Walter Scott

Part 3 out of 11

It seemed like a dream to Waverley that these deeds of violence
should be familiar to men's minds, and currently talked of, as
falling within the common order of things, and happening daily in
the immediate vicinity, without his having crossed the seas, and
while he was yet in the otherwise well-ordered island of Great
Britain. [See Note 10.]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our hero, feeling his curiosity considerably excited by the idea
of visiting the den of a Highland Cacus, took, however, the
precaution to inquire if his guide might be trusted. He was
assured, that the invitation would on no account have been given
had there been the least danger, and that all he had to apprehend
was a little fatigue; and as Evan proposed he should pass a day
at his Chieftain's house in returning, where he would be sure of
good accommodation and an excellent welcome, there seemed nothing
very formidable in the task he undertook. Rose, indeed, turned
pale when she heard of it; but her father, who loved the spirited
curiosity of his young friend, did not attempt to damp it by an
alarm of danger which really did not exist; and a knapsack, with
a few necessaries, being bound on the shoulders of a sort of
deputy gamekeeper, our hero set forth with a fowling-piece in his
hand, accompanied by his new friend Evan Dhu, and, followed by
the gamekeeper aforesaid, and by two wild Highlanders, the
attendants of Evan, one of whom had upon his shoulder a hatchet
at the end of a pole, called a Lochaber-axe, [The Town-guard of
Edinburgh were, till a late period, armed with this weapon when
on their police duty. There was a hook at the back of the axe,
which the ancient Highlanders used to assist them to climb over
walls, fixing the hook upon it, and raising themselves by the
handle. The axe, which was also much used by the natives of
Ireland, is supposed to have been introduced into both countries
from Scandinavia.] and the other a long ducking-gun. Evan,
upon Edward's inquiry, gave him to understand that this martial
escort was by no means necessary as a guard, but merely, as he
said, drawing up and adjusting his plaid with an air of dignity,
that he might appear decently at Tully-Veolan, and as Vich Ian
Vohr's foster-brother ought to do. 'Ah!' said he, 'if you Saxon
Duinhe-wassel (English gentlemen) saw but the Chief with his tail

'With his tail on!' echoed Edward, in some surprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

The boat now neared the shore, and Edward could discover that
this large fire, amply supplied with branches of pine-wood by two
figures, who, in the red reflection of its light, appeared like
demons, was kindled in the jaws of a lofty cavern, into which an
inlet from the lake seemed to advance; and he conjectured, which
was indeed true, that the fire had been lighted as a beacon to
the boatmen on their return. They rowed right for the mouth of
the cave, and then, shipping their oars, permitted the boat to
enter in obedience to the impulse which it had received.

The skiff passed the little point or platform of rock on which
the fire was blazing, and running about two boats' length
farther, stopped where the cavern (for it was already arched
overhead) ascended from the water by five or six broad ledges of
rocks, so easy and regular that they might be termed natural
steps. At this moment a quantity of water was suddenly flung
upon the fire, which sank with a hissing noise, and with it
disappeared the light it had hitherto afforded. Four or five
active arms lifted Waverley out of the boat, placed him on his
feet, and almost carried him into the recesses of the cave. He
made a few paces in darkness, guided in this manner; and
advancing towards a hum of voices, which seemed to sound from the
centre of the rock, at an acute turn Donald Bean Lean and his
whole establishment were before his eyes.

The interior of the cave, which here rose very high, was
illuminated by torches made of pine-tree, which emitted a bright
and bickering light, attended by a strong though not unpleasant
odour. Their light was assisted by the red glare of a large
charcoal fire, round which were seated five or six armed
Highlanders, while others were indistinctly seen couched on their
plaids, in the more remote recesses of the cavern. In one large
aperture, which the robber facetiously called his spence (or
pantry), there hung by the heels the carcasses of a sheep, or
ewe, and two cows lately slaughtered. The principal inhabitant
of this singular mansion, attended by Evan Dhu as master of the
ceremonies, came forward to meet his guest, totally different in
appearance and manner from what his imagination had anticipated.
The profession which he followed--the wilderness in which he
dwelt--the wild warrior-forms that surrounded him, were all
calculated to inspire terror. From such accompaniments, Waverley
prepared himself to meet a stern, gigantic, ferocious figure,
such as Salvator would have chosen to be the central object of a
group of banditti. [See Note 11.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'But to be the daughter of a cattle-stealer--a common thief!'

