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some strangers, driven by the inclemency of the night, had sought shelter before him; but that such accommodation as he could give he was heartily welcome to : whereupon he called his butler, and, committing his guest to his good offices, told him he must put him up somewhere, and do the best he could for him. There was no lady, the gentleman being a widower.
“Captain Stewart found the house crammed, and a very jolly party it was. His host invited him to stay, and promised him good shooting if he would prolong his visit a few days; and, in fine, he thought himself extremely fortunate to have fallen into such pleasant quarters.
“At length, after an agreeable evening, they all retired to bed, and the butler conducted him to a large room almost divested of furniture, but with a blazing peat fire in the grate, and a shake-down on the floor, composed of cloaks and other heterogeneous materials. Nevertheless, to the tired limbs of Captain Stewart, who had had a hard day's shooting, it looked very inviting; but, before he lay down, he thought it advisable to take off some of the fire, which was blazing up the chimney in what he thought an alarming manner. Having done this, he stretched himself upon the couch, and soon fell asleep.
“He believed he had slept about a couple of hours when he awoke suddenly, and was startled by such a vivid light in the room that he thought it was on fire ; but on turning to look at the grate he saw the fire was out, though it was from the chimney the light proceeded. He sat up in bed, trying to discover what it was, when he perceived, gradually disclosing itself, the form of a beautiful naked boy, surrounded by a dazzling radiance. The boy looked at him earnestly, and then the vision faded, and all was dark. Captain Stewart, so far from supposing what he had seen to be of a spiritual nature, had no doubt that the host, or the visitors, had been amusing themselves at his expense, and trying to frighten him. Accordingly, he felt indignant at the liberty; and, on the following morning, when he appeared at breakfast, he took care to evince his displeasure by the reserve of his demeanour, and by announcing his intention to depart immediately. The host expostulated, reminding him of his promise to stay and shoot. Captain Stewart coldly excused himself, and, at length, the gentleman seeing something was wrong, took him aside and pressed for an explanation ; whereupon Captain Stewart, without entering into particulars, said that he had been made the victim of a sort of practical joking that he thought quite unwarrantable with a stranger.
“The gentleman considered this not impossible amongst à parcel of thoughtless young men, and appealed to them to make an apology; but one and all, on their honour, denied the impeachment. Suddenly a thought seemed to strike him; he clapt his hand to his forehead, uttered an exclamation, and rang the bell. · Hamilton,' said he to the butler, 'where did Captain Stewart sleep last night ?'
"Well, Sir,' replied the man, in an apologetic tone, 'you know every place was full—the gentlemen were lying on the floor three or four in a room-so I gave him the Boy's Room; but I lit a blazing fire to keep him from coming out.'
" You were very wrong,' said the host ; you know I have positively forbidden you to put anyone there, and have taken the furniture out of the room to insure its not being occupied.' Then retiring with Captain Stewart, he informed him very gravely of the nature of the phenomenon he had seen; and at length, being pressed for further information, he confessed that there existed a tradition in his family that whomever the Radiant Boy appeared to would rise to the summit of power, and when he had reached the climax, would die a violent death; 'and I must say,' he added, “the records that have been kept of his appearance go to confirm this persuasion.'”
It is scarcely necessary to remind the reader that subsequently Lord Castlereagh became head of the Government, and, finally, perished by his own hand.
Of all the haunted castles in Great Britain, none, probably, has acquired a greater amount of notoriety than that of Cortachy Castle, the seat of the Earl of Airlie. This ancient stronghold is haunted by the spirit of a drummer, and whenever his drum is heard it may be accepted, according to the popular belief, as a token of the speedy death of a member of the Ogilvie family. The origin of this tradition is that either the drummer, or some officer whose emissary he was, had excited the jealousy of a former Lord Airlie, and that, in consequence, he was put to death by being thrust into his own drum, and flung from the window of the tower in which is situated the chamber where his music is, apparently, chiefly heard. It is said that he threatened to haunt the family if his life were taken ; and he would appear to be as good, or rather as bad, as his word, the strain of his invisible drum having been heard several times even in the memory of living persons, and once, notoriously, quite recently.
The authoress who gives the following account of a somewhat recent occasion when the drummer was heard performing upon his ill-omened instrument, introduces it by the remark that about Christmas, 1844, a letter just received from a member of a distinguished Perthshire family was sent to her for perusal. The sender, an eminent literary man, accompanied the communication with the remark, “Read the enclosed ; and we shall now have an opportunity of observing if any event follow the prognostic.”
The information afforded by the letter was to the following effect :
“Miss Dalrymple, a relative of the present Lady CM , who had been staying some time with the Earl and Countess at their seat, near Dundee, was invited to spend a few days at Cortachy Castle, with the Earl and Countess of Airlie. She went, and whilst she was dressing for dinner, the first evening of her arrival, she heard a strain of music under her window, which finally resolved itself into a well-defined sound of a drum. When her maid came upstairs, she made some inquiries about the drummer that was playing near the house, but the maid knew nothing on the subject. For the moment the circumstance passed from Miss Dalrymple's mind; but recurring to her again during the dinner, she said, addressing Lord Airlie, ‘My Lord, who is your drummer ?' upon which his lordship turned pale, Lady Airlie looked distressed, and several of the company, who all heard the question, embarrassed; whilst the lady, perceiving that she had made some unpleasant allusion, although she knew not to what their feelings referred, forebore further inquiry till she reached the drawing-room, when, having mentioned the circumstance again to a member of the family, she was answered,
What! have you never heard of the drummer-hoy?' 'No,' replied Miss Dalrymple, who in the world is he?' 'Why,' replied the other, “he is a person who goes about the house playing his drum whenever there is a death impending in the family. The last time he was heard was shortly before the death of the last Countess (the Earl's former wife); and that is why Lord Airlie became so pale when you mentioned it. The drummer is a very unpleasant subject in this family, I assure you !
“Miss Dalrymple was naturally much concerned, and