I wonder how the old man will contrive to bring her to the window? I fear, if she knew his purpose, he would find it difficult to carry it into execution. Bandy not words, but begone. Saint Valentine be my speed! He had not made three steps towards Simon Glover's, which stood in the midst of the narrow street, when two men started from under the houses on diffierent sides, and advanced, as it were by concert, to intercept his passage. The imperfect light only permitted him to discern that they wore the H-ighland mantle. They did not answer, at least intelligibly; but he could see that they drew their swords, with the purpose of withstanding him by violence.
Conjecturing some evil, but of what kind he could not anticipate, Henry instantly determined to make his way through whatever odds, and defend his mistress, or at least die at her feet. IlHe cast his cloakN over his lef armn as a buckler, and advanced rapidly and steadily to thle two imen. Meanwhile, the armoui'er pushed forward in alarm, for which the circumstances of the street being. He heard a supp'ressed whisper atnd a bustle under the Gltover's wvindows —those- very windows frorm which hke hacd expected to be lhaled by Catharine as her Valentine.
He kept to tile opposite side oi' the street, that Ihe might reconnoitre thleir. But one of' tlh party, who wvere beIneiath the window, observing or hearing him, crossed the street also, and taking him doubtless for one of the sentinels, asked, in a whisper, 6 What noise was yonder, Kenneth?
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The wound must have been a severe one, for he staggered and fell with a deep groan. Without noticing him farther, Henry Stnith sprung forward upon a party of men who seemed engaged in placing a ladder against the lattice window in the gable. Henry did not stop either to count their numbers or to ascerta;n their purpose. The Smith seized it by the rounds, threw it down on the pavement, and placing his foot on the body of the, man who had been mounting, prevented him from regaining his feet.
His accomplices struck fiercely at Henry, to extricate their companior. But his mail-coat stood him in good stead, and he repaid their blows with interest, shouting aloud, " Help, help, for bpnnie St. In the meantime, the inhabitants of the street began to. S DAY. The assailants now endeavoured to make their escape, which all of them effected excepting the man who had been thrown down along with the ladder.
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Him the intrepid armourer had caugilt by the throat in the scuffle, and held as fast as the greyhound holds the hare. The other wounded men were borne off by their comlrades. They cannot all get off, for I hlave maimed some of them; the blood will guide you to them. The assistants mdispersed in different directions, their lights flashing, and their cries resounding through the whole adjacent district.
But let me go, and I will fill tly bolnet with gold pieces. There is no danger in him, I promise you. Stay but an instant where you are, and let no one enter the house, either to attack or defend. I will be answerable that this galliard meant but some Saint Valentine's jest. Johnston and of the rogues-for of a certain,. Oh, my old two-handed Trojan, hadst thou been in my beands, as thou hang'st presently at the tester of my bed, the legs of those rogues had not carried their bodies so clean Dff the field.
If friends to the bonnie burgh, you are well come. They got to the postern gate before we could overtake them, and rang the sanctuary bell,-the gate opened, and in went they. So they are safe in girth and sanctuary, and we may go to our cold beds and warm us. He was a brisk, forward, rather corpulent little man, called Oliver Proudfute, reasonably wealthy, and a leading man in his craft, which was that of bonnet-makers; he, therefore, spoke as one in authority.
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It is large, indeed, and bony, but as fine as a lady's, with a ring that sparkles like a gleaming candle. Simon Glover has made gloves for this hand before now, if I am not much mistaken, for he works for all the. There be hard laws against mutilation. And have we not charters from all our noble kings and progenitors, as being their loving liegemen?
And would you have us now yield up our rights, privileges, and irnmunities, our outfang and infang, our hand-habend, our back-bearand, and our blood-suits, and amerciaments, esclleats, and commodities, and suffer an honest burgess's house to be assaulted without seeking for redress? No —brave citizens, craftsmen, and burgesses, the Tay shall flow back to Dunkeld before we submit to sullch injustice! I would have you pass like true men from this very place to the King's Grace's presence, raise him from his royal rest, and presenting to hiim the piteous case of our being called forth fromn our beds at this season, with little better covering tthan these shirts, I would show him this bloody token, and know from his Grace's own royal lips, whether it is just andl honest that his loving lieges should be thus treated by the knights anti nobles of his debosbed court.
