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authority of the counsellor's opinion, “as you must know best, and as you promise to give up this
“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 neighhour 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 bailbond?”
“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 enemy's game.”
“Indeed!” said the soldier. “Then I 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 any thing occurring worthy of the reader's notice, excepting their meeting with young Hazlewood, to whom the Colonel told the extraordinary history of Bertram's re-appear
ance, 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 father.”
“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 fardescended 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, О 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.
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.”
The ladie was full fain;
No answer made again.
" That will not speak to me?
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 Elangowan.
“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 attitude.
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 Lucy.
“That was not spoken like a bairn of Ellangowan,” said Meg, frowning upon Miss Bertram. “It is the ill-doers are illdreaders.”
“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 again.”
“Do you hear that?” said Julia; “for Heaven's sake, do not
“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 sturdy farmer; “and ere I turn back frae the Captain's side, I'll show that I haena forgotten 't.”
“0, 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
He pressed his sister's hand, and took a yet more affectionate farewell of Julia with his eyes. Almost stupified with surprise and fear, the young ladies watched with anxious looks the course of Bertram, his companion, and their extraordinary guide. Her