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The Bride of Lammermoor

Chapter 4
Through tops of the high trees she did descry
A little smoke, whose vapour, thin and light,
Reeking aloft, uprolled to the sky,
Which cheerful sign did send unto her sight,
That in the same did wonne some living wight.
SPENSER.
LUCY acted as her father's guide, for he was too much engrossed with his
political labours, or with society, to be perfectly acquainted with his own
extensive domains, and, moreover, was generally an inhabitant of the city of
Edinburgh; and she, on the other hand, had, with her mother, resided the whole
summer in Ravenswood, and, partly from taste, partly from want of any other
amusement, had, by her frequent rambles, learned to know each lane, alley,
dingle, or bushy dell,
And every bosky bourne from side to side.
We have said that the Lord Keeper was not indifferent to the beauties of nature;
and we add, in justice to him, that he felt them doubly when pointed out by the
beautiful, simple, and interesting girl who, hanging on his arm with filial kindness,
now called him to admire the size of some ancient oak, and now the unexpected
turn where the path, developing its maze from glen or dingle, suddenly reached
an eminence commanding an extensive view of the plains beneath them, and
then gradually glided away from the prospect to lose itself among rocks and
thickets, and guide to scenes of deeper seclusion.
It was when pausing on one of those points of extensive and commanding view
that Lucy told her father they were close by the cottage of her blind protegee; and
on turning from the little hill, a path which led around it, worn by the daily steps of
the infirm inmate, brought them in sight of the hut, which, embosomed in a deep
and obscure dell, seemed to have been so situated purposely to bear a
correspondence with the darkened state of its inhabitant.
The cottage was situated immediately under a tall rock, which in some measure
beetled over it, as if threatening to drop some detached fragment from its brow
on the frail tenement beneath. The hut itself was constructed of turf and stones,
and rudely roofed over with thatch, much of which was in a dilapidated condition.
The thin blue smoke rose from it in a light column, and curled upward along the
white face of the incumbent rock, giving the scene a tint of exquisite softness. In
a small and rude garden, surrounded by straggling elder- bushes, which formed
a sort of imperfect hedge, sat near to the beehives, by the produce of which she
lived, that "woman old" whom Lucy had brought her father hither to visit.
Whatever there had been which was disastrous in her fortune, whatever there
was miserable in her dwelling, it was easy to judge by the first glance that neither
years, poverty, misfortune, nor infirmity had broken the spirit of this remarkable
woman.
She occupied a turf seat, placed under a weeping birch of unusual magnitude
and age, as Judah is represented sitting under her palm-tree, with an air at once
 
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