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storm. You that would not perish, quit this house.”
The pedlar or jagger seized on his little knap sack, and began hastily to brace it on his back; the old maid-servant cast her cloak about her shoulders, and both seemed to be in the act of leaving the house. 4. Triptolemus Yellowley, somewhat commoved by these appearances, asked Mordaunt, with a voice which faultered with apprehension,whether he thought there was any, that is, so very much danger? 1
." I cannot tell,” answered the youth, ". I have scarce ever seen such a storm. Norna can tell us better than any one when it will abate; for no one in these islands can judge of the weather like her.” ""And is that all thou thinkest Norna can do?” said the sybil ;." thou shalt know her
powers are not bounded within such a narrow space. Hear me, Mordaunt, youth of a foreign land, but of a friendly heart - Doest thou quit this doomed mansion with those who now prepare to leave it?”
« I do not I will not, Norna,” replied Mordaunt; “ I know not your motive for desiring me to remove, and I will not leave, upon these dark threats, the house in which I have been kindly received in such a tempest as this. If the owners are unaccustomed to our unlimited customs of hospitality, I am the more obliged to them that they have relaxed their usages, and opened their doors in my behalf.”
“He is a bravelad,” said Mistress Baby, whose superstitious feelings had been daunted by the threats of the supposed sorceress, and who, amidst her eager, narrow, and repining disposition, had some sparks of higher feeling, which made her sympathize with generous sentiments, though she thought it too expensive to entertain them at her own cost. “ He is a brave lad,” she again repeated, “ and worthy of ten geese, if I had them to boil for him, or roast either. I'll warrant him a gentleman's son, and no churl's blood.”
“ Hear me, young Mordaunt,” said Norna, " and depart from this house. Fate has high views on you-you shall not remain in this hovel
to be crushed amid its worthless ruins, with the reliques of its more worthless inhabitants, whose life is as little to the world as the vegetation of the house-leek, which now grows on their thatch, and which shall soon be crushed amongst their mangled limbs."
“1-1-I will go forth,” said Yellowley, who, despite of his bearing himself scholarly and wisely, was beginning to be terrified for the issue of the adventure ; for the house was old, and the walls rocked formidably to the blast.
“To what purpose ?" said his sister. “I trust the Prince of the power of the air has not yet such like power over those that are made in God's image, that a good house should fall about our heads, because a randy quean (here she darted a fierce glance at the Pythoness) should boast us with her glamour, as if we were sae mony dogs to crouch at her bidding!" byt?
“ I was only wanting,” said Triptolemus, ashamed of his motion, “ to look at the bear: braid, which must be sair laid wi' this tempest; but if this honest woman like to bide wi' us, I think it were best to let us a' sit doun canny thegither, till it's working weather again.
“ Honest woman!" echoed Baby — “Foul warlock thief--aroint ye, ye limmer!" she added, addressing Norna directly; " out of an honest house, or, shame fa' me, but I'll take the bittle to you!”
Norna cast on her a look of supreme contempt, then stepping to the window, seemed engaged in deep contemplation of the heavens, while the old maid-servant, Tronda, drawing close to her mistress, implored, for the sake of all that was dear to man or woman,
6 do not provoke Norna of Fitful-head. You have no sic woman on the mainland of Scotland-she can ride on one of these clouds as easily as man ever rode on a sheltie.”
“ I shall live to see her ride on the reek of a fat tar-barrel," said Mistress : Baby; “ and that will be a fit pacing palfrey for her.”
Again Norna regarded the enraged Mrs Baby Yellowley with a look of that unutterable scorn which her haughty features could so well express, and moving to the window which looked to the north-west, from which quarter the gale seemed at present to blow, she stood for some time with
her arms crossed, looking out upon the leadencoloured sky, obscured as it was by the thick drift, which, coming on in successive gusts of tempest, left ever and auon sad and dreary intervals of expectation betwixt the dying and the reviving blast.
Norna regarded this war of the elements as one to whom their strife was familiar; yet the stern serenity of her features had in it a cast of awe, and at the same time of authority, as the cabalist
may be supposed to look upon the spirit he has evoked, and which, though he knows how to subject him to his spell, bears still an aspect appalling to flesh and blood. The at, tendants stood by in different attitudes, expressive of their various feelings. Mordaunt, though not indifferent to the risk in which they stood, was more curious than alarmed. He had heard of Norna's alleged power over the elements, and now expected an opportunity of judging for himself of its reality. Triptolemus Yellowley was confounded at what seemed to be far beyond the bounds of his philosophy; and, if the truth must be spoken, the worthy agriculturist was far more frightened than curious.