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gentleman in such a light, as if she shed tears for a drove of horned nolt and milch kine, like the daughter of a Cheshire yeoman? Captain Waverley, I must request your favourable construction of her grief, which may, or ought, to proceed solely from seeing her father's estate exposed to spulzie and depredation from common/ thieves and sornars ', while we are not allowed to keep half a score of muskets, whether for defence or rescue."
Bailie Macwheeble entered immediately afterwards, and by his report of arms and ammunition confirmed this statement, informing the baron, in a melancholy voice, that though the people would certainly obey his honour's orders, yet there svas no chance of their following the gear to ony guid purpose, in respect there were only his honour's body servants who had swords and pistols, and the depredators were twelve Highlanders, completely armed after the manner of their country.-Having delivered this doleful annunciation, he assumed a posture of silent dejection, shaking his head slowly with the motion of a pendulum when it is ceasing lo vibrate, and then remained stationary, his body stooping at a more acule angle than usual, and the latter part of his person projecting in proportion.
The Baron, meanwbile, paced the room in silent indignation, and at length fixing bis eye upon an old portrait, whose person was clad in armour, and whose features glared grimly out of a huge bush of ir, part of which descended from his head to his shoulders, and part from his chin and upper-lip to his breastplate, -“That gentleman, Captain Waverley, my grandsire,” he said, “ with two hundred horse, whom he levied witbin his own bounds, discomfited and put to the roul more than five hundred of these Highland reivers, who have been ever lapis offensionis, et petra scandali, a stumbling-block and a rock of offence to the Lowland vicinage-he discomfited them, I say, when they had the temerity lo descend lo harry this country, in the time of the civil dissensions, in the year of grace een hundred forty and two. And now, sir, I, his grandson, am thus used at such unworthy hands!”
Here there was an awful pause; after which all the company, as is usual in cases of difficulty, began to give separate and inconsistent counsel. Alexander ab Alexandro proposed they should send some one to compound with the Caterans, who would readily, he said, give up their prey sor a dollar a-head. The Bailie opined that this transaction would amount to theft-hoot, or composition of felony; and he recommended that some canny hand should be sent up to the glens to make the best bargain he could, as it were for himself, so that the Laird might not be seen in such a transaction. Edward
Sornars may be translated sturdy beggars, more especially indicating those unwelcome visitors who exact lodgings and victuals hy force, or something approaching to it.
proposed to send off to the nearest garrison for a party of soldiers and a magistrate's warrant; and Rose, as far as she dared, endeavoured to insinuate the course of paying the arrears of tribute money to Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich Ian Vohr, who, they all knew, could easily procure restoration of the cattle, if he were properly propitiated.
None of these proposals met the Baron's approbation. The idea of composition, direct or implied, was absolutely ignominious; that of Waverley only showed that he did not understand the state of the country, and of the political parties which divided it; and, standing matters as they did with Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich Ian Vohr, the Baron would make no concession to him, were it, he said, “lo procure restitution in integrum of every stirk and stot that the chief, his forefathers, and his clan, had stolen since the days of Malcolm Canmore.”
In fact, his voice was still for war, and he proposed to send expresses to Balmawhapple, Killancureit, Tulliellum, and other lairds, who were exposed to similar depredations, inviting them to join in the pursuit; "and then, sir, shall these nebulones nequissimi, as Leslæus calls them, be brought to the fale of their predecessor
Elisos oculos, et siccum sanguine guttur.”
The Bailie, who by no means relished these warlike counsels, here pulled forth an immense watch, of the colour, and nearly of the size, of a pewter warming-pan, and observed it was now past noon, and that the Caterans had been seen in the pass of Ballybrough soon after sun-rise; so that before the allied forces could assemble, they and their prey would be far beyond the reach of the most active pursuit, and sheltered in those pathless deserts, where it was neither advisable to follow, nor indeed possible to trace them.
