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Chapter 4


Amid their cups that freely flow'd,
Their revelry and mirth,
A youthful lord tax'd Valentine
With base and doubtful birth.
VALENTINE AND ORSON.

When Roland Graeme was a youth about seventeen years of age, he
chanced one summer morning to descend to the mew in which Sir Halbert
Glendinning kept his hawks, in order to superintend the training of an
eyas, or young hawk, which he himself, at the imminent risk of neck
and limbs, had taken from the celebrated eyry in the neighborhood,
called Gledscraig. As he was by no means satisfied with the attention
which had been bestowed on his favourite bird, he was not slack in
testifying his displeasure to the falconer's lad, whose duty it was to
have attended upon it.

"What, ho! sir knave," exclaimed Roland, "is it thus you feed the eyas
with unwashed meat, as if you were gorging the foul brancher of a
worthless hoodie-crow? by the mass, and thou hast neglected its
castings also for these two days! Think'st thou I ventured my neck to
bring the bird down from the crag, that thou shouldst spoil him by thy
neglect?" And to add force to his remonstrances, he conferred a cuff
or two on the negligent attendant of the hawks, who, shouting rather
louder than was necessary under all the circumstances, brought the
master falconer to his assistance.

Adam Woodcock, the falconer of Avenel, was an Englishman by birth, but
so long in the service of Glendinning, that he had lost much of his
notional attachment in that which he had formed to his master. He was
a favourite in his department, jealous and conceited of his skill, as
masters of the game usually are; for the rest of his character he was
a jester and a parcel poet, (qualities which by no means abated his
natural conceit,) a jolly fellow, who, though a sound Protestant,
loved a flagon of ale better than a long sermon, a stout man of his
hands when need required, true to his master, and a little presuming
on his interest with him.

Adam Woodcock, such as we have described him, by no means relished the
freedom used by young Graeme, in chastising his assistant. "Hey, hey,
my Lady's page," said he, stepping between his own boy and Roland,
"fair and softly, an it like your gilt jacket--hands off is fair
play--if my boy has done amiss, I can beat him myself, and then you
may keep your hands soft."

"I will beat him and thee too," answered Roland, without hesitation,
"an you look not better after your business. See how the bird is cast
away between you. I found the careless lurdane feeding him with
unwashed flesh, and she an eyas." [Footnote: There is a difference
amongst authorities how long the nestling hawk should be fed with
flesh which has previously been washed.]

"Go to," said the falconer, "thou art but an eyas thyself, child
Roland.--What knowest thou of feeding? I say that the eyas should have
her meat unwashed, until she becomes a brancher--'twere the ready way
to give her the frounce, to wash her meat sooner, and so knows every
one who knows a gled from a falcon."

"It is thine own laziness, thou false English blood, that dost nothing
but drink and sleep," retorted the page, "and leaves that lither lad
to do the work, which he minds as little as thou."

"And am I so idle then," said the falconer, "that have three cast of
hawks to look after, at perch and mew, and to fly them in the field to
boot?--and is my Lady's page so busy a man that he must take me up
short?--and am I of false English blood?--I marvel what blood thou
art--neither Englander nor Scot--fish nor flesh--a bastard from the
Debateable Land, without either kith, kin, or ally!--Marry, out upon
thee, foul kite, that would fain be a tercel gentle!"

The reply to this sarcasm was a box on the ear, so well applied, that
it overthrew the falconer into the cistern in which water was kept for
the benefit of the hawks. Up started Adam Woodcock, his wrath no way
appeased by the cold immersion, and seizing on a truncheon which stood
by, would have soon requited the injury he had received, had not
Roland laid his hand on his poniard, and sworn by all that was sacred,
that if he offered a stroke towards him, he would sheath the blade in
his bowels. The noise was now so great, that more than one of the
household came in, and amongst others the major-domo, a grave
personage, already mentioned, whose gold chain and white wand
intimated his authority. At the appearance of this dignitary, the
strife was for the present appeased. He embraced, however, so
favourable an opportunity, to read Roland Graeme a shrewd lecture on
the impropriety of his deportment to his fellow-menials, and to assure
him, that, should he communicate this fray to his master, (who, though
now on one of his frequent expeditions, was speedily expected to
return,) which but for respect to his Lady he would most certainly do,
the residence of the culprit in the Castle of Avenel would be but of
brief duration. "But, however," added the prudent master of the
household, "I will report the matter first to my Lady."

