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land had taken up his residence, when on his way to enter on the sovereignty of England.
The traveler wore a coarse jerkin, fastened round his body by a leathern girdle, and over it a short cloak, composed of equally plain materials. He was evidently a young man, but his beaver was drawn down so as almost to conceal his features. In one hand he carried a small bundle, and in the other a pilgrim's staff. Having called for a glass of wine, he took a crust of bread from his bundle, and after resting for a few minutes, rose to depart. The shades of night were setting in, and it threatened to be a night of storms. The heavens were gathering black, the clouds rushing from the sea, sudden gusts of wind were moaning along the streets, accompanied by heavy drops of rain, and the face of the Tweed was troubled.
“Heaven help thee! if thou intendest to travel far in such a night as 'this,” said the sentinel at the English gate, as the traveler passed him, and proceeded to cross the bridge. In a few minutes he was upon the wide, desolate, and dreary moor of Tweedmouth, which, for miles, presented a desert of furze, fern, and stunted heath, with here and there a dingle covered with thick brushwood. He slowly toiled over the steep hill, braving the storm, which now raved with the wildest fury. The rain fell in torrents, and the wind howled as a legion of famished wolves, hurling its doleful and angry echoes over the heath. Still the stranger pushed onward, until he had proceeded two or three miles from Berwick, when, as if unable longer to brave the storm, he sought shelter among some crab and bramble bushes by the wayside.
Nearly an hour had passed since he sought this imperfect refuge, and the darkness of the night and the storm had increased together, when the sound of a horse's feet was heard, hurriedly splashing along the road. The rider bent his head to the blast. Suddenly his horse was grasped by the bridle : the rider raised his head, and the stranger stood before him, holding a pistol to his breast..“ Dismount,” cried the stranger, sternly. The horseman, benumbed, and stricken with fear, made an effort to reach his arms, but in a moment the hand of the robber, quitting the bridle, grasped the breast of the rider, and dragged him to the ground. He fell heavily on his face, and for several minutes remained senseless. The stran.
ger seized the leathern bag which contained the mail to the north, and flinging it on his shoulder, rushed across the heath.
Early on the following morning the inhabitants of Berwick were seen hurrying in groups to the spot where the robbery had been committed, and were scattered in every direction over the moor, but no trace of the robber could be obtained.
Three days had passed, and Sir John Cochrane yet lived. The mail which contained his death-warrant had been robbed, and before another order for his execution could be given, the intercession of his father, the Earl of Dundonald, with the king's confessor, might be successful. Ellen now became almost his constant companion in prison, and spake to him words of comfort. Nearly fourteen days had passed since the robbery of the mail had been committed, and protracted hope in the bosom of the prisoner, became more bitter than his first despair. But even that hope, bitter as it was, perished. The intercession of his father had been unsuccessful; and, a second time, the bigoted and would-be despotic monarch had signed the warrant for his death, and within little more than another day that warrant would reach his prison. “ The will of Heaven be done!” groaned the captive. “ Amen!” responded Ellen, with wild vehemence; “yet my father shall not die.”
Again the rider with the mail had reached the moor of Tweedmouth, and, a second time, he bore with him the doom of Sir John Cochrane. He spurred his horse to his utmost speed ; he looked cautiously before, behind, and around him, and in his right hand he carried a pistol, ready to defend himself. The moon shed a ghostly light across the heath, which was only sufficient to render desolation dimly visible, and it gave a spiritual embodiment to every shrub. He was turning the angle of a straggling copse, when his horse reared at the report of a pistol, the fire of which seemed to dash into its very eyes. At the same moment, his own pistol flashed, and his horse rearing more violently, he was driven from the saddle. In a moment the foot of the robber was upon his breast, who bending over him, and brandishing a short dagger in his hand, said, “ Give me thine arms, or die!” The heart of the king's servant failed within him, and without venturing to reply, he did as he was commanded. “Now go thy way,” said the robber, sternly, “but leave with me thy horse, and leave with me the mail, lest a worse thing come upon thee.” The man arose, and proceeded towards Berwick, trembling; and the robber, mounting the horse which he had left, rode rapidly across the heath.”
Preparations were making for the execution of Sir John Cochrane, and the officers of the law waited only for the arrival of the mail with his second death-warrant, to lead him forth to the scaffold, when the tidings arrived that the mail had again been robbed. For yet fourteen days, and the life of the prisoner would be again prolonged. He again fell on the neck of his daughter, and wept, and said, “It is good; the hand of Heaven is in this !” “Said I not,” replied the maiden, and for the first time she wept aloud, “ that my father should not die ?”
The fourteen days were not yet passed, when the prison doors flew open, and the Earl of Dundonald rushed to the arms of his son. His intercession with the confessor had been at length successful, and after twice signing the warrant for the execution of Sir John, which had as often failed in reaching its destination, the king had sealed his pardon.
He had hurried with his father from the prison to his own house; his family were clinging around him, shedding tears of joy, but Ellen, who during his imprisonment had suffered more than them all, was again absent. They were marveling with gratitude at the mysterious Providence that had twice intercepted the mail, and saved his life, when a stranger craved an audience. Sir John desired him to be admitted, and the robber entered; he was habited, as we have before described, with the coarse cloak and coarser jerkin, but his bearing was above his condition. On entering, he slightly touched his beaver, but remained covered.
“ When you have perused these,” said he, taking two papers from his bosom, “cast them into the fire.” Sir John glanced on them; started, and became pale; they were his death-warrants. “My deliverer !” he exclaimed, “how, how shall I thank thee? how repay the savior of my life? My father! my children! thank him for me." The old earl grasped the hand of the stranger; the children embraced his knees. He pressed his hand before his face, and burst into tears. “ By what name,” eagerly inquired Sir John, “ shall I thank my deliverer ?” The stranger wept aloud, and raising nis beaver, the raven tresses of Ellen Cochrane fell on the coarse cloak. “My child !” exclaimed the astonished and enraptured father, “my own child! my savior! my own Ellen!
It is unnecessary to add more. The imagination of the reader can supply the rest, and we may only add, that Ellen Cochrane, whose heroism and noble affection we have here briefly and imperfectly sketched, was the grandmother of the late Sir John Stewart, of Allanbank, in Berwickshire, and great, great grandmother of Mr. Coutts, the celebrated banker.
(Gertrude.) The Baron Von der Wart, accused, though it is believed unjustly, as an ac
complice in the assassination of the Emperor Albert, was bound alive on the wheel, and was attended by his wife Gertrude, throughout his last agonizing moments, with the most heroic fidelity.
Her hands were clasped, her dark eyes raised,
The breeze threw back her hair;
All that she loved was there.
The holy heaven above;
The might of earthly love.
“ And bid me not depart," she cried,
“ My Rudolph! say not so!
Peace, peace! I cannot go.
When death is on thy brow?
I will not leave thee now?
"" I have been with thee in thine hour
Of glory and of bliss,
To strengthen me through this!
Bear on, bear nobly on! .
Whose rest shall soon be won.”
From Woman's breaking heart ?
She bore her lofty part:
With such a curdling cheek!
Thou, only thou, shouldst speak ! The wind rose high, but with it rose
Her voice, that he might hear;
To happy bosoms near;
Beside his tortured form,
Forth on the rushing storm.
With her pale hands and soft,
Had stilled his heart so oft.
She bathed his lips with dew,
As Joy and Hope ne'er knew.
Enduring to the last!
And his worn spirit passed.
She knelt on that sad spot,