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ions of the voyage busy making their own arrangenzents, he took an opportunity to open the billet thus mysteriously thrust upon him. It ran thus :-" Thy courage on the fatal day when Israel fed before his enemies. hath, in some measure, atoned for thy unhappy owning of the Erastian interest. These are not days for Ephraim to strive with Israel.- know thy heart is with the daughter of the stranger. But turn from that solly ; for in exile, and in flight, and even in death itself, shall my hand be heavy against that bloody and malignant house, and Providence hath given me the means of meting unto them with their own measure of ruin and confiscation. The resistance of their strong-hold was the main cause of our being scattered at Bothwell Bridge, and I have bound it upon my soul to visit it upon them. Wherefore, think of her no more, but join with our brethren in banishment, whose hearts are still towards this miserable land to save and to relieve her. There is an honest remnant in Holland whose eyes are looking out for deliverance. Join thyself unto them like the true son of the stout and worthy Silas Morton, and thou wilt have good acceptance among them for his sake and for thine own working. Shouldst thou be found worthy again to labour in the vineyard, thou wilt at all times hear of my in-comings and out-goings, by inquiring after Quintin Mackell of Irongray, at the house of that singular Christian woman, Bessie Maclure, near to the place called the Houff, where Neil Blane entertaineth guests. So much from him who hopes to hear again from thee in brotherhood, resisting unto blood, and striving against sin. Meanwhile, possess thyself in patience. Keep thy sword girded, and thy lamp burning, as one that wakes in the night ; for He who shall judge the Mount of Esau, and shall make false professors as straw, and malignants as stubble, will come in the fourth watch with garments dyed in blood, and the house of Jacob shall be for spoil, and the house of Joseph for fire. I am he that hath written it, whose hand hath been on the mighty in the waste field.”
thy silagento them like lol
This extraordinary letter was subscribed J. B. of B.; but the signature of these initials was not necessary for pointing out to Morton that it could come from no other than Burley. It gave him new occasion to admire the indomitable spirit of this man, who, with art equal to his courage and obstinacy, was even now endeavouring to reestablish the web of conspiracy which had been so lately torn to pieces. But he felt no sort of desire, in the present moment, to sustain a correspondence which must be perilous, or to renew an association, which, in so many ways, had been nearly fatal to him. The threats which Burley held out against the family of Bellenden, he considered as a mere expression of his spleen on account of their defence of Tillietudlem ; and nothing seemed less likely than that at the very moment of their party being victorious, their fugitive and distressed adversary could exercise the least influence over their fortunes.
Morton, however, hesitated for an instant, whether he should not send the Major or Lord Evandale intimation of Burley's threats. Upon consideration, he thought he could not do so without betraying his confidential correspondence; for to warn them of his menaces would have served little purpose, unless he had given them a clew to prevent them, by apprehending his person ; while, by doing so, he deemed he should commit an ungenerous breach of trust to remedy an evil which seemed almost imaginary. Upon mature consideration, therefore, he tore the letter, having first made a memorandum of the name and place where the writer was to be heard of, and threw the fragments into the sea.
While Morton was thus employed the vessel was unmoored, and the white sails swelled out before a favourable north-west wind. The ship leaned her side to the gale, and went roaring through the waves, leaving a long and rippling furrow to track her course. The city and port from which he had sailed became undistinguishable in the distance; the hills by which they were surrounded melted finally into the blue sky, and Morton was separated for several years from the land of his nativity.
Whom does time gallop withal ?
As You Like it.
It is fortunate for tale-tellers that they are not tied down like theatrical writers to the unities of time and place, but may conduct their personages to Athens and Thebes at their pleasure, and bring them back at their convenience. Time, to use Rosalind's simile, has hitherto paced with the hero of our tale ; for, betwixt Morton's first appearance as a competitor for the popinjay, and his final departure for Holland, hardly two months elapsed. Years, however, glided away ere we find it possible to resume the thread of our narrative, and Time must be held to have galloped over the interval. Craving, therefore, the privilege of my cast, I entreat the reader's attention to the continuation of the narrative, as it starts from a new era, being the year immediately subsequent to the British Revolution.