"Very just, very right, Master Wingate," exclaimed several voices
together; "my Lady will consider if daggers, are to be drawn on us for
every idle word, and whether we are to live in a well-ordered
household, where there is the fear of God, or amidst drawn dirks and
sharp knives."

The object of this general resentment darted an angry glance around
him, and suppressing with difficulty the desire which urged him to
reply in furious or in contemptuous language, returned his dagger into
his scabbard, looked disdainfully around upon the assembled menials,
turned short upon his heel, and pushing aside those who stood betwixt
him and the door, left the apartment.

"This will be no tree for my nest," said the falconer, "if this
cock-sparrow is to crow over us as he seems to do."

"He struck me with his switch yesterday," said one of the grooms,
"because the tail of his worship's gelding was not trimmed altogether
so as suited his humour."

"And I promise you," said the laundress, "my young master will stick
nothing to call an honest woman slut and quean, if there be but a
speck of soot upon his band-collar."

"If Master Wingate do not his errand to my Lady," was the general
result, "there will be no tarrying in the same house with Roland
Graeme."

The master of the household heard them all for some time, and then,
motioning for universal silence, he addressed them with all the
dignity of Malvolio himself.--"My masters,--not forgetting you, my
mistresses,--do not think the worse of me that I proceed with as much
care as haste in this matter. Our master is a gallant knight, and will
have his sway at home and abroad, in wood and field, in hall and
bower, as the saying is. Our Lady, my benison upon her, is also a
noble person of long descent, and rightful heir of this place and
barony, and she also loves her will; as for that matter, show me the
woman who doth not. Now, she hath favoured, doth favour, and will
favour, this jack-an-ape,--for what good part about him I know not,
save that as one noble lady will love a messan dog, and another a
screaming popinjay, and a third a Barbary ape, so doth it please our
noble dame to set her affections upon this stray elf of a page, for
nought that I can think of, save that she--was the cause of his being
saved (the more's the pity) from drowning." And here Master Wingate
made a pause.

"I would have been his caution for a gray groat against salt water or
fresh," said Roland's adversary, the falconer; "marry, if he crack not
a rope for stabbing or for snatching, I will be content never to hood
hawk again."

"Peace, Adam Woodcock," said Wingate, waving his hand; "I prithee,
peace man--Now, my Lady liking this springald, as aforesaid, differs
therein from my Lord, who loves never a bone in his skin. Now, is it
for me to stir up strife betwixt them, and put as'twere my finger
betwixt the bark and the tree, on account of a pragmatical youngster,
whom, nevertheless, I would willingly see whipped forth of the barony?
Have patience, and this boil will break without our meddling. I have
been in service since I wore a beard on my chin, till now that that
beard is turned gray, and I have seldom known any one better
themselves, even by taking the lady's part against the lord's; but
never one who did not dirk himself, if he took the lord's against the
lady's."

"And so," said Lilias, "we are to be crowed over, every one of us, men
and women, cock and hen, by this little upstart?--I will try titles
with him first, I promise you.--I fancy, Master Wingate, for as wise
as you look, you will be pleased to tell what you have seen to-day, if
my lady commands you?"

"To speak the truth when my lady commands me," answered the prudential
major-domo, "is in some measure my duty, Mistress Lilias; always
providing for and excepting those cases in which it cannot be spoken
without breeding mischief and inconvenience to myself or my
fellow-servants; for the tongue of a tale-bearer breaketh bones as
well as Jeddart-staff." [Footnote: A species of battle-axe, so called
as being in especial use in that ancient burgh, whose armorial bearing
still represent an armed horseman brandishing such a weapon.]

"But this imp of Satan is none of your friends or fellow-servants,"
said Lilias; "and I trust you mean not to stand up for him against the
whole family besides?"

"Credit me, Mrs. Lilias," replied the senior, "should I see the time
fitting, I would, with right good-will give him a lick with the rough
side of my tongue."

"Enough said, Master Wingate," answered Lilias; "then trust me his
song shall soon be laid. If my mistress does not ask me what is the
matter below stairs before she be ten minutes of time older, she is no
born woman, and my name is not Lilias Bradbourne."

In pursuance of her plan, Mistress Lilias failed not to present
herself before her mistress with all the exterior of one who is
possessed of an important secret,--that is, she had the corners of her
mouth turned down, her eyes raised up, her lips pressed as fast
together as if they had been sewed up, to prevent her babbling, and an
air of prim mystical importance diffused over her whole person and
demeanour, which seemed to intimate, "I know something which I am
resolved not to tell you!"

