Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

be remarked, that the heap of stones in this of Lochnaveen, the Dark and the Fair; and here, singular spot, seems far too large for the remains on each side of the Tinker's Daughter, were their of a hunter's bothie, he will learn that this is also last representatives. the sepulchre of the clansman; and that it is, Our sportsman or tourist has now seen the monmoreover, the monumental heap of the Tinker's umental heap, and the picture of Nighean Ceard ; Daughter, the cairn of Nighean Ceard. If our but if, as we take for granted, he is a generous sportsman is not satisfied with this, he is, we fear, man, he cannot remain long in that part of the Highnot likely to receive more information from his lands without hearing of her again, and still in a Highland guide ; while his imagination may be way to interest his feelings. As the courteous and farther excited by recollecting that this singular grateful, though poverty-stricken Highland matron name of the Tinker's Daughter is given to one of looks on the unwonted apparition of the “ Schellings the most remarkable of the pictures in a rare small Sassenach,” which unexpectedly relieve her extreme collection which the tourist, with some surprise at destitution, lying in her hand, she will, when supits locality, stumbles upon in a ducal hunting lodge plicating fervent blessings on the giver, exclaim in in the remote Highlands. This picture is one of her native language, in almost the words of a poor the few which, once seen, can never be forgotten. Irish woman, “Oh, sure ! —and this is to myself It is that of a girl in the dawn of womanhood, the blessing of Nighean Ceard.'" attired in a rich Celtic costume, though her This has become a sort of proverbial phrase, touching loveliness shows no decided feature of -to those who use it,—though its origin is comeither the Celtic or the Saxon race. The face of pletely lost, when a northern Highlander would exNighean Ceard is such a one as Raphael might have press the deepest sense of unexpected deliverance painted in what is termed his first manner, while from the extremity of his worst evils, hunger and his young untainted imagination still bodied forth cold. its pure ideal of youthful womanhood. It is one And this brings us to our tale. of those faces which makes the gazer forget its The state of the Highlands of Scotland, previous excess of loveliness as his soul drinks in the to 1745, and to the abolition of the hereditary judivine harmonies which breathe from it. The risdictions, had no parallel among the civilized fascinated beholder may gaze till a new idea communities of Europe. While that picturesque mistily arises, as if he viewed that angelic counte- state of society still retained all its boldness of nance through a different atmosphere ; as if an outline and fresh glow of colour, it happened, overshadowing cloud was gathering over those from peculiar circumstances, to attract the notice sweet eyes,-half veiled by their tender lids, and of the poet, Aaron Hill, who, after a life of consilooking down on the bridal ring—until he feel that derable vicissitude, spent amidst the bustle of the those “ dark unfathomable eyes” too surely- world, and in various and polished society, was Speak of peace to be o'erthrown,

plunged for a length of time into the very inner Another's first,-and then her own.

heart of the Highlands, considerably more than a The impression carried away from the contem- century ago. Mr Hill's business in a country then plation of this remarkable picture, by persons of reckoned more wild and dangerous than the forests imagination and sensibility, will probably be a and savannahs stretching between the Atlantic restless curiosity, not untinged with melancholy; and the great Pacific oceans are considered at the especially when they learn that the Tinker's present day, was to superintend the cutting down Daughter was a Saxon lady, fragments of whose of those native forests, whose timber and bark had mournful history are still floating in the broken become an object of speculation to several compatraditions of the Northern Highlands.

