« НазадПродовжити »
making the “ stout gentleman*" a arm, it cost him some labour to ex. good customer. One Saturday late- tricate himself from that position. ly, two cronies, an Englishman and Sawney, however, resolved to be sia Scotchman, met at the inn of a lent about this affair, assured that northern burgh, and were so unsocial its recital would only provoke bis as to separate after breakfast on friend to exclaim, “Oh! you had Sunday morning, with the view of got too much of the Provost's wine spending the rest of the day among yesterday.” But, somewhat to bis their respective friends in the place, surprise, and greatly to his relief, and of avoiding the dinner-party in when they met at breakfast, the the commercial room. The English- Englishman exclaimed, “By man returned to the inn about ten there must have been an earthquake in the evening, and slipped up stairs here, for, during the night, I found quietly to his bed-room. The Scotch. myself jolted in my bed into a sitman followed his friend's example ting posture.” On this, Sawney about eleven, but, during the night, instantly related his own mishap, he awoke, and found himself stuck and agreed most readily with his fast betwixt his bed-side and the friend, that there must have been an bed-room wall. With a bruised earthquake!
WILLIAM DOUGLAS; or the SCOTTISH EXILES T. We had heard a good deal of this solution, and forgiving their occabook, and have been not a little dis- sional extravagancies, for the sake appointed by its perusal. The truth of the general soundness of their is, it is an attempt to give novelty to views in politics and church-govern& subject which has already been ment, have dwelt with delight 'on presented in every possible light, their eloquence, their patience under and in which every possible modi- affliction, their stern and uncomprofication of opinion has already been mising adherence to the views they embodied, either in history, romance,' had adopted, and the resources of or song. The darker, or the more mind which they exhibited, under ridiculous features of the Presbyte. the most adverse and unpromising rian character,-their strange and circumstances. That there has been insane enthusiasm, which would be a great deal of exaggeration on both ludicrous, but from the dreadful sides every one seems now to be consequences to which it led, ---their aware ; and an impartial and comfantastic and absurd interpretations prehensive view of the character of of Scripture, -their abuse of the the times is perhaps still a desideralanguage of Holy Writ, have already tum in literature. But, most assubeen pourtrayed with a powerful redly, that task is not likely to be ful. and unsparing pencil, although not filled by the author of this novel, without a feeling of the sufferings who, with all his professions of imwhich had thus shaken from their partiality, has adopted the same seat minds of no ordinary capacity limited and party views with his and vigour, and not without an ad. predecessors; and unfortunately, mission of the noble and exalted without illustrating these views, as motives by which the greater part of far as we can perceive, by any great these enthusiasts were actuated. On novelty of arrangement, or felicity of the other hand, the better parts of illustration. The truth is, that, as a the character of the Covenanters have novel, as a series of events, connectbeen no less anxiously and elaborate-ed together by any common bearing, ly detailed, both by historians and containing any progressive interest
, novelists, who, forgetting their ab- the book is utterly defective, and in surdities in their constancy and re- this respect decidedly inferior to
See “ Tales of a Traveller." '+ William Douglas; or, the Scottish Exiles. A Historical Novel. In3 volumes. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh ; and Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, London. 1826.
many of the much-abused offspring suddenly into a new and more dangerous of the Minerva Press, from which, course. Nothing could be more sublime it seems, the author is so anxious to and romantic than the scene which now distinguish and sequestrate this presented itself. It seemed as if some moral publication. There are many mighty convulsion of Nature had torn passages of interest, --some speeches the earth asunder, and had laid open its of considerable eloquence, though bowels to the light of day. On either generally redundant in expression;
hand, crags rising on crags towered to
heaven. and some extremely animated scenes
Behind and before, the view of battle and warlike adventure;
was terminated by abrupt precipices,
which seemed to shut up the passage, but they do not advance the plot, which loiters and retrogrades, with traveller ; and, at this moment, it was
and to deny all egress to the awe-struck out mercy.