This proposition was undeniable. The council therefore broke up wilhoul coming to any conclusio as has occurred to councils of more importance; only ii was determined that the Bailie should send his own three milk cows down to the Mains for the use of the Baron's family, and brew small ale, as a substilute for milk, in his own. To this arrangement, which was suggested by Saunderson, the Bailie readily assented, both from habitual deference lo the family, and an internal consciousness that his courtesy would, in some mode or other, be repaid lenfold.
The Baron having also retired to give some necessary directions, Waverley seized the opportunily lo ask, whether this Fergus, with the unpronounceable name, was the chief thief-taker of the district ?
" Thief-laker!" answered Rose, laughing; "he is a gentleman of great honour and consequence; the chieftain of an independent
branch of a powerful Highland clan, and is much respected, both for his own power, and that of his kith, kin, and allies.”
“And what has he to do with the thieves, then? Is he a magistrate, or in the commission of the peace?” asked Waverley.
"The commission of war rather, if there be such a thing,” said Rose, “ for he is a very unquiet neighbour lo his un-friends, and keeps a greater following on foot than many that have thrice his estate. As to his connexion with the thieves, that I cannot well explain ; but the boldest of them will never sleal a hoof from any one that pays black-mail to Vich Ian Vohr.”
" And what is black-mail ?"
“A sort of protection-money that Low-country gentlemen and heritors, lying near the Highlands, pay to some Highland chief, that he may neilher do them harm himself, nor suffer it to be done to them by others; and then if your catlle are stolen, you have only to send him word, and he will recover them; or il may be, he will drive away cows from some distant place, where he has a quarrel, and give them to you to make up your loss.”
"And is this sort of Highland Jonathan Wild admilled into society, and called a gentleman ?"
“So much so,” said Rose, “ that the quarrel between my father and Fergus Mac-Ivor began at a county meeting where he wanted to lake precedence of all the Lowland gentlemen then present, only iny falher would not suffer il. And then he upbraided my father that he was under his banner, and paid him tribute ; and my father was in a lowering passion, for Bailie Macwheeble, who manages such things his own way, had contrived to keep this black-mail a secret from him, and passed it in his account for cessmoney. And they would have fought; but Fergus Mac-Iyor said, very gallantly, he would never raise his hand against a grey head that was so much respected as my father's. -0 I wish, I wish they had continued friends!"
“ And did you ever see this Mr. Mac-Jvor, if that be his name, Miss Bradwardine?"
“No, that is not his name; and he would consider master as a sort of affront, only that you are an Englishman, and know no beller. But the Lowlanders call him, like other gentlemen, by the name of his estate, Glennaquoich; and the Highlanders call him Vich Ian Vohr, that is, the son of John the Great; and we upon the braes here call him by both names indifferently.'
“ I am afraid I shall never bring my English tongue to call him by either one or other."
“ But he is a very polite, handsome man,” continued Rose ; " and his sister Flora is one of the most beautiful and accomplished young ladies in this country: she was bred in a convent in France, and was a great friend of mine before this unhappy dispule. Dear
Caplain Waverley, try your influence with my father lo make malters up. I am sure this is but the beginning of our troubles ; for Tully-Veolan has never been a safe or quiet residence when we have been at feud with the Highlanders. When I was a girl about ten, there was a skirmish fought between a party of lwenty of them, and my father and his servants, behind the Mains; and the bullets broke several panes in the north windows, they were so near. Three of the Highlanders were killed, and they brought them in wrapped in their plaids, and laid them on the stone floor of the hall; and next morning, their wives and daughters came, clapping their hands, and crying the coronach, and shrieking, and carried away the dead bodies, with the pipes playing before them. I could not sleep for six weeks without starting, and thinking I heard these terrible cries, and saw the bodies lying on the steps, all stiff and swathed up in their bloody tartans. But since that time there came a party from the garrison at Stirling, with a warrant from the Lord Justice Clerk, or some such great man, and took away all our arms; and now, how are we to protect ourselves if they come down in any strength?”