nies of English merchants. No man could have On each side of the picture of Nighean Ceard been found better fitted for the enterprise. Hill hangs a portrait,—the three seeming to complete a was, by constitution, a projector — sanguine and historical group. One of them is described by the speculative. He also possessed the activity and housekeeper of the Hunting Lodge as the Chief of peculiar intelligence to whichbusiness alone Lochnaveen. It represents a very handsome young fashions men's minds; and few Englishmen of man, with the crisp golden locks, a complexion like that day could have carried the same sort of menthe opening apple-blossom, and the sapphire eyes, tal preparation into the semi-barbarous North. bright as a falcon's at gaze, which bespeak the Besides an extensive knowledge of life and letters, purest blood of Scandinavia, —of those valiant Ber- Hill had travelled for several years in Egypt, Paserkers and renowned Sea-Kings who conquered, lestine, and other Eastern countries; and if not and so long held regal possession of the islands and by natural inspiration, then by vocation he was a peninsula of Scotland, after having been expelled dramatist and a poet,—the John Galt, in short, of from every other part of the British coasts. The a hundred years since. other picture represents a man farther advanced in Hill saw, in all its romantic and fascinating aslife, and evidently of Celtic blood ; and if any one pects, a state of society which has since been often of our readers can remember John Kemble, thirty described ; the nobler and bolder lineaments fondly years since, classically arrayed in the Highland dwelt on, while those harsher features and dark garb, as he towered in his stately march across the shadings which fell under the eye of the Englishstage in the opening scene of “ Macbeth” to strains man, have been either dashed from the canvass, or of wild martial music, then Donald of the Dirk very lightly touched. stands before his mind's eye. Highland tradition Among the young persons whose imaginations bears that there were two distinct races of the tribe I caught fire from Mr Hill's enthusiastic descriptions of the wild grandeur of Highland scenery, them to be very sly—disturbed his ordinary fifteen the inspiration and pathos of Highland music and minutes' nap before going back to his shop presong, the patriarchal sway and feudal supremacy cisely at two o'clock, he told her rather gruffly of chieftains, and the bravery and devotedness of that he had something else to note, than either clans, was Sarah Bradshaw: “ The beautiful the eyes or noses of his customers. Sarah Bradshaw," as she was fondly called ; and “I dare say, my dear, it might be Lord John rarely has the epithet been more justly bestowed. Montacute. He is getting his aunt Lady Betty's Sarah was the only child of a wealthy London jewels set for his bride, Miss Courteney,” said Mrs goldsmith. She saw Mr Hill very frequently ; | Bridget Bradshaw, the sister of the goldsmith : for her father was a principal partner and director “ the family jewels go to the elder branch. All of the York Building Company; and ever the dis- the Montacute family are sandy-haired.” course between the imaginative girl and the ro- “ Sandy-haired, dear aunt! this was hair of mantic Aaron, was of dark pine forests, splintered sunbeams!” mountains, gleaming lakes, and winding glens, “ That- may be, my dear child, though I can't with the sprinkling of chiefs and ladies, deer, ca- say I ever saw hair like sunbeams, often as I have percailzie, and clansmen, necessary to give a living been employed in plaiting hair of all shades for interest to the poet's delineations. It was to Sa lockets, rings, and pins, for my grandfather, father, rah like reading Milton's Comus, or the most witch- and brother. BRADSHAWS & BRADSHAW is not a ing pages of Spenser's ethereal imaginings ; like firm of yesterday, Sarah : we can, I have heard living with Miranda in her enchanted island, or my poor father say, trace the company

almost

up wandering with Rosalind in the forest of Ardennes. to Shore, the husband of the unhappy Jane Shore Sarah could have envied Mr Hill his greenwood you have seen in Covent Garden, my love." life, his birchen bower by the margin of that en- Sarah heeded not her aunt's antiquities of the chanted lake, where the wild deer came to drink, firm : her fancy was still disporting with the and the cushat crooded, and where those lovely tangles of that “hair of sunbeams." * How noble melodies, of which she had picked up a few from and picturesque a figure were this—a hunter or an Aaron's whistling, rang all day to the maiden's archer among Mr Hill's wild-wood glens of the light toil, and the stroke of the woodman's axe on Highlands !” the old gray pines of that primeval forest.

