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Chapter 31


Many, come up, sir, with your gentle blood!
Here's a red stream beneath this coarse blue doublet,
That warms the heart as kindly as if drawn
From the far source of old Assyrian kings.
Who first made mankind subject to their sway.
_Old Play_.

The sounds to which we alluded in our last, were no other than the
grumbling tones of Richie Moniplies's voice.

This worthy, like some other persons who rank high in their own
opinion, was very apt, when he could have no other auditor, to hold
conversation with one who was sure to be a willing listener--I mean
with himself. He was now brushing and arranging Lord Glenvarloch's
clothes, with as much composure and quiet assiduity as if he had never
been out of his service, and grumbling betwixt whiles to the following
purpose:--"Hump--ay, time cloak and jerkin were through my hands--I
question if horsehair has been passed over them since they and I last
parted. The embroidery finely frayed too--and the gold buttons of the
cloak--By my conscience, and as I am an honest man, there is a round
dozen of them gane! This comes of Alsatian frolics--God keep us with
his grace, and not give us over to our own devices!--I see no sword--
but that will be in respect of present circumstances."

Nigel for some time could not help believing that he was still in a
dream, so improbable did it seem that his domestic, whom he supposed
to be in Scotland, should have found him out, and obtained access to
him, in his present circumstances. Looking through the curtains,
however, he became well assured of the fact, when he beheld the stiff
and bony length of Richie, with a visage charged with nearly double
its ordinary degree of importance, employed sedulously in brushing his
master's cloak, and refreshing himself with whistling or humming, from
interval to interval, some snatch of an old melancholy Scottish
ballad-tune. Although sufficiently convinced of the identity of the
party, Lord Glenvarloch could not help expressing his surprise in the
superfluous question--"In the name of Heaven, Richie, is this you?"

"And wha else suld it be, my lord?" answered Richie; "I dreamna that
your lordship's levee in this place is like to be attended by ony that
are not bounded thereto by duty."

"I am rather surprised," answered Nigel, "that it should be attended
by any one at all--especially by you, Richie; for you know that we
parted, and I thought you had reached Scotland long since."

"I crave your lordship's pardon, but we have not parted yet, nor are
soon likely so to do; for there gang twa folk's votes to the unmaking
of a bargain, as to the making of ane. Though it was your lordship's
pleasure so to conduct yourself that we were like to have parted, yet
it was not, on reflection, my will to be gone. To be plain, if your
lordship does not ken when you have a good servant, I ken when I have
a kind master; and to say truth, you will be easier served now than
ever, for there is not much chance of your getting out of bounds."

"I am indeed bound over to good behaviour," said Lord Glenvarloch,
with a smile; "but I hope you will not take advantage of my situation
to be too severe on my follies, Richie?"

"God forbid, my lord--God forbid!" replied Richie, with an expression
betwixt a conceited consciousness of superior wisdom and real feeling-
-"especially in consideration of your lordship's having a due sense of
them. I did indeed remonstrate, as was my humble duty, but I scorn to
cast that up to your lordship now--Na, na, I am myself an erring
creature--very conscious of some small weaknesses--there is no
perfection in man."

"But, Richie," said Lord Glenvarloch, "although I am much obliged to
you for your proffered service, it can be of little use to me here,
and may be of prejudice to yourself."

"Your lordship shall pardon me again," said Richie, whom the relative
situation of the parties had invested with ten times his ordinary
dogmatism; "but as I will manage the matter, your lordship shall be
greatly benefited by my service, and I myself no whit prejudiced."

"I see not how that can be, my friend," said Lord Glenvarloch, "since
even as to your pecuniary affairs--"

"Touching my pecuniars, my lord," replied Richie, "I am indifferently
weel provided; and, as it chances, my living here will be no burden to
your lordship, or distress to myself. Only I crave permission to annex
certain conditions to my servitude with your lordship."

"Annex what you will," said Lord Glenvarloch, "for you are pretty sure
to take your own way, whether you make any conditions or not. Since
you will not leave me, which were, I think, your wisest course, you
must, and I suppose will, serve me only on such terms as you like
yourself."

"All that I ask, my lord," said Richie, gravely, and with a tone of
great moderation, "is to have the uninterrupted command of my own
motions, for certain important purposes which I have now in hand,
always giving your lordship the solace of my company and attendance,
at such times as may be at once convenient for me, and necessary for
your service."

"Of which, I suppose, you constitute yourself sole judge," replied
Nigel, smiling.

"Unquestionably, my lord," answered Richie, gravely; "for your
lordship can only know what yourself want; whereas I, who see both
sides of the picture, ken both what is the best for your affairs, and
what is the most needful for my own."

"Richie, my good friend," said Nigel, "I fear this arrangement, which
places the master much under the disposal of the servant, would scarce
suit us if we were both at large; but a prisoner as I am, I may be as
well at your disposal as I am at that of so many other persons; and so
you may come and go as you list, for I suppose you will not take my
advice, to return to your own country, and leave me to my fate."

"The deil be in my feet if I do," said Moniplies,--"I am not the lad
to leave your lordship in foul weather, when I followed you and fed
upon you through the whole summer day, And besides, there may be brave
days behind, for a' that has come and gane yet; for

"It's hame, and it's hame, and it's hame we fain would be, Though the
cloud is in the lift, and the wind is on the lea; For the sun through
the mirk blinks blithe on mine ee, Says,--'I'll shine on ye yet in our
ain country!"

Having sung this stanza in the manner of a ballad-singer, whose voice
has been cracked by matching his windpipe against the bugle of the
north blast, Richie Moniplies aided Lord Glenvarloch to rise, attended
his toilet with every possible mark of the most solemn and deferential
respect, then waited upon him at breakfast, and finally withdrew,
pleading that he had business of importance, which would detain him
for some hours.

Although Lord Glenvarloch necessarily expected to be occasionally
annoyed by the self-conceit and dogmatism of Richie Moniplies's
character, yet he could not but feel the greatest pleasure from the
firm and devoted attachment which this faithful follower had displayed
in the present instance, and indeed promised himself an alleviation of
the ennui of his imprisonment, in having the advantage of his
services. It was, therefore, with pleasure that he learned from the
warder, that his servant's attendance would be allowed at all times
when the general rules of the fortress permitted the entrance of
strangers.

In the meanwhile, the magnanimous Richie Moniplies had already reached
Tower Wharf. Here, after looking with contempt on several scullers by
whom he was plied, and whose services he rejected with a wave of his
hand, he called with dignity, "First oars!" and stirred into activity
several lounging Tritons of the higher order, who had not, on his
first appearance, thought it worth while to accost him with proffers
of service. He now took possession of a wherry, folded his arms within
his ample cloak, and sitting down in the stern with an air of
importance, commanded them to row to Whitehall Stairs. Having reached
the Palace in safety, he demanded to see Master Linklater, the under-
clerk of his Majesty's kitchen. The reply was, that he was not to be
spoken withal, being then employed in cooking a mess of cock-a-leekie
for the king's own mouth.

"Tell him," said Moniplies, "that it is a dear countryman of his, who
seeks to converse with him on matter of high import."

"A dear countryman?" said Linklater, when this pressing message was
delivered to him. "Well, let him come in and be d--d, that I should
say sae! This now is some red-headed, long-legged, gillie-white-foot
frae the West Port, that, hearing of my promotion, is come up to be a
turn-broche, or deputy scullion, through my interest. It is a great
hinderance to any man who would rise in the world, to have such
friends to hang by his skirts, in hope of being towed up along with
him.--Ha! Richie Moniplies, man, is it thou? And what has brought ye
here? If they should ken thee for the loon that scared the horse the
other day!--"

"No more o' that, neighbour," said Richie,--"I am just here on the
auld errand--I maun speak with the king."

