Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete
Sir Walter Scott
Part 8 out of 12
The route pursued by the Highland army, after leaving the village of
Duddingston, was for some time the common post-road betwixt Edinburgh and
Haddington, until they crossed the Esk at Musselburgh, when, instead of
keeping the low grounds towards the sea, they turned more inland, and
occupied the brow of the eminence called Carberry Hill, a place already
distinguished in Scottish history as the spot where the lovely Mary
surrendered herself to her insurgent subjects. This direction was chosen
because the Chevalier had received notice that the army of the
government, arriving by sea from Aberdeen, had landed at Dunbar, and
quartered the night before to the west of Haddington, with the intention
of falling down towards the sea-side, and approaching Edinburgh by the
lower coast-road. By keeping the height, which overhung that road in many
places, it was hoped the Highlanders might find an opportunity of
attacking them to advantage. The army therefore halted upon the ridge of
Carberry Hill, both to refresh the soldiers and as a central situation
from which their march could be directed to any point that the motions of
the enemy might render most advisable. While they remained in this
position a messenger arrived in haste to desire Mac-Ivor to come to the
Prince, adding that their advanced post had had a skirmish with some of
the enemy's cavalry, and that the Baron of Bradwardine had sent in a few
Waverley walked forward out of the line to satisfy his curiosity, and
soon observed five or six of the troopers who, covered with dust, had
galloped in to announce that the enemy were in full march westward along
the coast. Passing still a little farther on, he was struck with a groan
which issued from a hovel. He approached the spot, and heard a voice, in
the provincial English of his native county, which endeavoured, though
frequently interrupted by pain, to repeat the Lord's Prayer. The voice of
distress always found a ready answer in our hero's bosom. He entered the
hovel, which seemed to be intended for what is called, in the pastoral
counties of Scotland, a smearing-house; and in its obscurity Edward could
only at first discern a sort of red bundle; for those who had stripped
the wounded man of his arms and part of his clothes had left him the
dragoon-cloak in which he was enveloped.
'For the love of God,' said the wounded man, as he heard Waverley's step,
'give me a single drop of water!'
'You shall have it,' answered Waverley, at the same time raising him in
his arms, bearing him to the door of the hut, and giving him some drink
from his flask.
'I should know that voice,' said the man; but looking on Waverley's dress
with a bewildered look--'no, this is not the young squire!'
This was the common phrase by which Edward was distinguished on the
estate of Waverley-Honour, and the sound now thrilled to his heart with
the thousand recollections which the well-known accents of his native
country had already contributed to awaken. 'Houghton!' he said, gazing on
the ghastly features which death was fast disfiguring, 'can this be you?'
'I never thought to hear an English voice again,' said the wounded
man;'they left me to live or die here as I could, when they found I would
say nothing about the strength of the regiment. But, O squire! how could
you stay from us so long, and let us be tempted by that fiend of the pit,
Rufinn? we should have followed you through flood and fire, to be sure.'
'Rufin! I assure you, Houghton, you have been vilely imposed upon.'
'I often thought so,' said Houghton,'though they showed us your very
seal; and so Tims was shot and I was reduced to the ranks.'
'Do not exhaust your strength in speaking,' said Edward; 'I will get you
a surgeon presently.'
He saw Mac-Ivor approaching, who was now returning from headquarters,
where he had attended a council of war, and hastened to meet him. 'Brave
news!'shouted the Chief; 'we shall be at it in less than two hours. The
Prince has put himself at the head of the advance, and, as he drew his
sword, called out, "My friends, I have thrown away the scabbard." Come,
Waverley, we move instantly.'
'A moment--a moment; this poor prisoner is dying; where shall I find a
'Why, where should you? We have none, you know, but two or three French
fellows, who, I believe, are little better than _garqons apothecaires_.'
'But the man will bleed to death.'
'Poor fellow!' said Fergus, in a momentary fit of compassion; then
instantly added, 'But it will be a thousand men's fate before night; so
'I cannot; I tell you he is a son of a tenant of my uncle's.'
'O, if he's a follower of yours he must be looked to; I'll send Callum to
you; but _diaoul! ceade millia mottigheart_,' continued the impatient
Chieftain, 'what made an old soldier like Bradwardine send dying men here
to cumber us?'
Callum came with his usual alertness; and, indeed, Waverley rather gained
than lost in the opinion of the Highlanders by his anxiety about the
wounded man. They would not have understood the general philanthropy
which rendered it almost impossible for Waverley to have passed any
person in such distress; but, as apprehending that the sufferer was one
of his _following_ they unanimously allowed that Waverley's conduct was
thatof akind and considerate chieftain, who merited the attachment of his
people. In about a quarter of an hour poor Humphrey breathed his last,
praying his young master, when he returned to Waverley-Honour, to be kind
to old Job Houghton and his dame, and conjuring him not to fight with
these wild petticoat-men against old England.
When his last breath was drawn, Waverley, who had beheld with sincere
sorrow, and no slight tinge of remorse, the final agonies of mortality,
now witnessed for the first time, commanded Callum to remove the body
into the hut. This the young Highlander performed, not without examining
the pockets of the defunct, which, however, he remarked had been pretty
well spunged. He took the cloak, however, and proceeding with the
provident caution of a spaniel hiding a bone, concealed it among some
furze and carefully marked the spot, observing that, if he chanced to
return that way, it would be an excellent rokelay for his auld mother
It was by a considerable exertion that they regained their place in the
marching column, which was now moving rapidly forward to occupy the high
grounds above the village of Tranent, between which and the sea lay the
purposed march of the opposite army.
This melancholy interview with his late sergeant forced many unavailing
and painful reflections upon Waverley's mind. It was clear from the
confession of the man that Colonel Gardiner's proceedings had been
strictly warranted, and even rendered indispensable, by the steps taken
in Edward's name to induce the soldiers of his troop to mutiny. The
circumstance of the seal he now, for the first time, recollected, and
that he had lost it in the cavern of the robber, Bean Lean. That the
artful villain had secured it, and used it as the means of carrying on an
intrigue in the regiment for his own purposes, was sufficiently evident;
and Edward had now little doubt that in the packet placed in his
portmanteau by his daughter he should find farther light upon his
proceedings. In the meanwhile the repeated expostulation of
Houghton--'Ah, squire, why did you leave us?' rung like a knell in his
'Yes,' he said, 'I have indeed acted towards you with thoughtless
cruelty. I brought you from your paternal fields, and the protection of a
generous and kind landlord, and when I had subjected you to all the
rigour of military discipline, I shunned to bear my own share of the
burden, and wandered from the duties I had undertaken, leaving alike
those whom it was my business to protect, and my own reputation, to
suffer under the artifices of villainy. O, indolence and indecision of
mind, if not in yourselves vices--to how much exquisite misery and
mischief do you frequently prepare the way!'
THE EVE OF BATTLE
Although the Highlanders marched on very fast, the sun was declining when
they arrived upon the brow of those high grounds which command an open
and extensive plain stretching northward to the sea, on which are
situated, but at a considerable distance from each other, the small
villages of Seaton and Cockenzie, and the larger one of Preston. One of
the low coastroads to Edinburgh passed through this plain, issuing upon
it from the enclosures of Seaton House, and at the town or village of
Preston again entering the denies of an enclosed country. By this way the
English general had chosen to approach the metropolis, both as most
commodious for his cavalry, and being probably of opinion that by doing
so he would meet in front with the Highlanders advancing from Edinburgh
in the opposite direction. In this he was mistaken; for the sound
judgment of the Chevalier, or of those to whose advice he listened, left
the direct passage free, but occupied the strong ground by which it was
overlooked and commanded.
When the Highlanders reached the heights above the plain described, they
were immediately formed in array of battle along the brow of the hill.
Almost at the same instant the van of the English appeared issuing from
among the trees and enclosures of Seaton, with the purpose of occupying
the level plain between the high ground and the sea; the space which
divided the armies being only about half a mile in breadth. Waverley
could plainly see the squadrons of dragoons issue, one after another,
from the defiles, with their videttes in front, and form upon the plain,
with their front opposed to that of the Prince's army. They were followed
by a train of field-pieces, which, when they reached the flank of the
dragoons, were also brought into line and pointed against the heights.
The march was continued by three or four regiments of infantry marching
in open column, their fixed bayonets showing like successive hedges of
steel, and their arms glancing like lightning, as, at a signal given,
they also at once wheeled up, and were placed in direct opposition to the
Highlanders. A second train of artillery, with another regiment of horse,
closed the long march, and formed on the left flank of the infantry, the
whole line facing southward.
While the English army went through these evolutions, the Highlanders
showed equal promptitude and zeal for battle. As fast as the clans came
upon the ridge which fronted their enemy, they were formed into line, so
that both armies got into complete order of battle at the same moment.
When this was accomplished, the Highlanders set up a tremendous yell,
which was re-echoed by the heights behind them. The regulars, who were in
high spirits, returned a loud shout of defiance, and fired one or two of
their cannon upon an advanced post of the Highlanders. The latter
displayed great earnestness to proceed instantly to the attack, Evan Dhu
urging to Fergus, by way of argument, that 'the SIDIER ROY was tottering
like an egg upon a staff, and that they had a' the vantage of the onset,
for even a haggis (God bless her!) could charge down hill.'
But the ground through which the mountaineers must have descended,
although not of great extent, was impracticable in its character, being
not only marshy but intersected with walls of dry stone, and traversed in
its whole length by a very broad and deep ditch, circumstances which must
have given the musketry of the regulars dreadful advantages before the
mountaineers could have used their swords, on which they were taught to
rely. The authority of the commanders was therefore interposed to curb
the impetuosity of the Highlanders, and only a few marksmen were sent
down the descent to skirmish with the enemy's advanced posts and to
reconnoitre the ground.
Here, then, was a military spectacle of no ordinary interest or usual
occurrence. The two armies, so different in aspect and discipline, yet
each admirably trained in its own peculiar mode of war, upon whose
conflict the temporary fate at least of Scotland appeared to depend, now
faced each other like two gladiators in the arena, each meditating upon
the mode of attacking their enemy. The leading officers and the general's
staff of each army could be distinguished in front of their lines, busied
with spy-glasses to watch each other's motions, and occupied in
despatching the orders and receiving the intelligence conveyed by the
aides-de-camp and orderly men, who gave life to the scene by galloping
along in different directions, as if the fate of the day depended upon
the speed of their horses. The space between the armies was at times
occupied by the partial and irregular contest of individual
sharp-shooters, and a hat or bonnet was occasionally seen to fall, as a
wounded man was borne off by his comrades. These, however, were but
trifling skirmishes, for it suited the views of neither party to advance
in that direction. From the neighbouring hamlets the peasantry cautiously
showed themselves, as if watching the issue of the expected engagement;
and at no great distance in the bay were two square-rigged vessels,
bearing the English flag, whose tops and yards were crowded with less
When this awful pause had lasted for a short time, Fergus, with another
chieftain, received orders to detach their clans towards the village of
Preston, in order to threaten the right flank of Cope's army and compel
him to a change of position. To enable him to execute these orders, the
Chief of Glennaquoich occupied the church-yard of Tranent, a commanding
situation, and a convenient place, as Evan Dhu remarked, 'for any
gentleman who might have the misfortune to be killed, and chanced to be
curious about Christian burial.' To check or dislodge this party, the
English general detached two guns, escorted by a strong party of cavalry.
They approached so near that Waverley could plainly recognise the
standard of the troop he had formerly commanded, and hear the trumpets
and kettle-drums sound the signal of advance which he had so often
obeyed. He could hear, too, the well-known word given in the English
dialect by the equally well-distinguished voice of the commanding
officer, for whom he had once felt so much respect. It was at that
instant, that, looking around him, he saw the wild dress and appearance
of his Highland associates, heard their whispers in an uncouth and
unknown language, looked upon his own dress, so unlike that which he had
worn from his infancy, and wished to awake from what seemed at the moment
a dream, strange, horrible, and unnatural. 'Good God!' he muttered, 'am I
then a traitor to my country, a renegade to my standard, and a foe, as
that poor dying wretch expressed himself, to my native England!'
