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Ber. I am a stranger.
Din. And I am Dandie Dinmont, reckoned the best bruiser in this country. I'll eat, drink, or fight wi' any man-so, stand off!
Ber. I don't mean to dispute it, I assure you, my friend. I am an Englishman, my name Brown, a captain in the fusileers. I have lost my way, and am really in want of a guide to the next town.
Din. Eh-no! are you really? Ye shall have one, then. If I had but my little horse, now, you might have rode on his crupper; he always finds the way, when I lose it, and his back's main strong; he'd carry six, if 'twere long enough. But, come away -steady! are ye big or little?
Ber. Why, middling.
Din. That will do, for this moor, ye must know, is not in great reputation-there's thieves and gipsies haunt it.
Ber. Gipsies! pooh!
Din. Oh, man, we ha' great faith in 'em in our country. They prophesy, and knock down, like nobody knows what, so everybody believes in 'em; and there's an old woman, the queen of 'em they say, that deals wi' the devil, and can make 'em do anything, if she but lifts up her finger: she's known for a witch all over these parts.
Ber. Well, my friend, I'll stand by you. Din. Will ye? then give me a rough shake of the hand.
Din. Gad! and if your heart be like your hand, it be a plaguy hard one. But look! yonder's a couple of lights dancing bonnily before us.
Ber. A couple! I see but one, friend, and that seems pretty steady.
Din. Does it? then I've a notion you don't see with both your eyes as I do. But come on; let's make our way to it, border-fashion, side by side.
Ber. (Aside.) The fellow gripes like a smith's vice. Come along, friend, then, side by side.
SCENE III-A wild and romantic part of the Chase or Forest-a scattered Copse Wood, with branches of decayed oaks-Cliff's rising behind them--Hills in the distance-Gipsy Tent, with a fire within.
GABRIEL, SEBASTIAN, and other Gipsies, make and female, discovered occupied in cooking, &c.Children are seen mingling in the group.
Gab. Sebastian, where's the old gun with the Spanish barrel?
Seb. Why, will you need her to-night?
Gab. Aye: Dirk Hatteraick, the Dutchman's on the watch.
Seb. What, another shark to be harpooned among us gipsies? (Coming forward and whispering.) I'll have nought to do do with it. I haven't forgotten how he cried and groaned.
Gab. What he?
Seb. (In a low voice.) He of the wood of Ellangowan, sixteen years ago, when they stole the child. No, no, I'll have no more of that. Let Dirk Hatteraick do his own bloody business.
Gab. But it is business that concerns us all. The child-that very child is now a man, and escapei from Batavia; has served in the army, and is come home again.
Seb. How do you know this?
Gab. I saw him myself at Carlisle two days since, and you know that I knew him in India.
Seb. Well, well, let him alone; he'll never remember any thing of this country.
Gab. Dirk doesn't think so, and is determined at least to ship him over the herring pond again. Besides, he has other plans about it. We have had him close watched; he has been seen twice to take boat on the lake, and was in the house of Woodburne this very night; that Franco knew, and watched him out of it. He must cross this way to Kippletringan
Seb. I say again, I'll not meddle. What does Meg Merrilies say?-she, to whom we all look up
Gab. She say! Why, she doats-she's no more what she was, or ought to be-she's turned tender hearted, and swears she'll hinder us from lifting a finger against the Lad of Ellangowan, and that, if we attempt to keep him from his own, we but fight against fate!
Din. Aye, like true men; and if we meet with rogues, we'll shew 'em another border-fashion, Seb. Well, and we dare not dispute her bidding. hand to hand. I say, you were bawling lustily just Gab. Pooh! thou art as bad as she: let us only now, I can bawl a bit myself. Suppose we try if be secret, and do the business before she knows we can't have a kind of a-which d'ye call it-a-any thing about it. Do you go, and tell Dick Hattedouble song together, just to cheer the way over the heath.
raick I'll be at Mirkwood path shortly, with a party to help him. Tell him to keep his ground, and not begin till I come. [Exit Sebastian.] Come, fellows, to our several stations.
GIPSY GLEE AND CHORUS. FRANCO, GIPSY GIRL, and GABRIEL Franco. The chough and crow to roost are gone, The owl sits on the tree,
Bewilder'd hinds, with shorten'd ken,
Up rouse ye, &c.
Nor board nor garner own we now,
Up-rouse ye, &c.
Din. (To Bertram.) Try a leg of her, man; she's a moor-fowl. (Helping him.) Did you ever see a moor-fowl in your part of the world?
