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THE SPECTRE HORSEMEN OF SOUTRA-FELL;

OR,
THB FALL OF THE HOUSE OF SELBY.

A Cumberland Tradition.

And she stretched forth her trembling hand,

Their mighty sides to stroak,
And ay she reached, and ay she stretched,

'Twas nothing all but smoak ;
There were but mere delusive forms,

of films and sulphry wind,
And every wave she gave her hand,
A gap was left behind.

JAMES HUGG.

A BRIGHT fire, a clean floor, and | ominous ever to extinguish, lay half a a pleasant company,” is one of the dozen sheep dogs 'spreading out their proverbial wishes of domestic comfort white bosoms to the heat, and each among the wilds of Cumberland. The placed opposite to the seat of its owner. moorland residence of Randal Rode ex-The lord or rather portioner of Fremhibited the first and second portion of met-ha himself lay apart on a large the primitive wish, and it required no couch of oak antiquely carved, and orvery deep discernment to see that around namented like some of the massive furthe ample hearth we had materials for niture of the days of the olden church, completing the proverb. In each face with beads, and crosses, and pastoral was reflected that singular mixture of crooks. This settee was bedded deep gravity and humour, peculiar, I appre with sheepskins—each retaining a fleece hend, to the children of the north. Be of long white wool. At each end lay fore a large fire-which it is reckoned a shepherd's dog--past its prime like

its master, and like him enjoying a kind youth. These she poured out in a sinof half ruminating and drowsy leisuregular manner-unconscious, apparentpeculiar to old age. Three or four ly, at times of the presence of others busy wheels, guided by as many mai and often addressing herself to the indens, manufactured wool into yarn

for dividuals whom her narrative recalled rugs, and mauds, and mantles. Three to life, as if they stood life-like and other maidens, with bared arms, pre- breathing before her. pared curds for cheese, and their bands “ When I was young, like thee, rivalled in whiteness the curdled milk Maudeline Rode, a marvel happened, itself. Under the light of a large can which amazed many—it is, and will be dlestick Several youths pursued the a lasting tale, and a wonder-for it amusement of the popular game of came even as a vision, and I beheld it draughts. This piece of rude furniture with these eyes. In those days, the ought not to escape particular descrip crown of this land, which now stands tion. It resembled an Etruscan candle so sure and so shining on the brow of bra, and was composed of a shaft, ca him who rules us, was held as one of pable of being depressed or elevated by ambition's baubles that might be transmeans of a notched groove, and sunk in ferred by the sword to some adventurous a secure block of wood at the floor, head; and men of birth and descent terminated above, in a shallow cruse or were ready with trumpet and with brand plate, like a three-cocked bat, in each to do battle for the exiled branch of corner of wbich stood a large candle, the house of Stuart. Rumours of rebelwhich rendered the spacious hall where lion and invasions were as frequent as we sat as light as day. On this scene the winds on our heaths and each day of patriarchal happiness, looked my old brought a darker and more varied tale companion Eleanor Selby contrasting, -of risings in the east, and risings in as she glanced her eye in succession the west--for the King abroad, and for over the tokens of shepherds’ wealth the King at home-and each relator in which the house abounded, the pre gave a colour and a substance to his sent day with the past—the times of tidings, even as his wishes were. The the fleece, the shears, and the distaff

, shepherd went armed to the pasturage with those of broils and blood, and of his flocks the lover went armed to mutnal inroad and invasion, when the the meeting with his mistress—those name of Selby stood high in the chival- who loved silver and gold sought the ry of the north. One might observe in solitary and silent place, and buried her changing looks the themes of rustic their treasure ; the father and mother degradation and chivalrous glory on gazed at their sons and their daughters, which she brooded—and the present and thought on the wrongs of warpeaceful time suffered by the compari- and the children, armed with hazel rods son-as the present always does in the for spears, and swords of lath, carried contemplation of old age. The constant on a mimic and venturous war with one attention of young Maudeline Rode, another, under the hostile banners of who ministered to the comfort of her the lion and the bonnie white rose. ancient and wayward relative, seemed Those who still loved the ancient church, gradually to soothe and charm down the were dreaded by those who loved the demon of proud ancestry who maintain new; and the sectarians hated both, ed rule in her breast ; and after inter and hoped for the day when the jewelchanging softer and softer looks of led mitre would be plucked off the preacknowledgement and kindness with her

late's head—and austerity that denies fair young kinswoman, she thus pro itself, yet giveth not to others and ceeded to relate some of the adventures zeal, which openeth the gates of mershe had witnessed in the time of her

