Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated by Sir Walter Scott

Part 9 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.


'What, on Jock o' Dawston? hout na. He's a camsteary chield, and fasheous
about marches, and we've had some bits o' splores thegither; but deil
o'meif I wad wrang Jock o' Dawston neither.'

'Thou'rt an honest fellow,' said the Lawyer; 'get thee to bed. Thou wilt
sleep sounder, I warrant thee, than many a man that throws off an
embroidered coat and puts on a laced nightcap. Colonel, I see you are
busy with our enfant trouve. But Barnes must give me a summons of
wakening at seven to-morrow morning, for my servant's a sleepy-headed
fellow; and I daresay my clerk Driver has had Clarence's fate, and is
drowned by this time in a butt of your ale; for Mrs. Allan promised to
make him comfortable, and she'll soon discover what he expects from that
engagement. Good-night, Colonel; good-night, Dominie Sampson; good-night,
Dinmont the Downright; good-night, last of all, to the new-found
representative of the Bertrams, and the Mac-Dingawaies, the Knarths, the
Arths, the Godfreys, the Dennises, and the Rolands, and, last and dearest
title, heir of tailzie and provision of the lands and barony of
Ellangowan, under the settlement of Lewis Bertram, Esq., whose
representative you are.'

And so saying, the old gentleman took his candle and left the room; and
the company dispersed, after the Dominie had once more hugged and
embraced his 'little Harry Bertram,' as he continued to call the young
soldier of six feet high.

My imagination
Carries no favour in it but Bertram's;
I am undone, there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away.

--All's Well that Ends Well.

At the hour which he had appointed the preceding evening the
indefatigable lawyer was seated by a good fire and a pair of wax candles,
with a velvet cap on his head and a quilted silk nightgown on his person,
busy arranging his memoranda of proofs and indications concerning the
murder of Frank Kennedy. An express had also been despatched to Mr.
Mac-Morlan, requesting his attendance at Woodbourne as soon as possible
on business of importance. Dinmont, fatigued with the events of the
evening before, and finding the accommodations of Woodbourne much
preferable to those of Mac-Guffog, was in no hurry to rise. The
impatience of Bertram might have put him earlier in motion, but Colonel
Mannering had intimated an intention to visit him in his apartment in the
morning, and he did not choose to leave it. Before this interview he had
dressed himself, Barnes having, by his master's orders, supplied him with
every accommodation of linen, etc., and now anxiously waited the promised
visit of his landlord.

In a short time a gentle tap announced the Colonel, with whom Bertram
held a long and satisfactory conversation. Each, however, concealed from
the other one circumstance. Mannering could not bring himself to
acknowledge the astrological prediction; and Bertram was, from motives
which may be easily conceived, silent respecting his love for Julia. In
other respects their intercourse was frank and grateful to both, and had
latterly, upon the Colonel's part, even an approach to cordiality.
Bertram carefully measured his own conduct by that of his host, and
seemed rather to receive his offered kindness with gratitude and pleasure
than to press for it with solicitation.

Miss Bertram was in the breakfast-parlour when Sampson shuffled in, his
face all radiant with smiles--a circumstance so uncommon that Lucy's
first idea was that somebody had been bantering him with an imposition,
which had thrown him into this ecstasy. Having sate for some time rolling
his eyes and gaping with his mouth like the great wooden head at Merlin's
exhibition, he at length began--'And what do you think of him, Miss

'Think of whom, Mr. Sampson?' asked the young lady.

'Of Har--no--of him that you know about?' again demanded the Dominie.

'That I know about?' replied Lucy, totally at a loss to comprehend his

'Yes, the stranger, you know, that came last evening, in the post
vehicle; he who shot young Hazelwood, ha, ha, ha!' burst forth the
Dominie, with a laugh that sounded like neighing.

'Indeed, Mr. Sampson,' said his pupil, 'you have chosen a strange subject
for mirth; I think nothing about the man, only I hope the outrage was
accidental, and that we need not fear a repetition of it.'

'Accidental! ha, ha, ha!' again whinnied Sampson.

'Really, Mr. Sampson,' said Lucy, somewhat piqued, 'you are unusually gay
this morning.'

'Yes, of a surety I am! ha, ha, ho! face-ti-ous, ho, ho, ha!'

'So unusually facetious, my dear sir,' pursued the young lady, 'that I
would wish rather to know the meaning of your mirth than to be amused
with its effects only.'

'You shall know it, Miss Lucy,' replied poor Abel. 'Do you remember your

'Good God, how can you ask me? No one knows better than you he was lost
the very day I was born.'

'Very true, very true,' answered the Dominie, saddening at the
recollection; 'I was strangely oblivious; ay, ay! too true. But you
remember your worthy father?'

'How should you doubt it, Mr. Sampson? it is not so many weeks since--'

'True, true; ay, too true,' replied the Dominie, his Houyhnhnm laugh
sinking into a hysterical giggle. 'I will be facetious no more under
these remembrances; but look at that young man!'

Bertram at this instant entered the room. 'Yes, look at him well, he is
your father's living image; and as God has deprived you of your dear
parents--O, my children, love one another!'

'It is indeed my father's face and form,' said Lucy, turning very pale.
Bertram ran to support her, the Dominie to fetch water to throw upon her
face (which in his haste he took from the boiling tea-urn), when
fortunately her colour, returning rapidly, saved her from the application
of this ill-judged remedy. 'I conjure you to tell me, Mr. Sampson,' she
said, in an interrupted yet solemn voice, 'is this my brother?'

'It is, it is! Miss Lucy, it is little Harry Bertram, as sure as God's
sun is in that heaven!'

'And this is my sister?' said Bertram, giving way to all that family
affection which had so long slumbered in his bosom for want of an object
to expand itself upon.

'It is, it is!--it is Miss Lucy Bertram,' ejaculated Sampson, 'whom by my
poor aid you will find perfect in the tongues of France and Italy, and
even of Spain, in reading and writing her vernacular tongue, and in
arithmetic and book-keeping by double and single entry. I say nothing of
her talents of shaping and hemming and governing a household, which, to
give every one their due, she acquired not from me but from the
housekeeper; nor do I take merit for her performance upon stringed
instruments, whereunto the instructions of an honourable young lady of
virtue and modesty, and very facetious withal--Miss Julia Mannering--hath
not meanly contributed. Suum cuique tribuito.'

'You, then,' said Bertram to his sister, 'are all that remains to me!
Last night, but more fully this morning, Colonel Mannering gave me an
account of our family misfortunes, though without saying I should find my
sister here.'

'That,' said Lucy, 'he left to this gentleman to tell you--one of the
kindest and most faithful of friends, who soothed my father's long
sickness, witnessed his dying moments, and amid the heaviest clouds of
fortune would not desert his orphan.'

'God bless him for it!' said Bertram, shaking the Dominie's hand;' he
deserves the love with which I have always regarded even that dim and
imperfect shadow of his memory which my childhood retained.'

'And God bless you both, my dear children!' said Sampson; 'if it had not
been for your sake I would have been contented--had Heaven's pleasure so
been--to lay my head upon the turf beside my patron.'

'But I trust,' said Bertram--'I am encouraged to hope, we shall all see
better days. All our wrongs shall be redressed, since Heaven has sent me
means and friends to assert my right.'

'Friends indeed!' echoed the Dominie, 'and sent, as you truly say, by HIM
to whom I early taught you to look up as the source of all that is good.
There is the great Colonel Mannering from the Eastern Indies, a man of
war from his birth upwards, but who is not the less a man of great
erudition, considering his imperfect opportunities; and there is,
moreover, the great advocate Mr. Pleydell, who is also a man of great
erudition, but who descendeth to trifles unbeseeming thereof; and there
is Mr. Andrew Dinmont, whom I do not understand to have possession of
much erudition, but who, like the patriarchs of old, is cunning in that
which belongeth to flocks and herds; lastly, there is even I myself,
whose opportunities of collecting erudition, as they have been greater
than those of the aforesaid valuable persons, have not, if it becomes me
to speak, been pretermitted by me, in so far as my poor faculties have
enabled me to profit by them. Of a surety, little Harry, we must speedily
resume our studies. I will begin from the foundation. Yes, I will reform
your education upward from the true knowledge of English grammar even to
that of the Hebrew or Chaldaic tongue.'

The reader may observe that upon this occasion Sampson was infinitely
more profuse of words than he had hitherto exhibited himself. The reason
was that, in recovering his pupil, his mind went instantly back to their
original connexion, and he had, in his confusion of ideas, the strongest
desire in the world to resume spelling lessons and half-text with young
Bertram. This was the more ridiculous, as towards Lucy he assumed no such
powers of tuition. But she had grown up under his eye, and had been
gradually emancipated from his government by increase in years and
knowledge, and a latent sense of his own inferior tact in manners,
whereas his first ideas went to take up Harry pretty nearly where he had
left him. From the same feelings of reviving authority he indulged
himself in what was to him a profusion of language; and as people seldom
speak more than usual without exposing themselves, he gave those whom he
addressed plainly to understand that, while he deferred implicitly to the
opinions and commands, if they chose to impose them, of almost every one
whom he met with, it was under an internal conviction that in the article
of eru-di-ti-on, as he usually pronounced the word, he was infinitely
superior to them all put together. At present, however, this intimation
fell upon heedless ears, for the brother and sister were too deeply
engaged in asking and receiving intelligence concerning their former
fortunes to attend much to the worthy Dominie. When Colonel Mannering
left Bertram he went to Julia's dressing-room and dismissed her
attendant. 'My dear sir,' she said as he entered, 'you have forgot our
vigils last night, and have hardly allowed me time to comb my hair,
although you must be sensible how it stood on end at the various wonders
which took place.'

'It is with the inside of your head that I have some business at present,
Julia; I will return the outside to the care of your Mrs. Mincing in a
few minutes.'

'Lord, papa,' replied Miss Mannering, 'think how entangled all my ideas
are, and you to propose to comb them out in a few minutes! If Mincing
were to do so in her department she would tear half the hair out of my

'Well then, tell me,' said the Colonel, 'where the entanglement lies,
which I will try to extricate with due gentleness?'

'O, everywhere,' said the young lady; 'the whole is a wild dream.'

'Well then, I will try to unriddle it.' He gave a brief sketch of the
fate and prospects of Bertram, to which Julia listened with an interest
which she in vain endeavoured to disguise. 'Well,' concluded her father,
'are your ideas on the subject more luminous?'

'More confused than ever, my dear sir,' said Julia. 'Here is this young
man come from India, after he had been supposed dead, like Aboulfouaris
the great voyager to his sister Canzade and his provident brother Hour. I
am wrong in the story, I believe--Canzade was his wife; but Lucy may
represent the one and the Dominie the other. And then this lively
crack-brained Scotch lawyer appears like a pantomime at the end of a
tragedy. And then how delightful it will be if Lucy gets back her

'Now I think,' said the Colonel, 'that the most mysterious part of the
business is, that Miss Julia Mannering, who must have known her father's
anxiety about the fate of this young man Brown, or Bertram, as we must
now call him, should have met him when Hazlewood's accident took place,
and never once mentioned to her father a word of the matter, but suffered
the search to proceed against this young gentleman as a suspicious
character and assassin.'

Julia, much of whose courage had been hastily assumed to meet the
interview with her father, was now unable to rally herself; she hung down
her head in silence, after in vain attempting to utter a denial that she
recollected Brown when she met him.

