A man that apprehends death to be no more dreadful but as a
drunken sleep, careless, reckless, and fearless of what's
past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and
--Measure for Measure.
Glossin had made careful minutes of the information derived from
these examinations. They threw little light upon the story, so far
as he understood its purport; but the better-informed reader has
received through means of this investigation an account of Brown's
proceedings, between the moment when we left him upon his walk to
Kippletringan and the time when, stung by jealousy, he so rashly
and unhappily presented himself before Julia Mannering, and well-
nigh brought to a fatal termination the quarrel which his
Glossin rode slowly back to Ellangowan, pondering on what he had
heard, and more and more convinced that the active and successful
prosecution of this mysterious business was an opportunity of
ingratiating himself with Hazlewood and Mannering to be on no
account neglected. Perhaps, also, he felt his professional
acuteness interested in bringing it to a successful close. It was,
therefore, with great pleasure that, on his return to his house
from Kippletringan, he heard his servants announce hastily, 'that
Mac-Guffog, the thief-taker, and twa or three concurrents, had a
man in hands in the kitchen waiting for his honour.'
He instantly jumped from horseback, and hastened into the house.
'Send my clerk here directly, ye'll find him copying the survey of
the estate in the little green parlour. Set things to rights in my
study, and wheel the great leathern chair up to the writing-table;
set a stool for Mr. Scrow. Scrow (to the clerk, as he entered the
presence-chamber), hand down Sir George Mackenzie "On Crimes";
open it at the section "Vis Publica et Privata," and fold down a
leaf at the passage "anent the bearing of unlawful weapons." Now
lend me a hand off with my muckle-coat, and hang it up in the
lobby, and bid them bring up the prisoner; I trow I'll sort him;
but stay, first send up Mac-Guffog. Now, Mac-Guffog, where did ye
find this chield?'
Mac-Guffog, a stout, bandy-legged fellow, with a neck like a bull,
a face like a firebrand, and a most portentous squint of the left
eye, began, after various contortions by way of courtesy to the
Justice, to tell his story, eking it out by sundry sly nods and
knowing winks, which appeared to bespeak an intimate
correspondence of ideas between the narrator and his principal
auditor. 'Your honour sees I went down to yon place that your
honour spoke o', that's kept by her that your honour kens o', by
the sea-side. So says she, "What are you wanting here? ye'll be
come wi' a broom in your pocket frae Ellangowan?"--So says I,
"Deil a broom will come frae there awa, for ye ken," says I, "his
honour Ellangowan himsell in former times--"'
'Well, well,' said Glossin, 'no occasion to be particular, tell
'Weel, so we sat niffering about some brandy that I said I wanted,
till he came in.'
'He!' pointing with his thumb inverted to the kitchen, where the
prisoner was in custody. 'So he had his griego wrapped close round
him, and I judged he was not dry-handed; so I thought it was best
to speak proper, and so he believed I was a Manks man, and I kept
ay between him and her, for fear she had whistled. And then we
began to drink about, and then I betted he would not drink out a
quartern of Hollands without drawing breath, and then he tried it,
and just then Slounging Jock and Dick Spur'em came in, and we
clinked the darbies on him, took him as quiet as a lamb; and now
he's had his bit sleep out, and is as fresh as a May gowan, to
answer what your honour likes to speir.' This narrative, delivered
with a wonderful quantity of gesture and grimace, received at the
conclusion the thanks and praises which the narrator expected.
'Had he no arms?' asked the Justice.
'Ay, ay, they are never without barkers and slashers.'
'This bundle,' delivering a dirty pocket-book.
'Go downstairs then, Mac-Guffog, and be in waiting.' The officer
left the room.
The clink of irons was immediately afterwards heard upon the
stair, and in two or three minutes a man was introduced,
handcuffed and fettered. He was thick, brawny, and muscular, and
although his shagged and grizzled hair marked an age somewhat
advanced, and his stature was rather low, he appeared,
nevertheless, a person whom few would have chosen to cope with in
personal conflict. His coarse and savage features were still
flushed, and his eye still reeled under the influence of the
strong potation which had proved the immediate cause of his
seizure. But the sleep, though short, which Mac-Guffog had allowed
him, and still more a sense of the peril of his situation, had
restored to him the full use of his faculties. The worthy judge
and the no less estimable captive looked at each other steadily
for a long time without speaking. Glossin apparently recognised
his prisoner, but seemed at a loss how to proceed with his
investigation. At length he broke silence.--'Soh, Captain, this is
you? you have been a stranger on this coast for some years.'
