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unseemly spectacle. Even one who had never seen the Black Douglas, must have known him by his swart complexion, his gigantic frame, his buff-coat of bull's hide, and his air of courage, firmness and sagacity, mixed with the most indomitable pride. The loss of an eye in battle, though not perceptible at first sight, as the ball of the injured organ remained similar to the other, gave yet a stern immoveable glare to the whole aspect.
The meeting of the royal son-in-law with his terrible step-father, was in circumstances which arrested the attention of all present; and the by-standers waited the issue with silence and suppressed breath, lest they should lose any part of what was to ensue.
When the Duke of Rothsay saw the expression which occupied the stern features of Douglas, and remarked that the Earl did not make the least motion towards respectful, or even civil salutation, he seemed determined to show him how little respect he was disposed to pay to his displeased look. He took his purse from his chamberlain.
Here, pretty one,' he said, 'I give thee one gold piece for the song thou hast sung me, another for the nuts I have stolen from thee, and a third for the kiss thou art about to give me. For know, my pretty one, that when fair lips (and thine for fault of better may be called so) make sweet music for my pleasure, I am sworn to St. Valentine to press them to mine.'
My song is recompensed nobly,' said Louise, shrinking back; my nuts are sold to a good market-farther traffic, my lord, were neither befitting you nor beseeming me.'
What! you coy it, my nymph of the highway?' said the Prince, contemptuously. Know, damsel, that one asks you a grace who is unused to denial."
It is the Prince of Scotland'-'the Duke of Rothsay'-said the courtiers around, to the terrified Louise, pressing forward the trembling young woman; 'you must not thwart his humour.'
But I cannot reach your lordship,' she said, 'you sit so high on horseback.'
'If I must alight,' said Rothsay, 'there shall be the heavier penaltyWhat does the wench tremble for? Place thy foot on the toe of my boot, give me hold of thy hand-Gallantly done!' He kissed her as she stood thus suspended in the air, perched upon his foot, and supported by his hand; saying, 'There is thy kiss, and there is my purse to pay it; and to grace thee farther, Rothsay will wear thy scrip for the day.' He suffered the frightened girl to spring to the ground, and turned his looks from her to bend them contemptuously on the Earl of Douglas, as if he had said, 'All this I do in despite of you and of your daughter's claims.'
'By St. Bride of Douglas!' said the Earl, pressing towards the Prince, this is too much unmannered boy, as void of sense as honour! You know what considerations restrain the hand of Douglas, else had you never dared——'
'Can you play at spang-cockle, my lord?' said the Prince, placing a nut on the second joint of his fore-finger, and spinning it off by a smart VOL. II.-No. 3. 30
application of the thumb. The nut struck on Douglas's broad breast, who burst out into a dreadful exclamation of wrath, inarticulate, but resembling the growl of a lion, in depth and sternness of expression. 'I cry your pardon, most mighty lord,' said the Duke of Rothsay, scornfully, while all around trembled; 'I did not conceive my pellet could have wounded you, seeing you wear a buff-coat. Surely, I trust, it did not hit your eye.' Vol. i. pp. 150-153.
This chapter is quite a master-piece. Nothing can be better painted than the thoughtlessness and levity of the unfortunate Rothsay, contrasted with the stern pride of the Douglas, and the subtle hypocrisy of Albany. The offended Earl determines to defer his revenge against his son-in-law to some fitter time, but he would have wreaked it immediately upon poor Louise, whom he ordered to be scourged. Her supplications, however, secured her the interposition of Rothsay, who prevails upon the humanity of Henry Gow, to conduct her to some place of safety. The Smith complies from a sense of duty, but is overwhelmed with confusion at the idea of being seen in so equivocal a situation on St. Valentine's Day, and especially dreaded lest it should get to the ears of his mistress. He, therefore, took the most private way to his own house, but for his sins, he met with the Pottingar and Proudfute, the former of whom, of course, to make mischief, took great pains to circulate the report as soon as possible, and was the means of producing a misunderstanding between our hero and the Glover's daughter, which leads to the most fatal consequences.
