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Title: Rob Roy, Volume 2., Illustrated

Author: Sir Walter Scott

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Language: English

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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ROB ROY, VOLUME 2., ILLUSTRATED ***




Produced by David Widger




[Illustration: Bookcover]


[Illustration: Spines]


ROB ROY

By Sir Walter Scott


VOLUME TWO


[Illustration: Helen MacGregor--Frontispiece]


CHAPTER FIRST

                   And hurry, hurry, off they rode,
                       As fast as fast might be;
                   Hurra, hurra, the dead can ride,
                       Dost fear to ride with me?
                                            Burger.

There is one advantage in an accumulation of evils, differing in cause
and character, that the distraction which they afford by their
contradictory operation prevents the patient from being overwhelmed under
either. I was deeply grieved at my separation from Miss Vernon, yet not
so much so as I should have been, had not my father's apprehended
distresses forced themselves on my attention; and I was distressed by the
news of Mr. Tresham, yet less so than if they had fully occupied my mind.
I was neither a false lover nor an unfeeling son; but man can give but a
certain portion of distressful emotions to the causes which demand them;
and if two operate at once, our sympathy, like the funds of a compounding
bankrupt, can only be divided between them. Such were my reflections when
I gained my apartment--it seems, from the illustration, they already
began to have a twang of commerce in them.

I set myself seriously to consider your father's letter. It was not very
distinct, and referred for several particulars to Owen, whom I was
entreated to meet with as soon as possible at a Scotch town called
Glasgow; being informed, moreover, that my old friend was to be heard of
at Messrs. MacVittie, MacFin, and Company, merchants in the Gallowgate of
the said town. It likewise alluded to several letters,--which, as it
appeared to me, must have miscarried or have been intercepted, and
complained of my obdurate silence, in terms which would have, been highly
unjust, had my letters reached their purposed destination. I was amazed
as I read. That the spirit of Rashleigh walked around me, and conjured up
these doubts and difficulties by which I was surrounded, I could not
doubt for one instant; yet it was frightful to conceive the extent of
combined villany and power which he must have employed in the
perpetration of his designs. Let me do myself justice in one respect. The
evil of parting from Miss Vernon, however distressing it might in other
respects and at another time have appeared to me, sunk into a subordinate
consideration when I thought of the dangers impending over my father. I
did not myself set a high estimation on wealth, and had the affectation
of most young men of lively imagination, who suppose that they can better
dispense with the possession of money, than resign their time and
faculties to the labour necessary to acquire it. But in my father's case,
I knew that bankruptcy would be considered as an utter and irretrievable
disgrace, to which life would afford no comfort, and death the speediest
and sole relief.

My mind, therefore, was bent on averting this catastrophe, with an
intensity which the interest could not have produced had it referred to
my own fortunes; and the result of my deliberation was a firm resolution
to depart from Osbaldistone Hall the next day and wend my way without
loss of time to meet Owen at Glasgow. I did not hold it expedient to
intimate my departure to my uncle, otherwise than by leaving a letter of
thanks for his hospitality, assuring him that sudden and important
business prevented my offering them in person. I knew the blunt old
knight would readily excuse ceremony; and I had such a belief in the
extent and decided character of Rashleigh's machinations, that I had some
apprehension of his having provided means to intercept a journey which
was undertaken with a view to disconcert them, if my departure were
publicly announced at Osbaldistone Hall.

I therefore determined to set off on my journey with daylight on the
ensuing morning, and to gain the neighbouring kingdom of Scotland before
any idea of my departure was entertained at the Hall. But one impediment
of consequence was likely to prevent that speed which was the soul of my
expedition. I did not know the shortest, nor indeed any road to Glasgow;
and as, in the circumstances in which I stood, despatch was of the
greatest consequence, I determined to consult Andrew Fairservice on the
subject, as the nearest and most authentic authority within my reach.
Late as it was, I set off with the intention of ascertaining this
important point, and after a few minutes' walk reached the dwelling of
the gardener.

Andrew's dwelling was situated at no great distance from the exterior
wall of the garden--a snug comfortable Northumbrian cottage, built of
stones roughly dressed with the hammer, and having the windows and doors
decorated with huge heavy architraves, or lintels, as they are called, of
hewn stone, and its roof covered with broad grey flags, instead of
slates, thatch, or tiles. A jargonelle pear-tree at one end of the
cottage, a rivulet and flower-plot of a rood in extent in front, and a
kitchen-garden behind; a paddock for a cow, and a small field, cultivated
with several crops of grain, rather for the benefit of the cottager than
for sale, announced the warm and cordial comforts which Old England, even
at her most northern extremity, extends to her meanest inhabitants.

As I approached the mansion of the sapient Andrew, I heard a noise,
which, being of a nature peculiarly solemn, nasal, and prolonged, led me
to think that Andrew, according to the decent and meritorious custom of
his countrymen, had assembled some of his neighbours to join in family
exercise, as he called evening devotion. Andrew had indeed neither wife,
child, nor female inmate in his family. "The first of his trade," he
said, "had had eneugh o'thae cattle." But, notwithstanding, he sometimes
contrived to form an audience for himself out of the neighbouring Papists
and Church-of-Englandmen--brands, as he expressed it, snatched out of the
burning, on whom he used to exercise his spiritual gifts, in defiance
alike of Father Vaughan, Father Docharty, Rashleigh, and all the world of
Catholics around him, who deemed his interference on such occasions an
act of heretical interloping. I conceived it likely, therefore, that the
well-disposed neighbours might have assembled to hold some chapel of ease
of this nature. The noise, however, when I listened to it more
accurately, seemed to proceed entirely from the lungs of the said Andrew;
and when I interrupted it by entering the house, I found Fairservice
alone, combating as he best could, with long words and hard names, and
reading aloud, for the purpose of his own edification, a volume of
controversial divinity.

"I was just taking a spell," said he, laying aside the huge folio volume
as I entered, "of the worthy Doctor Lightfoot."

"Lightfoot!" I replied, looking at the ponderous volume with some
surprise; "surely your author was unhappily named."

"Lightfoot was his name, sir; a divine he was, and another kind of a
divine than they hae now-adays. Always, I crave your pardon for keeping
ye standing at the door, but having been mistrysted (gude preserve us!)
with ae bogle the night already, I was dubious o' opening the yett till I
had gaen through the e'ening worship; and I had just finished the fifth
chapter of Nehemiah--if that winna gar them keep their distance, I wotna
what will."

"Trysted with a bogle!" said I; "what do you mean by that, Andrew?"

"I said mistrysted," replied Andrew; "that is as muckle as to say, fley'd
wi' a ghaist--Gude preserve us, I say again!"

"Flay'd by a ghost, Andrew! how am I to understand that?"

"I did not say flay'd," replied Andrew, "but _fley'd,_--that is, I got a
fleg, and was ready to jump out o' my skin, though naebody offered to
whirl it aff my body as a man wad bark a tree."

"I beg a truce to your terrors in the present case, Andrew, and I wish to
know whether you can direct me the nearest way to a town in your country
of Scotland, called Glasgow?"

"A town ca'd Glasgow!" echoed Andrew Fairservice. "Glasgow's a ceety,
man.--And is't the way to Glasgow ye were speering if I ken'd?--What suld
ail me to ken it?--it's no that dooms far frae my ain parish of
Dreepdaily, that lies a bittock farther to the west. But what may your
honour be gaun to Glasgow for?"

"Particular business," replied I.

"That's as muckle as to say, Speer nae questions, and I'll tell ye nae
lees.--To Glasgow?"--he made a short pause--"I am thinking ye wad be the
better o' some ane to show you the road."

"Certainly, if I could meet with any person going that way."

"And your honour, doubtless, wad consider the time and trouble?"

"Unquestionably--my business is pressing, and if you can find any guide
to accompany me, I'll pay him handsomely."

"This is no a day to speak o' carnal matters," said Andrew, casting his
eyes upwards; "but if it werena Sabbath at e'en, I wad speer what ye wad
be content to gie to ane that wad bear ye pleasant company on the road,
and tell ye the names of the gentlemen's and noblemen's seats and
castles, and count their kin to ye?"

"I tell you, all I want to know is the road I must travel; I will pay the
fellow to his satisfaction--I will give him anything in reason."

"Onything," replied Andrew, "is naething; and this lad that I am speaking
o' kens a' the short cuts and queer by-paths through the hills, and"--

"I have no time to talk about it, Andrew; do you make the bargain for me
your own way."

"Aha! that's speaking to the purpose," answered Andrew.--"I am thinking,
since sae be that sae it is, I'll be the lad that will guide you mysell."

"You, Andrew?--how will you get away from your employment?"

"I tell'd your honour a while syne, that it was lang that I hae been
thinking o' flitting, maybe as lang as frae the first year I came to
Osbaldistone Hall; and now I am o' the mind to gang in gude
earnest--better soon as syne--better a finger aff as aye wagging."

"You leave your service, then?--but will you not lose your wages?"

"Nae doubt there will be a certain loss; but then I hae siller o' the
laird's in my hands that I took for the apples in the auld orchyard--and
a sair bargain the folk had that bought them--a wheen green trash--and
yet Sir Hildebrand's as keen to hae the siller (that is, the steward is
as pressing about it) as if they had been a' gowden pippins--and then
there's the siller for the seeds--I'm thinking the wage will be in a
manner decently made up.--But doubtless your honour will consider my risk
of loss when we win to Glasgow--and ye'll be for setting out forthwith?"

"By day-break in the morning," I answered.

"That's something o' the suddenest--whare am I to find a naig?--Stay--I
ken just the beast that will answer me."

"At five in the morning, then, Andrew, you will meet me at the head of
the avenue."

"Deil a fear o' me (that I suld say sae) missing my tryste," replied
Andrew, very briskly; "and if I might advise, we wad be aff twa hours
earlier. I ken the way, dark or light, as weel as blind Ralph Ronaldson,
that's travelled ower every moor in the country-side, and disna ken the
colour of a heather-cowe when a's dune."

I highly approved of Andrew's amendment on my original proposal, and we
agreed to meet at the place appointed at three in the morning. At once,
however, a reflection came across the mind of my intended travelling
companion.

"The bogle! the bogle! what if it should come out upon us?--I downa
forgather wi' thae things twice in the four-and-twenty hours."

"Pooh! pooh!" I exclaimed, breaking away from him, "fear nothing from the
next world--the earth contains living fiends, who can act for themselves
without assistance, were the whole host that fell with Lucifer to return
to aid and abet them."

With these words, the import of which was suggested by my own situation,
I left Andrew's habitation, and returned to the Hall.

I made the few preparations which were necessary for my proposed journey,
examined and loaded my pistols, and then threw myself on my bed, to
obtain, if possible, a brief sleep before the fatigue of a long and
anxious journey. Nature, exhausted by the tumultuous agitations of the
day, was kinder to me than I expected, and I stink into a deep and
profound slumber, from which, however, I started as the old clock struck
two from a turret adjoining to my bedchamber. I instantly arose, struck a
light, wrote the letter I proposed to leave for my uncle, and leaving
behind me such articles of dress as were cumbrous in carriage, I
deposited the rest of my wardrobe in my valise, glided down stairs, and
gained the stable without impediment. Without being quite such a groom as
any of my cousins, I had learned at Osbaldistone Hall to dress and saddle
my own horse, and in a few minutes I was mounted and ready for my sally.

As I paced up the old avenue, on which the waning moon threw its light
with a pale and whitish tinge, I looked back with a deep and boding sigh
towards the walls which contained Diana Vernon, under the despondent
impression that we had probably parted to meet no more. It was
impossible, among the long and irregular lines of Gothic casements, which
now looked ghastly white in the moonlight, to distinguish that of the
apartment which she inhabited. "She is lost to me already," thought I, as
my eye wandered over the dim and indistinguishable intricacies of
architecture offered by the moonlight view of Osbaldistone Hall--"She is
lost to me already, ere I have left the place which she inhabits! What
hope is there of my maintaining any correspondence with her, when leagues
shall lie between?"

While I paused in a reverie of no very pleasing nature, the "iron tongue
of time told three upon the drowsy ear of night," and reminded me of the
necessity of keeping my appointment with a person of a less interesting
description and appearance--Andrew Fairservice.

At the gate of the avenue I found a horseman stationed in the shadow of
the wall, but it was not until I had coughed twice, and then called
"Andrew," that the horticulturist replied, "I'se warrant it's Andrew."

"Lead the way, then," said I, "and be silent if you can, till we are past
the hamlet in the valley."

Andrew led the way accordingly, and at a much brisker pace than I would
have recommended.--and so well did he obey my injunctions of keeping
silence, that he would return no answer to my repeated inquiries into the
cause of such unnecessary haste. Extricating ourselves by short cuts,
known to Andrew, from the numerous stony lanes and by-paths which
intersected each other in the vicinity of the Hall, we reached the open
heath and riding swiftly across it, took our course among the barren
hills which divide England from Scotland on what are called the Middle
Marches. The way, or rather the broken track which we occupied, was a
happy interchange of bog and shingles; nevertheless, Andrew relented
nothing of his speed, but trotted manfully forward at the rate of eight
or ten miles an hour. I was both surprised and provoked at the fellow's
obstinate persistence, for we made abrupt ascents and descents over
ground of a very break-neck character, and traversed the edge of
precipices, where a slip of the horse's feet would have consigned the
rider to certain death. The moon, at best, afforded a dubious and
imperfect light; but in some places we were so much under the shade of
the mountain as to be in total darkness, and then I could only trace
Andrew by the clatter of his horse's feet, and the fire which they struck
from the flints. At first, this rapid motion, and the attention which,
for the sake of personal safety, I was compelled to give to the conduct
of my horse, was of service, by forcibly diverting my thoughts from the
various painful reflections which must otherwise have pressed on my mind.
But at length, after hallooing repeatedly to Andrew to ride slower, I
became seriously incensed at his impudent perseverance in refusing either
to obey or to reply to me. My anger was, however, quite impotent. I
attempted once or twice to get up alongside of my self-willed guide, with
the purpose of knocking him off his horse with the butt-end of my whip;
but Andrew was better mounted than I, and either the spirit of the animal
which he bestrode, or more probably some presentiment of my kind
intentions towards him, induced him to quicken his pace whenever I
attempted to make up to him. On the other hand, I was compelled to exert
my spurs to keep him in sight, for without his guidance I was too well
aware that I should never find my way through the howling wilderness
which we now traversed at such an unwonted pace. I was so angry at
length, that I threatened to have recourse to my pistols, and send a
bullet after the Hotspur Andrew, which should stop his fiery-footed
career, if he did not abate it of his own accord. Apparently this threat
made some impression on the tympanum of his ear, however deaf to all my
milder entreaties; for he relaxed his pace upon hearing it, and,
suffering me to close up to him, observed, "There wasna muckle sense in
riding at sic a daft-like gate."

"And what did you mean by doing so at all, you self-willed scoundrel?"
replied I; for I was in a towering passion,--to which, by the way,
nothing contributes more than the having recently undergone a spice of
personal fear, which, like a few drops of water flung on a glowing fire,
is sure to inflame the ardour which it is insufficient to quench.

"What's your honour's wull?" replied Andrew, with impenetrable gravity.

"My will, you rascal?--I have been roaring to you this hour to ride
slower, and you have never so much as answered me--Are you drunk or mad
to behave so?"

"An it like your honour, I am something dull o' hearing; and I'll no deny
but I might have maybe taen a stirrup-cup at parting frae the auld
bigging whare I hae dwelt sae lang; and having naebody to pledge, nae
doubt I was obliged to do mysell reason, or else leave the end o' the
brandy stoup to thae papists--and that wad be a waste, as your honour
kens."

This might be all very true,--and my circumstances required that I should
be on good terms with my guide; I therefore satisfied myself with
requiring of him to take his directions from me in future concerning the
rate of travelling.

Andrew, emboldened by the mildness of my tone, elevated his own into the
pedantic, conceited octave, which was familiar to him on most occasions.

"Your honour winna persuade me, and naebody shall persuade me, that it's
either halesome or prudent to tak the night air on thae moors without a
cordial o' clow-gilliflower water, or a tass of brandy or aquavitae, or
sic-like creature-comfort. I hae taen the bent ower the Otterscrape-rigg
a hundred times, day and night, and never could find the way unless I had
taen my morning; mair by token that I had whiles twa bits o' ankers o'
brandy on ilk side o' me."--

"In other words, Andrew," said I, "you were a smuggler--how does a man of
your strict principles reconcile yourself to cheat the revenue?"

"It's a mere spoiling o' the Egyptians," replied Andrew; "puir auld
Scotland suffers eneugh by thae blackguard loons o' excisemen and
gaugers, that hae come down on her like locusts since the sad and
sorrowfu' Union; it's the part of a kind son to bring her a soup o'
something that will keep up her auld heart,--and that will they nill
they, the ill-fa'ard thieves!"

Upon more particular inquiry, I found Andrew had frequently travelled
these mountain-paths as a smuggler, both before and after his
establishment at Osbaldistone Hall--a circumstance which was so far of
importance to me, as it proved his capacity as a guide, notwithstanding
the escapade of which he had been guilty at his outset, Even now, though
travelling at a more moderate pace, the stirrup-cup, or whatever else had
such an effect in stimulating Andrew's motions, seemed not totally to
have lost its influence. He often cast a nervous and startled look behind
him; and whenever the road seemed at all practicable, showed symptoms of
a desire to accelerate his pace, as if he feared some pursuit from the
rear. These appearances of alarm gradually diminished as we reached the
top of a high bleak ridge, which ran nearly east and west for about a
mile, with a very steep descent on either side. The pale beams of the
morning were now enlightening the horizon, when Andrew cast a look behind
him, and not seeing the appearance of a living being on the moors which
he had travelled, his hard features gradually unbent, as he first
whistled, then sung, with much glee and little melody, the end of one of
his native songs--

                    "Jenny, lass! I think I hae her
                     Ower the muir amang the heather,
                     All their clan shall never get her."

He patted at the same time the neck of the horse which had carried him so
gallantly; and my attention being directed by that action to the animal,
I instantly recognised a favourite mare of Thorncliff Osbaldistone. "How
is this, sir?" said I sternly; "that is Mr. Thorncliff's mare!"

"I'll no say but she may aiblins hae been his honour's Squire
Thorncliff's in her day--but she's mine now."

"You have stolen her, you rascal."

"Na, na, sir--nae man can wyte me wi' theft. The thing stands this gate,
ye see. Squire Thorncliff borrowed ten punds o' me to gang to York
Races--deil a boddle wad he pay me back again, and spake o' raddling my
banes, as he ca'd it, when I asked him but for my ain back again;--now I
think it will riddle him or he gets his horse ower the Border
again--unless he pays me plack and bawbee, he sall never see a hair o'
her tail. I ken a canny chield at Loughmaben, a bit writer lad, that
will put me in the way to sort him. Steal the mear! na, na, far be the
sin o' theft frae Andrew Fairservice--I have just arrested her
_jurisdictionis fandandy causey._ Thae are bonny writer words--amaist
like the language o' huz gardeners and other learned men--it's a pity
they're sae dear;--thae three words were a' that Andrew got for a lang
law-plea and four ankers o' as gude brandy as was e'er coupit ower
craig--Hech, sirs! but law's a dear thing."

"You are likely to find it much dearer than you suppose, Andrew, if you
proceed in this mode of paying yourself, without legal authority."

"Hout tout, we're in Scotland now (be praised for't!) and I can find
baith friends and lawyers, and judges too, as weel as ony Osbaldistone o'
them a'. My mither's mither's third cousin was cousin to the Provost o'
Dumfries, and he winna see a drap o' her blude wranged. Hout awa! the
laws are indifferently administered here to a' men alike; it's no like on
yon side, when a chield may be whuppit awa' wi' ane o' Clerk Jobson's
warrants, afore he kens where he is. But they will hae little enough law
amang them by and by, and that is ae grand reason that I hae gi'en them
gude-day."

I was highly provoked at the achievement of Andrew, and considered it as
a hard fate, which a second time threw me into collision with a person of
such irregular practices. I determined, however, to buy the mare of him,
when he should reach the end of our journey, and send her back to my
cousin at Osbaldistone Hall; and with this purpose of reparation I
resolved to make my uncle acquainted from the next post-town. It was
needless, I thought, to quarrel with Andrew in the meantime, who had,
after all, acted not very unnaturally for a person in his circumstances.
I therefore smothered my resentment, and asked him what he meant by his
last expressions, that there would be little law in Northumberland by and
by?

"Law!" said Andrew, "hout, ay--there will be club-law eneugh. The priests
and the Irish officers, and thae papist cattle that hae been sodgering
abroad, because they durstna bide at hame, are a' fleeing thick in
Northumberland e'enow; and thae corbies dinna gather without they smell
carrion. As sure as ye live, his honour Sir Hildebrand is gaun to stick
his horn in the bog--there's naething but gun and pistol, sword and
dagger, amang them--and they'll be laying on, I'se warrant; for they're
fearless fules the young Osbaldistone squires, aye craving your honour's
pardon."

This speech recalled to my memory some suspicions that I myself had
entertained, that the Jacobites were on the eve of some desperate
enterprise. But, conscious it did not become me to be a spy on my uncle's
words and actions, I had rather avoided than availed myself of any
opportunity which occurred of remarking upon the signs of the times.--
Andrew Fairservice felt no such restraint, and doubtless spoke very truly
in stating his conviction that some desperate plots were in agitation, as
a reason which determined his resolution to leave the Hall.

"The servants," he stated, "with the tenantry and others, had been all
regularly enrolled and mustered, and they wanted me to take arms also.
But I'll ride in nae siccan troop--they little ken'd Andrew that asked
him. I'll fight when I like mysell, but it sall neither be for the hure
o' Babylon, nor any hure in England."





CHAPTER SECOND.


                 Where longs to fall yon rifted spire,
                     As weary of the insulting air,--
                 The poet's thoughts, the warrior's fire,
                     The lover's sighs, are sleeping there.
                                             Langhorne.

At the first Scotch town which we reached, my guide sought out his friend
and counsellor, to consult upon the proper and legal means of converting
into his own lawful property the "bonny creature," which was at present
his own only by one of those sleight-of-hand arrangements which still
sometimes took place in that once lawless district. I was somewhat
diverted with the dejection of his looks on his return. He had, it seems,
been rather too communicative to his confidential friend, the attorney;
and learned with great dismay, in return for his unsuspecting frankness,
that Mr. Touthope had, during his absence, been appointed clerk to the
peace of the county, and was bound to communicate to justice all such
achievements as that of his friend Mr. Andrew Fairservice. There was a
necessity, this alert member of the police stated, for arresting the
horse, and placing him in Bailie Trumbull's stable, therein to remain at
livery, at the rate of twelve shillings (Scotch) per diem, until the
question of property was duly tried and debated. He even talked as if, in
strict and rigorous execution of his duty, he ought to detain honest
Andrew himself; but on my guide's most piteously entreating his
forbearance, he not only desisted from this proposal, but made a present
to Andrew of a broken-winded and spavined pony, in order to enable him to
pursue his journey. It is true, he qualified this act of generosity by
exacting from poor Andrew an absolute cession of his right and interest
in the gallant palfrey of Thorncliff Osbaldistone--a transference which
Mr. Touthope represented as of very little consequence, since his
unfortunate friend, as he facetiously observed, was likely to get nothing
of the mare excepting the halter.

Andrew seemed woeful and disconcerted, as I screwed out of him these
particulars; for his northern pride was cruelly pinched by being
compelled to admit that attorneys were attorneys on both sides of the
Tweed; and that Mr. Clerk Touthope was not a farthing more sterling coin
than Mr. Clerk Jobson.

"It wadna hae vexed him half sae muckle to hae been cheated out o' what
might amaist be said to be won with the peril o' his craig, had it
happened amang the Inglishers; but it was an unco thing to see hawks pike
out hawks' e'en, or ae kindly Scot cheat anither. But nae doubt things
were strangely changed in his country sin' the sad and sorrowfu' Union;"
an event to which Andrew referred every symptom of depravity or
degeneracy which he remarked among his countrymen, more especially the
inflammation of reckonings, the diminished size of pint-stoups, and other
grievances, which he pointed out to me during our journey.

For my own part, I held myself, as things had turned out, acquitted of
all charge of the mare, and wrote to my uncle the circumstances under
which she was carried into Scotland, concluding with informing him that
she was in the hands of justice, and her worthy representatives, Bailie
Trumbull and Mr. Clerk Touthope, to whom I referred him for farther
particulars. Whether the property returned to the Northumbrian
fox-hunter, or continued to bear the person of the Scottish attorney, it
is unnecessary for me at present to say.

We now pursued our journey to the north-westward, at a rate much slower
than that at which we had achieved our nocturnal retreat from England.
One chain of barren and uninteresting hills succeeded another, until the
more fertile vale of Clyde opened upon us; and, with such despatch as we
might, we gained the town, or, as my guide pertinaciously termed it, the
city, of Glasgow. Of late years, I understand, it has fully deserved the
name, which, by a sort of political second sight, my guide assigned to
it. An extensive and increasing trade with the West Indies and American
colonies, has, if I am rightly informed, laid the foundation of wealth
and prosperity, which, if carefully strengthened and built upon, may one
day support an immense fabric of commercial prosperity; but in the
earlier time of which I speak, the dawn of this splendour had not arisen.
The Union had, indeed, opened to Scotland the trade of the English
colonies; but, betwixt want of capital, and the national jealousy of the
English, the merchants of Scotland were as yet excluded, in a great
measure, from the exercise of the privileges which that memorable treaty
conferred on them. Glasgow lay on the wrong side of the island for
participating in the east country or continental trade, by which the
trifling commerce as yet possessed by Scotland chiefly supported itself.
Yet, though she then gave small promise of the commercial eminence to
which, I am informed, she seems now likely one day to attain, Glasgow, as
the principal central town of the western district of Scotland, was a
place of considerable rank and importance. The broad and brimming Clyde,
which flows so near its walls, gave the means of an inland navigation of
some importance. Not only the fertile plains in its immediate
neighbourhood, but the districts of Ayr and Dumfries regarded Glasgow as
their capital, to which they transmitted their produce, and received in
return such necessaries and luxuries as their consumption required.

The dusky mountains of the western Highlands often sent forth wilder
tribes to frequent the marts of St. Mungo's favourite city. Hordes of
wild shaggy, dwarfish cattle and ponies, conducted by Highlanders, as
wild, as shaggy, and sometimes as dwarfish, as the animals they had in
charge, often traversed the streets of Glasgow. Strangers gazed with
surprise on the antique and fantastic dress, and listened to the unknown
and dissonant sounds of their language, while the mountaineers, armed,
even while engaged in this peaceful occupation, with musket and pistol,
sword, dagger, and target, stared with astonishment on the articles of
luxury of which they knew not the use, and with an avidity which seemed
somewhat alarming on the articles which they knew and valued. It is
always with unwillingness that the Highlander quits his deserts, and at
this early period it was like tearing a pine from its rock, to plant him
elsewhere. Yet even then the mountain glens were over-peopled, although
thinned occasionally by famine or by the sword, and many of their
inhabitants strayed down to Glasgow--there formed settlements--there
sought and found employment, although different, indeed, from that of
their native hills. This supply of a hardy and useful population was of
consequence to the prosperity of the place, furnished the means of
carrying on the few manufactures which the town already boasted, and laid
the foundation of its future prosperity.

The exterior of the city corresponded with these promising circumstances.
The principal street was broad and important, decorated with public
buildings, of an architecture rather striking than correct in point of
taste, and running between rows of tall houses, built of stone, the
fronts of which were occasionally richly ornamented with mason-work--a
circumstance which gave the street an imposing air of dignity and
grandeur, of which most English towns are in some measure deprived, by
the slight, insubstantial, and perishable quality and appearance of the
bricks with which they are constructed.

In the western metropolis of Scotland, my guide and I arrived on a
Saturday evening, too late to entertain thoughts of business of any kind.
We alighted at the door of a jolly hostler-wife, as Andrew called
her,--the Ostelere of old father Chaucer,--by whom we were civilly
received.

On the following morning the bells pealed from every steeple, announcing
the sanctity of the day. Notwithstanding, however, what I had heard of
the severity with which the Sabbath is observed in Scotland, my first
impulse, not unnaturally, was to seek out Owen; but on inquiry I found
that my attempt would be in vain, "until kirk time was ower." Not only
did my landlady and guide jointly assure me that "there wadna be a living
soul either in the counting-house or dwelling-house of Messrs. MacVittie,
MacFin, and Company," to which Owen's letter referred me, but, moreover,
"far less would I find any of the partners there. They were serious men,
and wad be where a' gude Christians ought to be at sic a time, and that
was in the Barony Laigh Kirk."*

* [The Laigh Kirk or Crypt of the Cathedral of Glasgow served for more *
than two centuries as the church of the Barony Parish, and, for a time,
was * converted into a burial-place. In the restorations of this grand
building * the crypt was cleared out, and is now admired as one of the
richest specimens * of Early English architecture existing in Scotland.]

Andrew Fairservice, whose disgust at the law of his country had
fortunately not extended itself to the other learned professions of his
native land, now sung forth the praises of the preacher who was to
perform the duty, to which my hostess replied with many loud amens. The
result was, that I determined to go to this popular place of worship, as
much with the purpose of learning, if possible, whether Owen had arrived
in Glasgow, as with any great expectation of edification. My hopes were
exalted by the assurance, that if Mr. Ephraim MacVittie (worthy man) were
in the land of life, he would surely honour the Barony Kirk that day with
his presence; and if he chanced to have a stranger within his gates,
doubtless he would bring him to the duty along with him. This probability
determined my motions, and under the escort of my faithful Andrew, I set
forth for the Barony Kirk.

On this occasion, however, I had little need of his guidance; for the
crowd, which forced its way up a steep and rough-paved street, to hear
the most popular preacher in the west of Scotland, would of itself have
swept me along with it. On attaining the summit of the hill, we turned to
the left, and a large pair of folding doors admitted us, amongst others,
into the open and extensive burying-place which surrounds the Minster or
Cathedral Church of Glasgow. The pile is of a gloomy and massive, rather
than of an elegant, style of Gothic architecture; but its peculiar
character is so strongly preserved, and so well suited with the
accompaniments that surround it, that the impression of the first view
was awful and solemn in the extreme. I was indeed so much struck, that I
resisted for a few minutes all Andrew's efforts to drag me into the
interior of the building, so deeply was I engaged in surveying its
outward character.

Situated in a populous and considerable town, this ancient and massive
pile has the appearance of the most sequestered solitude. High walls
divide it from the buildings of the city on one side; on the other it is
bounded by a ravine, at the bottom of which, and invisible to the eye,
murmurs a wandering rivulet, adding, by its gentle noise, to the imposing
solemnity of the scene. On the opposite side of the ravine rises a steep
bank, covered with fir-trees closely planted, whose dusky shade extends
itself over the cemetery with an appropriate and gloomy effect. The
churchyard itself had a peculiar character; for though in reality
extensive, it is small in proportion to the number of respectable
inhabitants who are interred within it, and whose graves are almost all
covered with tombstones. There is therefore no room for the long rank
grass, which, in most cases, partially clothes the surface of those
retreats where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at
rest. The broad flat monumental stones are placed so close to each other,
that the precincts appear to be flagged with them, and, though roofed
only by the heavens, resemble the floor of one of our old English
churches, where the pavement is covered with sepulchral inscriptions. The
contents of these sad records of mortality, the vain sorrows which they
preserve, the stern lesson which they teach of the nothingness of
humanity, the extent of ground which they so closely cover, and their
uniform and melancholy tenor, reminded me of the roll of the prophet,
which was "written within and without, and there was written therein
lamentations and mourning and woe."

The Cathedral itself corresponds in impressive majesty with these
accompaniments. We feel that its appearance is heavy, yet that the effect
produced would be destroyed were it lighter or more ornamental. It is the
only metropolitan church in Scotland, excepting, as I am informed, the
Cathedral of Kirkwall, in the Orkneys, which remained uninjured at the
Reformation; and Andrew Fairservice, who saw with great pride the effect
which it produced upon my mind, thus accounted for its preservation--"Ah!
it's a brave kirk--nane o' yere whig-maleeries and curliewurlies and
opensteek hems about it--a' solid, weel-jointed mason-wark, that will
stand as lang as the warld, keep hands and gunpowther aff it. It had
amaist a douncome lang syne at the Reformation, when they pu'd doun the
kirks of St. Andrews and Perth, and thereawa', to cleanse them o' Papery,
and idolatry, and image worship, and surplices, and sic like rags o' the
muckle hure that sitteth on seven hills, as if ane wasna braid eneugh for
her auld hinder end. Sae the commons o' Renfrew, and o' the Barony, and
the Gorbals and a' about, they behoved to come into Glasgow no fair
morning, to try their hand on purging the High Kirk o' Popish
nick-nackets. But the townsmen o' Glasgow, they were feared their auld
edifice might slip the girths in gaun through siccan rough physic, sae
they rang the common bell, and assembled the train-bands wi' took o'
drum. By good luck, the worthy James Rabat was Dean o' Guild that
year--(and a gude mason he was himself, made him the keener to keep up
the auld bigging)--and the trades assembled, and offered downright
battle to the commons, rather than their kirk should coup the crans as
others had done elsewhere. It wasna for luve o' Paperie--na, na!--nane
could ever say that o' the trades o' Glasgow--Sae they sune came to an
agreement to take a' the idolatrous statues of sants (sorrow be on them)
out o' their neuks--and sae the bits o' stane idols were broken in
pieces by Scripture warrant, and flung into the Molendinar burn, and the
auld kirk stood as crouse as a cat when the flaes are kaimed aff her,
and a' body was alike pleased. And I hae heard wise folk say, that if
the same had been done in ilka kirk in Scotland, the Reform wad just hae
been as pure as it is e'en now, and we wad hae mair Christian-like
kirks; for I hae been sae lang in England, that naething will drived out
o' my head, that the dog-kennel at Osbaldistone Hall is better than mony
a house o' God in Scotland."

Thus saying, Andrew led the way into the place of worship.





CHAPTER THIRD.

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

Notwithstanding the impatience of my conductor, I could not forbear to
pause and gaze for some minutes on the exterior of the building, rendered
more impressively dignified by the solitude which ensued when its
hitherto open gates were closed, after having, as it were, devoured the
multitude which had lately crowded the churchyard, but now, enclosed
within the building, were engaged, as the choral swell of voices from
within announced to us, in the solemn exercises of devotion. The sound of
so many voices united by the distance into one harmony, and freed from
those harsh discordances which jar the ear when heard more near,
combining with the murmuring brook, and the wind which sung among the old
firs, affected me with a sense of sublimity. All nature, as invoked by
the Psalmist whose verses they chanted, seemed united in offering that
solemn praise in which trembling is mixed with joy as she addressed her
Maker. I had heard the service of high mass in France, celebrated with
all the _e'clat_ which the choicest music, the richest dresses, the most
imposing ceremonies, could confer on it; yet it fell short in effect of
the simplicity of the Presbyterian worship. The devotion in which every
one took a share seemed so superior to that which was recited by
musicians as a lesson which they had learned by rote, that it gave the
Scottish worship all the advantage of reality over acting.

As I lingered to catch more of the solemn sound, Andrew, whose impatience
became ungovernable, pulled me by the sleeve--"Come awa', sir--come awa';
we maunna be late o' gaun in to disturb the worship; if we bide here the
searchers will be on us, and carry us to the guard-house for being idlers
in kirk-time."

Thus admonished, I followed my guide, but not, as I had supposed, into
the body of the cathedral. "This gate--this gate, sir," he exclaimed,
dragging me off as I made towards the main entrance of the
building--"There's but cauldrife law-work gaun on yonder--carnal
morality, as dow'd and as fusionless as rue leaves at Yule--Here's the
real savour of doctrine."

So saying, we entered a small low-arched door, secured by a wicket, which
a grave-looking person seemed on the point of closing, and descended
several steps as if into the funeral vaults beneath the church. It was
even so; for in these subterranean precincts,--why chosen for such a
purpose I knew not,--was established a very singular place of worship.

Conceive, Tresham, an extensive range of low-browed, dark, and twilight
vaults, such as are used for sepulchres in other countries, and had long
been dedicated to the same purpose in this, a portion of which was seated
with pews, and used as a church. The part of the vaults thus occupied,
though capable of containing a congregation of many hundreds, bore a
small proportion to the darker and more extensive caverns which yawned
around what may be termed the inhabited space. In those waste regions of
oblivion, dusky banners and tattered escutcheons indicated the graves of
those who were once, doubtless, "princes in Israel." Inscriptions, which
could only be read by the painful antiquary, in language as obsolete as
the act of devotional charity which they employed, invited the passengers
to pray for the souls of those whose bodies rested beneath. Surrounded by
these receptacles of the last remains of mortality, I found a numerous
congregation engaged in the act of prayer. The Scotch perform this duty
in a standing instead of a kneeling posture--more, perhaps, to take as
broad a distinction as possible from the ritual of Rome than for any
better reason; since I have observed, that in their family worship, as
doubtless in their private devotions, they adopt, in their immediate
address to the Deity, that posture which other Christians use as the
humblest and most reverential. Standing, therefore, the men being
uncovered, a crowd of several hundreds of both sexes, and all ages,
listened with great reverence and attention to the extempore, at least
the unwritten, prayer of an aged clergyman,* who was very popular in the
city.

* I have in vain laboured to discover this gentleman's name, and the
period of his incumbency. I do not, however, despair to see these points,
with some others which may elude my sagacity, satisfactorily elucidated
by one or other of the periodical publications which have devoted their
pages to explanatory commentaries on my former volumes; and whose
research and ingenuity claim my peculiar gratitude, for having discovered
many persons and circumstances connected with my narratives, of which I
myself never so much as dreamed.

Educated in the same religious persuasion, I seriously bent my mind to
join in the devotion of the day; and it was not till the congregation
resumed their seats, that my attention was diverted to the consideration
of the appearance of all around me.

At the conclusion of the prayer, most of the men put on their hats or
bonnets, and all who had the happiness to have seats sate down. Andrew
and I were not of this number, having been too late of entering the
church to secure such accommodation. We stood among a number of other
persons in the same situation, forming a sort of ring around the seated
part of the congregation. Behind and around us were the vaults I have
already described; before us the devout audience, dimly shown by the
light which streamed on their faces through one or two low Gothic
windows, such as give air and light to charnel-houses. By this were seen
the usual variety of countenances which are generally turned towards a
Scotch pastor on such occasions, almost all composed to attention, unless
where a father or mother here and there recalls the wandering eyes of a
lively child, or disturbs the slumbers of a dull one. The high-boned and
harsh countenance of the nation, with the expression of intelligence and
shrewdness which it frequently exhibits, is seen to more advantage in the
act of devotion, or in the ranks of war, than on lighter and more
cheerful occasions of assemblage. The discourse of the preacher was well
qualified to call forth the various feelings and faculties of his
audience.

Age and infirmities had impaired the powers of a voice originally strong
and sonorous. He read his text with a pronunciation somewhat
inarticulate; but when he closed the Bible, and commenced his sermon, his
tones gradually strengthened, as he entered with vehemence into the
arguments which he maintained. They related chiefly to the abstract
points of the Christian faith,--subjects grave, deep, and fathomless by
mere human reason, but for which, with equal ingenuity and propriety, he
sought a key in liberal quotations from the inspired writings. My mind
was unprepared to coincide in all his reasoning, nor was I sure that in
some instances I rightly comprehended his positions. But nothing could be
more impressive than the eager enthusiastic manner of the good old man,
and nothing more ingenious than his mode of reasoning. The Scotch, it is
well known, are more remarkable for the exercise of their intellectual
powers, than for the keenness of their feelings; they are, therefore,
more moved by logic than by rhetoric, and more attracted by acute and
argumentative reasoning on doctrinal points, than influenced by the
enthusiastic appeals to the heart and to the passions, by which popular
preachers in other countries win the favour of their hearers.

Among the attentive group which I now saw, might be distinguished various
expressions similar to those of the audience in the famous cartoon of
Paul preaching at Athens. Here sat a zealous and intelligent Calvinist,
with brows bent just as much as to indicate profound attention; lips
slightly compressed; eyes fixed on the minister with an expression of
decent pride, as if sharing the triumph of his argument; the forefinger
of the right hand touching successively those of the left, as the
preacher, from argument to argument, ascended towards his conclusion.
Another, with fiercer and sterner look, intimated at once his contempt of
all who doubted the creed of his pastor, and his joy at the appropriate
punishment denounced against them. A third, perhaps belonging to a
different congregation, and present only by accident or curiosity, had
the appearance of internally impeaching some link of the reasoning; and
you might plainly read, in the slight motion of his head, his doubts as
to the soundness of the preacher's argument. The greater part listened
with a calm, satisfied countenance, expressive of a conscious merit in
being present, and in listening to such an ingenious discourse, although
perhaps unable entirely to comprehend it. The women in general belonged
to this last division of the audience; the old, however, seeming more
grimly intent upon the abstract doctrines laid before them; while the
younger females permitted their eyes occasionally to make a modest
circuit around the congregation; and some of them, Tresham (if my vanity
did not greatly deceive me), contrived to distinguish your friend and
servant, as a handsome young stranger and an Englishman. As to the rest
of the congregation, the stupid gaped, yawned, or slept, till awakened by
the application of their more zealous neighbours' heels to their shins;
and the idle indicated their inattention by the wandering of their eyes,
but dared give no more decided token of weariness. Amid the Lowland
costume of coat and cloak, I could here and there discern a Highland
plaid, the wearer of which, resting on his basket-hilt, sent his eyes
among the audience with the unrestrained curiosity of savage wonder; and
who, in all probability, was inattentive to the sermon for a very
pardonable reason--because he did not understand the language in which it
was delivered. The martial and wild look, however, of these stragglers,
added a kind of character which the congregation could not have exhibited
without them. They were more numerous, Andrew afterwards observed, owing
to some cattle-fair in the neighbourhood.

Such was the group of countenances, rising tier on tier, discovered to my
critical inspection by such sunbeams as forced their way through the
narrow Gothic lattices of the Laigh Kirk of Glasgow; and, having
illuminated the attentive congregation, lost themselves in the vacuity of
the vaults behind, giving to the nearer part of their labyrinth a sort of
imperfect twilight, and leaving their recesses in an utter darkness,
which gave them the appearance of being interminable.

I have already said that I stood with others in the exterior circle, with
my face to the preacher, and my back to those vaults which I have so
often mentioned. My position rendered me particularly obnoxious to any
interruption which arose from any slight noise occurring amongst these
retiring arches, where the least sound was multiplied by a thousand
echoes. The occasional sound of rain-drops, which, admitted through some
cranny in the ruined roof, fell successively, and splashed upon the
pavement beneath, caused me to turn my head more than once to the place
from whence it seemed to proceed, and when my eyes took that direction, I
found it difficult to withdraw them; such is the pleasure our imagination
receives from the attempt to penetrate as far as possible into an
intricate labyrinth, imperfectly lighted, and exhibiting objects which
irritate our curiosity, only because they acquire a mysterious interest
from being undefined and dubious. My eyes became habituated to the gloomy
atmosphere to which I directed them, and insensibly my mind became more
interested in their discoveries than in the metaphysical subtleties which
the preacher was enforcing.

My father had often checked me for this wandering mood of mind, arising
perhaps from an excitability of imagination to which he was a stranger;
and the finding myself at present solicited by these temptations to
inattention, recalled the time when I used to walk, led by his hand, to
Mr. Shower's chapel, and the earnest injunctions which he then laid on me
to redeem the time, because the days were evil. At present, the picture
which my thoughts suggested, far from fixing my attention, destroyed the
portion I had yet left, by conjuring up to my recollection the peril in
which his affairs now stood. I endeavoured, in the lowest whisper I could
frame, to request Andrew to obtain information, whether any of the
gentlemen of the firm of MacVittie & Co. were at present in the
congregation. But Andrew, wrapped in profound attention to the sermon,
only replied to my suggestion by hard punches with his elbow, as signals
to me to remain silent. I next strained my eyes, with equally bad
success, to see if, among the sea of up-turned faces which bent their
eyes on the pulpit as a common centre, I could discover the sober and
business-like physiognomy of Owen. But not among the broad beavers of the
Glasgow citizens, or the yet broader brimmed Lowland bonnets of the
peasants of Lanarkshire, could I see anything resembling the decent
periwig, starched ruffles, or the uniform suit of light-brown garments
appertaining to the head-clerk of the establishment of Osbaldistone and
Tresham. My anxiety now returned on me with such violence as to overpower
not only the novelty of the scene around me, by which it had hitherto
been diverted, but moreover my sense of decorum. I pulled Andrew hard by
the sleeve, and intimated my wish to leave the church, and pursue my
investigation as I could. Andrew, obdurate in the Laigh Kirk of Glasgow
as on the mountains of Cheviot, for some time deigned me no answer; and
it was only when he found I could not otherwise be kept quiet, that he
condescended to inform me, that, being once in the church, we could not
leave it till service was over, because the doors were locked so soon as
the prayers began. Having thus spoken in a brief and peevish whisper,
Andrew again assumed the air of intelligent and critical importance, and
attention to the preacher's discourse.

While I endeavoured to make a virtue of necessity, and recall my
attention to the sermon, I was again disturbed by a singular
interruption. A voice from behind whispered distinctly in my ear, "You
are in danger in this city."--I turned round, as if mechanically.

One or two starched and ordinary-looking mechanics stood beside and
behind me,--stragglers, who, like ourselves, had been too late in
obtaining entrance. But a glance at their faces satisfied me, though I
could hardly say why, that none of these was the person who had spoken to
me. Their countenances seemed all composed to attention to the sermon,
and not one of them returned any glance of intelligence to the
inquisitive and startled look with which I surveyed them. A massive round
pillar, which was close behind us, might have concealed the speaker the
instant he uttered his mysterious caution; but wherefore it was given in
such a place, or to what species of danger it directed my attention, or
by whom the warning was uttered, were points on which my imagination lost
itself in conjecture. It would, however, I concluded, be repeated, and I
resolved to keep my countenance turned towards the clergyman, that the
whisperer might be tempted to renew his communication under the idea that
the first had passed unobserved.

My plan succeeded. I had not resumed the appearance of attention to the
preacher for five minutes, when the same voice whispered, "Listen, but do
not look back." I kept my face in the same direction. "You are in danger
in this place," the voice proceeded; "so am I--meet me to-night on the
Brigg, at twelve preceesely--keep at home till the gloaming, and avoid
observation."

Here the voice ceased, and I instantly turned my head. But the speaker
had, with still greater promptitude, glided behind the pillar, and
escaped my observation. I was determined to catch a sight of him, if
possible, and extricating myself from the outer circle of hearers, I also
stepped behind the column. All there was empty; and I could only see a
figure wrapped in a mantle, whether a Lowland cloak, or Highland plaid, I
could not distinguish, which traversed, like a phantom, the dreary
vacuity of vaults which I have described.

I made a mechanical attempt to pursue the mysterious form, which glided
away and vanished in the vaulted cemetery, like the spectre of one of the
numerous dead who rested within its precincts. I had little chance of
arresting the course of one obviously determined not to be spoken with;
but that little chance was lost by my stumbling and falling before I had
made three steps from the column. The obscurity which occasioned my
misfortune, covered my disgrace; which I accounted rather lucky, for the
preacher, with that stern authority which the Scottish ministers assume
for the purpose of keeping order in their congregations, interrupted his
discourse, to desire the "proper officer" to take into custody the causer
of this disturbance in the place of worship. As the noise, however, was
not repeated, the beadle, or whatever else he was called, did not think
it necessary to be rigorous in searching out the offender, so that I was
enabled, without attracting farther observation, to place myself by
Andrew's side in my original position. The service proceeded, and closed
without the occurrence of anything else worthy of notice.

As the congregation departed and dispersed, my friend Andrew exclaimed,
"See, yonder is worthy Mr. MacVittie, and Mrs. MacVittie, and Miss Alison
MacVittie, and Mr. Thamas MacFin, that they say is to marry Miss Alison,
if a' bowls row right--she'll hae a hantle siller, if she's no that
bonny."

My eyes took the direction he pointed out. Mr. MacVittie was a tall,
thin, elderly man, with hard features, thick grey eyebrows, light eyes,
and, as I imagined, a sinister expression of countenance, from which my
heart recoiled. I remembered the warning I had received in the church,
and hesitated to address this person, though I could not allege to myself
any rational ground of dislike or suspicion.

I was yet in suspense, when Andrew, who mistook my hesitation for
bashfulness, proceeded to exhort me to lay it aside. "Speak till
him--speak till him, Mr. Francis--he's no provost yet, though they say
he'll be my lord neist year. Speak till him, then--he'll gie ye a decent
answer for as rich as he is, unless ye were wanting siller frae
him--they say he's dour to draw his purse."

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





CHAPTER FOURTH.

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

Full of sinister augury, for which, however, I could assign no
satisfactory cause, I shut myself up in my apartment at the inn, and
having dismissed Andrew, after resisting his importunity to accompany him
to St. Enoch's Kirk,* where, he said, "a soul-searching divine was to haud
forth," I set myself seriously to consider what were best to be done.

* This I believe to be an anachronism, as Saint Enoch's Church was not
built at the date of the story. [It was founded in 1780, and has since
been rebuilt.]

I never was what is properly called superstitious; but I suppose that all
men, in situations of peculiar doubt and difficulty, when they have
exercised their reason to little purpose, are apt, in a sort of despair,
to abandon the reins to their imagination, and be guided altogether by
chance, or by those whimsical impressions which take possession of the
mind, and to which we give way as if to involuntary impulses. There was
something so singularly repulsive in the hard features of the Scotch
trader, that I could not resolve to put myself into his hands without
transgressing every caution which could be derived from the rules of
physiognomy; while, at the same time, the warning voice, the form which
flitted away like a vanishing shadow through those vaults, which might be
termed "the valley of the shadow of death," had something captivating for
the imagination of a young man, who, you will farther please to remember,
was also a young poet.

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

Although I had not partaken of my repast until the hours of evening
church-service were over,--in which, by the way, I complied with the
religious scruples of my landlady, who hesitated to dress a hot dinner
between sermons, and also with the admonition of my unknown friend, to
keep my apartment till twilight,--several hours had still to pass away
betwixt the time of my appointment and that at which I reached the
assigned place of meeting. The interval, as you will readily credit, was
wearisome enough; and I can hardly explain to you how it passed away.
Various groups of persons, all of whom, young and old, seemed impressed
with a reverential feeling of the sanctity of the day, passed along the
large open meadow which lies on the northern bank of the Clyde, and
serves at once as a bleaching-field and pleasure-walk for the
inhabitants, or paced with slow steps the long bridge which communicates
with the southern district of the county. All that I remember of them was
the general, yet not unpleasing, intimation of a devotional character
impressed on each little party--formally assumed perhaps by some, but
sincerely characterising the greater number--which hushed the petulant
gaiety of the young into a tone of more quiet, yet more interesting,
interchange of sentiments, and suppressed the vehement argument and
protracted disputes of those of more advanced age. Notwithstanding the
numbers who passed me, no general sound of the human voice was heard; few
turned again to take some minutes' voluntary exercise, to which the
leisure of the evening, and the beauty of the surrounding scenery, seemed
to invite them: all hurried to their homes and resting-places. To one
accustomed to the mode of spending Sunday evenings abroad, even among the
French Calvinists, there seemed something Judaical, yet, at the same time
striking and affecting, in this mode of keeping the Sabbath holy.
Insensibly I felt my mode of sauntering by the side of the river, and
crossing successively the various persons who were passing homeward, and
without tarrying or delay, must expose me to observation at least, if not
to censure; and I slunk out of the frequented path, and found a trivial
occupation for my mind in marshalling my revolving walk in such a manner
as should least render me obnoxious to observation. The different alleys
lined out through this extensive meadow, and which are planted with
trees, like the Park of St. James's in London, gave me facilities for
carrying into effect these childish manoeuvres.

As I walked down one of these avenues, I heard, to my surprise, the sharp
and conceited voice of Andrew Fairservice, raised by a sense of
self-consequence to a pitch somewhat higher than others seemed to think
consistent with the solemnity of the day. To slip behind the row of trees
under which I walked was perhaps no very dignified proceeding; but it was
the easiest mode of escaping his observation, and perhaps his impertinent
assiduity, and still more intrusive curiosity. As he passed, I heard him
communicate to a grave-looking man, in a black coat, a slouched hat, and
Geneva cloak, the following sketch of a character, which my self-love,
while revolting against it as a caricature, could not, nevertheless,
refuse to recognise as a likeness.

"Ay, ay, Mr. Hammorgaw, it's e'en as I tell ye. He's no a'thegither sae
void o' sense neither; he has a gloaming sight o' what's reasonable--that
is anes and awa'--a glisk and nae mair; but he's crack-brained and
cockle-headed about his nipperty-tipperty poetry nonsense--He'll glowr at
an auld-warld barkit aik-snag as if it were a queezmaddam in full
bearing; and a naked craig, wi' a bum jawing ower't, is unto him as a
garden garnisht with flowering knots and choice pot-herbs. Then he wad
rather claver wi' a daft quean they ca' Diana Vernon (weel I wet they
might ca' her Diana of the Ephesians, for she's little better than a
heathen--better? she's waur--a Roman, a mere Roman)--he'll claver wi'
her, or any ither idle slut, rather than hear what might do him gude a'
the days of his life, frae you or me, Mr. Hammorgaw, or ony ither sober
and sponsible person. Reason, sir, is what he canna endure--he's a' for
your vanities and volubilities; and he ance tell'd me (puir blinded
creature!) that the Psalms of David were excellent poetry! as if the holy
Psalmist thought o' rattling rhymes in a blether, like his ain silly
clinkum-clankum things that he ca's verse. Gude help him!--twa lines o'
Davie Lindsay would ding a' he ever clerkit."

While listening to this perverted account of my temper and studies, you
will not be surprised if I meditated for Mr. Fairservice the unpleasant
surprise of a broken pate on the first decent opportunity. His friend
only intimated his attention by "Ay, ay!" and "Is't e'en sae?" and
suchlike expressions of interest, at the proper breaks in Mr.
Fairservice's harangue, until at length, in answer to some observation of
greater length, the import of which I only collected from my trusty
guide's reply, honest Andrew answered, "Tell him a bit o'my mind, quoth
ye? Wha wad be fule then but Andrew? He's a red-wad deevil, man--He's
like Giles Heathertap's auld boar;--ye need but shake a clout at him to
make him turn and gore. Bide wi' him, say ye?--Troth, I kenna what for I
bide wi' him mysell. But the lad's no a bad lad after a'; and he needs
some carefu' body to look after him. He hasna the right grip o' his
hand--the gowd slips through't like water, man; and it's no that ill a
thing to be near him when his purse is in his hand, and it's seldom out
o't. And then he's come o' guid kith and kin--My heart warms to the poor
thoughtless callant, Mr. Hammorgaw--and then the penny fee"--

In the latter part of this instructive communication, Mr. Fairservice
lowered his voice to a tone better beseeming the conversation in a place
of public resort on a Sabbath evening, and his companion and he were soon
beyond my hearing. My feelings of hasty resentment soon subsided, under
the conviction that, as Andrew himself might have said, "A harkener
always hears a bad tale of himself," and that whoever should happen to
overhear their character discussed in their own servants'-hall, must
prepare to undergo the scalpel of some such anatomist as Mr. Fairservice.
The incident was so far useful, as, including the feelings to which it
gave rise, it sped away a part of the time which hung so heavily on my
hand.

Evening had now closed, and the growing darkness gave to the broad,
still, and deep expanse of the brimful river, first a hue sombre and
uniform--then a dismal and turbid appearance, partially lighted by a
waning and pallid moon. The massive and ancient bridge which stretches
across the Clyde was now but dimly visible, and resembled that which
Mirza, in his unequalled vision, has described as traversing the valley
of Bagdad. The low-browed arches, seen as imperfectly as the dusky
current which they bestrode, seemed rather caverns which swallowed up the
gloomy waters of the river, than apertures contrived for their passage.
With the advancing night the stillness of the scene increased. There was
yet a twinkling light occasionally seen to glide along by the stream,
which conducted home one or two of the small parties, who, after the
abstinence and religious duties of the day, had partaken of a social
supper--the only meal at which the rigid Presbyterians made some advance
to sociality on the Sabbath. Occasionally, also, the hoofs of a horse
were heard, whose rider, after spending the Sunday in Glasgow, was
directing his steps towards his residence in the country. These sounds
and sights became gradually of more rare occurrence; at length they
altogether ceased, and I was left to enjoy my solitary walk on the shores
of the Clyde in solemn silence, broken only by the tolling of the
successive hours from the steeples of the churches.

But as the night advanced my impatience at the uncertainty of the
situation in which I was placed increased every moment, and became nearly
ungovernable. I began to question whether I had been imposed upon by the
trick of a fool, the raving of a madman, or the studied machinations of a
villain, and paced the little quay or pier adjoining the entrance to the
bridge, in a state of incredible anxiety and vexation. At length the hour
of twelve o'clock swung its summons over the city from the belfry of the
metropolitan church of St. Mungo, and was answered and vouched by all the
others like dutiful diocesans. The echoes had scarcely ceased to repeat
the last sound, when a human form--the first I had seen for two
hours--appeared passing along the bridge from the southern shore of the
river. I advanced to meet him with a feeling as if my fate depended on
the result of the interview, so much had my anxiety been wound up by
protracted expectation. All that I could remark of the passenger as we
advanced towards each other, was that his frame was rather beneath than
above the middle size, but apparently strong, thick-set, and muscular;
his dress a horseman's wrapping coat. I slackened my pace, and almost
paused as I advanced in expectation that he would address me. But to my
inexpressible disappointment he passed without speaking, and I had no
pretence for being the first to address one who, notwithstanding his
appearance at the very hour of appointment, might nevertheless be an
absolute stranger. I stopped when he had passed me, and looked after
him, uncertain whether I ought not to follow him. The stranger walked on
till near the northern end of the bridge, then paused, looked back, and
turning round, again advanced towards me. I resolved that this time he
should not have the apology for silence proper to apparitions, who, it
is vulgarly supposed, cannot speak until they are spoken to. "You walk
late, sir," said I, as we met a second time.

"I bide tryste," was the reply; "and so I think do you, Mr.
Osbaldistone."

"You are then the person who requested to meet me here at this unusual
hour?"

"I am," he replied. "Follow me, and you shall know my reasons."

"Before following you, I must know your name and purpose," I answered.

"I am a man," was the reply; "and my purpose is friendly to you."

"A man!" I repeated;--"that is a very brief description."