'Common thief!--no such thing: Donald Bean Lean never LIFTED
less than a drove in his life.'

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

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

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

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

'Die for the law!'

'Aye; that is, with the law, or by the law; be strapped up on the
KIND gallows of Crieff, [See Note 12.] where his father died,
and his goodsire died, and where I hope he'll live to die
himself, if he's not shot, or slashed, in a creagh.'

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

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

'But what becomes of Alice, then?'

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

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

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

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

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

'And are we far from Glennaquoich?'

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

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

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

'Does he always reside in that cave?'

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

'And do others beside your master shelter him?'

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

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

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

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

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

'And what must Donald do, then?'

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

'And if he were pursued to that place?'

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

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

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

'Whom do you call so?'

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

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

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

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

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

'But does he carry off men and women?'

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

The devil!'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

The father of Fergus, the tenth in direct descent from John of
the Tower, engaged heart and hand in the insurrection of 1715,
and was forced to fly to France, after the attempt of that year
in favour of the Stuarts had proved unsuccessful. More fortunate
than other fugitives, he obtained employment in the French
service, and married a lady of rank in that kingdom, by whom he
had two children, Fergus and his sister Flora. The Scottish
estate had been forfeited and exposed to sale, but was re-
purchased for a small price in the name of the young proprietor,
who in consequence came to reside upon his native domains. [See
Note 14.] It was soon perceived that he possessed a character of
uncommon acuteness, fire, and ambition, which, as he became
acquainted with the state of the country, gradually assumed a
mixed and peculiar tone, that could only have been acquired Sixty
Years since.

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

He was enabled to discipline these forces, from having obtained
command of one of the independent companies raised by Government
to preserve the peace of the Highlands. While in this capacity
he acted with vigour and spirit, and preserved great order in the
country under his charge. He caused his vassals to enter by
rotation into his company, and serve for a certain space of time,
which gave them all in turn a general notion of military
discipline. In his campaigns against the banditti, it was
observed that he assumed and exercised to the utmost the
discretionary power, which, while the law had no free course in
the Highlands, was conceived to belong to the military parties
who were called in to support it. He acted, for example, with
great and suspicious lenity to those freebooters who made
restitution on his summons, and offered personal submission to
himself, while he rigorously pursued, apprehended, and sacrificed
to justice, all such interlopers as dared to despise his
admonitions or commands. On the other hand, if any officers of
justice, military parties, or others, presumed to pursue thieves
or marauders through his territories, and without applying for
his consent and concurrence, nothing was more certain than that
they would meet with some notable foil or defeat; upon which
occasions Fergus Mac-Ivor was the first to condole with them,
and, after gently blaming their rashness, never failed deeply to
lament the lawless state of the country. These lamentations did
not exclude suspicion, and matters were so represented to
Government, that our Chieftain was deprived of his military
command. [See Note 15.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On a signal made by the Chief, the skirmish was ended. Marches
were then made for running, wrestling, leaping, pitching the bar,
and other sports, in which this feudal militia displayed
incredible swiftness, strength, and agility; and accomplished the
purpose which their Chieftain had at heart, by impressing on
Waverley no light sense of their merit as soldiers, and of the
power of him who commanded them by his nod. [See Note 16.]

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

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

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

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



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

To chafe the limb, and pour the fragrant oil,

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

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

This hospitality, apparently unbounded, had yet its line of
economy. Some pains had been bestowed in dressing the dishes of
fish, game, &c., which were at the upper end of the table, and
immediately under the eye of the English stranger. Lower down
stood immense clumsy joints of mutton and beef, which, but for
the absence of pork, [See Note 17.] abhorred in the Highlands,
resembled the rude festivity of the banquet of Penelope's
suitors. But the central dish was a yearling lamb, called 'a hog
in har'st,' roasted whole. It was set upon its legs, with a
bunch of parsley in its mouth, and was probably exhibited in that
form to gratify the pride of the cook, who piqued himself more on
the plenty than the elegance of his master's table. The sides of
this poor animal were fiercely attacked by the clansmen, some
with dirks, others with the knives which were usually in the same
sheath with the dagger, so that it was soon rendered a mangled
and rueful spectacle. Lower down still, the victuals seemed of
yet coarser quality, though sufficiently abundant. Broth,
onions, cheese, and the fragments of the feast, regaled the sons
of Ivor who feasted in the open air.