'Stranger?' replied the other. 'Strange enough, I think; for hold
me der deyvil, if I been ever here before.'
'That won't pass, Mr. Captain.'
'That MUST pass, Mr. Justice, sapperment!'
'And who will you be pleased to call yourself, then, for the
present,' said Glossin, 'just until I shall bring some other folks
to refresh your memory concerning who you are, or at least who you
'What bin I? donner and blitzen! I bin Jans Jansen, from Cuxhaven;
what sall Ich bin?'
Glossin took from a case which was in the apartment a pair of
small pocket pistols, which he loaded with ostentatious care. 'You
may retire,' said he to his clerk, 'and carry the people with you,
Scrow; but wait in the lobby within call.'
The clerk would have offered some remonstrances to his patron on
the danger of remaining alone with such a desperate character,
although ironed beyond the possibility of active exertion, but
Glossin waved him off impatiently. When he had left the room the
Justice took two short turns through the apartment, then drew his
chair opposite to the prisoner, so as to confront him fully,
placed the pistols before him in readiness, and said in a steady
voice, 'You are Dirk Hatteraick of Flushing, are you not?'
The prisoner turned his eye instinctively to the door, as if he
apprehended some one was listening. Glossin rose, opened the door,
so that from the chair in which his prisoner sate he might satisfy
himself there was no eavesdropper within hearing, then shut it,
resumed his seat, and repeated his question, 'You are Dirk
Hatteraick, formerly of the Yungfrauw Haagenslaapen, are you not?'
'Tousand deyvils! and if you know that, why ask me?' said the
'Because I am surprised to see you in the very last place where
you ought to be, if you regard your safety,' observed Glossin,
'Der deyvil! no man regards his own safety that speaks so to me!'
'What? unarmed, and in irons! well said, Captain!' replied
Glossin, ironically. 'But, Captain, bullying won't do; you'll
hardly get out of this country without accounting for a little
accident that happened at Warroch Point a few years ago.'
Hatteraick's looks grew black as midnight.
'For my part,' continued Glossin, 'I have no particular wish to be
hard upon an old acquaintance; but I must do my duty. I shall send
you off to Edinburgh in a post-chaise and four this very day.'
'Poz donner! you would not do that?' said Hatteraick, in a lower
and more humbled tone; 'why, you had the matter of half a cargo in
bills on Vanbeest and Vanbruggen.'
'It is so long since, Captain Hatteraick,' answered Glossin,
superciliously, 'that I really forget how I was recompensed for my
'Your trouble? your silence, you mean.'
'It was an affair in the course of business,' said Glossin, 'and I
have retired from business for some time.'
'Ay, but I have a notion that I could make you go steady about and
try the old course again,' answered Dirk Hatteraick. 'Why, man,
hold me der deyvil, but I meant to visit you and tell you
something that concerns you.'
'Of the boy?' said Glossin, eagerly.
'Yaw, Mynheer,' replied the Captain, coolly.
'He does not live, does he?'
'As lifelich as you or I,' said Hatteraick.
'Good God! But in India?' exclaimed Glossin.
'No, tousand deyvils, here! on this dirty coast of yours,'
rejoined the prisoner.
'But, Hatteraick, this,--that is, if it be true, which I do not
believe,--this will ruin us both, for he cannot but remember your
neat job; and for me, it will be productive of the worst
consequences! It will ruin us both, I tell you.'
'I tell you,' said the seaman, 'it will ruin none but you; for I
am done up already, and if I must strap for it, all shall out.'
'Zounds,' said the Justice impatiently, 'what brought you back to
this coast like a madman?'
'Why, all the gelt was gone, and the house was shaking, and I
thought the job was clayed over and forgotten,' answered the
'Stay; what can be done?' said Glossin, anxiously. 'I dare not
discharge you; but might you not be rescued in the way? Ay sure! a
word to Lieutenant Brown, and I would send the people with you by
'No, no! that won't do. Brown's dead, shot, laid in the locker,
man; the devil has the picking of him.
