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The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Volume 2, Illustrated by Sir Walter Scott

Part 5 out of 7

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And David, whose piety, though not always quite rational, was as sincere
as it was habitual and fervent, looked reverentially upward and paused.
Mr. Butler intimated the pleasure with which he would receive his
friend's advice on a subject so important, and David resumed.

"What think ye now, Reuben, of a kirk--a regular kirk under the present
establishment?--Were sic offered to ye, wad ye be free to accept it, and
under whilk provisions?--I am speaking but by way of query."

Butler replied, "That if such a prospect were held out to him, he would
probably first consult whether he was likely to be useful to the parish
he should be called to; and if there appeared a fair prospect of his
proving so, his friend must be aware, that in every other point of view,
it would be highly advantageous for him."

"Right, Reuben, very right, lad," answered the monitor, "your ain
conscience is the first thing to be satisfied--for how sall he teach
others that has himself sae ill learned the Scriptures, as to grip for
the lucre of foul earthly preferment, sic as gear and manse, money and
victual, that which is not his in a spiritual sense--or wha makes his
kirk a stalking-horse, from behind which he may tak aim at his stipend?
But I look for better things of you--and specially ye maun be minded not
to act altogether on your ain judgment, for therethrough comes sair
mistakes, backslidings and defections, on the left and on the right. If
there were sic a day of trial put to you, Reuben. you, who are a young
lad, although it may be ye are gifted wi' the carnal tongues, and those
whilk were spoken at Rome, whilk is now the seat of the scarlet
abomination, and by the Greeks, to whom the Gospel was as foolishness,
yet nae-the-less ye may be entreated by your weel-wisher to take the
counsel of those prudent and resolved and weather-withstanding
professors, wha hae kend what it was to lurk on banks and in mosses, in
bogs and in caverns, and to risk the peril of the head rather than
renounce the honesty of the heart."

Butler replied, "That certainly, possessing such a friend as he hoped and
trusted he had in the goodman himself, who had seen so many changes in
the preceding century, he should be much to blame if he did not avail
himself of his experience and friendly counsel."

"Eneugh said--eneugh said, Reuben," said David Deans, with internal
exultation; "and say that ye were in the predicament whereof I hae
spoken, of a surety I would deem it my duty to gang to the root o' the
matter, and lay bare to you the ulcers and imposthumes, and the sores and
the leprosies, of this our time, crying aloud and sparing not."

David Deans was now in his element. He commenced his examination of the
doctrines and belief of the Christian Church with the very Culdees, from
whom he passed to John Knox,--from John Knox to the recusants in James
the Sixth's time--Bruce, Black, Blair, Livingstone,--from them to the
brief, and at length triumphant period of the Presbyterian Church's
splendour, until it was overrun by the English Independents. Then
followed the dismal times of prelacy, the indulgences, seven in number,
with all their shades and bearings, until he arrived at the reign of King
James the Second, in which he himself had been, in his own mind, neither
an obscure actor nor an obscure sufferer. Then was Butler doomed to hear
the most detailed and annotated edition of what he had so often heard
before,--David Deans's confinement, namely, in the iron cage in the
Canongate Tolbooth, and the cause thereof.

We should be very unjust to our friend David Deans, if we should
"pretermit"--to use his own expression--a narrative which he held
essential to his fame. A drunken trooper of the Royal Guards, Francis
Gordon by name, had chased five or six of the skulking Whigs, among whom
was our friend David; and after he had compelled them to stand, and was
in the act of brawling with them, one of their number fired a
pocket-pistol, and shot him dead. David used to sneer and shake his head
when any one asked him whether _he_ had been the instrument of removing
this wicked persecutor from the face of the earth. In fact the merit of
the deed lay between him and his friend, Patrick Walker, the pedlar,
whose words he was so fond of quoting. Neither of them cared directly to
claim the merit of silencing Mr. Francis Gordon of the Life-Guards, there
being some wild cousins of his about Edinburgh, who might have been even
yet addicted to revenge, but yet neither of them chose to disown or yield
to the other the merit of this active defence of their religious rights.
David said, that if he had fired a pistol then, it was what he never did
after or before. And as for Mr. Patrick Walker, he has left it upon
record, that his great surprise was, that so small a pistol could kill so
big a man. These are the words of that venerable biographer, whose trade
had not taught him by experience, that an inch was as good as an ell.
"He," (Francis Gordon) "got a shot in his head out of a pocket-pistol,
rather fit for diverting a boy than killing such a furious, mad, brisk
man, which notwithstanding killed him dead!"*

* Note S. Death of Francis Gordon.

Upon the extensive foundation which the history of the kirk afforded,
during its short-lived triumph and long tribulation, David, with length
of breath and of narrative, which would have astounded any one but a
lover of his daughter, proceeded to lay down his own rules for guiding
the conscience of his friend, as an aspirant to serve in the ministry.
Upon this subject, the good man went through such a variety of nice and
casuistical problems, supposed so many extreme cases, made the
distinctions so critical and nice betwixt the right hand and the left
hand--betwixt compliance and defection--holding back and stepping
aside--slipping and stumbling--snares and errors--that at length, after
having limited the path of truth to a mathematical line, he was brought
to the broad admission, that each man's conscience, after he had gained
a certain view of the difficult navigation which he was to encounter,
would be the best guide for his pilotage. He stated the examples and
arguments for and against the acceptance of a kirk on the present
revolution model, with much more impartiality to Butler than he had been
able to place them before his own view. And he concluded, that his young
friend ought to think upon these things, and be guided by the voice of
his own conscience, whether he could take such an awful trust as the
charge of souls without doing injury to his own internal conviction of
what is right or wrong.

When David had finished his very long harangue, which was only
interrupted by monosyllables, or little more, on the part of Butler, the
orator himself was greatly astonished to find that the conclusion, at
which he very naturally wished to arrive, seemed much less decisively
attained than when he had argued the case in his own mind.

In this particular, David's current of thinking and speaking only
illustrated the very important and general proposition, concerning the
excellence of the publicity of debate. For, under the influence of any
partial feeling, it is certain, that most men can more easily reconcile
themselves to any favourite measure, when agitating it in their own mind,
than when obliged to expose its merits to a third party, when the
necessity of seeming impartial procures for the opposite arguments a much
more fair statement than that which he affords it in tacit meditation.
Having finished what he had to say, David thought himself obliged to be
more explicit in point of fact, and to explain that this was no
hypothetical case, but one on which (by his own influence and that of the
Duke of Argyle) Reuben Butler would soon be called to decide.

It was even with something like apprehension that David Deans heard
Butler announce, in return to this communication, that he would take that
night to consider on what he had said with such kind intentions, and
return him an answer the next morning. The feelings of the father
mastered David on this occasion. He pressed Butler to spend the evening
with him--He produced, most unusual at his meals, one, nay, two bottles
of aged strong ale.--He spoke of his daughter--of her merits--her
housewifery--her thrift--her affection. He led Butler so decidedly up to
a declaration of his feelings towards Jeanie, that, before nightfall, it
was distinctly understood she was to be the bride of Reuben Butler; and
if they thought it indelicate to abridge the period of deliberation which
Reuben had stipulated, it seemed to be sufficiently understood betwixt
them, that there was a strong probability of his becoming minister of
Knocktarlitie, providing the congregation were as willing to accept of
him, as the Duke to grant him the presentation. The matter of the oaths,
they agreed, it was time enough to dispute about, whenever the shibboleth
should be tendered.

Many arrangements were adopted that evening, which were afterwards
ripened by correspondence with the Duke of Argyle's man of business, who
intrusted Deans and Butler with the benevolent wish of his principal,
that they should all meet with Jeanie, on her return from England, at the
Duke's hunting-lodge in Roseneath.

This retrospect, so far as the placid loves of Jeanie Deans and Reuben
Butler are concerned, forms a full explanation of the preceding narrative
up to their meeting on the island, as already mentioned.


"I come," he said, "my love, my life,
And--nature's dearest name--my wife:
Thy father's house and friends resign,
My home, my friends, my sire, are thine."

The meeting of Jeanie and Butler, under circumstances promising to crown
an affection so long delayed, was rather affecting, from its simple
sincerity than from its uncommon vehemence of feeling. David Deans, whose
practice was sometimes a little different from his theory, appalled them
at first, by giving them the opinion of sundry of the suffering preachers
and champions of his younger days, that marriage, though honourable by
the laws of Scripture, was yet a state over-rashly coveted by professors,
and specially by young ministers, whose desire, he said, was at whiles
too inordinate for kirks, stipends, and wives, which had frequently
occasioned over-ready compliance with the general defections of the
times. He endeavoured to make them aware also, that hasty wedlock had
been the bane of many a savoury professor--that the unbelieving wife had
too often reversed the text and perverted the believing husband--that
when the famous Donald Cargill, being then hiding in Lee-Wood, in
Lanarkshire, it being killing-time, did, upon importunity, marry Robert
Marshal of Starry Shaw, he had thus expressed himself: "What hath induced
Robert to marry this woman? her ill will overcome his good--he will not
keep the way long--his thriving days are done." To the sad accomplishment
of which prophecy David said he was himself a living witness, for Robert
Marshal, having fallen into foul compliances with the enemy, went home,
and heard the curates, declined into other steps of defection, and became
lightly esteemed. Indeed, he observed, that the great upholders of the
standard, Cargill, Peden, Cameron, and Renwick, had less delight in tying
the bonds of matrimony than in any other piece of their ministerial work;
and although they would neither dissuade the parties, nor refuse their
office, they considered the being called to it as an evidence of
indifference, on the part of those between whom it was solemnised, to the
many grievous things of the day. Notwithstanding, however, that marriage
was a snare unto many, David was of opinion (as, indeed, he had showed in
his practice) that it was in itself honourable, especially if times were
such that honest men could be secure against being shot, hanged, or
banished, and had ane competent livelihood to maintain themselves, and
those that might come after them. "And, therefore," as he concluded
something abruptly, addressing Jeanie and Butler, who, with faces as
high-coloured as crimson, had been listening to his lengthened argument
for and against the holy state of matrimony, "I will leave you to your
ain cracks."

As their private conversation, however interesting to themselves, might
probably be very little so to the reader, so far as it respected their
present feelings and future prospects, we shall pass it over, and only
mention the information which Jeanie received from Butler concerning her
sister's elopement, which contained many particulars that she had been
unable to extract from her father.

Jeanie learned, therefore, that, for three days after her pardon had
arrived, Effie had been the inmate of her father's house at St.
Leonard's--that the interviews betwixt David and his erring child, which
had taken place before she was liberated from prison, had been touching
in the extreme; but Butler could not suppress his opinion, that, when he
was freed from the apprehension of losing her in a manner so horrible,
her father had tightened the bands of discipline, so as, in some degree,
to gall the feelings, and aggravate the irritability of a spirit
naturally impatient and petulant, and now doubly so from the sense of
merited disgrace.

On the third night, Effie disappeared from St. Leonard's, leaving no
intimation whatever of the route she had taken. Butler, however, set out
in pursuit of her, and with much trouble traced her towards a little
landing-place, formed by a small brook which enters the sea betwixt
Musselburgh and Edinburgh. This place, which has been since made into a
small harbour, surrounded by many villas and lodging-houses, is now
termed Portobello. At this time it was surrounded by a waste common,
covered with furze, and unfrequented, save by fishing-boats, and now and
then a smuggling lugger. A vessel of this description had been hovering
in the firth at the time of Effie's elopement, and, as Butler
ascertained, a boat had come ashore in the evening on which the fugitive
had disappeared, and had carried on board a female. As the vessel made
sail immediately, and landed no part of their cargo, there seemed little
doubt that they were accomplices of the notorious Robertson, and that the
vessel had only come into the firth to carry off his paramour.

