o’ ankers o’ brandy on ilk side o’ me.”—

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“In other words, Andrew, you were a smuggler—how does a man of your strict principles reconcile yourself to cheat the revenue?” “It’s a mere spoiling o’ the Egyptians,” replied Andrew; “puir auld Scotland suffers aneugh by thae blackguard lowns o’ excisemen and gaugers, that hae come doun on her like locusts since the sad and sorrowfu’ Union; it’s the part of a kind son to bring her a soup o’ something that will keep up her auld heart, and that will they nill they, the ill-fa’ard thieves.” Upon more particular enquiry, I found Andrew had frequently travelled these mountain paths as a smuggler, both before and after his establishment at Osbaldistone Hall, a circumstance which was so far of importance to me, as it proved his capacity as a guide, notwithstanding the escapade of which he had been guilty at his outset. Even now, though travelling at a more moderate pace, the stirrup-cup, or whatever else had such an effect in stimulating Andrew’s motions, seemed not totally to have lost its influence. He often cast a nervous and startled look behind him; and whenever the road seemed at all practicable, shewed symptoms of a desire to accelerate his pace, as if he feared some pursuit from behind. These appearances of alarm gradually diminished as we reached the top of a high bleak ridge, which ran nearly east and west for about a mile, with a very steep descent on either side. The pale beams of the morning were now enlightening the horizon, when Andrew cast a look behind him, and not seeing the appearance of a living being on the moors which he had travelled, his hard features gradually unbent, as he first whistled, and then sung, with much glee and little melody, the end of one of his native songs: “Jenny lass! I think I hae her Ower the moor amang the heather; All their clan shall never get her.”

He patted at the same time the neck of the horse which had carried him so gallantly, and my attention being directed by that action to the animal, I instantly recognized a favourite mare of Thorncliffe Osbaldistone. “How is this, sir?” said I sternly; “that is Master Thorncliffe’s mare!” “I’ll no say but she may aiblins hae been his Honour’s, Squire Thorncliffe’s, in her day, but she’s mine now.” “You have stolen her, you rascal.” “Na, na, sir, nae man can wyte me wi’ theft—The thing stands this gate, ye see—Squire Thorncliffe borrowed ten punds o’ me to gang to York Races—deil a boddle wad he pay me back again, and spake o’ raddling my banes, as he ca’d it, when I asked him but for my ain back again—now I think it wull riddle him or he gets his horse ower the

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Border again—unless he pays me plack and bawbee, he sall never see a hair o’ her tail. I ken a canny chield at Jeddart, a bit writer lad that will pit me in the way to sort him—Steal the mear! na, na, far be the sin o’ theft frae Andrew Fairservice—I have just arrested her jurisdictiones fandandy causey. Thae are bonnie writer words—amaist like the language o’ huz gardners and other learned men—it’s a pity they’re sae dear—thae three words were a’ that Andrew got for a lang law-plea, and four ankers o’ as gude brandy as was e’er coupit ower craig—Hegh sirs! but law’s a dear thing.” “You are likely to find it much dearer than you suppose, Andrew, if you proceed in this mode of paying yourself, without legal authority.” “Hout tout, sir, we’re in Scotland now (be praised for’t), and I can find baith friends and lawyers, and judges too, as weel as ony Osbaldistone o’ them a’. My mither’s mither’s third cousin was cousin to the Provost o’ Dumfries, and he winna see a drap o’ her bluid wranged. Hout awa, the laws are indifferently administered here to a’ men alike —it’s no like on yon side, when a chield may be whuppit awa’ wi’ ane o’ Clerk Jobson’s warrants, afore he kens where he is. But they will hae little eneugh law amang them by and bye, and that is ae grand reason that I hae gi’en them gude day.” I was highly provoked at this achievement of Andrew, and considered it as a hard fate, which a second time threw me into collision with a person of such irregular practices. I determined, however, to buy the mare of him, when we should reach the end of our journey, and send her back to my cousin at Osbaldistone Hall; and, with this purpose of reparation, I resolved to make my uncle acquainted from the next post-town. It was needless, I thought, to quarrel with Andrew in the meantime, who had, after all, acted not very unnaturally for a person in his circumstances. I therefore smothered my resentment, and asked him, what he meant by his last expressions, that there would be little law in Northumberland by and bye? “Law!” said Andrew, “hout, ay—there will be club-law aneugh. The priests and the Irish officers, and thae papist cattle that hae been sodgering abroad, because they durst na bide at hame, are a’ fleeing thick in Northumberland e’en now, and thae corbies dinna gather without they smell some carrion. As sure as ye live, his honour Sir Hildebrand’s ganging to stick his horn in the bog—there’s naething but gun and pistol, sword and dagger, amang them—and they’ll be laying on, I’se warrant, for they’re fearless fules the young Osbaldistone squires, aye craving your honour’s pardon.” This speech recalled to my memory some suspicions that I myself had entertained, that the jacobites were on the eve of some desperate enterprize. But, conscious it did not become me to be a spy on my

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uncle’s words and actions, I had rather avoided than availed myself of any opportunity which occurred of remarking upon the signs of the times. Andrew Fairservice felt no such restraint, and doubtless truly stated that his conviction that some desperate plots were in agitation determined him in his resolution to leave the Hall. “The servants,” he stated, “with the tenantry and others, had been all regularly enrolled and mustered, and they wanted me to take arms also. But I’ll ride in nae siccan troop—they little kenn’d Andrew that asked him. I’ll fight when I like mysell, but it sall neither be for the hoor of Babylon, nor ony hoor in England.”

Chapter Six Where longs to fall yon rifted spire, As weary of the insulting air; The poet’s thought, the warrior’s fire, The lover’s sighs are sleeping there. L

A    Scotch town which we reached, my guide sought out his friend and counsellor, to consult upon the proper and legal means of converting into his own lawful property the “bonnie creature,” which was at present his own only by one of those slight-ofhand arrangements, which still sometimes took place in that once lawless district. I was somewhat diverted with the dejection of his looks on his return. He had, it seems, been rather too communicative to his confidential friend, the attorney, and learned with great dismay, in return for his unsuspecting frankness, that Mr Touthope had, during his absence, been appointed clerk to the peace of the county, and was bound to communicate to justice all such achievements as that of his friend, Mr Andrew Fairservice. There was a necessity, this alert member of police stated, for arresting the horse, and placing him in Baillie Trumbull’s stable, therein to remain at livery, at the rate of twelve shillings (Scotch) per diem, until the question of property was duly tried and debated. He even talked, as if, in strict and rigorous execution of his duty, he ought to detain honest Andrew himself, but on my guide’s most piteously entreating his forbearance, he not only desisted from this proposal, but made a present to Andrew of a broken-winded and spavined poney, in order to enable him to pursue his journey. It is true, he qualified this act of generosity by exacting from poor Andrew an absolute cession of his right and interest in the gallant palfrey of Thorncliffe Osbaldistone, a transference which Mr Touthope represented as of very little consequence, since his unfortunate friend, as he facetiously observed, was likely to get

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nothing of the mare excepting her halter. Andrew seemed woeful and disconcerted, as I screwed out of him these particulars, for his northern pride was cruelly pinched by being compelled to admit that attorneys were attorneys on both sides of the Tweed, and that Mr Clerk Touthope was not a farthing more sterling coin than Mr Clerk Jobson. “It wadna hae vexed him half sae mickle to hae been cheated out o’ what might amaist be said to be won with the peril o’ his craig, had it happened amang the Inglishers; but it was an unco thing to see hawks pike out hawks e’en, or ae kindly Scot cheat anither. But nae doubt things were strangely changed in his country sin’ the sad and sorrowfu’ Union;” an event to which Andrew referred every symptom of depravity or degeneracy which he remarked among his countrymen, more especially the inflammation of reckonings, the diminished size of pint-stoups, and other grievances, which he pointed out to me during our journey. For my own part, I held myself, as things had turned out, acquitted of all charge of the mare, and wrote to my uncle the circumstances under which she was carried into Scotland, concluding with informing him that she was in the hands of Justice, and her worthy representatives, Baillie Trumbull and Mr Clerk Touthope, to whom I referred him for farther particulars. Whether the property returned to the Northumbrian fox-hunter, or continued to bear the honoured person of the Scottish attorney, it is unnecessary for me at present to say. We now pursued our journey to the northwestward, at a rate much slower than that at which we had achieved our nocturnal retreat from England. One chain of barren and uninteresting hills succeeded another, until the more fertile vale of Clyde opened upon us, and with such dispatch as we might we gained the town, or, as my guide most pertinaciously termed it, the city of Glasgow. Of late years, I understand, it has fully deserved the name, which, by a sort of political second sight, my guide distinguished it. An extensive and increasing trade with the West Indies and American colonies, has, if I am rightly informed, laid the foundation of wealth and prosperity, which, carefully strengthened and built upon, may one day support an immense fabric of commercial prosperity. But, in the early times of which I speak, the dawn of this splendour had not arisen. The Union had, indeed, opened to Scotland the trade to the English colonies, but, betwixt want of capital, and the national jealousy of the English, the merchants of Scotland were as yet excluded, in a great measure, from the exercise of the privileges which that memorable treaty conferred on them. Glasgow lay upon the wrong side of the island for participating in the east country or continental trade, by which the trifling

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commerce as yet practised in Scotland chiefly supported itself. Yet, though she then gave small promise of the commercial eminence to which, I am informed, she seems now likely one day to attain, Glasgow, as the principal central town of the western district of Scotland, was a place of considerable mark and importance. The broad and brimming Clyde, which flows so near its walls, gave the means of an inland navigation of some importance. Not only the fertile plains in its immediate neighbourhood, but the districts of Ayr and Dumfries regarded Glasgow as their capital, to which they transmitted their produce, and received in return such necessaries and luxuries as their consumption required. The dusky mountains of the Western Highlands often sent forth wilder tribes to frequent the marts of Saint Mungo’s favourite city. Herds of wild, shaggy, dwarfish cattle and ponies, conducted by Highlanders, as wild, as shaggy, and sometimes as dwarfish as the animals they had in charge, often traversed the streets of Glasgow. Strangers gazed with surprize on the antique and fantastic dress, and listened to the unknown and dissonant sounds of their language, while the mountaineers, armed even while engaged in this peaceful occupation with musket and pistol, sword, dagger, and target, gazed with astonishment on the articles of luxury of which they knew not the use, and with avidity which seemed somewhat alarming upon the articles which they knew and valued. It is always with unwillingness that the Highlander quits his deserts, and at this early period it was like tearing a pine from its rock to plant it elsewhere. Yet even then the mountain glens were over-peopled, until thinned occasionally by famine or by the sword, and many of their inhabitants strayed down to Glasgow—there formed settlements, and there sought and found employment, though different, indeed, from those of their native hills. This supply of a hardy and useful population was of consequence to the prosperity of the place, furnished the means of carrying on the few manufactures which the town already boasted, and laid the foundation of its future prosperity. The exterior of the city corresponded with these promising circumstances. The principal street was broad and important, decorated with public buildings, of an architecture rather striking than correct in point of taste, and running between rows of tall houses, built with stone, the fronts of which were occasionally richly ornamented with mason-work, a circumstance which gave the street an imposing air of dignity and grandeur, of which most English towns are in some measure deprived, by the slight, unsubstantial, and perishable quality and appearance of the bricks with which they are constructed. In this western metropolis of Scotland, my guide and I arrived upon a Saturday evening, too late to entertain thoughts of business of any

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kind. We alighted at the door of a jolly hostler-wife, as Andrew called her, the Ostelere of old father Chaucer, by whom we were civilly received. On the next morning the bells pealed from every steeple, announcing the sanctity of the day. Notwithstanding, however, what I had heard of the severity with which the Sabbath is observed in Scotland, my first impulse, not unnaturally, was to seek out Owen, but upon enquiry I found that my attempt would be in vain, “until kirk time was ower.” Not only did my landlady and guide jointly assure me that there wadna be a leeving soul in the counting-house of Messrs MacVittie, Macfin, and Company, to which Owen’s letter referred me, but, moreover, “far less would I find any of the partners there— they were serious men, and wad be where a’ gude Christians aught to be at sic a time, and that was in the Barony Laigh Kirk.” Andrew Fairservice, whose disgust at the law of his country had not, fortunately, extended itself to the other learned professions of his native land, now sung forth the praises of the preacher who was to perform the duty, to which my hostess replied with many a loud amen. The result was, that I resolved to go to this popular place of worship, as much with the purpose of learning, if possible, whether Owen had arrived in Glasgow, as with any great expectation of edification. My hopes were exalted by the assurance that if Mr Ephraim MacVittie (worthy man) were in the land of life, he would surely honour the Barony Kirk that day with his presence, and if he chanced to have a stranger within his gates, doubtless he would bring him to the duty along with him. This probability determined my motions, and, under the escort of the faithful Andrew, I set forth for the Barony Kirk. Upon this occasion, however, I had little occasion for his guidance; for the crowd which forced its way up a steep and rough paved street to hear the most popular preacher in the west of Scotland, would of itself have swept me along with it. Upon attaining the summit of the hill, we turned to the right, and a large pair of folding doors admitted me, amongst others, into the open and extensive burying place which surrounds the minster or cathedral church of Glasgow. The pile is of a gloomy and massive, rather than of an elegant, style of Gothic architecture, but its peculiar character is so strongly preserved, and so well suited with the accompaniments which surround it, that the impression of the first view was awful and solemn in the extreme. I was indeed so much struck, that I resisted for a few minutes all Andrew’s efforts to drag me into the interior of the building, so deeply was I engaged in surveying its outward character. Situated in a populous and considerable town, this solemn and massive pile has the appearance of the most sequestered solitude.

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High walls divide it from the buildings of the city on one side; on the other, it is bounded by a ravine, through the depth of which, and invisible to the eye, murmurs a wandering rivulet, adding, by its rushing noise, to the imposing solemnity of the scene. On the opposite side of the ravine rises a steep bank, covered with fir-trees closely planted, whose dusky shade extends itself over the cemetery with an appropriate and gloomy effect. The church-yard itself has a peculiar character; for though in reality extensive, it is small in proportion to the number of respectable inhabitants who are interred within it, and whose graves are almost all covered with tomb-stones. There is therefore no room for the long rank grass, which, in the ordinary case, partially clothes the surface in these retreats, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. The broad flat monumental stones are placed so close to each other, that the precincts appear to be flagged with them, and, though roofed only by the heavens, resemble the floor of one of our old English churches, where the pavement is covered with sepulchral inscriptions. The contents of these sad records of mortality, the vain sorrows which they record, the stern lesson which they teach of the nothingness of humanity, the extent of ground which they so closely cover, and their uniform and melancholy tenor, reminded me of the roll of the prophet, which was “written within and without, and there were written therein lamentations and mourning and woe.” The Cathedral itself corresponds in impressive majesty with these accompaniments. We feel that its appearance is heavy, yet that the effect produced would be destroyed were it lighter or more ornamented. It is the only metropolitan church in Scotland, excepting, as I am informed, the cathedral of Kirkwall in the Orkneys, which remained uninjured at the Reformation; and Andrew Fairservice, who saw with great pride the effect which it produced upon my mind, thus accounted for its preservation. “Ah! it’s a brave kirk—nane o’ yere whig-maleeries and curliewurlies and open-steek hems about it —a’ solid, weel-jointed mason-wark, that will stand as lang as the warld keep hands and gun-powther aff it. It had amaist had a douncome lang syne at the Reformation, when they powed doun the kirks of St Andro’s and Perth, and thereawa, to cleanse them o’ Papery, and idolatry, and image worship, and surplices, and sic like rags o’ the mickle hoor that sitteth on seven hills, as if ane was nae braid aneuch for her auld hinder end. Sae the commons o’ Renfrew, and o’ the Barony, and the Gorbals, and a’ about, they behoved to come into Glasgow ae fair morning to try their haind on purging the High Kirk o’ Popish nick-nackets. But the townsmen o’ Glasgow, they were feared their auld edifice might slip the girths in ganging through siccan rough

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physic: sae they rang the common bell, and assembled the train bands wi’ took o’ drum (by good luck, the worthy James Rabat was Dean o’ Guild that year, and a gude mason he was himsell made him the keener to keep up the auld bigging,) and the Trades assembled, and offered downright battle to the commons, rather than their kirk should coup the crans, as they had done elsewhere. It was na for luve o’ Paperie—na, na!—nane could ever say that o’ the Trades o’ Glasgow —sae they sune came to an agreement to take a’ the idolatrous statues of sants (sorrow be on them) out o’ their nuiks—And sae the bits o’ stane idols were broken in pieces by Scripture warrant, and flung into the Molendinar Burn, and the auld kirk stood as crouse as a cat when the fleas are kaimed aff her, and a’body was alike pleased. And I hae heard wise folk say, that if the same had been done in ilka kirk in Scotland, the Reform wad just hae been as pure as it is e’en now, and we wad hae had mair Christian-like kirks: for I hae been sae lang in England, that naething will drive’t out o’ my head, that the dogkennell at Osbaldistone Ha’ is better than mony a house o’ God in Scotland.” Thus saying, Andrew led the way into the place of worship.

Chapter Seven ——It strikes an awe And terror on my aching sight; the tombs And monumental caves of death look cold, And shoot a chillness to the trembling heart. Mourning Bride

N  the impatience of my conductor, I could not forbear to pause and gaze for some minutes on the exterior of the building, rendered more impressively dignified by the solitude which ensued when its hitherto open gates were closed, after having, as it were, devoured the multitudes which had lately crowded the churchyard, but were now enclosed within the building, and, as the choral swell of voices from within announced to us, were engaged in the solemn exercises of devotion. The sound of so many voices, united by the distance into one harmony, and freed from those harsh discordances which jar the ear when heard more near, joined with the murmuring brook, and the wind which sang amongst the old firs, affected me with a sense like sublimity. All nature, as invoked by the Psalmist whose verses they chaunted, seemed united in offering that solemn praise in which trembling is mixed with joy as she addresses her Maker. I had heard the service of high mass in France, celebrated with all the eclât which the choicest music, the richest dresses, the most

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imposing ceremonies, could confer on it. Yet it fell short in effect of the simplicity of the presbyterian worship. The devotion, in which every one took a share, seemed so superior in effect to that which was recited by musicians, as a lesson which they had learned by rote, that it gave the Scottish worship all the advantage of reality over acting. As I lingered to catch more of the solemn sound, Andrew, whose impatience became ungovernable, pulled me by the sleeve—“Come awa’, sir—come awa’, we manna be late o’ ganging in to disturb the worship—if we bide here, the searchers will be on us, and carry us to the guard-house for being idlers in kirk-time.” Thus admonished, I followed my guide, but not, as I had supposed, into the body of the cathedral. “This gate—this gate, sir!” he exclaimed, dragging me off as I made towards the main entrance of the building,—“There’s but cauldrife law-wark ganging on yonder— carnal morality, as dow’d and as fusionless as rue-leaves at Yule— Here’s the real savour of doctrine.” So saying, he entered a small low-arched door, secured by a wicket, which a grave-looking person seemed on the point of closing, and descended several steps as if into the funereal vaults beneath the church. It was even so, for in these subterranean precincts, why chosen for such a purpose I knew not, was established a very singular place of worship. Conceive, Tresham, an extensive range of low-browed, dank, and twilight vaults, such as are used for sepulture in other countries, and had long been dedicated to the same purpose in this, a portion of which was seated with pews, and used as a church. The part of the vaults thus occupied, though capable of containing a congregation of many hundreds, bore a small proportion to the darker and more extensive caverns which yawned around what may be termed the inhabited space. In these waste regions of oblivion, dusky banners and tattered escutcheons indicated the graves of those who were once, doubtless, “princes in Israel.” Inscriptions, which could only be read by the painful antiquary, in language as obsolete as the act of devotional charity which they implored, invited the passengers to pray for the souls of those whose bodies rested beneath. Surrounded by these receptacles of the last remains of mortality, I found a numerous congregation engaged in the act of prayer. The Scotch perform this duty in a standing, instead of a kneeling posture, more, perhaps, to take as broad a distinction as possible from the ritual of Rome than for any better reason, since I have observed that in their family worship, as doubtless in their private devotions, they adopt in their immediate address to the Deity that posture which other Christians use as the humblest and most reverential. Standing, therefore, and the men

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being uncovered, a crowd of several hundreds of both sexes, and all ages, listened with great reverence and attention to the extempore, at least the unwritten prayer of an aged clergyman,* who was very popular in the city. Educated in the same religious persuasion, I seriously bent my mind to join in the devotion of the day, and it was not until the congregation resumed their seats that my attention was diverted to the consideration of the remarkable appearance of all around me. At the conclusion of the prayer, most of the men put on their hats or bonnets, and all who had the happiness to have seats sate down. Andrew and I were not of this number, having been too late in entering the church to secure such accommodation. We stood among a number of other persons in the same situation, forming a sort of ring around the seated part of the congregation. Behind and around us were the vaults I have already described; before us the devout audience, dimly shewn by the light which streamed on their faces, through one or two low Gothic windows, such as give air and light to charnel houses. By this were seen the usual variety of countenances, which are generally turned towards a Scottish pastor on such occasions, almost all composed to attention, unless where a father or mother here and there recalls the wandering eyes of a lively child, or disturbs the slumbers of a dull one. The high-boned and harsh countenance of the nation, with the expression of intelligence and shrewdness which it frequently exhibits, is seen to more advantage in the act of devotion, or in the ranks of war, than upon lighter and more cheerful occasions of assemblage. The discourse of the preacher was well qualified to call forth the various feelings and faculties of his audience. Age and its infirmities had impaired the powers of a voice originally strong and sonorous. He read his text with a pronounciation somewhat inarticulate, but when he closed the Bible, and commenced his sermon, his tones gradually strengthened, as he entered with vehemence into the arguments which he maintained. They related chiefly to the abstract points of the christian faith, subjects grave, deep, and fathomless by mere human reason, but for which, with equal ingenuity and propriety, he sought a key in liberal quotations from the inspired writings. My mind was unprepared to coincide in all his reasoning, nor was I sure that in every instance I rightly comprehended his position. But nothing could be more impressive than the eager enthu* I have in vain laboured to discover this gentleman’s name and the period of his incumbency. I do not, however, despair to see these points, with some others which may elude my sagacity, satisfactorily elucidated by one or other of the periodical publications which have devoted their pages to explanatory commentaries on my former volumes; and whose research and ingenuity claim my peculiar gratitude, for having discovered many persons and circumstances connected with my narratives, of which I myself never so much as dreamed.

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siastic manner of the good old man, and nothing more ingenious than his mode of reasoning. The Scotch, it is well known, are more remarkable for the exercise of their intellectual powers, than for the keenness of their feelings; they are, therefore, more moved by logic than by rhetoric, and more attracted by acute and argumentative reasoning on doctrinal points, than influenced by the enthusiastic appeals to the heart and to the passions, by which popular preachers in other countries win the favour of their hearers. Among the attentive groupe which I now saw, might be distinguished various expressions similar to those of the audience in the famous cartoon of Paul preaching at Athens. Here sate a zealous and intelligent Calvinist, with brows bent just so much as to indicate profound attention; lips slightly compressed; eyes fixed on the minister, with an expression of decent pride, as if sharing the triumph of his argument; the forefinger of the right hand touching successively those of the left, as the preacher, from argument to argument, ascended towards his conclusion. Another, with sterner and fiercer look, intimated at once his contempt of all who combated the creed of his pastor, and his joy at the appropriate punishment denounced against them. A third, belonging perhaps to a different congregation, and present only by accident or curiosity, had the appearance of internally impeaching some link of the reasoning, and you might plainly read, in the slight motion of his head, his doubts as to the soundness of the preacher’s argument. The greater part listened with a calm satisfied countenance, expressive of a conscious merit in being present, and in listening to such an ingenious discourse, although, perhaps, unable entirely to comprehend it. The women in general belonged to this last division of the audience; the old, however, seeming more grimly intent upon the abstracted doctrines laid before them; while the younger females permitted their eyes occasionally to make a modest circuit around the congregation; and some of them, Tresham, (if my vanity did not greatly deceive me,) contrived to distinguish your friend and servant, as a handsome young fellow, a stranger, and an Englishman. As to the rest of the audience, the stupid gaped, yawned, or slept, till awakened by the application of their more zealous neighbours’ heels to their shins; and the idle indicated their inattention by the wandering of their eyes, but dared give no more decided token of weariness. Amid the lowland costume of coat and cloak, I could here and there discover a Highland plaid, the wearer of which, resting on his basket-hilt, sent his eyes among the audience with the unconstrained curiosity of savage wonder; and who, in all probability, was inattentive to the sermon, for a very pardonable reason—because he did not understand a word of the language in which it was delivered. The martial and wild look of

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these stragglers, however, added a kind of character which the congregation could not have exhibited without them. They were more numerous, Andrew afterwards observed, owing to some cattle fair in the neighbourhood. Such was the groupe of countenances, rising tire on tire, discovered to my critical inspection by such sunbeams as forced their ways through the narrow Gothic lattices of the Laigh Kirk of Glasgow; and having illuminated the attentive congregation, lost themselves in the vacuity of the vaults behind, giving to the nearer part of their labyrinth a sort of imperfect twilight, and leaving their recesses in an utter darkness, which gave them the appearance of being interminable. I have already said, that I stood with others in the exterior circle, with my face to the preacher, and my back to those vaults which I have so often mentioned. My position rendered me particularly obnoxious to any interruption which arose from any slight noise occurring amongst these retiring arches, where the least sound was multiplied by a thousand echoes. The occasional sound of rain-drops, which, admitted through some cranny in the ruined roof, fell successively, and plashed upon the pavement beneath, caused me turn my head more than once to the place from whence it seemed to proceed; and when my eyes took that direction, I found it difficult to withdraw them, such is the pleasure our imagination receives from the attempt to penetrate as far as possible into an intricate labyrinth, imperfectly lighted, and exhibiting objects which irritate our curiosity, only because they acquire a mysterious interest from being undefined and dubious. My eyes became habituated to the gloomy atmosphere to which I directed them, and insensibly my mind became more interested in their discoveries than in the metaphysical subtleties which the preacher was enforcing. My father had often checked me for this wandering mood of mind, arising perhaps from an excitability of imagination to which he was a stranger; and the finding myself at present solicited by these temptations to inattention, recalled the time when I used to walk, led by his hand, to Mr Shower’s chapel, and the earnest injunctions which he then laid on me to redeem the time, because the days were evil. At present, the picture which my thoughts suggested, far from fixing my attention, destroyed the portion I had yet left, by conjuring to my recollection the peril in which his affairs now stood. I endeavoured, in the lowest whisper I could frame, to request Andrew to obtain information, whether any of the gentlemen of the firm of MacVittie, &c. were at present in the congregation. But Andrew, wrapped in profound attention to the sermon, only replied to my suggestion by hard punches with his elbow, as a signal to me to remain silent. I next

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strained my eyes with equal bad success, to see, if among the sea of up-turned faces, which bent their eyes on the pulpit as a common centre, I could discover the sober and business-like physiognomy of Owen. But not among the broad beavers of the Glasgow citizens, or the yet broader brimmed lowland bonnets of the peasants of Lanarkshire, could I see any thing resembling the decent periwig, starched ruffles, or the uniform suit of light brown garments appertaining to the head-clerk of the establishment of Osbaldistone and Tresham. My anxiety now returned on me with such violence, as to overpower not only the novelty of the scene around me, by which it had hitherto been diverted, but moreover my sense of decorum. I pulled Andrew hard by the sleeve, and intimated my wish to leave the church, and pursue my investigation as I could. Andrew, obdurate in the Laigh Kirk of Glasgow, as on the mountain of Cheviot, for some time deigned me no answer, and it was only when he found I could not otherwise be kept quiet that he condescended to inform me, that being once in the church, we could not leave it until service was over, because the doors were locked so soon as the prayers began. Having spoken thus in a brief and peevish whisper, Andrew again assumed the air of intelligent and critical importance, and attention to the preacher’s discourse. While I endeavoured to make a virtue of necessity, and recal my attention to the sermon, I was again disturbed by a singular interruption. A voice from behind whispered distinctly into my ear, “You are in danger in this city.”—I turned round as if mechanically. One or two starched and ordinary-looking mechanics stood beside and behind me, stragglers, who, like ourselves, had been too late in obtaining entrance. But a glance at their faces satisfied me, though I could hardly say why, that none of these was the person who had spoken to me. Their countenances seemed all composed to attention to the sermon, and not one of them returned any glance of intelligence to the inquisitive and startled look with which I surveyed them. A massive round pillar, which was close behind us, might have concealed the speaker the instant he had uttered his mysterious caution, but wherefore it was given in such a place, or to what species of danger it directed my attention, or by whom the warning was uttered, were points on which my imagination lost itself in conjecture. It would, however, I concluded, be repeated, and I resolved to keep my countenance turned towards the clergyman, that the whisperer might be tempted to renew his communication under the idea that the first had passed unobserved. My plan succeeded. I had not resumed the appearance of attention to the preacher for five minutes, when the same voice whispered, “Listen—but do not look back.” I kept my face in the same direction.

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“You are in danger in this place,” the voice proceeded; “so am I— meet me to-night on the Brigg, at twelve preceesely—keep at home till the gloaming, and avoid observation.” Here the voice ceased, and I instantly turned my head. But the speaker had, with still greater promptitude, glided behind the pillar, and escaped my observation. I was determined to catch a sight of him, if possible, and, extricating myself from the outer circle of hearers, I also stepped behind the column. All there was empty, and I could only see a figure wrapped in a mantle—whether a Lowland cloak, or Highland plaid, I could not distinguish, which traversed, like a phantom, the dreary vacuity of vaults which I have described. I made a mechanical attempt to pursue the mysterious form, which glided away, and vanished in the vaulted cemetery, like the spectre of one of the numerous dead who rested within its precincts. I had little chance of arresting the course of one obviously determined not to be spoken with; but that little chance was lost by my stumbling and falling before I had made three steps from the column. The obscurity which occasioned my misfortune covered my disgrace, which I accounted rather lucky, for the preacher, with that stern authority which the Scottish ministers assume for the purpose of keeping order in their congregations, interrupted his discourse, to desire the “proper officer” to take into custody the causer of this disturbance in the place of worship. As the noise, however, was not repeated, the beadle, or whatever else he was called, did not think it necessary to be rigorous in searching out the offender, so that I was enabled, without attracting farther observation, to place myself by Andrew’s side in my original position. The service proceeded, and closed without the occurrence of any thing else worthy of notice. As the congregation departed and dispersed, my friend Andrew exclaimed—“See, yonder is worthy Mr MacVittie and Mrs MacVittie, and Miss Alison MacVittie, and Mr Thamas Macfin, that they say is to marry Miss Alison, if a’ bowls row right—she’ll hae a hantle siller, if she’s no that bonnie.” My eyes took the direction he pointed out. Mr MacVittie was a tall thin elderly man, with hard features, thick grey eye-brows, light eyes, and, as I imagined, a sinister expression of countenance, from which my heart recoiled. I remembered the warning I had received in the church, and hesitated at addressing this person, though I could not allege to myself any rational ground of dislike or suspicion. I was yet in suspense, when Andrew, who mistook my hesitation for bashfulness, proceeded to exhort me to lay it aside. “Speak till him— speak till him, Mr Francis—he’s no provost yet, though they say he’ll be My Lord neist year. Speak till him, than—he’ll gie ye a decent

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answer for as rich as he is, unless ye were wanting siller frae him— they say he’s dour to draw his purse.” It immediately occurred to me, that if this merchant were really of the avaricious and churlish disposition which Andrew intimated, there might be some caution necessary in making myself known, as I could not tell how accounts might stand between my father and him. This consideration came in aid of the mysterious hint which I had received, and that dislike which I had conceived at the man’s countenance. Instead of addressing myself directly to him, as I had designed to have done, I contented myself with desiring Andrew to enquire at Mr MacVittie’s house the address of Mr Owen, an English gentleman, and I charged him not to mention the person from whom he had received the commission, but to bring me the result to the small inn where we lodged. This Andrew promised to do. He said something of the duty of attending the evening service, but added, with a causticity natural to him, that “in troth, if folk could na keep their legs still, but wad needs be couping the creels ower through-stanes, as if they wad raise the very dead folk wi’ the clatter, a kirk wi’ a chimley in’t was fittest for them.”

Chapter Eight On the Rialto, every night at twelve, I take my evening’s walk of meditation: There we two will meet—— Venice Preserved

F of sinister augury, for which, however, I could assign no satisfactory cause, I shut myself up in my apartment at the inn, and having dismissed Andrew, after resisting his importunity to accompany him to Saint Enoch’s Kirk, where, he said, “a soul-searching divine was to hauld forth,” I set myself seriously to consider what were best to be done. I never was what is properly called superstitious, but I suppose all men, in situations of peculiar doubt and difficulty, when they have exercised their reason to little purpose, are apt, in a sort of despair, to abandon the reins to their imagination, and be guided either altogether by chance, or by those whimsical impressions which take possession of the mind, and to which we give way as if to involuntary impulses. There was something so singularly repulsive in the hard features of the Scotch trader, that I could not resolve to put myself into his hands without transgressing every caution which could be derived from the rules of physiognomy. On the other hand, the warning voice behind me, the form which flitted away like a vanishing shadow through those vaults, which might be termed “the valley of the shadow of death,” had

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something captivating for the imagination of a young man, who, you will farther please to remember, was also a young poet. If danger was around me, as this mysterious communication intimated, how could I learn its nature, or the means of averting it, but by meeting my unknown counsellor, to whom I could see no reason for imputing any other than kind intentions. Rashleigh and his machinations occurred more than once to my remembrance, but so rapid had my journey been, that I could not suppose him apprised of my arrival in Glasgow, much less prepared to play off any stratagem against my person. In my temper I was also bold and confident, strong and active in person, and in some degree accustomed to the use of arms, in which the French youth of all ranks were then initiated. I did not fear any single opponent; assassination was neither the vice of the age nor of the country; the place selected for our meeting was too public to admit any suspicion of meditated violence. In a word, I resolved to meet my mysterious counsellor on the bridge, as he had requested, and to be afterwards guided by circumstances. Let me not conceal from you, Tresham, what at the time I endeavoured to conceal from myself—the subdued, yet secretly-cherished hope, that Diana Vernon might,—by what chance I knew not,—through what means I could not guess,— have some connection with this strange and dubious intimation, conveyed at a time and place, and in a manner so surprising. She alone, whispered this insidious hope, she alone knew of my journey—from her own account, she possessed friends and influence in Scotland;— she had furnished me with a talisman, whose power I was to invoke when all other aid failed me—who, then, but Diana Vernon possessed means, knowledge, or inclination sufficient for averting the dangers, by which, as it seemed, my steps were surrounded. This flattering view of my very doubtful case pressed itself upon me again and again. It insinuated itself into my thoughts, though very bashfully, before the hour of dinner—it displayed its attractions more boldly during the course of my frugal meal, and became so courageously intrusive during the succeeding half hour, (aided perhaps by the flavour of a few glasses of most excellent claret) that, with a sort of desperate attempt to escape from a delusive seduction, to which I felt the danger of yielding, I pushed my glass from me, threw aside my dinner, seized my hat, and rushed into the open air with the feeling of one who would fly from his own thoughts. Yet perhaps I yielded to the very feelings from which I seemed to fly, since my steps insensibly led me to the bridge over the Clyde, the place assigned for the rendezvous by my mysterious monitor. Although I had not partaken of my repast until the hours of evening church service were over,—in which, by the way, I complied with the

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religious scruples of my landlady, who hesitated to dress a hot dinner between sermons, and also with the admonition of my unknown friend, to keep my apartment till twilight,—several hours had still to pass away betwixt the time of my appointment and that at which I reached the assigned place of meeting. The interval, as you will readily credit, was wearisome enough, and I can hardly explain to you how it passed away. Various groups of persons, all of whom, young and old, seemed impressed with a reverential feeling of the sanctity of the day, passed along the large open meadow which lies on the northern bank of the Clyde, and serves as a bleaching-field and pleasure walk for the inhabitants, or passed with slow steps the long bridge which communicates with the southern districts of the county. All I remember of them was the general, yet not unpleasing intimation of a devotional character impressed on each little party, formally assumed perhaps by some, but sincerely characterizing the greater number, which hushed the petulant gaiety of the young into a tone of more quiet, yet more interesting and earnest, interchange of sentiments, and suppressed the vehement argument and protracted disputes of those of more advanced age. Notwithstanding the numbers who passed me, no general sound of the human voice was heard—few turned again to take a few minutes exercise, to which the leisure of the evening, and the beauty of the surrounding scenery, seemed to invite them—all hurried to their home and resting-place.To one accustomed to the mode of spending Sunday evenings abroad, even among the French Calvinists, there seemed something Judaical, yet at the same time striking and affecting, in this mode of keeping the Sabbath holy. Insensibly I felt my mode of sauntering by the side of the river, and crossing successively the various persons who were passing homeward without tarrying or delay, must expose me to observation at least, if not to censure, and I slunk out of the frequented path, and found a trivial occupation for my mind in marshalling my revolving walk in such a manner as should least render me obnoxious to observation. The different alleys lined out through this extensive meadow, and which are planted with trees, like the Park of St James’s, in London, gave me facilities for carrying into effect these childish manœuvres. As I walked down one of these avenues, I heard, to my surprise, the sharp and conceited voice of Andrew Fairservice, raised by a sense of self-consequence to a pitch somewhat higher than others seemed to think consistent with the solemnity of the day. To slip behind the row of trees under which I walked was perhaps a very shabby proceeding, but it was the easiest mode of escaping his observation, and perhaps his impertinent assiduity, and still more intrusive curiosity. As he passed, I heard him communicate to a grave-looking man, in a black

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coat, a slouch-hat, and Geneva cloak, the following sketch of a character, which my self-love, while revolting against it as a caricatura, could not help recognizing as a likeness. “Ay, ay, Mr Hammergaw, it’s e’en as I tell ye—He’s no a’together sae void o’ sense neither—he has a gloaming sight o’ what’s reasonable—that is anes and awa’—a glisk and nae mair—but he’s crack-brained and cockle-headed about his nipperty-tipperty poetry nonsense—He’ll glower at an auld warld barkit aik-snag as if it were a quiz-maddam in full bearing, and a naked craig wi’ a burn jawing out ower’t is unto him as a garden garnisht with flowering knots and choice pot-herbs—than, he wad rather claver wi’ a daft quean they ca’ Diana Vernon (weel I wot they might ca’ her Diana of the Ephesians, for she’s little better than a heathen—better? she’s waur—a Roman— a mere Roman)—He’ll claver wi’ her, or ony ither idle slut, rather than hear what might do him gude a’ the days o’ his life, like you or me, Mr Hammergaw, or ony ither sober and sponsible person—reason, sir, is what he canna endure—he’s a’ for your vanities and volubilities, and he ance tell’d me, (puir blinded creature) that the Psalms of David were excellent poetry! As if the holy Psalmist thought o’ rattling rhymes in a bladder, like his ain silly clinkum-clankum things that he ca’s verse. Gude help him! twa lines o’ Davie Lindsay wad ding a’ he e’er clerkit.” While listening to this perverted account of my temper and studies, you will not be surprised if I meditated for Mr Fairservice the unpleasant surprise of a broken pate on the first decent opportunity. His friend only intimated his attention by “Ay, ay,” and “Is’t e’en sae?” and such like expressions of interest at the proper breaks in Mr Fairservice’s harangue, until at length, in answer to some observation of greater length, the import of which I only collected from my trusty guide’s reply, honest Andrew answered, “Tell him a bit o’ my mind, quoth ye?—Wha wad be fule than but Andrew?—he’s a red-wud devil, man!—He’s like Giles Heathertap’s auld boar, ye need but shake a clout at him to gar him turn and gore. Bide wi’ him, say ye? Troth, I kenna what for I bide wi’ him mysell—But the lad’s no a bad lad after a’—and he needs some carefu’ body to look after him—he hasna the right grip o’ his hand—the gowd slips through’t like water, man, and it’s no that ill a thing to be near him when his purse is in his hand, and it’s seldom out o’t. And than he’s come o’ gude kith and kin —my heart warms to the puir thoughtless callant, Mr Hammergaw— and then the penny fee”—— In the latter part of this instructive communication, Mr Fairservice lowered his voice to a tone better beseeming the conversation in a place of public resort on a Sabbath evening, and his companion and he

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were soon beyond my hearing. My feelings of hasty resentment soon subsided under the conviction, that, as Andrew himself might have said, “A hearkener always hears a bad tale of himself,” and that whoever should happen to hear their character talked over in their own servants’-hall, must prepare to undergo the scalpel of such an anatomist as Mr Fairservice. The incident was so far useful, as, including the feelings to which it gave rise, it sped away a part of the time which hung so heavily on my hand. Evening had now closed, and the growing darkness gave to the broad, still, and deep expanse of the brimful river, first a hue sombre and uniform, then a dismal and turbid appearance, partially lighted by a waning and pallid moon. The massive and ancient bridge which stretches across the river, was now but dimly visible, and resembled that which Mirza, in his unequalled vision, has described as traversing the valley of Bagdad. The low-browed arches, seen as imperfectly as the dusky current which they bestrode, seemed rather caverns which swallowed up the gloomy waters of the river, than apertures contrived for their passage. With the advancing night the stillness of the scene increased. There was yet a twinkling light occasionally seen to glide along by the river, which conducted homewards one or two of the small parties, who, after the abstinence and religious duties of the day, had partaken of a social supper, the only meal at which the rigid presbyterians made some advance to sociality on the Sabbath. Occasionally, too, the hoofs of a horse were heard, whose rider, after spending the Sunday in Glasgow, was directing his steps towards his residence in the country. These sounds and sights became gradually of more rare occurrence. At length they altogether ceased, and I was left to enjoy my solitary walk on the shores of the Clyde in solemn silence, broken only by the tolling of the successive hours from the steeples of the churches. But as the night advanced, my impatience at the uncertainty of the situation in which I was placed increased every moment, and became nearly ungovernable. I began to question whether I had been imposed upon by the trick of a fool, or the raving of a madman, or the studied machination of a villain, and paced the little sort of quay or pier adjoining to the entrance to the bridge in a state of incredible anxiety and vexation. At length the hour of twelve o’clock swung its summons over the city from the belfrey of the metropolitan church of St Mungo, and was answered and vouched by all the others like dutiful diocesans. The echoes had scarcely ceased to repeat the last sound, when a human form—the first I had seen for two hours—appeared passing along the bridge from the southern shore of the river. I advanced to meet him with a feeling as if my fate depended on the result of the

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interview, so much had my anxiety been wound up by protracted expectation. All that I could remark of the passenger as we advanced towards each other was, that his frame was rather beneath than above the middle size, but apparently strong, thick-set, and muscular, his dress a horseman’s wrapping-coat. I slackened my pace, and almost paused as I advanced, in expectation that he would address me. But to my inexpressible disappointment, he passed without speaking, and I had no pretence for being the first to address one, who, notwithstanding his appearing at the very hour of appointment, might, nevertheless, be an absolute stranger. I stopped after he had passed me, and looked after him, uncertain whether I ought not to follow him. He walked on till near the northern end of the bridge, then paused, looked back, and turning round, again advanced towards me. I resolved that this time he should not have the apology for silence proper to apparitions, who, it is vulgarly supposed, cannot speak until they are spoken to. “You walk late, sir,” said I, as we met a second time. “I bide tryste,” was the reply, “and so I think do you, Mr Osbaldistone.” “You are then the person who requested me to meet you here at this unusual hour?” “I am,” he replied. “Follow me, and you shall know my reason.” “Before following you, I must know your name and purpose,” I answered. “I am a man,” was the reply; “and my purpose is friendly to you.” “A man?” I repeated. “That is a very brief description.” “It will serve for one who has no other to give,” said the stranger. “He that is without name, without friends, without coin, without country, is still at least a man, and he that has a’ these is no more.” “Yet this is still too general an account of yourself, to say the least of it, to establish your credit with a stranger.” “It is all I mean to give, howsoe’er; you may chuse to follow me, or to remain without the information I desire to afford you.” “Can you not give me that information here?” I answered. “You must receive it from your eyes, not from my tongue—you must follow me, or remain in ignorance of the information which I have to give you.” There was something short, determined, and even stern in the man’s manner, not certainly well calculated to conciliate undoubting confidence. “What is it you fear?” he said impatiently. “To whom, think ye, your life is of such consequence, that they should seek to bereave ye of it?” “I fear nothing,” I replied firmly, though somewhat hastily. “Walk on—I attend you.”

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We proceeded (contrary to my expectation) to re-enter the town, and glided like mute spectres, side by side, up one of its empty and silent streets. The high and gloomy stone fronts, with the variegated ornaments and pediments of the windows, looked yet taller and more sable by the imperfect moon-shine. Our walk was for some minutes in perfect silence. At length my conductor spoke. “Are you afraid?” “I retort your own words,” I replied; “wherefore should I fear?” “Because you are with a stranger—perhaps an enemy, in a place where you have no friends and many enemies.” “I neither fear you nor them—I am young, active, and armed.” “I am not armed,” replied my conductor; “but no matter—a willing hand never lacked weapon. You say you fear nothing—but if you knew who was by your side, perhaps you might underlie a tremor.” “And why should I?” replied I. “I again repeat, I fear nought that you can do.” “Nought that I can do?—be it so. But do you not fear the consequences of being found with one whose very name whispered in this lonely street would make the stones themselves rise up to apprehend him—on whose head half the men in Glasgow would build their fortune as on a found treasure, had they the luck to grip him by the collar—the sound of whose apprehension were as welcome at the Cross of Edinburgh as ever the news of a field stricken and won in Flanders.” “And who then are you, whose name should create so deep a feeling of terror?” I replied. “No enemy of yours, since I am conveying you to a place, where, were I myself recognised and identified, iron to the heels, and hemp to the craig, would be my brief dooming.” I paused and stood still on the pavement, drawing back so as to have the most perfect view of my companion which the light afforded, and which was sufficient to guard me against any sudden motion of assault. “You have said,” I answered, “either too much or too little—too much to induce me to confide in you as a mere stranger, since you avow yourself a person amenable to the laws of the country in which we are—and too little, unless you could shew that you are unjustly subjected to their rigour.” As I ceased to speak, he made a step towards me. I drew back instinctively, and laid my hand on the hilt of my sword. “What,” said he, “on an unarmed man, and your friend?” “I am yet ignorant if you are either the one or the other,” replied I; “and, to say the truth, your language and manner might well entitle me to doubt both.”

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“It is manfully spoken,” replied my conductor; “and I respect him whose hand can keep his head.—I will be frank and free with you—I am conveying you to prison.” “To prison!” I exclaimed; “by what warrant, or for what offence?— you shall have my life sooner than my liberty—I defy you, and I will not follow you a step further.” “I do not,” he said, “carry you there as a prisoner. I am,” he added, drawing himself haughtily up, “neither a messenger nor sheriff’s officer—I carry you to see a prisoner from whose lips you will learn the risk in which you presently stand. Your liberty is little risked by the visit —mine is in some peril—but that I readily encounter on your account, for I care not for risk, and I love a free young blood, that kens no protector but the cross o’ the sword.” While he spoke thus we had reached the principal street, and were pausing before a large building of hewn stone, garnished, as I thought I could perceive, with gratings of iron before the windows. “Mickle,” said the stranger, whose language became more broadly national as he assumed a tone of colloquial freedom—“mickle wad the provost and baillies o’ Glasgow gie to hae him sitting with iron garters to his hose within their tolbooth, that now stands wi’ his legs as free as the red deer’s on the outside on’t. And little wad it avail them—for an’ if they had me there wi’ a stane’s weight o’ iron at every ancle, I would shew them a toom room and a lost lodger before to-morrow—but come on, what stint ye for?” As he spoke thus, he tapped at a low wicket, and was answered by a sharp voice, as of one awakened from a dream or reverie,—“Fa’s tat? —Wha’s that, I wad say?—and fat a de’il want ye at this hour at een?— clean again rules—clean again rules—as they ca’ them.” The protracted tone in which the last words were uttered, betokened that the speaker was again confining himself to slumbers. But my guide spoke in a loud whisper, “Dougal, man! hae ye forgotten Ha nun Gregarach?” “Deil a bit, deil a bit,” was the ready and lively response, and I heard the internal guardian of the prison-gate bustle up with great alacrity. A few words were exchanged between my conductor and the turnkey, in a language to which I was an absolute stranger—the bolts revolved, but with a caution which marked the apprehension that the noise might be overheard—and we stood within the vestibule of the prison of Glasgow—a small, but strong guard-room, from which a narrow stair-case led upwards, and one or two low entrances conducted to apartments on the same level with the outward gate, all secured with the jealous strength of wickets, bolts, and bars. The walls, otherwise naked, were not unsuitably garnished with iron fetters, and other

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uncouth implements, which might be designed for purposes still more inhuman, interspersed with partizans, guns, pistols of antique manufacture, and other weapons of defence and offence. At finding myself so unexpectedly, fortuitously, and, as it were, by stealth, introduced within one of the legal fortresses of Scotland, I could not help recollecting my adventure in Northumberland, and fretting at the strange accidents which again, without any demerits of my own, threatened to place me in a dangerous and disagreeable collision with the laws of the country, which I visited only in the capacity of a stranger.

