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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|Title: Waverley, Volume II||1|
|OR ’TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE||1|
|CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS||101|
|NOTE I, p. 19||163|
Author: Sir Walter Scott
Release Date: January, 2004 [EBook #4965] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 5, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK Waverley, volume II ***
Produced by Robert Rowe, Charles Franks
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
[Transcriber’s Note: I feel that it is important to note that this book is part of the Caledonian series. The Caledonian series is a group of 50 books comprising all of Sir Walter Scott’s works.]
BY SIR WALTER SCOTT
The dinner hour of Scotland Sixty Years Since was two o’clock. It was therefore about four o’clock of a delightful autumn afternoon that Mr. Gilfillan commenced his march, in hopes, although Stirling was eighteen miles distant, he might be able, by becoming a borrower of the night for an hour or two, to reach it that evening. He therefore put forth his strength, and marched stoutly along at the head of his followers, eyeing our hero from time to time, as if he longed to enter into controversy with him. At length, unable to resist the temptation, he slackened his pace till he was alongside of his prisoner’s horse, and after marching a few steps in silence abreast of him, he suddenly asked—’Can ye say wha the carle was wi’ the black coat and the mousted head, that was wi’ the Laird of Cairnvreckan?’
‘A Presbyterian clergyman,’ answered Waverley.
‘Presbyterian!’ answered Gilfillan contemptuously; ’a wretched Erastian, or rather an obscure Prelatist, a favourer of the black indulgence, ane of thae dumb dogs that canna bark; they tell ower a clash o’ terror and a clatter o’ comfort in their sermons, without ony sense, or savour, or life. Ye’ve been fed in siccan a fauld, belike?’
‘No; I am of the Church of England,’ said Waverley.
‘And they’re just neighbour-like,’ replied the Covenanter; ’and nae wonder they gree sae weel. Wha wad hae thought the goodly structure of the Kirk of Scotland, built up by our fathers in 1642, wad hae been defaced by carnal ends and the corruptions of the time;—ay, wha wad hae thought the carved work of the sanctuary would hae been sae soon cut down!’
To this lamentation, which one or two of the assistants chorussed with a deep groan, our hero thought it unnecessary to make any reply. Whereupon Mr. Gilfillan, resolving that he should be a hearer at least, if not a disputant, proceeded in his Jeremiade.
’And now is it wonderful, when, for lack of exercise anent the call to the service of the altar and the duty of the day, ministers fall into sinful compliances with patronage, and indemnities, and oaths, and bonds, and other corruptions,—is it wonderful, I say, that you, sir, and other sic-like unhappy persons, should labour to build up your auld Babel of iniquity, as in the bluidy persecuting saint-killing times? I trow, gin ye werena blinded wi’ the graces and favours, and services and enjoyments, and employments and inheritances, of this wicked world, I could prove to you, by the Scripture, in what a filthy rag ye put your trust; and that your surplices, and your copes and vestments, are but cast-off garments of the muckle harlot that sitteth upon seven hills and drinketh of the cup of abomination. But, I trow, ye are deaf as adders upon that side of the head; ay, ye are deceived with her enchantments, and ye traffic with her merchandise, and ye are drunk with the cup of her fornication!’
How much longer this military theologist might have continued his invective, in which he spared nobody but the scattered remnant of hill-folk, as he called them, is absolutely uncertain. His matter was copious, his voice powerful, and his memory strong; so that there was little chance of his ending his exhortation till the party had reached Stirling, had not his attention been attracted by a pedlar who had joined the march from a cross-road, and who sighed or groaned with great regularity at all fitting pauses of his homily.
‘And what may ye be, friend?’ said the Gifted Gilfillan.
’A puir pedlar, that’s bound for Stirling, and craves the protection of your honour’s party in these kittle times. Ah’ your honour has a notable faculty in searching and explaining the secret,—ay, the secret and obscure and incomprehensible causes of the backslidings of the land; ay, your honour touches the root o’ the matter.’
‘Friend,’ said Gilfillan, with a more complacent voice than he had hitherto used, ’honour not me. I do not go out to park-dikes and to steadings and to market-towns to have herds and cottars and burghers pull off their bonnets to me as they do to Major Melville o’ Cairnvreckan, and ca’ me laird or captain or honour. No; my sma’ means, whilk are not aboon twenty thousand merk, have had the blessing of increase, but the pride of my heart has not increased with them; nor do I delight to be called captain, though I have the subscribed commission of that gospel-searching nobleman, the Earl of Glencairn, fa whilk I am so designated. While I live I am and will be called Habakkuk Gilfillan, who will stand up for the standards of doctrine agreed on by the ance famous Kirk of Scotland, before she trafficked with the accursed Achan, while he has a plack in his purse or a drap o’ bluid in his body.’
‘Ah,’ said the pedlar, ’I have seen your land about Mauchlin. A fertile spot! your lines have fallen in pleasant places! And siccan a breed o’ cattle is not in ony laird’s land in Scotland.’
‘Ye say right,—ye say right, friend’ retorted Gilfillan eagerly, for he was not inaccessible to flattery upon this subject,—’ye say right; they are the real Lancashire, and there’s no the like o’ them even at the mains of Kilmaurs’; and he then entered into a discussion of their excellences, to which our readers will probably be as indifferent as our hero. After this excursion the leader returned to his theological discussions, while the pedlar, less profound upon those mystic points, contented himself with groaning and expressing his edification at suitable intervals.
’What a blessing it would be to the puir blinded popish nations among whom I hae sojourned, to have siccan a light to their paths! I hae been as far as Muscovia in my sma’ trading way, as a travelling merchant, and I hae been through France, and the Low Countries, and a’ Poland, and maist feck o’ Germany, and O! it would grieve your honour’s soul to see the murmuring and the singing and massing that’s in the kirk, and the piping that’s in the quire, and the heathenish dancing and dicing upon the Sabbath!’
This set Gilfillan off upon the Book of Sports and the Covenant, and the Engagers, and the Protesters, and the Whiggamore’s Raid, and the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and the Longer and Shorter Catechism, and the Excommunication at Torwood, and the slaughter of Archbishop Sharp. This last topic, again, led him into the lawfulness of defensive arms, on which subject he uttered much more sense than could have been expected from some other parts of his harangue, and attracted even Waverley’s attention, who had hitherto been lost in his own sad reflections. Mr. Gilfillan then considered the lawfulness of a private man’s standing forth as the avenger of public oppression, and as he was labouring with great earnestness the cause of Mas James Mitchell, who fired at the Archbishop of Saint Andrews some years before the prelate’s assassination on Magus Muir, an incident occurred which interrupted his harangue.
The rays of the sun were lingering on the very verge of the horizon as the party ascended a hollow and somewhat steep path which led to the summit of a rising ground. The country was uninclosed, being part of a very extensive heath or common; but it was far from level, exhibiting in many places hollows filled with furze and broom; in others, little dingles of stunted brushwood. A thicket of the latter description crowned the hill up which the party ascended. The foremost of the band, being the stoutest and most active, had pushed on, and, having surmounted the ascent, were out of ken for the present. Gilfillan, with the pedlar and the small party who were Waverley’s more immediate guard, were near the top of the ascent, and the remainder straggled after them at a considerable interval.
Such was the situation of matters when the pedlar, missing, as he said, a little doggie which belonged to him, began to halt and whistle for the animal. This signal, repeated more than once, gave offence to the rigour of his companion, the rather because it appeared to indicate inattention to the treasures of theological and controversial knowledge which were pouring out for his edification. He therefore signified gruffly that he could not waste his time in waiting for an useless cur.
‘But if your honour wad consider the case of Tobit—’
‘Tobit!’ exclaimed Gilffflan, with great heat; ’Tobit and his dog baith are altogether heathenish and apocryphal, and none but a prelatist or a papist would draw them into question. I doubt I hae been mista’en in you, friend.’
‘Very likely,’ answered the pedlar, with great composure; ’but ne’ertheless, I shall take leave to whistle again upon puir Bawty.’
This last signal was answered in an unexpected manner; for six or eight stout Highlanders, who lurked among the copse and brushwood, sprung into the hollow way and began to lay about them with their claymores. Gilfillan, unappalled at this undesirable apparition, cried out manfully, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ and, drawing his broadsword, would probably have done as much credit to the good old cause as any of its doughty champions at Drumclog, when, behold! the pedlar, snatching a musket from the person who was next him bestowed the butt of it with such emphasis on the head of his late instructor in the Cameronian creed that he was forthwith levelled to the ground. In the confusion which ensued the horse which bore our hero was shot by one of Gilfillan’s party, as he discharged his firelock at random. Waverley fell with, and indeed under, the animal, and sustained some severe contusions. But he was almost instantly extricated from the fallen steed by two Highlanders, who, each seizing him by the arm, hurried him away from the scuffle and from the highroad. They ran with great speed, half supporting and half dragging our hero, who could, however, distinguish a few dropping shots fired about the spot which he had left. This, as he afterwards learned, proceeded from Gilfillan’s party, who had now assembled, the stragglers in front and rear having joined the others. At their approach the Highlanders drew off, but not before they had rifled Gilfillan and two of his people, who remained on the spot grievously wounded. A few shots were exchanged betwixt them and the Westlanders; but the latter, now without a commander, and apprehensive of a second ambush, did not make any serious effort to recover their prisoner, judging it more wise to proceed on their journey to Stirling, carrying with them their wounded captain and comrades.
WAVERLEY IS STILL IN DISTRESS
The velocity, and indeed violence, with which Waverley was hurried along nearly deprived him of sensation; for the injury he had received from his fall prevented him from aiding himself so effectually as he might otherwise have done. When this was observed by his conductors, they called to their aid two or three others of the party, and, swathing our hero’s body in one of their plaids, divided his weight by that means among them, and transported him at the same rapid rate as before, without any exertion of his own. They spoke little, and that in Gaelic; and did not slacken their pace till they had run nearly two miles, when they abated their extreme rapidity, but continued still to walk very fast, relieving each other occasionally.
Our hero now endeavoured to address them, but was only answered with ‘Cha n’eil Beurl agam’ i.e. ‘I have no English,’ being, as Waverley well knew, the constant reply of a Highlander when he either does not understand or does not choose to reply to an Englishman or Lowlander. He then mentioned the name of Vich lan Vohr, concluding that he was indebted to his friendship for his rescue from the clutches of Gifted Gilfillan, but neither did this produce any mark of recognition from his escort.
The twilight had given place to moonshine when the party halted upon the brink of a precipitous glen, which, as partly enlightened by the moonbeams, seemed full of trees and tangled brushwood. Two of the Highlanders dived into it by a small foot-path, as if to explore its recesses, and one of them returning in a few minutes, said something to his companions, who instantly raised their burden and bore him, with great attention and care, down the narrow and abrupt descent. Notwithstanding their precautions, however, Waverley’s person came more than once into contact, rudely enough, with the projecting stumps and branches which overhung the pathway.
At the bottom of the descent, and, as it seemed, by the side of a brook (for Waverley heard the rushing of a considerable body of water, although its stream was invisible in the darkness), the party again stopped before a small and rudely-constructed hovel. The door was open, and the inside of the premises appeared as uncomfortable and rude as its situation and exterior foreboded. There was no appearance of a floor of any kind; the roof seemed rent in several places; the walls were composed of loose stones and turf, and the thatch of branches of trees. The fire was in the centre, and filled the whole wigwam with smoke, which escaped as much through the door as by means of a circular aperture in the roof. An old Highland sibyl, the only inhabitant of this forlorn mansion, appeared busy in the preparation of some food. By the light which the fire afforded Waverley could discover that his attendants were not of the clan of Ivor, for Fergus was particularly strict in requiring from his followers that they should wear the tartan striped in the mode peculiar to their race; a mark of distinction anciently general through the Highlands, and still maintained by those Chiefs who were proud of their lineage or jealous of their separate and exclusive authority.
Edward had lived at Glennaquoich long enough to be aware of a distinction which he had repeatedly heard noticed, and now satisfied that he had no interest with, his attendants, he glanced a disconsolate eye around the interior of the cabin. The only furniture, excepting a washing-tub and a wooden press, called in Scotland an ambry, sorely decayed, was a large wooden bed, planked, as is usual, all around, and opening by a sliding panel. In this recess the Highlanders deposited Waverley, after he had by signs declined any refreshment. His slumbers were broken and unrefreshing; strange visions passed before his eyes, and it required constant and reiterated efforts of mind to dispel them. Shivering, violent headache, and shooting pains in his limbs succeeded these symptoms; and in the morning it was evident to his Highland attendants or guard, for he knew not in which light to consider them, that Waverley was quite unfit to travel.
After a long consultation among themselves, six of the party left the hut with their arms, leaving behind an old and a young man. The former addressed Waverley, and bathed the contusions, which swelling and livid colour now made conspicuous. His own portmanteau, which the Highlanders had not failed to bring off, supplied him with linen, and to his great surprise was, with all its undiminished contents, freely resigned to his use. The bedding of his couch seemed clean and comfortable, and his aged attendant closed the door of the bed, for it had no curtain, after a few words of Gaelic, from which Waverley gathered that he exhorted him to repose. So behold our hero for a second time the patient of a Highland Esculapius, but in a situation much more uncomfortable than when he was the guest of the worthy Tomanrait.
The symptomatic fever which accompanied the injuries he had sustained did not abate till the third day, when it gave way to the care of his attendants and the strength of his constitution, and he could now raise himself in his bed, though not without pain. He observed, however, that there was a great disinclination on the part of the old woman who acted as his nurse, as well as on that of the elderly Highlander, to permit the door of the bed to be left open, so that he might amuse himself with observing their motions; and at length, after Waverley had repeatedly drawn open and they had as frequently shut the hatchway of his cage, the old gentleman put an end to the contest by securing it on the outside with a nail so effectually that the door could not be drawn till this exterior impediment was removed.
While musing upon the cause of this contradictory spirit in persons whose conduct intimated no purpose of plunder, and who, in all other points, appeared to consult his welfare and his wishes, it occurred to our hero that, during the worst crisis of his illness, a female figure, younger than his old Highland nurse, had appeared to flit around his couch. Of this, indeed, he had but a very indistinct recollection, but his suspicions were confirmed when, attentively listening, he often heard, in the course of the day, the voice of another female conversing in whispers with his attendant. Who could it be? And why should she apparently desire concealment? Fancy immediately aroused herself and turned to Flora Mac-Ivor. But after a short conflict between his eager desire to believe she was in his neighbourhood, guarding, like an angel of mercy, the couch of his sickness, Waverley was compelled to conclude that his conjecture was altogether improbable; since, to suppose she had left her comparatively safe situation at Glennaquoich to descend into the Low Country, now the seat of civil war, and to inhabit such a lurking-place as this, was a thing hardly to be imagined. Yet his heart bounded as he sometimes could distinctly hear the trip of a light female step glide to or from the door of the hut, or the suppressed sounds of a female voice, of softness and delicacy, hold dialogue with the hoarse inward croak of old Janet, for so he understood his antiquated attendant was denominated.
Having nothing else to amuse his solitude, he employed himself in contriving some plan to gratify his curiosity, in despite of the sedulous caution of Janet and the old Highland janizary, for he had never seen the young fellow since the first morning. At length, upon accurate examination, the infirm state of his wooden prison-house appeared to supply the means of gratifying his curiosity, for out of a spot which was somewhat decayed he was able to extract a nail. Through this minute aperture he could perceive a female form, wrapped in a plaid, in the act of conversing with Janet. But, since the days of our grandmother Eve, the gratification of inordinate curiosity has generally borne its penalty in disappointment. The form was not that of Flora, nor was the face visible; and, to crown his vexation, while he laboured with the nail to enlarge the hole, that he might obtain a more complete view, a slight noise betrayed his purpose, and the object of his curiosity instantly disappeared, nor, so far as he could observe, did she again revisit the cottage.
All precautions to blockade his view were from that time abandoned, and he was not only permitted but assisted to rise, and quit what had been, in a literal sense, his couch of confinement. But he was not allowed to leave the hut; for the young Highlander had now rejoined his senior, and one or other was constantly on the watch. Whenever Waverley approached the cottage dooi the sentinel upon duty civilly, but resolutely, placed himself against it and opposed his exit, accompanying his action with signs which seemed to imply there was danger in the attempt and an enemy in the neighbourhood. Old Janet appeared anxious and upon the watch; and Waverley, who had not yet recovered strength enough to attempt to take his departure in spite of the opposition of his hosts, was under the necessity of remaining patient His fare was, in every point of view, better than he could have conceived, for poultry, and even wine, were no strangers to his table. The Highlanders never presumed to eat with him, and, unless in the circumstance of watching him, treated him with great respect. His sole amusement was gazing from the window, or rather the shapeless aperture which was meant to answer the purpose of a window, upon a large and rough brook, which raged and foamed through a rocky channel, closely canopied with trees and bushes, about ten feet beneath the site of his house of captivity.
Upon the sixth day of his confinement Waverley found himself so well that he began to meditate his escape from this dull and miserable prison-house, thinking any risk which he might incur in the attempt preferable to the stupefying and intolerable uniformity of Janet’s retirement. The question indeed occurred, whither he was to direct his course when again at his own disposal. Two schemes seemed practicable, yet both attended with danger and difficulty. One was to go back to Glennaquoich and join Fergus Mac-Ivor,
Upon the evening of the seventh day the door of the hut suddenly opened, and two Highlanders entered, whom Waverley recognised as having been a part of his original escort to this cottage. They conversed for a short time with the old man and his companion, and then made Waverley understand, by very significant signs, that he was to prepare to accompany them. This was a joyful communication. What had already passed during his confinement made it evident that no personal injury was designed to him; and his romantic spirit, having recovered during his repose much of that elasticity which anxiety, resentment, disappointment, and the mixture of unpleasant feelings excited by his late adventures had for a time subjugated, was now wearied with inaction. His passion for the wonderful, although it is the nature of such dispositions to be excited by that degree of danger which merely gives dignity to the feeling of the individual exposed to it, had sunk under the extraordinary and apparently insurmountable evils by which he appeared environed at Cairnvreckan. In fact, this compound of intense curiosity and exalted imagination forms a peculiar species of courage, which somewhat resembles the light usually carried by a miner—sufficiently competent, indeed, to afford him guidance and comfort during the ordinary perils of his labour, but certain to be extinguished should he encounter the more formidable hazard of earth damps or pestiferous vapours. It was now, however, once more rekindled, and with a throbbing mixture of hope, awe, and anxiety, Waverley watched the group before him, as those who were just arrived snatched a hasty meal, and the others assumed their arms and made brief preparations for their departure.
As he sat in the smoky hut, at some distance from the fire, around which the others were crowded, he felt a gentle pressure upon his arm. He looked round; it was Alice, the daughter of Donald Bean Lean. She showed him a packet of papers in such a manner that the motion was remarked by no one else, put her finger for a second to her lips, and passed on, as if to assist old Janet in packing Waverley’s clothes in his portmanteau. It was obviously her wish that he should not seem to recognise her, yet she repeatedly looked back at him, as an opportunity occurred of doing so unobserved, and when she saw that he remarked what she did, she folded the packet with great address and speed in one of his shirts, which she deposited in the portmanteau.
Here then was fresh food for conjecture. Was Alice his unknown warden, and was this maiden of the cavern the tutelar genius that watched his bed during his sickness? Was he in the hands of her father? and if so, what was his purpose? Spoil, his usual object, seemed in this case neglected; for not only Waverley’s property was restored, but his purse, which might have tempted this professional plunderer, had been all along suffered to remain in his possession. All this perhaps the packet might explain; but it was plain from Alice’s manner that she desired he should consult it in secret. Nor did she again seek his eye after she had satisfied herself that her manoeuvre was observed and understood. On the contrary, she shortly afterwards left the hut, and it was only as she tript out from the door, that, favoured by the obscurity, she gave Waverley a parting smile and nod of significance ere she vanished in the dark glen.
The young Highlander was repeatedly despatched by his comrades as if to collect intelligence. At length, when he had returned for the third or fourth time, the whole party arose and made signs to our hero to accompany them. Before his departure, however, he shook hands with old Janet, who had been so sedulous in his behalf, and added substantial marks of his gratitude for her attendance.
‘God bless you! God prosper you, Captain Waverley!’ said Janet, in good Lowland Scotch, though he had never hithero heard her utter a syllable, save in Gaelic. But the impatience of his attendants prohibited his asking any explanation.
A NOCTURNAL ADVENTURE
There was a moment’s pause when the whole party had got out of the hut; and the Highlander who assumed the command, and who, in Waverley’s awakened recollection, seemed to be the same tall figure who had acted as Donald Bean Lean’s lieutenant, by whispers and signs imposed the strictest silence. He delivered to Edward a sword and steel pistol, and, pointing up the track, laid his hand on the hilt of his own claymore, as if to make him sensible they might have occasion to use force to make good their passage. He then placed himself at the head of the party, who moved up the pathway in single or Indian file, Waverley being placed nearest to their leader. He moved with great precaution, as if to avoid giving any alarm, and halted as soon as he came to the verge of the ascent. Waverley was soon sensible of the reason, for he heard at no great distance an English sentinel call out ‘All’s well.’ The heavy sound sunk on the night-wind down the woody glen, and was answered by the echoes of its banks. A second, third, and fourth time the signal was repeated fainter and fainter, as if at a greater and greater distance. It was obvious that a party of soldiers were near, and upon their guard, though not sufficiently so to detect men skilful in every art of predatory warfare, like those with whom he now watched their ineffectual precautions.
When these sounds had died upon the silence of the night, the Highlanders began their march swiftly, yet with the most cautious silence. Waverley had little time, or indeed disposition, for observation, and could only discern that they passed at some distance from a large building, in the windows of which a light or two yet seemed to twinkle. A little farther on the leading Highlander snuffed the wind like a setting spaniel, and then made a signal to his party again to halt. He stooped down upon all fours, wrapped up in his plaid, so as to be scarce distinguishable from the heathy ground on which he moved, and advanced in this posture to reconnoitre. In a short time he returned, and dismissed his attendants excepting one; and, intimating to Waverley that he must imitate his cautious mode of proceeding, all three crept forward on hands and knees.
After proceeding a greater way in this inconvenient manner than was at all comfortable to his knees and shins, Waverley perceived the smell of smoke, which probably had been much sooner distinguished by the more acute nasal organs of his guide. It proceeded from the corner of a low and ruinous sheep-fold, the walls of which were made of loose stones, as is usual in Scotland. Close by this low wall the Highlander guided Waverley, and, in order probably to make him sensible of his danger, or perhaps to obtain the full credit of his own dexterity, he intimated to him, by sign and example, that he might raise his head so as to peep into the sheep-fold. Waverley did so, and beheld an outpost of four or five soldiers lying by their watch-fire. They were all asleep except the sentinel, who paced backwards and forwards with his firelock on his shoulder, which glanced red in the light of the fire as he crossed and re-crossed before it in his short walk, casting his eye frequently to that part of the heavens from which the moon, hitherto obscured by mist, seemed now about to make her appearance.
In the course of a minute or two, by one of those sudden changes of atmosphere incident to a mountainous country, a breeze arose and swept before it the clouds which had covered the horizon, and the night planet poured her full effulgence upon a wide and blighted heath, skirted indeed with copse-wood and stunted trees in the quarter from which they had come, but open and bare to the observation of the sentinel in that to which their course tended. The wall of the sheep-fold indeed concealed them as they lay, but any advance beyond its shelter seemed impossible without certain discovery.
The Highlander eyed the blue vault, but far from blessing the useful light with Homer’s, or rather Pope’s benighted peasant, he muttered a Gaelic curse upon the unseasonable splendour of Mac-Farlane’s buat (i.e. lantern) [Footnote: See Note 1]. He looked anxiously around for a few minutes, and then apparently took his resolution. Leaving his attendant with Waverley, after motioning to Edward
While the soldiers pursued the cause of their disturbance in one direction, Waverley, adopting the hint of his remaining attendant, made the best of his speed in that which his guide originally intended to pursue, and which now (the attention of the soldiers being drawn to a different quarter) was unobserved and unguarded. When they had run about a quarter of a mile, the brow of a rising ground which they had surmounted concealed them from further risk of observation. They still heard, however, at a distance the shouts of the soldiers as they hallooed to each other upon the heath, and they could also hear the distant roll of a drum beating to arms in the same direction. But these hostile sounds were now far in their rear, and died away upon the breeze as they rapidly proceeded.
When they had walked about half an hour, still along open and waste ground of the same description, they came to the stump of an ancient oak, which, from its relics, appeared to have been at one time a tree of very large size. In an adjacent hollow they found several Highlanders, with a horse or two. They had not joined them above a few minutes, which Waverley’s attendant employed, in all probability, in communicating the cause of their delay (for the words ‘Duncan Duroch’ were often repeated), when Duncan himself appeared, out of breath indeed, and with all the symptoms of having run for his life, but laughing, and in high spirits at the success of the stratagem by which he had baffled his pursuers. This indeed Waverley could easily conceive might be a matter of no great difficulty to the active mountaineer, who was perfectly acquainted with the ground, and traced his course with a firmness and confidence to which his pursuers must have been strangers. The alarm which he excited seemed still to continue, for a dropping shot or two were heard at a great distance, which seemed to serve as an addition to the mirth of Duncan and his comrades.
The mountaineer now resumed the arms with which he had entrusted our hero, giving him to understand that the dangers of the journey were happily surmounted. Waverley was then mounted upon one of the horses, a change which the fatigue of the night and his recent illness rendered exceedingly acceptable. His portmanteau was placed on another pony, Duncan mounted a third, and they set forward at a round pace, accompanied by their escort. No other incident marked the course of that night’s journey, and at the dawn of morning they attained the banks of a rapid river. The country around was at once fertile and romantic. Steep banks of wood were broken by corn-fields, which this year presented an abundant harvest, already in a great measure cut down.
On the opposite bank of the river, and partly surrounded by a winding of its stream, stood a large and massive castle, the half-ruined turrets of which were already glittering in the first rays of the sun. [Footnote: See Note 2.] It was in form an oblong square, of size sufficient to contain a large court in the centre. The towers at each angle of the square rose higher than the walls of the building, and were in their turn surmounted by turrets, differing in height and irregular in shape. Upon one of these a sentinel watched, whose bonnet and plaid, streaming in the wind, declared him to be a Highlander, as a broad white ensign, which floated from another tower, announced that the garrison was held by the insurgent adherents of the House of Stuart.
Passing hastily through a small and mean town, where their appearance excited neither surprise nor curiosity in the few peasants whom the labours of the harvest began to summon from their repose, the party crossed an ancient and narrow bridge of several arches, and, turning to the left up an avenue of huge old sycamores, Waverley found himself in front of the gloomy yet picturesque structure which he had admired at a distance. A huge iron-grated door, which formed the exterior defence of the gateway, was already thrown back to receive them; and a second, heavily constructed of oak and studded thickly with iron nails, being next opened, admitted them into the interior court-yard. A gentleman, dressed in the Highland garb and having a white cockade in his bonnet, assisted Waverley to dismount from his horse, and with much courtesy bid him welcome to the castle.
The governor, for so we must term him, having conducted Waverley to a half-ruinous apartment, where, however, there was a small camp-bed, and having offered him any refreshment which he desired, was then about to leave him.
‘Will you not add to your civilities,’ said Waverley, after having made the usual acknowledgment, ’by having the kindness to inform me where I am, and whether or not I am to consider myself as a prisoner?’
’I am not at liberty to be so explicit upon this subject as I could wish. Briefly, however, you are in the Castle of Doune, in the district of Menteith, and in no danger whatever.’
‘And how am I assured of that?’
’By the honour of Donald Stewart, governor of the garrison, and lieutenant-colonel in the service of his Royal Highness Prince Charles Edward.’ So saying, he hastily left the apartment, as if to avoid further discussion.
Exhausted by the fatigues of the night, our hero now threw himself upon the bed, and was in a few minutes fast asleep.
THE JOURNEY IS CONTINUED
Before Waverley awakened from his repose, the day was far advanced, and he began to feel that he had passed many hours without food. This was soon supplied in form of a copious breakfast, but Colonel Stewart, as if wishing to avoid the queries of his guest, did not again present himself. His compliments were, however, delivered by a servant, with an offer to provide anything in his power that could be useful to Captain Waverley on his journey, which he intimated would be continued that evening. To Waverley’s further inquiries, the servant opposed the impenetrable barrier of real or affected ignorance and stupidity. He removed the table and provisions, and Waverley was again consigned to his own meditations.
As he contemplated the strangeness of his fortune, which seemed to delight in placing him at the disposal of others, without the power of directing his own motions, Edward’s eye suddenly rested upon his portmanteau, which had been deposited in his apartment during his sleep. The mysterious appearance of Alice in the cottage of the glen immediately rushed upon his mind, and he was about to secure and examine the packet which she had deposited among his clothes, when the servant of Colonel Stewart again made his appearance, and took up the portmanteau upon his shoulders.
‘May I not take out a change of linen, my friend?’
‘Your honour sall get ane o’ the Colonel’s ain ruffled sarks, but this maun gang in the baggage-cart.’
And so saying, he very coolly carried off the portmanteau, without waiting further remonstrance, leaving our hero in a state where disappointment and indignation struggled for the mastery. In a few minutes he heard a cart rumble out of the rugged court-yard, and made no doubt that he was now dispossessed, for a space at least, if not for ever, of the only documents which seemed to promise some light upon the dubious events which had of late influenced his destiny. With such melancholy thoughts he had to beguile about four or five hours of solitude.
When this space was elapsed, the trampling of horse was heard in the court-yard, and Colonel Stewart soon after made his appearance to request his guest to take some further refreshment before his departure. The offer was accepted, for a late breakfast had by no means left our hero incapable of doing honour to dinner, which was now presented. The conversation of his host was that of a plain country gentleman, mixed with some soldier-like sentiments and expressions. He cautiously avoided any reference to the military operations or civil politics of the time; and to Waverley’s direct inquiries concerning some of these points replied, that he was not at liberty to speak upon such topics.
When dinner was finished the governor arose, and, wishing Edward a good journey, said that, having been informed by Waverley’s servant that his baggage had been sent forward, he had taken the freedom to supply him with such changes of linen as he might find necessary till he was again possessed of his own. With this compliment he disappeared. A servant acquainted Waverley an instant afterwards that his horse was ready.
Upon this hint he descended into the court-yard, and found a trooper holding a saddled horse, on which he mounted and sallied from the portal of Doune Castle, attended by about a score of armed men on horseback. These had less the appearance of regular soldiers than of individuals who had suddenly assumed arms from some pressing motive of unexpected emergency. Their uniform, which was blue and red, an affected imitation of that of French chasseurs, was in many respects incomplete, and sate awkwardly upon those who wore it. Waverley’s eye, accustomed to look at a well-disciplined regiment, could easily discover that the motions and habits of his escort were not those of trained soldiers, and that, although expert enough in the management of their horses, their skill was that of huntsmen or grooms rather than of troopers. The horses were not trained to the regular pace so necessary to execute simultaneous and combined movements and formations; nor did they seem bitted (as it is technically expressed) for the use of the sword. The men, however, were stout, hardy-looking fellows, and might be individually formidable as irregular cavalry. The commander of this small party was mounted upon an excellent hunter, and, although dressed in uniform, his change of apparel did not prevent Waverley from recognising his old acquaintance, Mr. Falconer of Balmawhapple.
Now, although the terms upon which Edward had parted with this gentleman were none of the most friendly, he would have sacrificed every recollection of their foolish quarrel for the pleasure of enjoying once more the social intercourse of question and answer, from which he had been so long secluded. But apparently the remembrance of his defeat by the Baron of Bradwardine, of which Edward had been the unwilling cause, still rankled in the mind of the low-bred and yet proud laird. He carefully avoided giving the least sign of recognition, riding doggedly at the head of his men, who, though scarce equal in numbers to a sergeant’s party, were denominated Captain Falconer’s troop, being preceded by a trumpet, which sounded from time to time, and a standard, borne by Cornet Falconer, the laird’s younger brother. The lieutenant, an elderly man, had much the air of a low sportsman and boon companion; an expression of dry humour predominated in his countenance over features of a vulgar cast, which indicated habitual intemperance. His cocked hat was set knowingly upon one side of his head, and while he whistled the ‘Bob of Dumblain,’ under the influence of half a mutchkin of brandy, he seemed to trot merrily forward, with a happy indifference to the state of the country, the conduct of the party, the end of the journey, and all other sublunary matters whatever.
From this wight, who now and then dropped alongside of his horse, Waverley hoped to acquire some information, or at least to beguile the way with talk.
‘A fine evening, sir,’ was Edward’s salutation.
‘Ow, ay, sir! a bra’ night,’ replied the lieutenant, in broad Scotch of the most vulgar description.
‘And a fine harvest, apparently,’ continued Waverley, following up his first attack.
’Ay, the aits will be got bravely in; but the farmers, deil burst them, and the corn-mongers will make the auld price gude against them as has horses till keep.’
‘You perhaps act as quartermaster, sir?’
‘Ay, quartermaster, riding-master, and lieutenant,’ answered this officer of all work. ’And, to be sure, wha’s fitter to look after the breaking and the keeping of the poor beasts than mysell, that bought and sold every ane o’ them?’
’And pray, sir, if it be not too great a freedom, may I beg to know where we are going just now?’
‘A fule’s errand, I fear,’ answered this communicative personage.
‘In that case,’ said Waverley, determined not to spare civility, ’I should have thought a person of your appearance would not have been found on the road.’
‘Vera true, vera true, sir,’ replied the officer, ’but every why has its wherefore. Ye maun ken, the laird there bought a’ thir beasts frae me to munt his troop, and agreed to pay for them according to the necessities and prices of the time. But then he hadna the ready penny, and I hae been advised his bond will not be worth a boddle against the estate, and then I had a’ my dealers to settle wi’ at Martinmas; and so, as he very kindly offered me this commission, and as the auld Fifteen [Footnote: The Judges of the Supreme Court of Session in Scotland are proverbially termed among the country people, The Fifteen.] wad never help me to my siller for sending out naigs against the government, why, conscience! sir, I thought my best chance for payment was e’en to gae out [Footnote: See Note 3.] mysell; and ye may judge, sir, as I hae dealt a’ my life in halters, I think na mickle o’ putting my craig in peril of a Saint John-stone’s tippet.’
‘You are not, then, by profession a soldier?’ said Waverley.
‘Na, na; thank God,’ answered this doughty partizan, ’I wasna bred at sae short a tether, I was brought up to hack and manger. I was bred a horse-couper, sir; and if I might live to see you at Whitson-tryst, or at Stagshawbank, or the winter fair at Hawick, and ye wanted a spanker that would lead the field, I’se be caution I would serve ye easy; for Jamie Jinker was ne’er the lad to impose upon a gentleman. Ye’re a gentleman, sir, and should ken a horse’s points; ye see that through—ganging thing that Balmawhapple’s on; I selled her till him. She was bred out of Lick-the-ladle, that wan the king’s plate at Caverton-Edge, by Duke Hamilton’s White-Foot,’ etc., etc., etc.
But as Jinker was entered full sail upon the pedigree of Balmawhapple’s mare, having already got as far as great-grandsire and great-grand-dam, and while Waverley was watching for an opportunity to obtain from him intelligence of more interest, the noble captain checked his horse until they came up, and then, without directly appearing to notice Edward, said sternly to the genealogist, ’I thought, lieutenant, my orders were preceese, that no one should speak to the prisoner?’
The metamorphosed horse-dealer was silenced of course, and slunk to the rear, where he consoled himself by entering into a vehement dispute upon the price of hay with a farmer who had reluctantly followed his laird to the field rather than give up his farm, whereof the lease had just expired. Waverley was therefore once more consigned to silence, foreseeing that further attempts at conversation with any of the party would only give Balmawhapple a wished-for opportunity to display the insolence of authority, and the sulky spite of a temper naturally dogged, and rendered more so by habits of low indulgence and the incense of servile adulation.
In about two hours’ time the party were near the Castle of Stirling, over whose battlements the union flag was brightened as it waved in the evening sun. To shorten his journey, or perhaps to display his importance and insult the English garrison, Balmawhapple, inclining to the right, took his route through the royal park, which reaches to and surrounds the rock upon which the fortress is situated.
With a mind more at ease Waverley could not have failed to admire the mixture of romance and beauty which renders interesting the scene through which he was now passing—the field which had been the scene of the tournaments of old—the rock from which the ladies beheld the contest, while each made vows for the success of some favourite knight—the towers of the Gothic church, where these vows might be paid—and, surmounting all, the fortress itself, at once a castle and palace, where valour received the prize from royalty, and knights and dames closed the evening amid the revelry of the dance, the song, and the feast. All these were objects fitted to arouse and interest a romantic imagination.
But Waverley had other objects of meditation, and an incident soon occurred of a nature to disturb meditation of any kind. Balmawhapple, in the pride of his heart, as he wheeled his little body of cavalry round the base of the Castle, commanded his trumpet to sound a flourish and his standard to be displayed. This insult produced apparently some sensation; for when the cavalcade was at such distance from the southern battery as to admit of a gun being depressed so as to bear upon them, a flash of fire issued from one of the embrazures upon the rock; and ere the report with which it was attended could be heard, the rushing sound of a cannon-ball passed over Balmawhapple’s head, and the bullet, burying itself in the ground
The travellers now passed the memorable field of Bannockburn and reached the Torwood, a place glorious or terrible to the recollections of the Scottish peasant, as the feats of Wallace or the cruelties of Wude Willie Grime predominate in his recollection. At Falkirk, a town formerly famous in Scottish history, and soon to be again distinguished as the scene of military events of importance, Balmawhapple proposed to halt and repose for the evening. This was performed with very little regard to military discipline, his worthy quarter-master being chiefly solicitous to discover where the best brandy might be come at. Sentinels were deemed unnecessary, and the only vigils performed were those of such of the party as could procure liquor. A few resolute men might easily have cut off the detachment; but of the inhabitants some were favourable, many indifferent, and the rest overawed. So nothing memorable occurred in the course of the evening, except that Waverley’s rest was sorely interrupted by the revellers hallooing forth their Jacobite songs, without remorse or mitigation of voice.
Early in the morning they were again mounted and on the road to Edinburgh, though the pallid visages of some of the troop betrayed that they had spent a night of sleepless debauchery. They halted at Linlithgow, distinguished by its ancient palace, which Sixty Years Since was entire and habitable, and whose venerable ruins, not quite sixty years since, very narrowly escaped the unworthy fate of being converted into a barrack for French prisoners. May repose and blessings attend the ashes of the patriotic statesman who, amongst his last services to Scotland, interposed to prevent this profanation!
As they approached the metropolis of Scotland, through a champaign and cultivated country, the sounds of war began to be heard. The distant yet distinct report of heavy cannon, fired at intervals, apprized Waverley that the work of destruction was going forward. Even Balmawhapple seemed moved to take some precautions, by sending an advanced party in front of his troop, keeping the main body in tolerable order, and moving steadily forward.
Marching in this manner they speedily reached an eminence, from which they could view Edinburgh stretching along the ridgy hill which slopes eastward from the Castle. The latter, being in a state of siege, or rather of blockade, by the northern insurgents, who had already occupied the town for two or three days, fired at intervals upon such parties of Highlanders as exposed themselves, either on the main street or elsewhere in the vicinity of the fortress. The morning being calm and fair, the effect of this dropping fire was to invest the Castle in wreaths of smoke, the edges of which dissipated slowly in the air, while the central veil was darkened ever and anon by fresh clouds poured forth from the battlements; the whole giving, by the partial concealment, an appearance of grandeur and gloom, rendered more terrific when Waverley reflected on the cause by which it was produced, and that each explosion might ring some brave man’s knell.
Ere they approached the city the partial cannonade had wholly ceased. Balmawhapple, however, having in his recollection the unfriendly greeting which his troop had received from the battery at Stirling, had apparently no wish to tempt the forbearance of the artillery of the Castle. He therefore left the direct road, and, sweeping considerably to the southward so as to keep out of the range of the cannon, approached the ancient palace of Holyrood without having entered the walls of the city. He then drew up his men in front of that venerable pile, and delivered Waverley to the custody of a guard of Highlanders, whose officer conducted him into the interior of the building.
A long, low, and ill-proportioned gallery, hung with pictures, affirmed to be the portraits of kings, who, if they ever flourished at all, lived several hundred years before the invention of painting in oil colours, served as a sort of guard chamber or vestibule to the apartments which the adventurous Charles Edward now occupied in the palace of his ancestors. Officers, both in the Highland and Lowland garb, passed and repassed in haste, or loitered in the hall as if waiting for orders. Secretaries were engaged in making out passes, musters, and returns. All seemed busy, and earnestly intent upon something of importance; but Waverley was suffered to remain seated in the recess of a window, unnoticed by any one, in anxious reflection upon the crisis of his fate, which seemed now rapidly approaching.
AN OLD AND A NEW ACQUAINTANCE
While he was deep sunk in his reverie, the rustle of tartans was heard behind him, a friendly arm clasped his shoulders, and a friendly voice exclaimed,
’Said the Highland prophet sooth? Or must second-sight go for nothing?’
Waverley turned, and was warmly embraced by Fergus Mac-Ivor. ’A thousand welcomes to Holyrood, once more possessed by her legitimate sovereign! Did I not say we should prosper, and that you would fall into the hands of the Philistines if you parted from us?’
‘Dear Fergus!’ said Waverley, eagerly returning his greeting. ’It is long since I have heard a friend’s voice. Where is Flora?’
‘Safe, and a triumphant spectator of our success.’
‘In this place?’ said Waverley.
‘Ay, in this city at least,’ answered his friend, ’and you shall see her; but first you must meet a friend whom you little think of, who has been frequent in his inquiries after you.’
Thus saying, he dragged Waverley by the arm out of the guard chamber, and, ere he knew where he was conducted, Edward found himself in a presence room, fitted up with some attempt at royal state.
A young man, wearing his own fair hair, distinguished by the dignity of his mien and the noble expression of his well-formed and regular features, advanced out of a circle of military gentlemen and Highland chiefs by whom he was surrounded. In his easy and graceful manners Waverley afterwards thought he could have discovered his high birth and rank, although the star on his breast and the embroidered garter at his knee had not appeared as its indications.
‘Let me present to your Royal Highness,’ said Fergus, bowing profoundly—
’The descendant of one of the most ancient and loyal families in England,’ said the young Chevalier, interrupting him. ’I beg your pardon for interrupting you, my dear Mac-Ivor; but no master of ceremonies is necessary to present a Waverley to a Stuart.’
Thus saying, he extended his hand to Edward with the utmost courtesy, who could not, had he desired it, have avoided rendering him the homage which seemed due to his rank, and was certainly the right of his birth. ’I am sorry to understand, Mr. Waverley, that, owing to circumstances which have been as yet but ill explained, you have suffered some restraint among my followers in Perthshire and on your march here; but we are in such a situation that we hardly know our friends, and I am even at this moment uncertain whether I can have the pleasure of considering Mr. Waverley as among mine.’
He then paused for an instant; but before Edward could adjust a suitable reply, or even arrange his ideas as to its purport, the Prince took out a paper and then proceeded:—’I should indeed have no doubts upon this subject if I could trust to this proclamation, set forth by the friends of the Elector of Hanover, in which they rank Mr. Waverley among the nobility and gentry who are menaced with the pains of high-treason for loyalty to their legitimate sovereign. But I desire to gain no adherents save from affection and conviction; and if Mr. Waverley inclines to prosecute his journey to the south, or to join the forces of the Elector, he shall have my passport and free permission to do so; and I can only regret that my present power will not extend to protect him against the probable consequences of such a measure. But,’ continued Charles Edward, after another short pause, ’if Mr. Waverley should, like his ancestor, Sir Nigel, determine to embrace a cause which has little to recommend it but its justice, and follow a prince who throws himself upon the affections of his people to recover the throne of his ancestors or perish in the attempt, I can only say, that among these nobles and gentlemen he will find worthy associates in a gallant enterprise, and will follow a master who may be unfortunate, but, I trust, will never be ungrateful.’
The politic Chieftain of the race of Ivor knew his advantage in introducing Waverley to this personal interview with the royal adventurer. Unaccustomed to the address and manners of a polished court, in which Charles was eminently skilful, his words and his kindness penetrated the heart of our hero, and easily outweighed all prudential motives. To be thus personally solicited for assistance by a prince whose form and manners, as well as the spirit which he displayed in this singular enterprise, answered his ideas of a hero of romance; to be courted by him in the ancient halls of his paternal palace, recovered by the sword which he was already bending towards other conquests, gave Edward, in his own eyes, the dignity and importance which he had ceased to consider as his attributes. Rejected, slandered, and threatened upon the one side, he was irresistibly attracted to the cause which the prejudices of education and the political principles of his family had already recommended as the most just. These thoughts rushed through his mind like a torrent, sweeping before them every consideration of an opposite tendency,—the time, besides, admitted of no deliberation,—and Waverley, kneeling to Charles Edward, devoted his heart and sword to the vindication of his rights!
The Prince (for, although unfortunate in the faults and follies of his forefathers, we shall here and elsewhere give him the title due to his birth) raised Waverley from the ground and embraced him with an expression of thanks too warm not to be genuine. He also thanked Fergus Mac-Ivor repeatedly for having brought him such an adherent, and presented Waverley to the various noblemen, chieftains, and officers who were about his person as a young gentleman of the highest hopes and prospects, in whose bold and enthusiastic avowal of his cause they might see an evidence of the sentiments of the English families of rank at this important crisis. [Footnote: See Note 4.] Indeed, this was a point much doubted among the adherents of the house of Stuart; and as a well-founded disbelief in the cooperation of the English Jacobites kept many Scottish men of rank from his standard, and diminished the courage of those who had joined it, nothing could be more seasonable for the Chevalier than the open declaration in his favour of the representative of the house of Waverley-Honour, so long known as Cavaliers and Royalists. This Fergus had foreseen from the beginning. He really loved Waverley, because their feelings and projects never thwarted each other; he hoped to see him united with Flora, and he rejoiced that they were effectually engaged in the same cause. But, as we before hinted, he also exulted as a politician in beholding secured to his party a partizan of such consequence; and he was far from being insensible to the personal importance which he himself gained with the Prince from having so materially assisted in making the acquisition.
Charles Edward, on his part, seemed eager to show his attendants the value which he attached to his new adherent, by entering immediately, as in confidence, upon the circumstances of his situation. ’You have been secluded so much from intelligence, Mr. Waverley, from causes of which I am but indistinctly informed, that I presume you are even yet unacquainted with the important particulars of my present situation. You have, however, heard of my landing in the remote district of Moidart, with only seven attendants, and of the numerous chiefs and clans whose loyal enthusiasm at once placed a solitary adventurer at the head of a gallant army. You must also, I think, have learned that the commander-in-chief of the Hanoverian Elector, Sir John Cope, marched into the Highlands at the head of a numerous and well-appointed military force with the intention of giving us battle, but that his courage failed him when we were within three hours’ march of each other, so that he fairly gave us the slip and marched northward to Aberdeen, leaving the Low Country open and undefended. Not to lose so favourable an opportunity, I marched on to this metropolis, driving before me two regiments of horse, Gardiner’s and Hamilton’s, who had threatened to cut to pieces every Highlander that should venture to pass Stirling; and while discussions were carrying forward among the magistracy and citizens of Edinburgh whether they should defend themselves or surrender, my good friend Lochiel (laying his hand on the shoulder of that gallant and accomplished chieftain) saved them the trouble of farther deliberation by entering the gates with five hundred Camerons. Thus far, therefore, we have done well; but, in the meanwhile, this doughty general’s nerves being braced by the keen air of Aberdeen, he has taken shipping for Dunbar, and I have just received certain information that he landed there yesterday. His purpose must unquestionably be to march towards us to recover possession of the capital. Now there are two opinions in my council of war: one, that being inferior probably in numbers, and certainly in discipline and military appointments, not to mention our total want of artillery and the weakness of our cavalry, it will be safest to fall back towards the mountains, and there protract the war until fresh succours arrive from France, and the whole body of the Highland clans shall have taken arms in our favour. The opposite opinion maintains, that a retrograde movement, in our circumstances, is certain to throw utter discredit on our arms and undertaking; and, far from gaining us new partizans, will be the means of disheartening those who have joined our standard. The officers who use these last arguments, among whom is your friend Fergus Mac-Ivor, maintain that, if the Highlanders are strangers to the usual military discipline of Europe, the soldiers whom they are to encounter are no less strangers to their peculiar and formidable mode of attack; that the attachment and courage of the chiefs and gentlemen are not to be doubted; and that, as they will be in the midst of the enemy, their clansmen will as surely follow them; in fine, that having drawn the sword we should throw away the scabbard, and trust our cause to battle and to the God of battles. Will Mr. Waverley favour us with his opinion in these arduous circumstances?’
Waverley coloured high betwixt pleasure and modesty at the distinction implied in this question, and answered, with equal spirit and readiness, that he could not venture to offer an opinion as derived from military skill, but that the counsel would be far the most acceptable to him which should first afford him an opportunity to evince his zeal in his Royal Highness’s service.
‘Spoken like a Waverley!’ answered Charles Edward; ’and that you may hold a rank in some degree corresponding to your name, allow me, instead of the captain’s commission which you have lost, to offer you the brevet rank of major in my service, with the advantage of acting as one of my aides-de-camp until you can be attached to a regiment, of which I hope several will be speedily embodied.’
‘Your Royal Highness will forgive me,’ answered Waverley (for his recollection turned to Balmawhapple and his scanty troop), ’if I decline accepting any rank until the time and place where I may have interest enough to raise a sufficient body of men to make my command useful to your Royal Highness’s service. In the meanwhile, I hope for your permission to serve as a volunteer under my friend Fergus Mac-Ivor.’
‘At least,’ said the Prince, who was obviously pleased with this proposal, ’allow me the pleasure of arming you after the Highland fashion.’ With these words, he unbuckled the broadsword which he wore, the belt of which was plaited with silver, and the steel basket-hilt richly and curiously inlaid. ‘The blade,’ said the Prince, ’is a genuine Andrea Ferrara; it has been a sort of heir-loom in our family; but I am convinced I put it into better hands than my own, and will add to it pistols of the same workmanship. Colonel Mac-Ivor, you must have much to say to your friend; I will detain you no longer from your private conversation; but remember we expect you both to attend us in the evening. It may be perhaps the last night we may enjoy in these halls, and as we go to the field with a clear conscience, we will spend the eve of battle merrily.’
Thus licensed, the Chief and Waverley left the presence-chamber.
THE MYSTERY BEGINS TO BE CLEARED UP
‘How do you like him?’ was Fergus’s first question, as they descended the large stone staircase.
‘A prince to live and die under’ was Waverley’s enthusiastic answer.
