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pter 1 Shewing How Wrath Began

When Louis Trevelya

and Reason, as well as Fleece; with the following result:

In public asylums ab


‘I am Queen of the Wake, and I’m Lady of May,

And I lead the blithe ring round the May-pole today;

The wildfire that flashes so fair and so free,

    Was never so bright, or so bonny, as me.’

“I like that the best o’ a’ my sangs,” continued the maniac, “because he made it. I am often singing it, and that’s maybe the reason folk ca’ me Madge Wildfire. I aye answer to the name, though it’s no my ain, for what’s the use of making a fash?”

“But ye shouldna sing upon the Sabbath at least,” said Jeanie, who, amid all her distress and anxiety, could not help being scandalised at the deportment of her companion, especially as they now approached near to the little village.

“Ay! is this Sunday?” said Madge. “My mother leads sic a life, wi’ turning night into day, that ane loses a’ count o’ the days o’ the week, and disna ken Sunday frae Saturday. Besides, it’s a’ your whiggery — in England, folk sings when they like — And then, ye ken, you are Christiana and I am Mercy — and ye ken, as they went on their way, they sang.”— And she immediately raised one of John Bunyan’s ditties:—

“He that is down need fear no fall,

    He that is low no pride,

He that is humble ever shall

    Have God to be his guide.

“Fulness to such a burthen is

    That go on pilgrimage;

Here little, and hereafter bliss,

    Is best from age to age.”

“And do ye ken, Jeanie, I think there’s much truth in that book, the Pilgrim’s Progress. The boy that sings that song was feeding his father’s sheep in the Valley of Humiliation, and Mr. Great-heart says, that he lived a merrier life, and had more of the herb called heart’s-ease in his bosom, than they that wear silk and velvet like me, and are as bonny as I am.”

Jeanie Deans had never read the fanciful and delightful parable to which Madge alluded. Bunyan was, indeed, a rigid Calvinist, but then he was also a member of a Baptist congregation, so that his works had no place on David Deans’s shelf of divinity. Madge, however, at some time of her life, had been well acquainted, as it appeared, with the most popular of his performances, which, indeed, rarely fails to make a deep impression upon children, and pe

ce, who, though a lively girl, had been a remarkably careless scholar, but even to her more considerate sister’s own powers of composition and expression. The manuscript was a fair Italian hand, though something stiff and constrained — the spelling and the diction that of a person who had been accustomed to read good composition, and mix in good society.