This was made clear by a letter which Butler himself soon afterwards
received by post, signed E. D., but without bearing any date of place or
time. It was miserably ill written and spelt; sea-sickness having
apparently aided the derangement of Effie's very irregular orthography
and mode of expression. In this epistle, however, as in all that
unfortunate girl said or did, there was something to praise as well as to
blame. She said in her letter, "That she could not endure that her father
and her sister should go into banishment, or be partakers of her
shame,--that if her burden was a heavy one, it was of her own binding,
and she had the more right to bear it alone,--that in future they could
not be a comfort to her, or she to them, since every look and word of
her father put her in mind of her transgression, and was like to drive
her mad,--that she had nearly lost her judgment during the three days
she was at St. Leonard's--her father meant weel by her, and all men, but
he did not know the dreadful pain he gave her in casting up her sins. If
Jeanie had been at hame, it might hae dune better--Jeanie was ane, like
the angels in heaven, that rather weep for sinners, than reckon their
transgressions. But she should never see Jeanie ony mair, and that was
the thought that gave her the sairest heart of a' that had come and gane
yet. On her bended knees would she pray for Jeanie night and day, baith
for what she had done, and what she had scorned to do, in her behalf;
for what a thought would it have been to her at that moment o' time, if
that upright creature had made a fault to save her! She desired her
father would give Jeanie a' the gear--her ain (_i.e._ Effie's) mother's
and a'--She had made a deed, giving up her right, and it was in Mr.
Novit's hand--Warld's gear was henceforward the least of her care, nor
was it likely to be muckle her mister--She hoped this would make it easy
for her sister to settle;" and immediately after this expression, she
wished Butler himself all good things, in return for his kindness to
her. "For herself," she said, "she kend her lot would be a waesome ane,
but it was of her own framing, sae she desired the less pity. But, for
her friends' satisfaction, she wished them to know that she was gaun nae
ill gate--that they who had done her maist wrong were now willing to do
her what justice was in their power; and she would, in some warldly
respects, be far better off than she deserved. But she desired her
family to remain satisfied with this assurance, and give themselves no
trouble in making farther inquiries after her."

To David Deans and to Butler this letter gave very little comfort; for
what was to be expected from this unfortunate girl's uniting her fate to
that of a character so notorious as Robertson, who they readily guessed
was alluded to in the last sentence, excepting that she should become the
partner and victim of his future crimes? Jeanie, who knew George
Staunton's character and real rank, saw her sister's situation under a
ray of better hope. She augured well of the haste he had shown to reclaim
his interest in Effie, and she trusted he had made her his wife. If so,
it seemed improbable that, with his expected fortune, and high
connections, he should again resume the life of criminal adventure which
he had led, especially since, as matters stood, his life depended upon
his keeping his own secret, which could only be done by an entire change
of his habits, and particularly by avoiding all those who had known the
heir of Willingham under the character of the audacious, criminal, and
condemned Robertson.

She thought it most likely that the couple would go abroad for a few
years, and not return to England until the affair of Porteous was totally
forgotten. Jeanie, therefore, saw more hopes for her sister than Butler
or her father had been able to perceive; but she was not at liberty to
impart the comfort which she felt in believing that she would be secure
from the pressure of poverty, and in little risk of being seduced into
the paths of guilt. She could not have explained this without making
public what it was essentially necessary for Effie's chance of comfort to
conceal, the identity, namely, of George Staunton and George Robertson.
After all, it was dreadful to think that Effie had united herself to a
man condemned for felony, and liable to trial for murder, whatever might
be his rank in life, and the degree of his repentance. Besides, it was
melancholy to reflect, that, she herself being in possession of the whole
dreadful secret, it was most probable he would, out of regard to his own
feelings, and fear for his safety, never again permit her to see poor
Effie. After perusing and re-perusing her sister's valedictory letter,
she gave ease to her feelings in a flood of tears, which Butler in vain
endeavoured to check by every soothing attention in his power. She was
obliged, however, at length to look up and wipe her eyes, for her father,
thinking he had allowed the lovers time enough for conference, was now
advancing towards them from the Lodge, accompanied by the Captain of
Knockdunder, or, as his friends called him for brevity's sake, Duncan
Knock, a title which some youthful exploits had rendered peculiarly

This Duncan of Knockdunder was a person of first-rate importance in the
island of Roseneath,* and the continental parishes of Knocktarlitie,
Kilmun, and so forth; nay, his influence extended as far as Cowal, where,
however, it was obscured by that of another factor.

* [This is, more correctly speaking, a peninsula.]

The Tower of Knockdunder still occupies, with its remains, a cliff
overhanging the Holy Loch. Duncan swore it had been a royal castle; if
so, it was one of the smallest, the space within only forming a square of
sixteen feet, and bearing therefore a ridiculous proportion to the
thickness of the walls, which was ten feet at least. Such as it was,
however, it had long given the title of Captain, equivalent to that of
Chatellain, to the ancestors of Duncan, who were retainers of the house
of Argyle, and held a hereditary jurisdiction under them, of little
extent indeed, but which had great consequence in their own eyes, and was
usually administered with a vigour somewhat beyond the law.

The present representative of that ancient family was a stout short man
about fifty, whose pleasure it was to unite in his own person the dress
of the Highlands and Lowlands, wearing on his head a black tie-wig,
surmounted by a fierce cocked-hat, deeply guarded with gold lace, while
the rest of his dress consisted of the plaid and philabeg. Duncan
superintended a district which was partly Highland, partly Lowland, and
therefore might be supposed to combine their national habits, in order to
show his impartiality to Trojan or Tyrian. The incongruity, however, had
a whimsical and ludicrous effect, as it made his head and body look as if
belonging to different individuals; or, as some one said who had seen the
executions of the insurgent prisoners in 1715, it seemed as if some
Jacobite enchanter, having recalled the sufferers to life, had clapped,
in his haste, an Englishman's head on a Highlander's body. To finish the
portrait, the bearing of the gracious Duncan was brief, bluff, and
consequential, and the upward turn of his short copper-coloured nose
indicated that he was somewhat addicted to wrath and usquebaugh.

When this dignitary had advanced up to Butler and to Jeanie, "I take the
freedom, Mr. Deans," he said in a very consequential manner, "to salute
your daughter, whilk I presume this young lass to be--I kiss every pretty
girl that comes to Roseneath, in virtue of my office." Having made this
gallant speech, he took out his quid, saluted Jeanie with a hearty smack,
and bade her welcome to Argyle's country. Then addressing Butler, he
said, "Ye maun gang ower and meet the carle ministers yonder the Morn,
for they will want to do your job, and synd it down with usquebaugh
doubtless--they seldom make dry wark in this kintra."

"And the Laird"--said David Deans, addressing Butler in farther

"The Captain, man," interrupted Duncan; "folk winna ken wha ye are
speaking aboot, unless ye gie shentlemens their proper title."

"The Captain, then," said David, "assures me that the call is unanimous
on the part of the parishioners--a real harmonious call, Reuben."

"I pelieve," said Duncan, "it was as harmonious as could pe expected,
when the tae half o' the bodies were clavering Sassenach, and the t'other
skirting Gaelic, like sea-maws and clackgeese before a storm. Ane wad hae
needed the gift of tongues to ken preceesely what they said--but I
pelieve the best end of it was, 'Long live MacCallummore and
Knockdunder!'--And as to its being an unanimous call, I wad be glad to
ken fat business the carles have to call ony thing or ony body but what
the Duke and mysell likes!"

"Nevertheless," said Mr. Butler, "if any of the parishioners have any
scruples, which sometimes happen in the mind of sincere professors, I
should be happy of an opportunity of trying to remove"

"Never fash your peard about it, man," interrupted Duncan Knock--"Leave
it a' to me.--Scruple! deil ane o' them has been bred up to scruple
onything that they're bidden to do. And if sic a thing suld happen as ye
speak o', ye sall see the sincere professor, as ye ca' him, towed at the
stern of my boat for a few furlongs. I'll try if the water of the Haly
Loch winna wash off scruples as weel as fleas--Cot tam!"

The rest of Duncan's threat was lost in a growling gargling sort of
sound, which he made in his throat, and which menaced recusants with no
gentle means of conversion. David Deans would certainly have given battle
in defence of the right of the Christian congregation to be consulted in
the choice of their own pastor, which, in his estimation, was one of the
choicest and most inalienable of their privileges; but he had again
engaged in close conversation with Jeanie, and, with more interest than
he was in use to take in affairs foreign alike to his occupation and to
his religious tenets, was inquiring into the particulars of her London
journey. This was, perhaps, fortunate for the newformed friendship
betwixt him and the Captain of Knockdunder, which rested, in David's
estimation, upon the proofs he had given of his skill in managing stock;
but, in reality, upon the special charge transmitted to Duncan from the
Duke and his agent, to behave with the utmost attention to Deans and his

"And now, sirs," said Duncan, in a commanding tone, "I am to pray ye a'
to come in to your supper, for yonder is Mr. Archibald half famished, and
a Saxon woman, that looks as if her een were fleeing out o' her head wi'
fear and wonder, as if she had never seen a shentleman in a philabeg

"And Reuben Butler," said David, "will doubtless desire instantly to
retire, that he may prepare his mind for the exercise of to-morrow, that
his work may suit the day, and be an offering of a sweet savour in the
nostrils of the reverend Presbytery!"

"Hout tout, man, it's but little ye ken about them," interrupted the
Captain. "Teil a ane o' them wad gie the savour of the hot venison pasty
which I smell" (turning his squab nose up in the air) "a' the way frae
the Lodge, for a' that Mr. Putler, or you either, can say to them."

David groaned; but judging he had to do with a Gallio, as he said, did
not think it worth his while to give battle. They followed the Captain to
the house, and arranged themselves with great ceremony round a
well-loaded supper-table. The only other circumstance of the evening
worthy to be recorded is, that Butler pronounced the blessing; that
Knockdunder found it too long, and David Deans censured it as too short,
from which the charitable reader may conclude it was exactly the proper


Now turn the Psalms of David ower,
And lilt wi' holy clangor;
Of double verse come gie us four,
And skirl up the Bangor.

The next was the important day, when, according to the forms and ritual
of the Scottish Kirk, Reuben Butler was to be ordained minister of
Knocktarlitie, by the Presbytery of ------. And so eager were the whole
party, that all, excepting Mrs. Dutton, the destined Cowslip of Inverary,
were stirring at an early hour.

Their host, whose appetite was as quick and keen as his temper, was not
long in summoning them to a substantial breakfast, where there were at
least a dozen of different preparations of milk, plenty of cold meat,
scores boiled and roasted eggs, a huge cag of butter, half-a-firkin
herrings boiled and broiled, fresh and salt, and tea and coffee for them
that liked it, which, as their landlord assured them, with a nod and a
wink, pointing, at the same time, to a little cutter which seemed dodging
under the lee of the island, cost them little beside the fetching ashore.

"Is the contraband trade permitted here so openly?" said Butler. "I
should think it very unfavourable to the people's morals."

"The Duke, Mr. Putler, has gien nae orders concerning the putting of it
down," said the magistrate, and seemed to think that he had said all that
was necessary to justify his connivance. Butler was a man of prudence,
and aware that real good can only be obtained by remonstrance when
remonstrance is well-timed; so for the present he said nothing more on
the subject.

When breakfast was half over, in flounced Mrs. Dolly, as fine as a blue
sacque and cherry-coloured ribands could make her.

"Good morrow to you, madam," said the master of ceremonies; "I trust your
early rising will not skaith ye."

The dame apologised to Captain Knockunder, as she was pleased to term
their entertainer; "but, as we say in Cheshire," she added, "I was like
the Mayor of Altringham, who lies in bed while his breeches are mending,
for the girl did not bring up the right bundle to my room, till she had
brought up all the others by mistake one after t'other--Well, I suppose
we are all for church to-day, as I understand--Pray may I be so bold as
to ask, if it is the fashion for your North country gentlemen to go to
church in your petticoats, Captain Knockunder?"

"Captain of Knockdunder, madam, if you please, for I knock under to no
man; and in respect of my garb, I shall go to church as I am, at your
service, madam; for if I were to lie in bed like your Major
What-d'ye-callum, till my preeches were mended, I might be there all my
life, seeing I never had a pair of them on my person but twice in my
life, which I am pound to remember, it peing when the Duke brought his
Duchess here, when her Grace pehoved to be pleasured; so I e'en porrowed
the minister's trews for the twa days his Grace was pleased to stay--but
I will put myself under sic confinement again for no man on earth, or
woman either, but her Grace being always excepted, as in duty pound."

