Part 5 out of 12
In Flora's bosom, on the contrary, the zeal of loyalty burnt pure and
unmixed with any selfish feeling; she would have as soon made religion
the mask of ambitious and interested views as have shrouded them under
the opinions which she had been taught to think patriotism. Such
instances of devotion were not uncommon among the followers of the
unhappy race of Stuart, of which many memorable proofs will recur to the
minds of most of my readers. But peculiar attention on the part of the
Chevalier de St. George and his princess to the parents of Fergus and his
sister, and to themselves when orphans, had riveted their faith. Fergus,
upon the death of his parents, had been for some time a page of honour in
the train of the Chevalier's lady, and, from his beauty and sprightly
temper, was uniformly treated by her with the utmost distinction. This
was also extended to Flora, who was maintained for some time at a convent
of the first order at the princess's expense, and removed from thence
into her own family, where she spent nearly two years. Both brother and
sister retained the deepest and most grateful sense of her kindness.
Having thus touched upon the leading principle of Flora's character, I
may dismiss the rest more slightly. She was highly accomplished, and had
acquired those elegant manners to be expected from one who, in early
youth, had been the companion of a princess; yet she had not learned to
substitute the gloss of politeness for the reality of feeling. When
settled in the lonely regions of Glennaquoich, she found that her
resources in French, English, and Italian literature were likely to be
few and interrupted; and, in order to fill up the vacant time, she
bestowed a part of it upon the music and poetical traditions of the
Highlanders, and began really to feel the pleasure in the pursuit which
her brother, whose perceptions of literary merit were more blunt, rather
affected for the sake of popularity than actually experienced. Her
resolution was strengthened in these researches by the extreme delight
which her inquiries seemed to afford those to whom she resorted for
Her love of her clan, an attachment which was almost hereditary in her
bosom, was, like her loyalty, a more pure passion than that of her
brother. He was too thorough a politician, regarded his patriarchal
influence too much as the means of accomplishing his own aggrandisement,
that we should term him the model of a Highland Chieftain. Flora felt the
same anxiety for cherishing and extending their patriarchal sway, but it
was with the generous desire of vindicating from poverty, or at least
from want and foreign oppression, those whom her brother was by birth,
according to the notions of the time and country, entitled to govern. The
savings of her income, for she had a small pension from the Princess
Sobieski, were dedicated, not to add to the comforts of the peasantry,
for that was a word which they neither knew nor apparently wished to
know, but to relieve their absolute necessities when in sickness or
extreme old age. At every other period they rather toiled to procure
something which they might share with the Chief, as a proof of their
attachment, than expected other assistance from him save what was
afforded by the rude hospitality of his castle, and the general division
and subdivision of his estate among them. Flora was so much beloved by
them that, when Mac-Murrough composed a song in which he enumerated all
the principal beauties of the district, and intimated her superiority by
concluding, that 'the fairest apple hung on the highest bough,' he
received, in donatives from the individuals of the clan, more seed-barley
than would have sowed his Highland Parnassus, the bard's croft, as it was
called, ten times over.
From situation as well as choice, Miss Mac-Ivor's society was extremely
limited. Her most intimate friend had been Rose Bradwardine, to whom she
was much attached; and when seen together, they would have afforded an
artist two admirable subjects for the gay and the melancholy muse. Indeed
Rose was so tenderly watched by her father, and her circle of wishes was
so limited, that none arose but what he was willing to gratify, and
scarce any which did not come within the compass of his power. With Flora
it was otherwise. While almost a girl she had undergone the most complete
change of scene, from gaiety and splendour to absolute solitude and
comparative poverty; and the ideas and wishes which she chiefly fostered
respected great national events, and changes not to be brought round
without both hazard and bloodshed, and therefore not to be thought of
with levity. Her manner, consequently, was grave, though she readily
contributed her talents to the amusement of society, and stood very high
in the opinion of the old Baron, who used to sing along with her such
French duets of Lindor and Cloris, etc., as were in fashion about the end
of the reign of old Louis le Grand.
It was generally believed, though no one durst have hinted it to the
Baron of Bradwardine, that Flora's entreaties had no small share in
allaying the wrath of Fergus upon occasion of their quarrel. She took her
brother on the assailable side, by dwelling first upon the Baron's age,
and then representing the injury which the cause might sustain, and the
damage which must arise to his own character in point of prudence--so
necessary to a political agent, if he persisted in carrying it to
extremity. Otherwise it is probable it would have terminated in a duel,
both because the Baron had, on a former occasion, shed blood of the clan,
though the matter had been timely accommodated, and on account of his
high reputation for address at his weapon, which Fergus almost
condescended to envy. For the same reason she had urged their
reconciliation, which the Chieftain the more readily agreed to as it
favoured some ulterior projects of his own.
To this young lady, now presiding at the female empire of the tea-table,
Fergus introduced Captain Waverley, whom she received with the usual
forms of politeness.
When the first salutations had passed, Fergus said to his sister, 'My
dear Flora, before I return to the barbarous ritual of our forefathers, I
must tell you that Captain Waverley is a worshipper of the Celtic muse,
not the less so perhaps that he does not understand a word of her
language. I have told him you are eminent as a translator of Highland
poetry, and that Mac-Murrough admires your version of his songs upon the
same principle that Captain Waverley admires the original,--because he
does not comprehend them. Will you have the goodness to read or recite to
our guest in English the extraordinary string of names which Mac-Murrough
has tacked together in Gaelic? My life to a moor-fowl's feather, you are
provided with a version; for I know you are in all the bard's councils,
and acquainted with his songs long before he rehearses them in the hall.'
'How can you say so, Fergus? You know how little these verses can
possibly interest an English stranger, even if I could translate them as
'Not less than they interest me, lady fair. To-day your joint
composition, for I insist you had a share in it, has cost me the last
silver cup in the castle, and I suppose will cost me something else next
time I hold cour pleniere, if the muse descends on Mac-Murrough; for you
know our proverb,--"When the hand of the chief ceases to bestow, the
breath of the bard is frozen in the utterance."--Well, I would it were
even so: there are three things that are useless to a modern
Highlander,--a sword which he must not draw, a bard to sing of deeds
which he dare not imitate, and a large goat-skin purse without a
louis-d'or to put into it.'
'Well, brother, since you betray my secrets, you cannot expect me to keep
yours. I assure you, Captain Waverley, that Fergus is too proud to
exchange his broardsword for a marechal's baton, that he esteems
Mac-Murrough a far greater poet than Homer, and would not give up his
goat-skin purse for all the louis-d'or which it could contain.'
'Well pronounced, Flora; blow for blow, as Conan [Footnote: See Note 23.]
said to the devil. Now do you two talk of bards and poetry, if not of
purses and claymores, while I return to do the final honours to the
senators of the tribe of Ivor.' So saying, he left the room.
The conversation continued between Flora and Waverley; for two
well-dressed young women, whose character seemed to hover between that of
companions and dependants, took no share in it. They were both pretty
girls, but served only as foils to the grace and beauty of their
patroness. The discourse followed the turn which the Chieftain had given
it, and Waverley was equally amused and surprised with the account which
the lady gave him of Celtic poetry.
'The recitation,' she said, 'of poems recording the feats of heroes, the
complaints of lovers, and the wars of contending tribes, forms the chief
amusement of a winter fire-side in the Highlands. Some of these are said
to be very ancient, and if they are ever translated into any of the
languages of civilised Europe, cannot fail to produce a deep and general
sensation. Others are more modern, the composition of those family bards
whom the chieftains of more distinguished name and power retain as the
poets and historians of their tribes. These, of course, possess various
degrees of merit; but much of it must evaporate in translation, or be
lost on those who do not sympathise with the feelings of the poet.'
'And your bard, whose effusions seemed to produce such effect upon the
company to-day, is he reckoned among the favourite poets of the
'That is a trying question. His reputation is high among his countrymen,
and you must not expect me to depreciate it. [Footnote: The Highland poet
almost always was an improvisatore. Captain Burt met one of them at
'But the song, Miss Mac-Ivor, seemed to awaken all those warriors, both
young and old.'
'The song is little more than a catalogue of names of the Highland clans
under their distinctive peculiarities, and an exhortation to them to
remember and to emulate the actions of their forefathers.'
'And am I wrong in conjecturing, however extraordinary the guess appears,
that there was some allusion to me in the verses which he recited?'
'You have a quick observation, Captain Waverley, which in this instance
has not deceived you. The Gaelic language, being uncommonly vocalic, is
well adapted for sudden and extemporaneous poetry; and a bard seldom
fails to augment the effects of a premeditated song by throwing in any
stanzas which may be suggested by the circumstances attending the
'I would give my best horse to know what the Highland bard could find to
say of such an unworthy Southron as myself.'
'It shall not even cost you a lock of his mane. Una, mavourneen! (She
spoke a few words to one of the young girls in attendance, who instantly
curtsied and tripped out of the room.) I have sent Una to learn from the
bard the expressions he used, and you shall command my skill as
Una returned in a few minutes, and repeated to her mistress a few lines
in Gaelic. Flora seemed to think for a moment, and then, slightly
colouring, she turned to Waverley--'It is impossible to gratify your
curiosity, Captain Waverley, without exposing my own presumption. If you
will give me a few moments for consideration, I will endeavour to engraft
the meaning of these lines upon a rude English translation which I have
attempted of a part of the original. The duties of the tea-table seem to
be concluded, and, as the evening is delightful, Una will show you the
way to one of my favourite haunts, and Cathleen and I will join you
Una, having received instructions in her native language, conducted
Waverley out by a passage different from that through which he had
entered the apartment. At a distance he heard the hall of the Chief still
resounding with the clang of bagpipes and the high applause of his
guests. Having gained the open air by a postern door, they walked a
little way up the wild, bleak, and narrow valley in which the house was
situated, following the course of the stream that winded through it. In a
spot, about a quarter of a mile from the castle, two brooks, which formed
the little river, had their junction. The larger of the two came down the
long bare valley, which extended, apparently without any change or
elevation of character, as far as the hills which formed its boundary
permitted the eye to reach. But the other stream, which had its source
among the mountains on the left hand of the strath, seemed to issue from
a very narrow and dark opening betwixt two large rocks. These streams
were different also in character. The larger was placid, and even sullen
in its course, wheeling in deep eddies, or sleeping in dark blue pools;
but the motions of the lesser brook were rapid and furious, issuing from
between precipices, like a maniac from his confinement, all foam and
It was up the course of this last stream that Waverley, like a knight of
romance, was conducted by the fair Highland damsel, his silent guide. A
small path, which had been rendered easy in many places for Flora's
accommodation, led him through scenery of a very different description
from that which he had just quitted. Around the castle all was cold,
bare, and desolate, yet tame even in desolation; but this narrow glen, at
so short a distance, seemed to open into the land of romance. The rocks
assumed a thousand peculiar and varied forms. In one place a crag of huge
size presented its gigantic bulk, as if to forbid the passenger's farther
progress; and it was not until he approached its very base that Waverley
discerned the sudden and acute turn by which the pathway wheeled its
course around this formidable obstacle. In another spot the projecting
rocks from the opposite sides of the chasm had approached so near to each
other that two pine-trees laid across, and covered with turf, formed a
rustic bridge at the height of at least one hundred and fifty feet. It
had no ledges, and was barely three feet in breadth.
While gazing at this pass of peril, which crossed, like a single black
line, the small portion of blue sky not intercepted by the projecting
rocks on either side, it was with a sensation of horror that Waverley
beheld Flora and her attendant appear, like inhabitants of another
region, propped, as it were, in mid air, upon this trembling structure.
