Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Whether he choose Cervantes" serious air fore, to introduce them to the new Or shake and laugh in Rabelais' easy Tales. The first, entitled the Bride chair, &c.

of Lammermoor, was collected by Mr It all this there is such a fascina- Peter from a set of notes, partly writ

tion, that we should now even be dis- ten, partly in drawing, left him by appointed if he were to appear to us village limner' of the name of Mr (Shakespeare is the only other writer Richard Tinto, whose history is, in of whom we can say as much) with- the first place, very facetionsly natout his very faults, without the occa- rated, and is one of the most amusing sional atkwardness of his narrative, of the Gandercleugh memorabilia his artless and boyish extravagancies, which has yet come to us. Upon this, which show a mind that still can re- however, we cannot dwell, and must, tum with pleasure to the nursery, in general, say of the story, to whick and the delight he takes in his own it serves as a prelude, that it relates - bad jokes, till he makes his readers as to the fate of the last descendant of tiduch delighted with them as him- the house of Ravenswood, supposed self. Nothing, for instance, can be to be the title of an ancient noble famore perfectly useless, cumbersome, mily of Scotland, whose estates had and altogether inconceivable, than the chiefly passed away into the hands of vehicle in which he lumbers along a selfish ninister of the Crown, who, - these three series of Tales called of from the chicanery of the lav, had

My Landlord—as lucus a non lucendo amassed a great fortune, and now, --because My Landlord has nothing under the title of Lord Keeper, liad to do with them ; edited by Jedlediah a large share of the management of Cliesh botham, who is a perfect hound, Scotch affairs, according to the cortotally without inerit of any sort in rupt state of the administration shortthe conception or execution; and com- ' ly before the Union. The mapasion posed by Mr Peter Pattieson, who was of Ravenswood, in a glen betwist oncé, if we are not mistaken, dead, Berwickshire and the Lothians, a

but has started again into life, with all become the chief residence of this man, - the accompaniment of Miss Buskbody "Sir William Ashton ; the heir of the

and the other facetious inmates of original family, called by courtesy the Gandercleugh, a vehicle so laborious- Master of Ravenswood, had' now, no ly constructed, and yet so inefficient other property than an old castle, tal

and incomplete after all, that we will led the Wolf's Crag, overhanging the s venture to say no man of genius, but sea on the same coast, and at the be

this author, would ever have deign- ginning of the story we see him from ed to frame it ; yet such is his ge- this mansion attending the obsegnies nius, so many traits of it are ever of his father.1: _The circumstances of shining throughout all this dense fog, this scene are described with all those so delighted does he himself seem with characteristic traits of manners by the invention, and to enjoy it so much which this author makes us so famimote even than some of his most ini- liar with the periods into which be mitable fletions, that he at last forces carries us. The rites of the Episcous to like it in spite of ourselves ; and pal church were interrupted by an we will own'it was with a feeling of no order from the Presbyterian Privy small satisfaction that we were again Council; but the friends of the de

introduced to Miss Buskbody, after we ceased drew their swords, and the seras thought she had been quite expunged vice went on ise Young Ravenswoud - 17 from the imagination of every human was furious in his expressions of senml Criature, in the midst, too, of a five geance. Sir William Ashton, to whom

passage in the history of the Deanses, the account of this affair was repre{"thet we have come actually to feel sented, wus in the aet of transmitting it tists refreshed with one of Jedlediań’s pros in all its heightenings to the Priry

ing stupid notes and that, now that Council, -he, however, was accidental "the said Jedediah bids us farewell for ly interrupted, and went out with his ever, we are like to shed tear, as if daughter Lucy, a be utiful and towe were parting from an old and, mantic girl, on a walk into his grourds. much-loved friend.

.: Two sons and abis young lady come But our readers will dispense, te posed his whole family; the chest an suppose, with any more of our own officer, at that time from home, the sayings, and we shall hasten, there youngest a lively spoiled boy, who

19

11

[ocr errors]

on the

[ocr errors]

liked leseryenthing better than his superiority to those

than his superiority to those of user own rank. It book, and was at home with a tutor. scarce seemed possible that a face, deprived Lady' Ashton, & proud overbearing of the advantage of sight, could have ex.

dame, to whom the Lord Keeper was pressed character so strongly; but her eyes, .

generally supposed to truckle, was in which were almost totally closed, did not, England with Sarah Duchess of Marl- by the display of their sightless orbs, mar borongh, whose favour she courted the countenance to which they could add

í nothing. She seemed in a ruminating In the course of their walk Lucy de posture, soothed, perhaps, by the murmurs ? coyed her father to the cottage of an of the busy tribe around her, to abstrác. old blind woman, Alice, who had been tion, though not to slumber.” pp.

