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from the short grass which here and there peeped out from the sides of the bank. I remember all these little occurrences well, and they helped to connect in my memory others of more importance. From a small projecting eminence at a turn of the road, I discovered immediately below me the place I was looking for. It was merely a collection of a few scattered houses, or rather huts, to the number of five or six, inhabited by fishermen, and partly built at the foot of the cliffs, a little above high-water mark. At a small distance from these houses, more to the right, stood the one I was in search of. It was situated on the edge of a creek, about four yards from the cliff, which here was quite perpendicular, and between which and the house was a vacant space where the road passed. A shrimp-net was hung on posts before the door, and a coble was moored within a few yards of it, as I had observed on first approaching the cliff; and this struck me as a fortunate circumstance, and led me to hope the owner was at home. The house, though of much the same size as the others, had a cleaner and better appearance, and was evidently occupied by a different sort of inhabitant. This also was, I thought, another circumstance in my favour; and I waited very patiently, concealed behind a projecting part of the cliff, till dark. I had as yet been seen by no one; nor indeed, as far as I could judge, was I likely to be disturbed, for all seemed still and quiet. I kept my eyes fixed upon the window of the house, from which I was not far distant, till I saw a candle lighted and the shutter closed; and it being now quite dark, with a palpitating heart and high expectations, but allayed, as may be supposed, by corresponding fears, I approached the door. The well-remembered sign of three oyster-shells over the window assured me I was correct as to the house; and a mark over the door, of which I had been particularly cautioned to take heed, told me the master was at home. Indeed, had Rot this mark, appeared, I was to have turned away, and waited for a more propitious opportunity. Encouraged by all these signs in my favour, I lifted the latch, and, as I was instructed, stepped boldly in, and closed the door after me. A man in sailor's dress, with a hair cap on his head, and huge boots turned over his knees, was sitting at a small round table smoking his pipe, with a can of grog before him. A woman, apparently superannuated by age and infirmity, was spinning flax with a spindle by the fire; and close by her, on a stool, half-asleep, sat an arch-looking boy, about twelve years of age, also in a sailor's jacket and trousers, and cap. I threw a hasty glance over them all, and, fixing my eyes on the man, was convinced all was right as to him; for he had a scar, as I had been previously informed, reaching from right to left, deeply imprinted on his forehead; and he also wore a silver ring on his thumb, through some superstitious notion prevalent among seafaring people. As to the other inmates, I was not quite so certain. On my entrance, he eyed me very suspiciously from head to foot. I approached the table, and holding up two fingers of my left hand over my head, made a sign, clearly seen and understood by him to whom it was addressed, though unperceived by his companions. He immediately gave me the countersign, and said,
* All's right." I replied boldly in words I had been taught, and which I had conned over so often as to have completely by rote. He understood me perfectly well, and told me in French, which he spoke very fluently, to sit down and make myself easy. He then went to the door and window, which he bolted with strong bars of iron. “There now," says he,“ we are safe from all disturbance; yet it's as well to be secure. Cant that into your hold,” continued he, pouring me out a glass of excellent Hollands as he spoke, “whilst I get something for the bread - room. Ah," added he, with a knowing wink, as I took his advice, and drank off the very acceptable gift, "it's genuine, I warrant it.” He then placed on the table some beef and bread, and other eatables, and seating himself by me, filled a fresh pipe, and bade me tell him all about it.” I told him, in as few words as I could, the heads of my story, and that I would reward him with any sum to furnish me with the means, as I was well aware he had done for others, of escaping to Holland. He heard me very patiently to the end-during which time I think he smoked half-a-dozen pipes of tobacco, and drank as many glasses of grog-never speaking or interrupting me the whole time; but evinced the interest he took in my tale by sending forth from his mouth a denser column of smoke, according as the various incidents excited his feelings. After I had concluded, he shook me heartily by the hand, and told me again “All was right. He would do what he could; but that we must act with caution, as `hawks were abroad.'»
My host, whom I shall call Jack, a name he was usually designated by amongst his comrades, was about forty-five years of age; and, notwithstanding the scar across his forehead—which, by the by, he told me he had received from one of my own countrymen-might be called a fine-looking fellow. His complexion was deeply embrowned by the service he had seen, and the winds and weathers he had encountered, as he had been, he said, a sailor from the time he was no higher than a marlinspike." I need not say he was a smuggler; but he carried on the “ free trade," as he called it, in a manner peculiar to himself, and never ran a cargo within a certain distance of his home. He was, he informed me, the sole agent of a house in Holland, connected with certain people in England, who placed implicit trust in him. While telling me this, he was tossing off glasses of grog one after another. The dose was repeated so often, that I began to find it was high time to go to rest. With some demur, on account of my refusing to take “just another drop,” Jack showed me to my apartment-a curious concealed place, which had defied
discovery on divers occasions. Pointing out a strong iron bar, he directed me how to place it across the door, and which, for my further security, he told me not to open without a password. At the same time he showed me a small and almost imperceptible hole in the wall, by which I could reconnoitre every
Next morning he was with me betimes, and we entered into conversation about our future proceedings. He bade me remain in my room all day, and not show myself at the window, which faced the ocean, lest I should be seen from the beach; and to be sure to close the shutter as soon as evening fell, so that no light might be seen from without. At night, if I wished it, I might join them below, but I was not by any means to go out of the house. He assured me that these precautions were all necessary, both for his and my own security. The old woman, he said, was always on the watch to give notice of the least alarm; and that, under the appearance of being half-crazed and superannuated, she concealed the greatest cunning and vigour of mind; at the same time he showed me another small aperture, through which I could see whatever passed in the room below.