’I knew you would think so when you saw him, and I intended you should have met earlier, but was prevented by your sprain. And yet he has his foibles, or rather he has difficult cards to play, and his Irish officers, [Footnote: See Note 5.] who are much about him, are but sorry advisers: they cannot discriminate among the numerous pretensions that are set up. Would you think it—I have been obliged for the present to suppress an earl’s patent, granted for services rendered ten years ago, for fear of exciting the jealousy, forsooth, of C——and
‘Why,’ said Waverley, looking at his soiled dress,’my shooting jacket has seen service since we parted; but that probably you, my friend, know as well or better than I.’
‘You do my second-sight too much honour,’ said Fergus. ’We were so busy, first with the scheme of giving battle to Cope, and afterwards with our operations in the Lowlands, that I could only give general directions to such of our people as were left in Perthshire to respect and protect you, should you come in their way. But let me hear the full story of your adventures, for they have reached us in a very partial and mutilated manner.’
Waverley then detailed at length the circumstances with which the reader is already acquainted, to which Fergus listened with great attention. By this time they had reached the door of his quarters, which he had taken up in a small paved court, retiring from the street called the Canongate, at the house of a buxom widow of forty, who seemed to smile very graciously upon the handsome young Chief, she being a person with whom good looks and good-humour were sure to secure an interest, whatever might be the party’s “political opinions”. Here Callum Beg received them with a smile of recognition. ‘Callum,’ said the Chief, ‘call Shemus an Snachad’ (James of the Needle). This was the hereditary tailor of Vich lan Vohr. ’Shemus, Mr. Waverley is to wear the cath dath (battle colour, or tartan); his trews must be ready in four hours. You know the measure of a well-made man—two double nails to the small of the leg—’
’Eleven from haunch to heel, seven round the waist. I give your honour leave to hang Shemus, if there’s a pair of sheers in the Highlands that has a baulder sneck than her’s ain at the cumadh an truais’ (shape of the trews).
‘Get a plaid of Mac-Ivor tartan and sash,’ continued the Chieftain, ’and a blue bonnet of the Prince’s pattern, at Mr. Mouat’s in the Crames. My short green coat, with silver lace and silver buttons, will fit him exactly, and I have never worn it. Tell Ensign Maccombich to pick out a handsome target from among mine. The Prince has given Mr. Waverley broadsword and pistols, I will furnish him with a dirk and purse; add but a pair of low-heeled shoes, and then, my dear Edward (turning to him), you will be a complete son of Ivor.’
These necessary directions given, the Chieftain resumed the subject of Waverley’s adventures. ‘It is plain,’ he said,’that you have been in the custody of Donald Bean Lean. You must know that, when I marched away my clan to join the Prince, I laid my injunctions on that worthy member of society to perform a certain piece of service, which done, he was to join me with all the force he could muster. But, instead of doing so, the gentleman, finding the coast clear, thought it better to make war on his own account, and has scoured the country, plundering, I believe, both friend and foe, under pretence of levying blackmail, sometimes as if by my authority, and sometimes (and be cursed to his consummate impudence) in his own great name! Upon my honour, if I live to see the cairn of Benmore again, I shall be tempted to hang that fellow! I recognise his hand particularly in the mode of your rescue from that canting rascal Gilfillan, and I have little doubt that Donald himself played the part of the pedlar on that occasion; but how he should not have plundered you, or put you to ransom, or availed himself in some way or other of your captivity for his own advantage, passes my judgment.’
‘When and how did you hear the intelligence of my confinement?’ asked Waverley.
‘The Prince himself told me,’ said Fergus, ’and inquired very minutely into your history. He then mentioned your being at that moment in the power of one of our northern parties—you know I could not ask him to explain particulars—and requested my opinion about disposing of you. I recommended that you should be brought here as a prisoner, because I did not wish to prejudice you farther with the English government, in case you pursued your purpose of going southward. I knew nothing, you must recollect, of the charge brought against you of aiding and abetting high treason, which, I presume, had some share in changing your original plan. That sullen, good-for-nothing brute, Balmawhapple, was sent to escort you from Doune, with what he calls his troop of horse. As to his behaviour, in addition to his natural antipathy to everything that resembles a gentleman, I presume his adventure with Bradwardine rankles in his recollection, the rather that I daresay his mode of telling that story contributed to the evil reports which reached your quondam regiment.’
‘Very likely,’ said Waverley; ’but now surely, my dear Fergus, you may find time to tell me something of Flora.’
‘Why,’ replied Fergus, ’I can only tell you that she is well, and residing for the present with a relation in this city. I thought it better she should come here, as since our success a good many ladies of rank attend our military court; and I assure you that there is a sort of consequence annexed to the near relative of such a person as Flora Mac-Ivor, and where there is such a justling of claims and requests, a man must use every fair means to enhance his importance.’
There was something in this last sentence which grated on Waverley’s feelings. He could not bear that Flora should be considered as conducing to her brother’s preferment by the admiration which she must unquestionably attract; and although it was in strict correspondence with many points of Fergus’s character, it shocked him as selfish, and unworthy of his sister’s high mind and his own independent pride. Fergus, to whom such manoeuvres were familiar, as to one brought up at the French court, did not observe the unfavourable impression which he had unwarily made upon his friend’s mind, and concluded by saying,’ that they could hardly see Flora before the evening, when she would be at the concert and ball with which the Prince’s party were to be entertained. She and I had a quarrel about her not appearing to take leave of you. I am unwilling to renew it by soliciting her to receive you this morning; and perhaps my doing so might not only be ineffectual, but prevent your meeting this evening.’
While thus conversing, Waverley heard in the court, before the windows of the parlour, a well-known voice. ’I aver to you, my worthy friend,’ said the speaker, ’that it is a total dereliction of military discipline; and were you not as it were a tyro, your purpose would deserve strong reprobation. For a prisoner of war is on no account to be coerced with fetters, or debinded in ergastulo, as would have been the case had you put this gentleman into the pit of the peel-house at Balmawhapple. I grant, indeed, that such a prisoner may for security be coerced in carcere, that is, in a public prison.’
The growling voice of Balmawhapple was heard as taking leave in displeasure, but the word ‘land-louper’ alone was distinctly audible. He had disappeared before Waverley reached the house in order to greet the worthy Baron of Bradwardine. The uniform in which he was now attired, a blue coat, namely, with gold lace, a scarlet waistcoat and breeches, and immense jack-boots, seemed to have added fresh stiffness and rigidity to his tall, perpendicular figure; and the consciousness of military command and authority had increased, in the same proportion, the self-importance of his demeanour and the dogmatism of his conversation.
He received Waverley with his usual kindness, and expressed immediate anxiety to hear an explanation of the circumstances attending the loss of his commission in Gardiner’s dragoons; ‘not,’ he said, ’that he had the least apprehension of his young friend having done aught which could merit such ungenerous treatment as he had received from government, but because it was right and seemly that the Baron of Bradwardine should be, in point of trust and in point of power, fully able to refute all calumnies against the heir of Waverley-Honour, whom he had so much right to regard as his own son.’
Fergus Mac-Ivor, who had now joined them, went hastily over the circumstances of Waverley’s story, and concluded with the flattering reception he had met from the young Chevalier. The Baron listened in silence, and at the conclusion shook Waverley heartily by the hand and congratulated him upon entering the service of his lawful Prince. ‘For,’ continued he, ’although it has been justly held in all nations a matter of scandal and dishonour to infringe the sacramentum militare, and that whether it was taken by each soldier singly, whilk the Romans denominated per conjurationem, or by one soldier in name of the rest, yet no one ever doubted that the allegiance so sworn was discharged by the dimissio, or discharging of a soldier, whose case would be as hard as that of colliers, salters, and other adscripti glebes, or slaves of the soil, were it to be accounted otherwise. This is something like the brocard expressed by the learned Sanchez in his work “De Jure-jurando” which you have questionless consulted upon this occasion. As for those who have calumniated you by leasing-making, I protest to Heaven I think they have justly incurred the penalty of the “Memnonia Lex,” also called “Lex Rhemnia,” which is prelected upon by Tullius in his oration “In Verrem.” I should have deemed, however, Mr. Waverley, that before destining yourself to any special service in the army of the Prince, ye might have inquired what rank the old Bradwardine held there, and whether he would not have been peculiarly happy to have had your services in the regiment of horse which he is now about to levy.’ Edward eluded this reproach by pleading the necessity of giving an immediate answer to the Prince’s proposal, and his uncertainty at the moment whether his friend the Baron was with the army or engaged upon service elsewhere.
This punctilio being settled, Waverley made inquiry after Miss Bradwardine, and was informed she had come to Edinburgh with Flora Mac-Ivor, under guard of a party of the Chieftain’s men. This step was indeed necessary, Tully-Veolan having become a very unpleasant, and even dangerous, place of residence for an unprotected young lady, on account of its vicinity to the Highlands, and also to one or two large villages which, from aversion as much to the caterans as zeal for presbytery, had declared themselves on the side of government, and formed irregular bodies of partizans, who had frequent skirmishes with the mountaineers, and sometimes attacked the houses of the Jacobite gentry in the braes, or frontier betwixt the mountain and plain.
‘I would propose to you,’ continued the Baron,’to walk as far as my quarters in the Luckenbooths, and to admire in your passage the High Street, whilk is, beyond a shadow of dubitation, finer than any street whether in London or Paris. But Rose, poor thing, is sorely discomposed with the firing of the Castle, though I have proved to her from Blondel and Coehorn, that it is impossible a bullet can reach these buildings; and, besides, I have it in charge from his Royal Highness to go to the camp, or leaguer of our army, to see that the men do condamare vasa, that is, truss up their bag and baggage for tomorrow’s march.’
‘That will be easily done by most of us,’ said Mac-Ivor, laughing.
’Craving your pardon, Colonel Mac-Ivor, not quite so easily as ye seem to opine. I grant most of your folk left the Highlands expedited as it were, and free from the incumbrance of baggage; but it is unspeakable the quantity of useless sprechery which they have collected on their march. I saw one fellow of yours (craving your pardon once more) with a pier-glass upon his back.’
‘Ay,’ said Fergus, still in good-humour, ’he would have told you, if you had questioned him, “a ganging foot is aye getting.” But come, my dear Baron, you know as well as I that a hundred Uhlans, or a single troop of Schmirschitz’s Pandours, would make more havoc in a country than the knight of the mirror and all the rest of our clans put together.’
‘And that is very true likewise,’ replied the Baron; ’they are, as the heathen author says, ferociores in aspectu, mitiores in actu, of a horrid and grim visage, but more benign in demeanour than their physiognomy or aspect might infer. But I stand here talking to you two youngsters when I should be in the King’s Park.’
’But you will dine with Waverley and me on your return? I assure you, Baron, though I can live like a Highlander when needs must, I remember my Paris education, and understand perfectly faire la meilleure chere.’
‘And wha the deil doubts it,’ quoth the Baron, laughing, ’when ye bring only the cookery and the gude toun must furnish the materials? Weel, I have some business in the toun too; but I’ll join you at three, if the vivers can tarry so long.’
So saying, he took leave of his friends and went to look after the charge which had been assigned him.
A SOLDIER’S DINNER
James of the Needle was a man of his word when whisky was no party to the contract; and upon this occasion Callum Beg, who still thought himself in Waverley’s debt, since he had declined accepting compensation at the expense of mine host of the Candlestick’s person, took the opportunity of discharging the obligation, by mounting guard over the hereditary tailor of Sliochd nan Ivor; and, as he expressed himself, ’targed him tightly’ till the finishing of the job. To rid himself of this restraint, Shemus’s needle flew through the tartan like lightning; and as the artist kept chanting some dreadful skirmish of Fin Macoul, he accomplished at least three stitches to the death of every hero. The dress was, therefore, soon ready, for the short coat fitted the wearer, and the rest of the apparel required little adjustment.
Our hero having now fairly assumed the ‘garb of old Gaul,’ well calculated as it was to give an appearance of strength to a figure which, though tall and well-made, was rather elegant than robust, I hope my fair readers will excuse him if he looked at himself in the mirror more than once, and could not help acknowledging that the reflection seemed that of a very handsome young fellow. In fact, there was no disguising it. His light-brown hair—for he wore no periwig, notwithstanding the universal fashion of the time—became the bonnet which surmounted it. His person promised firmness and agility, to which the ample folds of the tartan added an air of dignity. His blue eye seemed of that kind,
Which melted in love, and which kindled in war;
and an air of bashfulness, which was in reality the effect of want of habitual intercourse with the world, gave interest to his features, without injuring their grace or intelligence.
‘He’s a pratty man, a very pratty man,’ said Evan Dhu (now Ensign Maccombich) to Fergus’s buxom landlady.
‘He’s vera weel,’ said the Widow Flockhart, ’but no naething sae weel-far’d as your colonel, ensign.’
‘I wasna comparing them,’ quoth Evan, ’nor was I speaking about his being weel-favoured; but only that Mr. Waverley looks clean-made and deliver, and like a proper lad o’ his quarters, that will not cry barley in a brulzie. And, indeed, he’s gleg aneuch at the broadsword and target. I hae played wi’ him mysell at Glennaquoich, and sae has Vich lan Vohr, often of a Sunday afternoon.’
‘Lord forgie ye, Ensign Maccombich,’ said the alarmed Presbyterian; ‘I’m sure the colonel wad never do the like o’ that!’
‘Hout! hout! Mrs. Flockhart,’ replied the ensign, ’we’re young blude, ye ken; and young saints, auld deils.’
‘But will ye fight wi’ Sir John Cope the morn, Ensign Maccombich?’ demanded Mrs. Flockhart of her guest.
‘Troth I’se ensure him, an he’ll bide us, Mrs. Flockhart,’ replied the Gael.
’And will ye face thae tearing chields, the dragoons, Ensign Maccombich?’ again inquired the landlady.
’Claw for claw, as Conan said to Satan, Mrs. Flockhart, and the deevil tak the shortest nails.’
‘And will the colonel venture on the bagganets himsell?’
’Ye may swear it, Mrs. Flockhart; the very first man will he be, by Saint Phedar.’
‘Merciful goodness! and if he’s killed amang the redcoats!’ exclaimed the soft-hearted widow.
’Troth, if it should sae befall, Mrs. Flockhart, I ken ane that will no be living to weep for him. But we maun a’ live the day, and have our dinner; and there’s Vich lan Vohr has packed his dorlach, and Mr. Waverley’s wearied wi’ majoring yonder afore the muckle pier-glass; and that grey auld stoor carle, the Baron o’ Bradwardine that shot young Ronald of Ballenkeiroch, he’s coming down the close wi’ that droghling coghling bailie body they ca’ Macwhupple, just like the Laird o’ Kittlegab’s French cook, wi’ his turnspit doggie trindling ahint him, and I am as hungry as a gled, my bonny dow; sae bid Kate set on the broo’, and do ye put on your pinners, for ye ken Vich lan Vohr winna sit down till ye be at the head o’ the table;—and dinna forget the pint bottle o’ brandy, my woman.’
This hint produced dinner. Mrs. Flockhart, smiling in her weeds like the sun through a mist, took the head of the table, thinking within herself, perhaps, that she cared not how long the rebellion lasted that brought her into company so much above her usual associates. She was supported by Waverley and the Baron, with the advantage of the Chieftain vis-a-vis. The men of peace and of war, that is, Bailie Macwheeble and Ensign Maccombich, after many profound conges to their superiors and each other, took their places on each side of the Chieftain. Their fare was excellent, time, place, and circumstances considered, and Fergus’s spirits were extravagantly high. Regardless of danger, and sanguine from temper, youth, and ambition, he saw in imagination all his prospects crowned with success, and was totally indifferent to the probable alternative of a soldier’s grave. The Baron apologized slightly for bringing Macwheeble. They had been providing, he said, for the expenses of the campaign. ‘And, by my faith,’ said the old man, ’as I think this will be my last, so I just end where I began: I hae evermore found the sinews of war, as a learned author calls the caisse mttitaire, mair difficult to come by than either its flesh, blood, or bones.’
’What! have you raised our only efficient body of cavalry and got ye none of the louis-d’or out of the Doutelle [Footnote: The Doutelle was an armed vessel which brought a small supply of money and arms from France for the use of the insurgents.] to help you?’
‘No, Glennaquoich; cleverer fellows have been before me.’
‘That’s a scandal,’ said the young Highlander; ’but you will share what is left of my subsidy; it will save you an anxious thought tonight, and will be all one tomorrow, for we shall all be provided for, one way or other, before the sun sets.’ Waverley, blushing deeply, but with great earnestness, pressed the same request.
‘I thank ye baith, my good lads,’ said the Baron, ’but I will not infringe upon your peculium. Bailie Macwheeble has provided the sum which is necessary.’
Here the Bailie shifted and fidgeted about in his seat, and appeared extremely uneasy. At length, after several preliminary hems, and much tautological expression of his devotion to his honour’s service, by night or day, living or dead, he began to insinuate, ‘that the banks had removed a’ their ready cash into the Castle; that, nae doubt, Sandie Goldie, the silversmith, would do mickle for his honour; but there was little time to get the wadset made out; and, doubtless, if his honour Glennaquoich or Mr. Wauverley could accommodate—’
‘Let me hear of no such nonsense, sir,’ said the Baron, in a tone which rendered Macwheeble mute, ’but proceed as we accorded before dinner, if it be your wish to remain in my service.’
To this peremptory order the Bailie, though he felt as if condemned to suffer a transfusion of blood from his own veins into those of the Baron, did not presume to make any reply. After fidgeting a little while longer, however, he addressed himself to Glennaquoich, and told him, if his honour had mair ready siller than was sufficient for his occasions in the field, he could put it out at use for his honour in safe hands and at great profit at this time.
At this proposal Fergus laughed heartily, and answered, when he had recovered his breath—’Many thanks, Bailie; but you must know, it is a general custom among us soldiers to make our landlady our banker. Here, Mrs. Flockhart,’ said he, taking four or five broad pieces out of a well-filled purse and tossing the purse itself, with its remaining contents, into her apron, ’these will serve my occasions; do you take the rest. Be my banker if I live, and my executor if I die; but take care to give something to the Highland cailliachs [Footnote: Old women, on whom devolved the duty of lamenting for the dead, which the Irish call keening.] that shall cry the coronach loudest for the last Vich lan Vohr.’
‘It is the testamentum militare,’ quoth the Baron, ’whilk, amang the Romans, was privilegiate to be nuncupative.’ But the soft heart of Mrs. Flockhart was melted within her at the Chieftain’s speech; she set up a lamentable blubbering, and positively refused to touch the bequest, which Fergus was therefore obliged to resume.
‘Well, then,’ said the Chief, ’if I fall, it will go to the grenadier that knocks my brains out, and I shall take care he works hard for it.’
Bailie Macwheeble was again tempted to put in his oar; for where cash was concerned he did not willingly remain silent. ’Perhaps he had better carry the gowd to Miss Mac-Ivor, in case of mortality or accidents of war. It might tak the form of a mortis causa donation in the young leddie’s favour, and—wad cost but the scrape of a pen to mak it out.’
‘The young lady,’ said Fergus,’should such an event happen, will have other matters to think of than these wretched louis-d’or.’
‘True—undeniable—there’s nae doubt o’ that; but your honour kens that a full sorrow—’
’Is endurable by most folk more easily than a hungry one? True, Bailie, very true; and I believe there may even be some who would be consoled by such a reflection for the loss of the whole existing generation. But there is a sorrow which knows neither hunger nor thirst; and poor Flora—’ He paused, and the whole company sympathised in his emotion.
The Baron’s thoughts naturally reverted to the unprotected state of his daughter, and the big tear came to the veteran’s eye. ’If I fall, Macwheeble, you have all my papers and know all my affairs; be just to Rose.’
The Bailie was a man of earthly mould, after all; a good deal of dirt and dross about him, undoubtedly, but some kindly and just feelings he had, especially where the Baron or his young mistress were concerned. He set up a lamentable howl. ’If that doleful day should come, while Duncan Macwheeble had a boddle it should be Miss Rose’s. He wald scroll for a plack the sheet or she kenn’d what it was to want; if indeed a’ the bonnie baronie o’ Bradwardine and Tully-Veolan, with the fortalice and manor-place thereof (he kept sobbing and whining at every pause), tofts, crofts, mosses, muirs—outfield,
The beginning of this lamentation really had something affecting, but the conclusion rendered laughter irresistible. ’Never mind, Bailie,’ said Ensign Maccombich, ’for the gude auld times of rugging and riving (pulling and tearing) are come back again, an’ Sneckus Mac-Snackus (meaning, probably, annexis, connexis), and a’ the rest of your friends, maun gie place to the langest claymore.’
‘And that claymore shall be ours, Bailie,’ said the Chieftain, who saw that Macwheeble looked very blank at this intimation.
’We’ll give them
the metal our mountain affords,
Lillibulero, bullen a la,
And in place of broad-pieces, we’ll pay with broadswords,
Lero, lero, etc.
With duns and with debts we will soon clear our score,
For the man that’s thus paid will crave payment no more,
Lero, lero, etc.
[Footnote: These lines, or something like them, occur in an old magazine of the period.]
But come, Bailie, be not cast down; drink your wine with a joyous heart; the Baron shall return safe and victorious to Tully-Veolan, and unite Killancureit’s lairdship with his own, since the cowardly half-bred swine will not turn out for the Prince like a gentleman.’
‘To be sure, they lie maist ewest,’ said the Bailie, wiping his eyes, ‘and should naturally fa’ under the same factory.’
‘And I,’ proceeded the Chieftain,’shall take care of myself, too; for you must know, I have to complete a good work here, by bringing Mrs. Flockhart into the bosom of the Catholic church, or at least half way, and that is to your Episcopal meeting-house. O Baron! if you heard her fine counter-tenor admonishing Kate and Matty in the morning, you, who understand music, would tremble at the idea of hearing her shriek in the psalmody of Haddo’s Hole.’
’Lord forgie you, colonel, how ye rin on! But I hope your honours will tak tea before ye gang to the palace, and I maun gang and mask it for you.’
So saying, Mrs. Flockhart left the gentlemen to their own conversation, which, as might be supposed, turned chiefly upon the approaching events of the campaign.
Ensign MacCombich having gone to the Highland camp upon duty, and Bailie Macwheeble having retired to digest his dinner and Evan Dhu’s intimation of martial law in some blind change-house, Waverley, with the Baron and the Chieftain, proceeded to Holyrood House. The two last were in full tide of spirits, and the Baron rallied in his way our hero upon the handsome figure which his new dress displayed to advantage. ’If you have any design upon the heart of a bonny Scotch lassie, I would premonish you, when you address her, to remember and quote the words of Virgilius:—
Nunc insanus amor duri me
Martis in armis,
Tela inter media atque adversos detinet hostes;
whilk verses Robertson of Struan, Chief of the Clan Donnochy (unless the claims of Lude ought to be preferred primo loco), has thus elegantly rendered:—
For cruel love had gartan’d
low my leg,
And clad my hurdies in a philabeg.
Although, indeed, ye wear the trews, a garment whilk I approve maist of the twa, as mair ancient and seemly.’ ‘Or rather,’ said Fergus, ’hear my song:—
She wadna hae a Lowland laird,
Nor be an English lady;
But she’s away with Duncan Grame,
And he’s row’d her in his plaidy.’
By this time they reached the palace of Holyrood, and were announced respectively as they entered the apartments.
It is but too well known how many gentlemen of rank, education, and fortune took a concern in the ill-fated and desperate undertaking of 1745. The ladies, also, of Scotland very generally espoused the cause of the gallant and handsome young Prince, who threw himself upon the mercy of his countrymen rather like a hero of romance than a calculating politician. It is not, therefore, to be wondered that Edward, who had spent the greater part of his life in the solemn seclusion of Waverley-Honour, should have been dazzled at the liveliness and elegance of the scene now exhibited in the long deserted halls of the Scottish palace. The accompaniments, indeed, fell short of splendour, being such as the confusion and hurry of the time admitted; still, however, the general effect was striking, and, the rank of the company considered, might well be called brilliant.
It was not long before the lover’s eye discovered the object of his attachment. Flora Mac-Ivor was in the act of returning to her seat, near the top of the room, with Rose Bradwardine by her side. Among much elegance and beauty, they had attracted a great degree of the public attention, being certainly two of the handsomest women present. The Prince took much notice of both, particularly of Flora, with whom he danced, a preference which she probably owed to her foreign education and command of the French and Italian languages.
When the bustle attending the conclusion of the dance permitted, Edward almost intuitively followed Fergus to the place where Miss Mac-Ivor was seated. The sensation of hope with which he had nursed his affection in absence of the beloved object seemed to vanish in her presence, and, like one striving to recover the particulars of a forgotten dream, he would have given the world at that moment to have recollected the grounds on which he had founded expectations which now seemed so delusive. He accompanied Fergus with downcast eyes, tingling ears, and the feelings of the criminal who, while the melancholy cart moves slowly through the crowds that have assembled to behold his execution, receives no clear sensation either from the noise which fills his ears or the tumult on which he casts his wandering look. Flora seemed a little—a very little—affected and discomposed at his approach. ‘I bring you an adopted son of Ivor,’ said Fergus.
‘And I receive him as a second brother,’ replied Flora.
There was a slight emphasis on the word, which would have escaped every ear but one that was feverish with apprehension. It was, however, distinctly marked, and, combined with her whole tone and manner, plainly intimated, ’I will never think of Mr. Waverley as a more intimate connexion.’ Edward stopped, bowed, and looked at Fergus, who bit his lip, a movement of anger which proved that he also had put a sinister interpretation on the reception which his sister had given his friend. ’This, then, is an end of my day-dream!’ Such was Waverley’s first thought, and it was so exquisitely painful as to banish from his cheek every drop of blood.
‘Good God!’ said Rose Bradwardine, ‘he is not yet recovered!’
These words, which she uttered with great emotion, were overheard by the Chevalier himself, who stepped hastily forward, and, taking Waverley by the hand, inquired kindly after his health, and added that he wished to speak with him. By a strong and sudden effort; which the circumstances rendered indispensable, Waverley recovered himself so far as to follow the Chevalier in silence to a recess in the apartment.
Here the Prince detained him some time, asking various questions about the great Tory and Catholic families of England, their connexions, their influence, and the state of their affections towards the house of Stuart. To these queries Edward could not at any time have given more than general answers, and it may be supposed that, in the present state of his feelings, his responses were indistinct even to confusion. The Chevalier smiled once or twice at the incongruity of his replies, but continued the same style of conversation, although he found himself obliged to occupy the principal share of it, until he perceived that Waverley had recovered his presence of mind. It is probable that this long audience was partly meant to further the idea which the Prince desired should be entertained among his followers, that Waverley was a character
So saying, he turned easily away and joined a circle of officers at a few paces’ distance, leaving Waverley to meditate upon his parting expression, which, though not intelligible to him in its whole purport, was sufficiently so in the caution which the last word recommended. Making, therefore, an effort to show himself worthy of the interest which his new master had expressed, by instant obedience to his recommendation, he walked up to the spot where Flora and Miss Bradwardine were still seated, and having made his compliments to the latter, he succeeded, even beyond his own expectation, in entering into conversation upon general topics.
If, my dear reader, thou hast ever happened to take post-horses at——or at——(one at least of which blanks, or more probably both, you will be able to fill up from an inn near your own residence), you must have observed, and doubtless with sympathetic pain, the reluctant agony with which the poor jades at first apply their galled necks to the collars of the harness. But when the irresistible arguments of the post-boy have prevailed upon them to proceed a mile or two, they will become callous to the first sensation; and being warm in the harness, as the said post-boy may term it, proceed as if their withers were altogether unwrung. This simile so much corresponds with the state of Waverley’s feelings in the course of this memorable evening, that I prefer it (especially as being, I trust, wholly original) to any more splendid illustration with which Byshe’s ‘Art of Poetry’ might supply me.
Exertion, like virtue, is its own reward; and our hero had, moreover, other stimulating motives for persevering in a display of affected composure and indifference to Flora’s obvious unkindness. Pride, which supplies its caustic as an useful, though severe, remedy for the wounds of affection, came rapidly to his aid. Distinguished by the favour of a prince; destined, he had room to hope, to play a conspicuous part in the revolution which awaited a mighty kingdom; excelling, probably, in mental acquirements, and equalling at least in personal accomplishments, most of the noble and distinguished persons with whom he was now ranked; young, wealthy, and high-born,—could he, or ought he, to droop beneath the frown of a capricious beauty?
O nymph, unrelenting and cold
as thou art,
My bosom is proud as thine own.
With the feeling expressed in these beautiful lines (which, however, were not then written), [Footnote: They occur in Miss Seward’s fine verses, beginning—’To thy rocks, stormy Lannow, adieu.’] Waverley determined upon convincing Flora that he was not to be depressed by a rejection in which his vanity whispered that perhaps she did her own prospects as much injustice as his. And, to aid this change of feeling, there lurked the secret and unacknowledged hope that she might learn to prize his affection more highly, when she did not conceive it to be altogether within her own choice to attract or repulse it. There was a mystic tone of encouragement, also, in the Chevalier’s words, though he feared they only referred to the wishes of Fergus in favour of an union between him and his sister. But the whole circumstances of time, place, and incident combined at once to awaken his imagination and to call upon him for a manly and decisive tone of conduct, leaving to fate to dispose of the issue. Should he appear to be the only one sad and disheartened on the eve of battle, how greedily would the tale be commented upon by the slander which had been already but too busy with his fame! Never, never, he internally resolved, shall my unprovoked enemies possess such an advantage over my reputation.
Under the influence of these mixed sensations, and cheered at times by a smile of intelligence and approbation from the Prince as he passed the group, Waverley exerted his powers of fancy, animation, and eloquence, and attracted the general admiration of the company. The conversation gradually assumed the tone best qualified for the display of his talents and acquisitions. The gaiety of the evening was exalted in character, rather than checked, by the approaching dangers of the morrow. All nerves were strung for the future, and prepared to enjoy the present. This mood of mind is highly favourable for the exercise of the powers of imagination, for poetry, and for that eloquence which is allied to poetry. Waverley, as we have elsewhere observed, possessed at times a wonderful flow of rhetoric; and on the present occasion, he touched more than once the higher notes of feeling, and then again ran off in a wild voluntary of fanciful mirth. He was supported and excited by kindred spirits, who felt the same impulse of mood and time; and even those of more cold and calculating habits were hurried along by the torrent. Many ladies declined the dance, which still went forward, and under various pretences joined the party to which the ’handsome young Englishman’ seemed to have attached himself. He was presented to several of the first rank, and his manners, which for the present were altogether free from the bashful restraint by which, in a moment of less excitation, they were usually clouded, gave universal delight.
Flora Mac-Ivor appeared to be the only female present who regarded him with a degree of coldness and reserve; yet even she could not suppress a sort of wonder at talents which, in the course of their acquaintance, she had never seen displayed with equal brilliancy and impressive effect. I do not know whether she might not feel a momentary regret at having taken so decisive a resolution upon the addresses of a lover who seemed fitted so well to fill a high place in the highest stations of society. Certainly she had hitherto accounted among the incurable deficiencies of Edward’s disposition the mauvaise honte which, as she had been educated in the first foreign circles, and was little acquainted with the shyness of English manners, was in her opinion too nearly related to timidity and imbecility of disposition. But if a passing wish occurred that Waverley could have rendered himself uniformly thus amiable and attractive, its influence was momentary; for circumstances had arisen since they met which rendered in her eyes the resolution she had formed respecting him final and irrevocable.
With opposite feelings Rose Bradwardine bent her whole soul to listen. She felt a secret triumph at the public tribute paid to one whose merit she had learned to prize too early and too fondly. Without a thought of jealousy, without a feeling of fear, pain, or doubt, and undisturbed by a single selfish consideration, she resigned herself to the pleasure of observing the general murmur of applause. When Waverley spoke, her ear was exclusively filled with his voice, when others answered, her eye took its turn of observation, and seemed to watch his reply. Perhaps the delight which she experienced in the course of that evening, though transient, and followed by much sorrow, was in its nature the most pure and disinterested which the human mind is capable of enjoying.
‘Baron,’ said the Chevalier, ’I would not trust my mistress in the company of your young friend. He is really, though perhaps somewhat romantic, one of the most fascinating young men whom I have ever seen.’
‘And by my honour, sir,’ replied the Baron,’the lad can sometimes be as dowff as a sexagenary like myself. If your Royal Highness had seen him dreaming and dozing about the banks of Tully-Veolan like an hypochondriac person, or, as Burton’s “Anatomia” hath it, a phrenesiac or lethargic patient, you would wonder where he hath sae suddenly acquired all this fine sprack festivity and jocularity.’
‘Truly,’ said Fergus Mac-Ivor, ’I think it can only be the inspiration of the tartans; for, though Waverley be always a young fellow of sense and honour, I have hitherto often found him a very absent and inattentive companion.’
‘We are the more obliged to him,’ said the Prince, ’for having reserved for this evening qualities which even such intimate friends had not discovered. But come, gentlemen, the night advances, and the business of tomorrow must be early thought upon. Each take charge of his fair partner, and honour a small refreshment with your company.’
He led the way to another suite of apartments, and assumed the seat and canopy at the head of a long range of tables with an air of dignity, mingled with courtesy, which well became his high birth and lofty pretensions. An hour had hardly flown away when the musicians played the signal for parting so well known in Scotland. [Footnote: Which is, or was wont to be, the old air of ‘Good-night and joy be wi’ you a’.]
‘Good-night, then,’ said the Chevalier, rising; ’goodnight, and joy be with you! Good-night, fair ladies, who have so highly honoured a proscribed and banished Prince! Good-night, my brave friends; may the happiness we have this evening experienced be an omen of our return to these our paternal halls, speedily and in triumph, and of many and many future meetings of mirth and pleasure in the palace of Holyrood!’
When the Baron of Bradwardine afterwards mentioned this adieu of the Chevalier, he never failed to repeat, in a melancholy tone,
’Audiit, et voti Phoebus
Mente dedit; partem volucres dispersit in auras;
which,’ as he added, ’is weel rendered into English metre by my friend Bangour:—
Ae half the prayer wi’
Phoebus grace did find,
The t’other half he whistled down the wind.’
The conflicting passions and exhausted feelings of Waverley had resigned him to late but sound repose. He was dreaming of Glennaquoich, and had transferred to the halls of lan nan Chaistel the festal train which so lately graced those of Holyrood. The pibroch too was distinctly heard; and this at least was no delusion, for the ‘proud step of the chief piper’ of the ’chlain MacIvor’ was perambulating the court before the door of his Chieftain’s quarters, and as Mrs. Flockhart, apparently no friend to his minstrelsy, was pleased to observe, ’garring the very stane-and-lime wa’s dingle wi’ his screeching.’ Of course it soon became too powerful for Waverley’s dream, with which it had at first rather harmonised.
The sound of Callum’s brogues in his apartment (for Mac-Ivor had again assigned Waverley to his care) was the next note of parting. ’Winna yer honour bang up? Vich lan Vohr and ta Prince are awa to the lang green glen ahint the clachan, tat they ca’ the King’s Park, [Footnote: The main body of the Highland army encamped, or rather bivouacked, in that part of the King’s Park which lies towards the village of Duddingston.] and mony ane’s on his ain shanks the day that will be carried on ither folk’s ere night.’
Waverley sprung up, and, with Callum’s assistance and instructions, adjusted his tartans in proper costume. Callum told him also,’ tat his leather dorlach wi’ the lock on her was come frae Doune, and she was awa again in the wain wi’ Vich Ian Vohr’s walise.’
By this periphrasis Waverley readily apprehended his portmanteau was intended. He thought upon the mysterious packet of the maid of the cavern, which seemed always to escape him when within his very grasp. But this was no time for indulgence of curiosity; and having declined Mrs. Flockhart’s compliment of a morning, i.e. a matutinal dram, being probably the only man in the Chevalier’s army by whom such a courtesy would have been rejected, he made his adieus and departed with Callum.
‘Callum,’ said he, as they proceeded down a dirty close to gain the southern skirts of the Canongate, ’what shall I do for a horse?’
‘Ta deil ane ye maun think o’,’ said Callum. ’Vich Ian Vohr’s marching on foot at the head o’ his kin (not to say ta Prince, wha does the like), wi’ his target on his shoulder; and ye maun e’en be neighbour-like.’
’And so I will, Callum, give me my target; so, there we are fixed. How does it look?’
‘Like the bra’ Highlander tat’s painted on the board afore the mickle change-house they ca’ Luckie Middlemass’s,’ answered Callum; meaning, I must observe, a high compliment, for in his opinion Luckie Middlemass’s sign was an exquisite specimen of art. Waverley, however, not feeling the full force of this polite simile, asked him no further questions.
Upon extricating themselves from the mean and dirty suburbs of the metropolis, and emerging into the open air, Waverley felt a renewal of both health and spirits, and turned his recollection with firmness upon the events of the preceding evening, and with hope and resolution towards those of the approaching day.
When he had surmounted a small craggy eminence called St. Leonard’s Hill, the King’s Park, or the hollow between the mountain of Arthur’s Seat and the rising grounds on which the southern part of Edinburgh is now built, lay beneath him, and displayed a singular and animating prospect. It was occupied by the army of the Highlanders, now in the act of preparing for their march. Waverley had already seen something of the kind at the hunting-match which he attended with Fergus MacIvor; but this was on a scale of much greater magnitude, and incomparably deeper interest. The rocks, which formed the background of the scene, and the very sky itself, rang with the clang of the bagpipers, summoning forth, each with his appropriate pibroch, his chieftain and clan. The mountaineers, rousing themselves from their couch under the canopy of heaven with the hum and bustle of a confused and irregular multitude, like bees alarmed and arming in their hives, seemed to possess all the pliability of movement fitted to execute military manoeuvres. Their motions appeared spontaneous and confused, but the result was order and regularity; so that a general must have praised the conclusion, though a martinet might have ridiculed the method by which it was attained.
The sort of complicated medley created by the hasty arrangements of the various clans under their respective banners, for the purpose of getting into the order of march, was in itself a gay and lively spectacle. They had no tents to striket having generally, and by choice, slept upon the open field, although the autumn was now waning and the nights began to be frosty. For a little space, while they were getting into order, there was exhibited a changing, fluctuating, and confused appearance of waving tartans and floating plumes, and of banners displaying the proud gathering word of Clanronald, Ganion Coheriga (Gainsay who dares), Loch-Sloy, the watchword of the MacFarlanes; Forth, fortune, and fill the fetters, the motto of the Marquis of Tullibardine; Bydand, that of Lord Lewis Gordon, and the appropriate signal words and emblems of many other chieftains and clans.
At length the mixed and wavering multitude arranged themselves into a narrow and dusky column of great length, stretching through the whole extent of the valley. In the front of the column the standard of the Chevalier was displayed, bearing a red cross upon a white ground, with the motto Tandem Triumphans. The few cavalry, being chiefly Lowland gentry, with their domestic servants and retainers, formed the advanced guard of the army; and their standards, of which they had rather too many in respect of their numbers, were seen waving upon the extreme verge of the horizon. Many horsemen of this body, among whom Waverley accidentally remarked Balmawhapple and his lieutenant, Jinker (which last, however, had been reduced, with several others, by the advice of the Baron of Bradwardine, to the situation of what he called reformed officers, or reformadoes), added to the liveliness, though by no means to the regularity, of the scene, by galloping their horses as fast forward as the press would permit, to join their proper station in the van. The fascinations of the Circes of the High Street, and the potations of strength with which they had been drenched over night, had probably detained these heroes within the walls of Edinburgh somewhat later than was consistent with their morning duty. Of such loiterers, the prudent took the longer and circuitous, but more open, route to attain their place in the march, by keeping at some distance from the infantry, and making their way through the inclosures to the right, at the expense of leaping over or pulling down the drystone fences. The irregular appearance and vanishing of these small parties of horsemen, as well as the confusion occasioned by those who endeavoured, though generally without effect, to press to the front through the crowd of Highlanders, maugre their curses, oaths, and opposition, added to the picturesque wildness what it took from the military regularity of the scene.
While Waverley gazed upon this remarkable spectacle, rendered yet more impressive by the occasional discharge of cannon-shot from the Castle at the Highland guards as they were withdrawn from its vicinity to join their main body, Callum, with his usual freedom of interference, reminded him that Vich lan Vohr’s folk were nearly at the head of the column of march which was still distant, and that ‘they would gang very fast after the cannon fired.’ Thus admonished, Waverley walked briskly forward, yet often casting a glance upon the darksome clouds of warriors who were collected before and beneath him. A nearer view, indeed, rather diminished the effect impressed on the mind by the more distant appearance of the army. The leading men of each clan were well armed with broad-sword, target, and fusee, to which all added the dirk, and most the steel pistol. But these consisted of gentlemen, that is, relations of the chief, however distant, and who had an immediate title to his countenance and protection. Finer and hardier men could not have been selected out of any army in Christendom; while the free and independent habits which each possessed, and which each was yet so well taught to subject to the command of his chief, and the peculiar mode of discipline adopted in Highland warfare, rendered them equally formidable by their individual courage and high spirit, and from their rational conviction of the necessity of acting in unison, and of giving their national mode of attack the fullest opportunity of success.
But, in a lower rank to these, there were found individuals of an inferior description, the common peasantry of the Highland country, who, although they did not allow themselves to be so called, and claimed often, with apparent truth, to be of more ancient descent than the masters whom they served, bore, nevertheless, the livery of extreme penury, being indifferently accoutred, and worse armed, half naked, stinted in growth, and miserable in aspect. Each important clan had some of those Helots attached to them: thus, the MacCouls, though tracing their descent from Comhal, the father of Finn or Fingal, were a sort of Gibeonites, or hereditary servants to the Stewarts of Appin; the Macbeths, descended from the unhappy monarch of that name, were subjects to the Morays and clan Donnochy, or Robertsons of Athole; and many other examples might be given, were it not for the risk of hurting any pride of clanship which may yet be left, and thereby drawing a Highland tempest into the shop of my publisher. Now these same Helots, though forced into the field by the arbitrary authority of the chieftains under whom they hewed wood and drew water, were in general very sparingly fed, ill dressed, and worse armed. The latter circumstance was indeed owing chiefly to the general disarming act, which had been carried into effect ostensibly through the whole Highlands, although most of the chieftains contrived to elude its influence by retaining the weapons of their own immediate clansmen, and delivering up those of less value, which they collected from these inferior satellites. It followed, as a matter of course, that, as we have already hinted, many of these poor fellows were brought to the field in a very wretched condition.
From this it happened that, in bodies, the van of which were admirably well armed in their own fashion, the rear resembled actual banditti. Here was a pole-axe, there a sword without a scabbard; here a gun without a lock, there a scythe set straight upon a pole; and some had only their dirks, and bludgeons or stakes pulled out of hedges. The grim, uncombed, and wild appearance of these men, most of whom gazed with all the admiration of ignorance upon the most ordinary productions of domestic art, created surprise in the Lowlands, but it also created terror. So little was the condition of the Highlands known at that late period that the character and appearance of their population, while thus sallying forth as military adventurers, conveyed to the South-Country Lowlanders as much surprise as if an invasion of African Negroes or Esquimaux Indians had issued forth from the northern mountains of their own native country. It cannot therefore be wondered if Waverley, who had hitherto judged of the Highlanders generally from the samples which the policy of Fergus had from time to time exhibited, should have felt damped and astonished at the daring attempt of a body not then exceeding four thousand men, and of whom not above half the number, at the utmost, were armed, to change the fate and alter the dynasty of the British kingdoms.
As he moved along the column, which still remained stationary, an iron gun, the only piece of artillery possessed by the army which meditated so important a revolution, was fired as the signal of march. The Chevalier had expressed a wish to leave this useless piece of ordnance behind him; but, to his surprise, the Highland chiefs interposed to solicit that it might accompany their march, pleading the prejudices of their followers, who, little accustomed to artillery, attached a degree of absurd importance to this field-piece, and expected it would contribute essentially to a victory which they could only owe to their own muskets and broadswords. Two or three French artillerymen were therefore appointed to the management of this military engine, which was drawn along by a string of Highland ponies, and was, after all, only used for the purpose of firing signals. [Footnote: See Note 6.]
No sooner was its voice heard upon the present occasion than the whole line was in motion. A wild cry of joy from the advancing batallions rent the air, and was then lost in the shrill clangour of the bagpipes, as the sound of these, in their turn, was partially drowned by the heavy tread of so many men put at once into motion. The banners glittered and shook as they moved forward, and the horse hastened to occupy their station as the advanced guard, and to push on reconnoitring parties to ascertain and report the motions of the enemy. They vanished from Waverley’s eye as they wheeled round the base of Arthur’s Seat, under the remarkable ridge of basaltic rocks which fronts the little lake of Duddingston.
The infantry followed in the same direction, regulating their pace by another body which occupied a road more to the southward. It cost Edward some exertion of activity to attain the place which Fergus’s followers occupied in the line of march.
AN INCIDENT GIVES RISE TO UNAVAILING REFLECTIONS
When Waverley reached that part of the column which was filled by the clan of Mac-Ivor, they halted, formed, and received him with a triumphant flourish upon the bagpipes and a loud shout of the men, most of whom knew him personally, and were delighted to see him in the dress of their country and of their sept. ‘You shout,’ said a Highlander of a neighbouring clan to Evan Dhu, ’as if the Chieftain were just come to your head.’
’Mar e Bran is e a brathair, If it be not Bran, it is Bran’s brother,’ was the proverbial reply of Maccombich. [Footnote: Bran, the well-known dog of Fingal. is often the theme of Highland proverb as well as song.]
’O, then, it is the handsome Sassenach duinhe-wassel that is to be married to Lady Flora?’
’That may be, or it may not be; and it is neither your matter nor mine, Gregor.’
Fergus advanced to embrace the volunteer, and afford him a warm and hearty welcome; but he thought it necessary to apologize for the diminished numbers of his battalion (which did not exceed three hundred men) by observing he had sent a good many out upon parties.
The real fact, however, was, that the defection of Donald Bean Lean had deprived him of at least thirty hardy fellows, whose services he had fully reckoned upon, and that many of his occasional adherents had been recalled by their several chiefs to the standards to which they most properly owed their allegiance. The rival chief of the great northern branch, also, of his own clan had mustered his people, although he had not yet declared either for the government or for the Chevalier, and by his intrigues had in some degree diminished the force with which Fergus took the field. To make amends for these disappointments, it was universally admitted that the followers of Vich Ian Vohr, in point of appearance, equipment, arms, and dexterity in using them, equalled the most choice troops which followed the standard of Charles Edward. Old Ballenkeiroch acted as his major; and, with the other officers who had known Waverley when at Glennaquoich, gave our hero a cordial reception, as the sharer of their future dangers and expected honours.
The route pursued by the Highland army, after leaving the village of Duddingston, was for some time the common post-road betwixt Edinburgh and Haddington, until they crossed the Esk at Musselburgh, when, instead of keeping the low grounds towards the sea, they turned more inland, and occupied the brow of the eminence called Carberry Hill, a place already distinguished in Scottish history as the spot where the lovely Mary
Waverley walked forward out of the line to satisfy his curiosity, and soon observed five or six of the troopers who, covered with dust, had galloped in to announce that the enemy were in full march westward along the coast. Passing still a little farther on, he was struck with a groan which issued from a hovel. He approached the spot, and heard a voice, in the provincial English of his native county, which endeavoured, though frequently interrupted by pain, to repeat the Lord’s Prayer. The voice of distress always found a ready answer in our hero’s bosom. He entered the hovel, which seemed to be intended for what is called, in the pastoral counties of Scotland, a smearing-house; and in its obscurity Edward could only at first discern a sort of red bundle; for those who had stripped the wounded man of his arms and part of his clothes had left him the dragoon-cloak in which he was enveloped.
‘For the love of God,’ said the wounded man, as he heard Waverley’s step, ‘give me a single drop of water!’
‘You shall have it,’ answered Waverley, at the same time raising him in his arms, bearing him to the door of the hut, and giving him some drink from his flask.
‘I should know that voice,’ said the man; but looking on Waverley’s dress with a bewildered look—’no, this is not the young squire!’
This was the common phrase by which Edward was distinguished on the estate of Waverley-Honour, and the sound now thrilled to his heart with the thousand recollections which the well-known accents of his native country had already contributed to awaken. ‘Houghton!’ he said, gazing on the ghastly features which death was fast disfiguring, ‘can this be you?’
‘I never thought to hear an English voice again,’ said the wounded man;’they left me to live or die here as I could, when they found I would say nothing about the strength of the regiment. But, O squire! how could you stay from us so long, and let us be tempted by that fiend of the pit, Rufinn? we should have followed you through flood and fire, to be sure.’
’Rufin! I assure you, Houghton, you have been vilely imposed upon.’
‘I often thought so,’ said Houghton,’though they showed us your very seal; and so Tims was shot and I was reduced to the ranks.’
‘Do not exhaust your strength in speaking,’ said Edward; ’I will get you a surgeon presently.’
He saw Mac-Ivor approaching, who was now returning from headquarters, where he had attended a council of war, and hastened to meet him. ’Brave news!’shouted the Chief; ’we shall be at it in less than two hours. The Prince has put himself at the head of the advance, and, as he drew his sword, called out, “My friends, I have thrown away the scabbard.” Come, Waverley, we move instantly.’
’A moment—a moment; this poor prisoner is dying; where shall I find a surgeon?’
’Why, where should you? We have none, you know, but two or three French fellows, who, I believe, are little better than garqons apothecaires.’
‘But the man will bleed to death.’
‘Poor fellow!’ said Fergus, in a momentary fit of compassion; then instantly added, ’But it will be a thousand men’s fate before night; so come along.’
‘I cannot; I tell you he is a son of a tenant of my uncle’s.’
’O, if he’s a follower of yours he must be looked to; I’ll send Callum to you; but diaoul! ceade millia mottigheart,’ continued the impatient Chieftain, ’what made an old soldier like Bradwardine send dying men here to cumber us?’
Callum came with his usual alertness; and, indeed, Waverley rather gained than lost in the opinion of the Highlanders by his anxiety about the wounded man. They would not have understood the general philanthropy which rendered it almost impossible for Waverley to have passed any person in such distress; but, as apprehending that the sufferer was one of his following they unanimously allowed that Waverley’s conduct was thatof akind and considerate chieftain, who merited the attachment of his people. In about a quarter of an hour poor Humphrey breathed his last, praying his young master, when he returned to Waverley-Honour, to be kind to old Job Houghton and his dame, and conjuring him not to fight with these wild petticoat-men against old England.
