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The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner

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By James Hogg


It appears from tradition, as well as some parish registers still
extant, that the lands of Dalcastle (or Dalchastel, as it is often
spelled) were possessed by a family of the name of Colwan,
about one hundred and fifty years ago, and for at least a century
previous to that period. That family was supposed to have been a
branch of the ancient family of Colquhoun, and it is certain that
from it spring the Cowans that spread towards the Border. I find
that, in the year 1687, George Colwan succeeded his uncle of the
same name, in the lands of Dalchastel and Balgrennan; and, this
being all I can gather of the family from history, to tradition I
must appeal for the remainder of the motley adventures of that
house. But, of the matter furnished by the latter of these powerful
monitors, I have no reason to complain: It has been handed down
to the world in unlimited abundance; and I am certain that, in
recording the hideous events which follow, I am only relating to
the greater part of the inhabitants of at least four counties of
Scotland matters of which they were before perfectly well

This George was a rich man, or supposed to be so, and was
married, when considerably advanced in life, to the sole heiress
and reputed daughter of a Baillie Orde, of Glasgow. This proved
a conjunction anything but agreeable to the parties contracting. It
is well known that the Reformation principles had long before
that time taken a powerful hold of the hearts and affections of the
people of Scotland, although the feeling was by no means
general, or in equal degrees; and it so happened that this married
couple felt completely at variance on the subject. Granting it to
have been so, one would have thought that the laird, owing to his
retiring situation, would have been the one that inclined to the
stern doctrines of the reformers; and that the young and gay dame
from the city would have adhered to the free principles cherished
by the court party, and indulged in rather to extremity, in
opposition to their severe and carping contemporaries.

The contrary, however, happened to be the case. The laird was
what his country neighbours called "a droll, careless chap", with a
very limited proportion of the fear of God in his heart, and very
nearly as little of the fear of man. The laird had not intentionally
wronged or offended either of the parties, and perceived not the
necessity of deprecating their vengeance. He had hitherto
believed that he was living in most cordial terms with the greater
part of the inhabitants of the earth, and with the powers above in
particular: but woe be unto him if he was not soon convinced of
the fallacy of such damning security! for his lady was the most
severe and gloomy of all bigots to the principles of the
Reformation. Hers were not the tenets of the great reformers, but
theirs mightily overstrained and deformed. Theirs was an unguent
hard to be swallowed; but hers was that unguent embittered and
overheated until nature could not longer bear it. She had imbibed
her ideas from the doctrines of one flaming predestinarian divine
alone; and these were so rigid that they became a stumbling block
to many of his brethren, and a mighty handle for the enemies of
his party to turn the machine of the state against them.

The wedding festivities at Dalcastle partook of all the gaiety, not
of that stern age, but of one previous to it. There was feasting,
dancing, piping, and singing: the liquors were handed, around in
great fulness, the ale in large wooden bickers, and the brandy in
capacious horns of oxen. The laird gave full scope to his homely
glee. He danced--he snapped his fingers to the music--clapped his
hands and shouted at the turn of the tune. He saluted every girl in
the hall whose appearance was anything tolerable, and requested
of their sweethearts to take the same freedom with his bride, by
way of retaliation. But there she sat at the head of the hall in still
and blooming beauty, absolutely refusing to tread a single
measure with any gentleman there. The only enjoyment in which
she appeared to partake was in now and then stealing a word of
sweet conversation with her favourite pastor about divine things;
for he had accompanied her home after marrying her to her
husband, to see her fairly settled in her new dwelling. He
addressed her several times by her new name, Mrs. Colwan; but
she turned away her head disgusted, and looked with pity and
contempt towards the old inadvertent sinner, capering away in the
height of his unregenerated mirth. The minister perceived the
workings of her pious mind, and thenceforward addressed her by
the courteous title of Lady Dalcastle, which sounded somewhat
better, as not coupling her name with one of the wicked: and
there is too great reason to believe that, for all the solemn vows
she had come under, and these were of no ordinary binding,
particularly on the laird's part, she at that time despised, if not
abhorred him, in her heart.

The good parson again blessed her, and went away. She took
leave of him with tears in her eyes, entreating him often to visit
her in that heathen land of the Amorite, the Hittite, and the
Girgashite: to which he assented, on many solemn and qualifying
conditions--and then the comely bride retired to her chamber to

It was customary, in those days, for the bride's-man and maiden,
and a few select friends, to visit the new-married couple after
they had retired to rest, and drink a cup to their healths, their
happiness, and a numerous posterity. But the laird delighted not
in this: he wished to have his jewel to himself; and, slipping away
quietly from his jovial party, he retired to his chamber to his
beloved, and bolted the door. He found her engaged with the
writings of the Evangelists, and terribly demure. The laird went
up to caress her; but she turned away her head, and spoke of the
follies of aged men, and something of the broad way that leadeth
to destruction. The laird did not thoroughly comprehend this
allusion; but being considerably flustered by drinking, and
disposed to take all in good part, he only remarked, as he took off
his shoes and stockings, that, "whether the way was broad or
narrow, it was time that they were in their bed."

"Sure, Mr. Colwan, you won't go to bed to-night, at such an
important period of your life, without first saying prayers for
yourself and me."

When she said this, the laird had his head down almost to the
ground, loosing his shoe-buckle; but when he heard of prayers, on
such a night, he raised his face suddenly up, which was all over
as flushed and red as a rose, and answered:

"Prayers, Mistress! Lord help your crazed head, is this a night for

He had better have held his peace. There was such a torrent of
profound divinity poured out upon him that the laird became
ashamed, both of himself and his new-made spouse, and wist not
what to say: but the brandy helped him out.

"It strikes me, my dear, that religious devotion would be
somewhat out of place to-night," said he. "Allowing that it is ever
so beautiful, and ever so beneficial, were we to ride on the
rigging of it at all times, would we not be constantly making a
farce of it: It would be like reading the Bible and the jestbook,
verse about, and would render the life of man a medley of
absurdity and confusion."

But, against the cant of the bigot or the hypocrite, no reasoning
can aught avail. If you would argue until the end of life, the
infallible creature must alone be right. So it proved with the laird.
One Scripture text followed another, not in the least connected,
and one sentence of the profound Mr. Wringhim's sermons after
another, proving the duty of family worship, till the laird lost
patience, and tossing himself into bed, said carelessly that he
would leave that duty upon her shoulders for one night.

The meek mind of Lady Dalcastle was somewhat disarranged by
this sudden evolution. She felt that she was left rather in an
awkward situation. However, to show her unconscionable spouse
that she was resolved to hold fast her integrity, she kneeled down
and prayed in terms so potent that she deemed she was sure of
making an impression on him. She did so; for in a short time the
laird began to utter a response so fervent that she was utterly
astounded, and fairly driven from the chain of her orisons. He
began, in truth, to sound a nasal bugle of no ordinary calibre--the
notes being little inferior to those of a military trumpet. The lady
tried to proceed, but every returning note from the bed burst on
her ear with a louder twang, and a longer peal, till the concord of
sweet sounds became so truly pathetic that the meek spirit of the
dame was quite overcome; and, after shedding a flood of tears,
she arose from her knees, and retired to the chimney-corner with
her Bible in her lap, there to spend the hours in holy meditation
till such time as the inebriated trumpeter should awaken to a
sense of propriety.

The laird did not awake in any reasonable time; for, he being
overcome with fatigue and wassail, his sleep became sounder,
and his Morphean measures more intense. These varied a little in
their structure; but the general run of the bars sounded something
in this way: "Hic-hoc-wheew!" It was most profoundly ludicrous;
and could not have missed exciting risibility in anyone save a
pious, a disappointed, and humbled bride.

The good dame wept bitterly. She could not for her life go and
awaken the monster, and request him to make room for her: but
she retired somewhere, for the laird, on awaking next morning,
found that he was still lying alone. His sleep had been of the
deepest and most genuine sort; and, all the time that it lasted, he
had never once thought of either wives, children, or sweethearts,
save in the way of dreaming about them; but, as his
spirit began again by slow degrees to verge towards the
boundaries of reason, it became lighter and more buoyant from
the effects of deep repose, and his dreams partook of that
buoyancy, yea, to a degree hardly expressible. He dreamed of the
reel, the jig, the strathspey, and the corant; and the elasticity of
his frame was such that he was bounding over the heads of
maidens, and making his feet skimmer against the ceiling,
enjoying, the while, the most ecstatic emotions. These grew too
fervent for the shackles of the drowsy god to restrain. The nasal
bugle ceased its prolonged sounds in one moment, and a sort of
hectic laugh took its place. "Keep it going--play up, you devils!"
cried the laird, without changing his position on the pillow. But
this exertion to hold the fiddlers at their work fairly awakened the
delighted dreamer, and, though he could not refrain from
continuing, his laugh, beat length, by tracing out a regular chain
of facts, came to be sensible of his real situation. "Rabina, where
are you? What's become of you, my dear?" cried the laird. But
there was no voice nor anyone that answered or regarded. He
flung open the curtains, thinking to find her still on her knees, as
he had seen her, but she was not there, either sleeping or waking.
"Rabina! Mrs. Colwan!" shouted he, as loud as he could call, and
then added in the same breath, "God save the king--I have lost my

He sprung up and opened the casement: the day-light was
beginning to streak the east, for it was spring, and the nights were
short, and the mornings very long. The laird half dressed himself
in an instant, and strode through every room in the house,
opening the windows as he went, and scrutinizing every bed and
every corner. He came into the hall where the wedding festival
had been held; and as he opened the various windowboards,
loving couples flew off like hares surprised too late in the
morning among the early braird. "Hoo-boo! Fie, be frightened!"
cried the laird. "Fie, rin like fools, as if ye were caught in an ill-
turn!" His bride was not among them; so he was obliged to betake
himself to further search. "She will be praying in some corner,
poor woman," said he to himself. "It is an unlucky thing this
praying. But, for my part, I fear I have behaved very ill; and I
must endeavour to make amends."

The laird continued his search, and at length found his beloved in
the same bed with her Glasgow cousin who had acted as
bridesmaid. "You sly and malevolent imp," said the laird; "you
have played me such a trick when I was fast asleep! I have not
known a frolic so clever, and, at the same time, so severe. Come
along, you baggage you!"

"Sir, I will let you know that I detest your principles and your
person alike," said she. "It shall never be said, Sir, that my person
was at the control of a heathenish man of Belial--a dangler among
the daughters of women--a promiscuous dancer--and a player of
unlawful games. Forgo your rudeness, Sir, I say, and depart away
from my presence and that of my kinswoman.

"Come along, I say, my charming Rab. If you were the pink of all
puritans, and the saint of all saints, you are my wife, and must do
as I command you."

"Sir, I will sooner lay down my life than be subjected to your
godless will; therefore I say, desist, and begone with you."

But the laird regarded none of these testy sayings: he rolled her in
a blanket, and bore her triumphantly away to his chamber, taking
care to keep a fold or two of the blanket always rather near to her
mouth, in case of any outrageous forthcoming of noise.

