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Author: Scott, Walter, Sir, 1771-1832
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Title: The Antiquary, Volume 1

Author: Sir Walter Scott

Release Date: August 16, 2004 [EBook #7003]

Language: English

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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE ANTIQUARY, VOLUME 1 ***




Produced by David Widger





                              THE ANTIQUARY

                       BY SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.



                               VOLUME ONE



           I knew Anselmo. He was shrewd and prudent,
                Wisdom and cunning had their shares of him;
                But he was shrewish as a wayward child,
           And pleased again by toys which childhood please;
           As---book of fables, graced with print of wood,
                Or else the jingling of a rusty medal,
                Or the rare melody of some old ditty,
           That first was sung to please King Pepin's cradle




                              INTRODUCTION


The present work completes a series of fictitious narratives, intended to
illustrate the manners of Scotland at three different periods. _Waverley_
embraced the age of our fathers, _Guy Mannering_ that of our own youth,
and the _Antiquary_ refers to the last ten years of the eighteenth
century. I have, in the two last narratives especially, sought my
principal personages in the class of society who are the last to feel the
influence of that general polish which assimilates to each other the
manners of different nations. Among the same class I have placed some of
the scenes in which I have endeavoured to illustrate the operation of the
higher and more violent passions; both because the lower orders are less
restrained by the habit of suppressing their feelings, and because I
agree, with my friend Wordsworth, that they seldom fail to express them
in the strongest and most powerful language. This is, I think, peculiarly
the case with the peasantry of my own country, a class with whom I have
long been familiar. The antique force and simplicity of their language,
often tinctured with the Oriental eloquence of Scripture, in the mouths
of those of an elevated understanding, give pathos to their grief, and
dignity to their resentment.

I have been more solicitous to describe manners minutely than to arrange
in any case an artificial and combined narrative, and have but to regret
that I felt myself unable to unite these two requisites of a good Novel.

The knavery of the adept in the following sheets may appear forced and
improbable; but we have had very late instances of the force of
superstitious credulity to a much greater extent, and the reader may be
assured, that this part of the narrative is founded on a fact of actual
occurrence.

I have now only to express my gratitude to the Public for the
distinguished reception which, they have given to works, that have little
more than some truth of colouring to recommend them, and to take my
respectful leave, as one who is not likely again to solicit their favour.

                  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

To the above advertisement, which was prefixed to the first edition of
the Antiquary, it is necessary in the present edition to add a few words,
transferred from the Introduction to the Chronicles of the Canongate,
respecting the character of Jonathan Oldbuck.

"I may here state generally, that although I have deemed historical
personages free subjects of delineation, I have never on any occasion
violated the respect due to private life. It was indeed impossible that
traits proper to persons, both living and dead, with whom I have had
intercourse in society, should not have risen to my pen in such works as
Waverley, and those which, followed it. But I have always studied to
generalise the portraits, so that they should still seem, on the whole,
the productions of fancy, though possessing some resemblance to real
individuals. Yet I must own my attempts have not in this last particular
been uniformly successful. There are men whose characters are so
peculiarly marked, that the delineation of some leading and principal
feature, inevitably places the whole person before you in his
individuality. Thus the character of Jonathan Oldbuck in the Antiquary,
was partly founded on that of an old friend of my youth, to whom I am
indebted for introducing me to Shakspeare, and other invaluable favours;
but I thought I had so completely disguised the likeness, that it could
not be recognised by any one now alive. I was mistaken, however, and
indeed had endangered what I desired should be considered as a secret;
for I afterwards learned that a highly respectable gentleman, one of the
few surviving friends of my father, and an acute critic, had said, upon
the appearance of the work, that he was now convinced who was the author
of it, as he recognised, in the Antiquary, traces of the character of a
very intimate friend* of my father's family."

* [The late George Constable of Wallace Craigie, near Dundee.]

I have only farther to request the reader not to suppose that my late
respected friend resembled Mr. Oldbuck, either in his pedigree, or the
history imputed to the ideal personage. There is not a single incident in
the Novel which is borrowed from his real circumstances, excepting the
fact that he resided in an old house near a flourishing seaport, and that
the author chanced to witness a scene betwixt him and the female
proprietor of a stage-coach, very similar to that which commences the
history of the Antiquary. An excellent temper, with a slight degree of
subacid humour; learning, wit, and drollery, the more poignant that they
were a little marked by the peculiarities of an old bachelor; a soundness
of thought, rendered more forcible by an occasional quaintness of
expression, were, the author conceives, the only qualities in which the
creature of his imagination resembled his benevolent and excellent old
friend.

The prominent part performed by the Beggar in the following narrative,
induces the author to prefix a few remarks of that character, as it
formerly existed in Scotland, though it is now scarcely to be traced.

Many of the old Scottish mendicants were by no means to be confounded
with the utterly degraded class of beings who now practise that wandering
trade. Such of them as were in the habit of travelling through a
particular district, were usually well received both in the farmer's ha',
and in the kitchens of the country gentlemen. Martin, author of the
_Reliquiae Divi Sancti Andreae,_ written in 1683, gives the following
account of one class of this order of men in the seventeenth century, in
terms which would induce an antiquary like Mr. Oldbuck to regret its
extinction. He conceives them to be descended from the ancient bards, and
proceeds:---"They are called by others, and by themselves, Jockies, who
go about begging; and use still to recite the Sloggorne (gathering-words
or war-cries) of most of the true ancient surnames of Scotland, from old
experience and observation. Some of them I have discoursed, and found to
have reason and discretion. One of then told me there were not now above
twelve of them in the whole isle; but he remembered when they abounded,
so as at one time he was one of five that usually met at St. Andrews."

The race of Jockies (of the above description) has, I suppose, been long
extinct in Scotland; but the old remembered beggar, even in my own time,
like the Baccoch, or travelling cripple of Ireland, was expected to merit
his quarters by something beyond an exposition of his distresses. He was
often a talkative, facetious fellow, prompt at repartee, and not withheld
from exercising his powers that way by any respect of persons, his
patched cloak giving him the privilege of the ancient jester. To be a
_gude crack,_ that is, to possess talents for conversation, was essential
to the trade of a "puir body" of the more esteemed class; and Burns, who
delighted in the amusement their discourse afforded, seems to have looked
forward with gloomy firmness to the possibility of himself becoming one
day or other a member of their itinerant society. In his poetical works,
it is alluded to so often, as perhaps to indicate that he considered the
consummation as not utterly impossible. Thus in the fine dedication of
his works to Gavin Hamilton, he says,--

                     And when I downa yoke a naig,
                    Then, Lord be thankit, I can beg.

Again, in his Epistle to Davie, a brother Poet, he states, that in their
closing career--

                     The last o't, the warst o't,
                         Is only just to beg.

And after having remarked, that

                  To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
                  When banes are crazed and blude is thin,

Is doubtless great distress; the bard reckons up, with true poetical
spirit, the free enjoyment of the beauties of nature, which might
counterbalance the hardship and uncertainty of the life, even of a
mendicant. In one of his prose letters, to which I have lost the
reference, he details this idea yet more seriously, and dwells upon it,
as not ill adapted to his habits and powers.

As the life of a Scottish mendicant of the eighteenth century seems to
have been contemplated without much horror by Robert Burns, the author
can hardly have erred in giving to Edie Ochiltree something of poetical
character and personal dignity, above the more abject of his miserable
calling. The class had, intact, some privileges. A lodging, such as it
was, was readily granted to them in some of the out-houses, and the usual
_awmous_ (alms) of a handful of meal (called a _gowpen_) was scarce
denied by the poorest cottager. The mendicant disposed these, according
to their different quality, in various bags around his person, and thus
carried about with him the principal part of his sustenance, which he
literally received for the asking. At the houses of the gentry, his cheer
was mended by scraps of broken meat, and perhaps a Scottish "twalpenny,"
or English penny, which was expended in snuff or whiskey. In fact, these
indolent peripatetics suffered much less real hardship and want of food,
than the poor peasants from whom they received alms.

If, in addition to his personal qualifications, the mendicant chanced to
be a King's Bedesman, or Blue-Gown, he belonged, in virtue thereof, to
the aristocracy of his order, and was esteemed a parson of great
importance.

These Bedesmen are an order of paupers to whom the Kings of Scotland were
in the custom of distributing a certain alms, in conformity with the
ordinances of the Catholic Church, and who where expected in return to
pray for the royal welfare and that of the state. This order is still
kept up. Their number is equal to the number of years which his Majesty
has lived; and one Blue-Gown additional is put on the roll for every
returning royal birth-day. On the same auspicious era, each Bedesman
receives a new cloak, or gown of coarse cloth, the colour light blue,
with a pewter badge, which confers on them the general privilege of
asking alms through all Scotland,--all laws against sorning, masterful
beggary, and every other species of mendicity, being suspended in favour
of this privileged class. With his cloak, each receives a leathern purse,
containing as many shillings Scots (videlicet, pennies sterling) as the
sovereign is years old; the zeal of their intercession for the king's
long life receiving, it is to be supposed, a great stimulus from their
own present and increasing interest in the object of their prayers. On
the same occasion one of the Royal Chaplains preaches a sermon to the
Bedesmen, who (as one of the reverend gentlemen expressed himself) are
the most impatient and inattentive audience in the world. Something of
this may arise from a feeling on the part of the Bedesmen, that they are
paid for their own devotions, not for listening to those of others. Or,
more probably, it arises from impatience, natural, though indecorous in
men bearing so venerable a character, to arrive at the conclusion of the
ceremonial of the royal birth-day, which, so far as they are concerned,
ends in a lusty breakfast of bread and ale; the whole moral and religious
exhibition terminating in the advice of Johnson's "Hermit hoar" to his
proselyte,

                   Come, my lad, and drink some beer.

Of the charity bestowed on these aged Bedesmen in money and clothing,
there are many records in the Treasurer's accompts. The following
extract, kindly supplied by Mr. Macdonald of the Register House, may
interest those whose taste is akin to that of Jonathan Oldbuck of
Monkbarns.



                              BLEW GOWNIS.

In the Account of Sir Robert Melvill of Murdocarney,
Treasurer-Depute of King James IV., there are the following Payments:--

                              "Junij 1590.

"Item, to Mr. Peter Young, Elimosinar, twentie four gownis of blew
clayth, to be gevin to xxiiij auld men, according to the yeiris of his
hienes age, extending to viii xx viii elnis clayth; price of the elne
xxiiij _s. _                             Inde, ij _c_j _li. _xij _s. _

"Item, for sextene elnis bukrum to the saidis gownis, price of the elne x
_s. _                                    Inde,viij _li. _

"Item, twentie four pursis, and in ilk purse twentie four schelling
                                        Inde, xxciij _li. _ xvj _s. _

"Item, the price of ilk purse iiij _d. _      Inde, viij _s. _

"Item, for making of the saidis gownis       viij _li. _"


In the Account of John, Earl of Mar, Great Treasurer of Scotland, and of
Sir Gideon Murray of Enbank, Treasurer-Depute, the Blue-Gowns also appear
thus:--

                              "Junij 1617.

"Item, to James Murray, merchant, for fyftene scoir sex elnis and aine
half elne of blew claith to be gownis to fyftie ane aigeit men, according
to the yeiris of his Majesteis age, at xl _s. _ the elne
                                        Inde,vj _c_ xiij _li. _

"Item, to workmen for careing the blewis to James Aikman, tailyeour, his
hous xiij _s. _ iiij _d. _

"Item, for sex elnis and ane half of harden to the saidis gownis, at vj
_s. _ viij _d. _ the elne                 Inde,xliij _s. _iiij _d. _

"Item, to the said workmen for careing of the gownis fra the said James
Aikman's hous to the palace of Halyrudehous xviij _s. _

"Item, for making the saidis fyftie ane gownis, at xij _s. _ the peice
                                        Inde,xxx _li. _xij _s. _

"Item, for fyftie ane pursis to the said puire menlj _s. _

"Item, to Sir Peter Young,li _s. _ to be put in everie ane of the saidis
ljpursis to the said poore men j _c_xxxl jj _s. _

"Item, to the said Sir Peter, to buy breid and drink to the said puir men
vj _li. _xiij _s. _iiij _d. _

"Item, to the said Sir Peter, to be delt amang uther puire folk j _c_li.

"Item, upoun the last day of Junii to Doctor Young, Deane of Winchester,
Elimozinar Deput to his Majestic, twentie fyve pund sterling, to be gevin
to the puir be the way in his Majesteis progress    Inde,iij _c li. _"


I have only to add, that although the institution of King's Bedesmen
still subsists, they are now seldom to be seen on the streets of
Edinburgh, of which their peculiar dress made them rather a
characteristic feature.

Having thus given an account of the genus and species to which Edie
Ochiltree appertains, the author may add, that the individual he had in
his eye was Andrew Gemmells, an old mendicant of the character described,
who was many years since well known, and must still be remembered, in the
vales of Gala, Tweed, Ettrick, Yarrow, and the adjoining country.

The author has in his youth repeatedly seen and conversed with Andrew,
but cannot recollect whether he held the rank of Blue-Gown. He was a
remarkably fine old figure, very tall, and maintaining a soldierlike or
military manner and address. His features were intelligent, with a
powerful expression of sarcasm. His motions were always so graceful, that
he might almost have been suspected of having studied them; for he might,
on any occasion, have, served as a model for an artist, so remarkably
striking were his ordinary attitudes. Andrew Gemmells had little of the
cant of his calling; his wants were food and shelter, or a trifle of
money, which he always claimed, and seemed to receive as his due. He,
sung a good song, told a good story, and could crack a severe jest with
all the acumen of Shakespeare's jesters, though without using, like them,
the cloak of insanity. It was some fear of Andrew's satire, as much as a
feeling of kindness or charity, which secured him the general good
reception which he enjoyed everywhere. In fact, a jest of Andrew
Gemmells, especially at the expense of a person of consequence, flew
round the circle which he frequented, as surely as the bon-mot of a man
of established character for wit glides through the fashionable world,
Many of his good things are held in remembrance, but are generally too
local and personal to be introduced here.

Andrew had a character peculiar to himself among his tribe for aught I
ever heard. He was ready and willing to play at cards or dice with any
one who desired such amusement. This was more in the character of the
Irish itinerant gambler, called in that country a "carrow," than of the
Scottish beggar. But the late Reverend Doctor Robert Douglas, minister of
Galashiels, assured the author, that the last time he saw Andrew
Gemmells, he was engaged in a game at brag with a gentleman of fortune,
distinction, and birth. To preserve the due gradations of rank, the party
was made at an open window of the chateau, the laird sitting on his chair
in the inside, the beggar on a stool in the yard; and they played on the
window-sill. The stake was a considerable parcel of silver. The author
expressing some surprise, Dr. Douglas observed, that the laird was no
doubt a humourist or original; but that many decent persons in those
times would, like him, have thought there was nothing extraordinary in
passing an hour, either in card-playing or conversation, with Andrew
Gemmells.

This singular mendicant had generally, or was supposed to have, much
money about his person, as would have been thought the value of his life
among modern foot-pads. On one occasion, a country gentleman, generally
esteemed a very narrow man, happening to meet Andrew, expressed great
regret that he had no silver in his pocket, or he would have given him
sixpence. --"I can give you change for a note, laird," replied Andrew.

Like most who have arisen to the head of their profession, the modern
degradation which mendicity has undergone was often the subject of
Andrew's lamentations. As a trade, he said, it was forty pounds a-year
worse since he had first practised it. On another occasion he observed,
begging was in modern times scarcely the profession of a gentleman; and
that, if he had twenty sons, he would not easily be induced to breed one
of them up in his own line. When or where this _laudator temporis acti_
closed his wanderings, the author never heard with certainty; but most
probably, as Burns says,

                   --he died a cadger-powny's death,
                          At some dike side.

The author may add another picture of the same kind as Edie Ochiltree and
Andrew Gemmells; considering these illustrations as a sort of gallery,
open to the reception of anything which may elucidate former manners, or
amuse the reader.

The author's contemporaries at the university of Edinburgh will probably
remember the thin, wasted form of a venerable old Bedesman, who stood by
the Potterrow-Port, now demolished, and, without speaking a syllable,
gently inclined his head, and offered his hat, but with the least
possible degree of urgency, towards each individual who passed. This man
gained, by silence and the extenuated and wasted appearance of a palmer
from a remote country, the same tribute which was yielded to Andrew
Gemmells' sarcastic humour and stately deportment. He was understood to
be able to maintain a son a student in the theological classes of the
University, at the gate of which the father was a mendicant. The young
man was modest and inclined to learning, so that a student of the same
age, and whose parents where rather of the lower order, moved by seeing
him excluded from the society of other scholars when the secret of his
birth was suspected, endeavoured to console him by offering him some
occasional civilities. The old mendicant was grateful for this attention
to his son, and one day, as the friendly student passed, he stooped
forward more than usual, as if to intercept his passage. The scholar drew
out a halfpenny, which he concluded was the beggar's object, when he was
surprised to receive his thanks for the kindness he had shown to Jemmie,
and at the same time a cordial invitation to dine with them next
Saturday, "on a shoulder of mutton and potatoes," adding, "ye'll put on
your clean sark, as I have company." The student was strongly tempted to
accept this hospitable proposal, as many in his place would probably have
done; but, as the motive might have been capable of misrepresentation, he
thought it most prudent, considering the character and circumstances of
the old man, to decline the invitation.

Such are a few traits of Scottish mendicity, designed to throw light on a
Novel in which a character of that description plays a prominent part. We
conclude, that we have vindicated Edie Ochiltree's right to the
importance assigned him; and have shown, that we have known one beggar
take a hand at cards with a person of distinction, and another give
dinner parties.

I know not if it be worth while to observe, that the Antiquary,* was not
so well received on its first appearance as either of its predecessors,
though in course of time it rose to equal, and, with some readers,
superior popularity.

* Note A. Mottoes.






                          EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION

                                    TO

                              THE ANTIQUARY.


"THE ANTIQUARY" was begun in 1815; the bargain for its publication by
Constable was made in the October of that year. On December 22 Scott
wrote to Morritt: "I shall set myself seriously to 'The Antiquary,' of
which I have only a very general sketch at present; but when once I get
my pen to the paper it will walk fast enough. I am sometimes tempted to
leave it alone, and try whether it will not write as well without the
assistance of my head as with it,--a hopeful prospect for the reader!'"
It is amazing enough that he even constructed "a general sketch," for to
such sketches he confesses that he never could keep constant. "I have
generally written to the middle of one of these novels without having the
least idea how it was to end,--in short, in the _hab nab at a venture
style_ of composition" (Journal, Feb. 24, 1828). Yet it is almost
impossible but that the plot of "The Antiquary" should have been duly
considered. Scott must have known from the first who Lovel was to turn
out to be, and must have recognised in the hapless bride of Lord
Glenallan the object of the Antiquary's solitary and unfortunate passion.
To introduce another Wandering Heir immediately after the Harry Bertram
of "Guy Mannering" was rather audacious. But that old favourite, the Lost
Heir, is nearly certain to be popular. For the Antiquary's immortal
sorrow Scott had a model in his own experience. "What a romance to tell!
--and told, I fear, it will one day be. And then my three years of
dreaming and my two years of wakening will be chronicled doubtless. But
the dead will feel no pain." The dead, as Aristotle says, if they care
for such things at all, care no more than we do for what has passed in a
dream.

The general sketch probably began to take full shape about the last day
of 1815. On December 29 Scott wrote to Ballantyne:--

DEAR JAMES,--

               I've done, thank'God, with the long yarns
                   Of the most prosy of Apostles--Paul,1
               And now advance, sweet heathen of Monkbarns,
                  Step out, old quizz, as fast as I can scrawl.

In "The Antiquary" Scott had a subject thoroughly to his mind. He had
been an antiquary from his childhood. His earliest pence had been devoted
to that collection of printed ballads which is still at Abbotsford. These
he mentions in the unfinished fragment of his "Reliquiae Trotcosienses,"
in much the same words as in his manuscript note on one of the seven
volumes.

"This little collection of Stall tracts and ballads was formed by me,
when a boy, from the baskets of the travelling pedlars. Until put into
its present decent binding it had such charms for the servants that it
was repeatedly, and with difficulty, recovered from their clutches. It
contains most of the pieces that were popular about thirty years since,
and, I dare say, many that could not now be procured for any price
(1810)."

Nor did he collect only--

                      "The rare melody of some old ditties
          That first were sung to please King Pepin's cradle.

"Walter had soon begun to gather out-of-the-way things of all sorts. He
had more books than shelves [sic]; a small painted cabinet with Scotch
and Roman coins in it, and so forth. A claymore and Lochaber axe, given
him by old Invernahyle, mounted guard on a little print of Prince
Charlie; and Broughton's Saucer was hooked up on the wall below it."
He had entered literature through the ruined gateway of archleology, in
the "Border Minstrelsy," and his last project was an edition of
Perrault's "Contes de Ma Mere l'Oie." As pleasant to him as the purchase
of new lands like Turn Again, bought dearly, as in Monkbarns's case, from
"bonnet lauds," was a fresh acquisition of an old book or of old armour.
Yet, with all his enthusiasm, he did not please the antiquaries of his
own day. George Chalmers, in Constable's "Life and Correspondence"
(i. 431), sneers at his want of learning. "His notes are loose and
unlearned, as they generally are." Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, his
friend in life, disported himself in jealous and ribald mockery of
Scott's archaeological knowledge, when Scott was dead. In a letter of
the enigmatic Thomas Allen, or James Stuart Hay, father of John Sobieski
and Charles Edward Stuart, this mysterious person avers that he never
knew Scott's opinion to be held as of any value by antiquaries (1829).
They probably missed in him "a sort of pettifogging intimacy with dates,
names, and trifling matters of fact,--a tiresome and frivolous accuracy
of memory" which Sir Arthur Wardour reproves in Monkbarns. Scott, in
brief, was not as Dry-as-dust; all the dead bones that he touches come
to life. He was as great an archeologist as a poet can be, and, with
Virgil, was the greatest antiquary among poets. Like Monkbarns, he was
not incapable of being beguiled. As Oldbuck bought the bodle from the
pedlar at the price of a rare coin, so Scott took Surtees's "Barthram's
Dirge," and his Latin legend of the tourney with the spectre knight, for
genuine antiquities. No Edie Ochiltree ever revealed to him the truth
about these forgeries, and the spectre knight, with the ballad of
"Anthony Featherstonhaugh," hold their own in "Marmion," to assure the
world that this antiquary was gullible when the sleight was practised by
a friend. "Non est tanti," he would have said, had he learned the truth;
for he was ever conscious of the humorous side of the study of the
mouldering past. "I do not know anything which relieves the mind so much
from the sullens as a trifling discourse about antiquarian oldwomanries.
It is like knitting a stocking,--diverting the mind without occupying
it." ("Journal," March 9, 1828).

Begun about Jan. 1, 1816, "The Antiquary" was published before May 16,
1816, when Scott writes to say that he has sent Mr. Morritt the novel
"some time since." "It is not so interesting as its predecessors; the
period does not admit of so much romantic situation. But it has been
more fortunate than any of them in the sale, for six thousand went off
in the first six days, and it is now at press again." The Preface of the
first edition ends with the melancholy statement that the author "takes
his respectful leave, as one who is not likely again to solicit favour."
Apparently Scott had already determined not to announce his next novels
("The Black Dwarf" and "Old Mortality") as "by the Author of Waverley."
Mr. Constable, in the biography of his father, says (iii. 84): "Even
before the publication of 'The Antiquary,' John Ballantyne had been
impowered by the Author to negotiate with Mr. Murray and Mr. Blackwood
for the first series of the 'Tales of my Landlord.'" The note of
withdrawal from the stage, in the first edition of "The Antiquary," was
probably only a part of another experiment on public sagacity. As
Lockhart says, Mr. Murray and Mr. Blackwood thought that the consequent
absence of the Author of "Waverley's" name from the "Tales of my
Landlord" would "check very much the first success of the book;" but
they risked this, "to disturb Constable's tenure."

Scott's temporary desertion of Constable in the "Tales of my Landlord"
may have had various motives. There was a slight grudge against
Constable, born of some complications of the Ballantynes' affairs.
Perhaps the mere amusement of the experiment on public sagacity was one
of the more powerful reasons for the change. In our day Lord Lytton and
Mr. Trollope made similar trials of their popularity when anonymous, the
former author with the greater success. The idea of these masquerades and
veils of the incognito appears to have bewitched Constable. William
Godwin was writing for him his novel "Mandeville," and Godwin had
obviously been counselled to try a disguise. He says (Jan. 30, 1816) "I
have amused my imagination a thousand times since last we parted with the
masquerade you devised for me. The world is full of wonder. An old
favourite is always reviewed with coldness. . . . 'Pooh,' they say;
'Godwin has worn his pen to the stump!' . . . But let me once be equipped
with a significant mask and an unknown character from your masquerade
shop, and admitted to figure in with the 'Last Minstrel,' the 'Lady of
the Lake,' and 'Guy Mannering' in the Scottish carnival, Gods! how the
boys and girls will admire me! 'Here is a new wonder!' they will say.
'Ah, this is something like! Here is Godwin beaten on his own ground. . .
Here is for once a Scottish writer that they cannot say has anything of
the Scotchman about him.'"

However, Mr. Godwin did not don the mask and domino. "Mandeville" came
out about the same time as "Rob Roy;" but the "craziness of the public"
for the Author of "Waverley" was not changed into a passion for the
father-in-law of Shelley.

"'The Antiquary,' after a little pause of hesitation, attained popularity
not inferior to 'Guy Mannering,' and though the author appears for a
moment to have shared the doubts which he read in the countenance of
James Ballantyne, it certainly was, in the sequel, his chief favourite
among all his novels.'"

As Scott said to Terry, "If a man will paint from nature, he will be
likely to amuse those who are daily looking at it." The years which saw
the first appearance of "Guy Mannering" also witnessed that of "Emma." By
the singular chance, or law, which links great authors closely in time,
giving us novelists in pairs, Miss Austen was "drawing from nature" at
the very moment when Scott was wedding nature with romance. How
generously and wisely he admired her is familiar, and it may, to some,
seem curious that he never deliberately set himself to a picture of
ordinary life, free from the intrusion of the unusual, of the heroic.
Once, looking down at the village which lies on the Tweed, opposite
Melrose, he remarked that under its roofs tragedies and tales were
doubtless being lived. 'I undertake to say there is some real romance at
this moment going on down there, that, if it could have justice done to
it, would be well worth all the fiction that was ever spun out of human
brains.'  But the example he gave was terrible,--"anything more dreadful
was never conceived by Crabbe;" yet, adds Lockhart, "it would never have
entered into his head to elaborate such a tale." He could not dwell in
the unbroken gloom dear to some modern malingerers. But he could easily
have made a tale of common Scotch life, dark with the sorrow of
Mucklebackit, and bright with the mirth of Cuddie Headrigg. There was,
however, this difficulty,--that Scott cared not to write a story of a
single class. "From the peer to the ploughman," all society mingles in
each of his novels. A fiction of middle-class life did not allure him,
and he was not at the best, but at his worst, as Sydney Smith observed,
in the light talk of society. He could admire Miss Austen, and read her
novels again and again; but had he attempted to follow her, by way of
variety, then inevitably wild as well as disciplined humour would have
kept breaking in, and his fancy would have wandered like the old knights
of Arthur's Court, "at adventure." "St. Ronan's Well" proved the truth of
all this. Thus it happens that, in "The Antiquary," with all his sympathy
for the people, with all his knowledge of them, he does not confine
himself to their cottages. As Lockhart says, in his admirable piece of
criticism, he preferred to choose topics in which he could display "his
highest art, that of skilful contrast."

Even the tragic romance of "Waverley" does not set off its Macwheebles
and Callum Begs better than the oddities of Jonathan Oldbuck and his
circle are relieved, on the one hand by the stately gloom of the
Glenallans, on the other by the stern affliction of the poor fisherman,
who, when discovered repairing "the auld black bitch of a boat," in which
his boy had been lost, and congratulated by his visitors on being capable
of the exertion, makes answer, "And what would you have me to do, unless
I wanted to see four children starve, because one is drowned? It 's weel
with you gentles, that can sit in the house with handkerchers at your
een, when ye lose a friend; but the like o' us maun to our work again,
if our hearts were beating as hard as ony hammer." And to his work again
Scott had to go when he lost the partner of his life.

The simple unsought charm which Lockhart notes in "The Antiquary" may
have passed away in later works, when what had been the amusement of
happy days became the task of sadness. But this magic "The Antiquary"
keeps perhaps beyond all its companions,--the magic of pleasant memories
and friendly associations. The sketches of the epoch of expected
invasion, with its patriotic musters and volunteer drillings, are
pictures out of that part in the author's life which, with his early
Highland wanderings ("Waverley") and his Liddesdale raids ("Guy
Mannering"), was most dear to him. In "Redgauntlet," again, he makes, as
Alan Fairford, a return on his youth and his home, and in "Rob Roy" he
revives his Highland recollections, his Highland lairds of "the blawing,
bleezing stories." None of the rest of the tales are so intimate in their
connection with Scott's own personal history. "The Antiquary" has always,
therefore, been held in the very first rank of his novels.

As far as plot goes, though Godwin denied that it had any story, "The
Antiquary" may be placed among the most careful. The underplot of the
Glenallans, gloomy almost beyond endurance, is very ingeniously made to
unravel the mystery of Lovel. The other side-narrative, that of
Dousterswivel, is the weak point of the whole; but this Scott justifies
by "very late instances of the force of superstitious credulity, to a
much greater extent." Some occurrence of the hour may have suggested the
knavish adept with his divining-rod. But facts are never a real excuse
for the morally incredible, or all but incredible, in fiction. On the
wealth and vraisemblance and variety of character it were superfluous to
dilate. As in Shakspeare, there is not even a minor person but lives and
is of flesh and blood, if we except, perhaps, Dousterswivel and Sir
Arthur Wardour. Sir Arthur is only Sir Robert Hazlewood over again, with
a slightly different folly and a somewhat more amiable nature. Lovel's
place, as usual, is among the shades of heroes, and his love-affair is
far less moving, far more summarily treated, than that of Jenny Caxon.
The skilful contrasts are perhaps most remarkable when we compare Elspeth
of the Burnfoot with the gossiping old women in the post-office at
Fairport,--a town studied perhaps from Arbroath. It was the opinion of
Sydney Smith that every one of the novels, before "The Fortunes of
Nigel," contained a Meg Merrilies and a Dominie Sampson. He may have
recognized a male Meg in Edie Ochiltree,--the invaluable character who is
always behind a wall, always overhears everything, and holds the threads
of the plot. Or he may have been hypercritical enough to think that
Elspeth of the Burnfoot is the Meg of the romance. Few will agree with
him that Meg Merrilies, in either of these cases, is "good, but good too
often."

The supposed "originals" of certain persons in the tale have been topics
of discussion. The character of Oldbuck, like most characters in fiction,
is a combination of traits observed in various persons. Scott says, in a
note to the Ashiestiel fragment of Autobiography, that Mr. George
Constable, an old friend of his father's, "had many of those
peculiarities of character which long afterwards I tried to develop in
the character of Jonathan Oldbuck." Sir Walter, when a child, made Mr.
Constable's acquaintance at Prestonpans in 1777, where he explored the
battle-field "under the learned guidance of Dalgetty." Mr. Constable
first introduced him to Shakspeare's plays, and gave him his first German
dictionary. Other traits may have been suggested by John Clerk of Eldin,
whose grandfather was the hero of the story "Praetorian here, Praetorian
there, I made it wi' a flaughter spade." Lockhart is no doubt right in
thinking that Oldbuck is partly a caricature of Oldbuck's creator,--Sir
Walter indeed frankly accepted the kinship; and the book which he began
on his own collection he proposed to style "Reliquim Trotcosienses; or,
the Gabions of Jonathan Oldbuck."

Another person who added a few points to Oldbuck was "Sandy Gordon,"
author of the "Itinerarium Septentrionale" (1726), the very folio which
Monkbarns carried in the dilatory coach to Queensferry. Gordon had been
a student in the University of Aberdeen; he was an amateur in many arts,
but antiquarianism was his favourite hobby. He was an acquaintance of Sir
John Clerk of Eldin, the hero of the Praetorium. The words of Gordon in
his "Itinerarium," where he describes the battle of the Grampians, have
supplied, or suggested, the speech of Monkbarns at the Kaim of Kinprunes.
The great question was, Where is the Mons Grampius of Tacitus? Dismissing
Camden's Grantsbain, because he does not know where it is, Gordon says,
"As for our Scotch Antiquaries, they are so divided that some will have
it to be in the shire of Angus, or in the Mearns, some at the Blair of
Athol in Perthshire, or Ardoch in Strathallan, and others at
Inverpeffery." Gordon votes for Strathern, "half a mile short of the Kirk
of Comrie." This spot is both at the foot of the Montes Grampii, "and
boasts a Roman camp capable of holding an army fit to encounter so
formidable a number as thirty thousand Caledonians. . . . Here is the
Porta Decumana, opposite the Prcetoria, together with the dextra and
sinistra gates," all discovered by Sandy Gordon. "Moreover, the situation
of the ground is so very exact with the description given by Tacitus,
that in all my travels through Britain I never beheld anything with more
pleasure. . . . Nor is it difficult, in viewing this ground, to say where
the Covinarii, or Charioteers, stood. In fine, to an Antiquary, this is a
ravishing scene." He adds the argument "that Galgacus's name still
remains on this ground, for the moor on which the camp stood is called to
this day Galdachan, or Galgachan Rosmoor." All this lore Gordon
illustrates by an immense chart of a camp, and a picture of very small
Montes Grampii, about the size and shape of buns. The plate is dedicated
to his excellency General Wade.

In another point Monkbapns borrows from Gordon. Sandy has a plate (page
20) of "The Roman Sacellum of Mars Signifer, vulgarly called 'Arthur's
Oon.' With regard to its shape, it is not unlike the famous Pantheon at
Rome before the noble Portico was added to it by Marcus Agrippa." Gordon
agrees with Stukeley in attributing Arthur's Oon to Agricola, and here
Monkbarns and Lovel adopt almost his words. "Time has left Julius
Agricola's very name on the place; . . . and if ever those initial
letters J. A. M. P. M. P. T., mentioned by Sir Robert Sibbald, were
engraven on a stone in this building, it may not be reckoned altogether
absurd that they should bear this reading, JULIUS AGRICOLA MAGNUS
PIETATIS MONUMENTUM POSUIT TEMPLUM; but this my reader may
either accept or reject as he pleases. However, I think it may be as
probably received as that inscription on Caligula's Pharos in Holland,
which having these following letters, C. C. P. F., is read Caius Caligula
Pharum Fecit." "This," Monkbarns adds, "has ever been recorded as a sound
exposition."

The character of Edie Ochiltree, Scott himself avers to have been
suggested by Andrew Gemmells, pleasantly described in the Introduction.
Mr. Chambers, in "Illustrations of the Author of 'Waverley," clears up a
point doubtful in Scott's memory, by saying that Geimells really was a
Blue-Gown. He rode a horse of his own, and at races was a bookmaker. He
once dropped at Rutherford, in Teviotdale, a clue of yarn containing
twenty guineas. Like Edie Ochiltree, he had served at Fontenoy. He died
at Roxburgh Newton in 1793, at the age of one hundred and five, according
to his own reckoning. "His wealth was the means of enriching a nephew in
Ayrshire, who is now (1825) a considerable landholder there, and belongs
to a respectable class of society."

An old Irus of similar character patrolled Teviotdale, while Andrew
Gemmells was attached to Ettrick and Yarrow. This was Blind Willie Craw.
Willie was the Society Journal of Hawick, and levied blackmail on the
inhabitants. He is thus described by Mr. Grieve, in the Diary already
quoted: "He lived at Branxholme Town, in a free house set apart for the
gamekeeper, and for many a year carried all the bread from Hawick used in
my father's family. He came in that way at breakfast-time, and got a
wallet which he put it in, and returned at dinner-time with the 'bawbee
rows' and two loaves. He laid the town of Hawick under contribution for
bawbees, and he knew the history of every individual, and went rhyming
through the town from door to door; and as he knew something against
every one which they would rather wish should not be rehearsed, a bawbee
put a stop to the paragraph which they wished suppressed. Willie Craw was
the son of a gamekeeper of the duke's, and enjoyed a free house at
Branxholme Town as long as he lived."

Had Burns ever betaken himself to the gaberlunzie's life, which he speaks
of in one of his poems as "the last o't, the worst o't," he would have
proved a much more formidable satirist than poor Willie Craw, the last of
the "blind crowders." Burns wrote, of course, in a spirit of reckless
humour; but he could not, even in sport, have alluded to the life as
"suited to his habits and powers," had gaberlunzies been mere mendicants.
In Herd's collection of Ballads is one on the ancient Scottish beggar:--

                In Scotland there lived a humble beggar,
                  He had nor house, nor hald, nor hame;
                  But he was well liked by ilk a body,
                And they gave him sunkets to rax his wame.

                A sieve fu' o' meal, a handfu' o' groats,
                  A dad o' a bannock, or pudding bree,
                  Cauld porridge, or the lickings o' plates,
                Wad make him as blythe as a body could be.

The dress and trade of the beggar are said to have been adopted by James
V. in his adventures, and tradition attributes to him a song, "The
Gaberlunzie Man."

One of Edie's most charming traits is his readiness to "fight for his
dish, like the laird for his land," when a French invasion was expected.
Scott places the date of "The False Alarm," when he himself rode a
hundred miles to join his regiment, on Feb. 2, 1804.

Lockhart gives it as an event of 1805 (vol. ii. p. 275). The occasion
gave great pleasure to Scott, on account of the patriotism and courage
displayed by all classes. "Me no muckle to fight for?" says Edie. "Isna
there the country to fight for, and the burns I gang dandering beside,
and the hearths o' the gudewives that gie me my bit bread, and the bits
o' weans that come toddling to play wi' me when I come about a landward
town?" Edie had fought at Fontenoy, and was of the old school. Scott
would have been less pleased with a recruit from St. Boswells, on the
Tweed. This man was a shoemaker, John Younger, a very intelligent and
worthy person, famous as an angler and writer on angling, who has left an
account of the "False Alarm" in his memoirs. His view was that the
people, unlike Edie, had nothing to fight for, that only the rich had any
reason to be patriotic, that the French had no quarrel with the poor. In
fact, Mr. Younger was a cosmopolitan democrat, and sneered at the old
Border glories of the warlike days. Probably, however, he would have done
his duty, had the enemy landed, and, like Edie, might have remembered the
"burns he dandered beside," always with a fishingrod in his hand.

     The Editor cannot resist the temptation to add that the patriotic
     lady mentioned in Scott's note, who "would rather have seen her son
     dead on that hearth than hear that he had been a horse's length
     behind his companions," was his paternal great-grandmother, Mrs.
     John Lang. Her husband, who died shortly afterwards, so that she was
     a widow when Scott conversed with her, chanced to be chief
     magistrate of Selkirk. His family was aroused late one night by the
     sound of a carriage hurrying down the steep and narrow street. Lord
     Napier was bringing, probably from Hawick, the tidings that the
     beacons were ablaze. The town-bell was instantly rung, the
     inhabitants met in the marketplace, where Scott's statue now stands,
     and the whole force, with one solitary exception, armed and marched
     to Dalkeith. According to the gentleman whose horse and arms were
     sent on to meet him, it was intended, if the French proved
     victorious, that the population of the Border towns should abandon
     their homes and retire to the hills.

No characters in the "Antiquary," except Monkbarns and Edie Ochiltree,
seem to have been borrowed from notable originals. The frauds of
Dousterswivel, Scott says, are rendered plausible by "very late instances
of the force of superstitious credulity to a much greater extent." He can
hardly be referring to the career of Cagliostro, but he may have had in
his memory some unsuccessful mining speculations by Charles Earl of
Traquair, who sought for lead and found little or none in Traquair hills.
The old "Statistical Account of Scotland" (vol. xii. p. 370) says nothing
about imposture, and merely remarks that "the noble family of Traquair
have made several attempts to discover lead mines, and have found
quantities of the ore of that metal, though not adequate to indemnify the
expenses of working, and have therefore given up the attempt." This was
published in 1794, so twenty years had passed when "The Antiquary" was
written. If there was here an "instance of superstitious credulity," it
was not "a very late instance." The divining, or "dowsing," rod of
Dousterswivel still keeps its place in mining superstition and in the
search for wells.

With "The Antiquary" most contemporary reviews of the novels lose their
interest. Their author had firmly established his position, at least till
"The Monastery" caused some murmurings. Even the "Quarterly Review" was
infinitely more genial in its reception of "The Antiquary" than of "Guy
Mannering." The critic only grumbled at Lovel's feverish dreams, which,
he thought, showed an intention to introduce the marvellous. He
complained of "the dark dialect of Anglified Erse," but found comfort in
the glossary appended. The "Edinburgh Review" pronounced the chapter on
the escape from the tide to be "I the very best description we have ever
met, inverse or in prose, in ancient or in modern writing." No reviewer
seems to have noticed that the sun is made to set in the sea, on the east
coast of Scotland. The "Edinburgh," however, declared that the Antiquary,
"at least in so far as he is an Antiquary," was the chief blemish on the
book. The "sweet heathen of Monkbarns" has not suffered from this
disparagement. The "British Critic" pledged its reputation that Scott was
the author. If an argument were wanted, "it would be that which has been
applied to prove the authenticity of the last book of the Iliad,--that
Homer must have written it, because no one else could." Alas! that
argument does not convince German critics.
                                            ANDREW LANG.





                             CHAPTER FIRST.


               Go call a coach, and let a coach be called,
               And let the man who calleth be the caller;
               And in his calling let him nothing call,
               But Coach! Coach! Coach! O for a coach, ye gods!
                                 Chrononhotonthologos.

It was early on a fine summer's day, near the end of the eighteenth
century, when a young man, of genteel appearance, journeying towards the
north-east of Scotland, provided himself with a ticket in one of those
public carriages which travel between Edinburgh and the Queensferry, at
which place, as the name implies, and as is well known to all my northern
readers, there is a passage-boat for crossing the Firth of Forth. The
coach was calculated to carry six regular passengers, besides such
interlopers as the coachman could pick up by the way, and intrude upon
those who were legally in possession. The tickets, which conferred right
to a seat in this vehicle, of little ease, were dispensed by a
sharp-looking old dame, with a pair of spectacles on a very thin nose,
who inhabited a "laigh shop," _anglice,_ a cellar, opening to the High
Street by a straight and steep stair, at the bottom of which she sold
tape, thread, needles, skeins of worsted, coarse linen cloth, and such
feminine gear, to those who had the courage and skill to descend to the
profundity of her dwelling, without falling headlong themselves, or
throwing down any of the numerous articles which, piled on each side of
the descent, indicated the profession of the trader below.

The written hand-bill, which, pasted on a projecting board, announced
that the Queensferry Diligence, or Hawes Fly, departed precisely at
twelve o'clock on Tuesday, the fifteenth July 17--, in order to secure
for travellers the opportunity of passing the Firth with the flood-tide,
lied on the present occasion like a bulletin; for although that hour was
pealed from Saint Giles's steeple, and repeated by the Tron, no coach
appeared upon the appointed stand. It is true, only two tickets had been
taken out, and possibly the lady of the subterranean mansion might have
an understanding with her Automedon, that, in such cases, a little space
was to be allowed for the chance of filling up the vacant places--or the
said Automedon might have been attending a funeral, and be delayed by the
necessity of stripping his vehicle of its lugubrious trappings--or he
might have staid to take a half-mutchkin extraordinary with his crony the
hostler--or--in short, he did not make his appearance.

The young gentleman, who began to grow somewhat impatient, was now joined
by a companion in this petty misery of human life--the person who had
taken out the other place. He who is bent upon a journey is usually
easily to be distinguished from his fellow-citizens. The boots, the
great-coat, the umbrella, the little bundle in his hand, the hat pulled
over his resolved brows, the determined importance of his pace, his brief
answers to the salutations of lounging acquaintances, are all marks by
which the experienced traveller in mail-coach or diligence can
distinguish, at a distance, the companion of his future journey, as he
pushes onward to the place of rendezvous. It is then that, with worldly
wisdom, the first comer hastens to secure the best berth in the coach for
himself, and to make the most convenient arrangement for his baggage
before the arrival of his competitors. Our youth, who was gifted with
little prudence, of any sort, and who was, moreover, by the absence of
the coach, deprived of the power of availing himself of his priority of
choice, amused himself, instead, by speculating upon the occupation and
character of the personage who was now come to the coach office.

He was a good-looking man of the age of sixty, perhaps older,--but his
hale complexion and firm step announced that years had not impaired his
strength or health. His countenance was of the true Scottish cast,
strongly marked, and rather harsh in features, with a shrewd and
penetrating eye, and a countenance in which habitual gravity was
enlivened by a cast of ironical humour. His dress was uniform, and of a
colour becoming his age and gravity; a wig, well dressed and powdered,
surmounted by a slouched hat, had something of a professional air. He
might be a clergyman, yet his appearance was more that of a man of the
world than usually belongs to the kirk of Scotland, and his first
ejaculation put the matter beyond question.

He arrived with a hurried pace, and, casting an alarmed glance towards
the dial-plate of the church, then looking at the place where the coach
should have been, exclaimed, "Deil's in it--I am too late after all!"

The young man relieved his anxiety, by telling him the coach had not yet
appeared. The old gentleman, apparently conscious of his own want of
punctuality, did not at first feel courageous enough to censure that of
the coachman. He took a parcel, containing apparently a large folio, from
a little boy who followed him, and, patting him on the head, bid him go
back and tell Mr. B----, that if he had known he was to have had so much
time, he would have put another word or two to their bargain,--then told
the boy to mind his business, and he would be as thriving a lad as ever
dusted a duodecimo. The boy lingered, perhaps in hopes of a penny to buy
marbles; but none was forthcoming. Our senior leaned his little bundle
upon one of the posts at the head of the staircase, and, facing the
traveller who had first arrived, waited in silence for about five minutes
the arrival of the expected diligence.

At length, after one or two impatient glances at the progress of the
minute-hand of the clock, having compared it with his own watch, a huge
and antique gold repeater, and having twitched about his features to give
due emphasis to one or two peevish pshaws, he hailed the old lady of the
cavern.

"Good woman,--what the d--l is her name?--Mrs. Macleuchar!"

Mrs. Macleuchar, aware that she had a defensive part to sustain in the
encounter which was to follow, was in no hurry to hasten the discussion
by returning a ready answer.

"Mrs. Macleuchar,--Good woman" (with an elevated voice)--then apart, "Old
doited hag, she's as deaf as a post--I say, Mrs. Macleuchar!"

"I am just serving a customer.--Indeed, hinny, it will no be a bodle
cheaper than I tell ye."

"Woman," reiterated the traveller, "do you think we can stand here all
day till you have cheated that poor servant wench out of her half-year's
fee and bountith?"

"Cheated!" retorted Mrs. Macleuchar, eager to take up the quarrel upon a
defensible ground; "I scorn your words, sir: you are an uncivil person,
and I desire you will not stand there, to slander me at my ain
stair-head."

"The woman," said the senior, looking with an arch glance at his destined
travelling companion, "does not understand the words of action.--Woman,"
again turning to the vault, "I arraign not thy character, but I desire to
know what is become of thy coach?"

"What's your wull?" answered Mrs. Macleuchar, relapsing into deafness.

"We have taken places, ma'am," said the younger stranger, "in your
diligence for Queensferry"----"Which should have been half-way on the
road before now," continued the elder and more impatient traveller,
rising in wrath as he spoke: "and now in all likelihood we shall miss the
tide, and I have business of importance on the other side--and your
cursed coach"--

"The coach?--Gude guide us, gentlemen, is it no on the stand yet?"
answered the old lady, her shrill tone of expostulation sinking into a
kind of apologetic whine. "Is it the coach ye hae been waiting for?"

"What else could have kept us broiling in the sun by the side of the
gutter here, you--you faithless woman, eh?"

Mrs. Macleuchar now ascended her trap stair (for such it might be called,
though constructed of stone), until her nose came upon a level with the
pavement; then, after wiping her spectacles to look for that which she
well knew was not to be found, she exclaimed, with well-feigned
astonishment, "Gude guide us--saw ever onybody the like o' that?"

"Yes, you abominable woman," vociferated the traveller, "many have seen
the like of it, and all will see the like of it that have anything to do
with your trolloping sex;" then pacing with great indignation before the
door of the shop, still as he passed and repassed, like a vessel who
gives her broadside as she comes abreast of a hostile fortress, he shot
down complaints, threats, and reproaches, on the embarrassed Mrs.
Macleuchar. He would take a post-chaise--he would call a hackney coach
--he would take four horses--he must--he would be on the north side,
to-day--and all the expense of his journey, besides damages, direct and
consequential, arising from delay, should be accumulated on the devoted
head of Mrs. Macleuchar.

There, was something so comic in his pettish resentment, that the younger
traveller, who was in no such pressing hurry to depart, could not help
being amused with it, especially as it was obvious, that every now and
then the old gentleman, though very angry, could not help laughing at his
own vehemence. But when Mrs. Macleuchar began also to join in the
laughter, he quickly put a stop to her ill-timed merriment.

"Woman," said he, "is that advertisement thine?" showing a bit of
crumpled printed paper: "Does it not set forth, that, God willing, as you
hypocritically express it, the Hawes Fly, or Queensferry Diligence, would
set forth to-day at twelve o'clock; and is it not, thou falsest of
creatures, now a quarter past twelve, and no such fly or diligence to be
seen?--Dost thou know the consequence of seducing the lieges by false
reports?--dost thou know it might be brought under the statute of
leasing-making? Answer--and for once in thy long, useless, and evil life,
let it be in the words of truth and sincerity,--hast thou such a coach?
--is it _in rerum natura?_--or is this base annunciation a mere swindle on
the incautious to beguile them of their time, their patience, and three
shillings of sterling money of this realm?--Hast thou, I say, such a
coach? ay or no?"

"O dear, yes, sir; the neighbours ken the diligence weel, green picked
oat wi' red--three yellow wheels and a black ane."

"Woman, thy special description will not serve--it may be only a lie with
a circumstance."

"O, man, man!" said the overwhelmed Mrs. Macleuchar, totally exhausted at
having been so long the butt of his rhetoric, "take back your three
shillings, and make me quit o' ye."

"Not so fast, not so fast, woman--Will three shillings transport me to
Queensferry, agreeably to thy treacherous program?--or will it requite
the damage I may sustain by leaving my business undone, or repay the
expenses which I must disburse if I am obliged to tarry a day at the
South Ferry for lack of tide?--Will it hire, I say, a pinnace, for which
alone the regular price is five shillings?"

Here his argument was cut short by a lumbering noise, which proved to be
the advance of the expected vehicle, pressing forward with all the
dispatch to which the broken-winded jades that drew it could possibly be
urged. With ineffable pleasure, Mrs. Macleuchar saw her tormentor
deposited in the leathern convenience; but still, as it was driving off,
his head thrust out of the window reminded her, in words drowned amid the
rumbling of the wheels, that, if the diligence did not attain the Ferry
in time to save the flood-tide, she, Mrs. Macleuchar, should be held
responsible for all the consequences that might ensue.

The coach had continued in motion for a mile or two before the stranger
had completely repossessed himself of his equanimity, as was manifested
by the doleful ejaculations, which he made from time to time, on the too
great probability, or even certainty, of their missing the flood-tide. By
degrees, however, his wrath subsided; he wiped his brows, relaxed his
frown, and, undoing the parcel in his hand, produced his folio, on which
he gazed from time to time with the knowing look of an amateur, admiring
its height and condition, and ascertaining, by a minute and individual
inspection of each leaf, that the, volume was uninjured and entire from
title-page to colophon. His fellow-traveller took the liberty of
inquiring the subject of his studies. He lifted up his eyes with
something of a sarcastic glance, as if he supposed the young querist
would not relish, or perhaps understand, his answer, and pronounced the
book to be Sandy Gordon's _Itinerarium Septentrionale,_* a book
illustrative of the Roman remains in Scotland.

* Note B. Sandy Gordon's _Itinerarium._

The querist, unappalled by this learned title, proceeded to put several
questions, which indicated that he had made good use of a good education,
and, although not possessed of minute information on the subject of
antiquities, had yet acquaintance enough with the classics to render him
an interested and intelligent auditor when they were enlarged upon. The
elder traveller, observing with pleasure the capacity of his temporary
companion to understand and answer him, plunged, nothing loath, into a
sea of discussion concerning urns, vases, votive, altars, Roman camps,
and the rules of castrametation.

The pleasure of this discourse had such a dulcifying tendency, that,
although two causes of delay occurred, each of much more serious duration
than that which had drawn down his wrath upon the unlucky Mrs.
Macleuchar, our =Antiquary= only bestowed on the delay the honour of a
few episodical poohs and pshaws, which rather seemed to regard the
interruption of his disquisition than the retardation of his journey.

The first of these stops was occasioned by the breaking of a spring,
which half an hour's labour hardly repaired. To the second, the Antiquary
was himself accessory, if not the principal cause of it; for, observing
that one of the horses had cast a fore-foot shoe, he apprized the
coachman of this important deficiency. "It's Jamie Martingale that
furnishes the naigs on contract, and uphauds them," answered John, "and I
am not entitled to make any stop, or to suffer prejudice by the like of
these accidents."

"And when you go to--I mean to the place you deserve to go to, you
scoundrel,--who do you think will uphold _you_ on contract? If you don't
stop directly and carry the poor brute, to the next smithy, I'll have you
punished, if there's a justice of peace in Mid-Lothian;" and, opening the
coach-door, out he jumped, while the coachman obeyed his orders,
muttering, that "if the gentlemen lost the tide now, they could not say
but it was their ain fault, since he was willing to get on."

I like so little to analyze the complication of the causes which
influence actions, that I will not venture to ascertain whether our
Antiquary's humanity to the poor horse was not in some degree aided by
his desire of showing his companion a Pict's camp, or Round-about, a
subject which he had been elaborately discussing, and of which a
specimen, "very curious and perfect indeed," happened to exist about a
hundred yards distant from the spot where this interruption took place.
But were I compelled to decompose the motives of my worthy friend (for
such was the gentleman in the sober suit, with powdered wig and slouched
hat), I should say, that, although he certainly would not in any case
have suffered the coachman to proceed while the horse was unfit for
service, and likely to suffer by being urged forward, yet the man of
whipcord escaped some severe abuse and reproach by the agreeable mode
which the traveller found out to pass the interval of delay.

