Part 5 out of 11
accommodation, and not to answer impertinent questions. Either
say you can, or cannot, get me what I want; I shall pursue my
course in either case.'
Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks left the room with some indistinct
muttering; but whether negative or acquiescent, Edward could not
well distinguish. The hostess, a civil, quiet, laborious drudge,
came to take his orders for dinner, but declined to make answer
on the subject of the horse and guide; for the Salique law, it
seems, extended to the stables of the Golden Candlestick.
From a window which overlooked the dark and narrow court in which
Callum Beg rubbed down the horses after their journey, Waverley
heard the following dialogue betwixt the subtle foot-page of Vich
Ian Vohr and his landlord:--
'Ye'll be frae the north, young man?' began the latter.
'And ye may say that,' answered Callum.
'And ye'll hae ridden a lang way the day, it may weel be?'
'Sae lang, that I could weel tak a dram,'
'Gudewife, bring the gill stoup.'
Here some compliments passed, fitting the occasion, when my host
of the Golden Candlestick, having, as he thought, opened his
guest's heart by this hospitable propitiation, resumed his
'Ye'll no hae mickle better whisky than that aboon the Pass?'
'I am nae frae aboon the Pass.'
'Ye're a Highlandman by your tongue?'
'Na; I am but just Aberdeen-a-way.'
'And did your master come frae Aberdeen wi' you?'
'Aye--that's when I left it mysell,' answered the cool and
impenetrable Callum Beg.
'And what kind of a gentleman is he?'
'I believe he is ane o' King George's state officers; at least
he's aye for ganging on to the south; and he has a hantle siller,
and never grudges ony thing till a poor body, or in the way of a
'He wants a guide and a horse frae hence to Edinburgh?'
'Aye, and ye maun find it him forthwith.'
'Ahem! It will be chargeable.'
'He cares na for that a bodle.'
'Aweel, Duncan--did ye say your name was Duncan, or Donald?'
'Na, man--Jamie--Jamie Steenson--I telt ye before.'
This last undaunted parry altogether foiled Mr. Cruickshanks,
who, though not quite satisfied either with the reserve of the
master, or the extreme readiness of the man, was contented to lay
a tax on the reckoning and horse-hire, that might compound for
his ungratified curiosity. The circumstance of its being the
fast-day was not forgotten in the charge, which, on the whole,
did not, however, amount to much more than double what in
fairness it should have been.
Callum Beg soon after announced in person the ratification of
this treaty, adding, 'Ta auld deevil was ganging to ride wi' ta
'That will not be very pleasant, Callum, nor altogether safe, for
our host seems a person of great curiosity; but a traveller must
submit to these inconveniences. Meanwhile, my good lad, here is
a trifle for you to drink Vich Ian Vohr's health.'
The hawk's eye of Callum flashed delight upon a golden guinea,
with which these last words were accompanied. He hastened, not
without a curse on the intricacies of a Saxon breeches pocket, or
SPLEUCHAN, as he called it, to deposit the treasure in his fob;
and then, as if he conceived the benevolence called for some
requital on his part, he gathered close up to Edward, with an
expression of countenance peculiarly knowing, and spoke in an
undertone, 'If his honour thought ta auld deevil Whig carle was a
bit dangerous, she could easily provide for him, and tell ane ta
'How, and in what manner?'
'Her ain sell,' replied Callum, 'could wait for him a wee bit
frae the toun, and kittle his quarters wi' her SKENE-OCCLE.'
'Skene-occle! what's that?'
Callum unbuttoned his coat, raised his left arm, and, with an
emphatic nod, pointed to the hilt of a small dirk, snugly
deposited under it, in the lining of his jacket. Waverley
thought he had misunderstood his meaning; he gazed in his face,
and discovered in Callum's very handsome, though embrowned
features, just the degree of roguish malice with which a lad of
the same age in England would have brought forward a plan for
robbing an orchard.
'Good God, Callum, would you take the man's life?'
'Indeed,' answered the young desperado, 'and I think he has had
just a lang enough lease o't, when he's for betraying honest
folk, that come to spend siller at his public.'
Edward saw nothing was to be gained by argument, and therefore
contented himself with enjoining Callum to lay aside all
practices against the person of Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks; in
which injunction the page seemed to acquiesce with an air of
'Ta Duinhe-wassel might please himsell; ta auld rudas loon had
never done Callum nae ill. But here's a bit line frae ta
Tighearna, tat he bade me gie your honour ere I came back.'
The letter from the Chief contained Flora's lines on the fate of
Captain Wogan, whose enterprising character is so well drawn by
Clarendon. He had originally engaged in the service of the
Parliament, but had abjured that party upon the execution of
Charles I; and upon hearing that the royal standard was set up by
the Earl of Glencairn and General Middleton in the Highlands of
Scotland, took leave of Charles II, who was then at Paris, passed
into England, assembled a body of cavaliers in the neighbourhood
of London, and traversed the kingdom, which had been so long
under domination of the usurper, by marches conducted with such
skill, dexterity, and spirit, that he safely united his handful
of horsemen with the body of Highlanders then in arms. After
several months of desultory warfare, in which Wogan's skill and
courage gained him the highest reputation, he had the misfortune
to be wounded in a dangerous manner, and no surgical assistance
being within reach, he terminated his short but glorious career.
Where were obvious reasons why the politic Chieftain was desirous
to place the example of this young hero under the eye of
Waverley, with whose romantic disposition it coincided so
peculiarly. But his letter turned chiefly upon some trifling
commissions which Waverley had promised to execute for him in
England, and it was only toward the conclusion that Edward found
these words: 'I owe Flora a grudge for refusing us her company
yesterday; and as I am giving you the trouble of reading these
lines, in order to keep in your memory your promise to procure me
the fishing-tackle and cross-bow from London, I will enclose her
verses on the Grave of Wogan. This I know will tease her; for,
to tell you the truth, I think her more in love with the memory
of that dead hero, than she is likely to be with any living one,
unless he shall tread a similar path. But English squires of our
day keep their oak-trees to shelter their deer-parks, or repair
the losses of an evening at White's, and neither invoke them to
wreathe their brows nor shelter their graves. Let me hope for
one brilliant exception in a dear friend, to whom I would most
gladly give a dearer title.'
The verses were inscribed,
TO AN OAK TREE
IN THE CHURCHYARD OF --, IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND, SAID TO
MARK THE GRAVE OF CAPTAIN WOGAN, KILLED IN 1649.
Emblem of England's ancient faith,
Full proudly may thy branches wave,
Where loyalty lies low in death,
And valour fills a timeless grave.
And thou, brave tenant of the tomb!
Repine not if our clime deny,
Above thine honoured sod to bloom,
The flowerets of a milder sky.
These owe their birth to genial May;
Beneath a fiercer sun they pine,
Before the winter storm decay--
And can their worth be type of thine?
No! for 'mid storms of Fate opposing,
Still higher swelled thy dauntless heart,
And, while Despair the scene was closing,
Commenced thy brief but brilliant part.
Twas then thou sought'st on Albyn's hill,
(When England's sons the strife resigned),
A rugged race, resisting still,
And unsubdued though unrefined.
Thy death's hour heard no kindred wail,
No holy knell thy requiem rung;
Thy mourners were the plaided Gael;
Thy dirge the clamorous pibroch sung.
Yet who, in Fortune's summer-shine,
To waste life's longest term away,
Would change that glorious dawn of thine,
Though darkened ere its noontide day?
Be thine the Tree whose dauntless boughs
Brave summer's drought and winter's gloom!
Rome bound with oak her patriots' brows,
As Albyn shadows Wogan's tomb.
Whatever might be the real merit of Flora Mac-Ivor's poetry, the
enthusiasm which it intimated was well calculated to make a
corresponding impression upon her lover. The lines were read--
read again--then deposited in Waverley's bosom--then again drawn
out, and read line by line, in a low and smothered voice, and
with frequent pauses which, prolonged the mental treat, as an
epicure protracts, by sipping slowly the enjoyment of a delicious
beverage. The entrance of Mrs. Cruickshanks, with the sublunary
articles of dinner and wine, hardly interrupted this pantomime of
At length the tall, ungainly figure and ungracious visage of
Ebenezer presented themselves. The upper part of his form,
notwithstanding the season required no such defence, was shrouded
in a large great-coat, belted over his under habiliments, and
crested with a huge cowl of the same stuff, which, when drawn
over the head and hat, completely over-shadowed both, and being
buttoned beneath the chin, was called a TROT-COZY. His hand
grasped a huge jockey-whip, garnished with brass mounting. His
thin legs tenanted a pair of gambadoes, fastened at the sides
with rusty clasps. Thus accoutred, he stalked into the midst of
the apartment, and announced his errand in brief phrase:-- 'Yer
horses are ready.'
'You go with me yourself then, landlord?'
'I do, as far as Perth; where you may be supplied With a guide to
Embro', as your occasions shall require.'
Thus saying, he placed under Waverley's eye the bill which he
held in his hand; and at the same time, self-invited, filled a
glass of wine, and drank devoutly to a blessing on their journey.
Waverley stared at the man's impudence, but, as their connexion
was to be short, and promised to be convenient, he made no
observation upon it; and, having paid his reckoning, expressed
his intention to depart immediately. He mounted Dermid
accordingly, and sallied forth from the Golden Candlestick,
followed by the puritanical figure we have described, after he
had, at the expense of some time and difficulty, and by the
assistance of a 'louping-on-stane,' or structure of masonry
erected for the traveller's convenience in front of the house,
elevated his person to the back of a long-backed, raw-boned,
thin-gutted phantom of a broken-down blood-horse, on which
Waverley's portmanteau was deposited. Our hero, though not in a
very gay humour, could hardly help laughing at the appearance of
his new squire, and at imagining the astonishment which his
person and equipage would have excited at Waverley-Honour.
Edward's tendency to mirth did not escape mine host of the
Candlestick, who, conscious of the cause, infused a double
portion of souring into the pharisaical leaven of his
countenance, and resolved internally that in one way or other the
young ENGLISHER should pay dearly for the contempt with which he
seemed to regard him. Callum also stood at the gate, and
enjoyed, with undissembled glee, the ridiculous figure of Mr.
Cruickshanks. As Waverley passed him, he pulled off his hat
respectfully, and approaching his stirrup, bade him 'Tak heed the
auld Whig deevil played him nae cantrip.'
