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pathways, and as no one ever accused ty of the place, called it the “ Fairy him of an aim in his improvements, Knowe.” But the folly of man had his roads had singular terminations. profaned the haunt of the Good One greensward winding-way led, Folk;' the spade and the axe had cut with a kind of Will-o'-wisp wander- their way through many a thicket of ing, to the sheer brink of one of the honeysuckle and holly, to the foot of deepest pools in the river--another this beautiful hillock, and two lodges, pathway pursued its course to the floored and thatched with ivy, seemed verge of an impassable thicket—and to promise centinels to watch the saone, more beautiful still, chose to stop cred ground. Into this winding path at the base of a steep rock, where the it was my fortune to fall, as I endeave wild cats reared their young, and the oured to force my way round the eneagle found a resting-place when he closure of holly, and I obtained a chose his first spring lamb from the sight, for the first time, of the famous flocks of Nithsdale. It was full three Fairy Knowe, reposing in the silent miles of roughroad round, to go by either splendour of moonlight. The folly of the eastern or western extremity of the the laird had not halted at the foot of wood-and as the night was calm and the hillock; it had found its way to unclouded, I leaped over the fence the summit. In the very centre of which defined, but did not defend, the the Fairy ring a square tower of masonlimit of the forest, and setting my ry had been constructing for many face for the green mountain of Queens- years, and had already reached the berry, went fearlessly forward. The height of forty feet, with buttress, way at first was exceedingly pleasant- loop-hole, and embrazure. The laird the forest was portioned out into had some hopes of finding a use for it. clumps of trees, the tall, and the He had long hesitated about a suitable dwarf, and the shrub all intermixed, name. When his masons were weary and among them green knolls and with building houses, whose pondera green sward plats were thick and de- ous roofs and impending battlements lightful. The moon poured full on scared away all tenants--with raising, my path her slant and softened light, stone walls round fields which lacked and showed the ring-doves and the nourishment for a thistle—and with rooks sitting in pairs abreast among rearing buttresses of mortar and stone the thickest branches. I crossed one on scaurs and burn-banks, to preserve or two of the laird's roads, and rested trees from falling that were not worth myself on several of his hermitages, or tenpence—when they had finished all rude lodges of dry stone, matted over these, away they marched with trowel floor, and wall, and roof, with a thick and hammer, to the Fairy Knowe, to and trailing mass of green ivy. Pro- add another annual yard to the alticeeding onward, I entered the dark tude of this new Babel. and untrodden bosom of the wood, nor “I stood and looked on this mass of did I enter it without awe. The trees, mortar and rock, which encumbered over-arching high above me, formed a this romantic hillock, but I soon found roof thick and verdant, through which another subject for contemplation. Adthe moon could visit me with little of vancing through an arch-way, cut out her cheering light, and the wood- of the holly rampart by the removal of pigeons, having forsaken this thick and a dwarf-bush, 1 observed the building,
a I gloomy grove, left it to the undisturb- unfinished though it was, was inhabited possession of the gleds and the ed, for a thin blue smoke curled slowhooded ravens. These birds of prey ly towards the moon, and a light glimand evil omen sat visible on the upper mered from all the lower loop-holes. boughs, evidently enjoying the luxury The character of those who had thus of the sweet evening.
chosen to themselves an habitation, “My progress was at last impeded by and entered as tenants at will, requira natural barrier of thick green holly, ed little waste of thought. A dozen which, sloping upwards from the fo- of asses, all tethered and reposing rest-sward, formed a rampart fifteen round the building, were to me as feet high, as close and impassable as a sure a sign of a troop of gypsies, as wall of stone. Nature had woven this the personal assurance of the patriarch verdant tracery round a large green of the tribe himself; and this assurknoll in the centre of the wood: the ance was not long wanting. Advancing peasants, from the seclusion and beau- with a rash eagerness to reconnoitre,
my foot touched one of the wires lowed by two more of the tribe, now which those wary nocturnal visitants came up; and the old man, throwing had placed in the path, and connected himself between us, said to my adverwith a cracked bell behind the seat of sary in red and keen wrath, Curse their leader. I felt the touch, and yere madness--ye wad breed discord heard a kind of riven clang ; when out atween twa bosom banes--ye aye gang started to the door the hoary leader of atween the sappy bark and the sweet the horde himself, even as a spider tree—if ye gang on i' thae reckless runs forth when a fly touches the ex- gates, there'll no be a blade o' grass tremest thread of her mesh. I longed for our beasts, or a gray stone to lay to fly, but I knew flight was vain, and our ain heads on, i the wide world certainly dangerous, and so I stood Clod down yere knife, or I'll burn unconcerned, and still gazing on the powder under yere nose.'