'No answer! Well, Julia,' continued her father, gravely but kindly,
'allow me to ask you, Is this the only time you have seen Brown since his
return from India? Still no answer. I must then naturally suppose that it
is not the first time. Still no reply. Julia Mannering, will you have the
kindness to answer me? Was it this young man who came under your window
and conversed with you during your residence at Mervyn Hall? Julia, I
command--I entreat you to be candid.'

Miss Mannering raised her head. 'I have been, sir--I believe I am
still--very foolish; and it is perhaps more hard upon me that I must meet
this gentleman, who has been, though not the cause entirely, yet the
accomplice, of my folly, in your presence.' Here she made a full stop.

'I am to understand, then,' said Mannering, 'that this was the author of
the serenade at Mervyn Hall?'

There was something in this allusive change of epithet that gave Julia a
little more courage. 'He was indeed, sir; and if I am very wrong, as I
have often thought, I have some apology.'

'And what is that?' answered the Colonel, speaking quick, and with
something of harshness.

'I will not venture to name it, sir; but (she opened a small cabinet, and
put some letters into his hands) I will give you these, that you may see
how this intimacy began, and by whom it was encouraged.'

Mannering took the packet to the window--his pride forbade a more distant
retreat. He glanced at some passages of the letters with an unsteady eye
and an agitated mind; his stoicism, however, came in time to his
aid--that philosophy which, rooted in pride, yet frequently bears the
fruits of virtue. He returned towards his daughter with as firm an air as
his feelings permitted him to assume.

'There is great apology for you, Julia, as far as I can judge from a
glance at these letters; you have obeyed at least one parent. Let us
adopt a Scotch proverb the Dominie quoted the other day--"Let bygones be
bygones, and fair play for the future." I will never upbraid you with
your past want of confidence; do you judge of my future intentions by my
actions, of which hitherto you have surely had no reason to complain.
Keep these letters; they were never intended for my eye, and I would not
willingly read more of them than I have done, at your desire and for your
exculpation. And now, are we friends? Or rather, do you understand me?'

'O, my dear, generous father,' said Julia, throwing herself into his
arms, 'why have I ever for an instant misunderstood you?'

'No more of that, Julia,' said the Colonel; 'we have both been to blame.
He that is too proud to vindicate the affection and confidence which he
conceives should be given without solicitation, must meet much, and
perhaps deserved, disappointment. It is enough that one dearest and most
regretted member of my family has gone to the grave without knowing me;
let me not lose the confidence of a child who ought to love me if she
really loves herself.'

'O, no danger, no fear!' answered Julia; 'let me but have your
approbation and my own, and there is no rule you can prescribe so severe
that I will not follow.'

'Well, my love,' kissing her forehead, 'I trust we shall not call upon
you for anything too heroic. With respect to this young gentleman's
addresses, I expect in the first place that all clandestine
correspondence, which no young woman can entertain for a moment without
lessening herself in her own eyes and in those of her lover--I request, I
say, that clandestine correspondence of every kind may be given up, and
that you will refer Mr. Bertram to me for the reason. You will naturally
wish to know what is to be the issue of such a reference. In the first
place, I desire to observe this young gentleman's character more closely
than circumstances, and perhaps my own prejudices, have permitted
formerly. I should also be glad to see his birth established. Not that I
am anxious about his getting the estate of Ellangowan, though such a
subject is held in absolute indifference nowhere except in a novel; but
certainly Henry Bertram, heir of Ellangowan, whether possessed of the
property of his ancestors or not, is a very different person from
Vanbeest Brown, the son of nobody at all. His fathers, Mr. Pleydell tells
me, are distinguished in history as following the banners of their native
princes, while our own fought at Cressy and Poirtiers. In short, I
neither give nor withhold my approbation, but I expect you will redeem
past errors; and, as you can now unfortunately only have recourse to ONE
parent, that you will show the duty of a child by reposing that
confidence in me which I will say my inclination to make you happy
renders a filial debt upon your part.'

The first part of this speech affected Julia a good deal, the comparative
merit of the ancestors of the Bertrams and Mannerings excited a secret
smile, but the conclusion was such as to soften a heart peculiarly open
to the feelings of generosity. 'No, my dear sir,' she said, extending her
hand,' receive my faith, that from this moment you shall be the first
person consulted respecting what shall pass in future between Brown--I
mean Bertram--and me; and that no engagement shall be undertaken by me
excepting what you shall immediately know and approve of. May I ask if
Mr. Bertram is to continue a guest at Woodbourne?'

'Certainly,' said the Colonel, 'while his affairs render it advisable.'

'Then, sir, you must be sensible, considering what is already past, that
he will expect some reason for my withdrawing, I believe I must say the
encouragement, which he may think I have given.'

'I expect, Julia,' answered Mannering, 'that he will respect my roof, and
entertain some sense perhaps of the services I am desirous to render him,
and so will not insist upon any course of conduct of which I might have
reason to complain; and I expect of you that you will make him sensible
of what is due to both.'

'Then, sir, I understand you, and you shall be implicitly obeyed.'

'Thank you, my love; my anxiety (kissing her) is on your account. Now
wipe these witnesses from your eyes, and so to breakfast.'

And Sheriff I will engage my word to you,
That I will by to morrow dinner time,
Send him to answer thee or any man,
For anything he shall be charged withal

Henry IV Part I

When the several by-plays, as they may be termed, had taken place among
the individuals of the Woodbourne family, as we have intimated in the
preceding chapter, the breakfast party at length assembled, Dandie
excepted, who had consulted his taste in viands, and perhaps in society,
by partaking of a cup of tea with Mrs. Allan, just laced with two
teaspoonfuls of cogniac, and reinforced with various slices from a huge
round of beef. He had a kind of feeling that he could eat twice as much,
and speak twice as much, with this good dame and Barnes as with the grand
folk in the parlour. Indeed, the meal of this less distinguished party
was much more mirthful than that in the higher circle, where there was an
obvious air of constraint on the greater part of the assistants. Julia
dared not raise her voice in asking Bertram if he chose another cup of
tea. Bertram felt embarrassed while eating his toast and butter under the
eye of Mannering. Lucy, while she indulged to the uttermost her affection
for her recovered brother, began to think of the quarrel betwixt him and
Hazlewood. The Colonel felt the painful anxiety natural to a proud mind
when it deems its slightest action subject for a moment to the watchful
construction of others. The Lawyer, while sedulously buttering his roll,
had an aspect of unwonted gravity, arising perhaps from the severity of
his morning studies. As for the Dominie, his state of mind was ecstatic!
He looked at Bertram--he looked at Lucy--he whimpered--he sniggled--he
grinned--he committed all manner of solecisms in point of form: poured
the whole cream (no unlucky mistake) upon the plate of porridge which was
his own usual breakfast, threw the slops of what he called his 'crowning
dish of tea' into the sugar-dish instead of the slop-basin, and concluded
with spilling the scalding liquor upon old Plato, the Colonel's favourite
spaniel, who received the libation with a howl that did little honour to
his philosophy.

The Colonel's equanimity was rather shaken by this last blunder. 'Upon my
word, my good friend, Mr. Sampson, you forget the difference between
Plato and Zenocrates.'

'The former was chief of the Academics, the latter of the Stoics,' said
the Dominie, with some scorn of the supposition.

'Yes, my dear sir, but it was Zenocrates, not Plato, who denied that pain
was an evil.'

'I should have thought,' said Pleydell, 'that very respectable quadruped
which is just now limping out of the room upon three of his four legs was
rather of the Cynic school.'

'Very well hit off. But here comes an answer from Mac-Morlan.'

It was unfavourable. Mrs. Mac-Morlan sent her respectful compliments, and
her husband had been, and was, detained by some alarming disturbances
which had taken place the preceding night at Portanferry, and the
necessary investigation which they had occasioned.

'What's to be done now. Counsellor?' said the Colonel to Pleydell.

'Why, I wish we could have seen Mac-Morlan,' said the Counsellor, 'who is
a sensible fellow himself, and would besides have acted under my advice.
But there is little harm. Our friend here must be made sui juris. He is
at present an escaped prisoner, the law has an awkward claim upon him; he
must be placed rectus in curia, that is the first object; for which
purpose, Colonel, I will accompany you in your carriage down to Hazlewood
House. The distance is not great; we will offer our bail, and I am
confident I can easily show Mr.--I beg his pardon--Sir Robert Hazlewood,
the necessity of receiving it.'

'With all my heart,' said the Colonel; and, ringing the bell, gave the
necessary orders. 'And what is next to be done?'

'We must get hold of Mac-Morlan, and look out for more proof.'

'Proof!' said the Colonel, 'the thing is as clear as daylight: here are
Mr. Sampson and Miss Bertram, and you yourself at once recognise the
young gentleman as his father's image; and he himself recollects all the
very peculiar circumstances preceding his leaving this country. What else
is necessary to conviction?'

'To moral conviction nothing more, perhaps,' said the experienced lawyer,
'but for legal proof a great deal. Mr. Bertram's recollections are his
own recollections merely, and therefore are not evidence in his own
favour. Miss Bertram, the learned Mr. Sampson, and I can only say, what
every one who knew the late Ellangowan will readily agree in, that this
gentleman is his very picture. But that will not make him Ellangowan's
son and give him the estate.'

'And what will do so?' said the Colonel.

'Why, we must have a distinct probation. There are these gipsies; but
then, alas! they are almost infamous in the eye of law, scarce capable of
bearing evidence, and Meg Merrilies utterly so, by the various accounts
which she formerly gave of the matter, and her impudent denial of all
knowledge of the fact when I myself examined her respecting it.'

'What must be done then?' asked Mannering.

'We must try,' answered the legal sage, 'what proof can be got at in
Holland among the persons by whom our young friend was educated. But then
the fear of being called in question for the murder of the gauger may
make them silent; or, if they speak, they are either foreigners or
outlawed smugglers. In short, I see doubts.'

'Under favour, most learned and honoured sir,' said the Dominie, 'I trust
HE who hath restored little Harry Bertram to his friends will not leave
His own work imperfect.'

'I trust so too, Mr. Sampson,' said Pleydell; 'but we must use the means;
and I am afraid we shall have more difficulty in procuring them than I at
first thought. But a faint heart never won a fair lady; and, by the way
(apart to Miss Mannering, while Bertram was engaged with his sister),
there's a vindication of Holland for you! What smart fellows do you think
Leyden and Utrecht must send forth, when such a very genteel and handsome
young man comes from the paltry schools of Middleburgh?'

'Of a verity,' said the Dominie, jealous of the reputation of the Dutch
seminary--'of a verity, Mr. Pleydell, but I make it known to you that I
myself laid the foundation of his education.'

'True, my dear Dominie,' answered the Advocate, 'that accounts for his
proficiency in the graces, without question. But here comes your
carriage, Colonel. Adieu, young folks. Miss Julia, keep your heart till I
come back again; let there be nothing done to prejudice my right whilst I
am non valens agere.'

Their reception at Hazlewood House was more cold and formal than usual;
for in general the Baronet expressed great respect for Colonel Mannering,
and Mr. Pleydell, besides being a man of good family and of high general
estimation, was Sir Robert's old friend. But now he seemed dry and
embarrassed in his manner. 'He would willingly,' he said, 'receive bail,
notwithstanding that the offence had been directly perpetrated,
committed, and done against young Hazlewood of Hazlewood; but the young
man had given himself a fictitious description, and was altogether that
sort of person who should not be liberated, discharged, or let loose upon
society; and therefore--'

'I hope, Sir Robert Hazlewood,' said the Colonel, 'you do not mean to
doubt my word when I assure you that he served under me as cadet in

'By no means or account whatsoever. But you call him a cadet; now he
says, avers, and upholds that he was a captain, or held a troop in your

'He was promoted since I gave up the command.'