When his last breath was drawn, Waverley, who had beheld with sincere sorrow, and no slight tinge of remorse, the final agonies of mortality, now witnessed for the first time, commanded Callum to remove the body into the hut. This the young Highlander performed, not without examining the pockets of the defunct, which, however, he remarked had been pretty well spunged. He took the cloak, however, and proceeding with the provident caution of a spaniel hiding a bone, concealed it among some furze and carefully marked the spot, observing that, if he chanced to return that way, it would be an excellent rokelay for his auld mother Elspat.
It was by a considerable exertion that they regained their place in the marching column, which was now moving rapidly forward to occupy the high grounds above the village of Tranent, between which and the sea lay the purposed march of the opposite army.
This melancholy interview with his late sergeant forced many unavailing and painful reflections upon Waverley’s mind. It was clear from the confession of the man that Colonel Gardiner’s proceedings had been strictly warranted, and even rendered indispensable, by the steps taken in Edward’s name to induce the soldiers of his troop to mutiny. The circumstance of the seal he now, for the first time, recollected, and that he had lost it in the cavern of the robber, Bean Lean. That the artful villain had secured it, and used it as the means of carrying on an intrigue in the regiment for his own purposes, was sufficiently evident; and Edward had now little doubt that in the packet placed in his portmanteau by his daughter he should find farther light upon his proceedings. In the meanwhile the repeated expostulation of Houghton—’Ah, squire, why did you leave us?’ rung like a knell in his ears.
‘Yes,’ he said, ’I have indeed acted towards you with thoughtless cruelty. I brought you from your paternal fields, and the protection of a generous and kind landlord, and when I had subjected you to all the rigour of military discipline, I shunned to bear my own share of the burden, and wandered from the duties I had undertaken, leaving alike those whom it was my business to protect, and my own reputation, to suffer under the artifices of villainy. O, indolence and indecision of mind, if not in yourselves vices—to how much exquisite misery and mischief do you frequently prepare the way!’
THE EVE OF BATTLE
Although the Highlanders marched on very fast, the sun was declining when they arrived upon the brow of those high grounds which command an open and extensive plain stretching northward to the sea, on which are situated, but at a considerable distance from each other, the small villages of Seaton and Cockenzie, and the larger one of Preston. One of the low coastroads to Edinburgh passed through this plain, issuing upon it from the enclosures of Seaton House, and at the town or village of Preston again entering the denies of an enclosed country. By this way the English general had chosen to approach the metropolis, both as most commodious for his cavalry, and being probably of opinion that by doing so he would meet in front with the Highlanders advancing from Edinburgh in the opposite direction. In this he was mistaken; for the sound judgment of the Chevalier, or of those to whose advice he listened, left the direct passage free, but occupied the strong ground by which it was overlooked and commanded.
When the Highlanders reached the heights above the plain described, they were immediately formed in array of battle along the brow of the hill. Almost at the same instant the van of the English appeared issuing from among the trees and enclosures of Seaton, with the purpose of occupying the level plain between the high ground and the sea; the space which divided the armies being only about half a mile in breadth. Waverley could plainly see the squadrons of dragoons issue, one after another, from the defiles, with their videttes in front, and form upon the plain, with their front opposed to that of the Prince’s army. They were followed by a train of field-pieces, which, when they reached the flank of the dragoons, were also brought into line and pointed against the heights. The march was continued by three or four regiments of infantry marching in open column, their fixed bayonets showing like successive hedges of steel, and their arms glancing like lightning, as, at a signal given, they also at once wheeled up, and were placed in direct opposition to the Highlanders. A second train of artillery, with another regiment of horse, closed the long march, and formed on the left flank of the infantry, the whole line facing southward.
While the English army went through these evolutions, the Highlanders showed equal promptitude and zeal for battle. As fast as the clans came upon the ridge which fronted their enemy, they were formed into line, so that both armies got into complete order of battle at the same moment. When this was accomplished, the Highlanders set up a tremendous yell, which was re-echoed by the heights behind them. The regulars, who were in high spirits, returned a loud shout of defiance, and fired one or two of their cannon upon an advanced post of the Highlanders. The latter displayed great earnestness to proceed instantly to the attack, Evan Dhu urging to Fergus, by way of argument, that ’the sidier roy was tottering like an egg upon a staff, and that they had a’ the vantage of the onset, for even a haggis (God bless her!) could charge down hill.’
But the ground through which the mountaineers must have descended, although not of great extent, was impracticable in its character, being not only marshy but intersected with walls of dry stone, and traversed in its whole length by a very broad and deep ditch, circumstances which must have given the musketry of the regulars dreadful advantages before the mountaineers could have used their swords, on which they were taught to rely. The authority of the commanders was therefore interposed to curb the impetuosity of the Highlanders, and only a few marksmen were sent down the descent to skirmish with the enemy’s advanced posts and to reconnoitre the ground.
Here, then, was a military spectacle of no ordinary interest or usual occurrence. The two armies, so different in aspect and discipline, yet each admirably trained in its own peculiar mode of war, upon whose conflict the temporary fate at least of Scotland appeared to depend, now faced each other like two gladiators in the arena, each meditating upon the mode of attacking their enemy. The leading officers and the general’s staff of each army could be distinguished in front of their lines, busied with spy-glasses to watch each other’s motions, and occupied in despatching the orders and receiving the intelligence conveyed by the aides-de-camp and orderly men, who gave life to the scene by galloping along in different directions, as if the fate of the day depended upon the speed of their horses. The space between the armies was at times occupied by the partial and irregular contest of individual sharp-shooters, and a hat or bonnet was occasionally seen to fall, as a wounded man was borne off by his comrades. These, however, were but trifling skirmishes, for it suited the views of neither party to advance in that direction. From the neighbouring hamlets the peasantry cautiously showed themselves, as if watching the issue of the expected engagement; and at no great distance in the bay were two square-rigged vessels, bearing the English flag, whose tops and yards were crowded with less timid spectators.
When this awful pause had lasted for a short time, Fergus, with another chieftain, received orders to detach their clans towards the village of Preston, in order to threaten the right flank of Cope’s army and compel him to a change of position. To enable him to execute these orders, the Chief of Glennaquoich occupied the church-yard of Tranent, a commanding situation, and a convenient place, as Evan Dhu remarked, ’for any gentleman who might have the misfortune to be killed, and chanced to be curious about Christian burial.’ To check or dislodge this party, the English general detached two guns, escorted by a strong party of cavalry. They approached so near that Waverley could plainly recognise the standard of the troop he had formerly commanded, and hear the trumpets and kettle-drums sound the signal of advance which he had so often obeyed. He could hear, too, the well-known word given in the English dialect by the equally well-distinguished voice of the commanding officer, for whom he had once felt so much respect. It was at that instant, that, looking around him, he saw the wild dress and appearance of his Highland associates, heard their whispers in an uncouth and unknown language, looked upon his own dress, so unlike that which he had worn from his infancy, and wished to awake from what seemed at the moment a dream, strange, horrible, and unnatural. ‘Good God!’ he muttered, ’am I then a traitor to my country, a renegade to my standard, and a foe, as that poor dying wretch expressed himself, to my native England!’
Ere he could digest or smother the recollection, the tall military form of his late commander came full in view, for the purpose of reconnoitring. ‘I can hit him now,’ said Callum, cautiously raising his fusee over the wall under which he lay couched, at scarce sixty yards’ distance.
Edward felt as if he was about to see a parricide committed in his presence; for the venerable grey hair and striking countenance of the veteran recalled the almost paternal respect with which his officers universally regarded him. But ere he could say ‘Hold!’ an aged Highlander who lay beside Callum Beg stopped his arm. ’Spare your shot,’ said the seer, ’his hour is not yet come. But let him beware of to-morrow; I see his winding-sheet high upon his breast.’
Callum, flint to other considerations, was penetrable to superstition. He turned pale at the words of the taishatr, and recovered his piece. Colonel Gardiner, unconscious of the danger he had escaped, turned his horse round and rode slowly back to the front of his regiment.
By this time the regular army had assumed a new line, with one flank inclined towards the sea and the other resting upon the village of Preston; and, as similar difficulties occurred in attacking their new position, Fergus and the rest of the detachment were recalled to their former post. This alteration created the necessity of a corresponding change in General Cope’s army, which was again brought into a line parallel with that of the Highlanders. In these manoeuvres on both sides the daylight was nearly consumed, and both armies prepared to rest upon their arms for the night in the lines which they respectively occupied.
‘There will be nothing done to-night,’ said Fergus to his friend Waverley; ’ere we wrap ourselves in our plaids, let us go see what the Baron is doing in the rear of the line.’
When they approached his post, they found the good old careful officer, after having sent out his night patrols and posted his sentinels, engaged in reading the Evening Service of the Episcopal Church to the remainder of his troop. His voice was loud and sonorous, and though his spectacles upon his nose, and the appearance of Saunders Saunderson, in military array, performing the functions of clerk, had something ludicrous, yet the circumstances of danger in which they stood, the military costume of the audience, and the appearance of their horses saddled and picqueted behind them, gave an impressive and solemn effect to the office of devotion.
‘I have confessed to-day, ere you were awake,’ whispered Fergus to Waverley; ’yet I am not so strict a Catholic as to refuse to join in this good man’s prayers.’
Edward assented, and they remained till the Baron had concluded the service.
As he shut the book, ‘Now, lads,’ said he, ’have at them in the morning with heavy hands and light consciences.’ He then kindly greeted Mac-Ivor and Waverley, who requested to know his opinion of their situation. Why, you know Tacitus saith, “In rebus bellicis maxime dominalur Fortuna,” which is equiponderate with our vernacular adage, “Luck can maist in the mellee.” But credit me, gentlemen, yon man is not a deacon o’ his craft. He damps the spirits of the poor lads he commands by keeping them on the defensive, whilk of itself implies inferiority or fear. Now will they lie on their arms yonder as anxious and as ill at ease as a toad under a harrow, while our men will be quite fresh and blithe for action in the morning. Well, good-night. One thing troubles me, but if to-morrow goes well off, I will consult you about it, Glennaquoich.’
’I could almost apply to Mr. Bradwardine the character which Henry gives of Fluellen,’ said Waverley, as his friend and he walked towards their bivouac:
’Though it appears a
little out of fashion,
There is much care and valour in this “Scotchman."’
‘He has seen much service,’ answered Fergus, ’and one is sometimes astonished to find how much nonsense and reason are mingled in his composition. I wonder what can be troubling his mind; probably something about Rose. Hark! the English are setting their watch.’
The roll of the drum and shrill accompaniment of the fifes swelled up the hill—died away—resumed its thunder—and was at length hushed. The trumpets and kettle-drums of the cavalry were next heard to perform the beautiful and wild point of war appropriated as a signal for that piece of nocturnal duty, and then finally sunk upon the wind with a shrill and mournful cadence.
The friends, who had now reached their post, stood and looked round them ere they lay down to rest. The western sky twinkled with stars, but a frost-mist, rising from the ocean, covered the eastern horizon, and rolled in white wreaths along the plain where the adverse army lay couched upon their arms. Their advanced posts were pushed as far as the side of the great ditch at the bottom of the descent, and had kindled large fires at different intervals, gleaming with obscure and hazy lustre through the heavy fog which encircled them with a doubtful halo.
The Highlanders,’thick as leaves in Vallombrosa,’ lay stretched upon the ridge of the hill, buried (excepting their sentinels) in the most profound repose. ’How many of these brave fellows will sleep more soundly before to-morrow night, Fergus!’ said Waverley, with an involuntary sigh.
‘You must notthink of that,’ answered Fergus, whose ideas were entirely military. ’You must only think of your sword, and by whom it was given. All other reflections are now too late.’
With the opiate contained in this undeniable remark Edward endeavoured to lull the tumult of his conflicting feelings. The Chieftain and he, combining their plaids, made a comfortable and warm couch. Callum, sitting down at their head (for it was his duty to watch upon the immediate person of the Chief), began a long mournful song in Gaelic, to a low and uniform tune, which, like the sound of the wind at a distance, soon lulled them to sleep.
When Fergus Mac-Ivor and his friend had slept for a few hours, they were awakened and summoned to attend the Prince. The distant village clock was heard to toll three as they hastened to the place where he lay. He was already surrounded by his principal officers and the chiefs of clans. A bundle of pease-straw, which had been lately his couch, now served for his seat. Just as Fergus reached the
The proposal spread unanimous joy, and each leader hastened to get his men into order with as little noise as possible. The army, moving by its right from off the ground on which they had rested, soon entered the path through the morass, conducting their march with astonishing silence and great rapidity. The mist had not risen to the higher grounds, so that for some time they had the advantage of star-light. But this was lost as the stars faded before approaching day, and the head of the marching column, continuing its descent, plunged as it were into the heavy ocean of fog, which rolled its white waves over the whole plain, and over the sea by which it was bounded. Some difficulties were now to be encountered, inseparable from darkness, a narrow, broken, and marshy path, and the necessity of preserving union in the march. These, however, were less inconvenient to Highlanders, from their habits of life, than they would have been to any other troops, and they continued a steady and swift movement.
As the clan of Ivor approached the firm ground, following the track of those who preceded them, the challenge of a patrol was heard through the mist, though they could not see the dragoon by whom it was made—’Who goes there?’
‘Hush!’ cried Fergus, ’hush! let none answer, as he values his life; press forward’; and they continued their march with silence and rapidity.
The patrol fired his carabine upon the body, and the report was instantly followed by the clang of his horse’s feet as he galloped off. ‘Hylax in limine latrat,’ said the Baron of Bradwardine, who heard the shot;’that loon will give the alarm.’
The clan of Fergus had now gained the firm plain, which had lately borne a large crop of corn. But the harvest was gathered in, and the expanse was unbroken by tree, bush, or interruption of any kind. The rest of the army were following fast, when they heard the drums of the enemy beat the general. Surprise, however, had made no part of their plan, so they were not disconcerted by this intimation that the foe was upon his guard and prepared to receive them. It only hastened their dispositions for the combat, which were very simple.
The Highland army, which now occupied the eastern end of the wide plain, or stubble field, so often referred to, was drawn up in two lines, extending from the morass towards the sea. The first was destined to charge the enemy, the second to act as a reserve. The few horse, whom the Prince headed in person, remained between the two lines. The adventurer had intimated a resolution to charge in person at the head of his first line; but his purpose was deprecated by all around him, and he was with difficulty induced to abandon it.
Both lines were now moving forward, the first prepared for instant combat. The clans of which it was composed formed each a sort of separate phalanx, narrow in front, and in depth ten, twelve, or fifteen files, according to the strength of the following. The best-armed and best-born, for the words were synonymous, were placed in front of each of these irregular subdivisions. The others in the rear shouldered forward the front, and by their pressure added both physical impulse and additional ardour and confidence to those who were first to encounter the danger.
‘Down with your plaid, Waverley,’ cried Fergus, throwing off his own; ’we’ll win silks for our tartans before the sun is above the sea.’
The clansmen on every side stript their plaids, prepared their arms, and there was an awful pause of about three minutes, during which the men, pulling off their bonnets, raised their faces to heaven and uttered a short prayer; then pulled their bonnets over their brows and began to move forward, at first slowly. Waverley felt his heart at that moment throb as it would have burst from his bosom. It was not fear, it was not ardour: it was a compound of both, a new and deeply energetic impulse that with its first emotion chilled and astounded, then fevered and maddened his mind. The sounds around him combined to exalt his enthusiasm; the pipes played, and the clans rushed forward, each in its own dark column. As they advanced they mended their pace, and the muttering sounds of the men to each other began to swell into a wild cry.
At this moment the sun, which was now risen above the horizon, dispelled the mist. The vapours rose like a curtain, and showed the two armies in the act of closing. The line of the regulars was formed directly fronting the attack of the Highlanders; it glittered with the appointments of a complete army, and was flanked by cavalry and artillery. But the sight impressed no terror on the assailants.
‘Forward, sons of Ivor,’ cried their Chief, ’or the Camerons will draw the first blood!’ They rushed on with a tremendous yell.
The rest is well known. The horse, who were commanded to charge the advancing Highlanders in the flank, received an irregular fire from their fusees as they ran on and, seized with a disgraceful panic, wavered, halted, disbanded, and galloped from the field. The artillery men, deserted by the cavalry, fled after discharging their pieces, and the Highlanders, who dropped their guns when fired and drew their broadswords, rushed with headlong fury against the infantry.
It was at this moment of confusion and terror that Waverley remarked an English officer, apparently of high rank, standing, alone and unsupported, by a fieldpiece, which, after the flight of the men by whom it was wrought, he had himself levelled and discharged against the clan of Mac-Ivor, the nearest group of Highlanders within his aim. Struck with his tall, martial figure, and eager to save him from inevitable destruction, Waverley outstripped for an instant even the speediest of the warriors, and, reaching the spot first, called to him to surrender. The officer replied by a thrust with his sword, which Waverley received in his target, and in turning it aside the Englishman’s weapon broke. At the same time the battle-axe of Dugald Mahony was in the act of descending upon the officer’s head. Waverley intercepted and prevented the blow, and the officer, perceiving further resistance unavailing, and struck with Edward’s generous anxiety for his safety, resigned the fragment of his sword, and was committed by Waverley to Dugald, with strict charge to use him well, and not to pillage his person, promising him, at the same time, full indemnification for the spoil.
On Edward’s right the battle for a few minutes raged fierce and thick. The English infantry, trained in the wars in Flanders, stood their ground with great courage. But their extended files were pierced and broken in many places by the close masses of the clans; and in the personal struggle which ensued the nature of the Highlanders’ weapons, and their extraordinary fierceness and activity, gave them a decided superiority over those who had been accustomed to trust much to their array and discipline, and felt that the one was broken and the other useless. Waverley, as he cast his eyes towards this scene of smoke and slaughter, observed Colonel Gardiner, deserted by his own soldiers in spite of all his attempts to rally them, yet spurring his horse through the field to take the command of a small body of infantry, who, with their backs arranged against the wall of his own park (for his house was close by the field of battle), continued a desperate and unavailing resistance. Waverley could perceive that he had already received many wounds, his clothes and saddle being marked with blood. To save this good and brave man became the instant object of his most anxious exertions. But he could only witness his fall. Ere Edward could make his way among the Highlanders, who, furious and eager for spoil, now thronged upon each other, he saw his former commander brought from his horse by the blow of a scythe, and beheld him receive, while on the ground, more wounds than would have let out twenty lives. When Waverley came up, however, perception had not entirely fled. The dying warrior seemed to recognize Edward, for he fixed his eye upon him with an upbraiding, yet sorrowful, look, and appeared to struggle, for utterance. But he felt that death was dealing closely with him, and resigning his purpose, and folding his hands as if in devotion, he gave up his soul to his Creator. The look with which he regarded Waverley in his dying moments did not strike him so deeply at that crisis of hurry and confusion as when it recurred to his imagination at the distance of some time. [Footnote: See Note 8.]
Loud shouts of triumph now echoed over the whole field. The battle was fought and won, and the whole baggage, artillery, and military stores of the regular army remained in possession of the victors. Never was a victory more complete. Scarce any escaped from the battle, excepting the cavalry, who had left it at the very onset, and even these were broken into different parties and scattered all over the country. So far as our tale is concerned, we have only to relate the fate of Balmawhapple, who, mounted on a horse as headstrong and stiff-necked as his rider, pursued the flight of the dragoons above four miles from the field of battle, when some dozen of the fugitives took heart of grace, turned round, and cleaving his skull with their broadswords, satisfied the world that the unfortunate gentleman had actually brains, the end of his life thus giving proof of a fact greatly doubted during its progress. His death was lamented by few. Most of those who knew him agreed in the pithy observation of Ensign Maccombich, that there ‘was mair tint (lost) at Sheriff-Muir.’ His friend, Lieutenant Jinker, bent his eloquence only to exculpate his favourite mare from any share in contributing to the catastrophe. ‘He had tauld the laird a thousand times,’ he said,’that it was a burning shame to put a martingale upon the puir thing, when he would needs ride her wi’ a curb of half a yard lang; and that he could na but bring himsell (not to say her) to some mischief, by flinging her down, or otherwise; whereas, if he had had a wee bit rinnin ring on the snaffle, she wad ha’ rein’d as cannily as a cadger’s pownie.’
Such was the elegy of the Laird of Balmawhapple. [Footnote: See Note 9.]
AN UNEXPECTED EMBARRASSMENT
When the battle was over, and all things coming into order, the Baron of Bradwardine, returning from the duty of the day, and having disposed those under his command in their proper stations, sought the Chieftain of Glennaquoich and his friend Edward Waverley. He found the former busied in determining disputes among his clansmen about points of precedence and deeds of valour, besides sundry high and doubtful questions concerning plunder. The most important of the last respected the property of a gold watch, which had once belonged to some unfortunate English officer. The party against whom judgment was awarded consoled himself by observing, ’She (i.e. the watch, which he took for a living animal) died the very night Vich lan Vohr gave her to Murdoch’; the machine, having, in fact, stopped for want of winding up.
It was just when this important question was decided that the Baron of Bradwardine, with a careful and yet important expression of countenance, joined the two young men. He descended from his reeking charger, the care of which he recommended to one of his grooms. ‘I seldom ban, sir,’ said he to the man; ’but if you play any of your hound’s-foot tricks, and leave puir Berwick before he’s sorted, to rin after spuilzie, deil be wi’ me if I do not give your craig a thraw.’ He then stroked with great complacency the animal which had borne him through the fatigues of the day, and having taken a tender leave of him—’ Weel, my good young friends, a glorious and decisive victory,’ said he; ’but these loons of troopers fled ower soon. I should have liked to have shown you the true points of the pralium equestre, or equestrian combat, whilk their cowardice has postponed, and which I hold to be the pride and terror of warfare. Weel—I have fought once more in this old quarrel, though I admit I could not be so far Ben as you lads, being that it was my point of duty to keep together our handful of horse. And no cavalier ought in any wise to begrudge honour that befalls his companions, even though they are ordered upon thrice his danger, whilk, another time, by the blessing of God, may be his own case. But, Glennaquoich, and you, Mr. Waverley, I pray ye to give me your best advice on a matter of mickle weight, and which deeply affects the honour of the house of Bradwardine. I crave your pardon, Ensign Maccombich, and yours, Inveraughlin, and yours, Edderalshendrach, and yours, sir.’
The last person he addressed was Ballenkeiroch, who, remembering the death of his son, loured on him with a look of savage defiance. The Baron, quick as lightning at taking umbrage, had already bent his brow when Glennaquoich dragged his major from the spot, and remonstrated with him, in the authoritative tone of a chieftain, on the madness of reviving a quarrel in such a moment.
‘The ground is cumbered with carcasses,’ said the old mountaineer, turning sullenly away; ’one more would hardly have been kenn’dupon it; and if it wasna for yoursell, Vich lan Vohr, that one should be Bradwardine’s or mine.’
The Chief soothed while he hurried him away; and then returned to the Baron. ‘It is Ballenkeiroch,’ he said, in an under and confidential voice, ’father of the young man who fell eight years since in the unlucky affair at the mains.’
‘Ah!’ said the Baron, instantly relaxing the doubtful sternness of his features, ’I can take naickle frae a man to whom I have unhappily rendered sic a displeasure as that. Ye were right to apprise me, Glennaquoich; he may look as black as midnight at Martinmas ere Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine shall say he does him wrang. Ah! I have nae male lineage, and I should bear with one I have made childless, though you are aware the blood-wit was made up to your ain satisfaction by assythment, and that I have since expedited letters of slains. Weel, as I have said, I have no male issue, and yet it is needful that I maintain the honour of my house; and it is on that score I prayed ye for your peculiar and private attention.’
The two young men awaited to hear him, in anxious curiosity.
‘I doubt na, lads,’ he proceeded, ’but your education has been sae seen to that ye understand the true nature of the feudal tenures?’
Fergus, afraid of an endless dissertation, answered, ’Intimately, Baron,’ and touched Waverley as a signal to express no ignorance.
’And ye are aware, I doubt not, that the holding of the barony of Bradwardine is of a nature alike honourable and peculiar, being blanch (which Craig opines ought to be Latinated blancum, or rather francum, a free holding) pro sermtio detrahendi, seu exuendi, caligas regis post battalliam.’ Here Fergus turned his falcon eye upon Edward, with an almost imperceptible rise of his eyebrow, to which his shoulders corresponded in the same degree of elevation. ’Now, twa points of dubitation occur to me upon this topic. First, whether this service, or feudal homage, be at any event due to the person of the Prince, the words being, per expressum, caligas regis, the boots of the king himself; and I pray your opinion anent that particular before we proceed farther.’
‘Why, he is Prince Regent,’ answered Mac-Ivor, with laudable composure of countenance; ’and in the court of France all the honours are rendered to the person of the Regent which are due to that of the King. Besides, were I to pull off either of their boots, I would render that service to the young Chevalier ten times more willingly than to his father.’
’ Ay, but I talk not of personal predilections. However, your authority is of great weight as to the usages of the court of France; and doubtless the Prince, as alter ego, may have a right to claim the homagium of the great tenants of the crown, since all faithful subjects are commanded, in the commission of regency, to respect him as the King’s own person. Far, therefore, be it from me to diminish the lustre of his authority by withholding this act of homage, so peculiarly calculated to give it splendour; for I question if the Emperor of Germany hath his boots taken off by a free baron of the empire. But here lieth the second difficulty— the Prince wears no boots, but simply brogues and trews.’
This last dilemma had almost disturbed Fergus’s gravity.
‘Why,’ said he, ’you know, Baron, the proverb tells us, “It’s ill taking the breeks off a Highlandman,” and the boots are here in the same predicament.’
‘The word caligce, however,’ continued the Baron, ’though I admit that, by family tradition, and even in our ancient evidents, it is explained “lie-boots,” means, in its primitive sense, rather sandals; and Caius Caesar, the nephew and successor of Caius Tiberius, received the agnomen of Caligula, a caligulis sine caligis levioribus, quibus adolescentior usus fuerat in exercitu Germanici patris sui. And the caligce were also proper to the monastic bodies; for we read in an ancient glossarium upon the rule of Saint Benedict, in the Abbey of Saint Amand, that caligae were tied with latchets.’
‘That will apply to the brogues,’ said Fergus.
’It will so, my dear Glennaquoich, and the words are express: Caligae, dicta sunt quia ligantur; nam socci non ligantur, sed tantum intromittuntur; that is, caligae are denominated from the ligatures wherewith they are bound; whereas socci, which may be analogous to our mules, whilk the English denominate slippers, are only slipped upon the feet. The words of the charter are also alternative, exuere seu detrahere; that is, to undo, as in the case of sandals or brogues, and to pull of, as we say vernacularly concerning boots. Yet I would we had more light; but I fear there is little chance of finding hereabout any erudite author de re vestiaria.’
‘I should doubt it very much,’ said the Chieftain, looking around on the straggling Highlanders, who were returning loaded with spoils of the slain,’though the res vestiaria itself seems to be in some request at present.’
This remark coming within the Baron’s idea of jocularity, he honoured it with a smile, but immediately resumed what to him appeared very serious business.
’Bailie Macwheeble indeed holds an opinion that this honorary service is due, from its very nature, si petatur tantum; only if his Royal Highness shall require of the great tenant of the crown to perform that personal duty; and indeed he pointed out the case in Dirleton’s Doubts and Queries, Grippit versus Spicer, anent the eviction of an estate ob non solutum canonem; that is, for non-payment of a feu-duty of three pepper-corns a year, whilk were taxt to be worth seven-eighths of a penny Scots, in whilk the defender was assoilzied. But I deem it safest, wi’ your good favour, to place myself in the way of rendering the Prince this service, and to proffer performance thereof; and I shall cause the Bailie to attend with a schedule of a protest, whilk he has here prepared (taking out a paper), intimating, that if it shall be his Royal Highness’s pleasure to accept of other assistance at pulling off his caligae (whether the same shall be rendered boots or brogues) save that of the said Baron of Bradwardine, who is in presence ready and willing to perform the same, it shall in no wise impinge upon or prejudice the right of the said Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine to perform the said service in future; nor shall it give any esquire, valet of the chamber, squire, or page, whose assistance it may please his Royal Highness to employ, any right, title, or ground for evicting from the said Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine the estate and barony of Bradwardine, and others held as aforesaid, by the due and faithful performance thereof.’
Fergus highly applauded this arrangement; and the Baron took a friendly leave of them, with a smile of contented importance upon his visage.
‘Long live our dear friend the Baron,’ exclaimed the Chief, as soon as he was out of hearing, ’for the most absurd original that exists north of the Tweed! I wish to heaven I had recommended him to attend the circle this evening with a boot-ketch under his arm. I think he might have adopted the suggestion if it had been made with suitable gravity.’
’And how can you take pleasure in making a man of his worth so ridiculous?’
’Begging pardon, my dear Waverley, you are as ridiculous as he. Why, do you not see that the man’s whole mind is wrapped up in this ceremony? He has heard and thought of it since infancy as the most august privilege and ceremony in the world; and I doubt not but the expected pleasure of performing it was a principal motive with him for taking up arms. Depend upon it, had I endeavoured to divert him from exposing himself he would have treated me as an ignorant, conceited coxcomb, or perhaps might have taken a fancy to cut my throat; a pleasure which he once proposed to himself upon some point of etiquette not half so important, in his eyes, as this matter of boots or brogues, or whatever the caliga shall finally be pronounced by the learned. But I must go to headquarters, to prepare the Prince for this extraordinary scene. My information will be well taken, for it will give him a hearty laugh at present, and put him on his guard against laughing when it might be very mal-a-propos. So, au revoir, my dear Waverley.’
THE ENGLISH PRISONER
The first occupation of Waverley, after he departed from the Chieftain, was to go in quest of the officer whose life he had saved. He was guarded, along with his companions in misfortune, who were very numerous, in a gentleman’s house near the field of battle.
On entering the room where they stood crowded together, Waverley easily recognised the object of his visit, not only by the peculiar dignity of his appearance, but by the appendage of Dugald Mahony, with his battleaxe, who had stuck to him from the moment of his captivity as if he had been skewered to his side. This close attendance was perhaps for the purpose of securing his promised reward from Edward, but it also operated to save the English gentleman from being plundered in the scene of general confusion; for Dugald sagaciously argued that the amount of the salvage which he might be allowed would be regulated by the state of the prisoner when he should deliver him over to Waverley. He hastened to assure Waverley, therefore, with more words than he usually employed, that he had ’keepit ta sidier roy haill, and that he wasna a plack the waur since the fery moment when his honour forbad her to gie him a bit clamhewit wi’ her Lochaber-axe.’
Waverley assured Dugald of a liberal recompense, and, approaching the English officer, expressed his anxiety to do anything which might contribute to his convenience under his present unpleasant circumstances.
‘I am not so inexperienced a soldier, sir,’ answered the Englishman, ’as to complain of the fortune of war. I am only grieved to see those scenes acted in our own island which I have often witnessed elsewhere with comparative indifference.’
‘Another such day as this,’ said Waverley, ’and I trust the cause of your regrets will be removed, and all will again return to peace and order.’
The officer smiled and shook his head. ’I must not forget my situation so far as to attempt a formal confutation of that opinion; but, notwithstanding your success and the valour which achieved it, you have undertaken a task to which your strength appears wholly inadequate.’
At this moment Fergus pushed into the press.
’Come, Edward, come along; the Prince has gone to Pinkie House for the night; and we must follow, or lose the whole ceremony of the caligae. Your friend, the Baron, has been guilty of a great piece of cruelty; he has insisted upon dragging Bailie Macwheeble out to the field of battle. Now, you must know, the Bailie’s greatest horror is an armed Highlander or a loaded gun; and there he stands, listening to the Baron’s instructions concerning the protest, ducking his head like a sea-gull at the report of every gun and pistol that our idle boys are firing upon the fields, and undergoing, by way of penance, at every symptom of flinching a severe rebuke from his patron, who would not admit the discharge of a whole battery of cannon, within point-blank distance, as an apology for neglecting a discourse in which the honour of his family is interested.’
‘But how has Mr. Bradwardine got him to venture so far?’ said Edward.
’Why, he had come as far as Musselburgh, I fancy, in hopes of making some of our wills; and the peremptory commands of the Baron dragged him forward to Preston after the battle was over. He complains of one or two of our ragamuffins having put him in peril of his life by presenting their pieces at him; but as they limited his ransom to an English penny, I don’t think we need trouble the provost-marshal upon that subject. So come along, Waverley.’
‘Waverley!’ said the English officer, with great emotion;’ the nephew of Sir Everard Waverley, of——shire?’
‘The same, sir,’ replied our hero, somewhat surprised at the tone in which he was addressed.
‘I am at once happy and grieved,’ said the prisoner, ’to have met with you.’
‘I am ignorant, sir,’ answered Waverley, ’how I have deserved so much interest.’
‘Did your uncle never mention a friend called Talbot?’
‘I have heard him talk with great regard of such a person,’ replied Edward; ’a colonel, I believe, in the army, and the husband of Lady Emily Blandeville; but I thought Colonel Talbot had been abroad.’
‘I am just returned,’ answered the officer; ’and being in Scotland, thought it my duty to act where my services promised to be useful. Yes, Mr. Waverley, I am that Colonel Talbot, the husband of the lady you have named; and I am proud to acknowledge that I owe alike my professional rank and my domestic happiness to your generous and noble-minded relative. Good God! that I should find his nephew in such a dress, and engaged in such a cause!’
‘Sir,’ said Fergus, haughtily, ’the dress and cause are those of men of birth and honour.’
‘My situation forbids me to dispute your assertion,’ said Colonel Talbot; ’otherwise it were no difficult matter to show that neither courage nor pride of lineage can gild a bad cause. But, with Mr. Waverley’s permission and yours, sir, if yours also must be asked, I would willingly speak a few words with him on affairs connected with his own family.’
’Mr. Waverley, sir, regulates his own motions. You will follow me, I suppose, to Pinkie,’ said Fergus, turning to Edward, ’when you have finished your discourse with this new acquaintance?’ So saying, the Chief of Glennaquoich adjusted his plaid with rather more than his usual air of haughty assumption and left the apartment.
The interest of Waverley readily procured for Colonel Talbot the freedom of adjourning to a large garden belonging to his place of confinement. They walked a few paces in silence, Colonel Talbot apparently studying how to open what he had to say; at length he addressed Edward.
’Mr. Waverley, you have this day saved my life; and yet I would to God that I had lost it, ere I had found you wearing the uniform and cockade of these men.’
’I forgive your reproach, Colonel Talbot; it is well meant, and your education and prejudices render it natural. But there is nothing extraordinary in finding a man whose honour has been publicly and unjustly assailed in the situation which promised most fair to afford him satisfaction on his calumniators.’
’I should rather say, in the situation most likely to confirm the reports which they have circulated,’ said Colonel Talbot, ’by following the very line of conduct ascribed to you. Are you aware, Mr. Waverley, of the infinite distress, and even danger, which your present conduct has occasioned to your nearest relatives?’
’Yes, sir, danger. When I left England your uncle and father had been obliged to find bail to answer a charge of treason, to which they were only admitted by the exertion of the most powerful interest. I came down to Scotland with the sole purpose of rescuing you from the gulf into which you have precipitated yourself; nor can I estimate the consequences to your family of your having openly joined the rebellion, since the very suspicion of your intention was so perilous to them. Most deeply do I regret that I did not meet you before this last and fatal error.’
‘I am really ignorant,’ said Waverley, in a tone of reserve, ’why Colonel Talbot should have taken so much trouble on my account.’
‘Mr. Waverley,’ answered Talbot, ’I am dull at apprehending irony; and therefore I shall answer your words according to their plain meaning. I am indebted to your uncle for benefits greater than those which a son owes to a father. I acknowledge to him the duty of a son; and as I know there is no manner in which I can requite his kindness so well as by serving you, I will serve you, if possible, whether you will permit me or no. The personal obligation which you have this day laid me under (although, in common estimation, as great as one human being can bestow on another) adds nothing to my zeal on your behalf; nor can that zeal be abated by any coolness with which you may please to receive it.’
‘Your intentions may be kind, sir,’ said Waverley, drily; ’but your language is harsh, or at least peremptory.’
‘On my return to England,’ continued Colonel Talbot, ’after long absence, I found your uncle, Sir Everard Waverley, in the custody of a king’s messenger, in consequence of the suspicion brought upon him by your conduct. He is my oldest friend—how often shall I repeat it?—my best benefactor! he sacrificed his own views of happiness to mine; he never uttered a word, he never harboured a thought, that benevolence itself might not have thought or spoken. I found this man in confinement, rendered harsher to him by his habits of life, his natural dignity of feeling, and—forgive me, Mr. Waverley—by the cause through which this calamity had come upon him. I cannot disguise from you my feelings upon this occasion; they were most painfully unfavorable to you. Having by my family interest, which you probably know is not inconsiderable, succeeded in obtaining Sir Everard’s release, I set out for Scotland. I saw Colonel Gardiner, a man whose fate alone is sufficient to render this insurrection for ever execrable. In the course of conversation with him I found that, from late circumstances, from a reexamination of the persons engaged in the mutiny, and from his original good opinion of your character, he was much softened towards you; and I doubted not that, if I could be so fortunate as to discover you, all might yet be well. But this unnatural rebellion has ruined all. I have, for the first time in a long and active military life, seen Britons disgrace themselves by a panic flight, and that before a foe without either arms or discipline. And now I find the heir of my dearest friend— the son, I may say, of his’ affections—sharing a triumph for which he ought the first to have blushed. Why should I lament Gardiner? his lot was happy compared to mine!’
There was so much dignity in Colonel Talbot’s manner, such a mixture of military pride and manly sorrow, and the news of Sir Everard’s imprisonment was told in so deep a tone of feeling, that Edward stood mortified, abashed, and distressed in presence of the prisoner who owed to him his life not many hours before. He was not sorry when Fergus interrupted their conference a second time.
‘His Royal Highness commands Mr. Waverley’s attendance.’ Colonel Talbot threw upon Edward a reproachful glance, which did not escape the quick eye of the Highland Chief. ’His immediate attendance,’ he repeated, with considerable emphasis. Waverley turned again towards the Colonel.
‘We shall meet again,’ he said; ’in the meanwhile, every possible accommodation—’
‘I desire none,’ said the Colonel; ’let me fare like the meanest of those brave men who, on this day of calamity, have preferred wounds and captivity to flight; I would almost exchange places with one of those who have fallen to know that my words have made a suitable impression on your mind.’
‘Let Colonel Talbot be carefully secured,’ said Fergus to the Highland officer who commanded the guard over the prisoners; ’it is the Prince’s particular command; he is a prisoner of the utmost importance.’
‘But let him want no accommodation suitable to his rank,’ said Waverley. ‘Consistent always with secure custody,’ reiterated Fergus. The officer signified his acquiescence in both commands, and Edward followed Fergus to the garden-gate, where Callum Beg, with three saddle-horses, awaited them. Turning his head, he saw Colonel Talbot reconducted to his place of confinement by a file of Highlanders; he lingered on the threshold of the door and made a signal with his hand towards Waverley, as if enforcing the language he had held towards him.
‘Horses,’ said Fergus, as he mounted, ’are now as plenty as blackberries; every man may have them for the catching. Come, let Callum adjust your stirrups and let us to Pinkie House [Footnote: Charles Edward took up his quarters after the battle at Pinkie House, adjoining to Musselburgh.] as fast as these ci-devant dragoon-horses choose to carry us.’
‘I was turned back,’ said Fergus to Edward, as they galloped from Preston to Pinkie House, ’by a message from the Prince. But I suppose you know the value of this most noble Colonel Talbot as a prisoner. He is held one of the best officers among the red-coats, a special friend and favourite of the Elector himself, and of that dreadful hero, the Duke of Cumberland, who has been summoned from his triumphs at Fontenoy to come over and devour us poor Highlanders alive. Has he been telling you how the bells of St. James’s ring? Not “turn again, Whittington,” like those of Bow, in the days of yore?’
‘Fergus!’ said Waverley, with a reproachful look.
‘Nay, I cannot tell what to make of you,’ answered the Chief of Mac-Ivor, ’you are blown about with every wind of doctrine. Here have we gained a victory unparalleled in history, and your behaviour is praised by every living mortal to the skies, and the Prince is eager to thank you in person, and all our beauties of the White Rose are pulling caps for you;—and you, the preux chevalier of the day, are stooping on your horse’s neck like a butter-woman riding to market, and looking as black as a funeral!’
’I am sorry for poer Colonel Gardiner’s death; he was once very kind to me.’
’Why, then, be sorry for five minutes, and then be glad again; his chance to-day may be ours to-morrow; and what does it signify? The next best thing to victory is honourable death; but it is a PIS-Aller, and one would rather a foe had it than one’s self.’
’But Colonel Talbot has informed me that my father and uncle are both imprisoned by government on my account.’
’We’ll put in bail, my boy; old Andrew Ferrara [Footnote: See Note 10] shall lodge his security; and I should like to see him put to justify it in Westminster Hall!’
’Nay, they are already at liberty, upon bail of a more civic disposition.’
’Then why is thy noble spirit cast down, Edward? Dost think that the Elector’s ministers are such doves as to set their enemies at liberty at this critical moment if they could or durst confine and punish them? Assure thyself that either they have no charge against your relations on which they can continue their imprisonment, or else they are afraid of our friends, the jolly Cavaliers of old England. At any rate, you need not be apprehensive upon their account; and we will find some means of conveying to them assurances of your safety.’
Edward was silenced but not satisfied with these reasons. He had now been more than once shocked at the small degree of sympathy which Fergus exhibited for the feelings even of those whom he loved, if they did not correspond with his own mood at the time, and more especially if they thwarted him while earnest in a favourite pursuit. Fergus sometimes indeed observed that he had offended Waverley, but, always intent upon some favourite plan or project of his own, he was never sufficiently aware of the extent or duration of his displeasure, so that the reiteration of these petty offences somewhat cooled the volunteer’s extreme attachment to his officer.
The Chevalier received Waverley with his usual favour, and paid him many compliments on his distinguished bravery. He then took him apart, made many inquiries concerning Colonel Talbot, and when he had received all the information which Edward was able to give concerning him and his connexions, he proceeded—’I cannot but think, Mr. Waverley, that since this gentleman is so particularly connected with our worthy and excellent friend, Sir Everard Waverley, and since his lady is of the house of Blandeville, whose devotion to the true and loyal principles of the Church of England is so generally known, the Colonel’s own private sentiments cannot be unfavorable to us, whatever mask he may have assumed to accommodate himself to the times.’
’If I am to judge from the language he this day held to me, I am under the necessity of differing widely from your Royal Highness.’
’Well, it is worth making a trial at least. I therefore entrust you with the charge of Colonel Talbot, with power to act concerning him as you think most advisable; and I hope you will find means of ascertaining what are his real dispositions towards our Royal Father’s restoration.’
‘I am convinced,’ said Waverley, bowing,’that if Colonel Talbot chooses to grant his parole, it may be securely depended upon; but if he refuses it, I trust your Royal Highness will devolve on some other person than the nephew of his friend the task of laying him under the necessary restraint.’
‘I will trust him with no person but you,’ said the Prince, smiling, but peremptorily repeating his mandate; ’it is of importance to my service that there should appear to be a good intelligence between you, even if you are unable to gain his confidence in earnest. You will therefore receive him into your quarters, and in case he declines giving his parole, you must apply for a proper guard. I beg you will go about this directly. We return to Edinburgh tomorrow.’
Being thus remanded to the vicinity of Preston, Waverley lost the Baron of Bradwardine’s solemn act of homage. So little, however, was he at this time in love with vanity, that he had quite forgotten the ceremony in which Fergus had laboured to engage his curiosity. But next day a formal ‘Gazette’ was circulated, containing a detailed account of the battle of Gladsmuir, as the Highlanders chose to denominate their victory. It concluded with an account of the court afterwards held by the Chevalier at Pinkie House, which contained this among other high-flown descriptive paragraphs:—
’Since that fatal treaty which annihilates Scotland as an independent nation, it has not been our happiness to see her princes receive, and her nobles discharge, those acts of feudal homage which, founded upon the splendid actions of Scottish valour, recall the memory of her early history, with the manly and chivalrous simplicity of the ties which united to the Crown the homage of the warriors by whom it was repeatedly upheld and defended. But on the evening of the 20th our memories were refreshed with one of those ceremonies which belong to the ancient days of Scotland’s glory. After the circle was formed, Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine of that ilk, colonel in the service, etc., etc., etc., came before the Prince, attended by Mr. D. Macwheeble, the Bailie of his ancient barony of Bradwardine (who, we understand, has been lately named a commissary), and, under form of instrument, claimed permission to perform to the person of his Royal Highness, as representing his father, the service used and wont, for which, under a charter of Robert Bruce (of which the original was produced and inspected by the Masters of his Royal Highness’s Chancery for the time being), the claimant held the barony of Bradwardine and lands of Tully-Veolan. His claim being admitted and registered, his Royal Highness having placed his foot upon a cushion, the Baron of Bradwardine, kneeling upon his right knee, proceeded to undo the latchet of the brogue, or low-heeled Highland shoe, which our gallant young hero wears in compliment to his brave followers. When this was performed, his Royal Highness declared the ceremony completed; and, embracing the gallant veteran, protested that nothing but compliance with an ordinance of Robert Bruce could have induced him to receive even the symbolical performance of a menial office from hands which had fought so bravely to put the crown upon the head of his father. The Baron of Bradwardine then took instruments in the hands of Mr. Commissary Macwheeble, bearing that all points and circumstances of the act of homage had been rite et solenniter acta et peracta; and a corresponding entry was made in the protocol of the Lord High Chamberlain and in the record of Chancery. We understand that it is in contemplation of his Royal Highness, when his Majesty’s pleasure can be known, to raise Colonel Bradwardine to the peerage, by the title of Viscount Bradwardine of Bradwardine and Tully-Veolan, and that, in the meanwhile, his Royal Highness, in his father’s name and authority, has been pleased to grant him an honourable augmentation to his paternal coat of arms, being a budget or boot-jack, disposed saltier-wise with a naked broadsword, to be borne in the dexter cantle of the shield; and, as an additional motto, on a scroll beneath, the words, “Draw and draw off."’
‘Were it not for the recollection of Fergus’s raillery,’ thought Waverley to himself, when he had perused this long and grave document,’ how very tolerably would all this sound, and how little should I have thought of connecting it with any ludicrous idea! Well, after all, everything has its fair as well as its seamy side; and truly I do not see why the Baron’s boot-jack may not stand as fair in heraldry as the water-buckets, waggons, cart-wheels, plough-socks, shuttles, candlesticks, and other ordinaries, conveying ideas of anything save chivalry, which appear in the arms of some of our most ancient gentry.’
This, however, is an episode in respect to the principal story.
When Waverley returned to Preston and rejoined Colonel Talbot, he found him recovered from the strong and obvious emotions with which a concurrence of unpleasing events had affected him. He had regained his natural manner, which was that of an English gentleman and soldier, manly, open and generous, but not unsusceptible of prejudice against those of a different country, or who opposed him in political tenets. When Waverley acquainted Colonel Talbot with the Chevalier’s purpose to commit him to his charge, ’I did not think to have owed so much obligation to that young gentleman,’ he said, ’as is implied in this destination. I can at least cheerfully join in the prayer of the honest Presbyterian clergyman, that, as he has come among us seeking an earthly crown, his labours may be speedily rewarded with a heavenly one. [Footnote: The clergyman’s name was Mac-Vicar. Protected by the cannon of the Castle, he preached every Sunday in the West Kirk while the Highlanders were in possession of Edinburgh, and it was in presence of some of the Jacobites that he prayed for Prince Charles Edward in the terms quoted in the text.] I shall willingly give my parole not to attempt an escape without your knowledge, since, in fact, it was to meet you that I came to Scotland; and I am glad it has happened even under this predicament. But I suppose we shall be but a short time together. Your Chevalier (that is a name we may both give to him), with his plaids and blue caps, will, I presume, be continuing his crusade southward?’
’Not as I hear; I believe the army makes some stay in Edinburgh to collect reinforcements.’
‘And to besiege the Castle?’ said Talbot, smiling sarcastically. ’Well, unless my old commander, General Preston, turn false metal, or the Castle sink into the North Loch, events which I deem equally probable, I think we shall have some time to make up our acquaintance. I have a guess that this gallant Chevalier has a design that I should be your proselyte; and, as I wish you to be mine, there cannot be a more fair proposal than to afford us fair conference together. But, as I spoke today under the influence of feelings I rarely give way to, I hope you will excuse my entering again upon controversy till we are somewhat better acquainted.’
INTRIGUES OF LOVE AND POLITICS
It is not necessary to record in these pages the triumphant entrance of the Chevalier into Edinburgh after the decisive affair at Preston. One circumstance, however, may be noticed, because it illustrates the high spirit of Flora Mac-Ivor. The Highlanders by whom the Prince was surrounded, in the license and extravagance of this joyful moment, fired their pieces repeatedly, and one of these having been accidentally loaded with ball, the bullet grazed the young lady’s temple as she waved her handkerchief from a balcony. [Footnote: See Note II.] Fergus, who beheld the accident, was at her side in an instant; and, on seeing that the wound was trifling, he drew his broadsword with the purpose of rushing down upon the man by whose carelessness she had incurred so much danger, when, holding him by the plaid, ’Do not harm the poor fellow,’ she cried; ’for Heaven’s sake, do not harm him! but thank God with me that the accident happened to Flora Mac-Ivor; for had it befallen a Whig, they would have pretended that the shot was fired on purpose.’
Waverley escaped the alarm which this accident would have occasioned to him, as he was unavoidably delayed by the necessity of accompanying Colonel Talbot to Edinburgh.
They performed the journey together on horseback, and for some time, as if to sound each other’s feelings and sentiments, they conversed upon general and ordinary topics.
When Waverley again entered upon the subject which he had most at heart, the situation, namely, of his father and his uncle, Colonel Talbot seemed now rather desirous to alleviate than to aggravate his anxiety. This appeared particularly to be the case when he heard Waverley’s history, which he did not scruple to confide to him.
‘And so,’ said the Colonel,’there has been no malice prepense, as lawyers, I think, term it, in this rash step of yours; and you have been trepanned into the service of this Italian knight-errant by a few civil speeches from him and one or two of his Highland recruiting sergeants? It is sadly foolish, to be sure, but not nearly so bad as I was led to expect. However, you cannot desert, even from the Pretender, at the present moment; that seems impossible. But I have little doubt that, in the dissensions incident to this heterogeneous mass of wild and desperate men, some opportunity may arise, by availing yourself of which you may extricate yourself honourably from your rash engagement before the bubble burst. If this can be managed, I would have you go to a place of safety in Flanders which I shall point out. And I think I can secure your pardon from government after a few months’ residence abroad.’
‘I cannot permit you, Colonel Talbot,’ answered Waverley, ’to speak of any plan which turns on my deserting an enterprise in which I may have engaged hastily, but certainly voluntarily, and with the purpose of abiding the issue.’
