Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ground to the other side of it, where one which the bear had cost me. Next I knew the rest-house to be situated day he escorted me with his musket The latter part of the way was through on his shoulder to Hambantotte, where a path in the jungle for about 100 my labour ended, as I got housed yards; and I confess I was so alarme with my friend the Collector, and ed, that I could not face the risk of found my servants and baggage arri. this, and therefore steered my course ved. I must not finish without redown towards the sea-coast. At last marking on the brandy bottle. It my way was happily stopped by the was actually forced upon me in spite river which flows there, and I laid of my refusal, by a gentleman who myself down on my face, and satisfied saw me embark on board of the my thirst by drinking, as you may Dhoney, and it was nearly broken conceive, most inordinately: Quite from want of a cork-screw to open it, dark as it was, there was little chance in order to relieve the wife of a sola of my being able to find the solitary dier who was on board going to join clay-built rest-house, which I knew her husband, and who being sea-sick, to be thereabouts. So I stretched my- took a longing for this panacea. It self on the sand, and slept there till the was by the merest accident that after moon rose soon after midnight, when this I retained it in my hand, when I resumed my search successfully, and I gave up my portmanteau to the elefinished my sleep on its earthen floor. phant, and it seems almost to have In the morning at the first dawn, I been so arranged by an interposition endeavoured to find the hut of the let- of Providence.' ter-carriers, but to ne purpose, though “ So much for our friend H I actually viewed one of them for a To you, or indeed to any who know moment; but he, instead of obeying his gallant soldier-like bearing and my loud summons to come to my as- perfect modesty, it is needless to say sistance, fled and concealed himself. how thoroughly every word of his para This, I am ashamed to say, is but too rative may be relied upon. Though often the conduct of the natives une he never mentioned the circumstance der similar circumstances, knowing beyond a few very particular friends, full well beforehand, that they are it is now well known to many in this only required to act as guide, or to country, particularly to the family of carry luggage, for either of which ser- the late most worthy Governor of the vices they are frequently but inade colony, who was there when it hapquately rewarded. I again, therefore, pened.” started on my way to Pallitopanie, over twelve miles of deep sand, where Here ends our correspondent, and I arrived with difficulty at three o'clock, here ends our anecdote. We hope our almost dead from the scorching rays of readers won't find it tedious, and that the sun, fatigue, and hunger; having such of them to whom it may ever ate nothing from the morning of my happen to travel through so much embarkation till I reached this place, jungle alone, will by no means neglect a space of time of about fifty-three to carry a bottle of cogniac, as the most hours. Luckily it had rained, and I efficient pocket-pistol with which they occasionally found water to drink in can be provided. We give this rethe holes made by the feet of the wild commendation from brandy being elephants and buffaloes. The kind more generally procurable than good care of the only European at the post, Highland whisky, but where the latan honest corporal of the 19th regi- ter is to be had, all good men and true ment, soon brought me round, by pre will prefer it as a cordial; and we paring a hot bath for me, and a good venture to affirm, it will prove at least currie, not to mention a share of his equal to the Frenchman as a weapon brandy bottle, to compensate for the of defence.

A TALE OF THE MARTYRS,

BY THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.

Red TAM HARKNESS came into the they came up to him, and ran him farm-house of Garrick, in the parish through with their bayonets. The of Closeburn, one day, and began to spot is called Red Tam's Gutter to look about for some place to hide in, this day. when the goodwife, whose name was Jane Kilpatrick was one of the first Jane Kilpatrick, said to him in great who went to his mangled corpse,alarm, " What's the matter, what's woful sight, lying in the slough, and the matter, Tam Harkness?"

sore did she lament the loss of that “ Hide me, or else I'm a dead man :

; poor

and honest man. But there was that's the present matter, goodwife,” more; she came to his corpse by a said he. “But yet, when I have time, sort of yearning impatience to learn if ever I hae mair time, I have heavy what was the woful news he had to news for you. For Christ's sake, hide communicate to her. But, alas, the me, Jane, for the killers are hard at intelligence was lost, and the man hand.”

to whose bosom alone it had haply Jane Kilpatrick, sprung to her feet, been confided was no more; yet Jane but she was quite benumbed and power could scarcely prevail on herself to less. She ran to one press, and opened have any fears for her own husband, it, and then to another; there was not for she knew hiin to be in perfectly room to stuff a clog into either of them. safe hiding in Glen-Gorar; still Tam's She looked into a bed; there was no last words hung heavy on her mind. shelter there, and her knees began to They were both suspected to have plait under her weight with terror. been at the harmless rising at EnterThe voices of the troopers were by kin, for the relief of a favourite mi. this time heard fast approaching, and nister, which was effected; and that Harkness had no other shift, but in was the extent of their crime. And one moment to conceal himself be- though it was only suspicion, four hind the outer door, which stood open, men were shot on the hills that mornyet the place where he stood was quite ing, without trial or examination, and dark. He heard one of them say to their bodies forbidden Christian buanother, “ I fear the scoundrel is not rial. here after all. Guard the outhouses." One of these four was John Weir

