« السابقةمتابعة »
Sandie, my lad,' said his wife, laying with flame.' And a flood of light, but e an arm particularly white and round not so gross as a common fire, which 1
about his neck as she spoke, . are you ascended to heaven and filled all the not a queer man and a stern? I have court before the house, amply justified been your wedded wife now these three the good-wife's suspicions. But to the
years; and beside my dower, have terrors of fire Sandie was as immoveable e brought you three as bonny bairns as as he was to the imaginary groans of
ever smiled aneath a summer sun. o the barren wife of Laird Laurie ; and he man, you are a douce man, and fitter to held his wife, and threatened the weight be an elder than even Willie Greer him- of his right-hand—and it was a heavy self, I have the minister's ain word one-to all who ventured abroad or for't, to put on these hard-hearted even unbolted the door. The neighing looks, and gang waving your arms that and prancing of horses, and the belway, as if ye said, “I winna take the lowing of cows, augmented the horrors counsel of sic a hempie as you, your of the night ; and to any one who only ain leal wife ; I will and I maun have heard the din, it seemed that the whole an explanation. To all this Sandie onstead was in a blaze, and horses and Macharg replied, " Itis written—"wives, catile perished in the flame. All wiles, obey your husbands;" but we have common or extraordinary, were put in stayed in our devotion, so let us pray; practice to entice or force the honest and down he knelt; his wife knelt also, farmer and his wife to open
the door ; for she was as devout as bonnie ; and and when the like success attended beside them knelt their household, and every new stratagem, silence for a all lights were extinguished. « Now | little while ensued, and a long, loud, this beats a', muttered his wife to and shrilling laugh wound up the herself ; “ however, I shall be obedient dramatic efforts of the night. In the for a time; but if I dinna ken what all morning, when Laird Macharg went to this is for before the morn by sunket the door, he found standing against one time, tongue is nae longer a tongue, nor of the pilasters a piece of black ship my hands worth wearing.' The voice oak, rudely fashioned into something of her husband in prayer interrupted like human form, and which skilful this mental soliloquy; and ardently people declared would have been clothed did he beseech to be preserved from the with seeming flesh and blood, had he wiles of the fiends and the snares of admitted his visitants. A synod of wise Satan; from witches, ghosts, goblins, men and women sat upon the woman elves, fairies, spunkies, and water-kel of timber, and she was finally ordered pies; from the spectre shallop of to be devoured by fire, and that in the Solway; from spirits visible and in open air. A fire was soon made, and visible; from the Haunted Ships and into it the elfin sculpture wa tossed their unearthly tenants ; from maritime from the prongs of two pair of pitchspirits that plotted against godly men,
forks. And the blaze that arose was and fell in love with their wives - awful to behold; and bissings, and Nay, but his presence be near us! | burstings, and loud cracklings, and said his wife, in a low tone of dismay. strange noises, were heard in the midst 'God guide my gude-man's wits: 'I of the fame; and when the whole never heard such a prayer from human sunk into ashes, a drinking cup of some lips before. But Sandie, my man, precious metal was found ; and this lordsake rise: what fearful light is cup, fashioned no doubt by elfin skill, this ?-barn and byre, and stable, maun
but rendered harmless by the purificabe in a blaze; and Hawkie and Hurley, tion with fire, the sons and daughters Doddie and Cherrie, and Damson-plum, of Sandie Macharg and his wife drink will be smopred with red, and scorched out of to this very day.”
