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The short dark waves, heaved to the land,
-Hark! hears he not the sea-nymph speak,
Lord of the Isles, Canto III. St. 28..
. I remember a strange agony, under which I conceived • myself and Diana in the power of Mac-Gregor's wife, and about to be precipitated from a rock into the lake; the
signal was to be the discharge of a cannon, fired by Sir • Frederick Vernon, who, in the dress of a cardinal, of6 ficiated at the ceremony. Nothing could be more lively
than the impression which I received of this imaginary 6 scene. I could paint, even at this moment, the mute and
courageous submission expressed in Diana's features
the wild and distorted faces of the executioners, who crowded around us with mopping and mowing;' grimaces ever changing, and each more hideous than that which preceded. I saw the rigid and inflexible fanaticism
painted in the face of the father. I saw him lift the fatal • match-the deadly signal exploded-it was repeated again 6 and again and again, in rival thunders, by the echoes of • the surrounding cliffs, and I awoke from fancied horror to real apprehension.
- The sounds in my dream were not ideal. They reOverberated on my waking ears, but it was two or three minutes ere I could collect myself so as distinctly to understand that they proceeded from a violent knocking at the gate.'-Rob Roy, vol. iii. ch. 12.
The ominous dream of the Countess of Leicester is thus terminated.
• Just as he spoke, the horns again poured on her ear the melancholy, yet wild strain of the mort, or death note, and she awoke. The Countess awoke to hear a real bugle note, or rather the combined breath of many bugles,
sounding not the mort, but the jolly reveillée, to remind “the inmates of the castle of Kenilworth, that the pleasures
of the day were to commence with a magnificent staghunting in the neighbouring chase.'- Kenilworth, vol. iii. ch. 8.
Lovel's dream, the beginning of which I just now quoted, ends in a similar manner.
• As the vision shut his volume, a strain of delightful music seemed to fill the apartment, Lovel started, and became completely awake. The music, however, was still in his ears, nor ceased till he could distinctly follow the measure of an old Scottish tune. With its visionary character it had lost much of its charms it was now
nothing more than an air on the harpsichord, tolerably well performed.'-— Antiquary, vol. i. ch. 10.
Should you feel desirous of pursuing this subject further, I would point out as deserving your attention the dreams of Glossin, in Guy Mannering*; of the hero in Harold the Dauntlesst; and of Effie Deans, in the Heart of MidLothian 1.
The incident of a person supposed to be dead emerging from concealment and being mistaken for a spectre, occurs twice in the poems and twice in the novels: De Wiltong and Mortham || appal their enemies by their supposed resuscitation; Henry Morton alarms his mistress in the same manner (; and Athelstane inhospitably disturbs the guests at his own funeral feast **
The death of Burley tf bears in many respects a strong resemblance to that of Risingham II. Each falls ingloriously, oppressed by the united force of ignoble assailants, in a sudden and almost unforeseen conflict; a catastrophe not arising in either case out of the early and leading events of the story, but apparently contrived on purpose for the removal of personages who are lagging on the stage and impede the closing of the scene. The novelist seems embarrassed with his covenanter as the poet with his buccaneer; they cannot be quietly dismissed; but the authors have made them so strong and invincible, that it becomes difficult to find expedients for their destruction, and each is quelled at
* Vol. ii. ch. 12. + Canto vi. st. 9 to 11.
|| Rokeby, canto ii. st. 21, 2.
Old Mortality, last vol. ch. 9. ** Ivanhoe, vol. iii. ch. 12. ++ Old Mortality, last chapter. 1 Rokeby, canto vi. st. 32, &c.
last by a complication of means: by his own madness, by the fault of his horse, by the combined attack of his plebeian enemies. Both Risingham and Burley sacrifice their lives in accomplishing schemes of vengeance; both die, as they inflict death, with unshrinking sternness; both carry with them out of existence individuals whose absence is equally necessary with their own to the winding up of the fable; John Balfour assassinating Lord Evandale, and Bertram fatally cutting short the iniquities of Oswald in their moment of consummation.
The death of Rashleigh Osbaldistone* is a catastrophe not in all respects parallel to those just mentioned, but resembling them strongly in the character of the sufferer, and the somewhat inartificial contrivance of a new train of incidents at the latter end of the tale, expressly for his removal.
* Rob Roy, vol. iii. last chapter.
Day-light and champian discovers not more: this is open.
Twelfth Night, Act II. Sc. 5.
Thou art a blessed fellow, to think as every man thinks.
Henry IV. Part II. Act II. Sc. 2.
From the incidents themselves, we should now proceed to the manner in which they are embellished by description; but a great part of the observations belonging to this subject has been anticipated in the preceding pages. I have still, however, to point out a few remarkable instances of similarity, hitherto not noticed.
The battle scenes of the two writers are no less admirable for variety than for magnificence of imagery; but there are two or three prominent circumstances which occur with peculiar frequency. In most instances the conflict is described as seen by persons looking down upon it from a commanding point, and not mixed in the tumult themselves. The situation of Morton and his companions at Loudon-hill *, and of Queen Mary, Seyton, and Græme, at Crookstonet, are precisely the same with that of the lady and two squires at Flodden I: the first shock of battle at Bannockburn is
* Tales of My Landlord, First Series, vol. iii. ch. 4.
+ Abbot, vol. iii. ch. 10.