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Wilson's Border Tales
The Covenanter's Bridal


On the blank leaf of an old Greek Testament, now in the hands of an eminent member of the Scottish fraternity of literature, there is the following entry—

"3d June, 1679.

"This day is ended, in a holie and happie manner, the marryage of my bairn, Alison Darlyng, with William Stark, by the godly Maister John Cockburn settin the seale of his blessing theruntoe. It has been a sair and langsome ceremonie; but we half got therfrom notable recompense of grace.

"GEORGE DARLYNG."

The period of this ceremony was, when "The right divine of kings to govern wrong" was in full test amongst the people of Scotland, and when, under the enthusiasm of religious feeling, that people were practically contending for the benefits of civil freedom. It is to the developements of this time that a silent reference is made in our conceptions of the general character of the Scottish nation; and it is to that single and triumphant struggle, that their peasantry are indebted for those institutions which preserve them, in the matter of highest moment, at the head of their class.

On a Saturday afternoon, in the spring of the year noted above, a young man, whose appearance indicated inflexibility of character, entered the hamlet of Auchincraw, and passed to the house of George Darling at its eastern extremity. A coat and waistcoat of black, on which constant labour seemed to have inflicted a premature old age, "hame-made blue" breeches, blue worsted stockings, a flat blue bonnet, and a clean and carefully spread white neckerchief—presented that mixture of homeliness and gentility which marked the nonconformist preacher of the day. Such was William Stark. He had a pale, but determined looking countenance, and a quick and clear eye, to which a constant necessity for watchfulness from sudden and hidden dangers had given intensity and restlessness.

George Darling farmed a "sma’ haddin" to the east of Auchincraw. He had, in his youth, been destined for the church, and had attended two sessions at St. Andrew’s with that view; but the troubles growing heavier, and his father dying, he settled on the lease, and, instead of the spiritual director, became the fireside oracle of the place. Under the successors of the Melvilles, the principles of the Reformation had been taught him; and, whilst merely supporting Presbytery as consonant to Scripture, he sometimes caught a glimpse of the great social principle of religious toleration, which the Reformers undoubtedly did not understand. Thus he lived amicably with his neighbours of all grades of opinion! He had but one child, Alison; his fondness for whom, as he often said, was the only remains of an "overly world’s care," and he was afraid that the entire spiritualization of his feelings would be brought about by an infliction there. Alison was "beautiful excedingly." That beauty was more of the heart than of corporeal proportion or delicacy of complexion; but neither was its effect marred by any palpable blemish in its material depository. She was of the middle height, rather slender, oblong features, blue eyes, and dark-brown hair. She did not dazzle or even surprise you at first sight; and it was not till the perfect feminineness of her heart had unfolded itself to you, that you felt the beauty of "sonsie Ailsa Darling."

"She was not violently lovely, but
Stole on your spirits like a May-day breaking."

William Stark, as we have said, passed on to George Darling’s house, amid the half dubious, but, withal, respectful notice of the people of the hamlet. He opened the door, at once confronted George, who was seated on the opposite side of the fire with his Greek Testament folded over his finger, and gazing steadfastly into the fire, as if he expected to discover in it a key to some knotty point of language or of doctrine. In extending his hand to William, George gave a knowing look over his shoulder to where Alison was standing, with her back towards them, skimming a "cogie" of milk. At the first sound of William’s voice the vessel in her hand gave a sort of convulsive jerk, that dislodged a part of its contents, while the spoon was suddenly arrested over it; and her face was turned round with a look of inquisitiveness, surprise, and joy. She looked a tolerable representation of her first lineal ancestress, startled in the bowers of Eden by the first appearance of her future mate. William greeted George heartily; but, when he turned to Alison, his look was his only expression, and he took her by the hand in silence, whilst he received from her a welcome as deep, as wordless, and as expressive.

"We didna just expect to see ye at this time," said the old man, "when the oppressed are turning in bitterness on the oppressor; and when it seems on the point of being decided by carnal weapons, whether the church is to be at the mercy of a chance succession for an authoritative head, and be made, in her administration, the tool of worldly policy; or whether, with her one great Head, and His word for her law, she is to stand as in the world, but not of it. But ye’re welcome till us a,’ I fancy," said he, with another sly look at Alison.

"I did not think you felt so warmly on the side of active resistance," said Stark, with a somewhat surprised and disconcerted look.