Waverley could not help starting at a story which bore so much resemblance to one of his own day-dreams. Here was a girl scarce seventeen, the gentlest of her sex, both in temper and appearance, who had witnessed with her own eyes such a scene as he had used to conjure up in his imagination, as only occurring in ancient times, and spoke of it coolly, as one very likely to recur. He felt at once the impulse of curiosity, and that slight sense of danger which only serves lo heighlen ils interest. He might have said with Malvolio, “ I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade me!' I am actually in the land of military and romantic adventures, and it only remains to be seen what will be my own share in them."
The whole circumstances now detailed, concerning the state of the country, seemed equally novel and extraordinary. He had indeed often heard of Highland thieves, but had no idea of the systematic mode in which their depredalions were conducted ; and that the practice was convived at, and even encouraged, by many of the Highland chieftains, who not only found the creaghs, or forays, useful for the purpose of training individuals of their clan to the praclice of arms, but also of maintaining a wholesome terror among their Lowland neighbours, and levying, as we have seen, a tribute from them, under colour of protection-money.
Bailie Macwheeble, who soon afterwards entered, expatialed still more at length upon the same topic. This honest gentleman's conversation was so formed upon his professional practice, that Davic Gellalley once said his discourse was like a “ charge of horning.” He assured our hero, thal 5 from the maist ancient limes of record. the lawless thieves, liinmers, and broken men of the Highlands,
had been in fellowship together by reason of their surnames, for lhe committing of divers thefts, reifs, and herships, upon the honest men of the Low Country, when they not only intromitted with their whole goods and gear, corn, cattle, horse, nolt, sheep, outsight and insight plenishing, at their wicked pleasure, but moreover made prisoners, ransomed them, or concussed them into giving borrows (pledges) to enter into caplivity again : All which was directly prohibited in divers parts of the Statute Book, both by the act one thousand five hundred and sixty-seven, and various others; the whilk statutes, with all that had followed and might follow thereupon, were shamefully broken and vilipended by the said sornars, limmers, and broken men, associated into fellowships, for the aforesaid purposes of theft, stoutbreef, fire-raising, murther, raptus mulierum, or forcible abduction of women, and such like as aforesaid.”
It seemed like a dream to Waverley that these deeds of violence should be familiar to men's minds, and currently talked of, as falling within the common order of things, and happening daily in the immediate vicinity, without his having crossed the seas, and while he was yet in the otherwise well-ordered island of Great Britain."
AN UNEXPECTED ALLY APPEARS.
The Baron returned at the dinner-hour, and had in a great measure recovered his composure and good-humour. He not only confirmed the stories which Edward had heard from Rose and Bailie Macwheeble, but added many anecdotes from his own experience, concerning the state of the Highlands and their inhabitants? The chiefs, he pronounced to be, in general, gentlemen of great honour
'Mac-Donald of Barrisdale, one of the very last Highland gentlemen who carried on the plundering system to any great extent, was a scholar and a wellbred gentleman. He engraved on his broadswords the well-known lines
Hæ tibi erunt artes-pacisque imponere morem ,
Indeed, the levying of black-mail was, before the 1745, practised by several chiefs of very high rank, who, in doing so, contended that they were lending the laws the assistance of their arms and swords, and affording a protection which could not be obtained from the magistracy in the disturbed state of the country. The author has seen a Memoir of Mac-Pherson of Cluny, Chief of that ancient clan, from wbich it appears that he levied protection-money to a very large amount, which was willingly paid even by some of his inost powerful neighbours. A gentleman of this clan hearing a clergyman hold forth to his congregation on the crime of theft, interrupted the preacher to assure bim, he might leave the enforcement of such doctrines 1o Cluny Mac-Pherson, whose broadsword would put a stop to theft sooner than all the sermons of all the ministers of the Synod.