With a tree-tops and the unfinished tower, growling voice and a stormy brow, the like any youth smitten with the de- young desperado disposed of his knife. sire of verse-making. The ancient The patriarch, looking on me for a mogypsey looked forth on me in silence, ment, took me kindly by the hand, and with caution; several round bullet and said, 'I vow by the banes o' my heads, covered with a profusion of forefathers-by a' my sowdering irons sooty and curled locks, soon came as and ram-horn spoons, no forgetting auxiliaries in the scrutiny, and I had twelve as good asses as ever pu'd grass, hopes they would let me depart in that this stripling is nae scent-the-sod, peace, for I heard something like a nae track-the-dewand thread-the-wood suppressed voice of command and ad- to that auld donard justice, Cursan monition, but I was soon undeceiv- Collieson—but a sonsie and sure aced. In a moment a young powerful quaintance, even young Mark Macman freed himself from the grasp of the rabin, turned out o' haddin and hame patriarch, and came darting forward on for singing the sweet tune o' Stroudme, making bounds something like the water-Lord, lad, ye may sing what springs of a wild cat. I saw the gleam ye like for me I'm no religious.' of a dagger or a knife under the long With this comforting assurance he led loose sleeve of his coat. He accosted me, silent and loath, to the door of his me in a harsh rough voice. Rab tenement, followed by his comrades, Spoolpin, deevil are ye doing here, sae murmuring a kind of hoarse welcome far frae yere heddles ;' mistaking me to their new associate. for the son of a Cameronian weaver,
- Alarmed and sorrowful as I was, who volunteered his gift of prayer to I could not avoid remarking the care sick and despairing maidens, and often and circumspection with which this eswas seen by the gypsies returning tablishment was guarded against surfrom these nocturnal visits of consola- prise, and prepared for resistance or tion. Out came the gypsey's dagger retreat. Not only were wires, connectas he spoke, and I lifted my staff and ing themselves with a small bell in the fronted him firmly. God, sir, cast house, placed double across the aveaway your kibling, or may I be whup- nue, but on the other side of the hilpet through the burning pit wi' the lock an opening was made in the ramgray tail of my auld ass, if I disnae part of thick holly, large enough to gie ye red sowen for yere wab, and allow a loaded ass to march through, that frae ʼneath yere fifth rib.' I as- and the boughs were tied back with sured him I came for no harm; that I small cords, so that, by cutting the had lost my way, and was sorry for bands, the hedge assumed in a modisturbing him.
His wrath abated ment its natural and impenetrable apnothing. Cast down yere rung,' said pearance. This verdant archway openhe, in a voice choking with fury, or ed into the thickest and most inaccessby the stars I'se shaw ye what kind o’ible part of the forest, and in a minscarlet
best bleede's of.' I still ute all commodities likely to be reheld my staff; and he made a spring claimed by their late owners, namely, at me with his naked dagger. Though the produce of the fold, the furrow, or I was but seventeen I was both stout the henroost, could be removed into and stubborn. I presented the long the wood, together with two or three and sharp įron socket of my oak staff of the most warlike of the tribe, reagainst my assailant's naked bosom, ducing the roving camp to a domestic and kept him off. The patriarch, fol- look--from the hostile aspect of war,
to the harmless posture of a peace es and smoky personages sat beside a tablishment. The asses, too, lay all reeking cauldron of water, pursuing ready, with panniers bound on their the art and calling of manufacturing backs, ready to receive the domestic ram-horn spoons. Nor did they conwealth of the tribe, should hasty mea- fine their labours to the wrinkled and sures be necessary.