The mistress of the milking-pail stared but, making no answer to this
round declaration, immediately proceeded to show, that the alarm of the
preceding evening had in no degree injured her appetite.

When the meal was finished, the Captain proposed to them to take boat, in
order that Mrs. Jeanie might see her new place of residence, and that he
himself might inquire whether the necessary preparations had been made
there, and at the Manse, for receiving the future inmates of these

The morning was delightful, and the huge mountain-shadows slept upon the
mirrored wave of the firth, almost as little disturbed as if it had been
an inland lake. Even Mrs. Dutton's fears no longer annoyed her. She had
been informed by Archibald, that there was to be some sort of junketting
after the sermon, and that was what she loved dearly; and as for the
water, it was so still that it would look quite like a pleasuring on the

The whole party being embarked, therefore, in a large boat, which the
captain called his coach and six, and attended by a smaller one termed
his gig, the gallant Duncan steered straight upon the little tower of the
old-fashioned church of Knocktarlitie, and the exertions of six stout
rowers sped them rapidly on their voyage. As they neared the land, the
hills appeared to recede from them, and a little valley, formed by the
descent of a small river from the mountains, evolved itself as it were
upon their approach. The style of the country on each side was simply
pastoral, and resembled, in appearance and character, the description of
a forgotten Scottish poet, which runs nearly thus:--

The water gently down a level slid,
With little din, but couthy what it made;
On ilka side the trees grew thick and lang,
And wi' the wild birds' notes were a' in sang;
On either side, a full bow-shot and mair,
The green was even, gowany, and fair;
With easy slope on every hand the braes
To the hills' feet with scatter'd bushes raise;
With goats and sheep aboon, and kye below,
The bonny banks all in a swarm did go.*

* Ross's _Fortunate Shepherdess._ Edit. 1778, p. 23.

They landed in this Highland Arcadia, at the mouth of the small stream
which watered the delightful and peaceable valley. Inhabitants of several
descriptions came to pay their respects to the Captain of Knockdunder, a
homage which he was very peremptory in exacting, and to see the new
settlers. Some of these were men after David Deans's own heart, elders of
the kirk-session, zealous professors, from the Lennox, Lanarkshire, and
Ayrshire, to whom the preceding Duke of Argyle had given _rooms_ in this
corner of his estate, because they had suffered for joining his father,
the unfortunate Earl, during his ill-fated attempt in 1686. These were
cakes of the right leaven for David regaling himself with; and, had it
not been for this circumstance, he has been heard to say, "that the
Captain of Knockdunder would have swore him out of the country in
twenty-four hours, sae awsome it was to ony thinking soul to hear his
imprecations, upon the slightest temptation that crossed his humour."

Besides these, there were a wilder set of parishioners, mountaineers from
the upper glen and adjacent hill, who spoke Gaelic, went about armed, and
wore the Highland dress. But the strict commands of the Duke had
established such good order in this part of his territories, that the
Gael and Saxons lived upon the best possible terms of good neighbourhood.
They first visited the Manse, as the parsonage is termed in Scotland. It
was old, but in good repair, and stood snugly embosomed in a grove of
sycamore, with a well-stocked garden in front, bounded by the small
river, which was partly visible from the windows, partly concealed by the
bushes, trees, and bounding hedge. Within, the house looked less
comfortable than it might have been, for it had been neglected by the
late incumbent; but workmen had been labouring, under the directions of
the Captain of Knockdunder, and at the expense of the Duke of Argyle, to
put it into some order. The old "plenishing" had been removed, and neat,
but plain household furniture had been sent down by the Duke in a brig of
his own called the Caroline, and was now ready to be placed in order in
the apartments.

The gracious Duncan, finding matters were at a stand among the workmen,
summoned before him the delinquents, and impressed all who heard him with
a sense of his authority, by the penalties with which he threatened them
for their delay. Mulcting them in half their charge, he assured them,
would be the least of it; for, if they were to neglect his pleasure and
the Duke's, "he would be tamn'd if he paid them the t'other half either,
and they might seek law for it where they could get it." The work-people
humbled themselves before the offended dignitary, and spake him soft and
fair; and at length, upon Mr. Butler recalling to his mind that it was
the ordination-day, and that the workmen were probably thinking of going
to church, Knockdunder agreed to forgive them, out of respect to their
new minister.

"But an I catch them neglecking my duty again, Mr. Putler, the teil pe in
me if the kirk shall be an excuse; for what has the like o' them
rapparees to do at the kirk ony day put Sundays, or then either, if the
Duke and I has the necessitous uses for them?"

It may be guessed with what feelings of quiet satisfaction and delight
Butler looked forward to spending his days, honoured and useful as he
trusted to be, in this sequestered valley, and how often an intelligent
glance was exchanged betwixt him and Jeanie, whose good-humoured face
looked positively handsome, from the expression of modesty, and, at the
same time, of satisfaction, which she wore when visiting the apartments
of which she was soon to call herself mistress. She was left at liberty
to give more open indulgence to her feelings of delight and admiration,
when, leaving the Manse, the company proceeded to examine the destined
habitation of David Deans.

Jeanie found with pleasure that it was not above a musket-shot from the
Manse; for it had been a bar to her happiness to think she might be
obliged to reside at a distance from her father, and she was aware that
there were strong objections to his actually living in the same house
with Butler. But this brief distance was the very thing which she could
have wished.

The farmhouse was on the plan of an improved cottage, and contrived with
great regard to convenience; an excellent little garden, an orchard, and
a set of offices complete, according to the best ideas of the time,
combined to render it a most desirable habitation for the practical
farmer, and far superior to the hovel at Woodend, and the small house at
Saint Leonard's Crags. The situation was considerably higher than that of
the Manse, and fronted to the west. The windows commanded an enchanting
view of the little vale over which the mansion seemed to preside, the
windings of the stream, and the firth, with its associated lakes and
romantic islands. The hills of Dumbartonshire, once possessed by the
fierce clan of MacFarlanes, formed a crescent behind the valley, and far
to the right were seen the dusky and more gigantic mountains of
Argyleshire, with a seaward view of the shattered and thunder-splitten
peaks of Arran.

But to Jeanie, whose taste for the picturesque, if she had any by nature,
had never been awakened or cultivated, the sight of the faithful old May
Hettly, as she opened the door to receive them in her clean toy, Sunday's
russet-gown, and blue apron, nicely smoothed down before her, was worth
the whole varied landscape. The raptures of the faithful old creature at
seeing Jeanie were equal to her own, as she hastened to assure her, "that
baith the gudeman and the beasts had been as weel seen after as she
possibly could contrive." Separating her from the rest of the company,
May then hurried her young mistress to the offices, that she might
receive the compliments she expected for her care of the cows. Jeanie
rejoiced, in the simplicity of her heart, to see her charge once more;
and the mute favourites of our heroine, Gowans, and the others,
acknowledged her presence by lowing, turning round their broad and decent
brows when they heard her well-known "Pruh, my leddy--pruh, my woman,"
and, by various indications, known only to those who have studied the
habits of the milky mothers, showing sensible pleasure as she approached
to caress them in their turn.

"The very brute beasts are glad to see ye again," said May; "but nae
wonder, Jeanie, for ye were aye kind to beast and body. And I maun learn
to ca' ye _mistress_ now, Jeanie, since ye hae been up to Lunnon, and
seen the Duke, and the King, and a' the braw folk. But wha kens," added
the old dame slily, "what I'll hae to ca' ye forby mistress, for I am
thinking it wunna lang be Deans."

"Ca' me your ain Jeanie, May, and then ye can never gang wrang."

In the cow-house which they examined, there was one animal which Jeanie
looked at till the tears gushed from her eyes. May, who had watched her
with a sympathising expression, immediately observed, in an under-tone,
"The gudeman aye sorts that beast himself, and is kinder to it than ony
beast in the byre; and I noticed he was that way e'en when he was
angriest, and had maist cause to be angry.--Eh, sirs! a parent's heart's
a queer thing!--Mony a warsle he has had for that puir lassie--I am
thinking he petitions mair for her than for yoursell, hinny; for what can
he plead for you but just to wish you the blessing ye deserve? And when I
sleepit ayont the hallan, when we came first here, he was often earnest
a' night, and I could hear him come ower and ower again wi', 'Effie--puir
blinded misguided thing!' it was aye 'Effie! Effie!'--If that puir
wandering lamb comena into the sheepfauld in the Shepherd's ain time, it
will be an unco wonder, for I wot she has been a child of prayers. Oh, if
the puir prodigal wad return, sae blithely as the goodman wad kill the
fatted calf!--though Brockie's calf will no be fit for killing this three
weeks yet."

And then, with the discursive talent of persons of her description, she
got once more afloat in her account of domestic affairs, and left this
delicate and affecting topic.

Having looked at every thing in the offices and the dairy, and expressed
her satisfaction with the manner in which matters had been managed in her
absence, Jeanie rejoined the rest of the party, who were surveying the
interior of the house, all excepting David Deans and Butler, who had gone
down to the church to meet the kirk-session and the clergymen of the
Presbytery, and arrange matters for the duty of the day.

In the interior of the cottage all was clean, neat, and suitable to the
exterior. It had been originally built and furnished by the Duke, as a
retreat for a favourite domestic of the higher class, who did not long
enjoy it, and had been dead only a few months, so that every thing was in
excellent taste and good order. But in Jeanie's bedroom was a neat trunk,
which had greatly excited Mrs. Dutton's curiosity, for she was sure that
the direction, "For Mrs. Jean Deans, at Auchingower, parish of
Knocktarlitie," was the writing of Mrs. Semple, the Duchess's own woman.
May Hettly produced the key in a sealed parcel, which bore the same
address, and attached to the key was a label, intimating that the trunk
and its contents were "a token of remembrance to Jeanie Deans, from her
friends the Duchess of Argyle and the young ladies." The trunk, hastily
opened, as the reader will not doubt, was found to be full of wearing
apparel of the best quality, suited to Jeanie's rank in life; and to most
of the articles the names of the particular donors were attached, as if
to make Jeanie sensible not only of the general, but of the individual
interest she had excited in the noble family. To name the various
articles by their appropriate names, would be to attempt things
unattempted yet in prose or rhyme; besides that the old-fashioned terms
of manteaus, sacques, kissing-strings, and so forth, would convey but
little information even to the milliners of the present day. I shall
deposit, however, an accurate inventory of the contents of the trunk with
my kind friend, Miss Martha Buskbody, who has promised, should the public
curiosity seem interested in the subject, to supply me with a
professional glossary and commentary. Suffice it to say, that the gift
was such as became the donors, and was suited to the situation of the
receiver; that every thing was handsome and appropriate, and nothing
forgotten which belonged to the wardrobe of a young person in Jeanie's
situation in life, the destined bride of a respectable clergyman.

Article after article was displayed, commented upon, and admired, to the
wonder of May, who declared, "she didna think the queen had mair or
better claise," and somewhat to the envy of the northern Cowslip. This
unamiable, but not very unnatural, disposition of mind, broke forth in
sundry unfounded criticisms to the disparagement of the articles, as they
were severally exhibited. But it assumed a more direct character, when,
at the bottom of all, was found a dress of white silk, very plainly made,
but still of white silk, and French silk to boot, with a paper pinned to
it, bearing that it was a present from the Duke of Argyle to his
travelling companion, to be worn on the day when she should change her

Mrs. Dutton could forbear no longer, but whispered into Mr. Archibald's
ear, that it was a clever thing to be a Scotchwoman: "She supposed all
_her_ sisters, and she had half-a-dozen, might have been hanged, without
any one sending her a present of a pocket handkerchief."

"Or without your making any exertion to save them, Mrs. Dolly," answered
Archibald drily.--"But I am surprised we do not hear the bell yet," said
he, looking at his watch.

"Fat ta deil, Mr. Archibald," answered the Captain of Knockdunder, "wad
ye hae them ring the bell before I am ready to gang to kirk?--I wad gar
the bedral eat the bell-rope, if he took ony sic freedom. But if ye want
to hear the bell, I will just show mysell on the knowe-head, and it will
begin jowing forthwith."

