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exhibiting a ghastly and disgusting spectacle to the revellers, who felt, though they could not tell why, fear as well as dislike at his presence. As they approached the calabash to this ungainly ad truculent-looking savage, and as he extended a hand soiled, as it seemed, with blood, to grasp it, the Prince called out
Down stairs with him! let not the wretch drink in our presence; find him some other vessel than our holy calabash, the emblem of our revels-a swine's trough were best, if it could be come by. Away with him! let him be drenched to purpose, in atonement for his master's sobriety. Leave me alone with Sir John Ramorny and his page; by my honour, I like not his looks.'
The attendants of the Prince left the apartment, and Eviot alone remained.
'I fear,' said the Prince, approaching the bed in different form from that which he had hitherto used-'I fear, my dear Sir John, that this visit has been unwelcome; but it is your own fault. Although you know our old wont, and were yourself participant of our schemes for the evening, you have not come near us since St. Valentine's-it is now Fastern's Even, and the desertion is flat disobedience and treason to our kingdom of mirth, and the statutes of the calabash.'
Ramorny raised his head, and fixed a wavering eye upon the Prince; then signed to Eviot to give him something to drink. A large cup of ptisan was presented by the page, which the sick man swallowed with eager and trembling haste. He then repeatedly used the stimulating essence left for the purpose by the leech, and seemed to collect his scattered senses.
'Let me feel your pulse, dear Ramorny,' said the Prince; I know something of that craft.-How? Do you offer me the left hand, Sir John?-that is neither according to the rules of medicine nor of courtesy.'
The right hand has already done its last act in your Highness' service,' muttered the patient, in a low and broken tone.
'How mean you by that?' said the Prince; 'I am aware thy follower, Black Quentin, lost a hand; but he can steal with the other as much as will bring him to the gallows, so his fate cannot be much altered.'
'It is not that fellow who has had the loss in your Grace's serviceit is I-John of Ramorny.'
'You!' said the Prince; you jest with me, or the opiate still masters you reason.'
'If the juice of all the poppies in Egypt were blended in one draught,' said Ramorny, 'it would lose influence over me when I look upon this.' He drew his right arm from beneath the cover of the bed-clothes, and extending it towards the Prince, wrapped as it was in dressings, Were these undone and removed,' he said, 'your Highness would see that a bloody stump is all that remains of a hand ever ready to unsheath the sword at your Grace's slightest bidding.'
Rothsay started back in horror. This,' he said, 'must be avenged.' 'It is avenged in small part,' said Ramorny; that is, I thought I saw Bonthron but now-or was it that the dream of hell that first arose
in my mind when I awakened, summoned up an image so congenial. Eviot, call the miscreant-that is, if he is fit to appear.'
Eviot retired, and presently returned with Bonthron, whom he had rescued from the penance, to him no unpleasing infliction, of a second calabash of wine, the brute having gorged the first without much apparent alteration in his demeanour.
'Eviot,' said the Prince, 'let not that beast come nigh me. My soul recoils from him in fear and disgust; there is something in his looks alien from my nature, and which I shudder at as at a loathsome snake, from which my instinct revolts.'
'First hear him speak, my lord,' answered Ramorny; 'unless a wineskin were to talk, nothing could use fewer words. Hast thou dealt with him, Bonthron?'
The savage raised the axe which he still held in his hand, and brought it down again edgeways.
'Good. How knew you your man!-the night, I am told, is
'By sight and sound, garb, gait, and whistle.'
'Enough, vanish!-and, Eviot, let him have gold and wine to his brutish contentment.-Vanish!-and go thou with him.'
' And whose death is achieved?' said the Prince, released from the feelings of disgust and horror under which he suffered while the assassin was in presence. 'I trust this is but a jest? Else I must call it a rash and savage deed. Who has had the hard lot to be butchered by this bloody and brutal slave ?'
'One little better than himself,' said the patient; 'a wretched artisan, to whom, however, fate gave the power of reducing Ramorny to a mutilated cripple-a curse go with his base spirit !-his miserable life is but to my revenge what a drop of water would be to a furnace. I must speak briefly, for my ideas again wander; it is only the necessity of the moment which keeps them together, as a thong combines a handful of arrows. You are in danger, my lord-I speak it with certaintyyou have braved Douglas, and offended your uncle-displeased your father-though that were a trifle, were it not for the rest.'