crooked horns of the ram; the green “ The patriarch conducted me into and transparent horns of the heifer, the very middle of his establishment; and the huge and darker daggers of the and there I beheld a scene of a new bull, alike demanded the application of and a singular kind. A large fire their craft. Nor were their producflamed and glowed in the bottom of a tions confined to the tables of the fare turret destined to contain the future mer and the peasant, they appeared in stair, and though the hour was late, their most laboured and delicate shapes wood had been heaped on with unspare on the sideboards of country lairds, ing hand. The skin of a sheep, lately and even barons. Others of the tribe separated from the fat carcase, and polished and ornamented the shafts which bore the mark and birn of Cur- and the mouths of the spoons, but the san Collieson fair and legibly upon it, chieftain himself was the only person was hung on the wall ; the skins of se- present who could inlay them with veral hares were hung beside it ; nor silver ornaments, make a clear toned did I fail to observe a brace of fat whistle in the shaft of a punch ladle, turkeys, and half-a-dozen plump pul- or fashion a horn into a harvest bugle. lets, which but the evening before Indeed my appearance had interrupted graced the innumerable roosts of the his labours at a long and very beautilaird of Caponcrapia, a neighbouring ful horn which he was preparing as a gentleman, eminently skilled in the present to the daughter of a neighwhole domestic mystery of hatching, bouring laird ; it was to have a band feeding, fattening, strangling, dress- and a mouth-piece of silver, and the ing and finally devouring, all denomi- name of the rural heroine was pronations of carcasses that carried feath- mised in addition to these embellishers, with the exception, I have heard, ments. This was no common hornof the raven and the owl. On the it was shed from the head of a living floor, elevated by layers of boughs and bull- -no ordinary occurrence-(and it sheaves of straw, out of which the is currently credited, that a living cow's barnman's flail had not removed the horn can cure sundry diseases); I have corn, for they were abstracted from a since heard the damsel wind it long and new-shorn field, were made six or loudly myself ; with the same horn she eight beds, plentifully heaped with cracked the collar-bone of a lad when he blankets, and covered with those first made love to her, and said, “ Him thick and ample wool quilts, for that marries me shall blaw o his which the moorland looms of the horn"-and what woman prophecies Sanquhar were once so celebrated. of that kind, she commonly brings to From beneath these peeped out a va- pass. On the other side of the fire, riety of heads, large and little, and appeared others of the fraternity, purtheir thick masses of sooty and cur- suing a more noisy occupation-repairling locks were not incommoded by ing fractured kettles, and copper sauce caps or any kind of restraint. The pans, and cementing and clasping glass shining and swarthy glances, and the and china. Nor did they lack tools tawned looks, told of an uncorrupted for defence, as well as for trade. race of gypsies ; a laugh at my con- Against the wall lay several long and sternation circulated speedily from lair rusty swords, five or six dirks or knives, to lair, the lesser heads all ducking and a couple of good firelocks. Gins, below the covers, or peeping
out, as and traps, nets, and fish-spears, were the mirth rose or subsided. The rest in abundance. Each man was armed of the establishment presented no ob- with a long cut and thrust knife, jects of repose, and it appeared to me sheathed in his coat sleeves when he that the portion of the tribe who de- went abroad. A dagger of this dedicated their labours to sunshine were scription, with a brace of old fashionnow in their places of slumber, while ed silver mounted pistols, depended the minions of the moon were exerci- from the girdle of the chieftain. They sing their calling under the beams of amounted to fifteen in all-seven men, their patron planets. Two brawny three women, and five children. Vol. VII.