The liquor was supplied in the same proportion, and under similar
regulations. Excellent claret and champagne were liberally
distributed among the Chief's immediate neighbours; whisky, plain
or diluted, and strong beer, refreshed those who sat near the
lower end. Nor did this inequality of distribution appear to
give the least offence. Every one present understood that his
taste was to be formed according to the rank which he held at
table; and, consequently, the tacksmen and their dependants
always professed the wine was too cold for their stomachs, and
called, apparently out of choice, for the liquor which was
assigned to them from economy. [See Note 18.] The bagpipers,
three in number, screamed, during the whole time of dinner, a
tremendous war-tune; and the echoing of the vaulted roof, and
clang of the Celtic tongue, produced such a Babel of noises, that
Waverley dreaded his ears would never recover it. Mac-Ivor,
indeed, apologized for the confusion occasioned by so large a
party, and pleaded the necessity of his situation, on which
unlimited hospitality was imposed as a paramount duty. 'These
stout idle kinsmen of mine,' he said, 'account my estate as held
in trust for their support; and I must find them beef and ale,
while the rogues will do nothing for themselves but practise the
broadsword, or wander about the hills, shooting, fishing,
hunting, drinking, and making love to the lasses of the strath.
But what can I do, Captain Waverley? everything will keep after
its kind, whether it be a hawk or a Highlander.' Edward made the
expected answer, in a compliment upon his possessing so many bold
and attached followers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Chieftain, who during this scene had appeared rather to watch
the emotions which were excited, than to partake their high tone
of enthusiasm, filled with claret a small silver cup which stood
by him. 'Give this,' he said to an attendant, 'to Mac-Murrough
nan Fonn (i.e. of the songs), and when he has drunk the juice,
bid him keep, for the sake of Vich Ian Vohr, the shell of the
gourd which contained it.' The gift was received by Mac-Murrough
with profound gratitude; he drank the wine, and, kissing the cup,
shrouded it with reverence in the plaid which was folded on his
bosom. He then burst forth into what Edward justly supposed to
be an extemporaneous effusion of thanks, and praises of his
Chief. It was received with applause, but did not produce the
effect of his first poem. It was obvious, however, that the clan
regarded the generosity of their Chieftain with high approbation.
Many approved Gaelic toasts were then proposed, of some of which
the Chieftain gave his guest the following versions:--'To him
that will not turn his back on friend or foe.' 'To him that
never forsook a comrade.' 'To him that never bought or sold
justice.' 'Hospitality to the exile, and broken bones to the
tyrant.' 'The lads with the kilts.' 'Highlanders, shoulder to
shoulder,'--with many other pithy sentiments of the like nature.

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

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



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

Flora Mac-Ivor bore a most striking resemblance to her brother
Fergus; so much so, that they might have played Viola and
Sebastian with the same exquisite effect produced by the
appearance of Mrs. Henry Siddons and her brother, Mr. William
Murray, in these characters. They had, the same antique and
regular correctness of profile; the same dark eyes, eyelashes,
and eyebrows; the same clearness of complexion, excepting that
Fergus's was embrowned by exercise, and Flora's possessed the
utmost feminine delicacy. But the haughty, and somewhat stern
regularity of Fergus's features was beautifully softened in those
of Flora. Their voices were also similar in tone, though
differing in the key. That of Fergus, especially while issuing
orders to his followers during their military exercise, reminded
Edward of a favourite passage in the description of Emetrius:

--whose voice was heard around,
Loud as a trumpet with a silver sound.

