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Lines written during a thunder storm. DMITRIEV.*
Interview between Waverley and Fergus Mac-Ivor, at Carlisle,
previous to the execution of the latter.—Scott. AFTER a sleepless night, the first dawn of morning found Waverley on the esplanade in front of the old Gothic gate of Carlisle castle. But he paced it long in every direction before the hour when, according to the rules of the garrison, the gates were opened, and the drawbridge lowered. He produced his order to the sergeant of the guard, and was admitted. The place of Fergus's confinement was a gloomy and vaulted apartment in the central part of the castle; a huge old tower, supposed to be of great antiquity, and surrounded by outworks, seemingly of Henry VIII's time, or somewhat later. The grating of the huge old-fashioned bars and bolts, withdrawn for the purpose of admitting Edvard, was answered by the clash of chains, as the unforunate chieftain, strongly and heavily fettered, shuffled long the stone floor of his prison, to fling himself into his riend's arms.
* Bowring's Specimens of Russian Poets.
“My dear Edward,” he said, in a firm and even cheerful voice, this is truly kind. I heard of your approaching happiness with the highest pleasure; and how does Rose ? and how is our old whimsical friend the Baron? Well, I am sure, from your looks—and how will you settle precē'dence between the three ermines passant, and the bear and boot-jack ?”—“How, 0 how, my dear Fergus, can you talk of such things at such a moment ?”—“ Why, we have entered Carlisle with happier auspices, to be sure—on the 16th of November last, for example, when we marched in, side by side, and hoisted the white flag on these ancient towers. But I am no boy, to sit down and weep
because the luck has gone against me. I knew the stake which I risked; we played the game boldly, and the forfeit shall be paid manfully.
“ You are rich,” he continued, “Waverley, and you are generous; when you hear of these poor Mac-Ivors being distressed about their miserable possessions by some harsh overseer or agent of government, remember you have worn their tartan, and are an adopted son of their race.
The Baron, who knows our manners, and lives near our country, will apprize you of the time and means to be their protector. Will you promise this to the last Vich Ian Vohr ?”_ Edward, as may well be believed, pledged his word; which afterwards he so amply redeemed, that his memory still lives in these glens by the name of the Friend of the Sons of Ivor.—“ Would to God,” continued the chieftain, “I could bequeath to you my rights to the love and obedience of this primitive and brave race: or at least, as I have striven to do, persuade poor Evan to accept of his life upon
their terms; and be to you what he has been to me, the kindest -the bravest the most devoted
The tears which his own fate could not draw forth, fell fast for that of his foster-brother. “ But," said he, drying them, “ that cannot be. You cannot be to them Vich lan Vohr; and these three magic words," said he, half smiling,
are the only Open Sesame to their feelings and sympathies;
Evan must attend his foster-brother in death, as he has done through his whole life.”—“And I am sure.” said Maccombich, raising himself from the floor, on which, for fear of interrupting their conversation, he had lain so still, that in the obscurity of the apartment, Edward was not aware of his presence,—"I am sure Evan never desired nor deserved a better end then just to die with his chieftain."
A tap at the door now announced the arrival of the priest ; and Edward retired while he administered to both prisoners the last rites of religion, in the mode which the church of Rome prescribes. In about an hour he was readmitted. Soon after, a file of soldiers entered with a blacksmith, who struck the fetters from the legs of the prisoners.
“ You see the compliment they pay to our Highland strength and courage; we have lain chained here like wild beasts, till our legs are cramped into palsy; and when they free us, they send six soldiers with loaded muskets to prevent our taking the castle by storm."
Shortly after, the drums of the garrison beat to arms. “This is the last turn out,” said Fergus, “that I shall hear and obey. And now, my dear, dear Edward, ere we part, let us speak of Flora, a subject which awakes the tenderest feeling that yet thrills within me.”—“We part not here?” said Waverley. “O yes, we do, you must come no farther. Not that I fear what is to follow for myself,” he said proudly;
nature has her tortures as well as art, and how happy should we think the man who escapes from the throes of a mortal and painful disorder in the space of a short half hour! And this matter, spin it out as they will, cannot last longer. But what a dying man can suffer firmly, may kill a living friend to look upon.