‘Well,’ said Colonel Talbot, smiling, ’leave me my thoughts and hopes at least at liberty, if not my speech. But have you never examined your mysterious packet?’
‘It is in my baggage,’ replied Edward; ’we shall find it in Edinburgh.’
In Edinburgh they soon arrived. Waverley’s quarters had been assigned to him, by the Prince’s express orders, in a handsome lodging, where there was accommodation for Colonel Talbot. His first business was to examine his portmanteau, and, after a very short search, out tumbled the expected packet. Waverley opened it eagerly. Under a blank cover, simply addressed to E. Waverley, Esq., he found a number of open letters. The uppermost were two from Colonel Gardiner addressed to himself. The earliest in date was a kind and gentle remonstrance for neglect of the writer’s advice respecting the disposal of his time during his leave of absence, the renewal of which, he reminded Captain Waverley, would speedily expire. ‘Indeed,’ the letter proceeded, ’had it been otherwise, the news from abroad and my instructions from the War Office must have compelled me to recall it, as there is great danger, since the disaster in Flanders, both of foreign invasion and insurrection among the disaffected at home. I therefore entreat you will repair as soon as possible to the headquarters of the regiment; and I am concerned to add that this is still the more necessary as there is some discontent in your troop, and I postpone inquiry into particulars until I can have the advantage of your assistance.’
The second letter, dated eight days later, was in such a style as might have been expected from the Colonel’s receiving no answer to the first. It reminded Waverley of his duty as a man of honour, an officer, and a Briton; took notice of the increasing dissatisfaction of his men, and that some of them had been heard to hint that their Captain encouraged and approved of their mutinous behaviour; and, finally, the writer expressed the utmost regret and surprise that he had not obeyed his commands by repairing to headquarters, reminded him that his leave of absence had been recalled, and conjured him, in a style in which paternal remonstrance was mingled with military authority, to redeem his error by immediately joining his regiment. ’That I may be certain,’ concluded the letter, ’that this actually reaches you, I despatch it by Corporal Tims of your troop, with orders to deliver it into your own hand.’
Upon reading these letters Waverley, with great bitterness of feeling, was compelled to make the amende honorable to the memory of the brave and excellent writer; for surely, as Colonel Gardiner must have had every reason to conclude they had come safely to hand, less could not follow, on their being neglected, than that third and final summons, which Waverley actually received at Glennaquoich, though too late to obey it. And his being superseded, in consequence of his apparent neglect of this last command, was so far from being
‘What do you think of all this?’ said Colonel Talbot, to whom Waverley handed the letters after he had perused them.
’Think! it renders thought impossible. It is enough to drive me mad.’
’Be calm, my young friend; let us see what are these dirty scrawls that follow.’
The first was addressed,—
’For Master W. Ruffin, These.’—
’Dear sur, sum of our yong gulpins will not bite, thof I tuold them you shoed me the squoire’s own seel. But Tims will deliver you the lettrs as desired, and tell ould Addem he gave them to squoir’s bond, as to be sure yours is the same, and shall be ready for signal, and hoy for Hoy Church and Sachefrel, as fadur sings at harvestwhome. Yours, deer Sur,
’Poscriff.—Do’e tell squoire we longs to heer from him, and has dootings about his not writing himself, and Lifetenant Bottler is smoky.’
’This Ruffin, I suppose, then, is your Donald of the Cavern, who has intercepted your letters, and carried on a correspondence with the poor devil Houghton, as if under your authority?’
‘It seems too true. But who can Addem be?’
‘Possibly Adam, for poor Gardiner, a sort of pun on his name.’
The other letters were to the same purpose; and they soon received yet more complete light upon Donald Bean’s machinations.
John Hodges, one of Waverley’s servants, who had remained with the regiment and had been taken at Preston, now made his appearance. He had sought out his master with the purpose of again entering his service. From this fellow they learned that some time after Waverley had gone from the headquarters of the regiment, a pedlar, called Ruthven, Rufnn, or Rivane, known among the soldiers by the name of Wily Will, had made frequent visits to the town of Dundee. He appeared to possess plenty of money, sold his commodities very cheap, seemed always willing
The strength of conviction with which he expressed himself upon this subject, as well as his assurances that the letters intended for Waverley had been delivered to Ruthven, made that revolution in Colonel Gardiner’s opinion which he expressed to Talbot.
The reader has long since understood that Donald Bean Lean played the part of tempter on this occasion. His motives were shortly these. Of an active and intriguing spirit, he had been long employed as a subaltern agent and spy by those in the confidence of the Chevalier, to an extent beyond what was suspected even by Fergus Mac-Ivor, whom, though obliged to him for protection, he regarded with fear and dislike. To success in this political department he naturally looked for raising himself by some bold stroke above his present hazardous and precarious trade of rapine. He was particularly employed in learning the strength of the regiments in Scotland, the character of the officers, etc., and had long had his eye upon Waverley’s troop as open to temptation.
By Colonel Talbot’s advice, Waverley declined detaining in his service the lad whose evidence had thrown additional light on these intrigues. He represented to him, that it would be doing the man an injury to engage him in a desperate undertaking, and that, whatever should happen, his evidence would go some length at least in explaining the circumstances under which Waverley himself had embarked in it. Waverley therefore wrote a short state of what had happened to his uncle and his father, cautioning them, however, in the present circumstances, not to attempt to answer his letter. Talbot then gave the young man a letter to the commander of one of the English vessels of war cruising in the frith, requesting him to put the bearer ashore at Berwick, with a pass to proceed to—— shire. He was then furnished with money to make an expeditious journey, and directed to get on board the ship by means of bribing a fishing-boat, which, as they afterwards learned, he easily effected.
Tired of the attendance of Callum Beg, who, he thought, had some disposition to act as a spy on his motions, Waverley hired as a servant a simple Edinburgh swain, who had mounted the white cockade in a fit of spleen and jealousy, because Jenny Jop had danced a whole night with Corporal Bullock of the Fusileers.
INTRIGUES OF SOCIETY AND LOVE
Colonel Talbot became more kindly in his demeanour towards Waverley after the confidence he had reposed in him, and, as they were necessarily much together, the character of the Colonel rose in Waverley’s estimation. There seemed at first something harsh in his strong expressions of dislike and censure, although no one was in the general case more open to conviction. The habit of authority had also given his manners some peremptory hardness, notwithstanding the polish which they had received from his intimate acquaintance with the higher circles. As a specimen of the military character, he differed from all whom Waverley had as yet seen. The soldiership of the Baron of Bradwardine was marked by pedantry; that of Major Melville by a sort of martinet attention to the minutiae and technicalities of discipline, rather suitable to one who was to manoeuvre a battalion than to him who was to command an army; the military spirit of Fergus was so much warped and blended with his plans and political views, that it was less that of a soldier than of a petty sovereign. But Colonel Talbot was in every point the English soldier. His whole soul was devoted to the service of his king and country, without feeling any pride in knowing the theory of his art with the Baron, or its practical minutiae with the Major, or in applying his science to his own particular plans of ambition, like the Chieftain of Glennaquoich. Added to this, he was a man of extended knowledge and cultivated taste, although strongly tinged, as we have already observed, with those prejudices which are peculiarly English.
The character of Colonel Talbot dawned upon Edward by degrees; for the delay of the Highlanders in the fruitless siege of Edinburgh Castle occupied several weeks, during which Waverley had little to do excepting to seek such amusement as society afforded. He would willingly have persuaded his new friend to become acquainted with some of his former intimates. But the Colonel, after one or two visits, shook his head, and declined farther experiment. Indeed he went farther, and characterised the Baron as the most intolerable formal pedant he had ever had the misfortune to meet with, and the Chief of Glennaquoich as a Frenchified Scotchman, possessing all the cunning and plausibility of the nation where he was educated, with the proud, vindictive, and turbulent humour of that of his birth. ‘If the devil,’ he said, ’had sought out an agent expressly for the purpose of embroiling this miserable country, I do not think he could find a better than such a fellow as this, whose temper seems equally active, supple, and mischievous, and who is followed, and implicitly obeyed, by a gang of such cut-throats as those whom you are pleased to admire so much.’
The ladies of the party did not escape his censure. He allowed that Flora Mac-Ivor was a fine woman, and Rose Bradwardine a pretty girl. But he alleged that the former destroyed the effect of her beauty by an affectation of the grand airs which she had probably seen practised in the mock court of St. Germains. As for Rose Bradwardine, he said it was impossible for any mortal to admire such a little uninformed thing, whose small portion of education was as ill adapted to her sex or youth as if she had appeared with one of her father’s old campaign-coats upon her person for her sole garment. Now much of this was mere spleen and prejudice in the excellent Colonel, with whom the white cockade on the breast, the white rose in the hair, and the Mac at the beginning of a name would have made a devil out of an angel; and indeed he himself jocularly allowed that he could not have endured Venus herself if she had been announced in a drawing-room by the name of Miss Mac-Jupiter.
Waverley, it may easily be believed, looked upon these young ladies with very different eyes. During the period of the siege he paid them almost daily visits, although he observed with regret that his suit made as little progress in the affections of the former as the arms of the Chevalier in subduing the fortress. She maintained with rigour the rule she had laid down of treating him with indifference, without either affecting to avoid him or to shun intercourse with him. Every word, every look, was strictly regulated to accord with her system, and neither the dejection of Waverley nor the anger which Fergus scarcely suppressed could extend Flora’s attention to Edward beyond that which the most ordinary politeness demanded. On the other hand, Rose Bradwardine gradually rose in Waverley’s opinion. He had several opportunities of remarking that, as her extreme timidity wore off, her manners assumed a higher character; that the agitating circumstances of the stormy time seemed to call forth a certain dignity of feeling and expression which he had not formerly observed; and that she omitted no opportunity within her reach to extend her knowledge and refine her taste.
Flora Mac-Ivor called Rose her pupil, and was attentive to assist her in her studies, and to fashion both her taste and understanding. It might have been remarked by a very close observer that in the presence of Waverley she was much more desirous to exhibit her friend’s excellences than her own. But I must request of the reader to suppose that this kind and disinterested purpose was concealed by the most cautious delicacy, studiously shunning the most distant approach to affectation. So that it was as unlike the usual exhibition of one pretty woman affecting to proner another as the friendship of David and Jonathan might be to the intimacy of two Bond Street loungers. The fact is that, though the effect was felt, the cause could hardly be observed. Each of the ladies, like two excellent actresses, were perfect in their parts, and performed them to the delight of the audience; and such being the case, it was almost impossible to discover that the elder constantly ceded to her friend that which was most suitable to her talents.
But to Waverley Rose Bradwardine possessed an attraction which few men can resist, from the marked interest which she took in everything that affected him. She was too young and too inexperienced to estimate the full force of the constant attention which she paid to him. Her father was too abstractedly immersed in learned and military discussions to observe her partiality, and Flora Mac-Ivor did not alarm her by remonstrance, because she saw in this line of conduct the most probable chance of her friend securing at length a return of affection.
The truth is, that in her first conversation after their meeting Rose had discovered the state of her mind to that acute and intelligent friend, although she was not herself aware of it. From that time Flora was not only determined upon the final rejection of Waverley’s addresses, but became anxious that they should, if possible, be transferred to her friend. Nor was she less interested in this plan, though her brother had from time to time talked, as between jest and earnest, of paying his suit to Miss Bradwardine. She knew that Fergus had the true continental latitude of opinion respecting the institution of marriage, and would not have given his hand to an angel unless for the purpose of strengthening his alliances and increasing his influence and wealth. The Baron’s whim of transferring his estate to the distant heir-male, instead of his own daughter, was therefore likely to be an insurmountable obstacle to his entertaining any serious thoughts of Rose Bradwardine. Indeed, Fergus’s brain was a perpetual workshop of scheme and intrigue, of every possible kind and description; while, like many a mechanic of more ingenuity than steadiness, he would often unexpectedly, and without any apparent motive, abandon one plan and go earnestly to work upon another, which was either fresh from the forge of his imagination or had at some former period been flung aside half finished. It was therefore often difficult to guess what line of conduct he might finally adopt upon any given occasion.
Although Flora was sincerely attached to her brother, whose high energies might indeed have commanded her admiration even without the ties which bound them together, she was by no means blind to his faults, which she considered as dangerous to the hopes of any woman who should found her ideas of a happy marriage in the peaceful enjoyment of domestic society and the exchange of mutual and engrossing affection. The real disposition of Waverley, on the other hand, notwithstanding his dreams of tented fields and military honour, seemed exclusively domestic. He asked and received no share in the busy scenes which were constantly going on around him, and was rather annoyed than interested by the discussion of contending claims, rights, and interests which often passed in his presence. All this pointed him out as the person formed to make happy a spirit like that of Rose, which corresponded with his own.
She remarked this point in Waverley’s character one day while she sat with Miss Bradwardine. ‘His genius and elegant taste,’ answered Rose, ’cannot be interested in such trifling discussions. What is it to him, for example, whether the Chief of the Macindallaghers, who has brought out only fifty men, should be a colonel or a captain? and how could Mr. Waverley be supposed to interest himself in the violent altercation between your brother and young Corrinaschian whether the post of honour is due to the eldest cadet of a clan or the youngest?’
’My dear Rose, if he were the hero you suppose him he would interest himself in these matters, not indeed as important in themselves, but for the purpose of mediating between the ardent spirits who actually do make them the subject of discord. You saw when Corrinaschian raised his voice in great passion, and laid his hand upon his sword, Waverley lifted his head as if he had just awaked from a dream, and asked with great composure what the matter was.’
’Well, and did not the laughter they fell into at his absence of mind serve better to break off the dispute than anything he could have said to them?’
‘True, my dear,’ answered Flora; ’but not quite so creditably for Waverley as if he had brought them to their senses by force of reason.’
’Would you have him peacemaker general between all the gunpowder Highlanders in the army? I beg your pardon, Flora, your brother, you know, is out of the question; he has more sense than half of them. But can you think the fierce, hot, furious spirits of whose brawls we see much and hear more, and who terrify me out of my life every day in the world, are at all to be compared to Waverley?’
’I do not compare him with those uneducated men, my dear Rose. I only lament that, with his talents and genius, he does not assume that place in society for which they eminently fit him, and that he does not lend their full impulse to the noble cause in which he has enlisted. Are there not Lochiel, and P—, and M—, and G—, all men of the highest education as well as the first talents,— why will he not stoop like them to be alive and useful? I often believe his zeal is frozen by that proud cold-blooded Englishman whom he now lives with so much.’
’Colonel Talbot? he is a very disagreeable person, to be sure. He looks as if he thought no Scottish woman worth the trouble of handing her a cup of tea. But Waverley is so gentle, so well informed—’
‘Yes,’ said Flora, smiling, ’he can admire the moon and quote a stanza from Tasso.’
‘Besides, you know how he fought,’ added Miss Bradwardine.
‘For mere fighting,’ answered Flora,’ I believe all men (that is, who deserve the name) are pretty much alike; there is generally more courage required to run away. They have besides, when confronted with each other, a certain instinct for strife, as we see in other male animals, such as dogs, bulls, and so forth. But high and perilous enterprise is not Waverley’s forte. He would never have been his celebrated ancestor Sir Nigel, but only Sir Nigel’s eulogist and poet. I will tell you where he will be at home, my dear, and in his place—in the quiet circle of domestic happiness, lettered indolence, and elegant enjoyments of Waverley-Honour. And he will refit the old library in the most exquisite Gothic taste, and garnish its shelves with the rarest and most valuable volumes; and he will draw plans and landscapes, and write verses, and rear temples, and dig grottoes; and he will stand in a clear summer night in the colonnade before the hall, and gaze on the deer as they stray in the moonlight, or lie shadowed by the boughs of the huge old fantastic oaks; and he will repeat verses to his beautiful wife, who will hang upon his arm;—and he will be a happy man.’
And she will be a happy woman, thought poor Rose. But she only sighed and dropped the conversation.
FERGUS A SUITOR
Waverley had, indeed, as he looked closer into the state of the Chevalier’s court, less reason to be satisfied with it. It contained, as they say an acorn includes all the ramifications of the future oak, as many seeds of tracasserie and intrigue as might have done honour to the court of a large empire. Every person of consequence had some separate object, which he pursued with a fury that Waverley considered as altogether disproportioned to its importance. Almost all had their reasons for discontent, although the most legitimate was that of the worthy old Baron, who was only distressed on account of the common cause.
‘We shall hardly,’ said he one morning to Waverley when they had been viewing the Castle—’we shall hardly gain the obsidional crown, which you wot well was made of the roots or grain which takes root within the place besieged, or it may be of the herb woodbind, parietaria, or pellitory; we shall not, I say, gain it by this same blockade or leaguer of Edinburgh Castle.’ For this opinion he gave most learned and satisfactory reasons, that the reader may not care to hear repeated.
Having escaped from the old gentleman, Waverley went to Fergus’s lodgings by appointment, to await his return from Holyrood House. ‘I am to have a particular audience to-morrow,’ said Fergus to Waverley overnight, ’and you must meet me to wish me joy of the success which I securely anticipate.’
The morrow came, and in the Chief’s apartment he found Ensign Maccombich waiting to make report of his turn of duty in a sort of ditch which they had dug across the Castle-hill and called a trench. In a short time the Chief’s voice was heard on the stair in a tone of impatient fury: ‘Callum! why, Callum Beg! Diaoul!’ He entered the room with all the marks of a man agitated by a towering passion; and there were few upon whose features rage produced a more violent effect. The veins of his forehead swelled when he was in such agitation; his nostril became dilated; his cheek and eye inflamed; and hislook that of a demoniac. These appearances of half-suppressed rage were the more frightful because they were obviously caused by a strong effort to temper with discretion an almost ungovernable paroxysm of passion, and resulted from an internal conflict of the most dreadful kind, which agitated his whole frame of mortality.
As he entered the apartment he unbuckled his broadsword, and throwing it down with such violence that the weapon rolled to the other end of the room, ‘I know not what,’ he exclaimed, ’withholds me from taking a solemn oath that I will never more draw it in his cause. Load my pistols, Callum, and bring them hither instantly— instantly!’ Callum, whom nothing ever startled, dismayed, or disconcerted, obeyed very coolly. Evan Dhu, upon whose brow the suspicion that his Chief had been insulted called up a corresponding storm, swelled in sullen silence, awaiting to learn where or upon whom vengeance was to descend.
‘So, Waverley, you are there,’ said the Chief, after a moment’s recollection. ’Yes, I remember I asked you to share my triumph, and you have come to witness my disappointment we shall call it.’ Evan now presented the written report he had in his hand, which Fergus threw from him with great passion. ‘I wish to God,’ he said, ’the old den would tumble down upon the heads of the fools who attack and the knaves who defend it! I see, Waverley, you think I am mad. Leave us, Evan, but be within call.’
‘The Colonel’s in an unco kippage,’ said Mrs. Flockhart to Evan as he descended; ’I wish he may be weel,—the very veins on his brent brow are swelled like whipcord; wad he no tak something?’
‘He usually lets blood for these fits,’ answered the Highland ancient with great composure.
When this officer left the room, the Chieftain gradually reassumed some degree of composure. ‘I know, Waverley,’ he said, ’that Colonel Talbot has persuaded you to curse ten times a day your engagement with us; nay, never deny it, for I am at this moment tempted to curse my own. Would you believe it, I made this very morning two suits to the Prince, and he has rejected them both; what do you think of it?’
‘What can I think,’ answered Waverley,’till I know what your requests were?’ ’Why, what signifies what they were, man? I tell you it was I that made them—I to whom he owes more than to any three who have joined the standard; for I negotiated the whole business, and brought in all the Perthshire men when not one would have stirred. I am not likely, I think, to ask anything very unreasonable, and if I did, they might have stretched a point. Well, but you shall know all, now that I can draw my breath again with some freedom. You remember my earl’s patent; it is dated some years back, for services then rendered; and certainly my merit has not been diminished, to say the least, by my subsequent behaviour. Now, sir, I value this bauble of a coronet as little as you can, or any philosopher on earth; for I hold that the chief of such a clan as the Sliochd nan Ivor is superior in rank to any earl in Scotland. But I had a particular reason for assuming this cursed title at this time. You must know that I learned accidentally that the Prince has been pressing that old foolish Baron of Bradwardine to disinherit his male heir, or nineteenth or twentieth cousin, who has taken a command in the Elector of Hanover’s militia, and to settle his estate upon your pretty little friend Rose; and this, as being the command of his king and overlord, who may alter the destination of a fief at pleasure, the old gentleman seems well reconciled to.’
‘And what becomes of the homage?’
’Curse the homage! I believe Rose is to pull off the queen’s slipper on her coronation-day, or some such trash. Well, sir, as Rose Bradwardine would always have made a suitable match for me but for this idiotical predilection of her father for the heir-male, it occurred to me there now remained no obstacle unless that the Baron might expect his daughter’s husband to take the name of Bradwardine (which you know would be impossible in my case), and that this might be evaded by my assuming the title to which I had so good a right, and which, of course, would supersede that difficulty. If she was to be also Viscountess Bradwardine in her own right after her father’s demise, so much the better; I could have no objection.’
‘But, Fergus,’ said Waverley, ’I had no idea that you had any affection for Miss Bradwardine, and you are always sneering at her father.’
’I have as much affection for Miss Bradwardine, my good friend, as I think it necessary to have for the future mistress of my family and the mother of my children. She is a very pretty, intelligent girl, and is certainly of one of the very first Lowland families; and, with a little of Flora’s instructions and forming, will make a very good figure. As to her father, he is an original, it is true, and an absurd one enough; but he has given such severe lessons to Sir Hew Halbert, that dear defunct the Laird of Balmawhapple, and others, that nobody dare laugh at him, so his absurdity goes for nothing. I tell you there could have been no earthly objection—none. I had settled the thing entirely in my own mind.’
‘But had you asked the Baron’s consent,’ said Waverley, ’or Rose’s?’
’To what purpose? To have spoke to the Baron before I had assumed my title would have only provoked a premature and irritating discussion on the subject of the change of name, when, as Earl of Glennaquoich, I had only to propose to him to carry his d—d bear and bootjack party per pale, or in a scutcheon of pretence, or in a separate shield perhaps—any way that would not blemish my own coat of arms. And as to Rose, I don’t see what objection she could have made if her father was satisfied.’
’Perhaps the same that your sister makes to me, you being satisfied.’
Fergus gave a broad stare at the comparison which this supposition implied, but cautiously suppressed the answer which rose to his tongue. ’O, we should easily have arranged all that. So, sir, I craved a private interview, and this morning was assigned; and I asked you to meet me here, thinking, like a fool, that I should want your countenance as bride’s-man. Well, I state my pretension —they are not denied; the promises so repeatedly made and the patent granted—they are acknowledged. But I propose, as a natural consequence, to assume the rank which the patent bestowed. I have the old story of the jealousy of C——and M——trumped up against me. I resist this pretext, and offer to procure their written acquiescence, in virtue of the date of my patent as prior to their silly claims; I assure you I would have had such a consent from them, if it had been at the point of the sword. And then out comes the real truth; and he dares to tell me to my face that my patent must be suppressed for the present, for fear of disgusting that rascally coward and faineant (naming the rival chief of his own clan), who has no better title to be a chieftain than I to be Emperor of China, and who is pleased to shelter his dastardly reluctance to come out, agreeable to his promise twenty times pledged, under a pretended jealousy of the Prince’s partiality to me. And, to leave this miserable driveller without a pretence for his cowardice, the Prince asks it as a personal favour of me, forsooth, not to press my just and reasonable request at this moment. After this, put your faith in princes!’
‘And did your audience end here?’
’End? O no! I was determined to leave him no pretence for his ingratitude, and I therefore stated, with all the composure I could muster,—for I promise you I trembled with passion,—the particular reasons I had for wishing that his Royal Highness would impose upon me any other mode of exhibiting my duty and devotion, as my views in life made what at any other time would have been a mere trifle at this crisis a severe sacrifice; and then I explained to him my full plan.’
‘And what did the Prince answer?’
’Answer? why—it is well it is written, “Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought!”—why, he answered that truly he was glad I had made him my confidant, to prevent more grievous disappointment, for he could assure me, upon the word of a prince, that Miss Bradwardine’s affections were engaged, and he was under a particular promise to favour them. “So, my dear Fergus,” said he, with his most gracious cast of smile, “as the marriage is utterly out of question, there need be no hurry, you know, about the earldom.” And so he glided off and left me plante la.’
‘And what did you do?’
’I’ll tell you what I could have done at that moment—sold myself to the devil or the Elector, whichever offered the dearest revenge. However, I am now cool. I know he intends to marry her to some of his rascally Frenchmen or his Irish officers, but I will watch them close; and let the man that would supplant me look well to himself. Bisogna coprirsi, Signor.’
After some further conversation, unnecessary to be detailed, Waverley took leave of the Chieftain, whose fury had now subsided into a deep and strong desire of vengeance, and returned home, scarce able to analyse the mixture of feelings which the narrative had awakened in his own bosom.
‘To one thing constant never’
’I am the very child of caprice,’said Waverley to himself, as he bolted the door of his apartment and paced it with hasty steps. ’What is it to me that Fergus Mac-Ivor should wish to marry Rose Bradwardine? I love her not; I might have been loved by her perhaps; but rejected her simple, natural, and affecting attachment, instead of cherishing it into tenderness, and dedicated myself to one who will never love mortal man, unless old Warwick, the King-maker, should arise from the dead The Baron too —I would not have cared about his estate, and so the name would have been no stumbling-block. The devil might have taken the barren moors and drawn off the royal caligae for anything I would have minded. But, framed as she is for domestic affection and tenderness, for giving and receiving all those kind and quiet attentions which sweeten life to those who pass it together, she is sought by Fergus Mac-Ivor. He will not use her ill, to be sure; of that he is incapable. But he will neglect her after the first month; he will be too intent on subduing some rival chieftain or circumventing some favourite at court, on gaining some heathy hill and lake or adding to his bands some new troop of caterans, to inquire what she does, or how she amuses herself.
And then will canker sorrow
eat her bud,
And chase the native beauty from her cheek;
And she will look as hollow as a ghost,
And dim and meagre as an ague fit,
And so she’ll die.
And such a catastrophe of the most gentle creature on earth might have been prevented if Mr. Edward Waverley had had his eyes! Upon my word, I cannot understand how I thought Flora so much, that is, so very much, handsomer than Rose. She is taller indeed, and her manner more formed; but many people think Miss Bradwardine’s more natural; and she is certainly much younger. I should think Flora is two years older than I am. I will look at them particularly this evening.’
And with this resolution Waverley went to drink tea (as the fashion was Sixty Years Since) at the house of a lady of quality attached to the cause of the Chevalier, where he found, as he expected, both the ladies. All rose as he entered, but Flora immediately resumed her place and the conversation in which she was engaged. Rose, on the contrary, almost imperceptibly made a little way in the crowded circle for his advancing the corner of a chair. ‘Her manner, upon the whole, is most engaging,’ said Waverley to himself.
A dispute occurred whether the Gaelic or Italian language was most liquid, and best adapted for poetry; the opinion for the Gaelic, which probably might not have found supporters elsewhere, was here fiercely defended by seven Highland ladies, who talked at the top of their lungs, and screamed the company deaf with examples of Celtic euphonia. Flora, observing the Lowland ladies sneer at the comparison, produced some reasons to show that it was not altogether so absurd; but Rose, when asked for her opinion, gave it with animation in praise of Italian, which she had studied with Waverley’s assistance. “She has a more correct ear than Flora, though a less accomplished musician,” said Waverley to himself. ’I suppose Miss Mac-Ivor will next compare Mac-Murrough nan Fonn to Ariosto!’
Lastly, it so befell that the company differed whether Fergus should be asked to perform on the flute, at which he was an adept, or Waverley invited to read a play of Shakspeare; and the lady of the house good-humouredly undertook to collect the votes of the company for poetry or music, under the condition that the gentleman whose talents were not laid under contribution that evening should contribute them to enliven the next. It chanced that Rose had the casting vote. Now Flora, who seemed to impose it as a rule upon herself never to countenance any proposal which might seem to encourage Waverley, had voted for music, providing the Baron would take his violin to accompany Fergus. ’I wish you joy of your taste, Miss Mac-Ivor,’ thought Edward, as they sought for his book. ’I thought it better when we were at Glennaquoich; but certainly the Baron is no great performer, and Shakspeare is worth listening to.’
‘Romeo and Juliet’ was selected, and Edward read with taste, feeling, and spirit several scenes from that play. All the company applauded with their hands, and many with their tears. Flora, to whom the drama was well known, was among the former; Rose, to whom it was altogether new, belonged to the latter class of admirers. ‘She has more feeling too,’ said Waverley, internally.
The conversation turning upon the incidents of the play and upon the characters, Fergus declared that the only one worth naming, as a man of fashion and spirit, was Mercutio. ‘I could not,’ he said, ’quite follow all his old-fashioned wit, but he must have been a very pretty fellow, according to the ideas of his time.’
‘And it was a shame,’ said Ensign Maccombich, who usually followed his Colonel everywhere, ’for that Tibbert, or Taggart, or whatever was his name, to stick him under the other gentleman’s arm while he was redding the fray.’
The ladies, of course, declared loudly in favour of Romeo, but this opinion did not go undisputed. The mistress of the house and several other ladies severely reprobated the levity with which the hero transfers his affections from Rosalind to Juliet. Flora remained silent until her opinion was repeatedly requested, and then answered, she thought the circumstance objected to not only reconcilable to nature, but such as in the highest degree evinced the art of the poet. ‘Romeo is described,’ said she, ’as a young man peculiarly susceptible of the softer passions; his love is at first fixed upon a woman who could afford it no return; this he repeatedly tells you,—
From love’s weak, childish bow she lives unharmed,
She hath forsworn to love.
Now, as it was impossible that Romeo’s love, supposing him a reasonable being, could continue to subsist without hope, the poet has, with great art, seized the moment when he was reduced actually to despair to throw in his way an object more accomplished than her by whom he had been rejected, and who is disposed to repay his attachment. I can scarce conceive a situation more calculated to enhance the ardour of Romeo’s affection for Juliet than his being at once raised by her from the state of drooping melancholy in which he appears first upon the scene to the ecstatic state in which he exclaims—
—come what sorrow
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short moment gives me in her sight.’
‘Good now, Miss Mac-Ivor,’ said a young lady of quality, ’do you mean to cheat us out of our prerogative? will you persuade us love cannot subsist without hope, or that the lover must become fickle if the lady is cruel? O fie! I did not expect such an unsentimental conclusion.’
‘A lover, my dear Lady Betty,’ said Flora, ’may, I conceive, persevere in his suit under very discouraging circumstances. Affection can (now and then) withstand very severe storms of rigour, but not a long polar frost of downright indifference. Don’t, even with your attractions, try the experiment upon any lover whose faith you value. Love will subsist on wonderfully little hope, but not altogether without it.’
‘It will be just like Duncan Mac-Girdie’s mare,’ said Evan, ’if your ladyships please, he wanted to use her by degrees to live without meat, and just as he had put her on a straw a day the poor thing died!’
Evan’s illustration set the company a-laughing, and the discourse took a different turn. Shortly afterwards the party broke up, and Edward returned home, musing on what Flora had said. ’I will love my Rosalind no more,’ said he; ’she has given me a broad enough hint for that; and I will speak to her brother and resign my suit. But for a Juliet—would it be handsome to interfere with Fergus’s pretensions? though it is impossible they can ever succeed; and should they miscarry, what then? why then alors comme alors.’ And with this resolution of being guided by circumstances did our hero commit himself to repose.
A BRAVE MAN IN SORROW
Ifmy fair readers should be of opinion that my hero’s levity in love is altogether unpardonable, I must remind them that all his griefs and difficulties did not arise from that sentimental source. Even the lyric poet who complains so feelingly of the pains of love could not forget, that at the same time he was ’in debt and in drink,’ which, doubtless, were great aggravations of his distress. There were, indeed, whole days in which Waverley thought neither of Flora nor Rose Bradwardine, but which were spent in melancholy conjectures on the probable state of matters at Waverley-Honour, and the dubious issue of the civil contest in which he was pledged. Colonel Talbot often engaged him in discussions upon the justice of the cause he had espoused. ‘Not,’ he said, ’that it is possible for you to quit it at this present moment, for, come what will, you must stand by your rash engagement. But I wish you to be aware that the right is not with you; that you are fighting against the real interests of your country; and that you ought, as an Englishman and a patriot, to take the first opportunity to leave this unhappy expedition before the snowball melts.’
In such political disputes Waverley usually opposed the common arguments of his party, with which it is unnecessary to trouble the reader. But he had little to say when the Colonel urged him to compare the strength by which they had undertaken to overthrow the government with that which was now assembling very rapidly for its support. To this statement Waverley had but one answer: ’If the cause I have undertaken be perilous, there would be the greater disgrace in abandoning it.’ And in his turn he generally silenced Colonel Talbot, and succeeded in changing the subject.
One night, when, after a long dispute of this nature, the friends had separated and our hero had retired to bed, he was awakened about midnight by a suppressed groan. He started up and listened; it came from the apartment of Colonel Talbot, which was divided from his own by a wainscotted partition, with a door of communication. Waverley approached this door and distinctly heard one or two deep-drawn sighs. What could be the matter? The Colonel had parted from him apparently in his usual state of spirits. He must have been taken suddenly ill. Under this impression he opened the door of communication very gently, and perceived the Colonel, in his night-gown, seated by a table, on which lay a letter and a picture. He raised his head hastily, as Edward stood uncertain whether to advance or retire, and Waverley perceived that his cheeks were stained with tears.
As if ashamed at being found giving way to such emotion, Colonel Talbot rose with apparent displeasure and said, with some sternness, ’I think, Mr. Waverley, my own apartment and the hour might have secured even a prisoner against—’
’Do not say intrusion, Colonel Talbot; I heard you breathe hard and feared you were ill; that alone could have induced me to break in upon you.’
‘I am well,’ said the Colonel, ‘perfectly well.’
‘But you are distressed,’ said Edward; ’is there anything can be done?’
’Nothing, Mr. Waverley; I was only thinking of home, and some unpleasant occurrences there.’
‘Good God, my uncle!’ exclaimed Waverley.
’No, it is a grief entirely my own. I am ashamed you should have seen it disarm me so much; but it must have its course at times, that it may be at others more decently supported. I would have kept it secret from you; for I think it will grieve you, and yet you can administer no consolation. But you have surprised me,—I see you are surprised yourself,—and I hate mystery. Read that letter.’
The letter was from Colonel Talbot’s sister, and in these words:—
’I received yours, my dearest brother, by Hodges. Sir E. W. and Mr. R. are still at large, but are not permitted to leave London. I wish to Heaven I could give you as good an account of matters in the square. But the news of the unhappy affair at Preston came upon us, with the dreadful addition that you were among the fallen. You know Lady Emily’s state of health, when your friendship for Sir E. induced you to leave her. She was much harassed with the sad accounts from Scotland of the rebellion having broken out; but kept up her spirits, as, she said, it became your wife, and for the sake of the future heir, so long hoped for in vain. Alas, my dear brother, these hopes are now ended! Notwithstanding all my watchful care, this unhappy rumour reached her without preparation. She was taken ill immediately; and the poor infant scarce survived its birth. Would to God this were all! But although the contradiction of the horrible report by your own letter has greatly revived her spirits, yet Dr.—— apprehends, I grieve to say, serious, and even dangerous, consequences to her health, especially from the uncertainty in which she must necessarily remain for some time, aggravated by the ideas she has formed of the ferocity of those with whom you are a prisoner.
’Do therefore, my dear brother, as soon as this reaches you, endeavour to gain your release, by parole, by ransom, or any way that is practicable. I do not exaggerate Lady Emily’s state of health; but I must not—dare not—suppress the truth. Ever, my dear Philip, your most affectionate sister,
Edward stood motionless when he had perused this letter; for the conclusion was inevitable, that, by the Colonel’s journey in quest of him, he had incurred this heavy calamity. It was severe enough, even in its irremediable part; for Colonel Talbot and Lady Emily, long without a family, had fondly exulted in the hopes which were now blasted. But this disappointment was nothing to the extent of the threatened evil; and Edward, with horror, regarded himself as the original cause of both.
Ere he could collect himself sufficiently to speak, Colonel Talbot had recovered his usual composure of manner, though his troubled eye denoted his mental agony.
’She is a woman, my young friend, who may justify even a soldier’s tears.’ He reached him the miniature, exhibiting features which fully justified the eulogium; ’and yet, God knows, what you see of her there is the least of the charms she possesses—possessed, I should perhaps say—but God’s will be done.’
’ You must fly—you must fly instantly to her relief. It is not— it shall not be too late.’
‘Fly? how is it possible? I am a prisoner, upon parole.’
‘I am your keeper; I restore your parole; I am to answer for you.’
’You cannot do so consistently with your duty; nor can I accept a discharge from you, with due regard to my own honour; you would be made responsible.’
‘I will answer it with my head, if necessary,’ said Waverley impetuously. ’I have been the unhappy cause of the loss of your child, make me not the murderer of your wife.’
‘No, my dear Edward,’ said Talbot, taking him kindly by the hand, ’you are in no respect to blame; and if I concealed this domestic distress for two days, it was lest your sensibility should view it in that light. You could not think of me, hardly knew of my existence, when I left England in quest of you. It is a responsibility, Heaven knows, sufficiently heavy for mortality, that we must answer for the foreseen and direct result of our actions; for their indirect and consequential operation the great and good Being, who alone can foresee the dependence of human events on each other, hath not pronounced his frail creatures liable.’
‘But that you should have left Lady Emily,’ said Waverley, with much emotion, ’in the situation of all others the most interesting to a husband, to seek a—’
‘I only did my duty,’ answered Colonel Talbot, calmly, ’and I do not, ought not, to regret it. If the path of gratitude and honour were always smooth and easy, there would be little merit in following it; but it moves often in contradiction to our interest and passions, and sometimes to our better affections. These are the trials of life, and this, though not the least bitter’ (the tears came unbidden to his eyes), ’is not the first which it has been my fate to encounter. But we will talk of this to-morrow,’ he said, wringing Waverley’s hands. ’Good-night; strive to forget it for a few hours. It will dawn, I think, by six, and it is now past two. Good-night.’
Edward retired, without trusting his voice with a reply.
When Colonel Talbot entered the breakfast-parlour next morning, he learned from Waverley’s servant that our hero had been abroad at an early hour and was not yet returned. The morning was well advanced before he again appeared. He arrived out of breath, but with an air of joy that astonished Colonel Talbot.
‘There,’ said he, throwing a paper on the table, ’there is my morning’s work. Alick, pack up the Colonel’s clothes. Make haste, make haste.’
The Colonel examined the paper with astonishment. It was a pass from the Chevalier to Colonel Talbot, to repair to Leith, or any other port in possession of his Royal Highness’s troops, and there to embark for England or elsewhere, at his free pleasure; he only giving his parole of honour not to bear arms against the house of Stuart for the space of a twelve-month.
‘In the name of God,’ said the Colonel, his eyes sparkling with eagerness, ‘how did you obtain this?’
’I was at the Chevalier’s levee as soon as he usually rises. He was gone to the camp at Duddingston. I pursued him thither, asked and obtained an audience—but I will tell you not a word more, unless I see you begin to pack.’
’Before I know whether I can avail myself of this passport, or how it was obtained?’
’O, you can take out the things again, you know. Now I see you busy, I will go on. When I first mentioned your name, his eyes sparkled almost as bright as yours did two minutes since. “Had you,” he earnestly asked, “shown any sentiments favourable to his cause?” “Not in the least, nor was there any hope you would do so.” His countenance fell. I requested your freedom. “Impossible,” he said; “your importance as a friend and confidant of such and such personages made my request altogether extravagant.” I told him my own story and yours; and asked him to judge what my feelings must be by his own. He has a heart, and a kind one, Colonel Talbot, you may say what you please. He took a sheet of paper and wrote the pass with his own hand. “I will not trust myself with my council,” he said; “they will argue me out of what is right. I will not endure that a friend, valued as I value you, should be loaded with the painful reflections which must afflict you in case of further misfortune in Colonel Talbot’s family; nor will I keep a brave enemy a prisoner under such circumstances. Besides,” said he, “I think I can justify myself to my prudent advisers by pleading the good effect such lenity will produce on the minds of the great English families with whom Colonel Talbot is connected."’
‘There the politician peeped out,’ said the Colonel.
’Well, at least he concluded like a king’s son: “Take the passport; I have added a condition for form’s sake; but if the Colonel objects to it, let him depart without giving any parole whatever. I come here to war with men, but not to distress or endanger women."’
’Well, I never thought to have been so much indebted to the Pretend—’
‘To the Prince,’ said Waverley, smiling.
‘To the Chevalier,’ said the Colonel; ’it is a good travelling name, and which we may both freely use. Did he say anything more?’
’Only asked if there was anything else he could oblige me in; and when I replied in the negative, he shook me by the hand, and wished all his followers were as considerate, since some friends of mine not only asked all he had to bestow, but many things which were entirely out of his power, or that of the greatest sovereign upon earth. Indeed, he said, no prince seemed, in the eyes of his followers, so like the Deity as himself, if you were to judge from the extravagant requests which they daily preferred to him.’
‘Poor young gentleman,’ said the Colonel, ’I suppose he begins to feel the difficulties of his situation. Well, dear Waverley, this is more than kind, and shall not be forgotten while Philip Talbot can remember anything. My life—pshaw—let Emily thank you for that; this is a favour worth fifty lives. I cannot hesitate on giving my parole in the circumstances; there it is (he wrote it out in form). And now, how am I to get off?’
’All that is settled: your baggage is packed, my horses wait, and a boat has been engaged, by the Prince’s permission, to put you on board the Fox frigate. I sent a messenger down to Leith on purpose.’
’That will do excellently well. Captain Beaver is my particular friend; he will put me ashore at Berwick or Shields, from whence I can ride post to London; and you must entrust me with the packet of papers which you recovered by means of your Miss Bean Lean. I may have an opportunity of using them to your advantage. But I see your Highland friend, Glen —— what do you call his barbarous name? and his orderly with him; I must not call him his orderly cut-throat any more, I suppose. See how he walks as if the world were his own, with the bonnet on one side of his head and his plaid puffed out across his breast! I should like now to meet that youth where my hands were not tied: I would tame his pride, or he should tame mine.’
’For shame, Colonel Talbot! you swell at sight of tartan as the bull is said to do at scarlet. You and Mac-Ivor have some points not much unlike, so far as national prejudice is concerned.’
The latter part of this discourse took place in the street. They passed the Chief, the Colonel and he sternly and punctiliously greeting each other, like two duellists before they take their ground. It was evident the dislike was mutual. ’I never see that surly fellow that dogs his heels,’ said the Colonel, after he had mounted his horse, ’but he reminds me of lines I have somewhere heard—upon the stage, I think:—
Close behind him
Stalks sullen Bertram, like a sorcerer’s fiend,
Pressing to be employed.
‘I assure you, Colonel,’ said Waverley,’that you judge too harshly of the Highlanders.’
’Not a whit, not a whit; I cannot spare them a jot; I cannot bate them an ace. Let them stay in their own barren mountains, and puff and swell, and hang their bonnets on the horns of the moon, if they have a mind; but what business have they to come where people wear breeches, and speak an intelligible language? I mean intelligible in comparison to their gibberish, for even the Lowlanders talk a kind of English little better than the Negroes in Jamaica. I could pity the Pr——, I mean the, Chevalier himself, for having so many desperadoes about him. And they learn their trade so early. There is a kind of subaltern imp, for example, a sort of sucking devil, whom your friend Glena—— Glenamuck there, has sometimes in his train. To
’A fine character you’ll give of Scotland upon your return, Colonel Talbot.’
‘O, Justice Shallow,’ said the Colonel, ’will save me the trouble —“Barren, barren, beggars all, beggars all. Marry, good air,”—and that only when you are fairly out of Edinburgh, and not yet come to Leith, as is our case at present.’
In a short time they arrived at the seaport.
The boat rock’d at the
pier of Leith,
Full loud the wind blew down the ferry;
The ship rode at the Berwick Law.
’Farewell, Colonel; may you find all as you would wish it! Perhaps we may meet sooner than you expect; they talk of an immediate route to England.’
‘Tell me nothing of that,’ said Talbot; ’I wish to carry no news of your motions.’
’Simply, then, adieu. Say, with a thousand kind greetings, all that is dutiful and affectionate to Sir Everard and Aunt Rachel. Think of me as kindly as you can, speak of me as indulgently as your conscience will permit, and once more adieu.’
’And adieu, my dear Waverley; many, many thanks for your kindness. Unplaid yourself on the first opportunity. I shall ever think on you with gratitude, and the worst of my censure shall be, Que diable alloit—il faire dans cette galere?’
And thus they parted, Colonel Talbot going on board of the boat and Waverley returning to Edinburgh.
It is not our purpose to intrude upon the province of history. We shall therefore only remind our readers that about the beginning of November the Young Chevalier, at the head of about six thousand men at the utmost, resolved to peril his cause on an attempt to penetrate into the centre of England, although aware of the mighty preparations which were made for his reception. They set forward on this crusade in weather which would have rendered any other troops incapable of marching, but which in reality gave these active mountaineers advantages over a less hardy enemy. In defiance of a superior army lying upon the Borders, under Field-Marshal Wade, they besieged and took Carlisle, and soon afterwards prosecuted their daring march to the southward.
As Colonel Mac-Ivor’s regiment marched in the van of the clans, he and Waverley, who now equalled any Highlander in the endurance of fatigue, and was become somewhat acquainted with their language, were perpetually at its head. They marked the progress of the army, however, with very different eyes. Fergus, all air and fire, and confident against the world in arms, measured nothing but that every step was a yard nearer London. He neither asked, expected, nor desired any aid except that of the clans to place the Stuarts once more on the throne; and when by chance a few adherents joined the standard, he always considered them in the light of new claimants upon the favours of the future monarch, who, he concluded, must therefore subtract for their gratification so much of the bounty which ought to be shared among his Highland followers.
Edward’s views were very different. He could not but observe that in those towns in which they proclaimed James the Third, ’no man cried, God bless him.’ The mob stared and listened, heartless, stupefied, and dull, but gave few signs even of that boisterous spirit which induces them to shout upon all occasions for the mere exercise of their most sweet voices. The Jacobites had been taught to believe that the north-western counties abounded with wealthy squires and hardy yeomen, devoted to the cause of the White Rose. But of the wealthier Tories they saw little. Some fled from their houses, some feigned themselves sick, some surrendered themselves to the government as suspected persons. Of such as remained, the ignorant gazed with astonishment, mixed with horror and aversion, at the wild appearance, unknown language, and singular garb of the Scottish clans. And to the more prudent their scanty numbers, apparent deficiency in discipline, and poverty of equipment seemed certain tokens of the calamitous termination of their rash undertaking. Thus the few who joined them were such as bigotry of political principle blinded to consequences, or whose broken fortunes induced them to hazard all on a risk so desperate.
The Baron of Bradwardine, being asked what he thought of these recruits, took a long pinch of snuff, and answered drily,’that he could not but have an excellent opinion of them, since they resembled precisely the followers who attached themselves to the good King David at the cave of Adullam—videlicet, every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, which the vulgate renders bitter of soul; and doubtless,’ he said, ’they will prove mighty men of their hands, and there is much need that they should, for I have seen many a sour look cast upon us.’
But none of these considerations moved Fergus. He admired the luxuriant beauty of the country, and the situation of many of the seats which they passed. ’Is Waverley-Honour like that house, Edward?’
‘It is one-half larger.’
‘Is your uncle’s park as fine a one as that?’
’It is three times as extensive, and rather resembles a forest than a mere park.’
‘Flora will be a happy woman.’
’I hope Miss Mac-Ivor will have much reason for happiness unconnected with Waverley-Honour.’
’I hope so too; but to be mistress of such a place will be a pretty addition to the sum total.’
’An addition, the want of which, I trust, will be amply supplied by some other means.’
‘How,’ said Fergus, stopping short and turning upon Waverley—’how am I to understand that, Mr. Waverley? Had I the pleasure to hear you aright?’
‘Perfectly right, Fergus.’
’And am I to understand that you no longer desire my alliance and my sister’s hand?’
‘Your sister has refused mine,’ said Waverley, ’both directly and by all the usual means by which ladies repress undesired attentions.’
‘I have no idea,’ answered the Chieftain, ’of a lady dismissing or a gentleman withdrawing his suit, after it has been approved of by her legal guardian, without giving him an opportunity of talking the matter over with the lady. You did not, I suppose, expect my sister to drop into your mouth like a ripe plum the first moment you chose to open it?’
‘As to the lady’s title to dismiss her lover, Colonel,’ replied Edward, ’it is a point which you must argue with her, as I am ignorant of the customs of the Highlands in that particular. But as to my title to acquiesce in a rejection from her without an appeal to your interest, I will tell you plainly, without meaning to undervalue Miss Mac-Ivor’s admitted beauty and accomplishments, that I would not take the hand of an angel, with an empire for her dowry, if her consent were extorted by the importunity of friends and guardians, and did not flow from her own free inclination.’
‘An angel, with the dowry of an empire,’ repeated Fergus, in a tone of bitter irony, ’is not very likely to be pressed upon a —— shire squire. But, sir,’ changing his tone, ’if Flora Mac-Ivor have not the dowry of an empire, she is my sister; and that is sufficient at least to secure her against being treated with anything approaching to levity.’
‘She is Flora Mac-Ivor, sir,’ said Waverley, with firmness, ’which to me, were I capable of treating any woman with levity, would be a more effectual protection.’
The brow of the Chieftain was now fully clouded; but Edward felt too indignant at the unreasonable tone which he had adopted to avert the storm by the least concession. They both stood still while this short dialogue passed, and Fergus seemed half disposed to say something more violent, but, by a strong effort, suppressed his passion, and, turning his face forward, walked sullenly on. As they had always hitherto walked together, and almost constantly side by side, Waverley pursued his course silently in the same direction, determined to let the Chief take his own time in recovering the good-humour which he had so unreasonably discarded, and firm in his resolution not to bate him an inch of dignity.
After they had marched on in this sullen manner about a mile, Fergus resumed the discourse in a different tone. ’I believe I was warm, my dear Edward, but you provoke me with your want of knowledge of the world. You have taken pet at some of Flora’s prudery, or high-flying notions of loyalty, and now, like a child, you quarrel with the plaything you have been crying for, and beat me, your faithful keeper, because my arm cannot reach to Edinburgh to hand it to you. I am sure, if I was passionate, the mortification of losing the alliance of such a friend, after your arrangement had been the talk of both Highlands and Lowlands, and that without so much as knowing why or wherefore, might well provoke calmer blood than mine. I shall write to Edinburgh and put all to rights; that is, if you desire I should do so; as indeed I cannot suppose that your good opinion of Flora, it being such as you have often expressed to me, can be at once laid aside.’