Chapter Nine Look round thee, young Astolpho—here’s the place Which men (for being poor) are sent to starve in,— Rude remedy, I trow, for sore disease. Within these walls, stifled by damp and stench, Doth Hope’s fair torch expire—and at the snuff, Ere yet ’tis quite extinct, rude, wild, and wayward, The desperate revelries of wild despair, Kindling their hell-born cressets, light to deeds That the poor captive would have died ere practised, Till bondage sunk his soul to his condition. The Prison, Scene III. Act I

A    entrance I turned an eager glance towards my conductor, but the lamp in the vestibule was too low in flame to give my curiosity any satisfaction by affording a distinct perusal of his features. As the turnkey held the light in his hands, the beams fell more full on his own less interesting figure. He was a wild shock-headed looking animal, whose profusion of red hair covered and obscured his features, which were otherwise only characterized by the extravagant joy that affected him at the sight of my guide. In my experience I have met nothing so absolutely resembling my idea of a very uncouth, wild, and ugly savage adoring the idol of his tribe. He grinned, he shivered, he laughed, he was near crying, if he did not actually cry. He had a “Where shall I go?—what can I do for you?” expression of face; the complete, surrendered, and anxious subservience and devotion of which it is difficult to describe, otherwise than by the awkward combination which I have attempted. The fellow’s voice seemed choking in his ecstacy, and only could express itself in such interjections as “Oigh, oigh,—Aye, aye—it’s lang since she’s seen ye!” and others equally brief, expressed in the same unknown tongue in which he had communicated with my conductor while we were on the outside of the jail door. My guide received all this excess of joyful gratulation much

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like a prince too early accustomed to the homage of those around him to be much moved by it, yet willing to requite it by the usual forms of royal courtesy. He extended his hand graciously towards the turnkey, with a civil enquiry of “How’s a’ wi’ ye, Dougal?” “Oigh, oigh!” exclaimed Dougal, softening the sharp aspirations of his surprise as he looked around with an eye of watchful alarm— “Oigh, to see you here—to see you here—Oigh, what will come o’ ye gin the baillies suld come to get witting—ta filthy, gutty hallions, tat they are.” My guide placed his finger on his lip, and said, “Fear nothing, Dougal; your hands sall never draw a bolt on me.” “Tat sall they no,” said Dougal; “she suld—she wald—that is, she wishes them hacked aff by the elbows first—But whan are ye ganging yonder again? and ye’ll no forget to let her ken—she’s your puir cousin, God kens, only seven times removed.” “I will let you ken, Dougal, so soon as my plans are settled.” “And, by her sooth, when you do, an it were twal o’ the Saturday at e’en, she’ll fling her keys at the provost’s head or she gies them anither turn, and that or ever Sabbath morning begins—see if she winna.” My mysterious stranger cut his acquaintance’s ecstasies short by again addressing him, in what I afterwards understood to be the Irish, Earse, or Gaelic, explaining, probably, the services which he required at his hand. The answer, “Wi’ a’ her heart—wi’ a’ her soul,” with a good deal of indistinct muttering in a similar tone, intimated the turnkey’s acquiescence in what he proposed. The fellow trimmed his dying lamp, and made a sign to me to follow him. “Do you not go with us?” said I, looking to my conductor. “It is unnecessary,” he replied; “my company would, it may be, inconvenience you, and I had better remain here to secure our retreat.” “I do not suppose you mean to betray me to danger,” said I. “To nane but what I partake in doubly,” answered the stranger, with a voice of assurance which it was impossible to mistrust. I followed the turnkey, who, leaving the inner wicket unlocked behind him, led me up a turnpike, (so the Scotch call a winding stair,) then along a narrow gallery,—then opening one of several doors which led into the passage, he ushered me into a very small apartment, and casting his eye on the pallet-bed which occupied one corner, said, with an under voice, as he placed the lamp upon a little deal table, “She’s sleeping.” “She? Who—can it be Diana in this abode of misery?” I turned my eye to the bed, and it was with a mixture of disappointment oddly mingled with pleasure, that I saw my first idea had dis-

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appointed me. I saw a head neither young nor beautiful, garnished with a grey beard of two days’ growth, and accommodated with a red night-cap. The first glance put me at ease on the score of Diana Vernon; the second, as the slumberer awoke from a heavy sleep, yawned, and rubbed his eyes, presented me with features very different indeed—even those of my poor friend Owen. I drew back out of view an instant, that he might have time to recover himself, fortunately recollecting that I was but an intruder on these cells of sorrow, and that any alarm might be attended with unhappy consequences. Meantime, the unfortunate formalist, raising himself from the pallet with the assistance of one hand, and scratching his cap with the other, exclaimed, in a voice in which as much peevishness as he was capable of feeling, contended with drowsiness, “I’ll tell you what, Mr Digwell, or whatever your name may be—the sum total of the matter is, that if my natural rest is to be broken in this manner, I must complain to the lord mayor.” “Shentlemans to speak wi’ her,” replied Dougal, resuming the true dogged sullen tone of a turnkey, in exchange for the shrill clang of Highland congratulation with which he had welcomed my mysterious guide. And turning on his heel, he left the apartment. It was some time ere I could prevail upon the unfortunate sleeper thus awakened to recognize me, and when he did so, the distress of the worthy creature was extreme, at supposing, which he naturally did, that I had been sent thither as a partner of his captivity. “O, Mr Frank, what have you brought yourself and the house to?— I think nothing of myself, that am a mere cypher, so to speak, but you that was your father’s sum total, his omnium—that might have been the first man in the first house in the first city—to be shut up in a nasty Scotch jail, where one cannot even get the dirt brushed off their clothes.” Here he rubbed, with an air of peevish irritation, the once stainless brown coat which had now shared some of the impurities of the floor of his prison-house, his habits of extreme and punctilious neatness acting mechanically to increase his distress. “O Heaven be gracious to us!” he continued. “What news this will be in ’Change! There has not the like come there since the battle of Almanza, where the total of the British loss was summed up to five thousand men killed and wounded, besides a floating balance of missing—but what will that be to the news that Osbaldistone and Tresham have stopped?” I broke in on his lamentations to acquaint him, that I was no prisoner, though scarce able to account for my being in that place at such an hour. I could only silence his enquiries by persisting in those

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which his own situation suggested; and at length obtained from him such information as he was able to give me. It was none of the most distinct, for, however clear-headed in his own routine of commercial business, Owen, you are well aware, was not very acute in comprehending what lay beyond that sphere. The sum of his information was, that of two correspondents of my father’s firm at Glasgow, where, owing to engagements in Scotland, formerly alluded to, he transacted a great deal of business, both my father and Owen had found the house of MacVittie, Macfin, and Company, the most obliging and accommodating. They had deferred to the great English house on every possible occasion, and in their bargains and transactions acted, without repining, the part of the jackall, who only claims what the lion is pleased to leave him. However small the share of profit allotted to them, it was always, as they expressed it, “enough for the like of them;” however large the proportion of trouble, “they were sensible they could not do too much to deserve the continued patronage and good opinion of their honoured friends in Crane Alley.” The dictates of my father were to MacVittie and Macfin the laws of the Medes and Persians, not to be altered, innovated, or even discussed, and the punctilios exacted by Owen in their business transactions, for he was a great lover of form, more especially when he could dictate it ex cathedra, seemed scarce less sanctimonious in their eyes. This tone of deep and respectful observance went all currently down with Owen, but my father looked a little closer into men’s bosoms, and whether suspicious of this excess of deference, or, as a lover of brevity and simplicity in business, tired with these gentlemen’s long-winded professions of regard, he had uniformly resisted their desire to become his sole agents in Scotland. On the contrary, he transacted a good many affairs through a correspondent of a character perfectly different,—a man whose good opinion of himself amounted to self-conceit, and who, disliking the English generically as much as my father did the Scotch, would hold no communication but on a footing of absolute equality; jealous, moreover; captious occasionally; as tenacious of his own opinions in point of form as Owen could be of his; and totally indifferent, though the authority of all Lombard-Street stood against his own private opinion. As these peculiarities of temper rendered it difficult to do business with Mr Nicol Jarvie,—as they occasioned at times disputes and coldness between the English house and their correspondent, which were only got over by a sense of mutual interest, as, moreover, Owen’s personal vanity sometimes suffered a little in the discussions to which they gave rise, you cannot be surprised, Tresham, that our old friend

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threw at all times the weight of his influence in favour of the civil, discreet, accommodating concern of MacVittie and Macfin, and spoke of Jarvie as a petulant, conceited Scotch pedlar, with whom there was no doing business. It was also not surprising, that in these circumstances, which I only learned in detail some time afterwards, Owen, in the difficulties to which the house were reduced by the absence of my father, and the disappearance of Rashleigh, should, on his arrival in Scotland, which took place two days before mine, have recourse to the friendship of those correspondents, who had always professed themselves obliged, grateful, and devoted to the service of his principal. He was received at Messrs MacVittie and Macfin’s compting-house, in the Gallowgate, with something like the devotion a Catholic would pay to his descended tutelar saint. But alas! this sunshine was soon overclouded, when, encouraged by the fair hopes which it inspired, he opened the difficulties of the house to his friendly correspondents, and requested their counsel and assistance. MacVittie was almost stunned by the communication, and Macfin, ere it was yet completed, was already at his ledger, and in the very bowels of the multitudinous accompts between their house and that of Osbaldistone and Tresham, for the purpose of discovering on which side the balance lay. Alas! the scale depressed considerably against the English firm, and the faces of MacVittie and Macfin, hitherto only blank and doubtful, became now ominous, grim, and lowering. They met Mr Owen’s request of countenance and assistance with a counter-demand of instant security against imminent hazard of eventual loss. And at length, speaking more plainly, they required that a deposit of assetts, destined for other purposes, should be placed in their hands for that purpose. Owen repelled this demand with great indignation, as dishonourable to his constituents, unjust to the other creditors of Osbaldistone and Tresham, and very ungrateful on the part of those by whom it was made. The Scotch partners gained, in the course of this controversy, what is very convenient to persons who are in the wrong, an opportunity and pretext for putting themselves into a violent passion, and for taking, under pretext of the provocation they had received, measures to which some sense of decency, if not of conscience, might otherwise have deterred them from resorting. Owen had a small share, as I believe is usual, in the house to which he acted as head clerk, and was therefore personally liable for all its obligations. This was known to Messrs MacVittie and Macfin, and, with a view of making him feel their power, or rather in order to force him, at this emergency, into the measures in their favour, to which he had expressed himself so repugnant, they had recourse to a summary

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process of arrest and imprisonment, which it seems the law of Scotland (therein surely liable to much abuse) allows to a creditor who finds his conscience at liberty to make oath that their debtor meditates departing from the realm. Under such a warrant had poor Owen been consigned to durance upon the day preceding that when I was so strangely guided to his prison-house. Thus possessed of the alarming outline of facts, the question remained, what was to be done? and it was not of easy determination. I plainly perceived the perils with which we were surrounded, but it was more difficult to suggest any remedy. The warning which I had already received seemed to intimate, that my own personal liberty might be endangered by an open appearance in Owen’s behalf. Owen entertained the same apprehension, and in the exaggeration of his terror, assured me that a Scotchman, rather than run the risk of losing a farthing by an Englishman, would find law for arresting his wife, children, man-servant, maid-servant, and stranger within his household. The laws concerning debt, in most countries, are so unmercifully severe, that I could not altogether disbelieve his statement; and my arrest, in the present circumstances, would have been a coup-de-grace to my father’s affairs. In this dilemma, I asked Owen if he had not thought of having recourse to my father’s other correspondent in Glasgow, Mr Nicol Jarvie? “He had sent him a card,” he replied, “that morning, but if the smooth-tongued and civil house in the Gallowgate had used him thus, what was to be expected from the cross-grained crab-stock in the Salt-Market? You might as well ask a broker to give up his per centage, as expect a favour from him without the per contra. He had not even,” Owen said, “answered his letter, though it was put into his hand that morning as he went to church.” And here the despairing man-offigures threw himself down on his pallet, exclaiming,—“My poor dear master! my poor dear master! O, Mr Frank, Mr Frank, this is all your obstinacy!—but God forgive me for saying so to you in your distress! it’s God’s disposing, and man must submit.” My philosophy, Tresham, could not prevent my sharing in the honest creature’s distress, and we mingled our tears, the more bitter on my part, as the perverse opposition to my father’s will, with which the kind-hearted Owen forbore to upbraid me, rose up to my conscience as the cause of all this affliction. In the midst of our mingled sorrow, we were disturbed and surprised by a loud knocking at the outward door of the prison. I ran to the top of the stair-case to listen, but could only hear the voice of the turnkey, now alternately in a high tone, answering to some person without, and in a whisper, addressed to the person who had guided me

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hither: “She’s coming—she’s coming,” aloud; then in a low key, “O hon-a-ri! O hon-a-ri! what’ll she do noo?—Gang up ta stair, and hide yoursell ahint ta Sassenach shentleman’s ped.—She’s coming as fast as she can—Ahellanay! it’s my lord provosts, and ta paillies, and ta guard—and the captain’s coming toon stairs too—Got pless her! gang up or he meets her.—She’s coming—she’s coming—ta lock’s sair roosted.” While Dougal unwillingly, and with as much delay as possible, undid the various fastenings to give admittance to those without, whose impatience became clamorous, my guide ascended the winding stair, and sprang into Owen’s apartment into which I followed him. He cast his eyes hastily round as if for a place of concealment, then said to me, “Lend me your pistols—yet it’s no matter, I can do without them—whatever you see take no heed, and dinna mix your hand in another man’s feud—This gear’s mine, and I maun manage it as I dow —but I have been as hard bestad, and worse than I am even now.” As the stranger spoke these words, he stripped from his person the cumbrous upper coat in which he was wrapt, and confronted the door of the apartment, on which he fixed a keen and determined glance, drawing his person a little back to concentrate his force, like a fine horse brought up to the leaping-bar. I had not a moment’s doubt that he meant to extricate himself from his embarrassment, whatever might be the cause of it, by springing full upon those who should appear when the door opened, and forcing his way through all opposition into the street—and such was the appearance of strength and agility displayed in his frame, and of determination in his look and manner, that I did not doubt a moment but that he would get clear through his opponents, unless they employed mortal means to stop his purpose. It was a moment of awful suspense betwixt the opening of the outward gate and that of the door of the apartment, when there appeared—no guard with bayonets fixed, or watch with clubs, bills, or partizans, but a good-looking young woman, with her grogram petticoats tucked up for trudging through the streets, and a lanthorn in her hand. This female ushered in a more important personage, in form stout, short, and somewhat corpulent; and by dignity, as it soon appeared, a magistrate, bob-wigged, bustling, and breathless with peevish impatience. My conductor, at his appearance, drew back as if to escape observation, but he could not elude the penetrating twinkle with which this dignitary reconnoitred the whole apartment. “A bonnie thing it is, and a beseeming, that I should be kept at the door half an hour, Captain Stanshels,” said he, addressing the principal jailor, who now showed himself at the door as if in attendance on the great man, “knocking as hard to get into the tolbooth as ony body

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else wad to get out of it, could that avail them, poor fallen creatures! —And how’s this!—how’s this!—strangers in the jail after lock-up hours!—I shall look after this, Stanshels, ye may depend on’t—Keep the doors locked, and I’ll speak to these gentlemen in a gliffing—But first I maun hae a crack wi’ an auld acquaintance here.—Mr Owen, Mr Owen, how’s a’ wi’ ye, man?” “Pretty well in body, I thank you, Mr Jarvie,” drawled out poor Owen, “but sore afflicted in spirit.” “Nae doubt, nae doubt—ay, ay—it’s an awfu’ whummle—and for ane that held his head sae high too—human nature, human nature— Ay, ay, we’re a’ subject to a down-come. Mr Osbaldistone is a gude honest gentleman—but I aye said he was ane o’ those wad make a spune or spoil a horn, as my father, the worthy deacon, used to say. The deacon used to say to me, ‘Nick—young Nick,’ (his name was Nicol as weel as mine, sae folk ca’d us in their daffin’ young Nick and auld Nick)—‘Nick,’ said he, ‘never put out your arm farther than ye can draw’t easily back again.’ I hae said sae to your Mr Osbaldistone, and he didna seem to take it a’together sae kind as I meant—but it was weel meant—weel meant.” This discourse, delivered with prodigious volubility, and a great appearance of self-complacency, as he recollected his own advice and predictions, gave little promise of assistance at the hands of Mr Jarvie. Yet it soon appeared rather to proceed from a total want of delicacy than any deficiency of real kindness; for when Owen expressed himself somewhat hurt that these things should be reckoned up in his present situation, the Glaswegian took him by the hand, and bade him “Cheer up a gliff! D’ye think I wad hae comed out at twal o’clock at night, and amaist broken the Lord’s-day, just to tell a fa’n man o’ his backslidings?—na, na, that’s no Baillie Jarvie’s gate, nor was’t his worthy father, the deacon’s, afore him. Why, man! it’s my rule never to think on warldly business on the Sabbath, and though I did a’ I could to keep your note that I gat this morning out o’ my head, yet I thought mair on it a’ day than on the preaching—And it’s my rule to gang to my bed wi’ the yellow curtains preceesely at ten o’clock— unless I were eating a haddock wi’ a neighbour, or a neighbour wi’ me —ask the lass-quean there, if it isna a fundamental rule in my household—and here hae I sitten up reading gude books, and gaping as if I wald swallow Saint Enox Kirk, till it chappit twal, whilk was a lawfu’ hour to gie a look at my ledger just to see how things stood between us; and then, as time and tide wait for nae man, I made the lass get the lanthorn, and came stepping my ways here to see what can be dune anent your affairs. Baillie Jarvie can command entrance into the tolbooth at ony hour, day or night—sae could my father, the deacon, in

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his time, honest man, praise to his memory.” Although Owen groaned at the mention of the ledger, leading me grievously to fear that here also the balance stood in the wrong column, and although the worthy magistrate’s speech expressed much selfcomplacence, and some ominous triumph in his own superior judgment, yet it was blended with a sort of frank and blunt good-nature, from which I could not help deriving some hopes. He requested to see some papers he mentioned, snatched them hastily from Owen’s hand, and sitting on the bed, to “rest his shanks,” as he was pleased to express the accommodation which that posture afforded him, his servant girl held up the lanthorn to him, while pshawing, muttering, and sputtering, now at the imperfect light, now at the contents of the packet, he ran over the writings it contained. Seeing him fairly engaged in this course of study, the guide who had brought me hither seemed disposed to take an unceremonious leave. He made a sign to me to say nothing, and intimated, by his change of posture, an intention to glide towards the door in such a manner as to attract the least possible observation. But the alert magistrate (very different from my old acquaintance Mr Justice Inglewood,) instantly detected and interrupted his purposes. “I say, look to the door, Stanshels—shut and lock it, and keep watch on the outside.” The stranger’s brow darkened, and he seemed for an instant again to meditate the effecting his retreat by violence, but ere he had determined, the door closed and the ponderous bolt revolved. He muttered an exclamation in Gaelic, strode across the floor, and then, with an air of dogged resolution, as if prepared to see the scene to an end, sate himself down on the oak table and whistled a strathspey. Mr Jarvie, who seemed very alert and expeditious in going through business, soon shewed himself master of that which he had been considering, and addressed Mr Owen in the following strain: “Weel, Mr Owen, weel—Your house are aught certain sums to Messrs MacVittie and Macfin (shame fa’ their souple snouts, they made that and mair out o’ a bargain about the aik-woods at Glen-Cailziechat, that they took out atween my teeth—wi’ help o’ your good word I maun needs say, Mr Owen—but that makes nae odds now)—Weel, sir, your house awes them this siller, and for this, and relief of other engagements they stand in for you, they hae putten a double turn o’ Stanshels’ mickle key on ye.—Weel, sir, ye awe this siller—and maybe ye awe some to some other body too—maybe ye awe some to mysell, Baillie Nicol Jarvie.” “I cannot deny, sir, but the balance may of this date be brought out against us, Mr Jarvie,” said Owen; “but you’ll please to consider”—— “I hae nae time to consider e’enow, Mr Owen—Sae near Sabbath

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at e’en, and out o’ ane’s warm bed at this time o’ night, and a sort o’ drow in the air besides—there’s nae time for considering—But, sir, as I was saying, ye awe me money—it winna deny—ye awe me money, less or mair, I’ll stand by it—But than, Mr Owen, I canna see how you, an active man that understands business, can redd out the business ye’re come doun about, and clear us a’ aff—as I have gritt hope ye will —if ye’re keepit lying here in the tolbooth of Glasgow—Nou, sir, if ye can find caution judicio sisti, that is, that ye winna flee the country, but appear and relieve your caution when ca’d for in our legal courts, ye may be set at liberty this very morning.” “Mr Jarvie,” said Owen, “if any friend would become surety for me to that effect, my liberty might be usefully employed, doubtless, both for the house and all connected with it.” “Aweel, sir,” continued Jarvie, “and doubtless such a friend wad expect ye to appear when ca’d on, and relieve him o’ his engagement.” “As certainly, bating sickness or death, as that two and two make four.” “Aweel, Mr Owen,” resumed the citizen of Glasgow, “I dinna misdoubt ye, and I’ll prove it, sir—I’ll prove it. I am a carefu’ man, as is weel kenn’d—and industrious, as the haill town can testify, and I can win my crowns, and keep my crowns, and count my crowns, wi’ ony body in the Saut-Market, or it may be in the Gallowgate. And I’m a prudent man, as my father the deacon was before me; but rather than an honest civil gentleman, that understands business, and is willing to do justice to all men, should lie by the heels this gate, unable to help himsell or ony body else—why, conscience, man! I’ll be your bail mysell—But ye’ll mind it’s a bail judicio sisti, as our town-clerk says, not judicatum solvi—ye’ll mind that, for there’s mickle difference.” Mr Owen assured him, that as matters then stood, he could not expect any one to become security for the actual payment of the debt, but that there was not the most distant cause for apprehending loss from his failing to present himself when lawfully called upon. “I believe ye—I believe ye—eneugh said—eneugh said. We’se ha’e yere legs loose by the morn at breakfast-time. And now let’s hear what thir chamber chiels o’ yours hae to say for themselves, or how, in the name of unrule, they got here at this time o’ night.”

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Chapter Ten Hame came our gudeman at e’en, And hame came he, And there he saw a man Where a man suldna be. “How’s this now, kimmer? How’s this? quo he,— How came this carle here Without the leave o’ me?” Old Song

T   took the light out of his servant-maid’s hand, and advanced to his scrutiny, like Diogenes in the streets of Athens, lanthorn-in-hand, and probably with as little expectation as that of the cynic, that he was likely to encounter any especial treasure in the course of his researches. The first whom he approached was my mysterious guide, who, seated on a table, as I have already described him, with his eyes firmly fixed on the wall, his features arranged into the utmost inflexibility of expression, his hands folded on his breast with an air betwixt carelessness and defiance, his heel putting against the foot of the table, to keep time with the tune which he continued to whistle, submitted to Mr Jarvie’s investigation with an air of absolute confidence and assurance, which, for a moment, placed at fault the memory and sagacity of the acute and anxious investigator. “Ah!—Eh!—Oh!” exclaimed the Baillie. “Conscience! it’s impossible—and yet—no!—Conscience, it canna be!—And yet again—Deil hae me! that I suld say sae—ye robber—ye cataran—ye born deevil that ye are, to a’ bad ends and nae gude ane—can this be you?” “E’en as ye see, Baillie,” was the laconic answer. “Conscience! if I am na clean bumbaized—you, ye cheat-thewiddy rogue, you here on your ain venture in the tolbooth o’ Glasgow —What d’ye think’s the value o’ your head?” “Umph—why, fairly weighed, and Dutch weight, it may weigh down one provost’s, four baillies’, a town-clerk’s, six deacons’, besides stent-masters”—— “Ah, ye reiving villain!” said Mr Jarvie. “But tell ower your sins, and prepare ye, for if I say the word”—— “True, Baillie,” replied he who was thus addressed, folding his hands behind him with the utmost non-chalance—“But ye will never say that word.” “And why suld I not, sir?” exclaimed the magistrate—“Why suld I not? Answer me that—why suld I not?”

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“For three sufficient reasons, Baillie Jarvie—first, for auld langsyne;—second, for the sake of the auld wife ayont the fire at Stuckavrallachan, that made some mixture of our bluids, to my own proper shame be it spoken, that has a cousin wi’ accompts, and yarn winnles, and looms, and shuttles, like a mere mechanical person;— and lastly, Baillie, because if I saw a sign o’ your betraying me, I would plaister that wa’ with your harns ere the hand of man could rescue you!” “Ye’re a bauld desperate villain, sir,” retorted the undaunted Baillie; “and ye ken that I ken ye to be sae, and that I wadna stand a moment for my ain risk.” “I ken weel,” said the other, “ye hae gude bluid in your veins, and I wad be laithe to hurt my ain kinsman. But I’ll gang out here as free as I came in, or the very wa’s o’ Glasgow tolbooth shall tell o’t these ten years to come.” “Weel, weel,” said Mr Jarvie, “bluid’s thicker than water; and it lies na wi’ kith, kin, and ally, to see mots in ilk other’s een if other een see them no. It wad be sair news to the auld wife below the Shin of Stuckavrallachan, that you, ye Hieland limmer, had knockit out my harns, or that I had kilted you up wi’ a tow. But ye’ll own, ye dour deevil, that war it na yere very sell, I wad hae grippit the best in the Hielands.” “Ye wad hae tried, cousin,” answered my guide, “that I wot weel; but I doubt ye wad hae came aff wi’ the short measure, for we gangthere-out Hieland bodies are an unchancy generation when you speak to us o’ bondage. We downa bide the coercion of gude braid-claith about our hinderlans—let a be breeks o’ freestone, and garters o’ iron.” “Ye’ll find the stane breeks and the airn garters, ay, and the hemp cravat, for a’ that, cousin,” replied the Baillie. “Nae man in a civileezed country ever played the pliskies ye hae done—but e’en pickle in your ain pock-neuk—I hae gi’en ye warning.” “Well, cousin,” said the other, “ye’ll wear black at my burial.” “Deil a black cloak will be there, Robin, but the corbies and the hoodie craws, I’se gi’e ye my band on that. But whar’s the gude thousand pund Scots that I lent ye, man, and whan am I to see it again?” “Where it is,” replied my guide, after the affectation of considering for a moment,—“I cannot justly tell—probably where last year’s snaw is.” “And that’s on the top of Schehallion, ye dog,” said Mr Jarvie; “and I look for payment frae you where ye stand.” “Ay,” replied the Highlander, “but I keep neither snaw nor dollars in my sporran. And as to when ye’ll see it—why, just when the king

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enjoys his ain again, as the auld sang says.” “Warst of a’, Robin,” retorted the Glaswegian,—“I mean, ye disloyal traitor—warst of a’!—wad ye bring Popery in on us, and arbitrary power, and a foist and a warming-pan, and the set forms, and the curates, and the auld enormities o’ surplices and cearments?—ye had better stick to your auld trade o’ theft-boot, black-mail, spreaghs, and gill-ravaging—better stealing nout than ruining nations.” “Hout man, whisht wi’ your whiggery,” answered the Celt, “we hae kenn’d ane anither mony a lang day. I’se take care your countingroom is no cleaned out when the Gillon-a-naillie come to redd up the Glasgow buiths, and clear them o’ their auld shop-wares. And, unless it just fa’ in the preceese way o’ your duty, cousin, ye manna see me oftener than I am disposed to be seen.” “You are a daring villain, Rob,” answered the Baillie; “and ye will be hanged, that will be seen and heard tell o’—but I’se ne’er be the ill bird, and foul my nest, set apart strong necessity and the skreigh of duty, which no man should hear and be inobedient.—And wha the deevil’s this?” said he, turning to me—“some young gill-ravager that ye hae listed, I dare say—he looks as if he had a bauld heart to the highway, and a lang craig for the gibbet.” “This, good Mr Jarvie,” said Mr Owen, who, like myself, had been struck dumb during the strange recognition, and no less strange dialogue, which took place betwixt these extraordinary kinsmen—“This, good Mr Jarvie, is young Mr Frank Osbaldistone, only child of the head of our house, who should have been taken into our firm at the time Mr Rashleigh Osbaldistone, his cousin, had the luck to be taken into it”—(here Owen could not suppress a groan)—“but, howsoever”—— “O, I have heard of that smaik,” said the Scotch merchant, interrupting him; “it is he whom your principal, like an obstinate auld fule, wad make a merchant o’, wad he or wad he no, and the lad turned a strolling stage-player, as I think, in pure dislike to the labour an honest man should live by. Weel, sir, what say ye to your handywark?—will Hamlet the Dane, or Hamlet’s ghost, be gude security for Mr Owen, sir?” “I don’t deserve your taunt,” I replied, “though I respect your motive, and am too grateful for the assistance you have afforded Mr Owen to resent it. My only business here was to do what I could (it is perhaps very little) to aid Mr Owen in the management of my father’s affairs. My dislike of the commercial profession is a feeling of which I am the best and sole judge.” “I protest,” said the Highlander, “I had some respect for this callant before I kenn’d what was in him—but I honour him for his contempt

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of weavers and spinners, and sic like mechanical persons and their pursuits.” “Ye’re mad, Rob,” said the Baillie—“mad as a March hare,— though wherefore a hare suld be mad in March mair than at Martinmas, is mair than I can weel say. Weavers! Deil shake ye out o’ the web the weaver craft made. Spinners!—ye’ll spin and wind yoursell a bonnie pirn. And this young birkie here, that ye’re hoying and hounding on the shortest road to the gallows and the deevil, will his stageplays and his poetries help him here, dy’e think, ony mair than your deep oaths and drawn dirks, ye reprobate that ye are?—Will Tityre tu patule, as they ca’ it, tell him where Rashleigh Osbaldistone is? or Macbeth, and all his kernes and galloglasses, and your ain to boot, Rob, procure him five thousand pounds to answer the bills which fall due ten days hence, were they a’ rouped at the Cross, baskethilts, Andra-Ferraras, leather targets, bonnets, brogues, brechan, and sporrans?” “Ten days?” I answered, and instinctively drew out Diana Vernon’s packet; and the time being elapsed during which I was to keep the seal sacred, I hastily broke it open. A sealed letter fell from a blank enclosure, owing to the trepidation with which I opened the parcel. A slight current of wind, which found its way through a broken pane of the window, wafted the billet to Mr Jarvie’s feet, who lifted it, examined the address with unceremonious curiosity, and, to my astonishment, handed it to his Highland kinsman, saying, “Here’s a wind has blawn a letter to its right owner, though there were ten thousand chances against its coming to hand.” The Highlander, having examined the address, broke the letter open without the least ceremony. I endeavoured to interrupt his proceeding. “You must satisfy me, sir, that the letter is intended for you before I can permit you to peruse it.” “Mak yourself easy, Mr Osbaldistone,” replied the mountaineer, with great composure;—“remember Justice Inglewood, Clerk Jobson, Mr Morris—above all, remember your vara humble servant, Robert Cawmil—and the beautiful Diana Vernon. Remember all this, and doubt no longer that the letter is designed for me.” I remained astonished at my own stupidity. Through the whole night, the voice, and even the features of this man, though imperfectly seen, haunted me with recollections to which I could assign no exact local or personal associations. But now the light dawned on me at once. This man was Campbell himself. His whole peculiarities flashed on me at once—the deep strong voice, the inflexible, stern, yet considerate cast of features, the Scottish brogue, with its correspondent

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dialect and imagery, which, although he possessed the power at times of laying them aside, recurred at every moment of emotion, and gave pith to his sarcasm, or vehemence to his upbraiding. Rather beneath the middle size than above it, his limbs were formed upon the very strongest model that is consistent with agility, while, from the remarkable ease and freedom of his movements, you could not doubt his possessing the latter quality in a high degree of perfection. Two points in his person interfered with the rules of symmetry—his shoulders were so broad in proportion to his height, as, notwithstanding the lean and lathy appearance of his frame, gave him something the air of being too square in respect to his stature; and his arms, though round, sinewy, and strong, were so very long as to be rather a deformity. I afterwards heard that this length of arm was a circumstance on which he prided himself; that when he wore his native Highland garb he could tie the garters of his hose without stooping; and that it gave him great advantage in the use of the broadsword, at which he was very dexterous. But certainly this want of symmetry destroyed the claim he might otherwise have set up to be accounted a very handsome man— it gave something wild, irregular, and, as it were, unearthly to his appearance, and reminded me involuntarily of the tales which Mabel used to tell of the old Picts who ravaged Northumberland in ancient times, who, according to her traditions, were a sort of half goblin half human beings, distinguished, like this man, for courage, cunning, ferocity, the length of their arms, and the squareness of their shoulders. When, however, I recollected the circumstances in which we formerly met, I could not doubt that the billet was most probably designed for him. He had made a marked figure among those mysterious personages over whom Diana seemed to exercise an influence, and from whom she experienced an influence in her turn. It was painful to think that the fate of a being so amiable was involved in that of desperadoes of this man’s description, yet it seemed impossible to doubt it. Of what use, however, could this person be to my father’s affairs?—I could think only of one. Rashleigh Osbaldistone had, at the instigation of Miss Vernon, certainly found means to produce Mr Campbell when his presence was necessary to exculpate me from Morris’s accusation —was it not possible that her influence, in like manner, might prevail on Campbell to produce Rashleigh? Speaking on this supposition, I requested to know where my dangerous kinsman was, and when Mr Campbell had seen him. His answer was indirect. “It’s a kittle cast she has gien me to play, but yet it is fair play, and I winna baulk her. Mr Osbaldistone, I dwell not very far from hence— my kinsman can show you the way. Leave Mr Owen to do the best he can in Glasgow—do you come and see me in the glens, and it’s like I

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may pleasure you, and stead your father in his extremity. I am but a poor man—but wit’s better than wealth—And, cousin,” (turning from me to address Mr Jarvie) “if ye daur venture sae mickle as to eat a dish of Scotch collops, and a leg o’ red deer venison wi’ me, come ye wi’ this young Sassenach gentleman as far as Drymen or Bucklivie, or the Clachan of Aberfoil will be better than ony o’ them, and I’ll hae somebody waiting to weise ye the gate to the place whare I may happen to be for the time—What say ye, man?—there’s my thumb, I’ll ne’er beguile ye.” “Na, na, Robin,” said the cautious burgher, “I seldom like to leave the Gorbals; I have nae freedom to gang amang your wild hills, Robin, and your kilted red shanks—it doesna become my place, man.” “The devil damn your place and you baith!” reiterated Campbell. “The only drap o’ gentle bluid that’s in your body was our great-grand uncle’s that was justified at Dunbarton, and you set yoursell up to say ye wad derogate frae your place to visit me!—Heark thee, man, I owe thee a day in harst—-I’ll pay up your thousan pund Scots, plack and bawbee, gin ye’ll be an honest fallow for anes, and just daiker up the gate wi’ this Sassenach.” “Hout awa’ wi’ your gentility,” replied the Baillie; “carry your gentle bluid to the Cross, and see what ye’ll buy wi’t.—But, if I were to come, wad ye really and soothfastly pay me the siller?” “Upon the halidome of him that sleeps beneath the gray stane at Inch-Cailleach”— “Say nae mair, Robin—say nae mair—we’ll see what may be dune. —But ye maunna expect me to gang ower the line—I’ll gae beyond the line at no rate—ye maun meet me about Bucklivie or the Clachan of Aberfoil, and dinna forget the needful.” “Nae fear—nae fear, man,” said Campbell, “I’ll be as true as the steel blade that never failed its master.—But I must be budging, cousin, for the air o’ Glasgow tolbooth is no that ower salutary to a Highlander’s constitution.” “Troth,” replied the merchant, “and if my duty were to be dune, ye wadna change your atmosphere, as the minister ca’s it, this ae wee while.—Ochon, that I suld ever be concerned in the like o’ aiding and abetting an escape frae justice! it will be a shame and disgrace to me and mine, and my very father’s memory, for ever.” “Hout tout, man, let that flee stick in the wa’,” answered his kinsman; “when the dirt’s dry it will rub out—Your father, honest man, could look ower a friend’s fauts as weel as anither.” “Ye may be right, Robin,” replied the Baillie, after a moment’s reflection; “he was a considerate man the deacon; he kenn’d we had a’ our frailties, and he lo’ed his friends—Ye’ll no hae forgotten him,

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Robin?” This question he put in a softened tone, conveying as much at least of the ludicrous as the pathetic. “Forgotten him!”—replied his kinsman, “what suld ail me to forget him?—a wapping weaver he was, and wrought my first pair o’ hose.— But come awa’, kinsman, Come fill up my cap, come fill up my cann, Come saddle my horses, and call up my man; Come open your gates, and let me gae free, I daurna stay langer in bonny Dundee.”

“Whisht, sir!” said the magistrate, in an authoritative tone—“lilting and singing sae near the latter end o’ the Sabbath—this house may hear ye sing anither tune yet—aweel—we hae a’ backslidings to answer for—Stanshels—open the door.” The jailor obeyed, and we all sallied forth. Stanshels looked with some surprise at the two strangers, wondering, doubtless, how they came into his premises without his knowledge; but Mr Jarvie’s “Friends of mine, Stanshels—friends of mine,” silenced all disposition to enquiries. We now descended into the lower vestibule, and hollowed more than once for Dougal, to which summons no answer was returned, when Campbell observed, with a sardonic smile, that if the Dougal was the lad he kent him, he would scarce wait to get thanks for his ain share of the night’s wark, but was in all probability on the full trot to the pass of Ballamaha.—— “And left us—and, abune a’, me mysell, lockit up in the tolbooth a’ night!” exclaimed the Baillie in ire and perturbation. “Ca’ for forehammers, sledge-hammers, pinches, and coulters—send for Deacon Yettlin, the smith, and let him ken Baillie Jarvie’s shut up in the tolbooth by a Hieland blackguard, whom he’ll hang as high as Haman”—— “When ye catch him,” said Campbell gravely; “but stay, the door is surely not locked.” Indeed, on examination, we found not only that the door was open, but that Dougal in his retreat had, by carrying off the keys along with him, taken care that no one should exercise his office of porter in a hurry. “He has glimmerings o’ common sense now, that creature Dougal,” said Campbell; “he kenn’d an open door might hae served me at a pinch.” We were by this time in the street. “I tell ye, Robin,” said the magistrate, “in my puir mind, if ye live the life ye do, ye shuld hae ane o’ your gillies door-keeper in every jail in Scotland, in case o’ the warst.” “Ane o’ my kinsmen a baillie in ilka burgh will just do as weel,

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cousin Nicol—so, gude-night or gude-morning to ye, and forget not the Clachan of Aberfoil.” And without waiting for an answer, he sprung to the other side of the street, and was lost in darkness. Immediately on his disappearance, we heard him give a low whistle of peculiar modulation, which was instantly replied to. “Hear to the Hieland deevils,” said Mr Jarvie; “they think themsels on the skirts of Benlomond already, where they may gang whewing and whistling about without minding Sunday or Saturday.” Here he was interrupted by something which fell with a heavy clash on the street before us—“Gude guide us! What’s this mair o’t?—Mattie, haud up the lanthorn—Conscience! if it isna the keys—weel, that’s just as weel—they cost the burgh siller, and there might hae been some clavers about the loss o’ them—O, an Baillie Grahame were to get word o’ this night’s job, it wad be a sair hair in my neck!” As we were still but a few steps from the tolbooth door, we carried back these implements of office, and consigned them to the head jailor, who, in lieu of the usual mode of making good his post by turning the keys, was keeping sentry in the vestibule till the arrival of some assistant, whom he had summoned to replace the Celtic fugitive Dougal. Having discharged this piece of duty to the burgh, and my road lying the same way with the honest magistrate, I profitted by the light of his lanthorn, and he by my arm, to find our way through the streets, which, whatever they may now be, were then dark, uneven, and illpaved. Age is easily propitiated with attentions from the young. The Baillie expressed himself interested in me, and added that since I was nane o’ that play-acting and play-ganging generation, whom his saul hated, he wad be glad if I wad eat a reisted haddock, or a fresh herring, at breakfast wi’ him the morn, and meet my friend, Mr Owen, whom, by that time, he would place at liberty. “My dear sir,” said I, when I had accepted the invitation with thanks, “how could you possibly connect me with the stage?” “I wat na,” replied Mr Jarvie; “it was a blethering phrasing chield they ca’ Fairservice, that came at e’en to get an order to send the crier through the toun for ye at skreigh o’ day the morn. He tell’t me whae ye were, and how ye were sent frae your father’s house, because ye wadna be a dealer, and that ye mightna disgrace your family wi’ ganging on the stage. Ane Hammergaw, our precentor, brought him here, and said he was an auld acquaintance, but I sent them baith awa’ wi’ a flea in their lug for bringing me sic an errand on sic a night. But I see he’s a fule-creature a’ thegither, and clean mista’en about ye. I like ye, man,” he continued; “I like a lad that will stand by his friends in

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trouble—I aye did it mysel, and sae did the deacon, my father, rest and bless him. But ye suldna keep ower mickle company wi’ Hielandmen and thae wild cattell. Can a man touch pitch and no be defiled?–aye mind that. Nae doubt, the best and wisest may err—Once, twice, and thrice, have I backslidden, man, and dune three things this night—my father wadna hae believed his e’en if he could hae looked up and seen me do them.” He was by this time arrived at the door of his own dwelling. He paused, however, on the threshold, and went on in a solemn tone of deep contrition,—“Firstly, I hae thought my ain thoughts on the Sabbath—Secondly, I hae gi’en security for an Englishman—and, in the third and last place, well-a-day! I hae let an ill-doer escape frae the place of prisonment—But there’s balm in Gilead, Mr Osbaldistone —Mattie, I can let mysel in—see Mr Osbaldistone to Luckie Flyter’s, at the corner o’ the wynd.—Mr Osbaldistone”—in a whisper—“ye’ll offer nae incivility to Mattie—she’s an honest man’s daughter, and a near cousin o’ the Laird o’ Limmerfield’s.”

Chapter Eleven Will it please your worship to accept of my poor service? I beseech you that I may feed upon your bread, though it be the brownest, and drink of your drink, though it be of the smallest; for I will do your worship as much service for forty shillings as another shall for three pounds. Greene’s Tu Quoque

I  the honest Baillie’s parting charge, but did not conceive there was any incivility in adding a kiss to the half-crown with which I remunerated Mattie’s attendance; nor did her “Fie for shame, sir,” express any very deadly resentment of the affront. Repeated knocking at Mrs Flyter’s gate awakened in due order, first, one or two stray dogs, who began to bark with all their might; next, two or three night-capped heads, which were thrust out of the neighbouring windows to reprehend me for disturbing the solemnity of the Sunday night by that untimely noise. While I trembled lest the thunders of their wrath might dissolve in showers, like that of Xantippe, Mrs Flyter herself awoke, and began, in a tone of objurgation not unbecoming the philosophical spouse of Socrates, to scold one or two loiterers in her kitchen, for not hastening to the door to prevent a repetition of my noisy summons. These worthies were, indeed, nearly concerned in the fracas which their laziness occasioned, being no other than the faithful Mr Fairservice, with his friend Mr Hammergaw, and another person, whom I

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afterwards found to be the town-crier, who were sitting over a cog of ale, as they called it, (at my expence, as my bill afterwards informed me,) in order to devise the terms and style of a proclamation to be made through the streets the next day, in order that “the unfortunate young gentleman,” as they had the impudence to qualify me, might be restored to his friends without farther delay. It may be supposed that I did not suppress my displeasure at this impertinent interference with my affairs, but Andrew set up such ejaculations of joy at my arrival, as fairly drowned my expressions of resentment. His raptures, perchance, were partly political, and the tears of joy which he shed had certainly their source in that noble fountain of emotion, the tankard. However, the tumultuous glee which he felt, or pretended to feel at my return, saved Andrew the broken head which I had twice destined him; first, on account of the colloquy he had held with the precentor on my affairs; and, secondly, for the impertinent history he had thought proper to give of me to Mr Jarvie. I therefore contented myself with slapping the door of my bed-room in his face as he followed me, praising Heaven for my safe return, and mixing his joy with admonitions to me to take care how I walked by myself in future. I then went to bed, resolving my first business in the morning should be to discharge this troublesome, pedantic, self-conceited coxcomb, who seemed so much disposed to constitute himself rather a preceptor than a domestic. Accordingly in the morning I resumed my purpose, and calling Andrew into my apartment, requested to know his charge for guiding and attending me as far as Glasgow. Mr Fairservice looked very blank at this demand, justly considering it as a presage to approaching dismission. “Your honour,” he said, after some hesitation, “winna think—— winna think”—— “Speak out, you rascal, or I’ll break your head,” said I, as Andrew, between the double risk of losing all by asking too much, or a part, by stating his demand lower than what I might be willing to pay, stood gasping in the agony of doubt and calculation. Out it came with a bolt, however, at my threat, as the kind violence of a blow on the back sometimes delivers the windpipe from an intrusive morsel. “Aughteen pennies per diem—that is by the day—your honour wadna think unconscionable.” “It is double what is usual, and treble what you merit, Andrew, but there’s a guinea for you, and get about your business.” “The Lord forgi’e us! is your honour mad?” exclaimed Andrew. “No, but I think you mean to make me so—I give you a third above your demand, and you stand staring and expostulating there as if I

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were cheating you—take your money, and go about your business.” “Gude safe us!” continued Andrew, “in what can I hae offended your honour?—Certainly a’ flesh is but as flowers of the field, but if a bed of camomile hath value in medicine, of a surety the use of Andrew Fairservice to your honour is nothing less evident—it’s as mickle as your life’s worth to part wi’ me.” “Upon my honour,” replied I, “it is difficult to say whether you are more knave or fool—so you intend then to remain with me whether I like it or no?” “Troth, I was e’en thinking sae,” replied Andrew, dogmatically; “for if your honour doesna ken when ye hae a gude servant, I ken when I hae a gude master, and deil be in my feet gin I leave ye—and there’s the brief and the lang o’t,—besides I hae received nae regular warning to quit my place.” “Your place, sir!” said I; “why, you are no hired servant of mine; you are merely a guide, whose knowledge of the country I used to bring me here.” “I am no just a common servant, I admit, sir,” remonstrated Mr Fairservice. “But your honour kens I quitted a gude place at an hour’s notice, to comply wi’ your honour’s solicitations. A man might make honestly, and wi’ a clear conscience, twenty sterling pounds per annum, weel counted siller, o’ the garden at Osbaldistone Hall, and I wasna likely to gi’e up a’ that for a guinea, I trow—I reckoned on staying wi’ your honour to the term’s end at the least o’t, and I account upon my wage, board-wage, fee, and bountith, aye to that length o’t at the least.” “Come, come, sir,” replied I, “these impudent pretensions won’t serve your turn, and if I hear any more of them, I shall convince you, that Squire Thorncliffe is not the only one of my name that can use his fingers.” While I spoke thus, the whole matter struck me as so ridiculous, that, though really angry, I had some difficulty to forbear laughing at the gravity with which Andrew supported a plea so utterly extravagant. The villain, aware of the impression he had made on my muscles, was encouraged to perseverance. He judged it safest, however, to take his pretensions a peg lower, in case of overstraining at the same time both his plea and my patience. “Admitting my honour could part with a faithful servant, that had served me and mine by day and night for twenty years, in a strange place, and at a moment’s warning, he was weel assured,” he said, “that it wasna in my heart, nor in no true gentleman’s, to pit a puir lad like himsell, that had come forty or fifty, or say a hundred miles out o’ his road purely to bear my honour company, and that had nae hauding

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but his penny-fee, to sic a hardship as this comes to.” I think it was you, Will, who once told me, that, to be an obstinate man, I am in certain things the most gullable and malleable of mortals. The fact is, that it is only contradiction which makes me peremptory, and when I do not feel myself called on to give battle to any proposition, I am always willing to grant it, rather than give myself much trouble. I knew this fellow to be a greedy, tiresome coxcomb—still, however, I must have some one about me in the quality of guide and domestic, and I was so much used to Andrew’s humour, that on some occasions it was rather amusing. In the state of indecision to which these reflections led me, I asked Fairservice if he knew the roads, towns, &c. in the north of Scotland, to which my father’s concerns with the proprietors of Highland forests were likely to lead me. I believe if I had asked him the road to the terrestrial paradise, he would have at that moment undertaken to guide me to it, so that I had reason afterwards to think myself fortunate in finding that his actual knowledge did not fall very much short of that which he asserted himself to possess. I fixed the amount of his wages, and reserved to myself the privilege of dismissing him when I chose, upon paying him a week in advance. I gave him finally a severe lecture upon his conduct of the preceding day, and then dismissed him, rejoiced at heart, though somewhat crest-fallen in countenance, to rehearse to his friend the precentor, who was taking his morning draught in the kitchen, the mode in which he had “cuitled up the daft young English squire.” Agreeable to appointment, I went over the way to Baillie Nicol Jarvie, where a comfortable morning’s repast was arranged in the parlour, which served as an apartment of all hours, and almost all works, to that honest gentleman. The bustling and benevolent magistrate had been as good as his word. I found my friend Owen at liberty, and our meeting was a happy one, compared to that of the preceding night. Owen at liberty, and conscious of the refreshments, and purification of brush and bason, was of course a very different person from Owen a prisoner, squalid, heart-broken, and hopeless. Yet the sense of pecuniary difficulties arising behind, before, and around him, had depressed his spirit, and the almost paternal embrace which the good man gave me, was embittered by a sigh of the deepest anxiety. And when he sate down, the heaviness in his eye and manner, so different from the quiet composed satisfaction which they usually exhibited, indicated, that he was mentally numbering up the days, the hours, the minutes which yet remained as an interval between the dishonour of bills and the downfall of the great commercial establishment of Osbaldistone and Tresham. It was left to me, therefore, to do honour to our landlord’s hospitable cheer,—to his tea, right from China,

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which he got in a present from some eminent ship’s-husband at Wapping,—to his coffee, from a snug plantation of his own, as he informed us with a wink, called Salt-market Grove, in the island of Jamaica,—to his English toast and ale, his Scotch dried salmon, his Lochfine herrings, and even to the double damask tablecloth, “wrought by no hand, as you may guess,” save that of his deceased father, the worthy Deacon Jarvie. Having conciliated our good-humoured host by those little attentions which are great to little men, I endeavoured in my turn to gain from him some information which might be useful for my guidance, as well as for the satisfaction of my curiosity. We had not hitherto made the least allusion to the transactions of the preceding night, a circumstance which made my question sound somewhat abrupt, when, without any previous introduction of the subject, I took advantage of a pause when the history of the tablecloth ended, and that of the napkins was about to commence, to enquire, “Pray, by the bye, Mr Jarvie, who may this Mr Robert Campbell be whom we met with last night?” The interrogatory seemed to strike the honest magistrate, to use the vulgar phrase, “all of a heap,” and instead of answering, he repeated the question.—“Whae’s Mr Robert Campbell?—Ahem—Ahay!— Whae’s Mr Robert Campbell, quo’ he?” “Yes,” said I, “I mean who, and what is he?” “Why, he’s—Ahay!—he’s—ahem!—Where did ye meet wi’ Mr Robert Campbell, as ye ca’ him?” “I met him by chance,” I replied, “some months ago, in the north of England.” “Ou than, Maister Osbaldistone,” said the Baillie doggedly, “ye’ll ken as mickle about him as I do.” “I should suppose not, Mr Jarvie,” I replied; “you are his relation it seems, and his friend.” “There is some cousin-red between us, doubtless,” said the Baillie reluctantly, “but we hae seen little o’ ilk other since Rob gae up the cattle-line o’ dealing, poor fallow; he was hardly guided by them might hae used him better—and they haena made their plack a bawbee o’t neither. There’s mony ane this day wad rather they had never chased puir Robin frae the Cross o’ Glasgow—there’s mony ane wad rather see him again at the tail o’ three hundred kyloes, than at the head o’ thirty waur cattle.” “All this explains nothing to me, Mr Jarvie, of Mr Campbell’s rank, habits of life, and means of subsistence,” I replied. “Rank?” said Mr Jarvie; “he’s a Hieland gentleman, nae doubt— better rank need nane to be;—and for habit, I judge he wears the Hieland habit amang the hills, though he has breeks on when he

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comes to Glasgow;—and as for his subsistence, what needs we care about his subsistence, sae lang as he asks naething frae huz, ye ken. But I haena time for clavering about him e’en now, because we maun look into your father’s concerns wi’ a’ speed.” So saying, he put on his spectacles, and sate down to examine Mr Owen’s states, which the other thought it most prudent to communicate to him without reserve. I knew enough of business to be aware that nothing could be more acute and sagacious than the views which Jarvie entertained of the matters submitted to his examination. And, to do him justice, it was marked by much fairness and even liberality. He scratched his ear indeed repeatedly, on observing the balance which stood at the debit of Osbaldistone and Tresham in accompt with himself personally. “It may be a dead loss,” he observed; “and conscience! Whate’er ane o’ your Lombard-street goldsmiths may say to it, it’s a snell ane in the Sautmarket o’ Glasgow. It will be a heavy deficit—a staff out o’ my bicker, I trow. But what than?—I trust the house winna coup the crans for a’ that’s comed and gane yet—and if it does, I’ll never bear sae base a mind as thae coolies in the Gallowgate—an’ I am to loss by ye, I’se ne’er deny I hae won by ye mony a fair pund sterling—Sae, an’ it come to the warst, I’se e’en lay the head o’ the sow to the tail o’ the grice.” I did not altogether understand the proverbial arrangement with which Mr Jarvie consoled himself, but I could easily see that he took a kind and friendly interest in the arrangement of my father’s affairs, suggested several expedients, approved several arrangements proposed by Owen, and, by his countenance and counsel, greatly abated the gloom upon the brow of that afflicted delegate of my father’s establishment. As I was an idle spectator on this occasion, and, perhaps, as I showed some inclination more than once to return to the prohibited, and, apparently, the puzzling subject of Mr Campbell, Mr Jarvie dismissed me with little formality, with an advice to “gang up the gate to the College, where I wad find some chields should speak Greek and Latin weel, at least they got plenty o’ siller for doing de’il hae’t else, if they didna do that, and where I might read a spell o’ the wordy Mr Zachary Boyd’s translations o’ Scripture—better poetry need nane to be, as he had been tell’d by them that kenn’d, or suld hae kenn’d, about sic things.” But he seasoned this abrupt dismission with a kind and hospitable invitation, “to come back and take part o’ his familychack, at ane preceesely—there wad be a leg o’ mutton, and, it might be, a tup’s head, for they were in season.” But, above all, I was to return at “ane o’clock preceesely—it was the hour he and his father the deacon aye dined at—they pat it aff for nathing nor naebody.”

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Chapter Twelve So stands the Thracian herdsman with his spear Full in the gap, and hopes the hunted bear; And hears him rustling in the wood, and sees His course at distance by the bending trees, And thinks—Here comes my mortal enemy, And either he must fall in fight or I. Palamon and Arcite

I    towards the College, as recommended by Mr Jarvie, but less with the intention of seeking for any subject of interest or amusement, than to arrange my own ideas and meditate on my future conduct. I wandered from one quadrangle of old-fashioned buildings to another, and from thence into the College-yards, or walking-ground, where, pleased with the solitude of the place, most of the students being engaged in their classes, I took several turns, pondering upon the waywardness of my own destiny. I could not doubt, from the circumstances attending my first meeting with this person Campbell, that he was engaged in some strangely desperate courses, and the reluctance with which Mr Jarvie alluded to his person or pursuits, as well as all the scene of the preceding night, tended to confirm these suspicions. Yet to this man Diana Vernon had not, it would seem, hesitated to address herself in my behalf, and the conduct of the magistrate himself towards him was an odd mixture of kindness and even respect, pity and censure. Something there must be uncommon in Campbell’s situation and character, and what was still more extraordinary, it seemed that his fate was doomed to have influence over, and connection with, my own. I resolved to bring Mr Jarvie to close quarters on the first proper opportunity, and learn as much as was possible on the subject of this mysterious person, in order that I might judge whether it was possible for me, without prejudice to my reputation, to hold that degree of further correspondence with him to which he seemed to invite. While I was musing on these subjects, my attention was attracted by three persons who appeared at the upper end of the walk through which I was sauntering, seemingly engaged in very earnest conversation. That intuitive impression which announces to us the approach of whomsoever we love or hate with intense vehemence, long before a more indifferent eye can recognise their persons, flashed upon my mind the sure conviction that the midmost of these three men was Rashleigh Osbaldistone. To address him was my first impulse—my second was, to watch him until he was alone, or at least to reconnoitre

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his companions before confronting him. The party was still at such distance, and engaged in such deep discourse, that I had time to step unobserved to the other side of a small hedge, which imperfectly screened the alley in which I was walking. It was at this period the fashion with the young and gay to wear, in their morning walks, a scarlet cloak, often laced and embroidered, above their other dress, and it was the trick of the time for gallants occasionally to dispose it so as to muffle a part of the face. The imitating this fashion, with the degree of shelter which I received from the hedge, enabled me to meet my cousin, unobserved by him or the others, except perhaps as a passing stranger. I was not a little startled at recognising in his companions that very Morris on whose account I had been summoned before Justice Inglewood, and Mr MacVittie the merchant, at whose starched and severe aspect I had recoiled on the preceding day. A more ominous conjunction to my own affairs, and those of my father, could scarce have been formed. I remembered Morris’s false accusation against me, which he might be as easily induced to renew as he had been intimidated to withdraw it; I recollected the inauspicious influence of MacVittie over my father’s affairs, testified by the imprisonment of Owen; and I now saw both these men combined with one, whose talents for mischief I deemed little inferior to those of the great author of all ill, and my abhorrence of whom almost amounted to dread. When they had passed me for some paces, I turned and followed them unobserved. At the end of the walk they separated, Morris and MacVittie leaving the gardens, and Rashleigh returning alone through the walks. I was now determined to confront him, and demand reparation for the injuries he had done my father, though in what form redress was likely to be rendered remained to be known. This, however, I trusted to chance; and, flinging back the cloak in which I was muffled, I passed through a gap of the low hedge, and presented myself before Rashleigh, as, in a deep reverie, he paced down the avenue. Rashleigh was no man to be surprised or thrown off his guard by sudden occurrences. Yet he did not find me thus close to him, wearing undoubtedly in my face the marks of that indignation which was glowing in my bosom, without visibly starting at an apparition so sudden and so menacing. “You are well met, sir,” was my commencement; “I was about to undertake a long and doubtful journey in quest of you.” “You know little of him you sought, then,” replied Rashleigh, with his wonted undaunted composure. “I am easily found by my friends—

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still more easily by my foes;—your manner compels me to ask in which class I must rank Mr Francis Osbaldistone?” “In that of your foes, sir,” I answered; “in that of your mortal foes, unless you instantly do justice to your benefactor, my father, by accounting for his property.” “And to whom, Mr Osbaldistone,” answered Rashleigh, “am I, a member of your father’s commercial establishment, to be compelled to give any accompt of my proceedings in those concerns, which are in every respect identified with my own?—surely not to a young gentleman whose exquisite taste for literature would render such discussions disgusting and unintelligible.” “Your sneer, sir, is no answer—I will not part from you until I have full satisfaction concerning the fraud you meditate—you shall go with me before a magistrate.” “Be it so,” said Rashleigh, and made a step or two as if to accompany me; then pausing, he proceeded:—“Were I inclined to do as you would have me, you should soon feel which of us had most reason to dread the presence of a magistrate. But I have no wish to accelerate your fate. Go, young man! amuse yourself in your world of poetical imaginations, and leave the business of life to those who understand and can conduct it.” His intention, I believe, was to provoke me, and he succeeded. “Mr Osbaldistone,” I said, “this tone of calm insolence shall not avail you. You ought to be aware that the name we both bear never submitted to insult, and shall not in my person be exposed to it.” “You remind me,” said Rashleigh, with one of his blackest looks, “that it was once dishonoured in my person!—and you remind me also by whom! Do you think I have forgotten the evening at Osbaldistone Hall, when you cheaply and with impunity played the bully at my expence? For that insult—never to be washed out but by blood— for the various times you have crossed my path, and always to my prejudice—for the persevering folly with which you seek to travese schemes, the importance of which you neither know nor are capable of estimating,—for all these, sir, you owe me a long account, for which there shall come an early day of reckoning.” “Let it come when it will,” I replied, “I shall be willing and ready to meet it. Yet you seem to have forgotten the heaviest article—that I had the pleasure to aid Miss Vernon’s good sense and virtuous feeling in extricating her from your infamous toils.” I think his dark eyes flashed actual fire at this home-taunt, and yet his voice retained the same calm expressive tone with which he had hitherto conducted the conversation. “I had other views with respect to you, young man,” was his answer;

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“less hazardous for you, and more suitable to my present character and former education. But I see you will draw on yourself the personal chastisement your boyish insolence so well merits. Follow me to a more remote spot, where we are less like to be interrupted.” I followed him accordingly, keeping a strict eye on his motions, for I believed him capable of the very worst actions. We reached an open spot in a sort of wilderness, laid out in the Dutch taste, with clipped hedges, and one or two statues. I was on my guard, and it was well with me that I was so, for Rashleigh’s sword was out and at my breast ere I could throw down my cloak, or get my weapon unsheathed, so that I only saved my life by springing a pace or two backwards. He had some advantage also in the difference of our weapons, for his sword, as I recollect, was longer than mine, and had one of those bayonet or three-cornered blades which are now generally worn, whereas mine was what we then called a Saxon blade—narrow, flat, and two-edged, and scarcely so manageable as that of my enemy. In other respects we were pretty equally matched, for what advantage I might possess in superior address and agility, was fully counter-balanced by Rashleigh’s great strength and coolness. He fought, indeed, more like a fiend than a man—with concentrated spite and desire of blood, only allayed by that cool consideration which made his worst actions appear yet worse from the air of deliberate premeditation which seemed to accompany them. His obvious malignity of purpose never for a moment threw him off his guard, and he exhausted every feint and stratagem proper to the science of defence while, at the same time, he meditated the most desperate catastrophe to our rencounter. On my part, the combat was at first sustained with more moderation. My passions, though hasty, were not malevolent, and the walk of two or three minutes space gave me time to reflect that Rashleigh was my father’s nephew, the son of an uncle, who after his fashion had been kind to me, and that his falling by my hand could not but occasion much family distress. My first resolution, therefore, was to attempt to disarm my antagonist, a manœuvre in which, confiding in my supposed superiority of skill and practice, I had anticipated little difficulty. I found, however, I had met my match, and one or two foils which I received, and from the consequences of which I narrowly escaped, obliged me to observe more caution in my mode of fighting. By degrees also I became exasperated at the rancour with which Rashleigh sought my life, and returned his passes with an inveteracy resembling in some degree his own, so that the combat had all the appearance of being destined to have a tragic issue. That issue had nearly taken place at my expence. My foot slipped in a full lounge which I made at my adversary, and I could not so far recover myself as completely to parry the

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thrust with which my pass was repaid. Yet it took but partial effect, running through my waistcoat, grazing my ribs, and passing through my coat behind. The hilt of Rashleigh’s sword, so great was the vigour of his thrust, struck against my breast with such force as to give me great pain, and confirm me in the momentary belief that I was mortally wounded. Eager for revenge, I grappled with my enemy, seizing with my left hand the hilt of his sword, and shortening my own with the purpose of running him through the body. Our death-grapple was interrupted by a man who forcibly threw himself between us, and pushing us separate from each other, exclaimed, in a loud and commanding voice, “What! the sons of those who sucked the same breast shedding each other’s bluid as it were strangers’!—By the hand of my father, I will cleave to the brisket the first man that mints another stroke.” I looked up in astonishment. The speaker was no other than Campbell. He had a basket-hilted broadsword drawn in his hand, which he made to whistle around his head as he spoke, as if for the purpose of enforcing his mediation. Rashleigh and I stared in silence at this unexpected intruder, who proceeded to exhort us alternately: “Do you, Maister Francis, opine that ye will re-establish your father’s credit by cutting your kinsman’s thrapple, or getting your ain sneckit instead in the College-yards of Glasgow?—Or do ye, Maister Rashleigh, think men will trust their lives and fortunes wi’ ane, that, when in point of trust and in point of confidence wi’ a great political interest, gangs about brawling like a drunken gillie?—Nay, never look gash or grim at me, man—if ye’re angry, ye ken how to turn the buckle o’ your belt behind you.” “You presume on my present situation,” replied Rashleigh, “or you would hardly have dared to interfere where my honour is concerned.” “Hout, tout! tout! Presume?—And what for should it be presuming? Ye may be the richer man, Mr Osbaldistone, as is maist likely, and ye may be the mair learned man, whilk I dispute not—but I reckon ye are neither a prettier man nor a better gentleman than mysell, and it will be news to me when I hear ye are as guid. And dare too?—Mickle daring there’s about it—I trow here I stand, that hae slashed as het a haggis as ony o’ the twa o’ ye, and thought na mickle o’ my morning wark when it was dune. If my foot were on the heather, as it’s on the causeway, or this pickle gravel, that’s little better, I hae been waur mistrysted than if I were set to gie ye baith your ser’ing o’t.” Rashleigh had by this time recovered his temper completely. “My kinsman,” he said, “will acknowledge he forced this quarrel on me. It was none of my seeking. I am glad we are interrupted before I chastised his forwardness more severely.”