Lilias had rightly read her mistress's temper, who, wise and good as
she was, was yet a daughter of grandame Eve, and could not witness
this mysterious bearing on the part of her waiting-woman without
longing to ascertain the secret cause. For a space, Mrs. Lilias was
obdurate to all inquiries, sighed, turned her eyes up higher yet to
heaven, hoped for the best, but had nothing particular to communicate.
All this, as was most natural and proper, only stimulated the Lady's
curiosity; neither was her importunity to be parried with,--"Thank
God, I am no makebate--no tale-bearer,--thank God, I never envied any
one's favour, or was anxious to propale their misdemeanour-only, thank
God, there has been no bloodshed and murder in the house--that is
all."

"Bloodshed and murder!" exclaimed the Lady, "what does the quean
mean?--if you speak not plain out, you shall have something you will
scarce be thankful for."

"Nay, my Lady," answered Lilias, eager to disburden her mind, or, in,
Chaucer's phrase, to "unbuckle her mail," "if you bid me speak out the
truth, you must not be moved with what might displease you--Roland
Graeme has dirked Adam Woodstock--that is all."

"Good Heaven!" said the Lady, turning pale as ashes, "is the man
slain?"

"No, madam," replied Lilias, "but slain he would have been, if there
had not been ready help; but may be, it is your Ladyship's pleasure
that this young esquire shall poniard the servants, as well as switch
and baton them."

"Go to, minion," said the Lady, "you are saucy-tell the master of the
household to attend me instantly."

Lilias hastened to seek out Mr. Wingate, and hurry him to his lady's
presence, speaking as a word in season to him on the way, "I have set
the stone a-trowling, look that you do not let it stand still."

The steward, too prudential a person to commit himself otherwise,
answered by a sly look and a nod of intelligence, and presently after
stood in the presence of the Lady of Avenel, with a look of great
respect for his lady, partly real, partly affected, and an air of
great sagacity, which inferred no ordinary conceit of himself.

"How is this, Wingate," said the Lady, "and what rule do you keep in
the castle, that the domestics of Sir Halbert Glendinning draw the
dagger on each other, as in a cavern of thieves and murderers?--is the
wounded man much hurt? and what--what hath become of the unhappy boy?"

"There is no one wounded as yet, madam," replied he of the golden
chain; "it passes my poor skill to say how many may be wounded before
Pasche, [Footnote: Easter.] if some rule be not taken with this
youth--not but the youth is a fair youth," he added, correcting
himself, "and able at his exercise; but somewhat too ready with the
ends of his fingers, the butt of his riding-switch, and the point of
his dagger."

"And whose fault is that," said the Lady, "but yours, who should have
taught him better discipline, than to brawl or to draw his dagger."

"If it please your Ladyship so to impose the blame on me," answered
the steward, "it is my part, doubtless, to bear it--only I submit to
your consideration, that unless I nailed his weapon to the scabbard, I
could no more keep it still, than I could fix quicksilver, which
defied even the skill of Raymond Lullius."

"Tell me not of Raymond Lullius," said the Lady, losing patience, "but
send me the chaplain hither. You grow all of you too wise for me,
during your lord's long and repeated absences. I would to God his
affairs would permit him to remain at home and rule his own household,
for it passes my wit and skill!"

"God forbid, my Lady!" said the old domestic, "that you should
sincerely think what you are now pleased to say: your old servants
might well hope, that after so many years' duty, you would do their
service more justice than to distrust their gray hairs, because they
cannot rule the peevish humour of a green head, which the owner
carries, it may be, a brace of inches higher than becomes him."

"Leave me," said the Lady; "Sir Halbert's return must now be expected
daily, and he will look into these matters himself--leave me, I say,
Wingate, without saying more of it. I know you are honest, and I
believe the boy is petulant; and yet I think it is my favour which
hath set all of you against him."

The steward bowed and retired, after having been silenced in a second
attempt to explain the motives on which he acted.

