Infomotions, Inc.The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Volume 2 / Scott, Walter, Sir, 1771-1832

Author: Scott, Walter, Sir, 1771-1832
Title: The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Volume 2
Date: 2004-08-20
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Title: The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Volume 2, Illustrated

Author: Sir Walter Scott

Release Date: August 20, 2004 [EBook #6943]

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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HEART OF MID-LOTHIAN, II. ***




Produced by David Widger




[Illustration: Bookcover]


[Illustration: Spines]




THE HEART OF MID-LOTHIAN, Volume 2

By Walter Scott



TALES OF MY LANDLORD

COLLECTED AND ARRANGED

BY JEDEDIAH CLEISHBOTHAM,

SCHOOLMASTER AND PARISH CLERK

OF GANDERCLEUGH.




SECOND SERIES.


[Illustration: Titlepage]




THE HEART OF MID-LOTHIAN.





CHAPTER FIRST.

                         Isab.--Alas! what poor ability's in me
                         To do him good?
                         Lucio.--Assay the power you have.
                                              Measure for Measure.

When Mrs. Saddletree entered the apartment in which her guests had
shrouded their misery, she found the window darkened. The feebleness
which followed his long swoon had rendered it necessary to lay the old
man in bed. The curtains were drawn around him, and Jeanie sate
motionless by the side of the bed. Mrs. Saddletree was a woman of
kindness, nay, of feeling, but not of delicacy. She opened the half-shut
window, drew aside the curtain, and, taking her kinsman by the hand,
exhorted him to sit up, and bear his sorrow like a good man, and a
Christian man, as he was. But when she quitted his hand, it fell
powerless by his side, nor did he attempt the least reply.

"Is all over?" asked Jeanie, with lips and cheeks as pale as ashes,--"and
is there nae hope for her?"

"Nane, or next to nane," said Mrs. Saddletree; "I heard the Judge-carle
say it with my ain ears--It was a burning shame to see sae mony o' them
set up yonder in their red gowns and black gowns, and to take the life o'
a bit senseless lassie. I had never muckle broo o' my gudeman's gossips,
and now I like them waur than ever. The only wiselike thing I heard
onybody say, was decent Mr. John Kirk of Kirk-knowe, and he wussed them
just to get the king's mercy, and nae mair about it. But he spake to
unreasonable folk--he might just hae keepit his breath to hae blawn on
his porridge."

"But _can_ the king gie her mercy?" said Jeanie, earnestly. "Some folk
tell me he canna gie mercy in cases of mur in cases like hers."

"_Can_ he gie mercy, hinny?--I weel I wot he can, when he likes. There
was young Singlesword, that stickit the Laird of Ballencleuch, and
Captain Hackum, the Englishman, that killed Lady Colgrain's gudeman, and
the Master of Saint Clair, that shot the twa Shaws,* and mony mair in my
time--to be sure they were gentle blood, and had their, kin to speak for
them--And there was Jock Porteous the other day--I'se warrant there's
mercy, an folk could win at it."

* [In 1828, the Author presented to the Roxburgh Club a curious volume
containing the "Proceedings in the Court-Martial held upon John, Master
of Sinclair, for the murder of Ensign Schaw, and Captain Schaw, 17th
October 1708."]

"Porteous?" said Jeanie; "very true--I forget a' that I suld maist mind.--
Fare ye weel, Mrs. Saddletree; and may ye never want a friend in the
hour of distress!"

"Will ye no stay wi' your father, Jeanie, bairn?--Ye had better," said
Mrs. Saddletree.

"I will be wanted ower yonder," indicating the Tolbooth with her hand,
"and I maun leave him now, or I will never be able to leave him. I fearna
for his life--I ken how strong-hearted he is--I ken it," she said, laying
her hand on her bosom, "by my ain heart at this minute."

"Weel, hinny, if ye think it's for the best, better he stay here and rest
him, than gang back to St. Leonard's."

"Muckle better--muckle better--God bless you!--God bless you!--At no rate
let him gang till ye hear frae me," said Jeanie.

"But ye'll be back belive?" said Mrs. Saddletree, detaining her; "they
winna let ye stay yonder, hinny."

"But I maun gang to St. Leonard's--there's muckle to be dune, and little
time to do it in--And I have friends to speak to--God bless you--take
care of my father."

She had reached the door of the apartment, when, suddenly turning, she
came back, and knelt down by the bedside.--"O father, gie me your
blessing--I dare not go till ye bless me. Say but 'God bless ye, and
prosper ye, Jeanie'--try but to say that!"

Instinctively, rather than by an exertion of intellect, the old man
murmured a prayer, that "purchased and promised blessings might be
multiplied upon her."

"He has blessed mine errand," said his daughter, rising from her knees,
"and it is borne in upon my mind that I shall prosper."

So saying, she left the room.

Mrs. Saddletree looked after her, and shook her head. "I wish she binna
roving, poor thing--There's something queer about a' thae Deanses. I
dinna like folk to be sae muckle better than other folk--seldom comes
gude o't. But if she's gaun to look after the kye at St. Leonard's,
that's another story; to be sure they maun be sorted.--Grizzie, come up
here, and tak tent to the honest auld man, and see he wants naething.--Ye
silly tawpie" (addressing the maid-servant as she entered), "what garr'd
ye busk up your cockemony that gate?--I think there's been enough the day
to gie an awfa' warning about your cockups and your fallal duds--see what
they a' come to," etc. etc. etc.

Leaving the good lady to her lecture upon worldly vanities, we must
transport our reader to the cell in which the unfortunate Effie Deans was
now immured, being restricted of several liberties which she had enjoyed
before the sentence was pronounced.

When she had remained about an hour in the state of stupified horror so
natural in her situation, she was disturbed by the opening of the jarring
bolts of her place of confinement, and Ratcliffe showed himself. "It's
your sister," he said, "wants to speak t'ye, Effie."

"I canna see naebody," said Effie, with the hasty irritability which
misery had rendered more acute--"I canna see naebody, and least of a'
her--Bid her take care o' the auld man--I am naething to ony o' them now,
nor them to me."

"She says she maun see ye, though," said Ratcliffe; and Jeanie, rushing
into the apartment, threw her arms round her sister's neck, who writhed
to extricate herself from her embrace.

"What signifies coming to greet ower me," said poor Effie, "when you have
killed me?--killed me, when a word of your mouth would have saved
me--killed me, when I am an innocent creature--innocent of that guilt at
least--and me that wad hae wared body and soul to save your finger from
being hurt?"

"You shall not die," said Jeanie, with enthusiastic firmness; "say what
you like o' me--think what you like o' me--only promise--for I doubt your
proud heart--that ye wunna harm yourself, and you shall not die this
shameful death."

"A _shameful_ death I will not die, Jeanie, lass. I have that in my
heart--though it has been ower kind a ane--that wunna bide shame. Gae
hame to our father, and think nae mair on me--I have eat my last earthly
meal."

"Oh, this was what I feared!" said Jeanie.

"Hout, tout, hinny," said Ratcliffe; "it's but little ye ken o' thae
things. Ane aye thinks at the first dinnle o' the sentence, they hae
heart eneugh to die rather than bide out the sax weeks; but they aye bide
the sax weeks out for a' that. I ken the gate o't weel; I hae fronted the
doomster three times, and here I stand, Jim Ratcliffe, for a' that. Had I
tied my napkin strait the first time, as I had a great mind till't--and
it was a' about a bit grey cowt, wasna worth ten punds sterling--where
would I have been now?"

"And how _did_ you escape?" said Jeanie, the fates of this man, at first
so odious to her, having acquired a sudden interest in her eyes from
their correspondence with those of her sister.

"_How_ did I escape?" said Ratcliffe, with a knowing wink,--"I tell ye I
'scapit in a way that naebody will escape from this Tolbooth while I keep
the keys."

"My sister shall come out in the face of the sun," said Jeanie; "I will
go to London, and beg her pardon from the king and queen. If they
pardoned Porteous, they may pardon her; if a sister asks a sister's life
on her bended knees, they will pardon her--they _shall_ pardon her--and
they will win a thousand hearts by it."

Effie listened in bewildered astonishment, and so earnest was her
sister's enthusiastic assurance, that she almost involuntarily caught a
gleam of hope; but it instantly faded away.

"Ah, Jeanie! the king and queen live in London, a thousand miles from
this--far ayont the saut sea; I'll be gane before ye win there."

"You are mistaen," said Jeanie; "it is no sae far, and they go to it by
land; I learned something about thae things from Reuben Butler."

"Ah, Jeanie! ye never learned onything but what was gude frae the folk ye
keepit company wi'; but!--but!"--she wrung her hands and wept bitterly.

"Dinna think on that now," said Jeanie; "there will be time for that if
the present space be redeemed. Fare ye weel. Unless I die by the road, I
will see the king's face that gies grace--O, sir" (to Ratcliffe), "be
kind to her--She ne'er ken'd what it was to need a stranger's kindness
till now.--Fareweel--fareweel, Effie!--Dinna speak to me--I maunna greet
now--my head's ower dizzy already!"

She tore herself from her sister's arms, and left the cell. Ratcliffe
followed her, and beckoned her into a small room. She obeyed his signal,
but not without trembling.

"What's the fule thing shaking for?" said he; "I mean nothing but
civility to you. D--n me, I respect you, and I can't help it. You have so
much spunk, that d--n me, but I think there's some chance of your
carrying the day. But you must not go to the king till you have made some
friend; try the duke--try MacCallummore; he's Scotland's friend--I ken
that the great folks dinna muckle like him--but they fear him, and that
will serve your purpose as weel. D'ye ken naebody wad gie ye a letter to
him?"

"Duke of Argyle!" said Jeanie, recollecting herself suddenly, "what was
he to that Argyle that suffered in my father's time--in the persecution?"

"His son or grandson, I'm thinking," said Ratcliffe, "but what o' that?"

"Thank God!" said Jeanie, devoutly clasping her hands.

"You whigs are aye thanking God for something," said the ruffian. "But
hark ye, hinny, I'll tell ye a secret. Ye may meet wi' rough customers on
the Border, or in the Midland, afore ye get to Lunnon. Now, deil ane o'
them will touch an acquaintance o' Daddie Ratton's; for though I am
retired frae public practice, yet they ken I can do a gude or an ill turn
yet--and deil a gude fellow that has been but a twelvemonth on the lay,
be he ruffler or padder, but he knows my gybe* as well as the jark** of
e'er a queer cuffin*** in England--and there's rogue's Latin for you."

* Pass.
** Seal.
*** Justice of Peace.

It was indeed totally unintelligible to Jeanie Deans, who was only
impatient to escape from him. He hastily scrawled a line or two on a
dirty piece of paper, and said to her, as she drew back when he offered
it, "Hey!--what the deil--it wunna bite you, my lass--if it does nae
gude, it can do nae ill. But I wish you to show it, if you have ony
fasherie wi' ony o' St. Nicholas's clerks."

"Alas!" said she, "I do not understand what you mean."

"I mean, if ye fall among thieves, my precious,--that is a Scripture
phrase, if ye will hae ane--the bauldest of them will ken a scart o' my
guse feather. And now awa wi' ye--and stick to Argyle; if onybody can do
the job, it maun be him."

After casting an anxious look at the grated windows and blackened walls
of the old Tolbooth, and another scarce less anxious at the hospitable
lodging of Mrs. Saddletree, Jeanie turned her back on that quarter, and
soon after on the city itself. She reached St. Leonard's Crags without
meeting any one whom she knew, which, in the state of her mind, she
considered as a great blessing. "I must do naething," she thought, as she
went along, "that can soften or weaken my heart--it's ower weak already
for what I hae to do. I will think and act as firmly as I can, and speak
as little."

There was an ancient servant, or rather cottar, of her father's, who had
lived under him for many years, and whose fidelity was worthy of full
confidence. She sent for this woman, and explaining to her that the
circumstances of her family required that she should undertake a journey,
which would detain her for some weeks from home, she gave her full
instructions concerning the management of the domestic concerns in her
absence. With a precision, which, upon reflection, she herself could not
help wondering at, she described and detailed the most minute steps which
were to be taken, and especially such as were necessary for her father's
comfort. "It was probable," she said, "that he would return to St.
Leonard's to-morrow! certain that he would return very soon--all must be
in order for him. He had eneugh to distress him, without being fashed
about warldly matters."

In the meanwhile she toiled busily, along with May Hettly, to leave
nothing unarranged.

It was deep in the night when all these matters were settled; and when
they had partaken of some food, the first which Jeanie had tasted on that
eventful day, May Hettly, whose usual residence was a cottage at a little
distance from Deans's house, asked her young mistress, whether she would
not permit her to remain in the house all night? "Ye hae had an awfu'
day," she said, "and sorrow and fear are but bad companions in the
watches of the night, as I hae heard the gudeman say himself."

"They are ill companions indeed," said Jeanie; "but I maun learn to abide
their presence, and better begin in the house than in the field."

She dismissed her aged assistant accordingly,--for so slight was the
gradation in their rank of life, that we can hardly term May a
servant,--and proceeded to make a few preparations for her journey.

The simplicity of her education and country made these preparations very
brief and easy. Her tartan screen served all the purposes of a
riding-habit and of an umbrella; a small bundle contained such changes of
linen as were absolutely necessary. Barefooted, as Sancho says, she had
come into the world, and barefooted she proposed to perform her
pilgrimage; and her clean shoes and change of snow-white thread stockings
were to be reserved for special occasions of ceremony. She was not aware,
that the English habits of comfort attach an idea of abject misery to the
idea of a barefooted traveller; and if the objection of cleanliness had
been made to the practice, she would have been apt to vindicate herself
upon the very frequent ablutions to which, with Mahometan scrupulosity, a
Scottish damsel of some condition usually subjects herself. Thus far,
therefore, all was well.

From an oaken press, or cabinet, in which her father kept a few old
books, and two or three bundles of papers, besides his ordinary accounts
and receipts, she sought out and extracted from a parcel of notes of
sermons, calculations of interest, records of dying speeches of the
martyrs, and the like, one or two documents which she thought might be of
some use to her upon her mission. But the most important difficulty
remained behind, and it had not occurred to her until that very evening.
It was the want of money; without which it was impossible she could
undertake so distant a journey as she now meditated.

David Deans, as we have said, was easy, and even opulent in his
circumstances. But his wealth, like that of the patriarchs of old,
consisted in his kine and herds, and in two or three sums lent out at
interest to neighbours or relatives, who, far from being in circumstances
to pay anything to account of the principal sums, thought they did all
that was incumbent on them when, with considerable difficulty, they
discharged the "annual rent." To these debtors it would be in vain,
therefore, to apply, even with her father's concurrence; nor could she
hope to obtain such concurrence, or assistance in any mode, without such
a series of explanations and debates as she felt might deprive her
totally of the power of taking the step, which, however daring and
hazardous, she felt was absolutely necessary for trying the last chance
in favour of her sister. Without departing from filial reverence, Jeanie
had an inward conviction that the feelings of her father, however just,
and upright, and honourable, were too little in unison with the spirit of
the time to admit of his being a good judge of the measures to be adopted
in this crisis. Herself more flexible in manner, though no less upright
in principle, she felt that to ask his consent to her pilgrimage would be
to encounter the risk of drawing down his positive prohibition, and under
that she believed her journey could not be blessed in its progress and
event. Accordingly, she had determined upon the means by which she might
communicate to him her undertaking and its purpose, shortly after her
actual departure. But it was impossible to apply to him for money without
altering this arrangement, and discussing fully the propriety of her
journey; pecuniary assistance from that quarter, therefore, was laid out
of the question.

It now occurred to Jeanie that she should have consulted with Mrs.
Saddletree on this subject. But, besides the time that must now
necessarily be lost in recurring to her assistance Jeanie internally
revolted from it. Her heart acknowledged the goodness of Mrs.
Saddletree's general character, and the kind interest she took in their
family misfortunes; but still she felt that Mrs. Saddletree was a woman
of an ordinary and worldly way of thinking, incapable, from habit and
temperament, of taking a keen or enthusiastic view of such a resolution
as she had formed; and to debate the point with her, and to rely upon her
conviction of its propriety, for the means of carrying it into execution,
would have been gall and wormwood.

Butler, whose assistance she might have been assured of, was greatly
poorer than herself. In these circumstances, she formed a singular
resolution for the purpose of surmounting this difficulty, the execution
of which will form the subject of the next chapter.





CHAPTER SECOND


          'Tis the voice of the sluggard, I've heard him complain,
          "You have waked me too soon, I must slumber again;"
             As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
           Turns his side, and his shoulders, and his heavy head.
                                           Dr. Watts.

The mansion-house of Dumbiedikes, to which we are now to introduce our
readers, lay three or four miles--no matter for the exact topography--to
the southward of St. Leonard's. It had once borne the appearance of some
little celebrity; for the "auld laird," whose humours and pranks were
often mentioned in the ale-houses for about a mile round it, wore a
sword, kept a good horse, and a brace of greyhounds; brawled, swore, and
betted at cock-fights and horse-matches; followed Somerville of Drum's
hawks, and the Lord Ross's hounds, and called himself _point devise_ a
gentleman. But the line had been veiled of its splendour in the present
proprietor, who cared for no rustic amusements, and was as saying, timid,
and retired, as his father had been at once grasping and selfishly
extravagant--daring, wild, and intrusive.

Dumbiedikes was what is called in Scotland a single house; that is,
having only one room occupying its whole depth from back to front, each
of which single apartments was illuminated by six or eight cross lights,
whose diminutive panes and heavy frames permitted scarce so much light to
enter as shines through one well-constructed modern window. This
inartificial edifice, exactly such as a child would build with cards, had
a steep roof flagged with coarse grey stones instead of slates; a
half-circular turret, battlemented, or, to use the appropriate phrase,
bartizan'd on the top, served as a case for a narrow turnpike stair, by
which an ascent was gained from storey to storey; and at the bottom of
the said turret was a door studded with large-headed nails. There was no
lobby at the bottom of the tower, and scarce a landing-place opposite to
the doors which gave access to the apartments. One or two low and
dilapidated outhouses, connected by a courtyard wall equally ruinous,
surrounded the mansion. The court had been paved, but the flags being
partly displaced and partly renewed, a gallant crop of docks and thistles
sprung up between them, and the small garden, which opened by a postern
through the wall, seemed not to be in a much more orderly condition. Over
the low-arched gateway which led into the yard there was a carved stone,
exhibiting some attempt at armorial bearings; and above the inner
entrance hung, and had hung, for many years, the mouldering hatchment,
which announced that umquhile Laurence Dumbie of Dumbiedikes had been
gathered to his fathers in Newbattle kirkyard. The approach to this
palace of pleasure was by a road formed by the rude fragments of stone
gathered from the fields, and it was surrounded by ploughed, but
unenclosed land. Upon a baulk, that is, an unploughed ridge of land
interposed among the corn, the Laird's trusty palfrey was tethered by the
head, and picking a meal of grass. The whole argued neglect and
discomfort; the consequence, however, of idleness and indifference, not
of poverty.

In this inner court, not without a sense of bashfulness and timidity,
stood Jeanie Deans, at an early hour in a fine spring morning. She was no
heroine of romance, and therefore looked with some curiosity and interest
on the mansion-house and domains, of which, it might at that moment occur
to her, a little encouragement, such as women of all ranks know by
instinct how to apply, might have made her mistress. Moreover, she was no
person of taste beyond her time, rank, and country, and certainly thought
the house of Dumbiedikes, though inferior to Holyrood House, or the
palace at Dalkeith, was still a stately structure in its way, and the
land a "very bonny bit, if it were better seen to and done to." But
Jeanie Deans was a plain, true-hearted, honest girl, who, while she
acknowledged all the splendour of her old admirer's habitation, and the
value of his property, never for a moment harboured a thought of doing
the Laird, Butler, or herself, the injustice, which many ladies of higher
rank would not have hesitated to do to all three on much less temptation.

Her present errand being with the Laird, she looked round the offices to
see if she could find any domestic to announce that she wished to see
him. As all was silence, she ventured to open one door--it was the old
Laird's dog-kennel, now deserted, unless when occupied, as one or two
tubs seemed to testify, as a washing-house. She tried another--it was the
rootless shed where the hawks had been once kept, as appeared from a
perch or two not yet completely rotten, and a lure and jesses which were
mouldering on the wall. A third door led to the coal-house, which was
well stocked. To keep a very good fire was one of the few points of
domestic management in which Dumbiedikes was positively active; in all
other matters of domestic economy he was completely passive, and at the
mercy of his housekeeper--the same buxom dame whom his father had long
since bequeathed to his charge, and who, if fame did her no injustice,
had feathered her nest pretty well at his expense.

Jeanie went on opening doors, like the second Calender wanting an eye, in
the castle of the hundred obliging damsels, until, like the said prince
errant, she came to a stable. The Highland Pegasus, Rory Bean, to which
belonged the single entire stall, was her old acquaintance, whom she had
seen grazing on the baulk, as she failed not to recognise by the
well-known ancient riding furniture and demi-pique saddle, which half
hung on the walls, half trailed on the litter. Beyond the "treviss,"
which formed one side of the stall, stood a cow, who turned her head and
lowed when Jeanie came into the stable, an appeal which her habitual
occupations enabled her perfectly to understand, and with which she could
not refuse complying, by shaking down some fodder to the animal, which
had been neglected like most things else in the castle of the sluggard.

While she was accommodating "the milky mother" with the food which she
should have received two hours sooner, a slipshod wench peeped into the
stable, and perceiving that a stranger was employed in discharging the
task which she, at length, and reluctantly, had quitted her slumbers to
perform, ejaculated,

"Eh, sirs! the Brownie! the Brownie!" and fled, yelling as if she had
seen the devil.

To explain her terror it may be necessary to notice that the old house of
Dumbiedikes had, according to report, been long haunted by a Brownie, one
of those familiar spirits who were believed in ancient times to supply
the deficiencies of the ordinary labourer--


Whirl the long mop, and ply the airy flail.

Certes, the convenience of such a supernatural assistance could have been
nowhere more sensibly felt than in a family where the domestics were so
little disposed to personal activity; yet this serving maiden was so far
from rejoicing in seeing a supposed aerial substitute discharging a task
which she should have long since performed herself, that she proceeded to
raise the family by her screams of horror, uttered as thick as if the
Brownie had been flaying her. Jeanie, who had immediately resigned her
temporary occupation, and followed the yelling damsel into the courtyard,
in order to undeceive and appease her, was there met by Mrs. Janet
Balchristie, the favourite sultana of the last Laird, as scandal
went--the housekeeper of the present. The good-looking buxom woman,
betwixt forty and fifty (for such we described her at the death of the
last Laird), was now a fat, red-faced, old dame of seventy, or
thereabouts, fond of her place, and jealous of her authority. Conscious
that her administration did not rest on so sure a basis as in the time
of the old proprietor, this considerate lady had introduced into the
family the screamer aforesaid, who added good features and bright eyes
to the powers of her lungs. She made no conquest of the Laird, however,
who seemed to live as if there was not another woman in the world but
Jeanie Deans, and to bear no very ardent or overbearing affection even
to her. Mrs. Janet Balchristie, notwithstanding, had her own uneasy
thoughts upon the almost daily visits to St. Leonard's Crags, and often,
when the Laird looked at her wistfully and paused, according to his
custom before utterance, she expected him to say, "Jenny, I am gaun to
change my condition;" but she was relieved by, "Jenny, I am gaun to
change my shoon."

Still, however, Mrs. Balchristie regarded Jeanie Deans with no small
portion of malevolence, the customary feeling of such persons towards
anyone who they think has the means of doing them an injury. But she had
also a general aversion to any female tolerably young, and decently
well-looking, who showed a wish to approach the house of Dumbiedikes and
the proprietor thereof. And as she had raised her mass of mortality out
of bed two hours earlier than usual, to come to the rescue of her
clamorous niece, she was in such extreme bad humour against all and
sundry, that Saddletree would have pronounced that she harboured
_inimicitiam contra omnes mortales._

"Wha the deil are ye?" said the fat dame to poor Jeanie, whom she did not
immediately recognise, "scouping about a decent house at sic an hour in
the morning?"

"It was ane wanting to speak to the Laird," said Jeanie, who felt
something of the intuitive terror which she had formerly entertained for
this termagant, when she was occasionally at Dumbiedikes on business of
her father's.

"Ane!--And what sort of ane are ye!--hae ye nae name?--D'ye think his
honour has naething else to do than to speak wi' ilka idle tramper that
comes about the town, and him in his bed yet, honest man?"

"Dear Mrs. Balchristie," replied Jeanie, in a submissive tone, "d'ye no
mind me?--d'ye no mind Jeanie Deans?"

"Jeanie Deans!" said the termagant, in accents affecting the utmost
astonishment; then, taking two strides nearer to her, she peered into her
face with a stare of curiosity, equally scornful and malignant--"I say
Jeanie Deans indeed--Jeanie Deevil, they had better hae ca'ed ye!--A
bonny spot o' wark your tittie and you hae made out, murdering ae puir
wean, and your light limmer of a sister's to be hanged for't, as weel she
deserves!--And the like o' you to come to ony honest man's house, and
want to be into a decent bachelor gentleman's room at this time in the
morning, and him in his bed!--Gae wa', gae wa'!"

Jeanie was struck mute with shame at the unfeeling brutality of this
accusation, and could not even find words to justify herself from the
vile construction put upon her visit. When Mrs. Balchristie, seeing her
advantage, continued in the same tone, "Come, come, bundle up your pipes
and tramp awa wi' ye!--ye may be seeking a father to another wean for ony
thing I ken. If it warna that your father, auld David Deans, had been a
tenant on our land, I would cry up the men-folk, and hae ye dookit in the
burn for your impudence."

Jeanie had already turned her back, and was walking towards the door of
the court-yard, so that Mrs. Balchristie, to make her last threat
impressively audible to her, had raised her stentorian voice to its
utmost pitch. But, like many a general, she lost the engagement by
pressing her advantage too far.

The Laird had been disturbed in his morning slumbers by the tones of Mrs.
Balchristie's objurgation, sounds in themselves by no means uncommon, but
very remarkable, in respect to the early hour at which they were now
heard. He turned himself on the other side, however, in hopes the squall
would blow by, when, in the course of Mrs. Balchristie's second explosion
of wrath, the name of Deans distinctly struck the tympanum of his ear. As
he was, in some degree, aware of the small portion of benevolence with
which his housekeeper regarded the family at St. Leonard's, he instantly
conceived that some message from thence was the cause of this untimely
ire, and getting out of his bed, he slipt as speedily as possible into an
old brocaded night-gown, and some other necessary garments, clapped on
his head his father's gold-laced hat (for though he was seldom seen
without it, yet it is proper to contradict the popular report that he
slept in it, as Don Quixote did in his helmet), and opening the window of
his bedroom, beheld, to his great astonishment, the well-known figure of
Jeanie Deans herself retreating from his gate; while his housekeeper,
with arms a-kimbo, fist clenched and extended, body erect, and head
shaking with rage, sent after her a volley of Billingsgate oaths. His
choler rose in proportion to the surprise, and, perhaps, to the
disturbance of his repose. "Hark ye," he exclaimed from the window, "ye
auld limb of Satan--wha the deil gies you commission to guide an honest
man's daughter that gate?"

Mrs. Balchristie was completely caught in the manner. She was aware, from
the unusual warmth with which the Laird expressed himself, that he was
quite serious in this matter, and she knew, that with all his indolence
of nature, there were points on which he might be provoked, and that,
being provoked, he had in him something dangerous, which her wisdom
taught her to fear accordingly. She began, therefore, to retract her
false step as fast as she could. "She was but speaking for the house's
credit, and she couldna think of disturbing his honour in the morning sae
early, when the young woman might as weel wait or call again; and to be
sure, she might make a mistake between the twa sisters, for ane o' them
wasna sae creditable an acquaintance."

"Haud your peace, ye auld jade," said Dumbiedikes; "the warst quean e'er
stude in their shoon may ca' you cousin, an a' be true that I have
heard.--Jeanie, my woman, gang into the parlour--but stay, that winna be
redd up yet--wait there a minute till I come down to let ye in--Dinna
mind what Jenny says to ye."

"Na, na," said Jenny, with a laugh of affected heartiness, "never mind
me, lass--a' the warld kens my bark's waur than my bite--if ye had had an
appointment wi' the Laird, ye might hae tauld me--I am nae uncivil
person--gang your ways in by, hinny," and she opened the door of the
house with a master-key.

"But I had no appointment wi' the Laird," said Jeanie, drawing back; "I
want just to speak twa words to him, and I wad rather do it standing
here, Mrs. Balchristie."

"In the open court-yard!--Na, na, that wad never do, lass; we mauna guide
ye that gate neither--And how's that douce honest man, your father?"

Jeanie was saved the pain of answering this hypocritical question by the
appearance of the Laird himself.

"Gang in and get breakfast ready," said he to his housekeeper--"and, d'ye
hear, breakfast wi' us yoursell--ye ken how to manage thae porringers of
tea-water--and, hear ye, see abune a' that there's a gude fire.--Weel,
Jeanie, my woman, gang in by--gang in by, and rest ye."

"Na, Laird," Jeanie replied, endeavouring as much as she could to express
herself with composure, notwithstanding she still trembled, "I canna gang
in--I have a lang day's darg afore me--I maun be twenty mile o' gate the
night yet, if feet will carry me."

"Guide and deliver us!--twenty mile--twenty mile on your feet!"
ejaculated Dumbiedikes, whose walks were of a very circumscribed
diameter,--"Ye maun never think o' that--come in by."

"I canna do that, Laird," replied Jeanie; "the twa words I have to say to
ye I can say here; forby that Mrs. Balchristie"

"The deil flee awa wi' Mrs. Balchristie," said Dumbiedikes, "and he'll
hae a heavy lading o' her! I tell ye, Jeanie Deans, I am a man of few
words, but I am laird at hame, as well as in the field; deil a brute or
body about my house but I can manage when I like, except Rory Bean, my
powny; but I can seldom be at the plague, an it binna when my bluid's
up."

"I was wanting to say to ye, Laird," said Jeanie, who felt the necessity
of entering upon her business, "that I was gaun a lang journey, outby of
my father's knowledge."

"Outby his knowledge, Jeanie!--Is that right? Ye maun think ot
again--it's no right," said Dumbiedikes, with a countenance of great
concern.

"If I were ance at Lunnon," said Jeanie, in exculpation, "I am amaist
sure I could get means to speak to the queen about my sister's life."

"Lunnon--and the queen--and her sister's life!" said Dumbiedikes,
whistling for very amazement--"the lassie's demented."

"I am no out o' my mind," said she, "and sink or swim, I am determined to
gang to Lunnon, if I suld beg my way frae door to door--and so I maun,
unless ye wad lend me a small sum to pay my expenses--little thing will
do it; and ye ken my father's a man of substance, and wad see nae man,
far less you, Laird, come to loss by me."

Dumbiedikes, on comprehending the nature of this application, could
scarce trust his ears--he made no answer whatever, but stood with his
eyes rivetted on the ground.

"I see ye are no for assisting me, Laird," said Jeanie, "sae fare ye
weel--and gang and see my poor father as aften as ye can--he will be
lonely eneugh now."

"Where is the silly bairn gaun?" said Dumbiedikes; and, laying hold of
her hand, he led her into the house. "It's no that I didna think o't
before," he said, "but it stack in my throat."

Thus speaking to himself, he led her into an old-fashioned parlour, shut
the door behind them, and fastened it with a bolt. While Jeanie,
surprised at this manoeuvre, remained as near the door as possible, the
Laird quitted her hand, and pressed upon a spring lock fixed in an oak
panel in the wainscot, which instantly slipped aside. An iron strong-box
was discovered in a recess of the wall; he opened this also, and pulling
out two or three drawers, showed that they were filled with leathern bags
full of gold and silver coin.

"This is my bank, Jeanie lass," he said, looking first at her and then at
the treasure, with an air of great complacency,--"nane o' your
goldsmith's bills for me,--they bring folk to ruin."

Then, suddenly changing his tone, he resolutely said,--"Jeanie, I will
make ye Lady Dumbiedikes afore the sun sets and ye may ride to Lunnon in
your ain coach, if ye like."

"Na, Laird," said Jeanie, "that can never be--my father's grief--my
sister's situation--the discredit to you"

"That's _my_ business," said Dumbiedikes; "ye wad say naething about that
if ye werena a fule--and yet I like ye the better for't--ae wise body's
eneugh in the married state. But if your heart's ower fu', take what
siller will serve ye, and let it be when ye come back again--as gude syne
as sune."

"But, Laird," said Jeanie, who felt the necessity of being explicit with
so extraordinary a lover, "I like another man better than you, and I
canna marry ye."

"Another man better than me, Jeanie!" said Dumbiedikes; "how is that
possible? It's no possible, woman--ye hae ken'd me sae lang."

"Ay but, Laird," said Jeanie, with persevering simplicity, "I hae ken'd
him langer."

"Langer! It's no possible!" exclaimed the poor Laird. "It canna be; ye
were born on the land. O Jeanie woman, ye haena lookit--ye haena seen the
half o' the gear." He drew out another drawer--"A' gowd, Jeanie, and
there's bands for siller lent--And the rental book, Jeanie--clear three
hunder sterling--deil a wadset, heritable band, or burden--Ye haena
lookit at them, woman--And then my mother's wardrobe, and my
grandmother's forby--silk gowns wad stand on their ends, their
pearline-lace as fine as spiders' webs, and rings and ear-rings to the
boot of a' that--they are a' in the chamber of deas--Oh, Jeanie, gang up
the stair and look at them!"


[Illustration: Jeanie and the Laird of Dumbiedykes--Frontispiece]


But Jeanie held fast her integrity, though beset with temptations, which
perhaps the Laird of Dumbiedikes did not greatly err in supposing were
those most affecting to her sex.

"It canna be, Laird--I have said it--and I canna break my word till him,
if ye wad gie me the haill barony of Dalkeith, and Lugton into the
bargain."

"Your word to _him,_" said the Laird, somewhat pettishly; "but wha is he,
Jeanie?--wha is he?--I haena heard his name yet--Come now, Jeanie, ye are
but queering us--I am no trowing that there is sic a ane in the warld--ye
are but making fashion--What is he?--wha is he?"

"Just Reuben Butler, that's schulemaster at Liberton," said Jeanie.

"Reuben Butler! Reuben Butler!" echoed the Laird of Dumbiedikes, pacing
the apartment in high disdain,--"Reuben Butler, the dominie at
Liberton--and a dominie depute too!--Reuben, the son of my cottar!--Very
weel, Jeanie lass, wilfu' woman will hae her way--Reuben Butler! he
hasna in his pouch the value o' the auld black coat he wears--But it
disna signify." And as he spoke, he shut successively and with vehemence
the drawers of his treasury. "A fair offer, Jeanie, is nae cause of
feud--Ae man may bring a horse to the water, but twenty winna gar him
drink--And as for wasting my substance on other folk's joes"

There was something in the last hint that nettled Jeanie's honest pride.--
"I was begging nane frae your honour," she said; "least of a' on sic a
score as ye pit it on.--Gude morning to ye, sir; ye hae been kind to my
father, and it isna in my heart to think otherwise than kindly of you."

So saying, she left the room without listening to a faint "But,
Jeanie--Jeanie--stay, woman!" and traversing the courtyard with a quick
step, she set out on her forward journey, her bosom glowing with that
natural indignation and shame, which an honest mind feels at having
subjected itself to ask a favour, which had been unexpectedly refused.
When out of the Laird's ground, and once more upon the public road, her
pace slackened, her anger cooled, and anxious anticipations of the
consequence of this unexpected disappointment began to influence her
with other feelings. Must she then actually beg her way to London? for
such seemed the alternative; or must she turn back, and solicit her
father for money? and by doing so lose time, which was precious, besides
the risk of encountering his positive prohibition respecting the
journey! Yet she saw no medium between these alternatives; and, while
she walked slowly on, was still meditating whether it were not better to
return.

While she was thus in an uncertainty, she heard the clatter of a horse's
hoofs, and a well-known voice calling her name. She looked round, and saw
advancing towards her on a pony, whose bare back and halter assorted ill
with the nightgown, slippers, and laced cocked-hat of the rider, a
cavalier of no less importance than Dumbiedikes himself. In the energy of
his pursuit, he had overcome even the Highland obstinacy of Rory Bean,
and compelled that self-willed palfrey to canter the way his rider chose;
which Rory, however, performed with all the symptoms of reluctance,
turning his head, and accompanying every bound he made in advance with a
sidelong motion, which indicated his extreme wish to turn round,--a
manoeuvre which nothing but the constant exercise of the Laird's heels
and cudgel could possibly have counteracted.

When the Laird came up with Jeanie, the first words he uttered
were,--"Jeanie, they say ane shouldna aye take a woman at her first
word?"

"Ay, but ye maun take me at mine, Laird," said Jeanie, looking on the
ground, and walking on without a pause.--"I hae but ae word to bestow on
ony body, and that's aye a true ane."

"Then," said Dumbiedikes, "at least ye suldna aye take a man at _his_
first word. Ye maunna gang this wilfu' gate sillerless, come o't what
like."--He put a purse into her hand. "I wad gie you Rory too, but he's
as wilfu' as yoursell, and he's ower weel used to a gate that maybe he
and I hae gaen ower aften, and he'll gang nae road else."

"But, Laird," said Jeanie, "though I ken my father will satisfy every
penny of this siller, whatever there's o't, yet I wadna like to borrow it
frae ane that maybe thinks of something mair than the paying o't back
again."

"There's just twenty-five guineas o't," said Dumbiedikes, with a gentle
sigh, "and whether your father pays or disna pay, I make ye free till't
without another word. Gang where ye like--do what ye like--and marry a'
the Butlers in the country gin ye like--And sae, gude morning to you,
Jeanie."

"And God bless you, Laird, wi' mony a gude morning!" said Jeanie, her
heart more softened by the unwonted generosity of this uncouth character,
than perhaps Butler might have approved, had he known her feelings at
that moment; "and comfort, and the Lord's peace, and the peace of the
world, be with you, if we suld never meet again!"

Dumbiedikes turned and waved his hand; and his pony, much more willing to
return than he had been to set out, hurried him homeward so fast, that,
wanting the aid of a regular bridle, as well as of saddle and stirrups,
he was too much puzzled to keep his seat to permit of his looking behind,
even to give the parting glance of a forlorn swain. I am ashamed to say,
that the sight of a lover, ran away with in nightgown and slippers and a
laced hat, by a bare-backed Highland pony, had something in it of a
sedative, even to a grateful and deserved burst of affectionate esteem.
The figure of Dumbiedikes was too ludicrous not to confirm Jeanie in the
original sentiments she entertained towards him.

"He's a gude creature," said she, "and a kind--it's a pity he has sae
willyard a powny." And she immediately turned her thoughts to the
important journey which she had commenced, reflecting with pleasure,
that, according to her habits of life and of undergoing fatigue, she was
now amply or even superfluously provided with the means of encountering
the expenses of the road, up and down from London, and all other expenses
whatever.






CHAPTER THIRD

                     What strange and wayward thoughts will slide
                         Into a lover's head;
                     "O mercy!" to myself I cried,
                        "If Lucy should be dead!"
                                              Wordsworth.

In pursuing her solitary journey, our heroine, soon after passing the
house of Dumbiedikes, gained a little eminence, from which, on looking to
the eastward down a prattling brook, whose meanders were shaded with
straggling widows and alder trees, she could see the cottages of Woodend
and Beersheba, the haunts and habitation of her early life, and could
distinguish the common on which she had so often herded sheep, and the
recesses of the rivulet where she had pulled rushes with Butler, to plait
crowns and sceptres for her sister Effie, then a beautiful but spoiled
child, of about three years old. The recollections which the scene
brought with them were so bitter, that, had she indulged them, she would
have sate down and relieved her heart with tears.

"But I ken'd," said Jeanie, when she gave an account of her pilgrimage,
"that greeting would do but little good, and that it was mair beseeming
to thank the Lord, that had showed me kindness and countenance by means
of a man, that mony ca'd a Nabal, and churl, but wha was free of his
gudes to me, as ever the fountain was free of the stream. And I minded
the Scripture about the sin of Israel at Meribah, when the people
murmured, although Moses had brought water from the dry rock that the
congregation might drink and live. Sae, I wad not trust mysell with
another look at puir Woodend, for the very blue reek that came out of the
lum-head pat me in mind of the change of market days with us."

In this resigned and Christian temper she pursued her journey until she
was beyond this place of melancholy recollections, and not distant from
the village where Butler dwelt, which, with its old-fashioned church and
steeple, rises among a tuft of trees, occupying the ridge of an eminence
to the south of Edinburgh. At a quarter of a mile's distance is a clumsy
square tower, the residence of the Laird of Liberton, who, in former
times, with the habits of the predatory chivalry of Germany, is said
frequently to have annoyed the city of Edinburgh, by intercepting the
supplies and merchandise which came to the town from the southward.

This village, its tower, and its church, did not lie precisely in
Jeanie's road towards England; but they were not much aside from it, and
the village was the abode of Butler. She had resolved to see him in the
beginning of her journey, because she conceived him the most proper
person to write to her father concerning her resolution and her hopes.
There was probably another reason latent in her affectionate bosom. She
wished once more to see the object of so early and so sincere an
attachment, before commencing a pilgrimage, the perils of which she did
not disguise from herself, although she did not allow them so to press
upon her mind as to diminish the strength and energy of her resolution. A
visit to a lover from a young person in a higher rank of life than
Jeanie's, would have had something forward and improper in its character.
But the simplicity of her rural habits was unacquainted with these
punctilious ideas of decorum, and no notion, therefore, of impropriety
crossed her imagination, as, setting out upon a long journey, she went to
bid adieu to an early friend.

There was still another motive that pressed upon her mind with additional
force as she approached the village. She had looked anxiously for Butler
in the courthouse, and had expected that, certainly, in some part of that
eventful day, he would have appeared to bring such countenance and
support as he could give to his old friend, and the protector of his
youth, even if her own claims were laid aside.

She know, indeed, that he was under a certain degree of restraint; but
she still had hoped that he would have found means to emancipate himself
from it, at least for one day. In short, the wild and wayward thoughts
which Wordsworth has described as rising in an absent lover's
imagination, suggested, as the only explanation of his absence, that
Butler must be very ill. And so much had this wrought on her imagination,
that when she approached the cottage where her lover occupied a small
apartment, and which had been pointed out to her by a maiden with a
milk-pail on her head, she trembled at anticipating the answer she might
receive on inquiring for him.

Her fears in this case had, indeed, only hit upon the truth. Butler,
whose constitution was naturally feeble, did not soon recover the fatigue
of body and distress of mind which he had suffered, in consequence of the
tragical events with which our narrative commenced. The painful idea that
his character was breathed on by suspicion, was an aggravation to his
distress.

But the most cruel addition was the absolute prohibition laid by the
magistrates on his holding any communication with Deans or his family. It
had unfortunately appeared likely to them, that some intercourse might be
again attempted with that family by Robertson, through the medium of
Butler, and this they were anxious to intercept, or prevent if possible.
The measure was not meant as a harsh or injurious severity on the part of
the magistrates; but, in Butler's circumstances, it pressed cruelly hard.
He felt he must be suffering under the bad opinion of the person who was
dearest to him, from an imputation of unkind desertion, the most alien to
his nature.

This painful thought, pressing on a frame already injured, brought on a
succession of slow and lingering feverish attacks, which greatly impaired
his health, and at length rendered him incapable even of the sedentary
duties of the school, on which his bread depended. Fortunately, old Mr.
Whackbairn, who was the principal teacher of the little parochial
establishment, was sincerely attached to Butler. Besides that he was
sensible of his merits and value as an assistant, which had greatly
raised the credit of his little school, the ancient pedagogue, who had
himself been tolerably educated, retained some taste for classical lore,
and would gladly relax, after the drudgery of the school was over, by
conning over a few pages of Horace or Juvenal with his usher. A
similarity of taste begot kindness, and accordingly he saw Butler's
increasing debility with great compassion, roused up his own energies to
teaching the school in the morning hours, insisted upon his assistant's
reposing himself at that period, and, besides, supplied him with such
comforts as the patient's situation required, and his own means were
inadequate to compass.

Such was Butler's situation, scarce able to drag himself to the place
where his daily drudgery must gain his daily bread, and racked with a
thousand fearful anticipations concerning the fate of those who were
dearest to him in the world, when the trial and condemnation of Effie
Deans put the copestone upon his mental misery.

He had a particular account of these events, from a fellow-student who
resided in the same village, and who, having been present on the
melancholy occasion, was able to place it in all its agony of horrors
before his excruciated imagination. That sleep should have visited his
eyes after such a curfew-note, was impossible. A thousand dreadful
visions haunted his imagination all night, and in the morning he was
awaked from a feverish slumber, by the only circumstance which could have
added to his distress,--the visit of an intrusive ass.

This unwelcome visitant was no other than Bartoline Saddletree. The
worthy and sapient burgher had kept his appointment at MacCroskie's with
Plumdamas and some other neighbours, to discuss the Duke of Argyle's
speech, the justice of Effie Deans's condemnation, and the improbability
of her obtaining a reprieve. This sage conclave disputed high and drank
deep, and on the next morning Bartoline felt, as he expressed it, as if
his head was like a "confused progress of writs."

To bring his reflective powers to their usual serenity, Saddle-tree
resolved to take a morning's ride upon a certain hackney, which he,
Plumdamas, and another honest shopkeeper, combined to maintain by joint
subscription, for occasional jaunts for the purpose of business or
exercise. As Saddletree had two children boarded with Whackbairn, and
was, as we have seen, rather fond of Butler's society, he turned his
palfrey's head towards Liberton, and came, as we have already said, to
give the unfortunate usher that additional vexation, of which Imogene
complains so feelingly, when she says,--

                      "I'm sprighted with a fool--
                     Sprighted and anger'd worse."

If anything could have added gall to bitterness, it was the choice which
Saddletree made of a subject for his prosing harangues, being the trial
of Effie Deans, and the probability of her being executed. Every word
fell on Butler's ear like the knell of a death-bell, or the note of a
screech-owl.

Jeanie paused at the door of her lover's humble abode upon hearing the
loud and pompous tones of Saddletree sounding from the inner apartment,
"Credit me, it will be sae, Mr. Butler. Brandy cannot save her. She maun
gang down the Bow wi' the lad in the pioted coat* at her heels.--

* The executioner, in livery of black or dark grey and silver, likened by
low wit to a magpie.

I am sorry for the lassie, but the law, sir, maun hae its course--

                              Vivat Rex,
                              Currat Lex,

as the poet has it, in whilk of Horace's odes I know not."

Here Butler groaned, in utter impatience of the brutality and ignorance
which Bartoline had contrived to amalgamate into one sentence. But
Saddletree, like other prosers, was blessed with a happy obtuseness of
perception concerning the unfavourable impression which he sometimes made
on his auditors. He proceeded to deal forth his scraps of legal knowledge
without mercy, and concluded by asking Butler, with great
self-complacency, "Was it na a pity my father didna send me to Utrecht?
Havena I missed the chance to turn out as _clarissimus_ an _ictus,_ as
auld Grunwiggin himself?--Whatfor dinna ye speak, Mr. Butler? Wad I no
hae been a _clarissimus ictus?_--Eh, man?"

"I really do not understand you, Mr. Saddletree," said Butler, thus
pushed hard for an answer. His faint and exhausted tone of voice was
instantly drowned in the sonorous bray of Bartoline.

"No understand me, man? _Ictus_ is Latin for a lawyer, is it not?"

"Not that ever I heard of," answered Butler in the same dejected tone.

"The deil ye didna!--See, man, I got the word but this morning out of a
memorial of Mr. Crossmyloof's--see, there it is, _ictus clarissimus et
perti--peritissimus_--it's a' Latin, for it's printed in the Italian
types."

"O, you mean _juris-consultus--Ictus_ is an abbreviation for
_juris-consultus._"

"Dinna tell me, man," persevered Saddletree, "there's nae abbreviates
except in adjudications; and this is a' about a servitude of
water-drap--that is to say, _tillicidian_* (maybe ye'll say that's no
Latin neither), in Mary King's Close in the High Street."

* He meant, probably, _stillicidium._

"Very likely," said poor Butler, overwhelmed by the noisy perseverance of
his visitor. "Iam not able to dispute with you."

"Few folk are--few folk are, Mr. Butler, though I say it that shouldna
say it," returned Bartoline with great delight. "Now, it will be twa
hours yet or ye're wanted in the schule, and as ye are no weel, I'll sit
wi' you to divert ye, and explain t'ye the nature of a _tillicidian._ Ye
maun ken, the petitioner, Mrs. Crombie, a very decent woman, is a friend
of mine, and I hae stude her friend in this case, and brought her wi'
credit into the court, and I doubtna that in due time she will win out
o't wi' credit, win she or lose she. Ye see, being an inferior tenement
or laigh house, we grant ourselves to be burdened wi' the _tillicide,_
that is, that we are obligated to receive the natural water-drap of the
superior tenement, sae far as the same fa's frae the heavens, or the roof
of our neighbour's house, and from thence by the gutters or eaves upon
our laigh tenement. But the other night comes a Highland quean of a lass,
and she flashes, God kens what, out at the eastmost window of Mrs.
MacPhail's house, that's the superior tenement. I believe the auld women
wad hae agreed, for Luckie MacPhail sent down the lass to tell my friend
Mrs. Crombie that she had made the gardyloo out of the wrang window, out
of respect for twa Highlandmen that were speaking Gaelic in the close
below the right ane. But luckily for Mrs. Crombie, I just chanced to come
in in time to break aff the communing, for it's a pity the point suldna
be tried. We had Mrs. MacPhail into the Ten-Mark Court--The Hieland
limmer of a lass wanted to swear herself free--but haud ye there,
says I."

The detailed account of this important suit might have lasted until poor
Butler's hour of rest was completely exhausted, had not Saddletree been
interrupted by the noise of voices at the door. The woman of the house
where Butler lodged, on returning with her pitcher from the well, whence
she had been fetching water for the family, found our heroine Jeanie
Deans standing at the door, impatient of the prolix harangue of
Saddletree, yet unwilling to enter until he should have taken his leave.

The good woman abridged the period of hesitation by inquiring, "Was ye
wanting the gudeman or me, lass?"

"I wanted to speak with Mr. Butler, if he's at leisure," replied Jeanie.

"Gang in by then, my woman," answered the goodwife; and opening the door
of a room, she announced the additional visitor with, "Mr. Butler, here's
a lass wants to speak t'ye."

The surprise of Butler was extreme, when Jeanie, who seldom stirred
half-a-mile from home, entered his apartment upon this annunciation.

"Good God!" he said, starting from his chair, while alarm restored to his
cheek the colour of which sickness had deprived it; "some new misfortune
must have happened!"

"None, Mr. Reuben, but what you must hae heard of--but oh, ye are looking
ill yoursell!"--for the "hectic of a moment" had not concealed from her
affectionate eyes the ravages which lingering disease and anxiety of mind
had made in her lover's person.

"No: I am well--quite well," said Butler with eagerness; "if I can do
anything to assist you, Jeanie--or your father."

"Ay, to be sure," said Saddletree; "the family may be considered as
limited to them twa now, just as if Effie had never been in the tailzie,
puir thing. But, Jeanie lass, what brings you out to Liberton sae air in
the morning, and your father lying ill in the Luckenbooths?"

"I had a message frae my father to Mr. Butler," said Jeanie with
embarrassment; but instantly feeling ashamed of the fiction to which she
had resorted, for her love of and veneration for truth was almost
Quaker-like, she corrected herself--"That is to say, I wanted to speak
with Mr. Butler about some business of my father's and puir Effie's."

"Is it law business?" said Bartoline; "because if it be, ye had better
take my opinion on the subject than his."

"It is not just law business," said Jeanie, who saw considerable
inconvenience might arise from letting Mr. Saddletree into the secret
purpose of her journey; "but I want Mr. Butler to write a letter for me."

"Very right," said Mr. Saddletree; "and if ye'll tell me what it is
about, I'll dictate to Mr. Butler as Mr. Crossmyloof does to his
clerk.--Get your pen and ink in initialibus, Mr. Butler."

Jeanie looked at Butler, and wrung her hands with vexation and
impatience.

"I believe, Mr. Saddletree," said Butler, who saw the necessity of
getting rid of him at all events, "that Mr. Whackbairn will be somewhat
affronted if you do not hear your boys called up to their lessons."

"Indeed, Mr. Butler, and that's as true; and I promised to ask a half
play-day to the schule, so that the bairns might gang and see the
hanging, which canna but have a pleasing effect on their young minds,
seeing there is no knowing what they may come to themselves.--Odd so, I
didna mind ye were here, Jeanie Deans; but ye maun use yoursell to hear
the matter spoken o'.--Keep Jeanie here till I come back, Mr. Butler; I
winna bide ten minutes."

And with this unwelcome assurance of an immediate return, he relieved
them of the embarrassment of his presence.

"Reuben," said Jeanie, who saw the necessity of using the interval of his
absence in discussing what had brought her there, "I am bound on a lang
journey--I am gaun to Lunnon to ask Effie's life of the king and of the
queen."

"Jeanie! you are surely not yourself," answered Butler, in the utmost
surprise;--"_you_ go to London--_you_ address the king and queen!"

"And what for no, Reuben?" said Jeanie, with all the composed simplicity
of her character; "it's but speaking to a mortal man and woman when a' is
done. And their hearts maun be made o' flesh and blood like other folk's,
and Effie's story wad melt them were they stane. Forby, I hae heard that
they are no sic bad folk as what the Jacobites ca' them."

"Yes, Jeanie," said Butler; "but their magnificence--their retinue--the
difficulty of getting audience?"

"I have thought of a' that, Reuben, and it shall not break my spirit. Nae
doubt their claiths will be very grand, wi' their crowns on their heads,
and their sceptres in their hands, like the great King Ahasuerus when he
sate upon his royal throne fornent the gate of his house, as we are told
in Scripture. But I have that within me that will keep my heart from
failing, and I am amaist sure that I will be strengthened to speak the
errand I came for."

"Alas! alas!" said Butler, "the kings now-a-days do not sit in the gate
to administer justice, as in patriarchal times. I know as little of
courts as you do, Jeanie, by experience; but by reading and report I
know, that the King of Britain does everything by means of his
ministers."

"And if they be upright, God-fearing ministers," said Jeanie, "it's sae
muckle the better chance for Effie and me."

"But you do not even understand the most ordinary words relating to a
court," said Butler; "by the ministry is meant not clergymen, but the
king's official servants."

"Nae doubt," returned Jeanie, "he maun hae a great number mair, I daur to
say, than the duchess has at Dalkeith, and great folk's servants are aye
mair saucy than themselves. But I'll be decently put on, and I'll offer
them a trifle o' siller, as if I came to see the palace. Or, if they
scruple that, I'll tell them I'm come on a business of life and death,
and then they will surely bring me to speech of the king and queen?"

Butler shook his head. "O Jeanie, this is entirely a wild dream. You can
never see them but through some great lord's intercession, and I think it
is scarce possible even then."

"Weel, but maybe I can get that too," said Jeanie, "with a little helping
from you."

"From me, Jeanie! this is the wildest imagination of all."

"Ay, but it is not, Reuben. Havena I heard you say, that your grandfather
(that my father never likes to hear about) did some gude langsyne to the
forbear of this MacCallummore, when he was Lord of Lorn?"

"He did so," said Butler, eagerly, "and I can prove it.--I will write to
the Duke of Argyle--report speaks him a good kindly man, as he is known
for a brave soldier and true patriot--I will conjure him to stand between
your sister and this cruel fate. There is but a poor chance of success,
but we will try all means."

"We _must_ try all means," replied Jeanie; "but writing winna do it--a
letter canna look, and pray, and beg, and beseech, as the human voice can
do to the human heart. A letter's like the music that the ladies have for
their spinets--naething but black scores, compared to the same tune
played or sung. It's word of mouth maun do it, or naething, Reuben."

"You are right," said Reuben, recollecting his firmness, "and I will hope
that Heaven has suggested to your kind heart and firm courage the only
possible means of saving the life of this unfortunate girl. But, Jeanie,
you must not take this most perilous journey alone; I have an interest in
you, and I will not agree that my Jeanie throws herself away. You must
even, in the present circumstances, give me a husband's right to protect
you, and I will go with you myself on this journey, and assist you to do
your duty by your family."

"Alas, Reuben!" said Jeanie in her turn, "this must not be; a pardon will
not gie my sister her fair fame again, or make me a bride fitting for an
honest man and an usefu' minister. Wha wad mind what he said in the
pu'pit, that had to wife the sister of a woman that was condemned for sic
wickedness?"

"But, Jeanie," pleaded her lover, "I do not believe, and I cannot
believe, that Effie has done this deed."

"Heaven bless ye for saying sae, Reuben," answered Jeanie; "but she maun
bear the blame o't after all."

"But the blame, were it even justly laid on her, does not fall on you."

"Ah, Reuben, Reuben," replied the young woman, "ye ken it is a blot that
spreads to kith and kin.--Ichabod--as my poor father says--the glory is
departed from our house; for the poorest man's house has a glory, where
there are true hands, a divine heart, and an honest fame--And the last
has gane frae us a."

"But, Jeanie, consider your word and plighted faith to me; and would you
undertake such a journey without a man to protect you?--and who should
that protector be but your husband?"

"You are kind and good, Reuben, and wad take me wi' a' my shame, I
doubtna. But ye canna but own that this is no time to marry or be given
in marriage. Na, if that suld ever be, it maun be in another and a better
season.--And, dear Reuben, ye speak of protecting me on my journey--Alas!
who will protect and take care of you?--your very limbs tremble with
standing for ten minutes on the floor; how could you undertake a journey
as far as Lunnon?"

"But I am strong--I am well," continued Butler, sinking in his seat
totally exhausted, "at least I shall be quite well to-morrow."

"Ye see, and ye ken, ye maun just let me depart," said Jeanie, after a
pause; and then taking his extended hand, and gazing kindly in his face,
she added, "It's e'en a grief the mair to me to see you in this way. But
ye maun keep up your heart for Jeanie's sake, for if she isna your wife,
she will never be the wife of living man. And now gie me the paper for
MacCallummore, and bid God speed me on my way."

There was something of romance in Jeanie's venturous resolution; yet, on
consideration, as it seemed impossible to alter it by persuasion, or to
give her assistance but by advice, Butler, after some farther debate, put
into her hands the paper she desired, which, with the muster-roll in
which it was folded up, were the sole memorials of the stout and
enthusiastic Bible Butler, his grandfather. While Butler sought this
document, Jeanie had time to take up his pocket Bible. "I have marked a
scripture," she said, as she again laid it down, "with your kylevine pen,
that will be useful to us baith. And ye maun tak the trouble, Reuben, to
write a' this to my father, for, God help me, I have neither head nor
hand for lang letters at ony time, forby now; and I trust him entirely to
you, and I trust you will soon be permitted to see him. And, Reuben, when
ye do win to the speech o' him, mind a' the auld man's bits o' ways, for
Jeanie's sake; and dinna speak o' Latin or English terms to him, for he's
o' the auld warld, and downa bide to be fashed wi' them, though I daresay
he may be wrang. And dinna ye say muckle to him, but set him on speaking
himself, for he'll bring himsell mair comfort that way. And O, Reuben,
the poor lassie in yon dungeon!--but I needna bid your kind heart--gie
her what comfort ye can as soon as they will let ye see her--tell
her--But I maunna speak mair about her, for I maunna take leave o' ye
wi' the tear in my ee, for that wouldna be canny.--God bless ye, Reuben!"

To avoid so ill an omen she left the room hastily, while her features yet
retained the mournful and affectionate smile which she had compelled them
to wear, in order to support Butler's spirits.

It seemed as if the power of sight, of speech, and of reflection, had
left him as she disappeared from the room, which she had entered and
retired from so like an apparition. Saddletree, who entered immediately
afterwards, overwhelmed him with questions, which he answered without
understanding them, and with legal disquisitions, which conveyed to him
no iota of meaning. At length the learned burgess recollected that there
was a Baron Court to be, held at Loanhead that day, and though it was
hardly worth while, "he might as weel go to see if there was onything
doing, as he was acquainted with the baron bailie, who was a decent man,
and would be glad of a word of legal advice."

So soon as he departed, Butler flew to the Bible, the last book which
Jeanie had touched. To his extreme surprise, a paper, containing two or
three pieces of gold, dropped from the book. With a black-lead pencil,
she had marked the sixteenth and twenty-fifth verses of the
thirty-seventh Psalm,--"A little that a righteous man hath, is better
than the riches of the wicked."--"I have been young and am now old, yet
have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their
bread."

Deeply impressed with the affectionate delicacy which shrouded its own
generosity under the cover of a providential supply to his wants, he
pressed the gold to his lips with more ardour than ever the metal was
greeted with by a miser. To emulate her devout firmness and confidence
seemed now the pitch of his ambition, and his first task was to write an
account to David Deans of his daughter's resolution and journey
southward. He studied every sentiment, and even every phrase, which he
thought could reconcile the old man to her extraordinary resolution. The
effect which this epistle produced will be hereafter adverted to. Butler
committed it to the charge of an honest clown, who had frequent dealings
with Deans in the sale of his dairy produce, and who readily undertook a
journey to Edinburgh to put the letter into his own hands.*

* By dint of assiduous research I am enabled to certiorate the reader,
that the name of this person was Saunders Broadfoot, and that he dealt in
the wholesome commodity called kirn-milk (_Anglice',_ butter-milk).--
J. C.





CHAPTER FOURTH.



                     "My native land, good night."
                                      Lord Byron.

In the present day, a journey from Edinburgh to London is a matter at
once safe, brief, and simple, however inexperienced or unprotected the
traveller. Numerous coaches of different rates of charge, and as many
packets, are perpetually passing and repassing betwixt the capital of
Britain and her northern sister, so that the most timid or indolent may
execute such a journey upon a few hours' notice. But it was different in
1737. So slight and infrequent was the intercourse betwixt London and
Edinburgh, that men still alive remember that upon one occasion the mail
from the former city arrived at the General Post-Office in Scotland with
only one letter in it.*

* The fact is certain. The single epistle was addressed to the principal
director of the British Linen Company.

The usual mode of travelling was by means of post-horses, the traveller
occupying one, and his guide another, in which manner, by relays of
horses from stage to stage, the journey might be accomplished in a
wonderfully short time by those who could endure fatigue. To have the
bones shaken to pieces by a constant change of those hacks was a luxury
for the rich--the poor were under the necessity of using the mode of
conveyance with which nature had provided them.

With a strong heart, and a frame patient of fatigue, Jeanie Deans,
travelling at the rate of twenty miles a-day, and sometimes farther,
traversed the southern part of Scotland, and advanced as far as Durham.

Hitherto she had been either among her own country-folk, or those to whom
her bare feet and tartan screen were objects too familiar to attract much
attention. But as she advanced, she perceived that both circumstances
exposed her to sarcasm and taunts, which she might otherwise have
escaped; and although in her heart she thought it unkind, and
inhospitable, to sneer at a passing stranger on account of the fashion of
her attire, yet she had the good sense to alter those parts of her dress
which attracted ill-natured observation. Her chequed screen was deposited
carefully in her bundle, and she conformed to the national extravagance
of wearing shoes and stockings for the whole day. She confessed
afterwards, that, "besides the wastrife, it was lang or she could walk
sae comfortably with the shoes as without them; but there was often a bit
saft heather by the road-side, and that helped her weel on." The want of
the screen, which was drawn over the head like a veil, she supplied by a
_bon-grace,_ as she called it; a large straw bonnet like those worn by
the English maidens when labouring in the fields. "But I thought unco
shame o' mysell," she said, "the first time I put on a married woman's
_bon-grace,_ and me a single maiden."

With these changes she had little, as she said, to make "her kenspeckle
when she didna speak," but her accent and language drew down on her so
many jests and gibes, couched in a worse _patois_ by far than her own,
that she soon found it was her interest to talk as little and as seldom
as possible. She answered, therefore, civil salutations of chance
passengers with a civil courtesy, and chose, with anxious circumspection,
such places of repose as looked at once most decent and sequestered. She
found the common people of England, although inferior in courtesy to
strangers, such as was then practised in her own more unfrequented
country, yet, upon the whole, by no means deficient in the real duties of
hospitality. She readily obtained food, and shelter, and protection at a
very moderate rate, which sometimes the generosity of mine host
altogether declined, with a blunt apology,--"Thee hast a long way afore
thee, lass; and I'se ne'er take penny out o' a single woman's purse; it's
the best friend thou can have on the road."

It often happened, too, that mine hostess was struck with "the tidy, nice
Scotch body," and procured her an escort, or a cast in a waggon, for some
part of the way, or gave her a useful advice and recommendation
respecting her resting-places.

At York our pilgrim stopped for the best part of a day, partly to recruit
her strength,--partly because she had the good luck to obtain a lodging
in an inn kept by a countrywoman,--partly to indite two letters to her
father and Reuben Butler; an operation of some little difficulty, her
habits being by no means those of literary composition. That to her
father was in the following words.--

"Dearest Father,--I make my present pilgrimage more heavy and burdensome,
through the sad occasion to reflect that it is without your knowledge,
which, God knows, was far contrary to my heart; for Scripture says, that
'the vow of the daughter should not be binding without the consent of the
father,' wherein it may be I have been guilty to tak this wearie journey
without your consent. Nevertheless, it was borne in upon my mind that I
should be an instrument to help my poor sister in this extremity of
needcessity, otherwise I wad not, for wealth or for world's gear, or for
the haill lands of Da'keith and Lugton, have done the like o' this,
without your free will and knowledge. Oh, dear father, as ye wad desire a
blessing on my journey, and upon your household, speak a word or write a
line of comfort to yon poor prisoner. If she has sinned, she has sorrowed
and suffered, and ye ken better than me, that we maun forgie others, as
we pray to be forgien. Dear father, forgive my saying this muckle, for it
doth not become a young head to instruct grey hairs; but I am sae far
frae ye, that my heart yearns to ye a', and fain wad I hear that ye had
forgien her trespass, and sae I nae doubt say mair than may become me.
The folk here are civil, and, like the barbarians unto the holy apostle,
hae shown me much kindness; and there are a sort of chosen people in the
land, for they hae some kirks without organs that are like ours, and are
called meeting-houses, where the minister preaches without a gown. But
most of the country are prelatists, whilk is awfu' to think; and I saw
twa men that were ministers following hunds, as bauld as Roslin or
Driden, the young Laird of Loup-the-dike, or ony wild gallant in Lothian.
A sorrowfa' sight to behold! Oh, dear father, may a blessing be with your
down-lying and up-rising, and remember in your prayers your affectionate
daughter to command,
                                                      "Jean Deans."

A postscript bore, "I learned from a decent woman, a grazier's widow,
that they hae a cure for the muir-ill in Cumberland, whilk is ane pint,
as they ca't, of yill, whilk is a dribble in comparison of our gawsie
Scots pint, and hardly a mutchkin, boiled wi' sope and hartshorn draps,
and toomed doun the creature's throat wi' ane whorn. Ye might try it on
the bauson-faced year-auld quey; an it does nae gude, it can do nae ill.--
She was a kind woman, and seemed skeely about horned beasts. When I
reach Lunnon, I intend to gang to our cousin Mrs. Glass, the tobacconist,
at the sign o' the Thistle, wha is so ceevil as to send you down your
spleuchan-fu' anes a year; and as she must be well kend in Lunnon, I
doubt not easily to find out where she lives."

Being seduced into betraying our heroine's confidence thus far, we will
stretch our communication a step beyond, and impart to the reader her
letter to her lover.

"Mr. Reuben Butler,--Hoping this will find you better, this comes to say,
that I have reached this great town safe, and am not wearied with
walking, but the better for it. And I have seen many things which I trust
to tell you one day, also the muckle kirk of this place; and all around
the city are mills, whilk havena muckle wheels nor mill-dams, but gang by
the wind--strange to behold. Ane miller asked me to gang in and see it
work, but I wad not, for I am not come to the south to make acquaintance
with strangers. I keep the straight road, and just beck if onybody speaks
to me ceevilly, and answers naebody with the tong but women of my ain
sect. I wish, Mr. Butler, I kend onything that wad mak ye weel, for they
hae mair medicines in this town of York than wad cure a' Scotland, and
surely some of them wad be gude for your complaints. If ye had a kindly
motherly body to nurse ye, and no to let ye waste yoursell wi'
reading--whilk ye read mair than eneugh wi' the bairns in the
schule--and to gie ye warm milk in the morning, I wad be mair easy for
ye. Dear Mr. Butler, keep a good heart, for we are in the hands of Ane
that kens better what is gude for us than we ken what is for oursells. I
hae nae doubt to do that for which I am come--I canna doubt it--I winna
think to doubt it--because, if I haena full assurance, how shall I bear
myself with earnest entreaties in the great folk's presence? But to ken
that ane's purpose is right, and to make their heart strong, is the way
to get through the warst day's darg. The bairns' rime says, the warst
blast of the borrowing days* couldna kill the three silly poor hog-lams.

* The last three days of March, old style, are called the Borrowing Days;
for, as they are remarked to be unusually stormy, it is feigned that
March had borrowed them from April, to extend the sphere of his rougher
sway. The rhyme on the subject is quoted in the glossary to Leyden's
edition of the "Complaynt of Scotland"--

               [March said to Aperill,
                   I see three hogs upon a hill,
                A young sheep before it has lost its first fleece.
                   But when the borrowed days were gane
                The three silly hogs came hirplin hame.]

"And if it be God's pleasure, we that are sindered in sorrow may meet
again in joy, even on this hither side of Jordan. I dinna bid ye mind
what I said at our partin' anent my poor father, and that misfortunate
lassie, for I ken you will do sae for the sake of Christian charity,
whilk is mair than the entreaties of her that is your servant to command,

                                                    "Jeanie Deans."

This letter also had a postscript. "Dear Reuben, If ye think that it wad
hae been right for me to have said mair and kinder things to ye, just
think that I hae written sae, since I am sure that I wish a' that is kind
and right to ye and by ye. Ye will think I am turned waster, for I wear
clean hose and shoon every day; but it's the fashion here for decent
bodies and ilka land has it's ain landlaw. Ower and aboon a', if laughing
days were e'er to come back again till us, ye wad laugh weel to see my
round face at the far end of a strae _bon-grace,_ that looks as muckle
and round as the middell aisle in Libberton Kirk. But it sheds the sun
weel aff, and keeps uncivil folk frae staring as if ane were a worrycow.
I sall tell ye by writ how I come on wi' the Duke of Argyle, when I won
up to Lunnon. Direct a line, to say how ye are, to me, to the charge of
Mrs. Margaret Glass, tobacconist, at the sign of the Thistle, Lunnon,
whilk, if it assures me of your health, will make my mind sae muckle
easier. Excuse bad spelling and writing, as I have ane ill pen."

The orthography of these epistles may seem to the southron to require a
better apology than the letter expresses, though a bad pen was the excuse
of a certain Galwegian laird for bad spelling; but, on behalf of the
heroine, I would have them to know, that, thanks to the care of Butler,
Jeanie Deans wrote and spelled fifty times better than half the women of
rank in Scotland at that period, whose strange orthography and singular
diction form the strongest contrast to the good sense which their
correspondence usually intimates.

For the rest, in the tenor of these epistles, Jeanie expressed, perhaps,
more hopes, a firmer courage, and better spirits, than she actually felt.
But this was with the amiable idea of relieving her father and lover from
apprehensions on her account, which she was sensible must greatly add to
their other troubles. "If they think me weel, and like to do weel," said
the poor pilgrim to herself, "my father will be kinder to Effie, and
Butler will be kinder to himself. For I ken weel that they will think
mair o' me than I do o' mysell."

Accordingly, she sealed her letters carefully, and put them into the
post-office with her own hand, after many inquiries concerning the time
in which they were likely to reach Edinburgh. When this duty was
performed, she readily accepted her landlady's pressing invitation to
dine with her, and remain till the next morning. The hostess, as we have
said, was her countrywoman, and the eagerness with which Scottish people
meet, communicate, and, to the extent of their power, assist each other,
although it is often objected to us as a prejudice and narrowness of
sentiment, seems, on the contrary, to arise from a most justifiable and
honourable feeling of patriotism, combined with a conviction, which, if
undeserved, would long since have been confuted by experience, that the
habits and principles of the nation are a sort of guarantee for the
character of the individual. At any rate, if the extensive influence of
this national partiality be considered as an additional tie, binding man
to man, and calling forth the good offices of such as can render them to
the countryman who happens to need them, we think it must be found to
exceed, as an active and efficient motive, to generosity, that more
impartial and wider principle of general benevolence, which we have
sometimes seen pleaded as an excuse for assisting no individual whatever.

Mrs. Bickerton, lady of the ascendant of the Seven Stars, in the
Castle-gate, York, was deeply infected with the unfortunate prejudices of
her country. Indeed, she displayed so much kindness to Jeanie Deans
(because she herself, being a Merse woman, _marched_ with Mid-Lothian, in
which Jeanie was born), showed such motherly regard to her, and such
anxiety for her farther progress, that Jeanie thought herself safe,
though by temper sufficiently cautious, in communicating her whole story
to her.

Mrs. Bickerton raised her hands and eyes at the recital, and exhibited
much wonder and pity. But she also gave some effectual good advice.

She required to know the strength of Jeanie's purse, reduced by her
deposit at Liberton, and the necessary expense of her journey, to about
fifteen pounds. "This," she said, "would do very well, providing she
would carry it a' safe to London."

"Safe!" answered Jeanie; "I'se warrant my carrying it safe, bating the
needful expenses."

"Ay, but highwaymen, lassie," said Mrs. Bickerton; "for ye are come into
a more civilised, that is to say, a more roguish country than the north,
and how ye are to get forward, I do not profess to know. If ye could wait
here eight days, our waggons would go up, and I would recommend you to
Joe Broadwheel, who would see you safe to the Swan and two Necks. And
dinna sneeze at Joe, if he should be for drawing up wi' you" (continued
Mrs. Bickerton, her acquired English mingling with her national or
original dialect), "he's a handy boy, and a wanter, and no lad better
thought o' on the road; and the English make good husbands enough,
witness my poor man, Moses Bickerton, as is i' the kirkyard."

Jeanie hastened to say, that she could not possibly wait for the setting
forth of Joe Broadwheel; being internally by no means gratified with the
idea of becoming the object of his attention during the journey,

"Aweel, lass," answered the good landlady, "then thou must pickle in
thine ain poke-nook, and buckle thy girdle thine ain gate. But take my
advice, and hide thy gold in thy stays, and keep a piece or two and some
silver, in case thou be'st spoke withal; for there's as wud lads haunt
within a day's walk from hence, as on the braes of Doune in Perthshire.
And, lass, thou maunna gang staring through Lunnon, asking wha kens Mrs.
Glass at the sign o' the Thistle; marry, they would laugh thee to scorn.
But gang thou to this honest man," and she put a direction into Jeanie's
hand, "he kens maist part of the sponsible Scottish folk in the city, and
he will find out your friend for thee."

Jeanie took the little introductory letter with sincere thanks; but,
something alarmed on the subject of the highway robbers, her mind
recurred to what Ratcliffe had mentioned to her, and briefly relating the
circumstances which placed a document so extraordinary in her hands, she
put the paper he had given her into the hand of Mrs. Bickerton.

The Lady of the Seven Stars did not indeed ring a bell, because such was
not the fashion of the time, but she whistled on a silver call, which was
hung by her side, and a tight serving-maid entered the room.

"Tell Dick Ostler to come here," said Mrs. Bickerton.

Dick Ostler accordingly made his appearance;--a queer, knowing, shambling
animal, with a hatchet-face, a squint, a game-arm, and a limp.

"Dick Ostler," said Mrs. Bickerton, in a tone of authority that showed
she was (at least by adoption) Yorkshire too, "thou knowest most people
and most things o' the road."

"Eye, eye, God help me, mistress," said Dick, shrugging his shoulders
betwixt a repentant and a knowing expression--"Eye! I ha' know'd a thing
or twa i' ma day, mistress." He looked sharp and laughed--looked grave
and sighed, as one who was prepared to take the matter either way.

"Kenst thou this wee bit paper amang the rest, man?" said Mrs. Bickerton,
handing him the protection which Ratcliffe had given Jeanie Deans.

When Dick had looked at the paper, he winked with one eye, extended his
grotesque mouth from ear to ear, like a navigable canal, scratched his
head powerfully, and then said, "Ken!--ay--maybe we ken summat, an it
werena for harm to him, mistress!"

"None in the world," said Mrs. Bickerton; "only a dram of Hollands to
thyself, man, an thou wilt speak."

"Why, then," said Dick, giving the head-band of his breeches a knowing
hoist with one hand, and kicking out one foot behind him to accommodate
the adjustment of that important habiliment, "I dares to say the pass
will be kend weel eneugh on the road, an that be all."

"But what sort of a lad was he?" said Mrs. Bickerton, winking to Jeanie,
as proud of her knowing Ostler.