So much time was consumed by these interruptions of their journey, that
when they descended the hill above the Hawes (for so the inn on the
southern side of the Queensferry is denominated), the experienced eye of
the Antiquary at once discerned, from the extent of wet sand, and the
number of black stones and rocks, covered with sea-weed, which were
visible along the skirts of the shore, that the hour of tide was past.
The young traveller expected a burst of indignation; but whether, as
Croaker says in "The Good-natured Man," our hero had exhausted himself in
fretting away his misfortunes beforehand, so that he did not feel them
when they actually arrived, or whether he found the company in which he
was placed too congenial to lead him to repine at anything which delayed
his journey, it is certain that he submitted to his lot with much
resignation.

"The d--l's in the diligence and the old hag, it belongs to!--Diligence,
quoth I? Thou shouldst have called it the Sloth--Fly, quoth she? why, it
moves like a fly through a glue-pot, as the Irishman says. But, however,
time and tide tarry for no man, and so, my young friend, we'll have a
snack here at the Hawes, which is a very decent sort of a place, and I'll
be very happy to finish the account I was giving you of the difference
between the mode of entrenching _castra stativa_ and _castra costiva,_
things confounded by too many of our historians. Lack-a-day, if they had
ta'en the pains to satisfy their own eyes, instead of following each
other's blind guidance!--Well! we shall be pretty comfortable at the
Hawes; and besides, after all, we must have dined somewhere, and it will
be pleasanter sailing with the tide of ebb and the evening breeze."

In this Christian temper of making the best of all occurrences, our
travellers alighted at the Hawes.




                             CHAPTER SECOND.


              Sir, they do scandal me upon the road here!
                A poor quotidian rack of mutton roasted
                Dry to be grated! and that driven down
              With beer and butter-milk, mingled together.
                It is against my freehold, my inheritance.
              Wine is the word that glads the heart of man,
              And mine's the house of wine. _Sack,_ says my bush,
             _Be merry and drink Sherry,_ that's my posie.
                        Ben Jonson's _New Inn._

As the senior traveller descended the crazy steps of the diligence at the
inn, he was greeted by the fat, gouty, pursy landlord, with that mixture
of familiarity and respect which the Scotch innkeepers of the old school
used to assume towards their more valued customers.

"Have a care o' us, Monkbarns (distinguishing him by his territorial
epithet, always most agreeable to the ear of a Scottish proprietor), is
this you? I little thought to have seen your honour here till the summer
session was ower."

"Ye donnard auld deevil," answered his guest, his Scottish accent
predominating when in anger though otherwise not particularly
remarkable,--"ye donnard auld crippled idiot, what have I to do with the
session, or the geese that flock to it, or the hawks that pick their
pinions for them?"

"Troth, and that's true," said mine host, who, in fact, only spoke upon a
very general recollection of the stranger's original education, yet would
have been sorry not to have been supposed accurate as to the station and
profession of him, or any other occasional guest--"That's very true,--but
I thought ye had some law affair of your ain to look after--I have ane
mysell--a ganging plea that my father left me, and his father afore left
to him. It's about our back-yard--ye'll maybe hae heard of it in the
Parliament-house, Hutchison against Mackitchinson--it's a weel-kenn'd
plea--its been four times in afore the fifteen, and deil ony thing the
wisest o' them could make o't, but just to send it out again to the
outer-house.--O it's a beautiful thing to see how lang and how carefully
justice is considered in this country!"

"Hold your tongue, you fool," said the traveller, but in great
good-humour, "and tell us what you can give this young gentleman and me
for dinner."

"Ou, there's fish, nae doubt,--that's sea-trout and caller haddocks,"
said Mackitchinson, twisting his napkin; "and ye'll be for a mutton-chop,
and there's cranberry tarts, very weel preserved, and--and there's just
ony thing else ye like."

"Which is to say, there is nothing else whatever? Well, well, the fish
and the chop, and the tarts, will do very well. But don't imitate the
cautious delay that you praise in the courts of justice. Let there be no
remits from the inner to the outer house, hear ye me?"

"Na, na," said Mackitchinson, whose long and heedful perusal of volumes
of printed session papers had made him acquainted with some law phrases
--"the denner shall be served _quam primum_ and that _peremptorie._" And
with the flattering laugh of a promising host, he left them in his sanded
parlour, hung with prints of the Four Seasons.

As, notwithstanding his pledge to the contrary, the glorious delays of
the law were not without their parallel in the kitchen of the inn, our
younger traveller had an opportunity to step out and make some inquiry of
the people of the house concerning the rank and station of his companion.
The information which he received was of a general and less authentic
nature, but quite sufficient to make him acquainted with the name,
history, and circumstances of the gentleman, whom we shall endeavour, in
a few words, to introduce more accurately to our readers.

Jonathan Oldenbuck, or Oldinbuck, by popular contraction Oldbuck, of
Monkbarns, was the second son of a gentleman possessed of a small
property in the neighbourhood of a thriving seaport town on the
north-eastern coast of Scotland, which, for various reasons, we shall
denominate Fairport. They had been established for several generations,
as landowners in the county, and in most shires of England would have
been accounted a family of some standing But the shire of----was filled
with gentlemen of more ancient descent and larger fortune. In the last
generation, also, the neighbouring gentry had been almost uniformly
Jacobites, while the proprietors of Monkbarns, like the burghers of the
town near which they were settled, were steady assertors of the
Protestant succession. The latter had, however, a pedigree of their own,
on which they prided themselves as much as those who despised them valued
their respective Saxon, Norman, or Celtic genealogies. The first
Oldenbuck, who had settled in their family mansion shortly after the
Reformation, was, they asserted, descended from one of the original
printers of Germany, and had left his country in consequence of the
persecutions directed against the professors of the Reformed religion. He
had found a refuge in the town near which his posterity dwelt, the more
readily that he was a sufferer in the Protestant cause, and certainly not
the less so, that he brought with him money enough to purchase the small
estate of Monkbarns, then sold by a dissipated laird, to whose father it
had been gifted, with other church lands, on the dissolution of the great
and wealthy monastery to which it had belonged. The Oldenbucks were
therefore, loyal subjects on all occasions of insurrection; and, as they
kept up a good intelligence with the borough, it chanced that the Laird
of Monkbarns, who flourished in 1745, was provost of the town during that
ill-fated year, and had exerted himself with much spirit in favour of
King George, and even been put to expenses on that score, which,
according to the liberal conduct of the existing government towards their
friends, had never been repaid him. By dint of solicitation, however, and
borough interest, he contrived to gain a place in the customs, and, being
a frugal, careful man, had found himself enabled to add considerably to
his paternal fortune. He had only two sons, of whom, as we have hinted,
the present laird was the younger, and two daughters, one of whom still
flourished in single blessedness, and the other, who was greatly more
juvenile, made a love-match with a captain in the _Forty-twa,_ who had no
other fortune but his commission and a Highland pedigree. Poverty
disturbed a union which love would otherwise have made happy, and Captain
M'Intyre, in justice to his wife and two children, a boy and girl, had
found himself obliged to seek his fortune in the East Indies. Being
ordered upon an expedition against Hyder Ally, the detachment to which he
belonged was cut off, and no news ever reached his unfortunate wife,
whether he fell in battle, or was murdered in prison, or survived in what
the habits of the Indian tyrant rendered a hopeless captivity. She sunk
under the accumulated load of grief and uncertainty, and left a son and
daughter to the charge of her brother, the existing Laird of Monkbarns.

The history of that proprietor himself is soon told. Being, as we have
said, a second son, his father destined him to a share in a substantial
mercantile concern, carried on by some of his maternal relations. From
this Jonathan's mind revolted in the most irreconcilable manner. He was
then put apprentice to the profession of a writer, or attorney, in which
he profited so far, that he made himself master of the whole forms of
feudal investitures, and showed such pleasure in reconciling their
incongruities, and tracing their origin, that his master had great hope
he would one day be an able conveyancer. But he halted upon the
threshold, and, though he acquired some knowledge of the origin and
system of the law of his country, he could never be persuaded to apply it
to lucrative and practical purposes. It was not from any inconsiderate
neglect of the advantages attending the possession of money that he thus
deceived the hopes of his master. "Were he thoughtless or light-headed, or
_rei suae prodigus,_" said his instructor, "I would know what to make of
him. But he never pays away a shilling without looking anxiously after
the change, makes his sixpence go farther than another lad's half-crown,
and wilt ponder over an old black-letter copy of the acts of parliament
for days, rather than go to the golf or the change-house; and yet he will
not bestow one of these days on a little business of routine, that would
put twenty shillings in his pocket--a strange mixture of frugality and
industry, and negligent indolence--I don't know what to make of him."

But in process of time his pupil gained the means of making what he
pleased of himself; for his father having died, was not long survived by
his eldest son, an arrant fisher and fowler, who departed this life, in
consequence of a cold caught in his vocation, while shooting ducks in the
swamp called Kittlefittingmoss, notwithstanding his having drunk a bottle
of brandy that very night to keep the cold out of his stomach. Jonathan,
therefore, succeeded to the estate, and with it to the means of
subsisting without the hated drudgery of the law. His wishes were very
moderate; and as the rent of his small property rose with the improvement
of the country, it soon greatly exceeded his wants and expenditure; and
though too indolent to make money, he was by no means insensible to the
pleasure of beholding it accumulate. The burghers of the town near which
he lived regarded him with a sort of envy, as one who affected to divide
himself from their rank in society, and whose studies and pleasures
seemed to them alike incomprehensible. Still, however, a sort of
hereditary respect for the Laird of Monkbarns, augmented by the knowledge
of his being a ready-money man, kept up his consequence with this class
of his neighbours. The country gentlemen were generally above him in
fortune, and beneath him in intellect, and, excepting one with whom he
lived in habits of intimacy, had little intercourse with Mr. Oldbuck of
Monkbarns. He, had, however, the usual resources, the company of the
clergyman, and of the doctor, when he chose to request it, and also his
own pursuits and pleasures, being in correspondence with most of the
virtuosi of his time, who, like himself, measured decayed entrenchments,
made plans of ruined castles, read illegible inscriptions, and wrote
essays on medals in the proportion of twelve pages to each letter of the
legend. Some habits of hasty irritation he had contracted, partly, it was
said in the borough of Fairport, from an early disappointment in love in
virtue of which he had commenced misogynist, as he called it, but yet
more by the obsequious attention paid to him by his maiden sister and his
orphan niece, whom he had trained to consider him as the greatest man
upon earth, and whom he used to boast of as the only women he had ever
seen who were well broke in and bitted to obedience; though, it must be
owned, Miss Grizzy Oldbuck was sometimes apt to _jibb_ when he pulled the
reins too tight. The rest of his character must be gathered from the
story, and we dismiss with pleasure the tiresome task of recapitulation.

During the time of dinner, Mr. Oldbuck, actuated by the same curiosity
which his fellow-traveller had entertained on his account, made some
advances, which his aye and station entitled him to do in a more direct
manner, towards ascertaining the name, destination, and quality of his
young companion.

His name, the young gentleman said, was Lovel.

"What! the cat, the rat, and Lovel our dog? Was he descended from King
Richard's favourite?"

"He had no pretensions," he said, "to call himself a whelp of that
litter; his father was a north-of-England gentleman. He was at present
travelling to Fairport (the town near to which Monkbarns was situated),
and, if he found the place agreeable, might perhaps remain there for some
weeks."

"Was Mr. Lovel's excursion solely for pleasure?"

"Not entirely."

"Perhaps on business with some of the commercial people of Fairport?"

"It was partly on business, but had no reference to commerce."

Here he paused; and Mr. Oldbuck, having pushed his inquiries as far as
good manners permitted, was obliged to change the conversation. The
Antiquary, though by no means an enemy to good cheer, was a determined
foe to all unnecessary expense on a journey; and upon his companion
giving a hint concerning a bottle of port wine, he drew a direful picture
of the mixture, which, he said, was usually sold under that denomination,
and affirming that a little punch was more genuine and better suited for
the season, he laid his hand upon the bell to order the materials. But
Mackitchinson had, in his own mind, settled their beverage otherwise, and
appeared bearing in his hand an immense double quart bottle, or magnum,
as it is called in Scotland, covered with saw-dust and cobwebs, the
warrants of its antiquity.

"Punch!" said he, catching that generous sound as he entered the parlour,
"the deil a drap punch ye'se get here the day, Monkbarns, and that ye may
lay your account wi'."

"What do you mean, you impudent rascal?"

"Ay, ay, it's nae matter for that--but do you mind the trick ye served me
the last time ye were here!"

"I trick you!"

"Ay, just yoursell, Monkbarns. The Laird o' Tamlowrie and Sir Gilbert
Grizzlecleuch, and Auld Rossballoh, and the Bailie, were just setting in
to make an afternoon o't, and you, wi' some o' your auld-warld stories,
that the mind o' man canna resist, whirl'd them to the back o' beyont to
look at the auld Roman camp--Ah, sir!" turning to Lovel, "he wad wile the
bird aff the tree wi' the tales he tells about folk lang syne--and did
not I lose the drinking o' sax pints o' gude claret, for the deil ane wad
hae stirred till he had seen that out at the least?"

"D'ye hear the impudent scoundrel!" said Monkbarns, but laughing at the
same time; for the worthy landlord, as he used to boast, know the measure
of a guest's foot as well as e'er a souter on this side Solway; "well,
well, you may send us in a bottle of port."

"Port! na, na! ye maun leave port and punch to the like o' us, it's
claret that's fit for you lairds; and, I dare say, nane of the folk ye
speak so much o' ever drank either of the twa."

"Do you hear how absolute the knave is? Well, my young friend, we must
for once prefer the _Falernian_ to the _vile Sabinum._"

The ready landlord had the cork instantly extracted, decanted the wine
into a vessel of suitable capaciousness, and, declaring it _parfumed_ the
very room, left his guests to make the most of it.

Mackitchinson's wine was really good, and had its effect upon the spirits
of the elder guest, who told some good stories, cut some sly jokes, and
at length entered into a learned discussion concerning the ancient
dramatists; a ground on which he found his new acquaintance so strong,
that at length he began to suspect he had made them his professional
study. "A traveller partly for business and partly for pleasure?--why,
the stage partakes of both; it is a labour to the performers, and
affords, or is meant to afford, pleasure to the spectators. He seems, in
manner and rank, above the class of young men who take that turn; but I
remember hearing them say, that the little theatre at Fairport was to
open with the performance of a young gentleman, being his first
appearance on any stage.--If this should be thee, Lovel!--Lovel? yes,
Lovel or Belville are just the names which youngsters are apt to assume
on such occasions--on my life, I am sorry for the lad."

Mr. Oldbuck was habitually parsimonious, but in no respects mean; his
first thought was to save his fellow-traveller any part of the expense of
the entertainment, which he supposed must be in his situation more or
less inconvenient. He therefore took an opportunity of settling privately
with Mr. Mackitchinson. The young traveller remonstrated against his
liberality, and only acquiesced in deference to his years and
respectability.

The mutual satisfaction which they found in each other's society induced
Mr. Oldbuck to propose, and Lovel willingly to accept, a scheme for
travelling together to the end of their journey. Mr. Oldbuck intimated a
wish to pay two-thirds of the hire of a post-chaise, saying, that a
proportional quantity of room was necessary to his accommodation; but
this Mr. Lovel resolutely declined. Their expense then was mutual, unless
when Lovel occasionally slipt a shilling into the hand of a growling
postilion; for Oldbuck, tenacious of ancient customs, never extended his
guerdon beyond eighteen-pence a stage. In this manner they travelled,
until they arrived at Fairport* about two o'clock on the following day.

* [The "Fairport" of this novel is supposed to refer to the town of *
Arbroath, in Forfarshire, and "Musselcrag," _post,_ to the fishing
village of * Auchmithie, in the same county.]

Lovel probably expected that his travelling companion would have invited
him to dinner on his arrival; but his consciousness of a want of ready
preparation for unexpected guests, and perhaps some other reasons,
prevented Oldbuck from paying him that attention. He only begged to see
him as early as he could make it convenient to call in a forenoon,
recommended him to a widow who had apartments to let, and to a person who
kept a decent ordinary; cautioning both of them apart, that he only knew
Mr. Lovel as a pleasant companion in a post-chaise, and did not mean to
guarantee any bills which he might contract while residing at Fairport.
The young gentleman's figure and manners; not to mention a well-furnished
trunk, which soon arrived by sea, to his address at Fairport, probably
went as far in his favour as the limited recommendation of his
fellow-traveller.




                             CHAPTER THIRD.


                 He had a routh o' auld nick-nackets,
                 Rusty airn caps, and jinglin-jackets,
               Would held the Loudons three in tackets,
                            A towmond gude;
               And parritch-pats, and auld sayt-backets,
                           Afore the flude.
                                           Burns.

After he had settled himself in his new apartments at Fairport, Mr. Lovel
bethought him of paying the requested visit to his fellow-traveller. He
did not make it earlier, because, with all the old gentleman's
good-humour and information, there had sometimes glanced forth in his
language and manner towards him an air of superiority, which his
companion considered as being fully beyond what the difference of age
warranted. He therefore waited the arrival of his baggage from Edinburgh,
that he might arrange his dress according to the fashion of the day, and
make his exterior corresponding to the rank in society which he supposed
or felt himself entitled to hold.

It was the fifth day after his arrival, that, having made the necessary
inquiries concerning the road, he went forth to pay his respects at
Monkbarns. A footpath leading over a heathy hill, and through two or
three meadows, conducted him to this mansion, which stood on the opposite
side of the hill aforesaid, and commanded a fine prospect of the bay and
shipping. Secluded from the town by the rising ground, which also
screened it from the north-west wind, the house had a solitary, and
sheltered appearance. The exterior had little to recommend it. It was an
irregular old-fashioned building, some part of which had belonged to a
grange, or solitary farm-house, inhabited by the bailiff, or steward, of
the monastery, when the place was in possession of the monks. It was here
that the community stored up the grain, which they received as
ground-rent from their vassals; for, with the prudence belonging to their
order, all their conventional revenues were made payable in kind, and
hence, as the present proprietor loved to tell, came the name of
Monkbarns. To the remains of the bailiff's house, the succeeding lay
inhabitants had made various additions in proportion to the accommodation
required by their families; and, as this was done with an equal contempt
of convenience within and architectural regularity without, the whole
bore the appearance of a hamlet which had suddenly stood still when in
the act of leading down one of Amphion's, or Orpheus's, country dances.
It was surrounded by tall clipped hedges of yew and holly, some of which
still exhibited the skill of the _topiarian_ artist,* and presented
curious arm-chairs, towers, and the figures of Saint George and the
Dragon.

* _Ars Topiaria,_ the art of clipping yew-hedges into fantastic figures.
A Latin poem, entitled _Ars Topiaria,_ contains a curious account of the
process.

The taste of Mr. Oldbuck did not disturb these monuments of an art now
unknown, and he was the less tempted so to do, as it must necessarily
have broken the heart of the old gardener. One tall embowering holly was,
however, sacred from the shears; and, on a garden seat beneath its shade,
Lovel beheld his old friend with spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,
busily employed in perusing the London Chronicle, soothed by the summer
breeze through the rustling leaves, and the distant dash of the waves as
they rippled upon the sand.

Mr. Oldbuck immediately rose, and advanced to greet his travelling
acquaintance with a hearty shake of the hand. "By my faith," said he, "I
began to think you had changed your mind, and found the stupid people of
Fairport so tiresome, that you judged them unworthy of your talents, and
had taken French leave, as my old friend and brother-antiquary Mac-Cribb
did, when he went off with one of my Syrian medals."

"I hope, my good sir, I should have fallen under no such imputation."

"Quite as bad, let me tell you, if you had stolen yourself away without
giving me the pleasure of seeing you again. I had rather you had taken my
copper Otho himself.--But come, let me show you the way into my _sanctum
sanctorum_--my cell I may call it, for, except two idle hussies of
womankind," (by this contemptuous phrase, borrowed from his
brother-antiquary, the cynic Anthony a-Wood, Mr. Oldbuck was used to
denote the fair sex in general, and his sister and niece in particular),
"that, on some idle pretext of relationship, have established themselves
in my premises, I live here as much a Coenobite as my predecessor, John
o' the Girnell, whose grave I will show you by and by."

Thus speaking the old gentleman led the way through a low door; but
before entrance, suddenly stopped short to point out some vestiges of
what he called an inscription, and, shaking his head as he pronounced it
totally illegible, "Ah! if you but knew, Mr. Lovel, the time and trouble
that these mouldering traces of letters have cost me! No mother ever
travailed so for a child--and all to no purpose--although I am almost
positive that these two last marks imply the figures, or letters, LV, and
may give us a good guess at the real date of the building, since we know,
_aliunde,_ that it was founded by Abbot Waldimir about the middle of the
fourteenth century--and, I profess, I think that centre ornament might be
made out by better eyes than mine."

"I think," answered Lovel, willing to humour the old man, "it has
something the appearance of a mitre."

"I protest you are right! you are right! it never struck me before--see
what it is to have younger eyes--A mitre--a mitre--it corresponds in
every respect."

The resemblance was not much nearer than that of Polonius's cloud to a
whale, or an owzel; it was sufficient, however, to set the Antiquary's
brains to work. "A mitre, my dear sir," continued he, as he led the way
through a labyrinth of inconvenient and dark passages, and accompanied
his disquisition with certain necessary cautions to his guest--"A mitre,
my dear sir, will suit our abbot as well as a bishop--he was a mitred
abbot, and at the very top of the roll--take care of these three steps--I
know Mac-Cribb denies this, but it is as certain as that he took away my
Antigonus, no leave asked--you'll see the name of the Abbot of Trotcosey,
_Abbas Trottocosiensis,_ at the head of the rolls of parliament in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries--there is very little light here, and
these cursed womankind always leave their tubs in the passage--now take,
care of the corner--ascend twelve steps, and ye are safe!"

Mr. Oldbuck had by this time attained the top of the winding stair which
led to his own apartment, and opening a door, and pushing aside a piece
of tapestry with which it was covered, his first exclamation was, "What
are you about here, you sluts?" A dirty barefooted chambermaid threw down
her duster, detected in the heinous fact of arranging the _sanctum
sanctorum,_ and fled out of an opposite door from the face of her
incensed master. A genteel-looking young woman, who was superintending
the operation, stood her ground, but with some timidity.

"Indeed, uncle, your room was not fit to be seen, and I just came to see
that Jenny laid everything down where she took it up."

"And how dare you, or Jenny either, presume to meddle with my private
matters?" (Mr. Oldbuck hated _puttting to rights_ as much as Dr.
Orkborne, or any other professed student.) "Go, sew your sampler, you
monkey, and do not let me find you here again, as you value your ears.--I
assure you, Mr. Lovel, that the last inroad of these pretended friends to
cleanliness was almost as fatal to my collection as Hudibras's visit to
that of Sidrophel; and I have ever since missed

                    My copperplate, with almanacks
                    Engraved upon't and other knacks
                    My moon-dial, with Napier's bones,
                    And several constellation Stones;
                    My flea, my morpeon, and punaise,
                      I purchased for my proper ease.

And so forth, as old Butler has it."

The young lady, after courtesying to Lovel, had taken the opportunity to
make her escape during this enumeration of losses. "You'll be poisoned
here with the volumes of dust they have raised," continued the Antiquary;
"but I assure you the dust was very ancient, peaceful, quiet dust, about
an hour ago, and would have remained so for a hundred years, had not
these gipsies disturbed it, as they do everything else in the world."

It was indeed some time before Lovel could, through the thick atmosphere,
perceive in what sort of den his friend had constructed his retreat. It
was a lofty room of middling size, obscurely lighted by high narrow
latticed windows. One end was entirely occupied by book-shelves, greatly
too limited in space for the number of volumes placed upon them, which
were, therefore, drawn up in ranks of two or three files deep, while
numberless others littered the floor and the tables, amid a chaos of
maps, engraving, scraps of parchment, bundles of papers, pieces of old
armour, swords, dirks, helmets, and Highland targets. Behind Mr.
Oldbuck's seat (which was an ancient leathern-covered easy-chair, worn
smooth by constant use) was a huge oaken cabinet, decorated at each
corner with Dutch cherubs, having their little duck-wings displayed, and
great jolter-headed visages placed between them. The top of this cabinet
was covered with busts, and Roman lamps and paterae, intermingled with
one or two bronze figures. The walls of the apartment were partly clothed
with grim old tapestry, representing the memorable story of Sir Gawaine's
wedding, in which full justice was done to the ugliness of the Lothely
Lady; although, to judge from his own looks, the gentle knight had less
reason to be disgusted with the match on account of disparity of outward
favour, than the romancer has given us to understand. The rest of the
room was panelled, or wainscotted, with black oak, against which hung two
or three portraits in armour, being characters in Scottish history,
favourites of Mr. Oldbuck, and as many in tie-wigs and laced coats,
staring representatives of his own ancestors. A large old-fashioned oaken
table was covered with a profusion of papers, parchments, books, and
nondescript trinkets and gewgaws, which seemed to have little to
recommend them, besides rust and the antiquity which it indicates. In the
midst of this wreck of ancient books and utensils, with a gravity equal
to Marius among the ruins of Carthage, sat a large black cat, which, to a
superstitious eye, might have presented the _genius loci,_ the tutelar
demon of the apartment. The floor, as well as the table and chairs, was
overflowed by the same _mare magnum_ of miscellaneous trumpery, where it
would have been as impossible to find any individual article wanted, as
to put it to any use when discovered.

Amid this medley, it was no easy matter to find one's way to a chair,
without stumbling over a prostrate folio, or the still more awkward
mischance of overturning some piece of Roman or ancient British pottery.
And, when the chair was attained, it had to be disencumbered, with a
careful hand, of engravings which might have received damage, and of
antique spurs and buckles, which would certainly have occasioned it to
any sudden occupant. Of this the Antiquary made Lovel particularly aware,
adding, that his friend, the Rev. Doctor Heavysterne from the Low
Countries, had sustained much injury by sitting down suddenly and
incautiously on three ancient calthrops, or _craw-taes,_ which had been
lately dug up in the bog near Bannockburn, and which, dispersed by Robert
Bruce to lacerate the feet of the English chargers, came thus in process
of time to endamage the sitting part of a learned professor of Utrecht.

Having at length fairly settled himself, and being nothing loath to make
inquiry concerning the strange objects around him, which his host was
equally ready, as far as possible, to explain, Lovel was introduced to a
large club, or bludgeon, with an iron spike at the end of it, which, it
seems, had been lately found in a field on the Monkbarns property,
adjacent to an old burying-ground. It had mightily the air of such a
stick as the Highland reapers use to walk with on their annual
peregrinations from their mountains; but Mr. Oldbuck was strongly tempted
to believe, that, as its shape was singular, it might have been one of
the clubs with which the monks armed their peasants in lieu of more
martial weapons,--whence, he observed, the villains were called
_Colve-carles,_ or _Kolb-kerls,_ that is, _Clavigeri,_ or club-bearers.
For the truth of this custom, he quoted the chronicle of Antwerp and that
of St. Martin; against which authorities Lovel had nothing to oppose,
having never heard of them till that moment.

Mr. Oldbuck next exhibited thumb-screws, which had given the Covenanters
of former days the cramp in their joints, and a collar with the name of a
fellow convicted of theft, whose services, as the inscription bore, had
been adjudged to a neighbouring baron, in lieu of the modern Scottish
punishment, which, as Oldbuck said, sends such culprits to enrich England
by their labour, and themselves by their dexterity. Many and various were
the other curiosities which he showed;--but it was chiefly upon his books
that he prided himself, repeating, with a complacent air, as he led the
way to the crowded and dusty shelves, the verses of old Chaucer--

               For he would rather have, at his bed-head,
               A twenty books, clothed in black or red,
                    Of Aristotle, or his philosophy,
                    Than robes rich, rebeck, or saltery.

This pithy motto he delivered, shaking his head, and giving each guttural
the true Anglo-Saxon enunciation, which is now forgotten in the southern
parts of this realm.

The collection was indeed a curious one, and might well be envied by an
amateur. Yet it was not collected at the enormous prices of modern times,
which are sufficient to have appalled the most determined as well as
earliest bibliomaniac upon record, whom we take to have been none else
than the renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha, as, among other slight
indications of an infirm understanding, he is stated, by his veracious
historian, Cid Hamet Benengeli, to have exchanged fields and farms for
folios and quartos of chivalry. In this species of exploit, the good
knight-errant has been imitated by lords, knights, and squires of our own
day, though we have not yet heard of any that has mistaken an inn for a
castle, or laid his lance in rest against a windmill. Mr. Oldbuck did not
follow these collectors in such excess of expenditure; but, taking a
pleasure in the personal labour of forming his library, saved his purse
at the expense of his time and toil, He was no encourager of that
ingenious race of peripatetic middle-men, who, trafficking between the
obscure keeper of a stall and the eager amateur, make their profit at
once of the ignorance of the former, and the dear-bought skill and taste
of the latter. When such were mentioned in his hearing, he seldom failed
to point out how necessary it was to arrest the object of your curiosity
in its first transit, and to tell his favourite story of Snuffy Davie and
Caxton's Game at Chess.--"Davy Wilson," he said, "commonly called Snuffy
Davy, from his inveterate addiction to black rappee, was the very prince
of scouts for searching blind alleys, cellars, and stalls for rare
volumes. He had the scent of a slow-hound, sir, and the snap of a
bull-dog. He would detect you an old black-letter ballad among the leaves
of a law-paper, and find an _editio princeps_ under the mask of a school
Corderius. Snuffy Davy bought the Game of Chess, 1474, the first book
ever printed in England, from a stall in Holland, for about two groschen,
or twopence of our money. He sold it to Osborne for twenty pounds, and as
many books as came to twenty pounds more. Osborne resold this inimitable
windfall to Dr. Askew for sixty guineas. At Dr. Askew's sale," continued
the old gentleman, kindling as he spoke, "this inestimable treasure
blazed forth in its full value, and was purchased by Royalty itself for
one hundred and seventy pounds!--Could a copy now occur, Lord only
knows," he ejaculated, with a deep sigh and lifted-up hands--"Lord only
knows what would be its ransom; and yet it was originally secured, by
skill and research, for the easy equivalent of two-pence sterling. *
Happy, thrice happy, Snuffy Davie!--and blessed were the times when thy
industry could be so rewarded!

* This bibliomaniacal anecdote is literally true; and David Wilson, the
author need not tell his brethren of the Roxburghe and Bannatyne Clubs,
was a real personage.

"Even I, sir," he went on, "though far inferior in industry and
discernment and presence of mind, to that great man, can show you a few
--a very few things, which I have collected, not by force of money, as any
wealthy man might,--although, as my friend Lucian says, he might chance
to throw away his coin only to illustrate his ignorance,--but gained in a
manner that shows I know something of the matter. See this bundle of
ballads, not one of them later than 1700, and some of them an hundred
years older. I wheedled an old woman out of these, who loved them better
than her psalm-book. Tobacco, sir, snuff, and the Complete Syren, were
the equivalent! For that, mutilated copy of the Complaynt of Scotland, I
sat out the drinking of two dozen bottles of strong ale with the late
learned proprietor, who, in gratitude, bequeathed it to me by his last
will. These little Elzevirs are the memoranda and trophies of many a walk
by night and morning through the Cowgate, the Canongate, the Bow, St.
Mary's Wynd,--wherever, in fine, there were to be found brokers and
trokers, those miscellaneous dealers in things rare and curious. How
often have I stood haggling on a halfpenny, lest, by a too ready
acquiescence in the dealer's first price, he should be led to suspect the
value I set upon the article!--how have I trembled, lest some passing
stranger should chop in between me and the prize, and regarded each poor
student of divinity that stopped to turn over the books at the stall, as
a rival amateur, or prowling bookseller in disguise!--And then, Mr.
Lovel, the sly satisfaction with which one pays the consideration, and
pockets the article, affecting a cold indifference, while the hand is
trembling with pleasure!--Then to dazzle the eyes of our wealthier and
emulous rivals by showing them such a treasure as this" (displaying a
little black smoked book about the size of a primer); "to enjoy their
surprise and envy, shrouding meanwhile, under a veil of mysterious
consciousness, our own superior knowledge and dexterity these, my young
friend, these are the white moments of life, that repay the toil, and
pains, and sedulous attention, which our profession, above all others, so
peculiarly demands!"

Lovel was not a little amused at hearing the old gentleman run on in this
manner, and, however incapable of entering into the full merits of what
he beheld, he admired, as much as could have been expected, the various
treasures which Oldbuck exhibited. Here were editions esteemed as being
the first, and there stood those scarcely less regarded as being the last
and best; here was a book valued because it had the author's final
improvements, and there another which (strange to tell!) was in request
because it had them not. One was precious because it was a folio, another
because it was a duodecimo; some because they were tall, some because
they were short; the merit of this lay in the title-page--of that in the
arrangement of the letters in the word Finis. There was, it seemed, no
peculiar distinction, however trifling or minute, which might not give
value to a volume, providing the indispensable quality of scarcity, or
rare occurrence, was attached to it.

Not the least fascinating was the original broadside,--the Dying Speech,
Bloody Murder, or Wonderful Wonder of Wonders,--in its primary tattered
guise, as it was hawked through the streets, and sold for the cheap and
easy price of one penny, though now worth the weight of that penny in
gold. On these the Antiquary dilated with transport, and read, with a
rapturous voice, the elaborate titles, which bore the same proportion to
the contents that the painted signs without a showman's booth do to the
animals within. Mr. Oldbuck, for example, piqued himself especially in
possessing an _unique_ broadside, entitled and called "Strange and
Wonderful News from Chipping-Norton, in the County of Oxon, of certain
dreadful Apparitions which were seen in the Air on the 26th of July 1610,
at Half an Hour after Nine o'Clock at Noon, and continued till Eleven, in
which Time was seen Appearances of several flaming Swords, strange
Motions of the superior Orbs; with the unusual Sparkling of the Stars,
with their dreadful Continuations; With the Account of the Opening of the
Heavens, and strange Appearances therein disclosing themselves, with
several other prodigious Circumstances not heard of in any Age, to the
great Amazement of the Beholders, as it was communicated in a Letter to
one Mr. Colley, living in West Smithfield, and attested by Thomas Brown,
Elizabeth Greenaway, and Anne Gutheridge, who were Spectators of the
dreadful Apparitions: And if any one would be further satisfied of the
Truth of this Relation, let them repair to Mr. Nightingale's at the Bear
Inn, in West Smithfield, and they may be satisfied."*

* Of this thrice and four times rare broadside, the author possesses an
exemplar.

"You laugh at this," said the proprietor of the collection, "and I
forgive you. I do acknowledge that the charms on which we doat are not so
obvious to the eyes of youth as those of a fair lady; but you will grow
wiser, and see more justly, when you come to wear spectacles.--Yet stay,
I have one piece of antiquity, which you, perhaps, will prize more
highly."

So saying, Mr. Oldbuck unlocked a drawer, and took out a bundle of keys,
then pulled aside a piece of the tapestry which concealed the door of a
small closet, into which he descended by four stone steps, and, after
some tinkling among bottles and cans, produced two long-stalked
wine-glasses with bell mouths, such as are seen in Teniers' pieces, and a
small bottle of what he called rich racy canary, with a little bit of
diet cake, on a small silver server of exquisite old workmanship. "I will
say nothing of the server," he remarked, "though it is said to have been
wrought by the old mad Florentine, Benvenuto Cellini. But, Mr. Lovel, our
ancestors drank sack--you, who admire the drama, know where that's to be
found.--Here's success to your exertions at Fairport, sir!"

"And to you, sir, and an ample increase to your treasure, with no more
trouble on your part than is just necessary to make the acquisitions
valuable."

After a libation so suitable to the amusement in which they had been
engaged, Lovel rose to take his leave, and Mr. Oldbuck prepared to give
him his company a part of the way, and show him something worthy of his
curiosity on his return to Fairport.




                             CHAPTER FOURTH.

                The pawkie auld carle cam ower the lea,
                Wi' mony good-e'ens and good-morrows to me,
                    Saying, Kind Sir, for your courtesy,
                    Will ye lodge a silly puir man?
                                  The Gaberlunzie Man.

Our two friends moved through a little orchard, where the aged
apple-trees, well loaded with fruit, showed, as is usual in the
neighbourhood of monastic buildings, that the days of the monks had not
always been spent in indolence, but often dedicated to horticulture and
gardening. Mr. Oldbuck failed not to make Lovel remark, that the planters
of those days were possessed of the modern secret of preventing the roots
of the fruit-trees from penetrating the till, and compelling them to
spread in a lateral direction, by placing paving-stones beneath the trees
when first planted, so as to interpose between their fibres and the
subsoil. "This old fellow," he said, "which was blown down last summer,
and still, though half reclined on the ground, is covered with fruit, has
been, as you may see, accommodated with such a barrier between his roots
and the unkindly till. That other tree has a story:--the fruit is called
the Abbot's Apple; the lady of a neighbouring baron was so fond of it,
that she would often pay a visit to Monkbarns, to have the pleasure of
gathering it from the tree. The husband, a jealous man, belike, suspected
that a taste so nearly resembling that of Mother Eve prognosticated a
similar fall. As the honour of a noble family is concerned, I will say no
more on the subject, only that the lands of Lochard and Cringlecut still
pay a fine of six bolls of barley annually, to atone the guilt of their
audacious owner, who intruded himself and his worldly suspicions upon the
seclusion of the Abbot and his penitent.--Admire the little belfry rising
above the ivy-mantled porch--there was here a _hospitium, hospitals,_ or
_hospitamentum_ (for it is written all these various ways in the old
writings and evidents), in which the monks received pilgrims. I know our
minister has said, in the Statistical Account, that the _hospitium_ was
situated either in the lands of Haltweary or upon those of Half-starvet;
but he is incorrect, Mr. Lovel--that is the gate called still the
Palmer's Port, and my gardener found many hewn stones, when he was
trenching the ground for winter celery, several of which I have sent as
specimens to my learned friends, and to the various antiquarian societies
of which I am an unworthy member. But I will say no more at present; I
reserve something for another visit, and we have an object of real
curiosity before us."

While he was thus speaking, he led the way briskly through one or two
rich pasture-meadows, to an open heath or common, and so to the top of a
gentle eminence. "Here," he said, "Mr. Lovel, is a truly remarkable
spot."

"It commands a fine view," said his companion, looking around him.

"True: but it is not for the prospect I brought you hither; do you see
nothing else remarkable?--nothing on the surface of the ground?"

"Why, yes; I do see something like a ditch, indistinctly marked."

"Indistinctly!--pardon me, sir, but the indistinctness must be in your
powers of vision. Nothing can be more plainly traced--a proper _agger_ or
_vallum,_ with its corresponding ditch or _fossa._ Indistinctly! why,
Heaven help you, the lassie, my niece, as light-headed a goose as
womankind affords, saw the traces of the ditch at once. Indistinct!--why,
the great station at Ardoch, or that at Burnswark in Annandale, may be
clearer, doubtless, because they are stative forts, whereas this was only
an occasional encampment. Indistinct!--why, you must suppose that fools,
boors, and idiots, have ploughed up the land, and, like beasts and
ignorant savages, have thereby obliterated two sides of the square, and
greatly injured the third; but you see, yourself, the fourth side is
quite entire!"

Lovel endeavoured to apologize, and to explain away his ill-timed phrase,
and pleaded his inexperience. But he was not at once quite successful.
His first expression had come too frankly and naturally not to alarm the
Antiquary, and he could not easily get over the shock it had given him.

"My dear sir," continued the senior, "your eyes are not inexperienced:
you know a ditch from level ground, I presume, when you see them?
Indistinct! why, the very common people, the very least boy that can herd
a cow, calls it the Kaim of Kinprunes; and if that does not imply an
ancient camp, I am ignorant what does."

Lovel having again acquiesced, and at length lulled to sleep the
irritated and suspicious vanity of the Antiquary, he proceeded in his
task of cicerone. "You must know," he said, "our Scottish antiquaries
have been greatly divided about the local situation of the final conflict
between Agricola and the Caledonians; some contend for Ardoch in
Strathallan, some for Innerpeffry, some for the Raedykes in the Mearns,
and some are for carrying the scene of action as far north as Blair in
Athole. Now, after all this discussion," continued the old gentleman,
with one of his slyest and most complacent looks, "what would you think,
Mr. Lovel,--I say, what would you think,--if the memorable scene of
conflict should happen to be on the very spot called the Kaim of
Kinprunes, the property of the obscure and humble individual who now
speaks to you?" Then, having paused a little, to suffer his guest to
digest a communication so important, he resumed his disquisition in a
higher tone. "Yes, my good friend, I am indeed greatly deceived if this
place does not correspond with all the marks of that celebrated place of
action. It was near to the Grampian mountains--lo! yonder they are,
mixing and contending with the sky on the skirts of the horizon! It was
_in conspectu classis_--in sight of the Roman fleet; and would any
admiral, Roman or British, wish a fairer bay to ride in than that on your
right hand? It is astonishing how blind we professed antiquaries
sometimes are! Sir Robert Sibbald, Saunders Gordon, General Roy, Dr.
Stokely,--why, it escaped all of them. I was unwilling to say a word
about it till I had secured the ground, for it belonged to auld Johnnie
Howie, a bonnet-laird* hard by, and many a communing we had before he and
I could agree.

* A bonnet-laird signifies a petty proprietor, wearing the dress, along
with the habits of a yeoman.

At length--I am almost ashamed to say it--but I even brought my mind to
give acre for acre of my good corn-land for this barren spot. But then it
was a national concern; and when the scene of so celebrated an event
became my own, I was overpaid.--Whose patriotism would not grow warmer,
as old Johnson says, on the plains of Marathon? I began to trench the
ground, to see what might be discovered; and the third day, sir, we found
a stone, which I have transported to Monkbarns, in order to have the
sculpture taken off with plaster of Paris; it bears a sacrificing vessel,
and the letters A. D. L. L. which may stand, without much violence, for
_Agricola Dicavit Libens Lubens._"

"Certainly, sir; for the Dutch Antiquaries claim Caligula as the founder
of a light-house, on the sole authority of the letters C. C. P. F., which
they interpret _Caius Caligula Pharum Fecit._"

"True, and it has ever been recorded as a sound exposition. I see we
shall make something of you even before you wear spectacles,
notwithstanding you thought the traces of this beautiful camp indistinct
when you first observed them."

"In time, sir, and by good instruction"--

"--You will become more apt--I doubt it not. You shall peruse, upon your
next visit to Monkbarns, my trivial Essay upon Castrametation, with some
particular Remarks upon the Vestiges of Ancient Fortifications lately
discovered by the Author at the Kaim of Kinprunes. I think I have pointed
out the infallible touchstone of supposed antiquity. I premise a few
general rules on that point, on the nature, namely, of the evidence to be
received in such cases. Meanwhile be pleased to observe, for example,
that I could press into my service Claudian's famous line,

               Ille Caledoniis posuit qui castra pruinis.

For _pruinis,_ though interpreted to mean _hoar frosts,_ to which I own
we are somewhat subject in this north-eastern sea-coast, may also signify
a locality, namely, _Prunes;_ the _Castra Pruinis posita_ would therefore
be the Kaim of Kinprunes. But I waive this, for I am sensible it might be
laid hold of by cavillers as carrying down my Castra to the time of
Theodosius, sent by Valentinian into Britain as late as the year 367, or
thereabout. No, my good friend, I appeal to people's eye-sight. Is not
here the Decuman gate? and there, but for the ravage of the horrid
plough, as a learned friend calls it, would be the Praetorian gate. On
the left hand you may see some slight vestiges of the _porta sinistra,_
and on the right, one side of the _porta dextra_ wellnigh entire. Here,
then, let us take our stand, on this tumulus, exhibiting the foundation
of ruined buildings,--the central point--the _praetorium,_ doubtless, of
the camp. From this place, now scarce to be distinguished but by its
slight elevation and its greener turf from the rest of the fortification,
we may suppose Agricola to have looked forth on the immense army of
Caledonians, occupying the declivities of yon opposite hill,--the
infantry rising rank over rank, as the form of ground displayed their
array to its utmost advantage,--the cavalry and _covinarii,_ by which I
understand the charioteers--another guise of folks from your Bond-street
four-in-hand men, I trow--scouring the more level space below--

                       --See, then, Lovel--See--
            See that huge battle moving from the mountains!
        Their gilt coats shine like dragon scales;--their march
        Like a rough tumbling storm.--See them, and view them,
                       And then see Rome no more!--

Yes, my dear friend, from this stance it is probable--nay, it is nearly
certain, that Julius Agricola beheld what our Beaumont has so admirably
described!--From this very Praetorium"--

A voice from behind interrupted his ecstatic description--"Praetorian
here, Praetorian there, I mind the bigging o't."

Both at once turned round, Lovel with surprise, and Oldbuck with mingled
surprise and indignation, at so uncivil an interruption. An auditor had
stolen upon them, unseen and unheard, amid the energy of the Antiquary's
enthusiastic declamation, and the attentive civility of Lovel. He had the
exterior appearance of a mendicant. A slouched hat of huge dimensions; a
long white beard which mingled with his grizzled hair; an aged but
strongly marked and expressive countenance, hardened, by climate and
exposure, to a right brick-dust complexion; a long blue gown, with a
pewter badge on the right arm; two or three wallets, or bags, slung
across his shoulder, for holding the different kinds of meal, when he
received his charity in kind from those who were but a degree richer than
himself:--all these marked at once a beggar by profession, and one of
that privileged class which are called in Scotland the King's Bedesmen,
or, vulgarly, Blue-Gowns.

"What is that you say, Edie?" said Oldbuck, hoping, perhaps, that his
ears had betrayed their duty--"what were you speaking about!"

"About this bit bourock, your honour," answered the undaunted Edie; "I
mind the bigging o't."

"The devil you do! Why, you old fool, it was here before you were born,
and will be after you are hanged, man!"

"Hanged or drowned, here or awa, dead or alive, I mind the bigging o't."

"You--you--you--," said the Antiquary, stammering between confusion and
anger, "you strolling old vagabond, what the devil do you know about it?"

"Ou, I ken this about it, Monkbarns--and what profit have I for telling
ye a lie?--l just ken this about it, that about twenty years syne, I, and
a wheen hallenshakers like mysell, and the mason-lads that built the lang
dike that gaes down the loaning, and twa or three herds maybe, just set
to wark, and built this bit thing here that ye ca' the--the--Praetorian,
and a' just for a bield at auld Aiken Drum's bridal, and a bit blithe
gae-down wi' had in't, some sair rainy weather. Mair by token, Monkbarns,
if ye howk up the bourock, as ye seem to have began, yell find, if ye hae
not fund it already, a stane that ane o' the mason-callants cut a ladle
on to have a bourd at the bridegroom, and he put four letters on't,
that's A. D. L. L.--Aiken Drum's Lang Ladle--for Aiken was ane o' the
kale-suppers o' Fife."

"This," thought Lovel to himself, "is a famous counterpart to the story
of _Keip on this syde._" He then ventured to steal a glance at our
Antiquary, but quickly withdrew it in sheer compassion. For, gentle
reader, if thou hast ever beheld the visage of a damsel of sixteen, whose
romance of true love has been blown up by an untimely discovery, or of a
child of ten years, whose castle of cards has been blown down by a
malicious companion, I can safely aver to you, that Jonathan Oldbuck of
Monkbarns looked neither more wise nor less disconcerted.

"There is some mistake about this," he said, abruptly turning away from
the mendicant.

"Deil a bit on my side o' the wa'," answered the sturdy beggar; "I never
deal in mistakes, they aye bring mischances.--Now, Monkbarns, that young
gentleman, that's wi' your honour, thinks little of a carle like me; and
yet, I'll wager I'll tell him whar he was yestreen at the gloamin, only
he maybe wadna like to hae't spoken o' in company."

Lovel's soul rushed to his cheeks, with the vivid blush of
two-and-twenty.

"Never mind the old rogue," said Mr. Oldbuck; "don't suppose I think the
worse of you for your profession; they are only prejudiced fools and
coxcombs that do so. You remember what old Tully says in his oration,
_pro Archia poeta,_ concerning one of your confraternity--_quis nostrum
tam anino agresti ac duro fuit--ut--ut_--I forget the Latin--the meaning
is, which of us was so rude and barbarous as to remain unmoved at the
death of the great Roscius, whose advanced age was so far from preparing
us for his death, that we rather hoped one so graceful, so excellent in
his art, ought to be exempted from the common lot of mortality? So the
Prince of Orators spoke of the stage and its professor."

The words of the old man fell upon Lovel's ears, but without conveying
any precise idea to his mind, which was then occupied in thinking by what
means the old beggar, who still continued to regard him with a
countenance provokingly sly and intelligent, had contrived to thrust
himself into any knowledge of his affairs. He put his hand in his pocket
as the readiest mode of intimating his desire of secrecy, and securing
the concurrence of the person whom he addressed; and while he bestowed on
him an alms, the amount of which rather bore proportion to his fears than
to his charity, looked at him with a marked expression, which the
mendicant, a physiognomist by profession, seemed perfectly to
understand.--"Never mind me, sir--I am no tale-pyet; but there are mair
een in the warld than mine," answered he as he pocketed Lovel's bounty,
but in a tone to be heard by him alone, and with an expression which
amply filled up what was left unspoken. Then turning to Oldbuck--"I am
awa' to the manse, your honour. Has your honour ony word there, or to Sir
Arthur, for I'll come in by Knockwinnock Castle again e'en?"

Oldbuck started as from a dream; and, in a hurried tone, where vexation
strove with a wish to conceal it, paying, at the same time, a tribute to
Edie's smooth, greasy, unlined hat, he said, "Go down, go down to
Monkbarns--let them give you some dinner--Or stay; if you do go to the
manse, or to Knockwinnock, ye need say nothing about that foolish story
of yours."

"Who, I?" said the mendicant--"Lord bless your honour, naebody sall ken a
word about it frae me, mair than if the bit bourock had been there since
Noah's flood. But, Lord, they tell me your honour has gien Johnnie Howie
acre for acre of the laigh crofts for this heathery knowe! Now, if he has
really imposed the bourock on ye for an ancient wark, it's my real
opinion the bargain will never haud gude, if you would just bring down
your heart to try it at the law, and say that he beguiled ye."

"Provoking scoundrel!" muttered the indignant Antiquary between his
teeths--"I'll have the hangman's lash and his back acquainted for this."
And then, in a louder tone,--"Never mind, Edie--it is all a mistake."

"Troth, I am thinking sae," continued his tormentor, who seemed to have
pleasure in rubbing the galled wound, "troth, I aye thought sae; and it's
no sae lang since I said to Luckie Gemmers, Never think you, luckie' said
I, that his honour Monkbarns would hae done sic a daft-like thing as to
gie grund weel worth fifty shillings an acre, for a mailing that would be
dear o'a pund Scots. Na, na,' quo' I, depend upon't the lard's been
imposed upon wi that wily do-little deevil, Johnnie Howie.' But Lord haud
a care o' us, sirs, how can that be,' quo' she again, when the laird's
sae book-learned, there's no the like o' him in the country side, and
Johnnie Howie has hardly sense eneugh to ca' the cows out o' his
kale-yard?' Aweel, aweel,' quo' I, but ye'll hear he's circumvented him
with some of his auld-warld stories,'--for ye ken, laird, yon other time
about the bodle that ye thought was an auld coin"--

"Go to the devil!" said Oldbuck; and then in a more mild tone, as one
that was conscious his reputation lay at the mercy of his antagonist, he
added--"Away with you down to Monkbarns, and when I come back, I'll send
ye a bottle of ale to the kitchen."

"Heaven reward your honour!" This was uttered with the true mendicant
whine, as, setting his pike-staff before him, he began to move in the
direction of Monkbarns.--"But did your honour," turning round, "ever get
back the siller ye gae to the travelling packman for the bodle?"

"Curse thee, go about thy business!"

"Aweel, aweel, sir, God bless your honour! I hope ye'll ding Johnnie
Howie yet, and that I'll live to see it." And so saying, the old beggar
moved off, relieving Mr. Oldbuck of recollections which were anything
rather than agreeable.

"Who is this familiar old gentleman?" said Lovel, when the mendicant was
out of hearing.

"O, one of the plagues of the country--I have been always against
poor's-rates and a work-house--I think I'll vote for them now, to have
that scoundrel shut up. O, your old-remembered guest of a beggar becomes
as well acquainted with you as he is with his dish--as intimate as one of
the beasts familiar to man which signify love, and with which his own
trade is especially conversant. Who is he?--why, he has gone the vole--
has been soldier, ballad-singer, travelling tinker, and is now a beggar.
He is spoiled by our foolish gentry, who laugh at his jokes, and rehearse
Edie Ochiltree's good thing's as regularly as Joe Miller's."

"Why, he uses freedom apparently, which is the, soul of wit," answered
Lovel.

"O ay, freedom enough," said the Antiquary; "he generally invents some
damned improbable lie or another to provoke you, like that nonsense he
talked just now--not that I'll publish my tract till I have examined the
thing to the bottom."

"In England," said Lovel, "such a mendicant would get a speedy cheek."

"Yes, your churchwardens and dog-whips would make slender allowance for
his vein of humour! But here, curse him! he is a sort of privileged
nuisance--one of the last specimens of the old fashioned Scottish
mendicant, who kept his rounds within a particular space, and was the
news-carrier, the minstrel, and sometimes the historian of the district.
That rascal, now, knows more old ballads and traditions than any other
man in this and the four next parishes. And after all," continued he,
softening as he went on describing Edie's good gifts, "the dog has some
good humour. He has borne his hard fate with unbroken spirits, and it's
cruel to deny him the comfort of a laugh at his betters. The pleasure of
having quizzed me, as you gay folk would call it, will be meat and drink
to him for a day or two. But I must go back and look after him, or he
will spread his d--d nonsensical story over half the country."*

* Note C. Praetorium.

So saying our heroes parted, Mr. Oldbuck to return to his _hospitium_ at
Monkbarns, and Lovel to pursue his way to Fairport, where he arrived
without farther adventure.




                             CHAPTER FIFTH.


                     _Launcelot Gobbo._ Mark me now:
                      Now will I raise the waters.
                                         Merchant of Venice.

