"An Ower True Tale"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The engagement between the Master of Ravenswood and Lucy Ashton is broken off by the machinations of Lucy's mother, Lady Ashton, who has a deep and abiding hatred for the Master. Lady Ashton maneuvers Lucy into an engagement with young Hayston of Bucklaw, a wealthy young rake, on the grounds that the Master has deserted her; as a matter of fact, Lady Ashton has been purloining all the letters that pass to and from Lucy and the Master. Just as Lucy has signed a marriage contract with Bucklaw, the Master returns from abroad to hear from her own lips the breaking off of the betrothal; she does not actually repudiate the contract, but is borne out of the room in a dead faint. The marriage between Lucy and Bucklaw takes place four days after the signing of the contract. During the festivities attendant upon the marriage, Lucy leaves the gathering for her room, where she is joined by her new husband. Soon a wild yell rings out from her room, and it is discovered that Lucy has stabbed Bucklaw and has crawled into the chimney. She soon dies in madness; her husband finally recovers his health and spends the rest of his life abroad. This novel is the source of Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor. "Ower true" means "completely true." This is its conclusion:

Bucklaw afterwards went abroad and never returned to Scotland; nor was he known ever to hint at the circumstances attending his fatal marriage. By many readers this may be deemed overstrained, romantic, and composed by the wild imagination of an author, desirous of gratifying the popular appetite for the horrible; but those who are read in the private family history of Scotland during the period in which the scene is laid, will readily discover, through the disguise of borrowed names and added incidents, the leading particulars of an ower true tale.