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sword of a knight was so eager for the combat, that at sight of an enemy it would leap forth of its own accord. While the visitor is wondering at its prodigious size, and observing he had never seen more than one person that could wield it, the lady tells him that in her father's grasp it was no more than a wand Who this father was the knight could not then learn, either from Ellen, or the dignified lady of the mansion who afterwards appeared. Song and supper duly concluded, the knight is left to sleep in the sylvan hall, where he has a very poetical and prophetical dream. In the morning he is provided with a guide, and crosses the lake in sight of the maiden, who was sitting on a rock listening to her old attendant; she watches him with a livelier interest and a kinder smile than the poet thinks was quite becoming io a young lady who was already engaged, and, as he turns away in good earnest, gives him one courteous parting sign. This, we think, is a very pleasing and very natural scene; it not only increases our ac quaintance with the two characters, but has an important relation to the plot. The lady blushes at her levity, and makes herself and her favoured Highlander some amends by calling on the minstrel to sing the praises of his family, the Græme. The old man, however, is rather out of spirits, and forebodes ill to his fair mistress. It is time to say that this Ellen was only child of Lord James of Bothwell. He is a fictitious personage, supposed to have been driven into exile with the rest of the Douglas family who had kiept James V. of Scotland, during his minority, under a sort of tutelage which bore a great resemblance to captivity, and ruled the kingdom in his name a little tyrannically. He had found refuge in the fortresses of LochKatrine, under the protection of Roderick Dhu, or Black Sir Roderick, chief of Clan-Alpine, and son of the elderly lady we have mentioned. His character may be gathered from Ellen's answer to her attendant, who warns her that his protection of her father was not entirely disinterested, and that while she boasts of her influence over the fierce chief, her hand is on a lion's mane.'
in I grant him brave But wild as Blacklinn's thundering wave: And generous-save yindictive mood Or jealous transport chafe his blood, I grant him true to friendly band As is his claymore to his hand ; But oh! that very blade of steel More mercy
for a foe would feel : I grant him liberal, to fling Among his clan the wealth they bring :
When back by lake and glen they wind,
From peasants slaughtered in their shed ?' Sir Roderick himself, in bis barge, and attended by his band of music, soon approaches the island; and Ellen, just at that moment hearing the signal-blast of the Douglas, sets off in her boat to fetch him over the lake. The affectionate meeting is very well described. Douglas had been detained in the chace beyond expectation, and found himself in considerable danger from various bodies of the royal horse that were scouring the country. Malcolm Græme had met with him, and though still a royal ward, and therefore risking his life and estates by associating with the noble outlaw, had insisted on accompanying him home,
The tears and praises of paternal affection, with which the maiden's tender congratulations were repaid, had on this occasion, the poet tells us, an unusual value.
• Delightful praise ; like summer rose,
Nor, though unhooded, sought to fly." Malcolm, who is described as every way worthy of his happiness, meets with due hospitality from Sir Roderick, though, they are not on the very
best terms. As the party, however, sit round the fire, tidings come of an intended attack upon Clan-Alpine, by the Scotish troops: Douglas proposes to avoid the danger by flight and concealment, but Sir Roderick is of opinion that an alliance of the Alpine with the Douglas family will be far preferable; particularly as this measure will unite all the neighbouring clans, and make their resistance so formidable, that King James will be glad to march back. He promises, too, with a frankness somewhat unguarded, that a thousand villages shall be in flames when he lights his nuptial torch. Ellen, in the tenderness of her concern for Douglas's safety, is half ready to embrace the terrible offer. What follows, will be best described by the poet.
• Such purpose dread could Malcolm spy
• Twice through the hall the chieftain strode;
that mocked at tears before
Was heard distinctly through the hall.' Ellen rises to leave the party, and Grame, springing up to attend her, is furiously stopped and threatened by the jealous Roderick; they grapple, and mortal combat had ensued, but for the angry interposition of Douglas, and the terror of the women. Roderick insultingly offers safe-conduct to his happier rival, who rejects it with disdain, and, not to owe him even the use of a boat, swims across the lake to the opposite shore.
The third canto is chiefly occupied with a very interesting and picturesque description of a Highland Gathering', which Sir Roderick bad resolved should take place the next day,
effect which such a tale would have on his mind, the influence of his monastic solitude, bis cabalistic studies, and the wild scenery which surrounded hia, are extremely well imagined; and the whole character, without shocking probability, is strikingly new, and fearfully consistent. The reader will understand, as we have already intimated, that a large proportion of Mr. Scott's finest conceptions, and this among them, are adopted-with inimitable skill it must be acknowledged--from the traditions and legends of the North,
• His grisléd beard and matted hair
signals of impending woe,
As bade the chieftain of his clan.' We'must pass over the awful imprecations of this magician priest, and the approving shouts of the crowd who attended the harrid solemnity; though we are inclined to think that nothing Mr. Scott has hitherto written affords a stronger proof of his talețits for this species of description. The following lines, describing the departure of the henchman, or confidential attendant, with the fatal symbol, convey the idea of swift: ness with equal beauty and force.
• Then Roderick with impatient look,