The theatre at Fairport had opened, but no Mr. Lovel appeared on the
boards, nor was there anything in the habits or deportment of the young
gentleman so named, which authorised Mr. Oldbuck's conjecture that his
fellow-traveller was a candidate for the public favour. Regular were the
Antiquary's inquiries at an old-fashioned barber who dressed the only
three wigs in the parish which, in defiance of taxes and times, were
still subjected to the operation of powdering and frizzling, and who for
that purpose divided his time among the three employers whom fashion had
yet left him; regular, I say, were Mr. Oldbuck's inquiries at this
personage concerning the news of the little theatre at Fairport,
expecting every day to hear of Mr. Lovel's appearance; on which occasion
the old gentleman had determined to put himself to charges in honour of
his young friend, and not only to go to the play himself, but to carry
his womankind along with him. But old Jacob Caxon conveyed no information
which warranted his taking so decisive a step as that of securing a box.

He brought information, on the contrary, that there was a young man
residing at Fairport, of whom the _town_ (by which he meant all the
gossips, who, having no business of their own, fill up their leisure
moments by attending to that of other people) could make nothing. He
sought no society, but rather avoided that which the apparent gentleness
of his manners, and some degree of curiosity, induced many to offer him.
Nothing could be more regular, or less resembling an adventurer, than his
mode of living, which was simple, but so completely well arranged, that
all who had any transactions with him were loud in their approbation.

"These are not the virtues of a stage-struck hero," thought Oldbuck to
himself; and, however habitually pertinacious in his opinions, he must
have been compelled to abandon that which he had formed in the present
instance, but for a part of Caxon's communication. "The young gentleman,"
he said, "was sometimes heard speaking to himsell, and rampauging about
in his room, just as if he was ane o' the player folk."

Nothing, however, excepting this single circumstance, occurred to confirm
Mr. Oldbuck's supposition; and it remained a high and doubtful question,
what a well-informed young man, without friends, connections, or
employment of any kind, could have to do as a resident at Fairport.
Neither port wine nor whist had apparently any charms for him. He
declined dining with the mess of the volunteer cohort which had been
lately embodied, and shunned joining the convivialities of either of the
two parties which then divided Fairport, as they did more important
places. He was too little of an aristocrat to join the club of Royal True
Blues, and too little of a democrat to fraternise with an affiliated
society of the _soi-disant_ Friends of the People, which the borough had
also the happiness of possessing. A coffee-room was his detestation; and,
I grieve to say it, he had as few sympathies with the tea-table.--In
short, since the name was fashionable in novel-writing, and that is a
great while agone, there was never a Master Lovel of whom so little
positive was known, and who was so universally described by negatives.

One negative, however, was important--nobody knew any harm of Lovel.
Indeed, had such existed, it would have been speedily made public; for
the natural desire of speaking evil of our neighbour could in his case
have been checked by no feelings of sympathy for a being so unsocial. On
one account alone he fell somewhat under suspicion. As he made free use
of his pencil in his solitary walks, and had drawn several views of the
harbour, in which the signal tower, and even the four-gun battery, were
introduced, some zealous friends of the public sent abroad a whisper,
that this mysterious stranger must certainly be a French spy. The Sheriff
paid his respects to Mr. Lovel accordingly; but in the interview which
followed, it would seem that he had entirely removed that magistrate's
suspicions, since he not only suffered him to remain undisturbed in his
retirement, but it was credibly reported, sent him two invitations to
dinner-parties, both which were civilly declined. But what the nature of
the explanation was, the magistrate kept a profound secret, not only from
the public at large, but from his substitute, his clerk, his wife and his
two daughters, who formed his privy council on all questions of official
duty.

All these particulars being faithfully reported by Mr. Caxon to his
patron at Monkbarns, tended much to raise Lovel in the opinion of his
former fellow-traveller. "A decent sensible lad," said he to himself,
"who scorns to enter into the fooleries and nonsense of these idiot
people at Fairport--I must do something for him--I must give him a
dinner;--and I will write Sir Arthur to come to Monkbarns to meet him. I
must consult my womankind."

Accordingly, such consultation having been previously held, a special
messenger, being no other than Caxon himself, was ordered to prepare for
a walk to Knockwinnock Castle with a letter, "For the honoured Sir Arthur
Wardour, of Knockwinnock, Bart." The contents ran thus:

"Dear Sir Arthur,

"On Tuesday the 17th curt._stilo novo,_ I hold a coenobitical symposion
at Monkbarns, and pray you to assist thereat, at four o'clock precisely.
If my fair enemy, Miss Isabel, can and will honour us by accompanying
you, my womankind will be but too proud to have the aid of such an
auxiliary in the cause of resistance to awful rule and right supremacy.
If not, I will send the womankind to the manse for the day. I have a
young acquaintance to make known to you, who is touched with some strain
of a better spirit than belongs to these giddy-paced times--reveres his
elders, and has a pretty notion of the classics--and, as such a youth
must have a natural contempt for the people about Fairport, I wish to
show him some rational as well as worshipful society.--I am, Dear Sir
Arthur, etc. etc. etc."

"Fly with this letter, Caxon," said the senior, holding out his missive,
_signatum atque sigillatum,_ "fly to Knockwinnock, and bring me back an
answer. Go as fast as if the town-council were met and waiting for the
provost, and the provost was waiting for his new-powdered wig."

"Ah sir," answered the messenger, with a deep sigh, "thae days hae lang
gane by. Deil a wig has a provost of Fairport worn sin' auld Provost
Jervie's time--and he had a quean of a servant-lass that dressed it
herself, wi' the doup o' a candle and a drudging-box. But I hae seen the
day, Monkbarns, when the town-council of Fairport wad hae as soon wanted
their town-clerk, or their gill of brandy ower-head after the haddies, as
they wad hae wanted ilk ane a weel-favoured, sonsy, decent periwig on his
pow. Hegh, sirs! nae wonder the commons will be discontent and rise
against the law, when they see magistrates and bailies, and deacons, and
the provost himsell, wi' heads as bald and as bare as ane o' my blocks!"

"And as well furnished within, Caxon. But away with you!--you have an
excellent view of public affairs, and, I dare say, have touched the cause
of our popular discontent as closely as the provost could have done
himself. But away with you, Caxon!"

And off went Caxon upon his walk of three miles--

                  He hobbled--but his heart was good!
                  Could he go faster than he could?--

While he is engaged in his journey and return, it may not be impertinent
to inform the reader to whose mansion he was bearing his embassy.

We have said that Mr. Oldbuck kept little company with the surrounding
gentlemen, excepting with one person only. This was Sir Arthur Wardour, a
baronet of ancient descent, and of a large but embarrassed fortune. His
father, Sir Anthony, had been a Jacobite, and had displayed all the
enthusiasm of that party, while it could be served with words only. No
man squeezed the orange with more significant gesture; no one could more
dexterously intimate a dangerous health without coming under the penal
statutes; and, above all, none drank success to the cause more deeply and
devoutly. But, on the approach of the Highland army in 1745, it would
appear that the worthy baronet's zeal became a little more moderate just
when its warmth was of most consequence. He talked much, indeed, of
taking the field for the rights of Scotland and Charles Stuart; but his
demi-pique saddle would suit only one of his horses; and that horse could
by no means be brought to stand fire. Perhaps the worshipful owner
sympathized in the scruples of this sagacious quadruped, and began to
think, that what was so much dreaded by the horse could not be very
wholesome for the rider. At any rate, while Sir Anthony Wardour talked,
and drank, and hesitated, the Sturdy provost of Fairport (who, as we
before noticed, was the father of our Antiquary) sallied from his ancient
burgh, heading a body of whig-burghers, and seized at once, in the name
of George II., upon the Castle of Knockwinnock, and on the four
carriage-horses, and person of the proprietor. Sir Anthony was shortly
after sent off to the Tower of London by a secretary of state's warrant,
and with him went his son, Arthur, then a youth. But as nothing appeared
like an overt act of treason, both father and son were soon set at
liberty, and returned to their own mansion of Knockwinnock, to drink
healths five fathoms deep, and talk of their sufferings in the royal
cause. This became so much a matter of habit with Sir Arthur, that, even
after his father's death, the non-juring chaplain used to pray regularly
for the restoration of the rightful sovereign, for the downfall of the
usurper, and for deliverance from their cruel and bloodthirsty enemies;
although all idea of serious opposition to the House of Hanover had long
mouldered away, and this treasonable liturgy was kept up rather as a
matter of form than as conveying any distinct meaning. So much was this
the case, that, about the year 1770, upon a disputed election occurring
in the county, the worthy knight fairly gulped down the oaths of
abjuration and allegiance, in order to serve a candidate in whom he was
interested;--thus renouncing the heir for whose restoration he weekly
petitioned Heaven, and acknowledging the usurper whose dethronement he
had never ceased to pray for. And to add to this melancholy instance of
human inconsistency, Sir Arthur continued to pray for the House of Stuart
even after the family had been extinct, and when, in truth, though in his
theoretical loyalty he was pleased to regard them as alive, yet, in all
actual service and practical exertion, he was a most zealous and devoted
subject of George III.

In other respects, Sir Arthur Wardour lived like most country gentlemen
in Scotland, hunted and fished--gave and received dinners--attended races
and county meetings--was a deputy-lieutenant and trustee upon turnpike
acts. But, in his more advanced years, as he became too lazy or unwieldy
for field-sports, he supplied them by now and then reading Scottish
history; and, having gradually acquired a taste for antiquities, though
neither very deep nor very correct, he became a crony of his neighbour,
Mr. Oldbuck of Monkbarns, and a joint-labourer with him in his
antiquarian pursuits.

There were, however, points of difference between these two humourists,
which sometimes occasioned discord. The faith of Sir Arthur, as an
antiquary, was boundless, and Mr. Oldbuck (notwithstanding the affair of
the Praetorium at the Kaim of Kinprunes) was much more scrupulous in
receiving legends as current and authentic coin. Sir Arthur would have
deemed himself guilty of the crime of leze-majesty had he doubted the
existence of any single individual of that formidable head-roll of one
hundred and four kings of Scotland, received by Boethius, and rendered
classical by Buchanan, in virtue of whom James VI. claimed to rule his
ancient kingdom, and whose portraits still frown grimly upon the walls of
the gallery of Holyrood. Now Oldbuck, a shrewd and suspicious man, and no
respecter of divine hereditary right, was apt to cavil at this sacred
list, and to affirm, that the procession of the posterity of Fergus
through the pages of Scottish history, was as vain and unsubstantial as
the gleamy pageant of the descendants of Banquo through the cavern of
Hecate.

Another tender topic was the good fame of Queen Mary, of which the knight
was a most chivalrous assertor, while the esquire impugned it, in spite
both of her beauty and misfortunes. When, unhappily, their conversation
turned on yet later times, motives of discord occurred in almost every
page of history. Oldbuck was, upon principle, a staunch Presbyterian, a
ruling elder of the kirk, and a friend to revolution principles and
Protestant succession, while Sir Arthur was the very reverse of all this.
They agreed, it is true, in dutiful love and allegiance to the sovereign
who now fills* the throne; but this was their only point of union.

* The reader will understand that this refers to the reign of our late
gracious Sovereign, George the Third.

It therefore often happened, that bickerings hot broke out between them,
in which Oldbuck was not always able to suppress his caustic humour,
while it would sometimes occur to the Baronet that the descendant of a
German printer, whose sires had "sought the base fellowship of paltry
burghers," forgot himself, and took an unlicensed freedom of debate,
considering the rank and ancient descent of his antagonist. This, with
the old feud of the coach-horses, and the seizure of his manor-place and
tower of strength by Mr. Oldbuck's father, would at times rush upon his
mind, and inflame at once his cheeks and his arguments. And, lastly, as
Mr. Oldbuck thought his worthy friend and compeer was in some respects
little better than a fool, he was apt to come more near communicating to
him that unfavourable opinion, than the rules of modern politeness
warrant. In such cases they often parted in deep dudgeon, and with
something like a resolution to forbear each other's company in future:

But with the morning calm reflection came; and as each was sensible that
the society of the other had become, through habit, essential to his
comfort, the breach was speedily made up between them. On such occasions,
Oldbuck, considering that the Baronet's pettishness resembled that of a
child, usually showed his superior sense by compassionately making the
first advances to reconciliation. But it once or twice happened that the
aristocratic pride of the far-descended knight took a flight too
offensive to the feelings of the representative of the typographer. In
these cases, the breach between these two originals might have been
immortal, but for the kind exertion and interposition of the Baronet's
daughter, Miss Isabella Wardour, who, with a son, now absent upon foreign
and military service, formed his whole surviving family. She was well
aware how necessary Mr. Oldbuck was to her father's amusement and
comfort, and seldom failed to interpose with effect, when the office of a
mediator between them was rendered necessary by the satirical shrewdness
of the one, or the assumed superiority of the other. Under Isabella's
mild influence, the wrongs of Queen Mary were forgotten by her father,
and Mr. Oldbuck forgave the blasphemy which reviled the memory of King
William. However, as she used in general to take her father's part
playfully in these disputes, Oldbuck was wont to call Isabella his fair
enemy, though in fact he made more account of her than any other of her
sex, of whom, as we have seen, he, was no admirer.

There existed another connection betwixt these worthies, which had
alternately a repelling and attractive influence upon their intimacy. Sir
Arthur always wished to borrow; Mr. Oldbuck was not always willing to
lend. Mr. Oldbuck, per contra, always wished to be repaid with
regularity; Sir Arthur was not always, nor indeed often, prepared to
gratify this reasonable desire; and, in accomplishing an arrangement
between tendencies so opposite, little _miffs_ would occasionally take
place. Still there was a spirit of mutual accommodation upon the whole,
and they dragged on like dogs in couples, with some difficulty and
occasional snarling, but without absolutely coming to a stand-still or
throttling each other.

Some little disagreement, such as we have mentioned, arising out of
business, or politics, had divided the houses of Knockwinnock and
Monkbarns, when the emissary of the latter arrived to discharge his
errand. In his ancient Gothic parlour, whose windows on one side looked
out upon the restless ocean, and, on the other, upon the long straight
avenue, was the Baronet seated, now turning over the leaves of a folio,
now casting a weary glance where the sun quivered on the dark-green
foliage and smooth trunks of the large and branching limes with which the
avenue was planted. At length, sight of joy! a moving object is seen, and
it gives rise to the usual inquiries, Who is it? and what can be his
errand? The old whitish-grey coat, the hobbling gait, the hat
half-slouched, half-cocked, announced the forlorn maker of periwigs, and
left for investigation only the second query. This was soon solved by a
servant entering the parlour,--"A letter from Monkbarns, Sir Arthur."

Sir Arthur took the epistle with a due assumption of consequential
dignity.

"Take the old man into the kitchen, and let him get some refreshment,"
said the young lady, whose compassionate eye had remarked his thin grey
hair and wearied gait.

"Mr. Oldbuck, my love, invites us to dinner on Tuesday the 17th," said
the Baronet, pausing;--"he really seems to forget that he has not of late
conducted himself so civilly towards me as might have been expected."

"Dear sir, you have so many advantages over poor Mr. Oldbuck, that no
wonder it should put him a little out of humour; but I know he has much
respect for your person and your conversation;--nothing would give him
more pain than to be wanting in any real attention."

"True, true, Isabella; and one must allow for the original descent;
--something of the German boorishness still flows in the blood; something
of the whiggish and perverse opposition to established rank and
privilege. You may observe that he never has any advantage of me in
dispute, unless when he avails himself of a sort of pettifogging intimacy
with dates, names, and trifling matters of fact--a tiresome and frivolous
accuracy of memory, which is entirely owing to his mechanical descent."

"He must find it convenient in historical investigation, I should think,
sir?" said the young lady.

"It leads to an uncivil and positive mode of disputing; and nothing seems
more unreasonable than to hear him impugn even Bellenden's rare
translation of Hector Boece, which I have the satisfaction to possess,
and which is a black-letter folio of great value, upon the authority of
some old scrap of parchment which he has saved from its deserved destiny
of being cut up into tailor's measures. And besides, that habit of minute
and troublesome accuracy leads to a mercantile manner of doing business,
which ought to be beneath a landed proprietor whose family has stood two
or three generations. I question if there's a dealer's clerk in Fairport
that can sum an account of interest better than Monkbarns."

"But you'll accept his invitation, sir?"

"Why, ye--yes; we have no other engagement on hand, I think. Who can the
young man be he talks of?--he seldom picks up new acquaintance; and he
has no relation that I ever heard of."

"Probably some relation of his brother-in-law Captain M'Intyre."

"Very possibly--yes, we will accept--the M'Intyres are of a very ancient
Highland family. You may answer his card in the affirmative, Isabella; I
believe I have, no leisure to be _Dear Sirring_ myself."

So this important matter being adjusted, Miss Wardour intimated "her own
and Sir Arthur's compliments, and that they would have the honour of
waiting upon Mr. Oldbuck. Miss Wardour takes this opportunity to renew
her hostility with Mr. Oldbuck, on account of his late long absence from
Knockwinnock, where his visits give so much pleasure." With this
_placebo_ she concluded her note, with which old Caxon, now refreshed in
limbs and wind, set out on his return to the Antiquary's mansion.





                             CHAPTER SIXTH.


                   _Moth._ By Woden, God of Saxons,
            From whence comes Wensday, that is, Wednesday,
                   Truth is a thing that I will ever keep
                   Unto thylke day in which I creep into
                             My sepulcre--
                             Cartwright's _Ordinary._

Our young friend Lovel, who had received a corresponding invitation,
punctual to the hour of appointment, arrived at Monkbarns about five
minutes before four o'clock on the 17th of July. The day had been
remarkably sultry, and large drops of rain had occasionally fallen,
though the threatened showers had as yet passed away.

Mr. Oldbuck received him at the Palmer's-port in his complete brown suit,
grey silk stockings, and wig powdered with all the skill of the veteran
Caxon, who having smelt out the dinner, had taken care not to finish his
job till the hour of eating approached.

"You are welcome to my symposion, Mr. Lovel. And now let me introduce you
to my Clogdogdo's, as Tom Otter calls them--my unlucky and
good-for-nothing womankind--_malae bestiae,_ Mr. Lovel."

"I shall be disappointed, sir, if I do not find the ladies very
undeserving of your satire."

"Tilley-valley, Mr. Lovel,--which, by the way, one commentator derives
from _tittivillitium,_ and another from _talley-ho_--but tilley-valley,
I say--a truce with your politeness. You will find them but samples of
womankind--But here they be, Mr. Lovel. I present to you in due order, my
most discreet sister Griselda, who disdains the simplicity, as well as
patience annexed to the poor old name of Grizzel; and my most exquisite
niece Maria, whose mother was called Mary, and sometimes Molly."

The elderly lady rustled in silks and satins, and bore upon her head a
structure resembling the fashion in the ladies' memorandum-book for the
year 1770--a superb piece of architecture, not much less than a modern
Gothic castle, of which the curls might represent the turrets, the black
pins the _chevaux de frise,_ and the lappets the banners.

The face, which, like that of the ancient statues of Vesta, was thus
crowned with towers, was large and long, and peaked at nose and chin, and
bore, in other respects, such a ludicrous resemblance to the physiognomy
of Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck, that Lovel, had they not appeared at once, like
Sebastian and Viola in the last scene of the "Twelfth Night," might have
supposed that the figure before him was his old friend masquerading in
female attire. An antique flowered silk gown graced the extraordinary
person to whom belonged this unparalleled _tete,_ which her brother was
wont to say was fitter for a turban for Mahound or Termagant, than a
head-gear for a reasonable creature, or Christian gentlewoman. Two long
and bony arms were terminated at the elbows by triple blond ruffles, and
being, folded saltire-ways in front of her person, and decorated with
long gloves of a bright vermilion colour, presented no bad resemblance to
a pair of gigantic lobsters. High-heeled shoes, and a short silk cloak,
thrown in easy negligence over her shoulders, completed the exterior of
Miss Griselda Oldbuck.

Her niece, the same whom Lovel had seen transiently during his first
visit, was a pretty young woman, genteelly dressed according to the
fashion of the day, with an air of _espieglerie_ which became her very
well, and which was perhaps derived from the caustic humour peculiar to
her uncle's family, though softened by transmission.

Mr. Lovel paid his respects to both ladies, and was answered by the elder
with the prolonged courtesy of 1760, drawn from the righteous period,

                       When folks conceived a grace
                       Of half an hour's space,
                       And rejoiced in a Friday's capon,

and by the younger with a modern reverence, which, like the festive
benediction of a modern divine, was of much shorter duration.

While this salutation was exchanging, Sir Arthur, with his fair daughter
hanging upon his arm, having dismissed his chariot, appeared at the
garden door, and in all due form paid his respects to the ladies.

"Sir Arthur," said the Antiquary, "and you, my fair foe, let me make
known to you my young friend Mr. Lovel, a gentleman who, during the
scarlet-fever which is epidemic at present in this our island, has the
virtue and decency to appear in a coat of a civil complexion. You see,
however, that the fashionable colour has mustered in his cheeks which
appears not in his garments. Sir Arthur, let me present to you a young
gentleman, whom your farther knowledge will find grave, wise, courtly,
and scholar-like, well seen, deeply read, and thoroughly grounded in all
the hidden mysteries of the green-room and stage, from the days of Davie
Lindsay down to those of Dibdin--he blushes again, which is a sign of
grace."

"My brother," said Miss Griselda, addressing Lovel, "has a humorous way
of expressing himself, sir; nobody thinks anything of what Monkbarns
says--so I beg you will not be so confused for the matter of his
nonsense; but you must have had a warm walk beneath this broiling sun
--would you take anything?--a glass of balm-wine?"

Ere Lovel could answer, the Antiquary interposed. "Aroint thee, witch!
wouldst thou poison my guests with thy infernal decoctions? Dost thou not
remember how it fared with the clergyman whom you seduced to partake of
that deceitful beverage?"

"O fy, fy, brother!--Sir Arthur, did you ever hear the like?--he must
have everything his ain way, or he will invent such stories--But there
goes Jenny to ring the old bell to tell us that the dinner is ready."

Rigid in his economy, Mr. Oldbuck kept no male servant. This he disguised
under the pretext that the masculine sex was too noble to be employed in
those acts of personal servitude, which, in all early periods of society,
were uniformly imposed on the female. "Why," would he say, "did the boy,
Tam Rintherout, whom, at my wise sister's instigation, I, with equal
wisdom, took upon trial--why did he pilfer apples, take birds' nests,
break glasses, and ultimately steal my spectacles, except that he felt
that noble emulation which swells in the bosom of the masculine sex,
which has conducted him to Flanders with a musket on his shoulder, and
doubtless will promote him to a glorious halbert, or even to the gallows?
And why does this girl, his full sister, Jenny Rintherout, move in the
same vocation with safe and noiseless step--shod, or unshod--soft as the
pace of a cat, and docile as a spaniel--Why? but because she is in her
vocation. Let them minister to us, Sir Arthur,--let them minister, I
say,--it's the only thing they are fit for. All ancient legislators, from
Lycurgus to Mahommed, corruptly called Mahomet, agree in putting them in
their proper and subordinate rank, and it is only the crazy heads of our
old chivalrous ancestors that erected their Dulcineas into despotic
princesses."

Miss Wardour protested loudly against this ungallant doctrine; but the
bell now rung for dinner.

"Let me do all the offices of fair courtesy to so fair an antagonist,"
said the old gentleman, offering his arm. "I remember, Miss Wardour,
Mahommed (vulgarly Mahomet) had some hesitation about the mode of
summoning his Moslemah to prayer. He rejected bells as used by
Christians, trumpets as the summons of the Guebres, and finally adopted
the human voice. I have had equal doubt concerning my dinner-call. Gongs,
now in present use, seemed a newfangled and heathenish invention, and the
voice of the female womankind I rejected as equally shrill and dissonant;
wherefore, contrary to the said Mahommed, or Mahomet, I have resumed the
bell. It has a local propriety, since it was the conventual signal for
spreading the repast in their refectory, and it has the advantage over
the tongue of my sister's prime minister, Jenny, that, though not quite
so loud and shrill, it ceases ringing the instant you drop the bell-rope:
whereas we know, by sad experience, that any attempt to silence Jenny,
only wakes the sympathetic chime of Miss Oldbuck and Mary M'Intyre to
join in chorus."

With this discourse he led the way to his dining-parlour, which Lovel had
not yet seen;--it was wainscotted, and contained some curious paintings.
The dining-table was attended by Jenny; but an old superintendent, a sort
of female butler, stood by the sideboard, and underwent the burden of
bearing several reproofs from Mr. Oldbuck, and inuendos, not so much
marked, but not less cutting, from his sister.

The dinner was such as suited a professed antiquary, comprehending many
savoury specimens of Scottish viands, now disused at the tables of those
who affect elegance. There was the relishing Solan goose, whose smell is
so powerful that he is never cooked within doors. Blood-raw he proved to
be on this occasion, so that Oldbuck half threatened to throw the greasy
sea-fowl at the head of the negligent housekeeper, who acted as priestess
in presenting this odoriferous offering. But, by good-hap, she had been
most fortunate in the hotch-potch, which was unanimously pronounced to be
inimitable. "I knew we should succeed here," said Oldbuck exultingly,
"for Davie Dibble, the gardener (an old bachelor like myself), takes care
the rascally women do not dishonour our vegetables. And here is fish and
sauce, and crappit-heads--I acknowledge our womankind excel in that dish
--it procures them the pleasure of scolding, for half an hour at least,
twice a-week, with auld Maggy Mucklebackit, our fish-wife. The
chicken-pie, Mr. Lovel, is made after a recipe bequeathed to me by my
departed grandmother of happy memory--And if you will venture on a glass
of wine, you will find it worthy of one who professes the maxim of King
Alphonso of Castile,--Old wood to burn--old books to read--old wine to
drink--and old friends, Sir Arthur--ay, Mr. Lovel, and young friends too,
to converse with."

"And what news do you bring us from Edinburgh, Monkbarns?" said Sir
Arthur; "how wags the world in Auld Reekie?"

"Mad, Sir Arthur, mad--irretrievably frantic--far beyond dipping in the
sea, shaving the crown, or drinking hellebore. The worst sort of frenzy,
a military frenzy, hath possessed man, woman, and child."

"And high time, I think," said Miss Wardour, "when we are threatened with
invasion from abroad and insurrection at home."

"O, I did not doubt you would join the scarlet host against me--women,
like turkeys, are always subdued by a red rag--But what says Sir Arthur,
whose dreams are of standing armies and German oppression?"

"Why, I say, Mr. Oldbuck," replied the knight, "that so far as I am
capable of judging, we ought to resist _cum toto corpore regni_--as the
phrase is, unless I have altogether forgotten my Latin--an enemy who
comes to propose to us a Whiggish sort of government, a republican
system, and who is aided and abetted by a sort of fanatics of the worst
kind in our own bowels. I have taken some measures, I assure you, such as
become my rank in the community; for I have directed the constables to
take up that old scoundrelly beggar, Edie Ochiltree, for spreading
disaffection against church and state through the whole parish. He said
plainly to old Caxon, that Willie Howie's Kilmarnock cowl covered more
sense than all the three wigs in the parish--I think it is easy to make
out that inuendo--But the rogue shall be taught better manners."

"O no, my dear sir," exclaimed Miss Wardour, "not old Edie, that we have
known so long;--I assure you no constable shall have my good graces that
executes such a warrant."

"Ay, there it goes," said the Antiquary; "you, to be a staunch Tory, Sir
Arthur, have nourished a fine sprig of Whiggery in your bosom--Why, Miss
Wardour is alone sufficient to control a whole quarter-session--a
quarter-session? ay, a general assembly or convocation to boot--a
Boadicea she--an Amazon, a Zenobia."

"And yet, with all my courage, Mr. Oldbuck, I am glad to hear our people
are getting under arms."

"Under arms, Lord love thee! didst thou ever read the history of Sister
Margaret, which flowed from a head, that, though now old and somedele
grey, has more sense and political intelligence than you find now-a-days
in the whole synod? Dost thou remember the Nurse's dream in that
exquisite work, which she recounts in such agony to Hubble Bubble?--When
she would have taken up a piece of broad-cloth in her vision, lo! it
exploded like a great iron cannon; when she put out her hand to save a
pirn, it perked up in her face in the form of a pistol. My own vision in
Edinburgh has been something similar. I called to consult my lawyer; he
was clothed in a dragoon's dress, belted and casqued, and about to mount
a charger, which his writing-clerk (habited as a sharp-shooter) walked to
and fro before his door. I went to scold my agent for having sent me to
advise with a madman; he had stuck into his head the plume, which in more
sober days he wielded between his fingers, and figured as an artillery
officer. My mercer had his spontoon in his hand, as if he measured his
cloth by that implement, instead of a legitimate yard. The, banker's
clerk, who was directed to sum my cash-account, blundered it three times,
being disordered by the recollection of his military _tellings-off_ at
the morning-drill. I was ill, and sent for a surgeon--

               He came--but valour so had fired his eye,
               And such a falchion glittered on his thigh,
               That, by the gods, with such a load of steel,
              I thought he came to murder,--not to heal.

I had recourse to a physician, but he also was practising a more
wholesale mode of slaughter than that which his profession had been
supposed at all times to open to him. And now, since I have returned
here, even our wise neighbours of Fairport have caught the same valiant
humour. I hate a gun like a hurt wild duck--I detest a drum like a
quaker;--and they thunder and rattle out yonder upon the town's common,
so that every volley and roll goes to my very heart."

"Dear brother, dinna speak that gate o' the gentlemen volunteers--I am
sure they have a most becoming uniform--Weel I wot they have been wet to
the very skin twice last week--I met them marching in terribly doukit, an
mony a sair hoast was amang them--And the trouble they take, I am sure it
claims our gratitude."

"And I am sure," said Miss M'Intyre, "that my uncle sent twenty guineas
to help out their equipments."

"It was to buy liquorice and sugar-candy," said the cynic, "to encourage
the trade of the place, and to refresh the throats of the officers who
had bawled themselves hoarse in the service of their country."

"Take care, Monkbarns! we shall set you down among the black-nebs by and
by."

"No Sir Arthur--a tame grumbler I. I only claim the privilege of croaking
in my own corner here, without uniting my throat to the grand chorus of
the marsh--_Ni quito Rey, ni pongo Rey_--I neither make king nor mar
king, as Sancho says, but pray heartily for our own sovereign, pay scot
and lot, and grumble at the exciseman--But here comes the ewe-milk cheese
in good time; it is a better digestive than politics."

When dinner was over, and the decanters placed on the table, Mr. Oldbuck
proposed the King's health in a bumper, which was readily acceded to both
by Lovel and the Baronet, the Jacobitism of the latter being now a sort
of speculative opinion merely,--the shadow of a shade.

After the ladies had left the apartment, the landlord and Sir Arthur
entered into several exquisite discussions, in which the younger guest,
either on account of the abstruse erudition which they involved, or for
some other reason, took but a slender share, till at length he was
suddenly started out of a profound reverie by an unexpected appeal to his
judgment.

"I will stand by what Mr. Lovel says; he was born in the north of
England, and may know the very spot."

Sir Arthur thought it unlikely that so young a gentleman should have paid
much attention to matters of that sort.

"I am avised of the contrary," said Oldbuck.

"How say you, Mr. Lovel?--speak up for your own credit, man."

Lovel was obliged to confess himself in the ridiculous situation of one
alike ignorant of the subject of conversation and controversy which had
engaged the company for an hour.

"Lord help the lad, his head has been wool-gathering!--I thought how it
would be when the womankind were admitted--no getting a word of sense out
of a young fellow for six hours after.--Why, man, there was once a people
called the Piks"--

"More properly _Picts,_" interrupted the Baronet.

"I say the _Pikar, Pihar, Piochtar, Piaghter,_ or _Peughtar,_"
vociferated Oldbuck; "they spoke a Gothic dialect"--

"Genuine Celtic," again asseverated the knight.

"Gothic! Gothic! I'll go to death upon it!" counter-asseverated the
squire.

"Why, gentlemen," sad Lovel, "I conceive that is a dispute which may be
easily settled by philologists, if there are any remains of the
language."

"There is but one word," said the Baronet, "but, in spite of Mr.
Oldbuck's pertinacity, it is decisive of the question."

"Yes, in my favour," said Oldbuck: "Mr. Lovel, you shall be judge--I have
the learned Pinkerton on my side."

"I, on mine, the indefatigable and erudite Chalmers."

"Gordon comes into my opinion."

"Sir Robert Sibbald holds mine."

"Innes is with me!" vociferated Oldbuck.

"Riston has no doubt!" shouted the Baronet.

"Truly, gentlemen," said Lovel, "before you muster your forces and
overwhelm me with authorities, I should like to know the word in
dispute."

"_Benval_" said both the disputants at once.

"Which signifies _caput valli,_" said Sir Arthur.

"The head of the wall," echoed Oldbuck.

There was a deep pause.--"It is rather a narrow foundation to build a
hypothesis upon," observed the arbiter.

"Not a whit, not a whit," said Oldbuck; "men fight best in a narrow ring
--an inch is as good as a mile for a home-thrust."

"It is decidedly Celtic," said the Baronet; "every hill in the Highlands
begins with _Ben._"

"But what say you to _Val,_ Sir Arthur; is it not decidedly the Saxon
_wall?_"

"It is the Roman _vallum,_" said Sir Arthur;--"the Picts borrowed that
part of the word."

"No such thing; if they borrowed anything, it must have been your _Ben,_
which they might have from the neighbouring Britons of Strath Cluyd."

"The Piks, or Picts," said Lovel, "must have been singularly poor in
dialect, since, in the only remaining word of their vocabulary, and that
consisting only of two syllables, they have been confessedly obliged to
borrow one of them from another language; and, methinks, gentlemen, with
submission, the controversy is not unlike that which the two knights
fought, concerning the shield that had one side white and the other
black. Each of you claim one-half of the word, and seem to resign the
other. But what strikes me most, is the poverty of the language which has
left such slight vestiges behind it."

"You are in an error," said Sir Arthur; "it was a copious language, and
they were a great and powerful people; built two steeples--one at
Brechin, one at Abernethy. The Pictish maidens of the blood-royal were
kept in Edinburgh Castle, thence called _Castrum Puellarum._"

"A childish legend," said Oldbuck, "invented to give consequence to
trumpery womankind. It was called the Maiden Castle, _quasi lucus a non
lucendo,_ because it resisted every attack, and women never do."

"There is a list of the Pictish kings," persisted Sir Arthur, "well
authenticated from Crentheminachcryme (the, date of whose reign is
somewhat uncertain) down to Drusterstone, whose death concluded their
dynasty. Half of them have the Celtic patronymic _Mac_ prefixed--Mac, _id
est filius;_--what do you say to that, Mr. Oldbuck? There is Drust
Macmorachin, Trynel Maclachlin (first of that ancient clan, as it may be
judged), and Gormach Macdonald, Alpin Macmetegus, Drust Mactallargam"
(here he was interrupted by a fit of coughing)--"ugh, ugh, ugh--Golarge
Macchan--ugh, ugh--Macchanan--ugh--Macchananail, Kenneth--ugh--ugh--
Macferedith, Eachan Macfungus--and twenty more, decidedly Celtic names,
which I could repeat, if this damned cough would let me."

"Take a glass of wine, Sir Arthur, and drink down that bead-roll of
unbaptized jargon, that would choke the devil--why, that last fellow has
the only intelligible name you have repeated--they are all of the tribe
of Macfungus--mushroom monarchs every one of them; sprung up from the
fumes of conceit, folly, and falsehood, fermenting in the brains of some
mad Highland seannachie."

"I am surprised to hear you, Mr. Oldbuck: you know, or ought to know,
that the list of these potentates was copied by Henry Maule of Melguin,
from the Chronicles of Loch Leven and St. Andrews, and put forth by him
in his short but satisfactory history of the Picts, printed by Robert
Freebairn of Edinburgh, and sold by him at his shop in the Parliament
Close, in the, year of God seventeen hundred and five, or six, I am not
precisely certain which--but I have a copy at home that stands next to my
twelvemo copy of the Scots Acts, and ranges on the shelf with them very
well. What say you to that, Mr. Oldbuck?"

"Say?--why, I laugh at Harry Maule and his history," answered Oldbuck,
"and thereby comply with his request, of giving it entertainment
according to its merits."

"Do not laugh at a better man than yourself," said Sir Arthur, somewhat
scornfully.

"I do not conceive I do, Sir Arthur, in laughing either at him or his
history,"

"Henry Maule of Melgum was a gentleman, Mr. Oldbuck."

"I presume he had no advantage of me in _that_ particular," replied the
Antiquary, somewhat tartly.

"Permit me, Mr. Oldbuck--he was a gentleman of high family, and ancient
descent, and therefore"--

"The descendant of a Westphalian printer should speak of him with
deference? Such may be your opinion, Sir Arthur--it is not mine. I
conceive that my descent from that painful and industrious typographer,
Wolfbrand Oldenbuck, who, in the month of December 1193, under the
patronage, as the colophon tells us, of Sebaldus Scheyter and Sebastian
Kammermaister, accomplished the printing of the great Chronicle of
Nuremberg--I conceive, I say, that my descent from that great restorer of
learning is more creditable to me as a man of letters, than if I had
numbered in my genealogy all the brawling, bullet-headed, iron-fisted,
old Gothic barons since the days of Crentheminachcryme--not one of whom,
I suppose, could write his own name."

"If you mean the observation as a sneer at my ancestry," said the knight,
with an assumption of dignified superiority and composure, "I have the
pleasure to inform you, that the name of my ancestor, Gamelyn de
Guardover, Miles, is written fairly with his own hand in the earliest
copy of the Ragman-roll."

"Which only serves to show that he was one of the earliest who set the
mean example of submitting to Edward I. What have, you to say for the
stainless loyalty of your family, Sir Arthur, after such a backsliding as
that?"

"It's enough, sir," said Sir Arthur, starting up fiercely, and pushing
back his chair; "I shall hereafter take care how I honour with my company
one who shows himself so ungrateful for my condescension."

"In that you will do as you find most agreeable, Sir Arthur;--I hope,
that as I was not aware of the extent of the obligation which you have
done me by visiting my poor house, I may be excused for not having
carried my gratitude to the extent of servility."

"Mighty well--mighty well, Mr. Oldbuck--I wish you a good evening--Mr.
a--a--a--Shovel--I wish you a very good evening."

Out of the parlour door flounced the incensed Sir Arthur, as if the
spirit of the whole Round Table inflamed his single bosom, and traversed
with long strides the labyrinth of passages which conducted to the
drawing-room.

"Did you ever hear such an old tup-headed ass?" said Oldbuck, briefly
apostrophizing Lovel. "But I must not let him go in this mad-like way
neither."

So saying, he pushed off after the retreating Baronet, whom he traced by
the clang of several doors which he opened in search of the apartment for
tea, and slammed with force behind him at every disappointment. "You'll
do yourself a mischief," roared the Antiquary; "_Qui ambulat in tenebris,
nescit quo vadit_--You'll tumble down the back-stair."

Sir Arthur had now got involved in darkness, of which the sedative effect
is well known to nurses and governesses who have to deal with pettish
children. It retarded the pace of the irritated Baronet, if it did not
abate his resentment, and Mr. Oldbuck, better acquainted with the
_locale,_ got up with him as he had got his grasp upon the handle of the
drawing-room door.

"Stay a minute, Sir Arthur," said Oldbuck, opposing his abrupt entrance;
"don't be quite so hasty, my good old friend. I was a little too rude
with you about Sir Gamelyn--why, he is an old acquaintance of mine, man,
and a favourite; he kept company with Bruce and Wallace--and, I'll be
sworn on a black-letter Bible, only subscribed the Ragman-roll with the
legitimate and justifiable intention of circumventing the false Southern
--'twas right Scottish craft, my good knight--hundreds did it. Come,
come, forget and forgive--confess we have given the young fellow here a
right to think us two testy old fools."

"Speak for yourself, Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck," said Sir Arthur with much
majesty.

"A-well, a-well--a wilful man must have his way."

With that the door opened, and into the drawing-room marched the tall
gaunt form of Sir Arthur, followed by Lovel and Mr. Oldbuck, the
countenances of all the three a little discomposed.

"I have been waiting for you, sir," said Miss Wardour, "to propose we
should walk forward to meet the carriage, as the evening is so fine."

Sir Arthur readily assented to this proposal, which suited the angry mood
in which he found himself; and having, agreeable to the established
custom in cases of pet, refused the refreshment of tea and coffee, he
tucked his daughter under his arm; and after taking a ceremonious leave
of the ladies, and a very dry one of Oldbuck--off he marched.

"I think Sir Arthur has got the black dog on his back again," said Miss
Oldbuck.

"Black dog!--black devil!--he's more absurd than womankind--What say you,
Lovel?--Why, the lad's gone too."

"He took his leave, uncle, while Miss Wardour was putting on her things;
but I don't think you observed him."

"The devil's in the people! This is all one gets by fussing and bustling,
and putting one's self out of one's way in order to give dinners, besides
all the charges they are put to!--O Seged, Emperor of Ethiopia!" said he,
taking up a cup of tea in the one hand, and a volume of the Rambler in
the other,--for it was his regular custom to read while he was eating or
drinking in presence of his sister, being a practice which served at once
to evince his contempt for the society of womankind, and his resolution
to lose no moment of instruction,--"O Seged, Emperor of Ethiopia! well
hast thou spoken--No man should presume to say, This shall be a day of
happiness."

Oldbuck proceeded in his studies for the best part of an hour,
uninterrupted by the ladies, who each, in profound silence, pursued some
female employment. At length, a light and modest tap was heard at the
parlour door. "Is that you, Caxon?--come in, come in, man."

The old man opened the door, and thrusting in his meagre face, thatched
with thin grey locks, and one sleeve of his white coat, said in a subdued
and mysterious tone of voice, "I was wanting to speak to you, sir."

"Come in then, you old fool, and say what you have got to say."

"I'll maybe frighten the ladies," said the ex-friseur.

"Frighten!" answered the Antiquary,--"what do you mean?--never mind the
ladies. Have you seen another ghaist at the Humlock-knowe?"

"Na, sir--it's no a ghaist this turn," replied Caxton;--"but I'm no easy
in my mind."

"Did you ever hear of any body that was?" answered Oldbuck;--"what reason
has an old battered powder-puff like you to be easy in your mind, more
than all the rest of the world besides?"

"It's no for mysell, sir; but it threatens an awfu' night; and Sir
Arthur, and Miss Wardour, poor thing"--

"Why, man, they must have met the carriage at the head of the loaning, or
thereabouts; they must be home long ago."

"Na, sir; they didna gang the road by the turnpike to meet the carriage,
they gaed by the sands."

The word operated like electricity on Oldbuck. "The sands!" he exclaimed;
"impossible!"

"Ou, sir, that's what I said to the gardener; but he says he saw them
turn down by the Mussel-craig. In troth, says I to him, an that be the
case, Davie, I am misdoubting"--

"An almanac! an almanac!" said Oldbuck, starting up in great alarm--"not
that bauble!" flinging away a little pocket almanac which his niece
offered him.--"Great God! my poor dear Miss Isabella!--Fetch me instantly
the Fairport Almanac."--It was brought, consulted, and added greatly to
his agitation. "I'll go myself--call the gardener and ploughman--bid them
bring ropes and ladders--bid them raise more help as they come along
--keep the top of the cliffs, and halloo down to them--I'll go myself."

"What is the matter?" inquired Miss Oldbuck and Miss M'Intyre.

"The tide!--the tide!" answered the alarmed Antiquary.

"Had not Jenny better--but no, I'll run myself," said the younger lady,
partaking in all her uncle's terrors--"I'll run myself to Saunders
Mucklebackit, and make him get out his boat."

"Thank you, my dear, that's the wisest word that has been spoken yet
--Run! run!--To go by the sands!" seizing his hat and cane; "was there
ever such madness heard of!"




                            CHAPTER SEVENTH.

                       --Pleased awhile to view
               The watery waste, the prospect wild and new;
               The now receding waters gave them space,
               On either side, the growing shores to trace
               And then returning, they contract the scene,
               Till small and smaller grows the walk between.
                                            Crabbe.

The information of Davie Dibble, which had spread such general alarm at
Monkbarns, proved to be strictly correct. Sir Arthur and his daughter had
set out, according to their first proposal, to return to Knockwinnock by
the turnpike road; but when they reached the head of the loaning, as it
was called, or great lane, which on one side made a sort of avenue to the
house of Monkbarns, they discerned, a little way before them, Lovel, who
seemed to linger on the way as if to give him an opportunity to join
them. Miss Wardour immediately proposed to her father that they should
take another direction; and, as the weather was fine, walk home by the
sands, which, stretching below a picturesque ridge of rocks, afforded at
almost all times a pleasanter passage between Knockwinnock and Monkbarns
than the high-road.

Sir Arthur acquiesced willingly. "It would be unpleasant," he said, "to
be joined by that young fellow, whom Mr. Oldbuck had taken the freedom to
introduce them to." And his old-fashioned politeness had none of the ease
of the present day which permits you, if you have a mind, to _cut_ the
person you have associated with for a week, the instant you feel or
suppose yourself in a situation which makes it disagreeable to own him.
Sir Arthur only stipulated, that a little ragged boy, for the guerdon of
one penny sterling, should run to meet his coachman, and turn his
equipage back to Knockwinnock.

When this was arranged, and the emissary despatched, the knight and his
daughter left the high-road, and following a wandering path among sandy
hillocks, partly grown over with furze and the long grass called bent,
soon attained the side of the ocean. The tide was by no means so far out
as they had computed but this gave them no alarm;--there were seldom ten
days in the year when it approached so near the cliffs as not to leave a
dry passage. But, nevertheless, at periods of spring-tide, or even when
the ordinary flood was accelerated by high winds, this road was
altogether covered by the sea; and tradition had recorded several fatal
accidents which had happened on such occasions. Still, such dangers were
considered as remote and improbable; and rather served, with other
legends, to amuse the hamlet fireside, than to prevent any one from going
between Knockwinnock and Monkbarns by the sands.

As Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour paced along, enjoying the pleasant footing
afforded by the cool moist hard sand, Miss Wardour could not help
observing that the last tide had risen considerably above the usual
water-mark. Sir Arthur made the same observation, but without its
occurring to either of them to be alarmed at the circumstance. The sun
was now resting his huge disk upon the edge of the level ocean, and
gilded the accumulation of towering clouds through which he had travelled
the livelong day, and which now assembled on all sides, like misfortunes
and disasters around a sinking empire and falling monarch. Still,
however, his dying splendour gave a sombre magnificence to the massive
congregation of vapours, forming out of their unsubstantial gloom the
show of pyramids and towers, some touched with gold, some with purple,
some with a hue of deep and dark red. The distant sea, stretched beneath
this varied and gorgeous canopy, lay almost portentously still,
reflecting back the dazzling and level beams of the descending luminary,
and the splendid colouring of the clouds amidst which he was setting.
Nearer to the beach the tide rippled onward in waves of sparkling silver,
that imperceptibly, yet rapidly, gained upon the sand.

With a mind employed in admiration of the romantic scene, or perhaps on
some more agitating topic, Miss Wardour advanced in silence by her
father's side, whose recently offended dignity did not stoop to open any
conversation. Following the windings of the beach, they passed one
projecting point of headland or rock after another, and now found
themselves under a huge and continued extent of the precipices by which
that iron-bound coast is in most places defended. Long projecting reefs
of rock, extending under water and only evincing their existence by here
and there a peak entirely bare, or by the breakers which foamed over
those that were partially covered, rendered Knockwinnock bay dreaded by
pilots and ship-masters. The crags which rose between the beach and the
mainland, to the height of two or three hundred feet, afforded in their
crevices shelter for unnumbered sea-fowl, in situations seemingly secured
by their dizzy height from the rapacity of man. Many of these wild
tribes, with the instinct which sends them to seek the land before a
storm arises, were now winging towards their nests with the shrill and
dissonant clang which announces disquietude and fear. The disk of the sun
became almost totally obscured ere he had altogether sunk below the
horizon, and an early and lurid shade of darkness blotted the serene
twilight of a summer evening. The wind began next to arise; but its wild
and moaning sound was heard for some time, and its effects became visible
on the bosom of the sea, before the gale was felt on shore. The mass of
waters, now dark and threatening, began to lift itself in larger ridges,
and sink in deeper furrows, forming waves that rose high in foam upon the
breakers, or burst upon the beach with a sound resembling distant
thunder.

Appalled by this sudden change of weather, Miss Wardour drew close to her
father, and held his arm fast. "I wish," at length she said, but almost
in a whisper, as if ashamed to express her increasing apprehensions, "I
wish we had kept the road we intended, or waited at Monkbarns for the
carriage."

Sir Arthur looked round, but did not see, or would not acknowledge, any
signs of an immediate storm. They would reach Knockwinnock, he said, long
before the tempest began. But the speed with which he walked, and with
which Isabella could hardly keep pace, indicated a feeling that some
exertion was necessary to accomplish his consolatory prediction.

They were now near the centre of a deep but narrow bay or recess, formed
by two projecting capes of high and inaccessible rock, which shot out
into the sea like the horns of a crescent;--and neither durst communicate
the apprehension which each began to entertain, that, from the unusually
rapid advance of the tide, they might be deprived of the power of
proceeding by doubling the promontory which lay before them, or of
retreating by the road which brought them thither.

As they thus pressed forward, longing doubtless to exchange the easy
curving line, which the sinuosities of the bay compelled them to adopt,
for a straighter and more expeditious path, Sir Arthur observed a human
figure on the beach advancing to meet them. "Thank God," he exclaimed,
"we shall get round Halket-head!--that person must have passed it;" thus
giving vent to the feeling of hope, though he had suppressed that of
apprehension.

"Thank God, indeed!" echoed his daughter, half audibly, half internally,
as expressing the gratitude which she strongly felt.

The figure which advanced to meet them made many signs, which the haze of
the atmosphere, now disturbed by wind and by a drizzling rain, prevented
them from seeing or comprehending distinctly.--Some time before they met,
Sir Arthur could recognise the old blue-gowned beggar, Edie Ochiltree. It
is said that even the brute creation lay aside their animosities and
antipathies when pressed by an instant and common danger. The beach under
Halket-head, rapidly diminishing in extent by the encroachments of a
spring-tide and a north-west wind, was in like manner a neutral field,
where even a justice of peace and a strolling mendicant might meet upon
terms of mutual forbearance.

"Turn back! turn back!" exclaimed the vagrant; "why did ye not turn when
I waved to you?"

"We thought," replied Sir Arthur, in great agitation, "we thought we
could get round Halket-head."

"Halket-head!--the tide will be running on Halket-head by this time like
the Fall of Fyers!--it was a' I could do to get round it twenty minutes
since--it was coming in three feet abreast. We will maybe get back by
Bally-burgh Ness Point yet. The Lord help us!--it's our only chance. We
can but try."

"My God, my child!"--"My father! my dear father!" exclaimed the parent
and daughter, as, fear lending them strength and speed, they turned to
retrace their steps, and endeavoured to double the point, the projection
of which formed the southern extremity of the bay.

"I heard ye were here frae the bit callant ye sent to meet your
carriage," said the beggar, as he trudged stoutly on a step or two behind
Miss Wardour; "and I couldna bide to think o' the dainty young leddy's
peril, that has aye been kind to ilka forlorn heart that cam near her.
Sae I lookit at the lift and the rin o' the tide, till I settled it that
if I could get down time eneugh to gie you warning, we wad do weel yet.
But I doubt, I doubt, I have been beguiled! for what mortal ee ever saw
sic a race as the tide is risening e'en now? See, yonder's the Ratton's
Skerry--he aye held his neb abune the water in my day--but he's aneath it
now."

Sir Arthur cast a look in the direction in which the old man pointed. A
huge rock, which in general, even in spring-tides, displayed a hulk like
the keel of a large vessel, was now quite under water, and its place only
indicated by the boiling and breaking of the eddying waves which
encountered its submarine resistance.

"Mak haste, mak haste, my bonny leddy," continued the old man--"mak
haste, and we may do yet! Take haud o' my arm--an auld and frail arm it's
now, but it's been in as sair stress as this is yet. Take haud o' my arm,
my winsome leddy! D'ye see yon wee black speck amang the wallowing waves
yonder? This morning it was as high as the mast o' a brig--it's sma'
eneugh now--but, while I see as muckle black about it as the crown o' my
hat, I winna believe but we'll get round the Ballyburgh Ness, for a'
that's come and gane yet."

Isabella, in silence, accepted from the old man the assistance which Sir
Arthur was less able to afford her. The waves had now encroached so much
upon the beach, that the firm and smooth footing which they had hitherto
had on the sand must be exchanged for a rougher path close to the foot of
the precipice, and in some places even raised upon its lower ledges. It
would have been utterly impossible for Sir Arthur Wardour, or his
daughter, to have found their way along these shelves without the
guidance and encouragement of the beggar, who had been there before in
high tides, though never, he acknowledged, "in sae awsome a night as
this."

It was indeed a dreadful evening. The howling of the storm mingled with
the shrieks of the sea-fowl, and sounded like the dirge of the three
devoted beings, who, pent between two of the most magnificent, yet most
dreadful objects of nature--a raging tide and an insurmountable
precipice--toiled along their painful and dangerous path, often lashed by
the spray of some giant billow, which threw itself higher on the beach
than those that had preceded it. Each minute did their enemy gain ground
perceptibly upon them! Still, however, loth to relinquish the last hopes
of life, they bent their eyes on the black rock pointed out by Ochiltree.
It was yet distinctly visible among the breakers, and continued to be so,
until they came to a turn in their precarious path, where an intervening
projection of rock hid it from their sight. Deprived of the view of the
beacon on which they had relied, they now experienced the double agony of
terror and suspense. They struggled forward, however; but, when they
arrived at the point from which they ought to have seen the crag, it was
no longer visible: the signal of safety was lost among a thousand white
breakers, which, dashing upon the point of the promontory, rose in
prodigious sheets of snowy foam, as high as the mast of a first-rate
man-of-war, against the dark brow of the precipice.

The countenance of the old man fell. Isabella gave a faint shriek, and,
"God have mercy upon us!" which her guide solemnly uttered, was piteously
echoed by Sir Arthur--"My child! my child!--to die such a death!"

"My father! my dear father!" his daughter exclaimed, clinging to him
--"and you too, who have lost your own life in endeavouring to save
ours!"

"That's not worth the counting," said the old man. "I hae lived to be
weary o' life; and here or yonder--at the back o' a dyke, in a wreath o'
snaw, or in the wame o' a wave, what signifies how the auld gaberlunzie
dies?"

"Good man," said Sir Arthur, "can you think of nothing?--of no help?
--I'll make you rich--I'll give you a farm--I'll"--

"Our riches will be soon equal," said the beggar, looking out upon the
strife of the waters--"they are sae already; for I hae nae land, and you
would give your fair bounds and barony for a square yard of rock that
would be dry for twal hours."