The dignity and antiquity of the firm were, this In the window of the small withdrawing-room afternoon, quite lost on Sarah, though, in general, of a very small house in Lombard Street, and im- she entertained a becoming, if reasonable, value mediately over her father's shop, Sarah was seated for the consequence she derived from the great one fitfully bright April morning,-occupied, or wealth and the respectability of her long-estabseemingly occupied, in making up a head-dress lished family. for her aunt Mrs Bridget ; stealing, now a few lines In ordinary circumstances, a new dress, a drum, of the garden-scene in Romeo and Juliet, which --as a fashionable assembly was then called, -or lay open on her work-table, now a quick glance at a night's sleep, might have freed Sarah's fancy what gay dames and young cavaliers alighted from “the tangles” of the stranger's hair. The from their coaches, and entered the shop below, impression was not, however, effaced when Mr and one more furtive at the large mirror, which Hill on this evening appeared, self-invited, as he reflected her whole petite figure, and all the sub- often did, at Mrs Bridget's tea-table; to which, stantial luxuries and tasteful decorations of her indeed, his chief attraction was the sweetness, gay and pretty apartment — not more gay and sprightliness, and romance of a charming young pretty than its youthful mistress, as she sprang woman, whom he had known from her infancy, up, and, screening herself behind the drapery of a and loved as if she had been his favourite niece, rich window-curtain, stole a yet closer view of the or younger sister, and whose romantic tendencies very handsome young man- a young gentleman he had helped to inspire and foster, and, above all, of very striking figure, indeed,” was her mental who understood and listened to him with evident reflection—whom her father followed to the shop- pleasure. door, and held there for a few seconds in earnest “Ah, ha, sparkler! I have caught something conversation. A profusion of golden, short curly worth showing you at last. I give you three hair, breaking round a face of the richest bloom, a guesses, fair Sarah: what is it, now?" nose slightly aquiline, and the small delicate “ Verses to the air I played you last night ?-I mouth, and round, cleft chin of an Apollo, tempted know the wares you deal in, good uncle. Perthe maiden to a yet nearer inspection, when “the chance your last ode to tear up into nice crispy hawking eye,” the bright, sapphire, piercing eye, papillotes; a fresh pot of mignionette for my appropriate to such a face and complexion, pounced cockney-balcony; or a mandarin, or other China upon the peeping damsel, and, with a heightened monster, for my chimney-piece ?-No bounds to colour and slight flutter of nerves, Sarah drew your bounty, I know,” said Sarah, laughing. back as the young man very slightly touched his “Nor to your gratitude, my saucy mistress ; at hat to her.

least since I presented you, fifteen years ago, with Mr. Bradshaw, at dinner,—then taken by Lon- that little gilt Dutch-built husband of sugar-paste, don citizens at the fashionable hour of one o'clock, at Bartlemy Fair, which you crushed to pieces in —could recollect of no gentleman who wore his a pretty rage, because it did not speak and look “ own curling, golden hair without powder;" and like a right true man.' I have caught you a as Sarah's sly interrogatories—for she intended right true man' to-day, Sarah,—one of the finestooking fellows I ever met with in any country,– with his stately presence. “In London, however, Lochnaveen, a north-western chief: a real, live dwindled into plain Mr M.Ranald of Lochnaveen," Highland chief, Sarah.”

continued Mr Hill. “ He ought to be welcome “ Heavens!” cried Sarah, dropping the Mechlin at every fireside in England, whose hospitable castle frill at which she plaited.

door was never yet shut against the stranger of Mr Hill smiled at what he imagined the effects any land.” of his former poetical discourses on the Highlands ; Mistress Bridget curtsied to the lowest dip of and old Bradshaw, rubbing his eyes, said, half- Queen Anne's last drawing-room, and Sarah, lookawake, “ Oh, ay, true !-Lochnaveen do you calling very demure, in spite of Mr Hill's intelligent him? That is the sandy-haired young gentleman glance, which she studiously evaded, bended in you saw to-day, Sarah. Get us tea, child.” courtesy like a Clarissa Harlowe; and was rather