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“Are ye hurt, lad?” enquired Campbell at me with some appearance of interest. “A very slight scratch,” I answered, “which my kind cousin would not long have boasted of had not you come between us.” “In troth, and that’s true too, Maister Rashleigh,” said Campbell; “for the cauld iron and your best bluid were like to hae become acquaint when I mastered Mr Frank’s right hand. But never look like a sow playing on a trump for the luve o’ that, man—come and walk wi’ me. I hae news to tell ye, and ye’ll cool and come to yoursell, like MacGibbon’s crowdy, when he set it out at the window-bole.” “Pardon me, sir,” said I, “your intentions have seemed friendly towards me on more occasions than one; but I must not, and will not, quit sight of this person, until he yields up to me those means of doing justice to my father’s engagements, of which he has treacherously possessed himself.” “Ye’re daft, man,” replied Campbell, “it will serve ye naething to follow us e’en now— ye hae just enow o’ ae man, wad ye bring twa on your head, and might bide quiet?” “Twenty,” I replied, “if it be necessary.” I laid my hand on Rashleigh’s collar, who made no resistance, but said, with a sort of scornful smile, “You hear him, MacGregor! he rushes on his fate—will it be my fault if he falls into it?—The warrants are by this time ready, and all is prepared.” The Scotchman was obviously greatly embarrassed. He looked around, and before, and behind him, and then said, “The ne’er a bit will I yield my consent to his being ill-guided, for standing up for the father that got him—and I gie God’s malison and mine to a’ sort o’ magistrates, justices, baillies, sheriffs, sheriff-officers, constables, and sic like black cattle, that hae been the plague o’ puir auld Scotland this hunder year;—it was a merry warld when every man held his ain gear wi’ his ain grip, and when the country side wasna fashed wi’ warrants and poindings and apprizings, and a’ that cheatery craft. And anes mair I say it, my conscience winna see this puir thoughtless lad illguided, and especially wi’ that sort o’ trade. I wad rather ye fell till’t again, and fought it out like douce honest men.” “Your conscience, MacGregor!” said Rashleigh; “you forget how long you and I have known each other.” “Yes, my conscience!” reiterated Campbell, or MacGregor, or whatever was his name, “I hae such a thing about me, Maister Osbaldistone, and therein it may weel chance that I hae the better o’ you. As to our knowledge of each other,—if you ken what I am, ye ken what usage it was made me what I am; and, whatever you may think, I would not change states wi’ the proudest of the oppressors that hae

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driven me to tak the heather bush for a beild. What you are, Maister Rashleigh, and what excuse ye hae for being what ye are, is between your ain heart and the lang day.—And now, Maister Francis, let go his collar—for he says truly, that ye are in mair danger from a magistrate than he is, and were your cause as straight as an arrow, he wad find a way to put you in the wrang—So let gae his craig, as I was saying.” He seconded his words with an effort so sudden and unexpected, that he freed Rashleigh from my hold, and securing me, notwithstanding my struggles, in his own Herculean gripe, he called out, “Take the bent, Mr Rashleigh. Mak ae pair o’ legs worth twa pair o’ hands; ye hae dune that before now.” “You may thank this gentleman, kinsman,” said Rashleigh, “if I leave any part of my debt to you unpaid; and if I quit you now, it is only in the hope we shall soon meet again without the possibility of interruption.” He took up his sword, wiped it, sheathed it, and was lost among the bushes. The Scotchman, partly by force, partly by remonstrance, prevented my following him: indeed, I began to be of opinion my doing so would be to little purpose. “As I live by bread,” said Campbell, when, after one or two struggles in which he used much forbearance towards me, he perceived me inclined to stand quiet, “I never saw sae daft a callant. I wad hae gien the best man in the country the breadth o’ his back gin he had gien me sic a kemping as ye hae dune. What wad ye do?—Wad ye follow the wolf to his den?—I tell ye, man, he has the auld trap set for ye—he has got the collector-creature Morris to bring up a’ the auld story again, and ye maun look for nae help frae me as ye got at Justice Inglewood’s. It is na good for my health to come in the gate o’ thae whigamore baillie bodies. Now gang your ways hame, like a gude bairn—jouk and let the jaw gae bye—Keep out o’ sight o’ Rashleigh, and Morris, and that MacVittie animal—Mind the Clachan of Aberfoil, as I said before, and, by the word of a gentleman, I winna see ye wranged. But keep a calm sough till we meet again—I maun gae and get Rashleigh out o’ the town afore waur comes o’t, for the neb o’ him’s never out o’ mischief—Mind the Clachan of Aberfoil.” He turned on his heel, and left me to meditate upon the singular events which had befallen me. My first care was to adjust my dress and reassume my cloak, disposing it so as to conceal the blood which flowed down my right side; I had scarce accomplished this, before, the classes of the College being dismissed, the gardens began to be filled with parties of the students. I therefore left them as soon as possible, and in my way towards Mr Jarvie’s, whose dinner hour was

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now approaching, I stopped at a small unpretending shop, the sign of which intimated the in-dweller to be Christopher Neilson, Surgeon and Apothecary. I requested of a little boy who was pounding some stuff in a mortar, that he would procure me an audience of this learned pharmacopolist. He opened the door of the back-shop, where I found a lively elderly man, who shook his head incredulously at some idle account I gave him of having been wounded accidentally by the button breaking off my antagonist’s foil while I was engaged in a fencing match. When he had applied some lint and what else he thought proper to the trifling wound which I had received, he observed, “There never was button on the foil that made this hurt. Ah! young blood!—young blood!—But we surgeons are a secret generation—If it werena for hot blood and ill blood, what wad become of the two learned faculties?” With which moral reflection he dismissed me, and I experienced very little pain or inconvenience afterwards from the scratch I had received.

Chapter Thirteen An iron race the mountain-cliffs maintain, Foes to the gentler genius of the plain. * * * * * * Who, while their rocky ramparts round they see, The rough abode of want and liberty, As lawless force from confidence will grow, Insult the plenty of the vales below. G

“W    sae late?” said Mr Jarvie, as I entered the diningparlour of that honest gentleman; “it has chappit ane the best feck o’ five minutes bye ga’en. Mattie has been twice at the door wi’ the dinner, and, weel for you, it was a tup’s head, for that canna suffer by delay. A sheep’s head ower muckle boiled is rank poison, as my worthy father used to say—he likit the lug o’ ane weel, honest man.” I made a suitable apology for my breach of punctuality, and was soon seated at table, where Mr Jarvie presided with great glee and hospitality, compelling, however, Owen and myself to do rather more justice to the Scottish dainties with which his board was charged, than was quite agreeable to our southern palates. I escaped pretty well, from having those habits of society which enable one to elude this species of well-meant persecution. But it was ridiculous enough to see Owen, whose ideas of politeness were more rigorous and formal, and who was willing, in all acts of lawful compliance, to evince his respect

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for the friend of the firm, eating, with rueful complaisance, mouthful after mouthful of singed wool, and pronouncing it excellent, in a tone in which disgust almost overpowered civility. When the cloth was removed, Mr Jarvie compounded with his own hands a very small bowl of brandy-punch, the first which I had ever the fortune to see. “The limes,” he assured us, “were from his own little farm yonderawa,” (indicating the West Indies with a knowing shrug of his shoulders,) “and he had learned the art of composing the liquor from old Captain Coffinkey, who acquired it,” he added in a whisper, “as maist folk thought, amang the buccaneers. But it’s excellent liquor,” said he, helping us around; “and good ware has aften come frae a wicked market. And as for Captain Coffinkey, he was a decent man when I kent him, only he used to swear awfully—But he’s dead, and gaen to his account, and I trust he’s accepted—I trust he’s accepted.” We found the liquor exceedingly palatable, and it led to a long conversation between Owen and our host on the opening which the Union had afforded to trade between Glasgow and the British colonies in America and the West Indies, and on the facilities which Glasgow possessed of making up sortable cargoes for that market. Mr Jarvie answered some objection which Owen made on the difficulty of sorting a cargo for America, without buying from England, with great vehemence and volubility. “Na, na, sir—we stand on our ain bottom—we pickle in our ain pock-neuk—We hae our Stirling serges, Musselburgh stuffs, Aberdeen hose, Edinburgh shalloons, and the like, for our woollen or worsted goods—and we hae linens of a’ kinds better and cheaper than you hae in Lunnon itsel—And we can buy your north o’ England wares, as Manchester wares, Sheffield wares, and Newcastle earthenware, as cheap as you can at Liverpool—And we are making a fair spell at cottons and muslins—Na, na! let every herring hing by its ain head, and every sheep by its ain shank, and ye’ll find, sir, us Glasgow folk no sae far ahint but what we may follow.—This is but puir entertainment for you, Mr Osbaldistone,” (observing that I had been for some time silent,) “but ye ken cadgers maun aye be speaking about cart saddles.” I apologized, alleging the painful circumstances of my own situation, and the singular adventures of the morning, as the causes of my abstraction and absence of mind. In this manner I gained what I sought—an opportunity of telling my story distinctly and without interruption. I only omitted mentioning the wound I had received, which I did not think worthy of notice. Mr Jarvie listened with great attention and apparent interest, twinkling his little grey eyes, taking snuff, and only interrupting me by brief interjections. When I came to

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the account of the rencounter, at which Owen folded his hands and cast up his eyes to Heaven, the very image of woeful surprise, Mr Jarvie broke in upon the narrative with “Wrang now—clean wrang— to draw a sword on your kinsman is inhibited by the laws o’ God and man; and to draw a sword on the streets of a royal burgh, is punishable by fine and imprisonment—and the College-yards are na better privileged—they should be a place of peace and quietness, I trow—the College didna get gude L.600 a-year out o’ bishops’ rents, (sorrow fa’ the brood o’ bishops and their rents too!) nor yet a lease o’ the archbishoprick o’ Glasgow the sell o’t, that they suld let folk tuilzie in their yards, or the wild callants bicker there wi’ snaw-ba’s as they whiles do, that when Mattie and I gae through, we are fain to make a baik and a bow, or rin the risk o’ our harns being knocked out—it suld be looked to—it suld be looked to—but come awa’ wi’ your tale—what fell neist?” On my mentioning the appearance of Mr Campbell, Jarvie arose in great surprise, and paced the room, exclaiming, “Robin again?— Robert’s mad—clean wude and waur—Rob will be hanged and disgrace a’ his kinred, and that will be seen and heard tell o’. My father the deacon wrought him his first hose—odd, I am thinking Deacon Threeplie, the rape-spinner, will be working his last cravat. Ay, ay, puir Robin is in a fair way o’ being hanged—But come awa’—come awa’—let us hear the lave o’t.” I told the whole story as pointedly as I could, but Mr Jarvie still found something lacking to make it clear, until I went back, though with considerable reluctance, on the whole story of Morris, and of my meeting with Campbell at the house of Justice Inglewood. Mr Jarvie inclined a serious ear to all this, and remained silent for some time after I had finished my narrative. “Upon all these matters I am now to ask your advice, Mr Jarvie, which, I have no doubt, will point out the best way to act for my father’s advantage and my own honour.” “Ye’re right, young man—ye’re right,” said Jarvie. “Aye take the counsel of those who are elder and wiser than yoursell, and binna like the godless Rehoboam, who took the advice o’ a whin beardless callants, neglecting the auld counsellors whae had sate at the foot o’ his father Solomon, and, as it was weel put by Mr Meiklejohn, in his lecture on the chapter, were doubtless partakers of his sapience. But I maun hear naething about honour—we ken naething here but about credit. Honour is a homicide and a bloodspiller, that gangs about making frays in the street, but Credit is a decent, honest man, that sits at hame and makes the pat play.” “Assuredly, Mr Jarvie,” said our friend Owen, “credit is the sum

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total, and if we can but save that, at whatever discount”—— “Ye are right, Mr Owen—ye are right; ye speak weel and wisely, and I trust bowls will row right though they are awee ajee e’enow. But touching Robin, I am of opinion he will befriend this young man if it is in his power. He has a gude heart, puir Robin, and though I lost a matter o’ twa hunder punds wi’ his former engagements, and haena mickle expectation ever to see back my thousand pund Scots that he promises me e’enow, yet I will never say but what Robin means fair by a’ men.” “I am then to consider him,” I replied, “as an honest man?” “Umph!” replied Jarvie, with a precautionary sort of cough,—“Ay, he has a kind o’ Hieland honesty—He’s honest after a sort, as they say. My father the deacon used aye to laugh when he tauld me how that bye-word came up. Ane Captain Costlett was cracking crouse about his loyalty to King Charles, and Clerk Pettigrew (ye’ll hae heard mony a tale about him) asked him after what manner he served the king, when he was fighting again him at Worster in Cromwell’s army; and Captain Costlett was a ready body, and said that he served him after a sort. My honest father used to laugh weel at that sport—and sae the bye-word came up.” “But do you think,” I said, “that this man will be able to serve me after a sort, or should I trust myself to this place of rendezvous which he has given me?” “Frankly and fairly, it’s worthy trying. Ye see yoursell there’s some risk in your staying here. This bit body Morris has gotten a customhouse place doun at Greenock—that’s a port on the Firth doun bye here; and tho’ a’ the warld kens him to be but a twa-leggit creature, wi’ a goose’s head and a hen’s heart, that goes about on the quay plaguing folk about permits, and cockits, and dockits, and a’ that vexatious trade, yet if he lodge an information—ou, nae doubt a man in magisterial duty maun attend to it, and ye might come to be clapped up between four wa’s, whilk wad be ill-convenient to your father’s affairs.” “True,” I observed; “yet what service am I likely to render him by leaving Glasgow, which, it is probable, will be the principal scene of Rashleigh’s machinations, and committing myself to the doubtful faith of a man of whom I know little but that he fears justice, and has doubtless good reason for doing so; and that for some secret, and probably dangerous purpose, he is in close league and alliance with the very person who is like to be the author of our ruin?” “Ah! but ye judge Rab hardly,” said the Baillie,—“ye judge him hardly, puir chield—and the truth is, that ye ken naething about our hill country, or Hielands, as we ca’ them. They are clean anither set

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frae the like o’ huz—there’s nae baillie-courts amang them—nae magistrates that dinna bear the sword in vain, like the worthy deacon that’s gane—and, I may say’t, like mysell and other present magistrates in this city—But it’s just the laird’s command, and the lown maun loup, and the never another law hae they but the length o’ their dirks. The broadsword’s pursuer or plaintiff, as you Englishers ca’ it, and the target is defender; the stoutest head bears langest out—an there’s a Hieland plea for ye.” Owen groaned deeply, and I allow that the description did not greatly increase my desire to trust myself in a country so lawless as he described these Scottish mountains. “Now, sir,” said Jarvie, “we speak little o’ thae things, because they are familiar to oursells, and whare’s the use o’ vilifying ane’s country, and bringing a discredit on ane’s kin, before southron and strangers? It’s an ill bird that files its ain nest.” “Well, sir, but as it is no impertinent curiosity of mine, but real necessity, that obliges me to make these enquiries, I hope you will not be offended at my pressing for a little further information. I have to deal, on my father’s account, with several gentlemen of these wild countries, and I must trust your good sense and experience for the requisite lights upon the subject.” This little morsel of flattery was not thrown out in vain. “Experience!” said the Baillie, “I hae had experience, nae doubt, and I hae made some calculations—ay, and to speak quietly amang oursells, I hae made some perquisitions through Andro Wylie, my auld clerk; he’s wi’ MacVittie and Co. now—but he whiles drinks a gill in the Saturday afternoons wi’ his auld master—and since ye say ye are willing to be guided by the Glasgow weaver body’s advice, I am no the man that will refuse it to the son of an auld correspondent, and my father the deacon was nane sic afore me. I have whiles thought o’ letting my lights burn before the Duke of Argyle, or his brother Lord Ilay, (for wherefore should they be hidden under a bushel?) but the like o’ thae grit men wadna mind the like o’ me, a puir wabster body— they think mair o’ wha says a thing than o’ what’s said—the mair’s the pity—mair’s the pity—Not that I wad speak ony ill of this Maccallummore—‘Curse not the rich in your bed-chamber,’ saith the son of Sirach, for a bird of the air shall carry the clatter, and pint-stoups hae lang lugs.” I interrupted these prolegomena, in which Mr Jarvie was apt to be somewhat diffuse, by praying him to rely upon Mr Owen and myself as perfectly secret and safe confidants. “It’s no for that,” he replied, “for I fear nae man—what for suld I? —I speak nae treason—Only thae Hielandmen hae lang grips, and I

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whiles gang a wee bit up the glens to see some auld kinsfolks, and I wadna willingly be in bad blude wi’ ony o’ their clans. Howsumever, to proceed—Ye maun understand I found my remarks on figures, whilk, as Mr Owen here weel kens, is the only true demonstrable root of human knowledge.” Owen readily assented to a proposition so much in his own way, and our orator proceeded. “These Hielands of ours, as we ca’ them, gentlemen, are but a wild kind of warld by themsells, full of heights and hows, woods, caverns, lochs, rivers, and mountains, that it wad tire the very deevil’s wings to flee to the tap o’ them. And in this country, and in the isles, whilk are little better, or, to speak the truth, rather waur than the main land, there are about twa hunder and thirty parochines, including the Orkneys, where, whether they speak Gaelic or no, I wot na, but they are an uncivileized people.—Now, sirs, I sall had ilk parochine at the moderate estimate of eight hunder examinable persons, deducting childer under nine years of age, and then adding one-fifth to stand for bairns of nine years auld, and under, the whole population will reach to the sum of—let us add one-fifth to 800 to be the multiplier, and 230 being the multiplicand”—— “The product,” said Mr Owen, who entered delightedly into these statistics of Mr Jarvie, “will be two hundred and thirty thousand.” “Right, sir—parfectly right; and the array of this Hieland country, were a’ the men-folk between aughteen and fifty-six brought out that could bear arms, could na come weel short of fifty-seven thousand five hundred men. Now, sir, it’s a sad and awfu’ truth, that there is neither wark, nor the very fashion or appearance of wark, for the tae half of thae puir creatures; that is to say, that the agriculture, the pasturage, the fisheries, and every species of honest industry about the country, canna employ the one moiety of the population, let them work as lazily as they like, and they do work as a pleugh or a spade burned their fingers. Aweel, sir, this moiety of unemployed bodies, amounting to”—— “To one hundred and fifteen thousand souls,” said Owen, “being the half of the above product.” “Ye hae’t, Maister Owen—ye hae’t—whereof there may be twentyeight thousand seven hundred and fifty able-bodied gillies fit to bear arms, and that do bear arms, and will touch or look at nae honest means of livelihood even if they could get it—which, lack-a-day, they cannot.” “But is it possible,” said I, “Mr Jarvie, that this can be a just picture of so large a portion of the island of Britain?” “Sir, I’ll make it as plain as Peter Pasley’s pike-staff—I will allow

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that ilk parochine, on an average, employs fifty pleughs, whilk is a great proportion in sic miserable soil as the creatures hae to labour, and that there may be pasture aneugh for pleugh-horses, and owsen, and for forty or fifty cows—now, to take care o’ thae pleughs and cattle, we’se allow seventy-five families of six lives in ilk family, and we’se add fifty mair to mak even numbers, and ye hae five hundred souls, the tae half o’ the population, employed and maintained in a sort o’ fashion, wi’ some chance of sour-milk and croudie—but I wad be glad to ken what the other five hunder are to do?” “In the name of God!” said I, “what do they do, Mr Jarvie? It makes one shudder to think of their situation.” “Sir,” replied the Baillie, “ye wad may be shudder mair if ye war living near-hand them. For, admitting that the tae half o’ them may make some little thing for themsells honestly in the Lowlands by shearing in harst, droving, haymaking, and the like, ye hae still mony hundreds and thousands o’ lang-legged Hieland gillies that will neither wark nor want, and maun gang thigging and sorning about on their acquaintance, or live by the doing the laird’s bidding, be’t right or be’t wrang. And mair especially, mony hundreds o’ them come doun to the borders of the low country, where there’s gear to grip, and live by stealing, reiving, lifting cows, and the like depredations! A thing deplorable in ony Christian country—the mair especially, that they take pride in it, and reckon driving a spreagh (whilk is, in plain Scotch, stealing a herd of nowte,) a gallant, manly action, and mair befitting of pretty men (as sic reivers will ca’ themsells,) than to win a day’s wage by ony honest thrift. And the lairds are as bad as the loons, for if they dinna bid them gae reive and harry, the deil a bit they forbid them, and they shelter them, or let them shelter themsells, in their woods, and mountains, and strong-holds, whenever the thing’s dune. And every ane o’ them will mainteen as mony o’ his ain name, or his clan, as we say, as he can rap and rend means for, or, whilk’s the same thing, as mony as can in ony fashion, fair or foul, mainteen themsells —and there they are wi’ gun and pistol, dirk and dourlach, ready to disturb the peace o’ the kintra whenever the laird likes—and that’s the grievance of the Hielands, whilk are, and hae been for this thousand years bye past, a bike o’ the maist lawless unchristian limmers that ever disturbed a douce, quiet, Godfearing neighbourhood, like this o’ ours in the west here.” “And this kinsman of your’s, and friend of mine, is he one of these great proprietors who maintain the household troops you speak of?” I enquired. “Na, na,” said Baillie Jarvie; “he’s nane o’ your great grandees o’ chiefs, as they ca’ them, neither. Though he is weel born, and lineally

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descended frae auld Glenstrae—I ken his lineage—indeed he is a near kinsman, and, as I said, gude gentle Hieland bluid, though ye may think weel that I care little about that nonsense—it’s a’ moonshine in water—a’ moonshine in water—waste threads and thrums, as we say—but I could show ye letters frae his father, that was the third aff Glenstrae, to my father, Deacon Jarvie, (peace be wi’ his memory,) beginning, Dear Deacon, and ending, your loving kinsman to command,—they are amaist a’ about borrowed siller, sae the gude deacon that’s dead and gane, keepit them as documents and evidents—he was a carefu’ man.” “But if he is not,” I resumed, “one of their chiefs or patriarchal leaders, whom I have heard my father talk of, this kinsman of your’s has, at least, much to say in the Highlands, I presume?” “Ye may say that—nae name better kenn’d between the Lennox and Breadalbane. Robin was anes a weel-doing, pains-taking drover as ye wad see amang ten thousand—It was a pleasure to see him in his belted plaid and brogues, wi’ his target at his back, and claymore and dirk at his belt, following a hundred Hieland stots, and a dozen o’ the gillies, as rough and ragged as the beasts they drave. And he was baith civil and just in his dealings, and if he thought his chapman had made a hard bargain, he wad gie him a luck penny to the mens. I hae kenn’d him gie back five shillings out o’ the pund sterling.” “Twenty-five per cent,” said Owen—“a heavy discount.” “He wad gie it though, sir, as I tell ye; mair especially if he thought the buyer was a puir man and could nat stand by a loss. But the times came hard, and Rab was venturesome—it wasna my faut—it wasna my faut—he canna wyte me—I aye tauld him o’t—and the creditors, mair especially some grit neighbours o’ his, grippit to his living and land—And they say his wife was turned out o’ the house to the hillside, and sair misguided to the boot. Shamefu’! shamefu’!—I am a peacefu’ man and a magistrate, but if ony ane had guided sae mickle as my servant quean, Mattie, as it is like they guided Rob’s wife, I think it suld hae set the shabble that my father the deacon had at Bothwellbrigg a-walking again. Weel, Rob came hame, and fand desolation, God pity us! where he left plenty; he looked east, west, south, and north, and saw neither hauld nor hope—neither beild nor shelter— sae he e’en pu’d the bonnet ower his brow, belted the broadsword to his side, took to the brae-side, and became a broken man.” The voice of the good citizen was broken by his contending feelings. He obviously, while he professed to contemn the pedigree of his Highland kinsman, attached a secret feeling of consequence to the connection, and he spoke of his friend in his prosperity with an overflow of affection, which deepened his sympathy for his misfortunes,

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and his regret for their consequences. “Thus tempted, and urged by despair,” said I, seeing Mr Jarvie did not proceed in his narrative, “I suppose your kinsman became one of those depredators you have described to us?” “No sae bad as that,” said the Glaswegian,—“no a’thegither and outright sae bad as that—but he became a levyer of black-mail, wider and farther than ever it was raised in our day, a’ through the Lennox and Menteith, and up to the gates o’ Stirling castle.” “Black-mail?—I do not understand the phrase,” I remarked. “Ou, ye see, Rob sune gathered an unco band o’ blue-bonnets at his back, for he comes o’ a rough name when he’s kent by his ain, and a name that’s held its ain for mony a lang year, again baith king and parliament, and kirk too, for aught I ken—an auld and honourable name, for as sair as it has been worried and hadden doun and oppressed. My mother was a MacGregor—I care na wha kens it—and sae Rob had sune a gallant band; and as it grieved him (he said) to see sic hership, and waste, and depredation to the south o’ the Hieland line, why, if ony heritor or farmer wad pay him four punds Scots out of each hundred punds of valued rent, whilk was doubtless a moderate consideration, Rob engaged to keep them scaithless—let them send to him if they lost sae mickle as a single cloot by thievery, and Rob engaged to get them again, or pay the value—and he aye keepit his word—I canna deny but he keepit his word—A’ men allow Rob keeps his word.” “This is a very singular contract of assurance,” said Mr Owen. “It’s clean again our statute law, that must be owned,” said Jarvie, “clean again law—the levying and the paying black-mail are baith punishable: but if the law canna protect my barn and byre, whatfor suld I no engage wi’ a Hieland gentleman that can?—answer me that.” “But,” said I, “Mr Jarvie, is this contract of black-mail, as you call it, completely voluntary on the part of the landlord or farmer who pays the insurance? or what usually happens, in case any one refuses payment of this tribute?” “Aha, lad!” said the Baillie, laughing, and putting his finger to his nose, “ye think ye hae me there. Troth, I wad advise ony friends o’ mine to gree wi’ Rob; for watch as they like, and do what they like, they are sair apt to be harried when the lang nights come on. Some o’ the Grahame and Cohoon gentry stood out—but what than?—they lost their haill stock the first winter—sae maist folks now think it best to come into Rob’s terms—he’s easy wi’ a’ body that will be easy wi’ him, but if ye thraw him, ye had better thraw the deevil.” “And by his exploits in these vocations,” I continued, “I suppose he has rendered himself amenable to the laws of the country?”

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“Amenable? ye may say that—his craig wad ken the weight o’ his hurdies if they could get had o’ Rab. But he has gude friends amang the grit folks; and I could tell ye o’ ae grit family that keeps him up as far as they decently can, to be a thorn in the side of anither. And than he’s sic an auld-farran lang-headed chield as never took up the trade o’ kateran in our time; mony a daft reik he has played—mair than wad fill a buik, and a queer ane it wad be—as gude as Robin Hood, or William Wallace—a’ fu’ o’ venturesome deeds and escapes, sic as folk tell ower at a winter-ingle in the daft days. It’s a queer thing o’ me, gentlemen, that am a man o’ peace mysell, and a peacefu’ man’s son, for my father the deacon quarrelled wi’ nae man out o’ the towncouncil—it’s a queer thing, I say, but I think the Hieland blude o’ me warms at thae daft tales, and whiles I like better to hear them than a word o’ profit, gude forgi’e me!—but they are vanities, sinfu’ vanities, and, moreover, again the statute law—again the statute and gospel law.” I now followed up my investigation, by enquiring what means of influence this Mr Robert Campbell could possibly possess over my affairs or those of my father. “Why, ye are to understand,” said Jarvie, in a very subdued tone —“I speak amang friends, and under the rose—under the rose—ye are to understand, that the Hielands hae been keepit quiet since the year aughty-nine—that was Killiecrankie year. But how hae they been keepit quiet, think ye? By siller, Mr Owen—by siller, Mr Osbaldistone. King William caused Breadalbane distribute twenty thousand gude punds sterling amang them, and it’s said the auld Highland Earl keepit a lang lug o’t in his ain sporran—And then Queen Anne, that’s dead, gae the chiefs bits o’ pensions, sae they had wherewith to support their gillies and katerans that work nae wark, as I said afore; and they lay bye quiet aneugh, saving some spreagherie on the Lawlands, whilk is their use and wont, and some cutting o’ thrapples amang themsels, that nae civileezed body kens or cares ony thing anent.—Weel, but there’s a new warld come up wi’ this King George, (I say, God bless him for ane),—there’s neither like to be siller nor pensions ganging amang them—they haena the means o’ mainteening the clans that eat them up, as ye may guess frae what I hae said before—their credit’s gane in the Lawlands, and a man that can whistle ye up a thousand or feifteen hundred linking lads to do his will, wad hardly get fifty punds on his band at the Cross o’ Glasgow. This canna stand lang—there will be an outbreak for the Stuarts—there will be an outbreak—they will come down on the low country like a land-flood, as they did in the waefu’ wars o’ Montrose, and that will be seen and heard tell o’ ere a twalmonth gangs round.”

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“Yet still,” I said, “I do not see how this concerns Mr Campbell, much less my father’s affairs.” “Rob can levy five hundred men, sir, and therefore war suld concern him as mickle as maist folk,” replied the Baillie; “for it is a faculty that is far less profitable in time o’ peace. Then, to tell ye the truth, I doubt he has been the prime agent between some o’ our Hieland chiefs and the gentlemen in the north o’ England. We a’ heard o’ the public money that was ta’en frae the chield Morris somewhere about the fit o’ Cheviot by Rob and ane o’ the Osbaldistone lads—and, to tell ye the truth, word gaed it was yoursel, Mr Francis, and sorry was I that your father’s son suld hae ta’en to sic practices—Na, ye needna say a word about it. I see weel I was mista’en, but I wad believe ony thing o’ a stage-player, whilk I concluded ye to be. But now, I doubtna, it has been Rashleigh himself or some other o’ your cousins—they are tarr’d wi’ the same stick—rank jacobites and papists, and wad think the government siller and government papers lawfu’ prize. And the creature Morris is sic a cowardly caitiff, that to this hour he daurna say that it was Rob took the portmanteau aff him—and troth he’s right, for your custom-house and excise cattle are ill likit on a’ sides, and Rob might get a back-handed lick at him, or the Board, as they ca’t, could help him.” “I have long suspected this, Mr Jarvie,” said I, “and perfectly agree with you. But as to my father’s affairs”—— “Suspected it?—it’s certain—it’s certain—I ken them that saw some o’ the papers that were ta’en aff Morris—it’s needless to say whare. But to your father’s affairs—ye maun think that in thae twenty years by-gane some o’ the Hieland lairds and chiefs hae come to some sma’ sense o’ their ain interest. Your father and others hae bought the woods of Glendissery, Glen-Kessock, Tober-na-Kippoch, and mony mair besides, and your father has granted large bills in payment,— and as the credit o’ Osbaldistone and Tresham was gude—for I’ll say before Mr Owen’s face as I wad behind his back, that, bating misfortunes o’ the Lord’s sending, nae men could be mair honourable in business—the Hieland gentlemen, holders o’ thae bills, hae fund credit in Glasgow and Edinburgh (I might amaist say in Glasgow wholly, for it’s little the pridefu’ Edinburgh folk do in real business) for all, or the greater part of the contents o’ thae bills.—So that—Aha! d’ye see me now?” I confessed I could not quite follow his drift. “Why,” said he, “if the bills are not paid, the Glasgow merchant comes on the Hieland lairds, whae hae de’il a boddle o’ siller, and will like ill to be asked to spew up what is item a’ spent—They will turn desperate—five thousand men will rise that might hae sittin at

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hame—the de’il will gae ower Jock Wabster—and the stopping of your father’s house will hasten the outbreak that’s been sae lang baling us.” “You think then,” said I, surprised at this singular view of the case, “that Rashleigh Osbaldistone has done this injury to my father merely to accelerate a rising in the Highlands, by distressing the gentlemen to whom these bills were originally granted?” “Doubtless—doubtless—it has been one main reason, Mr Osbaldistone. I doubtna but what the ready money he carried off wi’ him might be another. But that makes comparatively but a sma’ part o’ your father’s loss, though it might make the maist part o’ Rashleigh’s direct gain. The assetts he carried aff are o’ nae mair use to him than if he were to light his pipe wi’ them. He tried if MacVittie and Co. wad gi’e him siller on them—that I ken by Andro Wylie—but they were ower auld cats to draw that strae afore them—they keepit aff and gae fair words. Rashleigh Osbaldistone is better kenn’d than trusted in Glasgow, for he was here about some Jacobite Papistical troking in seenteen hundred and seven, and left debt ahint him. Na, na! he canna pit aff the paper here; folk will misdoubt how he came by it. Na, na—he’ll hae the stuff safe at some o’ their haulds in the Hielands, and I daur say my cousin Rob could get at it gin he liked.” “But would he be disposed to serve us in this pinch, Mr Jarvie?” said I. “You have described him as an agent of the Jacobite party, and deeply connected in their intrigues; will he be disposed for my sake, or, if you please, for the sake of justice, to make an act of restitution, which, supposing it in his power, would, according to your view of the case, materially interfere with their plans?” “I canna preceesely speak to that—the grandees amang them are doubtfu’ o’ Rob, and he’s doubtfu’ o’ them—and he’s been weel friended wi’ the Argyle family—If he was freed o’ his hornings and his captions, he wad rather be on Argyle’s side than he wad be on Breadalbane’s, for there’s auld ill-will between the Breadalbane family and his kin and name. The truth is, that Rob’s for his ain hand, as Henry Wynd feught—He’ll tak the side that suits him best—if the deil was laird, Rob wald be for being tenant, and ye canna blame him, puir fallow, considering his circumstances. But there’s ae thing sair again ye—Rob has a grey mear in his stable at hame.” “A grey mare?” said I. “What is that to the purpose?” “The wife, man—the wife,—an awfu’ wife she is. She downa bide the sight o’ a kindly Scot, if he come frae the low lands, far less of an Inglisher, and she’ll be keen for a’ that can set up King James, and ding down King George.” “It is very singular,” I replied, “that the mercantile transactions of

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London citizens should become involved with revolutions and rebellions.” “Not at a’, man—not at a’,” returned Mr Jarvie, “that’s a’ your silly prejudications. I read whiles in the lang dark nights, and I hae read in Baker’s Chronicle that the merchants o’ London could gar the Bank o’ Genoa break their promise to advance a mighty sum to the King of Spain, whereby the sailing of the Grand Spanish Armada was put aff for a haill year—What think you of that, sir?” “That the merchants did their country golden service, which ought to be honourably remembered in our history.” “I think sae too—and they wad do weel, and deserve weel baith o’ the state and o’ humanity, that wad save thae three or four honest Hieland gentlemen frae louping heads ower heels into destruction, wi’ a’ their puir sackless followers, just because they canna pay back the siller they had reason to count upon as their ain—and save your father’s credit—and my ain gude siller that Osbaldistone and Tresham awes me into the bargain—I say if ane could manage a’ this, I think it suld be done and said unto him, even if he were a puir ca-theshuttle body, as unto one whom the king delighteth to honour.” “I cannot pretend to estimate the extent of public gratitude,” I replied; “but our own thankfulness, Mr Jarvie, would be commensurate with the extent of the obligation.” “Which,” added Mr Owen, “we would endeavour to balance with a per contra the instant our Mr Osbaldistone returns from Holland.” “I doubtna—I doubtna—he is a very worthy gentleman, and a sponsible, and wi’ some o’ my lights might do mickle business in Scotland—Weel, sir, if these assets could be redeemed out o’ the hands o’ the Philistines, they are gude paper—they are the right stuff when they are in the right hands, and that’s yours, Mr Owen.—And I’se find ye three men in Glasgow, for as little as ye think o’ us, Mr Owen,—-that’s Sandie Steenson in the Trade’s-Land, and John Pirie in Candleriggs, and another, that sall be nameless at this present, sall advance what soums are sufficient to secure the credit of your house, and seek nae better security.” Owen’s eyes sparkled at this prospect of extrication; but his countenance instantly fell on recollecting how improbable it was that the recovery of the assets, as he technically called them, should be successfully achieved. “Dinna despair, sir—dinna despair,” said Mr Jarvie; “I hae taen sae mickle concern wi’ your affairs already, that it maun een be ower shoon ower boots wi’ me now. I am just like my father the deacon, (praise be wi’ him!) I canna meddle wi’ a friend’s business, but I end wi’ making it my ain—Sae, I’ll een pit on my boots the morn, and be

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jogging ower Drymen-Muir wi’ Mr Frank here, and if I canna mak Rob hear reason, and his wife too, I dinna ken wha can—I hae been a kind freend to them afore now, to sae naething o’ ower-looking him last night, when naming his name wad hae cost him his life—I’ll be hearing o’ this in the council maybe frae Baillie Grahame, and MacVittie, and some o’ them. They hae coost up my kinred to Rob to me already—set up their nashgabs. I tauld them I wad vindicate nae man’s faults; but set apart what he had dune again the law o’ the country, and the hership o’ the Lennox, and the misfortune o’ some folk losing life by him, he was an honester man than stude on ony o’ their shanks—And whatfor suld I mind their clavers?—If Rob is an outlaw, to himsell be it said—there is nae laws now about reset of intercommuned persons, as there was in the ill times o’ the last Stuarts —I trow I hae a Scots tongue in my head—if they speak, I’se answer.” It was with great pleasure that I saw the Baillie gradually surmount the barriers of caution, under the united influence of public spirit and good-natured interest in our own affairs, together with his natural wish to avoid loss and acquire gain, and not a little harmless vanity. Through the combined operation of these motives he at length arrived at the doughty resolution of taking the field in person, to aid in the recovery of my father’s property. His whole information led me to believe, that, if the papers were in possession of this Highland adventurer, it might be possible to induce him to surrender what he could not keep with any prospect of personal advantage; and I was conscious that the presence of his kinsman was likely to have considerable weight with him. I therefore cheerfully acquiesced in Mr Jarvie’s proposal, that we should set out early next morning. That honest gentleman was indeed as vivacious and alert in preparing to carry his purpose into execution, as he had been slow and cautious in forming it. He roared to Mattie to air his trot-cosey, to have his jack-boots greased and set before the kitchen-fire all night, and to see that his beast was corned, and a’ his riding gear in order. Having agreed to meet him at five o’clock next morning, and having settled that Owen, whose presence could be of no use to us upon this expedition, should await our return at Glasgow, we took a kind farewell of this unexpectedly zealous friend. I installed Owen in an apartment in my lodgings, contiguous to my own, and, giving orders to Andrew Fairservice to attend me the next morning at the hour appointed, I retired to rest with better hopes than it had lately been my fortune to entertain.    

ROB ROY  

Chapter One Far as the eye could reach no tree was seen, Earth, clad in russet, scorn’d the lively green; No birds, except as birds of passage, flew; No bee was known to hum, no dove to coo; No streams, as amber smooth—as amber clear, Were seen to glide, or heard to warble here. Prophecy of Famine

I    the bracing atmosphere of a delightful harvest morning that I met by appointment Fairservice, with the horses, at the door of Mr Jarvie’s house, which was but little space distant from Mrs Flyter’s hotel. The first matter which caught my attention was, that whatever were the deficiencies of the poney which Mr Fairservice’s legal adviser, Clerk Touthope, generously bestowed upon him in exchange for Thorncliffe’s mare, he had contrived to part with it, and procure in its stead an animal with so curious and complete a lameness, that it seemed only to make use of three legs for the purpose of progression, while the fourth was only meant to be flourished in the air by way of accompaniment. “What do ou mean by bringing such a creature as that here, sir? and where is the poney you rode to Glasgow upon?” were my very natural and impatient enquiries. “I sell’t it, sir—it was a slink beast, and wad hae eaten its head aff standing at Luckie Flyter’s at livery. And I hae bought this ane on your honour’s account—it’s a grand bargain, cost but a pund sterling the foot—that’s four a’thegither—the string-halt will gae aff when it’s gaen a mile. It’s a weel-kenn’d ganger—they ca’ it Souple Tam.” “On my soul, sir!” said I, “you will never rest till my supple-jack and your shoulders become acquainted. If you do not go instantly and procure the other brute, you shall pay the penalty of your ingenuity.” Andrew, notwithstanding my threats, continued to battle the point, 219

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as he said it would cost him a guinea of rue-bargain to the man who had bought his poney, before he could get it back again. Like a true Englishman, though sensible I was duped by the rascal, I was about to pay his exaction rather than lose time, when forth sallied Mr Jarvie, cloaked, mantled, hooded, and booted, as if for a Siberian winter, while two apprentices, under the immediate direction of Mattie, led forth the decent ambling steed which had the honour on such occasions to support the person of the Glasgow magistrate. Ere he “clombe to the saddle,” an expression more descriptive of the Baillie’s mode of mounting than that of the knights-errant to whom Spenser applies it, he enquired the cause of the dispute betwixt my servant and me. Having learned the nature of honest Andrew’s manœuvre, he instantly cut short all debate, by pronouncing, that if Fairservice did not forthwith return the three-legged palfrey, and produce the more useful quadruped which he had discarded, he would send him to prison, and amerce him in half his wages. “Mr Osbaldistone,” said he, “contracted for the service both of your horse and you—twa brutes at ance—ye unconscionable rascal—but I’se look weel after you during this journey.” “It will be ill fining me,” said Andrew, doughtily, “that hasna a grey groat to pay a fine wi’: it’s ill taking the breeks aff a Hielandman.” “If ye haena purse to fine, ye hae flesh to pine,” replied the Baillie, “and I will look weel to ye getting your deserts the tae way or the tither.” To the commands of Mr Jarvie, therefore, Andrew was compelled to submit, only muttering between his teeth, “Ower mony maisters!— ower mony maisters! as the paddock said to the harrow, when every tooth gae her a tig.” Apparently he found no difficulty of getting rid of Supple Tam, and recovering possession of his former Bucephalus, for he accomplished the exchange without being many minutes absent, nor did I hear further of his having paid any smart-money for breach of bargain. We now set forwards, but had not reached the top of the street in which Mr Jarvie dwelt, when a loud hallooing, and a breathless call of “Stop, stop!” was heard behind us. We stopped accordingly, and were overtaken by Mr Jarvie’s two lads, who bore two parting tokens of Mattie’s care for her master. The first was conveyed in the form of a voluminous silk handkerchief, like the main-sail of one of his own West-Indiamen, which Mrs Mattie particularly desired he would put about his neck, and which, thus entreated, he added to his other integuments. The second youngster brought only a verbal charge (I thought I saw the rogue disposed to laugh as he delivered it,) on the part of the housekeeper, that her maister would take care of the

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waters. “Pooh! pooh! silly hussy,” answered Mr Jarvie, but added, turning to me, “it shows kind heart though—it shows kind heart in sae young a quean—Mattie’s a carefu’ lass.” So speaking, he pricked the sides of his palfrey, and we left the town without further interruption. While we paced easily forward, by a road which conducted us north-eastward from the town, I had an opportunity to estimate and admire the good qualities of my new friend. Although, like my father, he considered commercial transactions to be the most important objects of human life, he was not wedded to them in such a degree as to undervalue more general knowledge. On the contrary, with much oddity and vulgarity of manner,—with a vanity which he made more ridiculous by disguising it now and then under a thin veil of humility, and devoid as he was of all the advantages of a learned education, Mr Jarvie’s conversation shewed tokens of a shrewd, observing, liberal, and, to the extent of his opportunities, a wellimproved mind. He was a good local antiquary, and entertained me, as we passed along, with an account of remarkable events which had formerly taken place in the scenes through which we passed. And as he was well acquainted with the ancient history of his district, he saw with the prospective eye of an enlightened patriot, the buds of many of those future advantages, which have only blossomed and ripened within these few years. I remarked also, and with great pleasure, that although a keen Scottishman, and abundantly zealous for the honour of his country, he was disposed to think most liberally of the sister kingdom. When Andrew Fairservice (whom, by the way, the Baillie could not abide,) chose to impute the accident of one of the horses casting his shoe to the deteriorating influence of the Union, he incurred a severe rebuke from Mr Jarvie. “Whisht, stir!—whisht!—it’s ill-scrapit tongues like your’s, that make mischief atween neighbourhoods and nations. There’s naething sae gude on this side o’ time but it might hae been better, and that may be said o’ the Union. Nane were keener again it than the Glasgow folk, wi’ their rabblings and their risings, and their mobs, as they ca’ them now-a-days. But it’s an ill wind blaws naebody gude—Let ilka ane roose the ford as they find it—I say, Let Glasgow Flourish, whilk is judiciously and elegantly putten around the town’s arms, by way of bye-word.—Now, since St Mungo catched herrings in the Clyde, what was ever like to gar us flourish like the sugar and tobacco-trade —Will ony body tell me that, and grumble at the treaty that opened us a road west-awa’ yonder?” Andrew Fairservice was far from acquiescing in these arguments of expedience, and even ventured to enter a grumbling protest, “That it was an unco change to hae Scotland’s laws made in England, and that,

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for his share, he wadna for a’ the herring barrels in Glasgow, and a’ the tobacco-casks to boot, hae gien up the riding o’ the Scots parliament, or sent awa’ our crown, and our sword, and our sceptre, and Monsmeg, to be keepit by thae English pock-puddings in the Tour o’ Lunnon. What wad Sir William Wallace or auld Davie Lindsay hae said to the Union, or them that made it?” The road which we travelled, while diverting the way with these discussions, had become wild and open, so soon as we had left Glasgow a mile or two behind us, and was growing more dreary as we advanced. Huge continuous heaths spread before, behind, and around us in hopeless barrenness, now level and interspersed with swamps, green with treacherous verdure, or sable with turf, or, as they call them in Scotland, peat-bogs, and now swelling into huge heavy ascents, which wanted the dignity and even the form of hills, while they were still more toilsome to the passenger. There were neither trees nor bushes to relieve the eye from the russet livery of absolute sterility. The very heath was of that stinted imperfect kind which has little or no flower, and affords the coarsest and meanest covering, so far as my experience enables me to judge, which mother Earth is ever arrayed in. Living thing we saw none, except occasionally a few straggling sheep of a strange diversity of colours, as black, bluish, and orange. The sable hue predominated, however, in their faces and legs. The very birds seemed to shun these wastes, and no wonder, since they had an easy method of escaping from them; at least I only heard the monotonous and plaintive cry of the lapwing and curlew, which my companions denominated the pease-weep and whaup. At dinner, however, which we took about noon, at a most miserable ale-house, we had the good fortune to find that these tiresome screamers of the morass were not the only inhabitants of the moors. The good-wife told us, that “the gudeman had been at the hill;” and well for us that he had so, for we enjoyed the produce of his chasse in the shape of some broiled moor-game, a dish which gallantly eked out the ewe-milk cheese, dried salmon, and oaten bread, being all beside that the house afforded. Some very indifferent two-penny ale, and a glass of excellent brandy, crowned our repast, and as our horses had, in the mean time, discussed their corn, we resumed our journey with renovated vigour. I had need of all the spirits a good dinner could give, to resist the dejection which crept insensibly on my spirits, when I compared the strange uncertainty of my errand, with the disconsolate aspect of the country through which it was leading me. Our road continued to be, if possible, more waste and wild than that we had travelled in the forenoon. The few miserable hovels that shewed some marks of

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human habitation, were now of still rarer occurrence, and, at length, as we began to ascend a huge and uninterrupted swell of moorland, they totally disappeared. The only exercise which my imagination received was, when some particular turns of the road gave us a partial view to the left of a large assemblage of dark-blue mountains stretching to the north and north-west, which promised to include within their recesses, a country as wild perhaps, but certainly differing greatly in point of interest, from that which we now travelled. The peaks of this screen of mountains were as wildly varied and distinguished as the hills which we had seen on the right were tame and lumpish, and while I gazed on this Alpine region, I felt a longing to explore its recesses, though with toil and danger, similar to that which a sailor feels when he wishes for the risks and animation of a battle or a gale, in exchange for the insupportable monotony of a protracted calm. I made various enquiries at my friend Mr Jarvie, respecting the names and positions of these remarkable mountains, but it was a subject on which he had no information, or did not chuse to be communicative. “They’re the Hieland hills—the Hieland hills—Ye’ll see and hear aneuch about them before ye see Glasgow Cross again—I downa look at them—I never see them but they gar me grew—it’s no for fear—no for fear—but just for grief, for the puir blinded half starved creatures that inhabit them—But say nae mair about it—it’s ill speaking o’ Hielandmen sae near the line. I hae kenn’d mony an honest man wadna hae ventured this length without he had made his last wull and testament—Mattie had ill will to see me set awa’ on this ride, and grat awee the silly tawpie; but it’s nae mair ferlie to see a woman greet than to see a goose gang barefit.” I next attempted to lead the discourse upon the character and history of the person whom we were going to visit, but upon this topic Mr Jarvie was totally inaccessible, owing perhaps in part to the attendance of Mr Andrew Fairservice, who chose to keep so close in our rear that his ears could not fail to catch every word which was spoken, while his tongue assumed the freedom of mingling in our conversation as often as he saw an opportunity. For this he occasionally incurred Mr Jarvie’s reproof. “Keep back, sir, as best sets ye,” said the Baillie, as Andrew pressed forward to catch the answer to some question I had asked about Campbell.—“Ye wald fain ride the fore horse, an’ ye wist how—That chield’s aye for being out o’ the cheese-fat he was moulded in.—Now as for your questions, Mr Osbaldistone, now that chield’s out of earshot, I’ll just tell ye it’s free to you to speer, and it’s free to me to answer or no—Gude I canna say mickle o’ Robin, puir chield, ill I

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winna say o’ him, for, forbye that he’s my cousin, we’re coming near his ain kintra, and there may be ane o’ his gillies ahint every whin-bush for what I ken—And if ye’ll be guided by my advice, the less ye speak about him, or whare we are ganging, or what we are ganging to do, we’ll be the mair likely to speed in our errand. For it’s like we may fa’ in hand wi’ some o’ his unfreends—they are e’en ower mony o’ them about—and his bonnet sits even on his brow yet for a’ that— but I doubt they’ll be upsides wi’ Rob at last—air day or late day the fox’s hide finds the flaying knife.” “I will certainly,” I replied, “be entirely guided by your experience.” “Right, Mr Osbaldistone—right,—but I maun speak to this gabbing skyte too, for bairns and fules speak at the Cross what they hear at the ingle side.—D’ye hear, you, Andrew—What’s your name—Fairservice.” Andrew, who at the last rebuff had fallen a good way behind, did not chuse to acknowledge the summons. “Andrew, ye scoundrel,” repeated Mr Jarvie, “here, sir! here!” “Here is for the dog,” said Andrew, coming up sulkily. “I’ll gie you dog’s wages, ye rascal, if ye dinna attend to what I say to ye—We are ganging into the Hielands abit”—— “I judged as mickle,” said Andrew. “Haud your peace, ye knave, and hear what I have to say till ye—We are ganging abit into the Hielands”—— “Ye tauld me sae already,” replied the incorrigible Andrew. “I’ll break your head,” said the Baillie, rising in wrath, “if ye dinna haud your tongue.” “A hadden tongue,” replied Andrew, “makes a slabbered mouth.” It was now necessary I should interfere, which I did by commanding Andrew, with an authoritative tone, to be silent at his peril. “I am silent,” said Andrew. “I’se do a’ your lawfu’ bidding without a nay say.—My puir mither used aye to tell me, Be it better, be it warse, Be ruled by him that has the purse.

Sae ye may e’en speak as lang as ye like, baith the tane and the tither o’ you, for Andrew.” Mr Jarvie took the advantage of his stopping after quoting the above proverb, to give him the requisite instructions. “Now, sir, it’s as mickle as your life’s worth—that wad be dear o’ little siller to be sure—but it is as mickle as a’ our lives are worth, if ye dinna mind what I say to ye. In this public whare we are ganging to, and whare it’s like we maun hae to stay a’ night, men o’ a’ clans and kindred—Hieland and Lawland—tak up their quarters.—And whiles there are mair drawn dirks than open Bibles amangst them when the

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usquebaugh gets uppermost. See ye neither meddle nor mak, and gie nae offence wi’ that clavering tongue o’ yours, but keep a calm sough, and let ilka cock fight his ain battle.” “Mickle needs to tell me that,” said Andrew contemptuously, “as if I had never seen a Hielandman before, and kenn’d na how to manage them. Nae man alive can cuittle up Donald better than mysell—I hae bought wi’ them, sauld wi’ them, eaten wi’ them, drucken wi’ them”—— “Did ye ever fight wi’ them?” said Mr Jarvie. “Na, na,” answered Andrew, “I took care o’ that: it wald ill hae set me, that am an artist and half a scholar to my trade, to be fighting amang a wheen kilted loons that dinna ken the name o’ a single herb or flower in braid Scots, let abe in the Latin tongue.” “Then,” said Mr Jarvie, “as ye wad keep either your tongue in your mouth, or your lugs in your head, (and ye might miss them, for as saucy members as they are,) I charge ye to say nae word, gude or bad, that ye can weel get bye, to ony body that may be in the Clachan. And ye’ll specially understand ye are no to be bleezing and blasting about your master’s name and mine, or saying that this is Mr Baillie Nicol Jarvie o’ the Saut-Market, son o’ the worthy Deacon Nicol Jarvie, that a’ body has heard about, and this is Mr Frank Osbaldistone, son of the managing partner of the great house of Osbaldistone and Tresham, in the city.” “Aneugh said,” answered Andrew—“aneugh said! What need ye think I wad be speaking about your names for?—I hae mony things o’ mair importance to speak about, I trow.” “It’s thae very things of importance that I am feared for, ye blethering goose; ye maun speak naething, gude or bad, that ye can by ony possibility help.” “If ye dinna think me fit,” replied Andrew in a huff, “to speak like ither folk, gie me my wages and my board-wages, and I’se gae back to Glasgow—There’s sma’ sorrow at our parting, as the auld mare said to the broken cart.” Finding Andrew’s perverseness again arising to a point, which threatened to occasion me inconvenience, I was under the necessity of explaining to him, that he might return if he thought proper, but that in that case I would not pay him a single farthing for his past services. The argument ad crumenam, as it has been called by jocular logicians, has weight with the greater part of mankind, and Andrew was in that particular far from affecting any trick of singularity. He “drew in his horns,” to use the Baillie’s phrase, upon the instant, professed no intention whatever to disoblige, and a resolution to be guided by my commands, whatever they might be.

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Concord being thus happily restored to our small party, we continued to pursue our journey. The road, which had ascended for six or seven English miles, began now to descend for about the same space, through a country which, neither in fertility or interest, could boast any advantage over that which we had passed already, and which afforded no variety, unless when some tremendous peak of a Highland mountain appeared at a distance. We continued, however, to ride on without pause; and even when night fell and overshadowed the desolate wilds which we traversed, we were, as I understood from Mr Jarvie, still three miles and a bittock distant from the place where we were to spend the night.

