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forsooth, set herself up to wash the Ethiopian, and teach a wild Hielandman mercy and morals. She knows herself how it ended.'
• With his return thither,' said the Glover. There was, for some two or three years, a fellow about Perth, a sort of messenger, who came and went under divers pretences, but was, in fact, the means of communication between Gilchrist MacIan and his son, young Conachar, or, as he is now called, Hector. From this gillie, I learned, in general, that the banishment of the Dault an Neigh Dheil, or foster child of the White Doe, was again brought under consideration of the tribe. His foster father, Torquil of the Oak, the old forester, appeared with eight sons, the finest men of the clan, and demanded that the doom of banishment should be revoked. He spoke with the greater authority, as he was himself Taishatar, or a Seer, and supposed to have communication with the invissible world. He affirmed that he had performed a magical ceremony, termed Tin-Egan, by which he evoked a fiend, from whom he extorted a confession that Conachar, now called Eachin, or Hector Maclan, was the only man in the approaching combat between the two hostile clans, who should come off without blood or blemish. Hence, Torquil of the Oak argued that the presence of the fated person was necessary to ensure the victory. So much I am possessed of this,' said the forester, that unless Eachin fight in his place in the ranks of the Clan Quhele, neither I, his foster-father, nor any of my eight sons, will lift a weapon in the quarrel.'
This speech was received with much alarm; for the defection of nine men, the stoutest of their tribe, would be a serious blow, more especially if the combat, as begins to be rumoured, should be decided by a small number from each side. The ancient superstition concerning the foster son of the White Doe was counterbalanced by a new and later prejudice, and the father took the opportunity of presenting to the elan his long-hidden son, whose youthful, but handsome and animated countenance, haughty carriage, and active limbs, excited the admiration of the clansmen, who joyfully received him as the heir and descendant of their Chief, notwithstanding the ominous presage attending his birth and nurture."" Vol. ii. pp. 113–116.
After travelling for some time through the dreary loneliness of those wilds, whose natural desolation at that season of the year, had been increased by the ravages of an unsparing feud, Simon arrives at the cottage of Niel Booshallock, in a sequestered nook of land near the junction of the river Tay with the Loch of the same name. He is received with the hospitality characteristic of those mountain tribes, and asks him if there were any news in the country.
"Bad news as ever were told,' said the herdsman; 'our father is no more.'
How?' said Simon, greatly alarmed, is the Captain of the Clan Quhele dead?'
'The Captain of the Clan Quhele never dies,' answered the Booshalloch; but Gilchrist MacIan died twenty hours since, and his son, Eachin MacIan, is now Captain.'
"What, Eachin-that is Conachar-my apprentice?'
'As little of that subject as you list, brother Simon,' said the herdsman. It is to be remembered, friend, that your craft, which doth very well for a living in the douce city of Perth, is something too mechanical to be much esteemed at the foot of Ben Lawers, and on the banks of Loch Tay. We have not a Gaelic word by which we can even name a maker of gloves.'
'It would be strange if you had, friend Niel;' said Simon, drily, 'having so few gloves to wear. I think there be none in the whole Clan Quhele, save those which I myself gave to Gilchrist Maclan, whom God assoilzie, who esteemed them a choice propine. Most deeply do I regret his death, for I was coming to him on express busi
'You had better turn the nag's head southward with morning light,' said the herdsman. The funeral is instantly to take place, and it must be with short ceremony; for there is a battle to be fought by the Clan Quhele and the Clan Chattan, thirty champions on a side, as soon as Palin Sunday next, and we have brief time either to lament the dead, or honour the living.'
'Yet are my affairs so pressing, that I must needs see the young Chief, were it but for a quarter of an hour,' said the Glover.
'Hark thee, friend,' replied his host, I think thy business must be either to gather money or to make traffic. Now, if the Chief owe thee any thing for upbringing or otherwise, ask him not to pay it when all the treasures of the tribe are called in for making gallant preparation of arms and equipment for their combatants, that we may meet these proud hill-cats in a fashion to show ourselves their superiors. But, if thou comest to practice commerce with us, thy time is still worse chosen. Thou knowest that thou art already envied of many of our tribe, for having had the fosterage of the young Chief, which is a thing usually given to the best of the clan.'
