Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete
Sir Walter Scott

Part 4 out of 12

When the cold grey mist brought the ghastly Form!

'I am sorry to disappoint the company, especially Captain Waverley, who
listens with such laudable gravity; it is but a fragment, although I
think there are other verses, describing the return of the Baron from the
wars, and how the lady was found "clay-cold upon the grounsill ledge.'"

'It is one of those figments,' observed Mr. Bradwardine, 'with which the
early history of distinguished families was deformed in the times of
superstition; as that of Rome, and other ancient nations, had their
prodigies, sir, the which you may read in ancient histories, or in the
little work compiled by Julius Obsequens, and inscribed by the learned
Scheffer, the editor, to his patron, Benedictus Skytte, Baron of

'My father has a strange defiance of the marvellous, Captain Waverley,'
observed Rose, 'and once stood firm when a whole synod of Presbyterian
divines were put to the rout by a sudden apparition of the foul fiend.'

Waverley looked as if desirous to hear more.

'Must I tell my story as well as sing my song? Well--Once upon a time
there lived an old woman, called Janet Gellatley, who was suspected to be
a witch, on the infallible grounds that she was very old, very ugly, very
poor, and had two sons, one of whom was a poet and the other a fool,
which visitation, all the neighbourhood agreed, had come upon her for the
sin of witchcraft. And she was imprisoned for a week in the steeple of
the parish church, and sparely supplied with food, and not permitted to
sleep until she herself became as much persuaded of her being a witch as
her accusers; and in this lucid and happy state of mind was brought forth
to make a clean breast, that is, to make open confession of her
sorceries, before all the Whig gentry and ministers in the vicinity, who
were no conjurors themselves. My father went to see fair play between the
witch and the clergy; for the witch had been born on his estate. And
while the witch was confessing that the Enemy appeared, and made his
addresses to her as a handsome black man,--which, if you could have seen
poor old blear-eyed Janet, reflected little honour on Apollyon's
taste,--and while the auditors listened with astonished ears, and the
clerk recorded with a trembling hand, she, all of a sudden, changed the
low mumbling tone with which she spoke into a shrill yell, and exclaimed,
"Look to yourselves! look to yourselves! I see the Evil One sitting in
the midst of ye." The surprise was general, and terror and flight its
immediate consequences. Happy were those who were next the door; and many
were the disasters that befell hats, bands, cuffs, and wigs, before they
could get out of the church, where they left the obstinate prelatist to
settle matters with the witch and her admirer at his own peril or

'Risu solvuntur tabulae,' said the Baron; 'when they recovered their
panic trepidation they were too much ashamed to bring any wakening of the
process against Janet Gellatley.' [Footnote: See Note 36]

This anecdote led to a long discussion of

All those idle thoughts and fantasies,
Devices, dreams, opinions unsound,
Shows, visions, soothsays, and prophecies,
And all that feigned is, as leasings, tales, and lies.
With such conversation, and the romantic legends which it introduced,
closed our hero's second evening in the house of Tully-Veolan.



The next day Edward arose betimes, and in a morning walk around the house
and its vicinity came suddenly upon a small court in front of the
dog-kennel, where his friend Davie was employed about his four-footed
charge. One quick glance of his eye recognised Waverley, when, instantly
turning his back, as if he had not observed him, he began to sing part of
an old ballad:--

Young men will love thee more fair and more fast;
Heard ye so merry the little bird sing?
Old men's love the longest will last,
And the throstle-cock's head is under his wing.

The young man's wrath is like light straw on fire;
Heard ye so merry the little bird sing?
But like red-hot steel is the old man's ire,
And the throstle-cock's head is under his wing.

The young man will brawl at the evening board;
Heard ye so merry the little bird sing?
But the old man will draw at the dawning the sword,
And the throstle-cock's head is under his wing.

Waverley could not avoid observing that Davie laid something like a
satirical emphasis on these lines. He therefore approached, and
endeavoured, by sundry queries, to elicit from him what the innuendo
might mean; but Davie had no mind to explain, and had wit enough to make
his folly cloak his knavery. Edward could collect nothing from him,
excepting that the Laird of Balmawhapple had gone home yesterday morning
'wi' his boots fu' o' bluid.' In the garden, however, he met the old
butler, who no longer attempted to conceal that, having been bred in the
nursery line with Sumack and Co. of Newcastle, he sometimes wrought a
turn in the flower-borders to oblige the Laird and Miss Rose. By a series
of queries, Edward at length discovered, with a painful feeling of
surprise and shame, that Balmawhapple's submission and apology had been
the consequence of a rencontre with the Baron before his guest had
quitted his pillow, in which the younger combatant had been disarmed and
wounded in the sword arm.

Greatly mortified at this information, Edward sought out his friendly
host, and anxiously expostulated with him upon the injustice he had done
him in anticipating his meeting with Mr. Falconer, a circumstance which,
considering his youth and the profession of arms which he had just
adopted, was capable of being represented much to his prejudice. The
Baron justified himself at greater length than I choose to repeat. He
urged that the quarrel was common to them, and that Balmawhapple could
not, by the code of honour, evite giving satisfaction to both, which he
had done in his case by an honourable meeting, and in that of Edward by
such a palinode as rendered the use of the sword unnecessary, and which,
being made and accepted, must necessarily sopite the whole affair.

With this excuse, or explanation, Waverley was silenced, if not
satisfied; but he could not help testifying some displeasure against the
Blessed Bear, which had given rise to the quarrel, nor refrain from
hinting that the sanctified epithet was hardly appropriate. The Baron
observed, he could not deny that 'the Bear, though allowed by heralds as
a most honourable ordinary, had, nevertheless, somewhat fierce, churlish,
and morose in his disposition (as might be read in Archibald Simson,
pastor of Dalkeith's 'Hieroglyphica Animalium') and had thus been the
type of many quarrels and dissensions which had occurred in the house of
Bradwardine; of which,' he continued, 'I might commemorate mine own
unfortunate dissension with my third cousin by the mother's side, Sir Hew
Halbert, who was so unthinking as to deride my family name, as if it had
been QUASI BEAR-WARDEN; a most uncivil jest, since it not only insinuated
that the founder of our house occupied such a mean situation as to be a
custodier of wild beasts, a charge which, ye must have observed, is only
entrusted to the very basest plebeians; but, moreover, seemed to infer
that our coat-armour had not been achieved by honourable actions in war,
but bestowed by way of paranomasia, or pun, upon our family
appellation,--a sort of bearing which the French call armoires parlantes,
the Latins arma cantantia, and your English authorities canting heraldry,
[Footnote: See Note 37] being indeed a species of emblazoning more
befitting canters, gaberlunzies, and such like mendicants, whose
gibberish is formed upon playing upon the word, than the noble,
honourable, and useful science of heraldry, which assigns armorial
bearings as the reward of noble and generous actions, and not to tickle
the ear with vain quodlibets, such as are found in jestbooks.' Of his
quarrel with Sir Hew he said nothing more than that it was settled in a
fitting manner.

Having been so minute with respect to the diversions of Tully-Veolan on
the first days of Edward's arrival, for the purpose of introducing its
inmates to the reader's acquaintance, it becomes less necessary to trace
the progress of his intercourse with the same accuracy. It is probable
that a young man, accustomed to more cheerful society, would have tired
of the conversation of so violent an assertor of the 'boast of heraldry'
as the Baron; but Edward found an agreeable variety in that of Miss
Bradwardine, who listened with eagerness to his remarks upon literature,
and showed great justness of taste in her answers. The sweetness of her
disposition had made her submit with complacency, and even pleasure, to
the course of reading prescribed by her father, although it not only
comprehended several heavy folios of history, but certain gigantic tomes
in high-church polemics. In heraldry he was fortunately contented to give
her only such a slight tincture as might be acquired by perusal of the
two folio volumes of Nisbet. Rose was indeed the very apple of her
father's eye. Her constant liveliness, her attention to all those little
observances most gratifying to those who would never think of exacting
them, her beauty, in which he recalled the features of his beloved wife,
her unfeigned piety, and the noble generosity of her disposition, would
have justified the affection of the most doting father.

His anxiety on her behalf did not, however, seem to extend itself in that
quarter where, according to the general opinion, it is most efficiently
displayed, in labouring, namely, to establish her in life, either by a
large dowry or a wealthy marriage. By an old settlement, almost all the
landed estates of the Baron went, after his death, to a distant relation;
and it was supposed that Miss Bradwardine would remain but slenderly
provided for, as the good gentleman's cash matters had been too long
under the exclusive charge of Bailie Macwheeble to admit of any great
expectations from his personal succession. It is true, the said Bailie
loved his patron and his patron's daughter next (though at an
incomparable distance) to himself. He thought it was possible to set
aside the settlement on the male line, and had actually procured an
opinion to that effect (and, as he boasted, without a fee) from an
eminent Scottish counsel, under whose notice he contrived to bring the
point while consulting him regularly on some other business. But the
Baron would not listen to such a proposal for an instant. On the
contrary, he used to have a perverse pleasure in boasting that the barony
of Bradwardine was a male fief, the first charter having been given at
that early period when women were not deemed capable to hold a feudal
grant; because, according to Les coustusmes de Normandie, c'est l'homme
ki se bast et ki conseille; or, as is yet more ungallantly expressed by
other authorities, all of whose barbarous names he delighted to quote at
full length, because a woman could not serve the superior, or feudal
lord, in war, on account of the decorum of her sex, nor assist him with
advice, because of her limited intellect, nor keep his counsel, owing to
the infirmity of her disposition. He would triumphantly ask, how it would
become a female, and that female a Bradwardine, to be seen employed in
servitio exuendi, seu detrahendi, caligas regis post battaliam? that is,
in pulling off the king's boots after an engagement, which was the feudal
service by which he held the barony of Bradwardine. 'No,' he said,
'beyond hesitation, procul dubio, many females, as worthy as Rose, had
been excluded, in order to make way for my own succession, and Heaven
forbid that I should do aught that might contravene the destination of my
forefathers, or impinge upon the right of my kinsman, Malcolm Bradwardine
of Inchgrabbit, an honourable, though decayed branch of my own family.'

The Bailie, as prime minister, having received this decisive
communication from his sovereign, durst not press his own opinion any
farther, but contented himself with deploring, on all suitable occasions,
to Saunderson, the minister of the interior, the laird's self-willedness,
and with laying plans for uniting Rose with the young Laird of
Balmawhapple, who had a fine estate, only moderately burdened, and was a
faultless young gentleman, being as sober as a saint--if you keep brandy
from him and him from brandy--and who, in brief, had no imperfection but
that of keeping light company at a time; such as Jinker, the
horse-couper, and Gibby Gaethroughwi't, the piper o' Cupar; 'o' whilk
follies, Mr. Saunderson, he'll mend, he'll mend,' pronounced the Bailie.

'Like sour ale in simmer,' added Davie Gellatley, who happened to be
nearer the conclave than they were aware of.

Miss Bradwardine, such as we have described her, with all the simplicity
and curiosity of a recluse, attached herself to the opportunities of
increasing her store of literature which Edward's visit afforded her. He
sent for some of his books from his quarters, and they opened to her
sources of delight of which she had hitherto had no idea. The best
English poets, of every description, and other works on belles-lettres,
made a part of this precious cargo. Her music, even her flowers, were
neglected, and Saunders not only mourned over, but began to mutiny
against, the labour for which he now scarce received thanks. These new
pleasures became gradually enhanced by sharing them with one of a kindred
taste. Edward's readiness to comment, to recite, to explain difficult
passages, rendered his assistance invaluable; and the wild romance of his
spirit delighted a character too young and inexperienced to observe its
deficiencies. Upon subjects which interested him, and when quite at ease,
he possessed that flow of natural, and somewhat florid eloquence, which
has been supposed as powerful even as figure, fashion, fame, or fortune,
in winning the female heart. There was, therefore, an increasing danger
in this constant intercourse to poor Rose's peace of mind, which was the
more imminent as her father was greatly too much abstracted in his
studies, and wrapped up in his own dignity, to dream of his daughter's
incurring it. The daughters of the house of Bradwardine were, in his
opinion, like those of the house of Bourbon or Austria, placed high above
the clouds of passion which might obfuscate the intellects of meaner
females; they moved in another sphere, were governed by other feelings,
and amenable to other rules than those of idle and fantastic affection.
In short, he shut his eyes so resolutely to the natural consequences of
Edward's intimacy with Miss Bradwardine, that the whole neighbourhood
concluded that he had opened them to the advantages of a match between
his daughter and the wealthy young Englishman, and pronounced him much
less a fool than he had generally shown himself in cases where his own
interest was concerned.