That of Flora, on the contrary, was soft and sweet,--'an
excellent thing in woman;' yet, in urging any favourite topic,
which she often pursued with natural eloquence, it possessed as
well the tones which impress awe and conviction, as those of
persuasive insinuation. The eager glance of the keen black eye,
which in the Chieftain seemed impatient even of the material
obstacles it encountered, had, in his sister, acquired a gentle
pensiveness. His looks seemed to seek glory, power, all that
could exalt him above others in the race of humanity; while those
of his sister, as if she were already conscious of mental
superiority, seemed to pity, rather than envy, those who were
struggling for any further distinction. Her sentiments
corresponded with the expression of her countenance. Early
education had impressed upon her mind, as well as on that of the
Chieftain, the most devoted attachment to the exiled family of
Stuart. She believed if the duty of her brother, of his clan, of
every man in Britain, at whatever personal hazard, to contribute
to that restoration which the partisans of the Chevalier de St.
George had not ceased to hope for. For this she was prepared to
do all, to suffer all, to sacrifice all. But her loyalty, as it
exceeded her brother's in fanaticism, excelled it also in purity.
Accustomed to petty intrigue, and necessarily involved in a
thousand paltry and selfish discussions, ambitious also by
nature, his political faith was tinctured, at least, if not
tainted, by the views of interest and advancement so easily
combined with it; and at the moment he should unsheathe his
claymore, it might be difficult to say whether it would be most
with the view of making James Stuart a king, or Fergus Mac-Ivor
an earl. This, indeed, was a mixture of feeling which he did not
avow even to himself, but it existed, nevertheless, in a powerful

In Flora's bosom, on the contrary, the zeal of loyalty burnt pure
and unmixed with any selfish feeling; she would have as soon made
religion the mask of ambitious and interested views, as have
shrouded them under the opinions which she had been taught to
think patriotism. Such instances of devotion were not uncommon
among the followers of the unhappy race of Stuart, of which many
memorable proofs will recur to the mind of most of my readers.
But peculiar attention on the part of the Chevalier de St. George
and his princess to the parents of Fergus and his sister, and to
themselves when orphans, had riveted their faith. Fergus, upon
the death of his parents, had been for some time a page of honour
in the train of the Chevalier's lady, and, from his beauty and
sprightly temper, was uniformly treated by her with the utmost
distinction. This was also extended to Flora, who was maintained
for some time at a convent of the first order, at the princess's
expense, and removed from thence into her own family, where she
spent nearly two years. Both brother and sister retained the
deepest and most grateful sense of her kindness.

Having thus touched upon the leading principle of Flora's
character, I may dismiss the rest more slightly. She was highly
accomplished, and had acquired those elegant manners to be
expected from one who, in early youth, had been the companion of
a princess; yet she had not learned to substitute the gloss of
politeness for the reality of feeling. When settled in the
lonely regions of Glennaquoich, she found that her resources in
French, English, and Italian literature, were likely to be few
and interrupted; and, in order to fill up the vacant time, she
bestowed a part of it upon the music and poetical traditions of
the Highlanders, and began really to feel the pleasure in the
pursuit, which her brother, whose perceptions of literary merit
were more blunt, rather affected for the sake of popularity than
actually experienced. Her resolution was strengthened in these
researches by the extreme delight which her inquiries seemed to
afford those to whom she resorted for information.

Her love of her clan, an attachment which was almost hereditary
in her bosom, was, like her loyalty, a more pure passion than
that of her brother. He was too thorough a politician,regarded
his patriarchal influence too much as the means of accomplishing
his own aggrandizement, that we should term him the model of a
Highland Chieftain. Flora felt the same anxiety for cherishing
and extending their patriarchal sway, but it was with the
generous desire of vindicating from poverty, or at least from
want and foreign oppression, those whom her brother was by birth,
according to the notions of the time and country, entitled to
govern. The savings of her income, for she had a small pension
from the Princess Sobieski, were dedicated, not to add to the
comforts of the peasantry, for that was a word which they neither
knew nor apparently wished to know, but to relieve their absolute
necessities, when in sickness or extreme old age. At every other
period, they rather toiled to procure something which they might
share with the Chief as a proof of their attachment, than
expected other assistance from him save what was afforded by the
rude hospitality of his castle, and the general division and
subdivision of his estate among them. Flora was so much beloved
by them, that when Mac-Murrough composed a song in which he
enumerated all the principal beauties of the district, and
intimated her superiority by concluding; that 'the fairest apple
hung on the highest bough,' he received, in donatives from the
individuals of the clan, more seed-barley than would have sowed
his Highland Parnassus, the Bard's croft as it was called, ten
times over.

