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- On the battlements of the warder's turret," answered the old lady, “ looking out for the approach of our guests.”
Why, I'll go there too ; and so should you, Lady Margaret, as soon as you have your line of battle properly formed in the hall here. It's a pretty thing, I can tell you, to see a regiment of horse upon the march."
Thus speaking, he offered his arm with an air of oldfashioned gallantry, which Lady Margaret accepted with such a courtesy of acknowledgment as ladies were wont to make in Holyrood-house before the year 1642, which, for one while, drove both courtesies and courts out of fashion.
Upon the bartizan of the turret, to which they ascended by many a winding passage and uncouth staircase, they found Edith, not in the attitude of a young lady who watches with fluttering curiosity the approach of a smart regiment of dragoons, but pale, downcast, and evincing, by her countenance, that sleep had not, during the preceding night, been the companion of her pillow. The good old veteran was hurt at her appearance, which, in the hurry of preparation, her grandmother had omitted to notice.
" What is come over you, you silly girl ?” he said ; " why, you look like an officer's wife when she opens the News-letter after an action, and expects to find her husband among the killed and wounded. But I know the reason-you will persist in reading these nonsensical romances, day and night, and whimpering for distresses that never existed. Why, how the devil can you believe that Artamines, or what d'ye call him, fought single-handed with a whole battalion ? One to three is as great odds as ever fought and won, and I never knew anybody that cared to take that except old Corporal Raddlebanes. But these d-d books put all pretty men's actions out of countenance. I dare say you would think very little of Raddlebanes, if he were along-side of Artamines.- I would have the fellows that write such nonsense brought to the picquet for leasing-making."13
Lady Margaret, herself somewhat attached to the perusal of romances, took up the cudgels.
“ Monsieur Scuderi,” she said, " is a soldier, brother ; and, as I have heard, a complete one, and so is the Sieur D'Urfé.”
“ More shame for them; they should have known better what they were writing about. For my part, I have not read a book these twenty years, except my Bible, The Whole Duty of Man, and, of late days, Turner's Pallas Armata, or Treatise on the Ordering of the Pike Exerciselland I don't like his discipline much neither. He wants to draw up the cavalry in front of a stand of pikes, instead of being upon the wings. Sure am I, if we had done so at Kilsythe, instead of having our handful of horse on the flanks, the first discharge would have sent them back among our Highlanders.—But I hear the kettle-drums.”
All heads were now bent from the battlements of the turret, which commanded a distant prospect down the vale of the river. The Tower of Tillietudlem stood, or perhaps yet stands, upon the angle of a very precipitous bank, formed by the junction of a considerable brook with the Clyde.15 There was a narrow bridge of one steep arch, across the brook near its mouth, orer which, and along the foot of the high and broken bank, winded the public road ; and the fortalice, thus commanding both bridge and pass, had been, in times of war, a post of considerable importance, the possession of which was necessary to secure the communication of the upper and wilder districts of the country with those beneath, where the valley expands, and is more capable of cultivation. The view downwards is of a grand woodland. character ; but the level ground and gentle slopes near the river form cultivated fields of an irregular shape interspersed with hedge-row trees and copses, the inclosures seeming to have been individually cleared out of the forest which surrounds them, and which occupies, in unbroken masses, the steeper declivities and more distant banks. The
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stream, in colour a clear and sparkling brown, like the hue of the cairngorm pebbles, rushes through this romantic region in bold sweeps and curves, partly visible and partly concealed by the trees which clothe its banks. With a providence unknown in other parts of Scotland, the peasants have, in most places, planted orchards around their cottages, and the general blossom of the apple-trees at this season of the year gave all the lower part of the view the appearance of a flower-garden. ·
Looking up the river, the character of the scene was varied considerably for the worse. A hilly, waste, and uncultivated country approached close to the banks ; the trees were few, and limited to the neighbourhood of the stream, and the rude moors swelled at a little distance into shapeless and heavy bills, which were again surmounted in their turn by a range of losty mountains, dimly seen on the horizon. Thus the Tower commanded two prospects, the one richly cultivated and highly adorned, the other exhibiting the monotonous and dreary character of a wild and inhospitable moorland.