"It will serve for one who has no other to give," said the stranger. "He
that is without name, without friends, without coin, without country, is
still at least a man; and he that has all these is no more."

"Yet this is still too general an account of yourself, to say the least
of it, to establish your credit with a stranger."

"It is all I mean to give, howsoe'er; you may choose to follow me, or to
remain without the information I desire to afford you."

"Can you not give me that information here?" I demanded.

"You must receive it from your eyes, not from my tongue--you must follow
me, or remain in ignorance of the information which I have to give you."

There was something short, determined, and even stern, in the man's
manner, not certainly well calculated to conciliate undoubting
confidence.

"What is it you fear?" he said impatiently. "To whom, think ye, is your
life of such consequence, that they should seek to bereave ye of it?"

"I fear nothing," I replied firmly, though somewhat hastily. "Walk on--I
attend you."

We proceeded, contrary to my expectation, to re-enter the town, and
glided like mute spectres, side by side, up its empty and silent streets.
The high and gloomy stone fronts, with the variegated ornaments and
pediments of the windows, looked yet taller and more sable by the
imperfect moonshine. Our walk was for some minutes in perfect silence. At
length my conductor spoke.

"Are you afraid?"

"I retort your own words," I replied: "wherefore should I fear?"

"Because you are with a stranger--perhaps an enemy, in a place where you
have no friends and many enemies."

"I neither fear you nor them; I am young, active, and armed."

"I am not armed," replied my conductor: "but no matter, a willing hand
never lacked weapon. You say you fear nothing; but if you knew who was by
your side, perhaps you might underlie a tremor."

"And why should I?" replied I. "I again repeat, I fear nought that you
can do."

"Nought that I can do?--Be it so. But do you not fear the consequences of
being found with one whose very name whispered in this lonely street
would make the stones themselves rise up to apprehend him--on whose head
half the men in Glasgow would build their fortune as on a found treasure,
had they the luck to grip him by the collar--the sound of whose
apprehension were as welcome at the Cross of Edinburgh as ever the news
of a field stricken and won in Flanders?"

"And who then are you, whose name should create so deep a feeling of
terror?" I replied.

"No enemy of yours, since I am conveying you to a place, where, were I
myself recognised and identified, iron to the heels and hemp to the craig
would be my brief dooming."

I paused and stood still on the pavement, drawing back so as to have the
most perfect view of my companion which the light afforded me, and which
was sufficient to guard against any sudden motion of assault.

"You have said," I answered, "either too much or too little--too much to
induce me to confide in you as a mere stranger, since you avow yourself a
person amenable to the laws of the country in which we are--and too
little, unless you could show that you are unjustly subjected to their
rigour."

As I ceased to speak, he made a step towards me. I drew back
instinctively, and laid my hand on the hilt of my sword.

"What!" said he--"on an unarmed man, and your friend?"

"I am yet ignorant if you are either the one or the other," I replied;
"and to say the truth, your language and manner might well entitle me to
doubt both."

"It is manfully spoken," replied my conductor; "and I respect him whose
hand can keep his head.--I will be frank and free with you--I am
conveying you to prison."

"To prison!" I exclaimed--"by what warrant or for what offence?--You
shall have my life sooner than my liberty--I defy you, and I will not
follow you a step farther."

"I do not," he said, "carry you there as a prisoner; I am," he added,
drawing himself haughtily up, "neither a messenger nor sheriff's officer.
I carry you to see a prisoner from whose lips you will learn the risk in
which you presently stand. Your liberty is little risked by the visit;
mine is in some peril; but that I readily encounter on your account, for
I care not for risk, and I love a free young blood, that kens no
protector but the cross o' the sword."

While he spoke thus, we had reached the principal street, and were
pausing before a large building of hewn stone, garnished, as I thought I
could perceive, with gratings of iron before the windows.

"Muckle," said the stranger, whose language became more broadly national
as he assumed a tone of colloquial freedom--"Muckle wad the provost and
bailies o' Glasgow gie to hae him sitting with iron garters to his hose
within their tolbooth that now stands wi' his legs as free as the
red-deer's on the outside on't. And little wad it avail them; for an if
they had me there wi' a stane's weight o' iron at every ankle, I would
show them a toom room and a lost lodger before to-morrow--But come on,
what stint ye for?"

As he spoke thus, he tapped at a low wicket, and was answered by a sharp
voice, as of one awakened from a dream or reverie,--"Fa's tat?--Wha's
that, I wad say?--and fat a deil want ye at this hour at e'en?--Clean
again rules--clean again rules, as they ca' them."

The protracted tone in which the last words were uttered, betokened that
the speaker was again composing himself to slumber. But my guide spoke in
a loud whisper--"Dougal, man! hae ye forgotten Ha nun Gregarach?"

"Deil a bit, deil a bit," was the ready and lively response, and I heard
the internal guardian of the prison-gate bustle up with great alacrity. A
few words were exchanged between my conductor and the turnkey in a
language to which I was an absolute stranger. The bolts revolved, but
with a caution which marked the apprehension that the noise might be
overheard, and we stood within the vestibule of the prison of Glasgow,--a
small, but strong guard-room, from which a narrow staircase led upwards,
and one or two low entrances conducted to apartments on the same level
with the outward gate, all secured with the jealous strength of wickets,
bolts, and bars. The walls, otherwise naked, were not unsuitably
garnished with iron fetters, and other uncouth implements, which might be
designed for purposes still more inhuman, interspersed with partisans,
guns, pistols of antique manufacture, and other weapons of defence and
offence.

At finding myself so unexpectedly, fortuitously, and, as it were, by
stealth, introduced within one of the legal fortresses of Scotland, I
could not help recollecting my adventure in Northumberland, and fretting
at the strange incidents which again, without any demerits of my own,
threatened to place me in a dangerous and disagreeable collision with the
laws of a country which I visited only in the capacity of a stranger.





CHAPTER FIFTH.


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

At my first entrance I turned an eager glance towards my conductor; but
the lamp in the vestibule was too low in flame to give my curiosity any
satisfaction by affording a distinct perusal of his features. As the
turnkey held the light in his hand, the beams fell more full on his own
scarce less interesting figure. He was a wild shock-headed looking
animal, whose profusion of red hair covered and obscured his features,
which were otherwise only characterised by the extravagant joy that
affected him at the sight of my guide. In my experience I have met
nothing so absolutely resembling my idea of a very uncouth, wild, and
ugly savage, adoring the idol of his tribe. He grinned, he shivered, he
laughed, he was near crying, if he did not actually cry. He had a "Where
shall I go?--What can I do for you?" expression of face; the complete,
surrendered, and anxious subservience and devotion of which it is
difficult to describe, otherwise than by the awkward combination which I
have attempted. The fellow's voice seemed choking in his ecstasy, and
only could express itself in such interjections as "Oigh! oigh!--Ay!
ay!--it's lang since she's seen ye!" and other exclamations equally brief,
expressed in the same unknown tongue in which he had communicated with my
conductor while we were on the outside of the jail door. My guide
received all this excess of joyful gratulation much like a prince too
early accustomed to the homage of those around him to be much moved by
it, yet willing to requite it by the usual forms of royal courtesy. He
extended his hand graciously towards the turnkey, with a civil inquiry of
"How's a' wi' you, Dougal?"

"Oigh! oigh!" exclaimed Dougal, softening the sharp exclamations of his
surprise as he looked around with an eye of watchful alarm--"Oigh! to see
you here--to see you here!--Oigh!--what will come o' ye gin the bailies
suld come to get witting--ta filthy, gutty hallions, tat they are?"

My guide placed his finger on his lip, and said, "Fear nothing, Dougal;
your hands shall never draw a bolt on me."

"Tat sall they no," said Dougal; "she suld--she wad--that is, she wishes
them hacked aff by the elbows first--But when are ye gaun yonder again?
and ye'll no forget to let her ken--she's your puir cousin, God kens,
only seven times removed."

"I will let you ken, Dougal, as soon as my plans are settled."

"And, by her sooth, when you do, an it were twal o' the Sunday at e'en,
she'll fling her keys at the provost's head or she gie them anither turn,
and that or ever Monday morning begins--see if she winna."

My mysterious stranger cut his acquaintance's ecstasies short by again
addressing him, in what I afterwards understood to be the Irish, Earse,
or Gaelic, explaining, probably, the services which he required at his
hand. The answer, "Wi' a' her heart--wi' a' her soul," with a good deal
of indistinct muttering in a similar tone, intimated the turnkey's
acquiescence in what he proposed. The fellow trimmed his dying lamp, and
made a sign to me to follow him.

"Do you not go with us?" said I, looking to my conductor.

"It is unnecessary," he replied; "my company may be inconvenient for you,
and I had better remain to secure our retreat."

"I do not suppose you mean to betray me to danger," said I.

"To none but what I partake in doubly," answered the stranger, with a
voice of assurance which it was impossible to mistrust.

I followed the turnkey, who, leaving the inner wicket unlocked behind
him, led me up a _turnpike_ (so the Scotch call a winding stair), then
along a narrow gallery--then opening one of several doors which led into
the passage, he ushered me into a small apartment, and casting his eye on
the pallet-bed which occupied one corner, said with an under voice, as he
placed the lamp on a little deal table, "She's sleeping."

"She!--who?--can it be Diana Vernon in this abode of misery?"

I turned my eye to the bed, and it was with a mixture of disappointment
oddly mingled with pleasure, that I saw my first suspicion had deceived
me. I saw a head neither young nor beautiful, garnished with a grey beard
of two days' growth, and accommodated with a red nightcap. The first
glance put me at ease on the score of Diana Vernon; the second, as the
slumberer awoke from a heavy sleep, yawned, and rubbed his eyes,
presented me with features very different indeed--even those of my poor
friend Owen. I drew back out of view an instant, that he might have time
to recover himself; fortunately recollecting that I was but an intruder
on these cells of sorrow, and that any alarm might be attended with
unhappy consequences.

Meantime, the unfortunate formalist, raising himself from the pallet-bed
with the assistance of one hand, and scratching his cap with the other,
exclaimed in a voice in which as much peevishness as he was capable of
feeling, contended with drowsiness, "I'll tell you what, Mr. Dug-well, or
whatever your name may be, the sum-total of the matter is, that if my
natural rest is to be broken in this manner, I must complain to the lord
mayor."

"Shentlemans to speak wi' her," replied Dougal, resuming the true dogged
sullen tone of a turnkey, in exchange for the shrill clang of Highland
congratulation with which he had welcomed my mysterious guide; and,
turning on his heel, he left the apartment.

It was some time before I could prevail upon the unfortunate sleeper
awakening to recognise me; and when he did so, the distress of the worthy
creature was extreme, at supposing, which he naturally did, that I had
been sent thither as a partner of his captivity.

"O, Mr. Frank, what have you brought yourself and the house to?--I think
nothing of myself, that am a mere cipher, so to speak; but you, that was
your father's sum-total--his omnium,--you that might have been the first
man in the first house in the first city, to be shut up in a nasty Scotch
jail, where one cannot even get the dirt brushed off their clothes!"

He rubbed, with an air of peevish irritation, the once stainless brown
coat, which had now shared some of the impurities of the floor of his
prison-house,--his habits of extreme punctilious neatness acting
mechanically to increase his distress.--"O Heaven be gracious to us!" he
continued. "What news this will be on 'Change! There has not the like
come there since the battle of Almanza, where the total of the British
loss was summed up to five thousand men killed and wounded, besides a
floating balance of missing--but what will that be to the news that
Osbaldistone and Tresham have stopped!"

I broke in on his lamentations to acquaint him that I was no prisoner,
though scarce able to account for my being in that place at such an hour.
I could only silence his inquiries by persisting in those which his own
situation suggested; and at length obtained from him such information as
he was able to give me. It was none of the most distinct; for, however
clear-headed in his own routine of commercial business, Owen, you are
well aware, was not very acute in comprehending what lay beyond that
sphere.

The sum of his information was, that of two correspondents of my father's
firm at Glasgow, where, owing to engagements in Scotland formerly alluded
to, he transacted a great deal of business, both my father and Owen had
found the house of MacVittie, MacFin, and Company, the most obliging and
accommodating. They had deferred to the great English house on every
possible occasion; and in their bargains and transactions acted, without
repining, the part of the jackall, who only claims what the lion is
pleased to leave him. However small the share of profit allotted to them,
it was always, as they expressed it, "enough for the like of them;"
however large the portion of trouble, "they were sensible they could not
do too much to deserve the continued patronage and good opinion of their
honoured friends in Crane Alley."

The dictates of my father were to MacVittie and MacFin the laws of the
Medes and Persians, not to be altered, innovated, or even discussed; and
the punctilios exacted by Owen in their business transactions, for he was
a great lover of form, more especially when he could dictate it _ex
cathedra,_ seemed scarce less sanctimonious in their eyes. This tone of
deep and respectful observance went all currently down with Owen; but my
father looked a little closer into men's bosoms, and whether suspicious
of this excess of deference, or, as a lover of brevity and simplicity in
business, tired with these gentlemen's long-winded professions of regard,
he had uniformly resisted their desire to become his sole agents in
Scotland. On the contrary, he transacted many affairs through a
correspondent of a character perfectly different--a man whose good
opinion of himself amounted to self-conceit, and who, disliking the
English in general as much as my father did the Scotch, would hold no
communication but on a footing of absolute equality; jealous, moreover;
captious occasionally; as tenacious of his own opinions in point of form
as Owen could be of his; and totally indifferent though the authority of
all Lombard Street had stood against his own private opinion.

As these peculiarities of temper rendered it difficult to transact
business with Mr. Nicol Jarvie,--as they occasioned at times disputes and
coldness between the English house and their correspondent, which were
only got over by a sense of mutual interest,--as, moreover, Owen's
personal vanity sometimes suffered a little in the discussions to which
they gave rise, you cannot be surprised, Tresham, that our old friend
threw at all times the weight of his influence in favour of the civil,
discreet, accommodating concern of MacVittie and MacFin, and spoke of
Jarvie as a petulant, conceited Scotch pedlar, with whom there was no
dealing.

It was also not surprising, that in these circumstances, which I only
learned in detail some time afterwards, Owen, in the difficulties to
which the house was reduced by the absence of my father, and the
disappearance of Rashleigh, should, on his arrival in Scotland, which
took place two days before mine, have recourse to the friendship of those
correspondents, who had always professed themselves obliged, gratified,
and devoted to the service of his principal. He was received at Messrs.
MacVittie and MacFin's counting-house in the Gallowgate, with something
like the devotion a Catholic would pay to his tutelar saint. But, alas!
this sunshine was soon overclouded, when, encouraged by the fair hopes
which it inspired, he opened the difficulties of the house to his
friendly correspondents, and requested their counsel and assistance.
MacVittie was almost stunned by the communication; and MacFin, ere it was
completed, was already at the ledger of their firm, and deeply engaged in
the very bowels of the multitudinous accounts between their house and
that of Osbaldistone and Tresham, for the purpose of discovering on which
side the balance lay. Alas! the scale depressed considerably against the
English firm; and the faces of MacVittie and MacFin, hitherto only blank
and doubtful, became now ominous, grim, and lowering. They met Mr. Owen's
request of countenance and assistance with a counter-demand of instant
security against imminent hazard of eventual loss; and at length,
speaking more plainly, required that a deposit of assets, destined for
other purposes, should be placed in their hands for that purpose. Owen
repelled this demand with great indignation, as dishonourable to his
constituents, unjust to the other creditors of Osbaldistone and Tresham,
and very ungrateful on the part of those by whom it was made.

The Scotch partners gained, in the course of this controversy, what is
very convenient to persons who are in the wrong, an opportunity and
pretext for putting themselves in a violent passion, and for taking,
under the pretext of the provocation they had received, measures to which
some sense of decency, if not of conscience, might otherwise have
deterred them from resorting.

Owen had a small share, as I believe is usual, in the house to which he
acted as head-clerk, and was therefore personally liable for all its
obligations. This was known to Messrs. MacVittie and MacFin; and, with a
view of making him feel their power, or rather in order to force him, at
this emergency, into those measures in their favour, to which he had
expressed himself so repugnant, they had recourse to a summary process of
arrest and imprisonment,--which it seems the law of Scotland (therein
surely liable to much abuse) allows to a creditor, who finds his
conscience at liberty to make oath that the debtor meditates departing
from the realm. Under such a warrant had poor Owen been confined to
durance on the day preceding that when I was so strangely guided to his
prison-house.

Thus possessed of the alarming outline of facts, the question remained,
what was to be done and it was not of easy determination. I plainly
perceived the perils with which we were surrounded, but it was more
difficult to suggest any remedy. The warning which I had already received
seemed to intimate, that my own personal liberty might be endangered by
an open appearance in Owen's behalf. Owen entertained the same
apprehension, and, in the exaggeration of his terror, assured me that a
Scotchman, rather than run the risk of losing a farthing by an
Englishman, would find law for arresting his wife, children, man-servant,
maidservant, and stranger within his household. The laws concerning debt,
in most countries, are so unmercifully severe, that I could not
altogether disbelieve his statement; and my arrest, in the present
circumstances, would have been a _coup-de-grace_ to my father's affairs.
In this dilemma, I asked Owen if he had not thought of having recourse to
my father's other correspondent in Glasgow, Mr. Nicol Jarvie?

"He had sent him a letter," he replied, "that morning; but if the
smooth-tongued and civil house in the Gallowgate* had used him thus, what
was to be expected from the cross-grained crab-stock in the Salt-Market?

* [A street in the old town of Glasgow.]

You might as well ask a broker to give up his percentage, as expect a
favour from him without the _per contra._ He had not even," Owen said,
"answered his letter though it was put into his hand that morning as he
went to church." And here the despairing man-of-figures threw himself
down on his pallet, exclaiming,--"My poor dear master! My poor dear
master! O Mr. Frank, Mr. Frank, this is all your obstinacy!--But God
forgive me for saying so to you in your distress! It's God's disposing,
and man must submit."

My philosophy, Tresham, could not prevent my sharing in the honest
creature's distress, and we mingled our tears,--the more bitter on my
part, as the perverse opposition to my father's will, with which the
kind-hearted Owen forbore to upbraid me, rose up to my conscience as the
cause of all this affliction.

In the midst of our mingled sorrow, we were disturbed and surprised by a
loud knocking at the outward door of the prison. I ran to the top of the
staircase to listen, but could only hear the voice of the turnkey,
alternately in a high tone, answering to some person without, and in a
whisper, addressed to the person who had guided me hither--"She's
coming--she's coming," aloud; then in a low key, "O hon-a-ri! O hon-a-ri!
what'll she do now?--Gang up ta stair, and hide yourself ahint ta
Sassenach shentleman's ped.--She's coming as fast as she can.--Ahellanay!
it's my lord provosts, and ta pailies, and ta guard--and ta captain's
coming toon stairs too--Got press her! gang up or he meets her.--She's
coming--she's coming--ta lock's sair roosted."

While Dougal, unwillingly, and with as much delay as possible, undid the
various fastenings to give admittance to those without, whose impatience
became clamorous, my guide ascended the winding stair, and sprang into
Owen's apartment, into which I followed him. He cast his eyes hastily
round, as if looking for a place of concealment; then said to me, "Lend
me your pistols--yet it's no matter, I can do without them--Whatever you
see, take no heed, and do not mix your hand in another man's feud--This
gear's mine, and I must manage it as I dow; but I have been as hard
bested, and worse, than I am even now."

As the stranger spoke these words, he stripped from his person the
cumbrous upper coat in which he was wrapt, confronted the door of the
apartment, on which he fixed a keen and determined glance, drawing his
person a little back to concentrate his force, like a fine horse brought
up to the leaping-bar. I had not a moment's doubt that he meant to
extricate himself from his embarrassment, whatever might be the cause of
it, by springing full upon those who should appear when the doors opened,
and forcing his way through all opposition into the street;--and such was
the appearance of strength and agility displayed in his frame, and of
determination in his look and manner, that I did not doubt a moment but
that he might get clear through his opponents, unless they employed fatal
means to stop his purpose. It was a period of awful suspense betwixt the
opening of the outward gate and that of the door of the apartment, when
there appeared--no guard with bayonets fixed, or watch with clubs, bills,
or partisans, but a good-looking young woman, with grogram petticoats,
tucked up for trudging through the streets, and holding a lantern in her
hand. This female ushered in a more important personage, in form, stout,
short, and somewhat corpulent; and by dignity, as it soon appeared, a
magistrate, bob-wigged, bustling, and breathless with peevish impatience.
My conductor, at his appearance, drew back as if to escape observation;
but he could not elude the penetrating twinkle with which this dignitary
reconnoitered the whole apartment.

"A bonny thing it is, and a beseeming, that I should be kept at the door
half an hour, Captain Stanchells," said he, addressing the principal
jailor, who now showed himself at the door as if in attendance on the
great man, "knocking as hard to get into the tolbooth as onybody else wad
to get out of it, could that avail them, poor fallen creatures!--And
how's this?--how's this?--strangers in the jail after lock-up hours, and
on the Sabbath evening!--I shall look after this, Stanchells, you may
depend on't--Keep the door locked, and I'll speak to these gentlemen in a
gliffing--But first I maun hae a crack wi' an auld acquaintance here.--
Mr. Owen, Mr. Owen, how's a' wi' ye, man?"

"Pretty well in body, I thank you, Mr. Jarvie," drawled out poor Owen,
"but sore afflicted in spirit."

"Nae doubt, nae doubt--ay, ay--it's an awfu' whummle--and for ane that
held his head sae high too--human nature, human nature--Ay ay, we're a'
subject to a downcome. Mr. Osbaldistone is a gude honest gentleman; but I
aye said he was ane o' them wad make a spune or spoil a horn, as my
father the worthy deacon used to say. The deacon used to say to me,
'Nick--young Nick' (his name was Nicol as weel as mine; sae folk ca'd us
in their daffin', young Nick and auld Nick)--'Nick,' said he, 'never put
out your arm farther than ye can draw it easily back again.' I hae said
sae to Mr. Osbaldistone, and he didna seem to take it a'thegither sae
kind as I wished--but it was weel meant--weel meant."

This discourse, delivered with prodigious volubility, and a great
appearance of self-complacency, as he recollected his own advice and
predictions, gave little promise of assistance at the hands of Mr.
Jarvie. Yet it soon appeared rather to proceed from a total want of
delicacy than any deficiency of real kindness; for when Owen expressed
himself somewhat hurt that these things should be recalled to memory in
his present situation, the Glaswegian took him by the hand, and bade him
"Cheer up a gliff! D'ye think I wad hae comed out at twal o'clock at
night, and amaist broken the Lord's day, just to tell a fa'en man o' his
backslidings? Na, na, that's no Bailie Jarvie's gate, nor was't his
worthy father's the deacon afore him. Why, man! it's my rule never to
think on warldly business on the Sabbath, and though I did a' I could to
keep your note that I gat this morning out o' my head, yet I thought mair
on it a' day, than on the preaching--And it's my rule to gang to my bed
wi' the yellow curtains preceesely at ten o'clock--unless I were eating a
haddock wi' a neighbour, or a neighbour wi' me--ask the lass-quean there,
if it isna a fundamental rule in my household; and here hae I sitten up
reading gude books, and gaping as if I wad swallow St. Enox Kirk, till it
chappit twal, whilk was a lawfu' hour to gie a look at my ledger, just to
see how things stood between us; and then, as time and tide wait for no
man, I made the lass get the lantern, and came slipping my ways here to
see what can be dune anent your affairs. Bailie Jarvie can command
entrance into the tolbooth at ony hour, day or night;--sae could my
father the deacon in his time, honest man, praise to his memory."

Although Owen groaned at the mention of the ledger, leading me grievously
to fear that here also the balance stood in the wrong column; and
although the worthy magistrate's speech expressed much self-complacency,
and some ominous triumph in his own superior judgment, yet it was blended
with a sort of frank and blunt good-nature, from which I could not help
deriving some hopes. He requested to see some papers he mentioned,
snatched them hastily from Owen's hand, and sitting on the bed, to "rest
his shanks," as he was pleased to express the accommodation which that
posture afforded him, his servant girl held up the lantern to him, while,
pshawing, muttering, and sputtering, now at the imperfect light, now at
the contents of the packet, he ran over the writings it contained.

Seeing him fairly engaged in this course of study, the guide who had
brought me hither seemed disposed to take an unceremonious leave. He made
a sign to me to say nothing, and intimated, by his change of posture, an
intention to glide towards the door in such a manner as to attract the
least possible observation. But the alert magistrate (very different from
my old acquaintance, Mr. Justice Inglewood) instantly detected and
interrupted his purposes. "I say, look to the door, Stanchells--shut and
lock it, and keep watch on the outside."

The stranger's brow darkened, and he seemed for an instant again to
meditate the effecting his retreat by violence; but ere he had
determined, the door closed, and the ponderous bolt revolved. He muttered
an exclamation in Gaelic, strode across the floor, and then, with an air
of dogged resolution, as if fixed and prepared to see the scene to an
end, sate himself down on the oak table, and whistled a strathspey.

Mr. Jarvie, who seemed very alert and expeditious in going through
business, soon showed himself master of that which he had been
considering, and addressed himself to Mr. Owen in the following strain:--
"Weel, Mr. Owen, weel--your house are awin' certain sums to Messrs.
MacVittie and MacFin (shame fa' their souple snouts! they made that and
mair out o' a bargain about the aik-woods at Glen-Cailziechat, that they
took out atween my teeth--wi' help o' your gude word, I maun needs say,
Mr. Owen--but that makes nae odds now)--Weel, sir, your house awes them
this siller; and for this, and relief of other engagements they stand in
for you, they hae putten a double turn o' Stanchells' muckle key on ye.--
Weel, sir, ye awe this siller--and maybe ye awe some mair to some other
body too--maybe ye awe some to myself, Bailie Nicol Jarvie."

"I cannot deny, sir, but the balance may of this date be brought out
against us, Mr. Jarvie," said Owen; "but you'll please to consider"--

"I hae nae time to consider e'enow, Mr. Owen--Sae near Sabbath at e'en,
and out o' ane's warm bed at this time o' night, and a sort o' drow in
the air besides--there's nae time for considering--But, sir, as I was
saying, ye awe me money--it winna deny--ye awe me money, less or mair,
I'll stand by it. But then, Mr. Owen, I canna see how you, an active man
that understands business, can redd out the business ye're come down
about, and clear us a' aff--as I have gritt hope ye will--if ye're keepit
lying here in the tolbooth of Glasgow. Now, sir, if you can find caution
_judicio sisti,_--that is, that ye winna flee the country, but appear and
relieve your caution when ca'd for in our legal courts, ye may be set at
liberty this very morning."

"Mr. Jarvie," said Owen, "if any friend would become surety for me to
that effect, my liberty might be usefully employed, doubtless, both for
the house and all connected with it."

"Aweel, sir," continued Jarvie, "and doubtless such a friend wad expect
ye to appear when ca'd on, and relieve him o' his engagement."

"And I should do so as certainly, bating sickness or death, as that two
and two make four."

"Aweel, Mr. Owen," resumed the citizen of Glasgow, "I dinna misdoubt ye,
and I'll prove it, sir--I'll prove it. I am a carefu' man, as is weel
ken'd, and industrious, as the hale town can testify; and I can win my
crowns, and keep my crowns, and count my crowns, wi' onybody in the Saut
Market, or it may be in the Gallowgate. And I'm a prudent man, as my
father the deacon was before me;--but rather than an honest civil
gentleman, that understands business, and is willing to do justice to all
men, should lie by the heels this gate, unable to help himsell or onybody
else--why, conscience, man! I'll be your bail myself--But ye'll mind it's
a bail _judicio sisti,_ as our town-clerk says, not _judicatum solvi;_
ye'll mind that, for there's muckle difference."

Mr. Owen assured him, that as matters then stood, he could not expect any
one to become surety for the actual payment of the debt, but that there
was not the most distant cause for apprehending loss from his failing to
present himself when lawfully called upon.

"I believe ye--I believe ye. Eneugh said--eneugh said. We'se hae your
legs loose by breakfast-time.--And now let's hear what thir chamber
chiels o' yours hae to say for themselves, or how, in the name of unrule,
they got here at this time o' night."


[Illustration: Rob Roy in Prison--68]





CHAPTER SIXTH.

                        Hame came our gudeman at e'en,
                           And hame came he,
                        And there he saw a man
                           Where a man suldna be.
                       "How's this now, kimmer?
                           How's this?" quo he,--
                       "How came this carle here
                           Without the leave o' me?"
                                           Old Song.

The magistrate took the light out of the servant-maid's hand, and
advanced to his scrutiny, like Diogenes in the street of Athens,
lantern-in-hand, and probably with as little expectation as that of the
cynic, that he was likely to encounter any especial treasure in the
course of his researches. The first whom he approached was my mysterious
guide, who, seated on a table as I have already described him, with his
eyes firmly fixed on the wall, his features arranged into the utmost
inflexibility of expression, his hands folded on his breast with an air
betwixt carelessness and defiance, his heel patting against the foot of
the table, to keep time with the tune which he continued to whistle,
submitted to Mr. Jarvie's investigation with an air of absolute
confidence and assurance which, for a moment, placed at fault the memory
and sagacity of the acute investigator.

"Ah!--Eh!--Oh!" exclaimed the Bailie. "My conscience!--it's
impossible!--and yet--no!--Conscience!--it canna be!--and yet
again--Deil hae me, that I suld say sae!--Ye robber--ye cateran--ye born
deevil that ye are, to a' bad ends and nae gude ane!--can this be you?"

"E'en as ye see, Bailie," was the laconic answer.

"Conscience! if I am na clean bumbaized--_you_, ye cheat-the-wuddy
rogue--_you_ here on your venture in the tolbooth o' Glasgow?--What d'ye
think's the value o' your head?"

"Umph!--why, fairly weighed, and Dutch weight, it might weigh down one
provost's, four bailies', a town-clerk's, six deacons', besides
stent-masters'"--

"Ah, ye reiving villain!" interrupted Mr. Jarvie. "But tell ower your
sins, and prepare ye, for if I say the word"--

"True, Bailie," said he who was thus addressed, folding his hands behind
him with the utmost _nonchalance,_ "but ye will never say that word."

"And why suld I not, sir?" exclaimed the magistrate--"Why suld I not?
Answer me that--why suld I not?"

"For three sufficient reasons, Bailie Jarvie.--First, for auld langsyne;
second, for the sake of the auld wife ayont the fire at Stuckavrallachan,
that made some mixture of our bluids, to my own proper shame be it
spoken! that has a cousin wi' accounts, and yarn winnles, and looms and
shuttles, like a mere mechanical person; and lastly, Bailie, because if I
saw a sign o' your betraying me, I would plaster that wa' with your harns
ere the hand of man could rescue you!"

"Ye're a bauld desperate villain, sir," retorted the undaunted Bailie;
"and ye ken that I ken ye to be sae, and that I wadna stand a moment for
my ain risk."

"I ken weel," said the other, "ye hae gentle bluid in your veins, and I
wad be laith to hurt my ain kinsman. But I'll gang out here as free as I
came in, or the very wa's o' Glasgow tolbooth shall tell o't these ten
years to come."

"Weel, weel," said Mr. Jarvie, "bluid's thicker than water; and it liesna
in kith, kin, and ally, to see motes in ilka other's een if other een see
them no. It wad be sair news to the auld wife below the Ben of
Stuckavrallachan, that you, ye Hieland limmer, had knockit out my harns,
or that I had kilted you up in a tow. But ye'll own, ye dour deevil, that
were it no your very sell, I wad hae grippit the best man in the
Hielands."

"Ye wad hae tried, cousin," answered my guide, "that I wot weel; but I
doubt ye wad hae come aff wi' the short measure; for we gang-there-out
Hieland bodies are an unchancy generation when you speak to us o'
bondage. We downa bide the coercion of gude braid-claith about our
hinderlans, let a be breeks o' free-stone, and garters o' iron."

"Ye'll find the stane breeks and the airn garters--ay, and the hemp
cravat, for a' that, neighbour," replied the Bailie.

"Nae man in a civilised country ever played the pliskies ye hae done--but
e'en pickle in your ain pock-neuk--I hae gi'en ye wanting."

"Well, cousin," said the other, "ye'll wear black at my burial."

"Deil a black cloak will be there, Robin, but the corbies and the
hoodie-craws, I'se gie ye my hand on that. But whar's the gude thousand
pund Scots that I lent ye, man, and when am I to see it again?"

"Where it is," replied my guide, after the affectation of considering for
a moment, "I cannot justly tell--probably where last year's snaw is."

"And that's on the tap of Schehallion, ye Hieland dog," said Mr. Jarvie;
"and I look for payment frae you where ye stand."

"Ay," replied the Highlander, "but I keep neither snaw nor dollars in my
sporran. And as to when you'll see it--why, just when the king enjoys his
ain again, as the auld sang says."

"Warst of a', Robin," retorted the Glaswegian,--"I mean, ye disloyal
traitor--Warst of a'!--Wad ye bring popery in on us, and arbitrary power,
and a foist and a warming-pan, and the set forms, and the curates, and
the auld enormities o' surplices and cerements? Ye had better stick
to your auld trade o' theft-boot, black-mail, spreaghs, and
gillravaging--better stealing nowte than ruining nations."

"Hout, man--whisht wi' your whiggery," answered the Celt; "we hae ken'd
ane anither mony a lang day. I'se take care your counting-room is no
cleaned out when the Gillon-a-naillie* come to redd up the Glasgow
buiths, and clear them o' their auld shop-wares.

* The lads with the kilts or petticoats.

And, unless it just fa' in the preceese way o' your duty, ye maunna see
me oftener, Nicol, than I am disposed to be seen."

"Ye are a dauring villain, Rob," answered the Bailie; "and ye will be
hanged, that will be seen and heard tell o'; but I'se ne'er be the ill
bird and foul my nest, set apart strong necessity and the skreigh of
duty, which no man should hear and be inobedient. And wha the deevil's
this?" he continued, turning to me--"Some gillravager that ye hae listed,
I daur say. He looks as if he had a bauld heart to the highway, and a
lang craig for the gibbet."

"This, good Mr. Jarvie," said Owen, who, like myself, had been struck
dumb during this strange recognition, and no less strange dialogue, which
took place betwixt these extraordinary kinsmen--"This, good Mr. Jarvie,
is young Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, only child of the head of our house, who
should have been taken into our firm at the time Mr. Rashleigh
Osbaldistone, his cousin, had the luck to be taken into it"--(Here Owen
could not suppress a groan)--"But howsoever"--

"Oh, I have heard of that smaik," said the Scotch merchant, interrupting
him; "it is he whom your principal, like an obstinate auld fule, wad make
a merchant o', wad he or wad he no,--and the lad turned a strolling
stage-player, in pure dislike to the labour an honest man should live by.
Weel, sir, what say you to your handiwork? Will Hamlet the Dane, or
Hamlet's ghost, be good security for Mr. Owen, sir?"

"I don't deserve your taunt," I replied, "though I respect your motive,
and am too grateful for the assistance you have afforded Mr. Owen, to
resent it. My only business here was to do what I could (it is perhaps
very little) to aid Mr. Owen in the management of my father's affairs. My
dislike of the commercial profession is a feeling of which I am the best
and sole judge."

"I protest," said the Highlander, "I had some respect for this callant
even before I ken'd what was in him; but now I honour him for his
contempt of weavers and spinners, and sic-like mechanical persons and
their pursuits."

"Ye're mad, Rob," said the Bailie--"mad as a March hare--though wherefore
a hare suld be mad at March mair than at Martinmas, is mair than I can
weel say. Weavers! Deil shake ye out o' the web the weaver craft made.
Spinners! ye'll spin and wind yourself a bonny pirn. And this young
birkie here, that ye're hoying and hounding on the shortest road to the
gallows and the deevil, will his stage-plays and his poetries help him
here, dye think, ony mair than your deep oaths and drawn dirks, ye
reprobate that ye are?--Will _Tityre tu patulae,_ as they ca' it, tell
him where Rashleigh Osbaldistone is? or Macbeth, and all his kernes and
galla-glasses, and your awn to boot, Rob, procure him five thousand
pounds to answer the bills which fall due ten days hence, were they a'
rouped at the Cross,--basket-hilts, Andra-Ferraras, leather targets,
brogues, brochan, and sporrans?"

"Ten days," I answered, and instinctively drew out Diana Vernon's packet;
and the time being elapsed during which I was to keep the seal sacred, I
hastily broke it open. A sealed letter fell from a blank enclosure, owing
to the trepidation with which I opened the parcel. A slight current of
wind, which found its way through a broken pane of the window, wafted the
letter to Mr. Jarvie's feet, who lifted it, examined the address with
unceremonious curiosity, and, to my astonishment, handed itto his
Highland kinsman, saying, "Here's a wind has blown a letter to its right
owner, though there were ten thousand chances against its coming to
hand."

The Highlander, having examined the address, broke the letter open
without the least ceremony. I endeavoured to interrupt his proceeding.

"You must satisfy me, sir," said I, "that the letter is intended for you
before I can permit you to peruse it."

"Make yourself quite easy, Mr. Osbaldistone," replied the mountaineer
with great composure.--"remember Justice Inglewood, Clerk Jobson, Mr.
Morris--above all, remember your vera humble servant, Robert Cawmil, and
the beautiful Diana Vernon. Remember all this, and doubt no longer that
the letter is for me."

I remained astonished at my own stupidity.--Through the whole night, the
voice, and even the features of this man, though imperfectly seen,
haunted me with recollections to which I could assign no exact local or
personal associations. But now the light dawned on me at once; this man
was Campbell himself. His whole peculiarities flashed on me at once,--the
deep strong voice--the inflexible, stern, yet considerate cast of
features--the Scottish brogue, with its corresponding dialect and
imagery, which, although he possessed the power at times of laying them
aside, recurred at every moment of emotion, and gave pith to his sarcasm,
or vehemence to his expostulation. Rather beneath the middle size than
above it, his limbs were formed upon the very strongest model that is
consistent with agility, while from the remarkable ease and freedom of
his movements, you could not doubt his possessing the latter quality in a
high degree of perfection. Two points in his person interfered with the
rules of symmetry; his shoulders were so broad in proportion to his
height, as, notwithstanding the lean and lathy appearance of his frame,
gave him something the air of being too square in respect to his stature;
and his arms, though round, sinewy, and strong, were so very long as to
be rather a deformity. I afterwards heard that this length of arm was a
circumstance on which he prided himself; that when he wore his native
Highland garb, he could tie the garters of his hose without stooping; and
that it gave him great advantage in the use of the broad-sword, at which
he was very dexterous. But certainly this want of symmetry destroyed the
claim he might otherwise have set up, to be accounted a very handsome
man; it gave something wild, irregular, and, as it were, unearthly, to
his appearance, and reminded me involuntarily of the tales which Mabel
used to tell of the old Picts who ravaged Northumberland in ancient
times, who, according to her tradition, were a sort of half-goblin
half-human beings, distinguished, like this man, for courage, cunning,
ferocity, the length of their arms, and the squareness of their
shoulders.

When, however, I recollected the circumstances in which we formerly met,
I could not doubt that the billet was most probably designed for him. He
had made a marked figure among those mysterious personages over whom
Diana seemed to exercise an influence, and from whom she experienced an
influence in her turn. It was painful to think that the fate of a being
so amiable was involved in that of desperadoes of this man's
description;--yet it seemed impossible to doubt it. Of what use, however,
could this person be to my father's affairs?--I could think only of one.
Rashleigh Osbaldistone had, at the instigation of Miss Vernon, certainly
found means to produce Mr. Campbell when his presence was necessary to
exculpate me from Morris's accusation--Was it not possible that her
influence, in like manner, might prevail on Campbell to produce
Rashleigh? Speaking on this supposition, I requested to know where my
dangerous kinsman was, and when Mr. Campbell had seen him. The answer was
indirect.

"It's a kittle cast she has gien me to play; but yet it's fair play, and
I winna baulk her. Mr. Osbaldistone, I dwell not very far from hence--my
kinsman can show you the way--Leave Mr. Owen to do the best he can in
Glasgow--do you come and see me in the glens, and it's like I may
pleasure you, and stead your father in his extremity. I am but a poor
man; but wit's better than wealth--and, cousin" (turning from me to
address Mr. Jarvie), "if ye daur venture sae muckle as to eat a dish of
Scotch collops, and a leg o' red-deer venison wi' me, come ye wi' this
Sassenach gentleman as far as Drymen or Bucklivie,--or the Clachan of
Aberfoil will be better than ony o' them,--and I'll hae somebody waiting
to weise ye the gate to the place where I may be for the time--What say
ye, man? There's my thumb, I'll ne'er beguile thee."

"Na, na, Robin," said the cautious burgher, "I seldom like to leave the
Gorbals;* I have nae freedom to gang among your wild hills, Robin, and
your kilted red-shanks--it disna become my place, man."

* [The _Gorbals_ or "suburbs" are situate on the south side of the
River.]

"The devil damn your place and you baith!" reiterated Campbell. "The only
drap o' gentle bluid that's in your body was our great-grand-uncle's that
was justified* at Dumbarton, and you set yourself up to say ye wad
derogate frae your place to visit me!

* [Executed for treason.]

Hark thee, man--I owe thee a day in harst--I'll pay up your thousan pund
Scots, plack and bawbee, gin ye'll be an honest fallow for anes, and just
daiker up the gate wi' this Sassenach."

"Hout awa' wi' your gentility," replied the Bailie; "carry your gentle
bluid to the Cross, and see what ye'll buy wi't. But, if I _were_ to
come, wad ye really and soothfastly pay me the siller?"

"I swear to ye," said the Highlander, "upon the halidome of him that
sleeps beneath the grey stane at Inch-Cailleach."*

* Inch-Cailleach is an island in Lochlomond, where the clan of MacGregor
were wont to be interred, and where their sepulchres may still be seen.
It formerly contained a nunnery: hence the name of Inch-Cailleach, or the
island of Old Women.

"Say nae mair, Robin--say nae mair--We'll see what may be dune. But ye
maunna expect me to gang ower the Highland line--I'll gae beyond the line
at no rate. Ye maun meet me about Bucklivie or the Clachan of
Aberfoil,--and dinna forget the needful."

"Nae fear--nae fear," said Campbell; "I'll be as true as the steel blade
that never failed its master. But I must be budging, cousin, for the air
o' Glasgow tolbooth is no that ower salutary to a Highlander's
constitution."

"Troth," replied the merchant, "and if my duty were to be dune, ye
couldna change your atmosphere, as the minister ca's it, this ae wee
while.--Ochon, that I sud ever be concerned in aiding and abetting an
escape frae justice! it will be a shame and disgrace to me and mine, and
my very father's memory, for ever."

"Hout tout, man! let that flee stick in the wa'," answered his kinsman;
"when the dirt's dry it will rub out--Your father, honest man, could look
ower a friend's fault as weel as anither."

"Ye may be right, Robin," replied the Bailie, after a moment's
reflection; "he was a considerate man the deacon; he ken'd we had a' our
frailties, and he lo'ed his friends--Ye'll no hae forgotten him, Robin?"
This question he put in a softened tone, conveying as much at least of
the ludicrous as the pathetic.

"Forgotten him!" replied his kinsman--"what suld ail me to forget him?--a
wapping weaver he was, and wrought my first pair o' hose.--But come awa',
kinsman,

              Come fill up my cap, come fill up my cann,
              Come saddle my horses, and call up my man;
              Come open your gates, and let me gae free,
                   I daurna stay langer in bonny Dundee."

"Whisht, sir!" said the magistrate, in an authoritative tone--"lilting
and singing sae near the latter end o' the Sabbath! This house may hear
ye sing anither tune yet--Aweel, we hae a' backslidings to answer
for--Stanchells, open the door."

The jailor obeyed, and we all sallied forth. Stanchells looked with some
surprise at the two strangers, wondering, doubtless, how they came into
these premises without his knowledge; but Mr. Jarvie's "Friends o' mine,
Stanchells--friends o' mine," silenced all disposition to inquiries. We
now descended into the lower vestibule, and hallooed more than once for
Dougal, to which summons no answer was returned; when Campbell observed
with a sardonic smile, "That if Dougal was the lad he kent him, he would
scarce wait to get thanks for his ain share of the night's wark, but was
in all probability on the full trot to the pass of Ballamaha"--

"And left us--and, abune a', me, mysell, locked up in the tolbooth a'
night!" exclaimed the Bailie, in ire and perturbation. "Ca' for
forehammers, sledge-hammers, pinches, and coulters; send for Deacon
Yettlin, the smith, an let him ken that Bailie Jarvie's shut up in the
tolbooth by a Highland blackguard, whom he'll hang up as high as Haman"--

"When ye catch him," said Campbell, gravely; "but stay--the door is
surely not locked."

Indeed, on examination, we found that the door was not only left open,
but that Dougal in his retreat had, by carrying off the keys along with
him, taken care that no one should exercise his office of porter in a
hurry.

"He has glimmerings o' common sense now, that creature Dougal," said
Campbell.--"he ken'd an open door might hae served me at a pinch."

We were by this time in the street.

"I tell you, Robin," said the magistrate, "in my puir mind, if ye live
the life ye do, ye suld hae ane o' your gillies door-keeper in every jail
in Scotland, in case o' the warst."

"Ane o' my kinsmen a bailie in ilka burgh will just do as weel, cousin
Nicol--So, gude-night or gude-morning to ye; and forget not the Clachan
of Aberfoil."

And without waiting for an answer, he sprung to the other side of the
street, and was lost in darkness. Immediately on his disappearance, we
heard him give a low whistle of peculiar modulation, which was instantly
replied to.

"Hear to the Hieland deevils," said Mr. Jarvie; "they think themselves on
the skirts of Benlomond already, where they may gang whewingand whistling
about without minding Sunday or Saturday." Here he was interrupted by
something which fell with a heavy clash on the street before us--"Gude
guide us what's this mair o't?--Mattie, haud up the lantern--Conscience
if it isna the keys!--Weel, that's just as weel--they cost the burgh
siller, and there might hae been some clavers about the loss o' them. O,
an Bailie Grahame were to get word o' this night's job, it would be a
sair hair in my neck!"

As we were still but a few steps from the tolbooth door, we carried back
these implements of office, and consigned them to the head jailor, who,
in lieu of the usual mode of making good his post by turning the keys,
was keeping sentry in the vestibule till the arrival of some assistant,
whom he had summoned in order to replace the Celtic fugitive Dougal.

Having discharged this piece of duty to the burgh, and my road lying the
same way with the honest magistrate's, I profited by the light of his
lantern, and he by my arm, to find our way through the streets, which,
whatever they may now be, were then dark, uneven, and ill-paved. Age is
easily propitiated by attentions from the young. The Bailie expressed
himself interested in me, and added, "That since I was nane o' that
play-acting and play-ganging generation, whom his saul hated, he wad be
glad if I wad eat a reisted haddock or a fresh herring, at breakfast wi'
him the morn, and meet my friend, Mr. Owen, whom, by that time, he would
place at liberty."

"My dear sir," said I, when I had accepted of the invitation with thanks,
"how could you possibly connect me with the stage?"

"I watna," replied Mr. Jarvie;--"it was a bletherin' phrasin' chield they
ca' Fairservice, that cam at e'en to get an order to send the crier
through the toun for ye at skreigh o' day the morn. He tell't me whae ye
were, and how ye were sent frae your father's house because ye wadna be a
dealer, and that ye mightna disgrace your family wi' ganging on the
stage. Ane Hammorgaw, our precentor, brought him here, and said he was an
auld acquaintance; but I sent them both away wi' a flae in their lug for
bringing me sic an errand, on sic a night. But I see he's a fule-creature
a'thegither, and clean mistaen about ye. I like ye, man," he continued;
"I like a lad that will stand by his friends in trouble--I aye did it
mysell, and sae did the deacon my father, rest and bless him! But ye
suldna keep ower muckle company wi' Hielandmen and thae wild cattle. Can
a man touch pitch and no be defiled?--aye mind that. Nae doubt, the best
and wisest may err--Once, twice, and thrice have I backslidden, man, and
dune three things this night--my father wadna hae believed his een if he
could hae looked up and seen me do them."

He was by this time arrived at the door of his own dwelling. He paused,
however, on the threshold, and went on in a solemn tone of deep
contrition,--"Firstly, I hae thought my ain thoughts on the
Sabbath--secondly, I hae gi'en security for an Englishman--and, in the
third and last place, well-a-day! I hae let an ill-doer escape from the
place of imprisonment--But there's balm in Gilead, Mr. Osbaldistone--
Mattie, I can let mysell in--see Mr. Osbaldistone to Luckie Flyter's, at
the corner o' the wynd.--Mr. Osbaldistone"--in a whisper--"ye'll offer
nae incivility to Mattie--she's an honest man's daughter, and a near
cousin o' the Laird
o' Limmerfield's."





CHAPTER SEVENTH.

     "Will it please your worship to accept of my poor service? I beseech
     that I may feed upon your bread, though it be the brownest, and
     drink of your drink, though it be of the smallest; for I will do
     your Worship as much service for forty shillings as another man
     shall for three pounds."
                                     Greene's _Tu Quoque._

I remembered the honest Bailie's parting charge, but did not conceive
there was any incivility in adding a kiss to the half-crown with which I
remunerated Mattie's attendance;--nor did her "Fie for shame, sir!"
express any very deadly resentment of the affront. Repeated knocking at
Mrs. Flyter's gate awakened in due order, first, one or two stray dogs,
who began to bark with all their might; next two or three night-capped
heads, which were thrust out of the neighbouring windows to reprehend me
for disturbing the solemnity of the Sunday night by that untimely noise.
While I trembled lest the thunders of their wrath might dissolve in
showers like that of Xantippe, Mrs. Flyter herself awoke, and began, in a
tone of objurgation not unbecoming the philosophical spouse of Socrates,
to scold one or two loiterers in her kitchen, for not hastening to the
door to prevent a repetition of my noisy summons.

These worthies were, indeed, nearly concerned in the fracas which their
laziness occasioned, being no other than the faithful Mr. Fairservice,
with his friend Mr. Hammorgaw, and another person, whom I afterwards
found to be the town-crier, who were sitting over a cog of ale, as they
called it (at my expense, as my bill afterwards informed me), in order to
devise the terms and style of a proclamation to be made through the
streets the next day, in order that "the unfortunate young gentleman," as
they had the impudence to qualify me, might be restored to his friends
without farther delay. It may be supposed that I did not suppress my
displeasure at this impertinent interference with my affairs; but Andrew
set up such ejaculations of transport at my arrival, as fairly drowned my
expressions of resentment. His raptures, perchance, were partly
political; and the tears of joy which he shed had certainly their source
in that noble fountain of emotion, the tankard. However, the tumultuous
glee which he felt, or pretended to feel, at my return, saved Andrew the
broken head which I had twice destined him;--first, on account of the
colloquy he had held with the precentor on my affairs; and secondly, for
the impertinent history he had thought proper to give of me to Mr.
Jarvie. I however contented myself with slapping the door of my bedroom
in his face as he followed me, praising Heaven for my safe return, and
mixing his joy with admonitions to me to take care how I walked my own
ways in future. I then went to bed, resolving my first business in the
morning should be to discharge this troublesome, pedantic, self-conceited
coxcomb, who seemed so much disposed to constitute himself rather a
preceptor than a domestic.

Accordingly in the morning I resumed my purpose, and calling Andrew into
my, apartment, requested to know his charge for guiding and attending me
as far as Glasgow. Mr. Fairservice looked very blank at this demand,
justly considering it as a presage to approaching dismission.

"Your honour," he said, after some hesitation, "wunna think--wunna
think"--

"Speak out, you rascal, or I'll break your head," said I, as Andrew,
between the double risk of losing all by asking too much, or a part, by
stating his demand lower than what I might be willing to pay, stood
gasping in the agony of doubt and calculation.

Out it came with a bolt, however, at my threat; as the kind violence of a
blow on the back sometimes delivers the windpipe from an intrusive
morsel.--"Aughteen pennies sterling per diem--that is, by the day--your
honour wadna think unconscionable."

"It is double what is usual, and treble what you merit, Andrew; but
there's a guinea for you, and get about your business."

"The Lord forgi'e us! Is your honour mad?" exclaimed Andrew.

"No; but I think you mean to make me so--I give you a third above your
demand, and you stand staring and expostulating there as if I were
cheating you. Take your money, and go about your business."

"Gude safe us!" continued Andrew, "in what can I hae offended your
honour? Certainly a' flesh is but as the flowers of the field; but if a
bed of camomile hath value in medicine, of a surety the use of Andrew
Fairservice to your honour is nothing less evident--it's as muckle as
your life's worth to part wi' me."

"Upon my honour," replied I, "it is difficult to say whether you are more
knave or fool. So you intend then to remain with me whether I like it or
no?"

"Troth, I was e'en thinking sae," replied Andrew, dogmatically; "for if
your honour disna ken when ye hae a gude servant, I ken when I hae a gude
master, and the deil be in my feet gin I leave ye--and there's the brief
and the lang o't besides I hae received nae regular warning to quit my
place."

"Your place, sir!" said I;--"why, you are no hired servant of mine,--you
are merely a guide, whose knowledge of the country I availed myself of on
my road."

"I am no just a common servant, I admit, sir," remonstrated Mr.
Fairservice; "but your honour kens I quitted a gude place at an hour's
notice, to comply wi' your honour's solicitations. A man might make
honestly, and wi' a clear conscience, twenty sterling pounds per annum,
weel counted siller, o' the garden at Osbaldistone Hall, and I wasna
likely to gi'e up a' that for a guinea, I trow--I reckoned on staying wi'
your honour to the term's end at the least o't; and I account my wage,
board-wage, fee and bountith,--ay, to that length o't at the least."

"Come, come, sir," replied I, "these impudent pretensions won't serve
your turn; and if I hear any more of them, I shall convince you that
Squire Thorncliff is not the only one of my name that can use his
fingers."

While I spoke thus, the whole matter struck me as so ridiculous, that,
though really angry, I had some difficulty to forbear laughing at the
gravity with which Andrew supported a plea so utterly extravagant. The
rascal, aware of the impression he had made on my muscles, was encouraged
to perseverance. He judged it safer, however, to take his pretensions a
peg lower, in case of overstraining at the same time both his plea and my
patience.

"Admitting that my honour could part with a faithful servant, that had
served me and mine by day and night for twenty years, in a strange place,
and at a moment's warning, he was weel assured," he said, "it wasna in my
heart, nor in no true gentleman's, to pit a puir lad like himself, that
had come forty or fifty, or say a hundred miles out o' his road purely to
bear my honour company, and that had nae handing but his penny-fee, to
sic a hardship as this comes to."

I think it was you, Will, who once told me, that, to be an obstinate man,
I am in certain things the most gullable and malleable of mortals. The
fact is, that it is only contradiction which makes me peremptory, and
when I do not feel myself called on to give battle to any proposition, I
am always willing to grant it, rather than give myself much trouble. I
knew this fellow to be a greedy, tiresome, meddling coxcomb; still,
however, I must have some one about me in the quality of guide and
domestic, and I was so much used to Andrew's humour, that on some
occasions it was rather amusing. In the state of indecision to which
these reflections led me, I asked Fairservice if he knew the roads,
towns, etc., in the north of Scotland, to which my father's concerns with
the proprietors of Highland forests were likely to lead me. I believe if
I had asked him the road to the terrestrial paradise, he would have at
that moment undertaken to guide me to it; so that I had reason afterwards
to think myself fortunate in finding that his actual knowledge did not
fall very much short of that which he asserted himself to possess. I
fixed the amount of his wages, and reserved to myself the privilege of
dismissing him when I chose, on paying him a week in advance. I gave him
finally a severe lecture on his conduct of the preceding day, and then
dismissed him rejoicing at heart, though somewhat crestfallen in
countenance, to rehearse to his friend the precentor, who was taking his
morning draught in the kitchen, the mode in which he had "cuitled up the
daft young English squire."

Agreeable to appointment, I went next to Bailie Nicol Jarvie's, where a
comfortable morning's repast was arranged in the parlour, which served as
an apartment of all hours, and almost all work, to that honest gentleman.
The bustling and benevolent magistrate had been as good as his word. I
found my friend Owen at liberty, and, conscious of the refreshments and
purification of brush and basin, was of course a very different person
from Owen a prisoner, squalid, heart-broken, and hopeless. Yet the sense
of pecuniary difficulties arising behind, before, and around him, had
depressed his spirit, and the almost paternal embrace which the good man
gave me, was embittered by a sigh of the deepest anxiety. And when he
sate down, the heaviness in his eye and manner, so different from the
quiet composed satisfaction which they usually exhibited, indicated that
he was employing his arithmetic in mentally numbering up the days, the
hours, the minutes, which yet remained as an interval between the
dishonour of bills and the downfall of the great commercial establishment
of Osbaldistone and Tresham. It was left to me, therefore, to do honour
to our landlord's hospitable cheer--to his tea, right from China, which
he got in a present from some eminent ship's-husband at Wapping--to his
coffee, from a snug plantation of his own, as he informed us with a wink,
called Saltmarket Grove, in the island of Jamaica--to his English toast
and ale, his Scotch dried salmon, his Lochfine herrings, and even to the
double-damask table-cloth, "wrought by no hand, as you may guess," save
that of his deceased father the worthy Deacon Jarvie.

Having conciliated our good-humoured host by those little attentions
which are great to most men, I endeavoured in my turn to gain from him
some information which might be useful for my guidance, as well as for
the satisfaction of my curiosity. We had not hitherto made the least
allusion to the transactions of the preceding night, a circumstance which
made my question sound somewhat abrupt, when, without any previous
introduction of the subject, I took advantage of a pause when the history
of the table-cloth ended, and that of the napkins was about to commence,
to inquire, "Pray, by the by, Mr. Jarvie, who may this Mr. Robert
Campbell be, whom we met with last night?"

The interrogatory seemed to strike the honest magistrate, to use the
vulgar phrase, "all of a heap," and instead of answering, he returned the
question--"Whae's Mr. Robert Campbell?--ahem! ahay! Whae's Mr. Robert
Campbell, quo' he?"

"Yes," said I, "I mean who and what is he?"

"Why, he's--ahay!--he's--ahem!--Where did ye meet with Mr. Robert
Campbell, as ye ca' him?"

"I met him by chance," I replied, "some months ago in the north of
England."

"Ou then, Mr. Osbaldistone," said the Bailie, doggedly, "ye'll ken as
muckle about him as I do."

"I should suppose not, Mr. Jarvie," I replied;--"you are his relation, it
seems, and his friend."