The tenor of the letter was as follows:—

“My Dearest Sister — At many risks I venture to write to you, to inform you that I am still alive, and, as to worldly situation, that I rank higher than I could expect or merit. If wealth, and distinction, and an honourable rank, could make a woman happy, I have them all; but you, Jeanie, whom the world might think placed far beneath me in all these respects, are far happier than I am. I have had means of hearing of your welfare, my dearest Jeanie, from time to time — I think I should have broken my heart otherwise. I have learned with great pleasure of your increasing family. We have not been worthy of such a blessing; two infants have been successively removed, and we are now childless — God’s will be done! But, if we had a child, it would perhaps divert him from the gloomy thoughts which make him terrible to himself and others. Yet do not let me frighten you, Jeanie; he continues to be kind, and I am far better off than I deserve. You will wonder at my better scholarship; but when I was abroad, I had the best teachers, and I worked hard, because my progress pleased him. He is kind, Jeanie, only he has much to distress him, especially when he looks backward. When I look backward myself, I have always a ray of comfort: it is in the generous conduct of a sister, who forsook me not when I was forsaken by every one. You have had your reward. You live happy in the esteem and love of all who know you, and I drag on the life of a miserable impostor, indebted for the marks of regard I receive to a tissue of deceit and lies, which the slightest accident may unravel. He has produced me to his friends, since the estate opened to him, as a daughter of a Scotchman of rank, banished on account of the Viscount of Dundee’s wars — that is, our Fr’s old friend Clavers, you know — and he says I was educated in a Scotch convent; indeed, I lived in such a place long enough to enable me to support the character. But when a countryman approaches me, and begins to talk, as they all do, of the various families engaged in Dundee’s affair, and to make inquiries into my connections, and when I see his eye bent on mine with such an expression of agony, my terror brings me to the very risk of detection. Good-nature and politeness have hitherto saved me, as they prevented people from pressing on me with distressing questions. But how long — O how long, will this be the case! — And if I bring this disgrace on him, he will hate me — he will kill me, for as much as he loves me; he is as jealous of his family honour now, as ever he was careless about it. I have been in England four months, and have often thought of writing to you; and yet, such are the dangers that might arise from an intercepted letter, that I have hitherto forborne. But now I am obliged to run the risk. Last week I saw your great friend, the D. of A. He came to my box, and sate by me; and something in the play put him in mind of you — Gracious Heaven! he told over your whole London journey to all who were in the box, but particularly to the wretched creature who was the occasion of it all. If he had known — if he could have conceived, beside whom he was sitting, and to whom the story was told! — I suffered with courage, like an Indian at the stake, while they are rending his fibres and boring his eyes, and while he smiles applause at each well-imagined contrivance of his torturers. It was too much for me at last, Jeanie — I fainted; and my agony was imputed partly to the heat of the place, and partly to my extreme sensibility; and, hypocrite all over, I encouraged both opinions — anything but discovery! Luckily, he was not there. But the incident has more alarms. I am obliged to meet your great man often; and he seldom sees me without talking of E. D. and J. D., and R. B. and D. D., as persons in whom my amiable sensibility is interested. My amiable sensibility!!! — And then the cruel tone of light indifference with which persons in the fashionable world speak together on the most affecting subjects! To hear my guilt, my folly, my agony, the foibles and weaknesses of my friends — even your heroic exertions, Jeanie, spoken of in the drolling style which is the present tone in fashionable life — Scarce all that I formerly endured is equal to this state of irritation — then it was blows and stabs — now it is pricking to death with needles and pins. — He — I mean the D. — goes down next month to spend the shooting-season in Scotland — he says, he makes a point of always dining one day at the Manse — be on your guard, and do not betray yourself, should he mention me — Yourself, alas! you have nothing to betray — nothing to fear; you, the pure, the virtuous, the heroine of unstained faith, unblemished purity, what can you have to fear from the world or its proudest minions? It is E. whose life is once more in your hands — it is E. whom you are to save from being plucked of her borrowed plumes, discovered, branded, and trodden down, first by him, perhaps, who has raised her to this dizzy pinnacle! — The enclosure will reach you twice a-year — do not refuse it — it is out of my own allowance, and may be twice as much when you want it. With you it may do good — with me it never can.

“Write to me soon, Jeanie, or I shall remain in the agonising apprehension that this has fallen into wrong hands — Address simply to 

he precincts of the royal demesne. Still not a word was spoken on either side. The Duke probably wished to allow his rustic prote’ge’e time to recruit her faculties, dazzled and sunk with colloquy sublime; and betwixt what she had guessed, had heard, and had seen, Jeanie De

d the blessing; that Knockdunder found it too long, and David Deans censured it as too short, from which the charitable reader may conclude it was exactly the proper length.

Chapter 45

Now turn the Psalms of David ower,

    And lilt wi’ holy clangor;

Of double verse come gie us four,

    And skirl up the Bangor.

Burns.

The next was the important day, when, according to the forms and ritual of the Scottish Kirk, Reuben Butler was to be ordained minister of Knocktarlitie, by the Presbytery of ———. And so eager were the whole party, that all, excepting Mrs. Dutton, the destined Cowslip of Inverary, were stirring at an early hour.