Ar the midnight hour they met, the the bright blue gem, the token of the moon was in the wane, they dared not spell ; its colour was' unchanged, for gaze upon her whilst they framed the the wearer still was true. She longed magic spell. From the mossy bank to prove her lover's faith, and watched the glow-worm's glimmering light the heavens with dread; she uttered played on the stream below. They
They the words that wake the dead, and lookstood beneath the alders dank, and ed on the magic ring; the blue stone spake the words of fear. He placed turned to deadly white, and she knew the mystic circlet on her hand, and her lover false. The spirits that heard watched the appointed time. From a the charm rejoiced in the echoes around, maniac's grave they had stolen the the midnight fogs fell damp and thick; earth, they scattered the dust on the but the chill was in her soul ; consumipstream, they gazed on the northern tion hovered in the mist and crept into star. That star withdrew her sparkling her breast. rays, and veiled her in a cloud in Her
eye was bright, her cheek was darkness, and with dread they uttered fair, but the spell had numbered her the awful spell.-The spirits of evil re days.-She dropt like the flower of the joiced, the wind moaned sadly around, field, and passed from the face of the the glow-worms quenched their fires, earth.--She sleeps beside the maniac's and they who had tempted their fate, grave, beneath the northern star.—The who had scattered the maniac's dust, forester returned. The abode of her read their doom in the sighs of the he once loved was desolate-thethoughts wind, and wished the dread accents of former days resumed their power, untold.
the secret spell still worked upon his The forester departed, he roamed mind; it haunted him in sleep, it in other climes, the past appeared a haunted him by day, it was around, dream, he thought not of his plighted unseen, but every where it stamped Vows, nor remembered the force of the his features with a dire deceit, the eye spell. She dwelt in the forest glades, that met avoided him, the hearts of all beside that limpid stream, far from the turned from him, he sought affection haunts of men in deepest solitude. but he found it not, he lived unloved, Now days and months had fled, but unwept he died; no holy prayers e'er the forester returned not; the fifth day blessed his grave, or bid his troubled of the week, when clouds enveloped the spirit rest—his ashes moulder in the northern star, the wind was abroad in wind, the pilgrim shuns the spot, for the oaks, and the mist and rain were there the spirits of evil perform their eddying in the valley, the maiden bent unearthly rites, and frame the spells her steps to that half-dreaded spot, be of death. side the alders dank. She gazed upon
Ar the foot of the Giant, or Ogre poor cousin, who lives here in this Mountain, (so called from its pre-emi-village. To us the girl is but very disnent height), in a fertile district of Si- tantly related—besides, she will prolesia, there fell to be divided among bably soon have a good husband to several relations the property of a rich protect her, for she is amiable and commoner, who had died without prudent, and is commonly called the children, and whose various farms were beautiful Sabina. Therefore, my counscattered about in different quarters of sel is, that we freely give to our cousin this romantic country:
in a present this “ Field of Terror.” For this purpose, they had assembled We shall then have at once fulfilled our in a small inn of the head village, and duty, and supplied a dowry for Sabina; would have very soon
come to an which, unpromising as it appears at amicable agreement on the division of present, may yet prove no inconsideratheir inheritance, had it not been that ble fortune, if her husband should it included the Field of Terror ; which, chance to be sufficiently skilful and of course, no one was inclined to re
courageous to venture on its improve | ceive for his portion.
The rest of the party unaniYet the surface of this field was mously approved of this motion; and adorned with blooming flowers, and a one of their number was immediately variety of wild shrubs and underwood, despatched on an embassy to acquaint betokening at once the fertility of the Sabina with their determination. soil, and the neglect of the husband Before this debate was at an end, man. Many years indeed had passed Sabina had, in the dusk of the evening, since any one had ventured there with heard a light knocking at the door. To a plough, nor had any seeds been her question of “ Who was there ?" planted or sown but those which Nà.