"There is some cousin-red between us, doubtless," said the Bailie
reluctantly; "but we hae seen little o' ilk other since Rob gae tip the
cattle-line o' dealing, poor fallow! he was hardly guided by them might
hae used him better--and they haena made their plack a bawbee o't
neither. There's mony ane this day wad rather they had never chased puir
Robin frae the Cross o' Glasgow--there's mony ane wad rather see him
again at the tale o' three hundred kyloes, than at the head o' thirty
waur cattle."

"All this explains nothing to me, Mr. Jarvie, of Mr. Campbell's rank,
habits of life, and means of subsistence," I replied.

"Rank?" said Mr. Jarvie; "he's a Hieland gentleman, nae doubt--better
rank need nane to be;--and for habit, I judge he wears the Hieland habit
amang the hills, though he has breeks on when he comes to Glasgow;--and
as for his subsistence, what needs we care about his subsistence, sae
lang as he asks naething frae us, ye ken? But I hae nae time for
clavering about him e'en now, because we maun look into your father's
concerns wi' all speed."

So saying, he put on his spectacles, and sate down to examine Mr. Owen's
states, which the other thought it most prudent to communicate to him
without reserve. I knew enough of business to be aware that nothing could
be more acute and sagacious than the views which Mr. Jarvie entertained
of the matters submitted to his examination; and, to do him justice, it
was marked by much fairness, and even liberality. He scratched his ear
indeed repeatedly on observing the balance which stood at the debit of
Osbaldistone and Tresham in account with himself personally.

"It may be a dead loss," he observed; "and, conscience! whate'er ane o'
your Lombard Street goldsmiths may say to it, it's a snell ane in the
Saut-Market* o' Glasgow. It will be a heavy deficit--a staff out o' my
bicker, I trow.

* [The Saltmarket. This ancient street, situate in the heart of Glasgow,
has of late been almost entirely renovated.]

But what then?--I trust the house wunna coup the crane for a' that's come
and gane yet; and if it does, I'll never bear sae base a mind as thae
corbies in the Gallowgate--an I am to lose by ye, I'se ne'er deny I hae
won by ye mony a fair pund sterling--Sae, an it come to the warst, I'se
een lay the head o' the sow to the tail o' the grice."*

* _Anglice,_ the head of the sow to the tail of the pig.

I did not altogether understand the proverbial arrangement with which Mr.
Jarvie consoled himself, but I could easily see that he took a kind and
friendly interest in the arrangement of my father's affairs, suggested
several expedients, approved several plans proposed by Owen, and by his
countenance and counsel greatly abated the gloom upon the brow of that
afflicted delegate of my father's establishment.

As I was an idle spectator on this occasion, and, perhaps, as I showed
some inclination more than once to return to the prohibited, and
apparently the puzzling subject of Mr. Campbell, Mr. Jarvie dismissed me
with little formality, with an advice to "gang up the gate to the
college, where I wad find some chields could speak Greek and Latin
weel--at least they got plenty o' siller for doing deil haet else, if they
didna do that; and where I might read a spell o' the worthy Mr. Zachary
Boyd's translation o' the Scriptures--better poetry need nane to be, as
he had been tell'd by them that ken'd or suld hae ken'd about sic
things." But he seasoned this dismission with a kind and hospitable
invitation "to come back and take part o' his family-chack at ane
preceesely--there wad be a leg o' mutton, and, it might be, a tup's head,
for they were in season;" but above all, I was to return at "ane o'clock
preceesely--it was the hour he and the deacon his father aye dined
at--they pat it off for naething nor for naebody."





CHAPTER EIGHTH.


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

I took the route towards the college, as recommended by Mr. Jarvie, less
with the intention of seeking for any object of interest or amusement,
than to arrange my own ideas, and meditate on my future conduct. I
wandered from one quadrangle of old-fashioned buildings to another, and
from thence to the College-yards, or walking ground, where, pleased with
the solitude of the place, most of the students being engaged in their
classes, I took several turns, pondering on the waywardness of my own
destiny.

I could not doubt, from the circumstances attending my first meeting with
this person Campbell, that he was engaged in some strangely desperate
courses; and the reluctance with which Mr. Jarvie alluded to his person
or pursuits, as well as all the scene of the preceding night, tended to
confirm these suspicions. Yet to this man Diana Vernon had not, it would
seem, hesitated to address herself in my behalf; and the conduct of the
magistrate himself towards him showed an odd mixture of kindness, and
even respect, with pity and censure. Something there must be uncommon in
Campbell's situation and character; and what was still more
extraordinary, it seemed that his fate was doomed to have influence over,
and connection with, my own. I resolved to bring Mr. Jarvie to close
quarters on the first proper opportunity, and learn as much as was
possible on the subject of this mysterious person, in order that I might
judge whether it was possible for me, without prejudice to my reputation,
to hold that degree of farther correspondence with him to which he seemed
to invite.

While I was musing on these subjects, my attention was attracted by three
persons who appeared at the upper end of the walk through which I was
sauntering, seemingly engaged in very earnest conversation. That
intuitive impression which announces to us the approach of whomsoever we
love or hate with intense vehemence, long before a more indifferent eye
can recognise their persons, flashed upon my mind the sure conviction
that the midmost of these three men was Rashleigh Osbaldistone. To
address him was my first impulse;--my second was, to watch him until he
was alone, or at least to reconnoitre his companions before confronting
him. The party was still at such distance, and engaged in such deep
discourse, that I had time to step unobserved to the other side of a
small hedge, which imperfectly screened the alley in which I was walking.
It was at this period the fashion of the young and gay to wear, in their
morning walks, a scarlet cloak, often laced and embroidered, above their
other dress, and it was the trick of the time for gallants occasionally
to dispose it so as to muffle a part of the face. The imitating this
fashion, with the degree of shelter which I received from the hedge,
enabled me to meet my cousin, unobserved by him or the others, except
perhaps as a passing stranger. I was not a little startled at recognising
in his companions that very Morris on whose account I had been summoned
before Justice Inglewood, and Mr. MacVittie the merchant, from whose
starched and severe aspect I had recoiled on the preceding day.

A more ominous conjunction to my own affairs, and those of my father,
could scarce have been formed. I remembered Morris's false accusation
against me, which he might be as easily induced to renew as he had been
intimidated to withdraw; I recollected the inauspicious influence of
MacVittie over my father's affairs, testified by the imprisonment of
Owen;--and I now saw both these men combined with one, whose talent for
mischief I deemed little inferior to those of the great author of all
ill, and my abhorrence of whom almost amounted to dread.

When they had passed me for some paces, I turned and followed them
unobserved. At the end of the walk they separated, Morris and MacVittie
leaving the gardens, and Rashleigh returning alone through the walks. I
was now determined to confront him, and demand reparation for the
injuries he had done my father, though in what form redress was likely to
be rendered remained to be known. This, however, I trusted to chance; and
flinging back the cloak in which I was muffled, I passed through a gap of
the low hedge, and presented myself before Rashleigh, as, in a deep
reverie, he paced down the avenue.

Rashleigh was no man to be surprised or thrown off his guard by sudden
occurrences. Yet he did not find me thus close to him, wearing
undoubtedly in my face the marks of that indignation which was glowing in
my bosom, without visibly starting at an apparition so sudden and
menacing.

"You are well met, sir," was my commencement; "I was about to take a long
and doubtful journey in quest of you."

"You know little of him you sought then," replied Rashleigh, with his
usual undaunted composure. "I am easily found by my friends--still more
easily by my foes;--your manner compels me to ask in which class I must
rank Mr. Francis Osbaldistone?"

"In that of your foes, sir," I answered--"in that of your mortal foes,
unless you instantly do justice to your benefactor, my father, by
accounting for his property."

"And to whom, Mr. Osbaldistone," answered Rashleigh, "am I, a member of
your father's commercial establishment, to be compelled to give any
account of my proceedings in those concerns, which are in every respect
identified with my own?--Surely not to a young gentleman whose exquisite
taste for literature would render such discussions disgusting and
unintelligible."

"Your sneer, sir, is no answer; I will not part with you until I have
full satisfaction concerning the fraud you meditate--you shall go with me
before a magistrate."

"Be it so," said Rashleigh, and made a step or two as if to accompany me;
then pausing, proceeded--"Were I inclined to do so as you would have me,
you should soon feel which of us had most reason to dread the presence of
a magistrate. But I have no wish to accelerate your fate. Go, young man!
amuse yourself in your world of poetical imaginations, and leave the
business of life to those who understand and can conduct it."

His intention, I believe, was to provoke me, and he succeeded. "Mr.
Osbaldistone," I said, "this tone of calm insolence shall not avail you.
You ought to be aware that the name we both bear never submitted to
insult, and shall not in my person be exposed to it."

"You remind me," said Rashleigh, with one of his blackest looks, "that it
was dishonoured in my person!--and you remind me also by whom! Do you
think I have forgotten the evening at Osbaldistone Hall when you cheaply
and with impunity played the bully at my expense? For that insult--never
to be washed out but by blood!--for the various times you have crossed my
path, and always to my prejudice--for the persevering folly with which
you seek to traverse schemes, the importance of which you neither know
nor are capable of estimating,--for all these, sir, you owe me a long
account, for which there shall come an early day of reckoning."

"Let it come when it will," I replied, "I shall be willing and ready to
meet it. Yet you seem to have forgotten the heaviest article--that I had
the pleasure to aid Miss Vernon's good sense and virtuous feeling in
extricating her from your infamous toils."

I think his dark eyes flashed actual fire at this home-taunt, and yet his
voice retained the same calm expressive tone with which he had hitherto
conducted the conversation.

"I had other views with respect to you, young man," was his answer: "less
hazardous for you, and more suitable to my present character and former
education. But I see you will draw on yourself the personal chastisement
your boyish insolence so well merits. Follow me to a more remote spot,
where we are less likely to be interrupted."

I followed him accordingly, keeping a strict eye on his motions, for I
believed him capable of the very worst actions. We reached an open spot
in a sort of wilderness, laid out in the Dutch taste, with clipped
hedges, and one or two statues. I was on my guard, and it was well with
me that I was so; for Rashleigh's sword was out and at my breast ere I
could throw down my cloak, or get my weapon unsheathed, so that I only
saved my life by springing a pace or two backwards. He had some advantage
in the difference of our weapons; for his sword, as I recollect, was
longer than mine, and had one of those bayonet or three-cornered blades
which are now generally worn; whereas mine was what we then called a
Saxon blade--narrow, flat, and two-edged, and scarcely so manageable as
that of my enemy. In other respects we were pretty equally matched: for
what advantage I might possess in superior address and agility, was fully
counterbalanced by Rashleigh's great strength and coolness. He fought,
indeed, more like a fiend than a man--with concentrated spite and desire
of blood, only allayed by that cool consideration which made his worst
actions appear yet worse from the air of deliberate premeditation which
seemed to accompany them. His obvious malignity of purpose never for a
moment threw him off his guard, and he exhausted every feint and
stratagem proper to the science of defence; while, at the same time, he
meditated the most desperate catastrophe to our rencounter.

On my part, the combat was at first sustained with more moderation. My
passions, though hasty, were not malevolent; and the walk of two or three
minutes' space gave me time to reflect that Rashleigh was my father's
nephew, the son of an uncle, who after his fashion had been kind to me,
and that his falling by my hand could not but occasion much family
distress. My first resolution, therefore, was to attempt to disarm my
antagonist--a manoeuvre in which, confiding in my superiority of skill
and practice, I anticipated little difficulty. I found, however, I had
met my match; and one or two foils which I received, and from the
consequences of which I narrowly escaped, obliged me to observe more
caution in my mode of fighting. By degrees I became exasperated at the
rancour with which Rashleigh sought my life, and returned his passes with
an inveteracy resembling in some degree his own; so that the combat had
all the appearance of being destined to have a tragic issue. That issue
had nearly taken place at my expense. My foot slipped in a full lounge
which I made at my adversary, and I could not so far recover myself as
completely to parry the thrust with which my pass was repaid. Yet it took
but partial effect, running through my waistcoat, grazing my ribs, and
passing through my coat behind. The hilt of Rashleigh's sword, so great
was the vigour of his thrust, struck against my breast with such force as
to give me great pain, and confirm me in the momentary belief that I was
mortally wounded. Eager for revenge, I grappled with my enemy, seizing
with my left hand the hilt of his sword, and shortening my own with the
purpose of running him through the body. Our death-grapple was
interrupted by a man who forcibly threw himself between us, and pushing
us separate from each other, exclaimed, in a loud and commanding voice,
"What! the sons of those fathers who sucked the same breast shedding each
others bluid as it were strangers'!--By the hand of my father, I will
cleave to the brisket the first man that mints another stroke!"

I looked up in astonishment. The speaker was no other than Campbell. He
had a basket-hilted broadsword drawn in his hand, which he made to
whistle around his head as he spoke, as if for the purpose of enforcing
his mediation. Rashleigh and I stared in silence at this unexpected
intruder, who proceeded to exhort us alternately:--"Do you, Maister
Francis, opine that ye will re-establish your father's credit by cutting
your kinsman's thrapple, or getting your ain sneckit instead thereof in
the College-yards of Glasgow?--Or do you, Mr Rashleigh, think men will
trust their lives and fortunes wi' ane, that, when in point of trust and
in point of confidence wi' a great political interest, gangs about
brawling like a drunken gillie?--Nay, never look gash or grim at me,
man--if ye're angry, ye ken how to turn the buckle o' your belt behind
you."

"You presume on my present situation," replied Rashleigh, "or you would
have hardly dared to interfere where my honour is concerned."


[Illustration: Rob Roy Parting the Duelists--100]


"Hout! tout! tout!--Presume? And what for should it be presuming?--Ye may
be the richer man, Mr. Osbaldistone, as is maist likely; and ye may be
the mair learned man, whilk I dispute not: but I reckon ye are neither a
prettier man nor a better gentleman than mysell--and it will be news to
me when I hear ye are as gude. And _dare_ too? Muckle daring there's
about it--I trow, here I stand, that hae slashed as het a haggis as ony
o' the twa o' ye, and thought nae muckle o' my morning's wark when it was
dune. If my foot were on the heather as it's on the causeway, or this
pickle gravel, that's little better, I hae been waur mistrysted than if I
were set to gie ye baith your ser'ing o't."

Rashleigh had by this time recovered his temper completely. "My kinsman,"
he said, "will acknowledge he forced this quarrel on me. It was none of
my seeking. I am glad we are interrupted before I chastised his
forwardness more severely."

"Are ye hurt, lad?" inquired Campbell of me, with some appearance of
interest.

"A very slight scratch," I answered, "which my kind cousin would not long
have boasted of had not you come between us."

"In troth, and that's true, Maister Rashleigh," said Campbell; "for the
cauld iron and your best bluid were like to hae become acquaint when I
mastered Mr. Frank's right hand. But never look like a sow playing upon a
trump for the luve of that, man--come and walk wi' me. I hae news to tell
ye, and ye'll cool and come to yourself, like MacGibbon's crowdy, when he
set it out at the window-bole."

"Pardon me, sir," said I. "Your intentions have seemed friendly to me on
more occasions than one; but I must not, and will not, quit sight of this
person until he yields up to me those means of doing justice to my
father's engagements, of which he has treacherously possessed himself."

"Ye're daft, man," replied Campbell; "it will serve ye naething to follow
us e'enow; ye hae just enow o' ae man--wad ye bring twa on your head, and
might bide quiet?"

"Twenty," I replied, "if it be necessary."

I laid my hand on Rashleigh's collar, who made no resistance, but said,
with a sort of scornful smile, "You hear him, MacGregor! he rushes on his
fate--will it be my fault if he falls into it?--The warrants are by this
time ready, and all is prepared."

The Scotchman was obviously embarrassed. He looked around, and before,
and behind him, and then said--"The ne'er a bit will I yield my consent
to his being ill-guided for standing up for the father that got him--and
I gie God's malison and mine to a' sort o' magistrates, justices,
bailies., sheriffs, sheriff-officers, constables, and sic-like black
cattle, that hae been the plagues o' puir auld Scotland this hunder
year.--it was a merry warld when every man held his ain gear wi' his ain
grip, and when the country side wasna fashed wi' warrants and poindings
and apprizings, and a' that cheatry craft. And ance mair I say it, my
conscience winna see this puir thoughtless lad ill-guided, and especially
wi' that sort o' trade. I wad rather ye fell till't again, and fought it
out like douce honest men."

"Your conscience, MacGregor!" said Rashleigh; "you forget how long you
and I have known each other."

"Yes, my conscience," reiterated Campbell, or MacGregor, or whatever was
his name; "I hae such a thing about me, Maister Osbaldistone; and therein
it may weel chance that I hae the better o' you. As to our knowledge of
each other,--if ye ken what I am, ye ken what usage it was made me what I
am; and, whatever you may think, I would not change states with the
proudest of the oppressors that hae driven me to tak the heather-bush for
a beild. What _you_ are, Maister Rashleigh, and what excuse ye hae for
being _what_ you are, is between your ain heart and the lang day.--And
now, Maister Francis, let go his collar; for he says truly, that ye are
in mair danger from a magistrate than he is, and were your cause as
straight as an arrow, he wad find a way to put you wrang--So let go his
craig, as I was saying."

He seconded his words with an effort so sudden and unexpected, that he
freed Rashleigh from my hold, and securing me, notwithstanding my
struggles, in his own Herculean gripe, he called out--"Take the bent, Mr.
Rashleigh--Make ae pair o' legs worth twa pair o' hands; ye hae dune that
before now."

"You may thank this gentleman, kinsman," said Rashleigh, "if I leave any
part of my debt to you unpaid; and if I quit you now, it is only in the
hope we shall soon meet again without the possibility of interruption."

He took up his sword, wiped it, sheathed it, and was lost among the
bushes.

The Scotchman, partly by force, partly by remonstrance, prevented my
following him; indeed I began to be of opinion my doing so would be to
little purpose.

"As I live by bread," said Campbell, when, after one or two struggles in
which he used much forbearance towards me, he perceived me inclined to
stand quiet, "I never saw sae daft a callant! I wad hae gien the best man
in the country the breadth o' his back gin he had gien me sic a kemping
as ye hae dune. What wad ye do?--Wad ye follow the wolf to his den? I
tell ye, man, he has the auld trap set for ye--He has got the
collector-creature Morris to bring up a' the auld story again,
and ye maun look for nae help frae me here, as ye got at Justice
Inglewood's;--it isna good for my health to come in the gate o' the
whigamore bailie bodies. Now gang your ways hame, like a gude
bairn--jouk and let the jaw gae by--Keep out o' sight o' Rashleigh, and
Morris, and that MacVittie animal--Mind the Clachan of Aberfoil, as I
said before, and by the word of a gentleman, I wunna see ye wranged. But
keep a calm sough till we meet again--I maun gae and get Rashleigh out
o' the town afore waur comes o't, for the neb o' him's never out o'
mischief--Mind the Clachan of Aberfoil."

He turned upon his heel, and left me to meditate on the singular events
which had befallen me. My first care was to adjust my dress and reassume
my cloak, disposing it so as to conceal the blood which flowed down my
right side. I had scarcely accomplished this, when, the classes of the
college being dismissed, the gardens began to be filled with parties of
the students. I therefore left them as soon as possible; and in my way
towards Mr. Jarvie's, whose dinner hour was now approaching, I stopped at
a small unpretending shop, the sign of which intimated the indweller to
be Christopher Neilson, surgeon and apothecary. I requested of a little
boy who was pounding some stuff in a mortar, that he would procure me an
audience of this learned pharmacopolist. He opened the door of the back
shop, where I found a lively elderly man, who shook his head
incredulously at some idle account I gave him of having been wounded
accidentally by the button breaking off my antagonist's foil while I was
engaged in a fencing match. When he had applied some lint and somewhat
else he thought proper to the trifling wound I had received, he
observed--"There never was button on the foil that made this hurt. Ah!
young blood! young blood!--But we surgeons are a secret generation--If
it werena for hot blood and ill blood, what wad become of the twa
learned faculties?"

With which moral reflection he dismissed me; and I experienced very
little pain or inconvenience afterwards from the scratch I had received.






CHAPTER NINTH.


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

"What made ye sae late?" said Mr. Jarvie, as I entered the dining-parlour
of that honest gentleman; "it is chappit ane the best feek o' five
minutes by-gane. Mattie has been twice at the door wi' the dinner, and
weel for you it was a tup's head, for that canna suffer by delay. A
sheep's head ower muckle boiled is rank poison, as my worthy father used
to say--he likit the lug o' ane weel, honest man."

I made a suitable apology for my breach of punctuality, and was soon
seated at table, where Mr. Jarvie presided with great glee and
hospitality, compelling, however, Owen and myself to do rather more
justice to the Scottish dainties with which his board was charged, than
was quite agreeable to our southern palates. I escaped pretty well, from
having those habits of society which enable one to elude this species of
well-meant persecution. But it was ridiculous enough to see Owen, whose
ideas of politeness were more rigorous and formal, and who was willing,
in all acts of lawful compliance, to evince his respect for the friend of
the firm, eating with rueful complaisance mouthful after mouthful of
singed wool, and pronouncing it excellent, in a tone in which disgust
almost overpowered civility.

When the cloth was removed, Mr. Jarvie compounded with his own hands a
very small bowl of brandy-punch, the first which I had ever the fortune
to see.

"The limes," he assured us, "were from his own little farm yonder-awa"
(indicating the West Indies with a knowing shrug of his shoulders), "and
he had learned the art of composing the liquor from auld Captain
Coffinkey, who acquired it," he added in a whisper, "'as maist folk
thought, among the Buccaniers. But it's excellent liquor," said he,
helping us round; "and good ware has aften come frae a wicked market. And
as for Captain Coffinkey, he was a decent man when I kent him, only he
used to swear awfully--But he's dead, and gaen to his account, and I
trust he's accepted--I trust he's accepted."

We found the liquor exceedingly palatable, and it led to a long
conversation between Owen and our host on the opening which the Union had
afforded to trade between Glasgow and the British Colonies in America and
the West Indies, and on the facilities which Glasgow possessed of making
up sortable cargoes for that market. Mr. Jarvie answered some objection
which Owen made on the difficulty of sorting a cargo for America, without
buying from England, with vehemence and volubility.

"Na, na, sir, we stand on our ain bottom--we pickle in our ain
pock-neuk--We hae our Stirling serges, Musselburgh stuffs, Aberdeen hose,
Edinburgh shalloons, and the like, for our woollen or worsted goods--and
we hae linens of a' kinds better and cheaper than you hae in Lunnon
itsell--and we can buy your north o' England wares, as Manchester wares,
Sheffield wares, and Newcastle earthenware, as cheap as you can at
Liverpool--And we are making a fair spell at cottons and muslins--Na, na!
let every herring hing by its ain head, and every sheep by its ain shank,
and ye'll find, sir, us Glasgow folk no sae far ahint but what we may
follow.--This is but poor entertainment for you, Mr. Osbaldistone"
(observing that I had been for some time silent); "but ye ken cadgers
maun aye be speaking about cart-saddles."

I apologised, alleging the painful circumstances of my own situation, and
the singular adventures of the morning, as the causes of my abstraction
and absence of mind. In this manner I gained what I sought--an
opportunity of telling my story distinctly and without interruption. I
only omitted mentioning the wound I had received, which I did not think
worthy of notice. Mr. Jarvie listened with great attention and apparent
interest, twinkling his little grey eyes, taking snuff, and only
interrupting me by brief interjections. When I came to the account of the
rencounter, at which Owen folded his hands and cast up his eyes to
Heaven, the very image of woeful surprise, Mr. Jarvie broke in upon the
narration with "Wrang now--clean wrang--to draw a sword on your kinsman
is inhibited by the laws o' God and man; and to draw a sword on the
streets of a royal burgh is punishable by fine and imprisonment--and the
College-yards are nae better privileged--they should be a place of peace
and quietness, I trow. The College didna get gude L600 a year out o'
bishops' rents (sorrow fa' the brood o' bishops and their rents too!),
nor yet a lease o' the archbishopric o' Glasgow the sell o't, that they
suld let folk tuilzie in their yards, or the wild callants bicker there
wi' snaw-ba's as they whiles do, that when Mattie and I gae through, we
are fain to make a baik and a bow, or run the risk o' our harns being
knocked out--it suld be looked to.*--But come awa'wi' your tale--what
fell neist?"

* The boys in Scotland used formerly to make a sort of Saturnalia in a
snow-storm, by pelting passengers with snowballs. But those exposed to
that annoyance were excused from it on the easy penalty of a baik
(courtesy) from a female, or a bow from a man. It was only the refractory
who underwent the storm.

On my mentioning the appearance of Mr. Campbell, Jarvie arose in great
surprise, and paced the room, exclaiming, "Robin again!--Robert's
mad--clean wud, and waur--Rob will be hanged, and disgrace a' his
kindred, and that will be seen and heard tell o'. My father the deacon
wrought him his first hose--Od, I am thinking Deacon Threeplie, the
rape-spinner, will be twisting his last cravat. Ay, ay, puir Robin is in
a fair way o' being hanged--But come awa', come awa'--let's hear the
lave o't."

I told the whole story as pointedly as I could; but Mr. Jarvie still
found something lacking to make it clear, until I went back, though with
considerable reluctance, on the whole story of Morris, and of my meeting
with Campbell at the house of Justice Inglewood. Mr. Jarvie inclined a
serious ear to all this, and remained silent for some time after I had
finished my narrative.

"Upon all these matters I am now to ask your advice, Mr. Jarvie, which, I
have no doubt, will point out the best way to act for my father's
advantage and my own honour."

"Ye're right, young man--ye're right," said the Bailie. "Aye take the
counsel of those who are aulder and wiser than yourself, and binna like
the godless Rehoboam, who took the advice o' a wheen beardless callants,
neglecting the auld counsellors who had sate at the feet o' his father
Solomon, and, as it was weel put by Mr. Meiklejohn, in his lecture on the
chapter, were doubtless partakers of his sapience. But I maun hear
naething about honour--we ken naething here but about credit. Honour is a
homicide and a bloodspiller, that gangs about making frays in the street;
but Credit is a decent honest man, that sits at hame and makes the pat
play."

"Assuredly, Mr. Jarvie," said our friend Owen, "credit is the sum total;
and if we can but save that, at whatever discount"--

"Ye are right, Mr. Owen--ye are right; ye speak weel and wisely; and I
trust bowls will row right, though they are a wee ajee e'enow. But
touching Robin, I am of opinion he will befriend this young man if it is
in his power. He has a gude heart, puir Robin; and though I lost a matter
o' twa hundred punds wi' his former engagements, and haena muckle
expectation ever to see back my thousand punds Scots that he promises me
e'enow, yet I will never say but what Robin means fair by men."

"I am then to consider him," I replied, "as an honest man?"

"Umph!" replied Jarvie, with a precautionary sort of cough--"Ay, he has a
kind o' Hieland honesty--he's honest after a sort, as they say. My father
the deacon used aye to laugh when he tauld me how that by-word came up.
Ane Captain Costlett was cracking crouse about his loyalty to King
Charles, and Clerk Pettigrew (ye'll hae heard mony a tale about him)
asked him after what manner he served the king, when he was fighting
again him at Wor'ster in Cromwell's army; and Captain Costlett was a
ready body, and said that he served him _after a sort._ My honest father
used to laugh weel at that sport--and sae the by-word came up."

"But do you think," I said, "that this man will be able to serve me after
a sort, or should I trust myself to this place of rendezvous which he has
given me?"

"Frankly and fairly, it's worth trying. Ye see yourself there's some risk
in your staying here. This bit body Morris has gotten a custom-house
place doun at Greenock--that's a port on the Firth doun by here; and tho'
a' the world kens him to be but a twa-leggit creature, wi' a goose's head
and a hen's heart, that goes about on the quay plaguing folk about
permits, and cockits, and dockits, and a' that vexatious trade, yet if he
lodge an information--ou, nae doubt a man in magisterial duty maun attend
to it, and ye might come to be clapped up between four wa's, whilk wad be
ill-convenient to your father's affairs."

"True," I observed; "yet what service am I likely to render him by
leaving Glasgow, which, it is probable, will be the principal scene of
Rashleigh's machinations, and committing myself to the doubtful faith of
a man of whom I know little but that he fears justice, and has doubtless
good reasons for doing so; and that, for some secret, and probably
dangerous purpose, he is in close league and alliance with the very
person who is like to be the author of our ruin?"

"Ah, but ye judge Rob hardly," said the Bailie, "ye judge him hardly,
puir chield; and the truth is, that ye ken naething about our hill
country, or Hielands, as we ca' them. They are clean anither set frae the
like o' huz;--there's nae bailie-courts amang them--nae magistrates that
dinna bear the sword in vain, like the worthy deacon that's awa', and, I
may say't, like mysell and other present magistrates in this city--But
it's just the laird's command, and the loon maun loup; and the never
another law hae they but the length o' their dirks--the broadsword's
pursuer, or plaintiff, as you Englishers ca' it, and the target is
defender; the stoutest head bears langest out;--and there's a Hieland
plea for ye."

Owen groaned deeply; and I allow that the description did not greatly
increase my desire to trust myself in a country so lawless as he
described these Scottish mountains.

"Now, sir," said Jarvie, "we speak little o' thae things, because they
are familiar to oursells; and where's the use o' vilifying ane's country,
and bringing a discredit on ane's kin, before southrons and strangers?
It's an ill bird that files its ain nest."

"Well, sir, but as it is no impertinent curiosity of mine, but real
necessity, that obliges me to make these inquiries, I hope you will not
be offended at my pressing for a little farther information. I have to
deal, on my father's account, with several gentlemen of these wild
countries, and I must trust your good sense and experience for the
requisite lights upon the subject."

This little morsel of flattery was not thrown out in vain. "Experience!"
said the Bailie--"I hae had experience, nae doubt, and I hae made some
calculations--Ay, and to speak quietly amang oursells, I hae made some
perquisitions through Andrew Wylie, my auld clerk; he's wi' MacVittie &
Co. now--but he whiles drinks a gill on the Saturday afternoons wi' his
auld master. And since ye say ye are willing to be guided by the Glasgow
weaver-body's advice, I am no the man that will refuse it to the son of
an auld correspondent, and my father the deacon was nane sic afore me. I
have whiles thought o' letting my lights burn before the Duke of Argyle,
or his brother Lord Ilay (for wherefore should they be hidden under a
bushel?), but the like o' thae grit men wadna mind the like o' me, a puir
wabster body--they think mair o' wha says a thing, than o' what the thing
is that's said. The mair's the pity--mair's the pity. Not that I wad
speak ony ill of this MacCallum More--'Curse not the rich in your
bedchamber,' saith the son of Sirach, 'for a bird of the air shall carry
the clatter, and pint-stoups hae lang lugs.'"

I interrupted these prolegomena, in which Mr. Jarvie was apt to be
somewhat diffuse, by praying him to rely upon Mr. Owen and myself as
perfectly secret and safe confidants.

"It's no for that," he replied, "for I fear nae man--what for suld I?--I
speak nae treason--Only thae Hielandmen hae lang grips, and I whiles gang
a wee bit up the glens to see some auld kinsfolks, and I wadna willingly
be in bad blude wi' ony o' their clans. Howsumever, to proceed--ye maun
understand I found my remarks on figures, whilk as Mr. Owen here weel
kens, is the only true demonstrable root of human knowledge."

Owen readily assented to a proposition so much in his own way, and our
orator proceeded.

"These Hielands of ours, as we ca' them, gentlemen, are but a wild kind
of warld by themsells, full of heights and howes, woods, caverns, lochs,
rivers, and mountains, that it wad tire the very deevil's wings to flee
to the tap o' them. And in this country, and in the isles, whilk are
little better, or, to speak the truth, rather waur than the mainland,
there are about twa hunder and thirty parochines, including the Orkneys,
where, whether they speak Gaelic or no I wotna, but they are an
uncivilised people. Now, sirs, I sall haud ilk parochine at the moderate
estimate of eight hunder examinable persons, deducting children under
nine years of age, and then adding one-fifth to stand for bairns of nine
years auld, and under, the whole population will reach to the sum of--let
us add one-fifth to 800 to be the multiplier, and 230 being the
multiplicand"--

"The product," said Mr. Owen, who entered delightedly into these
statistics of Mr. Jarvie, "will be 230,000."

"Right, sir--perfectly right; and the military array of this Hieland
country, were a' the men-folk between aughteen and fifty-six brought out
that could bear arms, couldna come weel short of fifty-seven thousand
five hundred men. Now, sir, it's a sad and awfu' truth, that there is
neither wark, nor the very fashion nor appearance of wark, for the tae
half of thae puir creatures; that is to say, that the agriculture, the
pasturage, the fisheries, and every species of honest industry about the
country, cannot employ the one moiety of the population, let them work as
lazily as they like, and they do work as if a pleugh or a spade burnt
their fingers. Aweel, sir, this moiety of unemployed bodies, amounting
to"--

"To one hundred and fifteen thousand souls," said Owen, "being the half
of the above product."

"Ye hae't, Mr. Owen--ye hae't--whereof there may be twenty-eight thousand
seven hundred able-bodied gillies fit to bear arms, and that do bear
arms, and will touch or look at nae honest means of livelihood even if
they could get it--which, lack-a-day! they cannot."

"But is it possible," said I, "Mr. Jarvie, that this can be a just
picture of so large a portion of the island of Britain?"

"Sir, I'll make it as plain as Peter Pasley's pike-staff. I will allow
that ilk parochine, on an average, employs fifty pleughs, whilk is a
great proportion in sic miserable soil as thae creatures hae to labour,
and that there may be pasture enough for pleugh-horses, and owsen, and
forty or fifty cows; now, to take care o' the pleughs and cattle, we'se
allow seventy-five families of six lives in ilk family, and we'se add
fifty mair to make even numbers, and ye hae five hundred souls, the tae
half o' the population, employed and maintained in a sort o' fashion, wi'
some chance of sour-milk and crowdie; but I wad be glad to ken what the
other five hunder are to do?"

"In the name of God!" said I, "what _do_ they do, Mr. Jarvie? It makes me
shudder to think of their situation."

"Sir," replied the Bailie, "ye wad maybe shudder mair if ye were living
near hand them. For, admitting that the tae half of them may make some
little thing for themsells honestly in the Lowlands by shearing in harst,
droving, hay-making, and the like; ye hae still mony hundreds and
thousands o' lang-legged Hieland gillies that will neither work nor want,
and maun gang thigging and sorning* about on their acquaintance, or live
by doing the laird's bidding, be't right or be't wrang.

* _Thigging_ and _sorning_ was a kind of genteel begging, or rather
something between begging and robbing, by which the needy in Scotland
used to extort cattle, or the means of subsistence, from those who had
any to give.

And mair especially, mony hundreds o' them come down to the borders of
the low country, where there's gear to grip, and live by stealing,
reiving, lifting cows, and the like depredations--a thing deplorable in
ony Christian country!--the mair especially, that they take pride in it,
and reckon driving a spreagh (whilk is, in plain Scotch, stealing a herd
of nowte) a gallant, manly action, and mair befitting of pretty* men (as
sic reivers will ca' themselves), than to win a day's wage by ony honest
thrift.

* The word _pretty_ is or was used in Scotch, in the sense of the German
_prachtig,_ and meant a gallant, alert fellow, prompt and ready at his
weapons.

And the lairds are as bad as the loons; for if they dinna bid them gae
reive and harry, the deil a bit they forbid them; and they shelter them,
or let them shelter themselves, in their woods and mountains, and
strongholds, whenever the thing's dune. And every ane o' them will
maintain as mony o' his ane name, or his clan, as we say, as he can rap
and rend means for; or, whilk's the same thing, as mony as can in ony
fashion, fair or foul, mainteen themsells. And there they are wi' gun and
pistol, dirk and dourlach, ready to disturb the peace o' the country
whenever the laird likes; and that's the grievance of the Hielands, whilk
are, and hae been for this thousand years by-past, a bike o' the maist
lawless unchristian limmers that ever disturbed a douce, quiet,
God-fearing neighbourhood, like this o' ours in the west here."

"And this kinsman of yours, and friend of mine, is he one of those great
proprietors who maintain the household troops you speak of?" I inquired.

"Na, na," said Bailie Jarvie; "he's nane o' your great grandees o'
chiefs, as they ca' them, neither. Though he is weel born, and lineally
descended frae auld Glenstrae--I ken his lineage--indeed he is a near
kinsman, and, as I said, of gude gentle Hieland blude, though ye may
think weel that I care little about that nonsense--it's a' moonshine in
water--waste threads and thrums, as we say--But I could show ye letters
frae his father, that was the third aff Glenstrae, to my father Deacon
Jarvie (peace be wi' his memory!) beginning, Dear Deacon, and ending,
your loving kinsman to command,--they are amaist a' about borrowed
siller, sae the gude deacon, that's dead and gane, keepit them as
documents and evidents--He was a carefu' man."

"But if he is not," I resumed, "one of their chiefs or patriarchal
leaders, whom I have heard my father talk of, this kinsman of yours has,
at least, much to say in the Highlands, I presume?"

"Ye may say that--nae name better ken'd between the Lennox and
Breadalbane. Robin was ance a weel-doing, painstaking drover, as ye wad
see amang ten thousand--It was a pleasure to see him in his belted plaid
and brogues, wi' his target at his back, and claymore and dirk at his
belt, following a hundred Highland stots, and a dozen o' the gillies, as
rough and ragged as the beasts they drave. And he was baith civil and
just in his dealings; and if he thought his chapman had made a hard
bargain, he wad gie him a luck-penny to the mends. I hae ken'd him gie
back five shillings out o' the pund sterling."

"Twenty-five per cent," said Owen--"a heavy discount."

"He wad gie it though, sir, as I tell ye; mair especially if he thought
the buyer was a puir man, and couldna stand by a loss. But the times cam
hard, and Rob was venturesome. It wasna my faut--it wasna my faut; he
canna wyte me--I aye tauld him o't--And the creditors, mair especially
some grit neighbours o' his, gripped to his living and land; and they say
his wife was turned out o' the house to the hill-side, and sair misguided
to the boot. Shamefu'! shamefu'!--I am a peacefu' man and a magistrate,
but if ony ane had guided sae muckle as my servant quean, Mattie, as it's
like they guided Rob's wife, I think it suld hae set the shabble* that my
father the deacon had at Bothwell brig a-walking again.

* Cutlass.

Weel, Rob cam hame, and fand desolation, God pity us! where he left
plenty; he looked east, west, south, north, and saw neither hauld nor
hope--neither beild nor shelter; sae he e'en pu'd the bonnet ower his
brow, belted the broadsword to his side, took to the brae-side, and
became a broken man."*

* An outlaw.

The voice of the good citizen was broken by his contending feelings. He
obviously, while he professed to contemn the pedigree of his Highland
kinsman, attached a secret feeling of consequence to the connection, and
he spoke of his friend in his prosperity with an overflow of affection,
which deepened his sympathy for his misfortunes, and his regret for their
consequences.

"Thus tempted and urged by despair," said I, seeing Mr. Jarvie did not
proceed in his narrative, "I suppose your kinsman became one of those
depredators you have described to us?"

"No sae bad as that," said the Glaswegian,--"no a'thegither and outright
sae bad as that; but he became a levier of black-mail, wider and farther
than ever it was raised in our day, a through the Lennox and Menteith,
and up to the gates o' Stirling Castle."

"Black-mail?--I do not understand the phrase," I remarked.

"Ou, ye see, Rob soon gathered an unco band o' blue-bonnets at his back,
for he comes o' a rough name when he's kent by his ain, and a name that's
held its ain for mony a lang year, baith again king and parliament, and
kirk too, for aught I ken--an auld and honourable name, for as sair as it
has been worried and hadden down and oppressed. My mother was a
MacGregor--I carena wha kens it--And Rob had soon a gallant band; and as
it grieved him (he said) to see sic _hership_ and waste and depredation
to the south o' the Hieland line, why, if ony heritor or farmer wad pay
him four punds Scots out of each hundred punds of valued rent, whilk
was doubtless a moderate consideration, Rob engaged to keep them
scaithless;--let them send to him if they lost sae muckle as a single
cloot by thieving, and Rob engaged to get them again, or pay the
value--and he aye keepit his word--I canna deny but he keepit his
word--a' men allow Rob keeps his word."

"This is a very singular contract of assurance," said Mr. Owen.

"It's clean again our statute law, that must be owned," said Jarvie,
"clean again law; the levying and the paying black-mail are baith
punishable: but if the law canna protect my barn and byre, whatfor suld I
no engage wi' a Hieland gentleman that can?--answer me that."

"But," said I, "Mr. Jarvie, is this contract of black-mail, as you call
it, completely voluntary on the part of the landlord or farmer who pays
the insurance? or what usually happens, in case any one refuses payment
of this tribute?"

"Aha, lad!" said the Bailie, laughing, and putting his finger to his
nose, "ye think ye hae me there. Troth, I wad advise ony friends o' mine
to gree wi' Rob; for, watch as they like, and do what they like, they are
sair apt to be harried* when the lang nights come on.

* Plundered.

Some o' the Grahame and Cohoon gentry stood out; but what then?--they
lost their haill stock the first winter; sae maist folks now think it
best to come into Rob's terms. He's easy wi' a' body that will be easy
wi' him; but if ye thraw him, ye had better thraw the deevil."

"And by his exploits in these vocations," I continued, "I suppose he has
rendered himself amenable to the laws of the country?"

"Amenable?--ye may say that; his craig wad ken the weight o' his hurdies
if they could get haud o' Rob. But he has gude friends amang the grit
folks; and I could tell ye o' ae grit family that keeps him up as far as
they decently can, to be a them in the side of another. And then he's sic
an auld-farran lang-headed chield as never took up the trade o' cateran
in our time; mony a daft reik he has played--mair than wad fill a book,
and a queer ane it wad be--as gude as Robin Hood, or William Wallace--a'
fu' o' venturesome deeds and escapes, sic as folk tell ower at a winter
ingle in the daft days. It's a queer thing o' me, gentlemen, that am a
man o' peace mysell, and a peacefu man's son--for the deacon my father
quarrelled wi' nane out o the town-council--it's a queer thing, I say,
but I think the Hieland blude o' me warms at thae daft tales, and whiles
I like better to hear them than a word o' profit, gude forgie me! But
they are vanities--sinfu' vanities--and, moreover, again the statute
law--again the statute and gospel law."

I now followed up my investigation, by inquiring what means of influence
this Mr. Robert Campbell could possibly possess over my affairs, or those
of my father.

"Why, ye are to understand," said Mr. Jarvie in a very subdued tone--"I
speak amang friends, and under the rose--Ye are to understand, that the
Hielands hae been keepit quiet since the year aughty-nine--that was
Killiecrankie year. But how hae they been keepit quiet, think ye? By
siller, Mr. Owen--by siller, Mr. Osbaldistone. King William caused
Breadalbane distribute twenty thousand oude punds sterling amang them,
and it's said the auld Hieland Earl keepit a lang lug o't in his ain
sporran. And then Queen Anne, that's dead, gae the chiefs bits o'
pensions, sae they had wherewith to support their gillies and caterans
that work nae wark, as I said afore; and they lay by quiet eneugh, saying
some spreagherie on the Lowlands, whilk is their use and wont, and some
cutting o' thrapples amang themsells, that nae civilised body kens or
cares onything anent.--Weel, but there's a new warld come up wi' this
King George (I say, God bless him, for ane)--there's neither like to be
siller nor pensions gaun amang them; they haena the means o' mainteening
the clans that eat them up, as ye may guess frae what I said before;
their credit's gane in the Lowlands; and a man that can whistle ye up a
thousand or feifteen hundred linking lads to do his will, wad hardly get
fifty punds on his band at the Cross o' Glasgow--This canna stand
lang--there will be an outbreak for the Stuarts--there will be an
outbreak--they will come down on the low country like a flood, as they
did in the waefu' wars o' Montrose, and that will be seen and heard tell
o' ere a twalmonth gangs round."

"Yet still," I said, "I do not see how this concerns Mr. Campbell, much
less my father's affairs."

"Rob can levy five hundred men, sir, and therefore war suld concern him
as muckle as maist folk," replied the Bailie; "for it is a faculty that
is far less profitable in time o' peace. Then, to tell ye the truth, I
doubt he has been the prime agent between some o' our Hieland chiefs and
the gentlemen in the north o' England. We a' heard o' the public money
that was taen frae the chield Morris somewhere about the fit o' Cheviot
by Rob and ane o' the Osbaldistone lads; and, to tell ye the truth, word
gaed that it was yoursell Mr. Francis,--and sorry was I that your
father's son suld hae taen to sic practices--Na, ye needna say a word
about it--I see weel I was mistaen; but I wad believe onything o' a
stage-player, whilk I concluded ye to be. But now, I doubtna, it has been
Rashleigh himself or some other o' your cousins--they are a' tarred wi'
the same stick--rank Jacobites and papists, and wad think the government
siller and government papers lawfu' prize. And the creature Morris is sic
a cowardly caitiff, that to this hour he daurna say that it was Rob took
the portmanteau aff him; and troth he's right, for your custom-house and
excise cattle are ill liket on a' sides, and Rob might get a back-handed
lick at him, before the Board, as they ca't, could help him."

"I have long suspected this, Mr. Jarvie," said I, "and perfectly agree
with you. But as to my father's affairs"--

"Suspected it?--it's certain--it's certain--I ken them that saw some of
the papers that were taen aff Morris--it's needless to say where. But to
your father's affairs--Ye maun think that in thae twenty years by-gane,
some o' the Hieland lairds and chiefs hae come to some sma' sense o'
their ain interest--your father and others hae bought the woods of
Glen-Disseries, Glen Kissoch, Tober-na-Kippoch, and mony mair besides,
and your father's house has granted large bills in payment,--and as the
credit o' Osbaldistone and Tresham was gude--for I'll say before Mr.
Owen's face, as I wad behind his back, that, bating misfortunes o' the
Lord's sending, nae men could be mair honourable in business--the Hieland
gentlemen, holders o' thae bills, hae found credit in Glasgow and
Edinburgh--(I might amaist say in Glasgow wholly, for it's little the
pridefu' Edinburgh folk do in real business)--for all, or the greater
part of the contents o' thae bills. So that--Aha! d'ye see me now?"

I confessed I could not quite follow his drift.

"Why," said he, "if these bills are not paid, the Glasgow merchant comes
on the Hieland lairds, whae hae deil a boddle o' siller, and will like
ill to spew up what is item a' spent--They will turn desperate--five
hundred will rise that might hae sitten at hame--the deil will gae ower
Jock Wabster--and the stopping of your father's house will hasten the
outbreak that's been sae lang biding us."

"You think, then," said I, surprised at this singular view of the case,
"that Rashleigh Osbaldistone has done this injury to my father, merely to
accelerate a rising in the Highlands, by distressing the gentlemen to whom
these bills were originally granted?"

"Doubtless--doubtless--it has been one main reason, Mr. Osbaldistone. I
doubtna but what the ready money he carried off wi' him might be another.
But that makes comparatively but a sma' part o' your father's loss,
though it might make the maist part o' Rashleigh's direct gain. The
assets he carried off are of nae mair use to him than if he were to light
his pipe wi' them. He tried if MacVittie & Co. wad gie him siller on
them--that I ken by Andro Wylie--but they were ower auld cats to draw
that strae afore them--they keepit aff, and gae fair words. Rashleigh
Osbaldistone is better ken'd than trusted in Glasgow, for he was here
about some jacobitical papistical troking in seventeen hundred and seven,
and left debt ahint him. Na, na--he canna pit aff the paper here; folk
will misdoubt him how he came by it. Na, na--he'll hae the stuff safe at
some o' their haulds in the Hielands, and I daur say my cousin Rob could
get at it gin he liked."

"But would he be disposed to serve us in this pinch, Mr. Jarvie?" said I.
"You have described him as an agent of the Jacobite party, and deeply
connected in their intrigues: will he be disposed for my sake, or, if you
please, for the sake of justice, to make an act of restitution, which,
supposing it in his power, would, according to your view of the case,
materially interfere with their plans?"

"I canna preceesely speak to that: the grandees among them are doubtfu'
o' Rob, and he's doubtfu' o' them.--And he's been weel friended wi' the
Argyle family, wha stand for the present model of government. If he was
freed o' his hornings and captions, he would rather be on Argyle's side
than he wad be on Breadalbane's, for there's auld ill-will between the
Breadalbane family and his kin and name. The truth is, that Rob is for
his ain hand, as Henry Wynd feught*--he'll take the side that suits him
best; if the deil was laird, Rob wad be for being tenant; and ye canna
blame him, puir fallow, considering his circumstances.

* Two great clans fought out a quarrel with thirty men of a side, in
presence ot the king, on the North Inch of Perth, on or about the year
1392; a man was amissing on one side, whose room was filled by a little
bandy-legged citizen of Perth. This substitute, Henry Wynd--or, as the
Highlanders called him, _Gow Chrom,_ that is, the bandy-legged
smith--fought well, and contributed greatly to the fate of the battle,
without knowing which side he fought on;--so, "To fight for your own
hand, like Henry Wynd," passed into a proverb. [This incident forms a
conspicuous part of the subsequent novel, "The Fair Maid of Perth."]

But there's ae thing sair again ye--Rob has a grey mear in his stable at
hame."

"A grey mare?" said I. "What is that to the purpose?"

"The wife, man--the wife,--an awfu' wife she is. She downa bide the sight
o' a kindly Scot, if he come frae the Lowlands, far less of an Inglisher,
and she'll be keen for a' that can set up King James, and ding down King
George."

"It is very singular," I replied, "that the mercantile transactions of
London citizens should become involved with revolutions and rebellions."

"Not at a', man--not at a'," returned Mr. Jarvie; "that's a' your silly
prejudications. I read whiles in the lang dark nights, and I hae read in
Baker's Chronicle* that the merchants o'London could gar the Bank of
Genoa break their promise to advance a mighty sum to the King o' Spain,
whereby the sailing of the Grand Spanish Armada was put aff for a haill
year--What think you of that, sir?"

* [_The Chronicle of the Kings of England,_ by Sir Richard Baker, with
continuations, passed through several editions between 1641 and 1733.
Whether any of them contain the passage alluded to is doubtful.]

"That the merchants did their country golden service, which ought to be
honourably remembered in our histories."

"I think sae too; and they wad do weel, and deserve weal baith o' the
state and o' humanity, that wad save three or four honest Hieland
gentlemen frae louping heads ower heels into destruction, wi' a' their
puir sackless* followers, just because they canna pay back the siller
they had reason to count upon as their ain--and save your father's
credit--and my ain gude siller that Osbaldistone and Tresham awes me into
the bargain.

* Sackless, that is, innocent.

I say, if ane could manage a' this, I think it suld be done and said unto
him, even if he were a puir ca'-the-shuttle body, as unto one whom the
king delighteth to honour."

"I cannot pretend to estimate the extent of public gratitude," I replied;
"but our own thankfulness, Mr. Jarvie, would be commensurate with the
extent of the obligation."

"Which," added Mr. Owen, "we would endeavour to balance with a _per
contra,_ the instant our Mr. Osbaldistone returns from Holland."

"I doubtna--I doubtna--he is a very worthy gentleman, and a sponsible,
and wi' some o' my lights might do muckle business in Scotland--Weel,
sir, if these assets could be redeemed out o' the hands o' the
Philistines, they are gude paper--they are the right stuff when they are
in the right hands, and that's yours, Mr. Owen. And I'se find ye three
men in Glasgow, for as little as ye may think o' us, Mr. Owen--that's
Sandie Steenson in the Trade's-Land, and John Pirie in Candleriggs, and
another that sall be nameless at this present, sall advance what soums
are sufficient to secure the credit of your house, and seek nae better
security."

Owen's eyes sparkled at this prospect of extrication; but his countenance
instantly fell on recollecting how improbable it was that the recovery of
the assets, as he technically called them, should be successfully
achieved.

"Dinna despair, sir--dinna despair," said Mr. Jarvie; "I hae taen sae
muckle concern wi' your affairs already, that it maun een be ower shoon
ower boots wi' me now. I am just like my father the deacon (praise be wi'
him!) I canna meddle wi' a friend's business, but I aye end wi' making it
my ain--Sae, I'll e'en pit on my boots the morn, and be jogging ower
Drymen Muir wi' Mr. Frank here; and if I canna mak Rob hear reason, and
his wife too, I dinna ken wha can--I hae been a kind freend to them afore
now, to say naething o' ower-looking him last night, when naming his name
wad hae cost him his life--I'll be hearing o' this in the council maybe
frae Bailie Grahame. and MacVittie, and some o' them. They hae coost up
my kindred to Rob to me already--set up their nashgabs! I tauld them I
wad vindicate nae man's faults; but set apart what he had done again the
law o' the country, and the hership o' the Lennox, and the misfortune o'
some folk losing life by him, he was an honester man than stood on ony o'
their shanks--And whatfor suld I mind their clavers? If Rob is an outlaw,
to himsell be it said--there is nae laws now about reset of
inter-communed persons, as there was in the ill times o' the last
Stuarts--I trow I hae a Scotch tongue in my head--if they speak, I'se
answer."

It was with great pleasure that I saw the Bailie gradually surmount the
barriers of caution, under the united influence of public spirit and
good-natured interest in our affairs, together with his natural wish to
avoid loss and acquire gain, and not a little harmless vanity. Through
the combined operation of these motives, he at length arrived at the
doughty resolution of taking the field in person, to aid in the recovery
of my father's property. His whole information led me to believe, that if
the papers were in possession of this Highland adventurer, it might be
possible to induce him to surrender what he could not keep with any
prospect of personal advantage; and I was conscious that the presence of
his kinsman was likely to have considerable weight with him. I therefore
cheerfully acquiesced in Mr. Jarvie's proposal that we should set out
early next morning.

That honest gentleman was indeed as vivacious and alert in preparing to
carry his purpose into execution, as he had been slow and cautious in
forming it. He roared to Mattie to "air his trot-cosey, to have his
jack-boots greased and set before the kitchen-fire all night, and to see
that his beast be corned, and a' his riding gear in order." Having agreed
to meet him at five o'clock next morning, and having settled that Owen,
whose presence could be of no use to us upon this expedition, should
await our return at Glasgow, we took a kind farewell of this unexpectedly
zealous friend. I installed Owen in an apartment in my lodgings,
contiguous to my own, and, giving orders to Andrew Fairservice to attend
me next morning at the hour appointed, I retired to rest with better
hopes than it had lately been my fortune to entertain.





CHAPTER TENTH.

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

It was in the bracing atmosphere of a harvest morning, that I met by
appointment Fairservice, with the horses, at the door of Mr. Jarvie's
house, which was but little space distant from Mrs. Flyter's hotel. The
first matter which caught my attention was, that whatever were the
deficiencies of the pony which Mr. Fairservice's legal adviser, Clerk
Touthope, generously bestowed upon him in exchange for Thorncliff's mare,
he had contrived to part with it, and procure in its stead an animal with
so curious and complete a lameness, that it seemed only to make use of
three legs for the purpose of progression, while the fourth appeared as
if meant to be flourished in the air by way of accompaniment. "What do
you mean by bringing such a creature as that here, sir? and where is the
pony you rode to Glasgow upon?" were my very natural and impatient
inquiries.

"I sell't it, sir. It was a slink beast, and wad hae eaten its head aff,
standing at Luckie Flyter's at livery. And I hae bought this on your
honour's account. It's a grand bargain--cost but a pund sterling the
foot--that's four a'thegither. The stringhalt will gae aff when it's gaen
a mile; it's a weel-ken'd ganger; they call it Souple Tam."

"On my soul, sir," said I, "you will never rest till my supple-jack and
your shoulders become acquainted, If you do not go instantly and procure
the other brute, you shall pay the penalty of your ingenuity."

Andrew, notwithstanding my threats, continued to battle the point, as he
said it would cost him a guinea of rue-bargain to the man who had bought
his pony, before he could get it back again. Like a true Englishman,
though sensible I was duped by the rascal, I was about to pay his
exaction rather than lose time, when forth sallied Mr. Jarvie, cloaked,
mantled, hooded, and booted, as if for a Siberian winter, while two
apprentices, under the immediate direction of Mattie, led forth the
decent ambling steed which had the honour on such occasions to support
the person of the Glasgow magistrate. Ere he "clombe to the saddle," an
expression more descriptive of the Bailie's mode of mounting than that of
the knights-errant to whom Spenser applies it, he inquired the cause of
the dispute betwixt my servant and me. Having learned the nature of
honest Andrew's manoeuvre he instantly cut short all debate, by
pronouncing, that if Fairservice did not forthwith return the
three-legged palfrey, and produce the more useful quadruped which he had
discarded, he would send him to prison, and amerce him in half his wages.
"Mr. Osbaldistone," said he, "contracted for the service of both your
horse and you--twa brutes at ance--ye unconscionable rascal!--but I'se
look weel after you during this journey."

"It will be nonsense fining me," said Andrew, doughtily, "that hasna a
grey groat to pay a fine wi'--it's ill taking the breeks aff a
Hielandman."

"If ye hae nae purse to fine, ye hae flesh to pine," replied the Bailie,
"and I will look weel to ye getting your deserts the tae way or the
tither."

To the commands of Mr. Jarvie, therefore, Andrew was compelled to submit,
only muttering between his teeth, "Ower mony maisters,--ower mony
maisters, as the paddock said to the harrow, when every tooth gae her a
tig."

Apparently he found no difficulty in getting rid of Supple Tam, and
recovering possession of his former Bucephalus, for he accomplished the
exchange without being many minutes absent; nor did I hear further of his
having paid any smart-money for breach of bargain.

We now set forward, but had not reached the top of the street in which
Mr. Jarvie dwelt, when a loud hallooing and breathless call of "Stop,
stop!" was heard behind us. We stopped accordingly, and were overtaken by
Mr. Jarvie's two lads, who bore two parting tokens of Mattie's care for
her master. The first was conveyed in the form of a voluminous silk
handkerchief, like the mainsail of one of his own West-Indiamen, which
Mrs. Mattie particularly desired he would put about his neck, and which,
thus entreated, he added to his other integuments. The second youngster
brought only a verbal charge (I thought I saw the rogue disposed to laugh
as he delivered it) on the part of the housekeeper, that her master would
take care of the waters. "Pooh! pooh! silly hussy," answered Mr. Jarvie;
but added, turning to me, "it shows a kind heart though--it shows a kind
heart in sae young a quean--Mattie's a carefu' lass." So speaking, he
pricked the sides of his palfrey, and we left the town without farther
interruption.