Their host, whose appetite was as quick and keen as his temper, was not long in summoning them to a substantial breakfast, where there were at least a dozen of different preparations of milk, plenty of cold meat, scores boiled and roasted eggs, a huge cag of butter, half-a-firkin herrings boi

 ut an answer. I flung myself from her in indignation, and employed a comrade to make inquiry in the neighbourhood of Saint Leonard’s concerning your sister; but ere I received hf death as if he had been a wild Indian taken captive by a hostile tribe. I flung myself among the multitude in the moment of fermentation — so did others among Wilson’s mates, who had, like me, been disappointed in the hope of glutting their eyes with Porteous’s execution. All was organised, and I was chosen for the captain. I felt not — I do not now feel, compunction for what was to be done, and has since been executed.”

“O, God forgive ye, sir, and bring ye to a better sense of your ways!” exclaimed Jeanie, in horror at the avowal of such violent sentiments.

“Amen,” replied Staunton, “if my sentiments are wrong. But I repeat, that, although willing to aid the deed, I could have wished them to have chosen another leader; because I foresaw that the great and general duty of the night would interfere with the assistance which I proposed to render Effie. I gave a commission however, to a trusty friend to protect her to a place of safety, so soon as the fatal procession had left the jail. But for no persuasions which I could use in the hurry of the moment, or which my comrade employed at more length, after the mob had taken a different direction, could the unfortunate girl be prevailed upon to leave the prison. His arguments were all wasted upon the infatuated victim, and he was obliged to leave her in order to attend to his own safety. Such was his account; but, perhaps, he persevered less steadily in his attempts to persuade her than I would have done.”

“Effie was right to remain,” said Jeanie; “and I love her the better for it.”

“Why will you say so?” said Staunton.

“You cannot understand my reasons, sir, if I should render them,” answered Jeanie composedly; “they that thirst for the blood of their enemies have no taste for the well-spring of life.”

“My hopes,” said Staunton, “were thus a second time disappointed. My next efforts were to bring her through her trial by means of yourself. How I urged it, and where, you cannot have forgotten. I do not blame you for your refusal; it was founded, I am convinced, on principle, and not on indifference to your sister’s fate. For me, judge of me as a man frantic; I knew not what hand to turn to, and all my efforts were unavailing. In this condition, and close beset on all sides, I thought of what might be done by means of my family, and their influence. I fled from Scotland — I reached this place — my miserably wasted and unhappy appearance procured me from my father that pardon, which a parent finds it so hard to refuse, even to the most undeserving son. And here I have awaited in anguish of mind, which the condemned criminal might envy, the event of your sister’s trial.”

“Without taking any steps for her relief?” said Jeanie.

“To the last I hoped her ease might terminate more favourably; and it is only two days since that the fatal tidings reached me. My resolution was instantly taken. I mounted my best horse with the purpose of making the utmost haste to London and there compounding with Sir Robert Walpole for your sister’s safety, by surrendering to him, in the person of the heir of the family of Willingham, the notorious George Robertson, the accomplice of Wilson, the breaker of the Tolbooth prison, and the well-known leader of the Porteous mob.”

“But would that save my sister?” said Jeanie, in astonishment.

“It would, as I should drive my bargain,” said Staunton. “Queens love revenge as well as their subjects — Little as you seem to esteem it, it is a poison which pleases all palates, from the prince to the peasant. Prime ministers love no less the power of gratifying sovereigns by gratifying their passions. — The life of an obscure village girl! Why, I might ask the best of the crown-jewels for laying the head of such an insolent conspiracy at the foot of her majesty, with a certainty of being gratified. All my other plans have failed, but this could not — Heaven is just, however, and would not honour me with making this voluntary atonement for the injury I have done your sister. I had not rode ten miles, when my horse, the best and most sure-footed animal in this country, fell with me on a level piece of road, as if he had been struck by a cannon-shot. I was greatly hurt, and was brought back here in the condition in which you now see me.”

