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"Take him away now, then, you gaping idiot, and see that he does not bite you, to put an old proverb to shame. This is a new incident, Mr. Morton, that dead men should rise and push us from our stools. I must see that my ,blackguards grind their swords sharper j they used not to do their work so slovenly.—But we have had a busy day ; they are tired, and their blades blunted with their bloody work; and I suppose you, Mr. Morton, as well as , are well disposed for a few hours repose."
So saying, ne yawned, and taking a candle which a soldier had placed ready, saluted Morton courteously, and walked to the apartment which had been prepared for him.
Morton was also accommodated for the evening, with a separate room. Being left alone, his first occupation was the returning thanks to Heaven for redeeming him from danger, even through the instrumentality of those who seemed his most dangerous enemies; he also prayed sincerely for the Divine assistance in guiding his course through times which held out so many dangers and so many errors. And having thus poured out his spirit in prayer before the Great Being who gave it, he betook himself to the repose which he so much required.
The charge is prepared, the lawyers are met,
So deep was the slumber which succeeded the agitation and embarrassment of the preceding day, that Morton hardly knew where he was when it was broken by the tramp of horses, the hoarse voice of men, and the wild sound of the trumpets blowing the reveille. The sergeant-major immediately afterwards came to Bammota him, which he did in a very respectful manner, saying the General (for Claverhouse now hekl that rank) hoped for the pleasure of his company upon the road. In some situations an intimation is a command, and Morton considered that the present occasion was one of these. He waited upon Claverhouse as speedily as he could, found his own horse saddled for his use, and Cuddie in attendance. Both were deprived of their Sre-arms, though they seemed, otherwise, rather to make part of the troop than of the prisoners; and Morton Was permitted to retaih his sword, the wearing which was, in those days, the distinguishing mark of a gentleman. Claverhouse seemed also to take pleasure in riding beside him, in conversing with him, and in confounding his ideas when he attempted to appreciate his real character. The gentleness and arbanity of that officer's general manners,the high and chivalrous sentiments of military devotion which he occasionally expressed, his deep and accurate insight into the human bosom, demanded at once the approbation and the wonder of those who conversed with him ; while, on the other hand, his cold indifference to military violence and cruelty seemed altogether inconsistent with the social, and even admirable qualities which he displayed. Morton could not help, in his heart, contrasting him with Balfour of Burley; and so deeply did the idea impress him, that he dropped a bint of it as they rode together at some distance from the troop.
18 vOL. ii.
"You are right," said Claverhouse, with a smile; " you are very right—we are both fanatics ; but there is some distinction between the fanaticism of honour and that of dark and sullen superstition."
"Yet you both shed blood without mercy or remorse," said Morton, who could not suppress his feelings.
"Surely," said Claverhouse, with the same composure; "but of what kind 9—There is a difference, I trust, between the blood of learned and reverend prelates and scholars, of gallant soldiers and noble gentlemen, and the red puddle that stagnates in the veins of psalm-singing mechanics, crack brained demagogues, and sullen boors: —some distinction, in short, between spilling a flask of generous wine, and dashing down a cann full of base muddy ale V
"Your distinction is too nice for my comprehension," replied Morton. "God gives every spark of life—that of the peasant as well as of the prince; and those who destroy his work recklessly or causelessly, must answer in either case. What right, for example, have I to General Grahame's protection now, more than when I first met him V
"And narrowly escaped the consequences, you would say?" answered Claverhouse—" why, I will answer you frankly. Then I thought I had to do with the son of an old roundheaded rebel, and the nephew of a sordid presbyterian laird; now I know your points better, and there is that about you which I respect in an enemy as much as I like in a friend. I have learned a good deal concerning you since our first meeting, and I trust that you have found that my construction of the information has not been unfavourable to you."
"But yet," said Morton
"But yet," interrupted Grahame, taking up the word, "you would say you were the same when I first met you that you are now 9 True ; but then, how could 1 know that 1 though, by the by, even my reluctance to suspend your execution may show you how high your abilities stood in my estimation."