If the Baron, however, had really meditated such an alliance, the
indifference of Waverley would have been an insuperable bar to his
project. Our hero, since mixing more freely with the world, had learned
to think with great shame and confusion upon his mental legend of Saint
Cecilia, and the vexation of these reflections was likely, for some time
at least, to counterbalance the natural susceptibility of his
disposition. Besides, Rose Bradwardine, beautiful and amiable as we have
described her, had not precisely the sort of beauty or merit which
captivates a romantic imagination in early youth. She was too frank, too
confiding, too kind; amiable qualities, undoubtedly, but destructive of
the marvellous, with which a youth of imagination delights to dress the
empress of his affections. Was it possible to bow, to tremble, and to
adore, before the timid, yet playful little girl, who now asked Edward to
mend her pen, now to construe a stanza in Tasso, and now how to spell a
very--very long word in her version of it? All these incidents have their
fascination on the mind at a certain period of life, but not when a youth
is entering it, and rather looking out for some object whose affection
may dignify him in his own eyes than stooping to one who looks up to him
for such distinction. Hence, though there can be no rule in so capricious
a passion, early love is frequently ambitious in choosing its object; or,
which comes to the same, selects her (as in the case of Saint Cecilia
aforesaid) from a situation that gives fair scope for le beau ideal,
which the reality of intimate and familiar life rather tends to limit and
impair. I knew a very accomplished and sensible young man cured of a
violent passion for a pretty woman, whose talents were not equal to her
face and figure, by being permitted to bear her company for a whole
afternoon. Thus, it is certain, that had Edward enjoyed such an
opportunity of conversing with Miss Stubbs, Aunt Rachel's precaution
would have been unnecessary, for he would as soon have fallen in love
with the dairy-maid. And although Miss Bradwardine was a very different
character, it seems probable that the very intimacy of their intercourse
prevented his feeling for her other sentiments than those of a brother
for an amiable and accomplished sister; while the sentiments of poor Rose
were gradually, and without her being conscious, assuming a shade of
warmer affection.

I ought to have said that Edward, when he sent to Dundee for the books
before mentioned, had applied for, and received permission, extending his
leave of absence. But the letter of his commanding officer contained a
friendly recommendation to him not to spend his time exclusively with
persons who, estimable as they might be in a general sense, could not be
supposed well affected to a government which they declined to acknowledge
by taking the oath of allegiance. The letter further insinuated, though
with great delicacy, that although some family connections might be
supposed to render it necessary for Captain Waverley to communicate with
gentlemen who were in this unpleasant state of suspicion, yet his
father's situation and wishes ought to prevent his prolonging those
attentions into exclusive intimacy. And it was intimated, that, while his
political principles were endangered by communicating with laymen of this
description, he might also receive erroneous impressions in religion from
the prelatic clergy, who so perversely laboured to set up the royal
prerogative in things sacred.

This last insinuation probably induced Waverley to set both down to the
prejudices of his commanding officer. He was sensible that Mr.
Bradwardine had acted with the most scrupulous delicacy, in never
entering upon any discussion that had the most remote tendency to bias
his mind in political opinions, although he was himself not only a
decided partisan of the exiled family, but had been trusted at different
times with important commissions for their service. Sensible, therefore,
that there was no risk of his being perverted from his allegiance, Edward
felt as if he should do his uncle's old friend injustice in removing from
a house where he gave and received pleasure and amusement, merely to
gratify a prejudiced and ill-judged suspicion. He therefore wrote a very
general answer, assuring his commanding officer that his loyalty was not
in the most distant danger of contamination, and continued an honoured
guest and inmate of the house of Tully-Veolan.



When Edward had been a guest at Tully-Veolan nearly six weeks, he
descried, one morning, as he took his usual walk before the breakfast
hour, signs of uncommon perturbation in the family. Four bare-legged
dairy-maids, with each an empty milk-pail in her hand, ran about with
frantic gestures, and uttering loud exclamations of surprise, grief, and
resentment. From their appearance, a pagan might have conceived them a
detachment of the celebrated Belides, just come from their baling
penance. As nothing was to be got from this distracted chorus, excepting
'Lord guide us!' and 'Eh sirs!' ejaculations which threw no light upon
the cause of their dismay, Waverley repaired to the fore-court, as it was
called, where he beheld Bailie Macwheeble cantering his white pony down
the avenue with all the speed it could muster. He had arrived, it would
seem, upon a hasty summons, and was followed by half a score of peasants
from the village who had no great difficulty in keeping pace with him.

The Bailie, greatly too busy and too important to enter into explanations
with Edward, summoned forth Mr. Saunderson, who appeared with a
countenance in which dismay was mingled with solemnity, and they
immediately entered into close conference. Davie Gellatley was also seen
in the group, idle as Diogenes at Sinope while his countrymen were
preparing for a siege. His spirits always rose with anything, good or
bad, which occasioned tumult, and he continued frisking, hopping,
dancing, and singing the burden of an old ballad--

'Our gear's a' gane,'

until, happening to pass too near the Bailie, he received an admonitory
hint from his horse-whip, which converted his songs into lamentation.

Passing from thence towards the garden, Waverley beheld the Baron in
person, measuring and re-measuring, with swift and tremendous strides,
the length of the terrace; his countenance clouded with offended pride
and indignation, and the whole of his demeanour such as seemed to
indicate, that any inquiry concerning the cause of his discomposure would
give pain at least, if not offence. Waverley therefore glided into the
house, without addressing him, and took his way to the breakfast-parlour,
where he found his young friend Rose, who, though she neither exhibited
the resentment of her father, the turbid importance of Bailie Macwheeble,
nor the despair of the handmaidens, seemed vexed and thoughtful. A single
word explained the mystery. 'Your breakfast will be a disturbed one,
Captain Waverley. A party of Caterans have come down upon us last night,
and have driven off all our milch cows.'

'A party of Caterans?'

'Yes; robbers from the neighbouring Highlands. We used to be quite free
from them while we paid blackmail to Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich Ian Vohr; but
my father thought it unworthy of his rank and birth to pay it any longer,
and so this disaster has happened. It is not the value of the cattle,
Captain Waverley, that vexes me; but my father is so much hurt at the
affront, and is so bold and hot, that I fear he will try to recover them
by the strong hand; and if he is not hurt himself, he will hurt some of
these wild people, and then there will be no peace between them and us
perhaps for our life-time; and we cannot defend ourselves as in old
times, for the government have taken all our arms; and my dear father is
so rash--O what will become of us!'--Here poor Rose lost heart
altogether, and burst into a flood of tears.

The Baron entered at this moment, and rebuked her with more asperity than
Waverley had ever heard him use to any one. 'Was it not a shame,' he
said, 'that she should exhibit herself before any gentleman in such a
light, as if she shed tears for a drove of horned nolt and milch kine,
like the daughter of a Cheshire yeoman!--Captain Waverley, I must request
your favourable construction of her grief, which may, or ought to
proceed, solely from seeing her father's estate exposed to spulzie and
depredation from common thieves and sorners, while we are not allowed to
keep half a score of muskets, whether for defence or rescue.'

Bailie Macwheeble entered immediately afterwards, and by his report of
arms and ammunition confirmed this statement, informing the Baron, in a
melancholy voice, that though the people would certainly obey his
honour's orders, yet there was no chance of their following the gear to
ony guid purpose, in respect there were only his honour's body servants
who had swords and pistols, and the depredators were twelve Highlanders,
completely armed after the manner of their country. Having delivered this
doleful annunciation, he assumed a posture of silent dejection, shaking
his head slowly with the motion of a pendulum when it is ceasing to
vibrate, and then remained stationary, his body stooping at a more acute
angle than usual, and the latter part of his person projecting in

The Baron, meanwhile, paced the room in silent indignation, and at length
fixing his eye upon an old portrait, whose person was clad in armour, and
whose features glared grimly out of a huge bush of hair, part of which
descended from his head to his shoulders, and part from his chin and
upper-lip to his breast-plate,--'That gentleman, Captain Waverley, my
grandsire,' he said, 'with two hundred horse,--whom he levied within his
own bounds, discomfited and put to the rout more than five hundred of
these Highland reivers, who have been ever lapis offensionis et petra
scandali, a stumbling-block and a rock of offence, to the Lowland
vicinage--he discomfited them, I say, when they had the temerity to
descend to harry this country, in the time of the civil dissensions, in
the year of grace sixteen hundred forty and two. And now, sir, I, his
grandson, am thus used at such unworthy hands.'

Here there was an awful pause; after which all the company, as is usual
in cases of difficulty, began to give separate and inconsistent counsel.
Alexander ab Alexandro proposed they should send some one to compound
with the Caterans, who would readily, he said, give up their prey for a
dollar a head. The Bailie opined that this transaction would amount to
theft-boot, or composition of felony; and he recommended that some canny
hand should be sent up to the glens to make the best bargain he could, as
it were for himself, so that the Laird might not be seen in such a
transaction. Edward proposed to send off to the nearest garrison for a
party of soldiers and a magistrate's warrant; and Rose, as far as she
dared, endeavoured to insinuate the course of paying the arrears of
tribute money to Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich Ian Vohr, who, they all knew, could
easily procure restoration of the cattle, if he were properly

None of these proposals met the Baron's approbation. The idea of
composition, direct or implied, was absolutely ignominious; that of
Waverley only showed that he did not understand the state of the country,
and of the political parties which divided it; and, standing matters as
they did with Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich Ian Vohr, the Baron would make no
concession to him, were it, he said, 'to procure restitution in integrum
of every stirk and stot that the chief, his forefathers, and his clan,
had stolen since the days of Malcolm Canmore.'

In fact his voice was still for war, and he proposed to send expresses to
Balmawhapple, Killancureit, Tulliellum, and other lairds, who were
exposed to similar depredations, inviting them to join in the pursuit;
'and then, sir, shall these nebulones nequissimi, as Leslaeus calls them,
be brought to the fate of their predecessor Cacus,
"Elisos oculos, et siccum sanguine guttur."'
The Bailie, who by no means relished these warlike counsels, here pulled
forth an immense watch, of the colour, and nearly of the size, of a
pewter warming-pan, and observed it was now past noon, and that the
Caterans had been seen in the pass of Ballybrough soon after sunrise; so
that, before the allied forces could assemble, they and their prey would
be far beyond the reach of the most active pursuit, and sheltered in
those pathless deserts, where it was neither advisable to follow, nor
indeed possible to trace them.

This proposition was undeniable. The council therefore broke up without
coming to any conclusion, as has occurred to councils of more importance;
only it was determined that the Bailie should send his own three milkcows
down to the mains for the use of the Baron's family, and brew small ale,
as a substitute for milk, in his own. To this arrangement, which was
suggested by Saunderson, the Bailie readily assented, both from habitual
deference to the family, and an internal consciousness that his courtesy
would, in some mode or other, be repaid tenfold.

The Baron having also retired to give some necessary directions, Waverley
seized the opportunity to ask, whether this Fergus, with the
unpronounceable name, was the chief thief-taker of the district?

'Thief-taker!' answered Rose, laughing; 'he is a gentleman of great
honour and consequence, the chieftain of an independent branch of a
powerful Highland clan, and is much respected, both for his own power and
that of his kith, kin, and allies.'

'And what has he to do with the thieves, then? Is he a magistrate, or in
the commission of the peace?' asked Waverley.

'The commission of war rather, if there be such a thing,' said Rose; 'for
he is a very unquiet neighbour to his unfriends, and keeps a greater
following on foot than many that have thrice his estate. As to his
connection with the thieves, that I cannot well explain; but the boldest
of them will never steal a hoof from any one that pays black-mail to Vich
lan Vohr.'

'And what is black-mail?'

