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over his face, so that he saw as little in front as he did in rear. Indeed, if he could, it would have availed him little in the circumstances; for bis horse, as if in league with the disaffected, ran full tilt towards the solemn equipage of the Duke, which the projecting lance threatened to perforate from window to window, at the risk of transfixing as many in its passage as the celebrated thrust of Orlando, whicb, according to the Italiau epic poet, broached as many Moors as a Frenchman spits frogs.
On beholding the bent of this misdirected career, a panic shout of mingled terror and wrath was set up by the whole equipage, insides and outsides, at once, wbich had the blessed effect of averting the threatened misfortune. The capricious horse of Goose Gibbie was terrified by the noise, and stumbling as he turned short round, kicked and plunged violently so soon as he recovered. The jack boots, the original cause of the disaster, maintaining the reputation they had acquired when worn by better cavaliers, answered every plunge by a fresh prick of the spurs, and by their ponderous weight, kept their place in the stirrups. Not so Goose Gibbie, who was fairly spumed out of those wide and ponderous greaves, and precipitated over the horse's head, to the infinite amusement of all the spectators. His lance and helmet bad forsaken him in his fall, and, for the completion of bis disgrace, Lady Margaret Bellenden, not perfectly aware that it was one of her warriors who was furnishing so much entertainment, came up in time to see her diminutise man-at-arms stripped of his lion's hide, of the buff coat, that is, in which he was mufled.'—vol. ii. pp. 61-64.
Upon this ludicrous incident turns the fate, as we shall presently see, of the principal personages of the drama. These are Edith Bellenden, the grand-daughter and heiress of Lady Margaret, and a youth of the Presbyterian persuasion, named Morton, son of a gallant officer who had served the Scoich parliament, in the former civil wars, but by his death had become the dependent of a sordid and avaricious uncle, the Laird of Milnwood. This young gentleman gains the prize at the shooting match, and proceeds to entertain his friends and competitors at a neighbouring public house
. The harmony of the meeting is disturbed by a fray which arises between a sergeant of the King's Life-guards, a man of high descent, but of brutal and insolent manners, nick-named Bothwell, from being derived from the last Scottish earls of that name, a stranger of a dark and sullen aspect, great strength of body and severity of manners, who proves afterwards to be one of the outlawed Presbyterians, named John Balfour, of Burley, at this time in circumstances of peculiar danger, being in the act of flight, in consequence of his share in the assassination of James Sharp, Archbishop of St. Andrews. Bothwell is foiled, and thrown upon the floor of the tavern by the strong-limbed covenanter.
* His comrade, Halliday, immediately drew his sword: “You have
killed my sergeant," he exclaimed to the victorious wrestler, "and by all that's sacred you shall answer it!"
6“ Stand back!” cried Morton and his companions, “it was all fair play ; your comrade sought a fall, and he has got it.”
“ That is true enough,” said Bothwell, as he slowly rose ; " put up your bilbo, Tom. I did not think there was a crop-ear of them all could have laid the best cap and feather in the King's Life Guards on the floor of a rascally change-bouse. --Hark ye, friend, give me your hand.” The stranger beld out bis hand. “I promise you,” said Bothwell, squeezing his hand very bard, “that the time shall come when we will meet again, and try this game over in a more earnest manner.”
"" And I'll promise you,” said the stranger, returning the grasp with equal firmness," that, when we next meet, I will lay your head as Jow as it lay even now, when you shall lack the power to lift it up,
«« Well, beloved," answered Bothwell, “ if thou be'st a whig, thou art a stout and a brave one, and so good even to thee-Hadist best take thy nag before the cornet makes his round; for, I promise thee, he has stay'd less suspicious-looking persons."
· The stranger seemed to think that the hint was not to be neglected; he flung down his reckoning, and going into the stable, saddled and brought out a powerful black horse, now recruited by rest and forage, and iurning to' Morton, observed, “I ride towards Milnwood, which i hear is your home; will you give me the advantage and protection of your company ?"
"" Certainly,” said Morton, although there was something of gloomy and relentless severity in the man's manner from which his mind recoiled. His companions, after a courteous good-night, broke up and went off in different directions, some keeping them company for about a mile, until they dropped off one by one, and the travellers were left alone.'--yol. ii. pp. 83–85.