'Dead? shot? At Woodbourne, I suppose?' replied Glossin.
Glossin paused; the sweat broke upon his brow with the agony of
his feelings, while the hard-featured miscreant who sat opposite
coolly rolled his tobacco in his cheek and squirted the juice into
the fire-grate. 'It would be ruin,' said Glossin to himself,
'absolute ruin, if the heir should reappear; and then what might
be the consequence of conniving with these men? Yet there is so
little time to take measures. Hark you, Hatteraick; I can't set
you at liberty; but I can put you where you may set yourself at
liberty, I always like to assist an old friend. I shall confine
you in the old castle for to-night, and give these people double
allowance of grog. MacGuffog will fall in the trap in which he
caught you. The stancheons on the window of the strong room, as
they call it, are wasted to pieces, and it is not above twelve
feet from the level of the ground without, and the snow lies
'But the darbies,' said Hatteraick, looking upon his fetters.
'Hark ye,' said Glossin, going to a tool chest, and taking out a
small file,'there's a friend for you, and you know the road to the
sea by the stairs.' Hatteraick shook his chains in ecstasy, as if
he were already at liberty, and strove to extend his fettered hand
towards his protector. Glossin laid his finger upon his lips with
a cautious glance at the door, and then proceeded in his
instructions. 'When you escape, you had better go to the Kaim of
'Donner! that howff is blown.'
'The devil! well, then, you may steal my skiff that lies on the
beach there, and away. But you must remain snug at the Point of
Warroch till I come to see you.'
'The Point of Warroch?' said Hatteraick, his countenance again
falling; 'what, in the cave, I suppose? I would rather it were
anywhere else; es spuckt da: they say for certain that he walks.
But, donner and blitzen! I never shunned him alive, and I won't
shun him dead. Strafe mich helle! it shall never be said Dirk
Hatteraick feared either dog or devil! So I am to wait there till
I see you?'
'Ay, ay,' answered Glossin, 'and now I must call in the men.' He
did so accordingly.
'I can make nothing of Captain Jansen, as he calls himself, Mac-
Guffog, and it's now too late to bundle him off to the county
jail. Is there not a strong room up yonder in the old castle?'
'Ay is there, sir; my uncle the constable ance kept a man there
for three days in auld Ellangowan's time. But there was an unco
dust about it; it was tried in the Inner House afore the
'I know all that, but this person will not stay there very long;
it's only a makeshift for a night, a mere lock-up house till
farther examination. There is a small room through which it opens;
you may light a fire for yourselves there, and I 'll send you
plenty of stuff to make you comfortable. But be sure you lock the
door upon the prisoner; and, hark ye, let him have a fire in the
strong room too, the season requires it. Perhaps he'll make a
clean breast to-morrow.'
With these instructions, and with a large allowance of food and
liquor, the Justice dismissed his party to keep guard for the
night in the old castle, under the full hope and belief that they
would neither spend the night in watching nor prayer.
There was little fear that Glossin himself should that night sleep
over-sound. His situation was perilous in the extreme, for the
schemes of a life of villainy seemed at once to be crumbling
around and above him. He laid himself to rest, and tossed upon his
pillow for a long time in vain. At length he fell asleep, but it
was only to dream of his patron, now as he had last seen him, with
the paleness of death upon his features, then again transformed
into all the vigour and comeliness of youth, approaching to expel
him from the mansion-house of his fathers. Then he dreamed that,
after wandering long over a wild heath, he came at length to an
inn, from which sounded the voice of revelry; and that when he
entered the first person he met was Frank Kennedy, all smashed and
gory, as he had lain on the beach at Warroch Point, but with a
reeking punch-bowl in his hand. Then the scene changed to a
dungeon, where he heard Dirk Hatteraick, whom he imagined to be
under sentence of death, confessing his crimes to a clergyman.
'After the bloody deed was done,' said the penitent, 'we retreated
into a cave close beside, the secret of which was known but to one
man in the country; we were debating what to do with the child,
and we thought of giving it up to the gipsies, when we heard the
cries of the pursuers hallooing to each other. One man alone came
straight to our cave, and it was that man who knew the secret; but
we made him our friend at the expense of half the value of the
goods saved. By his advice we carried off the child to Holland in
our consort, which came the following night to take us from the
coast. That man was--'
'No, I deny it! it was not I!' said Glossin, in half-uttered
accents; and, struggling in his agony to express his denial more
distinctly, he awoke.