On that three or four of the troop- of Garrick, the husband of Jane Kil. ers rushed by him, and began to search patrick, a man of great worth and hothe house and examine the inmates. nour, and universally respected. He Harkness that moment slid out with had left his hiding-place in order to out being observed, and tried to es. carry some intelligence to his friends, cape up a narrow glen called Kinrive and to pray with them, but was envah, immediately behind the house; trapped among them and slain. Still but unluckily two troopers, who had there was no intelligence brought to been in another chase, there met him his family, save the single expression in the face. When he perceived them that fell from the lips of Thomas he turned and ran to the eastward; Harkness in a moment of distraction. on which they both fired, which rai. Nevertheless Jane could not rest, but sed the alarm, and instantly the whole set out all the way to her sister's house pack were after him. It was aftere in Glen-Gorar, in Crawford-muir, and wards conjectured that one of the shots arrived there at eleven o'clock on a had wounded him, for, though he, Sabbath evening. The family being with others, had been nearly surround- at prayers when she went, and the ed that morning, and twice waylaid, house dark, she stood still behind the he had quite outrun the soldiers ; but hallan, and all the time was convinnow it was observed that some of them ced that the voice of the man that began to gain ground on him, and prayed was the voice of her husband, they still continued firing, till at length John Weir. All the time that fervent he fell in a kind of slough east from prayer lasted the tears of joy ran from the farm-house of Locherben, where her eyes, and her heart beat with gra

6

[ocr errors]

titude to her Maker as she drank into Then I'll tell

you where

ye maun her soul every sentence of the petie gang,' said he, ye maun gang up tions and thanksgiving. Accordingly, by the head of yon dark, mossy cleuch, when worship was ended, and the an' you will find ane there ihat will candle lighted, she went forward with show you the road to heaven;' and a light heart and joyful countenance, I said, 'Aye,' for I didna like to refuse, her sister embraced her, though mae although it was an uncouth-looking nifestly embarrassed and troubled at road, and ane that I didna like to gang. seeing her there at such a time. But when I gangs to the cleuch her she flew to embrace her husband, head, wha does I see sitting there but he stood still like a statue, and but your ain goodman, John Weir, did not meet her embrace. She gazed and I thought I never saw him look at him-she grew pale, and, sitting sae weel ; and when I gaed close up down, she covered her face with her to him, there I sees another John Weir, apron. This man was one of her hus. lying strippit to the sark, an'a' beddit band's brothers, likewise in hiding, in blood. He was cauld dead, and his whom she had never before seen, but head turned to the ac side ; and when the tones of his voice, and even the I saw siccan a sight, I was terrified, an devotional expressions that he used, held wide off him. But I gangs up were so like her husband's, that she to the living John Weir, and says to mistook them for his.

him, ' Gudeman, how's this?' All was now grief and consterna. ' Dinna ye see how it is, sister tion, for John Weir had not been seen Aggie?' says he, “I'm just set to herd or heard of there since Wednesday this poor man that's lying here.' evening, when he had gone to warn • Then I think ye'll no hae sair his friends of some impending danger; post, John,' says I, ' for he disna but they all tried to comfort each other look as he wad rin far away.' It was as well as they could, and, in particu- a very unreverend speak o'me, sister, lar, by saying, they were all in the but these were the words that I thought Lord's hand, and it behoved him to I said ; an'as it is but a dream, ye ken do with them as seemed to him good, ye needna heed it. with many other expressions of piety * Alas, poor Aggie !' says he, 'ye and submission. But the next morn. are still in the gall o’ bitterness yet. ing, when the two sisters were about Look o'er your right shoulder, an' you to part, the one says to the other, will see what I hae to do. An' sae I " Jane, I cannot help telling you a looks o'er my right shoulder, an' there strange confuscd dream that I had I sees a haill drove o'foxes an' wulcats, just afore ye wakened me. Ye ken I an' fumarts an' martins, an' corbey pit nae faith in dreams, and I dinna craws, an' a hunder vile beasts, a' want you to regard it; but it is as stannin round wi' glarin een, eager to good for friends to tell them to ane be at the corpse o'the dead John Weir; anither, and then, if ought turn out an' then I was terribly astoundit, an like it in the course o providence, it I says to him, “Goodman, how's this?' may bring it to baith their minds • I am commissioned to keep these that their spirits had been conversing awa,' says he.Do ye think these with God."

een that are yet to open in the light “ Na, na, Aggie, I want nane o' o' heaven, and that tongue that has to your confused dreams. I hae other syllable the praises of a Redeemer far ibings to think o', and mony's the within yon sky, should be left to betime an' oft ye hae deaved me wi’ come the prey o'siccan vermin as them, an' sometimes made me angry.” these !