As young Staunton had come to the conclusion, the servant opened the door, and, with a voice which seemed intended rather for a signal, than merely the announcing of a visit, said, “His Reverence, sir, is coming up stairs to wait upon you.”

“For God’s sake, hide yourself, Jeanie,” exclaimed Staunton, “in that dressing closet!”

“No, sir,” said Jeanie; “as I am here for nae ill, I canna take the shame of hiding mysell frae the master of the house.”

“But, good Heavens!” exclaimed George Staunton, “do but consider —”

Ere he could complete the sentence, his father entered the apartment.

Chapter 34

And now, will pardon, comfort, kindness, draw

The youth from vice? will honour, duty, law?

Crabbe.

Jeanie arose from her seat, and made her quiet reverence, when the elder Mr. Staunton entered the apartment. His astonishment was extreme at finding his son in such company.

“I perceive, madam, I have made a mistake respecting you, and ought to have left the task of interrogating you, and of righting your wrongs, to this young man, with whom, doubtless, you have been formerly acquainted.”

“It’s unwitting on my part that I am here;” said Jeanie; “the servant told me his master wished to speak with me.”

“There goes the purple coat over my ears,” murmured Tummas. “D— n her, why must she needs speak the truth, when she could have as well said anything else she had a mind?”

“George,” said Mr. Staunton, “if you are still, as you have ever been — lost to all self-respect, you might at least have spared your father and your father’s house, such a disgraceful scene as this.”

“Upon my life — upon my soul, sir!” said George, throwing his feet over the side of the bed, and starting from his recumbent posture.

“Your life, sir?” interrupted his father, with melancholy sternness — “What sort of life has it been? — Your soul! alas! what regard have you ever paid to it? Take care to reform both ere offering either as pledges of your sincerity.”

“On my honour, sir, you do me wrong,” answered George Staunton; “I have been all that you can call me that’s bad, but in the present instance you do me injustice. By my honour you do!”

“Your honour!” said his father, and turned from him, with a look of the most upbraiding contempt, to Jeanie. “From you, young woman, I neither ask nor expect any explanation; but as a father alike and as a clergyman, I request your departure from this house. If your romantic story has been other than a pretext to find admission into it (which, from the society in which you first appeared, I may be permitted to doubt), you will find a justice of peace within two miles, with whom, more properly than with me, you may lodge your complaint.”

“This shall not be,” said George Staunton, starting up to his feet. “Sir, you are naturally kind and humane — you shall not become cruel and inhospitable on my account. Turn out that eaves-dropping rascal,” pointing to Thomas, “and get what hartshor

at — And yet I can hardly believe it, even when I heard her speak it herself.”

“It was certainly Queen Caroline,” replied the Duke. “Have you no curiosity to see what is in the little pocket-book?”

“Do you think the pardon will be in it, sir?” said Jeanie, with the eager animation of hope.

“Why, no,” replied the Duke; “that is unlikely. They seldom carry these things about them, unless they were likely to be wanted; and, besides, her Majesty told you it was the King, not she, who was to grant it.”

“That is true, too,” said Jeanie; “but I am so confused in my mind — But does your honour think there is a certainty of Effie’s pardon then?” continued she, still holding in her hand the unopened pocket-book.

“Why, kings are kittle cattle to shoe behind, as we say in the north,” replied the Duke; “but his wife knows his trim, and I have not the least doubt that the matter is quite certain.”

“Oh, God be praised! God be praised!” ejaculated Jeanie; “and may the gude leddy never want the heart’s ease she has gien me at this moment! — And God bless you too, my Lord! — without your help I wad ne’er hae won near her.”

The Duke let her dwell upon this subject for a considerable time, curious, perhaps, to see how long the feelings of gratitude would continue to supersede those of curiosity. But so feeble was the latter feeling in Jeanie’s mind, that his Grace, with whom, perhaps, it was for the time a little stronger, was obliged once more to bring forward the subject of the Queen’s present. It was opened accordingly. In the inside of the case was the usual assortment of silk and needles, with scissors, tweezers, etc.; and in the pocket was a bank-bill for fifty pounds.