For the last assurance of your safety,” said he, see this;” and, as he spoke, he discovered to me a recess in the wall, so artfully contrived as to elude the closest inspection. “If need be," continued he,“ conceal yourself there. One of your generals knows its dimensions well, for he was in it when every house in the hamlet was filled with red coats in search of him. They were within two inches of him," added he, laughing heartily as he spoke," and the old woman held the candle; but they might as well have been on the top of Cromer lighthouse.” He then left me. I remained in my hiding-place several days. Notwithstanding every attention was paid to my wants, and even wishes, by the whole household, my time passed very heavily. I had no books, nor anything to divert my thoughts by day, and I would sit for hours contemplating that ocean on which all my hopes were now centred. At night, indeed, I generally joined the party below, or my friend would come and spend it with me. During these times he would amuse me by relating several tales of daring hardihood, and of extraordinary escapes, in which he had been a party; and of the incredible subtlety and invention with which he and his companions had circumvented the officers of the English customs. These last stories he always told with great glee, as if the very remembrance of them diverted him.
At length the period of departure arrived. It was about twelve o'clock, on a fine star-light night, that, looking out of my window previously to undressing and going to bed, I saw a boat approaching the shore. I knew it in a moment to be the coble usually moored at the creek. Two men and a boy were in it. The boy, whose face was towards me, was steering, and I immediately. knew him, notwithstanding the distance, to be my host's son. They approached with great precaution and silence, and I scarcely
breathed with hope and expectation; but in a few minutes all was lulled into certainty by the appearance of Jack himself, who, without allowing me time to speak a word, which I mucli wished, to the old woman, hurried me to the boat, and jumping in after me, pulled away with all his strength, seconded by the other man, as if life depended on it. In about two hours or more we arrived on board a small sloop, which had lain-to for
; and the skipper, a Dutchman, who spoke good French, received me with much civility, bidding me, however, be quick. Jack accompanied me into the cabin, and in a few words—for no time was to be lost-acquainted me the vessel was one in which he was concerned, and had run a valuable cargo not far off; that the skipper readily consented to receive me on board, and had watched a favourable moment-communicated by signals from the shore to run in and take me off. The master of the vessel having several times called to us to make haste, I satisfied the faithful fellow for his services to the utmost of his wishes, to which I added a guinea for the old woman, and another for his son; and going upon deck, shook him heartily by the hand, and badé him farewell—he and his boy waving their caps several times to me as they pulled away to the shore. We immediately put the vessel about; and having the advantage of a favourable breeze, we soon lost sight of the cliffs and coast of Norfolk-the last object in England which struck my sight being the fluttering and revolving blaze of Cromer lighthouse; and this, too, having faded in the distance, I retired to the cabin, where the skipper was sitting with his mate over a good and capacious can of grog, of which they invited me to partake. At their request I related the heads of my escape, and they flattered me with the hopes of soon being at home. "Notwithstanding the perilous voyage of a smuggling cutter, we met with nothing worth narrating, except being several times chased by English vessels, and having once narrowly escaped running aground by keeping too close inshore, to avoid the smaller cruisers of the enemy. On the even. ing of the second day we arrived in safety in the Texel, when I paid my friend the skipper ten louis-d’ors for my passage, and gave five more to be divided amongst the crew.
Little more now remains for me to say. Immediately on landing I wrote home the news of my escape; and the next morning started for Paris, where I was detained a day by the commands of the minister of the marine, to whom I rendered all the information in my power; and without losing another moment, took my place in the diligence for Marseilles, where I arrived in safety, and the next minute was in the embraces of my dear and beloved parents.*
* The above narrative, which is a transiation from the French, appeared a number of years ago, and has been obligingly placed at our disposal by the proprietor. We believe we are warranted in saying that it is in every particular true.
ROB ROY AND THE CLAN MACGREGOR.
HE Highlands of Scotland, as is generally known, form
a large mountainous territory in the northwestern division of the kingdom, and have from time immemorial been
inhabited by a Celtic people, differing in manners, dress, and language from their Lowland or Anglo-Saxon neighbours. A very remarkable peculiarity among the Highlanders was their system of clanship. The country was parcelled out into a number of little territories, each inhabited by a clan; that is, by a few
hundreds, or a few thousands of persons, all bearing the same name, and all believed to be sprung from the same stock; and each territory was governed by the chief of the clan, under the guidance of certain established customs and traditional maxims. The government was one of pure affection. The meanest clansman, while he venerated his chief, believed at the same time that the blood which flowed in his chief's veins was the same as that which flowed in his own; and the chief, on the other hand, while his
power was all but absolute, was expected to clasp the hand of the poorest man in the clan when he met him, and at all times to treat him with dignity and respect, as a scion of the same race as himself.
At the middle of the eighteenth century there were about forty distinct clans in the Highlands, some of them numerous and powerful, others small and weak. In general, each clan occupied a defined tract of country: thus the west of Sutherlandshire was the country” of the Mackays; the west of Ross and the island of Lewis the "country" of the Mackenzies ; Argyleshire the "country" of the Campbells; and so on. In the districts adjoining the Lowlands, the territories of the respective clans appear to have latterly been less precisely marked, as if the various tribes, by their mutual collisions, had been partially