Accordingly, so soon as they sallied out, and that the gold-laced hat of
the Captain was seen rising like Hesper above the dewy verge of the
rising ground, the clash (for it was rather a clash than a clang) of the
bell was heard from the old moss-grown tower, and the clapper continued
to thump its cracked sides all the while they advanced towards the kirk,
Duncan exhorting them to take their own time, "for teil ony sport wad be
till he came."*

* Note T. Tolling to service in Scotland.

Accordingly, the bell only changed to the final and impatient chime when
they crossed the stile; and "rang in," that is, concluded its mistuned
summons, when they had entered the Duke's seat, in the little kirk, where
the whole party arranged themselves, with Duncan at their head, excepting
David Deans, who already occupied a seat among the elders.

The business of the day, with a particular detail of which it is
unnecessary to trouble the reader, was gone through according to the
established form, and the sermon pronounced upon the occasion had the
good fortune to please even the critical David Deans, though it was only
an hour and a quarter long, which David termed a short allowance of
spiritual provender.

The preacher, who was a divine that held many of David's opinions,
privately apologised for his brevity by saying, "That he observed the
Captain was gaunting grievously, and that if he had detained him longer,
there was no knowing how long he might be in paying the next term's
victual stipend."

David groaned to find that such carnal motives could have influence upon
the mind of a powerful preacher. He had, indeed, been scandalised by
another circumstance during the service.

So soon as the congregation were seated after prayers, and the clergyman
had read his text, the gracious Duncan, after rummaging the leathern
purse which hung in front of his petticoat, produced a short tobacco-pipe
made of iron, and observed, almost aloud, "I hae forgotten my
spleuchan--Lachlan, gang down to the clachan, and bring me up a
pennyworth of twist." Six arms, the nearest within reach, presented,
with an obedient start, as many tobacco-pouches to the man of office.
He made choice of one with an nod of acknowledgment, filled his pipe,
lighted it with the assistance of his pistol-flint, and smoked with
infinite composure during the whole time of the sermon. When the
discourse was finished, he knocked the ashes out of his pipe, replaced
it in his sporran, returned the tobacco-pouch or spleuchan to its owner,
and joined in the prayer with decency and attention.

[Illustration: The Captain of Knockdunder--303]

At the end of the service, when Butler had been admitted minister of the
kirk of Knocktarlitie, with all its spiritual immunities and privileges,
David, who had frowned, groaned, and murmured at Knockdunder's irreverent
demeanour, communicated his plain thoughts of the matter to Isaac
Meiklehose, one of the elders, with whom a reverential aspect and huge
grizzle wig had especially disposed him to seek fraternisation. "It didna
become a wild Indian," David said, "much less a Christian, and a
gentleman, to sit in the kirk puffing tobacco-reek, as if he were in a

Meiklehose shook his head, and allowed it was "far frae beseeming--But
what will ye say? The Captain's a queer hand, and to speak to him about
that or onything else that crosses the maggot, wad be to set the kiln
a-low. He keeps a high hand ower the country, and we couldna deal wi' the
Hielandmen without his protection, sin' a' the keys o' the kintray hings
at his belt; and he's no an ill body in the main, and maistry, ye ken,
maws the meadows doun."

"That may be very true, neighbour," said David; "but Reuben Butler isna
the man I take him to be, if he disna learn the Captain to fuff his pipe
some other gate than in God's house, or the quarter be ower."

"Fair and softly gangs far," said Meiklehose; "and if a fule may gie a
wise man a counsel, I wad hae him think twice or he mells with
Knockdunder--He auld hae a lang-shankit spune that wad sup kail wi' the
deil. But they are a' away to their dinner to the change-house, and if we
dinna mend our pace, we'll come short at meal-time."

David accompanied his friend without answer; but began to feel from
experience, that the glen of Knocktarlitie, like the rest of the world,
was haunted by its own special subjects of regret and discontent. His
mind was, so much occupied by considering the best means of converting
Duncan of Knock to a sense of reverend decency during public worship,
that he altogether forgot to inquire whether Butler was called upon to
subscribe the oaths to Government.

Some have insinuated, that his neglect on this head was, in some degree,
intentional; but I think this explanation inconsistent with the
simplicity of my friend David's character. Neither have I ever been able,
by the most minute inquiries, to know whether the _formula,_ at which he
so much scrupled, had been exacted from Butler, ay or no. The books of
the kirk-session might have thrown some light on this matter; but
unfortunately they were destroyed in the year 1746, by one Donacha Dhu na
Dunaigh, at the instance, it was said, or at least by the connivance, of
the gracious Duncan of Knock, who had a desire to obliterate the recorded
foibles of a certain Kate Finlayson.


Now butt and ben the change-house fills
Wi' yill-caup commentators,
Here's crying out for bakes and gills,
And there the pint-stoup clatters.
Wi' thick and thrang, and loud and lang,--
Wi' logic and wi' scripture,
They raise a din that in the end
Is like to breed a rupture,
O' wrath that day.

A plentiful entertainment, at the Duke of Argyle's cost, regaled the
reverend gentlemen who had assisted at the ordination of Reuben Butler,
and almost all the respectable part of the parish. The feast was, indeed,
such as the country itself furnished; for plenty of all the requisites
for "a rough and round dinner" were always at Duncan of Knock's command.
There was the beef and mutton on the braes, the fresh and salt-water fish
in the lochs, the brooks, and firth; game of every kind, from the deer to
the leveret, were to be had for the killing, in the Duke's forests,
moors, heaths, and mosses; and for liquor, home-brewed ale flowed as
freely as water; brandy and usquebaugh both were had in those happy times
without duty; even white wine and claret were got for nothing, since the
Duke's extensive rights of admiralty gave him a title to all the wine in
cask which is drifted ashore on the western coast and isles of Scotland,
when shipping have suffered by severe weather. In short, as Duncan
boasted, the entertainment did not cost MacCallummore a plack out of his
sporran, and was nevertheless not only liberal, but overflowing.

The Duke's health was solemnised in a _bona fide_ bumper, and David Deans
himself added perhaps the first huzza that his lungs had ever uttered, to
swell the shout with which the pledge was received. Nay, so exalted in
heart was he upon this memorable occasion, and so much disposed to be
indulgent, that, he expressed no dissatisfaction when three bagpipers
struck up, "The Campbells are coming." The health of the reverend
minister of Knocktarlitie was received with similar honours; and there
was a roar of laughter, when one of his brethren slily subjoined the
addition of, "A good wife to our brother, to keep the Manse in order." On
this occasion David Deans was delivered of his first-born joke; and
apparently the parturition was accompanied with many throes, for sorely
did he twist about his physiognomy, and much did he stumble in his
speech, before he could express his idea, "That the lad being now wedded
to his spiritual bride, it was hard to threaten him with ane temporal
spouse in the same day." He then laughed a hoarse and brief laugh, and
was suddenly grave and silent, as if abashed at his own vivacious effort.

After another toast or two, Jeanie, Mrs. Dolly, and such of the female
natives as had honoured the feast with their presence, retired to David's
new dwelling at Auchingower, and left the gentlemen to their potations.

The feast proceeded with great glee. The conversation, where Duncan had
it under his direction, was not indeed always strictly canonical, but
David Deans escaped any risk of being scandalised, by engaging with one
of his neighbours in a recapitulation of the sufferings of Ayrshire and
Lanarkshire, during what was called the invasion of the Highland Host;
the prudent Mr. Meiklehose cautioning them from time to time to lower
their voices, "for that Duncan Knock's father had been at that onslaught,
and brought back muckle gude plenishing, and that Duncan was no unlikely
to hae been there himself, for what he kend."

Meanwhile, as the mirth grew fast and furious, the graver members of the
party began to escape as well as they could. David Deans accomplished his
retreat, and Butler anxiously watched an opportunity to follow him.
Knockdunder, however, desirous, he said, of knowing what stuff was in the
new minister, had no intention to part with him so easily, but kept him
pinned to his side, watching him sedulously, and with obliging violence
filling his glass to the brim, as often as he could seize an opportunity
of doing so. At length, as the evening was wearing late, a venerable
brother chanced to ask Mr. Archibald when they might hope to see the
Duke, _tam carum caput,_ as he would venture to term him, at the Lodge of
Roseneath. Duncan of Knock, whose ideas were somewhat conglomerated, and
who, it may be believed, was no great scholar, catching up some imperfect
sound of the words, conceived the speaker was drawing a parallel between
the Duke and Sir Donald Gorme of Sleat; and being of opinion that such
comparison was odious, snorted thrice, and prepared himself to be in a

To the explanation of the venerable divine the Captain answered, "I heard
the word Gorme myself, sir, with my ain ears. D'ye think I do not know
Gaelic from Latin?"

"Apparently not, sir;"--so the clergyman, offended in his turn, and
taking a pinch of snuff, answered with great coolness.

The copper nose of the gracious Duncan now became heated like the Bull of
Phalaris, and while Mr. Archibald mediated betwixt the offended parties,
and the attention of the company was engaged by their dispute, Butler
took an opportunity to effect his retreat.

He found the females at Auchingower very anxious for the breaking up of
the convivial party; for it was a part of the arrangement, that although
David Deans was to remain at Auchingower, and Butler was that night to
take possession of the Manse, yet Jeanie, for whom complete
accommodations were not yet provided in her father's house, was to return
for a day or two to the Lodge at Roseneath, and the boats had been held
in readiness accordingly. They waited, therefore, for Knockdunder's
return, but twilight came, and they still waited in vain. At length Mr.
Archibald, who was a man of decorum, had taken care not to exceed in his
conviviality, made his appearance, and advised the females strongly to
return to the island under his escort; observing, that, from the humour
in which he had left the Captain, it was a great chance whether he budged
out of the public-house that night, and it was absolutely certain that he
would not be very fit company for ladies. The gig was at their disposal,
he said, and there was still pleasant twilight for a party on the water.

Jeanie, who had considerable confidence in Archibald's prudence,
immediately acquiesced in this proposal; but Mrs. Dolly positively
objected to the small boat. If the big boat could be gotten, she agreed
to set out, otherwise she would sleep on the floor, rather than stir a
step. Reasoning with Dolly was out of the question, and Archibald did not
think the difficulty so pressing as to require compulsion. He observed,
it was not using the Captain very politely to deprive him of his coach
and six; "but as it was in the ladies' service," he gallantly said, "he
would use so much freedom--besides the gig would serve the Captain's
purpose better, as it could come off at any hour of the tide; the large
boat should, therefore, be at Mrs. Dolly's service."

They walked to the beach accordingly, accompanied by Butler. It was some
time before the boatmen could be assembled, and ere they were well
embarked, and ready to depart, the pale moon was come over the hill, and
flinging a trembling reflection on the broad and glittering waves. But so
soft and pleasant was the night, that Butler, in bidding farewell to
Jeanie, had no apprehension for her safety; and what is yet more
extraordinary, Mrs. Dolly felt no alarm for her own. The air was soft,
and came over the cooling wave with something of summer fragrance. The
beautiful scene of headlands, and capes, and bays, around them, with the
broad blue chain of mountains, were dimly visible in the moonlight; while
every dash of the oars made the waters glance and sparkle with the
brilliant phenomenon called the sea fire.

This last circumstance filled Jeanie with wonder, and served to amuse the
mind of her companion, until they approached the little bay, which seemed
to stretch its dark and wooded arms into the sea as if to welcome them.

The usual landing-place was at a quarter of a mile's distance from the
Lodge, and although the tide did not admit of the large boat coming quite
close to the jetty of loose stones which served as a pier, Jeanie, who
was both bold and active, easily sprung ashore; but Mrs., Dolly
positively refusing to commit herself to the same risk, the complaisant
Mr. Archibald ordered the boat round to a more regular landing-place, at
a considerable distance along the shore. He then prepared to land
himself, that he might, in the meanwhile, accompany Jeanie to the Lodge.
But as there was no mistaking the woodland lane, which led from thence to
the shore, and as the moonlight showed her one of the white chimneys
rising out of the wood which embosomed the building, Jeanie declined this
favour with thanks, and requested him to proceed with Mrs. Dolly, who,
being "in a country where the ways were so strange to her, had mair need
of countenance."

This, indeed, was a fortunate circumstance, and might even be said to
save poor Cowslip's life, if it was true, as she herself used solemnly to
aver, that she must positively have expired for fear, if she had been
left alone in the boat with six wild Highlanders in kilts.

