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commodity of the country, whose distant low gave no unpleasing animation to the landscape. The remoter hills were of a sterner character; and, at still greater distance, swelledinto mountains of dark heath, bordering the horizon with a screen which gave a defined and limited boundary to the cultivated country, and added, at the same time, the pleasing idea, that it was sequestered and solitary. The sea-coast, which Mannering now saw in its extent, corresponded in variety and beauty with the inland view. In some places it rose into tall rocks, frequently crowned with the ruins of old buildings, towers, or beacons, which, according to tradition, were placed within sight of each other, that, in times of invasion or civil war, they might communicate by signal for mutual defence and protection. Ellangowan castle was by far the most extensive and important of these ruins, and asserted from size and situation the superiority which its founders were said
once to have possessed among he chiefs and nobles of the district. In other places, the shore was of a more gentle description, indented with small bays, where the land sloped smoothly down, or sent into the sea promontories covered with wood.
A scene so different from what last night's journey had presaged, produced a proportional effect upon Mannering. Beneath his eye lay the modern house; an awkward mansion, indeed, in point of architecture, but well situated, and with a warm and pleasant exposure. « How happily," thought our hero, “ would life glide on in such a retirement! On the one hand the striking remnants of ancient gtandeur, with the secret consciousness of family pride which they inspire; on the. other, enough of modern elegance and comfort to satisfy every moderate wish. Here then, and with thee, Sophia !"
We will not pursųe a lover's day-dream any farther, Mannering stood a minute
with his arms 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 grandeur of the exterior. On the one side ran a range of windows lofty and targe, 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 projections 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 apart
ment 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 assistance of those ancient implements of housewifery now almost banished from the land, the distaff and spindle. As she spun, she sung what seemed to be a charm.' Marínering, 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: rii
Twist ye, twine ye! even so
While the mystic twist is spinning,