« ПредишнаНапред »
With careless gesture, mind unmoved,
On rade he north the plain,
When winner aye the same.
Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse met the family, assembled in the hall of the Tower, with the same serenity and the some courtesy which had graced his manners in the morning. He had even had the composure to rectify in part the derangement of his dress, to wash the signs of battle from his face and hands, and did not appear more disordered in his exterior than if returned from a morning ride.
"I am grieved, Colonel Grahame," said the reverend old lady, the tears trickling down her face, " deeply grieved."
"And I am grieved, my dear Lady Margaret," replied Claverhouse, "that this misfortune may render your remaining at Tillietudlem dangerous for you, especially considering your recent hospitality to the King's troops, and your well-known loyalty. And I came here chiefly to request Miss Bellenden and you to accept my escort (if you will not scorn that of a poor runaway) to Glasgow, from (whence I will see you safely sent either to Edinburgh or to Dunbarton Castle, as you shall think best."
"I am much obliged to you, Colonel Grahame," re plied Lady Margaret, "but my brother, Major Bellen den, has taken on him the responsibility of holding out this house against the rebels; and, please God, they shall never drive Margaret Bellenden from her ain hearth-stane while there's a brave man that says he can defend it."
"And will Major Bellenden undertake this V said Claverhouse hastily, a joyful light glancing from his dark eye as he turned it on the veteran,—" Yet why should I question it 1 it is of a piece with the rest of his life.— But have you the means, Major V
"All, but men and provisions, with which we are illsupphed," answered the Major.
"As for men," said Claverhouse, "I will leave you a dozen or twenty fellows who will make good a breach against the devil. It will be of the utmost service, if you can defend the place but a week, and by that time you must surely be relieved."
"I will make it good for that space, Colonel," replied the Major, "with twenty-five good men and store of ammunition, if we should gnaw the soles of our shoes for hunger ; but I trust we shall get in provisions from the country."
"And, Colonel Grahame, if I might presume a request," said Lady Margaret, '* I would entreat that Sergeant Francis Stuart might command the auxiliaries whom you are so good as to add to the garrison of our people; it may serve to legitimate his promotion, and 1 have a prejudice in favour of his noble birth."
"The Sergeant's wars are ended, madam," said Grahame, in an unaltered tone, "and he now needs no promotion that an earthly master can give."
"Pardon me," said Major Bellenden, taking Claverhouse by the arm, and turning him away from the ladies, "but I am anxious for my friends; I fear you have other and more important loss. I observe another officer carries your nephew's standard."
"You are right, Major Bellenden," answered Claverhouse firmly; " my nephew is no more. He has died in his duty as became him."
"Great God !" exclaimed the Major, "how unhappy !—the handsome, gallant, high-spirited youth!"
"He was, indeed, all you say," answered Claverhouse; "poor Richard was to me as an eldest son, the apple of
nd will Major Bellenden undertake this 9" said erhouse hastily, a joyful light glancing from his dark is he turned it on the veteran,—" Yet why should I ion it 9 it is of a piece with the rest of his life.— lave v ^he means, Major V
and provisions, with which we are ill1 the Major.
t. 'id Claverhouse, " I will leave you
Hows who will make good a breach
will be of the utmost service, if you
tout a week, and by that time you
1 for that space, Colonel," replied
mty-five good men and store of
)uld gnaw the soles of our shoes for
we shall get in provisions from the
Grahame, if I might presume a re, Margaret, '' I would entreat that Seruuart might command the auxiliaries o good as to add to the garrison of our y serve to legitimate his promotion, and I ^e in favour of his noble birth." eant's wars are ended, madam," said Graunaltered tone, "and he now needs no t an earthly master can give." nie," said Major Bellenden, taking Claverarm, and turning him away from the ladies, nxious for my friends; I fear you have other nportant loss. I observe another officer cariephew's standard."
are right, Major Bellenden," answered Claver
ily; " my nephew is no more. He has died
as became him."
'at God !" exclaimed the Major, "how unhap
the handsome, gallant, high-spirited youth!"
e was, indeed, all you say," answered Claverhouse;
»r Richard was to me as an eldest son, the apple of
6* vOL. ii.
my eye, and'my destined heir; but he died in'his duty, and 1^1—Major Bellenden"—(he wrung the Major's hand hard' as he spoke)—" T live to avenge him."
"Colonel Grahame," said the affectionate veteran, his eyes filling with tears, "I am glad to see you bear this misfortune with such fortitude."
"I am not a selfish' man," replied Claverhouse, "though the world will tell you otherwise; I am not selfish either in my hopes or fears, my joys or sorrows. I have not been severe for myself, or grasping for myself, or ambitious for myself. The service of my master and the good of the country are what I have tried to aim at. I may, perhaps, have driven severity into cruelty, but I acted for the best; and now I will not yield to my own feelings a deeper sympathy than I have given to those of others."
"I am astonished at your fortitude under all the unpleasant circumstances of this affair," pursued the Major.
"Yes," replied Claverhouse, "my enemies in the council will lay this misfortune to my charge—I despise their accusations. They will calumniate me to my sovereign—I can repel their charge. The public enemy will exult in my flight—I shall find a time to show them that they exult too early. This youth that has fallen stood betwixt a grasping kinsman and my inheritance, for you know that my marriage-bed is barren; yet, peace be with him! the country can better spare him than your friend Lord Evandale, who, after behaving very gallantly, has; I fear, also fallen."
"What a fatal day!" ejaculated the Major. "I heard a report of this, but it was again contradicted ; it was added, that the poor young nobleman's impetuosity had occasioned the loss of this unhappy field."
"Not so, Major," said Grahame; "let the living officers bear the blame, if there be any, and let the laurels flourish untarnished on the grave of the fallen. I do not, however, speak of Lord Evandale's death as certain; but killed, or prisoner, I fear he must be. Yet he was extricated from the tumult the last time we spoke togeth