With a face of mustered courage altercation, a ripe and handsome young and resignation I sat down on an ass's woman, thegrand-daughter of the chief old pannier beside the chieftain, and tain, made her appearance from the submitted with silence and fear to the remotest end of the hall. She drew & sharp scrutiny of many members of sanquhar mantle, or rather, a counterthe tribe, and which continued for se- pare, from her shoulders, as she adveral minutes. One fellow, with a vanced, leaving her person arrayed in sinister cast of face, affected to mea- the extreme simplicity of her tribe. sure me over with the scrupulous at. Hooly, hooly,” said the damsel, tention of a hunter after the bumps stepping between the contending deand knobs which men have discovered pendants of her tribe, holding the indicative of an evil genius. “ I'll haud mantle in her hand, ready to cast upon a horn spoon,” said he, “ to a hand- the daggers, which were expected to ful of meal,” uniting in his wager his be drawn. Her stature was rather past and present professions, for he above the middle size-her whole perhad begged meal down the water of son shaped like the most perfect proKinnel, and baked bread up the water duction of a statuary-firm, full, and of Scaur, “that this younker comes like elegant—and her carriage erect, wild, a hoodie craw before a flock of ravens and unconstrained. Her locks, long he'll lilt up a psalm, and a dozen of and curling, flowed freely on her gullies will come and sneg our thrap- shoulders and her large dark eyes ples.”— D'ye think sae, Sandy sat shining under a close mass of raven Macfen," said the brawny despera- curls, with which nature had striven do, who had drawn his knife on me to conceal a high and polished forebefore" Dash it, dy'e think saem head. “ Hooly, hooly, said the fearby a'the bells o' Gotterbeg, and there less damsel-folly has been and will were ance seventeen o' them, I'll slit be the downfall of our race. The hard his weazon, if he sings a sang or a hand o' the law, with a halter in't, psalm here--or opens a lip, save for a cares for neither yere red anger, nor horn spoon-dom me if I disnae"- yere sharp dirks-drap yere wrathand he half unsheathed his knife, to will ye be fierce with ane anither, and show his sincerity. “ Hoot, hoot, fear'd for a' beside-yere just like twa Jamie,” said a gypsie, whose dialect corbies, pyking out ane anither's een announced a stark Galwegian, laying o'er a dead lamb, when the gun o' the
a aside, at the same time, a most in- shepherd's cocked at their crapins.tractable ram-horn he was straight- Weel may I say, the days o' our might ening—" o yere aye sae fear’d-faith are gane--and Kate Marshall maun ye'll quarrel with the very mools, be- be wife to some soulless coof, wha cause mools makes graves, and may wants the courage to cock a pistol, and make
yours, if ye dinnaglower through sense to haud his hands from folk's hemp, and gang for dissection-od hen bawks--she'll be brided in a ye'll die ere yere day comes through mortclaith sooner.” nought but fear.”—Gypsie Jamie, who All applauded this speech of the was a fiery man of Annandale, and long young heroine, and their wrath had a a companion in the famous horde of brief truce. The Annandale desper the Kennedies of the Hightae, stared ado named “ Jamie o' the dub o' on the Galwegian at this sally, the Dryfe," threw his knife at his feet, redness of wrath rising triumphant and cried aloud, ---- Weel said, ye o'er his dusky complexion. The Gal- bonny chicken o' the bauld blue hen. wegian, however, bearing the name, By the best haft to a steel blade, and and boasting of a share in the blood that's a strang shackle-bane--and by of the potent, and ancient family of the best sheath for a sharp gully, and the Macgrabs, returned the stare of that's an enemy's wame, ye’re a bauld the borderer, nothing daunted and lass, and a bonny-dome me, if thou said—“Let me tell ye, man, I've sauld isnae. By a' the tup horns o' Dryfe, mony a spoon, and got mony a bite I wish auld Daddie Clinkkettle would and soup frae the name of Macrabin- sowder us together, and cry, The Briand by the dunnerin Troughs o' dal's done-bairns to bed.” The Tongland, if ye touch this bairn wi' fierce dignity with which the offended a harmfu' hand, I'll make a cart-road heroine greeted this audacious profor the worms through amang yere posal from a dependant, might have beribs.” In the midst of this unexpected come a queen of the Amazons. Shedrew
