The Pirate, by Walter Scott

Chapter 23.

There was shaking of hands, and sorrow of heart,

For the hour was approaching when merry folks must part;

So we call’d for our horses, and ask’d for our way,

While the jolly old landlord said, “Nothing’s to pay.”

Lilliput, a Poem.

We do not dwell upon the festivities of the day, which had nothing in them to interest the reader particularly. The table groaned under the usual plenty, which was disposed of by the guests with the usual appetite — the bowl of punch was filled and emptied with the same celerity as usual — the men quaffed, and the women laughed — Claud Halcro rhymed, punned, and praised John Dryden — the Udaller bumpered and sung choruses — and the evening concluded, as usual, in the Rigging-loft, as it was Magnus Troil’s pleasure to term the dancing apartment.

It was then and there that Cleveland, approaching Magnus, where he sat betwixt his two daughters, intimated his intention of going to Kirkwall in a small brig, which Bryce Snailsfoot, who had disposed of his goods with unprecedented celerity, had freighted thither, to procure a supply.

Magnus heard the sudden proposal of his guest with surprise, not unmingled with displeasure, and demanded sharply of Cleveland, how long it was since he had learned to prefer Bryce Snailsfoot’s company to his own? Cleveland answered, with his usual bluntness of manner, that time and tide tarried for no one, and that he had his own particular reasons for making his trip to Kirkwall sooner than the Udaller proposed to set sail — that he hoped to meet with him and his daughters at the great fair which was now closely approaching, and might perhaps find it possible to return to Zetland along with them.

While he spoke this, Brenda kept her eye as much upon her sister as it was possible to do, without exciting general observation. She remarked, that Minna’s pale cheek became yet paler while Cleveland spoke, and that she seemed, by compressing her lips, and slightly knitting her brows, to be in the act of repressing the effects of strong interior emotion. But she spoke not; and when Cleveland, having bidden adieu to the Udaller, approached to salute her, as was then the custom, she received his farewell without trusting herself to attempt a reply.

Brenda had her own trial approaching; for Mordaunt Mertoun, once so much loved by her father, was now in the act of making his cold parting from him, without receiving a single look of friendly regard. There was, indeed, sarcasm in the tone with which Magnus wished the youth a good journey, and recommended to him, if he met a bonny lass by the way, not to dream that she was in love, because she chanced to jest with him. Mertoun coloured at what he felt as an insult, though it was but half intelligible to him; but he remembered Brenda, and suppressed every feeling of resentment. He proceeded to take his leave of the sisters. Minna, whose heart was considerably softened towards him, received his farewell with some degree of interest; but Brenda’s grief was so visible in the kindness of her manner, and the moisture which gathered in her eye, that it was noticed even by the Udaller, who exclaimed, half angrily, “Why, ay, lass, that may be right enough, for he was an old acquaintance; but mind! I have no will that he remain one.”

Mertoun, who was slowly leaving the apartment, half overheard this disparaging observation, and half turned round to resent it. But his purpose failed him when he saw that Brenda had been obliged to have recourse to her handkerchief to hide her emotion, and the sense that it was excited by his departure, obliterated every thought of her father’s unkindness. He retired — the other guests followed his example; and many of them, like Cleveland and himself, took their leave over-night, with the intention of commencing their homeward journey on the succeeding morning.

That night, the mutual sorrow of Minna and Brenda, if it could not wholly remove the reserve which had estranged the sisters from each other, at least melted all its frozen and unkindly symptoms. They wept in each other’s arms; and though neither spoke, yet each became dearer to the other; because they felt that the grief which called forth these drops, had a source common to them both.

It is probable, that though Brenda’s tears were most abundant, the grief of Minna was most deeply seated; for, long after the younger had sobbed herself asleep, like a child, upon her sister’s bosom, Minna lay awake, watching the dubious twilight, while tear after tear slowly gathered in her eye, and found a current down her cheek, as soon as it became too heavy to be supported by her long black silken eyelashes. As she lay, bewildered among the sorrowful thoughts which supplied these tears, she was surprised to distinguish, beneath the window, the sounds of music. At first she supposed it was some freak of Claud Halcro, whose fantastic humour sometimes indulged itself in such serenades. But it was not the gue of the old minstrel, but the guitar, that she heard; an instrument which none in the island knew how to touch except Cleveland, who had learned, in his intercourse with the South-American Spaniards, to play on it with superior execution. Perhaps it was in those climates also that he had learned the song, which, though he now sung it under the window of a maiden of Thule, had certainly never been composed for the native of a climate so northerly and so severe, since it spoke of productions of the earth and skies which are there unknown.