Darling looked the young man keenly and steadily in the face for a time. But the first expression of suspicion subsided into one of mere inquisitiveness, as he said—

"You have mistaken me. The resistance which I deprecate is to the will of the people. And I hae, nae doot, said, that I never could feel sensible of the right of any party in the church to force their own construction of the minor things of religion on another. But it is just on this principle that I would resist the attempt noo makin to thrust Episcopacy upon us; especially on the ground of uncontrolled right in the ruler to be in himself the conscience and the reason of the governed. But hae ye nae particulars to tell us?"

Stark looked as if he would rather decline the matter, but said—"There is a formation in the west; and the King to give his bastard, Montague, a commission to put it down—and fire and sword and law are in array against the hasty and, I fear, ill-provided junction. But," said he and in a freer tone, "we are to have a meeting to-morrow on the other side of Cockburn Law, and my uncle is to officiate."

He finished with a peculiar look to Alison, who seemed again in a state of bewildered pleasure—a smile seeming as if seeking an entry at the corners of her pretty mouth, and her blue eye resting in a sort of vacant expressiveness on her lover. The doubt which the manner of Stark had thrown over her father’s countenance, vanished; and he, too, smiled at the embarrassed joy of the two young beings before him.

"Well, my bairns, earthly affections are acute sophists; and, when pure, their gratification is surely the best worldly object. I hae even particular reasons for wishing a fulfilment of the promise to unite you, whenever Maister Cockburn was convenient to give you his blessing. But the time demands duties from us under the highest motives; and we maun hae a care that we dinna alloo lower anes to interfere. Are ye sure, William, that ye haena fand a stumblingblock to lukewarmness in the present opportunity?"

"I hope not; it has, no doubt, thrown up an occasion for gratifying my oldest and dearest wishes; but if you will consent to the time for giving me Alison, you will not find in that, or anything, a reason for me deserting action in the cause."

"Weel," said George, "yer hearts canna be closer united than they are; and the fearfu’ care o’ Alison for yer safety can hardly be increased, were she yer wife in form. I will consent, also, for another cause. Ye ken the young laird o’ Mandertson hasna just kept his distance frae Alison. Her mother was, ye ken, a Hume, and claimed kindred, and was the foster-sister o’ the auld laird; and Maister George has tauld Alison o’ their mixed bluids—but only in the way of ingratiating, and no for any honourable purpose His passion is strong, for he is a Hume; and, like his race, he is quick-thoughted, prompt, and reckless. But there is at bottom an open feeling, and a generosity which I hope will operate against his worse passions when she is another’s wife."

William’s face flushed as he said—"If not, I can defend her. But has he made proposals to you or Alison?"

"Proposals frae a branch o’ the proud chieftains o’ Berwickshire to a farmer’s bairn! It is but rare that such loves end in that. But, if he had, there are things mair powerful owre the heart o’ a tender lassie than riches or dignities, and muckle maun hae been forgotten or overcome before Alison could hae broken her plighted vow to you; and I wadna, for the braid lands o’ his house, that bairn o’ mine wad hae dune sae. We will get the people warned for the occasion to-morrow; and, afterwards, you and Alison shall hae my blessing on yer union."

George himself went through the village and spread the news of the conventicle; and messengers having been dispatched to the neighbouring steadings, full preparations were made for attending at the appointed place next day. There was in the village a young man called David Ross, a Scotch cousin of Darling’s, who had tried the love of Alison and been unsuccessful. Cool, revengeful, and cunning, he soon ascertained the cause of his defeat; but dissembled, and brooded over the means of thwarting the result of his rival’s hopes. Though Alison, with the quick feeling of a woman, suspected and avoided him, he wormed himself into her father’s confidence, and got from him the whole state of matters regarding Alison’s position, and the promise of the old man to have the marriage celebrated whenever William Stark’s uncle could perform the ceremony. He then made himself a confidant of young Manderston, and promised to forward his designs, which with a fiendish malignity, he took care should not be otherwise than violent and dishonourable—that both the woman who had slighted him, and the man who had been the cause, should equally feel his vengeance—the one in the prostration of his fondest desires, and the other in the agony of desolated honour.

No sooner had the wretch been told of the meeting and the minister, than he suspected the issue as to Alison, and drew the fact from George. He therefore posted off to Manderston with the intelligence.