We may here briefly notice that Francis Stewart, the grandson and representative of the last Earl of Bothwell, who was himself a grandson of James V. of Scotland, was so much reduced in circumstances, as actually to ride a private in the Life-guards at this period, as we learn from the Memoirs of Creighton, who was his comrade. Nothing else is known of him, and the character assigned to him in the novel is purely imaginary.
Balfour and Morton having left the village together, the former in the course of their journey discovers himself to Morton as an ancient comrade of his father, and on hearing the kettle-drums and cruinpets of a body of horse approaching, prevails upon him to give him refuge in his uncle's house of Milnwood. And here, l'ike Don Quixote, when he censured the anachronisms of Mr. Peter's puppet-show, we beg to inform our novelist that cavalry never march to the sound of music by night, any more than the Moors of Jansuena used bells.
It must be remarked that by the cruel and arbitrary laws of the time, Morton, in affording to the comrade of his father a protection which he could not in humanity refuse him, incurred the heavy penalty attached to receiving or sheltering intercommuned persons. There was, by the severity of government, a ban put upon the refractory calvinists, equal to the aquæ et ignis interdictio of the civil law, and whoevertransgressed it by relieving the unhappy fugitive, involved himself in his crime and punishment. Another circumstance added to the hazard which Morton thus incurred. The ploughman of Lady Margaret Bellenden, Cuddie Headrigg by name, had been, with his mother, expelled from the castle of Tillie. tudlem, on account of his refusing to bear arms at the weaponshowing, and thereby occasioning the substitution of Goose-Gibbie, to the disgrace, as we have already seen, of Lady Margaret's troop. The old woman is described as a zealous extra-presbyterian ; the son as an old-fashioned Scotch boor, sly and shrewd in his own concerns, dull and indifferent to all other matters; reverencing his mother, and loving his mistress, a pert serving damsel in the castle, beter than was uniformly expressed by his language. The submission of this honest countryman, upon a martial summons, to petticoat influence, was not peculiar to his rank of life. We learn from Fountainhall, that when thirty-five heritors of the kingdom of Fife were summoned to appear before the council for neglecting to join the King's host, in 1680, with their horses and arms, some of their apologies were similar to those which Cuddie might have preferred for himself
. . Balcanquhal of that ilk alleged that his horses were robbed, but shunned to take the declaration for fear of disquiet from his wife.?—And Young of Kirkton stated his lady's dangerous sickness, and bitter curses if he should leave her; and the appearance of abortion on his offering to go from her. ' Now as there was a private understanding between Morton and the fair Edith Bellenden, the former is induced, at the request of the young lady, to use his interest with his uncle and his uncle's favourite housekeeper to receive the two exiles as menials into the house of Milnwood. The family there are seated at dinner when they are disturbed by one of those tyrannical domiciliary visits which the soldiers were authorized and encouraged to commit. The scene may very well be extracted as a specimen of the author's colouring and outline.
• While the servants admitted the troopers, whose oaths and threats already indicated resentment at the delay they had been put to, Cuddie took the opportunity to whisper to his moiher, “ Now ye daft auld carline, mak yoursel deaf-ye hae made us a' deaf ere now—and let me speak for ye. I wad like ill to get my neck raxed, for an auld wise's clashes, though ye be our mither."
“0, hinney, ay; l'se be silent or thou sall come to ill,” was the corresponding whisper of Mause ; “ but bethink ye, my dear, them that deny the Word, the Word will deny"
• Her admonition was cut short by the entrance of the Life Guard'smen, a party of four troopers commanded by Bothwell.
• In they tramped, making a tremendous clatter upon the stone floor with the iron-sbod heels of their large jack-boots, and the clash and clang of their long, beavy, basket-bilted-broad-swords. Milnwood and his bousekeeper trembled, from well-grounded apprehension of the system of exaction and plunder carried on during these domiciliary visits. Henry Morton was discomposed with more special cause, för he remembered that he stood answerable to the laws for having barboured Burley. The widow Mause Headrigg, between fear for her son's life, and an overstrained and enthusiastic zeal, wbich reproached her for consenting even tacitly to belie her religious sentiments, was in a strange quandary. The other servants quaked for they knew not well wbat. Cuddie alone, with the look of supreme indifference and stupidity which a Scotch peasant can at times assume as a mask for considerable shrewdness and craft, continued to swallow large spoonfuls of his broth, to command wbich, he had drawn within his sphere the large vessel that contained it, and helped himself, amid the confusion, to a sevenfold portion.
