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Both armed of the field of bestablish their
don his design of an advance to the Capital, and the superiority of the royal troops, . and of the Duke of Argyle's conduct incontestably established.
Both armies, after remaining in the , neighbourhood of the field of battle, as long
as they deemed necessary to establish their respective claims to victory, returned to their former quarters, the rebels to Perth, and the Duke of Argyle to Stirling. The spirits of the, Jacobite party were still further depressed by the intelligence they received from their friends in England.
Brigadier Mac Intosh, after his dexterous retreat from the Citadel of Leith, which he had only occupied with the view of preventing the Duke of Argyle from forcing him to fight at a disadvantage, continued his route, under cover of night, along the sands, in a direction due east, where they are so broad and flat, that the fugitives could neither be seen or heard from the shore. About the hour of " drear midnight," the adventurous Celts emerged from their marine
promenade, and soon came in sight of a. building, which they could perceive, by the lights in its windows, was a mansion of prodigious extent and considerable magnificence. It was surrounded to a certain height by a solid stone-wall, perforated with loop-holes for musketry in two tiers, and furnished at the top with a high embrasure. The outer gate presented a most formidable and forbidding aspect to these nocturnal visitors, with its iron-studded face and its massy hinges. Mac Intosh, however, was not a man to be daunted by trifling difficulties, and the place from its apparent strength seemed likely to prove a most comfortable and secure retreat. The Brigadier advanced boldly to the gate, closely followed by his men, who were ordered to charge their muskets, and prepare themselves for an assault, if it should be necessary. Mac Intosh knocked loudly on the iron surface of the gate with the handle of his pike, and was soon answered by the feeble
and squeaking voice of an old man from the battlements above, “Wha gangs there?”
“ Benighted travellers," replied Mac Intoshi, motioning his men to retreat behind an abutment of the wall; “ benighted travellers seeking a lodging for the night.”
“ They're unco uncanny travellers that are out seeking their lodgings at sic a time o' night as this,” replied the same voice ; “ moonlight flitters, in these dangerous times, dinna get admittance to Seaton House of a night, and our noble lord frae hame.”
“ But who are you, and who is your lord, my friend ?" said Mac Intosh, with some impatience.
“Wha am I, and wha is my master, in- . deed?” exclaimed the intnate of the mansion, in a tone of testy anger and wounded pride; “ these are pretty questions truly for a man seeking lodgings to speer; and in a country-side too, whare even the child that gangs kens baith me and my master, as
weel as the picture o' Wallace in Blind Harry's book.”
“ But I have not the felicity to be a resident in this country-side," replied the Brigadier; “ and, if I were, the night is too dark to allow me to make out your features, unless, indeed, they were like those o’ Bardolph, the Knight o' the Burning Nose.” ;" Weel, then, I tell ye;" said the Castellan, “ that my master is the Lord Earl of Wintoun ; this is Seaton House, his dwelling; and I am Sandy Dribble, his Seneschal and Butler, forbye mony other offices I hold under his Lordship.”
“Lucky chance," exclaimed Mac Intosh, “your lord is my intimate friend; and we are baith friends to the King : sae, you have naething to fear from me.”
* An intimate friend o’my lord's,” repeated Sandy, " that I can understand; but as to your being a friend to the King, I ha’e naething to do with that: but to ask ye whilk King ye mean, is it Jamie or Geordie?"..
" Jamie, to be sure,” said the Brigadier ; “ and before long I shall fight for him, I hope, side by side wi' your gallant master."
“ Bravo,” cried Saunders, “ l’se warrant ye guid quarters, then.”.. · The Brigadier now understood, with no small chagrin, that, notwithstanding all the cross-examination he had so patiently submitted to from this haughty menial, his authority did not enable him to grant the desired admission; but that, after having gratified his own curiosity, Sandy was obliged to call the Steward, who, in all probability, would put the same interrogatories as the Butler had thought proper to make use of. Sandy, however, shewed his good will towards the friend of his master and of King James, by sounding a horn that hung by his side, as lustily as if he had received the poet's mandate : “ Now crack thy lungs, and split thy brazen pipe Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek Outswell the colic of puffed Aquilon. . Cuie, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood, Thou blow'st for Hector."