Imatges de pÓgina



power had


He looked as if the sun had not shone support them. For the future I shall exon him for a year. His dress, too, was pect you to understand me in this matter. more careless than it used to be, and he If the people will not pay you, you must appeared altogether as if things were far send the people away.” from well with him. The change did not I have no liking for the work, sir. I escape Simon's eye, and he was pleased don't see how I can obey you. with it. * The young man is taking a “ Then, sir, I don't see how you can lesson from me," thought the miser; "he expect to be my heir. I am not bound to is growing more saving of his pocket, and leave my little property to you. I have more sparing of bis enjoyments. I see that connexions in England, wise, rich men, I have but to be patient with him, and he who look well to the increase of their store, will get turn out well."

and deserve a helping hand on that acPaul drew his chair to the opposite side count. To them shall go every penny I of the table, and uncle and nephew set to am possessed of, if you set up your ideas in work to do their business together. They opposition to mine." made a striking contrast, though there was Paul flushed and turned pale. The time some likeness between them.

Paul had was gone past when such a threat as this his mother's fair skin and fair hair, and had no terrors for him. It was dreadful was so far unlike the race of the misers, to him now, for the thirst for who were of a swarthy complexion. He taken possession of his soul. It enraged had a broader forehead than had been the him to think of those wise, rich men from share of any of his fathers, but he had the England coming over here to plant, and arched nose of the Finistons, and the dark to sow, and to build upon his land. He flashing eye, deep-set under graceful brows. was convinced that he could rule the There was enough likeness between the old country better than they could do, and it and the young man to make a looker-on might be well to save the many by the tremble for what Paul might yet become. sacrifice of a few. Evil must be done in

Paul delivered over the money which he order that good might come of it. Paul had collected for rent, but the sum fell swiftly argued thus in his own mind that short of the miser's expectations.

clouded mind which was no longer what it “So !” cried he in a passion, “I see that had been. already you have allowed yourself to be He was conscious of a falling off in his imposed upon. They tell you they cannot own mental powers, in his capacity for pay. I ask them to look at me. Is there thought and feeling. The consciousness à man on the property who lives with tortured him, but he could not see where rational temperance except myself? Let he had gone wrong, nor discern any means them find


money, you and I by which he could become better or wiser must quarrel. If you will not deal fairly in the future. He could not even think with them, somebody else shall do it. the matter out, for his mind would not Every man who will not pay must quit the fasten on it, and all his moral perceptions place."

were becoming hazy and dull. His memory “You had better let them stay where was whimsical; certain ideas passed away ! they are," said Paul. “Good times may from it, like the mist of breath from off a come, and they may be enabled to meet glass, whilst others enlarged themselves, your demand. Turn them out of the became distorted, and were not to be country, and where are the wealthier effaced. He forgot at this moment his tenants to fill their place? You will find former desire to be independent of the empty cabins, and no money at all." miser, his aspirations after honest ir

" That is your ignorance," said the dustry, however meagre the reward. He miser; “but I am willing to teach you. thought no more of the plans which May There are shepherds, Scotchmen, who had helped him to map out. He remen. would take the whole mountain from me bered only that he wanted Tobereevil, ar. at a handsome rent. Now am I-a

-a man also that if he quarrelled with the miser, practising self-denial in my own person, certain rich men from England would step to make enormous sacrifice for the sake of into the inheritance which he coveted. pampered beggars who, I doubt not, will Upon this one point his mind fastened its , have their two meals in the day? My plan strength, and the fierce desire for posses is to get rid gradually of the poorest sion took firm hold of his brain. He amongst my tenants. People have no right promised Simon that he would see abou: to live in a country which is not able to the matter,


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“See about it in time, then," said the she had retired slowly and cruelly, and miser, “ for you have natural disqualifica- against his will. Longing would not bring tions for your office, and you will need to her to him, despair could not break down work hard in order to overcome them. But the barrier which had erected itself between I will give you time, for we are a slow race them. As he stood there, wrestling with in developing. As young men

an agony such as he had never suffered spendthrifts, and seem in danger of being before, her saddened eyes seemed to shine ruined, but time improves us, and we grow out of a cloud which was beyond and wise as we grow old. So you may go above him. His woe became intolerable, away now, and think over this matter of and he tried to dash it from him, hurrying the Scotch shepherds. Have a calculation upward through the chambers of the made by the next time you come here, and mouldering mansion, and striving to relet me know how soon we shall be ready vive within him all his old loathing of the for them."

race which had dwelt in it, and of their Paul went away with slow steps and treasure which had made them what they aching heart, knowing that he had bound were. These fierce efforts wasted him, himself to do work which his soul ab- and he looked thin and worn as he wanhorred, and yet feeling himself utterly un- dered, more tranquilly now, from room to able to struggle with the unholy force room. A happier thought of his love came which had thus dragged him into bondage. uppermost in his mind, and an unutterable Having thus, as he believed, sold himself longing for her presence took possession of to evil, he shrank from the eye of the him. If she were only here to receive the heavens, and from the sad face of the land confession of his weakness ! With this which lay so sadly waiting for its deliver- better thought in his mind, he looked up