While they exchanged these words, they paused upon the highest ledge of
rock to which they could attain; for it seemed that any further attempt
to move forward could only serve to anticipate their fate. Here, then,
they were to await the sure though slow progress of the raging element,
something in the situation of the martyrs of the early church, who,
exposed by heathen tyrants to be slain by wild beasts, were compelled for
a time to witness the impatience and rage by which the animals were
agitated, while awaiting the signal for undoing their grates, and letting
them loose upon the victims.

Yet even this fearful pause gave Isabella time to collect the powers of a
mind naturally strong and courageous, and which rallied itself at this
terrible juncture. "Must we yield life," she said, "without a struggle?
Is there no path, however dreadful, by which we could climb the crag, or
at least attain some height above the tide, where we could remain till
morning, or till help comes? They must be aware of our situation, and
will raise the country to relieve us."

Sir Arthur, who heard, but scarcely comprehended, his daughter's
question, turned, nevertheless, instinctively and eagerly to the old man,
as if their lives were in his gift. Ochiltree paused--"I was a bauld
craigsman," he said, "ance in my life, and mony a kittywake's and
lungie's nest hae I harried up amang thae very black rocks; but it's
lang, lang syne, and nae mortal could speel them without a rope--and if I
had ane, my ee-sight, and my footstep, and my hand-grip, hae a' failed
mony a day sinsyne--And then, how could I save _you?_ But there was a
path here ance, though maybe, if we could see it, ye would rather bide
where we are--His name be praised!" he ejaculated suddenly, "there's ane
coming down the crag e'en now!"--Then, exalting his voice, he hilloa'd
out to the daring adventurer such instructions as his former practice,
and the remembrance of local circumstances, suddenly forced upon his
mind:--"Ye're right!--ye're right!--that gate--that gate!--fasten the
rope weel round Crummies-horn, that's the muckle black stane--cast twa
plies round it--that's it!--now, weize yoursell a wee easel-ward--a wee
mair yet to that ither stane--we ca'd it the Cat's-lug--there used to be
the root o' an aik tree there--that will do!--canny now, lad--canny now
--tak tent and tak time--Lord bless ye, tak time--Vera weel!--Now ye maun
get to Bessy's apron, that's the muckle braid flat blue stane--and then,
I think, wi' your help and the tow thegither, I'll win at ye, and then
we'll be able to get up the young leddy and Sir Arthur."

The adventurer, following the directions of old Edie, flung him down the
end of the rope, which he secured around Miss Wardour, wrapping her
previously in his own blue gown, to preserve her as much as possible from
injury. Then, availing himself of the rope, which was made fast at the
other end, he began to ascend the face of the crag--a most precarious and
dizzy undertaking, which, however, after one or two perilous escapes,
placed him safe on the broad flat stone beside our friend Lovel. Their
joint strength was able to raise Isabella to the place of safety which
they had attained. Lovel then descended in order to assist Sir Arthur,
around whom he adjusted the rope; and again mounting to their place of
refuge, with the assistance of old Ochiltree, and such aid as Sir Arthur
himself could afford, he raised himself beyond the reach of the billows.

The sense of reprieve from approaching and apparently inevitable death,
had its usual effect. The father and daughter threw themselves into each
other's arms, kissed and wept for joy, although their escape was
connected with the prospect of passing a tempestuous night upon a
precipitous ledge of rock, which scarce afforded footing for the four
shivering beings, who now, like the sea-fowl around them, clung there in
hopes of some shelter from the devouring element which raged beneath. The
spray of the billows, which attained in fearful succession the foot of
the precipice, overflowing the beach on which they so lately stood, flew
as high as their place of temporary refuge; and the stunning sound with
which they dashed against the rocks beneath, seemed as if they still
demanded the fugitives in accents of thunder as their destined prey. It
was a summer night, doubtless; yet the probability was slender, that a
frame so delicate as that of Miss Wardour should survive till morning the
drenching of the spray; and the dashing of the rain, which now burst in
full violence, accompanied with deep and heavy gusts of wind, added to
the constrained and perilous circumstances of their situation.

"The lassie!--the puir sweet, lassie!" said the old man: "mony such a
night have I weathered at hame and abroad, but, God guide us, how can she
ever win through it!"

His apprehension was communicated in smothered accents to Lovel; for with
the sort of freemasonry by which bold and ready spirits correspond in
moments of danger, and become almost instinctively known to each other,
they had established a mutual confidence.--"I'll climb up the cliff
again," said Lovel--there's daylight enough left to see my footing; I'll
climb up, and call for more assistance."

"Do so, do so, for Heaven's sake!" said Sir Arthur eagerly.

"Are ye mad?" said the mendicant: "Francie o' Fowlsheugh, and he was the
best craigsman that ever speel'd heugh (mair by token, he brake his neck
upon the Dunbuy of Slaines), wodna hae ventured upon the Halket-head
craigs after sun-down--It's God's grace, and a great wonder besides, that
ye are not in the middle o' that roaring sea wi' what ye hae done
already--I didna think there was the man left alive would hae come down
the craigs as ye did. I question an I could hae done it mysell, at this
hoar and in this weather, in the youngest and yaldest of my strength--But
to venture up again--it's a mere and a clear tempting o' Providence,"

"I have no fear," answered Lovel; "I marked all the stations perfectly as
I came down, and there is still light enough left to see them quite well
--I am sure I can do it with perfect safety. Stay here, my good friend, by
Sir Arthur and the young lady."

"Dell be in my feet then," answered the bedesman sturdily; "if ye gang,
I'll gang too; for between the twa o' us, we'll hae mair than wark eneugh
to get to the tap o' the heugh."

"No, no--stay you here and attend to Miss Wardour--you see Sir Arthur is
quite exhausted."

"Stay yoursell then, and I'll gae," said the old man;--"let death spare
the green corn and take the ripe."

"Stay both of you, I charge you," said Isabella, faintly; "I am well, and
can spend the night very well here--I feel quite refreshed." So saying,
her voice failed her--she sunk down, and would have fallen from the crag,
had she not been supported by Lovel and Ochiltree, who placed her in a
posture half sitting, half reclining, beside her father, who, exhausted
by fatigue of body and mind so extreme and unusual, had already sat down
on a stone in a sort of stupor.

"It is impossible to leave them," said Lovel--"What is to be done?--Hark!
hark!--did I not hear a halloo?"

"The skreigh of a Tammie Norie," answered Ochiltree--"I ken the skirl
weel."

"No, by Heaven!" replied Lovel, "it was a human voice."

A distant hail was repeated, the sound plainly distinguishable among the
various elemental noises, and the clang of the sea-mews by which they
were surrounded. The mendicant and Lovel exerted their voices in a loud
halloo, the former waving Miss Wardour's handkerchief on the end of his
staff to make them conspicuous from above. Though the shouts were
repeated, it was some time before they were in exact response to their
own, leaving the unfortunate sufferers uncertain whether, in the
darkening twilight and increasing storm, they had made the persons who
apparently were traversing the verge of the precipice to bring them
assistance, sensible of the place in which they had found refuge. At
length their halloo was regularly and distinctly answered, and their
courage confirmed, by the assurance that they were within hearing, if not
within reach, of friendly assistance.




                             CHAPTER EIGHTH.

              There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
                 Looks fearfully on the confined deep;
                 Bring me but to the very brim of it,
              And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear.
                                    King Lear.

The shout of human voices from above was soon augmented, and the gleam of
torches mingled with those lights of evening which still remained amidst
the darkness of the storm. Some attempt was made to hold communication
between the assistants above and the sufferers beneath, who were still
clinging to their precarious place of safety; but the howling of the
tempest limited their intercourse to cries as inarticulate as those of
the winged denizens of the crag, which shrieked in chorus, alarmed by the
reiterated sound of human voices, where they had seldom been heard.

On the verge of the precipice an anxious group had now assembled. Oldbuck
was the foremost and most earnest, pressing forward with unwonted
desperation to the very brink of the crag, and extending his head (his
hat and wig secured by a handkerchief under his chin) over the dizzy
height, with an air of determination which made his more timorous
assistants tremble.

"Haud a care, haud a care, Monkbarns!" cried Caxon, clinging to the
skirts of his patron, and withholding him from danger as far as his
strength permitted--"God's sake, haud a care!--Sir Arthur's drowned
already, and an ye fa' over the cleugh too, there will be but ae wig left
in the parish, and that's the minister's."

"Mind the peak there," cried Mucklebackit, an old fisherman and smuggler
--"mind the peak--Steenie, Steenie Wilks, bring up the tackle--I'se
warrant we'll sune heave them on board, Monkbarns, wad ye but stand out
o' the gate."

"I see them," said Oldbuck--"I see them low down on that flat stone
--Hilli-hilloa, hilli-ho-a!"

"I see them mysell weel eneugh," said Mucklebackit; "they are sitting
down yonder like hoodie-craws in a mist; but d'yo think ye'll help them
wi' skirling that gate like an auld skart before a flaw o' weather?
--Steenie, lad, bring up the mast--Od, I'se hae them up as we used to
bouse up the kegs o' gin and brandy lang syne--Get up the pickaxe, make
a step for the mast--make the chair fast with the rattlin--haul taught
and belay!"

The fishers had brought with them the mast of a boat, and as half of the
country fellows about had now appeared, either out of zeal or curiosity,
it was soon sunk in the ground, and sufficiently secured. A yard across
the upright mast, and a rope stretched along it, and reeved through a
block at each end, formed an extempore crane, which afforded the means of
lowering an arm-chair, well secured and fastened, down to the flat shelf
on which the sufferers had roosted. Their joy at hearing the preparations
going on for their deliverance was considerably qualified when they
beheld the precarious vehicle by means of which they were to be conveyed
to upper air. It swung about a yard free of the spot which they occupied,
obeying each impulse of the tempest, the empty air all around it, and
depending upon the security of a rope, which, in the increasing darkness,
had dwindled to an almost imperceptible thread. Besides the hazard of
committing a human being to the vacant atmosphere in such a slight means
of conveyance, there was the fearful danger of the chair and its occupant
being dashed, either by the wind or the vibrations of the cord, against
the rugged face of the precipice. But to diminish the risk as much as
possible, the experienced seaman had let down with the chair another
line, which, being attached to it, and held by the persons beneath, might
serve by way of _gy,_ as Mucklebackit expressed it, to render its descent
in some measure steady and regular. Still, to commit one's self in such a
vehicle, through a howling tempest of wind and rain, with a beetling
precipice above and a raging abyss below, required that courage which
despair alone can inspire. Yet, wild as the sounds and sights of danger
were, both above, beneath, and around, and doubtful and dangerous as the
mode of escaping appeared to be, Lovel and the old mendicant agreed,
after a moment's consultation, and after the former, by a sudden strong
pull, had, at his own imminent risk, ascertained the security of the
rope, that it would be best to secure Miss Wardour in the chair, and
trust to the tenderness and care of those above for her being safely
craned up to the top of the crag.

"Let my father go first," exclaimed Isabella; "for God's sake, my
friends, place him first in safety!"

"It cannot be, Miss Wardour," said Lovel;--"your life must be first
secured--the rope which bears your weight may"--

"I will not listen to a reason so selfish!"

"But ye maun listen to it, my bonnie lassie," said Ochiltree, "for a' our
lives depend on it--besides, when ye get on the tap o' the heugh yonder,
ye can gie them a round guess o' what's ganging on in this Patmos o'
ours--and Sir Arthur's far by that, as I'm thinking."

Struck with the truth of this reasoning, she exclaimed, "True, most true;
I am ready and willing to undertake the first risk--What shall I say to
our friends above?"

"Just to look that their tackle does not graze on the face o' the crag,
and to let the chair down and draw it up hooly and fairly;--we will
halloo when we are ready."

With the sedulous attention of a parent to a child, Lovel bound Miss
Wardour with his handkerchief, neckcloth, and the mendicant's leathern
belt, to the back and arms of the chair, ascertaining accurately the
security of each knot, while Ochiltree kept Sir Arthur quiet. "What are
ye doing wi' my bairn?--what are ye doing?--She shall not be separated
from me--Isabel, stay with me, I command you!"

"Lordsake, Sir Arthur, haud your tongue, and be thankful to God that
there's wiser folk than you to manage this job," cried the beggar, worn
out by the unreasonable exclamations of the poor Baronet.

"Farewell, my father!" murmured Isabella--"farewell, my--my friends!" and
shutting her eyes, as Edie's experience recommended, she gave the signal
to Lovel, and he to those who were above. She rose, while the chair in
which she sate was kept steady by the line which Lovel managed beneath.
With a beating heart he watched the flutter of her white dress, until the
vehicle was on a level with the brink of the precipice.

"Canny now, lads, canny now!" exclaimed old Mucklebackit, who acted as
commodore; "swerve the yard a bit--Now--there! there she sits safe on dry
land."

A loud shout announced the successful experiment to her fellow-sufferers
beneath, who replied with a ready and cheerful halloo. Monkbarns, in his
ecstasy of joy, stripped his great-coat to wrap up the young lady, and
would have pulled off his coat and waistcoat for the same purpose, had he
not been withheld by the cautious Caxon. "Haud a care o' us! your honour
will be killed wi' the hoast--ye'll no get out o'your night-cowl this
fortnight--and that will suit us unco ill.--Na, na--there's the chariot
down by; let twa o' the folk carry the young leddy there."

"You're right," said the Antiquary, readjusting the sleeves and collar of
his coat, "you're right, Caxon; this is a naughty night to swim in.--Miss
Wardour, let me convey you to the chariot."

"Not for worlds till I see my father safe."

In a few distinct words, evincing how much her resolution had surmounted
even the mortal fear of so agitating a hazard, she explained the nature
of the situation beneath, and the wishes of Lovel and Ochiltree.

"Right, right, that's right too--I should like to see the son of Sir
Gamelyn de Guardover on dry land myself--I have a notion he would sign
the abjuration oath, and the Ragman-roll to boot, and acknowledge Queen
Mary to be nothing better than she should be, to get alongside my bottle
of old port that he ran away from, and left scarce begun. But he's safe
now, and here a' comes"--(for the chair was again lowered, and Sir Arthur
made fast in it, without much consciousness on his own part)--"here a'
comes--Bowse away, my boys! canny wi' him--a pedigree of a hundred links
is hanging on a tenpenny tow--the whole barony of Knockwinnock depends on
three plies of hemp--_respice finem, respice funem_--look to your end
--look to a rope's end.--Welcome, welcome, my good old friend, to firm
land, though I cannot say to warm land or to dry land. A cord for ever
against fifty fathom of water, though not in the sense of the base
proverb--a fico for the phrase,--better _sus. per funem,_ than _sus. per
coll._"

While Oldbuck ran on in this way, Sir Arthur was safely wrapped in the
close embraces of his daughter, who, assuming that authority which the
circumstances demanded, ordered some of the assistants to convey him to
the chariot, promising to follow in a few minutes, She lingered on the
cliff, holding an old countryman's arm, to witness probably the safety of
those whose dangers she had shared.

"What have we here?" said Oldbuck, as the vehicle once more ascended
--"what patched and weather-beaten matter is this?" Then as the torches
illumed the rough face and grey hairs of old Ochiltree,--"What! is it
thou?--Come, old Mocker, I must needs be friends with thee--but who the
devil makes up your party besides?"

"Ane that's weel worth ony twa o' us, Monkbarns;--it's the young stranger
lad they ca' Lovel--and he's behaved this blessed night as if he had
three lives to rely on, and was willing to waste them a' rather than
endanger ither folk's. Ca' hooly, sirs, as ye, wad win an auld man's
blessing!--mind there's naebody below now to haud the gy--Hae a care o'
the Cat's-lug corner--bide weel aff Crummie's-horn!"

"Have a care indeed," echoed Oldbuck. "What! is it my _rara avis_--my
black swan--my phoenix of companions in a post-chaise?--take care of
him, Mucklebackit."

"As muckle care as if he were a graybeard o' brandy; and I canna take
mair if his hair were like John Harlowe's.--Yo ho, my hearts! bowse away
with him!"

Lovel did, in fact, run a much greater risk than any of his precursors.
His weight was not sufficient to render his ascent steady amid such a
storm of wind, and he swung like an agitated pendulum at the mortal risk
of being dashed against the rocks. But he was young, bold, and active,
and, with the assistance of the beggar's stout piked staff, which he had
retained by advice of the proprietor, contrived to bear himself from the
face of the precipice, and the yet more hazardous projecting cliffs which
varied its surface. Tossed in empty space, like an idle and unsubstantial
feather, with a motion that agitated the brain at once with fear and with
dizziness, he retained his alertness of exertion and presence of mind;
and it was not until he was safely grounded upon the summit of the cliff,
that he felt temporary and giddy sickness. As he recovered from a sort of
half swoon, he cast his eyes eagerly around. The object which they would
most willingly have sought, was already in the act of vanishing. Her
white garment was just discernible as she followed on the path which her
father had taken. She had lingered till she saw the last of their company
rescued from danger, and until she had been assured by the hoarse voice
of Mucklebackit, that "the callant had come off wi' unbrizzed banes, and
that he was but in a kind of dwam." But Lovel was not aware that she had
expressed in his fate even this degree of interest,--which, though
nothing more than was due to a stranger who had assisted her in such an
hour of peril, he would have gladly purchased by braving even more
imminent danger than he had that evening been exposed to. The beggar she
had already commanded to come to Knockwinnock that night. He made an
excuse.--"Then to-morrow let me see you."

The old man promised to obey. Oldbuck thrust something into his hand
--Ochiltree looked at it by the torchlight, and returned it--"Na, na! I
never tak gowd--besides, Monkbarns, ye wad maybe be rueing it the morn."
Then turning to the group of fishermen and peasants--"Now, sirs, wha will
gie me a supper and some clean pease-strae?"

"I," "and I," "and I," answered many a ready voice.

"Aweel, since sae it is, and I can only sleep in ae barn at ance, I'll
gae down with Saunders Mucklebackit--he has aye a soup o' something
comfortable about his begging--and, bairns, I'll maybe live to put ilka
ane o' ye in mind some ither night that ye hae promised me quarters and
my awmous;" and away he went with the fisherman.

Oldbuck laid the band of strong possession on Lovel--"Deil a stride ye's
go to Fairport this night, young man--you must go home with me to
Monkbarns. Why, man, you have been a hero--a perfect Sir William Wallace,
by all accounts. Come, my good lad, take hold of my arm;--I am not a
prime support in such a wind--but Caxon shall help us out--Here, you old
idiot, come on the other side of me.--And how the deil got you down to
that infernal Bessy's-apron, as they call it? Bess, said they? Why, curse
her, she has spread out that vile pennon or banner of womankind, like all
the rest of her sex, to allure her votaries to death and headlong ruin."

"I have been pretty well accustomed to climbing, and I have long observed
fowlers practise that pass down the cliff."

"But how, in the name of all that is wonderful, came you to discover the
danger of the pettish Baronet and his far more deserving daughter?"

"I saw them from the verge of the precipice."

"From the verge!--umph--And what possessed you _dumosa pendere procul de
rupe?_--though _dumosa_ is not the appropriate epithet--what the deil,
man, tempted ye to the verge of the craig?"

"Why--I like to see the gathering and growling of a coming storm--or, in
your own classical language, Mr. Oldbuck, _suave est mari magno_--and so
forth--but here we reach the turn to Fairport. I must wish you
good-night."

"Not a step, not a pace, not an inch, not a shathmont, as I may say,--the
meaning of which word has puzzled many that think themselves antiquaries.
I am clear we should read _salmon-length_ for _shathmont's-length._ You
are aware that the space allotted for the passage of a salmon through a
dam, dike, or weir, by statute, is the length within which a full-grown
pig can turn himself round. Now I have a scheme to prove, that, as
terrestrial objects were thus appealed to for ascertaining submarine
measurement, so it must be supposed that the productions of the water
were established as gauges of the extent of land.--Shathmont--salmont
--you see the close alliance of the sounds; dropping out two _h_'s, and a
_t,_ and assuming an _l,_ makes the whole difference--I wish to heaven no
antiquarian derivation had demanded heavier concessions."

"But, my dear sir, I really must go home--I am wet to the skin."

"Shalt have my night-gown, man, and slippers, and catch the antiquarian
fever as men do the plague, by wearing infected garments. Nay, I know
what you would be at--you are afraid to put the old bachelor to charges.
But is there not the remains of that glorious chicken-pie--which, _meo
arbitrio,_ is better cold than hot--and that bottle of my oldest port,
out of which the silly brain-sick Baronet (whom I cannot pardon, since he
has escaped breaking his neck) had just taken one glass, when his infirm
noddle went a wool-gathering after Gamelyn de Guardover?"

So saying he dragged Lovel forward, till the Palmer's-port of Monkbarns
received them. Never, perhaps, had it admitted two pedestrians more
needing rest for Monkbarns's fatigue had been in a degree very contrary
to his usual habits, and his more young and robust companion had that
evening undergone agitation of mind which had harassed and wearied him
even more than his extraordinary exertions of body.




                             CHAPTER NINTH.

           "Be brave," she cried, "you yet may be our guest,
               Our haunted room was ever held the best.
               If, then, your valour can the sight sustain
               Of rustling curtains and the clinking chain
            If your courageous tongue have powers to talk,
            When round your bed the horrid ghost shall walk
               If you dare ask it why it leaves its tomb,
            I'll see your sheets well air'd, and show the Room."
                                        True Story.

The reached the room in which they had dined, and were clamorously
welcomed by Miss Oldbuck.

"Where's the younger womankind?" said the Antiquary.

"Indeed, brother, amang a' the steery, Maria wadna be guided by me she
set away to the Halket-craig-head--I wonder ye didna see her."

"Eh!--what--what's that you say, sister?--did the girl go out in a night
like this to the Halket-head?--Good God! the misery of the night is not
ended yet!"

"But ye winna wait, Monkbarns--ye are so imperative and impatient"--

"Tittle-tattle, woman," said the impatient and agitated Antiquary, "where
is my dear Mary?"

"Just where ye suld be yoursell, Monkbarns--up-stairs, and in her warm
bed."

"I could have sworn it," said Oldbuck laughing, but obviously much
relieved--"I could have sworn it;--the lazy monkey did not care if we
were all drowned together. Why did you say she went out?"

"But ye wadna wait to hear out my tale, Monkbarns--she gaed out, and she
came in again with the gardener sae sune as she saw that nane o' ye were
clodded ower the Craig, and that Miss Wardour was safe in the chariot;
she was hame a quarter of an hour syne, for it's now ganging ten--sair
droukit was she, puir thing, sae I e'en put a glass o' sherry in her
water-gruel."

"Right, Grizel, right--let womankind alone for coddling each other. But
hear me, my venerable sister--start not at the word venerable; it implies
many praiseworthy qualities besides age; though that too is honourable,
albeit it is the last quality for which womankind would wish to be
honoured--But perpend my words: let Lovel and me have forthwith the
relics of the chicken-pie, and the reversion of the port."

"The chicken-pie! the port!--ou dear! brother--there was but a wheen
banes, and scarce a drap o' the wine."

The Antiquary's countenance became clouded, though he was too well bred
to give way, in the presence of a stranger, to his displeased surprise at
the, disappearance of the viands on which he had reckoned with absolute
certainty. But his sister understood these looks of ire. "Ou dear!
Monkbarns, what's the use of making a wark?"

"I make no wark, as ye call it, woman."

"But what's the use o' looking sae glum and glunch about a pickle banes?
--an ye will hae the truth, ye maun ken the minister came in, worthy man
--sair distressed he was, nae doubt, about your precarious situation, as
he ca'd it (for ye ken how weel he's gifted wi' words), and here he wad
bide till he could hear wi' certainty how the matter was likely to gang
wi' ye a'--He said fine things on the duty of resignation to Providence's
will, worthy man! that did he."

Oldbuck replied, catching the same tone, "Worthy man!--he cared not how
soon Monkbarns had devolved on an heir-female, I've a notion;--and while
he was occupied in this Christian office of consolation against impending
evil, I reckon that the chicken-pie and my good port disappeared?"

"Dear brother, how can you speak of sic frivolities, when you have had
sic an escape from the craig?"

"Better than my supper has had from the minister's _craig,_ Grizzle--it's
all discussed, I suppose?"

"Hout, Monkbarns, ye speak as if there was nae mair meat in the house
--wad ye not have had me offer the honest man some slight refreshment
after his walk frae the manse?"

Oldbuck half-whistled, half-hummed, the end of the old Scottish ditty,

                 O, first they eated the white puddings,
                    And then they eated the black, O,
                 And thought the gudeman unto himsell,
                    The deil clink down wi' that, O!

His sister hastened to silence his murmurs, by proposing some of the
relies of the dinner. He spoke of another bottle of wine, but recommended
in preference a glass of brandy which was really excellent. As no
entreaties could prevail on Lovel to indue the velvet night-cap and
branched morning-gown of his host, Oldbuck, who pretended to a little
knowledge of the medical art, insisted on his going to bed as soon as
possible, and proposed to despatch a messenger (the indefatigable Caxon)
to Fairport early in the morning, to procure him a change of clothes.

This was the first intimation Miss Oldbuck had received that the young
stranger was to be their guest for the night; and such was the surprise
with which she was struck by a proposal so uncommon, that, had the
superincumbent weight of her bead-dress, such as we before described,
been less preponderant, her grey locks must have started up on end, and
hurled it from its position.

"Lord haud a care o' us!" exclaimed the astounded maiden.

"What's the matter now, Grizel?"

"Wad ye but just speak a moment, Monkbarns?"

"Speak!--what should I speak about? I want to get to my bed--and this
poor young fellow--let a bed be made ready for him instantly."

"A bed?--The Lord preserve us!" again ejaculated Grizel.

"Why, what's the matter now?--are there not beds and rooms enough in the
house?--was it not an ancient _hospitium,_ in which, I am warranted to
say, beds were nightly made down for a score of pilgrims?"

"O dear, Monkbarns! wha kens what they might do lang syne?--but in our
time--beds--ay, troth, there's beds enow sic as they are--and rooms enow
too--but ye ken yoursell the beds haena been sleepit in, Lord kens the
time, nor the rooms aired.--If I had kenn'd, Mary and me might hae gaen
down to the manse--Miss Beckie is aye fond to see us--(and sae is the
minister, brother)--But now, gude save us!"--

"Is there not the Green Room, Grizel?"

"Troth is there, and it is in decent order too, though naebody has
sleepit there since Dr. Heavysterne, and"--

"And what?"

"And what! I am sure ye ken yoursell what a night he had--ye wadna expose
the young gentleman to the like o' that, wad ye?"

Lovel interfered upon hearing this altercation, and protested he would
far rather walk home than put them to the least inconvenience--that the
exercise would be of service to him--that he knew the road perfectly, by
night or day, to Fairport--that the storm was abating, and so forth
--adding all that civility could suggest as an excuse for escaping from
a hospitality which seemed more inconvenient to his host than he could
possibly have anticipated. But the howling of the wind, and the pattering
of the rain against the windows, with his knowledge of the preceding
fatigues of the evening, must have prohibited Oldbuck, even had he
entertained less regard for his young friend than he really felt, from
permitting him to depart. Besides, he was piqued in honour to show that
he himself was not governed by womankind--"Sit ye down, sit ye down, sit
ye down, man," he reiterated;--"an ye part so, I would I might never draw
a cork again, and here comes out one from a prime bottle of--strong ale
--right _anno domini_--none of your Wassia Quassia decoctions, but brewed
of Monkbarns barley--John of the Girnel never drew a better flagon to
entertain a wandering minstrel, or palmer, with the freshest news from
Palestine.--And to remove from your mind the slightest wish to depart,
know, that if you do so, your character as a gallant knight is gone for
ever. Why, 'tis an adventure, man, to sleep in the Green Room at
Monkbarns.--Sister, pray see it got ready--And, although the bold
adventurer, Heavysterne, dree'd pain and dolour in that charmed
apartment, it is no reason why a gallant knight like you, nearly twice as
tall, and not half so heavy, should not encounter and break the spell."

"What! a haunted apartment, I suppose?"

"To be sure, to be sure--every mansion in this country of the slightest
antiquity has its ghosts and its haunted chamber, and you must not
suppose us worse off than our neighbours. They are going, indeed,
somewhat out of fashion. I have seen the day, when if you had doubted the
reality of a ghost in an old manor-house you ran the risk of being made a
ghost yourself, as Hamlet says.--Yes, if you had challenged the existence
of Redcowl in the Castle of Glenstirym, old Sir Peter Pepperbrand would
have had ye out to his court-yard, made you betake yourself to your
weapon, and if your trick of fence were not the better, would have
sticked you like a paddock, on his own baronial midden-stead. I once
narrowly escaped such an affray--but I humbled myself, and apologised to
Redcowl; for, even in my younger days, I was no friend to the
_monomachia,_ or duel, and would rather walk with Sir Priest than with
Sir Knight--I care not who knows so much of my valour. Thank God, I am
old now, and can indulge my irritabilities without the necessity of
supporting them by cold steel."

Here Miss Oldbuck re-entered, with a singularly sage expression of
countenance.--"Mr. Lovel's bed's ready, brother--clean sheets--weel aired
--a spunk of fire in the chimney--I am sure, Mr. Lovel," (addressing
him), "it's no for the trouble--and I hope you will have a good night's
rest--But"--

"You are resolved," said the Antiquary, "to do what you can to prevent
it."

"Me?--I am sure I have said naething, Monkbarns."

"My dear madam," said Lovel, "allow me to ask you the meaning of your
obliging anxiety on my account."

 "Ou, Monkbarns does not like to hear of it--but he kens himsell that the
room has an ill name. It's weel minded that it was there auld Rab Tull
the town-clerk was sleeping when he had that marvellous communication
about the grand law-plea between us and the feuars at the Mussel-craig.
--It had cost a hantle siller, Mr. Lovel; for law-pleas were no carried on
without siller lang syne mair than they are now--and the Monkbarns of
that day--our gudesire, Mr. Lovel, as I said before--was like to be
waured afore the Session for want of a paper--Monkbarns there kens weel
what paper it was, but I'se warrant he'll no help me out wi' my tale--but
it was a paper of great significance to the plea, and we were to be
waured for want o't. Aweel, the cause was to come on before the fifteen
--in presence, as they ca't--and auld Rab Tull, the town-clerk, he cam ower
to make a last search for the paper that was wanting, before our gudesire
gaed into Edinburgh to look after his plea--so there was little time to
come and gang on. He was but a doited snuffy body, Rab, as I've heard
--but then he was the town-clerk of Fairport, and the Monkbarns heritors
aye employed him on account of their connection wi' the burgh, ye ken."

"Sister Grizel, this is abominable," interrupted Oldbuck; "I vow to
Heaven ye might have raised the ghosts of every abbot of Trotcosey, since
the days of Waldimir, in the time you have been detailing the
introduction to this single spectre.--Learn to be succinct in your
narrative.--Imitate the concise style of old Aubrey, an experienced
ghost-seer, who entered his memoranda on these subjects in a terse
business-like manner; _exempli gratia_--At Cirencester, 5th March, 1670,
was an apparition.--Being demanded whether good spirit or bad, made no
answer, but instantly disappeared with a curious perfume, and a melodious
twang'--_Vide_ his Miscellanies, p. eighteen, as well as I can remember,
and near the middle of the page."

"O, Monkbarns, man! do ye think everybody is as book-learned as
yoursell?--But ye like to gar folk look like fools--ye can do that to Sir
Arthur, and the minister his very sell."

"Nature has been beforehand with me, Grizel, in both these instances, and
in another which shall be nameless--but take a glass of ale, Grizel, and
proceed with your story, for it waxes late."

"Jenny's just warming your bed, Monkbarns, and ye maun e'en wait till
she's done.--Weel, I was at the search that our gudesire, Monkbarns that
then was, made wi' auld Rab Tull's assistance;--but ne'er-be-licket could
they find that was to their purpose. Aud sae, after they bad touzled out
mony a leather poke-full o' papers, the town-clerk had his drap punch at
e'en to wash the dust out of his throat--we never were glass-breakers in
this house, Mr. Lovel, but the body bad got sic a trick of sippling and
tippling wi' the bailies and deacons when they met (which was amaist ilka
night) concerning the common gude o' the burgh, that he couldna weel
sleep without it--But his punch he gat, and to bed he gaed; and in the
middle of the night he got a fearfu' wakening!--he was never just himsell
after it, and he was strucken wi' the dead palsy that very day four
years. He thought, Mr. Lovel, that he heard the curtains o' his bed
fissil, and out he lookit, fancying, puir man, it might hae been the cat
--But he saw--God hae a care o' us! it gars my flesh aye creep, though I
hae tauld the story twenty times--he saw a weel-fa'ard auld gentleman
standing by his bedside, in the moonlight, in a queer-fashioned dress,
wi' mony a button and band-string about it, and that part o' his garments
which it does not become a leddy to particulareeze, was baith side and
wide, and as mony plies o't as of ony Hamburgh skipper's--He had a beard
too, and whiskers turned upwards on his upper-lip, as lang as baudrons'
--and mony mair particulars there were that Rab Tull tauld o', but they are
forgotten now--it's an auld story. Aweel, Rab was a just-living man for a
country writer--and he was less feared than maybe might just hae been
expected; and he asked in the name o' goodness what the apparition
wanted--and the spirit answered in an unknown tongue. Then Rab said he
tried him wi' Erse, for he cam in his youth frae the braes of Glenlivat
--but it wadna do. Aweel, in this strait, he bethought him of the twa or
three words o' Latin that he used in making out the town's deeds, and he
had nae sooner tried the spirit wi' that, than out cam sic a blatter o'
Latin about his lugs, that poor Rab Tull, wha was nae great scholar, was
clean overwhelmed. Od, but he was a bauld body, and he minded the Latin
name for the deed that he was wanting. It was something about a cart, I
fancy, for the ghaist cried aye, _Carter, carter_--"

"_Carta,_ you transformer of languages!" cried Oldbuck;--"if my ancestor
had learned no other language in the other world, at least he would not
forget the Latinity for which he was so famous while in this."

"Weel, weel, _carta_ be it then, but they ca'd it _carter_ that tell'd me
the story. It cried aye _carta,_ if sae be that it was _carta,_ and made
a sign to Rab to follow it. Rab Tull keepit a Highland heart, and banged
out o' bed, and till some of his readiest claes--and he did follow the
thing up stairs and down stairs to the place we ca' the high dow-cot--(a
sort of a little tower in the corner of the auld house, where there was a
Tickle o' useless boxes and trunks)--and there the ghaist gae Rab a kick
wi' the tae foot, and a kick wi' the tother, to that very auld
east-country tabernacle of a cabinet that my brother has standing beside
his library table, and then disappeared like a fuff o' tobacco, leaving
Rab in a very pitiful condition."

"_Tenues secessit in auras,_" quoth Oldbuck. "Marry, sir, _mansit odor_
--But, sure enough, the deed was there found in a drawer of this forgotten
repository, which contained many other curious old papers, now properly
labelled and arranged, and which seemed to have belonged to my ancestor,
the first possessor of Monkbarns. The deed, thus strangely recovered, was
the original Charter of Erection of the Abbey, Abbey Lands, and so forth,
of Trotcosey, comprehending Monkbarns and others, into a Lordship of
Regality in favour of the first Earl of Glengibber, a favourite of James
the Sixth. It is subscribed by the King at Westminster, the seventeenth
day of January, A. D. one thousand six hundred and twelve--thirteen. It's
not worth while to repeat the witnesses' names."

"I would rather," said Lovel with awakened curiosity, "I would rather
hear your opinion of the way in which the deed was discovered."

"Why, if I wanted a patron for my legend, I could find no less a one than
Saint Augustine, who tells the story of a deceased person appearing to
his son, when sued for a debt which had been paid, and directing him
where, to find the discharge.*

*Note D. Mr. Rutherford's dream.

But I rather opine with Lord Bacon, who says that imagination is much
akin to miracle-working faith. There was always some idle story of the
room being haunted by the spirit of Aldobrand Oldenbuck, my
great-great-great-grandfather--it's a shame to the English language that,
we have not a less clumsy way of expressing a relationship of which we
have occasion to think and speak so frequently. He was a foreigner, and
wore his national dress, of which tradition had preserved an accurate
description; and indeed there is a print of him, supposed to be by
Reginald Elstracke, pulling the press with his own hand, as it works off
the sheets of his scarce edition of the Augsburg Confession. He was a
chemist as well as a good mechanic, and either of these qualities in this
country was at that time sufficient to constitute a white witch at least.
This superstitious old writer had heard all this, and probably believed
it, and in his sleep the image and idea of my ancestor recalled that of
his cabinet, which, with the grateful attention to antiquities and the
memory of our ancestors not unusually met with, had been pushed into the
pigeon-house to be out of the way--Add a _quantum sufficit_ of
exaggeration, and you have a key to the whole mystery."

"O brother! brother! but Dr. Heavysterne, brother--whose sleep was so
sore broken, that he declared he wadna pass another night in the Green
Room to get all Monkbarns, so that Mary and I were forced to yield our"--

"Why, Grizel, the doctor is a good, honest, pudding-headed German, of
much merit in his own way, but fond of the mystical, like many of his
countrymen. You and he had a traffic the whole evening in which you
received tales of Mesmer, Shropfer, Cagliostro, and other modern
pretenders to the mystery of raising spirits, discovering hidden
treasure, and so forth, in exchange for your legends of the green
bedchamber;--and considering that the _Illustrissimus_ ate a pound and a
half of Scotch collops to supper, smoked six pipes, and drank ale and
brandy in proportion, I am not surprised at his having a fit of the
night-mare. But everything is now ready. Permit me to light you to your
apartment, Mr. Lovel--I am sure you have need of rest--and I trust my
ancestor is too sensible of the duties of hospitality to interfere with
the repose which you have so well merited by your manly and gallant
behaviour."

So saying, the Antiquary took up a bedroom candlestick of massive silver
and antique form, which, he observed, was wrought out of the silver found
in the mines of the Harz mountains, and had been the property of the very
personage who had supplied them with a subject for conversation. And
having so said, he led the way through many a dusky and winding passage,
now ascending, and anon descending again, until he came to the apartment
destined for his young guest.




                             CHAPTER TENTH.


                 When midnight o'er the moonless skies
                 Her pall of transient death has spread,
                 When mortals sleep, when spectres rise,
                   And none are wakeful but the dead;
                   No bloodless shape my way pursues,
                   No sheeted ghost my couch annoys,
                   Visions more sad my fancy views,--
                       Visions of long departed joys.
                                        W. R. Spenser.

When they reached the Green Room, as it was called, Oldbuck placed the
candle on the toilet table, before a huge mirror with a black japanned
frame, surrounded by dressing-boxes of the same, and looked around him
with something of a disturbed expression of countenance. "I am seldom in
this apartment," he said, "and never without yielding to a melancholy
feeling--not, of course, on account of the childish nonsense that Grizel
was telling you, but owing to circumstances of an early and unhappy
attachment. It is at such moments as these, Mr. Lovel, that we feel the
changes of time. The, same objects are before us--those inanimate things
which we have gazed on in wayward infancy and impetuous youth, in anxious
and scheming manhood--they are permanent and the same; but when we look
upon them in cold unfeeling old age, can we, changed in our temper, our
pursuits, our feelings--changed in our form, our limbs, and our
strength,--can we be ourselves called the same? or do we not rather look
back with a sort of wonder upon our former selves, as being separate and
distinct from what we now are? The philosopher who appealed from Philip
inflamed with wine to Philip in his hours of sobriety, did not choose a
judge so different, as if he had appealed from Philip in his youth to
Philip in his old age. I cannot but be touched with the feeling so
beautifully expressed in a poem which I have heard repeated:*

*Probably Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads had not as yet been published.

                   My eyes are dim with childish tears,
                       My heart is idly stirred,
                   For the same sound is in my ears
                      Which in those days I heard.

                   Thus fares it still in our decay;
                        And yet the wiser mind
                   Mourns less for what time takes away,
                       Than what he leaves behind.

Well, time cures every wound, and though the scar may remain and
occasionally ache, yet the earliest agony of its recent infliction is
felt no more."--So saying, he shook Lovel cordially by the hand, wished
him good-night, and took his leave.

Step after step Lovel could trace his host's retreat along the various
passages, and each door which he closed behind him fell with a sound more
distant and dead. The guest, thus separated from the living world, took
up the candle and surveyed the apartment.

The fire blazed cheerfully. Mrs. Grizel's attention had left some fresh
wood, should he choose to continue it, and the apartment had a
comfortable, though not a lively appearance. It was hung with tapestry,
which the looms of Arras had produced in the sixteenth century, and which
the learned typographer, so often mentioned, had brought with him as a
sample of the arts of the Continent. The subject was a hunting-piece; and
as the leafy boughs of the forest-trees, branching over the tapestry,
formed the predominant colour, the apartment had thence acquired its name
of the Green Chamber. Grim figures in the old Flemish dress, with slashed
doublets covered with ribbands, short cloaks, and trunk-hose, were
engaged in holding grey-hounds, or stag-hounds, in the leash, or cheering
them upon the objects of their game. Others, with boar-spears, swords,
and old-fashioned guns, were attacking stags or boars whom they had
brought to bay. The branches of the woven forest were crowded with fowls
of various kinds, each depicted with its proper plumage. It seemed as if
the prolific and rich invention of old Chaucer had animated the Flemish
artist with its profusion, and Oldbuck had accordingly caused the
following verses, from that ancient and excellent poet, to be embroidered
in Gothic letters, on a sort of border which he had added to the
tapestry:-

              Lo! here be oakis grete, streight as a line,
              Under the which the grass, so fresh of line,
              Be'th newly sprung--at eight foot or nine.
              Everich tree well from his fellow grew,
              With branches broad laden with leaves new,
              That sprongen out against the sonne sheene,
              Some golden red and some a glad bright green.

And in another canton was the following similar legend:--

                  And many an hart and many an hind,
                    Was both before me, and behind.
                  Of fawns, sownders, bucks and does,
                    Was full the wood and many roes,
                    And many squirrels that ysate
                    High on the trees and nuts ate.

The bed was of a dark and faded green, wrought to correspond with the
tapestry, but by a more modern and less skilful hand. The large and heavy
stuff-bottomed chairs, with black ebony backs, were embroidered after the
same pattern, and a lofty mirror, over the antique chimney-piece,
corresponded in its mounting with that on the old-fashioned toilet.

"I have heard," muttered Lovel, as he took a cursory view of the room and
its furniture, "that ghosts often chose the best room in the mansion to
which they attached themselves; and I cannot disapprove of the taste of
the disembodied printer of the Augsburg Confession." But he found it so
difficult to fix his mind upon the stories which had been told him of an
apartment with which they seemed so singularly to correspond, that he
almost regretted the absence of those agitated feelings, half fear half
curiosity, which sympathise with the old legends of awe and wonder, from
which the anxious reality of his own hopeless passion at present detached
him. For he now only felt emotions like those expressed in the lines,--

                 Ah! cruel maid, how hast thou changed
                        The temper of my mind!
                 My heart, by thee from all estranged,
                        Becomes like thee unkind.

He endeavoured to conjure up something like the feelings which would, at
another time, have been congenial to his situation, but his heart had no
room for these vagaries of imagination. The recollection of Miss Wardour,
determined not to acknowledge him when compelled to endure his society,
and evincing her purpose to escape from it, would have alone occupied his
imagination exclusively. But with this were united recollections more
agitating if less painful,--her hair-breadth escape--the fortunate
assistance which he had been able to render her--Yet what was his
requital? She left the cliff while his fate was yet doubtful--while it
was uncertain whether her preserver had not lost the life which he had
exposed for her so freely. Surely gratitude, at least, called for some
little interest in his fate--But no--she could not be selfish or unjust
--it was no part of her nature. She only desired to shut the door against
hope, and, even in compassion to him, to extinguish a passion which she
could never return.

But this lover-like mode of reasoning was not likely to reconcile him to
his fate, since the more amiable his imagination presented Miss Wardour,
the more inconsolable he felt he should be rendered by the extinction of
his hopes. He was, indeed, conscious of possessing the power of removing
her prejudices on some points; but, even in extremity, he determined to
keep the original determination which he had formed, of ascertaining that
she desired an explanation, ere he intruded one upon her. And, turn the
matter as he would, he could not regard his suit as desperate. There was
something of embarrassment as well as of grave surprise in her look when
Oldbuck presented him--and, perhaps, upon second thoughts, the one was
assumed to cover the other. He would not relinquish a pursuit which had
already cost him such pains. Plans, suiting the romantic temper of the
brain that entertained them, chased each other through his head, thick
and irregular as the motes of the sun-beam, and, long after he had laid
himself to rest, continued to prevent the repose which he greatly needed.
Then, wearied by the uncertainty and difficulties with which each scheme
appeared to be attended, he bent up his mind to the strong effort of
shaking off his love, "like dew-drops from the lion's mane," and resuming
those studies and that career of life which his unrequited affection had
so long and so fruitlessly interrupted. In this last resolution he
endeavoured to fortify himself by every argument which pride, as well as
reason, could suggest. "She shall not suppose," he said, "that, presuming
on an accidental service to her or to her father, I am desirous to
intrude myself upon that notice, to which, personally, she considered me
as having no title. I will see her no more. I will return to the land
which, if it affords none fairer, has at least many as fair, and less
haughty than Miss Wardour. Tomorrow I will bid adieu to these northern
shores, and to her who is as cold and relentless as her climate." When he
had for some time brooded over this sturdy resolution, exhausted nature
at length gave way, and, despite of wrath, doubt, and anxiety, he sank
into slumber.

It is seldom that sleep, after such violent agitation, is either sound or
refreshing. Lovel's was disturbed by a thousand baseless and confused
visions. He was a bird--he was a fish--or he flew like the one, and swam
like the other,--qualities which would have been very essential to his
safety a few hours before. Then Miss Wardour was a syren, or a bird of
Paradise; her father a triton, or a sea-gull; and Oldbuck alternately a
porpoise and a cormorant. These agreeable imaginations were varied by all
the usual vagaries of a feverish dream;--the air refused to bear the
visionary, the water seemed to burn him--the rocks felt like down pillows
as he was dashed against them--whatever he undertook, failed in some
strange and unexpected manner--and whatever attracted his attention,
underwent, as he attempted to investigate it, some wild and wonderful
metamorphosis, while his mind continued all the while in some degree
conscious of the delusion, from which it in vain struggled to free itself
by awaking;--feverish symptoms all, with which those who are haunted by
the night-hag, whom the learned call Ephialtes, are but too well
acquainted. At length these crude phantasmata arranged themselves into
something more regular, if indeed the imagination of Lovel, after he
awoke (for it was by no means the faculty in which his mind was least
rich), did not gradually, insensibly, and unintentionally, arrange in
better order the scene of which his sleep presented, it may be, a less
distinct outline. Or it is possible that his feverish agitation may have
assisted him in forming the vision.

Leaving this discussion to the learned, we will say, that after a
succession of wild images, such as we have above described, our hero, for
such we must acknowledge him, so far regained a consciousness of locality
as to remember where he was, and the whole furniture of the Green Chamber
was depicted to his slumbering eye. And here, once more, let me protest,
that if there should be so much old-fashioned faith left among this
shrewd and sceptical generation, as to suppose that what follows was an
impression conveyed rather by the eye than by the imagination, I do not
impugn their doctrine. He was, then, or imagined himself, broad awake in
the Green Chamber, gazing upon the flickering and occasional flame which
the unconsumed remnants of the faggots sent forth, as, one by one, they
fell down upon the red embers, into which the principal part of the
boughs to which they belonged had crumbled away. Insensibly the legend of
Aldobrand Oldenbuck, and his mysterious visits to the inmates of the
chamber, awoke in his mind, and with it, as we often feel in dreams, an
anxious and fearful expectation, which seldom fails instantly to summon
up before our mind's eye the object of our fear. Brighter sparkles of
light flashed from the chimney, with such intense brilliancy as to
enlighten all the room. The tapestry waved wildly on the wall, till its
dusky forms seemed to become animated. The hunters blew their horns--the
stag seemed to fly, the boar to resist, and the hounds to assail the one
and pursue the other; the cry of deer, mangled by throttling dogs--the
shouts of men, and the clatter of horses' hoofs, seemed at once to
surround him--while every group pursued, with all the fury of the chase,
the employment in which the artist had represented them as engaged. Lovel
looked on this strange scene devoid of wonder (which seldom intrudes
itself upon the sleeping fancy), but with an anxious sensation of awful
fear. At length an individual figure among the tissued huntsmen, as he
gazed upon them more fixedly, seemed to leave the arras and to approach
the bed of the slumberer. As he drew near, his figure appeared to alter.
His bugle-horn became a brazen clasped volume; his hunting-cap changed to
such a furred head-gear as graces the burgomasters of Rembrandt; his
Flemish garb remained but his features, no longer agitated with the fury
of the chase, were changed to such a state of awful and stern composure,
as might best portray the first proprietor of Monkbarns, such as he had
been described to Lovel by his descendants in the course of the preceding
evening. As this metamorphosis took place, the hubbub among the other
personages in the arras disappeared from the imagination of the dreamer,
which was now exclusively bent on the single figure before him. Lovel
strove to interrogate this awful person in the form of exorcism proper
for the occasion; but his tongue, as is usual in frightful dreams,
refused its office, and clung, palsied, to the roof of his mouth.
Aldobrand held up his finger, as if to impose silence upon the guest who
had intruded on his apartment, and began deliberately to unclasp the
venerable, volume which occupied his left hand. When it was unfolded, he
turned over the leaves hastily for a short space, and then raising his
figure to its full dimensions, and holding the book aloft in his left
hand, pointed to a passage in the page which he thus displayed. Although
the language was unknown to our dreamer, his eye and attention were both
strongly caught by the line which the figure seemed thus to press upon
his notice, the words of which appeared to blaze with a supernatural
light, and remained riveted upon has memory. As the vision shut his
volume, a strain of delightful music seemed to fill the apartment--Lovel
started, and became completely awake. The music, however, was still in
his ears, nor ceased till he could distinctly follow the measure of an
old Scottish tune.

He sate up in bed, and endeavoured to clear his brain of the phantoms
which had disturbed it during this weary night. The beams of the morning
sun streamed through the half-closed shutters, and admitted a distinct
light into the apartment. He looked round upon the hangings,--but the
mixed groups of silken and worsted huntsmen were as stationary as
tenter-hooks could make them, and only trembled slightly as the early
breeze, which found its way through an open crevice of the latticed
window, glided along their surface. Lovel leapt out of bed, and, wrapping
himself in a morning-gown, that had been considerately laid by his
bedside, stepped towards the window, which commanded a view of the sea,
the roar of whose billows announced it still disquieted by the storm of
the preceding evening, although the morning was fair and serene. The
window of a turret, which projected at an angle with the wall, and thus
came to be very near Lovel's apartment, was half-open, and from that
quarter he heard again the same music which had probably broken short his
dream. With its visionary character it had lost much of its charms--it
was now nothing more than an air on the harpsichord, tolerably well
performed--such is the caprice of imagination as affecting the fine arts.
A female voice sung, with some taste and great simplicity, something
between a song and a hymn, in words to the following effect:--

                 "Why sitt'st thou by that ruin'd hill,
                  Thou aged carle so stern and grey?
                  Dost thou its former pride recall,
                     Or ponder how it passed away?

             "Know'st thou not me!" the Deep Voice cried,
                   "So long enjoyed, so oft misused--
                    Alternate, in thy fickle pride,
                    Desired, neglected, and accused?

                "Before my breath, like, blazing flax,
                    Man and his marvels pass away;
                    And changing empires wane and wax,
                   Are founded, flourish and decay.

                "Redeem mine hours--the space is brief--
                While in my glass the sand-grains shiver,
                   And measureless thy joy or grief,
                When Time and thou shalt part for ever!"

While the verses were yet singing, Lovel had returned to his bed; the
train of ideas which they awakened was romantic and pleasing, such as his
soul delighted in, and, willingly adjourning till more broad day the
doubtful task of determining on his future line of conduct, he abandoned
himself to the pleasing languor inspired by the music, and fell into a
sound and refreshing sleep, from which he was only awakened at a late
hour by old Caxon, who came creeping into the room to render the offices
of a valet-de-chambre.

"I have brushed your coat, sir," said the old man, when he perceived
Lovel was awake; "the callant brought it frae Fairport this morning, for
that ye had on yesterday is scantly feasibly dry, though it's been a'
night at the kitchen fire; and I hae cleaned your shoon. I doubt ye'll no
be wanting me to tie your hair, for" (with a gentle sigh) "a' the young
gentlemen wear crops now; but I hae the curling tangs here to gie it a
bit turn ower the brow, if ye like, before ye gae down to the leddies."

Lovel, who was by this time once more on his legs, declined the old man's
professional offices, but accompanied the refusal with such a douceur as
completely sweetened Caxon's mortification.

"It's a pity he disna get his hair tied and pouthered," said the ancient
friseur, when he had got once more into the kitchen, in which, on one
pretence or other, he spent three parts of his idle time--that is to say,
of his _whole_ time--"it's a great pity, for he's a comely young
gentleman."

"Hout awa, ye auld gowk," said Jenny Rintherout, "would ye creesh his
bonny brown hair wi' your nasty ulyie, and then moust it like the auld
minister's wig? Ye'll be for your breakfast, I'se warrant?--hae, there's
a soup parritch for ye--it will set ye better tae be slaistering at them
and the lapper-milk than meddling wi' Mr. Lovel's head--ye wad spoil the
maist natural and beautifaest head o' hair in a' Fairport, baith burgh
and county."

The poor barber sighed over the disrespect into which his art had so
universally fallen, but Jenny was a person too important to offend by
contradiction; so, sitting quietly down in the kitchen, he digested at
once his humiliation, and the contents of a bicker which held a Scotch
pint of substantial oatmeal porridge.



                            CHAPTER ELEVENTH.


            Sometimes he thinks that Heaven this pageant sent,
               And ordered all the pageants as they went;
             Sometimes that only 'twas wild Fancy's play,--
               The loose and scattered relics of the day.

We must now request our readers to adjourn to the breakfast parlour of
Mr. Oldbuck, who, despising the modern slops of tea and coffee, was
substantially regaling himself, _more majorum,_ with cold roast-beef, and
a glass of a sort of beverage called _mum_--a species of fat ale, brewed
from wheat and bitter herbs, of which the present generation only know
the name by its occurrence in revenue acts of parliament, coupled with
cider, perry, and other excisable commodities. Lovel, who was seduced to
taste it, with difficulty refrained from pronouncing it detestable, but
_did_ refrain, as he saw he should otherwise give great offence to his
host, who had the liquor annually prepared with peculiar care, according
to the approved recipe bequeathed to him by the so-often mentioned
Aldobrand Oldenbuck. The hospitality of the ladies offered Lovel a
breakfast more suited to modern taste, and while he was engaged in
partaking of it, he was assailed by indirect inquiries concerning the
manner in which he had passed the night.