Chapter Two Baron of Bucklivie, May the foul fiend drive ye, And a’ to pieces rive ye, For biggin sic a town, Where there’s neither horse meat, nor man’s meat, nor a chair to sit doun. Scottish Popular Rhymes on a bad Inn

T        was pleasant, and the moon afforded us good light for our journey. Under her rays, the ground over which we passed assumed a more interesting appearance than during the broad daylight, which discovered the extent of its wasteness. The mingled lights and shadows gave it an interest which naturally did not belong to it, and, like the effect of a veil flung over a plain woman, irritated our curiosity on a subject which had in itself nothing gratifying. The descent, however, still continued, turned, winded, left the more open heaths, and got into steeper ravines, which promised soon to lead us to the banks of some brook or river, and ultimately made good their presage. We found ourselves at length on the bank of a stream, which rather resembled one of my native English rivers than those I had hitherto seen in Scotland. It was narrow, deep, still, and silent, although the imperfect light, as it gleamed on its placid waters, shewed also that we were now among the lofty mountains which formed its cradle. “That’s the Forth,” said the Baillie, with an air of reverence, which I have observed the Scotch usually pay to their distinguished rivers. The Clyde, the Tweed, the Forth, the Spey, are usually named by those who dwell on their banks with a sort of respect and pride, and I have known duels occasioned by any word of disparagement. I cannot say I have the least quarrel with this sort of harmless enthusiasm. I received my friend’s communication with the importance which he seemed to think appertained to it. In fact, I was not a

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little pleased, after so long and dull a journey, to approach a region which promised to engage the imagination. My faithful squire, Andrew, did not seem to be quite of the same opinion, for he received the solemn information, “That is the Forth,” with a “Umph!—an’ he had said that’s the public-house, it wad hae been mair to the purpose.” The Forth, however, as far as the imperfect light permitted me to judge, seemed to merit the admiration of those who claimed an interest in its stream. A beautiful eminence of the most regular round shape, and clothed with copsewood of hazels, mountain-ash, and dwarf-oak, intermixed with a few magnificent old trees, which, rising above the underwood, exposed their forked and bared branches to the silver moonshine, seemed to protect the sources from which the river sprung. If I could trust the tale of my companion, which, while professing to disbelieve every word of it, he told under his breath, and with an air of something like intimidation, this hill, so regularly formed, so beautiful, and garlanded with such a beautiful variety of ancient trees and thriving copsewood, was held by the neighbourhood to contain, within its unseen caverns, the palaces of the fairies, a race of airy beings, who formed an intermediate class between men and dæmons, and who, if not positively malignant to humanity, were yet to be avoided and feared, on account of their capricious, vindictive, and irritable disposition. “They ca’ them,” said Mr Jarvie, in a whisper, “Daoine Schie, whilk signifies, as I understand, men of peace; meaning thereby to make their gude will. And we may e’en as weel ca’ them that too, Mr Osbaldistone, for there’s nae gude in speaking ill o’ the laird within his ain bounds.” But he added presently after, on seeing one or two lights which twinkled before us, “It’s my real opinion, however, that they are nae better than actual limbs o’ Satan, for we are near the manse now, and yonder are the lights in the Clachan of Aberfoil.” I own I was well pleased at the circumstance to which Mr Jarvie alluded, not so much that it set his tongue at liberty, in his opinion, with all safety to declare his real sentiments with respect to the Daoine Schie, or fairies, as that it promised some hours repose to ourselves and our horses, of which, after a ride of fifty miles and upwards, both stood in some need. We crossed the infant Forth by an old-fashioned stone bridge, very high and very narrow. My conductor, however, informed me, that to get through this deep and important stream, and to clear all its tributary dependencies, the general pass from the Highlands to the southward lay by what was called the Fords of Frew, at all times deep and difficult of passage, and often altogether unfordable. Beneath these fords there was no pass of general resort until so far east as the bridge

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of Stirling; so that the river of Forth forms a defensible line betwixt the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, from its source nearly to the Firth, or inlet of the ocean, in which it terminates. The subsequent events which we have witnessed led me to recal with attention what the shrewdness of Baillie Jarvie suggested, in his proverbial expression, that “Forth bridles the wild Highlandman.” About half a mile’s riding, after we crossed the bridge, placed us at the door of the public-house where we were to pass the evening. It was a hovel rather worse as better than that in which we had dined. But its little windows were lighted up, voices were heard from within, and all intimated a prospect of food and shelter, to which we were by no means indifferent. Andrew was the first to observe that there was a peeled willow-wand placed across the half-open door of the public. He hung back, and advised us not to enter. “For,” said Andrew, “some of their chiefs and grit men are birling at the usquebaugh in bye there, and dinna want to be disturbed, and the least we’ll get, if we gang ram-stam in on them, will be a broken head, to learn us better havings, if we dinna come by the length of a cauld dirk in our wame, whilk is just as likely.” I looked at the Baillie, who acknowledged, in a whisper, that the gowk had some reason for singing ance in the year. Meantime a staring half-clad wench or two came out of the inn and the neighbouring cottages, on hearing the sound of our horses’ feet. No one bade us welcome, nor did any one offer to take our horses, from which we had alighted, and to our various enquiries, the hopeless response of “Ha niel Sassenach,” was the only answer we could extract. The Baillie, however, found (in his experience) a way to make them speak English. “If I gie ye a bawbee,” said he to an urchin of about ten years old, with a fragment of a tattered plaid about him, “will you understand Sassenach?” “Ay, ay, that will I,” replied the brat, in very decent English. “Then gang and tell your mammy, my man, there’s twa Sassenach gentlemen come to speak wi’ her.” The landlady presently appeared, with a lighted piece of split fir blazing in her hand. The turpentine in this species of torch (which is generally dug from out the turf-bogs) makes it blaze and sparkle readily, so that it is often used in the Highlands in lieu of candles. On this occasion such a torch illuminated the wild and anxious features of a female, pale, thin, and rather above the usual size, whose soiled and ragged dress, though aided by a plaid or tartan screen, barely served the purposes of decency, and certainly not those of comfort. Her black hair, which escaped in uncombed elf-locks from under her coif, as well as the strange and embarrassed look with which she regarded us,

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gave me the idea of a witch disturbed in the midst of her unlawful rites. She plainly refused to admit us into the house. We remonstrated anxiously, and pleaded the length of our journey, the state of our horses, and the certainty that there was not another place where we could be received nearer than Callander, which the Baillie stated to be seven Scots miles distant. How many these may exactly amount to in English measurement, I have never been able to ascertain, but I think the double ratio may be pretty safely taken as a medium computation. The obdurate hostess treated our expostulations with contempt.— “Better gang farther than fare waur,” she said, speaking the Scottish Lowland dialect, and being indeed a native of the Lennox district,— “Her house was taen up wi’ them wadna like to be intruded on wi’ strangers,—She didna ken wha mair might be there—red-coats it might be frae the garrison.” (These last words she spoke under her breath, and with strong emphasis). “The night,” she said, “was fair abune head—a night amang the heather wad caller our bloods—we might sleep in our claes as mony a gude blade does in the scabbard— there wasna mickle flow-moss in the shaw, if we took up our quarters right, and we might pit our horses to the hill, naebody wad say naething against it.” “But my good woman,” said I, while the Baillie groaned and remained undecided, “it is six hours since we dined, and we have not taken a morsel since. I am positively dying with hunger, and I have no taste for taking up my abode supperless among these mountains of yours. I positively must enter, and make the best apology I can to your guests for adding a stranger or two to their number.—Andrew, you will see the horses put up.” The Hecate looked at me with surprise, and then ejaculated, “A wilfu’ man will hae his way—they that will to Cupar maun to Cupar! —To see thae English belly-gods—he has had ae fu’ meal the day already, and he’ll venture life and liberty rather than want a het supper. Set roast-beef and pudding on the opposite side o’ the pit o’ Tophet, and an Englishman will mak a spang at it—But I wash my hands o’t.— Follow me, sir,” (to Andrew,) “and I’se shew ye whare to pit the beasts.” I own I was somewhat dismayed at my landlady’s expressions, which seemed to be ominous of some approaching danger. I did not, however, chuse to shrink back after having declared my resolution, and accordingly I boldly entered the house, and after narrowly escaping breaking my shins over a turf back and a salting tub, which stood, like Scylla and Charibdis, on either side of the narrow exterior passage, I opened a crazy half-decayed door, constructed, not of plank, but of wicker, and, followed by the Baillie, entered into the

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principal apartment of this Scottish caravansery. The interior presented a view which seemed singular enough to southern eyes. The fire, fed with blazing turfs and branches of dried wood, blazed merrily in the centre, but the smoke, having no means to escape but through a hole in the roof, eddied around the rafters of the cottage, and hung in sable folds at the height of about five feet from the floor. The space beneath was kept pretty clear, by innumerable currents of air which rushed towards the fire from the broken pannel of basket-work which served as a door, from two square holes, designed as ostensible windows, through one of which was thrust a plaid, and through the other a tattered great-coat; and moreover, through various less distinguishable apertures in the walls of the tenement, which, being built of round stones and turf, cemented by mud, let in the atmosphere at innumerable crevices. At an old oaken table, adjoining to the fire, sate three men, guests apparently, whom it was impossible to regard with indifference. Two were in the Highland dress; the one, a little dark-complexioned man, with a lively, quick, and irritable expression of features, wore the trews, or close pantaloons, wove out of a sort of chequered stocking stuff. The Baillie whispered me, that “he behoved to be a man of some consequence—for that naebody but their Duinhéwassels wore the trews; they were very ill to weave exactly to their Highland pleasure.” The other mountaineer was a very tall, strong man, with a quantity of reddish hair, freckled face, high cheek-bones, and long chin—a sort of caricature of the national features of Scotland. The tartan which he wore differed from that of his companion, as it had much more scarlet in it, whereas the shades of black and dark-green predominated in the chequers of the other. The third, who sate at the same table, was in the Lowland dress,—a bold, stout-looking man, with a cast of military daring in his eye and manner, his riding-dress showily and profusely laced, and his cocked hat of formidable dimensions. His hanger and a pair of pistols lay on the table before him. Each of the Highlanders had their naked dirks stuck upright in the board beside him,—an emblem, I was afterwards informed, but surely a strange one, that their compotation was not to be interrupted by any brawl. A mighty pewter measure, containing about an English quart of usquebaugh, a liquor nearly as strong as brandy, which the Highlanders distil from malt, and drink undiluted in excessive quantities, was placed before these worthies. A broken glass, with a wooden foot, served as a drinking cup to the whole party, and circulated with a rapidity, which, considering the potency of the liquor, seemed absolutely marvellous. These men spoke loud and eagerly together, sometimes in Gaelic, at other times in English. Another Highlander, wrapt

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in his plaid, reclined on the floor, his head resting on a stone, from which it was only separated by a wisp of straw, and slept, or seemed to sleep, without attending to what was going on around him. He also was probably a stranger, for he lay in full dress, and accoutred with the sword and target, the usual arms of his countrymen when on a journey. Cribs there were of different dimensions beside the walls, formed, some of fractured boards, some of shattered wicker-work or plaited boughs, in which slumbered the family of the house, men, women, and children, their places of repose only concealed by the dusky wreaths of vapour which eddied above and around them. Our entrance was made so quietly, and the carousers I have described were so eagerly engaged in their discussions, that we escaped their notice for a minute or two. But I observed the Highlander who lay beside the fire raise himself on his elbow as we entered, and, drawing his plaid over the lower part of his face, fix his look on us for a few seconds, after which he resumed his recumbent posture, and seemed again to betake himself to the repose which our entrance had interrupted. We advanced to the fire, which was an agreeable spectacle after our late ride, during the chillness of an Autumn evening among the mountains, and first attracted the attention of the guests who had preceded us, by calling for the landlady. She approached, looking doubtfully and timidly, now at us, now at the other party, and returned a hesitating and doubtful answer to our request to have something to eat. “She didna ken,” she said, “she wasna sure there was ony in the house,” and then modified her refusal by the qualification,—“that is, ony thing fit for the likes of us.” I assured her we were indifferent to the quality of our supper, and looking round for means of accommodation, which were not easily to be found, I arranged an old hen-coop as a seat for Mr Jarvie, and turned down a broken tub to serve for my own. Andrew Fairservice entered presently afterwards, and took a place in silence behind our backs. The natives, as I may call them, continued staring at us with an air as if confounded by our assurance, and we, or at least I disguised as well as I could, under an appearance of indifference, any secret anxiety I might feel concerning the mode in which we were to be received by our predecessors. At length, the lesser Highlander, addressing himself to me, said, in very good English, and a tone of great haughtiness, “Ye make yourself at home, sir, I see.” “I usually do so,” I replied, “when I come into a house of public entertainment.” “And did she na see,” said the taller man, “by the white wand at the

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door, that gentlemens had taken up the public on their ain business?” “I do not pretend to understand the customs of this country; but I am yet to learn,” I replied, “how three persons should be entitled to exclude all other travellers from the only place of shelter and refreshment for miles round.” “There’s nae reason for’t, gentlemen,” said the Baillie; “we mean nae offence—but there’s neither law nor reason for’t—but as far as a stoup o’ gude brandy wad make up the quarrel, we, being peaceable folks, wad be willing”—— “Damn your brandy, sir!” said the Lowlander, adjusting his cocked-hat fiercely upon his head; “we desire neither your brandy nor your company.” And up he rose from his seat. His companions also arose muttering to each other, drawing up their plaids, and snorting and snuffing the air after the manner of their countrymen when working themselves into a passion. “I tauld ye what wad come, gentlemen,” said the landlady, “an’ ye wad hae been tauld—get awa wi’ ye out o’ my house, and mak nae disturbance here—there’s nae gentlemen be disturbed at Jenny MacAlpine’s an’ she can hinder. A whin idle English lowns, ganging about the country under cloud o’ night, and disturbing honest peaceable gentlemen that are drinking their drap liquor by the fire-side.” At another time I should have thought of the old Latin adage, Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas——

But I had not any time for classical quotation, for there was obviously a fray about to ensue, for which, feeling myself indignant at the inhospitable insolence with which I was treated, I was totally indifferent, unless on the Baillie’s account, whose person and habits were ill qualified for such an adventure. I started up, however, on seeing the others rise, and dropped my cloak from my shoulders, that I might be ready to stand on the defensive. “We are three to three,” said the lesser Highlander, glancing his eyes at our party; “if ye be pretty men, draw.” And, unsheathing his broadsword, he advanced on me. I put myself in a posture of defence, and, aware of the superiority of my weapon, a rapier or small-sword, was little afraid of the issue of the contest. The Baillie behaved with most unexpected mettle. As he saw the gigantic Highlander confront him with his weapon drawn, he lugged for a second or two at the hilt of his shabble, as he called it; but finding it loth to quit the sheath, to which it had long been secured by rust and disuse, he seized, as a substitute, on the red-hot coulter of a plough which had been employed in arranging the fire by way of poker, and brandished it with such effect, that at the first pass he set the

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Highlander’s plaid on fire, and compelled him to keep a respectful distance until he could get it extinguished. Andrew, on the contrary, who ought to have faced the Lowland champion, had, I grieve to say it, vanished at the very commencement of the fray. But his antagonist, crying, “Fair play! fair play!” seemed courteously disposed to take no share in the scuffle. Thus we commenced our rencounter on fair terms as to numbers. My own aim was, to possess myself, if possible, of my antagonist’s weapon, but I was deterred from closing for fear of the dirk which he held in his left hand, and used in parrying the thrusts of my rapier. Meantime the Baillie, notwithstanding the success of his first onset, was sorely bestad. The weight of his weapon, the corpulence of his person, the very effervescence of his own passions, were rapidly exhausting both his strength and his breath, and he was almost at the mercy of his antagonist, when up started the sleeper from the floor on which he reclined, with his naked sword and target in his hand, and threw himself between the discomfited magistrate and his assailant, exclaiming, “Her nainsell has eaten the toun pread at the Cross o’ Glasgo’, and py her troth she’ll fight for Paillie Sharfie at the Clachan of Aberfoil—tat will she e’en.” And, seconding his words with deeds, this unexpected auxiliary made his sword whistle about the ears of his tall countryman, who, nothing abashed, returned his blows with interest. But being both accoutred with round targets made of wood, studded with brass, and covered with leather, with which they readily parried each other’s strokes, their combat was attended with much more noise and clatter than serious risk of damage. It appeared, indeed, that there was more of bravado than of serious attempt to do us any injury; for the Lowland gentleman, who, as I mentioned, had stood aside for want of an antagonist when the brawl commenced, was now pleased to act the part of mediator and peace-maker. “Haud your hands! haud your hands! aneugh done! aneugh done! the quarrel’s no mortal. The strange gentlemen have shewn themselves men of honour, and gi’en reasonable satisfaction. I’ll stand on mine honour as kittle as ony man, but I hate unnecessary bluidshed.” It was not, of course, my wish to protract the fray—my adversary seemed equally disposed to sheath his sword—the Baillie, gasping for breath, might be considered as hors de combat, and our two sword-andbuckler men gave up their contest with as much indifference as they had entered into it. “And now,” said the worthy gentleman who acted as umpire, “let us drink and gree like honest fellows—The house will had us a’. I propose that this good little gentleman that seems sair fourfoughen, as I may say, in this tuilzie, shall send for ae tass o’ brandy, and I’ll pay for

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another, by way of Archielough, and then we’ll birl our bawbees a’ round about, like brethren.” “And fa’s to pay my new pinie plaid,” said the larger Highlander, “wi’ a hole burned in ane might pit a kail-pat through? Saw ever ony body a decent gentleman fight wi’ a firebrand before?” “Let that be nae hinderance,” said the Baillie, who had now recovered his breath, and was at once disposed to enjoy the triumph of having behaved with spirit, and avoid the necessity of again resorting to such a hard and doubtful arbitrement. “Gin I hae broken the head,” he continued, “I’se find the plaister: a new plaid sall ye hae, and o’ the best—ye’re ain clan-colours, man, an ye’ll tell me where it can be sent to ye frae Glasco.” “I needna name my clan—I am of a king’s clan, as is weel kenn’d,” said the Highlander, “but ye may tak a bit o’ the plaid—figh, she smells like a singit sheep’s head!—and that’ll learn ye the sett—and a gentleman, that’s a cousin o’ my ain, that carries eggs doun frae Glencroe, will ca’ for’t about Martimas, an’ ye tell her whare ye bide. But, honest gentleman, ta neist time ye fight, an’ ye hae ony respect for your athversary, let it be wi’ your sward, man, since ye wear ane, and no wi’ thae het culters and fireprands, like a wild Indian.” “Conscience!” replied the Baillie, “every man maun do as he dow —My sword hasna seen the light since Bothwell Brigg, when my father, that’s dead and gane, ware it—and I kenna weel if it was forthcoming than either, for the battle was o’ the briefest—At ony rate, it’s glewed to the scabbard now beyond my power to part them; and, finding that, I e’en grippit to the first thing I could mak a fend wi’. I trow my fighting days is done, though I like ill to take the scorn frae ony body for a’ that.—But whare’s the honest lad that tuik my quarrel on himsell sae frankly?—I’se bestow a gill o’ aquavitie on him, an’ I suld never ca’ for another.” The champion for whom he looked around was, however, no longer to be seen. He had escaped, unobserved by the Baillie, immediately when the brawl was ended, yet not before I had recognized, in his wild features and shaggy red-hair, our acquaintance Dougal, the fugitive turnkey of the Glasgow jail. I communicated this observation in a whisper to the Baillie, who answered, in the same tone, “Weel, weel, I see that He that ye ken o’ said very right. There’s some glimmering o’ common sense about that Hieland creature Dougal. I maun see and think o’ something that will do him some gude.” Thus saying, he sate down, and fetching one or two deep aspirations, by way of recovering his breath, called to the landlady; “I think, Luckie, now that I find that there’s nae hole in my wame, whilk I had muckle reason to doubt frae the doings o’ your house, I

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wad be the better o’ something to pit intill’t.” The dame, who was all officiousness so soon as the storm had blown over, immediately undertook to broil something comfortable for our supper. Indeed, nothing surprised me more, in the course of the whole matter, than the extreme calmness with which she and her whole household seemed to regard the martial tumult that had taken place. The good woman was only heard to call to some of her assistants, “Steek the dure—steek the dure!—Kill or be killed, let naebody pass out till they hae paid the lawin.” And as for the slumberers in those lairs by the wall, which served the family for beds, they only raised their shirtless bodies to look at the fray, ejaculated, “Oigh! oigh!” in the tone suitable to their respective sex and ages, and were, I believe, fast asleep again ere our swords were well returned to their scabbards. Our landlady, however, now made a great bustle to get some victuals ready, and, to my surprise, very soon begun to prepare for us, in the frying-pan, a savoury mess of venison collops, which she dressed in a manner that might well satisfy hungry men, if not epicures. In the meanwhile the brandy was placed on the table, to which the Highlanders, however partial to their native strong waters, showed no objection, but much the contrary, and the Lowland gentleman, after the first cup had passed round, became desirous to know our profession, and the object of our journey. “We are bits o’ Glasgow bodies, if it please your honour,” said the Baillie, with an affectation of great humility, “travelling to Stirling to get in some siller that is awing us.” I was so silly as to feel a little disconcerted at the unassuming account which he chose to give of us, but I recollected my promise to be silent, and allow the Baillie to manage the matter his own way. And really, when I recollected, Will, that I had not only brought the honest man a long journey from home, which even in itself had been some inconvenience, (if I were to judge from the obvious pain and reluctance with which he took his seat or arose from it,) but had also put him within a hair’s-breadth of the loss of his life, I could hardly refuse him such a compliment. The spokesman of the other party, sniffing up his breath through his nose, repeated the words with a sort of sneer, “Ye Glasgo’ tradesfolks hae naething to do but to gang frae the tae end o’ the west o’ Scotland to the ither, to plague honest folks that may chance to be awee ahint the hand, like me.” “If our debtors were a’ sic honest gentlemen as I believe ye to be, Garschattachin,” replied the Baillie, “conscience! we might save ourselves a labour, for they wad come to seek us.” “Eh! What! how!” exclaimed the person whom he had addressed,

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“as I shall live by bread, (not forgetting beef and brandy,) it’s my auld friend Nicol Jarvie, the best man that ever counted doun merks on a band till a distressed gentleman. Ware ye na coming my way?—ware ye na coming up the Endrick to Garschattachin?” “Troth no, Maister Galbraith,” replied the Baillie, “I had other eggs on the spit—and I thought ye wad be saying I came to look about the annual rent that’s due on the bit heritable band that’s between us.” “Damn the annual rent!” said the laird, with an appearance of great heartiness,—“De’il a word o’ business will you or I speak, now that ye’re sae near my country—To see how a trot-cosey and a joseph can disguise a man—that I suldna ken my auld feal friend the deacon!” “The baillie, if ye please,” resumed my companion; “but I ken what gars ye mistak—the band was granted to my father that’s happy, and he was deacon, but his name was Nicol as weel as mine. I dinna mind that there’s been a payment of principal sum or annual rent on it in my day, and doubtless that has made the mistake.” “Well, the devil take the mistake and all that occasioned it!” replied Mr Galbraith. “But I am glad ye are a baillie. Gentlemen, fill a brimmer—this is my excellent friend, Baillie Nicol Jarvie’s health—I kend him and his father these twenty years—are ye a’ cleared kelty aff?—fill anither—here’s to his being sune provost—I say Provost—Lord Provost Nicol Jarvie!—and them that affirms there’s a man walks the Hiestreet o’ Glascow that’s fitter for the office, they will do weel not to let me, Duncan Galbraith of Garschattachin, hear them say sae—that’s all.” And therewith Duncan Galbraith martially cocked his hat, and placed it on one side of his head with an air of defiance. The brandy was probably the best recommendation of these complimentary toasts to the two Highlanders, who drank them without appearing anxious to comprehend their purport. They commenced a conversation with Mr Galbraith in Gaelic, which he talked with perfect fluency, being, as I afterwards learned, a near neighbour to the Highlands. “I kenn’d that scant-o’-grace weel aneugh frae the very outset,” said the Baillie, in a whisper to me; “but when blude was warm, and swords were out at ony rate, wha kens what way he might hae thought o’ paying his debts? it will be lang or he does it in common form. But he’s an honest lad, and has a warm heart too—he doesna cum aften to the Cross o’ Glasgow, but mony a buck and black-cock he sends us doun frae the hills. And I can want my siller weel aneugh. My father the deacon had a great regard for the family of Garschattachin.” Supper being now nearly ready, I looked round for Andrew Fairservice. But that trusty follower had not been seen by any since the beginning of the rencontre. The hostess, however, said that she

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believed our servant had gone into the stable, and offered to light me to the place, saying that “no entreaties of the bairns or hers could make him give any answer, and that truly she cared na to gang into the stable hersell at this hour. She was a lone woman, and it was weel kenn’d how the Brownie of Ben-ye-gask guided the gude-wife of Ardnagowan, and it was aye judged there was a Brownie in our stable, which garr’d me gie ower keeping an hostler.” As, however, she lighted me towards the miserable hovel into which they had crammed our unlucky steeds, to regale themselves on hay, every fibre of which was as thick as an ordinary quill, she plainly shewed she had another reason for drawing me aside from the company than that which her words implied. “Read that,” she said, slipping a piece of paper into my hand as we arrived at the door of the shed; “I bless God I am rid o’t—between sogers and Saxons, and katerans and cattle-lifters, and hership and bluidshed, an honest woman wad live quieter in hell than on the Highland line.” So saying, she put the fir torch into my hand, and returned into the house.

Chapter Three Bagpipes, not lyres, the Highland hills adorn, Maclean’s loud hollo, and MacGregor’s horn. John Cooper’s Reply to Allan Ramsay

I  in the entrance of the stable, if indeed a place was entitled to that name where horses were stowed away along with goats, poultry, pigs, and cows, under the same roof with the mansion-house; although, by a degree of refinement unknown to the rest of the hamlet, and which I afterwards heard was imputed to an overpride on the part of Jenny MacAlpine, our landlady, the apartment was accommodated with an entrance different from that used by her biped customers. By the light of my torch, I decyphered the following billet, written on a wet, crumpled, and dirty piece of paper, and addressed, “For the honoured hands of Mr F. O. a Saxon young gentleman—These.” The contents were as follows: “S   , “There are night-hawks abroad, so that I cannot give you and my respected kinsman, B. N. J., the meeting at the Clachan of Aberfoil, whilk was my purpose. I pray you to avoid unnecessary communication with those you may find there, as it may give future trouble. The person who gives you this is faithful, and may be trusted, and will

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guide you to a place where, God willing, I may safely give you the meeting, when I trust my kinsman and you will visit my poor house, where, in despite of mine enemies, I can still promise sic cheer as ane Hielandman may gie his friends, and whare we will drink a solemn health to a certain D. V. and leuke to certain affairs whilk I hope to be your aidance in; and I rest, as is wont among gentlemen, Your servant to command, “R. M. C.” I was a good deal mortified at the purport of this letter, which seemed to adjourn to a more distant place and date the service which I had hoped to receive from this man Campbell. Still, however, it was some comfort to know that he continued to be in my interest, since without him I could have no hope of recovering my father’s papers. I resolved, therefore, to obey his instructions, and, observing all caution before the guests, to take the first good opportunity I could find to obtain from the landlady directions how I was to obtain a meeting with this mysterious person. My next business was to seek out Andrew Fairservice, whom I called several times by name, without receiving any answer, surveying the stable all around, at the same time, not without risk of setting the premises on fire, had not the quantity of wet litter and mud so greatly counter-balanced two or three bunches of straw and hay. At length my repeated cries of “Andrew Fairservice—Andrew, fool, ass, where are you?” produced a doleful “Here,” in a groaning tone, which might have been that of the brownie itself. Guided by this sound, I advanced to a corner of the shed, where, ensconced in the angle of the wall, behind a barrel full of all the feathers of all the fowls which had died in the cause of the public for a month past, I found the manful Andrew, and, partly by force, partly by command and exhortation, compelled him forth into the open air. The first words he spoke were, “I am an honest lad, sir.” “Who the devil questions your honesty?” said I; “or what have we to do with it at present? I desire you to come and attend us at supper.” “Yes,” reiterated Andrew, without apparently understanding what I said to him, “I am an honest lad, sir, whatever the Baillie may say to the contrary. I grant the warld and the warld’s gear sits ower near my heart whiles, as it does to mony a ane—But I am an honest lad, and, though I spak o’ leaving ye on the muir, yet God knows it was far frae my purpose, but just like idle things folk says when they’re driving a bargain, to get it as far to their ain side as they can—And I like your honour weel for sae young a lad, and I wadna part wi’ ye lightly.” “What the deuce are you driving at now?” I replied. “Has not every

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thing been settled again and again to your satisfaction, and are you to talk of leaving me every hour, without either rhyme or reason?” “Ay, but I was only making fashion before,” replied Andrew; “but it’s come on me in sair earnest now—lose or win, I daur gae nae further wi’ your honour, and, if ye’ll take my foolish advice, ye’ll bide by a broken tryste, rather than gang forward yoursel—I hae a sincere regard for ye, and I’m sure ye’ll be a credit to your kin an’ ye live to saw out your wild aits, and get some mair sense and steadiness—But I can follow ye nae further, even if ye suld founder and perish from the way for lack of guidance and counsel—-to gang into Rob Roy’s country is a mere tempting o’ Providence.” “Rob Roy?” said I, in some surprise; “I know no such person. What new trick is this, Andrew?” “It’s hard,” said Andrew—“very hard, that a man canna be believed when he speaks Heaven’s truth, just because he’s whiles owercome, and lies a little when there’s necessary occasion. Ye needna ask whae Rob Roy is, the reiving lifter that he is—God forgie me! I hope naebody hears us—when ye hae a letter frae him in your pouch. I heard ane o’ his gillies bid that auld rudas jaud of a gudewife gie ye that. They thought I didna understand their gibberish, but, though I canna speak it mickle, I can gie a gude guess at what I hear them say— I never thought to hae tauld ye that, but in a fright a’ things come out that suld be keepit in. O, Maister Frank, a’ your uncle’s follies, and a’ your cousins’ pliskies, were naething to this!—Drink clean cap-out, like Sir Hildebrand—begin the blessed morning with brandy sops, like Squire Percie—swagger, like Squire Thorncliffe—rin wood amang the lasses, like Squire John—gamble, like Richard—win souls to the pope and the deevil, like Rashleigh—rive, rant, break the Sabbath, and do the paip’s bidding, like them a’ put thegither. But merciful Providence! take care o’ your young bluid, and gangna near Rob Roy!” Andrew’s alarm was too sincere to permit me to suppose he counterfeited. I contented myself, however, with telling him, that I meant to remain in the ale-house that night, and desired to have the horses well looked after. As to the rest, I charged him to observe the strictest silence upon the subject of his alarm, and he might rely upon it I would not incur any serious danger without due precaution. He followed me with a dejected air into the house, observing between his teeth, “Man suld be served afore beast—I hae nae had morsel in my mouth but the rough legs o’ that auld moorcock this haill blessed day.” The harmony of the company seemed to have suffered some interruption since my departure, for I found Mr Galbraith and my friend the Baillie high in dispute.

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“I’ll hear nae sic language,” said Mr Jarvie, as I entered, “respecting the Duke o’ Argyle and the name o’ Campbell. He’s a worthy publicspirited nobleman, and a credit to the country, and a friend and benefactor to the trade o’ Glasgow.” “I’ll say naething against MacCallummore and the Slioch-nanDiarmid,” said the lesser Highlander, laughing. “I live on the wrang side o’ Glencroe to quarrel with Inverara.” “Our loch ne’er saw the Campbell lymphads,”* said the bigger Highlander. “She’ll speak her mind and fear naebody. She does nae value a Cammill mair as a Cowan, and ye may tell MacCallummore that Allan Iverach said sae—It’s a far cry to Lochow.”† Mr Galbraith, on whom the repeated pledges which he had quaffed had produced some influence, slapped his hand on the table with great force, and said, in a stern voice, “There’s a bloody debt due by that family, and they will pay it one day—The banes of a loyal and a gallant Grahame hae lang rattled in their coffin for vengeance on thae Dukes of Guile and Lords for Lorn. There ne’er was treason in Scotland but a Cammill was at the bottom o’t; and now that the wrang side’s uppermost, wha but the Cammills for keeping down the right? But this warld winna last lang, and it will be time to sharp the maiden for shearing o’ craigs and thrapples. I hope to see the auld rusty lass linking at a bluidy harst again.” “For shame, Garschattachin!” exclaimed the Baillie; “fye for shame, sir; wad ye say sic things before a magistrate, and bring yoursell into trouble?—How d’ye think to mainteen your family and satisfy your creditors (mysell and others), if ye gang on in that wild way, which cannot but bring you under the law, to the prejudice of a’ connected wi’ ye?” “Damn my creditors,” retorted the gallant Galbraith, “and you, if ye be ane of them. I say there will be a new warld sune—and we shall hae nae Cammills cocking their bonnet sae hie, and hounding their dogs where they daurna come themsells, nor protecting thieves, and murderers, and oppressors, to harry and spoil better men and mair loyal clans than themsells.” The Baillie had a great mind to have continued the dispute, when the savoury vapour of the broiled venison, which our landlady now placed before us, proved so powerful a mediator, that he betook himself to his trencher with great eagerness, leaving the strangers to carry on the debate among themselves. * Lymphads. The galley which the family of Argyle and others of the Clan-Campbell carry in their arms. † Lochow and the adjacent districts formed the original seat of the Campbells. The expression of a “far cry to Lochow,” was proverbial.

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“And tat’s true,” said the tall Highlander, whose name I found was Stuart, “for we suldna be plagued and worried here wi’ meetings to pit down Rob Roy, if the Cammills didna gae him refutch. I was ane o’ thirty o’ my ain name—part Glenfinlas, and part men that came down frae Appine. We shasit the MacGregors as ye wad shase rae-deer till we came into Glenfalloch’s country, and the Cammills raise and wadna let us pursue nae farder, and sae we lost our labour—But her wad gie twa and a plack to be as near Rob as she was tat day.” It seemed to happen very unfortunately, that in every topic of discourse which these gentlemen introduced, my friend the Baillie found some matter of offence. “Ye’ll forgie me speaking my mind, sir, but ye wad maybe hae gien the best ball in your bonnet to hae been as far awa frae Rob as ye are e’en now—Odd, my het pleugh-culter wad hae been naething to his claymore.” “She had petter speak nae mair about her culter, or, by G—, her will gar her eat her words, and twa handfulls o’ cauld steel to drive them ower wi’.” And, with a most inauspicious and menacing look, the mountaineer laid his hand on his dagger. “We’ll hae nae quarrelling, Allan,” said his shorter companion; “and if the Glasgow gentleman has ony regard for Rob Roy, he’ll maybe see him in cauld irons the night, and playing souple tricks at the tail of a tow the morn; for this country has been ower lang plagued wi’ him, and his race is near-hand run—And it’s time, Allan, we were ganging to our lads.” “Hout awa, Inverashalloch,” said Galbraith. “Mind the auld saw, man—it’s a bauld moon, quo’ Bennygask, another pint quo’ Lesley— we’ll no start for another chappin.” “I hae had chappins aneugh,” said Inverashalloch; “I’ll drink my quart of usquebaugh or brandy wi’ ony honest fellow, but the de’il a drap mair when I hae wark to do in the morning. And, in my puir thinking, Garschattachin, ye had better be thinking to bring up your horsemen to the Clachan before day, that we may a’ start fair.” “What the deevil are ye in sic a hurry for?” said Garschattachin; “meat and mess never hindered wark. An it had been my directing, deil a bit a me wad hae fashed ye to come down the glens to help us. The garrison and our ain horse could hae ta’en Rob Roy easily aneugh. There’s the hand,” he said, holding up his own, “should lay him on the green, and plague a Hielandman for his help.” “Ye might hae loot us bide still where we were, than,” said Inverashalloch. “I didna come sixty miles without being sent for. But an ye’ll hae my opinion, I redd ye keep your mouth better steekit, if ye hope to speed. Shored folk live lang, and sae may he ye ken o’—the way to catch a bird is no to fling your bannet at her. And also thae

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gentlemen hae heard some things they suldna hae heard, an’ the brandy hadna been ower bauld for your brain, Major Galbraith. Ye needna cock your hat and bully, man, wi’ me, for I will not bear it.” “I hae said it,” said Galbraith, with a solemn air of drunken gravity, “that I will quarrel no more this night either with cloth or tartan. When I am off duty, I’ll quarrel with you or ony man in the Hielands or Lowlands, but not on duty—no—no—I wish we heard o’ thae redcoats.—If it had been to do ony thing against King James, we wad hae seen them lang syne—but when it’s to keep the peace o’ the country, they can lie as lound as their neighbours.” As he spoke, we heard the measured footsteps of a body of infantry on the march, and an officer, followed by two or three files of soldiers, entered the apartment. He spoke in an English accent, which was very pleasing to my ears, now so long accustomed to the varying brogue of the Highland and Lowland Scotch. “You are, I suppose, Major Galbraith, of the squadron of Lennox Militia, and these are the two Highland gentlemen whom I was appointed to meet in this place.” They assented, and invited the officer to take some refreshments, which he declined. “I have been too late, gentlemen, and am desirous to make up time. I have orders to search for and arrest two persons guilty of treasonable practices.” “We’ll wash our hands o’ that,” said Inverashalloch. “I came here wi’ my men to fight against the red MacGregor that killed my cousin, seven times removed, Duncan Maclaren in Invernenty, but I will hae naething to do touching honest gentlemen that may be ganging through the country on their ain business.” “Nor I neither,” said Iverach. Major Galbraith took up the matter more solemnly, and, premising his oration with a hiccup, spoke to the following purpose: “I shall say naething against King George, Captain, because, as it happens, my commission may rin in his name—but one commission being good, sir, does not make another bad—and some think that James may be just as guid a name as George.—There is the king that is and there’s the king that should of right be—I say, an honest man may and should be loyal to the both, Captain.—But I am of the LordLieutenant’s opinion for the time, as it becomes a militia officer and a depute-lieutenant,—and about treason and all that, it’s lost time to speak of it—least said is sunest mended.” “I am sorry to see how you have been employing your time, sir,” replied the English officer, as indeed the honest gentleman’s reasoning had a strong relish of the brandy he had been drinking; “and I

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could wish, sir, it had been otherwise on an occasion of this consequence. I would recommend to you to try to sleep for an hour.—Do these gentlemen belong to your party?”—looking at the Baillie and me, who, engaged in eating our supper, had paid little attention to the officer on his entrance. “Travellers, sir,” said Galbraith—“lawful travellers by land and sea, as the prayer-book has it.” “My instructions,” said the Captain, taking a light to survey us closer, “are to place under arrest an elderly and a young man, and I think these persons answer nearly the description.” “Take care what you say, sir,” said Mr Jarvie; “it shall not be your red coat, nor your laced hat shall protect you, if you put any affront on me. I’se convene ye baith in an action of scandal and false imprisonment—I am a free burgess and a magistrate o’ Glasgow; Nicol Jarvie is my name, sae was my father’s afore me—I am a baillie, be praised for the honour, and my father was a deacon.” “He was a prick-eared cur,” said Major Galbraith, “and fought again the King at Bothwell Brigg.” “He paid what he ought and what he bought, Mr Galbraith,” said the Baillie, “and was an honester man than ever stude on your shanks.” “I have no time to attend to all this,” said the officer; “I must positively detain you, gentlemen, unless you can produce some respectable security that you are loyal subjects.” “I desire to be carried before some civil magistrate,” said the Baillie —“the sherra or the judge of the bounds—I am not obliged to answer every red-coat that speers questions at me.” “Well, sir, I shall know how to manage you if you are silent—And you, sir,” (to me) “What may your name be?” “Francis Osbaldistone, sir.” “What! A son of Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, of Northumberland?” “No, sir,” interrupted the Baillie; “a son of the great William Osbaldistone, of the house of Osbaldistone and Tresham, CraneAlley, London.” “I am afraid, sir,” said the officer, “your name only increases the suspicions against you, and lays me under the necessity of requesting that you will give up what papers you have in charge.” I observed the Highlanders look anxiously at each other when this proposal was made. “I had none,” I replied, “to surrender.” The officer, however, commanded me to be disarmed and searched. To have resisted would have been madness. I accordingly gave up my arms, and submitted to a search, which was conducted as civilly as an operation of the kind well could. They found nothing

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except the note which I had received that night through the hand of the landlady. “This is different from what I expected,” said the officer; “but it affords us good grounds for detaining you. Here I find you in written communication with the outlawed robber, Robert MacGregor Campbell, who has been so long the plague of this district—how do you account for that?” “Spies of Rob!” said Inverashalloch—“we wad serve them right to strap them up till the neist tree.” “We are ganging to see after some gear o’ our ain, gentlemen,” said the Baillie, “that’s fa’an into his hand by accident—there’s nae law again a man looking after his ain, I hope.” “How did you come by this letter?” said the officer, addressing himself to me. I could not think of betraying the poor woman who had given it to me, and remained silent. “Do you know any thing of it, fellow?” said the officer, looking at Andrew, whose jaws were chattering like a pair of castanets at the threat thrown out by the Highlander. “O ay, I ken a’ about it—it was a Hieland lown gied the letter to that lang-tongued jaud the gudewife there—I’ll be sworn my maister kenn’d naething about it. But he’s wilfu’ to gang up the hills and speak wi’ Rob Roy; and O, sir, it wad be a charity just to send a wheen o’ your red-coats to set him safe back to Glasgow again whether he will or no —And ye can keep Mr Jarvie as lang as ye like—He’s responsible eneugh for ony fine ye may lay on him—and so’s my master for that matter—for me, I am just a puir gardner lad, and no worth your steering.” “I believe,” said the officer, “the best thing I can do is to send these persons to the garrison under an escort. They seem to be in immediate correspondence with the enemy, and I shall be in no respect answerable for suffering them to be at liberty.—Gentlemen, you will consider yourselves as my prisoners. So soon as dawn approaches I will send you to a place of security. If you be the persons you describe yourselves, it will soon appear, and you will sustain no great inconvenience from being detained a day or two.—I can hear no remonstrances,” he continued, turning away from the Baillie, whose mouth was open to address him, “the service I am on gives me no time for idle discussions.” “Aweel—aweel, sir,” said the Baillie. “Ye’re welcome to a tune on your ain fiddle, but see if I dinna gar ye dance till’t afore a’s dune.” An anxious consultation now took place between the officer and the Highlanders, but carried on in so low a tone, that it was impossible to

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catch the sense. So soon as it was concluded they all left the house. At their departure, the Baillie thus expressed himself: “Thae Hielandmen are o’ the Appine clan, and just as light-handed as their neighbours, an a’ tales be true, and yet ye see they hae brought them frae the head o’ Argyleshire to mak war on puir Rob for some auld ill-will that they hae at him and his sirname—And there’s the Grahames, and the Buchanans, and the Lennox gentry, a’ mounted and in order.—It’s weel kenn’d their quarrel—and I dinna blame them—naebody likes to lose their kye—and then there’s sogers, puir things, hoyed out frae the garrison at a’ body’s bidding—Puir Rob will hae his hands fu’ be the time the sun comes ower the hill. Weel—it’s wrang for a magistrate to be wishing ony thing again the course o’ justice, but deil o’ me an’ I wad break my heart to hear that Rob had gien them a’ their paiks.”

Chapter Four ———General, Hear me, and mark me well, and look upon me Directly in my face—my woman’s face— See if one fear, one shadow of a terror, One paleness dare appear, but from my anger, To lay hold on your mercies. Bonduca

W    to slumber out the remainder of the night in the best manner that the miserable accommodations of the ale-house permitted. The Baillie, fatigued with his journey and the subsequent scenes, less interested also in the event of our arrest, which to him could only be a matter of temporary inconvenience, perhaps less nice than habit had rendered me about the cleanliness or decency of his couch, tumbled himself into one of the cribs which I have already described, and soon was heard to snore soundly. A broken sleep, snatched by intervals, while I rested my head upon the table, was my only refreshment. In the course of the night I had occasion to observe, that there seemed to be some doubt and hesitation in the motions of the soldiery. Men were sent out, as if to obtain intelligence, and returned apparently without bringing any satisfactory information to their commanding officer. He was obviously eager and anxious, and again dispatched small parties of two or three men, some of whom, as I could understand from what the others whispered to each other, did not return again to the Clachan or village. The morning had broken, when a corporal and two men rushed into the hut, dragging after them, in a sort of triumph, a Highlander, whom I immediately recognised as my acquaintance the ex-turnkey.

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The Baillie, who started up at the noise with which they entered, immediately made the same discovery, and exclaimed, “Mercy on us! they hae grippit the puir creature Dougal—Captain, I will put in bail —sufficient bail for that Dougal creature.” To this offer, dictated, undoubtedly, by a grateful recollection of the late interference of the Highlander in his behalf, the Captain only answered, by requesting Mr Jarvie to mind his own affairs, and remember that he was himself for the present a prisoner. “I take you to witness, Mr Osbaldistone,” said the Baillie, who was probably better acquainted with the process in civil than in military cases, “that he has refused sufficient bail. It’s my opinion that the creature Dougal will have a good action of wrongous imprisonment and damages again him, under the Act seventeen hundred and one, and I’ll see the creature righted.” The officer, whose name I understood was Thornton, paying no attention to the Baillie’s threats or expostulations, instituted a very close enquiry into Dougal’s life and conversation, and compelled him to admit, though with apparent reluctance, the successive facts,— that he knew Rob Roy MacGregor—that he had seen him within this twelvemonth—-within these six months—within this month— within this week—in fine, that he had parted from him only an hour ago. All this detail came like drops of blood from the prisoner, and was, to all appearance, only extorted by the threat of an halter and the next tree, which Captain Thornton assured him would be his doom, if he did not give direct and special information. “And now, my friend,” said the officer, “you will please inform me how many men your master has with him at present.” Dougal looked in every direction except at the querist, and began to answer, “She canna just be shure about that.” “Look at me, you Highland dog,” said the officer, “and remember your life depends on your answer—how many rogues had that outlawed scoundrel with him when you left him?” “Ou, no boon sax rogues when I was gaen.” “And where are the rest of his banditti?” “Gaen wi’ the Lieutenant again ta Stuart carles.” “Against the Stuarts?” said the Captain. “Umph—that is likely enough—and what rogue’s errand were you dispatched upon?” “Just to see what your honour and ta gentlemen red-coats were doing doun here at ta Clachan.” “The creature will prove fause-hearted after a’,” said the Baillie, who by this time had planted himself close behind me; “it’s lucky I didna pit mysell to expences anent him.” “And now, my friend,” said the Captain, “let us understand each

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other—you have confessed yourself a spy, and should string up to the next tree—but come, if you will do me one good turn, I will do you another. You, Donald, you shall just in the way of kindness carry me and a small party to the place where you left your master, as I wish to speak a few words with him on serious business—and I’ll let you go about your business for this time, and give you five guineas to the boot.” “Oigh! oigh!” exclaimed Dougal, in the extremity of distress and perplexity, “she canna do tat—she canna do tat—she’ll rather be hanged.” “Hanged, then, you shall be, my friend,” said the officer; “and your blood be on your own head.—Corporal Cramp, do you play ProvostMarshal—away with him.” The corporal had confronted poor Dougal for some time, ostentatiously twisting a piece of cord which he had found in the house into the form of a halter. He now threw it about the culprit’s neck, and, with the assistance of two soldiers, had dragged Dougal as far as the door, when, overcome with the terror of immediate death, he exclaimed, “Shentlemens, stops—stops!—She’ll do his honour’s bidding—stops!” “Awa’ wi’ the creature,” said the Baillie, “he deserves hanging mair now than ever—awa’ wi’ him, corporal—Why dinna ye tak him awa’?” “It’s my belief and opinion, honest gentleman,” said the corporal, “that if you were going to be hanged yourself, you would be in no such d——d hurry.” This bye dialogue prevented my hearing what passed between the prisoner and Captain Thornton, but I heard the former snivel out, in a very subdued tone, “And ye’ll ask her to gang nae farther than just to shew ye where the MacGregor is?—Ohon! ohon!” “Silence your howling, you rascal—no, I give you my word I will ask you to go no farther.—Corporal, make the men fall-in in front of the houses—get out these gentlemen’s horses—we must carry them with us. I cannot spare any men to guard them here.—Come, my lads, get under arms.” The soldiers bustled about, and were soon ready to move. We were led out, along with Dougal, in the capacity of prisoners. As we left the hut, I heard our companion in captivity remind the Captain of “ta foive kuineas.” “Here they are for you,” said the officer, putting gold into his hand; “but observe, that if you attempt to mislead me, I will blow your brains out with my own hand.” “The creature,” said the Baillie, “is waur than I judged him—it is a warldly and a perfidious creature—O the filthy lucre of gain that men

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gies themsell up to! My father the deacon used to say, the penny siller slew mair souls than the naked sword slew bodies.” The landlady now approached, and demanded payment of her reckoning, including all that had been quaffed by Major Galbraith and his Highland friends. The English officer remonstrated, but Mrs MacAlpine declared, if she “hadna trusted to his honour’s name being used in their company, she wald never hae drawn them a stoup o’ liquor; for Mr Galbraith, she might see him again, or she might no, but weel did she wot she had sma’ chance of seeing her siller—and she was a puir widow, had naething but her custom to rely on.” Captain Thornton put a stop to her remonstrances by paying the charge, which was only a few English shillings, though the amount sounded very formidable in Scottish denomination. The generous officer would have included Mr Jarvie and me in this general acquittance, but the Baillie, disregarding an intimation from the landlady, to “mak as mickle o’ the Inglisher as we could, for they were sure to gie us plague eneugh,” went into a formal accounting respecting our share of the reckoning, and paid it accordingly. The Captain took the opportunity to make us some slight apology for detaining us. “If we were loyal and peaceable subjects,” he said, “we would not regret being stopped for a day, when it was essential to the king’s service—if otherwise, he was acting according to his duty.” We were compelled to accept an apology which it would have served no purpose to refuse, and we sallied out to attend him on his march. I shall never forget the delightful sensation with which I exchanged the dark, smoky, smothering atmosphere of the Highland hut, in which we had passed the night so uncomfortably, for the refreshing fragrance of the morning air, and the glorious beams of the rising sun, which, from a tabernacle of purple and golden clouds, were darted full on such a scene of natural romance and beauty as had never before greeted my eyes. To the left lay the valley, down which the Forth wandered on its easterly course, surrounding the beautiful detached hill, with all its garland of woods. On the right, amid a profusion of thickets, knolls, and crags, lay the bed of a broad mountain lake, lightly curled into tiny waves by the breath of the morning breeze, each glittering in its course under the influence of the sun-beams. High hills, rocks, and banks, waving with natural forests of birch and oak, formed the borders of this enchanting sheet of water; and, as their leaves rustled to the wind and twinkled in the sun, they gave to the depth of solitude a sort of life and vivacity. Man alone seemed to be placed in a state of inferiority, in a scene where all the ordinary features of nature were raised and exalted. The miserable little bourocks, as the Baillie termed them, of which about a dozen formed the

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village called the Clachan of Aberfoil, were composed of loose stones, cemented by clay instead of mortar, and thatched by turfs, laid rudely upon rafters formed of native and unhewn birches and oaks from the woods around. The roofs approached the ground so nearly, that Andrew Fairservice observed we might have ridden over the village the night before, and never found out we were near it, unless our horses’ feet had “gaen thro’ the riggin’.” From all we could see, Mrs MacAlpine’s house, miserable as were the quarters it afforded, was still by far the best in the hamlet; and I dare say (if my description gives you any curiosity to see it) you will hardly find it much improved at the present day, for the Scotch are not a people who speedily admit of innovation, even when it comes in the shape of improvement.* The inhabitants of these miserable dwellings were disturbed by the noise of our departure, and as our party of about twenty soldiers drew up in rank before marching off, we were reconnoitred by many a beldame from the half-opened door of her cottage. As these sybils thrust forth their grey heads, imperfectly covered with close caps of flannel, and showed their shrivelled brows, and long skinny arms, with various gestures, shrugs, and muttered expressions in Gaelic addressed to each other, my imagination recurred to the witches of Macbeth, and I imagined I read in the features of these crones the malevolence of the weird sisters. The little children also, who began to crawl forth, some quite naked, and others very imperfectly covered with tatters of tartan stuff, clapped their tiny hands, and grinned at the English soldiers, with an expression of national hate and malignity which seemed beyond their years. I remarked particularly that there were no men, nor so much as a boy of ten or twelve years old, to be seen among the inhabitants of a village which seemed populous in proportion to its extent, and the idea certainly occurred to me, that we were likely to receive from them, in the course of our journey, more effectual tokens of ill-will than those which lowered on the visages and dictated the murmurs of the women and children. It was not until we commenced our march that the malignity of the elder persons of the community broke forth into expressions. The last file of men had left the village, to pursue a small broken tract, formed by the sledges in which the natives transported their peats and turfs, * I do not know how this might stand in Mr Osbaldistone’s day, but I can assure the reader, whose curiosity may lead him to visit the scenes of these romantic adventures, that the Clachan of Aberfoil now affords a very comfortable little inn. If he chances to be a Scottish antiquary, it will be an additional recommendation to him, that he will find himself in the vicinity of the Rev. Dr Grahame, minister of the gospel at Aberfoil, whose urbanity in communicating information on the subject of national antiquities, is scarce exceeded even by the stores of legendary lore which he has accumulated.

