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of vice and folly, and as gradual an induction of your thoughts into the right way.

Be the beginning ever so small, ever so apparently insignificant, once having passed the rubicon, your way is not only plain and straightforward, but easier and far more pleasant than the one you have left. Strength of mind, then, is not only valuable as it conduces to our comfort and happiness here, but it has a- more lasting good, and a better life in view-for, by enabling us to resist evil, and to do good in opposition to all other considerations, it does, undoubtedly, perform a very considerable part towards bringing us to God

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On a summer morning, in the year of grace 1676, a man was seen making his way towards a lonely cottage in the vale of Dalveen, at the head of Nithsdale : a glimpse, indeed, of the traveller could only now and then be obtained, for he seemed desirous of concealment, and his presence was chiefly indicated by the rustling of the bushes of hazel and of holly, among which he forced his way, or by the startled birds for the sun had not yet wholly risen, and the lark had but newly ascended with his song. He passed a small stream, and, coming to the door of the cottage, by the side of which a cheese-press was standing dripping with new whey, cried "Marion, Marion !"—the door was quiokly opened, and a young woman threw herself into his bosom, saying, “Elias ! bless thee-bless thee !" "And bless thee, too," said he, returning his wife's embrace; “but this, my love, is no time for vain and


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worldly affections. Put on thy mantle ; take thy little one in thine arms, and follow me, I have escaped, almost alone, from a bloody field; and here we may no more abide.” She went into the cottage, and returned with a child of six months old or so, in her arms, milk in a flask, with some bread and honey, and said, “ Elias, I am ready; but let us unloose the cow and turn her to the pasture, and open the door of the fold, so that the sheep may go to the hills,--for they are God's creatures, and must not perish.” And he said, “Surely; for so it is written.” And he did as she spake, and then left the cottage, accompanied by his wife and child.

Now, Elias and his wife were both young, and this was the second year of their marriage. They turned their faces towards that wild and wooded linn, which unites itself with the deep glen of Dalveen: and as they went, Marion looked back on her home and said, “ It is a sweet place, and loth am I to leave the hearth where we first kindled our bridal fire, and seek a refuge in the glens and caverns of the earth. Elias, it is better : but, oh! eternal life is sweet;" and she clasped her child closer to her breast, and lulled it with a little song of her own making. All the while Élias spoke not: he wound his grey plaid closer round his body, leaving both his arms free-examined the edge and point of a sword which hung at his side, and which seemed to have been lately used-threw a long Spanish musket over his left arm, trimmed the flint and looked into the lock, loaced it—and then, having felt the handle of a small dagger, which he carried beside his sword, resumed his former rapidity of pace. They soon entered the ravine-sought their way along a path fit only for a wild cat, and, having reached a sort of cavern or recess in the rocks, they paused and sat down on a rude bench of stone, with a table of the same kind before them; tipon which Elias turned to his wife, took the child into his bosom, and said, -"See how green the trees are- e-how

pure that falling water is how rich the wild flowers blossom-and how bright the sunshine is, seeking to find us out amid the thick boughs which encircle our den of refuge. Look ye down the vale of Nith, and look ye up to Heaven. He, who rules above, spread out this bounteous land beneath our feet, and hung yon marvellous canopy over our heads; and gave unto us the fowls of the air, the fish of the stream, and the beasts of the field, for our inheritance. But the wickedness of man mars the bounty of God. We are deprived of our patrimony; we are hunted to the desert place, and are forbidden to sing the praises of Him, who dwells on high, under penalty of limb and life. But be not, therefore, cast down, my love, nor disquieted: when the doors of the earth are closed, those of Heaven will be opened ; let us retire further into this wild and seldom-trodden glen, and then lift up our voices, freely and without fear; to God,for assuredly he is wroth with us because of our fears. Last night I heard his voice, saying, “My saints are fearful, and my people deny me; and I shall give them, for a time, to the power of the strong and the cruel, that men may know I am wroth with the faint

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of heart, and the feeble of spirit.' And Marion answered, and said, “So be it, Elias.” And they arose, and continued their journey along the rude path which the accidental foot of man and beast had fashioned in that wild ravine. Sometimes the way scaled a steep and fearful crag-sometimes it crept among the fantastic roots of the oak and the beech-and sometimes it went to the very margin of the linn, where the rock, cleft as it were in two, disclosed the foaming stream at the perpendicular depth of fifty, and sometimes an hundred fathoms. Elias often had to use all his skill and strength in conducting his wife and child along this dangerous way.