"We canna compliment Mr. Lovel on his looks this morning, brother--but he
winna condescend on any ground of disturbance he has had in the night
time. I am certain he looks very pale, and when he came here he was as
fresh as a rose."

"Why, sister, consider this rose of yours has been knocked about by sea
and wind all yesterday evening, as if he had been a bunch of kelp or
tangle, and how the devil would you have him retain his colour?"

"I certainly do still feel somewhat fatigued," said Lovel,
"notwithstanding the excellent accommodations with which your hospitality
so amply supplied me."

"Ah, sir!" said Miss Oldbuck looking at him with a knowing smile, or what
was meant to be one, "ye'll not allow of ony inconvenience, out of
civility to us."

"Really, madam," replied Lovel, "I had no disturbance; for I cannot term
such the music with which some kind fairy favoured me."

"I doubted Mary wad waken you wi' her skreighing; she dinna ken I had
left open a chink of your window, for, forbye the ghaist, the Green Room
disna vent weel in a high wind--But I am judging ye heard mair than
Mary's lilts yestreen. Weel, men are hardy creatures--they can gae
through wi' a' thing. I am sure, had I been to undergo ony thing of that
nature,--that's to say that's beyond nature--I would hae skreigh'd out at
once, and raised the house, be the consequence what liket--and, I dare
say, the minister wad hae done as mickle, and sae I hae tauld him,--I ken
naebody but my brother, Monkbarns himsell, wad gae through the like o't,
if, indeed, it binna you, Mr. Lovel."

"A man of Mr. Oldbuck's learning, madam," answered the questioned party,
"would not be exposed to the inconvenience sustained by the Highland
gentleman you mentioned last night."

"Ay, ay--ye understand now where the difficulty lies. Language? he has
ways o' his ain wad banish a' thae sort o' worricows as far as the
hindermost parts of Gideon" (meaning possibly Midian), "as Mr.
Blattergowl says--only ane widna be uncivil to ane's forbear, though he
be a ghaist. I am sure I will try that receipt of yours, brother, that ye
showed me in a book, if onybody is to sleep in that room again, though I
think, in Christian charity, ye should rather fit up the matted-room
--it's a wee damp and dark, to be sure, but then we hae sae seldom
occasion for a spare bed."

"No, no, sister;--dampness and darkness are worse than spectres--ours are
spirits of light, and I would rather have you try the spell."

"I will do that blythely, Monkbarns, an I had the ingredients, as my
cookery book ca's them--There was _vervain_ and _dill_--I mind that
--Davie Dibble will ken about them, though, maybe, he'll gie them Latin
names--and Peppercorn, we hae walth o' them, for"--

"Hypericon, thou foolish woman!" thundered Oldbuck; "d'ye suppose you're
making a haggis--or do you think that a spirit, though he be formed of
air, can be expelled by a receipt against wind?--This wise Grizel of
mine, Mr. Lovel, recollects (with what accuracy you may judge) a charm
which I once mentioned to her, and which, happening to hit her
superstitious noddle, she remembers better than anything tending to a
useful purpose, I may chance to have said for this ten years. But many an
old woman besides herself"--

"Auld woman, Monkbarns!" said Miss Oldbuck, roused something above her
usual submissive tone; "ye really are less than civil to me."

"Not less than just, Grizel: however, I include in the same class many a
sounding name, from Jamblichus down to Aubrey, who have wasted their time
in devising imaginary remedies for non-existing diseases.--But I hope, my
young friend, that, charmed or uncharmed--secured by the potency of
Hypericon,

                      With vervain and with dill,
                      That hinder witches of their will,

or left disarmed and defenceless to the inroads of the invisible world,
you will give another night to the terrors of the haunted apartment, and
another day to your faithful and feal friends."

"I heartily wish I could, but"--

"Nay, but me no _buts_--I have set my heart upon it."

"I am greatly obliged, my dear sir, but"--

"Look ye there, now--_but_ again!--I hate _but;_ I know no form of
expression in which he can appear, that is amiable, excepting as a _butt_
of sack. But is to me a more detestable combination of letters than _no_
itself._No_ is a surly, honest fellow--speaks his mind rough and round at
once._But_ is a sneaking, evasive, half-bred, exceptuous sort of a
conjunction, which comes to pull away the cup just when it is at your
lips--

                             --it does allay
                The good precedent--fie upon _but yet!_
                _But yet_ is as a jailor to bring forth
                         Some monstrous malefactor."

"Well, then," answered Lovel, whose motions were really undetermined at
the moment, "you shall not connect the recollection of my name with so
churlish a particle. I must soon think of leaving Fairport, I am afraid
--and I will, since you are good enough to wish it, take this opportunity
of spending another day here."

"And you shall be rewarded, my boy. First, you shall see John o' the
Girnel's grave, and then we'll walk gently along the sands, the state of
the tide being first ascertained (for we will have no more Peter Wilkins'
adventures, no more Glum and Gawrie work), as far as Knockwinnock Castle,
and inquire after the old knight and my fair foe--which will but be
barely civil, and then"--

"I beg pardon, my dear sir; but, perhaps, you had better adjourn your
visit till to-morrow--I am a stranger, you know."

"And are, therefore, the more bound to show civility, I should suppose.
But I beg your pardon for mentioning a word that perhaps belongs only to
a collector of antiquities--I am one of the old school,


  When courtiers galloped o'er four counties
  The ball's fair partner to behold,
  And humbly hope she caught no cold."

"Why, if--if--if you thought it would be expected--but I believe I had
better stay."

"Nay, nay, my good friend, I am not so old-fashioned as to press you to
what is disagreeable, neither--it is sufficient that I see there is some
_remora,_ some cause of delay, some mid impediment, which I have no title
to inquire into. Or you are still somewhat tired, perhaps;--I warrant I
find means to entertain your intellects without fatiguing your limbs--I
am no friend to violent exertion myself--a walk in the garden once a-day
is exercise, enough for any thinking being--none but a fool or a
fox-hunter would require more. Well, what shall we set about?--my Essay
on Castrametation--but I have that in _petto_ for our afternoon cordial;
--or I will show you the controversy upon Ossian's Poems between
Mac-Cribb and me. I hold with the acute Orcadian--he with the defenders
of the authenticity;--the controversy began in smooth, oily, lady-like
terms, but is now waxing more sour and eager as we get on--it already
partakes somewhat of old Scaliger's style. I fear the rogue will get some
scent of that story of Ochiltree's--but at worst, I have a hard repartee
for him on the affair of the abstracted Antigonus--I will show you his
last epistle and the scroll of my answer--egad, it is a trimmer!"

So saying, the Antiquary opened a drawer, and began rummaging among a
quantity of miscellaneous papers, ancient and modern. But it was the
misfortune of this learned gentleman, as it may be that of many learned
and unlearned, that he frequently experienced, on such occasions, what
Harlequin calls _l'embarras des richesses;_ in other words, the abundance
of his collection often prevented him from finding the article he sought
for. "Curse the papers!--I believe," said Oldbuck, as he shuffled them to
and fro--"I believe they make themselves wings like grasshoppers, and fly
away bodily--but here, in the meanwhile, look at that little treasure."
So saying, he put into his hand a case made of oak, fenced at the corner
with silver roses and studs--"Pr'ythee, undo this button," said he, as he
observed Lovel fumbling at the clasp. He did so,--the lid opened, and
discovered a thin quarto, curiously bound in black shagreen--"There, Mr.
Lovel--there is the work I mentioned to you last night--the rare quarto
of the Augsburg Confession, the foundation at once and the bulwark of the
Reformation drawn up by the learned and venerable Melancthon, defended by
the Elector of Saxony, and the other valiant hearts who stood up for
their faith, even against the front of a powerful and victorious emperor,
and imprinted by the scarcely less venerable and praiseworthy Aldobrand
Oldenbuck, my happy progenitor, during the yet more tyrannical attempts
of Philip II. to suppress at once civil and religious liberty. Yes, sir
--for printing this work, that eminent man was expelled from his
ungrateful country, and driven to establish his household gods even here
at Monkbarns, among the ruins of papal superstition and domination.
--Look upon his venerable effigies, Mr. Lovel, and respect the honourable
occupation in which it presents him, as labouring personally at the
press for the diffusion of Christian and political knowledge.--And see
here his favourite motto, expressive of his independence and self-
reliance, which scorned to owe anything to patronage that was not earned
by desert--expressive also of that firmness of mind and tenacity of
purpose recommended by Horace. He was indeed a man who would have stood
firm, had his whole printing-house, presses, fonts, forms, great and
small pica, been shivered to pieces around him--Read, I say, his motto,
--for each printer had his motto, or device, when that illustrious art
was first practised. My ancestor's was expressed, as you see, in the
Teutonic phrase, Kunst macht Gunst--that is, skill, or prudence, in
availing ourselves of our natural talents and advantages, will compel
favour and patronage, even where it is withheld from prejudice or
ignorance."

"And that," said Lovel, after a moment's thoughtful silence--"that, then,
is the meaning of these German words?"

"Unquestionably. You perceive the appropriate application to a
consciousness of inward worth, and of eminence in a useful and honourable
art.--Each printer in those days, as I have already informed you, had his
device, his impresa, as I may call it, in the same manner as the doughty
chivalry of the age, who frequented tilt and tournament. My ancestor
boasted as much in his, as if he had displayed it over a conquered field
of battle, though it betokened the diffusion of knowledge, not the
effusion of blood. And yet there is a family tradition which affirms him
to have chosen it from a more romantic circumstance."

"And what is that said to have been, my good sir?" inquired his young
friend.

"Why, it rather encroaches on my respected predecessor's fame for
prudence and wisdom--_Sed semel insanivimus omnes_--everybody has played
the fool in their turn. It is said, my ancestor, during his
apprenticeship with the descendant of old Faust, whom popular tradition
hath sent to the devil under the name of Faustus, was attracted by a
paltry slip of womankind, his master's daughter, called Bertha--they
broke rings, or went through some idiotical ceremony, as is usual on such
idle occasions as the plighting of a true-love troth, and Aldobrand set
out on his journey through Germany, as became an honest _hand-werker;_
for such was the custom of mechanics at that time, to make a tour through
the empire, and work at their trade for a time in each of the most
eminent towns, before they finally settled themselves for life. It was a
wise custom; for, as such travellers were received like brethren in each
town by those of their own handicraft, they were sure, in every case, to
have the means either of gaining or communicating knowledge. When my
ancestor returned to Nuremburg, he is said to have found his old master
newly dead, and two or three gallant young suitors, some of them
half-starved sprigs of nobility forsooth, in pursuit of the _Yung-fraw_
Bertha, whose father was understood to have bequeathed her a dowry which
might weigh against sixteen armorial quarters. But Bertha, not a bad
sample of womankind, had made a vow she would only marry that man who
would work her father's press. The skill, at that time, was as rare as
wonderful; besides that the expedient rid her at once of most of her
_gentle_ suitors, who would have as soon wielded a conjuring wand as a
composing stick. Some of the more ordinary typographers made the attempt:
but none were sufficiently possessed of the mystery--But I tire you."

"By no means; pray, proceed, Mr. Oldbuck--I listen with uncommon
interest."

"Ah! it is all folly. However--Aldobrand arrived in the ordinary dress,
as we would say, of a journeyman printer--the same in which he had
traversed Germany, and conversed with Luther, Melancthon, Erasmus, and
other learned men, who disdained not his knowledge, and the power he
possessed of diffusing it, though hid under a garb so homely. But what
appeared respectable in the eyes of wisdom, religion, learning, and
philosophy, seemed mean, as might readily be supposed, and disgusting, in
those of silly and affected womankind, and Bertha refused to acknowledge
her former lover, in the torn doublet, skin cap, clouted shoes, and
leathern apron, of a travelling handicraftsman or mechanic. He claimed
his privilege, however, of being admitted to a trial; and when the rest
of the suitors had either declined the contest, or made such work as the
devil could not read if his pardon depended on it, all eyes were bent on
the stranger. Aldobrand stepped gracefully forward, arranged the types
without omission of a single letter, hyphen, or comma, imposed them
without deranging a single space, and pulled off the first proof as clear
and free from errors, as if it had been a triple revise! All applauded
the worthy successor of the immortal Faustus--the blushing maiden
acknowledged her error in trusting to the eye more than the intellect
--and the elected bridegroom thenceforward chose for his impress or device
the appropriate words, _Skill wins favour._'--But what is the matter with
you?--you are in a brown study! Come, I told you this was but trumpery
conversation for thinking people--and now I have my hand on the Ossianic
Controversy."

"I beg your pardon," said Lovel; "I am going to appear very silly and
changeable in your eyes, Mr. Oldbuck--but you seemed to think Sir Arthur
might in civility expect a call from me?"

"Psha! psha! I can make your apology; and if you must leave us so soon as
you say, what signifies how you stand in his honours good graces?--And I
warn you that the Essay on Castrametation is something prolix, and will
occupy the time we can spare after dinner, so you may lose the Ossianic
Controversy if we do not dedicate this morning to it. We will go out to
my ever-green bower, my sacred holly-tree yonder, and have it _fronde
super viridi._

               Sing heigh-ho! heigh-ho! for the green holly,
         Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.

But, egad," continued the old gentleman, "when I look closer at you, I
begin to think you may be of a different opinion. Amen with all my heart
--I quarrel with no man's hobby, if he does not run it a tilt against
mine, and if he does--let him beware his eyes. What say you?--in the
language of the world and worldlings base, if you can condescend to so
mean a sphere, shall we stay or go?"

"In the language of selfishness, then, which is of course the language of
the world--let us go by all means."

"Amen, amen, quo' the Earl Marshall," answered Oldbuck, as he exchanged
his slippers for a pair of stout walking shoes, with _cutikins,_ as he
called them, of black cloth. He only interrupted the walk by a slight
deviation to the tomb of John o' the Girnel, remembered as the last
bailiff of the abbey who had resided at Monkbarns. Beneath an old
oak-tree upon a hillock, sloping pleasantly to the south, and catching a
distant view of the sea over two or three rich enclosures, and the
Mussel-crag, lay a moss-grown stone, and, in memory of the departed
worthy, it bore an inscription, of which, as Mr. Oldbuck affirmed (though
many doubted), the defaced characters could be distinctly traced to the
following effect:--

                    Here lyeth John o' ye Girnell;
                Erth has ye nit, and heuen ye kirnell.
                 In hys tyme ilk wyfe's hennis clokit,
             Ilka gud mannis herth wi' bairnis was stokit.
              He deled a boll o' bear in firlottis fyve,
        Four for ye halie kirke, and ane for puir mennis wyvis.

"You see how modest the author of this sepulchral commendation was;--he
tells us that honest John could make five firlots, or quarters, as you
would say, out of the boll, instead of four,--that he gave the fifth to
the wives of the parish, and accounted for the other four to the abbot
and chapter--that in his time the wives' hens always laid eggs--and devil
thank them, if they got one-fifth of the abbey rents; and that honest
men's hearths were never unblest with offspring--an addition to the
miracle, which they, as well as I, must have considered as perfectly
unaccountable. But come on--leave we Jock o' the Girnel, and let us jog
on to the yellow sands, where the sea, like a repulsed enemy, is now
retreating from the ground on which he gave us battle last night."

Thus saying, he led the way to the sands. Upon the links or downs close
to them, were seen four or five huts inhabited by fishers, whose boats,
drawn high upon the beach, lent the odoriferous vapours of pitch melting
under a burning sun, to contend with those of the offals of fish and
other nuisances usually collected round Scottish cottages. Undisturbed by
these complicated steams of abomination, a middle-aged woman, with a face
which had defied a thousand storms, sat mending a net at the door of one
of the cottages. A handkerchief close bound about her head, and a coat
which had formerly been that of a man, gave her a masculine air, which
was increased by her strength, uncommon stature, and harsh voice. "What
are ye for the day, your honour?" she said, or rather screamed, to
Oldbuck; "caller haddocks and whitings--a bannock-fluke and a
cock-padle."

"How much for the bannock-fluke and cock-padle?" demanded the Antiquary.

"Four white shillings and saxpence," answered the Naiad.

"Four devils and six of their imps!" retorted the Antiquary; "do you
think I am mad, Maggie?"

"And div ye think," rejoined the virago, setting her arms akimbo, "that
my man and my sons are to gae to the sea in weather like yestreen and the
day--sic a sea as it's yet outby--and get naething for their fish, and be
misca'd into the bargain, Monkbarns? It's no fish ye're buying--it's
men's lives."

"Well, Maggie, I'll bid you fair--I'll bid you a shilling for the fluke
and the cock-padle, or sixpence separately--and if all your fish are as
well paid, I think your man, as you call him, and your sons, will make a
good voyage."

"Deil gin their boat were knockit against the Bell-Rock rather! it wad be
better, and the bonnier voyage o' the twa. A shilling for thae twa bonnie
fish! Od, that's ane indeed!"

"Well, well, you old beldam, carry your fish up to Monkbarns, and see
what my sister will give you for them."

"Na, na, Monkbarns, deil a fit--I'll rather deal wi' yoursell; for though
you're near enough, yet Miss Grizel has an unco close grip--I'll gie ye
them" (in a softened tone) "for three-and-saxpence."

"Eighteen-pence, or nothing!"

"Eighteen-pence!!!" (in a loud tone of astonishment, which declined into
a sort of rueful whine, when the dealer turned as if to walk away)--"Yell
no be for the fish then?"--(then louder, as she saw him moving off)
--"I'll gie ye them--and--and--and a half-a-dozen o' partans to make the
sauce, for three shillings and a dram."

"Half-a-crown then, Maggie, and a dram."

"Aweel, your honour maun hae't your ain gate, nae doubt; but a dram's
worth siller now--the distilleries is no working."

"And I hope they'll never work again in my time," said Oldbuck.

"Ay, ay--it's easy for your honour, and the like o' you gentle-folks to
say sae, that hae stouth and routh, and fire and fending and meat and
claith, and sit dry and canny by the fireside--but an ye wanted fire, and
meat, and dry claes, and were deeing o' cauld, and had a sair heart,
whilk is warst ava', wi' just tippence in your pouch, wadna ye be glad to
buy a dram wi't, to be eilding and claes, and a supper and heart's ease
into the bargain, till the morn's morning?"

"It's even too true an apology, Maggie. Is your goodman off to sea this
morning, after his exertions last night?"

"In troth is he, Monkbarns; he was awa this morning by four o'clock, when
the sea was working like barm wi' yestreen's wind, and our bit coble
dancing in't like a cork."

"Well, he's an industrious fellow. Carry the fish up to Monkbarns."

"That I will--or I'll send little Jenny, she'll rin faster; but I'll ca'
on Miss Grizzy for the dram mysell, and say ye sent me."

A nondescript animal, which might have passed for a mermaid, as it was
paddling in a pool among the rocks, was summoned ashore by the shrill
screams of its dam; and having been made decent, as her mother called it,
which was performed by adding a short red cloak to a petticoat, which was
at first her sole covering, and which reached scantily below her knee,
the child was dismissed with the fish in a basket, and a request on the
part of Monkbarns that they might be prepared for dinner. "It would have
been long," said Oldbuck, with much self-complacency, "ere my womankind
could have made such a reasonable bargain with that old skin-flint,
though they sometimes wrangle with her for an hour together under my
study window, like three sea-gulls screaming and sputtering in a gale of
wind. But come, wend we on our way to Knockwinnock."




                            CHAPTER TWELFTH.


              Beggar?--the only freeman of your commonwealth;
              Free above Scot-free, that observe no laws,
                   Obey no governor, use no religion
           But what they draw from their own ancient custom,
           Or constitute themselves, yet they are no rebels.
                                            Brome.

With our reader's permission, we will outstep the slow, though sturdy
pace of the Antiquary, whose halts, as he, turned round to his companion
at every moment to point out something remarkable in the landscape, or to
enforce some favourite topic more emphatically than the exercise of
walking permitted, delayed their progress considerably.

Notwithstanding the fatigues and dangers of the preceding evening, Miss
Wardour was able to rise at her usual hour, and to apply herself to her
usual occupations, after she had first satisfied her anxiety concerning
her father's state of health. Sir Arthur was no farther indisposed than
by the effects of great agitation and unusual fatigue, but these were
sufficient to induce him to keep his bedchamber.

To look back on the events of the preceding day, was, to Isabella, a very
unpleasing retrospect. She owed her life, and that of her father, to the
very person by whom, of all others, she wished least to be obliged,
because she could hardly even express common gratitude towards him
without encouraging hopes which might be injurious to them both. "Why
should it be my fate to receive such benefits, and conferred at so much
personal risk, from one whose romantic passion I have so unceasingly
laboured to discourage? Why should chance have given him this advantage
over me? and why, oh why, should a half-subdued feeling in my own bosom,
in spite of my sober reason, almost rejoice that he has attained it?"

While Miss Wardour thus taxed herself with wayward caprice, she, beheld
advancing down the avenue, not her younger and more dreaded preserver,
but the old beggar who had made such a capital figure in the melodrama of
the preceding evening.

She rang the bell for her maid-servant. "Bring the old man up stairs."

The servant returned in a minute or two--"He will come up at no rate,
madam;--he says his clouted shoes never were on a carpet in his life, and
that, please God, they never shall.--Must I take him into the servants'
hall?"

"No; stay, I want to speak with him--Where is he?" for she had lost sight
of him as he approached the house.

"Sitting in the sun on the stone-bench in the court, beside the window of
the flagged parlour."

"Bid him stay there--I'll come down to the parlour, and speak with him at
the window."

She came down accordingly, and found the mendicant half-seated,
half-reclining, upon the bench beside the window. Edie Ochiltree, old man
and beggar as he was, had apparently some internal consciousness of the
favourable, impressions connected with his tall form, commanding
features, and long white beard and hair. It used to be remarked of him,
that he was seldom seen but in a posture which showed these personal
attributes to advantage. At present, as he lay half-reclined, with his
wrinkled yet ruddy cheek, and keen grey eye turned up towards the sky,
his staff and bag laid beside him, and a cast of homely wisdom and
sarcastic irony in the expression of his countenance, while he gazed for
a moment around the court-yard, and then resumed his former look upward,
he might have been taken by an artist as the model of an old philosopher
of the Cynic school, musing upon the frivolity of mortal pursuits, and
the precarious tenure of human possessions, and looking up to the source
from which aught permanently good can alone be derived. The young lady,
as she presented her tall and elegant figure at the open window, but
divided from the court-yard by a grating, with which, according to the
fashion of ancient times, the lower windows of the castle were secured,
gave an interest of a different kind, and might be supposed, by a
romantic imagination, an imprisoned damsel communicating a tale of her
durance to a palmer, in order that he might call upon the gallantry of
every knight whom he should meet in his wanderings, to rescue her from
her oppressive thraldom.

After Miss Wardour had offered, in the terms she thought would be most
acceptable, those thanks which the beggar declined as far beyond his
merit, she began to express herself in a manner which she supposed would
speak more feelingly to his apprehension. "She did not know," she said,
"what her father intended particularly to do for their preserver, but
certainly it would be something that would make him easy for life; if he
chose to reside at the castle, she would give orders"--

The old man smiled, and shook his head. "I wad be baith a grievance and a
disgrace to your fine servants, my leddy, and I have never been a
disgrace to onybody yet, that I ken of."

"Sir Arthur would give strict orders"--

"Ye're very kind--I doubtna, I doubtna; but there are some things a
master can command, and some he canna--I daresay he wad gar them keep
hands aff me--(and troth, I think they wad hardly venture on that ony
gate)--and he wad gar them gie me my soup parritch and bit meat. But trow
ye that Sir Arthur's command could forbid the gibe o' the tongue or the
blink o' the ee, or gar them gie me my food wi' the look o' kindness that
gars it digest sae weel, or that he could make them forbear a' the
slights and taunts that hurt ane's spirit mair nor downright misca'ing?
--Besides, I am the idlest auld carle that ever lived; I downa be bound
down to hours o' eating and sleeping; and, to speak the honest truth, I
wad be a very bad example in ony weel regulated family."

"Well, then, Edie, what do you think of a neat cottage and a garden, and
a daily dole, and nothing to do but to dig a little in your garden when
you pleased yourself?"

"And how often wad that be, trow ye, my leddy? maybe no ance atween
Candlemas and Yule and if a' thing were done to my hand, as if I was Sir
Arthur himsell, I could never bide the staying still in ae place, and
just seeing the same joists and couples aboon my head night after night.-
-And then I have a queer humour o' my ain, that sets a strolling beggar
weel eneugh, whase word naebody minds--but ye ken Sir Arthur has odd sort
o' ways--and I wad be jesting or scorning at them--and ye wad be angry,
and then I wad be just fit to hang mysell."

"O, you are a licensed man," said Isabella; "we shall give you all
reasonable scope: So you had better be ruled, and remember your age."

"But I am no that sair failed yet," replied the mendicant. "Od, ance I
gat a wee soupled yestreen, I was as yauld as an eel. And then what wad
a' the country about do for want o' auld Edie Ochiltree, that brings news
and country cracks frae ae farm-steading to anither, and gingerbread to
the lasses, and helps the lads to mend their fiddles, and the gudewives
to clout their pans, and plaits rush-swords and grenadier caps for the
weans, and busks the laird's flees, and has skill o' cow-ills and
horse-ills, and kens mair auld sangs and tales than a' the barony
besides, and gars ilka body laugh wherever he comes? Troth, my leddy, I
canna lay down my vocation; it would be a public loss."

"Well, Edie, if your idea of your importance is so strong as not to be
shaken by the prospect of independence"--

"Na, na, Miss--it's because I am mair independent as I am," answered the
old man; "I beg nae mair at ony single house than a meal o' meat, or
maybe but a mouthfou o't--if it's refused at ae place, I get it at
anither--sae I canna be said to depend on onybody in particular, but just
on the country at large."

"Well, then, only promise me that you will let me know should you ever
wish to settle as you turn old, and more incapable of making your usual
rounds; and, in the meantime, take this."

"Na, na, my leddy: I downa take muckle siller at ance--it's against our
rule; and--though it's maybe no civil to be repeating the like o' that
--they say that siller's like to be scarce wi' Sir Arthur himsell, and
that he's run himsell out o' thought wi' his honkings and minings for
lead and copper yonder."

Isabella had some anxious anticipations to the same effect, but was
shocked to hear that her father's embarrassments were such public talk;
as if scandal ever failed to stoop upon so acceptable a quarry as the
failings of the good man, the decline of the powerful, or the decay of
the prosperous.--Miss Wardour sighed deeply--"Well, Edie, we have enough
to pay our debts, let folks say what they will, and requiting you is one
of the foremost--let me press this sum upon you."

"That I might be robbed and murdered some night between town and town?
or, what's as bad, that I might live in constant apprehension o't?--I am
no"--(lowering his voice to a whisper, and looking keenly around him)--"I
am no that clean unprovided for neither; and though I should die at the
back of a dyke, they'll find as muckle quilted in this auld blue gown as
will bury me like a Christian, and gie the lads and lasses a blythe
lykewake too; sae there's the gaberlunzie's burial provided for, and I
need nae mair. Were the like o' me ever to change a note, wha the deil
d'ye think wad be sic fules as to gie me charity after that?--it wad flee
through the country like wildfire, that auld Edie suld hae done siccan a
like thing, and then, I'se warrant, I might grane my heart out or onybody
wad gie me either a bane or a bodle."

"Is there nothing, then, that I can do for you?"

"Ou ay--I'll aye come for my awmous as usual,--and whiles I wad be fain
o' a pickle sneeshin, and ye maun speak to the constable and
ground-officer just to owerlook me; and maybe ye'll gie a gude word for
me to Sandie Netherstanes, the miller, that he may chain up his muckle
dog--I wadna hae him to hurt the puir beast, for it just does its office
in barking at a gaberlunzie like me. And there's ae thing maybe mair,
--but ye'll think it's very bald o' the like o' me to speak o't."

"What is it, Edie?--if it respects you it shall be done if it is in my
power."

"It respects yoursell, and it is in your power, and I maun come out wi't.
Ye are a bonny young leddy, and a gude ane, and maybe a weel-tochered
ane--but dinna ye sneer awa the lad Lovel, as ye did a while sinsyne on
the walk beneath the Briery-bank, when I saw ye baith, and heard ye too,
though ye saw nae me. Be canny wi' the lad, for he loes ye weel, and it's
to him, and no to anything I could have done for you, that Sir Arthur and
you wan ower yestreen."

He uttered these words in a low but distinct tone of voice; and without
waiting for an answer, walked towards a low door which led to the
apartments of the servants, and so entered the house.

Miss Wardour remained for a moment or two in the situation in which she
had heard the old man's last extraordinary speech, leaning, namely,
against the bars of the window; nor could she determine upon saying even
a single word, relative to a subject so delicate, until the beggar was
out of sight. It was, indeed, difficult to determine what to do. That her
having had an interview and private conversation with this young and
unknown stranger, should be a secret possessed by a person of the last
class in which a young lady would seek a confidant, and at the mercy of
one who was by profession gossip-general to the whole neighbourhood, gave
her acute agony. She had no reason, indeed, to suppose that the old man
would wilfully do anything to hurt her feelings, much less to injure her;
but the mere freedom of speaking to her upon such a subject, showed, as
might have been expected, a total absence of delicacy; and what he might
take it into his head to do or say next, that she was pretty sure so
professed an admirer of liberty would not hesitate to do or say without
scruple. This idea so much hurt and vexed her, that she half-wished the
officious assistance of Lovel and Ochiltree had been absent upon the
preceding evening.

While she was in this agitation of spirits, she suddenly observed Oldbuck
and Lovel entering the court. She drew instantly so far back from the
window, that she could without being seen, observe how the Antiquary
paused in front of the building, and pointing to the various scutcheons
of its former owners, seemed in the act of bestowing upon Lovel much
curious and erudite information, which, from the absent look of his
auditor, Isabella might shrewdly guess was entirely thrown away. The
necessity that she should take some resolution became instant and
pressing;--she rang, therefore, for a servant, and ordered him to show
the visitors to the drawing-room, while she, by another staircase, gained
her own apartment, to consider, ere she made her appearance, what line of
conduct were fittest for her to pursue. The guests, agreeably to her
instructions, were introduced into the room where company was usually
received.




                           CHAPTER THIRTEENTH.


                     --The time was that I hated thee,
                And yet it is not that I bear thee love.
                Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
                            I will endure--
                But do not look for further recompense.
                                        As You Like It.

Miss Isabella Wardour's complexion was considerably heightened, when,
after the delay necessary to arrange her ideas, she presented herself in
the drawing-room.

"I am glad you are come, my fair foe," said the Antiquary greeting her
with much kindness, "for I have had a most refractory, or at least
negligent auditor, in my young friend here, while I endeavoured to make
him acquainted with the history of Knockwinnock Castle. I think the
danger of last night has mazed the poor lad. But you, Miss Isabel,--why,
you look as if flying through the night air had been your natural and
most congenial occupation; your colour is even better than when you
honoured my _hospitium_ yesterday. And Sir Arthur--how fares my good old
friend?"

"Indifferently well, Mr. Oldbuck; but I am afraid, not quite able to
receive your congratulations, or to pay--to pay--Mr. Lovel his thanks for
his unparalleled exertions."

"I dare say not--A good down pillow for his good white head were more
meet than a couch so churlish as Bessy's-apron, plague on her!"

"I had no thought of intruding," said Lovel, looking upon the ground, and
speaking with hesitation and suppressed emotion; "I did not--did not mean
to intrude upon Sir Arthur or Miss Wardour the presence of one who--who
must necessarily be unwelcome--as associated, I mean, with painful
reflections."

"Do not think my father so unjust and ungrateful," said Miss Wardour. "I
dare say," she continued, participating in Lovel's embarrassment--"I dare
say--I am certain--that my father would be happy to show his gratitude
--in any way--that is, which Mr. Lovel could consider it as proper to
point out."

"Why the deuce," interrupted Oldbuck, "what sort of a qualification is
that?--On my word, it reminds me of our minister, who, choosing, like a
formal old fop as he is, to drink to my sister's inclinations, thought it
necessary to add the saving clause, Provided, madam, they be virtuous.
Come, let us have no more of this nonsense--I dare say Sir Arthur will
bid us welcome on some future day. And what news from the kingdom of
subterranean darkness and airy hope?--What says the swart spirit of the
mine? Has Sir Arthur had any good intelligence of his adventure lately in
Glen-Withershins?"

Miss Wardour shook her head--"But indifferent, I fear, Mr. Oldbuck; but
there lie some specimens which have lately been sent down."

"Ah! my poor dear hundred pounds, which Sir Arthur persuaded me to give
for a share in that hopeful scheme, would have bought a porter's load of
mineralogy--But let me see them."

And so saying, he sat down at the table in the recess, on which the
mineral productions were lying, and proceeded to examine them, grumbling
and pshawing at each which he took up and laid aside.

In the meantime, Lovel, forced as it were by this secession of Oldbuck,
into a sort of tete-a'-tete with Miss Wardour, took an opportunity of
addressing her in a low and interrupted tone of voice. "I trust Miss
Wardour will impute, to circumstances almost irresistible, this intrusion
of a person who has reason to think himself--so unacceptable a visitor."

"Mr. Lovel," answered Miss Wardour, observing the same tone of caution,
"I trust you will not--I am sure you are incapable of abusing the
advantages given to you by the services you have rendered us, which, as
they affect my father, can never be sufficiently acknowledged or repaid.
Could Mr. Lovel see me without his own peace being affected--could he see
me as a friend--as a sister--no man will be--and, from all I have ever
heard of Mr. Lovel, ought to be, more welcome but"--

Oldbuck's anathema against the preposition _but_ was internally echoed by
Lovel. "Forgive me if I interrupt you, Miss Wardour; you need not fear my
intruding upon a subject where I have been already severely repressed;
--but do not add to the severity of repelling my sentiments the rigour of
obliging me to disavow them."

"I am much embarrassed, Mr. Lovel," replied the young lady, "by your--I
would not willingly use a strong word--your romantic and hopeless
pertinacity. It is for yourself I plead, that you would consider the
calls which your country has upon your talents--that you will not waste,
in an idle and fanciful indulgence of an ill-placed predilection, time,
which, well redeemed by active exertion, should lay the foundation of
future distinction. Let me entreat that you would form a manly
resolution"--

"It is enough, Miss Wardour;--I see plainly that"--

"Mr. Lovel, you are hurt--and, believe me, I sympathize in the pain which
I inflict; but can I, in justice to myself, in fairness to you, do
otherwise? Without my father's consent, I never will entertain the
addresses of any one, and how totally impossible it is that he should
countenance the partiality with which you honour me, you are yourself
fully aware; and, indeed"--

"No, Miss Wardour," answered Lovel, in a tone of passionate entreaty; "do
not go farther--is it not enough to crush every hope in our present
relative situation?--do not carry your resolutions farther--why urge what
would be your conduct if Sir Arthur's objections could be removed?"

"It is indeed vain, Mr. Lovel," said Miss Wardour, "because their removal
is impossible; and I only wish, as your friend, and as one who is obliged
to you for her own and her father's life, to entreat you to suppress this
unfortunate attachment--to leave a country which affords no scope for
your talents, and to resume the honourable line of the profession which
you seem to have abandoned."

"Well, Miss Wardour, your wishes shall be obeyed;--have patience with me
one little month, and if, in the course of that space, I cannot show you
such reasons for continuing my residence at Fairport, as even you shall
approve of, I will bid adieu to its vicinity, and, with the same breath,
to all my hopes of happiness."

"Not so, Mr. Lovel; many years of deserved happiness, founded on a more
rational basis than your present wishes, are, I trust, before, you. But
it is full time, to finish this conversation. I cannot force you to adopt
my advice--I cannot shut the door of my father's house against the
preserver of his life and mine; but the sooner Mr. Lovel can teach his
mind to submit to the inevitable disappointment of wishes which have been
so rashly formed, the more highly be will rise in my esteem--and, in the
meanwhile, for his sake as well as mine, he must excuse my putting an
interdict upon conversation on a subject so painful."

A servant at this moment announced that Sir Arthur desired to speak to
Mr. Oldbuck in his dressing-room.

"Let me show you the way," said Miss Wardour, who apparently dreaded a
continuation of her tete-a-tete with Lovel, and she conducted the
Antiquary accordingly to her father's apartment.

Sir Arthur, his legs swathed in flannel, was stretched on the couch.
"Welcome, Mr. Oldbuck," he said; "I trust you have come better off than
I have done from the inclemency of yesterday evening?"

"Truly, Sir Arthur, I was not so much exposed to it--I kept _terra
firma_--you fairly committed yourself to the cold night-air in the most
literal of all senses. But such adventures become a gallant knight better
than a humble esquire,--to rise on the wings of the night-wind--to dive
into the bowels of the earth. What news from our subterranean Good Hope!
--the _terra incognita_ of Glen-Withershins?"

"Nothing good as yet," said the Baronet, turning himself hastily, as if
stung by a pang of the gout; "but Dousterswivel does not despair."

"Does he not?" quoth Oldbuck; "I do though, under his favour. Why, old
Dr. H--n* told me, when I was in Edinburgh, that we should never find
copper enough, judging from the specimens I showed him, to make a pair of
sixpenny knee-buckles--and I cannot see that those samples on the table
below differ much in quality."

* Probably Dr. Hutton, the celebrated geologist.

"The learned doctor is not infallible, I presume?"

"No; but he is one of our first chemists; and this tramping philosopher
of yours--this Dousterswivel--is, I have a notion, one, of those learned
adventurers described by Kirchner, _Artem habent sine arte, partem sine
parte, quorum medium est mentiri, vita eorum mendicatum ire;_ that is to
say, Miss Wardour"--

"It is unnecessary to translate," said Miss Wardour--"I comprehend your
general meaning; but I hope Mr. Dousterswivel will turn out a more
trustworthy character."

"I doubt it not a little," said the Antiquary,--"and we are a foul way
out if we cannot discover this infernal vein that he has prophesied about
these two years."

"_You_ have no great interest in the matter, Mr. Oldbuck," said the
Baronet.

"Too much, too much, Sir Arthur; and yet, for the sake of my fair foe
here, I would consent to lose it all so you had no more on the venture."

There was a painful silence of a few moments, for Sir Arthur was too
proud to acknowledge the downfall of his golden dreams, though he could
no longer disguise to himself that such was likely to be the termination
of the adventure. "I understand," he at length said, "that the young
gentleman, to whose gallantry and presence of mind we were so much
indebted last night, has favoured me with a visit--I am distressed that I
am unable to see him, or indeed any one, but an old friend like you, Mr.
Oldbuck."

A declination of the Antiquary's stiff backbone acknowledged the
preference.

"You made acquaintance with this young gentleman in Edinburgh, I
suppose?"

Oldbuck told the circumstances of their becoming known to each other.

"Why, then, my daughter is an older acquaintance, of Mr. Lovel than you
are," said the Baronet.

"Indeed! I was not aware of that," answered Oldbuck somewhat surprised.

"I met Mr. Lovel," said Isabella, slightly colouring, "when I resided
this last spring with my aunt, Mrs. Wilmot."

"In Yorkshire?--and what character did he bear then, or how was he
engaged?" said Oldbuck,--"and why did not you recognise him when I
introduced you?"

Isabella answered the least difficult question, and passed over the
other--"He had a commission in the army, and had, I believe, served with
reputation; he was much respected, as an amiable and promising young
man."

"And pray, such being the case," replied the Antiquary, not disposed to
take one reply in answer to two distinct questions, "why did you not
speak to the lad at once when you met him at my house? I thought you had
less of the paltry pride of womankind about you, Miss Wardour."

"There was a reason for it," said Sir Arthur with dignity; "you know the
opinions--prejudices, perhaps you will call them--of our house concerning
purity of birth. This young gentleman is, it seems, the illegitimate son
of a man of fortune; my daughter did not choose to renew their
acquaintance till she should know whether I approved of her holding any
intercourse with him."

"If it had been with his mother instead of himself," answered Oldbuck,
with his usual dry causticity of humour, "I could see an excellent reason
for it. Ah, poor lad! that was the cause, then, that he seemed so absent
and confused while I explained to him the reason of the bend of bastardy
upon the shield yonder under the corner turret!"

"True," said the Baronet, with complacency--"it is the shield of Malcolm
the Usurper, as he is called. The tower which he built is termed, after
him, Malcolm's Tower, but more frequently Misticot's Tower, which I
conceive to be a corruption for _Misbegot._ He is denominated, in the
Latin pedigree of our family, _Milcolumbus Nothus;_ and his temporary
seizure of our property, and most unjust attempt to establish his own
illegitimate line in the estate of Knockwinnock, gave rise to such family
feuds and misfortunes, as strongly to found us in that horror and
antipathy to defiled blood and illegitimacy which has been handed down to
me from my respected ancestry."

"I know the story," said Oldbuck, "and I was telling it to Lovel this
moment, with some of the wise maxims and consequences which it has
engrafted on your family politics. Poor fellow! he must have been much
hurt: I took the wavering of his attention for negligence, and was
something piqued at it, and it proves to be only an excess of feeling. I
hope, Sir Arthur, you will not think the less of your life because it has
been preserved by such assistance?"

"Nor the less of my assistant either," said the Baronet; "my doors and
table shall be equally open to him as if he had descended of the most
unblemished lineage."

"Come, I am glad of that--he'll know where he can get a dinner, then, if
he wants one. But what views can he have in this neighbourhood? I must
catechise him; and if I find he wants it--or, indeed, whether he does or
not--he shall have my best advice." As the Antiquary made this liberal
promise, he took his leave of Miss Wardour and her father, eager to
commence operations upon Mr. Lovel. He informed him abruptly that Miss
Wardour sent her compliments, and remained in attendance on her father,
and then, taking him by the arm, he led him out of the castle.

Knockwinnock still preserved much of the external attributes of a
baronial castle. It had its drawbridge, though now never drawn up, and
its dry moat, the sides of which had been planted with shrubs, chiefly of
the evergreen tribes. Above these rose the old building, partly from a
foundation of red rock scarped down to the sea-beach, and partly from the
steep green verge of the moat. The trees of the avenue have been already
mentioned, and many others rose around of large size,--as if to confute
the prejudice that timber cannot be raised near to the ocean. Our walkers
paused, and looked back upon the castle, as they attained the height of a
small knoll, over which lay their homeward road; for it is to be supposed
they did not tempt the risk of the tide by returning along the sands. The
building flung its broad shadow upon the tufted foliage of the shrubs
beneath it, while the front windows sparkled in the sun. They were viewed
by the gazers with very different feelings. Lovel, with the fond
eagerness of that passion which derives its food and nourishment from
trifles, as the chameleon is said to live on the air, or upon the
invisible insects which it contains, endeavoured to conjecture which of
the numerous windows belonged to the apartment now graced by Miss
Wardour's presence. The speculations of the Antiquary were of a more
melancholy cast, and were partly indicated by the ejaculation of _cito
peritura!_ as he turned away from the prospect. Lovel, roused from his
reverie, looked at him as if to inquire the meaning of an exclamation so
ominous. The old man shook his head. "Yes, my young friend," said he, "I
doubt greatly--and it wrings my heart to say it--this ancient family is
going fast to the ground!"

"Indeed!" answered Lovel--"you surprise me greatly."

"We harden ourselves in vain," continued the Antiquary, pursuing his own
train of thought and feeling--"we harden ourselves in vain to treat with
the indifference they deserve, the changes of this trumpery whirligig
world. We strive ineffectually to be the self-sufficing invulnerable
being, the _teres atque rotundus_ of the poet;--the stoical exemption
which philosophy affects to give us over the pains and vexations of human
life, is as imaginary as the state of mystical quietism and perfection
aimed at by some crazy enthusiasts."

"And Heaven forbid that it should be otherwise!" said Lovel, warmly
--"Heaven forbid that any process of philosophy were capable so to sear
and indurate our feelings, that nothing should agitate them but what
arose instantly and immediately out of our own selfish interests! I
would as soon wish my hand to be as callous as horn, that it might
escape an occasional cut or scratch, as I would be ambitious of the
stoicism which should render my heart like a piece of the nether
millstone."

The Antiquary regarded his youthful companion with a look half of pity,
half of sympathy, and shrugged up his shoulders as he replied--"Wait,
young man--wait till your bark has been battered by the storm of sixty
years of mortal vicissitude: you will learn by that time, to reef your
sails, that she may obey the helm;--or, in the language of this world,
you will find distresses enough, endured and to endure, to keep your
feelings and sympathies in full exercise, without concerning yourself
more in the fate of others than you cannot possibly avoid."

"Well, Mr. Oldbuck, it may be so;--but as yet I resemble you more in your
practice than in your theory, for I cannot help being deeply interested
in the fate of the family we have just left."

"And well you may," replied Oldbuck. "Sir Arthur's embarrassments have of
late become so many and so pressing, that I am surprised you have not
heard of them. And then his absurd and expensive operations carried on by
this High-German landlouper, Dousterswivel"--

"I think I have seen that person, when, by some rare chance, I happened
to be in the coffee-room at Fairport;--a tall, beetle-browed,
awkward-built man, who entered upon scientific subjects, as it appeared
to my ignorance at least, with more assurance than knowledge--was very
arbitrary in laying down and asserting his opinions, and mixed the terms
of science with a strange jargon of mysticism. A simple youth whispered
me that he was an _Illumine',_ and carried on an intercourse with the
invisible world."

"O, the same--the same. He has enough of practical knowledge to speak
scholarly and wisely to those of whose intelligence he stands in awe;
and, to say the truth, this faculty, joined to his matchless impudence,
imposed upon me for some time when I first knew him. But I have since
understood, that when he is among fools and womankind, he exhibits
himself as a perfect charlatan--talks of the _magisterium_--of sympathies
and antipathies--of the cabala--of the divining-rod--and all the trumpery
with which the Rosicrucians cheated a darker age, and which, to our
eternal disgrace, has in some degree revived in our own. My friend
Heavysterne know this fellow abroad, and unintentionally (for he, you
must know, is, God bless the mark! a sort of believer) let me into a good
deal of his real character. Ah! were I caliph for a day, as Honest Abon
Hassan wished to be, I would scourge me these jugglers out of the
commonwealth with rods of scorpions. They debauch the spirit of the
ignorant and credulous with mystical trash, as effectually as if they had
besotted their brains with gin, and then pick their pockets with the same
facility. And now has this strolling blackguard and mountebank put the
finishing blow to the ruin of an ancient and honourable family!"

"But how could he impose upon Sir Arthur to any ruinous extent?"

"Why, I don't know. Sir Arthur is a good honourable gentleman; but, as
you may see from his loose ideas concerning the Pikish language, he is by
no means very strong in the understanding. His estate is strictly
entailed, and he has been always an embarrassed man. This rapparee
promised him mountains of wealth, and an English company was found to
advance large sums of money--I fear on Sir Arthur's guarantee. Some
gentlemen--I was ass enough to be one--took small shares in the concern,
and Sir Arthur himself made great outlay; we were trained on by specious
appearances and more specious lies; and now, like John Bunyan, we awake,
and behold it is a dream!"

"I am surprised that you, Mr. Oldbuck, should have encouraged Sir Arthur
by your example."

"Why," said Oldbuck, dropping his large grizzled eyebrow, "I am something
surprised and ashamed at it myself; it was not the lucre of gain--nobody
cares less for money (to be a prudent man) than I do--but I thought I
might risk this small sum. It will be expected (though I am sure I cannot
see why) that I should give something to any one who will be kind enough
to rid me of that slip of womankind, my niece, Mary M'Intyre; and perhaps
it may be thought I should do something to get that jackanapes, her
brother, on in the army. In either case, to treble my venture, would have
helped me out. And besides, I had some idea that the Phoenicians had in
former times wrought copper in that very spot. That cunning scoundrel,
Dousterswivel, found out my blunt side, and brought strange tales (d--n
him) of appearances of old shafts, and vestiges of mining operations,
conducted in a manner quite different from those of modern times; and
I--in short, I was a fool, and there is an end. My loss is not much worth
speaking about; but Sir Arthur's engagements are, I understand, very
deep, and my heart aches for him and the poor young lady who must share
his distress."

Here the conversation paused, until renewed in the next chapter.




                           CHAPTER FOURTEENTH.


              If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,
              My dreams presage some joyful news at hand:
              My bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne,
                 And all this day, an unaccustomed spirit
              Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
                                    Romeo and Juliet.

The account of Sir Arthur's unhappy adventure had led Oldbuck somewhat
aside from his purpose of catechising Lovel concerning the cause of his
residence at Fairport. He was now, however, resolved to open the subject.
"Miss Wardour was formerly known to you, she tells me, Mr. Lovel?"

"He had had the pleasure," Lovel answered, to see her at Mrs. Wilmot's,
in Yorkshire."

"Indeed! you never mentioned that to me before, and you did not accost
her as an old acquaintance."

"I--I did not know," said Lovel, a good deal embarrassed, "it was the
same lady, till we met; and then it was my duty to wait till she should
recognise me."

"I am aware of your delicacy: the knight's a punctilious old fool, but I
promise you his daughter is above all nonsensical ceremony and prejudice.
And now, since you have, found a new set of friends here, may I ask if
you intend to leave Fairport as soon as you proposed?"

"What if I should answer your question by another," replied Lovel, "and
ask you what is your opinion of dreams?"

"Of dreams, you foolish lad!--why, what should I think of them but as the
deceptions of imagination when reason drops the reins? I know no
difference betwixt them and the hallucinations of madness--the unguided
horses run away with the carriage in both cases, only in the one the
coachman is drunk, and in the other he slumbers. What says our Marcus
Tullius--_Si insanorum visis fides non est habenda, cur credatur
somnientium visis, quae multo etiam perturbatiora sunt, non intelligo._"

"Yes, sir; but Cicero also tells us, that as he who passes the whole day
in darting the javelin must sometimes hit the mark, so, amid the cloud of
nightly dreams, some may occur consonant to future events."

"Ay--that is to say, _you_ have hit the mark in your own sage opinion?
Lord! Lord! how this world is given to folly! Well, I will allow for once
the Oneirocritical science--I will give faith to the exposition of
dreams, and say a Daniel hath arisen to interpret them, if you can prove
to me that that dream of yours has pointed to a prudent line of conduct."

"Tell me, then," answered Lovel, "why when I was hesitating whether to
abandon an enterprise, which I have perhaps rashly undertaken, I should
last night dream I saw your ancestor pointing to a motto which encouraged
me to perseverance?--why should I have thought of those words which I
cannot remember to have heard before, which are in a language unknown to
me, and which yet conveyed, when translated, a lesson which I could so
plainly apply to my own circumstances?"

The Antiquary burst into a fit of laughing. "Excuse me, my young friend
--but it is thus we silly mortals deceive ourselves, and look out of doors
for motives which originate in our own wilful will. I think I can help
out the cause of your vision. You were so abstracted in your
contemplations yesterday after dinner, as to pay little attention to the
discourse between Sir Arthur and me, until we fell upon the controversy
concerning the Piks, which terminated so abruptly;--but I remember
producing to Sir Arthur a book printed by my ancestor, and making him
observe the motto; your mind was bent elsewhere, but your ear had
mechanically received and retained the sounds, and your busy fancy,
stirred by Grizel's legend I presume, had introduced this scrap of German
into your dream. As for the waking wisdom which seized on so frivolous a
circumstance as an apology for persevering in some course which it could
find no better reason to justify, it is exactly one of those juggling
tricks which the sagest of us play off now and then, to gratify our
inclination at the expense of our understanding."

"I own it," said Lovel, blushing deeply;--"I believe you are right, Mr.
Oldbuck, and I ought to sink in your esteem for attaching a moment's
consequence to such a frivolity;--but I was tossed by contradictory
wishes and resolutions, and you know how slight a line will tow a boat
when afloat on the billows, though a cable would hardly move her when
pulled up on the beach."

"Right, right," exclaimed the Antiquary. "Fall in my opinion!--not a
whit--I love thee the better, man;--why, we have story for story against
each other, and I can think with less shame on having exposed myself
about that cursed Praetorium--though I am still convinced Agricola's camp
must have been somewhere in this neighbourhood. And now, Lovel, my good
lad, be sincere with me--What make you from Wittenberg?--why have you
left your own country and professional pursuits, for an idle residence in
such a place as Fairport? A truant disposition, I fear."

"Even so," replied Lovel, patiently submitting to an interrogatory which
he could not well evade. "Yet I am so detached from all the world, have
so few in whom I am interested, or who are interested in me, that my very
state of destitution gives me independence. He whose good or evil fortune
affects himself alone, has the best right to pursue it according to his
own fancy."

"Pardon me, young man," said Oldbuck, laying his hand kindly on his
shoulder, and making a full halt--"_sufflamina_--a little patience, if
you please. I will suppose that you have no friends to share or rejoice
in your success in life--that you cannot look back to those to whom you
owe gratitude, or forward to those to whom you ought to afford
protection; but it is no less incumbent on you to move steadily in the
path of duty--for your active exertions are due not only to society, but
in humble gratitude to the Being who made you a member of it, with powers
to serve yourself and others."

"But I am unconscious of possessing such powers," said Lovel, somewhat
impatiently. "I ask nothing of society but the permission of walking
innoxiously through the path of life, without jostling others, or
permitting myself to be jostled. I owe no man anything--I have the means
of maintaining, myself with complete independence; and so moderate are my
wishes in this respect, that even these means, however limited, rather
exceed than fall short of them."

"Nay, then," said Oldbuck, removing his hand, and turning again to the
road, "if you are so true a philosopher as to think you have money
enough, there's no more to be said--I cannot pretend to be entitled to
advise you;--you have attained the _acme'_--the summit of perfection. And
how came Fairport to be the selected abode of so much self-denying
philosophy? It is as if a worshipper of the true religion had set up his
staff by choice among the multifarious idolaters of the land of Egypt.
There is not a man in Fairport who is not a devoted worshipper of the
Golden Calf--the mammon of unrighteousness. Why, even I, man, am so
infected by the bad neighbourhood, that I feel inclined occasionally to
become an idolater myself."

"My principal amusements being literary," answered Lovel, "and
circumstances which I cannot mention having induced me, for a time at
least, to relinquish the military service, I have pitched on Fairport as
a place where I might follow my pursuits without any of those temptations
to society which a more elegant circle might have presented to me."