'A sort of protection-money that Low-Country gentlemen and heritors,
lying near the Highlands, pay to some Highland chief, that he may neither
do them harm himself, nor suffer it to be done to them by others; and
then if your cattle are stolen, you have only to send him word, and he
will recover them; or it may be, he will drive away cows from some
distant place, where he has a quarrel, and give them to you to make up
your loss.' [Footnote: See note 13.]

'And is this sort of Highland Jonathan Wild admitted into society, and
called a gentleman?'

'So much so,' said Rose, 'that the quarrel between my father and Fergus
Mac-Ivor began at a county meeting, where he wanted to take precedence of
all the Lowland gentlemen then present, only my father would not suffer
it. And then he upbraided my father that he was under his banner, and
paid him tribute; and my father was in a towering passion, for Bailie
Macwheeble, who manages such things his own way, had contrived to keep
this black-mail a secret from him, and passed it in his account for
cess-money. And they would have fought; but Fergus Mac-Ivor said, very
gallantly, he would never raise his hand against a grey head that was so
much respected as my father's.--O I wish, I wish they had continued

'And did you ever see this Mr. Mac-Ivor, if that be his name, Miss

'No, that is not his name; and he would consider MASTER as a sort of
affront, only that you are an Englishman, and know no better. But the
Lowlanders call him, like other gentlemen, by the name of his estate,
Glennaquoich; and the Highlanders call him Vich Ian Vohr, that is, the
son of John the Great; and we upon the braes here call him by both names

'I am afraid I shall never bring my English tongue to call him by either
one or other.'

'But he is a very polite, handsome man,' continued Rose; 'and his sister
Flora is one of the most beautiful and accomplished young ladies in this
country; she was bred in a convent in France, and was a great friend of
mine before this unhappy dispute. Dear Captain Waverley, try your
influence with my father to make matters up. I am sure this is but the
beginning of our troubles; for Tully-Veolan has never been a safe or
quiet residence when we have been at feud with the Highlanders. When I
was a girl about ten, there was a skirmish fought between a party of
twenty of them and my father and his servants behind the mains; and the
bullets broke several panes in the north windows, they were so near.
Three of the Highlanders were killed, and they brought them in wrapped in
their plaids, and laid them on the stone floor of the hall; and next
morning, their wives and daughters came, clapping their hands, and crying
the coronach, and shrieking, and carried away the dead bodies, with the
pipes playing before them. I could not sleep for six weeks without
starting and thinking I heard these terrible cries, and saw the bodies
lying on the steps, all stiff and swathed up in their bloody tartans. But
since that time there came a party from the garrison at Stirling, with a
warrant from the Lord Justice Clerk, or some such great man, and took
away all our arms; and now, how are we to protect ourselves if they come
down in any strength?'

Waverley could not help starting at a story which bore so much
resemblance to one of his own day-dreams. Here was a girl scarce
seventeen, the gentlest of her sex, both in temper and appearance, who
had witnessed with her own eyes such a scene as he had used to conjure up
in his imagination, as only occurring in ancient times, and spoke of it
coolly, as one very likely to recur. He felt at once the impulse of
curiosity, and that slight sense of danger which only serves to heighten
its interest. He might have said with Malvolio, '"I do not now fool
myself, to let imagination jade me!" I am actually in the land of
military and romantic adventures, and it only remains to be seen what
will be my own share in them.'

The whole circumstances now detailed concerning the state of the country
seemed equally novel and extraordinary. He had indeed often heard of
Highland thieves, but had no idea of the systematic mode in which their
depredations were conducted; and that the practice was connived at, and
even encouraged, by many of the Highland chieftains, who not only found
the creaghs, or forays, useful for the purpose of training individuals of
their clan to the practice of arms, but also of maintaining a wholesome
terror among their Lowland neighbours, and levying, as we have seen, a
tribute from them, under colour of protection-money.

Bailie Macwheeble, who soon afterwards entered, expatiated still more at
length upon the same topic. This honest gentleman's conversation was so
formed upon his professional practice, that Davie Gellatley once said his
discourse was like a 'charge of horning.' He assured our hero, that 'from
the maist ancient times of record, the lawless thieves, limmers, and
broken men of the Highlands, had been in fellowship together by reason of
their surnames, for the committing of divers thefts, reifs, and herships
upon the honest men of the Low Country, when they not only intromitted
with their whole goods and gear, corn, cattle, horse, nolt, sheep,
outsight and insight plenishing, at their wicked pleasure, but moreover
made prisoners, ransomed them, or concussed them into giving borrows
(pledges) to enter into captivity again;--all which was directly
prohibited in divers parts of the Statute Book, both by the act one
thousand five hundred and sixty-seven, and various others; the whilk
statutes, with all that had followed and might follow thereupon, were
shamefully broken and vilipended by the said sorners, limmers, and broken
men, associated into fellowships, for the aforesaid purposes of theft,
stouthreef, fire-raising, murther, raptus mulierum, or forcible abduction
of women, and such like as aforesaid.'

It seemed like a dream to Waverley that these deeds of violence should be
familiar to men's minds, and currently talked of as falling within the
common order of things, and happening daily in the immediate vicinity,
without his having crossed the seas, and while he was yet in the
otherwise well-ordered island of Great Britain.



The Baron returned at the dinner-hour, and had in a great measure
recovered his composure and good-humour. He not only confirmed the
stories which Edward had heard from Rose and Bailie Macwheeble, but added
many anecdotes from his own experience, concerning the state of the
Highlands and their inhabitants. The chiefs he pronounced to be, in
general, gentlemen of great honour and high pedigree, whose word was
accounted as a law by all those of their own sept, or clan. 'It did not
indeed,' he said, 'become them, as had occurred in late instances, to
propone their prosapia, a lineage which rested for the most part on the
vain and fond rhymes of their seannachies or bhairds, as aequiponderate
with the evidence of ancient charters and royal grants of antiquity,
conferred upon distinguished houses in the Low Country by divers Scottish
monarchs; nevertheless, such was their outrecuidance and presumption, as
to undervalue those who possessed such evidents, as if they held their
lands in a sheep's skin.'

This, by the way, pretty well explained the cause of quarrel between the
Baron and his Highland ally. But he went on to state so many curious
particulars concerning the manners, customs, and habits of this
patriarchal race that Edward's curiosity became highly interested, and he
inquired whether it was possible to make with safety an excursion into
the neighbouring Highlands, whose dusky barrier of mountains had already
excited his wish to penetrate beyond them. The Baron assured his guest
that nothing would be more easy, providing this quarrel were first made
up, since he could himself give him letters to many of the distinguished
chiefs, who would receive him with the utmost courtesy and hospitality.

While they were on this topic, the door suddenly opened, and, ushered by
Saunders Saunderson, a Highlander, fully armed and equipped, entered the
apartment. Had it not been that Saunders acted the part of master of the
ceremonies to this martial apparition, without appearing to deviate from
his usual composure, and that neither Mr. Bradwardine nor Rose exhibited
any emotion, Edward would certainly have thought the intrusion hostile.
As it was, he started at the sight of what he had not yet happened to
see, a mountaineer in his full national costume. The individual Gael was
a stout, dark, young man, of low stature, the ample folds of whose plaid
added to the appearance of strength which his person exhibited. The short
kilt, or petticoat, showed his sinewy and clean-made limbs; the goatskin
purse, flanked by the usual defences, a dirk and steel-wrought pistol,
hung before him; his bonnet had a short feather, which indicated his
claim to be treated as a duinhe-wassel, or sort of gentleman; a
broadsword dangled by his side, a target hung upon his shoulder, and a
long Spanish fowling-piece occupied one of his hands. With the other hand
he pulled off his bonnet, and the Baron, who well knew their customs, and
the proper mode of addressing them, immediately said, with an air of
dignity, but without rising, and much, as Edward thought, in the manner
of a prince receiving an embassy, 'Welcome, Evan Dhu Maccombich; what
news from Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich lan Vohr?'

'Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich lan Vohr,' said the ambassador, in good English,
'greets you well, Baron of Bradwardine and Tully-Veolan, and is sorry
there has been a thick cloud interposed between you and him, which has
kept you from seeing and considering the friendship and alliances that
have been between your houses and forebears of old; and he prays you that
the cloud may pass away, and that things may be as they have been
heretofore between the clan Ivor and the house of Bradwardine, when there
was an egg between them for a flint and a knife for a sword. And he
expects you will also say, you are sorry for the cloud, and no man shall
hereafter ask whether it descended from the bill to the valley, or rose
from the valley to the hill; for they never struck with the scabbard who
did not receive with the sword, and woe to him who would lose his friend
for the stormy cloud of a spring morning.'

To this the Baron of Bradwardine answered with suitable dignity, that he
knew the chief of Clan Ivor to be a well-wisher to the King, and he was
sorry there should have been a cloud between him and any gentleman of
such sound principles, 'for when folks are banding together, feeble is he
who hath no brother.'

This appearing perfectly satisfactory, that the peace between these
august persons might be duly solemnised, the Baron ordered a stoup of
usquebaugh, and, filling a glass, drank to the health and prosperity of
Mac-Ivor of Glennaquoich; upon which the Celtic ambassador, to requite
his politeness, turned down a mighty bumper of the same generous liquor,
seasoned with his good wishes to the house of Bradwardine.

Having thus ratified the preliminaries of the general treaty of
pacification, the envoy retired to adjust with Mr. Macwheeble some
subordinate articles with which it was not thought necessary to trouble
the Baron. These probably referred to the discontinuance of the subsidy,
and apparently the Bailie found means to satisfy their ally, without
suffering his master to suppose that his dignity was compromised. At
least, it is certain, that after the plenipotentiaries had drunk a bottle
of brandy in single drams, which seemed to have no more effect upon such
seasoned vessels than if it had been poured upon the two bears at the top
of the avenue, Evan Dhu Maccombich, having possessed himself of all the
information which he could procure respecting the robbery of the
preceding night, declared his intention to set off immediately in pursuit
of the cattle, which he pronounced to be 'no that far off; they have
broken the bone,' he observed, 'but they have had no tune to suck the

Our hero, who had attended Evan Dhu during his perquisitions, was much
struck with the ingenuity which he displayed in collecting information,
and the precise and pointed conclusions which he drew from it. Evan Dhu,
on his part, was obviously flattered with the attention of Waverley, the
interest he seemed to take in his inquiries, and his curiosity about the
customs and scenery of the Highlands. Without much ceremony he invited
Edward to accompany him on a short walk of ten or fifteen miles into the
mountains, and see the place where the cattle were conveyed to; adding,
'If it be as I suppose, you never saw such a place in your life, nor ever
will, unless you go with me or the like of me.'

Our hero, feeling his curiosity considerably excited by the idea of
visiting the den of a Highland Cacus, took, however, the precaution to
inquire if his guide might be trusted. He was assured that the invitation
would on no account have been given had there been the least danger, and
that all he had to apprehend was a little fatigue; and, as Evan proposed
he should pass a day at his Chieftain's house in returning, where he
would be sure of good accommodation and an excellent welcome, there
seemed nothing very formidable in the task he undertook. Rose, indeed,
turned pale when she heard of it; but her father, who loved the spirited
curiosity of his young friend, did not attempt to damp it by an alarm of
danger which really did not exist, and a knapsack, with a few
necessaries, being bound on the shoulders of a sort of deputy gamekeeper,
our hero set forth with a fowling-piece in his hand, accompanied by his
new friend Evan Dhu, and followed by the gamekeeper aforesaid, and by two
wild Highlanders, the attendants of Evan, one of whom had upon his
shoulder a hatchet at the end of a pole, called a Lochaber-axe,
[Footnote: See Note 14] and the other a long ducking-gun. Evan, upon
Edward's inquiry, gave him to understand that this martial escort was by
no means necessary as a guard, but merely, as he said, drawing up and
adjusting his plaid with an air of dignity, that he might appear decently
at Tully-Veolan, and as Vich Ian Vohr's foster-brother ought to do. 'Ah!'
said he, 'if you Saxon duinhe-wassel (English gentleman) saw but the
Chief with his tail on!'

'With his tail on?' echoed Edward in some surprise.