an answer was returned, which induced ture herself supplied. Or if some bold her immediately to rise from her seat, adventurer bad now and then made open the lattice, and look out. It was such an attempt, the work-oxen were the well remembered and long wishedinvariably seized with an uncontrollable for voice of Conrad ; a young man like fury ;—even the ploughman and sower herself, handsome and amiable, but fed in wild affright,-complaining that also extremely poor; on which account horrible spectres floated around them, he had left the village about two years pretending to join in their labour, before as a soldier, in hopes of returnand looking over their shoulders with ing with such a portion of worldly gain an hideous confidence and familiarity, as might render practicable a marriage which no mortal courage could endure. with the beloved mistress, whose affec
Who should now take this accursed tions he had already won. and ominous field into his allotment Pleasant and affecting was it now to became the grand question in debate. behold how the tall and
graceful young To every one it appeared (according to soldier, with joyful countenance, profthe usual way of the world) that what fered his faithful right hand to Sabina, to himself was even an idea insupport- while her bright and beautiful eyes, able, might, by his neighbour, be en- glistening with tears, beamed through countered without risk or hesitation. the changeless verdure of ivy boughs on Thus they continued disputing till a her changeless lover! late hour of the evening. At last, after « Ah, Conrad !" said she, deeply an interval of silence, one of the party biushing, “ heaven be praised that your announced the following suggestion. life has been preserved;
-for this alone “ We are," said he “ according to I prayed in your long absence ; nor do the injunctions of our predecessor, I now require any other boon of forobliged to make some provision for a tune!"-" Her golden gifts indeed,"
said Conrad, smiling and shaking his introduced him to Conrad as her accepthead, “have come but sparingly-yet, ed lover, just returned from an honourat least, I have returned richer than I able campaign. “ Ha, then,” said her went; and if my dear Sabina has but new guest, “ I have luckily come in courage, I think we might now venture the
very nick of time ; for if by chance on marriage, and honourably brave the your bridegroom has returned from the world."-" Ah, faithful Conrad !" wars without much worldly gain, the sighed his mistress, “ to link thy fate dowry with which, by authority of your inalterably thus, for weal and wo, with other cousins, I am now to present you, a poor helpless orphan !" Dearest will no doubt be very welcome to him.” girl," interrupted the soldier—“if thou Conrad, on the contrary, was of a lov'st me, say but yes,' and rest as- spirit too proud and independent, and sured that all will go well - we shall live besides, was too much of a romantic together happier indeed than king and lover, to express any sort of exultation queen !”-“ But,” said Sabina, are on hearing this address. The humble you then free no longer a soldier " Sabina, however, as yet unconscious Conrad, without speaking, now search- of what her cousins really intended, ed in a leather purse which contained seemed to acknowledge, on this occahis little fortune, for a silver medal, sion, the special favour of Providence, which he handed to Sabina, who held and cast down her eyes, with soft smiles it so, that the light of her lamp fell on of gladness and gratitude. But when the device. With old-fashioned wit, she now heard that her whole portion a broken drum was there represented, was to be the field of Terror, then the and Sabina began to read the motto selfish avarice of her cousins struck at " Thank heaven war has"-- 66 Thank once with icy coldness on her heart, and heaven war has an end".
'-" It should she could no longer restrain the starting say," added Conrad," it is true, in tears of disappointment. Her cousin deed, that peace is not yet ratified ; looked at her with scornful smiles, prebut there is a truce, which will proba- | tending to regret that she should have bly have good results ; and meanwhile, reckoned on any better share of the our general has disbanded his troops. inheritance, this being a much larger
With joyful anticipations, Sabina portion, than, from the degree of her now gave her hand to her lover; then relationship, she was entitled to receive. opened the cottage door, and allowed Upon this, he wished immediately him, as her accepted bridegroom, to to retire. Conrad, however, interceptenter the small apartment, where he ed his retreat, and, with a cold comsat down beside his mistress, and re posure, which often accompanied his lated how he had gained a small sum greatest indignation, be thus addressed in gold and silver, from an Italian him: “Sir, I perceive that of the good officer, whom he had honourably con intentions of the deceased to my bequered in the field ; and who, by the trothed wife, you and your companions surrender of this treasure, had ransom have chosen to make a jest, and that ed bis life.-Turning her wheel indus you are altogether resolved that not one triously, and smiling softly, at intervals, farthing shall accrue to her from your on her brave lover, Sabina congratulated inheritance. Yet we now take, in God's berself, that neither to her own or to name, your allotment, hoping that this Conrad's future gains, the slightest im-Field of Terror, which, in the hands putation of injustice or violence could of envious and avaricious poltroons, be attached.
might have remained barren, may, During this conversation, lier cousin under the management of a brave' sol. made his appearance to deliver his em-dier, prove of more worth than you bassy. Sabina, with modest blushes, suppose.”