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itary commission, to whom it has pleased bur king, our privy council, and our parliament, that used to be more tenacious of our liberties, to commit the sole charge of our goods and of our lives."
"To Claverhouse ?" said Edith, faintly ; " merciful Heaven, you are lost ere you are tried! He wrote to my grandmother that he was to be here to-morrow morning, on his road to the hdad of the county, wbere some desperate men, animated by the presence of two or three of the actors in the primate's murder, are said to have assembled for the purpose of making a stand against the government. His expressions made me shudder, even when I could not guess that—'that—a friend"
"Do not be too much alarmed on my account, my dearest Edith," said Henry, as he supported her in 'his arms; " Claverhouse, though stern and relentless, is by all accounts, brave, fair, and honourable. I am a soldier's son, and will plead my cause like a soldier. He will perhaps listen more favourably to a blunt and unvarnished defence than a truckling and time-serving judge might do. And, indeed, in a time when justice is, in all its branches, so completely corrupted, I would rather lose my life by open military violence than be conjured out of it by the hocus-pocus of some arbitrary lawyer, who lends the knowledge he has of the statutes made for our protection, to wrest them to our destruction."
"You are lost—you are lost, if you are to plead your cause with Claverhouse!" sighed Edith ; " root and branch-work is the mildest of his expressions. The unhappy primate was his intimate friend and early patron. 'No excuse, no subterfuge,' said his letter, ' shall save either those connected with the deed, or such as have given them countenance and shelter from the ample and bitter penalty of the law, until I shall have taken as many lives in vengeance of this atrocious murder, as the old man had grey hairs upon his venerable head.' There is neither ruth nor favour to be found with him."
Jenny Dennison, who had hitherto remained silent, now ventured, in the extremity of distress, which the lovers felt, but for which they were unable to devise a remedy, to offer her own advice.
"Wi' your leddyship's pardon, Miss Edith, and young Mr. Morton's we maunna waste time. Let Milnwood take my plaid and gown ; I'll slip them aff in the dark corner, if he'll promise no to look about, and he may walk past Tam Halliday, who is half blind with his ale, and I can tell him a canny way to get out o' the Tower, and your leddyship will gang quietly to your ain room, and I'll row my sell in his grey cloak, and pit on his hat, and play the prisoner till the coast's clear, and then I'll cry in Tam Halliday and gar him let me out."
"Let you out?" said Morton ; " they'll make yout life answer it."
"Ne'er a bit," replied Jenny; " Tam daurna tell he let onybody in, for his ain sake ; and I'll gar him find some other gate to acconnt for the escape."
"Will you, by G—?" said the sentinel suddenly opening the door of the apartment; " if 1 am half blind, I am not deaf, and you should not plan an escape quite so loud, if you expect to go through with it. Come, come. Mrs. Janet—march, troop—quick time—'trot, d—n me' —And you, madam kinswoman,—I won't ask your real name, though you were going to play me so rascally a trick,—but I must make a clear garrison ; so beat a retreat, unless you would have me turn out the guard."
"I hope," said Morton, very anxiously, " you will not mention this circumstance, my good friend, and trust to my honour to acknowledge your civility in keeping the secret. If you overheard our conversation, you must have observed that we did not accept of, or enter into, the hasty proposal made by this good-natured girl."
"Oh, devilish good-natured, to be sure," said Halliday. "As for the rest, I guess how it is, and I scorn to bear malice, or tell tales, as much as another ; but no thanks to that little jilting devil, Jenny Dennison, who deserves a tight skelping for trying to lead an honest lad into a ,scrape, just because he was so silly as to like her goodfor-little chit face."
Jenny had no better means of justification than the last apology to which her sex trust, and usually not in vain; she pressed her handkerchief to her face, sobbed with great vehemence, and either wept, or managed, as Halliday might have said, to go through the motions wonderfully well.
"And now," continued the soldier, somewhat mollified, " if you have anything to say, say it in two minutes, and let me see your backs turned ; for if Bothwell take it into his drunken head to make the rounds half an hour too soon, it will be a black business to us all."
"Farewell, Edith," whispered Morton, assuming a firmness he was far from possessing; "do not remain here— leave me to my fate—it cannot be beyond endurance since you are interested in it.—Good night, good night! —Do not remain here till you are discovered."
Thus saying, he resigned her to her attendant, by whom she was quietly led and partly supported out of the apartment.