"Why, what ken I?--Jim the Rat--why he was Cock o' the North within this
twelmonth--he and Scotch Wilson, Handle Dandie, as they called him--but
he's been out o' this country a while, as I rackon; but ony gentleman, as
keeps the road o' this side Stamford, will respect Jim's pass."

Without asking farther questions, the landlady filled Dick Ostler a
bumper of Hollands. He ducked with his head and shoulders, scraped with
his more advanced hoof, bolted the alcohol, to use the learned phrase,
and withdrew to his own domains.

"I would advise thee, Jeanie," said Mrs. Bickerton, "an thou meetest with
ugly customers o' the road, to show them this bit paper, for it will
serve thee, assure thyself."

A neat little supper concluded the evening. The exported Scotswoman, Mrs.
Bickerton by name, ate heartily of one or two seasoned dishes, drank some
sound old ale, and a glass of stiff negus; while she gave Jeanie a
history of her gout, admiring how it was possible that she, whose fathers
and mothers for many generations had been farmers in Lammermuir, could
have come by a disorder so totally unknown to them. Jeanie did not choose
to offend her friendly landlady, by speaking her mind on the probable
origin of this complaint; but she thought on the flesh-pots of Egypt,
and, in spite of all entreaties to better fare, made her evening meal
upon vegetables, with a glass of fair water.

Mrs. Bickerton assured her, that the acceptance of any reckoning was
entirely out of the question, furnished her with credentials to her
correspondent in London, and to several inns upon the road where she had
some influence or interest, reminded her of the precautions she should
adopt for concealing her money, and as she was to depart early in the
morning, took leave of her very affectionately, taking her word that she
would visit her on her return to Scotland, and tell her how she had
managed, and that summum bonum for a gossip, "all how and about it." This
Jeanie faithfully promised.




CHAPTER FIFTH.

              And Need and Misery, Vice and Danger, bind,
              In sad alliance, each degraded mind.

As our traveller set out early on the ensuing morning to prosecute her
journey, and was in the act of leaving the innyard, Dick Ostler, who
either had risen early or neglected to go to bed, either circumstance
being equally incident to his calling, hollowed out after her,--"The top
of the morning to you, Moggie. Have a care o' Gunderby Hill, young one.
Robin Hood's dead and gwone, but there be takers yet in the vale of
Bever. Jeanie looked at him as if to request a farther explanation, but,
with a leer, a shuffle, and a shrug, inimitable (unless by Emery*), Dick
turned again to the raw-boned steed which he was currying, and sung as he
employed the comb and brush,--

               "Robin Hood was a yeoman right good,
                    And his bow was of trusty yew;
                And if Robin said stand on the king's lea-land,
                    Pray, why should not we say so too?"

* [John Emery, an eminent comedian, played successfully at Covent Garden
Theatre between 1798 and 1820. Among his characters, were those of Dandie
Dinmont in _Guy Mannering,_ Dougal in _Rob Roy,_ and Ratcliffe in the
Heart of _Mid-Lothian._]

Jeanie pursued her journey without farther inquiry, for there was nothing
in Dick's manner that inclined her to prolong their conference. A painful
day's journey brought her to Ferrybridge, the best inn, then and since,
upon the great northern road; and an introduction from Mrs. Bickerton,
added to her own simple and quiet manners, so propitiated the landlady of
the Swan in her favour, that the good dame procured her the convenient
accommodation of a pillion and post-horse then returning to Tuxford, so
that she accomplished, upon the second day after leaving York, the
longest journey she had yet made. She was a good deal fatigued by a mode
of travelling to which she was less accustomed than to walking, and it
was considerably later than usual on the ensuing morning that she felt
herself able to resume her pilgrimage. At noon the hundred-armed Trent,
and the blackened ruins of Newark Castle, demolished in the great civil
war, lay before her. It may easily be supposed, that Jeanie had no
curiosity to make antiquarian researches, but, entering the town, went
straight to the inn to which she had been directed at Ferrybridge. While
she procured some refreshment, she observed the girl who brought it to
her, looked at her several times with fixed and peculiar interest, and at
last, to her infinite surprise, inquired if her name was not Deans, and
if she was not a Scotchwoman, going to London upon justice business.
Jeanie, with all her simplicity of character, had some of the caution of
her country, and, according to Scottish universal custom, she answered
the question by another, requesting the girl would tell her why she asked
these questions?

The Maritornes of the Saracen's Head, Newark, replied, "Two women had
passed that morning, who had made inquiries after one Jeanie Deans,
travelling to London on such an errand, and could scarce be persuaded
that she had not passed on."

Much surprised and somewhat alarmed (for what is inexplicable is usually
alarming), Jeanie questioned the wench about the particular appearance of
these two women, but could only learn that the one was aged, and the
other young; that the latter was the taller, and that the former spoke
most, and seemed to maintain an authority over her companion, and that
both spoke with the Scottish accent.

This conveyed no information whatever, and with an indescribable
presentiment of evil designed towards her, Jeanie adopted the resolution
of taking post-horses for the next stage. In this, however, she could not
be gratified; some accidental circumstances had occasioned what is called
a run upon the road, and the landlord could not accommodate her with a
guide and horses. After waiting some time, in hopes that a pair of horses
that had gone southward would return in time for her use, she at length,
feeling ashamed at her own pusillanimity, resolved to prosecute her
journey in her usual manner.

"It was all plain road," she was assured, "except a high mountain called
Gunnerby Hill, about three miles from Grantham, which was her stage for
the night.

"I'm glad to hear there's a hill," said Jeanie, "for baith my sight and
my very feet are weary o' sic tracts o' level ground--it looks a' the way
between this and York as if a' the land had been trenched and levelled,
whilk is very wearisome to my Scotch een. When I lost sight of a muckle
blue hill they ca' Ingleboro', I thought I hadna a friend left in this
strange land."

"As for the matter of that, young woman," said mine host, "an you be so
fond o' hill, I carena an thou couldst carry Gunnerby away with thee in
thy lap, for it's a murder to post-horses. But here's to thy journey, and
mayst thou win well through it, for thou is a bold and a canny lass."

So saying, he took a powerful pull at a solemn tankard of home-brewed
ale.

"I hope there is nae bad company on the road, sir?" said Jeanie.

"Why, when it's clean without them I'll thatch Groby pool wi' pancakes.
But there arena sae mony now; and since they hae lost Jim the Rat, they
hold together no better than the men of Marsham when they lost their
common. Take a drop ere thou goest," he concluded, offering her the
tankard; "thou wilt get naething at night save Grantham gruel, nine grots
and a gallon of water."

Jeanie courteously declined the tankard, and inquired what was her
"lawing?"

"Thy lawing! Heaven help thee, wench! what ca'st thou that?"

"It is--I was wanting to ken what was to pay," replied Jeanie.

"Pay? Lord help thee!--why nought, woman--we hae drawn no liquor but a
gill o' beer, and the Saracen's Head can spare a mouthful o' meat to a
stranger like o' thee, that cannot speak Christian language. So here's to
thee once more. The same again, quoth Mark of Bellgrave," and he took
another profound pull at the tankard.

The travellers who have visited Newark more lately, will not fail to
remember the remarkably civil and gentlemanly manners of the person who
now keeps the principal inn there, and may find some amusement in
contrasting them with those of his more rough predecessor. But we believe
it will be found that the polish has worn off none of the real worth of
the metal.

Taking leave of her Lincolnshire Gaius, Jeanie resumed her solitary walk,
and was somewhat alarmed when evening and twilight overtook her in the
open ground which extends to the foot of Gunnerby Hill, and is
intersected with patches of copse and with swampy spots. The extensive
commons on the north road, most of which are now enclosed, and in general
a relaxed state of police, exposed the traveller to a highway robbery in
a degree which is now unknown, except in the immediate vicinity of the
metropolis. Aware of this circumstance, Jeanie mended her pace when she
heard the trampling of a horse behind, and instinctively drew to one side
of the road, as if to allow as much room for the rider to pass as might
be possible. When the animal came up, she found that it was bearing two
women, the one placed on a side-saddle, the other on a pillion behind
her, as may still occasionally be seen in England.

"A braw good-night to ye, Jeanie Deans," said the foremost female as the
horse passed our heroine; "What think ye o' yon bonny hill yonder,
lifting its brow to the moon? Trow ye yon's the gate to heaven, that ye
are sae fain of?--maybe we will win there the night yet, God sain us,
though our minny here's rather dreigh in the upgang."

The speaker kept changing her seat in the saddle, and half stopping the
horse as she brought her body round, while the woman that sate behind her
on the pillion seemed to urge her on, in words which Jeanie heard but
imperfectly.

"Hand your tongue, ye moon-raised b----! what is your business with ----,
or with heaven or hell either?"

"Troth, mither, no muckle wi' heaven, I doubt, considering wha I carry
ahint me--and as for hell, it will fight its ain battle at its ain time,
I'se be bound.--Come, naggie, trot awa, man, an as thou wert a
broomstick, for a witch rides thee--

      With my curtch on my foot, and my shoe on my hand,
      I glance like the wildfire through brugh and through land."

The tramp of the horse, and the increasing distance, drowned the rest of
her song, but Jeanie heard for some time the inarticulate sounds ring
along the waste.

Our pilgrim remained stupified with undefined apprehensions. The being
named by her name in so wild a manner, and in a strange country, without
farther explanation or communing, by a person who thus strangely flitted
forward and disappeared before her, came near to the supernatural sounds
in Comus:--

             The airy tongues, which syllable men's names
             On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.

And although widely different in features, deportment, and rank, from the
Lady of that enchanting masque, the continuation of the passage may be
happily applied to Jeanie Deans upon this singular alarm:--

              These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
              The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
              By a strong siding champion--Conscience.

In fact, it was, with the recollection of the affectionate and dutiful
errand on which she was engaged, her right, if such a word could be
applicable, to expect protection in a task so meritorious. She had not
advanced much farther, with a mind calmed by these reflections, when she
was disturbed by a new and more instant subject of terror. Two men, who
had been lurking among some copse, started up as she advanced, and met
her on the road in a menacing manner. "Stand and deliver," said one of
them, a short stout fellow, in a smock-frock, such as are worn by
waggoners.

"The woman," said the other, a tall thin figure, "does not understand the
words of action.--Your money, my precious, or your life."

"I have but very little money, gentlemen," said poor Jeanie, tendering
that portion which she had separated from her principal stock, and kept
apart for such an emergency; "but if you are resolved to have it, to be
sure you must have it."

"This won't do, my girl. D--n me, if it shall pass!" said the shorter
ruffian; "do ye think gentlemen are to hazard their lives on the road to
be cheated in this way? We'll have every farthing you have got, or we
will strip you to the skin, curse me."

His companion, who seemed to have something like compassion for the
horror which Jeanie's countenance now expressed, said, "No, no, Tom, this
is one of the precious sisters, and we'll take her word, for once,
without putting her to the stripping proof--Hark ye, my lass, if ye look
up to heaven, and say, this is the last penny you have about ye, why,
hang it, we'll let you pass."

"I am not free," answered Jeanie, "to say what I have about me,
gentlemen, for there's life and death depends on my journey; but if you
leave me as much as finds me bread and water, I'll be satisfied, and
thank you, and pray for you."

"D--n your prayers!" said the shorter fellow, "that's a coin that won't
pass with us;" and at the same time made a motion to seize her.

"Stay, gentlemen," Ratcliffe's pass suddenly occurring to her; "perhaps
you know this paper."

"What the devil is she after now, Frank?" said the more savage
ruffian--"Do you look at it, for, d--n me if I could read it if it were
for the benefit of my clergy."

"This is a jark from Jim Ratcliffe," said the taller, having looked at
the bit of paper. "The wench must pass by our cutter's law."

"I say no," answered his companion; "Rat has left the lay, and turned
bloodhound, they say."

"We may need a good turn from him all the same," said the taller ruffian
again.

"But what are we to do then?" said the shorter man--"We promised, you
know, to strip the wench, and send her begging back to her own beggarly
country, and now you are for letting her go on."

"I did not say that," said the other fellow, and whispered to his
companion, who replied, "Be alive about it then, and don't keep
chattering till some travellers come up to nab us."

"You must follow us off the road, young woman," said the taller.

"For the love of God!" exclaimed Jeanie, "as you were born of woman,
dinna ask me to leave the road! rather take all I have in the world."

"What the devil is the wench afraid of?" said the other fellow. "I tell
you you shall come to no harm; but if you will not leave the road and
come with us, d--n me, but I'll beat your brains out where you stand."

"Thou art a rough bear, Tom," said his companion.--"An ye touch her, I'll
give ye a shake by the collar shall make the Leicester beans rattle in
thy guts.--Never mind him, girl; I will not allow him to lay a finger on
you, if you walk quietly on with us; but if you keep jabbering there,
d--n me, but I'll leave him to settle it with you."

This threat conveyed all that is terrible to the imagination of poor
Jeanie, who saw in him that "was of milder mood" her only protection from
the most brutal treatment. She, therefore, not only followed him, but
even held him by the sleeve, lest he should escape from her; and the
fellow, hardened as he was, seemed something touched by these marks of
confidence, and repeatedly assured her, that he would suffer her to
receive no harm.

They conducted their prisoner in a direction leading more and more from
the public road, but she observed that they kept a sort of track or
by-path, which relieved her from part of her apprehensions, which would
have been greatly increased had they not seemed to follow a determined
and ascertained route. After about half-an-hour's walking, all three in
profound silence, they approached an old barn, which stood on the edge of
some cultivated ground, but remote from everything like a habitation. It
was itself, however, tenanted, for there was light in the windows.

One of the footpads scratched at the door, which was opened by a female,
and they entered with their unhappy prisoner. An old woman, who was
preparing food by the assistance of a stifling fire of lighted charcoal,
asked them, in the name of the devil, what they brought the wench there
for, and why they did not strip her and turn her abroad on the common?

"Come, come, Mother Blood," said the tall man, "we'll do what's right to
oblige you, and we'll do no more; we are bad enough, but not such as you
would make us,--devils incarnate."

"She has got a jark from Jim Ratcliffe," said the short fellow, "and
Frank here won't hear of our putting her through the mill."

"No, that I will not, by G--d!" answered Frank; "but if old Mother Blood
could keep her here for a little while, or send her back to Scotland,
without hurting her, why, I see no harm in that--not I."

"I'll tell you what, Frank Levitt," said the old woman, "if you call me
Mother Blood again, I'll paint this gully" (and she held a knife up as if
about to make good her threat) "in the best blood in your body, my bonny
boy."

"The price of ointment must be up in the north," said Frank, "that puts
Mother Blood so much out of humour."

Without a moment's hesitation the fury darted her knife at him with the
vengeful dexterity of a wild Indian. As he was on his guard, he avoided
the missile by a sudden motion of his head, but it whistled past his ear,
and stuck deep in the clay wall of a partition behind.

"Come, come, mother," said the robber, seizing her by both wrists, "I
shall teach you who's master;" and so saying, he forced the hag backwards
by main force, who strove vehemently until she sunk on a bunch of straw,
and then, letting go her hands, he held up his finger towards her in the
menacing posture by which a maniac is intimidated by his keeper. It
appeared to produce the desired effect; for she did not attempt to rise
from the seat on which he had placed her, or to resume any measures of
actual violence, but wrung her withered hands with impotent rage, and
brayed and howled like a demoniac.

"I will keep my promise with you, you old devil," said Frank; "the wench
shall not go forward on the London road, but I will not have you touch a
hair of her head, if it were but for your insolence."

This intimation seemed to compose in some degree the vehement passion of
the old hag; and while her exclamations and howls sunk into a low,
maundering, growling tone of voice, another personage was added to this
singular party.

"Eh, Frank Levitt," said this new-comer, who entered with a hop, step,
and jump, which at once conveyed her from the door into the centre of the
party, "were ye killing our mother? or were ye cutting the grunter's
weasand that Tam brought in this morning? or have ye been reading your
prayers backward, to bring up my auld acquaintance the deil amang ye?"

The tone of the speaker was so particular, that Jeanie immediately
recognised the woman who had rode foremost of the pair which passed her
just before she met the robbers; a circumstance which greatly increased
her terror, as it served to show that the mischief designed against her
was premeditated, though by whom, or for what cause, she was totally at a
loss to conjecture. From the style of her conversation, the reader also
may probably acknowledge in this female an old acquaintance in the
earlier part of our narrative.

"Out, ye mad devil!" said Tom, whom she had disturbed in the middle of a
draught of some liquor with which he had found means of accommodating
himself; "betwixt your Bess of Bedlam pranks, and your dam's frenzies, a
man might live quieter in the devil's ken than here."--And he again
resumed the broken jug out of which he had been drinking.

"And wha's this o't?" said the mad woman, dancing up to Jeanie Deans,
who, although in great terror, yet watched the scene with a resolution to
let nothing pass unnoticed which might be serviceable in assisting her to
escape, or informing her as to the true nature of her situation, and the
danger attending it,--"Wha's this o't?" again exclaimed Madge Wildfire.

"Douce Davie Deans, the auld doited whig body's daughter, in a gipsy's
barn, and the night setting in? This is a sight for sair een!--Eh, sirs,
the falling off o' the godly!--and the t'other sister's in the Tolbooth
of Edinburgh; I am very sorry for her, for my share--it's my mother
wusses ill to her, and no me--though maybe I hae as muckle cause."

"Hark ye, Madge," said the taller ruffian, "you have not such a touch of
the devil's blood as the hag your mother, who may be his dam for what I
know--take this young woman to your kennel, and do not let the devil
enter, though he should ask in God's name."

"Ou ay; that I will, Frank," said Madge, taking hold of Jeanie by the
arm, and pulling her along; "for it's no for decent Christian young
leddies, like her and me, to be keeping the like o' you and Tyburn Tam
company at this time o' night. Sae gude-e'en t'ye, sirs, and mony o'
them; and may ye a' sleep till the hangman wauken ye, and then it will be
weel for the country."

She then, as her wild fancy seemed suddenly to prompt her, walked
demurely towards her mother, who, seated by the charcoal fire, with the
reflection of the red light on her withered and distorted features marked
by every evil passion, seemed the very picture of Hecate at her infernal
rites; and, suddenly dropping on her knees, said, with the manner of a
six years' old child, "Mammie, hear me say my prayers before I go to bed,
and say God bless my bonny face, as ye used to do lang syne."

"The deil flay the hide o' it to sole his brogues wi'!" said the old
lady, aiming a buffet at the supplicant, in answer to her duteous
request.

The blow missed Madge, who, being probably acquainted by experience with
the mode in which her mother was wont to confer her maternal
benedictions, slipt out of arm's length with great dexterity and
quickness. The hag then started up, and, seizing a pair of old
fire-tongs, would have amended her motion, by beating out the brains
either of her daughter or Jeanie (she did not seem greatly to care
which), when her hand was once more arrested by the man whom they called
Frank Levitt, who, seizing her by the shoulder, flung her from him with
great violence, exclaiming, "What, Mother Damnable--again, and in my
sovereign presence!--Hark ye, Madge of Bedlam! get to your hole with your
playfellow, or we shall have the devil to pay here, and nothing to pay
him with."

Madge took Levitt's advice, retreating as fast as she could, and dragging
Jeanie along with her into a sort of recess, partitioned off from the
rest of the barn, and filled with straw, from which it appeared that it
was intended for the purpose of slumber. The moonlight shone, through an
open hole, upon a pillion, a pack-saddle, and one or two wallets, the
travelling furniture of Madge and her amiable mother.--"Now, saw ye e'er
in your life," said Madge, "sae dainty a chamber of deas? see as the moon
shines down sae caller on the fresh strae! There's no a pleasanter cell
in Bedlam, for as braw a place as it is on the outside.--Were ye ever in
Bedlam?"

"No," answered Jeanie faintly, appalled by the question, and the way in
which it was put, yet willing to soothe her insane companion, being in
circumstances so unhappily precarious, that even the society of this
gibbering madwoman seemed a species of protection.

"Never in Bedlam?" said Madge, as if with some surprise.--"But ye'll hae
been in the cells at Edinburgh!"

"Never," repeated Jeanie.

"Weel, I think thae daft carles the magistrates send naebody to Bedlam
but me--thae maun hae an unco respect for me, for whenever I am brought
to them, thae aye hae me back to Bedlam. But troth, Jeanie" (she said
this in a very confidential tone), "to tell ye my private mind about it,
I think ye are at nae great loss; for the keeper's a cross-patch, and he
maun hae it a' his ain gate, to be sure, or he makes the place waur than
hell. I often tell him he's the daftest in a' the house.--But what are
they making sic a skirling for?--Deil ane o' them's get in here--it wadna
be mensfu'! I will sit wi' my back again the door; it winna be that easy
stirring me."

"Madge!"--"Madge!"--"Madge Wildfire!"--"Madge devil! what have ye done
with the horse?" was repeatedly asked by the men without.

"He's e'en at his supper, puir thing," answered Madge; "deil an ye were
at yours, too, an it were scauding brimstone, and then we wad hae less o'
your din."

"His supper!" answered the more sulky ruffian--"What d'ye mean by
that!--Tell me where he is, or I will knock your Bedlam brains out!"

"He's in Gaffer Gablewood's wheat-close, an ye maun ken."

"His wheat-close, you crazed jilt!" answered the other, with an accent of
great indignation.

"O, dear Tyburn Tam, man, what ill will the blades of the young wheat do
to the puir nag?"

"That is not the question," said the other robber; "but what the country
will say to us to-morrow, when they see him in such quarters?--Go, Tom,
and bring him in; and avoid the soft ground, my lad; leave no hoof-track
behind you."

"I think you give me always the fag of it, whatever is to be done,"
grumbled his companion.

"Leap, Laurence, you're long enough," said the other; and the fellow left
the barn accordingly, without farther remonstrance.

In the meanwhile, Madge had arranged herself for repose on the straw; but
still in a half-sitting posture, with her back resting against the door
of the hovel, which, as it opened inwards, was in this manner kept shut
by the weight of the person.

"There's mair shifts by stealing, Jeanie," said Madge Wildfire; "though
whiles I can hardly get our mother to think sae. Wha wad hae thought but
mysell of making a bolt of my ain back-bane? But it's no sae strong as
thae that I hae seen in the Tolbooth at Edinburgh. The hammermen of
Edinburgh are to my mind afore the warld for making stancheons,
ring-bolts, fetter-bolts, bars, and locks. And they arena that bad at
girdles for carcakes neither, though the Cu'ross hammermen have the gree
for that. My mother had ance a bonny Cu'ross girdle, and I thought to
have baked carcakes on it for my puir wean that's dead and gane nae fair
way--But we maun a' dee, ye ken, Jeanie--You Cameronian bodies ken that
brawlies; and ye're for making a hell upon earth that ye may be less
unwillin' to part wi' it. But as touching Bedlam that ye were speaking
about, I'se ne'er recommend it muckle the tae gate or the other, be it
right--be it wrang. But ye ken what the sang says." And, pursuing the
unconnected and floating wanderings of her mind, she sung aloud--

                    "In the bonny cells of Bedlam,
                        Ere I was ane-and-twenty,
                    I had hempen bracelets strong,
                       And merry whips, ding-dong,
                    And prayer and fasting plenty.

"Weel, Jeanie, I am something herse the night, and I canna sing muckle
mair; and troth, I think, I am gaun to sleep."

She drooped her head on her breast, a posture from which Jeanie, who
would have given the world for an opportunity of quiet to consider the
means and the probability of her escape, was very careful not to disturb
her. After nodding, however, for a minute'or two, with her eyes
half-closed, the unquiet and restless spirit of her malady again assailed
Madge. She raised her head, and spoke, but with a lowered tone, which was
again gradually overcome by drowsiness, to which the fatigue of a day's
journey on horseback had probably given unwonted occasion,--"I dinna ken
what makes me sae sleepy--I amaist never sleep till my bonny Lady Moon
gangs till her bed--mair by token, when she's at the full, ye ken, rowing
aboon us yonder in her grand silver coach--I have danced to her my lane
sometimes for very joy--and whiles dead folk came and danced wi' me--the
like o' Jock Porteous, or ony body I had ken'd when I was living--for ye
maun ken I was ance dead mysell." Here the poor maniac sung, in a low and
wild tone,

                 "My banes are buried in yon kirkyard
                        Sae far ayont the sea,
                  And it is but my blithesome ghaist
                        That's speaking now to thee.

"But after a', Jeanie, my woman, naebody kens weel wha's living and wha's
dead--or wha's gone to Fairyland--there's another question. Whiles I
think my puir bairn's dead--ye ken very weel it's buried--but that
signifies naething. I have had it on my knee a hundred times, and a
hundred till that, since it was buried--and how could that be were it
dead, ye ken?--it's merely impossible."--And here, some conviction
half-overcoming the reveries of her imagination, she burst into a fit of
crying and ejaculation, "Wae's me! wae's me! wae's me!" till at length
she moaned and sobbed herself into a deep sleep, which was soon intimated
by her breathing hard, leaving Jeanie to her own melancholy reflections
and observations.





CHAPTER SIXTH.


               Bind her quickly; or, by this steel,
               I'll tell, although I truss for company.
                                       Fletcher.

The imperfect light which shone into the window enabled Jeanie to see
that there was scarcely any chance of making her escape in that
direction; for the aperture was high in the wall, and so narrow, that,
could she have climbed up to it, she might well doubt whether it would
have permitted her to pass her body through it. An unsuccessful attempt
to escape would be sure to draw down worse treatment than she now
received, and she, therefore, resolved to watch her opportunity carefully
ere making such a perilous effort. For this purpose she applied herself
to the ruinous clay partition, which divided the hovel in which she now
was from the rest of the waste barn. It was decayed and full of cracks
and chinks, one of which she enlarged with her fingers, cautiously and
without noise, until she could obtain a plain view of the old hag and the
taller ruffian, whom they called Levitt, seated together beside the
decayed fire of charcoal, and apparently engaged in close conference. She
was at first terrified by the sight; for the features of the old woman
had a hideous cast of hardened and inveterate malice and ill-humour, and
those of the man, though naturally less unfavourable, were such as
corresponded well with licentious habits, and a lawless profession.

"But I remembered," said Jeanie, "my worthy fathers tales of a winter
evening, how he was confined with the blessed martyr, Mr. James Renwick,
who lifted up the fallen standard of the true reformed Kirk of Scotland,
after the worthy and renowned Daniel Cameron, our last blessed
banner-man, had fallen among the swords of the wicked at Airsmoss, and
how the very hearts of the wicked malefactors and murderers, whom they
were confined withal, were melted like wax at the sound of their
doctrine: and I bethought mysell, that the same help that was wi' them in
their strait, wad be wi' me in mine, an I could but watch the Lord's time
and opportunity for delivering my feet from their snare; and I minded the
Scripture of the blessed Psalmist, whilk he insisteth on, as weel in the
forty-second as in the forty-third psalm--'Why art thou cast down, O my
soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet
praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.'"

Strengthened in a mind naturally calm, sedate, and firm, by the influence
of religious confidence, this poor captive was enabled to attend to, and
comprehend, a great part of an interesting conversation which passed
betwixt those into whose hands she had fallen, notwithstanding that their
meaning was partly disguised by the occasional use of cant terms, of
which Jeanie knew not the import, by the low tone in which they spoke,
and by their mode of supplying their broken phrases by shrugs and signs,
as is usual amongst those of their disorderly profession.

The man opened the conversation by saying, "Now, dame, you see I am true
to my friend. I have not forgot that you _planked a chury,_* which helped
me through the bars of the Castle of York, and I came to do your work
without asking questions; for one good turn deserves another.

* Concealed a knife.

But now that Madge, who is as loud as Tom of Lincoln, is somewhat still,
and this same Tyburn Neddie is shaking his heels after the old nag, why,
you must tell me what all this is about, and what's to be done--for d--n
me if I touch the girl, or let her be touched, and she with Jim Rat's
pass, too."

"Thou art an honest lad, Frank," answered the old woman, "but e'en too
good for thy trade; thy tender heart will get thee into trouble. I will
see ye gang up Holborn Hill backward, and a' on the word of some silly
loon that could never hae rapped to ye had ye drawn your knife across his
weasand."

"You may be balked there, old one," answered the robber; "I have known
many a pretty lad cut short in his first summer upon the road, because he
was something hasty with his flats and sharps. Besides, a man would fain
live out his two years with a good conscience. So, tell me what all this
is about, and what's to be done for you that one can do decently?"

"Why, you must know, Frank--but first taste a snap of right Hollands."
She drew a flask from her pocket, and filled the fellow a large bumper,
which he pronounced to be the right thing.--"You must know, then,
Frank--wunna ye mend your hand?" again offering the flask.

"No, no,--when a woman wants mischief from you, she always begins by
filling you drunk. D--n all Dutch courage. What I do I will do
soberly--I'll last the longer for that too."

"Well, then, you must know," resumed the old woman, without any further
attempts at propitiation, "that this girl is going to London."

Here Jeanie could only distinguish the word sister.

The robber answered in a louder tone, "Fair enough that; and what the
devil is your business with it?"

"Business enough, I think. If the b--queers the noose, that silly cull
will marry her."

"And who cares if he does?" said the man.

"Who cares, ye donnard Neddie! I care; and I will strangle her with my
own hands, rather than she should come to Madge's preferment."

"Madge's preferment! Does your old blind eyes see no farther than that?
If he is as you say, dye think he'll ever marry a moon-calf like Madge?
Ecod, that's a good one--Marry Madge Wildfire!--Ha! ha! ha!"

"Hark ye, ye crack-rope padder, born beggar, and bred thief!" replied the
hag, "suppose he never marries the wench, is that a reason he should
marry another, and that other to hold my daughter's place, and she
crazed, and I a beggar, and all along of him? But I know that of him will
hang him--I know that of him will hang him, if he had a thousand lives--I
know that of him will hang--hang--hang him!"

She grinned as she repeated and dwelt upon the fatal monosyllable, with
the emphasis of a vindictive fiend.

"Then why don't you hang--hang--hang him?" said Frank, repeating her
words contemptuously. "There would be more sense in that, than in
wreaking yourself here upon two wenches that have done you and your
daughter no ill."

"No ill?" answered the old woman--"and he to marry this jail-bird, if
ever she gets her foot loose!"

"But as there is no chance of his marrying a bird of your brood, I
cannot, for my soul, see what you have to do with all this," again
replied the robber, shrugging his shoulders. "Where there is aught to be
got, I'll go as far as my neighbours, but I hate mischief for mischiefs
sake."

"And would you go nae length for revenge?" said the hag--"for
revenge--the sweetest morsel to the mouth that over was cooked in hell!"

"The devil may keep it for his own eating, then," said the robber; "for
hang me if I like the sauce he dresses it with."

"Revenge!" continued the old woman; "why, it is the best reward the devil
gives us for our time here and hereafter. I have wrought hard for it--I
have suffered for it--and I have sinned for it--and I will have it,--or
there is neither justice in heaven or in hell!"

Levitt had by this time lighted a pipe, and was listening with great
composure to the frantic and vindictive ravings of the old hag. He was
too much, hardened by his course of life to be shocked with them--too
indifferent, and probably too stupid, to catch any part of their
animation or energy. "But, mother," he said, after a pause, "still I say,
that if revenge is your wish, you should take it on the young fellow
himself."

"I wish I could," she said, drawing in her breath, with the eagerness of
a thirsty person while mimicking the action of drinking--"I wish I
could--but no--I cannot--I cannot."

"And why not?--You would think little of peaching and hanging him for
this Scotch affair.--Rat me, one might have milled the Bank of England,
and less noise about it."

"I have nursed him at this withered breast," answered the old woman,
folding her hands on her bosom, as if pressing an infant to it, "and,
though he has proved an adder to me--though he has been the destruction
of me and mine--though he has made me company for the devil, if there be
a devil, and food for hell, if there be such a place, yet I cannot take
his life.--No, I cannot," she continued, with an appearance of rage
against herself; "I have thought of it--I have tried it--but, Francis
Levitt, I canna gang through wi't--Na, na--he was the first bairn I ever
nurst--ill I had been--and man can never ken what woman feels for the
bairn she has held first to her bosom!"

"To be sure," said Levitt, "we have no experience; but, mother, they say
you ha'n't been so kind to other bairns, as you call them, that have come
in your way.--Nay, d--n me, never lay your hand on the whittle, for I am
captain and leader here, and I will have no rebellion."

The hag, whose first motion had been, upon hearing the question, to grasp
the haft of a large knife, now unclosed her hand, stole it away from the
weapon, and suffered it to fall by her side, while she proceeded with a
sort of smile--"Bairns! ye are joking, lad--wha wad touch bairns? Madge,
puir thing, had a misfortune wi' ane--and the t'other"--Here her voice
sunk so much, that Jeanie, though anxiously upon the watch, could not
catch a word she said, until she raised her tone at the conclusion of the
sentence--"So Madge, in her daffin', threw it into the Nor'-lock, I
trow."

Madge, whose slumbers, like those of most who labour under mental malady,
had been short, and were easily broken, now made herself heard from her
place of repose.

"Indeed, mother, that's a great lie, for I did nae sic thing."

"Hush, thou hellicat devil," said her mother--"By Heaven! the other wench
will be waking too."

"That may be dangerous," said Frank; and he rose, and followed Meg
Murdockson across the floor.

"Rise," said the hag to her daughter, "or I sall drive the knife between
the planks into the Bedlam back of thee!"

Apparently she at the same time seconded her threat by pricking her with
the point of a knife, for Madge, with a faint scream, changed her place,
and the door opened.


[Illustration: Jennie in the Outlaws Hut--80]


The old woman held a candle in one hand, and a knife in the other. Levitt
appeared behind her, whether with a view of preventing, or assisting her
in any violence she might meditate, could not be well guessed. Jeanie's
presence of mind stood her friend in this dreadful crisis. She had
resolution enough to maintain the attitude and manner of one who sleeps
profoundly, and to regulate even her breathing, notwithstanding the
agitation of instant terror, so as to correspond with her attitude.

The old woman passed the light across her eyes; and although Jeanie's
fears were so powerfully awakened by this movement, that she often
declared afterwards, that she thought she saw the figures of her destined
murderers through her closed eyelids, she had still the resolution to
maintain the feint, on which her safety perhaps depended.

Levitt looked at her with fixed attention; he then turned the old woman
out of the place, and followed her himself. Having regained the outward
apartment, and seated themselves, Jeanie heard the highwayman say, to her
no small relief, "She's as fast as if she were in Bedfordshire.--Now, old
Meg, d--n me if I can understand a glim of this story of yours, or what
good it will do you to hang the one wench and torment the other; but, rat
me, I will be true to my friend, and serve ye the way ye like it. I see
it will be a bad job; but I do think I could get her down to Surfleet on
the Wash, and so on board Tom Moonshine's neat lugger, and keep her out
of the way three or four weeks, if that will please ye--But d--n me if
any one shall harm her, unless they have a mind to choke on a brace of
blue plums.--It's a cruel, bad job, and I wish you and it, Meg, were both
at the devil."

"Never mind, hinny Levitt," said the old woman; "you are a ruffler, and
will have a' your ain gate--She shanna gang to heaven an hour sooner for
me; I carena whether she live or die--it's her sister--ay, her sister!"

"Well, we'll say no more about it; I hear Tom coming in. We'll couch a
hogshead,* and so better had you."

* Lay ourselves down to sleep.

They retired to repose accordingly, and all was silent in this asylum of
iniquity.

Jeanie lay for a long time awake. At break of day she heard the two
ruffians leave the barn, after whispering to the old woman for some time.
The sense that she was now guarded by persons of her own sex gave her
some confidence, and irresistible lassitude at length threw her into
slumber.

When the captive awakened, the sun was high in heaven, and the morning
considerably advanced. Madge Wildfire was still in the hovel which had
served them for the night, and immediately bid her good-morning, with her
usual air of insane glee. "And dye ken, lass," said Madge, "there's queer
things chanced since ye hae been in the land of Nod. The constables hae
been here, woman, and they met wi' my minnie at the door, and they
whirl'd her awa to the Justice's about the man's wheat.--Dear! thae
English churls think as muckle about a blade of wheat or grass, as a
Scotch laird does about his maukins and his muir-poots. Now, lass, if ye
like, we'll play them a fine jink; we will awa out and take a walk--they
will mak unco wark when they miss us, but we can easily be back by dinner
time, or before dark night at ony rate, and it will be some frolic and
fresh air.--But maybe ye wad like to take some breakfast, and then lie
down again? I ken by mysell, there's whiles I can sit wi' my head in my
hand the haill day, and havena a word to cast at a dog--and other whiles,
that I canna sit still a moment. That's when the folk think me warst, but
I am aye canny eneugh--ye needna be feared to walk wi' me."

Had Madge Wildfire been the most raging lunatic, instead of possessing a
doubtful, uncertain, and twilight sort of rationality, varying, probably,
from the influence of the most trivial causes, Jeanie would hardly have
objected to leave a place of captivity, where she had so much to
apprehend. She eagerly assured Madge that she had no occasion for further
sleep, no desire whatever for eating; and, hoping internally that she was
not guilty of sin in doing so, she flattered her keeper's crazy humour
for walking in the woods.

"It's no a'thegither for that neither," said poor Madge; "but I am
judging ye will wun the better out o' thae folk's hands; no that they are
a'thegither bad folk neither, but they have queer ways wi' them, and I
whiles dinna think it has ever been weel wi' my mother and me since we
kept sic-like company."

With the haste, the joy, the fear, and the hope of a liberated captive,
Jeanie snatched up her little bundle, followed Madge into the free air,
and eagerly looked round her for a human habitation; but none was to be
seen. The ground was partly cultivated, and partly left in its natural
state, according as the fancy of the slovenly agriculturists had decided.
In its natural state it was waste, in some places covered with dwarf
trees and bushes, in others swamp, and elsewhere firm and dry downs or
pasture grounds.

Jeanie's active mind next led her to conjecture which way the high-road
lay, whence she had been forced. If she regained that public road, she
imagined she must soon meet some person, or arrive at some house, where
she might tell her story, and request protection. But, after a glance
around her, she saw with regret that she had no means whatever of
directing her course with any degree of certainty, and that she was still
in dependence upon her crazy companion. "Shall we not walk upon the
high-road?" said she to Madge, in such a tone as a nurse uses to coax a
child. "It's brawer walking on the road than amang thae wild bushes and
whins."

Madge, who was walking very fast, stopped at this question, and looked at
Jeanie with a sudden and scrutinising glance, that seemed to indicate
complete acquaintance with her purpose. "Aha, lass!" she exclaimed, "are
ye gaun to guide us that gate?--Ye'll be for making your heels save your
head, I am judging."

Jeanie hesitated for a moment, on hearing her companion thus express
herself, whether she had not better take the hint, and try to outstrip
and get rid of her. But she knew not in which direction to fly; she was
by no means sure that she would prove the swiftest, and perfectly
conscious that in the event of her being pursued and overtaken, she would
be inferior to the madwoman in strength. She therefore gave up thoughts
for the present of attempting to escape in that manner, and, saying a few
words to allay Madge's suspicions, she followed in anxious apprehension
the wayward path by which her guide thought proper to lead her. Madge,
infirm of purpose, and easily reconciled to the present scene, whatever
it was, began soon to talk with her usual diffuseness of ideas.

"It's a dainty thing to be in the woods on a fine morning like this! I
like it far better than the town, for there isna a wheen duddie bairns to
be crying after ane, as if ane were a warld's wonder, just because
ane maybe is a thought bonnier and better put-on than their
neighbours--though, Jeanie, ye suld never be proud o' braw claiths,
or beauty neither--wae's me! they're but a snare--I ance thought better
o'them, and what came o't?"

"Are ye sure ye ken the way ye are taking us?" said Jeanie, who began to
imagine that she was getting deeper into the woods and more remote from
the high-road.

"Do I ken the road?--Wasna I mony a day living here, and what for
shouldna I ken the road? I might hae forgotten, too, for it was afore my
accident; but there are some things ane can never forget, let them try it
as muckle as they like."

By this time they had gained the deepest part of a patch of woodland. The
trees were a little separated from each other, and at the foot of one of
them, a beautiful poplar, was a hillock of moss, such as the poet of
Grasmere has described. So soon as she arrived at this spot, Madge
Wildfire, joining her hands above her head with a loud scream that
resembled laughter, flung herself all at once upon the spot, and remained
lying there motionless.

Jeanie's first idea was to take the opportunity of flight; but her desire
to escape yielded for a moment to apprehension for the poor insane being,
who, she thought, might perish for want of relief. With an effort, which
in her circumstances, might be termed heroic, she stooped down, spoke in
a soothing tone, and endeavoured to raise up the forlorn creature. She
effected this with difficulty, and as she placed her against the tree in
a sitting posture, she observed with surprise, that her complexion,
usually florid, was now deadly pale, and that her face was bathed in
tears. Notwithstanding her own extreme danger, Jeanie was affected by the
situation of her companion; and the rather, that, through the whole train
of her wavering and inconsistent state of mind and line of conduct, she
discerned a general colour of kindness towards herself, for which she
felt gratitude.

"Let me alane!--let me alane!" said the poor young woman, as her paroxysm
of sorrow began to abate--"Let me alane--it does me good to weep. I canna
shed tears but maybe ance or twice a year, and I aye come to wet this
turf with them, that the flowers may grow fair, and the grass may be
green."

"But what is the matter with you?" said Jeanie--"Why do you weep so
bitterly?"

"There's matter enow," replied the lunatic,--"mair than ae puir mind can
bear, I trow. Stay a bit, and I'll tell you a' about it; for I like ye,
Jeanie Deans--a'body spoke weel about ye when we lived in the Pleasaunts--
And I mind aye the drink o' milk ye gae me yon day, when I had been on
Arthur's Seat for four-and-twenty hours, looking for the ship that
somebody was sailing in."

These words recalled to Jeanie's recollection, that, in fact, she had
been one morning much frightened by meeting a crazy young woman near her
father's house at an early hour, and that, as she appeared to be
harmless, her apprehension had been changed into pity, and she had
relieved the unhappy wanderer with some food, which she devoured with the
haste of a famished person. The incident, trifling in itself, was at
present of great importance, if it should be found to have made a
favourable and permanent impression in her favour on the mind of the
object of her charity.

"Yes," said Madge, "I'll tell ye a' about it, for ye are a decent man's
daughter--Douce Davie Deans, ye ken--and maybe ye'll can teach me to find
out the narrow way, and the straight path, for I have been burning bricks
in Egypt, and walking through the weary wilderness of Sinai, for lang and
mony a day. But whenever I think about mine errors, I am like to cover my
lips for shame."--Here she looked up and smiled.--"It's a strange thing
now--I hae spoke mair gude words to you in ten minutes, than I wad speak
to my mother in as mony years--it's no that I dinna think on them--and
whiles they are just at my tongue's end, but then comes the devil, and
brushes my lips with his black wing, and lays his broad black loof on my
mouth--for a black loof it is, Jeanie--and sweeps away a' my gude
thoughts, and dits up my gude words, and pits a wheen fule sangs and idle
vanities in their place."

"Try, Madge," said Jeanie,--"try to settle your mind and make your breast
clean, and you'll find your heart easier.--Just resist the devil, and he
will flee from you--and mind that, as my worthy father tells me, there is
nae devil sae deceitfu' as our ain wandering thoughts."

"And that's true too, lass," said Madge, starting up; "and I'll gang a
gate where the devil daurna follow me; and it's a gate that you will like
dearly to gang--but I'll keep a fast haud o' your arm, for fear Apollyon
should stride across the path, as he did in the Pilgrim's Progress."

Accordingly she got up, and, taking Jeanie by the arm, began to walk
forward at a great pace; and soon, to her companion's no small joy, came
into a marked path, with the meanders of which she seemed perfectly
acquainted. Jeanie endeavoured to bring her back to the confessional, but
the fancy was gone by. In fact, the mind of this deranged being resembled
nothing so much as a quantity of dry leaves, which may for a few minutes
remain still, but are instantly discomposed and put in motion by the
first casual breath of air. She had now got John Bunyan's parable into
her head, to the exclusion of everything else, and on she went with great
volubility.

"Did ye never read the Pilgrim's Progress? And you shall be the woman,
Christiana, and I will be the maiden, Mercy--for ye ken Mercy was of the
fairer countenance, and the more alluring than her companion--and if I
had my little messan dog here, it would be Great-heart, their guide, ye
ken, for he was e'en as bauld, that he wad bark at ony thing twenty times
his size; and that was e'en the death of him, for he bit Corporal
MacAlpine's heels ae morning when they were hauling me to the
guard-house, and Corporal MacAlpine killed the bit faithfu' thing wi' his
Lochaber axe--deil pike the Highland banes o' him."

"O fie! Madge," said Jeanie, "ye should not speak such words."

"It's very true," said Madge, shaking her head; "but then I maunna think
o' my puir bit doggie, Snap, when I saw it lying dying in the gutter. But
it's just as weel, for it suffered baith cauld and hunger when it was
living, and in the grave there is rest for a' things--rest for the
doggie, and my puir bairn, and me."

"Your bairn?" said Jeanie, conceiving that by speaking on such a topic,
supposing it to be a real one, she could not fail to bring her companion
to a more composed temper.

She was mistaken, however, for Madge coloured, and replied with some
anger, "_My_ bairn? ay, to be sure, my bairn. Whatfor shouldna I hae a
bairn and lose a bairn too, as weel as your bonnie tittie, the Lily of
St. Leonard's?"

The answer struck Jeanie with some alarm, and she was anxious to soothe
the irritation she had unwittingly given occasion to. "I am very sorry
for your misfortune"

"Sorry! what wad ye be sorry for?" answered Madge. "The bairn was a
blessing--that is, Jeanie, it wad hae been a blessing if it hadna been
for my mother; but my mother's a queer woman.--Ye see, there was an auld
carle wi' a bit land, and a gude clat o' siller besides, just the very
picture of old Mr. Feeblemind or Mr. Ready-to-halt, that Great-heart
delivered from Slaygood the giant, when he was rifling him and about to
pick his bones, for Slaygood was of the nature of the flesh-eaters--and
Great-heart killed Giant Despair too--but I am doubting Giant Despair's
come alive again, for a' the story book--I find him busy at my heart
whiles."

"Weel, and so the auld carle," said Jeanie, for she was painfully
interested in getting to the truth of Madge's history, which she could
not but suspect was in some extraordinary way linked and entwined with
the fate of her sister. She was also desirous, if possible, to engage her
companion in some narrative which might be carried on in a lower tone of
voice, for she was in great apprehension lest the elevated notes of
Madge's conversation should direct her mother or the robbers in search of
them.

"And so the auld carle," said Madge, repeating her words--"I wish ye had
seen him stoiting about, aff ae leg on to the other, wi' a kind o'
dot-and-go-one sort o' motion, as if ilk ane o' his twa legs had belanged
to sindry folk--but Gentle George could take him aff brawly--Eh, as I
used to laugh to see George gang hip-hop like him!--I dinna ken, I think
I laughed heartier then than what I do now, though maybe no just sae
muckle."

"And who was Gentle George?" said Jeanie, endeavouring to bring her back
to her story.

"O, he was Geordie Robertson, ye ken, when he was in Edinburgh; but
that's no his right name neither--His name is--But what is your business
wi' his name?" said she, as if upon sudden recollection, "What have ye to
do asking for folk's names?--Have ye a mind I should scour my knife
between your ribs, as my mother says?"

As this was spoken with a menacing tone and gesture, Jeanie hastened to
protest her total innocence of purpose in the accidental question which
she had asked, and Madge Wildfire went on somewhat pacified.

"Never ask folk's names, Jeanie--it's no civil--I hae seen half-a-dozen
o' folk in my mother's at ance, and ne'er ane a' them ca'd the ither by
his name; and Daddie Ratton says, it is the most uncivil thing may be,
because the bailie bodies are aye asking fashions questions, when ye saw
sic a man, or sic a man; and if ye dinna ken their names, ye ken there
can be nae mair speerd about it."

"In what strange school," thought Jeanie to herself, "has this poor
creature been bred up, where such remote precautions are taken against
the pursuits of justice? What would my father or Reuben Butler think if I
were to tell them there are sic folk in the world? And to abuse the
simplicity of this demented creature! Oh, that I were but safe at hame
amang mine ain leal and true people! and I'll bless God, while I have
breath, that placed me amongst those who live in His fear, and under the
shadow of His wing."

She was interrupted by the insane laugh of Madge Wildfire, as she saw a
magpie hop across the path.

"See there!--that was the gate my auld joe used to cross the country, but
no just sae lightly--he hadna wings to help his auld legs, I trow; but I
behoved to have married him for a' that, Jeanie, or my mother wad hae
been the dead o' me. But then came in the story of my poor bairn, and my
mother thought he wad be deaved wi' it's skirling, and she pat it away in
below the bit bourock of turf yonder, just to be out o' the gate; and I
think she buried my best wits with it, for I have never been just mysell
since. And only think, Jeanie, after my mother had been at a' these
pains, the auld doited body Johnny Drottle turned up his nose, and wadna
hae aught to say to me! But it's little I care for him, for I have led a
merry life ever since, and ne'er a braw gentleman looks at me but ye wad
think he was gaun to drop off his horse for mere love of me. I have ken'd
some o' them put their hand in their pocket, and gie me as muckle as
sixpence at a time, just for my weel-faured face."

This speech gave Jeanie a dark insight into Madge's history. She had been
courted by a wealthy suitor, whose addresses her mother had favoured,
notwithstanding the objection of old age and deformity. She had been
seduced by some profligate, and, to conceal her shame and promote the
advantageous match she had planned, her mother had not hesitated to
destroy the offspring of their intrigue. That the consequence should be
the total derangement of amind which was constitutionally unsettled by
giddiness and vanity, was extremely natural; and such was, in fact, the
history of Madge Wildfire's insanity.




CHAPTER SEVENTH.


             So free from danger, free from fear
             They crossed the court--right glad they were.
                                            Christabel.

Pursuing the path which Madge had chosen, Jeanie Deans observed, to her
no small delight, that marks of more cultivation appeared, and the
thatched roofs of houses, with their blue smoke arising in little
columns, were seen embosomed in a tuft of trees at some distance. The
track led in that direction, and Jeanie, therefore, resolved, while Madge
continued to pursue it, that she would ask her no questions; having had
the penetration to observe, that by doing so she ran the risk of
irritating her guide, or awakening suspicions, to the impressions of
which, persons in Madge's unsettled state of mind are particularly
liable.

Madge, therefore, uninterrupted, went on with the wild disjointed chat
which her rambling imagination suggested; a mood in which she was much
more communicative respecting her own history, and that of others,
than when there was any attempt made, by direct queries, or
cross-examinations, to extract information on these subjects.

"It's a queer thing," she said, "but whiles I can speak about the bit
bairn and the rest of it, just as if it had been another body's, and no
my ain; and whiles I am like to break my heart about it--Had you ever a
bairn, Jeanie?"

Jeanie replied in the negative.

"Ay; but your sister had, though--and I ken what came o't too."

"In the name of heavenly mercy," said Jeanie, forgetting the line of
conduct which she had hitherto adopted, "tell me but what became of that
unfortunate babe, and"

Madge stopped, looked at her gravely and fixedly, and then broke into a
great fit of laughing--"Aha, lass,--catch me if you can--I think it's
easy to gar you trow ony thing.--How suld I ken onything o' your sister's
wean? Lasses suld hae naething to do wi' weans till they are married--and
then a' the gossips and cummers come in and feast as if it were the
blithest day in the warld.--They say maidens' bairns are weel guided. I
wot that wasna true of your tittie's and mine; but these are sad tales to
tell.--I maun just sing a bit to keep up my heart--It's a sang that
Gentle George made on me lang syne, when I went with him to Lockington
wake, to see him act upon a stage, in fine clothes, with the player folk.
He might hae dune waur than married me that night as he promised--better
wed over the mixen* as over the moor, as they say in Yorkshire--

* A homely proverb, signifying better wed a neighbour than one fetched
from a distance.--Mixen signifies dunghill.

he may gang farther and fare waur--but that's a' ane to the sang,


           'I'm Madge of the country, I'm Madge of the town,
            And I'm Madge of the lad I am blithest to own--
               The Lady of Beeve in diamonds may shine,
             But has not a heart half so lightsome as mine.


             'I am Queen of the Wake, and I'm Lady of May,
             And I lead the blithe ring round the May-pole to-day;
            The wildfire that flashes so fair and so free,
               Was never so bright, or so bonny, as me.'

"I like that the best o' a' my sangs," continued the maniac, "because he
made it. I am often singing it, and that's maybe the reason folk ca' me
Madge Wildfire. I aye answer to the name, though it's no my ain, for
what's the use of making a fash?"

"But ye shouldna sing upon the Sabbath at least," said Jeanie, who, amid
all her distress and anxiety, could not help being scandalised at the
deportment of her companion, especially as they now approached near to
the little village.

"Ay! is this Sunday?" said Madge. "My mother leads sic a life, wi'
turning night into day, that ane loses a' count o' the days o' the week,
and disna ken Sunday frae Saturday. Besides, it's a' your whiggery--in
England, folk sings when they like--And then, ye ken, you are Christiana
and I am Mercy--and ye ken, as they went on their way, they sang."--And
she immediately raised one of John Bunyan's ditties:--

                  "He that is down need fear no fall,
                       He that is low no pride,
                   He that is humble ever shall
                       Have God to be his guide.


                  "Fulness to such a burthen is
                       That go on pilgrimage;
                   Here little, and hereafter bliss,
                       Is best from age to age."

"And do ye ken, Jeanie, I think there's much truth in that book, the
Pilgrim's Progress. The boy that sings that song was feeding his father's
sheep in the Valley of Humiliation, and Mr. Great-heart says, that he
lived a merrier life, and had more of the herb called heart's-ease in his
bosom, than they that wear silk and velvet like me, and are as bonny as I
am."

Jeanie Deans had never read the fanciful and delightful parable to which
Madge alluded. Bunyan was, indeed, a rigid Calvinist, but then he was
also a member of a Baptist congregation, so that his works had no place
on David Deans's shelf of divinity. Madge, however, at some time of her
life, had been well acquainted, as it appeared, with the most popular of
his performances, which, indeed, rarely fails to make a deep impression
upon children, and people of the lower rank.

"I am sure," she continued, "I may weel say I am come out of the city of
Destruction, for my mother is Mrs. Bat's-eyes, that dwells at Deadman's
corner; and Frank Levitt, and Tyburn Tam, they may be likened to Mistrust
and Guilt, that came galloping up, and struck the poor pilgrim to the
ground with a great club, and stole a bag of silver, which was most of
his spending money, and so have they done to many, and will do to more.
But now we will gang to the Interpreter's house, for I ken a man that
will play the Interpreter right weel; for he has eyes lifted up to
Heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth written on his
lips, and he stands as if he pleaded wi' men--Oh, if I had minded what he
had said to me, I had never been the cutaway creature that I am!--But it
is all over now.--But we'll knock at the gate, and then the keeper will
admit Christiana, but Mercy will be left out--and then I'll stand at the
door, trembling and crying, and then Christiana--that's you, Jeanie--will
intercede for me; and then Mercy--that's me, ye ken, will faint; and then
the Interpreter--yes, the Interpreter, that's Mr. Staunton himself, will
come out and take me--that's poor, lost, demented me--by the hand, and
give me a pomegranate, and a piece of honeycomb, and a small bottle of
spirits, to stay my fainting--and then the good times will come back
again, and we'll be the happiest folk you ever saw."

In the midst of the confused assemblage of ideas indicated in this
speech, Jeanie thought she saw a serious purpose on the part of Madge, to
endeavour to obtain the pardon and countenance of some one whom she had
offended; an attempt the most likely of all others to bring them once
more into contact with law and legal protection. She, therefore, resolved
to be guided by her while she was in so hopeful a disposition, and act
for her own safety according to circumstances.

They were now close by the village, one of those beautiful scenes which
are so often found in merry England, where the cottages, instead of being
built in two direct lines on each side of a dusty high-road, stand in
detached groups, interspersed not only with large oaks and elms, but with
fruit-trees, so many of which were at this time in flourish, that the
grove seemed enamelled with their crimson and white blossoms. In the
centre of the hamlet stood the parish church, and its little Gothic
tower, from which at present was heard the Sunday chime of bells.

"We will wait here until the folk are a' in the church--they ca' the kirk
a church in England, Jeanie, be sure you mind that--for if I was gaun
forward amang them, a' the gaitts o' boys and lasses wad be crying at
Madge Wildfire's tail, the little hell-rakers! and the beadle would be as
hard upon us as if it was our fault. I like their skirting as ill as he
does, I can tell him; I'm sure I often wish there was a het peat doun
their throats when they set them up that gate."

Conscious of the disorderly appearance of her own dress after the
adventure of the preceding night, and of the grotesque habit and
demeanour of her guide, and sensible how important it was to secure an
attentive and impatient audience to her strange story from some one who
might have the means to protect her, Jeanie readily acquiesced in Madge's
proposal to rest under the trees, by which they were still somewhat
screened, until the commencement of service should give them an
opportunity of entering the hamlet without attracting a crowd around
them. She made the less opposition, that Madge had intimated that this
was not the village where her mother was in custody, and that the two
squires of the pad were absent in a different direction.

She sate herself down, therefore, at the foot of an oak, and by the
assistance of a placid fountain, which had been dammed up for the use of
the villagers, and which served her as a natural mirror, she began--no
uncommon thing with a Scottish maiden of her rank--to arrange her
toilette in the open air, and bring her dress, soiled and disordered as
it was, into such order as the place and circumstances admitted.

She soon perceived reason, however, to regret that she had set about this
task, however decent and necessary, in the present time and society.
Madge Wildfire, who, among other indications of insanity, had a most
overweening opinion of those charms, to which, in fact, she had owed her
misery, and whose mind, like a raft upon a lake, was agitated and driven
about at random by each fresh impulse, no sooner beheld Jeanie begin to
arrange her hair, place her bonnet in order, rub the dust from her shoes
and clothes, adjust her neck-handkerchief and mittans, and so forth, than
with imitative zeal she began to bedizen and trick herself out with
shreds and remnants of beggarly finery, which she took out of a little
bundle, and which, when disposed around her person, made her appearance
ten times more fantastic and apish than it had been before.

Jeanie groaned in spirit, but dared not interfere in a matter so
delicate. Across the man's cap or riding hat which she wore, Madge placed
a broken and soiled white feather, intersected with one which had been
shed from the train of a peacock. To her dress, which was a kind of
riding-habit, she stitched, pinned, and otherwise secured, a large
furbelow of artificial flowers, all crushed, wrinkled and dirty, which
had at first bedecked a lady of quality, then descended to her Abigail,
and dazzled the inmates of the servants' hall. A tawdry scarf of yellow
silk, trimmed with tinsel and spangles, which had seen as hard service,
and boasted as honourable a transmission, was next flung over one
shoulder, and fell across her person in the manner of a shoulder-belt, or
baldrick. Madge then stripped off the coarse ordinary shoes, which she
wore, and replaced them by a pair of dirty satin ones, spangled and
embroidered to match the scarf, and furnished with very high heels. She
had cut a willow switch in her morning's walk, almost as long as a boy's
fishing-rod. This she set herself seriously to peel, and when it was
transformed into such a wand as the Treasurer or High Steward bears on
public occasions, she told Jeanie that she thought they now looked
decent, as young women should do upon the Sunday morning, and that, as
the bells had done ringing, she was willing to conduct her to the
Interpreter's house.

Jeanie sighed heavily, to think it should be her lot on the Lord's day,
and during kirk time too, to parade the street of an inhabited village
with so very grotesque a comrade; but necessity had no law, since,
without a positive quarrel with the madwoman, which, in the
circumstances, would have been very unadvisable, she could see no means
of shaking herself free of her society.

As for poor Madge, she was completely elated with personal vanity, and
the most perfect satisfaction concerning her own dazzling dress, and
superior appearance. They entered the hamlet without being observed,
except by one old woman, who, being nearly "high-gravel blind," was only
conscious that something very fine and glittering was passing by, and
dropped as deep a reverence to Madge as she would have done to a
countess. This filled up the measure of Madge's self-approbation. She
minced, she ambled, she smiled, she simpered, and waved Jeanie Deans
forward with the condescension of a noble _chaperone,_ who has undertaken
the charge of a country miss on her first journey to the capital.

Jeanie followed in patience, and with her eyes fixed on the ground, that
she might save herself the mortification of seeing her companion's
absurdities; but she started when, ascending two or three steps, she
found herself in the churchyard, and saw that Madge was making straight
for the door of the church. As Jeanie had no mind to enter the
congregation in such company, she walked aside from the pathway, and said
in a decided tone, "Madge, I will wait here till the church comes
out--you may go in by yourself if you have a mind."

As she spoke these words, she was about to seat herself upon one of the
grave-stones.

Madge was a little before Jeanie when she turned aside; but, suddenly
changing her course, she followed her with long strides, and, with every
feature inflamed with passion, overtook and seized her by the arm. "Do ye
think, ye ungratefu' wretch, that I am gaun to let you sit doun upon my
father's grave? The deil settle ye doun, if ye dinna rise and come into
the Interpreter's house, that's the house of God, wi' me, but I'll rive
every dud aft your back!"

She adapted the action to the phrase; for with one clutch she stripped
Jeanie of her straw bonnet and a handful of her hair to boot, and threw
it up into an old yew-tree, where it stuck fast. Jeanie's first impulse
was to scream, but conceiving she might receive deadly harm before she
could obtain the assistance of anyone, notwithstanding the vicinity of
the church, she thought it wiser to follow the madwoman into the
congregation, where she might find some means of escape from her, or at
least be secured against her violence. But when she meekly intimated her
consent to follow Madge, her guide's uncertain brain had caught another
train of ideas. She held Jeanie fast with one hand, and with the other
pointed to the inscription on the grave-stone, and commanded her to read
it. Jeanie obeyed, and read these words:--


          "This Monument was erected to the Memory of Donald
             Murdockson of the King's xxvi., or Cameronian
          Regiment, a sincere Christian, a brave Soldier, and
           a faithful Servant, by his grateful and sorrowing
                       master, Robert Staunton."

"It's very weel read, Jeanie; it's just the very words," said Madge,
whose ire had now faded into deep melancholy, and with a step which, to
Jeanie's great joy, was uncommonly quiet and mournful, she led her
companion towards the door of the church.


[Illustration: Madge and Jennie--103]


It was one of those old-fashioned Gothic parish churches which are
frequent in England, the most cleanly, decent, and reverential places of
worship that are, perhaps, anywhere to be found in the Christian world.
Yet, notwithstanding the decent solemnity of its exterior, Jeanie was too
faithful to the directory of the Presbyterian kirk to have entered a
prelatic place of worship, and would, upon any other occasion, have
thought that she beheld in the porch the venerable figure of her father
waving her back from the entrance, and pronouncing in a solemn tone,
"Cease, my child, to hear the instruction which causeth to err from the
words of knowledge." But in her present agitating and alarming situation,
she looked for safety to this forbidden place of assembly, as the hunted
animal will sometimes seek shelter from imminent danger in the human
habitation, or in other places of refuge most alien to its nature and
habits. Not even the sound of the organ, and of one or two flutes which
accompanied the psalmody, prevented her from following her guide into the
chancel of the church.

No sooner had Madge put her foot upon the pavement, and become sensible
that she was the object of attention to the spectators, than she resumed
all the fantastic extravagance of deportment which some transient touch
of melancholy had banished for an instant. She swam rather than walked up
the centre aisle, dragging Jeanie after her, whom she held fast by the
hand. She would, indeed, have fain slipped aside into the pew nearest to
the door, and left Madge to ascend in her own manner and alone to the
high places of the synagogue; but this was impossible, without a degree
of violent resistance, which seemed to her inconsistent with the time and
place, and she was accordingly led in captivity up the whole length of
the church by her grotesque conductress, who, with half-shut eyes, a prim
smile upon her lips, and a mincing motion with her hands, which
corresponded with the delicate and affected pace at which she was pleased
to move, seemed to take the general stare of the congregation, which such
an exhibition necessarily excited, as a high compliment, and which she
returned by nods and half-courtesies to individuals amongst the audience,
whom she seemed to distinguish as acquaintances. Her absurdity was
enhanced in the eyes of the spectators by the strange contrast which she
formed to her companion, who, with dishevelled hair, downcast eyes, and a
face glowing with shame, was dragged, as it were in triumph after her.

Madge's airs were at length fortunately cut short by her encountering in
her progress the looks of the clergyman, who fixed upon her a glance, at
once steady, compassionate, and admonitory. She hastily opened an empty
pew which happened to be near her, and entered, dragging in Jeanie after
her. Kicking Jeanie on the shins, by way of hint that she should follow
her example, she sunk her head upon her hand for the space of a minute.
Jeanie, to whom this posture of mental devotion was entirely new, did not
attempt to do the like, but looked round her with a bewildered stare,
which her neighbours, judging from the company in which they saw her,
very naturally ascribed to insanity. Every person in their immediate
vicinity drew back from this extraordinary couple as far as the limits of
their pew permitted; but one old man could not get beyond Madge's reach,
ere, she had snatched the prayer-book from his hand, and ascertained the
lesson of the day. She then turned up the ritual, and with the most
overstrained enthusiasm of gesture and manner, showed Jeanie the passages
as they were read in the service, making, at the same time, her own
responses so loud as to be heard above those of every other person.

Notwithstanding the shame and vexation which Jeanie felt in being thus
exposed in a place of worship, she could not and durst not omit rallying
her spirits so as to look around her, and consider to whom she ought to
appeal for protection so soon as the service should be concluded. Her
first ideas naturally fixed upon the clergyman, and she was confirmed in
the resolution by observing that he was an aged gentleman, of a dignified
appearance and deportment, who read the service with an undisturbed and
decent gravity, which brought back to becoming attention those younger
members of the congregation who had been disturbed by the extravagant
behaviour of Madge Wildfire. To the clergyman, therefore, Jeanie resolved
to make her appeal when the service was over.

It is true she felt disposed to be shocked at his surplice, of which she
had heard so much, but which she had never seen upon the person of a
preacher of the word. Then she was confused by the change of posture
adopted in different parts of the ritual, the more so as Madge Wildfire,
to whom they seemed familiar, took the opportunity to exercise authority
over her, pulling her up and pushing her down with a bustling assiduity,
which Jeanie felt must make them both the objects of painful attention.
But, notwithstanding these prejudices, it was her prudent resolution, in
this dilemma, to imitate as nearly as she could what was done around her.
The prophet, she thought, permitted Naaman the Syrian to bow even in the
house of Rimmon. Surely if I, in this streight, worship the God of my
fathers in mine own language, although the manner thereof be strange to
me, the Lord will pardon me in this thing.

In this resolution she became so much confirmed, that, withdrawing
herself from Madge as far as the pew permitted, she endeavoured to evince
by serious and composed attention to what was passing, that her mind was
composed to devotion. Her tormentor would not long have permitted her to
remain quiet, but fatigue overpowered her, and she fell fast asleep in
the other corner of the pew.

Jeanie, though her mind in her own despite sometimes reverted to her
situation, compelled herself to give attention to a sensible, energetic,
and well-composed discourse, upon the practical doctrines of
Christianity, which she could not help approving, although it was every
word written down and read by the preacher, and although it was delivered
in a tone and gesture very different from those of Boanerges Stormheaven,
who was her father's favourite preacher. The serious and placid attention
with which Jeanie listened, did not escape the clergyman. Madge
Wildfire's entrance had rendered him apprehensive of some disturbance, to
provide against which, as far as possible, he often turned his eyes to
the part of the church where Jeanie and she were placed, and became soon
aware that, although the loss of her head-gear, and the awkwardness of
her situation, had given an uncommon and anxious air to the features of
the former, yet she was in a state of mind very different from that of
her companion. When he dismissed the congregation, he observed her look
around with a wild and terrified look, as if uncertain what course she
ought to adopt, and noticed that she approached one or two of the most
decent of the congregation, as if to address them, and then shrunk back
timidly, on observing that they seemed to shun and to avoid her. The
clergyman was satisfied there must be something extraordinary in all
this, and as a benevolent man, as well as a good Christian pastor, he
resolved to inquire into the matter more minutely.




CHAPTER EIGHTH.


               There governed in that year
               A stern, stout churl--an angry overseer.
                                             Crabbe.

While Mr. Staunton, for such was this worthy clergyman's name, was laying
aside his gown in the vestry, Jeanie was in the act of coming to an open
rupture with Madge.

"We must return to Mummer's barn directly," said Madge; "we'll be ower
late, and my mother will be angry."

"I am not going back with you, Madge," said Jeanie, taking out a guinea,
and offering it to her; "I am much obliged to you, but I maun gang my ain
road."

"And me coming a' this way out o' my gate to pleasure you, ye ungratefu'
cutty," answered Madge; "and me to be brained by my mother when I gang
hame, and a' for your sake!--But I will gar ye as good"

"For God's sake," said Jeanie to a man who stood beside them, "keep her
off!--she is mad."

"Ey, ey," answered the boor; "I hae some guess of that, and I trow thou
be'st a bird of the same feather.--Howsomever, Madge, I redd thee keep
hand off her, or I'se lend thee a whisterpoop."

Several of the lower class of the parishioners now gathered round the
strangers, and the cry arose among the boys that "there was a-going to be
a fite between mad Madge Murdockson and another Bess of Bedlam." But
while the fry assembled with the humane hope of seeing as much of the fun
as possible, the laced cocked-hat of the beadle was discerned among the
multitude, and all made way for that person of awful authority. His first
address was to Madge.

"What's brought thee back again, thou silly donnot, to plague this
parish? Hast thou brought ony more bastards wi' thee to lay to honest
men's doors? or does thou think to burden us with this goose, that's as
hare-brained as thysell, as if rates were no up enow? Away wi' thee to
thy thief of a mother; she's fast in the stocks at Barkston town-end--
Away wi' ye out o' the parish, or I'se be at ye with the ratan."

Madge stood sulky for a minute; but she had been too often taught
submission to the beadle's authority by ungentle means to feel courage
enough to dispute it.

"And my mother--my puir auld mother, is in the stocks at Barkston!--This
is a' your wyte, Miss Jeanie Deans; but I'll be upsides wi' you, as sure
as my name's Madge Wildfire--I mean Murdockson--God help me, I forget my
very name in this confused waste!"

So saying, she turned upon her heel, and went off, followed by all the
mischievous imps of the village, some crying, "Madge, canst thou tell thy
name yet?" some pulling the skirts of her dress, and all, to the best of
their strength and ingenuity, exercising some new device or other to
exasperate her into frenzy.

Jeanie saw her departure with infinite delight, though she wished that,
in some way or other, she could have requited the service Madge had
conferred upon her.

In the meantime, she applied to the beadle to know whether "there was any
house in the village where she could be civilly entertained for her
money, and whether she could be permitted to speak to the clergyman?"

"Ay, ay, we'se ha' reverend care on thee; and I think," answered the man
of constituted authority, "that, unless thou answer the Rector all the
better, we'se spare thy money, and gie thee lodging at the parish charge,
young woman."

"Where am I to go then?" said Jeanie, in some alarm.

"Why, I am to take thee to his Reverence, in the first place, to gie an
account o' thysell, and to see thou comena to be a burden upon the
parish."

"I do not wish to burden anyone," replied Jeanie; "I have enough for my
own wants, and only wish to get on my journey safely."

"Why, that's another matter," replied the beadle, "and if it be true--and
I think thou dost not look so polrumptious as thy playfellow yonder--Thou
wouldst be a mettle lass enow, an thou wert snog and snod a bid better.
Come thou away, then--the Rector is a good man."

"Is that the minister," said Jeanie, "who preached"

"The minister? Lord help thee! What kind o' Presbyterian art thou?--Why,
'tis the Rector--the Rector's sell, woman, and there isna the like o' him
in the county, nor the four next to it. Come away--away with thee--we
maunna bide here."

"I am sure I am very willing to go to see the minister," said Jeanie;
"for though he read his discourse, and wore that surplice, as they call
it here, I canna but think he must be a very worthy God-fearing man, to
preach the root of the matter in the way he did."

The disappointed rabble, finding that there was like to be no farther
sport, had by this time dispersed, and Jeanie, with her usual patience,
followed her consequential and surly, but not brutal, conductor towards
the rectory.

This clerical mansion was large and commodious, for the living was an
excellent one, and the advowson belonged to a very wealthy family in the
neighbourhood, who had usually bred up a son or nephew to the church for
the sake of inducting him, as opportunity offered, into this very
comfortable provision. In this manner the rectory of Willingham had
always been considered as a direct and immediate appanage of Willingham
Hall; and as the rich baronets to whom the latter belonged had usually a
son, or brother, or nephew, settled in the living, the utmost care had
been taken to render their habitation not merely respectable and
commodious, but even dignified and imposing.

It was situated about four hundred yards from the village, and on a
rising ground which sloped gently upward, covered with small enclosures,
or closes, laid out irregularly, so that the old oaks and elms, which
were planted in hedge-rows, fell into perspective, and were blended
together in beautiful irregularity. When they approached nearer to the
house, a handsome gateway admitted them into a lawn, of narrow dimensions
indeed, but which was interspersed with large sweet chestnut trees and
beeches, and kept in handsome order. The front of the house was
irregular. Part of it seemed very old, and had, in fact, been the
residence of the incumbent in Romish times. Successive occupants had made
considerable additions and improvements, each in the taste of his own
age, and without much regard to symmetry. But these incongruities of
architecture were so graduated and happily mingled, that the eye, far
from being displeased with the combinations of various styles, saw
nothing but what was interesting in the varied and intricate pile which
they displayed. Fruit-trees displayed on the southern wall, outer
staircases, various places of entrance, a combination of roofs and
chimneys of different ages, united to render the front, not indeed
beautiful or grand, but intricate, perplexed, or, to use Mr. Price's
appropriate phrase, picturesque. The most considerable addition was that
of the present Rector, who, "being a bookish man," as the beadle was at
the pains to inform Jeanie, to augment, perhaps, her reverence for the
person before whom she was to appear, had built a handsome library and
parlour, and no less than two additional bedrooms.

"Mony men would hae scrupled such expense," continued the parochial
officer, "seeing as the living mun go as it pleases Sir Edmund to will
it; but his Reverence has a canny bit land of his own, and need not look
on two sides of a penny."

Jeanie could not help comparing the irregular yet extensive and
commodious pile of building before her to the "Manses" in her own
country, where a set of penurious heritors, professing all the while the
devotion of their lives and fortunes to the Presbyterian establishment,
strain their inventions to discover what may be nipped, and clipped, and
pared from a building which forms but a poor accommodation even for the
present incumbent, and, despite the superior advantage of stone-masonry,
must, in the course of forty or fifty years, again burden their
descendants with an expense, which, once liberally and handsomely
employed, ought to have freed their estates from a recurrence of it for
more than a century at least.

Behind the Rector's house the ground sloped down to a small river, which,
without possessing the romantic vivacity and rapidity of a northern
stream, was, nevertheless, by its occasional appearance through the
ranges of willows and poplars that crowned its banks, a very pleasing
accompaniment to the landscape. "It was the best trouting stream," said
the beadle, whom the patience of Jeanie, and especially the assurance
that she was not about to become a burden to the parish, had rendered
rather communicative, "the best trouting stream in all Lincolnshire; for
when you got lower, there was nought to be done wi' fly-fishing."

Turning aside from the principal entrance, he conducted Jeanie towards a
sort of portal connected with the older part of the building, which was
chiefly occupied by servants, and knocking at the door, it was opened by
a servant in grave purple livery, such as befitted a wealthy and
dignified clergyman.

"How dost do, Tummas?" said the beadle--"and how's young Measter
Staunton?"

"Why, but poorly--but poorly, Measter Stubbs.--Are you wanting to see his
Reverence?"

"Ay, ay, Tummas; please to say I ha' brought up the young woman as came
to service to-day with mad Madge Murdockson seems to be a decentish koind
o' body; but I ha' asked her never a question. Only I can tell his
Reverence that she is a Scotchwoman, I judge, and as flat as the fens of
Holland."

Tummas honoured Jeanie Deans with such a stare, as the pampered domestics
of the rich, whether spiritual or temporal, usually esteem it part of
their privilege to bestow upon the poor, and then desired Mr. Stubbs and
his charge to step in till he informed his master of their presence.

The room into which he showed them was a sort of steward's parlour, hung
with a county map or two, and three or four prints of eminent persons
connected with the county, as Sir William Monson, James York the
blacksmith of Lincoln,* and the famous Peregrine, Lord Willoughby, in
complete armour, looking as when he said in the words of the legend below
the engraving,--

* [Author of the _Union of Honour,_ a treatise on English Heraldry.
London, 1641.]

                  "Stand to it, noble pikemen,
                        And face ye well about;
                   And shoot ye sharp, bold bowmen,
                       And we will keep them out.

                 "Ye musquet and calliver-men,
                       Do you prove true to me,
                  I'll be the foremost man in fight,
                       Said brave Lord Willoughbee."


