Imágenes de página

fair in heraldry as the water-buckets, waggons, cart-wheels, plough-socks, shuttles, candlesticks, and other ordinaries, conveying ideas of any thing save chivalry, which appear in the arms of some of our most ancient gentry.» This, however, is an episode in respect to the principal story.

When Waverley returned to Preston, and rejoined Colonel Talbot, he found him recovered from the strong and obvious emotion with which a concurrence of unpleasing events had affected him. He had recovered his natural manner, which was that of the English gentleman and soldier, manly, open, and generous, but not unsusceptible of prejudice against those of a different country, or who opposed him in political tenets. When Waverley acquainted Colonel Talbot with the Chevalier's purpose to commit him to his charge, « I did not think to have owed so much obligation to that young gentleman,» he said, « as is implied in this destination. I can at least cheerfully join in the prayer of the honest presbyterian clergyman, that as be has come among us seeking an earthly crown, his labours may be speedily rewarded with a heavenly one.

I shall willingly give my parole not to attempt an escape without your knowledge, since, in fact, it was to meet you I came to Scotland; and I am glad it has happened even under this predicament. But

I suppose we shall be but a short time together. Your Chevalier (that is a name we may both give to him), with his plaids and blue caps, will, I presume, be continuing his crusade southwards?»

« Not as I hear; I believe the army makes some stay in Edinburgh, to collect reinforcements.»

« And besiege the Castle?» said Talbot, smiling sarcastically; «well, unless my old commander, General Guest, turn false metal, or the castle sink into the North Loch, events which I deem equally probable, I think we shall have some time to make up our acquaint

I have a guess that this gallant Chevalier has a design that I should be your proselyte, and, as I wish you to be mine, there cannot be a more fair proposal. But, as I spoke to-day under the influence of feelings I rarely give way to, I hope you will excuse my entering again upon controversy, till we are somewhat better acquainted.»



Intrigues of Love and Politics.

It is not necessary to record in these pages the triumphant entrance of the Chevalier into Edinburgh after the decisive affair of Preston. One circumstance, however, may be noticed, because it illustrates the high spirit of Flora Mac-Ivor. The Highlanders, by whom the Prince was surrounded, in the licence and extravagance of this joyful moment, fired their pieces repeatedly, and one of these having been accidentally loaded with ball, the bullet grazed the young lady's temple as she waved her handkerchief from a balcony. Fergus, who beheld the accident, was at her side in an instant; and, on seeing that the wound was trifling, he drew his broadsword, with the purpose of rushing down upon the man by whose carelessness she had incurred so much danger, when, holding him by the plaid, « Do not harm the poor fellow,» she cried; « for heaven's sake do not harm him! but thank

God with me that the accident happened to Flora Mac-Ivor; for had it befallen a whig, they would have pretended that the shot was fired on purpose.»

Waverley escaped the alarm which this accident would have occasioned to him, as he was unavoidably delayed by the necessity of accompanying Colonel Talbot to Edinburgh.

They performed the journey together on horseback, and for some time, as if to sound each other's feelings and sentiments, they conversed upon general and ordinary topics.

When Waverley again entered upon the subject which he had most at heart, the situation namely of his father and his uncle, Colonel Talbot seemed now rather desirous to alleviate than to aggravate his anxiety. This appeared particularly to be the case when he had heard Waverley's history, which he did not scruple to confide to him. « And so,» said the Colonel, « there has been no malice prepense, as lawyers, I think, term it, in this rash step of yours; and you have been trepanned into the service of this Italian knight-errant by a few civil speeches from him and one or two of his Highland recruiting serjeants?. It is sadly foolish to be sure, but not nearly so bad as I was led to expect. However, you cannot desert at the present moment; that seems impossible. But I have little doubt that, in the dissensions incident to this heterogeneous

mass of wild and desperate men, some opportunity may arise, by availing yourself of which, you may extricate yourself honourably from your rash engagement before the bubble burst. If this can be managed, I would have you go to a place of safety in Flanders, which I shall point out.

And I think I can secure your pardon from government after a few months, residence abroad.»

«I cannot permit you, Colonel Talbot, to speak of any plan which turns on my deserting an enterprise, in which I may have engaged hastily, but certainly voluntarily, and with the purpose of abiding the issue.»

«Well,» said Colonel Talbot, smiling, « leave me my thoughts and hopes at least at liberty, if not my speech. But have you never examined your mysterious packet ?»

« It is in my baggage; we shall find it in Edinburgh.»

In Edinburgh they soon arrived. Waverley's quarters had been assigned to him, by the Prince's express orders, in a handsome lodging, where there was accommodation for Colonel Talbot. His first business was to examine his portmanteau, and, after a very short search, out tumbled the expected packet. Waverley opened it eagerly. Under a blank cover, simply addressed to E. Waverley, Esq. he found a number of open letters. The uppermost were two from Colonel 6, ad

« AnteriorContinuar »