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of some old ruins close to the castle wall, came back whining and howling. I crept forward to see what might be the cause-and, oh! I heard a groaning as of one in extreme pain, but so faint, that it seemed to arise out of the very depth of the earth. At length, I found it proceeded from a small rent in the wall, covered with ivy ; and when I laid my ear close to the opening, I could hear the Prince's voice distinctly say—“It cannot now last long;' and then it sunk away in something like a prayer.
“Gracious Heaven !-did you speak to him ?'
•I said, “Is it you my lord ?' and the answer was, “Who mocks me with that name?!-I asked him if I could help him, and he answered with a voice I shall never forget-Food !-food !—I die of famine !" So I came hither to tell you. What is to be done? Shall we alarm the house?
* Alas! that were more likely to destroy than to aid him,' said Catharine." Vol. ii. p. 194.
They continued for some days to administer to him such scanty supplies of food as could be admitted through the narrow crevice in the wall, and as they could take with them to the spot without being observed, until the glee-maiden found means of escaping in disguise through the castle gate, and calling in assistance from the people of the neighbouring country. Her absence excited some alarm in Ramorny, who questioned Catharine about it, but only received for answer, that she could not be supposed acquainted with the movements of a professed wanderer.
“ The hour of dinner alone afforded a space, when, all in the Castle being occupied with that meal, Catharine thought she had the best opportunity of venturing to the breach in the wall, with the least chance of being observed. In waiting for the hour, she observed some stir in the Castle, which had been silent as the grave ever since the seclusion of the Duke of Rothsay. The portcullis was lowered and raised ; and the creaking of the machinery was intermingled with the tramp of horse, as men-at-arms went out and returned with steeds hard ridden and covered with foam. She observed, too, that such domestics as she casually saw from her window were in arms. All this made her heart throb high, for it augured the approach of rescue; and besides, the bustle left the little garden more lonely than ever. At length, the hour of noon arrived; she had taken care to provide, under pretence of her own wishes, which the pantler seemed disposed to indulge, such articles of food as could be the most easily conveyed to the unhappy captive.She whispered to intimate her presence-there was no answer-she spoke louder, still there was silence.
66. He sleeps'-she muttered these words half aloud, and with a shuddering which was succeeded by a start and a scream, when a voice replied behind her,-
Yes, he sleeps—but it is for ever.'
She looked round-Sir John Ramorny stood behind her in complete armour, but the visor of his helmet was up, and displayed a countenance more resembling one about to die than to fight. He spoke with a grave tone, something between that of a calm observer of an interesting event, and of one who is an agent and partaker in it.
• Catharine,' he said, ' all is true which I tell you. He is dead-you have done your best for him-you can do no more.' • I will not I cannot believe it,' said Catharine.
• Heaven be merciful to me! it would make one doubt of Providence, to think so great a crime has been accomplished.'
• Doubt not of Providence, Catharine, though it has suffered the profligate to fall by his own devices. Follow me -I have that to
which concerns you.
follow (for she hesitated) unless you prefer being left to the mercies of the brute Bonthron, and the mediciner Henbane Dwining.'
• I will follow you,' said Catharine. You cannot do more to me than you are permitted.'
He led the way into the tower, and mounted staircase after staircase, and ladder after ladder.
Catharine's resolution failed her. • I will follow no farther,' she said. • Whither would you lead me ?-If to my death, I can die here.'
* Only to the battlements of the castle, fool,' said Ramorny, throwing wide a barred door which opened upon the vaulted roof of the castle, where men were bending mangonels, as they called them (military engines, that is, for throwing arrows or stones) getting ready cross-bows, and piling stones together. But the defenders did not exceed twenty in number, and Catharine thought she could observe doubt and irresolution amongst them.
Catharine,' said Ramorny, 'I must not quit this station, which is necessary
for my defence; but I can speak with you here as well as elsewhere.'
Say on,' answered Catharine,-'I am prepared to hear you.'
You have thrust yourself, Catharine, into a bloody secret. Have you the firmness to keep it?'
*I do not understand you, Sir John,' answered the maiden.
"Look you. I have slain-murdered, if you will-my late master, the Duke of Rothsay. The spark of. life which your kindness would have fed was easily smothered. His last words called on his father.-You are faint-bear up-you have more to hear. You know the crime, but
you know not the provocation. See! this gauntlet is empty--I lost my right hand in his cause; and when I was no longer fit to serve him, I was cast off like a worn-out hound, my loss ridiculed, and a cloister recommended, instead of the halls and palaces in which I had my natural sphere! Think on this—pity and assist me.'
In what manner can you require my assistance ?' said the trembling maiden ; 'I can neither repair your loss, nor cancel your
crime.' • Thou canst be silent Catharine, on what thou hast seen and heard in yonder thicket. It is but a brief oblivion I ask of you, whose word will, I know, be listened to, whether you say such things were or were not. That of your mountebank companion, the foreigner, none will
hold to be of a pin-point's value. If you grant me this, I will take your promise for my security, and throw the gate open to those who now approach it. If you will not promise silence, I defend this Castle till
every one perishes, and I fling you headlong from these battlements. Ay, look at them-it is not a leap to be rashly braved. Seven courses of stairs brought you up hither with fatigue and shortened breath ; but you shall
go from the top to the bottom in briefer time than you can breathe a sigh! Speak the word, fair maid; for you speak to one unwilling to harm you, but determined in his purpose. " Vol. ii. pp. 199–201.
