Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.
his inaptitude, had threatened him with his cane; he has been in confinement for weeks, this is the first day of his liberation, and he is now descending the hill with horrid bounds and shoutings; he is now about five yards distant, and the baker, who apprehends that something dangerous is at hand, prepares himself for the encounter; but what avails the strength of a baker, even full grown?—­what avails the defence of a wicker shield?—­what avails the wheel-spoke, should there be an opportunity of using it, against the impetus of an avalanche or a cannon-ball?—­for to either of these might that wild figure be compared, which, at the distance of five yards, sprang at once with head, hands, feet and body, all together, upon the champion of the New Town, tumbling him to the earth amain.  And now it was the turn of the Old Town to triumph.  Our late discomfited host, returning on its steps, overwhelmed the fallen champion with blows of every kind, and then, led on by his vanquisher, who had assumed his arms, namely, the wheel-spoke and wicker shield, fairly cleared the brae of their adversaries, whom they drove down headlong into the morass.

CHAPTER VIII

Expert climbers—­The crags—­Something red—­The horrible edge—­David Haggart—­Fine materials—­The greatest victory—­Extraordinary robber—­The ruling passion.

Meanwhile I had become a daring cragsman, a character to which an English lad has seldom opportunities of aspiring; for in England there are neither crags nor mountains.  Of these, however, as is well known, there is no lack in Scotland, and the habits of individuals are invariably in harmony with the country in which they dwell.  The Scotch are expert climbers, and I was now a Scot in most things, particularly in language.  The Castle in which I dwelt stood upon a rock, a bold and craggy one, which, at first sight, would seem to bid defiance to any feet save those of goats and chamois; but patience and perseverance generally enable mankind to overcome things which, at first sight, appear impossible.  Indeed, what is there above man’s exertions?  Unwearied determination will enable him to run with the horse, to swim with the fish, and assuredly to compete with the chamois and the goat in agility and sureness of foot.  To scale the rock was merely child’s play for the Edinbro’ callants.  It was my own favourite diversion.  I soon found that the rock contained all manner of strange crypts, crannies, and recesses, where owls nestled, and the weasel brought forth her young; here and there were small natural platforms, overgrown with long grass and various kinds of plants, where the climber, if so disposed, could stretch himself, and either give his eyes to sleep or his mind to thought; for capital places were these same platforms either for repose or meditation.  The boldest features of the rock are descried on the northern side, where, after shelving down gently from

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Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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