'Yes--that is, with all his usual followers, when he visits those of the
same rank. There is,' he continued, stopping and drawing himself proudly
up, while he counted upon his fingers the several officers of his chief's
retinue; 'there is his hanchman, or right-hand man; then his bard, or
poet; then his bladier, or orator, to make harangues to the great folks
whom he visits; then his gilly-more, or armour-bearer, to carry his sword
and target, and his gun; then his gilly-casfliuch, who carries him on his
back through the sikes and brooks; then his gilly-comstrian, to lead his
horse by the bridle in steep and difficult paths; then his
gilly-trushharnish, to carry his knapsack; and the piper and the piper's
man, and it may be a dozen young lads beside, that have no business, but
are just boys of the belt, to follow the Laird and do his honour's

'And does your Chief regularly maintain all these men?' demanded

'All these?' replied Evan; 'ay, and many a fair head beside, that would
not ken where to lay itself, but for the mickle barn at Glennaquoich.'

With similar tales of the grandeur of the Chief in peace and war, Evan
Dhu beguiled the way till they approached more closely those huge
mountains which Edward had hitherto only seen at a distance. It was
towards evening as they entered one of the tremendous passes which afford
communication between the high and low country; the path, which was
extremely steep and rugged, winded up a chasm between two tremendous
rocks, following the passage which a foaming stream, that brawled far
below, appeared to have worn for itself in the course of ages. A few
slanting beams of the sun, which was now setting, reached the water in
its darksome bed, and showed it partially, chafed by a hundred rocks and
broken by a hundred falls. The descent from the path to the stream was a
mere precipice, with here and there a projecting fragment of granite, or
a scathed tree, which had warped its twisted roots into the fissures of
the rock. On the right hand, the mountain rose above the path with almost
equal inaccessibility; but the hill on the opposite side displayed a
shroud of copsewood, with which some pines were intermingled.

'This,' said Evan, 'is the pass of Bally-Brough, which was kept in former
times by ten of the clan Donnochie against a hundred of the Low-Country
carles. The graves of the slain are still to be seen in that little
corrie, or bottom, on the opposite side of the burn; if your eyes are
good, you may see the green specks among the heather. See, there is an
earn, which you Southrons call an eagle. You have no such birds as that
in England. He is going to fetch his supper from the Laird of
Bradwardine's braes, but I 'll send a slug after him.'

He fired his piece accordingly, but missed the superb monarch of the
feathered tribes, who, without noticing the attempt to annoy him,
continued his majestic flight to the southward. A thousand birds of prey,
hawks, kites, carrion-crows, and ravens, disturbed from the lodgings
which they had just taken up for the evening, rose at the report of the
gun, and mingled their hoarse and discordant notes with the echoes which
replied to it, and with the roar of the mountain cataracts. Evan, a
little disconcerted at having missed his mark, when he meant to have
displayed peculiar dexterity, covered his confusion by whistling part of
a pibroch as he reloaded his piece, and proceeded in silence up the pass.

It issued in a narrow glen, between two mountains, both very lofty and
covered with heath. The brook continued to be their companion, and they
advanced up its mazes, crossing them now and then, on which occasions
Evan Dhu uniformly offered the assistance of his attendants to carry over
Edward; but our hero, who had been always a tolerable pedestrian,
declined the accommodation, and obviously rose in his guide's opinion, by
showing that he did not fear wetting his feet. Indeed he was anxious, so
far as he could without affectation, to remove the opinion which Evan
seemed to entertain of the effeminacy of the Lowlanders, and particularly
of the English.

Through the gorge of this glen they found access to a black bog, of
tremendous extent, full of large pit-holes, which they traversed with
great difficulty and some danger, by tracks which no one but a Highlander
could have followed. The path itself, or rather the portion of more solid
ground on which the travellers half walked, half waded, was rough,
broken, and in many places quaggy and unsound. Sometimes the ground was
so completely unsafe that it was necessary to spring from one hillock to
another, the space between being incapable of bearing the human weight.
This was an easy matter to the Highlanders, who wore thin-soled brogues
fit for the purpose, and moved with a peculiar springing step; but Edward
began to find the exercise, to which he was unaccustomed, more fatiguing
than he expected. The lingering twilight served to show them through this
Serbonian bog, but deserted them almost totally at the bottom of a steep
and very stony hill, which it was the travellers' next toilsome task to
ascend. The night, however, was pleasant, and not dark; and Waverley,
calling up mental energy to support personal fatigue, held on his march
gallantly, though envying in his heart his Highland attendants, who
continued, without a symptom of abated vigour, the rapid and swinging
pace, or rather trot, which, according to his computation, had already
brought them fifteen miles upon their journey.

After crossing this mountain and descending on the other side towards a
thick wood, Evan Dhu held some conference with his Highland attendants,
in consequence of which Edward's baggage was shifted from the shoulders
of the gamekeeper to those of one of the gillies, and the former was sent
off with the other mountaineer in a direction different from that of the
three remaining travellers. On asking the meaning of this separation,
Waverley was told that the Lowlander must go to a hamlet about three
miles off for the night; for unless it was some very particular friend,
Donald Bean Lean, the worthy person whom they supposed to be possessed of
the cattle, did not much approve of strangers approaching his retreat.
This seemed reasonable, and silenced a qualm of suspicion which came
across Edward's mind when he saw himself, at such a place and such an
hour, deprived of his only Lowland companion. And Evan immediately
afterwards added,'that indeed he himself had better get forward, and
announce their approach to Donald Bean Lean, as the arrival of a sidier
roy (red soldier) might otherwise be a disagreeable surprise.' And
without waiting for an answer, in jockey phrase, he trotted out, and
putting himself to a very round pace, was out of sight in an instant.

Waverley was now left to his own meditations, for his attendant with the
battle-axe spoke very little English. They were traversing a thick, and,
as it seemed, an endless wood of pines, and consequently the path was
altogether indiscernible in the murky darkness which surrounded them. The
Highlander, however, seemed to trace it by instinct, without the
hesitation of a moment, and Edward followed his footsteps as close as he

After journeying a considerable time in silence, he could not help
asking, 'Was it far to the end of their journey?'

'Ta cove was tree, four mile; but as duinhe-wassel was a wee taiglit,
Donald could, tat is, might--would--should send ta curragh.'

This conveyed no information. The curragh which was promised might be a
man, a horse, a cart, or chaise; and no more could be got from the man
with the battle-axe but a repetition of 'Aich ay! ta curragh.'

But in a short time Edward began to conceive his meaning, when, issuing
from the wood, he found himself on the banks of a large river or lake,
where his conductor gave him to understand they must sit down for a
little while. The moon, which now began to rise, showed obscurely the
expanse of water which spread before them, and the shapeless and
indistinct forms of mountains with which it seemed to be surrounded. The
cool and yet mild air of the summer night refreshed Waverley after his
rapid and toilsome walk; and the perfume which it wafted from the birch
trees, [Footnote: It is not the weeping birch, the most common species in
the Highlands, but the woolly-leaved Lowland birch, that is distinguished
by this fragrance.] bathed in the evening dew, was exquisitely fragrant.

He had now time to give himself up to the full romance of his situation.
Here he sate on the banks of an unknown lake, under the guidance of a
wild native, whose language was unknown to him, on a visit to the den of
some renowned outlaw, a second Robin Hood, perhaps, or Adam o' Gordon,
and that at deep midnight, through scenes of difficulty and toil,
separated from his attendant, left by his guide. What a variety of
incidents for the exercise of a romantic imagination, and all enhanced by
the solemn feeling of uncertainty at least, if not of danger! The only
circumstance which assorted ill with the rest was the cause of his
journey--the Baron's milk-cows! this degrading incident he kept in the

While wrapt in these dreams of imagination, his companion gently touched
him, and, pointing in a direction nearly straight across the lake, said,
'Yon's ta cove.' A small point of light was seen to twinkle in the
direction in which he pointed, and, gradually increasing in size and
lustre, seemed to flicker like a meteor upon the verge of the horizon.
While Edward watched this phenomenon, the distant dash of oars was heard.
The measured sound approached near and more near, and presently a loud
whistle was heard in the same direction. His friend with the battle-axe
immediately whistled clear and shrill, in reply to the signal, and a
boat, manned with four or five Highlanders, pushed for a little inlet,
near which Edward was sitting. He advanced to meet them with his
attendant, was immediately assisted into the boat by the officious
attention of two stout mountaineers, and had no sooner seated himself
than they resumed their oars, and began to row across the lake with great



The party preserved silence, interrupted only by the monotonous and
murmured chant of a Gaelic song, sung in a kind of low recitative by the
steersman, and by the dash of the oars, which the notes seemed to
regulate, as they dipped to them in cadence. The light, which they now
approached more nearly, assumed a broader, redder and more irregular
splendour. It appeared plainly to be a large fire, but whether kindled
upon an island or the mainland Edward could not determine. As he saw it,
the red glaring orb seemed to rest on the very surface of the lake
itself, and resembled the fiery vehicle in which the Evil Genius of an
Oriental tale traverses land and sea. They approached nearer, and the
light of the fire sufficed to show that it was kindled at the bottom of a
huge dark crag or rock, rising abruptly from the very edge of the water;
its front, changed by the reflection to dusky red, formed a strange and
even awful contrast to the banks around, which were from time to time
faintly and partially illuminated by pallid moonlight.

The boat now neared the shore, and Edward could discover that this large
fire, amply supplied with branches of pine-wood by two figures, who, in
the red reflection of its light, appeared like demons, was kindled in the
jaws of a lofty cavern, into which an inlet from the lake seemed to
advance; and he conjectured, which was indeed true, that the fire had
been lighted as a beacon to the boatmen on their return. They rowed right
for the mouth of the cave, and then, shifting their oars, permitted the
boat to enter in obedience to the impulse which it had received. The
skiff passed the little point or platform of rock on which the fire was
blazing, and running about two boats' lengths farther, stopped where the
cavern (for it was already arched overhead) ascended from the water by
five or six broad ledges of rock, so easy and regular that they might be
termed natural steps. At this moment a quantity of water was suddenly
flung upon the fire, which sunk with a hissing noise, and with it
disappeared the light it had hitherto afforded. Four or five active arms
lifted Waverley out of the boat, placed him on his feet, and almost
carried him into the recesses of the cave. He made a few paces in
darkness, guided in this manner; and advancing towards a hum of voices,
which seemed to sound from the centre of the rock, at an acute turn
Donald Bean Lean and his whole establishment were before his eyes.

The interior of the cave, which here rose very high, was illuminated by
torches made of pine-tree, which emitted a bright and bickering light,
attended by a strong though not unpleasant odour. Their light was
assisted by the red glare of a large charcoal fire, round which were
seated five or six armed Highlanders, while others were indistinctly seen
couched on their plaids in the more remote recesses of the cavern. In one
large aperture, which the robber facetiously called his SPENCE (or
pantry), there hung by the heels the carcasses of a sheep, or ewe, and
two cows lately slaughtered. The principal inhabitant of this singular
mansion, attended by Evan Dhu as master of the ceremonies, came forward
to meet his guest, totally different in appearance and manner from what
his imagination had anticipated. The profession which he followed, the
wilderness in which he dwelt, the wild warrior forms that surrounded him,
were all calculated to inspire terror. From such accompaniments, Waverley
prepared himself to meet a stern, gigantic, ferocious figure, such as
Salvator would have chosen to be the central object of a group of
banditti. [Footnote: See Note 15.]

Donald Bean Lean was the very reverse of all these. He was thin in person
and low in stature, with light sandy-coloured hair, and small pale
features, from which he derived his agnomen of BEAN or white; and
although his form was light, well proportioned and active, he appeared,
on the whole, rather a diminutive and insignificant figure. He had served
in some inferior capacity in the French army, and in order to receive his
English visitor in great form, and probably meaning, in his way, to pay
him a compliment, he had laid aside the Highland dress for the time, to
put on an old blue and red uniform and a feathered hat, in which he was
far from showing to advantage, and indeed looked so incongruous, compared
with all around him, that Waverley would have been tempted to laugh, had
laughter been either civil or safe. The robber received Captain Waverley
with a profusion of French politeness and Scottish hospitality, seemed
perfectly to know his name and connections, and to be particularly
acquainted with his uncle's political principles. On these he bestowed
great applause, to which Waverley judged it prudent to make a very
general reply.

