Imatges de pÓgina
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stood listening to her singing, till her small voice was lost in the murmur of the rivulet. During her absence, the house was silent but happy; and the evening being now far -advanced, Lucy was expected home every minute, and Michael, Agnes, and Isobel went to meet her on the way. They walked on and on, wondering a little, but in no degree alarmed, till they reached Ladyside; and heard the cheerful din of the imps within, stiil rioting at the close of the holiday. Jacob Mayne came to the door-but on their kindly asking why Lucy had not been sent home before daylight was over, he looked painfully surprised, and said that she had not been at Ladyside.

Agnes suddenly sat down, without speaking one word, on the stone seat beside the door, and Michael, supporting her, said, -Jacob, our child left us this morning at six o'clock, and it is now near ten at night. God is merciful, but, perhaps, Lucy is dead. Jacob Mayne was an ordinary, common-place, and rather ignorant man, but his heart leapt within him at these words, and by this time his own children were standing about the door. “Yes, Mr ForresterGod is merciful-and your daughter, let us trust, is not dead. Let us trust that she yet liveth—and without delay let us go to seek the child.' Michael trembled from head to foot, and his vioce was gone;

he lifted

up
his

eyes heaven, but it seemed not as if he saw either the moon or the stars. • Run over to Raeshorn, some of you,' said Jacob,

and tell what has happened. Do you, Isaac, my good boy, cross over to a' the towns on the Inverlethen-side, and-Oh! Mr ForresterMr Forrester, dinna let this trial overcome you sae sairly'>for Michael was leaning against the wall of the house, and the strong man was helpless as a child. Keep up your heart, my dearest son,' said Isobel, with a voice all unlike her usual, Keep up your heart, for the blessed bairn is beyond doubt somewhere in the keeping of the great God, yea, without a hair of her head being hurt. Ă hundred things may have happened her, and death not among the number.-Oh! no-no-surely not death--that would indeed be too dreadful a judgment.' And Aunt Isobel, oppressed by the power of that word, now needed the very comfort that she had in vain tried to bestow,

Within two hours a hundred people were traversing the hills in all directions, even to a distance which it seemed most unlikely that poor Lucy could have reached. The shepherds and their dogs all night through searched every

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nook_every stony and rocky place-every little shaw every piece of taller heather-every crevice that could conceal any thing alive or dead, but no Lucy was there. Her mother, who for a while seemed inspired with supernatural strength, had joined in the search, and with a quaking heart looked into every brake, or stopped and listened to every shout and hollo reverberating among the hills, if she could seize on some tone of recognition or discovery. But the moon sank, and then all the stars, whose increased brightness had for a short time supplied her place, all faded away, and then came the grey dawn of morning, and then the clear brightness of day, and still Michael and Agnes were childless. She has sunk into some mossy or miry place,' said Michael to a man near him, into whose face he never looked. "A cruel, cruel death for one like her! The earth on which my child walked has closed over her, and we shall never see her more!' At last a man, who had left the search and gone

in rection towards the high road, came running with something in his arms, towards the place where Michael and others were standing beside Agnes, who lay apparently exhausted almost to dying on the sward. He approached hesitatingly ; and Michael saw that he carried Lucy's bonnet, clothes, and plaid. It was impossible not to see some spots of blood upon the frill that the child had worn round her neck. Murdered-murdered-' was the one word whispered or ejaculated all around ; but Agnes heard it not, for, worn out by that long night of hope and despair, she had fallen asleep, and was perhaps seeking her lost Lucy in her dreams. Isobel took the clothes, and narrowly inspecting them

and hand, said with a fervent voice, that was heard even in Michael's despair, No-Lucy is yet among the living. There are no marks of violence on the garments of the innocent-no murderer's hand has been here. These blood-spots have been put there to deceive. Besides, would not the murderer have carried off these things ? For what else would he have murdered her ? But oh! foolish despair! What speak I of? For wicked as this world is-ay, desperately wicked-there is not, on all the surface of the wide earth, a hand that would murder our child! Is it not plain as the sun in heaven, that Lucy has been stolen by some wretched gipsy-beggar, and that, before that sun has set, she will be saying her prayers in her father's house,

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with all of us upon our knees beside her, or with our faces prostrate upon the floor ?'

Agnes opened her eyes, and beheld Lucy's bonnet and plaid lying close beside her, and then a silent crowd. Her senses all at once returned to her, and she rose up—Ay, sure enough drowned-drowned-drowned—but where have

you laid her ? Let me see our Lucy, Michael, for in my sleep 1 have already seen her laid out for burial. The crowd quietly dispersed, and horse and foot began to scour the country. Some took the high-roads, others all the by-paths, and many

the trackless hills. Now that they were in some measure relieved from the horrible belief that the child was dead, the worst other calamity seemed nothing, for Hope brought her back to their arms. Agnes had been able to walk to Bracken-Braes, and Michael and Isobel sat by her bed-side. Lucy's empty little crib was just as the child had left it the morning before, neatly made up with her own hands, and her small red Bible was lying on her pillow.

