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sun was shining brightly, and the sky was bluer
than the sapphire in the high-priest's breast-

But I did not wake to suit the day. I opened
my eyes rith such wonder to see it so bright
and careless, with such a load of heaviness,
such vague regret that I had waked at all; and,
of course, my first thought was Bert.

The storm had been a brief one, it seemed,
sweeping swift and furious; possibly Bert's
boat might have been beyond its belt, and
have known but little of it. Yet that was
hardly likely, and I tried to brace myself for
the worst, and prayed I don't know how long
it was since I had said my prayers for strength


to receive the blow I feared, and which would
be a blow, come how it might, as only fit pun-
ishment for my wickedness, or, if not as punish-
ment, at least as only the taking from me that
of which I had proved unworthy. I to have
thought any evil of my Bert, with his soul as
white and clear as that window-pane that let
my glance through into the heavens!

And so all that morning I lay there, not
saying a word, never dropping into a doze, but
listen ing, listening at every pore for a step that
did not come; and, though I lay like a log in
my listening, inwardly I fretted and fumed
and fidgeted, and my head burned and my
heart beat like a leaf in the wind. And when
the doctor ran up stairs he said it would never
do in the world, I was getting into a high fever;
I must take a draught he mixed, and go to
sleep; and so I did, with my baby in my arms.
And when I woke up, there sat Bert beside
me, with one cool hand grasping both my hot

"Oh, Bert," I said, feebly, closing my eyes
again, "is it really you this time? If you are
going to go again gr before I open my eyes,
and it won't be so hard."

"Ay, my darling! " he cried, with his great,
hearty voice. "Who else should it be? But
it came precious near never being "

"Oh, Bert, weren't you really here last night,

"Here last night? Sady, that's just what
I've been asking myself. But no neither
here nor anywhere else."

"Dear Bert, you must have had such a
dreadful night!"

He didn't speak then, but he lifted my hands
and kissed them my little hard hands. It
meant that I had had a dreadful night too.

Just then mother came in with some decoc-
tion; she had seen Bert before. "Now you
mustn't get her all excited again with your
talk, Bert, my dear," said she. "Here you can
give her this gruel, while I take up my grandson.
Bless his little heart nobody taking a bit of
notice of him! I suppose you've been home
and found all safe, Bert?" she added.

"No, I haven't," replied he. " I knew Sady
was over here I don't know how I knew it,
but I did and I just made sail in this direc-

" Weren't you surprised when you saw that
little head on the pillow]"

"Not at all," said Bert, crossing over to in-
spect, for the hundredth time or so, the rosy
collection of fists and feet on her lap. " I knew
it was there, and I knew it was a boy. I was
saying it was a boy when I came to. "

" Came to?" repeated mother and I together.

"Oh yes. You haven't heard, of course.
Why, I came as near laying my bones where
the old anchors lie last night "


"Yes, really. Now I'm safe," said he, "and,
if you won't flush up and worry, I'll tell you
about it."

"I'll worry a great deal more if you don't
tell me," murmured I.

"Yes, Bert," said mother.

"Well, this is all, and it isn't much. There
was a schooner wabbling round out there in
the bay, as clearly as we could make out in the
scud and snow, as if every soul on board had
lost their heads; and we came to the conclusion
that, whether she wanted a pilot or not, she
needed one, or she'd be splinters and saw-dust
on the channel islands before morning. And
after a little, feeling desperate and wicked,
and hardly caring what happened, I set out for
her. And I think I'd have made her, for I've
ridden rougher water than that in my canoe,
only just at the last minute I remembered a
paper in the cabin with the list of the Assyria's
passengers in it, and my heart melted, and I
thought I'd be in town in a couple of hours,
and I thought if I showed that to you, Sady,
and showed you that there was no such name
as Kate Davenant's "

"Why, of course there wasn't, Bert!" I in-
terrupted. " It would have been her hus-

"Her husband's?" asked Bert, turning on
me his great brown eyes in a wondering way.
"Kate married, Sady, and yet you could "

"Oh don't, dear Bert! Don't say anything
more about it!" I exclaimed in a tremor. "I
was out of my head I must have been! And
you forgave me for it all last night "

"That is it, exactly," said Bert, solemnly,
while mother's eyes grew round and rounder;
"I did. And you, Sady, did you forgive me,
then, for having flashed off yesterday afternoon
in that rage?"