Ere he could digest or smother the recollection, the tall military form
of his late commander came full in view, for the purpose of
reconnoitring. 'I can hit him now,' said Callum, cautiously raising his
fusee over the wall under which he lay couched, at scarce sixty yards'
Edward felt as if he was about to see a parricide committed in his
presence; for the venerable grey hair and striking countenance of the
veteran recalled the almost paternal respect with which his officers
universally regarded him. But ere he could say 'Hold!' an aged Highlander
who lay beside Callum Beg stopped his arm. 'Spare your shot,' said the
seer, 'his hour is not yet come. But let him beware of to-morrow; I see
his winding-sheet high upon his breast.'
Callum, flint to other considerations, was penetrable to superstition. He
turned pale at the words of the _taishatr_, and recovered his piece.
Colonel Gardiner, unconscious of the danger he had escaped, turned his
horse round and rode slowly back to the front of his regiment.
By this time the regular army had assumed a new line, with one flank
inclined towards the sea and the other resting upon the village of
Preston; and, as similar difficulties occurred in attacking their new
position, Fergus and the rest of the detachment were recalled to their
former post. This alteration created the necessity of a corresponding
change in General Cope's army, which was again brought into a line
parallel with that of the Highlanders. In these manoeuvres on both sides
the daylight was nearly consumed, and both armies prepared to rest upon
their arms for the night in the lines which they respectively occupied.
'There will be nothing done to-night,' said Fergus to his friend
Waverley; 'ere we wrap ourselves in our plaids, let us go see what the
Baron is doing in the rear of the line.'
When they approached his post, they found the good old careful officer,
after having sent out his night patrols and posted his sentinels, engaged
in reading the Evening Service of the Episcopal Church to the remainder
of his troop. His voice was loud and sonorous, and though his spectacles
upon his nose, and the appearance of Saunders Saunderson, in military
array, performing the functions of clerk, had something ludicrous, yet
the circumstances of danger in which they stood, the military costume of
the audience, and the appearance of their horses saddled and picqueted
behind them, gave an impressive and solemn effect to the office of
'I have confessed to-day, ere you were awake,' whispered Fergus to
Waverley; 'yet I am not so strict a Catholic as to refuse to join in this
good man's prayers.'
Edward assented, and they remained till the Baron had concluded the
As he shut the book, 'Now, lads,' said he, 'have at them in the morning
with heavy hands and light consciences.' He then kindly greeted Mac-Ivor
and Waverley, who requested to know his opinion of their situation. Why,
you know Tacitus saith, "In rebus bellicis maxime dominalur Fortuna,"
which is equiponderate with our vernacular adage, "Luck can maist in the
mellee." But credit me, gentlemen, yon man is not a deacon o' his craft.
He damps the spirits of the poor lads he commands by keeping them on the
defensive, whilk of itself implies inferiority or fear. Now will they lie
on their arms yonder as anxious and as ill at ease as a toad under a
harrow, while our men will be quite fresh and blithe for action in the
morning. Well, good-night. One thing troubles me, but if to-morrow goes
well off, I will consult you about it, Glennaquoich.'
'I could almost apply to Mr. Bradwardine the character which Henry gives
of Fluellen,' said Waverley, as his friend and he walked towards their
'Though it appears a little out of fashion,
There is much care and valour in this "Scotchman."'
'He has seen much service,' answered Fergus, 'and one is sometimes
astonished to find how much nonsense and reason are mingled in his
composition. I wonder what can be troubling his mind; probably something
about Rose. Hark! the English are setting their watch.'
The roll of the drum and shrill accompaniment of the fifes swelled up the
hill--died away--resumed its thunder--and was at length hushed. The
trumpets and kettle-drums of the cavalry were next heard to perform the
beautiful and wild point of war appropriated as a signal for that piece
of nocturnal duty, and then finally sunk upon the wind with a shrill and
The friends, who had now reached their post, stood and looked round them
ere they lay down to rest. The western sky twinkled with stars, but a
frost-mist, rising from the ocean, covered the eastern horizon, and
rolled in white wreaths along the plain where the adverse army lay
couched upon their arms. Their advanced posts were pushed as far as the
side of the great ditch at the bottom of the descent, and had kindled
large fires at different intervals, gleaming with obscure and hazy lustre
through the heavy fog which encircled them with a doubtful halo.
The Highlanders,'thick as leaves in Vallombrosa,' lay stretched upon the
ridge of the hill, buried (excepting their sentinels) in the most
profound repose. 'How many of these brave fellows will sleep more soundly
before to-morrow night, Fergus!' said Waverley, with an involuntary sigh.
'You must not think of that,' answered Fergus, whose ideas were entirely
military. 'You must only think of your sword, and by whom it was given.
All other reflections are now TOO LATE.'
With the opiate contained in this undeniable remark Edward endeavoured to
lull the tumult of his conflicting feelings. The Chieftain and he,
combining their plaids, made a comfortable and warm couch. Callum,
sitting down at their head (for it was his duty to watch upon the
immediate person of the Chief), began a long mournful song in Gaelic, to
a low and uniform tune, which, like the sound of the wind at a distance,
soon lulled them to sleep.
When Fergus Mac-Ivor and his friend had slept for a few hours, they were
awakened and summoned to attend the Prince. The distant village clock was
heard to toll three as they hastened to the place where he lay. He was
already surrounded by his principal officers and the chiefs of clans. A
bundle of pease-straw, which had been lately his couch, now served for
his seat. Just as Fergus reached the circle, the consultation had broken
up. 'Courage, my brave friends!' said the Chevalier, 'and each one put
himself instantly at the head of his command; a faithful friend
[Footnote: See Note 32.] has offered to guide us by a practicable, though
narrow and circuitous, route, which, sweeping to our right, traverses the
broken ground and morass, and enables us to gain the firm and open plain
upon which the enemy are lying. This difficulty surmounted, Heaven and
your good swords must do the rest.'
The proposal spread unanimous joy, and each leader hastened to get his
men into order with as little noise as possible. The army, moving by its
right from off the ground on which they had rested, soon entered the path
through the morass, conducting their march with astonishing silence and
great rapidity. The mist had not risen to the higher grounds, so that for
some time they had the advantage of star-light. But this was lost as the
stars faded before approaching day, and the head of the marching column,
continuing its descent, plunged as it were into the heavy ocean of fog,
which rolled its white waves over the whole plain, and over the sea by
which it was bounded. Some difficulties were now to be encountered,
inseparable from darkness, a narrow, broken, and marshy path, and the
necessity of preserving union in the march. These, however, were less
inconvenient to Highlanders, from their habits of life, than they would
have been to any other troops, and they continued a steady and swift
As the clan of Ivor approached the firm ground, following the track of
those who preceded them, the challenge of a patrol was heard through the
mist, though they could not see the dragoon by whom it was made--'Who
'Hush!' cried Fergus, 'hush! let none answer, as he values his life;
press forward'; and they continued their march with silence and rapidity.
The patrol fired his carabine upon the body, and the report was instantly
followed by the clang of his horse's feet as he galloped off. 'Hylax in
limine latrat,' said the Baron of Bradwardine, who heard the shot; 'that
loon will give the alarm.'
The clan of Fergus had now gained the firm plain, which had lately borne
a large crop of corn. But the harvest was gathered in, and the expanse
was unbroken by tree, bush, or interruption of any kind. The rest of the
army were following fast, when they heard the drums of the enemy beat the
general. Surprise, however, had made no part of their plan, so they were
not disconcerted by this intimation that the foe was upon his guard and
prepared to receive them. It only hastened their dispositions for the
combat, which were very simple.
The Highland army, which now occupied the eastern end of the wide plain,
or stubble field, so often referred to, was drawn up in two lines,
extending from the morass towards the sea. The first was destined to
charge the enemy, the second to act as a reserve. The few horse, whom the
Prince headed in person, remained between the two lines. The adventurer
had intimated a resolution to charge in person at the head of his first
line; but his purpose was deprecated by all around him, and he was with
difficulty induced to abandon it.
Both lines were now moving forward, the first prepared for instant
combat. The clans of which it was composed formed each a sort of separate
phalanx, narrow in front, and in depth ten, twelve, or fifteen files,
according to the strength of the following. The best-armed and best-born,
for the words were synonymous, were placed in front of each of these
irregular subdivisions. The others in the rear shouldered forward the
front, and by their pressure added both physical impulse and additional
ardour and confidence to those who were first to encounter the danger.
'Down with your plaid, Waverley,' cried Fergus, throwing off his own;
'we'll win silks for our tartans before the sun is above the sea.'
The clansmen on every side stript their plaids, prepared their arms, and
there was an awful pause of about three minutes, during which the men,
pulling off their bonnets, raised their faces to heaven and uttered a
short prayer; then pulled their bonnets over their brows and began to
move forward, at first slowly. Waverley felt his heart at that moment
throb as it would have burst from his bosom. It was not fear, it was not
ardour: it was a compound of both, a new and deeply energetic impulse
that with its first emotion chilled and astounded, then fevered and
maddened his mind. The sounds around him combined to exalt his
enthusiasm; the pipes played, and the clans rushed forward, each in its
own dark column. As they advanced they mended their pace, and the
muttering sounds of the men to each other began to swell into a wild cry.
At this moment the sun, which was now risen above the horizon, dispelled
the mist. The vapours rose like a curtain, and showed the two armies in
the act of closing. The line of the regulars was formed directly fronting
the attack of the Highlanders; it glittered with the appointments of a
complete army, and was flanked by cavalry and artillery. But the sight
impressed no terror on the assailants.
'Forward, sons of Ivor,' cried their Chief, 'or the Camerons will draw
the first blood!' They rushed on with a tremendous yell.
The rest is well known. The horse, who were commanded to charge the
advancing Highlanders in the flank, received an irregular fire from their
fusees as they ran on and, seized with a disgraceful panic, wavered,
halted, disbanded, and galloped from the field. The artillery men,
deserted by the cavalry, fled after discharging their pieces, and the
Highlanders, who dropped their guns when fired and drew their
broadswords, rushed with headlong fury against the infantry.
It was at this moment of confusion and terror that Waverley remarked an
English officer, apparently of high rank, standing, alone and
unsupported, by a fieldpiece, which, after the flight of the men by whom
it was wrought, he had himself levelled and discharged against the clan
of Mac-Ivor, the nearest group of Highlanders within his aim. Struck with
his tall, martial figure, and eager to save him from inevitable
destruction, Waverley outstripped for an instant even the speediest of
the warriors, and, reaching the spot first, called to him to surrender.
The officer replied by a thrust with his sword, which Waverley received
in his target, and in turning it aside the Englishman's weapon broke. At
the same time the battle-axe of Dugald Mahony was in the act of
descending upon the officer's head. Waverley intercepted and prevented
the blow, and the officer, perceiving further resistance unavailing, and
struck with Edward's generous anxiety for his safety, resigned the
fragment of his sword, and was committed by Waverley to Dugald, with
strict charge to use him well, and not to pillage his person, promising
him, at the same time, full indemnification for the spoil.
On Edward's right the battle for a few minutes raged fierce and thick.
The English infantry, trained in the wars in Flanders, stood their ground
with great courage. But their extended files were pierced and broken in
many places by the close masses of the clans; and in the personal
struggle which ensued the nature of the Highlanders' weapons, and their
extraordinary fierceness and activity, gave them a decided superiority
over those who had been accustomed to trust much to their array and
discipline, and felt that the one was broken and the other useless.
