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than to him who was to command an army; the military spirit of Fergus was so much warped and blended with his plans and political views, that it was that of a petty sovereign, rather than of a soldier. But Colonel Talbot was in every point the English soldier. His whole soul was devoted to the service of his king and country, without feeling any pride in knowing the theory of his art with the Baron, or its practical minutia with the Major, or in applying his science to his own particular plans, like the Chieftain of Glennaquoich. Added to this, he was a man of extended knowledge and cultivated taste, although strongly tinged, as we have already observed, with those prejudices which are peculiarly English.
The character of Colonel Talbot dawned upon Edward by degrees; for the delay of the Highlanders in the fruitless siege of Edinburgh Castle occupied several weeks, during which Waverley had little to do, excepting to seek such amusement as society afforded. He would willingly have persuaded his new friend to become acquainted with some of his former intimates. But the Colonel, after one or two visits, shook his head, and declined farther experiment. Indeed he went farther, and characterized the Baron as the most intolerable formal pedant he had ever had the misfortune to meet with, and the chief of
Glennaquoich as a Frenchified Scotchman, possessing all the cunning and plausibility of the nation where he was educated, with the proud, vindictive, and turbulent humour of that of his birth. « If the devil,” he said, « had sought out an agent expressly for the purpose of embroiling this miserable country, I do not think he could find a better than such a fellow as this, whose temper seems equally active, supple, and mischievous, and who is followed and implicitly obeyed, by a gang of such cut-throats as those whom you are pleased to admire so much.» The ladies of the
did not escape his He allowed that Flora Mac-Ivor was a fine woman, and Rose Bradwardine a pretty girl. But he alleged that the former destroyed the effect of her beauty by an affectation of the grand airs which she had probably seen practised in the mock court of St Germains. As for Rose Bradwardine, he said it was impossible for any mortal to admire such a little uninformed thing, whose small portion of education was as ill adapted to her sex or youth, as if she had appeared with one of her father's old campaign coats upon her person for her sole garment. Now all this was mere spleen and prejudice in the excellent colonel, with whom the white cockade on the breast, the white rose in the hair, and the Mac at the beginning of a name, would
have made a devil out of an angel; and indeed he himself jocularly allowed, that he could not have endured Venus herself, if she had been announced in a drawing-room by the name of Miss Mac-Jupiter.
Waverley, it may easily be believed, looked upon these young ladies with very different eyes. During the period of the siege, he paid them almost daily visits, although he observed with regret that his suit made as little progress in the affections of the former, as the arms of the Chevalier in subduing the fortress. She inaintained with rigour the rule she had laid down of treating him with indifference, without either affecting to avoid him or to shun intercourse with him. Every word, every look, was strictly regulated to accord with her system, and neither the dejection of Waverley, nor the anger which Fergus scarcely suppressed, could extend Flora's attention to Edward beyond that which the most ordinary politeness demanded. On the other hand, Rose Bradwardine gradually rose in his opinion. He had several opportunities of remarking, that as her extreme timidity wore off, her manners assumed a higher character; that the agitating circumstances of the stormy time seemed to call forth a certain dignity of feeling and expression, which he had not formerly observed ; and that she omitted no op
portunity within her reach to extend her knowledge and refine her taste.
Flora Mac-Ivor called Rose her pupil, and was attentive to assist her in her studies, and to fashion both her taste and understanding. It might have been remarked by a very close observer, that in the presence of Waverley she was much more desirous to exhibit her friend's excellencies than her own. But I must request of the reader to suppose, that this kind and disinterested purpose was concealed by the most cautious delicacy, studiously shunning the most distant approach to affectation. So that it was as unlike the usual exhibition of one pretty woman affecting to proner another, as the friendship of David and Jonathan might be to the intimacy of two Bond-street loungers.
The fact is, that though the effect was felt, the cause could hardly be observed. Each of the ladies, like two excellent actresses, were perfect in their parts, and performed them to the delight of the audience; and such being the case, it was almost impossible to discover that the elder constantly ceded to her friend that which was most suitable to her talents.
But to Waverley, Rose Bradwardine possessed an attraction which few men can resist, from the marked interest which she took in every thing that affected him. She was too young
and too inexperienced to estimate the full foree of the constant attention which she paid to him. Her father was too abstracted in learning and military discussions to observe her partiality, and Flora Mac-Ivor did not alarm her by remonstrance, because she saw in this line of conduct the most probable chance of her securing at length a return of affection. The truth is, that in her first conversation after their meeting, Rose had discovered the state of her mind to that acute and intelligent friend, although she was not herself aware of it. From that time, Flora was not only determined upon the final rejection of Waverley's addresses, but becameanxious that they should, if possible, be transferred to her friend. Nor was she less interested in this plan, though her brother had from time to time talked, as between jest and earnest, of paying his suit to Miss Bradwardine. She knew that Fergus had the true continental latitude of opinion respecting the institution of marriage, and would not have given his hand to an angel, unless for the purpose of strengthening his alliances, and increasing his influence and wealth. The Baron's whim of transferring his estate to the distant heir male, instead of his own daughter, was therefore likely to be an insurmountable obstacle to his entertaining any serious thoughts of Rose Bradwardine.