[Illustration: A "Summat" to Eat and Drink--113]


When they had entered this apartment, Tummas as a matter of course
offered, and as a matter of course Mr. Stubbs accepted, a "summat" to eat
and drink, being the respectable relies of a gammon of bacon, and a
_whole whiskin,_ or black pot of sufficient double ale. To these eatables
Mr. Beadle seriously inclined himself, and (for we must do him justice)
not without an invitation to Jeanie, in which Tummas joined, that his
prisoner or charge would follow his good example. But although she might
have stood in need of refreshment, considering she had tasted no food
that day, the anxiety of the moment, her own sparing and abstemious
habits, and a bashful aversion to eat in company of the two strangers,
induced her to decline their courtesy. So she sate in a chair apart,
while Mr. Stubbs and Mr. Tummas, who had chosen to join his friend in
consideration that dinner was to be put back till after the afternoon
service, made a hearty luncheon, which lasted for half-an-hour, and might
not then have concluded, had not his Reverence rung his bell, so that
Tummas was obliged to attend his master. Then, and no sooner, to save
himself the labour of a second journey to the other end of the house, he
announced to his master the arrival of Mr. Stubbs, with the other
madwoman, as he chose to designate Jeanie, as an event which had just
taken place. He returned with an order that Mr. Stubbs and the young
woman should be instantly ushered up to the library. The beadle bolted in
haste his last mouthful of fat bacon, washed down the greasy morsel with
the last rinsings of the pot of ale, and immediately marshalled Jeanie
through one or two intricate passages which led from the ancient to the
more modern buildings, into a handsome little hall, or anteroom,
adjoining to the library, and out of which a glass door opened to the
lawn.

"Stay here," said Stubbs, "till I tell his Reverence you are come."

So saying, he opened a door and entered the library. Without wishing to
hear their conversation, Jeanie, as she was circumstanced, could not
avoid it; for as Stubbs stood by the door, and his Reverence was at the
upper end of a large room, their conversation was necessarily audible in
the anteroom.

"So you have brought the young woman here at last, Mr. Stubbs. I expected
you some time since. You know I do not wish such persons to remain in
custody a moment without some inquiry into their situation."

"Very true, your Reverence," replied the beadle; "but the young woman had
eat nought to-day, and so Measter Tummas did set down a drap of drink and
a morsel, to be sure."

"Thomas was very right, Mr. Stubbs; and what has, become of the other
most unfortunate being?"

"Why," replied Mr. Stubbs, "I did think the sight on her would but vex
your Reverence, and soa I did let her go her ways back to her mother, who
is in trouble in the next parish."

"In trouble!--that signifies in prison, I suppose?" said Mr. Staunton.

"Ay, truly; something like it, an it like your Reverence."

"Wretched, unhappy, incorrigible woman!" said the clergyman. "And what
sort of person is this companion of hers?"

"Why, decent enow, an it like your Reverence," said Stubbs; "for aught I
sees of her, there's no harm of her, and she says she has cash enow to
carry her out of the county."

"Cash! that is always what you think of, Stubbs--But, has she sense?--has
she her wits?--has she the capacity of taking care of herself?"

"Why, your Reverence," replied Stubbs, "I cannot just say--I will be
sworn she was not born at Witt-ham;* for Gaffer Gibbs looked at her all
the time of service, and he says, she could not turn up a single lesson
like a Christian, even though she had Madge Murdockson to help her--but
then, as to fending for herself, why, she's a bit of a Scotchwoman, your
Reverence, and they say the worst donnot of them can look out for their
own turn--and she is decently put on enow, and not bechounched like
t'other."

* A proverbial and punning expression in that county, to intimate that a
person is not very clever.

"Send her in here, then, and do you remain below, Mr. Stubbs."

This colloquy had engaged Jeanie's attention so deeply, that it was not
until it was over that she observed that the sashed door, which, we have
said, led from the anteroom into the garden, was opened, and that there
entered, or rather was borne in by two assistants, a young man, of a very
pale and sickly appearance, whom they lifted to the nearest couch, and
placed there, as if to recover from the fatigue of an unusual exertion.
Just as they were making this arrangement, Stubbs came out of the
library, and summoned Jeanie to enter it. She obeyed him, not without
tremor; for, besides the novelty of the situation, to a girl of her
secluded habits, she felt also as if the successful prosecution of her
journey was to depend upon the impression she should be able to make on
Mr. Staunton.

It is true, it was difficult to suppose on what pretext a person
travelling on her own business, and at her own charge, could be
interrupted upon her route. But the violent detention she had already
undergone, was sufficient to show that there existed persons at no great
distance who had the interest, the inclination, and the audacity,
forcibly to stop her journey, and she felt the necessity of having some
countenance and protection, at least till she should get beyond their
reach. While these things passed through her mind, much faster than our
pen and ink can record, or even the reader's eye collect the meaning of
its traces, Jeanie found herself in a handsome library, and in presence
of the Rector of Willingham. The well-furnished presses and shelves which
surrounded the large and handsome apartment, contained more books than
Jeanie imagined existed in the world, being accustomed to consider as an
extensive collection two fir shelves, each about three feet long, which
contained her father's treasured volumes, the whole pith and marrow, as
he used sometimes to boast, of modern divinity. An orrery, globes, a
telescope, and some other scientific implements, conveyed to Jeanie an
impression of admiration and wonder, not unmixed with fear; for, in her
ignorant apprehension, they seemed rather adapted for magical purposes
than any other; and a few stuffed animals (as the Rector was fond of
natural history) added to the impressive character of the apartment.

Mr. Staunton spoke to her with great mildness. He observed, that,
although her appearance at church had been uncommon, and in strange, and
he must add, discreditable society, and calculated, upon the whole, to
disturb the congregation during divine worship, he wished, nevertheless,
to hear her own account of herself before taking any steps which his duty
might seem to demand. He was a justice of peace, he informed her, as well
as a clergyman.

"His Honour" (for she would not say his Reverence) "was very civil and
kind," was all that poor Jeanie could at first bring out.

"Who are you, young woman?" said the clergyman, more peremptorily--"and
what do you do in this country, and in such company?--We allow no
strollers or vagrants here."

"I am not a vagrant or a stroller, sir," said Jeanie, a little roused by
the supposition. "I am a decent Scots lass, travelling through the land
on my own business and my own expenses and I was so unhappy as to fall in
with bad company, and was stopped a' night on my journey. And this puir
creature, who is something light-headed, let me out in the morning."

"Bad company!" said the clergyman. "I am afraid, young woman, you have
not been sufficiently anxious to avoid them."

"Indeed, sir," returned Jeanie, "I have been brought up to shun evil
communication. But these wicked people were thieves, and stopped me by
violence and mastery."

"Thieves!" said Mr. Staunton; "then you charge them with robbery, I
suppose?"

"No, sir; they did not take so much as a boddle from me," answered
Jeanie; "nor did they use me ill, otherwise than by confining me."

The clergyman inquired into the particulars of her adventure, which she
told him from point to point.

"This is an extraordinary, and not a very probable tale, young woman,"
resumed Mr. Staunton. "Here has been, according to your account, a great
violence committed without any adequate motive. Are you aware of the law
of this country--that if you lodge this charge, you will be bound over to
prosecute this gang?"

Jeanie did not understand him, and he explained, that the English law, in
addition to the inconvenience sustained by persons who have been robbed
or injured, has the goodness to intrust to them the care and the expense
of appearing as prosecutors.

Jeanie said, "that her business at London was express; all she wanted
was, that any gentleman would, out of Christian charity, protect her to
some town where she could hire horses and a guide; and finally," she
thought, "it would be her father's mind that she was not free to give
testimony in an English court of justice, as the land was not under a
direct gospel dispensation."

Mr. Staunton stared a little, and asked if her father was a Quaker.

"God forbid, sir," said Jeanie--"He is nae schismatic nor sectary, nor
ever treated for sic black commodities as theirs, and that's weel kend o'
him."

"And what is his name, pray?" said Mr. Staunton.

"David Deans, sir, the cowfeeder at Saint Leonard's Crags, near
Edinburgh."

A deep groan from the anteroom prevented the Rector from replying, and,
exclaiming, "Good God! that unhappy boy!" he left Jeanie alone, and
hastened into the outer apartment.

Some noise and bustle was heard, but no one entered the library for the
best part of an hour.





CHAPTER NINTH.


                 Fantastic passions' maddening brawl!
                     And shame and terror over all!
                 Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
                 Which, all confused, I could not know
                     Whether I suffer'd or I did,
                 For all seem'd guilt, remorse, or woe;
                     My own, or others, still the same
                 Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.
                                         Coleridge.

During the interval while she was thus left alone, Jeanie anxiously
revolved in her mind what course was best for her to pursue. She was
impatient to continue her journey, yet she feared she could not safely
adventure to do so while the old hag and her assistants were in the
neighbourhood, without risking a repetition of their violence. She
thought she could collect from the conversation which she had partly
overheard, and also from the wild confessions of Madge Wildfire, that her
mother had a deep and revengeful motive for obstructing her journey if
possible. And from whom could she hope for assistance if not from Mr.
Staunton? His whole appearance and demeanour seemed to encourage her
hopes. His features were handsome, though marked with a deep cast of
melancholy; his tone and language were gentle and encouraging; and, as he
had served in the army for several years during his youth, his air
retained that easy frankness which is peculiar to the profession of arms.
He was, besides, a minister of the gospel; and, although a worshipper,
according to Jeanie's notions, in the court of the Gentiles, and so
benighted as to wear a surplice; although he read the Common Prayer, and
wrote down every word of his sermon before delivering it; and although he
was, moreover, in strength of lungs, as well as pith and marrow of
doctrine, vastly inferior to Boanerges Stormheaven, Jeanie still thought
he must be a very different person from Curate Kilstoup, and other
prelatical divines of her father's earlier days, who used to get drunk in
their canonical dress, and hound out the dragoons against the wandering
Cameronians. The house seemed to be in some disturbance, but as she could
not suppose she was altogether forgotten, she thought it better to remain
quiet in the apartment where she had been left, till some one should take
notice of her.

The first who entered was, to her no small delight, one of her own sex, a
motherly-looking aged person of a housekeeper. To her Jeanie explained
her situation in a few words, and begged her assistance.

The dignity of a housekeeper did not encourage too much familiarity with
a person who was at the Rectory on justice-business, and whose character
might seem in her eyes somewhat precarious; but she was civil, although
distant.

"Her young master," she said, "had had a bad accident by a fall from his
horse, which made him liable to fainting fits; he had been taken very ill
just now, and it was impossible his Reverence could see Jeanie for some
time; but that she need not fear his doing all that was just and proper
in her behalf the instant he could get her business attended to."--She
concluded by offering to show Jeanie a room, where she might remain till
his Reverence was at leisure.

Our heroine took the opportunity to request the means of adjusting and
changing her dress.

The housekeeper, in whose estimation order and cleanliness ranked high
among personal virtues, gladly complied with a request so reasonable; and
the change of dress which Jeanie's bundle furnished made so important an
improvement in her appearance, that the old lady hardly knew the soiled
and disordered traveller, whose attire showed the violence she had
sustained, in the neat, clean, quiet-looking little Scotch-woman, who now
stood before her. Encouraged by such a favourable alteration in her
appearance, Mrs. Dalton ventured to invite Jeanie to partake of her
dinner, and was equally pleased with the decent propriety of her conduct
during the meal.

"Thou canst read this book, canst thou, young woman?" said the old lady,
when their meal was concluded, laying her hand upon a large Bible.

"I hope sae, madam," said Jeanie, surprised at the question "my father
wad hae wanted mony a thing ere I had wanted _that_ schuling."

"The better sign of him, young woman. There are men here, well to pass in
the world, would not want their share of a Leicester plover, and that's a
bag-pudding, if fasting for three hours would make all their poor
children read the Bible from end to end. Take thou the book, then, for my
eyes are something dazed, and read where thou listest--it's the only book
thou canst not happen wrong in."

Jeanie was at first tempted to turn up the parable of the good Samaritan,
but her conscience checked her, as if it were a use of Scripture, not for
her own edification, but to work upon the mind of others for the relief
of her worldly afflictions; and under this scrupulous sense of duty, she
selected, in preference, a
CHAPTER of the prophet Isaiah, and read it,
notwithstanding her northern' accent and tone, with a devout propriety,
which greatly edified Mrs. Dalton.

"Ah," she said, "an all Scotchwomen were sic as thou but it was our luck
to get born devils of thy country, I think--every one worse than t'other.
If thou knowest of any tidy lass like thysell that wanted a place, and
could bring a good character, and would not go laiking about to wakes and
fairs, and wore shoes and stockings all the day round--why, I'll not say
but we might find room for her at the Rectory. Hast no cousin or sister,
lass, that such an offer would suit?"

This was touching upon a sore point, but Jeanie was spared the pain of
replying by the entrance of the same man-servant she had seen before.

"Measter wishes to see the young woman from Scotland," was Tummas's
address.

"Go to his Reverence, my dear, as fast as you can, and tell him all your
story--his Reverence is a kind man," said Mrs. Dalton. "I will fold down
the leaf, and wake you a cup of tea, with some nice muffin, against you
come down, and that's what you seldom see in Scotland, girl."

"Measter's waiting for the young woman," said Tummas impatiently.

"Well, Mr. Jack-Sauce, and what is your business to put in your oar?--And
how often must I tell you to call Mr. Staunton his Reverence, seeing as
he is a dignified clergyman, and not be meastering, meastering him, as if
he were a little petty squire?"

As Jeanie was now at the door, and ready to accompany Tummas, the footman
said nothing till he got into the passage, when he muttered, "There are
moe masters than one in this house, and I think we shall have a mistress
too, an Dame Dalton carries it thus."

Tummas led the way through a more intricate range of passages than Jeanie
had yet threaded, and ushered her into an apartment which was darkened by
the closing of most of the window-shutters, and in which was a bed with
the curtains partly drawn.

"Here is the young woman, sir," said Tummas.

"Very well," said a voice from the bed, but not that of his Reverence;
"be ready to answer the bell, and leave the room."

"There is some mistake," said Jeanie, confounded at finding herself in
the apartment of an invalid; "the servant told me that the minister"

"Don't trouble yourself," said the invalid, "there is no mistake. I know
more of your affairs than my father, and I can manage them better.--Leave
the room, Tom." The servant obeyed.--"We must not," said the invalid,
"lose time, when we have little to lose. Open the shutters of that
window."

She did so, and as he drew aside the curtain of his bed, the light fell
on his pale countenance, as, turban'd with bandages, and dressed in a
night-gown, he lay, seemingly exhausted, upon the bed.

"Look at me," he said, "Jeanie Deans; can you not recollect me?"

"No, sir," said she, full of surprise. "I was never in this country
before."

"But I may have been in yours. Think--recollect. I should faint did I
name the name you are most dearly bound to loathe and to detest.
Think--remember!"

A terrible recollection flashed on Jeanie, which every tone of the
speaker confirmed, and which his next words rendered certainty.

"Be composed--remember Muschat's Cairn, and the moonlight night!"

Jeanie sunk down on a chair with clasped hands, and gasped in agony.

"Yes, here I lie," he said, "like a crushed snake, writhing with
impatience at my incapacity of motion--here I lie, when I ought to have
been in Edinburgh, trying every means to save a life that is dearer to me
than my own.--How is your sister?--how fares it with her?--condemned to
death, I know it, by this time! O, the horse that carried me safely on a
thousand errands of folly and wickedness, that he should have broke down
with me on the only good mission I have undertaken for years! But I must
rein in my passion--my frame cannot endure it, and I have much to say.
Give me some of the cordial which stands on that table.--Why do you
tremble? But you have too good cause.--Let it stand--I need it not."

Jeanie, however reluctant, approached him with the cup into which she had
poured the draught, and could not forbear saying, "There is a cordial for
the mind, sir, if the wicked will turn from their transgressions, and
seek to the Physician of souls."

"Silence!" he said sternly--"and yet I thank you. But tell me, and lose
no time in doing so, what you are doing in this country? Remember, though
I have been your sister's worst enemy, yet I will serve her with the best
of my blood, and I will serve you for her sake; and no one can serve you
to such purpose, for no one can know the circumstances so well--so speak
without fear."

"I am not afraid, sir," said Jeanie, collecting her spirits. "I trust in
God; and if it pleases Him to redeem my sister's captivity, it is all I
seek, whosoever be the instrument. But, sir, to be plain with you, I dare
not use your counsel, unless I were enabled to see that it accords with
the law which I must rely upon."

"The devil take the Puritan!" cried George Staunton, for so we must now
call him--"I beg your pardon; but I am naturally impatient, and you drive
me mad! What harm can it possibly do to tell me in what situation your
sister stands, and your own expectations of being able to assist her? It
is time enough to refuse my advice when I offer any which you may think
improper. I speak calmly to you, though 'tis against my nature; but don't
urge me to impatience--it will only render me incapable of serving
Effie."

There was in the looks and words of this unhappy young man a sort of
restrained eagerness and impetuosity which seemed to prey upon itself, as
the impatience of a fiery steed fatigues itself with churning upon the
bit. After a moment's consideration, it occurred to Jeanie that she was
not entitled to withhold from him, whether on her sister's account or her
own, the fatal account of the consequences of the crime which he had
committed, nor to reject such advice, being in itself lawful and
innocent, as he might be able to suggest in the way of remedy.
Accordingly, in as few words as she could express it, she told the
history of her sister's trial and condemnation, and of her own journey as
far as Newark. He appeared to listen in the utmost agony of mind, yet
repressed every violent symptom of emotion, whether by gesture or sound,
which might have interrupted the speaker, and, stretched on his couch
like the Mexican monarch on his bed of live coals, only the contortions
of his cheek, and the quivering of his limbs, gave indication of his
sufferings. To much of what she said he listened with stifled groans, as
if he were only hearing those miseries confirmed, whose fatal reality he
had known before; but when she pursued her tale through the circumstances
which had interrupted her journey, extreme surprise and earnest attention
appeared to succeed to the symptoms of remorse which he had before
exhibited. He questioned Jeanie closely concerning the appearance of the
two men, and the conversation which she had overheard between the taller
of them and the woman.

When Jeanie mentioned the old woman having alluded to her foster-son--"It
is too true," he said; "and the source from which I derived food, when an
infant, must have communicated to me the wretched--the fated--propensity
to vices that were strangers in my own family.--But go on."

Jeanie passed slightly over her journey in company with Madge, having no
inclination to repeat what might be the effect of mere raving on the part
of her companion, and therefore her tale was now closed.

Young Staunton lay for a moment in profound meditation and at length
spoke with more composure than he had yet displayed during their
interview.--"You are a sensible, as well as a good young woman, Jeanie
Deans, and I will tell you more of my story than I have told to any one.--
Story did I call it?--it is a tissue of folly, guilt, and misery.--But
take notice--I do it because I desire your confidence in return--that is,
that you will act in this dismal matter by my advice and direction.
Therefore do I speak."

"I will do what is fitting for a sister, and a daughter, and a Christian
woman to do," said Jeanie; "but do not tell me any of your secrets.--It
is not good that I should come into your counsel, or listen to the
doctrine which causeth to err."

"Simple fool!" said the young man. "Look at me. My head is not horned, my
foot is not cloven, my hands are not garnished with talons; and, since I
am not the very devil himself, what interest can any one else have in
destroying the hopes with which you comfort or fool yourself? Listen to
me patiently, and you will find that, when you have heard my counsel, you
may go to the seventh heaven with it in your pocket, if you have a mind,
and not feel yourself an ounce heavier in the ascent."

At the risk of being somewhat heavy, as explanations usually prove, we
must here endeavour to combine into a distinct narrative, information
which the invalid communicated in a manner at once too circumstantial,
and too much broken by passion, to admit of our giving his precise words.
Part of it indeed he read from a manuscript, which he had perhaps drawn
up for the information of his relations after his decease.

"To make my tale short--this wretched hag--this Margaret Murdockson, was
the wife of a favourite servant of my father--she had been my nurse--her
husband was dead--she resided in a cottage near this place--she had a
daughter who grew up, and was then a beautiful but very giddy girl; her
mother endeavoured to promote her marriage with an old and wealthy churl
in the neighbourhood--the girl saw me frequently--She was familiar with
me, as our connection seemed to permit--and I--in a word, I wronged her
cruelly--It was not so bad as your sister's business, but it was
sufficiently villanous--her folly should have been her protection. Soon
after this I was sent abroad--To do my father justice, if I have turned
out a fiend it is not his fault--he used the best means. When I returned,
I found the wretched mother and daughter had fallen into disgrace, and
were chased from this country.--My deep share in their shame and misery
was discovered--my father used very harsh language--we quarrelled. I left
his house, and led a life of strange adventure, resolving never again to
see my father or my father's home.

"And now comes the story!--Jeanie, I put my life into your hands, and not
only my own life, which, God knows, is not worth saving, but the
happiness of a respectable old man, and the honour of a family of
consideration. My love of low society, as such propensities as I was
cursed with are usually termed, was, I think of an uncommon kind, and
indicated a nature, which, if not depraved by early debauchery, would
have been fit for better things. I did not so much delight in the wild
revel, the low humour, the unconfined liberty of those with whom I
associated as in the spirit of adventure, presence of mind in peril, and
sharpness of intellect which they displayed in prosecuting their
maraudings upon the revenue, or similar adventures.--Have you looked
round this rectory?--is it not a sweet and pleasant retreat?"

Jeanie, alarmed at this sudden change of subject, replied in the
affirmative.

"Well! I wish it had been ten thousand fathoms under ground, with its
church-lands, and tithes, and all that belongs to it. Had it not been for
this cursed rectory, I should have been permitted to follow the bent of
my own inclinations and the profession of arms, and half the courage and
address that I have displayed among smugglers and deer-stealers would
have secured me an honourable rank among my contemporaries. Why did I not
go abroad when I left this house!--Why did I leave it at all!--why--But
it came to that point with me that it is madness to look back, and misery
to look forward!"

He paused, and then proceeded with more composure.

"The chances of a wandering life brought me unhappily to Scotland, to
embroil myself in worse and more criminal actions than I had yet been
concerned in. It was now I became acquainted with Wilson, a remarkable
man in his station of life; quiet, composed, and resolute, firm in mind,
and uncommonly strong in person, gifted with a sort of rough eloquence
which raised him above his companions. Hitherto I had been

               As dissolute as desperate, yet through both
               Were seen some sparkles of a better hope.

"But it was this man's misfortune, as well as mine, that, notwithstanding
the difference of our rank and education, he acquired an extraordinary
and fascinating influence over me, which I can only account for by the
calm determination of his character being superior to the less sustained
impetuosity of mine. Where he led I felt myself bound to follow; and
strange was the courage and address which he displayed in his pursuits.
While I was engaged in desperate adventures, under so strange and
dangerous a preceptor, I became acquainted with your unfortunate sister
at some sports of the young people in the suburbs, which she frequented
by stealth--and her ruin proved an interlude to the tragic scenes in
which I was now deeply engaged. Yet this let me say--the villany was not
premeditated, and I was firmly resolved to do her all the justice which
marriage could do, so soon as I should be able to extricate myself from
my unhappy course of life, and embrace some one more suited to my birth.
I had wild visions--visions of conducting her as if to some poor retreat,
and introducing her at once to rank and fortune she never dreamt of. A
friend, at my request, attempted a negotiation with my father, which was
protracted for some time, and renewed at different intervals. At length,
and just when I expected my father's pardon, he learned by some means or
other my infamy, painted in even exaggerated colours, which was, God
knows, unnecessary. He wrote me a letter--how it found me out I know
not--enclosing me a sum of money, and disowning me for ever. I became
desperate--I became frantic--I readily joined Wilson in a perilous
smuggling adventure in which we miscarried, and was willingly blinded by
his logic to consider the robbery of the officer of the customs in Fife
as a fair and honourable reprisal. Hitherto I had observed a certain line
in my criminality, and stood free of assaults upon personal property, but
now I felt a wild pleasure in disgracing myself as much as possible.

"The plunder was no object to me. I abandoned that to my comrades, and
only asked the post of danger. I remember well that when I stood with my
drawn sword guarding the door while they committed the felony, I had not
a thought of my own safety. I was only meditating on my sense of supposed
wrong from my family, my impotent thirst of vengeance, and how it would
sound in the haughty cars of the family of Willingham, that one of their
descendants, and the heir apparent of their honours, should perish by the
hands of the hangman for robbing a Scottish gauger of a sum not equal to
one-fifth part of the money I had in my pocket-book. We were taken--I
expected no less. We were condemned--that also I looked for. But death,
as he approached nearer, looked grimly; and the recollection of your
sister's destitute condition determined me on an effort to save my life.--
I forgot to tell you, that in Edinburgh I again met the woman
Murdockson and her daughter. She had followed the camp when young, and
had now, under pretence of a trifling traffic, resumed predatory habits,
with which she had already been too familiar. Our first meeting was
stormy; but I was liberal of what money I had, and she forgot, or seemed
to forget, the injury her daughter had received. The unfortunate girl
herself seemed hardly even to know her seducer, far less to retain any
sense of the injury she had received. Her mind is totally alienated,
which, according to her mother's account, is sometimes the consequence of
an unfavourable confinement. But it was _my doing._ Here was another
stone knitted round my neck to sink me into the pit of perdition. Every
look--every word of this poor creature--her false spirits--her imperfect
recollections--her allusions to things which she had forgotten, but which
were recorded in my conscience, were stabs of a poniard--stabs did I
say?--they were tearing with hot pincers, and scalding the raw wound with
burning sulphur--they were to be endured however, and they were endured.--
I return to my prison thoughts.

"It was not the least miserable of them that your sister's time
approached. I knew her dread of you and of her father. She often said she
would die a thousand deaths ere you should know her shame--yet her
confinement must be provided for. I knew this woman Murdockson was an
infernal hag, but I thought she loved me, and that money would make her
true. She had procured a file for Wilson, and a spring-saw for me; and
she undertook readily to take charge of Effie during her illness, in
which she had skill enough to give the necessary assistance. I gave her
the money which my father had sent me. It was settled that she should
receive Effie into her house in the meantime, and wait for farther
directions from me, when I should effect my escape. I communicated this
purpose, and recommended the old hag to poor Effie by a letter, in which
I recollect that I endeavoured to support the character of Macheath under
condemnation-a fine, gay, bold-faced ruffian, who is game to the last.
Such, and so wretchedly poor, was my ambition! Yet I had resolved to
forsake the courses I had been engaged in, should I be so fortunate as to
escape the gibbet. My design was to marry your sister, and go over to the
West Indies. I had still a considerable sum of money left, and I trusted
to be able, in one way or other, to provide for myself and my wife.

"We made the attempt to escape, and by the obstinacy of Wilson, who
insisted upon going first, it totally miscarried. The undaunted and
self-denied manner in which he sacrificed himself to redeem his error,
and accomplish my escape from the Tolbooth Church, you must have heard
of--all Scotland rang with it. It was a gallant and extraordinary
deed--All men spoke of it--all men, even those who most condemned the
habits and crimes of this self-devoted man, praised the heroism of his
friendship. I have many vices, but cowardice or want of gratitude, are
none of the number. I resolved to requite his generosity, and even your
sister's safety became a secondary consideration with me for the time.
To effect Wilson's liberation was my principal object, and I doubted not
to find the means.

"Yet I did not forget Effie neither. The bloodhounds of the law were so
close after me, that I dared not trust myself near any of my old haunts,
but old Murdockson met me by appointment, and informed me that your
sister had happily been delivered of a boy. I charged the hag to keep her
patient's mind easy, and let her want for nothing that money could
purchase, and I retreated to Fife, where, among my old associates of
Wilson's gang, I hid myself in those places of concealment where the men
engaged in that desperate trade are used to find security for themselves
and their uncustomed goods. Men who are disobedient both to human and
divine laws are not always insensible to the claims of courage and
generosity. We were assured that the mob of Edinburgh, strongly moved
with the hardship of Wilson's situation, and the gallantry of his
conduct, would back any bold attempt that might be made to rescue him
even from the foot of the gibbet. Desperate as the attempt seemed, upon
my declaring myself ready to lead the onset on the guard, I found no want
of followers who engaged to stand by me, and returned to Lothian, soon
followed by some steady associates, prepared to act whenever the occasion
might require.

"I have no doubt I should have rescued him from the very noose that
dangled over his head," he continued with animation, which seemed a flash
of the interest which he had taken in such exploits; "but amongst other
precautions, the magistrates had taken one, suggested, as we afterwards
learned, by the unhappy wretch Porteous, which effectually disconcerted
my measures. They anticipated, by half-an-hour, the ordinary period for
execution; and, as it had been resolved amongst us, that, for fear of
observation from the officers of justice, we should not show ourselves
upon the street until the time of action approached, it followed, that
all was over before our attempt at a rescue commenced. It did commence,
however, and I gained the scaffold and cut the rope with my own hand. It
was too late! The bold, stouthearted, generous criminal was no more--and
vengeance was all that remained to us--a vengeance, as I then thought,
doubly due from my hand, to whom Wilson had given life and liberty when
he could as easily have secured his own."

"O sir," said Jeanie, "did the Scripture never come into your mind,
'Vengeance is mine, and I will repay it?'"

"Scripture! Why, I had not opened a Bible for five years," answered
Staunton.

"Wae's me, sirs," said Jeanie--"and a minister's son too!"

"It is natural for you to say so; yet do not interrupt me, but let me
finish my most accursed history. The beast, Porteous, who kept firing on
the people long after it had ceased to be necessary, became the object of
their hatred for having overdone his duty, and of mine for having done it
too well. We that is, I and the other determined friends of Wilson,
resolved to be avenged--but caution was necessary. I thought I had been
marked by one of the officers, and therefore continued to lurk about the
vicinity of Edinburgh, but without daring to venture within the walls. At
length I visited, at the hazard of my life, the place where I hoped to
find my future wife and my son--they were both gone. Dame Murdockson
informed me, that so soon as Effie heard of the miscarriage of the
attempt to rescue Wilson, and the hot pursuit after me, she fell into a
brain fever; and that being one day obliged to go out on some necessary
business and leave her alone, she had taken that opportunity to escape,
and she had not seen her since. I loaded her with reproaches, to which
she listened with the most provoking and callous composure; for it is one
of her attributes, that, violent and fierce as she is upon most
occasions, there are some in which she shows the most imperturbable
calmness. I threatened her with justice; she said I had more reason to
fear justice than she had. I felt she was right, and was silenced. I
threatened her with vengeance; she replied in nearly the same words,
that, to judge by injuries received, I had more reason to fear her
vengeance, than she to dread mine. She was again right, and I was left
without an answer. I flung myself from her in indignation, and employed a
comrade to make inquiry in the neighbourhood of Saint Leonard's
concerning your sister; but ere I received his answer, the opening quest
of a well-scented terrier of the law drove me from the vicinity of
Edinburgh, to a more distant and secluded place of concealment. A secret
and trusty emissary at length brought me the account of Porteous's
condemnation, and of your sister's imprisonment on a criminal charge;
thus astounding one of mine ears, while he gratified the other.

"I again ventured to the Pleasance--again charged Murdockson with
treachery to the unfortunate Effie and her child, though I could conceive
no reason, save that of appropriating the whole of the money I had lodged
with her. Your narrative throws light on this, and shows another motive,
not less powerful because less evident--the desire of wreaking vengeance
on the seducer of her daughter,--the destroyer at once of her reason and
reputation. Great God! how I wish that, instead of the revenge she made
choice of, she had delivered me up to the cord!"

"But what account did the wretched woman give of Effie and the bairn?"
said Jeanie, who, during this long and agitating narrative, had firmness
and discernment enough to keep her eye on such points as might throw
light on her sister's misfortunes.

"She would give none," said Staunton; "she said the mother made a
moonlight flitting from her house, with the infant in her arms--that she
had never seen either of them since--that the lass might have thrown the
child into the North Loch or the Quarry Holes for what she knew, and it
was like enough she had done so."

"And how came you to believe that she did not speak the fatal truth?"
said Jeanie, trembling.

"Because, on this second occasion, I saw her daughter, and I understood
from her, that, in fact, the child had been removed or destroyed during
the illness of the mother. But all knowledge to be got from her is so
uncertain and indirect, that I could not collect any farther
circumstances. Only the diabolical character of old Murdockson makes me
augur the worst."

"The last account agrees with that given by my poor sister," said Jeanie;
"but gang on wi' your ain tale, sir."

"Of this I am certain," said Staunton, "that Effie, in her senses, and
with her knowledge, never injured living creature.--But what could I do
in her exculpation?--Nothing--and, therefore, my whole thoughts were
turned toward her safety. I was under the cursed necessity of suppressing
my feelings towards Murdockson; my life was in the hag's hand--that I
cared not for; but on my life hung that of your sister. I spoke the
wretch fair; I appeared to confide in her; and to me, so far as I was
personally concerned, she gave proofs of extraordinary fidelity. I was at
first uncertain what measures I ought to adopt for your sister's
liberation, when the general rage excited among the citizens of Edinburgh
on account of the reprieve, of Porteous, suggested to me the daring idea
of forcing the jail, and at once carrying off your sister from the
clutches of the law, and bringing to condign punishment a miscreant, who
had tormented the unfortunate Wilson, even in the hour of death as if he
had been a wild Indian taken captive by a hostile tribe. I flung myself
among the multitude in the moment of fermentation--so did others among
Wilson's mates, who had, like me, been disappointed in the hope of
glutting their eyes with Porteous's execution. All was organised, and I
was chosen for the captain. I felt not--I do not now feel, compunction
for what was to be done, and has since been executed."

"O, God forgive ye, sir, and bring ye to a better sense of your ways!"
exclaimed Jeanie, in horror at the avowal of such violent sentiments.

"Amen," replied Staunton, "if my sentiments are wrong. But I repeat,
that, although willing to aid the deed, I could have wished them to have
chosen another leader; because I foresaw that the great and general duty
of the night would interfere with the assistance which I proposed to
render Effie. I gave a commission however, to a trusty friend to protect
her to a place of safety, so soon as the fatal procession had left the
jail. But for no persuasions which I could use in the hurry of the
moment, or which my comrade employed at more length, after the mob had
taken a different direction, could the unfortunate girl be prevailed upon
to leave the prison. His arguments were all wasted upon the infatuated
victim, and he was obliged to leave her in order to attend to his own
safety. Such was his account; but, perhaps, he persevered less steadily
in his attempts to persuade her than I would have done."

"Effie was right to remain," said Jeanie; "and I love her the better for
it."

"Why will you say so?" said Staunton.

"You cannot understand my reasons, sir, if I should render them,"
answered Jeanie composedly; "they that thirst for the blood of their
enemies have no taste for the well-spring of life."

"My hopes," said Staunton, "were thus a second time disappointed. My next
efforts were to bring her through her trial by means of yourself. How I
urged it, and where, you cannot have forgotten. I do not blame you for
your refusal; it was founded, I am convinced, on principle, and not on
indifference to your sister's fate. For me, judge of me as a man frantic;
I knew not what hand to turn to, and all my efforts were unavailing. In
this condition, and close beset on all sides, I thought of what might be
done by means of my family, and their influence. I fled from Scotland--I
reached this place--my miserably wasted and unhappy appearance procured
me from my father that pardon, which a parent finds it so hard to refuse,
even to the most undeserving son. And here I have awaited in anguish of
mind, which the condemned criminal might envy, the event of your sister's
trial."

"Without taking any steps for her relief?" said Jeanie.

"To the last I hoped her ease might terminate more favourably; and it is
only two days since that the fatal tidings reached me. My resolution was
instantly taken. I mounted my best horse with the purpose of making the
utmost haste to London and there compounding with Sir Robert Walpole for
your sister's safety, by surrendering to him, in the person of the heir
of the family of Willingham, the notorious George Robertson, the
accomplice of Wilson, the breaker of the Tolbooth prison, and the
well-known leader of the Porteous mob."

"But would that save my sister?" said Jeanie, in astonishment.

"It would, as I should drive my bargain," said Staunton. "Queens love
revenge as well as their subjects--Little as you seem to esteem it, it is
a poison which pleases all palates, from the prince to the peasant. Prime
ministers love no less the power of gratifying sovereigns by gratifying
their passions.--The life of an obscure village girl! Why, I might ask
the best of the crown-jewels for laying the head of such an insolent
conspiracy at the foot of her majesty, with a certainty of being
gratified. All my other plans have failed, but this could not--Heaven is
just, however, and would not honour me with making this voluntary
atonement for the injury I have done your sister. I had not rode ten
miles, when my horse, the best and most sure-footed animal in this
country, fell with me on a level piece of road, as if he had been struck
by a cannon-shot. I was greatly hurt, and was brought back here in the
condition in which you now see me."

As young Staunton had come to the conclusion, the servant opened the
door, and, with a voice which seemed intended rather for a signal, than
merely the announcing of a visit, said, "His Reverence, sir, is coming up
stairs to wait upon you."

"For God's sake, hide yourself, Jeanie," exclaimed Staunton, "in that
dressing closet!"

"No, sir," said Jeanie; "as I am here for nae ill, I canna take the shame
of hiding mysell frae the master of the house."

"But, good Heavens!" exclaimed George Staunton, "do but consider--"

Ere he could complete the sentence, his father entered the apartment.





CHAPTER TENTH.


             And now, will pardon, comfort, kindness, draw
             The youth from vice? will honour, duty, law?
                                            Crabbe.

Jeanie arose from her seat, and made her quiet reverence, when the elder
Mr. Staunton entered the apartment. His astonishment was extreme at
finding his son in such company.

"I perceive, madam, I have made a mistake respecting you, and ought to
have left the task of interrogating you, and of righting your wrongs, to
this young man, with whom, doubtless, you have been formerly acquainted."

"It's unwitting on my part that I am here;" said Jeanie; "the servant
told me his master wished to speak with me."

"There goes the purple coat over my ears," murmured Tummas. "D--n her,
why must she needs speak the truth, when she could have as well said
anything else she had a mind?"

"George," said Mr. Staunton, "if you are still, as you have ever
been,--lost to all self-respect, you might at least have spared your
father and your father's house, such a disgraceful scene as this."

"Upon my life--upon my soul, sir!" said George, throwing his feet over
the side of the bed, and starting from his recumbent posture.

"Your life, sir?" interrupted his father, with melancholy
sternness,--"What sort of life has it been?--Your soul! alas! what
regard have you ever paid to it? Take care to reform both ere offering
either as pledges of your sincerity."

"On my honour, sir, you do me wrong," answered George Staunton; "I have
been all that you can call me that's bad, but in the present instance you
do me injustice. By my honour you do!"

"Your honour!" said his father, and turned from him, with a look of the
most upbraiding contempt, to Jeanie. "From you, young woman, I neither
ask nor expect any explanation; but as a father alike and as a clergyman,
I request your departure from this house. If your romantic story has been
other than a pretext to find admission into it (which, from the society
in which you first appeared, I may be permitted to doubt), you will find
a justice of peace within two miles, with whom, more properly than with
me, you may lodge your complaint."

"This shall not be," said George Staunton, starting up to his feet.
"Sir, you are naturally kind and humane--you shall not become cruel
and inhospitable on my account. Turn out that eaves-dropping rascal,"
pointing to Thomas, "and get what hartshorn drops, or what better receipt
you have against fainting, and I will explain to you in two words the
connection betwixt this young woman and me. She shall not lose her fair
character through me. I have done too much mischief to her family
already, and I know too well what belongs to the loss of fame."

"Leave the room, sir," said the Rector to the servant; and when the man
had obeyed, he carefully shut the door behind him. Then, addressing his
son, he said sternly, "Now, sir, what new proof of your infamy have you
to impart to me?"

Young Staunton was about to speak, but it was one of those moments when
those, who, like Jeanie Deans, possess the advantage of a steady courage
and unruffled temper, can assume the superiority over more ardent but
less determined spirits.

"Sir," she said to the elder Staunton, "ye have an undoubted right to ask
your ain son to render a reason of his conduct. But respecting me, I am
but a wayfaring traveller, no ways obligated or indebted to you, unless
it be for the meal of meat which, in my ain country, is willingly gien by
rich or poor, according to their ability, to those who need it; and for
which, forby that, I am willing to make payment, if I didna think it
would be an affront to offer siller in a house like this--only I dinna
ken the fashions of the country."

"This is all very well, young woman," said the Rector, a good deal
surprised, and unable to conjecture whether to impute Jeanie's language
to simplicity or impertinence; "this may be all very well--but let me
bring it to a point. Why do you stop this young man's mouth, and prevent
his communicating to his father and his best friend, an explanation
(since he says he has one) of circumstances which seem in themselves not
a little suspicious?"

"He may tell of his ain affairs what he likes," answered Jeanie; "but my
family and friends have nae right to hae ony stories told anent them
without their express desire; and, as they canna be here to speak for
themselves, I entreat ye wadna ask Mr. George Rob--I mean Staunton, or
whatever his name is, ony questions anent me or my folk; for I maun be
free to tell you, that he will neither have the bearing of a Christian or
a gentleman, if he answers you against my express desire."

"This is the most extraordinary thing I ever met with," said the Rector,
as, after fixing his eyes keenly on the placid, yet modest countenance of
Jeanie, he turned them suddenly upon his son. "What have you to say,
sir?"

"That I feel I have been too hasty in my promise, sir," answered George
Staunton; "I have no title to make any communications respecting the
affairs of this young person's family without her assent."

The elder Mr. Staunton turned his eyes from one to the other with marks
of surprise.

"This is more, and worse, I fear," he said, addressing his son, "than one
of your frequent and disgraceful connections--I insist upon knowing the
mystery."

"I have already said, sir," replied his son, rather sullenly, "that I
have no title to mention the affairs of this young woman's family without
her consent."

"And I hae nae mysteries to explain, sir," said Jeanie, "but only to pray
you, as a preacher of the gospel and a gentleman, to permit me to go safe
to the next public-house on the Lunnon road."

"I shall take care of your safety," said young Staunton "you need ask
that favour from no one."

"Do you say so before my face?" said the justly-incensed father.
"Perhaps, sir, you intend to fill up the cup of disobedience and
profligacy by forming a low and disgraceful marriage? But let me bid you
beware."

"If you were feared for sic a thing happening wi' me, sir," said Jeanie,
"I can only say, that not for all the land that lies between the twa ends
of the rainbow wad I be the woman that should wed your son."

"There is something very singular in all this," said the elder Staunton;
"follow me into the next room, young woman."

"Hear me speak first," said the young man. "I have but one word to say. I
confide entirely in your prudence; tell my father as much or as little of
these matters as you will, he shall know neither more nor less from me."

His father darted at him a glance of indignation, which softened into
sorrow as he saw him sink down on the couch, exhausted with the scene he
had undergone. He left the apartment, and Jeanie followed him, George
Staunton raising himself as she passed the door-way, and pronouncing the
word, "Remember!" in a tone as monitory as it was uttered by Charles I.
upon the scaffold. The elder Staunton led the way into a small parlour,
and shut the door.

"Young woman," said he, "there is something in your face and appearance
that marks both sense and simplicity, and, if I am not deceived,
innocence also--Should it be otherwise, I can only say, you are the most
accomplished hypocrite I have ever seen.--I ask to know no secret that
you have unwillingness to divulge, least of all those which concern my
son. His conduct has given me too much unhappiness to permit me to hope
comfort or satisfaction from him. If you are such as I suppose you,
believe me, that whatever unhappy circumstances may have connected you
with George Staunton, the sooner you break them through the better."

"I think I understand your meaning, sir," replied Jeanie; "and as ye are
sae frank as to speak o' the young gentleman in sic a way, I must needs
say that it is but the second time of my speaking wi' him in our lives,
and what I hae heard frae him on these twa occasions has been such that I
never wish to hear the like again."

"Then it is your real intention to leave this part of the country, and
proceed to London?" said the Rector.

"Certainly, sir; for I may say, in one sense, that the avenger of blood
is behind me; and if I were but assured against mischief by the way"

"I have made inquiry," said the clergyman, "after the suspicious
characters you described. They have left their place of rendezvous; but
as they may be lurking in the neighbourhood, and as you say you have
special reason to apprehend violence from them, I will put you under the
charge of a steady person, who will protect you as far as Stamford, and
see you into a light coach, which goes from thence to London."

"A coach is not for the like of me, sir," said Jeanie, to whom the idea
of a stage-coach was unknown, as, indeed, they were then only used in the
neighbourhood of London.

Mr. Staunton briefly explained that she would find that mode of
conveyance more commodious, cheaper, and more safe, than travelling on
horseback. She expressed her gratitude with so much singleness of heart,
that he was induced to ask her whether she wanted the pecuniary means of
prosecuting her journey. She thanked him, but said she had enough for her
purpose; and, indeed, she had husbanded her stock with great care. This
reply served also to remove some doubts, which naturally enough still
floated in Mr. Staunton's mind, respecting her character and real
purpose, and satisfied him, at least, that money did not enter into her
scheme of deception, if an impostor she should prove. He next requested
to know what part of the city she wished to go to.

"To a very decent merchant, a cousin o' my ain, a Mrs. Glass, sir, that
sells snuff and tobacco, at the sign o' the Thistle, somegate in the
town."

Jeanie communicated this intelligence with a feeling that a connection so
respectable ought to give her consequence in the eyes of Mr. Staunton;
and she was a good deal surprised when he answered--

"And is this woman your only acquaintance in London, my poor girl? and
have you really no better knowledge where she is to be found?"

"I was gaun to see the Duke of Argyle, forby Mrs. Glass," said Jeanie;
"and if your honour thinks it would be best to go there first, and get
some of his Grace's folk to show me my cousin's shop"

"Are you acquainted with any of the Duke of Argyle's people?" said the
Rector.

"No, sir."

"Her brain must be something touched after all, or it would be impossible
for her to rely on such introductions.--Well," said he aloud, "I must not
inquire into the cause of your journey, and so I cannot be fit to give
you advice how to manage it. But the landlady of the house where the
coach stops is a very decent person; and as I use her house sometimes, I
will give you a recommendation to her."

Jeanie thanked him for his kindness with her best courtesy, and said,
"That with his honour's line, and ane from worthy Mrs. Bickerton, that
keeps the Seven Stars at York, she did not doubt to be well taken out in
Lunnon."

"And now," said he, "I presume you will be desirous to set out
immediately."

"If I had been in an inn, sir, or any suitable resting-place," answered
Jeanie, "I wad not have presumed to use the Lord's day for travelling but
as I am on a journey of mercy, I trust my doing so will not be imputed."

"You may, if you choose, remain with Mrs. Dalton for the evening; but I
desire you will have no farther correspondence with my son, who is not a
proper counsellor for a person of your age, whatever your difficulties
may be."

"Your honour speaks ower truly in that," said Jeanie; "it was not with my
will that I spoke wi' him just now, and--not to wish the gentleman
onything but gude--I never wish to see him between the een again."

"If you please," added the Rector, "as you seem to be a seriously
disposed young woman, you may attend family worship in the hall this
evening."

"I thank your honour," said Jeanie; "but I am doubtful if my attendance
would be to edification."

"How!" said the Rector; "so young, and already unfortunate enough to have
doubts upon the duties of religion!"

"God forbid, sir," replied Jeanie; "it is not for that; but I have been
bred in the faith of the suffering remnant of the Presbyterian doctrine
in Scotland, and I am doubtful if I can lawfully attend upon your fashion
of worship, seeing it has been testified against by many precious souls
of our kirk, and specially by my worthy father."

"Well, my good girl," said the Rector, with a good-humoured smile, "far
be it from me to put any force upon your conscience; and yet you ought to
recollect that the same divine grace dispenses its streams to other
kingdoms as well as to Scotland. As it is as essential to our spiritual,
as water to our earthly wants, its springs, various in character, yet
alike efficacious in virtue, are to be found in abundance throughout the
Christian world."

"Ah, but," said Jeanie, "though the waters may be alike, yet, with your
worship's leave, the blessing upon them may not be equal. It would have
been in vain for Naaman the Syrian leper to have bathed in Pharpar and
Abana, rivers of Damascus, when it was only the waters of Jordon that
were sanctified for the cure."

"Well," said the Rector, "we will not enter upon the great debate betwixt
our national churches at present. We must endeavour to satisfy you, that,
at least, amongst our errors, we preserve Christian charity, and a desire
to assist our brethren."

He then ordered Mrs. Dalton into his presence, and consigned Jeanie to
her particular charge, with directions to be kind to her, and with
assurances, that, early in the morning, a trusty guide and a good horse
should be ready to conduct her to Stamford. He then took a serious and
dignified, yet kind leave of her, wishing her full success in the objects
of her journey, which he said he doubted not were laudable, from the
soundness of thinking which she had displayed in conversation.

Jeanie was again conducted by the housekeeper to her own apartment. But
the evening was not destined to pass over without farther torment from
young Staunton. A paper was slipped into her hand by the faithful Tummas,
which intimated his young master's desire, or rather demand, to see her
instantly, and assured her he had provided against interruption.

"Tell your young master," said Jeanie, openly, and regardless of all the
winks and signs by which Tummas strove to make her comprehend that Mrs.
Dalton was not to be admitted into the secret of the correspondence,
"that I promised faithfully to his worthy father that I would not see him
again."

"Tummas," said Mrs. Dalton, "I think you might be much more creditably
employed, considering the coat you wear, and the house you live in, than
to be carrying messages between your young master and girls that chance
to be in this house."

"Why, Mrs. Dalton, as to that, I was hired to carry messages, and not to
ask any questions about them; and it's not for the like of me to refuse
the young gentleman's bidding, if he were a little wildish or so. If
there was harm meant, there's no harm done, you see."

"However," said Mrs. Dalton, "I gie you fair warning, Tummas Ditton, that
an I catch thee at this work again, his Reverence shall make a clear
house of you."

Thomas retired, abashed and in dismay. The rest of the evening passed
away without anything worthy of notice.

Jeanie enjoyed the comforts of a good bed and a sound sleep with grateful
satisfaction, after the perils and hardships of the preceding day; and
such was her fatigue, that she slept soundly until six o'clock, when she
was awakened by Mrs. Dalton, who acquainted her that her guide and horse
were ready, and in attendance. She hastily rose, and, after her morning
devotions, was soon ready to resume her travels. The motherly care of the
housekeeper had provided an early breakfast, and, after she had partaken
of this refreshment, she found herself safe seated on a pillion behind a
stout Lincolnshire peasant, who was, besides, armed with pistols, to
protect her against any violence which might be offered.

They trudged along in silence for a mile or two along a country road,
which conducted them, by hedge and gate-way, into the principal highway,
a little beyond Grantham. At length her master of the horse asked her
whether her name was not Jean, or Jane, Deans. She answered in the
affirmative, with some surprise. "Then here's a bit of a note as concerns
you," said the man, handing it over his left shoulder. "It's from young
master, as I judge, and every man about Willingham is fain to pleasure
him either for love or fear; for he'll come to be landlord at last, let
them say what they like."

Jeanie broke the seal of the note, which was addressed to her, and read
as follows:--

"You refuse to see me. I suppose you are shocked at my character: but, in
painting myself such as I am, you should give me credit for my sincerity.
I am, at least, no hypocrite. You refuse, however, to see me, and your
conduct may be natural--but is it wise? I have expressed my anxiety to
repair your sister's misfortunes at the expense of my honour,--my
family's honour--my own life, and you think me too debased to be admitted
even to sacrifice what I have remaining of honour, fame, and life, in her
cause. Well, if the offerer be despised, the victim is still equally at
hand; and perhaps there may be justice in the decree of Heaven, that I
shall not have the melancholy credit of appearing to make this sacrifice
out of my own free good-will. You, as you have declined my concurrence,
must take the whole upon yourself. Go, then, to the Duke of Argyle, and,
when other arguments fail you, tell him you have it in your power to
bring to condign punishment the most active conspirator in the Porteous
mob. He will hear you on this topic, should he be deaf to every other.
Make your own terms, for they will be at your own making. You know where
I am to be found; and you may be assured I will not give you the dark
side of the hill, as at Muschat's Cairn; I have no thoughts of stirring
from the house I was born in; like the hare, I shall be worried in the
seat I started from. I repeat it--make your own terms. I need not remind
you to ask your sister's life, for that you will do of course; but make
terms of advantage for yourself--ask wealth and reward--office and income
for Butler--ask anything--you will get anything--and all for delivering
to the hands of the executioner a man most deserving of his office;--one
who, though young in years, is old in wickedness, and whose most earnest
desire is, after the storms of an unquiet life, to sleep and be at rest."

This extraordinary letter was subscribed with the initials G. S.

Jeanie read it over once or twice with great attention, which the slow
pace of the horse, as he stalked through a deep lane, enabled her to do
with facility.

When she had perused this billet, her first employment was to tear it
into as small pieces as possible, and disperse these pieces in the air by
a few at a time, so that a document containing so perilous a secret might
not fall into any other person's hand.

The question how far, in point of extremity, she was entitled to save her
sister's life by sacrificing that of a person who, though guilty towards
the state, had done her no injury, formed the next earnest and most
painful subject of consideration. In one sense, indeed, it seemed as if
denouncing the guilt of Staunton, the cause of her sister's errors and
misfortunes, would have been an act of just, and even providential
retribution. But Jeanie, in the strict and severe tone of morality in
which she was educated, had to consider not only the general aspect of a
proposed action, but its justness and fitness in relation to the actor,
before she could be, according to her own phrase, free to enter upon it.
What right had she to make a barter between the lives of Staunton and of
Effie, and to sacrifice the one for the safety of the other? His
guilt--that guilt for which he was amenable to the laws--was a crime
against the public indeed, but it was not against her.

Neither did it seem to her that his share in the death of Porteous,
though her mind revolted at the idea of using violence to any one, was in
the relation of a common murder, against the perpetrator of which every
one is called to aid the public magistrate. That violent action was
blended with many circumstances, which, in the eyes of those in Jeanie's
rank of life, if they did not altogether deprive it of the character of
guilt, softened, at least, its most atrocious features. The anxiety of
the government to obtain conviction of some of the offenders, had but
served to increase the public feeling which connected the action, though
violent and irregular, with the idea of ancient national independence.
The rigorous measures adopted or proposed against the city of Edinburgh,
the ancient metropolis of Scotland--the extremely unpopular and
injudicious measure of compelling the Scottish clergy, contrary to their
principles and sense of duty, to promulgate from the pulpit the reward
offered for the discovery of the perpetrators of this slaughter, had
produced on the public mind the opposite consequences from what were
intended; and Jeanie felt conscious, that whoever should lodge
information concerning that event, and for whatsoever purpose it might be
done, it would be considered as an act of treason against the
independence of Scotland. With the fanaticism of the Scottish
Presbyterians, there was always mingled a glow of national feeling, and
Jeanie, trembled at the idea of her name being handed down to posterity
with that of the "fause Monteath," and one or two others, who, having
deserted and betrayed the cause of their country, are damned to perpetual
remembrance and execration among its peasantry. Yet, to part with Effie's
life once more, when a word spoken might save it, pressed severely on the
mind of her affectionate sister.

"The Lord support and direct me!" said Jeanie, "for it seems to be His
will to try me with difficulties far beyond my ain strength."

While this thought passed through Jeanie's mind, her guard, tired of
silence, began to show some inclination to be communicative. He seemed a
sensible, steady peasant, but not having more delicacy or prudence than
is common to those in his situation, he, of course, chose the Willingham
family as the subject of his conversation. From this man Jeanie learned
some particulars of which she had hitherto been ignorant, and which we
will briefly recapitulate for the information of the reader.

The father of George Staunton had been bred a soldier, and during service
in the West Indies, had married the heiress of a wealthy planter. By this
lady he had an only child, George Staunton, the unhappy young, man who
has been so often mentioned in this narrative. He passed the first part
of his early youth under the charge of a doting mother, and in the
society of negro slaves, whose study it was to gratify his every caprice.
His father was a man of worth and sense; but as he alone retained
tolerable health among the officers of the regiment he belonged to, he
was much engaged with his duty. Besides, Mrs. Staunton was beautiful and
wilful, and enjoyed but delicate health; so that it was difficult for a
man of affection, humanity, and a quiet disposition, to struggle with her
on the point of her over-indulgence to an only child. Indeed, what Mr.
Staunton did do towards counteracting the baneful effects of his wife's
system, only tended to render it more pernicious; for every restraint
imposed on the boy in his father's presence, was compensated by treble
license during his absence. So that George Staunton acquired, even in
childhood, the habit of regarding his father as a rigid censor, from
whose severity he was desirous of emancipating himself as soon and
absolutely as possible.

When he was about ten years old, and when his mind had received all the
seeds of those evil weeds which afterwards grew apace, his mother died,
and his father, half heart-broken, returned to England. To sum up her
imprudence and unjustifiable indulgence, she had contrived to place a
considerable part of her fortune at her son's exclusive control or
disposal, in consequence of which management, George Staunton had not
been long in England till he learned his independence, and how to abuse
it. His father had endeavoured to rectify the defects of his education by
placing him in a well-regulated seminary. But although he showed some
capacity for learning, his riotous conduct soon became intolerable to his
teachers. He found means (too easily afforded to all youths who have
certain expectations) of procuring such a command of money as enabled him
to anticipate in boyhood the frolics and follies of a more mature age,
and, with these accomplishments, he was returned on his father's hands as
a profligate boy, whose example might ruin a hundred.

The elder Mr. Staunton, whose mind, since his wife's death, had been
tinged with a melancholy, which certainly his son's conduct did not tend
to dispel, had taken orders, and was inducted by his brother Sir William
Staunton into the family living of Willingham. The revenue was a matter
of consequence to him, for he derived little advantage from the estate of
his late wife; and his own fortune was that of a younger brother.

He took his son to reside with him at the rectory, but he soon found that
his disorders rendered him an intolerable inmate. And as the young men of
his own rank would not endure the purse-proud insolence of the Creole, he
fell into that taste for low society, which is worse than "pressing to
death, whipping, or hanging." His father sent him abroad, but he only
returned wilder and more desperate than before. It is true, this unhappy
youth was not without his good qualities. He had lively wit, good temper,
reckless generosity, and manners, which, while he was under restraint,
might pass well in society. But all these availed him nothing. He was so
well acquainted with the turf, the gaming-table, the cock-pit, and every
worse rendezvous of folly and dissipation, that his mother's fortune was
spent before he was twenty-one, and he was soon in debt and in distress.
His early history may be concluded in the words of our British Juvenal,
when describing a similar character:--

             Headstrong, determined in his own career,
             He thought reproof unjust, and truth severe.
                  The soul's disease was to its crisis come,
             He first abused, and then abjured, his home;
                  And when he chose a vagabond to be,
             He made his shame his glory, "I'll be free!"*
                   [Crabbe's _Borough,_ Letter xii.]

"And yet 'tis pity on Measter George, too," continued the honest boor,
"for he has an open hand, and winna let a poor body want an he has it."

The virtue of profuse generosity, by which, indeed, they themselves are
most directly advantaged, is readily admitted by the vulgar as a cloak
for many sins.

At Stamford our heroine was deposited in safety by her communicative
guide. She obtained a place in the coach, which, although termed a light
one, and accommodated with no fewer than six horses, only reached London
on the afternoon of the second day. The recommendation of the elder Mr.
Staunton procured Jeanie a civil reception at the inn where the carriage
stopped, and, by the aid of Mrs. Bickerton's correspondent, she found out
her friend and relative Mrs. Glass, by whom she was kindly received and
hospitably entertained.






CHAPTER ELEVENTH.

           My name is Argyle, you may well think it strange,
               To live at the court and never to change.
                                Ballad.

Few names deserve more honourable mention in the history of Scotland,
during this period, than that of John, Duke of Argyle and Greenwich. His
talents as a statesman and a soldier were generally admitted; he was not
without ambition, but "without the illness that attends it"--without that
irregularity of thought and aim, which often excites great men, in his
peculiar situation, (for it was a very peculiar one), to grasp the means
of raising themselves to power, at the risk of throwing a kingdom into
confusion. Pope has distinguished him as

           Argyle, the state's whole thunder born to wield,
               And shake alike the senate and the field.

He was alike free from the ordinary vices of statesmen, falsehood,
namely, and dissimulation; and from those of warriors, inordinate and
violent thirst after self-aggrandisement.

Scotland, his native country, stood at this time in a very precarious and
doubtful situation. She was indeed united to England, but the cement had
not had time to acquire consistence. The irritation of ancient wrongs
still subsisted, and betwixt the fretful jealousy of the Scottish, and
the supercilious disdain of the English, quarrels repeatedly occurred, in
the course of which the national league, so important to the safety of
both, was in the utmost danger of being dissolved. Scotland had, besides,
the disadvantage of being divided into intestine factions, which hated
each other bitterly, and waited but a signal to break forth into action.

In such circumstances, another man, with the talents and rank of Argyle,
but without a mind so happily regulated, would have sought to rise from
the earth in the whirlwind, and direct its fury. He chose a course more
safe and more honourable. Soaring above the petty distinctions of
faction, his voice was raised, whether in office or opposition, for those
measures which were at once just and lenient. His high military talents
enabled him, during the memorable year 1715, to render such services to
the House of Hanover, as, perhaps, were too great to be either
acknowledged or repaid. He had employed, too, his utmost influence in
softening the consequences of that insurrection to the unfortunate
gentlemen whom a mistaken sense of loyalty had engaged in the affair, and
was rewarded by the esteem and affection of his country in an uncommon
degree. This popularity, with a discontented and warlike people, was
supposed to be a subject of jealousy at court, where the power to become
dangerous is sometimes of itself obnoxious, though the inclination is not
united with it. Besides, the Duke of Argyle's independent and somewhat
haughty mode of expressing himself in Parliament, and acting in public,
were ill calculated to attract royal favour. He was, therefore, always
respected, and often employed; but he was not a favourite of George the
Second, his consort, or his ministers. At several different periods in
his life, the Duke might be considered as in absolute disgrace at court,
although he could hardly be said to be a declared member of opposition.
This rendered him the dearer to Scotland, because it was usually in her
cause that he incurred the displeasure of his sovereign; and upon this
very occasion of the Porteous mob, the animated and eloquent opposition
which he had offered to the severe measures which were about to be
adopted towards the city of Edinburgh, was the more gratefully received
in that metropolis, as it was understood that the Duke's interposition
had given personal offence to Queen Caroline.

His conduct upon this occasion, as, indeed, that of all the Scottish
members of the legislature, with one or two unworthy exceptions, had been
in the highest degree spirited. The popular tradition, concerning his
reply to Queen Caroline, has been given already, and some fragments of
his speech against the Porteous Bill are still remembered. He retorted
upon the Chancellor, Lord Hardwicke, the insinuation that he had stated
himself in this case rather as a party than as a judge:--"I appeal," said
Argyle, "to the House--to the nation, if I can be justly branded with the
infamy of being a jobber or a partisan. Have I been a briber of votes?--a
buyer of boroughs?--the agent of corruption for any purpose, or on behalf
of any party?--Consider my life; examine my actions in the field and in
the cabinet, and see where there lies a blot that can attach to my
honour. I have shown myself the friend of my country--the loyal subject
of my king. I am ready to do so again, without an instant's regard to the
frowns or smiles of a court. I have experienced both, and am prepared
with indifference for either. I have given my reasons for opposing this
bill, and have made it appear that it is repugnant to the international
treaty of union, to the liberty of Scotland, and, reflectively, to that
of England, to common justice, to common sense, and to the public
interest. Shall the metropolis of Scotland, the capital of an independent
nation, the residence of a long line of monarchs, by whom that noble city
was graced and dignified--shall such a city, for the fault of an obscure
and unknown body of rioters, be deprived of its honours and its
privileges--its gates and its guards?--and shall a native Scotsman tamely
behold the havoc? I glory, my Lords, in opposing such unjust rigour, and
reckon it my dearest pride and honour to stand up in defence of my native
country while thus laid open to undeserved shame, and unjust spoliation."

Other statesmen and orators, both Scottish and English, used the same
arguments, the bill was gradually stripped of its most oppressive and
obnoxious clauses, and at length ended in a fine upon the city of
Edinburgh in favour of Porteous's widow. So that, as somebody observed at
the time, the whole of these fierce debates ended in making the fortune
of an old cook-maid, such having been the good woman's original capacity.

The court, however, did not forget the baffle they had received in this
affair, and the Duke of Argyle, who had contributed so much to it, was
thereafter considered as a person in disgrace. It is necessary to place
these circumstances under the reader's observation, both because they are
connected with the preceding and subsequent part of our narrative.

The Duke was alone in his study, when one of his gentlemen acquainted
him, that a country-girl, from Scotland, was desirous of speaking with
his Grace.

"A country-girl, and from Scotland!" said the Duke; "what can have
brought the silly fool to London?--Some lover pressed and sent to sea, or
some stock sank in the South-Sea funds, or some such hopeful concern, I
suppose, and then nobody to manage the matter but MacCallummore,--Well,
this same popularity has its inconveniences.--However, show our
countrywoman up, Archibald--it is ill manners to keep her in attendance."

A young woman of rather low stature, and whose countenance might be
termed very modest and pleasing in expression, though sun-burnt, somewhat
freckled, and not possessing regular features, was ushered into the
splendid library. She wore the tartan plaid of her country, adjusted so
as partly to cover her head, and partly to fall back over her shoulders.
A quantity of fair hair, disposed with great simplicity and neatness,
appeared in front of her round and good-humoured face, to which the
solemnity of her errand, and her sense of the Duke's rank and importance,
gave an appearance of deep awe, but not of slavish fear, or fluttered
bashfulness. The rest of Jeanie's dress was in the style of Scottish
maidens of her own class; but arranged with that scrupulous attention to
neatness and cleanliness, which we often find united with that purity of
mind, of which it is a natural emblem.

She stopped near the entrance of the room, made her deepest reverence,
and crossed her hands upon her bosom, without uttering a syllable. The
Duke of Argyle advanced towards her; and, if she admired his graceful
deportment and rich dress, decorated with the orders which had been
deservedly bestowed on him, his courteous manner, and quick and
intelligent cast of countenance, he on his part was not less, or less
deservedly, struck with the quiet simplicity and modesty expressed in the
dress, manners, and countenance of his humble countrywoman.

"Did you wish to speak with me, my bonny lass?" said the Duke, using the
encouraging epithet which at once acknowledged the connection betwixt
them as country-folk; "or did you wish to see the Duchess?"

"My business is with your honour, my Lord--I mean your Lordship's Grace."

"And what is it, my good girl?" said the Duke, in the same mild and
encouraging tone of voice. Jeanie looked at the attendant. "Leave us,
Archibald," said the Duke, "and wait in the anteroom." The domestic
retired. "And now sit down, my good lass," said the Duke; "take your
breath--take your time, and tell me what you have got to say. I guess by
your dress, you are just come up from poor Scotland--Did you come through
the streets in your tartan plaid?"

"No, sir," said Jeanie; "a friend brought me in ane o' their street
coaches--a very decent woman," she added, her courage increasing as she
became familiar with the sound of her own voice in such a presence; "your
Lordship's Grace kens her--it's Mrs. Glass, at the sign o' the Thistle."

"O, my worthy snuff-merchant--I have always a chat with Mrs. Glass when
I purchase my Scots high-dried. Well, but your business, my bonny
woman--time and tide, you know, wait for no one."

"Your honour--I beg your Lordship's pardon--I mean your Grace,"--for it
must be noticed, that this matter of addressing the Duke by his
appropriate title had been anxiously inculcated upon Jeanie by her friend
Mrs. Glass, in whose eyes it was a matter of such importance, that her
last words, as Jeanie left the coach, were, "Mind to say your Grace;" and
Jeanie, who had scarce ever in her life spoke to a person of higher
quality than the Laird of Dumbiedikes, found great difficulty in
arranging her language according to the rules of ceremony.

The Duke, who saw her embarrassment, said, with his usual affability,
"Never mind my grace, lassie; just speak out a plain tale, and show you
have a Scots tongue in your head."

"Sir, I am muckle obliged--Sir, I am the sister of that poor unfortunate
criminal, Effie Deans, who is ordered for execution at Edinburgh."'

"Ah!" said the Duke, "I have heard of that unhappy story, I think--a case
of child-murder, under a special act of parliament--Duncan Forbes
mentioned it at dinner the other day."

"And I was come up frae the north, sir, to see what could be done for her
in the way of getting a reprieve or pardon, sir, or the like of that."

"Alas! my poor girl," said the Duke; "you have made a long and a sad
journey to very little purpose--Your sister is ordered for execution."

"But I am given to understand that there is law for reprieving her, if it
is in the king's pleasure," said Jeanie.

"Certainly, there is," said the Duke; "but that is purely in the king's
breast. The crime has been but too common--the Scots crown-lawyers think
it is right there should be an example. Then the late disorders in
Edinburgh have excited a prejudice in government against the nation at
large, which they think can only be managed by measures of intimidation
and severity. What argument have you, my poor girl, except the warmth of
your sisterly affection, to offer against all this?--What is your
interest?--What friends have you at court?"

"None, excepting God and your Grace," said Jeanie, still keeping her
ground resolutely, however.

"Alas!" said the Duke, "I could almost say with old Ormond, that there
could not be any, whose influence was smaller with kings and ministers.
It is a cruel part of our situation, young woman--I mean of the situation
of men in my circumstances, that the public ascribe to them influence
which they do not possess; and that individuals are led to expect from
them assistance which we have no means of rendering. But candour and
plain dealing is in the power of every one, and I must not let you
imagine you have resources in my influence, which do not exist, to make
your distress the heavier--I have no means of averting your sister's
fate--She must die."

"We must a' die, sir," said Jeanie; "it is our common doom for our
father's transgression; but we shouldna hasten ilk other out o' the
world, that's what your honour kens better than me."

"My good young woman," said the Duke, mildly, "we are all apt to blame
the law under which we immediately suffer; but you seem to have been well
educated in your line of life, and you must know that it is alike the law
of God and man, that the murderer shall surely die."

"But, sir, Effie--that is, my poor sister, sir--canna be proved to be a
murderer; and if she be not, and the law take her life notwithstanding,
wha is it that is the murderer then?"

"I am no lawyer," said the Duke; "and I own I think the statute a very
severe one."

"You are a law-maker, sir, with your leave; and, therefore, ye have power
over the law," answered Jeanie.

"Not in my individual capacity," said the Duke; "though, as one of a
large body, I have a voice in the legislation. But that cannot serve
you--nor have I at present, I care not who knows it, so much personal
influence with the sovereign, as would entitle me to ask from him the
most insignificant favour. What could tempt you, young woman, to address
yourself to me?"

"It was yourself, sir."

"Myself?" he replied--"I am sure you have never seen me before."

"No, sir; but a' the world kens that the Duke of Argyle is his country's
friend; and that ye fight for the right, and speak for the right, and
that there's nane like you in our present Israel, and so they that think
themselves wranged draw to refuge under your shadow; and if ye wunna stir
to save the blood of an innocent countrywoman of your ain, what should we
expect frae southerns and strangers? And maybe I had another reason for
troubling your honour."

"And what is that?" asked the Duke.

"I hae understood from my father, that your honour's house, and
especially your gudesire and his father, laid down their lives on the
scaffold in the persecuting time. And my father was honoured to gie his
testimony baith in the cage and in the pillory, as is specially mentioned
in the books of Peter Walker the packman, that your honour, I dare say,
kens, for he uses maist partly the westland of Scotland. And, sir,
there's ane that takes concern in me, that wished me to gang to your
Grace's presence, for his gudesire had done your gracious gudesire some
good turn, as ye will see frae these papers."

With these words, she delivered to the Duke the little parcel which she
had received from Butler. He opened it, and, in the envelope, read with
some surprise, "'Musterroll of the men serving in the troop of that godly
gentleman, Captain Salathiel Bangtext.--Obadiah Muggleton, Sin-Despise
Double-knock, Stand-fast-in-faith Gipps, Turn-to-the-right Thwack-away'--
What the deuce is this? A list of Praise-God Barebone's Parliament I
think, or of old Noll's evangelical army--that last fellow should
understand his wheelings, to judge by his name.--But what does all this
mean, my girl?"

"It was the other paper, sir," said Jeanie, somewhat abashed at the
mistake.

"O, this is my unfortunate grandfather's hand sure enough--'To all who
may have friendship for the house of Argyle, these are to certify, that
Benjamin Butler, of Monk's regiment of dragoons, having been, under God,
the means of saving my life from four English troopers who were about, to
slay me, I, having no other present means of recompense in my power, do
give him this acknowledgment, hoping that it may be useful to him or his
during these troublesome times; and do conjure my friends, tenants,
kinsmen, and whoever will do aught for me, either in the Highlands or
Lowlands, to protect and assist the said Benjamin Butler, and his friends
or family, on their lawful occasions, giving them such countenance,
maintenance, and supply, as may correspond with the benefit he hath
bestowed on me; witness my hand--Lorne.'

"This is a strong injunction--This Benjamin Butler was your grandfather,
I suppose?--You seem too young to have been his daughter."

"He was nae akin to me, sir--he was grandfather to ane--to a neighbour's
son--to a sincere weel-wisher of mine, sir," dropping her little courtesy
as she spoke.

"O, I understand," said the Duke--"a true-love affair. He was the
grandsire of one you are engaged to?"

"One I _was_ engaged to, sir," said Jeanie, sighing; "but this unhappy
business of my poor sister"

"What!" said the Duke, hastily--"he has not deserted you on that account,
has he?"

"No, sir; he wad be the last to leave a friend in difficulties," said
Jeanie; "but I maun think for him as weel as for mysell. He is a
clergyman, sir, and it would not beseem him to marry the like of me, wi'
this disgrace on my kindred."

"You are a singular young woman," said the Duke. "You seem to me to think
of every one before yourself. And have you really come up from Edinburgh
on foot, to attempt this hopeless solicitation for your sister's life?"

"It was not a'thegither on foot, sir," answered Jeanie; "for I sometimes
got a cast in a waggon, and I had a horse from Ferrybridge, and then the
coach"

"Well, never mind all that," interrupted the Duke--"What reason have you
for thinking your sister innocent?"

"Because she has not been proved guilty, as will appear from looking at
these papers."

She put into his hand a note of the evidence, and copies of her sister's
declaration. These papers Butler had procured after her departure, and
Saddletree had them forwarded to London, to Mrs. Glass's care, so that
Jeanie found the documents, so necessary for supporting her suit, lying
in readiness at her arrival.

"Sit down in that chair, my good girl," said the Duke,--"until I glance
over the papers."

She obeyed, and watched with the utmost anxiety each change in his
countenance as he cast his eye through the papers briefly, yet with
attention, and making memoranda as he went along. After reading them
hastily over, he looked up, and seemed about to speak, yet changed his
purpose, as if afraid of committing himself by giving too hasty an
opinion, and read over again several passages which he had marked as
being most important. All this he did in shorter time than can be
supposed by men of ordinary talents; for his mind was of that acute and
penetrating character which discovers, with the glance of intuition, what
facts bear on the particular point that chances to be subjected to
consideration. At length he rose, after a few minutes' deep reflection.--
"Young woman," said he, "your sister's case must certainly be termed a
hard one."

"God bless you, sir, for that very word!" said Jeanie.

"It seems contrary to the genius of British law," continued the Duke, "to
take that for granted which is not proved, or to punish with death for a
crime, which, for aught the prosecutor has been able to show, may not
have been committed at all."

"God bless you, sir!" again said Jeanie, who had risen from her seat,
and, with clasped hands, eyes glittering through tears, and features
which trembled with anxiety, drank in every word which the Duke uttered.

"But, alas! my poor girl," he continued, "what good will my opinion do
you, unless I could impress it upon those in whose hands your sister's
life is placed by the law? Besides, I am no lawyer; and I must speak with
some of our Scottish gentlemen of the gown about the matter."

"O, but, sir, what seems reasonable to your honour, will certainly be the
same to them," answered Jeanie.

"I do not know that," replied the Duke; "ilka man buckles his belt his
ain gate--you know our old Scots proverb?--But you shall not have placed
this reliance on me altogether in vain. Leave these papers with me, and
you shall hear from me to-morrow or next day. Take care to be at home at
Mrs. Glass's, and ready to come to me at a moment's warning. It will be
unnecessary for you to give Mrs. Glass the trouble to attend you;--and by
the by, you will please to be dressed just as you are at present."

"I wad hae putten on a cap, sir," said Jeanie, "but your honour kens it
isna the fashion of my country for single women; and I judged that, being
sae mony hundred miles frae hame, your Grace's heart wad warm to the
tartan," looking at the corner of her plaid.

"You judged quite right," said the Duke. "I know the full value of the
snood; and MacCallummore's heart will be as cold as death can make it,
when it does _not_ warm to the tartan. Now, go away, and don't be out of
the way when I send."

Jeanie replied,--"There is little fear of that, sir, for I have little
heart to go to see sights amang this wilderness of black houses. But if I
might say to your gracious honour, that if ye ever condescend to speak to
ony ane that is of greater degree than yoursell, though maybe it isna
civil in me to say sae, just if you would think there can be nae sic odds
between you and them, as between poor Jeanie Deans from St. Leonard's and
the Duke of Argyle; and so dinna be chappit back or cast down wi' the
first rough answer."

"I am not apt," said the Duke, laughing, "to mind rough answers much--Do
not you hope too much from what I have promised. I will do my best, but
God has the hearts of Kings in his own hand."

