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value for his breed of cattle, being, moreover, rather of a timid disposition, had got a party of soldiers to protect his property. So Donald run his head unawares into the lion's mouth, and was defeated and made prisoner. Being ordered for execution, his conscience was assailed on the one hand by a catholic priest, on the other by your friend Morton. He repulsed the catholic chiefly on account of the doctrine of extreme unction, which this economical gentleman considered as an excessive waste of oil. So his conversion from a state of impenitence fell to Mr Morton's share, who, I dare say, acquitted himself excellently, though, I suppose, Donald made but a queer kind of Christian after all. He confessed, however, before a magistrate, one Major Melville, who seems to have been a correct friendly sort of person, his full intrigue with Houghton, explaining particularly how it was carried on, and fully acquitting you of the least accession to it. He also mentioned his rescuing you from the hands of the volunteer officer, and sending you, by orders of the Pret-Chevalier I mean -as a prisoner to Doune, from whence he understood you were carried prisoner to Edinburgh. These are particulars which cannot but tell in your favour. He hinted that he had been employed to deliver and protect you, and rewarded for doing so; but he would not confess by whom, alleging, that though he
would not have minded breaking any ordinary oath to satisfy the curiosity of Mr Morton, to whose pious admonitions he owed so muclı, yet, in the present case, he had been sworn to silence upon the edge of bis dirk, which, it seems, constituted, in his opinion, an inviolable obligation.»
a And what is become of him?»
«0, he was hanged at Stirling after the rebels raised the siege, with his lieutenant, and four plaids besides; he having the advantage of a gallows more lofty than his friends,»
Well, I have little cause either to regret or rejoice at his death; and yet he has done me both good and harm to a very considerable extent. »
« His confession, at least, will serve you materially, since it wipes from your character all those suspicions which gave the accusation against you a complexion of a nature different from that with which so many unfortunate gentlemen, now, or lately, in arms against the government, may be justly charged. Their treason-I must give it its name, though you participate in its guilt—is an action arising from mistaken virtue, and therefore cannot be classed as a disgrace, though it be doubtless highly criminal.
Where the guilty are so numerous, clemency must be extended to far the greater number; and I have little doubt of procuring a remission for you, providing we
can keep you out of the claws of justice till she has selected and gorged upon her victims; for in this, as in other cases, it will be according to the vulgar proverb, First come, first served. Besides, government are desirous at present to intimidate the English Jacobites, among whom they can find few examples for punishment. This is a vindictive and timid feeling which will soon wear off, for, of all nations, the English are least blood-thirsty by
But it exists at present, and you must, therefore, be kept out of the way in the mean time.
Now entered Spontoon with an anxious countenance. By his regimental acquaintances he had traced out Madam Nosebag, and found her full of ire, fuss, and fidget, at discovery of an impostor, who had travelled from the north with her under the assumed name of Captain Butler of G-'s dragoons. She was going to lodge an information on the subject, to have him sought for as an emissary of the Pretender; but Spontoon (an old soldier), while he pretended to approve, contrived to make her delay her intention. No time, however, was to be lost; the accuracy of this good dame's description might probably lead to the discovery that Waverley was the pretended Captain Butler; an identification fraught with danger to Edward, perhaps to his uncle, and
even to Colonel Talbot. Which way to direct his course was now the question.
« To Scotland,» said Waverley.
«To Scotland?» said the Colonel; « with what purpose?—Not to engage again with the rebels, I hope.»
« No—I consider my campaign ended, when, after all my efforts I could not rejoin them, and now, by all accounts, they are gone to make a winter campaign in the Highlands, where such adherents as I am would rather be burdensome than useful. Indeed, it seems likely that they only prolong the war to place the Chevalier's person out of danger, and then to make some terms for themselves. To burden them with my presence would merely add another party, whom they would not give up, and could not defend. I understand they left almost all their English adherents in garrison at Carlisle, for that very reason;—and on a more general view, Colonel, to confess the truth, though it may lower me in your opinion, I am heartily tired of the trade of war, and am, as Fletcher's Humorous Lieutenant says, 'even as weary of this fighting'
Fighting! pooh, what have you seen but a skirmish or two?—Ah! if you saw war on the grand scale—sixty or a hundred thousand men in the field on each side!» « I am not at all curious, Colonel,-Enough,
says our homely proverb, is as good as a feast. The plumed troops and the big war used to . enchant me in poetry, but the night marches, vigils, couches under the wintry sky, and such accompaniments of the glorious trade, are not at all to my taste in practice;—then for dry blows, I had my fill of fighting at Clifton, where I escaped by a hair's-breadth half a duzen times; and you, I should think» —-- He stopped.
« Had enough at Preston? you mean to say;" said the Colonel, laughing; «but 'tis my vocation, Hal.»
« It is not mine though,» said Waverley; «and having honourably got rid of the sword which I drew only as a volunteer, I am quite satisfied with my military experience, and shall be in no hurry to take it up again. »
« I am very glad you are of that mind, but then what would you do in the north?»
« In the first place, there are some sea-ports on the eastern coast of Scotland still in the hands of the Chevalier's friends; should I gain any of them, I can easily embark for the continent.» «Good-your second reason?»
Why, to speak the very truth, there is a person in Scotland upon whom I now find my happiness depends more than I was always aware, and about whose situation I am very anxious.»