Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete
Sir Walter Scott
Part 6 out of 12
and established, and to plunge a kingdom into all the miseries of civil
war, for the purpose of replacing upon the throne the descendants of a
monarch by whom it had been wilfully forfeited? If, on the other hand,
his own final conviction of the goodness of their cause, or the commands
of his father or uncle, should recommend to him allegiance to the
Stuarts, still it was necessary to clear his own character by showing
that he had not, as seemed to be falsely insinuated, taken any step to
this purpose during his holding the commission of the reigning monarch,
The affectionate simplicity of Rose and her anxiety for his safety, his
sense too of her unprotected state, and of the terror and actual dangers
to which she might be exposed, made an impression upon his mind, and he
instantly wrote to thank her in the kindest terms for her solicitude on
his account, to express his earnest good wishes for her welfare and that
of her father, and to assure her of his own safety. The feelings which
this task excited were speedily lost in the necessity which he now saw of
bidding farewell to Flora Mac-Ivor, perhaps for ever. The pang attending
this reflection was inexpressible; for her high-minded elevation of
character, her self-devotion to the cause which she had embraced, united
to her scrupulous rectitude as to the means of serving it, had vindicated
to his judgment the choice adopted by his passions. But time pressed,
calumny was busy with his fame, and every hour's delay increased the
power to injure it. His departure must be instant.
With this determination he sought out Fergus, and communicated to him the
contents of Rose's letter, with his own resolution instantly to go to
Edinburgh, and put into the hands of some one or other of those persons
of influence to whom he had letters from his father his exculpation from
any charge which might be preferred against him.
'You run your head into the lion's mouth,' answered Mac-Ivor. 'You do not
know the severity of a government harassed by just apprehensions, and a
consciousness of their own illegality and insecurity. I shall have to
deliver you from some dungeon in Stirling or Edinburgh Castle.'
'My innocence, my rank, my father's intimacy with Lord M--, General G--,
etc., will be a sufficient protection,' said Waverley.
'You will find the contrary,' replied the Chieftain, 'these gentlemen
will have enough to do about their own matters. Once more, will you take
the plaid, and stay a little while with us among the mists and the crows,
in the bravest cause ever sword was drawn in?'
[Footnote: A Highland rhyme on Glencairn's Expedition, in 1650, has these
We'll bide a while amang ta crows,
We'll wiske ta sword and bend ta bows]
'For many reasons, my dear Fergus, you must hold me excused.'
'Well then,' said Mac-Ivor, 'I shall certainly find you exerting your
poetical talents in elegies upon a prison, or your antiquarian researches
in detecting the Oggam [Footnote: The Oggam is a species of the old Irish
character. The idea of the correspondence betwixt the Celtic and Punic,
founded on a scene in Plautus, was not started till General Vallancey set
up his theory, long after the date of Fergus Mac-Ivor] character or some
Punic hieroglyphic upon the keystones of a vault, curiously arched. Or
what say you to un petit pendement bien joli? against which awkward
ceremony I don't warrant you, should you meet a body of the armed
'And why should they use me so?' said Waverley.
'For a hundred good reasons,' answered Fergus. 'First, you are an
Englishman; secondly, a gentleman; thirdly, a prelatist abjured; and,
fourthly, they have not had an opportunity to exercise their talents on
such a subject this long while. But don't be cast down, beloved; all will
be done in the fear of the Lord.'
'Well, I must run my hazard.'
'You are determined, then?'
'Wilful will do't' said Fergus. 'But you cannot go on foot, and I shall
want no horse, as I must march on foot at the head of the children of
Ivor; you shall have brown Dermid.'
'If you will sell him, I shall certainly be much obliged.'
'If your proud English heart cannot be obliged by a gift or loan, I will
not refuse money at the entrance of a campaign: his price is twenty
guineas. [Remember, reader, it was Sixty Years Since.] And when do you
propose to depart?'
'The sooner the better,' answered Waverley.
'You are right, since go you must, or rather, since go you will. I will
take Flora's pony and ride with you as far as Bally-Brough. Callum Beg,
see that our horses are ready, with a pony for yourself, to attend and
carry Mr. Waverley's baggage as far as--(naming a small town), where he
can have a horse and guide to Edinburgh. Put on a Lowland dress, Callum,
and see you keep your tongue close, if you would not have me cut it out.
Mr. Waverley rides Dermid.' Then turning to Edward, 'You will take leave
of my sister?'
'Surely--that is, if Miss Mac-Ivor will honour me so far.'
'Cathleen, let my sister know Mr. Waverley wishes to bid her farewell
before he leaves us. But Rose Bradwardine, her situation must be thought
of; I wish she were here. And why should she not? There are but four
red-coats at Tully-Veolan, and their muskets would be very useful to us.'
To these broken remarks Edward made no answer; his ear indeed received
them, but his soul was intent upon the expected entrance of Flora. The
door opened. It was but Cathleen, with her lady's excuse, and wishes for
Captain Waverley's health and happiness.
WAVERLEY'S RECEPTION IN THE LOWLANDS AFTER HIS HIGHLAND TOUR
It was noon when the two friends stood at the top of the pass of
Bally-Brough. 'I must go no farther,' said Fergus Mac-Ivor, who during
the journey had in vain endeavoured to raise his friend's spirits. 'If my
cross-grained sister has any share in your dejection, trust me she thinks
highly of you, though her present anxiety about the public cause prevents
her listening to any other subject. Confide your interest to me; I will
not betray it, providing you do not again assume that vile cockade.'
'No fear of that, considering the manner in which it has been recalled.
Adieu, Fergus; do not permit your sister to forget me.'
'And adieu, Waverley; you may soon hear of her with a prouder title. Get
home, write letters, and make friends as many and as fast as you can;
there will speedily be unexpected guests on the coast of Suffolk, or my
news from France has deceived me.' [Footnote: The sanguine Jacobites,
during the eventful years 1745-46, kept up the spirits of their party by
the rumour of descents from France on behalf of the Chevalier St.
Thus parted the friends; Fergus returning back to his castle, while
Edward, followed by Callum Beg, the latter transformed from point to
point into a Low-Country groom, proceeded to the little town of--.
Edward paced on under the painful and yet not altogether embittered
feelings which separation and uncertainty produce in the mind of a
youthful lover. I am not sure if the ladies understand the full value of
the influence of absence, nor do I think it wise to teach it them, lest,
like the Clelias and Mandanes of yore, they should resume the humour of
sending their lovers into banishment. Distance, in truth, produces in
idea the same effect as in real perspective. Objects are softened, and
rounded, and rendered doubly graceful; the harsher and more ordinary
points of character are mellowed down, and those by which it is
remembered are the more striking outlines that mark sublimity, grace, or
beauty. There are mists too in the mental as well as the natural horizon,
to conceal what is less pleasing in distant objects, and there are happy
lights, to stream in full glory upon those points which can profit by
Waverley forgot Flora Mac-Ivor's prejudices in her magnanimity, and
almost pardoned her indifference towards his affection when he
recollected the grand and decisive object which seemed to fill her whole
soul. She, whose sense of duty so wholly engrossed her in the cause of a
benefactor, what would be her feelings in favour of the happy individual
who should be so fortunate as to awaken them? Then came the doubtful
question, whether he might not be that happy man,--a question which fancy
endeavoured to answer in the affirmative, by conjuring up all she had
said in his praise, with the addition of a comment much more flattering
than the text warranted. All that was commonplace, all that belonged to
the every-day world, was melted away and obliterated in those dreams of
imagination, which only remembered with advantage the points of grace and
dignity that distinguished Flora from the generality of her sex, not the
particulars which she held in common with them. Edward was, in short, in
the fair way of creating a goddess out of a high-spirited, accomplished,
and beautiful young woman; and the time was wasted in castle-building
until, at the descent of a steep hill, he saw beneath him the market-town
The Highland politeness of Callum Beg--there are few nations, by the way,
who can boast of so much natural politeness as the Highlanders [Footnote:
The Highlander, in former times, had always a high idea of his own
gentility, and was anxious to impress the same upon those with whom he
conversed. His language abounded in the phrases of courtesy and
compliment; and the habit of carrying arms, and mixing with those who did
so, made it particularly desirable they should use cautious politeness in
their intercourse with each other.]--the Highland civility of his
attendant had not permitted him to disturb the reveries of our hero. But
observing him rouse himself at the sight of the village, Callum pressed
closer to his side, and hoped 'when they cam to the public, his honour
wad not say nothing about Vich Ian Vohr, for ta people were bitter Whigs,
deil burst tem.'
Waverley assured the prudent page that he would be cautious; and as he
now distinguished, not indeed the ringing of bells, but the tinkling of
something like a hammer against the side of an old mossy, green, inverted
porridge-pot that hung in an open booth, of the size and shape of a
parrot's cage, erected to grace the east end of a building resembling an
old barn, he asked Callum Beg if it were Sunday.
'Could na say just preceesely; Sunday seldom cam aboon the pass of
On entering the town, however, and advancing towards the most apparent
public-house which presented itself, the numbers of old women, in tartan
screens and red cloaks, who streamed from the barn-resembling building,
debating as they went the comparative merits of the blessed youth Jabesh
Rentowel and that chosen vessel Maister Goukthrapple, induced Callum to
assure his temporary master 'that it was either ta muckle Sunday hersell,
or ta little government Sunday that they ca'd ta fast.'
On alighting at the sign of the Seven-branched Golden Candlestick, which,
for the further delectation of the guests, was graced with a short Hebrew
motto, they were received by mine host, a tall thin puritanical figure,
who seemed to debate with himself whether he ought to give shelter to
those who travelled on such a day. Reflecting, however, in all
probability, that he possessed the power of mulcting them for this
irregularity, a penalty which they might escape by passing into Gregor
Duncanson's, at the sign of the Highlander and the Hawick Gill, Mr.
Ebenezer Cruickshanks condescended to admit them into his dwelling.
To this sanctified person Waverley addressed his request that he would
procure him a guide, with a saddle-horse, to carry his portmanteau to
'And whar may ye be coming from?' demanded mine host of the Candlestick.
'I have told you where I wish to go; I do not conceive any further
information necessary either for the guide or his saddle-horse.'
'Hem! Ahem!' returned he of the Candlestick, somewhat disconcerted at
this rebuff. 'It's the general fast, sir, and I cannot enter into ony
carnal transactions on sic a day, when the people should be humbled and
the backsliders should return, as worthy Mr. Goukthrapple said; and
moreover when, as the precious Mr. Jabesh Rentowel did weel observe, the
land was mourning for covenants burnt, broken, and buried.'
'My good friend,' said Waverley, 'if you cannot let me have a horse and
guide, my servant shall seek them elsewhere.'
'Aweel! Your servant? and what for gangs he not forward wi' you himsell?'
Waverley had but very little of a captain of horse's spirit within him--I
mean of that sort of spirit which I have been obliged to when I happened,
in a mail coach or diligence, to meet some military man who has kindly
taken upon him the disciplining of the waiters and the taxing of
reckonings. Some of this useful talent our hero had, however, acquired
during his military service, and on this gross provocation it began
seriously to arise. 'Look ye, sir; I came here for my own accommodation,
and not to answer impertinent questions. Either say you can, or cannot,
get me what I want; I shall pursue my course in either case.'
Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks left the room with some indistinct mutterings;
but whether negative or acquiescent, Edward could not well distinguish.
The hostess, a civil, quiet, laborious drudge, came to take his orders
for dinner, but declined to make answer on the subject of the horse and
guide; for the Salique law, it seems, extended to the stables of the
From a window which overlooked the dark and narrow court in which Callum
Beg rubbed down the horses after their journey, Waverley heard the
following dialogue betwixt the subtle foot-page of Vich Ian Vohr and his
'Ye'll be frae the north, young man?' began the latter.
'And ye may say that,' answered Callum.
'And ye'll hae ridden a lang way the day, it may weel be?'
'Sae lang, that I could weel tak a dram.'
'Gudewife, bring the gill stoup.'
Here some compliments passed fitting the occasion, when my host of the
Golden Candlestick, having, as he thought, opened his guest's heart by
this hospitable propitiation, resumed his scrutiny.
'Ye'll no hae mickle better whisky than that aboon the Pass?'
'I am nae frae aboon the Pass.'
'Ye're a Highlandman by your tongue?'
'Na; I am but just Aberdeen-a-way.'
'And did your master come frae Aberdeen wi' you?'
'Ay; that's when I left it mysell,' answered the cool and impenetrable
'And what kind of a gentleman is he?'
'I believe he is ane o' King George's state officers; at least he's aye
for ganging on to the south, and he has a hantle siller, and never
grudges onything till a poor body, or in the way of a lawing.'
'He wants a guide and a horse frae hence to Edinburgh?'
'Ay, and ye maun find it him forthwith.'
'Ahem! It will be chargeable.'
'He cares na for that a bodle.'
'Aweel, Duncan--did ye say your name was Duncan, or Donald?'
'Na, man--Jamie--Jamie Steenson--I telt ye before.'
This last undaunted parry altogether foiled Mr. Cruickshanks, who, though
not quite satisfied either with the reserve of the master or the extreme
readiness of the man, was contented to lay a tax on the reckoning and
horse-hire that might compound for his ungratified curiosity. The
circumstance of its being the fast day was not forgotten in the charge,
which, on the whole, did not, however, amount to much more than double
what in fairness it should have been.
Callum Beg soon after announced in person the ratification of this
treaty, adding, 'Ta auld deevil was ganging to ride wi' ta duinhe-wassel
'That will not be very pleasant, Callum, nor altogether safe, for our
host seems a person of great curiosity; but a traveller must submit to
these inconveniences. Meanwhile, my good lad, here is a trifle for you to
drink Vich Ian Vohr's health.'
The hawk's eye of Callum flashed delight upon a golden guinea, with which
these last words were accompanied. He hastened, not without a curse on
the intricacies of a Saxon breeches pocket, or spleuchan, as he called
it, to deposit the treasure in his fob; and then, as if he conceived the
benevolence called for some requital on his part, he gathered close up to
Edward, with an expression of countenance peculiarly knowing, and spoke
in an undertone, 'If his honour thought ta auld deevil Whig carle was a
bit dangerous, she could easily provide for him, and teil ane ta wiser.'
'How, and in what manner?'
'Her ain sell,' replied Callum, 'could wait for him a wee bit frae the
toun, and kittle his quarters wi'her skene-occle.'
'Skene-occle! what's that?'
Callum unbuttoned his coat, raised his left arm, and, with an emphatic
nod, pointed to the hilt of a small dirk, snugly deposited under it, in
the lining of his jacket. Waverley thought he had misunderstood his
meaning; he gazed in his face, and discovered in Callum's very handsome
though embrowned features just the degree of roguish malice with which a
lad of the same age in England would have brought forward a plan for
robbing an orchard.
'Good God, Callum, would you take the man's life?'
'Indeed,' answered the young desperado, 'and I think he has had just a
lang enough lease o 't, when he's for betraying honest folk that come to
spend siller at his public.'
Edward saw nothing was to be gained by argument, and therefore contented
himself with enjoining Callum to lay aside all practices against the
person of Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks; in which injunction the page seemed
to acquiesce with an air of great indifference.
'Ta duinhe-wassel might please himsell; ta auld rudas loon had never done
Callum nae ill. But here's a bit line frae ta Tighearna, tat he bade me
gie your honour ere I came back.'
The letter from the Chief contained Flora's lines on the fate of Captain
Wogan, whose enterprising character is so well drawn by Clarendon. He had
originally engaged in the service of the Parliament, but had abjured that
party upon the execution of Charles I; and upon hearing that the royal
standard was set up by the Earl of Glencairn and General Middleton in the
Highlands of Scotland, took leave of Charles II, who was then at Paris,
passed into England, assembled a body of Cavaliers in the neighbourhood
of London, and traversed the kingdom, which had been so long under
domination of the usurper, by marches conducted with such skill,
dexterity, and spirit that he safely united his handful of horsemen with
the body of Highlanders then in arms. After several months of desultory
warfare, in which Wogan's skill and courage gained him the highest
reputation, he had the misfortune to be wounded in a dangerous manner,
and no surgical assistance being within reach he terminated his short but
There were obvious reasons why the politic Chieftain was desirous to
place the example of this young hero under the eye of Waverley, with
whose romantic disposition it coincided so peculiarly. But his letter
turned chiefly upon some trifling commissions which Waverley had promised
to execute for him in England, and it was only toward the conclusion that
Edward found these words: 'I owe Flora a grudge for refusing us her
company yesterday; and, as I am giving you the trouble of reading these
lines, in order to keep in your memory your promise to procure me the
fishing-tackle and cross-bow from London, I will enclose her verses on
the Grave of Wogan. This I know will tease her; for, to tell you the
truth, I think her more in love with the memory of that dead hero than
she is likely to be with any living one, unless he shall tread a similar
path. But English squires of our day keep their oak-trees to shelter
their deer parks, or repair the losses of an evening at White's, and
neither invoke them to wreathe their brows nor shelter their graves. Let
me hope for one brilliant exception in a dear friend, to whom I would
most gladly give a dearer title.'
The verses were inscribed,
To an Oak Tree
In the Church-Yard of ----, in the Highlands of Scotland, said to mark
the Grave of Captain Wogan, killed in 1649.
Emblem of England's ancient faith,
Full proudly may thy branches wave,
Where loyalty lies low in death,
And valour fills a timeless grave.
And thou, brave tenant of the tomb!
Repine not if our clime deny,
Above thine honour'd sod to bloom
The flowerets of a milder sky.
These owe their birth to genial May;
Beneath a fiercer sun they pine,
Before the winter storm decay;
And can their worth be type of thine?
No! for, 'mid storms of Fate opposing,
Still higher swell'd thy dauntless heart,
And, while Despair the scene was closing,
Commenced thy brief but brilliant part.
'T was then thou sought'st on Albyn's hill,
(When England's sons the strife resign'd)
A rugged race resisting still,
And unsubdued though unrefined.
Thy death's hour heard no kindred wail,
No holy knell thy requiem rung;
Thy mourners were the plaided Gael,
Thy dirge the clamourous pibroch sung.
Yet who, in Fortune's summer-shine
To waste life's longest term away,
Would change that glorious dawn of thine,
Though darken'd ere its noontide day!
Be thine the tree whose dauntless boughs
Brave summer's drought and winter's gloom.
Rome bound with oak her patriots' brows,
As Albyn shadows Wogan's tomb.
Whatever might be the real merit of Flora Mac-Ivor's poetry, the
enthusiasm which it intimated was well calculated to make a corresponding
impression upon her lover. The lines were read--read again, then
deposited in Waverley's bosom, then again drawn out, and read line by
line, in a low and smothered voice, and with frequent pauses which
prolonged the mental treat, as an epicure protracts, by sipping slowly,
the enjoyment of a delicious beverage. The entrance of Mrs. Cruickshanks
with the sublunary articles of dinner and wine hardly interrupted this
pantomime of affectionate enthusiasm.
At length the tall ungainly figure and ungracious visage of Ebenezer
presented themselves. The upper part of his form, notwithstanding the
season required no such defence, was shrouded in a large great-coat,
belted over his under habiliments, and crested with a huge cowl of the
same stuff, which, when drawn over the head and hat, completely
overshadowed both, and, being buttoned beneath the chin, was called a
trot-cozy. His hand grasped a huge jockey-whip, garnished with
brassmounting. His thin legs tenanted a pair of gambadoes, fastened at
the sides with rusty clasps. Thus accoutred, he stalked into the midst of
the apartment, and announced his errand in brief phrase: 'Yer horses are
'You go with me yourself then, landlord?'
'I do, as far as Perth; where ye may be supplied with a guide to Embro',
as your occasions shall require.'
Thus saying, he placed under Waverley's eye the bill which he held in his
hand; and at the same time, self-invited, filled a glass of wine and
drank devoutly to a blessing on their journey. Waverley stared at the
man's impudence, but, as their connection was to be short and promised to
be convenient, he made no observation upon it; and, having paid his
reckoning, expressed his intention to depart immediately. He mounted
Dermid accordingly and sallied forth from the Golden Candlestick,
followed by the puritanical figure we have described, after he had, at
the expense of some time and difficulty, and by the assistance of a
'louping-on-stane,' or structure of masonry erected for the traveller's
convenience in front of the house, elevated his person to the back of a
long-backed, raw-boned, thin-gutted phantom of a broken-down blood-horse,
on which Waverley's portmanteau was deposited. Our hero, though not in a
very gay humour, could hardly help laughing at the appearance of his new
squire, and at imagining the astonishment which his person and equipage
would have excited at Waverley-Honour.
Edward's tendency to mirth did not escape mine host of the Candlestick,
who, conscious of the cause, infused a double portion of souring into the
pharisaical leaven of his countenance, and resolved internally that, in
one way or other, the young 'Englisher' should pay dearly for the
contempt with which he seemed to regard him. Callum also stood at the
gate and enjoyed, with undissembled glee, the ridiculous figure of Mr.
Cruickshanks. As Waverley passed him he pulled off his hat respectfully,
and, approaching his stirrup, bade him 'Tak heed the auld whig deevil
played him nae cantrip.'
Waverley once more thanked and bade him farewell, and then rode briskly
onward, not sorry to be out of hearing of the shouts of the children, as
they beheld old Ebenezer rise and sink in his stirrups to avoid the
concussions occasioned by a hard trot upon a half-paved street. The
village of--was soon several miles behind him.
'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE
SHOWS THAT THE LOSS OF A HORSE'S SHOE MAY BE A SERIOUS INCONVENIENCE
The manner and air of Waverley, but, above all, the glittering contents
of his purse, and the indifference with which he seemed to regard them,
somewhat overawed his companion, and deterred him from making any
attempts to enter upon conversation. His own reflections were moreover
agitated by various surmises, and by plans of self-interest with which
these were intimately connected. The travellers journeyed, therefore, in
silence, until it was interrupted by the annunciation, on the part of the
guide, that his 'naig had lost a fore-foot shoe, which, doubtless, his
honour would consider it was his part to replace.'