I never bade ye believe them, Will it make sae verra muckle difJeanie, but I likit ay to tell them tó ference, John Weir,' says I, 'whether you, and this I daresay rase out o' our the carcass is eaten up by these or by conversation yestreen. But I thought the worms ?' I was away, ye see, I dinna ken where " Ah, Aggie, Aggie ! worms are I was ; and I was fear'd an' confused, worms; but ye

little wat what these thinking I had lost my way. And then are,' says he. But John Weir has I came to an auld man, an' he says to warred with them a' his life, an' that me, 'Is it the road to heaven that you to some purpose, and they maunna get are seeking, Aggie?' An' I said, “Aye, the advantage of him now.' for I didna like to deny't.

• But which is the right John VOL. XXVI. NO, CLIY.

D

6

Weir ?' says I, ' for here is ane lying her there was nothing but darkness, stiff and lappered in his blood, and dread, and desolation. The mist hoanother in health and strength and vered on the hills, and on the skirts sound mind.'

of the mist the ravens sailed about in I am the right John Weir,' says circles, croaking furiously, which had he. Did you ever think the good. a most ominous effect on the heart of man o' Garrick could die ? Na, na, poor Jane. As she advanced farther Aggie ; Clavers can only kill the body, up, she perceived a fox and an eagle an' that's but the poorest part of the sitting over against each other, watchman. But where are you gaun this ing something which yet they seemed wild gate?'

terrified to approach; and right beI was directed this way on my tween them in a little green hollow, road to heaven,' says I.

surrounded by black haggs, she found Ay, an' ye were directed right the corpse of her husband in the same then,' says he. For this is the di. manner as described by her sister. He rect path to heaven, and there is no was stripped of his coat and vest, which other.'

it was thought, he had thrown from • That is very extraordinary,' says him when flying from the soldiers, to 1.. ' And, pray, what is the name of enable him to effect his escape. He this place, that I may direct my sister was shot through the heart with two Jane, your wife, and all my friends, bullets, but nothing relating to his by the same way?'

death was ever known, whether he • This is Faith's Hope,' says he.”. died praying, or was shot as he fled ;

But behold, at the mention of this but there was he found lying, bathed place, Jane Kilpatrick of Garrick arose in his blood, in the wilderness, and slowly up to her feet and held up both none of the wild beasts of the forest her hands. “Hold, hold, sister Aggie," had dared to touch his lifeless form. cried she," you have told enough. Was The bitterness of death was now it in the head of Faith's Hope that past with poor Jane. Her staff and you saw this vision of my dead hus- shield was taken from her right hand, band ?"

and laid low in death by the violence “ Yes; but at the same time I saw of wicked men. True, she had still a your husband alive.”

home to go to, although that home " Then I fear your dream has a was robbed and spoiled; but she found double meaning," said she. “ For that without him it was no home, and though it appears like a religious alle- that where his beloved form reposed, gory, you do not know that there reale that was the home of her rest. She ly is such a place, and that not very far washed all his wounds, and the stains from our house. I have often laughed of blood from his body, tied her napkin at your dreams, sister, but this one round his face, covered him with her hurries me from you to-day with a apron, and sat down and watched beheavy and a trembling heart.” side him all the live-long night, pray

Jane left Glen-Gorar by the break of ing to the Almighty, and singing day, and took her way through the hymns and spiritual songs alternately. wild ranges of Crawford-muir, straight The next day she warned her friends for the head of Faith's Hope. She had and neighbours, who went with her some bread in her lap, and a little on the following night, and buried bible that she always carried with him privately in the north-west corner her, and without one to assist or come of the churchyard of Morton. The fort her, she went in search of her lost following verses are merely some of husband. Before she reached the head her own words versified, as she was of that wild glen, the day was far sitting by his corpse in the wild glen, spent, and the sun wearing down. The or rather the thoughts that she dea valley of the Nith lay spread far be- scribed as having passed through her low her, in all ite beauty, but around heart.

JOHN WEIR, A BALLAD.

1.
I canna greet for thee, my John Weir,

0, I canna greet for thee;
For the hand o heaven lies heavy here,

And this sair weird I maun dree.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »