« السابقةمتابعة »
vanced, and Allan found himself com bird screamed from the lofty turrets pelled to leave her; each pronounced a amid the intervals of the blast, when last farewell, and he rushed from the the foam-crested wave swept with imhouse regardless of the tempest, which petuous violence, even over its timenow raged with the utmost fury. Guid worn buttress, and the loud wind shook ed only by the streaming lightning, that it almost to its firm basis, he trembled, glared on his intricate path, he hasten- recoiled, and his sickening soul beheld ed forward ; dark and melancholy fore
with coward fear his future fate. He bodings hung on his mind, he feared had now reached the summit of the he had parted from his Annie for ever, cliff, and he paused, dismayed at the he saw in her wasted form the presage increasing horrors of the tempest. The of approaching dissolution. “Oh! that livid lighỉnings streamed from columns we were both at rest !” exclaimed he, of black clouds, and fearful sight! he and the sigh that accompanied the ex beheld the tower rocking to and fro with clamation rent his heart with anguish. the fury of the blast. With petrified Wrapped in his plaid, he hurried for gaze and pensive brain he watched the ward, his ear scarcely conscious of the terrific omen, and lingered as if in silent loud reveberations of the thunder that expectation of some direful event. Now resounded in awful peals, lengthened as shrouded in utter darkness, now lighted it echoed through every chasm of the by the electric fluid, he perceived it still mountains. At length his foot stum- tottering, and every deep burst of thunbled over something, and the scarcely der, that seemed to rend the clouds, he conscious Allan observed it was the feared the bolt would fall which was to cairn which marked the before unnoticed level it in ruins. A solemn pause sucgrave of auld Aughtercla ; for he had ceeded; the suspended feelings of Alnot perceived that he was near the an- lan's soul awaked to a dreadful conscicient kirk. Streams of liquid fire pour
ousness of superstitious horror; it seemed ed over the sacred spot, and the storm to him as the silence of death, and he did indeed
bleak o'er auld Augh- scarcely breathed as he awaited the retercla's grave.” Allan started with turning peal. At length, rushing with folded arms and thoughtful gaze he collected fury over the far-distant wave, stood fixed, while fancy's busy tongue the resistless whirlwind swept around repeated the ancient ballad. The fall the devoted tower, a mighty peal of of Dunmorven's heir may perhaps be at thunder burst over his head, and with hand, thought he, and he now shudder a loud terrific crash its hoary fragments ed at a tradition at which he had often were hurled into the ocean, dashing its smiled in the hour of gaiety : his mind, salt spray in mountainous waves even softened by sorrow, and enervated by over the feverish brow of the terrordespair, gave entrance for the first time struck youth. “ It is accomplished !" to superstition; and, lingering and he exclaimed, as reason, yielding to the mournful, he bent his steps to the sea frenzy of delirium, left him no longer shore.
any power to repel the effects of the Often, when the sun had shone on superstitious prediction; he flung himthe lonely watch-tower, he had laughed self from the jurting crag, and in one at the idle story ; but now, in this hour moment the last heir of Dunmorven of dread and horror, when the night was swept from the records of the living!
MUCHARDUS, the usurping Thane of whom he had heaped innumerable faDungivan, had murdered Roderic the vours, and honoured with his confidence late owner of that title, whom he had On the fourth night of Roderic's treacherously invited to an entertain dreadful confinement, Muchardus enment in a castle
that he possessed on the tered his dungeon ; in one hand he carbanks of the Clyde. As soon as the ried a written paper, in the other a dagbanquet was nearly concluded, Roderic ger; the man who had always brought arose, courteously took leave of his en Roderic's food, carried a torch before tertainer and his guests, and descended the recreant lord. Roderic surveyed his the stairs. But he was not allowed to foe with silent indignation. quit Boswell Castle. His faithful fol After a pause of a few minutes, Mulowers had been previously dispatched, chardus presented to the Thane the and buried in one of the vaults beneath paper which he had brought, and dethe edifice. To one of these, which sired him to peruse it with attention. was formed into a kind of dungeon, He did so, and found it to be drawn up the hapless Roderic was forcibly drag as a will, by which he bequeathed to ged, and fastened to the stone wall by his treacherous friend all his vast posan iron chain.
sessions, and the Thaneship of DungiThree days and nights did the unfortunate Roderic remain in this wretched
“ For what vile purpose have you lodging ; his bed the cold ground, with brought me this infamous scroll ?" deoaten cake and water for food; and this manded the Thane. vile treatment he received from one on “ By signing that paper," replied
Muchardus, you will preserve your despoiled of the property about it, existence. Liberty, 'tis true, I can which was known to have been of great not grant you, consistent with my value on that fatal day, as he had arown designs and safety; yet you shall rayed himself most sumptuously, and be secreted in the best apartment my put on a variety of ornaments to honour castle affords; and every wish you can the banquet of Muchardus, led the per, form, that will not tend to a discovery sons interested in the discovery, 10 of your still being an inhabitant of this conjecture that his attendants had world, shall be attended to with the murdered him, and made off with the most scrupulous exactness.”
booty. And as their bodies could no The Thane's eyes darted fire at this where be found, the report strengthened disclosure of the premeditated villany every day. Nor was Muchardus in the of Muchardus, and he tore the paper to least suspected of the murder. atoms.
That chief having proceeded so far The enraged Muchardus flew towards with a success equal to his most sanhis victim, and repeatedly plunged his guine wishes, hastened to put the finishdagger in his breast, till, with a heavy ing blow to his maneuvres. He carried groan, he fell, and expired at the feet theforged will to be placed in a drawer of his mur rer.
in one of the chambers where he was Muchard's then left the dungeon, sure it would not be overlooked. It was and returned to his own apartment, accordingly found by persons empow. where he employed one of his emissa- ered to search for the papers of the ries, whom he had sworn to secrecy, to deceased. Muchardus was accordingly draw up another paper of the same declared sole heir of the late Thane of purport as that which the Thane had Dungivan : not much to the surprise of destroyed. Muchardus had several pa any person, as the great intimacy bepers in his possession, which had been tween him and Roderic had been so written by Roderic, and to most of them apparent; yet they greatly regretted the his signature was affixed. This they change, as the tyrannical disposition of copied with great exactness, and then Muchardus was too well known, and prepared to reap the fruits of their often experienced by those whom forwicked design.
tune had placed under him. The corse of the murdered Thane Muchardus (now Thane of Dungivan) was taken ere the dawn of day, and had attained the height of his ambition; Alung into a briery dell, where it was yet his pillow was strewed with mental left, having been previously stript of thorns. Ah ! how unlike the prosperity every article of value.
of the good man! Conscience, from The absence of the Thane and his at whose reproaches we cannot flee, pertendants from the Castle of Dungivan, petually reminded of his crimes, and had caused a very serious alarm to his made him shudder with apprehension, vassals and adherents, who had made lest retributive vengeance should overmany successless researches in the
take his guilty head. mountains, and inquired at every habi The late Thane married, in early tation, if they could give any tidings of youth, a most beauteous lady, the heirtheirlord; but no one had seen the Thane ess of a neighbouring chieftain. With since the day he went to Boswell Castle. her he fondly hoped for many years of
Some days after the murder had happiness : but his hopes were vain; been committed, the body of the the peerless Matilda expired in giving Thane was found in the dell, by some birth to her first born, the lovely Donald; huntsmen, who were led to the spot by the traitor Muchardus being one of the the sagacity of their hounds. The marks sponsors that answered for his faith at of violence on his person, and his being the font.
Two years passed on, and the widow an enemy existing ; for his demeanour ed Thane still indulged his grief, undi had been good-will to all; nor did he minished by the lapse of time. Muchar conceive how any person, as he had no dus artfully endeavoured to learn the immediate heir, could be benefitted sentiments of his friend, as far as re by the death or removal of his son. garded his re-engaging in matrimonial Alas! he clasped to his bosom as a ties.
To his great, though coneealed chosen friend, his deadly foe, the cause satisfaction, he heard fron Dungivan, of all his sorrow: for it was Muchardus that he had solemnly vowed never to that had employed ruffians to seize take a second bride, but to cherish a tender remembrance of his Matilda, Allan, the man who was trusted with and pray for a reunion with her in those the management of this vile plot, was realms of bliss where the pangs of sepa ordered by his employer, to take the ration should be unknown.
child and precipitate him into the Clyde Muchardus bad for some time past as soon as he had got rid of the men viewed the possessions of Dungivan with who were joined with him in the ena coveting eye; and he thought it feasi-terprise. ble to obtain the Thaneship by the Allan took the young Lord to his murder of the father and son, as they cottage, where he intended to secret had no near relatives to make a claim. him till the surrounding objects were After much deliberation, he concluded enveloped in the gloom of night, and that it would be most prudent to remove then execute the horrid design which he the child first from this world; as, in had pledged his faith to commit. When case of the death of the Thane preced- he entered his humble habitation, he ing that of Donald, the latter might be found Jannette, his wife, bitterly lamentplaced out of his reach.
ing over the corpse of her son, their Annie, the young woman who nurs- only child. When Allan departed in ed the little Lord, was walking on the the morning, he had left the young banks of the Clyde, when she was seized Ambrose playing before the door of the by four men masked and armed, who cottage, with the rose of health glowing tore Donald from her arms. Two of on his cheeks. A few hours after, death them ran off with the child ; and the had seized his victim; and on the father's other two bound Annie to a tree, and return, he found himself bereft of his then followed their companions. only hope. Nor did he fail to attribute
The length of time that his son was this calamity as the vengeance of an absent alarmed the Thane, and he sent offended God. He felt what it was to some of the domestics to search for lose a child : and he pitied the sufferAnnie and her charge, and require ings that the Thane must endure.their immediate return.