'I am sorry I have displeased my father,' said the Prince, (entirely diverted from so insignificant a thing as the slaughter of an artizan, by the more important subject touched upon) if, indeed, it be so. But if I live, the strength of the Douglas shall be broken, and the craft of Albany shall little avail him!'
'Ay-if-if. My lord,' said Ramorny, 'with such opposites as you have, you must not rest upon if or but-you must resolve at once to slay or be slain.'
How mean you, Ramorny? your fever makes you rave,' answered the Duke of Rothsay.
'No, my lord,' said Ramorny, 'were my frenzy at the highest, the thoughts that pass through my mind at this moment would qualify it. It may be that regret for my own loss has made me desperate; that anxious thoughts for your Highness's safety have made me nourish bold designs; but I have all the judgment with which Heaven has gifted me, when I tell you, that if ever you would brook the Scottish
crown, nay, more, if ever you would see another St. Valentine's Day,
'What is it that I must do, Ramorny?' said the Prince, with an air of dignity; nothing unworthy of myself, I hope?'
'Nothing, certainly, unworthy or misbecoming a Prince of Scotland, if the blood-stained annals of our country tell the tale truly; but that which may well shock the nerves of a prince of mimes and merrymakers.' pp. 252-256.
The cruel levity, and even mockery, with which Rothsay treats the mutilation of Ramorny, and the disgust which he expresses at his dark proposal, completely alienate the mind of that revengeful man, and when upon his trial for the murder of Proudfute, the Prince refuses to exculpate him by a falsehood, he throws himself into the arms of Albany, and becomes, with Henbane Dwining, the contriver and perpetrator of the tragic catastrophe at Falkland Castle.
We have been unconsciously betrayed into greater prolixity than we purposed, and must bring our remarks to as speedy a termination as possible. Passing over, therefore, the sensation which was excited by the spectacle of the bonnet-maker's gory corpse, which was mistaken at first, for that of the Smith-the agitation and alarm of Catharine, who fearing that the supposed atrocity had been perpetrated by Conachar and his highlanders, and regarding herself as in some sort accessory to the murder of her lover, rushed madly forth to the house of the Gow, and sunk, overwhelmed with her feelings, into Henry's arms-the deliberations in the council-room of Perth, touching the offence, and its probable authors, &c. we proceed to the trial of the offenders, which, by the advice of Dom Louis Lundin, the townclerk, was the proof by bier-right. The superstition of the age had introduced this among other extravagances of a similar kind, to which, however, the same superstition did not fail to give a certain degree of efficacy. The body of Proudfute is exposed in the High Church of St. Johns', where a solemn scene is exhibited-the monarch and his court are there-the family of Ramorny, suspected of the murder, are summoned before itand as they successively approached to purge themselves of the crime by a solemn appeal to Heaven, it was every moment expected, that the shroud of the dead man would be dyed with blood gushing from his wounds, to bear witness against him who had inflicted them. However, one after another takes the oath without a sign, until it was, at last, Bonthron's turn. The wretch, by a previous concert with his master, refuses the proof by the bier-right, and calls for the combat with Henry Smith, the champion of the widow and orphans of the deceased. He
is vanquished, as might have been expected by the doughty armourer, and being compelled to confess, accuses the Prince as the instigator of the deed. He is then immediately ordered to be hanged by Albany, under pretence of complying with custom, but really to prevent a recantation of the falsehood against Rothsay. His hanging is so contrived between Ramorny, the Pottingar and the executioner, as to be a mere show. At the dead of night, he is taken down; and transported to the opposite shore of Fife, and we see no more of him, until he appears at Falkland Castle, to consummate the plot of Albany and Ramorny against the heedless and unsuspecting Duke of Rothsay. We will not be responsible for the infallibility of Mr. Stephen Snotherwell's remedy against death by hanging, and are quite as little disposed to say any thing about the verisimilitude of this accident.