Ber. No, indeed, unless stuffed, upon the shelves of a museum.
MEG MERR LIES darts from behind the tent, she advances softly a step or two, and gazes intently on Bertram.
Din. Lord! the ignorance of your southern gentlefolks! stuff it into your own stomach, man. (Drinks.) This is capital too! it will be moonshine brandy I reckon. The smugglers and gipsies are all one man's children.-But, lord, captain-since you say you are a captain-did you ever in your life see a woman stand staring, as that old gipsy
[Exeunt, all but Gabriel, Franco, the boy, has been staring at you? That's she, I take it, I
and the Gipsy Girl.
Voices. (Without.) Holloa! holloa!
Gab. What voices are those? (Calling off.) Holloa! who's there?
Enter HENRY BERTRAM, and DANDIE
(Aside seeing Bertram.) 'Tis he himself, by all that's
Din. (Apart to Bertram.) They are the gipsies, but there's only one man with them; the rest are not far off, I reckon. Well, never fear! we are two. By the light, you seem no baby, and for me, fair play, and I'll face any three of them! ye! they're not fed like the like of us.
Ber. I fear them not; and with you at my side, friend, there's not many things ought to alarm me.
Gab. What seek ye here?
Din. We have lost our way, man, and are seeking that. Know ye which way Kippletringan lies? Gab. Right over the hill, through the ford, cross the bog, through the thicket, and you have it.
Din. (Aside.) Hill, ford, bog, thicket! The gipsy knave is making fun, I think. (To Gabriel.) Hark ye, friend, have you a head on your shoulders? Gab. Aye, sir; and what of that?
Din. Why, how think you it would sort with the butt end of a Liddesdale whip?
(Shakes it at him.)
Gipsy G. (Apart to Gabriel.) Take care, give good words; that's fighting Dinmont of Liddesdale; I know him well; I've seen him clear Staneshawbank fair from end to end, driving fifty men before him.
Ber. Come, sirs, there's no occasion for quarrelling: this gentleman and I want a guide to the town he mentioned, and I will willingly pay him handsomely.
Din. It's more than he deserves, to refuse two poor bewildered young creatures help at such a time of night.
Gipsy G. I'm sure, gentlemen, you'll excuse us; we are not accustomed to see the like of you; but if there is anything that you would take
Din. Can there be anything we won't take, my dear? for I have not taken meat or drink this four or five hours, and the cold blast on the hills has given me such an appetite, that, as the Yorkshireman says, "I cou'd eat a horse behind a saddle." Gipsy G. Well, sir, such as we have
Din. That's a good lass. Come, stir. Come, my sulky lad, lend a hand here.
[They draw forward a rude table, and place meat and drink upon it-Gabriel and Franco retire and whisper together.
told you of, she they call Meg Merrilies, the ruler and terror of them all.
Ber. (Turning round, and observing Meg.) My good woman' do you know me, that you look at me so hard?
Meg. Better than you know yourself.
Ber. Aye, aye-that is, you'll tell my future for
Meg. Offer it not. If with a simple spell I cannot recall times, which you have long forgotten, hold me the miserablest impostor.-Hear me, hear me, Henry-Henry Bertram!
Ber. Henry Bertram! sure, I have heard that name-but when, and where?
Meg. Mark!-hark to the sound of other days!Listen, and let your heart_awake! Girl, come hither, sing me the song I used to sing to Bertram's babe,
[The Gipsy Girl comes forward, and sings the Air which Lucy sung, but more wildly.
And Bertram s right, and Bertram's might,
Charlie's-Hope;-but if you play us any trick now, the devil take me, if you or they shall ever have giv-any thing but your shirts full of broken bones! Damn it! I could find the way myself; for the brandy has cleared my eyes, the rum had blinded. Gab. There's no cause for your suspicion, sir; you'll be taken care of, depend 'on it.
Ber. (Gazing on Meg, thoughtful and surprised.) Bertram-Bertram! why does that name sound so familiar to me?
Din. He is bewitched, for certain:-there was always witchcraft and devilry among them gipsy clan, I have heard.
Meg. (Who has watched Gabriel up the cliff.) And now, begone! Franco, guide these strangers on their way to Kippletringan. (To Bertram.) Yet, stay-let me see your hand. (Leading him forward.) What say these lines of fortune past! Wandering and woe, and danger, and crosses in love, and in friendship. What of the future? Honour, wealth, prosperity, love rewarded, and friendship re-united. But what of the present? Aye! there's a trace, which speaks of danger, of captivity perchance, but not of death. (Looking cautiously round, then beckoning Dinmont and speaking in a very low, deep voice.) If you are attacked, be men, and let your hands defend your heads. I will not be far distant from you in the moment of need. And now, begone! Fate calls you.-Away! away! away! [She retires behind the tent. Din. Lord, captain, I wish she may be all right, and not familiar with other things than live in this world.
Ber. Don't be afraid, my friend.
Din. Feared! damn'd a whistle fear I! Be she witch or devil, it's all one to Dandie; -and yet, I felt but queer like, just now, when she was conjouring. If I could ha' mustered a bit of a prayer, I don't know but I'd have given it her.-But, as I said, devil take me if I baulk you, captain-To Franco.) So forward, my little fellow! and we'll follow.
Franco. This way, gentle folks;
Follow him, nor fearful dem,
Danger lurks in gipsy-guise;
Who shroud by night in savage d'en;
Safely follow, follow him!
[Exeunt Gabriel, Dinmont and Bertram following Franco,
SCENE V.-A Dell or Pass, with Cliffs, ragged and broken-shaggy underwood growing on each sidein the offing, the Sea, or rather an inlet from it, and a Smuggler's lugger lying in the distance-The grey dawn of morning, with the sun faintly seen to light the extreme horizon.
Two Smugglers seen lurking on the rocks. Enter DIRK HATTERAICK and SEBASTIAN down the rocks.
Hat. By the element, your fire's out, your spirits gone, Sebastian! You're turned cowards and cravens every man of you! Oh, the pretty lads I have seen you gipsy tribe turn out, to land a cargo, or to fight the land sharks! And to wince at such a trifle as this.
Seb. But I tell you, Dirk Hatteraick, that Meg will not consent that there should be a hair of his
[Exit Franco up the rocks, Dinmont and Bertram head hurt; and thou knowest well the weight she following.
SCENE IV.-A wild Landscape.
Enter GABRIEL, cautiously, and looking back. Gab. Franco has observed my track, I see. That's a promising chick in our craft, and loves his profession. He has as quick an eye to mischief, as the oldest of our gang.
Enter FRANCO, hastily.
Well, my little decoy duck, are they far behind? Fra. Not far; I watched you, and sported on before, to get a word with you, now we're free from old Meg.
Gab. Well, then, lead 'em down the pass in the rocks, to Hatteraick's point, and contrive to loiter there, till I come up the glen with my party; but, be sure not to give Dirk the signal, till you see
Fra. Trust to me, Gabriel. Hush! they are here.
Enter DANDIE DINMONT and HENRY BER-
Din. (To Gabriel.) Holloa! you, sir! You here, too? What are you saying to the boy?
Gab. I only came to give him directions; I feared he might mistake the road.
Din. Look you, friend: your people sometimes come up our water-side: now, they have always and a barn, and clean straw, and a bellyful at
has with all our tribe, and why she has it. We dare not disobey even her signs and looks.
Hat. Aye, aye, because your people think she is hand and glove with old Satan.
Seb. And what is your promise, Captain Hatteraick? I think I have a good right to know it.
Seb. Why, they say it belongs to your old acquaintance, Gilbert Glossin.
Hat. It does; but if this lad-this Brown as they call him, this heir-male, were safe under hatches yonder, in my lugger, ready to be produced with the documents which I can give him, whose would the estate be then, eh?
Seb. I begin to see your drift, captain.
Hat. Why, mine, man, and thine, and all who hold the secret to threaten Glossin with. He shall be our factor only, and draw the rents for us; the castle's our own to revel in, and he shall not dare to say us nay. So, set your foot to mine, lads, and we secure the younker in a moment, and
keep him like a bagged fox, to be turned out as we
Seb. But you had better wait for Gabriel and his fellows. Young Bertram's a powerful man; if he resists, and
Hat. And is killed, you mean-why, then we must keep the secret, and make that scoundrel Glossin believe him still alive.-But zounds! have done with your buts and ands; here they come. (To the Smugglers.) Stand back, lads, behind the cliff! (They conceal themselves.) Enter BERTRAM and DINMONT, preceded by FRANCO, down the winding path of the cliff. Din. (Coming down the cliff.) I tell you, my cocksparrow, I have had a special notion this some time past, that you are leading us out of the road to Kippletringan; and if you are, my chicken, I'll think no more of ringing your neck round, than a moor-fowl pout! (Advancing to the front, Franco anxiously looking off.) And what ails ye now, you devil's bird, that you stand staring down the glen? (Shaking him.) I have not the truth out of -you!
