The Bride of Lammermoor HTML version

Chapter 27
Why, now I have Dame Fortune by the Forelock,
And if she escapes my grasp, the fault is mine;
He that hath buffeted with stern adversity
Best knows the shape his course to favouring breezes.
Old Play.
OUR travellers reach Edinburgh without any farther adventure, and the Master of
Ravenswood, as had been previously settled, took up his abode with his noble
In the mean time, the political crisis which had been expected took place, and the
Tory party obtained in the Scottish, as in the English, councils of Queen Anne a
short-lived ascendency, of which it is not our business to trace either the cause
or consequences. Suffice it to say, that it affected the different political parties
according to the nature of their principles. In England, many of the High Church
party, with Harley, afterwards Earl of Oxford, at their head, affected to separate
their principles from those of the Jacobites, and, on that account, obtained the
denomination of Whimsicals. The Scottish High Church party, on the contrary, or,
as they termed themselves, the Cavaliers, were more consistent, if not so
prudent, in their politics, and viewed all the changes now made as preparatory to
calling to the throne, upon the queen's demise, her brother the Chevalier de St.
George. Those who had suffered in his service now entertained the most
unreasonable hopes, not only of indemnification, but of vengeance upon their
political adversaries; while families attached to the Whig interest saw nothing
before them but a renewal of the hardships they had undergone during the reigns
of Charles the Second and his brother, and a retaliation of the confiscation which
had been inflicted upon the Jacobites during that of King William.
But the most alarmed at the change of system was that prudential set of persons,
some of whom are found in all governments, but who abound in a provincial
administration like that of Scotland during the period, and who are what Cromwell
called waiters upon Providence, or, in other words, uniform adherents to the
party who are uppermost. Many of these hastened to read their recantation to the
Marquis of A----; and, as it was easily seen that he took a deep interest in the
affairs of his kinsman, the Master of Ravenswood, they were the first to suggest
measures for retrieving at least a part of his property, and for restoring him in
blood against his father's attainder.
Old Lord Turntippet professed to be one of the most anxious for the success of
these measures; for "it grieved him to the very saul," he said, "to see so brave a
young gentleman, of sic auld and undoubted nobility, and, what was mair than a'
that, a bluid relation of the Marquis of A----, the man whom," he swore, "he
honoured most upon the face of the earth, brougth to so severe a pass. For his
ain puir peculiar," as he said, "and to contribute something to the rehabilitation of
sae auld ane house," the said Turntippet sent in three family pictures lacking the
frames, and six high-backed chairs, with worked Turkey cushions, having the
crest of Ravenswood broidered thereon, without charging a penny either of the