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the impetuosity of the Spring tide, which happened on that evening to be coming in with all its vehemence. As this cir. cumstance gives rise to one of the most natural and majestic scenes, which was ever painted by the hands of a poetical imagination, presenting at the same time such perfect truth and reality, that every rock and every breaker is before our eyes, we shall extract it, though somewhat at length, for the admiration of our readers, if at least their feelings will allow them time to admire.
" As Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour paced along, enjoying the pleasant footing afforded by the cool moist hard sand, Miss War. dour could not help observing, that the last tide had risen considerably above the usual water-mark. Sir Arthur made the same obser.. vation, but without its occuring to either of them to be alarmed at the circumstance. The sun was now resting his huge disk upon the edge of the level ocean, and gilded the accumulation of towering clouds, through which he had travelled the livelong day, and which now assembled on all sides like misfortunes and disasters around a sinking empire and falling monarch. Still, however, his dying 'splendour gave a sombre magnificence to the massive congregation of vapours, forming out of their unsubstantial gloom the show of pyra. mids and towers, some touched with gold, some with purple, some with a hue of deep and dark red. The distant sea, stretched be. neath this varied and gorgeous canopy, lay almost portentously still, reflecting back the dazzling and level beams of the descending luminary, and the splendid colouring of the clouds amidst which he was sitting. Nearer to the beach, the tide rippled onward in waves of sparkling silver, that imperceptibly, yet rapidly, gained upon the sand.
“ With a mind employed in admiration of the romantic scene, or perhaps upon some more agitating topic, Miss Wardour advanced in silence by her father's side, whose recently offended dignity did not stoop to open any conversation. Following the windings of the beach, they passed one projecting point or head-land of rock after another, and now found themselves under a huge and continued extent of the precipices by which that iron-bound coast is in most places defended. Long projecting reefs of rock, extending under water, and only evincing their existence by here and there a peak entirely bare, or by the breakers which foamed over those that were partially covered, rendered Knockwinnock bay dreaded by pilots and ship-masters. The crags which rose between the beacli and the main land, to the height of two or three hundred feet, afforded in their crevices shelter for unnumbered sea-fowl, in situations seem. ingly secured by their dizzy height from the rapacity of man. Many of these wild tribes, with the instinct which sends them to seek the land before a storm arises, were now winging toward their nests with the shrill and dissonant clang which announces disquietude and fear. The disk of the sun became almost totally obscured ere he had alto
gether sank below the horizon, and an early and lurid shade of darkness blotted the serene twilight of a summer evening. The wind began next to arise, but its wild and moaning sound was heard for some time, and its effects became visible on the bosom of the sea, before the gale was felt at land. The mass of waters, now dark and threatening, began to lift itself in larger ridges, and sink in deeper furrows, forming waves that rose high in foam upon the breakers, or burst upon the beach with a sound resembling distant thunder.
“ Appalled by this sudden change of weather, Miss Wardour drew close to her father, and held his arm fast. I wish,' at length she said, but almost in a whisper, as if ashamed to express her increasing apprehensions, • I wish we had kept the road we intended, or waited at Monkbarns for the carriage. .
• Sir Arthur looked round, but did not see, or would not acknowledge, any signs of an immediate storm. They would reach, he said, Knockwinnock long before the tempest began. But the speed with which he walked, and with which Isabella could hardly keep pace, indicated a feeling that some exertion was necessary to accomplish his consolatory prediction.
66 They were now near the centre of a deep but narrow bay, or recess, formed by two projecting capes of high and inaccessible rock, which shot out into the sea like the horns of a crescent; and neither durst communicate the apprehension which each began to entertain, that, from the unusually rapid advance of the tide, they might be deprived of the power of proceeding by doubling the promontory which lay before them, or of retreating by the road which brought them thither. :
“ As they thus pressed forward, longing doubtless to exchange the easy curving line, which the sinuosities of the bay compelled them to adopt, for a straiter and more expeditious path, though. Jess conformable to the line of beauty, Sir Arthur observed a human figure on the beach advancing to meet them. Thank God, he exclaimed, we shall get round Halket-head! that fellow must have passed it;' thus giving vent to the feeling of hope, though he had suppressed that of apprehension.
