Imatges de pÓgina


the dreadful storms which howled far below my feet, and exhibited a spectacle awfully sublime. Above


head a clear, but deep azure, bespangled with a countless multitude of stars, while amidst them all, the silver orb, that cheers the lonely traveller on his way, or lends her wan lustre to melting lovers, rolled in solemn majesty, proudly eminent. Far below my feet appeared a boundless chaos, that seemed to rend and tear the earth with horrid fury. I: seemed as if I alone was to escape

the hideous ruin of the universe, and was preserved by Almighty power to witness the final destruction of the world. The thunder appeared to rend the poles, and split the solid earth. The lightning, in streams of living fire, shot along the black bed of sulphureous clouds, and quivered through the lurid air, while an howling whirlwind drove furious from the north.

I had been so powerfully struck by the awful scene around me, that I had mistaken the road I was to pursue, and was benighted wanderer upon a vast and trackless



to break the dead sameness of the dreary prospect, or guide my search.

As I stood in a thoughtful mood, unknowing what to do, I imagined I beheld the tall figure of a man stalking along through the obscure distance, by the edge of a terrible precipice.

I immediately proceeded towards him, and as I drew near, he appeared suddenly to awake from a reverie, and making a dead stand, called out in a loud, commanding, yet sonorous voice, • Who art thou, wanderer of the night ? that dares the inclemency of the northern storms at this dead hour, and steals along the lofty mountains brow?' • A benighted traveller,' I replied, ' who has had the misfortune to lose his way, amid the darkness of the storm, and who is now searching for an habitation during the night.

The stranger immediately drew near, and in the most courteous manner offered me his assistance, in conducting me down the steep of the mountain, to a small village that was situated in the valley below, where he said I should, most probably, be able to meet with accommodation at the little inn it contained ; and should I be disappointed in that particular,


very kindly offered me a lodging in his own habitation, which was not far distant, provided I could put up with the poverty of his accommodation.

Having thanked him, in the warmest manner I was able, we proceeded down a narrow path that led to the valley below, and in a short time arrived at the village he had mentioned, and was soon directed to the little ale-house it boasted of as an inn.

I had no sooner informed the landlady that I wished for a bed, than she replied that the only spare one in her house had been previously engaged by a young officer, who sat in a small adjoining room, into which I was immediately conducted, followed by the stranger who had relieved me from the horrors of an exposure to the inclement night.

By the side of a cheerfully blazing fire, sat a genteel looking young man, in the uniform of an Highland grenadier, who rose on my entrance, and with all that warmth of genuine hospitality, for which the Highlanders of Scotland, even to the lowest orders, are so justly distinguished, begged I would not remove

come to the use of his bed.

But this generous offer I as positively refused as he insisted upon; 'till at length we could agree in no other manner, than a mutual resolution to spend the remainder of the night (which was now very far advanced) in the apartment in which we then were, and over a cheerful fire, pass away that time in interesting conversation which nature required to be employed in sleep.

I had now, for the first time, an opportunity of viewing the person and dress of the courteous stranger, whom I had met with in so ex. traordinary a manner; and never have I seen one in whom I felt so much interested upon the first sight.

He was very tall, of a commanding, and inost exquisitely proportioned figure, that appeared no less elegant than vigorously robust, uniting great activity to uncommon muscular power. His hair was thick, black, and curling, and so were his broad horizontal brows, that finely contrasted with the snowy whiteness of an expansive forehead. His large dark eyes flashed the keen fire of a vehement imagination, that seemed to be without bounds and without measure, but at times their black lustre melted into

a softness of melancholy expression, whose meaning no words can convey. The rest of his features were in perfect harmony with those I have described, and a general expression of uncontroulable independence, and uncommon mental power, spoke in every look and every gesture.

His dress was so extremely singular that I cannot pass it over in silence.

Upon his head he wore a large cap, made cf foxes skins, from the top of which suspended a plume composed of the tails of those animals. Over a piece of black taffety, that surrounded his neck, appeared part of a check shirt, of very coarse cloth. He wore a short loose kind of jerkin, together with a waistcoat made of strong leather, which he afterwards assured me he had worn for many years, and had no doubt but that it would serve him in the capacity of coat, for the remainder of his life. His trowsers were composed of the same durable materials, and upon his legs and feet he wore a pair of immense boots, having wide loose tops that turned downward. Over his shoulders was cast a broad belt of untanned

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