It was, however, conscience that had prepared this mental
phantasmagoria. The truth was that, knowing much better than any
other person the haunts of the smugglers, he had, while the others
were searching in different directions, gone straight to the cave,
even before he had learned the murder of Kennedy, whom he expected
to find their prisoner. He came upon them with some idea of
mediation, but found them in the midst of their guilty terrors,
while the rage which had hurried them on to murder began, with all
but Hatteraick, to sink into remorse and fear. Glossin was then
indigent and greatly in debt, but he was already possessed of Mr.
Bertram's ear, and, aware of the facility of his disposition, he
saw no difficulty in enriching himself at his expense, provided
the heir-male were removed, in which case the estate became the
unlimited property of the weak and prodigal father. Stimulated by
present gain and the prospect of contingent advantage, he accepted
the bribe which the smugglers offered in their terror, and
connived at, or rather encouraged, their intention of carrying
away the child of his benefactor who, if left behind, was old
enough to have described the scene of blood which he had
witnessed. The only palliative which the ingenuity of Glossin
could offer to his conscience was, that the temptation was great,
and came suddenly upon him, embracing as it were the very
advantages on which his mind had so long rested, and promising to
relieve him from distresses which must have otherwise speedily
overwhelmed him. Besides, he endeavoured to think that self-
preservation rendered his conduct necessary. He was, in some
degree, in the power of the robbers, and pleaded hard with his
conscience that, had he declined their offers, the assistance
which he could have called for, though not distant, might not have
arrived in time to save him from men who, on less provocation, had
just committed murder.
Galled with the anxious forebodings of a guilty conscience,
Glossin now arose and looked out upon the night. The scene which
we have already described in the third chapter of this story, was
now covered with snow, and the brilliant, though waste, whiteness
of the land gave to the sea by contrast a dark and livid tinge. A
landscape covered with snow, though abstractedly it may be called
beautiful, has, both from the association of cold and barrenness
and from its comparative infrequency, a wild, strange, and
desolate appearance. Objects well known to us in their common
state have either disappeared, or are so strangely varied and
disguised that we seem gazing on an unknown world. But it was not
with such reflections that the mind of this bad man was occupied.
His eye was upon the gigantic and gloomy outlines of the old
castle, where, in a flanking tower of enormous size and thickness,
glimmered two lights, one from the window of the strong room,
where Hatteraick was confined, the other from that of the adjacent
apartment, occupied by his keepers. 'Has he made his escape, or
will he be able to do so? Have these men watched, who never
watched before, in order to complete my ruin? If morning finds him
there, he must be committed to prison; Mac-Morlan or some other
person will take the matter up; he will be detected, convicted,
and will tell all in revenge!'
While these racking thoughts glided rapidly through Glossin's
mind, he observed one of the lights obscured, as by an opaque body
placed at the window. What a moment of interest! 'He has got clear
of his irons! he is working at the stancheons of the window! they
are surely quite decayed, they must give way. O God! they have
fallen outward, I heard them clink among the stones! the noise
cannot fail to wake them. Furies seize his Dutch awkwardness! The
light burns free again; they have torn him from the window, and
are binding him in the room! No! he had only retired an instant on
the alarm of the falling bars; he is at the window again, and the
light is quite obscured now; he is getting out!'
A heavy sound, as of a body dropped from a height among the snow,
announced that Hatteraick had completed his escape, and shortly
after Glossin beheld a dark figure, like a shadow, steal along the
whitened beach and reach the spot where the skiff lay. New cause
for fear! 'His single strength will be unable to float her,' said
Glossin to himself; 'I must go to the rascal's assistance. But no!
he has got her off, and now, thank God, her sail is spreading
itself against the moon; ay, he has got the breeze now; would to
heaven it were a tempest, to sink him to the bottom!'
After this last cordial wish, he continued watching the progress
of the boat as it stood away towards the Point of Warroch, until
he could no longer distinguish the dusky sail from the gloomy
waves over which it glided. Satisfied then that the immediate
danger was averted, he retired with somewhat more composure to his