Being placed at a convenient distance from the charcoal fire, the heat of
which the season rendered oppressive, a strapping Highland damsel placed
before Waverley, Evan, and Donald Bean three cogues, or wooden vessels
composed of staves and hoops, containing eanaruich, [Footnote: This was
the regale presented by Rob Roy to the Laird of Tullibody.] a sort of
strong soup, made out of a particular part of the inside of the beeves.
After this refreshment, which, though coarse, fatigue and hunger rendered
palatable, steaks, roasted on the coals, were supplied in liberal
abundance, and disappeared before Evan Dhu and their host with a
promptitude that seemed like magic, and astonished Waverley, who was much
puzzled to reconcile their voracity with what he had heard of the
abstemiousness of the Highlanders. He was ignorant that this abstinence
was with the lower ranks wholly compulsory, and that, like some animals
of prey, those who practise it were usually gifted with the power of
indemnifying themselves to good purpose when chance threw plenty in their
way. The whisky came forth in abundance to crown the cheer. The
Highlanders drank it copiously and undiluted; but Edward, having mixed a
little with water, did not find it so palatable as to invite him to
repeat the draught. Their host bewailed himself exceedingly that he could
offer him no wine: 'Had he but known four-and-twenty hours before, he
would have had some, had it been within the circle of forty miles round
him. But no gentleman could do more to show his sense of the honour of a
visit from another than to offer him the best cheer his house afforded.
Where there are no bushes there can be no nuts, and the way of those you
live with is that you must follow,'

He went on regretting to Evan Dhu the death of an aged man, Donnacha an
Amrigh, or Duncan with the Cap, 'a gifted seer,' who foretold, through
the second sight, visitors of every description who haunted their
dwelling, whether as friends or foes.

'Is not his son Malcolm taishatr (a second-sighted person)?' asked Evan.

'Nothing equal to his father,' replied Donald Bean. 'He told us the other
day, we were to see a great gentleman riding on a horse, and there came
nobody that whole day but Shemus Beg, the blind harper, with his dog.
Another time he advertised us of a wedding, and behold it proved a
funeral; and on the creagh, when he foretold to us we should bring home a
hundred head of horned cattle, we gripped nothing but a fat bailie of

From this discourse he passed to the political and military state of the
country; and Waverley was astonished, and even alarmed, to find a person
of this description so accurately acquainted with the strength of the
various garrisons and regiments quartered north of the Tay. He even
mentioned the exact number of recruits who had joined Waverley's troop
from his uncle's estate, and observed they were PRETTY MEN, meaning, not
handsome, but stout warlike fellows. He put Waverley in mind of one or
two minute circumstances which had happened at a general review of the
regiment, which satisfied him that the robber had been an eye-witness of
it; and Evan Dhu having by this time retired from the conversation, and
wrapped himself up in his plaid to take some repose, Donald asked Edward,
in a very significant manner, whether he had nothing particular to say to

Waverley, surprised and somewhat startled at this question from such a
character, answered, he had no motive in visiting him but curiosity to
see his extraordinary place of residence. Donald Bean Lean looked him
steadily in the face for an instant, and then said, with a significant
nod, 'You might as well have confided in me; I am as much worthy of trust
as either the Baron of Bradwardine or Vich Ian Vohr. But you are equally
welcome to my house.'

Waverley felt an involuntary shudder creep over him at the mysterious
language held by this outlawed and lawless bandit, which, in despite of
his attempts to master it, deprived him of the power to ask the meaning
of his insinuations. A heath pallet, with the flowers stuck uppermost,
had been prepared for him in a recess of the cave, and here, covered with
such spare plaids as could be mustered, he lay for some time watching the
motions of the other inhabitants of the cavern. Small parties of two or
three entered or left the place, without any other ceremony than a few
words in Gaelic to the principal outlaw, and, when he fell asleep, to a
tall Highlander who acted as his lieutenant, and seemed to keep watch
during his repose. Those who entered seemed to have returned from some
excursion, of which they reported the success, and went without farther
ceremony to the larder, where, cutting with their dirks their rations
from the carcasses which were there suspended, they proceeded to broil
and eat them at their own pleasure and leisure. The liquor was under
strict regulation, being served out either by Donald himself, his
lieutenant, or the strapping Highland girl aforesaid, who was the only
female that appeared. The allowance of whisky, however, would have
appeared prodigal to any but Highlanders, who, living entirely in the
open air and in a very moist climate, can consume great quantities of
ardent spirits without the usual baneful effects either upon the brain or

At length the fluctuating groups began to swim before the eyes of our
hero as they gradually closed; nor did he re-open them till the morning
sun was high on the lake without, though there was but a faint and
glimmering twilight in the recesses of Uaimh an Ri, or the King's Cavern,
as the abode of Donald Bean Lean was proudly denominated.



When Edward had collected his scattered recollection, he was surprised to
observe the cavern totally deserted. Having arisen and put his dress in
some order, he looked more accurately round him; but all was still
solitary. If it had not been for the decayed brands of the fire, now sunk
into grey ashes, and the remnants of the festival, consisting of bones
half burnt and half gnawed, and an empty keg or two, there remained no
traces of Donald and his band. When Waverley sallied forth to the
entrance of the cave, he perceived that the point of rock, on which
remained the marks of last night's beacon, was accessible by a small
path, either natural or roughly hewn in the rock, along the little inlet
of water which ran a few yards up into the cavern, where, as in a
wetdock, the skiff which brought him there the night before was still
lying moored. When he reached the small projecting platform on which the
beacon had been established, he would have believed his further progress
by land impossible, only that it was scarce probable but what the
inhabitants of the cavern had some mode of issuing from it otherwise than
by the lake. Accordingly, he soon observed three or four shelving steps,
or ledges of rock, at the very extremity of the little platform; and,
making use of them as a staircase, he clambered by their means around the
projecting shoulder of the crag on which the cavern opened, and,
descending with some difficulty on the other side, he gained the wild and
precipitous shores of a Highland loch, about four miles in length and a
mile and a half across, surrounded by heathy and savage mountains, on the
crests of which the morning mist was still sleeping.

Looking back to the place from which he came, he could not help admiring
the address which had adopted a retreat of such seclusion and secrecy.
The rock, round the shoulder of which he had turned by a few
imperceptible notches, that barely afforded place for the foot, seemed,
in looking back upon it, a huge precipice, which barred all further
passage by the shores of the lake in that direction. There could be no
possibility, the breadth of the lake considered, of descrying the
entrance of the narrow and low-browed cave from the other side; so that,
unless the retreat had been sought for with boats, or disclosed by
treachery, it might be a safe and secret residence to its garrison as
long as they were supplied with provisions. Having satisfied his
curiosity in these particulars, Waverley looked around for Evan Dhu and
his attendants, who, he rightly judged, would be at no great distance,
whatever might have become of Donald Bean Lean and his party, whose mode
of life was, of course, liable to sudden migrations of abode.
Accordingly, at the distance of about half a mile, he beheld a Highlander
(Evan apparently) angling in the lake, with another attending him, whom,
from the weapon which he shouldered, he recognised for his friend with
the battle-axe.

Much nearer to the mouth of the cave he heard the notes of a lively
Gaelic song, guided by which, in a sunny recess, shaded by a glittering
birch-tree, and carpeted with a bank of firm white sand, he found the
damsel of the cavern, whose lay had already reached him, busy, to the
best of her power, in arranging to advantage a morning repast of milk,
eggs, barley-bread, fresh butter, and honey-comb. The poor girl had
already made a circuit of four miles that morning in search of the eggs,
of the meal which baked her cakes, and of the other materials of the
breakfast, being all delicacies which she had to beg or borrow from
distant cottagers. The followers of Donald Bean Lean used little food
except the flesh of the animals which they drove away from the Lowlands;
bread itself was a delicacy seldom thought of, because hard to be
obtained, and all the domestic accommodations of milk, poultry, butter,
etc., were out of the question in this Scythian camp. Yet it must not be
omitted that, although Alice had occupied a part of the morning in
providing those accommodations for her guest which the cavern did not
afford, she had secured time also to arrange her own person in her best
trim. Her finery was very simple. A short russet-coloured jacket and a
petticoat of scanty longitude was her whole dress; but these were clean,
and neatly arranged. A piece of scarlet embroidered cloth, called the
snood, confined her hair, which fell over it in a profusion of rich dark
curls. The scarlet plaid, which formed part of her dress, was laid aside,
that it might not impede her activity in attending the stranger. I should
forget Alice's proudest ornament were I to omit mentioning a pair of gold
ear-rings and a, golden rosary, which her father (for she was the
daughter of Donald Bean Lean) had brought from France, the plunder,
probably, of some battle or storm.

Her form, though rather large for her years, was very well proportioned,
and her demeanour had a natural and rustic grace, with nothing of the
sheepishness of an ordinary peasant. The smiles, displaying a row of
teeth of exquisite whiteness, and the laughing eyes, with which, in dumb
show, she gave Waverley that morning greeting which she wanted English
words to express, might have been interpreted by a coxcomb, or perhaps by
a young soldier who, without being such, was conscious of a handsome
person, as meant to convey more than the courtesy of an hostess. Nor do I
take it upon me to say that the little wild mountaineer would have
welcomed any staid old gentleman advanced in life, the Baron of
Bradwardine, for example, with the cheerful pains which she bestowed upon
Edward's accommodation. She seemed eager to place him by the meal which
she had so sedulously arranged, and to which she now added a few bunches
of cranberries, gathered in an adjacent morass. Having had the
satisfaction of seeing him seated at his breakfast, she placed herself
demurely upon a stone at a few yards' distance, and appeared to watch
with great complacency for some opportunity of serving him.

Evan and his attendant now returned slowly along the beach, the latter
bearing a large salmon-trout, the produce of the morning's sport,
together with the angling-rod, while Evan strolled forward, with an easy,
self-satisfied, and important gait, towards the spot where Waverley was
so agreeably employed at the breakfast-table. After morning greetings had
passed on both sides, and Evan, looking at Waverley, had said something
in Gaelic to Alice, which made her laugh, yet colour up to her eyes,
through a complexion well en-browned by sun and wind, Evan intimated his
commands that the fish should be prepared for breakfast. A spark from the
lock of his pistol produced a light, and a few withered fir branches were
quickly in flame, and as speedily reduced to hot embers, on which the
trout was broiled in large slices. To crown the repast, Evan produced
from the pocket of his short jerkin a large scallop shell, and from under
the folds of his plaid a ram's horn full of whisky. Of this he took a
copious dram, observing he had already taken his MORNING with Donald Bean
Lean before his departure; he offered the same cordial to Alice and to
Edward, which they both declined. With the bounteous air of a lord, Evan
then proffered the scallop to Dugald Mahony, his attendant, who, without
waiting to be asked a second time, drank it off with great gusto. Evan
then prepared to move towards the boat, inviting Waverley to attend him.
Meanwhile, Alice had made up in a small basket what she thought worth
removing, and flinging her plaid around her, she advanced up to Edward,
and with the utmost simplicity, taking hold of his hand, offered her
cheek to his salute, dropping at the same time her little curtsy. Evan,
who was esteemed a wag among the mountain fair, advanced as if to secure
a similar favour; but Alice, snatching up her basket, escaped up the
rocky bank as fleetly as a roe, and, turning round and laughing, called
something out to him in Gaelic, which he answered in the same tone and
language; then, waving her hand to Edward, she resumed her road, and was
soon lost among the thickets, though they continued for some time to hear
her lively carol, as she proceeded gaily on her solitary journey.

They now again entered the gorge of the cavern, and stepping into the
boat, the Highlander pushed off, and, taking advantage of the morning
breeze, hoisted a clumsy sort of sail, while Evan assumed the helm,
directing their course, as it appeared to Waverley, rather higher up the
lake than towards the place of his embarkation on the preceding night. As
they glided along the silver mirror, Evan opened the conversation with a
panegyric upon Alice, who, he said, was both CANNY and FENDY; and was, to
the boot of all that, the best dancer of a strathspey in the whole
strath. Edward assented to her praises so far as he understood them, yet
could not help regretting that she was condemned to such a perilous and
dismal life.

'Oich! for that,' said Evan, 'there is nothing in Perthshire that she
need want, if she ask her father to fetch it, unless it be too hot or too

'But to be the daughter of a cattle-stealer--a common thief!' 'Common
thief!--no such thing: Donald Bean Lean never LIFTED less than a drove in
his life.'