Waverley, as he cast his eyes towards this scene of smoke and slaughter,
observed Colonel Gardiner, deserted by his own soldiers in spite of all
his attempts to rally them, yet spurring his horse through the field to
take the command of a small body of infantry, who, with their backs
arranged against the wall of his own park (for his house was close by the
field of battle), continued a desperate and unavailing resistance.
Waverley could perceive that he had already received many wounds, his
clothes and saddle being marked with blood. To save this good and brave
man became the instant object of his most anxious exertions. But he could
only witness his fall. Ere Edward could make his way among the
Highlanders, who, furious and eager for spoil, now thronged upon each
other, he saw his former commander brought from his horse by the blow of
a scythe, and beheld him receive, while on the ground, more wounds than
would have let out twenty lives. When Waverley came up, however,
perception had not entirely fled. The dying warrior seemed to recognize
Edward, for he fixed his eye upon him with an upbraiding, yet sorrowful,
look, and appeared to struggle, for utterance. But he felt that death was
dealing closely with him, and resigning his purpose, and folding his
hands as if in devotion, he gave up his soul to his Creator. The look
with which he regarded Waverley in his dying moments did not strike him
so deeply at that crisis of hurry and confusion as when it recurred to
his imagination at the distance of some time. [Footnote: See Note 33.]
Loud shouts of triumph now echoed over the whole field. The battle was
fought and won, and the whole baggage, artillery, and military stores of
the regular army remained in possession of the victors. Never was a
victory more complete. Scarce any escaped from the battle, excepting the
cavalry, who had left it at the very onset, and even these were broken
into different parties and scattered all over the country. So far as our
tale is concerned, we have only to relate the fate of Balmawhapple, who,
mounted on a horse as headstrong and stiff-necked as his rider, pursued
the flight of the dragoons above four miles from the field of battle,
when some dozen of the fugitives took heart of grace, turned round, and
cleaving his skull with their broadswords, satisfied the world that the
unfortunate gentleman had actually brains, the end of his life thus
giving proof of a fact greatly doubted during its progress. His death was
lamented by few. Most of those who knew him agreed in the pithy
observation of Ensign Maccombich, that there 'was mair tint (lost) at
Sheriff-Muir.' His friend, Lieutenant Jinker, bent his eloquence only to
exculpate his favourite mare from any share in contributing to the
catastrophe. 'He had tauld the laird a thousand times,' he said,'that it
was a burning shame to put a martingale upon the puir thing, when he
would needs ride her wi' a curb of half a yard lang; and that he could na
but bring himsell (not to say her) to some mischief, by flinging her
down, or otherwise; whereas, if he had had a wee bit rinnin ring on the
snaffle, she wad ha' rein'd as cannily as a cadger's pownie.'
Such was the elegy of the Laird of Balmawhapple. [Footnote: See Note 34.]
AN UNEXPECTED EMBARRASSMENT
When the battle was over, and all things coming into order, the Baron of
Bradwardine, returning from the duty of the day, and having disposed
those under his command in their proper stations, sought the Chieftain of
Glennaquoich and his friend Edward Waverley. He found the former busied
in determining disputes among his clansmen about points of precedence and
deeds of valour, besides sundry high and doubtful questions concerning
plunder. The most important of the last respected the property of a gold
watch, which had once belonged to some unfortunate English officer. The
party against whom judgment was awarded consoled himself by observing,
'She (i.e. the watch, which he took for a living animal) died the very
night Vich lan Vohr gave her to Murdoch'; the machine, having, in fact,
stopped for want of winding up.
It was just when this important question was decided that the Baron of
Bradwardine, with a careful and yet important expression of countenance,
joined the two young men. He descended from his reeking charger, the care
of which he recommended to one of his grooms. 'I seldom ban, sir,' said
he to the man; 'but if you play any of your hound's-foot tricks, and
leave puir Berwick before he's sorted, to rin after spuilzie, deil be wi'
me if I do not give your craig a thraw.' He then stroked with great
complacency the animal which had borne him through the fatigues of the
day, and having taken a tender leave of him--' Weel, my good young
friends, a glorious and decisive victory,' said he; 'but these loons of
troopers fled ower soon. I should have liked to have shown you the true
points of the pralium equestre, or equestrian combat, whilk their
cowardice has postponed, and which I hold to be the pride and terror of
warfare. Weel--I have fought once more in this old quarrel, though I
admit I could not be so far BEN as you lads, being that it was my point
of duty to keep together our handful of horse. And no cavalier ought in
any wise to begrudge honour that befalls his companions, even though they
are ordered upon thrice his danger, whilk, another time, by the blessing
of God, may be his own case. But, Glennaquoich, and you, Mr. Waverley, I
pray ye to give me your best advice on a matter of mickle weight, and
which deeply affects the honour of the house of Bradwardine. I crave your
pardon, Ensign Maccombich, and yours, Inveraughlin, and yours,
Edderalshendrach, and yours, sir.'
The last person he addressed was Ballenkeiroch, who, remembering the
death of his son, loured on him with a look of savage defiance. The
Baron, quick as lightning at taking umbrage, had already bent his brow
when Glennaquoich dragged his major from the spot, and remonstrated with
him, in the authoritative tone of a chieftain, on the madness of reviving
a quarrel in such a moment.
'The ground is cumbered with carcasses,' said the old mountaineer,
turning sullenly away; 'ONE MORE would hardly have been kenn'dupon it;
and if it wasna for yoursell, Vich lan Vohr, that one should be
Bradwardine's or mine.'
The Chief soothed while he hurried him away; and then returned to the
Baron. 'It is Ballenkeiroch,' he said, in an under and confidential
voice, 'father of the young man who fell eight years since in the unlucky
affair at the mains.'
'Ah!' said the Baron, instantly relaxing the doubtful sternness of his
features, 'I can take naickle frae a man to whom I have unhappily
rendered sic a displeasure as that. Ye were right to apprise me,
Glennaquoich; he may look as black as midnight at Martinmas ere Cosmo
Comyne Bradwardine shall say he does him wrang. Ah! I have nae male
lineage, and I should bear with one I have made childless, though you are
aware the blood-wit was made up to your ain satisfaction by assythment,
and that I have since expedited letters of slains. Weel, as I have said,
I have no male issue, and yet it is needful that I maintain the honour of
my house; and it is on that score I prayed ye for your peculiar and
The two young men awaited to hear him, in anxious curiosity.
'I doubt na, lads,' he proceeded, 'but your education has been sae seen
to that ye understand the true nature of the feudal tenures?'
Fergus, afraid of an endless dissertation, answered, 'Intimately, Baron,'
and touched Waverley as a signal to express no ignorance.
'And ye are aware, I doubt not, that the holding of the barony of
Bradwardine is of a nature alike honourable and peculiar, being blanch
(which Craig opines ought to be Latinated blancum, or rather francum, a
free holding) pro sermtio detrahendi, seu exuendi, caligas regis post
battalliam.' Here Fergus turned his falcon eye upon Edward, with an
almost imperceptible rise of his eyebrow, to which his shoulders
corresponded in the same degree of elevation. 'Now, twa points of
dubitation occur to me upon this topic. First, whether this service, or
feudal homage, be at any event due to the person of the Prince, the words
being, per expressum, caligas REGIS, the boots of the king himself; and I
pray your opinion anent that particular before we proceed farther.'
'Why, he is Prince Regent,' answered Mac-Ivor, with laudable composure of
countenance; 'and in the court of France all the honours are rendered to
the person of the Regent which are due to that of the King. Besides, were
I to pull off either of their boots, I would render that service to the
young Chevalier ten times more willingly than to his father.'
' Ay, but I talk not of personal predilections. However, your authority
is of great weight as to the usages of the court of France; and doubtless
the Prince, as alter ego, may have a right to claim the homagium of the
great tenants of the crown, since all faithful subjects are commanded, in
the commission of regency, to respect him as the King's own person. Far,
therefore, be it from me to diminish the lustre of his authority by
withholding this act of homage, so peculiarly calculated to give it
splendour; for I question if the Emperor of Germany hath his boots taken
off by a free baron of the empire. But here lieth the second
difficulty--the Prince wears no boots, but simply brogues and trews.'
This last dilemma had almost disturbed Fergus's gravity.
'Why,' said he, 'you know, Baron, the proverb tells us, "It's ill taking
the breeks off a Highlandman," and the boots are here in the same
'The word caligce, however,' continued the Baron, 'though I admit that,
by family tradition, and even in our ancient evidents, it is explained
"lie-boots," means, in its primitive sense, rather sandals; and Caius
Caesar, the nephew and successor of Caius Tiberius, received the agnomen
of Caligula, a caligulis sine caligis levioribus, quibus adolescentior
usus fuerat in exercitu Germanici patris sui. And the caligce were also
proper to the monastic bodies; for we read in an ancient glossarium upon
the rule of Saint Benedict, in the Abbey of Saint Amand, that caligae
were tied with latchets.'
'That will apply to the brogues,' said Fergus.
'It will so, my dear Glennaquoich, and the words are express: Caligae,
dicta sunt quia ligantur; nam socci non ligantur, sed tantum
intromittuntur; that is, caligae are denominated from the ligatures
wherewith they are bound; whereas socci, which may be analogous to our
mules, whilk the English denominate slippers, are only slipped upon the
feet. The words of the charter are also alternative, exuere seu
detrahere; that is, to undo, as in the case of sandals or brogues, and to
pull of, as we say vernacularly concerning boots. Yet I would we had more
light; but I fear there is little chance of finding hereabout any erudite
author de re vestiaria.'
'I should doubt it very much,' said the Chieftain, looking around on the
straggling Highlanders, who were returning loaded with spoils of the
slain,'though the res vestiaria itself seems to be in some request at
This remark coming within the Baron's idea of jocularity, he honoured it
with a smile, but immediately resumed what to him appeared very serious
'Bailie Macwheeble indeed holds an opinion that this honorary service is
due, from its very nature, si petatur tantum; only if his Royal Highness
shall require of the great tenant of the crown to perform that personal
duty; and indeed he pointed out the case in Dirleton's Doubts and
Queries, Grippit versus Spicer, anent the eviction of an estate ob non
solutum canonem; that is, for non-payment of a feu-duty of three
pepper-corns a year, whilk were taxt to be worth seven-eighths of a penny
Scots, in whilk the defender was assoilzied. But I deem it safest, wi'
your good favour, to place myself in the way of rendering the Prince this
service, and to proffer performance thereof; and I shall cause the Bailie
to attend with a schedule of a protest, whilk he has here prepared
(taking out a paper), intimating, that if it shall be his Royal
Highness's pleasure to accept of other assistance at pulling off his
caligae (whether the same shall be rendered boots or brogues) save that
of the said Baron of Bradwardine, who is in presence ready and willing to
perform the same, it shall in no wise impinge upon or prejudice the right
of the said Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine to perform the said service in
future; nor shall it give any esquire, valet of the chamber, squire, or
page, whose assistance it may please his Royal Highness to employ, any
right, title, or ground for evicting from the said Cosmo Comyne
Bradwardine the estate and barony of Bradwardine, and others held as
aforesaid, by the due and faithful performance thereof.'
Fergus highly applauded this arrangement; and the Baron took a friendly
leave of them, with a smile of contented importance upon his visage.
'Long live our dear friend the Baron,' exclaimed the Chief, as soon as he
was out of hearing, 'for the most absurd original that exists north of
the Tweed! I wish to heaven I had recommended him to attend the circle
this evening with a boot-ketch under his arm. I think he might have
adopted the suggestion if it had been made with suitable gravity.'
'And how can you take pleasure in making a man of his worth so
'Begging pardon, my dear Waverley, you are as ridiculous as he. Why, do
you not see that the man's whole mind is wrapped up in this ceremony? He
has heard and thought of it since infancy as the most august privilege
and ceremony in the world; and I doubt not but the expected pleasure of
performing it was a principal motive with him for taking up arms. Depend
upon it, had I endeavoured to divert him from exposing himself he would
have treated me as an ignorant, conceited coxcomb, or perhaps might have
taken a fancy to cut my throat; a pleasure which he once proposed to
himself upon some point of etiquette not half so important, in his eyes,
as this matter of boots or brogues, or whatever the caliga shall finally
be pronounced by the learned. But I must go to headquarters, to prepare
the Prince for this extraordinary scene. My information will be well
taken, for it will give him a hearty laugh at present, and put him on his
guard against laughing when it might be very mal-a-propos. So, au revoir,
my dear Waverley.'
THE ENGLISH PRISONER
The first occupation of Waverley, after he departed from the Chieftain,
was to go in quest of the officer whose life he had saved. He was
guarded, along with his companions in misfortune, who were very numerous,
in a gentleman's house near the field of battle.
On entering the room where they stood crowded together, Waverley easily
recognised the object of his visit, not only by the peculiar dignity of
his appearance, but by the appendage of Dugald Mahony, with his
battleaxe, who had stuck to him from the moment of his captivity as if he
had been skewered to his side. This close attendance was perhaps for the
purpose of securing his promised reward from Edward, but it also operated
to save the English gentleman from being plundered in the scene of
general confusion; for Dugald sagaciously argued that the amount of the
salvage which he might be allowed would be regulated by the state of the
prisoner when he should deliver him over to Waverley. He hastened to
assure Waverley, therefore, with more words than he usually employed,
that he had 'keepit ta sidier roy haill, and that he wasna a plack the
waur since the fery moment when his honour forbad her to gie him a bit
clamhewit wi' her Lochaber-axe.'
Waverley assured Dugald of a liberal recompense, and, approaching the
English officer, expressed his anxiety to do anything which might
contribute to his convenience under his present unpleasant circumstances.
'I am not so inexperienced a soldier, sir,' answered the Englishman, 'as
to complain of the fortune of war. I am only grieved to see those scenes
acted in our own island which I have often witnessed elsewhere with
'Another such day as this,' said Waverley, 'and I trust the cause of your
regrets will be removed, and all will again return to peace and order.'
The officer smiled and shook his head. 'I must not forget my situation so
far as to attempt a formal confutation of that opinion; but,
notwithstanding your success and the valour which achieved it, you have
undertaken a task to which your strength appears wholly inadequate.'
At this moment Fergus pushed into the press.
'Come, Edward, come along; the Prince has gone to Pinkie House for the
night; and we must follow, or lose the whole ceremony of the caligae.
Your friend, the Baron, has been guilty of a great piece of cruelty; he
has insisted upon dragging Bailie Macwheeble out to the field of battle.
Now, you must know, the Bailie's greatest horror is an armed Highlander
or a loaded gun; and there he stands, listening to the Baron's
instructions concerning the protest, ducking his head like a sea-gull at
the report of every gun and pistol that our idle boys are firing upon the
fields, and undergoing, by way of penance, at every symptom of flinching
a severe rebuke from his patron, who would not admit the discharge of a
whole battery of cannon, within point-blank distance, as an apology for
neglecting a discourse in which the honour of his family is interested.'
'But how has Mr. Bradwardine got him to venture so far?' said Edward.
'Why, he had come as far as Musselburgh, I fancy, in hopes of making some
of our wills; and the peremptory commands of the Baron dragged him
forward to Preston after the battle was over. He complains of one or two
of our ragamuffins having put him in peril of his life by presenting
their pieces at him; but as they limited his ransom to an English penny,
I don't think we need trouble the provost-marshal upon that subject. So
come along, Waverley.'
'Waverley!' said the English officer, with great emotion;' the nephew of
Sir Everard Waverley, of----shire?'
'The same, sir,' replied our hero, somewhat surprised at the tone in
which he was addressed.
'I am at once happy and grieved,' said the prisoner, 'to have met with
'I am ignorant, sir,' answered Waverley, 'how I have deserved so much
'Did your uncle never mention a friend called Talbot?'
'I have heard him talk with great regard of such a person,' replied
Edward; 'a colonel, I believe, in the army, and the husband of Lady Emily
Blandeville; but I thought Colonel Talbot had been abroad.'
'I am just returned,' answered the officer; 'and being in Scotland,
thought it my duty to act where my services promised to be useful. Yes,
Mr. Waverley, I am that Colonel Talbot, the husband of the lady you have
named; and I am proud to acknowledge that I owe alike my professional
rank and my domestic happiness to your generous and noble-minded
relative. Good God! that I should find his nephew in such a dress, and
engaged in such a cause!'
'Sir,' said Fergus, haughtily, 'the dress and cause are those of men of
birth and honour.'
'My situation forbids me to dispute your assertion,' said Colonel Talbot;
'otherwise it were no difficult matter to show that neither courage nor
pride of lineage can gild a bad cause. But, with Mr. Waverley's
permission and yours, sir, if yours also must be asked, I would willingly
speak a few words with him on affairs connected with his own family.'
'Mr. Waverley, sir, regulates his own motions. You will follow me, I
suppose, to Pinkie,' said Fergus, turning to Edward, 'when you have
finished your discourse with this new acquaintance?' So saying, the Chief
of Glennaquoich adjusted his plaid with rather more than his usual air of
haughty assumption and left the apartment.
The interest of Waverley readily procured for Colonel Talbot the freedom
of adjourning to a large garden belonging to his place of confinement.
They walked a few paces in silence, Colonel Talbot apparently studying
how to open what he had to say; at length he addressed Edward.
'Mr. Waverley, you have this day saved my life; and yet I would to God
that I had lost it, ere I had found you wearing the uniform and cockade
of these men.'
'I forgive your reproach, Colonel Talbot; it is well meant, and your
education and prejudices render it natural. But there is nothing
extraordinary in finding a man whose honour has been publicly and
unjustly assailed in the situation which promised most fair to afford him
satisfaction on his calumniators.'
'I should rather say, in the situation most likely to confirm the reports
which they have circulated,' said Colonel Talbot, 'by following the very
line of conduct ascribed to you. Are you aware, Mr. Waverley, of the
infinite distress, and even danger, which your present conduct has
occasioned to your nearest relatives?'
'Yes, sir, danger. When I left England your uncle and father had been
obliged to find bail to answer a charge of treason, to which they were
only admitted by the exertion of the most powerful interest. I came down
to Scotland with the sole purpose of rescuing you from the gulf into
which you have precipitated yourself; nor can I estimate the consequences
to your family of your having openly joined the rebellion, since the very
suspicion of your intention was so perilous to them. Most deeply do I
regret that I did not meet you before this last and fatal error.'
'I am really ignorant,' said Waverley, in a tone of reserve, 'why Colonel
Talbot should have taken so much trouble on my account.'
'Mr. Waverley,' answered Talbot, 'I am dull at apprehending irony; and
therefore I shall answer your words according to their plain meaning. I
am indebted to your uncle for benefits greater than those which a son
owes to a father. I acknowledge to him the duty of a son; and as I know
there is no manner in which I can requite his kindness so well as by
serving you, I will serve you, if possible, whether you will permit me or
no. The personal obligation which you have this day laid me under
(although, in common estimation, as great as one human being can bestow
on another) adds nothing to my zeal on your behalf; nor can that zeal be
abated by any coolness with which you may please to receive it.'
'Your intentions may be kind, sir,' said Waverley, drily; 'but your
language is harsh, or at least peremptory.'
'On my return to England,' continued Colonel Talbot, 'after long absence,
I found your uncle, Sir Everard Waverley, in the custody of a king's
messenger, in consequence of the suspicion brought upon him by your
conduct. He is my oldest friend--how often shall I repeat it?--my best
benefactor! he sacrificed his own views of happiness to mine; he never
uttered a word, he never harboured a thought, that benevolence itself
might not have thought or spoken. I found this man in confinement,
rendered harsher to him by his habits of life, his natural dignity of
feeling, and--forgive me, Mr. Waverley--by the cause through which this
calamity had come upon him. I cannot disguise from you my feelings upon
this occasion; they were most painfully unfavorable to you. Having by my
family interest, which you probably know is not inconsiderable, succeeded
in obtaining Sir Everard's release, I set out for Scotland. I saw Colonel
Gardiner, a man whose fate alone is sufficient to render this
insurrection for ever execrable. In the course of conversation with him I
found that, from late circumstances, from a reexamination of the persons
engaged in the mutiny, and from his original good opinion of your
character, he was much softened towards you; and I doubted not that, if I
could be so fortunate as to discover you, all might yet be well. But this
unnatural rebellion has ruined all. I have, for the first time in a long
and active military life, seen Britons disgrace themselves by a panic
flight, and that before a foe without either arms or discipline. And now
I find the heir of my dearest friend--the son, I may say, of his'
affections--sharing a triumph for which he ought the first to have
blushed. Why should I lament Gardiner? his lot was happy compared to
There was so much dignity in Colonel Talbot's manner, such a mixture of
military pride and manly sorrow, and the news of Sir Everard's
imprisonment was told in so deep a tone of feeling, that Edward stood
mortified, abashed, and distressed in presence of the prisoner who owed
to him his life not many hours before. He was not sorry when Fergus
interrupted their conference a second time.
'His Royal Highness commands Mr. Waverley's attendance.' Colonel Talbot
threw upon Edward a reproachful glance, which did not escape the quick
eye of the Highland Chief. 'His immediate attendance,' he repeated, with
considerable emphasis. Waverley turned again towards the Colonel.
'We shall meet again,' he said; 'in the meanwhile, every possible
'I desire none,' said the Colonel; 'let me fare like the meanest of those
brave men who, on this day of calamity, have preferred wounds and
captivity to flight; I would almost exchange places with one of those who
have fallen to know that my words have made a suitable impression on your
'Let Colonel Talbot be carefully secured,' said Fergus to the Highland
officer who commanded the guard over the prisoners; 'it is the Prince's
particular command; he is a prisoner of the utmost importance.'
'But let him want no accommodation suitable to his rank,' said Waverley.
'Consistent always with secure custody,' reiterated Fergus. The officer
signified his acquiescence in both commands, and Edward followed Fergus
to the garden-gate, where Callum Beg, with three saddle-horses, awaited
them. Turning his head, he saw Colonel Talbot reconducted to his place of
confinement by a file of Highlanders; he lingered on the threshold of the
door and made a signal with his hand towards Waverley, as if enforcing
the language he had held towards him.
'Horses,' said Fergus, as he mounted, 'are now as plenty as blackberries;
every man may have them for the catching. Come, let Callum adjust your
stirrups and let us to Pinkie House [Footnote: Charles Edward took up his
quarters after the battle at Pinkie House, adjoining to Musselburgh.] as
fast as these ci-devant dragoon-horses choose to carry us.'
'I was turned back,' said Fergus to Edward, as they galloped from Preston
to Pinkie House, 'by a message from the Prince. But I suppose you know
the value of this most noble Colonel Talbot as a prisoner. He is held one
of the best officers among the red-coats, a special friend and favourite
of the Elector himself, and of that dreadful hero, the Duke of
Cumberland, who has been summoned from his triumphs at Fontenoy to come
over and devour us poor Highlanders alive. Has he been telling you how
the bells of St. James's ring? Not "turn again, Whittington," like those
of Bow, in the days of yore?'
'Fergus!' said Waverley, with a reproachful look.
'Nay, I cannot tell what to make of you,' answered the Chief of Mac-Ivor,
'you are blown about with every wind of doctrine. Here have we gained a
victory unparalleled in history, and your behaviour is praised by every
living mortal to the skies, and the Prince is eager to thank you in
person, and all our beauties of the White Rose are pulling caps for
you;--and you, the preux chevalier of the day, are stooping on your
horse's neck like a butter-woman riding to market, and looking as black
as a funeral!'
