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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 ves. sel (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 imprese sion 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 sun-beam, 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
sung what seemed to be a charm.' Mannering, 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 to be its purport:
ye, twine ye! even so,
While the mystic twist is spinning,
Passions wild, and follies vain,
Now they wax, and now they dwindle,
Ere our translator, or rather our free imitator, had arranged these stanzas in bis head, and while he was yet hammering out a rhyme for spindle, the task of the sybil was accomplished, or her wool was expended. She took the spindle, now charged with her labours, and, undoing; the thread gradually, measured it, by casting it over her elbow, and bringing each loop round between her fore-finger and thumb. When she had measured it out, she muttered to herself—"A hank, but not a haill ane-the full years o'the three score and ten, but thrice broken, and
thrice to oop, (i. e. unite); he'll be a lucky lad an he win through wi't.”
Our hero was about to speak to the prophetess, when a voice, hoarse as the waves with which it mingled, halloo’d twice, and with increasing impatience i “ Meg, Meg Merrilies !-Gypsey-hagtousand deyvils !"
“ I am coming, I am coming, Captain," answered Meg, and in a moment or two the impatient Commander whom she addressed made his appearance from the broken part of the ruins.
He was apparently a sea-faring man, rather under the middle size, and with a countenance bronzed by a thousand conflicts with the north-east wind. His frame was prodigiously muscular, strong, and thick-set; so that it seemed as if a man of much greater height would have been an inadequate match in any close personal conflict. He was hard-favoured, and, which was worse, his face bore nothing of the insouciance, the careless frolicsome jollity
and vacant curiosity of a sailor on shore. These qualities, perhaps, as much as any others, contribute to the high popularity of our seamen, and the general good inclination which our society expresses towards them. Their gallantry, courage, and hardihood are qualities which excite reverence, and perhaps rather humble
pacific landsmen in their presence; and neither respect, nor a sense of humiliation, are feelings easily combined with a familiar fondness towards those who inspire them. But the boyish frolics, the exulting high spirits, the unreflecting mirth of a sailor when enjoying himself on shore, tem per the more formidable points of his character. There was nothing like these in this man's face; on the contrary, a surly and even savage scowl appeared to darken features which would have been harsh and unpleasant under any expression or modification, " Where are you, Mother Deyvilson ?" said he, with somewhat of a foreign accent, though speaking perfectly