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Next day we prolonged our walk to Musselburgh, the quiet abode of the gentle “Delta,” her loved and favourite bard. He was not at home, however, when we called, and we were about returning by the sands again, when her eye caught the tapering spire of Inveresk Church. I explained to her the historical associations connected with the spot, which, however, did not seem to interest her much, her mind being apparently occupied with a train of thought altogether alien to the subject in hand.

“Dear brother,” she anxiously said, at length, “I have a great desire to visit that beautiful church and burial ground. Do come and see them."

“ But, my dear sister,” I affectionately replied, “you forget the distance we are from home, and you must already feel fatigued by your long walk." “Yes, brother ; but strength comes when least expected

" He gives the conquest to the weak,

Supports the fainting heart.' Come, let us go.”

The church and burial-ground of Inveresk is, apart altogether from its historical associations, one of the most interesting and lovely spots on the coast. Situate on a gently rising hill, and overlooking the almost unrivalled bay, its aspect is at once picturesque and beautiful ; and as Marguerette and I seated ourselves on one of the green hillocks, and looked admiringly on the splendid panorama of sea and land which smilingly spread itself out before us, she gently put her hand in mine, whispering solemnly, yet sweetly

“Dear brother, I dearly love my own church and churchyard of Glamis, with the green meadows spreading around, the bonnie burn meandering by the village green, and the grand ancestral trees shadowing luxuriantly around; but, it is strange, is it not-I like this beautiful spot, brother, looking out, as it does, upon the sea, that emblem of man's life on earth, with the white cliffs of some sunny land like the hills of Paradise arising in dreamy beauty on the far horizon's voiceless verge beyond; and so gloriously vivid and well-defined, that I see the verdurous blossoms of its celestial bowers, and hear the swelling music of its thousand harps. My brother, when I die, bury me in this beautiful spot, beneath the holy shadow of the house of God, and by the ever-sounding, blessed sea."

Why need I dwell on the inroads and ravages of that wasting consumption which now rapidly overpowered the little remaining strength of her otherwise delicate frame, or on the midnight watchings by her dying bed, the moistening of her hot, feverish lips, and her silent expressions of thankfulness and resignation ?-or of the muffled footfalls up and down the oaken stairs at the midnight hour of her last night on earth, and those solemn accents of her sweet, melodious voice, as with her latest breath she triumphantly exclaimed“I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day on the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God !" Rather leave for a moment this gay and thoughtless world, and come with me to the sweet sequestered spot in the churchyan of Inveresk, where softly sleeps all that remains of her on earth, and, turning your eyes to the marble tablet which overlooks her grave, read with me her affecting epitaph :

I waited long : She came at last,
Bright mystic halo of the past,
No cloud of sorrow overcast

My sister Marguerette.
We rambled o'er the meadows green,
All gemmed with glistering, dewy sheen,
How happy have I ever been

With sister Marguerette !
Her soul and mine fond blent in one,
By Love supreme devoted won,
With heavenly lustre radiant shone-

My sister Marguerette.
Hush ! from the rosy, purpling skies,
An angel to her couch swift flies :-
“Come with me now to Paradise,

My sister Marguerette !"

CHAPTER XXXIII.

EASSIE AND KINPURNIE HILL.

66

" Now from the town,
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps,
Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields,
Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling drops
From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze
Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk;
Or taste the smell of dairy, or ascend
Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains,
And see the country far diffused around,
One boundless blush, one white empurpled shower
Of mingled blossoms, where the raptured eye
Hurries from joy to joy."

T'homson. We shall now, dear reader, wend our way by the base of the Sidlaws to the far-famed Kinpurnie Hill, taking a peep at the old church of Eassie and any other interesting object which

may

claim our attention as we leisurely journey on our way.

