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low murmur of benedictions was heard from the company, while the monks alone, uplifting their united voices, sung Requiem eternam dona. An unusual silence followed, as if something extraordinary was expected, when Eachin arose, with a bold and manly yet modest grace, and ascended the vacant seat or throne, saying with dignity and firmness
• This seat, and my father's inheritance, I claim as my right—80 prosper me God and St. Barr!' • How will
father's children?' said an old man, the uncle of the deceased.
'I will defend them with my father's sword, and distribute justice to them under my father's banner.'
The old man, with a trembling hand, unsheathed the ponderous weapon, and holding it by the blade offered the hilt to the young Chieftain's grasp; at the same time, Torquil of the Oak unfurled the pennon of the tribe, and swung it repeatedly over Eachin's head, who, with singular grace and dexterity, brandished the huge claymore as in its defence. The guests raised a yelling shout, to testify their acceptance of the patriarchal Chief who claiined their allegiance, nor was there any who, in the graceful and agile youth before them, was disposed to recollect the subject of sinister vaticinations. As he stood in glittering mail, resting on the long sword, and acknowledging by gracious gestures the acclamations which rent the air within, without, and around, Simon Glover was tempted to doubt whether this majestic figure was that of the same lad whom he had often treated with little ceremony, and began to have some apprehensions of the consequences of having done so. A general burst of minstrelsy succeeded to the acclamations, and rock and greenwood rang to harp and pipes, as lately to shout and yell of woe.” Vol. ï. pp. 142–144.
Eachin Maclan had not vouchsafed even a look of recognition to his former master during the whole course of the festival, and the imposing ceremonies that attended it. Simon felt no small surprise, therefore, at being awaked very early the next morning by Conachar in the humble guise of a yeoman, who entered into conversation with him without the smallest reserve, although with occasional expressions of haughtiness and impatience. He makes a disclosure to the Glover of the most extraordinary kind, which, as the whole conversation is admirably managed, comes upon the reader with all the effect of a most striking coup de théatre. The unfortunate chieftain confesses himself a coward—he feels that he is to play a recreant's part in the approaching combat between the clans, in which he is to appear at the head of his chosen warriors, and he is determined, if Simon will consent to it, to fly with Catharine from the peril of the fight and the scorn of the world, to some retired spot, where he may forget his dishonor in bliss and love. The Glover's refusal to comply with the proposal, puts an end to the
interview, and he is dismissed with many threats if he venture to breathe the dreadful secret that had been confided to him. Some time after, however, he discovers his weakness to his foster-father, Torquil of the Oak, who, having in the chase seized and thrown down a hind, offers the skene to the young chief, that he might cut the animal's throat.
" It may not be, Torquil ; do thine office, and take the assay thyself. I must not kill the likeness of
my foster-mother.' This was spoken with a melancholy smile, while a tear at the same time stood in the speaker's eye. Torquil stared at his young
chief for an instant, then drew his sharp woodknife across the creature's throat with a cut so swift and steady, that the weapon reached the back-bone. Then rising on his feet, and again fixing a long piercing look on his chief, he said~' As much as I have done to that hind, would I do to any living man whose ears could have heard my adult (foster-son) so much as name a white doe, and couple the word with Hector's name!'
If Simon had no reason before to keep himself concealed, this speech of Torquil furnished him with a pressing one.
* It cannot be concealed, father Torquil,' said Eachin; 'it will all out to the broad day.'
• What will out ? what will to broad day?' asked Torquil in surprise.
It is the fatal secret, thought Simon, and now, if this huge privy counsellor cannot keep silence, I shall be made answerable, I
suppose, for Eachin's disgrace having been blown abroad.
Thinking thus anxiously, he availed himself, at the same time, of his position to see as much as he could of what passed between the afflicted Chieftain and his confidant, impelled by that spirit of curiosity which prompts us in the most momentous, as well as the most trivial occasions of life, and which is sometimes found to subsist in company with great personal fear.
As Torquil listened to what Eachin communicated, the young man sank into his arms, and supporting himself on his shoulder, concluded his confession by a whisper into his ear. Torquil seemed to listen with such amazement, as to make him incapable of crediting his ears. As if to be certain that it was Eachin who spoke, he gradually roused the youth from his reclining posture, and holding him up in some measure by a grasp on his shoulder, fixed on him an eye that seemed enlarged, and at the same time turned to stone, by the marvels he listened to. And so wild waxed the old man's visage after he had heard the murmured communication, that Simon Glover apprehended he would cast the youth from him as a dishonoured thing, in which case he might have lighted on the very copse in which he lay concealed, and occasioned his discovery in a manner equally painful and dangerous. But the passions of Torquil, who entertained for his foster-child even a double portion of that passionate fondness which always attends that connexion in the Highlands, took a different turn.
I believe it not ! he exclaimed; "it is false of thy father's child ;false of thy mother's son; falsest of my dault! I offer my gage to hea
ven and hell, and will maintain the combat with him that shall call it true. Thou hast been spell-bound by an evil eye, my darling, and the fainting which you call cowardice is the work of magic. I remember the bat that struck the torch out on the hour that thou wert born—that hour of grief and of joy. Cheer up, my beloved! Thou shalt with me to Iona, and the good St. Columbus, with the whole choir of blessed saints and angels, who ever favoured thy race, shall take from thee the heart of the white doe, and return that which they have stolen from thee.'
Eachin listened with a look as if he would fain have believed the words of the comforter.
'But Torquil,' he said, 'supposing this might avail us, the fatal day approaches, and if I go to the lists, I dread me we shall be shamed.'
It cannot be—it shall not !' said Torquil—'Hell shall not prevail so farmwe will steep thy sword in holy water-place vervain, St. John's wort, and rowan-tree in thy crest. We will surround thee, I and thy eight brethren-thou shalt be as safe as in a castle.'
Again the youth helplessly muttered something, which, from the dejected tone in which it was spoken, Simon could not understand, while Torquil's deep tones in reply fell full and distinct upon
“Yes, there may be a chance of withdrawing thee from the conflict. Thou art the youngest who is to draw blade. Now, hear me, and thou shalt know what it is to have a foster-father's love, and how far it exceeds the love even of kind. The youngest on the indenture of the Clan Chattan is Ferquhard Day. His father slew mine, and the red blood is setting hot between us--I looked to Palm Sunday as the term that should cool it. But mark !—thou would'st have thought that the blood in the veins of this Ferquhard Day and in mine would not have mingled, had they been put into the same vessel, yet hath he cast the eyes of his love upon my only daughter Eva—the fairest of our maidens. Think with what feelings I heard the news. It was as if a wolf from the skirts of Ferragon had said, 'Give me thy child in wedlock, Torquil.' My child thought not thus, she loves Ferquhard, and weeps away her colour and strength in the dread of the approaching battle. Let her give him but a sign of favour, and well I know he will forget kith and kin, forsake the field, and fly with her to the desert.'
• He, the youngest of the champions of Clan Chattan being absent, I, the youngest of the Clan Quhele, may be excused from combat,' said Eachin, blushing at the mean chance of safety thus opened to him.
See now, my Chief,' said Torquil, ' and judge my thoughts towards thee-others might give thee their own lives and that of their sons -I sacrifice to thee the honour of my house.'
• My friend, my father,' repeated the Chief, folding Torquil to his bosom, what a base wretch am I that have a spirit dastardly enough to avail myself of your sacrifice !"
161-164. The idea of a Highland warrior utterly destitute of what is called animal courage, is fully as striking as that which we have already commended so much, of a knight's being deprived of VOL. II.-NO. 3.
his right hand, and we have seldom read any passage in a Romance, with a more intense and throbbing interest, than that which contains the disclosure of Eachin's fatal, and in his situation, almost monstrous weakness.
We are now in sight of the dénoument. Rothsay, who upon the false accusation of Bonthron, had been comnitted to a sort of imprisonment, at the residence of the Lord High Constable, Errol, became impatient of the restraint, and, moreover, very naturally longed for the society of Ramorny, to which he had been so long accustoined. He, therefore, sent him a summons to meet him in the Constable's garden, just at the very moment that the treacherous knight (who was now become an instrument of Albany's ambition) was meditating with the Pottingar, some means of getting access to the unfortunate Prince. They prevail upon him to accompany them to Falkland Castle, where they promise him the pleasure of seeing the Fair Maid of Perth, who was now on her way thither with the expectation of finding refuge in the family of the Lady Marjory Douglas. By another contrivance, however, of Albany, the Dutchess was not there, • and when Catharine arrived, she was introduced into the society of the profligate Rothsay and his companions. Her behaviour to him is characterised by all the proud honor and courage that belong to a virtuous woman in such circumstances, and she is dismissed by the Prince unharmed. She has a presentiment of what is going to happen, and warns him to escape. The gleewoman, whom Rothsay had met on his way to Falkland Castle, was now her only companion. The apprehensions of Catharine were too soon realized. It was given out, that the Prince, who had not made his appearance for some days, was dangerously ill. But he had been conveyed, while insensible from a potion administered by Henbane Dwiwing, to the lowest dungeon of the castle, where the fate of Ugolino awaited him. Bonthron was the executioner of this barbarous cruelty.
“This wretch revisited the dungeon at the time when the Prince's lethargy began to wear off, and when awaking to sensation, he felt himself deadly cold, unable to move, and oppressed with fetters, which scarce permitted him to stir from the dank straw on which he was laid. His first idea was, that he was in a fearful dream—his next brought a confused augury of the truth. He called, shouted-yelled at length in frenzy-but no assistance came, and he was only answered by the vaulted roof of the dungeon. The agent of Hell heard these agonizing screams, and deliberately reckoned them against the taunts and reproaches with which Rothsay had expressed his instinctive aversion to him. When, exhausted and hopeless, the unhappy youth remained silent, the savage resolved to present himself before the eyes of his
prisoner. The locks were drawn, the chain fell; the Prince raised himself as high as his fetters permitted-a red glare, against which he was fain to shut his eyes, streamed through the vault; and when he opened them again, it was on the ghastly form of one whom he had reason to think dead. He sunk back in horror. 'I am judged and condemned! he exclaimed; and the most abhorred fiend in the infernal regions is sent to torment me!'
I live, my lord,' said Bonthron; "and that you may live and enjoy life, be pleased to sit up and eat your victuals.'
Free me from these irons,' said the Prince-release me from this dungeon-and, dog as thou art, thou shalt be the richest man in Scotland.'
• If you would give me the weight of your shackles in gold,' said Bonthron, ‘I would rather see the iron on you than have the treasure myself !—But look up—you were wont to love delicate fare—behold how I have catered for you.' The wretch, with fiendish glee, unfolded a piece of raw hide covering the bundle which he bore under his arm, and, passing the light to and fro before it, showed the unhappy Prince a bull's head recently hewn from the trunk, and known in Scotland as the certain signal of death. He placed it at the foot of the bed, or rather lair, on which the Prince lay. • Be moderate in your food,” he said; it is like to be long ere thou get'st another meal.'
* Tell me but one thing, wretch,' said the Prince. “Does Ramorny know of this practice.'
How else hadst thou been decoyed hither? Poor woodcock, thou art snared!' answered the murderer.
With these words the door shut, the bolts resounded, and the unhappy Prince was left to darkness, solitude and despair. “Oh my prophetic father !—The staff I leaned on has indeed proved a spear!' We will not dwell on the subsequent hours, nay days, of bodily agony and mental despair.
But it was not the pleasure of Heaven that so great a crime should be perpetrated with impunity." pp. 191-192.
The glee-maiden going in quest of pot-herbs or flowers into the small garden appertaining to the castle, discovered his dreadful situation.
" She re-entered her apartment in the tower with a countenance pale as ashes, and a frame which trembled like an aspen-leaf. Her terror instantly extended itself to Catharine, who could hardly find words to ask what new misfortune had occurred.
Is the Duke of Rothsay dead ?' Worse! they are starving him alive.' Madness, woman !!
No, no, no, no!' said Louise, speaking under her breath, and huddling her words so thick upon each other, that Catharine could hardly catch the sense. “I was seeking for flowers to dress your potage, because you said you loved them, yesterday-my poor little dog, thrusting himself into a thicket of yew and holly bushes that grow out