'But you must have heard of it?'

'No. I returned on account of family circumstances from India, and have
not since been solicitous to hear particular news from the regiment; the
name of Brown, too, is so common that I might have seen his promotion in
the "Gazette" without noticing it. But a day or two will bring letters
from his commanding officer.'

'But I am told and informed, Mr. Pleydell,' answered Sir Robert, still
hesitating, 'that he does not mean to abide by this name of Brown, but is
to set up a claim to the estate of Ellangowan, under the name of

'Ay, who says that?' said the Counsellor.

'Or,' demanded the soldier, 'whoever says so, does that give a right to
keep him in prison?'

'Hush, Colonel,' said the Lawyer; 'I am sure you would not, any more than
I, countenance him if he prove an impostor. And, among friends, who
informed you of this, Sir Robert?'

'Why, a person, Mr, Pleydell,' answered the Baronet, 'who is peculiarly
interested in investigating, sifting, and clearing out this business to
the bottom; you will excuse my being more particular.'

'O, certainly,' replied Pleydell; 'well, and he says--?'

'He says that it is whispered about among tinkers, gipsies, and other
idle persons that there is such a plan as I mentioned to you, and that
this young man, who is a bastard or natural son of the late Ellangowan,
is pitched upon as the impostor from his strong family likeness.'

'And was there such a natural son, Sir Robert?' demanded the Counsellor.

'O, certainly, to my own positive knowledge. Ellangowan had him placed as
cabin-boy or powder-monkey on board an armed sloop or yacht belonging to
the revenue, through the interest of the late Commissioner Bertram, a
kinsman of his own.'

'Well, Sir Robert,' said the Lawyer, taking the word out of the mouth of
the impatient soldier, 'you have told me news. I shall investigate them,
and if I find them true, certainly Colonel Mannering and I will not
countenance this young man. In the meanwhile, as we are all willing to
make him forthcoming to answer all complaints against him, I do assure
you, you will act most illegally, and incur heavy responsibility, if you
refuse our bail.'

'Why, Mr. Pleydell,' said Sir Robert, who knew the high authority of the
Counsellor's opinion, 'as you must know best, and as you promise to give
up this young man--'

'If he proves an impostor,' replied the Lawyer, with some emphasis.

'Ay, certainly. Under that condition I will take your bail; though I must
say an obliging, well-disposed, and civil neighbour of mine, who was
himself bred to the law, gave me a hint or caution this morning against
doing so. It was from him I learned that this youth was liberated and had
come abroad, or rather had broken prison. But where shall we find one to
draw the bail-bond?'

'Here,' said the Counsellor, applying himself to the bell, 'send up my
clerk, Mr. Driver; it will not do my character harm if I dictate the
needful myself.' It was written accordingly and signed, and, the Justice
having subscribed a regular warrant for Bertram alias Brown's discharge,
the visitors took their leave.

Each threw himself into his own corner of the post-chariot, and said
nothing for some time. The Colonel first broke silence: 'So you intend to
give up this poor young fellow at the first brush?'

'Who, I?' replied the Counsellor. 'I will not give up one hair of his
head, though I should follow them to the court of last resort in his
behalf; but what signified mooting points and showing one's hand to that
old ass? Much better he should report to his prompter, Glossin, that we
are indifferent or lukewarm in the matter. Besides, I wished to have a
peep at the enemies' game.'

'Indeed!' said the soldier. 'Then I see there are stratagems in law as
well as war. Well, and how do you like their line of battle?'

'Ingenious,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'but I think desperate; they are
finessing too much, a common fault on such occasions.'

During this discourse the carriage rolled rapidly towards Woodbourne
without anything occurring worthy of the reader's notice, excepting their
meeting with young Hazlewood, to whom the Colonel told the extraordinary
history of Bertram's reappearance, which he heard with high delight, and
then rode on before to pay Miss Bertram his compliments on an event so
happy and so unexpected.

We return to the party at Woodbourne. After the departure of Mannering,
the conversation related chiefly to the fortunes of the Ellangowan
family, their domains, and their former power. 'It was, then, under the
towers of my fathers,' said Bertram, 'that I landed some days since, in
circumstances much resembling those of a vagabond! Its mouldering turrets
and darksome arches even then awakened thoughts of the deepest interest,
and recollections which I was unable to decipher. I will now visit them
again with other feelings, and, I trust, other and better hopes.'

'Do not go there now,' said his sister. 'The house of our ancestors is at
present the habitation of a wretch as insidious as dangerous, whose arts
and villainy accomplished the ruin and broke the heart of our unhappy

'You increase my anxiety,' replied her brother, 'to confront this
miscreant, even in the den he has constructed for himself; I think I have
seen him.'

'But you must consider,' said Julia, 'that you are now left under Lucy's
guard and mine, and are responsible to us for all your motions, consider,
I have not been a lawyer's mistress twelve hours for nothing, and I
assure you it would be madness to attempt to go to Ellangowan just now.
The utmost to which I can consent is, that we shall walk in a body to the
head of the Woodbourne avenue, and from that perhaps we may indulge you
with our company as far as a rising ground in the common, whence your
eyes may be blessed with a distant prospect of those gloomy towers which
struck so strongly your sympathetic imagination.'

The party was speedily agreed upon; and the ladies, having taken their
cloaks, followed the route proposed, under the escort of Captain Bertram.
It was a pleasant winter morning, and the cool breeze served only to
freshen, not to chill, the fair walkers. A secret though unacknowledged
bond of kindness combined the two ladies, and Bertram, now hearing the
interesting accounts of his own family, now communicating his adventures
in Europe and in India, repaid the pleasure which he received. Lucy felt
proud of her brother, as well from the bold and manly turn of his
sentiments as from the dangers he had encountered, and the spirit with
which he had surmounted them. And Julia, while she pondered on her
father's words, could not help entertaining hopes that the independent
spirit which had seemed to her father presumption in the humble and
plebeian Brown would have the grace of courage, noble bearing, and high
blood in the far-descended heir of Ellangowan.

They reached at length the little eminence or knoll upon the highest part
of the common, called Gibbie's Knowe--a spot repeatedly mentioned in this
history as being on the skirts of the Ellangowan estate. It commanded a
fair variety of hill and dale, bordered with natural woods, whose naked
boughs at this season relieved the general colour of the landscape with a
dark purple hue; while in other places the prospect was more formally
intersected by lines of plantation, where the Scotch firs displayed their
variety of dusky green. At the distance of two or three miles lay the bay
of Ellangowan, its waves rippling under the influence of the western
breeze. The towers of the ruined castle, seen high over every object in
the neighbourhood, received a brighter colouring from the wintry sun.

'There,' said Lucy Bertram, pointing them out in the distance, 'there is
the seat of our ancestors. God knows, my dear brother, I do not covet in
your behalf the extensive power which the lords of these ruins are said
to have possessed so long, and sometimes to have used so ill. But, O that
I might see you in possession of such relics of their fortune as should
give you an honourable independence, and enable you to stretch your hand
for the protection of the old and destitute dependents of our family,
whom our poor father's death--'

'True, my dearest Lucy,' answered the young heir of Ellangowan; 'and I
trust, with the assistance of Heaven, which has so far guided us, and
with that of these good friends, whom their own generous hearts have
interested in my behalf, such a consummation of my hard adventures is now
not unlikely. But as a soldier I must look with some interest upon that
worm-eaten hold of ragged stone; and if this undermining scoundrel who is
now in possession dare to displace a pebble of it--'

He was here interrupted by Dinmont, who came hastily after them up the
road, unseen till he was near the party: 'Captain, Captain! ye're wanted.
Ye're wanted by her ye ken o'.'

And immediately Meg Merrilies, as if emerging out of the earth, ascended
from the hollow way and stood before them. 'I sought ye at the house,'
she said, 'and found but him (pointing to Dinmont). But ye are right, and
I was wrang; it is HERE we should meet, on this very spot, where my eyes
last saw your father. Remember your promise and follow me.'

To hail the king in seemly sort
The ladie was full fain,
But King Arthur, all sore amazed,
No answer made again
'What wight art thou,' the ladie said,
'That will not speak to me?
Sir, I may chance to ease thy pain,
Though I be foul to see'

The Marriage of Sir Gawaine.

The fairy bride of Sir Gawaine, while under the influence of the spell of
her wicked step-mother, was more decrepit probably, and what is commonly
called more ugly, than Meg Merrilies; but I doubt if she possessed that
wild sublimity which an excited imagination communicated to features
marked and expressive in their own peculiar character, and to the
gestures of a form which, her sex considered, might be termed gigantic.
Accordingly, the Knights of the Round Table did not recoil with more
terror from the apparition of the loathly lady placed between 'an oak and
a green holly,' than Lucy Bertram and Julia Mannering did from the
appearance of this Galwegian sibyl upon the common of Ellangowan.

'For God's sake,' said Julia, pulling out her purse, 'give that dreadful
woman something and bid her go away.'

'I cannot,' said Bertram; 'I must not offend her.'

'What keeps you here?' said Meg, exalting the harsh and rough tones of
her hollow voice. 'Why do you not follow? Must your hour call you twice?
Do you remember your oath? "Were it at kirk or market, wedding or
burial,"'--and she held high her skinny forefinger in a menacing

Bertram--turned round to his terrified companions. 'Excuse me for a
moment; I am engaged by a promise to follow this woman.'

'Good Heavens! engaged to a madwoman?' said Julia.

'Or to a gipsy, who has her band in the wood ready to murder you!' said

'That was not spoken like a bairn of Ellangowan,' said Meg, frowning upon
Miss Bertram. 'It is the ill-doers are ill-dreaders.'

'In short, I must go,' said Bertram, 'it is absolutely necessary; wait
for me five minutes on this spot.'

'Five minutes?' said the gipsy, 'five hours may not bring you here

'Do you hear that?' said Julia; 'for Heaven's sake do not go!'

'I must, I must; Mr. Dinmont will protect you back to the house.'

'No,' said Meg, 'he must come with you; it is for that he is here. He
maun take part wi' hand and heart; and weel his part it is, for redding
his quarrel might have cost you dear.'

'Troth, Luckie, it's very true,' said the steady farmer; 'and ere I turn
back frae the Captain's side I'll show that I haena forgotten 't.'

'O yes,' exclaimed both the ladies at once, 'let Mr. Dinmont go with you,
if go you must, on this strange summons.'

'Indeed I must,' answered Bertram; 'but you see I am safely guarded.
Adieu for a short time; go home as fast as you can.'