He was seized with a passionate and saw Katherine. desire to gloat over the old walls, which The place of this meeting was on that contained somewhere that treasure which high remote passage lined with goblin was to make him master of everything presses, where, not quite a year ago, the that a man could covet in the world. miser had essayed to make a bargain with As he went up the grand staircase the the pedlar. Paul had not seen it since thought of May crossed his mind, a vision that evening when he had suddenly of her imploring face arose before his eyes, sickened with fear, and had fled from the and for a moment the madness of supreme spot, hoping to return never more.

Now anguish made him dizzy. What would his wanderings had unexpectedly brought she say when she found that he had fallen him here again. Katherine had been lookso low? But the throe passed, and again ing out of the little window from which he he thought with delight of the miser's himself had gazed whilst the miser sorted gold, then reflected with sudden wonder his wares; the place was dim and ghostly, upon the condition of his own feelings, and she made a striking picture with her since this new joy of avarice had more white-clad shoulders and gleaming head lit power to keep its hold of him than had up by the only ray that found its way into sorrow for the pain of his love. Was it the twilight. possible that May had become less dear to She turned to him smiling with genuine him than she used to be? He groaned at delight. this thought, and almost declared to him

· So

you have come at last," she said ; self in his passion that it must be so. If “ but how did you know I was here?” this were indeed the case, then must he “ I did not know that you were here,” rush on headlong to an evil end. Was said Paul. this, indeed, a fate that was pursuing him? Ah, well! you see, I drew you to the Must the love of May be thrust out of his place. I knew that you were coming to heart by the power of that curse which Tobereevil to-day, and I thought I should was already beginning to work upon him ? ask you to take me home through these He leaned against the wall, and hid his dreadful woods." face between his hands. He was not false, Certainly,” said Paul; but he said it nor had he tired of her tenderness. She unwillingly, for he had some expectation was still rare, and holy, and beautiful in that May would come to meet him; and his eyes; but he only seemed to understand at this moment he felt feverishly anxious this, not to feel it with his heart, into to meet her. If he could but see her just which had come the greed for gold. He now, the barrier of reserve might be seemed to see her at a distance, whither broken down between them. Now he

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could confess, could ask for help; later his his heart shook with terror of an evil far mood might change, so that the words he greater than anything he had imagined. wished to speak would be no longer on Oh, I have said too much. Surely I his tongue.

have forgotten myself. Whispered words “We had better go at once,” said Paul. between friends ought to be kept sacred, “May is coming to meet me.”

ought they not? I am sure you know that Katherine laughed.

girls are apt to make confidences to each “You need not be uneasy about her, for other. But I forgot that



have known she is making cakes, and she could not so little about women.” Katherine sighed. leave them. She would not risk the proper “I have already said too much. I will shade of brown upon the crust—not for the not be guilty of making mischief between sweetest conversation that heart ever held you." with heart."

“You are rather late with that resolu“You wrong her,” said Paul. “She can tion,” said Paul. “I am at a loss to know do much for those she loves."

why you have spoken so at all.” “Who are they?” said Katherine. “May Katherine turned away a little towards love any one! The fancy makes me the embrasure of the window, and her head smile."

drooped on her hands. “You forget that she loves me.”

“I have done wrong,” she said, “and I Katherine shrugged her shoulders. cannot say any more. A woman must not

“Does that idea really still bewitch betray herself. I did not mean to speak, your imagination? You think May loves only when one has a passionate interest at you ? It is so odd.”

heart, prudence sometimes gets swept away “I remember that you are a lady,” said upon the wave of too much feeling. Paul; “but you try my patience too much.” It came slowly into Paul's mind that her

“Do I?” said Katherine. “I admit meaning was to drive May out of his heart, that I am rather outspoken. I am not like and thrust herself therein. He burned with her-calm, cold, and proper. My patience surprise and shame, that a woman, and is tired. I cannot quietly look on and see such a woman, should love him unsought. one like you bound heart and soul, for life, He pitied her, was grateful to her, admired to such an iceberg."