1.

“Love wakes and weeps

While Beauty sleeps:

O for Music’s softest numbers,

To prompt a theme,

For Beauty’s dream,

Soft as the pillow of her slumbers!

2.

“Through groves of palm

Sigh gales of balm,

Fire-flies on the air are wheeling;

While through the gloom

Comes soft perfume,

The distant beds of flowers revealing.

3.

“O wake and live,

No dream can give

A shadow’d bliss, the real excelling;

No longer sleep,

From lattice peep,

And list the tale that Love is telling!”

The voice of Cleveland was deep, rich, and manly, and accorded well with the Spanish air, to which the words, probably a translation from the same language, had been adapted. His invocation would not probably have been fruitless, could Minna have arisen without awaking her sister. But that was impossible; for Brenda, who, as we have already mentioned, had wept bitterly before she had sunk into repose, now lay with her face on her sister’s neck, and one arm stretched around her, in the attitude of a child which has cried itself asleep in the arms of its nurse. It was impossible for Minna to extricate herself from her grasp without awaking her; and she could not, therefore, execute her hasty purpose, of donning her gown, and approaching the window to speak with Cleveland, who, she had no doubt, had resorted to this contrivance to procure an interview. The restraint was sufficiently provoking, for it was more than probable that her lover came to take his last farewell; but that Brenda, inimical as she seemed to be of late towards Cleveland, should awake and witness it, was a thought not to be endured.

There was a short pause, in which Minna endeavoured more than once, with as much gentleness as possible, to unclasp Brenda’s arm from her neck; but whenever she attempted it, the slumberer muttered some little pettish sound, like a child disturbed in its sleep, which sufficiently showed that perseverance in the attempt would awaken her fully.

To her great vexation, therefore, Minna was compelled to remain still and silent; when her lover, as if determined upon gaining her ear by music of another strain, sung the following fragment of a sea-ditty:—

“Farewell! Farewell! the voice you hear,

Has left its last soft tone with you —

Its next must join the seaward cheer,

And shout among the shouting crew.

“The accents which I scarce could form

Beneath your frown’s controlling check,

Must give the word, above the storm,

To cut the mast, and clear the wreck.

“The timid eye I dared not raise —

The hand that shook when press’d to thine,

Must point the guns upon the chase —

Must bid the deadly cutlass shine.

“To all I love, or hope, or fear —

Honour, or own, a long adieu!

To all that life has soft and dear,

Farewell! save memory of you!”12(c)

He was again silent; and again she, to whom the serenade was addressed, strove in vain to arise without rousing her sister. It was impossible; and she had nothing before her but the unhappy thought that Cleveland was taking leave in his desolation, without a single glance, or a single word. He, too, whose temper was so fiery, yet who subjected his violent mood with such sedulous attention to her will — could she but have stolen a moment to say adieu — to caution him against new quarrels with Mertoun — to implore him to detach himself from such comrades as he had described — could she but have done this, who could say what effect such parting admonitions might have had upon his character — nay, upon the future events of his life?

Tantalized by such thoughts, Minna was about to make another and decisive effort, when she heard voices beneath the window, and thought she could distinguish that they were those of Cleveland and Mertoun, speaking in a sharp tone, which, at the same time, seemed cautiously suppressed, as if the speakers feared being overheard. Alarm now mingled with her former desire to rise from bed, and she accomplished at once the purpose which she had so often attempted in vain. Brenda’s arm was unloosed from her sister’s neck, without the sleeper receiving more alarm than provoked two or three unintelligible murmurs; while, with equal speed and silence, Minna put on some part of her dress, with the intention to steal to the window. But, ere she could accomplish this, the sound of the voices without was exchanged for that of blows and struggling, which terminated suddenly by a deep groan.

Terrified at this last signal of mischief, Minna sprung to the window, and endeavoured to open it, for the persons were so close under the walls of the house that she could not see them, save by putting her head out of the casement. The iron hasp was stiff and rusted, and, as generally happens, the haste with which she laboured to undo it only rendered the task more difficult. When it was accomplished, and Minna had eagerly thrust her body half out at the casement, those who had created the sounds which alarmed her were become invisible, excepting that she saw a shadow cross the moonlight, the substance of which must have been in the act of turning a corner, which concealed it from her sight. The shadow moved slowly, and seemed that of a man who supported another upon his shoulders; an indication which put the climax to Minna’s agony of mind. The window was not above eight feet from the ground, and she hesitated not to throw herself from it hastily, and to pursue the object which had excited her terror.