Fra. I only thought, perhaps, the gentleman might like to see the rocks-many southern gentlemen come to see this glen,-it's famous!
Din. Rocks and glens! when we want to get to a town and our beds! Come, come, where's the way next?
Fra. (Affecting great fear.) You terrify me so, I don't know.
Din. If I take you in hand, young oneBer. Oh, let him alone; you frighten him - he is but a boy.
Din. A boy! there's as much mischief in the devil's little finger, they say, as there is in all his body-he's hatching a lie at this moment.
Fra. (Aside.) I see 'em. (To Dinmont.) Dear sir, if you heard the curious echo that is here, you would not be angry.
Ber. Echo! what echo, my little lad?
[He whistles, and at the same instant springs with great agility out of Dinmont's hands. Re-enter DIRK HATTERAICK and his Sailors, rushing forward-GABRIEL, with several Gipsy men. Just as they are about to attack, MEG MERRILIES suddenly appears upon an eminence, between the parties, and waves off the Gipsies, who shrink back at her signal.
Meg. Gipsies, strike not at your peril. Children, obey me and depart.
Hat. Witch-fiend-hag! Cowards! will ye desert me at a woman's bidding? Then we must do it ourselves-at 'em, lads!
Ber. Now, sir, be pleased to use your legs. No; motionless and silent. We'll find a way to make you march. [Bag-pipes-a march heard without. Din. And as good luck would have it, yonder comes the Highland party I saw at the fair yesterday, and a troop of the village lads and lasses following the merry bag-pipes. 'Gad, we'll have enough to carry you now, lad, gaily and lightly. (Looking off.) And its my old acquaintance, Sergeant M'Craw with them too.
Enter the SERGEANT, with a party of Soldiers,
Ser. Why, we're ordered here to look out for some smugglers and banditti.
Din. We have been beforehand with you, man; fought them, beat them, and made a prisoner; and you must help us to take him to the next justice's, Gibbie Glossin's, at Ellangowan.
Ser. With all my heart. I'll now refresh my
SONG AND CHORUS.
Now fill the glass, and let it pass
From hand to hand, wi glee, man,
Like rocks they stand,
Till foes all fall or flee, man.
A SCOTCH DANCE.
[In the heat of the Dance, Dinmont takes off his great coat, his under coat, and at last his waistcoat-the others whirl off one by on", and Dinmont is left alone dancing as the drop falls.
[A violent struggle-the Sailors are worsted SCENE I.-Ellangowan-The_Sea-Shore, with the
Din. Well, the devil; such sport as this, captain, I never saw. How that fellow fought!
Ber. What shall we do with our prisoner; he seems resolved not to walk?
Din. I cannot blame him, it's a rough road to the gallows. (To Hatteraick) Come, lad, will ye get up and walk, or shall I carry you on my shoulders, as if you were a sheep?
[Bertram assists Dinmont to lift up Hatte-
Castle on the Rocks.
Enter MEG MERRILIES.
Meg. From one peril I have preserved young Bertram, his greatest and his last is still to come.From that, too, will I protect him. I told Hatteraick and his murderous crew, when they forced the child away, e'en when the villain's dagger at his infant-throat forced my unwilling secresy to their devilish plan,-that should the sweet blossom live to ripen into manhood, and return to his native land, I'd set him in his father's seat again.-I'll do it! though I dig my own grave in the attempt.
Now, Sebastian, thy tidings?
Seb. Dirk Hatteraick has sent his orders by me, for our crew to meet him instantly at the Old Tower of Derncleugh,
Why, was he not secured, and taken by Dinmont and the youth to Glossin's? Is he not in the hands of justice?
Seb. Yes; but he has slipped through its fingers, and without much difficulty, for they were opened to him on purpose.
Meg. What mean'st thou?
Seb. Why, that his old friend, Justice Glossin, contrived that he should effect his escape from the Castle-Keep, where he was confined; and the friendly smuggler and lawyer meet to-night in the cavern by Derncleugh Tower, where we are to assist in making sure (as they call it) of that younker of Ellangowan, whom Glossin is to separate from his sturdy companion, and send over the heath alone.
