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seemed to measure the quantity that each of the dependants swallowed, as closely as if their glances attended each mouthful in its progress from the lips to the stomach. This close inspection was unfavourable to Cuddie, who was much prejudiced in his new mase ter's opinion, by the silent celerity with which he caused the victuals to disappear before him. And ever and anon Milnwood turped bis eyes froin the huge feeder to cast indignant glances upon bis nephew, wbose repugnance to rustic labour was the principal cause of his needing a ploughman, and who had been the direct means of bis hiring this very cormorant.”——(p. 169–172. vol. ii.) · Henry Morton, the hero, joined the Calvinistical cove. nanters, and one defect, and no inconsiderable defect of this story is, that he is made, almost without motive, to desert the side on which his love, his relatives, and his interest all lay : this inconsistency might have been remedied, bad the author described him with a little more enthusiasm than he appears to have possessed, more justifiable hatred of the tyranny and cruelty of the royal party, and warmer admiration of the principles, however perverted, of the cause which he espoused. This, however, is not done, and the only inducement he appears to have had, consists in revenge for ill treatment he received from a party of life-guards. After he had declared his intention to Balfour of Burley, the latter introduces him to the council of the Covenanters: the manner in which business was conducted at these assem. blies, may be judged of from the subsequent extract.
or. We will not, with my consent,' said Burley, engage in a siege which may consume time. We must forward, and follow our advantage by occupying Glasgow ; for I do not fear that the troops we have this day beaten, even with the assistance of my lord Ross's regiment, will judge it safe to aivait our coming.'
« • Howbeit,' said Poundtext, we may display a banner before the Tower, and blow a trumpet, and summon them to come forth. It may be that they will give over the place unto our mercy, though they be a rebellious people. And we will summon the women to come forth of their strong-hold, that is, Lady Margaret Behenden and her grand-daughter, and Jenny Dennison, which is a girl of an ensnaring eye, and the other maids, and we will give them a safe conduct, and send them in peace to the city, even to the town of Edinburgh. But Jolin Gudyill, and Hugh Harrison, and Miles Bellenden, we will restrain with fetters of iron, even as they, in times bypast, have done to the martyred saints.'
“Who talks of safe conduct and of peace ?' said a shrill, broken, and overstrained voice, from the crowd.
" • Peace, brother Habbakuk,' said Macbriar, in a soothing tone to the speaker.
*I will not hold my peace,' reiterated this strange and unnatural voice; ' is this a time to speak of peace, when the earth quakes, and the mountains are rent, and the rivers are changed into blood, and the two-edged sword is drawn from the sheath to drink gore as if it were water, and devour flesh as the fire devours dry stubble ?' .. While he spoke thus, the orator struggled forward to the inner part of the circle, and presented to Morton's wondering eyes a figure worthy of such a voice and such language. The rags of a dress which had once been black, added to the tattered fragments of a shepherd's plaid, composed a covering scarce fit for the purposes of decency, much less for those of warmth or comfort. A long beard, as white as snow, hung down on bis breast, and mingled with busby, uncombed, grizzled hair, which hung in elf-locks around his wild and staring visage. The features seemed to be extenuated by penury and famine, until they hardly retained the likeness of a buman aspect. The eyes, grey, wild, and wandering, evidently be, tokened a bewildered imagination. He held in his hand a rusty sword, clotted with blood, as were his long lean hands, which were garnished at the extremity with nails like eagle's claws.
"• In the naine of Heaven! who is he? said Morton, in a whisper to Poundtext, surprised, shocked, and even startled at this ghastly. apparition, wbich looked more like the resurrection of some cannibal * priest, or Druid, red from his human sacrifice, than like an earthly mortal.