While we paced easily forward, by a road which conducted us
north-eastward from the town, I had an opportunity to estimate and admire
the good qualities of my new friend. Although, like my father, he
considered commercial transactions the most important objects of human
life, he was not wedded to them so as to undervalue more general
knowledge. On the contrary, with much oddity and vulgarity of
manner,--with a vanity which he made much more ridiculous by disguising
it now and then under a thin veil of humility, and devoid as he was of
all the advantages of a learned education, Mr. Jarvie's conversation
showed tokens of a shrewd, observing, liberal, and, to the extent of its
opportunities, a well-improved mind. He was a good local antiquary, and
entertained me, as we passed along, with an account of remarkable events
which had formerly taken place in the scenes through which we passed.
And as he was well acquainted with the ancient history of his district,
he saw with the prospective eye of an enlightened patriot, the buds of
many of those future advantages which have only blossomed and ripened
within these few years. I remarked also, and with great pleasure, that
although a keen Scotchman, and abundantly zealous for the honour of his
country, he was disposed to think liberally of the sister kingdom. When
Andrew Fairservice (whom, by the way, the Bailie could not abide) chose
to impute the accident of one of the horses casting his shoe to the
deteriorating influence of the Union, he incurred a severe rebuke from
Mr. Jarvie.

"Whisht, sir!--whisht! it's ill-scraped tongues like yours, that make
mischief atween neighbourhoods and nations. There's naething sae gude on
this side o' time but it might hae been better, and that may be said o'
the Union. Nane were keener against it than the Glasgow folk, wi' their
rabblings and their risings, and their mobs, as they ca' them now-a-days.
But it's an ill wind blaws naebody gude--Let ilka ane roose the ford as
they find it--I say let Glasgow flourish! whilk is judiciously and
elegantly putten round the town's arms, by way of by-word.--Now, since
St. Mungo catched herrings in the Clyde, what was ever like to gar us
flourish like the sugar and tobacco trade? Will onybody tell me that, and
grumble at the treaty that opened us a road west-awa' yonder?"

Andrew Fairservice was far from acquiescing in these arguments of
expedience, and even ventured to enter a grumbling protest, "That it was
an unco change to hae Scotland's laws made in England; and that, for his
share, he wadna for a' the herring-barrels in Glasgow, and a' the
tobacco-casks to boot, hae gien up the riding o' the Scots Parliament, or
sent awa' our crown, and our sword, and our sceptre, and Mons Meg,* to be
keepit by thae English pock-puddings in the Tower o' Lunnon.

* Note G. Mons Meg.

What wad Sir William Wallace, or auld Davie Lindsay, hae said to the
Union, or them that made it?"

The road which we travelled, while diverting the way with these
discussions, had become wild and open, as soon as we had left Glasgow a
mile or two behind us, and was growing more dreary as we advanced. Huge
continuous heaths spread before, behind, and around us, in hopeless
barrenness--now level and interspersed with swamps, green with
treacherous verdure, or sable with turf, or, as they call them in
Scotland, peat-bogs,--and now swelling into huge heavy ascents, which
wanted the dignity and form of hills, while they were still more toilsome
to the passenger. There were neither trees nor bushes to relieve the eye
from the russet livery of absolute sterility. The very heath was of that
stinted imperfect kind which has little or no flower, and affords the
coarsest and meanest covering, which, as far as my experience enables me
to judge, mother Earth is ever arrayed in. Living thing we saw none,
except occasionally a few straggling sheep of a strange diversity of
colours, as black, bluish, and orange. The sable hue predominated,
however, in their faces and legs. The very birds seemed to shun these
wastes, and no wonder, since they had an easy method of escaping from
them;--at least I only heard the monotonous and plaintive cries of the
lapwing and curlew, which my companions denominated the peasweep and
whaup.

At dinner, however, which we took about noon, at a most miserable
alehouse, we had the good fortune to find that these tiresome screamers
of the morass were not the only inhabitants of the moors. The goodwife
told us, that "the gudeman had been at the hill;" and well for us that he
had been so, for we enjoyed the produce of his _chasse_ in the shape of
some broiled moor-game,--a dish which gallantly eked out the ewe-milk
cheese, dried salmon, and oaten bread, being all besides that the house
afforded. Some very indifferent two-penny ale, and a glass of excellent
brandy, crowned our repast; and as our horses had, in the meantime,
discussed their corn, we resumed our journey with renovated vigour.

I had need of all the spirits a good dinner could give, to resist the
dejection which crept insensibly on my mind, when I combined the strange
uncertainty of my errand with the disconsolate aspect of the country
through which it was leading me. Our road continued to be, if possible,
more waste and wild than that we had travelled in the forenoon. The few
miserable hovels that showed some marks of human habitation, were now of
still rarer occurrence; and at length, as we began to ascend an
uninterrupted swell of moorland, they totally disappeared. The only
exercise which my imagination received was, when some particular turn of
the road gave us a partial view, to the left, of a large assemblage of
dark-blue mountains stretching to the north and north-west, which
promised to include within their recesses a country as wild perhaps, but
certainly differing greatly in point of interest, from that which we now
travelled. The peaks of this screen of mountains were as wildly varied
and distinguished, as the hills which we had seen on the right were tame
and lumpish; and while I gazed on this Alpine region, I felt a longing to
explore its recesses, though accompanied with toil and danger, similar to
that which a sailor feels when he wishes for the risks and animation of a
battle or a gale, in exchange for the insupportable monotony of a
protracted calm. I made various inquiries of my friend Mr. Jarvie
respecting the names and positions of these remarkable mountains; but it
was a subject on which he had no information, or did not choose to be
communicative. "They're the Hieland hills--the Hieland hills--Ye'll see
and hear eneugh about them before ye see Glasgow Cross again--I downa
look at them--I never see them but they gar me grew. It's no for fear--no
for fear, but just for grief, for the puir blinded half-starved creatures
that inhabit them--but say nae mair about it--it's ill speaking o'
Hielandmen sae near the line. I hae ken'd mony an honest man wadna hae
ventured this length without he had made his last will and
testament--Mattie had ill-will to see me set awa' on this ride, and grat
awee, the sillie tawpie; but it's nae mair ferlie to see a woman greet
than to see a goose gang barefit."

I next attempted to lead the discourse on the character and history of
the person whom we were going to visit; but on this topic Mr. Jarvie was
totally inaccessible, owing perhaps in part to the attendance of Mr.
Andrew Fairservice, who chose to keep so close in our rear that his ears
could not fail to catch every word which was spoken, while his tongue
assumed the freedom of mingling in our conversation as often as he saw an
opportunity. For this he occasionally incurred Mr. Jarvie's reproof.

"Keep back, sir, as best sets ye," said the Bailie, as Andrew pressed
forward to catch the answer to some question I had asked about Campbell.
--"ye wad fain ride the fore-horse, an ye wist how.--That chield's aye
for being out o' the cheese-fat he was moulded in.--Now, as for your
questions, Mr. Osbaldistone, now that chield's out of ear-shot, I'll just
tell you it's free to you to speer, and it's free to me to answer, or
no--Gude I canna say muckle o' Rob, puir chield; ill I winna say o' him,
for, forby that he's my cousin, we're coming near his ain country, and
there may be ane o' his gillies ahint every whin-bush, for what I
ken--And if ye'll be guided by my advice, the less ye speak about him, or
where we are gaun, or what we are gaun to do, we'll be the mair likely to
speed us in our errand. For it's like we may fa' in wi' some o' his
unfreends--there are e'en ower mony o' them about--and his bonnet sits
even on his brow yet for a' that; but I doubt they'll be upsides wi' Rob
at the last--air day or late day, the fox's hide finds aye the flaying
knife."

"I will certainly," I replied, "be entirely guided by your experience."

"Right, Mr. Osbaldistone--right. But I maun speak to this gabbling skyte
too, for bairns and fules speak at the Cross what they hear at the
ingle-side.--D'ye hear, you, Andrew--what's your name?--Fairservice!"

Andrew, who at the last rebuff had fallen a good way behind, did not
choose to acknowledge the summons.

"Andrew, ye scoundrel!" repeated Mr. Jarvie; "here, sir here!"

"Here is for the dog." said Andrew, coming up sulkily.

"I'll gie you dog's wages, ye rascal, if ye dinna attend to what I say
t'ye--We are gaun into the Hielands a bit"--

"I judged as muckle," said Andrew.

"Haud your peace, ye knave, and hear what I have to say till ye--We are
gaun a bit into the Hielands"--

"Ye tauld me sae already," replied the incorrigible Andrew.

"I'll break your head," said the Bailie, rising in wrath, "if ye dinna
haud your tongue."

"A hadden tongue," replied Andrew, "makes a slabbered mouth."

It was now necessary I should interfere, which I did by commanding
Andrew, with an authoritative tone, to be silent at his peril.

"I am silent," said Andrew. "I'se do a' your lawfu' bidding without a
nay-say. My puir mother used aye to tell me,

                      Be it better, be it worse,
                      Be ruled by him that has the purse.

Sae ye may e'en speak as lang as ye like, baith the tane and the tither
o' you, for Andrew."

Mr. Jarvie took the advantage of his stopping after quoting the above
proverb, to give him the requisite instructions. "Now, sir, it's as
muckle as your life's worth--that wad be dear o' little siller, to be
sure--but it is as muckle as a' our lives are worth, if ye dinna mind
what I sae to ye. In this public whar we are gaun to, and whar it is like
we may hae to stay a' night, men o' a' clans and kindred--Hieland and
Lawland--tak up their quarters--And whiles there are mair drawn dirks
than open Bibles amang them, when the usquebaugh gets uppermost. See ye
neither meddle nor mak, nor gie nae offence wi' that clavering tongue o'
yours, but keep a calm sough, and let ilka cock fight his ain battle."

"Muckle needs to tell me that," said Andrew, contemptuously, "as if I had
never seen a Hielandman before, and ken'd nae how to manage them. Nae man
alive can cuitle up Donald better than mysell--I hae bought wi' them,
sauld wi' them, eaten wi' them, drucken wi' them"--

"Did ye ever fight wi' them?" said Mr. Jarvie.

"Na, na," answered Andrew, "I took care o' that: it wad ill hae set me,
that am an artist and half a scholar to my trade, to be fighting amang a
wheen kilted loons that dinna ken the name o' a single herb or flower in
braid Scots, let abee in the Latin tongue."

"Then," said Mr. Jarvie, "as ye wad keep either your tongue in your
mouth, or your lugs in your head (and ye might miss them, for as saucy
members as they are), I charge ye to say nae word, gude or bad, that ye
can weel get by, to onybody that may be in the Clachan. And ye'll
specially understand that ye're no to be bleezing and blasting about your
master's name and mine, or saying that this is Mr. Bailie Nicol Jarvie o'
the Saut Market, son o' the worthy Deacon Nicol Jarvie, that a' body has
heard about; and this is Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, son of the managing
partner of the great house of Osbaldistone and Tresham, in the City."

"Eneueh said," answered Andrew--"eneueh said. What need ye think I wad be
speaking about your names for?--I hae mony things o' mair importance to
speak about, I trow."

"It's thae very things of importance that I am feared for, ye blethering
goose; ye maunna speak ony thing, gude or bad, that ye can by any
possibility help."

"If ye dinna think me fit," replied Andrew, in a huff, "to speak like
ither folk, gie me my wages and my board-wages, and I'se gae back to
Glasgow--There's sma' sorrow at our parting, as the auld mear said to the
broken cart."

Finding Andrew's perverseness again rising to a point which threatened to
occasion me inconvenience, I was under the necessity of explaining to
him, that he might return if he thought proper, but that in that case I
would not pay him a single farthing for his past services. The argument
_ad crumenam,_ as it has been called by jocular logicians, has weight
with the greater part of mankind, and Andrew was in that particular far
from affecting any trick of singularity. He "drew in his horns," to use
the Bailie's phrase, on the instant, professed no intention whatever to
disoblige, and a resolution to be guided by my commands, whatever they
might be.

Concord being thus happily restored to our small party, we continued to
pursue our journey. The road, which had ascended for six or seven English
miles, began now to descend for about the same space, through a country
which neither in fertility nor interest could boast any advantage over
that which we had passed already, and which afforded no variety, unless
when some tremendous peak of a Highland mountain appeared at a distance.
We continued, however, to ride on without pause and even when night fell
and overshadowed the desolate wilds which we traversed, we were, as I
understood from Mr. Jarvie, still three miles and a bittock distant from
the place where we were to spend the night.





CHAPTER ELEVENTH.

                          Baron of Bucklivie,
                       May the foul fiend drive ye,
                          And a' to pieces rive ye,
                          For building sic a town,
                       Where there's neither horse meat,
                          Nor man's meat,
                       Nor a chair to sit down.
                                Scottish Popular Rhymes on a bad Inn.

The night was pleasant, and the moon afforded us good light for our
journey. Under her rays, the ground over which we passed assumed a more
interesting appearance than during the broad daylight, which discovered
the extent of its wasteness. The mingled light and shadows gave it an
interest which naturally did not belong to it; and, like the effect of a
veil flung over a plain woman, irritated our curiosity on a subject which
had in itself nothing gratifying.

The descent, however, still continued, turned, winded, left the more open
heaths, and got into steeper ravines, which promised soon to lead us to
the banks of some brook or river, and ultimately made good their presage.
We found ourselves at length on the bank of a stream, which rather
resembled one of my native English rivers than those I had hitherto seen
in Scotland. It was narrow, deep, still, and silent; although the
imperfect light, as it gleamed on its placid waters, showed also that we
were now among the lofty mountains which formed its cradle. "That's the
Forth," said the Bailie, with an air of reverence, which I have observed
the Scotch usually pay to their distinguished rivers. The Clyde, the
Tweed, the Forth, the Spey, are usually named by those who dwell on their
banks with a sort of respect and pride, and I have known duels occasioned
by any word of disparagement. I cannot say I have the least quarrel with
this sort of harmless enthusiasm. I received my friend's communication
with the importance which he seemed to think appertained to it. In fact,
I was not a little pleased, after so long and dull a journey, to approach
a region which promised to engage the imagination. My faithful squire,
Andrew, did not seem to be quite of the same opinion, for he received the
solemn information, "That is the Forth," with a "Umph!--an he had said
that's the public-house, it wad hae been mair to the purpose."

The Forth, however, as far as the imperfect light permitted me to judge,
seemed to merit the admiration of those who claimed an interest in its
stream. A beautiful eminence of the most regular round shape, and clothed
with copsewood of hazels, mountain-ash, and dwarf-oak, intermixed with a
few magnificent old trees, which, rising above the underwood, exposed
their forked and bared branches to the silver moonshine, seemed to
protect the sources from which the river sprung. If I could trust the
tale of my companion, which, while professing to disbelieve every word of
it, he told under his breath, and with an air of something like
intimidation, this hill, so regularly formed, so richly verdant, and
garlanded with such a beautiful variety of ancient trees and thriving
copsewood, was held by the neighbourhood to contain, within its unseen
caverns, the palaces of the fairies--a race of airy beings, who formed an
intermediate class between men and demons, and who, if not positively
malignant to humanity, were yet to be avoided and feared, on account of
their capricious, vindictive, and irritable disposition.*

* Note H. Fairy Superstition.

"They ca' them," said Mr. Jarvie, in a whisper, "_Daoine Schie,_--whilk
signifies, as I understand, men of peace; meaning thereby to make their
gudewill. And we may e'en as weel ca' them that too, Mr. Osbaldistone,
for there's nae gude in speaking ill o' the laird within his ain bounds."
But he added presently after, on seeing one or two lights which twinkled
before us, "It's deceits o' Satan, after a', and I fearna to say it--for
we are near the manse now, and yonder are the lights in the Clachan of
Aberfoil."

I own I was well pleased at the circumstance to which Mr. Jarvie alluded;
not so much that it set his tongue at liberty, in his opinion, with all
safety to declare his real sentiments with respect to the _Daoine Schie,_
or fairies, as that it promised some hours' repose to ourselves and our
horses, of which, after a ride of fifty miles and upwards, both stood in
some need.

We crossed the infant Forth by an old-fashioned stone bridge, very high
and very narrow. My conductor, however, informed me, that to get through
this deep and important stream, and to clear all its tributary
dependencies, the general pass from the Highlands to the southward lay by
what was called the Fords of Frew, at all times deep and difficult of
passage, and often altogether unfordable. Beneath these fords, there was
no pass of general resort until so far east as the bridge of Stirling; so
that the river of Forth forms a defensible line between the Highlands and
Lowlands of Scotland, from its source nearly to the Firth, or inlet of
the ocean, in which it terminates. The subsequent events which we
witnessed led me to recall with attention what the shrewdness of Bailie
Jarvie suggested in his proverbial expression, that "Forth bridles the
wild Highlandman."

About half a mile's riding, after we crossed the bridge, placed us at the
door of the public-house where we were to pass the evening. It was a
hovel rather worse than better than that in which we had dined; but its
little windows were lighted up, voices were heard from within, and all
intimated a prospect of food and shelter, to which we were by no means
indifferent. Andrew was the first to observe that there was a peeled
willow-wand placed across the half-open door of the little inn. He hung
back and advised us not to enter. "For," said Andrew, "some of their
chiefs and grit men are birling at the usquebaugh in by there, and dinna
want to be disturbed; and the least we'll get, if we gang ramstam in on
them, will be a broken head, to learn us better havings, if we dinna come
by the length of a cauld dirk in our wame, whilk is just as likely."

I looked at the Bailie, who acknowledged, in a whisper, "that the gowk
had some reason for singing, ance in the year."

Meantime a staring half-clad wench or two came out of the inn and the
neighbouring cottages, on hearing the sound of our horses' feet. No one
bade us welcome, nor did any one offer to take our horses, from which we
had alighted; and to our various inquiries, the hopeless response of "Ha
niel Sassenach," was the only answer we could extract. The Bailie,
however, found (in his experience) a way to make them speak English. "If
I gie ye a bawbee," said he to an urchin of about ten years old, with a
fragment of a tattered plaid about him, "will you understand Sassenach?"

"Ay, ay, that will I," replied the brat, in very decent English. "Then
gang and tell your mammy, my man, there's twa Sassenach gentlemen come to
speak wi' her."

The landlady presently appeared, with a lighted piece of split fir
blazing in her hand. The turpentine in this species of torch (which is
generally dug from out the turf-bogs) makes it blaze and sparkle readily,
so that it is often used in the Highlands in lieu of candles. On this
occasion such a torch illuminated the wild and anxious features of a
female, pale, thin, and rather above the usual size, whose soiled and
ragged dress, though aided by a plaid or tartan screen, barely served the
purposes of decency, and certainly not those of comfort. Her black hair,
which escaped in uncombed elf-locks from under her coif, as well as the
strange and embarrassed look with which she regarded us, gave me the idea
of a witch disturbed in the midst of her unlawful rites. She plainly
refused to admit us into the house. We remonstrated anxiously, and
pleaded the length of our journey, the state of our horses, and the
certainty that there was not another place where we could be received
nearer than Callander, which the Bailie stated to be seven Scots miles
distant. How many these may exactly amount to in English measurement, I
have never been able to ascertain, but I think the double _ratio_ may be
pretty safely taken as a medium computation. The obdurate hostess treated
our expostulation with contempt. "Better gang farther than fare waur,"
she said, speaking the Scottish Lowland dialect, and being indeed a
native of the Lennox district--"Her house was taen up wi' them wadna like
to be intruded on wi' strangers. She didna ken wha mair might be
there--red-coats, it might be, frae the garrison." (These last words she
spoke under her breath, and with very strong emphasis.) "The night," she
said, "was fair abune head--a night amang the heather wad caller our
bloods--we might sleep in our claes, as mony a gude blade does in the
scabbard--there wasna muckle flowmoss in the shaw, if we took up our
quarters right, and we might pit up our horses to the hill, naebody wad
say naething against it."

"But, my good woman," said I, while the Bailie groaned and remained
undecided, "it is six hours since we dined, and we have not taken a
morsel since. I am positively dying with hunger, and I have no taste for
taking up my abode supperless among these mountains of yours. I
positively must enter; and make the best apology you can to your guests
for adding a stranger or two to their number. Andrew, you will see the
horses put up."

The Hecate looked at me with surprise, and then ejaculated--"A wilfu' man
will hae his way--them that will to Cupar maun to Cupar!--To see thae
English belly-gods! he has had ae fu' meal the day already, and he'll
venture life and liberty, rather than he'll want a het supper! Set
roasted beef and pudding on the opposite side o' the pit o' Tophet, and
an Englishman will mak a spang at it--But I wash my hands o't--Follow me
sir" (to Andrew), "and I'se show ye where to pit the beasts."

I own I was somewhat dismayed at my landlady's expressions, which seemed
to be ominous of some approaching danger. I did not, however, choose to
shrink back after having declared my resolution, and accordingly I boldly
entered the house; and after narrowly escaping breaking my shins over a
turf back and a salting tub, which stood on either side of the narrow
exterior passage, I opened a crazy half-decayed door, constructed not of
plank, but of wicker, and, followed by the Bailie, entered into the
principal apartment of this Scottish caravansary.

The interior presented a view which seemed singular enough to southern
eyes. The fire, fed with blazing turf and branches of dried wood, blazed
merrily in the centre; but the smoke, having no means to escape but
through a hole in the roof, eddied round the rafters of the cottage, and
hung in sable folds at the height of about five feet from the floor. The
space beneath was kept pretty clear by innumerable currents of air which
rushed towards the fire from the broken panel of basket-work which served
as a door--from two square holes, designed as ostensible windows, through
one of which was thrust a plaid, and through the other a tattered
great-coat--and moreover, through various less distinguishable apertures
in the walls of the tenement, which, being built of round stones and
turf, cemented by mud, let in the atmosphere at innumerable crevices.

At an old oaken table, adjoining to the fire, sat three men, guests
apparently, whom it was impossible to regard with indifference. Two were
in the Highland dress; the one, a little dark-complexioned man, with a
lively, quick, and irritable expression of features, wore the trews, or
close pantaloons wove out of a sort of chequered stocking stuff. The
Bailie whispered me, that "he behoved to be a man of some consequence,
for that naebody but their Duinhe'wassels wore the trews--they were ill
to weave exactly to their Highland pleasure."

The other mountaineer was a very tall, strong man, with a quantity of
reddish hair, freckled face, high cheek-bones, and long chin--a sort of
caricature of the national features of Scotland. The tartan which he wore
differed from that of his companion, as it had much more scarlet in it,
whereas the shades of black and dark-green predominated in the chequers
of the other. The third, who sate at the same table, was in the Lowland
dress,--a bold, stout-looking man, with a cast of military daring in his
eye and manner, his riding-dress showily and profusely laced, and his
cocked hat of formidable dimensions. His hanger and a pair of pistols lay
on the table before him. Each of the Highlanders had their naked dirks
stuck upright in the board beside him,--an emblem, I was afterwards
informed, but surely a strange one, that their computation was not to be
interrupted by any brawl. A mighty pewter measure, containing about an
English quart of usquebaugh, a liquor nearly as strong as brandy, which
the Highlanders distil from malt, and drink undiluted in excessive
quantities, was placed before these worthies. A broken glass, with a
wooden foot, served as a drinking cup to the whole party, and circulated
with a rapidity, which, considering the potency of the liquor, seemed
absolutely marvellous. These men spoke loudly and eagerly together,
sometimes in Gaelic, at other times in English. Another Highlander, wrapt
in his plaid, reclined on the floor, his head resting on a stone, from
which it was only separated by a wisp of straw, and slept or seemed to
sleep, without attending to what was going on around him, He also was
probably a stranger, for he lay in full dress, and accoutred with the
sword and target, the usual arms of his countrymen when on a journey.
Cribs there were of different dimensions beside the walls, formed, some
of fractured boards, some of shattered wicker-work or plaited boughs, in
which slumbered the family of the house, men, women, and children, their
places of repose only concealed by the dusky wreaths of vapour which
arose above, below, and around them.

Our entrance was made so quietly, and the carousers I have described were
so eagerly engaged in their discussions, that we escaped their notice for
a minute or two. But I observed the Highlander who lay beside the fire
raise himself on his elbow as we entered, and, drawing his plaid over the
lower part of his face, fix his look on us for a few seconds, after which
he resumed his recumbent posture, and seemed again to betake himself to
the repose which our entrance had interrupted,

We advanced to the fire, which was an agreeable spectacle after our late
ride, during the chillness of an autumn evening among the mountains, and
first attracted the attention of the guests who had preceded us, by
calling for the landlady. She approached, looking doubtfully and timidly,
now at us, now at the other party, and returned a hesitating and doubtful
answer to our request to have something to eat.

"She didna ken," she said, "she wasna sure there was onything in the
house," and then modified her refusal with the qualification--"that is,
onything fit for the like of us."

I assured her we were indifferent to the quality of our supper; and
looking round for the means of accommodation, which were not easily to be
found, I arranged an old hen-coop as a seat for Mr. Jarvie, and turned
down a broken tub to serve for my own. Andrew Fairservice entered
presently afterwards, and took a place in silence behind our backs. The
natives, as I may call them, continued staring at us with an air as if
confounded by our assurance, and we, at least I myself, disguised as well
as we could, under an appearance of indifference, any secret anxiety we
might feel concerning the mode in which we were to be received by those
whose privacy we had disturbed.

At length, the lesser Highlander, addressing himself to me said, in very
good English, and in a tone of great haughtiness, "Ye make yourself at
home, sir, I see."

"I usually do so," I replied, "when I come into a house of public
entertainment."

"And did she na see," said the taller man, "by the white wand at the
door, that gentlemans had taken up the public-house on their ain
business?"

"I do not pretend to understand the customs of this country but I am yet
to learn," I replied, "how three persons should be entitled to exclude
all other travellers from the only place of shelter and refreshment for
miles round."

"There's nae reason for't, gentlemen," said the Bailie; "we mean nae
offence--but there's neither law nor reason for't; but as far as a stoup
o' gude brandy wad make up the quarrel, we, being peaceable folk, wad be
willing."

"Damn your brandy, sir!" said the Lowlander, adjusting his cocked hat
fiercely upon his head; "we desire neither your brandy nor your company,"
and up he rose from his seat. His companions also arose, muttering to
each other, drawing up their plaids, and snorting and snuffing the air
after the mariner of their countrymen when working themselves into a
passion.

"I tauld ye what wad come, gentlemen," said the landlady, "an ye wad hae
been tauld:--get awa' wi' ye out o' my house, and make nae disturbance
here--there's nae gentleman be disturbed at Jeanie MacAlpine's an she can
hinder. A wheen idle English loons, gaun about the country under cloud o'
night, and disturbing honest peaceable gentlemen that are drinking their
drap drink at the fireside!"

At another time I should have thought of the old Latin adage,


"Dat veniam corvis, vexat censure columbas"--

But I had not any time for classical quotation, for there was obviously a
fray about to ensue, at which, feeling myself indiginant at the
inhospitable insolence with which I was treated, I was totally
indifferent, unless on the Bailie's account, whose person and qualities
were ill qualified for such an adventure. I started up, however, on
seeing the others rise, and dropped my. cloak from my shoulders, that I
might be ready to stand on the defensive.

"We are three to three," said the lesser Highlander, glancing his eyes at
our party: "if ye be pretty men, draw!" and unsheathing his broadsword,
he advanced on me. I put myself in a posture of defence, and aware of the
superiority of my weapon, a rapier or small-sword, was little afraid of
the issue of the contest. The Bailie behaved with unexpected mettle. As
he saw the gigantic Highlander confront him with his weapon drawn, he
tugged for a second or two at the hilt of his _shabble,_ as he called it;
but finding it loth to quit the sheath, to which it had long been secured
by rust and disuse, he seized, as a substitute, on the red-hot coulter of
a plough which had been employed in arranging the fire by way of a poker,
and brandished it with such effect, that at the first pass he set the
Highlander's plaid on fire, and compelled him to keep a respectful
distance till he could get it extinguished. Andrew, on the contrary, who
ought to have faced the Lowland champion, had, I grieve to say it,
vanished at the very commencement of the fray. But his antagonist, crying
"Fair play, fair play!" seemed courteously disposed to take no share in
the scuffle. Thus we commenced our rencontre on fair terms as to numbers.
My own aim was, to possess myself, if possible, of my antagonist's
weapon; but I was deterred from closing, for fear of the dirk which he
held in his left hand, and used in parrying the thrusts of my rapier.
Meantime the Bailie, notwithstanding the success of his first onset, was
sorely bested. The weight of his weapon, the corpulence of his person,
the very effervescence of his own passions, were rapidly exhausting both
his strength and his breath, and he was almost at the mercy of his
antagonist, when up started the sleeping Highlander from the floor on
which he reclined, with his naked sword and target in his hand, and threw
himself between the discomfited magistrate and his assailant, exclaiming,
"Her nainsell has eaten the town pread at the Cross o' Glasgow, and py
her troth she'll fight for Bailie Sharvie at the Clachan of Aberfoil--tat
will she e'en!" And seconding his words with deeds, this unexpected
auxiliary made his sword whistle about the ears of his tall countryman,
who, nothing abashed, returned his blows with interest. But being both
accoutred with round targets made of wood, studded with brass, and
covered with leather, with which they readily parried each other's
strokes, their combat was attended with much more noise and clatter than
serious risk of damage. It appeared, indeed, that there was more of
bravado than of serious attempt to do us any injury; for the Lowland
gentleman, who, as I mentioned, had stood aside for want of an antagonist
when the brawl commenced, was now pleased to act the part of moderator
and peacemaker.


[Illustration: Fray at Jeannie MacAlpine's--154]


"Hand your hands! haud your hands!--eneugh done!--eneugh done! the
quarrel's no mortal. The strange gentlemen have shown themselves men of
honour, and gien reasonable satisfaction. I'll stand on mine honour as
kittle as ony man, but I hate unnecessary bloodshed."

It was not, of course, my wish to protract the fray--my adversary seemed
equally disposed to sheathe his sword--the Bailie, gasping for breath,
might be considered as _hors de combat,_ and our two sword-and-buckler
men gave up their contest with as much indifference as they had entered
into it.

"And now," said the worthy gentleman who acted as umpire, "let us drink
and gree like honest fellows--The house will haud us a'. I propose that
this good little gentleman, that seems sair forfoughen, as I may say, in
this tuilzie, shall send for a tass o' brandy and I'll pay for another,
by way of archilowe,* and then we'll birl our bawbees a' round about,
like brethren."

"And fa's to pay my new ponnie plaid," said the larger Highlander, "wi' a
hole burnt in't ane might put a kail-pat through? Saw ever onybody a
decent gentleman fight wi' a firebrand before?"

"Let that be nae hinderance," said the Bailie, who had now recovered his
breath, and was at once disposed to enjoy the triumph of having behaved
with spirit, and avoid the necessity of again resorting to such hard and
doubtful arbitrament--"Gin I hae broken the head," he said, "I sall find
the plaister. A new plaid sall ye hae, and o' the best--your ain
clan-colours, man,--an ye will tell me where it can be sent t'ye frae
Glasco."

"I needna name my clan--I am of a king's clan, as is weel ken'd," said
the Highlander; "but ye may tak a bit o' the plaid--figh! she smells like
a singit sheep's head!--and that'll learn ye the sett--and a gentleman,
that's a cousin o' my ain, that carries eggs doun frae Glencroe, will ca'
for't about Martimas, an ye will tell her where ye bide. But, honest
gentleman, neist time ye fight, an ye hae ony respect for your
athversary, let it be wi' your sword, man, since ye wear ane, and no wi'
thae het culters and fireprands, like a wild Indian."

"Conscience!" replied the Bailie, "every man maun do as he dow. My sword
hasna seen the light since Bothwell Brigg, when my father that's dead and
gane, ware it; and I kenna weel if it was forthcoming then either, for
the battle was o' the briefest--At ony rate, it's glued to the scabbard
now beyond my power to part them; and, finding that, I e'en grippit at
the first thing I could make a fend wi'. I trow my fighting days is done,
though I like ill to take the scorn, for a' that.--But where's the honest
lad that tuik my quarrel on himself sae frankly?--I'se bestow a gill o'
aquavitae on him, an I suld never ca' for anither."

* Archilowe, of unknown derivation, signifies a peace-offering.

The champion for whom he looked around was, however, no longer to be
seen. He had escaped unobserved by the Bailie, immediately when the brawl
was ended, yet not before I had recognised, in his wild features and
shaggy red hair, our acquaintance Dougal, the fugitive turnkey of the
Glasgow jail. I communicated this observation in a whisper to the Bailie,
who answered in the same tone, "Weel, weel,--I see that him that ye ken
o' said very right; there _is_ some glimmering o' common sense about that
creature Dougal; I maun see and think o' something will do him some
gude."

Thus saying, he sat down, and fetching one or two deep aspirations, by
way of recovering his breath, called to the landlady--"I think, Luckie,
now that I find that there's nae hole in my wame, whilk I had muckle
reason to doubt frae the doings o' your house, I wad be the better o'
something to pit intill't."

The dame, who was all officiousness so soon as the storm had blown over,
immediately undertook to broil something comfortable for our supper.
Indeed, nothing surprised me more, in the course of the whole matter,
than the extreme calmness with which she and her household seemed to
regard the martial tumult that had taken place. The good woman was only
heard to call to some of her assistants--"Steek the door! steek the door!
kill or be killed, let naebody pass out till they hae paid the lawin."
And as for the slumberers in those lairs by the wall, which served the
family for beds, they only raised their shirtless bodies to look at the
fray, ejaculated, "Oigh! oigh!" in the tone suitable to their respective
sex and ages, and were, I believe, fast asleep again, ere our swords were
well returned to their scabbards.

Our landlady, however, now made a great bustle to get some victuals
ready, and, to my surprise, very soon began to prepare for us in the
frying-pan a savoury mess of venison collops, which she dressed in a
manner that might well satisfy hungry men, if not epicures. In the
meantime the brandy was placed on the table, to which the Highlanders,
however partial to their native strong waters, showed no objection, but
much the contrary; and the Lowland gentleman, after the first cup had
passed round, became desirous to know our profession, and the object of
our journey.

"We are bits o' Glasgow bodies, if it please your honour," said the
Bailie, with an affectation of great humility, "travelling to Stirling to
get in some siller that is awing us."

I was so silly as to feel a little disconcerted at the unassuming account
which he chose to give of us; but I recollected my promise to be silent,
and allow the Bailie to manage the matter his own way. And really, when I
recollected, Will, that I had not only brought the honest man a long
journey from home, which even in itself had been some inconvenience (if I
were to judge from the obvious pain and reluctance with which he took his
seat, or arose from it), but had also put him within a hair's-breadth of
the loss of his life, I could hardly refuse him such a compliment. The
spokesman of the other party, snuffing up his breath through his nose,
repeated the words with a sort of sneer;--"You Glasgow tradesfolks hae
naething to do but to gang frae the tae end o' the west o' Scotland to
the ither, to plague honest folks that may chance to be awee ahint the
hand, like me."

"If our debtors were a' sic honest gentlemen as I believe you to be,
Garschattachin," replied the Bailie, "conscience! we might save ourselves
a labour, for they wad come to seek us."

"Eh! what! how!" exclaimed the person whom he had addressed,--"as I shall
live by bread (not forgetting beef and brandy), it's my auld friend Nicol
Jarvie, the best man that ever counted doun merks on a band till a
distressed gentleman. Were ye na coming up my way?--were ye na coming up
the Endrick to Garschattachin?"

"Troth no, Maister Galbraith," replied the Bailie, "I had other eggs on
the spit--and I thought ye wad be saying I cam to look about the annual
rent that's due on the bit heritable band that's between us."

"Damn the annual rent!" said the laird, with an appearance of great
heartiness--"Deil a word o' business will you or I speak, now that ye're
so near my country. To see how a trot-cosey and a joseph can disguise a
man--that I suldna ken my auld feal friend the deacon!"

"The Bailie, if ye please," resumed my companion; "but I ken what gars ye
mistak--the band was granted to my father that's happy, and he was
deacon; but his name was Nicol as weel as mine. I dinna mind that there's
been a payment of principal sum or annual rent on it in my day, and
doubtless that has made the mistake."

"Weel, the devil take the mistake and all that occasioned it!" replied
Mr. Galbraith. "But I am glad ye are a bailie. Gentlemen, fill a
brimmer--this is my excellent friend, Bailie Nicol Jarvie's health--I
ken'd him and his father these twenty years. Are ye a' cleared kelty
aff?--Fill anither. Here's to his being sune provost--I say
provost--Lord Provost Nicol Jarvie!--and them that affirms there's a man
walks the Hie-street o' Glasgow that's fitter for the office, they will
do weel not to let me, Duncan Galbraith of Garschattachin, hear them say
sae--that's all." And therewith Duncan Galbraith martially cocked his
hat, and placed it on one side of his head with an air of defiance.

The brandy was probably the best recommendation of there complimentary
toasts to the two Highlanders, who drank them without appearing anxious
to comprehend their purport. They commenced a conversation with Mr.
Galbraith in Gaelic, which he talked with perfect fluency, being, as I
afterwards learned, a near neighbour to the Highlands.

"I ken'd that Scant-o'-grace weel eneugh frae the very outset," said the
Bailie, in a whisper to me; "but when blude was warm, and swords were out
at ony rate, wha kens what way he might hae thought o' paying his debts?
it will be lang or he does it in common form. But he's an honest lad, and
has a warm heart too; he disna come often to the Cross o' Glasgow, but
mony a buck and blackcock he sends us doun frae the hills. And I can want
my siller weel eneugh. My father the deacon had a great regard for the
family of Garschattachin."

Supper being now nearly ready, I looked round for Andrew Fairservice; but
that trusty follower had not been seen by any one since the beginning of
the rencontre. The hostess, however, said that she believed our servant
had gone into the stable, and offered to light me to the place, saying
that "no entreaties of the bairns or hers could make him give any answer;
and that truly she caredna to gang into the stable herself at this hour.
She was a lone woman, and it was weel ken'd how the Brownie of
Ben-ye-gask guided the gudewife of Ardnagowan; and it was aye judged
there was a Brownie in our stable, which was just what garr'd me gie ower
keeping an hostler."

As, however, she lighted me towards the miserable hovel into which they
had crammed our unlucky steeds, to regale themselves on hay, every fibre
of which was as thick as an ordinary goose-quill, she plainly showed me
that she had another reason for drawing me aside from the company than
that which her words implied. "Read that," she said, slipping a piece of
paper into my hand, as we arrived at the door of the shed; "I bless God I
am rid o't. Between sogers and Saxons, and caterans and cattle-lifters,
and hership and bluidshed, an honest woman wad live quieter in hell than
on the Hieland line."

So saying, she put the pine-torch into my hand, and returned into the
house,




CHAPTER TWELFTH.


              Bagpipes, not lyres, the Highland hills adorn,
              MacLean's loud hollo, and MacGregor's horn.
                          John Cooper's Reply to Allan Ramsay.

I stopped in the entrance of the stable, if indeed a place be entitled to
that name where horses were stowed away along with goats, poultry, pigs,
and cows, under the same roof with the mansion-house; although, by a
degree of refinement unknown to the rest of the hamlet, and which I
afterwards heard was imputed to an overpride on the part of Jeanie
MacAlpine, our landlady, the apartment was accommodated with an entrance
different from that used by her biped customers. By the light of my
torch, I deciphered the following billet, written on a wet, crumpled, and
dirty piece of paper, and addressed--"For the honoured hands of Mr. F.
O., a Saxon young gentleman--These." The contents were as follows:--

"Sir,

"There are night-hawks abroad, so that I cannot give you and my respected
kinsman, B. N. J., the meeting at the Clachan of Aberfoil, whilk was my
purpose. I pray you to avoid unnecessary communication with those you may
find there, as it may give future trouble. The person who gives you this
is faithful and may be trusted, and will guide you to a place where, God
willing, I may safely give you the meeting, when I trust my kinsman and
you will visit my poor house, where, in despite of my enemies, I can
still promise sic cheer as ane Hielandman may gie his friends, and where
we will drink a solemn health to a certain D. V., and look to certain
affairs whilk I hope to be your aidance in; and I rest, as is wont among
gentlemen,

your servant to command,
R. M. C."


I was a good deal mortified at the purport of this letter, which seemed
to adjourn to a more distant place and date the service which I had hoped
to receive from this man Campbell. Still, however, it was some comfort to
know that he continued to be in my interest, since without him I could
have no hope of recovering my father's papers. I resolved, therefore, to
obey his instructions; and, observing all caution before the guests, to
take the first good opportunity I could find to procure from the landlady
directions how I was to obtain a meeting with this mysterious person.

My next business was to seek out Andrew Fairservice, whom I called
several times by name, without receiving any answer, surveying the stable
all round, at the same time, not without risk of setting the premises on
fire, had not the quantity of wet litter and mud so greatly
counterbalanced two or three bunches of straw and hay. At length my
repeated cries of "Andrew Fairservice! Andrew! fool!--ass! where are
you?" produced a doleful "Here," in a groaning tone, which might have
been that of the Brownie itself. Guided by this sound, I advanced to the
corner of a shed, where, ensconced in the angle of the wall, behind a
barrel full of the feathers of all the fowls which had died in the cause
of the public for a month past, I found the manful Andrew; and partly by
force, partly by command and exhortation, compelled him forth into the
open air. The first words he spoke were, "I am an honest lad, sir."

"Who the devil questions your honesty?" said I, "or what have we to do
with it at present? I desire you to come and attend us at supper."

"Yes," reiterated Andrew, without apparently understanding what I said to
him, "I am an honest lad, whatever the Bailie may say to the contrary. I
grant the warld and the warld's gear sits ower near my heart whiles, as
it does to mony a ane--But I am an honest lad; and, though I spak o'
leaving ye in the muir, yet God knows it was far frae my purpose, but
just like idle things folk says when they're driving a bargain, to get it
as far to their ain side as they can--And I like your honour weel for sae
young a lad, and I wadna part wi' ye lightly."

"What the deuce are you driving at now?" I replied. "Has not everything
been settled again and again to your satisfaction? And are you to talk of
leaving me every hour, without either rhyme or reason?"

"Ay,--but I was only making fashion before," replied Andrew; "but it's
come on me in sair earnest now--Lose or win, I daur gae nae farther wi'
your honour; and if ye'll tak my foolish advice, ye'll bide by a broken
tryste, rather than gang forward yoursell. I hae a sincere regard for ye,
and I'm sure ye'll be a credit to your friends if ye live to saw out your
wild aits, and get some mair sense and steadiness--But I can follow ye
nae farther, even if ye suld founder and perish from the way for lack of
guidance and counsel. To gang into Rob Roy's country is a mere tempting
o' Providence."

"Rob Roy?" said I, in some surprise; "I know no such person. What new
trick is this, Andrew?"

"It's hard," said Andrew--"very hard, that a man canna be believed when
he speaks Heaven's truth, just because he's whiles owercome, and tells
lees a little when there is necessary occasion. Ye needna ask whae Rob
Roy is, the reiving lifter that he is--God forgie me! I hope naebody
hears us--when ye hae a letter frae him in your pouch. I heard ane o' his
gillies bid that auld rudas jaud of a gudewife gie ye that. They thought
I didna understand their gibberish; but, though I canna speak it muckle,
I can gie a gude guess at what I hear them say--I never thought to hae
tauld ye that, but in a fright a' things come out that suld be keepit in.
O, Maister Frank! a' your uncle's follies, and a' your cousin's pliskies,
were naething to this! Drink clean cap out, like Sir Hildebrand; begin
the blessed morning with brandy sops, like Squire Percy; swagger, like
Squire Thorncliff; rin wud amang the lasses, like Squire John; gamble,
like Richard; win souls to the Pope and the deevil, like Rashleigh; rive,
rant, break the Sabbath, and do the Pope's bidding, like them a' put
thegither--But, merciful Providence! take care o' your young bluid, and
gang nae near Rob Roy!"

Andrew's alarm was too sincere to permit me to suppose he counterfeited.
I contented myself, however, with telling him, that I meant to remain in
the alehouse that night, and desired to have the horses well looked
after. As to the rest, I charged him to observe the strictest silence
upon the subject of his alarm, and he might rely upon it I would not
incur any serious danger without due precaution. He followed me with a
dejected air into the house, observing between his teeth, "Man suld be
served afore beast--I haena had a morsel in my mouth, but the rough legs
o' that auld muircock, this haill blessed day."

The harmony of the company seemed to have suffered some interruption
since my departure, for I found Mr. Galbraith and my friend the Bailie
high in dispute.

"I'll hear nae sic language," said Mr. Jarvie, as I entered, "respecting
the Duke o' Argyle and the name o' Campbell. He's a worthy
public-spirited nobleman, and a credit to the country, and a friend and
benefactor to the trade o' Glasgow."

"I'll sae naething against MacCallum More and the Slioch-nan-Diarmid,"
said the lesser Highlander, laughing. "I live on the wrang side of
Glencroe to quarrel with Inverara."

"Our loch ne'er saw the Cawmil lymphads,"* said the bigger Highlander.

* _Lymphads._ The galley which the family of Argyle and others of the *
Clan Campbell carry in their arms.

"She'll speak her mind and fear naebody--She doesna value a Cawmil mair
as a Cowan, and ye may tell MacCallum More that Allan Iverach said sae--
It's a far cry to Lochow."*

* Lochow and the adjacent districts formed the original seat of the *
Campbells. The expression of a "far cry to Lochow" was proverbial.

Mr. Galbraith, on whom the repeated pledges which he had quaffed had
produced some influence, slapped his hand on the table with great force,
and said, in a stern voice, "There's a bloody debt due by that family,
and they will pay it one day--The banes of a loyal and a gallant Grahame
hae lang rattled in their coffin for vengeance on thae Dukes of Guile and
Lords for Lorn. There ne'er was treason in Scotland but a Cawmil was at
the bottom o't; and now that the wrang side's uppermost, wha but the
Cawmils for keeping down the right? But this warld winna last lang, and
it will be time to sharp the maiden* for shearing o' craigs and
thrapples. I hope to see the auld rusty lass linking at a bluidy harst
again."

* A rude kind of guillotine formerly used in Scotland.

"For shame, Garschattachin!" exclaimed the Bailie; "fy for shame, sir!
Wad ye say sic things before a magistrate, and bring yoursell into
trouble?--How d'ye think to mainteen your family and satisfy your
creditors (mysell and others), if ye gang on in that wild way, which
cannot but bring you under the law, to the prejudice of a' that's
connected wi' ye?"

"D--n my creditors!" retorted the gallant Galbraith, "and you if ye be
ane o' them! I say there will be a new warld sune--And we shall hae nae
Cawmils cocking their bonnet sae hie, and hounding their dogs where they
daurna come themsells, nor protecting thieves, nor murderers, and
oppressors, to harry and spoil better men and mair loyal clans than
themsells."

The Bailie had a great mind to have continued the dispute, when the
savoury vapour of the broiled venison, which our landlady now placed
before us, proved so powerful a mediator, that he betook himself to his
trencher with great eagerness, leaving the strangers to carry on the
dispute among themselves.

"And tat's true," said the taller Highlander--whose name I found was
Stewart--"for we suldna be plagued and worried here wi' meetings to pit
down Rob Roy, if the Cawmils didna gie him refutch. I was ane o' thirty
o' my ain name--part Glenfinlas, and part men that came down frae Appine.
We shased the MacGregors as ye wad shase rae-deer, till we came into
Glenfalloch's country, and the Cawmils raise, and wadna let us pursue nae
farder, and sae we lost our labour; but her wad gie twa and a plack to be
as near Rob as she was tat day."

It seemed to happen very unfortunately, that in every topic of discourse
which these warlike gentlemen introduced, my friend the Bailie found some
matter of offence. "Ye'll forgie me speaking my mind, sir; but ye wad
maybe hae gien the best bowl in your bonnet to hae been as far awae frae
Rob as ye are e'en now--Od! my het pleugh-culter wad hae been naething to
his claymore."

"She had better speak nae mair about her culter, or, by G--! her will gar
her eat her words, and twa handfuls o' cauld steel to drive them ower
wi'!" And, with a most inauspicious and menacing look, the mountaineer
laid his hand on his dagger.

"We'll hae nae quarrelling, Allan," said his shorter companion; "and if
the Glasgow gentleman has ony regard for Rob Roy, he'll maybe see him in
cauld irons the night, and playing tricks on a tow the morn; for this
country has been owre lang plagued wi' him, and his race is near-hand
run--And it's time, Allan, we were ganging to our lads."

"Hout awa, Inverashalloch," said Galbraith;--"Mind the auld saw, man--
It's a bauld moon, quoth Bennygask--another pint, quoth Lesley;--we'll no
start for another chappin."

"I hae had chappins eneugh," said Inverashalloch; "I'll drink my quart of
usquebaugh or brandy wi' ony honest fellow, but the deil a drap mair when
I hae wark to do in the morning. And, in my puir thinking,
Garschattachin, ye had better be thinking to bring up your horsemen to
the Clachan before day, that we may ay start fair."

"What the deevil are ye in sic a hurry for?" said Garschattachin; "meat
and mass never hindered wark. An it had been my directing, deil a bit o'
me wad hae fashed ye to come down the glens to help us. The garrison and
our ain horse could hae taen Rob Roy easily enough. There's the hand," he
said, holding up his own, "should lay him on the green, and never ask a
Hielandman o' ye a' for his help."

"Ye might hae loot us bide still where we were, then," said
Inverashalloch. "I didna come sixty miles without being sent for. But an
ye'll hae my opinion, I redd ye keep your mouth better steekit, if ye
hope to speed. Shored folk live lang, and sae may him ye ken o'. The way
to catch a bird is no to fling your bannet at her. And also thae
gentlemen hae heard some things they suldna hae heard, an the brandy
hadna been ower bauld for your brain, Major Galbraith. Ye needna cock
your hat and bully wi' me, man, for I will not bear it."

"I hae said it," said Galbraith, with a solemn air of drunken gravity,
"that I will quarrel no more this night either with broadcloth or tartan.
When I am off duty I'll quarrel with you or ony man in the Hielands or
Lowlands, but not on duty--no--no. I wish we heard o' these red-coats. If
it had been to do onything against King James, we wad hae seen them lang
syne--but when it's to keep the peace o' the country they can lie as
lound as their neighbours."

As he spoke we heard the measured footsteps of a body of infantry on the
march; and an officer, followed by two or three files of soldiers,
entered the apartment. He spoke in an English accent, which was very
pleasant to my ears, now so long accustomed to the varying brogue of the
Highland and Lowland Scotch.--"You are, I suppose, Major Galbraith, of
the squadron of Lennox Militia, and these are the two Highland gentlemen
with whom I was appointed to meet in this place?"

They assented, and invited the officer to take some refreshments, which
he declined.--"I have been too late, gentlemen, and am desirous to make
up time. I have orders to search for and arrest two persons guilty of
treasonable practices."

"We'll wash our hands o' that," said Inverashalloch. "I came here wi' my
men to fight against the red MacGregor that killed my cousin, seven times
removed, Duncan MacLaren, in Invernenty;* but I will hae nothing to do
touching honest gentlemen that may be gaun through the country on their
ain business."

* This, as appears from the introductory matter to this Tale, is an
anachronism. The slaughter of MacLaren, a retainer of the chief of
Appine, by the MacGregors, did not take place till after Rob Roy's death,
since it happened in 1736.

"Nor I neither," said Iverach.

Major Galbraith took up the matter more solemnly, and, premising his
oration with a hiccup, spoke to the following purpose:--

"I shall say nothing against King George, Captain, because, as it
happens, my commission may rin in his name--But one commission being
good, sir, does not make another bad; and some think that James may be
just as good a name as George. There's the king that is--and there's the
king that suld of right be--I say, an honest man may and suld be loyal to
them both, Captain. But I am of the Lord Lieutenant's opinion for the
time, as it becomes a militia officer and a depute-lieutenant--and about
treason and all that, it's lost time to speak of it--least said is sunest
mended."

"I am sorry to see how you have been employing your time, sir," replied
the English officer--as indeed the honest gentleman's reasoning had a
strong relish of the liquor he had been drinking--"and I could wish, sir,
it had been otherwise on an occasion of this consequence. I would
recommend to you to try to sleep for an hour.--Do these gentlemen belong
to your party?"--looking at the Bailie and me, who, engaged in eating our
supper, had paid little attention to the officer on his entrance.

"Travellers, sir," said Galbraith--"lawful travellers by sea and land, as
the prayer-book hath it."

"My instructions." said the Captain, taking a light to survey us closer,
"are to place under arrest an elderly and a young person--and I think
these gentlemen answer nearly the description."

"Take care what you say, sir," said Mr. Jarvie; "it shall not be your red
coat nor your laced hat shall protect you, if you put any affront on me.
I'se convene ye baith in an action of scandal and false imprisonment--I
am a free burgess and a magistrate o' Glasgow; Nicol Jarvie is my name,
sae was my father's afore me--I am a bailie, be praised for the honour,
and my father was a deacon."

"He was a prick-eared cur," said Major Galbraith, "and fought agane the
King at Bothwell Brigg."

"He paid what he ought and what he bought, Mr. Galbraith," said the
Bailie, "and was an honester man than ever stude on your shanks."

"I have no time to attend to all this," said the officer; "I must
positively detain you, gentlemen, unless you can produce some respectable
security that you are loyal subjects."

"I desire to be carried before some civil magistrate," said the
Bailie--"the sherra or the judge of the bounds;--I am not obliged to
answer every red-coat that speers questions at me."

"Well, sir, I shall know how to manage you if you are silent--And you,
sir" (to me), "what may your name be?"

"Francis Osbaldistone, sir."

"What, a son of Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone of Northumberland?"

"No, sir," interrupted the Bailie; "a son of the great William
Osbaldistone of the House of Osbaldistone and Tresham, Crane-Alley,
London."

"I am afraid, sir," said the officer, "your name only increases the
suspicions against you, and lays me under the necessity of requesting
that you will give up what papers you have in charge."

I observed the Highlanders look anxiously at each other when this
proposal was made.

"I had none," I replied, "to surrender."

The officer commanded me to be disarmed and searched. To have resisted
would have been madness. I accordingly gave up my arms, and submitted to
a search, which was conducted as civilly as an operation of the kind well
could. They found nothing except the note which I had received that night
through the hand of the landlady.

"This is different from what I expected," said the officer; "but it
affords us good grounds for detaining you. Here I find you in written
communication with the outlawed robber, Robert MacGregor Campbell, who
has been so long the plague of this district--How do you account for
that?"

"Spies of Rob!" said Inverashalloch. "We wad serve them right to strap
them up till the neist tree."

"We are gaun to see after some gear o' our ain, gentlemen," said the
Bailie, "that's fa'en into his hands by accident--there's nae law agane a
man looking after his ain, I hope?"

"How did you come by this letter?" said the officer, addressing himself
to me.

I could not think of betraying the poor woman who had given it to me, and
remained silent.

"Do you know anything of it, fellow?" said the officer, looking at
Andrew, whose jaws were chattering like a pair of castanets at the
threats thrown out by the Highlander.

"O ay, I ken a' about it--it was a Hieland loon gied the letter to that
lang-tongued jaud the gudewife there; I'll be sworn my maister ken'd
naething about it. But he's wilfu' to gang up the hills and speak wi'
Rob; and oh, sir, it wad be a charity just to send a wheen o' your
red-coats to see him safe back to Glasgow again whether he will or
no--And ye can keep Mr. Jarvie as lang as ye like--He's responsible
enough for ony fine ye may lay on him--and so's my master for that
matter; for me, I'm just a puir gardener lad, and no worth your
steering."

"I believe," said the officer, "the best thing I can do is to send these
persons to the garrison under an escort. They seem to be in immediate
correspondence with the enemy, and I shall be in no respect answerable
for suffering them to be at liberty. Gentlemen, you will consider
yourselves as my prisoners. So soon as dawn approaches, I will send you
to a place of security. If you be the persons you describe yourselves, it
will soon appear, and you will sustain no great inconvenience from being
detained a day or two. I can hear no remonstrances," he continued,
turning away from the Bailie, whose mouth was open to address him; "the
service I am on gives me no time for idle discussions."

"Aweel, aweel, sir," said the Bailie, "you're welcome to a tune on your
ain fiddle; but see if I dinna gar ye dance till't afore a's dune."

An anxious consultation now took place between the officer and the
Highlanders, but carried on in so low a tone, that it was impossible to
catch the sense. So soon as it was concluded they all left the house. At
their departure, the Bailie thus expressed himself:--"Thae Hielandmen are
o' the westland clans, and just as light-handed as their neighbours, an
a' tales be true, and yet ye see they hae brought them frae the head o'
Argyleshire to make war wi' puir Rob for some auld ill-will that they hae
at him and his sirname. And there's the Grahames, and the Buchanans, and
the Lennox gentry, a' mounted and in order--It's weel ken'd their
quarrel; and I dinna blame them--naebody likes to lose his kye. And then
there's sodgers, puir things, hoyed out frae the garrison at a' body's
bidding--Puir Rob will hae his hands fu' by the time the sun comes ower
the hill. Weel--it's wrang for a magistrate to be wishing onything agane
the course o' justice, but deil o' me an I wad break my heart to hear
that Rob had gien them a' their paiks!"




CHAPTER THIRTEEN.



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

We were permitted to slumber out the remainder of the night in the best
manner that the miserable accommodations of the alehouse permitted. The
Bailie, fatigued with his journey and the subsequent scenes--less
interested also in the event of our arrest, which to him could only be a
matter of temporary inconvenience--perhaps less nice than habit had
rendered me about the cleanliness or decency of his couch,--tumbled
himself into one of the cribs which I have already described, and soon
was heard to snore soundly. A broken sleep, snatched by intervals, while
I rested my head upon the table, was my only refreshment. In the course
of the night I had occasion to observe that there seemed to be some doubt
and hesitation in the motions of the soldiery. Men were sent out, as if
to obtain intelligence, and returned apparently without bringing any
satisfactory information to their commanding officer. He was obviously
eager and anxious, and again despatched small parties of two or three
men, some of whom, as I could understand from what the others whispered
to each other, did not return again to the Clachan.

The morning had broken, when a corporal and two men rushed into the hut,
dragging after them, in a sort of triumph, a Highlander, whom I
immediately recognised as my acquaintance the ex-turnkey. The Bailie, who
started up at the noise with which they entered, immediately made the
same discovery, and exclaimed--"Mercy on us! they hae grippit the puir
creature Dougal.--Captain, I will put in bail--sufficient bail, for that
Dougal creature."

To this offer, dictated undoubtedly by a grateful recollection of the
late interference of the Highlander in his behalf, the Captain only
answered by requesting Mr. Jarvie to "mind his own affairs, and remember
that he was himself for the present a prisoner."

"I take you to witness, Mr. Osbaldistone," said the Bailie, who was
probably better acquainted with the process in civil than in military
cases, "that he has refused sufficient bail. It's my opinion that the
creature Dougal will have a good action of wrongous imprisonment and
damages agane him, under the Act seventeen hundred and one, and I'll see
the creature righted."

