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WAVERLEY NOVELS.

HOUSEHOLD EDITION.

THE FAIR MAID OF PERTH.

II.

BOSTON:
TIOKNOR AND FIELDS.

M DCCC LXVII.

1. KVAR UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

2:4

THE FAIR MAID OF PERTH.

CHAPTER XVIII.

A purple land, where law secures not life.

BYRON.

The morning of Ash Wednesday arose pale and bleak as usual at this season in Scotland, where the worst and most inclement weather often occurs in the early spring months. It was a severe day of frost, and the citizens had to sleep away the consequences of the preceding holy day's debauchery. The sun had therefore risen for an hour above the horizon, before there was any general appearance of life among the inhabitants of Perth, so that it was some time after daybreak, when a citizen, going early to mass, saw the body of the luckless Oliver Proudfute lying on its face, across the kennel, in the manner in which he had fallen, under the blow, as our readers will easily imagine, of Anthony Bonthron, the “boy of the belt,” that is, the executioner of the pleasure of John of Ramorny.

This early citizen was Allan Griffin, so termed because he was master of the Griffin inn; and the alarm which he raised soon brought together, first straggling neighbours, and by and by a concourse of citizens. At first, from the circumstance of the well-known buff-coat, and the crimson feather in the head-piece, the noise arose that it was the stout Smith that lay there slain. This false rumour continued for some time; for the host of the Griffin, who himself had been a magistrate, would not permit the body to be touched or stirred till Bailie Craigdallie arrived, so that the face was not seen.

“ This concerns the Fair City, my friends,” he said ; “ and if it is the stout Smith of the Wynd who lies here, the man lives not in Perth, who will not risk land and life to avenge him. Look you, the villains have struck him down behind his back, for there is not a man within ten Scotch miles of Perth, gentle or semple, Highland or Lowland, that would have met him face to face with such evil purpose. Oh, brave men of Perth! the flower of your manhood has been cut down, and that by a base and treacherous hand !”

A wild cry of fury arose from the people, who were fast assembling

6 We will take him on our shoulders,” said a strong butcher ;

carry

him to the King's presence at the Dominican Convent.”

“Ay, ay,” answered a blacksmith, “neither bolt nor bar shall keep us from the King; neither monk nor mass shall break our purpose. A better armourer never laid hammer on anvil !”

6 To the Dominicans ! to the Dominicans !” shouted the assembled people.

“ Bethink you, burghers,” said another citizen, King is a good King, and loves us like his children. It

we will

our

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