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- Warlock o' Glenwarlock - 1/98 -


WARLOCK O' GLENWARLOCK.

A HOMELY ROMANCE.

BY

GEORGE MACDONALD.

AUTHOR OF "ANNALS OF A QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD", "A SEA-BOARD PARISH", ETC.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER.

1. Castle Warlock 2. The Kitchen 3. The Drawing-room 4. An Afternoon Sleep 5. The School 6. Grannie's Cottage 7. Dreams 8. Home 9. The Student 10. Peter Simon 11. The new Schooling 12. Grannie's Ghost Story 13. The Storm-Guest 14. The Castle Inn 15. That Night 16. Through the Day 17. That same Night 18. A Winter Idyl 19. An "Interlunar Cave" 20. Catch yer Naig 21. The Watchmaker 22. That Luminous Night 23. At College 24. A Tutorship 25. The Gardener 26. Lost and Found 27. A Transformation 28. The Story of the Knight who spoke the Truth 29. New Experience 30. Charles Jermyn, M. D. 31. Cosmo and the Doctor 32. The Naiad 33. The Garden-House 34. Catch your Horse 35. Pull his Tail 36. The thick Darkness 37. The Dawn 38. The Shadow of Death 39. The Labourer 40. The Schoolmaster 41 Grannie and the Stick 42. Obstruction 43. Grizzle's Rights 44. Another Harvest 45. The final Conflict 46. A Rest 47. Help 48. A common Miracle 49. Defiance 50. Discovery and Confession 51. It is Naught saith the Buyer 52. An old Story 53. A small Discovery 54. A greater Discovery 55. A great Discovery 56. Mr. Burns 57. Too Sure comes too late 58. A little Life well rounded 59. A Breaking Up 60. Repose 61. The third Harvest 62. A duet, Trio, and Quartette

CHAPTER I.

CASTLE WARLOCK.

A rough, wild glen it was, to which, far back in times unknown to its annals, the family had given its name, taking in return no small portion of its history, and a good deal of the character of its individuals. It lay in the debatable land between highlands and lowlands; most of its inhabitants spoke both Scotch and Gaelic; and there was often to be found in them a notable mingling of the chief characteristics of the widely differing Celt and Teuton. The country produced more barley than wheat, more oats than barley, more heather than oats, more boulders than trees, and more snow than anything. It was a solitary, thinly peopled region, mostly of bare hills, and partially cultivated glens, each with its small stream, on the banks of which grew here and there a silver birch, a mountain ash, or an alder tree, but with nothing capable of giving much shade or shelter, save cliffy banks and big stones. From many a spot you might look in all directions and not see a sign of human or any other habitation. Even then however, you might, to be sure, most likely smell the perfume--to some nostrils it is nothing less than perfume--of a peat fire, although you might be long in finding out whence it came; for the houses, if indeed the dwellings could be called houses, were often so hard to be distinguished from the ground on which they were built, that except the smoke of fresh peats were coming pretty freely from the wide-mouthed chimney, it required an experienced eye to discover the human nest. The valleys that opened northward produced little; there the snow might some years be seen lying on patches of oats yet green, destined now only for fodder; but where the valley ran east and west, and any tolerable ground looked to the south, there things put on a different aspect. There the graceful oats would wave and rustle in the ripening wind, and in the small gardens would lurk a few cherished strawberries, while potatoes and peas would be tolerably plentiful in their season.

Upon a natural terrace in such a slope to the south, stood Castle Warlock. But it turned no smiling face to the region whence came the warmth and the growth. A more grim, repellant, unlovely building would be hard to find; and yet, from its extreme simplicity, its utter indifference to its own looks, its repose, its weight, and its gray historical consciousness, no one who loved houses would have thought of calling it ugly. It was like the hard-featured face of a Scotch matron, suggesting no end of story, of life, of character: she holds a defensive if not defiant face to the world, but within she is warm, tending carefully the fires of life. Summer and winter the chimneys of that desolate-looking house smoked; for though the country was inclement, and the people that lived in it were poor, the great, sullen, almost unhappy-looking hills held clasped to their bare cold bosoms, exposed to all the bitterness of freezing winds and summer hail, the warmth of household centuries: their peat-bogs were the store-closets and wine-cellars of the sun, for the hoarded elixir of physical life. And although the walls of the castle, as it was called, were so thick that in winter they kept the warmth generated within them from wandering out and being lost on the awful wastes of homeless hillside and moor, they also prevented the brief summer heat of the wayfaring sun from entering with freedom, and hence the fires were needful in the summer days as well--at least at the time my story commences, for then, as generally, there were elderly and aged people in the house, who had to help their souls to keep their bodies warm.

The house was very old. It had been built for more kinds of shelter than need to be thought of in our days. For the enemies of our ancestors were not only the cold, and the fierce wind, and the rain, and the snow; they were men also--enemies harder to keep out than the raging storm or the creeping frost. Hence the more hospitable a house could be, the less must it look what it was: it must wear its face haughty, and turn its smiles inward. The house of Glenwarlock, as it was also sometimes called, consisted of three massive, narrow, tall blocks of building, which showed little connection with each other beyond juxtaposition, two of them standing end to end, with but a few feet of space between, and the third at right angles to the two. In the two which stood end to end, and were originally the principal parts, hardly any windows were to be seen on the side that looked out into the valley; while in the third, which, though looking much of the same age, was of later build, were more windows, but none in the lowest story. Narrow as were these buildings, and four stories high, they had a solid, ponderous look, suggesting a thickness of the walls such as to leave little of a hollow within for the indwellers--like great marine shells for a small mollusk. On the other side was a kind of a court, completed by the stables and cowhouses, and towards this court were most of the windows--many of them for size more like those in the cottages around, than suggestive of a house built by the lords of the soil. The court was now merely that of a farmyard.

There must have been at one time outer defences to the castle, but they were no longer to be distinguished by the inexperienced eye; and indeed the; windowless walls of the house itself seemed strong enough to repel any attack without artillery--except indeed the assailants had got into the court. There were however some signs of the windows there having been enlarged if not increased at a later period.

In the block that stood angle-wise to the rest, was the kitchen, the door of which opened immediately on the court; and behind the kitchen, in that part which had no windows to the valley, was the milk-cellar, as they called the dairy, and places for household storage. A rough causeway ran along the foot of the walls, connecting the doors in the different blocks. Of these, the kitchen door for the most part stood open: sometimes the snow would be coming fast down the wide chimney, with little soft hisses in the fire, and the business of the house going on without a thought of closing it, though from it you could not have seen across the yard for the falling flakes.

But when my story opens, the summer held the old house and the older hills in its embrace. The sun was pouring torrents of light and heat into the valley, and the slopes of it were covered with green. The bees were about, contenting themselves with the flowers,


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