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leather, from which was suspended a huge claymore, or Highland broad-sword.
Such was the singular garb of this interesting stranger, for whom I already felt so strong an attachment, that I ardently wished to learn his history; and I was not a little delighted, when he stepped forwards, and in the most polite terms, begged he might have the pleasure of remaining in our company during the night, not only from the motive, that he inight, in some degree, assist in alleviating the tedious hours we had to pass away before the morn, but he assured us that he so seldom met with any persons, in those wild regions, with whom he could hold any kind of converse, that nothing could give him greater pleasure than an op: portunity of passing a few hours in our company.
The young officer was not less eager than myself to testify our pleasure at this proposal, and having informed our hostess that we should not require her bed, and ordered into our apartment plenty of fire-wood, and good store of provisions, we surrounded the fire, and became so mutually pleased with each other, that the stranger, at my very earnest entreaty, consented to relate the principal incidents of his life;
although, he assured me, that he fervently wished the waters of oblivion could wash away all remembrance of the evenis of his past life, and wipe away scenes he could not bear to contemplate, without feeling an enmity towards all mankind, and hate that existence, which was given him to be as a blessing to himself and his fellow-creatures, but a cruel fate had ordained it otherwise, and he bowed down to its decrees.
The stranger then commenced the narration of his life in the following words.
“ How blest the Solitary's lot,
66 Within his humble cell,
“ Beside his crystal well;
“ By unfrequented stream,
“ His thoughts to heav'n on high,
“ He views the solemn sky."
IN me you behold the younger son of the eldest branch, of a very ancient and highly honourable family, who, through a long succession of ages, have proved themselves worthy of their name, and of their country.
I am descended from Scotch ancestry, and was born upon the family estate, which lies in the north-western Highlands. Although my parents were distinguished for the possession of every virtue that can adorn human nature, and respected for
great and uncommon mental endowments, I shall not call your attention to the events of their lives, nor trouble you with a history of their characters, because such a rela. tion could have no material connection with those peculiar circumstances of my life, which have concurred to drive me for ever from the so. ciety of my fellow-creatures ; and taught me how to derive happiness from an abode in the wildest recesses of nature, where I can contemplate the infinity of her God, uncontaminated by the vanities of man; and enjoy a train of lofty thoughts, inspired by the sublime objects with which I am every where surrounded, which my mind could never have attained amidst the tu. mult, the uproar, and the jostling of the vast mob of society.
The state of infancy seldom allows of extraordinary or even interesting events to an unconcerned fellow-being. My childhood was passed under the fostering care of a fondly beloved mother, and evinced no remarkable circumstances, unless I except the uncommon impetuosity of my passions; which, even in the earliest state of my infancy, refused all manner of controut; and as it was my fortune to be the