"Aha!" replied Oldbuck, knowingly,--"I begin to understand your
application of my ancestor's motto. You are a candidate for public
favour, though not in the way I first suspected,--you are ambitious to
shine as a literary character, and you hope to merit favour by labour and
perseverance?"

Lovel, who was rather closely pressed by the inquisitiveness of the old
gentleman, concluded it would be best to let him remain in the error
which he had gratuitously adopted.

"I have been at times foolish enough," he replied, "to nourish some
thoughts of the kind."

"Ah, poor fellow! nothing can be more melancholy; unless, as young men
sometimes do, you had fancied yourself in love with some trumpery
specimen of womankind, which is indeed, as Shakspeare truly says,
pressing to death, whipping, and hanging all at once."

He then proceeded with inquiries, which he was sometimes kind enough to
answer himself. For this good old gentleman had, from his antiquarian
researches, acquired a delight in building theories out of premises which
were often far from affording sufficient ground for them; and being, as
the reader must have remarked, sufficiently opinionative, he did not
readily brook being corrected, either in matter of fact or judgment, even
by those who were principally interested in the subjects on which he
speculated. He went on, therefore, chalking out Lovel's literary career
for him.

"And with what do you propose to commence your debut as a man of
letters?--But I guess--poetry--poetry--the soft seducer of youth. Yes!
there is an acknowledging modesty of confusion in your eye and manner.
And where lies your vein?--are you inclined to soar to the, higher
regions of Parnassus, or to flutter around the base of the hill?"

"I have hitherto attempted only a few lyrical pieces," said Lovel.

"Just as I supposed--pruning your wing, and hopping from spray to spray.
But I trust you intend a bolder flight. Observe, I would by no means
recommend your persevering in this unprofitable pursuit--but you say you
are quite independent of the public caprice?"

"Entirely so," replied Lovel.

"And that you are determined not to adopt a more active course of life?"

"For the present, such is my resolution," replied the young man.

"Why, then, it only remains for me to give you my best advice and
assistance in the object of your pursuit. I have myself published two
essays in the Antiquarian Repository,--and therefore am an author of
experience, There was my Remarks on Hearne's edition of Robert of
Gloucester, signed _Scrutator;_ and the other signed _Indagator,_ upon a
passage in Tacitus. I might add, what attracted considerable notice at
the time, and that is my paper in the Gentleman's Magazine, upon the
inscription of OElia Lelia, which I subscribed _OEdipus._So you see I am
not an apprentice in the mysteries of author-craft, and must necessarily
understand the taste and temper of the times. And now, once more, what do
you intend to commence with?"

"I have no instant thoughts of publishing."

"Ah! that will never do; you must have the fear of the public before your
eyes in all your undertakings. Let us see now: A collection of fugitive
pieces; but no--your fugitive poetry is apt to become stationary with the
bookseller. It should be something at once solid and attractive--none of
your romances or anomalous novelties--I would have you take high ground
at once. Let me see: What think you of a real epic?--the grand
old-fashioned historical poem which moved through twelve or twenty-four
books. We'll have it so--I'll supply you with a subject--The battle
between the Caledonians and Romans--The Caledoniad; or, Invasion
Repelled;--let that be the title--it will suit the present taste, and you
may throw in a touch of the times."

"But the invasion of Agricola was _not_ repelled."

"No; but you are a poet--free of the corporation, and as little bound
down to truth or probability as Virgil himself--You may defeat the Romans
in spite of Tacitus."

"And pitch Agricola's camp at the Kaim of--what do you call it," answered
Lovel, "in defiance of Edie Ochiltree?"

"No more of that, an thou lovest me--And yet, I dare say, ye may
unwittingly speak most correct truth in both instances, in despite of the
_toga_ of the historian and the blue gown of the mendicant."

"Gallantly counselled!--Well, I will do my best--your kindness will
assist me with local information."

"Will I not, man?--why, I will write the critical and historical notes on
each canto, and draw out the plan of the story myself. I pretend to some
poetical genius, Mr. Lovel, only I was never able to write verses."

"It is a pity, sir, that you should have failed in a qualification
somewhat essential to the art."

"Essential?--not a whit--it is the mere mechanical department. A man may
be a poet without measuring spondees and dactyls like the ancients, or
clashing the ends of lines into rhyme like the moderns, as one may be an
architect though unable to labour like a stone-mason--Dost think Palladio
or Vitruvius ever carried a hod?"

"In that case, there should be two authors to each poem--one to think and
plan, another to execute."

"Why, it would not be amiss; at any rate, we'll make the experiment;--not
that I would wish to give my name to the public--assistance from a
learned friend might be acknowledged in the preface after what flourish
your nature will--I am a total stranger to authorial vanity."

Lovel was much entertained by a declaration not very consistent with the
eagerness wherewith his friend seemed to catch at an opportunity of
coming before the public, though in a manner which rather resembled
stepping up behind a carriage than getting into one. The Antiquary was
indeed uncommonly delighted; for, like many other men who spend their
lives in obscure literary research, he had a secret ambition to appear in
print, which was checked by cold fits of diffidence, fear of criticism,
and habits of indolence and procrastination. "But," thought he, "I may,
like a second Teucer, discharge my shafts from behind the shield of my
ally; and, admit that he should not prove to be a first-rate poet, I am
in no shape answerable for his deficiencies, and the good notes may very
probably help off an indifferent text. But he is--he must be a good poet;
he has the real Parnassian abstraction--seldom answers a question till it
is twice repeated--drinks his tea scalding, and eats without knowing what
he is putting into his mouth. This is the real _aestus,_ the _awen_ of
the Welsh bards, the _divinus afflatus_ that transports the poet beyond
the limits of sublunary things. His visions, too, are very symptomatical
of poetic fury--I must recollect to send Caxon to see he puts out his
candle to-night--poets and visionaries are apt to be negligent in that
respect." Then, turning to his companion, he expressed himself aloud in
continuation--

"Yes, my dear Lovel, you shall have full notes; and, indeed, think we may
introduce the whole of the Essay on Castrametation into the appendix--it
will give great value to the work. Then we will revive the good old forms
so disgracefully neglected in modern times. You shall invoke the Muse
--and certainly she ought to be propitious to an author who, in an
apostatizing age, adheres with the faith of Abdiel to the ancient form of
adoration.--Then we must have a vision--in which the Genius of Caledonia
shall appear to Galgacus, and show him a procession of the real Scottish
monarchs:--and in the notes I will have a hit at Boethius--No; I must not
touch that topic, now that Sir Arthur is likely to have vexation enough
besides--but I'll annihilate Ossian, Macpherson, and Mac-Cribb."

"But we must consider the expense of publication," said Lovel, willing to
try whether this hint would fall like cold water on the blazing zeal of
his self-elected coadjutor.

"Expense!" said Mr. Oldbuck, pausing, and mechanically fumbling in his
pocket--"that is true;--I would wish to do something--but you would not
like to publish by subscription?"

"By no means," answered Lovel.

"No, no!" gladly acquiesced the Antiquary--"it is not respectable. I'll
tell you what: I believe I know a bookseller who has a value for my
opinion, and will risk print and paper, and I will get as many copies
sold for you as I can."

"O, I am no mercenary author," answered Lovel, smiling; "I only wish to
be out of risk of loss."

"Hush! hush! we'll take care of that--throw it all on the publishers. I
do long to see your labours commenced. You will choose blank verse,
doubtless?--it is more grand and magnificent for an historical subject;
and, what concerneth you, my friend, it is, I have an idea, more easily
written."

This conversation brought them to Monkbarns, where the Antiquary had to
undergo a chiding from his sister, who, though no philosopher, was
waiting to deliver a lecture to him in the portico. "Guide us, Monkbarns!
are things no dear eneugh already, but ye maun be raising the very fish
on us, by giving that randy, Luckie Mucklebackit, just what she likes to
ask?"

"Why, Grizel," said the sage, somewhat abashed at this unexpected attack,
"I thought I made a very fair bargain."

"A fair bargain! when ye gied the limmer a full half o' what she seekit!
--An ye will be a wife-carle, and buy fish at your ain hands, ye suld
never bid muckle mair than a quarter. And the impudent quean had the
assurance to come up and seek a dram--But I trow, Jenny and I sorted
her!"

"Truly," said Oldbuck (with a sly look to his companion), "I think our
estate was gracious that kept us out of hearing of that controversy.
--Well, well, Grizel, I was wrong for once in my life _ultra crepidam_
--I fairly admit. But hang expenses!--care killed a cat--we'll eat the
fish, cost what it will.--And then, Lovel, you must know I pressed you
to stay here to-day, the rather because our cheer will be better than
usual, yesterday having been a gaude' day--I love the reversion of a
feast better than the feast itself. I delight in the _analecta,_ the
_collectanea,_ as I may call them, of the preceding day's dinner, which
appear on such occasions--And see, there is Jenny going to ring the
dinner-bell."




                           CHAPTER FIFTEENTH.


        Be this letter delivered with haste--haste--post-haste!
        Ride, villain, ride,--for thy life--for thy life--for thy life.
                  Ancient Indorsation of Letters of Importance.

Leaving Mr. Oldbuck and his friend to enjoy their hard bargain of fish,
we beg leave to transport the reader to the back-parlour of the
post-master's house at Fairport, where his wife, he himself being absent,
was employed in assorting for delivery the letters which had come by the
Edinburgh post. This is very often in country towns the period of the day
when gossips find it particularly agreeable to call on the man or woman
of letters, in order, from the outside of the epistles, and, if they are
not belied, occasionally from the inside also, to amuse themselves with
gleaning information, or forming conjectures about the correspondence and
affairs of their neighbours. Two females of this description were, at the
time we mention, assisting, or impeding, Mrs. Mailsetter in her official
duty.

"Eh, preserve us, sirs!" said the butcher's wife, "there's ten--eleven
--twall letters to Tennant and Co.--thae folk do mair business than a'
the rest o' the burgh."

"Ay; but see, lass," answered the baker's lady, "there's twa o' them
faulded unco square, and sealed at the tae side--I doubt there will be
protested bills in them."

"Is there ony letters come yet for Jenny Caxon?" inquired the woman of
joints and giblets; "the lieutenant's been awa three weeks."

"Just ane on Tuesday was a week," answered the dame of letters.

"Wast a ship-letter?" asked the Fornerina.

"In troth wast."

"It wad be frae the lieutenant then," replied the mistress of the rolls,
somewhat disappointed--"I never thought he wad hae lookit ower his
shouther after her."

"Od, here's another," quoth Mrs. Mailsetter. "A ship-letter--post-mark,
Sunderland." All rushed to seize it.--"Na, na, leddies," said Mrs.
Mailsetter, interfering; "I hae had eneugh o' that wark--Ken ye that Mr.
Mailsetter got an unco rebuke frae the secretary at Edinburgh, for a
complaint that was made about the letter of Aily Bisset's that ye opened,
Mrs. Shortcake?"

"Me opened!" answered the spouse of the chief baker of Fairport; "ye ken
yoursell, madam, it just cam open o' free will in my hand--what could I
help it?--folk suld seal wi' better wax."

"Weel I wot that's true, too," said Mrs. Mailsetter, who kept a shop of
small wares, "and we have got some that I can honestly recommend, if ye
ken onybody wanting it. But the short and the lang o't is, that we'll
lose the place gin there's ony mair complaints o' the kind."

"Hout, lass--the provost will take care o' that."

"Na, na, I'll neither trust to provost nor bailier" said the
postmistress,--"but I wad aye be obliging and neighbourly, and I'm no
again your looking at the outside of a letter neither--See, the seal has
an anchor on't--he's done't wi' ane o' his buttons, I'm thinking."

"Show me! show me!" quoth the wives of the chief butcher and chief baker;
and threw themselves on the supposed love-letter, like the weird sisters
in Macbeth upon the pilot's thumb, with curiosity as eager and scarcely
less malignant. Mrs. Heukbane was a tall woman--she held the precious
epistle up between her eyes and the window. Mrs. Shortcake, a little
squat personage, strained and stood on tiptoe to have her share of the
investigation.

"Ay, it's frae him, sure eneugh," said the butcher's lady;--"I can read
Richard Taffril on the corner, and it's written, like John Thomson's
wallet, frae end to end."

"Haud it lower down, madam," exclaimed Mrs. Shortcake, in a tone above
the prudential whisper which their occupation required--"haud it lower
down--Div ye think naebody can read hand o' writ but yoursell?"

"Whist, whist, sirs, for God's sake!" said Mrs. Mailsetter, "there's
somebody in the shop,"--then aloud--"Look to the customers, Baby!"--Baby
answered from without in a shrill tone--"It's naebody but Jenny Caxon,
ma'am, to see if there's ony letters to her."

"Tell her," said the faithful postmistress, winking to her compeers, "to
come back the morn at ten o'clock, and I'll let her ken--we havena had
time to sort the mail letters yet--she's aye in sic a hurry, as if her
letters were o' mair consequence than the best merchant's o' the town."

Poor Jenny, a girl of uncommon beauty and modesty, could only draw her
cloak about her to hide the sigh of disappointment and return meekly home
to endure for another night the sickness of the heart occasioned by hope
delayed.

"There's something about a needle and a pole," said Mrs. Shortcake, to
whom her taller rival in gossiping had at length yielded a peep at the
subject of their curiosity.

"Now, that's downright shamefu'," said Mrs. Heukbane, "to scorn the poor
silly gait of a lassie after he's keepit company wi' her sae lang, and
had his will o' her, as I make nae doubt he has."

"It's but ower muckle to be doubted," echoed Mrs. Shortcake;--"to cast up
to her that her father's a barber and has a pole at his door, and that
she's but a manty-maker hersell! Hout fy for shame!"

"Hout tout, leddies," cried Mrs. Mailsetter, "ye're clean wrang--It's a
line out o' ane o' his sailors' sangs that I have heard him sing, about
being true like the needle to the pole."

"Weel, weel, I wish it may be sae," said the charitable Dame Heukbane,
--"but it disna look weel for a lassie like her to keep up a
correspondence wi' ane o' the king's officers."

"I'm no denying that," said Mrs. Mailsetter; "but it's a great advantage
to the revenue of the post-office thae love-letters. See, here's five or
six letters to Sir Arthur Wardour--maist o' them sealed wi' wafers, and
no wi' wax. There will be a downcome, there, believe me."

"Ay; they will be business letters, and no frae ony o' his grand friends,
that seals wi' their coats of arms, as they ca' them," said Mrs.
Heukbane;--"pride will hae a fa'--he hasna settled his account wi' my
gudeman, the deacon, for this twalmonth--he's but slink, I doubt."

"Nor wi' huz for sax months," echoed Mrs. Shortcake--"He's but a brunt
crust."

"There's a letter," interrupted the trusty postmistress, "from his son,
the captain, I'm thinking--the seal has the same things wi' the
Knockwinnock carriage. He'll be coming hame to see what he can save out
o' the fire."

The baronet thus dismissed, they took up the esquire--"Twa letters for
Monkbarns--they're frae some o' his learned friends now; see sae close as
they're written, down to the very seal--and a' to save sending a double
letter--that's just like Monkbarns himsell. When he gets a frank he fills
it up exact to the weight of an unce, that a carvy-seed would sink the
scale--but he's neer a grain abune it. Weel I wot I wad be broken if I
were to gie sic weight to the folk that come to buy our pepper and
brimstone, and suchlike sweetmeats."

"He's a shabby body the laird o' Monkbarns," said Mrs. Heukbane; "he'll
make as muckle about buying a forequarter o' lamb in August as about a
back sey o' beef. Let's taste another drop of the sinning" (perhaps she
meant _cinnamon_) "waters, Mrs. Mailsetter, my dear. Ah, lasses! an ye
had kend his brother as I did--mony a time he wad slip in to see me wi' a
brace o' wild deukes in his pouch, when my first gudeman was awa at the
Falkirk tryst--weel, weel--we'se no speak o' that e'enow."

"I winna say ony ill o'this Monkbarns," said Mrs. Shortcake; "his brother
neer brought me ony wild-deukes, and this is a douce honest man; we serve
the family wi' bread, and he settles wi' huz ilka week--only he was in an
unco kippage when we sent him a book instead o' the _nick-sticks,_*
whilk, he said, were the true ancient way o' counting between tradesmen
and customers; and sae they are, nae doubt."

* Note E. Nick-sticks.

"But look here, lasses," interrupted Mrs. Mailsetter, "here's a sight for
sair e'en! What wad ye gie to ken what's in the inside o' this letter?
This is new corn--I haena seen the like o' this--For William Lovel,
Esquire, at Mrs. Hadoway's, High Street, Fairport, by Edinburgh, N. B.
This is just the second letter he has had since he was here."

"Lord's sake, let's see, lass!--Lord's sake, let's see!--that's him that
the hale town kens naething about--and a weel-fa'ard lad he is; let's
see, let's see!" Thus ejaculated the two worthy representatives of mother
Eve.

"Na, na, sirs," exclaimed Mrs. Mailsetter; "haud awa--bide aff, I tell
you; this is nane o' your fourpenny cuts that we might make up the value
to the post-office amang ourselves if ony mischance befell it;--the
postage is five-and-twenty shillings--and here's an order frae the
Secretary to forward it to the young gentleman by express, if he's no at
hame. Na, na, sirs, bide aff;--this maunna be roughly guided."

"But just let's look at the outside o't, woman."

Nothing could be gathered from the outside, except remarks on the various
properties which philosophers ascribe to matter,--length, breadth, depth,
and weight, The packet was composed of strong thick paper, imperviable by
the curious eyes of the gossips, though they stared as if they would
burst from their sockets. The seal was a deep and well-cut impression of
arms, which defied all tampering.

"Od, lass," said Mrs. Shortcake, weighing it in her hand, and wishing,
doubtless, that the too, too solid wax would melt and dissolve itself, "I
wad like to ken what's in the inside o' this, for that Lovel dings a'
that ever set foot on the plainstanes o' Fairport--naebody kens what to
make o' him."

"Weel, weel, leddies," said the postmistress, "we'se sit down and crack
about it.--Baby, bring ben the tea-water--Muckle obliged to ye for your
cookies, Mrs. Shortcake--and we'll steek the shop, and cry ben Baby, and
take a hand at the cartes till the gudeman comes hame--and then we'll try
your braw veal sweetbread that ye were so kind as send me, Mrs.
Heukbane."

"But winna ye first send awa Mr. Lovel's letter?" said Mrs. Heukbane.

"Troth I kenna wha to send wi't till the gudeman comes hame, for auld
Caxon tell'd me that Mr. Lovel stays a' the day at Monkbarns--he's in a
high fever, wi' pu'ing the laird and Sir Arthur out o' the sea."

"Silly auld doited carles!" said Mrs. Shortcake; "what gar'd them gang to
the douking in a night like yestreen!"

"I was gi'en to understand it was auld Edie that saved them," said Mrs.
Heukbane--"Edie Ochiltree, the Blue-Gown, ye ken; and that he pu'd the
hale three out of the auld fish-pound, for Monkbarns had threepit on them
to gang in till't to see the wark o' the monks lang syne."

"Hout, lass, nonsense!" answered the postmistress; "I'll tell ye, a'
about it, as Caxon tell'd it to me. Ye see, Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour,
and Mr. Lovel, suld hae dined at Monkbarns"--

"But, Mrs. Mailsetter," again interrupted Mrs. Heukbane, "will ye no be
for sending awa this letter by express?--there's our powny and our
callant hae gane express for the office or now, and the powny hasna gane
abune thirty mile the day;--Jock was sorting him up as I came ower by."

"Why, Mrs. Heukbane," said the woman of letters, pursing up her mouth,
"ye ken my gudeman likes to ride the expresses himsell--we maun gie our
ain fish-guts to our ain sea-maws--it's a red half-guinea to him every
time he munts his mear; and I dare say he'll be in sune--or I dare to
say, it's the same thing whether the gentleman gets the express this
night or early next morning."

"Only that Mr. Lovel will be in town before the express gaes aff," said
Mrs. Heukbane; "and where are ye then, lass? But ye ken yere ain ways
best."

"Weel, weel, Mrs. Heukbane," answered Mrs. Mailsetter, a little out of
humour, and even out of countenance, "I am sure I am never against being
neighbour-like, and living and letting live, as they say; and since I hae
been sic a fule as to show you the post-office order--ou, nae doubt, it
maun be obeyed. But I'll no need your callant, mony thanks to ye--I'll
send little Davie on your powny, and that will be just five-and-
threepence to ilka ane o' us, ye ken."

"Davie! the Lord help ye, the bairn's no ten year auld; and, to be plain
wi' ye, our powny reists a bit, and it's dooms sweer to the road, and
naebody can manage him but our Jock."

"I'm sorry for that," answered the postmistress, gravely; "it's like we
maun wait then till the gudeman comes hame, after a'--for I wadna like to
be responsible in trusting the letter to sic a callant as Jock--our Davie
belangs in a manner to the office."

"Aweel, aweel, Mrs. Mailsetter, I see what ye wad be at--but an ye like
to risk the bairn, I'll risk the beast."

Orders were accordingly given. The unwilling pony was brought out of his
bed of straw, and again equipped for service--Davie (a leathern post-bag
strapped across his shoulders) was perched upon the saddle, with a tear
in his eye, and a switch in his hand. Jock good-naturedly led the animal
out of town, and, by the crack of his whip, and the whoop and halloo of
his too well-known voice, compelled it to take the road towards
Monkbarns.

Meanwhile the gossips, like the sibyls after consulting their leaves,
arranged and combined the information of the evening, which flew next
morning through a hundred channels, and in a hundred varieties, through
the world of Fairport. Many, strange, and inconsistent, were the rumours
to which their communications and conjectures gave rise. Some said
Tennant and Co. were broken, and that all their bills had come back
protested--others that they had got a great contract from Government, and
letters from the principal merchants at Glasgow, desiring to have shares
upon a premium. One report stated, that Lieutenant Taffril had
acknowledged a private marriage with Jenny Caxon--another, that he had
sent her a letter upbraiding her with the lowness of her birth and
education, and bidding her an eternal adieu. It was generally rumoured
that Sir Arthur Wardour's affairs had fallen into irretrievable
confusion, and this report was only doubted by the wise, because it was
traced to Mrs. Mailsetter's shop,--a source more famous for the
circulation of news than for their accuracy. But all agreed that a packet
from the Secretary of State's office, had arrived, directed for Mr.
Lovel, and that it had been forwarded by an orderly dragoon, despatched
from the head-quarters at Edinburgh, who had galloped through Fairport
without stopping, except just to inquire the way to Monkbarns. The reason
of such an extraordinary mission to a very peaceful and retired
individual, was variously explained. Some said Lovel was an emigrant
noble, summoned to head an insurrection that had broken out in La
Vende'e--others that he was a spy--others that he was a general officer,
who was visiting the coast privately--others that he was a prince of the
blood, who was travelling _incognito._

Meanwhile the progress of the packet which occasioned so much
speculation, towards its destined owner at Monkbarns, had been perilous
and interrupted. The bearer, Davie Mailsetter, as little resembling a
bold dragoon as could well be imagined, was carried onwards towards
Monkbarns by the pony, so long as the animal had in his recollection the
crack of his usual instrument of chastisement, and the shout of the
butcher's boy. But feeling how Davie, whose short legs were unequal to
maintain his balance, swung to and fro upon his back, the pony began to
disdain furthur compliance with the intimations he had received. First,
then, he slackened his pace to a walk This was no point of quarrel
between him and his rider, who had been considerably discomposed by the
rapidity of his former motion, and who now took the opportunity of his
abated pace to gnaw a piece of gingerbread, which had been thrust into
his hand by his mother in order to reconcile this youthful emissary of
the post-office to the discharge of his duty. By and by, the crafty pony
availed himself of this surcease of discipline to twitch the rein out of
Davies hands, and applied himself to browse on the grass by the side of
the lane. Sorely astounded by these symptoms of self-willed rebellion,
and afraid alike to sit or to fall, poor Davie lifted up his voice and
wept aloud. The pony, hearing this pudder over his head, began apparently
to think it would be best both for himself and Davie to return from
whence they came, and accordingly commenced a retrograde movement towards
Fairport. But, as all retreats are apt to end in utter rout, so the
steed, alarmed by the boy's cries, and by the flapping of the reins,
which dangled about his forefeet--finding also his nose turned homeward,
began to set off at a rate which, if Davie kept the saddle (a matter
extremely dubious), would soon have presented him at Heukbane's
stable-door,--when, at a turn of the road, an intervening auxiliary, in
the shape of old Edie Ochiltree, caught hold of the rein, and stopped his
farther proceeding. "Wha's aught ye, callant? whaten a gate's that to
ride?"

"I canna help it!" blubbered the express; "they ca' me little Davie."

"And where are ye gaun?"

"I'm gaun to Monkbarns wi' a letter."

"Stirra, this is no the road to Monkbarns."

But Davie could oinly answer the expostulation with sighs and tears.

Old Edie was easily moved to compassion where childhood was in the case.-
-"I wasna gaun that gate," he thought, "but it's the best o' my way o'
life that I canna be weel out o' my road. They'll gie me quarters at
Monkbarns readily eneugh, and I'll e'en hirple awa there wi' the wean,
for it will knock its hams out, puir thing, if there's no somebody to
guide the pony.--Sae ye hae a letter, hinney? will ye let me see't?"

"I'm no gaun to let naebody see the letter," sobbed the boy, "till I
gie't to Mr. Lovel, for I am a faithfu' servant o' the office--if it
werena for the powny."

"Very right, my little man," said Ochiltree, turning the reluctant pony's
head towards Monkbarns; "but we'll guide him atween us, if he's no a' the
sweerer."

Upon the very height of Kinprunes, to which Monkbarns had invited Lovel
after their dinner, the Antiquary, again reconciled to the once degraded
spot, was expatiating upon the topics the scenery afforded for a
description of Agricola's camp at the dawn of morning, when his eye was
caught by the appearance of the mendicant and his protegee. "What the
devil!--here comes Old Edie, bag and baggage, I think."

The beggar explained his errand, and Davie, who insisted upon a literal
execution of his commission by going on to Monkbarns, was with difficulty
prevailed upon to surrender the packet to its proper owner, although he
met him a mile nearer than the place he bad been directed to. "But my
minnie said, I maun be sure to get twenty shillings and five shillings
for the postage, and ten shillings and sixpence for the express--there's
the paper."

"Let me see--let me see," said Oldbuck, putting on his spectacles, and
examining the crumpled copy of regulations to which Davie
appealed. "Express, per man and horse, one day, not to exceed ten
shillings and sixpence. One day? why, it's not an hour--Man and horse?
why, 'tis a monkey on a starved cat!"

"Father wad hae come himsell," said Davie, "on the muckle red mear, an ye
wad hae bidden till the morn's night."

"Four-and-twenty hours after the regular date of delivery! You little
cockatrice egg, do you understand the art of imposition so early?"

"Hout Monkbarns! dinna set your wit against a bairn," said the beggar;
"mind the butcher risked his beast, and the wife her wean, and I am sure
ten and sixpence isna ower muckle. Ye didna gang sae near wi' Johnnie
Howie, when"--

Lovel, who, sitting on the supposed _Praetorium,_ had glanced over the
contents of the packet, now put an end to the altercation by paying
Davies demand; and then turning to Mr. Oldbuck, with a look of much
agitation, he excused himself from returning with him to Monkbarns' that
evening.--"I must instantly go to Fairport, and perhaps leave it on a
moment's notice;--your kindness, Mr. Oldbuck, I can never forget."

"No bad news, I hope?" said the Antiquary.

"Of a very chequered complexion," answered his friend. "Farewell--in good
or bad fortune I will not forget your regard."

"Nay, nay--stop a moment. If--if--" (making an effort)--"if there be any
pecuniary inconvenience--I have fifty--or a hundred guineas at your
service--till--till Whitsunday--or indeed as long as you please."

"I am much obliged, Mr. Oldbuck, but I am amply provided," said his
mysterious young friend. "Excuse me--I really cannot sustain further
conversation at present. I will write or see you, before I leave
Fairport--that is, if I find myself obliged to go."

So saying, he shook the Antiquary's hand warmly, turned from him, and
walked rapidly towards the town, "staying no longer question."

"Very extraordinary indeed!" said Oldbuck;--"but there's something about
this lad I can never fathom; and yet I cannot for my heart think ill of
him neither. I must go home and take off the fire in the Green Room, for
none of my womankind will venture into it after twilight."

"And how am I to win hame?" blubbered the disconsolate express.

"It's a fine night," said the Blue-Gown, looking up to the skies; "I had
as gude gang back to the town, and take care o' the wean."

"Do so, do so, Edie;" and rummaging for some time in his huge waistcoat
pocket till he found the object of his search, the Antiquary added,
"there's sixpence to ye to buy sneeshin."





                           CHAPTER SIXTEENTH.

     "I am bewitched with the rogue's company. If the rascal has not
     given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it could
     not be else. I have drunk medicines."
                            Second Part of Henry IV.

Regular for a fortnight were the inquiries of the Antiquary at the
veteran Caxon, whether he had heard what Mr. Lovel was about; and as
regular were Caxon's answers, "that the town could learn naething about
him whatever, except that he had received anither muckle letter or twa
frae the south, and that he was never seen on the plainstanes at a'."

"How does he live, Caxon?"

"Ou, Mrs. Hadoway just dresses him a beefsteak or a muttonchop, or makes
him some Friar's chicken, or just what she likes hersell, and he eats it
in the little red parlour off his bedroom. She canna get him to say that
he likes ae thing better than anither; and she makes him tea in a
morning, and he settles honourably wi' her every week."

"But does he never stir abroad?"

"He has clean gi'en up walking, and he sits a' day in his room reading or
writing; a hantle letters he has written, but he wadna put them into our
post-house, though Mrs. Hadoway offered to carry them hersell, but sent
them a' under ae cover to the sheriff; and it's Mrs. Mailsetter's belief,
that the sheriff sent his groom to put them into the post-office at
Tannonburgh; it's my puir thought, that he jaloused their looking into
his letters at Fairport; and weel had he need, for my puir daughter
Jenny"--

"Tut, don't plague me with your womankind, Caxon. About this poor young
lad.--Does he write nothing but letters?"

"Ou, ay--hale sheets o' other things, Mrs. Hadoway says. She wishes
muckle he could be gotten to take a walk; she thinks he's but looking
very puirly, and his appetite's clean gane; but he'll no hear o' ganging
ower the door-stane--him that used to walk sae muckle too."

"That's wrong--I have a guess what he's busy about; but he must not work
too hard neither. I'll go and see him this very day--he's deep,
doubtless, in the Caledoniad."

Having formed this manful resolution, Mr. Oldbuck equipped himself for
the expedition with his thick walking-shoes and gold-headed cane,
muttering the while the words of Falstaff which we have chosen for the
motto of this chapter; for the Antiquary was himself rather surprised at
the degree of attachment which he could not but acknowledge be
entertained for this stranger. The riddle was notwithstanding easily
solved. Lovel had many attractive qualities, but he won our Antiquary's
heart by being on most occasions an excellent listener.

A walk to Fairport had become somewhat of an adventure with Mr. Oldbuck,
and one which he did not often care to undertake. He hated greetings in
the market-place; and there were generally loiterers in the streets to
persecute him, either about the news of the day, or about some petty
pieces of business. So, on this occasion, he had no sooner entered the
streets of Fairport, than it was "Good-morrow, Mr. Oldbuck--a sight o'
you's gude, for sair een: what d'ye think of the news in the Sun the
day?--they say the great attempt will be made in a fortnight."

"I wish to the Lord it were made and over, that I might hear no more
about it."

"Monkbarns, your honour," said the nursery and seedsman, "I hope the
plants gied satisfaction?--and if ye wanted ony flower-roots fresh frae
Holland, or" (this in a lower key) "an anker or twa o' Cologne gin, ane
o' our brigs cam in yestreen."

"Thank ye, thank ye,--no occasion at present, Mr. Crabtree," said the
Antiquary, pushing resolutely onward.

"Mr. Oldbuck," said the town-clerk (a more important person, who came in
front and ventured to stop the old gentleman), "the provost,
understanding you were in town, begs on no account that you'll quit it
without seeing him; he wants to speak to ye about bringing the water frae
the Fairwell-spring through a part o' your lands."

"What the deuce!--have they nobody's land but mine to cut and carve on?
--I won't consent, tell them."

"And the provost," said the clerk, going on, without noticing the rebuff,
"and the council, wad be agreeable that you should hae the auld stones at
Donagild's chapel, that ye was wussing to hae."

"Eh!--what?--Oho! that's another story--Well, well, I'll call upon the
provost, and we'll talk about it."

"But ye maun speak your mind on't forthwith, Monkbarns, if ye want the
stones; for Deacon Harlewalls thinks the carved through-stanes might be
put with advantage on the front of the new council-house--that is, the
twa cross-legged figures that the callants used to ca' Robin and Bobbin,
ane on ilka door-cheek; and the other stane, that they ca'd Ailie Dailie,
abune the door. It will be very tastefu', the Deacon says, and just in
the style of modern Gothic."

"Lord deliver me from this Gothic generation!" exclaimed the Antiquary,
--"A monument of a knight-templar on each side of a Grecian porch, and a
Madonna on the top of it!--_O crimini!_--Well, tell the provost I wish to
have the stones, and we'll not differ about the water-course. It's lucky
I happened to come this way to-day."

They parted mutually satisfied; but the wily clerk had most reason to
exult in the dexterity he had displayed, since the whole proposal of an
exchange between the monuments (which the council had determined to
remove as a nuisance, because they encroached three feet upon the public
road), and the privilege of conveying the water to the burgh through the
estate of Monkbarns, was an idea which had originated with himself upon
the pressure of the moment.

Through these various entanglements, Monkbarns (to use the phrase by
which he was distinguished in the country) made his way at length to Mrs.
Hadoway's. This good woman was the widow of a late clergyman at Fairport,
who had been reduced by her husband's untimely death, to that state of
straitened and embarrassed circumstances in which the widows of the
Scotch clergy are too often found. The tenement which she occupied, and
the furniture of which she was possessed, gave her the means of letting a
part of her house; and as Lovel had been a quiet, regular, and profitable
lodger, and had qualified the necessary intercourse which they had
together with a great deal of gentleness and courtesy, Mrs. Hadoway, not,
perhaps, much used to such kindly treatment, had become greatly attached
to her lodger, and was profuse in every sort of personal attention which
circumstances permitted her to render him. To cook a dish somewhat better
than ordinary for "the poor young gentleman's dinner;" to exert her
interest with those who remembered her husband, or loved her for her own
sake and his, in order to procure scarce vegetables, or something which
her simplicity supposed might tempt her lodger's appetite, was a labour
in which she delighted, although she anxiously concealed it from the
person who was its object. She did not adopt this secrecy of benevolence
to avoid the laugh of those who might suppose that an oval face and dark
eyes, with a clear brown complexion, though belonging to a woman of
five-and-forty, and enclosed within a widow's close-drawn pinners, might
possibly still aim at making conquests; for, to say truth, such a
ridiculous suspicion having never entered into her own head, she could
not anticipate its having birth in that of any one else. But she
concealed her attentions solely out of delicacy to her guest, whose power
of repaying them she doubted as much as she believed in his inclination
to do so, and in his being likely to feel extreme pain at leaving any of
her civilities unrequited. She now opened the door to Mr. Oldbuck, and
her surprise at seeing him brought tears into her eyes, which she could
hardly restrain.

"I am glad to see you, sir--I am very glad to see you. My poor gentleman
is, I am afraid, very unwell; and oh, Mr. Oldbuck, he'll see neither
doctor, nor minister, nor writer! And think what it would be, if, as my
poor Mr. Hadoway used to say, a man was to die without advice of the
three learned faculties!"

"Greatly better than with them," grumbled the cynical Antiquary. "I tell
you, Mrs. Hadoway, the clergy live by our sins, the medical faculty by
our diseases, and the law gentry by our misfortunes."

"O fie, Monkbarns!--to hear the like o' that frae you!--But yell walk up
and see the poor young lad?--Hegh sirs? sae young and weel-favoured--and
day by day he has eat less and less, and now he hardly touches onything,
only just pits a bit on the plate to make fashion--and his poor cheek
has turned every day thinner and paler, sae that he now really looks as
auld as me, that might be his mother--no that I might be just that
neither, but something very near it."

"Why does he not take some exercise?" said Oldbuck.

"I think we have persuaded him to do that, for he has bought a horse from
Gibbie Golightly, the galloping groom. A gude judge o' horse-flesh Gibbie
tauld our lass that he was--for he offered him a beast he thought wad
answer him weel eneugh, as he was a bookish man, but Mr. Lovel wadna look
at it, and bought ane might serve the Master o' Morphie--they keep it at
the Graeme's Arms, ower the street;--and he rode out yesterday morning
and this morning before breakfast--But winna ye walk up to his room?"

"Presently, presently. But has he no visitors?"

"O dear, Mr. Oldbuck, not ane; if he wadna receive them when he was weel
and sprightly, what chance is there of onybody in Fairport looking in
upon him now?"

"Ay, ay, very true,--I should have been surprised had it been otherwise
--Come, show me up stairs, Mrs. Hadoway, lest I make a blunder, and go
where I should not."

The good landlady showed Mr. Oldbuck up her narrow staircase, warning him
of every turn, and lamenting all the while that he was laid under the
necessity of mounting up so high. At length she gently tapped at the door
of her guest's parlour. "Come in," said Lovel; and Mrs. Hadoway ushered
in the Laird of Monkbarns.

The little apartment was neat and clean, and decently furnished
--ornamented, too, by such relics of her youthful arts of sempstress
--ship as Mrs. Hadoway had retained; but it was close, overheated, and,
as it appeared to Oldbuck, an unwholesome situation for a young person in
delicate health,--an observation which ripened his resolution touching a
project that had already occurred to him in Lovel's behalf. With a
writing-table before him, on which lay a quantity of books and papers,
Lovel was seated on a couch, in his night-gown and slippers. Oldbuck was
shocked at the change which had taken place in his personal appearance.
His cheek and brow had assumed a ghastly white, except where a round
bright spot of hectic red formed a strong and painful contrast, totally
different from the general cast of hale and hardy complexion which had
formerly overspread and somewhat embrowned his countenance. Oldbuck
observed, that the dress he wore belonged to a deep mourning suit, and a
coat of the same colour hung on a chair near to him. As the Antiquary
entered, Lovel arose and came forward to welcome him.

"This is very kind," he said, shaking him by the hand, and thanking him
warmly for his visit--"this is very kind, and has anticipated a visit
with which I intended to trouble you. You must know I have become a
horseman lately."

"I understand as much from Mrs. Hadoway--I only hope, my good young
friend, you have been fortunate in a quiet horse. I myself inadvertently
bought one from the said Gibbie Golightly, which brute ran two miles on
end with me after a pack of hounds, with which I had no more to do than
the last year's snow; and after affording infinite amusement, I suppose,
to the whole hunting field, he was so good as to deposit me in a dry
ditch--I hope yours is a more peaceful beast?"

"I hope, at least, we shall make our excursions on a better plan of
mutual understanding."

"That is to say, you think yourself a good horseman?"

"I would not willingly," answered Lovel, "confess myself a very bad one."

"No--all you young fellows think that would be equal to calling
yourselves tailors at once--But have you had experience? for, _crede
experto,_ a horse in a passion is no joker."

"Why, I should be sorry to boast myself as a great horseman; but when I
acted as aide-de-camp to Sir----in the cavalry action at--, last year, I
saw many better cavaliers than myself dismounted."

"Ah! you have looked in the face of the grisly god of arms then?--you are
acquainted with the frowns of Mars armipotent? That experience fills up
the measure of your qualifications for the epopea! The Britons, however,
you will remember, fought in chariots--_covinarii_ is the phrase of
Tacitus;--you recollect the fine description of their dashing among the
Roman infantry, although the historian tells us how ill the rugged face
of the ground was calculated for equestrian combat; and truly, upon the
whole, what sort of chariots could be driven in Scotland anywhere but on
turnpike roads, has been to me always matter of amazement. And well now
--has the Muse visited you?--have you got anything to show me?"

"My time," said Lovel, with a glance at his black dress, "has been less
pleasantly employed."

"The death of a friend?" said the Antiquary.

"Yes, Mr. Oldbuck--of almost the only friend I could ever boast of
possessing."

"Indeed? Well, young man," replied his visitor, in a tone of seriousness
very different from his affected gravity, "be comforted. To have lost a
friend by death while your mutual regard was warm and unchilled, while
the tear can drop unembittered by any painful recollection of coldness or
distrust or treachery, is perhaps an escape from a more heavy
dispensation. Look round you--how few do you see grow old in the
affections of those with whom their early friendships were formed! Our
sources of common pleasure gradually dry up as we journey on through the
vale of Bacha, and we hew out to ourselves other reservoirs, from which
the first companions of our pilgrimage are excluded;--jealousies,
rivalries, envy, intervene to separate others from our side, until none
remain but those who are connected with us rather by habit than
predilection, or who, allied more in blood than in disposition, only keep
the old man company in his life, that they may not be forgotten at his
death--

                    _Haec data poena diu viventibus._

Ah, Mr. Lovel! if it be your lot to reach the chill, cloudy, and
comfortless evening of life, you will remember the sorrows of your youth
as the light shadowy clouds that intercepted for a moment the beams of
the sun when it was rising. But I cram these words into your ears against
the stomach of your sense."

"I am sensible of your kindness," answered the youth; "but the wound that
is of recent infliction must always smart severely, and I should be
little comforted under my present calamity--forgive me for saying so--by
the conviction that life had nothing in reserve for me but a train of
successive sorrows. And permit me to add, you, Mr. Oldbuck, have least
reason of many men to take so gloomy a view of life. You have a competent
and easy fortune--are generally respected--may, in your own phrase,
_vacare musis,_ indulge yourself in the researches to which your taste
addicts you; you may form your own society without doors--and within you
have the affectionate and sedulous attention of the nearest relatives."

"Why, yes--the womankind, for womankind, are, thanks to my training, very
civil and tractable--do not disturb me in my morning studies--creep
across the floor with the stealthy pace of a cat, when it suits me to
take a nap in my easy-chair after dinner or tea. All this is very well;
but I want something to exchange ideas with--something to talk to."

"Then why do you not invite your nephew, Captain M'Intyre, who is
mentioned by every one as a fine spirited young fellow, to become a
member of your family?"

"Who?" exclaimed Monkbarns, "my nephew Hector?--the Hotspur of the North?
Why, Heaven love you, I would as soon invite a firebrand into my
stackyard. He's an Almanzor, a Chamont--has a Highland pedigree as long
as his claymore, and a claymore as long as the High Street of Fairport,
which he unsheathed upon the surgeon the last time he was at Fairport. I
expect him here one of these days; but I will keep him at staff's end, I
promise you. He an inmate of my house! to make my very chairs and tables
tremble at his brawls. No, no--I'll none of Hector M'Intyre. But hark ye,
Lovel;--you are a quiet, gentle-tempered lad; had not you better set up
your staff at Monkbarns for a month or two, since I conclude you do not
immediately intend to leave this country?--I will have a door opened out
to the garden--it will cost but a trifle--there is the space for an old
one which was condemned long ago--by which said door you may pass and
repass into the Green Chamber at pleasure, so you will not interfere with
the old man, nor he with you. As for your fare, Mrs. Hadoway tells me you
are, as she terms it, very moderate of your mouth, so you will not
quarrel with my humble table. Your washing"--

"Hold, my dear Mr. Oldbuck," interposed Lovel, unable to repress a smile;
"and before your hospitality settles all my accommodations, let me thank
you most sincerely for so kind an offer--it is not at present in my power
to accept of it; but very likely, before I bid adieu to Scotland, I shall
find an opportunity to pay you a visit of some length."

Mr. Oldbuck's countenance fell. "Why, I thought I had hit on the very
arrangement that would suit us both,--and who knows what might happen in
the long run, and whether we might ever part? Why, I am master of my
acres, man--there is the advantage of being descended from a man of more
sense than pride--they cannot oblige me to transmit my goods chattels,
and heritages, any way but as I please. No string of substitute heirs of
entail, as empty and unsubstantial as the morsels of paper strung to the
train of a boy's kite, to cumber my flights of inclination, and my
humours of predilection. Well,--I see you won't be tempted at present
--but Caledonia goes on I hope?"

"O certainly," said Lovel; "I cannot think of relinquishing a plan so
hopeful."

"It is indeed," said the Antiquary, looking gravely upward,--for, though
shrewd and acute enough in estimating the variety of plans formed by
others, he had a very natural, though rather disproportioned good opinion
of the importance of those which originated with himself--"it is indeed
one of those undertakings which, if achieved with spirit equal to that
which dictates its conception, may redeem from the charge of frivolity
the literature of the present generation."

Here he was interrupted by a knock at the room door, which introduced a
letter for Mr. Lovel. The servant waited, Mrs. Hadoway said, for an
answer. "You are concerned in this matter, Mr. Oldbuck," said Lovel,
after glancing over the billet, and handing it to the Antiquary as he
spoke.

It was a letter from Sir Arthur Wardour, couched in extremely civil
language, regetting that a fit of the gout had prevented his hitherto
showing Mr. Lovel the attentions to which his conduct during a late
perilous occasion had so well entitled him--apologizing for not paying
his respects in person, but hoping Mr. Lovel would dispense with that
ceremony, and be a member of a small party which proposed to visit the
ruins of Saint Ruth's priory on the following day, and afterwards to dine
and spend the evening at Knockwinnock Castle. Sir Arthur concluded with
saying, that he had sent to request the Monkbarns family to join the
party of pleasure which he thus proposed. The place of rendezvous was
fixed at a turnpike-gate, which was about an equal distance from all the
points from which the company were to assemble.

"What shall we do?" said Lovel, looking at the Antiquary, but pretty
certain of the part he would take.

"Go, man--we'll go, by all means. Let me see--it will cost a post-chaise
though, which will hold you and me, and Mary M'Intyre, very well--and the
other womankind may go to the manse--and you can come out in the chaise
to Monkbarns, as I will take it for the day."

"Why, I rather think I had better ride."

"True, true, I forgot your Bucephalus. You are a foolish lad, by the by,
for purchasing the brute outright; you should stick to eighteenpence a
side, if you will trust any creature's legs in preference to your own."

"Why, as the horse's have the advantage of moving considerably faster,
and are, besides, two pair to one, I own I incline"--

"Enough said--enough said--do as you please. Well then, I'll bring either
Grizel or the minister, for I love to have my full pennyworth out of
post-horses--and we meet at Tirlingen turnpike on Friday, at twelve
o'clock precisely. "--And with this ageement the friends separated.




                          CHAPTER SEVENTEENTH.

          Of seats they tell, where priests, 'mid tapers dim,
          Breathed the warm prayer, or tuned the midnight hymn
               To scenes like these the fainting soul retired;
               Revenge and Anger in these cells expired:
             By Pity soothed, Remorse lost half her fears,
             And softened Pride dropped penitential tears.
                           Crabbe's Borough.

The morning of Friday was as serene and beautiful as if no pleasure party
had been intended; and that is a rare event, whether in novel-writing or
real life. Lovel, who felt the genial influence of the weather, and
rejoiced at the prospect of once more meeting with Miss Wardour, trotted
forward to the place of rendezvous with better spirits than he had for
some time enjoyed. His prospects seemed in many respects to open and
brighten before him--and hope, although breaking like the morning sun
through clouds and showers, appeared now about to illuminate the path
before him. He was, as might have been expected from this state of
spirits, first at the place of meeting,--and, as might also have been
anticipated, his looks were so intently directed towards the road from
Knockwinnock Castles that he was only apprized of the arrival of the
Monkbarns division by the gee-hupping of the postilion, as the
post-chaise lumbered up behind him. In this vehicle were pent up, first,
the stately figure of Mr. Oldbuck himself; secondly, the scarce less
portly person of the Reverend Mr. Blattergowl, minister of Trotcosey, the
parish in which Monkbarns and Knockwinnock were both situated. The
reverend gentleman was equipped in a buzz wig, upon the top of which was
an equilateral cocked hat. This was the paragon of the three yet
remaining wigs of the parish, which differed, as Monkbarns used to
remark, like the three degrees of comparison--Sir Arthur's ramilies being
the positive, his own bob-wig the comparative, and the overwhelming
grizzle of the worthy clergyman figuring as the superlative. The
superintendent of these antique garnitures, deeming, or affecting to
deem, that he could not well be absent on an occasion which assembled all
three together, had seated himself on the board behind the carriage,
"just to be in the way in case they wanted a touch before the gentlemen
sat down to dinner." Between the two massive figures of Monkbarns and the
clergyman was stuck, by way of bodkin, the slim form of Mary M'Intyre,
her aunt having preferred a visit to the manse, and a social chat with
Miss Beckie Blattergowl, to investigating the ruins of the priory of
Saint Ruth.

As greetings passed between the members of the Monkbarns party and Mr.
Lovel, the Baronet's carriage, an open barouche, swept onward to the
place of appointment, making, with its smoking bays, smart drivers, arms,
blazoned panels, and a brace of outriders, a strong contrast with the
battered vehicle and broken-winded backs which had brought thither the
Antiquary and his followers. The principal seat of the carriage was
occupied by Sir Arthur and his daughter. At the first glance which passed
betwixt Miss Wardour and Lovel, her colour rose considerably;--but she
had apparently made up her mind to receive him as a friend, and only as
such, and there was equal composure and courtesy in the mode of her reply
to his fluttered salutation. Sir Arthur halted the barouche to shake his
preserver kindly by the hand, and intimate the pleasure he had on this
opportunity of returning him his personal thanks; then mentioned to him,
in a tone of slight introduction, "Mr. Dousterswivel, Mr. Lovel."

Lovel took the necessary notice of the German adept, who occupied the
front seat of the carriage, which is usually conferred upon dependants or
inferiors. The ready grin and supple inclination with which his
salutation, though slight, was answered by the foreigner, increased the
internal dislike which Lovel had already conceived towards him; and it
was plain, from the lower of the Antiquary's shaggy eye-brow, that he too
looked with displeasure on this addition to the company. Little more than
distant greeting passed among the members of the party, until, having
rolled on for about three miles beyond the place at which they met, the
carriages at length stopped at the sign of the Four Horse-shoes, a small
hedge inn, where Caxon humbly opened the door, and let down the step of
the hack-chaise, while the inmates of the barouche were, by their more
courtly attendants, assisted to leave their equipage.

Here renewed greetings passed: the young ladies shook hands; and Oldbuck,
completely in his element, placed himself as guide and cicerone at the
head of the party, who were now to advance on foot towards the object of
their curiosity. He took care to detain Lovel close beside him as the
best listener of the party, and occasionally glanced a word of
explanation and instruction to Miss Wardour and Mary M'Intyre, who
followed next in order. The Baronet and the clergyman he rather avoided,
as he was aware both of them conceived they understood such matters as
well, or better than he did; and Dousterswivel, besides that he looked on
him as a charlatan, was so nearly connected with his apprehended loss in
the stock of the mining company, that he could not abide the sight of
him. These two latter satellites, therefore, attended upon the orb of Sir
Arthur, to whom, moreover, as the most important person of the society,
they were naturally induced to attach themselves.

It frequently happens that the most beautiful points of Scottish scenery
lie hidden in some sequestered dell, and that you may travel through the
country in every direction without being aware of your vicinity to what
is well worth seeing, unless intention or accident carry you to the very
spot. This is particularly the case in the country around Fairport, which
is, generally speaking, open, unenclosed, and bare. But here and there
the progress of rills, or small rivers, has formed dells, glens, or as
they are provincially termed, _dens,_ on whose high and rocky banks trees
and shrubs of all kinds find a shelter, and grow with a luxuriant
profusion, which is the more gratifying, as it forms an unexpected
contrast with the general face of the country. This was eminently the
case with the approach to the ruins of Saint Ruth, which was for some
time merely a sheep-track, along the side of a steep and bare hill. By
degrees, however, as this path descended, and winded round the hillside,
trees began to appear, at first singly, stunted, and blighted, with locks
of wool upon their trunks, and their roots hollowed out into recesses, in
which the sheep love to repose themselves--a sight much more gratifying
to the eye of an admirer of the picturesque than to that of a planter or
forester. By and by the trees formed groups, fringed on the edges, and
filled up in the middle, by thorns and hazel bushes; and at length these
groups closed so much together, that although a broad glade opened here
and there under their boughs, or a small patch of bog or heath occurred
which had refused nourishment to the seed which they sprinkled round, and
consequently remained open and waste, the scene might on the whole be
termed decidedly woodland. The sides of the valley began to approach each
other more closely; the rush of a brook was heard below, and between the
intervals afforded by openings in the natural wood, its waters were seen
hurling clear and rapid under their silvan canopy.

Oldbuck now took upon himself the full authority of cicerone, and
anxiously directed the company not to go a foot-breadth off the track
which he pointed out to them, if they wished to enjoy in full perfection
what they came to see. "You are happy in me for a guide, Miss Wardour,"
exclaimed the veteran, waving his hand and head in cadence as he repeated
with emphasis,


               I know each lane, and every alley green,
               Dingle, or bushy dell, of this wild wood,
               And every bosky bower from side to side. *

* (Milton's _Comus._)

Ah! deuce take it!--that spray of a bramble has demolished all Caxon's
labours, and nearly canted my wig into the stream--so much for
recitations, _hors de propos._"

"Never mind, my dear sir," said Miss Wardour; "you have your faithful
attendant ready to repair such a disaster when it happens, and when you
appear with it as restored to its original splendour, I will carry on the
quotation:

                So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
                And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
               And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
                       Flames on the forehead"--*

* (_Lycidas._)

"O! enough, enough!" answered Oldbuck; "I ought to have known what it was
to give you advantage over me--But here is what will stop your career of
satire, for you are an admirer of nature, I know." In fact, when they had
followed him through a breach in a low, ancient, and ruinous wall, they
came suddenly upon a scene equally unexpected and interesting.

