Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

1

the rapidity of an arrow. “ That is Fergus's faithful attendant, Captain Waverley, and that was his signal. He likes no poetry but what is humorous, and comes in good time to interrupt my long catalogue of the tribes, whom one of your saucy English poets calls

Our bootless host of high-born beggars,

Mac-Leans, Mac-Kenzies, and Mac Gregors. Waverley expressed his regret at the interruption.

“Oh, you cannot guess how much you have lost! The bard, as in duly bound, has addressed three long stapzas to Vich Tan Vohr of the Banners, enumerating all his great properties, and not forgetting his being a cheerer of the harper and bard'a giver of bounteous gifts. Besides, you should have heard a practical admonition to the fair-haired son of the stranger, who lives in the land where the grass is always green-the rider on the shining pampered steed, whose hue is like the raven, and whose neigh is like the scream of the eagle for battle. This valiant horseman is affectionately conjured to remember thal his ancestors were distinguished by their loyalty, as well as by their courage.-All this you have lost; but since your curiosity is not satisfied, I judge, from the distant sound of my brother's whistle, I may have time to sing the concluding stanzas before he comes to laugh al my translalion."

Awake on your bills, on your islands awake,
Brave sons of the mountain, the frith, and the lake!
'Tis the bugle--but not for the chase is the call;
"Tis the pibroch's shrill summons -- but not to the ball.

'Tis the summons of heroes for conquest or death,
When the banners are blazing on mountain and heath:
They call to the dirk, the claymore, and the targe,
To the march and the muster, the line and the charge.

Be the brand of each chieftain like Fin's in his ire!
May the blood through his veins flow like currents of fire!
Burst the base foreign yoke as your sires did of yore,
Or die like your sires, and endure it no more!

CHAPTER XXIII.

WAVERLEY CONTINUES AT GLENNAQUOICH.

As Flora concluded her song, Fergus slood before them. knew I should find you here, even without the assistance of my friend Bran. A simple and unsublimed laste now, like my own, would prefer a jet d'eau at Versailles to this cascade, with all its accompaniments of rock and roar; but this is Flora's Parnassus, Cap

tain Waverley, and that fountain her Helicon. It would be greatly for the benefit of my cellar if she could teach her coadjutor, MacMurrough, the value of its influence : he has just drunk a pint of usquebaugh, to correct, he said, the coldness of the clare — Let me try its virtues.” He sipped a little water in the hollow of his hand, and immediately commenced, with a theatrical air,

“O Lady of the desert, hail !
That lovest the harping of the Gael,
Through fair and fertile regions borne,
Where never yet grew grass or corn.

But English poetry will never succeed under the influence of a Highland Helicon-Allons, courage

O vous, qui buvez, à tasse pleine,
A cette heureuse fontaine,
Où on ne voit, sur le rivage,

Que quelques vilains troupeaux,
Suivis de nymphes de village,

Qui les escortent sans sabots.".

“A truce, dear Fergus! spare us those most tedious and insipid persons of all Arcadia. Do not, for Heaven's sake, bring down Coridon and Lindor upon us.'

“Nay, if you cannot relish la houlette et le chalumeau, have with you in heroic strains."

Dear Fergus, you have certainly partaken of the inspiration of Mac-Murrough's cup, rather than of mine."

“ I disclaim it, ma belle demoiselle, although I protest it would be the more congenial of the two. Which of your crack-brained Italian romancers is it that says,

Io d'Elicona niente
Mi curo, in fe de Dio, che'l bere d'acque
(Bea chi ber ne vuol ) sempre mi spiacque!'

97

But if you prefer the Gaelic, Captain Waverley, here is little Cathleen shall sing you Drimmindhu.-Come, Cathleen, astore, (i. e. my dear,) begin; no apologies to the Cean-kinné."

Cathleen sung with much liveliness a little Gaelic song, the burlesque elegy of a country man on the loss of his cow, the comic tones of which, though he did not understand the language, made Waverley laugh more than once.”

Good sooth, I reck nought of your Helicon ;

Drink water whoso will, in faith I will drink none. ? This ancient Gaelic ditty is still well known, both in the Highlands and in Ireland. It was translated into English, and published, if I mistake not, under the auspices of the facetious Tom D'Urfey, by the title of " Colley, my Cow."

66 Admirable, Cathleen !” cried the Chieftain ; " I must find you a handsome husband among the clansmen one of these days."

Cathleen laughed, blushed, and sheltered herself behind her companion.

In the progress of their return to the castle, the Chieftain warm1 ly pressed Waverley to remain for a week or two, in order to see a

grand hunting parly, in which he and some other Highland gentle| men proposed to join. The charms of melody and beauty were too strongly impressed in Edward's breast lo permit his declining an

invitation so pleasing. It was agreed, therefore, that he should 1 write a note to the Baron of Bradwardine, expressing his intention to stay a fortnight at Glennaquoich, and requesting him to forward by the bearer (a gilly of the Chieftain's) any letters which might have arrived for him.