Waverley once more thanked, and bade him farewell, and then rode
briskly onward, not sorry to be out of hearing of the shouts of
the children, as they beheld old Ebenezer rise and sink in his
stirrups, to avoid the concussions occasioned by a hard trot upon
a half-paved street. The village of -- was soon several miles
SHOWS THAT THE LOSS OF A HORSE'S SHOE MAY BE A SERIOUS INCONVENIENCE
The manner and air of Waverley, but, above all, the glittering
contents of his purse, and the indifference with which he seemed
to regard them, somewhat overawed his companion, and deterred him
from making any attempts to enter upon conversation. His own
reflections were, moreover, agitated by various surmises, and by
plans of self-interest, with which these were intimately
connected. The travellers journeyed, therefore, in silence,
until it was interrupted by the annunciation, on the part of the
guide, that his 'naig had lost a fore-foot shoe, which,
doubtless, his honour would consider it was his part to replace.'
This was what lawyers call a FISHING QUESTION, calculated to
ascertain how far Waverley was disposed to submit to petty
imposition. 'My part to replace your horse's shoe, you rascal!'
said Waverley, mistaking the purport of the intimation.
'Indubitably,' answered Mr. Cruickshanks; 'though there was no
preceese clause to that effect, it canna be expected that I am to
pay for the casualties whilk may befall the puir naig while in
your honour's service.--Nathless, if your honour--'
'Oh, you mean I am to pay the farrier; but where shall we find
Rejoiced at discerning there would be no objection made on the
part of his temporary master, Mr. Cruickshanks assured him that
Cairnvreckan, a village which they were about to enter, was happy
in an excellent blacksmith; 'but as he was a professor, he would
drive a nail for no man on the Sabbath, or kirk-fast, unless it
were in a case of absolute necessity, for which he always charged
sixpence each shoe.' The most important part of this
communication, in the opinion of the speaker, made a very slight
impression on the hearer, who only internally wondered what
college this veterinary professor belonged to; not aware that the
word was used to denote any person who pretended to uncommon
sanctity of faith and manner.
As they entered the village of Cairnvreckan, they speedily
distinguished the smith's house. Being also a PUBLIC, it was two
stories high, and proudly reared its crest, covered with grey
slate, above the thatched hovels by which it was surrounded. The
adjoining smithy betokened none of the Sabbatical silence and
repose which Ebenezer had augured from the sanctity of his
friend. On the contrary, hammer clashed and anvil rang, the
bellows groaned, and the whole apparatus of Vulcan appeared to be
in full activity. Nor was the labour of a rural and pacific
nature. The master smith, benempt, as his sign intimated, John
Mucklewrath, with two assistants, toiled busily in arranging,
repairing, and furbishing old muskets, pistols, and swords, which
lay scattered around his workshop in military confusion. The
open shed, containing the forge, was crowded with persons who
came and went as if receiving and communicating important news;
and a single glance at the aspect of the people who traversed the
street in haste, or stood assembled in groups, with eyes
elevated, and hands uplifted, announced that some extraordinary
intelligence was agitating the public mind of the municipality of
Cairnvreckan. 'There is some news,' said mine host of the
Candlestick, pushing his lantern-jawed visage and bare-boned nag
rudely forward into the crowd--'there is some news; and if it
please my Creator, I will forthwith obtain speirings thereof.'
Waverley, with better regulated curiosity than his attendant's,
dismounted, and gave his horse to a boy who stood idling near.
It arose, perhaps, from the shyness of his character in early
youth, that he felt dislike at applying to a stranger even for
casual information, without previously glancing at his
physiognomy and appearance. While he looked about in order to
select the person with whom he would most willingly hold
communication, the buzz around saved him in some degree the
trouble of interrogatories. The names of Lochiel, Clanronald,
Glengarry, and other distinguished Highland Chiefs, among whom
Vich Ian Vohr was repeatedly mentioned, were as familiar in men's
mouths as household words; and from the alarm generally
expressed, he easily conceived that their descent into the
Lowlands, at the head of their armed tribes, had either already
taken place, or was instantly apprehended.
Ere Waverley could ask particulars, a strong, large-boned, hard-
featured woman, about forty, dressed as if her clothes had been
flung on with a pitchfork, her cheeks flushed with a scarlet red
where they were not smutted with soot and lamp-black, jostled
through the crowd, and, brandishing high a child of two years
old, which she danced in her arms, without regard to its screams
of terror, sang forth, with all her might,--
'Charlie is my darling, my darling, my darling,
Charlie is my darling,
The young Chevalier!
'D'ye hear what's come ower ye now,' continued the virago, 'ye
whingeing Whig carles? D'ye hear wha's coming to cow yer cracks?
Little wot ye wha's coming,
Little wot ye wha's coming,
A' the wild Macraws are coming.'
The Vulcan of Cairnvreckan, who acknowledged his Venus in this
exulting Bacchante, regarded her with a grim and ire-foreboding
countenance, while some of the senators of the village hastened
to interpose. 'Whisht, gudewife; is this a time, or is this a
day, to be singing your ranting fule sangs in?--a time when the
wine of wrath is poured out without mixture in the cup of
indignation, and a day when the land should give testimony
against popery, and prelacy, and quakerism, and independency, and
supremacy, and erastianism, and antinomianism, and a' the errors
of the church?'
'And that's a' your Whiggery,' re-echoed the Jacobite heroine;
'that's a' your Whiggery, and your presbytery, ye cut-lugged,
graning carles! What! d'ye think the lads wi' the kilts will
care for yer synods and yer presbyteries, and yer buttock-mail,
and yer stool o' repentance? Vengeance on the black face o't!
Mony an honester woman's been set upon it than streeks doon
beside ony Whig in the country. I mysell'--
Here John Mucklewrath, who dreaded her entering upon a detail of
personal experience, interposed his matrimonial authority. 'Gae
hame, and be d-- (that I should say sae), and put on the sowens
'And you, ye doil'd dotard,' replied his gentle helpmate, her
wrath, which had hitherto wandered abroad over the whole
assembly, being at once and violently impelled into its natural
channel, 'ye stand there hammering dog-heads for fules that will
never snap them at a Highlandman, instead, of earning bread for
your family, and shoeing this winsome young gentleman's horse
that's just come frae the north! I'se warrant him nane of your
whingeing King George folk, but a gallant Gordon, at the least o'
The eyes of the assembly were now turned upon Waverley, who took
the opportunity to beg the smith to shoe his guide's horse with
all speed, as he wished to proceed on his journey;--for he had
heard enough to make him sensible that there would be danger in
delaying long in this place. The smith's eye rested on him with
a look of displeasure and suspicion, not lessened by the
eagerness with which his wife enforced Waverley's mandate. 'D'ye
hear what the weel-favoured young gentleman says, ye drunken
And what may your name be, sir?' quoth Mucklewrath.
'It is of no consequence to you, my friend, provided I pay your
'But it may be of consequence to the state, sir,' replied an old
farmer, smelling strongly of whisky and peat-smoke; 'and I doubt
we maun delay your journey till you have seen the Laird.'
'You certainly,' said Waverley, haughtily, 'will find it both
difficult and dangerous to detain me, unless you can produce some
There was a pause and a whisper among the crowd--'Secretary
Murray;' 'Lord Lewis Gordon;' 'Maybe the Chevalier himsell!'
Such were the surmises that passed hurriedly among them, and
there was obviously an increased disposition to resist WaverIey's
departure. He attempted to argue mildly with them, but his
voluntary ally, Mrs. Mucklewrath, broke in upon and drowned his
expostulations, taking his part with an abusive violence, which
was all set down to Edward's account by those on whom it was
bestowed. 'YE'LL stop ony gentleman that's the Prince's freend?'
for she too, though with other feelings, had adopted the general
opinion respecting Waverley. 'I daur ye to touch him,' spreading
abroad her long and muscular fingers, garnished with claws which
a vulture might have envied. 'I'll set my ten commandments in
the face o' the first loon that lays a finger on him.'
'Gae hame, gudewife, quoth the farmer aforesaid; 'it wad better
set you to be nursing the gudeman's bairns than to be deaving us
'HIS bairns!' retorted the amazon, regarding her husband with a
grin of ineffable contempt--'HIS bairns!
O gin ye were dead, gudeman,
And a green turf on your head, gudeman!
Then I would ware my widowhood
Upon a ranting Highlandman.'
This canticle, which excited a suppressed titter among the
younger part of the audience, totally overcame the patience of
the taunted man of the anvil. 'Deil be in me but I'll put this
het gad down her throat!' cried he, in an ecstasy of wrath,
snatching a bar from the forge; and he might have executed his
threat, had he not been withheld by a part of the mob; while the
rest endeavoured to force the termagant out of his presence.
Waverley meditated a retreat in the confusion, but his horse was
nowhere to be seen. At length he observed, at some distance, his
faithful attendant, Ebenezer, who, as soon as he had perceived
the turn matters were likely to take, had withdrawn both horses
from the press, and, mounted on the one, and holding the other,
answered the loud and repeated calls of Waverley for his horse--
'Na, na! if ye are nae friend to kirk and the king, and are
detained as siccan a person, ye maun answer to honest men of the
country for breach of contract; and I maun keep the naig and the
walise for damage and expense, in respect my horse and mysell
will lose to-morrow's day's-wark, besides the afternoon
Edward, out of patience, hemmed in and hustled by the rabble on
every side, and every moment expecting personal violence,
resolved to try measures of intimidation, and at length drew a
pocket-pistol, threatening, on the one hand, to shoot whomsoever
dared to stop him, and, on the other, menacing Ebenezer with a
similar doom, if he stirred a foot with the horses. The sapient
Partridge says, that one man with a pistol is equal to a hundred
unarmed, because, though he can shoot but one of the multitude,
yet no one knows but that he himself may be that luckless
individual. The levy en masse of Cairnvreckan would therefore
probably have given way, nor would Ebenezer, whose natural
paleness had waxed three shades more cadaverous, have ventured to
dispute a mandate so enforced, had not the Vulcan of the village,
eager to discharge upon some more worthy object the fury which
his helpmate had provoked, and not ill satisfied to find such an
object in Waverley, rushed at him with the red-hot bar of iron,
with such determination as made the discharge of his pistol an
act of self-defence. The unfortunate man fell; and while Edward,
thrilled with a natural horror at the incident, neither had
presence of mind to unsheathe his sword nor to draw his remaining
pistol, the populace threw themselves upon him, disarmed him, and
were about to use him with great violence, when the appearance of
a venerable clergyman, the pastor of the parish, put a curb on
This worthy man (none of the Goukthrapples or Rentowels)
maintained his character with the common people, although he
preached the practical fruits of Christian faith, as well as its
abstract tenets, and was respected by the higher orders,
notwithstanding he declined soothing their speculative errors by
converting the pulpit of the gospel into a school of heathen
morality. Perhaps it is owing to this mixture of faith and
practice in his doctrine, that, although his memory has formed a
sort of era in the annals of Cairnvreckan, so that the
parishioners, to denote what befell Sixty Years since, still say
it happened 'in good Mr. Morton's time,' I have never been able
to discover which he belonged to, the evangelical, or the
moderate party in the kirk. Nor do I hold the circumstance of
much moment, since, in my own remembrance, the one was headed by
an Erskine, the other by a Robertson. [The Rev. John Erskine,
D.D., an eminent Scottish divine, and a most excellent man,
headed the Evangelical party in the Church of Scotland at the
time when the celebrated Dr. Robertson, the historian, was the
leader of the Moderate party. These two distinguished persons
were colleagues in the Old Grey Friars' Church, Edinburgh; and,
however much they differed in church politics, preserved the most
perfect harmony as private friends, and as clergymen serving the
Mr. Morton had been alarmed by the discharge of the pistol, and
the increasing hubbub around the smithy. His first attention,
after he had directed the bystanders to detain Waverley, but to
abstain from injuring him, was turned to the body of Mucklewrath,
over which his wife, in a revulsion of feeling, was weeping,
howling, and tearing her elf-locks, in a state little short of
distraction. On raising up the smith, the first discovery was,
that he was alive; and the next, that he was likely to live as
long as if he had never heard the report of a pistol in his life.