The night was so exquisitely beautiful, that Jeanie, instead of
immediately directing her course towards the Lodge, stood looking after
the boat as it again put off from the side, and rowed into the little
bay, the dark figures of her companions growing less and less distinct as
they diminished in the distance, and the jorram, or melancholy boat-song
of the rowers, coming on the ear with softened and sweeter sound, until
the boat rounded the headland, and was lost to her observation.

Still Jeanie remained in the same posture, looking out upon the sea. It
would, she was aware, be some time ere her companions could reach the
Lodge, as the distance by the more convenient landing-place was
considerably greater than from the point where she stood, and she was not
sorry to have an opportunity to spend the interval by herself.

The wonderful change which a few weeks had wrought in her situation, from
shame and grief, and almost despair, to honour, joy, and a fair prospect
of future happiness, passed before her eyes with a sensation which
brought the tears into them. Yet they flowed at the same time from
another source. As human happiness is never perfect, and as
well-constructed minds are never more sensible of the distresses of those
whom they love, than when their own situation forms a contrast with them,
Jeanie's affectionate regrets turned to the fate of her poor sister--the
child of so many hopes--the fondled nursling of so many years--now an
exile, and, what was worse, dependent on the will of a man, of whose
habits she had every reason to entertain the worst opinion, and who, even
in his strongest paroxysms of remorse, had appeared too much a stranger
to the feelings of real penitence.

While her thoughts were occupied with these melancholy reflections, a
shadowy figure seemed to detach itself from the copsewood on her right
hand. Jeanie started, and the stories of apparitions and wraiths, seen by
solitary travellers in wild situations, at such times, and in such an
hour, suddenly came full upon her imagination. The figure glided on, and
as it came betwixt her and the moon, she was aware that it had the
appearance of a woman. A soft voice twice repeated, "Jeanie--Jeanie!"--
Was it indeed--could it be the voice of her sister?--Was she still among
the living, or had the grave given uly its tenant?--Ere she could state
these questions to her own mind, Effie, alive, and in the body, had
clasped her in her arms and was straining her to her bosom, and devouring
her with kisses. "I have wandered here," she said, "like a ghaist, to see
you, and nae wonder you take me for ane--I thought but to see you gang
by, or to hear the sound of your voice; but to speak to yoursell again,
Jeanie, was mair than I deserved, and mair than I durst pray for."

"O Effie! how came ye here alone, and at this hour, and on the wild
seabeach?--Are you sure it's your ain living sell?" There was something
of Effie's former humour in her practically answering the question by a
gentle pinch, more beseeming the fingers of a fairy than of a ghost. And
again the sisters embraced, and laughed, and wept by turns.

"But ye maun gang up wi' me to the Lodge, Effie," said Jeanie, "and tell
me a' your story--I hae gude folk there that will make ye welcome for my

"Na, na, Jeanie," replied her sister sorrowfully,--"ye hae forgotten what
I am--a banished outlawed creature, scarce escaped the gallows by your
being the bauldest and the best sister that ever lived--I'll gae near
nane o' your grand friends, even if there was nae danger to me."

"There is nae danger--there shall be nae danger," said Jeanie eagerly. "O
Effie, dinna be wilfu'--be guided for ance--we will be sae happy a'

"I have a' the happiness I deserve on this side of the grave, now that I
hae seen you," answered Effie; "and whether there were danger to mysell
or no, naebody shall ever say that I come with my cheat-the-gallows face
to shame my sister among her grand friends."

"I hae nae grand friends," said Jeanie; "nae friends but what are friends
of yours--Reuben Butler and my father.--O unhappy lassie, dinna be dour,
and turn your back on your happiness again! We wunna see another
acquaintance--Come hame to us, your ain dearest friends--it's better
sheltering under an auld hedge than under a new-planted wood."

"It's in vain speaking, Jeanie,--I maun drink as I hae brewed--I am
married, and I maun follow my husband for better for worse."

"Married, Effie!" exclaimed Jeanie--"Misfortunate creature! and to that

"Hush, hush," said Effie, clapping one hand on her mouth, and pointing to
the thicket with the other, "he is yonder." She said this in a tone which
showed that her husband had found means to inspire her with awe, as well
as affection. At this moment a man issued from the wood.

It was young Staunton. Even by the imperfect light of the moon, Jeanie
could observe that he was handsomely dressed, and had the air of a person
of rank.

"Effie," he said, "our time is well-nigh spent--the skiff will be aground
in the creek, and I dare not stay longer.--I hope your sister will allow
me to salute her?" But Jeanie shrunk back from him with a feeling of
internal abhorrence. "Well," he said, "it does not much signify; if you
keep up the feeling of ill-will, at least you do not act upon it, and I
thank you for your respect to my secret, when a word (which in your place
I would have spoken at once) would have cost me my life. People say, you
should keep from the wife of your bosom the secret that concerns your
neck--my wife and her sister both know mine, and I shall not sleep a wink
the less sound."

"But are you really married to my sister, sir?" asked Jeanie, in great
doubt and anxiety; for the haughty, careless tone in which he spoke
seemed to justify her worst apprehensions.

"I really am legally married, and by my own name," replied Staunton, more

"And your father--and your friends?"

"And my father and my friends must just reconcile themselves to that
which is done and cannot be undone," replied Staunton. "However, it is my
intention, in order to break off dangerous connections, and to let my
friends come to their temper, to conceal my marriage for the present, and
stay abroad for some years. So that you will not hear of us for some
time, if ever you hear of us again at all. It would be dangerous, you
must be aware, to keep up the correspondence; for all would guess that
the husband of Effie was the--what shall I call myself?--the slayer of

Hard-hearted light man! thought Jeanie--to what a character she has
intrusted her happiness!--She has sown the wind, and maun reap the

"Dinna think ill o' him," said Effie, breaking away from her husband, and
leading Jeanie a step or two out of hearing--"dinna think very ill o'
him--he's gude to me, Jeanie--as gude as I deserve--And he is determined
to gie up his bad courses--Sae, after a', dinna greet for Effie; she is
better off than she has wrought for.--But you--oh, you!--how can you be
happy eneugh! never till ye get to heaven, where a'body is as gude as
yoursell.--Jeanie, if I live and thrive, ye shall hear of me--if not,
just forget that sic a creature ever lived to vex ye--fare ye
weel--fare--fare ye weel!"

She tore herself from her sister's arms--rejoined her husband--they
plunged into the copsewood, and she saw them no more. The whole scene had
the effect of a vision, and she could almost have believed it such, but
that very soon after they quitted her, she heard the sound of oars, and a
skiff was seen on the firth, pulling swiftly towards the small smuggling
sloop which lay in the offing. It was on board of such a vessel that
Effie had embarked at Portobello, and Jeanie had no doubt that the same
conveyance was destined, as Staunton had hinted, to transport them to a
foreign country.

Although it was impossible to determine whether this interview, while it
was passing, gave more pain or pleasure to Jeanie Deans, yet the ultimate
impression which remained on her mind was decidedly favourable. Effie was
married--made, according to the common phrase, an honest woman--that was
one main point; it seemed also as if her husband were about to
abandon the path of gross vice in which he had run so long and so
desperately--that was another. For his final and effectual conversion
he did not want understanding, and God knew his own hour.

Such were the thoughts with which Jeanie endeavoured to console her
anxiety respecting her sister's future fortune. On her arrival at the
lodge, she found Archibald in some anxiety at her stay, and about to walk
out in quest of her. A headache served as an apology for retiring to
rest, in order to conceal her visible agitation of mind from her

By this secession also she escaped a scene of a different sort. For, as
if there were danger in all gigs, whether by sea or land, that of
Knockdunder had been run down by another boat, an accident owing chiefly
to the drunkenness of the Captain, his crew, and passengers. Knockdunder,
and two or three guests, whom he was bringing along with him to finish
the conviviality of the evening at the Lodge, got a sound ducking; but,
being rescued by the crew of the boat which endangered them, there was no
ultimate loss, excepting that of the Captain's laced hat, which, greatly
to the satisfaction of the Highland part of the district, as well as to
the improvement of the conformity of his own personal appearance, he
replaced by a smart Highland bonnet next day. Many were the vehement
threats of vengeance which, on the succeeding morning, the gracious
Duncan threw out against the boat which had upset him; but as neither
she, nor the small smuggling vessel to which she belonged, was any longer
to be seen in the firth, he was compelled to sit down with the affront.
This was the more hard, he said, as he was assured the mischief was done
on purpose, these scoundrels having lurked about after they had landed
every drop of brandy, and every bag of tea they had on board; and he
understood the coxswain had been on shore, making particular inquiries
concerning the time when his boat was to cross over, and to return, and
so forth.

"Put the neist time they meet me on the firth," said Duncan, with great
majesty, "I will teach the moonlight rapscallions and vagabonds to keep
their ain side of the road, and pe tamn'd to them!"


Lord! who would live turmoiled in a court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?

Within a reasonable time after Butler was safely and comfortably settled
in his living, and Jeanie had taken up her abode at Auchingower with her
father,--the precise extent of which interval we request each reader to
settle according to his own sense of what is decent and proper upon the
occasion,--and after due proclamation of banns, and all other
formalities, the long wooing of this worthy pair was ended by their union
in the holy bands of matrimony. On this occasion, David Deans stoutly
withstood the iniquities of pipes, fiddles, and promiscuous dancing, to
the great wrath of the Captain of Knockdunder, who said, if he "had
guessed it was to be sic a tamn'd Quakers' meeting, he wad hae seen them
peyont the cairn before he wad hae darkened their doors."

And so much rancour remained on the spirits of the gracious Duncan upon
this occasion, that various "picqueerings," as David called them, took
place upon the same and similar topics and it was only in consequence of
an accidental visit of the Duke to his Lodge at Roseneath, that they were
put a stop to. But upon that occasion his Grace showed such particular
respect to Mr. and Mrs. Butler, and such favour even to old David, that
Knockdunder held it prudent to change his course towards the latter. He,
in future, used to express himself among friends, concerning the minister
and his wife, as "very worthy decent folk, just a little over strict in
their notions; put it was pest for thae plack cattle to err on the safe
side." And respecting David, he allowed that "he was an excellent judge
of nowte and sheep, and a sensible eneugh carle, an it werena for his
tamn'd Cameronian nonsense, whilk it is not worth while of a shentleman
to knock out of an auld silly head, either by force of reason or
otherwise." So that, by avoiding topics of dispute, the personages of our
tale lived in great good habits with the gracious Duncan, only that he
still grieved David's soul, and set a perilous example to the
congregation, by sometimes bringing his pipe to the church during a cold
winter day, and almost always sleeping during sermon in the summer time.

Mrs. Butler, whom we must no longer, if we can help it, term by the
familiar name of Jeanie, brought into the married state the same firm
mind and affectionate disposition--the same natural and homely good
sense, and spirit of useful exertion--in a word, all the domestic good
qualities of which she had given proof during her maiden life. She did
not indeed rival Butler in learning; but then no woman more devoutly
venerated the extent of her husband's erudition. She did not pretend to
understand his expositions of divinity; but no minister of the Presbytery
had his humble dinner so well arranged, his clothes and linen in equal
good order, his fireside so neatly swept, his parlour so clean, and his
books so well dusted.

If he talked to Jeanie of what she did not understand--and (for the man
was mortal, and had been a schoolmaster) he sometimes did harangue more
scholarly and wisely than was necessary--she listened in placid silence;
and whenever the point referred to common life, and was such as came
under the grasp of a strong natural understanding, her views were more
forcible, and her observations more acute, than his own. In acquired
politeness of manners, when it happened that she mingled a little in
society, Mrs. Butler was, of course, judged deficient. But then she had
that obvious wish to oblige, and that real and natural good-breeding
depending on, good sense and good humour, which, joined to a considerable
degree of archness and liveliness of manner, rendered her behaviour
acceptable to all with whom she was called upon to associate.
Notwithstanding her strict attention to all domestic affairs, she always
appeared the clean well-dressed mistress of the house, never the sordid
household drudge. When complimented on this occasion by Duncan Knock, who
swore "that he thought the fairies must help her, since her house was
always clean, and nobody ever saw anybody sweeping it," she modestly
replied, "That much might be dune by timing ane's turns."