88-90. il

a nurse in the former family, and who was still left on the estate. The

This old woman, though professing riscenery in which this sybil appears,' her devotion to the ancient family,

and her own figure, are described in advises my Lord Keeper to be on his tour author's best manner.

guard against the vengeance of the i 3* The cottage was situated immediately heir. Thus warned, Sir William Ash- under a tall rock, which in some measure

ton returned thoughtfully home, but ! sh beetled over it, as if threatening to drop on the way his daughter and he were

lesome detached fragment from its brow on point of being destroyed by a lange the frail tenement beneath. The hut itself wild bull of the old Caledonian breed,

wwwas constructed of turf and stones, and of which a herd were roaming in his „Fudely roofed over with thatch, much of forest. Just as the creature was ruchwhich was in a dilapidated condition. The ing upon them, it was overtaken by a thin blue smoke rose from it in a light co- shot from the neighbouring thicket, lumn, and curled upward along the white and fell dead at their feet. Sir Wilface of the incumbent rock, giving the scene : a tint of exquisite softness. In a small and liam called to a man who at the same rude garden, surrounded by straggling el. instant appeared, and left his daughder bushes, wluch formed a sort of imper- ter under his charge, while he him- fect hedge, sat near to the bec-hives, by the self went for farther assistance, as she

prodnce of which she lived, that woman was in a faint. He left her in the hold, whom Lucy had brought her father 'hands of her deliverer, who carried hither to visit,

her away to a neighbouring well, con" Whatever there had been which was 'cerning which a romantic legend is disastrous in her fortune--whatever there told, and which was of disastrous

by the first glance, that neither Here the young lady recovered, and years, poverty, misfortune, nor infirmity, "found herself in the presence of a m bad broken the spirit of this remarkable 3 woman. 911

young man of a striking countenance *** She occupied a turf seat, placed under and demeanour, to whoni, on his reel Weeping birch of unusual magnitude and turi, the Lord Keeper, after expres

age, as Judah is represented sitting under sing his gratitude, said, is her palm-tree, with an air at once of majesty od and of dejection. Her figure was tall, com.

. ! Permit us to requests ( manding, and but little bent by the infir. Request nothing of me, my lord,"

mities of old age. Her dress, though that said the stranger, in a stern and peremptory Y?

of a peasant, was remarkably clean, form tone; I am the Master of Ravenswood. ing in that particular a strong contrast to "There was a dead pause of surprise, those of her rank, and was disposed with an not unmixed with less pleasing feelings,

attention to neatness, and even to taste, The Master wrapt himself in his cloak, cu

equally unusual. " But it was her express made a laughty inclination towards Lucy, "sion of countenance which chiefly struck muttering a few words of courtesy, as in. mle the spectator, and induced most persons to distinctly heard as they seemed to be re

1qaddress her with a degree of deference and luctantly uttered, and turning from them ti ar civility very inconsistent with the miserable was immediately lost in the thicket. rii State of her dwelling; and which, never

"** The Master of Ravenswood!' said erstheless, she received with that easy compo

the Lord Keeper, when he had recovered ein sure which showed she felt it to be her due. his momentary astonishment... Hasten -01

She had once been beautiful, but her tuan- after him-stop him-beg him to speak 10
ty had been of a bold and masculine cast, me for a single moment. p. 123.
such as does not survive the bloom of youth;
yệt her features continued to express strong

The Master, however, would not is

, sense, deep reflection, and a character of return; but the result of this intersoz sober pride, which, as we lave already said view was, that the Lord Keeper inale ouw of het dress, appeared to argue a conscious his dispatch to the Privy Coutcil quite.