She stopped upon observing him below, and, with an air of graceful ease
which made him shudder, waved her handkerchief to him by way of signal.
He was unable, from the sense of dizziness which her situation conveyed,
to return the salute; and was never more relieved than when the fair
apparition passed on from the precarious eminence which she seemed to
occupy with so much indifference, and disappeared on the other side.
Advancing a few yards, and passing under the bridge which he had viewed
with so much terror, the path ascended rapidly from the edge of the
brook, and the glen widened into a sylvan amphitheatre, waving with
birch, young oaks, and hazels, with here and there a scattered yew-tree.
The rocks now receded, but still showed their grey and shaggy crests
rising among the copse-wood. Still higher rose eminences and peaks, some
bare, some clothed with wood, some round and purple with heath, and
others splintered into rocks and crags. At a short turning the path,
which had for some furlongs lost sight of the brook, suddenly placed
Waverley in front of a romantic waterfall. It was not so remarkable
either for great height or quantity of water as for the beautiful
accompaniments which made the spot interesting. After a broken cataract
of about twenty feet, the stream was received in a large natural basin
filled to the brim with water, which, where the bubbles of the fall
subsided, was so exquisitely clear that, although it was of great depth,
the eye could discern each pebble at the bottom. Eddying round this
reservoir, the brook found its way as if over a broken part of the ledge,
and formed a second fall, which seemed to seek the very abyss; then,
wheeling out beneath from among the smooth dark rocks which it had
polished for ages, it wandered murmuring down the glen, forming the
stream up which Waverley had just ascended. [Footnote: See Note 24.] The
borders of this romantic reservoir corresponded in beauty; but it was
beauty of a stern and commanding cast, as if in the act of expanding into
grandeur. Mossy banks of turf were broken and interrupted by huge
fragments of rock, and decorated with trees and shrubs, some of which had
been planted under the direction of Flora, but so cautiously that they
added to the grace without diminishing the romantic wildness of the
Here, like one of those lovely forms which decorate the landscapes of
Poussin, Waverley found Flora gazing on the waterfall. Two paces further
back stood Cathleen, holding a small Scottish harp, the use of which had
been taught to Flora by Rory Dall, one of the last harpers of the Western
Highlands. The sun, now stooping in the west, gave a rich and varied
tinge to all the objects which surrounded Waverley, and seemed to add
more than human brilliancy to the full expressive darkness of Flora's
eye, exalted the richness and purity of her complexion, and enhanced the
dignity and grace of her beautiful form. Edward thought he had never,
even in his wildest dreams, imagined a figure of such exquisite and
interesting loveliness. The wild beauty of the retreat, bursting upon him
as if by magic, augmented the mingled feeling of delight and awe with
which he approached her, like a fair enchantress of Boiardo or Ariosto,
by whose nod the scenery around seemed to have been created an Eden in
Flora, like every beautiful woman, was conscious of her own power, and
pleased with its effects, which she could easily discern from the
respectful yet confused address of the young soldier. But, as she
possessed excellent sense, she gave the romance of the scene and other
accidental circumstances full weight in appreciating the feelings with
which Waverley seemed obviously to be impressed; and, unacquainted with
the fanciful and susceptible peculiarities of his character, considered
his homage as the passing tribute which a woman of even inferior charms
might have expected in such a situation. She therefore quietly led the
way to a spot at such a distance from the cascade that its sound should
rather accompany than interrupt that of her voice and instrument, and,
sitting down upon a mossy fragment of rock, she took the harp from
'I have given you the trouble of walking to this spot, Captain Waverley,
both because I thought the scenery would interest you, and because a
Highland song would suffer still more from my imperfect translation were
I to introduce it without its own wild and appropriate accompaniments. To
speak in the poetical language of my country, the seat of the Celtic Muse
is in the mist of the secret and solitary hill, and her voice in the
murmur of the mountain stream. He who woos her must love the barren rock
more than the fertile valley, and the solitude of the desert better than
the festivity of the hall.'
Few could have heard this lovely woman make this declaration, with a
voice where harmony was exalted by pathos, without exclaiming that the
muse whom she invoked could never find a more appropriate representative.
But Waverley, though the thought rushed on his mind, found no courage to
utter it. Indeed, the wild feeling of romantic delight with which he
heard the few first notes she drew from her instrument amounted almost to
a sense of pain. He would not for worlds have quitted his place by her
side; yet he almost longed for solitude, that he might decipher and
examine at leisure the complication of emotions which now agitated his
Flora had exchanged the measured and monotonous recitative of the bard
for a lofty and uncommon Highland air, which had been a battle-song in
former ages. A few irregular strains introduced a prelude of a wild and
peculiar tone, which harmonised well with the distant waterfall, and the
soft sigh of the evening breeze in the rustling leaves of an aspen, which
overhung the seat of the fair harpress. The following verses convey but
little idea of the feelings with which, so sung and accompanied, they
were heard by Waverley:--
There is mist on the mountain, and night on the vale,
But more dark is the sleep of the sons of the Gael.
A stranger commanded--it sunk on the land,
It has frozen each heart, and benumb'd every hand!
The dirk and the target lie sordid with dust,
The bloodless claymore is but redden'd with rust;
On the hill or the glen if a gun should appear,
It is only to war with the heath-cock or deer.
The deeds of our sires if our bards should rehearse,
Let a blush or a blow be the meed of their verse!
Be mute every string, and be hush'd every tone,
That shall bid us remember the fame that is flown.
But the dark hours of night and of slumber are past,
The morn on our mountains is dawning at last;
Glenaladale's peaks are illumined with the rays,
And the streams of Glenfinnan leap bright in the blaze.
[Footnote: The young and daring adventurer, Charles Edward, landedat
Glenaladale, in Moidart, and displayed his standard in the valley of
Glenfinnan, mustering around it the Mac-Donalds, the Camerons, and other
less numerous clans, whom he had prevailed on to join him. There is a
monument erected on the spot, with a Latin inscription by the late Doctor
O high-minded Moray! the exiled! the dear!
In the blush of the dawning the STANDARD uprear!
Wide, wide on the winds of the north let it fly,
Like the sun's latest flash when the tempest is nigh!
[Footnote: The Marquis of Tullibardine's elder brother, who, long exiled,
returned to Scotland with Charles Edward in 1745.]
Ye sons of the strong, when that dawning shall break,
Need the harp of the aged remind you to wake?
That dawn never beam'd on your forefathers' eye,
But it roused each high chieftain to vanquish or die.
O, sprung from the Kings who in Islay kept state,
Proud chiefs of Clan Ranald, Glengarry, and Sleat!
Combine like three streams from one mountain of snow,
And resistless in union rush down on the foe!
True son of Sir Evan, undaunted Lochiel,
Place thy targe on thy shoulder and burnish thy steel!
Rough Keppoch, give breath to thy bugle's bold swell,
Till far Coryarrick resound to the knell!
Stern son of Lord Kenneth, high chief of Kintail,
Let the stag in thy standard bound wild in the gale!
May the race of Clan Gillean, the fearless and free,
Remember Glenlivat, Harlaw, and Dundee!
Let the clan of grey Fingon, whose offspring has given
Such heroes to earth and such martyrs to heaven,
Unite with the race of renown'd Rorri More,
To launch the long galley and stretch to the oar.
How Mac-Shimei will joy when their chief shall display
The yew-crested bonnet o'er tresses of grey!
How the race of wrong'd Alpine and murder'd Glencoe
Shall shout for revenge when they pour on the foe!
Ye sons of brown Dermid, who slew the wild boar,
Resume the pure faith of the great Callum-More!
Mac-Neil of the islands, and Moy of the Lake,
For honour, for freedom, for vengeance awake!
Here a large greyhound, bounding up the glen, jumped upon Flora and
interrupted her music by his importunate caresses. At a distant whistle
he turned and shot down the path again with the rapidity of an arrow.
'That is Fergus's faithful attendant, Captain Waverley, and that was his
signal. He likes no poetry but what is humorous, and comes in good time
to interrupt my long catalogue of the tribes, whom one of your saucy
English poets calls
Our bootless host of high-born beggars,
Mac-Leans, Mac-Kenzies, and Mac-Gregors.'
Waverley expressed his regret at the interruption.
'O you cannot guess how much you have lost! The bard, as in duty bound,
has addressed three long stanzas to Vich Ian Vohr of the Banners,
enumerating all his great properties, and not forgetting his being a
cheerer of the harper and bard--"a giver of bounteous gifts." Besides,
you should have heard a practical admonition to the fair-haired son of
the stranger, who lives in the land where the grass is always green--the
rider on the shining pampered steed, whose hue is like the raven, and
whose neigh is like the scream of the eagle for battle. This valiant
horseman is affectionately conjured to remember that his ancestors were
distinguished by their loyalty as well as by their courage. All this you
have lost; but, since your curiosity is not satisfied, I judge, from the
distant sound of my brother's whistle, I may have time to sing the
concluding stanzas before he comes to laugh at my translation.'
Awake on your hills, on your islands awake,
Brave sons of the mountain, the frith, and the lake!
'T is the bugle--but not for the chase is the call;
'T is the pibroch's shrill summons--but not to the hall.
'T is the summons of heroes for conquest or death,
When the banners are blazing on mountain and heath:
They call to the dirk, the claymore, and the targe,
To the march and the muster, the line and the charge.
Be the brand of each chieftain like Fin's in his ire!
May the blood through his veins flow like currents of fire!
Burst the base foreign yoke as your sires did of yore,
Or die like your sires, and endure it no more!
WAVERLEY CONTINUES AT GLENNAQUOICH
As Flora concluded her song, Fergus stood before them. 'I knew I should
find you here, even without the assistance of my friend Bran. A simple
and unsublimed taste now, like my own, would prefer a jet d'eau at
Versailles to this cascade, with all its accompaniments of rock and roar;
but this is Flora's Parnassus, Captain Waverley, and that fountain her
Helicon. It would be greatly for the benefit of my cellar if she could
teach her coadjutor, Mac-Murrough, the value of its influence: he has
just drunk a pint of usquebaugh to correct, he said, the coldness of the
claret. Let me try its virtues.' He sipped a little water in the hollow
of his hand, and immediately commenced, with a theatrical air,--
'O Lady of the desert, hail!
That lovest the harping of the Gael,
Through fair and fertile regions borne,
Where never yet grew grass or corn.
But English poetry will never succeed under the influence of a Highland
Helicon. Allons, courage!
O vous, qui buvez, a tasse pleine, A cette heureuse f ontaine, Ou on ne
voit, sur le rivage, Que quelques vilains troupeaux, Suivis de nymphes de
village, Qui les escortent sans sabots--'
'A truce, dear Fergus! spare us those most tedious and insipid persons of
all Arcadia. Do not, for Heaven's sake, bring down Coridon and Lindor
'Nay, if you cannot relish la houlette et le chalumeau, have with you in
'Dear Fergus, you have certainly partaken of the inspiration of
Mac-Murrough's cup rather than of mine.'
'I disclaim it, ma belle demoiselle, although I protest it would be the
more congenial of the two. Which of your crack-brained Italian romancers
is it that says,
Io d'Elicona niente
Mi curo, in fe de Dio; che'l bere d'acque
(Bea chi ber ne vuol) sempre mi spiacque!
Good sooth, I reck nought of your Helicon;
Drink water whoso will, in faith I will drink none.]