The next day at breakfast the bride was long in making her
appearance. Her maid asked to see her; but George did not choose
that anybody should see her but himself. He paid her several
visits, and always turned the key as he came out. At length
breakfast was served; and during the time of refreshment the laird
tried to break several jokes; but it was remarked that they wanted
their accustomed brilliancy, and that his nose was particularly red
at the top.

Matters, without all doubt, had been very bad between the new-
married couple; for in the course of the day the lady deserted her
quarters, and returned to her father's house in Glasgow, after
having been a night on the road; stage-coaches and steam-boats
having then no existence in that quarter.

Though Baillie Orde had acquiesced in his wife's asseveration
regarding the likeness of their only daughter to her father, he
never loved or admired her greatly; therefore this behaviour
nothing astounded him. He questioned her strictly as to the
grievous offence committed against her, and could discover
nothing that warranted a procedure so fraught with disagreeable
consequences. So, after mature deliberation, the baillie addressed
her as follows:

"Aye, aye, Raby! An' sae I find that Dalcastle has actually refused
to say prayers with you when you ordered him; an' has guidit you
in a rude indelicate manner, outstepping the respect due to my
daughter--as my daughter. But, wi' regard to what is due to his
own wife, of that he's a better judge nor me. However, since he
has behaved in that manner to MY DAUGHTER, I shall be
revenged on him for aince; for I shall return the obligation to ane
nearer to him: that is, I shall take pennyworths of his wife--an' let
him lick at that."

"What do you mean, Sir?" said the astonished damsel.

"I mean to be revenged on that villain Dalcastle," said he, "for
what he has done to my daughter. Come hither, Mrs. Colwan, you
shall pay for this."

So saying, the baillie began to inflict corporal punishment on the
runaway wife. His strokes were not indeed very deadly, but he
made a mighty flourish in the infliction, pretending to be in a
great rage only at the Laird of Dalcastle. "Villain that he is!"
exclaimed he, 'I shall teach him to behave in such a manner to a
child of mine, be she as she may; since I cannot get at himself, I
shall lounder her that is nearest to him in life. Take you that, and
that, Mrs. Colwan, for your husband's impertinence!"

The poor afflicted woman wept and prayed, but the baillie would
not abate aught of his severity. After fuming and beating her with
many stripes, far drawn, and lightly laid down, he took her up. to
her chamber, five stories high, locked her in, and there he fed her
on bread and water, all to be revenged on the presumptuous Laird
of Dalcastle; but ever and anon, as the baillie came down the stair
from carrying his daughter's meal, he said to himself: "I shall
make the sight of the laird the blithest she ever saw in her life."

Lady Dalcastle got plenty of time to read, and pray, and meditate;
but she was at a great loss for one to dispute with about religious
tenets; for she found that, without this advantage, about which
there was a perfect rage at that time, the reading and learning of
Scripture texts, and sentences of intricate doctrine, availed her
naught; so she was often driven to sit at her casement and look
out for the approach of the heathenish Laird of Dalcastle.

That hero, after a considerable lapse of time, at length made his
appearance. Matters were not hard to adjust; for his lady found
that there was no refuge for her in her father's house; and so, after
some sighs and tears, she accompanied her husband home. For all
that had passed, things went on no better. She WOULD convert
the laird in spite of his teeth: the laird would not be converted.
She WOULD have the laird to say family prayers, both morning
and evening: the laird would neither pray morning nor evening.
He would not even sing psalms, and kneel beside her while she
performed the exercise; neither would he converse at all times,
and in all places, about the sacred mysteries of religion, although
his lady took occasion to contradict flatly every assertion that he
made, in order that she might spiritualize him by drawing him
into argument.

The laird kept his temper a long while, but at length his patience
wore out; he cut her short in all her futile attempts at
spiritualization, and mocked at her wire-drawn degrees of faith,
hope, and repentance. He also dared to doubt of the great
standard doctrine of absolute predestination, which put the crown
on the lady's Christian resentment. She declared her helpmate to
be a limb of Antichrist, and one with whom no regenerated
person could associate. She therefore bespoke a separate
establishment, and, before the expiry of the first six months, the
arrangements of the separation were amicably adjusted. The
upper, or third, story of the old mansion-house was awarded to
the lady for her residence. She had a separate door, a separate
stair, a separate garden, and walks that in no instance intersected
the laird's; so that one would have thought the separation
complete. They had each their own parties, selected from their
own sort of people; and, though the laird never once chafed
himself about the lady's companies, it was not long before she
began to intermeddle about some of his.

"Who is that fat bouncing dame that visits the laird so often, and
always by herself?" said she to her maid Martha one day.

"Oh dear, mem, how can I ken? We're banished frae our
acquaintances here, as weel as frae the sweet gospel ordinances."

"Find me out who that jolly dame is, Martha. You, who hold
communion with the household of this ungodly man, can be at no
loss to attain this information. I observe that she always casts her
eye up toward our windows, both in coming and going; and I
suspect that she seldom departs from the house emptyhanded."

That same evening Martha came with the information that this
august visitor was a Miss Logan, an old an intimate acquaintance
of the laird's, and a very worthy respectable lady, of good
connections, whose parents had lost their patrimony in the civil

"Ha! very well!" said the lady; "very well, Martha! But,
nevertheless, go thou and watch this respectable lady's motions
and behaviour the next time she comes to visit the laird--and the
next after that. You will not, I see, lack opportunities."

Martha's information turned out of that nature that prayers were
said in the uppermost story of Dalcastle house against the
Canaanitish woman, every night and every morning; and great
discontent prevailed there, even to anathemas and tears. Letter
after letter was dispatched to Glasgow; and at length, to the lady's
great consolation, the Rev. Mr. Wringhim arrived safely and
devoutly in her elevated sanctuary. Marvellous was the
conversation between these gifted people. Wringhim had held in
his doctrines that there were eight different kinds of FAITH, all
perfectly distinct in their operations and effects. But the lady, in
her secluded state, had discovered another five, making twelve
[sic] in all: the adjusting of the existence or fallacy of these five
faiths served for a most enlightened discussion of nearly
seventeen hours; in the course of which the two got warm in their
arguments, always in proportion as they receded from nature,
utility, and common sense. Wringhim at length got into unwonted
fervour about some disputed point between one of these faiths
and TRUST: when the lady, fearing that zeal was getting beyond
its wonted barrier, broke in on his vehement asseverations with
the following abrupt discomfiture: "But, Sir, as long as I
remember, what is to be done with this case of open and avowed

The minister was struck dumb. He leaned him back on his chair,
stroked his beard, hemmed--considered, and hemmed again, and
then said. in an altered and softened tone: "Why, that is a
secondary consideration; you mean the case between your
husband and Miss Logan?"

"The same, Sir. I am scandalized at such intimacies going on
under my nose. The sufferance of it is a great and crying evil."

"Evil, madam, may be either operative, or passive. To them it is
an evil, but to us none. We have no more to do with the sins of
the wicked and unconverted here than with those of an infidel
Turk; for all earthly bonds and fellowships are absorbed and
swallowed up in the holy community of the Reformed Church.
However, if it is your wish, I shall take him to task, and
reprimand and humble him in such a manner that he shall be
ashamed of his doings, and renounce such deeds for ever, out of
mere self-respect, though all unsanctified the heart, as well as the
deed, may be. To the wicked, all things are wicked; but to the
just, all things are just and right."

"Ah, that is a sweet and comfortable saying, Mr. Wringhim! How
delightful to think that a justified person can do no wrong! Who
would not envy the liberty wherewith we are made free? Go to
my husband, that poor unfortunate, blindfolded person, and open
his eyes to his degenerate and sinful state; for well are you fitted
to the task."

"Yea, I will go in unto him, and confound him. I will lay the
strong holds of sin and Satan as flat before my face as the dung
that is spread out to fatten the land."

"Master, there's a gentleman at the fore-door wants a private.
word o' ye."

"Tell him I'm engaged: I can't see any gentleman to-night. But I
shall attend on him to-morrow as soon as he pleases."

"'He's coming straight in, Sir. Stop a wee bit, Sir, my master is
engaged. He cannot see you at present, Sir."

"Stand aside, thou Moabite! My mission admits of no delay. I
come to save him from the jaws of destruction!"

"An that be the case, Sir, it maks a wide difference; an', as the
danger may threaten us a', I fancy I may as weel let ye gang by as
fight wi' ye, sin' ye seem sae intent on 't.--The man says he's
comin' to save ye, an' canna stop, Sir. Here he is."

The laird was going to break out into a volley of wrath against
Waters, his servant; but, before he got a word pronounced, the
Rev. Mr. Wringhim had stepped inside the room, and Waters had
retired, shutting the door behind him.

No introduction could be more mal-a-propos: it was impossible;
for at that very moment the laird and Arabella Logan were both
sitting on one seat, and both looking on one book, when the door
opened. "What is it, Sir?" said the laird fiercely.

"A message of the greatest importance, Sir," said the divine,
striding unceremoniously up to the chimney, turning his back to
the fire, and his face to the culprits. "I think you should know me,
Sir?" continued he, looking displeasedly at the laird, with his face
half turned round.

"I think I should," returned the laird. "You are a Mr. How's--tey--
ca'--him, of Glasgow, who did me the worst turn ever I got done
to me in my life. You gentry are always ready to do a man such a
turn. Pray, Sir, did you ever do a good job for anyone to
counterbalance that? For, if you have not, you ought to be--"

"Hold, Sir, I say! None of your profanity before me. If I do evil to
anyone on such occasions, it is because he will have it so;
therefore, the evil is not of my doing. I ask you, Sir, before God
and this witness, I ask you, have you kept solemnly and inviolate
the vows which I laid upon you that day? Answer me!"

"Has the partner whom you bound me to kept hers inviolate?
Answer me that, Sir! None can better do so than you, Mr. How's--

"So, then, you confess your backslidings, and avow the
profligacy of your life. And this person here is, I suppose, the
partner of your iniquity--she whose beauty hath caused you to
err! Stand up, both of you, till I rebuke you, and show you what
you are in the eyes of God and man."

"In the first place, stand you still there, till I tell you what you are
in the eyes of God and man. You are, Sir, a presumptuous, self-
conceited pedagogue, a stirrer up of strife and commotion in
church, in state, in families, and communities. You are one, Sir,
whose righteousness consists in splitting the doctrines of Calvin
into thousands of undistinguishable films, and in setting up a
system of justifying-grace against all breaches of all laws, moral
or divine. In short, Sir, you are a mildew--a canker-worm
in the bosom of the Reformed Church, generating a disease of
which she will never be purged, but by the shedding of blood. Go
thou in peace, and do these abominations no more; but humble
thyself, lest a worse reproof come upon thee."

