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ering of a spear, or from a cross-bow bolt. Your slave will find a suitable device, and stand for the truth of it.'
The thought maddens me,' said Ramorny, with another groan of mental and bodily agony.
Yet I see no better remedy.' There is none other,' said the leech, to whose evil nature his patron's distress was delicious nourishment. In the meanwhile it is believed you are confined by the consequences of some bruises, aiding the sense of displeasure at the Prince's having consented to dismiss you from his household, at the remonstrance of Albany; which is publicly known.'
• Villain, thou rackest me,' said the patient.
Upon the whole, therefore,' said Dwining, your knighthood has escaped well, and saving the lack of your hand, a mischance beyond remedy, you ought rather to rejoice than to complain; for no barber-chirurgeon in France or England could have more ably performed the operation than this churl with one downright blow.'
'I understand my obligation fully,' said Ramorny, struggling with his anger, and affecting composure; and if Bonthron pays him not with a blow equally downright, and rendering the aid of the leech unneces sary, say that John of Ramorny cannot requite an obligation.'
That is said like yourself, noble knight,' answered the mediciner. And let me further say, that the operator's skill must have been vain, and the hæmorrhage must have drained your life-veins, but for the bandages, the cautery, and the styptics, applied by the good monks, and the poor services of your humble vassal, Henbane Dwining.'
Peace,' exclaimed the patient, with thy ill-omened voice, and worse-omened pame!—Methinks, as thou mentioned the tortures I have undergone, my tingling nerves stretch and contract themselves as if they still actuated the fingers that could clutch a dagger.'
That,' explained the leech, may it please your knighthood, is a phenomenon well known to our profession There have been those among the ancient sages who have thought that there still remained a sympathy between the severed nerves, and those belonging to the amputated limb; and that the severed fingers are seen to quiver and strain as corresponding with the impulse which proceeds from their sympathy with the energies of the living system. Could we recover the hand from the Cross, or from the custody of the Black Douglas, I would be pleased to observe this wonderful operation of occult sympathies. But I fear me, one might as safely go to wrest the joint from the talons of an hungry eagle.'
"And thou may'st as safely break thy malignant jests on a wounded lion, as on John of Ramorny !' said the knight, raising himself in uncontrollable indignation. “Čaitiff, proceed to thy duty; and remember, that if my hand can no longer clasp a dagger, I can command an hundred.'
• The sight of one drawn and brandished in anger were sufficient,' said Dwining, 'to consume the vital powers of your chirurgeon. But who then,' he added, in a tone partly insinuating, partly jeering, who then would relieve the fiery and scorching pain which my patron now suffers, and which renders him exasperated even with his poor servant
for quoting the rules of healing, so contemptible, doubtless, compared with the power of inflicting wounds ?'
Then, as daring no longer to trifle with the mood of his dangerous patient, the leech addressed himself seriously to salving the wound, and applied a fragrant balm, the odour of which was diffused through the apartment, while it communicated a refreshing coolness, instead of the burning heat; a change so gratifying to the fevered patient, that, as he had before groaned with agony, he could not now help sighing for pleasure, as he sunk back on his couch, to enjoy the ease which the dressing bestowed.'"
This character and situation strike us as, with a single exception that shall be mentioned hereafter, the strongest conception in the present volume, and one of the strongest that are to be found in any work of fiction. Such an accident as had befallen Ramorny, would be at any time, a source of the acutest misery to a sensitive and proud mind. In general, those who have not experienced similar misfortunes, are unable to conceive the mortification, and even the madness which they may occasion, when the temper of the sufferer happens to be an irritable one. Lord Byron's sensibility upon this subject is well known, and Sir Walter Scott saw into the very bottom of the human heart, when he drew the Black Dwarf-a character, however, which has generally been considered, we believe, as altogether extravagant and monstrous. But in the age of knighthood and anarchy-when personal prowess was the highest honor of a gentleman, and arms the only protection of the citizen-such a man as Ramorny to be a maimed cripple-to have his right hand chopped off—and that by a churl's sword in a midnight brawl!
It was Shrovetide, or as it was called in Scotland, Fastern's E’en, and the revellings in anticipation of Lent, which were at that time common all over Europe, were going on in the “fair city.” A party of morrice dancers, fantastically accoutred, met before the house of the Glover, who venturing forth to return their civilities, soon recognised the conceited tone of the bonnet-maker, though attempted to be disguised in an artificial squeak. The party breaking up, Old Simon forces Proudfute into his house, to have some conversation with him, in the course of which he gets out of him what he knows about the adventure of the glee-woman, and informs him of the mischief it had made between Catharine and the Smith. Alarmed, however, upon a little reflection, at the risk he was running by speaking so freely of that redoubtable personage, the craven bonnet-maker determines to lose no time in proceeding to VOL. II.-N0.3.
Gow's, and making his peace with him by a timely explanation of the matter. On his way thither, he encounters Rothsay, enacting “The Emperor of the Mimes,” with a party of mummers. Proudfute, revealed to them by the light of their torches, is very roughly handled, but is at length permitted to make his escape, and arrives at the Smith's door, where he raps violently and supplicates for admission in a paroxysm of fright. Henry Gow sat brooding over his unfortunate misunderstanding with his mistress, and was in no mood to put up with the impertinencies of the guest who now sought to disturb his solitude. Yielding, however, to his importunities, he gave him admittance, and for some time bore with his coxcomical airs and stupid swaggering with exemplary patience, but when Proudfute came to touch upon the matter of the glee-woman, and to disclose what he had himself unconsciously done to confirm the Glover and his daughter in their unfavourable opinion of the transaction, his host threatens to put him out of the door, head and shoulders, if he do not make a precipitate retreat. The wretched bonnet-maker, haunted with the fear of “Mad Robin of Rothsay,” and “roaring Ramorny,” begs the Smith to accompany him to his house. This Henry refuses to do, but allows him to wear his buff-coat and cap of steel, in which he struts off, imitating as near as possible, the gait and bearing of their owner, and whistling one of his favourite airs; but as he turns the corner where the wynd communicates with the High-street, he receives a blow behind, and falls dead upon the spot. His death not only relieves the reader from a most disagreeable personage, but gives a new turn to the whole story, and brings on a train of incidents of the most interesting and striking character.
The Prince, with his revellers, missing Ramorny, proceeded to his house, and finding the doors barred up, broke into it by main force. It is determined, that Ramorny, ill as he is, shall quaff a goblet of wine, but his page assuring them that it would prove fatal to him, the Emperor of the Mimes generously proposes a vicarious compotation, and call upon the page himself to be the substitute. He declines the service, but points to one who would willingly perform it.
66. Whom bave we here?' said the Prince," a butcher-and I think fresh from his office. Do butchers ply their craft on Fastern's Eve ? Foh, how he smells of blood !
This was spoken of Bonthron, who, partly surprised at the tumult in the house, where he had expected to find all dark and silent, and partly stupid through the wine, which the wretch had drunk in great quantities, stood in the threshold of the door, staring at the scene before him, with his buff-coat splashed with blood, and a bloody axe in his hand,
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 and 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 mé, 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 Bontbron, whom he had rescued from the penance, to him no unpleasing infliction, of a second ealabash of wine, the brute baving 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 dark.' ‘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 certainty you 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 bim!'
* 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