But if you prefer the Gaelic, Captain Waverley, here is little Cathleen
shall sing you Drimmindhu. Come, Cathleen, astore (i.e. my dear), begin;
no apologies to the cean-kinne.'
Cathleen sung with much liveliness a little Gaelic song, the burlesque
elegy of a countryman on the loss of his cow, the comic tones of which,
though he did not understand the language, made Waverley laugh more than
once. [Footnote: This ancient Gaelic ditty is still well known, both in
the Highlands and in Ireland It was translated into English, and
published, if I mistake not, under the auspices of the facetious Tom
D'Urfey, by the title of 'Colley, my Cow.']
'Admirable, Cathleen!' cried the Chieftain; 'I must find you a handsome
husband among the clansmen one of these days.'
Cathleen laughed, blushed, and sheltered herself behind her companion.
In the progress of their return to the castle, the Chieftain warmly
pressed Waverley to remain for a week or two, in order to see a grand
hunting party, in which he and some other Highland gentlemen proposed to
join. The charms of melody and beauty were too strongly impressed in
Edward's breast to permit his declining an invitation so pleasing. It was
agreed, therefore, that he should write a note to the Baron of
Bradwardine, expressing his intention to stay a fortnight at
Glennaquoich, and requesting him to forward by the bearer (a gilly of the
Chieftain's) any letters which might have arrived for him.
This turned the discourse upon the Baron, whom Fergus highly extolled as
a gentleman and soldier. His character was touched with yet more
discrimination by Flora, who observed he was the very model of the old
Scottish cavalier, with all his excellencies and peculiarities. 'It is a
character, Captain Waverley, which is fast disappearing; for its best
point was a self-respect which was never lost sight of till now. But in
the present time the gentlemen whose principles do not permit them to pay
court to the existing government are neglected and degraded, and many
conduct themselves accordingly; and, like some of the persons you have
seen at Tully-Veolan, adopt habits and companions inconsistent with their
birth and breeding. The ruthless proscription of party seems to degrade
the victims whom it brands, however unjustly. But let us hope a brighter
day is approaching, when a Scottish country gentleman may be a scholar
without the pedantry of our friend the Baron, a sportsman without the low
habits of Mr. Falconer, and a judicious improver of his property without
becoming a boorish two-legged steer like Killancureit.'
Thus did Flora prophesy a revolution, which time indeed has produced, but
in a manner very different from what she had in her mind.
The amiable Rose was next mentioned, with the warmest encomium on her
person, manners, and mind. 'That man,' said Flora, 'will find an
inestimable treasure in the affections of Rose Bradwardine who shall be
so fortunate as to become their object. Her very soul is in home, and in
the discharge of all those quiet virtues of which home is the centre. Her
husband will be to her what her father now is, the object of all her
care, solicitude, and affection. She will see nothing, and connect
herself with nothing, but by him and through him. If he is a man of sense
and virtue, she will sympathise in his sorrows, divert his fatigue, and
share his pleasures. If she becomes the property of a churlish or
negligent husband, she will suit his taste also, for she will not long
survive his unkindness. And, alas! how great is the chance that some such
unworthy lot may be that of my poor friend! O that I were a queen this
moment, and could command the most amiable and worthy youth of my kingdom
to accept happiness with the hand of Rose Bradwardine!'
'I wish you would command her to accept mine en attendant,' said Fergus,
I don't know by what caprice it was that this wish, however jocularly
expressed, rather jarred on Edward's feelings, notwithstanding his
growing inclination to Flora and his indifference to Miss Bradwardine.
This is one of the inexplicabilities of human nature, which we leave
'Yours, brother?' answered Flora, regarding him steadily. 'No; you have
another bride--Honour; and the dangers you must run in pursuit of her
rival would break poor Rose's heart.'
With this discourse they reached the castle, and Waverley soon prepared
his despatches for Tully-Veolan. As he knew the Baron was punctilious in
such matters, he was about to impress his billet with a seal on which his
armorial bearings were engraved, but he did not find it at his watch, and
thought he must have left it at Tully-Veolan. He mentioned his loss,
borrowing at the same time the family seal of the Chieftain.
'Surely,' said Miss Mac-Ivor, 'Donald Bean Lean would not--'
'My life for him in such circumstances,' answered her brother; 'besides,
he would never have left the watch behind.'
'After all, Fergus,' said Flora, 'and with every allowance, I am
surprised you can countenance that man.'
'I countenance him? This kind sister of mine would persuade you, Captain
Waverley, that I take what the people of old used to call "a steakraid,"
that is, a "collop of the foray," or, in plainer words, a portion of the
robber's booty, paid by him to the Laird, or Chief, through whose grounds
he drove his prey. O, it is certain that, unless I can find some way to
charm Flora's tongue, General Blakeney will send a sergeant's party from
Stirling (this he said with haughty and emphatic irony) to seize Vich lan
Vohr, as they nickname me, in his own castle.'
'Now, Fergus, must not our guest be sensible that all this is folly and
affectation? You have men enough to serve you without enlisting banditti,
and your own honour is above taint. Why don't you send this Donald Bean
Lean, whom I hate for his smoothness and duplicity even more than for his
rapine, out of your country at once? No cause should induce me to
tolerate such a character.'
'No cause, Flora?' said the Chieftain significantly.
'No cause, Fergus! not even that which is nearest to my heart. Spare it
the omen of such evil supporters!'
'O but, sister,' rejoined the Chief gaily, 'you don't consider my respect
for la belle passion. Evan Dhu Maccombich is in love with Donald's
daughter, Alice, and you cannot expect me to disturb him in his amours.
Why, the whole clan would cry shame on me. You know it is one of their
wise sayings, that a kinsman is part of a man's body, but a
foster-brother is a piece of his heart.'
'Well, Fergus, there is no disputing with you; but I would all this may
'Devoutly prayed, my dear and prophetic sister, and the best way in the
world to close a dubious argument. But hear ye not the pipes, Captain
Waverley? Perhaps you will like better to dance to them in the hall than
to be deafened with their harmony without taking part in the exercise
they invite us to.'
Waverley took Flora's hand. The dance, song, and merry-making proceeded,
and closed the day's entertainment at the castle of Vich Ian Vohr. Edward
at length retired, his mind agitated by a variety of new and conflicting
feelings, which detained him from rest for some time, in that not
unpleasing state of mind in which fancy takes the helm, and the soul
rather drifts passively along with the rapid and confused tide of
reflections than exerts itself to encounter, systematise, or examine
them. At a late hour he fell asleep, and dreamed of Flora Mac-Ivor.
A STAG-HUNT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
Shall this be a long or a short chapter? This is a question in which you,
gentle reader, have no vote, however much you may be interested in the
consequences; just as you may (like myself) probably have nothing to do
with the imposing a new tax, excepting the trifling circumstance of being
obliged to pay it. More happy surely in the present case, since, though
it lies within my arbitrary power to extend my materials as I think
proper, I cannot call you into Exchequer if you do not think proper to
read my narrative. Let me therefore consider. It is true that the annals
and documents in my hands say but little of this Highland chase; but then
I can find copious materials for description elsewhere. There is old
Lindsay of Pitscottie ready at my elbow, with his Athole hunting, and his
'lofted and joisted palace of green timber; with all kind of drink to be
had in burgh and land, as ale, beer, wine, muscadel, malvaise, hippocras,
and aquavitae; with wheat-bread, main-bread, ginge-bread, beef, mutton,
lamb, veal, venison, goose, grice, capon, coney, crane, swan, partridge,
plover, duck, drake, brisselcock, pawnies, black-cock, muir-fowl, and
capercailzies'; not forgetting the 'costly bedding, vaiselle, and napry,'
and least of all the 'excelling stewards, cunning baxters, excellent
cooks, and pottingars, with confections and drugs for the desserts.'
Besides the particulars which may be thence gleaned for this Highland
feast (the splendour of which induced the Pope's legate to dissent from
an opinion which he had hitherto held, that Scotland, namely, was
the--the--the latter end of the world)--besides these, might I not
illuminate my pages with Taylor the Water Poet's hunting in the Braes of
Through heather, mosse,'mong frogs, and bogs, and fogs,
'Mongst craggy cliffs and thunder-batter'd hills,
Hares, hinds, bucks, roes, are chased by men and dogs,
Where two hours' hunting fourscore fat deer kills.
Lowland, your sports are low as is your seat;
The Highland games and minds are high and great?
But without further tyranny over my readers, or display of the extent of
my own reading, I shall content myself with borrowing a single incident
from the memorable hunting at Lude, commemorated in the ingenious Mr.
Gunn's essay on the Caledonian Harp, and so proceed in my story with all
the brevity that my natural style of composition, partaking of what
scholars call the periphrastic and ambagitory, and the vulgar the
circumbendibus, will permit me.
The solemn hunting was delayed, from various causes, for about three
weeks. The interval was spent by Waverley with great satisfaction at
Glennaquoich; for the impression which Flora had made on his mind at
their first meeting grew daily stronger. She was precisely the character
to fascinate a youth of romantic imagination. Her manners, her language,
her talents for poetry and music, gave additional and varied influence to
her eminent personal charms. Even in her hours of gaiety she was in his
fancy exalted above the ordinary daughters of Eve, and seemed only to
stoop for an instant to those topics of amusement and gallantry which
others appear to live for. In the neighbourhood of this enchantress,
while sport consumed the morning and music and the dance led on the hours
of evening, Waverley became daily more delighted with his hospitable
landlord, and more enamoured of his bewitching sister.
At length the period fixed for the grand hunting arrived, and Waverley
and the Chieftain departed for the place of rendezvous, which was a day's
journey to the northward of Glennaquoich. Fergus was attended on this
occasion by about three hundred of his clan, well armed and accoutred in
their best fashion. Waverley complied so far with the custom of the
country as to adopt the trews (he could not be reconciled to the kilt),
brogues, and bonnet, as the fittest dress for the exercise in which he
was to be engaged, and which least exposed him to be stared at as a
stranger when they should reach the place of rendezvous. They found on
the spot appointed several powerful Chiefs, to all of whom Waverley was
formally presented, and by all cordially received. Their vassals and
clansmen, a part of whose feudal duty it was to attend on these parties,
appeared in such numbers as amounted to a small army. These active
assistants spread through the country far and near, forming a circle,
technically called the tinchel, which, gradually closing, drove the deer
in herds together towards the glen where the Chiefs and principal
sportsmen lay in wait for them. In the meanwhile these distinguished
personages bivouacked among the flowery heath, wrapped up in their
plaids, a mode of passing a summer's night which Waverley found by no
For many hours after sunrise the mountain ridges and passes retained
their ordinary appearance of silence and solitude, and the Chiefs, with
their followers, amused themselves with various pastimes, in which the
joys of the shell, as Ossian has it, were not forgotten. 'Others apart
sate on a hill retired,' probably as deeply engaged in the discussion of
politics and news as Milton's spirits in metaphysical disquisition. At
length signals of the approach of the game were descried and heard.
Distant shouts resounded from valley to valley, as the various parties of
Highlanders, climbing rocks, struggling through copses, wading brooks,
and traversing thickets, approached more and more near to each other, and
compelled the astonished deer, with the other wild animals that fled
before them, into a narrower circuit. Every now and then the report of
muskets was heard, repeated by a thousand echoes. The baying of the dogs
was soon added to the chorus, which grew ever louder and more loud. At
length the advanced parties of the deer began to show themselves; and as
the stragglers came bounding down the pass by two or three at a time, the
Chiefs showed their skill by distinguishing the fattest deer, and their
dexterity in bringing them down with their guns. Fergus exhibited
remarkable address, and Edward was also so fortunate as to attract the
notice and applause of the sportsmen.