" Thank God indeed!' echoed his daughter half audibly, and half internally, as expressing the gratitude which she really felt.
“ The figure which advanced to meet them made many signs, which the haze of the atmosphere, now disturbed by wind and by a drizzling rain, prevented them from seeing or comprehending distinctly. Some time before they met, Sir Arthur could recognize the old blue-gowned beggar, Edie Ochiltree. It is said that even the brute creation lay aside their animosities and antipathies when pressed by an instant and common danger. The beach under Halket-head, rapidly diminishing in extent by the encroachments of a spring-tide and a north west wind, was in like manner a neutral field, where even a justice of peace and a strolling mendicant might meet upon terms of mutual forbearance.
66 • Turn back! turn back !' exclaimed the vagrant; why did ye not turn when I waved to you."
• We thought,' replied Sir Arthur in great agitation, we thought we could get round Halket-head.'
“Halket-head! The tide will be running on Halket-head by this time like the Fall of Fyers! it was a' I could do to get round it twenty minutes since it was coming in three feet a-breast. We will may-be get back by Bally-burgh Ness Point yet. The Lord help us, it's our only chance. We can but try.'
My God, my child;" • My father, my dear father!' exclaimed the parent and daughter, as, fear lending them strength and speed, they turned to retrace their steps, and endeavour to double the point, the projection of which formed the southern extremity of the bay.
"I heard ye were here, frae the bit callant ye sent to meet your carriage,' said the beggar, as he trudged stoutly on a step or two behind Miss Wardour, ' and I couldna bide to think o' the dainty young leddy's peril, that as aye been kind to ilka forlorn heart that cam near her. Sae I lookit at the lift o'the tide, till I settled it that if I could get down time aneugh to gie you warning, we wad do weel vet. But I doubt, I doubt I have been beguiled! for what mortal e'e ever saw sic a race as the tide is rinnin' e'en now? See, yonder's the Ratton's Skerry-he aye held his neb abune the water in my day-but he's aneath it now.
.“ Sir Arthur cast a look in the direction in which the old man pointed. A huge rock, which in general, even in spring-tides, dis. played a hulk like the keel of a large vessel, was not quite under water, and its place only indicated by the boiling and breaking of the eddying waves which encountered its sub-marine resistance.
"• Mak haste, mak haste, my bonny leddy,' continued the old man, mak haste, and we may do yet! Take haud o'my arm-an auld and frail arm it's now, but it's been in as sair stress as this is yet. Take haud o'my arm, my winsome leddy! D'ye see yon wee black speck amang the wallowing waves yonder ? This morning it was as high as the mast o' a brigg-it's sma' aneugh now-but, while I see as muckle black about it as the crown o'my hat, I winna believe but we'll get round the Bally-burg Ness for a' that's come and gane yet.'
" Isabella, in silence, accepted froin the old man the assistance which Sir Arthur was less able to afford her. The waves had now encroached so much upon the beach, that the firm and smooth footing which they had hitherto had upon the sand must be exchanged for a rougher path close to the foot of the precipice, and in some places even raised upon its lower ledges. It would have been utterly impossible for Sir Arthur Wardour or his daughter to have found their way along these shelves without the guidance and encouragement of the beggar, who had been there before in high tides, though never, he acknowledged,' in so awsome a night as this.
“ It was indeed a dreadful evening. The howling of the storm mingled with the shrieks of the sea-fowl, and sounded like the dirge of the three devoted beings, who, pent between two of the
most magnificent, yet most dreadful objects of nature - a raging tide and an insurmountable precipice-toiled along their painful and dangerous path, often lashed by the spray of some giant billow, which threw itself higher on the beach than those which had preceded it. Each minute did their enemy gain ground perceptibly upon chem. Still, however, Joth to relinquish the last hopes of life, they bent their eyes on the black rock pointed out by Ochiltree. It was yet distinctly visible among the breakers, and continued to be so, until they came to a turn in their precarious path, where an intervening projection of rock hid it from their sight. Deprived of the view of the beacon on which they had relied, here then they experienced the double agony of terror and suspence. They struggled forward, however; but, when they arrived at the point froin which they ought to have seen the crag, it was no longer visible. The signal of safety was lost among a thousand white breakers, which, dashing upon the point of the promontory, rose in prodigious sheets of snowy foam as high as the mast of a first rate man of war, against the dark brow of the precipice. .* The countenance of the old man feil. Isabella gave a faint shriek, and · God have mercy upon us !' which her guide solemnly uttered, was piteously echoed by Sir Arthur My child! my child !--to die such a death!'.“ • My father! my dear father!' his daughter exclaimed, clinga ing to him, and you, too, who have lost your own life in endeavouring to save our's!'