'But, St. Mary, man!' exclaimed the Glover, men should remember the office was not conferred on me as a favour which I courted, but that it was accepted by me on importunity and entreaty, to my no small prejudice. This Conachar, or Hector of yours, or whatever you call him, has destroyed me doe-skins to the amount of inany pounds Scots.' 'There again, now,' said the Booshalloch,' you have spoken a word to cost your life;-any allusion to skins or hides, or especially to deer and does, may incur no less a forfeit. The Chief is young and jealous of his rank-none knows the reason better than thou, friend Glover.He will naturally wish that every thing concerning the opposition to his succession, and having reference to his exile, should be totally forgotten; and he will not hold him in affection who shall recall the recollection of his people, or force back his own, upon what they must both remember with pain. Think how, at such a moment, they will look on the old Glover of Perth, to whom the Chief was so long apprentice!VOL. II. NO. 3.
Come, come, old friend, you have erred in this. You are in over great haste to worship the rising sun, while his beams are yet level with the horizon. Come thou when he has climbed higher in the heavens, and thou shalt have thy share of the warmth of his noonday height.'
'Niel Booshalloch,' said the Glover, we have been old friends, as thou say'st; and as I think thee a true one, I will speak to thee freely, though what I say might be perilous if spoken to others of thy clan.— Thou think'st I come hither to make my own profit of thy young Chief, and it is natural thou should'st think so. But I would not, at my years, quit my own chimney corner in Curfew-street, to bask me in the beams of the brightest sun that ever shone upon Highland heather. The very truth is, I come hither in extremity-my foes have the advantage of me, and have laid things to my charge whereof I am incapable, even in thought. Nevertheless, doom is like to go forth against me, and there is no remedy but that I must up and fly, or remain and perish. I come to your young Chief, as one who had refuge with me in his distresses; who ate of my bread and drank of my cup. I ask of him refuge, which, as I trust, I shall need but a short time.'
'That makes a different case,' replied the herdsman; 'So different, that if you came at midnight to the gate of MacIan, having the King of Scotland's head in your hand, and a thousand men in pursuit for the avenging of his blood, I could not think it for his honour to refuse you protection. And for your innocence and guilt, it concerns not the caseor rather, he ought the more to shelter you if guilty, seeing your necessity and his risk are both in that case the greater. I must straightway to him, that no hasty tongue tell him of your arriving hither without saying the cause.' '" Vol. ii. pp. 123–125.
His host, after repeating the injunction which the Glover found it so difficult to observe, not to allude to the former name or situation of Eachin Maclan, as his apprentice, takes his leave of him to go to the burial of the deceased Chief, at the same time informing Simon that if he would go to the top of the Tom-anLonach, behind the house, he would see a gallant sight, and hear the loudest coronach that was ever poured out over a warrior's bier. The Glover accordingly ascends the Tom-an-Lonach or Knoll of Yew Trees.
"The opposite or northern shore of the lake, presented a far more Alpine prospect than that upon which the Glover was stationed.— Woods and thickets ran up the sides of the mountains, aud disappeared among the sinuosities formed by the winding ravines which separated them from each other; but far above these specimens of a tolerable natural soil, arose the swart and bare mountains themselves, in the dark, grey desolation proper to the season.
Some were peaked, some broad-crested, some rocky and precipitous, others of a tamer outline; and the clan of Titans seemed to be commanded by their appropriate chieftains-the frowning mountain of Ben Lawers, and the still more lofty eminence of Ben Mohr, arising high above the rest, whose peaks retain a dazzling helmet of snow far
into the summer season, and sometimes during the whole year. Yet, the borders of this wild and sylvan region, where the mountains descended upon the lake, intimated, even at that early period, many traces of human habitation. Hamlets were seen, especially on the northern margin of the lake, half hid among the little glens that poured their tributary streams into Loch Tay, which, like many earthly things, made a fair show at a distance, but, when more closely approached, were disgustful and repulsive, from their squalid want of the conveniences which attend even Indian wigwams. They were inhabited by a race who neither cultivated the earth, nor cared for the enjoyments which industry procures. The women, although otherwise treated with affection, and even delicacy of respect, discharged all the absolutely neces sary domestic labour. The men, excepting some reluctant use of an ill-formed plough, or more frequently a spade, grudgingly gone through, and as a task infinitely beneath them, took no other employment than the charge of the herds of black cattle, in which their wealth consisted. At all other times, they hunted, fished, or marauded, during the brief intervals of peace, by way of pastime; plundering with bolder license, and fighting with embittered animosity, in time of war, which, public or private, upon a broader or a more restricted scale, formed the proper business of their lives, and the only one which they esteemed worthy of them.