Wringhim heard all this without flinching. He now and then
twisted his mouth in disdain, treasuring up, meantime, his
vengeance against the two aggressors; for he felt that he had them
on the hip, and resolved to pour out his vengeance and
indignation upon them. Sorry am I that the shackles of modern
decorum restrain me from penning that famous rebuke; fragments
of which have been attributed to every divine of old notoriety
throughout Scotland. But 1 have it by heart; and a glorious morsel
it is to put into the hands of certain incendiaries. The metaphors
are so strong and so appalling that Miss Logan could only stand
them a very short time; she was obliged to withdraw in confusion.
The laird stood his ground with much ado, though his face was
often crimsoned over with the hues of shame and anger. Several
times he was on the point of turning the officious sycophant to
the door; but good manners, and an inherent respect that lie
entertained for the clergy, as the immediate servants of the
Supreme Being, restrained him.

Wringhim, perceiving these symptoms of resentment, took them
for marks of shame and contrition, and pushed his reproaches
farther than ever divine ventured to do in a similar case. When he
had finished, to prevent further discussion, he walked slowly and
majestically out of the apartment, making his robes to swing
behind him in a most magisterial manner; he being, without
doubt, elated with his high conquest. He went to the upper story,
and related to his metaphysical associate his wonderful success;
how he had driven the dame from the house in tears and deep
confusion, and left the backsliding laird in such a quandary of
shame and repentance that he could neither articulate a word nor
lift up his countenance. The dame thanked him most cordially,
lauding his friendly zeal and powerful eloquence; and then the
two again set keenly to the splitting of hairs, and making
distinctions in religion where none existed.

They being both children of adoption, and secured from falling
into snares, or anyway under the power of the wicked one, it was
their custom, on each visit, to sit up a night in the same
apartment, for the sake of sweet spiritual converse; but that time,
in the course of the night, they differed so materially on a small
point somewhere between justification and final election that the
minister, in the heat of his zeal, sprung from his seat, paced the
floor, and maintained his point with such ardour that Martha was
alarmed, and, thinking they were going to fight, and that the
minister would be a hard match for her mistress, she put on some
clothes, and twice left her bed and stood listening at the back of
the door, ready to burst in should need require it. Should anyone
think this picture over-strained, I can assure him that it is taken
from nature and from truth; but I will not likewise aver that the
theologist was neither crazed nor inebriated. If the listener's
words were to be relied on, there was no love, no accommodating
principle manifested between the two, but a fiery burning zeal,
relating to points of such minor importance that a true Christian
would blush to hear them mentioned, and the infidel and profane
make a handle of them to turn our religion to scorn.

Great was the dame's exultation at the triumph of her beloved
pastor over her sinful neighbours in the lower parts of the house;
and she boasted of it to Martha in high-sounding terms. But it
was of short duration; for, in five weeks after that, Arabella
Logan came to reside with the laird as his housekeeper, sitting at
his table and carrying the keys as mistress-substitute of the
mansion. The lady's grief and indignation were now raised to a
higher pitch than ever; and she set every agent to work, with
whom she had any power, to effect a separation between these
two suspected ones. Remonstrance was of no avail: George
laughed at them who tried such a course, and retained his
housekeeper, while the lady gave herself up to utter despair; for,
though she would not consort with her husband herself, she could
not endure that any other should do so.

But, to countervail this grievous offence, our saintly and afflicted
dame, in due time, was safely delivered of a fine boy whom the
laird acknowledged as his son and heir, and had him christened
by his own name, and nursed in his own premises. He gave the
nurse permission to take the boy to his mother's presence if ever
she should desire to see him; but, strange as it may appear, she
never once desired to see him from the day that he was born. The
boy grew up, and was a healthful and happy child; and, in the
course of another year, the lady presented him with a brother. A
brother he certainly was, in the eye of the law, and it is more than
probable that he was his brother in reality. But the laird thought
otherwise; and, though he knew and acknowledged that he was
obliged to support and provide for him, he refused to
acknowledge him in other respects. He neither would
countenance the banquet nor take the baptismal vows on him in
the child's name; of course, the poor boy had to live and remain
an alien from the visible church for a year and a day; at which
time, Mr. Wringhim out of pity and kindness, took the lady
herself as sponsor for the boy, and baptized him by the name of
Robert Wringhim--that being the noted divine's own name.

George was brought up with his father, and educated partly at the
parish school, and partly at home, by a tutor hired for the
purpose. He was a generous and kind-hearted youth; always
ready to oblige, and hardly ever dissatisfied with anybody. Robert
was brought up with Mr. Wringhim, the laird paying a certain
allowance for him yearly; and there the boy was early inured to
all the sternness and severity of his pastor's arbitrary and
unyielding creed. He was taught to pray twice every day, and
seven times on Sabbath days; but he was only to pray for the
elect, and, like Devil of old, doom all that were aliens from God
to destruction. He had never, in that family into which he had
been as it were adopted, heard aught but evil spoken of his
reputed father and brother; consequently he held them in utter
abhorrence, and prayed against them every day, often "that the
old hoary sinner might be cut off in the full flush of his iniquity,
and be carried quick into hell; and that the young stem of the
corrupt trunk might also be taken from a world that he disgraced,
but that his sins might be pardoned, because he knew no better."

Such were the tenets in which it would appear young Robert was
bred. He was an acute boy, an excellent learner, had ardent and
ungovernable passions, and, withal, a sternness of demeanour
from which other boys shrunk. He was the best grammarian, the
best reader, writer, and accountant in the various classes that he
attended, and was fond of writing essays on controverted points
of theology, for which he got prizes, and great praise from his
guardian and mother. George was much behind him in scholastic
acquirements, but greatly his superior in personal prowess, form,
feature, and all that constitutes gentility in the deportment and
appearance. The laird had often manifested to Miss Logan an
earnest wish that the two young men should never meet, or at all
events that they should be as little conversant as possible; and
Miss Logan, who was as much attached to George as if he had
been her own son, took every precaution, while he was a boy, that
he should never meet with his brother; but, as they advanced
towards manhood, this became impracticable. The lady was
removed from her apartments in her husband's house to Glasgow,
to her great content; and all to prevent the young laird being
tainted with the company of her and her second son; for the laird
had felt the effects of the principles they professed, and dreaded
them more than persecution, fire, and sword. During all the
dreadful times that had overpast, though the laird had been a
moderate man, he had still leaned to the side of kingly
prerogative, and had escaped confiscation and fines, without ever
taking any active hand in suppressing the Covenanters. But, after
experiencing a specimen of their tenets and manner in his wife,
from a secret favourer of them and their doctrines, he grew
alarmed at the prevalence of such stern and factious principles,
now that there was no check or restraint upon them; and from that
time he began to set himself against them, joining with the
Cavalier party of that day in all their proceedings.

It so happened that, under the influence of the Earls of Seafield
and Tullibardine, he was returned for a Member of Parliament in
the famous session that sat at Edinburgh when the Duke of
Queensberry was commissioner, and in which party spirit ran to
such an extremity. The young laird went with his father to the
court, and remained in town all the time that the session lasted;
and, as all interested people of both factions flocked to the town
at that period, so the important Mr. Wringhim was there among
the rest, during the greater part of the time, blowing the coal of
revolutionary principles with all his might, in every society to
which he could obtain admission. He was a great favourite with
some of the west country gentlemen of that faction, by reason of
his unbending impudence. No opposition could for a moment
cause him either to blush, or retract one item that he had
advanced. Therefore the Duke of Argyle and his friends made
such use of him as sportsmen often do of terriers, to start the
game, and make a great yelping noise to let them know whither
the chase is proceeding. They often did this out of sport, in order
to tease their opponent; for of all pesterers that ever fastened on
man he was the most insufferable: knowing that his coat
protected him from manual chastisement, he spared no acrimony,
and delighted in the chagrin and anger of those with whom he
contended. But he was sometimes likewise of real use to the
heads of the Presbyterian faction, and therefore was admitted to
their tables, and of course conceived himself a very great man.

His ward accompanied him; and, very shortly after their arrival in
Edinburgh, Robert, for the first time, met with the young laird his
brother, in a match at tennis. The prowess and agility of the
young squire drew forth the loudest plaudits of approval from his
associates, and his own exertion alone carried the game every
time on the one side, and that so far as all I along to count three
for their one. The hero's name soon ran round the circle, and
when his brother Robert, who was an onlooker, learned who it
was that was gaining so much applause, he came and stood close
beside him all the time that the game lasted, always now and then
putting in a cutting remark by way of mockery.

George could not help perceiving him, not only on account of his
impertinent remarks, but he, moreover, stood so near him that he
several times impeded him in his rapid evolutions, and of course
got himself shoved aside in no very ceremonious way. Instead of
making him keep his distance, these rude shocks and pushes,
accompanied sometimes with hasty curses, only made him cling
the closer to this king of the game. He seemed determined to
maintain his right to his place as an onlooker, as well as any of
those engaged in the game, and, if they had tried him at an
argument, he would have carried his point; or perhaps he wished
to quarrel with this spark of his jealousy and aversion, and draw
the attention of the gay crowd to himself by these means; for, like
his guardian, he knew no other pleasure but what consisted in
opposition. George took him for some impertinent student of
divinity, rather set upon a joke than anything else. He perceived a
lad with black clothes, and a methodistical face, whose
countenance and eye he disliked exceedingly, several times in his
way, and that was all the notice he took of him the first time they
two met. But the next day, and every succeeding one, the same
devilish-looking youth attended him as constantly as his shadow;
was always in his way as with intention to impede him and ever
and anon his deep and malignant eye met those of his elder
brother with a glance so fierce that it sometimes startled him.

The very next time that George was engaged at tennis, he had
not struck the ball above twice till the same intrusive being was
again in his way. The party played for considerable stakes that
day, namely, a dinner and wine at the Black Bull tavern; and
George, as the hero and head of his party, was much interested in
its honour; consequently the sight of this moody and
hellish-looking student affected him in no very pleasant manner.
"Pray Sir, be so good as keep without the range of the ball", said

"Is there any law or enactment that can compel me to do so?" said
the other, biting his lip with scorn.

"If there is not, they are here that shall compel you," returned
George. "so, friend, I rede you to be on your guard."

