He came gradually to be sensible that he was regarded as a spy upon their discourse, and that, instead of the ease with which they had formerly conversed in his presence, without suppressing any of the natural feelings of anger, of sorrow, or mirth, which the chance topic of the moment happened to call forth, their talk was now guardedly restricted to the most indifferent subjects, and a studied reserve observed even in their mode of treating these. This obvious want of confidence was accompanied with a correspondent change in their personal demeanor towards the unfortunate page. The Queen, who had at first treated him with marked courtesy, now scarce spoke to him, save to convey some necessary command for her service. The Lady Fleming restricted her notice to the most dry and distant expressions of civility, and Catherine Seyton became bitter in her pleasantries, and shy, cross, and pettish, in any intercourse they had together. What was yet more provoking, he saw, or thought he saw, marks of intelligence betwixt George Douglas and the beautiful new balance 996 Catherine Seyton; and, sharpened by jealousy, he wrought himself almost into a certainty, that the looks which they exchanged, conveyed matters of deep and serious importNo wonder,” he thought, “if, courted by the son of a proud and powerful baron, she can no longer spare a word or look to the poor fortuneless page.” In a word, Roland Graeme’s situation became truly disagreeable, and his heart naturally enough rebelled against the injustice of this treatment, which deprived him of the only comfort which he had received for submitting to a confinement in other respects irksome. He accused Queen Mary and Catherine Seyton (for concerning the opinion of Dame Fleming he was indifferent) of inconsistency in being displeased with him on account of the natural consequences of an order of their own. Why did they send him to hear this overpowering preacher? The Abbot Ambrosius, he recollected, understood the weakness of their Popish cause better, when he enjoined him to repeat within his own mind, aves , and credos , and paters , all the while old Henry Warden preached or lectured, that so he might secure himself against lending even a momentary ear to his heretical doctrineBut I will endure this life no longer,” said he to himself, manfully; “do they suppose I would betray my mistress, because I see cause to doubt of her religion? that would be a serving, as they say, the devil for God’s sake. I will forth into the world he that serves fair ladies, may at least expect kind looks and kind words; and I bear not the mind of a gentleman, to submit to cold treatment and suspicion, and a life-long captivity besides. I will speak to George Douglas tomorrow when we go out a-fishing.” A sleepless night was spent in agitating this magnanimous new balance 991 resolution, and he arose in the morning not perfectly decided in his own mind whether he should abide by it or not. It happened that he was summoned by the Queen at an unusual hour, and just as he was about to go out with George Douglas. He went to attend her commands in, the garden; but as he had his angling-rod in his hand, the circumstance announced his previous intention, and the Queen, turning to the Lady Fleming, said, “Catherine must devise some other amusement for us, ma bonnie amie ; our discreet page has already made his party for the day’s pleasureI said from the beginning,” answered the Lady Fleming, “that your Grace ought not to rely on being favoured with the company of a youth who has so many Huguenot acquaintances, and has the means of amusing himself far more agreeably than with usI wish,” said Catherine, her animated features reddening with mortification, “that his friends would sail away with him for good, and bring us in return a page (if such a thing can be found) faithful to his Queen and to his religionOne part of your wishes may be granted, madam,” said Roland Graeme, unable any longer to restrain his sense of the treatment which he received on all sides; and he was about to add, “I heartily wish you a companion in my room, if such can be found, who is capable of enduring women’s caprices without going distracted.” Luckily, he recollected the remorse which he had felt at having given way to the vivacity of his temper upon a similar occasion; and, closing his lips, imprisoned, until it died on his tongue, a reproach so misbecoming the presence of majestyWhy do you remain there,” said the Queen, “as if you were rooted to the parterreI but attend your Grace’s commands,” said the pageI have none to give you Begone, sir.” As he left the garden to go to the boat, he distinctly heard Mary upbraid one of her attendants in these words:“You see to what you have exposed us This brief scene at once determined Roland Graeme’s resolution to quit the castle, if it were