They stood pretty high upon the side of the glen, which had suddenly
opened into a sort of amphitheatre to give room for a pure and profound
lake of a few acres extent, and a space of level ground around it. The
banks then arose everywhere steeply, and in some places were varied by
rocks--in others covered with the copse, which run up, feathering their
sides lightly and irregularly, and breaking the uniformity of the green
pasture-ground.--Beneath, the lake discharged itself into the huddling
and tumultuous brook, which had been their companion since they had
entered the glen. At the point at which it issued from "its parent lake,"
stood the ruins which they had come to visit. They were not of great
extent; but the singular beauty, as well as the wild and sequestered
character of the spot on which they were situated, gave them an interest
and importance superior to that which attaches itself to architectural
remains of greater consequence, but placed near to ordinary houses, and
possessing less romantic accompaniments. The eastern window of the church
remained entire, with all its ornaments and tracery work; and the sides,
upheld by flying buttresses whose airy support, detached from the wall
against which they were placed, and ornamented with pinnacles and carved
work, gave a variety and lightness to the building. The roof and western
end of the church were completely ruinous; but the latter appeared to
have made one side of a square, of which the ruins of the conventual
buildings formed other two, and the gardens a fourth. The side of these
buildings which overhung the brook, was partly founded on a steep and
precipitous rock; for the place had been occasionally turned to military
purposes, and had been taken with great slaughter during Montrose's wars.
The ground formerly occupied by the garden was still marked by a few
orchard trees. At a greater distance from the buildings were detached
oaks and elms and chestnuts, growing singly, which had attained great
size. The rest of the space between the ruins and the hill was a
close-cropt sward, which the daily pasture of the sheep kept in much
finer order than if it had been subjected to the scythe and broom. The
whole scene had a repose, which was still and affecting without being
monotonous. The dark, deep basin, in which the clear blue lake reposed,
reflecting the water lilies which grew on its surface, and the trees
which here and there threw their arms from the banks, was finely
contrasted with the haste and tumult of the brook which broke away from
the outlet, as if escaping from confinement and hurried down the glen,
wheeling around the base of the rock on which the ruins were situated,
and brawling in foam and fury with every shelve and stone which
obstructed its passage. A similar contrast was seen between the level
green meadow, in which the ruins were situated, and the large
timber-trees which were scattered over it, compared with the precipitous
banks which arose at a short distance around, partly fringed with light
and feathery underwood, partly rising in steeps clothed with purple
heath, and partly more abruptly elevated into fronts of grey rock,
chequered with lichen, and with those hardy plants which find root even
in the most and crevices of the crags.

"There was the retreat of learning in the days of darkness, Mr. Lovel!"
said Oldbuck,--around whom the company had now grouped themselves while
they admired the unexpected opening of a prospect so romantic;--"there
reposed the sages who were aweary of the world, and devoted either to
that which was to come, or to the service of the generations who should
follow them in this. I will show you presently the library;--see that
stretch of wall with square-shafted windows--there it existed, stored, as
an old manuscript in my possession assures me, with five thousand
volumes. And here I might well take up the lamentation of the learned
Leland, who, regretting the downfall of the conventual libraries,
exclaims, like Rachel weeping for her children, that if the Papal laws,
decrees, decretals, clementines, and other such drugs of the devil--yea,
if Heytesburg's sophisms, Porphyry's universals, Aristotle's logic, and
Dunse's divinity, with such other lousy legerdemains (begging your
pardon, Miss Wardour) and fruits of the bottomless pit,--had leaped out
of our libraries, for the accommodation of grocers, candlemakers,
soapsellers, and other worldly occupiers, we might have been therewith
contented. But to put our ancient chronicles, our noble histories, our
learned commentaries, and national muniments, to such offices of contempt
and subjection, has greatly degraded our nation, and showed ourselves
dishonoured in the eyes of posterity to the utmost stretch of time--O
negligence most unfriendly to our land!"

"And, O John Knox" said the Baronet, "through whose influence, and under
whose auspices, the patriotic task was accomplished!"

The Antiquary, somewhat in the situation of a woodcock caught in his own
springe, turned short round and coughed, to excuse a slight blush as he
mustered his answer--"as to the Apostle of the Scottish Reformation"--

But Miss Wardour broke in to interrupt a conversation so dangerous.
"Pray, who was the author you quoted, Mr. Oldbuck?"

"The learned Leland, Miss Wardour, who lost his senses on witnessing the
destruction of the conventual libraries in England."

"Now, I think," replied the young lady, "his misfortune may have saved
the rationality of some modern antiquaries, which would certainly have
been drowned if so vast a lake of learning had not been diminished by
draining."

"Well, thank Heaven, there is no danger now--they have hardly left us a
spoonful in which to perform the dire feat."

So saying, Mr. Oldbuck led the way down the bank, by a steep but secure
path, which soon placed them on the verdant meadow where the ruins stood.
"There they lived," continued the Antiquary, "with nought to do but to
spend their time in investigating points of remote antiquity,
transcribing manuscripts, and composing new works for the information of
posterity."

"And," added the Baronet, "in exercising the rites of devotion with a
pomp and ceremonial worthy of the office of the priesthood."

"And if Sir Arthur's excellence will permit," said the German, with a low
bow, "the monksh might also make de vary curious experiment in deir
laboraties, both in chemistry and _magia naturalis._"

"I think," said the clergyman, "they would have enough to do in
collecting the teinds of the parsonage and vicarage of three good
parishes."

"And all," added Miss Wardour, nodding to the Antiquary, "without
interruption from womankind."

"True, my fair foe," said Oldbuck; "this was a paradise where no Eve was
admitted, and we may wonder the rather by what chance the good fathers
came to lose it."

With such criticisms on the occupations of those by whom the ruins had
been formerly possessed, they wandered for some time from one moss-grown
shrine to another, under the guidance of Oldbuck, who explained, with
much plausibility, the ground-plan of the edifice, and read and expounded
to the company the various mouldering inscriptions which yet were to be
traced upon the tombs of the dead, or under the vacant niches of the
sainted images.

"What is the reason," at length Miss Wardour asked the Antiquary, "why
tradition has preserved to us such meagre accounts of the inmates of
these stately edifices, raised with such expense of labour and taste, and
whose owners were in their times personages of such awful power and
importance? The meanest tower of a freebooting baron or squire who lived
by his lance and broadsword, is consecrated by its appropriate legend,
and the shepherd will tell you with accuracy the names and feats of its
inhabitants;--but ask a countryman concerning these beautiful and
extensive remains--these towers, these arches, and buttresses, and
shafted windows, reared at such cost,--three words fill up his answer
--they were made up by the monks lang syne.'"

The question was somewhat puzzling. Sir Arthur looked upward, as if
hoping to be inspired with an answer--Oldbuck shoved back his wig--the
clergyman was of opinion that his parishioners were too deeply impressed
with the true presbyterian doctrine to preserve any records concerning
the papistical cumberers of the land, offshoots as they were of the great
overshadowing tree of iniquity, whose roots are in the bowels of the
seven hills of abomination--Lovel thought the question was best resolved
by considering what are the events which leave the deepest impression on
the minds of the common people--"These," he contended, "were not such as
resemble the gradual progress of a fertilizing river, but the headlong
and precipitous fury of some portentous flood. The eras by which the
vulgar compute time, have always reference to some period of fear and
tribulation, and they date by a tempest, an earthquake, or burst of civil
commotion. When such are the facts most alive, in the memory of the
common people, we cannot wonder," he concluded, "that the ferocious
warrior is remembered, and the peaceful abbots are abandoned to
forgetfulness and oblivion."

"If you pleashe, gentlemans and ladies, and ashking pardon of Sir Arthur
and Miss Wardour, and this worthy clergymansh, and my goot friend Mr.
Oldenbuck, who is my countrymansh, and of goot young Mr. Lofel also, I
think it is all owing to de hand of glory."

"The hand of what?" exclaimed Oldbuck.

"De hand of glory, my goot Master Oldenbuck, which is a vary great and
terrible secrets--which de monksh used to conceal their treasures when
they were triven from their cloisters by what you call de Reform."

"Ay, indeed! tell us about that," said Oldbuck, "for these are secrets
worth knowing."

"Why, my goot Master Oldenbuck, you will only laugh at me--But de hand of
glory is vary well known in de countries where your worthy progenitors
did live--and it is hand cut off from a dead man, as has been hanged for
murther, and dried very nice in de shmoke of juniper wood; and if you put
a little of what you call yew wid your juniper, it will not be any
better--that is, it will not be no worse--then you do take something of
de fatsh of de bear, and of de badger, and of de great eber, as you call
de grand boar, and of de little sucking child as has not been christened
(for dat is very essentials), and you do make a candle, and put it into
de hand of glory at de proper hour and minute, with de proper ceremonish,
and he who seeksh for treasuresh shall never find none at all,"

"I dare take my corporal oath of that conclusion," said the Antiquary.
"And was it the custom, Mr. Dousterswivel, in Westphalia, to make use of
this elegant candelabrum?"

"Alwaysh, Mr. Oldenbuck, when you did not want nobody to talk of nothing
you wash doing about--And the monksh alwaysh did this when they did hide
their church-plates, and their great chalices, and de rings, wid very
preshious shtones and jewels."

"But, notwithstanding, you knights of the Rosy Cross have means, no
doubt, of breaking the spell, and discovering what the poor monks have
put themselves to so much trouble to conceal?"

"Ah! goot Mr. Oldenbuck," replied the adept, shaking his head
mysteriously, "you was very hard to believe; but if you had seen de great
huge pieces of de plate so massive, Sir Arthur,--so fine fashion, Miss
Wardour--and de silver cross dat we did find (dat was Schroepfer and my
ownself) for de Herr Freygraf, as you call de Baron Von Blunderhaus, I do
believe you would have believed then."

"Seeing _is_ believing indeed. But what was your art--what was your
mystery, Mr. Dousterswivel?"

"Aha, Mr. Oldenbuck! dat is my little secret, mine goot sir--you sall
forgife me that I not tell that. But I will tell you dere are various
ways--yes, indeed, dere is de dream dat you dream tree times--dat is a
vary goot way."

"I am glad of that," said Oldbuck; "I have a friend" (with a side-glance
to Lovel) "who is peculiarly favoured by the visits of Queen Mab."

"Den dere is de sympathies, and de antipathies, and de strange properties
and virtues natural of divers herb, and of de little divining-rod."

"I would gladly rather see some of these wonders than hear of them," said
Miss Wardour.

"Ah, but, my much-honoured young lady, this is not de time or de way to
do de great wonder of finding all de church's plate and treasure; but to
oblige you, and Sir Arthur my patron, and de reverend clergymans, and
goot Mr. Oldenbuck, and young Mr. Lofel, who is a very goot young
gentleman also, I will show you dat it is possible, a vary possible, to
discover de spring, of water, and de little fountain hidden in de ground,
without any mattock, or spade, or dig at all."

"Umph!" quoth the Antiquary, "I have heard of that conundrum. That will
be no very productive art in our country;--you should carry that property
to Spain or Portugal, and turn it to good account."

"Ah! my goot Master Oldenbuck, dere is de Inquisition and de Auto-da-fe'
--they would burn me, who am but a simple philosopher, for one great
conjurer."

"They would cast away their coals then," said Oldbuck; "but," continued
he, in a whisper to Lovel, "were they to pillory him for one of the most
impudent rascals that ever wagged a tongue, they would square the
punishment more accurately with his deserts. But let us see: I think he
is about to show us some of his legerdemain."

In truth, the German was now got to a little copse-thicket at some
distance from the ruins, where he affected busily to search for such a
wand as would suit the purpose of his mystery: and after cutting and
examining, and rejecting several, he at length provided himself with a
small twig of hazel terminating in a forked end, which he pronounced to
possess the virtue proper for the experiment that he was about to
exhibit. Holding the forked ends of the wand, each between a finger and
thumb, and thus keeping the rod upright, he proceeded to pace the ruined
aisles and cloisters, followed by the rest of the company in admiring
procession. "I believe dere was no waters here," said the adept, when he
had made the round of several of the buildings, without perceiving any of
those indications which he pretended to expect--"I believe those Scotch
monksh did find de water too cool for de climate, and alwaysh drank de
goot comfortable, Rhinewine. But, aha!--see there!" Accordingly, the
assistants observed the rod to turn in his fingers, although he pretended
to hold it very tight.--"Dere is water here about, sure enough," and,
turning this way and that way, as the agitation of the divining-rod
seemed to increase or diminish, he at length advanced into the midst of a
vacant and roofless enclosure which had been the kitchen of the priory,
when the rod twisted itself so as to point almost straight downwards.
"Here is de place," said the adept, "and if you do not find de water
here, I will give you all leave to call me an impudent knave."

"I shall take that license," whispered the Antiquary to Lovel, "whether
the water is discovered or no."

A servant, who had come up with a basket of cold refreshments, was now
despatched to a neighbouring forester's hut for a mattock and pick-axe.
The loose stones and rubbish being removed from the spot indicated by the
German, they soon came to the sides of a regularly-built well; and when a
few feet of rubbish were cleared out by the assistance of the forester
and his sons, the water began to rise rapidly, to the delight of the
philosopher, the astonishment of the ladies, Mr. Blattergowl, and Sir
Arthur, the surprise of Lovel, and the confusion of the incredulous
Antiquary. He did not fail, however, to enter his protest in Lovers ear
against the miracle. "This is a mere trick," he said; "the rascal had
made himself sure of the existence of this old well, by some means or
other, before he played off this mystical piece of jugglery. Mark what he
talks of next. I am much mistaken if this is not intended as a prelude to
some more serious fraud. See how the rascal assumes consequence, and
plumes himself upon the credit of his success, and how poor Sir Arthur
takes in the tide of nonsense which he is delivering to him as principles
of occult science!"

"You do see, my goot patron, you do see, my goot ladies, you do see,
worthy Dr. Bladderhowl, and even Mr. Lofel and Mr. Oldenbuck may see, if
they do will to see, how art has no enemy at all but ignorance. Look at
this little slip of hazel nuts--it is fit for nothing at all but to whip
de little child"--("I would choose a cat and nine tails for your
occasions," whispered Oldbuck apart)--"and you put it in the hands of a
philosopher--paf! it makes de grand discovery. But this is nothing, Sir
Arthur,--nothing at all, worthy Dr. Botherhowl--nothing at all, ladies
--nothing at all, young Mr. Lofel and goot Mr. Oldenbuck, to what art can
do. Ah! if dere was any man that had de spirit and de courage, I would
show him better things than de well of water--I would show him"--

"And a little money would be necessary also, would it not?" said the
Antiquary.

"Bah! one trifle, not worth talking about, maight be necessaries,"
answered the adept.

"I thought as much," rejoined the Antiquary, drily; "and I, in the
meanwhile, without any divining-rod, will show you an excellent venison
pasty, and a bottle of London particular Madeira, and I think that will
match all that Mr. Dousterswivel's art is like to exhibit."

The feast was spread _fronde super viridi,_ as Oldbuck expressed himself,
under a huge old tree called the Prior's Oak, and the company, sitting
down around it, did ample honour to the, contents of the basket.



                           CHAPTER EIGHTEENTH.

               As when a Gryphon through the wilderness,
               With winged course, o'er hill and moory dale,
                 Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
                 Had from his wakeful custody purloined
                  The guarded gold: So eagerly the Fiend--
                                   Paradise Lost.

When their collation was ended, Sir Arthur resumed the account of the
mysteries of the divining-rod, as a subject on which he had formerly
conversed with Dousterswivel. "My friend Mr. Oldbuck will now be
prepared, Mr. Dousterswivel, to listen with more respect to the stories
you have told us of the late discoveries in Germany by the brethren of
your association."

"Ah, Sir Arthur, that was not a thing to speak to those gentlemans,
because it is want of credulity--what you call faith--that spoils the
great enterprise."

"At least, however, let my daughter read the narrative she has taken down
of the story of Martin Waldeck."

"Ah! that was vary true story--but Miss Wardour, she is so sly and so
witty, that she has made it just like one romance--as well as Goethe or
Wieland could have done it, by mine honest wort."

"To say the truth, Mr. Dousterswivel," answered Miss Wardour, "the
romantic predominated in the legend so much above the probable, that it
was impossible for a lover of fairyland like me to avoid lending a few
touches to make it perfect in its kind. But here it is, and if you do not
incline to leave this shade till the heat of the day has somewhat
declined, and will have sympathy with my bad composition, perhaps Sir
Arthur or Mr. Oldbuck will read it to us."

"Not I," said Sir Arthur; "I was never fond of reading aloud."

"Nor I," said Oldbuck, "for I have forgot my spectacles. But here is
Lovel, with sharp eyes and a good voice; for Mr. Blattergowl, I know,
never reads anything, lest he should be suspected of reading his
sermons."

The task was therefore imposed upon Lovel, who received, with some
trepidation, as Miss Wardour delivered, with a little embarrassment, a
paper containing the lines traced by that fair hand, the possession of
which he coveted as the highest blessing the earth could offer to him.
But there was a necessity of suppressing his emotions; and after glancing
over the manuscript, as if to become acquainted with the character, he
collected himself, and read the company the following tale:--


                    [The Fortunes of Martin Waldeck.]

The solitudes of the Harz forest in Germany,* but especially the
mountains called Blocksberg, or rather Brockenberg, are the chosen scenes
for tales of witches, demons, and apparitions.

* The outline of this story is taken from the German, though the Author
is at present unable to say in which of the various collections of the
popular legends in that language the original is to be found.

The occupation of the inhabitants, who are either miners or foresters, is
of a kind that renders them peculiarly prone to superstition, and the
natural phenomena which they witness in pursuit of their solitary or
subterraneous profession, are often set down by them to the interference
of goblins or the power of magic. Among the various legends current in
that wild country, there is a favourite one, which supposes the Harz to
be haunted by a sort of tutelar demon, in the shape of a wild man, of
huge stature, his head wreathed with oak leaves, and his middle cinctured
with the same, bearing in his hand a pine torn up by the roots. It is
certain that many persons profess to have seen such a form traversing,
with huge strides, in a line parallel to their own course, the opposite
ridge of a mountain, when divided from it by a narrow glen; and indeed
the fact of the apparition is so generally admitted, that modern
scepticism has only found refuge by ascribing it to optical deception. *

*The shadow of the person who sees the phantom, being reflected upon a
cloud of mist, like the image of the magic lantern upon a white sheet, is
supposed to have formed the apparition.

In elder times, the intercourse of the demon with the inhabitants was
more familiar, and, according to the traditions of the Harz, he was wont,
with the caprice usually ascribed to these earth-born powers, to
interfere with the affairs of mortals, sometimes for their weal,
sometimes for their wo. But it was observed that even his gifts often
turned out, in the long run, fatal to those on whom they were bestowed,
and it was no uncommon thing for the pastors, in their care of their
flocks, to compose long sermons, the burden whereof was a warning against
having any intercourse, direct or indirect, with the Harz demon. The
fortunes of Martin Waldeck have been often quoted by the aged to their
giddy children, when they were heard to scoff at a danger which appeared
visionary.

A travelling capuchin had possessed himself of the pulpit of the thatched
church at a little hamlet called _Morgenbrodt,_ lying in the Harz
district, from which he declaimed against the wickedness of the
inhabitants, their communication with fiends, witches, and fairies, and,
in particular, with the woodland goblin of the Harz. The doctrines of
Luther had already begun to spread among the peasantry (for the incident
is placed under the reign of Charles V. ), and they laughed to scorn the
zeal with which the venerable man insisted upon his topic. At length, as
his vehemence increased with opposition, so their opposition rose in
proportion to his vehemence. The inhabitants did not like to hear an
accustomed quiet demon, who had inhabited the Brockenberg for so many
ages, summarily confounded with Baal-peor, Ashtaroth, and Beelzebub
himself, and condemned without reprieve to the bottomless Tophet. The
apprehensions that the spirit might avenge himself on them for listening
to such an illiberal sentence, added to their national interest in his
behalf. A travelling friar, they said, that is here to-day and away
to-morrow, may say what he pleases: but it is we, the ancient and
constant inhabitants of the country, that are left at the mercy of the
insulted demon, and must, of course, pay for all. Under the irritation
occasioned by these reflections, the peasants from injurious language
betook themselves to stones, and having pebbled the priest pretty
handsomely, they drove him out of the parish to preach against demons
elsewhere.

Three young men, who had been present and assisting on this occasion were
upon their return to the hut where they carried on the laborious and mean
occupation of preparing charcoal for the smelting furnaces. On the way,
their conversation naturally turned upon the demon of the Harz and the
doctrine of the capuchin. Max and George Waldeck, the two elder brothers,
although they allowed the language of the capuchin to have been
indiscreet and worthy of censure, as presuming to determine upon the
precise character and abode of the spirit, yet contended it was
dangerous, in the highest degree, to accept of his gifts, or hold any
communication with him, He was powerful, they allowed, but wayward and
capricious, and those who had intercourse with him seldom came to a good
end. Did he not give the brave knight, Ecbert of Rabenwald, that famous
black steed, by means of which he vanquished all the champions at the
great tournament at Bremen? and did not the same steed afterwards
precipitate itself with its rider into an abyss so steep and fearful,
that neither horse nor man were ever seen more? Had he not given to Dame
Gertrude Trodden a curious spell for making butter come? and was she not
burnt for a witch by the grand criminal judge of the Electorate, because
she availed herself of his gift? But these, and many other instances
which they quoted, of mischance and ill-luck ultimately attending on the
apparent benefits conferred by the Harz spirit, failed to make any
impression upon Martin Waldeck, the youngest of the brothers.

Martin was youthful, rash, and impetuous; excelling in all the exercises
which distinguish a mountaineer, and brave and undaunted from his
familiar intercourse with the dangers that attend them. He laughed at the
timidity of his brothers. "Tell me not of such folly," he said; "the
demon is a good demon--he lives among us as if he were a peasant like
ourselves--haunts the lonely crags and recesses of the mountains like a
huntsman or goatherd--and he who loves the Harz forest and its wild
scenes cannot be indifferent to the fate of the hardy children of the
soil. But, if the demon were as malicious as you would make him, how
should he derive power over mortals, who barely avail themselves of his
gifts, without binding themselves to submit to his pleasure? When you
carry your charcoal to the furnace, is not the money as good that is paid
you by blaspheming Blaize, the old reprobate overseer, as if you got it
from the pastor himself? It is not the goblins gifts which can endanger
you, then, but it is the use you shall make of them that you must account
for. And were the demon to appear to me at this moment, and indicate to
me a gold or silver mine, I would begin to dig away even before his back
were turned,--and I would consider myself as under protection of a much
Greater than he, while I made a good use of the wealth he pointed out to
me."

To this the elder brother replied, that wealth ill won was seldom well
spent; while Martin presumptuously declared, that the possession of all
the treasures of the Harz would not make the slightest alteration on his
habits, morals, or character.

His brother entreated Martin to talk less wildly upon the subject, and
with some difficulty contrived to withdraw his attention, by calling it
to the consideration of the approaching boar-chase. This talk brought
them to their hut, a wretched wigwam, situated upon one side of a wild,
narrow, and romantic dell, in the recesses of the Brockenberg. They
released their sister from attending upon the operation of charring the
wood, which requires constant attention, and divided among themselves the
duty of watching it by night, according to their custom, one always
waking, while his brothers slept.

Max Waldeck, the eldest, watched during the first two hours of the night,
and was considerably alarmed by observing, upon the opposite bank of the
glen, or valley, a huge fire surrounded by some figures that appeared to
wheel around it with antic gestures. Max at first bethought him of
calling up his brothers; but recollecting the daring character of the
youngest, and finding it impossible to wake the elder without also
disturbing Martin--conceiving also what he saw to be an illusion of the
demon, sent perhaps in consequence of the venturous expressions used by
Martin on the preceding evening, he thought it best to betake himself to
the safeguard of such prayers as he could murmur over, and to watch in
great terror and annoyance this strange and alarming apparition. After
blazing for some time, the fire faded gradually away into darkness, and
the rest of Max's watch was only disturbed by the remembrance of its
terrors.

George now occupied the place of Max, who had retired to rest. The
phenomenon of a huge blazing fire, upon the opposite bank of the glen,
again presented itself to the eye of the watchman. It was surrounded as
before by figures, which, distinguished by their opaque forms, being
between the spectator and the red glaring light, moved and fluctuated
around it as if engaged in some mystical ceremony. George, though equally
cautious, was of a bolder character than his elder brother. He resolved
to examine more nearly the object of his wonder; and, accordingly after
crossing the rivulet which divided the glen, he climbed up the opposite
bank, and approached within an arrow's flight of the fire, which blazed
apparently with the same fury as when he first witnessed it.

The appearance, of the assistants who surrounded it resembled those
phantoms which are seen in a troubled dream, and at once confirmed the
idea he had entertained from the first, that they did not belong to the
human world. Amongst these strange unearthly forms, George Waldeck
distinguished that of a giant overgrown with hair, holding an uprooted
fir in his hand, with which, from time to time, he seemed to stir the
blazing fire, and having no other clothing than a wreath of oak leaves
around his forehead and loins. George's heart sunk within him at
recognising the well-known apparition of the Harz demon, as he had been
often described to him by the ancient shepherds and huntsmen who had seen
his form traversing the mountains. He turned, and was about to fly; but
upon second thoughts, blaming his own cowardice, he recited mentally the
verse of the Psalmist, "All good angels, praise the Lord!" which is in
that country supposed powerful as an exorcism, and turned himself once
more towards the place where he had seen the fire. But it was no longer
visible.

The pale moon alone enlightened the side of the valley; and when George,
with trembling steps, a moist brow, and hair bristling upright under his
collier's cap, came to the spot on which the fire had been so lately
visible, marked as it was by a scathed oak-tree, there appeared not on
the heath the slightest vestiges of what he had seen. The moss and wild
flowers were unscorched, and the branches of the oak-tree, which had so
lately appeared enveloped in wreaths of flame and smoke, were moist with
the dews of midnight.

George returned to his hut with trembling steps, and, arguing like his
elder brother, resolved to say nothing of what he had seen, lest he
should awake in Martin that daring curiosity which he almost deemed to be
allied with impiety.

It was now Martin's turn to watch. The household cock had given his first
summons, and the night was well-nigh spent. Upon examining the state of
the furnace in which the wood was deposited in order to its being _coked_
or _charred,_ he was surprised to find that the fire had not been
sufficiently maintained; for in his excursion and its consequences,
George had forgot the principal object of his watch. Martin's first
thought was to call up the slumberers; but observing that both his
brothers slept unwontedly deep and heavily, he respected their repose,
and set himself to supply the furnace with fuel without requiring their
aid. What he heaped upon it was apparently damp and unfit for the
purpose, for the fire seemed rather to decay than revive. Martin next
went to collect some boughs from a stack which had been carefully cut and
dried for this purpose; but, when he returned, he found the fire totally
extinguished. This was a serious evil, and threatened them with loss of
their trade for more than one day. The vexed and mortified watchman set
about to strike a light in order to rekindle the fire but the tinder was
moist, and his labour proved in this respect also ineffectual. He was now
about to call up his brothers, for circumstances seemed to be pressing,
when flashes of light glimmered not only through the window, but through
every crevice of the rudely built hut, and summoned him to behold the
same apparition which had before alarmed the successive watches of his
brethren. His first idea was, that the Muhllerhaussers, their rivals in
trade, and with whom they had had many quarrels, might have encroached
upon their bounds for the purpose of pirating their wood; and he resolved
to awake his brothers, and be revenged on them for their audacity. But a
short reflection and observation on the gestures and manner of those who
seemed to "work in the fire," induced him to dismiss this belief, and
although rather sceptical in such matters, to conclude that what he saw
was a supernatural phenomenon. "But be they men or fiends," said the
undaunted forester, "that busy themselves yonder with such fantastical
rites and gestures, I will go and demand a light to rekindle our
furnace." He, relinquished at the same time the idea of awaking his
brethren. There was a belief that such adventures as he was about to
undertake were accessible only to one person at a time; he feared also
that his brothers, in their scrupulous timidity, might interfere to
prevent his pursuing the investigation he had resolved to commence; and,
therefore, snatching his boar-spear from the wall, the undaunted Martin
Waldeck set forth on the adventure alone.

With the same success as his brother George, but with courage far
superior, Martin crossed the brook, ascended the hill, and approached so
near the ghostly assembly, that he could recognise, in the presiding
figure, the attributes of the Harz demon. A cold shuddering assailed him
for the first time in his life; but the recollection that he had at a
distance dared and even courted the intercourse which was now about to
take place, confirmed his staggering courage; and pride supplying what he
wanted in resolution, he advanced with tolerable firmness towards the
fire, the figures which surrounded it appearing still more wild,
fantastical, and supernatural, the more near he approached to the
assembly. He was received with a loud shout of discordant and unnatural
laughter, which, to his stunned ears, seemed more alarming than a
combination of the most dismal and melancholy sounds that could be
imagined. "Who art thou?" said the giant, compressing his savage and
exaggerated features into a sort of forced gravity, while they were
occasionally agitated by the convulsion of the laughter which he seemed
to suppress.

"Martin Waldeck, the forester," answered the hardy youth;--"and who are
you?"

"The King of the Waste and of the Mine," answered the spectre;--"and why
hast thou dared to encroach on my mysteries?"

"I came in search of light to rekindle my fire," answered Martin,
hardily, and then resolutely asked in his turn, "What mysteries are those
that you celebrate here?"

"We celebrate," answered the complaisant demon, "the wedding of Hermes
with the Black Dragon--But take thy fire that thou camest to seek, and
begone! no mortal may look upon us and live."

The peasant struck his spear-point into a large piece of blazing wood,
which he heaved up with some difficulty, and then turned round to regain
his hut, the, shouts of laughter being renewed behind him with treble
violence, and ringing far down the narrow valley. When Martin returned to
the hut, his first care, however much astonished with what he had seen,
was to dispose the kindled coal among the fuel so as might best light the
fire of his furnace; but after many efforts, and all exertions of bellows
and fire-prong, the coal he had brought from the demon's fire became
totally extinct without kindling any of the others. He turned about, and
observed the fire still blazing on the hill, although those who had been
busied around it had disappeared. As he conceived the spectre had been
jesting with him, he gave way to the natural hardihood of his temper,
and, determining to see the adventure to an end, resumed the road to the
fire, from which, unopposed by the demon, he brought off in the same
manner a blazing piece of charcoal, but still without being able to
succeed in lighting his fire. Impunity having increased his rashness, he
resolved upon a third experiment, and was as successful as before in
reaching the fire; but when he had again appropriated a piece of burning
coal, and had turned to depart, he heard the harsh and supernatural voice
which had before accosted him, pronounce these words, "Dare not return
hither a fourth time!"

The attempt to kindle the fire with this last coal having proved as
ineffectual as on the former occasions, Martin relinquished the hopeless
attempt, and flung himself on his bed of leaves, resolving to delay till
the next morning the communication of his supernatural adventure to his
brothers. He was awakened from a heavy sleep into which he had sunk, from
fatigue of body and agitation of mind, by loud exclamations of surprise
and joy. His brothers, astonished at finding the fire extinguished when
they awoke, had proceeded to arrange the fuel in order to renew it, when
they found in the ashes three huge metallic masses, which their skill
(for most of the peasants in the Harz are practical mineralogists)
immediately ascertained to be pure gold.

It was some damp upon their joyful congratulations when they learned from
Martin the mode in which he had obtained this treasure, to which their
own experience of the nocturnal vision induced them to give full credit.
But they were unable to resist the temptation of sharing in their
brother's wealth. Taking now upon him as head of the house, Martin
Waldeck bought lands and forests, built a castle, obtained a patent of
nobility, and, greatly to the indignation of the ancient aristocracy of
the neighbourhood, was invested with all the privileges of a man of
family. His courage in public war, as well as in private feuds, together
with the number of retainers whom he kept in pay, sustained him for some
time against the odium which was excited by his sudden elevation, and the
arrogance of his pretensious.

And now it was seen in the instance of Martin Waldeck, as it has been in
that of many others, how little mortals can foresee the effect of sudden
prosperity on their own disposition. The evil propensities in his nature,
which poverty had checked and repressed, ripened and bore their
unhallowed fruit under the influence of temptation and the means of
indulgence. As Deep calls unto Deep, one bad passion awakened another the
fiend of avarice invoked that of pride, and pride was to be supported by
cruelty and oppression. Waldeck's character, always bold and daring but
rendered harsh and assuming by prosperity, soon made him odious, not to
the nobles only, but likewise to the lower ranks, who saw, with double
dislike, the oppressive rights of the feudal nobility of the empire so
remorselessly exercised by one who had risen from the very dregs of the
people. His adventure, although carefully concealed, began likewise to be
whispered abroad, and the clergy already stigmatized as a wizard and
accomplice of fiends, the wretch, who, having acquired so huge a treasure
in so strange a manner, had not sought to sanctify it by dedicating a
considerable portion to the use of the church. Surrounded by enemies,
public and private, tormented by a thousand feuds, and threatened by the
church with excommunication, Martin Waldeck, or, as we must now call him,
the Baron von Waldeck, often regretted bitterly the labours and sports of
his unenvied poverty. But his courage failed him not under all these
difficulties, and seemed rather to augment in proportion to the danger
which darkened around him, until an accident precipitated his fall.

A proclamation by the reigning Duke of Brunswick had invited to a solemn
tournament all German nobles of free and honourable descent; and Martin
Waldeck, splendidly armed, accompanied by his two brothers, and a
gallantly-equipped retinue, had the arrogance to appear among the
chivalry of the province, and demand permission to enter the lists. This
was considered as filling up the measure of his presumption. A thousand
voices exclaimed, "We will have no cinder-sifter mingle in our games of
chivalry." Irritated to frenzy, Martin drew his sword and hewed down the
herald, who, in compliance with the general outcry, opposed his entry
into the lists. An hundred swords were unsheathed to avenge what was in
those days regarded as a crime only inferior to sacrilege or regicide.
Waldeck, after defending himself like a lion, was seized, tried on the
spot by the judges of the lists, and condemned, as the appropriate
punishment for breaking the peace of his sovereign, and violating the
sacred person of a herald-at-arms, to have his right hand struck from his
body, to be ignominiously deprived of the honour of nobility, of which he
was unworthy, and to be expelled from the city. When he had been stripped
of his arms, and sustained the mutilation imposed by this severe
sentence, the unhappy victim of ambition was abandoned to the rabble, who
followed him with threats and outcries levelled alternately against the
necromancer and oppressor, which at length ended in violence. His
brothers (for his retinue were fled and dispersed) at length succeeded in
rescuing him from the hands of the populace, when, satiated with cruelty,
they had left him half dead through loss of blood, and through the
outrages he had sustained. They were not permitted, such was the
ingenious cruelty of their enemies, to make use of any other means of
removing him, excepting such a collier's cart as they had themselves
formerly used, in which they deposited their brother on a truss of straw,
scarcely expecting to reach any place of shelter ere death should release
him from his misery.

When the Waldecks, journeying in this miserable manner, had approached
the verge of their native country, in a hollow way, between two
mountains, they perceived a figure advancing towards them, which at first
sight seemed to be an aged man. But as he approached, his limbs and
stature increased, the cloak fell from his shoulders, his pilgrim's staff
was changed into an uprooted pine-tree, and the gigantic figure of the
Harz demon passed before them in his terrors. When he came opposite to
the cart which contained the miserable Waldeck, his huge features dilated
into a grin of unutterable contempt and malignity, as he asked the
sufferer, "How like you the fire my coals have kindled?" The power of
motion, which terror suspended in his two brothers, seemed to be restored
to Martin by the energy of his courage. He raised himself on the cart,
bent his brows, and, clenching his fist, shook it at the spectre with a
ghastly look of hate and defiance. The goblin vanished with his usual
tremendous and explosive laugh, and left Waldeck exhausted with this
effort of expiring nature.

The terrified brethren turned their vehicle toward the towers of a
convent, which arose in a wood of pine-trees beside the road. They were
charitably received by a bare-footed and long-bearded capuchin, and
Martin survived only to complete the first confession he had made since
the day of his sudden prosperity, and to receive absolution from the very
priest whom, precisely on that day three years, he had assisted to pelt
out of the hamlet of Morgenbrodt. The three years of precarious
prosperity were supposed to have a mysterious correspondence with the
number of his visits to the spectral fire upon the bill.

The body of Martin Waldeck was interred in the convent where he expired,
in which his brothers, having assumed the habit of the order, lived and
died in the performance of acts of charity and devotion. His lands, to
which no one asserted any claim, lay waste until they were reassumed by
the emperor as a lapsed fief, and the ruins of the castle, which Waldeck
had called by his own name, are still shunned by the miner and forester
as haunted by evil spirits. Thus were the miseries attendant upon wealth,
hastily attained and ill employed, exemplified in the fortunes of Martin
Waldeck.




                           CHAPTER NINETEENTH.


                 Here has been such a stormy encounter
                 Betwixt my cousin Captain, and this soldier,
                 About I know not what!--nothing, indeed;
                 Competitions, degrees, and comparatives
                          Of soldiership!--
                                    A Faire Qurrell.

The attentive audience gave the fair transcriber of the foregoing legend
the thanks which politeness required. Oldbuck alone curled up his nose,
and observed, that Miss Wardour's skill was something like that of the
alchemists, for she had contrived to extract a sound and valuable moral
out of a very trumpery and ridiculous legend. "It is the fashion, as I am
given to understand, to admire those extravagant fictions--for me,

                            --I bear an English heart,
             Unused at ghosts and rattling bones to start."

"Under your favour, my goot Mr. Oldenbuck," said the German, "Miss
Wardour has turned de story, as she does every thing as she touches, very
pretty indeed; but all the history of de Harz goblin, and how he walks
among de desolate mountains wid a great fir-tree for his walking cane,
and wid de great green bush around his head and his waist--that is as
true as I am an honest man."

"There is no disputing any proposition so well guaranteed," answered the
Antiquary, drily. But at this moment the approach of a stranger cut short
the conversation.

The new comer was a handsome young man, about five-and-twenty, in a
military undress, and bearing, in his look and manner, a good deal of
the, martial profession--nay, perhaps a little more than is quite
consistent with the ease of a man of perfect good-breeding, in whom no
professional habit ought to predominate. He was at once greeted by the
greater part of the company. "My dear Hector!" said Miss M'Intyre, as she
rose to take his hand--

"Hector, son of Priam, whence comest thou?" said the Antiquary.

"From Fife, my liege," answered the young soldier, and continued, when he
had politely saluted the rest of the company, and particularly Sir Arthur
and his daughter--"I learned from one of the servants, as I rode towards
Monkbarns to pay my respects to you, that I should find the present
company in this place, and I willingly embrace the opportunity to pay my
respects to so many of my friends at once."

"And to a new one also, my trusty Trojan," said Oldbuck. "Mr. Lovel, this
is my nephew, Captain M'Intyre--Hector, I recommend Mr. Lovel to your
acquaintance."

The young soldier fixed his keen eye upon Lovel, and paid his compliment
with more reserve than cordiality and as our acquaintance thought his
coldness almost supercilious, he was equally frigid and haughty in making
the necessary return to it; and thus a prejudice seemed to arise between
them at the very commencement of their acquaintance.

The observations which Lovel made during the remainder of this pleasure
party did not tend to reconcile him with this addition to their society.
Captain M'Intyre, with the gallantry to be expected from his age and
profession, attached himself to the service of Miss Wardour, and offered
her, on every possible opportunity, those marks of attention which Lovel
would have given the world to have rendered, and was only deterred from
offering by the fear of her displeasure. With forlorn dejection at one
moment, and with irritated susceptibility at another, he saw this
handsome young soldier assume and exercise all the privileges of a
_cavaliere servente._ He handed Miss Wardour's gloves, he assisted her in
putting on her shawl, he attached himself to her in the walks, had a hand
ready to remove every impediment in her path, and an arm to support her
where it was rugged or difficult; his conversation was addressed chiefly
to her, and, where circumstances permitted, it was exclusively so. All
this, Lovel well knew, might be only that sort of egotistical gallantry
which induces some young men of the present day to give themselves the
air of engrossing the attention of the prettiest women in company, as if
the others were unworthy of their notice. But he thought he observed in
the conduct of Captain M'Intyre something of marked and peculiar
tenderness, which was calculated to alarm the jealousy of a lover. Miss
Wardour also received his attentions; and although his candour allowed
they were of a kind which could not be repelled without some strain of
affectation, yet it galled him to the heart to witness that she did so.

The heart-burning which these reflections occasioned proved very
indifferent seasoning to the dry antiquarian discussions with which
Oldbuck, who continued to demand his particular attention, was
unremittingly persecuting him; and he underwent, with fits of impatience
that amounted almost to loathing, a course of lectures upon monastic
architecture, in all its styles, from the massive Saxon to the florid
Gothic, and from that to the mixed and composite architecture of James
the First's time, when, according to Oldbuck, all orders were confounded,
and columns of various descriptions arose side by side, or were piled
above each other, as if symmetry had been forgotten, and the elemental
principles of art resolved into their primitive confusion. "What can be
more cutting to the heart than the sight of evils," said Oldbuck, in
rapturous enthusiasm, "which we are compelled to behold, while we do not
possess the power of remedying them?" Lovel answered by an involulatary
groan. "I see, my dear young friend, and most congenial spirit, that you
feel these enormities almost as much as I do. Have you ever approached
them, or met them, without longing to tear, to deface, what is so
dishonourable?"

"Dishonourable!" echoed Lovel--"in what respect dishonourable?"

"I mean, disgraceful to the arts."

"Where? how?"

"Upon the portico, for example, of the schools of Oxford, where, at
immense expense, the barbarous, fantastic, and ignorant architect has
chosen to represent the whole five orders of architecture on the front of
one building."

By such attacks as these, Oldbuck, unconscious of the torture he was
giving, compelled Lovel to give him a share of his attention,--as a
skilful angler, by means of his line, maintains an influence over the
most frantic movements of his agonized prey.

They were now on their return to the spot where they had left the
carriages; and it is inconceivable how often, in the course of that short
walk, Lovel, exhausted by the unceasing prosing of his worthy companion,
mentally bestowed on the devil, or any one else that would have rid him
of hearing more of them, all the orders and disorders of architecture
which had been invented or combined from the building of Solomon's temple
downwards. A slight incident occurred, however, which sprinkled a little
patience on the heat of his distemperature.

Miss Wardour, and her self-elected knight companion, rather preceded the
others in the narrow path, when the young lady apparently became desirous
to unite herself with the rest of the party, and, to break off her
_tete-a-tete_ with the young officer, fairly made a pause until Mr.
Oldbuck came up. "I wished to ask you a question, Mr. Oldbuck, concerning
the date of these interesting ruins."

It would be doing injustice to Miss Wardour's _savoir faire,_ to suppose
she was not aware that such a question would lead to an answer of no
limited length. The Antiquary, starting like a war-horse at the trumpet
sound, plunged at once into the various arguments for and against the
date of 1273, which had been assigned to the priory of St. Ruth by a late
publication on Scottish architectural antiquities. He raked up the names
of all the priors who had ruled the institution, of the nobles who had
bestowed lands upon it, and of the monarchs who had slept their last
sleep among its roofless courts. As a train which takes fire is sure to
light another, if there be such in the vicinity, the Baronet, catching at
the name of one of his ancestors which occurred in Oldbuck's
disquisition, entered upon an account of his wars, his conquests, and his
trophies; and worthy Dr. Blattergowl was induced, from the mention of a
grant of lands, _cum decimis inclusis tam vicariis quam garbalibus, et
nunquan antea separatis,_ to enter into a long explanation concerning the
interpretation given by the Teind Court in the consideration of such a
clause, which had occurred in a process for localling his last
augmentation of stipend. The orators, like three racers, each pressed
forward to the goal, without much regarding how each crossed and jostled
his competitors. Mr. Oldbuck harangued, the Baronet declaimed, Mr.
Blattergowl prosed and laid down the law, while the Latin forms of feudal
grants were mingled with the jargon of blazonry, and the yet more
barbarous phraseology of the Teind Court of Scotland. "He was," exclaimed
Oldbuck, speaking of the Prior Adhemar, "indeed an exemplary prelate;
and, from his strictness of morals, rigid execution of penance, joined to
the charitable disposition of his mind, and the infirmities endured by
his great age and ascetic habits"--

Here he chanced to cough, and Sir Arthur burst in, or rather continued
--"was called popularly Hell-in-Harness; he carried a shield, gules with
a sable fess, which we have since disused, and was slain at the battle of
Vernoil, in France, after killing six of the English with his own"--

"Decreet of certification," proceeded the clergyman, in that prolonged,
steady, prosing tone, which, however overpowered at first by the
vehemence of competition, promised, in the long run, to obtain the
ascendancy in this strife of narrators;--"Decreet of certification having
gone out, and parties being held as confessed, the proof seemed to be
held as concluded, when their lawyer moved to have it opened up, on the
allegation that they had witnesses to bring forward, that they had been
in the habit of carrying the ewes to lamb on the teind-free land; which
was a mere evasion, for"--

But here the, Baronet and Mr. Oldbuck having recovered their wind, and
continued their respective harangues, the three _strands_ of the
conversation, to speak the language of a rope-work, were again twined
together into one undistinguishable string of confusion.

Yet, howsoever uninteresting this piebald jargon might seem, it was
obviously Miss Wardour's purpose to give it her attention, in preference
to yielding Captain M'Intyre an opportunity of renewing their private
conversation. So that, after waiting for a little time with displeasure,
ill concealed by his haughty features, he left her to enjoy her bad
taste, and taking his sister by the arm, detained her a little behind the
rest of the party.

"So I find, Mary, that your neighbour has neither become more lively nor
less learned during my absence."

"We lacked your patience and wisdom to instruct us, Hector."

"Thank you, my dear sister. But you have got a wiser, if not so lively an
addition to your society, than your unworthy brother--Pray, who is this
Mr. Lovel, whom our old uncle has at once placed so high in his good
graces?--he does not use to be so accessible to strangers."

"Mr. Lovel, Hector, is a very gentleman-like young man."

"Ay,--that is to say, he bows when he comes into a room, and wears a coat
that is whole at the elbows."

"No, brother; it says a great deal more. It says that his manners and
discourse express the feelings and education of the higher class."

"But I desire to know what is his birth and his rank in society, and what
is his title to be in the circle in which I find him domesticated?"

"If you mean, how he comes to visit at Monkbarns, you must ask my uncle,
who will probably reply, that he invites to his own house such company as
he pleases; and if you mean to ask Sir Arthur, you must know that Mr.
Lovel rendered Miss Wardour and him a service of the most important
kind."

"What! that romantic story is true, then?--And pray, does the valorous
knight aspire, as is befitting on such occasions, to the hand of the
young lady whom he redeemed from peril? It is quite in the rule of
romance, I am aware; and I did think that she was uncommonly dry to me as
we walked together, and seemed from time to time as if she watched
whether she was not giving offence to her gallant cavalier."

"Dear Hector," said his sister, "if you really continue to nourish any
affection for Miss Wardour"--

"If, Mary?--what an _if_ was there!"

"--I own I consider your perseverance as hopeless."

"And why hopeless, my sage sister?" asked Captain M'Intyre: "Miss
Wardour, in the state of her father's affairs, cannot pretend to much
fortune;--and, as to family, I trust that of Mlntyre is not inferior."

"But, Hector," continued his sister, "Sir Arthur always considers us as
members of the Monkbarns family."

"Sir Arthur may consider what he pleases," answered the Highlander
scornfully; "but any one with common sense will consider that the wife
takes rank from the husband, and that my father's pedigree of fifteen
unblemished descents must have ennobled my mother, if her veins had been
filled with printer's ink."

"For God's sake, Hector," replied his anxious sister, "take care of
yourself! a single expression of that kind, repeated to my uncle by an
indiscreet or interested eavesdropper, would lose you his favour for
ever, and destroy all chance of your succeeding to his estate."

"Be it so," answered the heedless young man; "I am one of a profession
which the world has never been able to do without, and will far less
endure to want for half a century to come; and my good old uncle may tack
his good estate and his plebeian name to your apron-string if he pleases,
Mary, and you may wed this new favourite of his if you please, and you
may both of you live quiet, peaceable, well-regulated lives, if it
pleases Heaven. My part is taken--I'll fawn on no man for an inheritance
which should be mine by birth."

Miss M'Intyre laid her hand on her brother's arm, and entreated him to
suppress his vehemence. "Who," she said, "injures or seeks to injure you,
but your own hasty temper?--what dangers are you defying, but those you
have yourself conjured up?--Our uncle has hitherto been all that is kind
and paternal in his conduct to us, and why should you suppose he will in
future be otherwise than what he has ever been, since we were left as
orphans to his care?"

"He is an excellent old gentleman, I must own," replied M'Intyre, "and I
am enraged at myself when I chance to offend him; but then his eternal
harangues upon topics not worth the spark of a flint--his investigations
about invalided pots and pans and tobacco-stoppers past service--all
these things put me out of patience. I have something of Hotspur in me,
sister, I must confess."

"Too much, too much, my dear brother! Into how many risks, and, forgive
me for saying, some of them little creditable, has this absolute and
violent temper led you! Do not let such clouds darken the time you are
now to pass in our neighbourhood, but let our old benefactor see his
kinsman as he is--generous, kind, and lively, without being rude,
headstrong, and impetuous."

"Well," answered Captain M'Intyre, "I am schooled--good-manners be my
speed! I'll do the civil thing by your new friend--I'll have some talk
with this Mr. Lovel."

With this determination, in which he was for the time perfectly sincere,
he joined the party who were walking before them. The treble disquisition
was by this time ended; and Sir Arthur was speaking on the subject of
foreign news, and the political and military situation of the country,
themes upon which every man thinks himself qualified to give an opinion.
An action of the preceding year having come upon the _tapis,_ Lovel,
accidentally mingling in the conversation, made some assertion concerning
it, of the accuracy of which Captain M'Intyre seemed not to be convinced,
although his doubts were politely expressed.

"You must confess yourself in the wrong here, Hector," said his uncle,
"although I know no man less willing to give up an argument; but you were
in England at the time, and Mr. Lovel was probably concerned in the
affair."

"I am speaking to a military man, then?" said M'Intyre; "may I inquire to
what regiment Mr. Lovel belongs?"--Mr. Lovel gave him the number of the
regiment. "It happens strangely that we should never have met before, Mr.
Lovel. I know your regiment very well, and have served along with them at
different times."

A blush crossed Lovel's countenance. "I have not lately been with my
regiment," he replied; "I served the last campaign upon the staff of
General Sir----."

"Indeed! that is more wonderful than the other circumstance!--for
although I did not serve with General Sir----, yet I had an opportunity
of knowing the names of the officers who held situations in his family,
and I cannot recollect that of Lovel."

At this observation Lovel again blushed so deeply as to attract the
attention of the whole company, while, a scornful laugh seemed to
indicate Captain M'Intyre's triumph. "There is something strange in
this," said Oldbuck to himself; "but I will not readily give up my
phoenix of post-chaise companions--all his actions, language, and
bearing, are those of a gentleman."

Lovel in the meanwhile had taken out his pocket-book, and selecting a
letter, from which he took off the envelope, he handed it to Mlntyre.
"You know the General's hand, in all probability--I own I ought not to
show these exaggerated expressions of his regard and esteem for me." The
letter contained a very handsome compliment from the officer in question
for some military service lately performed. Captain M'Intyre, as he
glanced his eye over it, could not deny that it was written in the
General's hand, but drily observed, as he returned it, that the address
was wanting. "The address, Captain M'Intyre," answered Lovel, in the same
tone, "shall be at your service whenever you choose to inquire after it!"

"I certainly shall not fail to do so," rejoined the soldier.

"Come, come," exclaimed Oldbuck, "what is the meaning of all this? Have
we got Hiren here?--We'll have no swaggering youngsters. Are you come
from the wars abroad, to stir up domestic strife in our peaceful land?
Are you like bull-dog puppies, forsooth, that when the bull, poor fellow,
is removed from the ring, fall to brawl among themselves, worry each
other, and bite honest folk's shins that are standing by?"

Sir Arthur trusted, he said, the young gentlemen would not so far forget
themselves as to grow warm upon such a trifling subject as the back of a
letter.

Both the disputants disclaimed any such intention, and, with high colour
and flashing eyes, protested they were never so cool in their lives. But
an obvious damp was cast over the party;--they talked in future too much
by the rule to be sociable, and Lovel, conceiving himself the object of
cold and suspicious looks from the rest of the company, and sensible that
his indirect replies had given them permission to entertain strange
opinions respecting him, made a gallant determination to sacrifice the
pleasure he had proposed in spending the day at Knockwinnock.

He affected, therefore, to complain of a violent headache, occasioned by
the heat of the day, to which he had not been exposed since his illness,
and made a formal apology to Sir Arthur, who, listening more to recent
suspicion than to the gratitude due for former services, did not press
him to keep his engagement more than good-breeding exactly demanded.

When Lovel took leave of the ladies, Miss Wardour's manner seemed more
anxious than he had hitherto remarked it. She indicated by a glance of
her eye towards Captain M'Intyre, perceptible only by Lovel, the subject
of her alarm, and hoped, in a voice greatly under her usual tone, it was
not a less pleasant engagement which deprived them of the pleasure of Mr.
Lovel's company. "No engagement had intervened," he assured her; "it was
only the return of a complaint by which he had been for some time
occasionally attacked."

"The best remedy in such a case is prudence, and I--every friend of Mr.
Lovel's will expect him to employ it."

Lovel bowed low and coloured deeply, and Miss Wardour, as if she felt
that she had said too much, turned and got into the carriage. Lovel had
next to part with Oldbuck, who, during this interval, had, with Caxon's
assistance, been arranging his disordered periwig, and brushing his coat,
which exhibited some marks of the rude path they had traversed. "What,
man!" said Oldbuck, "you are not going to leave us on account of that
foolish Hector's indiscreet curiosity and vehemence? Why, he is a
thoughtless boy--a spoiled child from the time he was in the nurse's
arms--he threw his coral and bells at my head for refusing him a bit of
sugar; and you have too much sense to mind such a shrewish boy: _aequam
servare mentem_ is the motto of our friend Horace. I'll school Hector by
and by, and put it all to rights." But Lovel persisted in his design of
returning to Fairport.

The Antiquary then assumed a graver tone.--"Take heed, young man, to your
present feelings. Your life has been given you for useful and valuable
purposes, and should be reserved to illustrate the literature of your
country, when you are not called upon to expose it in her defence, or in
the rescue of the innocent. Private war, a practice unknown to the
civilised ancients, is, of all the absurdities introduced by the Gothic
tribes, the most gross, impious, and cruel. Let me hear no more of these
absurd quarrels, and I will show you the treatise upon the duello, which
I composed when the town-clerk and provost Mucklewhame chose to assume
the privileges of gentlemen, and challenged each other. I thought of
printing my Essay, which is signed _Pacificator;_ but there was no need,
as the matter was taken up by the town-council of the borough."

"But I assure you, my dear sir, there is nothing between Captain M'Intyre
and me that can render such respectable interference necessary."

