Harry Handcock had thought to make her his head nurse; and the Tom Mackenzies had also indulged some such idea when they gave her that first invitation to come and live in Gower Street. A word or two had been said at the Cedars which led her to suppose that the baronet's family there would have admitted her, with her eight hundred a year, had she chosen to be so admitted.
The very name of the Mackenzies he had hated of old, and their names were now more hateful to him than ever. He had correctly described his own feelings towards them when he said, either truly or untruly, that they had deprived him of that which would have made his whole life prosperous instead of the reverse.
But, after a pause, Miss Mackenzie again took heart of grace. I do not think that there was, of nature, much of the coward about her. Indeed, the very fact that she was there alone at Littlebath, fighting her own battle with the world, instead of having allowed herself to be swallowed up by the Harry Handcocks, and Tom Mackenzies, proved her to be anything but a coward.
So complete was Donald's confidence in their honesty that he did not hesitate to say to a roomful of armed militiamen, 'He has only two companions with him, and when I am there I make a third, and yet let me tell you, gentlemen, that if Seaforth himself were here he durst not put a hand to the Prince's breast. Donald doubtless looked pretty formidable as he said these words; at any rate, the 'honest Mackenzies' had no sinister intentions, only they vehemently insisted that the party should depart at once, and, what was worse, absolutely refused to give them a pilot.
Mackenzies of this world. The quarrel of these sentimentalists is really with life, not with you; they might as wisely blame Monsieur Buffon because there are snakes in his Natural History. Had you not impaled certain noxious human insects, you would have better pleased Mr. Ruskin; had you confined yourself to such performances, you would have been more dear to the Neo-Balzacian school in fiction.
This was the first Christian Zulu wedding, and it has been followed by many more, and we believe that in no case has there been a relapse into heathenism or polygamy. The Mackenzies continued at Seaforth until the early part of the year 1859. The work was peaceful and cheerful.
The inhabitants of Stornoway were all Mackenzies, pledged by their chief, Seaforth, to loyal support of the Government. It is eternally to their honour that all that they demanded was that the Prince should instantly remove himself from their neighbourhood. Not one amongst them seems to have suggested that a sum of 30,000l. was to be gained by taking the Prince prisoner.
No one had ever guessed all this, or had dreamed of accusing Margaret of romance. No one capable of testing her character had known her. In latter days she had now and again dined in Gower Street, but her sister-in-law, Mrs Tom, had declared her to be a silent, stupid old maid. As a silent, stupid old maid, the Mackenzies of Rubb and Mackenzie were disposed to regard her.
Anderson, in his curious and elaborate account of the house of Fraser, "he framed a deed, with the sly contrivance of sinking the Frasers into the Mackenzies, by encouraging the former to change their names, and providing, as a condition of the estate, that should they return to, and reassume their ancient name of Fraser, they should forfeit their right."
Lord Prestonhall seems to have acted with the same unscrupulous spirit which characterizes most of the business transactions of those who intermeddled with the forfeited or disputed estates. It was his aim, as the Memorial for the Lovat case, subsequently tried, sets forth, to extirpate the clan of the Frasers, and to raise that of the Mackenzies upon its ruins. "Accordingly," says Mr.