After the riot in the court-yard was subsided, the haughty chiefs still burning with the mingled passions of the late strife, are summoned to the royal presence; the motley council of the King consisted of Albany, the Prior, Douglas and March, the two latter upon the very eve of a deadly feud. The Douglas draws from his pocket the hand of a man, and a placard, which he had plucked down from some public place in the city. The paper was signed by Sir Patrick Charteris, and offered a reward in the name of the Provost and Burgesses of Perth, for the discovery of those who had been concerned in the assault upon the Glover's house. An altercation takes place between Douglas and March, the latter of whom abruptly quits the room. A battle then impending between the Clan Chattan and the Clan Quhele is next discussed, and it is proposed to settle the controversy by a combat of an equal number of their bravest warriors, in the presence of the Court. The King breaks out into some very pious and pathetic lamentations about the distempers of his devoted realm, which gives the Prior an opportunity of imputing them all to the judgments of God upon the heresy
that was abroad, and of procuring the appointment of a commission with unlimited power to extirpate it. The good monarch, upon the departure of Douglas, turns to his son, and tells him that a follower of his had been engaged in that nocturnal affray. The ring of Ramorny had been found by one of the followers of Douglas. It was Ramorny, the monarch said, who had led the young Prince into those fatal courses, and Ramorny must be cut off. He called to the captain of his guard, but Rothsay interposed on behalf of his late associate, promising at the same time to dismiss him forthwith from his service, which he accordingly does.
At the foot of a rock, on the side of the hill of Kinnoul, which commands one of the most beautiful prospects in Scotland, sat the Fair Maid of Perth, listening with deep attention to the instructions, and joining fervently in the prayers of a Carthusian Monk. This was that Father Clement, of whom mention has already been made. Having embraced the doctrines of Wickliffe, and been stigmatised as a Lollard, he dwelt among rocks and solitudes, and was now a designated victim of the Inquisitorial commission which had been just raised. He had been long inculcating his opinions in the family of the Glover-and had thus acquired very great influence with Catharine, and the youth Conachar. In the course of their conversation, which turned upon the calamities of the times, and the corruptions of the church, Catharine tells him that she has provided for him a retreat in the highlands, among the tribe of his Celtic neophyte. He takes occasion to sound her upon the subject of the Smith, whom he denounces as a man of blood, reprobating at the same time what he calls the heathenish custom of Valentines. He ventures to intimate, that her beauty might aspire to a Prince's love— that Rothsay had discarded his evil adviser Ramorny, and now felt for her a purer and more honourable passion-that he might easily obtain a divorce from his slighted Dutchess, Marjory Douglasthat others had been raised by their personal charms to the same elevation, and old prophecies had foretold that Rome should fall by the speech of a woman. The Maid of Perth, astonished at the ambitious views of her spiritual guide, sweetly chid him for so strange a dream. The old man's eyes filled with tears, and he acknowledged the justness of her "grave rebuke, severe in youthful beauty."
"Catharine had raised her head to reply, and bid the old man, whose humiliation gave her pain, be comforted, when her eyes were arrested by an object close at hand. Among the crags and cliffs which surrounded this place of seclusion, there were two which stood in such close contiguity, that they seemed to have been portions of the same
rock, which rended by lightning or an earthquake, now exhibited a chasm of about four feet in breadth, betwixt the masses of stone. Into this chasm an oak tree had thrust itself, in one of the fantastic frolics which vegetation often exhibits in such situations. The tree, stunted and ill-fed, had sent its roots along the face of the rock in all directions to seek for supplies, and they lay like military lines of communication, contorted, twisted, and knotted like the immense snakes of the Indian archipelago. As Catharine's look fell upon the curious complication of knotty branches and twisted roots, she was suddenly sensible that two large eyes were visible among them, fixed and glaring at her, like those of a wild animal in ambush. She started, and without speaking, pointed out the object to her companion, and looking herself with more strict attention, could at length trace out the bushy red hair and shaggy beard, which had hitherto been concealed by the drooping branches and contorted roots of the tree.