‘Colonel Mac-Ivor,’ said Edward, who had no mind to be hurried farther or faster than he chose in a matter which he had already considered as broken off, ’I am fully sensible of the value of your good offices; and certainly, by your zeal on my behalf in such an affair, you do me no small honour. But as Miss Mac-Ivor has made her election freely and voluntarily, and as all my attentions in Edinburgh were received with more than coldness, I cannot, in justice either to her or myself, consent that she should again be harassed upon this topic. I would have mentioned this to you some time since, but you saw the footing upon which we stood together, and must have understood it. Had I thought otherwise I would have earlier spoken; but I had a natural reluctance to enter upon a subject so painful to us both.’
‘O, very well, Mr. Waverley,’ said Fergus, haughtily, ’the thing is at an end. I have no occasion to press my sister upon any man.’
’Nor have I any occasion to court repeated rejection from the same young lady,’ answered Edward, in the same tone.
‘I shall make due inquiry, however,’ said the Chieftain, without noticing the interruption, ’and learn what my sister thinks of all this, we will then see whether it is to end here.’
’Respecting such inquiries, you will of course be guided by your own judgment,’ said Waverley. ’It is, I am aware, impossible Miss Mac-Ivor can change her mind; and were such an unsupposable case to happen, it is certain I will not change mine. I only mention this to prevent any possibility of future misconstruction.’
Gladly at this moment would Mac-Ivor have put their quarrel to a personal arbitrement, his eye flashed fire, and he measured Edward as if to choose where he might best plant a mortal wound. But although we do not now quarrel according to the modes and figures of Caranza or Vincent Saviola, no one knew better than Fergus that there must be some decent pretext for a mortal duel. For instance, you may challenge
Waverley’s servant always led a saddle-horse for him in the rear of the battalion to which he was attached, though his master seldom rode. But now, incensed at the domineering and unreasonable conduct of his late friend, he fell behind the column and mounted his horse, resolving to seek the Baron of Bradwardine, and request permission to volunteer in his troop instead of the Mac-Ivor regiment.
‘A happy time of it I should have had,’ thought he, after he was mounted, ’to have been so closely allied to this superb specimen of pride and self-opinion and passion. A colonel! why, he should have been a generalissimo. A petty chief of three or four hundred men! his pride might suffice for the Cham of Tartary—the Grand Seignior—the Great Mogul! I am well free of him. Were Flora an angel, she would bring with her a second Lucifer of ambition and wrath for a brother-in-law.’
The Baron, whose learning (like Sancho’s jests while in the Sierra Morena) seemed to grow mouldy for want of exercise, joyfully embraced the opportunity of Waverley’s offering his service in his regiment, to bring it into some exertion. The good-natured old gentleman, however, laboured to effect a reconciliation between the two quondam friends. Fergus turned a cold ear to his remonstrances, though he gave them a respectful hearing; and as for Waverley, he saw no reason why he should be the first in courting a renewal of the intimacy which the Chieftain had so unreasonably disturbed. The Baron then mentioned the matter to the Prince, who, anxious to prevent quarrels in his little army, declared he would himself remonstrate with Colonel Mac-Ivor on the unreasonableness of his conduct. But, in the hurry of their march, it was a day or two before he had an opportunity to exert his influence in the manner proposed.
In the meanwhile Waverley turned the instructions he had received while in Gardiner’s dragoons to some account, and assisted the Baron in his command as a sort of adjutant. ’Parmi les aveugles un borgne est roi,’ says the French proverb; and the cavalry, which consisted chiefly of Lowland gentlemen, their tenants and servants, formed a high opinion of Waverley’s skill and a great attachment to his person. This was indeed partly owing to the satisfaction which they felt at the distinguished English volunteer’s leaving the Highlanders to rank among them; for there was a latent grudge between the horse and foot, not only owing to the difference of the services, but because most of the gentlemen, living near the Highlands, had at one time or other had quarrels with the tribes in their vicinity, and all of them looked with a jealous eye on the Highlanders’ avowed pretensions to superior valour and utility in the Prince’s service.
THE CONFUSION OF KING AGRAMANT’S CAMP
Itwas Waverley’s custom sometimes to ride a little apart from the main body, to look at any object of curiosity which occurred on the march. They were now in Lancashire, when, attracted by a castellated old hall, he left the squadron for half an hour to take a survey and slight sketch of it. As he returned down the avenue he was met by Ensign Maccombich. This man had contracted a sort of regard for Edward since the day of his first seeing him at Tully-Veolan and introducing him to the Highlands. He seemed to loiter, as if on purpose to meet with our hero. Yet, as he passed him, he only approached his stirrup and pronounced the single word ‘Beware!’ and then walked swiftly on, shunning all further communication.
Edward, somewhat surprised at this hint, followed with his eyes the course of Evan, who speedily disappeared among the trees. His servant, Alick Polwarth, who was in attendance, also looked after the Highlander, and then riding up close to his master, said,—
’The ne’er be in me, sir, if I think you’re safe amang thae Highland rinthereouts.’
‘What do you mean, Alick?’ said Waverley.
’The Mac-Ivors, sir, hae gotten it into their heads that ye hae affronted their young leddy, Miss Flora; and I hae heard mae than ane say, they wadna tak muckle to mak a black-cock o’ ye; and ye ken weel eneugh there’s mony o’ them wadna mind a bawbee the weising a ball through the Prince himsell, an the Chief gae them the wink, or whether he did or no, if they thought it a thing that would please him when it was dune.’
Waverley, though confident that Fergus Mac-Ivor was incapable of such treachery, was by no means equally sure of the forbearance of his followers. He knew that, where the honour of the Chief or his family was supposed to be touched, the happiest man would be he that could first avenge the stigma; and he had often heard them quote a proverb, ’That the best revenge was the most speedy and most safe.’ Coupling this with the hint of Evan, he judged it most prudent to set spurs to his horse and ride briskly back to the squadron. Ere he reached the end of the long avenue, however, a ball whistled past him, and the report of a pistol was heard.
‘It was that deevil’s buckle, Callum Beg,’ said Alick; ’I saw him whisk away through amang the reises.’
Edward, justly incensed at this act of treachery, galloped out of the avenue, and observed the battalion of Mac-Ivor at some distance moving along the common in which it terminated. He also saw an individual running very fast to join the party; this he concluded was the intended assassin, who, by leaping an enclosure, might easily make a much shorter path to the main body than he could find on horseback. Unable to contain himself, he commanded Alick to go to the Baron of Bradwardine, who was at the head of his regiment about half a mile in front, and acquaint him with what had happened. He himself immediately rode up to Fergus’s regiment. The Chief himself was in the act of joining them. He was on horseback, having returned from waiting on the Prince. On perceiving Edward approaching, he put his horse in motion towards him.
‘Colonel Mac-Ivor,’ said Waverley, without any farther salutation, ’I have to inform you that one of your people has this instant fired at me from a lurking-place.’
‘As that,’ answered Mac-Ivor, ’excepting the circumstance of a lurking-place, is a pleasure which I presently propose to myself, I should be glad to know which of my clansmen dared to anticipate me.’
’I shall certainly be at your command whenever you please; the gentleman who took your office upon himself is your page there, Callum Beg.’
’Stand forth from the ranks, Callum! Did you fire at Mr. Waverley?’
‘No,’ answered the unblushing Callum.
‘You did,’ said Alick Polwarth, who was already returned, having met a trooper by whom he despatched an account of what was going forward to the Baron of Bradwardine, while he himself returned to his master at full gallop, neither sparing the rowels of his spurs nor the sides of his horse. ’You did; I saw you as plainly as I ever saw the auld kirk at Coudingham.’
‘You lie,’ replied Callum, with his usual impenetrable obstinacy. The combat between the knights would certainly, as in the days of chivalry, have been preceded by an encounter between the squires (for Alick was a stout-hearted Merseman, and feared the bow of Cupid far more than a Highlander’s dirk or claymore), but Fergus, with his usual tone of decision, demanded Callum’s pistol. The cock was down, the pan and muzzle were black with the smoke; it had been that instant fired.
‘Take that,’ said Fergus, striking the boy upon the head with the heavy pistol-butt with his whole force—’take that for acting without orders, and lying to disguise it.’ Callum received the blow without appearing to flinch from it, and fell without sign of life. ‘Stand still, upon your lives!’ said Fergus to the rest of the clan; ’I blow out the brains of the first man who interferes between Mr. Waverley and me.’ They stood motionless; Evan Dhu alone showed symptoms of vexation and anxiety. Callum lay on the ground bleeding copiously, but no one ventured to give him any assistance. It seemed as if he had gotten his death-blow.
’And now for you, Mr. Waverley; please to turn your horse twenty yards with me upon the common.’ Waverley complied; and Fergus, confronting him when they were a little way from the line of march, said, with great affected coolness, ’I could not but wonder, sir, at the fickleness of taste which you were pleased to express the other day. But it was not an angel, as you justly observed, who had charms for you, unless she brought an empire for her fortune. I have now an excellent commentary upon that obscure text.’
’I am at a loss even to guess at your meaning, Colonel Mac-Ivor, unless it seems plain that you intend to fasten a quarrel upon me.’
’Your affected ignorance shall not serve you, sir. The Prince—the Prince himself has acquainted me with your manoeuvres. I little thought that your engagements with Miss Bradwardine were the reason of your breaking off your intended match with my sister. I suppose the information that the Baron had altered the destination of his estate was quite a sufficient reason for slighting your friend’s sister and carrying off your friend’s mistress.’
‘Did the Prince tell you I was engaged to Miss Bradwardine?’ said Waverley. ‘Impossible.’
‘He did, sir,’ answered Mac-Ivor; ’so, either draw and defend yourself or resign your pretensions to the lady.’ ’This is absolute madness,’ exclaimed Waverley, ‘or some strange mistake!’
‘O! no evasion! draw your sword!’ said the infuriated Chieftain, his own already unsheathed.
‘Must I fight in a madman’s quarrel?’
’Then give up now, and forever, all pretensions to Miss Bradwardine’s hand.’
‘What title have you,’ cried Waverley, utterly losing command of himself—’what title have you, or any man living, to dictate such terms to me?’ And he also drew his sword.
At this moment the Baron of Bradwardine, followed by several of his troop, came up on the spur, some from curiosity, others to take part in the quarrel which they indistinctly understood had broken out between the Mac-Ivors and their corps. The clan, seeing them approach, put themselves in motion to support their Chieftain, and a scene of confusion commenced which seamed likely to terminate in bloodshed. A hundred tongues were in motion at once. The Baron lectured, the Chieftain stormed, the Highlanders screamed in Gaelic, the horsemen cursed and swore in Lowland Scotch. At length matters came to such a pass that the Baron threatened to charge the Mac-Ivors unless they resumed their ranks, and many of them, in return, presented their firearms at him and the other troopers. The confusion was privately fostered by old Ballenkeiroch, who made no doubt that his own day of vengeance was arrived, when, behold! a cry arose of ’Room! make way! place a Monseigneur! place a Monseigneur!’ This announced the approach of the Prince, who came up with a party of Fitz-James’s foreign dragoons that acted as his body-guard. His arrival produced some degree of order. The Highlanders reassumed their ranks, the cavalry fell in and formed squadron, and the Baron and Chieftain were silent.
The Prince called them and Waverley before him. Having heard the original cause of the quarrel through the villainy of Callum Beg, he ordered him into custody of the provost-marshal for immediate execution, in the event of his surviving the chastisement inflicted by his Chieftain. Fergus, however, in a tone betwixt claiming a right and asking a favour, requested he might be left to his disposal, and promised his punishment should be exemplary. To deny this might have seemed to encroach on the patriarchal authority of the Chieftains, of which they were very jealous, and they were not persons to be disobliged. Callum was therefore left to the justice of his own tribe.
The Prince next demanded to know the new cause of quarrel between Colonel Mac-Ivor and Waverley. There was a pause. Both gentlemen found the presence of the Baron of Bradwardine (for by this time all three had approached the Chevalier by his command) an insurmountable barrier against entering upon a subject where the name of his daughter must unavoidably be mentioned. They turned their eyes on the ground, with looks in which shame and embarrassment were mingled with displeasure. The Prince, who had been educated amongst the discontented and mutinous spirits of the court of St. Germains, where feuds of every kind were the daily subject of solicitude to the dethroned sovereign, had served his apprenticeship, as old Frederick of Prussia would have said, to the trade of royalty. To promote or restore concord among his followers was indispensable. Accordingly he took his measures.
‘Monsieur de Beaujeu!’
‘Monseigneur!’ said a very handsome French cavalry officer who was in attendance.
’Ayez la bonte d’aligner ces montagnards la, ainsi que la cavalerie, s’il vous plait, et de les remettre a la marche. Vous parlez si bien l’Anglois, cela ne vous donneroit pas beaucoup de peine.’
‘Ah! pas du tout, Monseigneur,’ replied Mons. le Comte de Beaujeu, his head bending down to the neck of his little prancing highly-managed charger. Accordingly he piaffed away, in high spirits and confidence, to the head of Fergus’s regiment, although understanding not a word of Gaelic and very little English.
’Messieurs les sauvages Ecossois—dat is, gentilmans savages, have the goodness d’arranger vous.’
The clan, comprehending the order more from the gesture than the words, and seeing the Prince himself present, hastened to dress their ranks.
‘Ah! ver well! dat is fort bien!’ said the Count de Beaujeu. ’Gentilmans sauvages! mais, tres bien. Eh bien! Qu’est ce que vous appelez visage, Monsieur?’ (to a lounging trooper who stood by him). ’Ah, oui! face. Je vous remercie, Monsieur. Gentilshommes, have de goodness to make de face to de right par file, dat is, by files. Marsh! Mais, tres bien; encore, Messieurs; il faut vous mettre a la marche. ... Marchez done, au nom de Dieu, parceque j’ai oublie le mot Anglois; mais vous etes des braves gens, et me comprenez tres bien.’
The Count next hastened to put the cavalry in motion. ’Gentilmans cavalry, you must fall in. Ah! par ma foi, I did not say fall off! I am a fear de little gross fat gentilman is moche hurt. Ah, mon Dieu! c’est le Commissaire qui nous a apporte les premieres nouvelles de ce maudit fracas. Je suis trop fache, Monsieur!’
But poor Macwheeble, who, with a sword stuck across him, and a white cockade as large as a pancake, now figured in the character of a commissary, being overturned in the bustle occasioned by the troopers hastening to get themselves in order in the Prince’s presence, before he could rally his galloway, slunk to the rear amid the unrestrained laughter of the spectators.
’Eh bien, Messieurs, wheel to de right. Ah! dat is it! Eh, Monsieur de Bradwardine, ayez la bonte de vous mettre a la tete de votre regiment, car, par Dieu, je n’en puis plus!’
The Baron of Bradwardine was obliged to go to the assistance of Monsieur de Beaujeu, after he had fairly expended his few English military phrases. One purpose of the Chevalier was thus answered. The other he proposed was, that in the eagerness to hear and comprehend commands issued through such an indistinct medium in his own presence, the thoughts of the soldiers in both corps might get a current different from the angry channel in which they were flowing at the time.
Charles Edward was no sooner left with the Chieftain and Waverley, the rest of his attendants being at some distance, than he said, ’If I owed less to your disinterested friendship, I could be most seriously angry with both of you for this very extraordinary and causeless broil, at a moment when my father’s service so decidedly demands the most perfect unanimity. But the worst of my situation is, that my very best friends hold they have liberty to ruin themselves, as well as the cause they are engaged in, upon the slightest caprice.’
Both the young men protested their resolution to submit every difference to his arbitration. ‘Indeed,’ said Edward, ’I hardly know of what I am accused. I sought Colonel Mac-Ivor merely to mention to him that I had narrowly escaped assassination at the hand of his immediate dependent, a dastardly revenge which I knew him to be incapable of authorising. As to the cause for which he is disposed to fasten a quarrel upon me, I am ignorant of it, unless it be that he accuses me, most unjustly, of having engaged the affections of a young lady in prejudice of his pretensions.’
‘If there is an error,’ said the Chieftain, ’it arises from a conversation which I held this morning with his Royal Highness himself.’
‘With me?’ said the Chevalier; ’how can Colonel Mac-Ivor have so far misunderstood me?’
He then led Fergus aside, and, after five minutes’ earnest conversation, spurred his horse towards Edward. ’Is it possible— nay, ride up, Colonel, for I desire no secrets—is it possible, Mr. Waverley, that I am mistaken in supposing that you are an accepted lover of Miss Bradwardine? a fact of which I was by circumstances, though not by communication from you, so absolutely convinced that I alleged it to Vich Ian Vohr this morning as a reason why, without offence to him, you might not continue to be ambitious of an alliance which, to an unengaged person, even though once repulsed, holds out too many charms to be lightly laid aside.’
‘Your Royal Highness,’ said Waverley,’must have founded on circumstances altogether unknown to me, when you did me the distinguished honour of supposing me an accepted lover of Miss Bradwardine. I feel the distinction implied in the supposition, but I have no title to it. For the rest, my confidence in my own merit is too justly slight to admit of my hoping for success in any quarter after positive rejection.’
The Chevalier was silent for a moment, looking steadily at them both, and then said, ’Upon my word, Mr. Waverley, you are a less happy man than I conceived I had very good reason to believe you. But now, gentlemen, allow me to be umpire in this matter, not as Prince Regent but as Charles Stuart, a brother adventurer with you in the same gallant cause. Lay my pretensions to be obeyed by you entirely out of view, and consider your own honour, and how far it is well or becoming to give our enemies the advantage and our friends the scandal of showing that, few as we are, we are not united. And forgive me if I add, that the names of the ladies who have been mentioned crave more respect from us all than to be made themes of discord.’
He took Fergus a little apart and spoke to him very earnestly for two or three minutes, and then returning to Waverley, said, ’I believe I have satisfied Colonel Mac-Ivor that his resentment was founded upon a misconception, to which, indeed, I myself gave rise; and I trust Mr. Waverley is too generous to harbour any recollection of what is past when I assure him that such is the case. You must state this matter properly to your clan, Vich Ian Vohr, to prevent a recurrence of their precipitate violence.’ Fergus bowed. ’And now, gentlemen, let me have the pleasure to see you shake hands.’
They advanced coldly, and with measured steps, each apparently reluctant to appear most forward in concession. They did, however, shake hands, and parted, taking a respectful leave of the Chevalier.
Charles Edward [Footnote: See Note 12.] then rode to the head of the MacIvors, threw himself from his horse, begged a drink out of old Ballenkeiroch’s cantine, and marched about half a mile along with them, inquiring into the history and connexions of Sliochd nan Ivor, adroitly using the few words of Gaelic he possessed, and affecting a great desire to learn it more thoroughly. He then mounted his horse once more, and galloped to the Baron’s cavalry, which was in front, halted them, and examined their accoutrements and state of discipline; took notice of the principal gentlemen, and even of the cadets; inquired after their ladies, and commended their horses; rode about an hour with the Baron of Bradwardine, and endured three long stories about Field-Marshal the Duke of Berwick.
‘Ah, Beaujeu, mon cher ami,’ said he, as he returned to his usual place in the line of march, ’que mon metier de prince errant est ennuyant, par fois. Mais, courage! c’est le grand jeu, apres tout.’
Theeader need hardly be reminded that, after a council of war held at Derby on the 5th of December, the Highlanders relinquished their desperate attempt to penetrate farther into England, and, greatly to the dissatisfaction of their young and daring leader, positively determined to return northward. They commenced their retreat accordingly, and, by the extreme celerity of their movements, outstripped the motions of the Duke of Cumberland, who now pursued them with a very large body of cavalry.
This retreat was a virtual resignation of their towering hopes. None had been so sanguine as Fergus MacIvor; none, consequently, was so cruelly mortified at the change of measures. He argued, or rather remonstrated, with the utmost vehemence at the council of war; and, when his opinion was rejected, shed tears of grief and indignation. From that moment his whole manner was so much altered that he could scarcely have been recognised for the same soaring and ardent spirit, for whom the whole earth seemed too narrow but a week before. The retreat had continued for several days, when Edward, to his surprise, early on the 12th of December, received a visit from the Chieftain in his quarters, in a hamlet about half-way between Shap and Penrith.
Having had no intercourse with the Chieftain since their rupture, Edward waited with some anxiety an explanation of this unexpected visit; nor could he help being surprised, and somewhat shocked, with the change in his appearance. His eye had lost much of its fire; his cheek was hollow, his voice was languid, even his gait seemed less firm and elastic than it was wont; and his dress, to which he used to be particularly attentive, was now carelessly flung about him. He invited Edward to walk out with him by the little river in the vicinity; and smiled in a melancholy manner when he observed him take down and buckle on his sword.
As soon as they were in a wild sequestered path by the side of the stream, the Chief broke out—’Our fine adventure is now totally ruined, Waverley, and I wish to know what you intend to do;—nay, never stare at me, man. I tell you I received a packet from my sister yesterday, and, had I got the information it contains sooner, it would have prevented a quarrel which I am always vexed when I think of. In a letter written after our dispute, I acquainted her with the cause of it; and she now replies to me that she never had, nor could have, any purpose of giving you encouragement; so that it seems I have acted like a madman. Poor Flora! she writes in high spirits; what a change will the news of this unhappy retreat make in her state of mind!’
Waverley, who was really much affected by the deep tone of melancholy with which Fergus spoke, affectionately entreated him to banish from his remembrance any unkindness which had arisen between them, and they once more shook hands, but now with sincere cordiality. Fergus again inquired of Waverley what he intended to do. ’Had you not better leave this luckless army, and get down before us into Scotland, and embark for the Continent from some of the eastern ports that are still in our possession? When you are out of the kingdom, your friends will easily negotiate your pardon; and, to tell you the truth, I wish you would carry Rose Bradwardine with you as your wife, and take Flora also under your joint protection.’—Edward looked surprised.—’She loves you, and I believe you love her, though, perhaps, you have not found it out, for you are not celebrated for knowing your own mind very pointedly.’ He said this with a sort of smile.
‘How,’ answered Edward, ’can you advise me to desert the expedition in which we are all embarked?’
‘Embarked?’ said Fergus; ’the vessel is going to pieces, and it is full time for all who can to get into the long-boat and leave her.’
‘Why, what will other gentlemen do?’ answered Waverley, ’and why did the Highland Chiefs consent to this retreat if it is so ruinous?’
‘O,’ replied Mac-Ivor, ’they think that, as on former occasions, the heading, hanging, and forfeiting will chiefly fall to the lot of the Lowland gentry; that they will be left secure in their poverty and their fastnesses, there, according to their proverb, “to listen to the wind upon the hill till the waters abate.” But they will be disappointed; they have been too often troublesome to be so repeatedly passed over, and this time John Bull has been too heartily frightened to recover his good-humour for some time. The Hanoverian ministers always deserved to be hanged for rascals; but now, if they get the power in their hands,—as, sooner or later, they must, since there is neither rising in England nor assistance from France,—they will deserve the gallows as fools if they leave a single clan in the Highlands in a situation to be again troublesome to government. Ay, they will make root-and-branch-work, I warrant them.’
‘And while you recommend flight to me,’ said Edward,—’a counsel which I would rather die than embrace,—what are your own views?’
‘O,’ answered Fergus, with a melancholy air, ’my fate is settled. Dead or captive I must be before tomorrow.’
‘What do you mean by that, my friend?’ said Edward. ’The enemy is still a day’s march in our rear, and if he comes up, we are still strong enough to keep him in check. Remember Gladsmuir.’
’What I tell you is true notwithstanding, so far as I am individually concerned.’
‘Upon what authority can you found so melancholy a prediction?’ asked Waverley.
‘On one which never failed a person of my house. I have seen,’ he said, lowering his voice, ‘I have seen the Bodach Glas.’
’Yes; have you been so long at Glennaquoich, and never heard of the Grey Spectre? though indeed there is a certain reluctance among us to mention him.’
’Ah! it would have been a tale for poor Flora to have told you. Or, if that hill were Benmore, and that long blue lake, which you see just winding towards yon mountainous country, were Loch Tay, or my own Loch an Ri, the tale would be better suited with scenery. However, let us sit down on this knoll; even Saddleback and Ulswater will suit what I have to say better than the English hedgerows, enclosures, and farmhouses. You must know, then, that when my ancestor, Ian nan Chaistel, wasted Northumberland, there was associated with him in the expedition a sort of Southland Chief, or captain of a band of Lowlanders, called Halbert Hall. In their return through
’How can you, my dear Fergus, tell such nonsense with a grave face?’
’ I do not ask you to believe it; but I tell you the truth, ascertained by three hundred years’ experience at least, and last night by my own eyes.’
‘The particulars, for heaven’s sake!’ said Waverley, with eagerness.
’I will, on condition you will not attempt a jest on the subject. Since this unhappy retreat commenced I have scarce ever been able to sleep for thinking of my clan, and of this poor Prince, whom they are leading back like a dog in a string, whether he will or no, and of the downfall of my family. Last night I felt so feverish that I left my quarters and walked out, in hopes the keen frosty air would brace my nerves—I cannot tell how much I dislike going on, for I know you will hardly believe me. However—I crossed a small footbridge, and kept walking backwards and forwards, when I observed with surprise by the clear moonlight a tall figure in a grey plaid, such as shepherds wear in the south of Scotland, which, move at what pace I would, kept regularly about four yards before me.’
‘You saw a Cumberland peasant in his ordinary dress, probably.’
’No; I thought so at first, and was astonished at the man’s audacity in daring to dog me. I called to him, but received no answer. I felt an anxious throbbing at my heart, and to ascertain what I dreaded, I stood still and turned myself on the same spot successively to the four points of the compass. By Heaven, Edward, turn where I would, the figure was instantly before my eyes, at precisely the same distance! I was then convinced it was the Bodach Glas. My hair bristled and my knees shook. I manned myself, however, and determined to return to my quarters. My ghastly visitant glided before me (for I cannot say he walked) until he reached the footbridge; there he stopped and turned full round. I must either wade the river or pass him as close as I am to you. A desperate courage, founded on the belief that my death was near, made me resolve to make my way in despite of him. I made the sign of the cross, drew my sword, and uttered, “In the name of God, Evil Spirit, give place!” “Vich Ian Vohr,” it said, in a voice that made my very blood curdle, “beware of to-morrow!” It seemed at that moment not half a yard from my sword’s point; but the words were no sooner spoken than it was gone, and nothing appeared further to obstruct my passage. I got home and threw myself on my bed, where I spent a few hours heavily enough; and this morning, as no enemy was reported to be near us, I took my horse and rode forward to make up matters with you. I would not willingly fall until I am in charity with a wronged friend.’
Edward had little doubt that this phantom was the operation of an exhausted frame and depressed spirits, working on the belief common to all Highlanders in such superstitions. He did not the less pity Fergus, for whom, in his present distress, he felt all his former regard revive. With the view of diverting his mind from these gloomy images, he offered, with the Baron’s permission, which he knew he could readily obtain, to remain in his quarters till Fergus’s corps should come up, and then to march with them as usual. The Chief seemed much pleased, yet hesitated to accept the offer.
‘We are, you know, in the rear, the post of danger in a retreat.’
‘And therefore the post of honour.’
‘Well,’ replied the Chieftain, ’let Alick have your horse in readiness, in case we should be overmatched, and I shall be delighted to have your company once more.’
The rear-guard were late in making their appearance, having been delayed by various accidents and by the badness of the roads. At length they entered the hamlet. When Waverley joined the clan Mac-Ivor, arm-in-arm with their Chieftain, all the resentment they had entertained against him seemed blown off at once. Evan Dhu received him with a grin of congratulation; and even Callum, who was running about as active as ever, pale indeed, and with a great patch on his head, appeared delighted to see him.
‘That gallows-bird’s skull,’ said Fergus, ’must be harder than marble; the lock of the pistol was actually broken.’
‘How could you strike so young a lad so hard?’ said Waverley, with some interest.
’Why, if I did not strike hard sometimes, the rascals would forget themselves.’
They were now in full march, every caution being taken to prevent surprise. Fergus’s people, and a fine clan regiment from Badenoch, commanded by Cluny Mac-Pherson, had the rear. They had passed a large open moor, and were entering into the enclosures which surround a small village called Clifton. The winter sun had set, and Edward began to rally Fergus upon the false predictions of the Grey Spirit. ‘The ides of March are not past,’ said Mac-Ivor, with a smile; when, suddenly casting his eyes back on the moor, a large body of cavalry was indistinctly seen to hover upon its brown and dark surface. To line the enclosures facing the open ground and the road by which the enemy must move from it upon the village was the work of a short time. While these manoeuvres were accomplishing, night sunk down, dark and gloomy, though the moon was at full. Sometimes, however, she gleamed forth a dubious light upon the scene of action.
The Highlanders did not long remain undisturbed in the defensive position they had adopted. Favoured by the night, one large body of dismounted dragoons attempted to force the enclosures, while another, equally strong, strove to penetrate by the highroad. Both were received by such a heavy fire as disconcerted their ranks and effectually checked their progress. Unsatisfied with the advantage thus gained, Fergus, to whose ardent spirit the approach of danger seemed to restore all its elasticity, drawing his sword and calling out ‘Claymore!’ encouraged his men, by voice and example, to break through the hedge which divided them and rush down upon the enemy. Mingling with the dismounted dragoons, they forced them, at the sword-point, to fly to the open moor, where a considerable number were cut to pieces. But the moon, which suddenly shone out, showed to the English the small number of assailants, disordered by their own success. Two squadrons of horse moving to the support of their companions, the Highlanders endeavoured to recover the enclosures. But several of them, amongst others their brave Chieftain, were cut off and surrounded before they could effect their purpose. Waverley, looking eagerly for Fergus, from whom, as well as from the retreating body of his followers, he had been separated in the darkness and tumult, saw him, with Evan Dhu and Callum, defending themselves desperately against a dozen of horsemen, who were hewing at them with their long broadswords. The moon was again at that moment totally overclouded, and Edward, in the obscurity, could neither bring aid to his friends nor discover which way lay his own road to rejoin the rear-guard. After once or twice narrowly escaping being slain or made prisoner by parties of the cavalry whom he encountered in the darkness, he at length reached an enclosure, and, clambering over it, concluded himself in safety and on the way to the Highland forces, whose pipes he heard at some distance. For Fergus hardly a hope remained, unless that he might be made prisoner Revolving his fate with sorrow and anxiety, the superstition of the Bodach Glas recurred to Edward’s recollection, and he said to himself, with internal surprise ‘What, can the devil speak truth?’ [Footnote: See Note 13.]
Edward was in a most unpleasant and dangerous situation. He soon lost the sound of the bagpipes; and, what was yet more unpleasant, when, after searching long in vain and scrambling through many enclosures, he at length approached the highroad, he learned, from the unwelcome noise of kettledrums and trumpets, that the English cavalry now occupied it, and consequently were between him and the Highlanders. Precluded, therefore, from advancing in a straight direction, he resolved to avoid the English military and endeavour to join his friends by making a circuit to the left, for which a beaten path, deviating from the main road in that direction, seemed to afford facilities. The path was muddy and the night dark and cold; but even these inconveniences were hardly felt amidst the apprehensions which falling into the hands of the King’s forces reasonably excited in his bosom.
After walking about three miles, he at length reached a hamlet. Conscious that the common people were in general unfavourable to the cause he had espoused, yet desirous, if possible, to procure a horse and guide to Penrith, where he hoped to find the rear, if not the main body, of the Chevalier’s army, he approached the alehouse of the place. There was a great noise within; he paused to listen. A round English oath or two, and the burden of a campaign song, convinced him the hamlet also was occupied by the Duke of Cumberland’s soldiers. Endeavouring to retire from it as softly as possible, and blessing the obscurity which hitherto he had murmured against, Waverley groped his way the best he could along a small paling, which seemed the boundary of some cottage garden. As he reached the gate of this little enclosure, his outstretched hand was grasped by that of a female, whose voice at the same time uttered, ‘Edward, is’t thou, man?’
‘Here is some unlucky mistake,’ thought Edward, struggling, but gently, to disengage himself.
‘Naen o’ thy foun, now, man, or the red cwoats will hear thee; they hae been houlerying and poulerying every ane that past alehouse door this noight to make them drive their waggons and sick loike. Come into feyther’s, or they’ll do ho a mischief.’
‘A good hint,’ thought Waverley, following the girl through the little garden into a brick-paved kitchen, where she set herself to kindle a match at an expiring fire, and with the match to light a candle. She had no sooner looked on Edward than she dropped the light, with a shrill scream of ‘O feyther, feyther!’
The father, thus invoked, speedily appeared—a sturdy old farmer, in a pair of leather breeches, and boots pulled on without stockings, having just started from his bed; the rest of his dress was only a Westmoreland statesman’s robe-de-chambre—that is, his shirt. His figure was displayed to advantage by a candle which he bore in his left hand; in his right he brandished a poker.
‘What hast ho here, wench?’
‘O!’ cried the poor girl, almost going off in hysterics, ’I thought it was Ned Williams, and it is one of the plaid-men.’
‘And what was thee ganging to do wi’ Ned Williams at this time o’ noight?’ To this, which was, perhaps, one of the numerous class of questions more easily asked than answered, the rosy-cheeked damsel made no reply, but continued sobbing and wringing her hands.
’And thee, lad, dost ho know that the dragoons be a town? dost ho know that, mon? ad, they’ll sliver thee loike a turnip, mon.’
‘I know my life is in great danger,’ said Waverley, ’but if you can assist me, I will reward you handsomely. I am no Scotchman, but an unfortunate English gentleman.’
‘Be ho Scot or no,’ said the honest farmer, ’I wish thou hadst kept the other side of the hallan. But since thou art here, Jacob Jopson will betray no man’s bluid; and the plaids were gay canny, and did not do so much mischief when they were here yesterday.’ Accordingly, he set seriously about sheltering and refreshing our hero for the night. The fire was speedily rekindled, but with precaution against its light being seen from without. The jolly yeoman cut a rasher of bacon, which Cicely soon broiled, and her father added a swingeing tankard of his best ale. It was settled that Edward should remain there till the troops marched in the morning, then hire or buy a horse from the farmer, and, with the best directions that could be obtained, endeavour to overtake his friends. A clean, though coarse, bed received him after the fatigues of this unhappy day.
With the morning arrived the news that the Highlanders had evacuated Penrith, and marched off towards Carlisle; that the Duke of Cumberland was in possession of Penrith, and that detachments of his army covered the roads in every direction. To attempt to get through undiscovered would be an act of the most frantic temerity. Ned Williams (the right Edward) was now called to council by Cicely and her father. Ned, who perhaps did not care that his handsome namesake should remain too long in the same house with his sweetheart, for fear of fresh mistakes, proposed that Waverley, exchanging his uniform and plaid for the dress of the country, should go with him to his father’s farm near Ullswater, and remain in that undisturbed retirement until the military movements in the country should have ceased to render his departure hazardous. A price was also agreed upon, at which the stranger might board with Farmer Williams if he thought proper, till he could depart with safety. It was of moderate amount; the distress of his situation, among this honest and simple-hearted race, being considered as no reason for increasing their demand.
The necessary articles of dress were accordingly procured, and, by following by-paths known to the young farmer, they hoped to escape any unpleasant rencontre. A recompense for their hospitality was refused peremptorily by old Jopson and his cherry-cheeked daughter; a kiss paid the one and a hearty shake of the hand the other. Both seemed anxious for their guest’s safety, and took leave of him with kind wishes.
In the course of their route Edward, with his guide, traversed those fields which the night before had been the scene of action. A brief gleam of December’s sun shone sadly on the broad heath, which, towards the spot where the great north-west road entered the enclosures of Lord Lonsdale’s property, exhibited dead bodies of men and horses, and the usual companions of war, a number of carrion-crows, hawks, and ravens.
‘And this, then, was thy last field,’ said Waverley to himself, his eye filling at the recollection of the many splendid points of Fergus’s character, and of their former intimacy, all his passions and imperfections forgotten—’here fell the last Vich Ian Vohr, on a nameless heath; and in an obscure night-skirmish was quenched that ardent spirit, who thought it little to cut a way for his master to the British throne! Ambition, policy, bravery, all far beyond their sphere, here learned the fate of mortals. The sole support, too, of a sister whose spirit, as proud and unbending, was even more exalted than thine own; here ended all thy hopes for Flora, and the long and valued line which it was thy boast to raise yet more highly by thy adventurous valour!’
As these ideas pressed on Waverley’s mind, he resolved to go upon the open heath and search if, among the slain, he could discover the body of his friend, with the pious intention of procuring for him the last rites of sepulture. The timorous young man who accompanied him remonstrated upon the danger of the attempt, but Edward was determined. The followers of the camp had already stripped the dead of all they could carry away; but the country people, unused to scenes of blood, had not yet approached the field of action, though some stood fearfully gazing at a distance. About sixty or seventy dragoons lay slain within the first enclosure, upon the highroad, and on the open moor. Of the Highlanders, not above a dozen had fallen, chiefly those who, venturing too far on the moor, could not regain the strong ground. He could not find the body of Fergus among the slain. On a little knoll, separated from the others, lay the carcasses of three English dragoons, two horses, and the page Callum Beg, whose hard skull a trooper’s broadsword had, at length, effectually cloven. It was possible his clan had carried off the body of Fergus; but it was also possible he had escaped, especially as Evan Dhu, who would never leave his Chief, was not found among the dead; or he might be prisoner, and the less formidable denunciation inferred from the appearance of the Bodach Glas might have proved the true one. The approach of a party sent for the purpose of compelling the country people to bury the dead, and who had already assembled several peasants for that purpose, now obliged Edward to rejoin his guide, who awaited him in great anxiety and fear under shade of the plantations.
After leaving this field of death, the rest of their journey was happily accomplished. At the house of Farmer Williams, Edward passed for a young kinsman, educated for the church, who was come to reside there till the civil tumults permitted him to pass through the country. This silenced suspicion among the kind and simple yeomanry of Cumberland, and accounted sufficiently for the grave manners and retired habits of the new guest. The precaution became more necessary than Waverley had anticipated, as a variety of incidents prolonged his stay at Fasthwaite, as the farm was called.
A tremendous fall of snow rendered his departure impossible for more than ten days. When the roads began to become a little practicable, they successively received news of the retreat of the Chevalier into Scotland; then, that he had abandoned the frontiers, retiring upon Glasgow; and that the Duke of Cumberland had formed the siege of Carlisle. His army, therefore, cut off all possibility of Waverley’s escaping into Scotland in that direction. On the eastern border Marshal Wade, with a large force, was advancing upon Edinburgh; and all along the frontier, parties of militia, volunteers, and partizans were in arms to suppress insurrection, and apprehend such stragglers from the Highland army as had been left in England. The surrender of Carlisle, and the severity with which the rebel garrison were threatened, soon formed an additional reason against venturing upon a solitary and hopeless journey through a hostile country and a large army, to carry the assistance of a single sword to a cause which seemed altogether desperate. In this lonely and secluded situation, without the advantage of company or conversation with men of cultivated minds, the arguments of Colonel Talbot often recurred to the mind of our hero. A still more anxious recollection haunted his slumbers—it was the dying look and gesture of Colonel Gardiner. Most devoutly did he hope, as the rarely occurring post brought news of skirmishes with various success, that it might never again be his lot to draw his sword in civil conflict. Then his mind turned to the supposed death of Fergus, to the desolate situation of Flora, and, with yet more tender recollection, to that of Rose Bradwardine, who was destitute of the devoted enthusiasm of loyalty, which to her friend hallowed and exalted misfortune. These reveries he was permitted to enjoy, undisturbed by queries or interruption; and it was in many a winter walk by the shores of Ullswater that he acquired a more complete mastery of a spirit tamed by adversity than his former experience had given him; and that he felt himself entitled to say firmly, though perhaps with a sigh, that the romance of his life was ended, and that its real history had now commenced. He was soon called upon to justify his pretensions by reason and philosophy.
A JOURNEY TO LONDON
Theamily at Fasthwaite were soon attached to Edward. He had, indeed, that gentleness and urbanity which almost universally attracts corresponding kindness; and to their simple ideas his learning gave him consequence, and his sorrows interest. The last he ascribed, evasively, to the loss of a brother in the skirmish near Clifton; and in that primitive state of society, where the ties of affection were highly deemed of, his continued depression excited sympathy, but not surprise.
In the end of January his more lively powers were called out by the happy union of Edward Williams, the son of his host, with Cicely Jopson. Our hero would not cloud with sorrow the festivity attending the wedding of two persons to whom he was so highly obliged. He therefore exerted himself, danced, sung, played at the various games of the day, and was the blithest of the company. The next morning, however, he had more serious matters to think of.
The clergyman who had married the young couple was so much pleased with the supposed student of divinity, that he came next day from Penrith on purpose to pay him a visit. This might have been a puzzling chapter had he entered into any examination of our hero’s supposed theological studies; but fortunately he loved better to hear and communicate the news of the day. He brought with him two or three old newspapers, in one of which Edward found a piece of intelligence that soon rendered him deaf to every word which the Reverend Mr. Twigtythe was saying upon the news from the north, and the prospect of the Duke’s speedily overtaking and crushing the rebels. This was an article in these, or nearly these words:—
’Died at his house, in Hill Street, Berkeley Square, upon the 10th inst., Richard Waverley, Esq., second son of Sir Giles Waverley of Waverley-Honour, etc. etc. He died of a lingering disorder, augmented by the unpleasant predicament of suspicion in which he stood, having been obliged to find bail to a high amount to meet an impending accusation of high-treason. An accusation of the same grave crime hangs over his elder brother, Sir Everard Waverley, the representative of that ancient family; and we understand the day of his trial will be fixed early in the next month, unless Edward Waverley, son of the deceased Richard, and heir to the Baronet, shall surrender himself to justice. In that case we are assured it is his Majesty’s gracious purpose to drop further proceedings upon the charge against Sir Everard. This unfortunate young gentleman is ascertained to have been in arms in the Pretender’s service, and to have marched along with the Highland troops into England. But he has not been heard of since the skirmish at Clifton, on the 18th December last.’
Such was this distracting paragraph. ‘Good God!’ exclaimed Waverley, ’am I then a parricide? Impossible! My father, who never showed the affection of a father while he lived, cannot have been so much affected by my supposed death as to hasten his own; no, I will not believe it, it were distraction to entertain for a moment such a horrible idea. But it were, if possible, worse than parricide to suffer any danger to hang over my noble and generous uncle, who has ever been more to me than a father, if such evil can be averted by any sacrifice on my part!’
While these reflections passed like the stings of scorpions through Waverley’s sensorium, the worthy divine was startled in a long disquisition on the battle of Falkirk by the ghastliness which they communicated to his looks, and asked him if he was ill? Fortunately the bride, all smirk and blush, had just entered the room. Mrs. Williams was none of the brightest of women, but she was good-natured, and readily concluding that Edward had been shocked by disagreeable news in the papers, interfered so judiciously, that, without exciting suspicion, she drew off Mr. Twigtythe’s attention, and engaged it until he soon after took his leave. Waverley then explained to his friends that he was under the necessity of going to London with as little delay as possible.
One cause of delay, however, did occur, to which Waverley had been very little accustomed. His purse, though well stocked when he first went to Tully-Veolan, had not been reinforced since that period; and although his life since had not been of a nature to exhaust it hastily, for he had lived chiefly with his friends or with the army, yet he found that, after settling with his kind landlord, he should be too poor to encounter the expense of travelling post. The best course, therefore, seemed to be to get into the great north road about Boroughbridge, and there take a place in the northern diligence, a huge old-fashioned tub, drawn by three horses, which completed the journey from Edinburgh to London (God willing, as the advertisement expressed it) in three weeks. Our hero, therefore, took an affectionate farewell of his Cumberland friends, whose kindness he promised never to forget, and tacitly hoped ene day to acknowledge by substantial proofs of gratitude. After some petty difficulties and vexatious delays, and after putting his dress into a shape better befitting his rank, though perfectly plain and simple, he accomplished crossing the country, and found himself in the desired vehicle vis-a-vis to Mrs. Nosebag, the lady of Lieutenant Nosebag, adjutant and riding-master of the—dragoons, a jolly woman of about fifty, wearing a blue habit, faced with scarlet, and grasping a silver-mounted horse-whip.
This lady was one of those active members of society who take upon them faire lefrais de la conversation. She had just returned from the north, and informed Edward how nearly her regiment had cut the petticoat people into ribands at Falkirk, ’only somehow there was one of those nasty, awkward marshes, that they are never without in Scotland, I think, and so our poor dear little regiment suffered something, as my Nosebag says, in that unsatisfactory affair. You, sir, have served in the dragoons?’ Waverley was taken so much at unawares that he acquiesced.
’O, I knew it at once; I saw you were military from your air, and I was sure you could be none of the foot-wobblers, as my Nosebag calls them. What regiment, pray?’ Here was a delightful question. Waverley, however, justly concluded that this good lady had the whole army-list by heart; and, to avoid detection by adhering to truth, answered, ’Gardiner’s dragoons, ma’am; but I have retired some time.’
’O aye, those as won the race at the battle of Preston, as my Nosebag says. Pray, sir, were you there?’
‘I was so unfortunate, madam,’ he replied, ’as to witness that engagement.’
’And that was a misfortune that few of Gardiner’s stood to witness, I believe, sir—ha! ha! ha! I beg your pardon; but a soldier’s wife loves a joke.’
‘Devil confound you,’ thought Waverley: ’what infernal luck has penned me up with this inquisitive hag!’
Fortunately the good lady did not stick long to one subject. ’We are coming to Ferrybridge now,’ she said, ’where there was a party of ours left to support the beadles, and constables, and justices, and these sort of creatures that are examining papers and stopping rebels, and all that.’ They were hardly in the inn before she dragged Waverley to the window, exclaiming, ’Yonder comes Corporal Bridoon, of our poor dear troop; he’s coming with the constable man. Bridoon’s one of my lambs, as Nosebag calls ’ern. Come, Mr.— a—a—pray, what’s your name, sir?’
‘Butler, ma’am,’ said Waverley, resolved rather to make free with the name of a former fellow-officer than run the risk of detection by inventing one not to be found in the regiment.
’O, you got a troop lately, when that shabby fellow, Waverley, went over to the rebels? Lord, I wish our old cross Captain Crump would go over to the rebels, that Nosebag might get the troop! Lord, what can Bridoon be standing swinging on the bridge for? I’ll be hanged if he a’nt hazy, as Nosebag says. Come, sir, as you and I belong to the service, we’ll go put the rascal in mind of his duty.’
Waverley, with feelings more easily conceived than described, saw himself obliged to follow this doughty female commander. The gallant trooper was as like a lamb as a drunk corporal of dragoons, about six feet high, with very broad shoulders, and very thin legs, not to mention a great scar across his nose, could well be. Mrs. Nosebag addressed him with something which, if not an oath, sounded very like one, and commanded him to attend to his duty. ‘You be d—d for a——,’ commenced the gallant cavalier; but, looking up in order to suit the action to the words, and also to enforce the epithet which he meditated with an adjective applicable to the party, he recognised the speaker, made his military salaam, and altered his tone. ’Lord love your handsome face, Madam Nosebag, is it you? Why, if a poor fellow does happen to fire a slug of a morning, I am sure you were never the lady to bring him to harm.’
’Well, you rascallion, go, mind your duty; this gentleman and I belong to the service; but be sure you look after that shy cock in the slouched hat that sits in the corner of the coach. I believe he’s one of the rebels in disguise.’
‘D—n her gooseberry wig,’ said the corporal, when she was out of hearing, ’that gimlet-eyed jade—mother adjutant, as we call her —is a greater plague to the regiment than provost-marshal, sergeant-major, and old Hubble-de-Shuff, the colonel, into the bargain. Come, Master Constable, let’s see if this shy cock, as she calls him (who, by the way, was a Quaker from Leeds, with whom Mrs. Nosebag had had some tart argument on the legality of bearing arms), will stand godfather to a sup of brandy, for your Yorkshire ale is cold on my stomach.’
The vivacity of this good lady, as it helped Edward out of this scrape, was like to have drawn him into one or two others. In every town where they stopped she wished to examine the corps de garde, if there was one, and once very narrowly missed introducing Waverley to a recruiting-sergeant of his own regiment. Then she Captain’d and Butler’d him till he was almost mad with vexation and anxiety; and never was he more rejoiced in his life at the termination of a journey than when the arrival of the coach in London freed him from the attentions of Madam Nosebag.
What’s to be done next?
Itwas twilight when they arrived in town; and having shaken off his companions, and walked through a good many streets to avoid the possibility of being traced by them, Edward took a hackney-coach and drove to Colonel Talbot’s house, in one of the principal squares at the west end of the town. That gentleman, by the death of relations, had succeeded since his marriage to a large fortune, possessed considerable political interest, and lived in what is called great style.
When Waverley knocked at his door he found it at first difficult to procure admittance, but at length was shown into an apartment where the Colonel was at table. Lady Emily, whose very beautiful features were still pallid from indisposition, sate opposite to him. The instant he heard Waverley’s voice, he started up and embraced him. ’Frank Stanley, my dear boy, how d’ye do? Emily, my love, this is young Stanley.’
The blood started to the lady’s cheek as she gave Waverley a reception in which courtesy was mingled with kindness, while her trembling hand and faltering voice showed how much she was startled and discomposed. Dinner was hastily replaced, and while Waverley was engaged in refreshing himself, the Colonel proceeded —’I wonder you have come here, Frank; the Doctors tell me the air of London is very bad for your complaints. You should not have risked it. But I am delighted to see you, and so is Emily, though I fear we must not reckon upon your staying long.’
‘Some particular business brought me up,’ muttered Waverley.
‘I supposed so, but I shan’t allow you to stay long. Spontoon’ (to an elderly military-looking servant out of livery),’take away these things, and answer the bell yourself, if I ring. Don’t let any of the other fellows disturb us. My nephew and I have business to talk of.’
When the servants had retired, ’In the name of God, Waverley, what has brought you here? It may be as much as your life is worth.’
‘Dear Mr. Waverley,’ said Lady Emily, ’to whom I owe so much more than acknowledgments can ever pay, how could you be so rash?’
’My father—my uncle—this paragraph,’—he handed the paper to Colonel Talbot.