This was what lawyers call a fishing question, calculated to ascertain
how far Waverley was disposed to submit to petty imposition. 'My part to
replace your horse's shoe, you rascal!' said Waverley, mistaking the
purport of the intimation.
'Indubitably,' answered Mr. Cruickshanks; 'though there was no preceese
clause to that effect, it canna be expected that I am to pay for the
casualties whilk may befall the puir naig while in your honour's service.
Nathless, if your honour--'
'O, you mean I am to pay the farrier; but where shall we find one?'
Rejoiced at discerning there would be no objection made on the part of
his temporary master, Mr. Cruickshanks assured him that Cairnvreckan, a
village which they were about to enter, was happy in an excellent
blacksmith; 'but as he was a professor, he would drive a nail for no man
on the Sabbath or kirk-fast, unless it were in a case of absolute
necessity, for which he always charged sixpence each shoe.' The most
important part of this communication, in the opinion of the speaker, made
a very slight impression on the hearer, who only internally wondered what
college this veterinary professor belonged to, not aware that the word
was used to denote any person who pretended to uncommon sanctity of faith
As they entered the village of Cairnvreckan, they speedily distinguished
the smith's house. Being also a public, it was two stories high, and
proudly reared its crest, covered with grey slate, above the thatched
hovels by which it was surrounded. The adjoining smithy betokened none of
the Sabbatical silence and repose which Ebenezer had augured from the
sanctity of his friend. On the contrary, hammer clashed and anvil rang,
the bellows groaned, and the whole apparatus of Vulcan appeared to be in
full activity. Nor was the labour of a rural and pacific nature. The
master smith, benempt, as his sign intimated, John Mucklewrath, with two
assistants, toiled busily in arranging, repairing, and furbishing old
muskets, pistols, and swords, which lay scattered around his workshop in
military confusion. The open shed, containing the forge, was crowded with
persons who came and went as if receiving and communicating important
news, and a single glance at the aspect of the people who traversed the
street in haste, or stood assembled in groups, with eyes elevated and
hands uplifted, announced that some extraordinary intelligence was
agitating the public mind of the municipality of Cairnvreckan. 'There is
some news,' said mine host of the Candlestick, pushing his lantern-jawed
visage and bare-boned nag rudely forward into the crowd--'there is some
news; and, if it please my Creator, I will forthwith obtain speirings
Waverley, with better regulated curiosity than his attendant's,
dismounted and gave his horse to a boy who stood idling near. It arose,
perhaps, from the shyness of his character in early youth, that he felt
dislike at applying to a stranger even for casual information, without
previously glancing at his physiognomy and appearance. While he looked
about in order to select the person with whom he would most willingly
hold communication, the buzz around saved him in some degree the trouble
of interrogatories. The names of Lochiel, Clanronald, Glengarry, and
other distinguished Highland Chiefs, among whom Vich Ian Vohr was
repeatedly mentioned, were as familiar in men's mouths as household
words; and from the alarm generally expressed, he easily conceived that
their descent into the Lowlands, at the head of their armed tribes, had
either already taken place or was instantly apprehended.
Ere Waverley could ask particulars, a strong, large-boned, hard-featured
woman, about forty, dressed as if her clothes had been flung on with a
pitchfork, her cheeks flushed with a scarlet red where they were not
smutted with soot and lamp-black, jostled through the crowd, and,
brandishing high a child of two years old, which she danced in her arms
without regard to its screams of terror, sang forth with all her might,--
Charlie is my darling, my darling, my darling,
Charlie is my darling,
The young Chevalier!
'D' ye hear what's come ower ye now,' continued the virago, 'ye whingeing
Whig carles? D'ye hear wha's coming to cow yer cracks?
Little wot ye wha's coming,
Little wot ye wha's coming,
A' the wild Macraws are coming.'
The Vulcan of Cairnvreckan, who acknowledged his Venus in this exulting
Bacchante, regarded her with a grim and ire-foreboding countenance, while
some of the senators of the village hastened to interpose. 'Whisht,
gudewife; is this a time or is this a day to be singing your ranting fule
sangs in?--a time when the wine of wrath is poured out without mixture in
the cup of indignation, and a day when the land should give testimony
against popery, and prelacy, and quakerism, and independency, and
supremacy, and erastianism, and antinomianism, and a' the errors of the
'And that's a' your Whiggery,' reechoed the Jacobite heroine; 'that's a'
your Whiggery, and your presbytery, ye cut-lugged, graning carles! What!
d' ye think the lads wi' the kilts will care for yer synods and yer
presbyteries, and yer buttock-mail, and yer stool o' repentance?
Vengeance on the black face o't! mony an honester woman's been set upon
it than streeks doon beside ony Whig in the country. I mysell--'
Here John Mucklewrath, who dreaded her entering upon a detail of personal
experience, interposed his matrimonial authority. 'Gae hame, and be
d--(that I should say sae), and put on the sowens for supper.'
'And you, ye doil'd dotard,' replied his gentle helpmate, her wrath,
which had hitherto wandered abroad over the whole assembly, being at once
and violently impelled into its natural channel, 'YE stand there
hammering dog-heads for fules that will never snap them at a Highlandman,
instead of earning bread for your family and shoeing this winsome young
gentleman's horse that's just come frae the north! I'se warrant him nane
of your whingeing King George folk, but a gallant Gordon, at the least o'
The eyes of the assembly were now turned upon Waverley, who took the
opportunity to beg the smith to shoe his guide's horse with all speed, as
he wished to proceed on his journey; for he had heard enough to make him
sensible that there would be danger in delaying long in this place. The
smith's eyes rested on him with a look of displeasure and suspicion, not
lessened by the eagerness with which his wife enforced Waverley's
mandate. 'D'ye hear what the weel-favoured young gentleman says, ye
'And what may your name be, sir?' quoth Mucklewrath.
'It is of no consequence to you, my friend, provided I pay your labour.'
'But it may be of consequence to the state, sir,' replied an old farmer,
smelling strongly of whisky and peat-smoke; 'and I doubt we maun delay
your journey till you have seen the Laird.'
'You certainly,' said Waverley, haughtily, 'will find it both difficult
and dangerous to detain me, unless you can produce some proper
There was a pause and a whisper among the crowd--'Secretary
Murray'--'Lord Lewis Gordon'--'Maybe the Chevalier himsell!' Such were
the surmises that passed hurriedly among them, and there was obviously an
increased disposition to resist Waverley's departure. He attempted to
argue mildly with them, but his voluntary ally, Mrs. Mucklewrath, broke
in upon and drowned his expostulations, taking his part with an abusive
violence which was all set down to Edward's account by those on whom it
was bestowed. 'YE'LL stop ony gentleman that's the Prince's freend?' for
she too, though with other feelings, had adopted the general opinion
respecting Waverley. 'I daur ye to touch him,' spreading abroad her long
and muscular fingers, garnished with claws which a vulture might have
envied. 'I'll set my ten commandments in the face o' the first loon that
lays a finger on him.'
'Gae hame, gudewife,' quoth the farmer aforesaid; 'it wad better set you
to be nursing the gudeman's bairns than to be deaving us here.'
'HIS bairns?' retorted the Amazon, regarding her husband with a grin of
ineffable contempt--'HIS bairns!
O gin ye were dead, gudeman,
And a green turf on your head, gudeman!
Then I wad ware my widowhood
Upon a ranting Highlandman'
This canticle, which excited a suppressed titter among the younger part
of the audience, totally overcame the patience of the taunted man of the
anvil. 'Deil be in me but I'll put this het gad down her throat!' cried
he in an ecstasy of wrath, snatching a bar from the forge; and he might
have executed his threat, had he not been withheld by a part of the mob,
while the rest endeavoured to force the termagant out of his presence.
Waverley meditated a retreat in the confusion, but his horse was nowhere
to be seen. At length he observed at some distance his faithful
attendant, Ebenezer, who, as soon as he had perceived the turn matters
were likely to take, had withdrawn both horses from the press, and,
mounted on the one and holding the other, answered the loud and repeated
calls of Waverley for his horse. 'Na, na! if ye are nae friend to kirk
and the king, and are detained as siccan a person, ye maun answer to
honest men of the country for breach of contract; and I maun keep the
naig and the walise for damage and expense, in respect my horse and
mysell will lose to-morrow's day's wark, besides the afternoon
Edward, out of patience, hemmed in and hustled by the rabble on every
side, and every moment expecting personal violence, resolved to try
measures of intimidation, and at length drew a pocket-pistol,
threatening, on the one hand, to shoot whomsoever dared to stop him, and,
on the other, menacing Ebenezer with a similar doom if he stirred a foot
with the horses. The sapient Partridge says that one man with a pistol is
equal to a hundred unarmed, because, though he can shoot but one of the
multitude, yet no one knows but that he himself may be that luckless
individual. The levy en masse of Cairnvreckan would therefore probably
have given way, nor would Ebenezer, whose natural paleness had waxed
three shades more cadaverous, have ventured to dispute a mandate so
enforced, had not the Vulcan of the village, eager to discharge upon some
more worthy object the fury which his helpmate had provoked, and not ill
satisfied to find such an object in Waverley, rushed at him with the
red-hot bar of iron with such determination as made the discharge of his
pistol an act of self-defence. The unfortunate man fell; and while
Edward, thrilled with a natural horror at the incident, neither had
presence of mind to unsheathe his sword nor to draw his remaining pistol,
the populace threw themselves upon him, disarmed him, and were about to
use him with great violence, when the appearance of a venerable
clergyman, the pastor of the parish, put a curb on their fury.
This worthy man (none of the Goukthrapples or Rentowels) maintained his
character with the common people, although he preached the practical
fruits of Christian faith as well as its abstract tenets, and was
respected by the higher orders, notwithstanding he declined soothing
their speculative errors by converting the pulpit of the gospel into a
school of heathen morality. Perhaps it is owing to this mixture of faith
and practice in his doctrine that, although his memory has formed a sort
of era in the annals of Cairnvreckan, so that the parishioners, to denote
what befell Sixty Years Since, still say it happened 'in good Mr.
Morton's time,' I have never been able to discover which he belonged to,
the evangelical or the moderate party in the kirk. Nor do I hold the
circumstance of much moment, since, in my own remembrance, the one was
headed by an Erskine, the other by a Robertson.
