The Bride of Lammermoor HTML version

Chapter 9
Ay, and when huntsmen wind the merry horn,
And from its covert starts the fearful prey,
Who, warm'd with youth's blood in his swelling veins,
Would, like a lifeless clod, outstretched lie,
Shut out from all the fair creation offers?
Ethwald, Act I. Scene 1.
LIGHT meals procure light slumbers; and therefore it is not surprising that,
considering the fare which Caleb's conscience, or his necessity, assuming, as
will sometimes happen, that disguise, had assigned to the guests of Wolf's Crag,
their slumbers should have been short.
In the morning Bucklaw rushed into his host's apartment with a loud halloo, which
might have awaked the dead.
"Up! up! in the name of Heaven! The hunters are out, the only piece of sport I
have seen this month; and you lie here, Master, on a bed that has little to
recommend it, except that it may be something softer than the stone floor of your
ancestor's vault."
"I wish," said Ravenswood, raising his head peevishly, "you had forborne so early
a jest, Mr. Hayston; it is really no pleasure to lose the very short repose which I
had just begun to enjoy, after a night spent in thoughts upon fortune far harder
than my couch, Bucklaw."
"Pschaw, pshaw!" replied his guest; "get up--get up; the hounds are abroad. I
have saddled the horses myself, for old Caleb was calling for grooms and
lackeys, and would never have proceeded without two hours' apology for the
absence of men that were a hundred miles off. Get up, Master; I say the hounds
are out--get up, I say; the hunt is up." And off ran Bucklaw.
"And I say," said the Master, rising slowly, "that nothing can concern me less.
Whose hounds come so near to us?"
"The Honourable Lord Brittlebrains's," answered Caleb, who had followed the
impatient Laird of Bucklaw into his master's bedroom, "and truly I ken nae title
they have to be yowling and howling within the freedoms and immunities of your
lordship's right of free forestry."
"Nor I, Caleb," replied Ravenswood, "excepting that they have bought both the
lands and the right of forestry, and may think themselves entitled to exercise the
rights they have paid their money for."
"It may be sae, my lord," replied Caleb; "but it's no gentleman's deed of them to
come here and exercise such-like right, and your lordship living at your ain castle
of Wolf's Crag. Lord Brittlebrains would weel to remember what his folk have
"And what we now are," said the Master, with suppressed bitterness of feeling.
"But reach me my cloak, Caleb, and I will indulge Bucklaw with a sight of this
chase. It is selfish to sacrifice my guest's pleasure to my own."
"Sacrifice!" echoed Caleb, in a tone which seemed to imply the total absurdity of
his master making the least concession in deference to any one--"sacrifice,