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and which led through the woods which fringed the lower end of the lake, when a shrilly sound of female exclamation broke forth, mixed with the screams of children, the hooping of boys, and the clapping of the hands with which the Highland dames enforce their notes whether of rage or lamentation. I asked Andrew, who looked as pale as death, what all this meant. “I doubt we’ll ken that ower sune,” said he. “Means?—it means that the Highland wives are cursing and banning the red-coats, and wishing ill-luck to them, and ilka ane that ever spoke the Saxon tongue. I have heard wives flyte in England and Scotland—it’s nae marvel to hear them flyte ony gate—But sic ill-scrapit tongues as thae Hieland carlines—and sic grewsome wishes, that men suld be slaughtered like sheep—and that they should lapper their hands to the elbows in their heart’s blude—and that they suld dee the death of Walter Cuming of Guiyock, wha hadna as mickle o’ him left thegither as would supper a messan-dog—sic awsome language as that I ne’er heard out o’ a human thrapple—and, unless the deil wad rise amang them to gie them a lesson, I kenna that their talent at cursing could be amended. The warst o’t is, they bid us aye gang up the loch, and see what we’ll land in.” Laying Andrew’s information to what I had myself observed, I could scarce think but that some attack was meditated upon our party. The road, as we advanced, seemed to afford every facility for such an unpleasant interruption, now winding apart from the lake through marshy meadow ground, overgrown with copsewood, now traversing dark and close thickets which would have admitted an ambuscade to be sheltered within a few yards of our line of march, and frequently crossing rough mountain torrents, some of which took the soldiers up to the knees, and run with such violence, that their force could only be stemmed by the strength of two or three men holding fast by each others’ arms. It certainly appeared to me, though altogether unacquainted with military affairs, that a sort of half-savage warriors, as I had heard the Highlanders asserted to be, might, in such passes as these, attack a party of regular forces with great advantage. The Baillie’s good sense and shrewd observation had led him to the same conclusion, as I understood from his requesting to speak with the Captain, whom he adressed nearly in the following terms:— “Captain, it’s no to fleech ony favour out o’ ye, for I scorn it—and it’s under protest that I reserve my action and pleas of oppression and wrongous imprisonment;—but, being a friend to King George and his army, I take the liberty to speer dinna ye think ye might tak a better time to gang up this glen? If ye are seeking Rob Roy, he’s kenn’d to be better than half a hunder men strong when he’s at the

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fewest; and if he brings in the Glengyle folk, and the Glenfinlas and Balquidder lads, he may come to gie you your kail through the reek, and it’s my sincere advice, as a king’s friend, ye had better just tak back again to the Clachan, for thae women at Aberfoil are like the scarts and sea-maws at the Cumries, there’s aye foul weather follows their skirling.” “Make yourself easy, sir,” replied Captain Thornton, “I am in the execution of my orders. And as you say you are a friend to King George, you will be glad to learn, that it is impossible that this gang of ruffians, whose license has disturbed the country so long, can escape the measures now taken to suppress them. The horse squadron of militia, commanded by Major Galbraith, is already joined by two more troops of cavalry, which will occupy all the lower passes of this wild country—three hundred Highlanders, under the two gentlemen you saw at the inn, are in possession of the upper part, and various strong parties from the garrison are scouring the hills and glens in different directions. Our last accounts of Rob Roy correspond with what this fellow has confessed, that, finding himself surrounded on all sides, he had dismissed the greater part of his followers, with the purpose either of lying concealed, or of making his escape through his superior knowledge of the passes.” “I dinna ken,” said the Baillie, “there’s mair brandy than brains in Garschattachin’s head this morning—And I wadna, an’ I were you, Captain, rest ony main dependence on the Hielandmen—hawks winna pike out hawks’ een.—They may quarrel amang themsells, and gie ilk ither ill names, and maybe a slash wi’ a claymore, but they are sure to join in the lang run against a’ civileezed folk that wear breeks on their hinder ends, and hae purses in their pouches.” Apparently these premonitions were not altogether thrown away on Captain Thornton. He re-formed his line of march, commanded his soldiers to unsling their firelocks and fix their bayonets, and formed an advanced and rear-guard, each consisting of a non-commissioned officer and two soldiers, who received strict orders to keep an alert look-out. Dougal underwent another and very close examination, in which he stedfastly asserted the truth of what he had before affirmed, and being rebuked on account of the suspicious and dangerous appearance of the route by which he was guiding them, he answered with a sort of testiness that seemed very natural, “Her nainsell didna mak ta road—an’ shentlemens likit grand roads, she suld hae pided at Glasco.” All this passed off well enough, and we resumed our progress. Our route, though leading up the lake, had hitherto been so much shaded by wood, that we only from time to time obtained a glimpse of

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that beautiful sheet of water. But the road now suddenly emerged from the forest ground, and, winding close by the margin of the loch, afforded us a full view of its spacious mirror, which now, the breeze having totally subsided, reflected in still magnificence the high dark heathy mountains, huge grey rocks, and shagged banks by which it is encircled. The hills now sunk on its margin so closely, and were so broken and precipitous, as to afford no passage except just upon the narrow line of the track which we occupied, and which was overhung with rocks, from which we might have been destroyed merely by rolling down stones, without much possibility of offering resistance. Add to this, that, as the road winded round every promontory and bay which indented the lake, there was rarely a possibility of seeing a hundred yards before us. Our commander appeared to take some alarm at the nature of the pass in which he was engaged, which displayed itself in repeated orders to his soldiers to be on the alert, and in many threats of instant death to Dougal, if he should be found to have led them into danger. Dougal received those threats with an air of stupid impenetrability, which might arise either from conscious innocence, or from dogged resolution. “If shentlemens were seeking ta Red Gregarach,” he said, “to be sure they could na expect to find her without some wee danger.” Just as the Highlander uttered these words, a halt was made by the corporal commanding the advance, who sent back one of the file who formed it, to tell the captain that the path in front was occupied by Highlanders, stationed on a commanding point of particular difficulty. Almost at the same instant a soldier from the rear came to say, that they heard the sound of a bag-pipe in the woods through which we had just passed. Captain Thornton, a man of conduct as well as courage, instantly resolved to force the pass in front, without waiting till he was assailed from the rear, and, assuring his soldiers that the bag-pipes which they heard were those of the friendly Highlanders who were advancing to their assistance, he stated to them the importance of advancing and securing Rob Roy, if possible, before these auxiliaries should come up to divide with them the honour, as well as the reward which was placed on the head of this celebrated freebooter. He therefore ordered the rear-guard to join the centre, and both to close up to the advance, doubling his files, so as to occupy with his column the whole practicable part of the road, and to present such a front as its breadth admitted. Dougal, to whom he said in a whisper, “You dog, if you have deceived me you shall die for it,” was placed in the centre, between two grenadiers, with positive orders to shoot him, if he attempted an escape. The same situation was assigned to us as being the safest, and Captain Thornton, taking his half-pike from the

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soldier who carried it, placed himself at the head of his little detachment, and gave the word to march forward. The party advanced with the firmness of English soldiers—not so Andrew Fairservice, who was frightened out of his wits, and not so— if truth must be told—either the Baillie or I myself, who, without feeling the same degree of trepidation, could not with stoical indifference see our lives exposed to hazard in a quarrel with which we had no concern. But there was neither time for remonstrance nor remedy. We approached within about twenty yards of the spot where the advanced-guard had seen some appearance of an enemy. It was one of those promontories which run into the lake, and round the base of which the road had hitherto winded in the manner I have described. In the present case, however, the track, instead of keeping the water’s edge, scaled the promontory by one or two rapid zigzags, carried in a broken track along the precipitous face of a slaty grey rock, which would otherwise have been absolutely inaccessible. On the top of this rock, only to be approached by a road so broken, so narrow, and so precarious, the corporal declared he had seen the bonnets and longbarrelled guns of several mountaineers, apparently couched among the long heath and brush-wood which crested the eminence. Captain Thornton ordered him to move forward with three files, to dislodge the supposed ambuscade, while at a more slow but steady pace, he advanced to his support with the rest of his party. The attack which he meditated was prevented by the unexpected apparition of a female upon the summit of the rock. “Stand!” she said, with a commanding tone, “and tell me what ye seek in MacGregor’s country?” I have seldom seen a finer or more commanding form than this woman. She might be between the term of forty and fifty years, and had a countenance which must once have been of a masculine cast of beauty, though now, imprinted with deep lines by exposure to rough weather, and perhaps by the wasting influence of grief and passion, its features were only strong, harsh, and expressive. She wore her plaid, not drawn around her head and shoulders, as is the fashion of the women in Scotland, but disposed around her body as the Highland soldiers wear their’s. She had a man’s bonnet, with a feather in it, an unsheathed sword in her hand, and a pair of pistols at her girdle. “It’s Helen Campbell, Rob’s wife,” said the Baillie, in a whisper of considerable alarm; “and there will be broken heads amang us or it’s lang.” “What seek ye here?” she asked again at Captain Thornton, who had himself advanced to reconnoitre. “We seek the outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor Campbell,” answered

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the officer, “and make no war on women—therefore offer no vain opposition to the king’s troops, and assure yourself of civil treatment.” “Ay,” retorted the Amazon, “I am no stranger to your tender mercies. Ye have left me neither name nor fame—my mother’s bones will shrink aside in their grave when mine are laid beside them—Ye have left me and mine neither house nor hold, blanket nor bedding, cattle to feed us, or flocks to clothe us—ye have taken from us all—all—the very name of our ancestors have ye taken away, and now ye come for our lives.” “I seek no man’s life,” replied the Captain; “I only execute my orders—if you are alone, good woman, you have nought to fear—if there are any with you so rash as to offer useless resistance, their own blood be on their own heads—Move forward, serjeant.” “Forward—march,” said the non-commissioned officer. “Huzza, my boys, for Rob Roy’s head and a purse of gold!” He quickened his pace into a run, followed by the six soldiers—but as they attained the first traverse of the ascent, the flash of a dozen of firelocks from various points of the pass parted in quick succession and deliberate aim. The serjeant, shot through the body, still struggled to gain the ascent, raised himself by his hands to clamber up the face of the rock, but relaxed his grasp, after a desperate effort, and falling, rolled from the face of the cliff into the deep lake, where he perished. Of the soldiers three fell, slain or disabled; the others retreated on their main body, all more or less wounded. “Grenadiers, to the front,” said Captain Thornton.—You are to recollect, that in these days this description of soldiers actually carried that destructive species of fire-work from which they derive their name. The four grenadiers moved to the front accordingly. The officer commanded the rest of his party to be ready to support them, and only saying to us, “Look to your safety, gentlemen,” gave, in rapid succession, the word to the grenadiers; “Open your pouches—handle your grenades—blow your matches—fall on.” The whole advanced with a shout, headed by Captain Thornton, the grenadiers preparing to throw their grenades among the bushes where the ambuscade lay, and the musketeers to support them by an instant and close assault. Dougal, forgotten in the scuffle, wisely crept into the thicket that overhung that part of the road where we had first halted, which he ascended with the activity of a wild cat. I followed his example instinctively, recollecting that the fire of the Highlanders would sweep the open track. I clambered until out of breath, for a continued spattering fire, in which every shot was multiplied by a thousand echoes, the hissing of the kindled fusees of the grenades, and the successive explosion of these missiles, mingled with the huzzas

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of the soldiers, and the yells and cries of their Highland antagonists, formed a concert which added—I do not shame to own it—wings to my desire to reach a place of safety. The difficulties of the ascent soon increased so much that I despaired of reaching Dougal, who seemed to swing himself from rock to rock, and stump to stump, with the facility of a squirrel, and I turned down my eyes to see what had become of my other companions. Both were brought to a very awkward still-stand. The Baillie, to whom I suppose fear had given a temporary share of agility, had ascended about twenty feet from the path, when his foot slipping, as he straddled from one huge fragment of rock to another, he would have slumbered with his father the deacon, whose acts and words he was so fond of quoting, but for a projecting branch of a ragged thorn, which, catching hold of the skirts of his riding-coat, supported him in mid air, where he dangled not unlike to the sign of the Golden Fleece over the door of a mercer in Ludgate-hill. As for Andrew Fairservice, he had advanced with better success, until he had attained the top of a bare cliff, which, rising above the wood, exposed him, at least in his own opinion, to all the dangers of the neighbouring skirmish, while, at the same time, it was of such a precipitous and impracticable nature, that he dared neither to advance nor retreat. Footing it up and down upon the narrow space which the top of the cliff afforded, (very like a fellow at a country-fair dancing upon a trencher,) he roared for mercy in Gaelic and English alternately, according to the side on which the scale of victory seemed to predominate, while his exclamations were only answered by the groans of the Baillie, who suffered much, not only from apprehension, but from the pendulous posture in which he hung suspended by the loins. On perceiving the Baillie’s precarious situation, my first idea was to attempt to render him assistance, but this was impossible without the concurrence of Andrew, whom neither sign, nor entreaty, nor command, nor expostulation, could inspire with courage to adventure the descent from his painful elevation, where, like an unskilful and obnoxious minister of state, unable to escape from the eminence to which he had presumptuously ascended, he continued to pour forth piteous prayers for mercy, which no one heard, and to skip to and fro, writhing his body into all possible antick shapes to avoid the balls which he conceived to be whistling around him. In a few minutes this cause of terror ceased, for the fire, at first so well sustained, now sunk at once, a sure sign that the conflict was concluded. To gain some spot from which I could see how the day had gone was now my object, in order to appeal to the mercy of the victors, who, I trusted, (whichever side might be gainers,) would not suffer

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the honest Baillie to remain suspended, like the coffin of Mahomet, between Heaven and earth, without lending a hand to disengage him. At length, by dint of scrambling, I found a spot which commanded a view of the field of battle. It was indeed ended, and as my mind already augured, from the place and circumstances attending the contest, it had terminated in the defeat of Captain Thornton. I saw a party of Highlanders in the act of disarming that officer, and the scanty remainder of his party. They consisted of about twelve men, most of whom were wounded, who, surrounded by treble their number, and without the power either to advance or retreat, exposed to a murderous and well-aimed fire, which they had no means of returning with effect, had at length laid down their arms by the orders of their officer, when he saw that the road in his rear was occupied, and that protracted resistance would be only wasting the lives of his brave followers. By the Highlanders, who fought under cover, the victory was cheaply bought, at the expence of one man slain and two wounded by the grenades. All this I learned afterwards. At present I only comprehended the general result of the day, from seeing the English officer, face covered with blood, stripped of his hat and arms, and his men, with sullen and dejected countenances, which marked their deep regret, enduring, from the wild and martial figures who surrounded them, the severe measures to which the laws of war subject the vanquished for security of the victors.

Chapter Five “Woe to the vanquish’d!” was stern Brenno’s word When sunk proud Rome beneath the Gallic sword— “Woe to the vanquish’d!” when his massive blade Bore down the scale against her ransom weigh’d; And on the field of foughten battle, still Woe knows no limit save the victor’s will. The Gaulliad

I  endeavoured to distinguish Dougal among the victors. I had little doubt that the part he had played was assumed, on purpose to lead the English officer into the defile, and I could not help admiring the address with which the ignorant, and apparently half-brutal savage, had veiled his purpose, and the affected reluctance with which he had suffered to be extracted from him the false information which it must have been his purpose from the beginning to communicate. I foresaw we would incur some danger on approaching the victors in the first flush of their success, which was not unstained with cruelty, for one or two of the soldiers, whose wounds prevented them from rising,

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were poniarded by the victors, or rather by some ragged Highland boys who had followed them. I concluded, therefore, it would be unsafe to present ourselves without some mediation, and as Campbell, whom I now could not but identify with the celebrated freebooter Rob Roy, was nowhere to be seen, I resolved to claim the protection of his emissary Dougal. After gazing everywhere in vain, I at length retraced my steps to see what assistance I could individually render to my unlucky friend, when, to my great joy, I saw Mr Jarvie delivered from his state of suspence, and though very black in the face, and much deranged in the garments, safely seated beneath the rock, in front of which he had been so lately suspended. I hastened to join him and offer my congratulations, which he was at first far from receiving in the spirit of cordiality with which they were offered. A heavy fit of coughing scarce permitted him breath enough to express the broken hints which he threw out against my sincerity. “Uh! uh! uh! uh!—they say a friend—uh! uh!—a friend sticketh closer than a brither—uh! uh! uh!—When I came up here, Maister Osbaldistone, to this country, cursed of God and man—uh! uh!— Heaven forgi’e me for swearing—on nae man’s errand but your’s— d’ye think it was fair—uh! uh!—to leave me, first, to be shot or drowned atween red-wood Highlanders and red-coats; and next, to be hung up between Heaven and earth, like an auld potatoe-bogle, without sae mickle as trying—uh! uh!—sae mickle as trying to relieve me?” I made a thousand apologies, and laboured so hard to represent the impossibility of my affording him relief by my own unassisted exertions, that at length I succeeded, and the Baillie, who was as placable as hasty in his temper, extended his favour to me once more. I next took the liberty of asking him how he had contrived to extricate himself. “Me extricate! I might hae hung there till the day of judgment, or I could hae helped mysell, wi’ my head hinging doun on the tae side, and my heels on the tother, like the yarn-scales in the weigh-house. It was the creature Dougal that extricated me, as he did yestreen—he cuttit aff the tails o’ my coat wi’ his durk, and another gillie and him set me on my legs as cleverly as if I had never been aff them.—But to see what a thing gude braid claith is—had I been in ony o’ your rotten French camlets now, or your drap-de-berries, it would hae screeded like an auld rag wi’ sic a weight as mine.—But fair fa’ the weaver that wrought the weft o’t—I swang and bobbit yonder as safe as a gabbart that’s moored by a three-plie cable at the Broomielaw.” I now enquired what had become of his preserver.

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“The creature,” so he continued to call the Highlandman, “contrived to let me ken there wad be danger in ganging near the leddy till he came back, and bade me stay here—I am o’ the mind,” he continued, “that he’s seeking after you—it’s a considerate creature—and troth, I wad swear he was right about the leddy, as he ca’s her, too— Helen Campbell was nane o’ the maist douce maidens nor meekest wives neither, and folk says that Rob himsell stands in awe o’ her. I doubt she winna ken me, for it’s mony years since we met—I am clear for waiting for the Dougal creature or we gang near her.” I signified my acquiescence in this reasoning, but it was not the will of fate that day that the Baillie’s prudence should profit himself or any one else. Andrew Fairservice, though he had ceased to caper on the pinnacle, upon the cessation of the firing which had given occasion for such exercise, continued, as perched on the top of an exposed cliff, too conspicuous an object to escape the sharp eyes of the Highlanders, when they had time to look a little around them. We were apprized he was discovered, by a loud and wild halloo set up among the assembled victors, three or four of whom instantly plunged into the copse, and ascended the rocky side of the hill in different directions towards the place where they had discerned this whimsical apparition. Those who arrived first within gun-shot of poor Andrew, did not trouble themselves to offer him any assistance in the ticklish posture of his affairs, but levelling their long Spanish-barrelled guns, gave him to understand by signs, which admitted of no misconstruction, that he must contrive to come down and submit himself to their mercy, or be marked at from beneath, like a regimental target set up for ballpractice. With such a formidable hint for venturous exertion, Andrew Fairservice could no longer hesitate—the more imminent peril overcame his sense of that which seemed less inevitable, and he began to descend the cliff at all risks, clutching to the ivy and oak stumps, and projecting fragments of rock, with an almost feverish anxiety, and never failing, as circumstances left him a hand at liberty, to extend it towards the plaided gentry below in an attitude of supplication, as if to deprecate the discharge of their levelled fire-arms. In a word, the fellow under the influence of a counteracting motive for terror, achieved a safe descent from his perilous eminence, which I verily believe nothing but fear of instant death could have moved him to attempt. The awkward mode of Andrew’s descent greatly amused the Highlanders below, who fired a shot or two while he was engaged in it, without the purpose of injuring him, as I believe, but merely to enhance the amusement they derived from his extreme terror, and the superlative exertions of agility to which it excited him.

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At length he attained firm and comparatively level ground, or rather, to speak more correctly, his foot slipping at the last point of descent, he fell on the earth at his full length, and was raised by the assistance of the Highlanders, who stood to receive him, and who, ere he gained his legs, stripped him not only of the whole contents of his pockets, but of periwig, hat, coat, doublet, stockings, and shoes, performing the feat with such admirable celerity, that, although he fell on his back a well-clothed and decent burgher-looking serving-man, he arose a forked, uncased, bald-pated, beggarly-looking, scare-crow. Without respect to the pain which his undefended toes experienced from the sharp encounter of the rocks over which they hurried him, those who had detected Andrew proceeded to drag him downward towards the road through all the intervening obstacles. In the course of their descent, Mr Jarvie and I became exposed to their lynx-eyed observation, and instantly half a dozen armed Highlanders thronged around us, with drawn dirks and swords presented at our faces and throats, and cocked pistols offered against our bodies. To have offered resistance would have been madness, especially as we had no weapons capable of supporting such a demonstration. We therefore submitted to our fate, and, with great roughness on the part of those who assisted at our toilette, were in the act of being reduced to as unsophisticated a state (to use King Lear’s phrase) as the plumeless biped Andrew Fairservice, who stood shivering between fear and cold at a few yards distance. Good chance, however, saved us from this extremity of wretchedness, for just as I had yielded up my cravat, (a smart Steinkirk, by the way, and richly laced,) and the Baillie had been disrobed of the fragments of his riding-coat—enter Dougal, and the scene was changed. By a high tone of expostulation, mixed with oaths and threats, (as far as I could conjecture the tenor of his language from the violence of his gestures,) he compelled the plunderers, however reluctant, not only to give up their farther depredations on our property, but to restore the spoil they had already appropriated. He snatched my cravat from the fellow who had seized it, and twisted it (in the zeal of his restitution) around my neck with such suffocating energy, as made me think that he had not only been, during his residence at Glasgow, a substitute of the jailor, but had moreover taken lessons as an apprentice of the hangman. He flung the tattered remnants of Mr Jarvie’s coat around his shoulders, and as more Highlanders began to flock up towards us from the high road, he led the way downwards, directing and commanding the others to afford us, but particularly the Baillie, the assistance necessary to our descending with comparative ease and safety. It was, however, in vain that Andrew Fairservice employed his lungs in obsecrating a share of Dougal’s

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protection, or at least his interference, to procure restoration of his shoes. “Na, na!” said Dougal in reply, “she’s nae gentle body, I trow—her petters hae ganged parefoot or she’s mickle mista’en.” And, leaving Andrew to follow at his leisure, or rather at such leisure as the surrounding crowd were pleased to indulge him with, he hurried us down to the pathway in which the skirmish had been fought, and hastened to present us as additional captives to the female leader of his band. We were dragged before her accordingly, Dougal fighting, struggling, screaming, as if he were the party most apprehensive of hurt, and repulsing, by threats and efforts, all those who attempted to take a nearer interest in our capture than he seemed to do himself. At length we were placed before the heroine of the day, whose appearance, as well as that of the savage, uncouth, yet martial figures who surrounded us, struck me, to own the truth, with considerable apprehension. I do not know if Helen MacGregor had taken any actual part in the fray, and indeed I was afterwards given to apprehend the contrary. But the specks of blood on her brow, her hands, and naked arms, as well as on the blade of the sword which she continued to hold in her hand—her flushed countenance, and the disordered state of the raven locks which escaped from under the red bonnet and plume that formed her head-dress, seemed all to intimate that she had taken an immediate share in the conflict. Her keen black eyes and features expressed an imagination inflamed by the pride of gratified revenge, and the triumph of victory. Yet there was nothing positively sanguinary, or cruel, in her deportment, and she reminded me, when the immediate alarm of the interview was over, of some of the paintings I had seen of the inspired heroines in the catholic churches of France. She was not, indeed, sufficiently beautiful for a Judith, nor had she the inspired expression of features which painters have given to Deborah, or to the wife of Heber the Kenite, at whose feet the strong oppressor of Israel, which dwelled in Harosheth of the Gentiles, bowed down, fell, and lay a dead man. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm by which she was agitated, gave her countenance and deportment, wildly dignified in themselves, an air which made her approach nearly to the ideas of those wonderful artists, who give to the eye the heroines of Scripture history. I was uncertain in what terms to accost a personage so uncommon, when Mr Jarvie, breaking the ice with a preparatory cough, for the speed with which he had been brought into her presence had again impeded his respiration, addressed her as follows:—“Uh! uh! &c. &c. I am very happy to have this joyful opportunity,” (a quaver in his voice sorely belied the emphasis which he studiously laid on the word

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joyful)—“this joyful occasion,” he resumed, trying to give the adjective a more suitable accentuation, “to wish my kinsman Robin’s wife a very good morning—Uh! uh!—How’s a’ wi’ ye this lang time?—ye’ll hae forgotten me, Mrs MacGregor Campbell,” (by this time he had talked himself into his usual jog-trot manner, which exhibited a mixture of familiarity and self-importance)—“but ye’ll mind my father, Deacon Nicol Jarvie, in the Saut-Market o’ Glasgow—an honest man he was, and a sponsible, and respectit you and yours—Sae, as I said before, I am right glad to see you, Mrs MacGregor Campbell, as my kinsman’s wife. I wad crave the liberty of a kinsman to salute you, but that your gillies keep such a dolefu’ fast haud o’ my arms, and, to speak Heaven’s truth and a magistrate’s, ye wadna be the waur, cusin—uh! uh!—of a cogfu’ o’ water before ye welcomed your friends.” There was something in the familiarity of this introduction which ill suited the exalted state of temper of the person to whom it was addressed, then busied with distributing doom and death, and warm from conquest in a perilous encounter. “What fellow are you,” she said, “that dare to claim kindred with the MacGregor, and neither wear his dress nor speak his language?— What are you, that have the tongue and the habit of the hound, and yet seek to lay down with the deer?” “I dinna ken,” said the undaunted Baillie, “if the kinred has ever been weel redd out to ye, cousin—but it’s kenn’d and can be proved. My mother, Elspeth Macfarlane, was the wife of my father, Deacon Nicol Jarvie—peace be wi’ them baith—and Elspeth was the daughter of Parlane Macfarlane, at the Sheeling o’ Loch Sloy. Now, this Parlane Macfarlane, as his surviving daughter, Maggie Macfarlane, alias MacNab, wha married Duncan MacNab o’ Stuckavrallachan, can testify, stood as near to your gudeman, Robin MacGregor, as in the fourth degree of kindred, for”— The virago lopped short the genealogical tree, by demanding haughtily “if a stream of rushing water acknowledged any relation with the portion withdrawn from it for the mean domestic uses of those who dwelled on its banks?” “Vera true, kinswoman,” said the Baillie; “but for a’ that the burn wad be glad to hae the mill-dam back again in simmer, when the kerzel-backs are white in the sun. I ken weel aneuch ye Hieland folk hald us Glasgow people light and cheap for our language and our claithes; but every body speaks their native tongue that they learned in infancy; and it wad be a daft-like thing to see me wi’ my fat wame in a short Hieland coat, and my puir short houghs gartered below the knee, like ane o’ your lang-legged gillies—Mair be token, kinswoman,” he continued, in defiance of various intimations by which

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Dougal seemed to recommend silence, as well as of the marks of impatience which the Amazon evinced at his loquacity, “I wad hae ye to mind that the king’s-errand whiles comes in the cadger’s gate, and that, for as high as ye may think o’ the gudeman, as it’s reason every wife should honour her husband—there’s Scripture warrant for it— yet as high as ye haud him, as I was saying, I hae been serviceable to Rob or now;—forbye a set o’ pearlins that I sent yoursell when ganging to be married, and Rob was an honest weel-doing drover, and nane o’ this unlawfu’ wark, wi’ fighting, and flashes, and fluff-gibs, disturbing the king’s peace and disarming his soldiers.” He had apparently touched on a key which his kinswoman could not brook. She drew herself up to her full height, and betrayed the acuteness of her feelings by a laugh of mingled scorn and bitterness. “Yes,” she said, “you, and such as you, might claim a relation to us when we stooped to be the paltry wretches fit to exist under your dominion, as your hewers of wood and drawers of water—to find cattle for your banquets, and subjects for your laws to oppress and trample on—But now we are free—free by the very act which left us neither house nor hearth, food nor covering—which bereaved me of all—of all—and makes me groan when I think that I must still cumber the earth for other purposes than those of vengeance. And I will carry on the work this day has so well commenced, by a deed that shall break all bands between MacGregor and the Lowland churles.—Here— Allan—Dougal—bind these Sassenachs neck and heel together, and throw them into the Highland loch to seek for their Highland kinsfolk.” The Baillie, alarmed at this mandate, was commencing an expostulation which probably would have only inflamed the violent passions of the person whom he addressed, when Dougal threw himself between them, and in his own language, which he spoke with a fluency and rapidity strongly contrasted by the slow, imperfect, and ideot-like manner in which he expressed himself in English, poured forth what I doubt not was a very animated pleading in our behalf. His mistress replied to him, or rather cut short his harangue, by exclaiming in English, (as if determined to make us taste in anticipation the full bitterness of death,) “Base dog, and son of a dog, do ye dispute my commands?—Should I tell ye to cut out their tongues and put them into each other’s throats to try which would then best knap Southron, or to tear out their hearts and put them into each other’s breasts to see which would then best plot treason against the MacGregor—and such things have been done of old in the day of revenge, when our fathers had wrongs to redress—Should I command you to do this, would it be your part to dispute my orders?”

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“To be sure, to be sure,” he replied, “her pleasure suld be dune— tat’s but reason—but an’ it were—tat is, an’ it could be thought to be the same to her to coup ta ill-fa’ard loon of ta red-coat Captain, and hims corporal Cramp, and twa three o’ the red-coats into the loch, hersel wad do’t wi’ mickle mair satisfaction than to hurt ta honest civil shentelsmans as were friends to the Gregarach, and came up on the Chief’s assurance, and no to do no treason, as hersel could testify.” The lady was about to reply, when a few wild strains of a pibroch were heard advancing up the road from Aberfoil, the same probably which had reached the ears of Captain Thornton’s rear-guard, and determined him to force his way onward rather than return to the village, on finding the pass occupied. The skirmish being of very short duration, the armed men who followed this martial melody, had not, although quickening their march when they heard the firing, been able to arrive in time sufficient to take any share in the rencontre. The victory, however, was complete without them, and they now arrived to share in the triumph of their countrymen. There was a marked difference betwixt the appearance of these new comers and that of the party by which our escort had been defeated, and it was greatly in favour of the former. Among the Highlanders who surrrounded the Chieftainess, if I may presume to call her so without offence to grammar, were men in the extremity of age, boys scarce able to bear arms, and even women, all, in short, whom the last necessity alone urges to take up arms; and it added a shade of bitter shame to the dejection which clouded Thornton’s manly countenance, when he found that the numbers and position of a foe, otherwise so despicable, had enabled them to conquer his brave veterans. But the thirty or forty Highlanders who now joined the others, were all men in the prime of youth or manhood, active clean-made fellows, whose short hose and belted plaids set out their sinewy limbs to the best advantage. Their arms were as superior to those of the first party as their dress and appearance. The followers of the female Chief had axes, scythes, and other antique weapons, in aid of their guns, and some had only clubs, daggers, and long knives. But of the second party, most had pistols at the belt, and almost all had dirks hanging by the pouches which they wore in front. Each had a good gun in his hand, and a broadsword by his side, besides a stout round target made of light wood, covered with leather, and curiously studded with brass, and having a steel spike screwed into the centre. These hung at their backs on a march, or while they were engaged in exchanging fire with an enemy, and were worn on the left arm when they charged with sword in hand. But it was easy to see that this chosen band had not arrived from a

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victory such as they found their ill-appointed companions possessed of. The pibroch sent forth occasionally a few wailing notes, expressive of a very different sentiment from triumph, and when they appeared before the wife of their Chieftain it was in silence, and with downcast and melancholy looks. They paused when they approached her, and the pipes again sent forth the same wild and melancholy strain. Helen rushed towards them with a countenance in which anger was mingled with apprehension. “What means this, Allaster?” she said to the minstrel. “Why a lament in the moment of victory? —Robert—Hamish—Where’s the MacGregor?—where’s your father?” Her sons, who led the band, advanced with slow and irresolute steps towards her, and murmured a few words in Gaelic, at hearing which she set up a shriek that made the rocks ring again, in which all the women and boys joined, clapping their hands and yelling, as if their lives had been expiring in the sound. The mountain echoes, silent since the military sounds of battle had ceased, had now to answer these frantic and discordant shrieks of sorrow, which drove the very night-birds from their haunts in the rocks, as if they were startled to hear orgies more hideous and ill-omened than their own, performed in the face of open day. “Taken!” repeated Helen, when the clamour had subsided— “Taken captive and you live to say so?—Coward dogs! did I nurse you for this, that you should spare your blood on your father’s enemies? or see him taken, and come back to tell it?” The sons of MacGregor, to whom this expostulation was addressed, were youths, of whom the eldest had hardly attained his twentieth year. Hamish, or James, the elder of these youths, was the tallest by a head, and much handsomer than his brother; his light-blue eyes, with a profusion of fair hair, which streamed from under his smart blue bonnet, made his whole appearance a most favourable specimen of the Highland youth. The younger was called Robert; but, to distinguish him from his father, the Highlanders added the epithet, Oig, or the young. Dark hair, and dark features, with a form strong and wellset beyond his years, completed the sketch of the young mountaineer. Both now stood before their mother with countenances clouded with grief and shame, and listened, with the most respectful submission, to the reproaches with which she loaded them. At length, when her resentment in some degree appeared to subside, the eldest, speaking in English, probably that he might not be understood by their followers, endeavoured respectfully to vindicate himself and his brother from his mother’s reproaches. I was so near him as to comprehend much of what he said, and, as it was of much consequence to me

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to be possessed of information in this strange crisis, I failed not to listen as attentively as I could. “The MacGregor,” his son stated, “had been called out upon a trysting with a Lowland hallion, who came with a token from”—he muttered the name very low, but I thought it sounded like my own.— “The MacGregor,” he said, “accepted of the invitation, but commanded the Saxon who brought the message to be detained as a hostage, that good faith should be observed to him. Accordingly he went to the place of appointment,” (which had some wild Highland name that I cannot remember,) “attended only by Angus Breck and little Rory, commanding no one to follow him; within half an hour Angus Breck came back with the doleful tidings that the MacGregor had been surprised and made prisoner by a party of Lennox militia, under Galbraith of Garschattachin, who, upon his captive threatening him with retaliation on the person of the hostage, had treated the menace with great contempt, replying, ‘Let every ane hang his man— we’ll hang the thief, and your catherans may hang the gauger, Rob, and the country will be rid of two damned things at once, a wild Highlander and a revenue officer.’ Angus Breck, less carefully looked to than his master, contrived to escape from the hands of the captors, after having been in their custody long enough to hear this discussion.” “And did you learn this, you false-hearted traitor,” said the wife of MacGregor, “and not instantly rush to your father’s rescue to bring him off, or leave your body in the place?” The young MacGregor modestly replied, by representing the very superior forces of the enemy, and stated, that as they made no preparation for leaving the country, he had fallen back up the glen with the purpose of collecting a band sufficient to attempt a rescue with some tolerable chance of success. At night, he said, the militiamen would quarter, he understood, in the neighbouring house of Gartartan, or the old castle in the Port of Menteith, or some other strong-hold, which, although strong and defensible, was nevertheless capable of being surprised, could they but get enough of men assembled for the purpose. I understood afterwards that the rest of the freebooter’s followers were divided into two strong bands; one watched the remaining garrison of Inversnaid, a party of which, under Captain Thornton, had been defeated, and another shewed front to the clans who had united with the regular troops and Lowlanders in this hostile and combined invasion of that mountainous and desolate territory, which, lying between the lakes of Loch-Lomond, Loch-Katrine, and LochHard, was at this time currently called Rob Roy’s country. Messengers were dispatched in great haste, to concentrate, as I supposed, their

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forces, with a view to the purposed attack on the Lowlanders; and the dejection and despair, at first visible on each countenance, gave place to the hope of rescuing their leader, and to the thirst of vengeance. It was under the burning influence of the latter passion that the wife of MacGregor commanded that the hostage exchanged for his safety should be brought into her presence. I believe her sons had kept this unfortunate wretch out of her sight, for fear of the consequences, but if it was so, their humane precaution only postponed his fate. They dragged forward at her summons a wretch already half dead with terror, in whose agonized features I recognized, to my horror and astonishment, my old acquaintance Morris. He fell prostrate before the female Chief with an effort to clasp her knees, from which she drew back, as if his touch had been pollution, so that all he could do in token of the extremity of his humiliation, was to kiss the hem of her plaid. I never heard entreaties for life poured forth with such agony of spirit. The ecstacy of fear was such, that, instead of paralyzing his tongue, as on ordinary occasions, it even rendered him eloquent, and, with cheeks pale as ashes, hands compressed in agony, eyes that seemed to be taking their last look of all mortal objects, he protested, with the deepest oaths, his total ignorance of any design on the person of Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved and honoured as his own soul.—In the inconsistency of his terror, he said he was but the agent of others, and he muttered the name of Rashleigh.—He prayed but for life—for life he would give all he had in the world;—it was but life he asked—life, if it were to be prolonged under tortures and privations;—he asked only breath, though it should be drawn in the damps of the lowest caverns of their hills. It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing and contempt, with which the wife of MacGregor regarded this wretched petitioner for the poor boon of existence. “I could have bid you live,” she said, “had life been to you the same weary and wasting burthen that it is to me—that it is to every noble and generous mind.—But you—wretch! you could creep through the world unaffected by its various disgraces, its ineffable miseries, its constantly accumulating masses of crime and sorrow,— you could live and enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are betrayed—while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of the brave and the long-descended,—you could enjoy yourself, like a butcher’s dog in a shambles, battoning on garbage, while the slaughter of the brave went on around you! This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of—you shall die, base dog, and that before yon cloud has passed over the sun.” She gave a brief command in Gaelic to her attendants, two of whom

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seized upon the prostrate suppliant, and hurried him to the brink of a cliff which overhung the flood. He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries that fear ever uttered—I may well term them dreadful, for they haunted my sleep for years afterward—as the murderers, or executioners, call them as you will, dragged him past me, he recognized me even in that moment of horror, and exclaimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him utter, “O, Mr Osbaldistone, save me!—save me!” I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, although in momentary expectation of sharing his fate, I did attempt to speak in his behalf, but, as might have been expected, my interference was sternly disregarded. The victim was held fast by some, while others, binding a large heavy stone in a plaid, tied it around his neck, and others again eagerly stripped him of some parts of his dress. Halfnaked, and thus manacled, they hurled him into the lake, there about twelve feet deep, drowning his last death-shriek with a loud halloo of vindictive triumph, above which, however, the yell of mortal agony was distinctly heard. The heavy burthen splashed in the dark-blue waters of the lake, and the Highlanders, with their pole-axes and swords, watched an instant, to guard, lest, extricating himself from the load to which he was attached, he might have struggled to regain the shore. But the knot had been securely bound; the victim sunk without effort; the waters, which his fall had disturbed, settled calmly over him, and the unit of that life for which he had pleaded so strongly, was for ever withdrawn from the sum of human existence.

Chapter Six And be he safe restored ere evening set, Or if there’s vengeance in an injured heart, And power to wreak it in an armed hand, Your land shall ache for’t. Old Play

I        why it is, that a single deed of violence and cruelty affects our nerves more than when these are exercised on a more extended scale. I had seen that day several of my brave countrymen fall in battle—it seemed to me that they met a lot appropriate to humanity, and my bosom, though thrilling with interest, was affected with nothing of that sickening horror with which I beheld the unfortunate Morris put to death without resistance, and in cold blood. I looked at my companion, Mr Jarvie, whose face reflected the feelings which were painted in mine. Indeed, he could not so suppress his horror, but that the words escaped him in a low and broken whisper,——

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“I take up my protest against this deed, as a bloody and cruel murder—it is a cursed deed, and God will avenge it in his own way and time.” “Then you do not fear to follow?” said the virago, bending on him a look of death, such as that with which a hawk looks on his prey ere he pounces. “Kinswoman,” said the Baillie, “nae man willingly wad cut short his thread of life before the end o’ his pirn was fairly measured off on the yarn-winles.—And I hae mickle to do, an I be spared, in this warld— public and private business, as weel that belanging to the magistracy as to my ain particular—and nae doubt I hae some to depend on me, as puir Mattie, wha is an orphan—she’s a far-awa’ cousin o’ the Laird o’ Limmerfield—sae that, laying a’ this thegither—skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” “And were I to set you at liberty, what name would ye give to the drowning of that Saxon dog?” “Uh! uh!—hem! hem!” said the Baillie, clearing his throat as well as he could, “I suld study to say as little on that score as might be— Least said is sunest mended.” “But if you were called on by the courts, as you term them, of justice, what then would be your answer?” The Baillie looked this way and that way, like one who meditates an escape, and then answered in the tone of one, who, seeing no means of accomplishing a retreat, determines to stand the brunt of battle,—“I see what you are driving me to the wa’ about. But I’ll tell you plain, kinswoman, I behooved just to act according to my ain conscience; and though your ain guidman, that I wish were here for his ain sake and mine, as weel as the puir Hieland creature Dougal, can tell ye that Nicol Jarvie will wink as hard at a friend’s failings as ony body, yet I’se tell ye, kinswoman, mine’s ne’er be the tongue to belie my thought, and sooner than say that yonder puir wretch was lawfully slaughtered, I wad consent to be laid beside him—though I think ye are the first Hieland woman wad mint sic a doom to her ain husband’s kinsman but four times removed.” It is probable that the tone of firmness assumed by the Baillie in his last speech was better suited to make an impression on the hard heart of his kinswoman than the tone of supplication he had hitherto assumed, as gems can be cut with steel, though they resist softer metals. She commanded us both to be placed before her. “Your name,” she said to me, “is Osbaldistone?—the dead dog, whose death you have witnessed, called you so.” “Osbaldistone is my name,” was my answer. “Rashleigh then, I suppose, is your Christian name?” she pursued.

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“No—my name is Francis.” “But you know Rashleigh Osbaldistone?—he is your brother, if I mistake not, at least your kinsman and near friend.” “He is my kinsman,” I replied, “and not my friend. We were lately engaged together in a rencontre, when we were separated by a person whom I understand to be your husband. My blood is hardly yet dried on his sword, and the wound on my side is yet green. I have little reason to acknowledge him as a friend.” “Then,” she replied, “if a stranger to his intrigues, you can go in safety to Garschattachin and his party without fear of being detained, and carry them a message from the wife of the MacGregor?” I answered, that I knew no reasonable cause why the militia gentlemen should detain me; that I had no reason, on my own account, to fear being in their hands; and that if my going on her embassy would act as a protection to my friend and servant, who were her prisoners, I was ready to set out directly. I took the opportunity to say, that I had come into this country on her husband’s invitation, and his assurance that he would aid me in some important matters in which I was interested; that my companion, Mr Jarvie, had accompanied me on the same errand. “And I wish Mr Jarvie’s boots had been fu’ o’ boiling water when he drew them on for sic a purpose,” interrupted the Baillie. “You may read your father,” said Helen MacGregor, turning to her sons, “in what this young Saxon tells us—Wise only when the bonnet is on his head, and the sword is in his hand, he never exchanges the tartan for the braid cloth, but he runs himself into the miserable intrigues of the Lowlands, and becomes again, after all he has suffered, their agent—their tool—their slave.” “Add, madam,” said I, “and their benefactor.” “Be it so,” she said; “for it is the most empty title of them all, since he has uniformly sown benefits to reap a harvest of the most foul ingratitude.—But enough of this—I shall cause you to be guided to the enemy’s outposts—Ask for their commander, and deliver him this message from me, Helen MacGregor, that if they injure a hair of MacGregor’s head, and if they do not set him at liberty within the space of twelve hours, there is not a lady in the Lennox but shall before Christmas cry the coronach for them she will be loth to lose,—there is not a farmer but shall sing well-a-wa over a burnt barnyard and an empty byre,—there is not a laird nor heritor shall lay his head on the pillow at night with the assurance of being a live man in the morning, —and, to begin as we are to end, so soon as the term is expired, I will send them this Glasgow Baillie, and this Saxon Captain, and all the rest of my prisoners, each bundled in a plaid, and chopped into as

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many pieces as there are checks in the tartan.” As she paused in her denunciation, Captain Thornton, who was within hearing, added with great coolness, “Present my compliments —Captain Thornton’s, of the Royals, compliments—to the commanding officer, and tell him to do his duty and secure his prisoner, and not waste a thought upon me. If I have been fool enough to have been led into an ambuscade by these artful savages, I am wise enough to know how to die for it without disgracing the service. I am only sorry for my poor fellows,” he said, “that have fallen into such butcherly hands.” “Whisht! whisht!” exclaimed the Baillie; “are ye weary o’ your life? —Ye’ll gie my service to the commanding officer—Baillie Nicol Jarvie’s service—a magistrate o’ Glasgow, as his father the deacon was before him—and tell him, here are a wheen honest men in great trouble, and like to come to mair, and the best thing he can do for the common good, will be just to let Rob come his ways up the glen, and nae mair about it—There’s been some ill dune here already, but as it has lighted chiefly on the gauger, it winna be mickle worth making a steer about.” With these very opposite injunctions from the parties chiefly interested in the success of my embassy, and with the reiterated charge of the wife of MacGregor, to remember and detail every word of her injunctions, I was at length suffered to depart; and Andrew Fairservice, chiefly, I believe, to get rid of his clamorous supplications, was permitted to attend me. Doubtful, however, that I might use my horse as a means of escape from my guides, or desirous to retain a prize of some value, I was given to understand that I was to perform my journey on foot, escorted by Hamish MacGregor, the elder brother, who, with two followers, attended, as well to shew me the way as to reconnoitre the strength and position of the enemy. Dougal was ordered on this party, but he contrived to elude the service, with the purpose, as we afterwards understood, of watching over Mr Jarvie, whom, according to his wild principles of fidelity, he considered as entitled to his good offices, from having once acted in some measure as his patron or master. After walking with great rapidity about an hour, we arrived at an eminence covered with brushwood, which gave us a commanding prospect down the valley, and a full view of the post which the militia occupied. Being chiefly cavalry, they had judiciously avoided any attempt to penetrate the pass which had been so unsuccessfully essayed by Captain Thornton. They had taken up their situation with some military skill, on a rising ground, in the centre of the little valley of Aberfoil, through which the river Forth winds its earliest course,

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and which is formed by two ridges of hills faced with barricades of limestone rock (intermixed with huge masses of Brescia, or pebbles imbedded in some softer substance which has hardened around them like mortar), and surrounded by the more lofty mountains in the distance. These ridges, however, left the valley of breadth enough to secure the cavalry from any sudden surprise by the mountaineers, and they had stationed centinels and outposts at proper distance from their main body, in every direction, so that they might secure full time to mount and get under arms upon the least alarm. It was not indeed expected at that time, that Highlanders would attack cavalry in an open plain, though late events have shewn that they may do so with success. When I first knew the Highlanders, they had almost a superstitious dread of a mounted trooper, the horse being so much more fierce and imposing in his appearance than the little shelties of their own hills, and being moreover trained, as the more ignorant mountaineers believed, to fight with his feet and his teeth. The appearance of the piquetted horses, feeding in this little vale, the forms of the soldiers as they sate, stood, or walked, in various groups, the vicinity of the beautiful little river, and of the bare and romantic rocks which hedge in the landscape on either side, formed a beautiful foreground, while far to the eastward the eye caught a glance of the lake of Menteith, and Stirling Castle, dimly seen along with the blue and distant line of the Ochill Mountains, closed the scene. After gazing on this scene with great earnestness, young MacGregor intimated to me that I was to descend to the station of the militia and execute my errand to their commander, enjoining me at the same time, with a menacing gesture, neither to inform them who had guided me to that place, nor where I had parted from my escort. Thus tutored, I descended towards the military post, followed by Andrew, who, only retaining his breeches and stockings of the English costume, without a hat, bare-legged, with brogues on his feet, which Dougal had given him out of compassion, and having a tattered plaid to supply the want of all upper garments, looked as if he had been playing the part of a Highland Tom-of-Bedlam. I had not proceeded far before I became visible to one of the videttes, who, riding towards me, presented his carabine and commanded me to stand. I obeyed, and when the soldier came up to me, I desired to be conducted to his commanding officer. I was immediately brought where a circle of officers, sitting upon the grass, seemed in attendance upon one of superior rank. He was a handsome, dark man, whose form and manners expressed his high rank. He wore a cuirass of polished steel, over which were drawn the insignia of the ancient Order of the Thistle. My friend Garschattachin, and many other gentlemen, some in uniform,

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others in their ordinary dress, but all armed and well attended, seemed to receive their orders from this person of distinction. Many servants in rich liveries, apparently a part of his household, were also in attendance. Having paid to this nobleman the respect which his rank seemed to demand, I acquainted him that I had been an involuntary witness to the king’s soldiers having suffered a defeat from the Highlanders at the pass of Loch-Ard, (such I had learned was the name of the place where Mr Thornton was made prisoner,) and that the victors threatened every species of extremity to those who had fallen into their power, as well as to the low country in general, unless their Chief, who had that morning been made prisoner, were returned to them uninjured. The Duke (for he whom I addressed was of no lower rank) listened to me with great composure, and then replied, “That he should be extremely sorry to expose the unfortunate gentlemen who had been made prisoners to the cruelty of the barbarians into whose hands they had fallen, but that it was folly to suppose that he would deliver up the very author of all these disorders and offences, and so encourage his followers in their license. You may return to those who sent you, and inform them, that I shall certainly cause Rob Roy Campbell, whom they call MacGregor, to be executed by break of day, as an outlaw taken in arms, and deserving death by a thousand acts of violence—that I should be most justly held unworthy of my situation and commission did I act otherwise—that I shall know how to protect the country against their insolent threats of violence—and that if they injure a hair of the head of any of the gentlemen whom an unfortunate accident has thrown into their power, I will take such ample vengeance that the very stones of their glens shall sing woe for it this hundred years to come!” I humbly begged leave to remonstrate respecting the honourable mission imposed on me, and touched upon the obvious danger attending it, when the noble commander replied that “such being the case, I might send my servant.” “The deil be in my feet,” said Andrew, without either having respect to the presence in which he stood, or waiting till I replied—“the deil be in my feet, if I gang my tae’s length. Do the folk think I hae another thrapple in my pouch after John Hielandman has sneckit this ane wi’ his joctaleg?—or that I can dive doun at the tae side of a Highland loch and rise at the tother, like a skell-drake?—na, na—ilk ane for himsel, and God for us a’. Folk may just mak a page o’ their ain age, and serve themsells till their bairns grow up, and gang their ain errands for Andrew. Rob Roy never came near the parish of Dreepdaily to steal either pippin or pear frae me or mine.”

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Silencing my follower with some difficulty, I represented to the Duke the great danger Captain Thornton and Mr Jarvie would certainly be exposed to, and entreated he would make me the bearer of such modified terms as might be the means of saving their lives. I assured him I should decline no danger if I could be of service, but from what I had heard and seen, I had little doubt they would be instantly murdered should the chief of outlaws suffer death. The Duke was obviously much affected. “It was a hard case,” he said, “and he felt it as such; but he had a paramount duty to perform to the country—Rob Roy must die!” I own it was not without emotion that I heard this threat of instant death to my acquaintance Campbell, who had so often testified his good-will towards me. Nor was I singular in the feeling, for many of those around the Duke ventured to express themselves in his favour. It would be more advisable, they said, to send him to Stirling Castle, and there detain him a close prisoner, as a pledge for the submission and dispersion of his gang. It were a great pity to expose the country to be plundered, which, now that the long nights approached, it would be found very difficult to prevent, since it was impossible to guard every point, and the Highlanders were sure to select those which were left exposed. They added that there was great hardship in exposing the unfortunate prisoners to the almost certain doom of massacre denounced against them, which no one doubted would be executed in the first burst of revenge. Garschattachin ventured yet farther, confiding in the honour of the nobleman whom he addressed, although he knew he had particular reasons for disliking their prisoner. “Rob Roy,” he said, “though a kittle neighbour to the low country, and particularly obnoxious to his Grace, and though he maybe carried the catheran trade farther than ony man o’ his day, was an auld-farrand carle, and there might be some means found of making him hear reason; whereas his wife and sons were reckless fiends, without either fear or mercy about them, and, at the head of a’ his limmer louns, would be a worse plague to the country than ever he had been.” “Pooh! pooh!” replied his Grace, “it is the very sense and cunning of this fellow which has so long maintained his reign—a mere Highland robber would have been put down in as many weeks as he has flourished years. His gang without him is no more to be dreaded as a permanent annoyance—it will exist no longer than a wasp without its head, which may sting once perhaps, but is instantly crushed into annihilation.” Garschattachin was not so easily silenced. “I am sure, my Lord Duke,” he replied, “I have no favour for Rob, and he as little for me,

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seeing he has twice cleaned out my ain byres, besides skaith amang my tenants; but, however”—— “But, however, Garschattachin,” said the Duke, with a smile of peculiar expression, “I fancy you think such a freedom may be pardoned in a friend’s friend, and Rob’s supposed to be no enemy to Major Galbraith’s friends over the water.” “If it be so, my Lord,” said Garschattachin, in the same tone of jocularity, “it’s no the warst thing I have heard of him. But I wish we heard some news from the clans, that we have waited for sae lang. I vow to God they’ll keep a Hielandman’s word wi’ us—I never kenn’d them better—it’s ill drawing boots upon trews.” “I cannot believe it,” said the Duke; “these gentlemen are known to be men of honour, and I must necessarily suppose they are to keep their appointment. Send out two more horsemen to look for our friends. We cannot, till their arrival, pretend to attack the pass where Captain Thornton has suffered himself to be surprised, and which, to my knowledge, ten men on foot might make good against a regiment of the best horse in Europe—Meanwhile let refreshments be given to the men.” I had the benefit of this last order, the more necessary and acceptable, as I had tasted nothing since our hasty meal at Aberfoil the evening before. The videttes who had been dispatched, returned without tidings of the expected auxiliaries, and sunset was approaching, when a Highlander belonging to the clans whose co-operation was expected, appeared as the bearer of a letter, which he delivered to the Duke with a most profound congé. “Now will I wad a hogshead of claret,” said Garschattachin, “that this is a message to tell us that these cursed Highlandmen, whom we have fetched here at the expense of so much plague and vexation, are going to draw off, and leave us to do our own business if we can.” “It is even so, gentlemen,” said the Duke, reddening with indignation, after having perused the letter, which was written upon a very dirty scrap of paper, but most punctiliously addressed, “For the muchhonoured hands of Ane High and Mighty Prince, the Duke, &c. &c. &c.” “Our allies,” continued the Duke, “have deserted us, gentlemen, and made a separate peace with the enemy.” “It’s just the fate of all alliances,” said Garschattachin; “the Dutch were ganging to serve us the same gate, if we had not got the start of them at Utrecht.” “You are facetious, sir,” said the Duke, with a frown which shewed how little he liked the pleasantry, “and our business is rather of a grave cast just now.—I suppose no gentleman would advise our attempting to penetrate farther into the country, unsupported either by friendly

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Highlanders, or by infantry from Inversnaid?” A general answer announced that the attempt would be perfect madness. “Nor would there be great wisdom,” the Duke added, “in remaining exposed to a night attack in this place. I therefore propose that we should retreat to the house of Duchray and that of Gartartan, and keep safe and sure watch and ward until morning. But before we separate, I will examine Rob Roy before you all, and make you sensible, by your own eyes and ears, of the extreme unfitness of leaving him space for farther outrage.” He gave orders accordingly, and the prisoner was brought before him, his arms belted down above the elbow, and secured to his body by a horse’s girth buckled tight behind him. Two non-commissioned officers had hold of him, one on each side, and two file of men with carabines and fixed bayonets attended for additional security. I had never seen this man in the dress of his country, which set in a striking point of view the peculiarities of his form. A shock-head of red hair, which the hat and periwig of the Lowland costume had in a great measure concealed, was seen beneath the Highland bonnet, and verified the epithet of Roy, or Red, by which he was much better known in the low country than by any other, and is still, I suppose, best remembered. The justice of the appellation was also vindicated by the appearance of that part of his limbs, from the bottom of his kilt to the top of his short hose, which the fashion of his country dress left bare, and which was covered with a felt of thick, short, red hair, especially around his knees, which resembled in this respect, as well as from their sinewy appearance of extreme strength, the limbs of a redcoloured Highland bull. Upon the whole, betwixt the effect produced by the change of dress, and by my having become acquainted with his real and formidable character, his appearance had acquired to my eyes something so much wilder and more striking than it before presented, that I could scarce recognise him to be the same person. His manner was bold, unconstrained unless by the actual bonds, haughty, and even dignified. He bowed to the Duke, nodded to Garschattachin and others, and shewed some surprise at seeing me among the party. “It is long since we have met, Mr Campbell,” said the Duke. “It is so, my Lord Duke; I could have wished it had been,” (looking at the fastening on his arms,) “when I could hae better paid the compliments I owe to your Grace—but there’s a guid time coming.” “No time like the time present, Mr Campbell,” answered the Duke, “for the hours are fast flying that must settle your last accompt with all mortal affairs. I do not say this to insult your distress, but you must be

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aware yourself that you draw near the end of your career. I do not deny that you may sometimes have done less harm than others of your unhappy trade, and that you may occasionally have exhibited marks of talent, and even of a disposition which promised better things. But you are aware how long you have been the terror and the oppressor of a peaceful neighbourhood, and by what acts of lawless violence you have maintained and extended your usurped authority. You know, in short, that you have deserved death, and that you must prepare for it.” “My Lord,” said Rob Roy, “although I may well lay my misfortunes to your Grace’s door, yet I will never say that you yourself have been the wilful and witting author of them. My Lord, if I had thought sae, your Grace would not this day have been sitting in judgment, for you have been three times within good rifle distance of me when you were thinking but of the red deer, and few people have kenn’d me miss my aim. But as for them that abused your Grace’s ear, and set you up against a man that was ance a peacefu’ man as ony in the land, and made your name the warrant for driving me to utter extremity,—I have had some amends of them, and for a’ that your Grace now says, I expect to live to hae mair.” “I know,” said the Duke, in rising anger, “that you are a determined and impenitent villain, who will keep his oath if he swears to mischief, but it shall be my care to prevent you. You have no enemies but your own wicked actions.” “Had I called mysell Grahame, instead of Campbell, I might have heard less about them,” answered Rob Roy, with dogged resolution. “You will do well, sir,” said the Duke, “to warn your wife and family and followers, to beware how they use the gentlemen now in their hands, as I will requite ten-fold on them and their kin and allies the slightest injury done to any of his majesty’s liege subjects.” “My Lord,” said Roy in answer, “none of my enemies will allege that I have been a blood-thirsty man, and were I now wi’ my folk, I could rule four or five hundred wild Hielanders as easy as your Grace these eight or ten lackies and foot-boys. But if your Grace is bent to tak the head away from a house, ye may lay your account there will be misrule amang the members.—However, come o’t what like, there’s an honest man, a kinsman o’ my ain, maun come by nae skaith.—Is there ony body here wad do a guid deed for MacGregor—he may repay it, though his hands be now tied.” The Highlander who had delivered the letter to the Duke replied, “I’ll do your will for ye, MacGregor, and I’ll gang back up the glen on purpose.” He advanced, and received from the prisoner a message to his wife, which, being in Gaelic, I did not understand, but I had little doubt it

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related to some measures to be taken for the safety of Mr Jarvie. “Do you hear the fellow’s impudence?” said the Duke; “he confides in his character of a messenger—his conduct is of a piece with his masters’, who invited us to make common cause against these freebooters, and have deserted us so soon as they have agreed to surrender the Balquidder lands they were squabbling about. No truth in plaids, no faith in tartan trews, Camelion-like, they change a thousand hues.”

“Your great ancestor never said so, my Lord,” answered Major Galbraith; “and, with submission, neither would your Grace have occasion to say it, wad ye but be for beginning justice at the well-head —Gie the honest man his mear again—Let every head wear its ain bannet, and the distractions o’ the Lennox wad be mended wi’ them o’ the land.” “Hush! hush! Garschattachin,” said the Duke; “this is language dangerous for you to talk to any one, especially to me—but I presume you reckon yourself a privileged person. Please to draw off your party towards Gartartan; I shall myself see the prisoner escorted to Duchray, and send you orders to-morrow—you will please grant no leave of absence to any of your troopers.” “Here’s auld ordering and counter-ordering,” muttered Garschattachin between his teeth. “But patience! patience!—we may ae day play at Change seats, the king’s coming.” The two troops of cavalry now formed, and prepared to march off the ground, that they might avail themselves of the remainder of daylight to get to their evening quarters. I got an intimation, rather than an invitation, to attend the party, and I perceived, that, though no longer considered as a prisoner, I was yet under some sort of suspicion. The times were indeed so dangerous,—the great party questions of Jacobite and Hanoverian divided the country so effectually,—and the constant disputes and jealousies between the Highlanders and Lowlanders, besides a number of inexplicable causes of feud which separated the great leading families in Scotland from each other, occasioned such general suspicion, that a solitary and unprotected stranger was almost sure to meet with something disagreeable in the course of his travels. I acquiesced, however, in my destination with the best grace I could, consoling myself with the hope that I might obtain from the captive freebooter some information concerning Rashleigh and his machinations. I should do myself injustice did I not add, that my views were not merely selfish. I was too much interested in my singular acquaintance not to be desirous of rendering him such services as his unfortunate situation might demand, or admit of receiving.