'I am sorry for poer Colonel Gardiner's death; he was once very kind to
'Why, then, be sorry for five minutes, and then be glad again; his chance
to-day may be ours to-morrow; and what does it signify? The next best
thing to victory is honourable death; but it is a PIS-ALLER, and one
would rather a foe had it than one's self.'
'But Colonel Talbot has informed me that my father and uncle are both
imprisoned by government on my account.'
'We'll put in bail, my boy; old Andrew Ferrara [Footnote: See Note 10.]
shall lodge his security; and I should like to see him put to justify it
in Westminster Hall!'
'Nay, they are already at liberty, upon bail of a more civic
'Then why is thy noble spirit cast down, Edward? Dost think that the
Elector's ministers are such doves as to set their enemies at liberty at
this critical moment if they could or durst confine and punish them?
Assure thyself that either they have no charge against your relations on
which they can continue their imprisonment, or else they are afraid of
our friends, the jolly Cavaliers of old England. At any rate, you need
not be apprehensive upon their account; and we will find some means of
conveying to them assurances of your safety.'
Edward was silenced but not satisfied with these reasons. He had now been
more than once shocked at the small degree of sympathy which Fergus
exhibited for the feelings even of those whom he loved, if they did not
correspond with his own mood at the time, and more especially if they
thwarted him while earnest in a favourite pursuit. Fergus sometimes
indeed observed that he had offended Waverley, but, always intent upon
some favourite plan or project of his own, he was never sufficiently
aware of the extent or duration of his displeasure, so that the
reiteration of these petty offences somewhat cooled the volunteer's
extreme attachment to his officer.
The Chevalier received Waverley with his usual favour, and paid him many
compliments on his distinguished bravery. He then took him apart, made
many inquiries concerning Colonel Talbot, and when he had received all
the information which Edward was able to give concerning him and his
connexions, he proceeded--'I cannot but think, Mr. Waverley, that since
this gentleman is so particularly connected with our worthy and excellent
friend, Sir Everard Waverley, and since his lady is of the house of
Blandeville, whose devotion to the true and loyal principles of the
Church of England is so generally known, the Colonel's own private
sentiments cannot be unfavorable to us, whatever mask he may have assumed
to accommodate himself to the times.'
'If I am to judge from the language he this day held to me, I am under
the necessity of differing widely from your Royal Highness.'
'Well, it is worth making a trial at least. I therefore entrust you with
the charge of Colonel Talbot, with power to act concerning him as you
think most advisable; and I hope you will find means of ascertaining what
are his real dispositions towards our Royal Father's restoration.'
'I am convinced,' said Waverley, bowing,'that if Colonel Talbot chooses
to grant his parole, it may be securely depended upon; but if he refuses
it, I trust your Royal Highness will devolve on some other person than
the nephew of his friend the task of laying him under the necessary
'I will trust him with no person but you,' said the Prince, smiling, but
peremptorily repeating his mandate; 'it is of importance to my service
that there should appear to be a good intelligence between you, even if
you are unable to gain his confidence in earnest. You will therefore
receive him into your quarters, and in case he declines giving his
parole, you must apply for a proper guard. I beg you will go about this
directly. We return to Edinburgh tomorrow.'
Being thus remanded to the vicinity of Preston, Waverley lost the Baron
of Bradwardine's solemn act of homage. So little, however, was he at this
time in love with vanity, that he had quite forgotten the ceremony in
which Fergus had laboured to engage his curiosity. But next day a formal
'Gazette' was circulated, containing a detailed account of the battle of
Gladsmuir, as the Highlanders chose to denominate their victory. It
concluded with an account of the court afterwards held by the Chevalier
at Pinkie House, which contained this among other high-flown descriptive
'Since that fatal treaty which annihilates Scotland as an independent
nation, it has not been our happiness to see her princes receive, and her
nobles discharge, those acts of feudal homage which, founded upon the
splendid actions of Scottish valour, recall the memory of her early
history, with the manly and chivalrous simplicity of the ties which
united to the Crown the homage of the warriors by whom it was repeatedly
upheld and defended. But on the evening of the 20th our memories were
refreshed with one of those ceremonies which belong to the ancient days
of Scotland's glory. After the circle was formed, Cosmo Comyne
Bradwardine of that ilk, colonel in the service, etc., etc., etc., came
before the Prince, attended by Mr. D. Macwheeble, the Bailie of his
ancient barony of Bradwardine (who, we understand, has been lately named
a commissary), and, under form of instrument, claimed permission to
perform to the person of his Royal Highness, as representing his father,
the service used and wont, for which, under a charter of Robert Bruce (of
which the original was produced and inspected by the Masters of his Royal
Highness's Chancery for the time being), the claimant held the barony of
Bradwardine and lands of Tully-Veolan. His claim being admitted and
registered, his Royal Highness having placed his foot upon a cushion, the
Baron of Bradwardine, kneeling upon his right knee, proceeded to undo the
latchet of the brogue, or low-heeled Highland shoe, which our gallant
young hero wears in compliment to his brave followers. When this was
performed, his Royal Highness declared the ceremony completed; and,
embracing the gallant veteran, protested that nothing but compliance with
an ordinance of Robert Bruce could have induced him to receive even the
symbolical performance of a menial office from hands which had fought so
bravely to put the crown upon the head of his father. The Baron of
Bradwardine then took instruments in the hands of Mr. Commissary
Macwheeble, bearing that all points and circumstances of the act of
homage had been rite et solenniter acta et peracta; and a corresponding
entry was made in the protocol of the Lord High Chamberlain and in the
record of Chancery. We understand that it is in contemplation of his
Royal Highness, when his Majesty's pleasure can be known, to raise
Colonel Bradwardine to the peerage, by the title of Viscount Bradwardine
of Bradwardine and Tully-Veolan, and that, in the meanwhile, his Royal
Highness, in his father's name and authority, has been pleased to grant
him an honourable augmentation to his paternal coat of arms, being a
budget or boot-jack, disposed saltier-wise with a naked broadsword, to be
borne in the dexter cantle of the shield; and, as an additional motto, on
a scroll beneath, the words, "Draw and draw off."'
'Were it not for the recollection of Fergus's raillery,' thought Waverley
to himself, when he had perused this long and grave document,' how very
tolerably would all this sound, and how little should I have thought of
connecting it with any ludicrous idea! Well, after all, everything has
its fair as well as its seamy side; and truly I do not see why the
Baron's boot-jack may not stand as fair in heraldry as the water-buckets,
waggons, cart-wheels, plough-socks, shuttles, candlesticks, and other
ordinaries, conveying ideas of anything save chivalry, which appear in
the arms of some of our most ancient gentry.'
This, however, is an episode in respect to the principal story.
When Waverley returned to Preston and rejoined Colonel Talbot, he found
him recovered from the strong and obvious emotions with which a
concurrence of unpleasing events had affected him. He had regained his
natural manner, which was that of an English gentleman and soldier,
manly, open and generous, but not unsusceptible of prejudice against
those of a different country, or who opposed him in political tenets.
When Waverley acquainted Colonel Talbot with the Chevalier's purpose to
commit him to his charge, 'I did not think to have owed so much
obligation to that young gentleman,' he said, 'as is implied in this
destination. I can at least cheerfully join in the prayer of the honest
Presbyterian clergyman, that, as he has come among us seeking an earthly
crown, his labours may be speedily rewarded with a heavenly one.
[Footnote: The clergyman's name was Mac-Vicar. Protected by the cannon of
the Castle, he preached every Sunday in the West Kirk while the
Highlanders were in possession of Edinburgh, and it was in presence of
some of the Jacobites that he prayed for Prince Charles Edward in the
terms quoted in the text.] I shall willingly give my parole not to
attempt an escape without your knowledge, since, in fact, it was to meet
you that I came to Scotland; and I am glad it has happened even under
this predicament. But I suppose we shall be but a short time together.
Your Chevalier (that is a name we may both give to him), with his plaids
and blue caps, will, I presume, be continuing his crusade southward?'
'Not as I hear; I believe the army makes some stay in Edinburgh to
'And to besiege the Castle?' said Talbot, smiling sarcastically. 'Well,
unless my old commander, General Preston, turn false metal, or the Castle
sink into the North Loch, events which I deem equally probable, I think
we shall have some time to make up our acquaintance. I have a guess that
this gallant Chevalier has a design that I should be your proselyte; and,
as I wish you to be mine, there cannot be a more fair proposal than to
afford us fair conference together. But, as I spoke today under the
influence of feelings I rarely give way to, I hope you will excuse my
entering again upon controversy till we are somewhat better acquainted.'
INTRIGUES OF LOVE AND POLITICS
It is not necessary to record in these pages the triumphant entrance of
the Chevalier into Edinburgh after the decisive affair at Preston. One
circumstance, however, may be noticed, because it illustrates the high
spirit of Flora Mac-Ivor. The Highlanders by whom the Prince was
surrounded, in the license and extravagance of this joyful moment, fired
their pieces repeatedly, and one of these having been accidentally loaded
with ball, the bullet grazed the young lady's temple as she waved her
handkerchief from a balcony. [Footnote: See Note 11.] Fergus, who beheld
the accident, was at her side in an instant; and, on seeing that the
wound was trifling, he drew his broadsword with the purpose of rushing
down upon the man by whose carelessness she had incurred so much danger,
when, holding him by the plaid, 'Do not harm the poor fellow,' she cried;
'for Heaven's sake, do not harm him! but thank God with me that the
accident happened to Flora Mac-Ivor; for had it befallen a Whig, they
would have pretended that the shot was fired on purpose.'
Waverley escaped the alarm which this accident would have occasioned to
him, as he was unavoidably delayed by the necessity of accompanying
Colonel Talbot to Edinburgh.
They performed the journey together on horseback, and for some time, as
if to sound each other's feelings and sentiments, they conversed upon
general and ordinary topics.
When Waverley again entered upon the subject which he had most at heart,
the situation, namely, of his father and his uncle, Colonel Talbot seemed
now rather desirous to alleviate than to aggravate his anxiety. This
appeared particularly to be the case when he heard Waverley's history,
which he did not scruple to confide to him.
'And so,' said the Colonel,'there has been no malice prepense, as
lawyers, I think, term it, in this rash step of yours; and you have been
trepanned into the service of this Italian knight-errant by a few civil
speeches from him and one or two of his Highland recruiting sergeants? It
is sadly foolish, to be sure, but not nearly so bad as I was led to
expect. However, you cannot desert, even from the Pretender, at the
present moment; that seems impossible. But I have little doubt that, in
the dissensions incident to this heterogeneous mass of wild and desperate
men, some opportunity may arise, by availing yourself of which you may
extricate yourself honourably from your rash engagement before the bubble
burst. If this can be managed, I would have you go to a place of safety
in Flanders which I shall point out. And I think I can secure your pardon
from government after a few months' residence abroad.'
'I cannot permit you, Colonel Talbot,' answered Waverley, 'to speak of
any plan which turns on my deserting an enterprise in which I may have
engaged hastily, but certainly voluntarily, and with the purpose of
abiding the issue.'
'Well,' said Colonel Talbot, smiling, 'leave me my thoughts and hopes at
least at liberty, if not my speech. But have you never examined your
'It is in my baggage,' replied Edward; 'we shall find it in Edinburgh.'
In Edinburgh they soon arrived. Waverley's quarters had been assigned to
him, by the Prince's express orders, in a handsome lodging, where there
was accommodation for Colonel Talbot. His first business was to examine
his portmanteau, and, after a very short search, out tumbled the expected
packet. Waverley opened it eagerly. Under a blank cover, simply addressed
to E. Waverley, Esq., he found a number of open letters. The uppermost
were two from Colonel Gardiner addressed to himself. The earliest in date
was a kind and gentle remonstrance for neglect of the writer's advice
respecting the disposal of his time during his leave of absence, the
renewal of which, he reminded Captain Waverley, would speedily expire.