He had made a narrow escape, however; the bullet had grazed his
head, and stunned him for a moment or two, which trance terror
and confusion of spirit had prolonged, somewhat longer. He now
arose to demand vengeance on the person of Waverley, and with
difficulty acquiesced in the proposal of Mr. Morton, that he
should be carried before the laird, as a justice of peace, and
placed at his disposal. The rest of the assistants unanimously
agreed to the measure recommended; even Mrs. Mucklewrath, who had
begun to recover from her hysterics, whimpered forth, 'She wadna
say naething against what the minister proposed; he was e'en ower
gude for his trade, and she hoped to see him wi' a dainty decent
bishop's gown on his back; a comelier sight than your Geneva
cloaks and bands, I wis.'
All controversy being thus laid aside, Waverley, escorted by the
whole inhabitants of the village who were not bed-ridden, was
conducted to the house of Cairnvreckan, which was about half a
Major Melville of Cairnvreckan, an elderly gentleman, who had
spent his youth in the military service, received Mr. Morton with
great kindness, and our hero with civility. which the equivocal
circumstances wherein Edward was placed rendered constrained and
The nature of the smith's hurt was inquired into, and as the
actual injury was likely to prove trifling, and the circumstances
in which it was received rendered the infliction, on Edward's
part, a natural act of self-defence, the Major conceived he might
dismiss that matter, on Waverley's depositing in his hands a
small sum for the benefit of the wounded person.
'I could wish, sir,' continued the Major, 'that my duty
terminated here; but it is necessary that we should have some
further inquiry into the cause of your journey through the
country at this unfortunate and distracted time.'
Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks now stood forth, and communicated to
the magistrate all he knew or suspected, from the reserve of
Waverley, and the evasions of Callum Beg. The horse upon which
Edward rode, he said he knew to belong to Vich Ian Vohr, though
he dared not tax Edward's former attendant with the fact, lest he
should have his house and stables burnt over his head some night
by that godless gang, the Mac-Ivors. He concluded by
exaggerating his own services to kirk and state, as having been
the means, under God (as he modestly qualified the assertion), of
attaching this suspicious and formidable delinquent. He
intimated hopes of future reward, and of instant reimbursement
for loss of time, and even of character, by travelling on the
state business on the fast-day.
To this Major Melville answered, with great composure, that so
far from claiming any merit in this affair, Mr. Cruickshanks
ought to deprecate the imposition of a very heavy fine for
neglecting to lodge, in terms of the recent proclamation, an
account with the nearest magistrate of any stranger who came to
his inn; that as Mr. Cruickshanks boasted so much of religion and
loyalty, he should not impute this conduct to disaffection, but
only suppose that his zeal for kirk and state had been lulled
asleep by the opportunity of charging a stranger with double
horse-hire; that, however, feeling himself incompetent to decide
singly upon the conduct of a person of such importance, he should
reserve it for consideration of the next quarter-sessions. Now
our history for the present saith no more of him of the
Candlestick, who wended dolorous and malcontent back to his own
Major Melville then commanded the villagers to return to their
homes, excepting two, who officiated as constables, and whom he
directed to wait below. The apartment was thus cleared of every
person but Mr. Morton, whom the Major invited to remain; a sort
of factor, who acted as clerk; and Waverley himself. There
ensued a painful and embarrassed pause, till Major Melville,
looking upon Waverley with much compassion, and often consulting
a paper or memorandum which he held in his hand, requested to
know his name.--'Edward Waverley.'
'I thought so; late of the -- dragoons, and nephew of Sir Everard
Waverley of Waverley-Honour?'
'Young gentleman, I am extremely sorry that this painful duty has
fallen to my lot.'
'Duty, Major Melville, renders apologies superfluous.'
'True, sir; permit me, therefore, to ask you how your time has
been disposed of since you obtained leave of absence from your
regiment, several weeks ago, until the present moment?'
'My reply,' said Waverley, 'to so general a question must be
guided by the nature of the charge which renders it necessary. I
request to know what that charge is, and upon what authority I am
forcibly detained to reply to it?'
'The charge, Mr. Waverley, I grieve to say, is of a very high
nature, and affects your character both as a soldier and a
subject. In the former capacity, you are charged with spreading
mutiny and rebellion among the men you commanded, and setting
them the example of desertion, by prolonging your own absence
from the regiment, contrary to the express orders of your
commanding-officer. The civil crime of which you stand accused
is that of high treason, and levying war against the king, the
highest delinquency of which a subject can be guilty.'
'And by what authority am I detained to reply to such heinous
'By one which you must not dispute, nor I disobey.'
He handed to Waverley a warrant from the Supreme Criminal Court
of Scotland, in full form, for apprehending and securing the
person of Edward Waverley, Esq., suspected of treasonable
practices and other high crimes and misdemeanours.
The astonishment which Waverley expressed at this communication
was imputed by Major Melville to conscious guilt, while Mr.
Morton was rather disposed to construe it into the surprise of
innocence unjustly suspected. There was something true in both
conjectures; for although Edward's mind acquitted him of the
crime with which he was charged, yet a hasty review of his own
conduct convinced him he might have great difficulty in
establishing his innocence to the satisfaction of others.
'It is a very painful part of this painful business,' said Major
Melville, after a pause, 'that, under so grave a charge, I must
necessarily request to see such papers as you have on your
'You shall, sir, without reserve,' said Edward, throwing his
pocket-book and memorandums upon the table; 'there is but one
with which I could wish you would dispense.'
'I am afraid, Mr. Waverley, I can indulge you with no
'You shall see it then, sir; and as it can be of no service, I
beg it may be returned.'
He took from his bosom the lines he had that morning received,
and presented them with the envelope. The Major perused them in
silence, and directed his clerk to make a copy of them. He then
wrapped the copy in the envelope, and placing it on the table
before him, returned the original to Waverley, with an air of
After indulging the prisoner, for such our hero must now be
considered, with what he thought a reasonable time for
reflection, Major Melville resumed his examination, premising,
that as Mr. Waverley seemed to object to general questions, his
interrogatories should be as specific as his information
permitted. He then proceeded in his investigation, dictating, as
he went on, the import of the questions and answers to the
amanuensis, by whom it was written down.
Did Mr. Waverley know one Humphry Houghton, a non-commissioned
officer in Gardiner's dragoons?'
'Certainly; he was sergeant of my troop, and son of a tenant of
'Exactly--and had a considerable share of your confidence, and an
influence among his comrades?'
'I had never occasion to repose confidence in a person of his
description,' answered Waverley. 'I favoured Sergeant Houghton
as a clever, active young fellow, and I believe his fellow
soldiers respected him accordingly.'
'But you used through this man,' answered Major Melville, 'to
communicate with such of your troop as were recruited upon
'Certainly; the poor fellows, finding themselves in a regiment
chiefly composed of Scotch or Irish, looked up to me in any of
their little distresses, and naturally made their countryman, and
sergeant, their spokesman on such occasions.'
'Sergeant Houghton's influence,' continued the Major, 'extended,
then, particularly over those soldiers who followed you to the
regiment from your uncle's estate?'
'Surely;--but what is that to the present purpose?'
'To that I am just coming, and I beseech your candid reply. Have
you, since leaving the regiment, held any correspondence, direct
or indirect, with this Sergeant Houghton?'
'I!--I hold correspondence with a man of his rank and situation!
--How, or for what purpose?'
'That you are to explain;--but did you not, for example, send to
him for some books?'
'You remind me of a trifling commission,' said Waverley, 'which I
gave Sergeant Houghton, because my servant could not read. I do
recollect I bade him, by letter, select some books, of which I
sent him a list, and send them to me at Tully-Veolan.'
'And of what description were those books?'
'They related almost entirely to elegant literature; they were
designed for a lady's perusal.'
'Were there not, Mr. Waverley, treasonable tracts and pamphlets
'There were some political treatises, into which I hardly looked.
They had been sent to me by the officiousness of a kind friend,
whose heart is more to be esteemed than his prudence or political
sagacity; they seemed to be dull compositions.'
'That friend,' continued the persevering inquirer, 'was a Mr.
Pembroke, a nonjuring clergyman, the author of two treasonable
works, of which the manuscripts were found among your baggage?'
'But of which, I give you my honour as a gentleman,' replied
Waverley, 'I never read six pages.'
'I am not your judge, Mr. Waverley; your examination will be
transmitted elsewhere. And now to proceed--Do you know a person
that passes by the name of Wily Will, or Will Ruthven?'
'I never heard of such a name till this moment.'
'Did you never, through such a person, or any other person,
communicate with Sergeant Humphry Houghton, instigating him to
desert, with as many of his comrades as he could seduce to join
him, and unite with the Highlanders and other rebels now in arms
under the command of the young Pretender?'
'I assure you I am not only entirely guiltless of the plot you
have laid to my charge, but I detest it from the very bottom of
my soul, nor would I be guilty of such treachery to gain a
throne, either for myself or any other man alive.'
