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He passed sixteen years in foreign coun affection. The noble and heroic mind tries ere he revisited his native place, of the youth often called forth his won which he did with a determination to der and admiration. A native dignity, domesticate there in peace for the re that adorned his soul, was not subdued mainder of his days.
by present poverty, or the small expecHe was yet in the prime of his age ;
tations he had of acquiring any worldly and his valour had made him an object wealth. Allan could not subdue the of esteem and admiration. Allthe neigh- regret that constantly arose when Dan bouring nobility gave splendid enter nald met his view ; he wished to see tainments in honour of his return.- him fill the place in society wbich was Among the rest, Mochardus, with whom his right; but his fears, and the improhe had instantly renewed the friendship bability of his tale being believed, made of their youth, was not slow in prepar him bury the secret in his bosom. ing the banquet, and planning the death He had been very successful in the of his unsuspecting guest.
tilling of a small farm, which he bad The manner in which Muchardus ob purchased with part of the money which tained his ill-acquired grandeur has Muchardus had given him as a reward already been described ; but he was not for the supposed murder of the child. happy. To divert his thoughts from All the savings which arose from this dwelling on the past events of his life, source were hoarded for Donald; for which were not of a nature to bear re he had always retained that appellation trospection, he resolved to marry. There from the time of his protectors leaving was an heiress of great property, who the precincts of Dungivan. The youth had been consigned to his guardianship was now in his twentieth year, and the by her deceased father. The beauty of above-mentioned savings Allan Lady Catharine fascinated his senses, debating with himself how he could while her accumulating wealth held out best lay out for the benefit of Donald, a lure to his avarice, and fondness for when he received an intimation from ostentatious parade. Muchardus was one of the Weird Sisters, that he was to still handsome ; few men were more return with his young charge to the indebted to nature for the gifts she had banks of the Clyde. Allan disposed of so lavishly bestowed on him. His his farm, and obeyed the commands he countenance was formed to command : had received; and he was once more but the tyrannical passions and habits settled in a cottage among the mounhe had for many years imbibed, some tains of Dungivan; and heard with hortimes spread over his features a fierce ror of the murder of the late Thane, ness almost terrific. Lady Catharine which, from the proofs he had already beheld him with a fixed aversion. Two had of the villany of the present one, he years she had resided at Dungivan, and was not slow in attributing to him, had witnessed enough of his disposition Time had silvered over the head of to make her shrink with terror, and Allan, and so altered his
that daily deplore the infatuation by which no one recognised him as Allan, under her parent was blinded, when he chose the name he thought it now expedient the Thane during her minority. with his own safety to assume. Ac
At this period, Caledonia was much cording to the instructions he had regoverned by the influence of the Weird ceived from the Weird Sisters, he reSisters. From the birth of young paired to all the neighbouring Thanes, Donald, they had resolved to protect and made an avowal of the transaction him, and work his weal, and the woe of in which he had been engaged with his father's murderer.
respect to the heir of Dungivan, and A Han had long since lost his Jannette. the way he was preserved by Jannette's He beheld Donald with the most fervent | interposition.
A particular mark, which Allan as was appalled; the wind rose to a trem serted to be on the back of Donald's mendous height; the thunder rolled neck, was well known to several of the over his head, and the blue lightuing nobles, who had beard it remarked while Aashed in his face-terror-struck, he the heir was yet in his infancy; this, resolved to give up his design of visitand several other convincing circum- | ing the Sisters; but he had lost the path stances, placed his identity beyond a which led back to the castle, and be doubt : but none of them were willing to
wandered he knew not whither. Now make an enemy of the fierce Muchar and then he beheld a faint light, which dus, whose power and undaunted ex he hoped proceeded from the cave of ploits had effectually awed the neigh some anchorite, where he could obtain bouring chieftains from interfering in shelter. his concerns. Nor could all the endea He soon came to a rock, in the bolvours of the aged Allan raise the hapless low of which was a door partly open, youth one friend to assert his rights, whence issued a pale gleam of light, and the poor old man soon expired The door flew back at his touch, and under the pressure of the regret that he entered a misty cavern; the light he experienced.
increased to a supernatural brightness, Donald was ignorant of these appli- and in a few moments the Weird Sisters eations, and the purport of them; for appeared, and saluted him with a disAlan had never disclosed to him the cordant voice. nobleness of his birth. He knew his “Hail ! We know what brought thee here. lofty spirit would not suffer him to sink Wicked chieftain, shake with fear, into silent obscurity while an usurper
The assassin shuns his downy bed :
Can he shun the restless dead ? enjoyed his domains. And what could
No, while in the forest drear, his single arm effect against his deadliest
Roderic, rise, and meet him here! foe, who would inevitably hurl him to And the wounds he gave display. destruction ?
Remorse be his by night and day." Though none of the chieftains would
The mysterious Sisters then severalengage in the cause of the orphan, yet ly requested what he sought to know. their converse on the subject was not • Ask!"-" Require!”-“ Demand!" carried on so secretly, but that it reach -exclaimed the Weird Beings. ed the ears of Muchardus, and gave him Muchardus inquired if he should pethe most dire apprehensions; though rish by an avenging sword. he openly derided the report as a most The first Sister replied, “ that no absurd imposture.
human power should harm Muchardus." Anxious to know if he should possess He then demanded who was next to his guilty honours unmolested, and win enjoy the domains of Dungivan. the love of the beauteous Lady Catha The second Sister answered, That rine, he resolved to seek the Weird the lawful heir of the murdered RodeSisters. For this purpose he left Dun-ric, and his bride, Lady Catharine, the givan Castle, attended by Sandy, the peerless rose of the Clyde, would suconly domestic he took with him, and ceed him." repaired to a forest near the cave of Muchardus's heart appeared to die Fingal, where the mysterious Sisters within him at these words; and it was were said to resort, and perform their not till the third Sister again repeated midnight orgies.
the question, of what he songht to know, When he approached the spot, he that he recovered sufficiently to ask how directed Sandy to wait his return at the many years of his existence still refoot of a large tree, which he pointed mained. out to his notice. He then proceeded The bearded sister would not give an fearfully on. The soul of the Thane explicit answer to this important qưes
tion ; but remarked to him, that he had took possession of his bosom ; and he once seen the apparition of the mur reasoned with himself in vain against dered Roderic.
its increasing influence; for Love, that Muchardus, while his frame trembled leveller of rank, was constantly inspiring with horror at the recollection of the him with hope. appalling scene he had witnessed in one Lady Catharine was not insensible to of the galleries of the castle, faintly re the attentions of Donald; and she often plied in the affirmative.
breathed forth a secret prayer that he “ Mark me then," said the witch; had been of equal birth with herself. “ you will not survive the third
Near five weeks had elapsed since ance of the dreadful spectre.”
their first casual meeting, when one The sisters then vanished from his morning the Lady Catharine being with view: and Muchardus, affrighted at the some of her attendants on the Clyde, gloom, (for the witches had left him in in a small sailing-boat, a sudden gust total darkness,) was going to quit the of wind upset it ; and the fair lady was cave with precipitation, when the mur- precipitated into the water. Donald, dered Roderic stood before him, and who had been walking on the banks for intercepted his progress.
some time, and surveying the lovely Muchardus gazed on the airy form Catharine with delight, as the vessel with the greatest agony, till a chilling slowly glided along, immediately saw sweat bedewed his forehead; his limbs her danger, and plunged into the streara failed him, and he fell senseless on the to snatch her from impending death. floor of the cave.
He happily succeeded in bearing his In this situation he was found by lovely burthen safe to the shore, and led Sandy, who alarmed by the Thane's her till they arrived at the castle gates, long absence, ventured from his leafy where he abruptly left her, ere she could shelter, as soon as the storm had abated, express her thanks for the service he had to seek him ; in which charitable de rendered her to opportunely. sign he succeeded with some difficulty, From this auspicious day, gratitude, and was much terrified with meeting the united to love, created for Donald a Weird Sisters in his path, who mali strong interest in her heart : yet pruciously diverted themselves with excit-dence bade her avoid him ; there was no ing his fears, and then suffered him to prospect that the prejudices which her proceed.
friends would entertain against such a He found his master just recovering suitor, could be overcome, and she refrom a death-like swoon.
He assisted solved to spare him and herself, if poshim to rise; and Muchardus, having sible from the pangs of a hopeless pasglanced his eye around, and, to his great sion. relief, perceiving no spectre, exerted Donald no longer met her in his himself to leave the horrid cave; and walks; he felt the change in her behawas led by Sandy to the Castle, where viour most severely, and became a vohe retired to his splendid couch the tary of sorrow and despair, courting the most miserable of human beings. influence of these passions in the still
Donald, since the death of Allan, his hours of the night, wandering among supposed parent, had remained in his precipices and dreary forests. Chance cottage, as he had not yet met with the led him to the cave where Muchardus opportunity he coveted of embracing a had obtained an audience with the military life.
Weird Sisters, about an hour after that In his solitary walks about the moun Thane had quitted it. The Sisters again tains, he frequently met Lady Catherine, appeared. Instead of cringing to them and her attendant, Moggy Cameron. A with the abject servility of Dungivan's fervent passion for the noble fair one usurping lord, he demanded with some
sternness, what they wanted with him. / present habitation, and repair to the But his asperity was soon transformed court of King Malcolm, and submit into profound respect, when they ex the cause to him. In searching the pressed their solicitude for his weal, papers of the deceased Allan, he disand claimed his attention to what they covered a written attestation of the dehad to impart.
ceit he had practised to save the infant's The eldest of the Weird Sisters then life, describing some particular marks gave a concise account of the crimes of of fruit he had on his body, together the present Thane, and informed Do with the chain he wore round his neck, nald that he was at that time plotting which was now fastened to the paper. his destruction ; being in dread of his These proofs were very consoling to revenge, and his gaining the affections Donald, and made him commence his of Lady Catharine.
journey with more alacrity; and by the The Weird Sisters then joined in ad noon of the day on which he sat out, monishing him as to his future conduct; he had travelled many miles. The heat and one of them delivered to Donald of the mid-day sun greatly incommoda white silk flag, on which were woven ed him, and he
faint and weary. some mysterious characters. This, she A neat cottage presented itself to told him, would once, and once only, view, and he knocked at the door to be of singular service to him in extreme request admittanee, that he might rest danger, and that being the case, she till the cool of the evening. This the exhorted him not to try its efficacy till loquacious hostess denied him; and all other resources had failed, and his during his expostulations with her on own exertions proved abortive.
the subject, she unguardedly betrayed Donald took a courteous leave of the to his knowledge, that her inhospitable bounteous Sisters; and repaired to his refusal was owing to her having sheltercottage in a far different frame of mind ed Lady Catharine, who had escaped from what he had ever experienced be- from the Castle to her humble roof, she fore. His birth was noble-worthy of having been led hither by her attendant, Lady Catharine ; and he felt that it was Moggy Cameron, who was daughter to possible for time and perseverance to
the cottager. bestow on him a happiness which the Donald had betrayed so much emopreceding day he had regarded as unat tion during the recital, that the good tainable.
dasne, alarmed at the consequences that The next day he was informed by a might ensue from her communicating person who had a sincere regard for his Ro much to a stranger, entered the dwell
, ing him to be the lawful heir of the domain, Donald, hurt at her manner, and disand had privately suborned persons to appointed at not obtaining an interview assassinate him, not assigning the true with Lady Catharine, to whom he wishreason for that horrid design, but charged to impart the intelligence he had reing him with the attempt to seduce ceived from the Weird Sisters, and Lady Catharine from her duty, by per worn out hy fatigue, fainted at the door suading her to leave the castle of her of the cottage. The noise he made in guardian, and share a beggar's fate.-falling, brought its inmates to his relief; That lady, the informant added, was and Lady Catharine instantly recognised now strictly confined within the circle her faithful Donald. lle soon revived; of her own apartments, and forced to and the fair one had just listened with listen to the hateful addresses of the pleasing surprise to his narrative, when Thane.
a party of Muchardus's soldiers, who had Donald on receiving this intimation, been sent in pursuit of the fugitives, arthought it most prudent to leave his rived, and conveyed the lovers to the
Castle, where Donald was confined in her hiding place, from which he dragged a dungeon, and Sandy, having interfer-her into his boat, just at the instant that ed in the behalf of the young lord, was the one in which Donald and his intendalso made a prisoner; and guards were ed assassins were sitting, entered the set over them ; but, by a successful placed pitched on for the scene of his stratagem of Moggy, who intoxicated destruction. their keepers, and procured the keys, Catharine, in her struggles to get they were liberated, and quitted the from the Thane fell into the water, and Castle walls.
would have perished, but for the activiBy the direction of Moggy, they re ty of Sandy, who succeeded in replacpaired to an isolated building about two ing her in the boat which had conveyed miles from Dungivan; and in less than her hither, while Donald, who was a an hour they were joined by Lady Ca- confined spectator of the accident, was tharine and her attendants they having almost senseless with despair. escaped from the spies which Muchar The Thane now offered to grant Dodus had set round them, by means of a vald his life, if he would renounce his subterraneous winding, which led from presumptuous claim and the hand of the stairs of the north tower to a grotto Lady Catharine; but the youth rejected that terminated one of the avenues of the proposal with the scorn it merited. the Castle grounds.
A secret impulse made Muchardus wish They proceeded in their flight for to save the youth's life, if he could contwo days unmolested, when, alas ! they sistent with his own terms ; and he were again taken in the toils, and the vowed to release him, and provide for Thane in person headed the pursuers. his future weal, if Lady Catharine would
As soon as they arrived at the Cas- instantly become his bride, and resign tle, Muchardus ordered some of his fol- all thought of Donald. She gave an
lowers to take young Donald to the cave heroic refusal; and the enraged Thane ! of Fingal, (a long subterraneous passage ordered the assassins to strangle their
cut through a rock, and filled with a victim. Struggles were of no avail ; branch of the river,) in a boat, and de- the youth remembered the injunctions stroy him. In vain Catharine knelt, and of the Weird Sisters, and waved the besought him to avert the sentence; he fag three times in the air. The Spec
was inexorable ; and the fair one, fran tre of his Sire arose in the midst of the : tic with despair, rushed out of the Cas- water, and pronounced the doom of his
tle ere the 'Thane had time to intercept vile murderer, who sank with the boat her progress. Sandy, who had atten
and perished. tively watched her, followed, and by her Donald was instantly conveyed with directions procured a boat, and repair-Lady Catharine back to the Castle, ed with her to the cave of Fingal. They where the most lively transports of joy. arrived there first ; and securing the took place among the domestics at reboat in one of the inlets, Lady Catha- ceiving the son of Roderic for their lord ; rine hid herself behind a projection of for they had groaned under the tyranny the rock, to watch the actions of the of Muchardus. Thane, who soon arrived in a boat on Donald fouud no difficulty in getting ly, attended by the man who handled his title acknowledged by his sovereign; the oars. Contrary to the expectations and his union with the fair Catharine of Catharine, Muchardus suspected her was productive of the utmost felicity to being in the cave, and soon discovered themselves and their offspring.