He pressed his sister's hand, and took a yet more affectionate farewell
of Julia with his eyes. Almost stupefied with surprise and fear, the
young ladies watched with anxious looks the course of Bertram, his
companion, and their extraordinary guide. Her tall figure moved across
the wintry heath with steps so swift, so long, and so steady that she
appeared rather to glide than to walk. Bertram and Dinmont, both tall
men, apparently scarce equalled her in height, owing to her longer dress
and high head-gear. She proceeded straight across the common, without
turning aside to the winding path by which passengers avoided the
inequalities and little rills that traversed it in different directions.
Thus the diminishing figures often disappeared from the eye, as they
dived into such broken ground, and again ascended to sight when they were
past the hollow. There was something frightful and unearthly, as it were,
in the rapid and undeviating course which she pursued, undeterred by any
of the impediments which usually incline a traveller from the direct
path. Her way was as straight, and nearly as swift, as that of a bird
through the air. At length they reached those thickets of natural wood
which extended from the skirts of the common towards the glades and brook
of Derncleugh, and were there lost to the view.

'This is very extraordinary,' said Lucy after a pause, and turning round
to her companion; 'what can he have to do with that old hag?'

'It is very frightful,' answered Julia, 'and almost reminds me of the
tales of sorceresses, witches, and evil genii which I have heard in
India. They believe there in a fascination of the eye by which those who
possess it control the will and dictate the motions of their victims.
What can your brother have in common with that fearful woman that he
should leave us, obviously against his will, to attend to her commands?'

'At least,' said Lucy, 'we may hold him safe from harm; for she would
never have summoned that faithful creature Dinmont, of whose strength,
courage, and steadiness Henry said so much, to attend upon an expedition
where she projected evil to the person of his friend. And now let us go
back to the house till the Colonel returns. Perhaps Bertram may be back
first; at any rate, the Colonel will judge what is to be done.'

Leaning, then, upon each other's arm, but yet occasionally stumbling,
between fear and the disorder of their nerves, they at length reached the
head of the avenue, when they heard the tread of a horse behind. They
started, for their ears were awake to every sound, and beheld to their
great pleasure young Hazlewood. 'The Colonel will be here immediately,'
he said; 'I galloped on before to pay my respects to Miss Bertram, with
the sincerest congratulations upon the joyful event which has taken place
in her family. I long to be introduced to Captain Bertram, and to thank
him for the well-deserved lesson he gave to my rashness and

'He has left us just now,' said Lucy, 'and in a manner that has
frightened us very much.'

Just at that moment the Colonel's carriage drove up, and, on observing
the ladies, stopped, while Mannering and his learned counsel alighted and
joined them. They instantly communicated the new cause of alarm.

'Meg Merrilies again!' said the Colonel. 'She certainly is a most
mysterious and unaccountable personage; but I think she must have
something to impart to Bertram to which she does not mean we should be

'The devil take the bedlamite old woman,' said the Counsellor; 'will she
not let things take their course, prout de lege, but must always be
putting in her oar in her own way? Then I fear from the direction they
took they are going upon the Ellangowan estate. That rascal Glossin has
shown us what ruffians he has at his disposal; I wish honest Liddesdale
maybe guard sufficient.'

'If you please,' said Hazlewood, 'I should be most happy to ride in the
direction which they have taken. I am so well known in the country that I
scarce think any outrage will be offered in my presence, and I shall keep
at such a cautious distance as not to appear to watch Meg, or interrupt
any communication which she may make.'

'Upon my word,' said Pleydell (aside), 'to be a sprig whom I remember
with a whey face and a satchel not so very many years ago, I think young
Hazlewood grows a fine fellow. I am more afraid of a new attempt at legal
oppression than at open violence, and from that this young man's presence
would deter both Glossin and his understrappers.--Hie away then, my boy;
peer out--peer out, you 'll find them somewhere about Derncleugh, or very
probably in Warroch wood.'

Hazlewood turned his horse. 'Come back to us to dinner, Hazlewood,' cried
the Colonel. He bowed, spurred his horse, and galloped off.

We now return to Bertram and Dinmont, who continued to follow their
mysterious guide through the woods and dingles between the open common
and the ruined hamlet of Derncleugh. As she led the way she never looked
back upon her followers, unless to chide them for loitering, though the
sweat, in spite of the season, poured from their brows. At other times
she spoke to herself in such broken expressions as these: 'It is to
rebuild the auld house, it is to lay the corner-stone; and did I not warn
him? I tell'd him I was born to do it, if my father's head had been the
stepping-stane, let alane his. I was doomed--still I kept my purpose in
the cage and in the stocks; I was banished--I kept it in an unco land; I
was scourged, I was branded--my resolution lay deeper than scourge or red
iron could reach;--and now the hour is come.'

'Captain,' said Dinmont, in a half whisper, 'I wish she binna uncanny!
her words dinna seem to come in God's name, or like other folks'. Od,
they threep in our country that there ARE sic things.'

'Don't be afraid, my friend,' whispered Bertram in return.

'Fear'd! fient a haet care I,' said the dauntless farmer; 'be she witch
or deevil, it's a' ane to Dandie Dinmont.'

'Haud your peace, gudeman,' said Meg, looking sternly over her shoulder;
'is this a time or place for you to speak, think ye?'

'But, my good friend,' said Bertram, 'as I have no doubt in your good
faith or kindness, which I have experienced, you should in return have
some confidence in me; I wish to know where you are leading us.'

'There's but ae answer to that, Henry Bertram,' said the sibyl. 'I swore
my tongue should never tell, but I never said my finger should never
show. Go on and meet your fortune, or turn back and lose it: that's a' I
hae to say.'

'Go on then,' answered Bertram; 'I will ask no more questions.'

They descended into the glen about the same place where Meg had formerly
parted from Bertram. She paused an instant beneath the tall rock where he
had witnessed the burial of a dead body and stamped upon the ground,
which, notwithstanding all the care that had been taken, showed vestiges
of having been recently moved. 'Here rests ane,' she said; 'he'll maybe
hae neibours sune.'

She then moved up the brook until she came to the ruined hamlet, where,
pausing with a look of peculiar and softened interest before one of the
gables which was still standing, she said in a tone less abrupt, though
as solemn as before, 'Do you see that blackit and broken end of a
sheeling? There my kettle boiled for forty years; there I bore twelve
buirdly sons and daughters. Where are they now? where are the leaves that
were on that auld ash tree at Martinmas! The west wind has made it bare;
and I'm stripped too. Do you see that saugh tree? it's but a blackened
rotten stump now. I've sate under it mony a bonnie summer afternoon, when
it hung its gay garlands ower the poppling water. I've sat there, and,'
elevating her voice, 'I've held you on my knee, Henry Bertram, and sung
ye sangs of the auld barons and their bloody wars. It will ne'er be green
again, and Meg Merrilies will never sing sangs mair, be they blythe or
sad. But ye'll no forget her, and ye'll gar big up the auld wa's for her
sake? And let somebody live there that's ower gude to fear them of
another warld. For if ever the dead came back amang the living, I'll be
seen in this glen mony a night after these crazed banes are in the

The mixture of insanity and wild pathos with which she spoke these last
words, with her right arm bare and extended, her left bent and shrouded
beneath the dark red drapery of her mantle, might have been a study
worthy of our Siddons herself. 'And now,' she said, resuming at once the
short, stern, and hasty tone which was most ordinary to her, 'let us to
the wark, let us to the wark.'

She then led the way to the promontory on which the Kaim of Derncleugh
was situated, produced a large key from her pocket, and unlocked the
door. The interior of this place was in better order than formerly. 'I
have made things decent,' she said; 'I may be streekit here or night.
There will be few, few at Meg's lykewake, for mony of our folk will blame
what I hae done, and am to do!'

She then pointed to a table, upon which was some cold meat, arranged with
more attention to neatness than could have been expected from Meg's
habits. 'Eat,' she said--'eat; ye'll need it this night yet.'

Bertram, in complaisance, eat a morsel or two; and Dinmont, whose
appetite was unabated either by wonder, apprehension, or the meal of the
morning, made his usual figure as a trencherman. She then offered each a
single glass of spirits, which Bertram drank diluted, and his companion

'Will ye taste naething yoursell, Luckie?' said Dinmont.

'I shall not need it,' replied their mysterious hostess. 'And now,' she
said, 'ye maun hae arms: ye maunna gang on dry-handed; but use them not
rashly. Take captive, but save life; let the law hae its ain. He maun
speak ere he die.'

'Who is to be taken? who is to speak?' said Bertram, in astonishment,
receiving a pair of pistols which she offered him, and which, upon
examining, he found loaded and locked.

'The flints are gude,' she said, 'and the powder dry; I ken this wark

Then, without answering his questions, she armed Dinmont also with a
large pistol, and desired them to choose sticks for themselves out of a
parcel of very suspicious-looking bludgeons which she brought from a
corner. Bertram took a stout sapling, and Dandie selected a club which
might have served Hercules himself. They then left the hut together, and
in doing so Bertram took an opportunity to whisper to Dinmont, 'There's
something inexplicable in all this. But we need not use these arms unless
we see necessity and lawful occasion; take care to do as you see me do.'

Dinmont gave a sagacious nod, and they continued to follow, over wet and
over dry, through bog and through fallow, the footsteps of their
conductress. She guided them to the wood of Warroch by the same track
which the late Ellangowan had used when riding to Derncleugh in quest of
his child on the miserable evening of Kennedy's murder.

When Meg Merrilies had attained these groves, through which the wintry
sea-wind was now whistling hoarse and shrill, she seemed to pause a
moment as if to recollect the way. 'We maun go the precise track,' she
said, and continued to go forward, but rather in a zigzag and involved
course than according to her former steady and direct line of motion. At
length she guided them through the mazes of the wood to a little open
glade of about a quarter of an acre, surrounded by trees and bushes,
which made a wild and irregular boundary. Even in winter it was a
sheltered and snugly sequestered spot; but when arrayed in the verdure of
spring, the earth sending forth all its wild flowers, the shrubs
spreading their waste of blossom around it, and the weeping birches,
which towered over the underwood, drooping their long and leafy fibres to
intercept the sun, it must have seemed a place for a youthful poet to
study his earliest sonnet, or a pair of lovers to exchange their first
mutual avowal of affection. Apparently it now awakened very different
recollections. Bertram's brow, when he had looked round the spot, became
gloomy and embarrassed. Meg, after uttering to herself, 'This is the very
spot!' looked at him with a ghastly side-glance--'D'ye mind it?'

'Yes!' answered Bertram, 'imperfectly I do.'

'Ay!' pursued his guide, 'on this very spot the man fell from his horse.
I was behind that bourtree bush at the very moment. Sair, sair he strove,
and sair he cried for mercy; but he was in the hands of them that never
kenn'd the word! Now will I show you the further track; the last time ye
travelled it was in these arms.'

She led them accordingly by a long and winding passage, almost overgrown
with brushwood, until, without any very perceptible descent, they
suddenly found themselves by the seaside. Meg then walked very fast on
between the surf and the rocks, until she came to a remarkable fragment
of rock detached from the rest. 'Here,' she said in a low and scarcely
audible whisper--'here the corpse was found.'

'And the cave,' said Bertram, in the same tone, 'is close beside it; are
you guiding us there?'

'Yes,' said the gipsy in a decided tone. 'Bend up both your hearts;
follow me as I creep in; I have placed the fire-wood so as to screen you.
Bide behind it for a gliff till I say, "The hour and the man are baith
come"; then rin in on him, take his arms, and bind him till the blood
burst frae his finger nails.'

'I will, by my soul,' said Henry, 'if he is the man I suppose--Jansen?'

'Ay, Jansen, Hatteraick, and twenty mair names are his.'