cy, but for a tythe of mankind should

hold rule and dominion in the land. wife, awaiting my wishes with that Those who had broad lands and rich ready and respectful frankness, which heritages, wished for peace-those who those of birth and ancestry always obhad little to lose, hoped acquisitions tain among our mountain peasantry. by a convulsion-and there were many A number of domestics, shepherds, and of the fiery and intractable spirits of the maidens, stood at a distance as much land who wished for strife and commo for the purpose of listening to our contion, for the sake of variety of pursuit versation as from the desire to encumber -and because they wished to see coro- us with their assistance in recommencnets and crowns staked on the issue of ing our journey. “ Young lady," said a battle. Thus, hot discussion and sore David Forester, “have you heard tidings dispute divided the people of this land. of note from the north or south? The It

happened on a fine summer evening, Selbys are an ancient and renowned that I stopped at the dwelling of David race, and in days of old, held rule from Forester, of Wilton-hall, along with sunny Carlisle to the vale of Keswick young Walter Selby of Glamora, to re -a day's flight for a hawk.--They are fresh after a stag-hunt, on the banks of now lordless and landless, but the day Derwent water. The mountain air was may soon come, when to thee I shall mild and balmy, and the lofty and go hat in hand, to beg a boon, and find rugged outline of Soutra-fell appeared thee lady of thy lands again, and the

on a canopied back ground of sky so noble house of Lanercost risen anew · pure, so blue, and so still, that the from its briers and desolation.” I unearth and heaven seemed blended toge

derstood better than I wished to appear, ther. Eagles were visible, perched this mysterious address of my enteramong the moonlight, on the peaks of tainer-and was saved from the confuthe rocks ; ravens rousted at a vast dis sion of a reply, either direct or oblique, tance below, and where greensward by the forward tongue of his wife.joined the acclivity of rock and stone, Marry, and God forbid,” said she, the flocks lay in undisturbed repose, “that ever old lady Popery should hold

with their fleeces shining in dew, and rule in men's homes again—not that I : reflected in a broad deep lake at the wholly hate the old dame either, she has

bottom, so pure and so motionless that really some good points in her character, it seemed a sea of glass. The living and 'if she would put fat flesh in her or rather human portion of the picture, pot o' Fridays, and no demand o' one partook of the same silent and austere a frank confession of failings and frail

character, for inanimate nature often ties, she might hold rule again i’ the · lends a softness, or a sternness to man land for aught I care; though, I cannot the meditative melancholy of the moun say

I think well of the doctrine that detain, and the companionable garrulity nies nourishment to the body in the beof the vale, have not escaped proverbial lief of bettering the soul. That's a sad observation.. I had alighted from my mistake in the nature of us moorland horse, and seated on a little green hil- people—if a shepherd lacks a meal a lock before the house, which the ima minute beyond the sounding of the gination of our mountaineers had not horn, all the house hears on't-it's a failed to people at times with fairies religion, my lady, that will never take and elves-tasted some of the shepherds root again in this wild place, where men curds and cream-the readiest and the scorn the wheat and haver food, and sweetest beverage which rustic hospita- make, for lack o' kitchen, the fat mutlity supplies: Walter Selby had seated ton eat the lean." The good woman Inimself at my feet, and behind me stood of the house was interrupted in he the proprietor of Wilton-hall and his curious speech by the arrival of those