“This same law of high treason,” he continued, with astonishing firmness and composure, “is one of the blessings, Edward, with which your free country has accominodated poor old Scotland : her own jurisprudence, as I have heard, was much milder.
But I suppose, one day or other, when there are no longer any wild Highlanders to benefit by its tender mercies, they will blot it from their records, as levelling them with a nation of cannibals. The mummery too, of exposing the senseless head! they have not the wit to grace mine with a paper coronct; there would be some sā'tire in that, Edward. I hope they will set it on the Scotch gate though, that I may look, even after death, to the blue hills of my own country, that I love so dearly !"
A bustle, and the sound of wheels and horses' feet, was now heard in the court-yard of the castle.—An officer appeared, and intimated that the high sheriff and his attendants waited before the gate of the castle, to claim the bodies of Fergus Mac-Ivor and Evan Maccombich : “I come,” said Fergus. Accordingly, supporting Edward by the arm, and followed by Evan Dhu and the priest, he moved down the stairs of the tower, the soldiers bringing up the rear. The court was occupied by a squadron of dragoons and a battalion of infantry, drawn up
in a hollow
square. Within their ranks was the sledge or hurdle, on which the prisoners were to be drawn to the place of execution, about a mile distant from Carlisle. It was painted black, and drawn by a white horse. At one end of the vehicle sat the executioner, a horrid looking fellow, as beseemed his trade, with the broad axe in his hand; at the other end, next the horse, was an empty seat for two persons. Through the deep and dark Gothic archway that opened on the drawbridge, were seen on horseback the high sheriff and his attendants, whom the etiquette* betwixt the civil and military power did not permit to come farther.
“ This is well got up for a closing scene," said Fergus, smiling disdainfully as he gazed around upon the apparatus of terror. Evan Dhu exclaimed with some eagerness, after looking at the dragoons, " These are the very chields that gallopped off at Gladsmuir ere we could kill a dozen of them. They look bold enough now, however.” The priest entreated him to be silent.
The sledge now approached, and Fergus turning round embraced Waverley, kissed him on each side of the face, and stepped nimbly into his place. Evan sat down by his side. The priest was to follow in a carriage belonging to his pātron, the Catholic gentleman at whose house Flora resided. As Fergus waved his hand to Edward, the ranks closed around the sledge, and the whole procession began to move forward.
There was a momentary stop at the gateway, while the governor of the castle and the high sheriff went through a short ceremony, the military officer there delivering over the persons of the criminals to the civil power. King George !” said the high sheriff. When the formality
* Pron, et-e-ket'.
« God save
concluded, Fergus stood erect in the sledge, and with a firm and steady voice replied, “God save King James !” These were the last words which Waverley heard him speak.
The procession resumed its march, and the sledge vanished from beneath the portal, under which it had stopped for an instant. The dead march, as it is called, was instantly heard ; and its melancholy sounds were mingled with those of a muffled peal, tolled from the neighboring cathe'dral. The sound of the military music died away as the procession moved on; the sullen clang of the bells was soor. heard to sound alone.
The last of the soldiers had now disappeared from under the vaulted archway through which they had been filing for several minutes ; the court-yard was now totally empty, but Waverley still stood there as if stupified, his eyes fixed upon the dark pass where he had so lately seen the last glimpse of his friend.- At length, a female servant of the governor, struck with surprise and compassion at the stupified misery which his countenance expressed, asked him if he would not walk into her master's house and sit down? She was obliged to repeat her question twice ere he comprehended her ; but at length it recalled him to himself.Declining the courtesy,* by a hasty gesture, he pulled his hat over his eyes, and, leaving the castle, walked as swiftly as he could through the empty streets, till he regained his inn ; then threw himself into an apartment and bolted the door.
In about an hour and a half, which seemed an age of unutterable suspense, the sound of the drums and fifes, performing a lively air, and the confused murmur of the crowd which now filled the streets, so lately deserted, apprised him that all was over, and that the military and populace were returning from the dreadful scene. I will not attempt describe his sensations.
Egyptian Mummies, Tombs, and Manners.-BELZONI.
GOURNOU is a tract of rocks, about two miles in length, at the foot of the Lybian mountains, on the west of Thebes, and was the burial-place of the great city of a hundred gates. Every part of these rocks is cut out by art, in the
* Pron, kůr'-te-se.