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of the inn where your dinner is bespoken, and at the moment pre· paring. These are ideas, however, of a far later age; for at the time we treat of, the picturesque, the beautiful, the sublime, and all their intermediate shades, were ideas absolutely unknown to the inhabitants and occasional visitors of Glendearg.
• They had, however, attached to the scene feelings fitting the time. Its name, signifying the Red Valley, seems to have been derived, not only from the purple colour of the heath, with which the upper part of the rising banks was profusely cloathed, but also from the dark red colour of the rocks, and of the precipitous earthen banks, which in that country are called scaurs. Another gien, about the head of Et. trick, has acquired the same name from similar circumstances; and there are probably more in Scotland to which it has been given.
As our Glendearg did not abound in mortal visitants, superstition, that it might not be absolutely destitute of inhabitants, had peopled its recesses with beings belonging to another world. The savage and capricious Brown Man of the Moors, a being which seems the genuine descendant of the Northern dwarfs, was supposed to be seen there frequently, especially after the autumnal equinox, when the fogs were thick, and objects not easily distinguished. The Stish fairies, too, a whimsical, irritable, and mischievous tribe, who, though at times capriciously benevolent, were more frequently adverse to mortals, were also supposed to have formed a residence in a pari cularly wild recess of the glen, of which the real name was, in all on to that circumstance, Corrie nan Shian, which, in corrupted Celtic, signifies the Hollow of the Fairies. But the neighbours were more cautious in speaking about this place, and avoided giving it a name, from an
idea common then through all the British and Celtic provinces of | Scotland, and still retained in many places, that to speak either good
or ill of this capricious race of supernatural beings, is to provoke their resentment, and that secrecy and silence is what they chiefly desire from those who may intrude upon their revels, or discover their haunts.
A mysterious terror was thus attached to the little dale, which afforded access from the broad valley of the Tweed, up the little glen we have described, to the fortalice called the Tower of Glendearg. Beyond the knoll, where, as we have said, the little tower was situated, the hills grew more steep, and narrowed on the slender brook, so as scarce to leave a foot-path ; and there the glen terminated in a wild water fall, where a slender thread of water dashed in a precipitous line of foam over two or three precipices. Yet farther in the same direction, and above these successive cataracts, lay a wild and extensive morass, frequented only by water-fowl, wide, waste, appa. rently almost interminable, and serving in a great measure to separate the inhabitants of the little glen from those who lived to the northward.' pp. 93-99,
• The ABBOT' bas for one thing which the Monastery' has not, a plan,-a beginning, a middle, and an end; and it has also a bero. "That hero is Roland Græme, the spoilt page of the Lady of Avenel. Ten years are supposed to have elapsed since the union of Sir Halbert and his lady, which would have been as happy as mutual affection could render it, but for two circumstances; the distracted state of Scotland, which is continually calling away Sir Halbert from his home to the camp or to court, and the want of offspring. It was during one of the long solitary intervals which his lady was doomed to pass apart, that she conceived a strong interest for the boy, in consequence of having been instrumental in preserving him from drowning. He proves to be an orphan, his only surviving relative being a grandmother, the saintly Meg Merrilies of the tale. Of his parentage he is himself imperfectly informed, but be has been told that he is of gentle blood; and the ungentle airs which he gives himself, by virtue of this assurance, occasion at length his dismissal from the castle. In his way to the abbey of Kennaquair, where he is going to ask the counsel of Father Ambrose, the Edward Glendinning of the former tale, he visits the cell of Saint Cuthbert, where erst dwelt a holy monk. The spot is thus described.
"A few roods of fertile land afforded the monk his plot of garden ground; an eminence, well-clothed with trees, rose behind the cell, and sheltered it from the north and the east, while the front, opening to the south-west, looked up a wild but pleasant valley, down which wandered a lively brook, which battled with every stone that interrupted its passage. The cell itself was rather plainly than rudely built -à low Gothic building, with two small apartments, one of which served the priest for his dwelling place, the other for his chapel.
