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with his armis folded, and then turned to the ruined castle.
Upon entering the gateway, he found that the rude magnificence of the inner court amply corresponded with the gran. deur of the exterior. On the one side ran a range of windows lofty and large, divided by carved mullions of stone, which had once lighted the great 'hall of the castle ; on the other were various build. ings of different heights and dates, yet so united as to present to the eye a certain general effect of uniformity of front. The doors and windows were ornamented with projection's exhibiting rude specimens of sculpture and tracery, partly entire and partly broken down, partly covered by ivy and trailing plants, which grew luxuriantly among the ruins. That end of the court which faced the entrance had also been formerly closed by a range of buildings; but owing, it was said, to its having been battered by the ships of the Parliament under Deane, during the long civil
war, this part of the castle was much more ruinous than the rest, and exhibited a great chasm, through which Mannering could observe the sea, and the little vessel (an armed lugger) which retained her station in the centre of the bay. While Mannering was gazing round the ruins, he heard from the interior of an apartment on the left hand the voice of the gypsey he had seen on the preceding evening. He soon found an aperture, through which he could observe her without being himself visible; and could not help feeling, that her figure, her employment, and her situation, conveyed the exact impression of an ancient sybil.
She sat upon a broken corner stone in the angle of a paved apartment, part of which she had swept clean to afford a smooth space for the evolutions of her spindle. A strong sunbeam, through a lofty and narrow window, fell upon her wild dress and features, and afforded her light for her occupation; the rest of the apartment was very gloomy. Equipt in a habit which mingled the national dress of the Scottish common people with something of an eastern costume, she spun a thread, drawn from wool of three different colours, black, white, and grey, by assistances of those ancient implements of housewifery now almost banished from the land, the disiaff and spindle. As she spun, she sung what seemed to be a charm. Mannering, after in vain attempting to make himself master of the exact words of her song, afterwards attempted the following paraphrase of what, from a few intelligible phrases, he concluded was its purport: : :
· Twist ye, twine ye! even so
Mingle shades of joy and woe,
While the mystic twist is spinning,
Now they wax, and now they dwindle,
Ere our translator, or rather our free imitator, had arranged these stanzas in his head, and while he was yet hainmering out a rhyme for spindle, the task of the sybil was accomplished, or her wool was expended. She took the spindle, now charged with her labours, and, undoing the tliread gradually, measured it, by casting it over her elbow, and bringing each loop round between her fore finger and thumb. When she had measured it out, she muttered to herself—"A hank, but not a haill ane--the full years o'the three score and ten, but thrice broken, and
thrice to oop, (i. e. unite); he'll be a lucky lad an he win through wi't."
Our bero was about to speak to the prophetess, when a voice; hoarse as the waves with which it mingled, halloo'd twice, and with increasing impatience“ Meg, Meg Merrilies !-Gypsey-hagtousand deyvils !"
"I am coming, I am coming, captain," answered Meg, and in a moment or two the impatient Commander whom she addressed made his appearance from the broken part of the ruins.... -- He was apparently a seafaring man, rather under the middle size, and with a countenance bronzed by a thousand conflicts with the north-east wind. His frame was prodigiously muscular, strong, and thick-set; so that it seemed as if a man of much greater height would have been an inadequate match in any close personal conflict. He was hard-favoured, and, which was worse, his face bore nothing of the insouciance, the care less frolicsome jollity