'Yet when I consider this envelope, in the handwriting of one of
those misguided gentlemen who are now in arms against their
country, and the verses which it enclosed, I cannot but find some
analogy between the enterprise I have mentioned and the exploit
of Wogan, which the writer seems to expect you should imitate.'
Waverley was struck with the coincidence, but denied that the
wishes or expectations of the letter-writer were to be regarded
as proofs of a charge otherwise chimerical.
'But, if I am rightly informed, your time was spent, during your
absence from the regiment, between the house of this Highland
Chieftain, and that of Mr. Bradwardine of Bradwardine, also in
arms for this unfortunate cause?'
'I do not mean to disguise it; but I do deny, most resolutely,
being privy to any of their designs against the Government.'
'You do not, however, I presume, intend to deny, that you
attended your host Glennaquoich to a rendezvous, where, under a
pretence of a general hunting-match, most of the accomplices of
his treason were assembled to concert measures for taking arms?'
'I acknowledge having been at such a meeting,' said Waverley;
'but I neither heard nor saw anything which could give it the
character you affix to it.'
'From thence you proceeded,' continued the magistrate, 'with
Glennaquoich and a part of his clan, to join the army of the
young Pretender, and returned, after having paid your homage to
him, to discipline and arm the remainder, and unite them to his
bands on their way southward?'
'I never went with Glennaquoich on such an errand. I never so
much as heard that the person whom you mention was in the
He then detailed the history of his misfortune at the hunting-
match, and added, that on his return he found himself suddenly
deprived of his commission and did not deny that he then, for
the first time, observed symptoms which indicated a disposition
in the Highlanders to take arms; but added, that having no
inclination to join their cause, and no longer any reason for
remaining in Scotland, he was now on his return to his native
country, to which he had been summoned by those who had a right
to direct his motions, as Major Melville would perceive from the
letters on the table.
Major Melville accordingly perused the letters of Richard
Waverley, of Sir Everard, and of Aunt Rachel; but the inferences
he drew from them were different from what Waverley expected.
They held the language of discontent with Government, threw out
no obscure hints of revenge; and that of poor Aunt Rachel, which
plainly asserted the justice of the Stuart cause, was held to
contain the open avowal of what the others only ventured to
'Permit me another question, Mr. Waverley,' said Major Melville.
'Did you not receive repeated letters from your commanding-
officer, warning you and commanding you to return to your post,
and acquainting you with the use made of your name to spread
discontent among your soldiers?'
'I never did, Major Melville. One letter, indeed, I received
from him, containing a civil intimation of his wish that I would
employ my leave of absence otherwise than in constant residence
at Bradwardine, as to which, I own, I thought he was not called
on to interfere; and, finally, I received, on the same day on
which I observed myself superseded in the Gazette, a second
letter from Colonel Gardiner, commanding me to join the
regiment,--an order which, owing to my absence, already mentioned
and accounted for, I received too late to be obeyed. If there
were any intermediate letters--and certainly, from the Colonel's
high character, I think it probable that there were--they have
never reached me.'
'I have omitted, Mr. Waverley,' continued Major Melville, 'to
inquire after a matter of less consequence, but which has
nevertheless been publicly talked of to your disadvantage. It is
said that a treasonable toast having been proposed in your
hearing and presence, you, holding his Majesty's commission,
suffered the task of resenting it to devolve upon another
gentleman of the company. This, sir, cannot be charged against
you in a court of justice; but if, as I am informed, the officers
of your regiment requested an explanation of such a rumour, as a
gentleman and soldier, I cannot but be surprised that you did not
afford it to them.'
This was too much. Beset and pressed on every hand by
accusations, in which gross falsehoods were blended with such
circumstances of truth as could not fail to procure them credit,
--alone, unfriended, and in a strange land, Waverley almost gave
up his life and honour for lost, and, leaning his head upon his
hand, resolutely refused to answer any further questions, since
the fair and candid statement he had already made had only served
to furnish arms against him.
Without expressing either surprise or displeasure at the change
in Waverley's manner, Major Melville proceeded composedly to put
several other queries to him. 'What does it avail me to answer
you?' said Edward, sullenly. 'You appear convinced of my guilt,
and wrest every reply I have made to support your own
preconceived opinion. Enjoy your supposed triumph, then, and
torment me no further. If I am capable of the cowardice and
treachery your charge burdens me with, I am not worthy to be
believed in any reply I can make to you. If I am not deserving
of your suspicion--and God and my own conscience bear evidence
with me that it is so--then I do not see why I should, by my
candour, lend my accusers arms against my innocence. There is no
reason I should answer a word more, and I am determined to abide
by this resolution.' And again he resumed his posture of sullen
and determined silence.
'Allow me,' said the magistrate, 'to remind you of one reason
that may suggest the propriety of a candid and open confession.
The inexperience of youth, Mr. Waverley, lays it open to the
plans of the more designing and artful; and one of your friends
at least--I mean Mac-Ivor of Glennaquoich--ranks high in the
latter class, as, from your apparent ingenuousness, youth, and
unacquaintance with the manners of the Highlands, I should be
disposed to place you among the former. In such a case, a false
step, or error like yours, which I shall be happy to consider as
involuntary, may be atoned for, and I would willingly act as
intercessor. But as you must necessarily be acquainted with the
strength of the individuals in this country who have assumed
arms, with their means, and with their plans, I must expect you
will merit this mediation on my part by a frank and candid avowal
of all that has come to your knowledge upon these heads. In
which case, I think I can venture to promise that a very short
personal restraint will be the only ill consequence that can
arise from your accession to these unhappy intrigues.'
Waverley listened with great composure until the end of this
exhortation, when, springing from his seat, with an energy he had
not yet displayed, he replied, 'Major Melville, since that is
your name, I have hitherto answered your questions with candour,
or declined them with temper, because their import concerned
myself alone; but as you presume to esteem me mean enough to
commence informer against others, who received me, whatever may
be their public misconduct, as a guest and friend,--I declare to
you that I consider your questions as an insult infinitely more
offensive than your calumnious suspicions; and that, since my
hard fortune permits me no other mode of resenting them than by
verbal defiance, you should sooner have my heart out of my bosom,
than a single syllable of information on subjects which I could
only become acquainted with in the full confidence of
Mr. Morton and the Major looked at each other; and the former,
who, in the course of the examination, had been repeatedly
troubled with a sorry rheum, had recourse to his snuff-box and
'Mr. Waverley,' said the Major, 'my present situation prohibits
me alike from giving or receiving offence, and I will not
protract a discussion which approaches to either. I am afraid I
must sign a warrant for detaining you in custody, but this house
shall for the present be your prison. I fear I cannot persuade
you to accept a share of our supper?--(Edward shook his head)--
but I will order refreshments in your apartment.
Our hero bowed and withdrew, under guard of the officers of
justice, to a small but handsome room, where, declining all
offers of food or wine, he flung himself on the bed, and,
stupefied by the harassing events and mental fatigue of this
miserable day, he sank into a deep and heavy slumber. This was
more than he himself could have expected; but it is mentioned of
the North American Indians, when at the stake of torture, that on
the least intermission of agony, they will sleep until the fire
is applied to awaken them.
A CONFERENCE, AND THE CONSEQUENCE
Major Melville had detained Mr. Morton during his examination of
Waverley, both because he thought he might derive assistance from
his practical good sense and approved loyalty, and also because
it was agreeable to have a witness of unimpeached candour and
veracity to proceedings which touched the honour and safety of a
young Englishman of high rank and family, and the expectant heir
of a large fortune. Every step he knew would be rigorously
canvassed, and it was his business to place the justice and
integrity of his own conduct beyond the limits of question.
When Waverley retired, the laird and clergyman of Cairnvreckan
sat down in silence to their evening meal. While the servants
were in attendance, neither chose to say anything on the
circumstances which occupied their minds, and neither felt it
easy to speak upon any other. The youth and apparent frankness
of Waverley stood in strong contrast to the shades of suspicion
which darkened around him, and he had a sort of NAIVETE and
openness of demeanour, that seemed to belong to one unhackneyed
in the ways of intrigue, and which pleaded highly in his favour.
Each mused over the particulars of the examination, and each
viewed it through the medium of his own feelings. Both were men
of ready and acute talent, and both were equally competent to
combine various parts of evidence, and to deduce from them the
necessary conclusions. But the wide difference of their habits
and education often occasioned a great discrepancy in their
respective deductions from admitted premises.
Major Melville had been versed in camps and cities; he was
vigilant by profession, and cautious from experience; had met
with much evil in the world, and therefore, though himself an
upright magistrate and an honourable man, his opinions of others
were always strict, and sometimes unjustly severe. Mr. Morton,
on the contrary, had passed from the literary pursuits of a
college, where he was beloved by his companions, and respected by
his teachers, to the ease and simplicity of his present charge,
where his opportunities of witnessing evil were few, and never
dwelt upon but in order to encourage repentance and amendment;
and where the love and respect of his parishioners repaid his
affectionate zeal in their behalf, by endeavouring to disguise
from him what they knew would give him the most acute pain,
namely, their own occasional transgressions of the duties which
it was the business of his life to recommend. Thus it was a
common saying in the neighbourhood (though both wore popular
characters), that the laird knew only the ill in the parish, and
the minister only the good.
A love of letters, though kept in subordination to his clerical
studies and duties, also distinguished the pastor of
Cairnvreckan, and had tinged his mind in earlier days with a
slight feeling of romance, which no after incidents of real life
had entirely dissipated. The early loss of an amiable young
woman, whom he had married for love, and who was quickly followed
to the grave by an only child, had also served, even after the
lapse of many years, to soften a disposition naturally mild and
contemplative. His feelings on the present occasion were
therefore likely to differ from those of the severe
disciplinarian, strict magistrate, and distrustful man of the
When the servants had withdrawn, the silence of both parties
continued, until Major Melville, filling his glass, and pushing
the bottle to Mr. Morton, commenced. 'A distressing affair this,
Mr. Morton. I fear this youngster has brought himself within the
compass of a halter.'
'God forbid!' answered the clergyman.
'Marry, and amen,' said the temporal magistrate; 'but I think
even your merciful logic will hardly deny the conclusion.'
'Surely, Major,' answered the clergyman, 'I should hope it might
be averted, for aught we have heard to-night?'
'Indeed!' replied Melville. 'But, my good parson, you are one
of those who would communicate to every criminal the benefit of
'Unquestionably I would: mercy and long-suffering are the grounds
of the doctrine I am called to teach.'