Jeanie courtesied reverently and withdrew, attended by the Duke's
gentleman, to her hackney-coach, with a respect which her appearance did
not demand, but which was perhaps paid to the length of the interview
with which his master had honoured her.





CHAPTER TWELFTH.

                        Ascend
               While radiant summer opens all its pride,
               Thy hill, delightful Shene! Here let us sweep
                       The boundless landscape.
                                             Thomson.

From her kind and officious, but somewhat gossiping friend, Mrs. Glass,
Jeanie underwent a very close catechism on their road to the Strand,
where the Thistle of the good lady flourished in full glory, and, with
its legend of _Nemo me impune,_ distinguished a shop then well known to
all Scottish folk of high and low degree.

"And were you sure aye to _say your_ Grace to him?" said the good old
lady; "for ane should make a distinction between MacCallummore and the
bits o' southern bodies that they ca' lords here--there are as mony o'
them, Jeanie, as would gar ane think they maun cost but little fash in
the making--some of them I wadna trust wi' six pennies-worth of
black-rappee--some of them I wadna gie mysell the trouble to put up a
hapnyworth in brown paper for--But I hope you showed your breeding to the
Duke of Argyle, for what sort of folk would he think your friends in
London, if you had been lording him, and him a Duke?"

"He didna seem muckle to mind," said Jeanie; "he kend that I was landward
bred."

"Weel, weel," answered the good lady. "His Grace kens me weel; so I am
the less anxious about it. I never fill his snug-box but he says, 'How
d'ye do, good Mrs. Glass?--How are all our friends in the North?' or it
may be--'Have ye heard from the North lately?' And you may be sure, I
make my best courtesy, and answer, 'My Lord Duke, I hope your Grace's
noble Duchess, and your Grace's young ladies, are well; and I hope the
snuff continues to give your Grace satisfaction.' And then ye will see
the people in the shop begin to look about them; and if there's a
Scotsman, as there may be three or half-a-dozen, aff go the hats, and
mony a look after him, and 'There goes the Prince of Scotland, God bless
him!' But ye have not told me yet the very words he said t'ye."

Jeanie had no intention to be quite so communicative. She had, as the
reader may have observed, some of the caution and shrewdness, as well as
of the simplicity of her country. She answered generally, that the Duke
had received her very compassionately, and had promised to interest
himself in her sister's affair, and to let her hear from him in the
course of the next day, or the day after. She did not choose to make any
mention of his having desired her to be in readiness to attend him, far
less of his hint, that she should not bring her landlady. So that honest
Mrs. Glass was obliged to remain satisfied with the general intelligence
above mentioned, after having done all she could to extract more.

It may easily be conceived, that, on the next day, Jeanie declined all
invitations and inducements, whether of exercise or curiosity, to walk
abroad, and continued to inhale the close, and somewhat professional
atmosphere of Mrs. Glass's small parlour. The latter flavour it owed to a
certain cupboard, containing, among other articles, a few canisters of
real Havannah, which, whether from respect to the manufacture, or out of
a reverend fear of the exciseman, Mrs. Glass did not care to trust in the
open shop below, and which communicated to the room a scent, that,
however fragrant to the nostrils of the connoisseur, was not very
agreeable to those of Jeanie.

"Dear sirs," she said to herself, "I wonder how my cousin's silk manty,
and her gowd watch, or ony thing in the world, can be worth sitting
sneezing all her life in this little stilling room, and might walk on
green braes if she liked."

Mrs. Glass was equally surprised at her cousin's reluctance to stir
abroad, and her indifference to the fine sights of London. "It would
always help to pass away the time," she said, "to have something to look
at, though ane was in distress." But Jeanie was unpersuadable.

The day after her interview with the Duke was spent in that "hope
delayed, which maketh the heart sick." Minutes glided after
minutes--hours fled after hours--it became too late to have any
reasonable expectation of hearing from the Duke that day; yet the hope
which she disowned, she could not altogether relinquish, and her heart
throbbed, and her ears tingled, with every casual sound in the shop
below. It was in vain. The day wore away in the anxiety of protracted
and fruitless expectation.

The next morning commenced in the same manner. But before noon, a
well-dressed gentleman entered Mrs. Glass's shop, and requested to see a
young woman from Scotland.

"That will be my cousin Jeanie Deans, Mr. Archibald," said Mrs. Glass,
with a courtesy of recognisance. "Have you any message for her from his
Grace the Duke of Argyle, Mr. Archibald? I will carry it to her in a
moment."

"I believe I must give her the trouble of stepping down, Mrs. Glass."

"Jeanie--Jeanie Deans!" said Mrs. Glass, screaming at the bottom of the
little staircase, which ascended from the corner of the shop to the
higher regions. "Jeanie--Jeanie Deans, I say! come down stairs instantly;
here is the Duke of Argyle's groom of the chambers desires to see you
directly." This was announced in a voice so loud, as to make all who
chanced to be within hearing aware of the important communication.

It may easily be supposed, that Jeanie did not tarry long in adjusting
herself to attend the summons, yet her feet almost failed her as she came
down stairs.

"I must ask the favour of your company a little way," said Archibald,
with civility.

"I am quite ready, sir," said Jeanie.

"Is my cousin going out, Mr. Archibald? then I will hae to go wi' her, no
doubt.--James Rasper--Look to the shop, James.--Mr. Archibald," pushing a
jar towards him, "you take his Grace's mixture, I think. Please to fill
your box, for old acquaintance' sake, while I get on my things."

Mr. Archibald transferred a modest parcel of snuff from the jar to his
own mull, but said he was obliged to decline the pleasure of Mrs. Glass's
company, as his message was particularly to the young person.

"Particularly to the young person?" said Mrs. Glass; "is not that
uncommon, Mr. Archibald? But his Grace is the best judge; and you are a
steady person, Mr. Archibald. It is not every one that comes from a great
man's house I would trust my cousin with.--But, Jeanie, you must not go
through the streets with Mr. Archibald with your tartan what-d'ye-call-it
there upon your shoulders, as if you had come up with a drove of Highland
cattle. Wait till I bring down my silk cloak. Why, we'll have the mob
after you!"

"I have a hackney-coach in waiting, madam," said Mr. Archibald,
interrupting the officious old lady, from whom Jeanie might otherwise
have found it difficult to escape; "and, I believe, I must not allow her
time for any change of dress."

So saying, he hurried Jeanie into the coach, while she internally praised
and wondered at the easy manner in which he shifted off Mrs. Glass's
officious offers and inquiries, without mentioning his master's orders,
or entering into any explanation,

On entering the coach, Mr. Archibald seated himself in the front seat
opposite to our heroine, and they drove on in silence. After they had
driven nearly half-an-hour, without a word on either side, it occurred to
Jeanie, that the distance and time did not correspond with that which had
been occupied by her journey on the former occasion, to and from the
residence of the Duke of Argyle. At length she could not help asking her
taciturn companion, "Whilk way they were going?"

"My Lord Duke will inform you himself, madam," answered Archibald, with
the same solemn courtesy which marked his whole demeanour. Almost as he
spoke, the hackney-coach drew up, and the coachman dismounted and opened
the door. Archibald got out, and assisted Jeanie to get down. She found
herself in a large turnpike road, without the bounds of London, upon the
other side of which road was drawn up a plain chariot and four horses,
the panels without arms, and the servants without liveries.

"You have been punctual, I see, Jeanie," said the Duke of Argyle, as
Archibald opened the carriage-door. "You must be my companion for the
rest of the way. Archibald will remain here with the hackney-coach till
your return."

Ere Jeanie could make answer, she found herself, to her no small
astonishment, seated by the side of a duke, in a carriage which rolled
forward at a rapid yet smooth rate, very different in both particulars
from the lumbering, jolting vehicle which she had just left; and which,
lumbering and jolting as it was, conveyed to one who had seldom been in a
coach before a certain feeling of dignity and importance.

"Young woman," said the Duke, "after thinking as attentively on your
sister's case as is in my power, I continue to be impressed with the
belief that great injustice may be done by the execution of her sentence.
So are one or two liberal and intelligent lawyers of both countries whom
I have spoken with.--Nay, pray hear me out before you thank me.--I have
already told you my personal conviction is of little consequence, unless
I could impress the same upon others. Now I have done for you what I
would certainly not have done to serve any purpose of my own--I have
asked an audience of a lady whose interest with the king is deservedly
very high. It has been allowed me, and I am desirous that you should see
her and speak for yourself. You have no occasion to be abashed; tell your
story simply, as you did to me."

"I am much obliged to your Grace," said Jeanie, remembering Mrs. Glass's
charge, "and I am sure, since I have had the courage to speak to your
Grace in poor Effie's cause, I have less reason to be shame-faced in
speaking to a leddy. But, sir, I would like to ken what to ca' her,
whether your grace or your honour, or your leddyship, as we say to lairds
and leddies in Scotland, and I will take care to mind it; for I ken
leddies are full mair particular than gentlemen about their titles of
honour."

"You have no occasion to call her anything but Madam. Just say what you
think is likely to make the best impression--look at me from time to
time--and if I put my hand to my cravat so--(showing her the motion)--you
will stop; but I shall only do this when you say anything that is not
likely to please."

"But, sir, your Grace," said Jeanie, "if it wasna ower muckle trouble,
wad it no be better to tell me what I should say, and I could get it by
heart?"

"No, Jeanie, that would not have the same effect--that would be like
reading a sermon, you know, which we good Presbyterians think has less
unction than when spoken without book," replied the Duke. "Just speak as
plainly and boldly to this lady, as you did to me the day before
yesterday, and if you can gain her consent, I'll wad ye a plack, as we
say in the north, that you get the pardon from the king."

As he spoke, he took a pamphlet from his pocket, and began to read.
Jeanie had good sense and tact, which constitute betwixt them that which
is called natural good breeding. She interpreted the Duke's manoeuvre as
a hint that she was to ask no more questions, and she remained silent
accordingly.

The carriage rolled rapidly onwards through fertile meadows, ornamented
with splendid old oaks, and catching occasionally a glance of the
majestic mirror of a broad and placid river. After passing through a
pleasant village, the equipage stopped on a commanding eminence, where
the beauty of English landscape was displayed in its utmost luxuriance.
Here the Duke alighted, and desired Jeanie to follow him. They paused for
a moment on the brow of a hill, to gaze on the unrivalled landscape which
it presented. A huge sea of verdure, with crossing and intersecting
promontories of massive and tufted groves, was tenanted by numberless
flocks and herds, which seemed to wander unrestrained and unbounded
through the rich pastures. The Thames, here turreted with villas, and
there garlanded with forests, moved on slowly and placidly, like the
mighty monarch of the scene, to whom all its other beauties were but
accessories, and bore on its bosom an hundred barks and skiffs, whose
white sails and gaily fluttering pennons gave life to the whole.

The Duke of Argyle was, of course, familiar with this scene; but to a man
of taste it must be always new. Yet, as he paused and looked on this
inimitable landscape, with the feeling of delight which it must give to
the bosom of every admirer of nature, his thoughts naturally reverted to
his own more grand, and scarce less beautiful, domains of Inverary.--
"This is a fine scene," he said to his companion, curious, perhaps, to
draw out her sentiments; "we have nothing like it in Scotland."

"It's braw rich feeding for the cows, and they have a fine breed o'
cattle here," replied Jeanie; "but I like just as weel to look at the
craigs of Arthur's Seat, and the sea coming in ayont them as at a' thae
muckle trees."

The Duke smiled at a reply equally professional and national, and made a
signal for the carriage to remain where it was. Then adopting an
unfrequented footpath, he conducted Jeanie through several complicated
mazes to a postern-door in a high brick wall.

It was shut; but as the Duke tapped slightly at it, a person in waiting
within, after reconnoitring through a small iron grate, contrived for the
purpose, unlocked the door and admitted them. They entered, and it was
immediately closed and fastened behind them. This was all done quickly,
the door so instantly closing, and the person who opened it so suddenly
disappearing, that Jeanie could not even catch a glimpse of his exterior.

They found themselves at the extremity of a deep and narrow alley,
carpeted with the most verdant and close-shaven turf, which felt like
velvet under their feet, and screened from the sun by the branches of the
lofty elms which united over the path, and caused it to resemble, in the
solemn obscurity of the light which they admitted, as well as from the
range of columnar stems, and intricate union of their arched branches,
one of the narrow side aisles in an ancient Gothic cathedral.






CHAPTER THIRTEETH

                            I beseech you--
            These tears beseech you, and these chaste hands woo you
            That never yet were heaved but to things holy--
            Things like yourself--You are a God above us;
                  Be as a God, then, full of saving mercy!
                                            The Bloody Brother.

Encouraged as she was by the courteous manners of her noble countryman,
it was not without a feeling of something like terror that Jeanie felt
herself in a place apparently so lonely with a man of such high rank.
That she should have been permitted to wait on the Duke in his own house,
and have been there received to a private interview, was in itself an
uncommon and distinguished event in the annals of a life so simple as
hers; but to find herself his travelling companion in a journey, and then
suddenly to be left alone with him in so secluded a situation, had
something in it of awful mystery. A romantic heroine might have suspected
and dreaded the power of her own charms; but Jeanie was too wise to let
such a silly thought intrude on her mind. Still, however, she had a most
eager desire to know where she now was, and to whom she was to be
presented.

She remarked that the Duke's dress, though still such as indicated rank
and fashion (for it was not the custom of men of quality at that time to
dress themselves like their own coachmen or grooms), was nevertheless
plainer than that in which she had seen him upon a former occasion, and
was divested, in particular, of all those badges of external decoration
which intimated superior consequence. In short, he was attired as plainly
as any gentleman of fashion could appear in the streets of London in a
morning; and this circumstance helped to shake an opinion which Jeanie
began to entertain, that, perhaps, he intended she should plead her cause
in the presence of royalty itself. "But surely," said she to, herself,
"he wad hae putten on his braw star and garter, an he had thought o'
coming before the face of majesty--and after a', this is mair like a
gentleman's policy than a royal palace."

There was some sense in Jeanie's reasoning; yet she was not sufficiently
mistress either of the circumstances of etiquette, or the particular
relations which existed betwixt the government and the Duke of Argyle, to
form an accurate judgment. The Duke, as we have said, was at this time in
open opposition to the administration of Sir Robert Walpole, and was
understood to be out of favour with the royal family, to whom he had
rendered such important services. But it was a maxim of Queen Caroline to
bear herself towards her political friends with such caution, as if there
was a possibility of their one day being her enemies, and towards
political opponents with the same degree of circumspection, as if they
might again become friendly to her measures, Since Margaret of Anjou, no
queen-consort had exercised such weight in the political affairs of
England, and the personal address which she displayed on many occasions,
had no small share in reclaiming from their political heresy many of
those determined Tories, who, after the reign of the Stuarts had been
extinguished in the person of Queen Anne, were disposed rather to
transfer their allegiance to her brother the Chevalier de St. George,
than to acquiesce in the settlement of the crown on the Hanover family.
Her husband, whose most shining quality was courage in the field of
battle, and who endured the office of King of England, without ever being
able to acquire English habits, or any familiarity with English
dispositions, found the utmost assistance from the address of his
partner, and while he jealously affected to do everything according to
his own will and pleasure, was in secret prudent enough to take and
follow the advice of his more adroit consort. He intrusted to her the
delicate office of determining the various degrees of favour necessary to
attach the wavering, or to confirm such as were already friendly, or to
regain those whose good-will had been lost.

With all the winning address of an elegant, and, according to the times,
an accomplished woman, Queen Caroline possessed the masculine soul of the
other sex. She was proud by nature, and even her policy could not always
temper her expressions of displeasure, although few were more ready at
repairing any false step of this kind, when her prudence came up to the
aid of her passions. She loved the real possession of power rather than
the show of it, and whatever she did herself that was either wise or
popular, she always desired that the King should have the full credit as
well as the advantage of the measure, conscious that, by adding to his
respectability, she was most likely to maintain her own. And so desirous
was she to comply with all his tastes, that, when threatened with the
gout, she had repeatedly had recourse to checking the fit, by the use of
the cold bath, thereby endangering her life, that she might be able to
attend the king in his walks.

It was a very consistent part of Queen Caroline's character, to keep up
many private correspondences with those to whom in public she seemed
unfavourable, or who, for various reasons, stood ill with the court. By
this means she kept in her hands the thread of many a political intrigue,
and, without pledging herself to anything, could often prevent discontent
from becoming hatred, and opposition from exaggerating itself into
rebellion. If by any accident her correspondence with such persons
chanced to be observed or discovered, which she took all possible pains
to prevent, it was represented as a mere intercourse of society, having
no reference to politics; an answer with which even the prime minister,
Sir Robert Walpole, was compelled to remain satisfied, when he discovered
that the Queen had given a private audience to Pulteney, afterwards Earl
of Bath, his most formidable and most inveterate enemy.

In thus maintaining occasional intercourse with several persons who
seemed most alienated from the crown, it may readily be supposed that
Queen Caroline had taken care not to break entirely with the Duke of
Argyle. His high birth, his great talents, the estimation in which he was
held in his own country, the great services which he had rendered the
house of Brunswick in 1715, placed him high in that rank of persons who
were not to be rashly neglected. He had, almost by his single and
unassisted talents, stopped the irruption of the banded force of all the
Highland chiefs; there was little doubt, that, with the slightest
encouragement, he could put them all in motion, and renew the civil war;
and it was well known that the most flattering overtures had been
transmitted to the Duke from the court of St. Germains. The character and
temper of Scotland was still little known, and it was considered as a
volcano, which might, indeed, slumber for a series of years, but was
still liable, at a moment the least expected, to break out into a
wasteful irruption. It was, therefore, of the highest importance to
retain come hold over so important a personage as the Duke of Argyle, and
Caroline preserved the power of doing so by means of a lady, with whom,
as wife of George II., she might have been supposed to be on less
intimate terms.

It was not the least instance of the Queen's address, that she had
contrived that one of her principal attendants, Lady Suffolk, should
unite in her own person the two apparently inconsistent characters, of
her husband's mistress, and her own very obsequious and complaisant
confidant. By this dexterous management the Queen secured her power
against the danger which might most have threatened it--the thwarting
influence of an ambitious rival; and if she submitted to the
mortification of being obliged to connive at her husband's infidelity,
she was at least guarded against what she might think its most dangerous
effects, and was besides at liberty, now and then, to bestow a few civil
insults upon "her good Howard," whom, however, in general, she treated
with great decorum.*

* See Horace Walpole's Reminiscences.

Lady Suffolk lay under strong obligations to the Duke of Argyle, for
reasons which may be collected from Horace Walpole's Reminiscences of
that reign, and through her means the Duke had some occasional
correspondence with Queen Caroline, much interrupted, however, since the
part he had taken in the debate concerning the Porteous mob, an affair
which the Queen, though somewhat unreasonably, was disposed to resent,
rather as an intended and premeditated insolence to her own person and
authority, than as a sudden ebullition of popular vengeance. Still,
however, the communication remained open betwixt them, though it had been
of late disused on both sides. These remarks will be found necessary to
understand the scene which is about to be presented to the reader.

From the narrow alley which they had traversed, the Duke turned into one
of the same character, but broader and still longer. Here, for the first
time since they had entered these gardens, Jeanie saw persons approaching
them.

They were two ladies; one of whom walked a little behind the other, yet
not so much as to prevent her from hearing and replying to whatever
observation was addressed to her by the lady who walked foremost, and
that without her having the trouble to turn her person. As they advanced
very slowly, Jeanie had time to study their features and appearance. The
Duke also slackened his pace, as if to give her time to collect herself,
and repeatedly desired her not to be afraid. The lady who seemed the
principal person had remarkably good features, though somewhat injured by
the small-pox, that venomous scourge which each village Esculapius
(thanks to Jenner) can now tame as easily as their tutelary deity subdued
the Python. The lady's eyes were brilliant, her teeth good, and her
countenance formed to express at will either majesty or courtesy. Her
form, though rather _embonpoint,_ was nevertheless graceful; and the
elasticity and firmness of her step gave no room to suspect, what was
actually the case, that she suffered occasionally from a disorder the
most unfavourable to pedestrian exercise. Her dress was rather rich than
gay, and her manner commanding and noble.

Her companion was of lower stature, with light brown hair and expressive
blue eyes. Her features, without being absolutely regular, were perhaps
more pleasing than if they had been critically handsome. A melancholy, or
at least a pensive expression, for which her lot gave too much cause,
predominated when she was silent, but gave way to a pleasing and
good-humoured smile when she spoke to any one.

When they were within twelve or fifteen yards of these ladies, the Duke
made a sign that Jeanie should stand still, and stepping forward himself,
with the grace which was natural to him, made a profound obeisance, which
was formally, yet in a dignified manner, returned by the personage whom
he approached.

"I hope," she said, with an affable and condescending smile, "that I see
so great a stranger at court, as the Duke of Argyle has been of late, in
as good health as his friends there and elsewhere could wish him to
enjoy."

The Duke replied, "That he had been perfectly well;" and added, "that the
necessity of attending to the public business before the House, as well
as the time occupied by a late journey to Scotland, had rendered him less
assiduous in paying his duty at the levee and drawing-room than he could
have desired."

"When your Grace _can_ find time for a duty so frivolous," replied the
Queen, "you are aware of your title to be well received. I hope my
readiness to comply with the wish which you expressed yesterday to Lady
Suffolk, is, a sufficient proof that one of the royal family, at least,
has not forgotten ancient and important services, in resenting something
which resembles recent neglect." This was said apparently with great good
humour, and in a tone which expressed a desire of conciliation.

The Duke replied, "That he would account himself the most unfortunate of
men, if he could be supposed capable of neglecting his duty, in modes and
circumstances when it was expected, and would have been agreeable. He was
deeply gratified by the honour which her Majesty was now doing to him
personally; and he trusted she would soon perceive that it was in a
matter essential to his Majesty's interest that he had the boldness to
give her this trouble."

"You cannot oblige me more, my Lord Duke," replied the Queen, "than by
giving me the advantage of your lights and experience on any point of the
King's service. Your Grace is aware, that I can only be the medium
through which the matter is subjected to his Majesty's superior wisdom;
but if it is a suit which respects your Grace personally, it shall lose
no support by being preferred through me."

"It is no suit of mine, madam," replied the Duke; "nor have I any to
prefer for myself personally, although I feel in full force my obligation
to your Majesty. It is a business which concerns his Majesty, as a lover
of justice and of mercy, and which, I am convinced, may be highly useful
in conciliating the unfortunate irritation which at present subsists
among his Majesty's good subjects in Scotland."

There were two parts of this speech disagreeable to Caroline. In the
first place, it removed the flattering notion she had adopted, that
Argyle designed to use her personal intercession in making his peace with
the administration, and recovering the employments of which he had been
deprived; and next, she was displeased that he should talk of the
discontents in Scotland as irritations to be conciliated, rather than
suppressed.

Under the influence of these feelings, she answered hastily, "That his
Majesty has good subjects in England, my Lord Duke, he is bound to thank
God and the laws--that he has subjects in Scotland, I think he may thank
God and his sword."

The Duke, though a courtier, coloured slightly, and the Queen, instantly
sensible of her error, added, without displaying the least change of
countenance, and as if the words had been an original branch of the
sentence--"And the swords of those real Scotchmen who are friends to the
House of Brunswick, particularly that of his Grace of Argyle."

"My sword, madam," replied the Duke, "like that of my fathers, has been
always at the command of my lawful king, and of my native country--I
trust it is impossible to separate their real rights and interests. But
the present is a matter of more private concern, and respects the person
of an obscure individual."

"What is the affair, my Lord?" said the Queen. "Let us find out what we
are talking about, lest we should misconstrue and misunderstand each
other."

"The matter, madam," answered the Duke of Argyle, "regards the fate of an
unfortunate young woman in Scotland, now lying under sentence of death,
for a crime of which I think it highly probable that she is innocent. And
my humble petition to your Majesty is, to obtain your powerful
intercession with the King for a pardon."

It was now the Queen's turn to colour, and she did so over cheek and
brow, neck and bosom. She paused a moment as if unwilling to trust her
voice with the first expression of her displeasure; and on assuming the
air of dignity and an austere regard of control, she at length replied,
"My Lord Duke, I will not ask your motives for addressing to me a
request, which circumstances have rendered such an extraordinary one.
Your road to the King's closet, as a peer and a privy-councillor,
entitled to request an audience, was open, without giving me the pain of
this discussion. _I,_ at least, have had enough of Scotch pardons."

The Duke was prepared for this burst of indignation, and he was not
shaken by it. He did not attempt a reply while the Queen was in the first
heat of displeasure, but remained in the same firm, yet respectful
posture, which he had assumed during the interview. The Queen, trained
from her situation to self-command, instantly perceived the advantage she
might give against herself by yielding to passion; and added, in the same
condescending and affable tone in which she had opened the interview,
"You must allow me some of the privileges of the sex, my Lord; and do not
judge uncharitably of me, though I am a little moved at the recollection
of the gross insult and outrage done in your capital city to the royal
authority, at the very time when it was vested in my unworthy person.
Your Grace cannot be surprised that I should both have felt it at the
time, and recollected it now."

"It is certainly a matter not speedily to be forgotten," answered the
Duke. "My own poor thoughts of it have been long before your Majesty, and
I must have expressed myself very ill if I did not convey my detestation
of the murder which was committed under such extraordinary circumstances.
I might, indeed, be so unfortunate as to differ with his Majesty's
advisers on the degree in which it was either just or politic to punish
the innocent instead of the guilty. But I trust your Majesty will permit
me to be silent on a topic in which my sentiments have not the good
fortune to coincide with those of more able men."

"We will not prosecute a topic on which we may probably differ," said the
Queen. "One word, however, I may say in private--you know our good Lady
Suffolk is a little deaf--the Duke of Argyle, when disposed to renew his
acquaintance with his master and mistress, will hardly find many topics
on which we should disagree."

"Let me hope," said the Duke, bowing profoundly to so flattering an
intimation, "that I shall not be so unfortunate as to have found one on
the present occasion."

"I must first impose on your Grace the duty of confession," said the
Queen, "before I grant you absolution. What is your particular interest
in this young woman? She does not seem" (and she scanned Jeanie, as she
said this, with the eye of a connoisseur) "much qualified to alarm my
friend the Duchess's jealousy."

"I think your Majesty," replied the Duke, smiling in his turn, "will
allow my taste may be a pledge for me on that score."

"Then, though she has not much the air _d'une grande dame,_ I suppose she
is some thirtieth cousin in the terrible
CHAPTER of Scottish genealogy?"

"No, madam," said the Duke; "but I wish some of my nearer relations had
half her worth, honesty, and affection."

"Her name must be Campbell, at least?" said Queen Caroline.

"No, madam; her name is not quite so distinguished, if I may be permitted
to say so," answered the Duke.

"Ah! but she comes from Inverary or Argyleshire?" said the Sovereign.

"She has never been farther north in her life than Edinburgh, madam."

"Then my conjectures are all ended," said the Queen, "and your Grace must
yourself take the trouble to explain the affair of your prote'ge'e."

With that precision and easy brevity which is only acquired by habitually
conversing in the higher ranks of society, and which is the diametrical
opposite of that protracted style of disquisition,

           Which squires call potter, and which men call prose,

the Duke explained the singular law under which Effie Deans had received
sentence of death, and detailed the affectionate exertions which Jeanie
had made in behalf of a sister, for whose sake she was willing to
sacrifice all but truth and conscience.

Queen Caroline listened with attention; she was rather fond, it must be
remembered, of an argument, and soon found matter in what the Duke told
her for raising difficulties to his request.

"It appears to me, my Lord," she replied, "that this is a severe law. But
still it is adopted upon good grounds, I am bound to suppose, as the law
of the country, and the girl has been convicted under it. The very
presumptions which the law construes into a positive proof of guilt exist
in her case; and all that your Grace has said concerning the possibility
of her innocence may be a very good argument for annulling the Act of
Parliament, but cannot, while it stands good, be admitted in favour of
any individual convicted upon the statute."

The Duke saw and avoided the snare, for he was conscious, that, by
replying to the argument, he must have been inevitably led to a
discussion, in the course of which the Queen was likely to be hardened
in her own opinion, until she became obliged, out of mere respect to
consistency, to let the criminal suffer.


[Illustration: Jeanie and Queen Caroline--194]


"If your Majesty," he said, "would condescend to hear my poor
countrywoman herself, perhaps she may find an advocate in your own heart,
more able than I am, to combat the doubts suggested by your
understanding."

The Queen seemed to acquiesce, and the Duke made a signal for Jeanie to
advance from the spot where she had hitherto remained watching
countenances, which were too long accustomed to suppress all apparent
signs of emotion, to convey to her any interesting intelligence. Her
Majesty could not help smiling at the awe-struck manner in which the
quiet demure figure of the little Scotchwoman advanced towards her, and
yet more at the first sound of her broad northern accent. But Jeanie had
a voice low and sweetly toned, an admirable thing in woman, and eke
besought "her Leddyship to have pity on a poor misguided young creature,"
in tones so affecting, that, like the notes of some of her native songs,
provincial vulgarity was lost in pathos.

"Stand up, young woman," said the Queen, but in a kind tone, "and tell me
what sort of a barbarous people your country-folk are, where child-murder
is become so common as to require the restraint of laws like yours?"

"If your Leddyship pleases," answered Jeanie, "there are mony places
besides Scotland where mothers are unkind to their ain flesh and blood."

It must be observed, that the disputes between George the Second and
Frederick Prince of Wales were then at the highest, and that the
good-natured part of the public laid the blame on the Queen. She coloured
highly, and darted a glance of a most penetrating character first at
Jeanie, and then at the Duke. Both sustained it unmoved; Jeanie from
total unconsciousness of the offence she had given, and the Duke from his
habitual composure. But in his heart he thought, My unlucky _protegee_
has with this luckless answer shot dead, by a kind of chance-medley, her
only hope of success.

Lady Suffolk, good-humouredly and skilfully, interposed in this awkward
crisis. "You should tell this lady," she said to Jeanie, "the particular
causes which render this crime common in your country."

"Some thinks it's the Kirk-session--that is--it's the--it's the
cutty-stool, if your Leddyship pleases," said Jeanie, looking down and
courtesying.

"The what?" said Lady Suffolk, to whom the phrase was new, and who
besides was rather deaf.

"That's the stool of repentance, madam, if it please your Leddyship,"
answered Jeanie, "for light life and conversation, and for breaking the
seventh command." Here she raised her eyes to the Duke, saw his hand at
his chin, and, totally unconscious of what she had said out of joint,
gave double effect to the innuendo, by stopping short and looking
embarrassed.

As for Lady Suffolk, she retired like a covering party, which, having
interposed betwixt their retreating friends and the enemy, have suddenly
drawn on themselves a fire unexpectedly severe.

The deuce take the lass, thought the Duke of Argyle to himself; there
goes another shot--and she has hit with both barrels right and left!

Indeed the Duke had himself his share of the confusion, for, having acted
as master of ceremonies to this innocent offender, he felt much in the
circumstances of a country squire, who, having introduced his spaniel
into a well-appointed drawing-room, is doomed to witness the disorder and
damage which arises to china and to dress-gowns, in consequence of its
untimely frolics. Jeanie's last chance-hit, however, obliterated the ill
impression which had arisen from the first; for her Majesty had not so
lost the feelings of a wife in those of a Queen, but that she could enjoy
a jest at the expense of "her good Suffolk." She turned towards the Duke
of Argyle with a smile, which marked that she enjoyed the triumph, and
observed, "The Scotch are a rigidly moral people." Then, again applying
herself to Jeanie, she asked how she travelled up from Scotland.

"Upon my foot mostly, madam," was the reply.

"What, all that immense way upon foot?--How far can you walk in a day."

"Five-and-twenty miles and a bittock."

"And a what?" said the Queen, looking towards the Duke of Argyle.

"And about five miles more," replied the Duke.

"I thought I was a good walker," said the Queen, "but this shames me
sadly."

"May your Leddyship never hae sae weary a heart, that ye canna be
sensible of the weariness of the limbs," said Jeanie. That came better
off, thought the Duke; it's the first thing she has said to the purpose.

"And I didna just a'thegither walk the haill way neither, for I had
whiles the cast of a cart; and I had the cast of a horse from
Ferrybridge--and divers other easements," said Jeanie, cutting short her
story, for she observed the Duke made the sign he had fixed upon.

"With all these accommodations," answered the Queen, "you must have had a
very fatiguing journey, and, I fear, to little purpose; since, if the
King were to pardon your sister, in all probability it would do her
little good, for I suppose your people of Edinburgh would hang her out of
spite."

She will sink herself now outright, thought the Duke.

But he was wrong. The shoals on which Jeanie had touched in this delicate
conversation lay under ground, and were unknown to her; this rock was
above water, and she avoided it.

"She was confident," she said, "that baith town and country wad rejoice
to see his Majesty taking compassion on a poor unfriended creature."

"His Majesty has not found it so in a late instance," said the Queen;
"but I suppose my Lord Duke would advise him to be guided by the votes of
the rabble themselves, who should be hanged and who spared?"

"No, madam," said the Duke; "but I would advise his Majesty to be guided
by his own feelings, and those of his royal consort; and then I am sure
punishment will only attach itself to guilt, and even then with cautious
reluctance."

"Well, my Lord," said her Majesty, "all these fine speeches do not
convince me of the propriety of so soon showing any mark of favour to
your--I suppose I must not say rebellious?--but, at least, your very
disaffected and intractable metropolis. Why, the whole nation is in a
league to screen the savage and abominable murderers of that unhappy man;
otherwise, how is it possible but that, of so many perpetrators, and
engaged in so public an action for such a length of time, one at least
must have been recognised? Even this wench, for aught I can tell, may be
a depositary of the secret.--Hark you, young woman, had you any friends
engaged in the Porteous mob?"

"No, madam," answered Jeanie, happy that the question was so framed that
she could, with a good conscience, answer it in the negative.

"But I suppose," continued the Queen, "if you were possessed of such a
secret, you would hold it a matter of conscience to keep it to yourself?"

"I would pray to be directed and guided what was the line of duty,
madam," answered Jeanie.

"Yes, and take that which suited your own inclinations," replied her
Majesty.

"If it like you, madam," said Jeanie, "I would hae gaen to the end of the
earth to save the life of John Porteous, or any other unhappy man in his
condition; but I might lawfully doubt how far I am called upon to be the
avenger of his blood, though it may become the civil magistrate to do so.
He is dead and gane to his place, and they that have slain him must
answer for their ain act. But my sister, my puir sister, Effie, still
lives, though her days and hours are numbered! She still lives, and a
word of the King's mouth might restore her to a brokenhearted auld man,
that never in his daily and nightly exercise, forgot to pray that his
Majesty might be blessed with a long and a prosperous reign, and that his
throne, and the throne of his posterity, might be established in
righteousness. O madam, if ever ye kend what it was to sorrow for and
with a sinning and a suffering creature, whose mind is sae tossed that
she can be neither ca'd fit to live or die, have some compassion on our
misery!--Save an honest house from dishonour, and an unhappy girl, not
eighteen years of age, from an early and dreadful death! Alas! it is not
when we sleep soft and wake merrily ourselves that we think on other
people's sufferings. Our hearts are waxed light within us then, and we
are for righting our ain wrangs and fighting our ain battles. But when
the hour of trouble comes to the mind or to the body--and seldom may it
visit your Leddyship--and when the hour of death comes, that comes to
high and low--lang and late may it be yours!--Oh, my Leddy, then it isna
what we hae dune for oursells, but what we hae dune for others, that we
think on maist pleasantly. And the thoughts that ye hae intervened to
spare the puir thing's life will be sweeter in that hour, come when it
may, than if a word of your mouth could hang the haill Porteous mob at
the tail of ae tow."

Tear followed tear down Jeanie's cheeks, as, her features glowing and
quivering with emotion, she pleaded her sister's cause with a pathos
which was at once simple and solemn.

"This is eloquence," said her Majesty to the Duke of Argyle. "Young
woman," she continued, addressing herself to Jeanie, "_I_ cannot grant a
pardon to your sister--but you shall not want my warm intercession with
his Majesty. Take this house-wife case," she continued, putting a small
embroidered needle-case into Jeanie's hands; "do not open it now, but at
your leisure--you will find something in it which will remind you that
you have had an interview with Queen Caroline."

Jeanie, having her suspicions thus confirmed, dropped on her knees, and
would have expanded herself in gratitude; but the Duke who was upon
thorns lest she should say more or less than just enough, touched his
chin once more.

"Our business is, I think, ended for the present, my Lord Duke," said the
Queen, "and, I trust, to your satisfaction. Hereafter I hope to see your
Grace more frequently, both at Richmond and St. James's.--Come Lady
Suffolk, we must wish his Grace good-morning."

They exchanged their parting reverences, and the Duke, so soon as the
ladies had turned their backs, assisted Jeanie to rise from the ground,
and conducted her back through the avenue, which she trode with the
feeling of one who walks in her sleep.





CHAPTER FOURTEENTH.


                    So soon as I can win the offended king,
                    I will be known your advocate.
                                             Cymbeline.

The Duke of Argyle led the way in silence to the small postern by which
they had been admitted into Richmond Park, so long the favourite
residence of Queen Caroline. It was opened by the same half-seen janitor,
and they found themselves beyond the precincts of the royal demesne.
Still not a word was spoken on either side. The Duke probably wished to
allow his rustic prote'ge'e time to recruit her faculties, dazzled and
sunk with colloquy sublime; and betwixt what she had guessed, had heard,
and had seen, Jeanie Deans's mind was too much agitated to permit her to
ask any questions.

They found the carriage of the Duke in the place where they had left it;
and when they resumed their places, soon began to advance rapidly on
their return to town.

"I think, Jeanie," said the Duke, breaking silence, "you have every
reason to congratulate yourself on the issue of your interview with her
Majesty."

"And that leddy was the Queen herself?" said Jeanie; "I misdoubted it
when I saw that your honour didna put on your hat--And yet I can hardly
believe it, even when I heard her speak it herself."

"It was certainly Queen Caroline," replied the Duke. "Have you no
curiosity to see what is in the little pocket-book?"

"Do you think the pardon will be in it, sir?" said Jeanie, with the eager
animation of hope.

"Why, no," replied the Duke; "that is unlikely. They seldom carry these
things about them, unless they were likely to be wanted; and, besides,
her Majesty told you it was the King, not she, who was to grant it."

"That is true, too," said Jeanie; "but I am so confused in my mind--But
does your honour think there is a certainty of Effie's pardon then?"
continued she, still holding in her hand the unopened pocket-book.

"Why, kings are kittle cattle to shoe behind, as we say in the north,"
replied the Duke; "but his wife knows his trim, and I have not the least
doubt that the matter is quite certain."

"Oh, God be praised! God be praised!" ejaculated Jeanie; "and may the
gude leddy never want the heart's ease she has gien me at this moment!--
And God bless you too, my Lord!--without your help I wad ne'er hae won
near her."

The Duke let her dwell upon this subject for a considerable time,
curious, perhaps, to see how long the feelings of gratitude would
continue to supersede those of curiosity. But so feeble was the latter
feeling in Jeanie's mind, that his Grace, with whom, perhaps, it was for
the time a little stronger, was obliged once more to bring forward the
subject of the Queen's present. It was opened accordingly. In the inside
of the case was the usual assortment of silk and needles, with scissors,
tweezers, etc.; and in the pocket was a bank-bill for fifty pounds.

The Duke had no sooner informed Jeanie of the value of this last
document, for she was unaccustomed to see notes for such sums, than she
expressed her regret at the mistake which had taken place. "For the hussy
itsell," she said, "was a very valuable thing for a keepsake,
with the Queen's name written in the inside with her ain hand
doubtless--_Caroline_--as plain as could be, and a crown drawn aboon it."

She therefore tendered the bill to the Duke, requesting him to find some
mode of returning it to the royal owner.

"No, no, Jeanie," said the Duke, "there is no mistake in the case. Her
Majesty knows you have been put to great expense, and she wishes to make
it up to you."

"I am sure she is even ower gude," said Jeanie, "and it glads me muckle
that I can pay back Dumbiedikes his siller, without distressing my
father, honest man."

"Dumbiedikes! What, a freeholder of Mid-Lothian, is he not?" said his
Grace, whose occasional residence in that county made him acquainted with
most of the heritors, as landed persons are termed in Scotland.--"He has
a house not far from Dalkeith, wears a black wig and a laced hat?"

"Yes sir," answered Jeanie, who had her reasons for being brief in her
answers upon this topic.

"Ah, my old friend Dumbie!" said the Duke; "I have thrice seen him fou,
and only once heard the sound of his voice--Is he a cousin of yours,
Jeanie?"

"No, sir,--my Lord."

"Then he must be a well-wisher, I suspect?"

"Ye--yes,--my Lord, sir," answered Jeanie, blushing, and with hesitation.

"Aha! then, if the Laird starts, I suppose my friend Butler must be in
some danger?"

"O no, sir," answered Jeanie, much more readily, but at the same time
blushing much more deeply.

"Well, Jeanie," said the Duke, "you are a girl may be safely trusted with
your own matters, and I shall inquire no farther about them. But as to
this same pardon, I must see to get it passed through the proper forms;
and I have a friend in office who will for auld lang syne, do me so much
favour. And then, Jeanie, as I shall have occasion to send an express
down to Scotland, who will travel with it safer and more swiftly than you
can do, I will take care to have it put into the proper channel;
meanwhile you may write to your friends by post of your good success."

"And does your Honour think," said Jeanie, "that will do as weel as if I
were to take my tap in my lap, and slip my ways hame again on my ain
errand?"

"Much better, certainly," said the Duke. "You know the roads are not very
safe for a single woman to travel."

Jeanie internally acquiesced in this observation.

"And I have a plan for you besides. One of the Duchess's attendants, and
one of mine--your acquaintance Archibald--are going down to Inverary in a
light calash, with four horses I have bought, and there is room enough in
the carriage for you to go with them as far as Glasgow, where Archibald
will find means of sending you safely to Edinburgh.--And in the way I beg
you will teach the woman as much as you can of the mystery of
cheese-making, for she is to have a charge in the dairy, and I dare swear
you are as tidy about your milk-pail as about your dress."

"Does your Honour like cheese?" said Jeanie, with a gleam of conscious
delight as she asked the question.

"Like it?" said the Duke, whose good-nature anticipated what was to
follow,--"cakes and cheese are a dinner for an emperor, let alone a
Highlandman."

"Because," said Jeanie, with modest confidence, and great and evident
self-gratulation, "we have been thought so particular in making cheese,
that some folk think it as gude as the real Dunlop; and if your honour's
Grace wad but accept a stane or twa, blithe, and fain, and proud it wad
make us? But maybe ye may like the ewe-milk, that is, the Buckholmside*
cheese better; or maybe the gait-milk, as ye come frae the
Highlands--and I canna pretend just to the same skeel o' them; but my
cousin Jean, that lives at Lockermachus in Lammermuir, I could speak to
her, and--"

* The hilly pastures of Buckholm, which the Author now surveys,--"Not in
the frenzy of a dreamer's eye,"--are famed for producing the best
ewe-milk cheese in the south of Scotland.

"Quite unnecessary," said the Duke; "the Dunlop is the very cheese of
which I am so fond, and I will take it as the greatest favour you can do
me to send one to Caroline Park. But remember, be on honour with it,
Jeanie, and make it all yourself, for I am a real good judge."

"I am not feared," said Jeanie, confidently, "that I may please your
Honour; for I am sure you look as if you could hardly find fault wi'
onybody that did their best; and weel is it my part, I trow, to do mine."

This discourse introduced a topic upon which the two travellers, though
so different in rank and education, found each a good deal to say. The
Duke, besides his other patriotic qualities, was a distinguished
agriculturist, and proud of his knowledge in that department. He
entertained Jeanie with his observations on the different breeds of
cattle in Scotland, and their capacity for the dairy, and received so
much information from her practical experience in return, that he
promised her a couple of Devonshire cows in reward for the lesson. In
short his mind was so transported back to his rural employments and
amusements, that he sighed when his carriage stopped opposite to the old
hackney-coach, which Archibald had kept in attendance at the place where
they had left it. While the coachman again bridled his lean cattle, which
had been indulged with a bite of musty hay, the Duke cautioned Jeanie not
to be too communicative to her landlady concerning what had passed.
"There is," he said, "no use of speaking of matters till they are
actually settled; and you may refer the good lady to Archibald, if she
presses you hard with questions. She is his old acquaintance, and he
knows how to manage with her."

He then took a cordial farewell of Jeanie, and told her to be ready in
the ensuing week to return to Scotland--saw her safely established in her
hackney-coach, and rolled of in his own carriage, humming a stanza of the
ballad which he is said to have composed:--

                "At the sight of Dumbarton once again,
                 I'll cock up my bonnet and march amain,
                 With my claymore hanging down to my heel,
                 To whang at the bannocks of barley meal."

Perhaps one ought to be actually a Scotsman to conceive how ardently,
under all distinctions of rank and situation, they feel their mutual
connection with each other as natives of the same country. There are, I
believe, more associations common to the inhabitants of a rude and wild,
than of a well-cultivated and fertile country; their ancestors have more
seldom changed their place of residence; their mutual recollection of
remarkable objects is more accurate; the high and the low are more
interested in each other's welfare; the feelings of kindred and
relationship are more widely extended, and in a word, the bonds of
patriotic affection, always honourable even when a little too exclusively
strained, have more influence on men's feelings and actions.

The rumbling hackney-coach, which tumbled over the (then) execrable
London pavement, at a rate very different from that which had conveyed
the ducal carriage to Richmond, at length deposited Jeanie Deans and her
attendant at the national sign of the Thistle. Mrs. Glass, who had been
in long and anxious expectation, now rushed, full of eager curiosity and
open-mouthed interrogation, upon our heroine, who was positively unable
to sustain the overwhelming cataract of her questions, which burst forth
with the sublimity of a grand gardyloo:--

"Had she seen the Duke, God bless him--the Duchess--the young ladies?--
Had she seen the King, God bless him--the Queen--the Prince of Wales--the
Princess--or any of the rest of the royal family?--Had she got her
sister's pardon?--Was it out and out--or was it only a commutation of
punishment?--How far had she gone--where had she driven to--whom had she
seen--what had been said--what had kept her so long?"

Such were the various questions huddled upon each other by a curiosity so
eager, that it could hardly wait for its own gratification. Jeanie would
have been more than sufficiently embarrassed by this overbearing tide of
interrogations, had not Archibald, who had probably received from his
master a hint to that purpose, advanced to her rescue. "Mrs. Glass," said
Archibald, "his Grace desired me particularly to say, that he would take
it as a great favour if you would ask the young woman no questions, as he
wishes to explain to you more distinctly than she can do how her affairs
stand, and consult you on some matters which she cannot altogether so
well explain. The Duke will call at the Thistle to-morrow or next day for
that purpose."

"His Grace is very condescending," said Mrs. Glass, her zeal for inquiry
slaked for the present by the dexterous administration of this sugar
plum--"his Grace is sensible that I am in a manner accountable for the
conduct of my young kinswoman, and no doubt his Grace is the best judge
how far he should intrust her or me with the management of her affairs."

"His Grace is quite sensible of that," answered Archibald, with national
gravity, "and will certainly trust what he has to say to the most
discreet of the two; and therefore, Mrs. Glass, his Grace relies you will
speak nothing to Mrs. Jean Deans, either of her own affairs or her
sister's, until he sees you himself. He desired me to assure you, in the
meanwhile, that all was going on as well as your kindness could wish,
Mrs. Glass."

"His Grace is very kind--very considerate, certainly, Mr. Archibald--his
Grace's commands shall be obeyed, and--But you have had a far drive, Mr.
Archibald, as I guess by the time of your absence, and I guess" (with an
engaging smile) "you winna be the waur o' a glass of the right Rosa
Solis."

"I thank you, Mrs. Glass," said the great man's great man, "but I am
under the necessity of returning to my Lord directly." And, making his
adieus civilly to both cousins, he left the shop of the Lady of the
Thistle.

"I am glad your affairs have prospered so well, Jeanie, my love," said
Mrs. Glass; "though, indeed, there was little fear of them so soon as the
Duke of Argyle was so condescending as to take them into hand. I will ask
you no questions about them, because his Grace, who is most considerate
and prudent in such matters, intends to tell me all that you ken
yourself, dear, and doubtless a great deal more; so that anything that
may lie heavily on your mind may be imparted to me in the meantime, as
you see it is his Grace's pleasure that I should be made acquainted with
the whole matter forthwith, and whether you or he tells it, will make no
difference in the world, ye ken. If I ken what he is going to say
beforehand, I will be much more ready to give my advice, and whether you
or he tell me about it, cannot much signify after all, my dear. So you
may just say whatever you like, only mind I ask you no questions about
it."

Jeanie was a little embarrassed. She thought that the communication she
had to make was perhaps the only means she might have in her power to
gratify her friendly and hospitable kinswoman. But her prudence instantly
suggested that her secret interview with Queen Caroline, which seemed to
pass under a certain sort of mystery, was not a proper subject for the
gossip of a woman like Mrs. Glass, of whose heart she had a much better
opinion than of her prudence. She, therefore, answered in general, that
the Duke had had the extraordinary kindness to make very particular
inquiries into her sister's bad affair, and that he thought he had found
the means of putting it a' straight again, but that he proposed to tell
all that he thought about the matter to Mrs. Glass herself.

This did not quite satisfy the penetrating mistress of the Thistle.
Searching as her own small rappee, she, in spite of her promise, urged
Jeanie with still farther questions. "Had she been a' that time at Argyle
House? Was the Duke with her the whole time? and had she seen the
Duchess? and had she seen the young ladies--and specially Lady Caroline
Campbell?"--To these questions Jeanie gave the general reply, that she
knew so little of the town that she could not tell exactly where she had
been; that she had not seen the Duchess to her knowledge; that she had
seen two ladies, one of whom, she understood, bore the name of Caroline;
and more, she said, she could not tell about the matter.

"It would be the Duke's eldest daughter, Lady Caroline Campbell, there is
no doubt of that," said Mrs. Glass; "but doubtless, I shall know more
particularly through his Grace.--And so, as the cloth is laid in the
little parlour above stairs, and it is past three o'clock, for I have
been waiting this hour for you, and I have had a snack myself; and, as
they used to say in Scotland in my time--I do not ken if the word be used
now--there is ill talking between a full body and a fasting."





CHAPTER FIFTEENTH.


          Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid,--
                   Some banished lover or some captive maid.
                                          Pope.

By dint of unwonted labour with the pen, Jeanie Deans contrived to
indite, and give to the charge of the postman on the ensuing day, no less
than three letters, an exertion altogether strange to her habits;
insomuch so, that, if milk had been plenty, she would rather have made
thrice as many Dunlop cheeses. The first of them was very brief. It was
addressed to George Staunton, Esq., at the Rectory, Willingham, by
Grantham; the address being part of the information she had extracted
from the communicative peasant who rode before her to Stamford. It was in
these words:--

"Sir,--To prevent farder mischieves, whereof there hath been enough,
comes these: Sir, I have my sister's pardon from the Queen's Majesty,
whereof I do not doubt you will be glad, having had to say naut of
matters whereof you know the purport. So, Sir, I pray for your better
welfare in bodie and soul, and that it will please the fisycian to visit
you in His good time. Alwaies, sir, I pray you will never come again to
see my sister, whereof there has been too much. And so, wishing you no
evil, but even your best good, that you may be turned from your iniquity
(for why suld ye die?) I rest your humble servant to command,
                                                       "_Ye ken wha._"

The next letter was to her father. It is too long altogether for
insertion, so we only give a few extracts. It commenced--

"Dearest and truly honoured father,--This comes with my duty to inform
you, that it has pleased God to redeem that captivitie of my poor sister,
in respect the Queen's blessed Majesty, for whom we are ever bound to
pray, hath redeemed her soul from the slayer, granting the ransom of her,
whilk is ane pardon or reprieve. And I spoke with the Queen face to face
and yet live; for she is not muckle differing from other grand leddies,
saying that she has a stately presence, and een like a blue huntin'
hawk's, whilk gaed throu' and throu' me like a Highland durk--And all
this good was, alway under the Great Giver, to whom all are but
instruments, wrought forth for us by the Duk of Argile, wha is ane native
true-hearted Scotsman, and not pridefu', like other folk we ken of--and
likewise skeely enow in bestial, whereof he has promised to gie me twa
Devonshire kye, of which he is enamoured, although I do still haud by the
real hawlit Airshire breed--and I have promised him a cheese; and I wad
wuss ye, if Gowans, the brockit cow, has a quey, that she suld suck her
fill of milk, as I am given to understand he has none of that breed, and
is not scornfu' but will take a thing frae a puir body, that it may
lighten their heart of the loading of debt that they awe him. Also his
honour the Duke will accept ane of our Dunlop cheeses, and it sall be my
faut if a better was ever yearned in Lowden."--[Here follow some
observations respecting the breed of cattle, and the produce of the
dairy, which it is our intention to forward to the Board of
Agriculture.]--"Nevertheless, these are but matters of the after-harvest,
in respect of the great good which Providence hath gifted us with--and,
in especial, poor Effie's life. And oh, my dear father, since it hath
pleased God to be merciful to her, let her not want your free pardon,
whilk will make her meet to be ane vessel of grace, and also a comfort to
your ain graie hairs. Dear Father, will ye let the Laird ken that we have
had friends strangely raised up to us, and that the talent whilk he lent
me will be thankfully repaid. I hae some of it to the fore; and the rest
of it is not knotted up in ane purse or napkin, but in ane wee bit paper,
as is the fashion heir, whilk I am assured is gude for the siller. And,
dear father, through Mr. Butler's means I hae gude friendship with the
Duke, for their had been kindness between their forbears in the auld
troublesome time bye-past. And Mrs. Glass has been kind like my very
mother. She has a braw house here, and lives bien and warm, wi' twa
servant lasses, and a man and a callant in the shop. And she is to send
you doun a pound of her hie-dried, and some other tobaka, and we maun
think of some propine for her, since her kindness hath been great. And
the Duk is to send the pardun doun by an express messenger, in respect
that I canna travel sae fast; and I am to come doun wi' twa of his
Honour's servants--that is, John Archibald, a decent elderly gentleman,
that says he has seen you lang syne, when ye were buying beasts in the
west frae the Laird of Aughtermuggitie--but maybe ye winna mind him--ony
way, he's a civil man--and Mrs. Dolly Dutton, that is to be dairy-maid at
Inverara; and they bring me on as far as Glasgo, whilk will make it nae
pinch to win hame, whilk I desire of all things. May the Giver of all
good things keep ye in your outgauns and incomings, whereof devoutly
prayeth your loving dauter,
                                                  "Jean Deans."

The third letter was to Butler, and its tenor as follows:--

"Master Butler.--Sir,--It will be pleasure to you to ken, that all I came
for is, thanks be to God, weel dune and to the gude end, and that your
forbear's letter was right welcome to the Duke of Argile, and that he
wrote your name down with a kylevine pen in a leathern book, whereby it
seems like he will do for you either wi' a scule or a kirk; he has enow
of baith, as I am assured. And I have seen the queen, which gave me a
hussy-case out of her own hand. She had not her crown and skeptre, but
they are laid by for her, like the bairns' best claise, to be worn when
she needs them. And they are keepit in a tour, whilk is not like the tour
of Libberton, nor yet Craigmillar, but mair like to the castell of
Edinburgh, if the buildings were taen and set down in the midst of the
Nor'-Loch. Also the Queen was very bounteous, giving me a paper worth
fiftie pounds, as I am assured, to pay my expenses here and back agen.
Sae, Master Butler, as we were aye neebours' bairns, forby onything else
that may hae been spoken between us, I trust you winna skrimp yoursell
for what is needfu' for your health, since it signifies not muckle whilk
o' us has the siller, if the other wants it. And mind this is no meant to
haud ye to onything whilk ye wad rather forget, if ye suld get a charge
of a kirk or a scule, as above said. Only I hope it will be a scule, and
not a kirk, because of these difficulties anent aiths and patronages,
whilk might gang ill down wi' my honest father. Only if ye could compass
a harmonious call frae the parish of Skreegh-me-dead, as ye anes had hope
of, I trow it wad please him weel; since I hae heard him say, that the
root of the matter was mair deeply hafted in that wild muirland parish
than in the Canongate of Edinburgh. I wish I had whaten books ye wanted,
Mr. Butler, for they hae haill houses of them here, and they are obliged
to set sum out in the street, whilk are sald cheap, doubtless, to get
them out of the weather. It is a muckle place, and I hae seen sae muckle
of it, that my poor head turns round. And ye ken langsyne, I am nae great
pen-woman, and it is near eleven o'clock o' the night. I am cumming down
in good company, and safe--and I had troubles in gaun up whilk makes me
blither of travelling wi' kend folk. My cousin, Mrs. Glass, has a braw
house here, but a' thing is sae poisoned wi' snuff, that I am like to be
scomfished whiles. But what signifies these things, in comparison of the
great deliverance whilk has been vouchsafed to my father's house, in
whilk you, as our auld and dear well-wisher, will, I dout not, rejoice
and be exceedingly glad. And I am, dear Mr. Butler, your sincere
well-wisher in temporal and eternal things,
                                                  "J. D."

After these labours of an unwonted kind, Jeanie retired to her bed, yet
scarce could sleep a few minutes together, so often was she awakened by
the heart-stirring consciousness of her sister's safety, and so
powerfully urged to deposit her burden of joy, where she had before laid
her doubts and sorrows, in the warm and sincere exercises of devotion.

All the next, and all the succeeding day, Mrs. Glass fidgeted about her
shop in the agony of expectation, like a pea (to use a vulgar simile
which her profession renders appropriate) upon one of her own tobacco
pipes. With the third morning came the expected coach, with four servants
clustered behind on the footboard, in dark brown and yellow liveries; the
Duke in person, with laced coat, gold-headed cane, star and garter, all,
as the story-book says, very grand.

He inquired for his little countrywoman of Mrs. Glass, but without
requesting to see her, probably because he was unwilling to give an
appearance of personal intercourse betwixt them, which scandal might have
misinterpreted. "The Queen," he said to Mrs. Glass, "had taken the case
of her kinswoman into her gracious consideration, and being specially
moved by the affectionate and resolute character of the elder sister, had
condescended to use her powerful intercession with his Majesty, in
consequence of which a pardon had been despatched to Scotland to Effie
Deans, on condition of her banishing herself forth of Scotland for
fourteen years. The King's Advocate had insisted," he said, "upon this
qualification of the pardon, having pointed out to his Majesty's
ministers, that, within the course of only seven years, twenty-one
instances of child-murder had occurred in Scotland.

"Weary on him!" said Mrs. Glass, "what for needed he to have telled that
of his ain country, and to the English folk abune a'? I used aye to think
the Advocate a douce decent man, but it is an ill bird*--begging your
Grace's pardon for speaking of such a coorse by-word.

* [It's an ill bird that fouls its own pest.]

And then what is the poor lassie to do in a foreign land?--Why, wae's me,
it's just sending her to play the same pranks ower again, out of sight or
guidance of her friends."

"Pooh! pooh!" said the Duke, "that need not be anticipated. Why, she may
come up to London, or she may go over to America, and marry well for all
that is come and gone."

"In troth, and so she may, as your Grace is pleased to intimate," replied
Mrs. Glass; "and now I think upon it, there is my old correspondent in
Virginia, Ephraim Buckskin, that has supplied the Thistle this forty
years with tobacco, and it is not a little that serves our turn, and he
has been writing to me this ten years to send him out a wife. The carle
is not above sixty, and hale and hearty, and well to pass in the world,
and a line from my hand would settle the matter, and Effie Deans's
misfortune (forby that there is no special occasion to speak about it)
would be thought little of there."

"Is she a pretty girl?" said the Duke; "her sister does not get beyond a
good comely sonsy lass."

"Oh, far prettier is Effie than Jeanie," said Mrs. Glass; "though it is
long since I saw her mysell, but I hear of the Deanses by all my Lowden
friends when they come--your Grace kens we Scots are clannish bodies."

"So much the better for us," said the Duke, "and the worse for those who
meddle with us, as your good old-fashioned sign says, Mrs. Glass. And now
I hope you will approve of the measures I have taken for restoring your
kinswoman to her friends." These he detailed at length, and Mrs. Glass
gave her unqualified approbation, with a smile and a courtesy at every
sentence. "And now, Mrs. Glass, you must tell Jeanie, I hope, she will
not forget my cheese when she gets down to Scotland. Archibald has my
orders to arrange all her expenses."

"Begging your Grace's humble pardon," said Mrs. Glass, "it is a pity to
trouble yourself about them; the Deanses are wealthy people in their way,
and the lass has money in her pocket."

"That's all very true," said the Duke; "but you know, where MacCallummore
travels he pays all; it is our Highland privilege to take from all what
_we_ want, and to give to all what _they_ want."

"Your Grace is better at giving than taking," said Mrs. Glass.

"To show you the contrary," said the Duke, "I will fill my box out of
this canister without paying you a bawbee;" and again desiring to be
remembered to Jeanie, with his good wishes for her safe journey, he
departed, leaving Mrs. Glass uplifted in heart and in countenance, the
proudest and happiest of tobacco and snuff dealers.

Reflectively, his Grace's good humour and affability had a favourable
effect upon Jeanie's situation.--Her kinswoman, though civil and kind to
her, had acquired too much of London breeding to be perfectly satisfied
with her cousin's rustic and national dress, and was, besides, something
scandalised at the cause of her journey to London. Mrs. Glass might,
therefore, have been less sedulous in her attentions towards Jeanie, but
for the interest which the foremost of the Scottish nobles (for such, in
all men's estimation, was the Duke of Argyle) seemed to take in her fate.
Now, however, as a kinswoman whose virtues and domestic affections had
attracted the notice and approbation of royalty itself, Jeanie stood to
her relative in a light very different and much more favourable, and was
not only treated with kindness, but with actual observance and respect.

It depended on herself alone to have made as many visits, and seen as
many sights, as lay within Mrs. Glass's power to compass. But, excepting
that she dined abroad with one or two "far away kinsfolk," and that she
paid the same respect, on Mrs. Glass's strong urgency, to Mrs. Deputy
Dabby, wife of the Worshipful Mr. Deputy Dabby, of Farringdon Without,
she did not avail herself of the opportunity. As Mrs. Dabby was the
second lady of great rank whom Jeanie had seen in London, she used
sometimes afterwards to draw a parallel betwixt her and the Queen, in
which she observed, "that Mrs. Dabby was dressed twice as grand, and was
twice as big, and spoke twice as loud, and twice as muckle, as the Queen
did, but she hadna the same goss-hawk glance that makes the skin creep,
and the knee bend; and though she had very kindly gifted her with a loaf
of sugar and twa punds of tea, yet she hadna a'thegither the sweet look
that the Queen had when she put the needle-book into her hand."

Jeanie might have enjoyed the sights and novelties of this great city
more, had it not been for the qualification added to her sister's pardon,
which greatly grieved her affectionate disposition. On this subject,
however, her mind was somewhat relieved by a letter which she received in
return of post, in answer to that which she had written to her father.
With his affectionate blessing, it brought his full approbation of the
step which she had taken, as one inspired by the immediate dictates of
Heaven, and which she had been thrust upon in order that she might become
the means of safety to a perishing household.

"If ever a deliverance was dear and precious, this," said the letter, "is
a dear and precious deliverance--and if life saved can be made more sweet
and savoury, it is when it cometh by the hands of those whom we hold in
the ties of affection. And do not let your heart be disquieted within
you, that this victim, who is rescued from the horns of the altar,
whereuntil she was fast bound by the chains of human law, is now to be
driven beyond the bounds of our land. Scotland is a blessed land to those
who love the ordinances of Christianity, and it is a faer land to look
upon, and dear to them who have dwelt in it a' their days; and weel said
that judicious Christian, worthy John Livingstone, a sailor in
Borrowstouness, as the famous Patrick Walker reporteth his words, that
howbeit he thought Scotland was a Gehennah of wickedness when he was at
home, yet when he was abroad, he accounted it ane paradise; for the evils
of Scotland he found everywhere, and the good of Scotland he found
nowhere. But we are to hold in remembrance that Scotland, though it be
our native land, and the land of our fathers, is not like Goshen, in
Egypt, on whilk the sun of the heavens and of the gospel shineth
allenarly, and leaveth the rest of the world in utter darkness.
Therefore, and also because this increase of profit at Saint Leonard's
Crags may be a cauld waff of wind blawing from the frozen land of earthly
self, where never plant of grace took root or grew, and because my
concerns make me take something ower muckle a grip of the gear of the
warld in mine arms, I receive this dispensation anent Effie as a call to
depart out of Haran, as righteous Abraham of old, and leave my father's
kindred and my mother's house, and the ashes and mould of them who have
gone to sleep before me, and which wait to be mingled with these auld
crazed bones of mine own. And my heart is lightened to do this, when I
call to mind the decay of active and earnest religion in this land, and
survey the height and the depth, the length and the breadth, of national
defections, and how the love of many is waxing lukewarm and cold; and I
am strengthened in this resolution to change my domicile likewise, as I
hear that store-farms are to be set at an easy mail in Northumberland,
where there are many precious souls that are of our true though suffering
persuasion. And sic part of the kye or stock as I judge it fit to keep,
may be driven thither without incommodity--say about Wooler, or that
gate, keeping aye a shouther to the hills,--and the rest may be sauld to
gude profit and advantage, if we had grace weel to use and guide these
gifts of the warld. The Laird has been a true friend on our unhappy
occasions, and I have paid him back the siller for Effie's misfortune,
whereof Mr. Nichil Novit returned him no balance, as the Laird and I did
expect he wad hae done. But law licks up a', as the common folk say. I
have had the siller to borrow out of sax purses. Mr. Saddletree advised
to give the Laird of Lounsbeck a charge on his hand for a thousand merks.
But I hae nae broo' of charges, since that awfu' morning that a tout of a
horn, at the Cross of Edinburgh, blew half the faithfu' ministers of
Scotland out of their pulpits. However, I sall raise an adjudication,
whilk Mr. Saddletree says comes instead of the auld apprisings, and will
not lose weel-won gear with the like of him, if it may be helped. As for
the Queen, and the credit that she hath done to a poor man's daughter,
and the mercy and the grace ye found with her, I can only pray for her
weel-being here and hereafter, for the establishment of her house now and
for ever, upon the throne of these kingdoms. I doubt not but what you
told her Majesty, that I was the same David Deans of whom there was a
sport at the Revolution, when I noited thegither the heads of twa false
prophets, these ungracious Graces the prelates, as they stood on the Hie
Street, after being expelled from the Convention-parliament.*

* Note P. Expulsion of the Scotch Bishops.

The Duke of Argyle is a noble and true-hearted nobleman, who pleads the
cause of the poor, and those who have none to help them; verily his
reward shall not be lacking unto him.--I have, been writing of many
things, but not of that whilk lies nearest mine heart. I have seen the
misguided thing, she will be at freedom the morn, on enacted caution that
she shall leave Scotland in four weeks. Her mind is in an evil
frame,--casting her eye backward on Egypt, I doubt, as if the bitter
waters of the wilderness were harder to endure than the brick furnaces,
by the side of which there were savoury flesh-pots. I need not bid you
make haste down, for you are, excepting always my Great Master, my only
comfort in these straits. I charge you to withdraw your feet from the
delusion of that Vanity-fair in whilk ye are a sojourner, and not to go
to their worship, whilk is an ill-mumbled mass, as it was weel termed by
James the Sext, though he afterwards, with his unhappy son, strove to
bring it ower back and belly into his native kingdom, wherethrough their
race have been cut off as foam upon the water, and shall be as wanderers
among the nations-see the prophecies of Hosea, ninth and seventeenth,
and the same, tenth and seventh. But us and our house, let us say with
the same prophet, 'Let us return to the Lord, for he hath torn, and he
will heal us--He hath smitten, and he will bind us up.'"

He proceeded to say, that he approved of her proposed mode of returning
by Glasgow, and entered into sundry minute particulars not necessary to
be quoted. A single line in the letter, but not the least frequently read
by the party to whom it was addressed, intimated, that "Reuben Butler had
been as a son to him in his sorrows." As David Deans scarce ever
mentioned Butler before, without some gibe, more or less direct, either
at his carnal gifts and learning, or at his grandfather's heresy, Jeanie
drew a good omen from no such qualifying clause being added to this
sentence respecting him.

A lover's hope resembles the bean in the nursery tale,--let it once take
root, and it will grow so rapidly, that in the course of a few hours the
giant Imagination builds a castle on the top, and by and by comes
Disappointment with the "curtal axe," and hews down both the plant and
the superstructure. Jeanie's fancy, though not the most powerful of her
faculties, was lively enough to transport her to a wild farm in
Northumberland, well stocked with milk-cows, yeald beasts, and sheep; a
meeting-house, hard by, frequented by serious Presbyterians, who had
united in a harmonious call to Reuben Butler to be their spiritual
guide--Effie restored, not to gaiety, but to cheerfulness at least--their
father, with his grey hairs smoothed down, and spectacles on his
nose--herself, with the maiden snood exchanged for a matron's curch--all
arranged in a pew in the said meeting-house, listening to words of
devotion, rendered sweeter and more powerful by the affectionate ties
which combined them with the preacher. She cherished such visions from
day to day, until her residence in London began to become insupportable
and tedious to her; and it was with no ordinary satisfaction that she
received a summons from Argyle House, requiring her in two days to be
prepared to join their northward party.





CHAPTER SIXTEENTH.

             One was a female, who had grievous ill
             Wrought in revenge, and she enjoy'd it still;
             Sullen she was, and threatening; in her eye
             Glared the stern triumph that she dared to die.
                                      Crabbe.

The summons of preparation arrived after Jeanie Deans had resided in the
metropolis about three weeks.

On the morning appointed she took a grateful farewell of Mrs. Glass, as
that good woman's attention to her particularly required, placed herself
and her movable goods, which purchases and presents had greatly
increased, in a hackney-coach, and joined her travelling companions in
the housekeeper's apartment at Argyle House. While the carriage was
getting ready, she was informed that the Duke wished to speak with her;
and being ushered into a splendid saloon, she was surprised to find that
he wished to present her to his lady and daughters.

"I bring you my little countrywoman, Duchess," these were the words of
the introduction. "With an army of young fellows, as gallant and steady
as she is, and, a good cause, I would not fear two to one."

"Ah, papa!" said a lively young lady, about twelve years old, "remember
you were full one to two at Sheriffmuir, and yet" (singing the well-known
ballad)--


"Some say that we wan, and some say that they wan,
And some say that nane wan at a', man
But of ae thing I'm sure, that on Sheriff-muir
A battle there was that I saw, man."

"What, little Mary turned Tory on my hands?--This will be fine news for
our countrywoman to carry down to Scotland!"

"We may all turn Tories for the thanks we have got for remaining Whigs,"
said the second young lady.

"Well, hold your peace, you discontented monkeys, and go dress your
babies; and as for the Bob of Dunblane,

           'If it wasna weel bobbit, weel bobbit, weel bobbit,
            If it wasna weel bobbit, we'll bob it again.'"

"Papa's wit is running low," said Lady Mary: "the poor gentleman is
repeating himself--he sang that on the field of battle, when he was told
the Highlanders had cut his left wing to pieces with their claymores."

A pull by the hair was the repartee to this sally.

"Ah! brave Highlanders and bright claymores," said the Duke, "well do I
wish them, 'for a' the ill they've done me yet,' as the song goes.--But
come, madcaps, say a civil word to your countrywoman--I wish ye had half
her canny hamely sense; I think you may be as leal and true-hearted."

The Duchess advanced, and, in a few words, in which there was as much
kindness as civility, assured Jeanie of the respect which she had for a
character so affectionate, and yet so firm, and added, "When you get
home, you will perhaps hear from me."

"And from me." "And from me." "And from me, Jeanie," added the young
ladies one after the other, "for you are a credit to the land we love so
well."

Jeanie, overpowered by these unexpected compliments, and not aware that
the Duke's investigation had made him acquainted with her behaviour on
her sister's trial, could only answer by blushing, and courtesying round
and round, and uttering at intervals, "Mony thanks! mony thanks!"

"Jeanie," said the Duke, "you must have _doch an' dorroch,_ or you will
be unable to travel."

There was a salver with cake and wine on the table. He took up a glass,
drank "to all true hearts that lo'ed Scotland," and offered a glass to
his guest.

Jeanie, however, declined it, saying, "that she had never tasted wine in
her life."

"How comes that, Jeanie?" said the Duke,--"wine maketh glad the heart,
you know."

"Ay, sir, but my father is like Jonadab the son of Rechab, who charged
his children that they should drink no wine."

"I thought your father would have had more sense," said the Duke, "unless
indeed he prefers brandy. But, however, Jeanie, if you will not drink,
you must eat, to save the character of my house."

He thrust upon her a large piece of cake, nor would he permit her to
break off a fragment, and lay the rest on a salver.

"Put it in your pouch, Jeanie," said he; "you will be glad of it before
you see St. Giles's steeple. I wish to Heaven I were to see it as soon as
you! and so my best service to all my friends at and about Auld Reekie,
and a blithe journey to you."

And, mixing the frankness of a soldier with his natural affability, he
shook hands with his prote'ge'e, and committed her to the charge of
Archibald, satisfied that he had provided sufficiently for her being
attended to by his domestics, from the unusual attention with which he
had himself treated her.

Accordingly, in the course of her journey, she found both her companions
disposed to pay her every possible civility, so that her return, in point
of comfort and safety, formed a strong contrast to her journey to London.

Her heart also was disburdened of the weight of grief, shame,
apprehension, and fear, which had loaded her before her interview with
the Queen at Richmond. But the human mind is so strangely capricious,
that, when freed from the pressure of real misery, it becomes open and
sensitive to the apprehension of ideal calamities. She was now much
disturbed in mind, that she had heard nothing from Reuben Butler, to whom
the operation of writing was so much more familiar than it was to
herself.

"It would have cost him sae little fash," she said to herself; "for I hae
seen his pen gan as fast ower the paper, as ever it did ower the water
when it was in the grey goose's wing. Wae's me! maybe he may be
badly--but then my father wad likely hae said somethin about it--Or
maybe he may hae taen the rue, and kensna how to let me wot of his
change of mind. He needna be at muckle fash about it,"--she went on,
drawing herself up, though the tear of honest pride and injured
affection gathered in her eye, as she entertained the suspicion,--
"Jeanie Deans is no the lass to pu' him by the sleeve, or put him in
mind of what he wishes to forget. I shall wish him weel and happy a' the
same; and if he has the luck to get a kirk in our country, I sall gang
and hear him just the very same, to show that I bear nae malice." And as
she imagined the scene, the tear stole over her eye.

In these melancholy reveries, Jeanie had full time to indulge herself;
for her travelling companions, servants in a distinguished and
fashionable family, had, of course, many topics of conversation, in which
it was absolutely impossible she could have either pleasure or portion.
She had, therefore, abundant leisure for reflection, and even for
self-tormenting, during the several days which, indulging the young
horses the Duke was sending down to the North with sufficient ease and
short stages, they occupied in reaching the neighbourhood of Carlisle.

In approaching the vicinity of that ancient city, they discerned a
considerable crowd upon an eminence at a little distance from the high
road, and learned from some passengers who were gathering towards that
busy scene from the southward, that the cause of the concourse was, the
laudable public desire "to see a doomed Scotch witch and thief get half
of her due upo' Haribeebroo' yonder, for she was only to be hanged; she
should hae been boorned aloive, an' cheap on't."

"Dear Mr. Archibald," said the dame of the dairy elect, "I never seed a
woman hanged in a' my life, and only four men, as made a goodly
spectacle."

Mr. Archibald, however, was a Scotchman, and promised himself no
exuberant pleasure in seeing his countrywoman undergo "the terrible
behests of law." Moreover, he was a man of sense and delicacy in his way,
and the late circumstances of Jeanie's family, with the cause of her
expedition to London, were not unknown to him; so that he answered drily,
it was impossible to stop, as he must be early at Carlisle on some
business of the Duke's, and he accordingly bid the postilions get on.

The road at that time passed at about a quarter of a mile's distance from
the eminence, called Haribee or Harabee-brow, which, though it is very
moderate in size and height, is nevertheless seen from a great distance
around, owing to the flatness of the country through which the Eden
flows. Here many an outlaw, and border-rider of both kingdoms, had
wavered in the wind during the wars, and scarce less hostile truces,
between the two countries. Upon Harabee, in latter days, other executions
had taken place with as little ceremony as compassion; for these frontier
provinces remained long unsettled, and, even at the time of which we
write, were ruder than those in the centre of England.

The postilions drove on, wheeling as the Penrith road led them, round the
verge of the rising ground. Yet still the eyes of Mrs. Dolly Dutton,
which, with the head and substantial person to which they belonged, were
all turned towards the scene of action, could discern plainly the outline
of the gallows-tree, relieved against the clear sky, the dark shade
formed by the persons of the executioner and the criminal upon the light
rounds of the tall aerial ladder, until one of the objects, launched into
the air, gave unequivocal signs of mortal agony, though appearing in the
distance not larger than a spider dependent at the extremity of his
invisible thread, while the remaining form descended from its elevated
situation, and regained with all speed an undistinguished place among the
crowd. This termination of the tragic scene drew forth of course a squall
from Mrs. Dutton, and Jeanie, with instinctive curiosity, turned her head
in the same direction.