From situation, as well as choice, Miss Mac-Ivor's society was
extremely limited. Her most intimate friend had been Rose
Bradwardine, to whom she was much attached; and when seen
together, they would have afforded an artist two admirable
subjects for the gay and the melancholy muse. Indeed Rose was so
tenderly watched by her father, and her circle of wishes was so
limited, that none arose but what he was willing to gratify, and
scarce any which did not come within the compass of his power.
With Flora it was otherwise. While almost a girl, she had
undergone the most complete change of scene, from gaiety and
splendour to absolute solitude and comparative poverty; and the
ideas and wishes which she chiefly fostered, respected great
national events, and changes not to be brought round without both
hazard and bloodshed, and therefore not to be thought of with
levity. Her manner, consequently, was grave, though she readily
contributed her talents to the amusement of society, and stood
very high in the opinion of the old Baron, who used to sing along
with her such French duets of Lindor and Cloris, &c., as were in
fashion about the end of the reign of old Louis le Grand.

It was generally believed, though no one durst have hinted it to
the Baron of Bradwardine, that Flora's entreaties had no small
share in allaying the wrath of Fergus upon occasion of their
quarrel. She took her brother on the assailable side, by
dwelling first upon the Baron's age, and then representing the
injury which the cause might sustain, and the damage which must
arise to his own character in point of prudence, so necessary to
a political agent, if he persisted in carrying it to extremity.
Otherwise it is probable it would have terminated in a duel, both
because the Baron had, on a former occasion, shed blood of the
clan, though the matter had been timely accommodated, and on
account of his high reputation for address at his weapon, which
Fergus almost condescended to envy. For the same reason she had
urged their reconciliation, which the Chieftain the more readily
agreed to, as it favoured some ulterior projects of his own.

To this young lady, now presiding at the female empire of the
tea-table, Fergus introduced Captain Waverley, whom she received
with the usual forms of politeness.



When the first salutations had passed, Fergus said to his sister,
'My dear Flora, before I return to the barbarous ritual of our
forefathers, I must tell you that Captain Waverley is a
worshipper of the Celtic muse, not the less so perhaps that he
does not understand a word of her language. I have told him you
are eminent as a translator of Highland poetry, and that Mac-
Murrough admires your version of his songs upon the same
principle that Captain Waverley admires the original,--because he
does not comprehend them. Will you have the goodness to read or
recite to our guest in English, the extraordinary string of names
which Mac-Murrough has tacked together in Gaelic?--My life to a
moorfowl's feather, you are provided with a version; for I know
you are in all the bard's councils, and acquainted with his songs
long before he rehearses them in the hall.'

'How can you say so, Fergus? You know how little these verses
can possibly interest an English stranger, even if I could
translate them as you pretend.'

'Not less than they interest me, lady fair. To-day your joint
composition, for I insist you had a share in it, has cost me the
last silver cup in the castle, and I suppose will cost me
something else next time I hold COUR PLENIERE, if the muse
descends on Mac-Murrough; for you know our proverb,--When the
hand of the chief ceases to bestow, the breath of the bard is
frozen in the utterance.--Well, I would it were even so: there
are three things that are useless to a modern Highlander, a sword
which he must not draw,--a bard to sing of deeds which he dare
not imitate,--and a large goatskin purse without a louis d'or to
put into it.'

'Well, brother, since you betray my secrets, you cannot expect me
to keep yours.--I assure you, Captain Waverley, that Fergus is
too proud to exchange his broadsword for a marechal's baton; that
he esteems Mac-Murrough a far greater poet than Homer, and would
not give up his goat skin purse for all the louis d'or which it
could contain.'

'Well pronounced, Flora; blow for blow, as Conan [See Note 19.]
said to the devil. Now do you two talk of bards and poetry, if
not of purses and claymores, while I return to do the final
honours to the senators of the tribe of Ivor.' So saying, he
left the room.

The conversation continued between Flora, and Waverley; for two
well-dressed young women, whose character seemed to hover between
that of companions and dependants, took no share in it. They
were both pretty girls, but served only as foils to the grace and
beauty of their patroness. The discourse followed the turn which
the Chieftain had given it, and Waverley was equally amused and
surprised with the account which the lady gave him of Celtic

'The recitation,' she said, 'of poems, recording the feats of
heroes, the complaints of lovers, and the wars of contending
tribes, forms the chief amusement of a winter fireside in the
Highlands. Some of these are said to be very ancient, and if
they are ever translated into any of the languages of civilized
Europe, cannot fail to produce a deep and general sensation.
Others are more modern, the composition of those family bards
whom the chieftains of more distinguished name and power retain
as the poets and historians of their tribes. These, of course,
possess various degrees of merit; but much of it must evaporate
in translation, or be lost on those who do not sympathize with
the feelings of the poet.