But when she came to the corner of the buildings from which the shadow seemed to have been projected, she discovered nothing which could point out the way that the figure had gone; and, after a moment’s consideration, became sensible that all attempts at pursuit would be alike wild and fruitless. Besides all the projections and recesses of the many-angled mansion, and its numerous offices — besides the various cellars, store-houses, stables, and so forth, which defied her solitary search, there was a range of low rocks, stretching down to the haven, and which were, in fact, a continuation of the ridge which formed its pier. These rocks had many indentures, hollows, and caverns, into any one of which the figure to which the shadow belonged might have retired with his fatal burden; for fatal, she feared, it was most likely to prove.

A moment’s reflection, as we have said, convinced Minna of the folly of further pursuit. Her next thought was to alarm the family; but what tale had she to tell, and of whom was that tale to be told? — On the other hand, the wounded man — if indeed he were wounded — alas, if indeed he were not mortally wounded! — might not be past the reach of assistance; and, with this idea, she was about to raise her voice, when she was interrupted by that of Claud Halcro, who was returning apparently from the haven, and singing, in his manner, a scrap of an old Norse ditty, which might run thus in English:—

“And you shall deal the funeral dole;

Ay, deal it, mother mine,

To weary body, and to heavy soul,

The white bread and the wine.

“And you shall deal my horses of pride;

Ay, deal them, mother mine;

And you shall deal my lands so wide,

And deal my castles nine.

“But deal not vengeance for the deed,

And deal not for the crime;

The body to its place, and the soul to Heaven’s grace,

And the rest in God’s own time.”

The singular adaptation of these rhymes to the situation in which she found herself, seemed to Minna like a warning from Heaven. We are speaking of a land of omens and superstitions, and perhaps will scarce be understood by those whose limited imagination cannot conceive how strongly these operate upon the human mind during a certain progress of society. A line of Virgil, turned up casually, was received in the seventeenth century, and in the court of England,13 as an intimation of future events; and no wonder that a maiden of the distant and wild isles of Zetland should have considered as an injunction from Heaven, verses which happened to convey a sense analogous to her present situation.

“I will be silent,” she muttered — “I will seal my lips —

‘The body to its place, and the soul to Heaven’s grace,

And the rest in God’s own time.’”

“Who speaks there?” said Claud Halcro, in some alarm; for he had not, in his travels in foreign parts, been able by any means to rid himself of his native superstitions. In the condition to which fear and horror had reduced her, Minna was at first unable to reply; and Halcro, fixing his eyes upon the female white figure, which he saw indistinctly, (for she stood in the shadow of the house, and the morning was thick and misty,) began to conjure her in an ancient rhyme which occurred to him as suited for the occasion, and which had in its gibberish a wild and unearthly sound, which may be lost in the ensuing translation:—

“Saint Magnus control thee, that martyr of treason;

Saint Ronan rebuke thee, with rhyme and with reason;

By the mass of Saint Martin, the might of Saint Mary,

Be thou gone, or thy weird shall be worse if thou tarry!

If of good, go hence and hallow thee —

If of ill, let the earth swallow thee —

If thou’rt of air, let the grey mist fold thee —

If of earth, let the swart mine hold thee —

If a Pixie, seek thy ring —

If a Nixie, seek thy spring; —

If on middle earth thou’st been

Slave of sorrow, shame, and sin,

Hast eat the bread of toil and strife,

And dree’d the lot which men call life,

Begone to thy stone! for thy coffin is scant of thee,

The worm, thy playfellow, wails for the want of thee; —

Hence, houseless ghost! let the earth hide thee,

Till Michael shall blow the blast, see that there thou bide thee! —

Phantom, fly hence! take the Cross for a token,

Hence pass till Hallowmass! — my spell is spoken.”

“It is I, Halcro,” muttered Minna, in a tone so thin and low, that it might have passed for the faint reply of the conjured phantom.

“You! — you!” said Halcro, his tone of alarm changing to one of extreme surprise; “by this moonlight, which is waning, and so it is! — Who could have thought to find you, my most lovely Night, wandering abroad in your own element! — But you saw them, I reckon, as well as I? — bold enough in you to follow them, though.”

