The Bride of Lammermoor
Now, Billy Berwick, keep good heart,
And of they talking let me be;
But if thou art a man, as I am sure thou art,
Come over the dike and fight with me.
THE Master of Ravenswood had mounted the ambling hackney which he before
rode, on finding the accident which had happened to his led horse, and, for the
animal's ease, was proceeding at a slow pace from the Tod's Den towards his
old tower of Wolf's Crag, when he heard the galloping of a horse behind him,
and, looking back, perceived that he was pursued by young Bucklaw, who had
been delayed a few minutes in the pursuit by the irresistable temptation of giving
the hostler at the Tod's Den some recipe for treating the lame horse. This brief
delay he had made up by hard galloping, and now overtook ths Master where the
road traversed a waste moor. "Halt, sir," cried Bucklaw; "I am no political agent--
no Captain Craigengelt, whose life is too important to be hazarded in defence of
his honour. I am Frank Hayston of Bucklaw, and no man injures me by word,
deed, sign, or look, but he must render me an account of it."
"This is all very well, Mr. Hayston of Bucklaw," replied the Master of
Ravenswood, in a tone the most calm and indifferent; "but I have no quarrel with
you, and desire to have none. Our roads homeward, as well as our roads through
life, lie in different directions; there is no occasion for us crossing each other."
"Is there not?" said Bucklaw, impetuously. "By Heaven! but I say that there is,
though: you called us intriguing adventurers."
"Be correct in your recollection, Mr. Hayston; it was to your companion only I
applied that epithet, and you know him to be no better."
"And what then? He was my companion for the time, and no man shall insult my
companion, right or wrong, while he is in my company."
"Then, Mr. Hayston," replied Ravenswood, with the same composure, "you
should choose your society better, or you are like to have much work in your
capacity of their champion. Go home, sir; sleep, and have more reason in your
"Not so, Master, you have mistaken your man; high airs and wise saws shall not
carry it off thus. Besides, you termed me bully, and you shall retract the word
before we part."
"Faith, scarcely," said Ravenswood, "unless you show me better reason for
thinking myself mistaken than you are now producing."
"Then, Master," said Bucklaw, "though I should be sorry to offer it to a man of
your quality, if you will not justify your incivility, or retract it, or name a place of
meeting, you must here undergo the hard word and the hard blow."
"Neither will be necessary," said Ravenswood; "I am satisfied with what I have
done to avoid an affair with you. If you are serious, this place will serve as well as