Imágenes de página

Caplain Wogan, whose enterprising character is so well drawn by Clarendon. He had originally engaged in the service of the Parliament, but had abjured that party upon the execution of Charles I.; and upon hearing that the royal standard was set up by the Earl of Glencairn and General Middleton in the Highlands of Scotland, took leave of Charles II., who was then at Paris, passed into England, assembled a body of cavaliers in the neighbourhood of London, and traversed the kingdom, which had been so long under domination of the usurper, by marches conducted with such skill, dexterity, and spirit, that he safely united his handful of horsemen with the body of Highlanders then in arms. After several months of desultory warfare, in which Wogan's skill and courage gained him the highest reputation, he had the misfortune to be wounded in a dangerous manner, and no surgical assistance being within reach, he terminated his short but glorious career.

There were obvious reasons why the politic Chieftain was desirous to place the example of this young hero under the eye of Waverley, with whose romantic disposition it coincided so peculiarly. But his letter turned chiefly upon some trifling commissions which Waverley had promised to execute for him in England, and it was only toward the conclusion that Edward found these words : -"I owe Flora a grudge for refusing us her company yesterday; and as I am giving you the trouble of reading these lines, in order to keep in your memory your promise to procure me the fishingtackle and cross-bow from London, I will inclose her verses on the Grave of Wogan. This I know will teaze her; for, to tell you the truth, I think her more in love with the memory of that dead hero, than she is likely to be with any living one, unless he shall tread a similar path. But English squires of our day keep their oak-trees to shelter their deer parks, or repair the losses of an evening at White's, and neither invoke them to wreath their brows, nor shelter their graves. Let me hope for one brilliant exception in a dear friend, to whom I would most gladly give a dearer title.”

The verses were inscribed,


In the Church-Yard of in the Highlands of Scotland, said to mark

the Grave of Captain Wogan, killed in 1649.

EMBLEM of England's ancient faith,

Full proudly may thy branches wave,
Where loyalty lies low in death,

And yalour fills a timeless grave.

And thou, brave tenant of the tomb!

Repine not if our clime deny,

Above thine bonour'd sod to bloom,

The flowerets of a milder sky.

Tbese owe their birth to genial May;

Beneath a fiercer sun they pine,
Before the winter storm decay-

And can their worth be type of thine ?

No! for, 'mid storms of Fate opposing,

Still bigher swell’d thy dauntless heart,
And, while Despair the scene was closing,

Commenced thy brief but brilliant part.

'Twas then thou sought'st on Albyn's hill,

(When England's sons the strife resign'd) A rugged race resisting still,

And unsubdued though unrefined.

Thy death's hour heard no kindred wail,

No holy knell thy requiem rung;
Thy mourners were the plaided Gael,

Thy dirge the clamorous pibroch sung.

Yet who, in Fortune's summer-shine

To waste life's longest term away,
Would change that glorious dawn of thine,

Though darken’d ere its noontide day?

Be thine the Tree whose dauntless boughs

Brave summer's drought and winter's gloom,
Rome bound with oak her patriots' brows,

As Albyn shadows Wogan's tomb.

Whatever might be the real merit of Flora Mac-Ivor's poetry, the enthusiasm which it intimated was well calculaled to make a corresponding impression upon her lover. The lines were read read again-then deposited in Waverley's bosom—then again drawn oul, and read line by line, in a low and smothered voice, and with frequent pauses, which prolonged the mental treat, as an epicure protracts, by sipping slowly, the enjoyment of a delicious beverage. The entrance of Mrs. Cruickshanks, with the sublunary articles of dinner and wine, hardly interrupted this pantomime of affectionate enthusiasm.

At length the tall ungainly figure and ungracious visage of Ebenezer presented themselves. The upper part of his form, notwithstanding the season required no such defence, was shrouded in a large g.reat-coat, belted over his under habiliments, and crested with a huge cowl of the same stuff, which, when drawn over the head and hat, completely overshadowed both, and being buttoned beneath the chin, was called a trot-cozy. His hand grasped a huge

jockey-whip, garnished with brass mounting. His thin legs tenanted a pair of gambadoes, fastened at the sides with rusty clasps. Thus accoutred, he stalked into the midst of the apartment, and announced his errand in brief phrase :-"Yer horses are ready."

“You go with me yourself then, landlord?”

“I do, as far as Perth ; where ye may be supplied with a guide to Embro', as your occasions shall require.”

Thus saying, he placed under Waverley's eye the bill which he held in his hand; and at the same time, self-invited, filled a glass of wine, and drank devoutly to a blessing on their journey. Waverley stared al the man's impudence, but, as their connexion was to be short, and promised to be convenient, he made no observation upon it; and, having paid his reckoning, expressed his intention lo depart immediately. He mounted Dermid accordingly, and sallied forth from the Golden Candlestick, followed by the puritanical figure we have described, after he had, at the expense of some time and difficulty, and by the assistance of a “louping-on-stane," or structure of masonry erected for the traveller's convenience in front of the house, elevated his person to the back of a long-backed, rawboned, thin-gutted phantom of a broken-down blood-horse, on which Waverley's portmanteau was deposited. Our hero, though not in a very gay humour, could hardly help laughing at the appearance of his new squire, and at imagining the astonishment which his person and equipage would have excited at Waverley-Honour.