Sarah needed not this information : instinctively relieved that the chief did not particularly notice she knew that the Highland chief and the golden- her. It was an escape. haired stranger were the same individual. Des- “I had the pleasure of seeing the gentleman in tiny-presentiment—all the romantic machinery My Shop, this morning,” said old Bradshaw sturof incipient passion- were already at work in the dily. He could not undertake the pronunciation fluttering bosom of the goldsmith's daughter. Her of Highland names nor titles. “I give him a fate went far to prove that their mysterious fore- hearty welcome to a plain London citizen's fireside, shadowings may sometimes be more than a jest. -to a castle, if you will, friend Aaron,-every

“Don't be in such haste mustering your cockle- Englishman's house is his castle.” shells, Sarah,” said Mr Hill. “I took the free- The young chief would have belied his birth and dom, as my friend Lochnaveen is quite a stranger his country, had he, when temper served, wanted in London, and, I dare say, tired enough of his so- I tact,—a quality how inferior to intellect, how diflitary coffee-house, to ask him to take tea with | ferent from humanity, though often mistaken for Mistress Bridget. We must not deny the rites them. of hospitality to the most hospitable people on “ Chiefs and clans !" said he, with a slight smile, earth : besides, we have our oak-bark business to nonsense every where, but nonentities in Engtalk over, you remember, Mr Bradshaw ?”

land! I am astonished that Mr Hill can have Old Mr Bradshaw, though rather disposed to loaded his memory with the trash of bardic resent this inroad on his domestic privacy, received rhymes and clannish genealogies! To me, Mr his guest with that sort of gruff, blunt, but hearty Bradshaw, no birth nor growth is at present of civility, which well enough became the indepen- half so inuch consequence as that of my oakdent and wealthy London tradesman.

sticks, and my two-year-old stirks. This droving Mr Hill had several motives in forcing the in- promises well for us.” troduction of Lochnaveen upon the London citizen. “ Come! the young Scot is not so very ramLike most human motives they were oddly enough pant a fool, after all,” thought old Bradshaw. mixed and tangled. He wished to show the already “ I won't call my young friend an egregious half-enlightened chief, whose bold, noble bearing hypocrite," thought Aaron ; " yet in the halls of and manly character he admired, that there were M Raonull, six inches of the ready steel of my other other worlds not inferior to that in which his friend Donhuil nam Biodag (Donald of the Dirk) towering pride and absurd prejudices had been had requited that speech, if seriously uttered by formed and fostered. Aaron, the philosopher, Saxon lips; ay, and no questions asked, -no‘crowwished to contemplate the pride of hereditary ner’s-’quest law' to interfere, nor any other law.” wealth, (Bradshaw being, as Mrs Bridget said, no During this conversation, Sarah, not yet seated, new name in trade,) conflicting with the pride of had been arranging and disarranging the beautiful Highland aristocracy,—aristocracy in this case in little filigree tea-china, which might have been the pure abstract ; for both Mr Hill and a certain made for the use of the fairy-court; and which, Bhalie Hossack, factor and factotum of Lochnaveen, long afterwards, found an honoured place among knew how little real and tangible metallic substance | the treasures of Strawberry-hill, as the Bradshaw swelled out into that enormous magnitude which Porcelain. She had not spoken one word, and the young chief occupied in his own esteem, and in was relieved to find that she still passed unnoticed the fond conceit of his clan. Nor were these Mr by the chief. Yet intensely did she hang on every Hill's sole motives in bringing about this acquain- syllable he uttered ; and at his equivocal and tance. The poet longed to witness the effect pro- depreciating sentiment her sweetly-murmured induced by his handsome high-born hero of the voluntary half deprecating whisper of —“ Ah, 10, Highlands upon his romantic city heroine,—to test, sure!” made him look hastily round. if it were indeed true that there might be more “ The hawking eye,” was again all abroad over genuine nobility of nature, more of genius and the lovely and suddenly-crimsoned face. feeling, and of the finer essence of humanity, in a Sarah now, in deep confusion, played off and on London shopkeeper's daughter, than animated the with one of the richly jewelled rings she wore. It mind and warmed the heart of the lofty far-de- slipped from the slender finger on the Turkey scended scion of heroes and bards.