"Yesterday? It seems a year ago. Oh, I
never can forgive myself, Bert!"

"There, there, children," said mother.

"Well, as I was saying," continued Bert, in
a moment, "I made for the paper, and found
it, and sprang along up with it, and jumped
into the canoe. And just then there came one
of those seas that run every eighth or tenth
wave in a gale, and before we could lift an oar
it had roared and raced after us, and had reared
and fallen, and the boat had swamped under us,
crushing up like paper, and I had gone down
in the icy water with it, the whole tempest



booming in my ears, and the weight of the whole
ocean on my head; and when I came to the
top again I could see the row of wild faces just
above the lights which the men were swinging
over the side, and I shouted for a line and a
lantern on it, and out it flew, and I caught it
just as I was washing by, and contrived to get
it fast under my arms, and give the word to
haul me in. And then, as they were pulling
hand over hand, there came a hitch, a grasp
slipped in the confusion for everybody had a
different order to give the boat pitched, and
Morris lost his footing on the wet planks; and
I felt myself going, and called to them again,
and then I was sucked under and under; and
when they laid me on the deck at last there
was no more life in me than in a log."

"Oh, Bert!" I cried, starting up, and quite
forgetting for the instant that it was all over
now, at any rate.

"There! lie right down again and keep still,
or I'll let you guess the rest. Don't you see
I'm alive?" said he, laughing. "For they
lugged me down below, and worked away on
me with hot blankets and rum and hartshorn
and the like, and still I lay as dead as a pelt,
to all appearance, and they were just giving
me up, when one of them dropped the hartshorn
and spilled it up my nostrils; and suddenly,
with a start and a shudder, and saying over
and over, 'It's a boy, it's a boy,' I opened my
eyes, and presently was all right, and brought
that schooner up to town after all, though I
can't rightly say that I've got over the tingle
of that hartshorn yet. And I was just as well
aware, Sady, of having been in your mother's
house that time while they were working over
my body of having hunted for you at home,
of having found you here, of having seen my
child, as I am of the same at this moment.
And I swear I don't understand it!" said Bert,
getting up and setting down the gruel I hadn't
touched, and coming back again. " It's been
buzzing about my brain, the puzzle of it, all
the morning. What is a drop of brandy, a
sniff of vinegar, a touch of hot flannel, that
they should breathe the breath of life into my
nostrils'! When my soul had left my body,
how did hartshorn, even that whole battery of
it that Ben opened at once, call it back again]
Suppose I hadn't smelled it then dead as a
pelt I should have remained; and what differ-
ence does a little camphor and vinegar make
to my immortal spirit, I should like to know?
And I'd ask, if they can make souls out of salts,
why they don't sell them over the druggists'
counters by George I would! if it wasn't
that mine crossed the water and came out here

and up into this very room, and saw you, and
heard you, and kissed you, Sady!"

"Bert," said mother, with great dignity,
having a feeling that this was talk Deacon
Kemp would have pronounced unsafe, "you
are enough to drive Sady into a delirium, if
you're not in one yourself "

"Oh, Bert, I'm so glad," I said, without
waiting for the rest, "to think that when your
soul was free it travelled straight to me! And
I'll promise, oh, I'll promise to try and be a
good wife after this "

" You are now," said he, "the best of wives."
"Oh, I will be, Bert, as long as I live!"
"And afterward," whispered Bert, over my
head, "when we're ghosts together?"
"Always, Bert. For ever and ever."



Margarita first possess'd,

If I remember well, my breast,

Margarita first of all ;
But when awhile the wanton maid
With my restless heart had play'd,

Martha took the flying ball.

Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catherine.

Beauteous Catherine gave place
(Though loath and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)

To Eliza's conquering face.

Eliza till this hour might reign,
Hud she not evil counsels ta'en.

Fundamental law she broke,
And still new favourites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,

And cast away her yoke.

Mary then, and gentle Anne,
Both to reign at once began ;

Alternately they sway'd;
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,

And sometimes both I obey'd.

Another Mary then arose,
And did rigorous laws impose ;

A mighty tyrant she !
Long, alas ! should I have been
Under that iron-sceptred queen,

Had not Rebecca set me free.



