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Chapter 24


I'll walk on tiptoe; arm my eye with caution,
My heart with courage, and my hand with weapon,
Like him who ventures on a lion's den.
OLD PLAY.

When, issuing from the gorge of a pass which terminated upon the lake,
the travellers came in sight of the ancient castle of Avenel, the old
man looked with earnest attention upon the scene before him. The
castle was, as we have said, in many places ruinous, as was evident,
even at this distance, by the broken, rugged, and irregular outline of
the walls and of the towers. In others it seemed more entire, and a
pillar of dark smoke, which ascended from the chimneys of the donjon,
and spread its long dusky pennon through the clear ether, indicated
that it was inhabited. But no corn-fields or enclosed pasture-grounds
on the side of the lake showed that provident attention to comfort and
subsistence which usually appeared near the houses of the greater, and
even of the lesser barons. There were no cottages with their patches
of infield, and their crofts and gardens, surrounded by rows of
massive sycamores; no church with its simple tower in the valley; no
herds of sheep among the hills; no cattle on the lower ground; nothing
which intimated the occasional prosecution of the arts of peace and of
industry. It was plain that the inhabitants, whether few or numerous,
must be considered as the garrison of the castle, living within its
defended precincts, and subsisting by means which were other than
peaceful.

Probably it was with this conviction that the old man, gazing on the
castle, muttered to himself, "_Lapis offensionis et petra
scandali!_" and then, turning to Halbert Glendinning, he added, "We
may say of yonder fort as King James did of another fastness in this
province, that he who built it was a thief in his heart." [Footnote:
It was of Lochwood, the hereditary fortress of the Johnstones of
Aunandale, a strong castle situated in the centre of a quaking bog,
that James VI. made this remark.]

"But it was not so," answered Glendinning; "yonder castle was built by
the old lords of Avenel, men as much beloved in peace as they were
respected in war. They were the bulwark of the frontiers against
foreigners, and the protectors of the natives from domestic
oppression. The present usurper of their inheritance no more resembles
them, than the night-prowling owl resembles a falcon, because she
builds on the same rock."

"This Julian Avenel, then, holds no high place in the love and regard of
his neighbours?" said Warden.

"So little," answered Halbert, "that besides the jack-men and riders
with whom he has associated himself, and of whom he has many at his
disposal, I know of few who voluntarily associate with him. He has
been more than once outlawed both by England and Scotland, his lands
declared forfeited, and his head set at a price. But in these unquiet
times, a man so daring as Julian Avenel has ever found some friends
willing to protect him against the penalties of the law, on condition
of his secret services."

"You describe a dangerous man," replied Warden.

"You may have experience of that," replied the youth, "if you deal not
the more warily;--though it may be that he also has forsaken the
community of the church, and gone astray in the path of heresy."

"What your blindness terms the path of heresy," answered the reformer,
"is indeed the straight and narrow way, wherein he who walks turns not
aside, whether for worldly wealth or for worldly passions. Would to
God this man were moved by no other and no worse spirit than that
which prompts my poor endeavours to extend the kingdom of Heaven! This
Baron of Avenel is personally unknown to me, is not of our
congregation or of our counsel; yet I bear to him charges touching my
safety, from those whom he must fear if he does not respect them, and
upon that assurance I will venture upon his hold--I am now
sufficiently refreshed by these few minutes of repose."

"Take then this advice for your safety," said Halbert, "and believe
that it is founded upon the usage of this country and its inhabitants.
If you can better shift for yourself, go not to the Castle of
Avenel--if you do risk going thither, obtain from him, if possible,
his safe conduct, and beware that he swears it by the Black Rood--And
lastly, observe whether he eats with you at the board, or pledges you
in the cup; for if he gives you not these signs of welcome, his
thoughts are evil towards you."

"Alas!" said the preacher, "I have no better earthly refuge for the
present than these frowning towers, but I go thither trusting to aid
which is not of this earth--But thou, good youth, needest thou trust
thyself in this dangerous den?"

"I," answered Halbert, "am in no danger. I am well known to Christie
of the Clinthill, the henchman of this Julian Avenel; and, what is a
yet better protection, I have nothing either to provoke malice or to
tempt plunder."

The tramp of a steed, which clattered along the shingly banks of the
loch, was now heard behind them; and, when they looked back, a rider
was visible, his steel cap and the point of his long lance glancing in
the setting sun, as he rode rapidly towards them.

