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قراءة كتاب Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848

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‏اللغة: English
Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848

Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 4

Abbey we wander silently and in awe, almost wishing that honest John Boyer would leave us awhile unmolested even by the praises of his master the "shirra," whom he considers "not a bit proud," notwithstanding he has such "an awfu' knowledge o' history!" Or it may be we recline amid the purple heather and listen to the deep tones of the great magician himself, as he delights our ear with some quaint tradition of the olden time, while Maida, grave and dignified as becomes the rank he holds, crouches beside his master, disdaining to share the sports of Hamlet, Hector, "both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound" frolicking so wantonly on the bonny green knowe before us!

But at length the hour of parting comes. We feel the hearty grasp, and hear the farewell words with which Scott takes leave of his American friend, and as with them our delusion wrought by the magic pen of Irving vanishes, we would fain slay the enchantment—too bright to pass away unlamented!

"The pen of a ready writer, whereunto shall it be likened?

Let the calm child of genius, whose name shall never die,
For that the transcript of his mind hath made his thoughts immortal—
Let these, let all, with no faint praise, with no light gratitude, confess
The blessings poured upon the earth from the pen of a readywriter."

Closing the volume which had so enchained my senses, my mind, from dwelling upon the presence of Scott himself, as introduced through the unformal courtesy of our beloved Irving, naturally turned to the varied and wonderful productions of that master mind, and to the many characters thereby created, seeming to hold a sacred place in our thoughts and affections, as friends whom we had once known and loved!

I was suddenly aroused from my ruminations by a light tap on the shoulder. Judge of my astonishment when Meg Merrillies stood before me, clad in the same wild gipsy garb in which she had warned the Laird of Ellangowan on Ellangowan's height! In her shriveled hand it would seem she held the very sapling which for the last time she had plucked from the bonny woods which had so long waved above her bit shealing, until driven thence by the timorous and weak-minded laird. With this she again touched me, and in a half inviting, half commanding tone said:

"Gang wi' me, leddy, gang wi' me, and I will show ye a bonny company, amang whilk ye'll soon speer those ye're thinking o'."

I confess it was not without some trepidation I arose to follow my strange conductor, who, seizing my hand, rather dragged than led me through several long dark passages, until suddenly emerging from one still more gloomy than the others, my eyes were almost blinded with the glare of light and splendor that flashed upon them.

"Gang in amang them a', my leddy," cried Meg, letting go my hand and waving me toward the entrance, "and gin ye suld see bonny Harry Bertram, tell him there is ane he kens o' will meet him the night down by the cairn when the clock strikes the hour o' twal."

Obeying her mandate, I now found myself in a lofty and spacious saloon. From the ceiling, which was of azure sprinkled with golden stars, were suspended the most magnificent chandeliers, brilliant with a thousand waxen tapers. Gorgeous and life-like tapestry adorned the walls—massive mirrors reflected on every side the blaze of elegance, while the furniture, patterning the fashions of the different ages from the times of the Crusades to that of Elizabeth, was of the most choice and beautiful materials.

But of this I took little note—other and "more attractive metal" met my eye, for around me were kings and princes—peer and peasant—lords and ladies—turbaned infidel and helmeted knight—the wild roving gipsy and the wandering troubadour. In short, I found myself in the world of the immortal master of Abbotsford, and surrounded by those to whose enchanting company I had oft been indebted for dispelling many a weary hour of sickness and gloom—friends whom at my bidding I could at any moment summon to my presence—friends never weary of well-doing—friends never weighing down the heart by their unkindness, or chilling by their neglect. My heart throbbed with a delight before unknown; and I eagerly looked about me, recognizing on every side those dear familiar ones with whom, for so many years, I had been linked in love and friendship.

The first group on whom my eyes rested were our dear friends from Tully-Veolan accompanied by the McIvors.

The beautiful, high-souled Flora was leaning on the arm of the good old Baron Bradwardine, while the gentle Rose shrunk almost timidly from the support of the noble but ill-fated Fergus. They were both lovely—Flora and Rose; but while the former dazzled by her beauty and her wit, the latter, in unpretending sweetness, stole at once into our hearts. But not so thought Waverly. With "ear polite" he listened to the somewhat tedious colloquy of the old baron, yet his eloquent eyes, his heart speaking through them, were fixed upon the noble countenance of Flora McIvor.

"Come, good folks," cried a merry voice—and the bright, happy face of Julia Mannering was before me—"I am sent by my honored father, the colonel, to break up this charmed circle; and he humbly requests to be put under the spell himself, through the enchanting voice of Miss McIvor—one little Highland air, my dear Flora, is all he asks—but see, with sombre Melancholy leaning on his arm, he comes to enforce his own request."

And the gallant Colonel Mannering, supporting the fragile form of Lucy Bertram, clad in deep mourning robes, now approached, and after gracefully saluting the circle, solicited from Miss McIvor a song. Waverly eagerly brought the harp of Flora from a small recess, and as he placed it before her, whispered something in a low tone, which for a moment crimsoned the brow of the maiden, then coldly bowing to him, she drew the instrument toward her, and warbled a wild and spirited Highland air, her eyes flashing, and her bosom heaving with the exciting theme she had chosen.

"Pro-di-gious!" exclaimed a voice I thought I knew; and, sure enough, I found the dear old Dominie Sampson close at my elbow—his large, gray eyes rolling in ecstasy—his mouth open, and grasping in his hands a huge folio, while Davie Gellatly, with cap and bells, stood mincing and grimacing behind him—now rolling up the whites of his eyes—now pulling the skirts of the unconscious pedagogue—and finally, surmounting the wig of the Dominie with his own fool's cap, he clapped his hands, gayly crying, "O, braw, braw Davie!"

Julia Mannering now touched the harp to a lively air, when suddenly her voice faltered, the eloquent blood mantled her cheek, and her little fingers trembled as they swept the harp-strings.

"Ah, ha!" thought I, "there must be a cause for all this—Brown must be near!" and in a moment that handsome young soldier had joined the group. Remembering the commands of Meg Merrillies, I was striving to catch his eye, that I might do her bidding, when the gipsy herself suddenly strode into the circle and fixing her eyes upon Brown, or rather Bertram, she waved her long skinny arm, exclaiming,

"Tarry not here, Harry Bertram, of Ellangowan; there's a dark deed this night to be done amid the caverns of Derncleugh, and then

The dark shall be light,
And the wrong made right,
When Bertram's right, and Bertram's might,
Shall meet on Ellangowan Height."

I now passed on and found myself in the vicinity of Old Mortality and Monkbarns, who were deeply engaged in some antiquarian debate—too much so to notice the shrewd smile and