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Chapter Seven And when he came to broken brigg, He bent his bow and swam; And when he came to grass growing, Set down his feet and ran. Gil Morrice

T   of the rocks and ravines, on either side of the valley, now rung to the trumpets of the cavalry, which, forming themselves into two distinct bodies, began to move down the valley at a slow trot. That commanded by Major Galbraith soon took to the right-hand, and crossed the Forth, for the purpose of taking up the quarters assigned them for the night, when they were to occupy, as I understood, an old castle in the vicinity. They formed a lively object while crossing the stream, but were soon lost in winding up the bank on the opposite side, which was clothed with wood. We continued our own march with considerable good order. To ensure the safe custody of the prisoner, the Duke had caused him to be placed on horseback behind one of his retainers, called, as I was informed, Ewan of Brigglands, one of the largest and strongest men who were present. A horse-belt passed round the bodies of both, and buckled before the yeoman’s breast, rendered it impossible for Rob Roy to free himself from his keeper. I was directed to keep close beside them, and accommodated for the purpose with a troop-horse. We were as closely surrounded by the soldiers as the width of the road would permit, and had always at least one, if not two, on each side with pistol in hand. Andrew Fairservice, furnished with a Highland poney of which they had made prey some where or other, was permitted to ride among the other domestics, of whom a great number attended the line of march, though without falling into the ranks of the more regularly trained troopers. In this manner we travelled for a certain distance, until we arrived at a place where we also were to cross the river. The Forth, as being the outlet of a lake, is of a considerable depth, even where less important in point of width, and the descent to the ford was by a broken precipitous ravine, which only permitted one horseman to descend at once. The rear and centre of our small body halting on the bank while the front files passed down in succession, occasioned a considerable delay, as is usual on such occasions, and even some confusion; for a number of riders, who made no proper part of our squadron, crowded to the ford without regularity, and made the militia cavalry, although tolerably well drilled, partake in some degree of their own disorder.

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It was while we were thus huddled together on the bank that I heard Rob Roy whisper to the man behind whom he was placed on horseback, “Your father, Ewan, wadna hae carried an auld friend to the shambles, like a calf, for a’ the Dukes in Christendom.” Ewan returned no answer, but shrugged as one who would express by that sign that what he was doing was none of his own choice. “And when the MacGregors come down the glen, and ye see toom faulds, a bluidy hearth-stane, and the fire flashing out between the rafters o’ your house, ye may be thinking than, Ewan, that were your friend Rob to the fore, you would have had that safe which it will make your heart sair to lose.” Ewan of Brigglands again shrugged and groaned, but remained silent. “It’s a sair thing,” continued Rob, sliding his insinuations so gently into Ewan’s ear that they reached no other but mine, who really saw myself in no shape called upon to destroy his prospects of escape— “It’s a sair thing, that Ewan of Brigglands, whom Roy MacGregor has helped with hand, sword, and purse, suld mind a gloom from a great man mair than a friend’s life.” Ewan seemed sorely agitated, but was silent. We heard the Duke’s voice from the opposite bank call, “Bring over the prisoner.” Ewan put his horse in motion, and just as I heard Roy say, “Never weigh a MacGregor’s bluid against a broken whang o’ leather, for there will be another accounting to gie for it baith here and hereafter,” they passed me hastily, and, dashing rather precipitately, entered the water. “Not yet, sir—not yet,” said some of the troopers to me, as I was about to follow, while others pressed forward into the stream. I saw the Duke on the other side, by the waning light, engaged in commanding his people to get into order, as they landed dispersedly, some higher, some lower. Many had crossed, some were in the water, and the rest preparing to follow, when a sudden splash warned me that MacGregor’s eloquence had prevailed on Ewan to give him freedom and a chance for life. The Duke also heard the sound, and instantly guessed its meaning. “Dog!” he exclaimed to Ewan as he landed, “where is your prisoner?” and, without waiting to hear the apology which the terrified vassal began to faulter forth, he fired a pistol at his head, whether fatally I know not, and exclaimed, “Gentlemen, disperse and pursue the villain—An hundred guineas for him that secures Rob Roy!” All became an instant scene of the most lively confusion. Rob Roy, disengaged from his bonds, doubtless by Ewan’s slipping the buckle of the belt, had dropped off at the horse’s tail, and instantly dived,

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passing under the belly of the troop-horse which was on his left hand. But as he was obliged to come to the surface an instant for air, the glimpse of his tartan plaid drew the attention of the troopers, some of whom plunged into the river with a total disregard to their own safety, rushing, according to the expression of their country, through pool and stream, sometimes swimming their horses, sometimes losing them and struggling for their own lives. Others less zealous, or more prudent, broke off in different directions, and gallopped up and down the banks, to watch the places at which the fugitive might possibly land. The hollowing, the whooping, the calls for aid at different points, where they saw, or conceived that they saw, some vestige of him they were seeking,—the frequent report of pistols and carabines, fired at every object which excited the least suspicion,—the sight of so many horsemen riding about, in and out of the river, and striking with their long broadswords at whatever excited their attention, joined to the vain exertions used by their officers to restore order and regularity; and all this in so wild a scene, and visible only by the imperfect twilight of an autumn evening, made the most extraordinary hubbub I had hitherto witnessed. I was indeed left alone to observe it, for our whole cavalcade had dispersed in pursuit, or at least to see the event of the search. Indeed, as I partly suspected at the time, and after learned with certainty, many of those who seemed most active in their attempts to waylay and recover the fugitive, were, in actual fact, least desirous that he should be taken, and only joined in the cry to increase the general confusion, and give Rob Roy a better opportunity of escaping. Escape, indeed, was not difficult for a swimmer so expert as the freebooter, so soon as he had eluded the first burst of pursuit. At one time he was closely pressed, and several sword blows were made which flashed in the water around him, the appearance much resembling one of the otter-hunts which I had seen at Osbaldistone Hall, where the animal is detected by the hounds from his being necessitated to put his nose above the stream to vent or breathe, while he is enabled to elude them by getting again under water so soon as he has refreshed himself by respiration. MacGregor, however, had a trick beyond the otter, for he contrived, when very closely pursued, to disengage himself unobserved from his plaid, and suffer it to float down the stream, where in its progress it quickly attracted general attention; many of the horsemen were thus put upon a false scent, and several shots or stabs were averted from the party for whom they were designed. Once fairly out of view, the recovery of the prisoner became almost impossible, since, in so many places, the river was rendered inaccessible by the steepness of its banks, or the occasional thickets of

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alder, poplar, and birch, which, over-hanging its banks, prevented the approach of horsemen. Errors and accidents had also happened among the pursuers, whose task the approaching night rendered every moment more hopeless. Some got themselves involved in the eddies of the stream, and required the assistance of their companions to save them from drowning. Others, hurt by shot or blows in the confused melée, implored help or threatened vengeance, and in one or two instances such accidents led to strife. The trumpets, therefore, sounded the retreat, announcing that the commanding officer, with whatsoever unwillingness, had for the present relinquished hopes of the important prize which had thus unexpectedly escaped his grasp, and the troopers began slowly, reluctantly, and brawling with each other as they returned, again to assume their ranks. I could see them darkening as they formed on the southern bank of the river, whose murmurs, long drowned by the louder cries of vengeful pursuit, were now heard hoarsely mingling with the deep, discontented, and reproachful voices of the disappointed horsemen. Hitherto I had been as it were a mere spectator, though far from an uninterested one, of the singular scene which had passed. But now I heard a voice suddenly exclaim, “Where is the English stranger?—It was he gave Rob Roy the knife to cut the belt.” “Cleave the pock-pudding traitor to the chafts,” cried one voice. “Weize a brace of balls through his harn pan,” said a second. “Drive three inches of cauld airn into his breaskit,” shouted a third. And I heard several horses gallopping to and fro, with the kind purpose, doubtless, of executing these denunciations. I was immediately awakened to the sense of my situation, and to the certainty that armed men, having no restraint whatsoever on their irritated and inflamed passions, would probably begin by shooting or cutting me down, and afterwards investigate the justice of the action. Impressed by this belief, I leaped from my horse, and turning him loose, plunged into a bush of alder trees, where, considering the advancing obscurity of the night, I thought there was little chance of my being discovered. Had I been near enough to the Duke to have invoked his personal protection, I would have done so, but he had already commenced his retreat, and I saw no officer on the left bank of the river of authority sufficient to have afforded protection, in case of my surrendering myself. I thought there was no point of honour which could require, in such circumstances, an unnecessary exposure of my life. My first idea, when the tumult began to be appeased, and the clatter of the horses’ feet was heard less frequently in the immediate vicinity of my hidingplace, was to seek out the Duke’s quarters, when all should be quiet, and give myself up to him, as a liege subject who had nothing to fear

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from his justice, and a stranger, who had every right to expect protection and hospitality. With this purpose I crept out of my hiding-place, and looked around me. The twilight had now melted nearly into darkness; few or none of the troopers were left on my side of the Forth, and of those who were already across it, I only heard the distant trample of the horses’ feet, and the wailing and prolonged sound of their trumpets, which rung through the woods to recal stragglers. Here, therefore, I was left in a situation of considerable difficulty. I had no horse, and the deep and wheeling stream of the river, rendered turbid by the late tumult of which its channel had been the scene, and seeming yet more so under the doubtful appearance of an imperfect moonlight, had no inviting appearance for a pedestrian by no means accustomed to wade rivers, and who had lately seen horsemen weltering up to the saddle laps, when they had incautiously strayed from the very best passage of the ford. At the same time, my prospect, if I remained on the side of the river on which I then stood, could be no other than of concluding the various fatigues of this day and the preceding night, by passing that which was now closing in al fresco on the side of a Highland hill. After a moment’s reflection, I began to consider that Fairservice, who had doubtless crossed the river with the other domestics, according to his forward and impertinent custom of putting himself always among the foremost, could not fail to satisfy the Duke, or the competent authorities, respecting my rank and situation; and that, therefore, my character did not require my immediate appearance, at the risk of being drowned in the river, of being unable to trace the march of the squadron, in case of my reaching the other side in safety, not to mention the risk of being cut down, right or wrong, by some straggler, who might think such a piece of good service a convenient excuse for not sooner regaining his ranks. I therefore resolved to measure my steps back to the little inn, where I had passed the preceding night. I had nothing to apprehend from Rob Roy. He was now at liberty, and I was certain, in case of my falling in with any of his people, the news of his escape would procure me protection. I might thus also show, that I had no intention to desert Mr Jarvie in the delicate situation in which he had engaged himself, on my account solely. And lastly, it was only in this quarter that I could hope to learn tidings concerning Rashleigh and my father’s papers, which had been the original cause of an expedition so fraught with perilous adventure. I therefore abandoned all thought of crossing the Forth that evening, and, turning my back on the Fords of Frew, began to retrace my steps toward the little village of Aberfoil.

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A sharp frost wind, which made itself heard and felt from time to time, removed the clouds of mist which might otherwise have slumbered till morning on the valley; and, though it could not totally disperse the clouds of vapour, yet threw them in confused and changeful masses, now hovering round the heads of the mountains, now filling, as with a dense and voluminous stream of smoke, the various deep gullies where masses of the composite rock, or brescia, tumbling in fragments from the cliffs, have rushed to the valley, each leaving behind a rent and torn ravine resembling a deserted water-course. The moon, which was now high, and twinkled with all the vivacity of a frosty atmosphere, silvered the windings of the river and the peaks and precipices which the mist left visible, while her beams seemed as it were absorbed by the fleecy whiteness of the mist, where it lay thick and condensed, and gave to the more light and vapoury specks, which were elsewhere visible, a sort of filmy transparency resembling the lightest veil of silver gauze. Despite the uncertainty of my situation, a view so romantic, joined to the active and inspiring influence of the frosty atmosphere, elevated my spirits while it braced my nerves. I felt an inclination to cast care away, and bid defiance to danger, and involuntarily whistled, by way of cadence to my steps, which my feeling of the cold led me to accelerate, and I felt the pulse of existence beat prouder and higher in proportion as I felt confidence in my own strength, courage, and resources. I was so much lost in these thoughts, and in the feelings which they excited, that two horsemen came up behind me without my hearing their approach, until one was on each side of me, when the left-hand rider, pulling up his horse, addressed me in the English tongue. “So ho, friend, whither so late?” “To my supper and bed at Aberfoil,” I replied. “Are the passes open?” he enquired, with the same commanding tone of voice. “I do not know,” I replied; “I shall learn when I get there, but,” I added, the fate of Morris recurring to my recollection, “if you are an English stranger, I advise you to turn back till daylight: there has been some disturbance in this neighbourhood, and I should hesitate to say it is perfectly safe for strangers.” “The soldiers had the worst?—had they not?” was the reply. “They had indeed, and an officer’s party were destroyed or made prisoners.” “Are you sure of that?” replied the horseman. “As sure as that I hear you speak,” I replied. “I was an unwilling spectator of the skirmish.” “Unwilling? were you not engaged in it, then?” “Certainly no,” I replied, “I was detained by the king’s officer.”

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“On what suspicion? and who are you? or what is your name?” he continued. “I really do not know, sir,” said I, “why I should answer so many questions to an unknown stranger. I have told you enough to convince you that you are going into a dangerous and distracted country—if you chuse to proceed, it is your own affair, but as I ask you no question respecting your name and business, you will oblige me by making no enquiries after mine.” “Mr Francis Osbaldistone,” said the other rider, in a voice, the tones of which thrilled through every nerve of my body, “should not whistle his favourite airs when he wishes to remain undiscovered.” And Diana Vernon, for she, wrapped in a horseman’s cloak, was the last speaker, whistled in playful mimicry the second part of the tune, which was on my lips when they came up. “Good God!” I exclaimed, like one thunderstruck, “can it be you, Miss Vernon, on such a spot—at such an hour—in such a lawless country—in such”—— “In such a masculine dress, you would say. But what would you have?—the philosophy of the excellent Corporal Nym is the best after all—things must be as they may—pauca verba.” While she was thus speaking, I eagerly took advantage of an unusually bright gleam of moonshine, to study the appearance of her companion, for it may be easily supposed, that finding Miss Vernon in a place so solitary, engaged in a journey so dangerous, and under the protection of one gentleman only, were circumstances to excite every feeling of jealousy, as well as surprise. The rider did not speak with the deep melody of Rashleigh’s voice; his tones were more high and commanding—he was taller, moreover, as he sate on horseback, than that first-rate object of my hatred and suspicion. Neither did the stranger’s address resemble that of any of my other cousins; it had that indescribable tone and manner by which we recognize a man of sense and breeding, even in the first few sentences he speaks. The object of my anxiety seemed desirous to get rid of my investigation. “Diana,” he said, in a tone of mingled kindness and authority, “give your cousin his property, and let us not spend time here.” Miss Vernon had in the mean time taken out a small case, and leaning down from her horse towards me, she said, in a tone in which an effort at her usual quaint lightness of expression contended with a deeper and more grave tone of sentiment, “You see, my dear coz, I was born to be your better angel. Rashleigh has been compelled to yield up his spoil, and had we reached this same village of Aberfoil last night, as we purposed, I should have found some Highland sylph to

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have wafted to you all these representatives of commercial wealth. But there were giants and dragons in the way; and errant-knights and damsels of modern times, bold though they be, must not, as of yore, run into useless danger—Do not you do so either, my dear coz.” “Diana,” said her companion, “let me once more warn you that the evening waxes late, and we are still distant from our home.” “I am coming, sir, I am coming—consider,” she added, with a sigh, “how lately I have been subjected to controul—besides, I have not yet given my cousin the packet—and bid him farewell—for ever—Yes, Frank,” she said in a lower tone calculated to reach my ear alone, “for ever—there is a gulph between us—a gulph of absolute perdition— where we go, you must not follow—what we do, you must not share in —Farewell—be happy.” In the attitude in which she bent from her horse, which was a Highland poney, her face, not perhaps altogether unwillingly, touched mine—she pressed my hand, while the tear that trembled in her eye found its way to my cheek instead of her own. It was a moment never to be forgotten—inexpressibly bitter, yet mixed with a sensation of pleasure so deeply soothing and affecting, as at once to unlock all the flood-gates of the heart. It was but a moment, however, for instantly recovering from the feeling to which she had involuntarily given way, she intimated to her companion she was ready to attend him, and putting their horses to a brisk pace, they were soon far distant from the place where I stood. Heaven knows, it was not apathy which loaded my frame and my tongue so much, that I could neither return Miss Vernon’s half embrace, nor even answer her farewell. The word, though it rose to my tongue, seemed to choke in my throat like the fatal Guilty, when the delinquent who makes his plea knows that it must be followed by the doom of death. The surprise, the sorrow, almost stupefied me for I remained motionless with the packet in my hand, gazing after them, as if endeavouring to count the sparkles which flew from their horses’ hoofs. I continued to look long after these had ceased to be visible, and to listen for their footsteps long after the last distant trampling had died in my ears. At length, tears rushed to my eyes, glazed as they were by the exertion of straining after what was no longer to be seen. I wiped them mechanically, and almost without being aware that they were flowing, but they came thicker and thicker—I felt the tightening of the throat and breast, the hysterica passio of poor Lear, and, sitting down by the wayside, I shed a flood of the first and most bitter tears which had flowed from my eyes since childhood.

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Chapter Eight Dangle. Egad, I think the interpreter is the harder to be understood of the two. Critic

I          given vent to my feelings in this paroxysm, ere I was ashamed of my weakness. I remembered that I had been for some time endeavouring to regard Diana Vernon, when her idea intruded itself on my remembrance, as a friend, for whose welfare I should indeed always be anxious, but with whom I could have little further communication. But the almost unrepressed tenderness of her manner, joined to the romance of our sudden meeting where it was so little to have been expected, were circumstances which threw me entirely off my guard. I recovered, however, sooner than might have been expected, and without giving myself time accurately to examine my motives, I resumed the path on which I had been travelling when overtaken by this strange and unexpected apparition. “I am not,” was my reflection, “transgressing her injunction so pathetically given, since I am but pursuing my own journey by the only open route. If I have succeeded in recovering my father’s property, it still remains incumbent on me to see my Glasgow friend delivered from the situation in which he has involved himself on my account— besides, what other place of rest can I obtain for the night excepting at the little inn of Aberfoil?—they also must stop there, since it is impossible for travellers on horseback to go farther—Well—then we shall meet again—meet for the last time perhaps—but I shall see and hear her—I shall learn who this happy man is who exercises over her the authority of a husband—I shall learn if there remains, in the difficult course in which she seems engaged, any difficulty which my efforts may remove, or aught that I can do to express my gratitude for her generosity—for her disinterested friendship.” As I reasoned thus with myself, colouring, with every plausible pretext which occurred to my ingenuity, my passionate desire once more to see and converse with my cousin, I was suddenly hailed by a touch on the shoulder and the deep voice of a Highlander, who, walking still faster than I, though I was moving at a smart pace, accosted me with, “A bra’ night, Maister Osbaldistone—we have met at the mirk hours before now.” There was no mistaking the tone of MacGregor; he had escaped the pursuit of his enemies, and was in full retreat to his own wilds and to his adherents. He had also contrived to arm himself, probably at the

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house of some secret adherent, for he had a musket on his shoulder, and the usual Highland weapons by his side. To have found myself with such a character in such a situation, and at this late hour in the evening, might not have been pleasant to me in any ordinary mood of mind, for, though habituated to think of Rob Roy in rather a friendly point of view, I will confess frankly that I never heard him speak but what it seemed to thrill my blood. The intonation of the mountaineers gives a habitual depth and hollowness to the sound of their words, owing to the guttural expression so common in their native language, and they usually speak with a good deal of emphasis. To these national peculiarities Rob Roy added a sort of hard indifference of accent and manner, expressive of a mind neither to be daunted, nor surprised, nor affected by what passed before him, however dreadful, however sudden, however afflicting. Habitual danger, with unbounded confidence in his own strength and sagacity, had rendered him indifferent to fear, and the unlawful and precarious life which he led had blunted, though its dangers and errors had not destroyed, his feelings for others. And it was to be remembered, that I had very lately seen the followers of this man commit a cruel slaughter on an unarmed and suppliant individual. Yet such was the state of my mind, that I welcomed the company of the outlaw-leader as a relief to my own overstrained and painful thoughts, and was not without hope, that through his means I might obtain some clew of guidance through the maze in which my fate had involved me. I therefore answered his greeting cordially, and congratulated him on his late escape in circumstances when escape seemed impossible. “Ay,” he replied, “there is as much between the craig and the woodie as there is between the cup and the lip. But my peril was less than you might think, being a stranger to this country. Of a’ that were summoned to take me, and to keep me, and to retake me again, there was a moiety, as Cousin Nicol Jarvie calls it, that had nae will that I suld be either taen, or keepit fast, or retaen—and of the t’other moiety, there was ae half was feared to stir me; and so I had only like the fourth part of fifty or sixty men to deal withal.” “And enough too, I should think,” replied I. “I dinna ken that,” said he; “but I ken, that turn every ill-willer that I had amang them out upon the green before the Clachan of Aberfoil, I wad find them play with broad-sword and target, one down and another come on.” He now enquired into my adventures since we entered his country, and laughed heartily at my account of the battle we had in the inn, and at the exploits of the Baillie with the red-hot poker.

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“Let Glasgow flourish!” he exclaimed. “The curse of Cromwell on me, if I wad hae wished better sport than to see cousin Nicol singe Allan Iverach’s plaid, like a sheep head between a pair o’ tongs. But my kinsman Jarvie,” he added more gravely, “has some gentleman’s bluid in his veins, although he has been unhappily bred up to a peaceful and mechanical craft, which could not but blunt any pretty man’s spirit.—Ye may estimate the reason why I could not receive you at the Clachan of Aberfoil, as I purposed—they had made a fine hose-net for me when I was absent twa or three days at Glasgow, upon the king’s business—but I think I broke up the league about their lugs— they’ll no be able to hound one clan against another as they hae dune. —I hope sune to see the day when a’ Hielandmen will stand shouther to shouther.—But what chanced next?” I gave him an account of the arrival of Captain Thornton and his party, and the arrest of the Baillie and myself, under pretext of our being suspicious persons, and upon his more special enquiry, I recollected the officer had mentioned that, besides my name sounding suspicious in his ears, he had orders to secure an old and young person resembling our description. This again moved the outlaw’s risibility. “As man lives by bread,” he said, “the buzzards have mista’en my friend the Baillie for his Excellency, and you for Diana Vernon—O the most egregious night-owls!” “Miss Vernon?” said I, with hesitation, and trembling for the answer—“Does she still bear that name?—She passed but now, along with a gentleman who seemed to use a style of authority.” “Ay, ay!” answered Rob, “she’s under lawfu’ authority now, and full time, for she was a daft hempie—But she’s a mettled quean.—It’s a pity his Excellency is a thought eldern. The like o’ yoursell, or my son Hamish, wad be mair sortable in point of years.” Here then was a complete downfall of those castles of cards which my fancy had, in despite of my reason, so often amused herself with building. Although in truth I had scarce any thing else to expect, since I could not suppose that Diana would be travelling in such a country, or at such an hour, with any one but he who had a legal title to protect her, I did not feel the blow less severely when it came, and MacGregor’s voice, urging me to pursue my narrative, sounded in my ears without conveying any exact import to my mind. “You are ill,” he said, at length, after he had spoken twice without receiving an answer; “this day’s wark has been ower mickle for ane doubtless unused to sic things.” The tone of kindness in which this was spoken recalling me to myself, and to the necessities of my situation, I continued my narrative

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as well as I could.—Rob Roy expressed great exultation at the successful skirmish in the pass. “They say,” he observed, “that king’s chaff is better than other folk’s corn, but I think that canna be said o’ king’s soldiers, if they let themselves be beaten wi’ a wheen auld carles that are past fighting, and bairns that are no come till’t, and wives wi’ their rocks and distaffs, the very wally-dragles o’ the countryside—And Dougal Gregor, too, wha wad hae thought there had been sae mickle sense in his tatty pow, that ne’er had a better covering than his ain shagged hassock o’ hair— But say awa—though I dread what’s to cum neist, for my Helen’s an incarnate devil when her bluid’s up—puir thing, she has ower mickle reason.” I observed as much delicacy as I could in communicating to him the usage we had received, but I obviously saw the detail gave him great pain. “I wad rather than a thousand merk,” he said, “that I had been at hame—to misguide strangers, and forbye a’, my ain natural cousin that had shewed me sic kindness—I wad rather they had burned half the Lennox in their folly—but this comes o’ trusting women and bairns, that have neither measure nor reason in their dealings—however, it’s a’ owing to that dog of a gauger, wha betrayed me by pretending a message from your cousin Rashleigh, to meet him on the king’s affairs, whilk I thought was very like to be anent Garschattachin and a part of the Lennox militia declaring themselves for King James. Faith, but I kenn’d I was clean beguiled when I heard the Duke was there, and when they strapped the horse-girth ower my arms, I might hae judged what was biding me, for I kenned your kinsman, being, wi’ pardon, a slippery loon himsell, is prone to employ those of his ain kidney—I wuss he mayna hae been at the bottom o’ the ploy himsell— I thought the chield Morris looked devilish queer when I determined he should remain a wad, or hostage, for my safe back-coming—But I am come back, nae thanks to him or them that employed him, and the question is, how the collector-loon is to win back himsell—I promise him it will not be without ransom.” “Morris,” said I, “has already paid the last ransom which mortal man can owe.” “Eh! What?” exclaimed my companion hastily, “I trust it was in the skirmish he was killed.” “He was slain in cold blood, after the fight was over, Mr Campbell.” “Cold blood?—damnation!” said he, muttering betwixt his teeth— “how fell that, sir?—Speak out, sir—and do not Master or Campbell me—my foot is on my native heath, and my name is MacGregor.” His passions were obviously irritated, but, without noticing the

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rudeness of his tone, I gave him a short and distinct account of the death of Morris. He struck the butt of his gun with great vehemence against the ground, and broke out, “I vow to God such a deed might make one forswear kin, clan, country, wife, and bairns—and yet the villain wrought long for it—and what is the difference between warstling below the water wi’ a stane about your neck, and wavering in the wind wi’ a tether round it?—it’s but choking after a’, and he drees the doom he ettled for me. I could ha’ wished, though, they had rather putten a ball through him, or a dirk, for the fashion of removing him will give rise to mony idle clavers—But every wight has his weird, and we maun a’ dee when our day comes—And naebody will deny that Helen MacGregor has deep wrangs to avenge.” So saying, he seemed to dismiss the theme altogether from his mind, and proceeded to enquire how I had got free from the party in whose hands he had seen me. My story was soon told, and I added the episode of my having recovered the papers of my father, though I dared not trust my voice to name the name of Diana. “I was sure ye wad get them,” said MacGregor; “the letter ye brought me contained his Excellency’s pleasure to that effect, and nae doubt it was my will to have aided in it. And I asked ye up into this country on the very errand. But it’s like his Excellency has forgathered wi’ Rashleigh suner than I expected.” The first part of this answer was what most forcibly struck me. “Was the letter I brought you, then, from this person whom you call his Excellency? Who is he? and what is his rank and proper name?” “I am thinking,” said MacGregor, “that since ye dinna ken them already, they canna be o’ mickle consequence to you, and sae I shall say naething on that score. But weel I wot the letter was frae his ain hand, or, having sic a sort of business of my ain on my hands, being, as you weel may see, just as much as I can fairly manage, I canna say I would hae fashed mysell sae mickle about the matter.” I now recollected the lights seen in the library—the various circumstances which had excited my jealousy—the glove—the agitation of the tapestry which covered the secret passage from Rashleigh’s apartment—and above all, I recollected that Diana retired, in order to write, as I then thought, the billet to which I was to have recourse in case of the last necessity. Her hours there were not spent in solitude, but in listening to the addresses of some desperate agent of jacobitical treason, who was a secret resident within the mansion of her uncle. Other young women have sold themselves for gold, or suffered themselves to be seduced from their first love from vanity, but Diana had sacrificed my affections and her own to partake the fortunes of some

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desperate adventurer—to seek the haunts of freebooters through midnight deserts, with no better hopes of rank or fortune than that mimicry of all which the mock court of the Stuarts at Saint Germains had in their power to bestow. “I will see her,” I said, “if it be possible, once more. I will argue with her as a friend—as a kinsman—on the risk she is incurring, and facilitate her retreat to France, where she may with more comfort and propriety, as well as safety, abide the issue of the turmoils which the political trepanner, to whom she has united her fate, is doubtless busied in putting into motion.” “I conclude then,” I said to MacGregor, after about five minutes silence on both sides, “that his Excellency, since you give me no other name for him, was residing in Osbaldistone Hall at the same time with myself?” “To be sure—to be sure—and in the young leddy’s apartment, as best reason was.” This gratuitous information was adding gall to bitterness. “But few,” added MacGregor, “kenn’d he was derned there save Rashleigh and Sir Hildebrand—for you were out o’ the question, and the young lads haena wit aneugh to ca’ the cat frae the cream—But it’s a bra’ auld-fashioned house; and what I specially admire, is the abundance o’ holes and bores and concealments—ye could pit twenty or thirty men in ae corner, and a family might live a week without finding them out—whilk, nae doubt, may on occasion be a special convenience. I wish we had the like o’ Osbaldistone Hall on the braes o’ Craig Roystan—But we maun gar woods and caves serve the like o’ us puir Hieland bodies.” “I suppose his Excellency,” said I, “was privy to the first accident which befel”—— I could not help hesitating a moment. “Ye ware going to say Morris,” said Rob Roy coolly, for he was too much accustomed to deeds of violence for the agitation he had first expressed to be of long continuance. “I used to laugh weel at that reik, but I’ll hardly hae the heart to do’t again, since that illfarr’d accident at the Loch—Na, na, his Excellency kenn’d nought o’ that ploy—it was a’ managed atween Rashleigh and mysel—but the sport that came after—and Rashleigh’s shift o’ turning the suspicion aff himsel upon you, that he had nae grit favour to frae the beginning—and than Miss Die, she maun hae us sweep up a’ our spiders webs again, and set you out o’ the Justice’s claws—and than the frightened craven, Morris, that was scared out o’ his seven senses by seeing the real man when he was charging the untrue—and the gowk of a clerk—and the drunken carle of a Justice—Ohon! ohon! —mony a laugh that job’s gi’en me—and now, a’ that I can do for

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the puir devil is to get some messes said for his soul.” “May I ask,” said I, “how Miss Vernon came to have so much influence over Rashleigh and his accomplices as to derange your projected plan?” “Mine? it was none of mine—no man can say I ever laid my burthen on other folk’s shoulders—it was a’ Rashleigh’s doing— But, undoubtedly, she had great influence wi’ us baith on account of his Excellency’s affection, as weel as that she kenn’d far ower mony secrets to be lightlied in a matter o’ that kind.—Deil tak them,” he ejaculated, by way of summing up, “that gi’es women either secret to keep or power till abuse—fules shouldna hae chapping sticks.” We were now within a quarter of a mile of the village, when three Highlanders, springing upon us with presented arms, commanded us to stand and tell our business. The single word Gregaragh, in the deep and commanding voice of my companion, was answered by a shout, or rather yell, of joyful recognition. One, throwing down his firelock, clasped his leader so fast round the knees, that he was unable to extricate himself, muttering, at the same time, a torrent of Gaelic gratulation, which every now and then rose into a sort of scream of gladness. The two others, after the first yell of recognition, set off literally with the speed of deers, contending which should first carry to the village, which a strong party of the MacGregors now occupied, the joyful news of Rob Roy’s escape and return. The intelligence excited such shouts of jubilation that the very hills rung again, and young and old, men, women, and children, without distinction of sex or age, came running down the vale to meet us, with all the tumultuous speed and clamour of a mountain torrent. When I heard the rushing noise and yells of this joyful multitude approach us, I thought it a fitting precaution to remind MacGregor that I was a stranger, and under his protection. He accordingly held me fast by the hand, while the assemblage crowded around him with such shouts of devoted attachment and joy at his return, as were really affecting; nor did he extend to his followers what all eagerly sought, the grasp, namely, of his hands, until he had made them understand that I was to be kindly and carefully used. The mandate of the Sultan of Delhi could not have been more promptly obeyed. Indeed, I now sustained nearly as much inconvenience from their well-meant attentions as formerly from their rudeness. They would hardly allow the friend of their leader to walk upon his own legs, so earnest were they in affording me support and assistance upon the way, and, at length, taking advantage of a slight stumble which I made over a stone, which the press did not permit me to avoid,

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they fairly seized upon me, and bore me in their arms in triumph towards Mrs MacAlpine’s. On arrival before her hospitable wigwam, I found power and popularity had its inconveniencies in the Highlands, as everywhere else; for, before MacGregor could be permitted to enter the house where he was to obtain rest and refreshment, he was obliged to tell the story of his escape at least a dozen times over, as I was informed by an officious old man, who chose to translate it at least as often for my edification, and to whom I was in policy obliged to seem to pay a decent degree of attention. The audience being at length satisfied, group after group departed to take their bed upon the heath, or in the neighbouring huts, some cursing the Duke and Garschattachin, some lamenting the misfortune of Ewan of Brigglands, incurred by his friendship to MacGregor, but all agreeing that the escape of Rob Roy himself lost nothing in comparison with the exploit of any one of their chiefs since the days of Dougal-Ciar, the founder of his line. The friendly outlaw, now taking me by the arm, conducted me into the interior of the hut. My eyes roved round its smoky recesses in quest of Diana and her companion, but they were no where to be seen, and I felt as if to make enquiries might betray some secret motives, which were best concealed. The only known countenance upon which my eyes rested, was that of the Baillie, who, seated on a stool by the fire-side, received, with a sort of reserved dignity, the welcomes of Rob Roy, the apologies which he made for his indifferent accommodation, and his enquiries after his health. “I am pretty weel, kinsman,” said the Baillie, “indifferent weel, I thank ye, and for accommodations, ane canna expect to carry about the Saut-Market o’ Glasgow at his tail, as a snail does his caup—And I am blythe that ye hae gotten out o’ the hands o’ your unfreends.” “Weel, weel then,” answered Roy, “what is’t ails ye, man?—a’s weel that ends weel!—the warld will last our day—come, take a cup o’ brandy—your father the deacon could tak ane at an orra time.” “It might be he might do sae, Robin, after fatigue—Whilk has been my lot mair ways nor ane this day. But,” he continued, slowly filling up a little wooden stoup which might hold about three glasses, “he was a moderate man of his bicker, as I am mysel—Here’s wussing health to ye, Robin, and your weelfare here and hereafter, and also to my cousin Helen, and to your twa hopefu’ lads, of whom mair anon.” So saying, he drunk up the contents of the cup with great gravity and deliberation, while MacGregor winked aside to me, as if in ridicule of the air of wisdom and superior authority which the Baillie assumed towards him in their intercourse, and which he exercised when Rob was at the head of his armed clan, in full as great, or a

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greater degree, than when he was at the Baillie’s mercy in the Tolbooth of Glasgow. It seemed to me, that MacGregor wished me, as a stranger, to understand, that if he submitted to the tone which his kinsman assumed, it was partly out of deference to the rights of hospitality, but still more for the jest’s sake. As the Baillie set his cup down he recognized me, and giving me a cordial welcome on my return, he waived farther communication with me for the present. “I will speak to your matters anon. I maun begin, as in reason, wi’ those of my kinsman.—I presume, Robin, there’s naebody here that will carry ought o’ what I am ganging to say to the town council or elsewhere, to my prejudice or to yours.” “Make yourself easy on that head, cousin Nicol,” answered MacGregor; “the ae half o’ them winna ken what ye say, and the tother winna care—mair by token I wad stow the tongue out o’ the head o’ ony o’ them that suld presume to say ower again ony speech held wi’ me in their presence.” “Aweel, cousin—sic being the case, and Mr Osbaldistone here being a prudent youth, and a safe friend—I’se plainly tell ye, ye are breeding up your family to gang an ill gate.”—Then clearing his voice with a preliminary hem, he addressed his kinsman, checking, as Malvolio proposed to do when seated in his state, his familiar smile with an austere regard of controul.—“Ye ken yoursel ye haud light by the law —and for my cousin Helen, forbye that her reception o’ me this blessed day, whilk I excuse on account of perturbation of mind, was mickle on the north side o’ friendly, I hae (out-putting this personal reason of complaint,) I hae that to say o’ your wife”—— “Say nothing of her, kinsman,” said Rob, in a grave and stern tone, “but what is befitting her friend to say, and her husband to hear. Of me you are welcome to say your full pleasure.” “Aweel, aweel,” said the Baillie, something disconcerted, “we’se let that be a pass-over—I dinna approve of making mischief in families— But here are your twa sons—Hamish and Robin, whilk signifies, as I am gi’en to understand, James and Robert—I trust ye will call them sae in future—there comes nae gude o’ Hamishes, and Eachines, and Angusses, except that they’re the names ane aye chances to see in the indictments at the western circuits for cow-lifting, at the instance of his majesty’s advocate for his majesty’s interest—Aweel, but the twa lads, as I was saying, they haena sae muckle as the ordinar grunds, man, of liberal education—they dinna ken the very multiplicationtable itsel, whilk is the root of a’ usefu’ knowledge, and they did nathing but laugh and fleer at me when I tauld them my mind on their ignorance—it’s my believe they can neither read, write, nor cypher, if

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sic a thing could be believed o’ ane’s ain connections in a Christian land.” “If they could, kinsman,” said MacGregor, with great indifference, “their learning must have come o’ free will, for whare the deil was I to get them a teacher?—wad ye hae had me put on the gate o’ your Divinity-Hall at Glasgow-College, ‘Wanted, a tutor for Rob Roy’s bairns’?” “Na, kinsman,” replied Mr Jarvie, “but ye might hae sent the lads whare they could hae learned the fear o’ God, and the usages of civileezed creatures—they are as ignorant as the kyloes ye used to drive to market, or the very Inglish churles that ye sauld them to, and can do naething whatever to purpose.” “Umph!” answered Rob; “Hamish can bring doun a black cock when he’s on the wing wi’ a single bullet, and Rob can drive a dirk through a twa-inch board.” “Sae mickle the waur for them, cousin! Sae mickle the waur for them baith!” answered the Glasgow merchant in a tone of great decision; “an they ken naething better than that, they had better no ken that neither. Tell me yoursell, Rob, what has a’ this cutting, and stabbing, and shooting dune for ye? and were na ye a happier man at the tail o’ your nout-bestial, when ye were in an honest calling, than ever ye hae been since, at the head o’ your Hieland kernes and gallyglasses?” I observed that MacGregor, while his well-meaning kinsman spoke to him in this manner, turned and writhed his body like a man who indeed suffers pain, but is determined no groan shall escape his lips, and I longed for an opportunity to interrupt the well-meant, but, as it was obvious to me, quite mistaken strain, in which Jarvie addressed this extraordinary person. The dialogue, however, came to an end without my interference. “And sae,” said the Baillie, “I hae been thinking, Rob, that as it may be ye are ower deep in the black book to win a pardon, and ower auld to mend yoursell, that it wad be a pity to bring up twa hopefu’ lads to sic a godless trade as your ain, and I wad blythely tak them for prentices at the loom, as I begun mysell and my father the deacon afore me, though, praise to the Giver, I only trade now as wholesale dealer— And—and”—— He saw a storm gathering on Rob’s brow, which probably induced him to throw in, as a sweetener of an obnoxious proposition, what he had reserved to crown his own generosity, had it been embraced as an acceptable one. “And Robin, lad, ye needna look sae glum, for I’ll pay the prentice-fee, and never plague ye for the thousand punds neither.” “Ceade millia diaoul, hundred thousand devils!” exclaimed Rob,

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rising and striding through the hut. “My sons weavers!—Millia molligheart! but I would see every loom in Glasgow, beam, treddles, and shuttles, burned in hell fire sooner!” With some difficulty I made the Baillie, who was preparing a reply, comprehend the risk and impropriety of pressing our host on this topic, and in a minute he recovered, or reassumed, his serenity of temper. “But you mean weel—you mean weel,” said he; “so gie me your hand, Nicol, and if ever I put my sons apprentice, I will gie you the refusal o’ them. And, as you say, there’s the thousand punds to be sattled between us. Here, Eachin MacAnaleister, bring me my sporran.” The person he addressed, a tall, strong mountaineer, who seemed to act as MacGregor’s lieutenant, brought from some place of safety a large leathern pouch, such as Highlanders of rank wear before them when in full dress, made of the skin of the sea otter, richly garnished with silver ornaments and studs. “I advise no man to attempt opening this sporran till he has my secret,” said Rob Roy, and then twisting one button in one direction, and another in another, pulling one stud upward, and pressing another downward, the mouth of the purse, which was bound with massive silver-plate, opened and gave admittance to his hand. He made me remark, as if to break short the subject on which Baillie Jarvie had spoken, that a small steel pistol was concealed within the purse, the trigger of which was connected with the mounting, and made part of the machinery, so that the weapon would certainly be discharged, and in all probability its contents lodged in the person of any one, who, being unacquainted with the secret, should tamper with the lock which secured his treasure. “This,” said he, touching the pistol— “this is the keeper of my privy purse.” The simplicity of the contrivance to secure a furred pouch, which could have been ripped open without any attempt on the spring, reminded me of the verses in the Odyssey, where Ulysses, in a yet ruder age, is content to secure his property by casting a curious and involved complication of cordage around the sea-chest in which it was deposited. The Baillie put on his spectacles to examine the mechanism, and when he had done, returned it with a smile, and a sigh, observing, “Ah! Rob, had ither folk’s purses been as weel guarded, I doubt if your sporran wad hae been as weel filled as it kythes to be by the weight.” “Never mind, kinsman,” said Rob, laughing, “it will aye open for a friend’s necessity, or to pay a just due—and here,” he added, pulling

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out a rouleau of gold, “here is your ten hundred punds—count them, and see that you are full and justly paid.” Mr Jarvie took the money in silence, and weighing it in his hand for an instant, laid it on the table, and replied, “Rob, I canna tak it—I downa intromit with it—there can nae gude come o’t—I hae seen ower weel the day what sort of a gate your gowd is made in—ill got gear ne’er prospered, and to be plain wi’ you, I winna meddle wi’t—it looks as there might be bluid on’t.” “Troutsho,” said the outlaw, affecting an indifference which, perhaps, he did not altogether feel, “it’s guid French gowd, and ne’er was in Scotchman’s pouch before mine—look at them, man—they are a’ louis d’ors, bright and bonnie as the day they were coined.” “The waur, the waur—just sae mickle the waur, Robin,” replied the Baillie, averting his eyes from the money, though, like Cæsar on the Lupercal, his fingers seemed to itch for it—“Rebellion is waur than witchcraft—or robbery either—there’s gospel warrant for it.” “Never mind the warrant, kinsman,” said the freebooter; “you come by the gowd honestly, and in payment of a just debt—if it came frae the one king, you may gie it to the other, if ye like, and it will just serve for a weakening of the enemy, and in the point where puir King James is weakest too, for, God knows, he has hands and hearts aneugh, but I doubt he wants the siller.” “He’ll no get mony Hielanders then, Robin,” said Mr Jarvie, as, again replacing his spectacles on his nose, he undid the rouleau, and began to count its contents. “Nor Lowlanders neither,” said MacGregor, arching his eyebrow; and, as he looked at me, directing a glance towards Mr Jarvie, who, all unconscious of the ridicule, weighed each piece with habitual scrupulosity; and having told twice over the sum, which amounted to the discharge of his debt, principal and interest, he returned three pieces to buy his kinswoman a gown, as he expressed himself, and a brace more for the two bairns, as he called them, requesting they might buy any thing they liked with them except gunpowder. The Highlander stared at his kinsman’s unexpected generosity, but courteously accepted his gift, which he deposited for the time in his well-secured pouch. The Baillie next produced the original bond for the debt, on the back of which he had written a formal discharge, which, having subscribed himself, he requested me to sign as a witness. I did so, and Baillie Jarvie was looking anxiously around for another, the Scotch law requiring the subscription of two witnesses to validate either a bond or acquittance. “You will hardly find a man that can write saving ourselves within these three miles,” said Rob, “but I’ll settle the matter as

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easily;” and, taking the paper from before his kinsman, he threw it in the fire. Baillie Jarvie stared in his turn, but his kinsman continued, “That’s a Hieland settlement of accounts—the time might come, cousin, were I to keep a’ these charges and discharges, that friends might be brought into trouble for having dealt with me.” The Baillie attempted no reply to this argument, and our supper now appeared in a style of abundance, and even delicacy, which, for the place, might be considered as extraordinary. The greater part of the provisions were cold, intimating they had been prepared at some distance, and there were some bottles of good French wine to relish pasties of various sorts of game, as well as other dishes. I remarked that MacGregor, while doing the honours of the table with great and anxious hospitality, prayed us to excuse the circumstance that some of the pastry had been infringed upon before it was presented to us. “Ye must know,” said he to Mr Jarvie, but without looking towards me, “you are not the only guests this even in the MacGregor’s country, whilk, doubtless, ye will believe, since my wife and the twa lads would otherwise have been maist ready to attend you, as weel beseems them.” Baillie Jarvie looked as if he felt glad at any circumstance which occasioned their absence, and I should have been entirely of his opinion, had it not been that the outlaw’s apology seemed to imply they were in attendance on Diana and her companion, whom even in my thoughts I could not bear to designate as her husband. While the unpleasant ideas arising from this suggestion counteracted the good effects of appetite, welcome, and good cheer, I remarked that Rob Roy’s attention had extended itself to providing us better bedding than we had enjoyed the night before. Two of the least fragile of the bedsteads, which stood by the wall of the hut, had been stuffed with heath, then in full flower, so artificially arranged, that the flowers being uppermost, afforded a matress at once elastic and fragrant. Our cloaks, and such bedding as could be collected, stretched over this vegetable couch, made it both soft and warm. As the Baillie seemed exhausted by fatigue, I resolved to adjourn my communication to him until next morning, and therefore suffered him to betake himself to bed so soon as he had finished a plentiful supper. Though tired and harrassed, I did not myself feel the same disposition to sleep, but rather a restless and feverish anxiety, which led to some farther discourse betwixt me and MacGregor.

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Chapter Nine A hopeless darkness settles o’er my fate: I’ve seen the last look of her heavenly eyes,— I’ve heard the last sound of her blessed voice,— I’ve seen her fair form from my sight depart: My doom is closed. Basil

“I       what to make of you, Mr Osbaldistone,” said MacGregor, as he pushed the flask towards me. “You eat not—you show no wish for rest; and yet you drink not, though that flask of Bourdeaux might have come out of Sir Hildebrand’s ain cellar. Had you been always as abstinent, you would have escaped the deadly hate of your cousin Rashleigh.” “Had I been always prudent,” said I, blushing at the scene he recalled to my recollection, “I should have escaped a worse evil—the reproach of my own conscience.” MacGregor cast a keen and somewhat fierce glance on me, as if to read whether the reproof which he evidently felt had been intentionally conveyed—he saw that I was thinking of myself, not of him, and turned his face towards the fire with a deep sigh. I followed his example, and each remained for a few minutes wrapt in his own painful reverie. All in the hut were now asleep, or at least silent, excepting ourselves. MacGregor first broke silence, in the tone of one who takes up his determination to enter on a painful subject. “My cousin Nicol Jarvie means well,” he said, “but he presses ower hard on the temper and situation of a man like me, considering what I have been, what I have been forced to become, and above all, that which has forced me to become what I am.” He paused; and, though feeling the delicate nature of the discussion in which the conversation was like to engage me, I could not help replying, that I did not doubt his present situation had much which must be most unpleasant to his feelings. “I should be happy to learn,” I added, “that there is an honourable chance of your escaping from it.” “You speak like a boy,” returned MacGregor, in a low tone that growled like distant thunder—“like a boy, who thinks the auld gnarled oak can be twisted as easily as the young sapling—can I forget that I have been branded as an outlaw,—stigmatized as a traitor,—a price set on my head as if I had been a wolf,—my family treated as the dam and cubs of the hill-fox, whom all may torment, vilify, degrade, and insult,—the very name which came to me from a long and noble line of

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martial ancestors, denounced, as if it were a spell to conjure up the devil with?” As he went on in this manner, I could plainly see, that, by the enumeration of his wrongs, he was lashing himself up into a rage, in order to justify in his own eyes the errors they had led him into. In this he perfectly succeeded, his light grey eyes contracting alternately and dilating their pupils, until they seemed actually to flash with flame, while he thrust forward and drew back his foot, grasped the hilt of his dirk, extended his arm, clenched his fist, and finally rose from his seat. “And they shall find,” he said, in the same muttered, but deep tone of stifled passion, “that the name they have dared to proscribe—that the name of MacGregor is a spell to raise the wild devil withal.—They shall hear of my vengeance, that would scorn to listen to the story of my wrongs—The miserable Highland drover, bankrupt, barefooted, stripped of all, dishonoured and hunted down, because the avarice of others grasped at more than that poor all could pay, shall burst on them in an awful change. They that scoffed at the grovelling worm, and trode upon him, may cry and howl when they see the stoop of the flying and fiery-mouthed dragon.—But why do I speak of all this?” he said, sitting down again, and in a calmer tone—“Only ye may opine it frets my patience, Mr Osbaldistone, to be hunted like an otter, or a sealgh, or a salmon upon the shallows, and that by my very friends and neighbours; and to have as many sword-cuts made, and pistols flashed at me, as I had this day in the ford of Avondow, would try a saint’s temper, much more a Highlander’s, who are not famous for that gude gift, as ye may hae heard, Mr Osbaldistone.—But ae thing bides wi’ me o’ what Nicol said—I am vexed for the bairns—I’m vexed when I think o’ Hamish and Robert living their father’s life.” And yielding to despondence on account of his sons, which he felt not upon his own, the father rested his head on his hand. I was much affected, Will.—All my life long I have been more melted by the distresses under which a strong, proud, and powerful mind is compelled to give way, than by the more easily excited sorrows of softer dispositions. The desire of aiding him rushed strongly on my mind, notwithstanding the apparent difficulty, and even impossibility of the task. “We have extensive connections abroad,” said I; “might not your sons, with some assistance—and they are well entitled to what my father’s house can give—find an honourable resource in foreign service?” I believe my countenance shewed signs of sincere emotion, but my companion, taking me by the hand, as I was going to speak farther, said, “I thank ye—I thank ye—but let us say nae mair o’ this. I did not

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think the eye of man would ever again have seen a tear on MacGregor’s eye-lash.” He dashed the moisture from the long grey lash and shaggy red eye-brow with the back of his hand. “To-morrow morning,” he said, “we’ll talk of this, and we will talk, too, of your affairs—for we are early starters in the dawn, even when we have the luck to have guid beds to sleep in. Will ye not pledge me in a grace cup?” I declined the invitation. “Then, by the soul of Saint Maronoch! I must pledge myself,” and he poured out and swallowed at least half a quart of wine. I laid myself down to repose, resolving to delay my own enquiries until his mind should be in a more composed state. Indeed, so much had this singular man possessed himself of my imagination, that I felt it impossible to avoid watching him for some minutes after I had flung myself on my heath mattress to seeming rest. He walked up and down the hut, crossed himself from time to time, muttering over some Latin prayer of the catholic church, then wrapped himself in his plaid, with his naked sword on one side, and his pistol on the other, so disposing the folds of his mantle, that he could start up on a moment’s warning, ready for instant combat. In a few minutes his heavy breathing announced that he was fast asleep. Overpowered by fatigue, and stunned by the various unexpected and extraordinary scenes of the day, I, in my turn, was soon overpowered by a slumber deep and overwhelming, from which, notwithstanding every cause for watchfulness, I did not awake until the next morning. When I opened my eyes, and recollected my situation, I found that MacGregor had already left the hut. I awakened the Baillie, who, after many a snort and groan, and heavy complaint of the soreness of his bones, in consequence of the unwonted exertions of the preceding day, was at length able to comprehend the joyful intelligence, that the assets carried off by Rashleigh Osbaldistone had been safely recovered. The instant he understood my meaning he forgot all his grievances, and bustling up in a great hurry, proceeded to compare the contents of the packet, which I put into his hands, with Mr Owen’s memorandum, muttering as he went, “Right, right—the real thing —Baillie and Whittington—where’s Baillie and Whittington—seven hundred, six, and eight—exact to a fraction—Pollock and Peelman— seventy-eight, seven, exact—Praise be blest!—Grub and Grinder— better men cannot be—three hundred and seventy—Gliblad—seventy, I doubt Gliblad’s ganging—Slipprytongue—Slipprytongue’s gaen—but they are sma sums—sma sums—the rest’s a’ right—praise be blest we have got the stuff, and may leave this doleful country. I shall never think on Lochhard but the thought will gar me grew again.”

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“I am sorry, cousin,” said MacGregor, who entered the hut during this last observation, “I have not been altogether in the circumstances to make your reception sic as I could have desired—natheless, if you would condescend to visit my puir dwelling”—— “Mickle obliged, mickle obliged,” answered Mr Jarvie, very hastily. “But we maun be ganging—we maun be jogging, Mr Osbaldistone and me—business canna wait.” “Aweel, kinsman,” replied the Highlander, “ye ken our fashion— foster the guest that comes—further him that maun gang—but ye canna return by Drymen. I must set ye on the Loch, and boat ye down to the Ferry o’ Balloch, and send your naigs round to meet ye there— it’s a maxim of a wise man never to return by the same road he came, providing another’s free to him.” “Ay, ay, Rob! that’s ane o’ the maxims ye learned when ye were a drover—ye caredna to face the tenants where your beasts had been taking a rug of their moorland grass in the bye ganging—and I doubt your road’s waur marked now than it was than.” “The mair need not to travel it ower often, kinsman,” replied Rob; “but I’se send round your nags to the ferry wi’ Dougal, wha is converted for that purpose into the Baillie’s man, coming—not from Aberfoil or Rob Roy’s country, but on a quiet jaunt from Stirling.— See, here he is.” “I wadna hae kenn’d the creature,” said Mr Jarvie; nor indeed was it easy to recognize the wild Highlander when he appeared before the door of the cottage, attired in a hat, periwig, and riding-coat, which had once called Andrew Fairservice master, and mounted on the Baillie’s horse, and leading mine. He received his last orders from his master to avoid certain places, where he might be exposed to suspicion —to collect what intelligence he could in the course of his journey, and to await our coming at an appointed place, near the ferry of Balloch. At the same time, MacGregor invited us to accompany him upon our own route, assuring us that we must necessarily march a few miles before breakfast, and recommending a dram of brandy as a proper introduction to the journey, in which he was pledged by the Baillie, who pronounced it “an unlawful and perilous habit to begin the day wi’ spirituous liquors, except to defend the stomach (whilk was a tender part,) against the morning mist; in whilk case his father the deacon had recommended a dram, by precept and example.” “Very true, kinsman,” replied Rob, “for which reason we, who are slìochd nan ceathach, that is Children of the Mist, have a right to drink brandy from morning till night.” The Baillie, thus refreshed, was mounted on a small Highland

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poney—another was offered for my use, which, however, I declined, and we resumed, under very different guidance and auspices, our journey of the preceding day. Our escort consisted of MacGregor, and five or six of the handsomest, best armed, and most athletic mountaineers of his band, and whom he had generally in immediate attendance upon his own person. When we approached the pass, the scene of the skirmish of the preceding day, and of the still more direful deed which followed it, MacGregor hastened to speak, as it were, rather to what he knew must be necessarily passing in my mind, than to any thing I had said—he spoke, in short, to my thoughts, and not to my words. “You must think hardly of us, Mr Osbaldistone, and it is not natural that it should be otherwise. But remember, at least, we have not been unprovoked—we are a rude and an ignorant, and it may be a violent and passionate, but we are not a cruel people—the land might be at peace and in law for us, did they allow us to enjoy the blessings of peaceful law—But we have been a persecuted people.” “And persecution,” said the Baillie, “maketh wise men mad.” “What must it do then to men like us, living as our fathers did a thousand years since, and possessing scarce more lights than they did?—can we view their bluidy edicts against us—their hanging, heading, hounding, and hunting down an ancient and honourable name, as deserving better treatment than that which enemies give to enemies? Here I stand, have been in twenty frays, and never hurt man but when I was in het bluid, and yet they wad betray me and hang me up like a masterless dog, at the gate of ony great man that has an ill will at me.” I replied, “that the proscription of his name and family sounded in English ears as a very cruel and arbitrary law;” and having thus far soothed him, I resumed my proposition of obtaining military employment for himself, if he chose it, and his sons in foreign parts. MacGregor shook me very cordially by the hand, and detaining me, so as to permit Mr Jarvie to precede us, a manœuvre for which the narrowness of the road served as an excuse, he said to me, “You are a kind-hearted and an honourable youth, and understand, doubtless, that which is due to the feelings of a man of honour. But the heather that I have trod upon when living, must bloom ower me when I am dead—my heart would sink, and my arm would shrink and wither like fern in the frost, were I to lose sight of my native hills, nor has the world a sight that would console me for the loss of the rocks and muirs, wild as they are, that you see around us—And Helen—what could become of her, were I to leave her the subject of new insult and atrocity?—or how could she bear to be removed from these scenes,

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where the remembrance of her wrongs is aye sweetened by the recollection of her revenge?—I was once so hard put at by my Great Enemy, as I may well ca’ him, that I was forced e’en to gie way to the tide, and removed mysell and my people and family from our dwellings in our native land, and to withdraw for a time into MacCallummore’s country—and Helen made a lament on our departure, as weel as MacRimmon himsell could hae framed it—and so piteously sad and waesome, that our hearts amaist broke as we sate and listened to her— it was like the wailing of one that mourns for the mother that bore him —the tears came doun the rough faces of our gillies as they hearkened —and I wad not have the same touch of heartbreak again—no, not to have all the lands that ever were owned by MacGregor.”* “But your sons,” I said, “they are at the age when your countrymen have usually no objection to see the world.” “And I should be content,” he replied, “that they pushed their fortune in the French or Spanish service, as is the wont of Scottish cavaliers of honour, and last night your plan seemed feasible enough —But I hae seen his Excellency this morning before ye were up.” “Did he then quarter so near us?” said I, my bosom throbbing with anxiety. “Nearer than ye thought,” was the reply; “but he seemed rather in some shape to jealouse your speaking to the young leddy, and so you see”—— “There was no occasion for jealousy,” I answered, with some haughtiness; “I should not have intruded on his privacy.” “But ye maunna be offended, or look out from amang your curls there, like a wild-cat out of an ivy-tod, for ye are to understand that he wishes most sincere weel to ye, and has proved it. And it’s partly that whilk has set the heather on fire e’en now.” “Heather on fire?” said I. “I do not understand you.” “Why,” resumed MacGregor, “ye ken weel aneugh that women and gear are at the bottom of a’ the mischief in this warld—I hae been misdoubting your cousin Rashleigh since ever he saw that he wasna to get Die Vernon for his marrow, and I think he took grudge at his Excellency mainly on that account. But then came the splore about the surrendering your papers—and we hae now guid evidence, that, sae sune as he was compelled to yield them up, he rade post to Stirling, and tauld the government all, and mair than all, that was ganging doucely on amang us hill-folk; and, doubtless, that was the way that the country was laid to take his Excellency and the leddy, and to make sic an unexpected raid on me. And I hae as little doubt that the puir * This Lament is said still to be preserved, a circumstance which cannot fail to give authenticity to these memoirs.—E      .