When he saw himself discovered, the Highlander, for such he proved, stepped forth from his lurking-place, and stalking forward, displayed a colossal person, clothed in a purple, red, and green-checked plaid, under which he wore a jacket of bull's hide. His bow and arrows were at his back, his head was bare, and a large quantity of tangled locks, like the glibbs of the Irish, served to cover the head, and supplied all the purposes of a bonnet. His belt bore a sword and dagger, and he had in his hand a Danish pole-axe, more recently called a Lochaber axe. Through the same rude portal advanced, one by one, four men more, of similar size, and dressed and armed in the same manner.
Catharine was too much accustomed to the appearance of the in habitants of the mountains so near to Perth, to permit herself to be alarmed, as another Lowland maiden might have been on the same occasion. She saw with tolerable composure these gigantic forms arrange themselves in a semicircle around and in front of the Monk and herself, all bending upon them in silence their large fixed eyes, expressing, as far as she could judge, a wild admiration of her beauty. She inclined her head to them, and uttered imperfectly the usual words of a Highland salutation. The elder and leader of the party returned the greeting, and then again remained silent and motionless. The Monk told his beads; and even Catharine began to have strange fears for her personal safety, and anxiety to know whether they were to consider themselves at personal freedom. She resolved to make the experiment, and moved forward as if to descend the hill; but when she attempted to pass the line of Highlanders, they extended their pole-axes betwixt each other, so as effectually to occupy each opening through which she could have passed.
Somewhat disconcerted, yet not dismayed, for she could not conceive that any evil was intended, she sat down upon one of the scattered fragments of rock, and bade the Monk, standing by her side, be of good
'If I fear,' said Father Clement, it is not for myself; for whether I be brained with the axes of these wild men, like an ox when, worn out by labour, he is condemed to the slaughter, or whether I am bound with their bow-strings, and delivered over to those who will take my life with
more cruel ceremony, it can but little concern me, if they suffer thee, dearest daughter, to escape uninjured.'
'We have neither of us,' replied the Maiden of Perth, any cause for apprehending evil; and here comes Conachar, to assure us of it.'
Yet as she spoke, she almost doubted her own eyes; so altered were the manner and attire of the handsome, stately, and almost splendidly dressed youth, who, springing like a roebuck, from a cliff of considerable height, lighted just in front of her. His dress was of the same tartan worn by those who had first made their appearance, but closed at the throat and elbows with a necklace and armlets of gold. The hauberk which he wore over his person, was of steel, but so clearly burnished, that it shone like silver. His arms were profusely ornamented, and his bonnet, besides the eagle's feather, marking the quality of chief, was ornamented with a chain of gold, wrapt several times around it, and secured by a large clasp, adorned with pearls. His brooch, by which the tartan mantle, or plaid, as it is now called, was secured on the shoulder, was also of gold, large and curiously carved. He bore no weapon in his hand, excepting a small sapling stick with a hooked head. His whole appearance and gait, which used formerly to denote a sullen feeling of conscious degradation, was now bold, forward, and haughty; and he stood before Catharine with smiling confidence, as if fully conscious of his improved appearance, and waiting till she should recognise him.
Conachar,' said Catharine, desirous to break this state of suspense, are these your father's men?'
'Conachar is no
'No, fair Catharine,' answered the young man. more, unless in regard to the wrongs he has sustained, and the vengeance which they demand. I am Ian Eachin Mac Ian, son to the Chief of the Clan Quhele. I have moulted my feathers, as you see, when I changed my name. And for these men, they are not my father's followers, but mine. You see only one half of them collected; they form a band consisting of my foster-father and eight sons, who are my body-guard, and the children of my belt, who breathe but to do my will. But Conachar,' he added, in a softer tone of voice, 'lives again so soon as Catharine desires to see him; and while he is the young Chief of the Clan Quhele to all others, he is to her as humble and obedient as when he was Simon Glover's apprentice. See, here is the stick I had from you when we nutted together in the sunny braes of Lednoch, when Autumn was young in the year that is gone. I would not part with it, Catharine, for the truncheon of my tribe."" pp. 208-211.
Taking her leave of Father Clement and Eachin MacIan, Catharine returns, not without some apprehensions for her safety, to the city. She might encounter the terrible Ramorny, who had sworn vengeance against her father and the Smith, if she dared to become the wife of the latter; and, indeed, it was these threats that had inclined her to retire to a monastery. But who is this dreaded and detested Ramorny?