'And your bard, whose effusions seemed to produce such effect
upon the company to-day,--is he reckoned among the favourite
poets of the mountain?'

'That is a trying question. His reputation is high among his
countrymen, and you must not expect me to depreciate it.' [The
Highland poet almost always was an improvisatore. Captain Burt
met one of them at Lovat's table.]

'But the song, Miss Mac-Ivor, seemed to awaken all those
warriors, both young and old.'

'The song is little more than a catalogue of names of the
'Highland clans under their distinctive peculiarities, and an
exhortation to them to remember and to emulate the actions of
their forefathers.'

'And am I wrong in conjecturing, however extraordinary the guess
appears, that there was some allusion to me in the verses which
he recited?'

'You have a quick observation, Captain Waverley, which in this
instance has not deceived you. The Gaelic language, being
uncommonly vocalic, is well adapted for sudden and extemporaneous
poetry; and a bard seldom fails to augment the effects of a
premeditated song, by throwing in any stanzas which may be
suggested by the circumstances attending the recitation.'

'I would give my best horse to know what the Highland bard could
find to say of such an unworthy Southron as myself.'

'It shall not even cost you a lock of his mane.--Una, MAVOURNEEN!
(She spoke a few words to one of the young girls in attendance,
who instantly curtsied, and tripped out of the room.)--I have
sent Una to learn from the bard the expressions he used, and you
shall command my skill as dragoman.'

Una returned in a few minutes, and repeated to her mistress a few
lines in Gaelic. Flora seemed to think for a moment, and then,
slightly colouring, she turned to Waverley--'It is impossible to
gratify your curiosity, Captain Waverley, without exposing my own
presumption. If you will give me a few moments for
consideration, I will endeavour to engraft the meaning of these
lines upon a rude English translation, which I have attempted, of
a part of the original. The duties of the tea-table seem to be
concluded, and, as the evening is delightful, Una will show you
the way to one of my favourite haunts, and Cathleen and I will
join you there.'

Una, having received instructions in her native language,
conducted Waverley out by a passage different from that through
which he had entered the apartment. At a distance he heard the
hall of the chief still resounding with the clang of bagpipes and
the high applause of his guests. Having gained the open air by a
postern door, they walked a little way up the wild, bleak, and
narrow valley in which the house was situated, following the
course of the stream that winded through it. In a spot, about a
quarter of a mile from the castle, two brooks, which formed the
little river, had their junction. The larger of the two came
down the long bare valley, which extended, apparently without any
change or elevation of character, as far as the hills which
formed its boundary permitted the eye to reach. But the other
stream, which had its source among the mountains on the left hand
of the strath, seemed to issue from a very narrow and dark
opening betwixt two large rocks. These streams were different
also in character. The larger was placid, and even sullen in its
course, wheeling in deep eddies, or sleeping in dark blue pools;
but the motions of the lesser brook were rapid and furious,
issuing from between precipices, like a maniac from his
confinement, all foam and uproar.

It was up the course of this last stream that Waverley, like a
knight of romance, was conducted by the fair Highland damsel, his
silent guide. A small path, which had been rendered easy in many
places for Flora's accommodation, led him through scenery of a
very different description from that which he had just quitted.
Around the castle, all was cold, bare, and desolate, yet tame
even in desolation; but this narrow glen, at so short a distance,
seemed to open into the land of romance. The rocks assumed a
thousand peculiar and varied forms. In one place, a crag of huge
size presented its gigantic bulk, as if to forbid the passenger's
farther progress; and it was not until he approached its very
base, that Waverley discerned the sudden and acute turn by which
the pathway wheeled its course around this formidable obstacle.
In another spot, the projecting rocks from the opposite sides of
the chasm had approached so near to each other, that two pine-
trees laid across, and covered with turf, formed a rustic bridge
at the height of at least one hundred and fifty feet. It had no
ledges, and was barely three feet in breadth.

