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herself in his thoughts, till reciprocal, common homage should crown the triumph of her conquest, and surfeit the lawful voluptuousness of both with the inviolable rights of their weddingday, and all the prettinesses of unbounded love and church-honoured libertinism. If Willie took her advice, he would never enjoy the pleasures of wedlock, though the prime of life had formed him for their enjoyment; if he did not press her" to comply with his wishes, the affection of Bess might be seduced by another, who might notaecommodate himself in every thing to her sovereign will, as would the ruistic politeness' and untutored civility of the gravely-simple, tenderly-pleasing, handsome. Willie.
If Willie knew himself, the tale he had told Bess was quite enough; if he looked and sighed, she could well guess the cause'; he was not obliged to ina
terpret the language of his looks, when he had again and again told her frankly his mind; when he had repeatedly declared he could not live without her. When in saying no, she had spent many an hour with her head resting on his bosom ; when he had kissed her as long as kissing was good; when he had gone as far as he could
without being rude; then, and then only, would it be time for Bess to whisper her fears that her freedom was gone, that his words thrilled her heart, that his smiles and glancing eyes she now could spell; and that the objections of her sex to the constant din and murmur of weans, whose greatest wish is, to be made of and obtain a kiss, that this, and all the fears of maidens for the little love when they become wives their husbands show, were only so many longings for the longsome pleasure of the night and the hour, when they
without fear should become the virtuous prey of all that love and peace require.
Such was the train of the lawyer's reflections on this scene he had witnessed; but he could not divulge the secret he had become possessed of to Ellen, whose mind was too greatly absorbed in the afflictions of her family, to be insulted with the tale of a lovesick swain; the minister was bent upon other pursuits; and Levingstone might have called down a frown from Mrs. Thornhill's brows, by only hinting at Willie's courtship of the servant of the manse. Reduced therefore to his own contemplation of this pair, he resolved to be on the watch when Bess took the thieveless errands" in the direction of “Willie's fauld;" and the sun was colouring with his latest tints of gold the ridges of the adjacent hills, when one evening Levingstone espied Bess VOL. III.
taking that track which led in its windings to the evening-tide bustle of Willie's flock.
The fauld-dyke was skirted by a hedge, and this hedge was stocked with trees; on one part a rising hillock overlooked the whole : this hillock was covered with whin-bushes, which flanked the trunk of an old ash-tree; and to this individual spot there was an easy trodden foot-path. Willie's cot in the fauld was close by the roots of the old ash tree. Levingstone's route to the tree was shorter than Bess's by the sheep track, and by good long strides he arrived there just in time to witness the commencement of this attack by the little god Love.
When Levingstone got to the post he had chosen, Willie could be seen sitting on a large oblong stone, close by the gate of the fauld, and looking down the sheep-track as far as it con
tinued in the direction of a straight line. The attitude of Willie was peculiar; hę sat rather reclining to the left, his left elbow leaning on the turfdyke, that rose above his head something more than half a yard; his head lay on the knuckles of his fingers, his bonnet reclined over the right side of his head ; his waistcoat was slovenly loose; his right arm, half a kimbo, rest. ed on the knuckles of that hand on his right thigh; his knees were at least a foot and a half apart; he looked the living statue of langour; his crook rested partly on the stone, and partly on the ground; his faithful Colly lay coiled up on the left of his left foot; and an old ram was not a toise from his right foot, watching the quavering frame of Colly, which in his dreams essayed to run, and by a smothered kind of barking evinced, that “it was best to let sleeping dogs lie:” and if we in