and despised her, all in one moment. Then She was still leaning against the little indignation took possession of him as he window, with her head and shoulders thought of May; and a superstitious dread ! framed by it. A stray gleam of sun had of Katherine mingled itself with his anger. pierced the opening; illumined her golden The spirit of maddening despondency head and scintillating eyes; put a carmine which pursued him, whispered to him touch on her speaking lips, and a rosy now that this woman was a part of his evil curve of light round the rim of her peachy destiny, that she would separate him from face. The white-furred shoulders stirred May, and thus help his ruin. When Ka. slightly, and the jewel at her throat quivered therine looked up to see the effect of her as if with feeling. Never was un- words, she saw a face not full of tenderlovely soul more enchantingly disguised. ness, but of hatred and anger. Her blue Paul stood opposite, wrapped in the twi- eyes met his, and opened themselves scared. light, leaning against one of the goblin The sun shone more brightly through the presses. His face was stern, but he started little square of window, and made Katheas a flashing look of honage was flung rine more beautiful every moment, intensi. upon him, flattering him from head to foot. fying its lustre in her frightened eyes, and Katherine went on without waiting for shedding a more golden bloom on her him to recover from his surprise.

cheek, which had turned pale with real * Ah, you think she is not an iceberg. woe. For the second time in his life Paul Men are so easily deceived. A few sweet found himself struggling with the frantic words will keep you happy for year. desire to harm a fellow-creature; and on That is while you are suitors; but how the very same spot whence he had fed will it be through life? A selfish mate, from the temptation so many months ago. a cold heart-freezing all the warm efforts But the fear in the woman's eyes touched of your own. One who can make cruel all that was manly in his nature, and this plans to fool you while you are her lover passion left him suddenly, and he was —what will she be for sympathy after shocked at himself. years have gone past ?"

" It is getting late,” he said. “That “What do you mean?” asked Paul, and bright gleam comes just before sunset.


You must allow me to see you home at imagined they saw down a glade of the once.”

moonlit woods the Queen of Fairy holdKatherine bent her head with an expres- ing high revel in some clearing among the sion of meek obedience, which was not all bracken. Though more numerous in the assumed. This wild Paul had got a power Highlands, these descendants of the old over her which no one had ever before deities of Scotland were equally feared and possessed; a power wielded unconsciously, dreaded in the more peaceful and more and which she had never yet fully recog- civilised Lowlands. Even in the Catholic nised until now. They went silently to- times, religion in Scotland, hard and logical gether downward through the mazes of the as the people were, always assumed a cbaold mansion, he going first, opening doors, racter more stern and gloomy than that of and turning to assist her over broken places England. The omnipresence, the almost in the staircase; she following silently and omnipotence of the Prince of Evil, was a humbly in her pallid beauty, as if terrified vital and prominent article of the creed and stricken at what had befallen her. She of the Scotch preacher, before even Calwas stunned, having suddenly come face vinism acquired its full sway over the to face with her own defeat. She had national heart. thought to be mistress, and found that she Of all the beliefs engendered by semiwas slave. A pain new to her, so sound christianised paganism, that which took the in body, so unfeeling in spirit, had cloven deepest and most fatal hold was the dread her heart at sight of Paul's look of hatred. of witchcraft. No Scot, wise or simple, but She was confounded with a new and fully believed, as much as he believed the strange knowledge of herself, so that her main articles of the Christian faith, that agony was genuine, even if rage made a hundreds of cankered old women, soured part of it.

Every time Paul turned to by poverty and sorrow, sold themselves forher, of necessity he pitied her, and his mally to the devil, who appeared in propriâ heart reproached him a little more, and personâ to see the bond signed with their a little more. By the time they had got blood, a ceremony accompanied by many ont into the open air his voice had got ludicrous yet ghastly observances. The gentle when he addressed her. By-and-blood of men, far-seeing as Bruce and lionbye, she pleaded to be allowed to cling to hearted as Wallace, has often run cold his arm, for the fear that she had of these to hear how once a year, at the witches' annatural woods. And this being con- annual Sabbath, the bags who served ceded, the two passed on their way, and Satan assembled to hear him preach and were lost in the thickness of the trees. deride the religion of Christ with ribald

sermon and demoniacal prayers. Nor did OLD STORIES RE-TOLD.

men of later days, and more versatile

brains, like Sir David Lindsay or Buchanan, SCOTCH WITCHES AND WARLOCKS.

ever question that Galloway witches could SUPERSTITION, dark shadow born of igno- mutter words that at once transformed the rance and fear, ruled the Scotland of the broomsticks they bestrode on the windy Middle Ages with a power which almost heath to flying horses, that bore them swift rivalled that of religion. The ghosts and away over firth and tarn, mountain-peak spectres of the pagan times, dim reflections and glen, steeples and roofs glittering silver cast by the rude deities of the Picts, the in the moonshine, to the King of France's Norsemen, and the early Irish invaders, cellars, where, in a circle round the biggest long lingered in lonely glens and rocky butt of Burgundy, the haggard "cummers valleys, by the sides of desolate lakes, and would clatter and chuckle as they quaffed by the ruins of old fortresses, refusing to the stolen wine, till the time came to mount be exorcised from their old strongholds by again the bonny steeds that had brought calm saints with bell, book, or candle, them so deftly over the sea. wrestling for their new religion which No sudden sickness fell on a Scotchhad peacefully superseded the grosser wor- man in the time of Barfour, or of Knox, ship. In the course of centuries Scotch but he at once turned pale at the sudden Christianity gradually became adulterated and sure conviction that he was elf-shot, by an admixture of the old belief, and the that some witch he had chidden for stealDouglas and his followers, who knelt before ing wood, or to whom he had refused a the shrine of St. Andrew in the morning, pinch of oatmeal, or a mutchkin of whisky, at evening shuddered as they rode along had cast a spell over him, had repeated the the sands, past the Kelpie's Flow, or Lord's Prayer backwards outside his door