"The king? Ye are red wud," said Linklater; then shouted to his
assistant in the kitchen, "Look to the broches, ye knaves--_pisces
purga_--_Salsamenta fac macerentur pulchre_--I will make you
understand Latin, ye knaves, as becomes the scullions of King James."
Then in a cautious tone, to Richie's private ear, he continued, "Know
ye not how ill your master came off the other day?--I can tell you
that job made some folk shake for their office."

"Weel, but, Laurie, ye maun befriend me this time, and get this wee
bit sifflication slipped into his Majesty's ain most gracious hand. I
promise you the contents will be most grateful to him."

"Richie," answered Linklater, "you have certainly sworn to say your
prayers in the porter's lodge, with your back bare; and twa grooms,
with dog-whips, to cry amen to you."

"Na, na, Laurie, lad," said Richie, "I ken better what belangs to
sifflications than I did yon day; and ye will say that yoursell, if ye
will but get that bit note to the king's hand."

"I will have neither hand nor foot in the matter," said the cautious
Clerk of the Kitchen; "but there is his Majesty's mess of cock-a-
leekie just going to be served to him in his closet--I cannot prevent
you from putting the letter between the gilt bowl and the platter; his
sacred Majesty will see it when he lifts the bowl, for he aye drinks
out the broth."

"Enough said," replied Richie, and deposited the paper accordingly,
just before a page entered to carry away the mess to his Majesty.

"Aweel, aweel, neighbour," said Laurence, when the mess was taken
away, "if ye have done ony thing to bring yoursell to the withy, or
the scourging post, it is your ain wilful deed."

"I will blame no other for it," said Richie; and with that undismayed
pertinacity of conceit, which made a fundamental part of his
character, he abode the issue, which was not long of arriving.

In a few minutes Maxwell himself arrived in the apartment, and
demanded hastily who had placed a writing on the king's trencher,
Linklater denied all knowledge of it; but Richie Moniplies, stepping
boldly forth, pronounced the emphatical confession, "I am the man."

"Follow me, then," said Maxwell, after regarding him with a look of
great curiosity.

They went up a private staircase,--even that private staircase, the
privilege of which at Court is accounted a nearer road to power than
the _grandes entrees_ themselves. Arriving in what Richie described as
an "ill redd-up" ante-room, the usher made a sign to him to stop,
while he went into the king's closet. Their conference was short, and
as Maxwell opened the door to retire, Richie heard the conclusion of
it.

"Ye are sure he is not dangerous?--I was caught once.--Bide within
call, but not nearer the door than within three geometrical cubits. If
I speak loud, start to me like a falcon--If I speak loun, keep your
lang lugs out of ear-shot--and now let him come in."

Richie passed forward at Maxwell's mute signal, and in a moment found
himself in the presence of the king. Most men of Richie's birth and
breeding, and many others, would have been abashed at finding
themselves alone with their Sovereign. But Richie Moniplies had an
opinion of himself too high to be controlled by any such ideas; and
having made his stiff reverence, he arose once more into his
perpendicular height, and stood before James as stiff as a hedge-
stake.

"Have ye gotten them, man? have ye gotten them?" said the king, in a
fluttered state, betwixt hope and eagerness, and some touch of
suspicious fear. "Gie me them--gie me them--before ye speak a word, I
charge you, on your allegiance."

Richie took a box from his bosom, and, stooping on one knee, presented
it to his Majesty, who hastily opened it, and having ascertained that
it contained a certain carcanet of rubies, with which the reader was
formerly made acquainted, he could not resist falling into a sort of
rapture, kissing the gems, as if they had been capable of feeling, and
repeating again and again with childish delight, "_Onyx cum prole,
silexque_---_Onyx cum prole!_ Ah, my bright and bonny sparklers, my
heart loups light to see you again." He then turned to Richie, upon
whose stoical countenance his Majesty's demeanour had excited
something like a grim smile, which James interrupted his rejoicing to
reprehend, saying, "Take heed, sir, you are not to laugh at us--we are
your anointed Sovereign."

"God forbid that I should laugh!" said Richie, composing his
countenance into its natural rigidity. "I did but smile, to bring my
visage into coincidence and conformity with your Majesty's
physiognomy."

