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Vohr; and these three magic words,” said he, half smiling, “are the only Open Sesame to their feelings and sympathies; and poor Evan must attend his foster-brother in death, as he has done through his whole life.”
“ And I am sure,” said Maccombich, raising himself from the floor, on which, for fear of interrupting their conversation, he had lain so still, that in the obscurity of the apartment, Edward was not aware of his presence,—“I am sure Evan never desired nor deserved a better end then just to die with his chieftain."
A tap at the door now announced the arrival of the priest ; and Edward retired while he administered to both prisoners the last rites of religion, in the mode which the church of Rome prescribes. In about an hour he was readmitted. Soon after, a file of soldiers entered with a blacksmith, who struck the fetters from the legs of the prisoners. “You see the compliment they pay to our Highland strength and courage; we have lain chained here like wild beasts, till our legs are cramped into palsy; and when they free us, they send six soldiers with loaded muskets to prevent our taking the castle by storm.
Shortly after, the drums of the garrison beat to arms. “ This is the last turn out,” said Fergus, “ that I shall hear and obey. And now, my dear, dear Edward, ere we part, let us speak of Flora,-a subject which awakes the tenderest feeling that yet thrills within me.”—“We part not here?” said Waverley. “O yes, we do, you must come no farther. Not that I fear what is to follow for myself,” he said proudly ; "nature has her tortures as well as art, and how happy should we think the man who escapes from the throes of a mortal and painful disorder in the space of a short half hour! And this matter, spin it out as they will, cannot last longer. But what a dying man can suffer firmly, may kill a living friend to look upon.
“This same law of high treason," he continued, with as. tonishing firmness and composure, “is one of the blessings, Edward, with which your free country has accommodated poor old Scotland : her own jurisprudence, as I have heard, was much milder. But I suppose, one day or other, when there are no longer any wild Highlanders to benefit by its tender mercies, they will blot it from their records, as levelling them with a nation of cannibals. The mummery, too, of exposing the senseless head! they have not the wit to grace mine with a paper coronet; there would be some sā'tire in that, Edward. I hope they will set it on the Scotch gate though, that I may look, even after death, to the blue hills of my own country, that I love so dearly !"
A bustle, and the sound of wheels and horses' feet, was now heard in the court-yard of the castle.—An officer appeared, and intimated that the high sheriff and his attendants waited before the gate of the castle, to claim the bodies of Fergus Mac-Ivor and Evan Maccombich : “I come,” said Fergus. Accordingly, supporting Edward by the arm, and followed by Evan Dhu and the priest, he moved down the stairs of the tower, the soldiers bringing up the rear. The court was occupied by a squadron of dragoons and a battalion of infantry, drawn up in a hollow square.
Within their ranks was the sledge or hurdle, on which the prisoners were to be drawn to the place of execution, about a mile distant from Carlisle. It was painted black, and drawn by a white horse. At one end of the vehicle sat the executioner, a horrid looking fellow, as beseemed his trade, with the broad axe in his hand; at the other end, next the horse, was an empty seat for two persons. Through the deep and dark Gothic archway that opened on the drawbridge, were seen on horseback the high sheriff and his attendants, whom the etiquette* betwixt the civil and military power did not permit to come farther.
“ This is well got up for a closing scene,” said Fergus, smiling disdainfully as he gazed around upon the apparatus of terror. Evan Dhu exclaimed with some eagerness, after looking at the dragoons, These are the very chields that gallopped off at Gladsmuir ere we could kill a dozen of them. They look bold enough now, however.” The priest entreated him to be silent.
The sledge now approached, and Fergus turning round embraced Waverley, kissed him on each side of the face, and stepped nimbly into his place. Evan sat down by his side. The priest was to follow in a carriage belonging to his pātron, the Catholic gentleman at whose house Flora resided. As Fergus waved his hand to Edward, the ranks closed around the sledge, and the whole procession began to move forward.
There was a momentary stop at the gateway, while the governor of the castle and the high sheriff went through a short ceremony, the military officer there delivering over the persons of the criminals to the civil power. “God save King George !” said the high sheriff. When the formality
* Pron, et-e-ket.
concluded, Fergus stood erect in the sledge, and with a firm and steady voice replied, “God save King James !" These were the last words which Waverley heard him speak.
The procession resumed its march, and the sledge vanished from beneath the portal, under which it had stopped for an instant. The dead march, as it is called, was instantly heard ; and its melancholy sounds were mingled with those of a muffled peal, tolled from the neighboring cathe’dral. The sound of the military music died away as the procession moved on; the sullen clang of the bells was soon heard to sound alone.