'True, religiously speaking; but mercy to a criminal may be gross
injustice to the community. I don't speak of this young fellow
in particular, who I heartily wish may be able to clear himself,
for I like both his modesty and his spirit. But I fear he has
rushed upon his fate.'
'And why? Hundreds of misguided gentlemen are now in arms
against the Government; many, doubtless, upon principles which
education and early prejudice have gilded with the names of
patriotism and heroism;--Justice, when she selects her victims
from such a multitude (for surely all will not be destroyed),
must regard the moral motive. He whom ambition, or hope of
personal advantage, has led to disturb the peace of a well-
ordered government, let him fall a victim to the laws; but surely
youth, misled by the wild visions of chivalry and imaginary
loyalty, may plead for pardon.'
'If visionary chivalry and imaginary loyalty come within the
predicament of high treason,' replied the magistrate, 'I know no
court in Christendom, my dear Mr. Morton, where they can sue out
their Habeas Corpus.'
'But I cannot see that this youth's guilt is at all established
to my satisfaction,' said the clergyman.
'Because your good nature blinds your good sense,' replied Major
Melville. 'Observe now: this young man, descended of a family of
hereditary Jacobites, his uncle the leader of the Tory interest
in the county of --, his father a disobliged and discontented
courtier, his tutor a nonjuror, and the author of two treasonable
volumes--this youth, I say, enters into Gardiner's dragoons,
bringing with him a body-of young fellows from his uncle's
estate, who have not stickled at avowing, in their way, the High
Church principles they learned at Waverley-Honour, in their
disputes with their comrades. To these young men Waverley is
unusually attentive; they are supplied with money beyond a
soldier's wants, and inconsistent with his discipline; and are
under the management of a favourite sergeant, through whom they
hold an unusually close communication with their captain, and
affect to consider themselves as independent of the other
officers, and superior to their comrades.'
'All this, my dear Major, is the natural consequence of their
attachment to their young landlord, and of their finding
themselves in a regiment levied chiefly in the north of Ireland
and the west of Scotland, and of course among comrades disposed
to quarrel with them, both as Englishmen, and as members of the
Church of England.'
'Well said, parson!' replied the magistrate.--'I would some of
your synod heard you.--But let me go on. This young man obtains
leave of absence, goes to Tully-Veolan--the principles of the
Baron of Bradwardine are pretty well known, not to mention that
this lad's uncle brought him off in the year fifteen; he engages
there in a brawl, in which he is said to have disgraced the
commission he bore; Colonel Gardiner writes to him, first mildly,
then more sharply--I think you will not doubt his having done so,
since he says so; the mess invite him to explain the quarrel in
which he is said to have been involved; he neither replies to his
commander nor his comrades. In the meanwhile, his soldiers
become mutinous and disorderly, and at length, when the rumour of
this unhappy rebellion becomes general, his favourite Sergeant
Houghton, and another fellow, are detected in correspondence with
a French emissary, accredited, as he says, by Captain Waverley,
who urges him, according to the men's confession, to desert with
the troop and join their captain, who was with Prince Charles.
In the meanwhile this trusty captain is, by his own admission,
residing at Glennaquoich with the most active, subtle, and
desperate Jacobite in Scotland; he goes with him at least as far
as their famous hunting rendezvous, and I fear a little farther.
Meanwhile two other summonses are sent him; one warning him of
the disturbances in his troop, another peremptorily ordering him
to repair to the regiment, which, indeed, common sense might have
dictated, when he observed rebellion thickening all round him.
He returns an absolute refusal, and throws up his commission.'
'He had been already deprived of it,' said Mr. Morton.
'But he regrets,' replied Melville, 'that the measure had
anticipated his resignation. His baggage is seized at his
quarters, and at Tully-Veolan, and is found to contain a stock of
pestilent jacobitical pamphlets, enough to poison a whole
country, besides the unprinted lucubrations of his worthy friend
and tutor Mr. Pembroke.
'He says he never read them,' answered the minister.
'In an ordinary case I should believe him,' replied the
magistrate, 'for they are as stupid and pedantic in composition,
as mischievous in their tenets. But can you suppose anything but
value for the principles they maintain would induce a young man
of his age to lug such trash about with him? Then, when news
arrive of the approach of the rebels, he sets out in a sort of
disguise, refusing to tell his name; and, if yon old fanatic tell
truth, attended by a very suspicious character, and mounted on a
horse known to have belonged to Glennaquoich, and bearing on his
person letters from his family expressing high rancour against
the house of Brunswick, and a copy of verses in praise of one
Wogan, who abjured the service of the Parliament to join the
Highland insurgents, when in arms to restore the house of Stuart,
with a body of English cavalry the very counterpart of his own
plot--and summed up with a "Go thou and do likewise," from that
loyal subject, and most safe and peaceable character, Fergus Mac-
Ivor of Glennaquoich, Vich Ian Vohr, and so forth. And, lastly,'
continued Major Melville, warming in the detail of his arguments,
'where do we find this second edition of Cavalier Wogan? Why,
truly, in the very track most proper for execution of his design,
and pistolling the first of the king's subjects who ventures to
question his intentions.'
Mr. Morton prudently abstained from argument, which be perceived
would only harden the magistrate in his opinion, and merely asked
how he intended to dispose of the prisoner?
'It is a question of some difficulty, considering the state of
the country,' said Major Melville.
'Could you not detain him (being such a gentleman-like young man)
here in your own house, out of harm's way, till this storm blow
'My good friend,' said Major Melville, 'neither your house nor
mine will be long out of harm's way, even were it legal to
confine him here. I have just learned that the commander-in-
chief, who marched into the Highlands to seek out and disperse
the insurgents, has declined giving them battle at Corryerick,
and marched on northward with all the disposable force of
Government to Inverness, John-o'-Groat's House, or the devil, for
what I know, leaving the road to the Low Country open and
undefended to the Highland army.'
'Good God!' said the clergyman. 'Is the man a coward, a
traitor, or an idiot?'
'None of the three, I believe,' answered Melville. 'Sir John has
the commonplace courage of a common soldier, is honest enough,
does what he is commanded, and understands what is told him, but
is as fit to act for himself in circumstances of importance, as
I, my dear parson, to occupy your pulpit.'
This important public intelligence naturally diverted the
discourse from Waverley for some time; at length, however, the
subject was resumed.
'I believe,' said Major Melville, 'that I must give this young
man in charge to some of the detached parties of armed
volunteers, who were lately sent out to overawe the disaffected
districts, They are now recalled towards Stirling, and a small
body comes this way to-morrow or next day, commanded by the
westland man,--what's his name?--You saw him, and said he was the
very model of one of Cromwell's military saints,'
Gilfillan, the Cameronian,' answered Mr. Morton. 'I wish the
young gentleman may be safe with him. Strange things are done in
the heat and hurry of minds in so agitating a crisis, and I fear
Gilfillan is of a sect which has suffered persecution without
'He has only to lodge Mr. Waverley in Stirling Castle,' said the
Major: 'I will give strict injunctions to treat him well. I
really cannot devise any better mode for securing him, and I
fancy you would hardly advise me to encounter the responsibility
of setting him at liberty.'
'But you will have no objection to my seeing him tomorrow in
private?' said the minister.
'None, certainly; your loyalty and character are my warrant. But
with what view do you make the request?'
'Simply,' replied Mr. Morton, 'to make the experiment whether he
may not be brought to communicate to me some circumstances which
may hereafter be useful to alleviate, if not to exculpate his
The friends now parted and retired to rest, each filled with the
most anxious reflections on the state of the country.
Waverley awoke in the morning, from troubled dreams and
unrefreshing slumbers, to a full consciousness of the horrors of
his situation. How it might terminate he knew not. He might be
delivered up to military law, which, in the midst of civil war,
was not likely to be scrupulous in the choice of its victims, or
the quality of the evidence. Nor did he feel much more
comfortable at the thoughts of a trial before a Scottish court of
justice, where he knew the laws and forms differed in many
respects from those of England, and had been taught to believe,
however erroneously, that the liberty and rights of the subject
were less carefully protected. A sentiment of bitterness rose in
his mind against the Government, which he considered as the cause
of his embarrassment and peril, and he cursed internally his
scrupulous rejection of Mac-Ivor's invitation to accompany him to
'Why did not I,' he said to himself, 'like other men of honour,
take the earliest opportunity to welcome to Britain the
descendant of her ancient kings, and lineal heir of her throne?
Why did not I
Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,
And welcome home again discarded faith,
Seek out Prince Charles, and fall before his feet?
All that has been recorded of excellence and worth in the house
of Waverley has been founded upon their loyal faith to the house
of Stuart. From the interpretation which this Scotch magistrate
has put upon the letters of my uncle and father, it is plain that
I ought to have understood them as marshalling me to the course
of my ancestors; and it has been my gross dullness, joined to the
obscurity of expression which they adopted for the sake of
security, that has confounded my judgement. Had I yielded to the
first generous impulse of indignation when I learned that my
honour was practised upon, how different had been my present
situation! I had then been free and in arms, fighting, like my
forefathers, for love, for loyalty, and for fame. And now I am
here, netted and in the toils, at the disposal of a suspicious,
stern, and cold-hearted man, perhaps to be turned over to the
solitude of a dungeon, or the infamy of a public execution. O
Fergus! how true has your prophecy proved; and how speedy, how
very speedy, has been its accomplishment!'
While Edward was ruminating on these painful subjects of
contemplation, and very naturally, though not quite so justly,
bestowing upon the reigning dynasty that blame which was due to
chance, or, in part at least, to his own unreflecting conduct,
Mr. Morton availed himself of Major Melville's permission to pay
him an early visit.
Waverley's first impulse was to intimate a desire that he might
not be disturbed with questions or conversation; but he
suppressed it upon observing the benevolent and reverend
appearance of the clergyman who had rescued him from the
immediate violence of the villagers.
'I believe, sir,' said the unfortunate young man, 'that in any
other circumstances I should have had as much gratitude to
express to you as the safety of my life may be worth; but such is
the present tumult of my mind, and such is my anticipation of
what I am yet likely to endure, that I can hardly offer you
thanks for your interposition.'