'Do you call him an uncommon thief, then?'

'No; he that steals a cow from a poor widow, or a stirk from a cotter, is
a thief; he that lifts a drove from a Sassenach laird is a
gentleman-drover. And, besides, to take a tree from the forest, a salmon
from the river, a deer from the hill, or a cow from a Lowland strath, is
what no Highlander need ever think shame upon.'

'But what can this end in, were he taken in such an appropriation?'

'To be sure he would DIE FOR THE LAW, as many a pretty man has done
before him.'

'Die for the law!'

'Ay; that is, with the law, or by the law; be strapped up on the KIND
gallows of Crieff, [Footnote: See Note 16.] where his father died, and
his goodsire died, and where I hope he'll live to die himsell, if he's
not shot, or slashed, in a creagh.'

'You HOPE such a death for your friend, Evan?'

'And that do I e'en; would you have me wish him to die on a bundle of wet
straw in yon den of his, like a mangy tyke?'

'But what becomes of Alice, then?'

'Troth, if such an accident were to happen, as her father would not need
her help ony langer, I ken nought to hinder me to marry her mysell.'

'Gallantly resolved,' said Edward; 'but, in the meanwhile, Evan, what has
your father-in-law (that shall be, if he have the good fortune to be
hanged) done with the Baron's cattle?'

'Oich,' answered Evan,'they were all trudging before your lad and Allan
Kennedy before the sun blinked ower Ben Lawers this morning; and they'll
be in the pass of Bally-Brough by this time, in their way back to the
parks of Tully-Veolan, all but two, that were unhappily slaughtered
before I got last night to Uaimh an Ri.'

'And where are we going, Evan, if I may be so bold as to ask?' said

'Where would you be ganging, but to the Laird's ain house of
Glennaquoich? Ye would not think to be in his country, without ganging to
see him? It would be as much as a man's life's worth.'

'And are we far from Glennaquoich?'

'But five bits of miles; and Vich Ian Vohr will meet us.'

In about half an hour they reached the upper end of the lake, where,
after landing Waverley, the two Highanders drew the boat into a little
creek among thick flags and reeds, where it lay perfectly concealed. The
oars they put in another place of concealment, both for the use of Donald
Bean Lean probably, when his occasions should next bring him to that

The travellers followed for some time a delightful opening into the
hills, down which a little brook found its way to the lake. When they had
pursued their walk a short distance, Waverley renewed his questions about
their host of the cavern.

'Does he always reside in that cave?'

'Out, no! it's past the skill of man to tell where he's to be found at a'
times; there's not a dern nook, or cove, or corrie, in the whole country
that he's not acquainted with.'

'And do others beside your master shelter him?'

'My master? MY master is in Heaven,' answered Evan, haughtily; and then
immediately assuming his usual civility of manner, 'but you mean my
Chief;--no, he does not shelter Donald Bean Lean, nor any that are like
him; he only allows him (with a smile) wood and water.'

'No great boon, I should think, Evan, when both seem to be very plenty.'

'Ah! but ye dinna see through it. When I say wood and water, I mean the
loch and the land; and I fancy Donald would be put till 't if the Laird
were to look for him wi' threescore men in the wood of Kailychat yonder;
and if our boats, with a score or twa mair, were to come down the loch to
Uaimh an Ri, headed by mysell, or ony other pretty man.'

'But suppose a strong party came against him from the Low Country, would
not your Chief defend him?'

'Na, he would not ware the spark of a flint for him--if they came with
the law.'

'And what must Donald do, then?'

'He behoved to rid this country of himsell, and fall back, it may be,
over the mount upon Letter Scriven.'

'And if he were pursued to that place?'

'I'se warrant he would go to his cousin's at Rannoch.'

'Well, but if they followed him to Rannoch?'

'That,' quoth Evan, 'is beyond all belief; and, indeed, to tell you the
truth, there durst not a Lowlander in all Scotland follow the fray a
gun-shot beyond Bally-Brough, unless he had the help of the Sidier Dhu.'

'Whom do you call so?'

'The Sidier Dhu? the black soldier; that is what they call the
independent companies that were raised to keep peace and law in the
Highlands. Vich Ian Vohr commanded one of them for five years, and I was
sergeant mysell, I shall warrant ye. They call them Sidier Dhu because
they wear the tartans, as they call your men--King George's men--Sidier
Roy, or red soldiers.'

'Well, but when you were in King George's pay, Evan, you were surely King
George's soldiers?'

'Troth, and you must ask Vich Ian Vohr about that; for we are for his
king, and care not much which o' them it is. At ony rate, nobody can say
we are King George's men now, when we have not seen his pay this

This last argument admitted of no reply, nor did Edward attempt any; he
rather chose to bring back the discourse to Donald Bean Lean. 'Does
Donald confine himself to cattle, or does he LIFT, as you call it,
anything else that comes in his way?'

'Troth, he's nae nice body, and he'll just tak onything, but most readily
cattle, horse, or live Christians; for sheep are slow of travel, and
inside plenishing is cumbrous to carry, and not easy to put away for
siller in this country.'

'But does he carry off men and women?'

'Out, ay. Did not ye hear him speak o' the Perth bailie? It cost that
body five hundred merks ere he got to the south of Bally-Brough. And ance
Donald played a pretty sport. [Footnote: See Note 17.] There was to be a
blythe bridal between the Lady Cramfeezer, in the howe o' the Mearns (she
was the auld laird's widow, and no sae young as she had been hersell),
and young Gilliewhackit, who had spent his heirship and movables, like a
gentleman, at cock-matches, bull-baitings, horse-races, and the like.
Now, Donald Bean Lean, being aware that the bridegroom was in request,
and wanting to cleik the cunzie (that is, to hook the siller), he cannily
carried off Gilliewhackit ae night when he was riding dovering hame (wi'
the malt rather abune the meal), and with the help of his gillies he gat
him into the hills with the speed of light, and the first place he
wakened in was the cove of Uaimh an Ri. So there was old to do about
ransoming the bridegroom; for Donald would not lower a farthing of a
thousand punds--'

'The devil!'

'Punds Scottish, ye shall understand. And the lady had not the siller if
she had pawned her gown; and they applied to the governor o' Stirling
castle, and to the major o' the Black Watch; and the governor said it was
ower far to the northward, and out of his district; and the major said
his men were gane hame to the shearing, and he would not call them out
before the victual was got in for all the Cramfeezers in Christendom, let
alane the Mearns, for that it would prejudice the country. And in the
meanwhile ye'll no hinder Gilliewhackit to take the small-pox. There was
not the doctor in Perth or Stirling would look near the poor lad; and I
cannot blame them, for Donald had been misguggled by ane of these doctors
about Paris, and he swore he would fling the first into the loch that he
catched beyond the pass. However some cailliachs (that is, old women)
that were about Donald's hand nursed Gilliewhackit sae weel that, between
the free open air in the cove and the fresh whey, deil an he did not
recover maybe as weel as if he had been closed in a glazed chamber and a
bed with curtains, and fed with red wine and white meat. And Donald was
sae vexed about it that, when he was stout and weel, he even sent him
free home, and said he would be pleased with onything they would like to
gie him for the plague and trouble which he had about Gilliewhackit to an
unkenn'd degree. And I cannot tell you precisely how they sorted; but
they agreed sae right that Donald was invited to dance at the wedding in
his Highland trews, and they said that there was never sae meikle siller
clinked in his purse either before or since. And to the boot of all that,
Gilliewhackit said that, be the evidence what it liked, if he had the
luck to be on Donald's inquest, he would bring him in guilty of nothing
whatever, unless it were wilful arson or murder under trust.'

With such bald and disjointed chat Evan went on illustrating the existing
state of the Highlands, more perhaps to the amusement of Waverley than
that of our readers. At length, after having marched over bank and brae,
moss and heather, Edward, though not unacquainted with the Scottish
liberality in computing distance, began to think that Evan's five miles
were nearly doubled. His observation on the large measure which the
Scottish allowed of their land, in comparison to the computation of their
money, was readily answered by Evan with the old jest, 'The deil take
them wha have the least pint stoup.'

[Footnote: The Scotch are liberal in computing their land and liquor; the
Scottish pint corresponds to two English quarts. As for their coin, every
one knows the couplet--

How can the rogues pretend to sense?
Their pound is only twenty pence.]

And now the report of a gun was heard, and a sportsman was seen, with his
dogs and attendant, at the upper end of the glen. 'Shough,' said Dugald
Mahony, 'tat's ta Chief.'

'It is not,' said Evan, imperiously. 'Do you think he would come to meet
a Sassenach duinhe-wassel in such a way as that?'

But as they approached a little nearer, he said, with an appearance of
mortification, 'And it is even he, sure enough; and he has not his tail
on after all; there is no living creature with him but Callum Beg.'

In fact, Fergus Mac-Ivor, of whom a Frenchman might have said as truly as
of any man in the Highlands, 'Qu'il connoit bien ses gens' had no idea of
raising himself in the eyes of an English young man of fortune by
appearing with a retinue of idle Highlanders disproportioned to the
occasion. He was well aware that such an unnecessary attendance would
seem to Edward rather ludicrous than respectable; and, while few men were
more attached to ideas of chieftainship and feudal power, he was, for
that very reason, cautious of exhibiting external marks of dignity,
unless at the time and in the manner when they were most likely to
produce an imposing effect. Therefore, although, had he been to receive a
brother chieftain, he would probably have been attended by all that
retinue which Evan described with so much unction, he judged it more
respectable to advance to meet Waverley with a single attendant, a very
handsome Highland boy, who carried his master's shooting-pouch and his
broadsword, without which he seldom went abroad.

When Fergus and Waverley met, the latter was struck with the peculiar
grace and dignity of the Chieftain's figure. Above the middle size and
finely proportioned, the Highland dress, which he wore in its simplest
mode, set off his person to great advantage. He wore the trews, or close
trowsers, made of tartan, chequed scarlet and white; in other particulars
his dress strictly resembled Evan's, excepting that he had no weapon save
a dirk, very richly mounted with silver. His page, as we have said,
carried his claymore; and the fowling-piece, which he held in his hand,
seemed only designed for sport. He had shot in the course of his walk
some young wild-ducks, as, though CLOSE TIME was then unknown, the broods
of grouse were yet too young for the sportsman. His countenance was
decidedly Scottish, with all the peculiarities of the northern
physiognomy, but yet had so little of its harshness and exaggeration that
it would have been pronounced in any country extremely handsome. The
martial air of the bonnet, with a single eagle's feather as a
distinction, added much to the manly appearance of his head, which was
besides ornamented with a far more natural and graceful cluster of close
black curls than ever were exposed to sale in Bond Street.

An air of openness and affability increased the favorable impression
derived from this handsome and dignified exterior. Yet a skilful
physiognomist would have been less satisfied with the countenance on the
second than on the first view. The eyebrow and upper lip bespoke
something of the habit of peremptory command and decisive superiority.
Even his courtesy, though open, frank, and unconstrained, seemed to
indicate a sense of personal importance; and, upon any check or
accidental excitation, a sudden, though transient lour of the eye showed
a hasty, haughty, and vindictive temper, not less to be dreaded because
it seemed much under its owner's command. In short, the countenance of
the Chieftain resembled a smiling summer's day, in which,
notwithstanding, we are made sensible by certain, though slight signs
that it may thunder and lighten before the close of evening.

It was not, however, upon their first meeting that Edward had an
opportunity of making these less favourable remarks. The Chief received
him as a friend of the Baron of Bradwardine, with the utmost expression
of kindness and obligation for the visit; upbraided him gently with
choosing so rude an abode as he had done the night before; and entered
into a lively conversation with him about Donald Bean's housekeeping, but
without the least hint as to his predatory habits, or the immediate
occasion of Waverley's visit, a topic which, as the Chief did not
introduce it, our hero also avoided. While they walked merrily on towards
the house of Glennaquoich, Evan, who now fell respectfully into the rear,
followed with Callum Beg and Dugald Mahony.

We shall take the opportunity to introduce the reader to some particulars
of Fergus Mac-Ivor's character and history, which were not completely
known to Waverley till after a connection which, though arising from a
circumstance so casual, had for a length of time the deepest influence
upon his character, actions, and prospects. But this, being an important
subject, must form the commencement of a new chapter.