The cold reception which Catharine gave the Smith, after so great an achievement on so sacred an occasion, and after the interest she had affected to take in his fate upon the report of his death, incensed Simon Glover so much, that she found it necessary to come out with a full explanation of the causes of her reserve. The amount of it is, that she, together with her father and some of his friends have been accused of heresy, and set down upon the black list, under the late commission, to extirpate it—and, that as the only means left to save them all, she had agreed with her treacherous confessor, father Francis the Dominican, to take the veil in Elcho nunnery, of which the abbess was her mother's kinswoman. She informs him, at the same time, of the flight of Father Clement, who had been removed to the Highlands by Conachar, at her instance. The Glover, at once excessively alarmed, and touched by the disclosure, determines to save his child by flight, but while they are making the necessary preparation, a horse's tramp is heard in the narrow-street, and the rider, wrapped in a cloak with the cape drawn up, while his bonnet was pulled down so as to conceal his face alights, and Sir Patrick Charteris, is, in a few moments upstairs in Simon's chamber. The object of this hasty and unexpected visit is, to inform the Glover that the warrant for the apprehension of himself and his daughter is about to go forth, and that he has not a moment to lose. It is determined, after some deliberation, that Simon shall take refuge with Conachar in the Highlands, and that Catharine shall put herself under the protection of the Lady Marjory, Dutchess of Rothsay, who had been for some time living in retirement at Falkland Castle. The account which Simon gives of the origin of his friendly intercourse with the Chiefs of the Clan Quhele, is as follows:
"However, be that as it may, it chanced me to serve Gilchrist MacIan in a high matter. It is now about eighteen years since, that it chanced, the Clan Quhele and Clan Chattan being at feud, as indeed they are seldom at peace, the former sustained such a defeat, as wellnigh extirpated the family of their chief, MacIan. Seven of his sons were slain in battle, and after it, himself put to flight, and his castle taken and given to the flames. His wife, then near the time of giving birth to an infant, fled into the forest, attended by one faithful servant and his daughter. Here, in sorrow and care enough, she gave birth to a boy; and as the misery of the mother's condition rendered her little able to suckle the infant, he was nursed with the milk of a doe, which the forester who attended her contrived to take alive in a snare. It was not many months afterwards, that, in a second encounter of these fierce clans, MacIan defeated his enemies in his turn, and regained possession of the district which he had lost. It was with unexpected rapture, that he found his wife and child were in existence, having never expected to see more of them than the bleached bones, from which the wolves and wild cats had eaten the flesh.
'But a strong and prevailing prejudice, such as is often entertained by these wild people, prevented their Chief from enjoying the full happiness arising from having thus regained his only son in safety. An ancient prophecy was current among them, that the power of the tribe should fall by means of a boy born under a bush of holly, and suckled by a white doe. The circumstance, unfortunately for the Chief, tallied exactly with the birth of the only child which remained to him, and it was demanded of him by the elders of the clan, that the boy should be either put to death, or at least removed from the dominions of the tribe, and brought up in obscurity. Gilchrist MacIan was obliged to consent; and having made choice of the latter proposal, the child, under the name of Conachar, was brought up in my family, with the purpose, as was at first intended, of concealing from him all knowledge who or what he was, or of his pretentions to authority over a numerous and warlike people. But as years rolled on, the elders of the tribe, who had exerted so much authority, were removed by death, or rendered incapable of interfering in the public affairs by age; while, on the other hand, the influence of Gilchrist MacIan was increased by his successful struggles against the Clan Chattan, in which he restored the equality betwixt the two contending confederacies, which had existed before the calamitous defeat of which I told your honour. Feeling himself thus firmly seated, he naturally became desirous to bring home his only son to his bosom and family; and for that purpose, caused me to send the young Cona char, as he was called, more than once to the Highlands. He was a youth expressly made, by his form and gallantry of bearing, to gain a father's heart. At length, I suppose the lad either guessed the secret of his birth, or something of it was communicated to him; and the disgust which the haughty Hieland varlet had always shown for my honest trade, became more manifest; so that I dared not so much as lay my staff over his costard, for fear of receiving a stab with a dirk, as an answer in Gaelic to a Saxon remark. It was then I wished to be well rid of him, the rather that he showed so much devotion to Catherine, who,