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I am a son of Mars who have been in many wars,
"Don't be too much cast down," said Sergeant Bothwell to his prisoner as they journeyed on towards the head-quarters; "you are a smart pretty lad, and well connected; the worst that will happen will be strapping up for it, and that is many an honest fellow's lot. I tell you fairly your life's within the compass of the law, unless you make submission, and get off by a round fine upon your uncle's estate ; he can well afford it."
"That vexes me more than the rest," said Henry. "He parts with his money with regret; and, as he had no concern whatever with my having given this person shelter for a night, I wish to Heaven, if I escape a capital punishment, that the penalty may be of a kind I could bear in my own person."
"Why, perhaps," said Bothwell, " they will propose to you to go into one of the Scotch regiments that are servmg abroad. It's no bad line of service; if your friends are active, and there are any knocks going, you may soon get a commission."
"I am'by no means sure," answered Morton, "that such a sentence is not the best thing that can happen to me."
"-Why, then, you are no real whig after all V said the sergeant.
"I have hitherto meddled with no party in the state," said Henry, " but have remained quietly at home ; and sometimes I have had serious thoughts of joining one of our foreign regiments."
"Have you ?'.' replied Bothwell; "why, I honour you for it; I have served in the Scotch French guards myself many a long day; it's the place for learning discipline, d—n me. They never mind what you do when you are off duty; but miss you the roll-call, and see how they'll arrange you—D—n me, if old Captain Montgomery didn't make me mount guard upon the arsenal in my steel-back and breast, plate-sleeves and head-piece, for six hours at once, under so burning a sun, that gad I was baked like a turtle at Port Royale. I swore never to miss answering to Francis Stuart again, though I should leave my hand of cards upon the drum-head—Ah! discipline is a capital thing."
"In other respects you liked the service V said Morton.
"Par excellence" said Bothwell; "women, wine, and wassail, all to be had for little but the asking; and if you find it in your conscience to let a fat priest think he has some chance to convert you, gad he'll help you to these comforts himself just to gain a little ground in your good affection. Where will you find a crop-eared whig parson will be so civil V
"Why, nowhere, 1 agree with you," said Henry; "but what was your chief duty 9"
"To guard the King's person," said Bothwell, "to look after the safety of Louis le Grand, my boy, and now and then to take a turn among the Huguenots (protestants that is.) And there we had fine scope; it brought my hand pretty well in for the service in this country. But, come, as you are to be a bon camerado, as the Spaniards say, I must put you in cash with some of your old uncle's broad-pieces. This is cutter's law; we must not see a pretty fellow want, if we have cash ourselves."
Thus speaking, he pulled out his purse, took out some of the contents, and offered them to Henry without counting them. Young Morton declined the favour; and, not judging it prudent to acquaint the sergeant, notwithstanding his apparent generosity, that he was actually m possession of some money, he assured him he should have no difficulty in getting a supply from his uncle.
M Well," Said Bothwell, " in that case these yellow rascals must serve to ballast my purse a little longer. I always make it a rule never to quit the tavern (unless Ordered on duty) while my purse is so weighty that I can chuck it over the sigh-post.10 When it is so light that the wind blows It back, then, boot and saddle,—we must fall on some way of replenishing.—But what tower is that before us, rising so high upon the steep bank, out of the woods that surround it on every side?"
"It is the toWer of Tillietudlem," said one of the soldiers; "Old Lady Margaret Bellenden lives there. She's one of the best affected women in the country, and one that's a soldier's friend. When I was hurt by one Of the d—-d whig dogs that shot at me from behind a fauld-dyke, I lay a month there, and would stand such another wound to be in as good quarters againi"
"If that be the case," said Bothwell, "I will pay my respects to her as we pass, and request some refreshment for men and horses; I am as thirsty already as if I had drunk nothing at Milnwood. But it is a good thing in these times," he continued, addressing himself to Henry, "that the king's soldier cannot pass a house without getting a refreshment. In such houses as Tillie—-what d'ye cail it? you are served for love; in the houses of the avowed fanatics you help yourself by force; and among the moderate presbyteriansand Other suspicious persons, you are well treated from fear; so your thirst is always quenched on some terms or other."