“Saw whom? — follow whom?” said Minna, hoping to gain some information on the subject of her fears and anxiety.

“The corpse-lights which danced at the haven,” replied Halcro; “they bode no good, I promise you — you wot well what the old rhyme says —

‘Where corpse-light

Dances bright,

Be it day or night,

Be it by light or dark,

There shall corpse lie stiff and stark.’

I went half as far as the haven to look after them, but they had vanished. I think I saw a boat put off, however — some one bound for the Haaf, I suppose. — I would we had good news of this fishing — there was Norna left us in anger — and then these corpse-lights! — Well, God help the while! I am an old man, and can but wish that all were well over. — But how now, my pretty Minna? tears in your eyes! — And now that I see you in the fair moonlight, barefooted, too, by Saint Magnus! — Were there no stockings of Zetland wool soft enough for these pretty feet and ankles, that glance so white in the moonbeam? — What, silent! — angry, perhaps,” he added, in a more serious tone, “at my nonsense? For shame, silly maiden! — Remember I am old enough to be your father, and have always loved you as my child.”

“I am not angry,” said Minna, constraining herself to speak —“but heard you nothing? — saw you nothing? — They must have passed you.”

“They?” said Claud Halcro; “what mean you by they? — is it the corpse-lights? — No, they did not pass by me, but I think they have passed by you, and blighted you with their influence, for you are as pale as a spectre. — Come, come, Minna,” he added, opening a side-door of the dwelling, “these moonlight walks are fitter for old poets than for young maidens — And so lightly clad as you are! Maiden, you should take care how you give yourself to the breezes of a Zetland night, for they bring more sleet than odours upon their wings. — But, maiden, go in; for, as glorious John says — or, as he does not say — for I cannot remember how his verse chimes — but, as I say myself, in a pretty poem, written when my muse was in her teens —

Menseful maiden ne’er should rise,

Till the first beam tinge the skies;

Silk-fringed eyelids still should close,

Till the sun has kiss’d the rose;

Maiden’s foot we should not view,

Mark’d with tiny print on dew,

Till the opening flowerets spread

Carpet meet for beauty’s tread —

Stay, what comes next? — let me see.”

When the spirit of recitation seized on Claud Halcro, he forgot time and place, and might have kept his companion in the cold air for half an hour, giving poetical reasons why she ought to have been in bed. But she interrupted him by the question, earnestly pronounced, yet in a voice which was scarcely articulate, holding Halcro, at the same time, with a trembling and convulsive grasp, as if to support herself from falling — “Saw you no one in the boat which put to sea but now?”

“Nonsense,” replied Halcro; “how could I see any one, when light and distance only enabled me to know that it was a boat, and not a grampus?”

“But there must have been some one in the boat?” repeated Minna, scarce conscious of what she said.

“Certainly,” answered the poet; “boats seldom work to windward of their own accord. — But come, this is all folly; and so, as the Queen says, in an old play, which was revived for the stage by rare Will D’Avenant, ‘To bed — to bed — to bed!’”

They separated, and Minna’s limbs conveyed her with difficulty, through several devious passages, to her own chamber, where she stretched herself cautiously beside her still sleeping sister, with a mind harassed with the most agonizing apprehensions. That she had heard Cleveland, she was positive — the tenor of the songs left her no doubt on that subject. If not equally certain that she had heard young Mertoun’s voice in hot quarrel with her lover, the impression to that effect was strong on her mind. The groan, with which the struggle seemed to terminate — the fearful indication from which it seemed that the conqueror had borne off the lifeless body of his victim — all tended to prove that some fatal event had concluded the contest. And which of the unhappy men had fallen? — which had met a bloody death? — which had achieved a fatal and a bloody victory? — These were questions to which the still small voice of interior conviction answered, that her lover Cleveland, from character, temper, and habits, was most likely to have been the survivor of the fray. She received from the reflection an involuntary consolation which she almost detested herself for admitting, when she recollected that it was at once darkened with her lover’s guilt, and embittered with the destruction of Brenda’s happiness for ever.

“Innocent, unhappy sister!” such were her reflections; “thou that art ten times better than I, because so unpretending — so unassuming in thine excellence! How is it possible that I should cease to feel a pang, which is only transferred from my bosom to thine?”

As these cruel thoughts crossed her mind, she could not refrain from straining her sister so close to her bosom, that, after a heavy sigh, Brenda awoke.