Mr. Morton replied, that, far from making any claim upon his good
opinion, his only wish and the sole purpose of his visit was to
find out the means of deserving it. 'My excellent friend, Major
Melville,' he continued, 'has feelings and duties as a soldier
and public functionary, by which I am not fettered; nor can I
always coincide in opinions which he forms, perhaps with too
little allowance for the imperfections of human nature. He
paused, and then proceeded: 'I do not intrude myself on your
confidence, Mr. Waverley, for the purpose of learning any
circumstances, the knowledge of which can be prejudicial either
to yourself or to others; but I own my earnest wish is, that you
would entrust me with any particulars which could lead to your
exculpation. I can solemnly assure you they will be deposited
with a faithful, and, to the extent of his limited powers, a
'You are, sir, I presume, a Presbyterian clergyman?'--Mr. Morton
bowed.--'Were I to be guided by the prepossessions of education,
I might distrust your friendly professions in my case; but I have
observed that similar prejudices are nourished in this country
against your professional brethren of the Episcopal persuasion,
and I am willing to believe them equally unfounded in both
'Evil to him that thinks otherwise,' said Mr. Morton; 'or who
holds church government and ceremonies as the exclusive gage of
Christian faith or moral virtue.'
'But,' continued Waverley, 'I cannot perceive why I should
trouble you with a detail of particulars, out of which, after
revolving them as carefully as possible in my recollection, I
find myself unable to explain much of what is charged against me.
I know, indeed, that I am innocent, but I hardly see how I can
hope to prove myself so.'
'It is for that very reason, Mr. Waverley,' said the clergyman,
'that I venture to solicit your confidence. My knowledge of
individuals in this country is pretty general, and can upon
occasion be extended. Your situation will, I fear, preclude you
taking those active steps for recovering intelligence, or tracing
imposture, which I would willingly undertake in your behalf; and
if you are not benefited by my exertions, at least they cannot be
prejudicial to you.'
Waverley, after a few minutes' reflection, was convinced that his
reposing confidence in Mr. Morton, so far as he himself was
concerned, could hurt neither Mr. Bradwardine nor Fergus
Mac-Ivor, both of whom had openly assumed arms against the
Government, and that it might possibly, if the professions of his
new friend corresponded in sincerity with the earnestness of his
expression, be of some service to himself. He therefore ran
briefly over most of the events with which the reader is already
acquainted, suppressing his attachment to Flora, and indeed
neither mentioning her nor Rose Bradwardine in the course of his
Mr. Morton seemed particularly struck with the account of
Waverley's visit to Donald Bean Lean. 'I am glad,' he said, 'you
did not mention this circumstance to the Major. It is capable of
great misconstruction on the part; of those who do not consider
the power of curiosity and the influence of romance as motives of
youthful conduct. When I was a young man like you, Mr. Waverley,
any such hair-brained expedition (I beg your pardon for the
expression) would have had inexpressible charms for me. But
there are men in the world who will not believe that danger and
fatigue are often incurred without any very adequate cause, and
therefore who are sometimes led to assign motives of action
entirely foreign to the truth. This man Bean Lean is renowned
through the country as a sort of Robin Hood, and the stories
which are told of his address and enterprise are the common tales
of the winter fireside. He certainly possesses talents beyond
the rude sphere in which he moves; and, being neither destitute
of ambition nor encumbered with scruples, he will probably
attempt, by every means, to distinguish himself during the period
of these unhappy commotions.' Mr. Morton then made a careful
memorandum of the various particulars of Waverley's interview
with Donald Bean Lean, and the other circumstances which he had
The interest which this good man seemed to take in his
misfortunes,--above all, the full confidence he appeared to
repose in his innocence,--had the natural effect of softening
Edward's heart, whom the coldness of Major Melville had taught to
believe that the world was leagued to oppress him. He shook Mr.
Morton warmly by the hand, and assuring him that his kindness and
sympathy had relieved his mind of a heavy load, told him, that
whatever might be his own fate, he belonged to a family who had
both gratitude and the power of displaying it.
The earnestness of his thanks called drops to the eyes of the
worthy clergyman, who was doubly interested in the cause for
which he had volunteered his services, by observing the genuine
and undissembled feelings of his young friend.
Edward now inquired if Mr. Morton knew what was likely to be his
'Stirling Castle,' replied. his friend; 'and so far I am well
pleased for your sake, for the governor is a man of honour and
humanity. But I am more doubtful of your treatment upon the
road; Major Melville is involuntarily obliged to entrust the
custody of your person to another.'
'I am glad of it,' answered Waverley. 'I detest that cold-
blooded calculating Scotch magistrate. I hope he and I shall
never meet more: he had neither sympathy with my innocence nor
my wretchedness; and the petrifying accuracy with which he
attended to every form of civility, while he tortured me by his
questions, his suspicions, and his inferences, was as tormenting
as the racks of the Inquisition. Do not vindicate him, my dear
sir, for that I cannot bear with patience; tell me rather who is
to have the charge of so important a state prisoner as I am.'
'I believe a person called Gilfillan, one of the sect who are
'I never heard of them before.'
'They claim,' said the clergyman, 'to represent the more strict
and severe Presbyterians, who in Charles Second's and James
Second's days, refused to profit by the Toleration, or
Indulgence, as it was called, which was extended to others of
that religion. They held conventicles in the open fields, and
being treated, with great violence and cruelty by the Scottish
government, more than once took arms during those reigns. They
take their name from their leader, Richard Cameron.
'I recollect,' said Waverley; 'but did not the triumph of
Presbytery at the Revolution extinguish that sect?'
'By no means,' replied Morton; 'that great event fell yet far
short of what they proposed, which was nothing less than the
complete establishment of the Presbyterian Church, upon the
grounds of the old Solemn League and Covenant. Indeed, I believe
they scarce knew what they wanted; but being a numerous body of
men, and not unacquainted with the use of arms, they kept
themselves together as a separate party in the state, and at the
time of the Union had nearly formed a most unnatural league with
their old enemies, the Jacobites, to oppose that important
national measure. Since that time their numbers have gradually
diminished; but a good many are still to be found in the western
counties, and several, with a better temper than in 1707, have
now taken arms for Government, This person, whom they call Gifted
Gilfillan, has been long a leader among them, and now heads a
small party, which will pass here to-day, or to-morrow, on their
march towards Stirling, under whose escort Major Melville
proposes you shall travel. I would willingly speak to Gilfillan
in your behalf; but, having deeply imbibed all the prejudices of
his sect, and being of the same fierce disposition, he would pay
little regard to the remonstrances of an Erastian divine, as he
would politely term me.--And now, farewell, my young friend; for
the present, I must not weary out the Major's indulgence, that I
may obtain his permission to visit you again in the course of the
THINGS MEND A LITTLE
About noon, Mr. Morton returned, and brought an invitation from
Major Melville that Mr. Waverley would honour him with his
company to dinner, notwithstanding the unpleasant affair which
detained him at Cairnvreckan, from which he should heartily
rejoice to see Mr. Waverley completely extricated. The truth
was, that Mr. Morton's favourable report and opinion had somewhat
staggered the preconceptions of the old soldier concerning
Edward's supposed accession to the mutiny in the regiment; and in
the unfortunate state of the country, the mere suspicion of
disaffection, or an inclination to join the insurgent Jacobites,
might infer criminality indeed, but certainly not dishonour.
Besides, a person whom the Major trusted had reported to him
(though, as it proved, inaccurately) a contradiction of the
agitating news of the preceding evening. According to this
second edition of the intelligence, the Highlanders had withdrawn
from the Lowland frontier with the purpose of following the army
in their march to Inverness. The Major was at a loss, indeed, to
reconcile his information with the well-known abilities of some
of the gentlemen in the Highland army, yet it was the course
which was likely to be most agreeable to others. He remembered
the same policy had detained them in the north in the year 1715,
and he anticipated a similar termination to the insurrection as
upon that occasion.
This news put him in such good humour, that he readily acquiesced
in Mr. Morton's proposal to pay some hospitable attention to his
unfortunate guest, and voluntarily added, he hoped the whole
affair would prove a youthful escapade, which might be easily
atoned by a short confinement. The kind mediator had some
trouble to prevail on his young friend to accept the invitation.
He dared not urge to him the real motive, which was a good-
natured wish to secure a favourable report of Waverley's case
from Major Melville to Governor Blakeney. He remarked, from the
flashes of our hero's spirit, that touching upon this topic would
be sure to defeat his purpose. He therefore pleaded, that the
invitation argued the Major's disbelief of any part of the
accusation which was inconsistent with Waverley's conduct as a
soldier and a man of honour, and that to decline his courtesy
might be interpreted into a consciousness that it was unmerited.
In short, he so far satisfied Edward that the manly and proper
course was to meet the Major on easy terms, that, suppressing his
strong dislike again to encounter his cold and punctilious
civility, Waverley agreed to be guided by his new friend. The
meeting, at first, was stiff and formal enough. But Edward,
having accepted the invitation, and his mind being really soothed
and relieved by the kindness of Morton, held himself bound to
behave with ease, though he could not affect cordiality. The
Major was somewhat of a BON VIVANT, and his wine was excellent.
He told his old campaign stories, and displayed much knowledge of
men and manners. Mr. Morton had an internal fund of placid and
quiet gaiety, which seldom failed to enliven any small party in
which he found himself pleasantly seated. Waverley, whose life
was a dream, gave ready way to the predominating impulse, and
became the most lively of the party. He had at all times
remarkable natural powers of conversation, though easily silenced
by discouragement. On the present occasion, he piqued himself
upon leaving on the minds of his companions a favourable
impression of one who, under such disastrous circumstances, could
sustain his misfortunes with ease and gaiety. His spirits,
though not unyielding, were abundantly elastic, and soon seconded
his efforts. The trio were engaged in very lively discourse,
apparently delighted with each other, and the kind host was
pressing a third bottle of Burgundy, when the sound of a drum was
heard at some distance. The Major, who, in the glee of an old
soldier, had forgot the duties of a magistrate, cursed, with a
muttered military oath, the circumstances which recalled him to
his official functions. He rose and went towards the window,
which commanded a very near view of the high-road, and he was
followed by his guests.
The drum advanced, beating no measured martial tune, but a kind
of rub-a-dub-dub, like that with which the fire-drum startles the
slumbering artisans of a Scotch burgh. It is the object of this
history to do justice to all men; I must therefore record, in
justice to the drummer, that he protested he could beat any known
march or point of war known in the British army, and had
accordingly commenced with 'Dumbarton's Drums,' when he was
silenced by Gifted Gilfillan, the commander of the party, who
refused to permit his followers to move to this profane, and
even, as he said, persecuting tune, and commanded the drummer to
beat the 119th Psalm. As this was beyond the capacity of the
drubber of sheepskin, he was fain to have recourse to the
inoffensive row-de-dow, as a harmless substitute for the sacred
music which his instrument or skill were unable to achieve. This
may be held a trifling anecdote, but the drummer in question was
no less than town-drummer of Anderton. I remember his successor
in office, a member of that enlightened body, the British
Convention: be his memory, therefore, treated with due respect.
