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pent between two of the most magnificent yet most dreadful objects of nature — a raging tide and an insurmountable precipice — toiled along their painful and dangerous path, often lashed by the spray of some giant 5 billow which threw itself higher on the beach than those
that had preceded it. Each minute did their enemy gain ground perceptibly upon them. .
The countenance of the old man fell. Isabella gave a faint shriek, and “God have mercy upon us !” which their 10 guide solemnly uttered, was piteously echoed by Sir Arthur — “My child ! my child ! to die such a death !”
“My father! my dear father!” his daughter exclaimed, clinging to him. “And you, too, who have lost your own life in endeavoring to save ours.
“That's not worth the counting,” said the old man. “I have lived to be weary of life, and here or yonder — what does it signify how the old beggar dies ?”
“Good man,” said Sir Arthur, “can you think of nothing ?- of no help? I'll make you rich ; I'll give 20 you a farm ; I'll”
“Our riches will soon be equal,” said the beggar, looking out upon the strife of the waters; “they are so already; for I have no land, and you would give your fair
bounds and barony for a square yard of rock that would 25 be dry for twelve hours.”
While they exchanged these words they paused upon the highest ledge of rock to which they could attain, for
it seemed that any further attempt to move forward could only serve to anticipate their fate. Here, then, they were to await the sure though slow progress of the raging element.
Yet even this fearful pause gave Isabella time to collect the powers of a mind naturally strong and courageous, and which rallied itself at this terrible juncture. “Must we yield life,” she said, “ without a struggle? Is there
no path, however dreadful, by which we could climb the 10 crag, or at least attain some height above the tide where
we could remain till morning, or till help comes? They must be aware of our situation, and will raise the country to relieve us.'
Sir Arthur, who heard but scarcely comprehended his 15 daughter's question, turned, nevertheless, instinctively to
the old man, as if their lives were in his gift. Ochiltree paused. “I was a bold cragsman in my day, but it's long, long ago, and no mortal could climb them without
a rope. But there was a path here once, though maybe, 20 if you could see it, you would rather stay where you are.
His name be praised,” he ejaculated suddenly, “ there's some one coming down the crag even now.” Then, exalting his voice, he called to the daring adventurer such
instructions as his former practice and the remembrance 25 of local circumstances suddenly forced upon his mind :
“You're right! you're right! that way! that way! -Fasten the rope well round Crummie's horn,' that's
the big black stone — that's it; now a wee bit more yet to that other stone (we called it the Cat's ear'). There used to be the root of an oak tree there; that will do! Easy now, lad; easy now; take care and take time. Very well! Now you must get to · Bessy's apron, that's 5 the big broad flat stone; and then, I think, with your help and the rope together, I can reach you, and we'll be able to get up the young lady and Sir Arthur.”
The adventurer, following these directions, flung down the end of the rope, which the old man secured around 10 Miss Wardour, wrapping her previously in his own blue gown to preserve her as much as possible from injury. Then, availing himself of the rope, which was made fast at the other end, he began to ascend the face of the crag - a most precarious and dizzy undertaking, which, how- 15 ever, after one or two perilous escapes, placed him safe on the broad flat stone beside our friend Lovel. Their joint strength was able to raise Isabella to the place of safety which they had attained. Lovel then descended in order · to assist Sir Arthur, and in a short time they were all 20 beyond the reach of the billows.
Halket Head : the locality chosen by Scott for his story is on the east coast of Scotland, not far from the Inchcape Rock. See Book Six, page 21. - Och'iltree : Edie Ochiltree is one of Scott's famous character sketches. - devoted : doomed. — bounds : boundaries. blue gown: the long blue gown with a pewter badge on the right arm marked the professional beggar of Scotland.
THE DEAD NAPOLEON
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY was born in India in 1811. He became one of the greatest of English novelists. He studied law in London and afterwards went to Paris and studied art, but finally chose litera
ture as his profession. Among his famous novels are “ Pendennis,” « The 5 Newcomes," " Vanity Fair,” and “ Henry Esmond.” An American critic,
on being asked which of these he liked best, replied, “ The one I read last.” Thackeray also wrote some verse. He died in 1863.
Note. — For another selection on Napoleon, see page 279.
Tell me what find we to admire
In epaulets and scarlet coats,
And know the art of cutting throats ?
How kings and heroes rise and fall ?
There lies the greatest of them all!
He wrote “ The Great” before his name;
The recollection of his shame.
He died without a rood his own;
Six foot of ground to lie upon.