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William Black
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 492 pages of information about Macleod of Dare.
satin bowers to show you, as the old songs say—­but do you know who are coming to wait on you?  The beautiful women out of the old songs are coming to be your handmaidens:  I have asked them—­I saw them in many dreams—­I spoke gently to them, and they are coming.  Do you see them?  There is the bonnie Lizzie Lindsay, who kilted her coats o’ green satin to be off with young Macdonald; and Burd Helen—­she will come to you pale and beautiful; and proud Lady Maisry, that was burned for her true love’s sake; and Mary Scott of Yarrow, that set all men’s hearts aflame.  See, they will take you by the hand.  They are the Queen’s Maries.  There is no other grandeur at Castle Dare.

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Is this Macleod?  They used to say that Macleod was a man!  They used to say he had not much fear of anything; but this is only a poor trembling boy, a coward trembling at everything, and going away to London with a lie on his lips.  And they know how Sholto Macleod died, and how Roderick Macleod died, and Ronald, and Duncan the Fair-haired, and Hector, but the last of them—­this poor wretch—­what will they say of him?  “Oh, he died for the love of a woman!” She struck him in the heart; and he could not strike back, for she was a woman.  Ah, but if it was a man now!  They say the Macleods are all become sheep; and their courage has gone; and if they were to grasp even a Rose-leaf they could not crush it.  It is dangerous to say that; do not trust to it.  Oh, it is you, you poor fool in the newspaper, who are whirling along behind the boat?  Does the swivel work?  Are the sharks after you?  Do you hear them behind you cleaving the water?  The men of Dubh-Artach will have a good laugh when we whisk you past.  What! you beg for mercy?—­come out, then, you poor devil!  Here is a tarpaulin for you.  Give him a glass of whiskey, John Cameron.  And so you know about theatres; and perhaps you have ambition, too; and there is nothing in the world so fine as people clapping their hands?  But you—­even you—­if I were to take you over in the dark, and the storm came on, you would not think that I thrust you aside to look after myself?  You are a stranger; you are helpless in boats:  do you think I would thrust you aside?  It was not fair—­oh, it was not fair?  If she wished to kill my heart, there were other things to say than that.  Why, sweetheart, don’t you know that I got the little English boy out of the water; and you think I would let you drown!  If we were both drowning now, do you know what I should do?  I should laugh, and say, “Sweetheart, sweetheart, if we were not to be together in life, we are now in death, and that is enough for me.”

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