The Duke had no sooner informed Jeanie of the value of this last document, for she was unaccustomed to see notes for such sums, than she expressed her regret at the mistake which had taken place. “For the hussy itsell,” she said, “was a very valuable thing for a keepsake, with the Queen’s name written in the inside with her ain hand doubtless — Caroline — as plain as could be, and a crown drawn aboon it.”

She therefore tendered the bill to the Duke, requesting him to find some mode of returning it to the royal owner.

“No, no, Jeanie,” said the Duke, “there is no mistake in the case. Her Majesty knows you have been put to great expense, and she wishes to make it up to you.”

“I am sure she is even ower gude,” said Jeanie, “and it glads me muckle that I can pay back Dumbiedikes his siller, without distressing my father, honest man.”

“Dumbiedikes! What, a freeholder of Mid-Lothian, is he not?” said his Grace, whose occasional residence in that county made him acquainted with most of the heritors, as landed persons are termed in Scotland. —“He has a house not far from Dalkeith, wears a black wig and a laced hat?”

“Yes sir,” answered Jeanie, who had her reasons for being brief in her answers upon this topic.

“Ah, my old friend Dumbie!” said the Duke; “I have thrice seen him fou, and only once heard the sound of his voice — Is he a cousin of yours, Jeanie?”

“No, sir — my Lord.”

“Then he must be a well-wisher, I suspect?”

“Ye — yes — my Lord, sir,” answered Jeanie, blushing, and with hesitation.

“Aha! then, if the Laird starts, I suppose my friend Butler must be in some danger?”

antly to retire, that he may prepare his mind for the exercise of tomorrow, that his work may suit the day, and be an offering of a sweet savour in the nostrils of the reverend Presbytery!”

“Hout tout, man, it’s but little ye ken about them,” interrupted the Captain. “Teil a ane o’ them wad gie the savour of the hot venison pasty which I smell” (turning his squab nose up in the air) “a’ the way frae the Lodge, for a’ that Mr. Putler, or you either, can say to them.”

David groaned; but judging he had to do with a Gallio, as he said, did not think it worth his while to give battle. They followed the Captain to the house, and arranged themselves with great ceremony round a well-loaded supper-table. The only other circumstance of the evening worthy to be recorded is, that Butler pronounced the blessing; that Knockdunder found it too long, and David Deans censured it as too short, from which the charitable reader may conclude it was exactly the proper length.

Chapter 45

Now turn the Psalms of David ower,

    And lilt wi’ holy clangor;

Of double verse come gie us four,

    And skirl up the Bangor.

Burns.

The next was the important day, when, according to the forms and ritual of the Scottish Kirk, Reuben Butler was to be ordained minister of Knocktarlitie, by the Presbytery of ———. And so eager were the whole party, that all, excepting Mrs. Dutton, the destined Cowslip of Inverary, were stirring at an early hour.

Their host, whose appetite was as quick and keen as his temper, was not long in summoning them to a substantial breakfast, where there were at least a dozen of different preparations of milk, plenty of cold meat, scores boiled and roasted eggs, a huge cag of butter, half-a-firkin herrings boi

ed what he had said to me, I had never been the cutaway creature that I am! — But it is all over now. — But we’ll knock at the gate, and then the keeper will admit Christiana, but Mercy will be left out — and then I’ll stand at the door, trembling and crying, and then Christiana — that’s you, Jeanie — will intercede for me; and then Mercy — that’s me, ye ken, will faint; and then the Interpreter — yes, the Interpreter, that’s Mr. Staunton himself, will come out and take me — that’s poor, lost, demented me — by the hand, and give me a pomegranate, and a piece of honeycomb, and a small bottle of spirits, to stay my fainting — and then the good times will come back again, and we’ll be the happiest folk you ever saw.”