““ What is your pleasure bere gentlemen ?" said Milnwood, humbling himself before the satellites of power.
• “We come in behalf of the king,” answered Bothwell. “Why the devil did you keep us so long standing at the door ?”
€“ We were at dinner," answered Milnwood, “and the door was locked, as is usual in landward towns in this country. I am sure, gentlemen, if I had kenn’d ony servants of our gude king bad stood at the door-But wad ye please to drink some ale~or some brandy-or a cup of canary sack, or claret wine ?” making a pause between each offer as long as a stingy bidder at an auction, who is loath to advance bis offer for a favourite lot.
6" Claret for me," said one fellow.
"“ I like ale better," said another, “ provided it is right juice of John Barleycorn.”
5" Better never was malted,” said Milnwood; “I can hardly say sae muckle for the claret. It's thin and cauld, gentlemen.”
““ Brandy will cure that,” said a third fellow ; "a glass of brandy to three glasses of wine prevents the curmurring in the stomach.”
6" Brandy, ale, wine, sack, and claret, -we'll try them all,” said Bothwell," and stick to that which is best. There's good sense in that, if the damn'dest wbig in Scotland had said it.” '-pp. 176, 177.
The military intruder proceeds with such insolence to enforce the King's health, which was one of the various indirect modes they had of ascertaining the political principles of those they con. yersed with.
“Well,” said Bothwell, “ bare ye all drunk the toast ?-What is that old wife about ? Give her a glass of brandy, she shall drink the king's bealth by
• * your honour pleases," said Cuddie, with great stolidity of aspect, . this is my mither, stir; and she's as deaf as Corralinn; we canna make her hear day nor door; but if your honour pleases, I am ready to drink the King's health for her in as mony glasses of brandy as ye think neshessary."
"" | dare swear you are,” answered Bothwell, “ you look like a fellow that would stick to brandy-help thyself, man; all's free where'er I come. - Tom, belp the maid to a comfortable cup, though she's but a dirty jilt neither. Fill round once more-Here's to our noble, commander, Colonel Graham of Claverhouse!-What the devil is the old woman groaning for? She looks as very a whig as ever sate on a bill side-Do you renounce the Covenant, good woman?'
Whilk Covenant is your bonour meaning? Is it the Covenant of Works, or the Covenant of Grace ?” said Cuddie, interposing.
Any covenant; all covenants that ever were hatched," answered the trooper.
• " Mither,” cried Cuddie, affecting to speak as to a deaf persoa, *the gentleman wants to ken if ye will renounce the Covenant of Works?
• “ With all my heart, Cuddie,” said Mause, and pray that my feet may be delivered from the suare thereof.'
i« Come,” said Bothwell, the old dame has come more frankly off than I expected. Another cup round, and then we'll proceed to business. You have all heard, I suppose, of the horrid and barbarous murder committed upon the person of the Archbishop of St Andrews, by ten or eleven armed fanatics ?-vol. ii. pp. 180, 181.
This question enforced and persisted in, at length produces the discovery, that Morion had privately received Ballour, one of the assassins, into the house of his uncle on the preceding evening. Still, although Bothwell prepares to take him into custody, it appears that the nigh-born sergeant is not unwilling to overlook this deceit
, if the inhabitants of the family will take the test-oath, and if his uncle will pay a fine of twenty pounds, for the use of
66 Old Milnwood cast a ruesul look upon his adviser, and moved off, like a piece of Dutch clock-work, to set at liberty his imprisoned angels in this dire emergency. Meanwhile, Sergeant Bothwell began to put the test-oath with such a degree of solemn reverence as might have been expected, being just about the same which is used to this day in bis Majesty's Custom house.
- You—wbat's your pame, woman?” 66 Alison Wilson, sir."
< "You, Alison Wilson, solemnly swear, certify, and declare, that you judge it unlawful for subjects under pretext of reformation, or any other pretext whatsoever, to enter into Leagues and Covenants”.