Oh! my husband—this is being indeed kind to your Agnes, for much it must have cost you to stay here ; but had you

left me, my silly heart must have ceased to beat altogether, for it will not lie still even now that I am well nigh resigned to the will of God. Michael put his hand on his wife's bosom, and felt her heart beating as if it were a knell. Then ever and anon the tears came gushing, for all her strength was gone, and she lay at the mercy of the rustle of a leaf or a shadow across the window. And thus hour after hour passed on till it was again twilight.

I hear footsteps coming up the brae,' said Agnes, who had for some time appeared to be slumbering ; and in a few moments the voice of Jacob Mayne was heard at the outer door. It was no time for ceremony, and he advanced into the room where the family had been during all that trying and endless day. Jacob wore a solemn expression of countenance, and he seemed, from his looks, to bring them no comfort. Michael stood up between him and his wife, and looked into his heart. Something there seemed to be in his face that was not miserable. If he has heard nothing of my child, thought Michael, this man must care but little for his

wn fireside. O speak, speak,'—said Agnes, yet why need you speak? All this has been but a vain belief, and Lucy is in heaven.'—*Something like a trace of her has been discovered a woman with a child that did not look like a child of hers, was last night at Clovenford and left it by

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you, noo, that

: the daw'ing: -- Do you hear that, my beloved Agnes ?' said

Isobel, she'll have tramped away with Lucy up into Ettrick or Yarrow, but hundreds of eyes will have been upon her, for these are quiet, but not solitary glens, and the hunt

will be over long before she has crossed down upon Hawick. ! I knew that country in my young days. What say ye, Mr

Mayne ? there's the light o' hope on your face.' . There's nae reason to doubt, Ma'am, that it was Lucy. Every body is sure o't. If it was my ain Rachel, I should ha’e nae fear o' seeing her this blessed nicht.'

Jacob Mayne now took a chair, and sat down, with even
smile
upon
his countenance.

tell Watty Oliver kens it was your bairn, for he saw her limping be after the limmer at Galla-Brigg, but ha'eing nae suspicion,

he did na tak’ a second leuk o'her—but ae leuk is sufficient,

and he swears it was bonny Lucy Forrester.' Aunt Isobel, " by this time, had bread and cheese, and a bottle of her own i elder-flower wine on the table. • You have had a long and

hard journey, wherever you have been, Mr Mayne-tak' some refreshment,'--and Michael asked a blessing. Jacob saw that he might now venture to reveal the whole truth. No-no-Mrs Irvine, I'm ower happy to eat or to drink. -You are a' prepared for the blessing that awaits youyour bairn is no far aff--and I mysel'--for it was I mysel that faund her,—will bring her by the han' and restore her

to her parents. Agnes had raised herself up in her bed at E these words, but she sunk gently back on her pillow. Aunt

Isobel' was rooted to her chair, and Michael, as he rose up, felt as if the ground were sinking under his feet.

There was a dead silence all around the house for a short space, and then the sound of many joyful voices, which

again, by degrees, subsided. The eyes of all then looked, ů and yet feared to look towards the door. Jacob Mayne was

not so good as his word, for he did not bring Lucy by the i hand to restore her to her parents ; but, dressed again in

her own bonnet, and her gown, and her own plaid, in rushed their child, by herself, with tears and sobs of joy, and her father laid her within her mother's bosom.

JOHN GALT.

Ir were difficult to characterize, in a general manner, the style of a writer whose pen, like that of Mr Galt, has been employed in describing the manners of Greece as it lately was, and in composing tragedies on the model of its ancient authors—in transcribing state papers of Wolsey's time, and in writing dramas for the modern stage--in portraying the fatal ravages of pestilence under Edward III. as well as in commemorating a late royal visit to the metropolis of Scotland.

His first acknowledged production, • Voyages and Travels, containing Observations on Sicily and Turkey,' appeared in 1812. The Life and Administration of Cardinal Wolsey,'--and a volume entitled, · Reflections on Political and Commercial Subjects,' were succeeded, before the close of the same year, by · Four Tragedies' after the manner of Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, possessed of merits that might have softened the asperity with which he has invariably been treated in the QUARTERLY Review. In 1813 he published Letters from the Levant, containing Views of the State of Society in Greece. A Life of President West,' and · The Majola, a Tale,' were given to the world in 1816; soon after which he brought forward · The Witness,' a dramatic poem whose power and passion were such as induced many to attribute it to Mr Coleridge. In 1820, he became a frequent contributor to a celebrated periodical; and, about the same time, published. The Earthquake,' which, if ever known, is now totally neglected." That delightful effusion

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