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deevil Morris, whom he could gar believe ony thing, was egged on by him, and some o’ the Lowland gentry, to trepan me in the gate he did —But if Rashleigh Osbaldistone were baith the last and best of his name, and granting that he and I ever forgather again, the fiend go down my weasand with a bare blade at his belt, if we part before my durk and his best bluid are weel acquaint thegither.” He pronounced the last threat with an ominous frown, and the appropriate gesture of his hand upon his dagger. “I should almost rejoice in what has happened,” said I, “could I hope that Rashleigh’s treachery might prove the means of preventing the explosion of the rash and desperate intrigues, in which I have long suspected him to be a prime agent.” “Trow na ye that,” said Rob Roy; “traitor’s word never yet hurt honest cause. He was ower deep in our secrets, that’s true, and had it not been so, Stirling and Edinburgh Castles would have been baith in our hands by this time, or briefly hereafter, whilk is now scarce to be hoped for. But there are ower mony engaged, and far ower guid a cause to be gi’en up for the breath of a traitor’s tale; and that will be seen and heard of ere it be lang. And so, as I was about to say—the best of my thanks to you for your offer anent my sons, whilk last night I had some thoughts to have embraced in their behalf—but I see that this villain’s treason will convince our great folks that they maun instantly draw to a head, and make a blow for it, or be ta’en in their houses, coupled up like hounds, and driven up to Lundon like the honest noblemen and gentlemen in the year seventeen hundred and seven. Civil war is like a cockatrice; we have sitten hatching the egg that held it for ten years, and might hae sitten on for ten years mair, when in comes Rashleigh, and chips the shell, and out bangs the wonder amang us, and cries to fire and sword. Now in sic a matter I’ll hae need o’ a’ the hands I can mak; and, nae disparagement to the Kings of France and Spain, whom I wish very weel to, King James is as guid a man as ony o’ them, and has the best right to Hamish and Rob, being his natural-born subjects.” I easily comprehended that these words boded a general national convulsion, and, as it would have been alike useless and dangerous to have combatted the political opinions of my guide, at such a place and moment, I contented myself with regretting the promiscuous scene of confusion and distress likely to arise from any general exertion in favour of the exiled royal family. “Let it come, man—let it come,” answered MacGregor; “ye never saw dull weather clear without a shower, and if the world is turned upside down, why, honest men will have the better chance to cut bread out of it.”

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I again attempted to bring him back to the subject of Diana, but although on most occasions and subjects he used a freedom of speech which I had no great delight in listening to, yet upon that alone, which was most interesting to me, he kept a degree of scrupulous reserve, and contented himself with intimating, that he hoped “the leddy would be soon in a quieter country than this was like to be for one while.” I was obliged to be content with this answer, and to proceed in the hope that accident might, as on a former occasion, stand my friend, and allow me at least the sad gratification of bidding farewell to the object who had occupied such a share of my affections, so much beyond even what I had supposed, till I was about to be separated from her for ever. We pursued the margin of the lake for about six English miles, through a devious and beautifully variegated path, until we attained a sort of Highland farm, or assembly of hamlets, near the head of that fine sheet of water, called, if I mistake not, Lediart, or some such name. Here a numerous party of MacGregor’s men were stationed and waited to receive us. The taste, as well as the eloquence of tribes, in a savage, or, to speak more properly, in a rude state, is usually just, because it is unfettered by system and affectation, and of this I had an example in the choice these mountaineers had made of a place to receive their guests. It has been said that a British monarch would judge well to receive the embassy of a rival power in the cabin of a man-of-war, and a Highland leader acted with some propriety in chusing a situation where the natural objects of grandeur proper to his country might have the full effect on the minds of his guests. We ascended about two hundred yards from the shores of the lake, guided by a brawling brook, and left on the right hand four or five Highland huts, with patches of arable land around them, cut as it were out of the surrounding copsewood, and waving with crops of barley and oats. Above this limited space the hill became more steep, and on its edge we descried the glittering arms and waving drapery of about fifty of MacGregor’s followers. They were stationed by a spot, the recollection of which yet strikes me with admiration. The brook, hurling its waters downwards from the mountain, had in this spot encountered a barrier of rock, over which it had made its way by two distinct leaps. The first fall, across which a magnificent old oak, slanting out from the farther bank, partly extended itself as if to shroud the dashing stream of the cascade, might be about twelve foot high. The broken waters were received in a beautiful stone bason, almost as regular as if hewn by a sculptor, and after wheeling around its flinty margin, they made a second precipitous dash through a dark and narrow chasm, at least fifty foot in depth, and from thence, in a hurried, but comparatively a more gentle course, escaped to join the lake.

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With the natural taste which belongs to mountaineers, and especially to the Scottish Highlanders, whose feelings I have observed are often allied with the romantic and poetical, Rob Roy’s wife and followers had prepared our morning repast in a scene well calculated to impress strangers with some feelings of awe. They are also naturally a grave and proud people, and, however rude in our estimation, carry their ideas of form and politeness to an excess that would appear overstrained, except from the demonstration of superior force which accompanies the display of it, for it must be granted that the air of punctilious deference and rigid etiquette which would seem ridiculous in an ordinary peasant, has, like the salute of a corps-de-garde, a propriety when tendered by a Highlander completely armed. There was, accordingly, a good deal of formality in our approach and reception. The Highlanders who had been dispersed on the side of the hill drew themselves together when we came in view, and standing firm and motionless, appeared in close column behind three figures whom I soon recognized to be Helen MacGregor and her two sons. MacGregor himself arranged his attendants in the rear, and requesting Mr Jarvie to dismount where the ascent became steep, advanced slowly, marshalling us forward at the head of the troop. As we advanced, we heard the wild notes of the bagpipe, which lost their natural discord from being mingled with the dashing sound of the cascade. As we came close, the wife of MacGregor came forward to meet us: Her dress was studiously arranged in a more feminine taste than it had been on the preceding day, but her features wore the same lofty, unbending, and resolute character, and as she folded my friend, the Baillie, in an unexpected and apparently unwelcome embrace, I could perceive, by the agitation of his wig, his back, and the calves of his legs, that he felt much like to one who feels himself suddenly in the gripe of a she bear, without being able to distinguish whether the animal is in kindness or in wrath. “Kinsman,” she said, “you are welcome—and you too, stranger,” she added, releasing my alarmed companion, who instinctively drew back and settled his wig, and addressing me,—“You are also welcome—You came,” she added, “to our unhappy country, when our bloods were chafed, and our hands were red. Excuse the rudeness that gave you a rough welcome, and lay it upon the evil times, and not upon us.” All this was said with the manner of a princess, and in the tone and style of a court, nor was there the least tincture of that vulgarity, which we naturally attach to the Lowland Scottish. There was a strong provincial accentuation, but, otherwise, the language rendered by Helen MacGregor, out of the native and poetical Gaelic, into English, which she had acquired as we do learned tongues, but

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had probably never heard applied to the mean purposes of ordinary life, was graceful, flowing, and declamatory. Her husband, who had in his time played many parts, used a much less elevated and emphatic dialect. But even his language rose in purity of expression, as you may have remarked, if I have been accurate in recording it, when the affairs which he discussed were of an agitating and important nature; and it appeared to me in his case, and that of some other Highlanders whom I have known, that when familiar and facetious, they used the Lowland Scottish dialect,—when serious and impassioned, their thoughts arranged themselves in the idiom of their native language, and as they uttered the corresponding ideas in English, the expressions sounded wild, elevated, and poetical. In fact, the language of passion is almost always pure as well as vehement, and it is no uncommon thing to hear a Scotchman, when overwhelmed by a countryman with a tone of bitter and fluent upbraiding, reply by way of taunt to his adversary, “You have gotten to your English.” Be this as it may, the wife of MacGregor marshalled us to a refreshment spread out on the grass, which abounded with all the good things their mountains could offer, but was clouded by the dark and undisturbed gravity which sat on the brows of our hostess, as well as by our deep and anxious recollection of what had taken place on the preceding day. It was in vain that the leader exerted himself to excite mirth: a chill hung over our minds as if the feast had been funereal, and every bosom felt light when it was ended. “Adieu, cousin,” she said to Mr Jarvie, as we arose from the entertainment; “the best wish Helen MacGregor can give is that no friend may see see her more.” The Baillie struggled to answer, probably with some commonplace maxim of morality, but the calm and melancholy sternness of her countenance bore down and disconcerted the mechanical and formal importance of the magistrate—he coughed—hemmed—bowed—and was silent. “For you, stranger,” she said, “I have a token from one whom you”—— “Helen,” interrupted MacGregor, in a loud and stern voice, “what means this—have you forgotten the charge?” “MacGregor,” she replied, “I have forgotten nought that is fitting for me to remember. It is not such hands as these,” and she stretched forth her long, sinewy, and bare arm, “that are fitted to convey lovetokens, did they convey aught but misery. Young man,” she said, presenting me with a ring, which I well remembered as one of the few ornaments that Miss Vernon sometimes wore, “this comes from one whom you will never see more—if it is a joyless token, it is well fitted to pass through the hands of one to whom joy can never be known. Her

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last words were—Let him forget me for ever.” “And can she,” I said, almost without being conscious that I spoke, “suppose that is possible?” “All may be forgotten,” said the extraordinary female who addressed me,—“all but the sense of dishonour, and the desire of vengeance.” “Seid suas,”* cried the MacGregor, stamping with impatience. The bagpipes sounded, and, with their thrilling and jarring tones, cut short our conference. Our leave of our hostess was taken by silent gestures; and we resumed our journey, with an additional proof on my part, that I was beloved by Diana, and was separated from her for ever.

Chapter Ten Farewell to the land where the clouds love to rest, Like the shroud of the dead, on the mountain’s cold breast; To the cataract’s roar where the eagles reply, And the lake her lone bosom expands to the sky.

O   lay through a dreary, yet romantic country, which the distress of my own mind prevented me from remarking particularly, and which, therefore, I will not attempt to describe. The lofty peak of Ben Lomond, here the predominant monarch of the mountains, lay on our right hand, and served as a striking land-mark. I was not, however, awakened from my apathy, until, after a long and toilsome walk, we emerged through a pass in the hills, and Loch Lomond opened before us. I will spare you the attempt to describe what you will hardly comprehend without going to see it. But certainly this noble lake, boasting innumerable beautiful islands of every varying form and outline which fancy can form, its northern extremity narrowing until it is lost among dusky and retreating mountains, while, gradually widening as it extends to the southward, it spreads its base around the indentures and promontories of a fair and fertile land, affords one of the most surprising, beautiful, and sublime spectacles in nature. The eastern side, peculiarly rough and rugged, was at this time the chief seat of MacGregor and his clan, to curb whom a small garrison had been stationed in a central position called Inversnaid betwixt Loch Lomond and another lake. The extreme strength of the country, however, with the numerous passes, marshes, caverns, and other places of concealment or defence, made the establishment of this little fort seem rather an acknowledgment of the danger, than an effectual means of securing against it. * “Strike up.”

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Upon more than one occasion, as well as on that which I witnessed, the garrison suffered from the adventurous spirit of the outlaw and his followers. These advantages were never sullied by ferocity when he himself was in command, for, equally good-tempered and sagacious, he understood well the danger of incurring unnecessary odium. I understood with pleasure that he had caused the captives of the preceding day to be liberated in safety, and many traits of mercy, and even generosity, are recorded of this remarkable man on similar occasions. A boat waited for us in a creek beneath a huge rock, manned by four lusty Highland rowers, and our host took leave of us with great cordiality, and even affection. Betwixt him and Mr Jarvie, indeed, there seemed to exist a degree of mutual regard, which formed a strong contrast to their differing occupations and habits. After kissing each other very lovingly, and when they were just in the act of parting, the Baillie, in the fullness of his heart, and with a faultering voice, assured his kinsman, “that if ever an hundred pund, or even twa, would put him or his family in a settled way, he need but just send a line to the Saut-Market;” and Rob, grasping his basket-hilt with one hand, and shaking Mr Jarvie’s heartily with the other, protested, “that if ever ony body should affront his kinsman, an’ he would but let him ken, he would stow his lugs out of his head, were he the best man in Glasgow.” With these assurances of mutual aid and continued good-will, we bore away from the shore, and took our course for the south-western angle of the lake, where it gives birth to the river Leven. Rob Roy remained for some time standing on the rock from beneath which we had departed, conspicuous by his long gun, waving tartans, and the single plume in his cap, which in those days denoted the Highland gentleman and soldier, although I observe the present military taste has decorated the Highland bonnet with a quantity of black plumage, resembling that which is borne before funerals. At length, as the distance increased between us, we saw him turn and go slowly up the side of the hill, followed by his immediate attendants or body guard. We performed our voyage for a long time in silence, interrupted only by the Gaelic chaunt which one of the rowers sung in low irregular measure, rising occasionally into a wild chorus, in which the others joined. My own thoughts were sad enough; yet I felt something soothing in the magnificent scenery with which I was surrounded, and thought, in the enthusiasm of the moment, that had my faith been that of Rome, I could have consented to live and die a lonely hermit in one of the romantic and beautiful islands amongst which our boat glided. The Baillie had also his speculations, but they were of somewhat a different complexion, as I found when, after about an hour’s silence,

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during which he had been mentally engaged in the calculations necessary, he undertook to prove the possibility of draining the lake, and “giving to plough and harrow mony hundred, ay, mony a thousand of acres, from whilk no man could get earthly gude e’enow, unless it were a gedd or a dish of perch now and then.” Amidst a long discussion, which he “crammed into mine ear against the stomach of my sense,” I only remember, that it was part of his project to preserve a portion of the lake just deep enough and broad enough for the purposes of water-carriage, so that coal barges and gabbards should pass as easily between Dumbarton and Glenfalloch as between Glasgow and Greenock. At length we neared our destined place of landing, adjoining to the ruins of an ancient castle, and just where the lake discharges its superfluous waters into the Leven. Here we found Dougal with the horses. The Baillie had formed a plan with respect to “the creature,” as well as upon the draining of the Lake, and, perhaps in both cases, with more regard to the utility than to the practical possibility of his scheme. “Dougal,” he said, “ye are a kindly creature, and hae the sense and feeling o’ what is due to your betters—and I’m e’en wae for you, Dougal, for it canna be but that in the life ye lead you suld get a Jeddart cast ae day, suner or later. I trust, considering my services as a magistrate, and my father the deacon afore me, I hae interest aneugh in the council to gar them wink awee at a waur faut than yours. Sae I hae been thinking that if ye will gang back to Glasgow wi’ us, being a strong-backit creature, ye might be employed in the ware-house till something better suld cast up.” “Her nainsell’s muckle obliged till the Paillie’s honour,” replied Dougal; “but teil be in her shanks fan she gangs on a causeway’d street, unless she be drawn up the Gallowgate wi’ tows as she was before.” In fact, I afterwards learned that Dougal had originally come to Glasgow as a prisoner, from being concerned in some depredation, but had somehow found such favour in the eyes of the jailor, that, with rather over-weening confidence, he had retained him in his service as one of the turnkeys, a task which Dougal had discharged with sufficient fidelity, so far as was known, until overcome by his clannish prejudices on the unexpected appearance of his old leader. Astonished at receiving so round a refusal to so favourable an offer, the Baillie, turning to me, observed, that the “creature was a natural born ideot.” I testified my own gratitude in a way which Dougal much better relished, by slipping a couple of guineas into his hand. He no sooner felt the touch of the gold, than he sprung twice or thrice from the earth with the agility of a wild buck, flinging out first one heel and

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then another, in a manner which would have astonished a French dancing-master. He ran to the boatmen to shew them the prize, and a small gratuity made them take part in his raptures. He then, to use a favourite expression of the dramatic John Bunyan, “went on his way, and I saw him no more.” The Baillie and I mounted our horses, and proceeded upon the road to Glasgow. When we had lost the view of the lake, and its superb amphitheatre of mountains, I could not help expressing, with enthusiasm, my sense of its natural beauties, although I was conscious that Mr Jarvie was a very uncongenial spirit to communicate with on such a subject. “Ye are a young gentleman,” he replied, “and an Englishman, and a’ this may be very fine to you; but for me, who am a plain man, and ken something o’ the different values of land, I wad nae gie the finest sight we hae seen in the Hielands, for the first keek o’ the Gorbals o’ Glasgow; and if I were ance there, it suldna be every fule’s errand, begging your pardon, Mr Francis, that suld take me out o’ sight o’ Saint Mungo’s steeple again!” The honest man had his wish, for, by dint of travelling very late, we arrived at his own house that night, or rather on the succeeding morning. Having seen my worthy fellow-traveller safely consigned to the charge of the considerate and officious Mattie, I proceeded to Mrs Flyter’s, in whose house, even at this unwonted hour, light was still burning. The door was opened by no less a person than Andrew Fairservice himself, who, upon the first sound of my voice, set up a loud shout of joyful recognition, and, without uttering a syllable, ran up stairs towards a parlour on the second floor, from the windows of which the light proceeded. Justly conceiving that he went to announce my return to the anxious Owen, I followed him upon the foot. Owen was not alone—there was another in the apartment—it was my father. His first impulse was to preserve the dignity of his usual equanimity,—“Francis—I am glad to see you”—the next was to embrace me tenderly—“my dear—dear son.”—Owen secured one of my hands, and wetted it with his tears, while he joined in gratulating my return. These are scenes which address themselves to the eye and to the heart, rather than to the ear—my old eye-lids still moisten at the recollection of our meeting, but your kind and affectionate feelings can well image what I should find it impossible to describe. When the tumult of our joy was over, I learned that my father had arrived from Holland shortly after Owen had set off for Scotland. Determined and hasty in all his movements, he only stopped to provide the means of discharging the obligations incumbent on his house. By his extensive resources, with funds enlarged, and credit fortified, by

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eminent success in his continental speculations, he easily accomplished what perhaps his absence alone rendered difficult, and set out for Scotland to exact justice from Rashleigh Osbaldistone, as well as to put order to his affairs in that country. My father’s arrival in full credit, and with the ample means of supporting his engagements honourably, as well as benefitting his correspondents in future, was a stunning blow to MacVittie and Company, who had conceived his star set for ever. Highly incensed at the usage his confidential clerk and agent had received at their hands, Mr Osbaldistone refused every tender of apology and accommodation; and, having settled the balance of their accompt, announced to them, that with all its numerous contingent advantages, that leaf of their ledger was closed for ever. While he enjoyed this triumph over false friends, he was not a little alarmed on my account. Owen, good man, had not supposed it possible that a journey of fifty or sixty miles, which may be made with so much ease and safety in any direction from London, could be attended with any particular danger. But he caught alarm, by sympathy, from my father, to whom the country, and the lawless character of its inhabitants, were better known. Their apprehensions were raised to agony, when, a few hours before I arrived, Andrew Fairservice made his appearance, with a dismal and exaggerated account of the uncertain state in which he had left me. The nobleman with whose troops he had been a sort of prisoner, had, after examination, not only dismissed him, but furnished him with the means of returning rapidly to Glasgow, in order to announce to my friends my precarious and unpleasant situation. Andrew was one of those persons who have no objection to the sort of temporary attention and woeful importance which attaches itself to the bearer of bad tidings, and had therefore by no means smoothed down his tale in the telling, especially as the rich London merchant himself proved unexpectedly one of the auditors. He went at great length into an account of the dangers I had escaped, chiefly, as he insinuated, by means of his own experience, exertion, and sagacity. “What was to come of me now, when my better angel, in his (Andrew’s) person, was removed from my side, it was,” he said, “sad and sair to conjecture, but the Baillie was nae better than just naebody at a pinch, or something waur, for he was a conceited body, and Andrew hated conceit—but certainly atween the pistols and carabines of the troopers that rappit aff the tane after the tother as fast as hail, and the dirks and claymores o’ the Hielanders, and the deep waters and weils o’ the Avon-dow, it was to be thought there wad be a puir account of the young gentleman.” This statement would have driven Owen to despair, had he been

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alone and unsupported, but my father’s perfect knowledge of mankind enabled him easily to appreciate the character of Andrew, and the real amount of his intelligence. Stripped of all exaggeration, however, it was alarming enough to a parent. He determined to set out in person to obtain my liberty, by ransom or negociation, and was busied with Owen till a late hour, in order to get through some necessary correspondence, and devolve on the latter some business which should be transacted during his absence, and thus it chanced that I found them watchers. It was late ere we separated to our rest, and, too impatient long to endure repose, I was stirring early the next morning. Andrew gave his attendance at my levee, as in duty bound, and, instead of the scarecrow figure to which he had been reduced at Aberfoil, now appeared in the attire of an undertaker, a goodly suit, namely, of the deepest mourning. It was not till after one or two queries, which the rascal affected as long as he could to misunderstand, that I found out he “had thought it but decent to put on mourning, on account of my inexpressible loss; and as the broker at whose shop he had equipped himself, declined to receive the goods again, and as his own garments had been destroyed or carried off in my honour’s service, doubtless I and my honourable father, whom Providence had blessed wi’ the means, wadna suffer a puir lad to sit down wi’ the loss; a stand o’ claithes was nae great matter to an Osbaldistone (be praised for’t!) especially to an auld and attached servant o’ the house.” As there was something of justice in Andrew’s plea of loss in my service, his finesse succeeded, and he came by a good suit of mourning, with a beaver and all things conforming, as the exterior signs of woe for a master who was alive and merry. My father’s first care, when he arose, was to visit Mr Jarvie, for whose kindness he entertained the most grateful sentiments, which he expressed in very few but manly and nervous terms. He explained the altered state of his affairs, and offered the Baillie, on such terms as could not but be both advantageous and acceptable, that part in his concerns which had been hitherto managed by MacVittie and Company. The Baillie heartily congratulated my father and Owen on the changed posture of their affairs, and, without affecting to disclaim that he had done his best to serve them, when matters looked otherwise, he said, “He had only just acted as he wad be dune by—that, as to the extension of their correspondence, he frankly accepted it with thanks. Had MacVittie’s folk behaved like honest men,” he said, “he wad hae liked ill to come in ahint them, and out afore them, this gate. But it’s otherwise, and they maun e’en stand the loss.” The Baillie then pulled me by the sleeve into a corner, and after

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again cordially wishing me joy, proceeded in rather an embarrassed tone. “I wad heartily wish, Maister Francis, there suld be as little said as possible about the queer things we saw up yonder awa—There’s nae gude, unless that ane were judicially examinate, to say ony thing about that awfu’ job o’ Morris—And the members o’ the council wadna think it creditable in ane o’ their body till be fighting wi’ a wheen Hielandmen, and singeing their plaidens—And abune a’, though I am a decent sponsible man, when I am on my right end, I canna but think I maun hae made a queer figure without my hat and my periwig, hinging up by the middle like baudrons, or a cloak flung ower a cloak-pin. Baillie Grahame wad hae an unco hair in my neck an’ he got that tale be the end.” I could not suppress a smile when I recollected the Baillie’s situation, although I certainly thought it no laughing matter at the time. The good-natured merchant was a little confused, but smiled also while he shook his head. “I see how it is—I see how it is. But say naething about it, there’s a gude callant—and charge that langtongued, conceitit, upsetting, man o’ yours, to say naething neither. I wadna for ever sae muckle that even the lassock Mattie kenn’d ony thing about it. I wad never hear an end o’t.” He was obviously relieved from his impending fears of ridicule, when I told him it was my father’s intention to leave Glasgow almost immediately. Indeed he had now no motive for remaining, since the most valuable part of the papers carried off by Rashleigh had been recovered. For that portion which he had converted into cash and expended in his own or on political intrigue, there was no mode of recovering it but by a suit at law, which was forthwith commenced, and proceeded, as our law-agents assured us, with all deliberate speed. We spent, accordingly, one hospitable day with the Baillie, and took leave of him, as this narrative now does. He continued to grow in wealth, honour, and credit, and actually rose to the highest civic honours in his native city. About two years after the period I have mentioned, he tired of his bachelor life, and promoted Mattie from her wheel by the kitchen fire, to the upper end of his table, in the character of Mrs Jarvie. Baillie Grahame, the MacVitties, and others, (for all men have their enemies, especially in the council of a royal burgh,) ridiculed this transformation. “But,” said Mr Jarvie, “let them say their say. I’ll ne’er fash mysell, nor lose my liking for sae feckless a matter as a nine days’ clash. My honest father the deacon had a byeword,

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Brent brow and lily skin, A loving heart, and a leal within, Is better than gowd or gentle kin.

Besides,” as he always concluded, “Mattie was nae ordinary lassockquean; she was akin to the Laird o’ Limmerfield.” Whether it was owing to her descent or her good gifts, I do not presume to decide, but Mattie behaved excellently in her exaltation, and relieved the apprehensions of some of the Baillie’s friends, who had deemed his experiment somewhat hazardous. I do not know that there was any other incident of his quiet and useful life worthy of being particularly recorded.

Chapter Eleven “Come ye hither, my ‘six’ good sons, Gallant men I trowe ye be, How many of you, my children dear, Will stand by that good Earl and me?” ‘Five’ of them did answer make— ‘Five’ of them spoke hastilie, “O father, till the day we die, We’ll stand by that good Earl and thee.” The Rising in the North

U    when we were to depart from Glasgow, Andrew Fairservice bounced into my apartment like a madman, jumping up and down, and singing, with more vehemence than tune, “The kiln’s on fire—the kiln’s on fire— The kiln’s on fire—she’s a’ in a lowe.”

With some difficulty I prevailed on him to cease his confounded clamour, and explain to me what the matter was. He was pleased to inform me, as if he had been bringing the finest news imaginable, “that the Hielands were clean broken out every man o’ them, and that Rob Roy, and a’ his breekless bands, wad be down upon Glasgow, or twenty-four hours o’ the clock gaed round.” “Hold your peace,” said I, “you scoundrel! you must be drunk or mad—and if there is any truth in your news, is it a singing matter, you blockhead” “Drunk or mad?—nae doubt,” replied Andrew, dauntlessly; “ane’s ay drunk or mad if he tells what grit folks dinna like to hear—sing— odd, the clans will make us sing on the wrang side o’ our mouth, if we are sae drunk or mad as to bide their coming.” I rose in great haste, and I found my father and Owen also on foot, and in considerable alarm.

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Andrew’s news proved but too true in the main. The great rebellion which agitated Britain in the year 1715 had already broken out, by the unfortunate Earl of Marr’s setting up the standard of the Stuart family in an ill-omened hour, to the ruin of many honourable families, both in England and Scotland. The treachery of some of the jacobite agents, (Rashleigh amongst the rest,) and the apprehension of others, had made George the First’s government acquainted with the extensive ramifications of a conspiracy long prepared, and which at last exploded prematurely, and in a part of the kingdom too distant to have any vital effect upon the country, which, however, was plunged into great confusion. This great public event served to confirm and elucidate the obscure explanations I had received from MacGregor, and I could easily see why the western clans, who were brought against him, should have waived their private quarrel, in consideration that they were all shortly to be engaged in the same public cause. It was a more melancholy reflection to my mind, that Diana Vernon was the wife of one of those who were most active in turning the world upside down, and that she was herself exposed to all the privations and perils of her husband’s hazardous trade. We held an immediate consultation on the measures we were to adopt in this crisis, and acquiesced in my father’s plan, that we should instantly get the necessary passports, and make the best of our way to London. I acquainted my father with my wish to offer my personal service to the government in any of the volunteer corps, of which several were already spoken of. He readily acquiesced in my proposal, for, though he disliked war as a profession upon principle, no man would have exposed his life more willingly in defence of civil and religious liberty. We travelled in haste and in peril through Dumfries-shire and the neighbouring counties of England. In this quarter, gentlemen of the Tory interest were already in motion mustering men and horses, while the Whigs assembled themselves in the principal towns, armed the inhabitants, and prepared for civil war. We narrowly escaped being stopped upon more occasions than one, and were often compelled to take circuitous routes to avoid the points where forces were assembling. When we reached London, we immediately associated with those bankers and eminent merchants who agreed to support the credit of government, and to meet that run upon the Funds, on which the conspirators had greatly founded their hope of furthering their undertaking, by rendering the government, as it were, bankrupt. My father was chosen one of the managers of this formidable body of the monied

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interest, as all had the greatest confidence in his zeal, skill, and activity. He was also the organ by which they communicated with government, and contrived, from funds belonging to his own house, or over which he had command, to find purchasers for a quantity of the national stock, which was suddenly flung into the market at a depreciated price when the rebellion broke out. I was not idle myself, but obtained a commission, and levied, at my father’s expence, about two hundred men, with whom I joined General Carpenter’s army. The rebellion, in the mean time, had extended itself to England. The unfortunate Earl of Derwentwater had taken arms in the cause, along with General Forster. My poor uncle, Sir Hildebrand, whose estate was reduced to almost nothing by his own carelessness and the expence and debauchery of his sons and household, was easily persuaded to join that unfortunate standard. Before doing so, however, he exhibited a degree of precaution of which no one could have suspected him—he made his will! By this document he devised his estates of Osbaldistone Hall, and so forth, to his sons successively, and their male heirs, until he came to Rashleigh, whom, on account of the turn he had lately taken in politics, he detested with all his might,—he cut him off with a shilling, and settled the estate on me, as his next heir. I had always been rather a favourite of the old gentleman; but it is probable that, confident in the number of gigantic youths who now armed around him, he considered the destination as likely to remain a dead letter, which he inserted chiefly to show his displeasure at Rashleigh’s treachery, both public and domestic. There was an article, by which he bequeathed to the niece of his late wife, Diana Vernon, now Lady Diana Vernon Beauchamp, some diamonds belonging to her late aunt, and a great silver ewer, having the arms of Vernon and Osbaldistone quarterly engraved upon it. But Heaven had decreed a more speedy extinction of his numerous and healthy lineage than he himself had most probably reckoned on. In the very first muster of the conspirators at a place called GreenRigg, Thorncliffe Osbaldistone quarrelled about precedence with a gentleman of the Northumbrian border, to the full as fierce and intractable as himself. In spite of all remonstrances, they gave their commander a specimen of how far their discipline might be relied upon, by fighting it out with their rapiers, when my kinsman was killed on the spot. His death was a great loss to Sir Hildebrand, for, notwithstanding his infernal temper, he had a grain or two of more sense than belonged to the rest of the brotherhood, Rashleigh always excepted. Perceval, the sot, also died in his calling. He had a wager with another gentleman, who, from his exploits in that line, had acquired

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the formidable epithet of Brandy Swalewell, which should drink the largest cup of strong liquor when King James was proclaimed by the insurgents at Morpeth. The exploit was something enormous. I forget the exact quantity of brandy which Percie swallowed, but it occasioned a fever, of which he expired at the end of three days, with the word, water, water, perpetually on his tongue. Dickon broke his neck near Warrington Bridge, in an attempt to show off a foundered blood-mare, which he wished to palm upon a Manchester merchant who had joined the insurgents. He pushed the animal at a five-barred gate, she fell in the leap, and the unfortunate jockey lost his life. Wilfred the fool, as sometimes befalls, had the best fortune of the family. He was slain at Proud Preston, in Lancashire, on the day that General Carpenter attacked the barricades, fighting with great bravery, though I have heard he was never able exactly to comprehend the cause of quarrel, and did not uniformly remember on which king’s side he was engaged. John also behaved very boldly in the same engagement, and received several wounds, of which he was not happy enough to die on the spot. Old Sir Hildebrand, entirely broken-hearted by these successive losses, became, by the next day’s surrender, one of the unhappy prisoners, and was lodged in Newgate with his wounded son John. I was now released from my military duty, and lost no time therefore in endeavouring to relieve the distresses of these near relations. My father’s interest with government, and the general compassion excited by a parent who had sustained the successive loss of so many sons within so short a time, would have prevented my uncle and cousin from being brought to trial for high treason, but their doom was given forth from a greater tribunal. John died of his wounds in Newgate, recommending to me, with his last breath, a cast of hawks which he had at the Hall, and a black spaniel bitch, called Lucy. My poor uncle seemed beaten down to the very earth by his family calamities, and the circumstances in which he unexpectedly found himself. He said little, but seemed grateful for such attentions as circumstances permitted me to show him. I did not witness his meeting with my father for the first time for so many years, and under circumstances so melancholy, but judging from my father’s extreme depression of spirits, it must have been melancholy in the last degree. Sir Hildebrand spoke with great bitterness against Rashleigh, now his only surviving child—laid upon him the ruin of his house, and the deaths of all his brethren—and declared, that neither he nor they would have plunged into political intrigue, but for that very member of his family who had been the first to desert them. He once or twice

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mentioned Diana, always with great affection, and once he said, while I sate by his bedside—“Nevoy, since Thorncliffe and all of them are dead, I am sorry you cannot have her.” The expression affected me much at the time, for it was a usual expression of the poor old Baronet’s, when joyously setting forth upon the morning’s chase, to distinguish Thorncliffe, who was a favourite, while he summoned the rest more generally; and the loud jolly tone in which he used to hollo, “Call Thornie—call all of them,” contrasted sadly with the woe-begone and self-abandoning tone in which he uttered the disconsolate words which I have above quoted. He mentioned the contents of his will, and supplied me with an authenticated copy—the original he had deposited with my old acquaintance Mr Justice Inglewood, who, dreaded by no one, and confided in by all as a kind of neutral person, had become, for aught I know, the depositary of half the wills of those of both sides in the county of Northumberland. The greater part of my uncle’s last hours were spent in the discharge of the religious duties of his church, in which he was directed by the chaplain of the Sardinian ambassador, for whom, with some difficulty, we obtained permission to visit him. I could not ascertain by my own observation, or through the medical attendance with which he was supplied, that Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone died of any formed complaint bearing a name in the science of medicine. He seemed to me completely worn out and broken down by fatigue of body and distress of mind, and rather ceased to exist than died with any positive struggle, just as a vessel, buffetted and tossed by a succession of tempestuous gales, her timbers overstrained, and her joints loosened, will sometimes spring a leak and founder, when there are no apparent causes for her destruction. It was a remarkable circumstance, that my father, after the last duties were bequeathed to his brother, appeared suddenly to imbibe a strong anxiety that I should act upon the will, and represent his father’s house, which had hitherto seemed to be the thing in the world which had least charms for him. But formerly, he had been only like the fox in the fable, contemning what was beyond his reach. And, moreover, I doubt not that the excessive dislike which he entertained against Rashleigh (now Sir Rashleigh) Osbaldistone, who loudly threatened to attack his father Sir Hildebrand’s will and settlement, corroborated my father’s desire to maintain it. “He had been most unjustly disinherited,” he said, “by his own father—his brother’s will had repaired the disgrace, if not the injury, by leaving the wreck of the property to Frank, the natural heir, and he was determined the bequest should take effect.”

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In the meantime, Rashleigh was not altogether a contemptible personage as an opponent. The information he had given to government was critically well-timed, and his extreme plausibility, with the extent of his information, and the artful manner in which he contrived to assume both merit and influence, had, to a certain extent, procured him patrons among the ministers. We were already in the full tide of litigation with him on the subject of his pillaging the firm of Osbaldistone and Tresham, and, judging from the progress we made in that comparatively simple law-suit, there was a chance that this second course of litigation might be drawn out beyond the period of all our natural lives. To avert these delays as much as possible, my father, by the advice of his counsel learned in the law, paid off and vested in my person the rights to certain large mortgages, affecting Osbaldistone Hall. Perhaps, having the opportunity to convert a great share of the large profits which accrued from the rapid rise of the funds upon the suppression of the rebellion, and the experience he had so lately of the perils of commerce, encouraged him to realize, in this manner, a considerable part of his property. At any rate, it so chanced, that, instead of commanding me to the desk, as I fully expected, having intimated my willingness to comply with his wishes, however they might destine me, I received his directions to go down to Osbaldistone Hall, and take possession of it as the heir and representative of the family. I was directed to apply to Squire Inglewood for the copy of my uncle’s will deposited with him, and take all necessary measures to secure that possession, which sages say makes nine points of the law. At another time I should have been delighted with this change of destination. But now Osbaldistone Hall was accompanied with many painful recollections. Still, however, I thought that in that neighbourhood only I was likely to acquire some information respecting the fate of Diana Vernon. I had every reason to fear it must be far different from what I could have wished it. But I could obtain no light upon her fate. It was in vain that I endeavoured, by such acts of kindness as their situation admitted, to conciliate the confidence of some distant relations who were among the prisoners in Newgate. A pride which I could not condemn, and a natural suspicion of the Whig, Frank Osbaldistone, cousin to the double-distilled traitor, Rashleigh, closed every heart and tongue, and I only received thanks, cold, extorted, and inevitable, in exchange for such benefits as I had power to offer. The arm of the law was also gradually abridging the numbers of those whom I endeavoured to serve, and the hearts of the survivors became gradually more contracted towards all whom they conceived to be concerned with the existing government. As they were led

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gradually, and by detachments, to execution, those who survived lost interest in mankind, and the desire of communicating with them. I shall long remember that one of them, Ned Shafton by name, replied to my anxious enquiring whether there was any indulgence I could procure him, “Mr Frank Osbaldistone, I must suppose you mean me kindly, and therefore I thank you.—But, by G—, men cannot be fattened like poultry, when they see their neighbours caried off day by day to the place of execution, and know that their own necks are to be twisted in their turn.” Upon the whole, therefore, I was glad to escape from London, from Newgate, and from the scenes which both exhibited, to breathe the free air of Northumberland. Andrew Fairservice had continued in my service more from my father’s pleasure than my own. At present there seemed a prospect that his local acquaintance with Osbaldistone Hall and its vicinity might be useful, and, of course, he accompanied me on my journey, and I enjoyed the prospect of getting rid of him, by establishing him in his old quarters. I cannot conceive how he could prevail upon my father to interest himself in him, unless it were by the art, which he possessed in no inconsiderable degree, of affecting an extreme attachment to his master, which theoretical attachment he made compatible in practice with playing him all manner of tricks without scruple, providing only against his being cheated by any one but himself. We performed our journey to the North without any remarkable adventure, and we found the country, so lately agitated by rebellion, now peaceful and in good order. The more near we approached to Osbaldistone Hall, the more did my heart sink at the thought of entering that deserted mansion, until, in order to postpone the evil day, I resolved first to make my visit at Mr Justice Inglewood’s. That venerable person had been much disturbed with thoughts of what he had been, and what he now was, and natural recollections of the past had interfered considerably with the active duty, which, in his present situation, might have been expected from him. He was fortunate, however, in one respect. He had got rid of his clerk Jobson, who had finally left him in dudgeon at his inactivity, and become legal assistant to a certain Squire Standish, who had lately commenced operations in these parts as a justice, with a zeal for King George and the Protestant Succession, which, very different from the feelings of his old patron, Mr Jobson had more occasion to restrain within the bounds of the law, than to stimulate to exertion. Old Justice Inglewood received me with great courtesy, and readily exhibited my uncle’s will, which seemed to be without a flaw. He was for some time in obvious distress, how he should speak and act in my

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presence. But when he found, that though a supporter of the present government upon principle, I was disposed to think with pity on those who had opposed it on a mistaken feeling of loyalty and duty, his discourse became a very diverting medley of what he had done, and what he had left undone,—the pains he had taken to prevent some squires from joining, and to wink at the escape of others, who had been so unlucky as to engage in the affair. We were tete-a-tete, and several bumpers had been quaffed by the Justice’s especial desire, when, on a sudden, he requested me to fill a bona fide brimmer to the health of poor dear Die Vernon, the rose of the wilderness, the heath-bell of Cheviot, and the blossom that’s transplanted to a damned convent. “Is not Miss Vernon married then?” I exclaimed, in great astonishment. “I thought his Excellency”—— “Pooh! pooh! his Excellency and his Lordship’s all a humbug now, you know—mere St Germains titles—Earl of Beauchamp, and ambassador plenipotentiary from France, when the Duke Regent of Orleans scarce knew that he lived, I dare say. But you must have seen old Sir Frederick Vernon at the Hall, when he played the part of Father Vaughan.” “Good Heavens! then Vaughan was Miss Vernon’s father!” “To be sure he was,” said the Justice, coolly; “there’s no use in keeping the secret now, for he must be out of the country by this time —otherwise, no doubt, it would be my duty to apprehend him—come, off with your bumper to my dear lost Die, And let her health go round, around, around, And let her health go round; For though your stocking be of silk, Your knee must kiss the ground, aground, aground.”

I was unable, as the reader may easily conceive, to join in the Justice’s jollity. My head swam with the shock I had received. “I never heard,” I said, “that Miss Vernon’s father was living.” “It was not our government’s fault that he is,” replied Inglewood; “for the devil a man whose head would have brought more money. He was condemned to death for Fenwick’s plot, and was thought to have had some hand in the Knight-bridge affair, in King William’s time; and as he had married in Scotland, to a relation of the house of Breadalbane, he possessed great influence with all their chiefs. There was a talk of his being demanded to be given up at the peace of Ryswick, but he shammed ill, and his death was given publicly out in the French papers. But when he came back here on the old score, we old cavaliers knew him well,—that is to say—I knew him, not as being a cavalier myself, but no information being lodged against the poor

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gentleman, and my memory being shortened by frequent attacks of the gout, I could not have sworn to him, you know.” “Was he then not known at Osbaldistone Hall?” I enquired. “To none but to his daughter, the old knight, and Rashleigh, who had got at that secret as he did at every one else, and held it like a twisted cord about poor Die’s neck. I have seen her a hundred times she would have spit at him, if it had not been fear for her father, whose life would not have been worth five minutes purchase if he had been discovered to the government—But don’t mistake me, Mr Osbaldistone; I say the government is a good, a gracious, and a just government, and if it has hanged one half of the rebels, poor things, all will acknowledge they would not have been touched had they staid at home.” Waving the discussion of these political questions, I brought back Mr Inglewood to his subject, and I found that Diana, having positively refused to marry any of the Osbaldistone family, and expressed her particular detestation of Rashleigh, he had from that time begun to cool in zeal for the cause of the Pretender, to which, as the youngest of six brethren, bold, artful, and able, he had hitherto looked forward as the means of making his fortune. Probably the compulsion with which he had been forced to render up his ill-gotten spoils, by the united authority of Sir Frederick Vernon, and the Scottish Chiefs, had determined his resolution to make his fortune by changing his opinions, and betraying his trust. Perhaps also, for few men were better judges where his interest was concerned, he considered their means and talents to be, as they afterwards proved, greatly inadequate to the important task of overthrowing an established government. Sir Frederick Vernon, or, as he was called among the Jacobites, his Excellency the Earl of Beauchamp, had, with his daughter, some difficulty in escaping the consequences of Rashleigh’s information. Here Mr Inglewood’s information was at fault, but he did not doubt, since we had not heard of Sir Frederick being in the hands of the government, he must be by this time abroad, where, agreeable to the cruel bond he had entered into with his brother-in-law, she must, since she had declined to select a husband out of the Osbaldistone family, be confined to a convent. The original cause of this singular agreement Mr Inglewood could not perfectly explain, but he understood it was a family compact, entered into for the purpose of securing to Sir Frederick the rents of a remnant of his large estates, which had been vested in the Osbaldistone family by some legal manœuvre; in short, a family compact, in which, like many of those undertaken at that time of day, the feelings of the principal parties interested were no more regarded than if they had been a part of the live-stock upon the lands.

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I cannot tell, such is the waywardness of the human heart, whether this intelligence gave me joy or sorrow—it seemed to me, that, in the knowledge that Miss Vernon was eternally divided from me, not by marriage with another, but by seclusion in a convent, in order to fulfil an absurd bargain of this kind, my regret for her loss was aggravated rather than diminished. I became dull, low-spirited, absent, and unable to support the task of conversing with Justice Inglewood, who in his turn yawned, and proposed to retire early. I took leave of him overnight, determined the next day before breakfast, to ride over to Osbaldistone Hall. Mr Inglewood acquiesced in my proposal. “It would be well,” he said, “that I made my appearance there before I was known to be in the country, the more especially as Sir Rashleigh Osbaldistone was now, he understood, at Mr Jobson’s house, hatching some mischief doubtless.—They were fit company,” he added, “for each other, Sir Rashleigh having lost all right to mingle in the society of men of honour, but it was hardly possible two such damned rascals should collogue together without mischief to honest people.” He concluded, by earnestly recommending a toast and tankard, and an attack upon his venison pasty, before I set out in the morning, just to break the cold air on the wolds.

Chapter Twelve His master’s gone, and no one now Dwells in the halls of Ivor; Men, dogs, and horses all are dead, He is the sole survivor. W

T    more melancholy sensations than those with which we regard scenes of past pleasure, when altered and deserted. In my ride to Osbaldistone Hall, I past the same objects which I had seen in company with Miss Vernon on the day of our memorable ride from Inglewood Place. Her spirit seemed to keep me company on the way, and, when I passed the spot where I had first seen her, I almost listened for the cry of the hounds and the notes of the horn, and strained my eye on vacant space, as if to descry the fair huntress again descend like an apparition from the hill. But all was silent, and all was solitary. When I reached the Hall, the closed doors and windows, the grass-grown pavement, the courts, which were now so silent, presented a strong contrast to the gay and bustling scene I had so often seen them exhibit, when the merry hunters were going forth to their morning sport, or returning. The joyous bark of the fox-hounds as

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they were uncoupled, the cries of the huntsmen, the clang of the horses’ hoofs, the loud laugh of the old knight at the head of his strong and numerous descendants, were all silenced now and for ever. While I gazed round the scene of solitude and emptiness, I was inexpressibly affected, even by recollecting those whom, when alive, I had no reason to regard with affection. But the thought that so many youths of goodly presence, warm with life, health, and confidence, were within so short a time cold in the grave, by various yet all violent and unexpected modes of death, afforded a picture of mortality at which the mind trembled. It was little consolation to me that I returned a proprietor to the halls, which I had left almost like a fugitive. My mind was not habituated to regard the scenes around as my property, and I felt myself like a usurper, at least an intruding stranger, and could hardly divest myself of the idea, that some of the bulky forms of my deceased kinsmen were, like the gigantic spectres of a romance, to appear in the gateway, and dispute my entrance. While I was engaged in these sad thoughts, my follower, Andrew, whose feelings were of a very different nature, exerted himself in thundering alternately on every door in the building, calling, at the same time, for admittance, in a tone so lordly as to intimate, that he, at least, was fully sensible of his newly-acquired importance as squire of the body to the new lord-of-the-manor. At length, timidly and reluctantly, Anthony Syddall, my uncle’s aged butler, and major-domo, presented himself at a lower window, well fenced with iron bars, and enquired our business. “We are come to take your charge aff your hand, my auld friend,” said Andrew Fairservice; “ye may gie up your keys to me as sune as ye like—ilka dog has his day. I’ll take the plate and napery aff your hand. Ye hae had your ain time o’t, Mr Syddall, but ilka bean has its black, and ilka path has its puddle, and it will just set you henceforth to sit at the board-end, as weel as it did Andrew lang syne.” Checking with some difficulty the forwardness of my follower, I explained to Syddall the nature of my right, and the title I had to demand admittance into the Hall, as into my own property. The old man seemed much agitated and distressed, and testified manifest reluctance to give me entrance, although couched in a humble and submissive tone. I allowed for the agitation of natural feelings, which really did the old man honour, but continued peremptory in my demand of admittance, explaining to him that his refusal would oblige me to apply for Mr Inglewood’s warrant, and a constable. “We are come from Mr Justice Inglewood’s this morning,” said Andrew, to enforce the menace, “and I saw Archie Rutledge, the constable, as I came up by—the country’s no to be lawless as it has

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been, Mr Syddall, letting rebels and papists gang on as they best likit.” The threat of the law sounded dreadful in the old man’s ear, conscious as he was of the suspicion under which he himself lay, from his religion and his devotion to Sir Hildebrand and his sons. He undid, with fear and trembling, one of the postern entrances, which was secured with many a bolt and bar, and humbly hoped that I would excuse him for fidelity in the discharge of his duty. I reassured him, and told him I had the better opinion of him for his caution. “Sae have not I,” said Andrew; “Syddall is an auld sneck-drawer; he wadna be looking as white as a sheet, and his knees knocking thegether, unless it were for something mair than he’s like to tell us.” “Lord forgive you, Mr Fairservice,” replied the butler, “to say such things of an old friend and fellow-servant!—Where”—following me humbly along the passage, “where would it be your honour’s pleasure to have a fire lighted? I fear me you will find the house very dull and dreary—But perhaps you ride back to Inglewood Place to dinner?” “Light a fire in the library,” replied I. “In the library!”—answered the old man; “nobody has sate there this many a day, and the room smokes, for the daws have built in the chimney this spring, and there were no young men about the Hall to pull them down.” “Our ain reek’s better than other folks’ fire,” said Andrew; “his honour likes the library. He’s nane o’ your Papishers, that delight in blinded ignorance, Mr Syddall.” Very reluctantly, as it appeared to me, the butler led the way to the library, and, contrary to what he had given me to expect, the interior of the apartment looked as if it had been lately arranged, and made more comfortable than usual. There was a fire in the grate, which burned cheerily, notwithstanding what Syddall had reported of the state of the vent. Taking up the tongs, as if to arrange the wood, but rather perhaps to conceal his own confusion, the butler observed, “it was burning clear now, but had smoked woundily in the morning.” Wishing to be alone, till I recovered myself from the first painful sensations which every thing around me recalled, I desired old Syddall to call the land-steward, who lived at about a quarter of a mile from the Hall. He departed with obvious reluctance. I next ordered Andrew to procure the attendance of a couple of stout fellows upon whom he could rely, the population around being papists, and Sir Rashleigh, who was capable of any desperate enterprize, being in the neighbourhood. Andrew Fairservice undertook this task with great cheerfulness, and promised to bring me up from Trinlayknowe, “twa true-blue presbyterians like himsell, that would face and out-face baith the pope, the devil, and the pretender—and blythe will I be o’

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that company mysell, for the very last night that I was at Osbaldistone Hall, the blight be on ilka blossom in my bit yard, if I didna see that very picture (pointing to the full-length of Miss Vernon’s grandfather) walking by moonlight in the garden! I tauld your honour I was fleyed wi’ a bogle that night, but ye wadna listen to me. I aye thought there was witchcraft and devilry amang the papishes, but I ne’er saw’t wi’ bodily een till that awfu’ night.” “Get along, sir,” said I, “and bring the fellows you talk of, and see they have more sense than yourself, and are not frightened at their own shadow.” “I hae been counted as gude a man as my neighbours ere now,” said Andrew, petulantly; “but I dinna pretend to deal wi’ evil spirits;” so made his exit as Wardlaw the land-steward made his appearance. He was a man of sense and honesty, without whose careful management my uncle would have found it difficult to have maintained himself a house-keeper so long as he did. He examined the nature of my right of possession carefully, and admitted it candidly. To any one else the succession would have been a poor one, so much was the land encumbered with debt and mortgage. Most of these, however, were already vested in my father’s person, and he was in a train of acquiring the rest, his large gains, by the recent rise of the funds, having made it a matter of ease and convenience for him to pay off the debt which affected his patrimony. I transacted much necessary business with Mr Wardlaw, and detained him to dine with me. We preferred taking our repast in the library, although Syddall strongly recommended our removing to the Stone-Hall, which he had put in order for the occasion. Meantime Andrew made his appearance with his true-blue recruits, whom he recommended in the highest terms, as “sober decent men, weel founded in doctrinal points, and, above all, as bold as lions.” I ordered them something to drink, and they left the room. I observed old Syddall shake his head as they went out, and insisted upon knowing the reason. “I maybe cannot expect,” he said, “that your honour should put confidence in what I say, but it is Heaven’s truth for all that. Ambrose Wingfield is as honest a man as lives, but if there is a false knave in the country, it is his brother Lancie—the whole country knows him to be a spy for Clerk Jobson on the poor gentlemen that have been in trouble —but he’s a dissenter, and I suppose that’s enough now-a-days.” Having thus far given vent to his feelings, to which, however, I was little disposed to pay attention, and having placed the wine on the table, the old butler left the apartment. Mr Wardlaw having remained with me until the evening was some-

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what advanced, at length bundled up his papers, and removed himself to his own habitation, leaving me in that confused state of mind in which we can hardly say whether we desire company or solitude. I had not, however, the choice betwixt them, for I was left alone in the room, of all others most calculated to inspire me with melancholy reflections. As twilight was darkening the apartment, Andrew had the sagacity to advance his head at the door, not to ask if I wished for lights, but to recommend them as a measure of precaution against the bogles which still haunted his imagination. I rejected his proffer somewhat peevishly, trimmed the wood fire, and placing myself in one of the large leathern chairs which flanked the old Gothic chimney, I watched unconsciously the bickering of the blaze which I had fostered. “And this,” said I aloud, “is the progress and the issue of human wishes! nursed by the merest trifles when they are first kindled, fed upon the vapour of hope till they consume the substance that they inflame, and man, and his hopes, passions, and desires, sinks into a worthless heap of embers and ashes.” There was a deep sigh from the opposite side of the room, which seemed to reply to my reflections. I started up in amazement—Diana Vernon stood before me, resting on the arm of a figure so strongly resembling that of the portrait so often mentioned, that I looked hastily at the frame, expecting to see it empty. My first idea was, either that I was gone suddenly distracted, or that the spirits of the dead had arisen and been placed before me. A second glance convinced me of my being in my senses, and that the forms which stood before me were real and substantial. It was Diana herself, though paler and thinner than her former self, and it was no tenant of the grave who stood beside her, but Vaughan, or rather Sir Frederick Vernon, in a dress made to imitate that of his ancestor, to whose picture his countenance possessed a family resemblance. He was the first that spoke, for Diana kept her eyes fast fixed on the ground, and astonishment actually rivetted my tongue to the roof of my mouth. “We are your suppliants, Mr Osbaldistone,” he said, “and we claim the refuge and protection of your roof till we can pursue a journey where dungeons and death gape for me at every step.” “Surely,” I articulated with great difficulty—“Miss Vernon cannot suppose—you, sir, cannot believe that I have forgot your interference in my difficulties—or that I am capable of betraying any one, much less you?” “I know it,” said Sir Frederick; “yet it is with the most inexpressible reluctance that I impose on you a confidence, disagreeable perhaps— certainly dangerous—and which I had specially wished to have conferred on some one else. But my fate, which has chased me through a

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life of perils and escapes, is now pressing me hard, and I have no alternative”— At this moment the door opened, and the voice of the officious Andrew was heard. “A’m bringing in the cannles—ye can light them gin ye like—Can do is easy carried about wi’ ane.” I ran to the door, which, as I hoped, I reached in time to prevent his observing who were in the apartment. I turned him out with hasty violence, shut the door after him, and locked it—then instantly remembering his two companions below, knowing his talkative humour, and recollecting Syddall’s remark, that one of them was supposed to be a spy, I followed him as fast as I could to the servants’ hall, in which they were assembled. Andrew’s tongue was loud as I opened the door, but my unexpected appearance silenced him. “What is the matter with you, you fool?” said I; “you stare and look wild, as if you had seen a ghost.” “N—n—no—nothing,” said Andrew; “but your worship was pleased to be hasty.” “Because you disturbed me out of a sound sleep, you fool. Syddall tells me he cannot find beds for these good fellows to-night, and Mr Wardlaw thinks there will be no occasion to detain them. Here is a crown a-piece for them to drink my health, and thanks for their good will. You will leave the Hall immediately, my good lads.” The men thanked me for my bounty, took the silver, and withdrew, apparently unsuspicious and contented. I watched their departure until I was sure they could have no farther intercourse that night with honest Andrew. And so instantly had I followed on his heels, that I thought he could not have time to speak two words with them before I interrupted him. But it is wonderful what mischief may be done by only two words. On this occasion they cost two lives. Having made these arrangements, the best which occurred to me upon the pressure of the moment to secure privacy for my guests, I returned to report my proceedings, and added, that I had desired Syddall to answer every summons, concluding that it was by his connivance they had been secreted in the Hall. Diana raised her eyes to thank me for my caution. “You now understand my mystery,” she said; “you know, doubtless, how near and dear that relative is who has so often found shelter here, and will be no longer surprised, that Rashleigh, having such a secret at his command, should rule me with a rod of iron.” Her father added that it was their intention to trouble me with their presence as short a time as was possible. I entreated the fugitives to waive every consideration but what affected their safety, and to rely on my utmost exertions to promote it.