As he said this, a flush of anger glowed in his handsome face and
flashed from his sparkling blue eye; but it was a stranger to both,
and momently took its departure. The black-coated youth set up
his cap before, brought his heavy brows over his deep dark eyes,
put his hands in the pockets of his black plush breeches, and
stepped a little farther into the semicircle, immediately on his
brother's right hand, than he had ever ventured to do before.
There he set himself firm on his legs, and, with a face as demure
as death, seemed determined to keep his ground. He pretended to
he following the ball with his eyes; but every moment they were
glancing aside at George. One of the competitors chanced to say
rashly, in the moment of exultation, "That's a d--d fine blow,
George!" On which the intruder took up the word, as
characteristic of the competitors, and repeated it every stroke that
was given, making such a ludicrous use of it that several of the
onlookers were compelled to laugh immoderately; but the players
were terribly nettled at it, as he really contrived, by dint of sliding
in some canonical terms, to render the competitors and their game

But matters at length came to a crisis that put them beyond sport.
George, in flying backward to gain the point at which the ball
was going to light, came inadvertently so rudely in contact with
this obstreperous interloper that lie not only overthrew him, but
also got a grievous fall over his legs; and, as he arose, the other
made a spurn at him with his foot, which, if it had hit to its aim,
would undoubtedly have finished the course of the young laird of
Dalcastle and Balgrennan. George, being irritated beyond
measure, as may well be conceived, especially at the deadly
stroke aimed at him, struck the assailant with his racket, rather
slightly, but so that his mouth and nose gushed out blood; and, at
the same time, he said, turning to his cronies: "Does any of you
know who the infernal puppy is?"

"Do you know, Sir?" said one of the onlookers, a stranger, "the
gentleman is your own brother, Sir--Mr. Robert Wringhim

"No, not Colwan, Sir," said Robert, putting his hands in his
pockets, and setting himself still farther forward than before, "not
a Colwan, Sir; henceforth I disclaim the name."

"No, certainly not," repeated George. "My mother's son you may.
be--but not a Colwan! There you are right." Then, turning around
to his informer, he said: "Mercy be about us, Sir! Is this the crazy
minister's son from Glasgow?"

This question was put in the irritation of the moment, but it was
too rude, and far too out of place, and no one deigned any answer
to it. He felt the reproof, and felt it deeply; seeming anxious for
some opportunity to make an acknowledgment, or some

In the meantime, young Wringhim was an object to all of the
uttermost disgust. The blood flowing from his mouth and nose
he took no pains to stem, neither did he so much as wipe it away;
so that it spread over all his cheeks, and breast, even off at his
toes. In that state did he take up his station in the middle of the
competitors; and he did not now keep his place, but ran about,
impeding everyone who attempted to make at the ball. They
loaded him with execrations, but it availed nothing; he seemed
courting persecution and buffetings, keeping steadfastly to his
old joke of damnation, and marring the game so completely
that, in spite of every effort on the part of the players, he forced
them to stop their game and give it up. He was such a
rueful-looking object, covered with blood, that none of them had
the heart to kick him, although it appeared the only thing he
wanted; and, as for George, he said not another word to him,
either in anger or reproof.

When the game was fairly given up, and the party were washing
their hands in the stone fount, some of them besought Robert
Wringhim to wash himself; but he mocked at them, and said he
was much better as he was. George, at length, came forward
abashedly towards him, and said: "I have been greatly to blame,
Robert, and am very sorry for what I have done. But, in the first
instance, I erred through ignorance, not knowing you were my
brother, which you certainly are; and, in the second, through a
momentary irritation, for which I am ashamed. I pray you,
therefore, to pardon me, and give me your hand."

As he said this, he held out his hand towards his polluted brother;
but the froward predestinarian took not his from his breeches
pocket, but lifting his foot, he gave his brother's hand a kick. 'I'll
give you what will suit such a hand better than mine" said he,
with a sneer. And then, turning lightly about, he added: Are there
to be no more of these d---d fine blows, gentlemen? For shame, to
give up such a profitable and edifying game!"

"This is too bad," said George. "But, since it is thus, I have the
less to regret." And, having made this general remark, he took no
more note of the uncouth aggressor. But the persecution of the
latter terminated not on the play-ground: he ranked up among
them, bloody and disgusting as he was, and, keeping close by his
brother's side, he marched along with the party all the way to the
Black Bull. Before they got there, a great number of boys and idle
people had surrounded them, hooting and incommoding them
exceedingly, so that they were glad to get into the inn; and the
unaccountable monster actually tried to get in alongst with them,
to make one of the party at dinner. But the innkeeper and his
men, getting the hint, by force prevented him from entering,
although he attempted it again and again, both by telling lies and
offering a bribe. Finding he could not prevail, he set to exciting
the mob at the door to acts of violence; in which he had like to
have succeeded. The landlord had no other shift, at last, but to
send privately for two officers, and have him carried to the guard-
house; and the hilarity and joy of the party of young gentlemen,
for the evening, was quite spoiled by the inauspicious termination
of their game.

The Rev. Robert Wringhim was now to send for, to release his
beloved ward. The messenger found him at table, with a number
of the leaders of the Whig faction, the Marquis of Annandale
being in the chair; and, the prisoner's note being produced,
Wringhim read it aloud, accompanying it with some explanatory
remarks. The circumstances of the case being thus magnified and
distorted, it excited the utmost abhorrence, both of the deed and
the perpetrators, among the assembled faction. They declaimed
against the act as an unnatural attempt on the character, and even
the life, of an unfortunate brother, who had been expelled from
his father's house. And, as party spirit was the order of the day, an
attempt was made to lay the burden of it to that account. In short,
the young culprit got some of the best blood of the land to enter
as his securities, and was set at liberty. But, when Wringhim
perceived the plight that he was in, he took him, as he was, and
presented him to his honourable patrons. This raised the
indignation against the young laird and his associates a thousand-
fold, which actually roused the party to temporary madness. They
were, perhaps, a little excited by the wine and spirits they had
swallowed; else a casual quarrel between two young men, at
tennis, could not have driven them to such extremes. But certain
it is that, from one at first arising to address the party on the
atrocity of the offence, both in a moral and political point of
view, on a sudden there were six on their feet, at the same time,
expatiating on it; and, in a very short time thereafter, everyone in
the room was up talking with the utmost vociferation, all on the
same subject, and all taking the same side in the debate.

In the midst of this confusion, someone or other issued from the
house, which was at the back of the Canongate, calling out: "A
plot, a plot! Treason, treason! Down with the bloody incendiaries
at the Black Bull!"

The concourse of people that were assembled in Edinburgh at that
time was prodigious; and, as they were all actuated by political
motives, they wanted only a ready-blown coal to set the mountain
on fire. The evening being fine, and the streets thronged, the cry
ran from mouth to mouth through the whole city. More than that,
the mob that had of late been gathered to the door of the Black
Bull had, by degrees, dispersed; but, they being young men, and
idle vagrants, they had only spread themselves over the rest of the
street to lounge in search of further amusement: consequently, a
word was sufficient to send them back to their late rendezvous,
where they had previously witnessed something they did not
much approve of.

The master of the tavern was astonished at seeing the mob again
assembling; and that with such hurry and noise. But, his inmates
being all of the highest respectability, he judged himself sure of
protection, or at least of indemnity. He had two large parties in
his house at the time; the largest of which was of the
Revolutionist faction. The other consisted of our young
Tennis-players, and their associates, who were all of the Jacobite
order; or, at all events, leaned to the Episcopal side. The largest
party were in a front room; and the attack of the mob fell first on
their windows, though rather with fear and caution. Jingle went
one pane; then a loud hurrah; and that again was followed by a
number of voices, endeavouring to restrain the indignation from
venting itself in destroying the windows, and to turn it on the
inmates. The Whigs, calling the landlord, inquired what the
assault meant: he cunningly answered that he suspected it was
some of the youths of the Cavalier, or High-Church party,
exciting the mob against them. The party consisted mostly of
young gentlemen, by that time in a key to engage in any row;
and, at all events, to suffer nothing from the other party, against
whom their passions were mightily inflamed.

The landlord, therefore, had no sooner given them the spirit-
rousing intelligence than everyone, as by instinct, swore his own
natural oath, and grasped his own natural weapon. A few of those
of the highest rank were armed with swords, which they boldly
drew; those of the subordinate orders immediately flew to such
weapons as the room, kitchen, and scullery afforded--such as
tongs, pokers, spits, racks, and shovels; and breathing vengeance
on the prelatic party, the children of Antichrist and the heirs of
d-n-t-n! the barterers of the liberties of their country, and
betrayers of the most sacred trust--thus elevated, and thus armed,
in the cause of right, justice, and liberty, our heroes rushed to the
street, and attacked the mob with such violence that they broke
the mass in a moment, and dispersed their thousands like chaff
before the wind. The other party of young Jacobites, who sat in
a room farther from the front, and were those against whom the
fury of the mob was meant to have been directed, knew nothing
of this second uproar, till the noise of the sally made by the
Whigs assailed their ears; being then informed that the mob had
attacked the house on account of the treatment they themselves
had given to a young gentleman of the adverse faction, and that
another jovial party had issued from the house in their defence,
and was now engaged in an unequal combat, the sparks likewise
flew, to the field to back their defenders with all their prowess,
without troubling their heads about who they were.

A mob is like a spring tide in an eastern storm, that retires only to
return with more overwhelming fury. The crowd was taken by
surprise when such a strong and well-armed party issued from the
house with so great fury, laying all prostrate that came in their
way. Those who were next to the door, and were, of course,
the first whom the imminent danger assailed, rushed backwards
among the crowd with their whole force. The Black Bull standing
in a small square half-way between the High Street and the
Cowgate, and the entrance to it being by two closes, into these the
pressure outwards was simultaneous, and thousands were moved
to an involuntary flight, they knew not why.

But the High Street of Edinburgh, which they soon reached, is a
dangerous place in which to make an open attack upon a mob.
And it appears that the entrances to the tavern had been
somewhere near to the Cross, on the south side of the street; for
the crowd fled with great expedition, both to the cast and west,
and the conquerors, separating themselves as chance directed,
pursued impetuously, wounding and maiming as they flew. But
it so chanced that, before either of the wings had followed the
flying squadrons of their enemies for the space of a hundred
yards each way, the devil an enemy they had to pursue! the
multitude had vanished like so many thousands of phantoms!
What could our heroes do? Why, they faced about to return
towards their citadel, the Black Bull. But that feat was not so
easily, nor so readily accomplished as they divined. The
unnumbered alleys on each side of the street had swallowed up
the multitude in a few seconds; but from these they were busy
reconnoitring; and perceiving the deficiency in the number of
their assailants, the rush from both sides of the street was as
rapid, and as wonderful, as the disappearance of the crowd had
been a few minutes before. Each close vomited out its levies, and
these better armed with missiles than when they sought it for a
temporary retreat. Woe then to our two columns of victorious
Whigs! The mob actually closed around them as they would have
swallowed them up; and, in the meanwhile, shower after shower
of the most abominable weapons of offence were rained in upon
them. If the gentlemen were irritated before, this inflamed them
still further; but their danger was now so apparent they could not
shut their eyes on it; therefore, both parties, as if actuated by the
same spirit, made a desperate effort to join, and the greater part
effected it; but some were knocked down, and others were
separated from their friends, and blithe to become silent members
of the mob.

The battle now raged immediately in front of the closes leading to
the Black Bull; the small body of Whig gentlemen was hardly
bested, and it is likely would have been overcome and trampled
down every man, had they not been then and there joined by the
young Cavaliers; who, fresh to arms, broke from the wynd,
opened the head of the passage, laid about them manfully, and
thus kept up the spirits of the exasperated Whigs, who were the
men in fact that wrought the most deray among the populace.