At length, however, they reached what was to be their abiding place. This was a rude but not ungraceful sort of temple, formed by the earlier labours of the brook, out of the massy free-stone rock,-in the rude pillars of which, and ruder capitals, an ingenious artist might almost perceive the dawn of the Tuscan order. The entrance was wide, and overhung with honeysuckle; and the interior was recessed, and presented what, to anchorites, might appear both seats and couches. “Now, my love," said Elias, “this is the place where our Scottish warriors of old found refuge when they warred for the independence of their country; and in this place shall I, one of their descendants, fight the good fight without fainting. Might and cruelty must prevail in this land for a time : the nobles and great ones of the earth have united against us, and we are driven, for a season, to the heaths and desert places, to be wounded with the shafts of the hunter.” “Alas! my Elias,” said his wife, looking earnestly in his face, “and is our dream of wedded happiness come to this? Our hearth is clean-our cottage fire burns bright—the fruits of the season are in our fields-our flocks are not few on the hills--this little one hath come smiling into my bosom—and we have much, much in this little world of ours to cling to and to love." Peace, woman,” said Elias, sternly: “think ye that I have shut my eyes on that domestic picture with which


seek to lure me? Am I blind as the slow-worm and the mole?' No; those blessings which ye raise in array against my faith, I prize not lightly. It is not for the shape of the garment I wear, nor the fashion of the dish whence I drink, that I thus peril thee and thy babe. It is for freedom to these limbs—it is for freedom to my soul-it is for freedom to worship God according to conscience, that I am thus hunted from rock to rock, and from cleugh to cavern. Woe to him, on the great day, who hath preferred a warm and a sweet wife, to the cause of liberty and the word of God. And woe to him who seeks us for harm in this place of refuge: this hollow tube, won in a sore sea-fight with the Španish Armada, has never, in my hand, missed its aim; and this sword was never by my strength thrust in vain : so be not alarmed, my love, but lull thy babe whilst I keep watch, for the sons of Belial are ever busy against the broken remnant of God's church." So saying, Elias stood within the porch of the place, and lent an



ear to every sound, and an eye to every bird that fitted from bough to bough.

Now it happened on that very morning, that Captain Greer, with some fifty mounted troopers, was on the way from Edinburgh to Dumfries, to avenge the defeat and capture of General Turner, (called the Tippling Apostle of Prelacy, inasmuch as he was a hard drinker,) and had reached the entrance of the upper gorge of the deep defile where Elias and his wife sought refuge, when he was met by a messenger in the disguise of a shepherd, who said, that a sore battle had been fought, in which victory had blessed the arms of King Charles; but that Elias Wilson, one of the chief leaders, had escaped from the field, and was believed to be concealed in one of the wild glens in the neighbourhood of his cottage. “His house,” said the messenger, “is but newly forsaken; the fire is scarcely extinguished on the hearth; I have traced his footsteps through the dew into the lower gorge of this wild ravine; where I dared not to seek him single-handed, for he is eminently skilful with the sword, and when he has his musket in his hand, an eagle cannot escape him.”- What, man!” exclaimed Greer, " and is Elias Wilson-he who can preach as well as fight, and fight better than the fighting laird of Bonshaw, lurking in Enterken glen ? then, if we meet, and I fail to feed the ravens—there's a pair of them looking at me now—with his Cameronian carcass, may, the fiend make