Duncan replied, "He heartily wished she could teach that art to the
huzzies at the Lodge, for he could never discover that the house was
washed at a', except now and then by breaking his shins over the pail--
Cot tamn the jauds!"

Of lesser matters there is not occasion to speak much. It may easily be
believed that the Duke's cheese was carefully made, and so graciously
accepted, that the offering became annual. Remembrances and
acknowledgments of past favours were sent to Mrs. Bickerton and Mrs.
Glass, and an amicable intercourse maintained from time to time with
these two respectable and benevolent persons.

It is especially necessary to mention that, in the course of five years,
Mrs. Butler had three children, two boys and a girl, all stout healthy
babes of grace, fair-haired, blue-eyed, and strong-limbed. The boys were
named David and Reuben, an order of nomenclature which was much to the
satisfaction of the old hero of the Covenant, and the girl, by her
mother's special desire, was christened Euphemia, rather contrary to the
wish both of her father and husband, who nevertheless loved Mrs. Butler
too well, and were too much indebted to her for their hours of happiness,
to withstand any request which she made with earnestness, and as a
gratification to herself. But from some feeling, I know not of what kind,
the child was never distinguished by the name of Effie, but by the
abbreviation of Femie, which in Scotland is equally commonly applied to
persons called Euphemia.

In this state of quiet and unostentatious enjoyment, there were, besides
the ordinary rubs and ruffles which disturb even the most uniform life,
two things which particularly chequered Mrs. Butler's happiness. "Without
these," she said to our informer, "her life would have been but too
happy; and perhaps," she added, "she had need of some crosses in this
world to remind her that there was a better to come behind it."

The first of these related to certain polemical skirmishes betwixt her
father and her husband, which, notwithstanding the mutual respect and
affection they entertained for each other, and their great love for
her--notwithstanding, also, their general agreement in strictness, and
even severity, of Presbyterian principle--often threatened unpleasant
weather between them. David Deans, as our readers must be aware, was
sufficiently opinionative and intractable, and having prevailed on
himself to become a member of a kirk-session under the Established
Church, he felt doubly obliged to evince that, in so doing, he had not
compromised any whit of his former professions, either in practice or
principle. Now Mr. Butler, doing all credit to his father-in-law's
motives, was frequently of opinion that it were better to drop out of
memory points of division and separation, and to act in the manner most
likely to attract and unite all parties who were serious in religion.
Moreover, he was not pleased, as a man and a scholar, to be always
dictated to by his unlettered father-in-law; and as a clergyman, he did
not think it fit to seem for ever under the thumb of an elder of his own
kirk-session. A proud but honest thought carried his opposition now and
then a little farther than it would otherwise have gone. "My brethren,"
he said, "will suppose I am flattering and conciliating the old man for
the sake of his succession, if I defer and give way to him on every
occasion; and, besides, there are many on which I neither can nor will
conscientiously yield to his notions. I cannot be persecuting old women
for witches, or ferreting out matter of scandal among the young ones,
which might otherwise have remained concealed."

From this difference of opinion it happened that, in many cases of
nicety, such as in owning certain defections, and failing to testify
against certain backslidings of the time, in not always severely tracing
forth little matters of scandal and _fama clamosa,_ which David called a
loosening of the reins of discipline, and in failing to demand clear
testimonies in other points of controversy which had, as it were, drifted
to leeward with the change of times, Butler incurred the censure of his
father-in-law; and sometimes the disputes betwixt them became eager and
almost unfriendly. In all such cases Mrs Butler was a mediating spirit,
who endeavoured, by the alkaline smoothness of her own disposition, to
neutralise the acidity of theological controversy. To the complaints of
both she lent an unprejudiced and attentive ear, and sought always rather
to excuse than absolutely to defend the other party.

She reminded her father that Butler had not "his experience of the auld
and wrastling times, when folk were gifted wi' a far look into eternity,
to make up for the oppressions whilk they suffered here below in time.
She freely allowed that many devout ministers and professors in times
past had enjoyed downright revelation, like the blessed Peden, and
Lundie, and Cameron, and Renwick, and John Caird the tinkler, wha entered
into the secrets, and Elizabeth Melvil, Lady Culross, wha prayed in her
bed, surrounded by a great many Christians in a large room, in whilk it
was placed on purpose, and that for three hours' time, with wonderful
assistance; and Lady Robertland, whilk got six sure outgates of grace,
and mony other in times past; and of a specially, Mr. John Scrimgeour,
minister of Kinghorn, who, having a beloved child sick to death of the
crewels, was free to expostulate with his Maker with such impatience of
displeasure, and complaining so bitterly, that at length it was said unto
him, that he was heard for this time, but that he was requested to use no
such boldness in time coming; so that when he returned he found the child
sitting up in the bed hale and fair, with all its wounds closed, and
supping its parritch, whilk babe he had left at the time of death. But
though these things might be true in these needful times, she contended
that those ministers who had not seen such vouchsafed and especial
mercies, were to seek their rule in the records of ancient times; and
therefore Reuben was carefu' both to search the Scriptures and the books
written by wise and good men of old; and sometimes in this way it wad
happen that twa precious saints might pu' sundry wise, like twa cows
riving at the same hayband."

To this David used to reply, with a sigh, "Ah, hinny, thou kenn'st little
o't; but that saam John Scrimgeour, that blew open the gates of heaven as
an it had been wi' a sax-pund cannonball, used devoutly to wish that most
part of books were burnt, except the Bible. Reuben's a gude lad and a
kind--I have aye allowed that; but as to his not allowing inquiry anent
the scandal of Marjory Kittlesides and Rory MacRand, under pretence that
they have southered sin wi' marriage, it's clear agane the Christian
discipline o' the kirk. And then there's Aily MacClure of Deepheugh, that
practises her abominations, spacing folks' fortunes wi' egg-shells, and
mutton-banes, and dreams and divinations, whilk is a scandal to ony
Christian land to suffer sic a wretch to live; and I'll uphaud that, in
a' judicatures, civil or ecclesiastical."

"I daresay ye are very right, father," was the general style of Jeanie's
answer; "but ye maun come down to the Manse to your dinner the day. The
bits o' bairns, puir things, are wearying to see their luckie dad; and
Reuben never sleeps weel, nor I neither, when you and he hae had ony bit

"Nae outcast, Jeanie; God forbid I suld cast out wi' thee, or aught that
is dear to thee!" And he put on his Sundays coat, and came to the Manse

With her husband, Mrs. Butler had a more direct conciliatory process.
Reuben had the utmost respect for the old man's motives, and affection
for his person, as well as gratitude for his early friendship. So that,
upon any such occasion of accidental irritation, it was only necessary to
remind him with delicacy of his father-in-law's age, of his scanty
education, strong prejudices, and family distresses. The least of these
considerations always inclined Butler to measures of conciliation, in so
far as he could accede to them without compromising principle; and thus
our simple and unpretending heroine had the merit of those peacemakers,
to whom it is pronounced as a benediction, that they shall inherit the

The second crook in Mrs. Butler's lot, to use the language of her father,
was the distressing circumstance, that she had never heard of her
sister's safety, or of the circumstances in which she found herself,
though betwixt four and five years had elapsed since they had parted on
the beach of the island of Roseneath. Frequent intercourse was not to be
expected--not to be desired, perhaps, in their relative situations; but
Effie had promised, that, if she lived and prospered, her sister should
hear from her. She must then be no more, or sunk into some abyss of
misery, since she had never redeemed her pledge. Her silence seemed
strange and portentous, and wrung from Jeanie, who could never forget the
early years of their intimacy, the most painful anticipation concerning
her fate. At length, however, the veil was drawn aside.

One day, as the Captain of Knockdunder had called in at the Manse, on his
return from some business in the Highland part of the parish, and had
been accommodated, according to his special request, with a mixture of
milk, brandy, honey, and water, which he said Mrs. Butler compounded
"potter than ever a woman in Scotland,"--for, in all innocent matters,
she studied the taste of every one around her,--he said to Butler, "Py
the py, minister, I have a letter here either for your canny pody of a
wife or you, which I got when I was last at Glasco; the postage comes to
fourpence, which you may either pay me forthwith, or give me tooble or
quits in a hit at packcammon."

The playing at backgammon and draughts had been a frequent amusement of
Mr. Whackbairn, Butler's principal, when at Liberton school. The
minister, therefore, still piqued himself on his skill at both games, and
occasionally practised them, as strictly canonical, although David Deans,
whose notions of every kind were more rigorous, used to shake his head,
and groan grievously, when he espied the tables lying in the parlour, or
the children playing with the dice boxes or backgammon men. Indeed, Mrs.
Butler was sometimes chidden for removing these implements of pastime
into some closet or corner out of sight. "Let them be where they are,
Jeanie," would Butler say upon such occasions; "I am not conscious of
following this, or any other trifling relaxation, to the interruption of
my more serious studies, and still more serious duties. I will not,
therefore, have it supposed that I am indulging by stealth, and against
my conscience, in an amusement which, using it so little as I do, I may
well practise openly, and without any check of mind--_Nil conscire sibi,_
Jeanie, that is my motto; which signifies, my love, the honest and open
confidence which a man ought to entertain when he is acting openly, and
without any sense of doing wrong."

Such being Butler's humour, he accepted the Captain's defiance to a
twopenny hit at backgammon, and handed the letter to his wife, observing
the post-mark was York, but, if it came from her friend Mrs. Bickerton,
she had considerably improved her handwriting, which was uncommon at her

Leaving the gentlemen to their game, Mrs. Butler went to order something
for supper, for Captain Duncan had proposed kindly to stay the night with
them, and then carelessly broke open her letter. It was not from Mrs.
Bickerton; and, after glancing over the first few lines, she soon found
it necessary to retire to her own bedroom, to read the document at


Happy thou art! then happy be,
Nor envy me my lot;
Thy happy state I envy thee,
And peaceful cot.
Lady Charlotte Campbell.

The letter, which Mrs. Butler, when retired into her own apartment,
perused with anxious wonder, was certainly from Effie, although it had no
other signature than the letter E.; and although the orthography, style,
and penmanship, were very far superior not only to anything which Effie
could produce, who, though a lively girl, had been a remarkably careless
scholar, but even to her more considerate sister's own powers of
composition and expression. The manuscript was a fair Italian hand,
though something stiff and constrained--the spelling and the diction that
of a person who had been accustomed to read good composition, and mix in
good society.

