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Really," resumed the traveller, “ I am sorry to see a gentleman of your learning and gravity labouring under such strange blindness and delusion. Will you place the brief, the modern, and, as I may say, the vernacular name of Isaac Newton in opposition to the grave and sonorous authorities of Dariot, Bonatus, Ptolemy, Haly, Eztler, Dieterick, Naibob, Harfurt, Zael, Taustettor, Agrippa, Duretus, Maginus, Origen, and Argol? Do not Christians and Heathens, and Jews and Gentiles, and poets and philosophers, unite in allowing the starry influences ?”
“ Communis error-it is a general mistake," answered the inflexible Dominie Sampson.
“ Not so," replied the young Englishman, “it is a general and well-grounded belief."
" It is the resource of cheaters, knaves, and cozeners," said Sampson.
" Abusus non tollit usum. The abuse of
any thing doth not abrogate the lawful use thereof."
During this discussion, Ellangowan was somewhat like a woodcock caught in his own springe. He turned his face alter. nately from the one spokesman to the other, and began, from the gravity with which Mannering plied his adversary, and the learning which he displayed in the controversy, to give him credit for being half serious. As for Meg, she fixed her bewildered eyes upon the astrologer, overpowered by'a jargon more mysterious than
Mannering pressed his advantage, and ran over all the hard terms of art which a tenacious memory supplied, and which, from circumstances hereafter to be noticed, had been familiar to him in early youth.
Signs and planets, in aspects sextile, quartile, trine, conjoined or opposite; houses of heaven, with their and minutes ; Almuten, Almochoden, An
ahibazon, Catahibazon ; a thousand terms of equal sound and significance, poured thick and threefold upon the unshrinking Dominie, whose stubborn incredulity bore him out against the pelting of this pitiless storm.
At length, the joyful annunciation that the lady had presented her husband with a fine boy, and was (of course) as well as could be expected, broke off this intercourse. Mr Bertram hastened to the lady's apartment, Meg Merrilies descended to the kitchen to secure her share of the “
groaning malt,” and Mannering, after looking at his watch, and noting, with great minuteness, the hour and minute of the birth, requested, with becoming gravity, that the Dominie would conduct him to some place where he might have a view of the heavenly bodies.
The schoolmaster, without further answer, rose and threw open a door half sashed with glass, which led to an oldfashioned terrace-walk behind the modern
house, communicating with the platform on which the ruins of the ancient castle were situated. The wind had arisen and swept before it the clouds which had formerly obscured the sky. The moon was high, and at full, and all the lesser satellites of heaven shone forth in cloudless effulgence. The scene which their light presented to Mannering was in the highest degree unexpected and striking.
We have observed, that in the latter part of his journey our traveller approached the sea-shore, without being aware how nearly. He now perceived that the ruins of Ellangowan castle were situated upon a promontory; or projection of rock, which formed one side of a small and placid bay on the sea-shore. The modern mansion was situated lower, though closely adjoining, and the ground behind it descended to the sea by a small swelling green bank, divided into levels by natural terraces, on which grew some old trees, and terminating upon the white sand. The other side of the bay, opposite to the old castle, was a sloping and varied promontory, covered chiefly with copsewood, which on that favoured coast grows almost within watermark. A fisherman's cottage peeped from among the trees. . Even at this dead hour of night there were lights moving upon the shore, probably occasioned by the unloading a smuggling lugger from the Isle of Man, which was lying in the bay. On the light being observed from the sashed door of the house, a halloo from the vessel of " Ware-hawk ! Douse the glim!" alarmed those who were on shore, and the lights instantly disappeared.
It was one hour after midnight, and the prospect around was lovely. The grey old towers of the ruin, partly entire, partly broken, here bearing the rusty weather-stains of ages, and there partially mantled with ivy, stretched along the verge of the dark rock which rose on Mannering's right hand. In his front was