Scotland had just begun to repose from the convulsion occasioned by a change of dynasty, and, through the prudent tolerance of King William, had narrowly escaped the horrors of a protracted civil war. Agriculture began to revive ; and men, whose minds had been disturbed by the violent political concussions, and the geveral change of government in church and state, had begun to recover their ordinary temper, and to give the usual attention to their own private affairs in lieu of discussing those of the public. The Highlanders alone resisted the newly-established order of things, and were in arms in a considerable body under the Viscount of Dundee, whom our readers have hitherto known by the name of Grahame of Claverhouse. But the usual state of the Highlands was so unruly, that their being more or less dis
turbed was not supposed greatly to affect the general tranquillity of the country, so long as their disorders were confined within their own frontiers. In the Lowlands, the Jacobites, now the underrnost party, had ceased to expect any immediate advantage by open resistance, and were, in their turn, driven to hold private meetings, and form associations for mutual defence, which the government termed treason, while they cried out persecution.
The triumphant whigs, while they re-established presbytery as the national religion, and assigned to the General Assemblies of the Kirk their natural influence, were very far from going the lengths which the Cameronians and more extravagant portion of the non-conformists under Charles and James loudly demanded. They would listen to no proposal for re-establishing the Solemn League and Covenant ; and those who had expected to find in King William a zealous Covenanted Monarch, were grievously disappointed when he intimated, with the phlegm peculiar to his country, his intention to tolerate all forms of religion which were consistent with the safety of the state. The principles of indulgence thus espoused and gloried in by the government, gave great offence to the more violent party, who condenned them as diametrically contrary to Scripture ; for which narrow-spirited doctrine they cited various texts, all, as it may well be supposed, detached from their context, and most of them derived from the charges given to the Jews in the Old Testament dispensation to extirpate idolaters out of the promised land. They also murmured highly against the influence assumed by secular persons in exercising the rights of patronage, which they termed a rape upon the chastity of the Church. They censured and condemned as Erastian many of the measures, by which government after the Revolution showed an inclination to interfere with the management of the Church, and they positively refused to take the oath of allegiance to King William and Queen Mary, until they should, on their part, have sworn to the Solemn League and Cove
nant, the Magna Charta, as they termed it, of the Pres byterian Church.
This party, therefore, remained grumbling and dissatisfied, and made repeated declarations against defections and causes of wrath, which, had they been prosecuted as in the two former reigns, would have led to the same consequence of open rebellion. But as the murmurers were allowed to hold their meetings uninterrupted, and to testify as much as they pleased against Socinianism, Erastianism, and all the compliances and defections of the time, their zeal, unfanned by persecution, died gradually away, their numbers became diminished, and they sunk into the scattered remnant of serious, scrupulous, and harmless enthusiasts, of whom Old Mortality, whose legends have afforded the ground-work of my tale, may be taken as no bad representative. But in the years which immediately succeeded the Revolution, the Cameronians continued a sect strong in numbers and vehement in their political opinions, whom government wished to discourage, while they prudently temporized with them. These men formed one violent party in the state; and the Episcopalian and Jacobite interest, notwithstanding their ancient and national animosity, yet repeatedly endeavoured to intrigue among them, and avail themselves of their discontents, to obtain their assistance in recalling the Stuart family. The Revolutionary government, in the meanwhile, was supported by the great bulk of the Lowland interest, who were chiefly disposed to a moderate presbytery, and formed in a great measure the party, who, in the former oppressive reigns, were stigmatized by the Cameronians, for having exercised that form of worship under the declaration of Indulgence issued by Charles II. Such was the state of parties in Scotland immediately subsequent to the Revolution.
It was on a delightful summer evening, that a stranger, well mounted, and having the appearance of a military man of rank, rode down a winding descent which terminated in view of the romantic ruins of Bothwell
20 VOL. II.