'Dinmont, you must stand by me now,' said Bertram, 'for this fellow is a

'Ye needna doubt that,' said the stout yeoman; 'but I wish I could mind a
bit prayer or I creep after the witch into that hole that she's opening.
It wad be a sair thing to leave the blessed sun and the free air, and
gang and be killed like a tod that's run to earth, in a dungeon like
that. But, my sooth, they will be hard-bitten terriers will worry Dandie;
so, as I said, deil hae me if I baulk you.' This was uttered in the
lowest tone of voice possible. The entrance was now open. Meg crept in
upon her hands and knees, Bertram followed, and Dinmont, after giving a
rueful glance toward the daylight, whose blessings he was abandoning,
brought up the rear.

Die, prophet! in thy speech;
For this, among the rest, was I ordained.

Henry VI. Part III.

The progress of the Borderer, who, as we have said, was the last of the
party, was fearfully arrested by a hand, which caught hold of his leg as
he dragged his long limbs after him in silence and perturbation through
the low and narrow entrance of the subterranean passage. The steel heart
of the bold yeoman had well-nigh given way, and he suppressed with
difficulty a shout, which, in the defenceless posture and situation which
they then occupied, might have cost all their lives. He contented
himself, however, with extricating his foot from the grasp of this
unexpected follower. 'Be still,' said a voice behind him, releasing him;
'I am a friend--Charles Hazlewood.'

These words were uttered in a very low voice, but they produced sound
enough to startle Meg Merrilies, who led the van, and who, having already
gained the place where the cavern expanded, had risen upon her feet. She
began, as if to confound any listening ear, to growl, to mutter, and to
sing aloud, and at the same time to make a bustle among some brushwood
which was now heaped in the cave.

'Here, beldam, deyvil's kind,' growled the harsh voice of Dirk Hatteraick
from the inside of his den, 'what makest thou there?'

'Laying the roughies to keep the cauld wind frae you, ye desperate
do-nae-good. Ye're e'en ower weel off, and wotsna; it will be otherwise

'Have you brought me the brandy, and any news of my people?' said Dirk

'There's the flask for ye. Your people--dispersed, broken, gone, or cut
to ribbands by the redcoats.'

'Der deyvil! this coast is fatal to me.'

'Ye may hae mair reason to say sae.'

While this dialogue went forward, Bertram and Dinmont had both gained the
interior of the cave and assumed an erect position. The only light which
illuminated its rugged and sable precincts was a quantity of wood burnt
to charcoal in an iron grate, such as they use in spearing salmon by
night. On these red embers Hatteraick from time to time threw a handful
of twigs or splintered wood; but these, even when they blazed up,
afforded a light much disproportioned to the extent of the cavern; and,
as its principal inhabitant lay upon the side of the grate most remote
from the entrance, it was not easy for him to discover distinctly objects
which lay in that direction. The intruders, therefore, whose number was
now augmented unexpectedly to three, stood behind the loosely-piled
branches with little risk of discovery. Dinmont had the sense to keep
back Hazlewood with one hand till he whispered to Bertram, 'A
friend--young Hazlewood.'

It was no time for following up the introduction, and they all stood as
still as the rocks around them, obscured behind the pile of brushwood,
which had been probably placed there to break the cold wind from the sea,
without totally intercepting the supply of air. The branches were laid so
loosely above each other that, looking through them towards the light of
the fire-grate, they could easily discover what passed in its vicinity,
although a much stronger degree of illumination than it afforded would
not have enabled the persons placed near the bottom of the cave to have
descried them in the position which they occupied.

The scene, independent of the peculiar moral interest and personal danger
which attended it, had, from the effect of the light and shade on the
uncommon objects which it exhibited, an appearance emphatically dismal.
The light in the fire-grate was the dark-red glare of charcoal in a state
of ignition, relieved from time to time by a transient flame of a more
vivid or duskier light, as the fuel with which Dirk Hatteraick fed his
fire was better or worse fitted for his purpose. Now a dark cloud of
stifling smoke rose up to the roof of the cavern, and then lighted into a
reluctant and sullen blaze, which flashed wavering up the pillar of
smoke, and was suddenly rendered brighter and more lively by some drier
fuel, or perhaps some splintered fir-timber, which at once converted the
smoke into flame. By such fitful irradiation they could see, more or less
distinctly, the form of Hatteraick, whose savage and rugged cast of
features, now rendered yet more ferocious by the circumstances of his
situation and the deep gloom of his mind, assorted well with the rugged
and broken vault, which rose in a rude arch over and around him. The form
of Meg Merrilies, which stalked about him, sometimes in the light,
sometimes partially obscured in the smoke or darkness, contrasted
strongly with the sitting figure of Hatteraick as he bent over the flame,
and from his stationary posture was constantly visible to the spectator,
while that of the female flitted around, appearing or disappearing like a

Bertram felt his blood boil at the sight of Hatteraick. He remembered him
well under the name of Jansen, which the smuggler had adopted after the
death of Kennedy; and he remembered also that this Jansen, and his mate
Brown, the same who was shot at Woodbourne, had been the brutal tyrants
of his infancy. Bertram knew farther, from piecing his own imperfect
recollections with the narratives of Mannering and Pleydell, that this
man was the prime agent in the act of violence which tore him from his
family and country, and had exposed him to so many distresses and
dangers. A thousand exasperating reflections rose within his bosom; and
he could hardly refrain from rushing upon Hatteraick and blowing his
brains out.

At the same time this would have been no safe adventure. The flame, as it
rose and fell, while it displayed the strong, muscular, and broad-chested
frame of the ruffian, glanced also upon two brace of pistols in his belt,
and upon the hilt of his cutlass: it was not to be doubted that his
desperation was commensurate with his personal strength and means of
resistance. Both, indeed, were inadequate to encounter the combined power
of two such men as Bertram himself and his friend Dinmont, without
reckoning their unexpected assistant Hazlewood, who was unarmed, and of a
slighter make; but Bertram felt, on a moment's reflection, that there
would be neither sense nor valour in anticipating the hangman's office,
and he considered the importance of making Hatteraick prisoner alive. He
therefore repressed his indignation, and awaited what should pass between
the ruffian and his gipsy guide.

'And how are ye now?' said the harsh and discordant tones of his female
attendant.' Said I not, it would come upon you--ay, and in this very
cave, where ye harboured after the deed?'

'Wetter and sturm, ye hag!' replied Hatteraick, 'keep your deyvil's
matins till they're wanted. Have you seen Glossin?'

'No,' replied Meg Merrilies; 'you've missed your blow, ye blood-spiller!
and ye have nothing to expect from the tempter.'

'Hagel!' exclaimed the ruffian, 'if I had him but by the throat! And what
am I to do then?'

'Do?' answered the gipsy; 'die like a man, or be hanged like a dog!'

'Hanged, ye hag of Satan! The hemp's not sown that shall hang me.'

'It's sown, and it's grown, and it's heckled, and it's twisted. Did I not
tell ye, when ye wad take away the boy Harry Bertram, in spite of my
prayers,--did I not say he would come back when he had dree'd his weird
in foreign land till his twenty-first year? Did I not say the auld fire
would burn down to a spark, but wad kindle again?'

'Well, mother, you did say so,' said Hatteraick, in a tone that had
something of despair in its accents; 'and, donner and blitzen! I believe
you spoke the truth. That younker of Ellangowan has been a rock ahead to
me all my life! And now, with Glossin's cursed contrivance, my crew have
been cut off, my boats destroyed, and I daresay the lugger's taken; there
were not men enough left on board to work her, far less to fight her--a
dredge-boat might have taken her. And what will the owners say? Hagel and
sturm! I shall never dare go back again to Flushing.'

'You'll never need,' said the gipsy.

'What are you doing there,' said her companion; 'and what makes you say

During this dialogue Meg was heaping some flax loosely together. Before
answer to this question she dropped a firebrand upon the flax, which had
been previously steeped in some spirituous liquor, for it instantly
caught fire and rose in a vivid pyramid of the most brilliant light up to
the very top of the vault. As it ascended Meg answered the ruffian's
question in a firm and steady voice: 'BECAUSE THE HOUR'S COME, AND THE

At the appointed signal Bertram and Dinmont sprung over the brushwood and
rushed upon Hatteraick. Hazlewood, unacquainted with their plan of
assault, was a moment later. The ruffian, who instantly saw he was
betrayed, turned his first vengeance on Meg Merrilies, at whom he
discharged a pistol. She fell with a piercing and dreadful cry between
the shriek of pain and the sound of laughter when at its highest and most
suffocating height. 'I kenn'd it would be this way,' she said.

Bertram, in his haste, slipped his foot upon the uneven rock which
floored the cave--a fortunate stumble, for Hatteraick's second bullet
whistled over him with so true and steady an aim that, had he been
standing upright, it must have lodged in his brain. Ere the smuggler
could draw another pistol, Dinmont closed with him, and endeavoured by
main force to pinion down his arms. Such, however, was the wretch's
personal strength, joined to the efforts of his despair, that, in spite
of the gigantic force with which the Borderer grappled him, he dragged
Dinmont through the blazing flax, and had almost succeeded in drawing a
third pistol, which might have proved fatal to the honest farmer, had not
Bertram, as well as Hazlewood, come to his assistance, when, by main
force, and no ordinary exertion of it, they threw Hatteraick on the
ground, disarmed him, and bound him. This scuffle, though it takes up
some time in the narrative, passed in less than a single minute. When he
was fairly mastered, after one or two desperate and almost convulsionary
struggles, the ruffian lay perfectly still and silent. 'He's gaun to die
game ony how,' said Dinmont; 'weel, I like him na the waur for that.'

This observation honest Dandie made while he was shaking the blazing flax
from his rough coat and shaggy black hair, some of which had been singed
in the scuffle. 'He is quiet now,' said Bertram; 'stay by him and do not
permit him to stir till I see whether the poor woman be alive or dead.'
With Hazlewood's assistance he raised Meg Merrilies.

'I kenn'd it would be this way,' she muttered, 'and it's e'en this way
that it should be.'

The ball had penetrated the breast below the throat. It did not bleed
much externally; but Bertram, accustomed to see gunshot wounds, thought
it the more alarming. 'Good God! what shall we do for this poor woman?'
said he to Hazlewood, the circumstances superseding the necessity of
previous explanation or introduction to each other.

'My horse stands tied above in the wood,' said Hazlewood. 'I have been
watching you these two hours. I will ride off for some assistants that
may be trusted. Meanwhile, you had better defend the mouth of the cavern
against every one until I return.' He hastened away. Bertram, after
binding Meg Merrilies's wound as well as he could, took station near the
mouth of the cave with a cocked pistol in his hand; Dinmont continued to
watch Hatteraick, keeping a grasp like that of Hercules on his breast.
There was a dead silence in the cavern, only interrupted by the low and
suppressed moaning of the wounded female and by the hard breathing of the

For though, seduced and led astray,
Thoust travell'd far and wander'd long,
Thy God hath seen thee all the way,
And all the turns that led thee wrong

The Hall of Justice.

After the space of about three-quarters of an hour, which the uncertainty
and danger of their situation made seem almost thrice as long, the voice
of young Hazlewood was heard without. 'Here I am,' he cried, 'with a
sufficient party.'