'Indeed,' the letter proceeded, 'had it been otherwise, the news from
abroad and my instructions from the War Office must have compelled me to
recall it, as there is great danger, since the disaster in Flanders, both
of foreign invasion and insurrection among the disaffected at home. I
therefore entreat you will repair as soon as possible to the headquarters
of the regiment; and I am concerned to add that this is still the more
necessary as there is some discontent in your troop, and I postpone
inquiry into particulars until I can have the advantage of your
The second letter, dated eight days later, was in such a style as might
have been expected from the Colonel's receiving no answer to the first.
It reminded Waverley of his duty as a man of honour, an officer, and a
Briton; took notice of the increasing dissatisfaction of his men, and
that some of them had been heard to hint that their Captain encouraged
and approved of their mutinous behaviour; and, finally, the writer
expressed the utmost regret and surprise that he had not obeyed his
commands by repairing to headquarters, reminded him that his leave of
absence had been recalled, and conjured him, in a style in which paternal
remonstrance was mingled with military authority, to redeem his error by
immediately joining his regiment. 'That I may be certain,' concluded the
letter, 'that this actually reaches you, I despatch it by Corporal Tims
of your troop, with orders to deliver it into your own hand.'
Upon reading these letters Waverley, with great bitterness of feeling,
was compelled to make the amende honorable to the memory of the brave and
excellent writer; for surely, as Colonel Gardiner must have had every
reason to conclude they had come safely to hand, less could not follow,
on their being neglected, than that third and final summons, which
Waverley actually received at Glennaquoich, though too late to obey it.
And his being superseded, in consequence of his apparent neglect of this
last command, was so far from being a harsh or severe proceeding, that it
was plainly inevitable. The next letter he unfolded was from the major of
the regiment, acquainting him that a report to the disadvantage of his
reputation was public in the country, stating, that one Mr. Falconer of
Ballihopple, or some such name, had proposed in his presence a
treasonable toast, which he permitted to pass in silence, although it was
so gross an affront to the royal family that a gentleman in company, not
remarkable for his zeal for government, had never-the-less taken the
matter up, and that, supposing the account true, Captain Waverley had
thus suffered another, comparatively unconcerned, to resent an affront
directed against him personally as an officer, and to go out with the
person by whom it was offered. The major concluded that no one of Captain
Waverley's brother officers could believe this scandalous story, but that
it was necessarily their joint opinion that his own honour, equally with
that of the regiment, depended upon its being instantly contradicted by
his authority, etc. etc. etc.
'What do you think of all this?' said Colonel Talbot, to whom Waverley
handed the letters after he had perused them.
'Think! it renders thought impossible. It is enough to drive me mad.'
'Be calm, my young friend; let us see what are these dirty scrawls that
The first was addressed,--
'For Master W. Ruffin, These.'--
'Dear sur, sum of our yong gulpins will not bite, thof I tuold them you
shoed me the squoire's own seel. But Tims will deliver you the lettrs as
desired, and tell ould Addem he gave them to squoir's bond, as to be sure
yours is the same, and shall be ready for signal, and hoy for Hoy Church
and Sachefrel, as fadur sings at harvestwhome. Yours, deer Sur,
'Poscriff.--Do'e tell squoire we longs to heer from him, and has dootings
about his not writing himself, and Lifetenant Bottler is smoky.'
'This Ruffin, I suppose, then, is your Donald of the Cavern, who has
intercepted your letters, and carried on a correspondence with the poor
devil Houghton, as if under your authority?'
'It seems too true. But who can Addem be?'
'Possibly Adam, for poor Gardiner, a sort of pun on his name.'
The other letters were to the same purpose; and they soon received yet
more complete light upon Donald Bean's machinations.
John Hodges, one of Waverley's servants, who had remained with the
regiment and had been taken at Preston, now made his appearance. He had
sought out his master with the purpose of again entering his service.
From this fellow they learned that some time after Waverley had gone from
the headquarters of the regiment, a pedlar, called Ruthven, Rufnn, or
Rivane, known among the soldiers by the name of Wily Will, had made
frequent visits to the town of Dundee. He appeared to possess plenty of
money, sold his commodities very cheap, seemed always willing to treat
his friends at the ale-house, and easily ingratiated himself with many of
Waverley's troop, particularly Sergeant Houghton and one Tims, also a
non-commissioned officer. To these he unfolded, in Waverley's name, a
plan for leaving the regiment and joining him in the Highlands, where
report said the clans had already taken arms in great numbers. The men,
who had been educated as Jacobites, so far as they had any opinion at
all, and who knew their landlord, Sir Everard, had always been supposed
to hold such tenets, easily fell into the snare. That Waverley was at a
distance in the Highlands was received as a sufficient excuse for
transmitting his letters through the medium of the pedlar; and the sight
of his well-known seal seemed to authenticate the negotiations in his
name, where writing might have been dangerous. The cabal, however, began
to take air, from the premature mutinous language of those concerned.
Wily Will justified his appellative; for, after suspicion arose, he was
seen no more. When the 'Gazette' appeared in which Waverley was
superseded, great part of his troop broke out into actual mutiny, but
were surrounded and disarmed by the rest of the regiment In consequence
of the sentence of a court-martial, Houghton and Tims were condemned to
be shot, but afterwards permitted to cast lots for life. Houghton, the
survivor, showed much penitence, being convinced, from the rebukes and
explanations of Colonel Gardiner, that he had really engaged in a very
heinous crime. It is remarkable that, as soon as the poor fellow was
satisfied of this, he became also convinced that the instigator had acted
without authority from Edward, saying, 'If it was dishonourable and
against Old England, the squire could know nought about it; he never did,
or thought to do, anything dishonourable, no more didn't Sir Everard, nor
none of them afore him, and in that belief he would live and die that
Ruffin had done it all of his own head.'
The strength of conviction with which he expressed himself upon this
subject, as well as his assurances that the letters intended for Waverley
had been delivered to Ruthven, made that revolution in Colonel Gardiner's
opinion which he expressed to Talbot.
The reader has long since understood that Donald Bean Lean played the
part of tempter on this occasion. His motives were shortly these. Of an
active and intriguing spirit, he had been long employed as a subaltern
agent and spy by those in the confidence of the Chevalier, to an extent
beyond what was suspected even by Fergus Mac-Ivor, whom, though obliged
to him for protection, he regarded with fear and dislike. To success in
this political department he naturally looked for raising himself by some
bold stroke above his present hazardous and precarious trade of rapine.
He was particularly employed in learning the strength of the regiments in
Scotland, the character of the officers, etc., and had long had his eye
upon Waverley's troop as open to temptation. Donald even believed that
Waverley himself was at bottom in the Stuart interest, which seemed
confirmed by his long visit to the Jacobite Baron of Bradwardine. When,
therefore, he came to his cave with one of Glennaquoich's attendants, the
robber, who could never appreciate his real motive, which was mere
curiosity, was so sanguine as to hope that his own talents were to be
employed in some intrigue of consequence, under the auspices of this
wealthy young Englishman. Nor was he undeceived by Waverley's neglecting
all hints and openings afforded for explanation. His conduct passed for
prudent reserve, and somewhat piqued Donald Bean, who, supposing himself
left out of a secret where confidence promised to be advantageous,
determined to have his share in the drama, whether a regular part were
assigned him or not. For this purpose during Waverley's sleep he
possessed himself of his seal, as a token to be used to any of the
troopers whom he might discover to be possessed of the captain's
confidence. His first journey to Dundee, the town where the regiment was
quartered, undeceived him in his original supposition, but opened to him
a new field of action. He knew there would be no service so well rewarded
by the friends of the Chevalier as seducing a part of the regular army to
his standard. For this purpose he opened the machinations with which the
reader is already acquainted, and which form a clue to all the
intricacies and obscurities of the narrative previous to Waverley's
By Colonel Talbot's advice, Waverley declined detaining in his service
the lad whose evidence had thrown additional light on these intrigues. He
represented to him, that it would be doing the man an injury to engage
him in a desperate undertaking, and that, whatever should happen, his
evidence would go some length at least in explaining the circumstances
under which Waverley himself had embarked in it. Waverley therefore wrote
a short state of what had happened to his uncle and his father,
cautioning them, however, in the present circumstances, not to attempt to
answer his letter. Talbot then gave the young man a letter to the
commander of one of the English vessels of war cruising in the frith,
requesting him to put the bearer ashore at Berwick, with a pass to
proceed to ----shire. He was then furnished with money to make an
expeditious journey, and directed to get on board the ship by means of
bribing a fishing-boat, which, as they afterwards learned, he easily
Tired of the attendance of Callum Beg, who, he thought, had some
disposition to act as a spy on his motions, Waverley hired as a servant a
simple Edinburgh swain, who had mounted the white cockade in a fit of
spleen and jealousy, because Jenny Jop had danced a whole night with
Corporal Bullock of the Fusileers.
INTRIGUES OF SOCIETY AND LOVE
Colonel Talbot became more kindly in his demeanour towards Waverley after
the confidence he had reposed in him, and, as they were necessarily much
together, the character of the Colonel rose in Waverley's estimation.
There seemed at first something harsh in his strong expressions of
dislike and censure, although no one was in the general case more open to
conviction. The habit of authority had also given his manners some
peremptory hardness, notwithstanding the polish which they had received
from his intimate acquaintance with the higher circles. As a specimen of
the military character, he differed from all whom Waverley had as yet
seen. The soldiership of the Baron of Bradwardine was marked by pedantry;
that of Major Melville by a sort of martinet attention to the minutiae
and technicalities of discipline, rather suitable to one who was to
manoeuvre a battalion than to him who was to command an army; the
military spirit of Fergus was so much warped and blended with his plans
and political views, that it was less that of a soldier than of a petty
sovereign. But Colonel Talbot was in every point the English soldier. His
whole soul was devoted to the service of his king and country, without
feeling any pride in knowing the theory of his art with the Baron, or its
practical minutiae with the Major, or in applying his science to his own
particular plans of ambition, like the Chieftain of Glennaquoich. Added
to this, he was a man of extended knowledge and cultivated taste,
although strongly tinged, as we have already observed, with those
prejudices which are peculiarly English.
The character of Colonel Talbot dawned upon Edward by degrees; for the
delay of the Highlanders in the fruitless siege of Edinburgh Castle
occupied several weeks, during which Waverley had little to do excepting
to seek such amusement as society afforded. He would willingly have
persuaded his new friend to become acquainted with some of his former
intimates. But the Colonel, after one or two visits, shook his head, and
declined farther experiment. Indeed he went farther, and characterised
the Baron as the most intolerable formal pedant he had ever had the
misfortune to meet with, and the Chief of Glennaquoich as a Frenchified
Scotchman, possessing all the cunning and plausibility of the nation
where he was educated, with the proud, vindictive, and turbulent humour
of that of his birth. 'If the devil,' he said, 'had sought out an agent
expressly for the purpose of embroiling this miserable country, I do not
think he could find a better than such a fellow as this, whose temper
seems equally active, supple, and mischievous, and who is followed, and
implicitly obeyed, by a gang of such cut-throats as those whom you are
pleased to admire so much.'
The ladies of the party did not escape his censure. He allowed that Flora
Mac-Ivor was a fine woman, and Rose Bradwardine a pretty girl. But he
alleged that the former destroyed the effect of her beauty by an
affectation of the grand airs which she had probably seen practised in
the mock court of St. Germains. As for Rose Bradwardine, he said it was
impossible for any mortal to admire such a little uninformed thing, whose
small portion of education was as ill adapted to her sex or youth as if
she had appeared with one of her father's old campaign-coats upon her
person for her sole garment. Now much of this was mere spleen and
prejudice in the excellent Colonel, with whom the white cockade on the
breast, the white rose in the hair, and the Mac at the beginning of a
name would have made a devil out of an angel; and indeed he himself
jocularly allowed that he could not have endured Venus herself if she had
been announced in a drawing-room by the name of Miss Mac-Jupiter.