But now the main body of the deer appeared at the head of the glen,
compelled into a very narrow compass, and presenting such a formidable
phalanx that their antlers appeared at a distance, over the ridge of the
steep pass, like a leafless grove. Their number was very great, and from
a desperate stand which they made, with the tallest of the red-deer stags
arranged in front, in a sort of battle-array, gazing on the group which
barred their passage down the glen, the more experienced sportsmen began
to augur danger. The work of destruction, however, now commenced on all
sides. Dogs and hunters were at work, and muskets and fusees resounded
from every quarter. The deer, driven to desperation, made at length a
fearful charge right upon the spot where the more distinguished sportsmen
had taken their stand. The word was given in Gaelic to fling themselves
upon their faces; but Waverley, on whose English ears the signal was
lost, had almost fallen a sacrifice to his ignorance of the ancient
language in which it was communicated. Fergus, observing his danger,
sprung up and pulled him with violence to the ground, just as the whole
herd broke down upon them. The tide being absolutely irresistible, and
wounds from a stag's horn highly dangerous, the activity of the Chieftain
may be considered, on this occasion, as having saved his guest's life. He
detained him with a firm grasp until the whole herd of deer had fairly
run over them. Waverley then attempted to rise, but found that he had
suffered several very severe contusions, and, upon a further examination,
discovered that he had sprained his ankle violently.
[Footnote: The thrust from the tynes, or branches, of the stag's horns
was accounted far more dangerous than those of the boar's tusk:--
If thou be hurt with horn of stag,
it brings thee to thy bier,
But barber's hand shall boar's hurt heal,
thereof have thou no fear.]
This checked the mirth of the meeting, although the Highlanders,
accustomed to such incidents, and prepared for them, had suffered no harm
themselves. A wigwam was erected almost in an instant, where Edward was
deposited on a couch of heather. The surgeon, or he who assumed the
office, appeared to unite the characters of a leech and a conjuror. He
was an old smoke-dried Highlander, wearing a venerable grey beard, and
having for his sole garment a tartan frock, the skirts of which descended
to the knee, and, being undivided in front, made the vestment serve at
once for doublet and breeches. [Footnote: This garb, which resembled the
dress often put on children in Scotland, called a polonie (i. e.
polonaise), is a very ancient modification of the Highland garb. It was,
in fact, the hauberk or shirt of mail, only composed of cloth instead of
rings of armour.] He observed great ceremony in approaching Edward; and
though our hero was writhing with pain, would not proceed to any
operation which might assuage it until he had perambulated his couch
three times, moving from east to west, according to the course of the
sun. This, which was called making the deasil, [Footnote: Old Highlanders
will still make the deasil around those whom they wish well to. To go
round a person in the opposite direction, or withershins (German
wider-shins), is unlucky, and a sort of incantation.] both the leech and
the assistants seemed to consider as a matter of the last importance to
the accomplishment of a cure; and Waverley, whom pain rendered incapable
of expostulation, and who indeed saw no chance of its being attended to,
submitted in silence.
After this ceremony was duly performed, the old Esculapius let his
patient's blood with a cupping-glass with great dexterity, and proceeded,
muttering all the while to himself in Gaelic, to boil on the fire certain
herbs, with which he compounded an embrocation. He then fomented the
parts which had sustained injury, never failing to murmur prayers or
spells, which of the two Waverley could not distinguish, as his ear only
caught the words Gaspar-Melchior-Balthazar-max-prax-fax, and similar
gibberish. The fomentation had a speedy effect in alleviating the pain
and swelling, which our hero imputed to the virtue of the herbs or the
effect of the chafing, but which was by the bystanders unanimously
ascribed to the spells with which the operation had been accompanied.
Edward was given to understand that not one of the ingredients had been
gathered except during the full moon, and that the herbalist had, while
collecting them, uniformly recited a charm, which in English ran thus:--
Hail to thee, them holy herb,
That sprung on holy ground!
All in the Mount Olivet
First wert thou found.
Thou art boot for many a bruise,
And healest many a wound;
In our Lady's blessed name,
I take thee from the ground.
[Footnote: This metrical spell, or something very like it, is preserved
by Reginald Scott in his work on Witchcraft.]
Edward observed with some surprise that even Fergus, notwithstanding his
knowledge and education, seemed to fall in with the superstitious ideas
of his countrymen, either because he deemed it impolitic to affect
scepticism on a matter of general belief, or more probably because, ike
most men who do not think deeply or accurately on such subjects, he had
in his mind a reserve of superstition which balanced the freedom of his
expressions and practice upon other occasions. Waverley made no
commentary, therefore, on the manner of the treatment, but rewarded the
professor of medicine with a liberality beyond the utmost conception of
his wildest hopes. He uttered on the occasion so many incoherent
blessings in Gaelic and English that Mac-Ivor, rather scandalised at the
excess of his acknowledgments, cut them short by exclaiming, Ceud mile
mhalloich ort! i.e. 'A hundred thousand curses on you!' and so pushed the
helper of men out of the cabin.
After Waverley was left alone, the exhaustion of pain and fatigue--for
the whole day's exercise had been severe--threw him into a profound, but
yet a feverish sleep, which he chiefly owed to an opiate draught
administered by the old Highlander from some decoction of herbs in his
Early the next morning, the purpose of their meeting being over, and
their sports damped by the untoward accident, in which Fergus and all his
friends expressed the greatest sympathy, it became a question how to
dispose of the disabled sportsman. This was settled by Mac-Ivor, who had
a litter prepared, of 'birch and hazel-grey,'
On the morrow they made their biers
Of birch and hazel grey. Chevy Chase.]
which was borne by his people with such caution and dexterity as renders
it not improbable that they may have been the ancestors of some of those
sturdy Gael who have now the happiness to transport the belles of
Edinburgh in their sedan-chairs to ten routs in one evening. When Edward
was elevated upon their shoulders he could not help being gratified with
the romantic effect produced by the breaking up of this sylvan camp.
[Footnote: See Note 25.]
The various tribes assembled, each at the pibroch of their native clan,
and each headed by their patriarchal ruler. Some, who had already begun
to retire, were seen winding up the hills, or descending the passes which
led to the scene of action, the sound of their bagpipes dying upon the
ear. Others made still a moving picture upon the narrow plain, forming
various changeful groups, their feathers and loose plaids waving in the
morning breeze, and their arms glittering in the rising sun. Most of the
Chiefs came to take farewell of Waverley, and to express their anxious
hope they might again, and speedily, meet; but the care of Fergus
abridged the ceremony of taking leave. At length, his own men being
completely assembled and mustered, Mac-Ivor commenced his march, but not
towards the quarter from which they had come. He gave Edward to
understand that the greater part of his followers now on the field were
bound on a distant expedition, and that when he had deposited him in the
house of a gentleman, who he was sure would pay him every attention, he
himself should be under the necessity of accompanying them the greater
part of the way, but would lose no time in rejoining his friend.
Waverley was rather surprised that Fergus had not mentioned this ulterior
destination when they set out upon the hunting-party; but his situation
did not admit of many interrogatories. The greater part of the clansmen
went forward under the guidance of old Ballenkeiroch and Evan Dhu
Maccombich, apparently in high spirits. A few remained for the purpose of
escorting the Chieftain, who walked by the side of Edward's litter, and
attended him with the most affectionate assiduity. About noon, after a
journey which the nature of the conveyance, the pain of his bruises, and
the roughness of the way rendered inexpressibly painful, Waverley was
hospitably received into the house of a gentleman related to Fergus, who
had prepared for him every accommodation which the simple habits of
living then universal in the Highlands put in his power. In this person,
an old man about seventy, Edward admired a relic of primitive simplicity.
He wore no dress but what his estate afforded; the cloth was the fleece
of his own sheep, woven by his own servants, and stained into tartan by
the dyes produced from the herbs and lichens of the hills around him. His
linen was spun by his daughters and maidservants, from his own flax; nor
did his table, though plentiful, and varied with game and fish, offer an
article but what was of native produce.
Claiming himself no rights of clanship or vassalage, he was fortunate in
the alliance and protection of Vich Ian Vohr and other bold and
enterprising Chieftains, who protected him in the quiet unambitious life
he loved. It is true, the youth born on his grounds were often enticed to
leave him for the service of his more active friends; but a few old
servants and tenants used to shake their grey locks when they heard their
master censured for want of spirit, and observed, 'When the wind is
still, the shower falls soft.' This good old man, whose charity and
hospitality were unbounded, would have received Waverley with kindness
had he been the meanest Saxon peasant, since his situation required
assistance. But his attention to a friend and guest of Vich Ian Vohr was
anxious and unremitted. Other embrocations were applied to the injured
limb, and new spells were put in practice. At length, after more
solicitude than was perhaps for the advantage of his health, Fergus took
farewell of Edward for a few days, when, he said, he would return to
Tomanrait, and hoped by that time Waverley would be able to ride one of
the Highland ponies of his landlord, and in that manner return to
The next day, when his good old host appeared, Edward learned that his
friend had departed with the dawn, leaving none of his followers except
Callum Beg, the sort of foot-page who used to attend his person, and who
had now in charge to wait upon Waverley. On asking his host if he knew
where the Chieftain was gone, the old man looked fixedly at him, with
something mysterious and sad in the smile which was his only reply.
Waverley repeated his question, to which his host answered in a
What sent the messengers to hell,
Was asking what they knew full well.
[Footnote: Corresponding to the Lowland saying, 'Mony ane speirs the gate
they ken fu' weel.']
He was about to proceed, but Callum Beg said, rather pertly, as Edward
thought, that 'Ta Tighearnach (i.e. the Chief) did not like ta Sassenagh
duinhe-wassel to be pingled wi' mickle speaking, as she was na tat weel.'
From this Waverley concluded he should disoblige his friend by inquiring
of a stranger the object of a journey which he himself had not
It is unnecessary to trace the progress of our hero's recovery. The sixth
morning had arrived, and he was able to walk about with a staff, when
Fergus returned with about a score of his men. He seemed in the highest
spirits, congratulated Waverley on his progress towards recovery, and
finding he was able to sit on horseback, proposed their immediate return
to Glennaquoich. Waverley joyfully acceded, for the form of its fair
mistress had lived in his dreams during all the time of his confinement.
Now he has ridden o'er moor and moss, O'er hill and many a glen,
Fergus, all the while, with his myrmidons, striding stoutly by his side,
or diverging to get a shot at a roe or a heath-cock. Waverley's bosom
beat thick when they approached the old tower of Ian nan Chaistel, and
could distinguish the fair form of its mistress advancing to meet them.
Fergus began immediately, with his usual high spirits, to exclaim, 'Open
your gates, incomparable princess, to the wounded Moor Abindarez, whom
Rodrigo de Narvez, constable of Antiquera, conveys to your castle; or
open them, if you like it better, to the renowned Marquis of Mantua, the
sad attendant of his half-slain friend Baldovinos of the Mountain. Ah,
long rest to thy soul, Cervantes! without quoting thy remnants, how
should I frame my language to befit romantic ears!'
Flora now advanced, and welcoming Waverley with much kindness, expressed
her regret for his accident, of which she had already heard particulars,
and her surprise that her brother should not have taken better care to
put a stranger on his guard against the perils of the sport in which he
engaged him. Edward easily exculpated the Chieftain, who, indeed, at his
own personal risk, had probably saved his life.