'Come in then,' answered Bertram, not a little pleased to find his guard
relieved. Hazlewood then entered, followed by two or three countrymen,
one of whom acted as a peace-officer. They lifted Hatteraick up and
carried him in their arms as far as the entrance of the vault was high
enough to permit them; then laid him on his back and dragged him along as
well as they could, for no persuasion would induce him to assist the
transportation by any exertion of his own. He lay as silent and inactive
in their hands as a dead corpse, incapable of opposing, but in no way
aiding, their operations. When he was dragged into daylight and placed
erect upon his feet among three or four assistants who had remained
without the cave, he seemed stupefied and dazzled by the sudden change
from the darkness of his cavern. While others were superintending the
removal of Meg Merrilies, those who remained with Hatteraick attempted to
make him sit down upon a fragment of rock which lay close upon the
high-water mark. A strong shuddering convulsed his iron frame for an
instant as he resisted their purpose. 'Not there! Hagel! you would not
make me sit THERE?'

These were the only words he spoke; but their import, and the deep tone
of horror in which they were uttered, served to show what was passing in
his mind.

When Meg Merrilies had also been removed from the cavern, with all the
care for her safety that circumstances admitted, they consulted where she
should be carried. Hazlewood had sent for a surgeon, and proposed that
she should be lifted in the meantime to the nearest cottage. But the
patient exclaimed with great earnestness, 'Na, na, na! to the Kaim o'
Derncleugh--the Kaim o' Derncleugh; the spirit will not free itself o'
the flesh but there.'

'You must indulge her, I believe,' said Bertram; 'her troubled
imagination will otherwise aggravate the fever of the wound.'

They bore her accordingly to the vault. On the way her mind seemed to run
more upon the scene which had just passed than on her own approaching
death. 'There were three of them set upon him: I brought the twasome, but
wha was the third? It would be HIMSELL, returned to work his ain

It was evident that the unexpected appearance of Hazlewood, whose person
the outrage of Hatteraick left her no time to recognise, had produced a
strong effect on her imagination. She often recurred to it. Hazlewood
accounted for his unexpected arrival to Bertram by saying that he had
kept them in view for some time by the direction of Mannering; that,
observing them disappear into the cave, he had crept after them, meaning
to announce himself and his errand, when his hand in the darkness
encountering the leg of Dinmont had nearly produced a catastrophe, which,
indeed, nothing but the presence of mind and fortitude of the bold yeoman
could have averted.

When the gipsy arrived at the hut she produced the key; and when they
entered, and were about to deposit her upon the bed, she said, in an
anxious tone, 'Na, na! not that way--the feet to the east'; and appeared
gratified when they reversed her posture accordingly, and placed her in
that appropriate to a dead body.

'Is there no clergyman near,' said Bertram, 'to assist this unhappy
woman's devotions?'

A gentleman, the minister of the parish, who had been Charles Hazlewood's
tutor, had, with many others, caught the alarm that the murderer of
Kennedy was taken on the spot where the deed had been done so many years
before, and that a woman was mortally wounded. From curiosity, or rather
from the feeling that his duty called him to scenes of distress, this
gentleman had come to the Kaim of Derncleugh, and now presented himself.
The surgeon arrived at the same time, and was about to probe the wound;
but Meg resisted the assistance of either. 'It's no what man can do that
will heal my body or save my spirit. Let me speak what I have to say, and
then ye may work your will; I'se be nae hindrance. But where's Henry
Bertram?' The assistants, to whom this name had been long a stranger,
gazed upon each other. 'Yes!' she said, in a stronger and harsher tone,
'I said HENRY BERTRAM OF ELLANGOWAN. Stand from the light and let me see

All eyes were turned towards Bertram, who approached the wretched couch.
The wounded woman took hold of his hand. 'Look at him,' she said, 'all
that ever saw his father or his grandfather, and bear witness if he is
not their living image?' A murmur went through the crowd; the resemblance
was too striking to be denied. 'And now hear me; and let that man,'
pointing to Hatteraick, who was seated with his keepers on a sea-chest at
some distance--'let him deny what I say if he can. That is Henry Bertram,
son to Godfrey Bertram, umquhile of Ellangowan; that young man is the
very lad-bairn that Dirk Hatteraick carried off from Warroch wood the day
that he murdered the gauger. I was there like a wandering spirit, for I
longed to see that wood or we left the country. I saved the bairn's life,
and sair, sair I prigged and prayed they would leave him wi' me. But they
bore him away, and he's been lang ower the sea, and now he's come for his
ain, and what should withstand him? I swore to keep the secret till he
was ane-an'-twenty; I kenn'd he behoved to dree his weird till that day
cam. I keepit that oath which I took to them; but I made another vow to
mysell, that if I lived to see the day of his return I would set him in
his father's seat, if every step was on a dead man. I have keepit that
oath too. I will be ae step mysell, he (pointing to Hatteraick) will soon
be another, and there will be ane mair yet.'

The clergyman, now interposing, remarked it was a pity this deposition
was not regularly taken and written down, and the surgeon urged the
necessity of examining the wound, previously to exhausting her by
questions. When she saw them removing Hatteraick, in order to clear the
room and leave the surgeon to his operations, she called out aloud,
raising herself at the same time upon the couch, 'Dirk Hatteraick, you
and I will never meet again until we are before the judgment-seat; will
ye own to what I have said, or will you dare deny it?' He turned his
hardened brow upon her, with a look of dumb and inflexible defiance.
'Dirk Hatteraick, dare ye deny, with my blood upon your hands, one word
of what my dying breath is uttering?' He looked at her with the same
expression of hardihood and dogged stubbornness, and moved his lips, but
uttered no sound. 'Then fareweel!' she said, 'and God forgive you! your
hand has sealed my evidence. When I was in life I was the mad randy
gipsy, that had been scourged and banished and branded; that had begged
from door to door, and been hounded like a stray tyke from parish to
parish; wha would hae minded HER tale? But now I am a dying woman, and my
words will not fall to the ground, any more than the earth will cover my

She here paused, and all left the hut except the surgeon and two or three
women. After a very short examination he shook his head and resigned his
post by the dying woman's side to the clergyman.

A chaise returning empty to Kippletringan had been stopped on the
highroad by a constable, who foresaw it would be necessary to convey
Hatteraick to jail. The driver, understanding what was going on at
Derncleugh, left his horses to the care of a blackguard boy, confiding,
it is to be supposed, rather in the years and discretion of the cattle
than in those of their keeper, and set off full speed to see, as he
expressed himself, 'whaten a sort o' fun was gaun on.' He arrived just as
the group of tenants and peasants, whose numbers increased every moment,
satiated with gazing upon the rugged features of Hatteraick, had turned
their attention towards Bertram. Almost all of them, especially the aged
men who had seen Ellangowan in his better days, felt and acknowledged the
justice of Meg Merrilies's appeal. But the Scotch are a cautious people:
they remembered there was another in possession of the estate, and they
as yet only expressed their feelings in low whispers to each other. Our
friend Jock Jabos, the postilion, forced his way into the middle of the
circle; but no sooner cast his eyes upon Bertram than he started back in
amazement, with a solemn exclamation, 'As sure as there's breath in man,
it's auld Ellangowan arisen from the dead!'

This public declaration of an unprejudiced witness was just the spark
wanted to give fire to the popular feeling, which burst forth in three
distinct shouts: 'Bertram for ever!' 'Long life to the heir of
Ellangowan!' 'God send him his ain, and to live among us as his forebears
did of yore!'

'I hae been seventy years on the land,' said one person.

'I and mine hae been seventy and seventy to that,' said another; 'I have
a right to ken the glance of a Bertram.'

'I and mine hae been three hundred years here,' said another old man,
'and I sail sell my last cow, but I'll see the young Laird placed in his

The women, ever delighted with the marvellous, and not less so when a
handsome young man is the subject of the tale, added their shrill
acclamations to the general all-hail. 'Blessings on him; he's the very
picture o' his father! The Bertrams were aye the wale o' the country

'Eh! that his puir mother, that died in grief and in doubt about him, had
but lived to see this day!' exclaimed some female voices.

'But we'll help him to his ain, kimmers,' cried others; 'and before
Glossin sail keep the Place of Ellangowan we'll howk him out o't wi' our

Others crowded around Dinmont, who was nothing both to tell what he knew
of his friend, and to boast the honour which he had in contributing to
the discovery. As he was known to several of the principal farmers
present, his testimony afforded an additional motive to the general
enthusiasm. In short, it was one of those moments of intense feeling when
the frost of the Scottish people melts like a snow-wreath, and the
dissolving torrent carries dam and dyke before it.

The sudden shouts interrupted the devotions of the clergyman; and Meg,
who was in one of those dozing fits of stupefaction that precede the
close of existence, suddenly started--'Dinna ye hear? dinna ye hear? He's
owned! he's owned! I lived but for this. I am a sinfu' woman; but if my
curse brought it down, my blessing has taen it off! And now I wad hae
liked to hae said mair. But it canna be. Stay'--she continued, stretching
her head towards the gleam of light that shot through the narrow slit
which served for a window--'is he not there? Stand out o' the light, and
let me look upon him ance mair. But the darkness is in my ain een,' she
said, sinking back, after an earnest gaze upon vacuity; 'it's a' ended
Pass breath,
Come death!'
And, sinking back upon her couch of straw, she expired without a groan.
The clergyman and the surgeon carefully noted down all that she had said,
now deeply regretting they had not examined her more minutely, but both
remaining morally convinced of the truth of her disclosure.

Hazlewood was the first to compliment Bertram upon the near prospect of
his being restored to his name and rank in society. The people around,
who now learned from Jabos that Bertram was the person who had wounded
him, were struck with his generosity, and added his name to Bertram's in
their exulting acclamations.

Some, however, demanded of the postilion how he had not recognised
Bertram when he saw him some time before at Kippletringan. To which he
gave the very natural answer--'Hout, what was I thinking about Ellangowan
then? It was the cry that was rising e'en now that the young Laird was
found, that put me on finding out the likeness. There was nae missing it
ance ane was set to look for't.'

The obduracy of Hatteraick during the latter part of this scene was in
some slight degree shaken. He was observed to twinkle with his eyelids;
to attempt to raise his bound hands for the purpose of pulling his hat
over his brow; to look angrily and impatiently to the road, as if anxious
for the vehicle which was to remove him from the spot. At length Mr.
Hazlewood, apprehensive that the popular ferment might take a direction
towards the prisoner, directed he should be taken to the post-chaise, and
so removed to the town of Kippletringan, to be at Mr. Mac-Morlan's
disposal; at the same time he sent an express to warn that gentleman of
what had happened. 'And now,' he said to Bertram, 'I should be happy if
you would accompany me to Hazlewood House; but as that might not be so
agreeable just now as I trust it will be in a day or two, you must allow
me to return with you to Woodbourne. But you are on foot.'--'O, if the
young Laird would take my horse!'--'Or mine'--'Or mine,' said
half-a-dozen voices.--'Or mine; he can trot ten mile an hour without whip
or spur, and he's the young Laird's frae this moment, if he likes to take
him for a herezeld, [Footnote: See Note 8.] as they ca'd it lang syne.'
Bertram readily accepted the horse as a loan, and poured forth his thanks
to the assembled crowd for their good wishes, which they repaid with
shouts and vows of attachment.