"Well, Ross," said the young laird, "this must be prevented; for I would rather see that lassie Lady of Manderston than see her the wife of any other man."

Ross winced a little, and said, "There is nae reason, Mr George, for ane nor ither; and I maun tell ye, ye canna do the first, though ye may hinder the last; for this birkie o’ a preacher has thoroughly got possession o’ her heart. Their feelings sprouted thegither, and became ae plant, warmed by ae sun, on ae hill-side, and ye canna noo transplant the tune, without drawing the heart’s moisture frae baith."

In saying, this, Ross discovered too much of the fiend for the more generous youth. Hume threw on him a look of painful disgust:—"Ross, you are a cool villain; and do you think my nature so like yours, that I can do such despite to my heart as deliberately to perpetrate the thing you have mentioned? I’ll not. You have cured me. Let them be married."

"Weel, Maister George, let them be married, and bonny Ailsa Darling be prized by her husband more highly as she brags that she micht hae been Lady Manderston. But do ye no think that a fair trial micht be got for yersel, if the marriage was put off?"

"But how could that be done?" said Manderston.

"A little violence wad be necessary for it. The lassie micht be taen oot o’ the way, whar ye could use yer best means wi’ her; an’ if she disna come to, it is only giein her up. Suppose yer faither, wha hates the conventicle folk, was sending a party to break them up: the lassie could be taen up i’ the uproar; I wad gie ye a help wi’ her faither’s party, and auld Elspet i’ the Muirhouse could gie her uppittin, till ye saw what ye could mak’ o’ her."

Hume knit his brows and thought. "I will take the thing into my own hands. My father might be inclined to give trouble and a fee to the bloody Sir George, and to draw in the superannuated hireling Lauderdale. If I get Alison, they may keep their conventicles in danger of the state for me. Be there, Ross."

"I was a fule to tell him that," said Ross, as he went homewards. "What could possess me! But I am right yet. Her obstinacy and his passion will do it."

The next morning shone on the hills, a Sabbath day. The feelings of man, from the cessation of his worldly business, accord with the Sabbath, and give it a character of its own, which exists under every appearance of nature. But most of all do we feel it to be a Sabbath, when nature gene rates a hallowed calm, and when the sublimest and most precious discoveries of divine inspiration are renovating the heart and life, which is the true happiness of man.

At an early hour, groups of the country people were seen converging to a point, at a ford of the Whitadder, from which the ground gradually but boldly rises into the massive tumulus-shaped height of Cockburn Law. On the side opposite to that on which the small party we mean to trace were approaching, and also on the banks of the Whitadder, which sweeps round nearly two-thirds of the hill, there is a flat spot overtopped by a small, sudden swell, which was this day to form the pulpit of the reverend and godly Master Cockburn.

An hour before noon the gathering was completed; and in it you might have traced all the materials of all that has been written in satire, in caricature, or in eulogy, of the Reformers of that time: the ascetic; the fanatic; the hypocrite; the men, not the least numerous, whose opposition was directed solely against an encroachment on their civil liberty; and those, by no means the greatest portion, who combined with this a perception of and a determination not to relinquish the proper principles of divine worship, mere indifference, the circumstances of the times precluded. We will not too narrowly scrutinize the feelings of the youthful pair, whose vows were that evening to be consummated. But, if earthly affections did now and then thrill and distract them, they gave a general intensity to their mental exercises, which was peculiarly felt in their petitions and their praise. Ross had joined the meeting; and two men, whom Alison knew to be retainers of Manderston, joined after him, and took their places studiously distant from him. The helplessness of woman makes her keen in the perception of danger; and this circumstance, with the intelligent mysteriousness of Ross’s look, gave her alarm; but she contented herself with resolving to be on the watch. Poetry, prose, and painting, have made the mind and the eye familiar to such scenes; and in the one we are speaking of, nothing occurred beyond the ordinary service.

The service, as was usual, had been prolonged, and the western clouds were relieved into fantastic forms by the setting sun, as the groups again diverged on their separate paths. Our friends, with the minister, took the direction of a cottage, where lived an aunt of Stark, and where it was proposed to have the ceremony celebrated. It was on the western side of the ford of the river, opposite to which, on a haugh, was a copse of nut and hazle.

The good woman had been apprised of the visit and its intention, and, of course, was all importance and bustle. Ross had followed, and entered, (as he said, for their company home,) with a cool determined look, to see the proceedings. George at last invited him to join them, and the evident preconcertedness of his manner confirmed Alison in her suspicions.