The eyes of the spectators on the present occasion were attracted to the downward view, not alone by its superior beauty, but because the distant sounds of military music began to be heard from the public high-road which winded up the vale, and announced the approach of the expected body of cavalry. Their glimmering ranks were shortly afterwards seen in the distance, appearing and disappearing as the trees and the windings of the road permitted them to be visible, and distinguished chiefly by the flashes of light which their arins occasionally reflected against the sun. The train was long and imposing, for there were about two hundred and fifty horse upon the Inarch, and the glancing of the swords and waving of their banners, joined to the clang of their trumpets and kettledrums, had at once a lively and awful effect upon the imagination. As they advanced still nearer and nearer, they could distinctly see the files of those chosen troops following each other in long succession, completely equipped and superbly mounted.
- It's a sight that makes me thirty years younger,” said the old cavalier, “and yet I do not much like the service that these poor fellows are to be engaged in. Although I had my share of the civil war, I cannot say I had ever so much real pleasure in that sort of service as when I was employed on the Continent, and we were hacking at fellows with foreign faces and outlandish dialect. It's a hard thing to hear a hamely Scotch tongue cry quarter, and be obliged to cut him down just the same as if he called out miséricorde.--So, there they come through the Netherwood haugh ; upon my word, fine-looking fellows, and capitally mounted.—He that is galloping from the rear of the column must be Claver’se himself ;-ay, he gets into the front as they cross the bridge, and now they will be with us in less than five minutes.”
At the bridge beneath the Tower the cavalry divided, and the greater part, moving up the left bank of the brook and crossing at a ford a little above, took the road of the Grange, as it was called, a large set of farm-offices belonging to the Tower, where Lady Margaret had ordered preparation to be made for their reception and suitable entertainment. The officers alone, with their colours and an escort to guard them, were seen to take the steep road up to the gate of the Tower, appearing by intervals as they gained the ascent, and again hidden by projections of the bank and of the huge old trees with which it is covered. When they emerged from this narrow path, they found themselves in front of the old Tower, the gates of which were hospitably open for their reception. Lady Margaret, with Edith and her brother-in-law, having hastily descended from their post of observation, appeared to meet and to welcome their guests, with a retinue of domestics in as good order as the orgies of the preceding evening permitted. The gallant young cornet (a relation as well as namesake of Claverhouse, with whom the reader has been already made acquainted) lowered the standard amid the fanfare of the trumpets, in homage to the rank of Lady Margaret and the charms of her grand-daughter,
and the old walls echoed to the flourish of the instruments and the stamp and neigh of the chargers.
Claverhousel6himself alighted from a black horse, the most beautiful perhaps in Scotland. He had not a single white hair upon his whole body, a circumstance, which, joined to his spirit and fleetness, and to his being so frequently employed in pursuit of the presbyterian recusants, caused an opinion to prevail among them, that the steed had been presented to his rider by the great Enemy of Mankind in order to assist himn in persecuting the fugitive wanderers. When Claverhouse had paid his respects to the ladies with military politeness, had apologized for the trouble to which he was putting Lady Margaret's family, and had received the corresponding assurances that she could not think anything an inconvenience which brought within the walls of Tillietudlem so distinguished a soldier, and so loyal a servant of his sacred majesty ; when, in short, all forms of hospitable and polite ritual had been duly complied with, the Colonel requested permission to receive the report of Bothwell, who was now in attendance, and with whom he spoke apart for a few minutes. Major Bellenden took that opportunity to say to his neice, without the hearing of her grandınother, “ What a trifling foolish girl you are, Edith, to send me by express a letter crammed with nonsense about books and gowns, and to slide the only thing I cared a marvedie about into the postscript."
" I did not know," said Edith, hesitating very much, “ whether it would be quite-quite proper for me to”
" I know what you would say--whether it would be right to take any interest in a presbyterian. But I knew this lad's father well. He was a brave soldier ; and, if he was once wrong, he was once right too. I must comInend your caution, Edith, for having said nothing of this young gentleman's affair to your grandinother--you may rely on it I shall not I will take an opportunity to speak to Claver'se. Come, iny love, they are going to break fast. Let us follow them.”