or had melted a little wax effigy of him poisoning her husband, and attempting to over some enchanted fire. These fears, and poison the king. such as these, racked and tormented the The first recorded witch-trial took place minds of many generations of worthy in 1576. On the 8th of November, 1576, Scotchmen, and led to the cruel perse- Bessie Dunlop, the wife of a yeoman, cution and horrible deaths of many thou- named Andro Jake of Lyne, in Ayrshire, sands of rheumatic, half-crazed, hysterical, walking to Monkcastle-yard, weeping for a harmless old women.

dead cow and also for her husband and A picturesque yet careful summary of a children, who were down with a fever, met few of these witch-trials will show very the ghost of one Thom Reid, who had been perfectly the exact nature of this absurd killed at the battle of Pinkie, twenty-nine belief, and the varied character that it years before, and was at the time she met assumed as the darkness of superstition him lodging in Fairyland. lightened or deepened over the bleak “Sancta Maria,” said he, “Bessie, why northern land where it had taken such firm make you such dool and greeting for any root.

worldly thing ?” The Scottish witches seem to have Thom, we may mention, was a grey. began their infernal cantrips as early as bearded ghost, wearing a grey coat with the times of St. Patrick, when a gang of old-fashioned Lombard sleeves, grey breeks, them, as that worthy and vermin-hating and white stockings gartered at the knee. saint was crossing to Scotland, hurled a He had a black bonnet with silken lace, and rock at him, which rock is now known as carried a white wand in his hand. Eventthat on which Dumbarton Castle securely nally the well-clad ghost, consoling the stands. In 968, King Duff only saved him- poor crying woman by telling her that self from a mortal sickness, by discovering though her child would die her husband in time, and breaking, a wax image of would recover, disappeared through an imhimself melting away at a witches' fire at possibly small hole in the nearest dyke. Forres, in Murray. For this treasonable After this came other interviews with the act several witches were immolated. After designing ghost. The third time the cloren this acute monarch_came Thomas the foot showed pretty clearly, for he endezRhymer, Thomas of Ercildoune, as he was voured to persuade her to deny her bapusually called, whom the Queen of the tism, but orthodox Bessie declared she Fairies decoged from the Tweed-side mea- would rather be "ridden at horses' tails” dows into Fairyland. Nor must we forget than forswear her Christianity. At the the great wizard of the Lay of the Last fourth meeting Thom came to the woman's Minstrel, Michael Scott, who shook France own house, carried her audaciously off from and Spain with his spells, and even split a small but select tea-party of her husband the Eildon hills into three. And later came and “three creeshie tailors,” and took her the wicked enchanter, William Lord Soulis, to a witches' assembly. There were eight who, when no sword or spear could pierce women in plaids there and four well-dressed him, was dropped into a hot cauldron like a men, who tried to persuade her to go

back ham, and, under considerable protest on his with them to Fairyland, where she should part, boiled to death.

have plenty of beef and good braw clothes, But, leaving the swamp of fiction and but frightened Bessie stoutly refused to go, coming to the terra firma of fact, let us and Thom threatened her for refusing. calmly state that in 1479 no less a per- After this the Queen of the Fairies, “ a son than the Earl of Mar, twelve “ mean stout, comely woman,

came to her as she women,” and several wizards, were burnt was lying in bed during her confinement, at Edinburgh for melting a waxen image and asked for a drink, which Bessie gave of the king; and the year after it was cur- her. The queen told her, as Thom had rently reported that “the young lady of done, that her child would die, and her Mar” had formed a highly improper ac- husband recover. At a later period, Thom quaintance with an Incubus, while in 1537 gave Bessie roots to make into powder Lady Glammis, the young and beautiful and salve for human beings, as well as widow of that pugnacious chieftain, Lord for cattle. Armed with these specifics, Glammis, or as he was more generally and Bessie soon became famous as a doctoress: admiringly called, “ Clear the Causeway, She cured Lady Johnstone's daughter, with and the grand-daughter of that grand old spiced ale, of swoons, and her wife's sister's murderer, Archibald Bell - the - Cat, was cow, but failed with old Lady Kilbowye's burnt for witchcraft, on a false charge of crooked leg, because the marrow of it was


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