"And you propose," said Henry anxiously, " to go upon that errand up to the tower yonder V
"To he sure I do," answered Bothwell. "How should I be able to report favourably to my officers of the worthy lady's sound principles, unless I know the taste of her sack, for sack she will produce—that I take for granted ; it is the favourite consoler of your old dowager of quality, as small claret is the potation of your country laird."
"Then, for Heaven's sake," said Henry, " if you are determined to go there, do not mention my name, or ex
pose me to a family that I am acquainted with. Let me be muffled up for the time in one of your soldier's cloaks, and only mention me generally as a prisoner under your charge." ,
"With all my heart," said Bothwell; "1 promised to use you civilly, and I scorn to break my word.—Here, Andrews, wrap a cloak round the prisoner, and do nol mention his name, nor where we caught him, unless you would have a trot on a horse of wood."11
They were at this moment at an arched gateway, battlemented and flanked with turrets, one whereof was totally ruinous, excepting the lower story, which served as a cow-house to the peasant, whose family inhabited the turret that remained entire. The gate had been broken down by Monk's soldiers during the civil war, and had never been replaced, therefore presented no obstacle to Bothwell and his party. The avenue, very steep and narrow, and causewayed with large round stones, ascended the side of the precipitous bank in an oblique and zigzag course, now showing now hiding a view of the tower and its exterior bulwarks, which seemed to rise almost perpendicularly above their heads. The fragments of Gothic defences which it exhibited were upon such a scale of strength as induced Bothwell to exclaim, "It's well this place is in honest and loyal hands. Egad, if the enemy had it, a dozen of old whigamore wives with their distaffs might keep it against a troop of dragoons, at least if they had half the spunk of the old girl we left at Milnwood. Upon my life," he continued, as they came in front of the large double tower and its surrounding defences and flankers, "it is a superb place, founded, says the worn inscription over the gate—unless the remnant of my Latin has given me the slip—by Sir Ralph de Bellenden in 1350—a respectable antiquity. I must greet the old lady with due honour, though it should put me to the labour of recalling some of the compliments that T used to dabble in when I was wont to keep that sort of company."
As he thus communed with himself, the hutler, who had reconnoitred the soldiers from an arrow-slit in the wall, announced to his lady, that a_ commanded party of dragoons, or, as he thought, Life-Guardsmen, waited at the gate with a prisoner under their charge.
"I am certain," said Gudyill, "and positive, that the sixth man is a prisoner, for his horse is led, and the two dragoons that are before have their carabines out of their budgets and rested upon their thighs. It was aye the way we guarded prisoners in the days of the great Marquis."
"King's soldiers V said the lady; "probably in want of refreshment. Go, Gudyill, make them welcome, and let them be accommodated with what provision and forage the Tower can afford.—And stay, tell my gentlewoman to bring my black scarf and manteau. I will go down myself to receive them; one cannot show the King's Life-Guards too much respect in times when they are doing so much for royal authority. And d'ye hear, Gudyill, let Jenny Dennison slip on her pearlings to walk before my niece and me, and the three women to walk behind ; and bid my niece attend me instantly."
Fully accoutred, and attended according to her directions, Lady Margaret now sailed out into the court-yard of her tower with great courtesy and dignity. Sergeant Bothwell saluted the grave and reverend lady of the manor with an assurance which had something of the light and careless address of the dissipated men of fashion in Charles the Second's time, and did not at all savour of thte awkward or rude manners of a non-commissioned officer of dragoons. His language, as well as his manners, seemed also to be refined for the time and occasion ; though the truth was, that, in the fluctuations of an adventurous and profligate life, Bothwell had sometimes kept company much better suited to his ancestry than to his present situation of life. To the lady's request to know whether she could be of service to them, he answered with a suitable bow, "That as they had to march some miles farther that night, they would be much