After tea, all the party looked as if they had something to do, which they did not know how to begin. The minister and George seemed to sink into reflection; the guidwife was fidgety; William Stark looked flushed, and Alison Darling sheepish. Ross sat apparently indifferent; but the quick and furtive glances of Alison discovered an anxiety and intentness which did not lessen her uneasiness at his presence. At last the good man, after a look round, which all understood as the signal for preparation, commenced an address on the nature and duties of marriage. This was considered a substantial of the ceremony. He had scarcely commenced, when a knock was heard at the door; and on its being opened, a stranger entered, and claimed assistance for a companion, who had fallen from his horse, and lay senseless at a short distance. The men all rose to follow him, and departed into the darkness, in the direction of an audible groaning. Alison and her kinswoman stood at the door in expectation, when a sudden rush and a momentary scuffle left the bewildered landlady alone on the threshold. A shrill whistle succeeded; the groaning ceased; the stranger, who was leading his horse, jumped into the saddle and galloped off; and the party with the exception of one, not less bewildered than their hostess, returned to the cottage.

"Alison, where’s my bairn, cousin?" said George, while the eyes of Stark gave as intelligible and anxious an inquiry.

"Gane doun the wud, George, I think," said the poor woman, with a look as if she half believed her own account.

"The lassie hasna gane oot." And he made for the door the strange nature of the occurrences preventing as yet any definite suspicion. Ross met him at the entrance; and at the moment a plunge of horses’ feet was heard across the ford below, and the clatter died away up the haugh. A feeling of the vaguest kind arose, in which Ross was implicated; but he appeared as much at fault as the others, and joined, apparently as interestedly, in the search and cry after Alison, as any of them. Every direction, it may be guessed was tried in vain; and the party returned to the house in that state of feeling which is engendered by a misfortune sudden, unaccountable, traceless, and therefore helpless. Notes were compared; the woman gave as distinct an account of the disappearance as she could; and George and Stark at last saw the only solution in a connection of the Master of Manderston with the event. Resignation did not come, for the calamity was as yet unknown; and George and Stark set off to Manderston, where they learned that the young Laird had, on the previous morning set out for the West, to join Claverhouse with a few retainers.

The reader is already prepared for the stratagem just narrated, and his previous information will have enabled him to understand the details from what has been told. Two retainers of Hume were in ambush when the party were drawn from the house, and the appearance of Alison at the door enabled them to snatch her off without being seen, and almost without a struggle. She was placed before a confidential servant, and borne away insensible. On their road up the moor they were joined by the two who had practised the successful deception; and the whole party were in half an hour ensconced in the house of Renton. The master of the mansion was absent, and the few servants had been won by Hume, the kinsman of their Lord. Alison was here allowed to recover her consciousness; and the transaction was a complete mystery to her, though the look of Ross, and his appearance amongst them, had led her to feel as if something sinister was to happen. By the time she was in a state to require or understand an explanation, young Hume entered the room, and his appearance flashed the truth upon her mind.

"William!—my father! Mr George, ye canna!" cried the poor girl, springing towards the door.

"Be quiet, Alison; would you not prefer the house of Manderston to a dominie’s kail-yard? Surely you were not going to throw yourself away on yon epitome of the Covenants, who, if the scent of a bishop came upon the wind, would hug the Confession, and off to the moors; and leave his young wife, may be, to the Bishop’s deacons—Clavers’ gentle dragoons."

"Did he ken where I was, he wadna leave me to you; and I wad rather share the manse o’ the congregation on the hills wi’ him, than pride mysel lady o’ a’ ye hae to gie. An epitome o’ the Covenants," reiterated Alison, colouring with zeal, while the young laird flushed with pride and impatience. "Let me tell you that the honoured person ye revile for embracing that good and holy, but perilous cause, which our best interests and dearest rights are bound up in, wadna shrink from the high and holy contest in which he is engaged, nor bow before the bloated power o’ Prelacy, were ye to offer him the broad lands o’ Manderston. And to my love for William Stark," continued the maiden, with increased warmth, "religion has been the director and minister, and weel may ye conceive that an affection which has grown up and strengthened in the face o’ threatening death, as weel as under the immediate eye o’ heaven, is no to be uprooted by the cruel machinations o’ the hater and reviler o’ him in whom alone a’ my earthly affections and hopes centre."