A VOLUNTEER SIXTY YEARS SINCE
On hearing the unwelcome sound of the drum, Major Melville
hastily opened a sashed door, and stepped out upon a sort of
terrace which divided his house from the high-road from which the
martial music proceeded. Waverley and his new friend followed
him, though probably he would have dispensed with their
attendance. They soon recognized in solemn march, first, the
performer upon the drum; secondly, a large flag of four
compartments, on which were inscribed the words COVENANTS,
RELIGION, KING, KINGDOMES. The person who was honoured with this
charge was followed by the commander of the party, a thin, dark,
rigid-looking man, about sixty years old. The spiritual pride,
which in mine Host of the Candlestick mantled in a sort of
supercilious hypocrisy, was, in this man's face, elevated and yet
darkened by genuine and undoubting fanaticism. It was impossible
to behold him without imagination placing him in some strange
crisis, where religious zeal was the ruling principle. A martyr
at the stake, a soldier in the field, a lonely and banished
wanderer consoled by the intensity and supposed purity of his
faith under every earthly privation; perhaps a persecuting
inquisitor, as terrible in power as unyielding in adversity; any
of these seemed congenial characters to this personage. With
these high traits of energy, there was something in the affected
precision and solemnity of his deportment and discourse, that
bordered upon the ludicrous; so that, according to the mood of
the spectator's mind, and the light under which Mr. Gilfillan
presented himself, one might have feared; admired, or laughed at
him. His dress was that of a west-country peasant, of better
materials indeed than that of the lower rank, but in no respect
affecting either the mode of the age, or of the Scottish gentry
at any period. His arms were a broadsword and pistols, which,
from the antiquity of their appearance, might have seen the rout
of Pentland, or Bothwell Brigg.
As he came up a few steps to meet Major Melville, and touched
solemnly, but slightly, his huge and overbrimmed blue bonnet, in
answer to the Major, who had courteously raised a small
triangular gold-laced hat, Waverley was irresistibly impressed
with the idea that he beheld a leader of the Roundheads of yore
in conference with one of Marlborough's captains.
The group of about thirty armed men who followed this gifted
commander, was of a motley description. They were in ordinary
Lowland dresses, of different colours, which, contrasted with the
arms they bore, gave them an irregular and mobbish appearance; so
much is the eye accustomed to connect uniformity of dress with
the military character. In front were a few who apparently
partook of their leader's enthusiasm; men obviously to be feared
in a combat where their natural courage was exalted by religious
zeal. Others puffed and strutted, filled with the importance of
carrying arms, and all the novelty of their situation, while the
rest, apparently fatigued with their march, dragged their limbs
listlessly along, or straggled from their companions to procure
such refreshments as the neighbouring cottages and ale-houses
afforded.--Six grenadiers of Ligonier's, thought the Major to
himself, as his mind reverted to his own military experience,
would have sent all these fellows to the right about.
Greeting, however, Mr. Gilfillan civilly, he requested to know if
he had received the letter he had sent to him upon his march, and
could undertake the charge of the state prisoner whom he there
mentioned, as far as Stirling Castle. 'Yea,' was the concise
reply of the Cameronian leader, in a voice which seemed to issue
from the very PENETRALIA of his person.
'But your escort, Mr. Gilfillan, is not so strong as I expected,'
said Major Melville,
'Some of the people,' replied Gilfillan, 'hungered and were
athirst by the way, and tarried until their poor souls were
refreshed with the word.'
'I am sorry, sir,' replied the Major, 'you did not trust to your
refreshing your men at Cairnvreckan; whatever my house contains
is at the command of persons employed in the service.'
'It was not of creature comforts I spake,' answered the
Covenanter, regarding Major Melville with something like a smile
of contempt; 'howbeit, I thank you; but the people remained
waiting upon the precious Mr. Jabesh Rentowel, for the outpouring
of the afternoon exhortation.'
'And have you, sir,' said the Major, 'when the rebels are about
to spread themselves through this country, actually left a great
part of your command at a field-preaching!'
Gilfillan again smiled scornfully as he made this indirect
answer,--'Even thus are the children of this world wiser in their
generation than the children of light!'
'However, sir,' said the Major, 'as you are to take charge of
this gentleman to Stirling, and deliver him, with these papers,
into the hands of Governor Blakeney, I beseech you to observe
some rules of military discipline upon your march. For example,
I would advise you to keep your men more closely together, and
that each, in his march, should cover his file-leader, instead of
straggling like geese upon a common; and, for fear of surprise, I
further recommend to you to form a small advance-party of your
best men, with a single vidette in front of the whole march, so
that when you approach a village or a wood'--(Here the Major
interrupted himself)--'But as I don't observe you listen to me,
Mr. Gilfillan, I suppose I need not give myself the trouble to
say more upon the subject. You are a better judge,
unquestionably, than I am, of the measures to be pursued; but one
thing I would have you well aware of, that you are to treat this
gentleman, your prisoner, with no rigour nor incivility, and are
to subject him to no other restraint than is necessary for his
'I have looked into my commission,' said Mr. Gilfillan,
subscribed by a worthy and professing nobleman, William, Earl of
Glencairn; nor do I find it therein set down that I am to receive
any charges or commands anent my doings from Major William
Melville of Cairnvreckan.'
Major Melville reddened even to the well-powdered ears which
appeared beneath his neat military side-curls, the more so, as he
observed Mr. Morton smile at the same moment. 'Mr. Gilfillan,'
he answered with some asperity, 'I beg ten thousand pardons for
interfering with a person of your importance. I thought,
however, that as you have been bred a grazier, if I mistake not,
there might be occasion to remind you of the difference between
Highlanders and Highland cattle; and if you should happen to meet
with any gentleman who has seen service; and is disposed to speak
upon the subject, I should still imagine that listening to him
would do you no sort of harm. But I have done, and have only
once more to recommend this gentleman to your civility, as well
as to your custody.-- Mr, Waverley, I am truly sorry we should
part in this way; but I trust, when you are again in this
country, I may have an opportunity to render Cairnvreckan more
agreeable than circumstances have permitted on this occasion.'
So saying, he shook our hero by the hand. Morton also took an
affectionate farewell; and Waverley, having mounted his horse,
with a musketeer leading it by the bridle, and a file upon each
side to prevent his escape, set forward upon the march with
Gilfillan and his party. Through the little village they were
accompanied with the shouts of the children, who cried out, 'Eh!
see to the Southland gentleman, that's gaun to be hanged for
shooting lang John Mucklewrath the smith!'
The dinner-hour of Scotland Sixty Years since was two o'clock.
It was therefore about four o'clock of a delightful autumn
afternoon that Mr. Gilfillan commenced his march, in hopes,
although Stirling was eighteen miles distant, he might be able,
by becoming a borrower of the night for an hour or two, to reach
it that evening. He therefore put forth his strength, and
marched stoutly along at the head of his followers, eyeing our
hero from time to time, as if he longed to enter into controversy
with him. At length unable to resist the temptation, he
slackened his pace till he was alongside of his prisoner's horse,
and after marching a few steps in silence abreast of him, he
suddenly asked,--'Can ye say wha the carle was wi' the black
coat; and the mousted head, that was wi' the Laird of
'A Presbyterian clergyman,' answered Waverley.
'Presbyterian!' answered Gilfillan contemptuously: 'a wretched
Erastian, or rather an obscured Prelatist,--a favourer of the
black Indulgence; ane of thae dumb dogs that canna bark: they
tell ower a clash o' terror and a clatter o' comfort in their
sermons, without ony sense, or savour, or life.--Ye've been fed
in siccan a fauld, belike?'
'No; I am of the Church of England,' said Waverley.
And they're just neighbour-like,' replied the Covenanter; 'and
nae wonder they gree sae weel. Wha wad hae thought the goodly
structure of the Kirk of Scotland, built up by our fathers in
1642, wad hae been defaced by carnal ends and, the corruptions of
the time;--aye, wha wad hae thought the carved work of the
sanctuary would hae been sae soon cut down!'
To this lamentation, which one or two of the assistants chorussed
with a deep groan, our hero thought it unnecessary to make any
reply. Whereupon Mr. Gilfillan, resolving that he should be a
hearer at least, if not a disputant, proceeded in his Jeremiad.
'And now is it wonderful, when, for lack of exercise anent the
call to the service of the altar and the duty of the day,
ministers fall into sinful compliances with patronage, and
indemnities, and oaths, and bonds, and, other corruptions,--is it
wonderful, I say, that you, sir, and other sic-like unhappy
persons, should labour to build up your auld Babel of iniquity,
as in the bluidy persecuting saint-killing times? I trow, gin ya
werena blinded wi' the graces and favours, and services and
enjoyments, and employments and inheritances, of this wicked
world, I could prove to you, by the Scripture, in what a filthy
rag ye put your trust; and that your surplices, and your copes
and vestments, are but cast-off-garments of the muckle harlot,
that sitteth upon seven hills, and drinketh of the cup of
abomination. But, I trow, ye are deaf as adders upon that side
of the head; aye, ye are deceived with her enchantments, and ye
traffic with her merchandise, and ye are drunk with the cup of
How much longer this military theologist might have continued his
invective, in which he spared nobody but the scattered remnant of
HILL-FOLK, as he called them, is absolutely uncertain. His
matter was copious, his voice powerful, and his memory strong; so
that there was little chance of his ending his exhortation till
the party had reached Stirling, had not his attention been
attracted by a pedlar who had joined the march from a cross-road,
and who sighed or groaned with great regularity at all fitting
pauses of his homily.
'And what may ya be, friend?' said the Gifted Gilfillan.
'A puir pedler, that's bound for Stirling, and craves the
protection of your honour's party in these kittle times. Ah!
your honour has a notable faculty in searching and explaining the
secret,--aye, the secret and obscure and incomprehensible causes
of the backslidings of the land; aye, your honour touches the
root o' the matter.'