The officer, whose name I understood was Thornton, paying no attention to
the Bailie's threats or expostulations, instituted a very close inquiry
into Dougal's life and conversation, and compelled him to admit, though
with apparent reluctance, the successive facts,--that he knew Rob Roy
MacGregor--that he had seen him within these twelve months--within these
six months--within this month--within this week; in fine, that he had
parted from him only an hour ago. All this detail came like drops of
blood from the prisoner, and was, to all appearance, only extorted by the
threat of a halter and the next tree, which Captain Thornton assured him
should be his doom, if he did not give direct and special information.

"And now, my friend," said the officer, "you will please inform me how
many men your master has with him at present."

Dougal looked in every direction except at the querist, and began to
answer, "She canna just be sure about that."

"Look at me, you Highland dog," said the officer, "and remember your life
depends on your answer. How many rogues had that outlawed scoundrel with
him when you left him?"

"Ou, no aboon sax rogues when I was gane."

"And where are the rest of his banditti?"

"Gane wi' the Lieutenant agane ta westland carles."

"Against the westland clans?" said the Captain. "Umph--that is likely
enough; and what rogue's errand were you despatched upon?"

"Just to see what your honour and ta gentlemen red-coats were doing doun
here at ta Clachan."

"The creature will prove fause-hearted, after a'," said the Bailie, who
by this time had planted himself close behind me; "it's lucky I didna pit
mysell to expenses anent him."

"And now, my friend," said the Captain, "let us understand each other.
You have confessed yourself a spy, and should string up to the next
tree--But come, if you will do me one good turn, I will do you another.
You, Donald--you shall just, in the way of kindness, carry me and a small
party to the place where you left your master, as I wish to speak a few
words with him on serious affairs; and I'll let you go about your
business, and give you five guineas to boot."

"Oigh! oigh!" exclaimed Dougal, in the extremity of distress and
perplexity; "she canna do tat--she canna do tat; she'll rather be
hanged."

"Hanged, then, you shall be, my friend" said the officer; "and your blood
be upon your own head. Corporal Cramp, do you play Provost-Marshal--away
with him!"

The corporal had confronted poor Dougal for some time, ostentatiously
twisting a piece of cord which he had found in the house into the form of
a halter. He now threw it about the culprit's neck, and, with the
assistance of two soldiers, had dragged Dougal as far as the door, when,
overcome with the terror of immediate death, he exclaimed, "Shentlemans,
stops--stops! She'll do his honour's bidding--stops!"

"Awa' wi' the creature!" said the Bailie, "he deserves hanging mair now
than ever; awa' wi' him, corporal. Why dinna ye tak him awa'?"

"It's my belief and opinion, honest gentleman," said the corporal, "that
if you were going to be hanged yourself, you would be in no such d--d
hurry."

This by-dialogue prevented my hearing what passed between the prisoner
and Captain Thornton; but I heard the former snivel out, in a very
subdued tone, "And ye'll ask her to gang nae farther than just to show ye
where the MacGregor is?--Ohon! ohon!"

"Silence your howling, you rascal--No; I give you my word I will ask you
to go no farther.--Corporal, make the men fall in, in front of the
houses. Get out these gentlemen's horses; we must carry them with us. I
cannot spare any men to guard them here. Come, my lads, get under arms."

The soldiers bustled about, and were ready to move. We were led out,
along with Dougal, in the capacity of prisoners. As we left the hut, I
heard our companion in captivity remind the Captain of "ta foive
kuineas."

"Here they are for you," said the officer, putting gold into his hand;
"but observe, that if you attempt to mislead me, I will blow your brains
out with my own hand."

"The creature," said the Bailie, "is waur than I judged him--it is a
warldly and a perfidious creature. O the filthy lucre of gain that men
gies themsells up to! My father the deacon used to say, the penny siller
slew mair souls than the naked sword slew bodies."

The landlady now approached, and demanded payment of her reckoning,
including all that had been quaffed by Major Galbraith and his Highland
friends. The English officer remonstrated, but Mrs. MacAlpine declared,
if "she hadna trusted to his honour's name being used in their company,
she wad never hae drawn them a stoup o' liquor; for Mr. Galbraith, she
might see him again, or she might no, but weel did she wot she had sma'
chance of seeing her siller--and she was a puir widow, had naething but
her custom to rely on."

Captain Thornton put a stop to her remonstrances by paying the charge,
which was only a few English shillings, though the amount sounded very
formidable in Scottish denominations. The generous officer would have
included Mr. Jarvie and me in this general acquittance; but the Bailie,
disregarding an intimation from the landlady to "make as muckle of the
Inglishers as we could, for they were sure to gie us plague eneugh," went
into a formal accounting respecting our share of the reckoning, and paid
it accordingly. The Captain took the opportunity to make us some slight
apology for detaining us. "If we were loyal and peaceable subjects," he
said, "we would not regret being stopt for a day, when it was essential
to the king's service; if otherwise, he was acting according to his
duty."

We were compelled to accept an apology which it would have served no
purpose to refuse, and we sallied out to attend him on his march.

I shall never forget the delightful sensation with which I exchanged the
dark, smoky, smothering atmosphere of the Highland hut, in which we had
passed the night so uncomfortably, for the refreshing fragrance of the
morning air, and the glorious beams of the rising sun, which, from a
tabernacle of purple and golden clouds, were darted full on such a scene
of natural romance and beauty as had never before greeted my eyes. To the
left lay the valley, down which the Forth wandered on its easterly
course, surrounding the beautiful detached hill, with all its garland of
woods. On the right, amid a profusion of thickets, knolls, and crags, lay
the bed of a broad mountain lake, lightly curled into tiny waves by the
breath of the morning breeze, each glittering in its course under the
influence of the sunbeams. High hills, rocks, and banks, waving with
natural forests of birch and oak, formed the borders of this enchanting
sheet of water; and, as their leaves rustled to the wind and twinkled in
the sun, gave to the depth of solitude a sort of life and vivacity. Man
alone seemed to be placed in a state of inferiority, in a scene where all
the ordinary features of nature were raised and exalted. The miserable
little _bourocks,_ as the Bailie termed them, of which about a dozen
formed the village called the Clachan of Aberfoil, were composed of loose
stones, cemented by clay instead of mortar, and thatched by turfs, laid
rudely upon rafters formed of native and unhewn birches and oaks from the
woods around. The roofs approached the ground so nearly, that Andrew
Fairservice observed we might have ridden over the village the night
before, and never found out we were near it, unless our horses' feet had
"gane through the riggin'."

From all we could see, Mrs. MacAlpine's house, miserable as were the
quarters it afforded, was still by far the best in the hamlet; and I dare
say (if my description gives you any curiosity to see it) you will hardly
find it much improved at the present day, for the Scotch are not a people
who speedily admit innovation, even when it comes in the shape of
improvement.*

* Note I. Clachan of Aberfoil.

The inhabitants of these miserable dwellings were disturbed by the noise
of our departure; and as our party of about twenty soldiers drew up in
rank before marching off, we were reconnoitred by many a beldam from the
half-opened door of her cottage. As these sibyls thrust forth their grey
heads, imperfectly covered with close caps of flannel, and showed their
shrivelled brows, and long skinny arms, with various gestures, shrugs,
and muttered expressions in Gaelic addressed to each other, my
imagination recurred to the witches of Macbeth, and I imagined I read in
the features of these crones the malevolence of the weird sisters. The
little children also, who began to crawl forth, some quite naked, and
others very imperfectly covered with tatters of tartan stuff, clapped
their tiny hands, and grinned at the English soldiers, with an expression
of national hate and malignity which seemed beyond their years. I
remarked particularly that there were no men, nor so much as a boy of ten
or twelve years old, to be seen among the inhabitants of a village which
seemed populous in proportion to its extent; and the idea certainly
occurred to me, that we were likely to receive from them, in the course
of our journey, more effectual tokens of ill-will than those which
lowered on the visages, and dictated the murmurs, of the women and
children. It was not until we commenced our march that the malignity of
the elder persons of the community broke forth into expressions. The last
file of men had left the village, to pursue a small broken track, formed
by the sledges in which the natives transported their peats and turfs,
and which led through the woods that fringed the lower end of the lake,
when a shrilly sound of female exclamation broke forth, mixed with the
screams of children, the whooping of boys, and the clapping of hands,
with which the Highland dames enforce their notes, whether of rage or
lamentation. I asked Andrew, who looked as pale as death, what all this
meant.

"I doubt we'll ken that ower sune," said he. "Means? It means that the
Highland wives are cursing and banning the red-coats, and wishing
ill-luck to them, and ilka ane that ever spoke the Saxon tongue. I have
heard wives flyte in England and Scotland--it's nae marvel to hear them
flyte ony gate; but sic ill-scrapit tongues as thae Highland
carlines'--and sic grewsome wishes, that men should be slaughtered like
sheep--and that they may lapper their hands to the elbows in their
heart's blude--and that they suld dee the death of Walter Cuming of
Guiyock,* wha hadna as muckle o' him left thegither as would supper a
messan-dog--sic awsome language as that I ne'er heard out o' a human
thrapple;--and, unless the deil wad rise amang them to gie them a
lesson, I thinkna that their talent at cursing could be amended.

* A great feudal oppressor, who, riding on some cruel purpose through the
forest of Guiyock, was thrown from his horse, and his foot being caught
in the stirrup, was dragged along by the frightened animal till he was
torn to pieces. The expression, "Walter of Guiyock's curse," is
proverbial.

The warst o't is, they bid us aye gang up the loch, and see what we'll
land in."

Adding Andrew's information to what I had myself observed, I could scarce
doubt that some attack was meditated upon our party. The road, as we
advanced, seemed to afford every facility for such an unpleasant
interruption. At first it winded apart from the lake through marshy
meadow ground, overgrown with copsewood, now traversing dark and close
thickets which would have admitted an ambuscade to be sheltered within a
few yards of our line of march, and frequently crossing rough mountain
torrents, some of which took the soldiers up to the knees, and ran with
such violence, that their force could only be stemmed by the strength of
two or three men holding fast by each other's arms. It certainly appeared
to me, though altogether unacquainted with military affairs, that a sort
of half-savage warriors, as I had heard the Highlanders asserted to be,
might, in such passes as these, attack a party of regular forces with
great advantage. The Bailie's good sense and shrewd observation had led
him to the same conclusion, as I understood from his requesting to speak
with the captain, whom he addressed nearly in the following terms:--
"Captain, it's no to fleech ony favour out o' ye, for I scorn it--and
it's under protest that I reserve my action and pleas of oppression and
wrongous imprisonment;--but, being a friend to King George and his army,
I take the liberty to speer--Dinna ye think ye might tak a better time to
gang up this glen? If ye are seeking Rob Roy, he's ken'd to be better
than half a hunder men strong when he's at the fewest; an if he brings in
the Glengyle folk, and the Glenfinlas and Balquhidder lads, he may come
to gie you your kail through the reek; and it's my sincere advice, as a
king's friend, ye had better tak back again to the Clachan, for thae
women at Aberfoil are like the scarts and seamaws at the Cumries--there's
aye foul weather follows their skirting."

"Make yourself easy, sir," replied Captain Thornton; "I am in the
execution of my orders. And as you say you are a friend to King George,
you will be glad to learn that it is impossible that this gang of
ruffians, whose license has disturbed the country so long, can escape the
measures now taken to suppress them. The horse squadron of militia,
commanded by Major Galbraith, is already joined by two or more troops of
cavalry, which will occupy all the lower passes of this wild country;
three hundred Highlanders, under the two gentlemen you saw at the inn,
are in possession of the upper part, and various strong parties from the
garrison are securing the hills and glens in different directions. Our
last accounts of Rob Roy correspond with what this fellow has confessed,
that, finding himself surrounded on all sides, he had dismissed the
greater part of his followers, with the purpose either of lying
concealed, or of making his escape through his superior knowledge of the
passes."

"I dinna ken," said the Bailie; "there's mair brandy than brains in
Garschattachin's head this morning--And I wadna, an I were you, Captain,
rest my main dependence on the Hielandmen--hawks winna pike out hawks'
een. They may quarrel among themsells, and gie ilk ither ill names, and
maybe a slash wi' a claymore; but they are sure to join in the lang run,
against a' civilised folk, that wear breeks on their hinder ends, and hae
purses in their pouches."

Apparently these admonitions were not altogether thrown away on Captain
Thornton. He reformed his line of march, commanded his soldiers to
unsling their firelocks and fix their bayonets, and formed an advanced
and rear-guard, each consisting of a non-commissioned officer and two
soldiers, who received strict orders to keep an alert look-out. Dougal
underwent another and very close examination, in which he steadfastly
asserted the truth of what he had before affirmed; and being rebuked on
account of the suspicious and dangerous appearance of the route by which
he was guiding them, he answered with a sort of testiness that seemed
very natural, "Her nainsell didna mak ta road; an shentlemans likit grand
roads, she suld hae pided at Glasco."

All this passed off well enough, and we resumed our progress.

Our route, though leading towards the lake, had hitherto been so much
shaded by wood, that we only from time to time obtained a glimpse of that
beautiful sheet of water. But the road now suddenly emerged from the
forest ground, and, winding close by the margin of the loch, afforded us
a full view of its spacious mirror, which now, the breeze having totally
subsided, reflected in still magnificence the high dark heathy mountains,
huge grey rocks, and shaggy banks, by which it is encircled. The hills
now sunk on its margin so closely, and were so broken and precipitous, as
to afford no passage except just upon the narrow line of the track which
we occupied, and which was overhung with rocks, from which we might have
been destroyed merely by rolling down stones, without much possibility of
offering resistance. Add to this, that, as the road winded round every
promontory and bay which indented the lake, there was rarely a
possibility of seeing a hundred yards before us. Our commander appeared
to take some alarm at the nature of the pass in which he was engaged,
which displayed itself in repeated orders to his soldiers to be on the
alert, and in many threats of instant death to Dougal, if he should be
found to have led them into danger. Dougal received these threats with an
air of stupid impenetrability, which might arise either from conscious
innocence, or from dogged resolution.

"If shentlemans were seeking ta Red Gregarach," he said, "to be sure they
couldna expect to find her without some wee danger."

Just as the Highlander uttered these words, a halt was made by the
corporal commanding the advance, who sent back one of the file who formed
it, to tell the Captain that the path in front was occupied by
Highlanders, stationed on a commanding point of particular difficulty.
Almost at the same instant a soldier from the rear came to say, that they
heard the sound of a bagpipe in the woods through which we had just
passed. Captain Thornton, a man of conduct as well as courage, instantly
resolved to force the pass in front, without waiting till he was assailed
from the rear; and, assuring his soldiers that the bagpipes which they
heard were those of the friendly Highlanders who were advancing to their
assistance, he stated to them the importance of advancing and securing
Rob Roy, if possible, before these auxiliaries should come up to divide
with them the honour, as well as the reward which was placed on the head
of this celebrated freebooter. He therefore ordered the rearguard to join
the centre, and both to close up to the advance, doubling his files so as
to occupy with his column the whole practicable part of the road, and to
present such a front as its breadth admitted. Dougal, to whom he said in
a whisper, "You dog, if you have deceived me, you shall die for it!" was
placed in the centre, between two grenadiers, with positive orders to
shoot him if he attempted an escape. The same situation was assigned to
us, as being the safest, and Captain Thornton, taking his half-pike from
the soldier who carried it, placed himself at the head of his little
detachment, and gave the word to march forward.

The party advanced with the firmness of English soldiers. Not so Andrew
Fairservice, who was frightened out of his wits; and not so, if truth
must be told, either the Bailie or I myself, who, without feeling the
same degree of trepidation, could not with stoical indifference see our
lives exposed to hazard in a quarrel with which we had no concern. But
there was neither time for remonstrance nor remedy.

We approached within about twenty yards of the spot where the advanced
guard had seen some appearance of an enemy. It was one of those
promontories which run into the lake, and round the base of which the
road had hitherto winded in the manner I have described. In the present
case, however, the path, instead of keeping the water's edge, sealed the
promontory by one or two rapid zigzags, carried in a broken track along
the precipitous face of a slaty grey rock, which would otherwise have
been absolutely inaccessible. On the top of this rock, only to be
approached by a road so broken, so narrow, and so precarious, the
corporal declared he had seen the bonnets and long-barrelled guns of
several mountaineers, apparently couched among the long heath and
brushwood which crested the eminence. Captain Thornton ordered him to
move forward with three files, to dislodge the supposed ambuscade, while,
at a more slow but steady pace, he advanced to his support with the rest
of his party.

The attack which he meditated was prevented by the unexpected apparition
of a female upon the summit of the rock.

"Stand!" she said, with a commanding tone, "and tell me what ye seek in
MacGregor's country?"

I have seldom seen a finer or more commanding form than this woman. She
might be between the term of forty and fifty years, and had a countenance
which must once have been of a masculine cast of beauty; though now,
imprinted with deep lines by exposure to rough weather, and perhaps by
the wasting influence of grief and passion, its features were only
strong, harsh, and expressive. She wore her plaid, not drawn around her
head and shoulders, as is the fashion of the women in Scotland, but
disposed around her body as the Highland soldiers wear theirs. She had a
man's bonnet, with a feather in it, an unsheathed sword in her hand, and
a pair of pistols at her girdle.

"It's Helen Campbell, Rob's wife," said the Bailie, in a whisper of
considerable alarm; "and there will be broken heads amang us or it's
lang."

"What seek ye here?" she asked again of Captain Thornton, who had himself
advanced to reconnoitre.

"We seek the outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor Campbell," answered the officer,
"and make no war on women; therefore offer no vain opposition to the
king's troops, and assure yourself of civil treatment."

"Ay," retorted the Amazon, "I am no stranger to your tender mercies. Ye
have left me neither name nor fame--my mother's bones will shrink aside
in their grave when mine are laid beside them--Ye have left me neither
house nor hold, blanket nor bedding, cattle to feed us, or flocks to
clothe us--Ye have taken from us all--all!--The very name of our
ancestors have ye taken away, and now ye come for our lives."

"I seek no man's life," replied the Captain; "I only execute my orders.
If you are alone, good woman, you have nought to fear--if there are any
with you so rash as to offer useless resistance, their own blood be on
their own heads. Move forward, sergeant."

"Forward! march!" said the non-commissioned officer. "Huzza, my boys, for
Rob Roy's head and a purse of gold."

He quickened his pace into a run, followed by the six soldiers; but as
they attained the first traverse of the ascent, the flash of a dozen of
firelocks from various parts of the pass parted in quick succession and
deliberate aim. The sergeant, shot through the body, still struggled to
gain the ascent, raised himself by his hands to clamber up the face of
the rock, but relaxed his grasp, after a desperate effort, and falling,
rolled from the face of the cliff into the deep lake, where he perished.
Of the soldiers, three fell, slain or disabled; the others retreated on
their main body, all more or less wounded.

"Grenadiers, to the front!" said Captain Thornton.--You are to recollect,
that in those days this description of soldiers actually carried that
destructive species of firework from which they derive their name. The
four grenadiers moved to the front accordingly. The officer commanded the
rest of the party to be ready to support them, and only saying to us,
"Look to your safety, gentlemen," gave, in rapid succession, the word to
the grenadiers--"Open your pouches--handle your grenades--blow your
matches--fall on."

The whole advanced with a shout, headed by Captain Thornton,--the
grenadiers preparing to throw their grenades among the bushes where the
ambuscade lay, and the musketeers to support them by an instant and close
assault. Dougal, forgotten in the scuffle, wisely crept into the thicket
which overhung that part of the road where we had first halted, which he
ascended with the activity of a wild cat. I followed his example,
instinctively recollecting that the fire of the Highlanders would sweep
the open track. I clambered until out of breath; for a continued
spattering fire, in which every shot was multiplied by a thousand echoes,
the hissing of the kindled fusees of the grenades, and the successive
explosion of those missiles, mingled with the huzzas of the soldiers, and
the yells and cries of their Highland antagonists, formed a contrast
which added--I do not shame to own it--wings to my desire to reach a
place of safety. The difficulties of the ascent soon increased so much,
that I despaired of reaching Dougal, who seemed to swing himself from
rock to rock, and stump to stump, with the facility of a squirrel, and I
turned down my eyes to see what had become of my other companions. Both
were brought to a very awkward standstill.

The Bailie, to whom I suppose fear had given a temporary share of
agility, had ascended about twenty feet from the path, when his foot
slipping, as he straddled from one huge fragment of rock to another, he
would have slumbered with his father the deacon, whose acts and words he
was so fond of quoting, but for a projecting branch of a ragged thorn,
which, catching hold of the skirts of his riding-coat, supported him in
mid-air, where he dangled not unlike to the sign of the Golden Fleece
over the door of a mercer in the Trongate of his native city.

As for Andrew Fairservice, he had advanced with better success, until he
had attained the top of a bare cliff, which, rising above the wood,
exposed him, at least in his own opinion, to all the dangers of the
neighbouring skirmish, while, at the same time, it was of such a
precipitous and impracticable nature, that he dared neither to advance
nor retreat. Footing it up and down upon the narrow space which the top
of the cliff afforded (very like a fellow at a country-fair dancing upon
a trencher), he roared for mercy in Gaelic and English alternately,
according to the side on which the scale of victory seemed to
predominate, while his exclamations were only answered by the groans of
the Bailie, who suffered much, not only from apprehension, but from the
pendulous posture in which he hung suspended by the loins.

On perceiving the Bailie's precarious situation, my first idea was to
attempt to render him assistance; but this was impossible without the
concurrence of Andrew, whom neither sign, nor entreaty, nor command, nor
expostulation, could inspire with courage to adventure the descent from
his painful elevation, where, like an unskilful and obnoxious minister of
state, unable to escape from the eminence to which he had presumptuously
ascended, he continued to pour forth piteous prayers for mercy, which no
one heard, and to skip to and fro, writhing his body into all possible
antic shapes to avoid the balls which he conceived to be whistling around
him.

In a few minutes this cause of terror ceased, for the fire, at first so
well sustained, now sunk at once--a sure sign that the conflict was
concluded. To gain some spot from which I could see how the day had gone
was now my object, in order to appeal to the mercy of the victors, who, I
trusted (whichever side might be gainers), would not suffer the honest
Bailie to remain suspended, like the coffin of Mahomet, between heaven
and earth, without lending a hand to disengage him. At length, by dint of
scrambling, I found a spot which commanded a view of the field of battle.
It was indeed ended; and, as my mind already augured, from the place and
circumstances attending the contest, it had terminated in the defeat of
Captain Thornton. I saw a party of Highlanders in the act of disarming
that officer, and the scanty remainder of his party. They consisted of
about twelve men most of whom were wounded, who, surrounded by treble
their number, and without the power either to advance or retreat, exposed
to a murderous and well-aimed fire, which they had no means of returning
with effect, had at length laid down their arms by the order of their
officer, when he saw that the road in his rear was occupied, and that
protracted resistance would be only wasting the lives of his brave
followers. By the Highlanders, who fought under cover, the victory was
cheaply bought, at the expense of one man slain and two wounded by the
grenades. All this I learned afterwards. At present I only comprehended
the general result of the day, from seeing the English officer, whose
face was covered with blood, stripped of his hat and arms, and his men,
with sullen and dejected countenances which marked their deep regret,
enduring, from the wild and martial figures who surrounded them, the
severe measures to which the laws of war subject the vanquished for
security of the victors.





CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

            "Woe to the vanquished!" was stern Brenno's word,
             When sunk proud Rome beneath the Gallic sword--
            "Woe to the vanquished!" when his massive blade
             Bore down the scale against her ransom weigh'd;
                And on the field of foughten battle still,
                Woe knows no limits save the victor's will.
                                                  The Gaulliad.

I anxiously endeavoured to distinguish Dougal among the victors. I had
little doubt that the part he had played was assumed, on purpose to lead
the English officer into the defile, and I could not help admiring the
address with which the ignorant, and apparently half-brutal savage, had
veiled his purpose, and the affected reluctance with which he had
suffered to be extracted from him the false information which it must
have been his purpose from the beginning to communicate. I foresaw we
should incur some danger on approaching the victors in the first flush of
their success, which was not unstained with cruelty; for one or two of
the soldiers, whose wounds prevented them from rising, were poniarded by
the victors, or rather by some ragged Highland boys who had mingled with
them. I concluded, therefore, it would be unsafe to present ourselves
without some mediator; and as Campbell, whom I now could not but identify
with the celebrated freebooter Rob Roy, was nowhere to be seen, I
resolved to claim the protection of his emissary, Dougal.

After gazing everywhere in vain, I at length retraced my steps to see
what assistance I could individually render to my unlucky friend, when,
to my great joy, I saw Mr. Jarvie delivered from his state of suspense;
and though very black in the face, and much deranged in the garments,
safely seated beneath the rock, in front of which he had been so lately
suspended. I hastened to join him and offer my congratulations, which he
was at first far from receiving in the spirit of cordiality with which
they were offered. A heavy fit of coughing scarce permitted him breath
enough to express the broken hints which he threw out against my
sincerity.

"Uh! uh! uh! uh!--they say a friend--uh! uh!--a friend sticketh closer
than a brither--uh! uh! uh! When I came up here, Maister Osbaldistone, to
this country, cursed of God and man--uh! uh--Heaven forgie me for
swearing--on nae man's errand but yours, d'ye think it was fair--uh! uh!
uh!--to leave me, first, to be shot or drowned atween red-wad Highlanders
and red-coats; and next to be hung up between heaven and earth, like an
auld potato-bogle, without sae muckle as trying--uh! uh!--sae muckle as
trying to relieve me?"

I made a thousand apologies, and laboured so hard to represent the
impossibility of my affording him relief by my own unassisted exertions,
that at length I succeeded, and the Bailie, who was as placable as hasty
in his temper, extended his favour to me once more. I next took the
liberty of asking him how he had contrived to extricate himself.

"Me extricate! I might hae hung there till the day of judgment or I could
hae helped mysell, wi' my head hinging down on the tae side, and my heels
on the tother, like the yarn-scales in the weigh-house. It was the
creature Dougal that extricated me, as he did yestreen; he cuttit aff the
tails o' my coat wi' his durk, and another gillie and him set me on my
legs as cleverly as if I had never been aff them. But to see what a thing
gude braid claith is! Had I been in ony o' your rotten French camlets
now, or your drab-de-berries, it would hae screeded like an auld rag wi'
sic a weight as mine. But fair fa' the weaver that wrought the weft
o't--I swung and bobbit yonder as safe as a gabbart* that's moored by a
three-ply cable at the Broomielaw."

* A kind of lighter used in the river Clyde,--probably from the French *
_abare._

I now inquired what had become of his preserver.

"The creature," so he continued to call the Highlandman, "contrived to
let me ken there wad be danger in gaun near the leddy till he came back,
and bade me stay here. I am o' the mind," he continued, "that he's
seeking after you--it's a considerate creature--and troth, I wad swear he
was right about the leddy, as he ca's her, too--Helen Campbell was nane
o' the maist douce maidens, nor meekest wives neither, and folk say that
Rob himsell stands in awe o' her. I doubt she winna ken me, for it's mony
years since we met--I am clear for waiting for the Dougal creature or we
gang near her."

I signified my acquiescence in this reasoning; but it was not the will of
fate that day that the Bailie's prudence should profit himself or any one
else.

Andrew Fairservice, though he had ceased to caper on the pinnacle upon
the cessation of the firing, which had given occasion for his whimsical
exercise, continued, as perched on the top of an exposed cliff, too
conspicuous an object to escape the sharp eyes of the Highlanders, when
they had time to look a little around them. We were apprized he was
discovered, by a wild and loud halloo set up among the assembled victors,
three or four of whom instantly plunged into the copsewood, and ascended
the rocky side of the hill in different directions towards the place
where they had discovered this whimsical apparition.

Those who arrived first within gunshot of poor Andrew, did not trouble
themselves to offer him any assistance in the ticklish posture of his
affairs, but levelling their long Spanish-barrelled guns, gave him to
understand, by signs which admitted of no misconstruction, that he must
contrive to come down and submit himself to their mercy, or to be marked
at from beneath, like a regimental target set up for ball-practice. With
such a formidable hint for venturous exertion, Andrew Fairservice could
no longer hesitate; the more imminent peril overcame his sense of that
which seemed less inevitable, and he began to descend the cliff at all
risks, clutching to the ivy and oak stumps, and projecting fragments of
rock, with an almost feverish anxiety, and never failing, as
circumstances left him a hand at liberty, to extend it to the plaided
gentry below in an attitude of supplication, as if to deprecate the
discharge of their levelled firearms. In a word, the fellow, under the
influence of a counteracting motive for terror, achieved a safe descent
from his perilous eminence, which, I verily believe, nothing but the fear
of instant death could have moved him to attempt. The awkward mode of
Andrew's descent greatly amused the Highlanders below, who fired a shot
or two while he was engaged in it, without the purpose of injuring him,
as I believe, but merely to enhance the amusement they derived from his
extreme terror, and the superlative exertions of agility to which it
excited him.

At length he attained firm and comparatively level ground--or rather, to
speak more correctly, his foot slipping at the last point of descent, he
fell on the earth at his full length, and was raised by the assistance of
the Highlanders, who stood to receive him, and who, ere he gained his
legs, stripped him not only of the whole contents of his pockets, but of
periwig, hat, coat, doublet, stockings, and shoes, performing the feat
with such admirable celerity, that, although he fell on his back a
well-clothed and decent burgher-seeming serving-man, he arose a forked,
uncased, bald-pated, beggarly-looking scarecrow. Without respect to the
pain which his undefended toes experienced from the sharp encounter of
the rocks over which they hurried him, those who had detected Andrew
proceeded to drag him downward towards the road through all the
intervening obstacles.

In the course of their descent, Mr. Jarvie and I became exposed to their
lynx-eyed observation, and instantly half-a-dozen of armed Highlanders
thronged around us, with drawn dirks and swords pointed at our faces and
throats, and cocked pistols presented against our bodies. To have offered
resistance would have been madness, especially as we had no weapons
capable of supporting such a demonstration. We therefore submitted to our
fate; and with great roughness on the part of those who assisted at our
toilette, were in the act of being reduced to as unsophisticated a state
(to use King Lear's phrase) as the plume-less biped Andrew Fairservice,
who stood shivering between fear and cold at a few yards' distance. Good
chance, however, saved us from this extremity of wretchedness; for, just
as I had yielded up my cravat (a smart Steinkirk, by the way, and richly
laced), and the Bailie had been disrobed of the fragments of his
riding-coat--enter Dougal, and the scene was changed. By a high tone of
expostulation, mixed with oaths and threats, as far as I could conjecture
the tenor of his language from the violence of his gestures, he compelled
the plunderers, however reluctant, not only to give up their further
depredations on our property, but to restore the spoil they had already
appropriated. He snatched my cravat from the fellow who had seized it,
and twisted it (in the zeal of his restitution) around my neck with such
suffocating energy as made me think that he had not only been, during his
residence at Glasgow, a substitute of the jailor, but must moreover have
taken lessons as an apprentice of the hangman. He flung the tattered
remnants of Mr. Jarvie's coat around his shoulders, and as more
Highlanders began to flock towards us from the high road, he led the way
downwards, directing and commanding the others to afford us, but
particularly the Bailie, the assistance necessary to our descending with
comparative ease and safety. It was, however, in vain that Andrew
Fairservice employed his lungs in obsecrating a share of Dougal's
protection, or at least his interference to procure restoration of his
shoes.

"Na, na," said Dougal in reply, "she's nae gentle pody, I trow; her
petters hae ganged parefoot, or she's muckle mista'en." And, leaving
Andrew to follow at his leisure, or rather at such leisure as the
surrounding crowd were pleased to indulge him with, he hurried us down to
the pathway in which the skirmish had been fought, and hastened to
present us as additional captives to the female leader of his band.

We were dragged before her accordingly, Dougal fighting, struggling,
screaming, as if he were the party most apprehensive of hurt, and
repulsing, by threats and efforts, all those who attempted to take a
nearer interest in our capture than he seemed to do himself. At length we
were placed before the heroine of the day, whose appearance, as well as
those of the savage, uncouth, yet martial figures who surrounded us,
struck me, to own the truth, with considerable apprehension. I do not
know if Helen MacGregor had personally mingled in the fray, and indeed I
was afterwards given to understand the contrary; but the specks of blood
on her brow, her hands and naked arms, as well as on the blade of her
sword which she continued to hold in her hand--her flushed countenance,
and the disordered state of the raven locks which escaped from under the
red bonnet and plume that formed her head-dress, seemed all to intimate
that she had taken an immediate share in the conflict. Her keen black
eyes and features expressed an imagination inflamed by the pride of
gratified revenge, and the triumph of victory. Yet there was nothing
positively sanguinary, or cruel, in her deportment; and she reminded me,
when the immediate alarm of the interview was over, of some of the
paintings I had seen of the inspired heroines in the Catholic churches of
France. She was not, indeed, sufficiently beautiful for a Judith, nor had
she the inspired expression of features which painters have given to
Deborah, or to the wife of Heber the Kenite, at whose feet the strong
oppressor of Israel, who dwelled in Harosheth of the Gentiles, bowed
down, fell, and lay a dead man. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm by which she
was agitated gave her countenance and deportment, wildly dignified in
themselves, an air which made her approach nearly to the ideas of those
wonderful artists who gave to the eye the heroines of Scripture history.

I was uncertain in what terms to accost a personage so uncommon, when Mr.
Jarvie, breaking the ice with a preparatory cough (for the speed with
which he had been brought into her presence had again impeded his
respiration), addressed her as follows:--"Uh! uh! &c. &c. I am very happy
to have this _joyful_ opportunity" (a quaver in his voice strongly belied
the emphasis which he studiously laid on the word joyful)--"this joyful
occasion," he resumed, trying to give the adjective a more suitable
accentuation, "to wish my kinsman Robin's wife a very good morning--Uh!
uh!--How's a' wi' ye?" (by this time he had talked himself into his usual
jog-trot manner, which exhibited a mixture of familiarity and
self-importance)--"How's a' wi' ye this lang time? Ye'll hae forgotten
me, Mrs. MacGregor Campbell, as your cousin--uh! uh!--but ye'll mind my
father, Deacon Nicol Jarvie, in the Saut Market o' Glasgow?--an honest
man he was, and a sponsible, and respectit you and yours. Sae, as I said
before, I am right glad to see you, Mrs. MacGregor Campbell, as my
kinsman's wife. I wad crave the liberty of a kinsman to salute you, but
that your gillies keep such a dolefu' fast haud o' my arms, and, to speak
Heaven's truth and a magistrate's, ye wadna be the waur of a cogfu' o'
water before ye welcomed your friends."

There was something in the familiarity of this introduction which ill
suited the exalted state of temper of the person to whom it was
addressed, then busied with distributing dooms of death, and warm from
conquest in a perilous encounter.

"What fellow are you," she said, "that dare to claim kindred with the
MacGregor, and neither wear his dress nor speak his language?--What are
you, that have the tongue and the habit of the hound, and yet seek to lie
down with the deer?"

"I dinna ken," said the undaunted Bailie, "if the kindred has ever been
weel redd out to you yet, cousin--but it's ken'd, and can be prov'd. My
mother, Elspeth MacFarlane, was the wife of my father, Deacon Nicol
Jarvie--peace be wi' them baith!--and Elspeth was the daughter of Parlane
MacFarlane, at the Sheeling o' Loch Sloy. Now, this Parlane MacFarlane,
as his surviving daughter Maggy MacFarlane, _alias_ MacNab, wha married
Duncan MacNab o' Stuckavrallachan, can testify, stood as near to your
gudeman, Robert MacGregor, as in the fourth degree of kindred, for"--

The virago lopped the genealogical tree, by demanding haughtily, "If a
stream of rushing water acknowledged any relation with the portion
withdrawn from it for the mean domestic uses of those who dwelt on its
banks?"

"Vera true, kinswoman," said the Bailie; "but for a' that, the burn wad
be glad to hae the milldam back again in simmer, when the chuckie-stanes
are white in the sun. I ken weel eneugh you Hieland folk haud us Glasgow
people light and cheap for our language and our claes;--but everybody
speaks their native tongue that they learned in infancy; and it would be
a daft-like thing to see me wi' my fat wame in a short Hieland coat, and
my puir short houghs gartered below the knee, like ane o' your
lang-legged gillies. Mair by token, kinswoman," he continued, in defiance
of various intimations by which Dougal seemed to recommend silence, as
well as of the marks of impatience which the Amazon evinced at his
loquacity, "I wad hae ye to mind that the king's errand whiles comes in
the cadger's gate, and that, for as high as ye may think o' the gudeman,
as it's right every wife should honour her husband--there's Scripture
warrant for that--yet as high as ye haud him, as I was saying, I hae been
serviceable to Rob ere now;--forbye a set o' pearlins I sent yourself
when ye was gaun to be married, and when Rob was an honest weel-doing
drover, and nane o' this unlawfu' wark, wi' fighting, and flashes, and
fluff-gibs, disturbing the king's peace and disarming his soldiers."

He had apparently touched on a key which his kinswoman could not brook.
She drew herself up to her full height, and betrayed the acuteness of her
feelings by a laugh of mingled scorn and bitterness.

"Yes," she said, "you, and such as you, might claim a relation to us,
when we stooped to be the paltry wretches fit to exist under your
dominion, as your hewers of wood and drawers of water--to find cattle for
your banquets, and subjects for your laws to oppress and trample on. But
now we are free--free by the very act which left us neither house nor
hearth, food nor covering--which bereaved me of all--of all--and makes me
groan when I think I must still cumber the earth for other purposes than
those of vengeance. And I will carry on the work, this day has so well
commenced, by a deed that shall break all bands between MacGregor and the
Lowland churls. Here Allan--Dougal--bind these Sassenachs neck and heel
together, and throw them into the Highland Loch to seek for their
Highland kinsfolk."

The Bailie, alarmed at this mandate, was commencing an expostulation,
which probably would have only inflamed the violent passions of the
person whom he addressed, when Dougal threw himself between them, and in
his own language, which he spoke with a fluency and rapidity strongly
contrasted by the slow, imperfect, and idiot-like manner in which he
expressed himself in English, poured forth what I doubt not was a very
animated pleading in our behalf.

His mistress replied to him, or rather cut short his harangue, by
exclaiming in English (as if determined to make us taste in anticipation
the full bitterness of death)--"Base dog, and son of a dog, do you
dispute my commands? Should I tell ye to cut out their tongues and put
them into each other's throats, to try which would there best knap
Southron, or to tear out their hearts and put them into each other's
breasts, to see which would there best plot treason against the
MacGregor--and such things have been done of old in the day of revenge,
when our fathers had wrongs to redress--Should I command you to do this,
would it be your part to dispute my orders?"

"To be sure, to be sure," Dougal replied, with accents of profound
submission; "her pleasure suld be done--tat's but reason; but an it
were--tat is, an it could be thought the same to her to coup the
ill-faured loon of ta red-coat Captain, and hims corporal Cramp, and twa
three o' the red-coats, into the loch, herself wad do't wi' muckle mair
great satisfaction than to hurt ta honest civil shentlemans as were
friends to the Gregarach, and came up on the Chiefs assurance, and not
to do no treason, as herself could testify."

The lady was about to reply, when a few wild strains of a pibroch were
heard advancing up the road from Aberfoil, the same probably which had
reached the ears of Captain Thornton's rear-guard, and determined him to
force his way onward rather than return to the village, on finding the
pass occupied. The skirmish being of very short duration, the armed men
who followed this martial melody, had not, although quickening their
march when they heard the firing, been able to arrive in time sufficient
to take any share in the rencontre. The victory, therefore, was complete
without them, and they now arrived only to share in the triumph of their
countrymen.

There was a marked difference betwixt the appearance of these new comers
and that of the party by which our escort had been defeated--and it was
greatly in favour of the former. Among the Highlanders who surrounded the
Chieftainess, if I may presume to call her so without offence to grammar,
were men in the extremity of age, boys scarce able to bear a sword, and
even women--all, in short, whom the last necessity urges to take up arms;
and it added a shade of bitter shame to the defection which clouded
Thornton's manly countenance, when he found that the numbers and position
of a foe, otherwise so despicable, had enabled them to conquer his brave
veterans. But the thirty or forty Highlanders who now joined the others,
were all men in the prime of youth or manhood, active clean-made fellows,
whose short hose and belted plaids set out their sinewy limbs to the best
advantage. Their arms were as superior to those of the first party as
their dress and appearance. The followers of the female Chief had axes,
scythes, and other antique weapons, in aid of their guns; and some had
only clubs, daggers, and long knives. But of the second party, most had
pistols at the belt, and almost all had dirks hanging at the pouches
which they wore in front. Each had a good gun in his hand, and a
broadsword by his side, besides a stout round target, made of light wood,
covered with leather, and curiously studded with brass, and having a
steel spike screwed into the centre. These hung on their left shoulder
during a march, or while they were engaged in exchanging fire with the
enemy, and were worn on their left arm when they charged with sword in
hand.

But it was easy to see that this chosen band had not arrived from a
victory such as they found their ill-appointed companions possessed of.
The pibroch sent forth occasionally a few wailing notes expressive of a
very different sentiment from triumph; and when they appeared before the
wife of their Chieftain, it was in silence, and with downcast and
melancholy looks. They paused when they approached her, and the pipes
again sent forth the same wild and melancholy strain.

Helen rushed towards them with a countenance in which anger was mingled
with apprehension.--"What means this, Alaster?" she said to the
minstrel--"why a lament in the moment of victory?--Robert--Hamish--where's
the MacGregor?--where's your father?"

Her sons, who led the band, advanced with slow and irresolute steps
towards her, and murmured a few words in Gaelic, at hearing which she set
up a shriek that made the rocks ring again, in which all the women and
boys joined, clapping their hands and yelling as if their lives had been
expiring in the sound. The mountain echoes, silent since the military
sounds of battle had ceased, had now to answer these frantic and
discordant shrieks of sorrow, which drove the very night-birds from their
haunts in the rocks, as if they were startled to hear orgies more hideous
and ill-omened than their own, performed in the face of open day.

"Taken!" repeated Helen, when the clamour had subsided--"Taken!--
captive!--and you live to say so?--Coward dogs! did I nurse you for this,
that you should spare your blood on your father's enemies? or see him
prisoner, and come back to tell it?"

The sons of MacGregor, to whom this expostulation was addressed, were
youths, of whom the eldest had hardly attained his twentieth year.
_Hamish,_ or James, the elder of these youths, was the tallest by a head,
and much handsomer than his brother; his light-blue eyes, with a
profusion of fair hair, which streamed from under his smart blue bonnet,
made his whole appearance a most favourable specimen of the Highland
youth. The younger was called Robert; but, to distinguish him from his
father, the Highlanders added the epithet _Oig,_ or the young. Dark hair,
and dark features, with a ruddy glow of health and animation, and a form
strong and well-set beyond his years, completed the sketch of the young
mountaineer.

Both now stood before their mother with countenances clouded with grief
and shame, and listened, with the most respectful submission, to the
reproaches with which she loaded them. At length when her resentment
appeared in some degree to subside, the eldest, speaking in English,
probably that he might not be understood by their followers, endeavoured
respectfully to vindicate himself and his brother from his mother's
reproaches. I was so near him as to comprehend much of what he said; and,
as it was of great consequence to me to be possessed of information in
this strange crisis, I failed not to listen as attentively as I could.

"The MacGregor," his son stated, "had been called out upon a trysting
with a Lowland hallion, who came with a token from"--he muttered the name
very low, but I thought it sounded like my own. "The MacGregor," he said,
"accepted of the invitation, but commanded the Saxon who brought the
message to be detained, as a hostage that good faith should be observed
to him. Accordingly he went to the place of appointment" (which had some
wild Highland name that I cannot remember), "attended only by Angus Breck
and Little Rory, commanding no one to follow him. Within half an hour
Angus Breck came back with the doleful tidings that the MacGregor had
been surprised and made prisoner by a party of Lennox militia, under
Galbraith of Garschattachin." He added, "that Galbraith, on being
threatened by MacGregor, who upon his capture menaced him with
retaliation on the person of the hostage, had treated the threat with
great contempt, replying, 'Let each side hang his man; we'll hang the
thief, and your catherans may hang the gauger, Rob, and the country will
be rid of two damned things at once, a wild Highlander and a revenue
officer.' Angus Breck, less carefully looked to than his master,
contrived to escape from the hands of the captors, after having been in
their custody long enough to hear this discussion, and to bring off the
news."

"And did you learn this, you false-hearted traitor," said the wife of
MacGregor, "and not instantly rush to your father's rescue, to bring him
off, or leave your body on the place?"

The young MacGregor modestly replied, by representing the very superior
force of the enemy, and stated, that as they made no preparation for
leaving the country, he had fallen back up the glen with the purpose of
collecting a band sufficient to attempt a rescue with some tolerable
chance of success. At length he said, "the militiamen would quarter, he
understood, in the neighbouring house of Gartartan, or the old castle in
the port of Monteith, or some other stronghold, which, although strong
and defensible, was nevertheless capable of being surprised, could they
but get enough of men assembled for the purpose."

I understood afterwards that the rest of the freebooter's followers were
divided into two strong bands, one destined to watch the remaining
garrison of Inversnaid, a party of which, under Captain Thornton, had
been defeated; and another to show front to the Highland clans who had
united with the regular troops and Lowlanders in this hostile and
combined invasion of that mountainous and desolate territory, which lying
between the lakes of Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine, and Loch Ard, was at this
time currently called Rob Roy's, or the MacGregor country. Messengers
were despatched in great haste, to concentrate, as I supposed, their
forces, with a view to the purposed attack on the Lowlanders; and the
dejection and despair, at first visible on each countenance, gave place
to the hope of rescuing their leader, and to the thirst of vengeance. It
was under the burning influence of the latter passion that the wife of
MacGregor commanded that the hostage exchanged for his safety should be
brought into her presence. I believe her sons had kept this unfortunate
wretch out of her sight, for fear of the consequences; but if it was so,
their humane precaution only postponed his fate. They dragged forward at
her summons a wretch already half dead with terror, in whose agonised
features I recognised, to my horror and astonishment, my old acquaintance
Morris.

He fell prostrate before the female Chief with an effort to clasp her
knees, from which she drew back, as if his touch had been pollution, so
that all he could do in token of the extremity of his humiliation, was to
kiss the hem of her plaid. I never heard entreaties for life poured forth
with such agony of spirit. The ecstasy of fear was such, that instead of
paralysing his tongue, as on ordinary occasions, it even rendered him
eloquent; and, with cheeks pale as ashes, hands compressed in agony, eyes
that seemed to be taking their last look of all mortal objects, he
protested, with the deepest oaths, his total ignorance of any design on
the person of Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved and honoured as his own
soul. In the inconsistency of his terror, he said he was but the agent of
others, and he muttered the name of Rashleigh. He prayed but for
life--for life he would give all he had in the world: it was but life he
asked--life, if it were to be prolonged under tortures and privations:
he asked only breath, though it should be drawn in the damps of the
lowest caverns of their hills.

It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing, and contempt, with
which the wife of MacGregor regarded this wretched petitioner for the
poor boon of existence.

"I could have bid ye live," she said, "had life been to you the same
weary and wasting burden that it is to me--that it is to every noble and
generous mind. But you--wretch! you could creep through the world
unaffected by its various disgraces, its ineffable miseries, its
constantly accumulating masses of crime and sorrow: you could live and
enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are betrayed--while nameless and
birthless villains tread on the neck of the brave and the long-descended:
you could enjoy yourself, like a butcher's dog in the shambles, battening
on garbage, while the slaughter of the oldest and best went on around
you! This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of!--you shall die,
base dog! and that before yon cloud has passed over the sun."

She gave a brief command in Gaelic to her attendants, two of whom seized
upon the prostrate suppliant, and hurried him to the brink of a cliff
which overhung the flood. He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries
that fear ever uttered--I may well term them dreadful, for they haunted
my sleep for years afterwards. As the murderers, or executioners, call
them as you will, dragged him along, he recognised me even in that moment
of horror, and exclaimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him
utter, "Oh, Mr. Osbaldistone, save me!--save me!"

I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, although in momentary
expectation of sharing his fate, I did attempt to speak in his behalf,
but, as might have been expected, my interference was sternly
disregarded. The victim was held fast by some, while others, binding a
large heavy stone in a plaid, tied it round his neck, and others again
eagerly stripped him of some part of his dress. Half-naked, and thus
manacled, they hurled him into the lake, there about twelve feet deep,
with a loud halloo of vindictive triumph,--above which, however, his last
death-shriek, the yell of mortal agony, was distinctly heard. The heavy
burden splashed in the dark-blue waters, and the Highlanders, with their
pole-axes and swords, watched an instant to guard, lest, extricating
himself from the load to which he was attached, the victim might have
struggled to regain the shore. But the knot had been securely bound--the
wretched man sunk without effort; the waters, which his fall had
disturbed, settled calmly over him, and the unit of that life for which
he had pleaded so strongly, was for ever withdrawn from the sum of human
existence.





CHAPTER FIFTEEN.


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

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

"I take up my protest against this deed, as a bloody and cruel murder--it
is a cursed deed, and God will avenge it in his due way and time."

"Then you do not fear to follow?" said the virago, bending on him a look
of death, such as that with which a hawk looks at his prey ere he
pounces.

"Kinswoman," said the Bailie, "nae man willingly wad cut short his thread
of life before the end o' his pirn was fairly measured off on the
yarn-winles--And I hae muckle to do, an I be spared, in this
warld--public and private business, as weel that belonging to the
magistracy as to my ain particular; and nae doubt I hae some to depend
on me, as puir Mattie, wha is an orphan--She's a far-awa' cousin o' the
Laird o' Limmerfield. Sae that, laying a' this thegither--skin for skin,
yea all that a man hath, will he give for his life."

"And were I to set you at liberty," said the imperious dame, "what name
could you give to the drowning of that Saxon dog?"

"Uh! uh!--hem! hem!" said the Bailie, clearing his throat as well as he
could, "I suld study to say as little on that score as might be--least
said is sunest mended."

"But if you were called on by the courts, as you term them, of justice,"
she again demanded, "what then would be your answer?"

The Bailie looked this way and that way, like a person who meditates an
escape, and then answered in the tone of one who, seeing no means of
accomplishing a retreat, determines to stand the brunt of battle--"I see
what you are driving me to the wa' about. But I'll tell you't plain,
kinswoman,--I behoved just to speak according to my ain conscience; and
though your ain gudeman, that I wish had been here for his ain sake and
mine, as wool as the puir Hieland creature Dougal, can tell ye that Nicol
Jarvie can wink as hard at a friend's failings as onybody, yet I'se tell
ye, kinswoman, mine's ne'er be the tongue to belie my thought; and sooner
than say that yonder puir wretch was lawfully slaughtered, I wad consent
to be laid beside him--though I think ye are the first Hieland woman wad
mint sic a doom to her husband's kinsman but four times removed."

It is probable that the tone and firmness assumed by the Bailie in his
last speech was better suited to make an impression on the hard heart of
his kinswoman than the tone of supplication he had hitherto assumed, as
gems can be cut with steel, though they resist softer metals. She
commanded us both to be placed before her. "Your name," she said to me,
"is Osbaldistone?--the dead dog, whose death you have witnessed, called
you so."

"My name _is_ Osbaldistone," was my answer.

"Rashleigh, then, I suppose, is your Christian name?" she pursued.

"No,--my name is Francis."

"But you know Rashleigh Osbaldistone," she continued. "He is your
brother, if I mistake not,--at least your kinsman and near friend."

"He is my kinsman," I replied, "but not my friend. We were lately engaged
together in a rencontre, when we were separated by a person whom I
understand to be your husband. My blood is hardly yet dried on his sword,
and the wound on my side is yet green. I have little reason to
acknowledge him as a friend."

"Then," she replied, "if a stranger to his intrigues, you can go in
safety to Garschattachin and his party without fear of being detained,
and carry them a message from the wife of the MacGregor?"

I answered that I knew no reasonable cause why the militia gentlemen
should detain me; that I had no reason, on my own account, to fear being
in their hands; and that if my going on her embassy would act as a
protection to my friend and servant, who were here prisoners, "I was
ready to set out directly." I took the opportunity to say, "That I had
come into this country on her husband's invitation, and his assurance
that he would aid me in some important matters in which I was interested;
that my companion, Mr. Jarvie, had accompanied me on the same errand."

"And I wish Mr. Jarvie's boots had been fu' o' boiling water when he drew
them on for sic a purpose," interrupted the Bailie.

"You may read your father," said Helen MacGregor, turning to her sons,
"in what this young Saxon tells us--Wise only when the bonnet is on his
head, and the sword is in his hand, he never exchanges the tartan for the
broad-cloth, but he runs himself into the miserable intrigues of the
Lowlanders, and becomes again, after all he has suffered, their
agent--their tool--their slave."

"Add, madam," said I, "and their benefactor."

"Be it so," she said; "for it is the most empty title of them all, since
he has uniformly sown benefits to reap a harvest of the most foul
ingratitude.--But enough of this. I shall cause you to be guided to the
enemy's outposts. Ask for their commander, and deliver him this message
from me, Helen MacGregor;--that if they injure a hair of MacGregor's
head, and if they do not set him at liberty within the space of twelve
hours, there is not a lady in the Lennox but shall before Christmas cry
the coronach for them she will be loath to lose,--there is not a farmer
but shall sing well-a-wa over a burnt barnyard and an empty byre,--there
is not a laird nor heritor shall lay his head on the pillow at night with
the assurance of being a live man in the morning,--and, to begin as we
are to end, so soon as the term is expired, I will send them this Glasgow
Bailie, and this Saxon Captain, and all the rest of my prisoners, each
bundled in a plaid, and chopped into as many pieces as there are checks
in the tartan."

As she paused in her denunciation, Captain Thornton, who was within
hearing, added, with great coolness, "Present my compliments--Captain
Thornton's of the Royals, compliments--to the commanding officer, and
tell him to do his duty and secure his prisoner, and not waste a thought
upon me. If I have been fool enough to have been led into an ambuscade by
these artful savages, I am wise enough to know how to die for it without
disgracing the service. I am only sorry for my poor fellows," he said,
"that have fallen into such butcherly hands."

"Whist! whist!" exclaimed the Bailie; "are ye weary o' your life?--Ye'll
gie _my_ service to the commanding officer, Mr. Osbaldistone--Bailie
Nicol Jarvie's service, a magistrate o' Glasgow, as his father the deacon
was before him--and tell him, here are a wheen honest men in great
trouble, and like to come to mair; and the best thing he can do for the
common good, will be just to let Rob come his wa's up the glen, and nae
mair about it. There's been some ill dune here already; but as it has
lighted chiefly on the gauger, it winna be muckle worth making a stir
about."

With these very opposite injunctions from the parties chiefly interested
in the success of my embassy, and with the reiterated charge of the wife
of MacGregor to remember and detail every word of her injunctions, I was
at length suffered to depart; and Andrew Fairservice, chiefly, I believe,
to get rid of his clamorous supplications, was permitted to attend me.
Doubtful, however, that I might use my horse as a means of escape from my
guides, or desirous to retain a prize of some value, I was given to
understand that I was to perform my journey on foot, escorted by Hamish
MacGregor, the elder brother, who, with two followers, attended, as well
to show me the way, as to reconnoitre the strength and position of the
enemy. Dougal had been at first ordered on this party, but he contrived
to elude the service, with the purpose, as we afterwards understood, of
watching over Mr. Jarvie, whom, according to his wild principles of
fidelity, he considered as entitled to his good offices, from having once
acted in some measure as his patron or master.

After walking with great rapidity about an hour, we arrived at an
eminence covered with brushwood, which gave us a commanding prospect down
the valley, and a full view of the post which the militia occupied. Being
chiefly cavalry, they had judiciously avoided any attempt to penetrate
the pass which had been so unsuccessfully essayed by Captain Thornton.
They had taken up their situation with some military skill, on a rising
ground in the centre of the little valley of Aberfoil, through which the
river Forth winds its earliest course, and which is formed by two ridges
of hills, faced with barricades of limestone rock, intermixed with huge
masses of breecia, or pebbles imbedded in some softer substance which has
hardened around them like mortar; and surrounded by the more lofty
mountains in the distance. These ridges, however, left the valley of
breadth enough to secure the cavalry from any sudden surprise by the
mountaineers and they had stationed sentinels and outposts at proper
distances from this main body, in every direction, so that they might
secure full time to mount and get under arms upon the least alarm. It was
not, indeed, expected at that time, that Highlanders would attack cavalry
in an open plain, though late events have shown that they may do so with
success.*

* The affairs of Prestonpans and Falkirk are probably alluded to, which *
marks the time of writing the Memoirs as subsequent to 1745.

When I first knew the Highlanders, they had almost a superstitious dread
of a mounted trooper, the horse being so much more fierce and imposing in
his appearance than the little shelties of their own hills, and moreover
being trained, as the more ignorant mountaineers believed, to fight with
his feet and his teeth. The appearance of the piequeted horses, feeding
in this little vale--the forms of the soldiers, as they sate, stood, or
walked, in various groups in the vicinity of the beautiful river, and of
the bare yet romantic ranges of rock which hedge in the landscape on
either side,--formed a noble foreground; while far to the eastward the
eye caught a glance of the lake of Menteith; and Stirling Castle, dimly
seen along with the blue and distant line of the Ochil Mountains, closed
the scene.

After gazing on this landscape with great earnestness, young MacGregor
intimated to me that I was to descend to the station of the militia and
execute my errand to their commander,--enjoining me at the same time,
with a menacing gesture, neither to inform them who had guided me to that
place, nor where I had parted from my escort. Thus tutored, I descended
towards the military post, followed by Andrew, who, only retaining his
breeches and stockings of the English costume, without a hat,
bare-legged, with brogues on his feet, which Dougal had given him out of
compassion, and having a tattered plaid to supply the want of all upper
garments, looked as if he had been playing the part of a Highland
Tom-of-Bedlam. We had not proceeded far before we became visible to one
of the videttes, who, riding towards us, presented his carabine and
commanded me to stand. I obeyed, and when the soldier came up, desired to
be conducted to his commanding-officer. I was immediately brought where a
circle of officers, sitting upon the grass, seemed in attendance upon one
of superior rank. He wore a cuirass of polished steel, over which were
drawn the insignia of the ancient Order of the Thistle. My friend
Garschattachin, and many other gentlemen, some in uniform, others in
their ordinary dress, but all armed and well attended, seemed to receive
their orders from this person of distinction. Many servants in rich
liveries, apparently a part of his household, were also in waiting.