It is now the middle of leafy June, to me the most deeply interesting and luxuriously beautiful of all the sweet summer months of the revolving, ever-changing year—a month whose golden radiance and melifluous melody not only gladden bird and beast, but fill with intensest joy the soul and elevate and enoble the aspiring thoughts and heart affections of immortal man.

Proceeding westward from the grand old gate of Glamis Castle, our pathway leads us through smiling pastures of richest verdure, canopied o'erhead by the drooping laburnum, now in all the gorgeous flush of its peerless, golden beauty. The uddered kine luxuriously browse in the gowan-enamelled

meadows by the sunny banks of the slow-rolling Dean ; the Lowland and Highland sheep, intermingling in good fellowship together, feed lovingly and well on the grassy uplands amongst their numerous progeny of playful, bleating lambs ; and the madly happy birds pour forth in varied harmony their sweetly gushing, ever welcome songs from every blossoming thorn and green umbrageous bough. And here, crossing the leafy lane at Eassie, a pretty, rushing, sparkling rivulet playfully dances in its wild joy along its rugged, pebbly bed till lost to sight amidst the exuberant foliage, its sweetly cherished sound soon to be rudely hushed in the loud sweep of the darkly troubled waters of the far-distant river beyond. How I envy these little romping boys and girls paidling in that tiny burn, the cheerful glee of their roystering, merry voices breaking sweetly on the summer air, reminding us, with a feeling akin to pain, of our own innocent and happy childhood days, and of those fondly cherished scenes of love and joy and beauty which, alas ! can never, never more return!

There, on our right, still stand the mouldering ruins of the old church of Eassie. With its uncouth, forbidding form, its low, bleak, and cheerless walls, and its damp, uneven earthen floor set several feet beneath the surrounding surface, what a miserable, uncongenial place in which to worship the great Creator of the universe it must have been ! And yet, not half a century ago, the poor parishioners had no fitter shrine in which to offer up their homage and praise to the Most High Almighty God! Thanks to the taste and spirit of the age, a higher, nobler, holier feeling has arisen in our midst. No longer content to worship God in dreary, gloomy barns, or inappropriately furnished wretched hovels, the present generation are distinguishing, if not immortalising themselves as the successful pioneers of a new order of things, and churches and temples are arising, as if by enchantment, throughout the length and breadth of the land, which would do honour to any people or any nation under the sun.

Several interesting remains of antiquity are still to be seen in the immediate neighbourhood of the old church of Eassie. Not the least remarkable of these is an extensive circular mound, on which the farm-house of Castle Nairn is built. Although the traces of a drawbridge, which were not long ago distinctly visible, no longer exist, the deep and broad moat that surrounded it still remains. Not many years ago, a spear-head and several coins of Edward I. were found in it, from which discoveries it has been concluded, with some degree of probability, that the English army, under that monarch, had occupied this as a military position.

Not content, however, with this, to them, too matter-of-fact, prosaic conclusion, others of a more romantic and superstitious turn of mind argue from the same premises that this mysterious circular mound, the ground to a very considerable extent around being quite flat, must have direct and special reference to ancient Pictish worship, and deduce from this assumption that it originally was the sacred receptacle of consecrated cells for penance and purification. This position and deduction are, doubtless, considerably strengthened by the arguments in “The Doctrine of the Deluge," by the Rev. Verhon Harcourt, son of the late Archbishop of York, who connects these and similar remains of antiquity with that great fact of Scripture history, and calls them “Memorials of Arkite Worship.” These Arkite Memorials, he observes, abound along the Grampians, for the Arkite worship clung most tenaciously to islands and mountains. In regard to this ancient mound, therefore, both conjectures are quite reconcilable, and not inconsistent with each other, for it may with equal truth be viewed in the light of a military station and a “ diluvian” mount, that which was originally intended for worship being in course of time converted to war.

Standing near the old church of Eassie is another interesting remnant of antiquity--a large sculptured stone of the same class, and possessing the same characteristics as those more celebrated pillars at Meigle and Aberlemno. That some

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