"Ye speak as a dutiful subject, and an honest man," said the king;
"but what deil's your name, man?"

"Even Richie Moniplies, the son of auld Mungo Moniplies, at the West
Port of Edinburgh, who had the honour to supply your Majesty's
mother's royal table, as weel as your Majesty's, with flesh and other
vivers, when time was."

"Aha!" said the king, laughing,--for he possessed, as a useful
attribute of his situation, a tenacious memory, which recollected
every one with whom he was brought into casual contact,--"Ye are the
self-same traitor who had weelnigh coupit us endlang on the causey of
our ain courtyard? but we stuck by our mare. _Equam memento rebus in
arduis servare_. Weel, be not dismayed, Richie; for, as many men have
turned traitors, it is but fair that a traitor, now and then, suld
prove to be, contra expectanda, a true man. How cam ye by our jewels,
man?--cam ye on the part of George Heriot?"

"In no sort," said Richie. "May it please your Majesty, I come as
Harry Wynd fought, utterly for my own hand, and on no man's errand;
as, indeed, I call no one master, save Him that made me, your most
gracious Majesty who governs me, and the noble Nigel Olifaunt, Lord of
Glenvarloch, who maintained me as lang as he could maintain himself,
poor nobleman!"

"Glenvarlochides again!" exclaimed the king; "by my honour, he lies in
ambush for us at every corner!--Maxwell knocks at the door. It is
George Heriot come to tell us he cannot find these jewels.--Get thee
behind the arras, Richie--stand close, man--sneeze not--cough not--
breathe not!--Jingling Geordie is so damnably ready with his gold-ends
of wisdom, and sae accursedly backward with his gold-ends of siller,
that, by our royal saul, we are glad to get a hair in his neck."

Richie got behind the arras, in obedience to the commands of the good-
natured king, while the Monarch, who never allowed his dignity to
stand in the way of a frolic, having adjusted, with his own hand, the
tapestry, so as to complete the ambush, commanded Maxwell to tell him
what was the matter without. Maxwell's reply was so low as to be lost
by Richie Moniplies, the peculiarity of whose situation by no means
abated his curiosity and desire to gratify it to the uttermost.

"Let Geordie Heriot come in," said the king; and, as Richie could
observe through a slit in the tapestry, the honest citizen, if not
actually agitated, was at least discomposed. The king, whose talent
for wit, or humour, was precisely of a kind to be gratified by such a
scene as ensued, received his homage with coldness, and began to talk
to him with an air of serious dignity, very different from the usual
indecorous levity of his behaviour. "Master Heriot," he said, "if we
aright remember, we opignorated in your hands certain jewels of the
Crown, for a certain sum of money--Did we, or did we not?"

"My most gracious Sovereign," said Heriot, "indisputably your Majesty
was pleased to do so."

"The property of which jewels and _cimelia_ remained with us,"
continued the king, in the same solemn tone, "subject only to your
claim of advance thereupon; which advance being repaid, gives us right
to repossession of the thing opignorated, or pledged, or laid in wad.
Voetius, Vinnius, Groenwigeneus, Pagenstecherus,--all who have treated
_de Contractu Opignerationis, consentiunt in eundem_,--gree on the
same point. The Roman law, the English common law, and the municipal
law of our ain ancient kingdom of Scotland, though they split in mair
particulars than I could desire, unite as strictly in this as the
three strands of a twisted rope."

"May it please your Majesty," replied Heriot, "it requires not so many
learned authorities to prove to any honest man, that his interest in a
pledge is determined when the money lent is restored."

"Weel, sir, I proffer restoration of the sum lent, and I demand to be
repossessed of the jewels pledged with you. I gave ye a hint, brief
while since, that this would be essential to my service, for, as
approaching events are like to call us into public, it would seem
strange if we did not appear with those ornaments, which are heirlooms
of the Crown, and the absence whereof is like to place us in contempt
and suspicion with our liege subjects."

Master George Heriot seemed much moved by this address of his
Sovereign, and replied with emotion, "I call Heaven to witness, that I
am totally harmless in this matter, and that I would willingly lose
the sum advanced, so that I could restore those jewels, the absence of
which your Majesty so justly laments. Had the jewels remained with me,
the account of them would be easily rendered; but your Majesty will do
me the justice to remember, that, by your express order, I transferred
them to another person, who advanced a large sum, just about the time
of my departure for Paris. The money was pressingly wanted, and no
other means to come by it occurred to me. I told your Majesty, when I
brought the needful supply, that the man from whom the monies were
obtained, was of no good repute; and your most princely answer was,
smelling to the gold--_Non olet_, it smells not of the means that have
gotten it."

"Weel, man," said the king, "but what needs a' this din? If ye gave my
jewels in pledge to such a one, suld ye not, as a liege subject, have
taken care that the redemption was in our power? And are we to suffer
the loss of our _cimelia_ by your neglect, besides being exposed to
the scorn and censure of our lieges, and of the foreign ambassadors?"

"My lord and liege king," said Heriot, "God knows, if my bearing blame
or shame in this matter would keep it from your Majesty, it were my
duty to endure both, as a servant grateful for many benefits; but when
your Majesty considers the violent death of the man himself, the
disappearance of his daughter, and of his wealth, I trust you will
remember that I warned your Majesty, in humble duty, of the
possibility of such casualties, and prayed you not to urge me to deal
with him on your behalf."

"But you brought me nae better means," said the king--"Geordie, ye
brought me nae better means. I was like a deserted man; what could I
do but grip to the first siller that offered, as a drowning man grasps
to the willow-wand that comes readiest?--And now, man, what for have
ye not brought back the jewels? they are surely above ground, if ye
wad make strict search."

"All strict search has been made, may it please your Majesty," replied
the citizen; "hue and cry has been sent out everywhere, and it has
been found impossible to recover them."

"Difficult, ye mean, Geordie, not impossible," replied the king; "for
that whilk is impossible, is either naturally so, _exempli gratia_, to
make two into three; or morally so, as to make what is truth
falsehood; but what is only difficult may come to pass, with
assistance of wisdom and patience; as, for example, Jingling Geordie,
look here!" And he displayed the recovered treasure to the eyes of the
astonished jeweller, exclaiming, with great triumph, "What say ye to
that, Jingler?--By my sceptre and crown, the man stares as if he took
his native prince for a warlock! us that are the very _malleus
maleficarum_, the contunding and contriturating hammer of all witches,
sorcerers, magicians, and the like; he thinks we are taking a touch of
the black art outsells!--But gang thy way, honest Geordie; thou art a
good plain man, but nane of the seven sages of Greece; gang thy way,
and mind the soothfast word which you spoke, small time syne, that
there is one in this land that comes near to Solomon, King of Israel,
in all his gifts, except in his love to strange women, forby the
daughter of Pharaoh."

If Heriot was surprised at seeing the jewels so unexpectedly produced
at the moment the king was upbraiding him for the loss of them, this
allusion to the reflection which had escaped him while conversing with
Lord Glenvarloch, altogether completed his astonishment; and the king
was so delighted with the superiority which it gave him at the moment,
that he rubbed his hands, chuckled, and finally, his sense of dignity
giving way to the full feeling of triumph, he threw himself into his
easy-chair, and laughed with unconstrained violence till he lost his
breath, and the tears ran plentifully down his cheeks as he strove to
recover it. Meanwhile, the royal cachinnation was echoed out by a
discordant and portentous laugh from behind the arras, like that of
one who, little accustomed to give way to such emotions, feels himself
at some particular impulse unable either to control or to modify his
obstreperous mirth. Heriot turned his head with new surprise towards
the place, from which sounds so unfitting the presence of a monarch
seemed to burst with such emphatic clamour.