Waverley, it may easily be believed, looked upon these young ladies with
very different eyes. During the period of the siege he paid them almost
daily visits, although he observed with regret that his suit made as
little progress in the affections of the former as the arms of the
Chevalier in subduing the fortress. She maintained with rigour the rule
she had laid down of treating him with indifference, without either
affecting to avoid him or to shun intercourse with him. Every word, every
look, was strictly regulated to accord with her system, and neither the
dejection of Waverley nor the anger which Fergus scarcely suppressed
could extend Flora's attention to Edward beyond that which the most
ordinary politeness demanded. On the other hand, Rose Bradwardine
gradually rose in Waverley's opinion. He had several opportunities of
remarking that, as her extreme timidity wore off, her manners assumed a
higher character; that the agitating circumstances of the stormy time
seemed to call forth a certain dignity of feeling and expression which he
had not formerly observed; and that she omitted no opportunity within her
reach to extend her knowledge and refine her taste.
Flora Mac-Ivor called Rose her pupil, and was attentive to assist her in
her studies, and to fashion both her taste and understanding. It might
have been remarked by a very close observer that in the presence of
Waverley she was much more desirous to exhibit her friend's excellences
than her own. But I must request of the reader to suppose that this kind
and disinterested purpose was concealed by the most cautious delicacy,
studiously shunning the most distant approach to affectation. So that it
was as unlike the usual exhibition of one pretty woman affecting to
proner another as the friendship of David and Jonathan might be to the
intimacy of two Bond Street loungers. The fact is that, though the effect
was felt, the cause could hardly be observed. Each of the ladies, like
two excellent actresses, were perfect in their parts, and performed them
to the delight of the audience; and such being the case, it was almost
impossible to discover that the elder constantly ceded to her friend that
which was most suitable to her talents.
But to Waverley Rose Bradwardine possessed an attraction which few men
can resist, from the marked interest which she took in everything that
affected him. She was too young and too inexperienced to estimate the
full force of the constant attention which she paid to him. Her father
was too abstractedly immersed in learned and military discussions to
observe her partiality, and Flora Mac-Ivor did not alarm her by
remonstrance, because she saw in this line of conduct the most probable
chance of her friend securing at length a return of affection.
The truth is, that in her first conversation after their meeting Rose had
discovered the state of her mind to that acute and intelligent friend,
although she was not herself aware of it. From that time Flora was not
only determined upon the final rejection of Waverley's addresses, but
became anxious that they should, if possible, be transferred to her
friend. Nor was she less interested in this plan, though her brother had
from time to time talked, as between jest and earnest, of paying his suit
to Miss Bradwardine. She knew that Fergus had the true continental
latitude of opinion respecting the institution of marriage, and would not
have given his hand to an angel unless for the purpose of strengthening
his alliances and increasing his influence and wealth. The Baron's whim
of transferring his estate to the distant heir-male, instead of his own
daughter, was therefore likely to be an insurmountable obstacle to his
entertaining any serious thoughts of Rose Bradwardine. Indeed, Fergus's
brain was a perpetual workshop of scheme and intrigue, of every possible
kind and description; while, like many a mechanic of more ingenuity than
steadiness, he would often unexpectedly, and without any apparent motive,
abandon one plan and go earnestly to work upon another, which was either
fresh from the forge of his imagination or had at some former period been
flung aside half finished. It was therefore often difficult to guess what
line of conduct he might finally adopt upon any given occasion.
Although Flora was sincerely attached to her brother, whose high energies
might indeed have commanded her admiration even without the ties which
bound them together, she was by no means blind to his faults, which she
considered as dangerous to the hopes of any woman who should found her
ideas of a happy marriage in the peaceful enjoyment of domestic society
and the exchange of mutual and engrossing affection. The real disposition
of Waverley, on the other hand, notwithstanding his dreams of tented
fields and military honour, seemed exclusively domestic. He asked and
received no share in the busy scenes which were constantly going on
around him, and was rather annoyed than interested by the discussion of
contending claims, rights, and interests which often passed in his
presence. All this pointed him out as the person formed to make happy a
spirit like that of Rose, which corresponded with his own.
She remarked this point in Waverley's character one day while she sat
with Miss Bradwardine. 'His genius and elegant taste,' answered Rose,
'cannot be interested in such trifling discussions. What is it to him,
for example, whether the Chief of the Macindallaghers, who has brought
out only fifty men, should be a colonel or a captain? and how could Mr.
Waverley be supposed to interest himself in the violent altercation
between your brother and young Corrinaschian whether the post of honour
is due to the eldest cadet of a clan or the youngest?'
'My dear Rose, if he were the hero you suppose him he would interest
himself in these matters, not indeed as important in themselves, but for
the purpose of mediating between the ardent spirits who actually do make
them the subject of discord. You saw when Corrinaschian raised his voice
in great passion, and laid his hand upon his sword, Waverley lifted his
head as if he had just awaked from a dream, and asked with great
composure what the matter was.'
'Well, and did not the laughter they fell into at his absence of mind
serve better to break off the dispute than anything he could have said to
'True, my dear,' answered Flora; 'but not quite so creditably for
Waverley as if he had brought them to their senses by force of reason.'
'Would you have him peacemaker general between all the gunpowder
Highlanders in the army? I beg your pardon, Flora, your brother, you
know, is out of the question; he has more sense than half of them. But
can you think the fierce, hot, furious spirits of whose brawls we see
much and hear more, and who terrify me out of my life every day in the
world, are at all to be compared to Waverley?'
'I do not compare him with those uneducated men, my dear Rose. I only
lament that, with his talents and genius, he does not assume that place
in society for which they eminently fit him, and that he does not lend
their full impulse to the noble cause in which he has enlisted. Are there
not Lochiel, and P--, and M--, and G--, all men of the highest education
as well as the first talents,--why will he not stoop like them to be
alive and useful? I often believe his zeal is frozen by that proud
cold-blooded Englishman whom he now lives with so much.'
'Colonel Talbot? he is a very disagreeable person, to be sure. He looks
as if he thought no Scottish woman worth the trouble of handing her a cup
of tea. But Waverley is so gentle, so well informed--'
'Yes,' said Flora, smiling, 'he can admire the moon and quote a stanza
'Besides, you know how he fought,' added Miss Bradwardine.
'For mere fighting,' answered Flora,' I believe all men (that is, who
deserve the name) are pretty much alike; there is generally more courage
required to run away. They have besides, when confronted with each other,
a certain instinct for strife, as we see in other male animals, such as
dogs, bulls, and so forth. But high and perilous enterprise is not
Waverley's forte. He would never have been his celebrated ancestor Sir
Nigel, but only Sir Nigel's eulogist and poet. I will tell you where he
will be at home, my dear, and in his place--in the quiet circle of
domestic happiness, lettered indolence, and elegant enjoyments of
Waverley-Honour. And he will refit the old library in the most exquisite
Gothic taste, and garnish its shelves with the rarest and most valuable
volumes; and he will draw plans and landscapes, and write verses, and
rear temples, and dig grottoes; and he will stand in a clear summer night
in the colonnade before the hall, and gaze on the deer as they stray in
the moonlight, or lie shadowed by the boughs of the huge old fantastic
oaks; and he will repeat verses to his beautiful wife, who will hang upon
his arm;--and he will be a happy man.'
And she will be a happy woman, thought poor Rose. But she only sighed and
dropped the conversation.
FERGUS A SUITOR
Waverley had, indeed, as he looked closer into the state of the
Chevalier's court, less reason to be satisfied with it. It contained, as
they say an acorn includes all the ramifications of the future oak, as
many seeds of tracasserie and intrigue as might have done honour to the
court of a large empire. Every person of consequence had some separate
object, which he pursued with a fury that Waverley considered as
altogether disproportioned to its importance. Almost all had their
reasons for discontent, although the most legitimate was that of the
worthy old Baron, who was only distressed on account of the common cause.
'We shall hardly,' said he one morning to Waverley when they had been
viewing the Castle--'we shall hardly gain the obsidional crown, which you
wot well was made of the roots or grain which takes root within the place
besieged, or it may be of the herb woodbind, parietaria, or pellitory; we
shall not, I say, gain it by this same blockade or leaguer of Edinburgh
Castle.' For this opinion he gave most learned and satisfactory reasons,
that the reader may not care to hear repeated.
Having escaped from the old gentleman, Waverley went to Fergus's lodgings
by appointment, to await his return from Holyrood House. 'I am to have a
particular audience to-morrow,' said Fergus to Waverley overnight, 'and
you must meet me to wish me joy of the success which I securely
The morrow came, and in the Chief's apartment he found Ensign Maccombich
waiting to make report of his turn of duty in a sort of ditch which they
had dug across the Castle-hill and called a trench. In a short time the
Chief's voice was heard on the stair in a tone of impatient fury:
'Callum! why, Callum Beg! Diaoul!' He entered the room with all the marks
of a man agitated by a towering passion; and there were few upon whose
features rage produced a more violent effect. The veins of his forehead
swelled when he was in such agitation; his nostril became dilated; his
cheek and eye inflamed; and his look that of a demoniac. These
appearances of half-suppressed rage were the more frightful because they
were obviously caused by a strong effort to temper with discretion an
almost ungovernable paroxysm of passion, and resulted from an internal
conflict of the most dreadful kind, which agitated his whole frame of
As he entered the apartment he unbuckled his broadsword, and throwing it
down with such violence that the weapon rolled to the other end of the
room, 'I know not what,' he exclaimed, 'withholds me from taking a solemn
oath that I will never more draw it in his cause. Load my pistols,
Callum, and bring them hither instantly--instantly!' Callum, whom nothing
ever startled, dismayed, or disconcerted, obeyed very coolly. Evan Dhu,
upon whose brow the suspicion that his Chief had been insulted called up
a corresponding storm, swelled in sullen silence, awaiting to learn where
or upon whom vengeance was to descend.
'So, Waverley, you are there,' said the Chief, after a moment's
recollection. 'Yes, I remember I asked you to share my triumph, and you
have come to witness my disappointment we shall call it.' Evan now
presented the written report he had in his hand, which Fergus threw from
him with great passion. 'I wish to God,' he said, 'the old den would
tumble down upon the heads of the fools who attack and the knaves who
defend it! I see, Waverley, you think I am mad. Leave us, Evan, but be
'The Colonel's in an unco kippage,' said Mrs. Flockhart to Evan as he
descended; 'I wish he may be weel,--the very veins on his brent brow are
swelled like whipcord; wad he no tak something?'
'He usually lets blood for these fits,' answered the Highland ancient
with great composure.
When this officer left the room, the Chieftain gradually reassumed some
degree of composure. 'I know, Waverley,' he said, 'that Colonel Talbot
has persuaded you to curse ten times a day your engagement with us; nay,
never deny it, for I am at this moment tempted to curse my own. Would you
believe it, I made this very morning two suits to the Prince, and he has
rejected them both; what do you think of it?'
'What can I think,' answered Waverley,'till I know what your requests
were?' 'Why, what signifies what they were, man? I tell you it was I that
made them--I to whom he owes more than to any three who have joined the
standard; for I negotiated the whole business, and brought in all the
Perthshire men when not one would have stirred. I am not likely, I think,
to ask anything very unreasonable, and if I did, they might have
stretched a point. Well, but you shall know all, now that I can draw my
breath again with some freedom. You remember my earl's patent; it is
dated some years back, for services then rendered; and certainly my merit
has not been diminished, to say the least, by my subsequent behaviour.