"Cease your canting foolery, mad fanatic," cried Manderston, nettledly; "I must certainly protest against your exercising, in the house of my kinsman at least the gift and calling of your proscribed oracle of the Conventicle. Let the knowledge of your being entirely in my power teach you prudence; for I tell you what, Alison—I could not, nor will I, see you marry another—and, by my hopes of heaven, you shall be mine, mine for ever! so soon as we have put down these bloody Whigamores who have gathered to a head in the west."

"By your hopes o’ heaven, said ye?" responded the virtuous and heroic maiden; "nay, I would implore you, by the same sublime hopes, not to trample on the awful authority by which ye swear. Reprove, I beseech you if ye would not have those hopes dashed wi’ endless despair, the evil thoughts which now pollute your mind, and suffer them not to follow an innocent female whose heart and will are another’s; but abandon your cruel purpose, that your affections may be won back to God and to honour."

"It is in vain," cried Manderston, fiercely—his unworthy passion stifling all the latent generosity of his nature—"It is in vain for you to set up the suit of a canting rebel and traitor to the King, in opposition to the desire of one of the house of Hume; for unless you give up your affection for Stark, and vow to be mine, you have seen—such being the price which I place upon his head—the last of yon preaching Whigamore."

"Hear me, Manderston," ejaculated Alison, determinedly, "my heart is knit to the despised preacher, whom your emissaries seek to waylay, in the indissoluble bands o’ faithful love; and having thus cast in my lot wi’ the persecuted saints, I shrink not at the threats o’ wicked men; for I have been taught to feel that I have taken my life into my hand, and that that God who has been invoked to sanction the covenant into which his people have entered, and whose presence, in the wild glen and on the mountain brake, has encompassed and pervaded them during a’ their perils, is able to strengthen me at this moment to resist the cruel revenge and violence that ye plot against me."

The Master of Manderston knit his brows gloomily, and seemed, from the disconcertedness of his manner, to be stung with some severe compunctious visitings. Alison saw the struggle that was going on in his breast, and eagerly embraced the opportune moment to make an appeal to the better feelings of his nature.

"O Maister George," cried she—her voice faltering with emotion—"will ye for a moment think on my puir faither, and the misery and ruin ye will force upon him, if ye bring dishonour on his only prop o’ the house! Were a foul blot attempted to be cast upon the proud name o’ Hume, or were a sister o’ yer ain in the hands o’ a cool villain, imploring at his feet the protection o’ her priceless honour— wad ye no move heaven and earth for vengeance on the head o’ the ruthless spoiler, if the virtuous prayer o’ that sister were to be cruelly disregarded?"

A private story gave point to this appeal, and Manderston, without deigning a reply, turned upon his heel, and abruptly left the room, which he locked behind him. Alison Darling no sooner found herself alone, than she threw herself upon her knees, and thanked God, with her whole heart, for this notable proof of his protection, and fervently implored that the same Almighty arm would shield her lover’s life from the hands of those who sought it with such bitterness and cruelty.

The murder of Sharp had been done in Fife, and the whole Covenanters were loaded with the ban of the Privy Council, though that act of justice and of self-preservation arose from local and individual oppression;.as if even the crime of a private person would involve a whole body, though founded on no principle which they inculcated. Graham of Claverhouse now began his bloody career; and this dashing and reckless partisan had well nigh escaped his future infamy in the rout of Drumclog. The exasperation of the loyalists, and the victory of the intercommuned, drew forces to both sides; and—the one relying on their numbers and resources, the other on their cause and their despair—both prepared for a final blow. Hume held a commission, and was obliged to proceed to Glasgow to the King’s forces.

Lost in the mystery of Alison’s disappearance, after every inquiry had been fruitlessly made, George Darling, William Stark, and the minister, proceeded west, and joined the Covenanters at Bothwell, with a slight hope of seeing Hume and questioning him about her. After the departure of Hume and his servants, Alison contrived—by means of a young man who had been secretly at the conventicle, and favoured the cause, though a servant of Renton—to escape; and fled to Auchincraw, under his protection. There she learned the departure of her friends, and also betrayed to Ross her flight. The immediate disappearance of the latter again led her to connect him with the design upon her, and she resolved to go to the neighbourhood, at least, of her father and lover. The young man, leaving the badges of his service, accompanied her, and she was placed secretly in a house contiguous to the fatal bridge of Bothwell.