’I wish to Heaven these scoundrels were condemned to be squeezed to death in their own presses,’ said Talbot. ’I am told there are not less than a dozen of their papers now published in town, and no wonder that they are obliged to invent lies to find sale for their journals. It is true, however, my dear Edward, that you have lost your father; but as to this flourish of his unpleasant situation having grated upon his spirits and hurt his health—the truth is—for though it is harsh to say so now, yet it will relieve your mind from the idea of weighty responsibility—the truth then is, that Mr. Richard Waverley, through this whole business, showed great want of sensibility, both to your situation and that of your uncle; and the last time I saw him, he told me, with great glee, that, as I was so good as to take charge of your interests, he had thought it best to patch up a separate negotiation for himself, and make his peace with government through some channels which former connexions left still open to him.’
‘And my uncle, my dear uncle?’
’Is in no danger whatever. It is true (looking at the date of the paper) there was a foolish report some time ago to the purport here quoted, but it is entirely false. Sir Everard is gone down to Waverley-Honour, freed from all uneasiness, unless upon your own account. But you are in peril yourself; your name is in every proclamation; warrants are out to apprehend you. How and when did you come here?’
Edward told his story at length, suppressing his quarrel with Fergus; for, being himself partial to Highlanders, he did not wish to give any advantage to the Colonel’s national prejudice against them.
’Are you sure it was your friend Glen’s foot-boy you saw dead in Clifton Moor?’
’Then that little limb of the devil has cheated the gallows, for cut-throat was written in his face; though (turning to Lady Emily) it was a very handsome face too. But for you, Edward, I wish you would go down again to Cumberland, or rather I wish you had never stirred from thence, for there is an embargo in all the seaports, and a strict search for the adherents of the Pretender; and the tongue of that confounded woman will wag in her head like the clack of a mill, till somehow or other she will detect Captain Butler to be a feigned personage.’
‘Do you know anything,’ asked Waverley, ‘of my fellow-traveller?’
’Her husband was my sergeant-major for six years; she was a buxom widow, with a little money; he married her, was steady, and got on by being a good drill. I must send Spontoon to see what she is about; he will find her out among the old regimental connections. To-morrow you must be indisposed, and keep your room from fatigue. Lady Emily is to be your nurse, and Spontoon and I your attendants. You bear the name of a near relation of mine, whom none of my present people ever saw, except Spontoon, so there will be no immediate danger. So pray feel your head ache and your eyes grow heavy as soon as possible, that you may be put upon the sick-list; and, Emily, do you order an apartment for Frank Stanley, with all the attentions which an invalid may require.’
In the morning the Colonel visited his guest. ‘Now,’ said he, ’I have some good news for you. Your reputation as a gentleman and officer is effectually cleared of neglect of duty and accession to the mutiny in Gardiner’s regiment. I have had a correspondence on this subject with a very zealous friend of yours, your Scottish parson, Morton; his first letter was addressed to Sir Everard; but I relieved the good Baronet of the trouble of answering it. You must know, that your free-booting acquaintance, Donald of the Cave, has at length fallen into the hands of the Philistines. He was driving off the cattle of a certain proprietor, called Killan —something or other—’
’The same. Now the gentleman being, it seems, a great farmer, and having a special value for his breed of cattle, being, moreover, rather of a timid disposition, had got a party of soldiers to protect his property. So Donald ran his head unawares into the lion’s mouth, and was defeated and made prisoner. Being ordered for execution, his conscience was assailed on the one hand by a Catholic priest, on the other by your friend Morton. He repulsed the Catholic chiefly on account of the doctrine of extreme unction, which this economical gentleman considered as an excessive waste of oil. So his conversion from a state of impenitence fell to Mr. Morton’s share, who, I daresay, acquitted himself excellently, though I suppose Donald made but a queer kind of Christian after all. He confessed, however, before a magistrate, one Major Melville, who seems to have been a correct, friendly sort of person, his full intrigue with Houghton, explaining particularly how it was carried on, and fully acquitting you of the least accession to it. He also mentioned his rescuing you from the hands of the volunteer officer, and sending you, by orders of the Pret—Chevalier, I mean—as a prisoner to Doune, from whence he understood you were carried prisoner to Edinburgh. These are particulars which cannot but tell in your favour. He hinted that he had been employed to deliver and protect you, and rewarded for doing so; but he would not confess by whom, alleging that, though he would not have minded breaking any ordinary oath to satisfy the curiosity of Mr. Morton, to whose pious admonitions he owed so much, yet, in the present case he had been sworn to silence upon the edge of his dirk, [Footnote: See Note 14.] which, it seems, constituted, in his opinion, an inviolable obligation.’
‘And what is become of him?’
’Oh, he was hanged at Stirling after the rebels raised the siege, with his lieutenant and four plaids besides; he having the advantage of a gallows more lofty than his friends.’
’Well, I have little cause either to regret or rejoice at his death; and yet he has done me both good and harm to a very considerable extent.’
’His confession, at least, will serve you materially, since it wipes from your character all those suspicions which gave the accusation against you a complexion of a nature different from that with which so many unfortunate gentlemen, now or lately in arms against the government, may be justly charged. Their treason —I must give it its name, though you participate in its guilt—is an action arising from mistaken virtue, and therefore cannot be classed as a disgrace, though it be doubtless highly criminal. Where the guilty are so numerous, clemency must be extended to far the greater number; and I have little doubt of procuring a remission for you, providing we can keep you out of the claws of justice till she has selected and gorged upon her victims; for in this, as in other cases, it will be according to the vulgar proverb, “First come, first served.” Besides, government are desirous at present to intimidate the English Jacobites, among whom they can find few examples for punishment. This is a vindictive and timid feeling which will soon wear off, for of all nations the English are least blood-thirsty by nature. But it exists at present, and you must therefore be kept out of the way in the mean-time.’
Now entered Spontoon with an anxious countenance. By his regimental acquaintances he had traced out Madam Nosebag, and found her full of ire, fuss, and fidget at discovery of an impostor who had travelled from the north with her under the assumed name of Captain Butler of Gardiner’s dragoons. She was going to lodge an information on the subject, to have him sought for as an emissary of the Pretender; but Spontoon (an old soldier), while he pretended to approve, contrived to make her delay her intention. No time, however, was to be lost: the accuracy of this good dame’s description might probably lead to the discovery that Waverley was the pretended Captain Butler, an identification fraught with danger to Edward, perhaps to his uncle, and even to Colonel Talbot. Which way to direct his course was now, therefore, the question.
‘To Scotland,’ said Waverley.
‘To Scotland?’ said the Colonel; ’with what purpose? not to engage again with the rebels, I hope?’
’No; I considered my campaign ended when, after all my efforts, I could not rejoin them; and now, by all accounts, they are gone to make a winter campaign in the Highlands, where such adherents as I am would rather be burdensome than useful. Indeed, it seems likely that they only prolong the war to place the Chevalier’s person out of danger, and then to make some terms for themselves. To burden them with my presence would merely add another party, whom they would not give up and could not defend. I understand they left almost all their English adherents in garrison at Carlisle, for that very reason. And on a more general view, Colonel, to confess the truth, though it may lower me in your opinion, I am heartly tired of the trade of war, and am, as Fletcher’s Humorous Lieutenant says, “even as weary of this fighting-’”
’Fighting! pooh, what have you seen but a skirmish or two? Ah! if you saw war on the grand scale—sixty or a hundred thousand men in the field on each side!’
’I am not at all curious, Colonel. “Enough,” says our homely proverb, “is as good as a feast.” The plumed troops and the big war used to enchant me in poetry, but the night marches, vigils, couches under the wintry sky, and such accompaniments of the glorious trade, are not at all to my taste in practice; then for dry blows, I had my fill of fighting at Clifton, where I escaped by a hair’s-breadth half a dozen times; and you, I should think—’ He stopped.
‘Had enough of it at Preston? you mean to say,’ answered the Colonel, laughing; ’but ‘tis my vocation, Hal.’
‘It is not mine, though,’ said Waverley; ’and having honourably got rid of the sword, which I drew only as a volunteer, I am quite satisfied with my military experience, and shall be in no hurry to take it up again.’
’I am very glad you are of that mind; but then what would you do in the north?’
’In the first place, there are some seaports on the eastern coast of Scotland still in the hands of the Chevalier’s friends; should I gain any of them, I can easily embark for the Continent.’
‘Good, your second reason?’
’Why, to speak the very truth, there is a person in Scotland upon whom I now find my happiness depends more than I was always aware, and about whose situation I am very anxious.’
’Then Emily was right, and there is a love affair in the case after all? And which of these two pretty Scotchwomen, whom you insisted upon my admiring, is the distinguished fair? not Miss Glen—I hope.’
’Ah, pass for the other; simplicity may be improved, but pride and conceit never. Well, I don’t discourage you; I think it will please Sir Everard, from what he said when I jested with him about it; only I hope that intolerable papa, with his brogue, and his snuff, and his Latin, and his insufferable long stories about the Duke of Berwick, will find it necessary hereafter to be an inhabitant of foreign parts. But as to the daughter, though I think you might find as fitting a match in England, yet if your heart be really set upon this Scotch rosebud, why the Baronet has a great opinion of her father and of his family, and he wishes much to see you married and settled, both for your own sake and for that of the three ermines passant, which may otherwise pass away altogether. But I will bring you his mind fully upon the subject, since you are debarred correspondence for the present, for I think you will not be long in Scotland before me.’
’Indeed! and what can induce you to think of returning to Scotland? No relenting longings towards the land of mountains and floods, I am afraid.’
’None, on my word; but Emily’s health is now, thank God, reestablished, and, to tell you the truth, I have little hopes of concluding the business which I have at present most at heart until I can have a personal interview with his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief; for, as Fluellen says, “the duke doth love me well, and I thank heaven I have deserved some love at his hands.” I am now going out for an hour or two to arrange matters for your departure; your liberty extends to the next room, Lady Emily’s parlour, where you will find her when you are disposed for music, reading, or conversation. We have taken measures to exclude all servants but Spontoon, who is as true as steel.’
In about two hours Colonel Talbot returned, and found his young friend conversing with his lady; she pleased with his manners and information, and he delighted at being restored, though but for a moment, to the society of his own rank, from which he had been for some time excluded.
‘And now,’ said the Colonel, ’hear my arrangements, for there is little time to lose. This youngster, Edward Waverley, alias Williams, alias Captain Butler, must continue to pass by his fourth alias of Francis Stanley, my nephew; he shall set out to-morrow for the North, and the chariot shall take him the first two stages. Spontoon shall then attend him; and they shall ride post as far as Huntingdon; and the presence of Spontoon, well known on the road as my servant, will check all disposition to inquiry. At Huntingdon you will meet the real Frank Stanley. He is studying at Cambridge; but, a little while ago, doubtful if Emily’s health would permit me to go down to the North myself, I procured him a passport from the secretary of state’s office to go in my stead. As he went chiefly to look after you, his journey is now unnecessary. He knows your story; you will dine together at Huntingdon; and perhaps your wise heads may hit upon some plan for removing or diminishing the danger of your farther progress north-ward. And now (taking out a morocco case), let me put you in funds for the campaign.’
‘I am ashamed, my dear Colonel—’
‘Nay,’ said Colonel Talbot, ’you should command my purse in any event; but this money is your own. Your father, considering the chance of your being attainted, left me his trustee for your advantage. So that you are worth above L15,000, besides Brere-Wood Lodge—a very independent person, I promise you. There are bills here for L200; any larger sum you may have, or credit abroad, as soon as your motions require it.’
The first use which occurred to Waverley of his newly acquired wealth was to write to honest Farmer Jopson, requesting his acceptance of a silver tankard on the part of his friend Williams, who had not forgotten the night of the eighteenth December last. He begged him at the same time carefully to preserve for him his Highland garb and accoutrements, particularly the arms, curious in themselves, and to which the friendship of the donors gave additional value. Lady Emily undertook to find some suitable token of remembrance likely to flatter the vanity and please the taste of Mrs. Williams; and the Colonel, who was a kind of farmer, promised to send the Ullswater patriarch an excellent team of horses for cart and plough.
One happy day Waverley spent in London; and, travelling in the manner projected, he met with Frank Stanley at Huntingdon. The two young men were acquainted in a minute.
‘I can read my uncle’s riddle,’ said Stanley;’the cautious old soldier did not care to hint to me that I might hand over to you this passport, which I have no occasion for; but if it should afterwards come out as the rattle-pated trick of a young Cantab, cela ne tire a rien. You are therefore to be Francis Stanley, with this passport.’ This proposal appeared in effect to alleviate a great part of the difficulties which Edward must otherwise have encountered at every turn; and accordingly he scrupled not to avail himself of it, the more especially as he had discarded all political purposes from his present journey, and could not be accused of furthering machinations against the government while travelling under protection of the secretary’s passport.
The day passed merrily away. The young student was inquisitive about Waverley’s campaigns, and the manners of the Highlands, and Edward was obliged to satisfy his curiosity by whistling a pibroch, dancing a strathspey, and singing a Highland song. The next morning Stanley rode a stage northward with his new friend, and parted from him with great reluctance, upon the remonstrances of Spontoon, who, accustomed to submit to discipline, was rigid in enforcing it.
Waverley riding post, as was the usual fashion of the period, without any adventure save one or two queries, which the talisman of his passport sufficiently answered, reached the borders of Scotland. Here he heard the tidings of the decisive battle of Culloden. It was no more than he had long expected, though the success at Falkirk had thrown a faint and setting gleam over the arms of the Chevalier. Yet it came upon him like a shock, by which he was for a time altogether unmanned. The generous, the courteous, the noble-minded adventurer was then a fugitive, with a price upon his head; his adherents, so brave, so enthusiastic, so faithful, were dead, imprisoned, or exiled. Where, now, was the exalted and high-souled Fergus, if, indeed, he had survived the night at Clifton? Where the pure-hearted and primitive Baron of Bradwardine, whose foibles seemed foils to set off the disinterestedness of his disposition, the genuine goodness of his heart, and his unshaken courage? Those who clung for support to these fallen columns, Rose and Flora, where were they to be sought, and in what distress must not the loss of their natural protectors have involved them? Of Flora he thought with the regard of a brother for a sister; of Rose with a sensation yet more deep and tender. It might be still his fate to supply the want of those guardians they had lost. Agitated by these thoughts he precipitated his journey.
When he arrived in Edinburgh, where his inquiries must necessarily commence, he felt the full difficulty of his situation. Many inhabitants of that city had seen and known him as Edward Waverley; how, then, could he avail himself of a passport as Francis Stanley? He resolved, therefore, to avoid all company, and to move northward as soon as possible. He was, however, obliged to wait a day or two in expectation of a letter from Colonel Talbot, and he was also to leave his own address, under his feigned character, at a place agreed upon. With this latter purpose he sallied out in the dusk through the well-known streets, carefully shunning observation, but in vain: one of the first persons whom he met at once recognised him. It was Mrs. Flockhart, Fergus Mac-Ivor’s good-humoured landlady.
’Gude guide us, Mr. Waverley, is this you? na, ye needna be feared for me. I wad betray nae gentleman in your circumstances. Eh, lack-a-day! lack-a-day! here’s a change o’ markets; how merry Colonel MacIvor and you used to be in our house!’ And the good-natured widow shed a few natural tears. As there was no resisting her claim of acquaintance, Waverley acknowledged it with a good grace, as well as the danger of his own situation. ’As it’s near the darkening, sir, wad ye just step in by to our house and tak a dish o’ tea? and I am sure if ye like to sleep in the little room, I wad tak care ye are no disturbed, and naebody wad ken ye; for Kate and Matty, the limmers, gaed aff wi’ twa o’ Hawley’s dragoons, and I hae twa new queans instead o’ them.’
Waverley accepted her invitation, and engaged her lodging for a night or two, satisfied he should be safer in the house of this simple creature than anywhere else. When he entered the parlour his heart swelled to see Fergus’s bonnet, with the white cockade, hanging beside the little mirror.
‘Ay,’ said Mrs. Flockhart, sighing, as she observed the direction of his eyes, ’the puir Colonel bought a new ane just the day before they marched, and I winna let them tak that ane doun, but just to brush it ilka day mysell; and whiles I look at it till I just think I hear him cry to Callum to bring him his bonnet, as he used to do when he was ganging out. It’s unco silly—the neighbours ca’ me a Jacobite, but they may say their say—I am sure it’s no for that—but he was as kind-hearted a gentleman as ever lived, and as weel-fa’rd too. Oh, d’ye ken, sir, when he is to suffer?’
‘Suffer! Good heaven! Why, where is he?’
’Eh, Lord’s sake! d’ye no ken? The poor Hieland body, Dugald Mahony, cam here a while syne, wi’ ane o’ his arms cuttit off, and a sair clour in the head—ye’ll mind Dugald, he carried aye an axe on his shouther—and he cam here just begging, as I may say, for something to eat. Aweel, he tauld us the Chief, as they ca’d him (but I aye ca’ him the Colonel), and Ensign Maccombich, that ye mind weel, were ta’en somewhere beside the English border, when it was sae
‘And his sister?’
’Ay, that they ca’d the Lady Flora—weel, she’s away up to Carlisle to him, and lives wi’ some grand Papist lady thereabouts to be near him.’
‘And,’ said Edward,’the other young lady?’
‘Whilk other? I ken only of ae sister the Colonel had.’
‘I mean Miss Bradwardine,’ said Edward.
‘Ou, ay; the laird’s daughter’ said his landlady. ’She was a very bonny lassie, poor thing, but far shyer than Lady Flora.’
‘Where is she, for God’s sake?’
‘Ou, wha kens where ony o’ them is now? puir things, they’re sair ta’en doun for their white cockades and their white roses; but she gaed north to her father’s in Perthshire, when the government troops cam back to Edinbro’. There was some prettymen amang them, and ane Major Whacker was quartered on me, a very ceevil gentleman,—but O, Mr. Waverley, he was naething sae weel fa’rd as the puir Colonel.’
‘Do you know what is become of Miss Bradwardine’s father?’
’The auld laird? na, naebody kens that. But they say he fought very hard in that bluidy battle at Inverness; and Deacon Clank, the whit-iron smith, says that the government folk are sair agane him for having been out twice; and troth he might hae ta’en warning, but there’s nae Me like an auld fule. The puir Colonel was only out ance.’
Such conversation contained almost all the good-natured widow knew of the fate of her late lodgers and acquaintances; but it was enough to determine Edward, at all hazards, to proceed instantly to Tully-Veolan, where he concluded he should see, or at least hear, something of Rose. He therefore left a letter for Colonel Talbot at the place agreed upon, signed by his assumed name, and giving for his address the post-town next to the Baron’s residence.
From Edinburgh to Perth he took post-horses, resolving to make the rest of his journey on foot; a mode of travelling to which he was partial, and which had the advantage of permitting a deviation from the road when he saw parties of military at a distance. His campaign had considerably strengthened his constitution and improved his habits of enduring fatigue. His baggage he sent before him as opportunity occurred.
As he advanced northward, the traces of war became visible. Broken carriages, dead horses, unroofed cottages, trees felled for palisades, and bridges destroyed or only partially repaired—all indicated the movements of hostile armies. In those places where the gentry were attached to the Stuart cause, their houses seemed dismantled or deserted, the usual course of what may be called ornamental labour was totally interrupted, and the inhabitants were seen gliding about, with fear, sorrow, and dejection on their faces.
It was evening when he approached the village of Tully-Veolan, with feelings and sentiments—how different from those which attended his first entrance! Then, life was so new to him that a dull or disagreeable day was one of the greatest misfortunes which his imagination anticipated, and it seemed to him that his time ought only to be consecrated to elegant or amusing study, and relieved by social or youthful frolic. Now, how changed! how saddened, yet how elevated was his character, within the course of a very few months! Danger and misfortune are rapid, though severe teachers. ‘A sadder and a wiser man,’ he felt in internal confidence and mental dignity a compensation for the gay dreams which in his case experience had so rapidly dissolved.
As he approached the village he saw, with surprise and anxiety, that a party of soldiers were quartered near it, and, what was worse, that they seemed stationary there. This he conjectured from a few tents which he beheld glimmering upon what was called the Common Moor. To avoid the risk of being stopped and questioned in a place where he was so likely to be recognised, he made a large circuit, altogether avoiding the hamlet, and approaching the upper gate of the avenue by a by-path well known to him. A single glance announced that great changes had taken place. One half of the gate, entirely destroyed and split up for firewood, lay in piles, ready to be taken away; the other swung uselessly about upon its loosened hinges. The battlements above the gate were broken and thrown down, and the carved bears, which were said to have done sentinel’s duty upon the top for centuries, now, hurled from their posts, lay among the rubbish. The avenue was cruelly wasted. Several large trees were felled and left lying across the path; and the cattle of the villagers, and the more rude hoofs of dragoon horses, had poached into black mud the verdant turf which Waverley had so much admired.
Upon entering the court-yard, Edward saw the fears realised which these circumstances had excited. The place had been sacked by the King’s troops, who, in wanton mischief, had even attempted to burn it; and though the thickness of the walls had resisted the fire, unless to a partial extent, the stables and out-houses were totally consumed. The towers and pinnacles of the main building were scorched and blackened; the pavement of the court broken and shattered, the doors torn down entirely, or hanging by a single hinge, the windows dashed in and demolished, and the court strewed with articles of furniture broken into fragments. The accessaries of ancient distinction, to which the Baron, in the pride of his heart, had attached so much importance and veneration, were treated with peculiar contumely. The fountain was demolished, and the spring which had supplied it now flooded the court-yard. The stone basin seemed to be destined for a drinking-trough for cattle, from the manner in which it was arranged upon the ground. The
Amid these general marks of ravage, there were some which more particularly addressed the feelings of Waverley. Viewing the front of the building thus wasted and defaced, his eyes naturally sought the little balcony which more properly belonged to Rose’s apartment, her troisieme, or rather cinquieme, etage. It was easily discovered, for beneath it lay the stage-flowers and shrubs with which it was her pride to decorate it, and which had been hurled from the bartizan; several of her books were mingled with broken flower-pots and other remnants. Among these Waverley distinguished one of his own, a small copy of Ariosto, and gathered it as a treasure, though wasted by the wind and rain.
While, plunged in the sad reflections which the scene excited, he was looking around for some one who might explain the fate of the inhabitants, he heard a voice from the interior of the building singing, in well-remembered accents, an old Scottish song:—
They came upon us in the night,
And brake my bower and slew my knight;
My servants a’ for life did flee,
And left us in extremitie.
They slew my knight, to me
They slew my knight, and drave his gear;
The moon may set, the sun may rise,
But a deadly sleep has closed his eyes.
[Footnote: The first three couplets are from an old ballad, called the Border Widow’s Lament.]
‘Alas,’ thought Edward, ’is it thou? Poor helpless being, art thou alone left, to gibber and moan, and fill with thy wild and unconnected scraps of minstrelsy the halls that protected thee?’ He then called, first low, and then louder, ’Davie—Davie Gellatley!’
The poor simpleton showed himself from among the ruins of a sort of greenhouse, that once terminated what was called the terrace-walk, but at first sight of a stranger retreated, as if in terror. Waverley, remembering his habits, began to whistle a tune to which he was partial, which Davie had expressed great pleasure in listening to, and had picked up from him by the ear. Our hero’s minstrelsy no more equalled that of Blondel than poor Davie resembled Coeur de Lion; but the melody had the same effect of producing recognition. Davie again stole from his lurking-place, but timidly, while Waverley, afraid of frightening him, stood making the most encouraging signals he could devise. ’It’s his ghaist,’ muttered Davie; yet, coming nearer, he seemed to acknowledge his living acquaintance. The poor fool himself appeared the ghost of what he had been. The peculiar dress in which he had been attired in better days showed only miserable rags of its whimsical finery, the lack of which was oddly supplied by the remnants of tapestried hangings, window-curtains, and shreds of pictures with which he had bedizened his tatters. His face, too, had lost its vacant and careless air, and the poor creature looked hollow-eyed, meagre, half-starved, and nervous to a pitiable degree. After long hesitation, he at length approached Waverley with some confidence, stared him sadly in the face, and said, ‘A’ dead and gane—a’ dead and gane.’
‘Who are dead?’ said Waverley, forgetting the incapacity of Davie to hold any connected discourse.
’Baron, and Bailie, and Saunders Saunderson, and Lady Rose that sang sae sweet—a’ dead and gane—dead and gane;
But follow, follow me,
While glowworms light the lea,
I’ll show ye where the dead should be—
Each in his shroud,
While winds pipe loud,
And the red moon peeps dim through the cloud.
Follow, follow me;
Brave should he be
That treads by night the dead man’s lea.’
With these words, chanted in a wild and earnest tone, he made a sign to Waverley to follow him, and walked rapidly towards the bottom of the garden, tracing the bank of the stream which, it may be remembered, was its eastern boundary. Edward, over whom an involuntary shuddering stole at the import of his words, followed him in some hope of an explanation. As the house was evidently deserted, he could not expect to find among the ruins any more rational informer.
Davie, walking very fast, soon reached the extremity of the garden, and scrambled over the ruins of the wall that once had divided it from the wooded glen in which the old tower of Tully-Veolan was situated. He then jumped down into the bed of the stream, and, followed by Waverley, proceeded at a great pace, climbing over some fragments of rock and turning with difficulty round others. They passed beneath the ruins of the castle; Waverley followed, keeping up with his
‘Wha hast thou brought here, thou unsonsy villain, thou?’ said an old woman, apparently in great indignation. He heard Davie Gellatley in answer whistle a part of the tune by which he had recalled himself to the simpleton’s memory, and had now no hesitation to knock at the door. There was a dead silence instantly within, except the deep growling of the dogs; and he next heard the mistress of the hut approach the door, not probably for the sake of undoing a latch, but of fastening a bolt. To prevent this Waverley lifted the latch himself.
In front was an old wretched-looking woman, exclaiming, ’Wha comes into folk’s houses in this gate, at this time o’ the night?’ On one side, two grim and half-starved deer greyhounds laid aside their ferocity at his appearance, and seemed to recognise him. On the other side, half concealed by the open door, yet apparently seeking that concealment reluctantly, with a cocked pistol in his right hand and his left in the act of drawing another from his belt, stood a tall bony gaunt figure in the remnants of a faded uniform and a beard of three weeks’ growth. It was the Baron of Bradwardine. It is unnecessary to add, that he threw aside his weapon and greeted Waverley with a hearty embrace.
COMPARING OF NOTES
Thearon’s story was short, when divested of the adages and commonplaces, Latin, English, and Scotch, with which his erudition garnished it. He insisted much upon his grief at the loss of Edward and of Glennaquoich, fought the fields of Falkirk and Culloden, and related how, after all was lost in the last battle, he had returned home, under the idea of more easily finding shelter among his own tenants and on his own estate than elsewhere. A party of soldiers had been sent to lay waste his property, for clemency was not the order of the day. Their proceedings, however, were checked by an order from the civil court. The estate, it was found, might not be forfeited to the crown to the prejudice of Malcolm Bradwardine of Inch-Grabbit, the heir-male, whose claim could not be prejudiced by the Baron’s attainder, as deriving no right through him, and who, therefore, like other heirs of entail in the same situation, entered upon possession. But, unlike many in similar circumstances, the new laird speedily showed that he intended utterly to exclude his predecessor from all benefit or advantage in the estate, and that it was his purpose to avail himself of the old Baron’s evil fortune to the full extent. This was the more ungenerous, as it was generally known that, from a romantic idea of not prejudicing this young man’s right as heir-male, the Baron had refrained from settling his estate on his daughter.
This selfish injustice was resented by the country people, who were partial to their old master, and irritated against his successor. In the Baron’s own words, ’The matter did not coincide with the feelings of the commons of Bradwardine, Mr. Waverley; and the tenants were slack and repugnant in payment of their mails and duties; and when my kinsman came to the village wi’ the new factor, Mr. James Howie, to lift the rents, some wanchancy person —I suspect John Heatherblutter, the auld gamekeeper, that was out wi’ me in the year fifteen—fired a shot at him in the gloaming, whereby he was so affrighted, that I may say with Tullius In Catilinam, “Abiit, evasit, erupit, effugit.” He fled, sir, as one may say, incontinent to Stirling. And now he hath advertised the estate for sale, being himself the last substitute in the entail. And if I were to lament about sic matters, this would grieve me mair than its passing from my immediate possession, whilk, by the course of nature, must have happened in a few years; whereas now it passes from the lineage that should have possessed it in scecula saculorum. But God’s will be done, humana perpessi sumus. Sir John of Bradwardine—Black Sir John, as he is called—who was the common ancestor of our house and the Inch-Grabbits, little thought such a person would have sprung from his loins. Mean time, he has accused me to some of the primates, the rulers for the time, as if I were a cut-throat, and an abettor of bravoes and assassinates and coupe-jarrets. And they have sent soldiers here to abide on the estate, and hunt me like a partridge upon the mountains, as Scripture says of good King David, or like our valiant Sir William Wallace—not that I bring myself into comparison with either. I thought, when I heard you at the door, they had driven the auld deer to his den at last; and so I e’en proposed to die at bay, like a buck of the first head. But now, Janet, canna ye gie us something for supper?’ ’Ou ay, sir, I’ll brander the moor-fowl that John Heatherblutter brought in this morning; and ye see puir Davie’s roasting the black hen’s eggs. I daur say, Mr. Wauverley, ye never kend that a’ the eggs that were sae weel roasted at supper in the Ha’-house were aye turned by our Davie? there’s no the like o’ him ony gate for powtering wi’ his fingers amang the het peat-ashes and roasting eggs.’ Davie all this while lay with his nose almost in the fire, nuzzling among the ashes, kicking his heels, mumbling to himself, turning the eggs as they lay in the hot embers, as if to confute the proverb, that ‘there goes reason to roasting of eggs,’ and justify the eulogium which poor Janet poured out upon
Him whom she loved, her idiot boy.
’Davie’s no sae silly as folk tak him for, Mr. Wauverley; he wadna hae brought you here unless he had kend ye was a friend to his Honour; indeed the very dogs kend ye, Mr. Wauverley, for ye was aye kind to beast and body. I can tell you a story o’ Davie, wi’ his Honour’s leave. His Honour, ye see, being under hiding in thae sair times—the mair’s the pity—he lies a’ day, and whiles a’ night, in the cove in the dern hag; but though it’s a bieldy eneugh bit, and the auld gudeman o’ Corse-Cleugh has panged it wi’ a kemple o’ strae amaist, yet when the country’s quiet, and the night very cauld, his Honour whiles creeps doun here to get a warm at the ingle and a sleep amang the blankets, and gangs awa in the morning. And so, ae morning, siccan a fright as I got! Twa unlucky red-coats were up for black-fishing, or some siccan ploy—for the neb o’ them’s never out o’ mischief—and they just got a glisk o’ his Honour as he gaed into the wood, and banged aff a gun at him. I out like a jer-falcon, and cried—“Wad they shoot an honest woman’s poor innocent bairn?” And I fleyt at them, and threepit it was my son; and they damned and swuir at me that it was the auld rebel, as the villains ca’d his Honour; and Davie was in the wood, and heard the tuilzie, and he, just out o’ his ain head, got up the auld grey mantle that his Honour had flung off him to gang the faster, and he cam out o’ the very same bit o’ the wood, majoring and looking about sae like his Honour, that they were clean beguiled, and thought they had letten aff their gun at crack-brained Sawney, as they ca’ him; and they gae me saxpence, and twa saumon fish, to say naething about it. Na, na, Davie’s no just like other folk, puir fallow; but he’s no sae silly as folk tak him for. But, to be sure, how can we do eneugh for his Honour, when we and ours have lived on his ground this twa hundred years; and when he keepit my puir Jamie at school and college, and even at the Ha’-house, till he gaed to a better place; and when he saved me frae being ta’en to Perth as a witch—Lord forgi’e them that would touch sic a puir silly auld body!—and has maintained puir Davie at heck and manger maist feck o’ his life?’
Waverley at length found an opportunity to interrupt Janet’s narrative by an inquiry after Miss Bradwardine.
‘She’s weel and safe, thank God! at the Duchran,’ answered the Baron; ’the laird’s distantly related to us, and more nearly to my chaplain, Mr. Rubrick; and, though he be of Whig principles, yet he’s not forgetful of auld friendship at this time. The Bailie’s doing what he can to save something out of the wreck for puir Rose; but I doubt, I doubt, I shall never see her again, for I maun lay my banes in some far country.’
‘Hout na, your Honour,’ said old Janet, ’ye were just as ill aff in the feifteen, and got the bonnie baronie back, an’ a’. And now the eggs is ready, and the muir-cock’s brandered, and there’s ilk ane a trencher and some saut, and the heel o’ the white loaf that cam frae the Bailie’s, and there’s plenty o’ brandy in the greybeard that Luckie Maclearie sent doun, and winna ye be suppered like princes?’
’I wish one Prince, at least, of our acquaintance may be no worse off,’ said the Baron to Waverley, who joined him in cordial hopes for the safety of the unfortunate Chevalier.
They then began to talk of their future prospects. The Baron’s plan was very simple. It was, to escape to France, where, by the interest of his old friends, he hoped to get some military employment, of which he still conceived himself capable. He invited Waverley to go with him, a proposal in which he acquiesced, providing the interest of Colonel Talbot should fail in procuring his pardon. Tacitly he hoped the Baron would sanction his addresses to Rose, and give him a right to assist him in his exile; but he forbore to speak on this subject until his own fate should be decided. They then talked of Glennaquoich, for whom the Baron expressed great anxiety, although, he observed, he was ’the very Achilles of Horatius Flaccus,—
Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer; which,’ he continued, ’has been thus rendered (vernacularly) by Struan Robertson:—
A fiery etter-cap, a fractious
As het as ginger, and as stieve as steel.’
Flora had a large and unqualified share of the good old man’s sympathy.
It was now wearing late. Old Janet got into some kind of kennel behind the hallan; Davie had been long asleep and snoring between Ban and Buscar. These dogs had followed him to the hut after the mansion-house was deserted, and there constantly resided; and their ferocity, with the old woman’s reputation of being a witch, contributed a good deal to keep visitors from the glen. With this view, Bailie Macwheeble provided Janet underhand with meal for their maintenance, and also with little articles of luxury for his patron’s use, in supplying which much precaution was necessarily used. After some compliments, the Baron occupied his usual couch, and Waverley reclined in an easy chair of tattered velvet, which had once garnished the state bed-room of Tully-Veolan (for the furniture of this mansion was now scattered through all the cottages in the vicinity), and went to sleep as comfortably as if he had been in a bed of down.
With the first dawn of day, old Janet was scuttling about the house to wake the Baron, who usually slept sound and heavily.
‘I must go back,’ he said to Waverley,’to my cove; will you walk down the glen wi’ me?’ They went out together, and followed a narrow and entangled foot-path, which the occasional passage of anglers or wood-cutters had traced by the side of the stream. On their way the Baron explained to Waverley that he would be under no danger in remaining a day or two at Tully-Veolan, and even in being seen walking about, if he used the precaution of pretending that he was looking at the estate as agent or surveyor for an English gentleman who designed to be purchaser. With this view he recommended to him to visit the Bailie, who still lived at the factor’s house, called Little Veolan, about a mile from the village, though he was to remove at next term. Stanley’s passport would be an answer to the officer who commanded the military; and as to any of the country people who might recognise Waverley, the Baron assured him he was in no danger of being betrayed by them.
‘I believe,’ said the old man, ’half the people of the barony know that their poor auld laird is somewhere hereabout; for I see they do not suffer a single bairn to come here a bird-nesting; a practice whilk, when I was in full possession of my power as baron, I was unable totally to inhibit. Nay, I often find bits of things in my way, that the poor bodies, God help them! leave there, because they think they may be useful to me. I hope they will get a wiser master, and as kind a one as I was.’
A natural sigh closed the sentence; but the quiet equanimity with which the Baron endured his misfortunes had something in it venerable and even sublime. There was no fruitless repining, no turbid melancholy; he bore his lot, and the hardships which it involved, with a good-humored, though serious composure, and used no violent language against the prevailing party.
‘I did what I thought my duty,’ said the good old man, ’and questionless they are doing what they think theirs. It grieves me sometimes to look upon these blackened walls of the house of my ancestors; but doubtless officers cannot always keep the soldier’s hand from depredation and spuilzie, and Gustavus Adolphus himself, as ye may read in Colonel Munro his “Expedition with the Worthy Scotch Regiment called Mackay’s Regiment” did often permit it. Indeed I have myself seen as sad sights as Tully-Veolan now is when I served with the Marechal Duke of Berwick. To be sure we may say with Virgilius Maro, Fuimus Troes—and there’s the end of an auld sang. But houses and families and men have a’ stood lang eneugh when they have stood till they fall with honour; and now I hae gotten a house that is not unlike a domus ultima’—they were now standing below a steep rock. ‘We poor Jacobites,’ continued the Baron, looking up, ’are now like the conies in Holy Scripture (which the great traveller Pococke calleth Jerboa), a feeble people, that make our abode in the rocks. So, fare you well, my good lad, till we meet at Janet’s in the even; for I must get into my Patmos, which is no easy matter for my auld stiff limbs.’
With that he began to ascend the rock, striding, with the help of his hands, from one precarious footstep to another, till he got about half-way up, where two or three bushes concealed the mouth of a hole, resembling an oven, into which the Baron insinuated, first his head and shoulders, and then, by slow gradation, the rest of his l ong body; his legs and feet finally disappearing, coiled up like a huge snake entering his retreat, or a long pedigree introduced with care and difficulty into the narrow pigeon-hole of an old cabinet. Waverley had the curiosity to clamber up and look in upon him in his den, as the lurking-place might well be termed. Upon the whole, he looked not unlike that ingenious puzzle called ‘a reel in a bottle,’ the marvel of children (and of some grown people too, myself for one), who can neither comprehend the mysteryhowit has got in or how it is
With Janet, Edward now sought an interview. He had recognised her at first sight as the old woman who had nursed him during his sickness after his delivery from Gifted Gilfillan. The hut also, although a little repaired and somewhat better furnished, was certainly the place of his confinement; and he now recollected on the common moor of Tully-Veolan the trunk of a large decayed tree, called the try sting-tree, which he had no doubt was the same at which the Highlanders rendezvoused on that memorable night. All this he had combined in his imagination the night before; but reasons which may probably occur to the reader prevented him from catechising Janet in the presence of the Baron.
He now commenced the task in good earnest; and the first question was, Who was the young lady that visited the hut during his illness? Janet paused for a little; and then observed, that to keep the secret now would neither do good nor ill to anybody.
’ It was just a leddy that hasna her equal in the world—Miss Rose Bradwardine!’
‘Then Miss Rose was probably also the author of my deliverance,’ inferred Waverley, delighted at the confirmation of an idea which local circumstances had already induced him to entertain.
’I wot weel, Mr. Wauverley, and that was she e’en; but sair, sair angry and affronted wad she hae been, puir thing, if she had thought ye had been ever to ken a word about the matter; for she gar’d me speak aye Gaelic when ye was in hearing, to mak ye trow we were in the Hielands. I can speak it weil eneugh, for my mother was a Hieland woman.’
A few more questions now brought out the whole mystery respecting Waverley’s deliverance from the bondage in which he left Cairnvreckan. Never did music sound sweeter to an amateur than the drowsy tautology with which old Janet detailed every circumstance thrilled upon the ears of Waverley. But my reader is not a lover and I must spare his patience, by attempting to condense within reasonable compass the narrative which old Janet spread through a harangue of nearly two hours.
When Waverley communicated to Fergus the letter he had received from Rose Bradwardine by Davie Gellatley, giving an account of Tully-Veolan being occupied by a small party of soldiers, that circumstance had struck upon the busy and active mind of the Chieftain. Eager to distress and narrow the posts of the enemy, desirous to prevent their establishing a garrison so near him, and willing also to oblige the Baron—for he often had the idea of marriage with Rose floating through his brain—he resolved to send some of his people to drive out the red-coats and to bring Rose to Glennaquoich. But just as he had ordered Evan with a small party on this duty, the news of Cope’s having marched into the Highlands, to meet and disperse the forces of the Chevalier ere they came to a head, obliged him to join the standard with his whole forces.
He sent to order Donald Bean to attend him; but that cautious freebooter, who well understood the value of a separate command, instead of joining, sent various apologies which the pressure of the times compelled Fergus to admit as current, though not without the internal resolution of being revenged on him for his procrastination, time and place convenient. However, as he could not amend the matter, he issued orders to Donald to descend into the Low Country, drive the soldiers from Tully-Veolan, and, paying all respect to the mansion of the Baron, to take his abode somewhere near it, for protection of his daughter and family, and to harass and drive away any of the armed volunteers or small parties of military which he might find moving about the vicinity. As this charge formed a sort of roving commission, which Donald proposed to interpret in the way most advantageous to himself, as he was relieved from the immediate terrors of Fergus, and as he had, from former secret services, some interest in the councils of the Chevalier, he resolved to make hay while the sun shone. He achieved without difficulty the task of driving the soldiers from Tully-Veolan; but, although he did not venture to encroach upon the interior of the family, or to disturb Miss Rose, being unwilling to make himself a powerful enemy in the Chevalier’s army,
For well he knew the Baron’s wrath was deadly;
yet he set about to raise contributions and exactions upon the tenantry, and otherwise to turn the war to his own advantage. Meanwhile he mounted the white cockade, and waited upon Rose with a pretext of great devotion for the service in which her father was engaged, and many apologies for the freedom he must necessarily use for the support of his people. It was at this moment that Rose learned, by open-mouthed fame, with all sorts of exaggeration, that Waverley had killed the smith at Cairnvreckan, in an attempt to arrest him; had been cast into a dungeon by Major Melville of Cairnvreckan, and was to be executed by martial law within three days. In the agony which these tidings excited she proposed to Donald Bean the rescue
Donald Bean, who had served in France, knew, and perhaps over-estimated, the value of these trinkets. But he also perceived Rose’s apprehensions of its being discovered that she had parted with her jewels for Waverley’s liberation. Resolved this scruple should not part him and the treasure, he voluntarily offered to take an oath that he would never mention Miss Rose’s share in the transaction; and, foreseeing convenience in keeping the oath and no probable advantage in breaking it, he took the engagement—in order, as he told his lieutenant, to deal handsomely by the young lady—in the only mode and form which, by a mental paction with himself, he considered as binding: he swore secrecy upon his drawn dirk. He was the more especially moved to this act of good faith by some attentions that Miss Bradwardine showed to his daughter Alice, which, while they gained the heart of the mountain damsel, highly gratified the pride of her father. Alice, who could now speak a little English, was very communicative in return for Rose’s kindness, readily confided to her the whole papers respecting the intrigue with Gardiner’s regiment, of which she was the depositary, and as readily undertook, at her instance, to restore them to Waverley without her father’s knowledge. For ’they may oblige the bonnie young lady and the handsome young gentleman,’ said Alice, ’and what use has my father for a whin bits o’ scarted paper?’
The reader is aware that she took an opportunity of executing this purpose on the eve of Waverley’s leaving the glen.
How Donald executed his enterprise the reader is aware. But the expulsion of the military from Tully-Veolan had given alarm, and while he was lying in wait for Gilfillan, a strong party, such as Donald did not care to face, was sent to drive back the insurgents in their turn, to encamp there, and to protect the country. The officer, a gentleman and a disciplinarian, neither intruded himself on Miss Bradwardine, whose unprotected situation he respected, nor permitted his soldiers to commit any breach of discipline. He formed a little camp upon an eminence near the house of Tully-Veolan, and placed proper guards at the passes in the vicinity. This unwelcome news reached Donald Bean Lean as he was returning to Tully-Veolan. Determined, however, to obtain the guerdon of his labour, he resolved, since approach to Tully-Veolan was impossible, to deposit his prisoner in Janet’s cottage, a place the very existence of which could hardly have been suspected even by those who had long
In the meanwhile, new and fearful doubts started in Rose’s mind. They were suggested by old Janet, who insisted that, a reward having been offered for the apprehension of Waverley, and his own personal effects being so valuable, there was no saying to what breach of faith Donald might be tempted. In an agony of grief and terror, Rose took the daring resolution of explaining to the Prince himself the danger in which Mr. Waverley stood, judging that, both as a politician and a man of honour and humanity, Charles Edward would interest himself to prevent his falling into the hands of the opposite party. This letter she at first thought of sending anonymously, but naturally feared it would not in that case be credited. She therefore subscribed her name, though with reluctance and terror, and consigned it in charge to a young man, who at leaving his farm to join the Chevalier’s army, made it his petition to her to have some sort of credentials to the adventurer, from whom he hoped to obtain a commission.
The letter reached Charles Edward on his descent to the Lowlands, and, aware of the political importance of having it supposed that he was in correspondence with the English Jacobites, he caused the most positive orders to be transmitted to Donald Bean Lean to transmit Waverley, safe and uninjured, in person or effects, to the governor of Doune Castle. The freebooter durst not disobey, for the army of the Prince was now so near him that punishment might have followed; besides, he was a politician as well as a robber, and was unwilling to cancel the interest created through former secret services by being refractory on this occasion. He therefore made a virtue of necessity, and transmitted orders to his lieutenant to convey Edward to Doune, which was safely accomplished in the mode mentioned in a former chapter. The governor of Doune was directed to send him to Edinburgh as a prisoner, because the Prince was apprehensive that Waverley, if set at liberty, might have resumed his purpose of returning to England, without affording him an opportunity of a personal interview. In this, indeed, he acted by the advice of the Chieftain of Glennaquoich, with whom it may be remembered the Chevalier communicated upon the mode of disposing of Edward, though without telling him how he came to learn the place of his confinement.
This, indeed, Charles Edward considered as a lady’s secret; for although Rose’s letter was couched in the most cautious and general terms, and professed to be written merely from motives of humanity and zeal for the Prince’s service, yet she expressed so anxious a wish that she should not be known to have interfered, that the Chevalier was induced to suspect the deep interest which she took in Waverley’s safety. This conjecture, which was well founded, led, however, to false inferences. For the emotion which Edward displayed on approaching Flora and Rose at the ball of Holyrood was placed by the Chevalier to the account of the latter; and he concluded that the Baron’s views about the settlement of his property, or some such obstacle, thwarted their mutual inclinations. Common fame, it is true, frequently gave Waverley to Miss Mac-Ivor; but the Prince knew that common fame is very prodigal in such gifts; and, watching attentively the behaviour of the ladies towards Waverley, he had no doubt that the young Englishman had no interest with Flora, and was beloved by Rose Bradwardine. Desirous to bind Waverley to his service, and wishing also to do a kind and friendly action, the Prince next assailed the Baron on the subject of settling his estate upon his daughter. Mr. Bradwardine acquiesced; but the consequence was that Fergus was immediately induced to prefer his double suit for a wife and an earldom, which the Prince rejected in the manner we have seen. The Chevalier, constantly engaged in his own multiplied affairs, had not hitherto sought any explanation with Waverley, though often meaning to do so. But after Fergus’s declaration he saw the necessity of appearing neutral between the rivals, devoutly hoping that the matter, which now seemed fraught with the seeds of strife, might be permitted to lie over till the termination of the expedition. When, on the march to Derby, Fergus, being questioned concerning his quarrel with Waverley, alleged as the cause that Edward was desirous of retracting the suit he had made to his sister, the Chevalier plainly told him that he had himself observed Miss Mac-Ivor’s behaviour to Waverley, and that he was convinced Fergus was under the influence of a mistake in judging of Waverley’s conduct, who, he had every reason to believe, was engaged to Miss Bradwardine. The quarrel which ensued between Edward and the Chieftain is, I hope, still in the remembrance of the reader. These circumstances will serve to explain such points of our narrative as, according to the custom of story-tellers, we deemed it fit to leave unexplained, for the purpose of exciting the reader’s curiosity.
When Janet had once finished the leading facts of this narrative, Waverley was easily enabled to apply the clue which they afforded to other mazes of the labyrinth in which he had been engaged. To Rose Bradwardine, then, he owed the life which he now thought he could willingly have laid down to serve her. A little reflection convinced him, however, that to live for her sake was more convenient and agreeable, and that, being possessed of independence, she might share it with him either in foreign countries or in his own. The pleasure of being allied to a man of the Baron’s high worth, and who was so much valued by his uncle Sir Everard, was also an agreeable consideration, had anything been wanting to recommend the match. His absurdities, which had appeared grotesquely ludicrous during his prosperity, seemed, in the sunset of his fortune, to be harmonised and assimilated with the noble features of his character, so as to add peculiarity without exciting ridicule. His mind occupied with such projects of future happiness, Edward sought Little Veolan, the habitation of Mr. Duncan Macwheeble.
Now is Cupid a child of conscience—he makes restitution.
Mr. Duncan MacWheeble, no longer Commissary or Bailie, though still enjoying the empty name of the latter dignity, had escaped proscription by an early secession from the insurgent party and by his insignificance.
Edward found him in his office, immersed among papers and accounts. Before him was a large bicker of oatmeal porridge, and at the side thereof a horn spoon and a bottle of two-penny. Eagerly running his eye over a voluminous law-paper, he from time to time shovelled an immense spoonful of these nutritive viands into his capacious mouth. A pot-bellied Dutch bottle of brandy which stood by intimated either that this honest limb of the law had taken his morning already, or that he meant to season his porridge with such digestive; or perhaps both circumstances might reasonably be inferred. His night-cap and morning-gown, had whilome been of tartan, but, equally cautious and frugal, the honest Bailie had got them dyed black, lest their original ill-omened colour might remind his visitors of his unlucky excursion to Derby. To sum up the picture, his face was daubed with snuff up to the eyes, and his fingers with ink up to the knuckles. He looked dubiously at Waverley as he approached the little green rail which fenced his desk and stool from the approach of the vulgar. Nothing could give the Bailie more annoyance than the idea of his acquaintance being claimed by any of the unfortunate gentlemen who were now so much more likely to need assistance than to afford profit. But this was the rich young Englishman; who knew what might be his situation? He was the Baron’s friend too; what was to be done?
While these reflections gave an air of absurd perplexity to the poor man’s visage, Waverley, reflecting on the communication he was about to make to him, of a nature so ridiculously contrasted with the appearance of the individual, could not help bursting out a-laughing, as he checked the propensity to exclaim with Syphax—
Cato’s a proper person
A love-tale with.
As Mr. Macwheeble had no idea of any person laughing heartily who was either encircled by peril or oppressed by poverty, the hilarity of Edward’s countenance greatly relieved the embarrassment of his own, and, giving him a tolerably hearty welcome to Little Veolan, he asked what he would choose for breakfast. His visitor had, in the first place, something for his private ear, and begged leave to bolt the door. Duncan by no means liked this precaution, which savoured of danger to be apprehended; but he could not now draw back.