Meg. Ha! his death is purposed, then, and they have chosen the scene of one murder to commit another. Right! The blood spilt on that spot has long cried for vengeance, and it shall fall upon them! Sebastian, speed to Dinmont and the youth, tell them not to separate for their lives;guide them to the Glen near the Tower; there let them wait till Glossin and Hatteraick meet in the cavern-away! and do my bidding. (Exit Sebastian.) Now to send to Mannering. I must remain on the watch myself; Gabriel I dare not trust. (Looking off) Ha! who comes now?-the girl herself and Abel Sampson, Henry Bertram's ancient tutor. It shall be so-Hush! away! away!
[Retires behind the rock. Enter JULIA MANNERING and LUCY BERTRAM.
My faltering tongue, my downcast eyes,
Ah! tell me, could it plead in vain ?
Julia. Thanks, dearest Lucy! I've a story to tell you in return about myself; but not just now, for here comes Mr. Sampson.
Lucy. Pray endeavour to divert the poor man's attention, for his change of dress quite confuses him. How could you play such a roguish trick upon the good, absent soul, as to make the servant put new clothes in his room, in the place of old ones?
Enter DOMINIE SAMPSON, looking at his clothes.
Dom. Truly, my outward man doth somewhat embarrass my sensations of identity. My vestments are renovated miraculously.
Julia. Mr. Sampson, will you favour us with your arm?
Dom. (Looking at her a moment, then at his clothes.) Of a verity, these sleeves are regenerated-so are the knees of my breeches, or subligaculi, as the ancients denominated them.
Lucy. Come, Mr. Sampson, we wait for you. Dom. Honoured young lady! I--Where can the patch and darning be removed unto?
[Meg Merrilies glides unperceived from the rocks, and crosses at the back.
Lucy. What's the matter, sir?
Dom. I know not-I am nubilous. Doubtless the air of Woodburne is favourable unto wearing apparel; for the surface of my garments is as fresh as when I first put them on, ten years ago! Miraculous! Idem et alter!! Prodigious!!! But I crave forgiveness, young ladies,-we will proceed. (He takes the ladies' arm and is going.)
Meg. (Moving forward suddenly and calling.) Stop: -I command you!
Julia. Upon my word, my dear Lucy, this Scotland of yours is the most gallant country in the world. There's even Mr. Sampson yonder turned as arrant a coxcomb as my brother, in our service. How delightful the old gentleman does look in his new suit! What wonders will you work next?-holding an old, abstracted philosopher, dangling after us, a bean-companion, and a proud, stern, stoical soldier, melted down into your forlorn true lover, Lucy!
Lucy. Why will you thus continue to persecute me with speeches, which gratitude and delicacy, and above all, the remembrance of my deep and recent afflictions should forbid me listening to.
Julia. By no means, my dear; gratitude and delicacy, and everything in the world should bid you listen to a man, who I can tell you from good authority-is over head and ears in love with you. What say you, dearest Lucy, will you be my sister?
Lucy. Oh, Julia! what can, what ought I to say? Spare me, I entreat you! my heart is too full-let yours speak for me.
Oh! blame me not, that such high worth Hath raised of love the gentle flame, Yet, as I own it--quicker throbs
The timid, trembling pulse of shame. When pity dries the falling tear,
Love, unperceived, will venture in; And kindness to a wounded heart,
Is sure that wounded heart to win.
Dom. (Turning, and starting back.) Avoid thee! out her purse.) Here-here, sir! Give her Julia, What a frightful creature! (To Dominie, something, and bid her go.
Meg. I want not your trash!
Lucy. She's mad!
for mad-scourged for mad-banished for mad,— Meg. No, I am not mad!-I've been imprisoned
but mad I am not.
Lucy. For mercy's sake, good woman, what is it
nering! There's no harm meant you, and may be, Meg. Go hence, Lucy Bertram, and Julia Manmuch good at hand. Hence! 'tis Abel Sampson I want.
her sorceries! I haven't seen her for many a year. Dom. (Aside.) 'Tis Meg Merrilies, renowned for My blood curdles to hear her! (Aloud.) Young ladies, depart and fear not: I am somewhat tremulous, but I am vigorous-Lo! I will resist, (He edges round between the ladies and Meg, to cover their retreat.-Exeunt Julia and Lucy. As they go off, he points his long cane at Meg.) I am perturbed at thy words-Woman, I conjure thee! (Meg advances.) Nay then, will I flee incontinently!
Meg. Halt! stand fast, or ye shall rue the day, while a limb of you hangs together!
Dom. Conjuro te, nequissima, et scelestissima! Meg. What gibberish is that? Go from me to Colonel Mannering.