The Bride of Lammermoor HTML version

Chapter 25
True love, an thou be true,
Thou has ane kittle part to play;
For fortune, fashion, fancy, and thou,
Maun strive for many a day.
I've kend by mony a friend's tale,
Far better by this heart of mine,
What time and change of fancy avail
A true-love knot to untwine.
"I WISHED to tell you, my good kinsman," said the Marquis, "now that we are quit
of that impertinent fiddler, that I had tried to discuss this love affair of yours with
Sir William Ashton's daughter. I never saw the young lady but for a few minutes
to- day; so, being a stranger to her personal merits, I pay a compliment to you,
and offer her no offence, in saying you might do better."
"My lord, I am much indebted for the interest you have taken in my affairs," said
Ravenswood. "I did not intend to have troubled you in any matter concerning
Miss Ashton. As my engagement with that young lady has reached your lordship,
I can only say, that you must necessarily suppose that I was aware of the
objections to my marrying into her father's family, and of course must have been
completely satisfied with the reasons by which these objections are
overbalanced, since I have proceeded so far in the matter."
"Nay, Master, if you had heard me out," said his noble relation, "you might have
spared that observation; for, withotu questioning that you had reasons which
seemed to you to counterbalance every other obstacle, I set myself, by every
means that it became me to use towards the Ashtons, to persuade them to meet
your views."
"I am obliged to your lordship for your unsolicited intercession," said
Ravenswood; "especially as I am sure your lordship would never carry it beyond
the bounds which it became me to use."
"Of that," said the Marquis, "you may be confident; I myself felt the delicacy of the
matter too much to place a gentleman nearly connected with my house in a
degrading or dubious situation with these Ashtons. But I pointed out all the
advantages of their marrying their daughter into a house so honourable, and so
nearly related with the first of Scotland; I explained the exact degree of
relationship in which the Ravenswoods stand to ourselves; and I even hinted how
political matters were like to turn, and what cards would be trumps next
Parliament. I said I regarded you as a son--or a nephew, or so-- rather than as a
more distant relation; and that I made your affair entirely my own."
"And what was the issue of your lordship's explanation?" said Ravenswood, in
some doubt whether he should resent or express gratitude for his interference.
"Why, the Lord Keeper would have listened to reason," said the Marquis; "he is
rather unwilling to leave his place, which, in the present view of a change, must
be vacated; and, to say truth, he seemed to have a liking for you, and to be