[Footnote: The Reverend John Erskine, D. D, an eminent Scottish divine
and a most excellent man, headed the Evangelical party in the Church of
Scotland at the time when the celebrated Doctor Robertson, the historian,
was the leader of the Moderate party. These two distinguished persons
were colleagues in the Old Grey Friars' Church, Edinburgh; and, however
much they differed in church politics, preserved the most perfect harmony
as private friends and as clergymen serving the same cure]
Mr. Morton had been alarmed by the discharge of the pistol and the
increasing hubbub around the smithy. His first attention, after he had
directed the bystanders to detain Waverley, but to abstain from injuring
him, was turned to the body of Mucklewrath, over which his wife, in a
revulsion of feeling, was weeping, howling, and tearing her elf-locks in
a state little short of distraction. On raising up the smith, the first
discovery was that he was alive; and the next that he was likely to live
as long as if he had never heard the report of a pistol in his life. He
had made a narrow escape, however; the bullet had grazed his head and
stunned him for a moment or two, which trance terror and confusion of
spirit had prolonged somewhat longer. He now arose to demand vengeance on
the person of Waverley, and with difficulty acquiesced in the proposal of
Mr. Morton that he should be carried before the Laird, as a justice of
peace, and placed at his disposal. The rest of the assistants unanimously
agreed to the measure recommended; even Mrs. Mucklewrath, who had begun
to recover from her hysterics, whimpered forth, 'She wadna say naething
against what the minister proposed; he was e'en ower gude for his trade,
and she hoped to see him wi' a dainty decent bishop's gown on his back; a
comelier sight than your Geneva cloaks and bands, I wis.'
All controversy being thus laid aside, Waverley, escorted by the whole
inhabitants of the village who were not bed-ridden, was conducted to the
house of Cairnvreckan, which was about half a mile distant.
Major Melville of Cairnvreckan, an elderly gentleman, who had spent his
youth in the military service, received Mr. Morton with great kindness,
and our hero with civility, which the equivocal circumstances wherein
Edward was placed rendered constrained and distant.
The nature of the smith's hurt was inquired into, and, as the actual
injury was likely to prove trifling, and the circumstances in which it
was received rendered the infliction on Edward's part a natural act of
self-defence, the Major conceived he might dismiss that matter on
Waverley's depositing in his hands a small sum for the benefit of the
'I could wish, sir,' continued the Major, 'that my duty terminated here;
but it is necessary that we should have some further inquiry into the
cause of your journey through the country at this unfortunate and
Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks now stood forth, and communicated to the
magistrate all he knew or suspected from the reserve of Waverley and the
evasions of Callum Beg. The horse upon which Edward rode, he said, he
knew to belong to Vich Ian Vohr, though he dared not tax Edward's former
attendant with the fact, lest he should have his house and stables burnt
over his head some night by that godless gang, the Mac-Ivors. He
concluded by exaggerating his own services to kirk and state, as having
been the means, under God (as he modestly qualified the assertion), of
attaching this suspicious and formidable delinquent. He intimated hopes
of future reward, and of instant reimbursement for loss of time, and even
of character, by travelling on the state business on the fast-day.
To this Major Melville answered, with great composure, that so far from
claiming any merit in this affair, Mr. Cruickshanks ought to deprecate
the imposition of a very heavy fine for neglecting to lodge, in terms of
the recent proclamation, an account with the nearest magistrate of any
stranger who came to his inn; that, as Mr. Cruickshanks boasted so much
of religion and loyalty, he should not impute this conduct to
disaffection, but only suppose that his zeal for kirk and state had been
lulled asleep by the opportunity of charging a stranger with double
horse-hire; that, however, feeling himself incompetent to decide singly
upon the conduct of a person of such importance, he should reserve it for
consideration of the next quarter-sessions. Now our history for the
present saith no more of him of the Candlestick, who wended dolorous and
malcontent back to his own dwelling.
Major Melville then commanded the villagers to return to their homes,
excepting two, who officiated as constables, and whom he directed to wait
below. The apartment was thus cleared of every person but Mr. Morton,
whom the Major invited to remain; a sort of factor, who acted as clerk;
and Waverley himself. There ensued a painful and embarrassed pause, till
Major Melville, looking upon Waverley with much compassion, and often
consulting a paper or memorandum which he held in his hand, requested to
know his name.
'I thought so; late of the--dragoons, and nephew of Sir Everard Waverley
'Young gentleman, I am extremely sorry that this painful duty has fallen
to my lot.'
'Duty, Major Melville, renders apologies superfluous.'
'True, sir; permit me, therefore, to ask you how your time has been
disposed of since you obtained leave of absence from your regiment,
several weeks ago, until the present moment?'
'My reply,' said Waverley, 'to so general a question must be guided by
the nature of the charge which renders it necessary. I request to know
what that charge is, and upon what authority I am forcibly detained to
reply to it?'
'The charge, Mr. Waverley, I grieve to say, is of a very high nature, and
affects your character both as a soldier and a subject. In the former
capacity you are charged with spreading mutiny and rebellion among the
men you commanded, and setting them the example of desertion, by
prolonging your own absence from the regiment, contrary to the express
orders of your commanding officer. The civil crime of which you stand
accused is that of high treason and levying war against the king, the
highest delinquency of which a subject can be guilty.'
'And by what authority am I detained to reply to such heinous calumnies?'
'By one which you must not dispute, nor I disobey.'
He handed to Waverley a warrant from the Supreme Criminal Court of
Scotland, in full form, for apprehending and securing the person of
Edward Waverley, Esq., suspected of treasonable practices and other high
crimes and misdemeanours.
The astonishment which Waverley expressed at this communication was
imputed by Major Melville to conscious guilt, while Mr. Morton was rather
disposed to construe it into the surprise of innocence unjustly
suspected. There was something true in both conjectures; for although
Edward's mind acquitted him of the crime with which he was charged, yet a
hasty review of his own conduct convinced him he might have great
difficulty in establishing his innocence to the satisfaction of others.
'It is a very painful part of this painful business,' said Major
Melville, after a pause, 'that, under so grave a charge, I must
necessarily request to see such papers as you have on your person.'
'You shall, sir, without reserve,' said Edward, throwing his pocket-book
and memorandums upon the table; 'there is but one with which I could wish
you would dispense.'
'I am afraid, Mr. Waverley, I can indulge you with no reservation,'
'You shall see it then, sir; and as it can be of no service, I beg it may
He took from his bosom the lines he had that morning received, and
presented them with the envelope. The Major perused them in silence, and
directed his clerk to make a copy of them. He then wrapped the copy in
the envelope, and placing it on the table before him, returned the
original to Waverley, with an air of melancholy gravity.
After indulging the prisoner, for such our hero must now be considered,
with what he thought a reasonable time for reflection, Major Melville
resumed his examination, premising that, as Mr. Waverley seemed to object
to general questions, his interrogatories should be as specific as his
information permitted. He then proceeded in his investigation, dictating,
as he went on, the import of the questions and answers to the amanuensis,
by whom it was written down.
'Did Mr. Waverley know one Humphry Houghton, a non-commissioned officer
in Gardiner's dragoons?'
'Certainly; he was sergeant of my troop, and son of a tenant of my
'Exactly--and had a considerable share of your confidence, and an
influence among his comrades?'
'I had never occasion to repose confidence in a person of his
description,' answered Waverley. 'I favoured Sergeant Houghton as a
clever, active young fellow, and I believe his fellow-soldiers respected
'But you used through this man,' answered Major Melville, 'to communicate
with such of your troop as were recruited upon Waverley-Honour?'
'Certainly; the poor fellows, finding themselves in a regiment chiefly
composed of Scotch or Irish, looked up to me in any of their little
distresses, and naturally made their countryman and sergeant their
spokesman on such occasions.'
'Sergeant Houghton's influence,' continued the Major, 'extended, then,
particularly over those soldiers who followed you to the regiment from
your uncle's estate?'
'Surely; but what is that to the present purpose?'
'To that I am just coming, and I beseech your candid reply. Have you,
since leaving the regiment, held any correspondence, direct or indirect,
with this Sergeant Houghton?'
'I!--I hold correspondence with a man of his rank and situation! How, or
for what purpose?'
'That you are to explain. But did you not, for example, send to him for
'You remind me of a trifling commission,' said Waverley, 'which I gave
Sergeant Houghton, because my servant could not read. I do recollect I
bade him, by letter, select some books, of which I sent him a list, and
send them to me at Tully-Veolan.'
'And of what description were those books?'
'They related almost entirely to elegant literature; they were designed
for a lady's perusal.'
'Were there not, Mr. Waverley, treasonable tracts and pamphlets among
'There were some political treatises, into which I hardly looked. They
had been sent to me by the officiousness of a kind friend, whose heart is
more to be esteemed than his prudence or political sagacity; they seemed
to be dull compositions.'
'That friend,' continued the persevering inquirer, 'was a Mr. Pembroke, a
nonjuring clergyman, the author of two treasonable works, of which the
manuscripts were found among your baggage?'
'But of which, I give you my honour as a gentleman,' replied Waverley, 'I
never read six pages.'
'I am not your judge, Mr. Waverley; your examination will be transmitted
elsewhere. And now to proceed. Do you know a person that passes by the
name of Wily Will, or Will Ruthven?'
'I never heard of such a name till this moment.'
'Did you never through such a person, or any other person, communicate
with Sergeant Humphry Houghton, instigating him to desert, with as many
of his comrades as he could seduce to join him, and unite with the
Highlanders and other rebels now in arms under the command of the Young
'I assure you I am not only entirely guiltless of the plot you have laid
to my charge, but I detest it from the very bottom of my soul, nor would
I be guilty of such treachery to gain a throne, either for myself or any
other man alive.'
'Yet when I consider this envelope in the handwriting of one of those
misguided gentlemen who are now in arms against their country, and the
verses which it enclosed, I cannot but find some analogy between the
enterprise I have mentioned and the exploit of Wogan, which the writer
seems to expect you should imitate.'
Waverley was struck with the coincidence, but denied that the wishes or
expectations of the letter-writer were to be regarded as proofs of a
charge otherwise chimerical.
'But, if I am rightly informed, your time was spent, during your absence
from the regiment, between the house of this Highland Chieftain and that
of Mr. Bradwardine of Bradwardine, also in arms for this unfortunate
'I do not mean to disguise it; but I do deny, most resolutely, being
privy to any of their designs against the government.'
'You do not, however, I presume, intend to deny that you attended your
host Glennaquoich to a rendezvous, where, under a pretence of a general
hunting match, most of the accomplices of his treason were assembled to
concert measures for taking arms?'
'I acknowledge having been at such a meeting,' said Waverley; 'but I
neither heard nor saw anything which could give it the character you
affix to it.'
'From thence you proceeded,' continued the magistrate, 'with Glennaquoich
and a part of his clan to join the army of the Young Pretender, and
returned, after having paid your homage to him, to discipline and arm the
remainder, and unite them to his bands on their way southward?'
'I never went with Glennaquoich on such an errand. I never so much as
heard that the person whom you mention was in the country.'
He then detailed the history of his misfortune at the hunting match, and
added, that on his return he found himself suddenly deprived of his
commission, and did not deny that he then, for the first time, observed
symptoms which indicated a disposition in the Highlanders to take arms;
but added that, having no inclination to join their cause, and no longer
any reason for remaining in Scotland, he was now on his return to his
native country, to which he had been summoned by those who had a right to
direct his motions, as Major Melville would perceive from the letters on
Major Melville accordingly perused the letters of Richard Waverley, of
Sir Everard, and of Aunt Rachel; but the inferences he drew from them
were different from what Waverley expected. They held the language of
discontent with government, threw out no obscure hints of revenge, and
that of poor Aunt Rachel, which plainly asserted the justice of the
Stuart cause, was held to contain the open avowal of what the others only
ventured to insinuate.
