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to defend the streets of the town of Hamilton; but, while labouring to induce the fliers to face about and stand to their weapons, Burley received a bullet which broke his sword-arm.
“ May the hand be withered that shot the shot !” he exclaimed, as the sword which he was waving over bis head fell powerless to his side. “I can fight no longer.*
Then turning his horse's head, he retreated out of the confusion. Morton also now saw that the continuing his unavailing efforts to rally the fliers could only end in his own death or captivity, and, followed by the faithful Cuddie, he extricated himself from the press, and, being well mounted, leaped his horse over one or two inclosures, and got into the open country.
From the first hill which they gained in their flight, they looked back, and beheld the whole country covered with their fugitive companions, and with the pursuing dragoons, whose wild shouts and halloo, as they did execution on the groups whom they overtook, mingled with the groans and screams of their victims, rose shrilly up the hill.
"It is impossible they can ever make head again," said Morton.
" The head's taen aff them as clean as I wad bite it aff a sybo!” rejoined Cuddie. “Eh, Jord! see how the broad-swords are flashing ! war's a fearsome thing. They'll be cunning that catches me at this wark again.But, for God's sake, sir, let us mak for some strength!”
Morton saw the necessity of following the advice of his trusty squire. They resumed a rapid pace, and continued it without intermission, directing their course towards the wild and mountainous country, where they thought it likely some part of the fugitives might draw together for the sake either of making defence, or of obtaining terms. * This incident, and Burley's exclamation, are taken from the records
EVENING had fallen; and, for the last two hours, they had seen none of their ill-fated companions, when Morton and his faithful attendant gained the moorland, and approached a large and solitary farm-house, situated in the entrance of a wild glen, far remote from any other habitation.
“Our horses,” said Morton, “ will carry us no farther without rest or food, and we must try to obtain them here, if possible.” · So speaking, he led the way to the house. The place had every appearance of being inhabited. There was smoke issuing from the chimney, in a considerable volume, and the marks of recent hoofs were visible around the door. They could even hear the murmuring of human voices within the house. But all the lower windows were closely secured; and, when they knocked at the door, no answer was returned. After vainly calling and entreating admittance, they withdrew to the stable, or shed, in order to accominodate their horses, ere they used farther means of gaining admission. In this place they found ten or twelve horses, whose state of fatigue, as well as the military yet disordered appearance of their saddles and accoutrements, plainly indicated that their owners were fugitive insurgents in their own circumstances.
66 This meeting bodes luck," said Cuddie; 6 and they hae walth o' beef, that's ae thing certain, for here's a raw hide that has been about the hurdies o' a stot not half an hour syne --it's warm yet.”
Encouraged by these appearances, they returned again to the house, and announcing themselves as men in the same predicament with the inmates, clamoured loudly for admittance.
“Whoever ye be,” answered a stern voice from the window, after a long and obdurate silence,“ disturb not those who mourn for the desolation and captivity of the land, and search out the causes of wrath and of defection, that the stumbling-blocks may be removed over which we have stumbled.”
“ They are wild western whigs,” said Cuddie, in a whisper to his master, “I ken by their language. Fiend hae me if I like to venture on thern!"
Morton, however, again called to the party within, and insisted on admittance; but, finding his entreaties still disregarded, he opened one of the lower windows, and pushing asunder the shutters, which were but slightly secured, stepped into the large kitchen from which the voice had issued. Cuddie followed him, muttering betwixt his teeth, as he put his head within the window, “ That he hoped there was nae scalding brose on the fire ;” and master and servant both found themselves in the company of ten or twelve armed men, seated around the fire on which refreshments were preparing, and busied apparently in their devotions.
"In the gloomy countenances, illuminated by the fire-light, Morton had no difficulty in recognizing several of those zealots who had most distinguished themselves by their intemperate opposition to all moderate measures, together with their noted pastor, the fanatical Ephraim Macbriar, and the maniac, Habakkuk Mucklewrath. The Cameronians neither stirred tongue nor hand to welcome their brethren in misfortune, but continued to listen to the low murmured exercise of Macbriar, as he prayed that the Almighty would lift up his hand from his people, and not make an end in the day of his anger. That they were conscious of the presence of the intruders only appeared froin the sullen and indignant glances which they shot at them, from time to time, as their eyes cncountered.
Morton, finding into what unfriendly society he had unwittingly intruded, began to think of retreating ; but, on turning his head, observed with some alarm, that two strong men had silently placed themselves beside the window through which they had entered. One of these ominous sentinels whispered to Cuddie, “ Son of that precious woman, Mause Headrigg, do not cast thy lot farther with this child of treachery and perdition-Pass on thy way, and tarry not, for the avenger of blood is bebind thee.”
With this he pointed to the window, out of which Cuddie jumped without hesitation ; for the intimation ho had received plainly implied the personal danger he would otherwise incur.
“ Winnocks are no lucky wi' me,” was his first reflection when he was in the open air; his next was upon the probable fate of his master. “They'll kill him the murdering loons, and think they're doing a gude turn! but I'se tak the back road for Hamilton, and see if I canna get some o' our ain folk to bring help in time of need
So saying, Cuddie hastened to the stable, and, taking the best horse he could find instead of his own tired animal, he galloped off in the direction he proposed.
The noise of his horse's tread alarmed for an instant the devotion of the fanatics. As it died in the distance, Macbriar brought his exercise to a conclusion, and his audience raised themselves from the stooping posture, and louring downward look with which they had listened to it, and all fixed their eyes sternly on Henry Morton.
“ You bend strange countenances on me, gentlemen," said he, addressing them. “ I am totally ignorant in what manner I can have deserved thern."
66 Out upon thee! out upon thee !” exclaimed Mucklewrath, starting up : “ the word that thou has spurned shall become a rock to crush and to bruise thee; the spear which thou wouldst have broken shall pierce thy side ; we have prayed, and wrestled, and petitioned, for
17 VOL. II.
an offering to atone the sins of the congregation, and, lo! the very head of the offence is delivered into our band. He hath burst in like a thief through the window; he is a ram caught in the thicket, whose blood shall be a drinkoffering to redeem vengeance from the church, and the place shall from henceforth be called Jehovah Jirah, for the sacrifice is provided. Up, then, and bind the victim with cords to the horns of the altar !”
There was a movement among the party; and deeply did Morton regret at that moment the incautious haste with which he had ventured into their company. He was armed only with his sword, for he had left his pistols at the bow of his saddle, and as the whigs were all provided with fire-arms, there was little or no chance of escaping from thein by resistance. The interposition, however, of Macbriar, protected him for the moment.
" Tarry yet a while, brethren-let us not use the the sword rashly, lest the load of innocent blood lie heavy on us.-Come,” he said, addressing himself to Morton, 6 we will reckon with thee ere we avenge the cause thou hast betrayed. Hast thou not,” he continued, “ made thy face as hard as flint against the truth in all the assemblies of the host ?"
“ He has—he has," murmured the deep voices of the assistants.
“ He hath ever urged peace with the malignants," said one.
6. And pleaded for the dark and dismal guilt of the Indulgence,” said another.
66 And would have surrendered the host into the hands of Monmouth,” echoed a third ; " and was the first to desert the honest and manly Burley, while he yet resisted at the pass. I saw him on the moor, with his horse bloody with spurring, long ere the firing had ceased at the bridge.
6 Gentlemen,” said Morton, “ if you mean to bear me down by clamour, and take my life without hearing me, it is perhaps a thing in your power; but you will sin