carpet ; and the young chief, with that deference “ Mac Mic Raonull, the Chief of the clan to her sex and personal charms, to which neither Raonull,” said Aaron, gravely and formally in- birth nor wealth gave her any claim with him, troducing his friend into the snug city drawing- stooped, recovered, and gracefully presented it to room, which, to the ladies, appeared at once filled the deeply blushing owner; his genial vanity not

!

[ocr errors]

a little gratified by the maidenly, bashful flutter Bradshaw, though a man of plain character and of her whom he recognised as the peeping girl of manners himself, was fully sensible of the claims old Bradshaw's window,

he possessed from his wealth and standing; a quaMac Mic Raonull had the catholic taste of a lity at any time equivalent to station in his regard. Highlander, and was, moreover, just of the age He would, besides, have thought, that to have his to admire beauty and womanly fascination, where only child, and heiress, arrayed with less cost ever he found them,-ay, even in “ a Tinker's than she exhibited, was defrauding the commerce Daughter;" for such, in the pride of his Highland and arts of the country of the encouragement due blood, prejudices, and education, appeared to him to them from a man of his fortune. The costly the beautiful Sarah Bradshaw.

diamond pendants that glittered, half-concealed, Exquisitely beautiful she certainly appeared, through those silky ringlets, — the diamond and of a style of beauty as new to the chief as buckles of the embroidered slippers that sheathed were to her his fine form, his golden hair, and those slender feet which glowing complexion.

“Like little mice crept out and in," The scandalous chronicle of either the ward of below the full drapery of the rich brocaded pettiCripplegate, or Farringdon Without, bore, that coat, came in for their full share of the admiration there was some trifling mixture of Hebrew blood of our young chief, though the loveliness of the in the family of the rich goldsmith. Mistress wearer predominated. Bridget, however, stoutly maintained what was “ Could life and health be shut up in so slender probably the simple truth, that the beautiful fo- and delicate a form ?” came to be his mental reign wife of her ancestor, Nathaniel Bradshaw, question ; and he soon learned that life, and health, was a Venetian girl of pure Christian blood, that and gaiety, fine talents, uncommon generosity and had eloped with the young Englishman, who, sweetness of nature, and, above all, a true woman's for a year or two, had studied some nice branch heart, capable of the deepest and most passionate of his art under the tuition of her father.

attachment, were all enshrined in that most deliAs has sometimes been observed in greater fa- cate shape. Such knowledge was not acquired all milies, the beauty of the Venetian girl, after a at once ; and, like many mortal lessons, if it came slumber of two generations, broke out with aug- not too late to benefit, it came far too late to bless. mented splendour and more finished delicacy, in “Is not this a noble specimen of the Highland her granddaughter, Sarah. The fine painting chief, fair Sarah ?” said Mr Hill, when Lochnaby Sir Peter Lely, in his best days, to which Mr. veen and her father withdrew. “ Here is a man, Hill now directed the attention of the chief, now, absolutely worth a fine woman's falling in might, indeed, have been taken for the portrait of love with.” Miss Bradshaw. The resemblance was striking Sarah, though not, in general, the most silent of and true to the most minute particulars; even to damsels, at least with her adopted uncle, Mr Hill, the small and delicately formed hands and feet, made no reply. the long, slender, swan-like neck, and the arch “I protest, Mr Hill, ” said Mrs Bridget, sidelong expression of the up-turned side-face; but “ Mr Makmakrandluk is, besides being handsome how could the painter's art represent those eyes, enough, that is, for a man,—and I think, my dear, deep and dark as midnight, yet swimming so softly it must have been him you saw this morning in humid brilliancy, or the delicious languid move- “I don't think it was,” said Sarah, with quickments of the nymph-like figure, and all the bends ness of manner, and mental hesitation. and graceful undulations of that small finely-shaped “I meant to observe, Mr Hill, that Mr Makhead, so unlike in their light contours to the mukrandluk, besides being handsome enough for a massive northern beauties which Lochnaveen had gentleman, is a very well-bred man indeed; that is, been accustomed to admire ? What a heaven of never to have lived in Lon'on. I expected to breathing loveliness was comprised within that see something like the Indian kings my poor little face, which he could have covered with his mother visited, of which we read in Mr Addison's broad fair hand. Lochnaveen could less readily in- Spectators. Fie! then, Mr Hill, the gentleman terpret the varying expression which often glanced does not wear that short chequered petticoat, forth the living soul of that beautiful countenance. which would, indeed, have been extremely awkward,

In the fashion of that day, Sarah's hair was not to say indecorous towards my niece and mydrawn

up from her fair forehead; but, in defiance self, had any gentleman appeared before us in of fashion, a few stray ringlets, of a rich, warm, such unseemly attire.” deep brown, shaded her temples and neck, and were “No, no, my dear Mrs Bridget, -I only whispartly tucked back behind the small shell-like pered that probability exactly as he was announcrose-tipped ears. Whether it be true or not that ed, to put you on your guard in case of the worst. all semi-barbarians are fond of “baubles” and I cannot, though,” he added archly, “ imagine glitter, and that even the chiefs of the Gael were what frightened pretty Sarah; she could not have at that period little better than bold warlike semi-overheard my alarming whisper.” barbarians, it must be owned that the rich orna- “Don't call me pretty Sarah any more, if you ments of Nighean Ceard, or “the Goldsmith's or please, sir,” said Sarah, half pouting, “ you forget Tinker's Daughter,” * came in for their full share that I grow old now.” of the Highlander's admiration.

“ Indeed !” cried Hill smiling with meaning. Highland pride had no other name for those who trafficked

But, my good Mr Hill,” said Mistress Bridget, in gold, and acted as the bankers of that age, than Tinker. as English women, - celebrated over the whole

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

globe for their extreme delicacy and modesty,- | English nobility at that period than they have since the bare idea of drinking tea in the same room become. And Mr Bradshaw had, at all events,even with a gentleman in a-a-petticoat — a short then, too much sterling sturdy pride and English petticoat !-to my niece and me—”

good-sense, to be ambitious of a noble alliance for his “ Lochnaveen would be shocked to offend your heiress, though he might have suspected his daughdelicacy, madam. He leaves his philibeg at home, ter herself of such a weakness. But that she, the along with several other of his national habits, darling of a circle of wealthy kindred, and his beeven more exceptionable, perhaps, than this oflend- loved child and sole heiress, should place her affecing garment — which, by the way, the chiefs tions on a red-shank-a Highland Scot-someseldom wear. Their costume is the truis, a long thing far more wild and outlandish than a mere light pantaloon and stocking in one piece. I as Scot-appeared as improbable as if she had actually sure you, Sarah, if you saw my friend Mac Mic fallen in love with the leader of a predatory Arab Raonull in his native tartans, with his pistols' tribe, or with one of Mistress Bridget's Indian and skiendhu in his belt, and the brechan plume kings. dancing in his bonnet, you would see a fine fellow. Had the passion been mutual, this feeling of With his foot on the Rock of the Gathering, the astonishment was not likely to be confined to the war-pipe and the cry of ‘Craigdhu’ringing in his goldsmith :— The clan, the proud kinsmen; above ears, and his clan trooping in and mustering round all, the mother of the chief, would have been as little him, Ranald looks twice the man he appears in prepared to see him bear home, as a bride, the London streets,-as mighty a difference as is be daughter of the veritable Irish tinker who strolltween the imprisoned eagle and the noble bird ed in his valleys, as the heiress of a Saxon hovering free above his mountain eyrie.”