• The page's first movement was to knock at the door, when he ob. served, to his surprise, that it was open, not from being left unlatched, but because, beat off its upper hingc, it was only fastened to the doorpost by the lower, and could therefore no longer perform its functions. Somewhat alarmed at this, and receiving no answer when he knocked and called, Roland began to look more at leisure upon the exterior of the little dwelling, before he ventured to enter it. The flowers, which had been trained with care against the walls, seemed to have been recently torn down, and trailed their dishonoured garlands on the earth; the latticed window was broken and dashed in. The garden, which the monk had maintained by his constant labour in the highest order and beauty, bore marks of having been lately trod down and destroyed by the hoofs of animals and the feet of men.
• The sainted spring had not escaped. It was wont to arise beneath a canopy of ribbed arches, with which the devotion of elder times had secured and protected its healing waters. These arches were now almost entirely demolished, and the stones of which they were built, were tumbled into the well, as if with the purpose of choking up and destroying the fountain, which, as it had shared in other days the honour of the saint, was, in the present, doomed to partake his unpopularity. Part of the roof had been pulled down from the
house itself, and an attempt had been made with crows and levers upon one of the angles, by which several large corner-stones had been forced out of their place; but the solidity of ancient mason-work had proved too great for the time or patience of the assailants, and they had relinquished their task of destruction. Such dilapidated build. ings, after the lapse of years during which nature has gradually covered the effects of violence with creeping plants, and with weather stains, exhibit, amid their decay, a melancholy beauty. But when the visible effects of violence appear raw and recent, there is no feeling to mitigate the sense of devastation with which they impress the spectators; and such was now the scene on which the youthful page gazed, with the painful feelings it was qualified to excite.
• Anxious to discover if the monk of St. Cuthbert's had at least escaped personal harm, Roland Græme entered the half ruined cell. The interior was in a state which fully justified the opinion he had formed from its external injuries. The few rude utensils of the soli. tary's hut were broken down and lay scattered on the floor, where it seemed as if a fire had been made with some of the fragments to destroy the rest of his property, and to consume, in particular, the rude old image of St. Cuthbert, in its episcopal habit, which lay on the earth like Dagon of yore, shattered with the axe and scorched with the flames, but only partially destroyed. In the little apartment which served as a chapel, the altar was overthrown, and the four huge stones of which it had been once composed lay scattered around the floor. The large stone crucifix which occupied the niche behind the altar, and fronted the supplicant while he paid his devotion there, had been pulled down, and dashed by its own weight into three fragments. There were marks of sledge-hammers on each of these ; yet the image had been saved from utter demolition by the size and strength of the remaining fragments, which, though much injured, retained enough of the original sculpture to shew what it had been intended to represent.
• Roland Græme, secretly nursed in the tenets of Rome, saw with horror, the profanation of the most sacred emblem, according to his creed, of our holy religion.
• It is the badge of our redemption, he said, which the felons have dared to violate-would to God niy weak strength were able to replace it-my humble strength to atone for the sacrilege!
• He stooped to the task he first meditated, and with a sudden, and to himself almost an incredible exertion of power, he lifted up the one extremity of the lower shaft of the cross, and rested it upon the edge of the large stone which served for its pedestal. Encouraged by this success, he applied his force to the other extremity, and, to his own astonishment, succeeded so far as to erect the lower end of the limb into the socket, out of which it had been forced, and to place this fragment of the image upright.
• While he was employed in this labour, or rather at the very moment when he had accomplished the elevation of the fragment, a voice, in thrilling and well known accents, spoke behind him these words :-“ Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Thus would I again meet the child of my love the hope of my aged eyes.".
Roland turned round in astonishment, and the tall commanding form of Magdalen Græme stood beside him. She was arrayed in a sort of loose habit, in form like that worn by penitents in Catholic countries, but black in colour, and approaching as near to a pilgrim's cloak as it was safe to wear in a country where the suspicion of Catholic devotion in many places endangered the safety of those who were suspected of attachment to the ancient faith. Roland Græme threw himself at her feet. She raised and embraced him with affection in. deed, but not unmixed with a gravity which amounted almost to sternness.