Having paid to this nobleman the respect which his rank appeared to
demand, I acquainted him that I had been an involuntary witness to the
king's soldiers having suffered a defeat from the Highlanders at the pass
of Loch-Ard (such I had learned was the name of the place where Mr.
Thornton was made prisoner), and that the victors threatened every
species of extremity to those who had fallen into their power, as well as
to the Low Country in general, unless their Chief, who had that morning
been made prisoner, were returned to them uninjured. The Duke (for he
whom I addressed was of no lower rank) listened to me with great
composure, and then replied, that he should be extremely sorry to expose
the unfortunate gentlemen who had been made prisoners to the cruelty of
the barbarians into whose hands they had fallen, but that it was folly to
suppose that he would deliver up the very author of all these disorders
and offences, and so encourage his followers in their license. "You may
return to those who sent you," he proceeded, "and inform them, that I
shall certainly cause Rob Roy Campbell, whom they call MacGregor, to be
executed, by break of day, as an outlaw taken in arms, and deserving
death by a thousand acts of violence; that I should be most justly held
unworthy of my situation and commission did I act otherwise; that I shall
know how to protect the country against their insolent threats of
violence; and that if they injure a hair of the head of any of the
unfortunate gentlemen whom an unlucky accident has thrown into their
power, I will take such ample vengeance, that the very stones of their
glens shall sing woe for it this hundred years to come!"

I humbly begged leave to remonstrate respecting the honourable mission
imposed on me, and touched upon the obvious danger attending it, when the
noble commander replied, "that such being the case, I might send my
servant."

"The deil be in my feet," said Andrew, without either having respect to
the presence in which he stood, or waiting till I replied--"the deil be
in my feet, if I gang my tae's length. Do the folk think I hae another
thrapple in my pouch after John Highlandman's sneeked this ane wi' his
joctaleg? or that I can dive doun at the tae side of a Highland loch and
rise at the tother, like a shell-drake? Na, na--ilk ane for himsell, and
God for us a'. Folk may just make a page o' their ain age, and serve
themsells till their bairns grow up, and gang their ain errands for
Andrew. Rob Roy never came near the parish of Dreepdaily, to steal either
pippin or pear frae me or mine."

Silencing my follower with some difficulty, I represented to the Duke the
great danger Captain Thornton and Mr. Jarvie would certainly be exposed
to, and entreated he would make me the bearer of such modified terms as
might be the means of saving their lives. I assured him I should decline
no danger if I could be of service; but from what I had heard and seen, I
had little doubt they would be instantly murdered should the chief of the
outlaws suffer death.

The Duke was obviously much affected. "It was a hard case," he said, "and
he felt it as such; but he had a paramount duty to perform to the
country--Rob Roy must die!"

I own it was not without emotion that I heard this threat of instant
death to my acquaintance Campbell, who had so often testified his
good-will towards me. Nor was I singular in the feeling, for many of
those around the Duke ventured to express themselves in his favour. "It
would be more advisable," they said, "to send him to Stirling Castle, and
there detain him a close prisoner, as a pledge for the submission and
dispersion of his gang. It were a great pity to expose the country to be
plundered, which, now that the long nights approached, it would be found
very difficult to prevent, since it was impossible to guard every point,
and the Highlanders were sure to select those that were left exposed."
They added, that there was great hardship in leaving the unfortunate
prisoners to the almost certain doom of massacre denounced against them,
which no one doubted would be executed in the first burst of revenge.

Garschattachin ventured yet farther, confiding in the honour of the
nobleman whom he addressed, although he knew he had particular reasons
for disliking their prisoner. "Rob Roy," he said, "though a kittle
neighbour to the Low Country, and particularly obnoxious to his Grace,
and though he maybe carried the catheran trade farther than ony man o'
his day, was an auld-farrand carle, and there might be some means of
making him hear reason; whereas his wife and sons were reckless fiends,
without either fear or mercy about them, and, at the head of a' his
limmer loons, would be a worse plague to the country than ever he had
been."

"Pooh! pooh!" replied his Grace, "it is the very sense and cunning of
this fellow which has so long maintained his reign--a mere Highland
robber would have been put down in as many weeks as he has flourished
years. His gang, without him, is no more to be dreaded as a permanent
annoyance--it will no longer exist--than a wasp without its head, which
may sting once perhaps, but is instantly crushed into annihilation."

Garschattachin was not so easily silenced. "I am sure, my Lord Duke," he
replied, "I have no favour for Rob, and he as little for me, seeing he
has twice cleaned out my ain byres, beside skaith amang my tenants; but,
however"--

"But, however, Garschattachin," said the Duke, with a smile of peculiar
expression, "I fancy you think such a freedom may be pardoned in a
friend's friend, and Rob's supposed to be no enemy to Major Galbraith's
friends over the water."

"If it be so, my lord," said Garschattachin, in the same tone of
jocularity, "it's no the warst thing I have heard of him. But I wish we
heard some news from the clans, that we have waited for sae lang. I vow
to God they'll keep a Hielandman's word wi' us--I never ken'd them
better--it's ill drawing boots upon trews."

"I cannot believe it," said the Duke. "These gentlemen are known to be
men of honour, and I must necessarily suppose they are to keep their
appointment. Send out two more horse-men to look for our friends. We
cannot, till their arrival, pretend to attack the pass where Captain
Thornton has suffered himself to be surprised, and which, to my
knowledge, ten men on foot might make good against a regiment of the best
horse in Europe--Meanwhile let refreshments be given to the men."

I had the benefit of this last order, the more necessary and acceptable,
as I had tasted nothing since our hasty meal at Aberfoil the evening
before. The videttes who had been despatched returned without tidings of
the expected auxiliaries, and sunset was approaching, when a Highlander
belonging to the clans whose co-operation was expected, appeared as the
bearer of a letter, which he delivered to the Duke with a most profound
conge'.

"Now will I wad a hogshead of claret," said Garschattachin, "that this is
a message to tell us that these cursed Highlandmen, whom we have fetched
here at the expense of so much plague and vexation, are going to draw
off, and leave us to do our own business if we can."

"It is even so, gentlemen," said the Duke, reddening with indignation,
after having perused the letter, which was written upon a very dirty
scrap of paper, but most punctiliously addressed, "For the much-honoured
hands of Ane High and Mighty Prince, the Duke," &c. &c. &c. "Our allies,"
continued the Duke, "have deserted us, gentlemen, and have made a
separate peace with the enemy."

"It's just the fate of all alliances," said Garschattachin, "the Dutch
were gaun to serve us the same gate, if we had not got the start of them
at Utrecht."

"You are facetious, air," said the Duke, with a frown which showed how
little he liked the pleasantry; "but our business is rather of a grave
cut just now.--I suppose no gentleman would advise our attempting to
penetrate farther into the country, unsupported either by friendly
Highlanders, or by infantry from Inversnaid?"

A general answer announced that the attempt would be perfect madness.

"Nor would there be great wisdom," the Duke added, "in remaining exposed
to a night-attack in this place. I therefore propose that we should
retreat to the house of Duchray and that of Gartartan, and keep safe and
sure watch and ward until morning. But before we separate, I will examine
Rob Roy before you all, and make you sensible, by your own eyes and ears,
of the extreme unfitness of leaving him space for farther outrage." He
gave orders accordingly, and the prisoner was brought before him, his
arms belted down above the elbow, and secured to his body by a
horse-girth buckled tight behind him. Two non-commissioned officers had
hold of him, one on each side, and two file of men with carabines and
fixed bayonets attended for additional security.

I had never seen this man in the dress of his country, which set in a
striking point of view the peculiarities of his form. A shock-head of red
hair, which the hat and periwig of the Lowland costume had in a great
measure concealed, was seen beneath the Highland bonnet, and verified the
epithet of _Roy,_ or Red, by which he was much better known in the Low
Country than by any other, and is still, I suppose, best remembered. The
justice of the appellation was also vindicated by the appearance of that
part of his limbs, from the bottom of his kilt to the top of his short
hose, which the fashion of his country dress left bare, and which was
covered with a fell of thick, short, red hair, especially around his
knees, which resembled in this respect, as well as from their sinewy
appearance of extreme strength, the limbs of a red-coloured Highland
bull. Upon the whole, betwixt the effect produced by the change of dress,
and by my having become acquainted with his real and formidable
character, his appearance had acquired to my eyes something so much
wilder and more striking than it before presented, that I could scarce
recognise him to be the same person.

His manner was bold, unconstrained unless by the actual bonds, haughty,
and even dignified. He bowed to the Duke, nodded to Garschattachin and
others, and showed some surprise at seeing me among the party.

"It is long since we have met, Mr. Campbell," said the Duke.

"It is so, my Lord Duke; I could have wished it had been" (looking at the
fastening on his arms) "when I could have better paid the compliments I
owe to your Grace;--but there's a gude time coming."

"No time like the time present, Mr. Campbell," answered the Duke, "for
the hours are fast flying that must settle your last account with all
mortal affairs. I do not say this to insult your distress; but you must
be aware yourself that you draw near the end of your career. I do not
deny that you may sometimes have done less harm than others of your
unhappy trade, and that you may occasionally have exhibited marks of
talent, and even of a disposition which promised better things. But you
are aware how long you have been the terror and the oppressor of a
peaceful neighbourhood, and by what acts of violence you have maintained
and extended your usurped authority. You know, in short, that you have
deserved death, and that you must prepare for it."

"My Lord," said Rob Roy, "although I may well lay my misfortunes at your
Grace's door, yet I will never say that you yourself have been the wilful
and witting author of them. My Lord, if I had thought sae, your Grace
would not this day have been sitting in judgment on me; for you have been
three times within good rifle distance of me when you were thinking but
of the red deer, and few people have ken'd me miss my aim. But as for
them that have abused your Grace's ear, and set you up against a man that
was ance as peacefu' a man as ony in the land, and made your name the
warrant for driving me to utter extremity,--I have had some amends of
them, and, for a' that your Grace now says, I expect to live to hae
mair."

"I know," said the Duke, in rising anger, "that you are a determined and
impudent villain, who will keep his oath if he swears to mischief; but it
shall be my care to prevent you. You have no enemies but your own wicked
actions."

"Had I called myself Grahame, instead of Campbell, I might have heard
less about them," answered Rob Roy, with dogged resolution.

"You will do well, sir," said the Duke, "to warn your wife and family and
followers, to beware how they use the gentlemen now in their hands, as I
will requite tenfold on them, and their kin and allies, the slightest
injury done to any of his Majesty's liege subjects."

"My Lord," said Roy in answer, "none of my enemies will allege that I
have been a bloodthirsty man, and were I now wi' my folk, I could rule
four or five hundred wild Hielanders as easy as your Grace those eight or
ten lackeys and foot-boys--But if your Grace is bent to take the head
away from a house, ye may lay your account there will be misrule amang
the members.--However, come o't what like, there's an honest man, a
kinsman o' my ain, maun come by nae skaith. Is there ony body here wad do
a gude deed for MacGregor?--he may repay it, though his hands be now
tied."

The Highlander who had delivered the letter to the Duke replied, "I'll do
your will for you, MacGregor; and I'll gang back up the glen on purpose."

He advanced, and received from the prisoner a message to his wife, which,
being in Gaelic, I did not understand, but I had little doubt it related
to some measures to be taken for the safety of Mr. Jarvie.

"Do you hear the fellow's impudence?" said the Duke; "he confides in his
character of a messenger. His conduct is of a piece with his master's,
who invited us to make common cause against these freebooters, and have
deserted us so soon as the MacGregors have agreed to surrender the
Balquhidder lands they were squabbling about.

             No truth in plaids, no faith in tartan trews!
             Chameleon-like, they change a thousand hues."

"Your great ancestor never said so, my Lord," answered Major
Galbraith;--"and, with submission, neither would your Grace have
occasion to say it, wad ye but be for beginning justice at the
well-head--Gie the honest man his mear again--Let every head wear it's
ane bannet, and the distractions o' the Lennox wad be mended wi' them
o'the land."

"Hush! hush! Garschattachin," said the Duke; "this is language dangerous
for you to talk to any one, and especially to me; but I presume you
reckon yourself a privileged person. Please to draw off your party
towards Gartartan; I shall myself see the prisoner escorted to Duchray,
and send you orders tomorrow. You will please grant no leave of absence
to any of your troopers."

"Here's auld ordering and counter-ordering," muttered Garschattachin
between his teeth. "But patience! patience!--we may ae day play at change
seats, the king's coming."

The two troops of cavalry now formed, and prepared to march off the
ground, that they might avail themselves of the remainder of daylight to
get to their evening quarters. I received an intimation, rather than an
invitation, to attend the party; and I perceived, that, though no longer
considered as a prisoner, I was yet under some sort of suspicion. The
times were indeed so dangerous,--the great party questions of Jacobite
and Hanoverian divided the country so effectually,--and the constant
disputes and jealousies between the Highlanders and Lowlanders, besides a
number of inexplicable causes of feud which separated the great leading
families in Scotland from each other, occasioned such general suspicion,
that a solitary and unprotected stranger was almost sure to meet with
something disagreeable in the course of his travels.

I acquiesced, however, in my destination with the best grace I could,
consoling myself with the hope that I might obtain from the captive
freebooter some information concerning Rashleigh and his machinations. I
should do myself injustice did I not add, that my views were not merely
selfish. I was too much interested in my singular acquaintance not to be
desirous of rendering him such services as his unfortunate situation
might demand, or admit of his receiving.





CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

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

The echoes of the rocks and ravines, on either side, now rang to the
trumpets of the cavalry, which, forming themselves into two distinct
bodies, began to move down the valley at a slow trot. That commanded by
Major Galbraith soon took to the right hand, and crossed the Forth, for
the purpose of taking up the quarters assigned them for the night, when
they were to occupy, as I understood, an old castle in the vicinity. They
formed a lively object while crossing the stream, but were soon lost in
winding up the bank on the opposite side, which was clothed with wood.

We continued our march with considerable good order. To ensure the safe
custody of the prisoner, the Duke had caused him to be placed on
horseback behind one of his retainers, called, as I was informed, Ewan of
Brigglands, one of the largest and strongest men who were present. A
horse-belt, passed round the bodies of both, and buckled before the
yeoman's breast, rendered it impossible for Rob Roy to free himself from
his keeper. I was directed to keep close beside them, and accommodated
for the purpose with a troop-horse. We were as closely surrounded by the
soldiers as the width of the road would permit, and had always at least
one, if not two, on each side, with pistol in hand. Andrew Fairservice,
furnished with a Highland pony, of which they had made prey somewhere or
other, was permitted to ride among the other domestics, of whom a great
number attended the line of march, though without falling into the ranks
of the more regularly trained troopers.

In this manner we travelled for a certain distance, until we arrived at a
place where we also were to cross the river. The Forth, as being the
outlet of a lake, is of considerable depth, even where less important in
point of width, and the descent to the ford was by a broken precipitous
ravine, which only permitted one horseman to descend at once. The rear
and centre of our small body halting on the bank while the front files
passed down in succession, produced a considerable delay, as is usual on
such occasions, and even some confusion; for a number of those riders,
who made no proper part of the squadron, crowded to the ford without
regularity, and made the militia cavalry, although tolerably well
drilled, partake in some degree of their own disorder.


[Illustration: Escape of Rob Roy at the Ford--232]


It was while we were thus huddled together on the bank that I heard Rob
Roy whisper to the man behind whom he was placed on horseback, "Your
father, Ewan, wadna hae carried an auld friend to the shambles, like a
calf, for a' the Dukes in Christendom."

Ewan returned no answer, but shrugged, as one who would express by that
sign that what he was doing was none of his own choice.

"And when the MacGregors come down the glen, and ye see toom faulds, a
bluidy hearthstone, and the fire flashing out between the rafters o' your
house, ye may be thinking then, Ewan, that were your friend Rob to the
fore, you would have had that safe which it will make your heart sair to
lose."

Ewan of Brigglands again shrugged and groaned, but remained silent.

"It's a sair thing," continued Rob, sliding his insinuations so gently
into Ewan's ear that they reached no other but mine, who certainly saw
myself in no shape called upon to destroy his prospects of escape--"It's
a sair thing, that Ewan of Brigglands, whom Roy MacGregor has helped with
hand, sword, and purse, suld mind a gloom from a great man mair than a
friend's life."

Ewan seemed sorely agitated, but was silent.--We heard the Duke's voice
from the opposite bank call, "Bring over the prisoner."

Ewan put his horse in motion, and just as I heard Roy say, "Never weigh a
MacGregor's bluid against a broken whang o' leather, for there will be
another accounting to gie for it baith here and hereafter," they passed
me hastily, and dashing forward rather precipitately, entered the water.

"Not yet, sir--not yet," said some of the troopers to me, as I was about
to follow, while others pressed forward into the stream.

I saw the Duke on the other side, by the waning light, engaged in
commanding his people to get into order, as they landed dispersedly, some
higher, some lower. Many had crossed, some were in the water, and the
rest were preparing to follow, when a sudden splash warned me that
MacGregor's eloquence had prevailed on Ewan to give him freedom and a
chance for life. The Duke also heard the sound, and instantly guessed its
meaning. "Dog!" he exclaimed to Ewan as he landed, "where is your
prisoner?" and, without waiting to hear the apology which the terrified
vassal began to falter forth, he fired a pistol at his head, whether
fatally I know not, and exclaimed, "Gentlemen, disperse and pursue the
villain--An hundred guineas for him that secures Rob Roy!"

All became an instant scene of the most lively confusion. Rob Roy,
disengaged from his bonds, doubtless by Ewan's slipping the buckle of his
belt, had dropped off at the horse's tail, and instantly dived, passing
under the belly of the troop-horse which was on his left hand. But as he
was obliged to come to the surface an instant for air, the glimpse of his
tartan plaid drew the attention of the troopers, some of whom plunged
into the river, with a total disregard to their own safety, rushing,
according to the expression of their country, through pool and stream,
sometimes swimming their horses, sometimes losing them and struggling for
their own lives. Others, less zealous or more prudent, broke off in
different directions, and galloped up and down the banks, to watch the
places at which the fugitive might possibly land. The hollowing, the
whooping, the calls for aid at different points, where they saw, or
conceived they saw, some vestige of him they were seeking,--the frequent
report of pistols and carabines, fired at every object which excited the
least suspicion,--the sight of so many horsemen riding about, in and out
of the river, and striking with their long broadswords at whatever
excited their attention, joined to the vain exertions used by their
officers to restore order and regularity,--and all this in so wild a
scene, and visible only by the imperfect twilight of an autumn evening,
made the most extraordinary hubbub I had hitherto witnessed. I was indeed
left alone to observe it, for our whole cavalcade had dispersed in
pursuit, or at least to see the event of the search. Indeed, as I partly
suspected at the time, and afterwards learned with certainty, many of
those who seemed most active in their attempts to waylay and recover the
fugitive, were, in actual truth, least desirous that he should be taken,
and only joined in the cry to increase the general confusion, and to give
Rob Roy a better opportunity of escaping.

Escape, indeed, was not difficult for a swimmer so expert as the
freebooter, as soon as he had eluded the first burst of pursuit. At one
time he was closely pressed, and several blows were made which flashed in
the water around him; the scene much resembling one of the otter-hunts
which I had seen at Osbaldistone Hall, where the animal is detected by
the hounds from his being necessitated to put his nose above the stream
to vent or breathe, while he is enabled to elude them by getting under
water again so soon as he has refreshed himself by respiration.
MacGregor, however, had a trick beyond the otter; for he contrived, when
very closely pursued, to disengage himself unobserved from his plaid, and
suffer it to float down the stream, where in its progress it quickly
attracted general attention; many of the horsemen were thus put upon a
false scent, and several shots or stabs were averted from the party for
whom they were designed.

Once fairly out of view, the recovery of the prisoner became almost
impossible, since, in so many places, the river was rendered inaccessible
by the steepness of its banks, or the thickets of alders, poplars, and
birch, which, overhanging its banks, prevented the approach of horsemen.
Errors and accidents had also happened among the pursuers, whose task the
approaching night rendered every moment more hopeless. Some got
themselves involved in the eddies of the stream, and required the
assistance of their companions to save them from drowning. Others, hurt
by shots or blows in the confused mele'e, implored help or threatened
vengeance, and in one or two instances such accidents led to actual
strife. The trumpets, therefore, sounded the retreat, announcing that the
commanding officer, with whatsoever unwillingness, had for the present
relinquished hopes of the important prize which had thus unexpectedly
escaped his grasp, and the troopers began slowly, reluctantly, and
brawling with each other as they returned, again to assume their ranks. I
could see them darkening, as they formed on the southern bank of the
river,--whose murmurs, long drowned by the louder cries of vengeful
pursuit, were now heard hoarsely mingling with the deep, discontented,
and reproachful voices of the disappointed horsemen.

Hitherto I had been as it were a mere spectator, though far from an
uninterested one, of the singular scene which had passed. But now I heard
a voice suddenly exclaim, "Where is the English stranger?--It was he gave
Rob Roy the knife to cut the belt."

"Cleeve the pock-pudding to the chafts!" cried one voice.

"Weize a brace of balls through his harn-pan!" said a second.

"Drive three inches of cauld airn into his brisket!" shouted a third.

And I heard several horses galloping to and fro, with the kind purpose,
doubtless, of executing these denunciations. I was immediately awakened
to the sense of my situation, and to the certainty that armed men, having
no restraint whatever on their irritated and inflamed passions, would
probably begin by shooting or cutting me down, and afterwards investigate
the justice of the action. Impressed by this belief, I leaped from my
horse, and turning him loose, plunged into a bush of alder-trees, where,
considering the advancing obscurity of the night, I thought there was
little chance of my being discovered. Had I been near enough to the Duke
to have invoked his personal protection, I would have done so; but he had
already commenced his retreat, and I saw no officer on the left bank of
the river, of authority sufficient to have afforded protection, in case
of my surrendering myself. I thought there was no point of honour which
could require, in such circumstances, an unnecessary exposure of my life.
My first idea, when the tumult began to be appeased, and the clatter of
the horses' feet was heard less frequently in the immediate vicinity of
my hiding-place, was to seek out the Duke's quarters when all should be
quiet, and give myself up to him, as a liege subject, who had nothing to
fear from his justice, and a stranger, who had every right to expect
protection and hospitality. With this purpose I crept out of my
hiding-place, and looked around me.

The twilight had now melted nearly into darkness; a few or none of the
troopers were left on my side of the Forth, and of those who were already
across it, I only heard the distant trample of the horses' feet, and the
wailing and prolonged sound of their trumpets, which rung through the
woods to recall stragglers, Here, therefore, I was left in a situation of
considerable difficulty. I had no horse, and the deep and wheeling stream
of the river, rendered turbid by the late tumult of which its channel had
been the scene, and seeming yet more so under the doubtful influence of
an imperfect moonlight, had no inviting influence for a pedestrian by no
means accustomed to wade rivers, and who had lately seen horsemen
weltering, in this dangerous passage, up to the very saddle-laps. At the
same time, my prospect, if I remained on the side of the river on which I
then stood, could be no other than of concluding the various fatigues of
this day and the preceding night, by passing that which was now closing
in, _al fresco_ on the side of a Highland hill.

After a moment's reflection, I began to consider that Fairservice, who
had doubtless crossed the river with the other domestics, according to
his forward and impertinent custom of putting himself always among the
foremost, could not fail to satisfy the Duke, or the competent
authorities, respecting my rank and situation; and that, therefore, my
character did not require my immediate appearance, at the risk of being
drowned in the river--of being unable to trace the march of the squadron
in case of my reaching the other side in safety--or, finally, of being
cut down, right or wrong, by some straggler, who might think such a piece
of good service a convenient excuse for not sooner rejoining his ranks. I
therefore resolved to measure my steps back to the little inn, where I
had passed the preceding night. I had nothing to apprehend from Rob Roy.
He was now at liberty, and I was certain, in case of my falling in with
any of his people, the news of his escape would ensure me protection. I
might thus also show, that I had no intention to desert Mr. Jarvie in the
delicate situation in which he had engaged himself chiefly on my account.
And lastly, it was only in this quarter that I could hope to learn
tidings concerning Rashleigh and my father's papers, which had been the
original cause of an expedition so fraught with perilous adventure. I
therefore abandoned all thoughts of crossing the Forth that evening; and,
turning my back on the Fords of Frew, began to retrace my steps towards
the little village of Aberfoil.

A sharp frost-wind, which made itself heard and felt from time to time,
removed the clouds of mist which might otherwise have slumbered till
morning on the valley; and, though it could not totally disperse the
clouds of vapour, yet threw them in confused and changeful masses, now
hovering round the heads of the mountains, now filling, as with a dense
and voluminous stream of smoke, the various deep gullies where masses of
the composite rock, or breccia, tumbling in fragments from the cliffs,
have rushed to the valley, leaving each behind its course a rent and torn
ravine resembling a deserted water-course. The moon, which was now high,
and twinkled with all the vivacity of a frosty atmosphere, silvered the
windings of the river and the peaks and precipices which the mist left
visible, while her beams seemed as it were absorbed by the fleecy
whiteness of the mist, where it lay thick and condensed; and gave to the
more light and vapoury specks, which were elsewhere visible, a sort of
filmy transparency resembling the lightest veil of silver gauze. Despite
the uncertainty of my situation, a view so romantic, joined to the active
and inspiring influence of the frosty atmosphere, elevated my spirits
while it braced my nerves. I felt an inclination to cast care away, and
bid defiance to danger, and involuntarily whistled, by way of cadence to
my steps, which my feeling of the cold led me to accelerate, and I felt
the pulse of existence beat prouder and higher in proportion as I felt
confidence in my own strength, courage, and resources. I was so much lost
in these thoughts, and in the feelings which they excited, that two
horsemen came up behind me without my hearing their approach, until one
was on each side of me, when the left-hand rider, pulling up his horse,
addressed me in the English tongue--"So ho, friend! whither so late?"

"To my supper and bed at Aberfoil," I replied.

"Are the passes open?" he inquired, with the same commanding tone of
voice.

"I do not know," I replied; "I shall learn when I get there. But," I
added, the fate of Morris recurring to my recollection, "if you are an
English stranger, I advise you to turn back till daylight; there has been
some disturbance in this neighbourhood, and I should hesitate to say it
is perfectly safe for strangers."

"The soldiers had the worst?--had they not?" was the reply.

"They had indeed; and an officer's party were destroyed or made
prisoners."

"Are you sure of that?" replied the horseman.

"As sure as that I hear you speak," I replied. "I was an unwilling
spectator of the skirmish."

"Unwilling!" continued the interrogator. "Were you not engaged in it
then?"

"Certainly no," I replied; "I was detained by the king's officer."

"On what suspicion? and who are you? or what is your name?" he continued.

"I really do not know, sir," said I, "why I should answer so many
questions to an unknown stranger. I have told you enough to convince you
that you are going into a dangerous and distracted country. If you choose
to proceed, it is your own affair; but as I ask you no questions
respecting your name and business, you will oblige me by making no
inquiries after mine."

"Mr. Francis Osbaldistone," said the other rider, in a voice the tones of
which thrilled through every nerve of my body, "should not whistle his
favourite airs when he wishes to remain undiscovered."

And Diana Vernon--for she, wrapped in a horseman's cloak, was the last
speaker--whistled in playful mimicry the second part of the tune which
was on my lips when they came up.

"Good God!" I exclaimed, like one thunderstruck, "can it be you, Miss
Vernon, on such a spot--at such an hour--in such a lawless country--in
such"--

"In such a masculine dress, you would say.--But what would you have? The
philosophy of the excellent Corporal Nym is the best after all; things
must be as they may--_pauca verba._"

While she was thus speaking, I eagerly took advantage of an unusually
bright gleam of moonshine, to study the appearance of her companion; for
it may be easily supposed, that finding Miss Vernon in a place so
solitary, engaged in a journey so dangerous, and under the protection of
one gentleman only, were circumstances to excite every feeling of
jealousy, as well as surprise. The rider did not speak with the deep
melody of Rashleigh's voice; his tones were more high and commanding; he
was taller, moreover, as he sate on horseback, than that first-rate
object of my hate and suspicion. Neither did the stranger's address
resemble that of any of my other cousins; it had that indescribable tone
and manner by which we recognise a man of sense and breeding, even in the
first few sentences he speaks.

The object of my anxiety seemed desirous to get rid of my investigation.

"Diana," he said, in a tone of mingled kindness and authority, "give your
cousin his property, and let us not spend time here."

Miss Vernon had in the meantime taken out a small case, and leaning down
from her horse towards me, she said, in a tone in which an effort at her
usual quaint lightness of expression contended with a deeper and more
grave tone of sentiment, "You see, my dear coz, I was born to be your
better angel. Rashleigh has been compelled to yield up his spoil, and had
we reached this same village of Aberfoil last night, as we purposed, I
should have found some Highland sylph to have wafted to you all these
representatives of commercial wealth. But there were giants and dragons
in the way; and errant-knights and damsels of modern times, bold though
they be, must not, as of yore, run into useless danger--Do not you do so
either, my dear coz."

"Diana," said her companion, "let me once more warn you that the evening
waxes late, and we are still distant from our home."

"I am coming, sir, I am coming--Consider," she added, with a sigh, "how
lately I have been subjected to control--besides, I have not yet given my
cousin the packet, and bid him fare-well--for ever. Yes, Frank," she
said, "for ever!--there is a gulf between us--a gulf of absolute
perdition;--where we go, you must not follow--what we do, you must not
share in--Farewell--be happy!"


[Illustration: Parting of Die and Frank on the Moor --242]


In the attitude in which she bent from her horse, which was a Highland
pony, her face, not perhaps altogether unwillingly, touched mine. She
pressed my hand, while the tear that trembled in her eye found its
way to my cheek instead of her own. It was a moment never to be
forgotten--inexpressibly bitter, yet mixed with a sensation of pleasure
so deeply soothing and affecting, as at once to unlock all the
flood-gates of the heart. It was _but_ a moment, however; for, instantly
recovering from the feeling to which she had involuntarily given way,
she intimated to her companion she was ready to attend him, and putting
their horses to a brisk pace, they were soon far distant from the place
where I stood.

Heaven knows, it was not apathy which loaded my frame and my tongue so
much, that I could neither return Miss Vernon's half embrace, nor even
answer her farewell. The word, though it rose to my tongue, seemed to
choke in my throat like the fatal _guilty,_ which the delinquent who
makes it his plea, knows must be followed by the doom of death. The
surprise--the sorrow, almost stupified me. I remained motionless with the
packet in my hand, gazing after them, as if endeavouring to count the
sparkles which flew from the horses' hoofs. I continued to look after
even these had ceased to be visible, and to listen for their footsteps
long after the last distant trampling had died in my ears. At length,
tears rushed to my eyes, glazed as they were by the exertion of straining
after what was no longer to be seen. I wiped them mechanically, and
almost without being aware that they were flowing--but they came thicker
and thicker; I felt the tightening of the throat and breast--the
_hysterica passio_ of poor Lear; and sitting down by the wayside, I shed
a flood of the first and most bitter tears which had flowed from my eyes
since childhood.






CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.


     _Dangle._--Egad, I think the interpreter is the harder to be
          understood of the two.
                                        Critic.

I had scarce given vent to my feelings in this paroxysm, ere was ashamed
of my weakness. I remembered that I had been for some time endeavouring
to regard Diana Vernon, when her idea intruded itself on my remembrance,
as a friend, for whose welfare I should indeed always be anxious, but
with whom I could have little further communication. But the almost
unrepressed tenderness of her manner, joined to the romance of our sudden
meeting where it was so little to have been expected, were circumstances
which threw me entirely off my guard. I recovered, however, sooner than
might have been expected, and without giving myself time accurately to
examine my motives. I resumed the path on which I had been travelling
when overtaken by this strange and unexpected apparition.

"I am not," was my reflection, "transgressing her injunction so
pathetically given, since I am but pursuing my own journey by the only
open route.--If I have succeeded in recovering my father's property, it
still remains incumbent on me to see my Glasgow friend delivered from the
situation in which he has involved himself on my account; besides, what
other place of rest can I obtain for the night excepting at the little
inn of Aberfoil? They also must stop there, since it is impossible for
travellers on horseback to go farther--Well, then, we shall meet
again--meet for the last time perhaps--But I shall see and hear her--I
shall learn who this happy man is who exercises over her the authority
of a husband--I shall learn if there remains, in the difficult course in
which she seems engaged, any difficulty which my efforts may remove, or
aught that I can do to express my gratitude for her generosity--for her
disinterested friendship."

As I reasoned thus with myself, colouring with every plausible pretext
which occurred to my ingenuity my passionate desire once more to see and
converse with my cousin, I was suddenly hailed by a touch on the
shoulder; and the deep voice of a Highlander, who, walking still faster
than I, though I was proceeding at a smart pace, accosted me with, "A
braw night, Maister Osbaldistone--we have met at the mirk hour before
now."

There was no mistaking the tone of MacGregor; he had escaped the pursuit
of his enemies, and was in full retreat to his own wilds and to his
adherents. He had also contrived to arm himself, probably at the house of
some secret adherent, for he had a musket on his shoulder, and the usual
Highland weapons by his side. To have found myself alone with such a
character in such a situation, and at this late hour in the evening,
might not have been pleasant to me in any ordinary mood of mind; for,
though habituated to think of Rob Roy in rather a friendly point of view,
I will confess frankly that I never heard him speak but that it seemed to
thrill my blood. The intonation of the mountaineers gives a habitual
depth and hollowness to the sound of their words, owing to the guttural
expression so common in their native language, and they usually speak
with a good deal of emphasis. To these national peculiarities Rob Roy
added a sort of hard indifference of accent and manner, expressive of a
mind neither to be daunted, nor surprised, nor affected by what passed
before him, however dreadful, however sudden, however afflicting.
Habitual danger, with unbounded confidence in his own strength and
sagacity, had rendered him indifferent to fear, and the lawless and
precarious life he led had blunted, though its dangers and errors had not
destroyed, his feelings for others. And it was to be remembered that I
had very lately seen the followers of this man commit a cruel slaughter
on an unarmed and suppliant individual.

Yet such was the state of my mind, that I welcomed the company of the
outlaw leader as a relief to my own overstrained and painful thoughts;
and was not without hopes that through his means I might obtain some clew
of guidance through the maze in which my fate had involved me. I
therefore answered his greeting cordially, and congratulated him on his
late escape in circumstances when escape seemed impossible.

"Ay," he replied, "there is as much between the craig and the woodie* as
there is between the cup and the lip. But my peril was less than you may
think, being a stranger to this country.

* _i.e._ The throat and the withy. Twigs of willow, such as bind faggots,
were often used for halters in Scotland and Ireland, being a sage economy
of hemp.

Of those that were summoned to take me, and to keep me, and to retake me
again, there was a moiety, as cousin Nicol Jarvie calls it, that had nae
will that I suld be either taen, or keepit fast, or retaen; and of tother
moiety, there was as half was feared to stir me; and so I had only like
the fourth part of fifty or sixty men to deal withal."

"And enough, too, I should think," replied I.

"I dinna ken that," said he; "but I ken, that turn every ill-willer that
I had amang them out upon the green before the Clachan of Aberfoil, I wad
find them play with broadsword and target, one down and another come on."

He now inquired into my adventures since we entered his country, and
laughed heartily at my account of the battle we had in the inn, and at
the exploits of the Bailie with the red-hot poker.

"Let Glasgow Flourish!" he exclaimed. "The curse of Cromwell on me, if I
wad hae wished better sport than to see cousin Nicol Jarvie singe
Iverach's plaid, like a sheep's head between a pair of tongs. But my
cousin Jarvie," he added, more gravely, "has some gentleman's bluid in
his veins, although he has been unhappily bred up to a peaceful and
mechanical craft, which could not but blunt any pretty man's spirit.--Ye
may estimate the reason why I could not receive you at the Clachan of
Aberfoil as I purposed. They had made a fine hosenet for me when I was
absent twa or three days at Glasgow, upon the king's business--But I
think I broke up the league about their lugs--they'll no be able to hound
one clan against another as they hae dune. I hope soon to see the day
when a' Hielandmen will stand shouther to shouther. But what chanced
next?"

I gave him an account of the arrival of Captain Thornton and his party,
and the arrest of the Bailie and myself under pretext of our being
suspicious persons; and upon his more special inquiry, I recollected the
officer had mentioned that, besides my name sounding suspicious in his
ears, he had orders to secure an old and young person, resembling our
description. This again moved the outlaw's risibility.

"As man lives by bread," he said, "the buzzards have mistaen my friend
the Bailie for his Excellency, and you for Diana Vernon--O, the most
egregious night-howlets!"

"Miss Vernon?" said I, with hesitation, and trembling for the
answer--"Does she still bear that name? She passed but now, along with
a gentleman who seemed to use a style of authority."

"Ay, ay," answered Rob, "she's under lawfu' authority now; and full time,
for she was a daft hempie--But she's a mettle quean. It's a pity his
Excellency is a thought eldern. The like o' yourself, or my son Hamish,
wad be mair sortable in point of years."

Here, then, was a complete downfall of those castles of cards which my
fancy had, in despite of my reason, so often amused herself with
building. Although in truth I had scarcely anything else to expect, since
I could not suppose that Diana could be travelling in such a country, at
such an hour, with any but one who had a legal title to protect her, I
did not feel the blow less severely when it came; and MacGregor's voice,
urging me to pursue my story, sounded in my ears without conveying any
exact import to my mind.

"You are ill," he said at length, after he had spoken twice without
receiving an answer; "this day's wark has been ower muckle for ane
doubtless unused to sic things."

The tone of kindness in which this was spoken, recalling me to myself,
and to the necessities of my situation, I continued my narrative as well
as I could. Rob Roy expressed great exultation at the successful skirmish
in the pass.

"They say," he observed, "that king's chaff is better than other folk's
corn; but I think that canna be said o' king's soldiers, if they let
themselves be beaten wi' a wheen auld carles that are past fighting, and
bairns that are no come till't, and wives wi' their rocks and distaffs,
the very wally-draigles o' the countryside. And Dougal Gregor, too--wha
wad hae thought there had been as muckle sense in his tatty-pow, that
ne'er had a better covering than his ain shaggy hassock of hair!--But say
away--though I dread what's to come neist--for my Helen's an incarnate
devil when her bluid's up--puir thing, she has ower muckle reason."

I observed as much delicacy as I could in communicating to him the usage
we had received, but I obviously saw the detail gave him great pain.

"I wad rather than a thousand merks," he said, "that I had been at hame!
To misguide strangers, and forbye a', my ain natural cousin, that had
showed me sic kindness--I wad rather they had burned half the Lennox in
their folly! But this comes o' trusting women and their bairns, that have
neither measure nor reason in their dealings. However, it's a' owing to
that dog of a gauger, wha betrayed me by pretending a message from your
cousin Rashleigh, to meet him on the king's affairs, whilk I thought was
very like to be anent Garschattachin and a party of the Lennox declaring
themselves for King James. Faith! but I ken'd I was clean beguiled when I
heard the Duke was there; and when they strapped the horse-girth ower my
arms, I might hae judged what was biding me; for I ken'd your kinsman,
being, wi' pardon, a slippery loon himself, is prone to employ those of
his ain kidney--I wish he mayna hae been at the bottom o' the ploy
himsell--I thought the chield Morris looked devilish queer when I
determined he should remain a wad, or hostage, for my safe back-coming.
But I _am_ come back, nae thanks to him, or them that employed him; and
the question is, how the collector loon is to win back himsell--I promise
him it will not be without a ransom."

"Morris," said I, "has already paid the last ransom which mortal man can
owe."

"Eh! What?" exclaimed my companion hastily; "what d'ye say? I trust it
was in the skirmish he was killed?"

"He was slain in cold blood after the fight was over, Mr. Campbell."

"Cold blood?--Damnation!" he said, muttering betwixt his teeth--"How fell
that, sir? Speak out, sir, and do not Maister or Campbell me--my foot is
on my native heath, and my name is MacGregor!"

His passions were obviously irritated; but without noticing the rudeness
of his tone, I gave him a short and distinct account of the death of
Morris. He struck the butt of his gun with great vehemence against the
ground, and broke out--"I vow to God, such a deed might make one forswear
kin, clan, country, wife, and bairns! And yet the villain wrought long
for it. And what is the difference between warsling below the water wi' a
stane about your neck, and wavering in the wind wi' a tether round
it?--it's but choking after a', and he drees the doom he ettled for me. I
could have wished, though, they had rather putten a ball through him, or
a dirk; for the fashion of removing him will give rise to mony idle
clavers--But every wight has his weird, and we maun a' dee when our day
comes--And naebody will deny that Helen MacGregor has deep wrongs to
avenge."

So saying, he seemed to dismiss the theme altogether from his mind, and
proceeded to inquire how I got free from the party in whose hands he had
seen me.

My story was soon told; and I added the episode of my having recovered
the papers of my father, though I dared not trust my voice to name the
name of Diana.

"I was sure ye wad get them," said MacGregor;--"the letter ye brought me
contained his Excellency's pleasure to that effect and nae doubt it was
my will to have aided in it. And I asked ye up into this glen on the very
errand. But it's like his Excellency has foregathered wi' Rashleigh
sooner than I expected."

The first part of this answer was what most forcibly struck me.

"Was the letter I brought you, then, from this person you call his
Excellency? Who is he? and what is his rank and proper name?"

"I am thinking," said MacGregor, "that since ye dinna ken them already
they canna be o' muckle consequence to you, and sae I shall say naething
on that score. But weel I wot the letter was frae his ain hand, or,
having a sort of business of my ain on my hands, being, as ye weel may
see, just as much as I can fairly manage, I canna say I would hae fashed
mysell sae muckle about the matter."

I now recollected the lights seen in the library--the various
circumstances which had excited my jealousy--the glove--the agitation of
the tapestry which covered the secret passage from Rashleigh's apartment;
and, above all, I recollected that Diana retired in order to write, as I
then thought, the billet to which I was to have recourse in case of the
last necessity. Her hours, then, were not spent in solitude, but in
listening to the addresses of some desperate agent of Jacobitical
treason, who was a secret resident within the mansion of her uncle! Other
young women have sold themselves for gold, or suffered themselves to be
seduced from their first love from vanity; but Diana had sacrificed my
affections and her own to partake the fortunes of some desperate
adventurer--to seek the haunts of freebooters through midnight deserts,
with no better hopes of rank or fortune than that mimicry of both which
the mock court of the Stuarts at St. Germains had in their power to
bestow.

"I will see her," I said internally, "if it be possible, once more. I
will argue with her as a friend--as a kinsman--on the risk she is
incurring, and I will facilitate her retreat to France, where she may,
with more comfort and propriety, as well as safety, abide the issue of
the turmoils which the political trepanner, to whom she has united her
fate, is doubtless busied in putting into motion."

"I conclude, then," I said to MacGregor, after about five minutes'
silence on both sides, "that his Excellency, since you give me no other
name for him, was residing in Osbaldistone Hall at the same time with
myself?"

"To be sure--to be sure--and in the young lady's apartment, as best
reason was." This gratuitous information was adding gall to bitterness.
"But few," added MacGregor, "ken'd he was derned there, save Rashleigh
and Sir Hildebrand; for you were out o' the question; and the young lads
haena wit eneugh to ca' the cat frae the cream--But it's a bra'
auld-fashioned house, and what I specially admire is the abundance o'
holes and bores and concealments--ye could put twenty or thirty men in ae
corner, and a family might live a week without finding them out--whilk,
nae doubt, may on occasion be a special convenience. I wish we had the
like o' Osbaldistone Hall on the braes o' Craig-Royston--But we maun gar
woods and caves serve the like o' us puir Hieland bodies."

"I suppose his Excellency," said I, "was privy to the first accident
which befell"--

I could not help hesitating a moment.

"Ye were going to say Morris," said Rob Roy coolly, for he was too much
accustomed to deeds of violence for the agitation he had at first
expressed to be of long continuance. "I used to laugh heartily at that
reik; but I'll hardly hae the heart to do't again, since the ill-far'd
accident at the Loch. Na, na--his Excellency ken'd nought o' that
ploy--it was a' managed atween Rashleigh and mysell. But the sport that
came after--and Rashleigh's shift o' turning the suspicion aff himself
upon you, that he had nae grit favour to frae the beginning--and then
Miss Die, she maun hae us sweep up a' our spiders' webs again, and set
you out o' the Justice's claws--and then the frightened craven Morris,
that was scared out o' his seven senses by seeing the real man when he
was charging the innocent stranger--and the gowk of a clerk--and the
drunken carle of a justice--Ohon! ohon!--mony a laugh that job's gien
me--and now, a' that I can do for the puir devil is to get some messes
said for his soul."

"May I ask," said I, "how Miss Vernon came to have so much influence over
Rashleigh and his accomplices as to derange your projected plan?"

"Mine! it was none of mine. No man can say I ever laid my burden on other
folk's shoulders--it was a' Rashleigh's doings. But, undoubtedly, she had
great influence wi' us baith on account of his Excellency's affection, as
weel as that she ken'd far ower mony secrets to be lightlied in a matter
o' that kind.--Deil tak him," he ejaculated, by way of summing up, "that
gies women either secret to keep or power to abuse--fules shouldna hae
chapping-sticks."

We were now within a quarter of a mile from the village, when three
Highlanders, springing upon us with presented arms, commanded us to stand
and tell our business. The single word _Gregaragh,_ in the deep and
commanding voice of my companion, was answered by a shout, or rather
yell, of joyful recognition. One, throwing down his firelock, clasped his
leader so fast round the knees, that he was unable to extricate himself,
muttering, at the same time, a torrent of Gaelic gratulation, which every
now and then rose into a sort of scream of gladness. The two others,
after the first howling was over, set off literally with the speed of
deers, contending which should first carry to the village, which a strong
party of the MacGregors now occupied, the joyful news of Rob Roy's escape
and return. The intelligence excited such shouts of jubilation, that the
very hills rung again, and young and old, men, women, and children,
without distinction of sex or age, came running down the vale to meet us,
with all the tumultuous speed and clamour of a mountain torrent. When I
heard the rushing noise and yells of this joyful multitude approach us, I
thought it a fitting precaution to remind MacGregor that I was a
stranger, and under his protection. He accordingly held me fast by the
hand, while the assemblage crowded around him with such shouts of devoted
attachment, and joy at his return, as were really affecting; nor did he
extend to his followers what all eagerly sought, the grasp, namely, of
his hand, until he had made them understand that I was to be kindly and
carefully used.

The mandate of the Sultan of Delhi could not have been more promptly
obeyed. Indeed, I now sustained nearly as much inconvenience from their
well-meant attentions as formerly from their rudeness. They would hardly
allow the friend of their leader to walk upon his own legs, so earnest
were they in affording me support and assistance upon the way; and at
length, taking advantage of a slight stumble which I made over a stone,
which the press did not permit me to avoid, they fairly seized upon me,
and bore me in their arms in triumph towards Mrs. MacAlpine's.

On arrival before her hospitable wigwam, I found power and popularity had
its inconveniences in the Highlands, as everywhere else; for, before
MacGregor could be permitted to enter the house where he was to obtain
rest and refreshment, he was obliged to relate the story of his escape at
least a dozen times over, as I was told by an officious old man, who
chose to translate it at least as often for my edification, and to whom I
was in policy obliged to seem to pay a decent degree of attention. The
audience being at length satisfied, group after group departed to take
their bed upon the heath, or in the neighbouring huts, some cursing the
Duke and Garschattachin, some lamenting the probable danger of Ewan of
Brigglands, incurred by his friendship to MacGregor, but all agreeing
that the escape of Rob Roy himself lost nothing in comparison with the
exploit of any one of their chiefs since the days of Dougal Ciar, the
founder of his line.

The friendly outlaw, now taking me by the arm, conducted me into the
interior of the hut. My eyes roved round its smoky recesses in quest of
Diana and her companion; but they were nowhere to be seen, and I felt as
if to make inquiries might betray some secret motives, which were best
concealed. The only known countenance upon which my eyes rested was that
of the Bailie, who, seated on a stool by the fireside, received with a
sort of reserved dignity, the welcomes of Rob Roy, the apologies which he
made for his indifferent accommodation, and his inquiries after his
health.

"I am pretty weel, kinsman," said the Bailie--"indifferent weel, I thank
ye; and for accommodations, ane canna expect to carry about the Saut
Market at his tail, as a snail does his caup;--and I am blythe that ye
hae gotten out o' the hands o' your unfreends."

"Weel, weel, then," answered Roy, "what is't ails ye, man--a's weel that
ends weel!--the warld will last our day--Come, take a cup o' brandy--your
father the deacon could take ane at an orra time."

"It might be he might do sae, Robin, after fatigue--whilk has been my lot
mair ways than ane this day. But," he continued, slowly filling up a
little wooden stoup which might hold about three glasses, "he was a
moderate man of his bicker, as I am mysell--Here's wussing health to ye,
Robin" (a sip), "and your weelfare here and hereafter" (another taste),
"and also to my cousin Helen--and to your twa hopefu' lads, of whom mair
anon."

So saying, he drank up the contents of the cup with great gravity and
deliberation, while MacGregor winked aside to me, as if in ridicule of
the air of wisdom and superior authority which the Bailie assumed towards
him in their intercourse, and which he exercised when Rob was at the head
of his armed clan, in full as great, or a greater degree, than when he
was at the Bailie's mercy in the Tolbooth of Glasgow. It seemed to me,
that MacGregor wished me, as a stranger, to understand, that if he
submitted to the tone which his kinsman assumed, it was partly out of
deference to the rights of hospitality, but still more for the jest's
sake.

As the Bailie set down his cup he recognised me, and giving me a cordial
welcome on my return, he waived farther communication with me for the
present.--"I will speak to your matters anon; I maun begin, as in reason,
wi' those of my kinsman.--I presume, Robin, there's naebody here will
carry aught o' what I am gaun to say, to the town-council or elsewhere,
to my prejudice or to yours?"

"Make yourself easy on that head, cousin Nicol," answered MacGregor; "the
tae half o' the gillies winna ken what ye say, and the tother winna
care--besides that, I wad stow the tongue out o' the head o' any o' them
that suld presume to say ower again ony speech held wi' me in their
presence."

"Aweel, cousin, sic being the case, and Mr. Osbaldistone here being a
prudent youth, and a safe friend--I'se plainly tell ye, ye are breeding
up your family to gang an ill gate." Then, clearing his voice with a
preliminary hem, he addressed his kinsman, checking, as Malvolio proposed
to do when seated in his state, his familiar smile with an austere regard
of control.--"Ye ken yourself ye haud light by the law--and for my cousin
Helen, forbye that her reception o' me this blessed day--whilk I excuse
on account of perturbation of mind, was muckle on the north side o'
_friendly,_ I say (outputting this personal reason of complaint) I hae
that to say o' your wife"--

"Say _nothing_ of her, kinsman," said Rob, in a grave and stern tone,
"but what is befitting a friend to say, and her husband to hear. Of me
you are welcome to say your full pleasure."

"Aweel, aweel," said the Bailie, somewhat disconcerted, "we'se let that
be a pass-over--I dinna approve of making mischief in families. But here
are your twa sons, Hamish and Robin, whilk signifies, as I'm gien to
understand, James and Robert--I trust ye will call them sae in
future--there comes nae gude o' Hamishes, and Eachines, and Angusses,
except that they're the names ane aye chances to see in the indictments
at the Western Circuits for cow-lifting, at the instance of his
majesty's advocate for his majesty's interest. Aweel, but the twa lads,
as I was saying, they haena sae muckle as the ordinar grunds, man, of
liberal education--they dinna ken the very multiplication table itself,
whilk is the root of a' usefu' knowledge, and they did naething but
laugh and fleer at me when I tauld them my mind on their ignorance--It's
my belief they can neither read, write, nor cipher, if sic a thing could
be believed o' ane's ain connections in a Christian land."

"If they could, kinsman," said MacGregor, with great indifference, "their
learning must have come o' free will, for whar the deil was I to get them
a teacher?--wad ye hae had me put on the gate o' your Divinity Hall at
Glasgow College, 'Wanted, a tutor for Rob Roy's bairns?'"

"Na, kinsman," replied Mr. Jarvie, "but ye might hae sent the lads whar
they could hae learned the fear o' God, and the usages of civilised
creatures. They are as ignorant as the kyloes ye used to drive to market,
or the very English churls that ye sauld them to, and can do naething
whatever to purpose."

"Umph!" answered Rob; "Hamish can bring doun a black-cock when he's on
the wing wi' a single bullet, and Rob can drive a dirk through a twa-inch
board."

"Sae muckle the waur for them, cousin!--sae muckle the waur for them
baith!" answered the Glasgow merchant in a tone of great decision; "an
they ken naething better than that, they had better no ken that neither.
Tell me yourself, Rob, what has a' this cutting, and stabbing, and
shooting, and driving of dirks, whether through human flesh or fir deals,
dune for yourself?--and werena ye a happier man at the tail o' your
nowte-bestial, when ye were in an honest calling, than ever ye hae been
since, at the head o' your Hieland kernes and gally-glasses?"

I observed that MacGregor, while his well-meaning kinsman spoke to him in
this manner, turned and writhed his body like a man who indeed suffers
pain, but is determined no groan shall escape his lips; and I longed for
an opportunity to interrupt the well-meant, but, as it was obvious to me,
quite mistaken strain, in which Jarvie addressed this extraordinary
person. The dialogue, however, came to an end without my interference.

"And sae," said the Bailie, "I hae been thinking, Rob, that as it may be
ye are ower deep in the black book to win a pardon, and ower auld to mend
yourself, that it wad be a pity to bring up twa hopefu' lads to sic a
godless trade as your ain, and I wad blythely tak them for prentices at
the loom, as I began mysell, and my father the deacon afore me, though,
praise to the Giver, I only trade now as wholesale dealer--And--and"--

He saw a storm gathering on Rob's brow, which probably induced him to
throw in, as a sweetener of an obnoxious proposition, what he had
reserved to crown his own generosity, had it been embraced as an
acceptable one;--"and Robin, lad, ye needna look sae glum, for I'll pay
the prentice-fee, and never plague ye for the thousand merks neither."

"_Ceade millia diaoul,_ hundred thousand devils!" exclaimed Rob,
rising and striding through the hut, "My sons weavers!--_Millia
molligheart!_--but I wad see every loom in Glasgow, beam, traddles,
and shuttles, burnt in hell-fire sooner!"

With some difficulty I made the Bailie, who was preparing a reply,
comprehend the risk and impropriety of pressing our host on this topic,
and in a minute he recovered, or reassumed, his serenity of temper.

"But ye mean weel--ye mean weel," said he; "so gie me your hand, Nicol,
and if ever I put my sons apprentice, I will gie you the refusal o' them.
And, as you say, there's the thousand merks to be settled between us.--
Here, Eachin MacAnaleister, bring me my sporran."

The person he addressed, a tall, strong mountaineer, who seemed to act as
MacGregor's lieutenant, brought from some place of safety a large
leathern pouch, such as Highlanders of rank wear before them when in full
dress, made of the skin of the sea-otter, richly garnished with silver
ornaments and studs.

"I advise no man to attempt opening this sporran till he has my secret,"
said Rob Roy; and then twisting one button in one direction, and another
in another, pulling one stud upward, and pressing another downward, the
mouth of the purse, which was bound with massive silver plate, opened and
gave admittance to his hand. He made me remark, as if to break short the
subject on which Bailie Jarvie had spoken, that a small steel pistol was
concealed within the purse, the trigger of which was connected with the
mounting, and made part of the machinery, so that the weapon would
certainly be discharged, and in all probability its contents lodged in
the person of any one, who, being unacquainted with the secret, should
tamper with the lock which secured his treasure. "This," said he touching
the pistol--"this is the keeper of my privy purse."

The simplicity of the contrivance to secure a furred pouch, which could
have been ripped open without any attempt on the spring, reminded me of
the verses in the Odyssey, where Ulysses, in a yet ruder age, is content
to secure his property by casting a curious and involved complication of
cordage around the sea-chest in which it was deposited.

The Bailie put on his spectacles to examine the mechanism, and when he
had done, returned it with a smile and a sigh, observing--"Ah! Rob, had
ither folk's purses been as weel guarded, I doubt if your sporran wad hae
been as weel filled as it kythes to be by the weight."

"Never mind, kinsman," said Rob, laughing; "it will aye open for a
friend's necessity, or to pay a just due--and here," he added, pulling
out a rouleau of gold, "here is your ten hundred merks--count them, and
see that you are full and justly paid."

Mr. Jarvie took the money in silence, and weighing it in his hand for an
instant, laid it on the table, and replied, "Rob, I canna tak it--I downa
intromit with it--there can nae gude come o't--I hae seen ower weel the
day what sort of a gate your gowd is made in--ill-got gear ne'er
prospered; and, to be plain wi' you, I winna meddle wi't--it looks as
there might be bluid on't."

"Troutsho!" said the outlaw, affecting an indifference which perhaps he
did not altogether feel; "it's gude French gowd, and ne'er was in
Scotchman's pouch before mine. Look at them, man--they are a'
louis-d'ors, bright and bonnie as the day they were coined."

"The waur, the waur--just sae muckle the waur, Robin," replied the
Bailie, averting his eyes from the money, though, like Caesar on the
Lupercal, his fingers seemed to itch for it--"Rebellion is waur than
witchcraft, or robbery either; there's gospel warrant for't."

"Never mind the warrant, kinsman," said the freebooter; "you come by the
gowd honestly, and in payment of a just debt--it came from the one king,
you may gie it to the other, if ye like; and it will just serve for a
weakening of the enemy, and in the point where puir King James is weakest
too, for, God knows, he has hands and hearts eneugh, but I doubt he wants
the siller."

"He'll no get mony Hielanders then, Robin," said Mr. Jarvie, as, again
replacing his spectacles on his nose, he undid the rouleau, and began to
count its contents.

"Nor Lowlanders neither," said MacGregor, arching his eyebrow, and, as he
looked at me, directing a glance towards Mr. Jarvie, who, all unconscious
of the ridicule, weighed each piece with habitual scrupulosity; and
having told twice over the sum, which amounted to the discharge of his
debt, principal and interest, he returned three pieces to buy his
kinswoman a gown, as he expressed himself, and a brace more for the twa
bairns, as he called them, requesting they might buy anything they liked
with them except gunpowder. The Highlander stared at his kinsman's
unexpected generosity, but courteously accepted his gift, which he
deposited for the time in his well-secured pouch.