was

in a different tone from what

he first and other old dramatists, than in a proposed, and the lenity and forbear- novel which has any pretence to be an ance which it exhibited were very un- imitation of real life. Here, again, is 'accountable to that high body. What another instance of our author's de was the result upon the mind of Lucy, light in any vein of bumour upon We suppose there is no young lady new which he happens to strike,--and he from the boarding-school who has not at last fairly forces us to pursue it already perfectly conjectured, and who with a relish resembling his own. has not, indeed, a pretty good glimpse There is much, however, of Caleb of a great part of the remainder of the Balderstone that is exceedingly good. story. We are now introduced to two Nothing better, perhaps, than his denew characters. The first of these is but, which will give our readers a no à soldier of fortune, or rather a coward. tion of him. ly cunning allventurer, who lived by

“I fcar,' said the Master to his com. practising on the weaknesses of others, panion, “ your supper will be a poor one; and was anubitions of being a political i hear the matter in discussion betwist agent for the exiled Stuart family, to Caleb and Mysie. Poor Balderstone is whom he knew he would do a great something deaf, amongst his other accom. service if he could associate young plishments, so that much of what he means Ravenswood in their cause.

The should be spoken aside is overheard by other, Bucklaw, was one of his dupes

, the whole audience, and especially by - had been almost reduced by him those from whom he is most anxious to and his own extravagance to beggary,

conceal his private manruvres-Hark!". but now began to see pretty thorough- mestic's voice in conversation with Mysie

" They listened, and heard the old do. ly into his character. Craigengelt to the following effect. - Just mak the best, (for so he was called) hal urged Ra- o't, nak the best o't, woman; it's easy to venswood to have an interview with put a fair face on ony thing.' ! the Lord Keeper, which ḥe was pret 46. But the auld brood-hen she'll be ty sure would end in personal vio- as tough as bow-strings and bend-leather.'. lence, perhaps bloodshed, and had Say ye made a mistake-say ye made prepared a vessel for his escape in such a mistake, Mysie,' replied the faithful sean event. For his arrival this pre- voice ;? tak it'a' on yoursel ; never let the

neschal, in a soothing and undertoned cious couple were now in waiting at a small ale-house on the coast. He re-,

credit o' the house suffer.' turned, however, gloomy and sullen, Mysie,-* ou, she's sitting some gate'

" " But the brood-hen,' remonstratedand cut their inquiries very short by aneath the dais in the hall

, and I am fearanswers which Craigengelt found it ed to gae in in the dark for the bagle ; and ! convenient to pocket, but which exas, if I did nae see the bogle, I could as ill see perated his companion, The Master the hen, for it's pit-nuirk, and there's no : took horse for his solitary tower, but another light in the house, save that very was pursued by Bucklaw, with whom blessed lamp whilk the Master has in his he had a rencontre, which ended with ain hand. And if I had the hen, she's to his giving his opponent his life, and pa' and to draw, and to dress ; how can I inviting him to accompany him to

do that, and them sitting by the only fire Wolf's Crag, as there was a quest out

we have ?! against him which might have brought bide ye there awet, and I'll try to get the

* * Weel, weel, Mysie;" said the butler, this young gentleman into trouble if lamp wiled a way frae theni.' he had been taken. It was a late hour

“Accordingly, Caleb Balderstone entered when they reached the melancholy the apartment, little aware that so much : tower, into which an old domestic of his bye-play had been audible there. admitted them with great caution. Well, Caleb, my old friend, is there anys, He is a very absurd and "humorous chance of supper ?' said the Master of character, and a great part of the Ravenswood. drollery of the tale turns upon his

" Chance of supper, your lordship?' ludicrous devices to support the re said Caleb, with an emphasis of strong spcetability of the family. This is scorn at the implied doubts. Ilow should 11 carried 10 a prodigious extreme, and,

there be ony question of that, and te in as has been well remarked to us, is your lordship’s house?--Clance of suppet,

indeed !-But ye'll no be for butcher-meat? much more in the taste of some of There's Walth o fat poultry, ready either I the extraordinary instances of extrava- for spit or brander The fat capon, Mysie'. gance and caricature painting that are he added, calling out as boldly as if sucha 7 to be found in Beaumont and Fletcher, thing had been in existence.

??!!1:1

?