herself back, adding, by the movement, at this aggression, addressed to the a nail on my auld elwand to her na- hand from which the harm proceeded, tural height, and shook back the pro- a deep and dolorous bray--a moving fusion of raven curls from her brow. cry of the most pathetic expostulation ; Her swarthy eyes glimmered fearful- and, snapping its halter in two, came ly bright, and words to give utterance rushing between the gypsey combato all this visible scorn and wrath tants, effectually shielding them from were ready to pass her lips, when the the mortal thrusts which, with bared interposition of a hitherto unheeded swords, they were aiming at each and silent dependant took all attention other. away from meaner things. Ere the During this period of controversy hero of the Dub o' Dryfe had conclud- and aggression, the chieftain sat on the ed his address, a young and powerful old pannier with most perfect comman, who sat cementing china in the posure and unconcern; he heard all, corner, and who had regarded all that but heeded none; and seemed, by his had hitherto happened as common oc- silence, to decide that the death of one currences, began to shew the deep in- or two of the most ferocious and turterest he took in this unexpected pro- bulent of his gang would be an acceptposal. He started up, muttering, as able event. He even applied himself he rose, some of the readiest words in with more than common diligence to which fury manifests herself-the the construction of a silver mouthforerunners of the fiercest language piece for the living cow's horn, and I and the most desperate deeds, and the cannot say that his skill in this elechina he was repairing was crushed to gant craft was abated by the mortal dust against the distant walls of the conclusion to which his dependants
* By the cravat of your Grand- seemed hastening; nay, he even gave father," said he to the man of Dryfe, one“ tout” on the instrument, for the “ and that was a hempen one-and apparent purpose of proving the merit by the hand that fitted it on, and that of his labour, but as it was uttered at was the hanginan's, I shall save the the moment the dirks were drawn, I collar that's destined to grace the suspect he internally considered it as craigs of your kindred all future a bugle note to battle. But this comtrouble, if ye dare but to touch the posure was soon to be shaken. The hand of my cousin, bonny Kate Mar- moment he perceived what had be. shall.” To this speech, in which, per- fallen his ancient and favourite ass, haps, the jealousy of rivalry embitter- he started from his seat with unexed the cup of offence that had been pected agility, and pulling a silver proffered to the lips of his kindred, the mounted pistol from his girdle, cockman of Drysdale replied with a loud ed it, and unbuckled the panniers of and discordant laugh, something like the animal. The ashen hue of his the shrieking scream of the owl when, cheek waxed of a kindlier colour wlien, with expanded wings, it comes pounce on removing the caparisons, he dison its prey. His face grew black as covered that the missile had drawn death, and even dilated with the in- blood, but only penetrated skin deep. fernal smile which curled his lips, It had been thrown from a hand so and his whole frame quivered with desperate and so powerful, that it rage-it was only for a moment. He forced its way through among two seized the mortal weapon, which lay bunches of horn spoons, and the lid of at his feet, by the point, and launched a brass sauce-pan. The old man unit with amazing force at the head of cocked his pistol, replaced it in his the cousin of Kate Marshall. But he belt, and, stroking the neck of the old had to combat with a man far more and conscious animal, said, with a cool, and equally desperate as himself. visible and tender kindness, “ 'Thou He ducked his head as a water-hen auld sonsie beast-thou best piece of does when the fowler's gun flashes; ass's flesh that ever cropped cornthe dangerous missile grazed his hair thou that hast balanced spoons on thy as he sunk, and flying far beyond, back to Mall Marshall and her sevensunk deep into the pannier of an old teen lad weans, and seen them all laid ass, the property of the Patriarch him- under the green turf, waes me! The self, which, covered with a worn living hand that harms thy life shall mantle, and caparisons of untanned soon belong to a dead man, else let leather, stood ruminating over a sheaf never man trust a spark wi' powder of fresh corn in the corner.
mair.” So saying, he led the aged