The Bride of Lammermoor HTML version

Chapter 19
I do too ill in this,
And must not think but that a parent's plaint
Will move the heavens to pour forth misery
Upon the head of disobediency.
Yet reason tells us, parents are o'erseen,
When with too strict a rein they do hold in
Their child's affection, and control that love,
Which the high powers divine inspire them with.
The Hog hath lost his Pearl.
THE feast of Ravenswood Castle was as remarkable for its profusion as that of
Wolf's Crag had been for its ill-veiled penury. The Lord Keeper might feel internal
pride at the contrast, but he had too much tact to suffer it to appear. On the
contrary, he seemed to remember with pleasure what he called Mr. Balderstone's
bachelor's meal, and to be rather disgusted than pleaseed with the display upon
his own groaning board.
"We do these things," he said, "because others do them; but I was bred a plain
man at my father's frugal table, and I should like well would my wife and family
permit me to return to my sowens and my poor-man-of-mutton."
This was a little overstretched. The Master only answered, "That different ranks--I
mean," said he, correcting himself, "different degrees of wealth require a different
style of housekeeping."
This dry remark put a stop to further conversation on the subject, nor is it
necessary to record that which was substituted in its place. The evening was
spent with freedom, and even cordiality; and Henry had so far overcome his first
apprehensions, that he had settled a party for coursing a stag with the
representative and living resemblance of grim Sir Malise of Ravenswood, called
the Revenger. The next morning was the appointed time. It rose upon active
sportsmen and successful sport. The banquet came in course; and a pressing
invitation to tarry yet another day was given and accepted. This Ravenswood had
resolved should be the last of his stay; but he recollected he had not yet visited
the ancient and devoted servant of his house, Old Alice, and it was but kind to
dedicate one morning to the gratification of so ancient an adherent.
To visit Alice, therefore, a day was devoted, and Lucy was the Master's guide
upon the way. Henry, it is true, accompanied them, and took from their walk the
air of a tete-a-tete, while, in reality, it was little else, considering the variety of
circumstances which occurred to prevent the boy from giving the least attention
to what passed between his companions. Now a rook settled on a branch within
shot; anon a hare crossed their path, and Henry and his greyhound went astray
in pursuit of it; then he had to hold a long conversation with the forester, which
detained him a while behind his companions; and again he went to examine the
earth of a badger, which carriued him on a good way before them.
The conversation betwixt the Master and his sister, meanwhile, took an
interesting, and almost a confidential, turn. She could not help mentioning her