“Sister,” she said, “is it you? — I dreamed I lay on one of those monuments which Claud Halcro described to us, where the effigy of the inhabitant beneath lies carved in stone upon the sepulchre. I dreamed such a marble form lay by my side, and that it suddenly acquired enough of life and animation to fold me to its cold, moist bosom — and it is yours, Minna, that is indeed so chilly. — You are ill, my dearest Minna! for God’s sake, let me rise and call Euphane Fea. — What ails you? has Norna been here again?”

“Call no one hither,” said Minna, detaining her; “nothing ails me for which any one has a remedy — nothing but apprehensions of evil worse than even Norna could prophesy. But God is above all, my dear Brenda; and let us pray to him to turn, as he only can, our evil into good.”

They did jointly repeat their usual prayer for strength and protection from on high, and again composed themselves to sleep, suffering no word save “God bless you,” to pass betwixt them, when their devotions were finished; thus scrupulously dedicating to Heaven their last waking words, if human frailty prevented them from commanding their last waking thoughts. Brenda slept first, and Minna, strongly resisting the dark and evil presentiments which again began to crowd themselves upon her imagination, was at last so fortunate as to slumber also.

The storm which Halcro had expected began about daybreak — a squall, heavy with wind and rain, such as is often felt, even during the finest part of the season, in these latitudes. At the whistle of the wind, and the clatter of the rain on the shingle-roofing of the fishers’ huts, many a poor woman was awakened, and called on her children to hold up their little hands, and join in prayer for the safety of the dear husband and father, who was even then at the mercy of the disturbed elements. Around the house of Burgh-Westra, chimneys howled, and windows clashed. The props and rafters of the higher parts of the building, most of them formed out of wreck-wood, groaned and quivered, as fearing to be again dispersed by the tempest. But the daughters of Magnus Troil continued to sleep as softly and as sweetly as if the hand of Chantrey had formed them out of statuary-marble. The squall had passed away, and the sunbeams, dispersing the clouds which drifted to leeward, shone full through the lattice, when Minna first started from the profound sleep into which fatigue and mental exhaustion had lulled her, and, raising herself on her arm, began to recall events, which, after this interval of profound repose, seemed almost to resemble the baseless visions of the night. She almost doubted if what she recalled of horror, previous to her starting from her bed, was not indeed the fiction of a dream, suggested, perhaps, by some external sounds.

“I will see Claud Halcro instantly,” she said; “he may know something of these strange noises, as he was stirring at the time.”

With that she sprung from bed, but hardly stood upright on the floor, ere her sister exclaimed, “Gracious Heaven! Minna, what ails your foot — your ankle?”

She looked down, and saw with surprise, which amounted to agony, that both her feet, but particularly one of them, was stained with dark crimson, resembling the colour of dried blood.

Without attempting to answer Brenda, she rushed to the window, and cast a desperate look on the grass beneath, for there she knew she must have contracted the fatal stain. But the rain, which had fallen there in treble quantity, as well from the heavens, as from the eaves of the house, had washed away that guilty witness, if indeed such had ever existed. All was fresh and fair, and the blades of grass, overcharged and bent with rain-drops, glittered like diamonds in the bright morning sun.

While Minna stared upon the spangled verdure, with her full dark eyes fixed and enlarged to circles by the intensity of her terror, Brenda was hanging about her, and with many an eager enquiry, pressed to know whether or how she had hurt herself?

“A piece of glass cut through my shoe,” said Minna, bethinking herself that some excuse was necessary to her sister; “I scarce felt it at the time.”

“And yet see how it has bled,” said her sister. “Sweet Minna,” she added, approaching her with a wetted towel, “let me wipe the blood off — the hurt may be worse than you think of.”

But as she approached, Minna, who saw no other way of preventing discovery that the blood with which she was stained had never flowed in her own veins, harshly and hastily repelled the proffered kindness. Poor Brenda, unconscious of any offence which she had given to her sister, drew back two or three paces on finding her service thus unkindly refused, and stood gazing at Minna with looks in which there was more of surprise and mortified affection than of resentment, but which had yet something also of natural displeasure.

“Sister,” said she, “I thought we had agreed but last night, that, happen to us what might, we would at least love each other.”

“Much may happen betwixt night and morning!” answered Minna, in words rather wrenched from her by her situation, than flowing forth the voluntary interpreters of her thoughts.