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This led to an explanation of the circumstances under which they stood. “I always suspected Rashleigh Osbaldistone,” said Sir Frederick; “but his conduct towards my unprotected child, which with difficulty I wrung from her, and his treachery in your father’s affairs, made me hate and despise him. In our last interview I concealed not my sentiments, as I should in prudence have attempted, and in resentment of the scorn with which I treated him, he added treachery and apostacy to his catalogue of crimes. I at that time fondly hoped that his defection would be of little consequence. The Earl of Marr had a gallant army in Scotland, and Lord Derwentwater, with Forster, Kenmure, Winton, and others, were assembling forces on the Border. As my connections with the English nobility and gentry were extensive, it was judged proper that I should accompany a detachment of Highlanders, who, under Brigadier MacIntosh of Borlum, crossed the Firth of Forth, traversed the low country of Scotland, and united themselves on the Borders with the English insurgents. My daughter accompanied me through the perils and fatigues of a march so long and difficult.” “And she will never leave her dear father!” exclaimed Miss Vernon, clinging fondly to his arm. “I had hardly joined our English friends, when I became sensible that our cause was lost. Our numbers diminished instead of increasing, nor were we joined by any except of our own persuasion. The Tories of the High Church remained in general undecided, and at length we were cooped up by a superior force in the little town of Preston. We defended ourselves resolutely one day. On the next, the hearts of our leaders failed, and they resolved to surrender at discretion. To yield myself up on such terms, were to have laid my head on the block. About twenty or thirty gentlemen were of my mind: we mounted our horses, and placed my daughter, who insisted on sharing my fate, in the centre of our little party. My companions, struck with her courage and filial piety, declared that they would die rather than leave her behind. We rode in a body down a street called Fishergate, which leads to a marshy ground or meadow, extending down to the river Ribble, through which one of our party promised to show us a good ford. This marsh had not been strongly invested by the enemy, so that we had only an affair with a patrole of Honeywood’s dragoons, whom we dispersed and cut to pieces. We crossed the river, gained the high road to Liverpool, and then dispersed to seek several places of concealment and safety. My fortune led me to Wales, where there are many gentlemen of my religious and political opinions. I could not, however, find a safe opportunity of escaping by sea, and found myself obliged again to draw towards the North. A well-tried friend has

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appointed to meet me in this neighbourhood, and guide me to a seaport on the Solway, where a sloop is prepared to carry me from my native country for ever. As Osbaldistone Hall was for the present uninhabited, and under the charge of old Syddall, who had been our confidant on former occasions, we drew to it as to a place of known and secure refuge. I resumed a dress which had been used with good effect to scare the superstitious rustics, or domestics, who chanced at any time to see me; and we expected from time to time to hear by Syddall of the arrival of our friendly guide, when your sudden coming hither, and occupying this apartment, laid us under the necessity of submitting to your mercy.” Thus ended Sir Frederick’s story, whose tale sounded to me like one told in a vision, and I could hardly bring myself to believe, that I saw his daughter’s form once more before me in flesh and blood, though with diminished beauty and sunk spirits. The buoyant vivacity with which she had resisted every touch of adversity, had now assumed the air of composed and submissive, but dauntless resolution and constancy. Her father, though aware and jealous of the effect of her praises on my mind, could not forbear expatiating upon them. “She has endured trials,” he said, “which might have dignified the history of a martyr. She has faced danger and death in various shapes. She has undergone toil and privation, from which men of the strongest frame would have shrunk. She has spent the day in darkness, and the night in vigil, and has never breathed a murmur of weakness or complaint. In a word, Mr Osbaldistone,” he concluded, “she is a worthy offering to that God to whom,” crossing himself, “I shall dedicate her, as all that is left dear or precious to Frederick Vernon.” There was a silence after these words, of which I well understood the mournful import. The father of Diana was still as anxious to destroy my hopes of being united to her now, as he had shown himself during our brief meeting in Scotland. “We will now,” said he to his daughter, “intrude no farther on Mr Osbaldistone’s time, since we have acquainted him with the circumstances of the miserable guests who claim his protection.” I requested them to stay, and offered myself to leave the apartment. Sir Frederick observed, that my doing so could not but excite my attendant’s suspicion, and that the place of their retreat was in every respect commodious, and furnished by Syddall with all they could possibly want. “We might possibly have even contrived to remain there concealed from your observation; but it would have been unjust to decline the most absolute reliance on your honour.” “You have done me but justice,” I replied. “To you, Sir Frederick,

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I am but little known, but Miss Vernon, I am sure, will bear me witness”—— “I do not want my daughter’s evidence,” he said politely, but yet with an air calculated to prevent my addressing myself to Diana, “since I am prepared to believe all that is worthy of Mr Francis Osbaldistone—permit us now to retire—we must take repose when we can, since we are absolutely uncertain when we may be called upon to renew our perilous journey.” He drew his daughter’s arm within his, and, with a profound reverence, disappeared with her behind the tapestry.

Chapter Thirteen But now the hand of Fate is on the curtain, And gives the scene to light. Don Sebastian

I            and chilled as they retired. Imagination, dwelling on an absent object of affection, paints her not only in the fairest light, but in that in which we most desire to behold her. I had thought of Diana as she was, when her parting tear dropped on my cheek, when her parting token, received from the wife of MacGregor, argued her wish to convey into exile and conventual seclusion an involuntary remembrance of my affection. I saw her—and her cold passive manner, expressive of little, except composed melancholy, disappointed, and, in some degree, almost offended me. In the egotism of my feelings, I accused her of indifference—of insensibility. I upbraided her father with pride—with cruelty—with fanaticism—forgetting that both were sacrificing their interest, and Diana her inclination, to the discharge of what they regarded as their duty. Sir Frederick Vernon was a rigid Catholic, who thought the path of salvation too narrow to be trodden by an heretic, and Diana, to whom her father’s safety had been for many years the principal and moving spring of her thoughts, hopes, and actions, felt that she discharged her duty in resigning to his will, not alone her prospects in the world, but the dearest affections of her heart. But it was not surprising that I could not, at such a moment, fully appreciate these honourable motives. Yet my spleen sought no ignoble means of discharging itself. “I am contemned, then,” said I, when left to run over the tenor of Sir Frederick’s communication, “I am contemned, and thought unworthy even to exchange words with her. Be it so—they shall not at least prevent me from watching over her safety—here will I remain as an out-post, and, while under my roof at least, no danger shall threaten

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her, if it be such as the arm of one determined man can avert.” I summoned Syddall to the library. He came, but came attended by the eternal Andrew, who, dreaming of great things in consequence of my taking possession of the Hall and the annexed estates, was resolved to lose nothing for want of keeping himself in view, and, as often happens to men who entertain selfish objects, overshot his mark, and rendered his attentions tedious and inconvenient. His unrequired presence prevented me from speaking freely to Syddall, and I dared not send him away for fear of encreasing such suspicions as he might entertain from his former abrupt dismissal from the library. “I shall sleep here, sir,” I said, giving them directions to wheel nearer to the fire an old-fashioned day-bed, or settee. “I have much to do, and shall go late to bed.” Syddall, who seemed to understand my look, offered to procure me the accommodation of a mattress and some bedding. I accepted his offer, dismissed my attendant, lighted a long pair of candles, and desired that I might not be disturbed till seven in the ensuing morning. The domestics retired, leaving me to my painful and ill-arranged reflections, until nature, worn out, should require some repose. I endeavoured forcibly to abstract my mind from the singular circumstances in which I found myself placed. Feelings which I had gallantly combatted while the exciting object was remote, were now exasperated by my immediate neighbourhood to her whom I was so soon to part with for ever. Her name was written in every book which I attempted to peruse, and her image forced itself on me in whatever train of thought I strove to engage myself. It was like the officious slave of Prior’s Solomon,— Abra was ready ere I named her name, And when I called another, Abra came.

I alternately gave way to these thoughts, and struggled against them, sometimes yielding to a mood of melting tenderness of sorrow which was scarce natural to me, sometimes arming myself with the honest pride of one who had experienced unmerited rejection. I paced the library until I had chafed myself into a temporary fever. I then threw myself on the couch, and endeavoured to compose myself to sleep. But it was in vain that I used every effort to compose myself—that I lay without movement of finger or of muscle, as still as if I had been already a corpse—that I endeavoured to stem and banish disquieting thoughts, by fixing my mind on some act of repetition or arithmetical process. My blood throbbed, to my feverish apprehension, in pulsations which resembled the deep and regular stroke of a distant fullingmill, and tingled in my veins like streams of liquid fire. At length I arose, opened the window, and stood by it for some time

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in the clear moonlight, receiving, in part at least, that refreshment and dissipation of ideas from the clear and calm scene, without which they had become beyond the command of my own volition. I resumed my place on the couch with a heart, heaven knows, not lighter, but firmer, and more resolved for endurance. In a short time a slumber crept over my senses. Still, however, though my senses slumbered, my soul was awake to the painful feelings of my situation, and my dreams were of mental anguish and external terror. I remember a strange agony, under which I conceived myself and Diana in the power of MacGregor’s wife, and about to be precipitated from a rock into the lake; the signal was to be the discharge of a cannon, fired by Sir Frederick Vernon, who, in the dress of a cardinal, officiated at the ceremony—nothing could be more lively than the impression which I received—I could paint, even at this moment, the mute and courageous submission expressed in Diana’s features— the wild and distorted faces of the executioners, who crowded around us with “mopping and mowing;” grimaces ever changing, and each more hideous than that which preceded. I saw the rigid and inflexible fanaticism painted in the face of the father—I saw him lift the fatal match—the deadly signal exploded—it was repeated again and again and again, in rival thunders, by the echoes of the surrounding cliffs —and I awoke from fancied horror to real apprehension. The sounds in my dream were not ideal. They reverberated on my waking ears, but it was two or three minutes ere I could collect myself so as distinctly to understand that they proceeded from a violent knocking at the gate. I leaped from my couch in great apprehension, took my sword under my arm, and hastened to forbid the admission of any one. But my route was necessarily circuitous, because the library looked not upon the quadrangle, but into the gardens. When I had reached a staircase, the windows of which looked into the entrance court, I heard the feeble and intimidated tones of Syddall capitulating with rough voices, which demanded admittance, by the warrant of Justice Standish, and in the King’s name, and threatened the old domestic with the heaviest penal consequences, if he refused instant obedience. Ere they had ceased, I heard, to my unspeakable provocation, the voice of Andrew bidding Syddall stand aside, and let him open the door. “If they come in King George’s name we have naething to fear—we hae spent baith bluid and gowd for him—we dinna need to darn oursells like some folks, Mr Syddall—we are neither Papists nor Jacobites, I trow.” It was in vain I accelerated my pace down stairs; I heard bolt after bolt withdrawn by the officious scoundrel, while all the time he was

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boasting his own and his master’s loyalty to King George, and I could easily calculate that the party must enter before I could arrive at the door to replace the bars. Devoting the back of Andrew Fairservice to the cudgel so soon as I should have time to pay him his deserts, I ran back to the library, barricaded the door as I best could, and hastened to that by which Diana and her father entered, and begged for instant admittance. Diana herself undid the door. She was ready dressed, and betrayed neither perturbation nor fear. “Danger is so familiar to us,” she said, “that we are always prepared to meet him—My father is already up—he is in Rashleigh’s apartment —We will escape into the garden, and thence by the postern-gate (I have the key from Syddall in case of need) into the wood—I know its dingles better than any one now alive—Keep them a few minutes in play, and dear—dear—Frank, once more, fare you well!” She vanished like a meteor to join her father, and the intruders were rapping violently, and attempting to force the library door by the time I had returned into it. “You robber dogs!” I exclaimed, wilfully mistaking the purpose of their disturbance, “if you do not instantly quit the house I will fire my blunderbuss through the door.” “Fire a fool’s bauble!” said Andrew Fairservice; “it’s Mr Clerk Jobson, with a legal warrant”—— “To search for, take, and apprehend,” said the voice of that execrable pettifogger, “the bodies of certain persons in my warrant named, charged of high treason under the 13th of King William, chapter third.” And the violence on the door was renewed. “I am rising, gentlemen,” said I, desirous to gain as much time as possible—“commit no violence—give me leave to look at your warrant, and, if it is formal and legal, I shall not oppose it.” “God save great George, our King!” ejaculated Andrew. “I tauld ye you would find no Jacobites here.” Spinning out the time as much as possible, I was at length compelled to open the door, which they would otherwise have forced. Mr Jobson entered, with several assistants, among whom I discovered the younger Wingfield, to whom, doubtless, he was obliged for his information, and exhibited his warrant, directed not only against Frederick Vernon, an attainted traitor, but also against Diana Vernon, spinster, and Francis Osbaldistone, gentleman, accused of misprision of treason. In a case in which resistance would have been madness, I therefore, after capitulating for a few minutes delay, surrendered myself a prisoner. I had next the mortification to see Jobson go straight to the chamber

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of Miss Vernon, and I learned that from thence, without hesitation or difficulty, he went to the secret room where Sir Frederick had slept. “The hare has stolen away,” said the brute, “but her form is warm— the greyhounds will have her by the haunches yet.” A scream from the garden announced that he prophesied too truly. In the course of five minutes, Rashleigh entered the library with Sir Frederick Vernon and his daughter as prisoners. “The fox,” he said, “knew his old earth, but he forgot it could be stopped by a careful huntsman—I had not forgot the garden gate, Sir Frederick—or, if that title suits you better, Most Noble Lord Beauchamp.” “Rashleigh,” said Sir Frederick, “thou art a detestable villain!” “I better deserved the name, Sir Knight, or my Lord, when, under the direction of an able tutor, I sought to introduce civil war into the bosom of a peaceful country. But I have done my best,” said he, looking upward, “to atone for my errors.” I could hold no longer. I had designed to watch their proceedings in silence, but I felt that I must speak or die. “If hell,” I said, “has one complexion more hideous than another, it is where villainy is masked by hypocrisy.” “Ha! my gentle cousin,” said Rashleigh, holding a candle towards me, and surveying me from head to foot; “right welcome to Osbaldistone Hall. I can forgive your spleen—it is hard to lose an estate and a mistress in one night; for we shall take possession of this poor manor-house in the name of the lawful heir, Sir Rashleigh Osbaldistone.” While Rashleigh braved it out in this manner, I could see that he put a strong force upon his feelings, both of anger and shame. But his state of mind was more obvious when Diana Vernon addressed him. “Rashleigh,” she said, “I pity you—for, deep as the evil is you have laboured to do me, and the evil you have actually done, I cannot hate you so much as I scorn and pity you. What you have now done may be the work of an hour, but will furnish you with reflection for your life—of what nature I leave to your own conscience, which will not slumber for ever.” Rashleigh strode once or twice through the room, came up to the side-table, on which wine was still standing, and poured out a large glass with a trembling hand; but when he saw that we observed his tremor, he suppressed it by a strong effort, and, looking at us with fixed and daring composure, he carried the bumper to his head without spilling a drop. “It is my father’s old burgundy,” he said, looking to Jobson; “I am glad there is some of it left—You will get proper persons to take care of the house and property in my name, and turn out the doting old

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butler, and that foolish Scotch rascal—meanwhile, we will convey these persons to a more proper place of custody.—I have provided the old family-coach for your convenience,” he said, “though I am not ignorant that even the lady could brave the night-air on foot or horseback, were the errand more to her mind.” Andrew wrang his hands in sincere anguish, when he saw the unexpected consequences of his imprudence. “I only said that my master was surely speaking to a ghaist in the library—and the villain Lancie to betray an auld friend that sang aff the same Psalm-book wi’ him every Sunday for twenty years.” He was turned out of the house, together with Syddall, without allowing him time to conclude his lamentation. His expulsion, however, led to some singular consequences. Resolving, according to his own story, to go down for the night where Mother Simpson would give him a lodging for old acquaintance sake, he had just got clear of the avenue, and into the old wood as it was called, though it was now used as pasture-ground rather than woodland, when he suddenly lighted on a drove of Scotch cattle, which were lying there to repose themselves after the day’s journey. At this, Andrew was in no way surprised, it being the well-known custom of his countrymen, who take care of these droves, to quarter themselves after nightfall upon the best uninclosed grass-ground they can find, and depart before day-break to escape paying for their night’s lodgings. But he was both surprised and startled, when a Highlander, starting up, accused him of disturbing the cattle, and refused to permit him to pass forward till he had spoken to his master. The mountaineer conducted Andrew into a thicket, where he found three or four more of his countrymen. “And,” said Andrew, “I sune saw they were ower mony men for the drove; and from the questions they put to me, I judged they had other tow on their rock.” They questioned him closely about all that had passed at Osbaldistone Hall, and seemed surprised and concerned at the report he made to them. “And troth,” said Andrew, “I tauld them a’ I kenn’d, for dirks and pistols were what I could never refuse information to in all my life.” They talked in whispers among themselves, and at length collected their cattle together, and drove them close up to the entrance of the avenue, which might be half a mile distant from the house. They proceeded to drag together some felled trees, which lay in the vicinity, so as to make a temporary barricade across the road, about fifteen yards beyond the avenue. It was now near day-break, and there was a pale eastern gleam mingled with the fading moonlight, so that objects could be discovered with some distinctness. The lumbering sound of

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a coach, drawn by four horses, and escorted by six men on horseback, was heard coming up the avenue. The Highlanders listened attentively. The carriage contained Mr Jobson and his unfortunate prisoners. The escort consisted of Rashleigh, and several horsemen, peace-officers and their assistants. So soon as we had passed the gate at the head of the avenue, it was shut behind the cavalcade by a Highlandman, stationed there for that purpose. At the same time, the carriage was impeded in its farther progress by the cattle, amongst whom we were involved, and by the barricade in front. Two of the escort dismounted to remove the felled trees, which, having made their approach by another entrance, they might think were left there by accident or carelessness. The others began with their whips to drive the cattle from the road. “Who dare abuse our cattle?” said a rough voice.—“Shoot him, Angus.” Rashleigh instantly called, “A rescue, a rescue!” and firing a pistol, wounded the man who spoke. “Claymore!” cried the leader of the Highlanders, and a scuffle instantly commenced. The officers of the law, surprised at so sudden an attack, and not usually possessing the most desperate bravery, made but an imperfect defence, considering the superiority of their numbers. Some attempted to ride back to the Hall for assistance, but on a pistol being fired from behind the gate, they conceived themselves surrounded, and at length gallopped off in different directions. Rashleigh, meanwhile, had dismounted, and on foot had maintained a desperate and single-handed conflict with the leader of the band. The window of the carriage, on my side, permitted me to witness it. At length Rashleigh dropped. “Will you ask forgiveness for the sake of God, King James, and auld friendship?” said a voice which I knew right well. “No, never,” said Rashleigh, firmly. “Then, traitor, die in your treason!” retorted MacGregor, and plunged his sword in his prostrate antagonist. In the next moment he was at the carriage door—handed out Miss Vernon, assisted her father and me to alight, and dragging out the attorney, head foremost, threw him under the wheel. “Mr Osbaldistone,” he said, in a whisper, “you have nothing to fear—I must look after those who have—Your friends will soon be in safety—farewell, and forget not the MacGregor.” He whistled—his band gathered around him, and, hurrying Diana and her father along with them, they were almost instantly lost in the glades of the forest. The coachman and postillion had abandoned their horses, and fled at the first discharge of fire-arms—but the

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animals, stopped by the barricade, remained perfectly still; and well for Jobson that they did so, for the slightest motion would have dragged the wheel over his body. My first object was to relieve him, for such was the rascal’s terror that he could never have risen by his own exertions. I next commanded him to observe, that I had neither taken part in the rescue, nor availed myself of it to make my escape, and enjoined him to go down to the Hall, and call some of his party, who had been left there, to assist the wounded. But Jobson’s fears had so mastered and controuled every faculty of his mind, that he was totally incapable of moving. I now resolved to go myself, but in my way stumbled over the body of a man, as I thought dead or dying. It was, however, Andrew Fairservice, as well and whole as ever he was in his life, who had only taken this recumbent posture to avoid the slashes, stabs, and pistol-balls, which, for a minute or two, were flying in various directions. I was so glad to find him that I did not enquire how he came thither, but instantly commanded his assistance. Rashleigh was our first object—He groaned when I approached him, as much through spite as through pain, and shut his eyes, as if determined, like Iago, to speak no word more. We lifted him into the carriage, and performed the same good office to another wounded man, who had been left on the field. I then with difficulty made Jobson understand that he must enter the coach also, and support Sir Rashleigh upon the seat. He obeyed, but with an air as if he but half comprehended my meaning. Andrew and I then turned the horses’ heads round, and opening the gate of the avenue, led them slowly back to Osbaldistone Hall. Some fugitives had already reached the Hall by circuitous routes, and alarmed its garrison by the news that Sir Rashleigh, Clerk Jobson, and all their escort, save they who escaped to tell the tale, had been cut to pieces, at the head of the avenue, by a whole regiment of wild Highlanders. When we reached the mansion, therefore, we heard such a buzz as arises when bees are alarmed, and mustering in their hives. Mr Jobson, however, who had now in some measure come to his senses, found voice enough to make himself known. He was the more anxious to be released from the carriage, as one of his companions (the peace-officer,) had, to his inexpressible terror, expired by his side with a hideous groan. Sir Rashleigh Osbaldistone was still alive, but so dreadfully wounded that the bottom of the coach was filled with his blood, and long traces of it left from the entrance-door into the Stone-Hall, where he was placed in a chair, some attempting to stop the bleeding with cloths, while others called for a surgeon, and no one seemed willing to go to fetch one.

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“Torment me not,” said the wounded man. “I know no assistance can avail me. I am a dying man.” He raised himself in his chair, though the damps and fervour of death were already on his brow, and spoke with a firmness which seemed beyond his strength. “Cousin Francis,” he said, “draw near to me.” I approached him as he requested.—“I wish you only to know that the pangs of death do not alter one iota of my feeling towards you. I hate you!” he said, the expression of rage throwing a hideous glare into the eyes which were soon to be closed for ever—“I hate you with a hatred as intense, now while I lie bleeding before you, as if my foot trode on your neck.” “I have given you no cause, sir, and for your own sake I could wish your mind in a better temper.” “You have given me cause,” he rejoined—“in love, in ambition, in the paths of interest, you have crossed and blighted me at every turn. I was born to be the honour of my father’s house—I have been its disgrace—and along of you.—My very patrimony has become your’s —Take it,” he said, “and may the curse of a dying man cleave to it!” In a moment after he had uttered this frightful wish, he fell back in the chair; his eyes became glazed, his limbs stiffened, but the grin and glare of mortal hatred survived even the last gasp of life. I will dwell no longer on so hideous a picture, nor say more of the death of Rashleigh, than that it gave me access to my rights of inheritance without further challenge, and that Jobson found himself compelled to allow, that the ridiculous charge of misprision of treason was only made to favour Rashleigh’s views, and remove me from Osbaldistone Hall. The rascal’s name was struck off the list of attornies, and he was reduced to poverty and contempt. I returned to London when I had put my affairs in order at Osbaldistone Hall, and felt happy to escape from a place which suggested so many painful recollections. My anxiety was now acute to learn the fate of Diana and her father. A French gentleman, who came to London on commercial business, was entrusted with a letter to me from Miss Vernon, which put my mind at rest respecting their safety. It gave me to understand, that the opportune appearance of MacGregor and his party was not fortuitous. The Scottish nobles and gentry, engaged in the insurrection, as well as those of England, were particularly anxious to further the escape of Sir Frederick Vernon, who, as an old and trusted agent of the house of Stuart, was possessed of matter enough to have ruined half Scotland. Rob Roy, of whose sagacity and courage they had known so many proofs, was the person whom they pitched upon to assist his escape, and the place of meeting was fixed at Osbaldistone Hall. You have already heard how nearly the plan had been disconcerted by the activity of the unhappy

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Rashleigh. It succeeded, however, perfectly, for when once Sir Frederick and his daughter were again at large, they found horses prepared for them, and by MacGregor’s knowledge of the country, for every part of Scotland, and of the north of England, was familiar to him, were conducted to the western sea-coast, and safely embarked for France. The same gentleman told me, that Sir Frederick was not expected to survive for many months a lingering disease, the consequence of late hardships and privations. His daughter was placed in a convent, and it was her father’s wish she should take the veil. He died, however, before her year of probation expired, and his last will left her the permission of choice betwixt the secular world and the veil, although he recommended the cloister. When this news reached me, I frankly told the state of my affections to my father, who was not a little startled at the idea of my marrying a Roman Catholic. But he was very desirous to see me “settled in life,” as he called it, and he was sensible that, in joining him with heart and hand in his commercial labours, I had sacrificed my own inclinations. After a brief hesitation, and several questions asked and answered to his satisfaction, he broke out with—“I little thought a son of mine should have been Lord of Osbaldistone Manor, and far less that he should go to a French convent for a spouse. But so dutiful a daughter cannot but prove a good wife. You have worked at the desk to please me, Frank; it is but fair you should wive to please yourself.” How I sped in my wooing, Will Tresham, I need not tell you. You know, too, how long and happily I lived with Diana. You know how I lamented her. But you do not—cannot know how much she deserved her husband’s sorrow. I have no more of romantic adventures to tell, nor indeed any thing to communicate farther, since the latter incidents of my life are so well known to one who has shared, with the most friendly sympathy, the joys, as well as the sorrows, by which its scenes have been chequered. I often visited Scotland, but never again saw the bold Highlander who had such an influence on the early events of my life. I learned, however, from time to time, that he continued to maintain his ground among the mountains of Loch Lomond, in despite of his powerful enemies, and that he even obtained, to a certain degree, the connivance of government to his self-erected office of Protector of the Lennox, in virtue of which he levied black-mail with as much regularity as the proprietors did their ordinary rents. It seemed impossible that his life should have concluded without a violent end. Nevertheless, he died in old age, and by a peaceful death, sometime about the year 1736, and is still remembered in his country as the Robin Hood of Scotland, the dread of the wealthy, but the friend of the poor, and

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possessed of many qualities, both of head and heart, which would have graced a less equivocal profession than that to which his fate condemned him. Old Andrew Fairservice, whom you may recollect as gardener at Osbaldistone Hall, used to say that there were many things ower bad for blessing, and ower gude for banning, like R  R . —————— [Here the original manuscript ends somewhat abruptly. I have reason to think that what followed related to private affairs.]    

ESSAY ON THE TEXT

1.    R O B R O Y 2.                R O B R O Y : the Timetable; the Manuscript; from Manuscript to First Edition; the First Edition 3.   : Second and Third ‘Editions’; the Fourth Edition; octavo Novels and Tales (1819); duodecimo Novels and Tales (1821); octavo Novels and Tales (1822); eighteenmo Novels and Tales (1823); duodecimo Novels and Tales (1825); the Interleaved Copy and the Magnum 4.    : verbal emendations from the manuscript; punctuation; errors; conclusion. The following conventions are used in transcriptions from Scott’s manuscript and proofs: deletions are enclosed 〈thus〉 and insertions mthuso; superscript letters are lowered without comment. The same conventions are used as appropriate for indicating variants between the printed editions.

1.    ROB ROY In a letter of 16 April 1817 to his printer James Ballantyne, Scott wrote that he was ‘sick of the encroachments’ of John Murray and William Blackwood, the publishers of Tales of My Landlord (1816), and suggested that a new edition of the Tales might be sold to Archibald Constable instead. As an inducement, he said, ‘were Constable to engage in the transaction I would probably give him four volumes more by next season’, i.e. in time for the Christmas market.1 In the next five days Scott’s thinking moved on, for in a letter, probably of 21 April 1817, to his agent John Ballantyne he wrote: ‘I have a good subject for a work of fiction in petto. What do you think Constable would give for a smell of it?’. This is the first mention of Rob Roy. He added: ‘I do not mean a continuation of Jedediah because there might be some delicacy in putting that bye the original publishers’.2 In other words, he had postponed the idea of selling a new collection of Tales of My Landlord by Jedidiah Cleishbotham to Constable, feeling that Murray and Blackwood had some moral right to the series bearing that name. So he returned to being the Author of Waverley, but as at the end of The Antiquary (1816) the Author of Waverley says farewell to the reading public, taking his ‘respectful leave, as one who is not likely again to solicit their favour’,3 he apologises for reappearing in Rob Roy in the teasing Advertisement that prefaces the novel. In a letter of Saturday 3 May Scott invited John Ballantyne to come to Abbotsford with Constable on the Monday ‘as he proposes a visit & it will save some time as to the necessary arrangements’.4 The business 345

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was to sell Rob Roy to Constable. They were successful, and the contract drawn up by John is dated that day, 5 May 1817. The document opens: ‘As Literary Agent for the Author of Waverley, I have to offer you on his part, a new Work in three Volumes, to be published in September & to be entitled Rob Roy’.5 This opening is significant. John Ballantyne was probably the first literary agent, and this is the first time that he so designates himself. Secondly, the novel was contracted to appear in September. Thirdly, the title of the novel had been decided. The very first thing that Scott writes in the Introduction to the Magnum edition of Rob Roy is that the ‘title of R  R  was suggested by the late Mr Constable, whose sagacity and experience foresaw the germ of popularity which it included’.6 On that Monday it probably was Constable who suggested ‘Rob Roy’, for the titles of all other Waverley novels are singularly uninformative about their contents. Lockhart’s version of the meeting on 5 May corroborates Scott: The title of this novel was suggested by Constable, and he told me years afterwards the difficulty he had to get it adopted by the athor. “What!” said he, “Mr Accoucheur [midwife], must you be setting up for Mr Sponsor too?—but let’s hear it.” Constable said the name of the real hero would be the best possible name for the book. “Nay,” answered Scott, “never let me have to write up to a name. You well know I have generally adopted a title that told nothing.”—The bookseller, however, persevered; and after the trio had dined, these scruples gave way.7 For once Lockhart’s story rings true. The contract then stipulates: ‘You shall print Six or Ten Thousand Copies as you find advisable, admitting to one third thereof Messrs. Longman & Co. to another third John Ballantyne’.8 Scott did not sell the copyright of his novels on first publication; the contract was effectively a license, permitting the publisher to manufacture and sell, in this case 6000 or 10,000 copies. The first edition of Waverley (1814) was of 1000 copies; of Guy Mannering (1815) 2000; of The Antiquary (1816) 6000; of Tales of My Landlord (1816) 2000. An edition of 10,000 was therefore enormously bold, involving a huge outlay on paper, but it offered the potential for greater profits for both author and publisher, in that the novel had to be set once only—there had been three editions of Tales in three months. As Scott said to James Ballantyne on 16 August: ‘If Constable seriously thinks of the 10000 I shall not object—if it is so much lost to the printer it is so much gaind to the author’.9 Scott was, at this time, sole partner in the printing firm of James Ballantyne and Co., as well as the Author of Waverley. Although Constable was to be lead publisher, Longman and John Ballantyne were to be co-publishers, each party putting up one-third of the costs, including the advances to Scott, and receiving one third of the imprint to sell. However, John Ballantyne’s name does not appear

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on the title-page of the novel, because Constable bought his share,10 as Scott expected. Including Ballantyne as publisher was in fact a device to ensure that as literary agent Ballantyne was rewarded, but not at the expense of the author. The contract then goes on to stipulate an author’s advance of £1200 to be paid by two bills of exchange, one from each publisher, ‘at four months’, with John Ballantyne ‘paying Four Hundred Pounds’, presumably in cash. Scott would have presented the bills to the bank or banks, got £400 for each less a discount, and in four months’ time, i.e. in September when the novel was to be published and when the publishers would hope to be paid for the books they were selling, each publisher would have paid a bank £400 to retire the bills, i.e. pay off the debts created by Scott. The publishers must have been aware that he would not manage to finish in time (The Antiquary had been eleven months late), and that before Scott delivered they would have made a genuine financial advance. However, although the advance is specified, the contract omits to specify the most important single aspect of the deal, that the author would get half the ‘profits’ on the book, the profits being the total receipts from the sale of copies to retail booksellers, less the direct costs of typesetting, proof-reading, printing, and advertising the novel. Nor does the contract specify that James Ballantyne and Co. was to be the printer. As all the works for which Scott owned the copyright were always printed by James Ballantyne and Co., this must have been so clearly understood that no one remembered to specify it in the Rob Roy contract. Finally, the contract required the three publishers each to take £200 worth of the stock of the now defunct publisher, John Ballantyne and Co. In 1808 Scott had quarrelled with Archibald Constable and Co., and had set up a publishing company which bore the name of John Ballantyne and which was managed by him, but which was in fact owned by Scott and James Ballantyne. It ceased to trade in 1813, and its debts were gradually ameliorated by selling copyrights and old stock to Archibald Constable and Co. and his London partners. Nominally the purchasers obtained books to sell, but much was unsaleable so in practice it was another cost that the publishers had to accept in order to secure the contract for Rob Roy. Because the stock was not readily saleable there were, naturally, wrangles as to how it was to be valued —although this contract specifically states ‘the value of the Stock to be rated in the same manner as in the Cases of Guy Mannering & Antiquary’—and these wrangles, which ultimately gave Scott and John Ballantyne the price they wanted, led to Longman’s declining, in the autumn of 1817, to participate in the publication of The Heart of MidLothian. The business arrangements for Rob Roy are clear enough, but what motivated the author? The fact is that there is no evidence which

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explains why Scott embarked upon this subject. He was dealing with Rob Roy material in the couple of years before he wrote the novel. In his review of the Culloden Papers, which was published in the Quarterly Review for January 1816,11 he quotes the epigraph from Wordsworth which is on the title page of Rob Roy, and mentions Rob Roy the man, but nothing indicates a significant response to the material. His fascinating experiment with a retrospective first-person narrative was not manifestly prompted by anything he was reading or reviewing at the time, although no doubt he thought it characteristic of the era of Defoe for whose works he had written, or co-written, a biographical memoir.12 The first ever edition of Pepys’s diary (which had just appeared) was avowedly a stimulus to his starting his journal in November 1825,13 but if Scott’s reading in the months preceding 5 May 1817 prompted him to begin Rob Roy he does not tell us about it. Nor is there any evidence about his preparing to write. Scott had finished Tales of My Landlord by early November 1816, and by 20 November he had finished reading the proofs.14 By Scott’s standards, he did not write much in the next five months: Harold the Dauntless was finished and published in January 1817, but it had been composed, for the most part, at least two years previously. He wrote contributions for John Ballantyne’s new venture, a weekly called The Sale-Room. He reviewed Tales of My Landlord for the Quarterly, and wrote the first two parts of ‘Notes Concerning the Scottish Gypsies’ for Blackwood’s Edinburgh Monthly Magazine. He received the letter from Helen Goldie that was the germ of The Heart of Mid-Lothian in early February, and he was certainly turning over its possibilities;15 he may even have written the first chapter.16 But there is not a hint of his contemplating Rob Roy. A possible reason for the absence of information about the genesis of the novel is that Scott was ill, and was communicating little with others. On 18 March he told his friend J. B. S. Morritt that he had been plagued ‘all through winter with cramps in the stomach’, and that on 5 March he had a most violent attack which broke up a small party at my house and sent me to bed roaring like a bullcalf. All sorts of remedies were applied as in the case of Gil Blas’s pretended colic but such was the pain of the real disorder that it out-devild the doctors hollow. Even heated salt which was applied in such a state that it burnd my shirt to rags I hardly felt when applied to my stomach. At length the symptoms became inflammatory and dangerously so the seat being the diaphragm: they gave way only to very profuse bleeding and blistering which under higher assistance saved my life.17 Scott was probably suffering from gallstones, which, when lodged in the duct which leads from the gallbladder, cause intense pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. The effects lasted for the whole of

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March and April. On 6 May he wrote to Robert Southey saying ‘I got out here some weeks since where by dint of the insensible exercise which one takes in the country I feel myself gathering strength daily’.18 If the particular circumstances that led to Scott’s conceiving and writing Rob Roy in 1817 are not known, the range of relevant intellectual experience can be determined. On 26 December 1817, having at last read the whole novel, Robert Cadell, Constable’s partner, wrote to Constable: Rob [is] far from what every one expects from him—the general expectation is that Rob is to be the most unbending villain—thief —robber—rascal—but good in him for all that—in the Novel he has some of these traits, but figures far less on the stage than the title leads the reader to expect, indeed he appears scarcely in any shape till towards the end of the second volume—19 Scott had said ‘never let me have to write up to a name’, and he does not do so: Cadell’s disappointment was a disappointment of expectations. Because the novel is a first-person narrative the perspective on events is Frank Osbaldistone’s and he is an Englishman and a Presbyterian. Frank, his father, and Baillie Nicol Jarvie are Hanoverians, committed to Protestantism and liberty as the underpinnings of economic prosperity. There is no need to analyse Scott’s reading to show that he linked Protestantism, liberty and economic development. As Linda Colley shows,20 these terms are bracketed together in eighteenth-century Britain, and the collocation would be natural to Scott. William Osbaldistone links liberty and commerce; Adam Smith says that the proper determination of price requires ‘perfect liberty’,21 without further explanation. But Scott is not just repeating the ideological clichés of the eighteenth century, although it is perfectly appropriate to do so given the era in which the protagonist is nominally writing. Economic theory is central to the novel. It cannot be shown that Scott had read The Wealth of Nations, but he possessed the fifth edition which was published in 1789,22 which rather suggests that he bought it as a student in his second spell at university in Edinburgh. The term ‘political economy’ is used in the novel (95.14–15, and note) and in The Wealth of Nations Smith writes: Political œconomy, considered as a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator, proposes two distinct objects: first, to provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or more properly to enable them to provide such a revenue or subsistence for themselves; and secondly, to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the public services. It proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign.23 Jarvie is a brilliant illustration of Scott’s awareness of Smith’s great theme, how the selfishness of the individual pursuit of wealth can be

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reconciled with social obligations to one’s fellow men and country. More specifically Scott shows considerable awareness of the technical aspects of the regulation of trade: he owned the second edition of Malachy Postlethwayt’s The Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce (1757; CLA, 232) and quotes from it repeatedly; he mentions Jacques Savary des Brûlons (1657–1716), author of Dictionnaire universel de commerce (1723–30) from which Postlethwayt is derived; he quotes from ‘Saxby’s Tables’ (15.21–22), a shortened form of reference to Henry Saxby, The British Customs (1757). The Jacobite plot in the novel barely touches on armed insurrection, but centres on whether the Jacobites can use financial instruments to destabilise the British state (see notes to 12.3, 142.24). The relationship of confidence and credit was important to Scott throughout his career as writer and businessman, and is a theme of which he shows great understanding in his Letters of Malachi Malagrowther (1826). In addition Scott quotes from two great works which concern themselves in practical ways with the economic development of Scotland, Daniel Defoe’s A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724–26), and Thomas Pennant’s A Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides MDCCLXXII (1774).24 Rob Roy is structured on Frank’s journey to the north, and the geographic contrasting and paralleling is one of the novel’s salient features, and Scott knew all its locations. He had visited London many times: in 1799, 1803, 1806, and for two to three months of each of 1807, 1809, and 1815. In a letter to William Clerk dated 26 August 1791 he gives an account of his rambles in Northumberland, and says he was staying ‘in a farmer’s house, about six miles from Wooler, in the very centre of the Cheviot hills, in one of the wildest and most romantic situations which your imagination . . . ever suggested’.25 In other words he was in exactly the kind of country in which Osbaldistone Hall is set. The following year he tells Clerk that he had had ‘an expedition through Hexham and the higher parts of Northumberland, which would have delighted the very cockles of your heart’.26 He must frequently have been in Northumberland in later years: for instance Lockhart reports that in 1813 he visited J. B. S. Morritt at Rokeby, proceeding ‘by the way of Flodden and Hexham, travelling on horseback’. 27 Scott’s visits to Glasgow are less well documented, partly because they must have been shorter and unremarkable, but James Corson’s Notes and Index to Sir Herbert Grierson’s Edition of the Letters of Sir Walter Scott shows that he visited in 1807, 1808, and 1814. Scott had long known the Trossachs, the area round Loch Katrine where Rob Roy had operated, and in a note to the Magnum Introduction he describes his first visit: The Author is uncertain whether it is worth while to mention, that he had a personal opportunity of observing, even in his own time, that the king’s writ did not pass quite current in the Braes

 351 of Balquhidder. There were very considerable debts due by Stewart of Appin (chiefly to the author’s family), which were likely to be lost to the creditors, if they could not be made available out of this same farm of Invernenty, the scene of the murder done upon MacLaren. His family . . . agreed to sell their lease to the creditors for L.500, and to remove at the next term of Whitsunday. But whether they repented their bargain, or desired to make a better, or whether from a mere point of honour, the MacLarens declared they would not permit a summons of removal to be executed against them, which was necessary for the legal completion of the bargain. And such was the general impression that they were men capable of resisting the legal execution of warning by very effectual means, no king’s messenger would execute the summons without the support of a military force. An escort of a sergeant and six men was obtained from a Highland regiment lying in Stirling; and the Author, then a writer’s apprentice, . . . was invested with the superintendence of the expedition . . . And thus it happened, oddly enough, that the Author first entered the romantic scenery of Loch Katrine, . . . riding in all the dignity of danger, with a front and rear guard, and loaded arms. The sergeant was absolutely a Highland Sergeant Kite, full of stories of Rob Roy and of himself, and a very good companion. We experienced no interruption whatever, and when we came to Invernenty, found the house deserted. We took up our quarters for the night, and used some of the victuals which we found there. On the morning we returned as unmolested as we came.28 It is a good story, told with Scott’s usual self-deprecating humour: the party finds the house ‘deserted’, which effectively punctures the heroics. It is probably a true story in its outlines, although not in its details. Working from legal papers, Angus Stewart has shown that Scott’s father was indeed owed money by the late Dougal Stewart of Appin.29 However the farm in question was not Wester Invernenty where one of Rob Roy’s sons had murdered a MacLaren, but the adjacent Easter Invernenty (both to the west of Loch Doine in Balquhidder), which in 1788, when Walter Scott senior tried to get the farm with vacant possession, was tenanted by a Duncan Stewart, not a MacLaren. Various legal actions took place, and at Whitsunday 1790 Scott senior, now in possession of the leases, got entry to his property. If Walter Scott junior did indeed go with an armed guard to Invernenty (something for which there is no documentary evidence), it must have been in May 1790. Scott’s story is wrong in detail, but there is no reason to think that it is not right in essentials, and if so this means that his first Highland visit was in 1790, not in 1786 or 1787, the dates proposed by Lockhart.30 He visited the area again in 1793,31 and in 1796.32 In late August 1809 while engaged on writing the Lady of the Lake he spent a week in Cambusmore near Callander, and went on to Ross

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Priory and Buchanan Castle, both at the southern end of Loch Lomond,33 and he travelled into the Highlands, and on to the Inner Hebrides in July 1810.34 He was on Loch Lomond again in 1817 after he had begun Rob Roy.35 For many readers it is axiomatic that Scott’s knowledge of Jacobites and Jacobitism is important to Rob Roy; in actual fact it is only relevant in a negative way. He was, of course, very well acquainted with Jacobite materials, and, emotionally, deeply involved. In 1806 he wrote to Robert Surtees: You flatter me very much by pointing out to my attention the feuds of 1715 and 1745:—the truth is, that the subject has often & deeply interested me from my earliest youth. My great-grandfather was out, as the phrase goes, in Dundee’s wars, and in 1715 had nearly the honour to be hanged for his pains, had it not been for the interest of Duchess Anne of Buccleuch and Monmouth, to whom I have attempted, post longo intervallo, to pay a debt of gratitude. But, besides this, my father, although a Borderer, transacted business for many Highland lairds, and particularly for one old man, called Stuart of Invernahyle, who had been out both in 1715 and 1745, and whose tales were the absolute delight of my childhood. I believe there never was a man who united the ardour of a soldier and tale-teller, or man of talk, as they call it in Gaelic, in such an excellent degree; and as he was as fond of telling as I was of hearing, I became a valiant Jacobite at the age of ten years old.36 But Scott was not excited by the ’15 as he was by the ’45. He never knew his great-grandfather Walter (1653–1729), who went under the nickname Beardie having vowed not to cut his beard until the Stewarts were returned to the throne.37 Alexander Stewart of Invernahyle may have been an inspired story-teller, but as he was born in 1707 or 1708 (dying in 1795) it seems improbable that he was telling Scott first-hand tales of the ’15. However the fact that any account of that rising told by Scott could not be based on others’ first-hand experience is not so important as the way in which he treats Jacobites in this novel. Unlike Waverley, there is nothing in the novel that is favourable to the Jacobite cause, nothing that ‘explains’ Jacobitism, nothing that represents the ways of life exemplified by Sir Hildebrand and Helen MacGregor in a favourable light. The inhabitants of Northumberland and the Trossachs are not heroic: the Osbaldistones, with one exception, are boors, and the murder of Morris is gratuitously violent. There is abundant evidence to suggest that Scott was well aware of the Rob Roy mythology. His ‘Sergeant Kite’, the officer in charge of the military party that accompanied him to Invernenty in 1790, told him Rob Roy stories (Kite was a character in Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer). Lockhart says that in the 1793 expedition Scott visited Tullibody, home of George Abercromby (1705–1800), and while conclud-

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ing a contract of blackmail ‘heard from the old gentleman’s own lips his narrative of a journey which he had been obliged to make . . . to the wild retreat of Rob Roy’38. The story became the basis of the Bean Lean episode in Waverley. Both letters and the Magnum Introduction tell us that Scott had heard many tales from friends such as John Ramsay of Ochtertyre whom he visited in 1796 and Stewart of Invernahyle.39 In 1809 he ‘met with an old follower of Rob Roy, who had been at many a spreagh (foray) with that redoubted free-booter, and shewd me all his holds’.40 The ‘old follower’ was probably repeating tales he himself had heard, rather than recounting his own exploits, for in 1809 Rob Roy had been dead for 75 years—but that Scott was reporting on having heard such tales is indicative of the hold Rob Roy had on the popular imagination. However, he makes no use of this kind of story. The Rob Roy of the novel is a gentleman in distressed circumstances forced into an ungentlemanly trade, who upholds ‘justice’ not by redistributing wealth like Robin Hood, but by securing the release of an innocent man and the return of stolen property. That Scott does not deploy his deep knowledge of Jacobitism, nor draw on his store of Rob Roy stories and legends, does not mean that they are irrelevant to the novel. Scott seems deliberately to go against the grain. He denies Cadell’s kind of expectation of the name Rob Roy. He denies the expectations that the Author of Waverley will write a Jacobite novel. He denies Wordsworth’s poetic fashioning of Rob Roy even although the epigraph on the title page suggests that what follows will expand on the Wordsworthian image. He denies the expectations of the kind of literature that the title proposes: when writing on Defoe, Scott talks of a class of fictitious narrative which he brilliantly calls the ‘Romance of Roguery, the subjects being the adventures of thieves, rogues, vagabonds, and swindlers, including viragoes and courtezans’.41 Rob Roy is not even a sanitised version of a Defoesque narrative. It is not known when Scott began to think about Rob Roy, nor how he prepared for it, nor what it was that led him to violate so singularly readers’ expectations. But that he did not write up to the name must have been deliberate. 2.    ROB ROY The Timetable. Having agreed a contract, Scott immediately got down to writing Rob Roy. In an undated letter of early May he wrote to John Ballantyne apologising for neglecting ‘the Announce’, which was to read ‘Rob Roy in 3 Volumes/ By the author of Waverley’, and was to quote the Wordsworth epigraph.42 Presumably ‘the Announce’ refers to the first advertisement, which appeared in the Edinburgh Evening Courant on 19 May. He adds: ‘The first two chapters go to James

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today’. Those first two chapters end on f. 13 and, although Scott normally began the next chapter on the same sheet, there is a 7 cm space below the chapter ending, which suggests that he did indeed send the first two chapters off to James Ballantyne for copying. After the Court of Session rose on 11 July, Scott took a short holiday to the home of his former colleague Hector Macdonald Buchanan who lived at Ross Priory at the southern end of Loch Lomond. He told the Duke of Buccleuch that he intended to be ‘on the Braes of Glenfalloch at the head of Loch Lomond’ on 14 July; in other words he was revisiting Rob Roy country. He then proceeded to Glasgow, ‘where, under the auspices of a kind and intelligent acquaintance, Mr John Smith, bookseller, he refreshed his recollection of the noble cathedral, and other localities of the birth-place of Bailie Jarvie.’43 That, at least, is Lockhart’s story—the piece of doggerel sent, probably on 19 July, to the Duke of Buccleuch (who in the summer lived in Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire), outlines the route of his travels and suggests that he went straight from Ross to Greenock without touching Glasgow: From Ross where the clouds on Ben-Lomond are sleeping From Greenock where Clyde to the Ocean is sweeping From Largs where the Scotch gave the Northmen a drilling From Ardrossan whose harbour cost many a shilling From Old Cumnock where beds are as hard as a plank Sir From a chop & green pease & chicken at Sanquhar This eve please the fates at Drumlanrigg we anchor.44

A letter to Constable after his return home on 26 July, where he says ‘I have been . . . taking a little tour in Dunbarton & Ayrshire & residing at Drumlanrigg’, tends to confirm that he did not visit Glasgow on this occasion,45 but this does not mean that John Smith did not at some point give him a guided tour of old Glasgow. Whether he was writing while travelling has not been determined, but a plaque that once graced the walls of Ross Priory declared (inevitably) that part of the novel had been written there. He arrived home on 26 July and was able to write to Constable on 10 August: ‘J. B. [James Ballantyne] will soon give you the first vol. of the new work which is almost all in hand’.46 On 16 August Scott reported to James Ballantyne that he had again had ‘attacks of the cramp’, but nonetheless sent ‘more of R. R.’47 On 18 August he told Constable that he was ‘labouring regularly though I cannot work hard’, but had ‘no doubt of making October at least’.48 On 28 August he sent Ballantyne ‘the end of Vol. 1’.49 (As always, Scott had been somewhat optimistic about delivery dates.) As he could certainly pen a volume in a month, this timetable rather suggests that most of Volume 1 must have been written in August 1817. On 1 September Scott was still expecting Rob Roy to appear in October, but he cannot have passed the middle of the second volume

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as he teased James by saying: ‘Never fear Rob making his appearance —if he has not done so already’;50 James cannot have recognised the Scots stranger at the inn at Darlington as Rob Roy! However, by 21 September he must have been well through the second volume for he tells Ballantyne that he agrees ‘the English scenes are not so striking as the Scotch’.51 On 30 September he asked for ‘Sheet A vol 2d’, and for ‘running copy Volume 1’,52 but by 6 October his timetable had relaxed —‘With November R. R. comes in’.53 In the course of that month it slipped even further. On 11 October he said that he has ‘been liable to constant interruptions’54 and on 10 November he wrote to Constable from Abbotsford: ‘I have been dreadfully broke in upon by company here, otherwise R. R. would have been out. But not having even a closet to be private in, my course has necessarily been retarded.’55 (In 1817 none of the new Abbotsford had been built, and the Scotts were crowded into the old farm house.) The publishers were getting anxious. The aim of Archibald Constable and Co. was to have Rob Roy for the Christmas season, the best time of the year for selling books, and to be able to include the income from the novel in their 1817 accounts— they must have been using an accrual system of accounting as actual payment by booksellers followed the delivery of the books. On 11 November Robert Cadell wrote to his senior partner Constable who was in London saying: ‘I am terrified beyond measure about Rob Roy, and will make a point of seeing Jas B on the point immediately, should we not be able to publish this year the loss to our affairs will be most grievous and strikes me with dismay’.56 On 13 November he wrote again to Constable: ‘I called to day on Jas Ballantyne as to Rob Roy. and at his suggestion wrote him a pressing note on the subject that he might send it to the Author, whose indisposition has protracted the work greatly’.57 But it was worse than an ‘indisposition’. For three weeks in November Scott was again suffering. He was so ill that on 20 November Cadell wrote to Constable: ‘I say to you and to no one else will even I hint it, that W S. is not long for this world . . . My fears of W. S. are great, great . . . were any thing to happen to this person we would suffer most cruelly . . . Mr S may promise but these spasms assail him almost daily—and he cannot proceed’.58 Yet things suddenly improved. On 25 November Scott was reported as looking ‘remarkably well’,59 and the publishers’ major anxiety about his health was alleviated on 11 December by Constable and Co. taking out a £5000 assurance policy on Scott’s life at an annual cost of £206 5s.,60 thus covering the firm for any loss should the author die before completing novels contracted for. ‘God send he may live a while, but this at any rate Keeps us very snug’, wrote Cadell; ‘and the longer he lives the surer are we of recovering the sum’.61 In the late autumn references to Rob Roy in Scott’s letters become

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fewer. This is partly accounted for by his growing interest in the second series of Tales of My Landlord. On 10 November he told Constable: ‘Depend on it, that, barring unforeseen illness or death, these will be the best volumes which have appeared. I pique myself on the first tale which is called “The Heart of Midlothian”’.62 As is argued in the Essay on the Text in The Heart of Mid-Lothian,63 it is absolutely clear from this declaration that Scott had planned, conceptualised, and imagined the novel by November 1817. Rob Roy, still unfinished, had almost become a distraction from what Scott proclaimed to be his chef d’oeuvre. On the other hand Cadell’s letters to Constable who was in London give an idea of the speed with which the final volume progressed. On 1 December ‘Rob Roy is getting on faster, and there is still hope that it will be ready this year’; on 4 December Rob is still ‘getting on’; on 5 December it gave Cadell ‘pleasure of no small Kind to inform you that I have got Ballantyne to agree to announce Rob Roy for the 27th Decemr’; on 8 December Rob Roy is ‘getting on’.64 On 9 December Cadell proposed that the price should be £1 4s..65 On the 12th he reported that Scott had suggested that he might extend the novel to four volumes: ‘he feared he had more tow on his rock than he could spin off in the space he had left himself for Rob in the remainder of the 3rd volume’.66 Cadell makes no comment on this proposal, but given his insistence that Constable’s annual accounts demanded the production of Rob Roy in 1817 he cannot have been happy. And then on 24 December Cadell announced ‘the last Copy was yesterday received from the Author, and will all be in the hands of the compositor this afternoon’,67 while Scott was writing to James Ballantyne: With Great Joy I send you Roy Twas a tough job But we’re dune wi’ Rob.68

Getting the final volume through the press was a mad scramble involving working on Christmas Day (which was not a holiday) and overnight: on the 26th Cadell wrote to Constable ‘at 2 o’clock y.day there were four sheets to correct and the Author at Abbotsford;69 the next day he reported ‘the last proofs of Rob Roy did not come till 9 oclock last night—Mr Fyfe [?] corrected them . . . and at ¼ past they were all at press’.70 The novel was published in Edinburgh on 30 December 1817; the date on the title page is 1818. It was available in London around 7 January and publishing in Edinburgh before London caused a serious complaint from Longman’s.71 Completing the printing of a Scott novel must always have been pressurised, but the circumstances in which Rob Roy was finished were extraordinary. The Manuscript. The manuscript was sold at the 1831 auction of

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manuscripts given by Scott to Archibald Constable in March 1823. It was sold again in 1847 when it was bought by Robert Cadell who gave it to Lockhart. In 1894 it was sold by Lockhart’s granddaughter, and Scott’s great-granddaughter, Monica Maxwell-Scott to the silk merchant, William Law, and passed by inheritance to the late David Law Dixon who was owner when work on the manuscript was undertaken for this edition. It is the only manuscript of a Scott novel still to be in private ownership. The physical manuscript has three unusual features, its length, its mixture of papers, and its grubbiness. The manuscript leaves of the three volumes of the novel are bound together to form a book. The only foliation is Scott’s and the leaves of each volume are numbered separately. In the first volume there are 103 leaves numbered 1–102; there are two 13s. In the second t