This turned the discourse upon the Baron, whom Fergus highly extolled as a gentleman and soldier. His character was touched with yet more descriminalion by Flora, who observed he was the very model of the old Scottish cavalier, with all his excellencies and peculiarities. “ It is a character, Captain Waverley, which is fast disappearing; for its best point was a self-respect which was never lost sight of till now. But, in the present time, the gentlemen whose principles do not permit them to pay court lo the existing government, are neglected and degraded, and many conduct themselves accordingly; and, like some of the persons you have seen at Tully-Veolan, adopt habits and companions inconsistent with their birth and breeding. The ruthless proscription of party seems to degrade the victims whom it brands, however unjustly. Bul let us hope a brighter day is approaching, when a Scottish countrygentleman may be a scholar without the pedantry of our friend the Baron, a sportsman without the low habits of Mr. Falconer, and a judicious improver of his properly without becoming a boorish two-legged steer like Killancureit.

Thus did Flora prophesy a revolution, which time indeed has produced, but in a manner very different from whatshe had in her mind.

The amiable Rose was next mentioned, with the warmest encomium on her person, manners, and mind.

said Flora, 16 will find an inestimable treasure in the affections of Rose

Bradwardine, who shall be so fortunale as to become their object. 1

Her very soul is in home, and in the discharge of all those quiet virtues of which home is the centre. Her husband will be to her what her father now is, the object of all her care, solicitude, and affection. She will see nothing, and connect herself with nothing, but

by him and through him. If he is a man of sense and virtue, she I will sympalhize in his sorrows, divert his fatigue, and share his pleasures. If she becomes the properly of a churlish or negligent husband, she will suit his laste also, for she will not long survive

66 That man,

לל

[ocr errors]

his unkindness. And, alas! how great is the chance that some such unworthy lol may be that of my poor friend !–0 that I were a queen this moment, and could command the most amiable and worthy youth of my kingdom to accept happiness, wilh the hand of Rose Bradwardine!

“ I wish you would command her to accept mine en attendant," said Fergus, laughing.

I don't know hy what caprice it was that this wish, however jocularly expressed, rather jarred on Edward's feelings, notwithstanding his growing inclination to Flora, and his indifference to Miss Bradwardine. This is one of the inexplicabilities of human nature, which we leave without comment.

“ Yours, brother?" answered Flora, regarding him steadily. 6 No; you have another bride-Honour; and the dangers you must run in pursuit of her rival would break poor Rose's heart."

With this discourse they reached the castle, and Waverley soon prepared his dispatches for Tully-Veolan. As he knew the Baron was punctilious in such matters, he was about to impress his billet with a seal on which his armorial bearings were engraved, but he did not find it at his watch, and thought he must have left it at Tully-Veolan. He mentioned his loss, borrowing at the same time the family seal of the Chieftain.

“Surely,” said Miss Mac-Iyor, “ Donald Bean Lean would not”

“ My life for him, in such circumstances,” answered her hrolher;

besides, he would never have left the watch behind.” “After all, Fergus," said Flora, “and with every allowance, I am surprised you can countenance that man.”

I countenance him?—This kind sister of mine would persuade you, Captain Waverley, that I take what the people of old used to call a steakraid,' that is, a 'collop of the foray,' or, in plainer words, a portion of the robber's booly, paid by him to the Laird, or Chies, through whose grounds he drove his prey. O, it is certain, that unless I can find some way to charm Flora's tongue, General Blakeney will send a sergeant's party from Stirling (this be said wilhhaughty and emphalic irony) to seize Vich Ian Vohr, as they nickname me, in his own castle.'

“Now, Fergus, must not our guest be sensible that all this is folly and affectation? You have men enough to serve you without enlisting banditti, and your own honour is above taint- Why don't you send this Donald Bean Lean, whom I hale for his smoothness and duplicity, even more than for his rapine, oul of your country at once? No cause should induce me to tolerale such character.” “No cause, Flora?" said the Chieftain, significantly.

66

[ocr errors]

No cause, Fergus! not even that which is nearest to my heart. Spare it the omen of such evil supporters!”

"O but, sister,” rejoined the Chief, gaily, “ you don't consider my respect for la belle passion. Evan Dhu Maccombich is in love with Donald's daughter, Alice, and you cannot expect me to disturb him in his amours. Why, the whole clan would cry shame on me. You know it is one of their wise sayings, that a kinsman is part of a man's body, but a foster-brother is a piece of his heart."

“Well, Fergus, there is no disputing with you ; but I would all this may end well."

Devoutly prayed, my dear and prophetic sister, and the best way in the world to close a dubious argument.--But hear ye not the pipes, Captain Waverley? Perhaps you will like better to dance to them in the hall, than to be deafened with their harmony, without taking part in the exercise they invite us to."

Waverley took Flora's hand. The dance, song, and merry-making I proceeded, and closed the day's entertainment at the castle of Vich

Ian Vohr. Edward at length retired, his mind agitated by a variety ( of new and conflicting feelings, which detained him from rest for

some time, in that not unpleasing state of mind in which fancy takes | the helm, and the soul rather drifts passively along with the rapid

and confused tide of reflections, than exerts itself to encounter, systematize, or examine them. At a late hour he fell asleep, and dreamed of Flora Mac-Ivor.

CHAPTER XXIV.

A STAG-HUNT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.

SHALL this be a long or a short chapter?- This is a question in which you, gentle reader, have no yote, however much you may be interested in the consequences; just as you may (like myself) probably have nothing to do with the imposing a new lax, excepting the trifling circumstance of being obliged to pay it. More happy surely in the present case, since, 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, malyaise, hippocras, and aquavitæ ; with whcat-bread, main-bread,

« AnteriorContinuar »