"See it be so; for otherwise, I will stand second to both parties."

So saying, the old gentleman got into the chaise, close to which Miss
M'Intyre had detained her brother, upon the same principle that the owner
of a quarrelsome dog keeps him by his side to prevent his fastening upon
another. But Hector contrived to give her precaution the slip, for, as he
was on horseback, he lingered behind the carriages until they had fairly
turned the corner in the road to Knockwinnock, and then, wheeling his
horse's head round, gave him the spur in the opposite direction.

A very few minutes brought him up with Lovel, who, perhaps anticipating
his intention, had not put his horse beyond a slow walk, when the clatter
of hoofs behind him announced Captain Mlntyre. The young soldier, his
natural heat of temper exasperated by the rapidity of motion, reined his
horse up suddenly and violently by Lovel's side, and touching his hat
slightly, inquired, in a very haughty tone of voice, "What am I to
understand, sir, by your telling me that your address was at my service?"

"Simply, sir," replied Lovel, "that my name is Lovel, and that my
residence is, for the present, Fairport, as you will see by this card."

"And is this all the information you are disposed to give me?"

"I see no right you have to require more."

"I find you, sir, in company with my sister," said the young soldier,
"and I have a right to know who is admitted into Miss M'Intyre's
society."

"I shall take the liberty of disputing that right," replied Lovel, with a
manner as haughty as that of the young soldier;--"you find me in society
who are satisfied with the degree of information on my affairs which I
have thought proper to communicate, and you, a mere stranger, have no
right to inquire further."

"Mr. Lovel, if you served as you say you have"--

"If!" interrupted Lovel,--"_if_ I have served as _I say_ I have?"

"Yes, sir, such is my expression--_if_ you have so served, you must know
that you owe me satisfaction either in one way or other."

"If that be your opinion, I shall be proud to give it to you, Captain
M'Intyre, in the way in which the word is generally used among
gentlemen."

"Very well, sir," rejoined Hector, and, turning his horse round, galloped
off to overtake his party.

His absence had already alarmed them, and his sister, having stopped the
carriage, had her neck stretched out of the window to see where he was.

"What is the matter with you now?" said the Antiquary, "riding to and fro
as your neck were upon the wager--why do you not keep up with the
carriage?"

"I forgot my glove, sir," said Hector.

"Forgot your glove!--I presume you meant to say you went to throw it
down--But I will take order with you, my young gentleman--you shall
return with me this night to Monkbarns." So saying, he bid the postilion
go on.



                           CHAPTER TWENTIETH.


                         --If you fail Honour here,
                 Never presume to serve her any more;
                 Bid farewell to the integrity of armes;
                    And the honourable name of soldier
            Fall from you, like a shivered wreath of laurel
            By thunder struck from a desertlesse forehead.
                                    A Faire Quarrell.

Early the next morning, a gentleman came to wait upon Mr. Lovel, who was
up and ready to receive him. He was a military gentleman, a friend of
Captain M'Intyre's, at present in Fairport on the recruiting service.
Lovel and he were slightly known to each other. "I presume, sir," said
Mr. Lesley (such was the name of the visitor), "that you guess the
occasion of my troubling you so early?"

"A message from Captain M'Intyre, I presume?"

"The same. He holds himself injured by the manner in which you declined
yesterday to answer certain inquiries which he conceived himself entitled
to make respecting a gentleman whom he found in intimate society with his
family."

"May I ask, if you, Mr. Lesley, would have inclined to satisfy
interrogatories so haughtily and unceremoniously put to you?"

"Perhaps not;--and therefore, as I know the warmth of my friend M'Intyre
on such occasions, I feel very desirous of acting as peacemaker. From Mr.
Lovel's very gentleman-like manners, every one must strongly wish to see
him repel all that sort of dubious calumny which will attach itself to
one whose situation is not fully explained. If he will permit me, in
friendly conciliation, to inform Captain M'Intyre of his real name, for
we are led to conclude that of Lovel is assumed"--

"I beg your pardon, sir, but I cannot admit that inference."

"--Or at least," said Lesley, proceeding, "that it is not the name by
which Mr. Lovel has been at all times distinguished--if Mr. Lovel will
have the goodness to explain this circumstance, which, in my opinion, he
should do in justice to his own character, I will answer for the amicable
arrangement of this unpleasant business."

"Which is to say, Mr. Lesley, that if I condescend to answer questions
which no man has a right to ask, and which are now put to me under
penalty of Captain M'Intyre's resentment, Captain MIntyre will condescend
to rest satisfied? Mr. Lesley, I have just one word to say on this
subject--I have no doubt my secret, if I had one, might be safely
entrusted to your honour, but I do not feel called upon to satisfy the
curiosity of any one. Captain M'Intyre met me in society which of itself
was a warrant to all the world, and particularly ought to be such to him,
that I was a gentleman. He has, in my opinion, no right to go any
further, or to inquire the pedigree, rank, or circumstances, of a
stranger, who, without seeking any intimate connection with him, or his,
chances to dine with his uncle, or walk in company with his sister."

"In that case, Captain M'Intyre requests you to be informed, that your
farther visits at Monkbarns, and all connection with Miss M'Intyre, must
be dropt, as disagreeable to him."

"I shall certainly," said Lovel, "visit Mr. Oldbuck when it suits me,
without paying the least respect to his nephew's threats or irritable
feelings. I respect the young lady's name too much (though nothing can be
slighter than our acquaintance) to introduce it into such a discussion."

"Since that is your resolution, sir," answered Lesley, "Captain M'Intyre
requests that Mr. Lovel, unless he wishes to be announced as a very
dubious character, will favour him with a meeting this evening, at seven,
at the thorn-tree in the little valley close by the ruins of St. Ruth."

"Most unquestionably, I will wait upon him. There is only one difficulty
--I must find a friend to accompany me, and where to seek one on this
short notice, as I have no acquaintance in Fairport--I will be on the
spot, however--Captain M'Intyre may be assured of that."

Lesley had taken his hat, and was as far as the door of the apartment,
when, as if moved by the peculiarity of Lovel's situation, he returned,
and thus addressed him: "Mr. Lovel, there is something so singular in all
this, that I cannot help again resuming the argument. You must be
yourself aware at this moment of the inconvenience of your preserving an
incognito, for which, I am convinced, there can be no dishonourable
reason. Still, this mystery renders it difficult for you to procure the
assistance of a friend in a crisis so delicate--nay, let me add, that
many persons will even consider it as a piece of Quixotry in M'Intyre to
give you a meeting, while your character and circumstances are involved
in such obscurity."

"I understand your innuendo, Mr. Lesley," rejoined Lovel; and though I
might be offended at its severity, I am not so, because it is meant
kindly. But, in my opinion, he is entitled to all the privileges of a
gentleman, to whose charge, during the time he has been known in the
society where he happens to move, nothing can be laid that is unhandsome
or unbecoming. For a friend, I dare say I shall find some one or other
who will do me that good turn; and if his experience be less than I could
wish, I am certain not to suffer through that circumstance when you are
in the field for my antagonist."

"I trust you will not," said Lesley; "but as I must, for my own sake, be
anxious to divide so heavy a responsibility with a capable assistant,
allow me to say, that Lieutenant Taffril's gun-brig is come into the
roadstead, and he himself is now at old Caxon's, where he lodges. I think
you have the same degree of acquaintance with him as with me, and, as I
am sure I should willingly have rendered you such a service were I not
engaged on the other side, I am convinced he will do so at your first
request."

"At the thorn-tree, then, Mr. Lesley, at seven this evening--the arms, I
presume, are pistols?"

"Exactly. M'Intyre has chosen the hour at which he can best escape from
Monkbarns--he was with me this morning by five, in order to return and
present himself before his uncle was up. Good-morning to you, Mr. Lovel."
And Lesley left the apartment.

Lovel was as brave as most men; but none can internally regard such a
crisis as now approached, without deep feelings of awe and uncertainty.
In a few hours he might be in another world to answer for an action which
his calmer thought told him was unjustifiable in a religious point of
view, or he might be wandering about in the present like Cain, with the
blood of his brother on his head. And all this might be saved by speaking
a single word. Yet pride whispered, that to speak that word now, would be
ascribed to a motive which would degrade him more low than even the most
injurious reasons that could be assigned for his silence. Every one, Miss
Wardour included, must then, he thought, account him a mean dishonoured
poltroon, who gave to the fear of meeting Captain M'Intyre the
explanation he had refused to the calm and handsome expostulations of Mr.
Lesley. M'Intyre's insolent behaviour to himself personally, the air of
pretension which he assumed towards Miss Wardour, and the extreme
injustice, arrogance, and incivility of his demands upon a perfect
stranger, seemed to justify him in repelling his rude investigation. In
short, he formed the resolution which might have been expected from so
young a man,--to shut the eyes, namely, of his calmer reason, and follow
the dictates of his offended pride. With this purpose he sought
Lieutenant Taffril.

The lieutenant received him with the good breeding of a gentleman and the
frankness of a sailor, and listened with no small surprise to the detail
which preceded his request that he might be favoured with his company at
his meeting with Captain M'Intyre. When he had finished, Taffril rose up
and walked through his apartment once or twice. "This is a most singular
circumstance," he said, "and really"--

"I am conscious, Mr. Taffril, how little I am entitled to make my present
request, but the urgency of circumstances hardly leaves me an
alternative."

"Permit me to ask you one question," asked the sailor;--"is there
anything of which you are ashamed in the circumstances which you have
declined to communicate."

"Upon my honour, no; there is nothing but what, in a very short time, I
trust I may publish to the whole world."

"I hope the mystery arises from no false shame at the lowness of your
friends perhaps, or connections?"

"No, on my word," replied Lovel.

"I have little sympathy for that folly," said Taffril--"indeed I cannot
be supposed to have any; for, speaking of my relations, I may be said to
have come myself from before the mast, and I believe I shall very soon
form a connection, which the world will think low enough, with a very
amiable girl, to whom I have been attached since we were next-door
neighbours, at a time when I little thought of the good fortune which has
brought me forward in the service."

"I assure you, Mr. Taffril," replied Lovel, "whatever were the rank of my
parents, I should never think of concealing it from a spirit of petty
pride. But I am so situated at present, that I cannot enter on the
subject of my family with any propriety."

"It is quite enough," said the honest sailor--"give me your hand; I'll
see you as well through this business as I can, though it is but an
unpleasant one after all--But what of that? our own honour has the next
call on us after our country;--you are a lad of spirit, and I own I think
Mr. Hector M'Intyre, with his long pedigree and his airs of family, very
much of a jackanapes. His father was a soldier of fortune as I am a
sailor--he himself, I suppose, is little better, unless just as his uncle
pleases; and whether one pursues fortune by land, or sea, makes no great
difference, I should fancy."

"None in the universe, certainly," answered Lovel.

"Well," said his new ally, "we will dine together and arrange matters for
this rencounter. I hope you understand the use of the weapon?"

"Not particularly," Lovel replied.

"I am sorry for that--M'Intyre is said to be a marksman."

"I am sorry for it also," said Lovel, "both for his sake and my own: I
must then, in self-defence, take my aim as well as I can."

"Well," added Taffril, "I will have our surgeon's mate on the field--a
good clever young fellow at caulking a shot-hole. I will let Lesley, who
is an honest fellow for a landsman, know that he attends for the benefit
of either party. Is there anything I can do for you in case of an
accident?"

"I have but little occasion to trouble you," said Lovel. "This small
billet contains the key of my escritoir, and my very brief secret. There
is one letter in the escritoir" (digesting a temporary swelling of the
heart as he spoke), "which I beg the favour of you to deliver with your
own hand."

"I understand," said the sailor. "Nay, my friend, never be ashamed for
the matter--an affectionate heart may overflow for an instant at the
eyes, if the ship were clearing for action; and, depend on it, whatever
your injunctions are, Dan Taffril will regard them like the bequest of a
dying brother. But this is all stuff;--we must get our things in fighting
order, and you will dine with me and my little surgeon's mate, at the
Graeme's-Arms over the way, at four o'clock."

"Agreed," said Lovel.

"Agreed," said Taffril; and the whole affair was arranged.

It was a beautiful summer evening, and the shadow of the solitary
thorn-tree was lengthening upon the short greensward of the narrow
valley, which was skirted by the woods that closed around the ruins of
St. Ruth. *

* [Supposed to have been suggested by the old Abbey of Arbroath in *
Forfarshire.]

 Lovel and Lieutenant Taffril, with the surgeon, came upon the ground
with a purpose of a nature very uncongenial to the soft, mild, and
pacific character of the hour and scene. The sheep, which during the
ardent heat of the day had sheltered in the breaches and hollows of the
gravelly bank, or under the roots of the aged and stunted trees, had now
spread themselves upon the face of the hill to enjoy their evening's
pasture, and bleated, to each other with that melancholy sound which at
once gives life to a landscape, and marks its solitude.--Taffril and
Lovel came on in deep conference, having, for fear of discovery, sent
their horses back to the town by the Lieutenant's servant. The opposite
party had not yet appeared on the field. But when they came upon the
ground, there sat upon the roots of the old thorn a figure as vigorous in
his decay as the moss-grown but strong and contorted boughs which served
him for a canopy. It was old Ochiltree. "This is embarrassing enough,"
said Lovel:--"How shall we get rid of this old fellow?"

"Here, father Adam," cried Taffril, who knew the mendicant of yore
--"here's half-a-crown for you. You must go to the Four Horse-shoes yonder
--the little inn, you know, and inquire for a servant with blue and
yellow livery. If he is not come, you'll wait for him, and tell him we
shall be with his master in about an hour's time. At any rate, wait there
till we come back,--and--Get off with you--Come, come, weigh anchor."

"I thank ye for your awmous," said Ochiltree, pocketing the piece of
money; "but I beg your pardon, Mr. Taffril--I canna gang your errand e'en
now."

"Why not, man? what can hinder you?"

"I wad speak a word wi' young Mr. Lovel."

"With me?" answered Lovel: "what would you say with me? Come, say on, and
be brief."

The mendicant led him a few paces aside. "Are ye indebted onything to the
Laird o' Monkbarns?"

"Indebted!--no, not I--what of that?--what makes you think so?"

"Ye maun ken I was at the shirra's the day; for, God help me, I gang
about a' gates like the troubled spirit; and wha suld come whirling there
in a post-chaise, but Monkbarns in an unco carfuffle--now, it's no a
little thing that will make his honour take a chaise and post-horse twa
days rinnin'."

"Well, well; but what is all this to me?"

"Ou, ye'se hear, ye'se hear. Weel, Monkbarns is closeted wi' the shirra
whatever puir folk may be left thereout--ye needna doubt that--the
gentlemen are aye unco civil amang themsells."

"For heaven's sake, my old friend"--

"Canna ye bid me gang to the deevil at ance, Mr. Lovel? it wad be mair
purpose fa'ard than to speak o' heaven in that impatient gate."

"But I have private business with Lieutenant Taffril here."

"Weel, weel, a' in gude time," said the beggar--"I can use a little wee
bit freedom wi' Mr. Daniel Taffril;--mony's the peery and the tap I
worked for him langsyne, for I was a worker in wood as weel as a
tinkler."

"You are either mad, Adam, or have a mind to drive me mad."

"Nane o' the twa," said Edie, suddenly changing his manner from the
protracted drawl of the mendicant to a brief and decided tone. "The
shirra sent for his clerk, and as the lad is rather light o' the tongue,
I fand it was for drawing a warrant to apprehend you--I thought it had
been on a _fugie_ warrant for debt; for a' body kens the laird likes
naebody to pit his hand in his pouch--But now I may haud my tongue, for I
see the M'Intyre lad and Mr. Lesley coming up, and I guess that
Monkbarns's purpose was very kind, and that yours is muckle waur than it
should be."

The antagonist now approached, and saluted with the stern civility which
befitted the occasion. "What has this old fellow to do here?" said
M'Intyre.

"I am an auld fallow," said Edie, "but I am also an auld soldier o' your
father's, for I served wi' him in the 42d."

"Serve where you please, you have no title to intrude on us," said
M'Intyre, "or"--and he lifted his cane _in terrorem,_ though without the
idea of touching the old man.

But Ochiltree's courage was roused by the insult. "Haud down your switch,
Captain M'Intyre! I am an auld soldier, as I said before, and I'll take
muckle frae your father's son; but no a touch o' the wand while my
pike-staff will haud thegither."

"Well, well, I was wrong--I was wrong," said M'Intyre; "here's a crown
for you--go your ways--what's the matter now?"

The old man drew himself up to the full advantage of his uncommon height,
and in despite of his dress, which indeed had more of the pilgrim than
the ordinary beggar, looked from height, manner, and emphasis of voice
and gesture, rather like a grey palmer or eremite preacher, the ghostly
counsellor of the young men who were around him, than the object of their
charity. His speech, indeed, was as homely as his habit, but as bold and
unceremonious as his erect and dignified demeanour. "What are ye come
here for, young men?" he said, addressing himself to the surprised
audience; "are ye come amongst the most lovely works of God to break his
laws? Have ye left the works of man, the houses and the cities that are
but clay and dust, like those that built them--and are ye come here among
the peaceful hills, and by the quiet waters, that will last whiles aught
earthly shall endure, to destroy each other's lives, that will have but
an unco short time, by the course of nature, to make up a lang account at
the close o't? O sirs! hae ye brothers, sisters, fathers, that hae tended
ye, and mothers that hae travailed for ye, friends that hae ca'd ye like
a piece o' their ain heart? and is this the way ye tak to make them
childless and brotherless and friendless? Ohon! it's an ill feight whar
he that wins has the warst o't. Think on't, bairns. I'm a puir man--but
I'm an auld man too--and what my poverty takes awa frae the weight o' my
counsel, grey hairs and a truthfu' heart should add it twenty times. Gang
hame, gang hame, like gude lads--the French will be ower to harry us ane
o' thae days, and ye'll hae feighting eneugh, and maybe auld Edie will
hirple out himsell if he can get a feal-dyke to lay his gun ower, and may
live to tell you whilk o' ye does the best where there's a good cause
afore ye."

There was something in the undaunted and independent manner, hardy
sentiment, and manly rude elocution of the old man, that had its effect
upon the party, and particularly on the seconds, whose pride was
uninterested in bringing the dispute to a bloody arbitrament, and who, on
the contrary, eagerly watched for an opportunity to recommend
reconciliation.

"Upon my word, Mr. Lesley," said Taffril, "old Adam speaks like an
oracle. Our friends here were very angry yesterday, and of course very
foolish;--today they should be cool, or at least we must be so in their
behalf. I think the word should be forget and forgive on both sides,
--that we should all shake hands, fire these foolish crackers in the air,
and go home to sup in a body at the Graeme's-Arms."

"I would heartily recommend it," said Lesley; "for, amidst a great deal
of heat and irritation on both sides, I confess myself unable to discover
any rational ground of quarrel."

"Gentlemen," said M'Intyre, very coldly, "all this should have been
thought of before. In my opinion, persons that have carried this matter
so far as we have done, and who should part without carrying it any
farther, might go to supper at the Graeme's-Arms very joyously, but would
rise the next morning with reputations as ragged as our friend here, who
has obliged us with a rather unnecessary display of his oratory. I speak
for myself, that I find myself bound to call upon you to proceed without
more delay."

"And I," said Lovel, "as I never desired any, have also to request these
gentlemen to arrange preliminaries as fast as possible."

"Bairns! bairns!" cried old Ochiltree; but perceiving he was no longer
attended to--"Madmen, I should say--but your blood be on your heads!" And
the old man drew off from the ground, which was now measured out by the
seconds, and continued muttering and talking to himself in sullen
indignation, mixed with anxiety, and with a strong feeling of painful
curiosity. Without paying farther attention to his presence or
remonstrances, Mr. Lesley and the Lieutenant made the necessary
arrangements for the duel, and it was agreed that both parties should
fire when Mr. Lesley dropped his handkerchief.

The fatal sign was given, and both fired almost in the same moment.
Captain M'Intyre's ball grazed the side of his opponent, but did not draw
blood. That of Lovel was more true to the aim; M'Intyre reeled and fell.
Raising himself on his arm, his first exclamation was, "It is nothing--it
is nothing--give us the other pistols." But in an instant he said, in a
lower tone, "I believe I have enough--and what's worse, I fear I deserve
it. Mr. Lovel, or whatever your name is, fly and save yourself--Bear all
witness, I provoked this matter." Then raising himself again on his arm,
he added, "Shake hands, Lovel--I believe you to be a gentleman--forgive
my rudeness, and I forgive you my death--My poor sister!"

The surgeon came up to perform his part of the tragedy, and Lovel stood
gazing on the evil of which he had been the active, though unwilling
cause, with a dizzy and bewildered eye. He was roused from his trance by
the grasp of the mendicant. "Why stand you gazing on your deed?--What's
doomed is doomed--what's done is past recalling. But awa, awa, if ye wad
save your young blood from a shamefu' death--I see the men out by yonder
that are come ower late to part ye--but, out and alack! sune eneugh, and
ower sune, to drag ye to prison."

"He is right--he is right," exclaimed Taffril; "you must not attempt to
get on the high-road--get into the wood till night. My brig will be under
sail by that time, and at three in the morning, when the tide will serve,
I shall have the boat waiting for you at the Mussel-crag. Away-away, for
Heaven's sake!"

"O yes! fly, fly!" repeated the wounded man, his words faltering with
convulsive sobs.

"Come with me," said the mendicant, almost dragging him off; "the
Captain's plan is the best--I'll carry ye to a place where ye might be
concealed in the meantime, were they to seek ye 'wi' sleuth-hounds."

"Go, go," again urged Lieutenant Taffril--"to stay here is mere madness."

"It was worse madness to have come hither," said Lovel, pressing his
hand--"But farewell!" And he followed Ochiltree into the recesses of the
wood.




                          CHAPTER TWENTY-FIRST.


                      --The Lord Abbot had a soul
               Subtile and quick, and searching as the fire;
               By magic stairs he went as deep as hell,
               And if in devils' possession gold be kept,
         He brought some sure from thence--'tis hid in caves,
                        Known, save to me, to none.--
                                   The Wonder of a Kingdome.

Lovel almost mechanically followed the beggar, who led the way with a
hasty and steady pace, through bush and bramble, avoiding the beaten
path, and often turning to listen whether there were any sounds of
pursuit behind them. They sometimes descended into the very bed of the
torrent, sometimes kept a narrow and precarious path, that the sheep
(which, with the sluttish negligence towards property of that sort
universal in Scotland, were allowed to stray in the copse) had made along
the very verge of its overhanging banks. From time to time Lovel had a
glance of the path which he had traversed the day before in company with
Sir Arthur, the Antiquary, and the young ladies. Dejected, embarrassed,
and occupied by a thousand inquietudes, as he then was, what would he now
have given to regain the sense of innocence which alone can
counter-balance a thousand evils! "Yet, then," such was his hasty and
involuntary reflection, "even then, guiltless and valued by all around
me, I thought myself unhappy. What am I now, with this young man's blood
upon my hands?--the feeling of pride which urged me to the deed has now
deserted me, as the actual fiend himself is said to do those whom he has
tempted to guilt." Even his affection for Miss Wardour sunk for the time
before the first pangs of remorse, and he thought he could have
encountered every agony of slighted love to have had the conscious
freedom from blood-guiltiness which he possessed in the morning.

These painful reflections were not interrupted by any conversation on the
part of his guide, who threaded the thicket before him, now holding back
the sprays to make his path easy, now exhorting him to make haste, now
muttering to himself, after the custom of solitary and neglected old age,
words which might have escaped Lovel's ear even had he listened to them,
or which, apprehended and retained, were too isolated to convey any
connected meaning,--a habit which may be often observed among people of
the old man's age and calling.

At length, as Lovel, exhausted by his late indisposition, the harrowing
feelings by which he was agitated, and the exertion necessary to keep up
with his guide in a path so rugged, began to flag and fall behind, two or
three very precarious steps placed him on the front of a precipice
overhung with brushwood and copse. Here a cave, as narrow in its entrance
as a fox-earth, was indicated by a small fissure in the rock, screened by
the boughs of an aged oak, which, anchored by its thick and twisted roots
in the upper part of the cleft, flung its branches almost straight
outward from the cliff, concealing it effectually from all observation.
It might indeed have escaped the attention even of those who had stood at
its very opening, so uninviting was the portal at which the beggar
entered. But within, the cavern was higher and more roomy, cut into two
separate branches, which, intersecting each other at right angles, formed
an emblem of the cross, and indicated the abode of an anchoret of former
times. There are many caves of the same kind in different parts of
Scotland. I need only instance those of Gorton, near Rosslyn, in a scene
well known to the admirers of romantic nature.

The light within the eave was a dusky twilight at the entrance, which
failed altogether in the inner recesses. "Few folks ken o' this place,"
said the old man; "to the best o'my knowledge, there's just twa living by
mysell, and that's Jingling Jock and the Lang Linker. I have had mony a
thought, that when I fand mysell auld and forfairn, and no able to enjoy
God's blessed air ony langer, I wad drag mysell here wi' a pickle
ait-meal; and see, there's a bit bonny dropping well that popples that
self-same gate simmer and winter;--and I wad e'en streek mysell out here,
and abide my removal, like an auld dog that trails its useless ugsome
carcass into some bush or bracken no to gie living things a scunner wi'
the sight o't when it's dead--Ay, and then, when the dogs barked at the
lone farm-stead, the gudewife wad cry, Whisht, stirra, that'll be auld
Edie,' and the bits o' weans wad up, puir things, and toddle to the door
to pu' in the auld Blue-Gown that mends a' their bonny-dies--But there
wad be nae mair word o' Edie, I trow."

He then led Lovel, who followed him unresistingly, into one of the
interior branches of the cave. "Here," he said, "is a bit turnpike-stair
that gaes up to the auld kirk abune. Some folks say this place was howkit
out by the monks lang syne to hide their treasure in, and some said that
they used to bring things into the abbey this gate by night, that they
durstna sae weel hae brought in by the main port and in open day--And
some said that ane o' them turned a saint (or aiblins wad hae had folk
think sae), and settled him down in this Saint Ruth's cell, as the auld
folks aye ca'd it, and garr'd big the stair, that he might gang up to the
kirk when they were at the divine service. The Laird o' Monkbarns wad hae
a hantle to say about it, as he has about maist things, if he ken'd only
about the place. But whether it was made for man's devices or God's
service, I have seen ower muckle sin done in it in my day, and far ower
muckle have I been partaker of--ay, even here in this dark cove. Mony a
gudewife's been wondering what for the red cock didna craw her up in the
morning, when he's been roasting, puir fallow, in this dark hole--And,
ohon! I wish that and the like o' that had been the warst o't! Whiles
they wad hae heard the din we were making in the very bowels o' the
earth, when Sanders Aikwood, that was forester in thae days, the father
o' Ringan that now is, was gaun daundering about the wood at e'en, to see
after the Laird's game and whiles he wad hae seen a glance o' the light
frae the door o' the cave, flaughtering against the hazels on the other
bank;--and then siccan stories as Sanders had about the worricows and
gyre-carlins that haunted about the auld wa's at e'en, and the lights
that he had seen, and the cries that he had heard, when there was nae
mortal e'e open but his ain; and eh! as he wad thrum them ower and ower
to the like o' me ayont the ingle at e'en, and as I wad gie the auld
silly carle grane for grane, and tale for tale, though I ken'd muckle
better about it than ever he did. Ay, ay--they were daft days thae;--but
they were a' vanity, and waur,--and it's fitting that they wha hae led a
light and evil life, and abused charity when they were young, suld
aiblins come to lack it when they are auld."

While Ochiltree was thus recounting the exploits and tricks of his
earlier life, with a tone in which glee and compunction alternately
predominated, his unfortunate auditor had sat down upon the hermit's
seat, hewn out of the solid rock, and abandoned himself to that
lassitude, both of mind and body, which generally follows a course of
events that have agitated both, The effect of his late indisposition,
which had much weakened his system, contributed to this lethargic
despondency. "The puir bairn!" said auld Edie, "an he sleeps in this damp
hole, he'll maybe wauken nae mair, or catch some sair disease. It's no
the same to him as to the like o' us, that can sleep ony gate an anes our
wames are fu'. Sit up, Maister Lovel, lad! After a's come and gane, I
dare say the captain-lad will do weel eneugh--and, after a', ye are no
the first that has had this misfortune. I hae seen mony a man killed, and
helped to kill them mysell, though there was nae quarrel between us--and
if it isna wrang to kill folk we have nae quarrel wi', just because they
wear another sort of a cockade, and speak a foreign language, I canna see
but a man may have excuse for killing his ain mortal foe, that comes
armed to the fair field to kill him. I dinna say it's right--God forbid
--or that it isna sinfu' to take away what ye canna restore, and that's
the breath of man, whilk is in his nostrils; but I say it is a sin to be
forgiven if it's repented of. Sinfu' men are we a'; but if ye wad believe
an auld grey sinner that has seen the evil o' his ways, there is as much
promise atween the twa boards o' the Testament as wad save the warst o'
us, could we but think sae."

With such scraps of comfort and of divinity as he possessed, the
mendicant thus continued to solicit and compel the attention of Lovel,
until the twilight began to fade into night. "Now," said Ochiltree, "I
will carry ye to a mair convenient place, where I hae sat mony a time to
hear the howlit crying out of the ivy tod, and to see the moonlight come
through the auld windows o' the ruins. There can be naebody come here
after this time o' night; and if they hae made ony search, thae
blackguard shirra'-officers and constables, it will hae been ower lang
syne. Od, they are as great cowards as ither folk, wi' a' their warrants
and king's keys*--I hae gien some o' them a gliff in my day, when they
were coming rather ower near me--But, lauded be grace for it! they canna
stir me now for ony waur than an auld man and a beggar, and my badge is a
gude protection; and then Miss Isabella Wardour is a tower o' strength,
ye ken"--(Lovel sighed)--"Aweel, dinna be cast down--bowls may a' row
right yet--gie the lassie time to ken her mind. She's the wale o' the
country for beauty, and a gude friend o' mine--I gang by the bridewell as
safe as by the kirk on a Sabbath--deil ony o' them daur hurt a hair o'
auld Edie's head now; I keep the crown o' the causey when I gae to the
borough, and rub shouthers wi' a bailie wi' as little concern as an he
were a brock."

* The king's keys are, in law phrase, the crow-bars and hammers used to
force doors and locks, in execution of the king's warrant.

While the mendicant spoke thus, he was busied in removing a few loose
stones in one angle of the eave, which obscured the entrance of the
staircase of which he had spoken, and led the way into it, followed by
Lovel in passive silence.

"The air's free eneugh," said the old man; "the monks took care o' that,
for they werena a lang-breathed generation, I reckon; they hae contrived
queer tirlie-wirlie holes, that gang out to the open air, and keep the
stair as caller as a kail-blade."

Lovel accordingly found the staircase well aired, and, though narrow, it
was neither ruinous nor long, but speedily admitted them into a narrow
gallery contrived to run within the side wall of the chancel, from which
it received air and light through apertures ingeniously hidden amid the
florid ornaments of the Gothic architecture.

"This secret passage ance gaed round great part o' the biggin," said the
beggar, "and through the wa' o' the place I've heard Monkbarns ca' the
Refractory" [meaning probably _Refectory_], "and so awa to the Prior's
ain house. It's like he could use it to listen what the monks were saying
at meal-time,--and then he might come ben here and see that they were
busy skreighing awa wi' the psalms doun below there; and then, when he
saw a' was right and tight, he might step awa and fetch in a bonnie lass
at the cove yonder--for they were queer hands the monks, unless mony lees
is made on them. But our folk were at great pains lang syne to big up the
passage in some parts, and pu' it down in others, for fear o' some
uncanny body getting into it, and finding their way down to the cove: it
wad hae been a fashious job that--by my certie, some o' our necks wad hae
been ewking."

They now came to a place where the gallery was enlarged into a small
circle, sufficient to contain a stone seat. A niche, constructed exactly
before it, projected forward into the chancel, and as its sides were
latticed, as it were, with perforated stone-work, it commanded a full
view of the chancel in every direction, and was probably constructed, as
Edie intimated, to be a convenient watch-tower, from which the superior
priest, himself unseen, might watch the behaviour of his monks, and
ascertain, by personal inspection, their punctual attendance upon those
rites of devotion which his rank exempted him from sharing with them. As
this niche made one of a regular series which stretched along the wall of
the chancel, and in no respect differed from the rest when seen from
below, the secret station, screened as it was by the stone figure of St.
Michael and the dragon, and the open tracery around the niche, was
completely hid from observation. The private passage, confined to its
pristine breadth, had originally continued beyond this seat; but the
jealous precautions of the vagabonds who frequented the cave of St. Ruth
had caused them to build it carefully up with hewn stones from the ruin.

"We shall be better here," said Edie, seating himself on the stone bench,
and stretching the lappet of his blue gown upon the spot, when he
motioned Lovel to sit down beside him--"we shall be better here than doun
below; the air's free and mild, and the savour of the wallflowers, and
siccan shrubs as grow on thae ruined wa's, is far mair refreshing than
the damp smell doun below yonder. They smell sweetest by night-time thae
flowers, and they're maist aye seen about rained buildings. Now, Maister
Lovel, can ony o' you scholars gie a gude reason for that?"

Lovel replied in the negative.

"I am thinking," resumed the beggar, "that they'll be, like mony folk's
gude gifts, that often seem maist gracious in adversity--or maybe it's a
parable, to teach us no to slight them that are in the darkness of sin
and the decay of tribulation, since God sends odours to refresh the
mirkest hour, and flowers and pleasant bushes to clothe the ruined
buildings. And now I wad like a wise man to tell me whether Heaven is
maist pleased wi' the sight we are looking upon--thae pleasant and quiet
lang streaks o' moonlight that are lying sae still on the floor o' this
auld kirk, and glancing through the great pillars and stanchions o' the
carved windows, and just dancing like on the leaves o' the dark ivy as
the breath o' wind shakes it--I wonder whether this is mair pleasing to
Heaven than when it was lighted up wi' lamps, and candles nae doubt, and
roughies,* and wi' the mirth and the frankincent that they speak of in
the Holy Scripture, and wi' organs assuredly, and men and women singers,
and sackbuts, and dulcimers, and a' instruments o' music--I wonder if
that was acceptable, or whether it is of these grand parafle o'
ceremonies that holy writ says, It is an abomination to me.

* Links, or torches.

I am thinking, Maister Lovel, if twa puir contrite spirits like yours and
mine fand grace to make our petition"--

Here Lovel laid his hand eagerly on the mendicant's arm, saying,--"Hush!
I heard some one speak."

"I am dull o' hearing," answered Edie, in a whisper, "but we're surely
safe here--where was the sound?"

Lovel pointed to the door of the chancel, which, highly ornamented,
occupied the west end of the building, surmounted by the carved window,
which let in a flood of moonlight over it.

"They can be nane o' our folk," said Edie in the same low and cautious
tone; "there's but twa o' them kens o' the place, and they're mony a mile
off, if they are still bound on their weary pilgrimage. I'll never think
it's the officers here at this time o' night. I am nae believer in auld
wives' stories about ghaists, though this is gey like a place for them
--But mortal, or of the other world, here they come!--twa men and a
light."

And in very truth, while the mendicant spoke, two human figures darkened
with their shadows the entrance of the chancel--which had before opened
to the moon-lit meadow beyond, and the small lantern which one of them
displayed, glimmered pale in the clear and strong beams of the moon, as
the evening star does among the lights of the departing day. The first
and most obvious idea was, that, despite the asseverations of Edie
Ochiltree, the persons who approached the ruins at an hour so uncommon
must be the officers of justice in quest of Lovel. But no part of their
conduct confirmed the suspicion. A touch and a whisper from the old man
warned Lovel that his best course was to remain quiet, and watch their
motions from their present place of concealment. Should anything appear
to render retreat necessary, they had behind them the private stair-case
and cavern, by means of which they could escape into the wood long before
any danger of close pursuit. They kept themselves, therefore, as still as
possible, and observed with eager and anxious curiosity every accent and
motion of these nocturnal wanderers.

After conversing together some time in whispers, the two figures advanced
into the middle of the chancel; and a voice, which Lovel at once
recognised, from its tone and dialect, to be that of Dousterswivel,
pronounced in a louder but still a smothered tone, "Indeed, mine goot
sir, dere cannot be one finer hour nor season for dis great purpose. You
shall see, mine goot sir, dat it is all one bibble-babble dat Mr.
Oldenbuck says, and dat he knows no more of what he speaks than one
little child. Mine soul! he expects to get as rich as one Jew for his
poor dirty one hundred pounds, which I care no more about, by mine honest
wort, than I care for an hundred stivers. But to you, my most munificent
and reverend patron, I will show all de secrets dat art can show--ay, de
secret of de great Pymander."

"That other ane," whispered Edie, "maun be, according to a' likelihood,
Sir Arthur Wardour--I ken naebody but himsell wad come here at this time
at e'en wi' that German blackguard;--ane wad think he's bewitched him--he
gars him e'en trow that chalk is cheese. Let's see what they can be
doing."

This interruption, and the low tone in which Sir Arthur spoke, made Lovel
lose all Sir Arthur's answer to the adept, excepting the last three
emphatic words, "Very great expense;" to which Dousterswivel at once
replied--"Expenses!--to be sure--dere must be de great expenses. You do
not expect to reap before you do sow de seed: de expense is de seed--de
riches and de mine of goot metal, and now de great big chests of plate,
they are de crop--vary goot crop too, on mine wort. Now, Sir Arthur, you
have sowed this night one little seed of ten guineas like one pinch of
snuff, or so big; and if you do not reap de great harvest--dat is, de
great harvest for de little pinch of seed, for it must be proportions,
you must know--then never call one honest man, Herman Dousterswivel. Now
you see, mine patron--for I will not conceal mine secret from you at all
--you see this little plate of silver; you know de moon measureth de
whole zodiack in de space of twenty-eight day--every shild knows dat.
Well, I take a silver plate when she is in her fifteenth mansion, which
mansion is in de head of _Libra,_ and I engrave upon one side de worts,
[Shedbarschemoth Schartachan]--dat is, de Emblems of de Intelligence of
de moon--and I make this picture like a flying serpent with a turkey-
cock's head--vary well. Then upon this side I make de table of de moon,
which is a square of nine, multiplied into itself, with eighty-one
numbers on every side, and diameter nine--dere it is done very proper.
Now I will make dis avail me at de change of every quarter-moon dat I
shall find by de same proportions of expenses I lay out in de
suffumigations, as nine, to de product of nine multiplied into itself
--But I shall find no more to-night as maybe two or dree times nine,
because dere is a thwarting power in de house of ascendency."

"But, Dousterswivel," said the simple Baronet, "does not this look like
magic?--I am a true though unworthy son of the Episcopal church, and I
will have nothing to do with the foul fiend."

"Bah! bah!--not a bit magic in it at all--not a bit--It is all founded on
de planetary influence, and de sympathy and force of numbers. I will show
you much finer dan dis. I do not say dere is not de spirit in it, because
of de suffumigation; but, if you are not afraid, he shall not be
invisible."

"I have no curiosity to see him at all," said the Baronet, whose courage
seemed, from a certain quaver in his accent, to have taken a fit of the
ague.

"Dat is great pity," said Dousterswivel; "I should have liked to show you
de spirit dat guard dis treasure like one fierce watchdog--but I know how
to manage him;--you would not care to see him?"

"Not at all," answered the Baronet, in a tone of feigned indifference; "I
think we have but little time."

"You shall pardon me, my patron; it is not yet twelve, and twelve precise
is just our planetary hours; and I could show you de spirit vary well, in
de meanwhile, just for pleasure. You see I would draw a pentagon within a
circle, which is no trouble at all, and make my suffumigation within it,
and dere we would be like in one strong castle, and you would hold de
sword while I did say de needful worts. Den you should see de solid wall
open like de gate of ane city, and den--let me see--ay, you should see
first one stag pursued by three black greyhounds, and they should pull
him down as they do at de elector's great hunting-match; and den one
ugly, little, nasty black negro should appear and take de stag from them
--and paf--all should be gone; den you should hear horns winded dat all
de ruins should ring--mine wort, they should play fine hunting piece, as
goot as him you call'd Fischer with his oboi; vary well--den comes one
herald, as we call Ernhold, winding his horn--and den come de great
Peolphan, called de mighty Hunter of de North, mounted on hims black
steed. But you would not care to see all this?"*

* Note F. Witchcraft.

 "Why, I am not afraid," answered the poor Baronet,--"if--that is--does
anything--any great mischiefs, happen on such occasions?"

"Bah! mischiefs? no!--sometimes if de circle be no quite just, or de
beholder be de frightened coward, and not hold de sword firm and straight
towards him, de Great Hunter will take his advantage, and drag him
exorcist out of de circle and throttle him. Dat does happens."

"Well then, Dousterswivel, with every confidence in my courage and your
skill, we will dispense with this apparition, and go on to the business
of the night."

"With all mine heart--it is just one thing to me--and now it is de time
--hold you de sword till I kindle de little what you call chip."

Dousterswivel accordingly set fire to a little pile of chips, touched and
prepared with some bituminous substance to make them burn fiercely; and
when the flame was at the highest, and lightened, with its shortlived
glare, all the ruins around, the German flung in a handful of perfumes
which produced a strong and pungent odour. The exorcist and his pupil
both were so much affected as to cough and sneeze heartily; and, as the
vapour floated around the pillars of the building, and penetrated every
crevice, it produced the same effect on the beggar and Lovel.

"Was that an echo?" said the Baronet, astonished at the sternutation
which resounded from above; "or"--drawing close to the adept, "can it be
the spirit you talked of, ridiculing our attempt upon his hidden
treasures?"

"N--n--no," muttered the German, who began to partake of his pupil's
terrors, "I hope not."

Here a violent of sneezing, which the mendicant was unable to suppress,
and which could not be considered by any means as the dying fall of an
echo, accompanied by a grunting half-smothered cough, confounded the two
treasure-seekers. "Lord have mercy on us!" said the Baronet.

"_Alle guten Geistern loben den Herrn!_" ejaculated the terrified adept.
"I was begun to think," he continued, after a moment's silence, "that
this would be de bestermost done in de day-light--we was bestermost to go
away just now."

"You juggling villain!" said the Baronet, in whom these expressions
awakened a suspicion that overcame his terrors, connected as it was with
the sense of desperation arising from the apprehension of impending ruin
--"you juggling mountebank! this is some legerdemain trick of yours to
get off from the performance of your promise, as you have so often done
before. But, before Heaven! I will this night know what I have trusted to
when I suffered you to fool me on to my ruin! Go on, then--come fairy,
come fiend, you shall show me that treasure, or confess yourself a knave
and an impostor, or, by the faith of a desperate and ruined man, I'll
send you where you shall see spirits enough."

The treasure-finder, trembling between his terror for the supernatural
beings by whom he supposed himself to be surrounded, and for his life,
which seemed to be at the mercy of a desperate man, could only bring out,
"Mine patron, this is not the allerbestmost usage. Consider, mine
honoured sir, that de spirits"--

Here Edie, who began to enter into the humour of the scene, uttered an
extraordinary howl, being an exaltation and a prolongation of the most
deplorable whine in which he was accustomed to solicit charity.

Dousterswivel flung himself on his knees--"Dear Sir Arthurs, let us go,
or let me go!"

"No, you cheating scoundrel!" said the knight, unsheathing the sword
which he had brought for the purposes of the exorcism, "that shift shall
not serve you--Monkbarns warned me long since of your juggling pranks--I
will see this treasure before you leave this place, or I will have you
confess yourself an impostor, or, by Heaven, I'll run this sword through
you, though all the spirits of the dead should rise around us!"

"For de lofe of Heaven be patient, mine honoured patron, and you shall
hafe all de treasure as I knows of--yes, you shall indeed--But do not
speak about de spirits--it makes dem angry."

Edie Ochiltree here prepared himself to throw in another groan, but was
restrained by Lovel, who began to take a more serious interest, as he
observed the earnest and almost desperate demeanour of Sir Arthur.
Dousterswivel, having at once before his eyes the fear of the foul fiend,
and the violence of Sir Arthur, played his part of a conjuror extremely
ill, hesitating to assume the degree of confidence necessary to deceive
the latter, lest it should give offence to the invisible cause of his
alarm. However, after rolling his eyes, muttering and sputtering German
exorcisms, with contortions of his face and person, rather flowing from
the impulse of terror than of meditated fraud, he at length proceeded to
a corner of the building where a flat stone lay upon the ground, bearing
upon its surface the effigy of an armed warrior in a recumbent posture
carved in bas-relief. He muttered to Sir Arthur, "Mine patrons, it is
here--Got save us all!"

Sir Arthur, who, after the first moment of his superstitious fear was
over, seemed to have bent up all his faculties to the pitch of resolution
necessary to carry on the adventure, lent the adept his assistance to
turn over the stone, which, by means of a lever that the adept had
provided, their joint force with difficulty effected. No supernatural
light burst forth from below to indicate the subterranean treasury, nor
was there any apparition of spirits, earthly or infernal. But when
Dousterswivel had, with great trepidation, struck a few strokes with a
mattock, and as hastily thrown out a shovelful or two of earth (for they
came provided with the tools necessary for digging), something was heard
to ring like the sound of a falling piece of metal, and Dousterswivel,
hastily catching up the substance which produced it, and which his shovel
had thrown out along with the earth, exclaimed, "On mine dear wort, mine
patrons, dis is all--it is indeed; I mean all we can do to-night;"--and
he gazed round him with a cowering and fearful glance, as if to see from
what comer the avenger of his imposture was to start forth.

"Let me see it," said Sir Arthur; and then repeated, still more sternly,
"I will be satisfied--I will judge by mine own eyes." He accordingly held
the object to the light of the lantern. It was a small case, or casket,
--for Lovel could not at the distance exactly discern its shape, which,
from the Baronet's exclamation as he opened it, he concluded was filled
with coin. "Ay," said the Baronet, "this is being indeed in good luck!
and if it omens proportional success upon a larger venture, the venture
shall be made. That six hundred of Goldieword's, added to the other
incumbent claims, must have been ruin indeed. If you think we can parry
it by repeating this experiment--suppose when the moon next changes,--I
will hazard the necessary advance, come by it how I may."

"Oh, mine good patrons, do not speak about all dat," said Dousterswivel,
"as just now, but help me to put de shtone to de rights, and let us
begone our own ways." And accordingly, so soon as the stone was replaced,
he hurried Sir Arthur, who was now resigned once more to his guidance,
away from a spot, where the German's guilty conscience and superstitious
fears represented goblins as lurking behind each pillar with the purpose
of punishing his treachery.

"Saw onybody e'er the like o' that!" said Edie, when they had disappeared
like shadows through the gate by which they had entered--"saw ony
creature living e'er the like o' that!--But what can we do for that puir
doited deevil of a knight-baronet? Od, he showed muckle mair spunk, too,
than I thought had been in him--I thought he wad hae sent cauld iron
through the vagabond--Sir Arthur wasna half sae bauld at Bessie's-apron
yon night--but then, his blood was up even now, and that makes an unco
difference. I hae seen mony a man wad hae felled another an anger him,
that wadna muckle hae liked a clink against Crummies-horn yon time. But
what's to be done?"

"I suppose," said Lovel, "his faith in this fellow is entirely restored
by this deception, which, unquestionably, he had arranged beforehand."

"What! the siller?--Ay, ay--trust him for that--they that hide ken best
where to find. He wants to wile him out o' his last guinea, and then
escape to his ain country, the land-louper. I wad likeit weel just to hae
come in at the clipping-time, and gien him a lounder wi' my pike-staff;
he wad hae taen it for a bennison frae some o' the auld dead abbots. But
it's best no to be rash; sticking disna gang by strength, but by the
guiding o' the gally. I'se be upsides wi' him ae day."

"What if you should inform Mr. Oldbuck?" said Lovel.

"Ou, I dinna ken--Monkbarns and Sir Arthur are like, and yet they're no
like neither. Monkbarns has whiles influence wi' him, and whiles Sir
Arthur cares as little about him as about the like o' me. Monkbarns is no
that ower wise himsell, in some things;--he wad believe a bodle to be an
auld Roman coin, as he ca's it, or a ditch to be a camp, upon ony leasing
that idle folk made about it. I hae garr'd him trow mony a queer tale
mysell, gude forgie me. But wi' a' that, he has unco little sympathy wi'
ither folks; and he's snell and dure eneugh in casting up their nonsense
to them, as if he had nane o' his ain. He'll listen the hale day, an yell
tell him about tales o' Wallace, and Blind Harry, and Davie Lindsay; but
ye maunna speak to him about ghaists or fairies, or spirits walking the
earth, or the like o' that;--he had amaist flung auld Caxon out o' the
window (and he might just as weel hae flung awa his best wig after him),
for threeping he had seen a ghaist at the humlock-knowe. Now, if he was
taking it up in this way, he wad set up the tother's birse, and maybe do
mair ill nor gude--he's done that twice or thrice about thae mine-warks;
ye wad thought Sir Arthur had a pleasure in gaun on wi' them the deeper,
the mair he was warned against it by Monkbarns."

"What say you then," said Lovel, "to letting Miss Wardour know the
circumstance?"

"Ou, puir thing, how could she stop her father doing his pleasure?--and,
besides, what wad it help? There's a sough in the country about that six
hundred pounds, and there's a writer chield in Edinburgh has been driving
the spur-rowels o' the law up to the head into Sir Arthur's sides to gar
him pay it, and if he canna, he maun gang to jail or flee the country.
He's like a desperate man, and just catches at this chance as a' he has
left, to escape utter perdition; so what signifies plaguing the puir
lassie about what canna be helped? And besides, to say the truth, I wadna
like to tell the secret o' this place. It's unco convenient, ye see
yoursell, to hae a hiding-hole o' ane's ain; and though I be out o' the
line o' needing ane e'en now, and trust in the power o' grace that I'll
neer do onything to need ane again, yet naebody kens what temptation ane
may be gien ower to--and, to be brief, I downa bide the thought of
anybody kennin about the place;--they say, keep a thing seven year, an'
yell aye find a use for't--and maybe I may need the cove, either for
mysell, or for some ither body."

This argument, in which Edie Ochiltree, notwithstanding his scraps of
morality and of divinity, seemed to take, perhaps from old habit, a
personal interest, could not be handsomely controverted by Lovel, who was
at that moment reaping the benefit of the secret of which the old man
appeared to be so jealous.

This incident, however, was of great service to Lovel, as diverting his
mind from the unhappy occurrence of the evening, and considerably rousing
the energies which had been stupefied by the first view of his calamity.
He reflected that it by no means necessarily followed that a dangerous
wound must be a fatal one--that he had been hurried from the spot even
before the surgeon had expressed any opinion of Captain M'Intyre's
situation--and that he had duties on earth to perform, even should the
very worst be true, which, if they could not restore his peace of mind or
sense of innocence, would furnish a motive for enduring existence, and at
the same time render it a course of active benevolence.--Such were
Lovel's feelings, when the hour arrived when, according to Edie's
calculation--who, by some train or process of his own in observing the
heavenly bodies, stood independent of the assistance of a watch or
time-keeper--it was fitting they should leave their hiding-place, and
betake themselves to the seashore, in order to meet Lieutenant Taffril's
boat according to appointment.

They retreated by the same passage which had admitted them to the prior's
secret seat of observation, and when they issued from the grotto into the
wood, the birds which began to chirp, and even to sing, announced that
the dawn was advanced. This was confirmed by the light and amber clouds
that appeared over the sea, as soon as their exit from the copse
permitted them to view the horizon.--Morning, said to be friendly to the
muses, has probably obtained this character from its effect upon the
fancy and feelings of mankind. Even to those who, like Lovel, have spent
a sleepless and anxious night, the breeze of the dawn brings strength and
quickening both of mind and body. It was, therefore, with renewed health
and vigour that Lovel, guided by the trusty mendicant, brushed away the
dew as he traversed the downs which divided the Den of St. Ruth, as the
woods surrounding the ruins were popularly called, from the sea-shore.

The first level beam of the sun, as his brilliant disk began to emerge
from the ocean, shot full upon the little gun-brig which was lying-to in
the offing--close to the shore the boat was already waiting, Taffril
himself, with his naval cloak wrapped about him, seated in the stern. He
jumped ashore when he saw the mendicant and Lovel approach, and, shaking
the latter heartily by the hand, begged him not to be cast down.
"M'Intyre's wound," he said, "was doubtful, but far from desperate."
His attention had got Lovel's baggage privately sent on board the brig;
"and," he said, "he trusted that, if Lovel chose to stay with the vessel,
the penalty of a short cruise would be the only disagreeable consequence
of his rencontre. As for himself, his time and motions were a good deal
at his own disposal, he said, excepting the necessary obligation of
remaining on his station."

"We will talk of our farther motions," said Lovel, "as we go on board."

Then turning to Edie, he endeavoured to put money into his hand. "I
think," said Edie, as he tendered it back again, "the hale folk here have
either gane daft, or they hae made a vow to rain my trade, as they say
ower muckle water drowns the miller. I hae had mair gowd offered me
within this twa or three weeks than I ever saw in my life afore. Keep the
siller, lad--yell hae need o't, I'se warrant ye, and I hae nane my claes
is nae great things, and I get a blue gown every year, and as mony siller
groats as the king, God bless him, is years auld--you and I serve the
same master, ye ken, Captain Taffril; there's rigging provided for--and
my meat and drink I get for the asking in my rounds, or, at an orra time,
I can gang a day without it, for I make it a rule never to pay for nane;
--so that a' the siller I need is just to buy tobacco and sneeshin, and
maybe a dram at a time in a cauld day, though I am nae dram-drinker to be
a gaberlunzie;--sae take back your gowd, and just gie me a lily-white
shilling."

Upon these whims, which he imagined intimately connected with the honour
of his vagabond profession, Edie was flint and adamant, not to be moved
by rhetoric or entreaty; and therefore Lovel was under the necessity of
again pocketing his intended bounty, and taking a friendly leave of the
mendicant by shaking him by the hand, and assuring him of his cordial
gratitude for the very important services which he had rendered him,
recommending, at the same time, secrecy as to what they had that night
witnessed.--"Ye needna doubt that," said Ochiltree; "I never tell'd tales
out o' yon cove in my life, though mony a queer thing I hae seen in't."

The boat now put off. The old man remained looking after it as it made
rapidly towards the brig under the impulse of six stout rowers, and Lovel
beheld him again wave his blue bonnet as a token of farewell ere he
turned from his fixed posture, and began to move slowly along the sands
as if resuming his customary perambulations.





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