Puslapio vaizdai

Lord Monteith, following the example of his progenitors, left his eftate totally unincumbered to his only fon James. His beautiful daughter Arabella found a protectress in the friendship of her aunt, lady Madelina, who adopted her as her own daughter, and publicly declared her refolution, in cafe fhe fhould produce no heir to the house of Frazer, to bequeath to her all the ample poffeffions with which Sir Simon's tender gratitude had endowed his beloved bride. At the age of feventeen, after having experienced the adulation and the luxury of two London winters, the lovely Arabella fet out for her aunt's caftle, fituated in the wilds of Lochaber, where, by the indisposition of fir Simon, now reduced to a ftate bordering upon fecond childhood, fhe had the melancholy prospect of being perfectly immured.


Her brother's plans were more eligible and agreeable. His guardians infifted, that in his education he should pursue the routine ufually adopted by young men of his elevated rank. He had been entered at one of our public fchools, and thence removed to the University. To counteract a dangerous propenfity to the fatal allurements of Newmarket, it was propofed immediately after his father's death, that he should make the tour of Europe. He returned when of age, affumed the fortunes of his family, and with them the reprefentation of the ancient peerage of Scotland in the British Parliament, an honour which had been for fome time enjoyed by his ancestors.

Since the forms of his election rendered his prefence neceffary at Holyrood Houfe, he could not avoid paying a vifit to the feat of his family. His


manners were popular, his countenance ftrikingly prepoffeffing, and his perfon dignified, athletic, and graceful. The Highlanders recognized in the "bonny lad" the true reprefentative of the house of Macdonald; and the ancient dependents, who, fince their lairds had deferted Monteith, vegetated on the spot which the attachments of their youth rendered eminently dear to them, led their young mafter the tour of his domain, and pointed out to him its local advantages. They endeavoured to direct his attention to the maffy grandeur of his castle walls, the extenfive prospect enjoyed from its turrets, and the faded magnificence of its mouldering furniture. They repeatedly affured him, that in his grandfather's time Monteith boasted a distinguished preference over the abode of any other Highland chieftain. The young Nobleman was not paffionately attached

attached to ruins; the ftormy winds, howling through the long galleries, difturbed his repofe, and he wifhed for no nearer acquaintance with the genius of the tempeft. He beftowed with a liberal hand fuch relief as would afford poverty a temporary aid; but, without exerting fufficient patience to investigate the cause of the calamity, or fufficient courage to redrefs the evils which even a curfory glance difcovered, he haftened to Kinloch Castle, to pay his dutiful refpects to lady Madelina.

Neither the manners nor the refidence of her ladyship were calculated to remove the difguft with which "Scot and Scotland had infpired him." The house was fituated on a bare precipice, the foot of which was wafhed by the stormy fea that separated the main land from the Hebrides. When its amiable miftrefs removed from the deferted walls

of Monteith, fhe carried with her all her "Household Gods," I mean, the venerable inhabitants of the picture gallery, and the fcreens, chairs, and tapestry hangings, with which the whitearmed spinsters of Macdonald had fucceffively decorated their family-feat. Sir Simon, doubtless, felt fincere exultation at this valuable acquifition; he only ftipulated that the remains of his progenitors should not yield their places to the new comers. A coalition was therefore formed, and every wall and apartment in the caftle was crowded with multiplied garniture. Screen concealed screen, chair fupported chair; a ftripe of Jacob meeting Efau repaired. the difaftrous rents too visible in the taking of Troy, and puzzled the Ciceroni who attempted to unravel the confufed hiftory; while Frazers and Macdonalds, placed in full oppofition, frowned



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