In the midst of the confused assemblage of ideas indicated in this speech, Jeanie thought she saw a serious purpose on the part of Madge, to endeavour to obtain the pardon and countenance of some one whom she had offended; an attempt the most likely of all others to bring them once more into contact with law and legal protection. She, therefore, resolved to be guided by her while she was in so hopeful a disposition, and act for her own safety according to circumstances.

They were now close by the village, one of those beautiful scenes which are so often found in merry England, where the cottages, instead of being built in two direct lines on each side of a dusty high-road, stand in detached groups, interspersed not only with large oaks and elms, but with fruit-trees, so many of which were at this time in flourish, that the grove seemed enamelled with their crimson and white blossoms. In the centre of the hamlet stood the parish church, and its little Gothic tower, from which at present was heard the Sunday chime of bells.

“We will wait here until the folk are a’ in the church — they ca’ the kirk a church in England, Jeanie, be sure you mind that — for if I was gaun forward amang them, a’ the gaitts o’ boys and lasses wad be crying at Madge Wildfire’s tail, the little hell-rakers! and the beadle would be as hard upon us as if it was our fault. I like their skirting as ill as he does, I can tell him; I’m sure I often wish there was a het peat doun their throats when they set them up that gate.”

Conscious of the disorderly appearance of her own dress after the adventure of the preceding night, and of the grotesque habit and demeanour of her guide, and sensible how important it was to secure an attentive and impatient audience to her strange story from some one who might have the means to protect her, Jeanie readily acquiesced in Madge’s proposal to rest under the trees, by which they were still somewhat screened, until the commencement of service should give them an opportunity of entering the hamlet without attracting a crowd around them. She made the less opposition, that Madge had intimated that this was not the village where her mother was in custody, and that the two squires of the pad were absent in a different direction.

She sate herself down, therefore, at the foot of an oak, and by the assistance of a placid fountain, which had been dammed up for the use of the villagers, and which served her as a natural mirror, she began — no uncommon thing with a Scottish maiden of her rank — to arrange her toilette in the open air, and bring her dress, soiled and disordered as it was, into such order as the place and circumstances admitted.

She soon perceived reason, however, to regret that she had set about this task, however decent and necessary, in the present time and society. Madge Wildfire, who, among other indications of insanity, had a most overweening opinion of those charms, to which, in fact, she had owed her misery, and whose mind, like a raft upon a lake, was agitated and driven about at random by each fresh impulse, no sooner beheld Jeanie begin to arrange her hair, place her bonnet in order, rub the dust from her shoes and clothes, adjust her neck-handkerchief and mittans, and so forth, than with imitative zeal she began to bedizen and trick herself out with shreds and remnants of beggarly finery, which she took out of a little bundle, and which, when disposed around her person, made her appearance ten times more fantastic and apish than it had been before.

Jeanie groaned in spirit, but dared not interfere in a matter so delicate. Across the man’s cap or riding hat which she wore, Madge placed a broken and soiled white feather, intersected with one which had been shed from the train of a peacock. To her dress, which was a kind of riding-habit, she stitched, pinned, and otherwise secured, a large furbelow of artificial flowers, all crushed, wrinkled and dirty, which had at first bedecked a lady of quality, then descended to her Abigail, and dazzled the inmates of the servants’ hall. A tawdry scarf of yellow silk, trimmed with tinsel and spangles, which had seen as hard service, and boasted as honourable a transmission, was next flung over one shoulder, and fell across her person in the manner of a shoulder-belt, or baldrick. Madge then stripped off the coarse ordinary shoes, which she wore, and replaced them by a pair of dirty satin ones, spangled and embroidered to match the scarf, and furnished with very high heels. She had cut a willow switch in her morning’s walk, almost as long as a boy’s fishing-rod. This she set herself seriously to peel, and when it was transformed into such a wand as the Treasurer or High Steward bears on public occasions, she told Jeanie that she thought they now looked decent, as young women should do upon the Sunday morning, and that, as the bells had done ringing, she was willing to conduct her to the Interpreter’s house.

Jeanie sighed heavily, to think it should be her lot on the Lord’s day, and during kirk time too, to parade the street of an inhabited village with so very grotesque a comrade; but necessity had no law, since, without a positive quarrel with the madwoman, which, in the circumstances, would have been very unadvisable, she could see no means of shaking herself free of her society.

As for poor Madge, she was completely elated with personal vanity, and the most perfect satisfaction concerning her own dazzling dress, and superior appearance. They entered the hamlet without being observed, except by one old woman, who, being nearly “high-gravel blind,” was only conscious that something very fine and glittering was passing by, and dropped as deep a reverence to Madge as she would have done to a countess. This filled up the measure of Madge’s self-approbation. She minced, she ambled, she smiled, she simpered, and waved Jeanie Deans forward with the condescension of a noble chaperone, who has undertaken the charge of a country miss on her first journey to the capital.

Jeanie followed in patience, and with her eyes fixed on the ground, that she might save herself the mortification of seeing her companion’s absurdities; but she started when, ascending two or three steps, she found herself in the churchyard, and saw that Madge was making straight for the door of the church. As Jeanie had no mind to enter the congregation in such company, she walked aside from the pathway, and said in a decided tone, “Madge, I will wait here till the church comes out — you may go in by yourself if you have a mind.”

As she spoke these words, she was about to seat herself upon one of the grave-stones.

Madge was a little before Jeanie when she turned aside; but, suddenly changing her course, she followed her with long strides, and, with every feature inflamed with passion, overtook and seized her by the arm. “Do ye think, ye ungratefu’ wretch, that I am gaun to let you sit doun upon my father’s grave? The deil settle ye doun, if ye dinna rise and come into the Interpreter’s house, that’s the house of God, wi’ me, but I’ll rive every dud aft your back!”

She adapted the action to the phrase; for with one clutch she stripped Jeanie of her straw bonnet and a handful of her hair to boot, and threw it up into an old yew-tree, where it stuck fast. Jeanie’s first impulse was to scream, but conceiving she might receive deadly harm before she could obtain the assistance of anyone, notwithstanding the vicinity of the church, she thought it wiser to follow the madwoman into the congregation, where she might find some means of escape from her, or at least be secured against her violence. But when she meekly intimated her consent to follow Madge, her guide’s uncertain brain had caught another train of ideas. She held Jeanie fast with one hand, and with the other pointed to the inscription on the grave-stone, and commanded her to read it. Jeanie obeyed, and read these words:—

“This Monument was erected to the Memory of Donald

Murdockson of the King’s xxvi., or Cameronian

Regiment, a sincere Christian, a brave Soldier, and

a faithful Servant, by his grateful and sorrowing

master, Robert Staunton.”

“It’s very weel read, Jeanie; it’s just the very words,” said Madge, whose ire had now faded into deep melancholy, and with a step which, to Jeanie’s great joy, was uncommonly quiet and mournful, she led her companion towards the door of the church.


Madge and Jennie

It was one of those old-fashioned Gothic parish churches which are frequent in England, the most cleanly, decent, and reverential places of worship that are, perhaps, anywhere to be found in the Christian world. Yet, notwithstanding the decent solemnity of its exterior, Jeanie was too faithful to the directory of the Presbyterian kirk to have entered a prelatic place of worship, and would, upon any other occasion, have thought that she beheld in the porch the venerable figure of her father waving her back from the entrance, and pronouncing in a solemn tone, “Cease, my child, to hear the instruction which causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” But in her present agitating and alarming situation, she looked for safety to this forbidden place of assembly, as the hunted animal will sometimes seek shelter from imminent danger in the human habitation, or in other places of refuge most alien to its nature and habits. Not even the sound of the organ, and of one or two flutes which accompanied the psalmody, prevented her from following her guide into the chancel of the church.