Halbert Glendinning soon recognized Christie of the Clinthill, and made
his companion aware that the henchman of Julian Avenel was approaching.

"Ha, youngling!" said Christie to Halbert, as he came up to them,
"thou hast made good my word at last, and come to take service with my
noble master, hast thou not? Thou shalt find a good friend and a true;
and ere Saint Barnaby come round again, thou shalt know every pass
betwixt Millburn Plain and Netherby, as if thou hadst been born with a
jack on thy back, and a lance in thy hand.--What old carle hast thou
with thee?--He is not of the brotherhood of Saint Mary's--at least he
has not the buist [Footnote: _Buist_--The brand, or mark, set
upon sheep or cattle, by their owners.] of these black cattle."

"He is a wayfaring man," said Halbert, "who has concerns with Julian
of Avenel. For myself, I intend to go to Edinburgh to see the court
and the Queen, and when I return hither we will talk of your proffer.
Meantime, as thou hast often invited me to the castle, I crave
hospitality there to-night for myself and my companion."

"For thyself and welcome, young comrade," replied Christie; "but we
harbour no pilgrims, nor aught that looks like a pilgrim."

"So please you," said Warden, "I have letters of commendation to thy
master from a sure friend, whom he will right willingly oblige in higher
matters than in affording me a brief protection.--And I am no pilgrim,
but renounce the same, with all its superstitious observances."
He offered his letters to the horseman, who shook his head.

"These," he said, "are matters for my master, and it will be well if he
can read them himself; for me, sword and lance are my book and psalter,
and have been since I was twelve years old. But I will guide you to the
castle, and the Baron of Avenel will himself judge of your errand."

By this time the party had reached the causeway, along which Christie
advanced at a trot, intimating his presence to the warders within the
castle by a shrill and peculiar whistle. At this signal the farther
drawbridge was lowered. The horseman passed it, and disappeared under
the gloomy portal which was beyond it.

Glendinning and his companion advancing more leisurely along the
rugged causeway, stood at length under the same gateway, over which
frowned, in dark red freestone, the ancient armorial bearings of the
house of Avenel, which represented a female figure shrouded and
muffled, which occupied the whole field. The cause of their assuming
so singular a device was uncertain, but the figure was generally
supposed to represent the mysterious being called the White Lady of
Avenel. [Footnote: There is an ancient English family, I believe,
which bears, or did bear, a ghost or spirit passant sable in a field
argent. This seems to have been a device of a punning or
_canting_ herald.] The sight of this mouldering shield awakened
in the mind of Halbert the strange circumstances which had connected
his fate with that of Mary Avenel, and with the doings of the
spiritual being who was attached to her house, and whom he saw here,
represented in stone, as he had before seen her effigy upon the
seal-ring of Walter Avenel, which, with other trinkets formerly
mentioned, had been saved from pillage, and brought to Glendearg, when
Mary's mother was driven from her habitation.

"You sigh, my son," said the old man, observing the impression made on
his youthful companion's countenance, but mistaking the cause; "if you
fear to enter, we may yet return."

"That can ye not," said Christie of the Clinthill, who emerged at that
instant from the side-door under the archway. "Look yonder, and choose
whether you will return skimming the water like a wild-duck, or winging
the air like a plover."

They looked, and saw that the drawbridge which they had just crossed
was again raised, and now interposed its planks betwixt the setting
sun and the portal of the castle, deepening the gloom of the arch
under which they stood. Christie laughed and bid them follow him,
saying, by way of encouragement, in Halbert's ear, "Answer boldly and
readily to whatever the Baron asks you. Never stop to pick your words,
and above all show no fear of him--the devil is not so black as he is
painted."

As he spoke thus, he introduced them into the large stone hall, at the
upper end of which blazed a huge fire of wood. The long oaken table,
which, as usual, occupied the midst of the apartment, was covered with
rude preparations for the evening meal of the Baron and his chief
domestics, five or six of whom, strong, athletic, savage-looking men,
paced up and down the lower end of the hall, which rang to the jarring
clang of their long swords that clashed as they moved, and to the
heavy tramp of their high-heeled jack-boots. Iron jacks, or coats of
buff, formed the principal part of their dress, and steel-bonnets, or
large slouched hats with Spanish plumes drooping backwards, were their
head attire.

The Baron of Avenel was one of those tall, muscular, martial figures,
which are the favourite subjects of Salvator Rosa. He wore a cloak
which had been once gaily trimmed, but which, by long wear and
frequent exposure to the weather, was now faded in its colours. Thrown
negligently about his tall person, it partly hid, and partly showed, a
short doublet of buff, under which was in some places visible that
light shirt of mail which was called a _secret_, because worn
instead of more ostensible armour to protect against private
assassination. A leathern belt sustained a large and heavy sword on
one side, and on the other that gay poniard which had once called Sir
Piercie Shafton master, of which the hatchments and gildings were
already much defaced, either by rough usage or neglect.

Notwithstanding the rudeness of his apparel, Julian Avenel's manner
and countenance had far more elevation than those of the attendants
who surrounded him. He might be fifty or upwards, for his dark hair
was mingled with gray, but age had neither tamed the fire of his eye
nor the enterprise of his disposition. His countenance had been
handsome, for beauty was an attribute of the family; but the lines
were roughened by fatigue and exposure to the weather, and rendered
coarse by the habitual indulgence of violent passions.

He seemed in deep and moody reflection, and was pacing at a distance
from his dependents along the upper end of the hall, sometimes
stopping from time to time to caress and feed a gos-hawk, which sat
upon his wrist, with its jesses (_i. e._ the leathern straps
fixed to its legs) wrapt around his hand. The bird, which seemed not
insensible to its master's attention, answered his caresses by
ruffling forward its feathers, and pecking playfully at his finger. At
such intervals the Baron smiled, but instantly resumed the darksome
air of sullen meditation. He did not even deign to look upon an
object, which few could have passed and repassed so often without
bestowing on it a transient glance.

This was a woman of exceeding beauty, rather gaily than richly
attired, who sat on a low seat close by the huge hall chimney. The
gold chains round her neck and arms,--the gay gown of green which
swept the floor,--the silver embroidered girdle, with its bunch of
keys, depending in house-wifely pride by a silver chain,--the yellow
silken _couvrechef_ (Scottice, _curch_) which was disposed
around her head, and partly concealed her dark profusion of
hair,--above all, the circumstance so delicately touched in the old
ballad, that "the girdle was too short," the "gown of green all too
strait," for the wearer's present shape, would have intimated the
Baron's lady. But then the lowly seat,--the expression of deep
melancholy, which was changed into a timid smile whenever she saw the
least chance of catching the eye of Julian Avenel,--the subdued look
of grief, and the starting tear for which that constrained smile was
again exchanged when she saw herself entirely disregarded,--these were
not the attributes of a wife, or they were those of a dejected and
afflicted female, who had yielded her love on less than legitimate
terms.

Julian Avenel, as we have said, continued to pace the hall without
paying any of that mute attention which is rendered to almost every
female either by affection or courtesy. He seemed totally unconscious
of her presence, or of that of his attendants, and was only roused
from his own dark reflections by the notice he paid to the falcon, to
which, however, the lady seemed to attend, as if studying to find
either an opportunity of speaking to the Baron, or of finding
something enigmatical in the expressions which he used to the bird.
All this the strangers had time enough to remark; for no sooner had
they entered the apartment than their usher, Christie of the
Clinthill, after exchanging a significant glance with the menials or
troopers at the lower end of the apartment, signed to Halbert
Glendinning and to his companion to stand still near the door, while
he himself, advancing nearer the table, placed himself in such a
situation as to catch the Baron's observation when he should be
disposed to look around, but without presuming to intrude himself on
his master's notice. Indeed, the look of this man, naturally bold,
hardy, and audacious, seemed totally changed when he was in presence
of his master, and resembled the dejected and cowering manner of a
quarrelsome dog when rebuked by his owner, or when he finds himself
obliged to deprecate the violence of a superior adversary of his own
species.

In spite of the novelty of his own situation, and every painful
feeling connected with it, Halbert felt his curiosity interested in
the female, who sate by the chimney unnoticed and unregarded. He
marked with what keen and trembling solicitude she watched the broken
words of Julian, and how her glance stole towards him, ready to be
averted upon the slightest chance of his perceiving himself to be
watched.

Meantime he went on with his dalliance with his feathered favourite,
now giving, now withholding, the morsel with which he was about to
feed the bird, and so exciting its appetite and gratifying it by
turns. "What! more yet?--thou foul kite, thou wouldst never have
done--give thee part thou wilt have all--Ay, prune thy feathers, and
prink thyself gay--much thou wilt make of it now--dost think I know
thee not?--dost think I see not that all that ruffling and pluming of
wing and feathers is not for thy master, but to try what thou canst
make of him, thou greedy gled?--well--there--take it then, and rejoice
thyself--little boon goes far with thee, and with all thy sex--and so
it should."

He ceased to look on the bird, and again traversed the apartment. Then
taking another small piece of raw meat from the trencher, on which it
was placed ready cut for his use, he began once again to tempt and
tease the bird, by offering and withdrawing it, until he awakened its
wild and bold disposition. "What! struggling, fluttering, aiming at me
with beak and single? [Footnote: In the _kindly_ language of
hawking, as Lady Juliana Berners terms it, hawks' talons are called
their _singles_] So la! So la! wouldst mount? wouldst fly? the
jesses are round thy clutches, fool--thou canst neither stir nor soar
but by my will--Beware thou come to reclaim, wench, else I will wring
thy head off one of these days--Well, have it then, and well fare thou
with it.--So ho, Jenkin!" One of the attendants stepped forward--"
Take the foul gled hence to the mew--or, stay; leave her, but look
well to her casting and to her bathing--we will see her fly
to-morrow.--How now, Christie, so soon returned ?"

Christie advanced to his master, and gave an account of himself and
his journey, in the way in which a police-officer holds communication
with his magistrate, that is, as much by signs as by words.

"Noble sir," said that worthy satellite, "the Laird of--," he named no
place, but pointed with his finger in a south-western direction,--"
may not ride with you the day he purposed, because the Lord Warden has
threatened that he will--"

Here another blank, intelligibly enough made up by the speaker
touching his own neck with his left fore-finger, and leaning his head
a little to one side.

"Cowardly caitiff!" said Julian; "by Heaven! the whole world turns
sheer naught--it is not worth a brave man's living in--ye may ride a
day and night, and never see a feather wave or hear a horse
prance--the spirit of our fathers is dead amongst us--the very brutes
are degenerated--the cattle we bring at our life's risk are mere
carrion--our hawks are riflers [Footnote: So called when they only
caught their prey by the feathers.]--our hounds are turnspits and
trindle-tails--our men are women--and our women are--"

He looked at the female for the first time, and stopped short in the
midst of what he was about to say, though there was something so
contemptuous in the glance, that the blank might have been thus filled
up--"Our women are such as she is."

He said it not, however, and as if desirous of attracting his
attention at all risks, and in whatever manner, she rose and came
forward to him, but with a timorousness ill-disguised by affected
gaiety.--"Our women, Julian--what would you say of the women?"

"Nothing," answered Julian Avenel, "at least nothing but that they are
kind-hearted wenches like thyself, Kate." The female coloured deeply,
and returned to her seat.--"And what strangers hast thou brought with
thee, Christie, that stand yonder like two stone statues?" said the
Baron.

"The taller," answered Christie, "is, so please you, a young fellow
called Halbert Glendinning, the eldest son of the old widow at
Glendearg."

"What brings him here?" said the Baron; "hath he any message from
Mary Avenel?"

"Not as I think," said Christie; "the youth is roving the country--he
was always a wild slip, for I have known him since he was the height of
my sword."

"What qualities hath he?" said the Baron.

"All manner of qualities," answered his follower--"he can strike a
buck, track a deer, fly a hawk, halloo to a hound--he shoots in the
long and crossbow to a hair's breadth--wields a lance or sword like
myself nearly--backs a horse manfully and fairly--I wot not what more
a man need to do to make him a gallant companion."

"And who," said the Baron, "is the old miser [Footnote: Miser, used in
the sense in which it often occurs in Spenser, and which is indeed its
literal import--"wretched old man."] who stands beside him?"

"Some cast of a priest as I fancy--he says he is charged with letters to
you."

"Bid them come forward," said the Baron; and no sooner had they
approached him more nearly, than, struck by the fine form and strength
displayed by Halbert Glendinning, he addressed him thus: "I am told,
young Swankie, that you are roaming the world to seek your fortune,--if
you will serve Julian Avenel, you may find it without going farther."

"So please you," answered Glendinning, "something has chanced to me
that makes it better I should leave this land, and I am bound for
Edinburgh."

"What!--thou hast stricken some of the king's deer, I warrant,--or
lightened the meadows of Saint Mary's of some of their beeves--or thou
hast taken a moonlight leap over the border?"