The sight of a female culprit in the act of undergoing the fatal
punishment from which her beloved sister had been so recently rescued,
was too much, not perhaps for her nerves, but for her mind and feelings.
She turned her head to the other side of the carriage, with a sensation
of sickness, of loathing, and of fainting. Her female companion
overwhelmed her with questions, with proffers of assistance, with
requests that the carriage might be stopped--that a doctor might be
fetched--that drops might be gotten--that burnt feathers and asafoetida,
fair water, and hartshorn, might be procured, all at once, and without
one instant's delay. Archibald, more calm and considerate, only desired
the carriage to push forward; and it was not till they had got beyond
sight of the fatal spectacle, that, seeing the deadly paleness of
Jeanie's countenance, he stopped the carriage, and jumping out himself,
went in search of the most obvious and most easily procured of Mrs.
Dutton's pharmacopoeia--a draught, namely, of fair water.

While Archibald was absent on this good-natured piece of service, damning
the ditches which produced nothing but mud, and thinking upon the
thousand bubbling springlets of his own mountains, the attendants on the
execution began to pass the stationary vehicle in their way back to
Carlisle.

From their half-heard and half-understood words, Jeanie, whose attention
was involuntarily rivetted by them, as that of children is by ghost
stories, though they know the pain with which they will afterwards
remember them, Jeanie, I say, could discern that the present victim of
the law had died game, as it is termed by those unfortunates; that is,
sullen, reckless, and impenitent, neither fearing God nor regarding man.

"A sture woife, and a dour," said one Cumbrian peasant, as he clattered
by in his wooden brogues, with a noise like the trampling of a
dray-horse.

"She has gone to ho master, with ho's name in her mouth," said another;
"Shame the country should be harried wi' Scotch witches and Scotch
bitches this gate--but I say hang and drown."

"Ay, ay, Gaffer Tramp, take awa yealdon, take awa low--hang the witch,
and there will be less scathe amang us; mine owsen hae been reckan this
towmont."

"And mine bairns hae been crining too, mon," replied his neighbour.

"Silence wi' your fule tongues, ye churls," said an old woman, who
hobbled past them, as they stood talking near the carriage; "this was nae
witch, but a bluidy-fingered thief and murderess."

"Ay? was it e'en sae, Dame Hinchup?" said one in a civil tone, and
stepping out of his place to let the old woman pass along the
footpath--"Nay, you know best, sure--but at ony rate, we hae but
tint a Scot of her, and that's a thing better lost than found."

The old woman passed on without making any answer.

"Ay, ay, neighbour," said Gaffer Tramp, "seest thou how one witch will
speak for t'other--Scots or English, the same to them."

His companion shook his head, and replied in the same subdued tone, "Ay,
ay, when a Sark-foot wife gets on her broomstick, the dames of Allonby
are ready to mount, just as sure as the by-word gangs o' the hills,--

                   If Skiddaw hath a cap,
                   Criffel, wots full weel of that."

"But," continued Gager Tramp, "thinkest thou the daughter o' yon hangit
body isna as rank a witch as ho?"

"I kenna clearly," returned the fellow, "but the folk are speaking o'
swimming her i' the Eden." And they passed on their several roads, after
wishing each other good-morning.

Just as the clowns left the place, and as Mr. Archibald returned with
some fair water, a crowd of boys and girls, and some of the lower rabble
of more mature age, came up from the place of execution, grouping
themselves with many a yell of delight around a tall female fantastically
dressed, who was dancing, leaping, and bounding in the midst of them. A
horrible recollection pressed on Jeanie as she looked on this unfortunate
creature; and the reminiscence was mutual, for by a sudden exertion of
great strength and agility, Madge Wildfire broke out of the noisy circle
of tormentors who surrounded her, and clinging fast to the door of the
calash, uttered, in a sound betwixt laughter and screaming, "Eh, d'ye
ken, Jeanie Deans, they hae hangit our mother?" Then suddenly changing
her tone to that of the most piteous entreaty, she added, "O gar them let
me gang to cut her down!--let me but cut her down!--she is my mother, if
she was waur than the deil, and she'll be nae mair kenspeckle than
half-hangit Maggie Dickson,* that cried saut mony a day after she had
been hangit; her voice was roupit and hoarse, and her neck was a wee
agee, or ye wad hae kend nae odds on her frae ony other saut-wife."

* Note Q. Half-hanged Maggie Dickson.

Mr. Archibald, embarrassed by the madwoman's clinging to the carriage,
and detaining around them her noisy and mischievous attendants, was all
this while looking out for a constable or beadle, to whom he might commit
the unfortunate creature. But seeing no such person of authority, he
endeavoured to loosen her hold from the carriage, that they might escape
from her by driving on. This, however, could hardly be achieved without
some degree of violence; Madge held fast, and renewed her frantic
entreaties to be permitted to cut down her mother. "It was but a tenpenny
tow lost," she said, "and what was that to a woman's life?" There came
up, however, a parcel of savage-looking fellows, butchers and graziers
chiefly, among whose cattle there had been of late a very general and
fatal distemper, which their wisdom imputed to witchcraft. They laid
violent hands on Madge, and tore her from the carriage, exclaiming--
"What, doest stop folk o' king's high-way? Hast no done mischief enow
already, wi' thy murders and thy witcherings?"

"Oh, Jeanie Deans--Jeanie Deans!" exclaimed the poor maniac, "save my
mother, and I will take ye to the Interpreter's house again,--and I will
teach ye a' my bonny sangs,--and I will tell ye what came o' the." The
rest of her entreaties were drowned in the shouts of the rabble.

"Save her, for God's sake!--save her from those people!" exclaimed Jeanie
to Archibald.

"She is mad, but quite innocent; she is mad, gentlemen," said Archibald;
"do not use her ill, take her before the Mayor."

"Ay, ay, we'se hae care enow on her," answered one of the fellows; "gang
thou thy gate, man, and mind thine own matters."

"He's a Scot by his tongue," said another; "and an he will come out o'
his whirligig there, I'se gie him his tartan plaid fu' o' broken banes."

It was clear nothing could be done to rescue Madge; and Archibald, who
was a man of humanity, could only bid the postilions hurry on to
Carlisle, that he might obtain some assistance to the unfortunate woman.
As they drove off, they heard the hoarse roar with which the mob preface
acts of riot or cruelty, yet even above that deep and dire note, they
could discern the screams of the unfortunate victim. They were soon out
of hearing of the cries, but had no sooner entered the streets of
Carlisle, than Archibald, at Jeanie's earnest and urgent entreaty, went
to a magistrate, to state the cruelty which was likely to be exercised on
this unhappy creature.

In about an hour and a half he returned, and reported to Jeanie, that the
magistrate had very readily gone in person, with some assistance, to the
rescue of the unfortunate woman, and that he had himself accompanied him;
that when they came to the muddy pool, in which the mob were ducking her,
according to their favourite mode of punishment, the magistrate succeeded
in rescuing her from their hands, but in a state of insensibility, owing
to the cruel treatment which she had received. He added, that he had seen
her carried to the workhouse, and understood that she had been brought to
herself, and was expected to do well.

This last averment was a slight alteration in point of fact, for Madge
Wildfire was not expected to survive the treatment she had received; but
Jeanie seemed so much agitated, that Mr. Archibald did not think it
prudent to tell her the worst at once. Indeed, she appeared so fluttered
and disordered by this alarming accident, that, although it had been
their intention to proceed to Longtown that evening, her companions
judged it most advisable to pass the night at Carlisle.

This was particularly agreeable to Jeanie, who resolved, if possible, to
procure an interview with Madge Wildfire. Connecting some of her wild
flights with the narrative of George Staunton, she was unwilling to omit
the opportunity of extracting from her, if possible, some information
concerning the fate of that unfortunate infant which had cost her sister
so dear. Her acquaintance with the disordered state of poor Madge's mind
did not permit her to cherish much hope that she could acquire from her
any useful intelligence; but then, since Madge's mother had suffered her
deserts, and was silent for ever, it was her only chance of obtaining any
kind of information, and she was loath to lose the opportunity.

She coloured her wish to Mr. Archibald by saying that she had seen Madge
formerly, and wished to know, as a matter of humanity, how she was
attended to under her present misfortunes. That complaisant person
immediately went to the workhouse, or hospital, in which he had seen the
sufferer lodged, and brought back for reply, that the medical attendants
positively forbade her seeing any one. When the application for
admittance was repeated next day, Mr. Archibald was informed that she had
been very quiet and composed, insomuch that the clergyman who acted as
chaplain to the establishment thought it expedient to read prayers beside
her bed, but that her wandering fit of mind had returned soon after his
departure; however, her countrywoman might see her if she chose it. She
was not expected to live above an hour or two.

Jeanie had no sooner received this information than she hastened to the
hospital, her companions attending her. They found the dying person in a
large ward, where there were ten beds, of which the patient's was the
only one occupied.

Madge was singing when they entered--singing her own wild snatches of
songs and obsolete airs, with a voice no longer overstrained by false
spirits, but softened, saddened, and subdued by bodily exhaustion. She
was still insane, but was no longer able to express her wandering ideas
in the wild notes of her former state of exalted imagination. There was
death in the plaintive tones of her voice, which yet, in this moderated
and melancholy mood, had something of the lulling sound with which a
mother sings her infant asleep. As Jeanie entered she heard first the
air, and then a part of the chorus and words, of what had been, perhaps,
the song of a jolly harvest-home.

                 "Our work is over--over now,
                   The goodman wipes his weary brow,
                  The last long wain wends slow away,
                   And we are free to sport and play.

                "The night comes on when sets the sun,
                   And labour ends when day is done.
                 When Autumn's gone and Winter's come,
                   We hold our jovial harvest-home."

Jeanie advanced to the bedside when the strain was finished, and
addressed Madge by her name. But it produced no symptoms of recollection.
On the contrary, the patient, like one provoked by interruption, changed
her posture, and called out with an impatient tone, "Nurse--nurse, turn
my face to the wa', that I may never answer to that name ony mair, and
never see mair of a wicked world."

The attendant on the hospital arranged her in her bed as she desired,
with her face to the wall and her back to the light. So soon as she was
quiet in this new position, she began again to sing in the same low and
modulated strains, as if she was recovering the state of abstraction
which the interruption of her visitants had disturbed. The strain,
however, was different, and rather resembled the music of the Methodist
hymns, though the measure of the song was similar to that of the former:

                  "When the fight of grace is fought--
                  When the marriage vest is wrought--
                  When Faith hath chased cold Doubt away,
                  And Hope but sickens at delay--

                 "When Charity, imprisoned here,
                  Longs for a more expanded sphere,
                     Doff thy robes of sin and clay;
                     Christian, rise, and come away."

The strain was solemn and affecting, sustained as it was by the pathetic
warble of a voice which had naturally been a fine one, and which
weakness, if it diminished its power, had improved in softness.
Archibald, though a follower of the court, and a pococurante by
profession, was confused, if not affected; the dairy-maid blubbered; and
Jeanie felt the tears rise spontaneously to her eyes. Even the nurse,
accustomed to all modes in which the spirit can pass, seemed considerably
moved.

The patient was evidently growing weaker, as was intimated by an apparent
difficulty of breathing, which seized her from time to time, and by the
utterance of low listless moans, intimating that nature was succumbing in
the last conflict. But the spirit of melody, which must originally have
so strongly possessed this unfortunate young woman, seemed, at every
interval of ease, to triumph over her pain and weakness. And it was
remarkable that there could always be traced in her songs something
appropriate, though perhaps only obliquely or collaterally so, to her
present situation. Her next seemed the fragment of some old ballad:

                 "Cauld is my bed, Lord Archibald,
                      And sad my sleep of sorrow;
                  But thine sall be as sad and cauld,
                     My fause true-love! to-morrow.

                "And weep ye not, my maidens free,
                 Though death your mistress borrow;
                     For he for whom I die to-day
                     Shall die for me to-morrow."

Again she changed the tune to one wilder, less monotonous, and less
regular. But of the words, only a fragment or two could be collected by
those who listened to this singular scene

                     "Proud Maisie is in the wood,
                           Walking so early;
                     Sweet Robin sits on the bush,
                           Singing so rarely.

                   "'Tell me, thou bonny bird.
                        When shall I marry me?'
                       'When six braw gentlemen
                        Kirkward shall carry ye.'

                   "'Who makes the bridal bed,
                        Birdie, say truly?'--
                       'The grey-headed sexton,
                        That delves the grave duly.

                  "The glow-worm o'er grave and stone
                       Shall light thee steady;
                   The owl from the steeple sing,
                       'Welcome, proud lady.'"

Her voice died away with the last notes, and she fell into a slumber,
from which the experienced attendant assured them that she never would
awake at all, or only in the death agony.

The nurse's prophecy proved true. The poor maniac parted with existence,
without again uttering a sound of any kind. But our travellers did not
witness this catastrophe. They left the hospital as soon as Jeanie had
satisfied herself that no elucidation of her sister's misfortunes was to
be hoped from the dying person.*

* Note R. Madge Wildfire.





CHAPTER SEVENTEENTH.

                 Wilt thou go on with me?
                 The moon is bright, the sea is calm,
                 And I know well the ocean paths . . .
                       Thou wilt go on with me!
                                          Thalaba.

The fatigue and agitation of these various scenes had agitated Jeanie so
much, notwithstanding her robust strength of constitution, that Archibald
judged it necessary that she should have a day's repose at the village of
Longtown. It was in vain that Jeanie protested against any delay. The
Duke of Argyle's man of confidence was of course consequential; and as he
had been bred to the medical profession in his youth (at least he used
this expression to describe his having, thirty years before, pounded for
six months in the mortar of old Mungo Mangleman, the surgeon at
Greenock), he was obstinate whenever a matter of health was in question.

In this case he discovered febrile symptoms, and having once made a happy
application of that learned phrase to Jeanie's case, all farther
resistance became in vain; and she was glad to acquiesce, and even to go
to bed, and drink water-gruel, in order that she might possess her soul
in quiet and without interruption.

Mr. Archibald was equally attentive in another particular. He observed
that the execution of the old woman, and the miserable fate of her
daughter, seemed to have had a more powerful effect upon Jeanie's mind,
than the usual feelings of humanity might naturally have been expected to
occasion. Yet she was obviously a strong-minded, sensible young woman,
and in no respect subject to nervous affections; and therefore Archibald,
being ignorant of any special connection between his master's prote'ge'e
and these unfortunate persons, excepting that she had seen Madge formerly
in Scotland, naturally imputed the strong impression these events had
made upon her, to her associating them with the unhappy circumstances in
which her sister had so lately stood. He became anxious, therefore, to
prevent anything occurring which might recall these associations to
Jeanie's mind.

Archibald had speedily an opportunity of exercising this precaution. A
pedlar brought to Longtown that evening, amongst other wares, a large
broad-side sheet, giving an account of the "Last Speech and Execution of
Margaret Murdockson, and of the barbarous Murder of her Daughter,
Magdalene or Madge Murdockson, called Madge Wildfire; and of her pious
conversation with his Reverence Archdeacon Fleming;" which authentic
publication had apparently taken place on the day they left Carlisle, and
being an article of a nature peculiarly acceptable to such country-folk
as were within hearing of the transaction, the itinerant bibliopolist had
forthwith added them to his stock in trade. He found a merchant sooner
than he expected; for Archibald, much applauding his own prudence,
purchased the whole lot for two shillings and ninepence; and the pedlar,
delighted with the profit of such a wholesale transaction, instantly
returned to Carlisle to supply himself with more.

The considerate Mr. Archibald was about to commit his whole purchase to
the flames, but it was rescued by the yet more considerate dairy-damsel,
who said, very prudently, it was a pity to waste so much paper, which
might crepe hair, pin up bonnets, and serve many other useful purposes;
and who promised to put the parcel into her own trunk, and keep it
carefully out of the sight of Mrs. Jeanie Deans: "Though, by-the-bye, she
had no great notion of folk being so very nice. Mrs. Deans might have had
enough to think about the gallows all this time to endure a sight of it,
without all this to-do about it."

Archibald reminded the dame of the dairy of the Duke's particular charge,
that they should be attentive and civil to Jeanie as also that they were
to part company soon, and consequently would not be doomed to observing
any one's health or temper during the rest of the journey. With which
answer Mrs. Dolly Dutton was obliged to hold herself satisfied. On the
morning they resumed their journey, and prosecuted it successfully,
travelling through Dumfriesshire and part of Lanarkshire, until they
arrived at the small town of Rutherglen, within about four miles of
Glasgow. Here an express brought letters to Archibald from the principal
agent of the Duke of Argyle in Edinburgh.

He said nothing of their contents that evening; but when they were seated
in the carriage the next day, the faithful squire informed Jeanie, that
he had received directions from the Duke's factor, to whom his Grace had
recommended him to carry her, if she had no objection, for a stage or two
beyond Glasgow. Some temporary causes of discontent had occasioned
tumults in that city and the neighbourhood, which would render it
unadvisable for Mrs. Jeanie Deans to travel alone and unprotected betwixt
that city and Edinburgh; whereas, by going forward a little farther, they
would meet one of his Grace's subfactors, who was coming down from the
Highlands to Edinburgh with his wife, and under whose charge she might
journey with comfort and in safety.

Jeanie remonstrated against this arrangement. "She had been lang," she
said, "frae hame--her father and her sister behoved to be very anxious to
see her--there were other friends she had that werena weel in health. She
was willing to pay for man and horse at Glasgow, and surely naebody wad
meddle wi' sae harmless and feckless a creature as she was.--She was
muckle obliged by the offer; but never hunted deer langed for its
resting-place as I do to find myself at Saint Leonard's."

The groom of the chambers exchanged a look with his female companion,
which seemed so full of meaning, that Jeanie screamed aloud--"O Mr.
Archibald--Mrs. Dutton, if ye ken of onything that has happened at Saint
Leonard's, for God's sake--for pity's sake, tell me, and dinna keep me in
suspense!"

"I really know nothing, Mrs. Deans," said the groom of the chambers.

"And I--I--I am sure, I knows as little," said the dame of the dairy,
while some communication seemed to tremble on her lips, which, at a
glance of Archibald's eye, she appeared to swallow down, and compressed
her lips thereafter into a state of extreme and vigilant firmness, as if
she had been afraid of its bolting out before she was aware.

Jeanie saw there was to be something concealed from her, and it was only
the repeated assurances of Archibald that her father--her sister--all her
friends were, as far as he knew, well and happy, that at all pacified her
alarm. From such respectable people as those with whom she travelled she
could apprehend no harm, and yet her distress was so obvious, that
Archibald, as a last resource, pulled out, and put into her hand, a slip
of paper, on which these words were written:--

"Jeanie Deans--You will do me a favour by going with Archibald and my
female domestic a day's journey beyond Glasgow, and asking them no
questions, which will greatly oblige your friend, 'Argyle & Greenwich.'"

Although this laconic epistle, from a nobleman to whom she was bound by
such inestimable obligations, silenced all Jeanie's objections to the
proposed route, it rather added to than diminished the eagerness of her
curiosity. The proceeding to Glasgow seemed now no longer to be an object
with her fellow-travellers. On the contrary, they kept the left-hand side
of the river Clyde, and travelled through a thousand beautiful and
changing views down the side of that noble stream, till, ceasing to hold
its inland character, it began to assume that of a navigable river.

"You are not for gaun intill Glasgow then?" said Jeanie, as she observed
that the drivers made no motion for inclining their horses' heads towards
the ancient bridge, which was then the only mode of access to St. Mungo's
capital.

"No," replied Archibald; "there is some popular commotion, and as our
Duke is in opposition to the court, perhaps we might be too well
received; or they might take it in their heads to remember that the
Captain of Carrick came down upon them with his Highlandmen in the time
of Shawfield's mob in 1725, and then we would be too ill received.* And,
at any rate, it is best for us, and for me in particular, who may be
supposed to possess his Grace's mind upon many particulars, to leave the
good people of the Gorbals to act according to their own imaginations,
without either provoking or encouraging them by my presence."

* In 1725, there was a great riot in Glasgow on account of the malt-tax.
Among the troops brought in to restore order, was one of the independent
companies of Highlanders levied in Argyleshire, and distinguished, in a
lampoon of the period, as "Campbell of Carrick and his Highland thieves."
It was called Shawfield's Mob, because much of the popular violence was
directed against Daniel Campbell, Esq. of Shawfield, M. P., Provost of
the town.

To reasoning of such tone and consequence Jeanie had nothing to reply,
although it seemed to her to contain fully as much self-importance as
truth.

The carriage meantime rolled on; the river expanded itself, and gradually
assumed the dignity of an estuary or arm of the sea. The influence of the
advancing and retiring tides became more and more evident, and in the
beautiful words of him of the laurel wreath, the river waxed--

                 A broader and yet broader stream.
                 The cormorant stands upon its shoals,
                     His black and dripping wings
                     Half open'd to the wind.
            [From Southey's _Thalaba,_ Book xi. stanza 36.]

"Which way lies Inverary?" said Jeanie, gazing on the dusky ocean of
Highland hills, which now, piled above each other, and intersected by
many a lake, stretched away on the opposite side of the river to the
northward. "Is yon high castle the Duke's hoose?"

"That, Mrs. Deans?--Lud help thee," replied Archibald, "that's the old
castle of Dumbarton, the strongest place in Europe, be the other what it
may. Sir William Wallace was governor of it in the old war with the
English, and his Grace is governor just now. It is always entrusted to
the best man in Scotland."

"And does the Duke live on that high rock, then?" demanded Jeanie.

"No, no, he has his deputy-governor, who commands in his absence; he
lives in the white house you see at the bottom of the rock--His Grace
does not reside there himself."

"I think not, indeed," said the dairy-woman, upon whose mind the road,
since they had left Dumfries, had made no very favourable impression,
"for if he did, he might go whistle for a dairy-woman, an he were the
only duke in England. I did not leave my place and my friends to come
down to see cows starve to death upon hills as they be at that pig-stye
of Elfinfoot, as you call it, Mr. Archibald, or to be perched upon the
top of a rock, like a squirrel in his cage, hung out of a three pair of
stairs' window."

Inwardly chuckling that these symptoms of recalcitration had not taken
place until the fair malcontent was, as he mentally termed it, under his
thumb, Archibald coolly replied, "That the hills were none of his making,
nor did he know how to mend them; but as to lodging, they would soon be
in a house of the Duke's in a very pleasant island called Roseneath,
where they went to wait for shipping to take them to Inverary, and would
meet the company with whom Jeanie was to return to Edinburgh."

"An island?" said Jeanie, who, in the course of her various and
adventurous travels, had never quitted terra firma, "then I am doubting
we maun gang in ane of these boats; they look unco sma', and the waves
are something rough, and"

"Mr. Archibald," said Mrs. Dutton, "I will not consent to it; I was never
engaed to leave the country, and I desire you will bid the boys drive
round the other way to the Duke's house."

"There is a safe pinnace belonging to his Grace, ma'am, close by,"
replied Archibald, "and you need be under no apprehensions whatsoever."

"But I am under apprehensions," said the damsel; "and I insist upon going
round by land, Mr. Archibald, were it ten miles about."

"I am sorry I cannot oblige you, madam, as Roseneath happens to be an
island."

"If it were ten islands," said the incensed dame, "that's no reason why I
should be drowned in going over the seas to it."

"No reason why you should be drowned certainly, ma'am," answered the
unmoved groom of the chambers, "but an admirable good one why you cannot
proceed to it by land." And, fixed his master's mandates to perform, he
pointed with his hand, and the drivers, turning off the high-road,
proceeded towards a small hamlet of fishing huts, where a shallop,
somewhat more gaily decorated than any which they had yet seen, having a
flag which displayed a boar's head, crested with a ducal coronet, waited
with two or three seamen, and as many Highlanders.

The carriage stopped, and the men began to unyoke their horses, while Mr.
Archibald gravely superintended the removal of the baggage from the
carriage to the little vessel. "Has the Caroline been long arrived?" said
Archibald to one of the seamen.

"She has been here in five days from Liverpool, and she's lying down at
Greenock," answered the fellow.

"Let the horses and carriage go down to Greenock then," said Archibald,
"and be embarked there for Inverary when I send notice--they may stand in
my cousin's, Duncan Archibald the stabler's.--Ladies," he added, "I hope
you will get yourselves ready; we must not lose the tide."

"Mrs. Deans," said the Cowslip of Inverary, "you may do as you
please--but I will sit here all night, rather than go into that there
painted egg-shell.--Fellow--fellow!" (this was addressed to a Highlander
who was lifting a travelling trunk), "that trunk is _mine,_ and that
there band-box, and that pillion mail, and those seven bundles, and the
paper-bag; and if you venture to touch one of them, it shall be at your
peril."

The Celt kept his eye fixed on the speaker, then turned his head towards
Archibald, and receiving no countervailing signal, he shouldered the
portmanteau, and without farther notice of the distressed damsel, or
paying any attention to remonstrances, which probably he did not
understand, and would certainly have equally disregarded whether he
understood them or not, moved off with Mrs. Dutton's wearables, and
deposited the trunk containing them safely in the boat.

The baggage being stowed in safety, Mr. Archibald handed Jeanie out of
the carriage, and, not without some tremor on her part, she was
transported through the surf and placed in the boat. He then offered the
same civility to his fellow-servant, but she was resolute in her refusal
to quit the carriage, in which she now remained in solitary state,
threatening all concerned or unconcerned with actions for wages and
board-wages, damages and expenses, and numbering on her fingers the gowns
and other habiliments, from which she seemed in the act of being
separated for ever. Mr. Archibald did not give himself the trouble of
making many remonstrances, which, indeed, seemed only to aggravate the
damsel's indignation, but spoke two or three words to the Highlanders in
Gaelic; and the wily mountaineers, approaching the carriage cautiously,
and without giving the slightest intimation of their intention, at once
seized the recusant so effectually fast that she could neither resist nor
struggle, and hoisting her on their shoulders in nearly a horizontal
posture, rushed down with her to the beach, and through the surf, and
with no other inconvenience than ruffling her garments a little,
deposited her in the boat; but in a state of surprise, mortification, and
terror, at her sudden transportation, which rendered her absolutely mute
for two or three minutes. The men jumped in themselves; one tall fellow
remained till he had pushed off the boat, and then tumbled in upon his
companions. They took their oars and began to pull from the shore, then
spread their sail, and drove merrily across the firth.

"You Scotch villain!" said the infuriated damsel to Archibald, "how dare
you use a person like me in this way?"

"Madam," said Archibald, with infinite composure, "it's high time you
should know you are in the Duke's country, and that there is not one of
these fellows but would throw you out of the boat as readily as into it,
if such were his Grace's pleasure."

"Then the Lord have mercy on me!" said Mrs. Dutton. "If I had had any on
myself, I would never have engaged with you."

"It's something of the latest to think of that now, Mrs. Dutton," said
Archibald; "but I assure you, you will find the Highlands have their
pleasures. You will have a dozen of cow-milkers under your own authority
at Inverary, and you may throw any of them into the lake, if you have a
mind, for the Duke's head people are almost as great as himself."

"This is a strange business, to be sure, Mr. Archibald," said the lady;
"but I suppose I must make the best on't.--Are you sure the boat will not
sink? it leans terribly to one side, in my poor mind."

"Fear nothing," said Mr. Archibald, taking a most important pinch of
snuff; "this same ferry on Clyde knows us very well, or we know it, which
is all the same; no fear of any of our people meeting with any accident.
We should have crossed from the opposite shore, but for the disturbances
at Glasgow, which made it improper for his Grace's people to pass through
the city."

"Are you not afeard, Mrs. Deans," said the dairy-vestal, addressing
Jeanie, who sat, not in the most comfortable state of mind, by the side
of Archibald, who himself managed the helm.--"are you not afeard of these
wild men with their naked knees, and of this nut-shell of a thing, that
seems bobbing up and down like a skimming-dish in a milk-pail?"

"No--no--madam," answered Jeanie with some hesitation, "I am not feared;
for I hae seen Hielandmen before, though never was sae near them; and for
the danger of the deep waters, I trust there is a Providence by sea as
well as by land."

"Well," said Mrs. Dutton, "it is a beautiful thing to have learned to
write and read, for one can always say such fine words whatever should
befall them."

Archibald, rejoicing in the impression which his vigorous measures had
made upon the intractable dairymaid, now applied himself, as a sensible
and good-natured man, to secure by fair means the ascendency which he had
obtained by some wholesome violence; and he succeeded so well in
representing to her the idle nature of her fears, and the impossibility
of leaving her upon the beach enthroned in an empty carriage, that the
good understanding of the party was completely revived ere they landed at
Roseneath.





CHAPTER EIGHTEENTH.

             Did Fortune guide,
                 Or rather Destiny, our bark, to which
             We could appoint no port, to this best place?
                               Fletcher.

The islands in the Firth of Clyde, which the daily passage of so many
smoke-pennoned steamboats now renders so easily accessible, were in our
fathers' times secluded spots, frequented by no travellers, and few
visitants of any kind. They are of exquisite, yet varied beauty. Arran, a
mountainous region, or Alpine island, abounds with the grandest and most
romantic scenery. Bute is of a softer and more woodland character. The
Cumbrays, as if to exhibit a contrast to both, are green, level, and
bare, forming the links of a sort of natural bar which is drawn along the
mouth of the firth, leaving large intervals, however, of ocean.
Roseneath, a smaller isle, lies much higher up the firth, and towards its
western shore, near the opening of the lake called the Gare Loch, and not
far from Loch Long and Loch Scant, or the Holy Loch, which wind from the
mountains of the Western Highlands to join the estuary of the Clyde.

In these isles the severe frost winds which tyrannise over the vegetable
creation during a Scottish spring, are comparatively little felt; nor,
excepting the gigantic strength of Arran, are they much exposed to the
Atlantic storms, lying landlocked and protected to the westward by the
shores of Ayrshire. Accordingly, the weeping-willow, the weeping-birch,
and other trees of early and pendulous shoots, flourish in these favoured
recesses in a degree unknown in our eastern districts; and the air is
also said to possess that mildness which is favourable to consumptive
cases.

The picturesque beauty of the island of Roseneath, in particular, had
such recommendations, that the Earls and Dukes of Argyle, from an early
period, made it their occasional residence, and had their temporary
accommodation in a fishing or hunting-lodge, which succeeding
improvements have since transformed into a palace. It was in its original
simplicity when the little bark which we left traversing the firth at the
end of last
CHAPTER approached the shores of the isle.

When they touched the landing-place, which was partly shrouded by some
old low but wide-spreading oak-trees, intermixed with hazel-bushes, two
or three figures were seen as if awaiting their arrival. To these Jeanie
paid little attention, so that it was with a shock of surprise almost
electrical, that, upon being carried by the rowers out of the boat to the
shore, she was received in the arms of her father!

It was too wonderful to be believed--too much like a happy dream to have
the stable feeling of reality--She extricated herself from his close and
affectionate embrace, and held him at arm's length, to satisfy her mind
that it was no illusion. But the form was indisputable--Douce David Deans
himself, in his best light-blue Sunday's coat, with broad metal buttons,
and waistcoat and breeches of the same, his strong gramashes or leggins
of thick grey cloth--the very copper buckles--the broad Lowland blue
bonnet, thrown back as he lifted his eyes to Heaven in speechless
gratitude--the grey locks that straggled from beneath it down his
weather-beaten "haffets"--the bald and furrowed forehead--the clear blue
eye, that, undimmed by years, gleamed bright and pale from under its
shaggy grey pent-house--the features, usually so stern and stoical, now
melted into the unwonted expression of rapturous joy, affection, and
gratitude--were all those of David Deans; and so happily did they assort
together, that, should I ever again see my friends Wilkie or Allan, I
will try to borrow or steal from them a sketch of this very scene.

"Jeanie--my ain Jeanie--my best--my maist dutiful bairn--the Lord of
Israel be thy father, for I am hardly worthy of thee! Thou hast redeemed
our captivity--brought back the honour of our house--Bless thee, my
bairn, with mercies promised and purchased! But He _has_ blessed thee, in
the good of which He has made thee the instrument."

These words broke from him not without tears, though David was of no
melting mood. Archibald had, with delicate attention, withdrawn the
spectators from the interview, so that the wood and setting sun alone
were witnesses of the expansion of their feelings.

"And Effie?--and Effie, dear father?" was an eager interjectional
question which Jeanie repeatedly threw in among her expressions of joyful
thankfulness.

"Ye will hear--Ye will hear," said David hastily, and over and anon
renewed his grateful acknowledgments to Heaven for sending Jeanie safe
down from the land of prelatic deadness and schismatic heresy; and had
delivered her from the dangers of the way, and the lions that were in the
path.

"And Effie?" repeated her affectionate sister again and again. "And--and"
(fain would she have said Butler, but she modified the direct
inquiry)--"and Mr. and Mrs. Saddletree--and Dumbiedikes--and a' friends?"

"A' weel--a' weel, praise to His name!"

"And--Mr. Butler--he wasna weel when I gaed awa?"

"He is quite mended--quite weel," replied her father.

"Thank God--but O, dear father, Effie?--Effie?"

"You will never see her mair, my bairn," answered Deans in a solemn tone--
"You are the ae and only leaf left now on the auld tree--hale be your
portion!"

"She is dead!--She is slain!--It has come ower late!" exclaimed Jeanie,
wringing her hands.

"No, Jeanie," returned Deans, in the same grave melancholy tone. "She
lives in the flesh, and is at freedom from earthly restraint, if she were
as much alive in faith, and as free from the bonds of Satan."

"The Lord protect us!" said Jeanie.--"Can the unhappy bairn hae left you
for that villain?"

"It is ower truly spoken," said Deans--"She has left her auld father,
that has wept and prayed for her--She has left her sister, that travailed
and toiled for her like a mother--She has left the bones of her mother,
and the land of her people, and she is ower the march wi' that son of
Belial--She has made a moonlight flitting of it." He paused, for a
feeling betwixt sorrow and strong resentment choked his utterance.

"And wi' that man?--that fearfu' man?" said Jeanie. "And she has left us
to gang aff wi' him?--O Effie, Effie, wha could hae thought it, after sic
a deliverance as you had been gifted wi'!"

"She went out from us, my bairn, because she was not of us," replied
David. "She is a withered branch will never bear fruit of grace--a
scapegoat gone forth into the wilderness of the world, to carry wi' her,
as I trust, the sins of our little congregation. The peace of the warld
gang wi' her, and a better peace when she has the grace to turn to it! If
she is of His elected, His ain hour will come. What would her mother have
said, that famous and memorable matron, Rebecca MacNaught, whose memory
is like a flower of sweet savour in Newbattle, and a pot of frankincense
in Lugton? But be it sae--let her part--let her gang her gate--let her
bite on her ain bridle--The Lord kens his time--She was the bairn of
prayers, and may not prove an utter castaway. But never, Jeanie, never
more let her name be spoken between you and me--She hath passed from us
like the brook which vanisheth when the summer waxeth warm, as patient
Job saith--let her pass, and be forgotten."

There was a melancholy pause which followed these expressions. Jeanie
would fain have asked more circumstances relating to her sister's
departure, but the tone of her father's prohibition was positive. She was
about to mention her interview with Staunton at his father's rectory;
but, on hastily running over the particulars in her memory, she thought
that, on the whole, they were more likely to aggravate than diminish his
distress of mind. She turned, therefore, the discourse from this painful
subject, resolving to suspend farther inquiry until she should see
Butler, from whom she expected to learn the particulars of her sister's
elopement.

But when was she to see Butler? was a question she could not forbear
asking herself, especially while her father, as if eager to escape from
the subject of his youngest daughter, pointed to the opposite shore of
Dumbartonshire, and asking Jeanie "if it werena a pleasant abode?"
declared to her his intention of removing his earthly tabernacle to that
country, "in respect he was solicited by his Grace the Duke of Argyle, as
one well skilled in country labour, and a' that appertained to flocks and
herds, to superintend a store-farm, whilk his Grace had taen into his ain
hand for the improvement of stock."

Jeanie's heart sunk within her at this declaration. "She allowed it was a
goodly and pleasant land, and sloped bonnily to the western sun; and she
doubtedna that the pasture might be very gude, for the grass looked
green, for as drouthy as the weather had been. But it was far frae hame,
and she thought she wad be often thinking on the bonny spots of turf, sae
fu' of gowans and yellow king-cups, amang the Crags at St. Leonard's."

"Dinna speak on't, Jeanie," said her father; "I wish never to hear it
named mair--that is, after the rouping is ower, and the bills paid. But I
brought a' the beasts owerby that I thought ye wad like best. There is
Gowans, and there's your ain brockit cow, and the wee hawkit ane, that ye
ca'd--I needna tell ye how ye ca'd it--but I couldna bid them sell the
petted creature, though the sight o' it may sometimes gie us a sair
heart--it's no the poor dumb creature's fault--And ane or twa beasts mair
I hae reserved, and I caused them to be driven before the other beasts,
that men might say, as when the son of Jesse returned from battle, 'This
is David's spoil.'"

Upon more particular inquiry, Jeanie found new occasion to admire the
active beneficence of her friend the Duke of Argyle. While establishing a
sort of experimental farm on the skirts of his immense Highland estates,
he had been somewhat at a loss to find a proper person in whom to vest
the charge of it. The conversation his Grace had upon country matters
with Jeanie Deans during their return from Richmond, had impressed him
with a belief that the father, whose experience and success she so
frequently quoted, must be exactly the sort of person whom he wanted.
When the condition annexed to Effie's pardon rendered it highly probable
that David Deans would choose to change his place of residence, this idea
again occurred to the Duke more strongly, and as he was an enthusiast
equally in agriculture and in benevolence, he imagined he was serving the
purposes of both, when he wrote to the gentleman in Edinburgh entrusted
with his affairs, to inquire into the character of David Deans,
cowfeeder, and so forth, at St. Leonard's Crags; and if he found him such
as he had been represented, to engage him without delay, and on the most
liberal terms, to superintend his fancy-farm in Dumbartonshire.

The proposal was made to old David by the gentleman so commissioned, on
the second day after his daughter's pardon had reached Edinburgh. His
resolution to leave St. Leonard's had been already formed; the honour of
an express invitation from the Duke of Argyle to superintend a department
where so much skill and diligence was required, was in itself extremely
flattering; and the more so, because honest David, who was not without an
exeellent opinion of his own talents, persuaded himself that, by
accepting this charge, he would in some sort repay the great favour he
had received at the hands of the Argyle family. The appointments,
including the right of sufficient grazing for a small stock of his own,
were amply liberal; and David's keen eye saw that the situation was
convenient for trafficking to advantage in Highland cattle. There was
risk of "her'ship"* from the neighbouring mountains, indeed, but the
awful name of the Duke of Argyle would be a great security, and a trifle
of _black-mail_ would, David was aware, assure his safety.

* Her'ship, a Scottish word which may be said to be now obsolete;
because, fortunately, the practice of "plundering by armed force," which
is its meaning, does not require to be commonly spoken of.

Still however, there were two points on which he haggled. The first was
the character of the clergyman with whose worship he was to join; and on
this delicate point he received, as we will presently show the reader,
perfect satisfaction. The next obstacle was the condition of his youngest
daughter, obliged as she was to leave Scotland for so many years.

The gentleman of the law smiled, and said, "There was no occasion to
interpret that clause very strictly--that if the young woman left
Scotland for a few months, or even weeks, and came to her father's new
residence by sea from the western side of England, nobody would know of
her arrival, or at least nobody who had either the right or inclination
to give her disturbance. The extensive heritable jurisdictions of his
Grace excluded the interference of other magistrates with those living on
his estates, and they who were in immediate dependence on him would
receive orders to give the young woman no disturbance. Living on the
verge of the Highlands, she might, indeed, be said to be out of Scotland,
that is, beyond the bounds of ordinary law and civilisation."

Old Deans was not quite satisfied with this reasoning; but the elopement
of Effie, which took place on the third night after her liberation,
rendered his residence at St. Leonard's so detestable to him, that he
closed at once with the proposal which had been made him, and entered
with pleasure into the idea of surprising Jeanie, as had been proposed by
the Duke, to render the change of residence more striking to her. The
Duke had apprised Archibald of these circumstances, with orders to act
according to the instructions he should receive from Edinburgh, and by
which accordingly he was directed to bring Jeanie to Roseneath.

The father and daughter communicated these matters to each other, now
stopping, now walking slowly towards the Lodge, which showed itself among
the trees, at about half-a-mile's distance from the little bay in which
they had landed. As they approached the house, David Deans informed his
daughter, with somewhat like a grim smile, which was the utmost advance
he ever made towards a mirthful expression of visage, that "there was
baith a worshipful gentleman, and ane reverend gentleman, residing
therein. The worshipful gentleman was his honour the Laird of
Knocktarlitie, who was bailie of the lordship under the Duke of Argyle,
ane Highland gentleman, tarr'd wi' the same stick," David doubted, "as
mony of them, namely, a hasty and choleric temper, and a neglect of the
higher things that belong to salvation, and also a gripping unto the
things of this world, without muckle distinction of property; but,
however, ane gude hospitable gentleman, with whom it would be a part of
wisdom to live on a gude understanding (for Hielandmen were hasty, ower
hasty). As for the reverend person of whom he had spoken, he was
candidate by favour of the Duke of Argyle (for David would not for the
universe have called him presentee) for the kirk of the parish in which
their farm was situated, and he was likely to be highly acceptable unto
the Christian souls of the parish, who were hungering for spiritual
manna, having been fed but upon sour Hieland sowens by Mr. Duncan
MacDonought, the last minister, who began the morning duly, Sunday and
Saturday, with a mutchkin of usquebaugh. But I need say the less about
the present lad," said David, again grimly grimacing, "as I think ye may
hae seen him afore; and here he is come to meet us."

She had indeed seen him before, for it was no other than Reuben Butler
himself.





CHAPTER NINETEENTH.

             No more shalt thou behold thy sister's face;
             Thou hast already had her last embrace.
                           Elegy on Mrs. Anne Killigrew.

This second surprise had been accomplished for Jeanie Deans by the rod of
the same benevolent enchanter, whose power had transplanted her father
from the Crags of St. Leonard's to the banks of the Gare Loch. The Duke
of Argyle was not a person to forget the hereditary debt of gratitude,
which had been bequeathed to him by his grandfather, in favour of the
grandson of old Bible Butler. He had internally resolved to provide for
Reuben Butler in this kirk of Knocktarlitie, of which the incumbent had
just departed this life. Accordingly, his agent received the necessary
instructions for that purpose, under the qualifying condition always,
that the learning and character of Mr. Butler should be found proper for
the charge. Upon inquiry, these were found as highly satisfactory as had
been reported in the case of David Deans himself.

By this preferment, the Duke of Argyle more essentially benefited his
friend and _protegee_, Jeanie, than he himself was aware of, since he
contributed to remove objections in her father's mind to the match, which
he had no idea had been in existence.

We have already noticed that Deans had something of a prejudice against
Butler, which was, perhaps, in some degree owing to his possessing a sort
of consciousness that the poor usher looked with eyes of affection upon
his eldest daughter. This, in David's eyes, was a sin of presumption,
even although it should not be followed by any overt act, or actual
proposal. But the lively interest which Butler had displayed in his
distresses, since Jeanie set forth on her London expedition, and which,
therefore, he ascribed to personal respect for himself individually, had
greatly softened the feelings of irritability with which David had
sometimes regarded him. And, while he was in this good disposition
towards Butler, another incident took place which had great influence on
the old man's mind. So soon as the shock of Effie's second elopement was
over, it was Deans's early care to collect and refund to the Laird of
Dumbiedikes the money which he had lent for Effie's trial, and for
Jeanie's travelling expenses. The Laird, the pony, the cocked hat, and
the tabacco-pipe, had not been seen at St. Leonard's Crags for many a
day; so that, in order to pay this debt, David was under the necessity of
repairing in person to the mansion of Dumbiedikes.

He found it in a state of unexpected bustle. There were workmen pulling
down some of the old hangings, and replacing them with others, altering,
repairing, scrubbing, painting, and white-washing. There was no knowing
the old house, which had been so long the mansion of sloth and silence.
The Laird himself seemed in some confusion, and his reception, though
kind, lacked something of the reverential cordiality, with which he used
to greet David Deans. There was a change also, David did not very well
know of what nature, about the exterior of this landed proprietor--an
improvement in the shape of his garments, a spruceness in the air with
which they were put on, that were both novelties. Even the old hat looked
smarter; the cock had been newly pointed, the lace had been refreshed,
and instead of slouching backward or forward on the Laird's head, as it
happened to be thrown on, it was adjusted with a knowing inclination over
one eye.

David Deans opened his business, and told down the cash. Dumbiedikes
steadily inclined his ear to the one, and counted the other with great
accuracy, interrupting David, while he was talking of the redemption of
the captivity of Judah, to ask him whether he did not think one or two of
the guineas looked rather light. When he was satisfied on this point, had
pocketed his money, and had signed a receipt, he addressed David with
some little hesitation,--"Jeanie wad be writing ye something, gudeman?"

"About the siller?" replied David--"Nae doubt, she did."

"And did she say nae mair about me?" asked the Laird.

"Nae mair but kind and Christian wishes--what suld she hae said?" replied
David, fully expecting that the Laird's long courtship (if his dangling
after Jeanie deserves so active a name) was now coming to a point. And so
indeed it was, but not to that point which he wished or expected.

"Aweel, she kens her ain mind best, gudeman. I hae made a clean house o'
Jenny Balchristie, and her niece. They were a bad pack--steal'd meat and
mault, and loot the carters magg the coals--I'm to be married the morn,
and kirkit on Sunday."

Whatever David felt, he was too proud and too steady-minded to show any
unpleasant surprise in his countenance and manner.

"I wuss ye happy, sir, through Him that gies happiness--marriage is an
honourable state."

"And I am wedding into an honourable house, David--the Laird of
Lickpelf's youngest daughter--she sits next us in the kirk, and that's
the way I came to think on't."

There was no more to be said but again to wish the Laird joy, to taste a
cup of his liquor, and to walk back again to St. Leonard's, musing on the
mutability of human affairs and human resolutions. The expectation that
one day or other Jeanie would be Lady Dumbiedikes, had, in spite of
himself, kept a more absolute possession of David's mind than he himself
was aware of. At least, it had hitherto seemed a union at all times
within his daughter's reach, whenever she might choose to give her silent
lover any degree of encouragement, and now it was vanished for ever.
David returned, therefore, in no very gracious humour for so good a man.
He was angry with Jeanie for not having encouraged the Laird--he was
angry with the Laird for requiring encouragement--and he was angry with
himself for being angry at all on the occasion.

On his return he found the gentleman who managed the Duke of Argyle's
affairs was desirous of seeing him, with a view to completing the
arrangement between them. Thus, after a brief repose, he was obliged to
set off anew for Edinburgh, so that old May Hettly declared, "That a'
this was to end with the master just walking himself aff his feet."

When the business respecting the farm had been talked over and arranged,
the professional gentleman acquainted David Deans, in answer to his
inquiries concerning the state of public worship, that it was the
pleasure of the Duke to put an excellent young clergyman, called Reuben
Butler, into the parish, which was to be his future residence.

"Reuben Butler!" exclaimed David--"Reuben Butler, the usher at Liberton?"

"The very same," said the Duke's commissioner; "his Grace has heard an
excellent character of him, and has some hereditary obligations to him
besides--few ministers will be so comfortable as I am directed to make
Mr. Butler."

"Obligations?--The Duke?--Obligations to Reuben Butler--Reuben Butler a
placed minister of the Kirk of Scotland?" exclaimed David, in
interminable astonishment, for somehow he had been led by the bad success
which Butler had hitherto met with in all his undertakings, to consider
him as one of those step-sons of Fortune, whom she treats with unceasing
rigour, and ends with disinheriting altogether.

There is, perhaps, no time at which we are disposed to think so highly of
a friend, as when we find him standing higher than we expected in the
esteem of others. When assured of the reality of Butler's change of
prospects, David expressed his great satisfaction at his success in life,
which, he observed, was entirely owing to himself (David). "I advised his
puir grand-mother, who was but a silly woman, to breed him up to the
ministry; and I prophesied that, with a blessing on his endeavours, he
would become a polished shaft in the temple. He may be something ower
proud o' his carnal learning, but a gude lad, and has the root of the
matter--as ministers gang now, where yell find ane better, ye'll find ten
waur, than Reuben Butler."

He took leave of the man of business, and walked homeward, forgetting his
weariness in the various speculations to which this wonderful piece of
intelligence gave rise. Honest David had now, like other great men, to go
to work to reconcile his speculative principles with existing
circumstances; and, like other great men, when they set seriously about
that task, he was tolerably successful.

Ought Reuben Butler in conscience to accept of this preferment in the
Kirk of Scotland, subject as David at present thought that establishment
was to the Erastian encroachments of the civil power? This was the
leading question, and he considered it carefully. "The Kirk of Scotland
was shorn of its beams, and deprived of its full artillery and banners of
authority; but still it contained zealous and fructifying pastors,
attentive congregations, and, with all her spots and blemishes, the like
of this Kirk was nowhere else to be seen upon earth."

David's doubts had been too many and too critical to permit him ever
unequivocally to unite himself with any of the dissenters, who upon
various accounts absolutely seceded from the national church. He had
often joined in communion with such of the established clergy as
approached nearest to the old Presbyterian model and principles of 1640.
And although there were many things to be amended in that system, yet he
remembered that he, David Deans, had himself ever been an humble pleader
for the good old cause in a legal way, but without rushing into
right-hand excesses, divisions and separations. But, as an enemy to
separation, he might join the right-hand of fellowship with a minister of
the Kirk of Scotland in its present model. _Ergo,_ Reuben Butler might
take possession of the parish of Knocktarlitie, without forfeiting his
friendship or favour--Q. E. D. But, secondly, came the trying point of
lay-patronage, which David Deans had ever maintained to be a coming in by
the window, and over the wall, a cheating and starving the souls of a
whole parish, for the purpose of clothing the back and filling the belly
of the incumbent.

This presentation, therefore, from the Duke of Argyle, whatever was the
worth and high character of that nobleman, was a limb of the brazen
image, a portion of the evil thing, and with no kind of consistency could
David bend his mind to favour such a transaction. But if the parishioners
themselves joined in a general call to Reuben Butler to be their pastor,
it did not seem quite so evident that the existence of this unhappy
presentation was a reason for his refusing them the comforts of his
doctrine. If the Presbytery admitted him to the kirk, in virtue rather of
that act of patronage than of the general call of the congregation, that
might be their error, and David allowed it was a heavy one. But if Reuben
Butler accepted of the cure as tendered to him by those whom he was
called to teach, and who had expressed themselves desirous to learn,
David, after considering and reconsidering the matter, came, through the
great virtue of if, to be of opinion that he might safely so act in that
matter.

There remained a third stumbling-block--the oaths to Government exacted
from the established clergymen, in which they acknowledge an Erastian
king and parliament, and homologate the incorporating Union between
England and Scotland, through which the latter kingdom had become part
and portion of the former, wherein Prelacy, the sister of Popery, had
made fast her throne, and elevated the horns of her mitre. These were
symptoms of defection which had often made David cry out, "My bowels--my
bowels!--I am pained at the very heart!" And he remembered that a godly
Bow-head matron had been carried out of the Tolbooth church in a swoon,
beyond the reach of brandy and burnt feathers, merely on hearing these
fearful words, "It is enacted by the Lords _spiritual_ and temporal,"
pronounced from a Scottish pulpit, in the proem to the Porteous
Proclamation. These oaths were, therefore, a deep compliance and dire
abomination--a sin and a snare, and a danger and a defection. But this
shibboleth was not always exacted. Ministers had respect to their own
tender consciences, and those of their brethren; and it was not till a
later period that the reins of discipline were taken up tight by the
General Assemblies and Presbyteries. The peacemaking particle came again
to David's assistance. _If_ an incumbent was not called upon to make such
compliances, and _if_ he got a right entry into the church without
intrusion, and by orderly appointment, why, upon the whole, David Deans
came to be of opinion, that the said incumbent might lawfully enjoy the
spirituality and temporality of the cure of souls at Knocktarlitie, with
stipend, manse, glebe, and all thereunto appertaining.

The best and most upright-minded men are so strongly influenced by
existing circumstances, that it would be somewhat cruel to inquire too
nearly what weight parental affection gave to these ingenious trains of
reasoning. Let David Deans's situation be considered. He was just
deprived of one daughter, and his eldest, to whom he owed so much, was
cut off, by the sudden resolution of Dumbiedikes, from the high hope
which David had entertained, that she might one day be mistress of that
fair lordship. Just while this disappointment was bearing heavy on his
spirits, Butler comes before his imagination--no longer the half-starved
threadbare usher, but fat and sleek and fair, the beneficed minister of
Knocktarlitie, beloved by his congregation--exemplary in his
life--powerful in his doctrine--doing the duty of the kirk as never
Highland minister did before--turning sinners as a colley dog turns
sheep--a favourite of the Duke of Argyle, and drawing a stipend of eight
hundred punds Scots, and four chalders of victual. Here was a match,
making up in David's mind, in a tenfold degree, the disappointment in
the case of Dumbiedikes, in so far as the goodman of St. Leonard's held
a powerful minister in much greater admiration than a mere landed
proprietor. It did not occur to him, as an additional reason in favour
of the match, that Jeanie might herself have some choice in the matter;
for the idea of consulting her feelings never once entered into the
honest man's head, any more than the possibility that her inclination
might perhaps differ from his own.

The result of his meditations was, that he was called upon to take the
management of the whole affair into his own hand, and give, if it should
be found possible without sinful compliance, or backsliding, or defection
of any kind, a worthy pastor to the kirk of Knocktarlitie. Accordingly,
by the intervention of the honest dealer in butter-milk who dwelt in
Liberton, David summoned to his presence Reuben Butler. Even from this
worthy messenger he was unable to conceal certain swelling emotions of
dignity, insomuch, that, when the carter had communicated his message to
the usher, he added, that "Certainly the Gudeman of St. Leonard's had
some grand news to tell him, for he was as uplifted as a midden-cock upon
pattens."

Butler, it may readily be conceived, immediately obeyed the summons. He
was a plain character, in which worth and good sense and simplicity were
the principal ingredients; but love, on this occasion, gave him a certain
degree of address. He had received an intimation of the favour designed
him by the Duke of Argyle, with what feelings those only can conceive who
have experienced a sudden prospect of being raised to independence and
respect from penury and toil. He resolved, however, that the old man
should retain all the consequence of being, in his own opinion, the first
to communicate the important intelligence. At the same time, he also
determined that in the expected conference he would permit David Deans to
expatiate at length upon the proposal, in all its bearings, without
irritating him either by interruption or contradiction. This last was the
most prudent plan he could have adopted; because, although there were
many doubts which David Deans could himself clear up to his own
satisfaction, yet he might have been by no means disposed to accept the
solution of any other person; and to engage him in an argument would have
been certain to confirm him at once and for ever in the opinion which
Butler chanced to impugn.

He received his friend with an appearance of important gravity, which
real misfortune had long compelled him to lay aside, and which belonged
to those days of awful authority in which he predominated over Widow
Butler, and dictated the mode of cultivating the crofts of Beersheba. He
made known to Reuben, with great prolixity, the prospect of his changing
his present residence for the charge of the Duke of Argyle's stock-farm
in Dumbartonshire, and enumerated the various advantages of the situation
with obvious self-congratulation; but assured the patient hearer, that
nothing had so much moved him to acceptance, as the sense that, by his
skill in bestial, he could render the most important services to his
Grace the Duke of Argyle, to whom, "in the late unhappy circumstance"
(here a tear dimmed the sparkle of pride in the old man's eye), "he had
been sae muckle obliged."

"To put a rude Hielandman into sic a charge," he continued, "what could
be expected but that he suld be sic a chiefest herdsman, as wicked Doeg
the Edomite? whereas, while this grey head is to the fore, not a clute o'
them but sall be as weel cared for as if they were the fatted kine of
Pharaoh.--And now, Reuben, lad, seeing we maun remove our tent to a
strange country, ye will be casting a dolefu' look after us, and thinking
with whom ye are to hold counsel anent your government in thae slippery
and backsliding times; and nae doubt remembering, that the auld man,
David Deans, was made the instrument to bring you out of the mire of
schism and heresy, wherein your father's house delighted to wallow; aften
also, nae doubt, when ye are pressed wi' ensnaring trials and tentations
and heart-plagues, you, that are like a recruit that is marching for the
first time to the touk of drum, will miss the auld, bauld, and
experienced veteran soldier that has felt the brunt of mony a foul day,
and heard the bullets whistle as aften as he has hairs left on his auld
pow."

It is very possible that Butler might internally be of opinion, that the
reflection on his ancestor's peculiar tenets might have been spared, or
that he might be presumptuous enough even to think, that, at his years,
and with his own lights, he might be able to hold his course without the
pilotage of honest David. But he only replied, by expressing his regret,
that anything should separate him from an ancient, tried, and
affectionate friend.

"But how can it be helped, man?" said David, twisting his features into a
sort of smile--"How can we help it?--I trow, ye canna tell me that--Ye
maun leave that to ither folk--to the Duke of Argyle and me, Reuben. It's
a gude thing to hae friends in this warld--how muckle better to hae an
interest beyond it!"

And David, whose piety, though not always quite rational, was as sincere
as it was habitual and fervent, looked reverentially upward and paused.
Mr. Butler intimated the pleasure with which he would receive his
friend's advice on a subject so important, and David resumed.

"What think ye now, Reuben, of a kirk--a regular kirk under the present
establishment?--Were sic offered to ye, wad ye be free to accept it, and
under whilk provisions?--I am speaking but by way of query."

Butler replied, "That if such a prospect were held out to him, he would
probably first consult whether he was likely to be useful to the parish
he should be called to; and if there appeared a fair prospect of his
proving so, his friend must be aware, that in every other point of view,
it would be highly advantageous for him."

"Right, Reuben, very right, lad," answered the monitor, "your ain
conscience is the first thing to be satisfied--for how sall he teach
others that has himself sae ill learned the Scriptures, as to grip for
the lucre of foul earthly preferment, sic as gear and manse, money and
victual, that which is not his in a spiritual sense--or wha makes his
kirk a stalking-horse, from behind which he may tak aim at his stipend?
But I look for better things of you--and specially ye maun be minded not
to act altogether on your ain judgment, for therethrough comes sair
mistakes, backslidings and defections, on the left and on the right. If
there were sic a day of trial put to you, Reuben. you, who are a young
lad, although it may be ye are gifted wi' the carnal tongues, and those
whilk were spoken at Rome, whilk is now the seat of the scarlet
abomination, and by the Greeks, to whom the Gospel was as foolishness,
yet nae-the-less ye may be entreated by your weel-wisher to take the
counsel of those prudent and resolved and weather-withstanding
professors, wha hae kend what it was to lurk on banks and in mosses, in
bogs and in caverns, and to risk the peril of the head rather than
renounce the honesty of the heart."

Butler replied, "That certainly, possessing such a friend as he hoped and
trusted he had in the goodman himself, who had seen so many changes in
the preceding century, he should be much to blame if he did not avail
himself of his experience and friendly counsel."

"Eneugh said--eneugh said, Reuben," said David Deans, with internal
exultation; "and say that ye were in the predicament whereof I hae
spoken, of a surety I would deem it my duty to gang to the root o' the
matter, and lay bare to you the ulcers and imposthumes, and the sores and
the leprosies, of this our time, crying aloud and sparing not."

David Deans was now in his element. He commenced his examination of the
doctrines and belief of the Christian Church with the very Culdees, from
whom he passed to John Knox,--from John Knox to the recusants in James
the Sixth's time--Bruce, Black, Blair, Livingstone,--from them to the
brief, and at length triumphant period of the Presbyterian Church's
splendour, until it was overrun by the English Independents. Then
followed the dismal times of prelacy, the indulgences, seven in number,
with all their shades and bearings, until he arrived at the reign of King
James the Second, in which he himself had been, in his own mind, neither
an obscure actor nor an obscure sufferer. Then was Butler doomed to hear
the most detailed and annotated edition of what he had so often heard
before,--David Deans's confinement, namely, in the iron cage in the
Canongate Tolbooth, and the cause thereof.

We should be very unjust to our friend David Deans, if we should
"pretermit"--to use his own expression--a narrative which he held
essential to his fame. A drunken trooper of the Royal Guards, Francis
Gordon by name, had chased five or six of the skulking Whigs, among whom
was our friend David; and after he had compelled them to stand, and was
in the act of brawling with them, one of their number fired a
pocket-pistol, and shot him dead. David used to sneer and shake his head
when any one asked him whether _he_ had been the instrument of removing
this wicked persecutor from the face of the earth. In fact the merit of
the deed lay between him and his friend, Patrick Walker, the pedlar,
whose words he was so fond of quoting. Neither of them cared directly to
claim the merit of silencing Mr. Francis Gordon of the Life-Guards, there
being some wild cousins of his about Edinburgh, who might have been even
yet addicted to revenge, but yet neither of them chose to disown or yield
to the other the merit of this active defence of their religious rights.
David said, that if he had fired a pistol then, it was what he never did
after or before. And as for Mr. Patrick Walker, he has left it upon
record, that his great surprise was, that so small a pistol could kill so
big a man. These are the words of that venerable biographer, whose trade
had not taught him by experience, that an inch was as good as an ell.
"He," (Francis Gordon) "got a shot in his head out of a pocket-pistol,
rather fit for diverting a boy than killing such a furious, mad, brisk
man, which notwithstanding killed him dead!"*

* Note S. Death of Francis Gordon.

 Upon the extensive foundation which the history of the kirk afforded,
during its short-lived triumph and long tribulation, David, with length
of breath and of narrative, which would have astounded any one but a
lover of his daughter, proceeded to lay down his own rules for guiding
the conscience of his friend, as an aspirant to serve in the ministry.
Upon this subject, the good man went through such a variety of nice and
casuistical problems, supposed so many extreme cases, made the
distinctions so critical and nice betwixt the right hand and the left
hand--betwixt compliance and defection--holding back and stepping
aside--slipping and stumbling--snares and errors--that at length, after
having limited the path of truth to a mathematical line, he was brought
to the broad admission, that each man's conscience, after he had gained
a certain view of the difficult navigation which he was to encounter,
would be the best guide for his pilotage. He stated the examples and
arguments for and against the acceptance of a kirk on the present
revolution model, with much more impartiality to Butler than he had been
able to place them before his own view. And he concluded, that his young
friend ought to think upon these things, and be guided by the voice of
his own conscience, whether he could take such an awful trust as the
charge of souls without doing injury to his own internal conviction of
what is right or wrong.

When David had finished his very long harangue, which was only
interrupted by monosyllables, or little more, on the part of Butler, the
orator himself was greatly astonished to find that the conclusion, at
which he very naturally wished to arrive, seemed much less decisively
attained than when he had argued the case in his own mind.

In this particular, David's current of thinking and speaking only
illustrated the very important and general proposition, concerning the
excellence of the publicity of debate. For, under the influence of any
partial feeling, it is certain, that most men can more easily reconcile
themselves to any favourite measure, when agitating it in their own mind,
than when obliged to expose its merits to a third party, when the
necessity of seeming impartial procures for the opposite arguments a much
more fair statement than that which he affords it in tacit meditation.
Having finished what he had to say, David thought himself obliged to be
more explicit in point of fact, and to explain that this was no
hypothetical case, but one on which (by his own influence and that of the
Duke of Argyle) Reuben Butler would soon be called to decide.

It was even with something like apprehension that David Deans heard
Butler announce, in return to this communication, that he would take that
night to consider on what he had said with such kind intentions, and
return him an answer the next morning. The feelings of the father
mastered David on this occasion. He pressed Butler to spend the evening
with him--He produced, most unusual at his meals, one, nay, two bottles
of aged strong ale.--He spoke of his daughter--of her merits--her
housewifery--her thrift--her affection. He led Butler so decidedly up to
a declaration of his feelings towards Jeanie, that, before nightfall, it
was distinctly understood she was to be the bride of Reuben Butler; and
if they thought it indelicate to abridge the period of deliberation which
Reuben had stipulated, it seemed to be sufficiently understood betwixt
them, that there was a strong probability of his becoming minister of
Knocktarlitie, providing the congregation were as willing to accept of
him, as the Duke to grant him the presentation. The matter of the oaths,
they agreed, it was time enough to dispute about, whenever the shibboleth
should be tendered.

Many arrangements were adopted that evening, which were afterwards
ripened by correspondence with the Duke of Argyle's man of business, who
intrusted Deans and Butler with the benevolent wish of his principal,
that they should all meet with Jeanie, on her return from England, at the
Duke's hunting-lodge in Roseneath.

This retrospect, so far as the placid loves of Jeanie Deans and Reuben
Butler are concerned, forms a full explanation of the preceding narrative
up to their meeting on the island, as already mentioned.





CHAPTER TWENTIETH.

                 "I come," he said, "my love, my life,
                  And--nature's dearest name--my wife:
                  Thy father's house and friends resign,
                  My home, my friends, my sire, are thine."
                                             Logan.

The meeting of Jeanie and Butler, under circumstances promising to crown
an affection so long delayed, was rather affecting, from its simple
sincerity than from its uncommon vehemence of feeling. David Deans, whose
practice was sometimes a little different from his theory, appalled them
at first, by giving them the opinion of sundry of the suffering preachers
and champions of his younger days, that marriage, though honourable by
the laws of Scripture, was yet a state over-rashly coveted by professors,
and specially by young ministers, whose desire, he said, was at whiles
too inordinate for kirks, stipends, and wives, which had frequently
occasioned over-ready compliance with the general defections of the
times. He endeavoured to make them aware also, that hasty wedlock had
been the bane of many a savoury professor--that the unbelieving wife had
too often reversed the text and perverted the believing husband--that
when the famous Donald Cargill, being then hiding in Lee-Wood, in
Lanarkshire, it being killing-time, did, upon importunity, marry Robert
Marshal of Starry Shaw, he had thus expressed himself: "What hath induced
Robert to marry this woman? her ill will overcome his good--he will not
keep the way long--his thriving days are done." To the sad accomplishment
of which prophecy David said he was himself a living witness, for Robert
Marshal, having fallen into foul compliances with the enemy, went home,
and heard the curates, declined into other steps of defection, and became
lightly esteemed. Indeed, he observed, that the great upholders of the
standard, Cargill, Peden, Cameron, and Renwick, had less delight in tying
the bonds of matrimony than in any other piece of their ministerial work;
and although they would neither dissuade the parties, nor refuse their
office, they considered the being called to it as an evidence of
indifference, on the part of those between whom it was solemnised, to the
many grievous things of the day. Notwithstanding, however, that marriage
was a snare unto many, David was of opinion (as, indeed, he had showed in
his practice) that it was in itself honourable, especially if times were
such that honest men could be secure against being shot, hanged, or
banished, and had ane competent livelihood to maintain themselves, and
those that might come after them. "And, therefore," as he concluded
something abruptly, addressing Jeanie and Butler, who, with faces as
high-coloured as crimson, had been listening to his lengthened argument
for and against the holy state of matrimony, "I will leave you to your
ain cracks."

As their private conversation, however interesting to themselves, might
probably be very little so to the reader, so far as it respected their
present feelings and future prospects, we shall pass it over, and only
mention the information which Jeanie received from Butler concerning her
sister's elopement, which contained many particulars that she had been
unable to extract from her father.

Jeanie learned, therefore, that, for three days after her pardon had
arrived, Effie had been the inmate of her father's house at St.
Leonard's--that the interviews betwixt David and his erring child, which
had taken place before she was liberated from prison, had been touching
in the extreme; but Butler could not suppress his opinion, that, when he
was freed from the apprehension of losing her in a manner so horrible,
her father had tightened the bands of discipline, so as, in some degree,
to gall the feelings, and aggravate the irritability of a spirit
naturally impatient and petulant, and now doubly so from the sense of
merited disgrace.

On the third night, Effie disappeared from St. Leonard's, leaving no
intimation whatever of the route she had taken. Butler, however, set out
in pursuit of her, and with much trouble traced her towards a little
landing-place, formed by a small brook which enters the sea betwixt
Musselburgh and Edinburgh. This place, which has been since made into a
small harbour, surrounded by many villas and lodging-houses, is now
termed Portobello. At this time it was surrounded by a waste common,
covered with furze, and unfrequented, save by fishing-boats, and now and
then a smuggling lugger. A vessel of this description had been hovering
in the firth at the time of Effie's elopement, and, as Butler
ascertained, a boat had come ashore in the evening on which the fugitive
had disappeared, and had carried on board a female. As the vessel made
sail immediately, and landed no part of their cargo, there seemed little
doubt that they were accomplices of the notorious Robertson, and that the
vessel had only come into the firth to carry off his paramour.

This was made clear by a letter which Butler himself soon afterwards
received by post, signed E. D., but without bearing any date of place or
time. It was miserably ill written and spelt; sea-sickness having
apparently aided the derangement of Effie's very irregular orthography
and mode of expression. In this epistle, however, as in all that
unfortunate girl said or did, there was something to praise as well as to
blame. She said in her letter, "That she could not endure that her father
and her sister should go into banishment, or be partakers of her
shame,--that if her burden was a heavy one, it was of her own binding,
and she had the more right to bear it alone,--that in future they could
not be a comfort to her, or she to them, since every look and word of
her father put her in mind of her transgression, and was like to drive
her mad,--that she had nearly lost her judgment during the three days
she was at St. Leonard's--her father meant weel by her, and all men, but
he did not know the dreadful pain he gave her in casting up her sins. If
Jeanie had been at hame, it might hae dune better--Jeanie was ane, like
the angels in heaven, that rather weep for sinners, than reckon their
transgressions. But she should never see Jeanie ony mair, and that was
the thought that gave her the sairest heart of a' that had come and gane
yet. On her bended knees would she pray for Jeanie night and day, baith
for what she had done, and what she had scorned to do, in her behalf;
for what a thought would it have been to her at that moment o' time, if
that upright creature had made a fault to save her! She desired her
father would give Jeanie a' the gear--her ain (_i.e._ Effie's) mother's
and a'--She had made a deed, giving up her right, and it was in Mr.
Novit's hand--Warld's gear was henceforward the least of her care, nor
was it likely to be muckle her mister--She hoped this would make it easy
for her sister to settle;" and immediately after this expression, she
wished Butler himself all good things, in return for his kindness to
her. "For herself," she said, "she kend her lot would be a waesome ane,
but it was of her own framing, sae she desired the less pity. But, for
her friends' satisfaction, she wished them to know that she was gaun nae
ill gate--that they who had done her maist wrong were now willing to do
her what justice was in their power; and she would, in some warldly
respects, be far better off than she deserved. But she desired her
family to remain satisfied with this assurance, and give themselves no
trouble in making farther inquiries after her."

To David Deans and to Butler this letter gave very little comfort; for
what was to be expected from this unfortunate girl's uniting her fate to
that of a character so notorious as Robertson, who they readily guessed
was alluded to in the last sentence, excepting that she should become the
partner and victim of his future crimes? Jeanie, who knew George
Staunton's character and real rank, saw her sister's situation under a
ray of better hope. She augured well of the haste he had shown to reclaim
his interest in Effie, and she trusted he had made her his wife. If so,
it seemed improbable that, with his expected fortune, and high
connections, he should again resume the life of criminal adventure which
he had led, especially since, as matters stood, his life depended upon
his keeping his own secret, which could only be done by an entire change
of his habits, and particularly by avoiding all those who had known the
heir of Willingham under the character of the audacious, criminal, and
condemned Robertson.

She thought it most likely that the couple would go abroad for a few
years, and not return to England until the affair of Porteous was totally
forgotten. Jeanie, therefore, saw more hopes for her sister than Butler
or her father had been able to perceive; but she was not at liberty to
impart the comfort which she felt in believing that she would be secure
from the pressure of poverty, and in little risk of being seduced into
the paths of guilt. She could not have explained this without making
public what it was essentially necessary for Effie's chance of comfort to
conceal, the identity, namely, of George Staunton and George Robertson.
After all, it was dreadful to think that Effie had united herself to a
man condemned for felony, and liable to trial for murder, whatever might
be his rank in life, and the degree of his repentance. Besides, it was
melancholy to reflect, that, she herself being in possession of the whole
dreadful secret, it was most probable he would, out of regard to his own
feelings, and fear for his safety, never again permit her to see poor
Effie. After perusing and re-perusing her sister's valedictory letter,
she gave ease to her feelings in a flood of tears, which Butler in vain
endeavoured to check by every soothing attention in his power. She was
obliged, however, at length to look up and wipe her eyes, for her father,
thinking he had allowed the lovers time enough for conference, was now
advancing towards them from the Lodge, accompanied by the Captain of
Knockdunder, or, as his friends called him for brevity's sake, Duncan
Knock, a title which some youthful exploits had rendered peculiarly
appropriate.

This Duncan of Knockdunder was a person of first-rate importance in the
island of Roseneath,* and the continental parishes of Knocktarlitie,
Kilmun, and so forth; nay, his influence extended as far as Cowal, where,
however, it was obscured by that of another factor.

* [This is, more correctly speaking, a peninsula.]

The Tower of Knockdunder still occupies, with its remains, a cliff
overhanging the Holy Loch. Duncan swore it had been a royal castle; if
so, it was one of the smallest, the space within only forming a square of
sixteen feet, and bearing therefore a ridiculous proportion to the
thickness of the walls, which was ten feet at least. Such as it was,
however, it had long given the title of Captain, equivalent to that of
Chatellain, to the ancestors of Duncan, who were retainers of the house
of Argyle, and held a hereditary jurisdiction under them, of little
extent indeed, but which had great consequence in their own eyes, and was
usually administered with a vigour somewhat beyond the law.

The present representative of that ancient family was a stout short man
about fifty, whose pleasure it was to unite in his own person the dress
of the Highlands and Lowlands, wearing on his head a black tie-wig,
surmounted by a fierce cocked-hat, deeply guarded with gold lace, while
the rest of his dress consisted of the plaid and philabeg. Duncan
superintended a district which was partly Highland, partly Lowland, and
therefore might be supposed to combine their national habits, in order to
show his impartiality to Trojan or Tyrian. The incongruity, however, had
a whimsical and ludicrous effect, as it made his head and body look as if
belonging to different individuals; or, as some one said who had seen the
executions of the insurgent prisoners in 1715, it seemed as if some
Jacobite enchanter, having recalled the sufferers to life, had clapped,
in his haste, an Englishman's head on a Highlander's body. To finish the
portrait, the bearing of the gracious Duncan was brief, bluff, and
consequential, and the upward turn of his short copper-coloured nose
indicated that he was somewhat addicted to wrath and usquebaugh.

When this dignitary had advanced up to Butler and to Jeanie, "I take the
freedom, Mr. Deans," he said in a very consequential manner, "to salute
your daughter, whilk I presume this young lass to be--I kiss every pretty
girl that comes to Roseneath, in virtue of my office." Having made this
gallant speech, he took out his quid, saluted Jeanie with a hearty smack,
and bade her welcome to Argyle's country. Then addressing Butler, he
said, "Ye maun gang ower and meet the carle ministers yonder the Morn,
for they will want to do your job, and synd it down with usquebaugh
doubtless--they seldom make dry wark in this kintra."

"And the Laird"--said David Deans, addressing Butler in farther
explanation--

"The Captain, man," interrupted Duncan; "folk winna ken wha ye are
speaking aboot, unless ye gie shentlemens their proper title."

"The Captain, then," said David, "assures me that the call is unanimous
on the part of the parishioners--a real harmonious call, Reuben."

"I pelieve," said Duncan, "it was as harmonious as could pe expected,
when the tae half o' the bodies were clavering Sassenach, and the t'other
skirting Gaelic, like sea-maws and clackgeese before a storm. Ane wad hae
needed the gift of tongues to ken preceesely what they said--but I
pelieve the best end of it was, 'Long live MacCallummore and
Knockdunder!'--And as to its being an unanimous call, I wad be glad to
ken fat business the carles have to call ony thing or ony body but what
the Duke and mysell likes!"

"Nevertheless," said Mr. Butler, "if any of the parishioners have any
scruples, which sometimes happen in the mind of sincere professors, I
should be happy of an opportunity of trying to remove"

"Never fash your peard about it, man," interrupted Duncan Knock--"Leave
it a' to me.--Scruple! deil ane o' them has been bred up to scruple
onything that they're bidden to do. And if sic a thing suld happen as ye
speak o', ye sall see the sincere professor, as ye ca' him, towed at the
stern of my boat for a few furlongs. I'll try if the water of the Haly
Loch winna wash off scruples as weel as fleas--Cot tam!"