And this I call pushing our cause warmly. To-morrow is a new day; we will consult on this matter on this selfsame spot, and consider what measures should be taken for discovery and pursuit of the villains. And therefore let us dismiss before the heart's-blood freeze in our veins. Johnston for ever! But no one would listen; and the citizens dispersed to their own houses by the light of the dawn, which began now to streak the horizon. They were scarce gone ere the doorofthe Glover's house opened, and seizing the Smith by the hand, the old man pulled him in.
She shall see thee with thy good weapon in thy hand, and with villain's blood on thy fingers, that she may know what is the value of a true man's service. She has stopped my mouth over long with her pruderies and her scruples. I will have her know what a brave man's love is worth, and a bold btu wess's to boot. She had sunk on her knees to pray for assistance, and when she distinguished the voices of neighbours and friends collected for her protection, she remained in the same posture to return thanks. She was still kneeling when her father almost thrust her champion, Henry Smith, into her apartment; the bashful lover hanging back at first, as if afraid to give offence, and, on observing her posture, from respect to her devotion.
Here comes the instrument by whom God has rescued thee from death, or perhaps from dishonour worse than death. Receive him, Catharine, as thy true Valentine, and him whom I desire to see my affectionate son. I am not ungrateful-perhaps I am too thankful to the instrument of our safety; but let me thank the guardian Saint who sent me this timely relief, and give me but a moment to don my kirtle. Catharine the Second.
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I go to watch thy slumbers, and woe with hirm that shall intrude on them! To-morrow we will meet, that I may assure you of my gratitude-Farewell. By St. He has lost that which he will miss all the days of his life, especially when he goes to pull on his gloves,-ay, he will pay but half a fee to my craft in future. But I will, with your permission, watch in the street. The attack may be renewed.
It is the way of fighting which suits us burghers bestthat of resisting from behind stone walls. Our duty-of watch and ward teaches us that trick; besides, enough are awake and astir to ensure us peace and quiet till morning. So come in this way. He muttered to himself half audibly —" Good Henry-brave Henry-Ah!
Certainly I were best strike my right hand ofF, and nail it to the door of a church, that it may never do me discredit more. She would love thee twice as well did she not see how thou dotest upon her.
But it becomes serious now. I am not to have the risk of my booth being broken, and my house plundered, by the hell-raking followers of the nobles, because she is called the Fair TMaid of Perth, and please ye. No, she shall know I am her father, and will have that obedience to which law and gospel give me right. I will have her thy wife, Henry, my heart of gold-thy wife, my man of. Come, come, here is to thy merry bridal, jolly Smith. Here has a chance happened, which in a manner places her in thy power, since from one end of the city to the other, all would cry fie on her if she should say thee nay.
Here am I her father, not only consenting to the cutting out of the match, but willing to see you two as closely united together, as ever needle stitched buckskin. And with all this on thy side, fortune, father, and all, thou lookest like a distracted lover in a ballad, more like to pitch thyself into the Tay, than to woo a lass that may be had for the asking, if you can but choose the lucky minute.
I question much if Catharine ever has such a moment to glance on earth and its inhabitants, as might lead her to listen to a coarse ignorant borrel man like me. I cannot tell how it is, father; elsewhere I can hold up my head like another man, but with your saintly daughter I lose heart and courage, and I cannot help thinking that it would be well nigh robbing a holy shrine, if I could succeed in surprising her affections.
Her thoughts are too much fitted for heaven to be wasted on such a one as I am. I love and honour the church," he said, crossing himself. Catharine is all I have to remind me of her I have lost; and if she goes to the cloister, it shall be when these old eyes are closed for ever, and not sooner. I: wan-t to force no wile on you9 i promise you. Why, father, I would the keenest dirk I ever forged were sticking in my heart at this moment, if there is one single particle in it that is not more your daughter's property than my own. But what can I do?
I cannot think less of her, or more of myself, than we both deserve; and what seems to you so easy and certain, is to me as difficult as it would be to work a. And let me not keep your old head longer from the pillow, but make interest with your feather-bed till daybreak; and then you must be my guide to your daughter's chamber-door, and my apology for entering it, to bid her good-morrow, for the brightest that the sun will awaken in the city or for miles round it!
Thus parted the two burghers. The Glover retired to his bed, and, it is to be supposed, to rest. The lover was not so fortunate. His bodily firame easily bore the fatigue which he had encountered in the course of the night, but his mind was of a different and more delicate mould.