The town-guard was now on the alert; and two companies of the
Cameronian Regiment, with the Hon. Captain Douglas, rushed
down from the Castle to the scene of action; but, for all the noise
and hubbub that these caused in the street, the combat had
become so close and inveterate that numbers of both sides were
taken prisoners fighting hand to hand, and could scarcely be
separated when the guardsmen and soldiers had them by the

Great was the alarm and confusion that night in Edinburgh; for
everyone concluded that it was a party scuffle, and, the two
parties being so equal in power, the most serious consequences
were anticipated. The agitation was so prevailing that every party
in town, great and small, was broken up; and the lord-
commissioner thought proper to go to the Council Chamber
himself, even at that late hour, accompanied by the sheriffs of
Edinburgh and Linlithgow, with sundry noblemen besides, in
order to learn something of the origin of the affray.

For a long time the court was completely puzzled. Every
gentleman brought in exclaimed against the treatment he had
received, in most bitter terms, blaming a mob set on him and his
friends by the adverse party, and matters looked extremely ill
until at length they began to perceive that they were examining
gentlemen of both parties, and that they had been doing so from
the beginning, almost alternately, so equally had the prisoners
been taken from both parties. Finally, it turned out that a few
gentlemen, two-thirds of whom were strenuous Whigs
themselves, had joined in mauling the whole Whig population of
Edinburgh. The investigation disclosed nothing the effect of
which was not ludicrous; and the Duke of Queensberry, whose
aim was at that time to conciliate the two factions, tried all that he
could to turn the whole fracas into a joke--an unlucky frolic,
where no ill was meant on either side, and which yet had been
productive of a great deal.

The greater part of the people went home satisfied; but not so
the Rev. Robert Wringhim. He did all that he could to inflame
both judges and populace against the young Cavaliers, especially
against the young Laird of Dalcastle, whom he represented as an
incendiary, set on by an unnatural parent to slander his mother,
and make away with a hapless and only brother; and, in truth,
that declaimer against all human merit had that sort of powerful,
homely, and bitter eloquence which seldom missed affecting his
hearers: the consequence at that time was that he made the
unfortunate affair between the two brothers appear in extremely
bad colours, and the populace retired to their homes impressed
with no very favourable opinion of either the Laird of Dalcastle
or his son George, neither of whom were there present to speak
for themselves.

As for Wringhim himself, he went home to his lodgings, filled
with gall and with spite against the young laird, whom he was
made to believe the aggressor, and that intentionally. But most of
all he was filled with indignation against the father, whom he
held in abhorrence at all times, and blamed solely for this
unmannerly attack made on his favourite ward, namesake, and
adopted son; and for the public imputation of a crime to his own
reverence in calling the lad his son, and thus charging him with a
sin against which he was well known to have levelled all the
arrows of church censure with unsparing might.

But, filled as his heart was with some portion of these bad
feelings, to which all flesh is subject, he kept, nevertheless, the
fear of the Lord always before his eyes so far as never to omit any
of the external duties of religion, and farther than that man hath
no power to pry. He lodged with the family of a Mr. Miller,
whose lady was originally from Glasgow, and had been a hearer
and, of course. a great admirer of Mr. Wringhim. In that family
he made public worship every evening; and that night, in his
petitions at a throne of grace, he prayed for so many vials of
wrath to be poured on the head of some particular sinner that the
hearers trembled, and stopped their ears. But that he might not
proceed with so violent a measure, amounting to
excommunication, without due scripture warrant, he began the
exercise of the evening by singing the following verses, which it
is a pity should ever have been admitted into a Christian
psalmody, being so adverse to all its mild and benevolent

Set thou the wicked over him,
And upon his right hand
Give thou his greatest enemy,
Even Satan, leave to stand.

And, when by thee he shall be judged,
Let him remembered be;
And let his prayer be turned to sin
When he shall call on thee.

Few be his days; and in his room
His charge another take;
His children let be fatherless;
His wife a widow make:

Let God his father's wickedness
Still to remembrance call;
And never let his mother's sin
Be blotted out at all.

As he in cursing pleasure took
So let it to him fall;
As he delighted not to bless,
So bless him not at all.

As cursing he like clothes put on,
Into his bowels so,
Like water, and into his bones
Like oil, down let it go.

Young Wringhim only knew the full purport of this spiritual
song; and went to his bed better satisfied than ever that his father
and brother were castaways, reprobates, aliens from the Church
and the true faith, and cursed in time and eternity.

The next day George and his companions met as usual--all who
were not seriously wounded of them. But, as they strolled about
the city, the rancorous eye and the finger of scorn was pointed
against them. None of them was at first aware of the reason; but it
threw a damp over their spirits and enjoyments, which they could
not master. They went to take a forenoon game at their old play
of tennis, not on a match, but by way of improving themselves;
but they had not well taken their places till young Wringhim
appeared in his old station, at his brother's right hand, with looks
more demure and determined than ever. His lips were primmed
so close that his mouth was hardly discernible, and his dark deep
eye flashed gleams of holy indignation on the godless set, but
particularly on his brother. His presence acted as a mildew on all
social intercourse or enjoyment; the game was marred, and ended
ere ever it was well begun. There were whisperings apart--the
party separated, and, in order to shake off the blighting influence
of this dogged persecutor, they entered sundry houses of their
acquaintances, with an understanding that they were to meet on
the Links for a game at cricket.

They did so; and, stripping off part of their clothes, they began
that violent and spirited game. They had not played five minutes
till Wringhim was stalking in the midst of them, and totally
impeding the play. A cry arose from all corners of: "Oh, this will
never do. Kick him out of the play-ground! Knock down the
scoundrel; or bind him, and let him lie in peace."

"By no means," cried George. "It is evident he wants nothing
else. Pray do not humour him so much as to touch him with either
foot or finger." Then, turning to a friend, he said in a whisper:
"Speak to him, Gordon; he surely will not refuse to let us have
the ground to ourselves, if you request it of him."

Gordon went up to him, and requested of him, civilly, but
ardently, "to retire to a certain distance, else none of them could
or would be answerable, however sore he might be hurt."

He turned disdainfully on his heel, uttered a kind of pulpit hem!
and then added, "I will take my chance of that; hurt me, any of
you, at your peril."

The young gentlemen smiled, through spite and disdain of the
dogged animal. Gordon followed him up, and tried to remonstrate
with him; but he let him know that "it was his pleasure to be there
at that time; and, unless he could demonstrate to him what
superior right he and his party had to that ground, in preference to
him, and to the exclusion of all others, he was determined to
assert his right, and the rights of his fellow-citizens, by keeping
possession of whatsoever part of that common field he chose."

"You are no gentleman, Sir," said Gordon.

"Are you one, Sir?" said the other.

"Yes, Sir. I will let you know that I am, by G--!"

"Then, thanks be to Him whose name you have profaned, I am
none, If one of the party be a gentleman, I do hope in God am

It was now apparent to them all that he was courting obloquy and
manual chastisement from their hands, if by any means he could
provoke them to the deed; and, apprehensive that he had some
sinister and deep-laid design in hunting after such a singular
favour, they wisely restrained one another from inflicting the
punishment that each of them yearned to bestow, personally, and
which he so well deserved.

But the unpopularity of the younger George Colwan could no
longer be concealed from his associates. It was manifested
wherever the populace were assembled; and his young and
intimate friend, Adam Gordon, was obliged to warn him of the
circumstance that he might not be surprised at the gentlemen of
their acquaintance withdrawing themselves from his society, as
they could not be seen with him without being insulted. George
thanked him; and it was agreed between them that the former
should keep himself retired during the daytime while he remained
in Edinburgh, and that at night they should meet together, along
with such of their companions as were disengaged.

George found it every day more and more necessary to adhere to
this system of seclusion; for it was not alone the hisses of the
boys and populace that pursued him--a fiend of more malignant
aspect was ever at his elbow, in the form of his brother. To
whatever place of amusement he betook himself, and however
well he concealed his intentions of going there from all flesh
living, there was his brother Wringhim also, and always within a
few yards of him, generally about the same distance, and ever and
anon darting looks at him that chilled his very soul. They were
looks that cannot be described; but they were felt piercing to the
bosom's deepest core. They affected even the onlookers in a very
particular manner, for all whose eyes caught a glimpse of these
hideous glances followed them to the object towards which they
were darted: the gentlemanly and mild demeanour of that object
generally calmed their startled apprehensions; for no one ever yet
noted the glances of the young man's eye, in the black coat, at the
face of his brother, who did not at first manifest strong symptoms
of alarm.

George became utterly confounded; not only at the import of this
persecution, but how in the world it came to pass that this
unaccountable being knew all his motions, and every intention of
his heart, as it were intuitively. On consulting his own previous
feelings. and resolutions, he found that the circumstances of his
going to such and such a place were often the most casual
incidents in nature--the caprice of a moment had carried him there,
and yet he had never sat or stood many minutes till there was the
selfsame being, always in the same position with regard to
himself, as regularly as the shadow is cast from the substance, or
the ray of light from the opposing denser medium.

For instance, he remembered one day of setting out with the
intention of going to attend divine worship in the High Church,
and when, within a short space of its door, he was overtaken by
young Kilpatrick of Closeburn, who was bound to the Grey-Friars
to see his sweetheart, as he said: "and if you will go with me,
Colwan," said he, "I will let you see her too, and then you will be
just as far forward as I am."

George assented at once, and went; and, after taking his seat, he
leaned his head forwards on the pew to repeat over to himself a
short ejaculatory prayer, as had always been his custom on
entering the house of God. When he had done, he lifted his eye
naturally towards that point on his right hand where the fierce
apparition of his brother had been wont to meet his view: there he
was, in the same habit, form, demeanour, and precise point of
distance, as usual! George again laid down his head, and his mind
was so astounded that he had nearly fallen into a swoon. He tried
shortly after to muster up courage to look at the speaker, at the
congregation, and at Captain Kilpatrick's sweetheart in particular;
but the fiendish glances of the young man in the black clothes
were too appalling to be withstood--his eye caught them whether
he was looking that way or not: at length his courage was fairly
mastered, and he was obliged to look down during the remainder
of the service.

By night or by day it was the same. In the gallery of the
Parliament House, in the boxes of the play-house, in the church,
in the assembly, in the streets, suburbs, and the fields; and every
day, and every hour, from the first rencounter of the two, the
attendance became more and more constant, more inexplicable,
and altogether more alarming and insufferable, until at last
George was fairly driven from society, and forced to spend his
days in his and his father's lodgings with closed doors. Even
there, he was constantly harassed with the idea that, the next time
he lifted his eyes, he would to a certainty see that face, the most
repulsive to all his feelings of aught the earth contained. The
attendance of that brother was now become like the attendance of
a demon on some devoted being that had sold himself to
destruction; his approaches as undiscerned, and his looks as
fraught with hideous malignity. It was seldom that he saw him
either following him in the streets, or entering any house or
church after him; he only appeared in his place, George wist not
how, or whence; and, having sped so ill in his first friendly
approaches, he had never spoken to his equivocal attendant a
second time.

It came at length into George's head, as he was pondering, by
himself, on the circumstances of this extraordinary attendance,
that perhaps his brother had relented, and, though of so sullen and
unaccommodating a temper that he would not acknowledge it, or
beg a reconciliation, it might be for that very purpose that he
followed his steps night and day in that extraordinary manner. "I
cannot for my life see for what other purpose it can be," thought
he. "He never offers to attempt my life; nor dares he, if he had the
inclination; therefore, although his manner is peculiarly repulsive
to me, I shall not have my mind burdened with the reflection that
my own mother's son yearned for a reconciliation with me and
was repulsed by my haughty and insolent behaviour. The next
time he comes to my hand, I am resolved that I will accost him as
one brother ought to address another, whatever it may cost me;
and, if I am still flouted with disdain, then shall the blame rest
with him."

After this generous resolution, it was a good while before his
gratuitous attendant appeared at his side again; and George began
to think that his visits were discontinued. The hope was a relief
that could not be calculated; but still George had a feeling that it
was too supreme to last. His enemy had been too pertinacious to
abandon his design, whatever it was. He, however, began to
indulge in a little more liberty, and for several days he enjoyed it
with impunity.

George was, from infancy, of a stirring active disposition and
could not endure confinement; and, having been of late much
restrained in his youthful exercises by this singular persecutor, he
grew uneasy under such restraint, and, one morning, chancing to
awaken very early, he arose to make an excursion to the top of
Arthur's Seat, to breathe the breeze of the dawning, and see the
sun arise out of the eastern ocean. The morning was calm and
serene; and as he walked down the south back of the Canongate,
towards the Palace, the haze was so close around him that he
could not see the houses on the opposite side of the way. As he
passed the Lord-Commissioner's house, the guards were in
attendance, who cautioned him not to go by the Palace, as all the
gates would be shut and guarded for an hour to come, on which
he went by the back of St. Anthony's gardens, and found his way
into that little romantic glade adjoining to the saint's chapel and
well. He was still involved in a blue haze, like a dense smoke,
but yet in the midst of it the respiration was the most refreshing
and delicious. The grass and the flowers were loaden with dew;
and, on taking off his hat to wipe his forehead, he perceived that
the black glossy fur of which his chaperon was wrought was all
covered with a tissue of the most delicate silver--a fairy web,
composed of little spheres, so minute that no eye could discern
any of them; yet there they were shining in lovely millions.
Afraid of defacing so beautiful and so delicate a garnish, he
replaced his hat with the greatest caution, and went on his way
light of heart.

As he approached the swire at the head of the dell--that little
delightful verge from which in one moment the eastern limits and
shores of Lothian arise on the view--as he approached it, I say,
and a little space from the height, he beheld, to his astonishment,
a bright halo in the cloud of haze, that rose in a semicircle over
his head like a pale rainbow. He was struck motionless at the
view of the lovely vision; for it so chanced that he had never seen
the same appearance before, though common at early morn. But
he soon perceived the cause of the phenomenon, and that it
proceeded from the rays of the sun from a pure unclouded
morning sky striking upon this dense vapour which refracted
them. But, the better all the works of nature are understood, the
more they will be ever admired. That was a scene that would
have entranced the man of science with delight, but which the
uninitiated and sordid man would have regarded less than the
mole rearing up his hill in silence and in darkness.

George did admire this halo of glory, which still grew wider, and
less defined, as he approached the surface, of the cloud. But, to
his utter amazement and supreme delight, he found, on reaching
the top of Arthur's Seat, that this sublunary rainbow, this
terrestrial glory, was spread in its most vivid hues beneath his
feet. Still he could not perceive the body of the sun, although the
light behind him was dazzling; but the cloud of haze lying dense
in that deep dell that separates the hill from the rocks of
Salisbury, and the dull shadow of the hill mingling with that
cloud made the dell a pit of darkness. On that shadowy cloud was
the lovely rainbow formed, spreading itself on a horizontal plain,
and having a slight and brilliant shade of all the colours of the
heavenly bow, but all of them paler and less defined. But this
terrestrial phenomenon of the early morn cannot be better
delineated than by the name given of it by the shepherd boys,
"The little wee ghost of the rainbow."

Such was the description of the morning, and the wild shades of
the hill, that George gave to his father and Mr. Adam Gordon that
same day on which he had witnessed them; and it is necessary
that the reader should comprehend something of their nature to
understand what follows.

He seated himself on the pinnacle of the rocky precipice, a little
within the top of the hill to the westward, and, with a light and
buoyant heart, viewed the beauties of the morning, and inhaled its
salubrious breeze. "Here," thought he, "I can converse with nature
without disturbance, and without being intruded on by any
appalling or obnoxious visitor." The idea of his brother's dark and
malevolent looks coming at that moment across his mind, he
turned his eyes instinctively to the right, to the point where that
unwelcome guest was wont to make his appearance. Gracious
Heaven! What an apparition was there presented to his view! He
saw, delineated in the cloud, the shoulders, arms, and features of
a human being of the most dreadful aspect. The face was the face
of his brother, but dilated to twenty times the natural size. Its dark
eyes gleamed on him through the mist, while every furrow of its
hideous brow frowned deep as the ravines on the brow of the hill.
George started, and his hair stood up in bristles as he gazed on
this horrible monster. He saw every feature and every line of the
face distinctly as it gazed on him with an intensity that was hardly
brookable. Its eyes were fixed on him, in the same manner as
those of some carnivorous animal fixed on its prey; and yet there
was fear and trembling in these unearthly features, as plainly
depicted as murderous malice. The giant apparition seemed
sometimes to be cowering down as in terror, so that nothing but
his brow and eyes were seen; still these never turned one moment
from their object--again it rose imperceptively up, and began to
approach with great caution; and, as it neared, the dimensions of
its form lessened, still continuing, however, far above the natural

George conceived it to be a spirit. He could conceive it to be
nothing else; and he took it for some horrid demon by which he
was haunted, that had assumed the features of his brother in
every lineament, but, in taking on itself the human form, had
miscalculated dreadfully on the size, and presented itself thus to
him in a blown-up, dilated frame of embodied air, exhaled from
the caverns of death or the regions of devouring fire. He was
further confirmed in the belief that it was a malignant spirit on
perceiving that it approached him across the front of a precipice,
where there was not footing for thing of mortal frame. still, what
with terror and astonishment, he continued riveted to the spot, till
it approached, as he deemed, to within two yards of him; and
then, perceiving that it was setting itself to make a violent spring
on him, he started to his feet and fled distractedly in the opposite
direction, keeping his eye cast behind him lest he had been seized
in that dangerous place. But the very first bolt that he made in his
flight he came in contact with a real body of flesh and blood, and
that with such violence that both went down among some
scragged rocks, and George rolled over the other. The being
called out "Murder"; and, rising, fled precipitately. George then
perceived that it was his brother; and being confounded between
the shadow and the substance, he knew not what he was doing or
what he had done; and, there being only one natural way of
retreat from the brink of the rock, he likewise arose and pursued
the affrighted culprit with all his speed towards the top of the hill.
Wringhim was braying out, "Murder! murder!" at which George,
being disgusted, and his spirits all in a ferment from some hurried
idea of intended harm, the moment he came up with the craven he
seized him rudely by the shoulder, and clapped his hand on his
mouth. "Murder, you beast!" said he; "what do you mean by
roaring out murder in that way? Who the devil is murdering you,
or offering to murder you?"

Wringhim forced his mouth from under his brother's hand, and
roared with redoubled energy: "Eh! Egh! Murder! murder!" etc.
George had felt resolute to put down this shocking alarm, lest
someone might hear it and fly to the spot, or draw inferences
widely different from the truth; and, perceiving the terror of this
elect youth to be so great that expostulation was vain, he seized
him by the mouth and nose with his left hand so strenuously that
he sank his fingers into his cheeks. But, the poltroon still
attempting to bray out, George gave him such a stunning blow
with his fist on the left temple that he crumbled, as it were, to the
ground, but more from the effects of terror than those of the blow.
His nose, however, again gushed out blood, a system of defence
which seemed as natural to him as that resorted to by the race of
stinkards. He then raised himself on his knees and hams, and
raising up his ghastly face, while the blood streamed over both
ears, he besought his life of his brother, in the most abject
whining manner, gaping and blubbering most piteously.

"Tell me then, Sir," said George, resolved to make the most of the
wretch's terror--"tell me for what purpose it is that you
haunt my steps? Tell me plainly, and instantly, else I will throw
you from the verge of that precipice."

"Oh, I will never do it again! I will never do it again! Spare my
life, dear, good brother! Spare my life! Sure I never did you any

"Swear to me, then, by the God that made you, that you will
never henceforth follow after me to torment me with your hellish
threatening looks; swear that you will never again come into my
presence without being invited. Will you take an oath to this

"Oh yes! I will, I will!"

"But this is not all: you must tell me for what purpose you sought
me out here this morning?"

"Oh, brother! For nothing but your good. I had nothing at heart
but your unspeakable profit, and great and endless good."

"So, then, you indeed knew that I was here?"

"I was told so by a friend, but I did not believe him; a--a--at least
I did not know that it was true till I saw you."

"Tell me this one thing, then, Robert, and all shall he forgotten
and forgiven. Who was that friend?"

"You do not know him."

"How then does he know me?"

"I cannot tell."

"Was he here present with you to-day?"

"Yes; he was not far distant. He came to this hill with me."

"Where then is he now?"

"I cannot tell."

"Then, wretch, confess that the devil was that friend who told you
I was here, and who came here with you. None else could
possibly know of my being here."

"Ah! how little you know of him! Would you argue that there is
neither man nor spirit endowed with so much foresight as to
deduce natural conclusions from previous actions and incidents
but the devil? Alas, brother! But why should I wonder at such
abandoned notions and principles? It was fore-ordained that you
should cherish them, and that they should be the ruin of your soul
and body, before the world was framed. Be assured of this,
however, that I had no aim of seeking you but your good!"

"Well, Robert, I will believe it. I am disposed to be hasty and
passionate: it is a fault in my nature; but I never meant, or wished
you evil; and God is my witness that I would as soon stretch out
my hand to my own life, or my father's, as to yours." At these
words, Wringhim uttered a hollow exulting laugh, put his hands
in his pockets, and withdrew a space to his accustomed distance.
George continued: "And now, once for all, I request that we may
exchange forgiveness, and that we may part and remain friends."

"Would such a thing be expedient, think you? Or consistent with
the glory of God? I doubt it."

"I can think of nothing that would be more so. Is it not consistent
with every precept of the Gospel? Come, brother, say that our
reconciliation is complete."

"Oh yes, certainly!. I tell you, brother, according to the flesh: it is
just as complete as the lark's is with the adder, no more so, nor
ever can. Reconciled, forsooth! To what would I be reconciled?"

As he said this, he strode indignantly away. From the moment
that he heard his life was safe, he assumed his former insolence
and revengeful looks--and never were they more dreadful than on
parting with his brother that morning on the top of the hill. "Well,
go thy way," said George; "some would despise, but I pity thee. If
thou art not a limb of Satan, I never saw one."

The sun had now dispelled the vapours; and, the morning being
lovely beyond description, George sat himself down on the top of
the hill, and pondered deeply on the unaccountable incident that
had befallen to him that morning. He could in no-wise
comprehend it; but, taking it with other previous circumstances,
he could not get quit of a conviction that he was haunted by some
evil genius in the shape of his brother, as well as by that dark and
mysterious wretch himself. In no other way could he account for
the apparition he saw that morning on the face of the rock, nor for
several sudden appearances of the same being, in places where
there was no possibility of any foreknowledge that he himself
was to be there, and as little that the same being, if he were flesh
and blood like other men, could always start up in the same
position with regard to him. He determined, therefore, on
reaching home, to relate all that had happened, from beginning to
end, to his father, asking his counsel and his assistance, although
he knew full well that his father was not the fittest man in the
world to solve such a problem. He was now involved in party
politics, over head and ears; and, moreover, he could never hear
the names of either of the Wringhims mentioned without getting
into a quandary of disgust and anger; and all that he would deign
to say of them was, to call them by all the opprobrious names he
could invent.

It turned out as the young man from the first suggested: old
Dalcastle would listen to nothing concerning them with any
patience. George complained that his brother harassed him with
his presence at all times, and in all places. Old Dal asked why he
did not kick the dog out of his presence whenever he felt him
disagreeable? George said he seemed to have some demon for a
familiar. Dal answered that he did not wonder a bit at that, for the
young spark was the third in a direct line who had all been
children of adultery; and it was well known that all such were
born half-deils themselves, and nothing was more likely than that
they should hold intercourse with their fellows. In the same style
did he sympathize with all his son's late sufferings and

In Mr. Adam Gordon, however, George found a friend who
entered into all his feelings, and had seen and known everything
about the matter. He tried to convince him that at all events there
could be nothing supernatural in the circumstances; and that the
vision he had seen on the rock, among the thick mist, was the
shadow of his brother approaching behind him. George could not
swallow this, for he had seen his own shadow on the cloud, and,
instead of approaching to aught like his own figure, he perceived
nothing but a halo of glory round a point of the cloud that was
whither and purer than the rest. Gordon said, if he would go with
him to a mountain of his father's, which he named, in
Aberdeenshire, he would show him a giant spirit of the same
dimensions, any morning at the rising of the sun, provided he
shone on that spot. This statement excited George's curiosity
exceedingly; and, being disgusted with some things about
Edinburgh, and glad to get out of the way, he consented to go
with Gordon to the Highlands for a space. The day was
accordingly set for their departure, the old laird's assent obtained,
and the two young sparks parted in a state of great impatience for
their excursion.

One of them found out another engagement, however, the instant
after this last was determined on. Young Wringhim went off the
hill that morning, and home to his upright guardian again without
washing the blood from his face and neck; and there he told a
most woeful story indeed: how he had gone out to take a
morning's walk on the hill, where he had encountered with his
reprobate brother among the mist, who had knocked him down
and very near murdered him; threatening dreadfully, and with
horrid oaths, to throw him from the top of the cliff.

The wrath of the great divine was kindled beyond measure. He
cursed the aggressor in the name of the Most High; and bound
himself, by an oath, to cause that wicked one's transgressions
return upon his own head sevenfold. But, before he engaged
further in the business of vengeance, he kneeled with his adopted
son, and committed the whole cause unto the Lord, whom he
addressed as one coming breathing burning coals of juniper, and
casting his lightnings before him, to destroy and root out all who
had moved hand or tongue against the children of the promise.
Thus did he arise confirmed, and go forth to certain conquest.

We cannot enter into the detail of the events that now occurred
without forestalling a part of the narrative of one who knew all
the circumstances--was deeply interested in them, and whose
relation is of higher value than anything that can be retailed out of
the stores of tradition and old registers; but, his narrative being
different from these, it was judged expedient to give the account
as thus publicly handed down to us. Suffice it that, before
evening, George was apprehended, and lodged in jail, on a
criminal charge of an assault and battery, to the shedding of
blood, with the intent of committing fratricide. Then was the old
laird in great consternation, and blamed himself for treating the
thing so lightly, which seemed to have been gone about, from the
beginning, so systematically, and with an intent which the villains
were now going to realize, namely, to get the young laird
disposed of; and then his brother, in spite of the old gentleman's
teeth, would be laird himself.

Old Dal now set his whole interest to work among the noblemen
and lawyers of his party. His son's case looked exceedingly ill,
owing to the former assault before witnesses. and the unbecoming
expressions made use of by him on that occasion, as well as from
the present assault, which George did not deny, and for which no
moving cause or motive could be made to appear.

On his first declaration before the sheriff, matters looked no
better: but then the sheriff was a Whig. It is well known how
differently the people of the present day, in Scotland, view the
cases of their own party-men and those of opposite political
principles. But this day is nothing to that in such matters,
although, God knows, they are still sometimes barefaced enough.
It appeared, from all the witnesses in the first case, that the
complainant was the first aggressor--that he refused to stand out
of the way, though apprised of his danger; and, when his brother
came against him inadvertently, he had aimed a blow at him with
his foot, which, if it had taken effect, would have killed him. But
as to the story of the apparition in fair day-light--the flying from
the face of it--the running foul of his brother pursuing him, and
knocking him down, why the judge smiled at the relation, and
saying: "It was a very extraordinary story," he remanded George
to prison, leaving the matter to the High Court of Justiciary.

When the case came before that court, matters took a different
turn. The constant and sullen attendance of the one brother upon
the other excited suspicions; and these were in some manner
confirmed when the guards at Queensberry House deported that
the prisoner went by them on his way to the hill that morning,
about twenty minutes before the complainant, and, when the
latter passed, he asked if such a young man had passed before
him, describing the prisoner's appearance to them; and that, on
being answered in the affirmative, he mended his pace and fell a-

The Lord Justice, on hearing this, asked the prisoner if he had any
suspicions that his brother had a design on his life.

He answered that all along, from the time of their first
unfortunate meeting, his brother had dogged his steps so
constantly, and so unaccountably, that he was convinced it was
with some intent out of the ordinary course of events; and that if,
as his lordship supposed, it was indeed his shadow that he had
seen approaching him through the mist, then, from the cowering
and cautious manner that it advanced, there was no little doubt
that his brother's design had been to push him headlong from the
cliff that morning.

A conversation then took place between the judge and the Lord
Advocate; and, in the meantime, a bustle was seen in the hall; on
which the doors were ordered to be guarded, and, behold, the
precious Mr. R. Wringhim was taken into custody, trying to make
his escape out of court. Finally it turned out that George was
honourably acquitted, and young Wringhim bound over to keep
the peace, with heavy penalties and securities.

That was a day of high exultation to George and his youthful
associates, all of whom abhorred Wringhim; and, the evening
being spent in great glee, it was agreed between Mr. Adam
Gordon and George that their visit to the Highlands, though thus
long delayed, was not to be abandoned; and though they had,
through the machinations of an incendiary, lost the season of
delight, they would still find plenty of sport in deer-shooting.
Accordingly, the day was set a second time for their departure;
and, on the day preceding that, all the party were invited by
George to dine with him once more at the sign of the Black Bull
of Norway. Everyone promised to attend, anticipating nothing but
festivity and joy. Alas, what short-sighted improvident creatures
we are, all of us; and how often does the evening cup of joy lead
to sorrow in the morning!

The day arrived--the party of young noblemen and gentlemen
met, and were as happy and jovial as men could be. George was
never seen so brilliant, or so full of spirits; and exulting to see so
many gallant young chiefs and gentlemen about him, who all
gloried in the same principles of loyalty (perhaps this word
should have been written disloyalty), he made speeches, gave
toasts, and sung songs, all leaning slyly to the same side, until a
very late hour. By that time he had pushed the bottle so long and
so freely that its fumes had taken possession of every brain to
such a degree that they held Dame Reason rather at the staff's
end, overbearing all her counsels and expostulations; and it was
imprudently proposed by a wild inebriated spark, and carried by a
majority of voices, that the whole party should adjourn to a
bagnio for the remainder of the night.

They did so; and it appears from what follows that the house,
to which they retired must have been somewhere on the opposite
side of the street to the Black Bull Inn, a little farther to the
eastward. They had not been an hour in that house till some
altercation chanced to arise between George Colwan and a Mr.
Drummond, the younger son of a nobleman of distinction. It
was perfectly casual, and no one thenceforward, to this day,
could ever tell what it was about, if it was not about the
misunderstanding of some word or term that the one had uttered.
However it was, some high words passed between them; these
were followed by threats, and, in less than two minutes from the
commencement of the quarrel, Drummond left the house in
apparent displeasure, hinting to the other that they two should
settle that in a more convenient place.

The company looked at one another, for all was over before any
of them knew such a thing was begun. "What the devil is the
matter?" cried one. "What ails Drummond?" cried another. "Who
has he quarrelled with?" asked a third.

"Don't know."--"Can't tell, on my life."--"He has quarrelled with
his wine, I suppose, and is going to send it a challenge."

Such were the questions, and such the answers that passed in the
jovial party, and the matter was no more thought of.

But in the course of a very short space, about the length which the
ideas of the company were the next day at great variance, a sharp
rap came to the door. it was opened by a female; but, there being
a chain inside, she only saw one side of the person at the door. He
appeared to be a young gentleman, in appearance like him who
had lately left the house, and asked, in a low whispering voice, "if
young Dalcastle was still in the house?" The woman did not
know. "If he is," added he, "pray tell him to speak with me for a
few minutes." The woman delivered the message before all the
party, among whom there were then sundry courteous ladies of
notable distinction, and George, on receiving it, instantly rose
from the side of one of them, and said, in the hearing of them all,
'I will bet a hundred merks that is Drummond."--"Don't go to
quarrel with him, George," said one.--"Bring him in with you,"
said another. George stepped out; the door was again bolted, the
chain drawn across, and the inadvertent party, left within, thought
no more of the circumstance till the morning, that the report had
spread over the city that a young gentleman had been slain, on a
little washing-green at the side of the North Loch, and at the very
bottom of the close where this thoughtless party had been

Several of them, on first hearing the report, basted to the dead-
room in the Guard-house, where the corpse had been deposited,
and soon discovered the body to be that of their friend and late
entertainer, George Colwan. Great were the consternation and
grief of all concerned, and, in particular, of his old father and
Miss Logan; for George had always been the sole hope and
darling of both, and the news of the event paralysed them so as
to render them incapable of all thought or exertion. The spirit
of the old laird was broken by the blow, and he descended at
once from a jolly, good-natured and active man to a mere
driveller, weeping over the body of his son, kissing his wound,
his lips, and his cold brow alternately; denouncing vengeance on
his murderers, and lamenting that he himself had not met the
cruel doom, so that the hope of his race might have been
preserved. In short, finding that all further motive of action and
object of concern or of love, here below, were for ever removed
from him, he abandoned himself to despair, and threatened to go
down to the grave with his son.

