"How dreadful it is to think of our darling being still without the pale of the covenant!"

Lady Dalcastle’s lamentations play upon the dual biblical and political signification of ‘covenant’. Biblically, it refers to a sacred bond with God (see, for instance, Ezekiel 16:8: “yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine”). Politically, the National Covenant was signed by the Presbyterians defending their faith and preventing Charles I imposing his on Scotland. (See note for p. 44.)