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as I do and must, I am not unwilling to suppose that you may have motives vindicating it in your own eyės, though not in mine, or in those of sober reason. I only pow mention it, because I desire you to understand, that I join a cause supported by men engaged in open war, which it is proposed to carry on according to the rules of civilized nations, without, in any respect, approving of the act of violence which gave immediate rise to it."
Balfour bit his lip, and with difficulty suppressed a violent answer. He perceived with disappointment, that, upon points of principle, his young brother-in-arms possessed a clearness of judgment, and a firmness of mind, which afforded but little hope of his being able to exert that degree of influence over him which he had expected to possess. After a moment's pause, however, he said, with coolness, “My conduct is open to men and angels. The deed was not done in a corner; I am here in arms to avow it, and care not where, or by whom, I am called on to do so ; whether in the council, the field of battle, the place of execution, or the day of the last great trial. I will not now discuss it further with one who is yet on the other side of the veil. But if you will cast in your lot with us as a brother, come with me to the council, who are still sitting, to arrange the future march of the army, and the means of improving our victory."
Morton arose and followed him in silence; not greatly delighted with his associate, and better satisfied with the general justice of the cause which he had espoused, than either with the measures or motives of many of those who were embarked in it:
And look how many Grecian tents do stand
Troilus and Cressida
In a hollow of the hill, about a quarter of a mile from the field of battle, was a shepherd's hut; a miserable cottage, which, as the only inclosed spot within a moderate distanee, the leaders of the presbyterian army had chosen for their council-house. Towards this spot Burley guided Morton, who was surprised, as he approached it, at the multifarious confusion of sounds which issued from its precincts. The calm and anxious gravity which it might be supposed would have presided in councils held on such important subjects, and at a period so critical, seemed to have given place to discord wild, and loud uproar, which fell on the ear of their new ally as an evil augury of their future measures. As they approached the door, they found it open indeed, but choked up with the bodies and heads of countrymen, who, though no members of the council, felt no scruple in intruding themselves upon deliberations in which they were so deeply interested. . By expostulation, by threats, and even by some degree of violence, Burley, the steroness of whose character maintained a sort of superiority over these disorderly forces, compelled the intruders to retire, and introducing Morton into the cottage, secured the door behind them against impertinent curiosity. At a less agitating moment, the young man might have been entertained with the singular scene of which he now found himself an auditor and a spectator.
The precincts of the gloomy and ruinous hut were enlightened partly by some furze which blazed on the hearth, the smoke whereof, having no legal vent, eddied around, and formed over the heads of the assembled council a cloudy canopy, as opake as their metaphysical theology, through which, like stars through mist, were dimly seen to twinkle a few blinking candles, or rather rushes dipped in tallow, the property of the poor owner of the cottage, which were stuck to the walls by patches of wet clay. This broken and dusky light showed many a countenance elated with spiritual pride, or rendered dark by fierce enthusiasm; and some whose anxious, wandering, and uncertain looks showed they felt themselves rashly embarked in a cause which they had neither courage nor conduct to bring to a good issue, yet knew not how to abandon for very shame. They were, indeed, a doubtful and disunited body. The most active of their number were those concerned with Burley in the death of the Primate, four or five of whom had found their way to Loudon-hill, together with other men of the same relentless and uncompromising zeal, who had, in various ways, given desperate and unpardonable offence to the government.
With them were mingled their preachers, men who had spurned at the indulgence offered by government, and preferred assembling their flocks in the wilderness to worshipping in temples built by human hands, if their doing the latter should be construed to admit any right on the part of their rulers to interfere with the supremacy of the Kirk. The other class of counsellors were such gentlemen of small fortune and substantial farmers as a sense of intolerable oppression had induced to take arms and join the insurgents. These also bad their clergymen with them, and such divines having many of them taken advantage of the indulgence, were prepared to resist the measures of their more violent brethren, who proposed a declaration in which they should give testimony against the warrants and instructions for indulgence as sinful and unlawful acts. This delicate question had been passed over in silence in the first draught of the manifestos which they intended to publish, of the reasons of their gathering in arms ; but it had been stirred anew
during Balfour's absence, and to his great vexation, he now found that both parties had opened upon it in full cry, Macbriar, Kettledrummile, and other teachers of the wanderers, being at the very spring-tide of polemical discussion with Peter Poundtext the indulged pastor of Milnwood's parish, who it seems had e'en girded himself with a broad-sword, but, ere he was called upon to fight for the good cause of presbytery in the field, was manfully defending his own dogmata in the council. It was the din of this conflict, maintained chiefly between Poundtext and Kettledrummle, together with the clamour of their adherents, which had saluted Morton's ears upon approaching the cottage. Indeed, as both the divines were men well gifted with words and lungs, and each fierce, ardent and intolerant in defence of his own doctrine, prompt in the recollection of texts wherewith they battered each other without mercy, and deeply impressed with the importance of the subject of discussion, the noise of the debate betwixt them fell little short of that which might have attended an actual bodily conflict.
Burley, scandalized at the disunion implied in this virulent strife of tongues, interposed between the disputants, and, by some general remarks on the unseasonableness of discord, a soothing address to the vanity of each party, and the exertion of the authority which his services in that day's victory entitled him to assume, at length succeeded in prevailing upon them to adjourn farther discussion of the controversy. But although Kettledrummle and Poundtext were thus for the time silenced, they continued to eye each other like two dogs, who, having been separated by the authority of their masters while fighting, have retreated, each beneath the chair of his owner, still watching each other's motions, and indicating by occasional growls, by the erected bristles of the back and ears, and by the red glance of the eye, that their discord is unappeased, and that they only wait the first opportunity afforded by any general movement or commotion in the company, to fly once more at each other's throats.
Balfour took advantage of the momentary pause to present to the council Mr. Henry Morton of Milnwood, as one touched with a sense of the evils of the times, and willing to peril goods and life in the precious cause for which his father, the renowned Silas Morton, had given in his time a soul-stirring testimony. Morton was instantly received with the right hand of fellowship by his ancient pastor Poundtext, and by those among the insurgents who supported the more moderate principles. The others muttered something about Erastianism, and reminded each other in whispers, that Silas Morton, once a stout and worthy servant of the Covenant, had been a backslider in the day when the resolutioners had led the way in owning the authority of Charles Stuart, thereby making a gap whereat the present tyrant was afterwards brought in, to the oppression both of Kirk and country. They added, however, that, on this great day of calling, they would not refuse society with any who should put hand to the plough; and so Morton was installed in his office of leader and counsellor, if not with the full approbation of his colleagues, at least without any formal or avowed dissent. They proceeded, on Burley's motion, to divide among themselves the command of the men who had assembled, and whose numbers were daily increasing. In this partition, the insurgents of Poundtext's parish and congregation were naturally placed under the command of Morton; an arrangement mutually agreeable to both parties, as he was recommended to their confidence, as well by his personal qualities as his having been born among them.
When this task was accomplished, it became necessary to determine what use was to be made of their victory. Morton's heart throbbed high when he heard the Tower of Tillietudlem named as one of the most important positions to be seized upon. It commanded, as we have often noticed, the pass between the more wild and the more fertile country, and must furnish, it was playisibly urged, a strong hold and place of rendezvous to