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special cause, for he remembered that he stood answerable to the laws for having harboured Burley. The widow Mause Headrigg, between fear for her son's life and an over-strained and enthusiastic zeal, which reproached her for consenting even tacitly to belie her religious sentiments, was in a strange quandary. The other servants quaked for they knew not well what. Cuddie alone, with the look of supreme indifference and stupidity which a Scottish peasant can at times assume as a mask for considerable shrewdness and craft, continued to swallow large spoonfuls of his broth, to command which, he had drawn within his sphere the large vessel that contained it, and helped himself, amid the confusion, to a sevenfold portion.
6 What is your pleasure here, gentlemen ?" said Milnwood, humbling himself before the satellites of power.
“ We come in behalf of the King,” answered Bothwell ; " why the devil did you keep us so long standing at the door ?"
“ We were at dinner," answered Milnwood," and the door was locked, as is usual in landward towns 'in this country. I am sure, gentlemen, if I had kend ony servants of our gude king had stood at the door-But wad ye please to drink some ale-or some brandy—or a cup of canary-sack, or claret wine ?” making a pause between each offer as long as a stingy bidder at an auction, who is loth to advance his offer for a favourite lot.
“ Claret for me," said one fellow.
“ I like ale better," said another, “ provided it is right juice of John Barleycorn.”
“ Better never was malted," said Milnwood; “I can hardly say sae muckle for the claret. It's thin and cauld, gentlemen.”
- Brandy will cure that,” said a third fellow ; "a glass of brandy to three glasses of wine prevents the curmuring in the stomach.”
“ Brandy, ale, sack, and claret?— we'll try them all,” said Bothwell, “and stick to that which is best. There's good sense in that, if the damn’dest whig in Scotland had said it.”
Hastily, yet with a reluctant quiver of his muscles, Milnwood lugged out two ponderous keys, and delivered them to the governante.
66 The housekeeper,” said Bothwell, taking a seat and throwing himself upon it, “ is neither so young nor so handsome as to tempt a man to follow her to the gauntrees, and devil a one here is there worth sending in her place. What's this ?-meat ?" (searching with a fork among the broth, and fishing up a cutlet of mutton " I think I could eat a bit-why, it's as tough as if the devil's dam had hatched it.”
“ If there is anything better in the house, sir,” said Milnwood, alarmed at these symptoms of disapprobation
“ No, no,” said Bothwell, “ it's not worth while, I must proceed to business.—You attend Poundtext, the presbyterian parson, I understand, Mr. Morton ?".
Mr. Morton hastened to slide in a confession and apology.
“ By the indulgence of his gracious majesty and the government, for I wad do nothing out of law--I hae nae objection whatever to the establishment of a moderate episcopacy, but only that I am a country-bred man, and the ministers are a hamelier kind of folk, and I can follow their doctrine better; and, with reverence, sir, it's a mair frugal establishment for the country.”
- Well, I care nothing about that,” said Bothwell ; " they are indulged, and there's an end of it ; but, for iny part, if I were to give the law, never a crop-eared cur of the whole pack should bark in a Scotch pulpit. However, I am to obey commands. There comes the liquor ; put it down my good old lady."
He decanted about one-half of a quart bottle of claret into a wooden quaigh or bicker, and took it off at a draught.
“ You did your good wine injustice, my friend ;-it's better than your brandy, though that's good too. Will you pledge me to the King's health ?"
“ With pleasure,” said Milnwood,“ in ale,—but I never drink claret, and keep only a very little for some honoured friends."
6. Like me, I suppose," said Bothwell ; and then, pushing the bottle to Henry, he said, “ Here, young man, pledge you the King's health.”
Henry filled a moderate glass in silence, regardless of the hints and pushes of his uncle, which seemed to indicate that he ought to have followed his example in preferring beer to wine.
“ Well,” said Bothwell, “ have ye all drunk the toast ? -What is that old wife about ? Give her a glass of brandy, she shall drink the King's health, by”—
“ If your honour pleases,” said Cuddie, with great stolidity of aspect, “this is my mither, stir; and she's as deaf as Corralinn ; we canna mak her hear day nor door ; but, if your honour pleases, I am ready to drink the King's health for her in as mony glasses of brandy as ye think neshessary.”