"Do you expect, General," said Morton, " that I ought to be particularly grateful for such a mark of your esteem V
"Poh! poh! you are critical," returned Claverhouse. "I tell you I thought you a different sort of person. Did you ever read Froissart*?"
"No," was Morton's answer.
"I have half a mind," said Claverhouse, " to contrive you should have six months' imprisonment, in order to procure you that pleasure. His chapters inspire me with more enthusiasm than even poetry itself. And the nob e canon, with what true chivalrous feeling he confines his beautiful expressions of sorrow to the death of the gallant and high-brad knight, of whom it was a pity to see the fall, such was his loyalty to his king, pure faith to his religion, hardihood towards his enemy, and fidelity to his lady-love !—Ah,benedicite! how he will mourn over the fall of such a pearl of knighthood, be it on the side ho happens to favour, or on the other. But, truly, for sweeping from the face of the earth some few hundreds of villain churls, who are born but to plough it, the high-born and inquisitive historian has marvellous little sympathy,— as little, or less, perhaps, than John Grahame of Claverhotise."
"There is one ploughman in your possession, General, for whom," said Morton, " in despite of the contempt in which you hold a profession which some philosophers have considered as useful as that of a soldier, I would humbly request your favour."
"You mean," said Claverhouse, looking at a memorandum book, "one Hatherick—Hedderick—or—or— Headrigg. Ay, Cuthbert, or Cuddie Headrigg—hero 1 have him. O, never fear him, if he will be but tractable. The ladies of Tillietudlem made interest with me on his account some time ago. He is to marry their waiting-maid, I think. He will be allowed to slip off easy, unless his obstinacy spoils his good fortune."
"He has no ambition to be a martyr, I believe," said Morton.
"'Tis the better for him," said Claverhouse. "But, besides, although the fellow had more to answer for, I should stand his friend, for the sake of the blundering gallantry which threw him into the midst of our ranks las night, when seeking assistance for you. 1 never deser any man who trusts me with such implicit confidence. But, to deal sincerely with you, he has been long in our eye.—Here, Halliday; bring me up the black book."
The sergeant, having committed to his commander this ominous record of the disaffected, which was arranged in alphabetical order, Claverhouse, turning over the leaves as he rode on, began to read names as they occurred.
"Gumblegumption, a minister, aged 50, indulged, close, sly, and so forth—Pooh ! pooh !—He—He—I have him here—Heathercat : outlawed—a preacher—a zealous Cameronian—Keeps a conventicle among the Campsie hills—Tush !—O, here is Headrigg—Cuthbcrt, his mother a bitter puritan—himself a simple fellow—likeo to be forward in action, but of no genius for plots—more for the hand than the head, and might be drawn to the
right side, but for his attachment to" (Here Claver
house looked at Morton, and then shut the book and changed his tone.) "Faithful and true are words never thrown away upon me, Mr. Morton. You may depend on the young man's safety."
"Does it not revolt a mind like yours," said Morton, "to follow a system which is to be supported by such minute inquiries after obscure individuals V
"You do not suppose we take the trouble?" said the General,haughtily. "The curates, for their own sakes, willingly collect all these materials for their own regulation in each parish ; they know best the black sheep of the Hock. I have had your picture for three years."
"Indeed V replied Morton. "Will you favour me by imparting it?"
"Willingly," said Claverhouse ; " it can signify little, for you cannot avenge yourself on the curate, as you will probably leave Scotland for some time."
This was spoken in an indifferent tone. Morton felt an involuntary shudder at hearing words which implied a banishment from his native land ; but ere he answered, Claverhouse proceeded to read, " Henry Morton, son of Silas Morton, Colonel of horse for the Scottish Parliament, nephew and apparent heir of Morton of Milnwood—imperfectly educated, but with spirit beyond his years—excellent at all exercises—indifferent to forms of religion, but seems to incline to the presbyterian—has high-flown and dangerous notions about liberty of thought and speech, and hovers between a latitudinarian and an enthusiast. Much adinired and followed by the youth of his own age—modest, 18* Vol. Ii.