The rest of Duncan's threat was lost in a growling gargling sort of
sound, which he made in his throat, and which menaced recusants with no
gentle means of conversion. David Deans would certainly have given battle
in defence of the right of the Christian congregation to be consulted in
the choice of their own pastor, which, in his estimation, was one of the
choicest and most inalienable of their privileges; but he had again
engaged in close conversation with Jeanie, and, with more interest than
he was in use to take in affairs foreign alike to his occupation and to
his religious tenets, was inquiring into the particulars of her London
journey. This was, perhaps, fortunate for the newformed friendship
betwixt him and the Captain of Knockdunder, which rested, in David's
estimation, upon the proofs he had given of his skill in managing stock;
but, in reality, upon the special charge transmitted to Duncan from the
Duke and his agent, to behave with the utmost attention to Deans and his
family.

"And now, sirs," said Duncan, in a commanding tone, "I am to pray ye a'
to come in to your supper, for yonder is Mr. Archibald half famished, and
a Saxon woman, that looks as if her een were fleeing out o' her head wi'
fear and wonder, as if she had never seen a shentleman in a philabeg
pefore."

"And Reuben Butler," said David, "will doubtless desire instantly to
retire, that he may prepare his mind for the exercise of to-morrow, that
his work may suit the day, and be an offering of a sweet savour in the
nostrils of the reverend Presbytery!"

"Hout tout, man, it's but little ye ken about them," interrupted the
Captain. "Teil a ane o' them wad gie the savour of the hot venison pasty
which I smell" (turning his squab nose up in the air) "a' the way frae
the Lodge, for a' that Mr. Putler, or you either, can say to them."

David groaned; but judging he had to do with a Gallio, as he said, did
not think it worth his while to give battle. They followed the Captain to
the house, and arranged themselves with great ceremony round a
well-loaded supper-table. The only other circumstance of the evening
worthy to be recorded is, that Butler pronounced the blessing; that
Knockdunder found it too long, and David Deans censured it as too short,
from which the charitable reader may conclude it was exactly the proper
length.





CHAPTER TWENTY-FIRST.

                  Now turn the Psalms of David ower,
                       And lilt wi' holy clangor;
                   Of double verse come gie us four,
                       And skirl up the Bangor.
                                            Burns.

The next was the important day, when, according to the forms and ritual
of the Scottish Kirk, Reuben Butler was to be ordained minister of
Knocktarlitie, by the Presbytery of ------. And so eager were the whole
party, that all, excepting Mrs. Dutton, the destined Cowslip of Inverary,
were stirring at an early hour.

Their host, whose appetite was as quick and keen as his temper, was not
long in summoning them to a substantial breakfast, where there were at
least a dozen of different preparations of milk, plenty of cold meat,
scores boiled and roasted eggs, a huge cag of butter, half-a-firkin
herrings boiled and broiled, fresh and salt, and tea and coffee for them
that liked it, which, as their landlord assured them, with a nod and a
wink, pointing, at the same time, to a little cutter which seemed dodging
under the lee of the island, cost them little beside the fetching ashore.

"Is the contraband trade permitted here so openly?" said Butler. "I
should think it very unfavourable to the people's morals."

"The Duke, Mr. Putler, has gien nae orders concerning the putting of it
down," said the magistrate, and seemed to think that he had said all that
was necessary to justify his connivance. Butler was a man of prudence,
and aware that real good can only be obtained by remonstrance when
remonstrance is well-timed; so for the present he said nothing more on
the subject.

When breakfast was half over, in flounced Mrs. Dolly, as fine as a blue
sacque and cherry-coloured ribands could make her.

"Good morrow to you, madam," said the master of ceremonies; "I trust your
early rising will not skaith ye."

The dame apologised to Captain Knockunder, as she was pleased to term
their entertainer; "but, as we say in Cheshire," she added, "I was like
the Mayor of Altringham, who lies in bed while his breeches are mending,
for the girl did not bring up the right bundle to my room, till she had
brought up all the others by mistake one after t'other--Well, I suppose
we are all for church to-day, as I understand--Pray may I be so bold as
to ask, if it is the fashion for your North country gentlemen to go to
church in your petticoats, Captain Knockunder?"

"Captain of Knockdunder, madam, if you please, for I knock under to no
man; and in respect of my garb, I shall go to church as I am, at your
service, madam; for if I were to lie in bed like your Major
What-d'ye-callum, till my preeches were mended, I might be there all my
life, seeing I never had a pair of them on my person but twice in my
life, which I am pound to remember, it peing when the Duke brought his
Duchess here, when her Grace pehoved to be pleasured; so I e'en porrowed
the minister's trews for the twa days his Grace was pleased to stay--but
I will put myself under sic confinement again for no man on earth, or
woman either, but her Grace being always excepted, as in duty pound."

The mistress of the milking-pail stared but, making no answer to this
round declaration, immediately proceeded to show, that the alarm of the
preceding evening had in no degree injured her appetite.

When the meal was finished, the Captain proposed to them to take boat, in
order that Mrs. Jeanie might see her new place of residence, and that he
himself might inquire whether the necessary preparations had been made
there, and at the Manse, for receiving the future inmates of these
mansions.

The morning was delightful, and the huge mountain-shadows slept upon the
mirrored wave of the firth, almost as little disturbed as if it had been
an inland lake. Even Mrs. Dutton's fears no longer annoyed her. She had
been informed by Archibald, that there was to be some sort of junketting
after the sermon, and that was what she loved dearly; and as for the
water, it was so still that it would look quite like a pleasuring on the
Thames.

The whole party being embarked, therefore, in a large boat, which the
captain called his coach and six, and attended by a smaller one termed
his gig, the gallant Duncan steered straight upon the little tower of the
old-fashioned church of Knocktarlitie, and the exertions of six stout
rowers sped them rapidly on their voyage. As they neared the land, the
hills appeared to recede from them, and a little valley, formed by the
descent of a small river from the mountains, evolved itself as it were
upon their approach. The style of the country on each side was simply
pastoral, and resembled, in appearance and character, the description of
a forgotten Scottish poet, which runs nearly thus:--

                  The water gently down a level slid,
               With little din, but couthy what it made;
              On ilka side the trees grew thick and lang,
            And wi' the wild birds' notes were a' in sang;
               On either side, a full bow-shot and mair,
                 The green was even, gowany, and fair;
                With easy slope on every hand the braes
            To the hills' feet with scatter'd bushes raise;
              With goats and sheep aboon, and kye below,
                The bonny banks all in a swarm did go.*

* Ross's _Fortunate Shepherdess._ Edit. 1778, p. 23.

They landed in this Highland Arcadia, at the mouth of the small stream
which watered the delightful and peaceable valley. Inhabitants of several
descriptions came to pay their respects to the Captain of Knockdunder, a
homage which he was very peremptory in exacting, and to see the new
settlers. Some of these were men after David Deans's own heart, elders of
the kirk-session, zealous professors, from the Lennox, Lanarkshire, and
Ayrshire, to whom the preceding Duke of Argyle had given _rooms_ in this
corner of his estate, because they had suffered for joining his father,
the unfortunate Earl, during his ill-fated attempt in 1686. These were
cakes of the right leaven for David regaling himself with; and, had it
not been for this circumstance, he has been heard to say, "that the
Captain of Knockdunder would have swore him out of the country in
twenty-four hours, sae awsome it was to ony thinking soul to hear his
imprecations, upon the slightest temptation that crossed his humour."

Besides these, there were a wilder set of parishioners, mountaineers from
the upper glen and adjacent hill, who spoke Gaelic, went about armed, and
wore the Highland dress. But the strict commands of the Duke had
established such good order in this part of his territories, that the
Gael and Saxons lived upon the best possible terms of good neighbourhood.
They first visited the Manse, as the parsonage is termed in Scotland. It
was old, but in good repair, and stood snugly embosomed in a grove of
sycamore, with a well-stocked garden in front, bounded by the small
river, which was partly visible from the windows, partly concealed by the
bushes, trees, and bounding hedge. Within, the house looked less
comfortable than it might have been, for it had been neglected by the
late incumbent; but workmen had been labouring, under the directions of
the Captain of Knockdunder, and at the expense of the Duke of Argyle, to
put it into some order. The old "plenishing" had been removed, and neat,
but plain household furniture had been sent down by the Duke in a brig of
his own called the Caroline, and was now ready to be placed in order in
the apartments.

The gracious Duncan, finding matters were at a stand among the workmen,
summoned before him the delinquents, and impressed all who heard him with
a sense of his authority, by the penalties with which he threatened them
for their delay. Mulcting them in half their charge, he assured them,
would be the least of it; for, if they were to neglect his pleasure and
the Duke's, "he would be tamn'd if he paid them the t'other half either,
and they might seek law for it where they could get it." The work-people
humbled themselves before the offended dignitary, and spake him soft and
fair; and at length, upon Mr. Butler recalling to his mind that it was
the ordination-day, and that the workmen were probably thinking of going
to church, Knockdunder agreed to forgive them, out of respect to their
new minister.

"But an I catch them neglecking my duty again, Mr. Putler, the teil pe in
me if the kirk shall be an excuse; for what has the like o' them
rapparees to do at the kirk ony day put Sundays, or then either, if the
Duke and I has the necessitous uses for them?"

It may be guessed with what feelings of quiet satisfaction and delight
Butler looked forward to spending his days, honoured and useful as he
trusted to be, in this sequestered valley, and how often an intelligent
glance was exchanged betwixt him and Jeanie, whose good-humoured face
looked positively handsome, from the expression of modesty, and, at the
same time, of satisfaction, which she wore when visiting the apartments
of which she was soon to call herself mistress. She was left at liberty
to give more open indulgence to her feelings of delight and admiration,
when, leaving the Manse, the company proceeded to examine the destined
habitation of David Deans.

Jeanie found with pleasure that it was not above a musket-shot from the
Manse; for it had been a bar to her happiness to think she might be
obliged to reside at a distance from her father, and she was aware that
there were strong objections to his actually living in the same house
with Butler. But this brief distance was the very thing which she could
have wished.

The farmhouse was on the plan of an improved cottage, and contrived with
great regard to convenience; an excellent little garden, an orchard, and
a set of offices complete, according to the best ideas of the time,
combined to render it a most desirable habitation for the practical
farmer, and far superior to the hovel at Woodend, and the small house at
Saint Leonard's Crags. The situation was considerably higher than that of
the Manse, and fronted to the west. The windows commanded an enchanting
view of the little vale over which the mansion seemed to preside, the
windings of the stream, and the firth, with its associated lakes and
romantic islands. The hills of Dumbartonshire, once possessed by the
fierce clan of MacFarlanes, formed a crescent behind the valley, and far
to the right were seen the dusky and more gigantic mountains of
Argyleshire, with a seaward view of the shattered and thunder-splitten
peaks of Arran.

But to Jeanie, whose taste for the picturesque, if she had any by nature,
had never been awakened or cultivated, the sight of the faithful old May
Hettly, as she opened the door to receive them in her clean toy, Sunday's
russet-gown, and blue apron, nicely smoothed down before her, was worth
the whole varied landscape. The raptures of the faithful old creature at
seeing Jeanie were equal to her own, as she hastened to assure her, "that
baith the gudeman and the beasts had been as weel seen after as she
possibly could contrive." Separating her from the rest of the company,
May then hurried her young mistress to the offices, that she might
receive the compliments she expected for her care of the cows. Jeanie
rejoiced, in the simplicity of her heart, to see her charge once more;
and the mute favourites of our heroine, Gowans, and the others,
acknowledged her presence by lowing, turning round their broad and decent
brows when they heard her well-known "Pruh, my leddy--pruh, my woman,"
and, by various indications, known only to those who have studied the
habits of the milky mothers, showing sensible pleasure as she approached
to caress them in their turn.

"The very brute beasts are glad to see ye again," said May; "but nae
wonder, Jeanie, for ye were aye kind to beast and body. And I maun learn
to ca' ye _mistress_ now, Jeanie, since ye hae been up to Lunnon, and
seen the Duke, and the King, and a' the braw folk. But wha kens," added
the old dame slily, "what I'll hae to ca' ye forby mistress, for I am
thinking it wunna lang be Deans."

"Ca' me your ain Jeanie, May, and then ye can never gang wrang."

In the cow-house which they examined, there was one animal which Jeanie
looked at till the tears gushed from her eyes. May, who had watched her
with a sympathising expression, immediately observed, in an under-tone,
"The gudeman aye sorts that beast himself, and is kinder to it than ony
beast in the byre; and I noticed he was that way e'en when he was
angriest, and had maist cause to be angry.--Eh, sirs! a parent's heart's
a queer thing!--Mony a warsle he has had for that puir lassie--I am
thinking he petitions mair for her than for yoursell, hinny; for what can
he plead for you but just to wish you the blessing ye deserve? And when I
sleepit ayont the hallan, when we came first here, he was often earnest
a' night, and I could hear him come ower and ower again wi', 'Effie--puir
blinded misguided thing!' it was aye 'Effie! Effie!'--If that puir
wandering lamb comena into the sheepfauld in the Shepherd's ain time, it
will be an unco wonder, for I wot she has been a child of prayers. Oh, if
the puir prodigal wad return, sae blithely as the goodman wad kill the
fatted calf!--though Brockie's calf will no be fit for killing this three
weeks yet."

And then, with the discursive talent of persons of her description, she
got once more afloat in her account of domestic affairs, and left this
delicate and affecting topic.

Having looked at every thing in the offices and the dairy, and expressed
her satisfaction with the manner in which matters had been managed in her
absence, Jeanie rejoined the rest of the party, who were surveying the
interior of the house, all excepting David Deans and Butler, who had gone
down to the church to meet the kirk-session and the clergymen of the
Presbytery, and arrange matters for the duty of the day.

In the interior of the cottage all was clean, neat, and suitable to the
exterior. It had been originally built and furnished by the Duke, as a
retreat for a favourite domestic of the higher class, who did not long
enjoy it, and had been dead only a few months, so that every thing was in
excellent taste and good order. But in Jeanie's bedroom was a neat trunk,
which had greatly excited Mrs. Dutton's curiosity, for she was sure that
the direction, "For Mrs. Jean Deans, at Auchingower, parish of
Knocktarlitie," was the writing of Mrs. Semple, the Duchess's own woman.
May Hettly produced the key in a sealed parcel, which bore the same
address, and attached to the key was a label, intimating that the trunk
and its contents were "a token of remembrance to Jeanie Deans, from her
friends the Duchess of Argyle and the young ladies." The trunk, hastily
opened, as the reader will not doubt, was found to be full of wearing
apparel of the best quality, suited to Jeanie's rank in life; and to most
of the articles the names of the particular donors were attached, as if
to make Jeanie sensible not only of the general, but of the individual
interest she had excited in the noble family. To name the various
articles by their appropriate names, would be to attempt things
unattempted yet in prose or rhyme; besides that the old-fashioned terms
of manteaus, sacques, kissing-strings, and so forth, would convey but
little information even to the milliners of the present day. I shall
deposit, however, an accurate inventory of the contents of the trunk with
my kind friend, Miss Martha Buskbody, who has promised, should the public
curiosity seem interested in the subject, to supply me with a
professional glossary and commentary. Suffice it to say, that the gift
was such as became the donors, and was suited to the situation of the
receiver; that every thing was handsome and appropriate, and nothing
forgotten which belonged to the wardrobe of a young person in Jeanie's
situation in life, the destined bride of a respectable clergyman.

Article after article was displayed, commented upon, and admired, to the
wonder of May, who declared, "she didna think the queen had mair or
better claise," and somewhat to the envy of the northern Cowslip. This
unamiable, but not very unnatural, disposition of mind, broke forth in
sundry unfounded criticisms to the disparagement of the articles, as they
were severally exhibited. But it assumed a more direct character, when,
at the bottom of all, was found a dress of white silk, very plainly made,
but still of white silk, and French silk to boot, with a paper pinned to
it, bearing that it was a present from the Duke of Argyle to his
travelling companion, to be worn on the day when she should change her
name.

Mrs. Dutton could forbear no longer, but whispered into Mr. Archibald's
ear, that it was a clever thing to be a Scotchwoman: "She supposed all
_her_ sisters, and she had half-a-dozen, might have been hanged, without
any one sending her a present of a pocket handkerchief."

"Or without your making any exertion to save them, Mrs. Dolly," answered
Archibald drily.--"But I am surprised we do not hear the bell yet," said
he, looking at his watch.

"Fat ta deil, Mr. Archibald," answered the Captain of Knockdunder, "wad
ye hae them ring the bell before I am ready to gang to kirk?--I wad gar
the bedral eat the bell-rope, if he took ony sic freedom. But if ye want
to hear the bell, I will just show mysell on the knowe-head, and it will
begin jowing forthwith."

Accordingly, so soon as they sallied out, and that the gold-laced hat of
the Captain was seen rising like Hesper above the dewy verge of the
rising ground, the clash (for it was rather a clash than a clang) of the
bell was heard from the old moss-grown tower, and the clapper continued
to thump its cracked sides all the while they advanced towards the kirk,
Duncan exhorting them to take their own time, "for teil ony sport wad be
till he came."*

* Note T. Tolling to service in Scotland.

 Accordingly, the bell only changed to the final and impatient chime when
they crossed the stile; and "rang in," that is, concluded its mistuned
summons, when they had entered the Duke's seat, in the little kirk, where
the whole party arranged themselves, with Duncan at their head, excepting
David Deans, who already occupied a seat among the elders.

The business of the day, with a particular detail of which it is
unnecessary to trouble the reader, was gone through according to the
established form, and the sermon pronounced upon the occasion had the
good fortune to please even the critical David Deans, though it was only
an hour and a quarter long, which David termed a short allowance of
spiritual provender.

The preacher, who was a divine that held many of David's opinions,
privately apologised for his brevity by saying, "That he observed the
Captain was gaunting grievously, and that if he had detained him longer,
there was no knowing how long he might be in paying the next term's
victual stipend."

David groaned to find that such carnal motives could have influence upon
the mind of a powerful preacher. He had, indeed, been scandalised by
another circumstance during the service.

So soon as the congregation were seated after prayers, and the clergyman
had read his text, the gracious Duncan, after rummaging the leathern
purse which hung in front of his petticoat, produced a short tobacco-pipe
made of iron, and observed, almost aloud, "I hae forgotten my
spleuchan--Lachlan, gang down to the clachan, and bring me up a
pennyworth of twist." Six arms, the nearest within reach, presented,
with an obedient start, as many tobacco-pouches to the man of office.
He made choice of one with an nod of acknowledgment, filled his pipe,
lighted it with the assistance of his pistol-flint, and smoked with
infinite composure during the whole time of the sermon. When the
discourse was finished, he knocked the ashes out of his pipe, replaced
it in his sporran, returned the tobacco-pouch or spleuchan to its owner,
and joined in the prayer with decency and attention.


[Illustration: The Captain of Knockdunder--303]


At the end of the service, when Butler had been admitted minister of the
kirk of Knocktarlitie, with all its spiritual immunities and privileges,
David, who had frowned, groaned, and murmured at Knockdunder's irreverent
demeanour, communicated his plain thoughts of the matter to Isaac
Meiklehose, one of the elders, with whom a reverential aspect and huge
grizzle wig had especially disposed him to seek fraternisation. "It didna
become a wild Indian," David said, "much less a Christian, and a
gentleman, to sit in the kirk puffing tobacco-reek, as if he were in a
change-house."

Meiklehose shook his head, and allowed it was "far frae beseeming--But
what will ye say? The Captain's a queer hand, and to speak to him about
that or onything else that crosses the maggot, wad be to set the kiln
a-low. He keeps a high hand ower the country, and we couldna deal wi' the
Hielandmen without his protection, sin' a' the keys o' the kintray hings
at his belt; and he's no an ill body in the main, and maistry, ye ken,
maws the meadows doun."

"That may be very true, neighbour," said David; "but Reuben Butler isna
the man I take him to be, if he disna learn the Captain to fuff his pipe
some other gate than in God's house, or the quarter be ower."

"Fair and softly gangs far," said Meiklehose; "and if a fule may gie a
wise man a counsel, I wad hae him think twice or he mells with
Knockdunder--He auld hae a lang-shankit spune that wad sup kail wi' the
deil. But they are a' away to their dinner to the change-house, and if we
dinna mend our pace, we'll come short at meal-time."

David accompanied his friend without answer; but began to feel from
experience, that the glen of Knocktarlitie, like the rest of the world,
was haunted by its own special subjects of regret and discontent. His
mind was, so much occupied by considering the best means of converting
Duncan of Knock to a sense of reverend decency during public worship,
that he altogether forgot to inquire whether Butler was called upon to
subscribe the oaths to Government.

Some have insinuated, that his neglect on this head was, in some degree,
intentional; but I think this explanation inconsistent with the
simplicity of my friend David's character. Neither have I ever been able,
by the most minute inquiries, to know whether the _formula,_ at which he
so much scrupled, had been exacted from Butler, ay or no. The books of
the kirk-session might have thrown some light on this matter; but
unfortunately they were destroyed in the year 1746, by one Donacha Dhu na
Dunaigh, at the instance, it was said, or at least by the connivance, of
the gracious Duncan of Knock, who had a desire to obliterate the recorded
foibles of a certain Kate Finlayson.





CHAPTER TWENTY-SECOND.

                Now butt and ben the change-house fills
                      Wi' yill-caup commentators,
               Here's crying out for bakes and gills,
                     And there the pint-stoup clatters.
               Wi' thick and thrang, and loud and lang,--
                     Wi' logic and wi' scripture,
               They raise a din that in the end
                      Is like to breed a rupture,
                          O' wrath that day.
                                            Burns.

A plentiful entertainment, at the Duke of Argyle's cost, regaled the
reverend gentlemen who had assisted at the ordination of Reuben Butler,
and almost all the respectable part of the parish. The feast was, indeed,
such as the country itself furnished; for plenty of all the requisites
for "a rough and round dinner" were always at Duncan of Knock's command.
There was the beef and mutton on the braes, the fresh and salt-water fish
in the lochs, the brooks, and firth; game of every kind, from the deer to
the leveret, were to be had for the killing, in the Duke's forests,
moors, heaths, and mosses; and for liquor, home-brewed ale flowed as
freely as water; brandy and usquebaugh both were had in those happy times
without duty; even white wine and claret were got for nothing, since the
Duke's extensive rights of admiralty gave him a title to all the wine in
cask which is drifted ashore on the western coast and isles of Scotland,
when shipping have suffered by severe weather. In short, as Duncan
boasted, the entertainment did not cost MacCallummore a plack out of his
sporran, and was nevertheless not only liberal, but overflowing.

The Duke's health was solemnised in a _bona fide_ bumper, and David Deans
himself added perhaps the first huzza that his lungs had ever uttered, to
swell the shout with which the pledge was received. Nay, so exalted in
heart was he upon this memorable occasion, and so much disposed to be
indulgent, that, he expressed no dissatisfaction when three bagpipers
struck up, "The Campbells are coming." The health of the reverend
minister of Knocktarlitie was received with similar honours; and there
was a roar of laughter, when one of his brethren slily subjoined the
addition of, "A good wife to our brother, to keep the Manse in order." On
this occasion David Deans was delivered of his first-born joke; and
apparently the parturition was accompanied with many throes, for sorely
did he twist about his physiognomy, and much did he stumble in his
speech, before he could express his idea, "That the lad being now wedded
to his spiritual bride, it was hard to threaten him with ane temporal
spouse in the same day." He then laughed a hoarse and brief laugh, and
was suddenly grave and silent, as if abashed at his own vivacious effort.

After another toast or two, Jeanie, Mrs. Dolly, and such of the female
natives as had honoured the feast with their presence, retired to David's
new dwelling at Auchingower, and left the gentlemen to their potations.

The feast proceeded with great glee. The conversation, where Duncan had
it under his direction, was not indeed always strictly canonical, but
David Deans escaped any risk of being scandalised, by engaging with one
of his neighbours in a recapitulation of the sufferings of Ayrshire and
Lanarkshire, during what was called the invasion of the Highland Host;
the prudent Mr. Meiklehose cautioning them from time to time to lower
their voices, "for that Duncan Knock's father had been at that onslaught,
and brought back muckle gude plenishing, and that Duncan was no unlikely
to hae been there himself, for what he kend."

Meanwhile, as the mirth grew fast and furious, the graver members of the
party began to escape as well as they could. David Deans accomplished his
retreat, and Butler anxiously watched an opportunity to follow him.
Knockdunder, however, desirous, he said, of knowing what stuff was in the
new minister, had no intention to part with him so easily, but kept him
pinned to his side, watching him sedulously, and with obliging violence
filling his glass to the brim, as often as he could seize an opportunity
of doing so. At length, as the evening was wearing late, a venerable
brother chanced to ask Mr. Archibald when they might hope to see the
Duke, _tam carum caput,_ as he would venture to term him, at the Lodge of
Roseneath. Duncan of Knock, whose ideas were somewhat conglomerated, and
who, it may be believed, was no great scholar, catching up some imperfect
sound of the words, conceived the speaker was drawing a parallel between
the Duke and Sir Donald Gorme of Sleat; and being of opinion that such
comparison was odious, snorted thrice, and prepared himself to be in a
passion.

To the explanation of the venerable divine the Captain answered, "I heard
the word Gorme myself, sir, with my ain ears. D'ye think I do not know
Gaelic from Latin?"

"Apparently not, sir;"--so the clergyman, offended in his turn, and
taking a pinch of snuff, answered with great coolness.

The copper nose of the gracious Duncan now became heated like the Bull of
Phalaris, and while Mr. Archibald mediated betwixt the offended parties,
and the attention of the company was engaged by their dispute, Butler
took an opportunity to effect his retreat.

He found the females at Auchingower very anxious for the breaking up of
the convivial party; for it was a part of the arrangement, that although
David Deans was to remain at Auchingower, and Butler was that night to
take possession of the Manse, yet Jeanie, for whom complete
accommodations were not yet provided in her father's house, was to return
for a day or two to the Lodge at Roseneath, and the boats had been held
in readiness accordingly. They waited, therefore, for Knockdunder's
return, but twilight came, and they still waited in vain. At length Mr.
Archibald, who was a man of decorum, had taken care not to exceed in his
conviviality, made his appearance, and advised the females strongly to
return to the island under his escort; observing, that, from the humour
in which he had left the Captain, it was a great chance whether he budged
out of the public-house that night, and it was absolutely certain that he
would not be very fit company for ladies. The gig was at their disposal,
he said, and there was still pleasant twilight for a party on the water.

Jeanie, who had considerable confidence in Archibald's prudence,
immediately acquiesced in this proposal; but Mrs. Dolly positively
objected to the small boat. If the big boat could be gotten, she agreed
to set out, otherwise she would sleep on the floor, rather than stir a
step. Reasoning with Dolly was out of the question, and Archibald did not
think the difficulty so pressing as to require compulsion. He observed,
it was not using the Captain very politely to deprive him of his coach
and six; "but as it was in the ladies' service," he gallantly said, "he
would use so much freedom--besides the gig would serve the Captain's
purpose better, as it could come off at any hour of the tide; the large
boat should, therefore, be at Mrs. Dolly's service."

They walked to the beach accordingly, accompanied by Butler. It was some
time before the boatmen could be assembled, and ere they were well
embarked, and ready to depart, the pale moon was come over the hill, and
flinging a trembling reflection on the broad and glittering waves. But so
soft and pleasant was the night, that Butler, in bidding farewell to
Jeanie, had no apprehension for her safety; and what is yet more
extraordinary, Mrs. Dolly felt no alarm for her own. The air was soft,
and came over the cooling wave with something of summer fragrance. The
beautiful scene of headlands, and capes, and bays, around them, with the
broad blue chain of mountains, were dimly visible in the moonlight; while
every dash of the oars made the waters glance and sparkle with the
brilliant phenomenon called the sea fire.

This last circumstance filled Jeanie with wonder, and served to amuse the
mind of her companion, until they approached the little bay, which seemed
to stretch its dark and wooded arms into the sea as if to welcome them.

The usual landing-place was at a quarter of a mile's distance from the
Lodge, and although the tide did not admit of the large boat coming quite
close to the jetty of loose stones which served as a pier, Jeanie, who
was both bold and active, easily sprung ashore; but Mrs., Dolly
positively refusing to commit herself to the same risk, the complaisant
Mr. Archibald ordered the boat round to a more regular landing-place, at
a considerable distance along the shore. He then prepared to land
himself, that he might, in the meanwhile, accompany Jeanie to the Lodge.
But as there was no mistaking the woodland lane, which led from thence to
the shore, and as the moonlight showed her one of the white chimneys
rising out of the wood which embosomed the building, Jeanie declined this
favour with thanks, and requested him to proceed with Mrs. Dolly, who,
being "in a country where the ways were so strange to her, had mair need
of countenance."

This, indeed, was a fortunate circumstance, and might even be said to
save poor Cowslip's life, if it was true, as she herself used solemnly to
aver, that she must positively have expired for fear, if she had been
left alone in the boat with six wild Highlanders in kilts.

The night was so exquisitely beautiful, that Jeanie, instead of
immediately directing her course towards the Lodge, stood looking after
the boat as it again put off from the side, and rowed into the little
bay, the dark figures of her companions growing less and less distinct as
they diminished in the distance, and the jorram, or melancholy boat-song
of the rowers, coming on the ear with softened and sweeter sound, until
the boat rounded the headland, and was lost to her observation.

Still Jeanie remained in the same posture, looking out upon the sea. It
would, she was aware, be some time ere her companions could reach the
Lodge, as the distance by the more convenient landing-place was
considerably greater than from the point where she stood, and she was not
sorry to have an opportunity to spend the interval by herself.

The wonderful change which a few weeks had wrought in her situation, from
shame and grief, and almost despair, to honour, joy, and a fair prospect
of future happiness, passed before her eyes with a sensation which
brought the tears into them. Yet they flowed at the same time from
another source. As human happiness is never perfect, and as
well-constructed minds are never more sensible of the distresses of those
whom they love, than when their own situation forms a contrast with them,
Jeanie's affectionate regrets turned to the fate of her poor sister--the
child of so many hopes--the fondled nursling of so many years--now an
exile, and, what was worse, dependent on the will of a man, of whose
habits she had every reason to entertain the worst opinion, and who, even
in his strongest paroxysms of remorse, had appeared too much a stranger
to the feelings of real penitence.

While her thoughts were occupied with these melancholy reflections, a
shadowy figure seemed to detach itself from the copsewood on her right
hand. Jeanie started, and the stories of apparitions and wraiths, seen by
solitary travellers in wild situations, at such times, and in such an
hour, suddenly came full upon her imagination. The figure glided on, and
as it came betwixt her and the moon, she was aware that it had the
appearance of a woman. A soft voice twice repeated, "Jeanie--Jeanie!"--
Was it indeed--could it be the voice of her sister?--Was she still among
the living, or had the grave given uly its tenant?--Ere she could state
these questions to her own mind, Effie, alive, and in the body, had
clasped her in her arms and was straining her to her bosom, and devouring
her with kisses. "I have wandered here," she said, "like a ghaist, to see
you, and nae wonder you take me for ane--I thought but to see you gang
by, or to hear the sound of your voice; but to speak to yoursell again,
Jeanie, was mair than I deserved, and mair than I durst pray for."

"O Effie! how came ye here alone, and at this hour, and on the wild
seabeach?--Are you sure it's your ain living sell?" There was something
of Effie's former humour in her practically answering the question by a
gentle pinch, more beseeming the fingers of a fairy than of a ghost. And
again the sisters embraced, and laughed, and wept by turns.

"But ye maun gang up wi' me to the Lodge, Effie," said Jeanie, "and tell
me a' your story--I hae gude folk there that will make ye welcome for my
sake."

"Na, na, Jeanie," replied her sister sorrowfully,--"ye hae forgotten what
I am--a banished outlawed creature, scarce escaped the gallows by your
being the bauldest and the best sister that ever lived--I'll gae near
nane o' your grand friends, even if there was nae danger to me."

"There is nae danger--there shall be nae danger," said Jeanie eagerly. "O
Effie, dinna be wilfu'--be guided for ance--we will be sae happy a'
thegither!"

"I have a' the happiness I deserve on this side of the grave, now that I
hae seen you," answered Effie; "and whether there were danger to mysell
or no, naebody shall ever say that I come with my cheat-the-gallows face
to shame my sister among her grand friends."

"I hae nae grand friends," said Jeanie; "nae friends but what are friends
of yours--Reuben Butler and my father.--O unhappy lassie, dinna be dour,
and turn your back on your happiness again! We wunna see another
acquaintance--Come hame to us, your ain dearest friends--it's better
sheltering under an auld hedge than under a new-planted wood."

"It's in vain speaking, Jeanie,--I maun drink as I hae brewed--I am
married, and I maun follow my husband for better for worse."

"Married, Effie!" exclaimed Jeanie--"Misfortunate creature! and to that
awfu'"

"Hush, hush," said Effie, clapping one hand on her mouth, and pointing to
the thicket with the other, "he is yonder." She said this in a tone which
showed that her husband had found means to inspire her with awe, as well
as affection. At this moment a man issued from the wood.

It was young Staunton. Even by the imperfect light of the moon, Jeanie
could observe that he was handsomely dressed, and had the air of a person
of rank.

"Effie," he said, "our time is well-nigh spent--the skiff will be aground
in the creek, and I dare not stay longer.--I hope your sister will allow
me to salute her?" But Jeanie shrunk back from him with a feeling of
internal abhorrence. "Well," he said, "it does not much signify; if you
keep up the feeling of ill-will, at least you do not act upon it, and I
thank you for your respect to my secret, when a word (which in your place
I would have spoken at once) would have cost me my life. People say, you
should keep from the wife of your bosom the secret that concerns your
neck--my wife and her sister both know mine, and I shall not sleep a wink
the less sound."

"But are you really married to my sister, sir?" asked Jeanie, in great
doubt and anxiety; for the haughty, careless tone in which he spoke
seemed to justify her worst apprehensions.

"I really am legally married, and by my own name," replied Staunton, more
gravely.

"And your father--and your friends?"

"And my father and my friends must just reconcile themselves to that
which is done and cannot be undone," replied Staunton. "However, it is my
intention, in order to break off dangerous connections, and to let my
friends come to their temper, to conceal my marriage for the present, and
stay abroad for some years. So that you will not hear of us for some
time, if ever you hear of us again at all. It would be dangerous, you
must be aware, to keep up the correspondence; for all would guess that
the husband of Effie was the--what shall I call myself?--the slayer of
Porteous."

Hard-hearted light man! thought Jeanie--to what a character she has
intrusted her happiness!--She has sown the wind, and maun reap the
whirlwind.

"Dinna think ill o' him," said Effie, breaking away from her husband, and
leading Jeanie a step or two out of hearing--"dinna think very ill o'
him--he's gude to me, Jeanie--as gude as I deserve--And he is determined
to gie up his bad courses--Sae, after a', dinna greet for Effie; she is
better off than she has wrought for.--But you--oh, you!--how can you be
happy eneugh! never till ye get to heaven, where a'body is as gude as
yoursell.--Jeanie, if I live and thrive, ye shall hear of me--if not,
just forget that sic a creature ever lived to vex ye--fare ye
weel--fare--fare ye weel!"

She tore herself from her sister's arms--rejoined her husband--they
plunged into the copsewood, and she saw them no more. The whole scene had
the effect of a vision, and she could almost have believed it such, but
that very soon after they quitted her, she heard the sound of oars, and a
skiff was seen on the firth, pulling swiftly towards the small smuggling
sloop which lay in the offing. It was on board of such a vessel that
Effie had embarked at Portobello, and Jeanie had no doubt that the same
conveyance was destined, as Staunton had hinted, to transport them to a
foreign country.

Although it was impossible to determine whether this interview, while it
was passing, gave more pain or pleasure to Jeanie Deans, yet the ultimate
impression which remained on her mind was decidedly favourable. Effie was
married--made, according to the common phrase, an honest woman--that was
one main point; it seemed also as if her husband were about to
abandon the path of gross vice in which he had run so long and so
desperately--that was another. For his final and effectual conversion
he did not want understanding, and God knew his own hour.

Such were the thoughts with which Jeanie endeavoured to console her
anxiety respecting her sister's future fortune. On her arrival at the
lodge, she found Archibald in some anxiety at her stay, and about to walk
out in quest of her. A headache served as an apology for retiring to
rest, in order to conceal her visible agitation of mind from her
companions.

By this secession also she escaped a scene of a different sort. For, as
if there were danger in all gigs, whether by sea or land, that of
Knockdunder had been run down by another boat, an accident owing chiefly
to the drunkenness of the Captain, his crew, and passengers. Knockdunder,
and two or three guests, whom he was bringing along with him to finish
the conviviality of the evening at the Lodge, got a sound ducking; but,
being rescued by the crew of the boat which endangered them, there was no
ultimate loss, excepting that of the Captain's laced hat, which, greatly
to the satisfaction of the Highland part of the district, as well as to
the improvement of the conformity of his own personal appearance, he
replaced by a smart Highland bonnet next day. Many were the vehement
threats of vengeance which, on the succeeding morning, the gracious
Duncan threw out against the boat which had upset him; but as neither
she, nor the small smuggling vessel to which she belonged, was any longer
to be seen in the firth, he was compelled to sit down with the affront.
This was the more hard, he said, as he was assured the mischief was done
on purpose, these scoundrels having lurked about after they had landed
every drop of brandy, and every bag of tea they had on board; and he
understood the coxswain had been on shore, making particular inquiries
concerning the time when his boat was to cross over, and to return, and
so forth.

"Put the neist time they meet me on the firth," said Duncan, with great
majesty, "I will teach the moonlight rapscallions and vagabonds to keep
their ain side of the road, and pe tamn'd to them!"





CHAPTER TWENTY-THIRD.

              Lord! who would live turmoiled in a court,
              And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
                                        Shakespeare.

Within a reasonable time after Butler was safely and comfortably settled
in his living, and Jeanie had taken up her abode at Auchingower with her
father,--the precise extent of which interval we request each reader to
settle according to his own sense of what is decent and proper upon the
occasion,--and after due proclamation of banns, and all other
formalities, the long wooing of this worthy pair was ended by their union
in the holy bands of matrimony. On this occasion, David Deans stoutly
withstood the iniquities of pipes, fiddles, and promiscuous dancing, to
the great wrath of the Captain of Knockdunder, who said, if he "had
guessed it was to be sic a tamn'd Quakers' meeting, he wad hae seen them
peyont the cairn before he wad hae darkened their doors."

And so much rancour remained on the spirits of the gracious Duncan upon
this occasion, that various "picqueerings," as David called them, took
place upon the same and similar topics and it was only in consequence of
an accidental visit of the Duke to his Lodge at Roseneath, that they were
put a stop to. But upon that occasion his Grace showed such particular
respect to Mr. and Mrs. Butler, and such favour even to old David, that
Knockdunder held it prudent to change his course towards the latter. He,
in future, used to express himself among friends, concerning the minister
and his wife, as "very worthy decent folk, just a little over strict in
their notions; put it was pest for thae plack cattle to err on the safe
side." And respecting David, he allowed that "he was an excellent judge
of nowte and sheep, and a sensible eneugh carle, an it werena for his
tamn'd Cameronian nonsense, whilk it is not worth while of a shentleman
to knock out of an auld silly head, either by force of reason or
otherwise." So that, by avoiding topics of dispute, the personages of our
tale lived in great good habits with the gracious Duncan, only that he
still grieved David's soul, and set a perilous example to the
congregation, by sometimes bringing his pipe to the church during a cold
winter day, and almost always sleeping during sermon in the summer time.

Mrs. Butler, whom we must no longer, if we can help it, term by the
familiar name of Jeanie, brought into the married state the same firm
mind and affectionate disposition--the same natural and homely good
sense, and spirit of useful exertion--in a word, all the domestic good
qualities of which she had given proof during her maiden life. She did
not indeed rival Butler in learning; but then no woman more devoutly
venerated the extent of her husband's erudition. She did not pretend to
understand his expositions of divinity; but no minister of the Presbytery
had his humble dinner so well arranged, his clothes and linen in equal
good order, his fireside so neatly swept, his parlour so clean, and his
books so well dusted.

If he talked to Jeanie of what she did not understand--and (for the man
was mortal, and had been a schoolmaster) he sometimes did harangue more
scholarly and wisely than was necessary--she listened in placid silence;
and whenever the point referred to common life, and was such as came
under the grasp of a strong natural understanding, her views were more
forcible, and her observations more acute, than his own. In acquired
politeness of manners, when it happened that she mingled a little in
society, Mrs. Butler was, of course, judged deficient. But then she had
that obvious wish to oblige, and that real and natural good-breeding
depending on, good sense and good humour, which, joined to a considerable
degree of archness and liveliness of manner, rendered her behaviour
acceptable to all with whom she was called upon to associate.
Notwithstanding her strict attention to all domestic affairs, she always
appeared the clean well-dressed mistress of the house, never the sordid
household drudge. When complimented on this occasion by Duncan Knock, who
swore "that he thought the fairies must help her, since her house was
always clean, and nobody ever saw anybody sweeping it," she modestly
replied, "That much might be dune by timing ane's turns."

Duncan replied, "He heartily wished she could teach that art to the
huzzies at the Lodge, for he could never discover that the house was
washed at a', except now and then by breaking his shins over the pail--
Cot tamn the jauds!"

Of lesser matters there is not occasion to speak much. It may easily be
believed that the Duke's cheese was carefully made, and so graciously
accepted, that the offering became annual. Remembrances and
acknowledgments of past favours were sent to Mrs. Bickerton and Mrs.
Glass, and an amicable intercourse maintained from time to time with
these two respectable and benevolent persons.

It is especially necessary to mention that, in the course of five years,
Mrs. Butler had three children, two boys and a girl, all stout healthy
babes of grace, fair-haired, blue-eyed, and strong-limbed. The boys were
named David and Reuben, an order of nomenclature which was much to the
satisfaction of the old hero of the Covenant, and the girl, by her
mother's special desire, was christened Euphemia, rather contrary to the
wish both of her father and husband, who nevertheless loved Mrs. Butler
too well, and were too much indebted to her for their hours of happiness,
to withstand any request which she made with earnestness, and as a
gratification to herself. But from some feeling, I know not of what kind,
the child was never distinguished by the name of Effie, but by the
abbreviation of Femie, which in Scotland is equally commonly applied to
persons called Euphemia.

In this state of quiet and unostentatious enjoyment, there were, besides
the ordinary rubs and ruffles which disturb even the most uniform life,
two things which particularly chequered Mrs. Butler's happiness. "Without
these," she said to our informer, "her life would have been but too
happy; and perhaps," she added, "she had need of some crosses in this
world to remind her that there was a better to come behind it."

The first of these related to certain polemical skirmishes betwixt her
father and her husband, which, notwithstanding the mutual respect and
affection they entertained for each other, and their great love for
her--notwithstanding, also, their general agreement in strictness, and
even severity, of Presbyterian principle--often threatened unpleasant
weather between them. David Deans, as our readers must be aware, was
sufficiently opinionative and intractable, and having prevailed on
himself to become a member of a kirk-session under the Established
Church, he felt doubly obliged to evince that, in so doing, he had not
compromised any whit of his former professions, either in practice or
principle. Now Mr. Butler, doing all credit to his father-in-law's
motives, was frequently of opinion that it were better to drop out of
memory points of division and separation, and to act in the manner most
likely to attract and unite all parties who were serious in religion.
Moreover, he was not pleased, as a man and a scholar, to be always
dictated to by his unlettered father-in-law; and as a clergyman, he did
not think it fit to seem for ever under the thumb of an elder of his own
kirk-session. A proud but honest thought carried his opposition now and
then a little farther than it would otherwise have gone. "My brethren,"
he said, "will suppose I am flattering and conciliating the old man for
the sake of his succession, if I defer and give way to him on every
occasion; and, besides, there are many on which I neither can nor will
conscientiously yield to his notions. I cannot be persecuting old women
for witches, or ferreting out matter of scandal among the young ones,
which might otherwise have remained concealed."

From this difference of opinion it happened that, in many cases of
nicety, such as in owning certain defections, and failing to testify
against certain backslidings of the time, in not always severely tracing
forth little matters of scandal and _fama clamosa,_ which David called a
loosening of the reins of discipline, and in failing to demand clear
testimonies in other points of controversy which had, as it were, drifted
to leeward with the change of times, Butler incurred the censure of his
father-in-law; and sometimes the disputes betwixt them became eager and
almost unfriendly. In all such cases Mrs Butler was a mediating spirit,
who endeavoured, by the alkaline smoothness of her own disposition, to
neutralise the acidity of theological controversy. To the complaints of
both she lent an unprejudiced and attentive ear, and sought always rather
to excuse than absolutely to defend the other party.

She reminded her father that Butler had not "his experience of the auld
and wrastling times, when folk were gifted wi' a far look into eternity,
to make up for the oppressions whilk they suffered here below in time.
She freely allowed that many devout ministers and professors in times
past had enjoyed downright revelation, like the blessed Peden, and
Lundie, and Cameron, and Renwick, and John Caird the tinkler, wha entered
into the secrets, and Elizabeth Melvil, Lady Culross, wha prayed in her
bed, surrounded by a great many Christians in a large room, in whilk it
was placed on purpose, and that for three hours' time, with wonderful
assistance; and Lady Robertland, whilk got six sure outgates of grace,
and mony other in times past; and of a specially, Mr. John Scrimgeour,
minister of Kinghorn, who, having a beloved child sick to death of the
crewels, was free to expostulate with his Maker with such impatience of
displeasure, and complaining so bitterly, that at length it was said unto
him, that he was heard for this time, but that he was requested to use no
such boldness in time coming; so that when he returned he found the child
sitting up in the bed hale and fair, with all its wounds closed, and
supping its parritch, whilk babe he had left at the time of death. But
though these things might be true in these needful times, she contended
that those ministers who had not seen such vouchsafed and especial
mercies, were to seek their rule in the records of ancient times; and
therefore Reuben was carefu' both to search the Scriptures and the books
written by wise and good men of old; and sometimes in this way it wad
happen that twa precious saints might pu' sundry wise, like twa cows
riving at the same hayband."

To this David used to reply, with a sigh, "Ah, hinny, thou kenn'st little
o't; but that saam John Scrimgeour, that blew open the gates of heaven as
an it had been wi' a sax-pund cannonball, used devoutly to wish that most
part of books were burnt, except the Bible. Reuben's a gude lad and a
kind--I have aye allowed that; but as to his not allowing inquiry anent
the scandal of Marjory Kittlesides and Rory MacRand, under pretence that
they have southered sin wi' marriage, it's clear agane the Christian
discipline o' the kirk. And then there's Aily MacClure of Deepheugh, that
practises her abominations, spacing folks' fortunes wi' egg-shells, and
mutton-banes, and dreams and divinations, whilk is a scandal to ony
Christian land to suffer sic a wretch to live; and I'll uphaud that, in
a' judicatures, civil or ecclesiastical."

"I daresay ye are very right, father," was the general style of Jeanie's
answer; "but ye maun come down to the Manse to your dinner the day. The
bits o' bairns, puir things, are wearying to see their luckie dad; and
Reuben never sleeps weel, nor I neither, when you and he hae had ony bit
outcast."

"Nae outcast, Jeanie; God forbid I suld cast out wi' thee, or aught that
is dear to thee!" And he put on his Sundays coat, and came to the Manse
accordingly.

With her husband, Mrs. Butler had a more direct conciliatory process.
Reuben had the utmost respect for the old man's motives, and affection
for his person, as well as gratitude for his early friendship. So that,
upon any such occasion of accidental irritation, it was only necessary to
remind him with delicacy of his father-in-law's age, of his scanty
education, strong prejudices, and family distresses. The least of these
considerations always inclined Butler to measures of conciliation, in so
far as he could accede to them without compromising principle; and thus
our simple and unpretending heroine had the merit of those peacemakers,
to whom it is pronounced as a benediction, that they shall inherit the
earth.

The second crook in Mrs. Butler's lot, to use the language of her father,
was the distressing circumstance, that she had never heard of her
sister's safety, or of the circumstances in which she found herself,
though betwixt four and five years had elapsed since they had parted on
the beach of the island of Roseneath. Frequent intercourse was not to be
expected--not to be desired, perhaps, in their relative situations; but
Effie had promised, that, if she lived and prospered, her sister should
hear from her. She must then be no more, or sunk into some abyss of
misery, since she had never redeemed her pledge. Her silence seemed
strange and portentous, and wrung from Jeanie, who could never forget the
early years of their intimacy, the most painful anticipation concerning
her fate. At length, however, the veil was drawn aside.

One day, as the Captain of Knockdunder had called in at the Manse, on his
return from some business in the Highland part of the parish, and had
been accommodated, according to his special request, with a mixture of
milk, brandy, honey, and water, which he said Mrs. Butler compounded
"potter than ever a woman in Scotland,"--for, in all innocent matters,
she studied the taste of every one around her,--he said to Butler, "Py
the py, minister, I have a letter here either for your canny pody of a
wife or you, which I got when I was last at Glasco; the postage comes to
fourpence, which you may either pay me forthwith, or give me tooble or
quits in a hit at packcammon."

The playing at backgammon and draughts had been a frequent amusement of
Mr. Whackbairn, Butler's principal, when at Liberton school. The
minister, therefore, still piqued himself on his skill at both games, and
occasionally practised them, as strictly canonical, although David Deans,
whose notions of every kind were more rigorous, used to shake his head,
and groan grievously, when he espied the tables lying in the parlour, or
the children playing with the dice boxes or backgammon men. Indeed, Mrs.
Butler was sometimes chidden for removing these implements of pastime
into some closet or corner out of sight. "Let them be where they are,
Jeanie," would Butler say upon such occasions; "I am not conscious of
following this, or any other trifling relaxation, to the interruption of
my more serious studies, and still more serious duties. I will not,
therefore, have it supposed that I am indulging by stealth, and against
my conscience, in an amusement which, using it so little as I do, I may
well practise openly, and without any check of mind--_Nil conscire sibi,_
Jeanie, that is my motto; which signifies, my love, the honest and open
confidence which a man ought to entertain when he is acting openly, and
without any sense of doing wrong."

Such being Butler's humour, he accepted the Captain's defiance to a
twopenny hit at backgammon, and handed the letter to his wife, observing
the post-mark was York, but, if it came from her friend Mrs. Bickerton,
she had considerably improved her handwriting, which was uncommon at her
years.

Leaving the gentlemen to their game, Mrs. Butler went to order something
for supper, for Captain Duncan had proposed kindly to stay the night with
them, and then carelessly broke open her letter. It was not from Mrs.
Bickerton; and, after glancing over the first few lines, she soon found
it necessary to retire to her own bedroom, to read the document at
leisure.





CHAPTER TWENTY-FOURTH.

                    Happy thou art! then happy be,
                          Nor envy me my lot;
                    Thy happy state I envy thee,
                          And peaceful cot.
                                  Lady Charlotte Campbell.

The letter, which Mrs. Butler, when retired into her own apartment,
perused with anxious wonder, was certainly from Effie, although it had no
other signature than the letter E.; and although the orthography, style,
and penmanship, were very far superior not only to anything which Effie
could produce, who, though a lively girl, had been a remarkably careless
scholar, but even to her more considerate sister's own powers of
composition and expression. The manuscript was a fair Italian hand,
though something stiff and constrained--the spelling and the diction that
of a person who had been accustomed to read good composition, and mix in
good society.

The tenor of the letter was as follows:--

"My Dearest Sister,--At many risks I venture to write to you, to inform
you that I am still alive, and, as to worldly situation, that I rank
higher than I could expect or merit. If wealth, and distinction, and an
honourable rank, could make a woman happy, I have them all; but you,
Jeanie, whom the world might think placed far beneath me in all these
respects, are far happier than I am. I have had means of hearing of your
welfare, my dearest Jeanie, from time to time--I think I should have
broken my heart otherwise. I have learned with great pleasure of your
increasing family. We have not been worthy of such a blessing; two
infants have been successively removed, and we are now childless--God's
will be done! But, if we had a child, it would perhaps divert him from
the gloomy thoughts which make him terrible to himself and others. Yet do
not let me frighten you, Jeanie; he continues to be kind, and I am far
better off than I deserve. You will wonder at my better scholarship; but
when I was abroad, I had the best teachers, and I worked hard, because my
progress pleased him. He is kind, Jeanie, only he has much to distress
him, especially when he looks backward. When I look backward myself, I
have always a ray of comfort: it is in the generous conduct of a sister,
who forsook me not when I was forsaken by every one. You have had your
reward. You live happy in the esteem and love of all who know you, and I
drag on the life of a miserable impostor, indebted for the marks of
regard I receive to a tissue of deceit and lies, which the slightest
accident may unravel. He has produced me to his friends, since the estate
opened to him, as a daughter of a Scotchman of rank, banished on account
of the Viscount of Dundee's wars--that is, our Fr's old friend Clavers,
you know--and he says I was educated in a Scotch convent; indeed, I lived
in such a place long enough to enable me to support the character. But
when a countryman approaches me, and begins to talk, as they all do, of
the various families engaged in Dundee's affair, and to make inquiries
into my connections, and when I see his eye bent on mine with such an
expression of agony, my terror brings me to the very risk of detection.
Good-nature and politeness have hitherto saved me, as they prevented
people from pressing on me with distressing questions. But how long--O
how long, will this be the case!--And if I bring this disgrace on him, he
will hate me--he will kill me, for as much as he loves me; he is as
jealous of his family honour now, as ever he was careless about it. I
have been in England four months, and have often thought of writing to
you; and yet, such are the dangers that might arise from an intercepted
letter, that I have hitherto forborne. But now I am obliged to run the
risk. Last week I saw your great friend, the D. of A. He came to my box,
and sate by me; and something in the play put him in mind of
you--Gracious Heaven! he told over your whole London journey to all who
were in the box, but particularly to the wretched creature who was the
occasion of it all. If he had known--if he could have conceived, beside
whom he was sitting, and to whom the story was told!--I suffered with
courage, like an Indian at the stake, while they are rending his fibres
and boring his eyes, and while he smiles applause at each well-imagined
contrivance of his torturers. It was too much for me at last, Jeanie--I
fainted; and my agony was imputed partly to the heat of the place, and
partly to my extreme sensibility; and, hypocrite all over, I encouraged
both opinions--anything but discovery! Luckily, _he_ was not there. But
the incident has more alarms. I am obliged to meet your great man often;
and he seldom sees me without talking of E. D. and J. D., and R. B. and
D. D., as persons in whom my amiable sensibility is interested. My
amiable sensibility!!!--And then the cruel tone of light indifference
with which persons in the fashionable world speak together on the most
affecting subjects! To hear my guilt, my folly, my agony, the foibles and
weaknesses of my friends--even your heroic exertions, Jeanie, spoken of
in the drolling style which is the present tone in fashionable
life--Scarce all that I formerly endured is equal to this state of
irritation--then it was blows and stabs--now it is pricking to death
with needles and pins.--He--I mean the D.--goes down next month to spend
the shooting-season in Scotland--he says, he makes a point of always
dining one day at the Manse--be on your guard, and do not betray
yourself, should he mention me--Yourself, alas! _you_ have nothing to
betray--nothing to fear; you, the pure, the virtuous, the heroine of
unstained faith, unblemished purity, what can you have to fear from the
world or its proudest minions? It is E. whose life is once more in your
hands--it is E. whom you are to save from being plucked of her borrowed
plumes, discovered, branded, and trodden down, first by him, perhaps,
who has raised her to this dizzy pinnacle!--The enclosure will reach you
twice a-year--do not refuse it--it is out of my own allowance, and may
be twice as much when you want it. With you it may do good--with me it
never can.

"Write to me soon, Jeanie, or I shall remain in the agonising
apprehension that this has fallen into wrong hands--Address simply to L.
S., under cover, to the Reverend George Whiterose, in the Minster-Close,
York. He thinks I correspond with some of my noble Jacobite relations who
are in Scotland. How high-church and jacobitical zeal would burn in his
checks, if he knew he was the agent, not of Euphemia Setoun, of the
honourable house of Winton, but of E. D., daughter of a Cameronian
cowfeeder!--Jeanie, I can laugh yet sometimes--but God protect you from
such mirth.--My father--I mean your father, would say it was like the
idle crackling of thorns; but the thorns keep their poignancy, they
remain unconsumed. Farewell, my dearest Jeanie--Do not show this even to
Mr. Butler, much less to any one else. I have every respect for him, but
his principles are over strict, and my case will not endure severe
handling.--I rest your affectionate sister, E."

In this long letter there was much to surprise as well as to distress
Mrs. Butler. That Effie--her sister Effie, should be mingling freely in
society, and apparently on not unequal terms, with the Duke of Argyle,
sounded like something so extraordinary, that she even doubted if she
read truly. Not was it less marvellous, that, in the space of four years,
her education should have made such progress. Jeanie's humility readily
allowed that Effie had always, when she chose it, been smarter at her
book than she herself was, but then she was very idle, and, upon the
whole, had made much less proficiency. Love, or fear, or necessity,
however, had proved an able school-mistress, and completely supplied all
her deficiencies.

What Jeanie least liked in the tone of the letter, was a smothered degree
of egotism. "We should have heard little about her," said Jeanie to
herself, "but that she was feared the Duke might come to learn wha she
was, and a' about her puir friends here; but Effie, puir thing, aye looks
her ain way, and folk that do that think mair o' themselves than of their
neighbours.--I am no clear about keeping her siller," she added, taking
up a L50 note which had fallen out of the paper to the floor. "We hae
eneugh, and it looks unco like theftboot, or hushmoney, as they ca' it;
she might hae been sure that I wad say naething wad harm her, for a' the
gowd in Lunnon. And I maun tell the minister about it. I dinna see that
she suld be sae feared for her ain bonny bargain o' a gudeman, and that I
shouldna reverence Mr. Butler just as much; and sae I'll e'en tell him,
when that tippling body the Captain has ta'en boat in the morning.--But I
wonder at my ain state of mind," she added, turning back, after she had
made a step or two to the door to join the gentlemen; "surely I am no sic
a fule as to be angry that Effie's a braw lady, while I am only a
minister's wife?--and yet I am as petted as a bairn, when I should bless
God, that has redeemed her from shame, and poverty, and guilt, as ower
likely she might hae been plunged into."

Sitting down upon a stool at the foot of the bed, she folded her arms
upon her bosom, saying within herself, "From this place will I not rise
till I am in a better frame of mind;" and so placed, by dint of tearing
the veil from the motives of her little temporary spleen against her
sister, she compelled herself to be ashamed of them, and to view as
blessings the advantages of her sister's lot, while its embarrassments
were the necessary consequences of errors long since committed. And thus
she fairly vanquished the feeling of pique which she naturally enough
entertained, at seeing Effie, so long the object of her care and her
pity, soar suddenly so high above her in life, as to reckon amongst the
chief objects of her apprehension the risk of their relationship being
discovered.

When this unwonted burst of _amour propre_ was thoroughly subdued, she
walked down to the little parlour where the gentlemen were finishing
their game, and heard from the Captain a confirmation of the news
intimated in her letter, that the Duke of Argyle was shortly expected at
Roseneath.

"He'll find plenty of moor-fowls and plack-cock on the moors of
Auchingower, and he'll pe nae doubt for taking a late dinner, and a ped
at the Manse, as he has done pefore now."

"He has a gude right, Captain," said Jeanie.

"Teil ane potter to ony ped in the kintra," answered the Captain. "And ye
had potter tell your father, puir body, to get his beasts a' in order,
and put his tamn'd Cameronian nonsense out o' his head for twa or three
days, if he can pe so opliging; for fan I speak to him apout prute
pestil, he answers me out o' the Pible, whilk is not using a shentleman
weel, unless it be a person of your cloth, Mr. Putler."

No one understood better than Jeanie the merit of the soft answer, which
turneth away wrath; and she only smiled, and hoped that his Grace would
find everything that was under her father's care to his entire
satisfaction.

But the Captain, who had lost the whole postage of the letter at
backgammon, was in the pouting mood not unusual to losers, and which,
says the proverb, must be allowed to them.

"And, Master Putler, though you know I never meddle with the things of
your kirk-sessions, yet I must pe allowed to say that I will not be
pleased to allow Ailie MacClure of Deepheugh to be poonished as a witch,
in respect she only spaes fortunes, and does not lame, or plind, or
pedevil any persons, or coup cadger's carts, or ony sort of mischief; put
only tells people good fortunes, as anent our poats killing so many seals
and doug-fishes, whilk is very pleasant to hear."

"The woman," said Butler, "is, I believe, no witch, but a cheat: and it
is only on that head that she is summoned to the kirk-session, to cause
her to desist in future from practising her impostures upon ignorant
persons."

"I do not know," replied the gracious Duncan, "what her practices or
postures are, but I pelieve that if the poys take hould on her to duck
her in the Clachan purn, it will be a very sorry practice--and I pelieve,
moreover, that if I come in thirdsman among you at the kirk-sessions, you
will be all in a tamn'd pad posture indeed."

Without noticing this threat, Mr. Butler replied, "That he had not
attended to the risk of ill-usage which the poor woman might undergo at
the hands of the rabble, and that he would give her the necessary
admonition in private, instead of bringing her before the assembled
session."

"This," Duncan said, "was speaking like a reasonable shentleman;" and so
the evening passed peaceably off.

Next morning, after the Captain had swallowed his morning draught of
Athole brose, and departed in his coach and six, Mrs. Butler anew
deliberated upon communicating to her husband her sister's letter. But
she was deterred by the recollection, that, in doing so, she would unveil
to him the whole of a dreadful secret, of which, perhaps, his public
character might render him an unfit depositary. Butler already had reason
to believe that Effie had eloped with that same Robertson who had been a
leader in the Porteous mob, and who lay under sentence of death for the
robbery at Kirkcaldy. But he did not know his identity with George
Staunton, a man of birth and fortune, who had now apparently reassumed
his natural rank in society. Jeanie had respected Staunton's own
confession as sacred, and upon reflection she considered the letter of
her sisteras equally so, and resolved to mention the contents to no one.

On reperusing the letter, she could not help observing the staggering and
unsatisfactory condition of those who have risen to distinction by undue
paths, and the outworks and bulwarks of fiction and falsehood, by which
they are under the necessity of surrounding and defending their
precarious advantages. But she was not called upon, she thought, to
unveil her sister's original history--it would restore no right to any
one, for she was usurping none--it would only destroy her happiness, and
degrade her in the public estimation. Had she been wise, Jeanie thought
she would have chosen seclusion and privacy, in place of public life and
gaiety; but the power of choice might not be hers. The money, she
thought, could not be returned without her seeming haughty and unkind.
She resolved, therefore, upon reconsidering this point, to employ it as
occasion should serve, either in educating her children better than her
own means could compass, or for their future portion. Her sister had
enough, was strongly bound to assist Jeanie by any means in her power,
and the arrangement was so natural and proper, that it ought not to be
declined out of fastidious or romantic delicacy. Jeanie accordingly wrote
to her sister, acknowledging her letter, and requesting to hear from her
as often as she could. In entering into her own little details of news,
chiefly respecting domestic affairs, she experienced a singular
vacillation of ideas; for sometimes she apologised for mentioning things
unworthy the notice of a lady of rank, and then recollected that
everything which concerned her should be interesting to Effie. Her
letter, under the cover of Mr. Whiterose, she committed to the
post-office at Glasgow, by the intervention of a parishioner who had
business at that city.

The next week brought the Duke to Roseneath, and shortly afterwards he
intimated his intention of sporting in their neighbourhood, and taking
his bed at the Manse; an honour which he had once or twice done to its
inmates on former occasions.

Effie proved to be perfectly right in her auticipations. The Duke had
hardly set himself down at Mrs. Butler's right hand, and taken upon
himself the task of carving the excellent "barn-door chucky," which had
been selected as the high dishes upon this honourable occasion, before he
began to speak of Lady Staunton of Willingham, in Lincolnshire, and the
great noise which her wit and beauty made in London. For much of this
Jeanie was, in some measure, prepared--but Effie's wit! that would never
have entered into her imagination, being ignorant how exactly raillery in
the higher rank resembles flippancy among their inferiors.

"She has been the ruling belle--the blazing star--the universal toast of
the winter," said the Duke; "and is really the most beautiful creature
that was seen at court upon the birth-day."

The birthday! and at court!--Jeanie was annihilated, remembering well her
own presentation, all its extraordinary circumstances, and particularly
the cause of it.

"I mention this lady particularly to you, Mrs. Butler," said the Duke,
"because she has something in the sound of her voice, and cast of her
countenance, that reminded me of you--not when you look so pale
though--you have over-fatigued yourself--you must pledge me in a glass
of wine."

She did so, and Butler observed, "It was dangerous flattery in his Grace
to tell a poor minister's wife that she was like a court-beauty."

"Oho, Mr. Butler," said the Duke, "I find you are growing jealous; but
it's rather too late in the day, for you know how long I have admired
your wife. But seriously, there is betwixt them one of those inexplicable
likenesses which we see in countenances, that do not otherwise resemble
each other."

"The perilous part of the compliment has flown off," thought Mr. Butler.

His wife, feeling the awkwardness of silence, forced herself to say,
"That, perhaps, the lady might be her countrywoman, and the language
might have made some resemblance."

"You are quite right," replied the Duke. "She is a Scotch-woman, and
speaks with a Scotch accent, and now and then a provincial word drops out
so prettily, that it is quite Doric, Mr. Butler."

"I should have thought," said the clergyman, "that would have sounded
vulgar in the great city."

"Not at all," replied the Duke; "you must suppose it is not the broad
coarse Scotch that is spoken in the Cowgate of Edinburgh, or in the
Gorbals. This lady has been very little in Scotland, in fact she was
educated in a convent abroad, and speaks that pure court-Scotch, which
was common in my younger days; but it is so generally disused now, that
it sounds like a different dialect, entirely distinct from our modern
_patois._"

Notwithstanding her anxiety, Jeanie could not help admiring within
herself, how the most correct judges of life and manners can be imposed
on by their own preconceptions, while the Duke proceeded thus: "She is of
the unfortunate house of Winton, I believe; but, being bred abroad, she
had missed the opportunity of learning her own pedigree, and was obliged
to me for informing her, that she must certainly come of the Setons of
Windygoul. I wish you could have seen how prettily she blushed at her own
ignorance. Amidst her noble and elegant manners, there is now and then a
little touch of bashfulness and conventual rusticity, if I may call it
so, that makes her quite enchanting. You see at once the rose that had
bloomed untouched amid the chaste precincts of the cloister, Mr. Butler."

True to the hint, Mr. Butler failed not to start with his

           "Ut flos in septis secretus nascitur hortis," etc.,

while his wife could hardly persuade herself that all this was spoken of
Effie Deans, and by so competent a judge as the Duke of Argyle; and had
she been acquainted with Catullus, would have thought the fortunes of her
sister had reversed the whole passage.

She was, however, determined to obtain some indemnification for the
anxious feelings of the moment, by gaining all the intelligence she
could; and therefore ventured to make some inquiry about the husband of
the lady his Grace admired so much.

"He is very rich," replied the Duke; "of an ancient family, and has good
manners: but he is far from being such a general favourite as his wife.
Some people say he can be very pleasant--I never saw him so; but should
rather judge him reserved, and gloomy, and capricious. He was very wild
in his youth, they say, and has bad health; yet he is a good-looking man
enough--a great friend of your Lord High Commissioner of the Kirk, Mr.
Butler."

"Then he is the friend of a very worthy and honourable nobleman," said
Butler.

"Does he admire his lady as much as other people do?" said Jeanie, in a
low voice.

"Who--Sir George? They say he is very fond of her," said the Duke; "but I
observe she trembles a little when he fixes his eye on her, and that is
no good sign--But it is strange how I am haunted by this resemblance of
yours to Lady Staunton, in look and tone of voice. One would almost swear
you were sisters."

Jeanie's distress became uncontrollable, and beyond concealment. The Duke
of Argyle was much disturbed, good-naturedly ascribing it to his having
unwittingly recalled, to her remembrance her family misfortunes. He was
too well-bred to attempt to apologise; but hastened to change the
subject, and arrange certain points of dispute which had occurred betwixt
Duncan of Knock and the minister, acknowledging that his worthy
substitute was sometimes a little too obstinate, as well as too
energetic, in his executive measures.

Mr. Butler admitted his general merits; but said, "He would presume to
apply to the worthy gentleman the words of the poet to Marrucinus
Asinius,

                 Manu
                 Non belle uteris in joco atque vino."

The discourse being thus turned on parish business, nothing farther
occurred that can interest the reader.





CHAPTER TWENTY-FIFTH.

              Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
                 And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
              Thence to be wrench'd by an unlineal hand,
                 No son of mine succeeding.
                                        Macbeth.

After this period, but under the most strict precautions against
discovery, the sisters corresponded occasionally, exchanging letters
about twice every year. Those of Lady Staunton spoke of her husband's
health and spirits as being deplorably uncertain; her own seemed also to
be sinking, and one of the topics on which she most frequently dwelt was
their want of family. Sir George Staunton, always violent, had taken some
aversion at the next heir, whom he suspected of having irritated his
friends against him during his absence; and he declared, he would
bequeath Willingham and all its lands to an hospital, ere that
fetch-and-carry tell-tale should inherit an acre of it.

"Had he but a child," said the unfortunate wife, "or had that luckless
infant survived, it would be some motive for living and for exertion. But
Heaven has denied us a blessing which we have not deserved."

Such complaints, in varied form, but turning frequently on the same
topic, filled the letters which passed from the spacious but melancholy
halls of Willingham, to the quiet and happy parsonage at Knocktarlitie.
Years meanwhile rolled on amid these fruitless repinings. John, Duke of
Argyle and Greenwich, died in the year 1743, universally lamented, but by
none more than by the Butlers, to whom his benevolence had been so
distinguished. He was succeeded by his brother Duke Archibald, with whom
they had not the same intimacy; but who continued the protection which
his brother had extended towards them. This, indeed, became more
necessary than ever; for, after the breaking out and suppression of the
rebellion in 1745, the peace of the country, adjacent to the Highlands,
was considerably disturbed. Marauders, or men that had been driven to
that desperate mode of life, quartered themselves in the fastnesses
nearest to the Lowlands, which were their scene of plunder; and there is
scarce a glen in the romantic and now peaceable Highlands of Perth,
Stirling, and Dumbartonshire, where one or more did not take up their
residence.

The prime pest of the parish of Knocktarlitie was a certain Donacha dhu
na Dunaigh, or Black Duncan the Mischievous, whom we have already
casually mentioned. This fellow had been originally a tinkler, or
_caird,_ many of whom stroll about these districts; but when all police
was disorganised by the civil war, he threw up his profession, and from
half thief became whole robber; and being generally at the head of three
or four active young fellows, and he himself artful, bold, and well
acquainted with the passes, he plied his new profession with emolument to
himself, and infinite plague to the country.

All were convinced that Duncan of Knock could have put down his namesake
Donacha any morning he had a mind; for there were in the parish a set of
stout young men, who had joined Argyle's banner in the war under his old
friend, and behaved very well on several occasions. And as for their
leader, as no one doubted his courage, it was generally supposed that
Donacha had found out the mode of conciliating his favour, a thing not
very uncommon in that age and country. This was the more readily
believed, as David Deans's cattle (being the property of the Duke) were
left untouched, when the minister's cows were carried off by the thieves.
Another attempt was made to renew the same act of rapine, and the cattle
were in the act of being driven off, when Butler, laying his profession
aside in a case of such necessity, put himself at the head of some of his
neighbours, and rescued the creagh, an exploit at which Deans attended in
person, notwithstanding his extreme old age, mounted on a Highland pony,
and girded with an old broadsword, likening himself (for he failed not to
arrogate the whole merit of the expedition) to David, the son of Jesse,
when he recovered the spoil of Ziklag from the Amalekites. This spirited
behaviour had so far a good effect, that Donacha dhu na Dunaigh kept his
distance for some time to come; and, though his distant exploits were
frequently spoken of, he did not exercise any depredations in that part
of the country. He continued to flourish, and to be heard of
occasionally, until the year 1751, when, if the fear of the second David
had kept him in check, fate released him from that restraint, for the
venerable patriarch of St. Leonard's was that year gathered to his
fathers.

David Deans died full of years and of honour. He is believed, for the
exact time of his birth is not known, to have lived upwards of ninety
years; for he used to speak of events as falling under his own knowledge,
which happened about the time of the battle of Bothwell Bridge. It was
said that he even bore arms there; for once, when a drunken Jacobite
laird wished for a Bothwell Brigg whig, that "he might stow the lugs out
of his head," David informed him with a peculiar austerity of
countenance, that, if he liked to try such a prank, there was one at his
elbow; and it required the interference of Butler to preserve the peace.

He expired in the arms of his beloved daughter, thankful for all the
blessings which Providence had vouchsafed to him while in this valley of
strife and toil--and thankful also for the trials he had been visited
with; having found them, he said, needful to mortify that spiritual pride
and confidence in his own gifts, which was the side on which the wily
Enemy did most sorely beset him. He prayed in the most affecting manner
for Jeanie, her husband, and her family, and that her affectionate duty
to the puir auld man might purchase her length of days here, and
happiness hereafter; then, in a pathetic petition, too well understood by
those who knew his family circumstances, he besought the Shepherd of
souls, while gathering his flock, not to forget the little one that had
strayed from the fold, and even then might be in the hands of the
ravening wolf.--He prayed for the national Jerusalem, that peace might be
in her land, and prosperity in her palaces--for the welfare of the
honourable House of Argyle, and for the conversion of Duncan of
Knockdunder. After this he was silent, being exhausted, nor did he again
utter anything distinctly. He was heard, indeed, to mutter something
about national defections, right-hand extremes, and left-hand failings
off; but, as May Hettly observed, his head was carried at the time; and
it is probable that these expressions occurred to him merely out of
general habit, and that he died in the full spirit of charity with all
men. About an hour afterwards he slept in the Lord.

Notwithstanding her father's advanced age, his death was a severe shock
to Mrs. Butler. Much of her time had been dedicated to attending to his
health and his wishes, and she felt as if part of her business in the
world was ended, when the good old man was no more. His wealth, which
came nearly to fifteen hundred pounds, in disposable capital, served to
raise the fortunes of the family at the Manse. How to dispose of this sum
for the best advantage of his family, was matter of anxious consideration
to Butler. "If we put it on heritable bond, we shall maybe lose the
interest; for there's that bond over Lounsbeck's land, your father could
neither get principal nor interest for it--If we bring it into the funds,
we shall maybe lose the principal and all, as many did in the South Sea
scheme. The little estate of Craigsture is in the market--it lies within
two miles of the Manse, and Knock says his Grace has no thought to buy
it. But they ask L2500, and they may, for it is worth the money; and were
I to borrow the balance, the creditor might call it up suddenly, or in
case of my death my family might be distressed."

"And so if we had mair siller, we might buy that bonny pasture-ground,
where the grass comes so early?" asked Jeanie.

"Certainly, my dear; and Knockdunder, who is a good judge, is strongly
advising me to it. To be sure it is his nephew that is selling it."

"Aweel, Reuben," said Jeanie, "ye maun just look up a text in Scripture,
as ye did when ye wanted siller before--just look up a text in the
Bible."

"Ah, Jeanie," said Butler, laughing and pressing her hand at the same
time, "the best people in these times can only work miracles once."

"We will see," said Jeanie composedly; and going to the closet in which
she kept her honey, her sugar, her pots of jelly, her vials of the more
ordinary medicines, and which served her, in short, as a sort of
store-room, she jangled vials and gallipots, till, from out the darkest
nook, well flanked by a triple row of bottles and jars, which she was
under the necessity of displacing, she brought a cracked brown cann, with
a piece of leather tied over the top. Its contents seemed to be written
papers, thrust in disorder into this uncommon _secre'taire._ But from
among these Jeanie brought an old clasped Bible, which had been David
Deans's companion in his earlier wanderings, and which he had given to
his daughter when the failure of his eyes had compelled him to use one of
a larger print. This she gave to Butler, who had been looking at her
motions with some surprise, and desired him to see what that book could
do for him. He opened the clasps, and to his astonishment a parcel of L50
bank-notes dropped out from betwixt the leaves, where they had been
separately lodged, and fluttered upon the floor. "I didna think to hae
tauld you o' my wealth, Reuben," said his wife, smiling at his surprise,
"till on my deathbed, or maybe on some family pinch; but it wad be better
laid out on yon bonny grass-holms, than lying useless here in this auld
pigg."

"How on earth came ye by that siller, Jeanie?--Why, here is more than a
thousand pounds," said Butler, lifting up and counting the notes.

"If it were ten thousand, it's a' honestly come by," said Jeanie; "and
troth I kenna how muckle there is o't, but it's a' there that ever I
got.--And as for how I came by it, Reuben--it's weel come by, and
honestly, as I said before--And it's mair folk's secret than mine, or ye
wad hae kend about it lang syne; and as for onything else, I am not free
to answer mair questions about it, and ye maun just ask me nane."

"Answer me but one," said Butler. "Is it all freely and indisputably your
own property, to dispose of it as you think fit?--Is it possible no one
has a claim in so large a sum except you?"

"It _was_ mine, free to dispose of it as I like," answered Jeanie; "and I
have disposed of it already, for now it is yours, Reuben--You are Bible
Butler now, as well as your forbear, that my puir father had sic an ill
will at. Only, if ye like, I wad wish Femie to get a gude share o't when
we are gane."