Poor Bucklaw passed his time in come by his passion, that he fairly but a dismal way in this old chateau, owns it to Lucy, whom he meets at where there was literally nothing to the fåtal inermaid’s well, nor is she eat or drink, and no one loved better backward in plighting ber troth to him ågood bottleof claret. Heamuseri him- in return. But now-nothing but disselt with cleaning his horse's brielle and aster follows, Lady Ashton arrives bit, Caleb found employment in rub- upon the young couple, and chases bing up the old pewter pots, -and the the Master from the castle. She had master passed much of his time in á plan of uniting her daughter to thinking of Lucy. At last, one morn- Bucklaw, who succeeded to a good ing, to Bucklaw's infinite joy, a cry estate on the death of an aunt, and of hounds was heard,--and forth he notwithstanding a total revolution in would venture whatever might be the politics, by which Ravenswood's erisk. The master accompanied bim, states are on the point of being rer - young lady and an elderly gen- stored to him,-she persists in her tleman, both masked, were of the com- opposition,-works upon the mind of pany; a thunderstorm obliged them her poor daughter by every means of to take shelter, infinitely to Caleb's deceit and superstition, and at last horror, in the tower, who, when his she brings her, more dead than alive, master and they were housed, shuts to the hateful act of signing the conout, without any ceremony, Bucklaw tract which is to consign her to Buckand the rest of the party, who like law. Ravenswood was abroad on a wise came for admittance, and this political mission, and all letters were made the hot Bucklaw again seek to intercepted between the lovers, --one, pick a quarrel with the master, as he howerer, from Lucy found its way to thought the insult had been offered him, in which she seemed to release by him. The two strangers turn out him from his engagenient, he instant to be the Lord Keeper and his daugh- ly returned to his own country, and ter:' A change in administration was rushed in a distracted state into the hanging over the head of the wily po- room in the very moment when she litician, and if the Marquis of Am was signing the fatal contract. were to get into power, to whom young In the engagement between RaRavenswood was related, he foresaw venswood and Lucy, they had broken a likelihood of a reversal of those dle- between them, according to the usage cisions by which he had got posses- of the tiines, a piece of gold, one-hall sion of most of the master's estates, of which she hung around her neck, Ho contrived to ingratiate himself and the other half he wore next his with his host while he remained in heart. After a long altercation with the tower,-explained away many her mother, (the poor girl herself of the bad appearances in his conduct, could not speak, he becomes colis and even seeined rather to encourage vinced that she had deserted him, t the attachment, which was all but and in his rage he demands back then spoken out, between the young peo- piece of gold, which Lady Ashtun deple. The Master goes so far as to agree, tached from her daughter's neck and, to accompany him to his chatcau, once gave to him. the seat of his own father, although

6. And she could weat it thus,' he said Caleb, whose ingenuity hart been put : --speaking to himself-could wear it in toutremendous shifts during this visi- her very bosome-could wear it next to het tation, warns him before he goes, of heart-eyed when--but complaint avails an old prophecy which hung over his not," he said, dashing from his eye the head,

tear which had gathered in it, and resume

ing the stern composure of his manner. He * When the last Laird of Raveriswood to

strode to the chimney, and threw into the : Ravenswood shall ride,

fire the paper and piece of gold, stamping And woo a dead maiden to be his bride, He shall stable his steed in the Kelpie's it to insure their destruction. It will be

upon the coals with the heel of his boot, as flow,

no longer,' he then said, an intruder here And his name shall be lost for evermoe!”

- Your evil wisbus; and your worse offices,"

Lady Asbton, I will only return, by hop. The Master, however, t in spite of ing these will be your last mouchinations this warning, accompanied the Lord against your daughter's honour and hapa, Keeper, and even in spite of a similar piness.-And to you, madam,? he said; i warning from old Alice, he is so over addressing Lucy, I have nothing farther

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to say, except to pray to God that you may suld be something that wad do them gade, not become a world's wonder for this act 1 think.' of wilful and deliberate perjury.'-Hav t • Their gifts," said Ailsie Goirlas, ing uttered these words, he turned on his lo are dealt for nae love of us nor for re. heel, and left the apartment.” pp. 83, 84. spect for whether we feed or starve They · Feverish and sick as poor Lucy was would serve their ain ranity, and yet they

wad gie us whinstanes for loaves, if it after this dreadful scene, the marriage expect us to be as gratefu' as they ca' it, as still went on the description of it is if they served us for true love and liking.' one of the most striking that even this And that's truly said,' answered ber great painter has ever given. There companion. are a set of old women, who were vul ". But, Ailsie Gourlay, ye're the auld. garly supposed to be witches, sitting est o' us three, did ye ever see a mair grand in the church-yard, whose conversa

bridal ?' tion in particular is quite inimitable.

