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Love is, or ought to be, our greatest bliss ;
Lady Jane Gray.
VERY different, however, were the sensations that assailed the graver and more thinking mind of the Earl, from those which actuated his brother, and the load seemed only taken from off the spirits of the Master, to be laid upon his own. For although, in the letter he had received from the King on his
arrival at Falkland, he could not precisely shape to himself any definite cause of alarm, yet he felt a degree of agitation, when his thoughts recurred to it, that seemed'a presentiment of evil, which in reality was yet to be singularly fulfilled. This unaccountable impression on his nervous system, gave rise to a restlessness, which frequently prompted him to walk forth by himself, that his musings might be undisturbed. It was in a mood of oppressive sadness, that the Earl strolled forth one evening toward the North Inch; the town having two plains, one on the north, and another on the south, called Inches, (or islands,) from their being partly surrounded by water.
The sun was hidden, but the sultriness of the evening was not relieved by this circumstance; for there was a sulphureous smell in the air, and a red and lurid tint in the low hanging clouds, that gave promise of a coming storm.
The Earl looked around him, and observed that all living creatures within his sight
appeared impressed with this expectation. The women, on the beautiful level was approaching, were busily employed in running from one quarter to another, gathering up the snow-white clothes, which they had been drying on its flowery turf; while the sheep and cattle in the adjacent fields were seeking shelter from the hedges and trees, and standing in groups on the leeward side of every little knoll or bush. The sea-fowl were winging their way to their native rocks in the ocean, and uttering, as they flew, the wildest and most discordant cries; and the tide being full' to the brim, the river, on whose brink Gowrie was walking, began first to be agitated, and then to toss its waves with a turbulent and troubled motion, while large drops of rain descended to meet its upturned broken waters. The Earl was about to take shelter from the storm in a deserted shieling, occasionally used by the salmon fishers, when he discerned, amid the louring obscurity, that a small boat had left the opposite side of the Tay, and was