churl, however rich-a London tinker. Her lan“He looks the noble chieftain even here,” thought guage had no appellation to distinguish between Sarah,—and she said aloud, “ Is it not mortifying these professions ; nor, in Highland minds of that to hear this gentleman, with his proud, brave looks day, was there a shade of difference, save that the and lofty port,—with the exterior of one born to “ Saxon caird” might possess a little more pelf, command, and to lead on his fellows to noble and I an excellent commodity when it could be obtained chivalrous deeds, and to whom high thoughts from the Southron by strength of arm, or sleight should be native and familiar-lessen and scorn at of hand; but to gain which no man, boasting the his natural advantages. Oh, if I were the head of name of Raonull, could be so utterly base as to one of these brave tribes !” —And the enthusiastic degrade his blood by matrimonial alliance. girl clasped her hands.

The young chief of the clan Raonull was a “ You would be the thing in the world the most posthumous child. He owed his very existence to unlike this chieftain's mother, Sarah,” said Aaron, the prejudices of country and birth. The vast smiling, “ Nighean Donachd Ruadhor the daughter and unproductive mountain estates had fallen to of Red Duncan—is a proper Tartar—who would a female, worthy to have inherited a male fief; to make less of a man's life, who chanced to offend have led clans to battle; and better fitted to wield her, than your cook would of a live lobster for pistol and dagger than spindle and distaff. Rather fish-sauce. And, pardon the chief, my pretty old late in life, and solely upon reasons of state, Sarah! No man breathing has a loftier notion of Nighean Donachd Ruadh, in preference to every the dignities and immunities of his High Mighti- other suitor, had married a distant kinsman, an ness, Mac Mic Raonull, than has Master Ran- idle, handsome, good-for-nothing fellow, who, by a ald. I don't know whether to smile or admire, rapid succession of deaths, was left the chief of his when I know that in his secret heart, and with clan, though laird of only his dogs and fowlinggreat natural shrewdness, and even a sort of half- piece. He died, or was killed it was never well civilized education to boot, my friend does, at this ascertained which-in a brawl, at a bridal, a few moment, consider himself at least twice as good a months after his marriage. The chieftainess asman as the King of England, or, as he would say, sembled the elders of the tribe, and declared her the Elector of Hanover. You admired his ease of resolution, if her expected child was not a male, manners, Mistress Bridget :-1 assure you Lochna- to marry, next in order, Donhuil nam Biodag, the veen would be quite as much at home in the court present male representative of the tribe. of St James' as in your drawing-room. You Donald of the Dirk, then a mere stripling, was, cannot surmise, my dear Sarah, what an im- by the birth of Ranald, disappointed of the matrimensely great man a Highland chief is ; and, like monial honour thus intended him; but next to whales and krakens, and such like monsters, the the boy.chief in influence as in rank, he lived the farther north—the nearer the pole they are—the guardian of young Ranald's person, and of the more swollen and huge do we find them.”

honour of the clan ; that homage and reverence Sarah permitted Mr Hill to smile, or scoff, if he being paid to his blood to which fortune gave him chose:—she admired with earnest reverence. “This no claim. His skill in the chase — for the country was the true nobility-independent of every thing still abounded with game of all kinds—furnished extrinsic; this was native grandeur of soul.” his only ostensible means of living. Most of his Sarah saw that soul through a woman's eyes in days were passed in the solitude of the mountains, her friend's animated pictures of the stirring where he stalked the deer, feeding an enthusiastic pibroch, the thrilling war-cry, the thronging clans- fancy on inspiring traditions of the past glory of men, and, above all, the handsome young chief. his race, or amusing his loneliness with the wild

· City marriages were much rarer among the I songs and poetry which he composed in honour of

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »