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rendered ruddy and brown by frequent exposure to severe weather-a quantity of most venerable silver hair, which fell in unshorn profusion from under his gold-laced hat, and was carelessly tied with a riband behind, expressed at once his advanced age, his hasty, yet wellconditioned temper, and his robust constitution. As our travellers approached him, a shade of displeasure seemed to cross his brow, and to interrupt for an instant the honest and hearty burst of hilarity with which he had been in the act of greeting all prior arrivals. When he approached Triptolemus Yellowley, he drew him. self up, so as to mix, as it were, some share of the stately importance of the opulent Udaller with the welcome afforded by the frank and hospitable landlord.
“ You are welcome, Mr Yellowley," was his address to the factor; “ you are welcome to Westra--the wind has blown you on a rough coast, and we that are the natives must be kind to you as we can. This, I believe, is your sister — Mistress Barbara Yellowley, permit me the honour of a neighbourly salute.”— And so saying, with a daring and self-devoted courtesy, which would find no equal in our degenerate days, he actually ventured to salute the withered cheek of the spinstress, who relaxed so much of her usual peevishness of expression, as to receive the courtesy with something which approached to a smile. He then looked full at Mordaunt Mertoun, and, without offering his hand, said, in a tone somewhat broken by suppressed agitation, “You too are welcome, Master Mordaunt."
“ Did I not think so," said Mordaunt, naturally offended by the coldness of his host's manner, “ I had not been here--and it is not yet too late to turn back."
“ Young man,” replied Magnus, "you know better than most, that from these doors no man can turn, without an offence to their owner. I pray you, disturb not my guests by your illtimed scruples. When Magnus Troil sayš wel. come, all are welcome who are within hearing of his voice, and it is an indifferent loud oneWalk on, my worthy guests, and let us see what cheer my lasses can make you within doors."
So saying, and taking care to make his manner so general to the whole party, that Mordaunt should not be able to appropriate any particular portion of the welcome to himself, nor yet to complain of being excluded from all share in it, the Udaller ushered the guests into his house, where two large outer rooms, which, on the present occasion, served the purpose of a modern saloon, were already crowded with guests of every description.
The furniture was sufficiently simple, and had a character peculiar to the situation of these stormy' islands. Magnus Troil was, indeed, like most of the higher class of Zetland proprietors, a friend to the distressed traveller, whether by sea or land, and had repeatedly exerted his whole authority in protecting the property and persons of shipwrecked mariners; yet so frequent were wrecks upon that tremendous coast, and so many unappropriated articles were constantly flung ashore, that the interior of the house bore sufficient witness to the ravages of the ocean, and to the exercise of those rights which the lawyers term Flotsome and Jetsome. The chairs, which were arranged around the walls, were such as are used in cabins, and many of them were of foreign construction ; the mirrors and cabinets, which
were placed against the walls for ornament or convenience, had, it was plain from their form, been constructed for ship-board, and one or two of the latter were of strange and unknown wood. Even the partition which separated the two apartments, seemed constructed out of the bulk-heads of some large vessel, clumsily adapted to the service which it at present performed, by the labour of some native joiner. To a stranger, these evident marks and tokens of human misery might, at the first glance, form a contrast with the scene of mirth with which they were now associated; but to the natives, the association was so familiar, that it did not for a moment interrupt the course of their glee.
To the younger part of these revellers the presence of Mordaunt was like a fresh charm of enjoyment. All came around him to marvel at his absence, and all, by their repeated inquiries, plainly shewed that they conceived it had been entirely voluntary on his side. The youth felt that this general acceptation relieved his anxiety on one painful point. Whatever prejudice the family of Burgh-Westra might have adopted respecting him, it must be of a private nature; and at least he had not the additional pain of finding that he was depreciated in the eyes of society at large; and his vindication, when he found opportunity to make one, would not require to be extended beyond the circle of a single family. This was consoling; though his heart still throbbed with anxiety at the thought of meeting with his estranged, but still beloved friends. Laying the excuse of his absence on his father's state of health, he made his way through the various groupes of friends and guests, each of whom seemed willing to detain him as long as possible, and having got rid of his travelling companions, who at first stuck fast as burs, by presenting them to one or two families of consequence, he reached at length the door of a small apartment, which, opening from one of the large exterior rooms we have mentioned, Minna and Brenda had been permitted to fit up after their own taste, and to call their peculiar property.