When fair Rebecca set me free,
'Twns then a golden time with me :

But soon these pleasures fled;
For the gracious princess died,
In her youth and beauty's pride,

And Judith reigned in her stead.

One month, three days, and half-an-hour,
Judith held the sovereign power:

Wondrous beautiful her face !
But so weak and small her wit,
That she to govern was unfit,

And so Susanna took her place.

But when Isabella came,
Arin'd with a resistless flame,

And th' artillery of her eye ;
Whilst she proudly march'd about,
Greater conquests to find out,

She beat out Susan by-the-by.

But in her place I then obey'd
Black-eyed Bess, her viceroy-maid ;

To whom ensued a vacancy :
Thousand worse passions then possess'd
The interregnum of my breast ;

Bless me from such an anarchy !

Gentle Henrietta then,

.'And a third Mary, next began ;

Then Joan, and Jane, and Andria ;
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Catherine,

Aud then a long et cetera.

But should I now to you relate

The strength and riches of their state;

The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbons, jewels, and the rings.
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,

That made up all their magazines ;

If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts;

The letters, embassies, and spies,
The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries,
The quarrels, tears, and perjuries

(Numberless, nameless, mysteries !)

And all the little lime-twigs laid,
By Machiavel the waiting-maid ;

I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly if I like them should tell
All change of weathers that befell)

Than Holinshed or Stow.

But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.

An higher and a nobler strain
My present empress does claim,
Ueleonora, first o' th' name;

Whom God grant long to reign !



Not very long ago, one William Laid law, a
sturdy Borderer, went on an excursion to a
remote district in the Highlands of Scotland.
He was a tall and very athletic man, remark-
ably active, and matchless at cudgel-playing,
running, wrestling, and other exercises, for
which the Borderers have been noted from
time immemorial. To his other accomplish-
ments he added an excellent temper, was full
of good-humour, and a most capital bottle-
companion. Most of our modern travellers
would have performed the greater part of the
journey he undertook in a steam-boat, a stage-
coach, or some such convenience ; but he pre-
ferred going on foot, without any companion
excepting an old oaken cudgel, which had been
handed down to him from several generations,
and which, by way of fancy, had been christ-
ened ' Knock-him-down.' With this trusty
friend in his hand, and fifty pounds sterling
in his pocket, he found himself, by the fourth
day, in one of the most dismal glens of the
Highlands. It was by this time nightfall,
and both William's appetite and limbs told
him it was high time to look about for a place
of repose, having, since six in the morning,
walked nearly fifty English miles.

Now, the question which employed his cogi-
tations at this moment was, whether lie should
proceed, at the risk of losing his way among
the bogs and morasses for which this district
is famed, or remain till daybreak where he
was? Both expedients were unpleasant, and
it is difficult to say which he would have
adopted, when, about a mile to the left, a
glimmering among the darkness attracted his
notice. It might have been a " Will-o'-wisp,"
or the light of some evil spirit at its midnight
orgies ; but whatever the cause might be, it
decided Mr. Laidlaw as to his further opera-
tions. He did not reflect a moment upon the
matter, but exercising "Knock-him-down" in
its usual capacity of walking assistant, he
found himself in a few minutes alongside the
spot from which the light proceeded. It was
a highland cottage, built after the usual fash-
ion, partly of stone and partly of turf ; but
without examining too minutely the exterior of
the building, he applied the stick to the door
with such a degree of force as he conceived
necessary to arouse the inmates.

" Wha's there?" cried a shrill voice, like that
of an old woman; "what Avant ye at this hour
of the night?"



" I want lodging, honest woman, if such a
thing is to be got."

"Na, na," replied the inmate, "you can get
nae lodging here. Neither gentle nor simple
shall enter my house this night. Gang on
your ways, you're no aboon five miles frae the
clachan of Ballacher."

" Five deevils ! " exclaimed the Borderer ; " I
tell you I have walked fifty miles already, and
could as soon find out Johnny Groat's as the

"Walk fifty more, then," cried the obstinate
portress; "but here you downa enter, while I
can keep you out. "

"If you come to that, my woman," said Wil-
liam, "we shall soon settle the point. In
plain language, if you do not let me in wi'
your gude-will, I shall enter without it," and
with that he laid his shoulder to the door, with
the full intention of storming the fortress. A
whispering within made him pause a moment.