'Permit me another question, Mr. Waverley,' said Major Melville. 'Did you
not receive repeated letters from your commanding officer, warning you
and commanding you to return to your post, and acquainting you with the
use made of your name to spread discontent among your soldiers?'
'I never did, Major Melville. One letter, indeed, I received from him,
containing a civil intimation of his wish that I would employ my leave of
absence otherwise than in constant residence at Bradwardine, as to which,
I own, I thought he was not called on to interfere; and, finally, I
received, on the same day on which I observed myself superseded in the
"Gazette," a second letter from Colonel Gardiner, commanding me to join
the regiment, an order which, owing to my absence, already mentioned and
accounted for, I received too late to be obeyed. If there were any
intermediate letters, and certainly from the Colonel's high character I
think it probable that there were, they have never reached me.'
'I have omitted, Mr. Waverley,' continued Major Melville, 'to inquire
after a matter of less consequence, but which has nevertheless been
publicly talked of to your disadvantage. It is said that a treasonable
toast having been proposed in your hearing and presence, you, holding his
Majesty's commission, suffered the task of resenting it to devolve upon
another gentleman of the company. This, sir, cannot be charged against
you in a court of justice; but if, as I am informed, the officers of your
regiment requested an explanation of such a rumour, as a gentleman and
soldier I cannot but be surprised that you did not afford it to them.'
This was too much. Beset and pressed on every hand by accusations, in
which gross falsehoods were blended with such circumstances of truth as
could not fail to procure them credit,--alone, unfriended, and in a
strange land, Waverley almost gave up his life and honour for lost, and,
leaning his head upon his hand, resolutely refused to answer any further
questions, since the fair and candid statement he had already made had
only served to furnish arms against him.
Without expressing either surprise or displeasure at the change in
Waverley's manner, Major Melville proceeded composedly to put several
other queries to him.
'What does it avail me to answer you?' said Edward sullenly. 'You appear
convinced of my guilt, and wrest every reply I have made to support your
own preconceived opinion. Enjoy your supposed triumph, then, and torment
me no further. If I am capable of the cowardice and treachery your charge
burdens me with, I am not worthy to be believed in any reply I can make
to you. If I am not deserving of your suspicion--and God and my own
conscience bear evidence with me that it is so--then I do not see why I
should, by my candour, lend my accusers arms against my innocence. There
is no reason I should answer a word more, and I am determined to abide by
And again he resumed his posture of sullen and determined silence.
'Allow me,' said the magistrate, 'to remind you of one reason that may
suggest the propriety of a candid and open confession. The inexperience
of youth, Mr. Waverley, lays it open to the plans of the more designing
and artful; and one of your friends at least--I mean Mac-Ivor of
Glennaquoich--ranks high in the latter class, as, from your apparent
ingenuousness, youth, and unacquaintance with the manners of the
Highlands, I should be disposed to place you among the former. In such a
case, a false step or error like yours, which I shall be happy to
consider as involuntary, may be atoned for, and I would willingly act as
intercessor. But, as you must necessarily be acquainted with the strength
of the individuals in this country who have assumed arms, with their
means and with their plans, I must expect you will merit this mediation
on my part by a frank and candid avowal of all that has come to your
knowledge upon these heads; in which case, I think I can venture to
promise that a very short personal restraint will be the only ill
consequence that can arise from your accession to these unhappy
Waverley listened with great composure until the end of this exhortation,
when, springing from his seat with an energy he had not yet displayed, he
replied, 'Major Melville, since that is your name, I have hitherto
answered your questions with candour, or declined them with temper,
because their import concerned myself alone; but, as you presume to
esteem me mean enough to commence informer against others, who received
me, whatever may be their public misconduct, as a guest and friend, I
declare to you that I consider your questions as an insult infinitely
more offensive than your calumnious suspicions; and that, since my hard
fortune permits me no other mode of resenting them than by verbal
defiance, you should sooner have my heart out of my bosom than a single
syllable of information on subjects which I could only become acquainted
with in the full confidence of unsuspecting hospitality.'
Mr. Morton and the Major looked at each other; and the former, who, in
the course of the examination, had been repeatedly troubled with a sorry
rheum, had recourse to his snuff-box and his handkerchief.
'Mr. Waverley,' said the Major, 'my present situation prohibits me alike
from giving or receiving offence, and I will not protract a discussion
which approaches to either. I am afraid I must sign a warrant for
detaining you in custody, but this house shall for the present be your
prison. I fear I cannot persuade you to accept a share of our
supper?--(Edward shook his head)--but I will order refreshments in your
Our hero bowed and withdrew, under guard of the officers of justice, to a
small but handsome room, where, declining all offers of food or wine, he
flung himself on the bed, and, stupified by the harassing events and
mental fatigue of this miserable day, he sunk into a deep and heavy
slumber. This was more than he himself could have expected; but it is
mentioned of the North-American Indians, when at the stake of torture,
that on the least intermission of agony they will sleep until the fire is
applied to awaken them.
A CONFERENCE AND THE CONSEQUENCE
Major Melville had detained Mr. Morton during his examination of
Waverley, both because he thought he might derive assistance from his
practical good sense and approved loyalty, and also because it was
agreeable to have a witness of unimpeached candour and veracity to
proceedings which touched the honour and safety of a young Englishman of
high rank and family, and the expectant heir of a large fortune. Every
step he knew would be rigorously canvassed, and it was his business to
place the justice and integrity of his own conduct beyond the limits of
When Waverley retired, the laird and clergyman of Cairnvreckan sat down
in silence to their evening meal. While the servants were in attendance
neither chose to say anything on the circumstances which occupied their
minds, and neither felt it easy to speak upon any other. The youth and
apparent frankness of Waverley stood in strong contrast to the shades of
suspicion which darkened around him, and he had a sort of naivete and
openness of demeanour that seemed to belong to one unhackneyed in the
ways of intrigue, and which pleaded highly in his favour.
Each mused over the particulars of the examination, and each viewed it
through the medium of his own feelings. Both were men of ready and acute
talent, and both were equally competent to combine various parts of
evidence, and to deduce from them the necessary conclusions. But the wide
difference of their habits and education often occasioned a great
discrepancy in their respective deductions from admitted premises.
Major Melville had been versed in camps and cities; he was vigilant by
profession and cautious from experience, had met with much evil in the
world, and therefore, though himself an upright magistrate and an
honourable man, his opinions of others were always strict, and sometimes
unjustly severe. Mr. Morton, on the contrary, had passed from the
literary pursuits of a college, where he was beloved by his companions
and respected by his teachers, to the ease and simplicity of his present
charge, where his opportunities of witnessing evil were few, and never
dwelt upon but in order to encourage repentance and amendment; and where
the love and respect of his parishioners repaid his affectionate zeal in
their behalf by endeavouring to disguise from him what they knew would
give him the most acute pain, namely, their own occasional transgressions
of the duties which it was the business of his life to recommend. Thus it
was a common saying in the neighbourhood (though both were popular
characters), that the laird knew only the ill in the parish and the
minister only the good.
A love of letters, though kept in subordination to his clerical studies
and duties, also distinguished the pastor of Cairnvreckan, and had tinged
his mind in earlier days with a slight feeling of romance, which no after
incidents of real life had entirely dissipated. The early loss of an
amiable young woman whom he had married for love, and who was quickly
followed to the grave by an only child, had also served, even after the
lapse of many years, to soften a disposition naturally mild and
contemplative. His feelings on the present occasion were therefore likely
to differ from those of the severe disciplinarian, strict magistrate, and
distrustful man of the world.
When the servants had withdrawn, the silence of both parties continued,
until Major Melville, filling his glass and pushing the bottle to Mr.
'A distressing affair this, Mr. Morton. I fear this youngster has brought
himself within the compass of a halter.'
'God forbid!' answered the clergyman.
'Marry, and amen,' said the temporal magistrate; 'but I think even your
merciful logic will hardly deny the conclusion.'
'Surely, Major,' answered the clergyman, 'I should hope it might be
averted, for aught we have heard tonight?'
'Indeed!' replied Melville. 'But, my good parson, you are one of those
who would communicate to every criminal the benefit of clergy.'
'Unquestionably I would. Mercy and long-suffering are the grounds of the
doctrine I am called to teach.'
'True, religiously speaking; but mercy to a criminal may be gross
injustice to the community. I don't speak of this young fellow in
particular, who I heartily wish may be able to clear himself, for I like
both his modesty and his spirit. But I fear he has rushed upon his fate.'
'And why? Hundreds of misguided gentlemen are now in arms against the
government, many, doubtless, upon principles which education and early
prejudice have gilded with the names of patriotism and heroism; Justice,
when she selects her victims from such a multitude (for surely all will
not be destroyed), must regard the moral motive. He whom ambition or hope
of personal advantage has led to disturb the peace of a well-ordered
government, let him fall a victim to the laws; but surely youth, misled
by the wild visions of chivalry and imaginary loyalty, may plead for
'If visionary chivalry and imaginary loyalty come within the predicament
of high treason,' replied the magistrate, 'I know no court in
Christendom, my dear Mr. Morton, where they can sue out their Habeas
'But I cannot see that this youth's guilt is at all established to my
satisfaction,' said the clergyman.
'Because your good-nature blinds your good sense,' replied Major
Melville. 'Observe now: This young man, descended of a family of
hereditary Jacobites, his uncle the leader of the Tory interest in the
county of ----, his father a disobliged and discontented courtier, his
tutor a nonjuror and the author of two treasonable volumes--this youth, I
say, enters into Gardiner's dragoons, bringing with him a body of young
fellows from his uncle's estate, who have not stickled at avowing in
their way the High-Church principles they learned at Waverley-Honour, in
their disputes with their comrades. To these young men Waverley is
unusually attentive; they are supplied with money beyond a soldier's
wants and inconsistent with his discipline; and are under the management
of a favourite sergeant, through whom they hold an unusually close
communication with their captain, and affect to consider themselves as
independent of the other officers, and superior to their comrades.'
'All this, my dear Major, is the natural consequence of their attachment
to their young landlord, and of their finding themselves in a regiment
levied chiefly in the north of Ireland and the west of Scotland, and of
course among comrades disposed to quarrel with them, both as Englishmen
and as members of the Church of England.'
'Well said, parson!' replied the magistrate. 'I would some of your synod
heard you. But let me go on. This young man obtains leave of absence,
goes to Tully-Veolan--the principles of the Baron of Bradwardine are
pretty well known, not to mention that this lad's uncle brought him off
in the year fifteen; he engages there in a brawl, in which he is said to
have disgraced the commission he bore; Colonel Gardiner writes to him,
first mildly, then more sharply--I think you will not doubt his having
done so, since he says so; the mess invite him to explain the quarrel in
which he is said to have been involved; he neither replies to his
commander nor his comrades. In the meanwhile his soldiers become mutinous
and disorderly, and at length, when the rumour of this unhappy rebellion
becomes general, his favourite Sergeant Houghton and another fellow are
detected in correspondence with a French emissary, accredited, as he
says, by Captain Waverley, who urges him, according to the men's
confession, to desert with the troop and join their captain, who was with
Prince Charles. In the meanwhile this trusty captain is, by his own
admission, residing at Glennaquoich with the most active, subtle, and
desperate Jacobite in Scotland; he goes with him at least as far as their
famous hunting rendezvous, and I fear a little farther. Meanwhile two
other summonses are sent him; one warning him of the disturbances in his
troop, another peremptorily ordering him to repair to the regiment,
which, indeed, common sense might have dictated, when he observed
rebellion thickening all round him. He returns an absolute refusal, and
throws up his commission.'
'He had been already deprived of it,' said Mr. Morton.
'But he regrets,' replied Melville, 'that the measure had anticipated his
resignation. His baggage is seized at his quarters and at Tully-Veolan,
and is found to contain a stock of pestilent Jacobitical pamphlets,
enough to poison a whole country, besides the unprinted lucubrations of
his worthy friend and tutor Mr. Pembroke.'
'He says he never read them,' answered the minister.
'In an ordinary case I should believe him,' replied the magistrate, 'for
they are as stupid and pedantic in composition as mischievous in their
tenets. But can you suppose anything but value for the principles they
maintain would induce a young man of his age to lug such trash about with
him? Then, when news arrive of the approach of the rebels, he sets out in
a sort of disguise, refusing to tell his name; and, if yon old fanatic
tell truth, attended by a very suspicious character, and mounted on a
horse known to have belonged to Glennaquoich, and bearing on his person
letters from his family expressing high rancour against the house of
Brunswick, and a copy of verses in praise of one Wogan, who abjured the
service of the Parliament to join the Highland insurgents, when in arms
to restore the house of Stuart, with a body of English cavalry--the very
counterpart of his own plot--and summed up with a "Go thou and do
likewise" from that loyal subject, and most safe and peaceable character,
Fergus Mac-Ivor of Glennaquoich, Vich Ian Vohr, and so forth. And,
lastly,' continued Major Melville, warming in the detail of his
arguments, 'where do we find this second edition of Cavalier Wogan? Why,
truly, in the very track most proper for execution of his design, and
pistolling the first of the king's subjects who ventures to question his
Mr. Morton prudently abstained from argument, which he perceived would
only harden the magistrate in his opinion, and merely asked how he
intended to dispose of the prisoner?
'It is a question of some difficulty, considering the state of the
country,' said Major Melville.
'Could you not detain him (being such a gentleman-like young man) here in
your own house, out of harm's way, till this storm blow over?'
'My good friend,' said Major Melville, 'neither your house nor mine will
be long out of harm's way, even were it legal to confine him here. I have
just learned that the commander-in-chief, who marched into the Highlands
to seek out and disperse the insurgents, has declined giving them battle
at Coryarrick, and marched on northward with all the disposable force of
government to Inverness, John-o'-Groat's House, or the devil, for what I
know, leaving the road to the Low Country open and undefended to the
'Good God!' said the clergyman. 'Is the man a coward, a traitor, or an
'None of the three, I believe,' answered Melville. 'Sir John has the
commonplace courage of a common soldier, is honest enough, does what he
is commanded, and understands what is told him, but is as fit to act for
himself in circumstances of importance as I, my dear parson, to occupy
This important public intelligence naturally diverted the discourse from
Waverley for some time; at length, however, the subject was resumed.
'I believe,' said Major Melville, 'that I must give this young man in
charge to some of the detached parties of armed volunteers who were
lately sent out to overawe the disaffected districts. They are now
recalled towards Stirling, and a small body comes this way to-morrow or
next day, commanded by the westland man--what's his name? You saw him,
and said he was the very model of one of Cromwell's military saints.'
'Gilfillan, the Cameronian,' answered Mr. Morton. 'I wish the young
gentleman may be safe with him. Strange things are done in the heat and
hurry of minds in so agitating a crisis, and I fear Gilfillan is of a
sect which has suffered persecution without learning mercy.'
'He has only to lodge Mr. Waverley in Stirling Castle,' said the Major;
'I will give strict injunctions to treat him well. I really cannot devise
any better mode for securing him, and I fancy you would hardly advise me
to encounter the responsibility of setting him at liberty.'
'But you will have no objection to my seeing him tomorrow in private?'
said the minister.
'None, certainly; your loyalty and character are my warrant. But with
what view do you make the request?'
'Simply,' replied Mr. Morton, 'to make the experiment whether he may not
be brought to communicate to me some circumstances which may hereafter be
useful to alleviate, if not to exculpate, his conduct.'
The friends now parted and retired to rest, each filled with the most
anxious reflections on the state of the country.
Waverley awoke in the morning from troubled dreams and unrefreshing
slumbers to a full consciousness of the horrors of his situation. How it
might terminate he knew not. He might be delivered up to military law,
which, in the midst of civil war, was not likely to be scrupulous in the
choice of its victims or the quality of the evidence. Nor did he feel
much more comfortable at the thoughts of a trial before a Scottish court
of justice, where he knew the laws and forms differed in many respects
from those of England, and had been taught to believe, however
erroneously, that the liberty and rights of the subject were less
carefully protected. A sentiment of bitterness rose in his mind against
the government, which he considered as the cause of his embarrassment and
peril, and he cursed internally his scrupulous rejection of Mac-Ivor's
invitation to accompany him to the field.
'Why did not I,' he said to himself, 'like other men of honour, take the
earliest opportunity to welcome to Britain the descendant of her ancient
kings and lineal heir of her throne? Why did not I--
Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,
And welcome home again discarded faith,
Seek out Prince Charles, and fall before his feet?
All that has been recorded of excellence and worth in the house of
Waverley has been founded upon their loyal faith to the house of Stuart.
From the interpretation which this Scotch magistrate has put upon the
letters of my uncle and father, it is plain that I ought to have
understood them as marshalling me to the course of my ancestors; and it
has been my gross dulness, joined to the obscurity of expression which
they adopted for the sake of security, that has confounded my judgment.
Had I yielded to the first generous impulse of indignation when I learned
that my honour was practised upon, how different had been my present
situation! I had then been free and in arms fighting, like my
forefathers, for love, for loyalty, and for fame. And now I am here,
netted and in the toils, at the disposal of a suspicious, stern, and
cold-hearted man, perhaps to be turned over to the solitude of a dungeon
or the infamy of a public execution. O, Fergus! how true has your
prophecy proved; and how speedy, how very speedy, has been its
While Edward was ruminating on these painful subjects of contemplation,
and very naturally, though not quite so justly, bestowing upon the
reigning dynasty that blame which was due to chance, or, in part at
least, to his own unreflecting conduct, Mr. Morton availed himself of
Major Melville's permission to pay him an early visit.
Waverley's first impulse was to intimate a desire that he might not be
disturbed with questions or conversation; but he suppressed it upon
observing the benevolent and reverend appearance of the clergyman who had
rescued him from the immediate violence of the villagers.
'I believe, sir,' said the unfortunate young man,'that in any other
circumstances I should have had as much gratitude to express to you as
the safety of my life may be worth; but such is the present tumult of my
mind, and such is my anticipation of what I am yet likely to endure, that
I can hardly offer you thanks for your interposition.'
Mr. Morton replied, that, far from making any claim upon his good
opinion, his only wish and the sole purpose of his visit was to find out
the means of deserving it. 'My excellent friend, Major Melville,' he
continued, 'has feelings and duties as a soldier and public functionary
by which I am not fettered; nor can I always coincide in opinions which
he forms, perhaps with too little allowance for the imperfections of
human nature.' He paused and then proceeded: 'I do not intrude myself on
your confidence, Mr. Waverley, for the purpose of learning any
circumstances the knowledge of which can be prejudicial either to
yourself or to others; but I own my earnest wish is that you would
intrust me with any particulars which could lead to your exculpation. I
can solemnly assure you they will be deposited with a faithful and, to
the extent of his limited powers, a zealous agent.'
'You are, sir, I presume, a Presbyterian clergyman?' Mr. Morton bowed.
'Were I to be guided by the prepossessions of education, I might distrust
your friendly professions in my case; but I have observed that similar
prejudices are nourished in this country against your professional
brethren of the Episcopal persuasion, and I am willing to believe them
equally unfounded in both cases.'
'Evil to him that thinks otherwise,' said Mr. Morton; 'or who holds
church government and ceremonies as the exclusive gage of Christian faith
or moral virtue.'
'But,' continued Waverley, 'I cannot perceive why I should trouble you
with a detail of particulars, out of which, after revolving them as
carefully as possible in my recollection, I find myself unable to explain
much of what is charged against me. I know, indeed, that I am innocent,
but I hardly see how I can hope to prove myself so.'
'It is for that very reason, Mr. Waverley,' said the clergyman, 'that I
venture to solicit your confidence. My knowledge of individuals in this
country is pretty general, and can upon occasion be extended. Your
situation will, I fear, preclude your taking those active steps for
recovering intelligence or tracing imposture which I would willingly
undertake in your behalf; and if you are not benefited by my exertions,
at least they cannot be prejudicial to you.'
Waverley, after a few minutes' reflection, was convinced that his
reposing confidence in Mr. Morton, so far as he himself was concerned,
could hurt neither Mr. Bradwardine nor Fergus Mac-Ivor, both of whom had
openly assumed arms against the government, and that it might possibly,
if the professions of his new friend corresponded in sincerity with the
earnestness of his expression, be of some service to himself. He
therefore ran briefly over most of the events with which the reader is
already acquainted, suppressing his attachment to Flora, and indeed
neither mentioning her nor Rose Bradwardine in the course of his
Mr. Morton seemed particularly struck with the account of Waverley's
visit to Donald Bean Lean. 'I am glad,' he said, 'you did not mention
this circumstance to the Major. It is capable of great misconstruction on
the part of those who do not consider the power of curiosity and the
influence of romance as motives of youthful conduct. When I was a young
man like you, Mr. Waverley, any such hair-brained expedition (I beg your
pardon for the expression) would have had inexpressible charms for me.
But there are men in the world who will not believe that danger and
fatigue are often incurred without any very adequate cause, and therefore
who are sometimes led to assign motives of action entirely foreign to the
truth. This man Bean Lean is renowned through the country as a sort of
Robin Hood, and the stories which are told of his address and enterprise
are the common tales of the winter fireside. He certainly possesses
talents beyond the rude sphere in which he moves; and, being neither
destitute of ambition nor encumbered with scruples, he will probably
attempt, by every means, to distinguish himself during the period of
these unhappy commotions.' Mr. Morton then made a careful memorandum of
the various particulars of Waverley's interview with Donald Bean Lean and
the other circumstances which he had communicated.
The interest which this good man seemed to take in his misfortunes, above
all, the full confidence he appeared to repose in his innocence, had the
natural effect of softening Edward's heart, whom the coldness of Major
Melville had taught to believe that the world was leagued to oppress him.
He shook Mr. Morton warmly by the hand, and, assuring him that his
kindness and sympathy had relieved his mind of a heavy load, told him
that, whatever might be his own fate, he belonged to a family who had
both gratitude and the power of displaying it. The earnestness of his
thanks called drops to the eyes of the worthy clergyman, who was doubly
interested in the cause for which he had volunteered his services, by
observing the genuine and undissembled feelings of his young friend.