The chaplain arrived; but neither from him did the Lady receive much
comfort. On the contrary, she found him disposed, in plain terms, to
lay to the door of her indulgence all the disturbances which the fiery
temper of Roland Graeme had already occasioned, or might hereafter
occasion, in the family. "I would," he said, "honoured Lady, that you
had deigned to be ruled by me in the outset of this matter, sith it is
easy to stem evil in the fountain, but hard to struggle against it in
the stream. You, honoured madam, (a word which I do not use according
to the vain forms of this world, but because I have ever loved and
honoured you as an honourable and elect lady,)--you, I say, madam,
have been pleased, contrary to my poor but earnest counsel, to raise
this boy from his station, into one approaching to your own."

"What mean you, reverend sir?" said the Lady; "I have made this
youth a page--is there aught in my doing so that does not become my
character and quality?"

"I dispute not, madam," said the pertinacious preacher, "your
benevolent purpose in taking charge of this youth, or your title to
give him this idle character of page, if such was your pleasure;
though what the education of a boy in the train of a female can tend
to, save to ingraft foppery and effeminacy on conceit and arrogance,
it passes my knowledge to discover. But I blame you more directly for
having taken little care to guard him against the perils of his
condition, or to tame and humble a spirit naturally haughty,
overbearing, and impatient. You have brought into your bower a lion's
cub; delighted with the beauty of his fur, and the grace of his
gambols, you have bound him with no fetters befitting the fierceness
of his disposition. You have let him grow up as unawed as if he had
been still a tenant of the forest, and now you are surprised, and call
out for assistance, when he begins to ramp, rend, and tear, according
to his proper nature."

"Mr. Warden," said the Lady, considerably offended, "you are my
husband's ancient friend, and I believe your love sincere to him and
to his household. Yet let me say, that when I asked you for counsel, I
expected not this asperity of rebuke. If I have done wrong in loving
this poor orphan lad more than others of his class, I scarce think the
error merited such severe censure; and if stricter discipline were
required to keep his fiery temper in order, it ought, I think, to be
considered, that I am a woman, and that if I have erred in this
matter, it becomes a friend's part rather to aid than to rebuke me. I
would these evils were taken order with before my lord's return. He
loves not domestic discord or domestic brawls; and I would not
willingly that he thought such could arise from one whom I
favoured--What do you counsel me to do?"

"Dismiss this youth from your service, madam," replied the preacher.

"You cannot bid me do so," said the Lady; "you cannot, as a Christian
and a man of humanity, bid me turn away an unprotected creature
against whom my favour, my injudicious favour if you will, has reared
up so many enemies."

"It is not necessary you should altogether abandon him, though you
dismiss him to another service, or to a calling better suiting his
station and character," said the preacher; "elsewhere he maybe an
useful and profitable member of the commonweal--here he is but a
makebate, and a stumbling-block of offence. The youth has snatches of
sense and of intelligence, though he lacks industry. I will myself
give him letters commendatory to Olearius Schinderhausen, a learned
professor at the famous university of Leyden, where they lack an
under-janitor--where, besides gratis instruction, if God give him the
grace to seek it, he will enjoy five merks by the year, and the
professor's cast-off suit, which he disparts with biennially."

"This will never do, good Mr. Warden," said the Lady, scarce able to
suppress a smile; "we will think more at large upon this matter. In
the meanwhile, I trust to your remonstrances with this wild boy and
with the family, for restraining these violent and unseemly jealousies
and bursts of passion; and I entreat you to press on him and them
their duty in this respect towards God, and towards their master."

"You shall be obeyed, madam," said Warden. "On the next Thursday I
exhort the family, and will, with God's blessing, so wrestle with the
demon of wrath and violence, which hath entered into my little flock,
that I trust to hound the wolf out of the fold, as if he were chased
away with bandogs."

This was the part of the conference from which Mr. Warden derived the
greatest pleasure. The pulpit was at that time the same powerful
engine for affecting popular feeling which the press has since become,
and he had been no unsuccessful preacher, as we have already seen. It
followed as a natural consequence, that he rather over-estimated the
powers of his own oratory, and, like some of his brethren about the
period, was glad of an opportunity to handle any matters of
importance, whether public or private, the discussion of which could
be dragged into his discourse. In that rude age the delicacy was
unknown which prescribed time and place to personal exhortations; and
as the court-preacher often addressed the King individually, and
dictated to him the conduct he ought to observe in matters of state,
so the nobleman himself, or any of his retainers, were, in the chapel
of the feudal castle, often incensed or appalled, as the case might
be, by the discussion of their private faults in the evening exercise,
and by spiritual censures directed against them, specifically,
personally, and by name. The sermon, by means of which Henry Warden
purposed to restore concord and good order to the Castle of Avenel,
bore for text the well-known words, "_He who striketh with the sword
shall perish by the sword,_" and was a singular mixture of good
sense and powerful oratory with pedantry and bad taste. He enlarged a
good deal on the word striketh, which he assured his hearers
comprehended blows given with the point as well as with the edge, and
more generally, shooting with hand-gun, cross-bow, or long-bow,
thrusting with a lance, or doing any thing whatever by which death
might be occasioned to the adversary. In the same manner, he proved
satisfactorily, that the word sword comprehended all descriptions,
whether backsword or basket-hilt, cut-and-thrust or rapier, falchion,
or scimitar. "But if," he continued, with still greater animation,
"the text includeth in its anathema those who strike with any of those
weapons which man hath devised for the exercise of his open hostility,
still more doth it comprehend such as from their form and size are
devised rather for the gratification of privy malice by treachery,
than for the destruction of an enemy prepared and standing upon his
defence. Such," he proceeded, looking sternly at the place where the
page was seated on a cushion at the feet of his mistress, and wearing
in his crimson belt a gay dagger with a gilded hilt,--"such, more
especially, I hold to be those implements of death, which, in our
modern and fantastic times, are worn not only by thieves and
cut-throats, to whom they most properly belong, but even by those who
attend upon women, and wait in the chambers of honourable ladies. Yes,
my friends,--every species of this unhappy weapon, framed for all evil
and for no good, is comprehended under this deadly denunciation,
whether it be a stillet, which we have borrowed from the treacherous
Italian, or a dirk, which is borne by the savage Highlandman, or a
whinger, which is carried by our own Border thieves and cut-throats,
or a dudgeon-dagger, all are alike engines invented by the devil
himself, for ready implements of deadly wrath, sudden to execute, and
difficult to be parried. Even the common sword-and-buckler brawler
despises the use of such a treacherous and malignant instrument, which
is therefore fit to be used, not by men or soldiers, but by those who,
trained under female discipline, become themselves effeminate
hermaphrodites, having female spite and female cowardice added to the
infirmities and evil passions of their masculine nature."

The effect which this oration produced upon the assembled congregation
of Avenel cannot very easily be described. The lady seemed at once
embarrassed and offended; the menials could hardly contain, under an
affectation of deep attention, the joy with which they heard the
chaplain launch his thunders at the head of the unpopular favourite,
and the weapon which they considered as a badge of affectation and
finery. Mrs. Lilias crested and drew up her head with all the
deep-felt pride of gratified resentment; while the steward, observing
a strict neutrality of aspect, fixed his eyes upon an old scutcheon on
the opposite side of the wall, which he seemed to examine with the
utmost accuracy, more willing, perhaps, to incur the censure of being
inattentive to the sermon, than that of seeming to listen with marked
approbation to what appeared so distasteful to his mistress.

The unfortunate subject of the harangue, whom nature had endowed with
passions which had hitherto found no effectual restraint, could not
disguise the resentment which he felt at being thus directly held up
to the scorn, as well as the censure, of the assembled inhabitants of
the little world in which he lived. His brow grew red, his lip grew
pale, he set his teeth, he clenched his hand, and then with mechanical
readiness grasped the weapon of which the clergyman had given so
hideous a character; and at length, as the preacher heightened the
colouring of his invective, he felt his rage become so ungovernable,
that, fearful of being hurried into some deed of desperate violence,
he rose up, traversed the chapel with hasty steps, and left the
congregation.