While gazing at this pass of peril, which crossed, like a single
black line, the small portion of blue sky not intercepted by the
projecting rocks on either side, it was with a sensation of
horror that Waverley beheld Flora and her attendant appear, like
inhabitants of another region, propped, as it were, in mid air,
upon this trembling structure. She stopped upon observing him
below, and, with an air of graceful ease, which made him shudder,
waved her handkerchief to him by way of signal. He was unable,
from the sense of dizziness which her situation conveyed, to
return the salute; and was never more relieved than when the fair
apparition passed on from the precarious eminence which she
seemed to occupy with so much indifference, and disappeared on
the other side.

Advancing a few yards, and passing under the bridge which he had
viewed with so much terror, the path ascended rapidly from the
edge of the brook, and the glen widened into a sylvan
amphitheatre, waving with birch, young oaks, and hazels, with
here and there a scattered yew-tree. The rocks now receded, but
still showed their grey and shaggy crests rising among the copse-
wood. Still higher, rose eminences and peaks, some bare, some
clothed with wood, some round and purple with heath, and others
splintered into rocks and crags. At a short turning, the path,
which had for some furlongs lost sight of the brook, suddenly
placed Waverley in front of a romantic waterfall. It was not so
remarkable either for great height or quantity of water, as for
the beautiful accompaniments which made the spot interesting.
After a broken cataract of about twenty feet, the stream was
received in a large natural basin filled to the brim with water,
which, where the bubbles of the fall subsided, was so exquisitely
clear, that, although it was of great depth, the eye could
discern each pebble at the bottom. Eddying round this reservoir,
the brook found its way over a broken part of the ledge, and
formed a second fall, which seemed to seek the very abyss; then,
wheeling out beneath from among the smooth dark rocks, which it
had polished for ages, it wandered murmuring down the glen,
forming the stream up which Waverley had just ascended. [See
Note 20.] The borders of this romantic reservoir corresponded in
beauty; but it was beauty of a stern and commanding cast, as if
in the act of expanding into grandeur. Mossy banks of turf were
broken and interrupted by huge fragments of rock, and decorated
with trees and shrubs, some of which had been planted under the
direction of Flora, but so cautiously, that they added to the
grace, without diminishing the romantic wildness of the scene.

Here, like one of those lovely forms which decorate the
landscapes of Poussin, Waverley found Flora, gazing on the
waterfall. Two paces further back stood Cathleen, holding a
small Scottish harp, the use of which had been taught to Flora by
Rory Dall, one of the last harpers of the Western Highlands. The
sun, now stooping in the west, gave a rich and varied tinge to
all the objects which surrounded Waverley, and seemed to add more
than human brilliancy to the full expressive darkness of Flora's
eye, exalted the richness and purity of her complexion, and
enhanced the dignity and grace of her beautiful form. Edward
thought he had never, even in his wildest dreams, imagined a
figure of such exquisite and interesting loveliness. The wild
beauty of the retreat, bursting upon him as if by magic,
augmented the mingled feeling of delight and awe with which he
approached her, like a fair enchantress of Boiardo or Ariosto, by
whose nod the scenery around seemed to have been created, an Eden
in the wilderness.

Flora, like every beautiful woman, was conscious of her own
power, and pleased with its effects, which she could easily
discern from the respectful, yet confused address of the young
soldier. But, as she possessed excellent sense, she gave the
romance of the scene, and other accidental circumstances, full
weight in appreciating the feelings with which Waverley seemed
obviously to be impressed; and, unacquainted with the fanciful
and susceptible peculiarities of his character, considered his
homage as the passing tribute which a woman of even inferior
charms might have expected in such a situation. She therefore
quietly led the way to a spot at such a distance from the
cascade, that its sound should rather accompany than interrupt
that of her voice and instrument, and, sitting down upon a mossy
fragment of rock, she took the harp from Cathleen.

'I have given you the trouble of walking to this spot, Captain
Waverley, both because I thought the scenery would interest you,
and because a Highland song would suffer still more from my
imperfect translation, were I to introduce it without its own
wild and appropriate accompaniments. To speak in the poetical
language of my country, the seat of the Celtic muse is in the
mist of the secret and solitary hill, and her voice in the murmur
of the mountain stream. He who wooes her must love the barren
rock more than the fertile valley, and the solitude of the desert
better than the festivity of the hall.'