The author has also rendered still more tremendous by a thought proper to encumber the thick fog, which, resting on the top of high-road of his story by several the mountain, gave an undefined appearpuerile and unnecessary episodes, ance of immensity to its height. The which, like toll-gates upon a turn- way, which was not broad enough to pike, detain the reader till he has adunit of two horses a-breast, had, in paid the penalty of patience to no some places, been cut with considerable small amount. Such is the account labour out of the solid rock, and wound of an island all flowing with milk with rapid ascent along the face of a and honey, and inhabited by sundry mountain, which rose almost perpendiunsophisticated and Utopian per
cularly from the bed of the rivulet. sonages, on which the exiles of this “ Here we are again at your famous Tale are shipwrecked, and in which
pass, General,” said Cumin jocularly. the author, like honest Dogberry,
“What if your friends of the Covenant should pay us
a visit in this fearful has “ found it in his heart to bestow all his tediousness upon us.”
place? Would you be as successful in
your attack as you told me this morning We do not think we should do
you knew how to be in its defence ?" our readers any favour, or the author
“ Thank my stars," replied Davenany service, by an analysis of his
port, they are too busy just now cantTale, but we shall extract from his ing and praying, and wrestling in spirit work one or two passages, exhibiting for a miraculous interposition, to think some power of conception and de- of the human means in their power, scription.
otherwise we might have hot work. The The following describes the re- fools ! if they had but one grain of comtreat of Sir John Davenport, the mon sense, they might not only force military commander of James II., our prisoners from us, but send us all a. through a defile in possession of the
packing to Covenanters. The extract is long,
“ Hark! did you not hear a noise ?" but its interest would be injured by
said Eccleston hastily. “I confess I do
not like this place. We have lingered any abridgement.
too long on the road." The road through which the troop had “What ! are your nerves shaken by to travel was circuitous and difficult, these horrors ?" asked Sir John, with a sometimes winding among the hills, and smile. “ Remember, man, under whose sometimes rising over steep ascents; and auspices you are.- Nil desperandum having halted for some time in a lonely Teucro duce et auspice Teucro.” valley to rest their horses, it was not till " Look there! look there !” cried the pretty late in the afternoon that they ar. Sheriff; “ as I'm a living man, there rived at a difficult path, which formed are human figures moving in the mist !" the only pass into the low ground. Da. “ Some travellers," returned he, carevenport had observed it in the morning lessly. “ If they wait not till we gain with a soldier's eye, and had remarked to the top, woe betide them. Your fears, his friend the Sheriff, that, with a single my friend, are a more magnifying mecompany of well-disciplined men, he dium than the mist itself.” could defend it against all the forces of “ Nay, but, General, it is no joke," the kingdom.
replied the other, in great alarm. “I It was, in truth, a formidable road, see a large body of armed men. I coneven for peaceful passengers.
After ceal them from you ; but look now, and meandering for some time through a judge for yourself.” rugged and deep defile, along the edge of Cumin, who was foremost, by moving a brawling mountain-stream, it turned a little to one side, opened to the Ge. neral a view of a considerable corps sta- “ Deliver up your prisoners," said tioned on a ridge directly in front; and Wallace. “ Lay down your arms, and although they could only be dimly seen give us a pledge of indemnity. If you through the mist, it was too plain they do this, you shall depart in peace.” were enemies. He changed colour, and “ Lay down our arms !” cried Forbes. looked anxiously back at his men. Bę. " What ! to rebels and fanatics! I shall ing at the head of the column, he had sooner have my brains blown out. To now advanced more than midway up the the attack, General ! To the attack !" precipice; but his troops were straggling “ Moderate your fury, young man !" singly, and without caution, up the as. said Davenport with a frown. " At cent, forming a long broken line as far your peril stir a step till you are orderas the road could be seen, the rear files ed." still coming one by one into view from Then addressing Wallace, he said with behind a jutting crag.
assumed composure, “ We will grant He halted, and passed the order to you all you ask but the indignity of surclose to the front. This spread a sudden rendering our arms. This is what you alarm ; and the command being prompte ought not to require, for your own sakes. ly obeyed, he moved cautiously forward, Por if you rouse the spirit of the soldiers when a quick turn of the road presented against you, the day of vengeance may to his eye an appalling sight. Numbers come. Suppose you that a forced proof people in arms were now distinctly mise of indemnity would secure you from seen posted to the right and left, and in the rage of a dishonoured soldiery and an front, so as completely to obstruct the insulted Government ?” passage.
