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Chapter 9
More Of The Manor-House And Its Environs
After having satisfied his curiosity by gazing around him for a few minutes, Waverley
applied himself to the massive knocker of the hall-door, the architrave of which bore the
date 1594. But no answer was returned, though the peal resounded through a number of
apartments, and was echoed from the courtyard walls without the house, startling the
pigeons from the venerable rotunda which they occupied, and alarming anew even the
distant village curs, which had retired to sleep upon their respective dung-hills. Tired of
the din which he created, and the unprofitable responses which it excited, Waverley
began to think that he had reached the castle of Orgoglio, as entered by the victorious
Prince Arthur,
When 'gan he loudly through the house to call,
But no man cared to answer to his cry;
There reigned a solemn silence over all,
Nor voice was heard, nor wight was seen, in bower or hall.
Filled almost with expectation of beholding some 'old, old man, with beard as white as
snow,' whom he might question concerning this deserted mansion, our hero turned to a
little oaken wicket- door, well clenched with iron nails, which opened in the courtyard
wall at its angle with the house. It was only latched, notwithstanding its fortified
appearance, and, when opened, admitted him into the garden, which presented a pleasant
scene. [At Ravelston may be seen such a garden, which the taste of the proprietor, the
author's friend and kinsman, Sir Alexander Keith, Knight Mareschal, has judiciously
preserved. That, as well as the house, is, however, of smaller dimensions than the Baron
of Bradwardine's mansion and garden are presumed to have been.] The southern side of
the house, clothed with fruit-trees, and having many evergreens trained upon its walls,
extended its irregular yet venerable front along a terrace, partly paved, partly gravelled,
partly bordered with flowers and choice shrubs. This elevation descended by three
several flights of steps, placed in its centre and at the extremities, into what might be
called the garden proper, and was fenced along the top by a stone parapet with a heavy
balustrade, ornamented from space to space with huge grotesque figures of animals
seated upon their haunches, among which the favourite bear was repeatedly introduced.
Placed in the middle of the terrace, between a sashed door opening from the house and
the central flight of steps, a huge animal of the same species supported on his head and
fore-paws a sundial of large circumference, inscribed with more diagrams than Edward's
mathematics enabled him to decipher.
The garden, which seemed to be kept with great accuracy, abounded in fruit-trees, and
exhibited a profusion of flowers and evergreens, cut into grotesque forms. It was laid out
in terraces, which descended rank by rank from the western wall to a large brook, which
had a tranquil and smooth appearance, where it served as a boundary to the garden; but,
near the extremity, leapt in tumult over a strong dam, or weir-head, the cause of its