66 o That's not worth the counting,' said the old man. I hae lived to be weary of life; and here or yonder-at the back na dyke, in a wreath o'snaw, or in the wame o' a wave, what signifies how the auld gaburlunzie dies!' .6 «Good man,' said Sir Arthur, can you think of nothing ? of no help? ---I'll make you rich - I'll give you a farm -I'll' : " Our riches will be soon equal,' said the beggar, looking out upon the strife of waters- they are sae already; for I have no land, and you would give your fair bounds anil barony for a square yard of rock that would be dry for twal hours.
" While they exchanged these words, they paused upon the highest ledge of rock to which they could attain ; for it seemed that any further attempt to move forward could only serve to anticipate their fate. Here then they were to await the sure though slow progress of the raging element, something in the situation of the martyrs of the early church, who, exposed by heathen tyrants to be slain by wild beasts, were compelled for a time to witness the impatience and rage by which the animals were agitated, while awaiting the signal for undoing their grates, and letting them loose upon the victimis.
" Yet even this fearful panse gave Isabella tiine to collect the powers of a mind naturally strong and courageous, and which rallied itself at this terrible juncture. • Must we yield life,' she said, 'without a struggle? Is there no path, however dreadful, by which we
could climb the crag, or at least attain some height above the tide, where we could remain till morning, or till help comes? They must be aware of our situation, and will raise the country to relieve
" Sir Arthur, who heard, out scarcely comprehended, his daughter's question, turned, nevertheless, instinctively and eagerly to the old man, as if their lives were in his gift. Ochiltree paused. "I was a bauld craigsman,' he said, “ance in my life, and mony a kittywake's and lungie's nest hae I harried up amang thae very black rocks; but it's lang, lang syne, and nae mortal could speel them without a rope-and if I had ane, my ee-sight, and my foot-step, and my hand-grip, hae a' failed mony a day sin-syne-and then how could I save you ? -But there was a path here ance, though may be if we could see it ye wad rather bide where we are- His name be praised !" he ejaculated suddenly, there's ane coming down the crag e'en now!--Then, exalting his voice, he holla'd out to the daring adventurer such instructions as his former practice, and the remembrance of local circumstances, suddenly forced upon his mind:- Ye're right--ye're right-that gate, that gate--fasten the rope weel round Crummie's-horn, that's the muckle black stane cast twa plies round it-that's it-now, weize yoursel a wee easel. ward--a wee mair yet to that ither stane-we ca'd it the Cat's-lug —there used to be the root o' an aik-tree there that will do! ---canny now, lad-canny nowatak tent and tak time-Lord bless ye, tak time. Vera weel!-Now ye maun get to Bossy's Apron that's the muckle braid flat blue stane—and then I think, wi' your help and the top thegither, we'll able to get up the young leddy and Sir Arthur.
« The adventurer, following the directions of old Edie, flung him down the end of the rope, which he secured around Miss Wardour, wrapping her previously in his own blue gown, to preserve her as much as possible from injury. Then, availing himself of the rope, which was made fast at the other end, he began to ascend the face of the crag--a most precarious and dizzy undertaking, which, however, after one or two perilous escapes, placed him safe on the broad flat stone beside our friend Lovel. The joint strength was able to raise Isabella to the place of safety which they had attained. Lovel then descended in order to assist Sir Arthur, around whom he adjusted the rope : and again mounting to their place of refuge, with the assistance of old Ochiltree, and such aid as Sir Arthur himself oould give, he raised him beyond the reach of the billows. · " The sense of reprieve from approaching and apparently inevitable death, had its usual effect. The father and daughter threw themselves into each other's arms, kissed and wept for joy, although their escape was connected with the prospect of passing a tempestuous night upon a precipitous ledge of rock, which scarce af. forded footing for the four shivering beings, who now, like the sea-fowl around them, clung there in hopes of some shelter from the