This greeting over, Fergus said three or four words to his sister in
Gaelic. The tears instantly sprung to her eyes, but they seemed to be
tears of devotion and joy, for she looked up to heaven and folded her
hands as in a solemn expression of prayer or gratitude. After the pause
of a minute, she presented to Edward some letters which had been
forwarded from Tully-Veolan during his absence, and at the same time
delivered some to her brother. To the latter she likewise gave three or
four numbers of the Caledonian Mercury, the only newspaper which was then
published to the north of the Tweed.
Both gentlemen retired to examine their despatches, and Edward speedily
found that those which he had received contained matters of very deep
NEWS FROM ENGLAND
The letters which Waverley had hitherto received from his relations in
England were not such as required any particular notice in this
narrative. His father usually wrote to him with the pompous affectation
of one who was too much oppressed by public affairs to find leisure to
attend to those of his own family. Now and then he mentioned persons of
rank in Scotland to whom he wished his son should pay some attention; but
Waverley, hitherto occupied by the amusements which he had found at
Tully-Veolan and Glennaquoich, dispensed with paying any attention to
hints so coldly thrown out, especially as distance, shortness of leave of
absence, and so forth furnished a ready apology. But latterly the burden
of Mr. Richard Waverley's paternal epistles consisted in certain
mysterious hints of greatness and influence which he was speedily to
attain, and which would ensure his son's obtaining the most rapid
promotion, should he remain in the military service. Sir Everard's
letters were of a different tenor. They were short; for the good Baronet
was none of your illimitable correspondents, whose manuscript overflows
the folds of their large post paper, and leaves no room for the seal; but
they were kind and affectionate, and seldom concluded without some
allusion to our hero's stud, some question about the state of his purse,
and a special inquiry after such of his recruits as had preceded him from
Waverley-Honour. Aunt Rachel charged him to remember his principles of
religion, to take care of his health, to beware of Scotch mists, which,
she had heard, would wet an Englishman through and through, never to go
out at night without his great-coat, and, above all, to wear flannel next
to his skin.
Mr. Pembroke only wrote to our hero one letter, but it was of the bulk of
six epistles of these degenerate days, containing, in the moderate
compass of ten folio pages, closely written, a precis of a supplementary
quarto manuscript of addenda, delenda, et corrigenda in reference to the
two tracts with which he had presented Waverley. This he considered as a
mere sop in the pan to stay the appetite of Edward's curiosity until he
should find an opportunity of sending down the volume itself, which was
much too heavy for the post, and which he proposed to accompany with
certain interesting pamphlets, lately published by his friend in Little
Britain, with whom he had kept up a sort of literary correspondence, in
virtue of which the library shelves of Waverley-Honour were loaded with
much trash, and a good round bill, seldom summed in fewer than three
figures, was yearly transmitted, in which Sir Everard Waverley of
Waverley-Honour, Bart., was marked Dr. to Jonathan Grubbet, bookseller
and stationer, Little Britain. Such had hitherto been the style of the
letters which Edward had received from England; but the packet delivered
to him at Glennaquoich was of a different and more interesting
complexion. It would be impossible for the reader, even were I to insert
the letters at full length, to comprehend the real cause of their being
written, without a glance into the interior of the British cabinet at the
period in question.
The ministers of the day happened (no very singular event) to be divided
into two parties; the weakest of which, making up by assiduity of
intrigue their inferiority in real consequence, had of late acquired some
new proselytes, and with them the hope of superseding their rivals in the
favour of their sovereign, and overpowering them in the House of Commons.
Amongst others, they had thought it worth while to practise upon Richard
Waverley. This honest gentleman, by a grave mysterious demeanour, an
attention to the etiquette of business rather more than to its essence, a
facility in making long dull speeches, consisting of truisms and
commonplaces, hashed up with a technical jargon of office, which
prevented the inanity of his orations from being discovered, had acquired
a certain name and credit in public life, and even established, with
many, the character of a profound politician; none of your shining
orators, indeed, whose talents evaporate in tropes of rhetoric and
flashes of wit, but one possessed of steady parts for business, which
would wear well, as the ladies say in choosing their silks, and ought in
all reason to be good for common and every-day use, since they were
confessedly formed of no holiday texture.
This faith had become so general that the insurgent party in the cabinet,
of which we have made mention, after sounding Mr. Richard Waverley, were
so satisfied with his sentiments and abilities as to propose that, in
case of a certain revolution in the ministry, he should take an
ostensible place in the new order of things, not indeed of the very first
rank, but greatly higher, in point both of emolument and influence, than
that which he now enjoyed. There was no resisting so tempting a proposal,
notwithstanding that the Great Man under whose patronage he had enlisted,
and by whose banner he had hitherto stood firm, was the principal object
of the proposed attack by the new allies. Unfortunately this fair scheme
of ambition was blighted in the very bud by a premature movement. All the
official gentlemen concerned in it who hesitated to take the part of a
voluntary resignation were informed that the king had no further occasion
for their services; and in Richard Waverley's case, which the minister
considered as aggravated by ingratitude, dismissal was accompanied by
something like personal contempt and contumely. The public, and even the
party of whom he shared the fall, sympathised little in the
disappointment of this selfish and interested statesman; and he retired
to the country under the comfortable reflection that he had lost, at the
same time, character, credit, and,--what he at least equally
Richard Waverley's letter to his son upon this occasion was a masterpiece
of its kind. Aristides himself could not have made out a harder case. An
unjust monarch and an ungrateful country were the burden of each rounded
paragraph. He spoke of long services and unrequited sacrifices; though
the former had been overpaid by his salary, and nobody could guess in
what the latter consisted, unless it were in his deserting, not from
conviction, but for the lucre of gain, the Tory principles of his family.
In the conclusion, his resentment was wrought to such an excess by the
force of his own oratory, that he could not repress some threats of
vengeance, however vague and impotent, and finally acquainted his son
with his pleasure that he should testify his sense of the ill-treatment
he had sustained by throwing up his commission as soon as the letter
reached him. This, he said, was also his uncle's desire, as he would
himself intimate in due course.
Accordingly, the next letter which Edward opened was from Sir Everard.
His brother's disgrace seemed to have removed from his well-natured bosom
all recollection of their differences, and, remote as he was from every
means of learning that Richard's disgrace was in reality only the just as
well as natural consequence of his own unsuccessful intrigues, the good
but credulous Baronet at once set it down as a new and enormous instance
of the injustice of the existing government. It was true, he said, and he
must not disguise it even from Edward, that his father could not have
sustained such an insult as was now, for the first time, offered to one
of his house, unless he had subjected himself to it by accepting of an
employment under the present system. Sir Everard had no doubt that he now
both saw and felt the magnitude of this error, and it should be his (Sir
Everard's) business to take care that the cause of his regret should not
extend itself to pecuniary consequences. It was enough for a Waverley to
have sustained the public disgrace; the patrimonial injury could easily
be obviated by the head of their family. But it was both the opinion of
Mr. Richard Waverley and his own that Edward, the representative of the
family of Waverley-Honour, should not remain in a situation which
subjected him also to such treatment as that with which his father had
been stigmatised. He requested his nephew therefore to take the fittest,
and at the same time the most speedy, opportunity of transmitting his
resignation to the War Office, and hinted, moreover, that little ceremony
was necessary where so little had been used to his father. He sent
multitudinous greetings to the Baron of Bradwardine.
A letter from Aunt Rachel spoke out even more plainly. She considered the
disgrace of brother Richard as the just reward of his forfeiting his
allegiance to a lawful though exiled sovereign, and taking the oaths to
an alien; a concession which her grandfather, Sir Nigel Waverley, refused
to make, either to the Roundhead Parliament or to Cromwell, when his life
and fortune stood in the utmost extremity. She hoped her dear Edward
would follow the footsteps of his ancestors, and as speedily as possible
get rid of the badge of servitude to the usurping family, and regard the
wrongs sustained by his father as an admonition from Heaven that every
desertion of the line of loyalty becomes its own punishment. She also
concluded with her respects to Mr. Bradwardine, and begged Waverley would
inform her whether his daughter, Miss Rose, was old enough to wear a pair
of very handsome ear-rings, which she proposed to send as a token of her
affection. The good lady also desired to be informed whether Mr.
Bradwardine took as much Scotch snuff and danced as unweariedly as he did
when he was at Waverley-Honour about thirty years ago.
These letters, as might have been expected, highly excited Waverley's
indignation. From the desultory style of his studies, he had not any
fixed political opinion to place in opposition to the movements of
indignation which he felt at his father's supposed wrongs. Of the real
cause of his disgrace Edward was totally ignorant; nor had his habits at
all led him to investigate the politics of the period in which he lived,
or remark the intrigues in which his father had been so actively engaged.
Indeed, any impressions which he had accidentally adopted concerning the
parties of the times were (owing to the society in which he had lived at
Waverley-Honour) of a nature rather unfavourable to the existing
government and dynasty. He entered, therefore, without hesitation into
the resentful feeling of the relations who had the best title to dictate
his conduct, and not perhaps the less willingly when he remembered the
tedium of his quarters, and the inferior figure which he had made among
the officers of his regiment. If he could have had any doubt upon the
subject it would have been decided by the following letter from his
commanding officer, which, as it is very short, shall be inserted
Having carried somewhat beyond the line of my duty an indulgence which
even the lights of nature, and much more those of Christianity, direct
towards errors which may arise from youth and inexperience, and that
altogether without effect, I am reluctantly compelled, at the present
crisis, to use the only remaining remedy which is in my power. You are,
therefore, hereby commanded to repair to ----, the headquarters of the
regiment, within three days after the date of this letter. If you shall
fail to do so, I must report you to the War Office as absent without
leave, and also take other steps, which will be disagreeable to you as
well as to,
Your obedient Servant,
J. GARDINER, Lieut.-Col.
Commanding the----Regt. Dragoons.
Edward's blood boiled within him as he read this letter. He had been
accustomed from his very infancy to possess in a great measure the
disposal of his own time, and thus acquired habits which rendered the
rules of military discipline as unpleasing to him in this as they were in
some other respects. An idea that in his own case they would not be
enforced in a very rigid manner had also obtained full possession of his
mind, and had hitherto been sanctioned by the indulgent conduct of his
lieutenant-colonel. Neither had anything occurred, to his knowledge, that
should have induced his commanding officer, without any other warning
than the hints we noticed at the end of the fourteenth chapter, so
suddenly to assume a harsh and, as Edward deemed it, so insolent a tone
of dictatorial authority. Connecting it with the letters he had just
received from his family, he could not but suppose that it was designed
to make him feel, in his present situation, the same pressure of
authority which had been exercised in his father's case, and that the
whole was a concerted scheme to depress and degrade every member of the
Without a pause, therefore, Edward wrote a few cold lines, thanking his
lieutenant-colonel for past civilities, and expressing regret that he
should have chosen to efface the remembrance of them by assuming a
different tone towards him. The strain of his letter, as well as what he
(Edward) conceived to be his duty in the present crisis, called upon him
to lay down his commission; and he therefore inclosed the formal
resignation of a situation which subjected him to so unpleasant a
correspondence, and requested Colonel Gardiner would have the goodness to
forward it to the proper authorities.
Having finished this magnanimous epistle, he felt somewhat uncertain
concerning the terms in which his resignation ought to be expressed, upon
which subject he resolved to consult Fergus Mac-Ivor. It may be observed
in passing that the bold and prompt habits of thinking, acting, and
speaking which distinguished this young Chieftain had given him a
considerable ascendency over the mind of Waverley. Endowed with at least
equal powers of understanding, and with much finer genius, Edward yet
stooped to the bold and decisive activity of an intellect which was
sharpened by the habit of acting on a preconceived and regular system, as
well as by extensive knowledge of the world.