Now, sir, I value this bauble of a coronet as little as you can, or any
philosopher on earth; for I hold that the chief of such a clan as the
Sliochd nan Ivor is superior in rank to any earl in Scotland. But I had a
particular reason for assuming this cursed title at this time. You must
know that I learned accidentally that the Prince has been pressing that
old foolish Baron of Bradwardine to disinherit his male heir, or
nineteenth or twentieth cousin, who has taken a command in the Elector of
Hanover's militia, and to settle his estate upon your pretty little
friend Rose; and this, as being the command of his king and overlord, who
may alter the destination of a fief at pleasure, the old gentleman seems
well reconciled to.'
'And what becomes of the homage?'
'Curse the homage! I believe Rose is to pull off the queen's slipper on
her coronation-day, or some such trash. Well, sir, as Rose Bradwardine
would always have made a suitable match for me but for this idiotical
predilection of her father for the heir-male, it occurred to me there now
remained no obstacle unless that the Baron might expect his daughter's
husband to take the name of Bradwardine (which you know would be
impossible in my case), and that this might be evaded by my assuming the
title to which I had so good a right, and which, of course, would
supersede that difficulty. If she was to be also Viscountess Bradwardine
in her own right after her father's demise, so much the better; I could
have no objection.'
'But, Fergus,' said Waverley, 'I had no idea that you had any affection
for Miss Bradwardine, and you are always sneering at her father.'
'I have as much affection for Miss Bradwardine, my good friend, as I
think it necessary to have for the future mistress of my family and the
mother of my children. She is a very pretty, intelligent girl, and is
certainly of one of the very first Lowland families; and, with a little
of Flora's instructions and forming, will make a very good figure. As to
her father, he is an original, it is true, and an absurd one enough; but
he has given such severe lessons to Sir Hew Halbert, that dear defunct
the Laird of Balmawhapple, and others, that nobody dare laugh at him, so
his absurdity goes for nothing. I tell you there could have been no
earthly objection--none. I had settled the thing entirely in my own
'But had you asked the Baron's consent,' said Waverley, 'or Rose's?'
'To what purpose? To have spoke to the Baron before I had assumed my
title would have only provoked a premature and irritating discussion on
the subject of the change of name, when, as Earl of Glennaquoich, I had
only to propose to him to carry his d--d bear and bootjack party per
pale, or in a scutcheon of pretence, or in a separate shield perhaps--any
way that would not blemish my own coat of arms. And as to Rose, I don't
see what objection she could have made if her father was satisfied.'
'Perhaps the same that your sister makes to me, you being satisfied.'
Fergus gave a broad stare at the comparison which this supposition
implied, but cautiously suppressed the answer which rose to his tongue.
'O, we should easily have arranged all that. So, sir, I craved a private
interview, and this morning was assigned; and I asked you to meet me
here, thinking, like a fool, that I should want your countenance as
bride's-man. Well, I state my pretension--they are not denied; the
promises so repeatedly made and the patent granted--they are
acknowledged. But I propose, as a natural consequence, to assume the rank
which the patent bestowed. I have the old story of the jealousy of
C----and M----trumped up against me. I resist this pretext, and offer to
procure their written acquiescence, in virtue of the date of my patent as
prior to their silly claims; I assure you I would have had such a consent
from them, if it had been at the point of the sword. And then out comes
the real truth; and he dares to tell me to my face that my patent must be
suppressed for the present, for fear of disgusting that rascally coward
and faineant (naming the rival chief of his own clan), who has no better
title to be a chieftain than I to be Emperor of China, and who is pleased
to shelter his dastardly reluctance to come out, agreeable to his promise
twenty times pledged, under a pretended jealousy of the Prince's
partiality to me. And, to leave this miserable driveller without a
pretence for his cowardice, the Prince asks it as a personal favour of
me, forsooth, not to press my just and reasonable request at this moment.
After this, put your faith in princes!'
'And did your audience end here?'
'End? O no! I was determined to leave him no pretence for his
ingratitude, and I therefore stated, with all the composure I could
muster,--for I promise you I trembled with passion,--the particular
reasons I had for wishing that his Royal Highness would impose upon me
any other mode of exhibiting my duty and devotion, as my views in life
made what at any other time would have been a mere trifle at this crisis
a severe sacrifice; and then I explained to him my full plan.'
'And what did the Prince answer?'
'Answer? why--it is well it is written, "Curse not the king, no, not in
thy thought!"--why, he answered that truly he was glad I had made him my
confidant, to prevent more grievous disappointment, for he could assure
me, upon the word of a prince, that Miss Bradwardine's affections were
engaged, and he was under a particular promise to favour them. "So, my
dear Fergus," said he, with his most gracious cast of smile, "as the
marriage is utterly out of question, there need be no hurry, you know,
about the earldom." And so he glided off and left me plante la.'
'And what did you do?'
'I'll tell you what I COULD have done at that moment--sold myself to the
devil or the Elector, whichever offered the dearest revenge. However, I
am now cool. I know he intends to marry her to some of his rascally
Frenchmen or his Irish officers, but I will watch them close; and let the
man that would supplant me look well to himself. Bisogna coprirsi,
After some further conversation, unnecessary to be detailed, Waverley
took leave of the Chieftain, whose fury had now subsided into a deep and
strong desire of vengeance, and returned home, scarce able to analyse the
mixture of feelings which the narrative had awakened in his own bosom.
'TO ONE THING CONSTANT NEVER'
'I am the very child of caprice,'said Waverley to himself, as he bolted
the door of his apartment and paced it with hasty steps. 'What is it to
me that Fergus Mac-Ivor should wish to marry Rose Bradwardine? I love her
not; I might have been loved by her perhaps; but rejected her simple,
natural, and affecting attachment, instead of cherishing it into
tenderness, and dedicated myself to one who will never love mortal man,
unless old Warwick, the King-maker, should arise from the dead The Baron
too--I would not have cared about his estate, and so the name would have
been no stumbling-block. The devil might have taken the barren moors and
drawn off the royal caligae for anything I would have minded. But, framed
as she is for domestic affection and tenderness, for giving and receiving
all those kind and quiet attentions which sweeten life to those who pass
it together, she is sought by Fergus Mac-Ivor. He will not use her ill,
to be sure; of that he is incapable. But he will neglect her after the
first month; he will be too intent on subduing some rival chieftain or
circumventing some favourite at court, on gaining some heathy hill and
lake or adding to his bands some new troop of caterans, to inquire what
she does, or how she amuses herself.
And then will canker sorrow eat her bud,
And chase the native beauty from her cheek;
And she will look as hollow as a ghost,
And dim and meagre as an ague fit,
And so she'll die.
And such a catastrophe of the most gentle creature on earth might have
been prevented if Mr. Edward Waverley had had his eyes! Upon my word, I
cannot understand how I thought Flora so much, that is, so very much,
handsomer than Rose. She is taller indeed, and her manner more formed;
but many people think Miss Bradwardine's more natural; and she is
certainly much younger. I should think Flora is two years older than I
am. I will look at them particularly this evening.'
And with this resolution Waverley went to drink tea (as the fashion was
Sixty Years Since) at the house of a lady of quality attached to the
cause of the Chevalier, where he found, as he expected, both the ladies.
All rose as he entered, but Flora immediately resumed her place and the
conversation in which she was engaged. Rose, on the contrary, almost
imperceptibly made a little way in the crowded circle for his advancing
the corner of a chair. 'Her manner, upon the whole, is most engaging,'
said Waverley to himself.
A dispute occurred whether the Gaelic or Italian language was most
liquid, and best adapted for poetry; the opinion for the Gaelic, which
probably might not have found supporters elsewhere, was here fiercely
defended by seven Highland ladies, who talked at the top of their lungs,
and screamed the company deaf with examples of Celtic euphonia. Flora,
observing the Lowland ladies sneer at the comparison, produced some
reasons to show that it was not altogether so absurd; but Rose, when
asked for her opinion, gave it with animation in praise of Italian, which
she had studied with Waverley's assistance. "She has a more correct ear
than Flora, though a less accomplished musician," said Waverley to
himself. 'I suppose Miss Mac-Ivor will next compare Mac-Murrough nan Fonn
Lastly, it so befell that the company differed whether Fergus should be
asked to perform on the flute, at which he was an adept, or Waverley
invited to read a play of Shakspeare; and the lady of the house
good-humouredly undertook to collect the votes of the company for poetry
or music, under the condition that the gentleman whose talents were not
laid under contribution that evening should contribute them to enliven
the next. It chanced that Rose had the casting vote. Now Flora, who
seemed to impose it as a rule upon herself never to countenance any
proposal which might seem to encourage Waverley, had voted for music,
providing the Baron would take his violin to accompany Fergus. 'I wish
you joy of your taste, Miss Mac-Ivor,' thought Edward, as they sought for
his book. 'I thought it better when we were at Glennaquoich; but
certainly the Baron is no great performer, and Shakspeare is worth
'Romeo and Juliet' was selected, and Edward read with taste, feeling, and
spirit several scenes from that play. All the company applauded with
their hands, and many with their tears. Flora, to whom the drama was well
known, was among the former; Rose, to whom it was altogether new,
belonged to the latter class of admirers. 'She has more feeling too,'
said Waverley, internally.
The conversation turning upon the incidents of the play and upon the
characters, Fergus declared that the only one worth naming, as a man of
fashion and spirit, was Mercutio. 'I could not,' he said, 'quite follow
all his old-fashioned wit, but he must have been a very pretty fellow,
according to the ideas of his time.'
'And it was a shame,' said Ensign Maccombich, who usually followed his
Colonel everywhere, 'for that Tibbert, or Taggart, or whatever was his
name, to stick him under the other gentleman's arm while he was redding
The ladies, of course, declared loudly in favour of Romeo, but this
opinion did not go undisputed. The mistress of the house and several
other ladies severely reprobated the levity with which the hero transfers
his affections from Rosalind to Juliet. Flora remained silent until her
opinion was repeatedly requested, and then answered, she thought the
circumstance objected to not only reconcilable to nature, but such as in
the highest degree evinced the art of the poet. 'Romeo is described,'
said she, 'as a young man peculiarly susceptible of the softer passions;
his love is at first fixed upon a woman who could afford it no return;
this he repeatedly tells you,--
From love's weak, childish bow she lives unharmed,
She hath forsworn to love.
Now, as it was impossible that Romeo's love, supposing him a reasonable
being, could continue to subsist without hope, the poet has, with great
art, seized the moment when he was reduced actually to despair to throw
in his way an object more accomplished than her by whom he had been
rejected, and who is disposed to repay his attachment. I can scarce
conceive a situation more calculated to enhance the ardour of Romeo's
affection for Juliet than his being at once raised by her from the state
of drooping melancholy in which he appears first upon the scene to the
ecstatic state in which he exclaims--
--come what sorrow can,
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short moment gives me in her sight.'
'Good now, Miss Mac-Ivor,' said a young lady of quality, 'do you mean to
cheat us out of our prerogative? will you persuade us love cannot subsist
without hope, or that the lover must become fickle if the lady is cruel?
O fie! I did not expect such an unsentimental conclusion.'
'A lover, my dear Lady Betty,' said Flora, 'may, I conceive, persevere in
his suit under very discouraging circumstances. Affection can (now and
then) withstand very severe storms of rigour, but not a long polar frost
of downright indifference. Don't, even with YOUR attractions, try the
experiment upon any lover whose faith you value. Love will subsist on
wonderfully little hope, but not altogether without it.'
'It will be just like Duncan Mac-Girdie's mare,' said Evan, 'if your
ladyships please, he wanted to use her by degrees to live without meat,
and just as he had put her on a straw a day the poor thing died!'
Evan's illustration set the company a-laughing, and the discourse took a
different turn. Shortly afterwards the party broke up, and Edward
returned home, musing on what Flora had said. 'I will love my Rosalind no
more,' said he; 'she has given me a broad enough hint for that; and I
will speak to her brother and resign my suit. But for a Juliet--would it
be handsome to interfere with Fergus's pretensions? though it is
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