“ Do you threaten, then, to break the “ Dash on! dash on !” cried Daven. engagement which necessity may now port to the Sheriff, “ or allow me to compel you to make with us?” asked pass.”
Wallace indignantly. “This is at least “ It is impossible,” returned the plain speaking, and we must take our other; we shall all be butchered to a measures accordingly." man."
“Do your worst,” cried Davenport; “ It is our only chance, however," “ but remember your two friends are in rejoined he. " The road is too narrow our power, and if one shot be fired, they to suffer our horses to turn."
are dead men.” “ Let us leave our horses, and scram- So saying, he gave instant orders that ble up the rocks. We shall soon reach the prisoners should be passed to the the top, and force our way through that front. This command, owing to the undisciplined rabble,” cried Ensign Fornarrowness of the path, was obeyed with bes.
some difficulty; and in the mean time “ No, no ! let us dismount and re- the conference proceeded. treat," exclaimed another, " We shall “Kill the prisoners, say ye?" cried find our way over the hills."
Sandy Donaldson, who stood by Wal. “Nay, gentlemen, I see it will not lace's side. “Ay, ay, we ken what to do,” said Davenport, after a moment's think o'that blaw-flum. I dare ye to reflection. “ We are in a complete lay a single han' on them. Down ye snare, and must try to negotiate.” wad gang lith and limb, into that awfu"
At this instant he was startled by a pit there ; and deeper, deeper still wad voice immediately above him calling his gang your trembling souls, down, down, name ; and, looking up, he saw a youth down, into the pit without a bottom! of manly appearance, attended by several Hegh, sirs, what a tumble ye wad get !" others, all well armed, standing on a "Bridle that tongue of yours, Donprojecting rock, which completely com. aldson,” said Wallace. “It is unmanly manded his position. It was young to exult over an enemy who is in our Wallace.
power.” “ General,” said he, in a firm but po- “ But it angers me,” returned he, " to lite tone, you wish to negotiate ; and hear them try to scar us wi' their humwe are ready to meet you on easier terms bugs. Na, na, we're owre auld birds to than you probably expect, seeing that be ta’en wil caff!--Lay hands on the you are entirely in our power, and have prisoners, truly! I ken ye owre weel, so long an arrear of injuries and provoca. Sir John. Ye're no sae wearied o' this tions to discharge. But we thirst not for warld, and ye’re no sae keen o' the next; your blood, and you shall see how Chris. and as little reason hae ye to be keen tians can act."
o't." “ You speak boldly, young man," re- « Peace, fellow !" cried Davenport, plied the General ; " but let us hear furiously ; " my business is with your your proposal.”
" And think ye this laddie's our leade his tormentor with loud oaths and the er ?" asked Donaldson. “ Worthy most opprobrious epithets. though he is to be at our head, as ony This was marrow to Donaldson's that ever steppit on neat's leather, we bones ; and after the burst of impotent ha'e a better leader than him."
fury had expended itself, he renewed the “ Send for him then, that I may con- attack on his part. fer with him," said the General.