They are more than my own,” ejaThey soon discovered the nurse, and culated the now penitent Allan, “I heard her dismal story. They led her
know the end of mine; but the poor back to the castle in an agony of grief, Lord is uncertain what is the fate of and acquainted the Thane with the tid liis at this moment." ings. He tore his hair, and rent his “ But to-morrow,” continued Allan, garments ; nor would he listen to the after a pause, in which he recollected consolations that Muchardus seemed. the injunctions of his employer, “toso eager to administer.
morrow thy corpse will, perhaps, be Various conjectures were formed who discovered Roating in the Clyde, and could be the perpetrator of such a deed; his apprehensions will be confirmed by but no one, upon mature reflection, a horrid reality.” appeared feasible.
“ You will not, surely, murder this The Thane had not, to his knowledge, sweet babe," exclaimed Jannette in
agony, and clasped the young Donald | tered by chance, it was impossible to to her breast.
discover the deceit that had been praca “I must,” said Allan; “ I have tised. sworn. Behold the price of my villa The body of the infant was not disny;" emptying the contents of a well covered till the third day, when it was filled purse on the table ; " and I am brought on shore by some young men to have as much more when Lord Mu who had been out in a boat fishing. It chardus is convinced that the deed is was soon recognized by the dress to be executed.”
the young Lord Donald, (for the fea"I will not part with him," said tures were not now discernible,) and Jannette, “ he shall supply the place was conveyed to the Castle of Dungivan. of my child.
You have been very The Thane was overwhelmed with dewicked, Allan ; but you are not yet a spair ; he ordered a sumptuous funeral, murderer. The children are nearly of and then immured himself in a solitary a size ; nor are their features much dif- apartment of the north tower. ferent; only the heir of Dungivan is so Allan waited on Muchardus to claim beautifully fair, and our Ambrose is his promised reward, which he gave nearly olive; yet that will not be per- him, with much praise for his adroitceived when the poor babe has lain in ness in performing his commands. the water."
Allan then repaired to Jannette, and “What mean you ?” said Allan, gathering together what they wished to who instantly comprehended and ap- convey with them, left the cottage at the plauded the plan which she had in part dead of night, and procured a conveyexpressed.
ance to Perth, from whence they meant Jannette gave the young Donald some to travel to some remote part of Scotfood; and exchanging his apparel for land, where they miglit dwell in safety, some belonging to her own deceased for they were not without fear of Mubaby, she lulled him asleep; and placing chardus, as they supposed that he would him in the cradle of his predecessor, devise schemes to annihilate all those she began to prepare her design. who were acquainted with his atrocities.
She dressed her lifeless infant in the Nor were their conjectures ill-founded; costly robes which had been worn by Muchardus rested not till he had rethe heir of Dungivan, placing also the moved those whose aid he had purchasornaments of that nobleman about the ed with his gold ; and he felt great dislittle corse; only reserving a gold chain, appointment on discovering that Allan with a small miniature of the Thane had escaped with safety. attached to it, and which hanging To murder the Thane was the next loosely round the neck, might well be
purpose of Muchardus; but while he supposed to have dropt off in the water. was deliberating on the best means to
As soon as it was dark, Allan went facilitate his design with safety to his and Aung the child'into the river Clyde, own person, Dungivan was suddenly accompanying the act with many heart ordered to attend his monarch to Eufelt tears and sorrowful lamentations. gland, where he was going to ratify
Jannette, most fortunately for their some agreement he had entered into plan, had not mentioned to any of the with the monarch of that kingdom; neighbouring cottagers the death of and the schemes of his treacherous her Ambrose. Under the pretence of friend were at that time defeated. the child's being afflicted with a con After passing some time in England, tagious disease, she contrived to keep the Thane of Dungivan joined the him in the upper chamber of her cot Crusaders, and repaired to the Holy tage, from which she so completely Land, where he performed wonders excluded the light, that, if any one en with his single arm against the infidels.