The tenor of the letter was as follows:--

"My Dearest Sister,--At many risks I venture to write to you, to inform
you that I am still alive, and, as to worldly situation, that I rank
higher than I could expect or merit. If wealth, and distinction, and an
honourable rank, could make a woman happy, I have them all; but you,
Jeanie, whom the world might think placed far beneath me in all these
respects, are far happier than I am. I have had means of hearing of your
welfare, my dearest Jeanie, from time to time--I think I should have
broken my heart otherwise. I have learned with great pleasure of your
increasing family. We have not been worthy of such a blessing; two
infants have been successively removed, and we are now childless--God's
will be done! But, if we had a child, it would perhaps divert him from
the gloomy thoughts which make him terrible to himself and others. Yet do
not let me frighten you, Jeanie; he continues to be kind, and I am far
better off than I deserve. You will wonder at my better scholarship; but
when I was abroad, I had the best teachers, and I worked hard, because my
progress pleased him. He is kind, Jeanie, only he has much to distress
him, especially when he looks backward. When I look backward myself, I
have always a ray of comfort: it is in the generous conduct of a sister,
who forsook me not when I was forsaken by every one. You have had your
reward. You live happy in the esteem and love of all who know you, and I
drag on the life of a miserable impostor, indebted for the marks of
regard I receive to a tissue of deceit and lies, which the slightest
accident may unravel. He has produced me to his friends, since the estate
opened to him, as a daughter of a Scotchman of rank, banished on account
of the Viscount of Dundee's wars--that is, our Fr's old friend Clavers,
you know--and he says I was educated in a Scotch convent; indeed, I lived
in such a place long enough to enable me to support the character. But
when a countryman approaches me, and begins to talk, as they all do, of
the various families engaged in Dundee's affair, and to make inquiries
into my connections, and when I see his eye bent on mine with such an
expression of agony, my terror brings me to the very risk of detection.
Good-nature and politeness have hitherto saved me, as they prevented
people from pressing on me with distressing questions. But how long--O
how long, will this be the case!--And if I bring this disgrace on him, he
will hate me--he will kill me, for as much as he loves me; he is as
jealous of his family honour now, as ever he was careless about it. I
have been in England four months, and have often thought of writing to
you; and yet, such are the dangers that might arise from an intercepted
letter, that I have hitherto forborne. But now I am obliged to run the
risk. Last week I saw your great friend, the D. of A. He came to my box,
and sate by me; and something in the play put him in mind of
you--Gracious Heaven! he told over your whole London journey to all who
were in the box, but particularly to the wretched creature who was the
occasion of it all. If he had known--if he could have conceived, beside
whom he was sitting, and to whom the story was told!--I suffered with
courage, like an Indian at the stake, while they are rending his fibres
and boring his eyes, and while he smiles applause at each well-imagined
contrivance of his torturers. It was too much for me at last, Jeanie--I
fainted; and my agony was imputed partly to the heat of the place, and
partly to my extreme sensibility; and, hypocrite all over, I encouraged
both opinions--anything but discovery! Luckily, _he_ was not there. But
the incident has more alarms. I am obliged to meet your great man often;
and he seldom sees me without talking of E. D. and J. D., and R. B. and
D. D., as persons in whom my amiable sensibility is interested. My
amiable sensibility!!!--And then the cruel tone of light indifference
with which persons in the fashionable world speak together on the most
affecting subjects! To hear my guilt, my folly, my agony, the foibles and
weaknesses of my friends--even your heroic exertions, Jeanie, spoken of
in the drolling style which is the present tone in fashionable
life--Scarce all that I formerly endured is equal to this state of
irritation--then it was blows and stabs--now it is pricking to death
with needles and pins.--He--I mean the D.--goes down next month to spend
the shooting-season in Scotland--he says, he makes a point of always
dining one day at the Manse--be on your guard, and do not betray
yourself, should he mention me--Yourself, alas! _you_ have nothing to
betray--nothing to fear; you, the pure, the virtuous, the heroine of
unstained faith, unblemished purity, what can you have to fear from the
world or its proudest minions? It is E. whose life is once more in your
hands--it is E. whom you are to save from being plucked of her borrowed
plumes, discovered, branded, and trodden down, first by him, perhaps,
who has raised her to this dizzy pinnacle!--The enclosure will reach you
twice a-year--do not refuse it--it is out of my own allowance, and may
be twice as much when you want it. With you it may do good--with me it
never can.

"Write to me soon, Jeanie, or I shall remain in the agonising
apprehension that this has fallen into wrong hands--Address simply to L.
S., under cover, to the Reverend George Whiterose, in the Minster-Close,
York. He thinks I correspond with some of my noble Jacobite relations who
are in Scotland. How high-church and jacobitical zeal would burn in his
checks, if he knew he was the agent, not of Euphemia Setoun, of the
honourable house of Winton, but of E. D., daughter of a Cameronian
cowfeeder!--Jeanie, I can laugh yet sometimes--but God protect you from
such mirth.--My father--I mean your father, would say it was like the
idle crackling of thorns; but the thorns keep their poignancy, they
remain unconsumed. Farewell, my dearest Jeanie--Do not show this even to
Mr. Butler, much less to any one else. I have every respect for him, but
his principles are over strict, and my case will not endure severe
handling.--I rest your affectionate sister, E."

In this long letter there was much to surprise as well as to distress
Mrs. Butler. That Effie--her sister Effie, should be mingling freely in
society, and apparently on not unequal terms, with the Duke of Argyle,
sounded like something so extraordinary, that she even doubted if she
read truly. Not was it less marvellous, that, in the space of four years,
her education should have made such progress. Jeanie's humility readily
allowed that Effie had always, when she chose it, been smarter at her
book than she herself was, but then she was very idle, and, upon the
whole, had made much less proficiency. Love, or fear, or necessity,
however, had proved an able school-mistress, and completely supplied all
her deficiencies.

What Jeanie least liked in the tone of the letter, was a smothered degree
of egotism. "We should have heard little about her," said Jeanie to
herself, "but that she was feared the Duke might come to learn wha she
was, and a' about her puir friends here; but Effie, puir thing, aye looks
her ain way, and folk that do that think mair o' themselves than of their
neighbours.--I am no clear about keeping her siller," she added, taking
up a L50 note which had fallen out of the paper to the floor. "We hae
eneugh, and it looks unco like theftboot, or hushmoney, as they ca' it;
she might hae been sure that I wad say naething wad harm her, for a' the
gowd in Lunnon. And I maun tell the minister about it. I dinna see that
she suld be sae feared for her ain bonny bargain o' a gudeman, and that I
shouldna reverence Mr. Butler just as much; and sae I'll e'en tell him,
when that tippling body the Captain has ta'en boat in the morning.--But I
wonder at my ain state of mind," she added, turning back, after she had
made a step or two to the door to join the gentlemen; "surely I am no sic
a fule as to be angry that Effie's a braw lady, while I am only a
minister's wife?--and yet I am as petted as a bairn, when I should bless
God, that has redeemed her from shame, and poverty, and guilt, as ower
likely she might hae been plunged into."

Sitting down upon a stool at the foot of the bed, she folded her arms
upon her bosom, saying within herself, "From this place will I not rise
till I am in a better frame of mind;" and so placed, by dint of tearing
the veil from the motives of her little temporary spleen against her
sister, she compelled herself to be ashamed of them, and to view as
blessings the advantages of her sister's lot, while its embarrassments
were the necessary consequences of errors long since committed. And thus
she fairly vanquished the feeling of pique which she naturally enough
entertained, at seeing Effie, so long the object of her care and her
pity, soar suddenly so high above her in life, as to reckon amongst the
chief objects of her apprehension the risk of their relationship being

When this unwonted burst of _amour propre_ was thoroughly subdued, she
walked down to the little parlour where the gentlemen were finishing
their game, and heard from the Captain a confirmation of the news
intimated in her letter, that the Duke of Argyle was shortly expected at

"He'll find plenty of moor-fowls and plack-cock on the moors of
Auchingower, and he'll pe nae doubt for taking a late dinner, and a ped
at the Manse, as he has done pefore now."

"He has a gude right, Captain," said Jeanie.

"Teil ane potter to ony ped in the kintra," answered the Captain. "And ye
had potter tell your father, puir body, to get his beasts a' in order,
and put his tamn'd Cameronian nonsense out o' his head for twa or three
days, if he can pe so opliging; for fan I speak to him apout prute
pestil, he answers me out o' the Pible, whilk is not using a shentleman
weel, unless it be a person of your cloth, Mr. Putler."

No one understood better than Jeanie the merit of the soft answer, which
turneth away wrath; and she only smiled, and hoped that his Grace would
find everything that was under her father's care to his entire

But the Captain, who had lost the whole postage of the letter at
backgammon, was in the pouting mood not unusual to losers, and which,
says the proverb, must be allowed to them.

"And, Master Putler, though you know I never meddle with the things of
your kirk-sessions, yet I must pe allowed to say that I will not be
pleased to allow Ailie MacClure of Deepheugh to be poonished as a witch,
in respect she only spaes fortunes, and does not lame, or plind, or
pedevil any persons, or coup cadger's carts, or ony sort of mischief; put
only tells people good fortunes, as anent our poats killing so many seals
and doug-fishes, whilk is very pleasant to hear."

"The woman," said Butler, "is, I believe, no witch, but a cheat: and it
is only on that head that she is summoned to the kirk-session, to cause
her to desist in future from practising her impostures upon ignorant

"I do not know," replied the gracious Duncan, "what her practices or
postures are, but I pelieve that if the poys take hould on her to duck
her in the Clachan purn, it will be a very sorry practice--and I pelieve,
moreover, that if I come in thirdsman among you at the kirk-sessions, you
will be all in a tamn'd pad posture indeed."

Without noticing this threat, Mr. Butler replied, "That he had not
attended to the risk of ill-usage which the poor woman might undergo at
the hands of the rabble, and that he would give her the necessary
admonition in private, instead of bringing her before the assembled

"This," Duncan said, "was speaking like a reasonable shentleman;" and so
the evening passed peaceably off.

Next morning, after the Captain had swallowed his morning draught of
Athole brose, and departed in his coach and six, Mrs. Butler anew
deliberated upon communicating to her husband her sister's letter. But
she was deterred by the recollection, that, in doing so, she would unveil
to him the whole of a dreadful secret, of which, perhaps, his public
character might render him an unfit depositary. Butler already had reason
to believe that Effie had eloped with that same Robertson who had been a
leader in the Porteous mob, and who lay under sentence of death for the
robbery at Kirkcaldy. But he did not know his identity with George
Staunton, a man of birth and fortune, who had now apparently reassumed
his natural rank in society. Jeanie had respected Staunton's own
confession as sacred, and upon reflection she considered the letter of
her sisteras equally so, and resolved to mention the contents to no one.

On reperusing the letter, she could not help observing the staggering and
unsatisfactory condition of those who have risen to distinction by undue
paths, and the outworks and bulwarks of fiction and falsehood, by which
they are under the necessity of surrounding and defending their
precarious advantages. But she was not called upon, she thought, to
unveil her sister's original history--it would restore no right to any
one, for she was usurping none--it would only destroy her happiness, and
degrade her in the public estimation. Had she been wise, Jeanie thought
she would have chosen seclusion and privacy, in place of public life and
gaiety; but the power of choice might not be hers. The money, she
thought, could not be returned without her seeming haughty and unkind.
She resolved, therefore, upon reconsidering this point, to employ it as
occasion should serve, either in educating her children better than her
own means could compass, or for their future portion. Her sister had
enough, was strongly bound to assist Jeanie by any means in her power,
and the arrangement was so natural and proper, that it ought not to be
declined out of fastidious or romantic delicacy. Jeanie accordingly wrote
to her sister, acknowledging her letter, and requesting to hear from her
as often as she could. In entering into her own little details of news,
chiefly respecting domestic affairs, she experienced a singular
vacillation of ideas; for sometimes she apologised for mentioning things
unworthy the notice of a lady of rank, and then recollected that
everything which concerned her should be interesting to Effie. Her
letter, under the cover of Mr. Whiterose, she committed to the
post-office at Glasgow, by the intervention of a parishioner who had
business at that city.

The next week brought the Duke to Roseneath, and shortly afterwards he
intimated his intention of sporting in their neighbourhood, and taking
his bed at the Manse; an honour which he had once or twice done to its
inmates on former occasions.

Effie proved to be perfectly right in her auticipations. The Duke had
hardly set himself down at Mrs. Butler's right hand, and taken upon
himself the task of carving the excellent "barn-door chucky," which had
been selected as the high dishes upon this honourable occasion, before he
began to speak of Lady Staunton of Willingham, in Lincolnshire, and the
great noise which her wit and beauty made in London. For much of this
Jeanie was, in some measure, prepared--but Effie's wit! that would never
have entered into her imagination, being ignorant how exactly raillery in
the higher rank resembles flippancy among their inferiors.

"She has been the ruling belle--the blazing star--the universal toast of
the winter," said the Duke; "and is really the most beautiful creature
that was seen at court upon the birth-day."

The birthday! and at court!--Jeanie was annihilated, remembering well her
own presentation, all its extraordinary circumstances, and particularly
the cause of it.

"I mention this lady particularly to you, Mrs. Butler," said the Duke,
"because she has something in the sound of her voice, and cast of her
countenance, that reminded me of you--not when you look so pale
though--you have over-fatigued yourself--you must pledge me in a glass
of wine."

She did so, and Butler observed, "It was dangerous flattery in his Grace
to tell a poor minister's wife that she was like a court-beauty."

"Oho, Mr. Butler," said the Duke, "I find you are growing jealous; but
it's rather too late in the day, for you know how long I have admired
your wife. But seriously, there is betwixt them one of those inexplicable
likenesses which we see in countenances, that do not otherwise resemble
each other."