possible, and to impart his resolution to George Douglas without loss of time. That gentleman, in his usual mood of silence, sate in the stern of the little skiff which they used on such occasions, trimming his fishing-tackle, and, from time to time, indicating by signs to Graeme, who pulled the oars, which way he should row. When they were a furlong or two from the castle, Roland rested on the oars, and addressed his companion somewhat abruptly,“I have something of importance to say to you, under your pleasure, fair sir.” The pensive melancholy of Douglas’s countenance new balances at once gave way to the eager, keen, and startled look of one who expects to hear something of deep and alarming importI am wearied to the very death of this Castle of Lochleven,” continued RolandIs that all?” said Douglas; “I know none of its inhabitants who are much better pleased with itAy, but I am neither a native of the house, nor a prisoner in it, and so I may reasonably desire to leave itYou might desire to quit it with equal reason,” answered Douglas, “if you were both the one and the otherBut,” said Roland Graeme, “I am not only tired of living in Lochleven Castle, but I am determined to quit itThat is a resolution more easily taken than executed,” replied DouglasNot if yourself, sir, and your Lady Mother, choose to consent,” answered the pageYou mistake the matter, Roland,” said Douglas; “you will find that the consent of two other persons is equally essential that of the Lady Mary your mistress, and that of my uncle the Regent, who placed you about her person, and who will not think it proper that she should change her attendants so soonAnd must I then remain whether I will or no?” demanded the page, somewhat appalled at a view of the subject, which would have occurred sooner to a person of more experienceAt least,” said George Douglas, “you must will to remain till my uncle consents to dismiss youFrankly,” said the page, “and speaking to you as a gentleman who is incapable of betraying me, I will confess, that if I thought myself a prisoner here, neither walls nor water should confine me longFrankly,” said Douglas, “I could not much blame you for the attempt; yet, for all that, my father, or uncle, or the earl, or any of my brothers, or in short any of the king’s lords into whose hands you fell, would in such a case hang you like a dog, or like a sentinel who deserts his post; and I promise you that you will hardly escape them. But row towards Saint Serf’s island there is a breeze from the west, and we shall have sport, keeping to windward of the isle, where the ripple is strongest. We will speak more of what you have mentioned when we have had an hour’s sport.” Their fishing was successful, though never did two anglers pursue even that silent and unsocial pleasure with less of verbal intercourse. When their time was expired, Douglas took the oars in his turn, and by his order Roland Graeme steered the boat, directing her course upon the landing-place at the castle. But he also stopped in the midst of his course, and, looking around him, said to Graeme, “There is a thing which I could mention to thee; but it is so deep a secret, that even here, surrounded as we are by sea and sky, without the possibility of a listener, I cannot prevail on myself to speak it outBetter leave it unspoken, sir,” answered Roland Graeme, “if you doubt the honour of him who alone can hear itI doubt not your honour,” replied George Douglas; “but you are young, imprudent, and changefulYoung,” said Roland, “I am, and it may be imprudent but who hath informed you that I am changefulOne that knows you, perhaps, better than you new balance uk know yourself,” replied DouglasI suppose you mean Catherine Seyton,” said the page, his heart rising as he spoke; “but she is herself fifty times more variable in her humour than the very water which we are floating uponMy young acquaintance,” said Douglas, “I pray you to remember that Catherine Seyton is a lady of blood and birth, and must not be lightly spoken ofMaster George of Douglas,” said Graeme, “as that speech seemed to be made under the warrant of something like a threat, I pray you to observe, that I value not the threat at the estimation of a fin of one of these dead trouts; and, moreover, I would have you to know that the champion who undertakes the defence of every lady of blood and birth, whom men accuse of change of faith and of fashion, is like to have enough of work on his handsGo to,” said the Seneschal, but in a tone of good-humour, “thou art a foolish boy, unfit to deal with any matter more serious than the casting of a net, or the flying of a hawkIf your secret concern Catherine Seyton,” said the page, “I care not for it, and so you may tell her if you will. I wot she can shape you opportunity to speak with her, as she has ere now  
Zaloguj się, aby oddać głos