““ Thou hast kept well,” she said, “ the bird in thy bosom. boy, as a youth, thou hast held fast thy faith amongst heretics-thou hast kept thy secret and mine own amongst thine enemies. I wept when I parted from you-1, who seldom weep, then shed tears, less for thy death than for thy spiritual danger-I dared not even see thee to bid thee a last farewell--my grief, my swelling griet had betrayed me to these heretics. But thou hast been faithful-down, down on thy knees before the holy sign, which ill men injure and blaspheme: down and praise saints and angels for the grace they have done thee, in preserving thee from the leprous plague which cleaves to the house in which thou wert nurtured." ;
The whole scene is too long to transcribe, and it is somewhat too long for effect; but it is picturesque and dramatic. The cell affords old Mag lalen and her son a shelter for the night. In the morning, she announces to himn in mysterious terms, that he is destined to take part in a mighty project, in which he will have for his partners, the power of the church and the pride of the noble, and she demands his implicit concurrence.
Roland is half-beguiled, half-terrified into an assent, and they set off together for the abode of a sister enthusiast.
About the hour of noon they reached a small straggling village, in which, as usual, were seen one or two of those predominating towers, or peel-houses, which, for reasons of defence 'elsewhere de. tailed, were at that time to be found in every Border hamlet. A brook flowed beside the village, and watered the valley in which it stood. There was also a mansion at the end of the village, and a little way separated from it, much dilapidated and in very bad order, but appuaring to have been the abode of persons of some consideration. The situation was agreeable, being an angle formed by the stream, bearing three or four large sycamore trees, which, being in full leaf, served to relieve the dark appearance of the mansion, which was built of a deep red stone. The house itself had been a large one, but was now obviously too big for the inmates; several windows were built up, especially those which opened from the lower storey; others were blockaded in a less substantial manner. The court before the door, which had once been defended with a species of low outer-wall, now ruinous, was paved, but the stones were completely covered with long grey nettles, thistles, and other weeds, which, shooting up betwixt che
flags, had displaced many of them from their level. Even matters demanding more peremptory attention had been left neglected, in a manner which argued sloth or poverty in the extreme. The stream, undermining a part of the bank near an angle of the ruinous wall, had brought it down, with a corner turret, the ruins of which lay in the bed of the river. The current, interrupted by the ruins which it had overthrown, and turned yet nearer to the site of the tower, had greatly enlarged the breach it had made, and was in the process of undermining the ground on which the house itself stood, unless it were speedily protected by sufficient bulwarks.
• All this attracted Roland Græme's observation as they approached the dwelling by a winding path, which gave them, at intervals, a view of it from different points.
" " If we go to yonder house,” he said to his mother, “ I trust it is but for a short visit. It looks as if two rainy days from the north-west would send the whole into the brook.”
• “ You see but with the eyes of the body,” said the old woman ; “ God will defend his own, though it be forsaken and despised of men. Better to dwell on the sand, under his law, than fly to the rock of human trust."
As she thus spoke, they entered the court before the old mansion, and Roland could observe that the front of it had formerly been considerably ornamented with carved work, in the same dark-coloured freestone of which it was built. But all these ornaments had been broken down and destroyed, and only the shattered vestiges of niches and entablatures now strewed the place which they had once occupied. The larger entrance in front was walled up, but a little foot-path, which, from its appearance, seemed to be rarely trodden, led to a small wicket, defended by a door well clenched with iron-headed nails, at which Magdalen Græme knocked three times, pausing betwixt each knock, until she heard an answering tap from within. At the last knock, the wicket was opened by a pale
thin female, who said, “ Benediciti qui venient in nomine Domini.” They entered, and the portress hastily shut behind them the wicket, and made fast the mas. sive fastenings by which it was secured.
• The female led the way through a narrow entrance, into a vestibule of some extent, paved with stone, and having benches of the same solid material ranged around. At the upper end was an oriel window, but part of the intervals formed by the stone shafts and mul. lions was blocked up, so that the apartment was very gloomy.
• Here they stopped, and the mistress of the mansion, for such she was, embraced Magdalen Græme, and greeting her by the title of sis, ter, kissed her, with much solemnity, on either side of the face.
ros The blessing of our Lady be upon you, my sister,” were her next words; and they left no doubt upon Roland's mind respecting the religion of their hostess, even if he could have suspected his venerable and zealous guide of resting elsewhere than in the habitation of an orthodox Catholic. They spoke together a few words in private, during which he had leisure to remark more particularly the appear. ance of his grandmother's friend.
• Her age might be betwixt fifty and sixty; her looks had a mixture