"Certainly, it shall be as you choose--But who on earth ever pitched on
such a hiding-place for temporal treasures?"

"That is just ane o' my auld-fashioned gates, as you ca' them, Reuben. I
thought if Donacha Dhu was to make an outbreak upon us, the Bible was the
last thing in the house he wad meddle wi'--but an ony mair siller should
drap in, as it is not unlikely, I shall e'en pay it ower to you, and ye
may lay it out your ain way."

"And I positively must not ask you how you have come by all this money?"
said the clergyman.

"Indeed, Reuben, you must not; for if you were asking me very sair I wad
maybe tell you, and then I am sure I would do wrong."

"But tell me," said Butler, "is it anything that distresses your own
mind?"

"There is baith weal and woe come aye wi' world's gear, Reuben; but ye
maun ask me naething mair--This siller binds me to naething, and can
never be speered back again."

"Surely," said Mr. Butler, when he had again counted over the money, as
if to assure himself that the notes were real, "there was never man in
the world had a wife like mine--a blessing seems to follow her."

"Never," said Jeanie, "since the enchanted princess in the bairn's fairy
tale, that kamed gold nobles out o' the tae side of her haffit locks, and
Dutch dollars out o' the tother. But gang away now, minister, and put by
the siller, and dinna keep the notes wampishing in your hand that gate,
or I shall wish them in the brown pigg again, for fear we get a black
cast about them--we're ower near the hills in these times to be thought
to hae siller in the house. And, besides, ye maun gree wi' Knockdunder,
that has the selling o' the lands; and dinna you be simple and let him
ken o' this windfa', but keep him to the very lowest penny, as if ye had
to borrow siller to make the price up."

In the last admonition, Jeanie showed distinctly, that, although she did
not understand how to secure the money which came into her hands
otherwise than by saving and hoarding it, yet she had some part of her
father David's shrewdness, even upon worldly subjects. And Reuben Butler
was a prudent man, and went and did even as his wife had advised him. The
news quickly went abroad into the parish that the minister had bought
Craigsture; and some wished him joy, and some "were sorry it had gane out
of the auld name." However, his clerical brethren, understanding that he
was under the necessity of going to Edinburgh about the ensuing
Whitsunday, to get together David Deans's cash to make up the
purchase-money of his new acquisition, took the opportunity to name him
their delegate to the General Assembly, or Convocation of the Scottish
Church, which takes place usually in the latter end of the month of May.





CHAPTER TWENTY-SIXTH.

              But who is this? what thing of sea or land--
                        Female of sex it seems--
              That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,
                        Comes this way sailing?
                                          Milton.

Not long after the incident of the Bible and the bank-notes, Fortune
showed that she could surprise Mrs Butler as well as her husband. The
Minister, in order to accomplish the various pieces of business which his
unwonted visit to Edinburgh rendered necessary, had been under the
necessity of setting out from home in the latter end of the month of
February, concluding justly that he would find the space betwixt his
departure and the term of Whitsunday (24th May) short enough for the
purpose of bringing forward those various debtors of old David Deans, out
of whose purses a considerable part of the price of his new purchase was
to be made good.

Jeanie was thus in the unwonted situation of inhabiting a lonely house,
and she felt yet more solitary from the death of the good old man who
used to divide her cares with her husband. Her children were her
principal resource, and to them she paid constant attention.

It happened a day or two after Butler's departure that, while she was
engaged in some domestic duties, she heard a dispute among the young
folk, which, being maintained with obstinacy, appeared to call for her
interference. All came to their natural umpire with their complaints.
Femie, not yet ten years old, charged Davie and Reubie with an attempt to
take away her book by force; and David and Reuben replied, the elder,
"That it was not a book for Femie to read," and Reuben, "That it was
about a bad woman."

"Where did you get the book, ye little hempie?" said Mrs. Butler. "How
dare ye touch papa's books when he is away?" But the little lady, holding
fast a sheet of crumpled paper, declared "It was nane o' papa's books,
and May Hettly had taken it off the muckle cheese which came from
Inverara;" for, as was very natural to suppose, a friendly intercourse,
with interchange of mutual civilities, was kept up from time to time
between Mrs. Dolly Dutton, now Mrs. MacCorkindale, and her former
friends.

Jeanie took the subject of contention out of the child's hand, to satisfy
herself of the propriety of her studies; but how much was she struck when
she read upon the title of the broadside-sheet, "The Last Speech,
Confession, and Dying Words of Margaret MacCraw, or Murdockson, executed
on Harabee Hill, near Carlisle, the  day of  1737." It was, indeed, one
of those papers which Archibald had bought at Longtown, when he
monopolised the pedlar's stock, which Dolly had thrust into her trunk out
of sheer economy. One or two copies, it seems, had remained in her
repositories at Inverary, till she chanced to need them in packing a
cheese, which, as a very superior production, was sent, in the way of
civil challenge, to the dairy at Knocktarlitie.

The title of this paper, so strangely fallen into the very hands from
which, in well-meant respect to her feelings, it had been so long
detained, was of itself sufficiently startling; but the narrative itself
was so interesting, that Jeanie, shaking herself loose from the children,
ran upstairs to her own apartment, and bolted the door, to peruse it
without interruption.

The narrative, which appeared to have been drawn up, or at least
corrected, by the clergyman who attended this unhappy woman, stated the
crime for which she suffered to have been "her active part in that
atrocious robbery and murder, committed near two years since near
Haltwhistle, for which the notorious Frank Levitt was committed for trial
at Lancaster assizes. It was supposed the evidence of the accomplice
Thomas Tuck, commonly called Tyburn Tom, upon which the woman had been
convicted, would weigh equally heavy against him; although many were
inclined to think it was Tuck himself who had struck the fatal blow,
according to the dying statement of Meg Murdockson."

After a circumstantial account of the crime for which she suffered, there
was a brief sketch of Margaret's life. It was stated that she was a
Scotchwoman by birth, and married a soldier in the Cameronian
regiment--that she long followed the camp, and had doubtless acquired in
fields of battle, and similar scenes, that ferocity and love of plunder
for which she had been afterwards distinguished--that her husband,
having obtained his discharge, became servant to a beneficed clergyman
of high situation and character in Lincolnshire, and that she acquired
the confidence and esteem of that honourable family. She had lost this
many years after her husband's death, it was stated, in consequence of
conniving at the irregularities of her daughter with the heir of the
family, added to the suspicious circumstances attending the birth of a
child, which was strongly suspected to have met with foul play, in order
to preserve, if possible, the girl's reputation. After this she had led
a wandering life both in England and Scotland, under colour sometimes of
telling fortunes, sometimes of driving a trade in smuggled wares, but,
in fact, receiving stolen goods, and occasionally actively joining in
the exploits by which they were obtained. Many of her crimes she had
boasted of after conviction, and there was one circumstance for which
she seemed to feel a mixture of joy and occasional compunction. When she
was residing in the suburbs of Edinburgh during the preceding summer, a
girl, who had been seduced by one of her confederates, was intrusted to
her charge, and in her house delivered of a male infant. Her daughter,
whose mind was in a state of derangement ever since she had lost her own
child, according to the criminal's account, carried off the poor girl's
infant, taking it for her own, of the reality of whose death she at
times could not be persuaded.

Margaret Murdockson stated that she, for some time, believed her daughter
had actually destroyed the infant in her mad fits, and that she gave the
father to understand so, but afterwards learned that a female stroller
had got it from her. She showed some compunction at having separated
mother and child, especially as the mother had nearly suffered death,
being condemned, on the Scotch law, for the supposed murder of her
infant. When it was asked what possible interest she could have had in
exposing the unfortunate girl to suffer for a crime she had not
committed, she asked, if they thought she was going to put her own
daughter into trouble to save another? She did not know what the Scotch
law would have done to her for carrying the child away. This answer was
by no means satisfactory to the clergyman, and he discovered, by close
examination, that she had a deep and revengeful hatred against the young
person whom she had thus injured. But the paper intimated, that, whatever
besides she had communicated upon this subject was confided by her in
private to the worthy and reverend Archdeacon who had bestowed such
particular pains in affording her spiritual assistance. The broadside
went on to intimate, that, after her execution, of which the particulars
were given, her daughter, the insane person mentioned more than once, and
who was generally known by the name of Madge Wildfire, had been very
ill-used by the populace, under the belief that she was a sorceress, and
an accomplice in her mother's crimes, and had been with difficulty
rescued by the prompt interference of the police.

Such (for we omit moral reflections, and all that may seem unnecessary to
the explanation of our story) was the tenor of the broadside. To Mrs.
Butler it contained intelligence of the highest importance, since it
seemed to afford the most unequivocal proof of her sister's innocence
respecting the crime for which she had so nearly suffered. It is true,
neither she nor her husband, nor even her father, had ever believed her
capable of touching her infant with an unkind hand when in possession of
her reason; but there was a darkness on the subject, and what might have
happened in a moment of insanity was dreadful to think upon. Besides,
whatever was their own conviction, they had no means of establishing
Effie's innocence to the world, which, according to the tenor of this
fugitive publication, was now at length completely manifested by the
dying confession of the person chiefly interested in concealing it.

After thanking God for a discovery so dear to her feelings, Mrs. Butler
began to consider what use she should make of it. To have shown it to her
husband would have been her first impulse; but, besides that he was
absent from home, and the matter too delicate to be the subject of
correspondence by an indifferent penwoman, Mrs. Butler recollected that
he was not possessed of the information necessary to form a judgment upon
the occasion; and that, adhering to the rule which she had considered as
most advisable, she had best transmit the information immediately to her
sister, and leave her to adjust with her husband the mode in which they
should avail themselves of it. Accordingly, she despatched a special
messenger to Glasgow with a packet, enclosing the Confession of Margaret
Murdockson, addressed, as usual, under cover, to Mr. Whiterose of York.
She expected, with anxiety, an answer, but none arrived in the usual
course of post, and she was left to imagine how many various causes might
account for Lady Staunton's silence. She began to be half sorry that she
had parted with the printed paper, both for fear of its having fallen
into bad hands, and from the desire of regaining the document which might
be essential to establish her sister's innocence. She was even doubting
whether she had not better commit the whole matter to her husband's
consideration, when other incidents occurred to divert her purpose.

Jeanie (she is a favourite, and we beg her pardon for still using the
familiar title) had walked down to the sea-side with her children one
morning after breakfast, when the boys, whose sight was more
discriminating than hers, exclaimed, that "the Captain's coach and six
was coming right for the shore, with ladies in it." Jeanie instinctively
bent her eyes on the approaching boat, and became soon sensible that
there were two females in the stern, seated beside the gracious Duncan,
who acted as pilot. It was a point of politeness to walk towards the
landing-place, in order to receive them, especially as she saw that the
Captain of Knockdunder was upon honour and ceremony. His piper was in the
bow of the boat, sending forth music, of which one half sounded the
better that the other was drowned by the waves and the breeze. Moreover,
he himself had his brigadier wig newly frizzed, his bonnet (he had
abjured the cocked-hat) decorated with Saint George's red cross, his
uniform mounted as a captain of militia, the Duke's flag with the boar's
head displayed--all intimated parade and gala.

As Mrs. Butler approached the landing-place, she observed the Captain
hand the ladies ashore with marks of great attention, and the parties
advanced towards her, the Captain a few steps before the two ladies, of
whom the taller and elder leaned on the shoulder of the other, who seemed
to be an attendant or servant.

As they met, Duncan, in his best, most important, and deepest tone of
Highland civility, "pegged leave to introduce to Mrs. Putler,
Lady--eh--eh--I hae forgotten your leddyship's name!"

"Never mind my name, sir," said the lady; "I trust Mrs. Butler will be at
no loss. The Duke's letter"--And, as she observed Mrs. Butler look
confused, she said again to Duncan somethin sharply, "Did you not send
the letter last night, sir?"

"In troth and I didna, and I crave your leddyship's pardon; but you see,
matam, I thought it would do as weel to-tay, pecause Mrs. Putler is never
taen out o'sorts--never--and the coach was out fishing--and the gig was
gane to Greenock for a cag of prandy--and--Put here's his Grace's
letter."

"Give it me, sir," said the lady, taking it out of his hand; "since you
have not found it convenient to do me the favour to send it before me, I
will deliver it myself."

Mrs. Butler looked with great attention, and a certain dubious feeling of
deep interest, on the lady, who thus expressed herself with authority
over the man of authority, and to whose mandates he seemed to submit,
resigning the letter with a "Just as your leddyship is pleased to order
it."

The lady was rather above the middle size, beautifully made, though
something _embonpoint,_ with a hand and arm exquisitely formed. Her
manner was easy, dignified, and commanding, and seemed to evince high
birth and the habits of elevated society. She wore a travelling dress--a
grey beaver hat, and a veil of Flanders lace. Two footmen, in rich
liveries, who got out of the barge, and lifted out a trunk and
portmanteau, appeared to belong to her suite.

"As you did not receive the letter, madam, which should have served for
my introduction--for I presume you are Mrs. Butler--I will not present it
to you till you are so good as to admit me into your house without it."

"To pe sure, matam," said Knockdunder, "ye canna doubt Mrs. Putler will
do that.--Mrs. Putler, this is Lady--Lady--these tamned Southern names
rin out o' my head like a stane trowling down hill--put I believe she is
a Scottish woman porn--the mair our credit--and I presume her leddyship
is of the house of"

"The Duke of Argyle knows my family very well, sir," said the lady, in a
tone which seemed designed to silence Duncan, or, at any rate, which had
that effect completely.

There was something about the whole of this stranger's address, and tone,
and manner, which acted upon Jeanie's feelings like the illusions of a
dream, that tease us with a puzzling approach to reality. Something there
was of her sister in the gait and manner of the stranger, as well as in
the sound of her voice, and something also, when, lifting her veil, she
showed features, to which, changed as they were in expression and
complexion, she could not but attach many remembrances.

The stranger was turned of thirty certainly; but so well were her
personal charms assisted by the power of dress, and arrangement of
ornament, that she might well have passed for one-and-twenty. And her
behaviour was so steady and so composed, that, as often as Mrs. Butler
perceived anew some point of resemblance to her unfortunate sister, so
often the sustained self-command and absolute composure of the stranger
destroyed the ideas which began to arise in her imagination. She led the
way silently towards the Manse, lost in a confusion of reflections, and
trusting the letter with which she was to be there intrusted, would
afford her satisfactory explanation of what was a most puzzling and
embarrassing scene.

The lady maintained in the meanwhile the manners of a stranger of rank.
She admired the various points of view like one who has studied nature,
and the best representations of art. At length she took notice of the
children.

"These are two fine young mountaineers--Yours, madam, I presume?"

Jeanie replied in the affirmative. The stranger sighed, and sighed once
more as they were presented to her by name.

"Come here, Femie," said Mrs. Butler, "and hold your head up."

"What is your daughter's name, madam?" said the lady.

"Euphemia, madam," answered Mrs. Butler.

"I thought the ordinary Scottish contraction of the name had been Effie;"
replied the stranger, in a tone which went to Jeanie's heart; for in that
single word there was more of her sister--more of _lang syne_ ideas--than
in all the reminiscences which her own heart had anticipated, or the
features and manner of the stranger had suggested.

When they reached the Manse, the lady gave Mrs. Butler the letter which
she had taken out of the hands of Knockdunder; and as she gave it she
pressed her hand, adding aloud, "Perhaps, madam, you will have the
goodness to get me a little milk!"

"And me a drap of the grey-peard, if you please, Mrs. Putler," added
Duncan.

Mrs. Butler withdrew; but, deputing to May Hettly and to David the supply
of the strangers' wants, she hastened into her own room to read the
letter. The envelope was addressed in the Duke of Argyle's hand, and
requested Mrs. Butler's attentions and civility to a lady of rank, a
particular friend of his late brother, Lady Staunton of Willingham, who,
being recommended to drink goats' whey by the physicians, was to honour
the Lodge at Roseneath with her residence, while her husband made a short
tour in Scotland. But within the same cover, which had been given to Lady
Staunton unsealed, was a letter from that lady, intended to prepare her
sister for meeting her, and which, but for the Captain's negligence, she
ought to have received on the preceding evening. It stated that the news
in Jeanie's last letter had been so interesting to her husband, that he
was determined to inquire farther into the confession made at Carlisle,
and the fate of that poor innocent, and that, as he had been in some
degree successful, she had, by the most earnest entreaties, extorted
rather than obtained his permission, under promise of observing the most
strict incognito, to spend a week or two with her sister, or in her
neighbourhood, while he was prosecuting researches, to which (though it
appeared to her very vainly) he seemed to attach some hopes of success.

There was a postscript, desiring that Jeanie would trust to Lady S. the
management of their intercourse, and be content with assenting to what
she should propose. After reading and again reading the letter, Mrs.
Butler hurried down stairs, divided betwixt the fear of betraying her
secret, and the desire to throw herself upon her sister's neck. Effie
received her with a glance at once affectionate and cautionary, and
immediately proceeded to speak.

"I have been telling Mr. ------, Captain , this gentleman, Mrs. Butler,
that if you could accommodate me with an apartment in your house, and a
place for Ellis to sleep, and for the two men, it would suit me better
than the Lodge, which his Grace has so kindly placed at my disposal. I am
advised I should reside as near where the goats feed as possible."

"I have peen assuring my leddy, Mrs. Putler," said Duncan, "that though
it could not discommode you to receive any of his Grace's visitors or
mine, yet she had mooch petter stay at the Lodge; and for the gaits, the
creatures can be fetched there, in respect it is mair fitting they suld
wait upon her Leddyship, than she upon the like o' them."

"By no means derange the goats for me," said Lady Staunton; "I am certain
the milk must be much better here." And this she said with languid
negligence, as one whose slightest intimation of humour is to bear down
all argument.

Mrs. Butler hastened to intimate, that her house, such as it was, was
heartily at the disposal of Lady Staunton; but the Captain continued to
remonstrate..

"The Duke," he said, "had written"

"I will settle all that with his Grace"

"And there were the things had been sent down frae Glasco"

"Anything necessary might be sent over to the Parsonage--She would beg
the favour of Mrs. Butler to show her an apartment, and of the Captain to
have her trunks, etc., sent over from Roseneath."

So she courtesied off poor Duncan, who departed, saying in his secret
soul, "Cot tamn her English impudence!--she takes possession of the
minister's house as an it were her ain--and speaks to shentlemens as if
they were pounden servants, and per tamned to her!--And there's the deer
that was shot too--but we will send it ower to the Manse, whilk will pe
put civil, seeing I hae prought worthy Mrs. Putler sic a fliskmahoy."--
And with these kind intentions, he went to the shore to give his orders
accordingly.

In the meantime, the meeting of the sisters was as affectionate as it was
extraordinary, and each evinced her feelings in the way proper to her
character. Jeanie was so much overcome by wonder, and even by awe, that
her feelings were deep, stunning, and almost overpowering. Effie, on the
other hand, wept, laughed, sobbed, screamed, and clapped her hands for
joy, all in the space of five minutes, giving way at once, and without
reserve, to a natural excessive vivacity of temper, which no one,
however, knew better how to restrain under the rules of artificial
breeding.

After an hour had passed like a moment in their expressions of mutual
affection, Lady Staunton observed the Captain walking with impatient
steps below the window. "That tiresome Highland fool has returned upon
our hands," she said. "I will pray him to grace us with his absence."

"Hout no! hout no!" said Mrs. Butler, in a tone of entreaty; "ye maunna
affront the Captain."

"Affront?" said Lady Staunton; "nobody is ever affronted at what I do or
say, my dear. However, I will endure him, since you think it proper."

The Captain was accordingly graciously requested by Lady Staunton to
remain during dinner. During this visit his studious and punctilious
complaisance towards the lady of rank was happily contrasted by the
cavalier air of civil familiarity in which he indulged towards the
minister's wife.

"I have not been able to persuade Mrs. Butler," said Lady Staunton to the
Captain, during the interval when Jeanie had left the parlour, "to let me
talk of making any recompense for storming her house, and garrisoning it
in the way I have done."

"Doubtless, matam," said the Captain, "it wad ill pecome Mrs. Putler, wha
is a very decent pody, to make any such sharge to a lady who comes from
my house, or his Grace's, which is the same thing.--And speaking of
garrisons, in the year forty-five, I was poot with a garrison of twenty
of my lads in the house of Inver-Garry, whilk had near been unhappily,
for"

"I beg your pardon, sir--But I wish I could think of some way of
indemnifying this good lady."

"O, no need of intemnifying at all--no trouble for her, nothing at all--
So, peing in the house of Inver-Garry, and the people about it being
uncanny, I doubted the warst, and"

"Do you happen to know, sir," said Lady Staunton, "if any of these two
lads, these young Butlers, I mean, show any turn for the army?"

"Could not say, indeed, my leddy," replied Knockdunder--"So, I knowing
the people to pe unchancy, and not to lippen to, and hearing a pibroch in
the wood, I pegan to pid my lads look to their flints, and then"

"For," said Lady Staunton, with the most ruthless disregard to the
narrative which she mangled by these interruptions, "if that should be
the case, it should cost Sir George but the asking a pair of colours for
one of them at the War-Office, since we have always supported Government,
and never had occasion to trouble ministers."

"And if you please, my leddy," said Duncan, who began to find some savour
in this proposal, "as I hae a braw weel-grown lad of a nevoy, ca'd Duncan
MacGilligan, that is as pig as paith the Putler pairns putten thegither,
Sir George could ask a pair for him at the same time, and it wad pe put
ae asking for a'."

Lady Staunton only answered this hint with a well-bred stare, which gave
no sort of encouragement.

Jeanie, who now returned, was lost in amazement at the wonderful
difference betwixt the helpless and despairing girl, whom she had seen
stretched on a flock-bed in a dungeon, expecting a violent and
disgraceful death, and last as a forlorn exile upon the midnight beach,
with the elegant, well-bred, beautiful woman before her. The features,
now that her sister's veil was laid aside, did not appear so extremely
different, as the whole manner, expression, look, and bearing. In outside
show, Lady Staunton seemed completely a creature too soft and fair for
sorrow to have touched; so much accustomed to have all her whims complied
with by those around her, that she seemed to expect she should even be
saved the trouble of forming them; and so totally unacquainted with
contradiction, that she did not even use the tone of self-will, since to
breathe a wish was to have it fulfilled. She made no ceremony of ridding
herself of Duncan as soon as the evening approached; but complimented him
out of the house under pretext of fatigue, with the utmost _nonchalance._

When they were alone, her sister could not help expressing her wonder at
the self-possession with which Lady Staunton sustained her part.

"I daresay you are surprised at it," said Lady Staunton composedly; "for
you, my dear Jeanie, have been truth itself from your cradle upwards; but
you must remember that I am a liar of fifteen years' standing, and
therefore must by this time be used to my character."

In fact, during the feverish tumult of feelings excited during the two or
three first days, Mrs. Butler thought her sister's manner was completely
contradictory of the desponding tone which pervaded her correspondence.
She was moved to tears, indeed, by the sight of her father's grave,
marked by a modest stone recording his piety and integrity; but lighter
impressions and associations had also power over her. She amused herself
with visiting the dairy, in which she had so long been assistant, and was
so near discovering herself to May Hettly, by betraying her acquaintance
with the celebrated receipt for Dunlop cheese, that she compared herself
to Bedreddin Hassan, whom the vizier, his father-in-law, discovered by
his superlative skill in composing cream-tarts with pepper in them. But
when the novelty of such avocations ceased to amuse her, she showed to
her sister but too plainly, that the gaudy colouring with which she
veiled her unhappiness afforded as little real comfort, as the gay
uniform of the soldier when it is drawn over his mortal wound. There were
moods and moments, in which her despondence seemed to exceed even that
which she herself had described in her letters, and which too well
convinced Mrs. Butler how little her sister's lot, which in appearance
was so brilliant, was in reality to be envied.

There was one source, however, from which Lady Staunton derived a pure
degree of pleasure. Gifted in every particular with a higher degree of
imagination than that of her sister, she was an admirer of the beauties
of nature, a taste which compensates many evils to those who happen to
enjoy it. Here her character of a fine lady stopped short, where she
ought to have

          Scream'd at ilk cleugh, and screech'd at ilka how,
                As loud as she had seen the worrie-cow.

On the contrary, with the two boys for her guides, she undertook long and
fatiguing walks among the neighbouring mountains, to visit glens, lakes,
waterfalls, or whatever scenes of natural wonder or beauty lay concealed
among their recesses. It is Wordsworth, I think, who, talking of an old
man under difficulties, remarks, with a singular attention to nature,

                 Whether it was care that spurr'd him,
                 God only knows; but to the very last,
                 He had the lightest foot in Ennerdale.

In the same manner, languid, listless, and unhappy, within doors, at
times even indicating something which approached near to contempt of the
homely accommodations of her sister's house, although she instantly
endeavoured, by a thousand kindnesses, to atone for such ebullitions of
spleen, Lady Staunton appeared to feel interest and energy while in the
open air, and traversing the mountain landscapes in society with the two
boys, whose ears she delighted with stories of what she had seen in other
countries, and what she had to show them at Willingham Manor. And they,
on the other hand, exerted themselves in doing the honours of
Dumbartonshire to the lady who seemed so kind, insomuch that there was
scarce a glen in the neighbouring hills to which they did not introduce
her.

Upon one of these excursions, while Reuben was otherwise employed, David
alone acted as Lady Staunton's guide, and promised to show her a cascade
in the hills, grander and higher than any they had yet visited. It was a
walk of five long miles, and over rough ground, varied, however, and
cheered, by mountain views, and peeps now of the firth and its islands,
now of distant lakes, now of rocks and precipices. The scene itself, too,
when they reached it, amply rewarded the labour of the walk. A single
shoot carried a considerable stream over the face of a black rock, which
contrasted strongly in colour with the white foam of the cascade, and, at
the depth of about twenty feet, another rock intercepted the view of the
bottom of the fall. The water, wheeling out far beneath, swept round the
crag, which thus bounded their view, and tumbled down the rocky glen in a
torrent of foam. Those who love nature always desire to penetrate into
its utmost recesses, and Lady Staunton asked David whether there was not
some mode of gaining a view of the abyss at the foot of the fall. He said
that he knew a station on a shelf on the farther side of the intercepting
rock, from which the whole waterfall was visible, but that the road to it
was steep and slippery and dangerous. Bent, however, on gratifying her
curiosity, she desired him to lead the way; and accordingly he did so
over crag and stone, anxiously pointing out to her the resting-places
where she ought to step, for their mode of advancing soon ceased to be
walking, and became scrambling.

In this manner, clinging like sea-birds to the face of the rock, they
were enabled at length to turn round it, and came full in front of the
fall, which here had a most tremendous aspect, boiling, roaring, and
thundering with unceasing din, into a black cauldron, a hundred feet at
least below them, which resembled the crater of a volcano. The noise, the
dashing of the waters, which gave an unsteady appearance to all around
them, the trembling even of the huge crag on which they stood, the
precariousness of their footing, for there was scarce room for them to
stand on the shelf of rock which they had thus attained, had so powerful
an effect on the senses and imagination of Lady Staunton, that she called
out to David she was falling, and would in fact have dropped from the
crag had he not caught hold of her. The boy was bold and stout of his
age--still he was but fourteen years old, and as his assistance gave no
confidence to Lady Staunton, she felt her situation become really
perilous. The chance was, that, in the appalling novelty of the
circumstances, he might have caught the infection of her panic, in which
case it is likely that both must have perished. She now screamed with
terror, though without hope of calling any one to her assistance. To her
amazement, the scream was answered by a whistle from above, of a tone so
clear and shrill, that it was heard even amid the noise of the waterfall.

In this moment of terror and perplexity, a human face, black, and having
grizzled hair hanging down over the forehead and cheeks, and mixing with
mustaches and a beard of the same colour, and as much matted and tangled,
looked down on them from a broken part of the rock above.

"It is the Enemy!" said the boy, who had very nearly become incapable of
supporting Lady Staunton.

"No, no," she exclaimed, inaccessible to supernatural terrors, and
restored to the presence of mind of which she had been deprived by the
danger of her situation, "it is a man--For God's sake, my friend, help
us!"

The face glared at them, but made no answer; in a second or two
afterwards, another, that of a young lad, appeared beside the first,
equally swart and begrimed, but having tangled black hair, descending in
elf-locks, which gave an air of wildness and ferocity to the whole
expression of the countenance. Lady Staunton repeated her entreaties,
clinging to the rock with more energy, as she found that, from the
superstitious terror of her guide, he became incapable of supporting her.
Her words were probably drowned in the roar of the falling stream, for,
though she observed the lips of the young being whom she supplicated move
as he spoke in reply, not a word reached her ear.

A moment afterwards it appeared he had not mistaken the nature of her
supplication, which, indeed, was easy to be understood from her situation
and gestures. The younger apparition disappeared, and immediately after
lowered a ladder of twisted osiers, about eight feet in length, and made
signs to David to hold it fast while the lady ascended. Despair gives
courage, and finding herself in this fearful predicament, Lady Staunton
did not hesitate to risk the ascent by the precarious means which this
accommodation afforded; and, carefully assisted by the person who had
thus providentially come to her aid, she reached the summit in safety.
She did not, however, even look around her until she saw her nephew
lightly and actively follow her examples although there was now no one to
hold the ladder fast. When she saw him safe she looked round, and could
not help shuddering at the place and company in which she found herself.
They were on a sort of platform of rock, surrounded on every side by
precipices, or overhanging cliffs, and which it would have been scarce
possible for any research to have discovered, as it did not seem to be
commanded by any accessible position. It was partly covered by a huge
fragment of stone, which, having fallen from the cliffs above, had been
intercepted by others in its descent, and jammed so as to serve for a
sloping roof to the farther part of the broad shelf or platform on which
they stood. A quantity of withered moss and leaves, strewed beneath this
rude and wretched shelter, showed the lairs,--they could not be termed
the beds,--of those who dwelt in this eyrie, for it deserved no other
name. Of these, two were before Lady Staunton. One, the same who had
afforded such timely assistance, stood upright before them, a tall,
lathy, young savage; his dress a tattered plaid and philabeg, no shoes,
no stockings, no hat or bonnet, the place of the last being supplied by
his hair, twisted and matted like the _glibbe_ of the ancient wild Irish,
and, like theirs, forming a natural thick-set stout enough to bear off
the cut of a sword. Yet the eyes of the lad were keen and sparkling; his
gesture free and noble, like that of all savages. He took little notice
of David Butler, but gazed with wonder on Lady Staunton, as a being
different probably in dress, and superior in beauty, to anything he had
ever beheld. The old man, whose face they had first seen, remained
recumbent in the same posture as when he had first looked down on them,
only his face was turned towards them as he lay and looked up with a lazy
and listless apathy, which belied the general expression of his dark and
rugged features. He seemed a very tall man, but was scarce better clad
than the younger. He had on a loose Lowland greatcoat, and ragged tartan
trews or pantaloons. All around looked singularly wild and unpropitious.
Beneath the brow of the incumbent rock was a charcoal fire, on which
there was a still working, with bellows, pincers, hammers, a movable
anvil, and other smith's tools; three guns, with two or three sacks and
barrels, were disposed against the wall of rock, under shelter of the
superincumbent crag; a dirk and two swords, and a Lochaber axe, lay
scattered around the fire, of which the red glare cast a ruddy tinge on
the precipitous foam and mist of the cascade. The lad, when he had
satisfied his curiosity with staring at Lady Staunton, fetched an earthen
jar and a horn-cup, into which he poured some spirits, apparently hot
from the still, and offered them successively to the lady and to the boy.
Both declined, and the young savage quaffed off the draught, which could
not amount to less than three ordinary glasses. He then fetched another
ladder from the corner of the cavern, if it could be termed so, adjusted
it against the transverse rock, which served as a roof, and made signs
for the lady to ascend it, while he held it fast below. She did so, and
found herself on the top of a broad rock, near the brink of the chasm
into which the brook precipitates itself. She could see the crest of the
torrent flung loose down the rock, like the mane of a wild horse, but
without having any view of the lower platform from which she had
ascended.

David was not suffered to mount so easily; the lad, from sport or love of
mischief, shook the ladder a good deal as he ascended, and seemed to
enjoy the terror of young Butler, so that, when they had both come up,
they looked on each other with no friendly eyes. Neither, however, spoke.
The young caird, or tinker, or gipsy, with a good deal of attention,
assisted Lady Staunton up a very perilous ascent which she had still to
encounter, and they were followed by David Butler, until all three stood
clear of the ravine on the side of a mountain, whose sides were covered
with heather and sheets of loose shingle. So narrow was the chasm out of
which they ascended, that, unless when they were on the very verge, the
eye passed to the other side without perceiving the existence of a rent
so fearful, and nothing was seen of the cataract, though its deep hoarse
voice was still heard.

Lady Staunton, freed from the danger of rock and river, had now a new
subject of anxiety. Her two guides confronted each other with angry
countenances; for David, though younger by two years at least, and much
shorter, was a stout, well-set, and very bold boy.

"You are the black-coat's son of Knocktarlitie," said the young caird;
"if you come here again, I'll pitch you down the linn like a foot-ball."

"Ay, lad, ye are very short to be sae lang," retorted young Butler
undauntedly, and measuring his opponent's height with an undismayed eye;
"I am thinking you are a gillie of Black Donacha; if you come down the
glen, we'll shoot you like a wild buck."

"You may tell your father," said the lad, "that the leaf on the timber is
the last he shall see--we will hae amends for the mischief he has done to
us."

"I hope he will live to see mony simmers, and do ye muckle mair,"
answered David.

More might have passed, but Lady Staunton stepped between them with her
purse in her hand, and taking out a guinea, of which it contained
several, visible through the net-work, as well as some silver in the
opposite end, offered it to the caird.

"The white siller, lady--the white siller," said the young savage, to
whom the value of gold was probably unknown. Lady Staunton poured what
silver she had into his hand, and the juvenile savage snatched it
greedily, and made a sort of half inclination of acknowledgment and
adieu.

"Let us make haste now, Lady Staunton," said David, "for there will be
little peace with them since they hae seen your purse."

They hurried on as fast as they could; but they had not descended the
hill a hundred yards or two before they heard a halloo behind them, and
looking back, saw both the old man and the young one pursuing them with
great speed, the former with a gun on his shoulder. Very fortunately, at
this moment a sportsman, a gamekeeper of the Duke, who was engaged in
stalking deer, appeared on the face of the hill. The bandits stopped on
seeing him, and Lady Staunton hastened to put herself under his
protection. He readily gave them his escort home, and it required his
athletic form and loaded rifle to restore to the lady her usual
confidence and courage.

Donald listened with much gravity to the account of their adventure; and
answered with great composure to David's repeated inquiries, whether he
could have suspected that the cairds had been lurking there,--"Inteed,
Master Tavie, I might hae had some guess that they were there, or
thereabout, though maybe I had nane. But I am aften on the hill; and they
are like wasps--they stang only them that fashes them; sae, for my part,
I make a point not to see them, unless I were ordered out on the preceese
errand by MacCallummore or Knockdunder, whilk is a clean different case."

They reached the Manse late; and Lady Staunton, who had suffered much
both from fright and fatigue, never again permitted her love of the
picturesque to carry her so far among the mountains without a stronger
escort than David, though she acknowledged he had won the stand of
colours by the intrepidity he had displayed, so soon as assured he had to
do with an earthly antagonist. "I couldna maybe hae made muckle o' a
bargain wi' yon lang callant," said David, when thus complimented on his
valour; "but when ye deal wi' thae folk, it's tyne heart tyne a'."





CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVENTH.

              What see you there,
              That hath so cowarded and chased your blood
                          Out of appearance?
                                    Henry the Fifth.

We are under the necessity of returning to Edinburgh, where the General
Assembly was now sitting. It is well known, that some Scottish nobleman
is usually deputed as High Commissioner, to represent the person of the
King in this convocation; that he has allowances for the purpose of
maintaining a certain outward show and solemnity, and supporting the
hospitality of the representative of Majesty. Whoever are distinguished
by rank, or office, in or near the capital, usually attend the morning
levees of the Lord Commissioner, and walk with him in procession to the
place where the Assembly meets.

The nobleman who held this office chanced to be particularly connected
with Sir George Staunton, and it was in his train that he ventured to
tread the High Street of Edinburgh for the first time since the fatal
night of Porteous's execution. Walking at the right hand of the
representative of Sovereignty, covered with lace and embroidery, and with
all the paraphernalia of wealth and rank, the handsome though wasted
figure of the English stranger attracted all eyes. Who could have
recognised in a form so aristocratic the plebeian convict, that,
disguised in the rags of Madge Wildfire, had led the formidable rioters
to their destined revenge? There was no possibility that this could
happen, even if any of his ancient acquaintances, a race of men whose
lives are so brief, had happened to survive the span commonly allotted to
evil-doers. Besides, the whole affair had long fallen asleep, with the
angry passions in which it originated. Nothing is more certain than that
persons known to have had a share in that formidable riot, and to have
fled from Scotland on that account, had made money abroad, returned to
enjoy it in their native country, and lived and died undisturbed by the
law.*

* See Arnot's _Criminal Trials,_ 4to ed. p. 235.

The forbearance of the magistrate was, in these instances, wise,
certainly, and just; for what good impression could be made on the public
mind by punishment, when the memory of the offence was obliterated, and
all that was remembered was the recent inoffensive, or perhaps exemplary
conduct of the offender?

Sir George Staunton might, therefore, tread the scene of his former
audacious exploits, free from the apprehension of the law, or even of
discovery or suspicion. But with what feelings his heart that day
throbbed, must be left to those of the reader to imagine. It was an
object of no common interest which had brought him to encounter so many
painful remembrances.

In consequence of Jeanie's letter to Lady Staunton, transmitting the
confession, he had visited the town of Carlisle, and had found Archdeacon
Fleming still alive, by whom that confession had been received. This
reverend gentleman, whose character stood deservedly very high, he so far
admitted into his confidence, as to own himself the father of the
unfortunate infant which had been spirited away by Madge Wildfire,
representing the intrigue as a matter of juvenile extravagance on his own
part, for which he was now anxious to atone, by tracing, if possible,
what had become of the child. After some recollection of the
circumstances, the clergyman was able to call to memory, that the unhappy
woman had written a letter to George Staunton, Esq., younger, Rectory,
Willingham, by Grantham; that he had forwarded it to the address
accordingly, and that it had been returned, with a note from the Reverend
Mr. Staunton, Rector of Willingham, saying, he knew no such person as him
to whom the letter was addressed. As this had happened just at the time
when George had, for the last time, absconded from his father's house to
carry off Effie, he was at no loss to account for the cause of the
resentment, under the influence of which his father had disowned him.
This was another instance in which his ungovernable temper had occasioned
his misfortune; had he remained at Willingham but a few days longer, he
would have received Margaret Murdockson's letter, in which were exactly
described the person and haunts of the woman, Annaple Bailzou, to whom
she had parted with the infant. It appeared that Meg Murdockson had been
induced to make this confession, less from any feelings of contrition,
than from the desire of obtaining, through George Staunton or his
father's means, protection and support for her daughter Madge. Her letter
to George Staunton said, "That while the writer lived, her daughter would
have needed nought from any body, and that she would never have meddled
in these affairs, except to pay back the ill that George had done to her
and hers. But she was to die, and her daughter would be destitute, and
without reason to guide her. She had lived in the world long enough to
know that people did nothing for nothing;--so she had told George
Staunton all he could wish to know about his wean, in hopes he would not
see the demented young creature he had ruined perish for want. As for her
motives for not telling them sooner, she had a long account to reckon for
in the next world, and she would reckon for that too."

The clergyman said that Meg had died in the same desperate state of mind,
occasionally expressing some regret about the child which was lost, but
oftener sorrow that the mother had not been hanged--her mind at once a
chaos of guilt, rage, and apprehension for her daughter's future safety;
that instinctive feeling of parental anxiety which she had in common with
the she-wolf and lioness, being the last shade of kindly affection that
occupied a breast equally savage.

The melancholy catastrophe of Madge Wildfire was occasioned by her taking
the confusion of her mother's execution, as affording an opportunity of
leaving the workhouse to which the clergyman had sent her, and presenting
herself to the mob in their fury, to perish in the way we have already
seen. When Dr. Fleming found the convict's letter was returned from
Lincolnshire, he wrote to a friend in Edinburgh, to inquire into the fate
of the unfortunate girl whose child had been stolen, and was informed by
his correspondent, that she had been pardoned, and that, with all her
family, she had retired to some distant part of Scotland, or left the
kingdom entirely. And here the matter rested, until, at Sir George
Staunton's application, the clergyman looked out, and produced Margaret
Murdockson's returned letter, and the other memoranda which he had kept
concerning the affair.

Whatever might be Sir George Staunton's feelings in ripping up this
miserable history, and listening to the tragical fate of the unhappy girl
whom he had ruined, he had so much of his ancient wilfulness of
disposition left, as to shut his eyes on everything, save the prospect
which seemed to open itself of recovering his son. It was true, it would
be difficult to produce him, without telling much more of the history of
his birth, and the misfortunes of his parents, than it was prudent to
make known. But let him once be found, and, being found, let him but
prove worthy of his father's protection, and many ways might be fallen
upon to avoid such risk. Sir George Staunton was at liberty to adopt him
as his heir, if he pleased, without communicating the secret of his
birth; or an Act of Parliament might be obtained, declaring him
legitimate, and allowing him the name and arms of his father. He was
indeed already a legitimate child according to the law of Scotland, by
the subsequent marriage of his parents. Wilful in everything, Sir
George's sole desire now was to see this son, even should his recovery
bring with it a new series of misfortunes, as dreadful as those which
followed on his being lost.

But where was the youth who might eventually be called to the honours and
estates of this ancient family? On what heath was he wandering, and
shrouded by what mean disguise? Did he gain his precarious bread by some
petty trade, by menial toil, by violence, or by theft? These were
questions on which Sir George's anxious investigations could obtain no
light. Many remembered that Annaple Bailzou wandered through the country
as a beggar and fortune-teller, or spae-wife--some remembered that she
had been seen with an infant in 1737 or 1738,--but for more than ten
years she had not travelled that district; and that she had been heard to
say she was going to a distant part of Scotland, of which country she was
a native. To Scotland, therefore, came Sir George Staunton, having parted
with his lady at Glasgow; and his arrival at Edinburg happening to
coincide with the sitting of the General Assembly of the Kirk, his
acquaintance with the nobleman who held the office of Lord High
Commissioner forced him more into public than suited either his views or
inclinations.

At the public table of this nobleman, Sir George Staunton was placed next
to a clergyman of respectable appearance, and well-bred, though plain
demeanour, whose name he discovered to be Butler. It had been no part of
Sir George's plan to take his brother-in-law into his confidence, and he
had rejoiced exceedingly in the assurances he received from his wife,
that Mrs. Butler, the very soul of integrity and honour, had never
suffered the account he had given of himself at Willingham Rectory to
transpire, even to her husband. But he was not sorry to have an
opportunity to converse with so near a connection without being known to
him, and to form a judgment of his character and understanding. He saw
much, and heard more, to raise Butler very high in his opinion. He found
he was generally respected by those of his own profession, as well as by
the laity who had seats in the Assembly. He had made several public
appearances in the Assembly, distinguished by good sense, candour, and
ability; and he was followed and admired as a sound, and, at the same
time, an eloquent preacher.

This was all very satisfactory to Sir George Staunton's pride, which had
revolted at the idea of his wife's sister being obscurely married. He now
began, on the contrary, to think the connection so much better than he
expected, that, if it should be necessary to acknowledge it, in
consequence of the recovery of his son, it would sound well enough that
Lady Staunton had a sister, who, in the decayed state of the family, had
married a Scottish clergyman, high in the opinion of his countrymen, and
a leader in the church.

It was with these feelings, that, when the Lord High Commissioner's
company broke up, Sir George Staunton, under pretence of prolonging some
inquiries concerning the constitution of the Church of Scotland,
requested Butler to go home to his lodgings in the Lawnmarket, and drink
a cup of coffee. Butler agreed to wait upon him, providing Sir George
would permit him, in passing, to call at a friend's house where he
resided, and make his apology for not coming to partake her tea. They
proceeded up the High Street, entered the Krames, and passed the
begging-box, placed to remind those at liberty of the distresses of the
poor prisoners. Sir George paused there one instant, and next day a L20
note was found in that receptacle for public charity.

When he came up to Butler again, he found him with his eyes fixed on the
entrance of the Tolbooth, and apparently in deep thought.

"That seems a very strong door," said Sir George, by way of saying
something.

"It is so, sir," said Butler, turning off and beginning to walk forward,
"but it was my misfortune at one time to see it prove greatly too weak."

At this moment, looking at his companion, he asked him whether he felt
himself ill? and Sir George Staunton admitted, that he had been so
foolish as to eat ice, which sometimes disagreed with him. With kind
officiousness, that would not be gainsaid, and ere he could find out
where he was going, Butler hurried Sir George into the friend's house,
near to the prison, in which he himself had lived since he came to town,
being, indeed, no other than that of our old friend Bartoline Saddletree,
in which Lady Staunton had served a short noviciate as a shop-maid. This
recollection rushed on her husband's mind, and the blush of shame which
it excited overpowered the sensation of fear which had produced his
former paleness. Good Mrs. Saddletree, however, bustled about to receive
the rich English baronet as the friend of Mr. Butler, and requested an
elderly female in a black gown to sit still, in a way which seemed to
imply a wish, that she would clear the way for her betters. In the
meanwhile, understanding the state of the case, she ran to get some
cordial waters, sovereign, of course, in all cases of faintishness
whatsoever. During her absence, her visitor, the female in black, made
some progress out of the room, and might have left it altogether without
particular observation, had she not stumbled at the threshold, so near
Sir George Staunton, that he, in point of civility, raised her and
assisted her to the door.

"Mrs. Porteous is turned very doited now, puir body," said Mrs.
Saddletree, as she returned with her bottle in her hand--"She is no sae
auld, but she got a sair back-cast wi' the slaughter o' her husband--Ye
had some trouble about that job, Mr. Butler.--I think, sir," to Sir
George, "ye had better drink out the haill glass, for to my een ye look
waur than when ye came in."

And, indeed, he grew as pale as a corpse, on recollecting who it was that
his arm had so lately supported--the widow whom he had so large a share
in making such.

"It is a prescribed job that case of Porteous now," said old Saddletree,
who was confined to his chair by the gout--"clean prescribed and out of
date."

"I am not clear of that, neighbour," said Plumdamas, "for I have heard
them say twenty years should rin, and this is but the fifty-ane--
Porteous's mob was in thretty-seven."

"Ye'll no teach me law, I think, neighbour--me that has four gaun pleas,
and might hae had fourteen, an it hadna been the gudewife? I tell ye, if
the foremost of the Porteous mob were standing there where that gentleman
stands, the King's Advocate wadna meddle wi' him--it fa's under the
negative prescription."

"Haud your din, carles," said Mrs. Saddletree, "and let the gentleman sit
down and get a dish of comfortable tea."

But Sir George had had quite enough of their conversation; and Butler, at
his request, made an apology to Mrs. Saddletree, and accompanied him to
his lodgings. Here they found another guest waiting Sir George Staunton's
return. This was no other than our reader's old acquaintance, Ratcliffe.

This man had exercised the office of turnkey with so much vigilance,
acuteness, and fidelity, that he gradually rose to be governor, or
captain of the Tolbooth. And it is yet to be remembered in tradition,
that young men, who rather sought amusing than select society in their
merry-meetings, used sometimes to request Ratcliffe's company, in order
that he might regale them with legends of his extraordinary feats in the
way of robbery and escape.*

* There seems an anachronism in the history of this person. Ratcliffe,
among other escapes from justice, was released by the Porteous mob when
under sentence of death; and he was again under the same predicament,
when the Highlanders made a similar jail-delivery in 1745. He was too
sincere a whig to embrace liberation at the hands of the Jacobites, and
in reward was made one of the keepers of the Tolbooth. So at least runs
constant tradition.

But he lived and died without resuming his original vocation, otherwise
than in his narratives over a bottle.

Under these circumstances, he had been recommended to Sir George Staunton
by a man of the law in Edinburgh, as a person likely to answer any
questions he might have to ask about Annaple Bailzou, who, according to
the colour which Sir George Staunton gave to his cause of inquiry, was
supposed to have stolen a child in the west of England, belonging to a
family in which he was interested. The gentleman had not mentioned his
name, but only his official title; so that Sir George Staunton, when told
that the captain of the Tolbooth was waiting for him in his parlour, had
no idea of meeting his former acquaintance, Jem Ratcliffe.

This, therefore, was another new and most unpleasant surprise, for he had
no difficulty in recollecting this man's remarkable features. The change,
however, from George Robertson to Sir George Staunton, baffled even the
penetration of Ratcliffe, and he bowed very low to the baronet and his
guest, hoping Mr. Butler would excuse his recollecting that he was an old
acquaintance.

"And once rendered my wife a piece of great service," said Mr. Butler,
"for which she sent you a token of grateful acknowledgment, which I hope
came safe and was welcome."

"Deil a doubt on't," said Ratcliffe, with a knowing nod; "but ye are
muckle changed for the better since I saw ye, Maister Butler."

"So much so, that I wonder you knew me."

"Aha, then!--Deil a face I see I ever forget," said Ratcliffe while Sir
George Staunton, tied to the stake, and incapable of escaping, internally
cursed the accuracy of his memory. "And yet, sometimes," continued
Ratcliffe, "the sharpest hand will be ta'en in. There is a face in this
very room, if I might presume to be sae bauld, that, if I didna ken the
honourable person it belangs to, I might think it had some cut of an auld
acquaintance."

"I should not be much flattered," answered the Baronet, sternly, and
roused by the risk in which he saw himself placed, "if it is to me you
mean to apply that compliment."

"By no manner of means, sir," said Ratcliffe, bowing very low; "I am come
to receive your honour's commands, and no to trouble your honour wi' my
poor observations."

"Well, sir," said Sir George, "I am told you understand police matters--
So do I.--To convince you of which, here are ten guineas of retaining
fee--I make them fifty when you can find me certain notice of a person,
living or dead, whom you will find described in that paper. I shall leave
town presently--you may send your written answer to me to the care of Mr.
" (naming his highly respectable agent), "or of his Grace the Lord High
Commissioner." Rateliffe bowed and withdrew.

"I have angered the proud peat now," he said to himself, "by finding out
a likeness; but if George Robertson's father had lived within a mile of
his mother, d--n me if I should not know what to think, for as high as he
carries his head."

When he was left alone with Butler, Sir George Staunton ordered tea and
coffee, which were brought by his valet, and then, after considering with
himself for a minute, asked his guest whether he had lately heard from
his wife and family. Butler, with some surprise at the question, replied,
"that he had received no letter for some time; his wife was a poor
penwoman."

"Then," said Sir George Staunton, "I am the first to inform you there has
been an invasion of your quiet premises since you left home. My wife,
whom the Duke of Argyle had the goodness to permit to use Roseneath
Lodge, while she was spending some weeks in your country, has sallied
across and taken up her quarters in the Manse, as she says, to be nearer
the goats, whose milk she is using; but, I believe, in reality, because
she prefers Mrs. Butler's company to that of the respectable gentleman
who acts as seneschal on the Duke's domains."

Mr. Butler said, "He had often heard the late Duke and the present speak
with high respect of Lady Staunton, and was happy if his house could
accommodate any friend of theirs--it would be but a very slight
acknowledgment of the many favours he owed them."

"That does not make Lady Staunton and myself the less obliged to your
hospitality, sir," said Sir George. "May I inquire if you think of
returning home soon?"

"In the course of two days," Mr. Butler answered, "his duty in the
Assembly would be ended; and the other matters he had in town being all
finished, he was desirous of returning to Dumbartonshire as soon as he
could; but he was under the necessity of transporting a considerable sum
in bills and money with him, and therefore wished to travel in company
with one or two of his brethren of the clergy."

"My escort will be more safe," said Sir George Staunton, "and I think of
setting off to-morrow or next day. If you will give me the pleasure of
your company, I will undertake to deliver you and your charge safe at the
Manse, provided you will admit me along with you."

Mr. Butler gratefully accepted of this proposal; the appointment was made
accordingly, and, by despatches with one of Sir George's servants, who
was sent forward for the purpose, the inhabitants of the manse of
Knocktarlitie were made acquainted with the intended journey; and the
news rung through the whole vicinity, "that the minister was coming back
wi' a braw English gentleman and a' the siller that was to pay for the
estate of Craigsture."

This sudden resolution of going to Knocktarlitie had been adopted by Sir
George Staunton in consequence of the incidents of the evening. In spite
of his present consequence, he felt he had presumed too far in venturing
so near the scene of his former audacious acts of violence, and he knew
too well, from past experience, the acuteness of a man like Ratcliffe,
again to encounter him. The next two days he kept his lodgings, under
pretence of indisposition, and took leave by writing of his noble friend
the High Commissioner, alleging the opportunity of Mr. Butler's company
as a reason for leaving Edinburgh sooner than he had proposed. He had a
long conference with his agent on the subject of Annaple Bailzou; and the
professional gentleman, who was the agent also of the Argyle family, had
directions to collect all the information which Ratcliffe or others might
be able to obtain concerning the fate of that woman and the unfortunate
child, and so soon as anything transpired which had the least appearance
of being important, that he should send an express with it instantly to
Knocktarlitie. These instructions were backed with a deposit of money,
and a request that no expense might be spared; so that Sir George
Staunton had little reason to apprehend negligence on the part of the
persons intrusted with the commission.

The journey, which the brothers made in company, was attended with more
pleasure, even to Sir George Staunton, than he had ventured to expect.
His heart lightened in spite of himself when they lost sight of
Edinburgh; and the easy, sensible conversation of Butler was well
calculated to withdraw his thoughts from painful reflections. He even
began to think whether there could be much difficulty in removing his
wife's connections to the rectory of Willingham; it was only on his part
procuring some still better preferment for the present incumbent, and on
Butler's, that he should take orders according to the English Church, to
which he could not conceive a possibility of his making objection, and
then he had them residing under his wing. No doubt there was pain in
seeing Mrs. Butler, acquainted, as he knew her to be, with the full truth
of his evil history; but then her silence, though he had no reason to
complain of her indiscretion hitherto, was still more absolutely ensured.
It would keep his lady, also, both in good temper and in more subjection;
for she was sometimes troublesome to him by insisting on remaining in
town when he desired to retire to the country, alleging the total want of
society at Willingham. "Madam, your sister is there," would, he thought,
be a sufficient answer to this ready argument.

He sounded Butler on this subject, asking what he would think of an
English living of twelve hundred pounds yearly, with the burden of
affording his company now and then to a neighbour, whose health was not
strong or his spirits equal. "He might meet," he said, "occasionally, a
very learned and accomplished gentleman, who was in orders as a Catholic
priest, but he hoped that would be no insurmountable objection to a man
of his liberality of sentiment. What," he said, "would Mr. Butler think
of as an answer, if the offer should be made to him?"

"Simply that I could not accept of it," said Mr. Butler. "I have no mind
to enter into the various debates between the churches; but I was brought
up in mine own, have received her ordination, am satisfied of the truth
of her doctrines, and will die under the banner I have enlisted to."

"What may be the value of your preferment?" said Sir George Staunton,
"unless I am asking an indiscreet question."

"Probably one hundred a-year, one year with another, besides my glebe and
pasture-ground."

"And you scruple to exchange that for twelve hundred a-year, without
alleging any damning difference of doctrine betwixt the two churches of
England and Scotland?"

"On that, sir, I have reserved my judgment; there may be much good, and
there are certainly saving means in both; but every man must act
according to his own lights. I hope I have done, and am in the course of
doing, my Master's work in this Highland parish; and it would ill become
me, for the sake of lucre, to leave my sheep in the wilderness. But, even
in the temporal view which you have taken of the matter, Sir George, this
hundred pounds a-year of stipend hath fed and clothed us, and left us
nothing to wish for; my father-in-law's succession, and other
circumstances, have added a small estate of about twice as much more, and
how we are to dispose of it I do not know--So I leave it to you, sir, to
think if I were wise, not having the wish or opportunity of spending
three hundred a-year, to covet the possession of four times that sum."

"This is philosophy," said Sir George; "I have heard of it, but I never
saw it before."

"It is common sense," replied Butler, "which accords with philosophy and
religion more frequently than pedants or zealots are apt to admit."

Sir George turned the subject, and did not again resume it. Although they
travelled in Sir George's chariot, he seemed so much fatigued with the
motion, that it was necessary for him to remain for a day at a small town
called Mid-Calder, which was their first stage from Edinburgh. Glasgow
occupied another day, so slow were their motions.

They travelled on to Dumbarton, where they had resolved to leave the
equipage and to hire a boat to take them to the shores near the manse, as
the Gare-Loch lay betwixt them and that point, besides the impossibility
of travelling in that district with wheel-carriages. Sir George's valet,
a man of trust, accompanied them, as also a footman; the grooms were left
with the carriage. Just as this arrangement was completed, which was
about four o'clock in the afternoon, an express arrived from Sir George's
agent in Edinburgh, with a packet, which he opened and read with great
attention, appearing much interested and agitated by the contents. The
packet had been despatched very soon after their leaving Edinburgh, but
the messenger had missed the travellers by passing through Mid-Calder in
the night, and overshot his errand by getting to Roseneath before them.
He was now on his return, after having waited more than four-and-twenty
hours. Sir George Staunton instantly wrote back an answer, and rewarding
the messenger liberally, desired him not to sleep till he placed it in
his agent's hands.

At length they embarked in the boat, which had waited for them some time.
During their voyage, which was slow, for they were obliged to row the
whole way, and often against the tide, Sir George Staunton's inquiries
ran chiefly on the subject of the Highland banditti who had infested that
country since the year 1745. Butler informed him that many of them were
not native Highlanders, but gipsies, tinkers, and other men of desperate
fortunes, who had taken advantage of the confusion introduced by the
civil war, the general discontent of the mountaineers, and the unsettled
state of police, to practise their plundering trade with more audacity.
Sir George next inquired into their lives, their habits, whether the
violences which they committed were not sometimes atoned for by acts of
generosity, and whether they did not possess the virtues as well as the
vices of savage tribes?

Butler answered, that certainly they did sometimes show sparks of
generosity, of which even the worst class of malefactors are seldom
utterly divested; but that their evil propensities were certain and
regular principles of action, while any occasional burst of virtuous
feeling was only a transient impulse not to be reckoned upon, and excited
probably by some singular and unusual concatenation of circumstances. In
discussing these inquiries, which Sir George pursued with an apparent
eagerness that rather surprised Butler, the latter chanced to mention the
name of Donacha dhu na Dunaigh, with which the reader is already
acquainted. Sir George caught the sound up eagerly, and as if it conveyed
particular interest to his ear. He made the most minute inquiries
concerning the man whom he mentioned, the number of his gang, and even
the appearance of those who belonged to it. Upon these points Butler
could give little answer. The man had a name among the lower class, but
his exploits were considerably exaggerated; he had always one or two
fellows with him, but never aspired to the command of above three or
four. In short, he knew little about him, and the small acquaintance he
had had by no means inclined him to desire more.

"Nevertheless, I should like to see him some of these days."

"That would be a dangerous meeting, Sir George, unless you mean we are to
see him receive his deserts from the law, and then it were a melancholy
one."

"Use every man according to his deserts, Mr. Butler, and who shall escape
whipping? But I am talking riddles to you. I will explain them more fully
to you when I have spoken over the subject with Lady Staunton.--Pull
away, my lads," he added, addressing himself to the rowers; "the clouds
threaten us with a storm."

In fact, the dead and heavy closeness of the air, the huge piles of
clouds which assembled in the western horizon, and glowed like a furnace
under the influence of the setting sun--that awful stillness in which
nature seems to expect the thunder-burst, as a condemned soldier waits
for the platoon fire which is to stretch him on the earth, all betokened
a speedy storm. Large broad drops fell from time to time, and induced the
gentlemen to assume the boat-cloaks; but the rain again ceased, and the
oppressive heat, so unusual in Scotland in the end of May, inclined them
to throw them aside. "There is something solemn in this delay of the
storm," said Sir George; "it seems as if it suspended its peal till it
solemnised some important event in the world below."

"Alas!" replied Butler, "what are we that the laws of nature should
correspond in their march with our ephemeral deeds or sufferings! The
clouds will burst when surcharged with the electric fluid, whether a goat
is falling at that instant from the cliffs of Arran, or a hero expiring
on the field of battle he has won."

"The mind delights to deem it otherwise," said Sir George Staunton; "and
to dwell on the fate of humanity as on that which is the prime central
movement of the mighty machine. We love not to think that we shall mix
with the ages that have gone before us, as these broad black raindrops
mingle with the waste of waters, making a trifling and momentary eddy,
and are then lost for ever."

"_For ever!_--we are not--we cannot be lost for ever," said Butler,
looking upward; "death is to us change, not consummation; and the
commencement of a new existence, corresponding in character to the deeds
which we have done in the body."

While they agitated these grave subjects, to which the solemnity of the
approaching storm naturally led them, their voyage threatened to be more
tedious than they expected, for gusts of wind, which rose and fell with
sudden impetuosity, swept the bosom of the firth, and impeded the efforts
of the rowers. They had now only to double a small headland, in order to
get to the proper landing-place in the mouth of the little river; but in
the state of the weather, and the boat being heavy, this was like to be a
work of time, and in the meanwhile they must necessarily be exposed to
the storm.

"Could we not land on this side of the headland," asked Sir George, "and
so gain some shelter?"

Butler knew of no landing-place, at least none affording a convenient or
even practicable passage up the rocks which surrounded the shore.

"Think again," said Sir George Staunton; "the storm will soon be
violent."

"Hout, ay," said one of the boatmen, "there's the Caird's Cove; but we
dinna tell the minister about it, and I am no sure if I can steer the
boat to it, the bay is sae fa' o' shoals and sunk rocks."

"Try," said Sir George, "and I will give you half-a-guinea."

The old fellow took the helm, and observed, "That, if they could get in,
there was a steep path up from the beach, and half-an-hour's walk from
thence to the Manse."

"Are you sure you know the way?" said Butler to the old man.

"I maybe kend it a wee better fifteen years syne, when Dandie Wilson was
in the firth wi' his clean-ganging lugger. I mind Dandie had a wild young
Englisher wi' him, that they ca'd"

"If you chatter so much," said Sir George Staunton, "you will have the
boat on the Grindstone--bring that white rock in a line with the
steeple."

"By G--," said the veteran, staring, "I think your honour kens the bay as
weel as me.--Your honour's nose has been on the Grindstone ere now, I'm
thinking."

As they spoke thus, they approached the little cove, which, concealed
behind crags, and defended on every point by shallows and sunken rocks,
could scarce be discovered or approached, except by those intimate with
the navigation. An old shattered boat was already drawn up on the beach
within the cove, close beneath the trees, and with precautions for
concealment.

Upon observing this vessel, Butler remarked to his companion, "It is
impossible for you to conceive, Sir George, the difficulty I have had
with my poor people, in teaching them the guilt and the danger of this
contraband trade--yet they have perpetually before their eyes all its
dangerous consequences. I do not know anything that more effectually
depraves and ruins their moral and religious principles."

Sir George forced himself to say something in a low voice about the
spirit of adventure natural to youth, and that unquestionably many would
become wiser as they grew older.

"Too seldom, sir," replied Butler. "If they have been deeply engaged, and
especially if they, have mingled in the scenes of violence and blood to
which their occupation naturally leads, I have observed, that, sooner or
later, they come to an evil end. Experience, as well as Scripture,
teaches us, Sir George, that mischief shall hunt the violent man, and
that the bloodthirsty man shall not live half his days--But take my arm
to help you ashore."

Sir George needed assistance, for he was contrasting in his altered
thought the different feelings of mind and frame with which he had
formerly frequented the same place. As they landed, a low growl of
thunder was heard at a distance.

"That is ominous, Mr. Butler," said Sir George.

"_Intonuit laevum_--it is ominous of good, then," answered Butler,
smiling.

The boatmen were ordered to make the best of their way round the headland
to the ordinary landing-place; the two gentlemen, followed by their
servant, sought their way by a blind and tangled path, through a close
copsewood, to the Manse of Knocktarlitie, where their arrival was
anxiously expected.

The sisters in vain had expected their husbands' return on the preceding
day, which was that appointed by Sir George's letter. The delay of the
travellers at Calder had occasioned this breach of appointment. The
inhabitants of the Manse began even to doubt whether they would arrive on
the present day. Lady Staunton felt this hope of delay as a brief
reprieve, for she dreaded the pangs which her husband's pride must
undergo at meeting with a sister-in-law, to whom the whole of his unhappy
and dishonourable history was too well known. She knew, whatever force or
constraint he might put upon his feelings in public, that she herself
must be doomed to see them display themselves in full vehemence in
secret,--consume his health, destroy his temper, and render him at once
an object of dread and compassion. Again and again she cautioned Jeanie
to display no tokens of recognition, but to receive him as a perfect
stranger,--and again and again Jeanie renewed her promise to comply with
her wishes.

Jeanie herself could not fail to bestow an anxious thought on the
awkwardness of the approaching meeting; but her conscience was
ungalled--and then she was cumbered with many household cares of an
unusual nature, which, joined to the anxious wish once more to see
Butler, after an absence of unusual length, made her extremely desirous
that the travellers should arrive as soon as possible. And--why should I
disguise the truth?--ever and anon a thought stole across her mind that
her gala dinner had now been postponed for two days; and how few of the
dishes, after every art of her simple cuisine had been exerted to dress
them, could with any credit or propriety appear again upon the third;
and what was she to do with the rest?--Upon this last subject she was
saved the trouble of farther deliberation, by the sudden appearance of
the Captain at the head of half-a-dozen stout fellows, dressed and armed
in the Highland fashion.

"Goot-morrow morning to ye, Leddy Staunton, and I hope I hae the pleasure
to see you weel--And goot-morrow to you, goot Mrs. Putler--I do peg you
will order some victuals and ale and prandy for the lads, for we hae peen
out on firth and moor since afore daylight, and a' to no purpose
neither--Cot tam!"

So saying, he sate down, pushed back his brigadier wig, and wiped his
head with an air of easy importance; totally regardless of the look of
well-bred astonishment by which Lady Staunton endeavoured to make him
comprehend that he was assuming too great a liberty.

"It is some comfort, when one has had a sair tussel," continued the
Captain, addressing Lady Staunton, with an air of gallantry, "that it is
in a fair leddy's service, or in the service of a gentleman whilk has a
fair leddy, whilk is the same thing, since serving the husband is serving
the wife, as Mrs. Putler does very weel know."

"Really, sir," said Lady Staunton, "as you seem to intend this compliment
for me, I am at a loss to know what interest Sir George or I can have in
your movements this morning."

"O, Cot tam!--this is too cruel, my leddy--as if it was not py special
express from his Grace's honourable agent and commissioner at Edinburgh,
with a warrant conform, that I was to seek for and apprehend Donacha dhu
na Dunaigh, and pring him pefore myself and Sir George Staunton, that he
may have his deserts, that is to say, the gallows, whilk he has doubtless
deserved, py peing the means of frightening your leddyship, as weel as
for something of less importance."

"Frightening me!" said her ladyship; "why, I never wrote to Sir George
about my alarm at the waterfall."

"Then he must have heard it otherwise; for what else can give him sic an
earnest tesire to see this rapscallion, that I maun ripe the haill mosses
and muirs in the country for him, as if I were to get something for
finding him, when the pest o't might pe a pall through my prains?"

"Can it be really true, that it is on Sir George's account that you have
been attempting to apprehend this fellow?"

"Py Cot, it is for no other cause that I know than his honour's pleasure;
for the creature might hae gone on in a decent quiet way for me, sae lang
as he respectit the Duke's pounds--put reason goot he suld be taen, and
hangit to poet, if it may pleasure ony honourable shentleman that is the
Duke's friend--Sae I got the express over night, and I caused warn half a
score of pretty lads, and was up in the morning pefore the sun, and I
garr'd the lads take their kilts and short coats."

"I wonder you did that, Captain," said Mrs. Butler, "when you know the
act of Parliament against wearing the Highland dress."

"Hout, tout, ne'er fash your thumb, Mrs. Putler. The law is put twa-three
years auld yet, and is ower young to hae come our length; and pesides,
how is the lads to climb the praes wi' thae tamn'd breekens on them? It
makes me sick to see them. Put ony how, I thought I kend Donacha's haunt
gey and weel, and I was at the place where he had rested yestreen; for I
saw the leaves the limmers had lain on, and the ashes of them; by the
same token, there was a pit greeshoch purning yet. I am thinking they got
some word oat o' the island what was intended--I sought every glen and
clench, as if I had been deer-stalking, but teil a want of his coat-tail
could I see--Cot tam!"

"He'll be away down the Firth to Cowal," said David; and Reuben, who had
been out early that morning a-nutting, observed, "That he had seen a boat
making for the Caird's Cove;" a place well known to the boys, though
their less adventurous father was ignorant of its existence.

"Py Cot," said Duncan, "then I will stay here no longer than to trink
this very horn of prandy and water, for it's very possible they will pe
in the wood. Donacha's a clever fellow, and maype thinks it pest to sit
next the chimley when the lum reeks. He thought naebody would look for
him sae near hand! I peg your leddyship will excuse my aprupt departure,
as I will return forthwith, and I will either pring you Donacha in life,
or else his head, whilk I dare to say will be as satisfactory. And I hope
to pass a pleasant evening with your leddyship; and I hope to have mine
revenges on Mr. Putler at backgammon, for the four pennies whilk he won,
for he will pe surely at home soon, or else he will have a wet journey,
seeing it is apout to pe a scud."

Thus saying, with many scrapes and bows, and apologies for leaving them,
which were very readily received, and reiterated assurances of his speedy
return (of the sincerity whereof Mrs. Butler entertained no doubt, so
long as her best greybeard of brandy was upon duty), Duncan left the
Manse, collected his followers, and began to scour the close and
entangled wood which lay between the little glen and the Caird's Cove.
David, who was a favourite with the Captain, on account of his spirit and
courage, took the opportunity of escaping, to attend the investigations
of that great man.





CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHTH.

                         I did send for thee,
             That Talbot's name might be in thee revived,
               When sapless age and weak, unable limbs,
             Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.
                But--O malignant and ill-boding stars!--
                             First part of Henry the Sixth.

Duncan and his party had not proceeded very far in the direction of the
Caird's Cove before they heard a shot, which was quickly followed by one
or two others. "Some tamn'd villains among the roe-deer," said Duncan;
"look sharp out, lads."

The clash of swords was next heard, and Duncan and his myrmidons,
hastening to the spot, found Butler and Sir George Staunton's servant in
the hands of four ruffians. Sir George himself lay stretched on the
ground, with his drawn sword in his hand. Duncan, who was as brave as a
lion, instantly fired his pistol at the leader of the band, unsheathed
his sword, cried out to his men, _Claymore!_ and run his weapon through
the body of the fellow whom he had previously wounded, who was no other
thau Donacha dhu na Dunaigh himself. The other banditti were speedily
overpowered, excepting one young lad, who made wonderful resistance for
his years, and was at length secured with difficulty.


[Illustration: Death of Sir George Staunton--404]


Butler, so soon as he was liberated from the ruffians, ran to raise Sir
George Staunton, but life had wholly left him.

"A creat misfortune," said Duncan; "I think it will pe pest that I go
forward to intimate it to the coot lady.--Tavie, my dear, you hae smelled
pouther for the first time this day--take my sword and hack off Donacha's
head, whilk will pe coot practice for you against the time you may wish
to do the same kindness to a living shentleman--or hould! as your father
does not approve, you may leave it alone, as he will pe a greater object
of satisfaction to Leddy Staunton to see him entire; and I hope she will
do me the credit to pelieve that I can afenge a shentleman's plood fery
speedily and well."

Such was the observation of a man too much accustomed to the ancient
state of manners in the Highlands, to look upon the issue of such a
skirmish as anything worthy of wonder or emotion.

We will not attempt to describe the very contrary effect which the
unexpected disaster produced upon Lady Staunton, when the bloody corpse
of her husband was brought to the house, where she expected to meet him
alive and well. All was forgotten, but that he was the lover of her
youth; and whatever were his faults to the world, that he had towards her
exhibited only those that arose from the inequality of spirits and
temper, incident to a situation of unparalleled difficulty. In the
vivacity of her grief she gave way to all the natural irritability of her
temper; shriek followed shriek, and swoon succeeded to swoon. It required
all Jeanie's watchful affection to prevent her from making known, in
these paroxysms of affliction, much which it was of the highest
importance that she should keep secret.

At length silence and exhaustion succeeded to frenzy, and Jeanie stole
out to take counsel with her husband, and to exhort him to anticipate the
Captain's interference, by taking possession, in Lady Staunton's name, of
the private papers of her deceased husband. To the utter astonishment of
Butler, she now, for the first time, explained the relation betwixt
herself and Lady Staunton, which authorised, nay, demanded, that he
should prevent any stranger from being unnecessarily made acquainted with
her family affairs. It was in such a crisis that Jeanie's active and
undaunted habits of virtuous exertion were most conspicuous. While the
Captain's attention was still engaged by a prolonged refreshment, and a
very tedious examination, in Gaelic and English, of all the prisoners,
and every other witness of the fatal transaction, she had the body of her
brother-in-law undressed and properly disposed. It then appeared, from
the crucifix, the beads, and the shirt of hair which he wore next his
person, that his sense of guilt had induced him to receive the dogmata of
a religion, which pretends, by the maceration of the body, to expiate the
crimes of the soul. In the packet of papers which the express had brought
to Sir George Staunton from Edinburgh, and which Butler, authorised by
his connection with the deceased, did not scruple to examine, he found
new and astonishing intelligence, which gave him reason to thank God he
had taken that measure.

Ratcliffe, to whom all sorts of misdeeds and misdoers were familiar,
instigated by the promised reward, soon found himself in a condition to
trace the infant of these unhappy parents. The woman to whom Meg
Murdockson had sold that most unfortunate child, had made it the
companion of her wanderings and her beggary, until he was about seven or
eight years old, when, as Ratcliffe learned from a companion of hers,
then in the Correction House of Edinburgh, she sold him in her turn to
Donacha dhu na Dunaigh. This man, to whom no act of mischief was unknown,
was occasionally an agent in a horrible trade then carried on betwixt
Scotland and America, for supplying the plantations with servants, by
means of _kidnapping,_ as it was termed, both men and women, but
especially children under age. Here Ratcliffe lost sight of the boy, but
had no doubt but Donacha Dhu could give an account of him. The gentleman
of the law, so often mentioned, despatched therefore an express, with a
letter to Sir George Staunton, and another covering a warrant for
apprehension of Donacha, with instructions to the Captain of Knockdunder
to exert his utmost energy for that purpose.

Possessed of this information, and with a mind agitated by the most
gloomy apprehensions, Butler now joined the Captain, and obtained from
him with some difficulty a sight of the examinations. These, with a few
questions to the elder of the prisoners, soon confirmed the most dreadful
of Butler's anticipations. We give the heads of the information, without
descending into minute details.

Donacha Dhu had indeed purchased Effie's unhappy child, with the purpose
of selling it to the American traders, whom he had been in the habit of
supplying with human flesh. But no opportunity occurred for some time;
and the boy, who was known by the name of "The Whistler," made some
impression on the heart and affections even of this rude savage, perhaps
because he saw in him flashes of a spirit as fierce and vindictive as his
own. When Donacha struck or threatened him--a very common occurrence--he
did not answer with complaints and entreaties like other children, but
with oaths and efforts at revenge--he had all the wild merit, too, by
which Woggarwolfe's arrow-bearing page won the hard heart of his master:

             Like a wild cub, rear'd at the ruffian's feet,
             He could say biting jests, bold ditties sing,
             And quaff his foaming bumper at the board,
                 With all the mockery of a little man.*

* Ethwald.

In short, as Donacha Dhu said, the Whistler was a born imp of Satan, and
_therefore_ he should never leave him. Accordingly, from his eleventh
year forward, he was one of the band, and often engaged in acts of
violence. The last of these was more immediately occasioned by the
researches which the Whistler's real father made after him whom he had
been taught to consider as such. Donacha Dhu's fears had been for some
time excited by the strength of the means which began now to be employed
against persons of his description. He was sensible he existed only by
the precarious indulgence of his namesake, Duncan of Knockdunder, who was
used to boast that he could put him down or string him up when he had a
mind. He resolved to leave the kingdom by means of one of those sloops
which were engaged in the traffic of his old kidnapping friends, and
which was about to sail for America; but he was desirous first to strike
a bold stroke.