The Bailie next produced the original bond for the debt, on the back of
which he had written a formal discharge, which, having subscribed
himself, he requested me to sign as a witness. I did so, and Bailie
Jarvie was looking anxiously around for another, the Scottish law
requiring the subscription of two witnesses to validate either a bond or
acquittance. "You will hardly find a man that can write save ourselves
within these three miles," said Rob, "but I'll settle the matter as
easily;" and, taking the paper from before his kinsman, he threw it in
the fire. Bailie Jarvie stared in his turn, but his kinsman continued,
"That's a Hieland settlement of accounts. The time might come, cousin,
were I to keep a' these charges and discharges, that friends might be
brought into trouble for having dealt with me."

The Bailie attempted no reply to this argument, and our supper now
appeared in a style of abundance, and even delicacy, which, for the
place, might be considered as extraordinary. The greater part of the
provisions were cold, intimating they had been prepared at some distance;
and there were some bottles of good French wine to relish pasties of
various sorts of game, as well as other dishes. I remarked that
MacGregor, while doing the honours of the table with great and anxious
hospitality, prayed us to excuse the circumstance that some particular
dish or pasty had been infringed on before it was presented to us. "You
must know," said he to Mr. Jarvie, but without looking towards me, "you
are not the only guests this night in the MacGregor's country, whilk,
doubtless, ye will believe, since my wife and the twa lads would
otherwise have been maist ready to attend you, as weel beseems them."

Bailie Jarvie looked as if he felt glad at any circumstance which
occasioned their absence; and I should have been entirely of his opinion,
had it not been that the outlaw's apology seemed to imply they were in
attendance on Diana and her companion, whom even in my thoughts I could
not bear to designate as her husband.

While the unpleasant ideas arising from this suggestion counteracted the
good effects of appetite, welcome, and good cheer, I remarked that Rob
Roy's attention had extended itself to providing us better bedding than
we had enjoyed the night before. Two of the least fragile of the
bedsteads, which stood by the wall of the hut, had been stuffed with
heath, then in full flower, so artificially arranged, that, the flowers
being uppermost, afforded a mattress at once elastic and fragrant.
Cloaks, and such bedding as could be collected, stretched over this
vegetable couch, made it both soft and warm. The Bailie seemed exhausted
by fatigue. I resolved to adjourn my communication to him until next
morning; and therefore suffered him to betake himself to bed so soon as
he had finished a plentiful supper. Though tired and harassed, I did not
myself feel the same disposition to sleep, but rather a restless and
feverish anxiety, which led to some farther discourse betwixt me and
MacGregor.





CHAPTER EIGHTEENTH.

               A hopeless darkness settles o'er my fate;
               I've seen the last look of her heavenly eyes,--
               I've heard the last sound of her blessed voice,--
               I've seen her fair form from my sight depart;
                          My doom is closed.
                                        Count Basil.

"I ken not what to make of you, Mr. Osbaldistone," said MacGregor, as he
pushed the flask towards me. "You eat not, you show no wish for rest; and
yet you drink not, though that flask of Bourdeaux might have come out of
Sir Hildebrand's ain cellar. Had you been always as abstinent, you would
have escaped the deadly hatred of your cousin Rashleigh."

"Had I been always prudent," said I, blushing at the scene he recalled to
my recollection, "I should have escaped a worse evil--the reproach of my
own conscience."

MacGregor cast a keen and somewhat fierce glance on me, as if to read
whether the reproof, which he evidently felt, had been intentionally
conveyed. He saw that I was thinking of myself, not of him, and turned
his face towards the fire with a deep sigh. I followed his example, and
each remained for a few minutes wrapt in his own painful reverie. All in
the hut were now asleep, or at least silent, excepting ourselves.

MacGregor first broke silence, in the tone of one who takes up his
determination to enter on a painful subject. "My cousin Nicol Jarvie
means well," he said, "but he presses ower hard on the temper and
situation of a man like me, considering what I have been--what I have
been forced to become--and, above all, that which has forced me to become
what I am."

He paused; and, though feeling the delicate nature of the discussion in
which the conversation was likely to engage me, I could not help
replying, that I did not doubt his present situation had much which must
be most unpleasant to his feelings.

"I should be happy to learn," I added, "that there is an honourable
chance of your escaping from it."

"You speak like a boy," returned MacGregor, in a low tone that growled
like distant thunder--"like a boy, who thinks the auld gnarled oak can be
twisted as easily as the young sapling. Can I forget that I have been
branded as an outlaw--stigmatised as a traitor--a price set on my head as
if I had been a wolf--my family treated as the dam and cubs of the
hill-fox, whom all may torment, vilify, degrade, and insult--the very
name which came to me from a long and noble line of martial ancestors,
denounced, as if it were a spell to conjure up the devil with?"

As he went on in this manner, I could plainly see, that, by the
enumeration of his wrongs, he was lashing himself up into a rage, in
order to justify in his own eyes the errors they had led him into. In
this he perfectly succeeded; his light grey eyes contracting alternately
and dilating their pupils, until they seemed actually to flash with
flame, while he thrust forward and drew back his foot, grasped the hilt
of his dirk, extended his arm, clenched his fist, and finally rose from
his seat.

"And they _shall_ find," he said, in the same muttered but deep tone of
stifled passion, "that the name they have dared to proscribe--that the
name of MacGregor--_is_ a spell to raise the wild devil withal. _They_
shall hear of my vengeance, that would scorn to listen to the story of my
wrongs--The miserable Highland drover, bankrupt, barefooted,--stripped of
all, dishonoured and hunted down, because the avarice of others grasped
at more than that poor all could pay, shall burst on them in an awful
change. They that scoffed at the grovelling worm, and trode upon him, may
cry and howl when they see the stoop of the flying and fiery-mouthed
dragon.--But why do I speak of all this?" he said, sitting down again,
and in a calmer tone--"Only ye may opine it frets my patience, Mr.
Osbaldistone, to be hunted like an otter, or a sealgh, or a salmon upon
the shallows, and that by my very friends and neighbours; and to have as
many sword-cuts made, and pistols flashed at me, as I had this day in the
ford of Avondow, would try a saint's temper, much more a Highlander's,
who are not famous for that gude gift, as ye may hae heard, Mr.
Osbaldistone.--But as thing bides wi' me o' what Nicol said;--I'm vexed
for the bairns--I'm vexed when I think o' Hamish and Robert living their
father's life." And yielding to despondence on account of his sons, which
he felt not upon his own, the father rested his head upon his hand.

I was much affected, Will. All my life long I have been more melted by
the distress under which a strong, proud, and powerful mind is compelled
to give way, than by the more easily excited sorrows of softer
dispositions. The desire of aiding him rushed strongly on my mind,
notwithstanding the apparent difficulty, and even impossibility, of the
task.

"We have extensive connections abroad," said I: "might not your sons,
with some assistance--and they are well entitled to what my father's
house can give--find an honourable resource in foreign service?"

I believe my countenance showed signs of sincere emotion; but my
companion, taking me by the hand, as I was going to speak farther,
said--"I thank--I thank ye--but let us say nae mair o' this. I did not
think the eye of man would again have seen a tear on MacGregor's
eye-lash." He dashed the moisture from his long gray eye-lash and shaggy
red eye-brow with the back of his hand. "To-morrow morning," he said,
"we'll talk of this, and we will talk, too, of your affairs--for we are
early starters in the dawn, even when we have the luck to have good beds
to sleep in. Will ye not pledge me in a grace cup?" I declined the
invitation.

"Then, by the soul of St. Maronoch! I must pledge myself," and he poured
out and swallowed at least half-a-quart of wine.

I laid myself down to repose, resolving to delay my own inquiries until
his mind should be in a more composed state. Indeed, so much had this
singular man possessed himself of my imagination, that I felt it
impossible to avoid watching him for some minutes after I had flung
myself on my heath mattress to seeming rest. He walked up and down the
hut, crossed himself from time to time, muttering over some Latin prayer
of the Catholic church; then wrapped himself in his plaid, with his naked
sword on one side, and his pistol on the other, so disposing the folds of
his mantle that he could start up at a moment's warning, with a weapon in
either hand, ready for instant combat. In a few minutes his heavy
breathing announced that he was fast asleep. Overpowered by fatigue, and
stunned by the various unexpected and extraordinary scenes of the day, I,
in my turn, was soon overpowered by a slumber deep and overwhelming, from
which, notwithstanding every cause for watchfulness, I did not awake
until the next morning.

When I opened my eyes, and recollected my situation, I found that
MacGregor had already left the hut. I awakened the Bailie, who, after
many a snort and groan, and some heavy complaints of the soreness of his
bones, in consequence of the unwonted exertions of the preceding day, was
at length able to comprehend the joyful intelligence, that the assets
carried off by Rashleigh Osbaldistone had been safely recovered. The
instant he understood my meaning, he forgot all his grievances, and,
bustling up in a great hurry, proceeded to compare the contents of the
packet which I put into his hands, with Mr. Owen's memorandums,
muttering, as he went on, "Right, right--the real thing--Bailie and
Whittington--where's Bailie and Whittington?--seven hundred, six, and
eight--exact to a fraction--Pollock and Peelman--twenty-eight,
seven--exact--Praise be blest!--Grub and Grinder--better men cannot
be--three hundred and seventy--Gliblad--twenty; I doubt Gliblad's
ganging--Slipprytongue; Slipprytongue's gaen--but they are
sma'sums--sma'sums--the rest's a'right--Praise be blest! we have got the
stuff, and may leave this doleful country. I shall never think on
Loch-Ard but the thought will gar me grew again"

"I am sorry, cousin," said MacGregor, who entered the hut during the last
observation, "I have not been altogether in the circumstances to make
your reception sic as I could have desired--natheless, if you would
condescend to visit my puir dwelling"--

"Muckle obliged, muckle obliged," answered Mr. Jarvie, very hastily--"But
we maun be ganging--we maun be jogging, Mr. Osbaldistone and me--business
canna wait."

"Aweel, kinsman," replied the Highlander, "ye ken our fashion--foster the
guest that comes--further him that maun gang. But ye cannot return by
Drymen--I must set you on Loch Lomond, and boat ye down to the Ferry o'
Balloch, and send your nags round to meet ye there. It's a maxim of a
wise man never to return by the same road he came, providing another's
free to him."

"Ay, ay, Rob," said the Bailie, "that's ane o' the maxims ye learned when
ye were a drover;--ye caredna to face the tenants where your beasts had
been taking a rug of their moorland grass in the by-ganging, and I doubt
your road's waur marked now than it was then."

"The mair need not to travel it ower often, kinsman," replied Rob; "but
I'se send round your nags to the ferry wi' Dougal Gregor, wha is
converted for that purpose into the Bailie's man, coming--not, as ye may
believe, from Aberfoil or Rob Roy's country, but on a quiet jaunt from
Stirling. See, here he is."

"I wadna hae ken'd the creature," said Mr. Jarvie; nor indeed was it easy
to recognise the wild Highlander, when he appeared before the door of the
cottage, attired in a hat, periwig, and riding-coat, which had once
called Andrew Fairservice master, and mounted on the Bailie's horse, and
leading mine. He received his last orders from his master to avoid
certain places where he might be exposed to suspicion--to collect what
intelligence he could in the course of his journey, and to await our
coming at an appointed place, near the Ferry of Balloch.

At the same time, MacGregor invited us to accompany him upon our own
road, assuring us that we must necessarily march a few miles before
breakfast, and recommending a dram of brandy as a proper introduction to
the journey, in which he was pledged by the Bailie, who pronounced it "an
unlawful and perilous habit to begin the day wi' spirituous liquors,
except to defend the stomach (whilk was a tender part) against the
morning mist; in whilk case his father the deacon had recommended a dram,
by precept and example."

"Very true, kinsman," replied Rob, "for which reason we, who are Children
of the Mist, have a right to drink brandy from morning till night."

The Bailie, thus refreshed, was mounted on a small Highland pony; another
was offered for my use, which, however, I declined; and we resumed, under
very different guidance and auspices, our journey of the preceding day.

Our escort consisted of MacGregor, and five or six of the handsomest,
best armed, and most athletic mountaineers of his band, and whom he had
generally in immediate attendance upon his own person.

When we approached the pass, the scene of the skirmish of the preceding
day, and of the still more direful deed which followed it, MacGregor
hastened to speak, as if it were rather to what he knew must be
necessarily passing in my mind, than to any thing I had said--he spoke,
in short, to my thoughts, and not to my words.

"You must think hardly of us, Mr. Osbaldistone, and it is not natural
that it should be otherwise. But remember, at least, we have not been
unprovoked. We are a rude and an ignorant, and it may be a violent and
passionate, but we are not a cruel people. The land might be at peace and
in law for us, did they allow us to enjoy the blessings of peaceful law.
But we have been a persecuted generation."

"And persecution," said the Bailie, "maketh wise men mad."

"What must it do then to men like us, living as our fathers did a
thousand years since, and possessing scarce more lights than they did?
Can we view their bluidy edicts against us--their hanging, heading,
hounding, and hunting down an ancient and honourable name--as deserving
better treatment than that which enemies give to enemies?--Here I stand,
have been in twenty frays, and never hurt man but when I was in het
bluid; and yet they wad betray me and hang me like a masterless dog, at
the gate of ony great man that has an ill will at me."

I replied, "that the proscription of his name and family sounded in
English ears as a very cruel and arbitrary law;" and having thus far
soothed him, I resumed my propositions of obtaining military employment
for himself, if he chose it, and his sons, in foreign parts. MacGregor
shook me very cordially by the hand, and detaining me, so as to permit
Mr. Jarvie to precede us, a manoeuvre for which the narrowness of the
road served as an excuse, he said to me--"You are a kind-hearted and an
honourable youth, and understand, doubtless, that which is due to the
feelings of a man of honour. But the heather that I have trode upon when
living, must bloom ower me when I am dead--my heart would sink, and my
arm would shrink and wither like fern in the frost, were I to lose sight
of my native hills; nor has the world a scene that would console me for
the loss of the rocks and cairns, wild as they are, that you see around
us.--And Helen--what could become of her, were I to leave her the subject
of new insult and atrocity?--or how could she bear to be removed from
these scenes, where the remembrance of her wrongs is aye sweetened by the
recollection of her revenge?--I was once so hard put at by my Great
enemy, as I may well ca' him, that I was forced e'en to gie way to the
tide, and removed myself and my people and family from our dwellings in
our native land, and to withdraw for a time into MacCallum More's
country--and Helen made a Lament on our departure, as weel as MacRimmon*
himsell could hae framed it--and so piteously sad and waesome, that our
hearts amaist broke as we sate and listened to her--it was like the
wailing of one that mourns for the mother that bore him--the tears came
down the rough faces of our gillies as they hearkened; and I wad not have
the same touch of heartbreak again, no, not to have all the lands that
ever were owned by MacGregor."

* The MacRimmons or MacCrimonds were hereditary pipers to the chiefs of
MacLeod, and celebrated for their talents. The pibroch said to have  been
composed by Helen MacGregor is still in existence. See the Introduction
to this Novel.



"But your sons," I said--"they are at the age when your countrymen have
usually no objection to see the world?"

"And I should be content," he replied, "that they pushed their fortune in
the French or Spanish service, as is the wont of Scottish cavaliers of
honour; and last night your plan seemed feasible eneugh--But I hae seen
his Excellency this morning before ye were up."

"Did he then quarter so near us?" said I, my bosom throbbing with
anxiety.

"Nearer than ye thought," was MacGregor's reply; "but he seemed rather in
some shape to jalouse your speaking to the young leddy; and so you see"--

"There was no occasion for jealousy," I answered, with some haughtiness;
--"I should not have intruded on his privacy."

"But ye must not be offended, or look out from amang your curls then,
like a wildcat out of an ivy-tod, for ye are to understand that he wishes
most sincere weel to you, and has proved it. And it's partly that whilk
has set the heather on fire e'en now."

"Heather on fire?" said I. "I do not understand you."

"Why," resumed MacGregor, "ye ken weel eneugh that women and gear are at
the bottom of a' the mischief in this warld. I hae been misdoubting your
cousin Rashleigh since ever he saw that he wasna to get Die Vernon for
his marrow, and I think he took grudge at his Excellency mainly on that
account. But then came the splore about the surrendering your papers--and
we hae now gude evidence, that, sae soon as he was compelled to yield
them up, he rade post to Stirling, and tauld the Government all and mair
than all, that was gaun doucely on amang us hill-folk; and, doubtless,
that was the way that the country was laid to take his Excellency and the
leddy, and to make sic an unexpected raid on me. And I hae as little
doubt that the poor deevil Morris, whom he could gar believe onything,
was egged on by him, and some of the Lowland gentry, to trepan me in the
gate he tried to do. But if Rashleigh Osbaldistone were baith the last
and best of his name, and granting that he and I ever forgather again,
the fiend go down my weasand with a bare blade at his belt, if we part
before my dirk and his best blude are weel acquainted thegither!"

He pronounced the last threat with an ominous frown, and the appropriate
gesture of his hand upon his dagger.

"I should almost rejoice at what has happened," said I, "could I hope
that Rashleigh's treachery might prove the means of preventing the
explosion of the rash and desperate intrigues in which I have long
suspected him to be a prime agen."

"Trow ye na that," said Rob Roy; "traitor's word never yet hurt honest
cause. He was ower deep in our secrets, that's true; and had it not been
so, Stirling and Edinburgh Castles would have been baith in our hands by
this time, or briefly hereafter, whilk is now scarce to be hoped for. But
there are ower mony engaged, and far ower gude a cause to be gien up for
the breath of a traitor's tale, and that will be seen and heard of ere it
be lang. And so, as I was about to say, the best of my thanks to you for
your offer anent my sons, whilk last night I had some thoughts to have
embraced in their behalf. But I see that this villain's treason will
convince our great folks that they must instantly draw to a head, and
make a blow for it, or be taen in their houses, coupled up like hounds,
and driven up to London like the honest noblemen and gentlemen in the
year seventeen hundred and seven. Civil war is like a cockatrice;--we
have sitten hatching the egg that held it for ten years, and might hae
sitten on for ten years mair, when in comes Rashleigh, and chips the
shell, and out bangs the wonder amang us, and cries to fire and sword.
Now in sic a matter I'll hae need o' a' the hands I can mak; and, nae
disparagement to the Kings of France and Spain, whom I wish very weel to,
King James is as gude a man as ony o' them, and has the best right to
Hamish and Rob, being his natural-born subjects."

I easily comprehended that these words boded a general national
convulsion; and, as it would have been alike useless and dangerous to
have combated the political opinions of my guide, at such a place and
moment, I contented myself with regretting the promiscuous scene of
confusion and distress likely to arise from any general exertion in
favour of the exiled royal family.

"Let it come, man--let it come," answered MacGregor; "ye never saw dull
weather clear without a shower; and if the world is turned upside down,
why, honest men have the better chance to cut bread out of it."

I again attempted to bring him back to the subject of Diana; but although
on most occasions and subjects he used a freedom of speech which I had no
great delight in listening to, yet upon that alone which was most
interesting to me, he kept a degree of scrupulous reserve, and contented
himself with intimating, "that he hoped the leddy would be soon in a
quieter country than this was like to be for one while." I was obliged to
be content with this answer, and to proceed in the hope that accident
might, as on a former occasion, stand my friend, and allow me at least
the sad gratification of bidding farewell to the object which had
occupied such a share of my affections, so much beyond even what I had
supposed, till I was about to be separated from her for ever.


[Illustration: Loch Lomond--284]


We pursued the margin of the lake for about six English miles, through a
devious and beautifully variegated path, until we attained a sort of
Highland farm, or assembly of hamlets, near the head of that fine sheet
of water, called, if I mistake not, Lediart, or some such name. Here a
numerous party of MacGregor's men were stationed in order to receive us.
The taste as well as the eloquence of tribes in a savage, or, to speak
more properly, in a rude state, is usually just, because it is unfettered
by system and affectation; and of this I had an example in the choice
these mountaineers had made of a place to receive their guests. It has
been said that a British monarch would judge well to receive the embassy
of a rival power in the cabin of a man-of-war; and a Highland leader
acted with some propriety in choosing a situation where the natural
objects of grandeur proper to his country might have their full effect on
the minds of his guests.

We ascended about two hundred yards from the shores of the lake, guided
by a brawling brook, and left on the right hand four or five Highland
huts, with patches of arable land around them, so small as to show that
they must have been worked with the spade rather than the plough, cut as
it were out of the surrounding copsewood, and waving with crops of barley
and oats. Above this limited space the hill became more steep; and on its
edge we descried the glittering arms and waving drapery of about fifty of
MacGregor's followers. They were stationed on a spot, the recollection of
which yet strikes me with admiration. The brook, hurling its waters
downwards from the mountain, had in this spot encountered a barrier rock,
over which it had made its way by two distinct leaps. The first fall,
across which a magnificent old oak, slanting out from the farther bank,
partly extended itself as if to shroud the dusky stream of the cascade,
might be about twelve feet high; the broken waters were received in a
beautiful stone basin, almost as regular as if hewn by a sculptor; and
after wheeling around its flinty margin, they made a second precipitous
dash, through a dark and narrow chasm, at least fifty feet in depth, and
from thence, in a hurried, but comparatively a more gentle course,
escaped to join the lake.

With the natural taste which belongs to mountaineers, and especially to
the Scottish Highlanders, whose feelings, I have observed, are often
allied with the romantic and poetical, Rob Roy's wife and followers had
prepared our morning repast in a scene well calculated to impress
strangers with some feelings of awe. They are also naturally a grave and
proud people, and, however rude in our estimation, carry their ideas of
form and politeness to an excess that would appear overstrained, except
from the demonstration of superior force which accompanies the display of
it; for it must be granted that the air of punctilious deference and
rigid etiquette which would seem ridiculous in an ordinary peasant, has,
like the salute of a _corps-de-garde,_ a propriety when tendered by a
Highlander completely armed. There was, accordingly, a good deal of
formality in our approach and reception.

The Highlanders, who had been dispersed on the side of the hill, drew
themselves together when we came in view, and, standing firm and
motionless, appeared in close column behind three figures, whom I soon
recognised to be Helen MacGregor and her two sons. MacGregor himself
arranged his attendants in the rear, and, requesting Mr. Jarvie to
dismount where the ascent became steep, advanced slowly, marshalling us
forward at the head of the troop. As we advanced, we heard the wild notes
of the bagpipes, which lost their natural discord from being mingled with
the dashing sound of the cascade. When we came close, the wife of
MacGregor came forward to meet us. Her dress was studiously arranged in a
more feminine taste than it had been on the preceding day, but her
features wore the same lofty, unbending, and resolute character; and as
she folded my friend the Bailie in an unexpected and apparently unwelcome
embrace, I could perceive by the agitation of his wig, his back, and the
calves of his legs, that he felt much like to one who feels himself
suddenly in the gripe of a she-bear, without being able to distinguish
whether the animal is in kindness or in wrath.

"Kinsman," she said, "you are welcome--and you, too, stranger," she
added, releasing my alarmed companion, who instinctively drew back and
settled his wig, and addressing herself to me--"you also are welcome. You
came," she added, "to our unhappy country, when our bloods were chafed,
and our hands were red. Excuse the rudeness that gave you a rough
welcome, and lay it upon the evil times, and not upon us." All this was
said with the manners of a princess, and in the tone and style of a
court. Nor was there the least tincture of that vulgarity, which we
naturally attach to the Lowland Scottish. There was a strong provincial
accentuation, but, otherwise, the language rendered by Helen MacGregor,
out of the native and poetical Gaelic, into English, which she had
acquired as we do learned tongues, but had probably never heard applied
to the mean purposes of ordinary life, was graceful, flowing, and
declamatory. Her husband, who had in his time played many parts, used a
much less elevated and emphatic dialect;--but even _his_ language rose in
purity of expression, as you may have remarked, if I have been accurate
in recording it, when the affairs which he discussed were of an agitating
and important nature; and it appears to me in his case, and in that of
some other Highlanders whom I have known, that, when familiar and
facetious, they used the Lowland Scottish dialect,--when serious and
impassioned, their thoughts arranged themselves in the idiom of their
native language; and in the latter case, as they uttered the
corresponding ideas in English, the expressions sounded wild, elevated,
and poetical. In fact, the language of passion is almost always pure as
well as vehement, and it is no uncommon thing to hear a Scotchman, when
overwhelmed by a countryman with a tone of bitter and fluent upbraiding,
reply by way of taunt to his adversary, "You have gotten to your
English."

Be this as it may, the wife of MacGregor invited us to a refreshment
spread out on the grass, which abounded with all the good things their
mountains could offer, but was clouded by the dark and undisturbed
gravity which sat on the brow of our hostess, as well as by our deep and
anxious recollection of what had taken place on the preceding day. It was
in vain that the leader exerted himself to excite mirth;--a chill hung
over our minds, as if the feast had been funereal; and every bosom felt
light when it was ended.

"Adieu, cousin," she said to Mr. Jarvie, as we rose from the
entertainment; "the best wish Helen MacGregor can give to a friend is,
that he may see her no more."

The Bailie struggled to answer, probably with some commonplace maxim of
morality;--but the calm and melancholy sternness of her countenance bore
down and disconcerted the mechanical and formal importance of the
magistrate. He coughed,--hemmed,--bowed,--and was silent.

"For you, stranger," she said, "I have a token, from one whom you can
never"--

"Helen!" interrupted MacGregor, in a loud and stern voice, "what means
this?--have you forgotten the charge?"

"MacGregor," she replied, "I have forgotten nought that is fitting for me
to remember. It is not such hands as these," and she stretched forth her
long, sinewy, and bare arm, "that are fitting to convey love-tokens, were
the gift connected with aught but misery. Young man," she said,
presenting me with a ring, which I well remembered as one of the few
ornaments that Miss Vernon sometimes wore, "this comes from one whom you
will never see more. If it is a joyless token, it is well fitted to pass
through the hands of one to whom joy can never be known. Her last words
were--Let him forget me for ever."

"And can she," I said, almost without being conscious that I spoke,
"suppose that is possible?"

"All may be forgotten," said the extraordinary female who addressed
me,--"all--but the sense of dishonour, and the desire of vengeance."

"_Seid suas!_"* cried the MacGregor, stamping with impatience.

* "Strike up."

The bagpipes sounded, and with their thrilling and jarring tones cut
short our conference. Our leave of our hostess was taken by silent
gestures; and we resumed our journey with an additional proof on my part,
that I was beloved by Diana, and was separated from her for ever.





CHAPTER NINETEENTH.

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

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

On more than one occasion, as well as on that which I witnessed, the
garrison suffered from the adventurous spirit of the outlaw and his
followers. These advantages were never sullied by ferocity when he
himself was in command; for, equally good-tempered and sagacious, he
understood well the danger of incurring unnecessary odium. I learned with
pleasure that he had caused the captives of the preceding day to be
liberated in safety; and many traits of mercy, and even of generosity,
are recorded of this remarkable man on similar occasions.

A boat waited for us in a creek beneath a huge rock, manned by four lusty
Highland rowers; and our host took leave of us with great cordiality, and
even affection. Betwixt him and Mr. Jarvie, indeed, there seemed to exist
a degree of mutual regard, which formed a strong contrast to their
different occupations and habits. After kissing each other very lovingly,
and when they were just in the act of parting, the Bailie, in the fulness
of his heart, and with a faltering voice, assured his kinsman, "that if
ever an hundred pund, or even twa hundred, would put him or his family in
a settled way, he need but just send a line to the Saut-Market;" and Rob,
grasping his basket-hilt with one hand, and shaking Mr. Jarvie's heartily
with the other, protested, "that if ever anybody should affront his
kinsman, an he would but let him ken, he would stow his lugs out of his
head, were he the best man in Glasgow."

With these assurances of mutual aid and continued good-will, we bore away
from the shore, and took our course for the south-western angle of the
lake, where it gives birth to the river Leven. Rob Roy remained for some
time standing on the rock from beneath which we had departed, conspicuous
by his long gun, waving tartans, and the single plume in his cap, which
in those days denoted the Highland gentleman and soldier; although I
observe that the present military taste has decorated the Highland bonnet
with a quantity of black plumage resembling that which is borne before
funerals. At length, as the distance increased between us, we saw him
turn and go slowly up the side of the hill, followed by his immediate
attendants or bodyguard.

We performed our voyage for a long time in silence, interrupted only by
the Gaelic chant which one of the rowers sung in low irregular measure,
rising occasionally into a wild chorus, in which the others joined.

My own thoughts were sad enough;--yet I felt something soothing in the
magnificent scenery with which I was surrounded; and thought, in the
enthusiasm of the moment, that had my faith been that of Rome, I could
have consented to live and die a lonely hermit in one of the romantic and
beautiful islands amongst which our boat glided.

The Bailie had also his speculations, but they were of somewhat a
different complexion; as I found when, after about an hour's silence,
during which he had been mentally engaged in the calculations necessary,
he undertook to prove the possibility of draining the lake, and "giving
to plough and harrow many hundred, ay, many a thousand acres, from whilk
no man could get earthly gude e'enow, unless it were a gedd,* or a dish
of perch now and then."

* A pike.

Amidst a long discussion, which he "crammed into mine ear against the
stomach of my sense," I only remember, that it was part of his project to
preserve a portion of the lake just deep enough and broad enough for the
purposes of water-carriage, so that coal-barges and gabbards should pass
as easily between Dumbarton and Glenfalloch as between Glasgow and
Greenock.

At length we neared our distant place of landing, adjoining to the ruins
of an ancient castle, and just where the lake discharges its superfluous
waters into the Leven. There we found Dougal with the horses. The Bailie
had formed a plan with respect to "the creature," as well as upon the
draining of the lake; and, perhaps in both cases, with more regard to the
utility than to the practical possibility of his scheme. "Dougal," he
said, "ye are a kindly creature, and hae the sense and feeling o' what is
due to your betters--and I'm e'en wae for you, Dougal, for it canna be
but that in the life ye lead you suld get a Jeddart cast* ae day suner or
later. I trust, considering my services as a magistrate, and my father
the deacon's afore me, I hae interest eneugh in the council to gar them
wink a wee at a waur faut than yours.

* ["The memory of Dunbar's legal (?) proceedings at Jedburgh is preserved
in the proverbial phrase _Jeddart Justice,_ which signifies trial _after_
execution."--_Minstrelsy of the Border,_ Preface, p. lvi.]

Sae I hae been thinking, that if ye will gang back to Glasgow wi' us,
being a strong-backit creature, ye might be employed in the warehouse
till something better suld cast up."

"Her nainsell muckle obliged till the Bailie's honour," replied Dougal;
"but teil be in her shanks fan she gangs on a cause-way'd street, unless
she be drawn up the Gallowgate wi' tows, as she was before."

In fact, I afterwards learned that Dougal had originally come to Glasgow
as a prisoner, from being concerned in some depredation, but had somehow
found such favour in the eyes of the jailor, that, with rather
overweening confidence, he had retained him in his service as one of the
turnkeys; a task which Dougal had discharged with sufficient fidelity, so
far as was known, until overcome by his clannish prejudices on the
unexpected appearance of his old leader.

Astonished at receiving so round a refusal to so favourable an offer, the
Bailie, turning to me, observed, that the "creature was a natural-born
idiot." I testified my own gratitude in a way which Dougal much better
relished, by slipping a couple of guineas into his hand. He no sooner
felt the touch of the gold, than he sprung twice or thrice from the earth
with the agility of a wild buck, flinging out first one heel and then
another, in a manner which would have astonished a French dancing-master.
He ran to the boatmen to show them the prize, and a small gratuity made
them take part in his raptures. He then, to use a favourite expression of
the dramatic John Bunyan, "went on his way, and I saw him no more."

The Bailie and I mounted our horses, and proceeded on the road to
Glasgow. When we had lost the view of the lake, and its superb
amphitheatre of mountains, I could not help expressing with enthusiasm,
my sense of its natural beauties, although I was conscious that Mr.
Jarvie was a very uncongenial spirit to communicate with on such a
subject.

"Ye are a young gentleman," he replied, "and an Englishman, and a' this
may be very fine to you; but for me, wha am a plain man, and ken
something o' the different values of land, I wadna gie the finest sight
we hae seen in the Hielands, for the first keek o' the Gorbals o'
Glasgow; and if I were ance there, it suldna be every fule's errand,
begging your pardon, Mr. Francis, that suld take me out o' sight o' Saint
Mungo's steeple again!"

The honest man had his wish; for, by dint of travelling very late, we
arrived at his own house that night, or rather on the succeeding morning.
Having seen my worthy fellow-traveller safely consigned to the charge of
the considerate and officious Mattie, I proceeded to Mrs. Flyter's, in
whose house, even at this unwonted hour, light was still burning. The
door was opened by no less a person than Andrew Fairservice himself, who,
upon the first sound of my voice, set up a loud shout of joyful
recognition, and, without uttering a syllable, ran up stairs towards a
parlour on the second floor, from the windows of which the light
proceeded. Justly conceiving that he went to announce my return to the
anxious Owen, I followed him upon the foot. Owen was not alone, there was
another in the apartment--it was my father.

The first impulse was to preserve the dignity of his usual
equanimity,--"Francis, I am glad to see you." The next was to embrace me
tenderly,--"My dear--dear son!"--Owen secured one of my hands, and
wetted it with his tears, while he joined in gratulating my return.
These are scenes which address themselves to the eye and to the heart
rather than to the ear--My old eye-lids still moisten at the
recollection of our meeting; but your kind and affectionate feelings
can well imagine what I should find it impossible to describe.

When the tumult of our joy was over, I learnt that my father had arrived
from Holland shortly after Owen had set off for Scotland. Determined and
rapid in all his movements, he only stopped to provide the means of
discharging the obligations incumbent on his house. By his extensive
resources, with funds enlarged, and credit fortified, by eminent success
in his continental speculation, he easily accomplished what perhaps his
absence alone rendered difficult, and set out for Scotland to exact
justice from Rashleigh Osbaldistone, as well as to put order to his
affairs in that country. My father's arrival in full credit, and with the
ample means of supporting his engagements honourably, as well as
benefiting his correspondents in future, was a stunning blow to MacVittie
and Company, who had conceived his star set for ever. Highly incensed at
the usage his confidential clerk and agent had received at their hands,
Mr. Osbaldistone refused every tender of apology and accommodation; and
having settled the balance of their account, announced to them that, with
all its numerous contingent advantages, that leaf of their ledger was
closed for ever.

While he enjoyed this triumph over false friends, he was not a little
alarmed on my account. Owen, good man, had not supposed it possible that
a journey of fifty or sixty miles, which may be made with so much ease
and safety in any direction from London, could be attended with any
particular danger. But he caught alarm, by sympathy, from my father, to
whom the country, and the lawless character of its inhabitants, were
better known.

These apprehensions were raised to agony, when, a few hours before I
arrived, Andrew Fairservice made his appearance, with a dismal and
exaggerated account of the uncertain state in which he had left me. The
nobleman with whose troops he had been a sort of prisoner, had, after
examination, not only dismissed him, but furnished him with the means of
returning rapidly to Glasgow, in order to announce to my friends my
precarious and unpleasant situation.

Andrew was one of those persons who have no objection to the sort of
temporary attention and woeful importance which attaches itself to the
bearer of bad tidings, and had therefore by no means smoothed down his
tale in the telling, especially as the rich London merchant himself
proved unexpectedly one of the auditors. He went at great length into an
account of the dangers I had escaped, chiefly, as he insinuated, by means
of his own experience, exertion, and sagacity.

"What was to come of me now, when my better angel, in his (Andrew's)
person, was removed from my side, it was," he said, "sad and sair to
conjecture; that the Bailie was nae better than just naebody at a pinch,
or something waur, for he was a conceited body--and Andrew hated
conceit--but certainly, atween the pistols and the carabines of the
troopers, that rappit aff the tane after the tother as fast as hail, and
the dirks and claymores o' the Hielanders, and the deep waters and weils
o' the Avondow, it was to be thought there wad be a puir account of the
young gentleman."

This statement would have driven Owen to despair, had he been alone and
unsupported; but my father's perfect knowledge of mankind enabled him
easily to appreciate the character of Andrew, and the real amount of his
intelligence. Stripped of all exaggeration, however, it was alarming
enough to a parent. He determined to set out in person to obtain my
liberty by ransom or negotiation, and was busied with Owen till a late
hour, in order to get through some necessary correspondence, and devolve
on the latter some business which should be transacted during his
absence; and thus it chanced that I found them watchers.

It was late ere we separated to rest, and, too impatient long to endure
repose, I was stirring early the next morning. Andrew gave his attendance
at my levee, as in duty bound, and, instead of the scarecrow figure to
which he had been reduced at Aberfoil, now appeared in the attire of an
undertaker, a goodly suit, namely, of the deepest mourning. It was not
till after one or two queries, which the rascal affected as long as he
could to misunderstand, that I found out he "had thought it but decent to
put on mourning, on account of my inexpressible loss; and as the broker
at whose shop he had equipped himself, declined to receive the goods
again, and as his own garments had been destroyed or carried off in my
honour's service, doubtless I and my honourable father, whom Providence
had blessed wi' the means, wadna suffer a puir lad to sit down wi' the
loss; a stand o' claes was nae great matter to an Osbaldistone (be
praised for't!), especially to an old and attached servant o' the house."

As there was something of justice in Andrew's plea of loss in my service,
his finesse succeeded; and he came by a good suit of mourning, with a
beaver and all things conforming, as the exterior signs of woe for a
master who was alive and merry.

My father's first care, when he arose, was to visit Mr. Jarvie, for whose
kindness he entertained the most grateful sentiments, which he expressed
in very few, but manly and nervous terms. He explained the altered state
of his affairs, and offered the Bailie, on such terms as could not but be
both advantageous and acceptable, that part in his concerns which had
been hitherto managed by MacVittie and Company. The Bailie heartily
congratulated my father and Owen on the changed posture of their affairs,
and, without affecting to disclaim that he had done his best to serve
them, when matters looked otherwise, he said, "He had only just acted as
he wad be done by--that, as to the extension of their correspondence, he
frankly accepted it with thanks. Had MacVittie's folk behaved like honest
men," he said, "he wad hae liked ill to hae come in ahint them, and out
afore them this gate. But it's otherwise, and they maun e'en stand the
loss."

The Bailie then pulled me by the sleeve into a corner, and, after again
cordially wishing me joy, proceeded, in rather an embarrassed tone--"I
wad heartily wish, Maister Francis, there suld be as little said as
possible about the queer things we saw up yonder awa. There's nae gude,
unless ane were judicially examinate, to say onything about that awfu'
job o' Morris--and the members o' the council wadna think it creditable
in ane of their body to be fighting wi' a wheen Hielandmen, and singeing
their plaidens--And abune a', though I am a decent sponsible man, when I
am on my right end, I canna but think I maun hae made a queer figure
without my hat and my periwig, hinging by the middle like bawdrons, or a
cloak flung ower a cloak-pin. Bailie Grahame wad hae an unco hair in my
neck an he got that tale by the end."

I could not suppress a smile when I recollected the Bailie's situation,
although I certainly thought it no laughing matter at the time. The
good-natured merchant was a little confused, but smiled also when he
shook his head--"I see how it is--I see how it is. But say naething about
it--there's a gude callant; and charge that lang-tongued, conceited,
upsetting serving man o' yours, to sae naething neither. I wadna for ever
sae muckle that even the lassock Mattie ken'd onything about it. I wad
never hear an end o't."

He was obviously relieved from his impending fears of ridicule, when I
told him it was my father's intention to leave Glasgow almost
immediately. Indeed he had now no motive for remaining, since the most
valuable part of the papers carried off by Rashleigh had been recovered.
For that portion which he had converted into cash and expended in his own
or on political intrigues, there was no mode of recovering it but by a
suit at law, which was forthwith commenced, and proceeded, as our
law-agents assured us, with all deliberate speed.

We spent, accordingly, one hospitable day with the Bailie, and took leave
of him, as this narrative now does. He continued to grow in wealth,
honour, and credit, and actually rose to the highest civic honours in his
native city. About two years after the period I have mentioned, he tired
of his bachelor life, and promoted Mattie from her wheel by the kitchen
fire to the upper end of his table, in the character of Mrs. Jarvie.
Bailie Grahame, the MacVitties, and others (for all men have their
enemies, especially in the council of a royal burgh), ridiculed this
transformation. "But," said Mr. Jarvie, "let them say their say. I'll
ne'er fash mysell, nor lose my liking for sae feckless a matter as a nine
days' clash. My honest father the deacon had a byword,

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

Besides," as he always concluded, "Mattie was nae ordinary lassock-quean;
she was akin to the Laird o' Limmerfield."

Whether it was owing to her descent or her good gifts, I do not presume
to decide; but Mattie behaved excellently in her exaltation, and relieved
the apprehensions of some of the Bailie's friends, who had deemed his
experiment somewhat hazardous. I do not know that there was any other
incident of his quiet and useful life worthy of being particularly
recorded.





CHAPTER TWENTIETH.

                  "Come ye hither my 'six' good sons,
                       Gallant men I trow ye be,
                  How many of you, my children dear,
                  Will stand by that good Earl and me?"

                     "Five" of them did answer make--
                     "Five" of them spoke hastily,
                     "O father, till the day we die,
                  We'll stand by that good Earl and thee."
                                   The Rising in the North.

On the morning when we were to depart from Glasgow, Andrew Fairservice
bounced into my apartment like a madman, jumping up and down, and
singing, with more vehemence than tune,

                The kiln's on fire--the kiln's on fire--
                The kiln's on fire--she's a' in a lowe.

With some difficulty I prevailed on him to cease his confounded clamour,
and explain to me what the matter was. He was pleased to inform me, as if
he had been bringing the finest news imaginable, "that the Hielands were
clean broken out, every man o' them, and that Rob Roy, and a' his
breekless bands, wad be down upon Glasgow or twenty-four hours o' the
clock gaed round."

"Hold your tongue," said I, "you rascal! You must be drunk or mad; and if
there is any truth in your news, is it a singing matter, you scoundrel?"

"Drunk or mad? nae doubt," replied Andrew, dauntlessly; "ane's aye drunk
or mad if he tells what grit folks dinna like to hear--Sing? Od, the
clans will make us sing on the wrang side o' our mouth, if we are sae
drunk or mad as to bide their coming."

I rose in great haste, and found my father and Owen also on foot, and in
considerable alarm.

Andrew's news proved but too true in the main. The great rebellion which
agitated Britain in the year 1715 had already broken out, by the
unfortunate Earl of Mar's setting up the standard of the Stuart family in
an ill-omened hour, to the ruin of many honourable families, both in
England and Scotland. The treachery of some of the Jacobite agents
(Rashleigh among the rest), and the arrest of others, had made George the
First's Government acquainted with the extensive ramifications of a
conspiracy long prepared, and which at last exploded prematurely, and in
a part of the kingdom too distant to have any vital effect upon the
country, which, however, was plunged into much confusion.

This great public event served to confirm and elucidate the obscure
explanations I had received from MacGregor; and I could easily see why
the westland clans, who were brought against him, should have waived
their private quarrel, in consideration that they were all shortly to be
engaged in the same public cause. It was a more melancholy reflection to
my mind, that Diana Vernon was the wife of one of those who were most
active in turning the world upside down, and that she was herself exposed
to all the privations and perils of her husband's hazardous trade.

We held an immediate consultation on the measures we were to adopt in
this crisis, and acquiesced in my father's plan, that we should instantly
get the necessary passports, and make the best of our way to London. I
acquainted my father with my wish to offer my personal service to the
Government in any volunteer corps, several being already spoken of. He
readily acquiesced in my proposal; for though he disliked war as a
profession, yet, upon principle, no man would have exposed his life more
willingly in defence of civil and religious liberty.

We travelled in haste and in peril through Dumfriesshire and the
neighbouring counties of England. In this quarter, gentlemen of the Tory
interest were already in motion, mustering men and horses, while the
Whigs assembled themselves in the principal towns, armed the inhabitants,
and prepared for civil war. We narrowly escaped being stopped on more
occasions than one, and were often compelled to take circuitous routes to
avoid the points where forces were assembling.

When we reached London, we immediately associated with those bankers and
eminent merchants who agreed to support the credit of Government, and to
meet that run upon the funds, on which the conspirators had greatly
founded their hopes of furthering their undertaking, by rendering the
Government, as it were, bankrupt. My father was chosen one of the members
of this formidable body of the monied interest, as all had the greatest
confidence in his zeal, skill, and activity. He was also the organ by
which they communicated with Government, and contrived, from funds
belonging to his own house, or over which he had command, to find
purchasers for a quantity of the national stock, which was suddenly flung
into the market at a depreciated price when the rebellion broke out. I
was not idle myself, but obtained a commission, and levied, at my
father's expense, about two hundred men, with whom I joined General
Carpenter's army.

The rebellion, in the meantime, had extended itself to England. The
unfortunate Earl of Derwentwater had taken arms in the cause, along with
General Foster. My poor uncle, Sir Hildebrand, whose estate was reduced
to almost nothing by his own carelessness and the expense and debauchery
of his sons and household, was easily persuaded to join that unfortunate
standard. Before doing so, however, he exhibited a degree of precaution
of which no one could have suspected him--he made his will!

By this document he devised his estates at Osbaldistone Hall, and so
forth, to his sons successively, and their male heirs, until he came to
Rashleigh, whom, on account of the turn he had lately taken in politics,
he detested with all his might,--he cut him off with a shilling, and
settled the estate on me as his next heir. I had always been rather a
favourite of the old gentleman; but it is probable that, confident in the
number of gigantic youths who now armed around him, he considered the
destination as likely to remain a dead letter, which he inserted chiefly
to show his displeasure at Rashleigh's treachery, both public and
domestic. There was an article, by which he, bequeathed to the niece of
his late wife, Diana Vernon, now Lady Diana Vernon Beauchamp, some
diamonds belonging to her late aunt, and a great silver ewer, having the
arms of Vernon and Osbaldistone quarterly engraven upon it.

But Heaven had decreed a more speedy extinction of his numerous and
healthy lineage, than, most probably, he himself had reckoned on. In the
very first muster of the conspirators, at a place called Green-Rigg,
Thorncliff Osbaldistone quarrelled about precedence with a gentleman of
the Northumbrian border, to the full as fierce and intractable as
himself. In spite of all remonstrances, they gave their commander a
specimen of how far their discipline might be relied upon, by fighting it
out with their rapiers, and my kinsman was killed on the spot. His death
was a great loss to Sir Hildebrand, for, notwithstanding his infernal
temper, he had a grain or two of more sense than belonged to the rest of
the brotherhood, Rashleigh always excepted.

Perceval, the sot, died also in his calling. He had a wager with another
gentleman (who, from his exploits in that line, had acquired the
formidable epithet of Brandy Swalewell), which should drink the largest
cup of strong liquor when King James was proclaimed by the insurgents at
Morpeth. The exploit was something enormous. I forget the exact quantity
of brandy which Percie swallowed, but it occasioned a fever, of which he
expired at the end of three days, with the word, _water, water,_
perpetually on his tongue.

Dickon broke his neck near Warrington Bridge, in an attempt to show off a
foundered blood-mare which he wished to palm upon a Manchester merchant
who had joined the insurgents. He pushed the animal at a five-barred
gate; she fell in the leap, and the unfortunate jockey lost his life.

Wilfred the fool, as sometimes befalls, had the best fortune of the
family. He was slain at Proud Preston, in Lancashire, on the day that
General Carpenter attacked the barricades, fighting with great bravery,
though I have heard he was never able exactly to comprehend the cause of
quarrel, and did not uniformly remember on which king's side he was
engaged. John also behaved very boldly in the same engagement, and
received several wounds, of which he was not happy enough to die on the
spot.

Old Sir Hildebrand, entirely brokenhearted by these successive losses,
became, by the next day's surrender, one of the unhappy prisoners, and
was lodged in Newgate with his wounded son John.

I was now released from my military duty, and lost no time, therefore, in
endeavouring to relieve the distresses of these new relations. My
father's interest with Government, and the general compassion excited by
a parent who had sustained the successive loss of so many sons within so
short a time, would have prevented my uncle and cousin from being brought
to trial for high treason. But their doom was given forth from a greater
tribunal. John died of his wounds in Newgate, recommending to me in his
last breath, a cast of hawks which he had at the Hall, and a black
spaniel bitch called Lucy.

My poor uncle seemed beaten down to the very earth by his family
calamities, and the circumstances in which he unexpectedly found himself.
He said little, but seemed grateful for such attentions as circumstances
permitted me to show him. I did not witness his meeting with my father
for the first time for so many years, and under circumstances so
melancholy; but, judging from my father's extreme depression of spirits,
it must have been melancholy in the last degree. Sir Hildebrand spoke
with great bitterness against Rashleigh, now his only surviving child;
laid upon him the ruin of his house, and the deaths of all his brethren,
and declared, that neither he nor they would have plunged into political
intrigue, but for that very member of his family, who had been the first
to desert them. He once or twice mentioned Diana, always with great
affection; and once he said, while I sate by his bedside--"Nevoy, since
Thorncliff and all of them are dead, I am sorry you cannot have her."

The expression affected me much at the time; for it was a usual custom of
the poor old baronet's, when joyously setting forth upon the morning's
chase, to distinguish Thorncliff, who was a favourite, while he summoned
the rest more generally; and the loud jolly tone in which he used to
hollo, "Call Thornie--call all of them," contrasted sadly with the
woebegone and self-abandoning note in which he uttered the disconsolate
words which I have above quoted. He mentioned the contents of his will,
and supplied me with an authenticated copy;--the original he had
deposited with my old acquaintance Mr. Justice Inglewood, who, dreaded by
no one, and confided in by all as a kind of neutral person, had become,
for aught I know, the depositary of half the wills of the fighting men of
both factions in the county of Northumberland.

The greater part of my uncle's last hours were spent in the discharge of
the religious duties of his church, in which he was directed by the
chaplain of the Sardinian ambassador, for whom, with some difficulty, we
obtained permission to visit him. I could not ascertain by my own
observation, or through the medical attendants, that Sir Hildebrand
Osbaldistone died of any formed complaint bearing a name in the science
of medicine. He seemed to me completely worn out and broken down by
fatigue of body and distress of mind, and rather ceased to exist, than
died of any positive struggle,--just as a vessel, buffeted and tossed by
a succession of tempestuous gales, her timbers overstrained, and her
joints loosened, will sometimes spring a leak and founder, when there are
no apparent causes for her destruction.

It was a remarkable circumstance that my father, after the last duties
were performed to his brother, appeared suddenly to imbibe a strong
anxiety that I should act upon the will, and represent his father's
house, which had hitherto seemed to be the thing in the world which had
least charms for him. But formerly, he had been like the fox in the
fable, contemning what was beyond his reach; and, moreover, I doubt not
that the excessive dislike which he entertained against Rashleigh (now
Sir Rashleigh) Osbaldistone, who loudly threatened to attack his father
Sir Hildebrand's will and settlement, corroborated my father's desire to
maintain it.

"He had been most unjustly disinherited," he said, "by his own
father--his brother's will had repaired the disgrace, if not the injury,
by leaving the wreck of his property to Frank, the natural heir, and he
was determined the bequest should take effect."

In the meantime, Rashleigh was not altogether a contemptible personage as
an opponent. The information he had given to Government was critically
well-timed, and his extreme plausibility, with the extent of his
intelligence, and the artful manner in which he contrived to assume both
merit and influence, had, to a certain extent, procured him patrons among
Ministers. We were already in the full tide of litigation with him on the
subject of his pillaging the firm of Osbaldistone and Tresham; and,
judging from the progress we made in that comparatively simple lawsuit,
there was a chance that this second course of litigation might be drawn
out beyond the period of all our natural lives.

To avert these delays as much as possible, my father, by the advice of
his counsel learned in the law, paid off and vested in my person the
rights to certain large mortgages affecting Osbaldistone Hall. Perhaps,
however, the opportunity to convert a great share of the large profits
which accrued from the rapid rise of the funds upon the suppression of
the rebellion, and the experience he had so lately had of the perils of
commerce, encouraged him to realise, in this manner, a considerable part
of his property. At any rate, it so chanced, that, instead of commanding
me to the desk, as I fully expected, having intimated my willingness to
comply with his wishes, however they might destine me, I received his
directions to go down to Osbaldistone Hall, and take possession of it as
the heir and representative of the family. I was directed to apply to
Squire Inglewood for the copy of my uncle's will deposited with him, and
take all necessary measures to secure that possession which sages say
makes nine points of the law.

At another time I should have been delighted with this change of
destination. But now Osbaldistone Hall was accompanied with many painful
recollections. Still, however, I thought, that in that neighbourhood only
I was likely to acquire some information respecting the fate of Diana
Vernon. I had every reason to fear it must be far different from what I
could have wished it. But I could obtain no precise information on the
subject.

It was in vain that I endeavoured, by such acts of kindness as their
situation admitted, to conciliate the confidence of some distant
relations who were among the prisoners in Newgate. A pride which I could
not condemn, and a natural suspicion of the Whig Frank Osbaldistone,
cousin to the double-distilled traitor Rashleigh, closed every heart and
tongue, and I only received thanks, cold and extorted, in exchange for
such benefits as I had power to offer. The arm of the law was also
gradually abridging the numbers of those whom I endeavoured to serve, and
the hearts of the survivors became gradually more contracted towards all
whom they conceived to be concerned with the existing Government. As they
were led gradually, and by detachments, to execution, those who survived
lost interest in mankind, and the desire of communicating with them. I
shall long remember what one of them, Ned Shafton by name, replied to my
anxious inquiry, whether there was any indulgence I could procure him?
"Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, I must suppose you mean me kindly, and therefore
I thank you. But, by G--, men cannot be fattened like poultry, when they
see their neighbours carried off day by day to the place of execution,
and know that their own necks are to be twisted round in their turn."

Upon the whole, therefore, I was glad to escape from London, from
Newgate, and from the scenes which both exhibited, to breathe the free
air of Northumberland. Andrew Fairservice had continued in my service
more from my father's pleasure than my own. At present there seemed a
prospect that his local acquaintance with Osbaldistone Hall and its
vicinity might be useful; and, of course, he accompanied me on my
journey, and I enjoyed the prospect of getting rid of him, by
establishing him in his old quarters. I cannot conceive how he could
prevail upon my father to interest himself in him, unless it were by the
art, which he possessed in no inconsiderable degree, of affecting an
extreme attachment to his master; which theoretical attachment he made
compatible in practice with playing all manner of tricks without scruple,
providing only against his master being cheated by any one but himself.

We performed our journey to the North without any remarkable adventure,
and we found the country, so lately agitated by rebellion, now peaceful
and in good order. The nearer we approached to Osbaldistone Hall, the
more did my heart sink at the thought of entering that deserted mansion;
so that, in order to postpone the evil day, I resolved first to make my
visit at Mr. Justice Inglewood's.

That venerable person had been much disturbed with thoughts of what he
had been, and what he now was; and natural recollections of the past had
interfered considerably with the active duty which in his present
situation might have been expected from him. He was fortunate, however,
in one respect; he had got rid of his clerk Jobson, who had finally left
him in dudgeon at his inactivity, and become legal assistant to a certain
Squire Standish, who had lately commenced operations in those parts as a
justice, with a zeal for King George and the Protestant succession,
which, very different from the feelings of his old patron, Mr. Jobson had
more occasion to restrain within the bounds of the law, than to stimulate
to exertion.

Old Justice Inglewood received me with great courtesy, and readily
exhibited my uncle's will, which seemed to be without a flaw. He was for
some time in obvious distress, how he should speak and act in my
presence; but when he found, that though a supporter of the present
Government upon principle, I was disposed to think with pity on those who
had opposed it on a mistaken feeling of loyalty and duty, his discourse
became a very diverting medley of what he had done, and what he had left
undone,--the pains he had taken to prevent some squires from joining, and
to wink at the escape of others, who had been so unlucky as to engage in
the affair.

We were _tete-a'-tete,_ and several bumpers had been quaffed by the
Justice's special desire, when, on a sudden, he requested me to fill a
_bona fide_ brimmer to the health of poor dear Die Vernon, the rose of
the wilderness, the heath-bell of Cheviot, and the blossom that's
transplanted to an infernal convent.

"Is not Miss Vernon married, then?" I exclaimed, in great astonishment.
"I thought his Excellency"--

"Pooh! pooh! his Excellency and his Lordship's all a humbug now, you
know--mere St. Germains titles--Earl of Beauchamp, and ambassador
plenipotentiary from France, when the Duke Regent of Orleans scarce knew
that he lived, I dare say. But you must have seen old Sir Frederick
Vernon at the Hall, when he played the part of Father Vaughan?"

"Good Heavens! then Vaughan was Miss Vernon's father?"

"To be sure he was," said the Justice coolly;--"there's no use in
keeping the secret now, for he must be out of the country by this
time--otherwise, no doubt, it would be my duty to apprehend him.--Come,
off with your bumper to my dear lost Die!

                 And let her health go round, around, around,
                     And let her health go round;
                 For though your stocking be of silk,
                 Your knees near kiss the ground, aground, aground."*

* This pithy verse occurs, it is believed, in Shadwell's play of Bury
Fair.

I was unable, as the reader may easily conceive, to join in the Justice's
jollity. My head swam with the shock I had received. "I never heard," I
said, "that Miss Vernon's father was living."

"It was not our Government's fault that he is," replied Inglewood, "for
the devil a man there is whose head would have brought more money. He was
condemned to death for Fenwick's plot, and was thought to have had some
hand in the Knightsbridge affair, in King William's time; and as he had
married in Scotland a relation of the house of Breadalbane, he possessed
great influence with all their chiefs. There was a talk of his being
demanded to be given up at the peace of Ryswick, but he shammed ill, and
his death was given publicly out in the French papers. But when he came
back here on the old score, we old cavaliers knew him well,--that is to
say, I knew him, not as being a cavalier myself, but no information being
lodged against the poor gentleman, and my memory being shortened by
frequent attacks of the gout, I could not have sworn to him, you know."

"Was he, then, not known at Osbaldistone Hall?" I inquired.

"To none but to his daughter, the old knight, and Rashleigh, who had got
at that secret as he did at every one else, and held it like a twisted
cord about poor Die's neck. I have seen her one hundred times she would
have spit at him, if it had not been fear for her father, whose life
would not have been worth five minutes' purchase if he had been
discovered to the Government.--But don't mistake me, Mr. Osbaldistone; I
say the Government is a good, a gracious, and a just Government; and if
it has hanged one-half of the rebels, poor things, all will acknowledge
they would not have been touched had they staid peaceably at home."

