The Bride of Lammermoor HTML version

Chapter 35
Whose mind's so marbled, and his heart so hard,
That would not, when this huge mishap was heard,
To th' utmost note of sorrow set their song,
To see a gallant, with so great a grace,
So suddenly unthought on, so o'erthrown,
And so to perish, in so poor a place,
By too rash riding in a ground unknown!
POEM, IN NISBET'S Heraldry, vol. ii.
WE have anticipated the course of time to mention Bucklaw's recovery and fate,
that we might not interrupt the detail of events which succeeded the funeral of the
unfortunate Lucy Ashton. This melancholy ceremony was performed in the misty
dawn of an autumnal morning, with such moderate attendance and ceremony as
could not possibly be dispensed with. A very few of the nearest relations
attended her body to the same churchyard to which she had so lately been led as
a bride, with as little free will, perhaps, as could be now testified by her lifeless
and passive remains. An aisle adjacent to the church had been fitted up by Sir
William Ashton as a family cemetery; and here, in a coffin bearing neither name
nor date, were consigned to dust the remains of what was once lovely, beautiful,
and innocent, though exasperated to frenzy by a long tract of unremitting
While the mourners were busy in the vault, the three village hags, who,
notwithstanding the unwonted earliness of the hour, had snuffed the carrion like
vultures, were seated on the "through-stane," and engaged in their wonted
unhallowed conference.
"Did not I say," said Dame Gourlay, "that the braw bridal would be followed by as
braw a funeral?"
"I think," answered Dame Winnie, "there's little bravery at it: neither meat nor
drink, and just a wheen silver tippences to the poor folk; it was little worth while to
come sae far a road for sae sma' profit, and us sae frail."
"Out, wretch!" replied Dame Gourlay, "can a' the dainties they could gie us be
half sae sweet as this hour's vengeance? There they are that were capering on
their prancing nags four days since, and they are now ganging as dreigh and
sober as oursells the day. They were a' glistening wi' gowd and silver; they're
now as black as the crook. And Miss Lucy Ashton, that grudged when an honest
woman came near her--a taid may sit on her coffin that day, and she can never
scunner when he croaks. And Lady Ashton has hell-fire burning in her breast by
this time; and Sir William, wi' his gibbets, and his faggots, and his chains, how
likes he the witcheries of his ain dwelling-house?"
"And is it true, then," mumbled the paralytic wretch, "that the bride was trailed out
of her bed and up the chimly by evil spirits, and that the bridegroom's face was
wrung round ahint him?"
"Ye needna care wha did it, or how it was done," said Aislie Gourlay; "but I'll
uphaud it for nae stickit job, and that the lairds and leddies ken weel this day."