"The perilous part of the compliment has flown off," thought Mr. Butler.

His wife, feeling the awkwardness of silence, forced herself to say,
"That, perhaps, the lady might be her countrywoman, and the language
might have made some resemblance."

"You are quite right," replied the Duke. "She is a Scotch-woman, and
speaks with a Scotch accent, and now and then a provincial word drops out
so prettily, that it is quite Doric, Mr. Butler."

"I should have thought," said the clergyman, "that would have sounded
vulgar in the great city."

"Not at all," replied the Duke; "you must suppose it is not the broad
coarse Scotch that is spoken in the Cowgate of Edinburgh, or in the
Gorbals. This lady has been very little in Scotland, in fact she was
educated in a convent abroad, and speaks that pure court-Scotch, which
was common in my younger days; but it is so generally disused now, that
it sounds like a different dialect, entirely distinct from our modern

Notwithstanding her anxiety, Jeanie could not help admiring within
herself, how the most correct judges of life and manners can be imposed
on by their own preconceptions, while the Duke proceeded thus: "She is of
the unfortunate house of Winton, I believe; but, being bred abroad, she
had missed the opportunity of learning her own pedigree, and was obliged
to me for informing her, that she must certainly come of the Setons of
Windygoul. I wish you could have seen how prettily she blushed at her own
ignorance. Amidst her noble and elegant manners, there is now and then a
little touch of bashfulness and conventual rusticity, if I may call it
so, that makes her quite enchanting. You see at once the rose that had
bloomed untouched amid the chaste precincts of the cloister, Mr. Butler."

True to the hint, Mr. Butler failed not to start with his

"Ut flos in septis secretus nascitur hortis," etc.,

while his wife could hardly persuade herself that all this was spoken of
Effie Deans, and by so competent a judge as the Duke of Argyle; and had
she been acquainted with Catullus, would have thought the fortunes of her
sister had reversed the whole passage.

She was, however, determined to obtain some indemnification for the
anxious feelings of the moment, by gaining all the intelligence she
could; and therefore ventured to make some inquiry about the husband of
the lady his Grace admired so much.

"He is very rich," replied the Duke; "of an ancient family, and has good
manners: but he is far from being such a general favourite as his wife.
Some people say he can be very pleasant--I never saw him so; but should
rather judge him reserved, and gloomy, and capricious. He was very wild
in his youth, they say, and has bad health; yet he is a good-looking man
enough--a great friend of your Lord High Commissioner of the Kirk, Mr.

"Then he is the friend of a very worthy and honourable nobleman," said

"Does he admire his lady as much as other people do?" said Jeanie, in a
low voice.

"Who--Sir George? They say he is very fond of her," said the Duke; "but I
observe she trembles a little when he fixes his eye on her, and that is
no good sign--But it is strange how I am haunted by this resemblance of
yours to Lady Staunton, in look and tone of voice. One would almost swear
you were sisters."

Jeanie's distress became uncontrollable, and beyond concealment. The Duke
of Argyle was much disturbed, good-naturedly ascribing it to his having
unwittingly recalled, to her remembrance her family misfortunes. He was
too well-bred to attempt to apologise; but hastened to change the
subject, and arrange certain points of dispute which had occurred betwixt
Duncan of Knock and the minister, acknowledging that his worthy
substitute was sometimes a little too obstinate, as well as too
energetic, in his executive measures.

Mr. Butler admitted his general merits; but said, "He would presume to
apply to the worthy gentleman the words of the poet to Marrucinus

Non belle uteris in joco atque vino."

The discourse being thus turned on parish business, nothing farther
occurred that can interest the reader.


Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd by an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding.

After this period, but under the most strict precautions against
discovery, the sisters corresponded occasionally, exchanging letters
about twice every year. Those of Lady Staunton spoke of her husband's
health and spirits as being deplorably uncertain; her own seemed also to
be sinking, and one of the topics on which she most frequently dwelt was
their want of family. Sir George Staunton, always violent, had taken some
aversion at the next heir, whom he suspected of having irritated his
friends against him during his absence; and he declared, he would
bequeath Willingham and all its lands to an hospital, ere that
fetch-and-carry tell-tale should inherit an acre of it.

"Had he but a child," said the unfortunate wife, "or had that luckless
infant survived, it would be some motive for living and for exertion. But
Heaven has denied us a blessing which we have not deserved."

Such complaints, in varied form, but turning frequently on the same
topic, filled the letters which passed from the spacious but melancholy
halls of Willingham, to the quiet and happy parsonage at Knocktarlitie.
Years meanwhile rolled on amid these fruitless repinings. John, Duke of
Argyle and Greenwich, died in the year 1743, universally lamented, but by
none more than by the Butlers, to whom his benevolence had been so
distinguished. He was succeeded by his brother Duke Archibald, with whom
they had not the same intimacy; but who continued the protection which
his brother had extended towards them. This, indeed, became more
necessary than ever; for, after the breaking out and suppression of the
rebellion in 1745, the peace of the country, adjacent to the Highlands,
was considerably disturbed. Marauders, or men that had been driven to
that desperate mode of life, quartered themselves in the fastnesses
nearest to the Lowlands, which were their scene of plunder; and there is
scarce a glen in the romantic and now peaceable Highlands of Perth,
Stirling, and Dumbartonshire, where one or more did not take up their

The prime pest of the parish of Knocktarlitie was a certain Donacha dhu
na Dunaigh, or Black Duncan the Mischievous, whom we have already
casually mentioned. This fellow had been originally a tinkler, or
_caird,_ many of whom stroll about these districts; but when all police
was disorganised by the civil war, he threw up his profession, and from
half thief became whole robber; and being generally at the head of three
or four active young fellows, and he himself artful, bold, and well
acquainted with the passes, he plied his new profession with emolument to
himself, and infinite plague to the country.

All were convinced that Duncan of Knock could have put down his namesake
Donacha any morning he had a mind; for there were in the parish a set of
stout young men, who had joined Argyle's banner in the war under his old
friend, and behaved very well on several occasions. And as for their
leader, as no one doubted his courage, it was generally supposed that
Donacha had found out the mode of conciliating his favour, a thing not
very uncommon in that age and country. This was the more readily
believed, as David Deans's cattle (being the property of the Duke) were
left untouched, when the minister's cows were carried off by the thieves.
Another attempt was made to renew the same act of rapine, and the cattle
were in the act of being driven off, when Butler, laying his profession
aside in a case of such necessity, put himself at the head of some of his
neighbours, and rescued the creagh, an exploit at which Deans attended in
person, notwithstanding his extreme old age, mounted on a Highland pony,
and girded with an old broadsword, likening himself (for he failed not to
arrogate the whole merit of the expedition) to David, the son of Jesse,
when he recovered the spoil of Ziklag from the Amalekites. This spirited
behaviour had so far a good effect, that Donacha dhu na Dunaigh kept his
distance for some time to come; and, though his distant exploits were
frequently spoken of, he did not exercise any depredations in that part
of the country. He continued to flourish, and to be heard of
occasionally, until the year 1751, when, if the fear of the second David
had kept him in check, fate released him from that restraint, for the
venerable patriarch of St. Leonard's was that year gathered to his

David Deans died full of years and of honour. He is believed, for the
exact time of his birth is not known, to have lived upwards of ninety
years; for he used to speak of events as falling under his own knowledge,
which happened about the time of the battle of Bothwell Bridge. It was
said that he even bore arms there; for once, when a drunken Jacobite
laird wished for a Bothwell Brigg whig, that "he might stow the lugs out
of his head," David informed him with a peculiar austerity of
countenance, that, if he liked to try such a prank, there was one at his
elbow; and it required the interference of Butler to preserve the peace.

He expired in the arms of his beloved daughter, thankful for all the
blessings which Providence had vouchsafed to him while in this valley of
strife and toil--and thankful also for the trials he had been visited
with; having found them, he said, needful to mortify that spiritual pride
and confidence in his own gifts, which was the side on which the wily
Enemy did most sorely beset him. He prayed in the most affecting manner
for Jeanie, her husband, and her family, and that her affectionate duty
to the puir auld man might purchase her length of days here, and
happiness hereafter; then, in a pathetic petition, too well understood by
those who knew his family circumstances, he besought the Shepherd of
souls, while gathering his flock, not to forget the little one that had
strayed from the fold, and even then might be in the hands of the
ravening wolf.--He prayed for the national Jerusalem, that peace might be
in her land, and prosperity in her palaces--for the welfare of the
honourable House of Argyle, and for the conversion of Duncan of
Knockdunder. After this he was silent, being exhausted, nor did he again
utter anything distinctly. He was heard, indeed, to mutter something
about national defections, right-hand extremes, and left-hand failings
off; but, as May Hettly observed, his head was carried at the time; and
it is probable that these expressions occurred to him merely out of
general habit, and that he died in the full spirit of charity with all
men. About an hour afterwards he slept in the Lord.

Notwithstanding her father's advanced age, his death was a severe shock
to Mrs. Butler. Much of her time had been dedicated to attending to his
health and his wishes, and she felt as if part of her business in the
world was ended, when the good old man was no more. His wealth, which
came nearly to fifteen hundred pounds, in disposable capital, served to
raise the fortunes of the family at the Manse. How to dispose of this sum
for the best advantage of his family, was matter of anxious consideration
to Butler. "If we put it on heritable bond, we shall maybe lose the
interest; for there's that bond over Lounsbeck's land, your father could
neither get principal nor interest for it--If we bring it into the funds,
we shall maybe lose the principal and all, as many did in the South Sea
scheme. The little estate of Craigsture is in the market--it lies within
two miles of the Manse, and Knock says his Grace has no thought to buy
it. But they ask L2500, and they may, for it is worth the money; and were
I to borrow the balance, the creditor might call it up suddenly, or in
case of my death my family might be distressed."

"And so if we had mair siller, we might buy that bonny pasture-ground,
where the grass comes so early?" asked Jeanie.

"Certainly, my dear; and Knockdunder, who is a good judge, is strongly
advising me to it. To be sure it is his nephew that is selling it."

"Aweel, Reuben," said Jeanie, "ye maun just look up a text in Scripture,
as ye did when ye wanted siller before--just look up a text in the

"Ah, Jeanie," said Butler, laughing and pressing her hand at the same
time, "the best people in these times can only work miracles once."

"We will see," said Jeanie composedly; and going to the closet in which
she kept her honey, her sugar, her pots of jelly, her vials of the more
ordinary medicines, and which served her, in short, as a sort of
store-room, she jangled vials and gallipots, till, from out the darkest
nook, well flanked by a triple row of bottles and jars, which she was
under the necessity of displacing, she brought a cracked brown cann, with
a piece of leather tied over the top. Its contents seemed to be written
papers, thrust in disorder into this uncommon _secre'taire._ But from
among these Jeanie brought an old clasped Bible, which had been David
Deans's companion in his earlier wanderings, and which he had given to
his daughter when the failure of his eyes had compelled him to use one of
a larger print. This she gave to Butler, who had been looking at her
motions with some surprise, and desired him to see what that book could
do for him. He opened the clasps, and to his astonishment a parcel of L50
bank-notes dropped out from betwixt the leaves, where they had been
separately lodged, and fluttered upon the floor. "I didna think to hae
tauld you o' my wealth, Reuben," said his wife, smiling at his surprise,
"till on my deathbed, or maybe on some family pinch; but it wad be better
laid out on yon bonny grass-holms, than lying useless here in this auld

"How on earth came ye by that siller, Jeanie?--Why, here is more than a
thousand pounds," said Butler, lifting up and counting the notes.

"If it were ten thousand, it's a' honestly come by," said Jeanie; "and
troth I kenna how muckle there is o't, but it's a' there that ever I
got.--And as for how I came by it, Reuben--it's weel come by, and
honestly, as I said before--And it's mair folk's secret than mine, or ye
wad hae kend about it lang syne; and as for onything else, I am not free
to answer mair questions about it, and ye maun just ask me nane."

"Answer me but one," said Butler. "Is it all freely and indisputably your
own property, to dispose of it as you think fit?--Is it possible no one
has a claim in so large a sum except you?"

"It _was_ mine, free to dispose of it as I like," answered Jeanie; "and I

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