Convinced he might trust this man, as he could make it his interest to be faithful, Edward communicated his present situation and future schemes to Macwheeble. The wily agent listened with apprehension when he found Waverley was still in a state of proscription; was somewhat comforted by learning that he had a passport; rubbed his hands with glee when he mentioned the amount of his present fortune; opened huge eyes when he heard the brilliancy of his future expectations; but when he expressed his intention to share them with Miss Rose Bradwardine, ecstasy had almost deprived the honest man of his senses. The Bailie started from his three-footed stool like the Pythoness from her tripod; flung his best wig out of the window, because the block on which it was placed stood in the way of his career; chucked his cap to the ceiling, caught it as it fell; whistled ‘Tullochgorum’; danced a Highland fling with inimitable grace and agility, and then threw himself exhausted into a chair, exclaiming, ’Lady Wauverley! ten thousand a year the least penny! Lord preserve my poor understanding!’
‘Amen with all my heart,’ said Waverley; ’but now, Mr. Macwheeble, let us proceed to business.’ This word had somewhat a sedative effect, but the Bailie’s head, as he expressed himself, was still ‘in the bees.’ He mended his pen, however, marked half a dozen sheets of paper with an ample marginal fold, whipped down Dallas of St. Martin’s ‘Styles’ from a shelf, where that venerable work roosted with Stair’s ‘Institutions,’ Dirleton’s ‘Doubts,’ Balfour’s ‘Practiques,’ and a parcel of old account-books, opened the volume at the article Contract of Marriage, and prepared to make what he called a’sma’ minute to prevent parties frae resiling.’
With some difficulty Waverley made him comprehend that he was going a little too fast. He explained to him that he should want his assistance, in the first place, to make his residence safe for the time, by writing to the officer at Tully-Veolan that Mr. Stanley, an English gentleman nearly related to Colonel Talbot, was upon a visit of business at Mr. Macwheeble’s, and, knowing the state of the country, had sent his passport for Captain Foster’s inspection. This produced a polite answer from the officer, with an invitation to Mr. Stanley to dine with him, which was declined (as may easily be supposed) under pretence of business.
Waverley’s next request was, that Mr. Macwheeble would despatch a man and horse to——, the post-town at which Colonel Talbot was to address him, with directions to wait there until the post should bring a letter for Mr. Stanley, and then to forward it to Little Veolan with all speed. In a moment the Bailie was in search of his apprentice (or servitor, as he was called Sixty Years Since), Jock Scriever, and in not much greater space of time Jock was on the back of the white pony. ’Tak care ye guide him weel, sir, for he’s aye been short in the wind since—ahem—Lord be gude to me! (in a low voice), I was gaun to come out wi’—since I rode whip and spur to fetch the Chevalier to redd Mr. Wauverley and Vich lan Vohr; and an uncanny coup I gat for my pains. Lord forgie your honour! I might hae broken my neck; but troth it was in a venture, mae ways nor ane; but this maks amends for a’. Lady Wauverley! ten thousand a year! Lord be gude unto me!’
’But you forget, Mr. Macwheeble, we want the Baron’s consent—the lady’s—’
’Never fear, I’se be caution for them; I’se gie you my personal warrandice. Ten thousand a year! it dings Balmawhapple out and out—a year’s rent’s worth a’ Balmawhapple, fee and life-rent! Lord make us thankful!’
To turn the current of his feelings, Edward inquired if he had heard anything lately of the Chieftain of Glennaquoich.
‘Not one word,’ answered Macwheeble, ’but that he was still in Carlisle Castle, and was soon to be panelled for his life. I dinna wish the young gentleman ill,’ he said, ’but I hope that they that hae got him will keep him, and no let him back to this Hieland border to plague us wi’ black-mail and a’ manner o’ violent, wrongous, and masterfu’ oppression and spoliation, both by himself and others of his causing, sending, and hounding out; and he couldna tak care o’ the siller when he had gotten it neither, but flung it a’ into yon idle quean’s lap at Edinburgh; but light come light gane. For my part, I never wish to see a kilt in the country again, nor a red-coat, nor a gun, for that matter, unless it were to shoot a paitrick; they’re a’ tarr’d wi’ ae stick. And when they have done ye wrang, even when ye hae gotten decreet of spuilzie, oppression, and violent profits against them, what better are ye? They hae na a plack to pay ye; ye need never extract it.’
With such discourse, and the intervening topics of business, the time passed until dinner, Macwheeble meanwhile promising to devise some mode of introducing Edward at the Duchran, where Rose at present resided, without risk of danger or suspicion; which seemed no very easy task, since the laird was a very zealous friend to government. The poultry-yard had been laid under requisition, and cockyleeky and Scotch collops soon reeked in the Bailie’s little parlour. The landlord’s cork-screw was just introduced into the muzzle of a pint bottle of claret (cribbed possibly from the cellars of Tully-Veolan), when the
’My dear Edward,
’I am just arrived here, and yet I have finished my business; it has cost me some trouble though, as you shall hear. I waited upon his Royal Highness immediately on my arrival, and found him in no very good humour for my purpose. Three or four Scotch gentlemen were just leaving his levee. After he had expressed himself to me very courteously; “Would you think it,” he said, “Talbot, here have been half a dozen of the most respectable gentlemen and best friends to government north of the Forth, Major Melville of Cairnvreckan, Rubrick of Duchran, and others, who have fairly wrung from me, by their downright importunity, a present protection and the promise of a future pardon for that stubborn old rebel whom they call Baron of Bradwardine. They allege that his high personal character, and the clemency which he showed to such of our people as fell into the rebels’ hands, should weigh in his favour, especially as the loss of his estate is likely to be a severe enough punishment. Rubrick has undertaken to keep him at his own house till things are settled in the country; but it’s a little hard to be forced in a manner to pardon such a mortal enemy to the House of Brunswick.” This was no favourable moment for opening my business; however, I said I was rejoiced to learn that his Royal Highness was in the course of granting such requests, as it emboldened me to present one of the like nature in my own name. He was very angry, but I persisted; I mentioned the uniform support of our three votes in, the house, touched modestly on services abroad, though valuable only in his Royal Highness’s having been pleased kindly to accept them, and founded pretty strongly on his own expressions of friendship and good-will. He was embarrassed, but obstinate. I hinted the policy of detaching, on all future occasions, the heir of such a fortune as your uncle’s from the machinations of the disaffected. But I made no impression. I mentioned the obligations which I lay under to Sir Everard and to you personally, and claimed, as the sole reward of my services, that he would be pleased to afford me the means of evincing
’Ever, dear Waverley, yours most truly, ‘Philip talbot.’
Happy’s the wooing
That’s not long a doing
When the first rapturous sensation occasioned by these excellent tidings had somewhat subsided, Edward proposed instantly to go down to the glen to acquaint the Baron with their import. But the cautious Bailie justly observed that, if the Baron were to appear instantly in public, the tenantry and villagers might become riotous in expressing their joy, and give offence to ’the powers that be,’ a sort of persons for whom the Bailie always had unlimited respect.
’Certainly, Mr. Macwheeble; but will you not go down to the glen yourself in the evening to meet your patron?’
‘That I wad wi’ a’ my heart; and mickle obliged to your honour for putting me in mind o’ mybounden duty. But it will be past sunset afore I get back frae the Captain’s, and at these unsonsy hours the glen has a bad name; there’s something no that canny about auld Janet Gellatley. The Laird he’ll no believe thae things, but he was aye ower rash and venturesome, and feared neither man nor deevil, an sae’s seen o’t. But right sure am I Sir George Mackenyie says, that no divine can doubt there are witches, since the Bible says thou shalt not suffer them to live; and that no lawyer in Scotland can doubt it, since it is punishable with death by our law. So there’s baith law and gospel for it. An his honour winna believe the Leviticus, he might aye believe the Statute-book; but he may tak his ain way o’t; it’s a’ ane to Duncan Macwheeble. However, I shall send to ask up auld Janet this e’en; it’s best no to lightly them that have that character; and we’ll want Davie to turn the spit, for I’ll gar Eppie put down a fat goose to the fire for your honours to your supper.’
When it was near sunset Waverley hastened to the hut; and he could not but allow that superstition had chosen no improper locality, or unfit object, for the foundation of her fantastic terrors. It resembled exactly the description of Spenser:—
There, in a gloomy hollow
glen, she found
A little cottage built of sticks and reeds,
In homely wise, and wall’d with sods around,
In which a witch did dwell in loathly weeds,
And wilful want, all careless of her needs,
So choosing solitary to abide
Far from all neighbours, that her devilish deeds,
And hellish arts, from people she might hide,
And hurt far off, unknown, whomsoever she espied.
He entered the cottage with these verses in his memory. Poor old Janet, bent double with age and bleared with peat-smoke, was tottering about the hut with a birch broom, muttering to herself as she endeavoured to make her hearth and floor a little clean for the reception of her expected guests. Waverley’s step made her start, look up, and fall a-trembling, so much had her nerves been on the rack for her patron’s safety. With difficulty Waverley made her comprehend that the Baron was now safe from personal danger;
Waverley now took leave of Janet, and soon stood beneath the Baron’s Patmos. At a low whistle he observed the veteran peeping out to reconnoitre, like an old badger with his head out of his hole. ‘Ye hae come rather early, my good lad,’ said he, descending; ’I question if the red-coats hae beat the tattoo yet, and we’re not safe till then.’
‘Good news cannot be told too soon,’ said Waverley; and with infinite joy communicated to him the happy tidings. The old man stood for a moment in silent devotion, then exclaimed, ’Praise be to God! I shall see my bairn again.’
‘And never, I hope, to part with her more,’ said Waverley.
’I trust in God not, unless it be to win the means of supporting her; for my things are but in a bruckle state;—but what signifies warld’s gear?’
‘And if,’ said Waverley modestly, ’there were a situation in life which would put Miss Bradwardine beyond the uncertainty of fortune, and in the rank to which she was born, would you object to it, my dear Baron, because it would make one of your friends the happiest man in the world?’ The Baron turned and looked at him with great earnestness. ‘Yes,’ continued Edward, ’I shall not consider my sentence of banishment as repealed unless you will give me permission to accompany you to the Duchran, and—’
The Baron seemed collecting all his dignity to make a suitable reply to what, at another time, he would have treated as the propounding a treaty of alliance between the houses of Bradwardine and Waverley. But his efforts were in vain; the father was too mighty for the Baron; the pride of birth and rank were swept away; in the joyful surprise a slight convulsion passed rapidly over his features, as he gave way to the feelings of nature, threw his arms around Waverley’s neck, and sobbed out—’My son, my son! if I had been to search the world, I would have made my choice here.’ Edward returned the embrace with great sympathy of feeling, and for a little while they both kept silence. At length it was broken by Edward. ‘But Miss Bradwardine?’
’She had never a will but her old father’s; besides, you are a likely youth, of honest principles and high birth; no, she never had any other will than mine, and in my proudest days I could not have wished a mair eligible espousal for her than the nephew of my excellent old friend, Sir Everard. But I hope, young man, ye deal na rashly in this matter? I hope ye hae secured the approbation of your ain friends and allies, particularly of your uncle, who is in loco parentis? Ah! we maun tak heed o’ that.’ Edward assured him that Sir Everard would think himself highly honoured in the flattering reception his proposal had met with, and that it had his entire approbation; in evidence of which he put Colonel Talbot’s letter into the Baron’s hand. The Baron read it with great attention. ‘Sir Everard,’ he said, ’always despised wealth in comparison of honour and birth; and indeed he hath no occasion to court the Diva Pecunia. Yet I now wish, since this Malcolm turns out such a parricide, for I can call him no better, as to think of alienating the family inheritance—I now wish (his eyes fixed on a part of the roof which was visible above the trees) that I could have left Rose the auld hurley-house and the riggs belanging to it. And yet,’ said he, resuming more cheerfully, ’it’s maybe as weel as it is; for, as Baron of Bradwardine, I might have thought it my duty to insist upon certain compliances respecting name and bearings, whilk now, as a landless laird wi’ a tocherless daughter, no one can blame me for departing from.’
‘Now, Heaven be praised!’ thought Edward,’that Sir Everard does not hear these scruples! The three ermines passant and rampant bear would certainly have gone together by the ears.’ He then, with all the ardour of a young lover, assured the Baron that he sought for his happiness only in Rose’s heart and hand, and thought himself as happy in her father’s simple approbation as if he had settled an earldom upon his daughter.
They now reached Little Veolan. The goose was smoking on the table, and the Bailie brandished his knife and fork. A joyous greeting took place between him and his patron. The kitchen, too, had its company. Auld Janet was established at the ingle-nook; Davie had turned the spit to his immortal honour; and even Ban and Buscar, in the liberality of Macwheeble’s joy, had been stuffed to the throat with food, and now lay snoring on the floor.
The next day conducted the Baron and his young friend to the Duchran, where the former was expected, in consequence of the success of the nearly unanimous application of the Scottish friends of government in his favour. This had been so general and so powerful that it was almost thought his estate might have been saved, had it not passed into the rapacious hands of his unworthy kinsman, whose right, arising out of the Baron’s attainder, could not be affected by a pardon from the crown. The old gentleman, however, said, with his usual spirit, he was more gratified by the hold he possessed in the good opinion of his neighbours than he would have been in being rehabilitated and restored in integrum, had it been found practicable.’
We shall not attempt to describe the meeting of the father and daughter, loving each other so affectionately, and separated under such perilous circumstances. Still less shall we attempt to analyse the deep blush of Rose at receiving the compliments of Waverley, or stop to inquire whether she had any curiosity respecting the particular cause of his journey to Scotland at that period. We shall not even trouble the reader with the humdrum details of a courtship Sixty Years Since. It is enough to say that, under so strict a martinet as the Baron, all things were conducted in due form. He took upon himself, the morning after their arrival, the task of announcing the proposal of Waverley to Rose, which she heard with a proper degree of maiden timidity. Fame does, however, say that Waverley had the evening before found five minutes to apprise her of what was coming, while the rest of the company were looking at three twisted serpents which formed a, jet d’eau in the garden.
My fair readers will judge for themselves; but, for my part, I cannot conceive how so important an affair could be communicated in so short a space of time; at least, it certainly took a full hour in the Baron’s mode of conveying it.
Waverley was now considered as a received lover in all the forms. He was made, by dint of smirking and nodding on the part of the lady of the house, to sit next Miss Bradwardine at dinner, to be Miss Bradwardine’s partner at cards. If he came into the room, she of the four Miss Rubricks who chanced to be next Rose was sure to recollect that her thimble or her scissors were at the other end of the room, in order to leave the seat nearest to Miss Bradwardine vacant for his occupation. And sometimes, if papa and mamma were not in the way to keep them on their good behaviour, the misses would titter a little. The old Laird of Duchran would also have his occasional jest, and the old lady her remark. Even the Baron could not refrain; but here Rose escaped every embarrassment but that of conjecture, for his wit was usually couched in a Latin quotation. The very footmen sometimes grinned too broadly, the maidservants giggled mayhap too loud, and a provoking air of intelligence seemed to pervade the whole family. Alice Bean, the pretty maid of the cavern, who, after her father’s misfortune, as she called it, had attended Rose as fille-de-chambre, smiled and smirked with the best of them. Rose and Edward, however, endured all these little vexatious circumstances as other folks have done before and since, and probably contrived to obtain some indemnification, since they are not supposed, on the whole, to have been particularly unhappy during Waverley’s six days’ stay at the Duchran.
It was finally arranged that Edward should go to Waverley-Honour to make the necessary arrangements for his marriage, thence to London to take the proper measures for pleading his pardon, and return as soon as possible to claim the hand of his plighted bride. He also intended in his journey to visit Colonel Talbot; but, above all, it was his most important object to learn the fate of the unfortunate Chief of Glennaquoich; to visit him at Carlisle, and to try whether anything could be done for procuring, if not a pardon, a commutation at least, or alleviation, of the punishment to which he was almost certain of being condemned; and, in case of the worst, to offer the miserable Flora an asylum with Rose, or otherwise to assist her views in any mode which might seem possible. The fate of Fergus seemed hard to be averted. Edward had already striven to interest his friend, Colonel Talbot, in his behalf; but had been given distinctly to understand by his reply that his credit in matters of that nature was totally exhausted.
The Colonel was still in Edinburgh, and proposed to wait there for some months upon business confided to him by the Duke of Cumberland. He was to be joined by Lady Emily, to whom easy travelling and goat’s whey were recommended, and who was to journey northward under the escort of Francis Stanley. Edward, therefore, met the Colonel at Edinburgh, who wished him joy in the kindest manner on his approaching happiness, and cheerfully undertook many commissions which our hero was necessarily obliged to delegate to his charge. But on the subject of Fergus he was inexorable. He satisfied Edward, indeed, that his interference would be unavailing; but, besides, Colonel Talbot owned that he could not conscientiously use any influence in favour of that unfortunate gentleman. ‘Justice,’ he said, ’which demanded some penalty of those who had wrapped the whole nation in fear and in mourning, could not perhaps have selected a fitter victim. He came to the field with the fullest light upon the nature of his attempt. He had studied and understood the subject. His father’s fate could not intimidate him; the lenity of the laws which had restored to him his father’s property and rights could not melt him. That he was brave, generous, and possessed many good qualities only rendered him the more dangerous; that he was enlightened and accomplished made his crime the less excusable; that he was an enthusiast in a wrong cause only made him the more fit to be its martyr. Above all, he had been the means of bringing many hundreds of men into the field who, without him, would never have broken the peace of the country.
‘I repeat it,’ said the Colonel,’though Heaven knows with a heart distressed for him as an individual, that this young gentleman has studied and fully understood the desperate game which he has played. He threw for life or death, a coronet or a coffin; and he cannot now be permitted, with justice to the country, to draw stakes because the dice have gone against him.’
Such was the reasoning of those times, held even by brave and humane men towards a vanquished enemy. Let us devoutly hope that, in this respect at least, we shall never see the scenes or hold the sentiments that were general in Britain Sixty Years Since.
To morrow? O that’s sudden!—Spare him, spare him’
Edward, attended by his former servant Alick Polwarth, who had reentered his service at Edinburgh, reached Carlisle while the commission of Oyer and Terminer on his unfortunate associates was yet sitting. He had pushed forward in haste, not, alas! with the most distant hope of saving Fergus, but to see him for the last time. I ought to have mentioned that he had furnished funds for the defence of the prisoners in the most liberal manner, as soon as he heard that the day of trial was fixed. A solicitor and the first counsel accordingly attended; but it was upon the same footing on which the first physicians are usually summoned to the bedside of some dying man of rank—the doctors to take the advantage of some incalculable chance of an exertion of nature, the lawyers to avail themselves of the barely possible occurrence of some legal flaw. Edward pressed into the court, which was extremely crowded; but by his arriving from the north, and his extreme eagerness and agitation, it was supposed he was a relation of the prisoners, and people made way for him. It was the third sitting of the court, and there were two men at the bar. The verdict of guilty was already pronounced. Edward just glanced at the bar during the momentous pause which ensued. There was no mistaking the stately form and noble features of Fergus Mac-Ivor, although his dress was squalid and his countenance tinged with the sickly yellow hue of long and close imprisonment. By his side was Evan Maccombich. Edward felt sick and dizzy as he gazed on them; but he was recalled to himself as the Clerk of Arraigns pronounced the solemn words: ’Fergus Mac-Ivor of Glennaquoich, otherwise called Vich Ian Vohr, and Evan Mac-Ivor, in the Dhu of Tarrascleugh, otherwise called Evan Dhu, otherwise called Evan Maccombich, or Evan Dhu MacCombich—you, and each of you, stand attainted of high treason. What have you to say for yourselves why the Court should not pronounce judgment against you, that you die according to law?’
Fergus, as the presiding Judge was putting on the fatal cap of judgment, placed his own bonnet upon his head, regarded him with a steadfast and stern look, and replied in a firm voice, ’I cannot let this numerous audience suppose that to such an appeal I have no answer to make. But what I have to say you would not bear to hear, for my defence would be your condemnation. Proceed, then, in the name of God, to do what is permitted to you. Yesterday and the day before you have condemned loyal and honourable blood to be poured forth like water. Spare not mine. Were that of all my ancestors in my veins, I would have perilled it in this quarrel.’ He resumed his seat and refused again to rise.
Evan Maccombich looked at him with great earnestness, and, rising up, seemed anxious to speak; but the confusion of the court, and the perplexity arising from thinking in a language different from that in which he was to express himself, kept him silent. There was a murmur of compassion among the spectators, from the idea that the poor fellow intended to plead the influence of his superior as an excuse for his crime. The Judge commanded silence, and encouraged Evan to proceed. ’I was only ganging to say, my lord,’ said Evan, in what he meant to be an insinuating manner, ’that if your excellent honour and the honourable Court would let Vich Ian Vohr go free just this once, and let him gae back to France, and no to trouble King George’s government again, that ony six o’ the very best of his clan will be willing to be justified in his stead; and if you’ll just let me gae down to Glennaquoich, I’ll fetch them up to ye mysell, to head or hang, and you may begin wi’ me the very first man.’
Notwithstanding the solemnity of the occasion, a sort of laugh was heard in the court at the extraordinary nature of the proposal. The Judge checked this indecency, and Evan, looking sternly around, when the murmur abated, ’If the Saxon gentlemen are laughing,’ he said, ’because a poor man, such as me, thinks my life, or the life of six of my degree, is worth that of Vich Ian Vohr, it’s like enough they may be very right; but if they laugh because they think I would not keep my word and come back to redeem him, I can tell them they ken neither the heart of a Hielandman nor the honour of a gentleman.’
There was no farther inclination to laugh among the audience, and a dead silence ensued.
The Judge then pronounced upon both prisoners the sentence of the law of high treason, with all its horrible accompaniments. The execution was appointed for the ensuing day. ’For you, Fergus Mac-Ivor,’ continued the Judge, ’I can hold out no hope of mercy. You must prepare against to-morrow for your last sufferings here, and your great audit hereafter.’
‘I desire nothing else, my lord,’ answered Fergus, in the same manly and firm tone.
The hard eyes of Evan, which had been perpetually bent on his Chief, were moistened with a tear. ‘For you, poor ignorant man,’ continued the Judge, ’who, following the ideas in which you have been educated, have this day given us a striking example how the loyalty due to the king and state alone is, from your unhappy ideas of clanship, transferred to some ambitious individual who ends by making you the tool of his crimes—for you, I say, I feel so much compassion that, if you can make up your mind to petition for grace, I will endeavour to procure it for you. Otherwise—’
‘Grace me no grace,’ said Evan; ’since you are to shed Vich Ian Vohr’s blood, the only favour I would accept from you is to bid them loose my hands and gie me my claymore, and bide you just a minute sitting where you are!’
‘Remove the prisoners,’ said the Judge; ’his blood be upon his own head.’
Almost stupefied with his feelings, Edward found that the rush of the crowd had conveyed him out into the street ere he knew what he was doing. His immediate wish was to see and speak with Fergus once more. He applied at the Castle where his unfortunate friend was confined, but was refused admittance. ‘The High Sheriff,’ a non-commissioned officer said, ’had requested of the governor that none should be admitted to see the prisoner excepting his confessor and his sister.’
‘And where was Miss Mac-Ivor?’ They gave him the direction. It was the house of a respectable Catholic family near Carlisle.
Repulsed from the gate of the Castle, and not venturing to make application to the High Sheriff or Judges in his own unpopular name, he had recourse to the solicitor who came down in Fergus’s behalf. This gentleman told him that it was thought the public mind was in danger of being debauched by the account of the last moments of these persons, as given by the friends of the Pretender; that there had been a resolution, therefore, to exclude all such persons as had not the plea of near kindred for attending upon them. Yet he promised (to oblige the heir of Waverley-Honour) to get him an order for admittance to the prisoner the next morning, before his irons were knocked off for execution.
‘Is it of Fergus Mac-Ivor they speak thus,’ thought Waverley, ’or do I dream? Of Fergus, the bold, the chivalrous, the free-minded, the lofty chieftain of a tribe devoted to him? Is it he, that I have seen lead the chase and head the attack, the brave, the active, the young, the noble, the love of ladies, and the theme of song,—is it he who is ironed like a malefactor, who is to be dragged on a hurdle to the common gallows, to die a lingering and cruel death, and to be mangled by the hand of the most outcast of wretches? Evil indeed was the spectre that boded such a fate as this to the brave Chief of Glennaquoich!’
With a faltering voice he requested the solicitor to find means to warn Fergus of his intended visit, should he obtain permission to make it. He then turned away from him, and, returning to the inn, wrote a scarcely intelligible note to Flora Mac-Ivor, intimating his purpose to wait upon her that evening. The messenger brought back a letter in Flora’s beautiful Italian hand, which seemed scarce to tremble even under this load of misery. ’Miss Flora Mac-Ivor,’ the letter bore, ’could not refuse to see the dearest friend of her dear brother, even in her present circumstances of unparalleled distress.’
When Edward reached Miss Mac-Ivor’s present place of abode he was instantly admitted. In a large and gloomy tapestried apartment Flora was seated by a latticed window, sewing what seemed to be a garment of white flannel. At a little distance sat an elderly woman, apparently a foreigner, and of a religious order. She was reading in a book of Catholic devotion, but when Waverley entered laid it on the table and left the room. Flora rose to receive him, and stretched out her hand, but neither ventured to attempt speech. Her fine complexion was totally gone; her person considerably emaciated; and her face and hands as white as the purest statuary marble, forming a strong contrast with her sable dress and jet-black hair. Yet, amid these marks of distress there was nothing negligent or ill-arranged about her attire; even her hair, though totally without ornament, was disposed with her usual attention to neatness. The first words she uttered were, ’Have you seen him?’
‘Alas, no,’ answered Waverley, ‘I have been refused admittance.’
‘It accords with the rest,’ she said; ’but we must submit. Shall you obtain leave, do you suppose?’
‘For—for—tomorrow,’ said Waverley; but muttering the last word so faintly that it was almost unintelligible.
‘Ay, then or never,’ said Flora, ’until’—she added, looking upward—’the time when, I trust, we shall all meet. But I hope you will see him while earth yet bears him. He always loved you at his heart, though—but it is vain to talk of the past.’
‘Vain indeed!’ echoed Waverley.
‘Or even of the future, my good friend,’ said Flora,’so far as earthly events are concerned; for how often have I pictured to myself the strong possibility of this horrid issue, and tasked myself to consider how I could support my part; and yet how far has all my anticipation fallen short of the unimaginable bitterness of this hour!’
‘Dear Flora, if your strength of mind—’
‘Ay, there it is,’ she answered, somewhat wildly; ’there is, Mr. Waverley, there is a busy devil at my heart that whispers—but it were madness to listen to it—that the strength of mind on which Flora prided herself has murdered her brother!’
‘Good God! how can you give utterance to a thought so shocking?’
’Ay, is it not so? but yet it haunts me like a phantom; I know it is unsubstantial and vain; but it will be present; will intrude its horrors on my mind; will whisper that my brother, as volatile as ardent, would have divided his energies amid a hundred objects. It was I who taught him to concentrate them and to gage all on this dreadful and desperate cast. Oh that I could recollect that I had but once said to him, “He that striketh with the sword shall die by the sword”; that I had but once said, “Remain at home; reserve yourself, your vassals, your life, for enterprises within the reach of man.” But O, Mr. Waverley, I spurred his fiery temper, and half of his ruin at least lies with his sister!’
The horrid idea which she had intimated, Edward endeavoured to combat by every incoherent argument that occurred to him. He recalled to her the principles on which both thought it their duty to act, and in which they had been educated.
‘Do not think I have forgotten them,’ she said, looking up with eager quickness; ’I do not regret his attempt because it was wrong!—O no! on that point I am armed—but because it was impossible it could end otherwise than thus.’
’Yet it did not always seem so desperate and hazardous as it was; and it would have been chosen by the bold spirit of Fergus whether you had approved it or no; your counsels only served to give unity and consistence to his conduct; to dignify, but not to precipitate, his resolution.’ Flora had soon ceased to listen to Edward, and was again intent upon her needlework.
‘Do you remember,’ she said, looking up with a ghastly smile, ’you once found me making Fergus’s bride-favours, and now I am sewing his bridal garment. Our friends here,’ she continued, with suppressed emotion, ’are to give hallowed earth in their chapel to the bloody relics of the last Vich Ian Vohr. But they will not all rest together; no—his head!—I shall not have the last miserable consolation of kissing the cold lips of my dear, dear Fergus!’
The unfortunate Flora here, after one or two hysterical sobs, fainted in her chair. The lady, who had been attending in the ante-room, now entered hastily, and begged Edward to leave the room, but not the house.
When he was recalled, after the space of nearly half an hour, he found that, by a strong effort, Miss Mac-Ivor had greatly composed herself. It was then he ventured to urge Miss Bradwardine’s claim to be considered as an adopted sister, and empowered to assist her plans for the future.
‘I have had a letter from my dear Rose,’ she replied, ’to the same purpose. Sorrow is selfish and engrossing, or I would have written to express that, even in my own despair, I felt a gleam of pleasure at learning her happy prospects, and at hearing that the good old Baron has escaped the general wreck. Give this to my dearest Rose; it is her poor Flora’s only ornament of value, and was the gift of a princess.’ She put into his hands a case containing the chain of diamonds with which she used to decorate her hair. ’To me it is in future useless. The kindness of my friends has secured me a retreat in the convent of the Scottish Benedictine nuns in Paris. Tomorrow—if indeed I can survive tomorrow—I set forward on my journey with this venerable sister. And now, Mr. Waverley, adieu! May you be as happy with Rose as your amiable dispositions deserve; and think sometimes on the friends you have lost. Do not attempt to see me again; it would be mistaken kindness.’
She gave him her hand, on which Edward shed a torrent of tears, and with a faltering step withdrew from the apartment, and returned to the town of Carlisle. At the inn he found a letter from his law friend intimating that he would be admitted to Fergus next morning as soon as the Castle gates were opened, and permitted to remain with him till the arrival of the Sheriff gave signal for the fatal procession.
A darker departure is near,
The death drum is muffled, and sable the bier
After a sleepless night, the first dawn of morning found Waverley on the esplanade in front of the old Gothic gate of Carlisle Castle. But he paced it long in every direction before the hour when, according to the rules of the garrison, the gates were opened and the draw-bridge lowered. He produced his order to the sergeant of the guard and was admitted.
The place of Fergus’s confinement was a gloomy and vaulted apartment in the central part of the Castle; a huge old tower, supposed to be of great antiquity, and surrounded by outworks, seemingly of Henry VIII’s time, or somewhat later. The grating of the large old-fashioned bars and bolts, withdrawn for the purpose of admitting Edward, was answered by the clash of chains, as the unfortunate Chieftain, strongly and heavily fettered, shuffled along the stone floor of his prison to fling himself into his friend’s arms.
‘My dear Edward,’ he said, in a firm and even cheerful voice,’this is truly kind. I heard of your approaching happiness with the highest pleasure. And how does Rose? and how is our old whimsical friend the Baron? Well, I trust, since I see you at freedom. And how will you settle precedence between the three ermines passant and the bear and boot-jack?’
’How, O how, my dear Fergus, can you talk of such things at such a moment!’
’Why, we have entered Carlisle with happier auspices, to be sure; on the 16th of November last, for example, when we marched in side by side, and hoisted the white flag on these ancient towers. But I am no boy, to sit down and weep because the luck has gone against me. I knew the stake which I risked; we played the game boldly and the forfeit shall be paid manfully. And now, since my time is short, let me come to the questions that interest me most—the Prince? has he escaped the bloodhounds?’
‘He has, and is in safety.’
‘Praised be God for that! Tell me the particulars of his escape.’
Waverley communicated that remarkable history, so far as it had then transpired, to which Fergus listened with deep interest. He then asked after several other friends; and made many minute inquiries concerning the fate of his own clansmen. They had suffered less than other tribes who had been engaged in the affair; for, having in a great measure dispersed and returned home after the captivity of their Chieftain, according to the universal custom of the Highlanders, they were not in arms when the insurrection was finally suppressed, and consequently were treated with less rigour. This Fergus heard with great satisfaction.
‘You are rich,’ he said, ’Waverley, and you are generous. When you hear of these poor Mac-Ivors being distressed about their miserable possessions by some harsh overseer or agent of government, remember you have worn their tartan and are an adopted son of their race, The Baron, who knows our manners and lives near our country, will apprise you of the time and means to be their protector. Will you promise this to the last Vich Ian Vohr?’
Edward, as may well be believed, pledged his word; which he afterwards so amply redeemed that his memory still lives in these glens by the name of the Friend of the Sons of Ivor.
‘Would to God,’ continued the Chieftain, ’I could bequeath to you my rights to the love and obedience of this primitive and brave race; or at least, as I have striven to do, persuade poor Evan to accept of his life upon their terms, and be to you what he has been to me, the kindest, the bravest, the most devoted—’
The tears which his own fate could not draw forth fell fast for that of his foster-brother.
‘But,’ said he, drying them,’that cannot be. You cannot be to them Vich Ian Vohr; and these three magic words,’ said he, half smiling, ’are the only Open Sesame to their feelings and sympathies, and poor Evan must attend his foster-brother in death, as he has done through his whole life.’
‘And I am sure,’ said Maccombich, raising himself from the floor, on which, for fear of interrupting their conversation, he had lain so still that, in the obscurity of the apartment, Edward was not aware of his presence—’I am sure Evan never desired or deserved a better end than just to die with his Chieftain.’
‘And now,’ said Fergus, ’while we are upon the subject of clanship—what think you now of the prediction of the Bodach Glas?’ Then, before Edward could answer, ’I saw him again last night: he stood in the slip of moonshine which fell from that high and narrow window towards my bed. “Why should I fear him?” I thought; “to-morrow, long ere this time, I shall be as immaterial as he.” “False spirit,” I said, “art thou come to close thy walks on earth and to enjoy thy triumph in the fall of the last descendant of thine enemy?” The spectre seemed to beckon and to smile as he faded from my sight. What do you think of it? I asked the same question of the priest, who is a good and sensible man; he admitted that the church allowed that such apparitions were possible, but urged me not to permit my mind to dwell upon it, as imagination plays us such strange tricks. What do you think of it?’
‘Much as your confessor,’ said Waverley, willing to avoid dispute upon such a point at such a moment. A tap at the door now announced that good man, and Edward retired while he administered to both prisoners the last rites of religion, in the mode which the Church of Rome prescribes.
In about an hour he was re-admitted; soon after, a file of soldiers entered with a blacksmith, who struck the fetters from the legs of the prisoners.
’You see the compliment they pay to our Highland strength and courage; we have lain chained here like wild beasts, till our legs are cramped into palsy, and when they free us they send six soldiers with loaded muskets to prevent our taking the castle by storm!’
Edward afterwards learned that these severe precautions had been taken in consequence of a desperate attempt of the prisoners to escape, in which they had very nearly succeeded.
Shortly afterwards the drums of the garrison beat to arms. ’This is the last turn-out,’ said Fergus, ’that I shall hear and obey. And now, my dear, dear Edward, ere we part let us speak of Flora— a subject which awakes the tenderest feeling that yet thrills within me’
‘We part not here!’ said Waverley.
’O yes, we do; you must come no farther. Not that I fear what is to follow for myself,’ he said proudly. ’Nature has her tortures as well as art, and how happy should we think the man who escapes from the throes of a mortal and painful disorder in the space of a short half hour? And this matter, spin it out as they will, cannot last longer. But what a dying man can suffer firmly may kill a living friend to look upon. This same law of high treason,’ he continued, with astonishing firmness and composure, ’is one of the blessings, Edward, with which your free country has accommodated poor old Scotland; her own jurisprudence, as I have heard, was much milder. But I suppose one day or other—when there are no longer any wild Highlanders to benefit by its tender mercies—they will blot it from their records as levelling them with a nation of cannibals. The mummery, too, of exposing the senseless head—they have not the wit to grace mine with a paper coronet; there would be some satire in that, Edward. I hope they will set it on the Scotch gate though, that I may look, even after death, to the blue hills of my own country, which I love so dearly. The Baron would have added,
Moritur, et moriens dukes reminiscitur Argos.’
A bustle, and the sound of wheels and horses’ feet, was now heard in the court-yard of the Castle. ’As I have told you why you must not follow me, and these sounds admonish me that my time flies fast, tell me how you found poor Flora.’
Waverley, with a voice interrupted by suffocating sensations, gave some account of the state of her mind.
‘Poor Flora!’ answered the Chief, ’she could have borne her own sentence of death, but not mine. You, Waverley, will soon know the happiness of mutual affection in the married state—long, long may Rose and you enjoy it!—but you can never know the purity of feeling which combines two orphans like Flora and me, left alone as it were in the world, and being all in all to each other from our very infancy. But her strong sense of duty and predominant feeling of loyalty will give new nerve to her mind after the immediate and acute sensation of this parting has passed away. She will then think of Fergus as of the heroes of our race, upon whose deeds she loved to dwell.’
‘Shall she not see you then?’ asked Waverley. ’She seemed to expect it.’
’A necessary deceit will spare her the last dreadful parting. I could not part with her without tears, and I cannot bear that these men should think they have power to extort them. She was made to believe she would see me at a later hour, and this letter, which my confessor will deliver, will apprise her that all is over.’
An officer now appeared and intimated that the High Sheriff and his attendants waited before the gate of the Castle to claim the bodies of Fergus Mac-Ivor and Evan Maccombich. ‘I come,’ said Fergus. Accordingly, supporting Edward by the arm and followed by Evan Dhu and the priest, he moved down the stairs of the tower, the soldiers bringing up the rear. The court was occupied by a squadron of dragoons and a battalion of infantry, drawn up in hollow square. Within their ranks was the sledge or hurdle on which the prisoners were to be drawn to the place of execution, about a mile distant from Carlisle. It was painted black, and drawn by a white horse. At one end of the vehicle sat the executioner, a horrid-looking fellow, as beseemed his trade, with the broad axe in his hand; at the other end, next the horse, was an empty seat for two persons. Through the deep and dark Gothic archway that opened on the drawbridge were seen on horseback the High Sheriff and his attendants, whom the etiquette betwixt the civil and military powers did not permit to come farther. ’This is well got up for a closing scene,’ said Fergus, smiling disdainfully as he gazed around upon the apparatus of terror. Evan Dhu exclaimed with some eagerness, after looking at the dragoons,’ These are the very chields that galloped off at Gladsmuir, before we could kill a dozen o’ them. They look bold enough now, however.’ The priest entreated him to be silent.
The sledge now approached, and Fergus, turning round, embraced Waverley, kissed him on each side of the face, and stepped nimbly into his place. Evan sat down by his side. The priest was to follow in a carriage belonging to his patron, the Catholic gentleman at whose house Flora resided. As Fergus waved his hand to Edward the ranks closed around the sledge, and the whole procession began to move forward. There was a momentary stop at the gateway, while the governor of the Castle and the High Sheriff went through a short ceremony, the military officer there delivering over the persons of the criminals to the civil power. ‘God save King George!’ said the High Sheriff. When the formality concluded, Fergus stood erect in the sledge, and, with a firm and steady voice, replied,’ God save King James!’ These were the last words which Waverley heard him speak.
The procession resumed its march, and the sledge vanished from beneath the portal, under which it had stopped for an instant. The dead march was then heard, and its melancholy sounds were mingled with those of a muffled peal tolled from the neighbouring cathedral. The sound of military music died away as the procession moved on; the sullen clang of the bells was soon heard to sound alone.
The last of the soldiers had now disappeared from under the vaulted archway through which they had been filing for several minutes; the court-yard was now totally empty, but Waverley still stood there as if stupefied, his eyes fixed upon the dark pass where he had so lately seen the last glimpse of his friend. At length a female servant of the governor’s, struck with compassion, at the stupefied misery which his countenance expressed, asked him if he would not walk into her master’s house and sit down? She was obliged to repeat her question twice ere he comprehended her, but at length it recalled him to himself. Declining the courtesy by a hasty gesture, he pulled his hat over his eyes, and, leaving the Castle, walked as swiftly as he could through the empty streets till he regained his inn, then rushed into an apartment and bolted the door.
In about an hour and a half, which seemed an age of unutterable suspense, the sound of the drums and fifes performing a lively air, and the confused murmur of the crowd which now filled the streets, so lately deserted, apprised him that all was finished, and that the military and populace were returning from the dreadful scene. I will not attempt to describe his sensations.
In the evening the priest made him a visit, and informed him that he did so by directions of his deceased friend, to assure him that Fergus Mac-Ivor had died as he lived, and remembered his friendship to the last. He added, he had also seen Flora, whose state of mind seemed more composed since all was over. With her and sister Theresa the priest proposed next day to leave Carlisle for the nearest seaport from which they could embark for France. Waverley forced on this good man a ring of some value and a sum of money to be employed (as he thought might gratify Flora) in the services of the Catholic church for the memory of his friend. ‘Fun-garque inani munere,’ he repeated, as the ecclesiastic retired. ’Yet why not class these acts of remembrance with other honours, with which affection in all sects pursues the memory of the dead?’
The next morning ere daylight he took leave of the town of Carlisle, promising to himself never again to enter its walls. He dared hardly look back towards the Gothic battlements of the fortified gate under which he passed, for the place is surrounded with an old wall. ‘They’re no there,’ said Alick Polwarth, who guessed the cause of the dubious look which Waverley cast backward, and who, with the vulgar appetite for the horrible, was master of each detail of the butchery—’the heads are ower the Scotch yate, as they ca’ it. It’s a great pity of Evan Dhu, who was a very weel-meaning, good-natured man, to be a Hielandman; and indeed so was the Laird o’ Glennaquoich too, for that matter, when he wasna in ane o’ his tirrivies.’
The impression of horror with which Waverley left Carlisle softened by degrees into melancholy, a gradation which was accelerated by the painful yet soothing task of writing to Rose; and, while he could not suppress his own feelings of the calamity, he endeavoured to place it in a light which might grieve her without shocking her imagination. The picture which he drew for her benefit he gradually familiarised to his own mind, and his next letters were more cheerful, and referred to the prospects of peace and happiness which lay before them. Yet, though his first horrible sensations had sunk into melancholy, Edward had reached his native country before he could, as usual on former occasions, look round for enjoyment upon the face of nature.
He then, for the first time since leaving Edinburgh, began to experience that pleasure which almost all feel who return to a verdant, populous, and highly cultivated country from scenes of waste desolation or of solitary and melancholy grandeur. But how were those feelings enhanced when he entered on the domain so long possessed by his forefathers; recognised the old oaks of Waverley-Chace; thought with what delight he should introduce Rose to all his favourite haunts; beheld at length the towers of the venerable hall arise above the woods which embowered it, and finally threw himself into the arms of the venerable relations to whom he owed so much duty and affection!
The happiness of their meeting was not tarnished by a single word of reproach. On the contrary, whatever pain Sir Everard and Mrs. Rachel had felt during Waverley’s perilous engagement with the young Chevalier, it assorted too well with the principles in which they had been brought up to incur reprobation, or even censure. Colonel Talbot also had smoothed the way with great address for Edward’s favourable reception by dwelling upon his gallant behaviour in the military character, particularly his bravery and generosity at Preston; until, warmed at the idea of their nephew’s engaging in single combat, making prisoner, and saving from slaughter so distinguished an officer as the Colonel himself, the imagination of the Baronet and his sister ranked the exploits of Edward with those of Wilibert, Hildebrand, and Nigel, the vaunted heroes of their line.
The appearance of Waverley, embrowned by exercise and dignified by the habits of military discipline, had acquired an athletic and hardy character, which not only verified the Colonel’s narration, but surprised and delighted all the inhabitants of Waverley-Honour. They crowded to see, to hear him, and to sing his praises. Mr. Pembroke, who secretly extolled his spirit and courage in embracing the genuine cause of the Church of England, censured his pupil gently, nevertheless, for being so careless of his manuscripts, which indeed, he said, had occasioned him some personal inconvenience, as, upon the Baronet’s being arrested by a king’s messenger, he had deemed it prudent to retire to a
All was now in a bustle to prepare for the nuptials of Edward, an event to which the good old Baronet and Mrs. Rachel looked forward as if to the renewal of their own youth. The match, as Colonel Talbot had intimated, had seemed to them in the highest degree eligible, having every recommendation but wealth, of which they themselves had more than enough. Mr. Clippurse was therefore summoned to Waverley-Honour, under better auspices than at the commencement of our story. But Mr. Clippurse came not alone; for, being now stricken in years, he had associated with him a nephew, a younger vulture (as our English Juvenal, who tells the tale of Swallow the attorney, might have called him), and they now carried on business as Messrs. Clippurse and Hookem. These worthy gentlemen had directions to make the necessary settlements on the most splendid scale of liberality, as if Edward were to wed a peeress in her own right, with her paternal estate tacked to the fringe of her ermine.
But before entering upon a subject of proverbial delay, I must remind my reader of the progress of a stone rolled downhill by an idle truant boy (a pastime at which I was myself expert in my more juvenile years), it moves at first slowly, avoiding by inflection every obstacle of the least importance; but when it has attained its full impulse, and draws near the conclusion of its career, it smokes and thunders down, taking a rood at every spring, clearing hedge and ditch like a Yorkshire huntsman, and becoming most furiously rapid in its course when it is nearest to being consigned to rest for ever. Even such is the course of a narrative like that which you are perusing. The earlier events are studiously dwelt upon, that you, kind reader, may be introduced to the character rather by narrative than by the duller medium of direct description; but when the story draws near its close, we hurry over the circumstances, however important, which your imagination must have forestalled, and leave you to suppose those things which it would be abusing your patience to relate at length.
We are, therefore, so far from attempting to trace the dull progress of Messrs. Clippurse and Hookem, or that of their worthy official brethren who had the charge of suing out the pardons of Edward Waverley and his intended father-in-law, that we can but touch upon matters more attractive. The mutual epistles, for example, which were exchanged between Sir Everard and the Baron upon this occasion, though matchless specimens of eloquence in their way, must be consigned to merciless oblivion. Nor can I tell you at length how worthy Aunt Rachel, not without a delicate and affectionate allusion to the circumstances which had transferred Rose’s maternal diamonds to the hands of Donald Bean Lean, stocked her casket with a set of jewels that a duchess might have envied. Moreover, the reader will have the goodness to imagine that Job Houghton and his dame were suitably provided for, although they could never be persuaded that their son fell otherwise than fighting by the young squire’s side; so that Alick, who, as a lover of truth, had made many needless attempts to expound the real circumstances to them, was finally ordered to say not a word more upon the subject. He indemnified himself, however, by the liberal allowance of desperate battles, grisly executions, and raw-head and bloody-bone stories with which he astonished the servants’ hall.
But although these important matters may be briefly told in narrative, like a newspaper report of a Chancery suit, yet, with all the urgency which Waverley could use, the real time which the law proceedings occupied, joined to the delay occasioned by the mode of travelling at that period, rendered it considerably more than two months ere Waverley, having left England, alighted once more at the mansion of the Laird of Duchran to claim the hand of his plighted bride.
The day of his marriage was fixed for the sixth after his arrival. The Baron of Bradwardine, with whom bridals, christenings, and funerals were festivals of high and solemn import, felt a little hurt that, including the family of the Duchran and all the immediate vicinity who had title to be present on such an occasion, there could not be above thirty persons collected. ’When he was married,’ he observed,’three hundred horse of gentlemen born, besides servants, and some score or two of Highland lairds, who never got on horseback, were present on the occasion.’
But his pride found some consolation in reflecting that, he and his son-in-law having been so lately in arms against government, it might give matter of reasonable fear and offence to the ruling powers if they were to collect together the kith, kin, and allies of their houses, arrayed in effeir of war, as was the ancient custom of Scotland on these occasions—’And, without dubitation,’ he concluded with a sigh, ’many of those who would have rejoiced most freely upon these joyful espousals are either gone to a better place or are now exiles from their native land.’
The marriage took place on the appointed day. The Reverend Mr. Rubrick, kinsman to the proprietor of the hospitable mansion where it was solemnised, and chaplain to the Baron of Bradwardine, had the satisfaction to unite their hands; and Frank Stanley acted as bridesman, having joined Edward with that view soon after his arrival. Lady Emily and Colonel Talbot had proposed being present; but Lady Emily’s health, when the day approached, was found inadequate to the journey. In amends it was arranged that Edward Waverley and his lady, who, with the Baron, proposed an immediate journey to Waverley-Honour, should in their way spend a few days at an estate which Colonel Talbot had been tempted to purchase in Scotland as a very great bargain, and at which he proposed to reside for some time.
This is no mine ain house, I ken by the bigging o’t
The nuptial party travelled in great style. There was a coach and six after the newest pattern, which Sir Everard had presented to his nephew, that dazzled with its splendour the eyes of one half of Scotland; there was the family coach of Mr. Rubrick;—both these were crowded with ladies,—and there were gentlemen on horseback, with their servants, to the number of a round score. Nevertheless, without having the fear of famine before his eyes, Bailie Macwheeble met them in the road to entreat that they would pass by his house at Little Veolan. The Baron stared, and said his son and he would certainly ride by Little Veolan and pay their compliments to the Bailie, but could not think of bringing with them the ‘haill comitatus nuptialis, or matrimonial procession.’ He added, ’that, as he understood that the barony had been sold by its unworthy possessor, he was glad to see his old friend Duncan had regained his situation under the new Dominus, or proprietor.’ The Bailie ducked, bowed, and fidgeted, and then again insisted upon his invitation; until the Baron, though rather piqued at the pertinacity of his instances, could not nevertheless refuse to consent without making evident sensations which he was anxious to conceal.
He fell into a deep study as they approached the top of the avenue, and was only startled from it by observing that the battlements were replaced, the ruins cleared away, and (most wonderful of all) that the two great stone bears, those mutilated Dagons of his idolatry, had resumed their posts over the gateway. ‘Now this new proprietor,’ said he to Edward, ’has shown mair gusto, as the Italians call it, in the short time he has had this domain, than that hound Malcolm, though I bred him here mysell, has acquired vita adhuc durante. And now I talk of hounds, is not yon Ban and Buscar who come scouping up the avenue with Davie Gellatley?’
‘I vote we should go to meet them, sir,’ said Waverley, ’for I believe the present master of the house is Colonel Talbot, who will expect to see us. We hesitated to mention to you at first that he had purchased your ancient patrimonial property, and even yet, if you do not incline to visit him, we can pass on to the Bailie’s.’
The Baron had occasion for all his magnanimity. However, he drew a long breath, took a long snuff, and observed, since they had brought him so far, he could not pass the Colonel’s gate, and he would be happy to see the new master of his old tenants. He alighted accordingly, as did the other gentlemen and ladies; he gave his arm to his daughter, and as they descended the avenue pointed out to her how speedily the ’Diva Pecunia of the Southron —their tutelary deity, he might call her—had removed the marks of spoliation.’