Edward now inquired if Mr. Morton knew what was likely to be his
'Stirling Castle,' replied his friend; 'and so far I am well pleased for
your sake, for the governor is a man of honour and humanity. But I am
more doubtful of your treatment upon the road; Major Melville is
involuntarily obliged to intrust the custody of your person to another.'
'I am glad of it,' answered Waverley. 'I detest that cold-blooded
calculating Scotch magistrate. I hope he and I shall never meet more. He
had neither sympathy with my innocence nor with my wretchedness; and the
petrifying accuracy with which he attended to every form of civility,
while he tortured me by his questions, his suspicions, and his
inferences, was as tormenting as the racks of the Inquisition. Do not
vindicate him, my dear sir, for that I cannot bear with patience; tell me
rather who is to have the charge of so important a state prisoner as I
'I believe a person called Gilfillan, one of the sect who are termed
'I never heard of them before.'
'They claim,' said the clergyman, 'to represent the more strict and
severe Presbyterians, who, in Charles Second's and James Second's days,
refused to profit by the Toleration, or Indulgence, as it was called,
which was extended to others of that religion. They held conventicles in
the open fields, and, being treated with great violence and cruelty by
the Scottish government, more than once took arms during those reigns.
They take their name from their leader, Richard Cameron.'
'I recollect,' said Waverley; 'but did not the triumph of Presbytery at
the Revolution extinguish that sect?'
'By no means,' replied Morton; 'that great event fell yet far short of
what they proposed, which was nothing less than the complete
establishment of the Presbyterian Church upon the grounds of the old
Solemn League and Covenant. Indeed, I believe they scarce knew what they
wanted; but being a numerous body of men, and not unacquainted with the
use of arms, they kept themselves together as a separate party in the
state, and at the time of the Union had nearly formed a most unnatural
league with their old enemies the Jacobites to oppose that important
national measure. Since that time their numbers have gradually
diminished; but a good many are still to be found in the western
counties, and several, with a better temper than in 1707, have now taken
arms for government. This person, whom they call Gifted Gilfillan, has
been long a leader among them, and now heads a small party, which will
pass here to-day or to-morrow on their march towards Stirling, under
whose escort Major Melville proposes you shall travel. I would willingly
speak to Gilfillan in your behalf; but, having deeply imbibed all the
prejudices of his sect, and being of the same fierce disposition, he
would pay little regard to the remonstrances of an Erastian divine, as he
would politely term me. And now, farewell, my young friend; for the
present I must not weary out the Major's indulgence, that I may obtain
his permission to visit you again in the course of the day.'
THINGS MEND A LITTLE
About noon Mr. Morton returned and brought an invitation from Major
Melville that Mr. Waverley would honour him with his company to dinner,
notwithstanding the unpleasant affair which detained him at Cairnvreckan,
from which he should heartily rejoice to see Mr. Waverley completely
extricated. The truth was that Mr. Morton's favourable report and opinion
had somewhat staggered the preconceptions of the old soldier concerning
Edward's supposed accession to the mutiny in the regiment; and in the
unfortunate state of the country the mere suspicion of disaffection or an
inclination to join the insurgent Jacobites might infer criminality
indeed, but certainly not dishonour. Besides, a person whom the Major
trusted had reported to him (though, as it proved, inaccurately) a
contradiction of the agitating news of the preceding evening. According
to this second edition of the intelligence, the Highlanders had withdrawn
from the Lowland frontier with the purpose of following the army in their
march to Inverness. The Major was at a loss, indeed, to reconcile his
information with the well-known abilities of some of the gentlemen in the
Highland army, yet it was the course which was likely to be most
agreeable to others. He remembered the same policy had detained them in
the north in the year 1715, and he anticipated a similar termination to
the insurrection as upon that occasion.
This news put him in such good-humour that he readily acquiesced in Mr.
Morton's proposal to pay some hospitable attention to his unfortunate
guest, and voluntarily added, he hoped the whole affair would prove a
youthful escapade, which might be easily atoned by a short confinement.
The kind mediator had some trouble to prevail on his young friend to
accept the invitation. He dared not urge to him the real motive, which
was a good-natured wish to secure a favourable report of Waverley's case
from Major Melville to Governor Blakeney. He remarked, from the flashes
of our hero's spirit, that touching upon this topic would be sure to
defeat his purpose. He therefore pleaded that the invitation argued the
Major's disbelief of any part of the accusation which was inconsistent
with Waverley's conduct as a soldier and a man of honour, and that to
decline his courtesy might be interpreted into a consciousness that it
was unmerited. In short, he so far satisfied Edward that the manly and
proper course was to meet the Major on easy terms that, suppressing his
strong dislike again to encounter his cold and punctilious civility,
Waverley agreed to be guided by his new friend.
The meeting at first was stiff and formal enough. But Edward, having
accepted the invitation, and his mind being really soothed and relieved
by the kindness of Morton, held himself bound to behave with ease, though
he could not affect cordiality. The Major was somewhat of a bon vivant,
and his wine was excellent. He told his old campaign stories, and
displayed much knowledge of men and manners. Mr. Morton had an internal
fund of placid and quiet gaiety, which seldom failed to enliven any small
party in which he found himself pleasantly seated. Waverley, whose life
was a dream, gave ready way to the predominating impulse and became the
most lively of the party. He had at all times remarkable natural powers
of conversation, though easily silenced by discouragement. On the present
occasion he piqued himself upon leaving on the minds of his companions a
favourable impression of one who, under such disastrous circumstances,
could sustain his misfortunes with ease and gaiety. His spirits, though
not unyielding, were abundantly elastic, and soon seconded his efforts.
The trio were engaged in very lively discourse, apparently delighted with
each other, and the kind host was pressing a third bottle of Burgundy,
when the sound of a drum was heard at some distance. The Major, who, in
the glee of an old soldier, had forgot the duties of a magistrate,
cursed, with a muttered military oath, the circumstances which recalled
him to his official functions. He rose and went towards the window, which
commanded a very near view of the highroad, and he was followed by his
The drum advanced, beating no measured martial tune, but a kind of
rub-a-dub-dub, like that with which the fire-drum startles the slumbering
artizans of a Scotch burgh. It is the object of this history to do
justice to all men; I must therefore record, in justice to the drummer,
that he protested he could beat any known march or point of war known in
the British army, and had accordingly commenced with 'Dumbarton's Drums,'
when he was silenced by Gifted Gilfillan, the commander of the party, who
refused to permit his followers to move to this profane, and even, as he
said, persecutive tune, and commanded the drummer to beat the 119th
Psalm. As this was beyond the capacity of the drubber of sheepskin, he
was fain to have recourse to the inoffensive row-de-dow as a harmless
substitute for the sacred music which his instrument or skill were unable
to achieve. This may be held a trifling anecdote, but the drummer in
question was no less than town-drummer of Anderton. I remember his
successor in office, a member of that enlightened body, the British
Convention. Be his memory, therefore, treated with due respect.
A VOLUNTEER SIXTY YEARS SINCE
On hearing the unwelcome sound of the drum, Major Melville hastily opened
a sashed door and stepped out upon a sort of terrace which divided his
house from the highroad from which the martial music proceeded. Waverley
and his new friend followed him, though probably he would have dispensed
with their attendance. They soon recognised in solemn march, first, the
performer upon the drum; secondly, a large flag of four compartments, on
which were inscribed the words, COVENANT, KIRK, KING, KINGDOMS. The
person who was honoured with this charge was followed by the commander of
the party, a thin, dark, rigid-looking man, about sixty years old. The
spiritual pride, which in mine host of the Candlestick mantled in a sort
of supercilious hypocrisy, was in this man's face elevated and yet
darkened by genuine and undoubting fanaticism. It was impossible to
behold him without imagination placing him in some strange crisis, where
religious zeal was the ruling principle. A martyr at the stake, a soldier
in the field, a lonely and banished wanderer consoled by the intensity
and supposed purity of his faith under every earthly privation, perhaps a
persecuting inquisitor, as terrific in power as unyielding in adversity;
any of these seemed congenial characters to this personage. With these
high traits of energy, there was something in the affected precision and
solemnity of his deportment and discourse that bordered upon the
ludicrous; so that, according to the mood of the spectator's mind and the
light under which Mr. Gilfillan presented himself, one might have feared,
admired, or laughed at him. His dress was that of a West-Country peasant,
of better materials indeed than that of the lower rank, but in no respect
affecting either the mode of the age or of the Scottish gentry at any
period. His arms were a broadsword and pistols, which, from the antiquity
of their appearance, might have seen the rout of Pentland or Bothwell
As he came up a few steps to meet Major Melville, and touched solemnly,
but slightly, his huge and over-brimmed blue bonnet, in answer to the
Major, who had courteously raised a small triangular gold-laced hat,
Waverley was irresistibly impressed with the idea that he beheld a leader
of the Roundheads of yore in conference with one of Marlborough's
The group of about thirty armed men who followed this gifted commander
was of a motley description. They were in ordinary Lowland dresses, of
different colours, which, contrasted with the arms they bore, gave them
an irregular and mobbish appearance; so much is the eye accustomed to
connect uniformity of dress with the military character. In front were a
few who apparently partook of their leader's enthusiasm, men obviously to
be feared in a combat, where their natural courage was exalted by
religious zeal. Others puffed and strutted, filled with the importance of
carrying arms and all the novelty of their situation, while the rest,
apparently fatigued with their march, dragged their limbs listlessly
along, or straggled from their companions to procure such refreshments as
the neighbouring cottages and alehouses afforded. Six grenadiers of
Ligonier's, thought the Major to himself, as his mind reverted to his own
military experience, would have sent all these fellows to the right
Greeting, however, Mr. Gilfillan civilly, he requested to know if he had
received the letter he had sent to him upon his march, and could
undertake the charge of the state prisoner whom he there mentioned as far
as Stirling Castle. 'Yea,' was the concise reply of the Cameronian
leader, in a voice which seemed to issue from the very penetralia of his
'But your escort, Mr. Gilfillan, is not so strong as I expected,' said
'Some of the people,' replied Gilfillan, 'hungered and were athirst by
the way, and tarried until their poor souls were refreshed with the
'I am sorry, sir,' replied the Major, 'you did not trust to your
refreshing your men at Cairnvreckan; whatever my house contains is at the
command of persons employed in the service.'
'It was not of creature-comforts I spake,' answered the Covenanter,
regarding Major Melville with something like a smile of contempt;
'howbeit, I thank you; but the people remained waiting upon the precious
Mr. Jabesh Rentowel for the out-pouring of the afternoon exhortation.'
'And have you, sir,' said the Major, 'when the rebels are about to spread
themselves through this country, actually left a great part of your
command at a fieldpreaching?'
Gilfillan again smiled scornfully as he made this indirect answer--'Even
thus are the children of this world wiser in their generation than the
children of light!'