While the happy owner was directing one lad to 'gae doun for the new
saddle'; another,' just to rin the beast ower wi' a dry wisp o' strae'; a
third, 'to hie doun and borrow Dan Dunkieson's plated stirrups,' and
expressing his regret 'that there was nae time to gie the nag a feed,
that the young Laird might ken his mettle,' Bertram, taking the clergyman
by the arm, walked into the vault and shut the door immediately after
them. He gazed in silence for some minutes upon the body of Meg
Merrilies, as it lay before him, with the features sharpened by death,
yet still retaining the stern and energetic character which had
maintained in life her superiority as the wild chieftainess of the
lawless people amongst whom she was born. The young soldier dried the
tears which involuntarily rose on viewing this wreck of one who might be
said to have died a victim to her fidelity to his person and family. He
then took the clergyman's hand and asked solemnly if she appeared able to
give that attention to his devotions which befitted a departing person.

'My dear sir,' said the good minister, 'I trust this poor woman had
remaining sense to feel and join in the import of my prayers. But let us
humbly hope we are judged of by our opportunities of religious and moral
instruction. In some degree she might be considered as an uninstructed
heathen, even in the bosom of a Christian country; and let us remember
that the errors and vices of an ignorant life were balanced by instances
of disinterested attachment, amounting almost to heroism. To HIM who can
alone weigh our crimes and errors against our efforts towards virtue we
consign her with awe, but not without hope.'

'May I request,' said Bertram, 'that you will see every decent solemnity
attended to in behalf of this poor woman? I have some property belonging
to her in my hands; at all events I will be answerable for the expense.
You will hear of me at Woodbourne.'

Dinmont, who had been furnished with a horse by one of his acquaintance,
now loudly called out that all was ready for their return; and Bertram
and Hazlewood, after a strict exhortation to the crowd, which was now
increased to several hundreds, to preserve good order in their rejoicing,
as the least ungoverned zeal might be turned to the disadvantage of the
young Laird, as they termed him, took their leave amid the shouts of the

As they rode past the ruined cottages at Derncleugh, Dinmont said, 'I'm
sure when ye come to your ain, Captain, ye'll no forget to bigg a bit
cot-house there? Deil be in me but I wad do't mysell, an it werena in
better hands. I wadna like to live in't, though, after what she said. Od,
I wad put in auld Elspeth, the bedral's widow; the like o' them's used
wi' graves and ghaists and thae things.'

A short but brisk ride brought them to Woodbourne. The news of their
exploit had already flown far and wide, and the whole inhabitants of the
vicinity met them on the lawn with shouts of congratulation. 'That you
have seen me alive,' said Bertram to Lucy, who first ran up to him,
though Julia's eyes even anticipated hers, 'you must thank these kind

With a blush expressing at once pleasure, gratitude, and bashfulness,
Lucy curtsied to Hazlewood, but to Dinmont she frankly extended her hand.
The honest farmer, in the extravagance of his joy, carried his freedom
farther than the hint warranted, for he imprinted his thanks on the
lady's lips, and was instantly shocked at the rudeness of his own
conduct. 'Lord sake, madam, I ask your pardon,' he said. 'I forgot but ye
had been a bairn o'my ain; the Captain's sae namely, he gars ane forget

Old Pleydell now advanced. 'Nay, if fees like these are going,' he said--

'Stop, stop, Mr. Pleydell,' said Julia, 'you had your fees beforehand;
remember last night.'

'Why, I do confess a retainer,' said the Barrister; 'but if I don't
deserve double fees from both Miss Bertram and you when I conclude my
examination of Dirk Hatteraick to-morrow--Gad, I will so supple him! You
shall see, Colonel; and you, my saucy misses, though you may not see,
shall hear.'

'Ay, that's if we choose to listen, Counsellor,' replied Julia.

'And you think,' said Pleydell, 'it's two to one you won't choose that?
But you have curiosity that teaches you the use of your ears now and

'I declare, Counsellor,' answered the lively damsel, 'that such saucy
bachelors as you would teach us the use of our fingers now and then.'

'Reserve them for the harpsichord, my love,' said the Counsellor. 'Better
for all parties.'

While this idle chat ran on, Colonel Mannering introduced to Bertram a
plain good-looking man, in a grey coat and waistcoat, buckskin breeches,
and boots. 'This, my dear sir, is Mr. Mac-Morlan.'

'To whom,' said Bertram, embracing him cordially, 'my sister was indebted
for a home, when deserted by all her natural friends and relations.'

The Dominie then pressed forward, grinned, chuckled, made a diabolical
sound in attempting to whistle, and finally, unable to stifle his
emotions, ran away to empty the feelings of his heart at his eyes.

We shall not attempt to describe the expansion of heart and glee of this
happy evening.

How like a hateful ape,
Detected grinning 'midst his pilfer'd hoard,
A cunning man appears, whose secret frauds
Are open'd to the day!

Count Basil

There was a great movement at Woodbourne early on the following morning
to attend the examination at Kippletringan. Mr. Pleydell, from the
investigation which he had formerly bestowed on the dark affair of
Kennedy's death, as well as from the general deference due to his
professional abilities, was requested by Mr. Mac-Morlan and Sir Robert
Hazlewood, and another justice of peace who attended, to take the
situation of chairman and the lead in the examination. Colonel Mannering
was invited to sit down with them. The examination, being previous to
trial, was private in other respects.

The Counsellor resumed and reinterrogated former evidence. He then
examined the clergyman and surgeon respecting the dying declaration of
Meg Merrilies. They stated that she distinctly, positively, and
repeatedly declared herself an eye-witness of Kennedy's death by the
hands of Hatteraick and two or three of his crew; that her presence was
accidental; that she believed their resentment at meeting him, when they
were in the act of losing their vessel through the means of his
information, led to the commission of the crime; that she said there was
one witness of the murder, but who refused to participate in it, still
alive--her nephew, Gabriel Faa; and she had hinted at another person who
was an accessory after, not before, the fact; but her strength there
failed her. They did not forget to mention her declaration that she had
saved the child, and that he was torn from her by the smugglers for the
purpose of carrying him to Holland. All these particulars were carefully
reduced to writing.

Dirk Hatteraick was then brought in, heavily ironed; for he had been
strictly secured and guarded, owing to his former escape. He was asked
his name; he made no answer. His profession; he was silent. Several other
questions were put, to none of which he returned any reply. Pleydell
wiped the glasses of his spectacles and considered the prisoner very
attentively. 'A very truculent-looking fellow,' he whispered to
Mannering; 'but, as Dogberry says, I'll go cunningly to work with him.
Here, call in Soles--Soles the shoemaker. Soles, do you remember
measuring some footsteps imprinted on the mud at the wood of Warroch
on--November 17--, by my orders?' Soles remembered the circumstance
perfectly. 'Look at that paper; is that your note of the measurement?'
Soles verified the memorandum. 'Now, there stands a pair of shoes on that
table; measure them, and see if they correspond with any of the marks you
have noted there.' The shoemaker obeyed, and declared 'that they answered
exactly to the largest of the footprints.'

'We shall prove,' said the Counsellor, aside to Mannering, 'that these
shoes, which were found in the ruins at Derncleugh, belonged to Brown,
the fellow whom you shot on the lawn at Woodbourne. Now, Soles, measure
that prisoner's feet very accurately.'

Mannering observed Hatteraick strictly, and could notice a visible
tremor. 'Do these measurements correspond with any of the footprints?'

The man looked at the note, then at his foot-rule and measure, then
verified his former measurement by a second. 'They correspond,' he said,
'within a hair-breadth to a foot-mark broader and shorter than the

Hatteraick's genius here deserted him. 'Der deyvil!' he broke out, 'how
could there be a footmark on the ground, when it was a frost as hard as
the heart of a Memel log?'

'In the evening, I grant you, Captain Hatteraick,' said Pleydell, 'but
not in the forenoon. Will you favour me with information where you were
upon the day you remember so exactly?'

Hatteraick saw his blunder, and again screwed up his hard features for
obstinate silence. 'Put down his observation, however,' said Pleydell to
the clerk.

At this moment the door opened, and, much to the surprise of most
present, Mr. Gilbert Glossin made his appearance. That worthy gentleman
had, by dint of watching and eavesdropping, ascertained that he was not
mentioned by name in Meg Merrilies's dying declaration--a circumstance
certainly not owing to any favourable disposition towards him, but to the
delay of taking her regular examination, and to the rapid approach of
death. He therefore supposed himself safe from all evidence but such as
might arise from Hatteraick's confession; to prevent which he resolved to
push a bold face and join his brethren of the bench during his
examination. 'I shall be able,' he thought, 'to make the rascal sensible
his safety lies in keeping his own counsel and mine; and my presence,
besides, will be a proof of confidence and innocence. If I must lose the
estate, I must; but I trust better things.'

He entered with a profound salutation to Sir Robert Hazlewood. Sir
Robert, who had rather begun to suspect that his plebeian neighbour had
made a cat's paw of him, inclined his head stiffly, took snuff, and
looked another way.

'Mr. Corsand,' said Glossin to the other yokefellow of justice, 'your
most humble servant.'

'Your humble servant, Mr. Glossin,' answered Mr. Corsand drily, composing
his countenance regis ad exemplar, that is to say, after the fashion of
the Baronet.

'Mac-Morlan, my worthy friend,' continued Glossin, 'how d' ye do; always
on your duty?'

'Umph,' said honest Mac-Morlan, with little respect either to the
compliment or salutation.

'Colonel Mannering (a low bow slightly returned), and Mr. Pleydell
(another low bow), I dared not have hoped for your assistance to poor
country gentlemen at this period of the session.'

Pleydell took snuff, and eyed him with a glance equally shrewd and
sarcastic. 'I'll teach him,' he said aside to Mannering, 'the value of
the old admonition, Ne accesseris in consilium antequam voceris.'

'But perhaps I intrude, gentlemen?' said Glossin, who could not fail to
observe the coldness of his reception. 'Is this an open meeting?'

'For my part,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'so far from considering your
attendance as an intrusion, Mr. Glossin, I was never so pleased in my
life to meet with you; especially as I think we should, at any rate, have
had occasion to request the favour of your company in the course of the

'Well, then, gentlemen,' said Glossin, drawing his chair to the table,
and beginning to bustle about among the papers, 'where are we? how far
have we got? where are the declarations?'

'Clerk, give me all these papers,' said Mr. Pleydell. 'I have an odd way
of arranging my documents, Mr. Glossin, another person touching them puts
me out; but I shall have occasion for your assistance by and by.'

Glossin, thus reduced to inactivity, stole one glance at Dirk Hatteraick,
but could read nothing in his dark scowl save malignity and hatred to all
around. 'But, gentlemen,' said Glossin, 'is it quite right to keep this
poor man so heavily ironed when he is taken up merely for examination?'

This was hoisting a kind of friendly signal to the prisoner. 'He has
escaped once before,' said Mac-Morlan drily, and Glossin was silenced.

Bertram was now introduced, and, to Glossin's confusion, was greeted in
the most friendly manner by all present, even by Sir Robert Hazlewood
himself. He told his recollections of his infancy with that candour and
caution of expression which afforded the best warrant for his good faith.
'This seems to be rather a civil than a criminal question,' said Glossin,
rising; 'and as you cannot be ignorant, gentlemen, of the effect which
this young person's pretended parentage may have on my patrimonial
interest, I would rather beg leave to retire.'