But, although he made no attempt to discover the murderers, the
arm of justice was not idle; and, it being evident to all that the
crime must infallibly be brought home to young Drummond,
some of his friends sought him out, and compelled him, sorely
against his will, to retire into concealment till the issue of the
proof that should be led was made known. At the same time, he
denied all knowledge of the incident with a resolution that
astonished his intimate friends and relations, who to a man
suspected him guilty. His father was not in Scotland, for I think it
was said to me that this young man was second son to a John,
Duke of Melfort, who lived abroad with the royal family of the
Stuarts; but this young gentleman lived with the relations of his
mother, one of whom, an uncle, was a Lord of Session: these,
having thoroughly effected his concealment, went away, and
listened to the evidence; and the examination of every new
witness convinced them that their noble young relative was the
slayer of his friend.

All the young gentlemen of the party were examined, save
Drummond, who, when sent for, could not be found, which
circumstance sorely confirmed the suspicions against him in the
minds of judges and jurors, friends and enemies; and there is little
doubt that the care of his relations in concealing him injured his
character and his cause. The young gentlemen of whom the party
was composed varied considerably with respect to the quarrel
between him and the deceased. Some of them had neither heard
nor noted it; others had, but not one of them could tell how it
began. Some of them had heard the threat uttered by Drummond
on leaving the house, and one only had noted him lay his hand on
his sword. Not one of them could swear that it was Drummond
who came to the door and desired to speak with the deceased, but
the general impression on the minds of them all was to that effect;
and one of the women swore that she heard the voice distinctly at
the door, and every word that voice pronounced, and at the same
time heard the deceased say that it was Drummond's.

On the other hand, there were some evidences on Drummond's
part, which Lord Craigie, his uncle, had taken care to collect. He
produced the sword which his nephew had worn that night, on
which there was neither blood nor blemish; and, above all, he
insisted on the evidence of a number of surgeons, who declared
that both the wounds which the deceased had received had been
given behind. One of these was below the left arm, and a slight
one; the other was quite through the body, and both evidently
inflicted with the same weapon, a two-edged sword, of the same
dimensions as that worn by Drummond.

Upon the whole, there was a division in the court, but a
majority decided it. Drummond was pronounced guilty of the
murder; outlawed for not appearing, and a high reward offered
for his apprehension. It was with the greatest difficulty that he
escaped on board of a small trading vessel, which landed him in
Holland, and from thence, flying into Germany, he entered into
the service of the Emperor Charles VI. Many regretted that he
was not taken, and made to suffer the penalty due for such a
crime, and the melancholy incident became a pulpit theme over
a great part of Scotland, being held up as a proper warning to
youth to beware of such haunts of vice and depravity, the nurses
of all that is precipitate, immoral, and base, among mankind.

After the funeral of this promising and excellent young man, his
father never more held up his head. Miss Logan, with all her art,
could not get him to attend to any worldly thing, or to make any
settlement whatsoever of his affairs, save making her over a
present of what disposable funds he had about him. As to his
estates, when they were mentioned to him, he wished them all in
the bottom of the sea, and himself along with them. But,
whenever she mentioned the circumstance of Thomas Drummond
having been the murderer of his son, he shook his head, and once
made the remark that "It was all a mistake, a gross and fatal error;
but that God, who had permitted such a flagrant deed, would
bring it to light in his own time and way." In a few weeks he
followed his son to the grave, and the notorious Robert Wringhim
took possession of his estates as the lawful son of the late laird,
born in wedlock, and under his father's roof. The investiture was
celebrated by prayer, singing of psalms, and religious disputation.
The late guardian and adopted father, and the mother of the new
laird, presided on the grand occasion, making a conspicuous
figure in all the work of the day; and, though the youth himself
indulged rather more freely in the bottle than he had ever been
seen to do before, it was agreed by all present that there had never
been a festivity so sanctified within the great hall of Dalcastle.
Then, after due thanks returned, they parted rejoicing in spirit;
which thanks, by the by, consisted wholly in telling the Almighty
what he was; and informing, with very particular precision, what
they were who addressed him; for Wringhim's whole system of
popular declamation consisted, it seems, in this--to denounce all
men and women to destruction, and then hold out hopes to his
adherents that they were the chosen few, included in the
promises, and who could never fall away. It would appear that
this pharisaical doctrine is a very delicious one, and the most
grateful of all others to the worst characters.

But the ways of heaven are altogether inscrutable, and soar as far
above and beyond the works and the comprehensions of man as
the sun, flaming in majesty, is above the tiny boy's evening
rocket. It is the controller of Nature alone that can bring light out
of darkness, and order out of confusion. Who is he that causeth
the mole, from his secret path of darkness, to throw up the gem,
the gold, and the precious ore? The same that from the mouths of
babes and sucklings can extract the perfection of praise, and who
can make the most abject of his creatures instrumental in bringing
the most hidden truths to light.

Miss Logan had never lost the thought of her late master's
prediction that Heaven would bring to light the truth concerning
the untimely death of his son. She perceived that some strange
conviction, too horrible for expression, preyed on his mind from
the moment that the fatal news reached him to the last of his
existence; and, in his last ravings, he uttered some incoherent
words about justification by faith alone and absolute and eternal
predestination having been the ruin of his house. These, to be
sure, were the words of superannuation, and of the last and
severest kind of it; but, for all that, they sunk deep into Miss
Logan's soul, and at last she began to think with herself: "Is it
possible the Wringhims, and the sophisticating wretch who is in
conjunction with them, the mother of my late beautiful and
amiable young master, can have effected his destruction? If so, I
will spend my days, and my little patrimony, in endeavours to
rake up and expose the unnatural deed."

In all her outgoings and incomings Mrs. Logan (as she was now
styled) never lost sight of this one object. Every new
disappointment only whetted her desire to fish up some
particulars, concerning it; for she thought so long and so ardently
upon it that by degrees it became settled in her mind as a sealed
truth. And, as woman is always most jealous of her own sex in
such matters, her suspicions were fixed on her greatest enemy,
Mrs. Colwan, now the Lady Dowager of Dalcastle. All was wrapt
in a chaos of confusion and darkness; but at last, by dint of a
thousand sly and secret inquiries, Mrs. Logan found out where
Lady Dalcastle had been on the night that the murder happened,
and likewise what company she had kept, as well as some of the
comers and goers; and she had hopes of having discovered a clue,
which, if she could keep hold of the thread, would lead her
through darkness to the light of truth.

Returning very late one evening from a convocation of family
servants, which she had drawn together in order to fish something
out of them, her maid having been in attendance on her all the
evening, they found, on going home, that the house had been
broken and a number of valuable articles stolen therefrom. Mrs.
Logan had grown quite heartless before this stroke, having been
altogether unsuccessful in her inquiries, and now she began to
entertain some resolutions of giving up the fruitless search.

In a few days thereafter, she received intelligence that her clothes
and plate were mostly recovered, and that she for one was bound
over to prosecute the depredator, provided the articles turned out
to be hers, as libelled in the indictment, and as a king's evidence
had given out. She was likewise summoned, or requested, I know
not which, being ignorant of these matters, to go as far as the
town of Peebles in Tweedside, in order to survey these articles on
such a day, and make affidavit to their identity before the Sheriff
She went accordingly; but, on entering the town by the North
Gate, she was accosted by a poor girl in tattered apparel, who
with great earnestness inquired if her name was not Mrs. Logan?
On being answered in the affirmative, she said that the
unfortunate prisoner in the Tolbooth requested her, as she valued
all that was dear to her in life, to go and see her before she
appeared in court at the hour of cause, as she (the prisoner) had
something of the greatest moment to impart to her. Mrs. Logan's
curiosity was excited, and she followed the girl straight to the
Tolbooth, who by the way said to her that she would find in the
prisoner a woman of superior mind, who had gone through all the
vicissitudes of life. "She has been very unfortunate, and I fear
very wicked," added the poor thing, "but she is my mother, and
God knows, with all her faults and failings, she has never been
unkind to me. You, madam, have it in your power to save her; but
she has wronged you, and therefore, if you will not do it for her
sake, do it for mine, and the God of the fatherless will reward

Mrs. Logan answered her with a cast of the head, and a hem! and
only remarked, that "the guilty must not always be suffered to
escape, or what a world must we be doomed to live in!"

She was admitted to the prison, and found a tall emaciated figure,
who appeared to have once possessed a sort of masculine beauty
in no ordinary degree, but was now considerably advanced in
years. She viewed Mrs. Logan with a stem, steady gaze, as if
reading her features as a margin to her intellect; and when she
addressed her it was not with that humility, and agonized fervour,
which are natural for one in such circumstances to address to
another who has the power of her life and death in her hands.

"I am deeply indebted to you for this timely visit, Mrs. Logan,"
said she. "It is not that I value life, or because I fear death, that I
have sent for you so expressly. But the manner of the death that
awaits me has something peculiarly revolting in it to a female
mind. Good God! when I think of being hung up, a spectacle to a
gazing, gaping multitude, with numbers of which I have had
intimacies and connections, that would render the moment of
parting so hideous, that, believe me, it rends to flinders a soul
born for another sphere than that in which it has moved, had not
the vile selfishness of a lordly fiend ruined all my prospects and
all my hopes. Hear me then; for I do not ask your pity: I only ask
of you to look to yourself, and behave with womanly prudence, if
you deny this day that these goods are yours, there is no other
evidence whatever against my life, and it is safe for the present.
For, as for the word of the wretch who has betrayed me, it is of
no avail; he has prevaricated so notoriously to save himself. If
you deny them, you shall have them all again to the value of a
mite, and more to the bargain. If you swear to the identity of
them, the process will, one way and another, cost you the half of
what they are worth."

"And what security have I for that?" said Mrs. Logan.

"You have none but my word," said the other proudly, "and that
never yet was violated. If you cannot take that, 1 know the worst
you can do. But I had forgot--I have a poor helpless child
without, waiting and starving about the prison door. Surely it was
of her that I wished to speak. This shameful death of mine will
leave her in a deplorable state."

"The girl seems to have candour and strong affections," said Mrs.
Logan. "I grievously mistake if such a child would not be a
thousand times better without such a guardian and director."

"Then will you be so kind as to come to the Grass Market and see
me put down?" said the prisoner. "I thought a woman would
estimate a woman's and a mother's feelings, when such a dreadful
throw was at stake, at least in part. But you are callous, and have
never known any feelings but those of subordination to your old

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