The ruffian's cupidity was excited by the intelligence, that a wealthy
Englishman was coming to the Manse--he had neither forgotten the
Whistler's report of the gold he had seen in Lady Staunton's purse, nor
his old vow of revenge against the minister; and, to bring the whole to a
point, he conceived the hope of appropriating the money, which, according
to the general report of the country, the minister was to bring from
Edinburgh to pay for his pew purchase. While he was considering how he
might best accomplish his purpose, he received the intelligence from one
quarter, that the vessel in which he proposed to sail was to sail
immediately from Greenock; from another, that the minister and a rich
English lord, with a great many thousand pounds, were expected the next
evening at the Manse; and from a third, that he must consult his safety
by leaving his ordinary haunts as soon as possible, for that the Captain
had ordered out a party to scour the glens for him at break of day.
Donacha laid his plans with promptitude and decision. He embarked with
the Whistler and two others of his band (whom, by the by, he meant to
sell to the kidnappers), and set sail for the Caird's Cove. He intended
to lurk till nightfall in the wood adjoining to this place, which he
thought was too near the habitation of men to excite the suspicion of
Duncan Knock, then break into Butler's peaceful habitation, and flesh at
once his appetite for plunder and revenge. When his villany was
accomplished, his boat was to convey him to the vessel, which, according
to previous agreement with the master, was instantly to set sail.

This desperate design would probably have succeeded, but for the ruffians
being discovered in their lurking-place by Sir George Staunton and
Butler, in their accidental walk from the Caird's Cove towards the Manse.
Finding himself detected, and at the same time observing that the servant
carried a casket, or strong-box, Donacha conceived that both his prize
and his victims were within his power, and attacked the travellers
without hesitation. Shots were fired and swords drawn on both sides; Sir
George Staunton offered the bravest resistance till he fell, as there was
too much reason to believe, by the hand of a son, so long sought, and now
at length so unhappily met.

While Butler was half-stunned with this intelligence, the hoarse voice of
Knockdunder added to his consternation.

"I will take the liperty to take down the pell-ropes, Mr. Putler, as I
must pe taking order to hang these idle people up to-morrow morning, to
teach them more consideration in their doings in future."

Butler entreated him to remember the act abolishing the heritable
jurisdictions, and that he ought to send them to Glasgow or Inverary, to
be tried by the Circuit. Duncan scorned the proposal.

"The Jurisdiction Act," he said, "had nothing to do put with the rebels,
and specially not with Argyle's country; and he would hang the men up all
three in one row before coot Leddy Staunton's windows, which would be a
great comfort to her in the morning to see that the coot gentleman, her
husband, had been suitably afenged."

And the utmost length that Butler's most earnest entreaties could prevail
was, that he would, reserve "the twa pig carles for the Circuit, but as
for him they ca'd the Fustler, he should try how he could fustle in a
swinging tow, for it suldna be said that a shentleman, friend to the
Duke, was killed in his country, and his people didna take at least twa
lives for ane."

Butler entreated him to spare the victim for his soul's sake. But
Knockdunder answered, "that the soul of such a scum had been long the
tefil's property, and that, Cot tam! he was determined to gif the tefil
his due."

All persuasion was in vain, and Duncan issued his mandate for execution
on the succeeding morning. The child of guilt and misery was separated
from his companions, strongly pinioned, and committed to a separate room,
of which the Captain kept the key.

In the silence of the night, however, Mrs. Butler arose, resolved, if
possible, to avert, at least to delay, the fate which hung over her
nephew, especially if, upon conversing with him, she should see any hope
of his being brought to better temper. She had a master-key that opened
every lock in the house; and at midnight, when all was still, she stood
before the eyes of the astonished young savage, as, hard bound with
cords, he lay, like a sheep designed for slaughter, upon a quantity of
the refuse of flax which filled a corner in the apartment. Amid features
sunburnt, tawny, grimed with dirt, and obscured by his shaggy hair of a
rusted black colour, Jeanie tried in vain to trace the likeness of either
of his very handsome parents. Yet how could she refuse compassion to a
creature so young and so wretched,--so much more wretched than even he
himself could be aware of, since the murder he had too probably committed
with his own hand, but in which he had at any rate participated, was in
fact a parricide? She placed food on a table near him, raised him, and
slacked the cords on his arms, so as to permit him to feed himself. He
stretched out his hands, still smeared with blood perhaps that of his
father, and he ate voraciously and in silence.

"What is your first name?" said Jeanie, by way of opening the
conversation.

"The Whistler."

"But your Christian name, by which you were baptized?"

"I never was baptized that I know of--I have no other name than the
Whistler."

"Poor unhappy abandoned lad!" said Jeanie. "What would ye do if you could
escape from this place, and the death you are to die to-morrow morning?"

"Join wi' Rob Roy, or wi' Sergeant More Cameron" (noted freebooters at
that time), "and revenge Donacha's death on all and sundry."

"O ye unhappy boy," said Jeanie, "do ye ken what will come o' ye when ye
die?"

"I shall neither feel cauld nor hunger more," said the youth doggedly.

"To let him be execute in this dreadful state of mind would be to destroy
baith body and soul--and to let him gang I dare not--what will be done?--
But he is my sister's son--my own nephew--our flesh and blood--and his
hands and feet are yerked as tight as cords can be drawn.--Whistler, do
the cords hurt you?"

"Very much."

"But, if I were to slacken them, you would harm me?"

"No, I would not--you never harmed me or mine."

There may be good in him yet, thought Jeanie; I will try fair play with
him.

She cut his bonds--he stood upright, looked round with a laugh of wild
exultation, clapped his hands together, and sprung from the ground, as if
in transport on finding himself at liberty. He looked so wild, that
Jeanie trembled at what she had done.

"Let me out," said the young savage.

"I wunna, unless you promise"

"Then I'll make you glad to let us both out."

He seized the lighted candle and threw it among the flax, which was
instantly in a flame. Jeanie screamed, and ran out of the room; the
prisoner rushed past her, threw open a window in the passage, jumped into
the garden, sprung over its enclosure, bounded through the woods like a
deer, and gained the seashore. Meantime, the fire was extinguished, but
the prisoner was sought in vain. As Jeanie kept her own secret, the share
she had in his escape was not discovered: but they learned his fate some
time afterwards--it was as wild as his life had hitherto been.

The anxious inquiries of Butler at length learned, that the youth had
gained the ship in which his master, Donacha, had designed to embark. But
the avaricious shipmaster, inured by his evil trade to every species of
treachery, and disappointed of the rich booty which Donacha had proposed
to bring aboard, secured the person of the fugitive, and having
transported him to America, sold him as a slave, or indented servant, to
a Virginian planter, far up the country. When these tidings reached
Butler, he sent over to America a sufficient sum to redeem the lad from
slavery, with instructions that measures should be taken for improving
his mind, restraining his evil propensities, and encouraging whatever
good might appear in his character. But this aid came too late. The young
man had headed a conspiracy in which his inhuman master was put to death,
and had then fled to the next tribe of wild Indians. He was never more
heard of; and it may therefore be presumed that he lived and died after
the manner of that savage people, with whom his previous habits had well
fitted him to associate.

All hopes of the young man's reformation being now ended, Mr. and Mrs.
Butler thought it could serve no purpose to explain to Lady Staunton a
history so full of horror. She remained their guest more than a year,
during the greater part of which period her grief was excessive. In the
latter months, it assumed the appearance of listlessness and low spirits,
which the monotony of her sister's quiet establishment afforded no means
of dissipating. Effie, from her earliest youth, was never formed for a
quiet low content. Far different from her sister, she required the
dissipation of society to divert her sorrow, or enhance her joy. She left
the seclusion of Knocktarlitie with tears of sincere affection, and after
heaping its inmates with all she could think of that might be valuable in
their eyes. But she _did_ leave it; and, when the anguish of the parting
was over, her departure was a relief to both sisters.

The family at the Manse of Knocktarlitie, in their own quiet happiness,
heard of the well-dowered and beautiful Lady Staunton resuming her place
in the fashionable world. They learned it by more substantial proofs, for
David received a commission; and as the military spirit of Bible Butler
seemed to have revived in him, his good behaviour qualified the envy of
five hundred young Highland cadets, "come of good houses," who were
astonished at the rapidity of his promotion. Reuben followed the law, and
rose more slowly, yet surely. Euphemia Butler, whose fortune, augmented
by her aunt's generosity, and added to her own beauty, rendered her no
small prize, married a Highland laird, who never asked the name of her
grand-father, and was loaded on the occasion with presents from Lady
Staunton, which made her the envy of all the beauties in Dumbarton and
Argyle shires.

After blazing nearly ten years in the fashionable world, and hiding, like
many of her compeers, an aching heart with a gay demeanour--after
declining repeated offers of the most respectable kind for a second
matrimonial engagement, Lady Staunton betrayed the inward wound by
retiring to the Continent, and taking up her abode in the convent where
she had received her education. She never took the veil, but lived and
died in severe seclusion, and in the practice of the Roman Catholic
religion, in all its formal observances, vigils, and austerities.

Jeanie had so much of her father's spirit as to sorrow bitterly for this
apostasy, and Butler joined in her regret. "Yet any religion, however
imperfect," he said, "was better than cold scepticism, or the hurrying
din of dissipation, which fills the ears of worldlings, until they care
for none of these things."

Meanwhile, happy in each other, in the prosperity of their family, and
the love and honour of all who knew them, this simple pair lived beloved,
and died lamented.


[Illustration: Jeanie Dean's Cottage--414]


          READER,

          THIS TALE WILL NOT BE TOLD IN VAIN, IF IT SHALL BE FOUND TO
          ILLUSTRATE THE GREAT TRUTH, THAT GUILT, THOUGH IT MAY ATTAIN
          TEMPORAL SPLENDOUR, CAN NEVER CONFER REAL HAPPINESS; THAT THE
          EVIL CONSEQUENCES OF OUR CRIMES LONG SURVIVE THEIR COMMISSION,
          AND, LIKE THE GHOSTS OF THE MURDERED, FOR EVER HAUNT THE STEPS
          OF THE MALEFACTOR; AND THAT THE PATHS OF VIRTUE, THOUGH SELDOM
          THOSE OF WORLDLY GREATNESS, ARE ALWAYS THOSE OF PLEASANTNESS
          AND PEACE.




                                 L'ENVOY,

                        BY JEDEDIAH CLEISHBOTHAM.


Thus concludeth the Tale of "The Heart of Mid-Lothian," which hath filled
more pages than I opined. The Heart of Mid-Lothian is now no more, or
rather it is transferred to the extreme side of the city, even as the
Sieur Jean Baptiste Poquelin hath it, in his pleasant comedy called _Le
Me'decin Malgre' Lui,_ where the simulated doctor wittily replieth to a
charge, that he had placed the heart on the right side, instead of the
left, "_Cela e'tait autrefois ainsi, mais nous avons change' tout cela._"
Of which witty speech if any reader shall demand the purport, I have only
to respond, that I teach the French as well as the Classical tongues, at
the easy rate of five shillings per quarter, as my advertisements are
periodically making known to the public.




                    NOTES TO THE HEART OF MID-LOTHIAN.



NOTE A--Author's connection with Quakerism.

It is an old proverb, that "many a true word is spoken in jest." The
existence of Walter Scott, third son of Sir William Scott of Harden, is
instructed, as it is called, by a charter under the great seal, Domino
Willielmo Scott de Harden Militi, et Waltero Scott suo filio legitimo
tertio genito, terrarum de Roberton.*

* See Douglas's _Baronage,_ page 215.

The munificent old gentleman left all his four sons considerable estates.
and settled those of Eilrig and Raeburn, together with valuable
possessions around Lessuden, upon Walter, his third son, who is ancestor
of the Scotts of Raeburn, and of the Author of Waverley. He appears to
have become a convert to the doctrine of the Quakers, or Friends, and a
great assertor of their peculiar tenets. This was probably at the time
when George Fox, the celebrated apostle of the sect, made an expedition
into the south of Scotland about 1657, on which occasion, he boasts, that
"as he first set his horse's feet upon Scottish ground, he felt the seed
of grace to sparkle about him like innumerable sparks of fire." Upon the
same occasion, probably, Sir Gideon Scott of Highchester, second son of
Sir William, immediate elder brother of Walter, and ancestor of the
author's friend and kinsman, the present representative of the family of
Harden, also embraced the tenets of Quakerism. This last convert, Gideon,
entered into a controversy with the Rev. James Kirkton, author of the
_Secret and True History of the Church of Scotland,_ which is noticed by
my ingenious friend Mr. Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, in his valuable and
curious edition of that work, 4to, 1817. Sir William Scott, eldest of the
brothers, remained, amid the defection of his two younger brethren, an
orthodox member of the Presbyterian Church, and used such means for
reclaiming Walter of Raeburn from his heresy, as savoured far more of
persecution than persuasion. In this he was assisted by MacDougal of
Makerston, brother to Isabella MacDougal, the wife of the said Walter,
and who, like her husband, had conformed to the Quaker tenets.

The interest possessed by Sir William Scott and Makerston was powerful
enough to procure the two following acts of the Privy Council of
Scotland, directed against Walter of Raeburn as an heretic and convert to
Quakerism, appointing him to be imprisoned first in Edinburgh jail, and
then in that of Jedburgh; and his children to be taken by force from the
society and direction of their parents, and educated at a distance from
them, besides the assignment of a sum for their maintenance, sufficient
in those times to be burdensome to a moderate Scottish estate.

"Apud Edin., vigesimo Junii 1665.

"The Lords of his Magesty's Privy Council having receaved information
that Scott of Raeburn, and Isobel Mackdougall, his wife, being infected
with the error of Quakerism, doe endeavour to breid and trains up
William, Walter, and Isobel Scotts, their children, in the same
profession, doe therefore give order and command to Sir William Scott of
Harden, the said Raeburn's brother, to seperat and take away the saids
children from the custody and society of the saids parents, and to cause
educat and bring them up in his owne house, or any other convenient
place, and ordaines letters to be direct at the said Sir William's
instance against Raeburn, for a maintenance to the saids children, and
that the said Sir Wm. give ane account of his diligence with all
conveniency."

"Edinburgh, 5th July 1666.

"Anent a petition presented be Sir Wm. Scott of Harden, for himself and
in name and behalf of the three children of Walter Scott of Raeburn, his
brother, showing that the Lords of Councill, by ane act of the 22d day of
Junii 1665, did grant power and warrand to the petitioner, to separat and
take away Raeburn's children, from his family and education, and to breed
them in some convenient place, where they might be free from all
infection in their younger years, from the principalls of Quakerism, and,
for maintenance of the saids children, did ordain letters to be direct
against Raeburn; and, seeing the Petitioner, in obedience to the said
order, did take away the saids children, being two sonnes and a daughter,
and after some paines taken upon them in his owne family, hes sent them
to the city of Glasgow, to be bread at schooles, and there to be
principled with the knowledge of the true religion, and that it is
necessary the Councill determine what shall be the maintenance for which
Raeburn's three children may be charged, as likewise that Raeburn
himself, being now in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, where he dayley
converses with all the Quakers who are prisoners there, and others who
daily resort to them, whereby he is hardened in his pernitious opinions
and principles, without all hope of recovery, unlesse he be separat from
such pernitious company, humbly therefore, desyring that the Councell
might determine upon the soume of money to be payed be Raeburn, for the
education of his children, to the petitioner, who will be countable
therefor; and that, in order to his conversion, the place of his
imprisonment may be changed. The Lords of his Maj. Privy Councell having
at length heard and considered the foresaid petition, doe modifie the
soume of two thousand pounds Scots, to be payed yearly at the terms of
Whitsunday be the said Walter Scott of Raeburn, furth of his estate to
the petitioner, for the entertainment and education of the said children,
beginning the first termes payment therof at Whitsunday last for the half
year preceding, and so furth yearly, at the said terme of Whitsunday in
tym comeing till furder orders; and ordaines the said Walter Scott of
Raeburn to be transported from the tolbooth of Edinburgh to the prison of
Jedburgh, where his friends and others may have occasion to convert him.
And to the effect he may be secured from the practice of other Quakers,
the said Lords doe hereby discharge the magistrates of Jedburgh to suffer
any persons suspect of these principles to have access to him; and in
case any contraveen, that they secure ther persons till they be therfore
puneist; and ordaines letters to be direct heirupon in form, as effeirs."

 Both the sons, thus harshly separated from their father, proved good
scholars. The eldest, William, who carried on the line of Raeburn, was,
like his father, a deep Orientalist; the younger, Walter, became a good
classical scholar, a great friend and correspondent of the celebrated Dr.
Pitcairn, and a Jacobite so distinguished for zeal, that he made a vow
never to shave his beard till the restoration of the exiled family. This
last Walter Scott was the author's great-grandfather.

There is yet another link betwixt the author and the simple-minded and
excellent Society of Friends, through a proselyte of much more importance
than Walter Scott of Raeburn. The celebrated John Swinton, of Swinton,
nineteenth baron in descent of that ancient and once powerful family,
was, with Sir William Lockhart of Lee, the person whom Cromwell chiefly
trusted in the management of the Scottish affairs during his usurpation.
After the Restoration, Swinton was devoted as a victim to the new order
of things, and was brought down in the same vessel which conveyed the
Marquis of Argyle to Edinburgh, where that nobleman was tried and
executed. Swinton was destined to the same fate. He had assumed the
habit, and entered into the Society of the Quakers, and appeared as one
of their number before the Parliament of Scotland. He renounced all legal
defence, though several pleas were open to him, and answered, in
conformity to the principles of his sect, that at the time these crimes
were imputed to him, he was in the gall of bitterness and bond of
iniquity; but that God Almighty having since called him to the light, he
saw and acknowledged these errors, and did not refuse to pay the forfeit
of them, even though, in the judgment of the Parliament, it should extend
to life itself.

Respect to fallen greatness, and to the patience and calm resignation
with which a man once in high power expressed himself under such a change
of fortune, found Swinton friends; family connections, and some
interested considerations of Middleton the Commissioner, joined to
procure his safety, and he was dismissed, but after a long imprisonment,
and much dilapidation of his estates. It is said that Swinton's
admonitions, while confined in the Castle of Edinburgh, had a
considerable share in converting to the tenets of the Friends Colonel
David Barclay, then lying there in the garrison. This was the father of
Robert Barclay, author of the celebrated _Apology for the Quakers._ It
may be observed among the inconsistencies of human nature, that Kirkton,
Wodrow, and other Presbyterian authors, who have detailed the sufferings
of their own sect for nonconformity with the established church, censure
the government of the time for not exerting the civil power against the
peaceful enthusiasts we have treated of, and some express particular
chagrin at the escape of Swinton. Whatever might be his motives for
assuming the tenets of the Friends, the old man retained them faithfully
till the close of his life.

Jean Swinton, grand-daughter of Sir John Swinton, son of Judge Swinton,
as the Quaker was usually termed, was mother of Anne Rutherford, the
author's mother.

And thus, as in the play of the Anti-Jacobin, the ghost of the author's
grandmother having arisen to speak the Epilogue, it is full time to
conclude, lest the reader should remonstrate that his desire to know the
Author of Waverley never included a wish to be acquainted with his whole
ancestry.




NOTE B.--TOMBSTONE TO HELEN WALKER.

On Helen Walker's tombstone in Irongray churchyard, Dumfriesshire, there
is engraved the following epitaph, written by Sir Walter Scott:



                         THIS STONE WAS ERECTED
                       BY THE AUTHOR OF WAVERLEY

                             TO THE MEMORY
                                   OF
                              HELEN WALKER,

                    WHO DIED IN THE YEAR OF GOD 1791.

             THIS HUMBLE INDIVIDUAL PRACTISED IN REAL LIFE
                              THE VIRTUES
                    WITH WHICH FICTION HAS INVESTED

                       THE IMAGINARY CHARACTER OF

                              JEANIE DEANS;

                   REFUSING THE SLIGHTEST DEPARTURE
                             FROM VERACITY,
                   EVEN TO SAVE THE LIFE OF A SISTER,

                      SHE NEVERTHELESS SHOWED HER
                        KINDNESS AND FORTITUDE,
             IN RESCUING HER FROM THE SEVERITY OF THE LAW
                 AT THE EXPENSE OF PERSONAL EXERTIONS
                 WHICH THE TIME RENDERED AS DIFFICULT
                      AS THE MOTIVE WAS LAUDABLE.

                     RESPECT THE GRAVE OF POVERTY
                   WHEN COMBINED WITH LOVE OF TRUTH
                          AND DEAR AFFECTION.

                        _Erected October 1831._




NOTE C.--THE OLD TOLBOOTH.

The ancient Tolbooth of Edinburgh, Situated as described in this
CHAPTER,
was built by the citizens in 1561, and destined for the accommodation of
Parliament, as well as of the High Courts of Justice;* and at the same
time for the confinement of prisoners for debt, or on criminal charges.
Since the year 1640, when the present Parliament House was erected, the
Tolbooth was occupied as a prison only.

* [This is not so certain. Few persons now living are likely to remember
the interior  of the old Tolbooth, with narrow staircase, thick walls,
and small apartments,  nor to imagine that it could ever have been used
for these purposes. Robert Chambers,  in his _Minor Antiquities_ of
Edinburgh, has preserved ground-plans or sections,  which clearly show
this,--the largest hall was on the second floor, and measuring 27  feet
by 20, and 12 feet high. It may have been intended for the meetings of
Town  Council, while the Parliament assembled, after 1560, in what was
called the Upper  Tolbooth, that is the south-west portion of the
Collegiate Church of St. Giles, until  the year 1640, when the present
Parliament House was completed. Being no  longer required for such a
purpose, it was set apart by the Town Council on the  24th December 1641
as a distinct church, with the name of the Tolbooth parish,  and
therefore could not have derived the name from its vicinity to the
Tolbooth, as  usually stated.]

Gloomy and dismal as it was, the situation in the centre of the High
Street rendered it so particularly well-aired, that when the plague laid
waste the city in 1645, it affected none within these melancholy
precincts. The Tolbooth was removed, with the mass of buildings in which
it was incorporated, in the autumn of the year 1817. At that time the
kindness of his old schoolfellow and friend, Robert Johnstone, Esquire,
then Dean of Guild of the city, with the liberal acquiescence of the
persons who had contracted for the work, procured for the Author of
Waverley the stones which composed the gateway, together with the door,
and its ponderous fastenings, which he employed in decorating the
entrance of his kitchen-court at Abbotsford. "To such base offices may we
return." The application of these relies of the Heart of Mid-Lothian to
serve as the postern-gate to a court of modern offices, may be justly
ridiculed as whimsical; but yet it is not without interest, that we see
the gateway through which so much of the stormy politics of a rude age,
and the vice and misery of later times, had found their passage, now
occupied in the service of rural economy. Last year, to complete the
change, a tomtit was pleased to build her nest within the lock of the
Tolbooth,--a strong temptation to have committed a sonnet, had the
Author, like Tony Lumpkin, been in a concatenation accordingly.

It is worth mentioning, that an act of beneficence celebrated the
demolition of the Heart of Mid-Lothian. A subscription, raised and
applied by the worthy Magistrate above mentioned, procured the
manumission of most of the unfortunate debtors confined in the old jail,
so that there were few or none transferred to the new place of
confinement.

[The figure of a Heart upon the pavement between St. Giles's Church and
the Edinburgh County Hall, now marks the site of the Old Tolbooth.]




NOTE D--THE PORTEOUS MOB.

The following interesting and authentic account of the inquiries made by
Crown Counsel into the affair of the Porteous Mob, seems to have been
drawn up by the Solicitor-General. The office was held in 1737 by Charles
Erskine, Esq.

I owe this curious illustration to the kindness of a professional friend.
It throws, indeed, little light on the origin of the tumult; but shows
how profound the darkness must have been, which so much investigation
could not dispel.

"Upon the 7th of September last, when the unhappy wicked murder of
Captain Porteus was committed, His Majesty's Advocate and Solicitor were
out of town; the first beyond Inverness, and the other in Annandale, not
far from Carlyle; neither of them knew anything of the reprieve, nor did
they in the least suspect that any disorder was to happen.

"When the disorder happened, the magistrates and other persons concerned
in the management of the town, seemed to be all struck of a heap; and
whether, from the great terror that had seized all the inhabitants, they
thought ane immediate enquiry would be fruitless, or whether, being a
direct insult upon the prerogative of the crown, they did not care rashly
to intermeddle; but no proceedings was had by them. Only, soon after, ane
express was sent to his Majestie's Solicitor, who came to town as soon as
was possible for him; but, in the meantime, the persons who had been most
guilty, had either ran off, or, at least, kept themselves upon the wing
until they should see what steps were taken by the Government.

"When the Solicitor arrived, he perceived the whole inhabitants under a
consternation. He had no materials furnished him; nay, the inhabitants
were so much afraid of being reputed informers, that very few people had
so much as the courage to speak with him on the streets. However, having
received her Majestie's orders, by a letter from the Duke of New castle,
he resolved to sett about the matter in earnest, and entered upon ane
enquiry, gropeing in the dark. He had no assistance from the magistrates
worth mentioning, but called witness after witness in the privatest
manner, before himself in his own house, and for six weeks time, from
morning to evening, went on in the enquiry without taking the least
diversion, or turning his thoughts to any other business.

"He tried at first what he could do by declarations, by engaging secresy,
so that those who told the truth should never be discovered; made use of
no clerk, but wrote all the declarations with his own hand, to encourage
them to speak out. After all, for some time, he could get nothing but
ends of stories which, when pursued, broke off; and those who appeared
and knew anything of the matter, were under the utmost terror, lest it
should take air that they had mentioned any one man as guilty.

"During the course of the enquiry, the run of the town, which was strong
for the villanous actors, begun to alter a little, and when they saw the
King's servants in earnest to do their best, the generality, who before
had spoke very warmly in defence of the wickedness, began to be silent,
and at that period more of the criminals began to abscond.

"At length the enquiry began to open a little, and the Sollicitor was
under some difficulty how to proceed. He very well saw that the first
warrand that was issued out would start the whole gang; and as he had not
come at any of the most notorious offenders, he was unwilling, upon the
slight evidence he had, to begin. However, upon notice given him by
Generall Moyle, that one King, a butcher in the Canongate, had boasted,
in presence of Bridget Knell, a soldier's wife, the morning after Captain
Porteus was hanged, that he had a very active hand in the mob, a warrand
was issued out, and King was apprehended, and imprisoned in the Canongate
Tolbooth.

"This obliged the Sollicitor immediately to take up those against whom he
had any information. By a signed declaration, William Stirling,
apprentice to James Stirling, merchant in Edinburgh, was charged as
haveing been at the Nether-Bow, after the gates were shutt, with a
Lochaber-ax or halbert in his hand, and haveing begun a huzza, marched
upon the head of the mob towards the Guard.

"James Braidwood, son to a candlemaker in town, was, by a signed
declaration, charged as haveing been at the Tolbooth door, giveing
directions to the mob about setting fire to the door, and that the mob
named him by his name, and asked his advice.

"By another declaration, one Stoddart, a journeyman smith, was charged of
having boasted publickly, in a smith's shop at Leith, that he had
assisted in breaking open the Tolbooth door.

"Peter Traill, a journeyman wright, (by one of the declarations) was also
accused of haveing lockt the Nether-Bow Port, when it was shutt by the
mob.

"His Majestie's Sollicitor having these informations, implored privately
such persons as he could best rely on, and the truth was, there were very
few in whom he could repose confidence. But he was, indeed, faithfully
served by one Webster, a soldier in the Welsh fuzileers, recommended him
by Lieutenant Alshton, who, with very great address, informed himself,
and really run some risque in getting his information, concerning the
places where the persons informed against used to haunt, and how they
might be seized. In consequence of which, a party of the Guard from the
Canongate was agreed on to march up at a certain hour, when a message
should be sent. The Sollicitor wrote a letter and gave it to one of the
town officers, ordered to attend Captain Maitland, one of the town
Captains, promoted to that command since the unhappy accident, who,
indeed, was extremely diligent and active throughout the whole; and
haveing got Stirling and Braidwood apprehended, dispatched the officer
with the letter to the military in the Canongate, who immediately begun
their march, and by the time the Sollicitor had half examined the said
two persons in the Burrow-room, where the Magistrates were present, a
party of fifty men, drums beating, marched into the Parliament close, and
drew up, which was the first thing that struck a terror, and from that
time forward, the insolence was succeeded by fear.

"Stirling and Braidwood were immediately sent to the Castle and
imprisoned. That same night, Stoddart, the smith, was seized, and he was
committed to the Castle also; as was likewise Traill, the journeyman
wright, who were all severally examined, and denyed the least accession.

"In the meantime, the enquiry was going on, and it haveing cast up in one
of the declarations, that a hump'd backed creature marched with a gun as
one of the guards to Porteus when he went up to the Lawn Markett, the
person who emitted this declaration was employed to walk the streets to
see if he could find him out; at last he came to the Sollicitor and told
him he had found him, and that he was in a certain house. Whereupon a
warrand was issued out against him, and he was apprehended and sent to
the Castle, and he proved to be one Birnie, a helper to the Countess of
Weemys's coachman.

"Thereafter, ane information was given in against William M'Lauchlan,
ffootman to the said Countess, he haveing been very active in the mob;
ffor sometime he kept himself out of the way, but at last he was
apprehended and likewise committed to the Castle.

"And these were all the prisoners who were putt under confinement in that
place.

"There were other persons imprisoned in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, and
severalls against whom warrands were issued, but could not be
apprehended, whose names and cases shall afterwards be more particularly
taken notice of.

"The ffriends of Stirling made an application to the Earl of Islay, Lord
Justice-Generall, setting furth, that he was seized with a bloody fflux;
that his life was in danger; and that upon ane examination of witnesses
whose names were given in, it would appear to conviction, that he had not
the least access to any of the riotous proceedings of that wicked mob.

"This petition was by his Lordship putt in the hands of his Majestie's
Sollicitor, who examined the witnesses; and by their testimonies it
appeared, that the young man, who was not above eighteen years of age,
was that night in company with about half a dozen companions, in a public
house in Stephen Law's closs, near the back of the Guard, where they all
remained untill the noise came to the house, that the mob had shut the
gates and seized the Guard, upon which the company broke up, and he, and
one of his companions, went towards his master's house; and, in the
course of the after examination, there was a witness who declared, nay,
indeed swore (for the Sollicitor, by this time, saw it necessary to put
those he examined upon oath), that he met him [Stirling] after he entered
into the alley where his master lives, going towards his house; and
another witness, fellow-prentice with Stirling, declares, that after the
mob had seized the Guard, he went home, where he found Stirling before
him; and, that his master lockt the door, and kept them both at home till
after twelve at night: upon weighing of which testimonies, and upon
consideration had, That he was charged by the declaration only of one
person, who really did not appear to be a witness of the greatest weight,
and that his life was in danger from the imprisonment, he was admitted to
baill by the Lord Justice-Generall, by whose warrand he was committed.

"Braidwood's friends applyed in the same manner; but as he stood charged
by more than one witness, he was not released--tho', indeed, the
witnesses adduced for him say somewhat in his exculpation--that he does
not seem to have been upon any original concert; and one of the witnesses
says he was along with him at the Tolbooth door, and refuses what is said
against him, with regard to his having advised the burning of the
Tolbooth door. But he remains still in prison.

"As to Traill, the journeyman wright, he is charged by the same witness
who declared against Stirling, and there is none concurrs with him and,
to say the truth concerning him, he seemed to be the most ingenuous of
any of them whom the Solicitor examined, and pointed out a witness by
whom one of the first accomplices was discovered, and who escaped when
the warrand was to be putt in execution against them. He positively denys
his having shutt the gate, and 'tis thought Traill ought to be admitted
to baill.

"As to Birnie, he is charged only by one witness, who had never seen him
before, nor knew his name; so, tho' I dare say the witness honestly
mentioned him, 'tis possible he may be mistaken; and in the examination
of above 200 witnesses there is no body concurrs with him, and he is ane
insignificant little creature.

"With regard to M'Lauchlan, the proof is strong against him by one
witness, that he acted as a serjeant, or sort of commander, for some
time, of a Guard, that stood cross between the upper end of the
Luckenbooths and the north side of the street, to stop all but friends
from going towards the Tolbooth; and by other witnesses, that he was at
the Tolbooth door with a link in his hand, while the operation of beating
and burning it was going on; that he went along with the mob with a
halbert in his hand, untill he came to the gallows stone in the
Grassmarket, and that he stuck the halbert into the hole of the gallows
stone: that afterwards he went in amongst the mob when Captain Porteus
was carried to the dyer's tree; so that the proof seems very heavy
against him.

"To sum up this matter with regard to the prisoners in the Castle, 'tis
believed there is strong proof against M'Lauchlan; there is also proof
against Braidwood. But, as it consists only in emission of words said to
have been had by him while at the Tolbooth door, and that he is ane
insignificant pitifull creature, and will find people to swear heartily
in his favours, 'tis at best doubtfull whether a jury will be got to
condemn him.

"As to those in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, John Crawford, who had for
some time been employed to ring the bells in the steeple of the New
Church of Edinburgh, being in company with a soldier accidentally, the
discourse falling in concerning the Captain Porteus and his murder, as he
appears to be a light-headed fellow, he said, that he knew people that
were more guilty than any that were putt in prison. Upon this
information, Crawford was seized, and being examined, it appeared, that
when the mob begun, as he was comeing down from the steeple, the mob took
the keys from him; that he was that night in several corners, and did
indeed delate severall persons whom he saw there, and immediately
warrands were despatched, and it was found they had absconded and fled.
But there was no evidence against him of any kind. Nay, on the contrary,
it appeared, that he had been with the Magistrates in Clerk's, the
vintner's, relating to them what he had seen in the streets. Therefore,
after haveing detained him in prison ffor a very considerable time, his
Majestie's Advocate and Sollicitor signed a warrand for his liberation.

"There was also one James Wilson incarcerated in the said Tolbooth, upon
the declaration of one witness, who said he saw him on the streets with a
gun; and there he remained for some time, in order to try if a concurring
witness could be found, or that he acted any part in the tragedy and
wickedness. But nothing farther appeared against him; and being seized
with a severe sickness, he is, by a warrand signed by his Majestie's
Advocate and Sollicitor, liberated upon giveing sufficient baill.

"As to King, enquiry was made, and the ffact comes out beyond all
exception, that he was in the lodge at the Nether-Bow with Lindsay the
waiter, and several other people, not at all concerned in the mob. But
after the affair was over, he went up towards the guard, and having met
with Sandie the Turk and his wife, who escaped out of prison, they
returned to his house at the Abbey, and then 'tis very possible he may
have thought fitt in his beer to boast of villany, in which he could not
possibly have any share for that reason; he was desired to find baill and
he should be set at liberty. But he is a stranger and a fellow of very
indifferent character, and 'tis believed it won't be easy for him to find
baill. Wherefore, it's thought he must be sett at liberty without it.
Because he is a burden upon the Government while kept in confinement, not
being able to maintain himself.

"What is above is all that relates to persons in custody. But there are
warrands out against a great many other persons who had fled,
particularly against one William White, a journeyman baxter, who, by the
evidence, appears to have been at the beginning of the mob, and to have
gone along with the drum, from the West-Port to the Nether-Bow, and is
said to have been one of those who attacked the guard, and probably was
as deep as any one there.

"Information was given that he was lurking at Falkirk, where he was born.
Whereupon directions were sent to the Sheriff of the County, and a
warrand from his Excellency Generall Wade, to the commanding officers at
Stirling and Linlithgow, to assist, and all possible endeavours were used
to catch hold of him, and 'tis said he escaped very narrowly, having been
concealed in some outhouse; and the misfortune was, that those who were
employed in the search did not know him personally. Nor, indeed, was it
easy to trust any of the acquaintances of so low, obscure a fellow with
the secret of the warrand to be putt in execution.

"There was also strong evidence found against Robert Taylor, servant to
William and Charles Thomsons, periwig-makers, that he acted as ane
officer among the mob, and he was traced from the guard to the well at
the head of Forester's Wynd, where he stood and had the appellation of
Captain from the mob, and from that walking down the Bow before Captain
Porteus, with his Lochaber axe; and, by the description given of one who
hawl'd the rope by which Captain Porteus was pulled up, 'tis believed
Taylor was the person; and 'tis farther probable, that the witness who
debated Stirling had mistaken Taylor for him, their stature and age (so
far as can be gathered from the description) being the same.

"A great deal of pains were taken, and no charge was saved, in order to
have catched hold of this Taylor, and warrands were sent to the country
where he was born; but it appears he had shipt himself off for Holland,
where it is said he now is.

"There is strong evidence also against Thomas Burns, butcher, that he was
ane active person from the beginning of the mob to the end of it. He
lurkt for some time amongst those of his trade; and artfully enough a
train was laid to catch him, under pretence of a message that had come
from his father in Ireland, so that he came to a blind alehouse in the
Flesh-market close, and, a party being ready, was, by Webster the
soldier, who was upon this exploit, advertised to come down. However,
Burns escaped out at a back-window, and hid himself in some of the houses
which are heaped together upon one another in that place, so that it was
not possible to catch him. 'Tis now said he is gone to Ireland to his
father who lives there.

"There is evidence also against one Robert Anderson, journeyman and
servant to Colin Alison, wright; and against Thomas Linnen and James
Maxwell, both servants also to the said Colin Alison, who all seem to
have been deeply concerned in the matter. Anderson is one of those who
putt the rope upon Captain Porteus's neck. Linnen seems also to have been
very active; and Maxwell (which is pretty remarkable) is proven to have
come to a shop upon the Friday before, and charged the journeymen and
prentices there to attend in the Parliament close on Tuesday night, to
assist to hang Captain Porteus. These three did early abscond, and,
though warrands had been issued out against them, and all endeavours used
to apprehend them, could not be found.

"One Waldie, a servant to George Campbell, wright, has also absconded,
and many others, and 'tis informed that numbers of them have shipt
themselves off ffor the Plantations; and upon an information that a ship
was going off ffrom Glasgow, in which severall of the rogues were to
transport themselves beyond seas, proper warrands were obtained, and
persons despatched to search the said ship, and seize any that can be
found.

"The like warrands had been issued with regard to ships from Leith. But
whether they had been scard, or whether the information had been
groundless, they had no effect.

"This is a summary of the enquiry, ffrom which it appears there is no
prooff on which one can rely, but against M'Lauchlan. There is a prooff
also against Braidwood, but more exceptionable. His Majestie's Advocate,
since he came to town, has join'd with the Sollicitor, and has done his
utmost to gett at the bottom of this matter, but hitherto it stands as is
above represented. They are resolved to have their eyes and their ears
open, and to do what they can. But they laboured exceedingly against the
stream; and it may truly be said, that nothing was wanting on their part.
Nor have they declined any labour to answer the commands laid upon them
to search the matter to the bottom."



THE PORTEOUS MOB.

In the preceding
CHAPTERs (I. to VI.) the circumstances of that
extraordinary riot and conspiracy, called the Porteous Mob, are given
with as much accuracy as the author was able to collect them. The order,
regularity, and determined resolution with which such a violent action
was devised and executed, were only equalled by the secrecy which was
observed concerning the principal actors.

Although the fact was performed by torch-light, and in presence of a
great multitude, to some of whom, at least, the individual actors must
have been known, yet no discovery was ever made concerning any of the
perpetrators of the slaughter.

Two men only were brought to trial for an offence which the Government
were so anxious to detect and punish. William M'Lauchlan, footman to the
Countess of Wemyss, who is mentioned in the report of the
Solicitor-General, against whom strong evidence had been obtained, was
brought to trial in March 1737, charged as having been accessory to the
riot, armed with a Lochaber axe. But this man (who was at all times a
silly creature) proved, that he was in a state of mortal intoxication
during the time he was present with the rabble, incapable of giving them
either advice or assistance, or, indeed, of knowing what he or they were
doing. He was also able to prove, that he was forced into the riot, and
upheld while there by two bakers, who put a Lochaber axe into his hand.
The jury, wisely judging this poor creature could be no proper subject of
punishment, found the panel Not Guilty. The same verdict was given in the
case of Thomas Linning, also mentioned in the Solicitor's memorial, who
was tried in 1738. In short, neither then, nor for a long period
afterwards, was anything discovered relating to the organisation of the
Porteous Plot.

The imagination of the people of Edinburgh was long irritated, and their
curiosity kept awake, by the mystery attending this extraordinary
conspiracy. It was generally reported of such natives of Edinburgh as,
having left the city in youth, returned with a fortune amassed in foreign
countries, that they had originally fled on account of their share in the
Porteous Mob. But little credit can be attached to these surmises, as in
most of the cases they are contradicted by dates, and in none supported
by anything but vague rumours, grounded on the ordinary wish of the
vulgar, to impute the success of prosperous men to some unpleasant
source. The secret history of the Porteous Mob has been till this day
unravelled; and it has always been quoted as a close, daring, and
calculated act of violence, of a nature peculiarly characteristic of the
Scottish people.

Nevertheless, the author, for a considerable time, nourished hopes to
have found himself enabled to throw some light on this mysterious story.
An old man, who died about twenty years ago, at the advanced age of
ninety-three, was said to have made a communication to the clergyman who
attended upon his death-bed, respecting the origin of the Porteous Mob.
This person followed the trade of a carpenter, and had been employed as
such on the estate of a family of opulence and condition. His character
in his line of life and amongst his neighbours, was excellent, and never
underwent the slightest suspicion. His confession was said to have been
to the following purpose: That he was one of twelve young men belonging
to the village of Pathhead, whose animosity against Porteous, on account
of the execution of Wilson, was so extreme, that they resolved to execute
vengeance on him with their own hands, rather than he should escape
punishment. With this resolution they crossed the Forth at different
ferries, and rendezvoused at the suburb called Portsburgh, where their
appearance in a body soon called numbers around them. The public mind was
in such a state of irritation, that it only wanted a single spark to
create an explosion; and this was afforded by the exertions of the small
and determined band of associates. The appearance of premeditation and
order which distinguished the riot, according to his account, had its
origin, not in any previous plan or conspiracy, but in the character of
those who were engaged in it. The story also serves to show why nothing
of the origin of the riot has ever been discovered, since though in
itself a great conflagration, its source, according to this account, was
from an obscure and apparently inadequate cause.

I have been disappointed, however, in obtaining the evidence on which
this story rests. The present proprietor of the estate on which the old
man died (a particular friend of the author) undertook to question the
son of the deceased on the subject. This person follows his father's
trade, and holds the employment of carpenter to the same family. He
admits that his father's going abroad at the time of the Porteous Mob was
popularly attributed to his having been concerned in that affair; but
adds that, so far as is known to him, the old man had never made any
confession to that effect; and, on the contrary, had uniformly denied
being present. My kind friend, therefore, had recourse to a person from
whom he had formerly heard the story; but who, either from respect to an
old friend's memory, or from failure of his own, happened to have
forgotten that ever such a communication was made. So my obliging
correspondent (who is a fox-hunter) wrote to me that he was completely
_planted;_ and all that can be said with respect to the tradition is,
that it certainly once existed, and was generally believed.

[_N.B._--The Rev. Dr. Carlyle, minister of Inveresk, in his
_Autobiography,_ gives some interesting particulars relating to the
Porteous Mob, from personal recollections. He happened to be present in
the Tolbooth Church when Robertson made his escape, and also at the
execution of Wilson in the Grassmarket, when Captain Porteous fired upon
the mob, and several persons were killed. Edinburgh 1860, 8vo, pp.
30-42.]




NOTE E.--CARSPHARN JOHN.

John Semple, called Carspharn John, because minister of the parish in
Galloway so called, was a Presbyterian clergyman of singular piety and
great zeal, of whom Patrick Walker records the following passage: "That
night after his wife died, he spent the whole ensuing night in prayer and
meditation in his garden. The next morning, one of his elders coming to
see him, and lamenting his great loss and want of rest, he replied,--'I
declare I have not, all night, had one thought of the death of my wife, I
have been so taken up in meditating on heavenly things. I have been this
night on the banks of Ulai, plucking an apple here and there.'"--
_Walker's Remarkable Passages of the Life and Death of Mr. John Semple._




NOTE F.--PETER WALKER.

This personage, whom it would be base ingratitude in the author to pass
over without some notice, was by far the most zealous and faithful
collector and recorder of the actions and opinions of the Cameronians. He
resided, while stationary, at the Bristo Port of Edinburgh, but was by
trade an itinerant merchant, or pedlar, which profession he seems to have
exercised in Ireland as well as Britain. He composed biographical notices
of Alexander Peden, John Semple, John Welwood, and Richard Cameron, all
ministers of the Cameronian persuasion, to which the last mentioned
member gave the name.

It is from such tracts as these, written in the sense, feeling, and
spirit of the sect, and not from the sophisticated narratives of a later
period, that the real character of the persecuted class is to be
gathered. Walker writes with a simplicity which sometimes slides into the
burlesque, and sometimes attains a tone of simple pathos, but always
expressing the most daring confidence in his own correctness of creed and
sentiments, sometimes with narrow-minded and disgusting bigotry. His turn
for the marvellous was that of his time and sect; but there is little
room to doubt his veracity concerning whatever he quotes on his own
knowledge. His small tracts now bring a very high price, especially the
earlier and authentic editions. The tirade against dancing, pronounced by
David Deans, is, as intimated in the text, partly borrowed from Peter
Walker. He notices, as a foul reproach upon the name of Richard Cameron,
that his memory was vituperated, "by pipers and fiddlers playing the
Cameronian march--carnal vain springs, which too many professors of
religion dance to; a practice unbecoming the professors of Christianity
to dance to any spring, but somewhat more to this. Whatever," he
proceeds, "be the many foul blots recorded of the saints in Scripture,
none of them is charged with this regular fit of distraction. We find it
has been practised by the wicked and profane, as the dancing at that
brutish, base action of the calf-making; and it had been good for that
unhappy lass, who danced off the head of John the Baptist, that she had
been born a cripple, and never drawn a limb to her. Historians say, that
her sin was written upon her judgment, who some time thereafter was
dancing upon the ice, and it broke, and snapt the head off her; her head
danced above, and her feet beneath. There is ground to think and
conclude, that when the world's wickedness was great, dancing at their
marriages was practised; but when the heavens above, and the earth
beneath, were let loose upon them with that overflowing flood, their
mirth was soon staid; and when the Lord in holy justice rained fire and
brimstone from heaven upon that wicked people and city Sodom, enjoying
fulness of bread and idleness, their fiddle-strings and hands went all in
a flame; and the whole people in thirty miles of length, and ten of
breadth, as historians say, were all made to fry in their skins and at
the end, whoever are giving in marriages and dancing when all will go in
a flame, they will quickly change their note.

"I have often wondered thorow my life, how any that ever knew what it was
to bow a knee in earnest to pray, durst crook a hough to fyke and fling
at a piper's and fiddler's springs. I bless the Lord that ordered my lot
so in my dancing days, that made the fear of the bloody rope and bullets
to my neck and head, the pain of boots, thumikens, and irons, cold and
hunger, wetness and weariness, to stop the lightness of my head, and the
wantonness of my feet. What the never-to-be-forgotten Man of God, John
Knox, said to Queen Mary, when she gave him that sharp challenge, which
would strike our mean-spirited, tongue-tacked ministers dumb, for his
giving public faithful warning of the danger of the church and nation,
through her marrying the Dauphine of France, when he left her bubbling
and greeting, and came to an outer court, where her Lady Maries were
fyking and dancing, he said, 'O brave ladies, a brave world, if it would
last, and heaven at the hinder end! But fye upon the knave Death, that
will seize upon those bodies of yours; and where will all your fiddling
and flinging be then?' Dancing being such a common evil, especially
amongst young professors, that all the lovers of the Lord should hate,
has caused me to insist the more upon it, especially that foolish spring
the Cameronian march!"--_Life and Death of Three Famous Worthies,_ etc.,
collected and printed for Patrick Walker, Edin. 1727, 12mo, p. 59.

It may be here observed, that some of the milder class of Cameronians
made a distinction between the two sexes dancing separately, and allowed
of it as a healthy and not unlawful exercise; but when men and women
mingled in sport, it was then called _promiscuous dancing,_ and
considered as a scandalous enormity.




NOTE G.--MUSCHAT'S CAIRN.

Nichol Muschat, a debauched and profligate wretch, having conceived a
hatred against his wife, entered into a conspiracy with another brutal
libertine and gambler, named Campbell of Burnbank (repeatedly mentioned
in Pennycuick's satirical poems of the time), by which Campbell undertook
to destroy the woman's character, so as to enable Muschat, on false
pretences to obtain a divorce from her. The brutal devices to which these
worthy accomplices resorted for that purpose having failed, they
endeavoured to destroy her by administering medicine of a dangerous kind,
and in extraordinary quantities.

This purpose also failing, Nichol Muschat, or Muschet, did finally, on
the 17th October 1720, carry his wife under cloud of night to the King's
Park, adjacent to what is called the Duke's Walk, near Holyrood Palace,
and there took her life by cutting her throat almost quite through, and
inflicting other wounds. He pleaded guilty to the indictment, for which
he suffered death. His associate, Campbell, was sentenced to
transportation, for his share in the previous conspiracy. See
_MacLaurin's Criminal Cases,_pp. 64 and 738.

In memory, and at the same time execration, of the deed, a _cairn,_ or
pile of stones, long marked the spot. It is now almost totally removed,
in consequence of an alteration on the road in that place.




NOTE H.--HANGMAN, OR LOCKMAN.

_Lockman,_ so called from the small quantity of meal (Scottice, _lock_)
which he was entitled to take out of every boll exposed to market in the
city. In Edinburgh, the duty has been very long commuted; but in
Dumfries, the finisher of the law still exercises, or did lately
exercise, his privilege, the quantity taken being regulated by a small
iron ladle, which he uses as the measure of his perquisite. The
expression _lock,_ for a small quantity of any readily divisible dry
substance, as corn, meal, flax, or the like, is still preserved, not only
popularly, but in a legal description, as the _lock_ and _gowpen,_ or
small quantity and handful, payable in thirlage cases, as in town
multure.




NOTE I.--THE FAIRY BOY OF LEITH,

This legend was in former editions inaccurately said to exist in Baxter's
"World of Spirits;" but is, in fact, to be found, in "Pandaemonium, or
the Devil's Cloyster; being a further blow to Modern Sadduceism," by
Richard Bovet, Gentleman, 12mo, 1684. The work is inscribed to Dr. Henry
More. The story is entitled, "A remarkable passage of one named the Fairy
Boy of Leith, in Scotland, given me by my worthy friend, Captain George
Burton, and attested under his hand;" and is as follows:--

"About fifteen years since, having business that detained me for some
time in Leith, which is near Edenborough, in the kingdom of Scotland, I
often met some of my acquaintance at a certain house there, where we used
to drink a glass of wine for our refection. The woman which kept the
house was of honest reputation amongst the neighbours, which made me
give the more attention to what she told me one day about a Fairy Boy (as
they called him) who lived about that town. She had given me so strange
an account of him, that I desired her I might see him the first
opportunity, which she promised; and not long after, passing that way,
she told me there was the Fairy Boy but a little before I came by; and
casting her eye into the street, said, 'Look you, sir, yonder he is at
play with those other boys,' and designing him to me. I went, and by
smooth words, and a piece of money, got him to come into the house with
me; where, in the presence of divers people, I demanded of him several
astrological questions, which he answered with great subtility, and
through all his discourse carried it with a cunning much beyond his
years, which seemed not to exceed ten or eleven. He seemed to make a
motion like drumming upon the table with his fingers, upon which I asked
him, whether he could beat a drum, to which he replied, 'Yes, sir, as
well as any man in Scotland; for every Thursday night I beat all points
to a sort of people that use to meet under yon hill" (pointing to the
great hill between Edenborough and Leith). 'How, boy,' quoth I; 'what
company have you there?'--'There are, sir,' said he, 'a great company
both of men and women, and they are entertained with many sorts of music
besides my drum; they have, besides, plenty variety of meats and wine;
and many times we are carried into France or Holland in a night, and
return again; and whilst we are there, we enjoy all the pleasures the
country doth afford.' I demanded of him, how they got under that hill?
To which he replied, 'that there were a great pair of gates that opened
to them, though they were invisible to others, and that within there were
brave large rooms, as well accommodated as most in Scotland.' I then
asked him, how I should know what he said to be true? upon which he told
me he would read my fortune, saying I should have two wives, and that he
saw the forms of them sitting on my shoulders; that both would be very
handsome women.

"As he was thus speaking, a woman of the neighbourhood, coming into the
room, demanded of him what her fortune should be? He told her that she
had two bastards before she was married; which put her in such a rage,
that she desired not to hear the rest. The woman of the house told me
that all the people in Scotland could not keep him from the rendezvous on
Thursday night; upon which, by promising him some more money, I got a
promise of him to meet me at the same place, in the afternoon of the
Thursday following, and so dismissed him at that time. The boy came again
at the place and time appointed, and I had prevailed with some friends to
continue with me, if possible, to prevent his moving that night; he was
placed between us, and answered many questions, without offering to go
from us, until about eleven of the clock, he was got away unperceived of
the company; but I suddenly missing him, hasted to the door, and took
hold of him, and so returned him into the same room; we all watched him,
and on a sudden he was again out of the doors. I followed him close, and
he made a noise in the street as if he had been set upon; but from that
time I could never see him.
                                        "GEORGE BURTON."

[A copy of this rare little volume is in the library at Abbotsford.]




NOTE J.--INTERCOURSE OF THE COVENANTERS WITH THE INVISIBLE WORLD.

The gloomy, dangerous, and constant wanderings of the persecuted sect of
Cameronians, naturally led to their entertaining with peculiar credulity
the belief that they were sometimes persecuted, not only by the wrath of
men, but by the secret wiles and open terrors of Satan. In fact, a flood
could not happen, a horse cast a shoe, or any other the most ordinary
interruption thwart a minister's wish to perform service at a particular
spot, than the accident was imputed to the immediate agency of fiends.
The encounter of Alexander Peden with the Devil in the cave, and that of
John Sample with the demon in the ford, are given by Peter Walker almost
in the language of the text.




NOTE K.--CHILD-MURDER.

The Scottish Statute Book, anno 1690,
CHAPTER 21, in consequence of the
great increase of the crime of child-murder, both from the temptations to
commit the offence and the difficulty of discovery enacted a certain set
of presumptions, which, in the absence of direct proof, the jury were
directed to receive as evidence of the crime having actually been
committed. The circumstances selected for this purpose were, that the
woman should have concealed her situation during the whole period of
pregnancy; that she should not have called for help at her delivery; and
that, combined with these grounds of suspicion, the child should be
either found dead or be altogether missing. Many persons suffered death
during the last century under this severe act. But during the author's
memory a more lenient course was followed, and the female accused under
the act, and conscious of no competent defence, usually lodged a petition
to the Court of Justiciary, denying, for form's sake, the tenor of the
indictment, but stating, that as her good name had been destroyed by the
charge, she was willing to submit to sentence of banishment, to which the
crown counsel usually consented. This lenity in practice, and the
comparative infrequency of the crime since the doom of public
ecclesiastical penance has been generally dispensed with, have led to the
abolition of the Statute of William, and Mary, which is now replaced by
another, imposing banishment in those circumstances in which the crime
was formerly capital. This alteration took place in 1803.




NOTE L.--CALUMNIATOR OF THE FAIR SEX.

The journal of Graves, a Bow Street officer, despatched to Holland to
obtain the surrender of the unfortunate William Brodie, bears a
reflection on the ladies somewhat like that put in the mouth of the
police-officer Sharpitlaw. It had been found difficult to identify the
unhappy criminal; and when a Scotch gentleman of respectability had
seemed disposed to give evidence on the point required, his son-in-law, a
clergyman in Amsterdam, and his daughter, were suspected by Graves to
have used arguments with the witness to dissuade him from giving his
testimony. On which subject the journal of the Bow Street officer
proceeds thus:--

"Saw then a manifest reluctance in Mr. -------, and had no doubt the
daughter and parson would endeavour to persuade him to decline troubling
himself in the matter, but judged he could not go back from what he had
said to Mr. Rich.--Nota Bene. _No mischief but a woman or a priest in
it_--here both."




NOTE M.--Sir William Dick of Braid.

This gentleman formed a striking example of the instability of human
prosperity. He was once the wealthiest man of his time in Scotland, a
merchant in an extensive line of commerce, and a farmer of the public
revenue; insomuch that, about 1640, he estimated his fortune at two
hundred thousand pounds sterling. Sir William Dick was a zealous
Covenanter; and in the memorable year 1641, he lent the Scottish
Convention of Estates one hundred thousand merks at once, and thereby
enabled them to support and pay their army, which must otherwise have
broken to pieces. He afterwards advanced L20,000 for the service of King
Charles, during the usurpation; and having, by owning the royal cause,
provoked the displeasure of the ruling party, he was fleeced of more
money, amounting in all to L65,000 sterling.

Being in this manner reduced to indigence, he went to London to try to
recover some part of the sums which had been lent on Government security.
Instead of receiving any satisfaction, the Scottish Croesus was thrown
into prison, in which he died, 19th December 1655. It is said his death
was hastened by the want of common necessaries. But this statement is
somewhat exaggerated, if it be true, as is commonly said, that though he
was not supplied with bread, he had plenty of pie-crust, thence called
"Sir William Dick's Necessity."

The changes of fortune are commemorated in a folio pamphlet, entitled,
"The Lamentable Estate and distressed Case of Sir William Dick" [Lond.
1656]. It contains three copper-plates, one representing Sir William on
horseback, and attended with guards as Lord Provost of Edinburgh,
superintending the unloading of one of his rich argosies. A second
exhibiting him as arrested, and in the hands of the bailiffs. A third
presents him dead in prison. The tract is esteemed highly valuable by
collectors of prints. The only copy I ever saw upon sale, was rated at
L30. (In London sales, copies have varied in price from L15 to L52: 10s.)




NOTE N.--Doomster, or Dempster, of Court.

The name of this officer is equivalent to the pronouncer of doom or
sentence. In this comprehensive sense, the Judges of the Isle of Man were
called Dempsters. But in Scotland the word was long restricted to the
designation of an official person, whose duty it was to recite the
sentence after it had been pronounced by the Court, and recorded by the
clerk; on which occasion the Dempster legalised it by the words of form,
"_And this I pronounce for doom._" For a length of years, the office, as
mentioned in the text, was held in commendam with that of the
executioner; for when this odious but necessary officer of justice
received his appointment, he petitioned the Court of Justiciary to be
received as their Dempster, which was granted as a matter of course.

The production of the executioner in open court, and in presence of the
wretched criminal, had something in it hideous and disgusting to the more
refined feelings of later times. But if an old tradition of the
Parliament House of Edinburgh may be trusted, it was the following
anecdote which occasioned the disuse of the Dempster's office.

It chanced at one time that the office of public executioner was vacant.
There was occasion for some one to act as Dempster, and, considering the
party who generally held the office, it is not wonderful that a locum
tenens was hard to be found. At length, one Hume, who had been sentenced
to transportation, for an attempt to burn his own house, was induced to
consent that he would pronounce the doom on this occasion. But when
brought forth to officiate, instead of repeating the doom to the
criminal, Mr. Hume addressed himself to their lordships in a bitter
complaint of the injustice of his own sentence. It was in vain that he
was interrupted, and reminded of the purpose for which he had come
hither; "I ken what ye want of me weel eneugh," said the fellow, "ye want
me to be your Dempster; but I am come to be none of your Dempster, I am
come to summon you, Lord T, and you, Lord E, to answer at the bar of
another world for the injustice you have done me in this." In short, Hume
had only made a pretext of complying with the proposal, in order to have
an opportunity of reviling the Judges to their faces, or giving them, in
the phrase of his country, "a sloan." He was hurried off amid the
laughter of the audience, but the indecorous scene which had taken place
contributed to the abolition of the office of Dempster. The sentence is
now read over by the clerk of court, and the formality of pronouncing
doom is altogether omitted.

[The usage of calling the Dempster into court by the ringing of a
hand-bell, to repeat the sentence on a criminal, is said to have been
abrogated in March 1773.]




NOTE O.--John Duke of Argyle and Greenwich.

This nobleman was very dear to his countrymen, who were justly proud of
his military and political talents, and grateful for the ready zeal with
which he asserted the rights of his native country. This was never more
conspicuous than in the matter of the Porteous Mob, when the ministers
brought in a violent and vindictive bill, for declaring the Lord Provost
of Edinburgh incapable of bearing any public office in future, for not
foreseeing a disorder which no one foresaw, or interrupting the course of
a riot too formidable to endure opposition. The same bill made provision
for pulling down the city gates, and abolishing the city guard,--rather a
Hibernian mode of enabling their better to keep the peace within burgh in
future.

The Duke of Argyle opposed this bill as a cruel, unjust, and fanatical
proceeding, and an encroachment upon the privileges of the royal burghs
of Scotland, secured to them by the treaty of Union. "In all the
proceedings of that time," said his Grace, "the nation of Scotland
treated with the English as a free and independent people; and as that
treaty, my Lords, had no other guarantee for the due performance of its
articles, but the faith and honour of a British Parliament, it would be
both unjust and ungenerous, should this House agree to any proceedings
that have a tendency to injure it."

Lord Hardwicke, in reply to the Duke of Argyle, seemed to insinuate, that
his Grace had taken up the affair in a party point of view, to which the
nobleman replied in the spirited language quoted in the text. Lord
Hardwicke apologised. The bill was much modified, and the clauses
concerning the dismantling the city, and disbanding the guard, were
departed from. A fine of L2000 was imposed on the city for the benefit of
Porteous's widow. She was contented to accept three-fourths of the sum,
the payment of which closed the transaction. It is remarkable, that, in
our day, the Magistrates of Edinburgh have had recourse to both those
measures, hold in such horror by their predecessors, as necessary steps
for the improvement of the city.

It may be here noticed, in explanation of another circumstance mentioned
in the text, that there is a tradition in Scotland, that George II.,
whose irascible temper is said sometimes to have hurried him into
expressing his displeasure _par voie du fait,_ offered to the Duke of
Argyle in angry audience, some menace of this nature, on which he left
the presence in high disdain, and with little ceremony. Sir Robert
Walpole, having met the Duke as he retired, and learning the cause of his
resentment and discomposure, endeavoured to reconcile him to what had
happened by saying, "Such was his Majesty's way, and that he often took
such liberties with himself without meaning any harm." This did not mend
matters in MacCallummore's eyes, who replied, in great disdain, "You will
please to remember, Sir Robert, the infinite distance there is betwixt
you and me." Another frequent expression of passion on the part of the
same monarch, is alluded to in the old Jacobite song--

                   The fire shall get both hat and wig,
                   As oft-times they've got a' that.




NOTE P.--Expulsion of the Bishops from the Scottish Convention.

For some time after the Scottish Convention had commenced its sittings,
the Scottish prelates retained their seats, and said prayers by rotation
to the meeting, until the character of the Convention became, through the
secession of Dundee, decidedly Presbyterian. Occasion was then taken on
the Bishop of Ross mentioning King James in his prayer, as him for whom
they watered their couch with tears. On this the Convention exclaimed,
they had no occasion for spiritual Lords, and commanded the Bishops to
depart and return no more, Montgomery of Skelmorley breaking at the same
time a coarse jest upon the scriptural expression used by the prelate.
Davie Deans's oracle, Patrick Walker, gives this account of their
dismission.

"When they came out, some of the Convention said they wished the honest
lads knew they were put out, for then they would not get away with haill
(whole) gowns. All the fourteen gathered together with pale faces, and
stood in a cloud in the Parliament Close; James Wilson, Robert Neilson,
Francis Hislop, and myself, were standing close by them; Francis Hislop
with force thrust Robert Neilson upon them, their heads went hard on one
another. But there being so many enemies in the city fretting and
gnashing the teeth, waiting for an occasion to raise a mob, when
undoubtedly blood would have been shed, and having laid down conclusions
amongst ourselves to avoid giving the least occasion to all mobs, kept us
from tearing off their gowns.

"Their graceless Graces went quickly off, and there was neither bishop
nor curate seen in the street--this was a surprising sudden change not to
be forgotten. Some of us would have rejoiced near them in large sums to
have seen these Bishops sent legally down the Bow that they might have
found the weight of their tails in a tow to dry their tow-soles; that
they might know what hanging was, they having been active for themselves
and the main instigators to all the mischiefs, cruelties, and bloodshed
of that time, wherein the streets of Edinburgh and other places of the
land did run with the innocent precious dear blood of the Lord's
people."--_Life and Death of three famous Worthies_ (Semple, etc.), by
Patrick Walker. Edin. 1727, pp. 72, 73.




NOTE Q.--Half-hanged Maggie Dickson.

[In the Statistical Account of the Parish of Inveresk (vol. xvi. p. 34),
Dr. Carlyle says, "No person has been convicted of a capital felony since
the year 1728, when the famous Maggy Dickson was condemned and executed
for child-murder in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, and was restored to
life in a cart on her way to Musselburgh to be buried . . . . . She kept
an ale-house in a neighbouring parish for many years after she came to
life again, which was much resorted to from curiosity." After the body
was cut down and handed over to her relatives, her revival is attributed
to the jolting of the cart, and according to Robert Chambers,--taking a
retired road to Musselburgh, "they stopped near Peffer-mill to get a
dram; and when they came out from the house to resume their journey,
Maggie was sitting up in the cart." Among the poems of Alexander
Pennecuick (who died in 1730), is one entitled "The Merry Wives of
Musselburgh's Welcome to Meg Dickson;" while another broadside, without
any date or author's name, is called "Margaret Dickson's Penitential
Confession," containing these lines referring to her conviction:--

             "Who found me guilty of that barbarous crime,
              And did, by law, end this wretched life of mine;
              But God . . . . did me preserve," etc.

In another of these ephemeral productions hawked about the streets,
called, "A Ballad by J--n B--s," are the following lines:--

                 "Please peruse the speech
                     Of ill-hanged Maggy Dickson.
                  Ere she was strung, the wicked wife
                  Was sainted by the Flamen (priest),
                  But now, since she's retum'd to life,
                     Some say she's the old samen."

In his reference to Maggie's calling salt after her recovery, the Author
would appear to be alluding to another character who went by the name of
"saut _Maggie,_" and is represented in one or more old etchings about
1790.]




NOTE R.--Madge Wildfire.

In taking leave of the poor maniac, the Author may here observe that the
first conception of the character, though afterwards greatly altered, was
taken from that of a person calling herself, and called by others,
Feckless Fannie (weak or feeble Fannie), who always travelled with a
small flock of sheep. The following account, furnished by the persevering
kindness of Mr. Train, contains, probably, all that can now be known of
her history, though many, among whom is the Author, may remember having
heard of Feckless Fannie in the days of their youth.

"My leisure hours," says Mr. Train, "for some time past have been mostly
spent in searching for particulars relating to the maniac called Feckless
Fannie, who travelled over all Scotland and England, between the years
1767 and 1775, and whose history is altogether so like a romance, that I
have been at all possible pains to collect every particular that can be
found relative to her in Galloway, or in Ayrshire.

"When Feckless Fannie appeared in Ayrshire, for the first time, in the
summer of 1769, she attracted much notice, from being attended by twelve
or thirteen sheep, who seemed all endued with faculties so much superior
to the ordinary race of animals of the same species, as to excite
universal astonishment. She had for each a different name, to which it
answered when called by its mistress, and would likewise obey in the most
surprising manner any command she thought proper to give. When
travelling, she always walked in front of her flock, and they followed
her closely behind. When she lay down at night in the fields, for she
would never enter into a house, they always disputed who should lie next
to her, by which means she was kept warm, while she lay in the midst of
them; when she attempted to rise from the ground, an old ram, whose name
was Charlie, always claimed the sole right of assisting her; pushing any
that stood in his way aside, until he arrived right before his mistress;
he then bowed his head nearly to the ground that she might lay her hands
on his horns, which were very large; he then lifted her gently from the
ground by raising his head. If she chanced to leave her flock feeding, as
soon as they discovered she was gone, they all began to bleat most
piteously, and would continue to do so till she returned; they would then
testify their joy by rubbing their sides against her petticoat and
frisking about.

"Feckless Fannie was not, like most other demented creatures, fond of
fine dress; on her head she wore an old slouched hat, over her shoulders
an old plaid, and carried always in her hand a shepherd's crook; with any
of these articles she invariably declared she would not part for any
consideration whatever. When she was interrogated why she set so much
value on things seemingly so insignificant, she would sometimes relate
the history of her misfortune, which was briefly as follows:--

"'I am the only daughter of a wealthy squire in the north of England, but
I loved my father's shepherd, and that has been my ruin; for my father,
fearing his family would be disgraced by such an alliance, in a passion
mortally wounded my lover with a shot from a pistol. I arrived just in
time to receive the last blessing of the dying man, and to close his eyes
in death. He bequeathed me his little all, but I only accepted these
sheep, to be my sole companions through life, and this hat, this plaid,
and this crook, all of which I will carry until I descend into the
grave.'

"This is the substance of a ballad, eighty-four lines of which I copied
down lately from the recitation of an old woman in this place, who says
she has seen it in print, with a plate on the title-page, representing
Fannie with her sheep behind her. As this ballad is said to have been
written by Lowe, the author of _Mary's Dream,_ I am surprised that it has
not been noticed by Cromek in his _Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway
Song;_ but he perhaps thought it unworthy of a place in his collection,
as there is very little merit in the composition; which want of room
prevents me from transcribing at present. But if I thought you had never
seen it, I would take an early opportunity of doing so.

"After having made the tour of Galloway in 1769, as Fannie was wandering
in the neighbourhood of Moffat, on her way to Edinburgh, where, I am
informed, she was likewise well known, Old Charlie, her favourite ram,
chanced to break into a kale-yard, which the proprietor observing, let
loose a mastiff, that hunted the poor sheep to death. This was a sad
misfortune; it seemed to renew all the pangs which she formerly felt on
the death of her lover. She would not part from the side of her old
friend for several days, and it was with much difficulty she consented to
allow him to be buried; but still wishing to pay a tribute to his memory,
she covered his grave with moss, and fenced it round with osiers, and
annually returned to the same spot, and pulled the weeds from the grave
and repaired the fence. This is altogether like a romance; but I believe
it is really true that she did so. The grave of Charlie is still held
sacred even by the school-boys of the present day in that quarter. It is
now, perhaps, the only instance of the law of Kenneth being attended to,
which says, 'The grave where anie that is slaine lieth buried, leave
untilled for seven years. Repute every grave holie so as thou be well
advised, that in no wise with thy feet thou tread upon it.'

"Through the storms of winter, as well as in the milder seasons of the
year, she continued her wandering course, nor could she be prevented from
doing so, either by entreaty or promise of reward. The late Dr. Fullarton
of Rosemount, in the neighbourhood of Ayr, being well acquainted with her
father when in England, endeavoured, in a severe season, by every means
in his power, to detain her at Rosemount for a few days until the weather
should become more mild; but when she found herself rested a little, and
saw her sheep fed, she raised her crook, which was the signal she always
gave for the sheep to follow her, and off they all marched together.

"But the hour of poor Fannie's dissolution was now at hand, and she
seemed anxious to arrive at the spot where she was to terminate her
mortal career. She proceeded to Glasgow, and while passing through that
city a crowd of idle boys, attracted by her singular appearance, together
with the novelty of seeing so many sheep obeying her command, began to
ferment her with their pranks, till she became so irritated that she
pelted them with bricks and stones, which they returned in such a manner,
that she was actually stoned to death between Glasgow and Anderston.

"To the real history of this singular individual credulity has attached
several superstitious appendages. It is said that the farmer who was the
cause of Charlie's death shortly afterwards drowned himself in a
peat-hag; and that the hand with which a butcher in Kilinarnock struck
one of the other sheep became powerless, and withered to the very bone.
In the summer of 1769, when she was passing by New Cumnock, a young man,
whose name was William Forsyth, son of a farmer in the same parish,
plagued her so much that she wished he might never see the morn; upon
which he went home and hanged himself in his father's barn. And I doubt
not that many such stories may yet be remembered in other parts where she
had been."

So far Mr. Train. The Author can only add to this narrative that Feckless
Fannie and her little flock were well known in the pastoral districts. In
attempting to introduce such a character into fiction, the Author felt
the risk of encountering a comparison with the Maria of Sterne; and,
besides, the mechanism of the story would have been as much retarded by
Feckless Fannie's flock as the night march of Don Quixote was delayed by
Sancho's tale of the sheep that were ferried over the river.

The Author has only to add, that notwithstanding the preciseness of his
friend Mr. Train's statement, there may be some hopes that the outrage on
Feckless Fannie and her little flock was not carried to extremity. There
is no mention of any trial on account of it, which, had it occurred in
the manner stated, would have certainly taken place; and the Author has
understood that it was on the Border she was last seen, about the skirts
of the Cheviot hills, but without her little flock.




NOTE S.--Death of Francis Gordon.

This exploit seems to have been one in which Patrick Walker prided
himself not a little; and there is reason to fear, that that excellent
person would have highly resented the attempt to associate another with
him in the slaughter of a King's Life-Guardsman. Indeed, he would have
had the more right to be offended at losing any share of the glory, since
the party against Gordon was already three to one, besides having the
advantage of firearms. The manner in which he vindicates his claim to the
exploit, without committing himself by a direct statement of it, is not a
little amusing. It is as follows:--

"I shall give a brief and true account of that man's death, which I did
not design to do while I was upon the stage; I resolve, indeed (if it be
the Lord's will), to leave a more full account of that and many other
remarkable steps of the Lord's dispensations towards me through my life.
It was then commonly said, that Francis Gordon was a volunteer out of
wickedness of principles, and could not stay with the troop, but was
still raging and ranging to catch hiding suffering people. Meldrum and
Airly's troops, lying at Lanark upon the first day of March 1682, Mr.
Gordon and another wicked comrade, with their two servants and four
horses, came to Kilcaigow, two miles from Lanark, searching for William
Caigow and others, under hiding.

"Mr. Gordon, rambling throw the town, offered to abuse the women. At
night, they came a mile further to the Easter-Seat, to Robert Muir's, he
being also under hiding. Gordon's comrade and the two servants went to
bed, but he could sleep none, roaring all night for women. When day came,
he took only his sword in his hand, and came to Moss-platt, and some new
men (who had been in the fields all night) seeing him, they fled, and he
pursued. James Wilson, Thomas Young, and myself, having been in a meeting
all night, were lying down in the morning. We were alarmed, thinking
there were many more than one; he pursued hard, and overtook us. Thomas
Young said, 'Sir, what do ye pursue us for?' He said, 'he was come to
send us to hell.' James Wilson said, 'that shall not be, for we will
defend ourselves.' He said, 'that either he or we should go to it now.'
He run his sword furiously throw James Wilson's coat. James fired upon
him, but missed him. All this time he cried, 'Damn his soul!' He got a
shot in his head out of a pocket-pistol, rather fit for diverting a boy
than killing such a furious, mad, brisk man, which, notwithstanding,
killed him dead. The foresaid William Caigow and Robert Muir came to us.
We searched him for papers, and found a long scroll of sufferers' names,
either to kill or take. I tore it all in pieces. He had also some Popish
books and bonds of money, with one dollar, which a poor man took off the
ground; all which we put in his pocket again. Thus, he was four miles
from Lanark, and near a mile from his comrade, seeking his own death and
got it. And for as much as we have been condemned for this, I could never
see how any one could condemn us that allows of self-defence, which the
laws both of God and nature allow to every creature. For my own part, my
heart never smote me for this. When I saw his blood run, I wished that
all the blood of the Lord's stated and avowed enemies in Scotland had
been in his veins. Having such a clear call and opportunity, I would have
rejoiced to have seen it all gone out with a gush. I have many times
wondered at the greater part of the indulged, lukewarm ministers and
professors in that time, who made more noise of murder, when one of these
enemies had been killed even in our own defence, than of twenty of us
being murdered by them. None of these men present was challenged for this
but myself. Thomas Young thereafter suffered at Mauchline, but was not
challenged for this; Robert Muir was banished; James Wilson outlived the
persecution; Williarn Caigow died in the Canongate Tolbooth, in the
beginning of 1685. Mr. Wodrow is misinformed, who says that he suffered
unto death."




NOTE T.--Tolling to Service in Scotland.

In the old days of Scotland, when persons of property (unless they
happened to be non-jurors) were as regular as their inferiors in
attendance on parochial worship, there was a kind of etiquette, in
waiting till the patron or acknowledged great man of the parish should
make his appearance. This ceremonial was so sacred in the eyes of a
parish beadle in the Isle of Bute, that the kirk bell being out of order,
he is said to have mounted the steeple every Sunday, to imitate with his
voice the successive summonses which its mouth of metal used to send
forth. The first part of this imitative harmony was simply the repetition
of the words _Bell bell, bell bell,_ two or three times in a manner as
much resembling the sound as throat of flesh could imitate throat of
iron. _Bellu'm! bellu'm!_ was sounded forth in a more urgent manner; but
he never sent forth the third and conclusive peal, the varied tone of
which is called in Scotland the ringing-in, until the two principal
heritors of the parish approached, when the chime ran thus:--

                          Bellu'm Belle'llum,
                    Bernera and Knockdow's coming!
                          Bellu'm Belle'llum,
                    Bernera and Knockdow's coming!

Thereby intimating that service was instantly to proceed.

[Mr. Mackinlay of Borrowstounness, a native of Bute, states that Sir
Walter Scott had this story from Sir Adam Ferguson; but that the gallant
knight had not given the lairds' titles correctly--the bellman's great
men being "Craich, Drumbuie, and Barnernie!"--1842.]





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