In truth, not only had the felled trees been removed, but, their stumps being grubbed up and the earth round them levelled and sown with grass, every mark of devastation, unless to an eye intimately acquainted with the spot, was already totally obliterated. There was a similar reformation in the outward man of Davie Gellatley, who met them, every now and then stopping to admire the new suit which graced his person, in the same colours as formerly, but bedizened fine enough to have served Touchstone himself. He danced up with his usual ungainly frolics, first to the Baron and then to Rose, passing his hands over his clothes, crying, ‘Bra’, bra’ Davie,’ and scarce able to sing a bar to an end of his thousand-and-one songs for the breathless extravagance of his joy. The dogs also acknowledged their old master with a thousand gambols. ’Upon my conscience, Rose,’ ejaculated the Baron, ‘the gratitude o’ thae dumb brutes and of that puir innocent brings the tears into my auld een, while that schellum Malcolm—but I’m obliged to Colonel Talbot for putting my hounds into such good condition, and likewise for puir Davie. But, Rose, my dear, we must not permit them to be a life-rent burden upon the estate.’
As he spoke, Lady Emily, leaning upon the arm of her husband, met the party at the lower gate with a thousand welcomes. After the ceremony of introduction had been gone through, much abridged by the ease and excellent breeding of Lady Emily, she apologised for having used a little art to wile them back to a place which might awaken some painful reflections—’But as it was to change masters, we were very desirous that the Baron—’
‘Mr. Bradwardine, madam, if you please,’ said the old gentleman.
’—Mr. Bradwardine, then, and Mr. Waverley should see what we have done towards restoring the mansion of your fathers to its former state.’
The Baron answered with a low bow. Indeed, when he entered the court, excepting that the heavy stables, which had been burnt down, were replaced by buildings of a lighter and more picturesque appearance, all seemed as much as possible restored to the state in which he had left it when he assumed arms some months before. The pigeon-house was replenished; the fountain played with its usual activity, and not only the bear who predominated over its basin, but all the other bears whatsoever, were replaced on their several stations, and renewed or repaired with so much
’While I acknowledge my obligation to you, sir, for the restoration of the badge of our family, I cannot but marvel that you have nowhere established your own crest, whilk is, I believe, a mastiff, anciently called a talbot; as the poet has it,
A talbot strong, a sturdy tyke.
At least such a dog is the crest of the martial and renowned Earls of Shrewsbury, to whom your family are probably blood-relations.’
‘I believe,’ said the Colonel, smiling, ’our dogs are whelps of the same litter; for my part, if crests were to dispute precedence, I should be apt to let them, as the proverb says, “fight dog, fight bear."’
As he made this speech, at which the Baron took another long pinch of snuff, they had entered the house, that is, the Baron, Rose, and Lady Emily, with young Stanley and the Bailie, for Edward and the rest of the party remained on the terrace to examine a new greenhouse stocked with the finest plants. The Baron resumed his favourite topic—’However it may please you to derogate from the honour of your burgonet, Colonel Talbot, which is doubtless your humour, as I have seen in other gentlemen of birth and honour in your country, I must again repeat it as a most ancient and distinguished bearing, as well as that of my young friend Francis Stanley, which is the eagle and child.’
‘The bird and bantling they call it in Derbyshire, sir,’ said Stanley.
‘Ye’re a daft callant, sir,’ said the Baron, who had a great liking to this young man, perhaps because he sometimes teased him —’Ye’re a daft callant, and I must correct you some of these days,’ shaking his great brown fist at him. ’But what I meant to say, Colonel Talbot, is, that yours is an ancient prosapia, or descent, and since you have lawfully and justly acquired the estate for you and yours which I have lost for me and mine, I wish it may remain in your name as many centuries as it has done in that of the late proprietor’s.’
‘That,’ answered the Colonel, ’is very handsome, Mr. Bradwardine, indeed.’
’And yet, sir, I cannot but marvel that you, Colonel, whom I noted to have so much of the amor patritz when we met in Edinburgh as even to vilipend other countries, should have chosen to establish your Lares, or household gods, procul a patrice finibus, and in a manner to expatriate yourself.’
’Why really, Baron, I do not see why, to keep the secret of these foolish boys, Waverley and Stanley, and of my wife, who is no wiser, one old soldier should continue to impose upon another. You must know, then, that I have so much of that same prejudice in favour of my native country, that the sum of money which I advanced to the seller of this extensive barony has only purchased for me a box in——shire, called Brere-wood Lodge, with about two hundred and fifty acres of land, the chief merit of which is, that it is within a very few miles of Waverley-Honour.’
‘And who, then, in the name of Heaven, has bought this property?’
‘That,’ said the Colonel, ’it is this gentleman’s profession to explain.’
The Bailie, whom this reference regarded, and who had all this while shifted from one foot to another with great impatience, ‘like a hen,’ as he afterwards said, ‘upon a het girdle’; and chuckling, he might have added, like the said hen in all the glory of laying an egg, now pushed forward. ’That I can, that I can, your honour,’ drawing from his pocket a budget of papers, and untying the red tape with a hand trembling with eagerness. ’Here is the disposition and assignation by Malcolm Bradwardine of Inch-Grabbit, regularly signed and tested in terms of the statute, whereby, for a certain sum of sterling money presently contented and paid to him, he has disponed, alienated, and conveyed the whole estate and barony of Bradwardine, Tully-Veolan, and others, with the fortalice and manor-place—’
‘For God’s sake, to the point, sir; I have all that by heart,’ said the Colonel.
‘—To Cosmo Comyne Bradwardme, Esq.,’ pursued the Bailie, ’his heirs and assignees, simply and irredeemably, to be held either a me vel de me—’
‘Pray read short, sir.’
’On the conscience of an honest man, Colonel, I read as short as is consistent with style—under the burden and reservation always—’
’Mr. Macwheeble, this would outlast a Russian winter; give me leave. In short, Mr. Bradwardine, your family estate is your own once more in full property, and at your absolute disposal, but only burdened with the sum advanced to re-purchase it, which I understand is utterly disproportioned to its value.’
‘An auld sang—an auld sang, if it please your honours,’ cried the Bailie, rubbing his hands; ‘look at the rental book.’
’—Which sum being advanced, by Mr. Edward Waverley, chiefly from the price of his father’s property which I bought from him, is secured to his lady your daughter and her family by this marriage.’
‘It is a catholic security,’ shouted the Bailie,’ to Rose Comyne Bradwardine, alias Wauverley, in life-rent, and the children of the said marriage in fee; and I made up a wee bit minute of an antenuptial contract, intuitu matrimonij, so it cannot be subject to reduction hereafter, as a donation inter virum et uxorem.’
It is difficult to say whether the worthy Baron was most delighted with the restitution of his family property or with the delicacy and generosity that left him unfettered to pursue his purpose in disposing of it after his death, and which avoided as much as possible even the appearance of laying him under pecuniary obligation. When his first pause of joy and astonishment was over, his thoughts turned to the unworthy heir-male, who, he pronounced, had sold his birthright, like Esau, for a mess o’ pottage.
‘But wha cookit the parritch for him?’ exclaimed the Bailie; ’I wad like to ken that;—wha but your honour’s to command, Duncan Macwheeble? His honour, young Mr. Wauverley, put it a’ into my hand frae the beginning—frae the first calling o’ the summons, as I may say. I circumvented them—I played at bogle about the bush wi’ them—I cajolled them; and if I havena gien Inch-Grabbit and Jamie Howie a bonnie begunk, they ken themselves. Him a writer! I didna gae slapdash to them wi’ our young bra’ bridegroom, to gar them baud up the market. Na, na; I scared them wi’ our wild tenantry, and the Mac-Ivors, that are but ill settled yet, till they durstna on ony errand whatsoever gang ower the doorstane after gloaming, for fear John Heatherblutter, or some siccan dare-the-deil, should tak a baff at them; then, on the other hand, I beflummed them wi’ Colonel Talbot; wad they offer to keep up the price again’ the Duke’s friend? did they na ken wha was master? had they na seen eneugh, by the sad example of mony a puir misguided unhappy body—’
‘Who went to Derby, for example, Mr. Macwheeble?’ said the Colonel to him aside.
‘O whisht, Colonel, for the love o’ God! let that flee stick i’ the wa’. There were mony good folk at Derby; and it’s ill speaking of halters’—with a sly cast of his eye toward the Baron, who was in a deep reverie.
Starting out of it at once, he took Macwheeble by the button and led him into one of the deep window recesses, whence only fragments of their conversation reached the rest of the party. It certainly related to stamp-paper and parchment; for no other subject, even from the mouth of his patron, and he once more an efficient one, could have arrested so deeply the Bailie’s reverent and absorbed attention.
’I understand your honour perfectly; it can be dune as easy as taking out a decreet in absence.’
’To her and him, after my demise, and to their heirs-male, but preferring the second son, if God shall bless them with two, who is to carry the name and arms of Bradwardine of that ilk, without any other name or armorial bearings whatsoever.’
‘Tut, your honour!’ whispered the Bailie, ’I’ll mak a slight jotting the morn; it will cost but a charter of resignation in favorem; and I’ll hae it ready for the next term in Exchequer.’
Their private conversation ended, the Baron was now summoned to do the honours of Tully-Veolan to new guests. These were Major Melville of Cairnvreckan and the Reverend Mr. Morton, followed by two or three others of the Baron’s acquaintances, who had been made privy to his having again acquired the estate of his fathers. The shouts of the villagers were also heard beneath in the court-yard; for Saunders Saunderson, who had kept the secret for several days with laudable prudence, had unloosed his tongue upon beholding the arrival of the carriages.
But, while Edward received Major Melville with politeness and the clergyman with the most affectionate and grateful kindness, his father-in-law looked a little awkward, as uncertain how he should answer the necessary claims of hospitality to his guests, and forward the festivity of his tenants. Lady Emily relieved him by intimating that, though she must be an indifferent representative of Mrs. Edward Waverley in many respects, she hoped the Baron would approve of the entertainment she had ordered in expectation of so many guests; and that they would find such other accommodations provided as might in some degree support the ancient hospitality of Tully-Veolan. It is impossible to describe the pleasure which this assurance gave the Baron, who, with an air of gallantry half appertaining to the stiff Scottish laird and half to the officer in the French service, offered his arm to the fair speaker, and led the way, in something between a stride and a minuet step, into the large dining parlour, followed by all the rest of the good company.
By dint of Saunderson’s directions and exertions, all here, as well as in the other apartments, had been disposed as much as possible according to the old arrangement; and where new movables had been necessary, they had been selected in the same character with the old furniture. There was one addition to this fine old apartment, however, which drew tears into the Baron’s eyes. It was a large and spirited painting, representing Fergus Mac-Ivor and Waverley in their Highland dress, the scene a wild, rocky, and mountainous pass, down which the clan were descending in the background. It was taken from a spirited sketch, drawn while they were in Edinburgh by a young man of high genius, and had been painted on a full-length scale by an eminent London artist. Raeburn himself (whose ‘Highland Chiefs’ do all but walk out of the canvas) could not have done more justice to the subject; and the ardent, fiery, and impetuous character of the unfortunate Chief of Glennaquoich was finely contrasted with the contemplative, fanciful, and enthusiastic expression of his happier friend. Beside this painting hung the arms which Waverley had borne in the unfortunate civil war. The whole piece was beheld with admiration and deeper feelings.
Men must, however, eat, in spite both of sentiment and vertu; and the Baron, while he assumed the lower end of the table, insisted that Lady Emily should do the honours of the head, that they might, he said, set a meet example to the young folk. After a pause of deliberation, employed in adjusting in his own brain the precedence between the Presbyterian kirk and Episcopal church of Scotland, he requested Mr. Morton, as the stranger, would crave a blessing, observing that Mr. Rubrick, who was at home, would return thanks for the distinguished mercies it had been his lot to experience. The dinner was excellent. Saunderson attended in full costume, with all the former domestics, who had been collected, excepting one or two, that had not been heard of since the affair of Culloden. The cellars were stocked with wine which was pronounced to be superb, and it had been contrived that the Bear of the Fountain, in the courtyard, should (for that night only) play excellent brandy punch for the benefit of the lower orders.
When the dinner was over the Baron, about to propose a toast, cast a somewhat sorrowful look upon the sideboard, which, however, exhibited much of his plate, that had either been secreted or purchased by neighbouring gentlemen from the soldiery, and by them gladly restored to the original owner.
“In the late times,” he said, “those must be thankful who have saved life and land; yet when I am about to pronounce this toast, I cannot but regret an old heirloom, Lady Emily, a POCULUM POTATORIUM, Colonel Talbot—”
Here the Baron’s elbow was gently touched by his major-domo, and, turning round, he beheld in the hands of Alexander ab Alexandro the celebrated cup of Saint Duthac, the Blessed Bear of Bradwardine! I question if the recovery of his estate afforded him more rapture. “By my honour,” he said, “one might almost believe in brownies and fairies, Lady Emily, when your ladyship is in presence!”
“I am truly happy,” said Colonel Talbot, “that, by the recovery of this piece of family antiquity, it has fallen within my power to give you some token of my deep interest in all that concerns my young friend Edward. But that you may not suspect Lady Emily for a sorceress, or me for a conjuror, which is no joke in Scotland, I must tell you that Frank Stanley, your friend, who has been seized with a tartan fever ever since he heard Edward’s tales of old Scottish manners, happened to describe to us at second-hand this remarkable cup. My servant, Spontoon, who, like a true old soldier, observes everything and says little, gave me afterwards to understand that he thought he had seen the piece of plate Mr. Stanley mentioned in the possession of a certain Mrs. Nosebag, who, having been originally the helpmate of a pawnbroker, had found opportunity during the late unpleasant scenes in Scotland to trade a little in her old line, and so became the depositary of the more valuable part of the spoil of half the army. You may believe the cup was speedily recovered; and it will give me very great pleasure if you allow me to suppose that its value is not diminished by having been restored through my means.”
A tear mingled with the wine which the Baron filled, as he proposed a cup of gratitude to Colonel Talbot, and ’The Prosperity of the united Houses of Waverley-Honour and Bradwardine!’
It only remains for me to say that, as no wish was ever uttered with more affectionate sincerity, there are few which, allowing for the necessary mutability of human events, have been upon the whole more happily fulfilled.
A POSTSCRIPT WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PREFACE
Our journey is now finished, gentle reader; and if your patience has accompanied me through these sheets, the contract is, on your part, strictly fulfilled. Yet, like the driver who has received his full hire, I still linger near you, and make, with becoming diffidence, a trifling additional claim upon your bounty and good nature. You are as free, however, to shut the volume of the one petitioner as to close your door in the face of the other.
This should have been a prefatory chapter, but for two reasons: First, that most novel readers, as my own conscience reminds me, are apt to be guilty of the sin of omission respecting that same matter of prefaces; Secondly, that it is a general custom with that class of students to begin with the last chapter of a work; so that, after all, these remarks, being introduced last in order, have still the best chance to be read in their proper place.
There is no European nation which, within the course of half a century or little more, has undergone so complete a change as this kingdom of Scotland. The effects of the insurrection of 1745,—the destruction of the patriarchal power of the Highland chiefs,—the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions of the Lowland nobility and barons,—the total eradication of the Jacobite party, which, averse to intermingle with the English, or adopt their customs, long continued to pride themselves upon maintaining ancient Scottish manners and customs,—commenced this innovation. The gradual influx of wealth and extension of commerce have since united to render the present people of Scotland a class of beings as different from their grandfathers as the existing English are from those of Queen Elizabeth’s time.
The political and economical effects of these changes have been traced by Lord Selkirk with great precision and accuracy. But the change, though steadily and rapidly progressive, has nevertheless been gradual; and, like those who drift down the stream of a deep and smooth river, we are not aware of the progress we have made until we fix our eye on the now distant point from which we have been drifted. Such of the present generation as can recollect the last twenty or twenty-five years of the eighteenth century will be fully sensible of the truth of this statement; especially if their acquaintance and connexions lay among those who in my younger time were facetiously called ‘folks of the old leaven,’ who still cherished a lingering, though hopeless, attachment to the house of Stuart.
This race has now almost entirely vanished from the land, and with it, doubtless, much absurd political prejudice; but also many living examples of singular and disinterested attachment to the principles of loyalty which they received from their fathers, and of old Scottish faith, hospitality, worth, and honour.
It was my accidental lot, though not born a Highlander (which may be an apology for much bad Gaelic), to reside during my childhood and youth among persons of the above description; and now, for the purpose of preserving some idea of the ancient manners of which I have witnessed the almost total extinction, I have embodied in imaginary scenes, and ascribed to fictitious characters, a part of the incidents which I then received from those who were actors in them. Indeed, the most romantic parts of this narrative are precisely those which have a foundation in fact.
The exchange of mutual protection between a Highland gentleman and an officer of rank in the king’s service, together with the spirited manner in which the latter asserted his right to return the favour he had received, is literally true. The accident by a musket shot, and the heroic reply imputed to Flora, relate to a lady of rank not long deceased. And scarce a gentleman who was ’in hiding’ after the battle of Culloden but could tell a tale of strange concealments and of wild and hair’sbreadth’scapes as extraordinary as any which I have ascribed to my heroes. Of this, the escape of Charles Edward himself, as the most prominent, is the most striking example. The accounts of the battle of Preston and skirmish at Clifton are taken from the narrative of intelligent eye-witnesses, and corrected from the ’History of the Rebellion’ by the late venerable author of ‘Douglas.’ The Lowland Scottish gentlemen and the subordinate characters are not given as individual portraits, but are drawn from the general habits of the period, of which I have witnessed some remnants in my younger days, and partly gathered from tradition.
It has been my object to describe these persons, not by a caricatured and exaggerated use of the national dialect, but by their habits, manners, and feelings, so as in some distant degree to emulate the admirable Irish portraits drawn by Miss Edgeworth, so different from the ‘Teagues’ and ‘dear joys’ who so long, with the most perfect family resemblance to each other, occupied the drama and the novel.
I feel no confidence, however, in the manner in which I have executed my purpose. Indeed, so little was I satisfied with my production, that I laid it aside in an unfinished state, and only found it again by mere accident among other waste papers in an old cabinet, the drawers of which I was rummaging in order to accommodate a friend with some fishing-tackle, after it had been mislaid for several years.
Two works upon similar subjects, by female authors whose genius is highly creditable to their country, have appeared in the interval; I mean Mrs. Hamilton’s ‘Glenburnie’ and the late account of ‘Highland Superstitions.’ But the first is confined to the rural habits of Scotland, of which it has given a picture with striking and impressive fidelity; and the traditional records of the respectable and ingenious Mrs. Grant of Laggan are of a nature distinct from the fictitious narrative which I have here attempted.
I would willingly persuade myself that the preceding work will not be found altogether uninteresting. To elder persons it will recall scenes and characters familiar to their youth; and to the rising generation the tale may present some idea of the manners of their forefathers.
Yet I heartily wish that the task of tracing the evanescent manners of his own country had employed the pen of the only man in Scotland who could have done it justice—of him so eminently distinguished in elegant literature, and whose sketches of Colonel Caustic and Umphraville are perfectly blended with the finer traits of national character. I should in that case have had more pleasure as a reader than I shall ever feel in the pride of a successful author, should these sheets confer upon me that envied distinction. And, as I have inverted the usual arrangement, placing these remarks at the end of the work to which they refer, I will venture on a second violation of form, by closing the whole with a Dedication—
These volumes being respectfully inscribed to our Scottish Addison, Henry MACKENZIE, by an unknown admirer of his genius.
The clan of Mac-Farlane, occupying the fastnesses of the western side of Loch Lomond, were great depredators on the Low Country, and as their excursions were made usually by night, the moon was proverbially called their lantern. Their celebrated pibroch of Hoggil nam Bo, which is the name of their gathering tune, intimates similar practices, the sense being:—
We are bound to drive
All by hollows, hirsts, and hillocks,
Through the sleet, and through the rain.
When the moon is beaming low
On frozen lake and hills of snow,
Bold and heartily we go;
And all for little gain.
Note 2, p. 22
This noble ruin is dear to my recollection, from associations which have been long and painfully broken. It holds a commanding station on the banks of the river Teith, and has been one of the largest castles in Scotland. Murdoch, Duke of Albany, the founder of this stately pile, was beheaded on the Castle-hill of Stirling, from which he might see the towers of Doune, the monument of his fallen greatness.
In 1745-46, as stated in the text, a garrison on the part of the Chevalier was put into the castle, then less ruinous than at present. It was commanded by Mr. Stewart of Balloch, as governor for Prince Charles; he was a man of property near Callander. This castle became at that time the actual scene of a romantic escape made by John Home, the author of Douglas, and some other prisoners, who, having been taken at the battle of Falkirk, were confined there by the insurgents. The poet, who had in his own mind a large stock of that romantic and enthusiastic spirit of adventure which he has described as animating the youthful hero of his drama, devised and undertook the perilous enterprise of escaping from his prison.
The Highlanders next morning sought for their prisoners with great activity. An old gentleman told the author he remembered seeing the commandant Stewart
Bloody with spurring, fiery red with haste,
riding furiously through the country in quest of the fugitives.
Note 3, p. 28
To go out, or to have been out, in Scotland was a conventional phrase similar to that of the Irish respecting a man having been up, both having reference to an individual who had been engaged in insurrection. It was accounted ill-breeding in Scotland about forty years since to use the phrase rebellion or rebel, which might be interpreted by some of the parties present as a personal insult. It was also esteemed more polite, even for stanch Whigs, to denominate Charles Edward the Chevalier than to speak of him as the Pretender; and this kind of accommodating courtesy was usually observed in society where individuals of each party mixed on friendly terms.
Note 4, p. 38
The Jacobite sentiments were general among the western counties and in Wales. But although the great families of the Wynnes, the Wyndhams, and others had come under an actual obligation to join Prince Charles if he should land, they had done so under the express stipulation that he should be assisted by an auxiliary army of French, without which they foresaw the enterprise would be desperate. Wishing well to his cause, therefore, and watching an opportunity to join him, they did not, nevertheless, think themselves bound in honour to do so, as he was only supported by a body of wild mountaineers, speaking an uncouth dialect, and wearing a singular dress. The race up to Derby struck them with more dread than admiration. But it is difficult to say what the effect might have been had either the battle of Preston or Falkirk been fought and won during the advance into England.
Note 5, p. 43
Divisions early showed themselves in the Chevalier’s little army, not only amongst the independent chieftains, who were far too proud to brook subjection to each other, but betwixt the Scotch and Charles’s governor O’Sullivan, an Irishman by birth, who, with some of his countrymen bred in the Irish Brigade in the service of the King of France, had an influence with the Adventurer much resented by the Highlanders, who were sensible that their own clans made the chief or rather the only strength of his enterprise. There was a feud, also, between Lord George Murray and John Murray of Broughton, the Prince’s secretary, whose disunion greatly embarrassed the affairs of the Adventurer. In general, a thousand different pretensions divided their little army, and finally contributed in no small degree to its overthrow.
Note 6, p. 78
This circumstance, which is historical, as well as the description that precedes it, will remind the reader of the war of La Vendee, in which the royalists, consisting chiefly of insurgent peasantry, attached a prodigious and even superstitious interest to the possession of a piece of brass ordnance, which they called Marie Jeanne.
The Highlanders of an early period were afraid of cannon, with the noise and effect of which they were totally unacquainted. It was by means of three or four small pieces of artillery that the Earls of Huntly and Errol, in James VI’s time, gained a great victory at Glenlivat, over a numerous Highland army, commanded by the Earl of Argyle. At the battle of the Bridge of Dee, General Middleton obtained by his artillery a similar success, the Highlanders not being able to stand the discharge of Musket’s Mother, which was the name they bestowed on great guns. In an old ballad on the battle of the Bridge of Dee these verses occur:—
The Highlandmen are pretty men
For handling sword and shield,
But yet they are but simple men
To stand a stricken field.
The Highlandmen are pretty
For target and claymore,
But yet they are but naked men
To face the cannon’s roar.
For the cannons roar on a summer
Like thunder in the air;
Was never man in Highland garb
Would face the cannon fair
But the Highlanders of 1745 had got far beyond the simplicity of their forefathers, and showed throughout the whole war how little they dreaded artillery, although the common people still attached some consequence to the possession of the field-piece which led to this disquisition.
Note 7, p. 93
The faithful friend who pointed out the pass by which the Highlanders moved from Tranent to Seaton was Robert Anderson, junior, of Whitburgh, a gentleman of property in East Lothian. He had been interrogated by the Lord George Murray concerning the possibility of crossing the uncouth and marshy piece of ground which divided the armies, and which he described as impracticable. When dismissed, he recollected
This passage in the Chevalier’s Memoirs places the Prince within fifty paces of the heat of the battle, a position which would never have been the choice of one unwilling to take a share of its dangers. Indeed, unless the chiefs had complied with the young Adventurer’s proposal to lead the van in person, it does not appear that he could have been deeper in the action.
Note 8, p. 100
The death of this good Christian and gallant man is thus given by his affectionate biographer, Doctor Doddridge, from the evidence of eye-witnesses:—
’He continued all night under arms, wrapped up in his cloak, and generally sheltered under a rick of barley which happened to be in the field. About three in the morning he called his domestic servants to him, of which there were four in waiting. He dismissed three of them with most affectionate Christian advice, and such solemn charges relating to the performance of their duty, and the care of their souls, as seemed plainly to intimate that he apprehended it was at least very probable he was taking his last farewell of them. There is great reason to believe that he spent the little remainder of the time, which could not be much above an hour, in those devout exercises of soul which had been so long habitual to him, and to which so many circumstances did then concur to call him. The army was alarmed by break of day by the noise of the rebels’ approach, and the attack was made before sunrise, yet when it was light enough to discern what passed. As soon as the enemy came within gun-shot they made a furious
’Events of this kind pass in less time than the description of them can be written, or than it can be read. The Colonel was for a few moments supported by his men, and particularly by that worthy person Lieutenant-Colonel Whitney, who was shot through the arm here, and a few months after fell nobly at the battle of Falkirk, and by Lieutenant West, a man of distinguished bravery, as also by about fifteen dragoons, who stood by him to the last. But after a faint fire, the regiment in general was seized with a panic; and though their Colonel and some other gallant officers did what they could to rally them once or twice, they at last took a precipitate flight. And just in the moment when Colonel Gardiner seemed to be making a pause to deliberate what duty required him to do in such circumstances, an accident happened, which must, I think, in the judgment of every worthy and generous man, be allowed a sufficient apology for exposing his life to so great hazard, when his regiment had left him. He saw a party of the foot, who were then bravely fighting near him, and whom he was ordered to support, had no officer to head them; upon which he said eagerly, in the hearing of the person from whom I had this account, “These brave fellows will be cut to pieces for want of a commander,” or words to that effect; which while he was speaking he rode up to them and cried out, “Fire on, my lads, and fear nothing.” But just as the words were out of his mouth, a Highlander advanced towards him with a scythe fastened to a long pole, with which he gave him so dreadful a wound on his right arm, that his sword dropped out of his hand; and at the same time several others coming about him while he was thus dreadfully entangled with that cruel weapon, he was dragged off from his horse. The moment he fell, another Highlander, who, if the king’s evidence at Carlisle may be credited (as I know not why they should not, though the unhappy creature died denying it), was one Mac-Naught, who was executed about a year after, gave him a stroke either with a broadsword or a Lochaber-axe (for my informant could not exactly distinguish) on the hinder part of his head, which was the mortal blow. All that his faithful attendant saw farther at this time was that, as his hat was fallen off, he took it in his left hand and waved it as a signal to him to retreat, and added, what were the last words he ever heard him speak, “Take care of yourself”; upon which the servant retired.’—Some Remarkable Passages in the Life of Colonel James Gardiner. By P. Doddridge, D.D. London, 1747, P.187.
I may remark on this extract, that it confirms the account given in the text of the resistance offered by some of the English infantry. Surprised by a force of a peculiar and unusual description, their opposition could not be long or formidable, especially as they were deserted by the cavalry, and those who undertook to manage the artillery. But, although the affair was soon decided, I have always understood that many of the infantry showed an inclination to do their duty.
Note 9, p. 101
It is scarcely necessary to say that the character of this brutal young Laird is entirely imaginary. A gentleman, however, who resembled Balmawhapple in the article of courage only, fell at Preston in the manner described. A Perthshire gentleman of high honour and respectability, one of the handful of cavalry who followed the fortunes of Charles Edward, pursued the fugitive dragoons almost alone till near Saint Clement’s Wells, where the efforts of some of the officers had prevailed on a few of them to make a momentary stand. Perceiving at this moment that they were pursued by only one man and a couple of servants, they turned upon him and cut him down with their swords. I remember when a child, sitting on his grave, where the grass long grew rank and green, distinguishing it from the rest of the field. A female of the family then residing at Saint Clement’s Wells used to tell me the tragedy, of which she had been an eye-witness, and showed me in evidence one of the silver clasps of the unfortunate gentleman’s waistcoat.
Note 10, p. 118
The name of Andrea de Ferrara is inscribed on all the Scottish broadswords which are accounted of peculiar excellence. Who this artist was, what were his fortunes, and when he flourished, have hitherto defied the research of antiquaries; only it is in general believed that Andrea de Ferrara was a Spanish or Italian artificer, brought over by James IV or V to instruct the Scots in the manufacture of sword blades. Most barbarous nations excel in the fabrication of arms; and the Scots had attained great proficiency in forging swords so early as the field of Pinkie; at which period the historian Patten describes them as ’all notably broad and thin, universally made to slice, and of such exceeding good temper that, as I never saw any so good, so I think it hard to devise better.’—Account of Somerset’s Expedition.
It may be observed that the best and most genuine Andrea Ferraras have a crown marked on the blade.
Note 11, p. 124
The incident here said to have happened to Flora Mac-Ivor actually befell Miss Nairne, a lady with whom the author had the pleasure of being acquainted. As the Highland army rushed into Edinburgh, Miss Nairne, like other ladies who approved of their cause, stood waving her handkerchief from a balcony, when a ball from a Highlander’s musket, which was discharged by accident, grazed her forehead. ‘Thank God,’ said she, the instant she recovered,’that the accident happened to me, whose principles are known. Had it befallen a Whig, they would have said it was done on purpose.’
Note 12, p. 185
The Author of Waverley has been charged with painting the young Adventurer in colours more amiable than his character deserved. But having known many individuals who were near his person, he has been described according to the light in which those eye-witnesses saw his temper and qualifications. Something must be allowed, no doubt, to the natural exaggerations of those who remembered him as the bold and adventurous Prince in whose cause they had braved death and ruin; but is their evidence to give place entirely to that of a single malcontent?
I have already noticed the imputations thrown by the Chevalier Johnstone on the Prince’s courage. But some part at least of that gentleman’s tale is purely romantic. It would not, for instance, be supposed that at the time he is favouring us with the highly wrought account of his amour with the adorable Peggie, the Chevalier Johnstone was a married man, whose grandchild is now alive; or that the whole circumstantial story concerning the outrageous vengeance taken by Gordon of Abbachie on a Presbyterian clergyman is entirely apocryphal. At the same time it may be admitted that the Prince, like others of his family, did not esteem the services done him by his adherents so highly as he ought. Educated in high ideas of his hereditary right, he has been supposed to have held every exertion and sacrifice made in his cause as too much the duty of the person making it to merit extravagant gratitude on his part. Dr. King’s evidence (which his leaving the Jacobite interest renders somewhat doubtful) goes to strengthen this opinion.
The ingenious editor of Johnstone’s Memoirs has quoted a story said to be told by Helvetius, stating that Prince Charles Edward, far from voluntarily embarking on his daring expedition, was, literally bound hand and foot, and to which he seems disposed to yield credit. Now, it being a fact as well known as any in his history, and, so far as I know, entirely undisputed, that the Prince’s personal entreaties and urgency positively forced Boisdale and Lochiel into insurrection, when they were earnestly desirous that he would put off his attempt until he could obtain a sufficient force from France, it will be very difficult to reconcile his alleged reluctance to undertake the expedition with his desperately insisting upon carrying the rising into effect against the advice and entreaty of his most powerful and most sage partizans. Surely a man who had been carried bound on board the vessel which brought him to so desperate an enterprise would have taken the opportunity afforded by the reluctance of his partizans to return to France in safety.
It is averred in Johnstone’s Memoirs that Charles Edward left the field of Culloden without doing the utmost to dispute the victory; and, to give the evidence on both sides, there is in existence the more trustworthy testimony of Lord Elcho, who states that he himself earnestly exhorted the Prince to charge at the head of the left wing, which was entire, and retrieve the day or die with honour. And on his counsel being declined, Lord Elcho took leave of him with a bitter execration, swearing he would never look on his face again, and kept his word.
On the other hand, it seems to have been the opinion of almost all the other officers that the day was irretrievably lost, one wing of the Highlanders being entirely routed, the rest of the army outnumbered, outflanked, and in a condition totally hopeless. In this situation of things the Irish officers who surrounded Charles’s person interfered to force him off the field. A cornet who was close to the Prince left a strong attestation that he had seen Sir Thomas Sheridan seize the bridle of his horse and turn him round. There is some discrepancy of evidence; but the opinion of Lord Elcho, a man of fiery temper and desperate at the ruin which he beheld impending, cannot fairly be taken in prejudice of a character for courage which is intimated by the nature of the enterprise itself, by the Prince’s eagerness to fight on all occasions, by his determination to advance from Derby to London, and by the presence of mind which he manifested during the romantic perils of his escape. The author is far from claiming for this unfortunate person the praise due to splendid talents; but he continues to be of opinion that at the period of his enterprise he had a mind capable of facing danger and aspiring to fame.
That Charles Edward had the advantages of a graceful presence, courtesy, and an address and manner becoming his station, the author never heard disputed by any who approached his person, nor does he conceive that these qualities are overcharged in the present attempt to sketch his portrait.
The following extracts corroborative of the general opinion respecting the Prince’s amiable disposition are taken from a manuscript account of his romantic expedition, by James Maxwell of Kirkconnell, of which I possess a copy, by the friendship of J. Menzies, Esq., of Pitfoddells. The author, though partial to the Prince, whom he faithfully followed, seems to have been a fair and candid man, and well acquainted with the intrigues among the adventurer’s council:—
’Everybody was mightily taken with the Prince’s figure and personal behaviour. There was but one voice about them. Those whom interest or prejudice made a runaway to his cause could not help acknowledging that they wished him well in all other respects, and could hardly blame him for his present undertaking. Sundry things had concurred to raise his character to the highest pitch, besides the greatness of the enterprise and the conduct that had hitherto appeared in the execution of it.
’There were several instances of good nature and humanity that had made a great impression on people’s minds. I shall confine myself to two or three.
’Immediately after the battle, as the Prince was riding along the ground that Cope’s army had occupied a few minutes before, one of the officers came up to congratulate him, and said, pointing to the killed, “Sir, there are your enemies at your feet.” The Prince, far from exulting, expressed a great deal of compassion for his father’s deluded subjects, whom he declared he was heartily sorry to see in that posture.
’Next day, while the Prince was at Pinkie House, a citizen of Edinburgh came to make some representation to Secretary Murray about the tents that city was ordered to furnish against a certain day. Murray happened to be out of the way, which the Prince hearing of called to have the gentleman brought to him, saying, he would rather despatch the business, whatever it was, himself than have the gentleman wait, which he did, by granting everything that was asked. So much affability in a young prince flushed with victory drew encomiums even from his enemies.
’But what gave the people the highest idea of him was the negative he gave to a thing that very nearly concerned his interest, and upon which the success of his enterprise perhaps depended. It was proposed to send one of the prisoners to London to demand of that court a cartel for the exchange of prisoners taken, and to be taken, during this war, and to intimate that a refusal would be looked upon as a resolution on their part to give no quarter. It was visible a cartel would be of great advantage to the Prince’s affairs; his friends would be more ready to declare for him if they had nothing to fear but the chance of war in the field; and if the court of London refused to settle a cartel, the Prince was authorised to treat his prisoners in the same manner the Elector of Hanover was determined to treat such of the Prince’s friends as might fall into his hands; it was urged that a few examples would compel the court of London to comply. It was to be presumed that the officers of the English army would make a point of it. They had never engaged in the service but upon such terms as are in use among all civilised nations, and it could be no stain upon their honour to lay down their commissions if these terms were not observed, and that owing to the obstinacy of their own Prince. Though this scheme was plausible, and represented as very important, the Prince could never be brought into it, it was below him, he said, to make empty threats, and he would never put such as those into execution; he would never in cold blood take away lives which he had saved in heat of action at the peril of his own. These were not the only proofs of good nature the Prince gave about this time. Every day produced something new of this kind. These things softened the rigour of a military government which was only imputed to the necessity of his affairs, and which he endeavoured to make as gentle and easy as possible.’
It has been said that the Prince sometimes exacted more state and ceremonial than seemed to suit his condition; but, on the other hand, some strictness of etiquette was altogether indispensable where he must otherwise have been exposed to general intrusion. He could also endure, with a good grace, the retorts which his affectation of ceremony sometimes exposed him to. It is said, for example, that Grant of Glenmoriston having made a hasty march to join Charles, at the head of his clan, rushed into the Prince’s
On the whole, if Prince Charles had concluded his life soon after his miraculous escape, his character in history must have stood very high. As it was, his station is amongst those a certain brilliant portion of whose life forms a remarkable contrast to all which precedes and all which follows it.
Note 13, p. 195
The following account of the skirmish at Clifton is extracted from the manuscript Memoirs of Evan Macpherson of Cluny, Chief of the clan Macpherson, who had the merit of supporting the principal brunt of that spirited affair. The Memoirs appear to have been composed about 1755, only ten years after the action had taken place. They were written in France, where that gallant chief resided in exile, which accounts for some Gallicisms which occur in the narrative.
’In the Prince’s return from Derby back towards Scotland, my Lord George Murray, Lieutenant-General, cheerfully charg’d himself with the command of the rear, a post which, altho’ honourable, was attended with great danger, many difficulties, and no small fatigue; for the Prince, being apprehensive that his retreat to Scotland might be cut off by Marischall Wade, who lay to the northward of him with an armie much supperior to what H.R.H. had, while the Duke of Comberland with his whole cavalrie followed hard in the rear, was obliged to hasten his marches. It was not, therefore, possible for the artilirie to march so fast as the Prince’s army, in the depth of winter, extremely bad weather, and the worst roads in England; so Lord George Murray was obliged often to continue his marches long after it was dark almost every night, while at the same time he had frequent allarms and disturbances from the Duke of Comberland’s advanc’d parties.
’Towards the evening of the twentie-eight December 1745 the Prince entered the town of Penrith, in the Province of Comberland. But as Lord George Murray could not bring up the artilirie so fast as he wou’d have wish’d, he was oblig’d to pass the night six miles short of that town, together with the regiment of MacDonel of Glengarrie, which that day happened to have the arrear guard. The Prince, in order to refresh his armie, and to give My Lord George and the artilirie time to come up, resolved to sejour the 29th at Penrith; so ordered his little army to appear in the morning under arms, in order to be reviewed, and to know in what manner the numbers stood from his haveing entered England. It did not at that time amount to 5000 foot in all, with about 400 cavalrie, compos’d of the noblesse who serv’d as volunteers, part of whom form’d
’While this small army was out in a body on the 2Qth December, upon a riseing ground to the northward of Penrith, passing review, Mons. de Cluny, with his tribe, was ordered to the Bridge of Clifton, about a mile to southward of Penrith, after having pass’d in review before Mons. Pattullo, who was charged with the inspection of the troops, and was likeways Quarter-Master-General of the army, and is now in France. They remained under arms at the bridge, waiting the arrival of My Lord George Murray with the artilirie, whom Mons. de Cluny had orders to cover in passing the bridge. They arrived about sunsett closly pursued by the Duke of Comberland with the whole body of his cavalrie, reckoned upwards of 3000 strong, about a thousand of whom, as near as might be computed, dismounted, in order to cut off the passage of the artilirie towards the bridge, while the Duke and the others remained on horseback in order to attack the rear.
’My Lord George Murray advanced, and although he found Mons. de Cluny and his tribe in good spirits under arms, yet the circumstance appear’d extremely delicate. The numbers were vastly unequall, and the attack seem’d very dangerous; so My Lord George declin’d giving orders to such time as he ask’d Mons. de Cluny’s oppinion. “I will attack them with all my heart,” says Mons. de Cluny, “if you order me.” “I do order it then,” answered My Lord George, and immediately went on himself along with Mons. de Cluny, and fought sword in hand on foot at the head of the single tribe of Macphersons. They in a moment made their way through a strong hedge of thorns, under the cover whereof the cavalrie had taken their station, in the strugle of passing which hedge My Lord George Murray, being dressed en montagnard, as all the army were, lost his bonet and wig; so continued to fight bare-headed during the action. They at first made a brisk discharge of their firearms on the enemy, then attacked them with their sabres, and made a great slaughter a considerable time, which obliged Comberland and his cavalrie to fly with precipitation and in great confusion; in so much that, if the Prince had been provided in a sufficient number of cavalrie to have taken advantage of the disorder, it is beyond question that the Duke of Comberland and the bulk of his cavalrie had been taken prisoners.
’By this time it was so dark that it was not possible to view or number the slain who filled all the ditches which happened to be on the ground where they stood. But it was computed that, besides those who went off wounded, upwards of a hundred at least were left on the spot, among whom was Colonel Honywood, who commanded the dismounted cavalrie, whose sabre of considerable value Mons. de Cluny brought off and still preserves; and his tribe lykeways brought off many arms;—the Colonel was afterwards taken up, and, his wounds being dress’d, with great difficultie recovered. Mons. de Cluny lost only in the action twelve men, of whom some haveing been only wounded, fell afterwards into the hands of the enemy, and were sent as slaves to America, whence several of them returned, and one of them is now in France, a sergeant in the Regiment of Royal Scots. How soon the accounts of the enemies approach had reached the Prince, H.R.H. had immediately ordered Mi-Lord le Comte de Nairne, Brigadier, who, being proscribed, is now in France, with the three batalions of the Duke of Athol, the batalion of the Duke of Perth, and some other troups under his command, in order to support Cluny, and to bring off the artilirie. But the action was entirely over before the Comte de Nairne, with his command, cou’d reach nigh to the place. They therefore return’d all to Penrith, and the artilirie marched up in good order.
’Nor did the Duke of Comberland ever afterwards dare to come within a day’s march of the Prince and his army dureing the course of all that retreat, which was conducted with great prudence and safety when in some manner surrounded by enemies.’
Note 14, p. 215
As the heathen deities contracted an indelible obligation if they swore by Styx, the Scottish Highlanders had usually some peculiar solemnity attached to an oath which they intended should be binding on them. Very frequently it consisted in laying their hand, as they swore, on their own drawn dirk; which dagger, becoming a party to the transaction, was invoked to punish any breach of faith. But by whatever ritual the oath was sanctioned, the party was extremely desirous to keep secret what the especial oath was which he considered as irrevocable. This was a matter of great convenience, as he felt no scruple in breaking his asseveration when made in any other form than that which he accounted as peculiarly solemn; and therefore readily granted any engagement which bound him no longer than he inclined. Whereas, if the oath which he accounted inviolable was once publicly known, no party with whom he might have occasion to contract would have rested satisfied with any other.
Louis XI of France practised the same sophistry, for he also had a peculiar species of oath, the only one which he was ever known to respect, and which, therefore, he was very unwilling to pledge. The only engagement which that wily tyrant accounted binding upon him was an oath by the Holy Cross of Saint Lo d’Angers, which contained a portion of the True Cross. If he prevaricated after taking this oath Louis believed he should die within the year. The Constable Saint Paul, being invited to a personal conference with Louis, refused to meet the king unless he would agree to ensure him safe conduct under sanction of this oath. But, says Comines, the king replied, he would never again pledge that engagement to mortal man, though he was willing to take any other oath which could be devised. The treaty broke oft, therefore, after much chaffering concerning the nature of the vow which Louis was to take. Such is the difference between the dictates of superstition and those of conscience.
ABOON, abune, above.
Ambry, a cupboard, a pantry.
Array, annoy, trouble.
ASSOILZIED, absolved, acquitted.
Baff, a blow.
BAGGANET, a bayonet.
Bailie, a city magistrate in Scotland.
Bairn, a child.
Bang-up, get up quickly, bounce.
Barley, a parley, a truce.
Bawbee, a halfpenny.
Bawty, sly, cunning.
Bees, in the, bewildered, stupefied.
BEFLUMM’D, flattered, cajoled.
BEGUNK, a trick, a cheat.
Ben, within, inside.
Bicker, a wooden dish.
Bide, stay, endure.
BIELDY, affording shelter.
BIRLIEMAN, a peace officer.
Black-cock, the black grouse.
Black-fishing, ashing by torchlight, poaching.
BLUDE, bluid, blood.
BODDLE, bodle, a copper coin, worth one third of an English penny.
Bogle about the bush, beat about the bush, a children’s game.
Bonnie, beautiful, comely, fine,
Bra’, fine, handsome, showy.
Brent, smooth, unwrinkled.
BROGUES, Highland shoes.
BROO, brew, broth.
BRUCKLE, brittle, infirm.
BRULZIE, bruilzie, a broil, a fray.
BUCKIE, a perverse or refractory person.
Buttock-mail, a fine for fornication.
Cadger, a country carrier.
CAILLIACHS, old women on whom devolved the duty of lamenting for the dead, which the Irish call keening.
Callant, a stripling, a fine fellow.
Canny, cautious, lucky.
Carle, a churl, an old man.
Cateran, a freebooter.
CHIEL, a young man.
Clachan, a village, a hamlet.
CLAMYHEWIT, a blow, a drubbing.
Clash, chatter, gossip.
Clatter, tattle, noisy talk.
Close, a narrow passage.
CLOUR, a bump, a bruise.
Cocky-LEEKY, a soup made of a cock, seasoned with leeks.
COGHLING and droghling, wheezing and blowing.
Coronach, a dirge.
Corrie, a mountain hollow.
Cow yer cracks, cut short your talk, hold your tongues.
Craig, the neck, the throat.
Crames, merchants’ shops, booths.
Daft, foolish, mad, crazy.
Decreet, an order of decree.
Deliver, light, agile.
Dern, hidden, concealed, secret.
Ding, knock, beat, surpass.
Dingle, dinnle, tingle, vibrate with sound.
Doer, an agent, a manager.
Dog-head, the hammer of a gun.
DOILED, crazed, silly.
Doited, having the faculties impaired.
DORLACH, a bundle.
Dow, a dove.
DOWF, dowff, dull, spiritless.
DRAPPIE, a little drop, a small quantity of drink.
EFFEIR, what is becoming.
Etter-cap, a spider, an ill-natured person.
Evite, avoid, escape.
EWEST, ewast, contiguous.
Fallow, a fellow.
Feck, a quantity.
FLEYT, frightened, shy.
Gad, a goad, a rod.
Gane, gone; gang, go.
GHAIST, a ghost.
GITE, crazy, a noodle,
GLED, a kite.
GLEG, quick, clever.
GLISK, a glimpse.
Greybeard, a stone bottle or jug.
Grice, gryce, gris, a pig.
GRIPPLE, griping, niggardly.
Gude, guid, good.
GULPIN, a simpleton.
Hag, a portion of copse marked off for cutting.
Haggis, a pudding peculiar to Scotland, containing oatmeal, suet, minced sheep’s liver, heart, etc., seasoned with onions, pepper, and salt, the whole mixture boiled in a sheep’s stomach.
Heck, a hay rack; at heck and manger, in plenty.
Hog, a young sheep before its first shearing.
Horse-couper, horse-cowper, a horse-dealer.
Hurdles, the buttocks.
Hurley-house, a large house fallen into disrepair.
Ilk, same; of that ilk, of the same name or place,
Ingle, a fire burning upon the hearth.
In the bees, stupefied.
Kemple, a Scotch measure of straw or hay.
KIPPAGE, disorder, confusion.
Kittle, tickle, ticklish.
Laird, lord of the manor.
LANDLOUPER, a wanderer, a vagabond.
Leddy, a lady.
Lightly, make light of, disparage.
Limmer, a hussy, a jade.
Loon, a worthless fellow, a lout.
Loup, leap, start.
Lug, an ear.
LUNZIE, the loins, the waist.
Mains, the chief farm of an estate.
MAIST, most, almost. Mart, beef salted down for winter.
Mask, mash, infuse.
Merk, an old silver coin worth 13 1/3 pence, English.
Mickle, large, much.
Muckle, great, much.
Mutchkin, a measure equal to about three quarters of an imperial pint.
Na, nae, no, not.
Nail, the sixteenth part of a yard.
Neb, nose, tip.
NE’ER be in me, devil be in me.
Old to do, great doings.
PAITRICK, a partridge.
PARRITCH, oatmeal porridge.
PAUNIE, a peacock.
Peculium, private property.
PINNERS, a headdress for women.
Plack, a copper coin worth one third of a penny.
PLAIDY, an outer covering for the body.
Ploy, an entertainment, a pastime.
Pottinger, an apothecary.
POWNIE, a pony.
POWTERING, poking, stirring.
Pretty man, a stout, warlike fellow.
Quean, a young woman.
Redd, part, separate.
REISES, twigs, branches.
Resiling, retracting, withdrawing.
Riggs, ridges, ploughed ground.
RINTHEROUT, a roving person, a vagabond.
ROWT, cried out, bellowed,
ROYNISH, scurvy, coarse.
St. Johnstone’s tippet, a rope or halter for hanging.
SAIR, sore, very.
Sark, a shirt.
SAUMON, a salmon.
SCARTED, scratched, scribbled over.
SCHELLUM, a rascal.
Scroll, engross, copy.
SHOUTHER, the shoulder.
SICCAN, sic, such.
SKIG, the least quantity of anything.
Sorted, put in proper order, adjusted.
Sowens, the seeds of oatmeal soured.
Speer, ask, investigate.
Spence, the place where provisions are kept.
SPRECHERY, movables of an unimportant sort.
SPUNG, pick one’s pocket.
Stoor, rough, harsh.
STREEKS, stretches, lies.
Syne, before, now, ago.
TAIGLIT, harassed, encumbered, loitered.
Thole, bear, suffer.
Thraw, twist, wrench.
THREEPIT, maintained obstinately.
Throstle, the thrush.
TIRRIVIES, hasty fits of passion,
TOCHERLESS, without dowry.
TOUN, a town, a hamlet, a farm.
Toy, an old-fashioned cap for women.
TUILZIE, a quarrel
TUME, toom, empty.
Turnspit doggie, a kind of dog, long-bodied and short-legged, formerly used in turning a treadmill.
Tyke, a dog, a rough fellow.
UMQUHILE, formerly, late.
Unco, strange, very,
VENY, venue, a bout.
Wadset, a deed conveying property to a creditor
Wain, a wagon; to remove.
WALISE, a portmanteau, saddlebags.
Weel-fard, weel-faur’d, having a good appearance.
WEISING, inclining, directing.
What for, why.
Wheen, a few.
While syne, a while ago.
Whin, a few.
Winna, will not.