The preacher was surprised into a sudden pause, while the fiery youth
shot across him like a flash of lightning, regarding him as he passed,
as if he had wished to dart from his eyes the same power of blighting
and of consuming. But no sooner had he crossed the chapel, and shut
with violence behind him the door of the vaulted entrance by which it
communicated with the castle, than the impropriety of his conduct
supplied Warden with one of those happier subjects for eloquence, of
which he knew how to take advantage for making a suitable impression
on his hearers. He paused for an instant, and then pronounced, in a
slow and solemn voice, the deep anathema: "He hath gone out from us
because he was not of us--the sick man hath been offended at the
wholesome bitter of the medicine--the wounded patient hath flinched
from the friendly knife of the surgeon--the sheep hath fled from the
sheepfold and delivered himself to the wolf, because he could not
assume the quiet and humble conduct demanded of us by the great
Shepherd. Ah! my brethren, beware of wrath--beware of pride--beware
of the deadly and destroying sin which so often shows itself to our
frail eyes in the garments of light! What is our earthly honour?
Pride, and pride only--What our earthly gifts and graces? Pride and
vanity. Voyagers speak of Indian men who deck themselves with shells,
and anoint themselves with pigments, and boast of their attire as we
do of our miserable carnal advantages--Pride could draw down the
morning-star from Heaven even to the verge of the pit--Pride and
self-opinion kindled the flaming sword which waves us off from
Paradise--Pride made Adam mortal, and a weary wanderer on the face of
the earth, which he had else been at this day the immortal lord
of--Pride brought amongst us sin, and doubles every sin it has
brought. It is the outpost which the devil and the flesh most
stubbornly maintain against the assaults of grace; and until it be
subdued, and its barriers levelled with the very earth, there is more
hope of a fool than of the sinner. Rend, then, from your bosoms this
accursed shoot of the fatal apple; tear it up by the roots, though it
be twisted with the chords of your life. Profit by the example of the
miserable sinner that has passed from us, and embrace the means of
grace while it is called to-day 'ere your conscience is seared as with
a fire-brand, and your ears deafened like those of the adder, and your
heart hardened like the nether mill-stone. Up, then, and be
doing--wrestle and overcome; resist, and the enemy shall flee from
you--Watch and pray, lest ye fall into temptation, and let the
stumbling of others be your warning and your example. Above all, rely
not on yourselves, for such self-confidence is even the worst symptom
of the disorder itself. The Pharisee, perhaps, deemed himself humble
while he stooped in the Temple, and thanked God that he was not as
other men, and even as the publican. But while his knees touched the
marble pavement, his head was as high as the topmost pinnacle of the
Temple. Do not, therefore, deceive yourselves, and offer false coin,
where the purest you can present is but as dross--think not that
such--will pass the assay of Omnipotent Wisdom. Yet shrink not from
the task, because, as is my bounden duty, I do not disguise from you
its difficulties. Self-searching can do much--Meditation can do
much--Grace can do all."

And he concluded with a touching and animating exhortation to his
hearers to seek divine grace, which is perfected in human wakness.

The audience did not listen to this address without being considerably
affected; though it might be doubted whether the feelings of triumph,
excited by the disgraceful retreat of the favourite page, did not
greatly qualify in the minds of many the exhortations of the preacher
to charity and to humility. And, in fact, the expression of their
countenances much resembled the satisfied triumphant air of a set of
children, who, having just seen a companion punished for a fault in
which they had no share, con their task with double glee, both because
they themselves are out of the scrape, and because the culprit is in
it.

With very different feelings did the Lady of Avenel seek her own
apartment. She felt angry at Warden having made a domestic matter, in
which she took a personal interest, the subject of such public
discussion. But this she knew the good man claimed as a branch of his
Christian liberty as a preacher, and also that it was vindicated by
the universal custom of his brethren. But the self-willed conduct of
her protegé afforded her yet deeper concern. That he had broken
through in so remarkable a degree, not only the respect due to her
presence, but that which was paid to religious admonition in those
days with such peculiar reverence, argued a spirit as untameable as
his enemies had represented him to possess. And yet so far as he had
been under her own eye, she had seen no more of that fiery spirit than
appeared to her to become his years and his vivacity. This opinion
might be founded in some degree on partiality; in some degree, too, it
might be owing to the kindness and indulgence which she had always
extended to him; but still she thought it impossible that she could be
totally mistaken in the estimate she had formed of his character. The
extreme of violence is scarce consistent with a course of continued
hypocrisy, (although Lilias charitably hinted, that in some instances
they were happily united,) and there fore she could not exactly trust
the report of others against her own experience and observation. The
thoughts of this orphan boy clung to her heartstrings with a fondness
for which she herself was unable to account. He seemed to have been
sent to her by Heaven, to fill up those intervals of languor and
vacuity which deprived her of much enjoyment. Perhaps he was not less
dear to her, because she well saw that he was a favourite with no one
else, and because she felt, that to give him up was to afford the
judgment of her husband and others a triumph over her own; a
circumstance not quite indifferent to the best of spouses of either
sex.

In short, the Lady of Avenel formed the internal resolution, that she
would not desert her page while her page could be rationally
protected; and, with a view of ascertaining how far this might be
done, she caused him to be summoned to her presence.

Sir Walter Scott