Edward's tendency to mirth did not escape mine host of the Candlestick, who, conscious of the cause, infused a double portion of souring into the pharasaical leaven of his countenance, and resolved internally that, in one way or other, the young Englisher should pay dearly for the contempt with which he seemed to regard him, Callum also stood at the gate, and enjoyed, with undissembled glee, the ridiculous figure of Mr. Cruickshanks. As Waverley passed him, he pulled off his hat respectfully, and approaching bis stirrup, bade him “ Tak heed the auld Whig deevil played him nae cantrip."

Waverley once more thanked, and bade him farewell, and then rode briskly onward, not sorry to be out of hearing of the shouls of the children, as they beheld old Ebenezer rise and sink in his stirrups, to avoid the concussions occasioned by a hard trot upon a half-paved street. The village of was soon several miles behind him.




The manner and air of Waverley, but above all, the glittering contents of his purse, and the indifference with which he seemed to regard them, somewhat overawed his companion, and deterred him from making any aitempts to enter upon conversation. His own reflections were moreover agitated by various surmises, and by plans of self-interest, with which these were intimately connected. The travellers journeyed, therefore, in silence, unlil it was interrupled by the annunciation, on the part of the guide, that his “naig had lost a fore-foot shoe, which, doubtless, his honour would consider it was his part to replace."

This was what lawyers call a fishing question, calculated to ascertaio how far Waverley was disposed to submit to petty imposition. “My part to replace your horse's shoe, you rascal!” said Waverley, mistaking the purport of the intimation.

“ Indubitably," answered Mr. Cruickshanks; though there was no preceese clause to that effect, it canna be expected that I am to pay for the casualties whilk may befall the puir naig while in your honour's service. - Nathless, if your honour"

0, you mean I am to pay the farrier; but where shall we find one?"

Rejoiced at discerning there would be no objection made on the part of his temporary master, Mr. Cruickshanks assured him that Cairnvreckan, a village which they were about to enter, was happy in an excellent blacksmith; "but as he was a professor, he would drive a nail for no man on the Sabbath, or kirk-fast, unless it were in a case of absolute necessity, for which he always charged sixpence each shoe.” The most important part of this communication, in the opinion of the speaker, made a very slight impression on the hearer, who only internally wondered what college this veterinary professor belonged to; not aware that the word was used to denote any person who pretended to uncommon sanclity of faith and manner.

As they entered the village of Cairnyreckan, they speedily distinguished the smith's house. Being also a public, it was two stories high, and proudly reared its crest, covered with grey slate, above the thatched hovels by which it was surrounded. The adjoining smithy betokened none of the Sabbatical silence and repose which

Ebenezer had augured from the sanctity of his friend. On the contrary, hammer clashed and anvil rang, the bellows groaned, and the whole apparatus of Vulcan appeared to be in full activity. Nor was the labour of a rural and pacific nature. The master smith, benempt, as his sign intimated, John Mucklewrath, with two assistants, toiled busily in arranging, repairing, and furbishing old muskets, pistols, and swords, which lay scallered around his work-shop in military confusion. The open shed, containing the forge, was crowded with persons who came and went as if receiving and communicating important news; and a single glance at the aspect of the people who traversed the street in hasle, or stood assembled in groups, with eyes elevated, and hands uplifted, announced that some extraordinary intelligence was agitating the public mind of the municipality of Cairnyreckan. There is some news,” said mine host of the Candlestick, pushing bis lantern-jawed visage and bare-boned nag rudely forward into the crowd — " there is some news; and if it please my Creator, I will forth with obtain speirings thereof."

Waverley, with better regulated curiosity than his attendant's, dismounted, and gave his horse to a boy who stood idling near. It arose, perhaps from the shyness of his character in early youth, that he felt dislike at applying to a stranger even for casual information, without previously glancing at his physiognomy and appearance. While he looked about in order to select the person with whom he would most willingly hold communication, the buzz around saved him in some degree the trouble of interrogatories. The names of Lochiel, Clanronald, Glengarry, and other distinguished Highland Chiefs, among whom Vich Jan Vohr was repeatedly mentioned, were as familiar in men's mouths as household words; and, from the alarm generally expressed, he easily conceived that their descent into the Lowlands, at the head of their armed tribes, had either already taken place, or was instantly apprehended.

Ere Waverley could ask particulars, a strong, large-boned hardfeatured woman, about forty, dressed as if her clothes had been flung on with a pitchfork, her cheeks flushed with a scarlet red where they were not smutted with soot and lamp-black, jostled through the crowd, and brandishing high a child of two years old, which she danced in her arms, without regard to its screams of terror, sang forth, with all her might,

“ Charlie is my darling, my darling, my darling,
Charlie is my darling,

The young chevalier!"

“D'ye hear what's come ower ye now," continued the virago, " ye whingeing Whig carles? D'ye hear wha's coming to cow yer cracks?”

« AnteriorContinuar »