No sooner had Madge put her foot upon the pavement, and become sensible that she was the object of attention to the spectators, than she resumed all the fantastic extravagance of deportment which some transient touch of melancholy had banished for an instant. She swam rather than walked up the centre aisle, dragging Jeanie after her, whom she held fast by the hand. She would, indeed, have fain slipped aside into the pew nearest to the door, and left Madge to ascend in her own manner and alone to the high places of the synagogue; but this was impossible, without a degree of violent resistance, which seemed to her inconsistent with the time and place, and she was accordingly led in captivity up the whole length of the church by her grotesque conductress, who, with half-shut eyes, a prim smile upon her lips, and a mincing motion with her hands, which corresponded with the delicate and affected pace at which she was pleased to move, seemed to take the general stare of the congregation, which such an exhibition necessarily excited, as a high compliment, and which she returned by nods and half-courtesies to individuals amongst the audience, whom she seemed to distinguish as acquaintances. Her absurdity was enhanced in the eyes of the spectators by the strange contrast which she formed to her companion, who, with dishevelled hair, downcast eyes, and a face glowing with shame, was dragged, as it were in triumph after her.

Madge’s airs were at length fortunately cut short by her encountering in her progress the looks of the clergyman, who fixed upon her a glance, at once steady, compassionate, and admonitory. She hastily opened an empty pew which happened to be near her, and entered, dragging in Jeanie after her. Kicking Jeanie on the shins, by way of hint that she should follow her example, she sunk her head upon her hand for the space of a minute. Jeanie, to whom this posture of mental devotion was entirely new, did not attempt to do the like, but looked round her with a bewildered stare, which her neighbours, judging from the company in which they saw her, very naturally ascribed to insanity. Every person in their immediate vicinity drew back from this extraordinary couple as far as the limits of their pew permitted; but one old man could not get beyond Madge’s reach, ere, she had snatched the prayer-book from his hand, and ascertained the lesson of the day. She then turned up the ritual, and with the most overstrained enthusiasm of gesture and manner, showed Jeanie the passages as they were read in the service, making, at the same time, her own responses so loud as to be heard above those of every other person.

Notwithstanding the shame and vexation which Jeanie felt in being thus exposed in a place of worship, she could not and durst not omit rallying her spirits so as to look around her, and consider to whom she ought to appeal for protection so soon as the service should be concluded. Her first ideas naturally fixed upon the clergyman, and she was confirmed in the resolution by observing that he was an aged gentleman, of a dignified appearance and deportment, who read the service with an undisturbed and decent gravity, which brought back to becoming attention those younger members of the congregation who had been disturbed by the extravagant behaviour of Madge Wildfire. To the clergyman, therefore, Jeanie resolved to make her appeal when the service was over.

It is true she felt disposed to be shocked at his surplice, of which she had heard so much, but which she had never seen upon the person of a preacher of the word. Then she was confused by the change of posture adopted in different parts of the ritual, the more so as Madge Wildfire, to whom they seemed familiar, took the opportunity to exercise authority over her, pulling her up and pushing her down with a bustling assiduity, which Jeanie felt must make them both the objects of painful attention. But, notwithstanding these prejudices, it was her prudent resolution, in this dilemma, to imitate as nearly as she could what was done around her. The prophet, she thought, permitted Naaman the Syrian to bow even in the house of Rimmon. Surely if I, in this streight, worship the God of my fathers in mine own language, although the manner thereof be strange to me, the Lord will pardon me in this thing.

In this resolution she became so much confirmed, that, withdrawing herself from Madge as far as the pew permitt

out forty per cent. are said to be cured.

In private ones twenty-five per cent, at least; most of them poorish.




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1.王志文11.陈道明21.陈宝国31.倪大宏41.孙海英51.傅彪 61.张一山71.黄维德 81.陈思成
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