« But do you

personages, who, with a horse and pack, , all things human.'” distribute the luxuries and comforts of think,” said I, “ that the people will the city over the mountainous regions of continue to prefer the cold blood of the the provinces. His horse, loaded with man who keeps the chair, to the warm heavy panniers, came foremost, anxious kindly English blood of him that's far for a resting place, and behind came the away?” “ Aye, aye," quoth he," nae owner, a middle-aged man, tall and doubt, nae doubt when we wou'd robust, with hair as black as the raven, drink ditch-water rather than red wine." curled close beneath a very broad bon “ But," said I, “ would it not be better net, and in his hand one of those mea for the land, that we had the throne suring rods of root grown oak, piked made steadfast under our own native with iron at the under end, and mounted king than have it shaken by every blast with brass at the upper--which seem that blews, as I hear it will soon be ?" ed alike adapted for defending or mea Say ye sae !" said 'he, “ say ye sae! suring his property. He advanced to better have a finger off than ay wag. the spot where we were seated, like an ging,”—and so he continued for an old acquaintance, asked for and ob hour to reply to every plain question tained lodgings for the evening, and with such dubious responses of northern having disposed of his horse, he took proverb, that I left him as wise as I out a small box, resembling a casket, found him. This historical sketch of which he placed on the grass, and, the pedlar obtained the notice of the seating himself beside it, assumed one farmer's wife, who, with the natural of those looks of mingled gravity and impatience of womankind, thus abruptgood humour-prepared alike for se ly questioned him, “ We honest moorriousness or mirth. He was not per land people hate all mystery : if you are mitted to remain long in silence. -- a man loyal in your heart and upright “ You come from the north, Simon in your dealings, you may remain and Packpin," said one of the menials, share our supper—but if ye be'a spy “one can know that by yere tongue; from those northern marauders, who and as ye are a cannie lad at a hard are coming with boughs as bare as their bargain, ye can tell us in yere own sly swords to make a raid and a foray upon and cannie way, if it be true, that the us-arise, I say, and depart—but stay. Highland gentlemen are coming to try tell us truly, when this hawk of the old if they can set with targe and claymore uncannie nest of the Stuarts will come the crown of both lands on the brow it to wreck and herrie us?” To all this, was made for." I looked at the person Simon the pedlar opposed a look of of the querist a young man of the the most impenetrable good humour and middle size, with a firm limb, and a gravity, and turning over his little oakfrank martial mien, and something in en box, undid a broad strap and buckle his bearing which bespoke a higher am- ---applied a key to the lock-took out bition than that of tending flocks—his combes, and knives, and spectacles, and face too I thought I had seen before, and some of those cheap ornaments for the under very different circumstances. bosom and the hair, and all the while “ Good sooth, Wattie Graeme,” said he continued chanting over the followanother of the menials, " ye might as ing curious song-addressed obliquely well try to get back butter out o' the to the good dame's queries and perblack dog's throat, as extract a plain fectly intelligible to all who knew the answer from Sleekie Simon-1 asked poetic language and allegorical meanhim no farther than a month ago, if he ing, which the adherents of the house of thought we would have a change in the Stuart employed to convey tidings of land soon— the moon,' quoth he, importance to each other. “ will change in its season, and so maun

The Cackoo's a bonnie Bird.
The Cuckoo is a gentle bird, and gentle is his note,
And April it is pleasant, while the sun is waxing hot ;
For amid the green woods growing, and the fresh flowers' blooming throng,
Forth comes the gentle Cuckoo with his meek and modest song.
The eagle slays the little lambs on Skiddaw high and hoar,
The hawk, he covets carnage, and the gray glede griens for gore,
The raven croaks aloud for blood, through spring and summer long,
While the bonnie Cuckoo gladdens us with many a merry song.
The woodcock comes, and with the swan brings winter on his wing,
The groves cast off their garments green, the small birds cease to sing ;..
The wild birds cease to sing till the lillies scent the earth,
But the Cuckoo scatters roses round whenever he goes forth.
The Cuckoo is a princely bird, and we will wait awhile,
And welcome him with shout and song, in the morn of green April;
We'll lay our thighs o'er our good steeds, and gird our claymores on,
And chase away the hooded crows that croak around the throne.

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I could not help glancing my eye on most noble foe. I tell thee, lady, that this curious and demure traveller; but I honour thee more--lady, as thou the perfect simplicity of his looks baf- seemest to be, but of a kirtle and a steed, tied all the scrutiny which the mysterious than if thou satest with a footstool of import of his song induced me to make. gold, and hadst nobles' daughters bearWalter Graeme, one of the shepherds, | ing up thy train. This cross and rosary," sat down at his side, desirous of pur- -and he held in his hand these devochasing some of his commodities, but tional symbols, carved of dark wood, the frank mountaineer was repulsed in and slightly ornamented with gold,an attempt to dip his hands among the “: are of no common wood—a princess motley contents of the pack-and had has sat under the shadow of its bough, it come to the arbitration of personal and seen her kingdom won and loststrength, there could be little doubt of and may the fair one, who will now the issue for the merchant had a will wear it, warm it in her bosom, till she ing hand and a frame of iron. Silence sees a kingdom, long lost, won as boldly, ensued for a while--the pedlar, who for and as bravely, as ever the swords of some time had stolen a glance at me, the Selbys won their land.” And throwseemed all at once to come to some con ing the rosary around my neck, as he clusion how to proceed, and fastening concluded, away he went, and opened up his little box, approached me with his pack anew, resuming again his dea look of submission and awe, “ Fair mure look and the arrangement of his lady, the pedlar is but a poor man, who trinkets, Walter Selby, who all this earns an honest penny among the pea while, though then a hot and forward santry—but he has a reverence and a youth, had remained mute, addressed love for the noble names which grace me in a whisper, “Fair Eleanor, mine our verse and our chivalry; and who own giddy cousin, this pedlar-this has an English heart that knows not, dispenser of rosaries made of Queen and beats not high at the sound of Sel Mary's yewtree-he, whom the churls by's name and who bears a Scottish call Simon, Packpin, is no seeker of heart that sorrows not for the wreck and profit from vulgar merchandize. I'll the desolation of our most ancient and wager a kiss of thine own ruddy lips

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