Few could have heard this lovely woman make this declaration,
with a voice where harmony was exalted by pathos, without
exclaiming that the muse whom she invoked could never find a more
appropriate representative. But Waverley, though the thought
rushed on his mind, found no courage to utter it. Indeed, the
wild feeling of romantic delight with which he heard the first
few notes she drew from her instrument, amounted almost to a
sense of pain. He would not for worlds have quitted his place by
her side; yet he almost longed for solitude, that he might
decipher and examine at leisure the complication of emotions
which now agitated his bosom.

Flora had exchanged the measured and monotonous recitative of the
bard for a lofty and uncommon Highland air, which had been a
battle-song in former ages. A few irregular strains introduced a
prelude of a wild and peculiar tone, which harmonized well with
the distant waterfall, and the soft sigh of the evening breeze in
the rustling leaves of an aspen which overhung the seat of the
fair harpress. The following verses convey but little idea of
the feelings with which, so sung and accompanied, they were heard
by Waverley:--

There is mist on the mountain, and night on the vale,
But more dark is the sleep of the sons of the Gael.
A stranger commanded--it sunk on the land;
It has frozen each heart, and benumbed every hand!

The dirk and the target lie sordid with dust;
The bloodless claymore is but reddened with rust;
On the hill or the glen if a gun should appear,
It is only to war with the heath-cock or deer.

The deeds of our sires if our bards should rehearse,
Let a blush or a blow be the meed of their verse!
Be mute every string, and be hushed every tone,
That shall bid us remember the fame that is flown!

But the dark hours of night and of slumber are past;
The morn on our mountains is dawning at last;
Glenaladale's peaks are illumed with the rays,
And the streams of Glenfinnan leap bright in the blaze.

[The young and daring adventurer, Charles Edward, landed at
Glenaladale, in Moidart, and displayed his standard in the
valley of Glenfinnan, mustering around it the Mac-Donalds, the
Camerons, and other less numerous clans, whom he had prevailed
on to join him. There is a monument erected on the spot, with
a Latin inscription by the late Dr. Gregory.]

O high-minded Moray!--the exiled--the dear!--
In the blush of the dawning the STANDARD uprear!
Wide, wide on the winds of the north let it fly,
Like the sun's latest flash when the tempest is nigh!

[The Marquis of Tullibardine's elder brother, who, long exiled,
returned to Scotland with Charles Edward in 1745]

Ye sons of the strong, when that dawning shall break,
Need the harp of the aged remind you to wake?
That dawn never beamed on your forefathers' eye,
But it roused each high chieftain to vanquish or die.

O! sprung from the kings who in Islay kept state,
Proud chiefs of Clan Ranald, Glengarry, and Sleat!
Combine like three streams from one mountain of snow,
And resistless in union rush down on the foe!

True son of Sir Even, undaunted Lochiel,
Place thy targe on thy shoulder and burnish thy steel!
Rough Keppoch, give breath to thy bugle's bold swell,
Till far Coryarrick resound to the knell!

Stern son of Lord Kenneth, high chief of Kinntail,
Let the stag in thy standard bound wild in the gale!
May the race of Clan Gillean, the fearless and free,
Remember Glenlivat, Harlaw, and Dundee!

Let the clan of grey Fingon, whose offspring has given
Such heroes to earth, and such martyrs to heaven,
Unite with the race of renowned Rorri More,
To launch the long galley, and stretch to the oar.

How Mac-Shimei will joy when their chief shall display
The ewe-crested bonnet o'er tresses of grey!
How the race of wronged Alpine and murdered Glencoe
Shall shout for revenge when they pour on the foe!

Ye sons of brown Dermid, who slew the wild boar,
Resume the pure faith of the great Callum-More!
Mac-Neil of the Islands, and Moy of the Lake,
For honour, for freedom, for vengeance awake!

Here a large greyhound, bounding up the glen, jumped upon Flora,
and interrupted her music by his importunate caresses. At a
distant whistle, he turned, and shot down the path again with the
rapidity of an arrow. 'That is Fergus's faithful attendant,
Captain Waverley, and that was his signal. He likes no poetry
but what is humorous, and comes in good time to interrupt my long
catalogue of the tribes, whom one of your saucy English poets


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