". It is Habbakuk Mucklewrath;' answered Poundtext, in the same tone, • whom the enemy have long detained in captivity iq forts and castles, until his understanding hath departed from bima and, as I fear, an evil spirit hath possessed bim. Nevertheless, our violent brethren will have it, that he speaketh of the spirit, and that they fructify by his pouring forth.' (p. 183-186. vol.iii.,
The insurgents, as most of our readers will recollect, after taking Glasgow, were defeated with great slaughter at Bothwell-bridge; a great number of prisoners are made, and among them, Morton and Macbriar, a young firm misguided zealot, who had vehemently and unceasingly preached up the doctrine of cutting the throats of the prelates for the glory of God. The latter is brought before the privy, council, and the torture of the boots is inflicted upon him, which he bears with unshrinking firmness, proclaining his principles to his latest gasp. In his description of this punishment, the author seems to be a little misinformed as to the mode in which this torture was inflicted; an accurate account of it will be found in Douce's Illustration of Shakespeare. Morton, at the instance of Col. Grahame, of Cla. verhouse, and Lord Evandale, is banished, instead of suffering death like the other prisoners.
Much of the interest of the tale depends upon the mutual
obligations of the hero and Lord Evandale; who, though rivals in love, and fighting on contrary sides, behave with the most disinterested generosity towards each other. This part of the story is well invented and well supported. Henry Morton returns to his native country with the Prince of Orange, and discovers the retreat of Balfour, who had taken refuge in the fastnesses of the Highlands, and who afterwards breaks from his retreat to prosecute revenge against Lord Evandale, who had been a successful opponent of the Covenanters : he is shot by Balfour, who is pursued by some troopers to a river, into which he plunges on horseback: the description of his death is very powerful, and well suited to the character and temper of the man.
"A basty call to surrender, in the name of God and King William, was obeyed by all except Burley, who turned his horse and attempted to escape. Several soldiers pursued him by command of their officer, but being well mounted, only the two headmost seemed likely to gain on him. He turned deliberately twice, and discharging first one of his pistols, and then the other, rid himself of the one pursuer by mortally wounding him, and of the other by shooting his horse, and then continued his flight to Bothwell Bridge, where, for his misfortune, he found the gates shut and guarded. Turning from therice, he made for a place where the river seemed passable, and plunged into the stream, the bullets from the pistols and carabines of his pursuers whizzing around him. Two balls took place when he was past the middle of the stream, and he felt himself dangerously wounded. He reined his horse round in the midst of the river, and returned towards the bank he had left, waving his hand, as if with the purpose of intimating that he surrendered. The troopers ceased firing at him accordingly, and awaited his return, two of them riding a little way into the river to seize and disarm him. But it presently appeared that his purpose was revenge, not safety. As he approached the two soldiers, he collected his remaining strength, and discharged a blow on the head of one which tumbled him from his horse. The other dragoon, a strong muscular man, had, in the meanwhile, laid hands on him. Burley, in réquital, grasped his throat, as a dying tiger seizes his prey, and both losing the saddle in the struggle, came headlong into the river, and were swept down the stream. Their course might be traced by the blood which bubbled up to the surface. They were twice seen to rise, the Dutchman striving to swim, and Burley clinging to him in a manner that showed bis desire that both should perish. Their corpses were taken out about a quarter of a mile down the river. As Balfour's grasp could not have been unclenched without cutting off his hands, both were thrown into a hasty grave, still marked by a rude stone, and a ruder epitaph.” (p. 331–333. vol. iv.)
the singular Muir, where he disgust to al via love
Morton and Edith Bellenger, are, of course, afterwards happily united
The other story, called 56 The Black Dwarf,” only occu. pies one volume, and neither in point of interest nor exe, cution, is to be compared with “ Old Mortality.” The individual, who gives a name to the piece, is a deformed misanthrope ; who having been betrayed in a love affair by his bosom friend, retires in disgust to a wild waste, called Mucklestane Muir, where he builds himself a hut, and from the singularity of his person, dress, and deportment, is taken by the ignorant country-people for a supernatural being, who holds converse with the devil and familiar spirits, and has unlimited power over the fortunes and fates of all who live in his neighbourhood. Indeed, there are several parts of his conduct that bear a very ambiguous appearance, until they are afterwards explained.