Catharine is relieved from this terrible situation by the appearance of the Pottingar; he announces that the castle is about to be attacked, and that Ramorny is deserted by his men, who absolutely refuse to fight. In a moment, a body of horsemen advance at full gallop, and the pennon of the Black Douglas is distinguished at their head. T'he castle is surrendered the dead body of the Prince emaciated with hunger, brought up out of the dungeon, the spurs of Ramorny backed off his heels, and he, Bonthron and the corpse of the Pottingar (he had poisoned himself) hung upon the castle wall. The remarks of the latter upon the cowardice of Ramorny, whose courage forsook him in his last moments, are very characteristic and striking, and he makes some amends for his villainy by bequeathing his ill-gotten wealth to our heroine. The use that is made of it, is to distribute it among several monasteries, so as to secure their intercession for her, and make her peace with the church, and the whole story winds up in the marriage of the fighting Smith of the Wynd and the Fair Maid of Perth. Meanwhile, however, the former had covered himself with glory in the combat between the Clans on the North Inch of Perth, where he volunteered his services in the place of the absent Champion of the Clan Chattan, and where his personal enemy Conachar survives all his followers, and flying ingloriously away, throws himself afterwards into the Tay, and is drowned. The description of this bloody combat is executed in the most interesting manner, but our quotations have already been so immoderate, that we must resist our inclination to extract it.
Upon the whole, this Novel, although not equal to some of the earlier productions of Sir Walter Scott, bears throughout it the stamp of his extraordinary genius. The character of Ramorney is what strikes us most as an original and powerful conception. The idea of a poisoning apothecary is not new, and although as the instrument and companion of Ramorny, Henbane Dwining is a personage by no means to be overlooked, yet there is something grotesque, and withal unsatisfactory in the execution of this part. The devotion of Old Torquil of the Oak
to his unfortunate foster son, is also a most touching feature in the picture. We have already given our opinion of Conachar's character. The hero appears to us to be totally eclipsed by the other persons of the drama. His strength and courage have too much of the animal in them, and his sentimentalism, which is not unfrequently puling and mawkish, does not answer very well to the description he gives of himself. There is nothing reinarkable about Catharine, but a degree of virtue which every heroine has of course and her heresy, which makes her too much of an esprit fort for our vulgar tastes, and which was so unsettled, as in some unaccountable manner, to have entirely evaporated at Falkland Castle, or on her journey thither. But Sir Walter is not quite so much distinguished by the verisimilitude of his dénoumens as by the masterly manner in which his plots are, in other respects, contrived to awaken and sustain the interest of the reader.
ART. VIII.--The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the
French; with a preliminary view of the French Revolution. By the Author of Waverly. London. 1827. Philadelphia. Reprinted by Carey, Lea & Carey. 1827.
In a preceding article, we spoke of the perspicuous and animated style in which this work is written, and the passages which we extracted, afforded some exemplification of its pecuJiar properties. A few more quotations, worthy of the Author of Waverly or Ivanhoe, we shall insert, as specimens of the work, and of the powers of Sir Walter Scott as a writer, when interested in his subject, and permitting himself to indulge in general views or in picturesque descriptions. Speaking of the meeting of the States General in 1789, he remarks :
“ The Estates General of France met at Versailles on the 5th May, 1789, and that was indisputably the first day of the Revolution. The Abbé Sieyes, in a pamphlet which we have mentioned, had already asked, “what was the third estate? It was the whole nation. What had been hitherto in a political light? Nothing.
What was it about to become presently? Something.”
Had the last answer been
everything, it would have been nearer the truth, for it soon appeared that this third estate, which, in the year 1614, the Nobles had refused to acknow
ledge even as a younger brother* of their order, was now like the rod of the prophet, to swallow up all those who affected to share its power.Even amid the pageantry with which the ceremonial of the first sitting abounded, it was clearly visible that the wishes, hopes, and interest of the public, were exclusively fixed upon the representatives of the Com
The rich garments and floating plumes of the nobility, and the reverend robes of the clergy, had nothing to fix the public eye; their sounding and emphatic titles had nothing to win the ear; the recollection of the high feats of the one, and long sanctified characters of the other order, had nothing to influence the mind of the spectators. All eyes were turned on the members of the Third Estate, in a plebeian and humble costume, corresponding to their lowly birth and occupation, as the only portion of the assembly from whom they looked for the lights and the counsels which the time demanded." Vol. i.-(Carey's edition, which we shall continue to quote) p. 57.
After narrating the massacres in the prisons of Paris in 1792, he eloquently exclaims
“ Where, in that hour, were the men who formed their judgment upon the models presented by Plutarch, their feelings on the wild eloquence of Rousseau ? Where the Girondists, celebrated by one of their adınirers, as distinguished by good morals, hy severe probity, by a profound respect for the dignity of man, by a deep sense of his rights and bis duties, by a sound, constant, and immutable love of order, of justice, and of liberty. Were the eyes of such men blind, that they could not see the blood—which flooded, for four days, the streets of the Metropolis ?Were their ears deadened, that they could not hear the shouts of the murderers, and the screams of the victims? Or, were their voices mute, that they called not upon God and man-upon the very stones of Paris, to assist them in interrupting such a crime?" Vol. i. p. 162.
After the treaty of Leoben, in the spring of 1797, and before its final ratification at Campo Formio, several months intervened. Napoleon had concluded the former treaty without consulting the Directory, who were dissatisfied with some of its articles ; Austria, on her part, was willing to renew negotiations in order to modify some of the stipulations. Their differences were all finally adjusted at the expense of Venice. The diplomatic discussions took place at Montebello, the temporary residence of Bonaparte. Sir Walter gives an interesting picture of the ascendancy which even then the conqueror of Italy had acquired:
“ This Villa, celebrated from the important negotiations of which it was the scene, is situated a few leagues from Milan, on a gently sloping
* The Baron de Senneci, when the estates of the kingdom were compared to three brethren, of which the Tiers Etat was youngest, declared that the Commons of France had no title to arrogate such a relationship with the Nobles, to whom they were so far inferior in blood, and in estimation: