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• After the battle of Culloden, so fatal to that party, this gentleman, along with others who had escaped the slaughter of the field, sheltered themselves from the rage of the unsparing soldiery among the distant recesses of their comtry. To him his native mountains offered an asylum; and thither he naturally fled for protection. Acquainted, in the pursuits of the chace, with every secret path and unworn track, he lived for a considerable time like the deer of his forest, close hid all day, and only venturing down at the fall of evening, to obtain from some of his cottagers, whose fidelity he could trust, a scanty and precarious support. I have often heard him, for he is one of my oldest acquaintances, describe the scene of his hiding-place at a later period, when he could recollect it in its sublimity, without its horror * At times,' said he, when I ventured to the edge of the wood, among some of those inaccessible crags which you remember a few miles froin my house, I have heard in the pauses of the breeze which rolled solemn through the pines beneath me, the distant voices of the soldiers, shouting in answer to one another amidst their inhuman search. I have heard their shouts re-echoed from cliff to cliff, and seen reflected from the deep still lake below, the gleam of those fires which consumed the cottages of my people. Sometimes shame and indignation well-nigh overcame my fear, and I have prepared to rush down the steep, unarmed as I was, and to die at once by the swords of my enemies; but the instinctive love of life prevailed, and starting as the roe bounded by me, I have again shrunk back to the shelter I had left.
One day,' continued he, the noise was nearer than usual ; and, from the cave in which I lay, I heard the parties immediately below so close upon me, that I could distinguish the words they spoke. After some time of horrible suspense, the voices grew weaker and more distant; and at last I heard them die away at the further end of the wood. I rose and stole to the mouth of the cave ; when suddenly à dog met me, and gave that short quick bark' by which they indicate their prey. Amidst the terror of the circumstance, I was yet master enough of myself to discover that the dog was Oscar ; and I own to you I felt his appearance like the retribution of justice and of heaven.-Stand ! cried a threatening voice, and a soldier pressed through the thicket, with his bayonet charged. It was Albert ! Shame, confusion, and remorse, stopped my utterance, and I stood motionless before him. “My master !' said he, with the stifled voice of wonder and of fear, and threw himself at my feet. I had recovered my recollection. • You are revenged,' said I, and I am your prisoner.?—Revenged ! Alas! you have judged too hardly of me; I have not had one happy day since that fatal one on which I left my master; but I have lived, I hope, to save him. The party to which I belong are passed ; for I lingered behind them
among those woods and rocks, which I remembered so well in happier days. There is, however, no time to be lost. In a few hours this wood will blaze, though they do not suspect that it shelters you. Take my dress, which may help your escape, and I will endeavour to dispose of yours.
On the coast, to the westward, we have learned there is a small party of your friends, which, by following the river's track till dusk, and then striking over the shoulder of the hill, you may join without much danger of discovery.' -I felt the disgrace of owing so much to him I had injured, and remonstrated against exposing him to such imminent danger of its being known that he had favoured my escape,
which from the temper of his commander, I knew would be instant death. Albert, in an angony of fear and distress, besought me to think only of my own safety Save us both,' said he, for if you die, I cannot live. Perhaps we may meet again; but whatever becomes of Albert, may the blessing of God be with his master !'
Albert's prayer was heard. His master, by the exercise of talents, which, though he had always possessed, adversity only taught him to use, acquired abroad a station of equal honour and emolument ; and when the proscriptions of party had ceased, returned home to his own country, where he found Albert advanced to the rank of a lieutenant in the army, to which his valour and merit had raised him, married to a lady by whom he had got some little fortune, and the father of an only daughter, for whom nature had done much, and to whose native endowments it was the chief study and delight of her parents to add every thing that art could bestow. The gratitude of the chief was only equalled by the happiness of his follower, whose honest pride was not long after gratified by his daughter's becoming the wife of that master whom his generous fidelity had saved. That master, by the clemency of more indulgent and liberal times, was again restored to the domain of his ancestors, and had the satisfaction of seeing the grandson of Albert enjoy the hereditary birthright of his race. I accompanied Colonel Caustic on a visit to this gentleman's house, and was delighted to observe his grateful attention to his father-in-law, as well as the unassuming happiness of the good old man, conscious of the perfect reward which his former fidelity had met with. Nor did it escape my notice, that the sweet boy and girl, who had been our guests at the Colonel's, had a favourite brown and white spaniel, whom they caressed much after dinner, whose name was Oscar.
No 62. .SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 1786.
Absentem rusticus urbem,
To the AUTHOR of the LOUNGER.
Mushroom-Hall, 1st April, 1786: The indulgence which you shewed to my correspondence when in town, emboldens me to hope for the same favourable reception of my letters from the country. Here, Mr. Lounger, I have much more time to write ; but unfortunately I have much fewer subjects ; and those too none of the most enlivening. I think there is a sort of fatality in it, that I am always in low spirits when I sit down to write to you. These constant easterly winds do affect one's nerves so !
I told you in my last, that my sister-in-law talked of going to London, and perhaps to the Continent; and how unwilling I should be to accompany her. She is actually gone some weeks ago, and I was not asked to be of the party; but she has taken her favourite Miss Gusto, because she can talk French a little more glibly, having been bred at a London boarding-school; though my French master says it is execrable patois, and won't be understood by people of fashion. Well! I don't desire to detract from any body; but some people are singular in their favourites. But it don't signify; we can be very happy at home, though it was a little cross to leave Edinburgh just when one had got into the hu. mour of it; and when one began to know people a
little, and people began to know one, which takes some time, you know, Mr. Lounger, especially with people who are not quite so forward as some people, who are greater favourites with some people than other people are.
You must know that our society in Edinburgh had latterly become much more agreeable to me, from our intimacy with Mrs. Rattle, who came lately from Spa, where she had gone for the recovery of her health, being vastly subject to low spirits whenever she remains long in this climate. Mrs. Rattle was pleased to take very particular notice of me, being delighted, she said, with a certain naïveté, of which I was possessed ; though Mrs. Mushroom, who was jealous of her attention to me, said it was only because I was the best hearer of her acquaintance. Be that as it may, she was always remarkably civil and obliging to me; declared she looked upon me as her particular protegé; and that, except one or two gentlemen with whom she had been acquainted abroad, I was the only person to whom she gave the constant entré to her boudoir. I was invited to most of her parties, which made the town appear quite a different thing to me from what it did when I wrote to you last. Unfortunately these pleasant days did not last long; my dear Mrs. Rattle was suddenly taken ill soon after her husband's arrival in Edinburgh, (for he did not come till some time after her,) and was obliged to leave town without being able to see even me. My brother and Mrs. Mushroom, as I mentioned before, have set off for London with Miss Gusto ; and so, Mr. Lounger, I am come back to the country again.
I had but a very disagreeable journey of it, tho' my maid (who was my sister-in-law's till she got a gentlewoman of Miss Ġusto’s recommending) and a very good sort of a young man, to whom