The course of this unfortunate rising is well known. The great body of the Reformers held Presbytery as of Divine right, and, of course, insisted on the suppression and exclusion of every other form of church polity. There was, however, a party of more moderate views who were content to receive the indulgence offered by Leighton, Archbishop of Glasgow, to take ordination at the hands of the Bishops, and to join their presbyteries and synods, in which the Bishops should preside, but have no negative voice. This was certainly admitting the establishment of Episcopacy, and was going too far. There was another party, who refusing the indulgence, and contending for the independence at least of Presbytery, were not for its penal enforcement. Betwixt the ultras the dispute raged, and that sure conqueror, dissension, had dispersed their minds before the weapon of the enemy reached their bodies. The result was inevitable. The King’s troops encamped on the north bank of the Clyde; and the narrow bridge of Bothwell, which might have been easily defended, was half neglected. A body of brave men disputed the pass; but, having neither commanders nor ammunition, they were soon overpowered, and the flight of the whole followed.

George Darling and Stark were among those who disputed the bridge; and the youth who had aided the escape of Alison kept close by them without making known her situation. No sooner, however, did the rout take place, than he drew Stark towards the house where she was, and entering, placed him at once in the presence of his lover.

"Alison!" staggered out the preacher; and "William!" she half screamed.

The pursuers had pushed on after the fugitives; and, as none had sought refuge almost on the spot of action, so none thought of searching for them there. The master of the house had been with the Covenanters, and a little girl was all that was left in the house. In the evening, they began to think it was as well to seek a place of concealment; and the girl offered to lead them to a cave where her father had often lain from search. They reached in safety one of those concealments which formed the refuge, in those days, of the fathers of reform.

They had conversed for some time on the state of their friends, when voices were heard immediately below, half friendly, half entreating, and half threatening. Stark crept to the margin of the opening in the rock, and heard distinctly his own name and that of Alison mentioned by the voice of George Darling.

"Well, George," said the equally well known voice of Ross, "I was obliged to come to this work by young Manderston, and perhaps I do know something of your daughter; and, if you will now consent to give her to me, I shall risk letting you off."

"You know all—that’s evident; but you shall hae nae risk frae me. I came here wi’ my life in my hand, and I will not sacrifice my faith or my bairn to a villain, come what may."

"Then I’ll call the troopers—and ye ken what that means."

He turned as if to perform his threat, and was confronted by William Stark, on whose name he heard the voice of Alison calling from above. He stood a moment dumb, and the next was stretched senseless on the ground. A motion from Stark directed George, with whom was the minister, to the concealment; and, watching till Ross stirred, he pointed a pistol at his head, the meaning of which, we presume, he understood, from his silence. Taking his prisoner by the arm, Stark led him, under the enforcement of the pistol, to the cave. The bushes were studiously pulled aside for their approach, and suffered to relapse into their places, so that the path could not be discovered; and the opening was concealed by a thick bramble growing out of a fissure.

At this moment the trampling of horses’ feet was heard in the ravine below; and while George Darling cautiouly crept to the front of the opening in the rock, and looked through a separation in the bushes which concealed their hiding-place, the sound of a musket shot reverberated through the cave, while thin volumes of smoke came floating up the chasm. This was followed by a loud laugh from the troop; and while Alison’s father continued to scrutinize the soldiers, their leader was heard to give directions to them to leave the ravine, and cross the ridge of hills which hung immediately on their left. The dragoons slowly obeyed; and while turning their horses’ heads down the ravine, one of them was seen by Darling to rise in his stirrups, and fire his holster pistol, at random, into the very cave where the party lay concealed. The ball entered the right side of the traitor Ross, while leaning against a shattered fragment of rock, at the farther end of the cave, who immediately expired without a struggle. "God’s will be done," exclaimed Darling solemnly, returning from the mouth of the cave—"he is gone to his account, who might have been honoured with the martyr’s crown."

A half suggestion was now made by Stark, that the ceremony which had been interrupted, should at once be completed. The place and the circumstances gave a romantic interest to the idea; and, as Alison said nothing, and did not look invincible, the good man resumed the broken thread of his discourse; and, in a cave of the earth, surrounded by the martyrs of his faith, and beset by those who were seeking for his blood, was consummated "THE COVENANTER’S BRIDAL."


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