"Every one has his taste, to be sure," said Halliday; "but d—n me if I would have vexed so sweet a girl as that is, for all the whigs that ever swore the Covenant."
When Edith had regained her apartment, she gave way to a burst of grief which alarmed Jenny Dennison, who hastened to administer such scraps of consolation as occurred to her.
"Dinna vex yoursellsaemuckle, Miss Edith," said that faithful attendant; "wha kens what may happen to help young Milnwood? He's a brave lad, and a bonny, and a gentleman of a good fortune, and they winna string the like o' him up as they do the puir whig bodies that they catch in the muirs, like straps o' onions; maybe his uncle will bring him aff, or maybe your ain grand-uncle will speak a gude word for him—he's weel acquent wi' a' the red-coat gentlemen."
"You are right, Jenny ! you are right," said Edith, recovering herself from the stupor into which she had sunk ; " this is no time for despair, but for exertion. You must find some one to ride this very night to my uncle's with a letter."
"To Charnwood, madam? It's unco late, and it's sax miles an' a bittock doun the water ; I doubt if we can find man an' horse the night, mair especially as they hae mounted a sentinel before the gate. Puir Cuddie! he's gane, puir fallow, that wad hae dune aught in the warld I bade him, and ne'er asked a reason—an' I've had nae time to draw up wi' the new pleugh-lad yet; forbye that, they say he's gaun to be married to Meg Murdieson, 111— faur'd cuttie as she is."
"You must find some one to go, Jenny; life and death depend upon it."
"I wad gang my sell, my leddy, for I could creep out at the window o' the pantry, and speel down by the auld yew-tree weel eneugh—I hae played that trick ere now. But the road's unco wild, and sae mony red-coats about, forbye the whigs, that are no muckle better, (the young lads o' them,) if they meet a fraim body their lane in the muirs. I wadna stand for the walk—I can walk ten miles by moonlight weel eneugh."
"Is there no one you can think of, that, for money or favour, would serve me so far ?"asked Edith, in great anxiety.
"I dinna ken," said Jenny, after a moment's consideration, " unless it be Guse Gibbie ; and he'll maybe no ken the way, though it's no sae difficult to hit, if he keep the horse-road, and mind the turn at the Cappercleugh, and dinna drown himself in the Whomlekirn-pule, or fa' ower the scaur at the Deil's Loaning, or miss ony o' the kittle steps at the Pass o' Walkwary, or be carried to the hills by the whigs, or be ta'en to the tolbooth by the redcoats."
"All ventures must be run," said Edith, cutting short the list of chances against Goose Gibbie's safe arrival at the end of his pilgrimage; " all risks must be run, unless you can find a better messenger.—Go, bid the boy get ready, and get him out of the Tower as secretly as 24* Vol. I.
you can. If he ;meets any one, let him say he is carrying a letter to Major Bellenden of Charnwood, but without mentioning any names."
"I understand, madam," said Jenny Dennison \ '" I warrant the callant will do weel eneugh, and Tib the ihenwife will tak care o' the geese for a word o' my mouth; and I'll tell Gibbie your leddyship will mak his peace wi' Lady Margaret, and we'll gie him a dollar."
"Two, if he does his errand well," said Edith.
Jenny departed to rouse Goose Gibbie out of his slumbers, to which he was usually consigned at sun-down, or shortly after, he keeping the hours of the birds under his charge. During her absence, Edith took her writing materials, and prepared against her return the following letter, superscribed, For the hands of Major Bellenden of Charnwood, my much honoured uncle, These:
"My dear uncle—this will serve to inform you, I.am desirous to know how your gout is, as we did not see you at the wappen-schaw, which made both my grandmother and myself very uneasy. And if it will permit you to travel, we shallbe happy to see you at our poor house tomorrow at the hour of breakfast, as Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse is to pass this way on his march, and we would willingly have your assistance to receive and entertain a military man of such distinction, who, probably, will not be much delighted with the company of women. Also, my dear uncle, I pray you to let Mrs. Carefor't,your housekeeper, send me my double-trimmed paduasoy with the hanging sleeves, which she will find in the third drawer of the walnut press in the green room, which you are so kind as to call mine. Also, my dear uncle, I pray you (o send me the second volume of the Grand Cyrus, as J have only read as far as the imprisonment of Philidaspes upon the seven hundredth and thirty-third page ; but, above all, I entreat you to come to us to-morrow before eight of the clock, which, as your pacing nag is so good, you may well do without rising before your usual hour