"And must I let him in?" murmured the old
woman to some one who seemed in the interior.

' 'Yes, ' ' answered a half-suppressed voice ; " he
may enter he is but one, and we are three
a lowland tup, I suppose."

The door was slowly opened. The person
who performed this unwilling act was a woman
apparently above seventy, haggard, and bent
by an accumulation of infirmity and years. Her
face was pale, malignant, and wrinkled, and
her little sharp peering eyes seemed like those
of the adder to shoot forth evil upon whom-
soever she gazed. As William entered, he
encountered this aged sybil, her natural hid-
eousness exposed full to his gaze by the little
rush-light she held up above her head, the
better to view the tall Borderer.

" You want a night's lodging, say you? Ay,
nae doubt, like many others frae the south,
come to trouble honest folks."

"There's nae need to talk about troubling,"
said Laidlaw. " If you have trouble, you
shall be paid for it; and since you are pleased,
my auld lady, to talk about the south, let me
say a word of the north. I have got money in
my pouch to pay my way wherever I go, and
this is mair than some of your bonnie Highland
lairds can say. Here it lies, my lady!" and he
struck with the palm of his hand the large and
well -replenished pocket-book, which bulged
out from his side.

"I want nane of your money," said the old
crone, her eyes nevertheless sparkling with a
malicious joy; "walk in; you will have the
company of strangers for the night."

He followed her advice, and went to the end
of the cottage, near which, upon the floor,


blazed a large fire of peat. There was ne
grate, and for chimney, a hole in the roof
sufficed, through which the smoke ascended in
large volumes. Here he saw the company
mentioned by the sybil. It consisted of three
men, of the most fierce and savage aspect.
Two of them were dressed as sailors, the third
in a sort of Highland garb. He had never
seen any persons who had so completely the air
of desperadoes. The two first were dark in
their complexions, their black bushy beards
apparently unshorn for many weeks. Their
expressions were dark and ominous, and bespoke
spirits within which had been trained up in
crime. Nor were the red locks of the third,
and his fiery countenance, and sharp, cruel
eyes, less appalling, and less indicative of evil.

So near an intercourse with such people, and
under these circumstances, would have thrown
a chill over most hearts; but William Laid-
law was naturally a stranger to fear, and, at
any rate, his great strength gave him a confid-
ence which it was very difficult to shake; he had,
besides, a most unbounded confidence in scien-
tific cudgel-playing, and in the virtues of
" Knock-him-down."

These three men were seated around the
fire ; and when our traveller came alongside of
them, and saluted them, not one returned his
salutation. Each sat in dogged silence. If
they deigned to recognize him, it was by looks
of ferocious sternness, and these looks were
momentary, for they instantly relapsed into
their former state of sullen apathy.

William was at this time beset by two most
unfortunate inclinations. He had an incorri-
gible desire, first, to speak, and secondly, to eat;
and never had any propensities come upon a
man so malapropos. He sat for a few min-
utes absolutely nonplussed about the method
of gratifying them. At length, after revolving
the matter deeply in his mind, he contrived to
get out with the following words :

" I have been thinking, gudewife, that
something to eat is very agreeable when a
body is hungry." No answer.

"I have been thinking, mistress, that when
a man is hungry he is the better of something
to eat." No answer.

"Did you hear what I was saying, mis-

"Perfectly weel."

"And what is your opinion of the matter?"

"My opinion is, that a hungry man is the
better of being fed." Such was the old dame's
reply; and he thought he could perceive a
smile of bitter ridicule curl up the savage lips
of his three neighbours.



"Was there ever such an auld hag?" thought
the yeoman to himself. "There she sits at
her wheel, and cares nae mair for a fellow-
creature than I would for a dead sheep."

" Mistress," continued he, "I see you will
not tak' hints. I maun then tell you plainly
that I am the next door to starvation, and that
I will thank you for something to eat. "

This produced the desired effect, for she in-
stantly got up from her wheel, went to a cup-
board, and produced a plentiful supply of cold
venison, bread and cheese, together with a large
bottle full of the finest whisky.