The king, too, somewhat sensible of the indecorum, rose up, wiped his
eyes, and calling,--"Todlowrie, come out o' your den," he produced
from behind the arras the length of Richie Moniplies, still laughing
with as unrestrained mirth as ever did gossip at a country
christening. "Whisht, man, whisht, man," said the king; "ye needna
nicher that gait, like a cusser at a caup o' corn, e'en though it was
a pleasing jest, and our ain framing. And yet to see Jingling Geordie,
that bauds himself so much the wiser than other folk--to see him, ha!
ha! ha!--in the vein of Euclio apud Plautum, distressing himself to
recover what was lying at his elbow--

'Peril, interii, occidi--quo curram? quo non curram?--Tene, tene--
quem? quis? nescio--nihil video."

"Ah! Geordie, your een are sharp enough to look after gowd and silver,
gems, rubies, and the like of that, and yet ye kenna how to come by
them when they are lost.--Ay, ay--look at them, man--look at them--
they are a' right and tight, sound and round, not a doublet crept in
amongst them."

George Heriot, when his first surprise was over, was too old a
courtier to interrupt the king's imaginary triumph, although he darted
a look of some displeasure at honest Richie, who still continued on
what is usually termed the broad grin. He quietly examined the stones,
and finding them all perfect, he honestly and sincerely congratulated
his Majesty on the recovery of a treasure which could not have been
lost without some dishonour to the crown; and asked to whom he himself
was to pay the sums for which they had been pledged, observing, that
he had the money by him in readiness.

"Ye are in a deevil of a hurry, when there is paying in the case,
Geordie," said the king.--"What's a' the haste, man? The jewels were
restored by an honest, kindly countryman of ours. There he stands, and
wha kens if he wants the money on the nail, or if he might not be as
weel pleased wi' a bit rescript on our treasury some six months hence?
Ye ken that our Exchequer is even at a low ebb just now, and ye cry
pay, pay, pay, as if we had all the mines of Ophir."

"Please your Majesty," said Heriot, "if this man has the real right to
these monies, it is doubtless at his will to grant forbearance, if he
will. But when I remember the guise in which I first saw him, with a
tattered cloak and a broken head, I can hardly conceive it.--Are not
you Richie Moniplies, with the king's favour?"

"Even sae, Master Heriot--of the ancient and honourable house of
Castle Collop, near to the West Port of Edinburgh," answered Richie.

"Why, please your Majesty, he is a poor serving-man," said Heriot.
"This money can never be honestly at his disposal."

"What for no?" said the king. "Wad ye have naebody spraickle up the
brae but yoursell, Geordie? Your ain cloak was thin enough when ye cam
here, though ye have lined it gay and weel. And for serving-men, there
has mony a red-shank cam over the Tweed wi' his master's wallet on his
shoulders, that now rustles it wi' his six followers behind him. There
stands the man himsell; speer at him, Geordie."

"His may not be the best authority in the case," answered the cautious
citizen.

"Tut, tut, man," said the king, "ye are over scrupulous. The knave
deer-stealers have an apt phrase, _Non est inquirendum unde venit_
VENISON. He that brings the gudes hath surely a right to dispose of
the gear.--Hark ye, friend, speak the truth and shame the deil. Have
ye plenary powers to dispose on the redemption-money as to delay of
payments, or the like, ay or no?"

"Full power, an it like your gracious Majesty," answered Richie
Moniplies; "and I am maist willing to subscrive to whatsoever may in
ony wise accommodate your Majesty anent the redemption-money, trusting
your Majesty's grace will be kind to me in one sma' favour."

"Ey, man," said the king, "come ye to me there? I thought ye wad e'en
be like the rest of them.--One would think our subjects' lives and
goods were all our ain, and holden of us at our free will; but when we
stand in need of ony matter of siller from them, which chances more
frequently than we would it did, deil a boddle is to be had, save on
the auld terms of giff-gaff. It is just niffer for niffer.--Aweel,
neighbour, what is it that ye want--some monopoly, I reckon? Or it may
be a grant of kirk-lands and teinds, or a knighthood, or the like? Ye
maun be reasonable, unless ye propose to advance more money for our
present occasions."

"My liege," answered Richie Moniplies, "the owner of these monies
places them at your Majesty's command, free of all pledge or usage as
long as it is your royal pleasure, providing your Majesty will
condescend to show some favour to the noble Lord Glenvarloch,
presently prisoner in your royal Tower of London."

"How, man--how,--man--how, man!" exclaimed the king, reddening and
stammering, but with emotions more noble than those by which he was
sometimes agitated--"What is that you dare to say to us?--Sell our
justice!--sell our mercy!--and we a crowned king, sworn to do justice
to our subjects in the gate, and responsible for our stewardship to
Him that is over all kings?"--Here he reverently looked up, touched
his bonnet, and continued, with some sharpness,--"We dare not traffic
in such commodities, sir; and, but that ye are a poor ignorant
creature, that have done us this day some not unpleasant service, we
wad have a red iron driven through your tongue, _in terrorem_ of
others.--Awa with him, Geordie,--pay him, plack and bawbee, out of our
monies in your hands, and let them care that come ahint."

Richie, who had counted with the utmost certainty upon the success of
this master-stroke of policy, was like an architect whose whole
scaffolding at once gives way under him. He caught, however, at what
he thought might break his fall. "Not only the sum for which the
jewels were pledged," he said, "but the double of it, if required,
should be placed at his Majesty's command, and even without hope or
condition of repayment, if only--"

But the king did not allow him to complete the sentence, crying out
with greater vehemence than before, as if he dreaded the stability of
his own good resolutions,--"Awa wi' him--swith awa wi' him! It is time
he were gane, if he doubles his bode that gate. And, for your life,
letna Steenie, or ony of them, hear a word from his mouth; for wha
kens what trouble that might bring me into! _Ne inducas in
tentationem_--_Vade retro, Sathanas!--Amen_."

In obedience to the royal mandate, George Heriot hurried the abashed
petitioner out of the presence and out of the Palace; and, when they
were in the Palace-yard, the citizen, remembering with some resentment
the airs of equality which Richie had assumed towards him in the
commencement of the scene which had just taken place, could not
forbear to retaliate, by congratulating him with an ironical smile on
his favour at Court, and his improved grace in presenting a
supplication.

"Never fash your beard about that, Master George Heriot," said Richie,
totally undismayed; "but tell me when and where I am to sifflicate you
for eight hundred pounds sterling, for which these jewels stood
engaged?"

"The instant that you bring with you the real owner of the money,"
replied Heriot; "whom it is important that I should see on more
accounts than one."

"Then will I back to his Majesty," said Richie Moniplies, stoutly,
"and get either the money or the pledge back again. I am fully
commissionate to act in that matter."

"It may be so, Richie," said the citizen, "and perchance it may _not_
be so neither, for your tales are not all gospel; and, therefore, be
assured I will see that it _is_ so, ere I pay you that large sum of
money. I shall give you an acknowledgment for it, and I will keep it
prestable at a moment's warning. But, my good Richard Moniplies, of
Castle Collop, near the West Port of Edinburgh, in the meantime I am
bound to return to his Majesty on matters of weight." So speaking, and
mounting the stair to re-enter the Palace, he added, by way of summing
up the whole,--"George Heriot is over old a cock to be caught with
chaff."

Richie stood petrified when he beheld him re-enter the Palace, and
found himself, as he supposed, left in the lurch.--"Now, plague on
ye," he muttered, "for a cunning auld skinflint! that, because ye are
an honest man yoursell, forsooth, must needs deal with all the world
as if they were knaves. But deil be in me if ye beat me yet!--Gude
guide us! yonder comes Laurie Linklater next, and he will be on me
about the sifflication.--I winna stand him, by Saint Andrew!"

So saying, and changing the haughty stride with which he had that
morning entered the precincts of the Palace, into a skulking shamble,
he retreated for his wherry, which was in attendance, with speed
which, to use the approved phrase on such occasions, greatly resembled
a flight.


Sir Walter Scott