my ribs into a gridiron for my soul.”—“Whisht, Captain Godsake whisht,” said a veteran trooper, no that ye frighten me with such wild words; but deil have me, if I like the presence of these hooded crows; they look at us, as they look at a sheep that's doomed to die on the mountains. An I were you, I would e'en take their counsel, and keep out of that dark glen--it lies nae in our line of march-and- The Captain silenced him with a motion of his hand, and said, “Corporal Borthwick, take ten men, and station them privily in the ruins of the old hunting tower of Dalveen-there they stand, gray and lonely. They command, from the upper windows, the entrance of the Friar's Cell, where this fighting Cameronian has no doubt taken refuge—it is a long shot -but you are skilful.

The rest of the men will enter the ravine at both ends-the moment you have a full view of him at the entrance, take a deliberate aim--if he falls, here is my purse, and you are a serjeant. Borthwick stationed himself and his men according to orders, whilst his Captain went into the ravine on the desperate service of dislodging a practised warrior, whose place of refuge no one could approach without peril of his life.

"I think, my lads," said the corporal, “our Captain has shaped out a garment for himself he will find some danger in sewing." “And I think," said a soldier, “ that our corporal speaks more like a tailor than a warrior-God! I dinna like to be packed up in this auld tower, when there's game in hand; but nae doubt the Captain thought we were all tailors, and that our courage was but small.”

"I will show my face, Moran, where yours dare not be seen,

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exclaimed the corporal, standing full in the window, and holding the musket, with which all troopers in those days were armed, right towards the friar's cell. The wife of Elias, wearied in body, and overcome in mind with the miseries of that morning, had fallen into a slumber: but even in slumber there was no repose; she dreamed that her house was beset with enemies, and that carbines were levelled to destroy her husband-and shrieked out, “O Elias !" On looking up, she saw him peering warily through the screen of honeysuckle which covered the entrance of the cavern, and cocking his musket as he looked; he motioned her back-presented his piece and fired; the ravine echoed loudly to the report: and corporal Borthwick dropped forward from the window, and his helmet was seen glittering for a moment, as he dropped dead into the fearful chasm below. “We are beset all around, my love," said Elias, reloading his musket: “I have slain one son of Belial, in the act of presenting his engine of death at thee and me: but fear not: God will work out our deliverance-so compose thyself, and keep out of the way of harm. They know not the Friar's Cell : it commands both the upper and lower approaches—but peace, peace.' He presented his musket as he spoke; the serjeant, that conducted the party who were to penetrate from the lower gorge, received the ball in his brain as he gained the summit of the rock, and fell over the cliff; it fared no better with a second adventurer; and the rest, daunted, and believing that the fugitives were in force, desisted, and stood undecided.

“Now, my lads," exclaimed Captain Greer, “the game has begun the old tower is sending shot after shot; and there will be nought left for us to do but to march to the Friar's Cell, and report on the dead body.” So saying, he descended into the ravine, -and wound his difficult and adventurous way warily with foot and hand. "Captain,” said the veteran who formerly addressed him, laying his hand on his arm, and pointing upwards, “there's our forerunners-that man never had luck, that they took a fancy to yet; but I'll follow ye to the red hot doors of perdition afore I'll flinch; only I have nae faith in things, if these blood-crows don't believe, that they are to feast atween your breast-banes and mine.” It is said that the Captain changed colour, as he looked on those dark companions of his march; still he went forward; one of them uttered a croak, and looked into the chasm below, where the stream was invisible for mist and spray, and seemed as if it saw something. At that moment, Greer took off his helmet, waved the plume to scare them away, and at the same time moved his head to and fro, and continued to advance. At that moment, a ball from the Friar's Cell grazed his temple, and struck the veteran who followed him on the forehead; the latter, in the death pang, clutched hard the arm on which his palm was laid, and dropping heavily back, the living and the dead were precipitated some thirty

fathoms. The rest of the troopers were struck with dismay-their leaders were slain--no one volunteered to advance; and as they stood irresolute,

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