“Much may indeed have happened in a night so stormy,” answered Brenda; “for see where the very wall around Euphane’s plant-a-cruive has been blown down; but neither wind nor rain, nor aught else, can cool our affection, Minna.”

“But that may chance,” replied Minna, “which may convert it into”——

The rest of the sentence she muttered in a tone so indistinct, that it could not be apprehended; while, at the same time, she washed the blood-stains from her feet and left ankle. Brenda, who still remained looking on at some distance, endeavoured in vain to assume some tone which might re-establish kindness and confidence betwixt them.

“You were right,” she said, “Minna, to suffer no one to help you to dress so simple a scratch — standing where I do, it is scarce visible.”

“The most cruel wounds,” replied Minna, “are those which make no outward show — Are you sure you see it at all?”

“O, yes!” replied Brenda, framing her answer as she thought would best please her sister; “I see a very slight scratch; nay, now you draw on the stocking, I can see nothing.”

“You do indeed see nothing,” answered Minna, somewhat wildly; “but the time will soon come that all — ay, all — will be seen and known.”

So saying, she hastily completed her dress, and led the way to breakfast, where she assumed her place amongst the guests; but with a countenance so pale and haggard, and manners and speech so altered and so bewildered, that it excited the attention of the whole company, and the utmost anxiety on the part of her father Magnus Troil. Many and various were the conjectures of the guests, concerning a distemperature which seemed rather mental than corporeal. Some hinted that the maiden had been struck with an evil eye, and something they muttered about Norna of the Fitful-head; some talked of the departure of Captain Cleveland, and murmured, “it was a shame for a young lady to take on so after a landlouper, of whom no one knew any thing;” and this contemptuous epithet was in particular bestowed on the Captain by Mistress Baby Yellowley, while she was in the act of wrapping round her old skinny neck the very handsome owerlay (as she called it) wherewith the said Captain had presented her. The old Lady Glowrowrum had a system of her own, which she hinted to Mistress Yellowley, after thanking God that her own connexion with the Burgh-Westra family was by the lass’s mother, who was a canny Scotswoman, like herself.

“For, as to these Troils, you see, Dame Yellowley, for as high as they hold their heads, they say that ken,” (winking sagaciously,) “that there is a bee in their bonnet; — that Norna, as they call her, for it’s not her right name neither, is at whiles far beside her right mind — and they that ken the cause, say the Fowd was some gate or other linked in with it, for he will never hear an ill word of her. But I was in Scotland then, or I might have kend the real cause, as weel as other folk. At ony rate there is a kind of wildness in the blood. Ye ken very weel daft folk dinna bide to be contradicted; and I’ll say that for the Fowd — he likes to be contradicted as ill as ony man in Zetland. But it shall never be said that I said ony ill of the house that I am sae nearly connected wi’. Only ye will mind, dame, it is through the Sinclairs that we are akin, not through the Troils — and the Sinclairs are kend far and wide for a wise generation, dame. — But I see there is the stirrup-cup coming round.”

“I wonder,” said Mistress Baby to her brother, as soon as the Lady Glowrowrum turned from her, “what gars that muckle wife dame, dame, dame, that gate at me? She might ken the blude of the Clinkscales is as gude as ony Glowrowrum’s amang them.”

The guests, meanwhile, were fast taking their departure, scarcely noticed by Magnus, who was so much engrossed with Minna’s indisposition, that, contrary to his hospitable wont, he suffered them to go away unsaluted. And thus concluded, amidst anxiety and illness, the festival of Saint John, as celebrated on that season at the house of Burgh-Westra; adding another caution to that of the Emperor of Ethiopia — with how little security man can reckon upon the days which he destines to happiness.

12 I cannot suppress the pride of saying, that these lines have been beautifully set to original music, by Mrs. Arkwright, of Derbyshire.

(c) p. 47. Cleveland’s song. Lockhart says that Scott, in his later years, heard this song sung, and said, “‘Capital words! Whose are they? Byron’s, I suppose, but I don’t remember them.’ He was astonished when I told him that they were his own in ‘The Pirate.’ He seemed pleased at the moment, but said next minute, ‘You have distressed me — if memory goes all is up with me, for that was always my strong point.’” This was in 1828. Mrs. Arkwright was the daughter of Stephen Kemble. She set “Hohenlinden.”— A.L.

13 The celebrated Sortes Virgilianæ were resorted to by Charles I. and his courtiers, as a mode of prying into futurity.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/scott/walter/pirate/chapter23.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29