The ingenious licentiate Francisco de Ubeda, when he commenced his
history of 'La Picara Justina Diez,'--which, by the way, is one of the
most rare books of Spanish literature,--complained of his pen having
caught up a hair, and forthwith begins, with more eloquence than common
sense, an affectionate expostulation with that useful implement,
upbraiding it with being the quill of a goose,--a bird inconstant by
nature, as frequenting the three elements of water, earth, and air
indifferently, and being, of course, 'to one thing constant never.' Now I
protest to thee, gentle reader, that I entirely dissent from Francisco de
Ubeda in this matter, and hold it the most useful quality of my pen, that
it can speedily change from grave to gay, and from description and
dialogue to narrative and character. So that if my quill display no other
properties of its mother-goose than her mutability, truly I shall be well
pleased; and I conceive that you, my worthy friend, will have no occasion
for discontent. From the jargon, therefore, of the Highland gillies I
pass to the character of their Chief. It is an important examination, and
therefore, like Dogberry, we must spare no wisdom.

The ancestor of Fergus Mac-Ivor, about three centuries before, had set up
a claim to be recognised as chief of the numerous and powerful clan to
which he belonged, the name of which it is unnecessary to mention. Being
defeated by an opponent who had more justice, or at least more force, on
his side, he moved southwards, with those who adhered to him, in quest of
new settlements, like a second AEneas. The state of the Perthshire
Highlands favoured his purpose. A great baron in that country had lately
become traitor to the crown; Ian, which was the name of our adventurer,
united himself with those who were commissioned by the king to chastise
him, and did such good service that he obtained a grant of the property,
upon which he and his posterity afterwards resided. He followed the king
also in war to the fertile regions of England, where he employed his
leisure hours so actively in raising subsidies among the boors of
Northumberland and Durham, that upon his return he was enabled to erect a
stone tower, or fortalice, so much admired by his dependants and
neighbours that he, who had hitherto been called Ian Mac-Ivor, or John
the son of Ivor, was thereafter distinguished, both in song and
genealogy, by the high title of Ian nan Chaistel, or John of the Tower.
The descendants of this worthy were so proud of him that the reigning
chief always bore the patronymic title of Vich Ian Vohr, i.e. the son of
John the Great; while the clan at large, to distinguish them from that
from which they had seceded, were denominated Sliochd nan Ivor, the race
of Ivor.

The father of Fergus, the tenth in direct descent from John of the Tower,
engaged heart and hand in the insurrection of 1715, and was forced to fly
to France, after the attempt of that year in favour of the Stuarts had
proved unsuccessful. More fortunate than other fugitives, he obtained
employment in the French service, and married a lady of rank in that
kingdom, by whom he had two children, Fergus and his sister Flora. The
Scottish estate had been forfeited and exposed to sale, but was
repurchased for a small price in the name of the young proprietor, who in
consequence came to reside upon his native domains. [Footnote: See Note
18.] It was soon perceived that he possessed a character of uncommon
acuteness, fire, and ambition, which, as he became acquainted with the
state of the country, gradually assumed a mixed and peculiar tone, that
could only have been acquired Sixty Years Since.

Had Fergus Mac-Ivor lived Sixty Years sooner than he did, he would in all
probability have wanted the polished manner and knowledge of the world
which he now possessed; and had he lived Sixty Years later, his ambition
and love of rule would have lacked the fuel which his situation now
afforded. He was indeed, within his little circle, as perfect a
politician as Castruccio Castracani himself. He applied himself with
great earnestness to appease all the feuds and dissensions which often
arose among other clans in his neighbourhood, so that he became a
frequent umpire in their quarrels. His own patriarchal power he
strengthened at every expense which his fortune would permit, and indeed
stretched his means to the uttermost to maintain the rude and plentiful
hospitality which was the most valued attribute of a chieftain. For the
same reason he crowded his estate with a tenantry, hardy indeed, and fit
for the purposes of war, but greatly outnumbering what the soil was
calculated to maintain. These consisted chiefly of his own clan, not one
of whom he suffered to quit his lands if he could possibly prevent it.
But he maintained, besides, many adventurers from the mother sept, who
deserted a less warlike, though more wealthy chief to do homage to Fergus
Mac-Ivor. Other individuals, too, who had not even that apology, were
nevertheless received into his allegiance, which indeed was refused to
none who were, like Poins, proper men of their hands, and were willing to
assume the name of Mac-Ivor.

He was enabled to discipline these forces, from having obtained command
of one of the independent companies raised by government to preserve the
peace of the Highlands. While in this capacity he acted with vigour and
spirit, and preserved great order in the country under his charge. He
caused his vassals to enter by rotation into his company, and serve for a
certain space of time, which gave them all in turn a general notion of
military discipline. In his campaigns against the banditti, it was
observed that he assumed and exercised to the utmost the discretionary
power which, while the law had no free course in the Highlands, was
conceived to belong to the military parties who were called in to support
it. He acted, for example, with great and suspicious lenity to those
freebooters who made restitution on his summons and offered personal
submission to himself, while he rigorously pursued, apprehended, and
sacrificed to justice all such interlopers as dared to despise his
admonitions or commands. On the other hand, if any officers of justice,
military parties, or others, presumed to pursue thieves or marauders
through his territories, and without applying for his consent and
concurrence, nothing was more certain than that they would meet with some
notable foil or defeat; upon which occasions Fergus Mac-Ivor was the
first to condole with them, and after gently blaming their rashness,
never failed deeply to lament the lawless state of the country. These
lamentations did not exclude suspicion, and matters were so represented
to government that our Chieftain was deprived of his military command.
[Footnote: See Note 19.]

Whatever Fergus Mac-Ivor felt on this occasion, he had the art of
entirely suppressing every appearance of discontent; but in a short time
the neighbouring country began to feel bad effects from his disgrace.
Donald Bean Lean, and others of his class, whose depredations had
hitherto been confined to other districts, appeared from thenceforward to
have made a settlement on this devoted border; and their ravages were
carried on with little opposition, as the Lowland gentry were chiefly
Jacobites, and disarmed. This forced many of the inhabitants into
contracts of black-mail with Fergus Mac-Ivor, which not only established
him their protector, and gave him great weight in all their
consultations, but, moreover, supplied funds for the waste of his feudal
hospitality, which the discontinuance of his pay might have otherwise
essentially diminished.

In following this course of conduct, Fergus had a further object than
merely being the great man of his neighbourhood, and ruling despotically
over a small clan. From his infancy upward he had devoted himself to the
cause of the exiled family, and had persuaded himself, not only that
their restoration to the crown of Britain would be speedy, but that those
who assisted them would be raised to honour and rank. It was with this
view that he laboured to reconcile the Highlanders among themselves, and
augmented his own force to the utmost, to be prepared for the first
favourable opportunity of rising. With this purpose also he conciliated
the favour of such Lowland gentlemen in the vicinity as were friends to
the good cause; and for the same reason, having incautiously quarrelled
with Mr. Bradwardine, who, notwithstanding his peculiarities, was much
respected in the country, he took advantage of the foray of Donald Bean
Lean to solder up the dispute in the manner we have mentioned. Some,
indeed, surmised that he caused the enterprise to be suggested to Donald,
on purpose to pave the way to a reconciliation, which, supposing that to
be the case, cost the Laird of Bradwardine two good milch cows. This zeal
in their behalf the House of Stuart repaid with a considerable share of
their confidence, an occasional supply of louis-d'or, abundance of fair
words, and a parchment, with a huge waxen seal appended, purporting to be
an earl's patent, granted by no less a person than James the Third King
of England, and Eighth King of Scotland, to his right feal, trusty, and
well-beloved Fergus Mac-Ivor of Glennaquoich, in the county of Perth, and
kingdom of Scotland.

With this future coronet glittering before his eyes, Fergus plunged
deeply into the correspondence and plots of that unhappy period; and,
like all such active agents, easily reconciled his conscience to going
certain lengths in the service of his party, from which honour and pride
would have deterred him had his sole object been the direct advancement
of his own personal interest. With this insight into a bold, ambitious,
and ardent, yet artful and politic character, we resume the broken thread
of our narrative.

The chief and his guest had by this time reached the house of
Glennaquoich, which consisted of Ian nan Chaistel's mansion, a high
rude-looking square tower, with the addition of a lofted house, that is,
a building of two stories, constructed by Fergus's grandfather when he
returned from that memorable expedition, well remembered by the western
shires under the name of the Highland Host. Upon occasion of this crusade
against the Ayrshire Whigs and Covenanters, the Vich Ian Vohr of the time
had probably been as successful as his predecessor was in harrying
Northumberland, and therefore left to his posterity a rival edifice as a
monument of his magnificence.

Around the house, which stood on an eminence in the midst of a narrow
Highland valley, there appeared none of that attention to convenience,
far less to ornament and decoration, which usually surrounds a
gentleman's habitation. An inclosure or two, divided by dry-stone walls,
were the only part of the domain that was fenced; as to the rest, the
narrow slips of level ground which lay by the side of the brook exhibited
a scanty crop of barley, liable to constant depredations from the herds
of wild ponies and black cattle that grazed upon the adjacent hills.
These ever and anon made an incursion upon the arable ground, which was
repelled by the loud, uncouth, and dissonant shouts of half a dozen
Highland swains, all running as if they had been mad, and every one
hallooing a half-starved dog to the rescue of the forage. At a little
distance up the glen was a small and stunted wood of birch; the hills
were high and heathy, but without any variety of surface; so that the
whole view was wild and desolate rather than grand and solitary. Yet,
such as it was, no genuine descendant of Ian nan Chaistel would have
changed the domain for Stow or Blenheim.

There was a sight, however, before the gate, which perhaps would have
afforded the first owner of Blenheim more pleasure than the finest view
in the domain assigned to him by the gratitude of his country. This
consisted of about a hundred Highlanders, in complete dress and arms; at
sight of whom the Chieftain apologised to Waverley in a sort of negligent
manner. 'He had forgot,' he said, 'that he had ordered a few of his clan
out, for the purpose of seeing that they were in a fit condition to
protect the country, and prevent such accidents as, he was sorry to
learn, had befallen the Baron of Bradwardine. Before they were dismissed,
perhaps Captain Waverley might choose to see them go through a part of
their exercise.'

Edward assented, and the men executed with agility and precision some of
the ordinary military movements. They then practised individually at a
mark, and showed extraordinary dexterity in the management of the pistol
and firelock. They took aim, standing, sitting, leaning, or lying
prostrate, as they were commanded, and always with effect upon the
target. Next, they paired off for the broadsword exercise; and, having
manifested their individual skill and dexterity, united in two bodies,
and exhibited a sort of mock encounter, in which the charge, the rally,
the flight, the pursuit, and all the current of a heady fight, were
exhibited to the sound of the great war bagpipe.

On a signal made by the Chief, the skirmish was ended. Matches were then
made for running, wrestling, leaping, pitching the bar, and other sports,
in which this feudal militia displayed incredible swiftness, strength,
and agility; and accomplished the purpose which their Chieftain had at
heart, by impressing on Waverley no light sense of their merit as
soldiers, and of the power of him who commanded them by his nod.
[Footnote: See Note 20.]

'And what number of such gallant fellows have the happiness to call you
leader?' asked Waverley.

'In a good cause, and under a chieftain whom they loved, the race of Ivor
have seldom taken the field under five hundred claymores. But you are
aware, Captain Waverley, that the disarming act, passed about twenty
years ago, prevents their being in the complete state of preparation as
in former times; and I keep no more of my clan under arms than may defend
my own or my friends' property, when the country is troubled with such
men as your last night's landlord; and government, which has removed
other means of defence, must connive at our protecting ourselves.'

'But, with your force, you might soon destroy or put down such gangs as
that of Donald Bean Lean.'

'Yes, doubtless; and my reward would be a summons to deliver up to
General Blakeney, at Stirling, the few broadswords they have left us;
there were little policy in that, methinks. But come, captain, the sound
of the pipes informs me that dinner is prepared. Let me have the honour
to show you into my rude mansion.'