" I winna say that I have," answered The bride rode to church behind her the hag; but I think soon to set as brat

a burial.' youngest brother.

" And that wad please me as veel,' “ The boy was placed in the centre of said Annie Winnie ; . for there's as large'a the gallant train. At the time he was too dole, and folk are no obliged to grið und full of his own appearance, his sword, his laugh, and' mak murgeons, and wish you to laced cloak, his feathered hat, and his ma- these hellicat quality, that lord it ower 'us • naged horse, to pay much regard to any like brute beasts. I kke to pack the dead thing else ; but he alterwards remembered dole in my lap, and rin ower my 'auld to the hour of his death, that when the rhyme, hand of his sister, by which she supported herself on the pillion behind him, touched Thou art ne'er the betcer, and I'm near the

My loaf in my lap, my penny in my parse, his own, it felt as wet and cold as sepul.

worse. chral marble. “Glancing wide over hill and dale, the

665

* That's right, Annie,' said the para. fair bridal procession at last reached the lytic woman : God send us a green Ytle parish church, which they nearly filled ; and å fat kirk-yard ! cor, besides domestics, above a hundred " " But I wad like to ken, Lucky Goir. gentlemen and ladies were present upon lay, for ye're the auldest and wisest amang the occasion. The marriage ceremony was us, whilk o' these revellers' turns it will be performed, according to the rites of the to be streekit first.' Presbyterian persuasion, to which Buck "D'ye see yon dandilly maiden,' said law of late had judged it proper to con Dame Gourlay, a' glistenin' wi' goud and form.

jewels, that they are mounting on the white On the outside of the church, a liberal horse behind that hare-brained callant in dole was distributed to the poor of the scarlet, wi' the lang sword at his side neighbouring parishes, under the direction itė But that's the bride said her cutof Johnny Mortheuch, who had lately been panion, her cold heart touched with some promoted from his desolate quarters at the sense of compassion ; - that's the very bride Hermitage, to fill the more eligible situa-, bersell! Eh, whow! sac young, 'sae bras, tion of sexton at the parish church of Ra- and sae bonnie--and is her time se stane? senswood. Danie Gourlay, with two of I tell ye her winding sheet," said the her contemporaries, the same who assisted sybil, " is up as high as her throat alreads, at Alice's late-wake, scated apart upon a

believe it wha list. Her sand bas bat fex Nat monument, or through-stane, sate en. grains to run out, and nac wonder=-Herre viously comparing the shares which liad been weel shaken. The leaves are widerbeen allotted to them in dividing the dole. ing fast on the trecs, but she'll never see

Johnny Mortheuch,' said Annie the Martinmes wind gar them đapet" in Winnie, might hae minded auld lang swirls like the fairy rings: •* pp. 92_16

syne, and thought of his auld kimmers, for A ball followed at the castle, in which Dias braw as he is with his new black coat. I hae gotten but tiye herring instcad o' sax,

Lady Ashton herself leat down the , and this disna look like a gude saxpennys,

dance, the bride retired;-tlie brideand I dare say this bit morsel o beef is an groom soon followed. In unce lighter than ony that's been dealt The music now played its leulest sound ; and it's a bit o' the tenony hough, strains--the dancers pursued their exercise

mair by token, that your's, Maggie, is out with all the enthusiasın inspired by youth, to the back-sęy"

mirth, and high spirits,, when Li", "* Mive, quo' she ?' mumbled the pa. heard so shrill and piercing, as at one to

Ialytic hag, mine is half banes, I trow. arrest the dance and the music. All stood 1. I grit full gio poor bodies ony thing for motionless; but when the yell was açan coming w their weddings and burials, it repeated, Colonel Ashton snatched a terda

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »