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Then, when the gloaming comes,
Low in the heather blooms,
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!
Blest is thy dwelling-place!
Oh! to abide in the desert with thee!-James Hogg.
SUMMARY.-May the morning song of the skylark be light over moorland and lea. How I should like to live with it in the desert. Its notes are wild and strong, far up in the fleecy clouds. Let it hie away over the green hills and the shining streams. Its musical notes are the herald of the day, and when night comes it sinks down to its welcome rest.
Dewy wing-The lark builds its nest on the ground, and rests at night among the grass or other plants, consequently when the dew falls it gets covered with it.
Thy lay is in heaven-The lark soars high into the air, and there it warbles forth its sweet song.
EXERCISES.-1. Parse and analyse-Light be thy matin o'er moorland and lea.
2. Adjectives are formed by adding ish, like, ly, which mean "like;” as, girlish, like a girl; warlike, like war; matronly, like a mother (mater, a mother). Give the exact meaning of the following wordsfoolish, manlike, brotherly.
[SIR WALTER SCOTT (b. 1771, d. 1832) the great poet and novelist, was born at Edinburgh, and educated for the bar. His earliest literary efforts were translations from the German, and imitations of the old national ballads. Scott's three great poems are the " Lay of the Last Minstrel," "Marmion," and "The Lady of the Lake." In 1814, Scott issued" Waverley," the first novel of the series which bears its name. More than twenty original works of the highest interest and value were given to the world under the title of the "Waverley Novels."]
1. While Robert Bruce was gradually getting possession of the country, and driving out the English, Edinburgh, the principal town of Scotland, remained with its strong castle in possession of the invaders. Sir Thomas Randolph, a nephew of Bruce, and one of his best supporters, was very desirous to gain this important place; but the castle is situated on a very steep and lofty rock, so that it is difficult, or almost impossible, even to get up to the foot of the walls, much more to climb over them.
2. While Randolph was considering what was to be done there came to him a Scottish gentleman named Francis, who had joined Bruce's standard, and asked to speak with him in private. He then told Randolph that in his youth he had lived in the castle of Edinburgh, and that his father had then been keeper of the fortress.
3. It happened at that time that Francis was much in love with a lady who lived in a part of the town beneath the castle, which is called the Grassmarket. Now, as he could not get out of the castle by day to see the lady, he had practised a way of clambering by night down the castle crag on the south side, and returning up at his
pleasure. When he came to the foot of the wall he made use of a ladder to get over it, as it was not very high on that point those who built it having trusted to the steepness of the crag.
4. Francis had come and gone so often in this dangerous manner, that though it was now long ago, he told Randolph that he knew the road so well that he would undertake to guide a small party of men by night to the bottom of the wall. They might bring ladders with them, and there would be no difficulty in scaling it. The great risk was that of their being discovered by the watchmen while in the act of ascending the cliff, in which case every man of them must have perished.
5. Nevertheless, Randolph did not delay to attempt. the adventure. He took with him only thirty men (you may be sure they were chosen for activity and courage), and came one dark night to the foot of the crag. They began to ascend under the guidance of Francis, who went before them upon his hands and feet, up one cliff, down another, and round another, where there was scarce room to support themselves.
6. All the while these thirty men were obliged to follow in a line, one after the other, by a path that was fitter for a cat than a man. The noise of a stone falling, or a word spoken from one to another, would have alarmed the watchmen. They were obliged, therefore, to move with the greatest care. When they were far up the crag, and near the foundation of the wall, they heard the guards going their rounds, to see that all was safe in and about the castle.
7. Randolph and his party had nothing for it but to lie close and quiet, each man under the crag, as he happened to be placed, and trust that the guards would pass by
without noticing them. While they were waiting in breathless alarm they got a new cause of fright. One of the soldiers of the castle, willing to startle his comrades, suddenly threw a stone from the wall, and cried out, "Aha, I see you well!"
8. The stone came thundering down over the heads of
Randolph and his men, who thought that they were discovered. If they had stirred, or made the slightest noise, they would have been entirely destroyed, for the soldiers above might have killed every man of them merely by rolling down stones. But being brave and chosen men, they remained quiet, and the English soldiers, who thought their comrade was merely playing them a trick (as indeed he was), passed on without further examination.
9. Then Randolph and his men got up, and came in haste to the foot of the wall, which was not above twice a man's height in that place. They planted the ladders
they had brought, and Francis mounted first to show them the way. Sir Andrew Grey, a brave knight, followed him, and Randolph himself was the third man who got over. Then the rest followed. When once they were within the walls there was not so much to do, for the garrison were asleep and unarmed, excepting the watch, who were speedily destroyed. Thus was Edinburgh Castle taken in the year 1313.-Sir W. Scott, "Tales of a Grandfather."
SUMMARY. In the early days of the warfare of Robert Bruce the Castle of Edinburgh was in the hands of the English. Randolph was anxious to gain this important place, but the task was truly difficult. Information was given, however, by a Scottish gentleman who had often clambered over the crags by which it could be reached. He undertook to guide a small party by night, so that by means of ladders they might scale the castle walls. Thirty men were selected, all remarkable for their courage and activity. At great personal risk they followed Francis along the track and were able to make a successful entry.
EXERCISES.-1. Parse and analyse-All the while these thirty men were obliged to follow in a line.
2. Adjectives are formed by adding ive, which implies "power or fitness to do;" as, instructive, fit to teach; defensive, having the power to defend. Give the exact meanings of the following wordscohesive (co, together, hæreo, hæsum, I stick), expansive (ex, out, pando, I spread).