The last of the soldiers had now disappeared from under the vaulted archway through which they had been filing for several minutes ; the court-yard was now totally empty, but Waverley still stood there as if stupified, his eyes fixed upon the dark pass where he had so lately seen the last glimpse of his friend.—At length, a female servant of the governor, struck with surprise and compassion at the stupified misery which his countenance expressed, asked him if he would not walk into her master's house and sit down? She was obliged to repeat her question twice ere he comprehended her ; but at length it recalled him to himself.Declining the courtesy,* by a hasty gesture, he pulled his hat over his eyes, and, leaving the castle, walked as swiftly as he could through the empty streets, till he regained his inn ; then threw himself into an apartment and bolted the door.
In about an hour and a half, which seemed an age of unutterable suspense, the sound of the drums and fifes, performing a lively air, and the confused murmur of the crowd which now filled the streets, so lately deserted, apprised him that all was over, and that the military and populace were returning from the dreadful scene. I will not attempt to describe his sensations.
Egyptian Mummies, Tombs, and Manners.-BELZONI.
GOURNOU is a tract of rocks, about two miles in length, at the foot of the Lybian mountains, on the west of Thebes, and was the burial-place of the great city of a hundred gates. Every part of these rocks is cut out by art, in the form of large and of small chambers, each of which has its separate entrance; and, though they are very close to each other, it is seldom that there is any interior communi. cation from one to another. I can truly say, it is impossible to give any description sufficient to convey the smallest idea of those subterranean abodes and their inhabitants. There are no sepulchres in any part of the world like them; there are no excavations, or mines, that can be compared to these truly astonishing places; and no exact description can be given of their interior, owing to the difficulty of visiting these recesses. The inconveniency of entering into them is such, that it is not every one who can support the exertion.
* Pron. kür'-te-se.
A traveller is generally satisfied when he has seen the large hall, the gallery, the staircase, and as far as he can conveniently go: besides, he is taken up with the strange works he observes cut in various places, and painted on each side of the walls ; so that when he comes to a narrow and difficult passage, or a descent to the bottom of a well or cavity, he declines taking such trouble. naturally supposing that he cannot see in these abysses ny thing so mag. nificent as what he sees above, and con quently deeming it useless to proceed any farther.
Of some of these tombs many persons could not withstand the suffocating air, which often causes fainting. tity of dust rises, so fine that it enters into the throat and nostrils, and chokes the nose and mouth to such a degree, that it requires great power of lungs to resist it, and the strong effluvia of the mummies. This is not all; the entry or passage where the bodies are, is roughly cut in the rocks, and the falling of the sand from the upper part or ceiling of the passage causes it to be nearly filled up. In some places there is not more than a vacancy of a foot left, which you must contrive to pass through in a creeping posture like a snail, on pointed and keen stones, that cut like glass.
After getting through these passages, some of them two or three hundred yards long, you generally find a more commodious place, perhaps high enough to sit. But what a place of rest ! surrounded by bodies, by heaps of mummies in all directions ; which, previous to my being accustomed to the sight, impressed me with horror. The blackness of the wall, the faint light given by the candles or torches for want of air, the different objects that surrounded me, seeming to converse with each other, and the Arabs with the candles or
A vast quan:
torches in their hands, naked and covered with dust, them. selves resembling living mummies, absolutely formed a scene that cannot be described. In such a situation I found my. self several times, and often returned exhausted and fainting, till at last I became inured to it, and indifferent to what I suffered, except from the dust, which never failed to choke my throat and nose ; and though, fortunately, I am destitute of the sense of smelling, I could taste that the mum. mies were rather unpleasant to swallow.
After the exertion of entering into such a place, through a passage of fifty, a hundred, three hundred, or perhaps six hundred yards, nearly overcome, I sought a resting-place, found one, and contrived to sit; but when my weight bore on the body of an Egyptian, it crushed like a band-box. I naturally had recourse to my hands to sustain my weight, but they found no better support ; so that I sank altogether among the broken mummies, with a crash of bones, rags, and wooden cases, which raised such a dust as kept me motionless for a quarter of an hour, waiting till it subsided again. I could not remove from the place, however, without increasing it, and every step I took I crushed a mummy in some part or other.
Once I was conducted from such a place to another resembling it, through a passage of about twenty feet in length, and no wider than what a body could be forced through. It was choked with mummies, and I could not pass without putting my face in contact with that of some decayed Egyptian ; but as the passage inclined downwards, my own weight helped me on; however, I could not avoid being covered with bones, legs, arms, and heads, rolling from above. Thus I proceeded from one cave to another, all full of mummies piled up in various ways, some standing, some lying, and some on their heads.
The purpose of my researches was to rob the Egyptians of their papyri; of which I found a few hidden in their breasts under their arms, in the space above the knees, or on the legs, and covered by the numerous folds of cloth that envelop the mummy. The people of Gournou, who make a trade of antiquities of this sort, are very jealous of stran. gers, and keep them as secret as possible; deceiving travellers, by pretending that they have arrived at the end of the pits, when they are scarcely at the entrance. ***
I must not omit, that among these tombs we saw some which contained the mummies of animals intermixed with