"No, sir," said Halbert, "my case is entirely different."

"Then I warrant thee," said the Baron, "thou hast stabbed some brother
churl in a fray about a wench--thou art a likely lad to wrangle in
such a cause."

Ineffably disgusted at his tone and manner, Halbert Glendinning
remained silent, while the thought darted across his mind, what would
Julian Avenel have said, had he known the quarrel of which he spoke so
lightly, had arisen on account of his own brother's daughter! "But be
thy cause of flight what it will," said Julian, in continuation, "dost
thou think the law or its emissaries can follow thee into this island,
or arrest thee under the standard of Avenel?--Look at the depth of the
lake, the strength of the walls, the length of the causeway--look at
my men, and think if they are likely to see a comrade injured, or if
I, their master, am a man to desert a faithful follower, in good or
evil. I tell thee it shall be an eternal day of truce betwixt thee and
justice, as they call it, from the instant thou hast put my colours
into thy cap--thou shalt ride by the Warden's nose as thou wouldst
pass an old market-woman, and ne'er a cur which follows him shall dare
to bay at thee!"

"I thank you for your offers, noble sir," replied Halbert, "but I must
answer in brief, that I cannot profit by them--my fortunes lead me
elsewhere."

"Thou art a self-willed fool for thy pains," said Julian, turning from
him; and signing Christie to approach, he whispered in his ear, "there
is promise in that young fellow's looks, Christie, and we want men of
limbs and sinews so compacted--those thou hast brought to me of late
are the mere refuse of mankind, wretches scarce worth the arrow that
ends them: this youngster is limbed like Saint George. Ply him with
wine and wassail--let the wenches weave their meshes about him like
spiders--thou understandest?" Christie gave a sagacious nod of
intelligence, and fell back to a respectful distance from his
master.--"And thou, old man," said the Baron, turning to the elder
traveller, "hast thou been roaming the world after fortune too?--it
seems not she has fallen into thy way."

"So please you," replied Warden, "I were perhaps more to be pitied than
I am now, had I indeed met with that fortune, which, like others, I have
sought in my greener days."

"Nay, understand me, friend," said the Baron; "if thou art satisfied
with thy buckram gown and long staff, I also am well content thou
shouldst be as poor and contemptible as is good for the health of thy
body and soul--All I care to know of thee is, the cause which hath
brought thee to my castle, where few crows of thy kind care to settle.
Thou art, I warrant thee, some ejected monk of a suppressed convent,
paying in his old days the price of the luxurious idleness in which he
spent his youth.--Ay, or it may be some pilgrim with a budget of lies
from Saint James of Compostella, or Our Lady of Loretto; or thou
mayest be some pardoner with his budget of relics from Rome, forgiving
sins at a penny a-dozen, and one to the tale.--Ay, I guess why I find
thee in this boy's company, and doubtless thou wouldst have such a
strapping lad as he to carry thy wallet, and relieve thy lazy
shoulders; but by the mass I will cross thy cunning. I make my vow to
sun and moon, I will not see a proper lad so misleard as to run the
country with an old knave like Simmie and his brother. [Footnote: Two
_quaestionarii_, or begging friars, whose accoutrements and
roguery make the subject of an old Scottish satirical poem] Away with
thee!" he added, rising in wrath, and speaking so fast as to give no
opportunity of answer, being probably determined to terrify the elder
guest into an abrupt flight--"Away with thee, with thy clouted coat,
scrip, and scallop-shell, or, by the name of Avenel, I will have them
loose the hounds on thee."

Warden waited with the greatest patience until Julian Avenel, astonished
that the threats and violence of his language made no impression on him,
paused in a sort of wonder, and said in a less imperious tone, "Why the
fiend dost thou not answer me?"

"When you have done speaking," said Warden, in the same composed
manner, "it will be full time to reply."

"Say on man, in the devil's name--but take heed--beg not here--were it
but for the rinds of cheese, the refuse of the rats, or a morsel that
my dogs would turn from--neither a grain of meal, nor the nineteenth
part of a gray groat, will I give to any feigned limmer of thy coat,"

"It may be," answered Warden, "that you would have less quarrel with
my coat if you knew what it covers, I am neither a friar nor
mendicant, and would be right glad to hear thy testimony against these
foul deceivers of God's church, and usurpers of his rights over the
Christian flock, were it given in Christian charity."

"And who or what art thou, then," said Avenel, "that thou comest to this
Border land, and art neither monk, nor soldier, nor broken man?"

"I am an humble teacher of the holy word," answered Warden. "This
letter from a most noble person will speak why I am here at this present
time."

He delivered the letter to the Baron, who regarded the seal with some
surprise, and then looked on the letter itself, which seemed to excite
still more. He then fixed his eyes on the stranger, and said, in a
menacing tone, "I think thou darest not betray me or deceive me?"

"I am not the man to attempt either," was the concise reply.

Julian Avenel carried the letter to the window, where he perused, or
at least attempted to peruse it more than once, often looking from the
paper and gazing on the stranger who had delivered it, as if he meant
to read the purport of the missive in the face of the messenger.
Julian at length called to the female,--"Catherine, bestir thee, and
fetch me presently that letter which I bade thee keep ready at hand in
thy casket, having no sure lockfast place of my own."

Catherine went with the readiness of one willing to be employed; and
as she walked, the situation which requires a wider gown and a longer
girdle, and in which woman claims from man a double portion of the
most anxious care, was still more visible than before. She soon
returned with the paper, and was rewarded with a cold--"I thank thee,
wench; thou art a careful secretary."

This second paper he also perused and reperused more than once, and
still, as he read it, bent from time to time a wary and observant eye
upon Henry Warden. This examination and re-examination, though both
the man and the place were dangerous, the preacher endured with the
most composed and steady countenance, seeming, under the eagle, or
rather the vulture eye of the baron, as unmoved as under the gaze of
an ordinary and peaceful peasant. At length Julian Avenel folded both
papers, and having put them into the pocket of his cloak, cleared his
brow, and, coming forward, addressed his female companion.
"Catherine," said he, "I have done this good man injustice, when I
mistook him for one of the drones of Rome. He is a preacher,
Catherine--a preacher of the--the new doctrine of the Lords of the
Congregation."

"The doctrine of the blessed Scriptures," said the preacher, "purified
from the devices of men."

"Sayest thou?" said Julian Avenel--"Well, thou mayest call it what
thou lists; but to me it is recommended, because it flings off all
those sottish dreams about saints and angels and devils, and unhorses
lazy monks that have ridden us so long, and spur-galled us so hard. No
more masses and corpse-gifts--no more tithes and offerings to make men
poor--no more prayers or psalms to make men cowards-no more
christenings and penances, and confessions and marriages."

"So please you," said Henry Warden, "it is against the corruptions,
not against the fundamental doctrines, of the church, which we desire
to renovate, and not to abolish."

"Prithee, peace, man," said the Baron; "we of the laity care not what
you set up, so you pull merrily down what stands in our way. Specially
it suits well with us of the Southland fells; for it is our profession
to turn the world upside down, and we live ever the blithest life when
the downer side is uppermost."

Warden would have replied; but the Baron allowed him not time,
striking the table with the hilt of his dagger, and crying out,--"Ha!
you loitering knaves, bring our supper-meal quickly. See you not this
holy man is exhausted for lack of food? heard ye ever of priest or
preacher that devoured not his five meals a-day?"

The attendants bustled to and fro, and speedily brought in several
large smoking platters filled with huge pieces of beef, boiled and
roasted, but without any variety whatsoever; without vegetables, and
almost without bread, though there was at the upper end a few
oat-cakes in a basket. Julian Avenel made a sort of apology to Warden.

"You have been commended to our care, Sir Preacher, since that is your
style, by a person whom we highly honour."

"I am assured," said Warden, "that the most noble Lord--"

"Prithee, peace, man," said Avenel; "what need of naming names, so we
understand each other? I meant but to speak in reference to your
safety and comfort, of which he desires us to be chary. Now, for your
safety, look at my walls and water. But touching your comfort, we have
no corn of our own, and the meal-girnels of the south are less easily
transported than their beeves, seeing they have no legs to walk upon.
But what though? a stoup of wine thou shalt have, and of the
best--thou shalt sit betwixt Catherine and me at the board-end.--And,
Christie, do thou look to the young springald, and call to the
cellarer for a flagon of the best."

The Baron took his wonted place at the upper end of the board; his
Catherine sate down, and courteously pointed to a seat betwixt them for
their reverend guest. But notwithstanding the influence both of hunger
and fatigue, Henry Warden retained his standing posture.

Sir Walter Scott