Ere Waverley entered the banqueting hall, he was offered the patriarchal
refreshment of a bath for the feet, which the sultry weather, and the
morasses he had traversed, rendered highly acceptable. He was not,
indeed, so luxuriously attended upon this occasion as the heroic
travellers in the Odyssey; the task of ablution and abstersion being
performed, not by a beautiful damsel, trained

To chafe the limb, and pour the fragrant oil,

but by a smoke-dried skinny old Highland woman, who did not seem to think
herself much honoured by the duty imposed upon her, but muttered between
her teeth, 'Our fathers' herds did not feed so near together that I
should do you this service.' A small donation, however, amply reconciled
this ancient handmaiden to the supposed degradation; and, as Edward
proceeded to the hall, she gave him her blessing in the Gaelic proverb,
'May the open hand be filled the fullest.'

The hall, in which the feast was prepared, occupied all the first story
of lan nan Chaistel's original erection, and a huge oaken table extended
through its whole length. The apparatus for dinner was simple, even to
rudeness, and the company numerous, even to crowding. At the head of the
table was the Chief himself, with Edward, and two or three Highland
visitors of neighbouring clans; the elders of his own tribe, wadsetters
and tacksmen, as they were called, who occupied portions of his estate as
mortgagers or lessees, sat next in rank; beneath them, their sons and
nephews and foster-brethren; then the officers of the Chief's household,
according to their order; and lowest of all, the tenants who actually
cultivated the ground. Even beyond this long perspective, Edward might
see upon the green, to which a huge pair of folding doors opened, a
multitude of Highlanders of a yet inferior description, who,
nevertheless, were considered as guests, and had their share both of the
countenance of the entertainer and of the cheer of the day. In the
distance, and fluctuating round this extreme verge of the banquet, was a
changeful group of women, ragged boys and girls, beggars, young and old,
large greyhounds, and terriers, and pointers, and curs of low degree; all
of whom took some interest, more or less immediate, in the main action of
the piece.

This hospitality, apparently unbounded, had yet its line of economy. Some
pains had been bestowed in dressing the dishes of fish, game, etc., which
were at the upper end of the table, and immediately under the eye of the
English stranger. Lower down stood immense clumsy joints of mutton and
beef, which, but for the absence of pork, [Footnote: See Note 21.]
abhorred in the Highlands, resembled the rude festivity of the banquet of
Penelope's suitors. But the central dish was a yearling lamb, called 'a
hog in har'st,' roasted whole. It was set upon its legs, with a bunch of
parsley in its mouth, and was probably exhibited in that form to gratify
the pride of the cook, who piqued himself more on the plenty than the
elegance of his master's table. The sides of this poor animal were
fiercely attacked by the clansmen, some with dirks, others with the
knives which were usually in the same sheath with the dagger, so that it
was soon rendered a mangled and rueful spectacle. Lower down still, the
victuals seemed of yet coarser quality, though sufficiently abundant.
Broth, onions, cheese, and the fragments of the feast regaled the sons of
Ivor who feasted in the open air.

The liquor was supplied in the same proportion, and under similar
regulations. Excellent claret and champagne were liberally distributed
among the Chief's immediate neighbours; whisky, plain or diluted, and
strong beer refreshed those who sat near the lower end. Nor did this
inequality of distribution appear to give the least offence. Every one
present understood that his taste was to be formed according to the rank
which he held at table; and, consequently, the tacksmen and their
dependants always professed the wine was too cold for their stomachs, and
called, apparently out of choice, for the liquor which was assigned to
them from economy. [Footnote: See Note 22.] The bag-pipers, three in
number, screamed, during the whole time of dinner, a tremendous war-tune;
and the echoing of the vaulted roof, and clang of the Celtic tongue,
produced such a Babel of noises that Waverley dreaded his ears would
never recover it. Mac-Ivor, indeed, apologised for the confusion
occasioned by so large a party, and pleaded the necessity of his
situation, on which unlimited hospitality was imposed as a paramount
duty. 'These stout idle kinsmen of mine,' he said, 'account my estate as
held in trust for their support; and I must find them beef and ale, while
the rogues will do nothing for themselves but practise the broadsword, or
wander about the hills, shooting, fishing, hunting, drinking, and making
love to the lasses of the strath. But what can I do, Captain Waverley?
everything will keep after its kind, whether it be a hawk or a
Highlander.' Edward made the expected answer, in a compliment upon his
possessing so many bold and attached followers.

'Why, yes,' replied the Chief, 'were I disposed, like my father, to put
myself in the way of getting one blow on the head, or two on the neck, I
believe the loons would stand by me. But who thinks of that in the
present day, when the maxim is, "Better an old woman with a purse in her
hand than three men with belted brands"?' Then, turning to the company,
he proposed the 'Health of Captain Waverley, a worthy friend of his kind
neighbour and ally, the Baron of Bradwardine.'

'He is welcome hither,' said one of the elders, 'if he come from Cosmo
Comyne Bradwardine.'

'I say nay to that,' said an old man, who apparently did not mean to
pledge the toast; 'I say nay to that. While there is a green leaf in the
forest, there will be fraud in a Comyne.

'There is nothing but honour in the Baron of Bradwardine,' answered
another ancient; 'and the guest that comes hither from him should be
welcome, though he came with blood on his hand, unless it were blood of
the race of Ivor.'

The old man whose cup remained full replied, 'There has been blood enough
of the race of Ivor on the hand of Bradwardine.'

'Ah! Ballenkeiroch,' replied the first, 'you think rather of the flash of
the carbine at the mains of Tully-Veolan than the glance of the sword
that fought for the cause at Preston.'

'And well I may,' answered Ballenkeiroch; 'the flash of the gun cost me a
fair-haired son, and the glance of the sword has done but little for King

The Chieftain, in two words of French, explained to Waverley that the
Baron had shot this old man's son in a fray near Tully-Veolan, about
seven years before; and then hastened to remove Ballenkeiroch's
prejudice, by informing him that Waverley was an Englishman, unconnected
by birth or alliance with the family of Bradwardine; upon which the old
gentleman raised the hitherto-untasted cup and courteously drank to his
health. This ceremony being requited in kind, the Chieftain made a signal
for the pipes to cease, and said aloud, 'Where is the song hidden, my
friends, that Mac-Murrough cannot find it?'

Mac-Murrough, the family bhairdh, an aged man, immediately took the hint,
and began to chant, with low and rapid utterance, a profusion of Celtic
verses, which were received by the audience with all the applause of
enthusiasm. As he advanced in his declamation, his ardour seemed to
increase. He had at first spoken with his eyes fixed on the ground; he
now cast them around as if beseeching, and anon as if commanding,
attention, and his tones rose into wild and impassioned notes,
accompanied with appropriate gestures. He seemed to Edward, who attended
to him with much interest, to recite many proper names, to lament the
dead, to apostrophise the absent, to exhort, and entreat, and animate
those who were present. Waverley thought he even discerned his own name,
and was convinced his conjecture was right from the eyes of the company
being at that moment turned towards him simultaneously. The ardour of the
poet appeared to communicate itself to the audience. Their wild and
sun-burnt countenances assumed a fiercer and more animated expression;
all bent forward towards the reciter, many sprung up and waved their arms
in ecstasy, and some laid their hands on their swords. When the song
ceased, there was a deep pause, while the aroused feelings of the poet
and of the hearers gradually subsided into their usual channel.

The Chieftain, who, during this scene had appeared rather to watch the
emotions which were excited than to partake their high tone of
enthusiasm, filled with claret a small silver cup which stood by him.
'Give this,' he said to an attendant, 'to Mac-Murrough nan Fonn (i.e. of
the songs), and when he has drank the juice, bid him keep, for the sake
of Vich Ian Vohr, the shell of the gourd which contained it.' The gift
was received by Mac-Murrough with profound gratitude; he drank the wine,
and, kissing the cup, shrouded it with reverence in the plaid which was
folded on his bosom. He then burst forth into what Edward justly supposed
to be an extemporaneous effusion of thanks and praises of his Chief. It
was received with applause, but did not produce the effect of his first
poem. It was obvious, however, that the clan regarded the generosity of
their Chieftain with high approbation. Many approved Gaelic toasts were
then proposed, of some of which the Chieftain gave his guest the
following versions:--

'To him that will not turn his back on friend or foe.' 'To him that never
forsook a comrade.' 'To him that never bought or sold justice.'
'Hospitality to the exile, and broken bones to the tyrant.' 'The lads
with the kilts.' 'Highlanders, shoulder to shoulder,'--with many other
pithy sentiments of the like nature.

Edward was particularly solicitous to know the meaning of that song which
appeared to produce such effect upon the passions of the company, and
hinted his curiosity to his host. 'As I observe,' said the Chieftain,
'that you have passed the bottle during the last three rounds, I was
about to propose to you to retire to my sister's tea-table, who can
explain these things to you better than I can. Although I cannot stint my
clan in the usual current of their festivity, yet I neither am addicted
myself to exceed in its amount, nor do I,' added he, smiling, 'keep a
Bear to devour the intellects of such as can make good use of them.'

Edward readily assented to this proposal, and the Chieftain, saying a few
words to those around him, left the table, followed by Waverley. As the
door closed behind them, Edward heard Vich Ian Vohr's health invoked with
a wild and animated cheer, that expressed the satisfaction of the guests
and the depth of their devotion to his service.



The drawing-room of Flora Mac-Ivor was furnished in the plainest and most
simple manner; for at Glennaquoich every other sort of expenditure was
retrenched as much as possible, for the purpose of maintaining, in its
full dignity, the hospitality of the Chieftain, and retaining and
multiplying the number of his dependants and adherents. But there was no
appearance of this parsimony in the dress of the lady herself, which was
in texture elegant, and even rich, and arranged in a manner which partook
partly of the Parisian fashion and partly of the more simple dress of the
Highlands, blended together with great taste. Her hair was not disfigured
by the art of the friseur, but fell in jetty ringlets on her neck,
confined only by a circlet, richly set with diamonds. This peculiarity
she adopted in compliance with the Highland prejudices, which could not
endure that a woman's head should be covered before wedlock.

Flora Mac-Ivor bore a most striking resemblance to her brother Fergus; so
much so that they might have played Viola and Sebastian with the same
exquisite effect produced by the appearance of Mrs. Henry Siddons and her
brother, Mr. William Murray, in these characters. They had the same
antique and regular correctness of profile; the same dark eyes,
eye-lashes, and eye-brows; the same clearness of complexion, excepting
that Fergus's was embrowned by exercise and Flora's possessed the utmost
feminine delicacy. But the haughty and somewhat stern regularity of
Fergus's features was beautifully softened in those of Flora. Their
voices were also similar in tone, though differing in the key. That of
Fergus, especially while issuing orders to his followers during their
military exercise, reminded Edward of a favourite passage in the
description of Emetrius:
--whose voice was heard around,
Loud as a trumpet with a silver sound.
That of Flora, on the contrary, was soft and sweet--'an excellent thing
in woman'; yet, in urging any favourite topic, which she often pursued
with natural eloquence, it possessed as well the tones which impress awe
and conviction as those of persuasive insinuation. The eager glance of
the keen black eye, which, in the Chieftain, seemed impatient even of the
material obstacles it encountered, had in his sister acquired a gentle
pensiveness. His looks seemed to seek glory, power, all that could exalt
him above others in the race of humanity; while those of his sister, as
if she were already conscious of mental superiority, seemed to pity,
rather than envy, those who were struggling for any farther distinction.
Her sentiments corresponded with the expression of her countenance. Early
education had impressed upon her mind, as well as on that of the
Chieftain, the most devoted attachment to the exiled family of Stuart.
She believed it the duty of her brother, of his clan, of every man in
Britain, at whatever personal hazard, to contribute to that restoration
which the partisans of the Chevalier St. George had not ceased to hope
for. For this she was prepared to do all, to suffer all, to sacrifice
all. But her loyalty, as it exceeded her brother's in fanaticism,
excelled it also in purity. Accustomed to petty intrigue, and necessarily
involved in a thousand paltry and selfish discussions, ambitious also by
nature, his political faith was tinctured, at least, if not tainted, by
the views of interest and advancement so easily combined with it; and at
the moment he should unsheathe his claymore, it might be difficult to say
whether it would be most with the view of making James Stuart a king or
Fergus Mac-Ivor an earl. This, indeed, was a mixture of feeling which he
did not avow even to himself, but it existed, nevertheless, in a powerful


Back to Full Books