'However, sir,' said the Major, 'as you are to take charge of this
gentleman to Stirling, and deliver him, with these papers, into the hands
of Governor Blakeney, I beseech you to observe some rules of military
discipline upon your march. For example, I would advise you to keep your
men more closely together, and that each in his march should cover his
file-leader, instead of straggling like geese upon a common; and, for
fear of surprise, I further recommend to you to form a small
advance-party of your best men, with a single vidette in front of the
whole march, so that when you approach a village or a wood'--(here the
Major interrupted himself)--'But as I don't observe you listen to me, Mr.
Gilfillan, I suppose I need not give myself the trouble to say more upon
the subject. You are a better judge, unquestionably, than I am of the
measures to be pursued; but one thing I would have you well aware of,
that you are to treat this gentleman, your prisoner, with no rigour nor
incivility, and are to subject him to no other restraint than is
necessary for his security.'
'I have looked into my commission,' said Mr. Gilfillan,' subscribed by a
worthy and professing nobleman, William, Earl of Glencairn; nor do I find
it therein set down that I am to receive any charges or commands anent my
doings from Major William Melville of Cairnvreckan.'
Major Melville reddened even to the well-powdered ears which appeared
beneath his neat military sidecurls, the more so as he observed Mr.
Morton smile at the same moment. 'Mr. Gilfillan,' he answered, with some
asperity, 'I beg ten thousand pardons for interfering with a person of
your importance. I thought, however, that as you have been bred a
grazier, if I mistake not, there might be occasion to remind you of the
difference between Highlanders and Highland cattle; and if you should
happen to meet with any gentleman who has seen service, and is disposed
to speak upon the subject, I should still imagine that listening to him
would do you no sort of harm. But I have done, and have only once more to
recommend this gentleman to your civility as well as to your custody. Mr.
Waverley, I am truly sorry we should part in this way; but I trust, when
you are again in this country, I may have an opportunity to render
Cairnvreckan more agreeable than circumstances have permitted on this
So saying, he shook our hero by the hand. Morton also took an
affectionate farewell, and Waverley, having mounted his horse, with a
musketeer leading it by the bridle and a file upon each side to prevent
his escape, set forward upon the march with Gilfillan and his party.
Through the little village they were accompanied with the shouts of the
children, who cried out, 'Eh! see to the Southland gentleman that's gaun
to be hanged for shooting lang John Mucklewrath, the smith!
The dinner hour of Scotland Sixty Years Since was two o'clock. It was
therefore about four o'clock of a delightful autumn afternoon that Mr.
Gilfillan commenced his march, in hopes, although Stirling was eighteen
miles distant, he might be able, by becoming a borrower of the night for
an hour or two, to reach it that evening. He therefore put forth his
strength, and marched stoutly along at the head of his followers, eyeing
our hero from time to time, as if he longed to enter into controversy
with him. At length, unable to resist the temptation, he slackened his
pace till he was alongside of his prisoner's horse, and after marching a
few steps in silence abreast of him, he suddenly asked--'Can ye say wha
the carle was wi' the black coat and the mousted head, that was wi' the
Laird of Cairnvreckan?'
'A Presbyterian clergyman,' answered Waverley.
'Presbyterian!' answered Gilfillan contemptuously; 'a wretched Erastian,
or rather an obscure Prelatist, a favourer of the black indulgence, ane
of thae dumb dogs that canna bark; they tell ower a clash o' terror and a
clatter o' comfort in their sermons, without ony sense, or savour, or
life. Ye've been fed in siccan a fauld, belike?'
'No; I am of the Church of England,' said Waverley.
'And they're just neighbour-like,' replied the Covenanter; 'and nae
wonder they gree sae weel. Wha wad hae thought the goodly structure of
the Kirk of Scotland, built up by our fathers in 1642, wad hae been
defaced by carnal ends and the corruptions of the time;--ay, wha wad hae
thought the carved work of the sanctuary would hae been sae soon cut
To this lamentation, which one or two of the assistants chorussed with a
deep groan, our hero thought it unnecessary to make any reply. Whereupon
Mr. Gilfillan, resolving that he should be a hearer at least, if not a
disputant, proceeded in his Jeremiade.
'And now is it wonderful, when, for lack of exercise anent the call to
the service of the altar and the duty of the day, ministers fall into
sinful compliances with patronage, and indemnities, and oaths, and bonds,
and other corruptions,--is it wonderful, I say, that you, sir, and other
sic-like unhappy persons, should labour to build up your auld Babel of
iniquity, as in the bluidy persecuting saint-killing times? I trow, gin
ye werena blinded wi' the graces and favours, and services and
enjoyments, and employments and inheritances, of this wicked world, I
could prove to you, by the Scripture, in what a filthy rag ye put your
trust; and that your surplices, and your copes and vestments, are but
cast-off garments of the muckle harlot that sitteth upon seven hills and
drinketh of the cup of abomination. But, I trow, ye are deaf as adders
upon that side of the head; ay, ye are deceived with her enchantments,
and ye traffic with her merchandise, and ye are drunk with the cup of her
How much longer this military theologist might have continued his
invective, in which he spared nobody but the scattered remnant of
HILL-FOLK, as he called them, is absolutely uncertain. His matter was
copious, his voice powerful, and his memory strong; so that there was
little chance of his ending his exhortation till the party had reached
Stirling, had not his attention been attracted by a pedlar who had joined
the march from a cross-road, and who sighed or groaned with great
regularity at all fitting pauses of his homily.
'And what may ye be, friend?' said the Gifted Gilfillan.
'A puir pedlar, that's bound for Stirling, and craves the protection of
your honour's party in these kittle times. Ah' your honour has a notable
faculty in searching and explaining the secret,--ay, the secret and
obscure and incomprehensible causes of the backslidings of the land; ay,
your honour touches the root o' the matter.'
'Friend,' said Gilfillan, with a more complacent voice than he had
hitherto used, 'honour not me. I do not go out to park-dikes and to
steadings and to market-towns to have herds and cottars and burghers pull
off their bonnets to me as they do to Major Melville o' Cairnvreckan, and
ca' me laird or captain or honour. No; my sma' means, whilk are not aboon
twenty thousand merk, have had the blessing of increase, but the pride of
my heart has not increased with them; nor do I delight to be called
captain, though I have the subscribed commission of that gospel-searching
nobleman, the Earl of Glencairn, fa whilk I am so designated. While I
live I am and will be called Habakkuk Gilfillan, who will stand up for
the standards of doctrine agreed on by the ance famous Kirk of Scotland,
before she trafficked with the accursed Achan, while he has a plack in
his purse or a drap o' bluid in his body.'
'Ah,' said the pedlar, 'I have seen your land about Mauchlin. A fertile
spot! your lines have fallen in pleasant places! And siccan a breed o'
cattle is not in ony laird's land in Scotland.'
'Ye say right,--ye say right, friend' retorted Gilfillan eagerly, for he
was not inaccessible to flattery upon this subject,--'ye say right; they
are the real Lancashire, and there's no the like o' them even at the
mains of Kilmaurs'; and he then entered into a discussion of their
excellences, to which our readers will probably be as indifferent as our
hero. After this excursion the leader returned to his theological
discussions, while the pedlar, less profound upon those mystic points,
contented himself with groaning and expressing his edification at
'What a blessing it would be to the puir blinded popish nations among
whom I hae sojourned, to have siccan a light to their paths! I hae been
as far as Muscovia in my sma' trading way, as a travelling merchant, and
I hae been through France, and the Low Countries, and a' Poland, and
maist feck o' Germany, and O! it would grieve your honour's soul to see
the murmuring and the singing and massing that's in the kirk, and the
piping that's in the quire, and the heathenish dancing and dicing upon
This set Gilfillan off upon the Book of Sports and the Covenant, and the
Engagers, and the Protesters, and the Whiggamore's Raid, and the Assembly
of Divines at Westminster, and the Longer and Shorter Catechism, and the
Excommunication at Torwood, and the slaughter of Archbishop Sharp. This
last topic, again, led him into the lawfulness of defensive arms, on
which subject he uttered much more sense than could have been expected
from some other parts of his harangue, and attracted even Waverley's
attention, who had hitherto been lost in his own sad reflections. Mr.
Gilfillan then considered the lawfulness of a private man's standing
forth as the avenger of public oppression, and as he was labouring with
great earnestness the cause of Mas James Mitchell, who fired at the
Archbishop of Saint Andrews some years before the prelate's assassination
on Magus Muir, an incident occurred which interrupted his harangue.
The rays of the sun were lingering on the very verge of the horizon as
the party ascended a hollow and somewhat steep path which led to the
summit of a rising ground. The country was uninclosed, being part of a
very extensive heath or common; but it was far from level, exhibiting in
many places hollows filled with furze and broom; in others, little
dingles of stunted brushwood. A thicket of the latter description crowned
the hill up which the party ascended. The foremost of the band, being the
stoutest and most active, had pushed on, and, having surmounted the
ascent, were out of ken for the present. Gilfillan, with the pedlar and
the small party who were Waverley's more immediate guard, were near the
top of the ascent, and the remainder straggled after them at a
Such was the situation of matters when the pedlar, missing, as he said, a
little doggie which belonged to him, began to halt and whistle for the
animal. This signal, repeated more than once, gave offence to the rigour
of his companion, the rather because it appeared to indicate inattention
to the treasures of theological and controversial knowledge which were
pouring out for his edification. He therefore signified gruffly that he
could not waste his time in waiting for an useless cur.
'But if your honour wad consider the case of Tobit--'
'Tobit!' exclaimed Gilffflan, with great heat; 'Tobit and his dog baith
are altogether heathenish and apocryphal, and none but a prelatist or a
papist would draw them into question. I doubt I hae been mista'en in you,
'Very likely,' answered the pedlar, with great composure; 'but
ne'ertheless, I shall take leave to whistle again upon puir Bawty.'
This last signal was answered in an unexpected manner; for six or eight
stout Highlanders, who lurked among the copse and brushwood, sprung into
the hollow way and began to lay about them with their claymores.
Gilfillan, unappalled at this undesirable apparition, cried out manfully,
'The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!' and, drawing his broadsword, would
probably have done as much credit to the good old cause as any of its
doughty champions at Drumclog, when, behold! the pedlar, snatching a
musket from the person who was next him bestowed the butt of it with such
emphasis on the head of his late instructor in the Cameronian creed that
he was forthwith levelled to the ground. In the confusion which ensued
the horse which bore our hero was shot by one of Gilfillan's party, as he
discharged his firelock at random. Waverley fell with, and indeed under,
the animal, and sustained some severe contusions. But he was almost
instantly extricated from the fallen steed by two Highlanders, who, each
seizing him by the arm, hurried him away from the scuffle and from the
highroad. They ran with great speed, half supporting and half dragging
our hero, who could, however, distinguish a few dropping shots fired
about the spot which he had left. This, as he afterwards learned,
proceeded from Gilfillan's party, who had now assembled, the stragglers
in front and rear having joined the others. At their approach the
Highlanders drew off, but not before they had rifled Gilfillan and two of
his people, who remained on the spot grievously wounded. A few shots were
exchanged betwixt them and the Westlanders; but the latter, now without a
commander, and apprehensive of a second ambush, did not make any serious
effort to recover their prisoner, judging it more wise to proceed on
their journey to Stirling, carrying with them their wounded captain and
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