When Edward found his friend, the latter had still in his hand the
newspaper which he had perused, and advanced to meet him with the
embarrassment of one who has unpleasing news to communicate. 'Do your
letters, Captain Waverley, confirm the unpleasing information which I
find in this paper?'
He put the paper into his hand, where his father's disgrace was
registered in the most bitter terms, transferred probably from some
London journal. At the end of the paragraph was this remarkable
'We understand that "this same RICHARD who hath done all this" is not the
only example of the WAVERING HONOUR of W-v-r-ly H-n-r. See the Gazette of
With hurried and feverish apprehension our hero turned to the place
referred to, and found therein recorded, 'Edward Waverley, captain
in----regiment dragoons, superseded for absence without leave'; and in
the list of military promotions, referring to the same regiment, he
discovered this farther article, 'Lieut. Julius Butler, to be captain,
VICE Edward Waverley, superseded.'
Our hero's bosom glowed with the resentment which undeserved and
apparently premeditated insult was calculated to excite in the bosom of
one who had aspired after honour, and was thus wantonly held up to public
scorn and disgrace. Upon comparing the date of his colonel's letter with
that of the article in the Gazette, he perceived that his threat of
making a report upon his absence had been literally fulfilled, and
without inquiry, as it seemed, whether Edward had either received his
summons or was disposed to comply with it. The whole, therefore, appeared
a formed plan to degrade him in the eyes of the public; and the idea of
its having succeeded filled him with such bitter emotions that, after
various attempts to conceal them, he at length threw himself into
Mac-Ivor's arms, and gave vent to tears of shame and indignation.
It was none of this Chieftain's faults to be indifferent to the wrongs of
his friends; and for Edward, independent of certain plans with which he
was connected, he felt a deep and sincere interest. The proceeding
appeared as extraordinary to him as it had done to Edward. He indeed knew
of more motives than Waverley was privy to for the peremptory order that
he should join his regiment. But that, without further inquiry into the
circumstances of a necessary delay, the commanding officer, in
contradiction to his known and established character, should have
proceeded in so harsh and unusual a manner was a mystery which he could
not penetrate. He soothed our hero, however, to the best of his power,
and began to turn his thoughts on revenge for his insulted honour.
Edward eagerly grasped at the idea. 'Will you carry a message for me to
Colonel Gardiner, my dear Fergus, and oblige me for ever?'
Fergus paused. 'It is an act of friendship which you should command,
could it be useful, or lead to the righting your honour; but in the
present case I doubt if your commanding officer would give you the
meeting on account of his having taken measures which, however harsh and
exasperating, were still within the strict bounds of his duty. Besides,
Gardiner is a precise Huguenot, and has adopted certain ideas about the
sinfulness of such rencontres, from which it would be impossible to make
him depart, especially as his courage is beyond all suspicion. And
besides, I--I, to say the truth--I dare not at this moment, for some very
weighty reasons, go near any of the military quarters or garrisons
belonging to this government.'
'And am I,' said Waverley, 'to sit down quiet and contented under the
injury I have received?'
'That will I never advise my friend,' replied Mac-Ivor. 'But I would have
vengeance to fall on the head, not on the hand, on the tyrannical and
oppressive government which designed and directed these premeditated and
reiterated insults, not on the tools of office which they employed in the
execution of the injuries they aimed at you.'
'On the government!' said Waverley.
'Yes,' replied the impetuous Highlander, 'on the usurping House of
Hanover, whom your grandfather would no more have served than he would
have taken wages of red-hot gold from the great fiend of hell!'
'But since the time of my grandfather two generations of this dynasty
have possessed the throne,' said Edward coolly.
'True,' replied the Chieftain; 'and because we have passively given them
so long the means of showing their native character,--because both you
and I myself have lived in quiet submission, have even truckled to the
times so far as to accept commissions under them, and thus have given
them an opportunity of disgracing us publicly by resuming them, are we
not on that account to resent injuries which our fathers only
apprehended, but which we have actually sustained? Or is the cause of the
unfortunate Stuart family become less just, because their title has
devolved upon an heir who is innocent of the charges of misgovernment
brought against his father? Do you remember the lines of your favourite
Had Richard unconstrain'd resign'd the throne,
A king can give no more than is his own;
The title stood entail'd had Richard had a son.
You see, my dear Waverley, I can quote poetry as well as Flora and you.
But come, clear your moody brow, and trust to me to show you an
honourable road to a speedy and glorious revenge. Let us seek Flora, who
perhaps has more news to tell us of what has occurred during our absence.
She will rejoice to hear that you are relieved of your servitude. But
first add a postscript to your letter, marking the time when you received
this calvinistical colonel's first summons, and express your regret that
the hastiness of his proceedings prevented your anticipating them by
sending your resignation. Then let him blush for his injustice.'
The letter was sealed accordingly, covering a formal resignation of the
commission, and Mac-Ivor despatched it with some letters of his own by a
special messenger, with charge to put them into the nearest post-office
in the Lowlands.
The hint which the Chieftain had thrown out respecting Flora was not
unpremeditated. He had observed with great satisfaction the growing
attachment of Waverley to his sister, nor did he see any bar to their
union, excepting the situation which Waverley's father held in the
ministry, and Edward's own commission in the army of George II. These
obstacles were now removed, and in a manner which apparently paved the
way for the son's becoming reconciled to another allegiance. In every
other respect the match would be most eligible. The safety, happiness,
and honourable provision of his sister, whom he dearly loved, appeared to
be ensured by the proposed union; and his heart swelled when he
considered how his own interest would be exalted in the eyes of the
ex-monarch to whom he had dedicated his service, by an alliance with one
of those ancient, powerful, and wealthy English families of the steady
cavalier faith, to awaken whose decayed attachment to the Stuart family
was now a matter of such vital importance to the Stuart cause. Nor could
Fergus perceive any obstacle to such a scheme. Waverley's attachment was
evident; and as his person was handsome, and his taste apparently
coincided with her own, he anticipated no opposition on the part of
Flora. Indeed, between his ideas of patriarchal power and those which he
had acquired in France respecting the disposal of females in marriage,
any opposition from his sister, dear as she was to him, would have been
the last obstacle on which he would have calculated, even had the union
been less eligible.
Influenced by these feelings, the Chief now led Waverley in quest of Miss
Mac-Ivor, not without the hope that the present agitation of his guest's
spirits might give him courage to cut short what Fergus termed the
romance of the courtship. They found Flora, with her faithful attendants,
Una and Cathleen, busied in preparing what appeared to Waverley to be
white bridal favours. Disguising as well as he could the agitation of his
mind, Waverley asked for what joyful occasion Miss Mac-Ivor made such
'It is for Fergus's bridal,' she said, smiling.
'Indeed!' said Edward; 'he has kept his secret well. I hope he will allow
me to be his bride's-man.'
'That is a man's office, but not yours, as Beatrice says,' retorted
'And who is the fair lady, may I be permitted to ask, Miss Mac-Ivor?'
'Did not I tell you long since that Fergus wooed no bride but Honour?'
'And am I then incapable of being his assistant and counsellor in the
pursuit of honour?' said our hero, colouring deeply. 'Do I rank so low in
'Far from it, Captain Waverley. I would to God you were of our
determination! and made use of the expression which displeased you,
Because you are not of our quality,
But stand against us as an enemy.'
'That time is past, sister,' said Fergus; 'and you may wish Edward
Waverley (no longer captain) joy of being freed from the slavery to an
usurper, implied in that sable and ill-omened emblem.'
'Yes,' said Waverley, undoing the cockade from his hat, 'it has pleased
the king who bestowed this badge upon me to resume it in a manner which
leaves me little reason to regret his service.'
'Thank God for that!' cried the enthusiast; 'and O that they may be blind
enough to treat every man of honour who serves them with the same
indignity, that I may have less to sigh for when the struggle
'And now, sister,' said the Chieftain, 'replace his cockade with one of a
more lively colour. I think it was the fashion of the ladies of yore to
arm and send forth their knights to high achievement.'
'Not,' replied the lady, 'till the knight adventurer had well weighed the
justice and the danger of the cause, Fergus. Mr. Waverley is just now too
much agitated by feelings of recent emotion for me to press upon him a
resolution of consequence.'
Waverley felt half alarmed at the thought of adopting the badge of what
was by the majority of the kingdom esteemed rebellion, yet he could not
disguise his chagrin at the coldness with which Flora parried her
brother's hint. 'Miss Mac-Ivor, I perceive, thinks the knight unworthy of
her encouragement and favour,' said he, somewhat bitterly.
'Not so, Mr. Waverley,' she replied, with great sweetness. 'Why should I
refuse my brother's valued friend a boon which I am distributing to his
whole clan? Most willingly would I enlist every man of honour in the
cause to which my brother has devoted himself. But Fergus has taken his
measures with his eyes open. His life has been devoted to this cause from
his cradle; with him its call is sacred, were it even a summons to the
tomb. But how can I wish you, Mr. Waverley, so new to the world, so far
from every friend who might advise and ought to influence you,--in a
moment, too, of sudden pique and indignation,--how can I wish you to
plunge yourself at once into so desperate an enterprise?'
Fergus, who did not understand these delicacies, strode through the
apartment biting his lip, and then, with a constrained smile, said,
'Well, sister, I leave you to act your new character of mediator between
the Elector of Hanover and the subjects of your lawful sovereign and
benefactor,' and left the room.
There was a painful pause, which was at length broken by Miss Mac-Ivor.
'My brother is unjust,' she said, 'because he can bear no interruption
that seems to thwart his loyal zeal.'
'And do you not share his ardour?' asked Waverley,
'Do I not?' answered Flora. 'God knows mine exceeds his, if that be
possible. But I am not, like him, rapt by the bustle of military
preparation, and the infinite detail necessary to the present
undertaking, beyond consideration of the grand principles of justice and
truth, on which our enterprise is grounded; and these, I am certain, can
only be furthered by measures in themselves true and just. To operate
upon your present feelings, my dear Mr. Waverley, to induce you to an
irretrievable step, of which you have not considered either the justice
or the danger, is, in my poor judgment, neither the one nor the other.'
'Incomparable Flora!' said Edward, taking her hand, 'how much do I need
such a monitor!'
'A better one by far,' said Flora, gently withdrawing her hand, 'Mr.
Waverley will always find in his own bosom, when he will give its small
still voice leisure to be heard.'
'No, Miss Mac-Ivor, I dare not hope it; a thousand circumstances of fatal
self-indulgence have made me the creature rather of imagination than
reason. Durst I but hope--could I but think--that you would deign to be
to me that affectionate, that condescending friend, who would strengthen
me to redeem my errors, my future life--'
'Hush, my dear sir! now you carry your joy at escaping the hands of a
Jacobite recruiting officer to an unparalleled excess of gratitude.'
'Nay, dear Flora, trifle with me no longer; you cannot mistake the
meaning of those feelings which I have almost involuntarily expressed;
and since I have broken the barrier of silence, let me profit by my
audacity. Or may I, with your permission, mention to your brother--'
'Not for the world, Mr. Waverley!'
'What am I to understand?' said Edward. 'Is there any fatal bar--has any
'None, sir,' answered Flora. 'I owe it to myself to say that I never yet
saw the person on whom I thought with reference to the present subject.'