'Friend,' said Gilfillan, with a more complacent voice than he
had hitherto used, 'honour not me. I do not go out to park-
dikes, and to steadings, and to market-towns, to have herds and
cottars and burghers pull off their bonnets to me as they do to
Major Melville o' Cairnvreckan, and ca' me laird, or captain, or
honour;--no; my sma' means, whilk are not aboon twenty thousand
merk, have had the blessing of increase, but the pride of heart
has not increased with them; nor do I delight to be called
captain, though I have the subscribed commission of that gospel-
searching nobleman, the Earl of Glencairn, in whilk I am so
designated. While I live, I am and will be called Habakkuk
Gilfillan, who will stand up for the standards of doctrine agreed
on by the ance-famous Kirk of Scotland, before she trafficked
with the accursed Achan, while he has a plack in his purse, or a
drap o' bluid in his body.'
'Ah,' said the pedlar, 'I have seen your land about Mauchlin--a
fertile spot! your lines have fallen in pleasant places!--And
siccan a breed o' cattle is not in ony laird's land in Scotland.'
'Ye say right,--ye say right, friend,' retorted Gilfillan
eagerly, for he was not inaccessible to flattery upon this
subject,--'ye say right; they are the real Lancashire, and
there's no the like o' them even at the Mains of Kilmaurs;' and
he then entered into a discussion of their excellences, to which
our readers will probably be as indifferent as our hero. After
this excursion, the leader returned to his theological
discussions, while the pedlar, less profound upon those mystic
points, contented himself with groaning, and expressing his
edification at suitable intervals.
'What a blessing it would be to the puir blinded popish nations
among whom I hae sojourned, to have siccan a light to their
paths! I hae been as far as Muscovia in my sma' trading way, as
a travelling merchant; and I hae been through France, and the Low
Countries, and a' Poland, and maist feck o' Germany; and oh! it
would grieve your honour's soul to see the murmuring, and the
singing, and massing, that's in the kirk, and the piping that's
in the quire, and the heathenish dancing and dicing upon the
This set Gilfillan off upon the Book of Sports and the Covenant,
and the Engagers, and the Protesters, and the Whiggamore's Raid,
and the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and the Longer and
Shorter Catechism, and the Excommunication at Torwood, and the
slaughter of Archbishop Sharp. This last topic, again, led him
into the lawfulness of defensive arms, on which subject he
uttered much more sense than could have been expected from some
other parts of his harangue, and attracted even Waverley's
attention, who had hitherto been lost in his own sad reflections.
Mr. Gilfillan then considered the lawfulness of a private man's
standing forth as the avenger of public oppression, and as he was
labouring with great earnestness the cause of Mas James Mitchell,
who fired at the Archbishop of St. Andrews some years before the
prelate's assassination on Magus Muir, an incident occurred which
interrupted his harangue.
The rays of the sun were lingering on the very verge of the
horizon, as the party ascended a hollow and somewhat steep path,
which led to the summit of a rising ground. The country was
unenclosed, being part of a very extensive heath or common; but
it was far from level, exhibiting in many places hollows filled
with furze and broom; in others little dingles of stunted
brushwood. A thicket of the latter description crowned the hill
up which the party ascended. The foremost of the band, being the
stoutest and most active, had pushed on, and having surmounted
the ascent, were out of ken for the present. Gilfillan, with the
pedlar, and the small party who were Waverley's more immediate
guard, were near the top of the ascent, and the remainder
straggled after them at a considerable interval.
Such was the situation of matters, when the pedlar, missing, as
he said, a little doggie which belonged to him, began to halt and
whistle for the animal. This signal, repeated more than once,
gave offence to the rigour of his companion, the rather because
it appeared to indicate inattention to the treasures of
theological and controversial knowledge which was pouring out for
his edification. He therefore signified gruffly, that he could
not waste his time in waiting for a useless cur.
'But if your honour wad consider the case of Tobit'--
'Tobit!' exclaimed Gilfillan, with great heat; 'Tobit and his
dog baith are altogether heathenish and apocryphal, and none but
a prelatist or a papist would draw them into question. I doubt I
hae been mista'en in you, friend.'
'Very likely,' answered the pedlar, with great composure; 'but
ne'ertheless, I shall take leave to whistle again upon puir
This last signal was answered in an unexpected manner; for six or
eight stout Highlanders, who lurked among the copse and
brushwood, sprang into the hollow way, and began to lay about
them with their claymores. Gilfillan, un-appalled at this
undesirable apparition, cried out manfully, 'The sword of the
Lord and of Gideon!' and, drawing his broadsword, would probably
have done as much credit to the good old cause as any of its
doughty champions at Drumclog, when, behold! the pedlar,
snatching a musket from the person who was next him, bestowed the
butt of it with such emphasis on the head of his late instructor
in the Cameronian creed, that he was forthwith levelled to the
ground. In the confusion which ensued, the horse which bore our
hero was shot by one of Gilfillan's party, as he discharged his
firelock at random. Waverley fell with, and indeed under, the
animal, and sustained some severe contusions. But he was almost
instantly extricated from the fallen steed by two Highlanders,
who, each seizing him by the arm, hurried him away from the
scuffle and from the high-road. They ran with great speed, half
supporting and half dragging our hero, who could, however,
distinguish a few dropping shots fired about the spat which he
had left. This, as he afterwards learned, proceeded from
Gilfillan's party, who had now assembled, the stragglers in front
and rear having joined the others. At their approach the
Highlanders drew off, but not before they had rifled Gilfillan
and two of his people, who remained on the spot grievously
wounded. A few shots were exchanged betwixt them and the
Westlanders; but the latter, now without a commander, and
apprehensive of a second ambush, did not make any serious effort
to recover their prisoner, judging it more wise to proceed on
their journey to Stirling, carrying with them their wounded
captain and comrades.
WAVERLEY IS STILL IN DISTRESS
The velocity, and indeed violence, with which Waverley was
hurried along, nearly deprived him of sensation; for the injury
he had received from his fall prevented him from aiding himself
so effectually as he might otherwise have done. When this was
observed by his conductors, they called to their aid two or three
others of the party, and swathing our hero's body in one of their
plaids, divided his weight by that means among them, and
transported him at the same rapid rate as before, without any
exertion of his own. They spoke little, and that in Gaelic; and
did not slacken their pace till they had run nearly two miles,
when they abated their extreme rapidity, but continued still to
walk very fast, relieving each other occasionally,
Our hero now endeavoured to address them, but was only answered
with 'CHA N'EIL BEURL' AGAM,' i.e. 'I have no English,' being, as
Waverley well knew, the constant reply of a Highlander, when he
either does not understand, or does not choose to reply to, an
Englishman or Lowlander. He then mentioned the name of Vich Ian
Vohr, concluding that he was indebted to his friendship for his
rescue from the clutches of Gifted Gilfillan; but neither did
this produce any mark of recognition from his escort.
The twilight had given place to moonshine when the party halted
upon the brink of a precipitous glen, which, as partly
enlightened by the moonbeams, seemed full of trees and tangled
brushwood. Two of the Highlanders dived into it by a small
footpath, as if to explore its recesses, and one of them
returning in a few minutes, said something to his companions, who
instantly raised their burden, and bore him, with great attention
and care, down the narrow and abrupt descent. Notwithstanding
their precautions, however, Waverley's person came more than once
into contact, rudely enough, with the projecting stumps and
branches which overhung the pathway.
At the bottom of the descent, and, as it seemed, by the side of a
brook (for Waverley heard the rushing of a considerable body of
water, although its stream was invisible in the darkness), the
party again stopped before a small and rudely-constructed hovel.
The door was open, and the inside of the premises appeared as
uncomfortable and rude as its situation and exterior foreboded.
There was no appearance of a floor of any kind; the roof seemed
rent in several places; the walls were composed of loose stones
and turf, and the thatch of branches of trees. The fire was in
the centre, and filled the whole wigwam with smoke, which escaped
as much through the door as by means of a circular aperture in
the roof. An old Highland sibyl, the only inhabitant of this
forlorn mansion, appeared busy in the preparation of some food.
By the light which the fire afforded, Waverley could discover
that his attendants were not of the clan of Ivor, for Fergus was
particularly strict in requiring from his followers that they
should wear the tartan striped in the mode peculiar to their
race; a mark of distinction anciently general through the
Highlands, and still maintained by those chiefs who were proud of
their lineage, or jealous of their separate and exclusive
Edward had lived at Glennaquoich long enough to be aware of a
distinction which he had repeatedly heard noticed; and now
satisfied that he had no interest with his attendants, he glanced
a disconsolate eye around the interior of the cabin. The only
furniture, excepting a washing-tub, and a wooden press, called in
Scotland an AMBRY, sorely decayed, was a large wooden bed,
planked, as is usual, all around, and opening by a sliding panel.
In this recess the Highlanders deposited Waverley, after he had
by signs declined any refreshment. His slumbers were broken and
unrefreshing; strange visions passed before his eyes, and it
required constant and reiterated efforts of mind to dispel them.
Shivering, violent headache, and shooting pains in his limbs,
succeeded these symptoms; and in the morning it was evident to
his Highland attendants or guard, for he knew not in which light
to consider them, that Waverley was quite unfit to travel. After
a long consultation among themselves, six of the party left the
hut with their arms, leaving behind an old and a young man. The
former addressed Waverley, and bathed the contusions, which
swelling and livid colour now made conspicuous. His own
portmanteau, which the Highlanders had not failed to bring off,
supplied him with linen, and, to his great surprise, was, with
all its undiminished contents, freely resigned to his use. The
bedding of his couch seemed clean and comfortable, and his aged
attendant closed the door of the bed, for it had no curtain,
after a few words of Gaelic, from which Waverley gathered that he
exhorted him to repose. So behold our hero for a second time the
patient of a Highland Aesculapius, but in a situation much more
uncomfortable than when he was the guest of the worthy Tomanrait.
The symptomatic fever which accompanied the injuries he had
sustained did not abate till the third day, when it gave way to
the care of his attendants and the strength of his constitution,
and he could now raise himself in his bed, though not without
pain. He observed, however, that there was a great
disinclination, on the part of the old woman who acted as his
nurse, as well as on that of the elderly Highlander, to permit
the door of the bed to be left open, so that he might amuse
himself with observing their motions; and at length, after
Waverley had repeatedly drawn open, and they had as frequently
shut, the hatchway of his cage, the old gentleman put an end to
the contest, by securing it on the outside with a nail, so
effectually that the door could not be drawn till this exterior
impediment was removed.
While musing upon the cause of this contradictory spirit in
persons whose conduct intimated no purpose of plunder, and who,
in all other points, appeared to consult his welfare and his
wishes, it occurred to our hero, that, during the worst crisis of
his illness, a female figure, younger than his old Highland
nurse, had appeared to flit around his couch. Of this, indeed,
he had but a very indistinct recollection, but his suspicions
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