The magnificent bosom of the lake itself was a scene to gaze on with delight. Its noble breadth, with its termination in a full and beautiful run, was rendered yet more picturesque by one of those islets which are often happily situated in Scottish lakes. The ruins upon that isle, now almost shapeless, being overgrown with wood, rose, at the time we speak of, into the towers and pinnacles of a priory where slumbered the remains of Sibilla, daughter of Henry I. of England, and consort of Alexander the First of Scotland. This holy place had been deemed of dignity sufficient to be the deposit of the remains of the Captain of the Clan Quhele, at least till times when the removal of the danger, now so imminently pressing, should permit of his body being conveyed to a distinguished convent in the north, where he was destined ultimately to repose with all his ancestry.
A number of boats pushed off from various points of the near and more distant shore, many displaying sable banners, and others having their several pipers in the bow, who, from time to time, poured forth a few notes of a shrill, plaintive, and wailing character, and intimated to the Glover that the ceremony was about to take place. These sounds of lamentation were but the tuning as it were of the instruments, compared with the general wail which was speedily to be raised.
A distant sound was heard from far up the lake, even as it seemed from the remote and distant glens, out of which the Dochart and the Lochy pour their streams into Loch Tay. It was in a wild inaccessible spot, where the Campbells, at a subsequent period, founded their strong fortress of Finlayrigg, that the redoubted commander of the Clan Quhele drew his last breath; and, to give due pomp to his funeral, his corpse was now to be brought down the Loch to the island assigned for his temporary place of rest. The funeral fleet, led by the Chieftain's
barge, from which a huge black banner was displayed, had made more than two-thirds of its voyage ere it was visible from the eminence on which Simon Glover stood to overlook the ceremony. The instant the distant wail of the coronach was heard proceeding from the attendants on the funeral barge, all the subordinate sounds of lamentation were hushed at once, as the raven ceases to croak and the hawk to whistle, whenever the scream of the eagle is heard. The boats, which had floated hither and thither upon the lake, like a flock of water-fowl dispersing themselves on its surface, now drew together with an appearance of order, that the funeral flotilla might pass onward, and that they themselves might fall into their proper places. In the meanwhile the piercing diu of the war-pipes became louder and louder, and the cry from the numberless boats which followed that from which the black banner of the Chief was displayed, rose in wild unison up to the Tom-an-Lonach, from which the Glover viewed the spectacle. The galley which headed the procession, bore of its poop a species of scaffold, upon which, arrayed in white linen, and with the face bare, was displayed the corpse of the deceased Chieftain. His son, and the nearest relatives, filled the vessel, while a great number of boats, of every description that could be assembled, either on Loch Tay itself, or brought by land carriage from Loch Earn and otherwise, followed in the rear, some of them of very frail materials. There were even curraghs, composed of ox-hides stretched over hoops of willow, in the manner of the ancient British; and some committed themselves to rafts formed for the occasion, from the readiest materials that occurred, and united in such a precarious manner as to render it probable, that, before the accomplishment of the voyage, some of the clansmen of the deceased might be sent to attend their Chieftain in the world of spirits.
When the principal flotilla came in sight of the smaller group of boats collected towards the foot of the lake, and bearing off from the little island, they hailed each other with a shout so loud and general, and terminating in a cadence so wildly prolonged, that not only the deer fled from their caves for miles around, and sought the distant recesses of the mountains, but even the domestic cattle, accustomed to the voice of man, felt the full panic which the human shout strikes into the wilder tribes, and like them fled from their pasture into morasses and dingles.
Summoned forth from their convents by those sounds, the monks who inhabited the little islet, began to issue from its lowly portal, with cross and banner, and as much of ecclesiastical state as they had the means of displaying; their bells at the same time, of which the edifice possessed three, pealing the death-toll over the long lake, which came to the ears of the now silent multitude, mingled with the solemn chant of the Catholic church, raised by the monks in their procession. Various ceremonies were gone through, while the kindred of the deceased carried the body ashore, and, placing it on a bank long consecrated to the purpose, made the Deasil around the departed. When the corpse was uplifted to be borne into the church, another united yell burst from the assembled multitude, in which the deep shout of warriors and the shrill wail of females, joined their notes with the tremulous voice of age, and