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.