'The shortness of our acquaintance, perhaps--If Miss Mac-Ivor will deign
to give me time--'
'I have not even that excuse. Captain Waverley's character is so
open--is, in short, of that nature that it cannot be misconstrued, either
in its strength or its weakness.'
'And for that weakness you despise me?' said Edward.
'Forgive me, Mr. Waverley--and remember it is but within this half hour
that there existed between us a barrier of a nature to me insurmountable,
since I never could think of an officer in the service of the Elector of
Hanover in any other light than as a casual acquaintance. Permit me then
to arrange my ideas upon so unexpected a topic, and in less than an hour
I will be ready to give you such reasons for the resolution I shall
express as may be satisfactory at least, if not pleasing to you.' So
saying Flora withdrew, leaving Waverley to meditate upon the manner in
which she had received his addresses.
Ere he could make up his mind whether to believe his suit had been
acceptable or no, Fergus re-entered the apartment. 'What, a la mort,
Waverley?' he cried. 'Come down with me to the court, and you shall see a
sight worth all the tirades of your romances. An hundred firelocks, my
friend, and as many broadswords, just arrived from good friends; and two
or three hundred stout fellows almost fighting which shall first possess
them. But let me look at you closer. Why, a true Highlander would say you
had been blighted by an evil eye. Or can it be this silly girl that has
thus blanked your spirit. Never mind her, dear Edward; the wisest of her
sex are fools in what regards the business of life.'
'Indeed, my good friend,' answered Waverley, 'all that I can charge
against your sister is, that she is too sensible, too reasonable.'
'If that be all, I ensure you for a louis-d'or against the mood lasting
four-and-twenty hours. No woman was ever steadily sensible for that
period; and I will engage, if that will please you, Flora shall be as
unreasonable to-morrow as any of her sex. You must learn, my dear Edward,
to consider women en mousquetaire.' So saying, he seized Waverley's arm
and dragged him off to review his military preparations.
UPON THE SAME SUBJECT
Fergus Mac-Ivor had too much tact and delicacy to renew the subject which
he had interrupted. His head was, or appeared to be, so full of guns,
broadswords, bonnets, canteens, and tartan hose that Waverley could not
for some time draw his attention to any other topic.
'Are you to take the field so soon, Fergus,' he asked, 'that you are
making all these martial preparations?'
'When we have settled that you go with me, you shall know all; but
otherwise, the knowledge might rather be prejudicial to you.'
'But are you serious in your purpose, with such inferior forces, to rise
against an established government? It is mere frenzy.'
'Laissez faire a Don Antoine; I shall take good care of myself. We shall
at least use the compliment of Conan, who never got a stroke but he gave
one. I would not, however,' continued the Chieftain, 'have you think me
mad enough to stir till a favourable opportunity: I will not slip my dog
before the game's afoot. But, once more, will you join with us, and you
shall know all?'
'How can I?' said Waverley; 'I, who have so lately held that commission
which is now posting back to those that gave it? My accepting it implied
a promise of fidelity, and an acknowledgment of the legality of the
'A rash promise,' answered Fergus, 'is not a steel handcuff, it may be
shaken off, especially when it was given under deception, and has been
repaid by insult. But if you cannot immediately make up your mind to a
glorious revenge, go to England, and ere you cross the Tweed you will
hear tidings that will make the world ring; and if Sir Everard be the
gallant old cavalier I have heard him described by some of our HONEST
gentlemen of the year one thousand seven hundred and fifteen, he will
find you a better horse-troop and a better cause than you have lost.'
'But your sister, Fergus?'
'Out, hyperbolical fiend!' replied the Chief, laughing; 'how vexest thou
this man! Speak'st thou of nothing but of ladies?'
'Nay, be serious, my dear friend,' said Waverley; 'I feel that the
happiness of my future life must depend upon the answer which Miss
Mac-Ivor shall make to what I ventured to tell her this morning.'
'And is this your very sober earnest,' said Fergus, more gravely, 'or are
we in the land of romance and fiction?'
'My earnest, undoubtedly. How could you suppose me jesting on such a
'Then, in very sober earnest,' answered his friend, 'I am very glad to
hear it; and so highly do I think of Flora, that you are the only man in
England for whom I would say so much. But before you shake my hand so
warmly, there is more to be considered. Your own family--will they
approve your connecting yourself with the sister of a high-born Highland
'My uncle's situation,' said Waverley, 'his general opinions, and his
uniform indulgence, entitle me to say, that birth and personal qualities
are all he would look to in such a connection. And where can I find both
united in such excellence as in your sister?'
'O nowhere! cela va sans dire,' replied Fergus, with a smile. 'But your
father will expect a father's prerogative in being consulted.'
'Surely; but his late breach with the ruling powers removes all
apprehension of objection on his part, especially as I am convinced that
my uncle will be warm in my cause.'
'Religion perhaps,' said Fergus, 'may make obstacles, though we are not
'My grandmother was of the Church of Rome, and her religion was never
objected to by my family. Do not think of MY friends, dear Fergus; let me
rather have your influence where it may be more necessary to remove
obstacles--I mean with your lovely sister.'
'My lovely sister,' replied Fergus, 'like her loving brother, is very apt
to have a pretty decisive will of her own, by which, in this case, you
must be ruled; but you shall not want my interest, nor my counsel. And,
in the first place, I will give you one hint--Loyalty is her ruling
passion; and since she could spell an English book she has been in love
with the memory of the gallant Captain Wogan, who renounced the service
of the usurper Cromwell to join the standard of Charles II, marched a
handful of cavalry from London to the Highlands to join Middleton, then
in arms for the king, and at length died gloriously in the royal cause.
Ask her to show you some verses she made on his history and fate; they
have been much admired, I assure you. The next point is--I think I saw
Flora go up towards the waterfall a short time since; follow, man,
follow! don't allow the garrison time to strengthen its purposes of
resistance. Alerte a la muraille! Seek Flora out, and learn her decision
as soon as you can, and Cupid go with you, while I go to look over belts
Waverley ascended the glen with an anxious and throbbing heart. Love,
with all its romantic train of hopes, fears, and wishes, was mingled with
other feelings of a nature less easily defined. He could not but remember
how much this morning had changed his fate, and into what a complication
of perplexity it was likely to plunge him. Sunrise had seen him possessed
of an esteemed rank in the honourable profession of arms, his father to
all appearance rapidly rising in the favour of his sovereign. All this
had passed away like a dream: he himself was dishonoured, his father
disgraced, and he had become involuntarily the confidant at least, if not
the accomplice, of plans, dark, deep, and dangerous, which must infer
either the subversion of the government he had so lately served or the
destruction of all who had participated in them. Should Flora even listen
to his suit favourably, what prospect was there of its being brought to a
happy termination amid the tumult of an impending insurrection? Or how
could he make the selfish request that she should leave Fergus, to whom
she was so much attached, and, retiring with him to England, wait, as a
distant spectator, the success of her brother's undertaking, or the ruin
of all his hopes and fortunes? Or, on the other hand, to engage himself,
with no other aid than his single arm, in the dangerous and precipitate
counsels of the Chieftain, to be whirled along by him, the partaker of
all his desperate and impetuous motions, renouncing almost the power of
judging, or deciding upon the rectitude or prudence of his actions, this
was no pleasing prospect for the secret pride of Waverley to stoop to.
And yet what other conclusion remained, saving the rejection of his
addresses by Flora, an alternative not to be thought of in the present
high-wrought state of his feelings with anything short of mental agony.
Pondering the doubtful and dangerous prospect before him, he at length
arrived near the cascade, where, as Fergus had augured, he found Flora
She was quite alone, and as soon as she observed his approach she rose
and came to meet him. Edward attempted to say something within the verge
of ordinary compliment and conversation, but found himself unequal to the
task. Flora seemed at first equally embarrassed, but recovered herself
more speedily, and (an unfavourable augury for Waverley's suit) was the
first to enter upon the subject of their last interview. 'It is too
important, in every point of view, Mr. Waverley, to permit me to leave
you in doubt on my sentiments.'
'Do not speak them speedily,' said Waverley, much agitated, 'unless they
are such as I fear, from your manner, I must not dare to anticipate. Let
time--let my future conduct--let your brother's influence--'
'Forgive me, Mr. Waverley,' said Flora, her complexion a little
heightened, but her voice firm and composed. 'I should incur my own heavy
censure did I delay expressing my sincere conviction that I can never
regard you otherwise than as a valued friend. I should do you the highest
injustice did I conceal my sentiments for a moment. I see I distress you,
and I grieve for it, but better now than later; and O, better a thousand
times, Mr. Waverley, that you should feel a present momentary
disappointment than the long and heart-sickening griefs which attend a
rash and ill-assorted marriage!'
'Good God!' exclaimed Waverley, 'why should you anticipate such
consequences from a union where birth is equal, where fortune is
favourable, where, if I may venture to say so, the tastes are similar,
where you allege no preference for another, where you even express a
favourable opinion of him whom you reject?'
'Mr. Waverley, I HAVE that favourable opinion,' answered Flora; 'and so
strongly that, though I would rather have been silent on the grounds of
my resolution, you shall command them, if you exact such a mark of my
esteem and confidence.'
She sat down upon a fragment of rock, and Waverley, placing himself near
her, anxiously pressed for the explanation she offered.
'I dare hardly,' she said, 'tell you the situation of my feelings, they
are so different from those usually ascribed to young women at my period
of life; and I dare hardly touch upon what I conjecture to be the nature
of yours, lest I should give offence where I would willingly administer
consolation. For myself, from my infancy till this day I have had but one
wish--the restoration of my royal benefactors to their rightful throne.
It is impossible to express to you the devotion of my feelings to this
single subject; and I will frankly confess that it has so occupied my
mind as to exclude every thought respecting what is called my own
settlement in life. Let me but live to see the day of that happy
restoration, and a Highland cottage, a French convent, or an English
palace will be alike indifferent to me.'
'But, dearest Flora, how is your enthusiastic zeal for the exiled family
inconsistent with my happiness?'
'Because you seek, or ought to seek, in the object of your attachment a
heart whose principal delight should be in augmenting your domestic
felicity and returning your affection, even to the height of romance. To
a man of less keen sensibility, and less enthusiastic tenderness of
disposition, Flora Mac-Ivor might give content, if not happiness; for,
were the irrevocable words spoken, never would she be deficient in the
duties which she vowed.'
'And why,--why, Miss Mac-Ivor, should you think yourself a more valuable
treasure to one who is less capable of loving, of admiring you, than to
'Simply because the tone of our affections would be more in unison, and
because his more blunted sensibility would not require the return of
enthusiasm which I have not to bestow. But you, Mr. Waverley, would for
ever refer to the idea of domestic happiness which your imagination is
capable of painting, and whatever fell short of that ideal representation
would be construed into coolness and indifference, while you might
consider the enthusiasm with which I regarded the success of the royal
family as defrauding your affection of its due return.'
'In other words, Miss Mac-Ivor, you cannot love me?' said her suitor
'I could esteem you, Mr. Waverley, as much, perhaps more, than any man I
have ever seen; but I cannot love you as you ought to be loved. O! do
not, for your own sake, desire so hazardous an experiment! The woman whom
you marry ought to have affections and opinions moulded upon yours. Her
studies ought to be your studies; her wishes, her feelings, her hopes,
her fears, should all mingle with yours. She should enhance your
pleasures, share your sorrows, and cheer your melancholy.'
'And why will not you, Miss Mac-Ivor, who can so well describe a happy
union, why will not you be yourself the person you describe?'
'Is it possible you do not yet comprehend me?' answered Flora. 'Have I
not told you that every keener sensation of my mind is bent exclusively
towards an event upon which, indeed, I have no power but those of my
'And might not the granting the suit I solicit,' said Waverley, too
earnest on his purpose to consider what he was about to say, 'even
advance the interest to which you have devoted yourself? My family is
wealthy and powerful, inclined in principles to the Stuart race, and
should a favourable opportunity--'
'A favourable opportunity!' said Flora--somewhat scornfully. 'Inclined in
principles! Can such lukewarm adherence be honourable to yourselves, or
gratifying to your lawful sovereign? Think, from my present feelings,
what I should suffer when I held the place of member in a family where
the rights which I hold most sacred are subjected to cold discussion, and
only deemed worthy of support when they shall appear on the point of
triumphing without it!'
'Your doubts,' quickly replied Waverley, 'are unjust as far as concerns
myself. The cause that I shall assert, I dare support through every
danger, as undauntedly as the boldest who draws sword in its behalf.'
'Of that,' answered Flora, 'I cannot doubt for a moment. But consult your
own good sense and reason rather than a prepossession hastily adopted,
probably only because you have met a young woman possessed of the usual
accomplishments in a sequestered and romantic situation. Let your part in
this great and perilous drama rest upon conviction, and not on a hurried
and probably a temporary feeling.'
Waverley attempted to reply, but his words failed him. Every sentiment
that Flora had uttered vindicated the strength of his attachment; for
even her loyalty, although wildly enthusiastic, was generous and noble,
and disdained to avail itself of any indirect means of supporting the
cause to which she was devoted.
After walking a little way in silence down the path, Flora thus resumed
the conversation.--'One word more, Mr. Waverley, ere we bid farewell to
this topic for ever; and forgive my boldness if that word have the air of
advice. My brother Fergus is anxious that you should join him in his
present enterprise. But do not consent to this; you could not, by your
single exertions, further his success, and you would inevitably share his
fall, if it be God's pleasure that fall he must. Your character would
also suffer irretrievably. Let me beg you will return to your own
country; and, having publicly freed yourself from every tie to the
usurping government, I trust you will see cause, and find opportunity, to
serve your injured sovereign with effect, and stand forth, as your loyal
ancestors, at the head of your natural followers and adherents, a worthy
representative of the house of Waverley.'
'And should I be so happy as thus to distinguish myself, might I not
'Forgive my interruption,' said Flora. 'The present time only is ours,
and I can but explain to you with candour the feelings which I now
entertain; how they might be altered by a train of events too favourable
perhaps to be hoped for, it were in vain even to conjecture. Only be
assured, Mr. Waverley, that, after my brother's honour and happiness,
there is none which I shall more sincerely pray for than for yours.'
With these words she parted from him, for they were now arrived where two
paths separated. Waverley reached the castle amidst a medley of
conflicting passions. He avoided any private interview with Fergus, as he
did not find himself able either to encounter his raillery or reply to
his solicitations. The wild revelry of the feast, for Mac-Ivor kept open
table for his clan, served in some degree to stun reflection. When their
festivity was ended, he began to consider how he should again meet Miss
Mac-Ivor after the painful and interesting explanation of the morning.
But Flora did not appear. Fergus, whose eyes flashed when he was told by
Cathleen that her mistress designed to keep her apartment that evening,
went himself in quest of her; but apparently his remonstrances were in
vain, for he returned with a heightened complexion and manifest symptoms
of displeasure. The rest of the evening passed on without any allusion,
on the part either of Fergus or Waverley, to the subject which engrossed
the reflections of the latter, and perhaps of both.
When retired to his own apartment, Edward endeavoured to sum up the
business of the day. That the repulse he had received from Flora would be
persisted in for the present, there was no doubt. But could he hope for
ultimate success in case circumstances permitted the renewal of his suit?
Would the enthusiastic loyalty, which at this animating moment left no
room for a softer passion, survive, at least in its engrossing force, the
success or the failure of the present political machinations? And if so,
could he hope that the interest which she had acknowledged him to possess
in her favour might be improved into a warmer attachment? He taxed his
memory to recall every word she had used, with the appropriate looks and
gestures which had enforced them, and ended by finding himself in the
same state of uncertainty. It was very late before sleep brought relief
to the tumult of his mind, after the most painful and agitating day which
he had ever passed.
A LETTER FROM TULLY-VEOLAN
In the morning, when Waverley's troubled reflections had for some time
given way to repose, there came music to his dreams, but not the voice of
Selma. He imagined himself transported back to Tully-Veolan, and that he
heard Davie Gellatley singing in the court those matins which used
generally to be the first sounds that disturbed his repose while a guest
of the Baron of Bradwardine. The notes which suggested this vision
continued, and waxed louder, until Edward awoke in earnest. The illusion,
however, did not seem entirely dispelled. The apartment was in the
fortress of lan nan Chaistel, but it was still the voice of Davie
Gellatley that made the following lines resound under the window:--
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.
[Footnote: These lines form the burden of an old song to which Burns
wrote additional verses.]
Curious to know what could have determined Mr. Gellatley on an excursion
of such unwonted extent, Edward began to dress himself in all haste,
during which operation the minstrelsy of Davie changed its tune more than
There's nought in the Highlands but syboes and leeks,
And lang-leggit callants gaun wanting the breeks,
Wanting the breeks, and without hose and shoon,
But we'll a'win the breeks when King Jamie comes hame.
[Footnote: These lines are also ancient, and I believe to the tune of
'We'll never hae peace till Jamie comes hame,' to which Burns likewise
wrote some verses.]
By the time Waverley was dressed and had issued forth, David had
associated himself with two or three of the numerous Highland loungers
who always graced the gates of the castle with their presence, and was
capering and dancing full merrily in the doubles and full career of a
Scotch foursome reel, to the music of his own whistling. In this double
capacity of dancer and musician he continued, until an idle piper, who
observed his zeal, obeyed the unanimous call of seid suas (i.e. blow up),
and relieved him from the latter part of his trouble. Young and old then
mingled in the dance as they could find partners. The appearance of
Waverley did not interrupt David's exercise, though he contrived, by
grinning, nodding, and throwing one or two inclinations of the body into
the graces with which he performed the Highland fling, to convey to our
hero symptoms of recognition. Then, while busily employed in setting,
whooping all the while, and snapping his fingers over his head, he of a
sudden prolonged his side-step until it brought him to the place where
Edward was standing, and, still keeping time to the music like Harlequin
in a pantomime, he thrust a letter into our hero's hand, and continued
his saltation without pause or intermission. Edward, who perceived that
the address was in Rose's hand-writing, retired to peruse it, leaving the
faithful bearer to continue his exercise until the piper or he should be
The contents of the letter greatly surprised him. It had originally
commenced with 'Dear Sir'; but these words had been carefully erased, and
the monosyllable 'Sir' substituted in their place. The rest of the
contents shall be given in Rose's own language.
I fear I am using an improper freedom by intruding upon you, yet I cannot
trust to any one else to let you know some things which have happened
here, with which it seems necessary you should be acquainted. Forgive me,
if I am wrong in what I am doing; for, alas! Mr. Waverley, I have no
better advice than that of my own feelings; my dear father is gone from
this place, and when he can return to my assistance and protection, God
alone knows. You have probably heard that, in consequence of some
troublesome news from the Highlands, warrants were sent out for
apprehending several gentlemen in these parts, and, among others, my dear
father. In spite of all my tears and entreaties that he would surrender
himself to the government, he joined with Mr. Falconer and some other
gentlemen, and they have all gone northwards, with a body of about forty
horsemen. So I am not so anxious concerning his immediate safety as about
what may follow afterwards, for these troubles are only beginning. But
all this is nothing to you, Mr. Waverley, only I thought you would be
glad to learn that my father has escaped, in case you happen to have
heard that he was in danger.
The day after my father went off there came a party of soldiers to
Tully-Veolan, and behaved very rudely to Bailie Macwheeble; but the
officer was very civil to me, only said his duty obliged him to search
for arms and papers. My father had provided against this by taking away
all the arms except the old useless things which hung in the hall, and he
had put all his papers out of the way. But O! Mr. Waverley, how shall I
tell you, that they made strict inquiry after you, and asked when you had
been at Tully-Veolan, and where you now were. The officer is gone back
with his party, but a non-commissioned officer and four men remain as a
sort of garrison in the house. They have hitherto behaved very well, as
we are forced to keep them in good-humour. But these soldiers have hinted
as if, on your falling into their hands, you would be in great danger; I
cannot prevail on myself to write what wicked falsehoods they said, for I
am sure they are falsehoods; but you will best judge what you ought to
do. The party that returned carried off your servant prisoner, with your
two horses, and everything that you left at Tully-Veolan. I hope God will
protect you, and that you will get safe home to England, where you used
to tell me there was no military violence nor fighting among clans
permitted, but everything was done according to an equal law that
protected all who were harmless and innocent. I hope you will exert your
indulgence as to my boldness in writing to you, where it seems to me,
though perhaps erroneously, that your safety and honour are concerned. I
am sure--at least I think, my father would approve of my writing; for Mr.
Rubrick is fled to his cousin's at the Duchran, to to be out of danger
from the soldiers and the Whigs, and Bailie Macwheeble does not like to
meddle (he says) in other men's concerns, though I hope what may serve my
father's friend at such a time as this cannot be termed improper
interference. Farewell, Captain Waverley! I shall probably never see you
more; for it would be very improper to wish you to call at Tully-Veolan
just now, even if these men were gone; but I will always remember with
gratitude your kindness in assisting so poor a scholar as myself, and
your attentions to my dear, dear father.
I remain, your obliged servant,
ROSE COMYNE BRADWARDINE.
P.S.--I hope you will send me a line by David Gellatley, just to say you
have received this and that you will take care of yourself; and forgive
me if I entreat you, for your own sake, to join none of these unhappy
cabals, but escape, as fast as possible, to your own fortunate country.
My compliments to my dear Flora and to Glennaquoich. Is she not as
handsome and accomplished as I have described her?
Thus concluded the letter of Rose Bradwardine, the contents of which both
surprised and affected Waverley. That the Baron should fall under the
suspicions of government, in consequence of the present stir among the
partisans of the house of Stuart, seemed only the natural consequence of
his political predilections; but how HE himself should have been involved
in such suspicions, conscious that until yesterday he had been free from
harbouring a thought against the prosperity of the reigning family,
seemed inexplicable. Both at Tully-Veolan and Glennaquoich his hosts had
respected his engagements with the existing government, and though enough
passed by accidental innuendo that might induce him to reckon the Baron
and the Chief among those disaffected gentlemen who were still numerous
in Scotland, yet until his own connection with the army had been broken
off by the resumption of his commission, he had no reason to suppose that
they nourished any immediate or hostile attempts against the present
establishment. Still he was aware that, unless he meant at once to
embrace the proposal of Fergus Mac-Ivor, it would deeply concern him to
leave the suspicious neighbourhood without delay, and repair where his
conduct might undergo a satisfactory examination. Upon this he the rather
determined, as Flora's advice favoured his doing so, and because he felt
inexpressible repugnance at the idea of being accessary to the plague of
civil war. Whatever were the original rights of the Stuarts, calm
reflection told him that, omitting the question how far James the Second
could forfeit those of his posterity, he had, according to the united
voice of the whole nation, justly forfeited his own. Since that period
four monarchs had reigned in peace and glory over Britain, sustaining and
exalting the character of the nation abroad and its liberties at home.
Reason asked, was it worth while to disturb a government so long settled