Waiving the discussion of these political questions, I brought back Mr.
Inglewood to his subject, and I found that Diana, having positively
refused to marry any of the Osbaldistone family, and expressed her
particular detestation of Rashleigh, he had from that time begun to cool
in zeal for the cause of the Pretender; to which, as the youngest of six
brethren, and bold, artful, and able, he had hitherto looked forward as
the means of making his fortune. Probably the compulsion with which he
had been forced to render up the spoils which he had abstracted from my
father's counting-house by the united authority of Sir Frederick Vernon
and the Scottish Chiefs, had determined his resolution to advance his
progress by changing his opinions and betraying his trust. Perhaps
also--for few men were better judges where his interest was concerned--he
considered their means and talents to be, as they afterwards proved,
greatly inadequate to the important task of overthrowing an established
Government. Sir Frederick Vernon, or, as he was called among the
Jacobites, his Excellency Viscount Beauchamp, had, with his daughter,
some difficulty in escaping the consequences of Rashleigh's information.
Here Mr. Inglewood's information was at fault; but he did not doubt,
since we had not heard of Sir Frederick being in the hands of the
Government, he must be by this time abroad, where, agreeably to the cruel
bond he had entered into with his brother-in-law, Diana, since she had
declined to select a husband out of the Osbaldistone family, must be
confined to a convent. The original cause of this singular agreement Mr.
Inglewood could not perfectly explain; but he understood it was a family
compact, entered into for the purpose of securing to Sir Frederick the
rents of the remnant of his large estates, which had been vested in the
Osbaldistone family by some legal manoeuvre; in short, a family compact,
in which, like many of those undertaken at that time of day, the feelings
of the principal parties interested were no more regarded than if they
had been a part of the live-stock upon the lands.

I cannot tell,--such is the waywardness of the human heart,--whether this
intelligence gave me joy or sorrow. It seemed to me, that, in the
knowledge that Miss Vernon was eternally divided from me, not by marriage
with another, but by seclusion in a convent, in order to fulfil an absurd
bargain of this kind, my regret for her loss was aggravated rather than
diminished. I became dull, low-spirited, absent, and unable to support
the task of conversing with Justice Inglewood, who in his turn yawned,
and proposed to retire early. I took leave of him overnight, determining
the next day, before breakfast, to ride over to Osbaldistone Hall.

Mr. Inglewood acquiesced in my proposal. "It would be well," he said,
"that I made my appearance there before I was known to be in the country,
the more especially as Sir Rashleigh Osbaldistone was now, he understood,
at Mr. Jobson's house, hatching some mischief, doubtless. They were fit
company," he added, "for each other, Sir Rashleigh having lost all right
to mingle in the society of men of honour; but it was hardly possible two
such d--d rascals should collogue together without mischief to honest
people."

He concluded, by earnestly recommending a toast and tankard, and an
attack upon his venison pasty, before I set out in the morning, just to
break the cold air on the words.





CHAPTER TWENTY-FIRST.

                   His master's gone, and no one now
                       Dwells in the halls of Ivor;
                   Men, dogs, and horses, all are dead,
                       He is the sole survivor.
                                         Wordsworth.

There are few more melancholy sensations than those with which we regard
scenes of past pleasure when altered and deserted. In my ride to
Osbaldistone Hall, I passed the same objects which I had seen in company
with Miss Vernon on the day of our memorable ride from Inglewood Place.
Her spirit seemed to keep me company on the way; and when I approached
the spot where I had first seen her, I almost listened for the cry of the
hounds and the notes of the horn, and strained my eye on the vacant
space, as if to descry the fair huntress again descend like an apparition
from the hill. But all was silent, and all was solitary. When I reached
the Hall, the closed doors and windows, the grass-grown pavement, the
courts, which were now so silent, presented a strong contrast to the gay
and bustling scene I had so often seen them exhibit, when the merry
hunters were going forth to their morning sport, or returning to the
daily festival. The joyous bark of the fox-hounds as they were uncoupled,
the cries of the huntsmen, the clang of the horses' hoofs, the loud laugh
of the old knight at the head of his strong and numerous descendants,
were all silenced now and for ever.

While I gazed round the scene of solitude and emptiness, I was
inexpressibly affected, even by recollecting those whom, when alive, I
had no reason to regard with affection. But the thought that so many
youths of goodly presence, warm with life, health, and confidence, were
within so short a time cold in the grave, by various, yet all violent and
unexpected modes of death, afforded a picture of mortality at which the
mind trembled. It was little consolation to me, that I returned a
proprietor to the halls which I had left almost like a fugitive. My mind
was not habituated to regard the scenes around as my property, and I felt
myself an usurper, at least an intruding stranger, and could hardly
divest myself of the idea, that some of the bulky forms of my deceased
kinsmen were, like the gigantic spectres of a romance, to appear in the
gateway, and dispute my entrance.

While I was engaged in these sad thoughts, my follower Andrew, whose
feelings were of a very different nature, exerted himself in thundering
alternately on every door in the building, calling, at the same time, for
admittance, in a tone so loud as to intimate, that _he,_ at least, was
fully sensible of his newly acquired importance, as squire of the body to
the new lord of the manor. At length, timidly and reluctantly, Anthony
Syddall, my uncle's aged butler and major-domo, presented himself at a
lower window, well fenced with iron bars, and inquired our business.

"We are come to tak your charge aff your hand, my auld friend," said
Andrew Fairservice; "ye may gie up your keys as sune as ye like--ilka dog
has his day. I'll tak the plate and napery aff your hand. Ye hae had your
ain time o't, Mr. Syddall; but ilka bean has its black, and ilka path has
its puddle; and it will just set you henceforth to sit at the board-end,
as weel as it did Andrew lang syne."

Checking with some difficulty the forwardness of my follower, I explained
to Syddall the nature of my right, and the title I had to demand
admittance into the Hall, as into my own property. The old man seemed
much agitated and distressed, and testified manifest reluctance to give
me entrance, although it was couched in a humble and submissive tone. I
allowed for the agitation of natural feelings, which really did the old
man honour; but continued peremptory in my demand of admittance,
explaining to him that his refusal would oblige me to apply for Mr.
Inglewood's warrant, and a constable.

"We are come from Mr. Justice Inglewood's this morning," said Andrew, to
enforce the menace;--"and I saw Archie Rutledge, the constable, as I came
up by;--the country's no to be lawless as it has been, Mr. Syddall,
letting rebels and papists gang on as they best listed."

The threat of the law sounded dreadful in the old man's ears, conscious
as he was of the suspicion under which he himself lay, from his religion
and his devotion to Sir Hildebrand and his sons. He undid, with fear and
trembling, one of the postern entrances, which was secured with many a
bolt and bar, and humbly hoped that I would excuse him for fidelity in
the discharge of his duty.--I reassured him, and told him I had the
better opinion of him for his caution.

"Sae have not I," said Andrew; "Syddall is an auld sneck-drawer; he wadna
be looking as white as a sheet, and his knees knocking thegither, unless
it were for something mair than he's like to tell us."

"Lord forgive you, Mr. Fairservice," replied the butler, "to say such
things of an old friend and fellow-servant!--Where"--following me humbly
along the passage--"where would it be your honour's pleasure to have a
fire lighted? I fear me you will find the house very dull and dreary--But
perhaps you mean to ride back to Inglewood Place to dinner?"

"Light a fire in the library," I replied.

"In the library!" answered the old man;--"nobody has sat there this many
a day, and the room smokes, for the daws have built in the chimney this
spring, and there were no young men about the Hall to pull them down."

"Our ain reekes better than other folk's fire," said Andrew. "His honour
likes the library;--he's nane o' your Papishers, that delight in blinded
ignorance, Mr. Syddall."

Very reluctantly as it appeared to me, the butler led the way to the
library, and, contrary to what he had given me to expect, the interior of
the apartment looked as if it had been lately arranged, and made more
comfortable than usual. There was a fire in the grate, which burned
clearly, notwithstanding what Syddall had reported of the vent. Taking up
the tongs, as if to arrange the wood, but rather perhaps to conceal his
own confusion, the butler observed, "it was burning clear now, but had
smoked woundily in the morning."

Wishing to be alone, till I recovered myself from the first painful
sensations which everything around me recalled, I desired old Syddall to
call the land-steward, who lived at about a quarter of a mile from the
Hall. He departed with obvious reluctance. I next ordered Andrew to
procure the attendance of a couple of stout fellows upon whom he could
rely, the population around being Papists, and Sir Rashleigh, who was
capable of any desperate enterprise, being in the neighbourhood. Andrew
Fairservice undertook this task with great cheerfulness, and promised to
bring me up from Trinlay-Knowe, "twa true-blue Presbyterians like
himself, that would face and out-face baith the Pope, the Devil, and the
Pretender--and blythe will I be o' their company mysell, for the very
last night that I was at Osbaldistone Hall, the blight be on ilka blossom
in my bit yard, if I didna see that very picture" (pointing to the
full-length portrait of Miss Vernon's grandfather) "walking by moonlight
in the garden! I tauld your honour I was fleyed wi' a bogle that night,
but ye wadna listen to me--I aye thought there was witchcraft and
deevilry amang the Papishers, but I ne'er saw't wi' bodily een till that
awfu' night."

"Get along, sir," said I, "and bring the fellows you talk of; and see
they have more sense than yourself, and are not frightened at their own
shadow."

"I hae been counted as gude a man as my neighbours ere now," said Andrew,
petulantly; "but I dinna pretend to deal wi' evil spirits." And so he
made his exit, as Wardlaw the land-steward made his appearance.

He was a man of sense and honesty, without whose careful management my
uncle would have found it difficult to have maintained himself a
housekeeper so long as he did. He examined the nature of my right of
possession carefully, and admitted it candidly. To any one else the
succession would have been a poor one, so much was the land encumbered
with debt and mortgage. Most of these, however, were already vested in my
father's person, and he was in a train of acquiring the rest; his large
gains by the recent rise of the funds having made it a matter of ease and
convenience for him to pay off the debt which affected his patrimony.

I transacted much necessary business with Mr. Wardlaw, and detained him
to dine with me. We preferred taking our repast in the library, although
Syddall strongly recommended our removing to the stone-hall, which he had
put in order for the occasion. Meantime Andrew made his appearance with
his true-blue recruits, whom he recommended in the highest terms, as
"sober decent men, weel founded in doctrinal points, and, above all, as
bold as lions." I ordered them something to drink, and they left the
room. I observed old Syddall shake his head as they went out, and
insisted upon knowing the reason.

"I maybe cannot expect," he said, "that your honour should put confidence
in what I say, but it is Heaven's truth for all that--Ambrose Wingfield
is as honest a man as lives, but if there is a false knave in the
country, it is his brother Lancie;--the whole country knows him to be a
spy for Clerk Jobson on the poor gentlemen that have been in trouble--But
he's a dissenter, and I suppose that's enough now-a-days."

Having thus far given vent to his feelings,--to which, however, I was
little disposed to pay attention,--and having placed the wine on the
table, the old butler left the apartment.

Mr. Wardlaw having remained with me until the evening was somewhat
advanced, at length bundled up his papers, and removed himself to his own
habitation, leaving me in that confused state of mind in which we can
hardly say whether we desire company or solitude. I had not, however, the
choice betwixt them; for I was left alone in the room of all others most
calculated to inspire me with melancholy reflections.

As twilight was darkening the apartment, Andrew had the sagacity to
advance his head at the door,--not to ask if I wished for lights, but to
recommend them as a measure of precaution against the bogles which still
haunted his imagination. I rejected his proffer somewhat peevishly,
trimmed the wood-fire, and placing myself in one of the large leathern
chairs which flanked the old Gothic chimney, I watched unconsciously the
bickering of the blaze which I had fostered. "And this," said I alone,
"is the progress and the issue of human wishes! Nursed by the merest
trifles, they are first kindled by fancy--nay, are fed upon the vapour of
hope, till they consume the substance which they inflame; and man, and
his hopes, passions, and desires, sink into a worthless heap of embers
and ashes!"

There was a deep sigh from the opposite side of the room, which seemed to
reply to my reflections. I started up in amazement--Diana Vernon stood
before me, resting on the arm of a figure so strongly resembling that of
the portrait so often mentioned, that I looked hastily at the frame,
expecting to see it empty. My first idea was, either that I had gone
suddenly distracted, or that the spirits of the dead had arisen and been
placed before me. A second glance convinced me of my being in my senses,
and that the forms which stood before me were real and substantial. It
was Diana herself, though paler and thinner than her former self; and it
was no tenant of the grave who stood beside her, but Vaughan, or rather
Sir Frederick Vernon, in a dress made to imitate that of his ancestor, to
whose picture his countenance possessed a family resemblance. He was the
first that spoke, for Diana kept her eyes fast fixed on the ground, and
astonishment actually riveted my tongue to the roof of my mouth.

"We are your suppliants, Mr. Osbaldistone," he said, "and we claim the
refuge and protection of your roof till we can pursue a journey where
dungeons and death gape for me at every step."

"Surely," I articulated with great difficulty--"Miss Vernon cannot
suppose--you, sir, cannot believe, that I have forgot your interference
in my difficulties, or that I am capable of betraying any one, much less
you?"

"I know it," said Sir Frederick; "yet it is with the most inexpressible
reluctance that I impose on you a confidence, disagreeable
perhaps--certainly dangerous--and which I would have specially wished
to have conferred on some one else. But my fate, which has chased me
through a life of perils and escapes, is now pressing me hard, and I
have no alternative."

At this moment the door opened, and the voice of the officious Andrew was
heard--"A'm bringin' in the caunles--Ye can light them gin ye like--Can
do is easy carried about wi' ane."

I ran to the door, which, as I hoped, I reached in time to prevent his
observing who were in the apartment, I turned him out with hasty
violence, shut the door after him, and locked it--then instantly
remembering his two companions below, knowing his talkative humour, and
recollecting Syddall's remark, that one of them was supposed to be a spy,
I followed him as fast as I could to the servants' hall, in which they
were assembled. Andrew's tongue was loud as I opened the door, but my
unexpected appearance silenced him.

"What is the matter with you, you fool?" said I; "you stare and look
wild, as if you had seen a ghost."

"N--n--no--nothing," said Andrew.--"but your worship was pleased to be
hasty."

"Because you disturbed me out of a sound sleep, you fool. Syddall tells
me he cannot find beds for these good fellows tonight, and Mr. Wardlaw
thinks there will be no occasion to detain them. Here is a crown-piece
for them to drink my health, and thanks for their good-will. You will
leave the Hall immediately, my good lads."

The men thanked me for my bounty, took the silver, and withdrew,
apparently unsuspicious and contented. I watched their departure until I
was sure they could have no further intercourse that night with honest
Andrew. And so instantly had I followed on his heels, that I thought he
could not have had time to speak two words with them before I interrupted
him. But it is wonderful what mischief may be done by only two words. On
this occasion they cost two lives.

Having made these arrangements, the best which occurred to me upon the
pressure of the moment, to secure privacy for my guests, I returned to
report my proceedings, and added, that I had desired Syddall to answer
every summons, concluding that it was by his connivance they had been
secreted in the Hall. Diana raised her eyes to thank me for the caution.

"You now understand my mystery," she said;--"you know, doubtless, how
near and dear that relative is, who has so often found shelter here; and
will be no longer surprised that Rashleigh, having such a secret at his
command, should rule me with a rod of iron."

Her father added, "that it was their intention to trouble me with their
presence as short a time as was possible."

I entreated the fugitives to waive every consideration but what affected
their safety, and to rely on my utmost exertions to promote it. This led
to an explanation of the circumstances under which they stood.

"I always suspected Rashleigh Osbaldistone," said Sir Frederick; "but his
conduct towards my unprotected child, which with difficulty I wrung from
her, and his treachery in your father's affairs, made me hate and despise
him. In our last interview I concealed not my sentiments, as I should in
prudence have attempted to do; and in resentment of the scorn with which
I treated him, he added treachery and apostasy to his catalogue of
crimes. I at that time fondly hoped that his defection would be of little
consequence. The Earl of Mar had a gallant army in Scotland, and Lord
Derwentwater, with Forster, Kenmure, Winterton, and others, were
assembling forces on the Border. As my connections with these English
nobility and gentry were extensive, it was judged proper that I should
accompany a detachment of Highlanders, who, under Brigadier MacIntosh of
Borlum, crossed the Firth of Forth, traversed the low country of
Scotland, and united themselves on the Borders with the English
insurgents. My daughter accompanied me through the perils and fatigues of
a march so long and difficult."

"And she will never leave her dear father!" exclaimed Miss Vernon,
clinging fondly to his arm.

"I had hardly joined our English friends, when I became sensible that our
cause was lost. Our numbers diminished instead of increasing, nor were we
joined by any except of our own persuasion. The Tories of the High Church
remained in general undecided, and at length we were cooped up by a
superior force in the little town of Preston. We defended ourselves
resolutely for one day. On the next, the hearts of our leaders failed,
and they resolved to surrender at discretion. To yield myself up on such
terms, were to have laid my head on the block. About twenty or thirty
gentlemen were of my mind: we mounted our horses, and placed my daughter,
who insisted on sharing my fate, in the centre of our little party. My
companions, struck with her courage and filial piety, declared that they
would die rather than leave her behind. We rode in a body down a street
called Fishergate, which leads to a marshy ground or meadow, extending to
the river Ribble, through which one of our party promised to show us a
good ford. This marsh had not been strongly invested by the enemy, so
that we had only an affair with a patrol of Honeywood's dragoons, whom we
dispersed and cut to pieces. We crossed the river, gained the high road
to Liverpool, and then dispersed to seek several places of concealment
and safety. My fortune led me to Wales, where there are many gentlemen of
my religious and political opinions. I could not, however, find a safe
opportunity of escaping by sea, and found myself obliged again to draw
towards the North. A well-tried friend has appointed to meet me in this
neighbourhood, and guide me to a seaport on the Solway, where a sloop is
prepared to carry me from my native country for ever. As Osbaldistone
Hall was for the present uninhabited, and under the charge of old
Syddall, who had been our confidant on former occasions, we drew to it as
to a place of known and secure refuge. I resumed a dress which had been
used with good effect to scare the superstitious rustics, or domestics,
who chanced at any time to see me; and we expected from time to time to
hear by Syddall of the arrival of our friendly guide, when your sudden
coming hither, and occupying this apartment, laid us under the necessity
of submitting to your mercy."

Thus ended Sir Fredericks story, whose tale sounded to me like one told
in a vision; and I could hardly bring myself to believe that I saw his
daughter's form once more before me in flesh and blood, though with
diminished beauty and sunk spirits. The buoyant vivacity with which she
had resisted every touch of adversity, had now assumed the air of
composed and submissive, but dauntless resolution and constancy. Her
father, though aware and jealous of the effect of her praises on my mind,
could not forbear expatiating upon them.

"She has endured trials," he said, "which might have dignified the
history of a martyr;--she has faced danger and death in various
shapes;--she has undergone toil and privation, from which men of the
strongest frame would have shrunk;--she has spent the day in darkness,
and the night in vigil, and has never breathed a murmur of weakness or
complaint. In a word, Mr. Osbaldistone," he concluded, "she is a worthy
offering to that God, to whom" (crossing himself) "I shall dedicate her,
as all that is left dear or precious to Frederick Vernon."

There was a silence after these words, of which I well understood the
mournful import. The father of Diana was still as anxious to destroy my
hopes of being united to her now as he had shown himself during our brief
meeting in Scotland.

"We will now," said he to his daughter, "intrude no farther on Mr.
Osbaldistone's time, since we have acquainted him with the circumstances
of the miserable guests who claim his protection."

I requested them to stay, and offered myself to leave the apartment. Sir
Frederick observed, that my doing so could not but excite my attendant's
suspicion; and that the place of their retreat was in every respect
commodious, and furnished by Syddall with all they could possibly want.
"We might perhaps have even contrived to remain there, concealed from
your observation; but it would have been unjust to decline the most
absolute reliance on your honour."

"You have done me but justice," I replied.--"To you, Sir Frederick, I am
but little known; but Miss Vernon, I am sure, will bear me witness that"--

"I do not want my daughter's evidence," he said, politely, but yet with
an air calculated to prevent my addressing myself to Diana, "since I am
prepared to believe all that is worthy of Mr. Francis Osbaldistone.
Permit us now to retire; we must take repose when we can, since we are
absolutely uncertain when we may be called upon to renew our perilous
journey."

He drew his daughter's arm within his, and with a profound reverence,
disappeared with her behind the tapestry.





CHAPTER TWENTY-SECOND.

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

I felt stunned and chilled as they retired. Imagination, dwelling on an
absent object of affection, paints her not only in the fairest light, but
in that in which we most desire to behold her. I had thought of Diana as
she was, when her parting tear dropped on my cheek--when her parting
token, received from the wife of MacGregor, augured her wish to convey
into exile and conventual seclusion the remembrance of my affection. I
saw her; and her cold passive manner, expressive of little except
composed melancholy, disappointed, and, in some degree, almost offended
me.

In the egotism of my feelings, I accused her of indifference--of
insensibility. I upbraided her father with pride--with cruelty--with
fanaticism,--forgetting that both were sacrificing their interest, and
Diana her inclination, to the discharge of what they regarded as their
duty.

Sir Frederick Vernon was a rigid Catholic, who thought the path of
salvation too narrow to be trodden by an heretic; and Diana, to whom her
father's safety had been for many years the principal and moving spring
of thoughts, hopes, and actions, felt that she had discharged her duty in
resigning to his will, not alone her property in the world, but the
dearest affections of her heart. But it was not surprising that I could
not, at such a moment, fully appreciate these honourable motives; yet my
spleen sought no ignoble means of discharging itself.

"I am contemned, then," I said, when left to run over the tenor of Sir
Frederick's communications--"I am contemned, and thought unworthy even to
exchange words with her. Be it so; they shall not at least prevent me
from watching over her safety. Here will I remain as an outpost, and,
while under my roof at least, no danger shall threaten her, if it be such
as the arm of one determined man can avert."

I summoned Syddall to the library. He came, but came attended by the
eternal Andrew, who, dreaming of great things in consequence of my taking
possession of the Hall and the annexed estates, was resolved to lose
nothing for want of keeping himself in view; and, as often happens to men
who entertain selfish objects, overshot his mark, and rendered his
attentions tedious and inconvenient.

His unrequired presence prevented me from speaking freely to Syddall, and
I dared not send him away for fear of increasing such suspicions as he
might entertain from his former abrupt dismissal from the library. "I
shall sleep here, sir," I said, giving them directions to wheel nearer to
the fire an old-fashioned day-bed, or settee. "I have much to do, and
shall go late to bed."

Syddall, who seemed to understand my look, offered to procure me the
accommodation of a mattress and some bedding. I accepted his offer,
dismissed my attendant, lighted a pair of candles, and desired that I
might not be disturbed till seven in the ensuing morning.

The domestics retired, leaving me to my painful and ill-arranged
reflections, until nature, worn out, should require some repose.

I endeavoured forcibly to abstract my mind from the singular
circumstances in which I found myself placed. Feelings which I had
gallantly combated while the exciting object was remote, were now
exasperated by my immediate neighbourhood to her whom I was so soon to
part with for ever. Her name was written in every book which I attempted
to peruse; and her image forced itself on me in whatever train of thought
I strove to engage myself. It was like the officious slave of Prior's
Solomon,--

                 Abra was ready ere I named her name,
                 And when I called another, Abra came.

I alternately gave way to these thoughts, and struggled against them,
sometimes yielding to a mood of melting tenderness of sorrow which was
scarce natural to me, sometimes arming myself with the hurt pride of one
who had experienced what he esteemed unmerited rejection. I paced the
library until I had chafed myself into a temporary fever. I then threw
myself on the couch, and endeavoured to dispose myself to sleep;--but it
was in vain that I used every effort to compose myself--that I lay
without movement of finger or of muscle, as still as if I had been
already a corpse--that I endeavoured to divert or banish disquieting
thoughts, by fixing my mind on some act of repetition or arithmetical
process. My blood throbbed, to my feverish apprehension, in pulsations
which resembled the deep and regular strokes of a distant fulling-mill,
and tingled in my veins like streams of liquid fire.

At length I arose, opened the window, and stood by it for some time in
the clear moonlight, receiving, in part at least, that refreshment and
dissipation of ideas from the clear and calm scene, without which they
had become beyond the command of my own volition. I resumed my place on
the couch--with a heart, Heaven knows, not lighter but firmer, and more
resolved for endurance. In a short time a slumber crept over my senses;
still, however, though my senses slumbered, my soul was awake to the
painful feelings of my situation, and my dreams were of mental anguish
and external objects of terror.

I remember a strange agony, under which I conceived myself and Diana in
the power of MacGregor's wife, and about to be precipitated from a rock
into the lake; the signal was to be the discharge of a cannon, fired by
Sir Frederick Vernon, who, in the dress of a Cardinal, officiated at the
ceremony. Nothing could be more lively than the impression which I
received of this imaginary scene. I could paint, even at this moment, the
mute and courageous submission expressed in Diana's features--the wild
and distorted faces of the executioners, who crowded around us with
"mopping and mowing;" grimaces ever changing, and each more hideous than
that which preceded. I saw the rigid and inflexible fanaticism painted in
the face of the father--I saw him lift the fatal match--the deadly signal
exploded--It was repeated again and again and again, in rival thunders,
by the echoes of the surrounding cliffs, and I awoke from fancied horror
to real apprehension.

The sounds in my dream were not ideal. They reverberated on my waking
ears, but it was two or three minutes ere I could collect myself so as
distinctly to understand that they proceeded from a violent knocking at
the gate. I leaped from my couch in great apprehension, took my sword
under my arm, and hastened to forbid the admission of any one. But my
route was necessarily circuitous, because the library looked not upon the
quadrangle, but into the gardens. When I had reached a staircase, the
windows of which opened upon the entrance court, I heard the feeble and
intimidated tones of Syddall expostulating with rough voices, which
demanded admittance, by the warrant of Justice Standish, and in the
King's name, and threatened the old domestic with the heaviest penal
consequences if he refused instant obedience. Ere they had ceased, I
heard, to my unspeakable provocation, the voice of Andrew bidding Syddall
stand aside, and let him open the door.

"If they come in King George's name, we have naething to fear--we hae
spent baith bluid and gowd for him--We dinna need to darn ourselves like
some folks, Mr. Syddall--we are neither Papists nor Jacobites, I trow."

It was in vain I accelerated my pace down stairs; I heard bolt after bolt
withdrawn by the officious scoundrel, while all the time he was boasting
his own and his master's loyalty to King George; and I could easily
calculate that the party must enter before I could arrive at the door to
replace the bars. Devoting the back of Andrew Fairservice to the cudgel
so soon as I should have time to pay him his deserts, I ran back to the
library, barricaded the door as I best could, and hastened to that by
which Diana and her father entered, and begged for instant admittance.
Diana herself undid the door. She was ready dressed, and betrayed neither
perturbation nor fear.

"Danger is so familiar to us," she said, "that we are always prepared to
meet it. My father is already up--he is in Rashleigh's apartment. We will
escape into the garden, and thence by the postern-gate (I have the key
from Syddall in case of need.) into the wood--I know its dingles better
than any one now alive. Keep them a few minutes in play. And, dear, dear
Frank, once more fare-thee-well!"

She vanished like a meteor to join her father, and the intruders were
rapping violently, and attempting to force the library door by the time I
had returned into it.

"You robber dogs!" I exclaimed, wilfully mistaking the purpose of their
disturbance, "if you do not instantly quit the house I will fire my
blunderbuss through the door."

"Fire a fule's bauble!" said Andrew Fairservice; "it's Mr. Clerk Jobson,
with a legal warrant"--

"To search for, take, and apprehend," said the voice of that execrable
pettifogger, "the bodies of certain persons in my warrant named, charged
of high treason under the 13th of King William, chapter third."

And the violence on the door was renewed. "I am rising, gentlemen," said
I, desirous to gain as much time as possible--"commit no violence--give
me leave to look at your warrant, and, if it is formal and legal, I shall
not oppose it."

"God save great George our King!" ejaculated Andrew. "I tauld ye that ye
would find nae Jacobites here."

Spinning out the time as much as possible, I was at length compelled to
open the door, which they would otherwise have forced.

Mr. Jobson entered, with several assistants, among whom I discovered the
younger Wingfield, to whom, doubtless, he was obliged for his
information, and exhibited his warrant, directed not only against
Frederick Vernon, an attainted traitor, but also against Diana Vernon,
spinster, and Francis Osbaldistone, gentleman, accused of misprision of
treason. It was a case in which resistance would have been madness; I
therefore, after capitulating for a few minutes' delay, surrendered
myself a prisoner.

I had next the mortification to see Jobson go straight to the chamber of
Miss Vernon, and I learned that from thence, without hesitation or
difficulty, he went to the room where Sir Frederick had slept. "The hare
has stolen away," said the brute, "but her form is warm--the greyhounds
will have her by the haunches yet."

A scream from the garden announced that he prophesied too truly. In the
course of five minutes, Rashleigh entered the library with Sir Frederick
Vernon and his daughter as prisoners.

"The fox," he said, "knew his old earth, but he forgot it could be
stopped by a careful huntsman.--I had not forgot the garden-gate, Sir
Frederick--or, if that title suits you better, most noble Lord
Beauchamp."

"Rashleigh," said Sir Frederick, "thou art a detestable villain!"

"I better deserved the name, Sir Knight, or my Lord, when, under the
direction of an able tutor, I sought to introduce civil war into the
bosom of a peaceful country. But I have done my best," said he, looking
upwards, "to atone for my errors."

I could hold no longer. I had designed to watch their proceedings in
silence, but I felt that I must speak or die. "If hell," I said, "has one
complexion more hideous than another, it is where villany is masked by
hypocrisy."

"Ha! my gentle cousin," said Rashleigh, holding a candle towards me, and
surveying me from head to foot; "right welcome to Osbaldistone Hall!--I
can forgive your spleen--It is hard to lose an estate and a mistress in
one night; for we shall take possession of this poor manor-house in the
name of the lawful heir, Sir Rashleigh Osbaldistone."

While Rashleigh braved it out in this manner, I could see that he put a
strong force upon his feelings, both of anger and shame. But his state of
mind was more obvious when Diana Vernon addressed him. "Rashleigh," she
said, "I pity you--for, deep as the evil is which you have laboured to do
me, and the evil you have actually done, I cannot hate you so much as I
scorn and pity you. What you have now done may be the work of an hour,
but will furnish you with reflection for your life--of what nature I
leave to your own conscience, which will not slumber for ever."

Rashleigh strode once or twice through the room, came up to the
side-table, on which wine was still standing, and poured out a large
glass with a trembling hand; but when he saw that we observed his tremor,
he suppressed it by a strong effort, and, looking at us with fixed and
daring composure, carried the bumper to his head without spilling a drop.
"It is my father's old burgundy," he said, looking to Jobson; "I am glad
there is some of it left.--You will get proper persons to take care of
old butler, and that foolish Scotch rascal. Meanwhile we will convey
these persons to a more proper place of custody. I have provided the old
family coach for your convenience," he said, "though I am not ignorant
that even the lady could brave the night-air on foot or on horseback,
were the errand more to her mind."

Andrew wrung his hands.--"I only said that my master was surely speaking
to a ghaist in the library--and the villain Lancie to betray an auld
friend, that sang aff the same Psalm-book wi' him every Sabbath for
twenty years!"

He was turned out of the house, together with Syddall, without being
allowed to conclude his lamentation. His expulsion, however, led to some
singular consequences. Resolving, according to his own story, to go down
for the night where Mother Simpson would give him a lodging for old
acquaintance' sake, he had just got clear of the avenue, and into the old
wood, as it was called, though it was now used as a pasture-ground rather
than woodland, when he suddenly lighted on a drove of Scotch cattle,
which were lying there to repose themselves after the day's journey. At
this Andrew was in no way surprised, it being the well-known custom of
his countrymen, who take care of those droves, to quarter themselves
after night upon the best unenclosed grass-ground they can find, and
depart before day-break to escape paying for their night's lodgings. But
he was both surprised and startled, when a Highlander, springing up,
accused him of disturbing the cattle, and refused him to pass forward
till he had spoken to his master. The mountaineer conducted Andrew into a
thicket, where he found three or four more of his countrymen. "And," said
Andrew, "I saw sune they were ower mony men for the drove; and from the
questions they put to me, I judged they had other tow on their rock."

They questioned him closely about all that had passed at Osbaldistone
Hall, and seemed surprised and concerned at the report he made to them.

"And troth," said Andrew, "I tauld them a' I ken'd; for dirks and pistols
were what I could never refuse information to in a' my life."

They talked in whispers among themselves, and at length collected their
cattle together, and drove them close up to the entrance of the avenue,
which might be half a mile distant from the house. They proceeded to drag
together some felled trees which lay in the vicinity, so as to make a
temporary barricade across the road, about fifteen yards beyond the
avenue. It was now near daybreak, and there was a pale eastern gleam
mingled with the fading moonlight, so that objects could be discovered
with some distinctness. The lumbering sound of a coach drawn by four
horses, and escorted by six men on horseback, was heard coming up the
avenue. The Highlanders listened attentively. The carriage contained Mr.
Jobson and his unfortunate prisoners. The escort consisted of Rashleigh,
and of several horsemen, peace-officers and their assistants. So soon as
we had passed the gate at the head of the avenue, it was shut behind the
cavalcade by a Highland-man, stationed there for that purpose. At the
same time the carriage was impeded in its farther progress by the cattle,
amongst which we were involved, and by the barricade in front. Two of the
escort dismounted to remove the felled trees, which they might think were
left there by accident or carelessness. The others began with their whips
to drive the cattle from the road.

"Who dare abuse our cattle?" said a rough voice.--"Shoot him, Angus!"

Rashleigh instantly called out--"A rescue! a rescue!" and, firing a
pistol, wounded the man who spoke.

"_Claymore!_" cried the leader of the Highlanders, and a scuffle
instantly commenced. The officers of the law, surprised at so sudden an
attack, and not usually possessing the most desperate bravery, made but
an imperfect defence, considering the superiority of their numbers. Some
attempted to ride back to the Hall, but on a pistol being fired from
behind the gate, they conceived themselves surrounded, and at length
galloped of in different directions. Rashleigh, meanwhile, had
dismounted, and on foot had maintained a desperate and single-handed
conflict with the leader of the band. The window of the carriage, on my
side, permitted me to witness it. At length Rashleigh dropped.

"Will you ask forgiveness for the sake of God, King James, and auld
friendship?" said a voice which I knew right well.

"No, never!" said Rashleigh, firmly.

"Then, traitor, die in your treason!" retorted MacGregor, and plunged his
sword in his prostrate antagonist.

In the next moment he was at the carriage door--handed out Miss Vernon,
assisted her father and me to alight, and dragging out the attorney, head
foremost, threw him under the wheel.

"Mr. Osbaldistone," he said, in a whisper, "you have nothing to
fear--I must look after those who have--Your friends will soon be in
safety--Farewell, and forget not the MacGregor."

He whistled--his band gathered round him, and, hurrying Diana and her
father along with him, they were almost instantly lost in the glades of
the forest. The coachman and postilion had abandoned their horses, and
fled at the first discharge of firearms; but the animals, stopped by the
barricade, remained perfectly still; and well for Jobson that they did
so, for the slightest motion would have dragged the wheel over his body.
My first object was to relieve him, for such was the rascal's terror that
he never could have risen by his own exertions. I next commanded him to
observe, that I had neither taken part in the rescue, nor availed myself
of it to make my escape, and enjoined him to go down to the Hall, and
call some of his party, who had been left there, to assist the wounded.--
But Jobson's fears had so mastered and controlled every faculty of his
mind, that he was totally incapable of moving. I now resolved to go
myself, but in my way I stumbled over the body of a man, as I thought,
dead or dying. It was, however, Andrew Fairservice, as well and whole as
ever he was in his life, who had only taken this recumbent posture to
avoid the slashes, stabs, and pistol-balls, which for a moment or two
were flying in various directions. I was so glad to find him, that I did
not inquire how he came thither, but instantly commanded his assistance.

Rashleigh was our first object. He groaned when I approached him, as much
through spite as through pain, and shut his eyes, as if determined, like
Iago, to speak no word more. We lifted him into the carriage, and
performed the same good office to another wounded man of his party, who
had been left on the field. I then with difficulty made Jobson understand
that he must enter the coach also, and support Sir Rashleigh upon the
seat. He obeyed, but with an air as if he but half comprehended my
meaning. Andrew and I turned the horses' heads round, and opening the
gate of the avenue, led them slowly back to Osbaldistone Hall.

Some fugitives had already reached the Hall by circuitous routes, and
alarmed its garrison by the news that Sir Rashleigh, Clerk Jobson, and
all their escort, save they who escaped to tell the tale, had been cut to
pieces at the head of the avenue by a whole regiment of wild Highlanders.
When we reached the mansion, therefore, we heard such a buzz as arises
when bees are alarmed, and mustering in their hives. Mr. Jobson, however,
who had now in some measure come to his senses, found voice enough to
make himself known. He was the more anxious to be released from the
carriage, as one of his companions (the peace-officer) had, to his
inexpressible terror, expired by his side with a hideous groan.

Sir Rashleigh Osbaldistone was still alive, but so dreadfully wounded
that the bottom of the coach was filled with his blood, and long traces
of it left from the entrance-door into the stone-hall, where he was
placed in a chair, some attempting to stop the bleeding with cloths,
while others called for a surgeon, and no one seemed willing to go to
fetch one. "Torment me not," said the wounded man--"I know no assistance
can avail me--I am a dying man." He raised himself in his chair, though
the damps and chill of death were already on his brow, and spoke with a
firmness which seemed beyond his strength. "Cousin Francis," he said,
"draw near to me." I approached him as he requested.--"I wish you only to
know that the pangs of death do not alter I one iota of my feelings
towards you. I hate you!" he said, the expression of rage throwing a
hideous glare into the eyes which were soon to be closed for ever--"I
hate you with a hatred as intense, now while I lie bleeding and dying
before you, as if my foot trode on your neck."

"I have given you no cause, sir," I replied,--"and for your own sake I
could wish your mind in a better temper."

"You _have_ given me cause," he rejoined. "In love, in ambition, in the
paths of interest, you have crossed and blighted me at every turn. I was
born to be the honour of my father's house--I have been its disgrace--and
all owing to you. My very patrimony has become yours--Take it," he said,
"and may the curse of a dying man cleave to it!"


[Illustration: The Death of Rashleigh--338]


In a moment after he had uttered this frightful wish, he fell back in the
chair; his eyes became glazed, his limbs stiffened, but the grin and
glare of mortal hatred survived even the last gasp of life. I will dwell
no longer on so painful a picture, nor say any more of the death of
Rashleigh, than that it gave me access to my rights of inheritance
without farther challenge, and that Jobson found himself compelled to
allow, that the ridiculous charge of misprision of high treason was got
up on an affidavit which he made with the sole purpose of favouring
Rashleigh's views, and removing me from Osbaldistone Hall. The rascal's
name was struck off the list of attorneys, and he was reduced to poverty
and contempt.

I returned to London when I had put my affairs in order at Osbaldistone
Hall, and felt happy to escape from a place which suggested so many
painful recollections. My anxiety was now acute to learn the fate of
Diana and her father. A French gentleman who came to London on commercial
business, was intrusted with a letter to me from Miss Vernon, which put
my mind at rest respecting their safety.

It gave me to understand that the opportune appearance of MacGregor and
his party was not fortuitous. The Scottish nobles and gentry engaged in
the insurrection, as well as those of England, were particularly anxious
to further the escape of Sir Frederick Vernon, who, as an old and trusted
agent of the house of Stuart, was possessed of matter enough to have
ruined half Scotland. Rob Roy, of whose sagacity and courage they had
known so many proofs, was the person whom they pitched upon to assist his
escape, and the place of meeting was fixed at Osbaldistone Hall. You have
already heard how nearly the plan had been disconcerted by the unhappy
Rashleigh. It succeeded, however, perfectly; for when once Sir Frederick
and his daughter were again at large, they found horses prepared for
them, and, by MacGregor's knowledge of the country--for every part of
Scotland, and of the north of England, was familiar to him--were
conducted to the western sea-coast, and safely embarked for France. The
same gentleman told me that Sir Frederick was not expected to survive for
many months a lingering disease, the consequence of late hardships and
privations. His daughter was placed in a convent, and although it was her
father's wish she should take the veil, he was understood to refer the
matter entirely to her own inclinations.

When these news reached me, I frankly told the state of my affections to
my father, who was not a little startled at the idea of my marrying a
Roman Catholic. But he was very desirous to see me "settled in life," as
he called it; and he was sensible that, in joining him with heart and
hand in his commercial labours, I had sacrificed my own inclinations.
After a brief hesitation, and several questions asked and answered to his
satisfaction, he broke out with--"I little thought a son of mine should
have been Lord of Osbaldistone Manor, and far less that he should go to a
French convent for a spouse. But so dutiful a daughter cannot but prove a
good wife. You have worked at the desk to please me, Frank; it is but
fair you should wive to please yourself."

How I sped in my wooing, Will Tresham, I need not tell you. You know,
too, how long and happily I lived with Diana. You know how I lamented
her; but you do not--cannot know, how much she deserved her husband's
sorrow.

I have no more of romantic adventure to tell, nor, indeed, anything to
communicate farther, since the latter incidents of my life are so well
known to one who has shared, with the most friendly sympathy, the joys,
as well as the sorrows, by which its scenes have been chequered. I often
visited Scotland, but never again saw the bold Highlander who had such an
influence on the early events of my life. I learned, however, from time
to time, that he continued to maintain his ground among the mountains of
Loch Lomond, in despite of his powerful enemies, and that he even
obtained, to a certain degree, the connivance of Government to his
self-elected office of protector of the Lennox, in virtue of which he
levied black-mail with as much regularity as the proprietors did their
ordinary rents. It seemed impossible that his life should have concluded
without a violent end. Nevertheless he died in old age and by a peaceful
death, some time about the year 1733, and is still remembered in his
country as the Robin Hood of Scotland--the dread of the wealthy, but the
friend of the poor--and possessed of many qualities, both of head and
heart, which would have graced a less equivocal profession than that to
which his fate condemned him.

Old Andrew Fairservice used to say, that "There were many things ower bad
for blessing, and ower gude for banning, like Rob Roy."

_Here the original manuscript ends somewhat abruptly. I have reason to
think that what followed related to private a affairs._





POSTSCRIPT.

The second article of the Appendix to the Introduction to Rob Roy
contains two curious letters respecting the arrest of Mr. Grahame of
Killearn by that daring freebooter, while levying the Duke of Montrose's
rents. These were taken from scroll copies in the possession of his Grace
the present Duke, who kindly permitted the use of them in the present
publication.--The Novel had but just passed through the press, when the
Right Honourable Mr. Peel--whose important state avocations do not avert
his attention from the interests of literature--transmitted to the author
copies of the original letters and enclosure, of which he possessed only
the rough draught. The originals were discovered in the State Paper
Office, by the indefatigable researches of Mr. Lemon, who is daily
throwing more light on that valuable collection of records. From the
documents with which the Author has been thus kindly favoured, he is
enabled to fill up the addresses which were wanting in the scrolls. That
of the 21st Nov. 1716 is addressed to Lord Viscount Townshend, and is
accompanied by one of the same date to Robert Pringle, Esquire,
Under-Secretary of State, which is here inserted as relative to so
curious an incident:--

_Letter from the Duke of Montrose, to Robert Pringle, Esq.,
Under-Secretary to Lord Viscount Townshend._

"Sr,_Glasgow,_ 21 _Nov._ 1716.

"Haveing had so many dispatches to make this night, I hope ye'l excuse me
that I make use of another hand to give yow a short account of the
occasion of this express, by which I have written to my Ld. Duke of
Roxburgh, and my Lord Townshend, which I hope ye'l gett carefully
deleivered.

"Mr. Graham, younger of Killearn, being on Munday last in Menteith att a
country house, collecting my rents, was about nine o'clock that same
night surprised by Rob Roy with a party of his men in arms, who haveing
surrounded the house and secured the avenues, presented their guns in at
the windows, while he himself entered the room with some others with cokt
pistolls, and seased Killearn with all his money, books, papers, and
bonds, and carryed all away with him to the hills, at the same time
ordering Killearn to write a letter to me (of which ye have the copy
inclosed), proposeing a very honourable treaty to me. I must say this
story was as surprising to me as it was insolent; and it must bring a
very great concern upon me, that this gentleman, my near relation, should
be brought to suffer all the barbaritys and crueltys, which revenge and
mallice may suggest to these miscreants, for his haveing acted a
faithfull part in the service of the Government, and his affection to me
in my concerns.

"I need not be more particular to you, since I know that my Letter to my
Lord Townshend will come into your hands, so shall only now give you the
assurances of my being, with great sincerity,

"Sr, yr most humble servant,
(Signed)
"Montrose."

"I long exceedingly for a return of my former dispatches to the
Secretary's about Methven and Colll Urquhart, and my wife's cousins,
Balnamoon and Phinaven.

"I must beg yow'll give my humble service to Mr. Secretary Methven, and
tell him that I must refer him to what I have written to My Lord
Townshend in this affair of Rob Roy, believing it was needless to trouble
both with letters."

Examined,
Robt. Lemon,
_Deputy Keeper of State Papers._




STATE PAPER OFFICE,
_Nov._ 4, 1829

Note.--The enclosure referred to in the preceding letter is another copy
of the letter which Mr. Grahame of Killearn was compelled by Rob Roy to
write to the Duke of Montrose, and is exactly the same as the one
enclosed in his Grace's letter to Lord Townshend, dated November 21st,
1716.
R. L.


The last letter in the Appendix No. II. (28th November), acquainting the
Government with Killearn's being set at liberty, is also addressed to the
Under-Secretary of State, Mr. Pringle.

The Author may also here remark, that immediately previous to the
insurrection of 1715, he perceives, from some notes of information given
to Government, that Rob Roy appears to have been much employed and
trusted by the Jacobite party, even in the very delicate task of
transporting specie to the Earl of Breadalbane, though it might have
somewhat resembled trusting Don Raphael and Ambrose de Lamela with the
church treasure.





NOTES TO ROB ROY.




Note A.--The Grey Stone of MacGregor.

I have been informed that, at no very remote period, it was proposed to
take this large stone, which marks the grave of Dugald Ciar Mhor, and
convert it to the purpose of the lintel of a window, the threshold of a
door, or some such mean use. A man of the clan MacGregor, who was
somewhat deranged, took fire at this insult; and when the workmen came to
remove the stone, planted himself upon it, with a broad axe in his hand,
swearing he would dash out the brains of any one who should disturb the
monument. Athletic in person, and insane enough to be totally regardless
of consequences, it was thought best to give way to his humour; and the
poor madman kept sentinel on the stone day and night, till the proposal
of removing it was entirely dropped.




Note B.--Dugald Ciar Mhor.

The above is the account which I find in a manuscript history of the clan
MacGregor, of which I was indulged with a perusal by Donald MacGregor,
Esq., late Major of the 33d regiment, where great pains have been taken
to collect traditions and written documents concerning the family. But an
ancient and constant tradition, preserved among the inhabitants of the
country, and particularly those of the clan MacFarlane, relieves Dugald
Ciar Mhor of the guilt of murdering the youths, and lays the blame on a
certain Donald or Duncan Lean, who performed the act of cruelty, with the
assistance of a gillie who attended him, named Charlioch, or Charlie.
They say that the homicides dared not again join their clan, but that
they resided in a wild and solitary state as outlaws, in an unfrequented
part of the MacFarlanes' territory. Here they lived for some time
undisturbed, till they committed an act of brutal violence on two
defenceless women, a mother and daughter of the MacFarlane clan. In
revenge of this atrocity, the MacFarlanes hunted them down, and shot
them. It is said that the younger ruffian, Charlioch, might have escaped,
being remarkably swift of foot. But his crime became his punishment, for
the female whom he had outraged had defended herself desperately, and had
stabbed him with his own dirk in the thigh. He was lame from the wound,
and was the more easily overtaken and killed.

I always inclined to think this last the true edition of the story, and
that the guilt was transferred to Dugald Ciar Mhor, as a man of higher
name, but I have learned that Dugald was in truth dead several years
before the battle--my authority being his representative, Mr. Gregorson
of Ardtornish. [See also note to introduction, "Legend of Montrose," vol.
vi.]




Note C.--The Loch Lomond Expedition.

The Loch Lomond expedition was judged worthy to form a separate pamphlet,
which I have not seen; but, as quoted by the historian Rae, it must be
delectable.

"On the morrow, being Thursday the 13th, they went on their expedition,
and about noon came to Inversnaid, the place of danger, where the Paisley
men and those of Dumbarton, and several of the other companies, to the
number of an hundred men, with the greatest intrepidity leapt on shore,
got up to the top of the mountains, and stood a considerable time,
beating their drums all the while; but no enemy appearing, they went in
quest of their boats, which the rebels had seized, and having casually
lighted on some ropes and oars hid among the shrubs, at length they found
the boats drawn up a good way on the land, which they hurled down to the
loch. Such of them as were not damaged they carried off with them, and
such as were, they sank and hewed to pieces. That same night they
returned to Luss, and thence next day to Dumbarton, from whence they had
at first set out, bringing along with them the whole boats they found in
their way on either side of the loch, and in the creeks of the isles, and
mooring them under the cannon of the castle. During this expedition, the
pinnaces discharging their patararoes, and the men their small-arms, made
such a thundering noise, through the multiplied rebounding echoes of the
vast mountains on both sides of the loch, that the MacGregors were cowed
and frighted away to the rest of the rebels who were encamped at Strath
Fillan."--_Rae's History of the Rebellion,_ 4to, p. 287.




Note D.--Author's Expedition against the MacLarens.

The Author is uncertain whether it is worth while to mention, that he had
a personal opportunity of observing, even in his own time, that the
king's writ did not pass quite current in the Brass of Balquhidder. There
were very considerable debts due by Stewart of Appin (chiefly to the
author's family), which were likely to be lost to the creditors, if they
could not be made available out of this same farm of Invernenty, the
scene of the murder done upon MacLaren.

His family, consisting of several strapping deer-stalkers, still
possessed the farm, by virtue of a long lease, for a trifling rent. There
was no chance of any one buying it with such an encumbrance, and a
transaction was entered into by the MacLarens, who, being desirous to
emigrate to America, agreed to sell their lease to the creditors for
L500, and to remove at the next term of Whitsunday. But whether they
repented their bargain, or desired to make a better, or whether from a
mere point of honour, the MacLarens declared they would not permit a
summons of removal to be executed against them, which was necessary for
the legal completion of the bargain. And such was the general impression
that they were men capable of resisting the legal execution of warning by
very effectual means, no king's messenger would execute the summons
without the support of a military force. An escort of a sergeant and six
men was obtained from a Highland regiment lying in Stirling; and the
Author, then a writer's apprentice, equivalent to the honourable
situation of an attorney's clerk, was invested with the superintendence
of the expedition, with directions to see that the messenger discharged
his duty fully, and that the gallant sergeant did not exceed his part by
committing violence or plunder. And thus it happened, oddly enough, that
the Author first entered the romantic scenery of Loch Katrine, of which
he may perhaps say he has somewhat extended the reputation, riding in all
the dignity of danger, with a front and rear guard, and loaded arms. The
sergeant was absolutely a Highland Sergeant Kite, full of stories of Rob
Roy and of himself, and a very good companion. We experienced no
interruption whatever, and when we came to Invernenty, found the house
deserted. We took up our quarters for the night, and used some of the
victuals which we found there. On the morning we returned as unmolested
as we came.

The MacLarens, who probably never thought of any serious opposition,
received their money and went to America, where, having had some slight
share in removing them from their _paupera regna,_ I sincerely hope they
prospered.

The rent of Invernenty instantly rose from L10 to L70 or L80; and when
sold, the farm was purchased (I think by the late Laird of MacNab) at a
price higher in proportion than what even the modern rent authorised the
parties interested to hope for.




Note E.--Allan Breck Stewart.

Allan Breck Stewart was a man likely in such a matter to keep his word.
James Drummond MacGregor and he, like Katherine and Petruchio, were well
matched "for a couple of quiet ones." Allan Breck lived till the
beginning of the French Revolution. About 1789, a friend of mine, then
residing at Paris, was invited to see some procession which was supposed
likely to interest him, from the windows of an apartment occupied by a
Scottish Benedictine priest. He found, sitting by the fire, a tall, thin,
raw-boned, grim-looking, old man, with the petit croix of St. Louis. His
visage was strongly marked by the irregular projections of the
cheek-bones and chin. His eyes were grey. His grizzled hair exhibited
marks of having been red, and his complexion was weather-beaten, and
remarkably freckled. Some civilities in French passed between the old man
and my friend, in the course of which they talked of the streets and
squares of Paris, till at length the old soldier, for such he seemed, and
such he was, said with a sigh, in a sharp Highland accent, "Deil ane o'
them a' is worth the Hie Street of Edinburgh!" On inquiry, this admirer
of Auld Reekie, which he was never to see again, proved to be Allan Breck
Stewart. He lived decently on his little pension, and had, in no
subsequent period of his life, shown anything of the savage mood in which
he is generally believed to have assassinated the enemy and oppressor, as
he supposed him, of his family and clan.




Note F.--The Abbess of Wilton.

The nunnery of Wilton was granted to the Earl of Pembroke upon its
dissolution, by the magisterial authority of Henry VIII., or his son
Edward VI. On the accession of Queen Mary, of Catholic memory, the Earl
found it necessary to reinstate the Abbess and her fair recluses, which
he did with many expressions of his remorse, kneeling humbly to the
vestals, and inducting them into the convent and possessions from which
he had expelled them. With the accession of Elizabeth, the accommodating
Earl again resumed his Protestant faith, and a second time drove the nuns
from their sanctuary. The remonstrances of the Abbess, who reminded him
of his penitent expressions on the former occasion, could wring from him
no other answer than that in the text--"Go spin, you jade!--Go spin!"




Note G.--Mons Meg.

Mons Meg was a large old-fashioned piece of ordnance, a great favourite
with the Scottish common people; she was fabricated at Mons, in Flanders,
in the reign of James IV. or V. of Scotland. This gun figures frequently
in the public accounts of the time, where we find charges for grease, to
grease Meg's mouth withal (to increase, as every schoolboy knows, the
loudness of the report), ribands to deck her carriage, and pipes to play
before her when she was brought from the Castle to accompany the Scottish
army on any distant expedition. After the Union, there was much popular
apprehension that the Regalia of Scotland, and the subordinate Palladium,
Mons Meg, would be carried to England to complete the odious surrender of
national independence. The Regalia, sequestered from the sight of the
public, were generally supposed to have been abstracted in this manner.
As for Mons Meg, she remained in the Castle of Edinburgh, till, by order
of the Board of Ordnance, she was actually removed to Woolwich about
1757. The Regalia, by his Majesty's special command, have been brought
forth from their place of concealment in 1818, and exposed to the view of
the people, by whom they must be looked upon with deep associations; and,
in this very winter of 1828-9, Mons Meg has been restored to the country,
where that, which in every other place or situation was a mere mass of
rusty iron, becomes once more a curious monument of antiquity.




Note H.---Fairy Superstition.

The lakes and precipices amidst which the Avon-Dhu, or River Forth, has
its birth, are still, according to popular tradition, haunted by the
Elfin people, the most peculiar, but most pleasing, of the creations of
Celtic superstitions. The opinions entertained about these beings are
much the same with those of the Irish, so exquisitely well narrated by
Mr. Crofton Croker. An eminently beautiful little conical hill, near the
eastern extremity of the valley of Aberfoil, is supposed to be one of
their peculiar haunts, and is the scene which awakens, in Andrew
Fairservice, the terror of their power. It is remarkable, that two
successive clergymen of this parish of Aberfoil have employed themselves
in writing about this fairy superstition. The eldest of these was Robert
Kirke, a man of some talents, who translated the Psalms into Gaelic
verse. He had formerly been minister at the neighbouring parish of
Balquhidder, and died at Aberfoil in 1688, at the early age of forty-two.

He was author of the Secret Commonwealth, which was printed after his
death in 1691--(an edition which I have never seen)--and was reprinted in
Edinburgh, 1815. This is a work concerning the fairy people, in whose
existence Mr. Kirke appears to have been a devout believer. He describes
them with the usual powers and qualities ascribed to such beings in
Highland tradition.

But what is sufficiently singular, the Rev. Robert Kirke, author of the
said treatise, is believed himself to have been taken away by the
fairies,--in revenge, perhaps, for having let in too much light upon the
secrets of their commonwealth. We learn this catastrophe from the
information of his successor, the late amiable and learned Dr. Patrick
Grahame, also minister at Aberfoil, who, in his Sketches of Perthshire,
has not forgotten to touch upon the _Daoine Schie,_ or men of peace.

The Rev. Robert Kirke was, it seems, walking upon a little eminence to
the west of the present manse, which is still held a _Dun Shie,_ or fairy
mound, when he sunk down, in what seemed to mortals a fit, and was
supposed to be dead. This, however, was not his real fate.

"Mr. Kirke was the near relation of Graham of Duchray, the ancestor of
the present General Graham Stirling. Shortly after his funeral, he
appeared, in the dress in which he had sunk down, to a medical relation
of his own, and of Duchray. 'Go,' said he to him, 'to my cousin Duchray,
and tell him that I am not dead. I fell down in a swoon, and was carried
into Fairyland, where I now am. Tell him, that when he and my friends are
assembled at the baptism of my child (for he had left his wife pregnant),
I will appear in the room, and that if he throws the knife which he holds
in his hand over my head, I will be released and restored to human
society.' The man, it seems, neglected, for some time, to deliver the
message. Mr. Kirke appeared to him a second time, threatening to haunt
him night and day till he executed his commission, which at length he
did. The time of the baptism arrived. They were seated at table; the
figure of Mr. Kirke entered, but the Laird of Duchray, by some
unaccountable fatality, neglected to perform the prescribed ceremony. Mr.
Kirke retired by another door, and was seen no wore. It is firmly
believed that he is, at this day, in Fairyland."--(_Sketches of
Perthshire,_ p. 254.)

[The treatise by Robert Kirke, here mentioned, was written in the year
1691, but not printed till 1815.]




Note I.--Clachan of Aberfoil.

I do not know how this might stand in Mr. Osbaldistone's day, but I can
assure the reader, whose curiosity may lead him to visit the scenes of
these romantic adventures, that the Clachan of Aberfoil now affords a
very comfortable little inn. If he chances to be a Scottish antiquary, it
will be an additional recommendation to him, that he will find himself in
the vicinity of the Rev. Dr. Patrick Grahame, minister of the gospel at
Aberfoil, whose urbanity in communicating information on the subject of
national antiquities, is scarce exceeded even by the stores of legendary
lore which he has accumulated.--_Original Note._ The respectable
clergyman alluded to has been dead for some years. [See note H.]





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