William now felt quite at his ease. Putting
" Knock-him-down" beside him, and planting
himself at the table, he commenced operations
in a style that would have done honour to
Friar Tuck himself. Venison, bread and
cheese, disappeared like magic. So intently
did he keep to his occupation, that he neither
thought nor cared about any other object.

Everything which came under the denomi-
nation of eatable having disappeared from the
table, he proceeded to discuss the contents of
the black bottle which stood by. He probably
indulged rather freely in this respect, for
shortly after commencing he became very
talkative, and seemed resolved, at all risks, to
extract conversation from his mute companions.

" You will be in the smuggling trade,frien'?"
said he, slapping the shoulder of one of his
dark-complexioned neighbours. The fellow
started from his seat, and looked upon the Bor-
derer with an expression of anger and menace,
but he was suddenly quieted by one of his com-
panions, who whispered into his ear, "Hush,
Roderick; never mind him; the time is not
yet come."

" I was saying, frien'," reiterated Laidlaw,
without perceiving this interruption, "that
you will be in the smuggling trade?"

" Maybe I am," was the fellow's answer.

"And you are a fish of the same water?"
continued William to the second, who nodded

"And you, frien', wi' the red hair, what are

" Hutnph. "

"Humph!" cried the Borderer: "that is
one way of answering questions humph, ay
humph, very good : ha, ha, your health, Mr.
Humph!" and he straightway swallowed an-
other glass of the potent spirit.

These three personages, during the whole of
his various harangues, preserved the same un-
changed silence, replying to his broken and
unconnected questions by nods and monosyl-
lables. They even held no verbal communi- [

cation with one another, but each continued
apparently within himself the thread of his
own gloomy meditations. The night by this
time waxed late; the spirit began to riot a
little in the Borderer's head; and concluding
that there was no sociality among persons who
would neither drink nor speak, he quaffed off a
final glass, and dropped back on his chair.

How long he remained in this state cannot
be known. Certain it is, he was rather sud-
denly awakened from it by a hand working its
way cautiously and gently into his bosom. At
first he did not know what to make of this :
his ideas were as yet unrallied, and by a sort
of instinct he merely pressed his left hand
against the spot by way of resistance. The
same force continuing, however, to operate as
formerly, he opened his eyes, and saw himself
surrounded by the three strangers. The red-
haired ruffian was the person who had aroused
him the two others, one of them armed with
a cutlass, stood by, William was so astonished
at this scene, that he could form no opinion on
the subject. His brain still rung with the
strange visions that had crossed it, and with
the influence of intoxication.

" I am thinking, honest man, that you are
stealing my pocket-book," was the first ejacu-
lation he got out with, gazing at the same time
with a bewildered look on the plunderer.

" Down with the villain!" thundered one of
these worthies at the same instant; " and you,
sir," brandishing his cutlass over the Bor-
derer's head, "resist, and I will cleave you to
the collar.''

This exclamation acted like magic upon
Laidlaw; it seemed to sober him in an instant,
and point out his perilous situation.

The trio had rushed upon him, and attempted
to hold him down. Now or never was the
period to put his immense strength to the trial.
Collecting all his energies, he bounded from
their grasp, and his herculean fist falling like
a sledge-hammer upon the forehead of him
who carried the cutlass, the ruffian tumbled
headlong to the earth. In a moment more he
stood in the centre of the cottage, whirling
"Knock-him-down" around his head in the
attitude of defiance. Such was now his ap-
pearance of determined courage and strength
that the two ruffians opposed to him, although
powerful men, and armed with bludgeons, did
not dare to advance, but recoiled several paces
from their single opponent. He had escaped
thus far, but his situation was still very haz-
ardous, for the men, though baffled, kept their
eyes intently fixed upon him, and seemed only
to wait an opportunity when they could rush



on with most advantage. Besides, the one
he had floored had just got up, and with
his cutlass joined the others. If they had
made an attack upon him, his great skill and
vigour would in all probability have brought
one of them to the ground, but then he would
have been assailed by the two others ; and the
issue of such a contest, armed as one of them
was, could not but be highly dangerous.

Meanwhile the men, although none of them
ventured to rush singly upon the Borderer,
began to advance in a body, as if for the pur-
pose of getting behind him. " Now," thought
William, "if I can but keep you quiet till I

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