“ I dare swear you are," answered Bothwell ; “ you look like a fellow that would stick to brandy-help thyself, man ; all's free where'er 1 come.-Tom, help the inaid to a comfortable cup, though she's but a dirty jilt neither. Fill round once more-Here's to our noble cominander, Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse !-What the devil is the old woman groaning for ? She looks as very a whig as ever sat on a hill-side-Do you renounce the Covenant, good woman ?”
66 Whilk Covenant is your honour meaning ? Is it the Covenant of works, or the Covenant of Grace ?" said Cuddie, interposing.
• Any covenant ; all covenants that ever were hatched,” answered the trooper.
“ Mither,” cried Cuddie, affecting to speak as to a deaf person, " the gentleman wants to ken if ye will renunce the Covenant of Works?” “ With all my heart, Cuddie,” said Mause, “ and
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pray that my feet may be delivered from the snare thereof."
“ Come,” said Bothwell, “ the old dame has come more frankly off than I expected. Another cup round, and then we'll proceed to business.—You have all heard, I suppose, of the horrid and barbarous murder committed upon the person of the Archbishop of St. Andrews, by ten or eleven armed fanatics ?”
All started and looked at each other ; at length Milnwood himself answered, “ They had heard of some such misfortune, but were in hopes it had not been true.”
“ There is the relation published by government, old gentleman ; what do you think of it ?!
“ Think, sir ? Wh-wh-whatever the council please to think of it,” stammered Milnwood.
“ I desire to have your opinion more explicitly, my friend,” said the dragoon authoritatively. I
Milnwood's eyes hastily glanced through the paper to pick out the strongest expressions of censure with which it abounded, in gleaning which he was greatly aided by their being printed in italics.
I think it a-bloody and execrable-murder and parricide--devised by hellish and implacable crueltyutterly abominable, and a scandal to the land.”
6 Well said, old gentleman!” said the querist—" Here's to thee, and I wish you joy of your good principles. You owe me a cup of thanks for having taught you them; nay, thou shalt pledge me in thine own sack-sour ale sits ill upon a loyal stomach.--Now comes your turn, young man ; what think you of the matter in hand ?".
" I should have little objection to answer you,” said Henry, “ if I knew what right you had to put the question."
“ The Lord preserve us !” said the old housekeeper, " to ask the like o' that at a trooper, when a' folk ken they do whatever they like through the hail country wi' man and woman, beast and body."
The old gentleman exclained in the same horror at lus nephew's audacity, “ Hold your peace, sir, or an
for a reforf bishop
swer the gentleman discreetly. Do you mean to affront the King's authority in the person of a sergeant of the Life-guards ?”.
- Silence, all of you!” exclaimed Bothwell, striking his hand fiercely on the table—" Silence, every one of you, and hear me !-You ask me for my right to examine you, sir ; (to Henry) my cockade and my broadsword are my commission, and a better one than ever Old Nol gave to his roundheads; and if you want to know more about it, you may look at the act of council empowering his Majesty's officers and soldiers to search for, examine, and apprehend suspicious persons; and, therefore, once more, I ask you your opinion of the death of Archbishop Sharpe-it's a new touchstone we have got for trying people's metal.”
Henry bad, by this time, reflected upon the useless risk to which he would expose the family by resisting the tyrannical power which was delegated to such rude hands; he therefore read the narrative over, and replied composedly, “ I have no hesitation to say, that the perpetrators of this assassination have commited, in my opinion, a rash and wicked action, which I regret the more, as I foresee it will be made the cause of proceedings against many who are both innocent of the deed, and as far from approving it as myself.”
While Henry thus expressed himself, Bothwell, who bent his eyes keenly upon him, seemed suddenly to recollect his features.
“ Aha! my friend Captain Popinjay, I think I have seen you before, and in very suspicious company."
“I saw you once,” answered Henry, “in the publichouse of the town of "
“And with whom did you leave that public-house, youngster ? —Was it not with John Balfour of Burley, one of the murderers of the Archbishop ?”.
“I did leave the house with the person you have named,” answered Henry, “I scoia to deny it ; but, so far from knowing him to be a murderer of the primate, I