“ There stand you, Sir John Daven. Sandy answered by bursting into a port by name," cried he, "ane o' the horse laugh ; and then composing him arrantest oppressors and bloodiest perseself to a more serious frame, “ The cutors o' auld Scotland and the Covenant leader I mean," he said solemnly, “ is that ever drew the breath o'life. Ye ha'e ane that led you there, and led us here. ridden frae east to west, and frae north He watches owre his ain, and will save to south, wi' malice in your heart, and a his twa servants frae you red-coats, sword in your hand reeking wi' the liferaging tigers though ye be, even as he blood o'the saints ;-ye ha'e sent spies to saved Daniel frae the mouth o' the lions, betray us, and soldiers to ferret us, and in their very den."
tax-gathers to fleece us,-ye ha'e spulzied “ Heed not his impertinence, Gene- our gear,--ye ba'e shut up our kirks, ral,” replied Wallace." His tongue is ye ha'e thrown our ministers into prison, quite uncontrollable ; but he speaks the-ye ha'e put our meetings for the wortruth, when he says I have no title to the ship o' God under public bann,-na, ye character of a leader here ; and as I wish ha'e done to us what the wicked Hazael not to take on myself the responsibility of old did to the Israelites : Our young of managing this important conference men ye ha'e slain wi' the sword, you ha'e without advice, you will excuse me till I dashed our children, and ripped up our consult with others of more wisdom and women wi'experience. Meanwhile, I trust the “ Foul-mouthed varlet,” interrupted prisoners will be treated kindly."
the General; “ you and your canting " It will be the fault of your own peo. clan have not got half their deserts, other. ple if they are not,” replied the General.
wise" " But in your absence I fear mischief.” “ Na, what wad become o'ye,” voci
“ Nay, I pledge myself,” returned the ferated Sandy, so loud as to drown Da. other, " that there will be no violence on venport's voice ; " what wad become o' our part, unless provoked. By all that you and your hellish crew, were we now is sacred, Donaldson,” added he private- to gie ye the wages ye ha'e wrought for, ly to Sandy, " be quiet, and keep within -as weel we might ? If we had ony o' bounds. These taunts of yours are base your black spirit within us,-if we were and ungenerous ; and then think what is na the servants o' Him that wadna break at stake—the safety of those who are so the bruised reed, -yon sun that ye see dear to you as well as to me.”
e'ennow sae gloriously glinting owre the “ I'll do my best, Mr William," re- high tap o' Carsphairn,-ye might live to turned the garulous Covenanter, with a see't gang down, but ye wad never, never shrug ; " but ye had better no bide lang waken to its rising again." out o' the gate, for ye ken my tongue's “ And would my death be unrevenge quite uncontrolluble."
ed ?” asked Davenport fiercely. “ The Wallace had not been gone many blood shed at Bothwell, and since on the minutes, when Donaldson, who, in his scaffold, and in the fields, would be but present humour, felt the restraint of sic as a drop to the ocean that would deluge lence, which, in obedience to his young the land, if a hair of my head were master's injunctions, he had determined touched. There is no chicken-hearted to impose on himself, quite intolerable, Monmouth now to stand between you began to utter his gibes against the sole and public vengeance.” diers to his companions, speaking at first “ Tent me weel,” exclaimed Donald. in an under tone, and gradually raising son, stepping forward in his eagerness, his voice loud enough to be heard by Da. and looking down on Davenport with a venport, whose impatient temper could ill keen and ominous glance ; " if the fray brook the coarse raillery of which he per begin, it 'ill no be your death, nor the ceived himself to be the butt, while it death of a' your men, that 'll end it. was his policy not only to bear all in si. Frae this wee clud a storm ’ill rise that lence himself, but to impose silence on 'ill shake the hale land, and blaw the his men. At last, however, the Cove crown off a worthless head." nanter stumbled upon something which “ Shall I shoot the villain, General?" so galled and chafed the imperious Cava. asked Ensign Forbes, with fierce indig. lier, that he lost all self-command, and nation, drawing a pistol from his belt, giving way to his passion, retaliated on and presenting it.
Trow ye that I'll let ye?" retorted The Sheriff, in the mean time, obthe Covenanter, levelling his piece with serving his friend's danger, had drawn quick but steady aim, and firing down up before it was too late, and halted on upon him.
the brink of the first gap. Here, hor. Both horse and rider fell together, and, ever, he was closely pressed by the horsestaggering for a moment on the edge of men behind, who pushed on, unconscious the precipice, tumbled over and disap. of the obstruction; and as Eccleston's peared.
horse began to rear, M.Wierd instinctive “ There fa's ane o' the rampest youths ly caught hold of the branch of a tree, I ha'e seen,” said the Covenanter, shud. which projected from a cliff of the rock dering at the deed he had done, but en. above his head, and saved himself from deavouring to justify it. “ I couldna help his perilous situation by clinging to it, it. It was neck or naething wi' me and gaining a footing among its branches. Hegh, but I'm sorry though !"
From this he sprung to another tree, and Sandy, Sandy! what hae ye done ?" from this again to a ledge of rock, ac cried his comrades. “ Ye'll mak' them quiring energy from the natural love of desperate. See, there's our gude minis. life, till at last he found himself on less ter and Mr Patrickson come up. They'll precipitous ground, and out of the reach be murdered !-, they'll be murder of danger. ed !”
While this was passing, Davenport and “ No, no, no !” cried Donaldson in an his prisoner remained motionless in their agony. “ Rather tak' me. It was me perilous station; the noble animal bethat did it. Spare the guiltless !" neath them being sensible of the danger,
So saying, he stepped to the brink of and standing steady, while it trembled in the precipice, scarcely knowing what he every limb. Nothing indeed could be did, and was bending over in the act of more alarming than the situation in throwing himself down, when he was which they were placed, with a perpenforcibly drawn back by his companions. dicular rock above, a yawning abyss be “ Tak’ me, and spare the guiltless!" he low, and a footing so narrow, that the repeated, struggling with those who held slighest motion either of the horse or him. “ I canna - winna outlive rider would hazard instant destruction. them !"
Davenport, who, in the field of battle, But Davenport knew his own interest or when called to face danger in any actoo well to sacrifice his prisoners in such tive service, was daring and interpid, felt critical circumstances to his revenge. He his courage give way in this new situahad other views; and as soon as Patrick. tion, where there was no high deed to be son and M.Wierd reached the front, he done, and no fame to be gained, and caused the former to mount behind him where bodily and mental vigour seemed self, and the letter behind the Sheriff, equally vain. He remained cosering and took the lead in an attempt to force over the neck of his horse with shut eyes, his way through the midst of his ene. and his trembling hands grasping its mies, trusting to the attachment of the mane, while he scarcely dared to breathe Covenanters towards the prisoners, which lest the motion should disturb the horse's he flattered himself would protect him balance, or induce it to attempt a change from their fire so long as these shared the of position. Patrickson, on the contrary, danger. For the rest, he trusted to the sat steady and erect, commending him. spirit and fleetness of his horse, and to the self in secret prayer to the Supreme Disknown aversion of the Presbyterians to poser of events, and looking calmly round to shed blood. It was a desperate at- for some feasible plan of escape. He tempt, but it seemed to afford him a looked, however, in vain. Before and chance of escape, and in his situation this behind him the rustic pioneers had so was enough.
completely done their work, that beyond It was not long, however, before he the isolated spot on which the horse was was brought to a dead stand, the enemy perched, like a statute on a pedestal, not having contrived to break up the road in an inch of level ground could be seen several places. His charger had already near enough to afford him the slightest made one or two perilous leaps, and had hope of escaping by the desperate expen at last spanned a gap, which none but a riment of a leap. horse of the first mettle would ever have “ Sir John,” said he, “ you were but attempted ; but now he could proceed no a few minutes ago a powerful com. farther; and the astonished General mander, and I was your prisoner ; but found himself in an isolated spot on the now we are in this respect on a level, and very verge of the precipice, with scarcely the only question is, which of us can look sufficient breadth for the poor animal tv on the King of Terrors with the steadiest procure a safe station for its feet.
eye, or rather, what is to become of us