Near to the place where the Dwarf has settled his habitation, resides a Mr. Vere, in a sort of feudal castle, whose beautiful daughter is in love with a young man named Earpscliff, who has a rival in the person of Sir Frederick Langley. Mr. Vere is, in truth, the friend who had injured the Black Dwarf, whose real name is Sir Ed. ward Mauley; and, by his interposition, a midnight match between Sir E. Langley and Miss Vere is prevented. The discovery is made in the chapel; and Vere, who had been concerned in some treasonable plots, flies to France, while young Earnscliff and Miss Vere are married with his consent, and with the approbation of the Black Dwarf, who, retiring into undiscovered seclusion, bestows upon them the bulk of a very large fortune. This story possesses considerable capabilities; but the fault is, as in the former, the multiplication of characters, by which are rendered imperfect: the following specimen is taken from that part of the story, in which the Dwarf intercepts the ceremony where Vere is endeavouring to compel his daughter to marry Sir P. Langley.
« The clergyman opened his prayer-book, and looked to Mr. Vere for the signal to commence the service. ..^«• Proceed, said the latter.
<< But a voice, as if proceeding from the tomb of his deceased wife, called, in such loud and harsh accents as awakened every echo in the vaulted chapel, • Forbear! :“ All were mute and motionless, till a distant rustle, and the clash of swords, or something resembling it, was heard from the distant apartments. It ceased almost instantly.
"• What new device is this?' said Sir Frederick, fiercely, eyeing Ellieslaw and Mareschal with a glance of malignant suspicion.
“ . It can be but the frolic of some intemperate guest,' said Ellieslaw, thougb greatly confounded; ' we must make large allowances for the excess of this evening's festivity. Proceed with the service.'
“Before the clergyman could obey, the same prohibition which they had before heard, was repeated from the same spot. The female attendants screamed, and fed from the chapel; the gentle. men laid their hands on their swords. Ere the first moment of sur. prise bad passed by, the Dwarf stepped from behind the monument, and placed himself full in front of Mr. Vere. The effect of so strange and hideous an apparition, in such place and circumstances, appalled all present, but seemed to annihilate the Laird of Ellies. law, who, dropping his daughter's arm, staggered against the nearest pillar, and, clasping it with his hands as if for support, laid his brow against the column.
“· Who is tbis fellow?' said Sir Frederick; • and what does he mean by this intrusion ?'
“• It is one who comes to tell you, said the Dwarf, with the peculiar acrimony which usually marked his manner, that in marrying that young lady, your wed neither the heiress of Ellieslaw, nor of Mauley-hall, nor of Polverton, nor of one furrow of land, unless she marries with my consent; and to thee that consent shall never be given. Down--down on thy knees, and thank Heaven that thou art prevented from wedding qualities with which thou hast no concern-portionless, truth, virtue, and innocence.-And thou, base ingrate,' he continued, addressing himself to Ellieslaw, what is thy wretched subterfuge now? Thou, who would'st sell thy daughter to relieve thee from danger, as in famine thou would'st have slain and devoured her to preserve thy own vile life! Ay, hide thy face with thy hands; well may'st thou blush to look on him whose body thou didst consign to chains, his hand to guilt, and his soul to misery. Saved once more by the virtue of her who calls thee father, go bence, and may the pardou and benefits I confer on thee prove literal coals of fire, till thy brain is seared and scorched like mine.'
“ Ellieslaw left the chapel with a gesture of mute despair." (p. 334-337. vol. i.)
We do not think the state in which these volumes are written, by any means so good as that of Guy Mannering, or even the Antiquary: the author becomes a little careless as he gains confidence by approbation; and, for merely English readers, too much of the Scotch dialect is introduced into the speeches. It is sometimes employed, however, with admirable effect; according to the character of the individual who speaks, it seems to add characterestic ferocity to the ruffian, or simplicity to the innocence of