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SHALL this be a short or a long chapter?-
though it lies within my arbitrary power to extend my materials as I think proper, I cannot call you into Exchequer if you do not think proper to read my narrative. Let me therefore consider. It is true, that the annals and documents in my hands say but little of this Highland chase; but then I can find copious materials for description elsewhere. There is old Lindsay of Pitscottie ready at my elbow, with his Athole hunting, and his "lofted and joisted palace of green timber; with all kind of drink to be had in burgh and land, as ale, beer, wine, muscadel, malvasie, hippocras, and aquavitæ; with wheat-bread, main-bread, ginge-bread, beef, mutton, lamb, veal, venison, goose, grice, capon, coney, crane, swan, partridge, plover, duck, drake, brissell-cock, pawnies, black-cock, muir-fowl, and capercailzies;" not forgetting the costly bedding, vaiselle, and napry," and least of all the "excelling stewards, cunning baxters, excellent cooks, and pottingars, with confections and drugs
for the deserts." Besides the particulars which may be thence gleaned from this Highland feast, (the splendour of which induced the pope's legate to dissent from an opinion which he had hitherto held, that Scotland namely was the-the-the latter end of the world)-besides these, might I not illuminate my pages with Taylor the Water Poet's hunting in the braes of Mar, where,
"Through heather, mosse, mong frogs, and bogs, and fogs,
Mongst craggy cliffs and thunder-battered hills,
Hares, hinds, bucks, roes, are chased by men and dogs,
But without further tyranny over my readers, or display of the extent of my own reading, I will content myself with borrowing a single incident from the memorable hunting at Lude, commemorated in the ingenious Mr Gunn's Essay on the
Caledonian Harp, and so proceed in my story with all the brevity that my natural style of composition, partaking of what scholars call the periphrastic and ambagitory, and the vulgar the circumbendibus, will permit me.
The solemn hunting was delayed, from various causes, for about three weeks. The interval was spent by Waverley with great satisfaction at Glennaquoich; for the impression which Flora had made on his mind at their first meeting, grew daily stronger. She was precisely the character to fascinate a youth of romantic imagination. Her manners, her language, her talents for poetry and music, gave additional and varied influence to her eminent personal charms. Even in her hours of gaiety, she was in his fancy exalted above the ordinary daughters of Eve, and seemed only to stoop for an instant to those topics of amusement and gallantry which others seem to live for. In the neighbourhood of this enchantress, while sport con
sumed the morning, and music and the dance led on the hours of evening, Waverley became daily more delighted with his hospitable landlord, and more enamoured of his bewitching sister.
At length, the period fixed for the grand hunting arrived, and Waverley and the Chieftain departed for the place of rendezvous, which was a day's journey to the northward of Glennaquoich. Fergus was attended on this occasion by about three hundred of his clan, well armed, and accoutred in their best fashion. Waverley complied so far with the custom of the country as to adopt the trews, (he could not be reconciled to the kilt,) brogues, and bonnet, as the fittest dress for the exercise. in which he was to be engaged, and which less exposed him to be stared at as a stranger when they should reach the place of rendezvous. They found, on the spot appointed, several distinguished Chiefs, to all of whom Waverley was formerly presented, and by all cordially received. Their