'No, my good sir,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'we can by no means spare you. But
why do you call this young man's claims pretended? I don't mean to fish
for your defences against them, if you have any, but--'

'Mr. Pleydell,' replied Glossin, 'I am always disposed to act
above-board, and I think I can explain the matter at once. This young
fellow, whom I take to be a natural son of the late Ellangowan, has gone
about the country for some weeks under different names, caballing with a
wretched old mad-woman, who, I understand, was shot in a late scuffle,
and with other tinkers, gipsies, and persons of that description, and a
great brute farmer from Liddesdale, stirring up the tenants against their
landlords, which, as Sir Robert Hazlewood of Hazlewood knows--'

'Not to interrupt you, Mr. Glossin,' said Pleydell, 'I ask who you say
this young man is?'

'Why, I say,' replied Glossin, 'and I believe that gentleman (looking at
Hatteraick) knows, that the young man is a natural son of the late
Ellangowan, by a girl called Janet Lightoheel, who was afterwards married
to Hewit the shipwright, that lived in the neighbourhood of Annan. His
name is Godfrey Bertram Hewit, by which name he was entered on board the
Royal Caroline excise yacht.'

'Ay?' said Pleydell, 'that is a very likely story! But, not to pause upon
some difference of eyes, complexion, and so forth--be pleased to step
forward, sir.' (A young seafaring man came forward.) 'Here,' proceeded
the Counsellor, 'is the real Simon Pure; here's Godfrey Bertram Hewit,
arrived last night from Antigua via Liverpool, mate of a West-Indian, and
in a fair way of doing well in the world, although he came somewhat
irregularly into it.'

While some conversation passed between the other justices and this young
man, Pleydell lifted from among the papers on the table Hatteraick's old
pocket-book. A peculiar glance of the smuggler's eye induced the shrewd
lawyer to think there was something here of interest. He therefore
continued the examination of the papers, laying the book on the table,
but instantly perceived that the prisoner's interest in the research had
cooled. 'It must be in the book still, whatever it is,' thought Pleydell;
and again applied himself to the pocket-book, until he discovered, on a
narrow scrutiny, a slit between the pasteboard and leather, out of which
he drew three small slips of paper. Pleydell now, turning to Glossin,
requested the favour that he would tell them if he had assisted at the
search for the body of Kennedy and the child of his patron on the day
when they disappeared.

'I did not--that is, I did,' answered the conscience-struck Glossin.

'It is remarkable though,' said the Advocate, 'that, connected as you
were with the Ellangowan family, I don't recollect your being examined,
or even appearing before me, while that investigation was proceeding?'

'I was called to London,' answered Glossin, 'on most important business
the morning after that sad affair.'

'Clerk,' said Pleydell, 'minute down that reply. I presume the business,
Mr. Glossin, was to negotiate these three bills, drawn by you on Messrs.
Vanbeest and Vanbruggen, and accepted by one Dirk Hatteraick in their
name on the very day of the murder. I congratulate you on their being
regularly retired, as I perceive they have been. I think the chances were
against it.' Glossin's countenance fell. 'This piece of real evidence,'
continued Mr. Pleydell, 'makes good the account given of your conduct on
this occasion by a man called Gabriel Faa, whom we have now in custody,
and who witnessed the whole transaction between you and that worthy
prisoner. Have you any explanation to give?'

'Mr. Pleydell,' said Glossin, with great composure, 'I presume, if you
were my counsel, you would not advise me to answer upon the spur of the
moment to a charge which the basest of mankind seem ready to establish by

'My advice,' said the Counsellor, 'would be regulated by my opinion of
your innocence or guilt. In your case, I believe you take the wisest
course; but you are aware you must stand committed?'

'Committed? for what, sir?' replied Glossin. 'Upon a charge of murder?'

'No; only as art and part of kidnapping the child.'

'That is a bailable offence.'

'Pardon me,' said Pleydell, 'it is plagium, and plagium is felony.'

'Forgive me, Mr. Pleydell, there is only one case upon record, Torrence
and Waldie. They were, you remember, resurrection-women, who had promised
to procure a child's body for some young surgeons. Being upon honour to
their employers, rather than disappoint the evening lecture of the
students, they stole a live child, murdered it, and sold the body for
three shillings and sixpence. They were hanged, but for the murder, not
for the plagium [Footnote: This is, in its circumstances and issue,
actually a case tried and reported.]--Your civil law has carried you a
little too far.'

'Well, sir, but in the meantime Mr. Mac-Morlan must commit you to the
county jail, in case this young man repeats the same story. Officers,
remove Mr. Glossin and Hatteraick, and guard them in different

Gabriel, the gipsy, was then introduced, and gave a distinct account of
his deserting from Captain Pritchard's vessel and joining the smugglers
in the action, detailed how Dirk Hatteraick set fire to his ship when he
found her disabled, and under cover of the smoke escaped with his crew,
and as much goods as they could save, into the cavern, where they
proposed to lie till nightfall. Hatteraick himself, his mate Vanbeest
Brown, and three others, of whom the declarant was one, went into the
adjacent woods to communicate with some of their friends in the
neighbourhood. They fell in with Kennedy unexpectedly, and Hatteraick and
Brown, aware that he was the occasion of their disasters, resolved to
murder him. He stated that he had seen them lay violent hands on the
officer and drag him through the woods, but had not partaken in the
assault nor witnessed its termination; that he returned to the cavern by
a different route, where he again met Hatteraick and his accomplices; and
the captain was in the act of giving an account how he and Brown had
pushed a huge crag over, as Kennedy lay groaning on the beach, when
Glossin suddenly appeared among them. To the whole transaction by which
Hatteraick purchased his secrecy he was witness. Respecting young
Bertram, he could give a distinct account till he went to India, after
which he had lost sight of him until he unexpectedly met with him in
Liddesdale. Gabriel Faa farther stated that he instantly sent notice to
his aunt Meg Merrilies, as well as to Hatteraick, who he knew was then
upon the coast; but that he had incurred his aunt's displeasure upon the
latter account. He concluded, that his aunt had immediately declared that
she would do all that lay in her power to help young Ellangowan to his
right, even if it should be by informing against Dirk Hatteraick; and
that many of her people assisted her besides himself, from a belief that
she was gifted with supernatural inspirations. With the same purpose, he
understood his aunt had given to Bertram the treasure of the tribe, of
which she had the custody. Three or four gipsies, by the express command
of Meg Merrilies, mingled in the crowd when the custom-house was
attacked, for the purpose of liberating Bertram, which he had himself
effected. He said, that in obeying Meg's dictates they did not pretend to
estimate their propriety or rationality, the respect in which she was
held by her tribe precluding all such subjects of speculation. Upon
farther interrogation, the witness added, that his aunt had always said
that Harry Bertram carried that round his neck which would ascertain his
birth. It was a spell, she said, that an Oxford scholar had made for him,
and she possessed the smugglers with an opinion that to deprive him of it
would occasion the loss of the vessel.

Bertram here produced a small velvet bag, which he said he had worn round
his neck from his earliest infancy, and which he had preserved, first
from superstitious reverence, and latterly from the hope that it might
serve one day to aid in the discovery of his birth. The bag, being
opened, was found to contain a blue silk case, from which was drawn a
scheme of nativity. Upon inspecting this paper, Colonel Mannering
instantly admitted it was his own composition; and afforded the strongest
and most satisfactory evidence that the possessor of it must necessarily
be the young heir of Ellangowan, by avowing his having first appeared in
that country in the character of an astrologer.

'And now,' said Pleydell, 'make out warrants of commitment for Hatteraick
and Glossin until liberated in due course of law. Yet,' he said, 'I am
sorry for Glossin.'

'Now, I think,' said Mannering, 'he's incomparably the least deserving of
pity of the two. The other's a bold fellow, though as hard as flint.'

'Very natural, Colonel,' said the Advocate, 'that you should be
interested in the ruffian and I in the knave, that's all professional
taste; but I can tell you Glossin would have been a pretty lawyer had he
not had such a turn for the roguish part of the profession.'

'Scandal would say,' observed Mannering, 'he might not be the worse
lawyer for that.'

'Scandal would tell a lie, then,' replied Pleydell, 'as she usually does.
Law's like laudanum: it's much more easy to use it as a quack does than
to learn to apply it like a physician.'

Unfit to live or die--O marble heart!
After him, fellows, drag him to the block.

Measure for Measure.

The jail at the county town of the shire of----was one of those
old-fashioned dungeons which disgraced Scotland until of late years. When
the prisoners and their guard arrived there, Hatteraick, whose violence
and strength were well known, was secured in what was called the
condemned ward. This was a large apartment near the top of the prison. A
round bar of iron,[Footnote: See Note 9.] about the thickness of a man's
arm above the elbow, crossed the apartment horizontally at the height of
about six inches from the floor; and its extremities were strongly built
into the wall at either end. Hatteraick's ankles were secured within
shackles, which were connected by a chain, at the distance of about four
feet, with a large iron ring, which travelled upon the bar we have
described. Thus a prisoner might shuffle along the length of the bar from
one side of the room to another, but could not retreat farther from it in
any other direction than the brief length of the chain admitted. When his
feet had been thus secured, the keeper removed his handcuffs and left his
person at liberty in other respects. A pallet-bed was placed close to the
bar of iron, so that the shackled prisoner might lie down at pleasure,
still fastened to the iron bar in the manner described.

Hatteraick had not been long in this place of confinement before Glossin
arrived at the same prison-house. In respect to his comparative rank and
education, he was not ironed, but placed in a decent apartment, under the
inspection of Mac-Guffog, who, since the destruction of the bridewell of
Portanferry by the mob, had acted here as an under-turnkey. When Glossin
was enclosed within this room, and had solitude and leisure to calculate
all the chances against him and in his favour, he could not prevail upon
himself to consider the game as desperate.

'The estate is lost,' he said, 'that must go; and, between Pleydell and
Mac-Morlan, they'll cut down my claim on it to a trifle. My
character--but if I get off with life and liberty I'll win money yet and
varnish that over again. I knew not of the gauger's job until the rascal
had done the deed, and, though I had some advantage by the contraband,
that is no felony. But the kidnapping of the boy--there they touch me
closer. Let me see. This Bertram was a child at the time; his evidence
must be imperfect. The other fellow is a deserter, a gipsy, and an
outlaw. Meg Merrilies, d-n her, is dead. These infernal bills! Hatteraick
brought them with him, I suppose, to have the means of threatening me or
extorting money from me. I must endeavour to see the rascal; must get him
to stand steady; must persuade him to put some other colour upon the

His mind teeming with schemes of future deceit to cover former villainy,
he spent the time in arranging and combining them until the hour of
supper. Mac-Guffog attended as turnkey on this occasion. He was, as we
know, the old and special acquaintance of the prisoner who was now under
his charge. After giving the turnkey a glass of brandy, and sounding him
with one or two cajoling speeches, Glossin made it his request that he
would help him to an interview with Dirk Hatteraick. 'Impossible! utterly
impossible! it's contrary to the express orders of Mr. Mac-Morlan, and
the captain (as the head jailor of a county jail is called in Scotland)
would never forgie me.'

'But why should he know of it?' said Glossin, slipping a couple of
guineas into Mac-Guffog's hand.

The turnkey weighed the gold and looked sharp at Glossin. 'Ay, ay, Mr.
Glossin, ye ken the ways o' this place. Lookee, at lock-up hour I'll
return and bring ye upstairs to him. But ye must stay a' night in his
cell, for I am under needcessity to carry the keys to the captain for the
night, and I cannot let you out again until morning; then I'll visit the
wards half an hour earlier than usual, and ye may get out and be snug in
your ain birth when the captain gangs his rounds.'

When the hour of ten had pealed from the neighbouring steeple Mac-Guffog

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest