« AnteriorContinuar »
"We'll give them the metal our mountain affords,
Lillibulero, bullen a la,
Lero, lero, etc.
Lero, lero, etc."
But come, Bailie, be not cast down; drink your wine with a joyous heart; the Baron shall return safe and victorious to Tully-Veolan, and unite Killancureit's lairdship with his own, since the cowardly half-bred swine will not turn out for the Prince like a gentleman."
“ To be sure, they lie maist ewest '," said the Bailie, wiping his eyes, “and should naturally fa' under the same factory."
"And I," proceeded the Chieftain, “shall take care of myself too; for you must know, I have to complete a good work here by bringing Mrs. Flockhart inlo the bosom of the Catholic church, or at least half way, and that is to your Episcopal meeting-house. O Baron! if you heard her fine counter-tenor admonishing Kate and Matty in the morning, you, who understand music, would tremble at the idea of hearing her shriek in the psalmody of Haddo's Hole."
" Lord forgie you, colonel, how ye rin on! But I hope your honours will tak tea before ye gang to the palace, and I maun gang and mask it for you.'
So saying, Mrs. Flockhart left the gentlemen to their own conversation, which, as might be supposed, lurned chiefly upon the approaching events of the campaign.
ENSIGN MACCOMBICH having gone to the Highland camp upon duty, and Bailie Macwheeble having retired lo digest bis dinner, and Evan Dhu's intimation of martial law, in some blind changehouse, Waverley, with the Baron and the Chieftain, proceeded to Holyrood-House. The two last were in full tide of spirits, and the Baron rallied in his way our hero upon the handsome figure which his new dress displayed to advantage. “If you have any design upon the heart of a bonny Scotch lassie, I would premonish
"These lines, or sometbing like them, occur in an old Magazine of the period. a i. e. Contiguous.
you, when you address her, to remember and quote the words of Virgilius:
• Nunc insanus amor duri me Martis in armis,
Whilk verses Robertson of Struan, Chief of the Clan Donnochy (unless the claims of Lade ought to be preferred primo loco), has thus elegantly rendered :
* For cruel love has gartan'd low my leg,
Although, indeed, ye wear the trews, a garment whilk I approve maist of the twa, as mair ancient and seemly.”
6 Or rather,” said Fergus, “ hear my song :
"She wadna hae a Lowland laird,
Nor be an English lady;
And he's row'd her in his plaidy.'
By this time they reached the palace of Holyrood, and were announced respectively as they entered the apartments.
It is but too well known how many gentlemen of rank, education, and fortune, took a concern in the ill-fated and desperate undertaking of 1745. The ladies, also, of Scotland very generally espoused the cause of the gallant and handsome young Prince, who threw himself upon the mercy of his countrymen rather like a hero of romance than a calculating politician. It is not, therefore, to be wondered that Edward, who had spent the greater part of his life in the solemn seclusion of Waverley-Honour, should have been dazzled at the liveliness and elegance of the scene now exhibited in the long-deserted halls of the Scottish palace. The accompaniments, indeed, fell short of splendour, being such as the confusion and hurry of the time admitted ; still, however, the general effect was striking, and, the rank of the company considered, might well be called brilliant.
It was not long before the lover's eye discovered the object of his altachment. Flora Mac-Ivor was in the act of relurning to lier seat, near the top of the room, with Rose Bradwardine by her side. Among much elegance and beauty, they had attracted a great degree of the public attention, being certainly two of the handsomes women present. The Prince took much notice of both, particularly of Flora, with whom he danced; a preference which she probably owed to her foreign education, and cornmand of the French and llaJian languages.
When the bustle allending the conclusion of the dance per
milted, Edward, almost intuitively, followed Fergus to the place where Miss Mac-Iyor was sealed. The sensation of hope, with which he had nursed his affection in absence of the beloved object, seemed to vanish in her presence, and, like one striving to recover the particulars of a forgolten dream, he would have given the world at that moment to have recollected the grounds on which he had founded expectations which now seemed so delusive. He accompanied Fergus with downcast eyes, tingling ears, and the feelings of the criminal, who, while the melancholy cart moves slowly through the crowds that have assembled to behold his execution, receives no clear sensation either from the noise which fills his ears, or the tumult on which he casts his wandering look.
Flora seemed a little-a very little - affected and discomposed at his approach. “I bring an adopted son of Ivor,” said Fergus.
“And I receive him as a second brother,” replied Flora.
There was a slight emphasis on the word, which would have escaped every ear but one that was feverish with apprehension. It was, however, distinctly marked, and, combined with her whole tone and manner, plainly intimated, “I will never think of Mr. Waverley as a more intimate connexion." Edward stopped, bowed, and looked at Fergus, who bit his lip; a movement of anger, which proved that he also had put a sinister interpretation on the reception which his sister had given his friend. “This, then, is an end of my day-dream!” Such was Waverley's first thought, and it was so exquisitely painful as to banish from his cheek every drop of blood.
"Good God!” said Rose Bradwardine, “he is not yet recovered!”
These words, which she uttered with great emotion, were overheard by the Chevalier himself, who stepped hastily forward, and, taking Waverley by the hand, inquired kindly after his health, and added, that he wished to speak with him. By a strong and sudden effort, which the circumstances rendered indispensable, Waverley recovered himself so far as to follow the Chevalier in silence to a recess in the apartment.
Here the Prince detained him some time, asking various questions about the great Tory and Catholic families of England, their connexions, their influence, and the state of their affections towards the house of Stewart. To these queries Edward could not at any time have given more than general answers, and it may be supposed that, in the present stale of his feelings, his responses were indistinct even to confusion. The Chevalier smiled once or twice at the incongruily of his replies, but continued the same style of conversation, although he found himself obliged to occupy the principal share of it, until he perceived that Waverley had recovered his presence of mind. It is probable that this long audience was partly
meant to further the idea, which the Prince desired should be entertained among his followers, that Waverley was a character of political influence. But it appeared, from his concluding expressions, that he had a different and good-natured motive, personal to our hero, for prolonging the conference. “ I cannot resist the lemptation," he said, “ of boasting of my own discretion as a lady's confident. You see, Mr. Waverley, that I know all, and I assure you I am deeply interested in the affair. But, my good young friend, you must put a more severe restraint upon your feelings. There are many here whose eyes can see as clearly as mine, but the prudence of whose tongues may not be equally trusted."
So saying, he turned easily away, and joined a circle of officers at a few paces' distance, leaving Waverley to meditate upon his parting expression, which, though not intelligible to him in its whole purport, was sufficiently so in the caution which the last word recommended. Making, therefore, an effort to show himself worthy of the interest which his new master had expressed, by instant obedience to his recommendalion, he walked up to the spot where Flora and Miss Bradwardine were still seated, and having made his compliments to the latter, he succeeded, even beyond his own expectation, in entering into conversation upon general lopics.
Jf, my dear reader, thou hast ever happened to take post-horses al ----, or at (one at least of which blanks, or more probably both, you will be able to fill up from an inn near your own residence), you must have observed, and doubtless with sympathetic pain, the reluctant agony with which the poor jades at first apply their galled necks to the collars of the harness. Bul when the irresistible arguments of the post-boy have prevailed upon them to proceed a mile or two, they will become callous to the first sensation; and being warm in the harness, as the said post-boy may term it, proceed as if their withers were altogether unwrung. This simile so much corresponds with the state of Waverley's feelings in the course of this memorable evening, that I prefer it (especially as being, I trust, wholly original) lo any more splendid illustration, with which Byshe's Art of Poetry might supply me.
Exertion, like virtue, is its own reward ; and our hero had, moreover, olher stimulating motives for persevering in a display of affected composure and indifference to Flora's obvious unkindness. Pride, which supplies ils caustic as an useful, though severe, remedy for the wounds of affection, came rapidly to his aid. Distinguished by the favour of a Prince ; destined, he had room to hope, to play a conspicuous part in the rev olution which awailed a mighty kingdom; excelling, probably, in mental acquirements, and equalling at least, in personal accomplishments, most of the noble and distinguished persons with whom he was now ranked; young,
wealthy, and high-born,-could he, or ought he, to droop beneath the frown of a capricious beauty ?
“O nymph, unrelenting and cold as thou art,
My bosom is proud as thine own."
With the feeling expressed in these beautiful lines (which however, were not then written)', Waverley determined upon convincing Flora that he was not to be depressed by a rejection, in which his vanity whispered that perhaps she did her own prospects as much injustice as his. And, to aid this change of feeling, there lurked the secret and unacknowledged hope, that she might learn to prize his affection more highly, when she did not conceive it to be altogether within her own choice to attract or repulse it. There was a mystic tone of encouragement, also, in the Chevalier's words, though he seared they only referred to the wishes of Fergus in favour of an union between him and his sister. But the whole circumstances of lime, and incident, combined at once lo awaken his imagination, and to call upon him for a manly and decisive tone of conduct, leaving to fale lo dispose of the issue. Should he appear to be the only one sad and disheartened on the eve of battle, how greedily would the tale be commented upon by the slander which had been already but loo busy with his fame! Never, never, he internally resoived, shall my unprovoked enemies possess such an advantage over my reputation.
Under the influence of these mixed sensations, and cheered at times by a smile of intelligence and approbation from the Prince as he passed the group, Waverley exerted his powers of fancy, ani malion, and eloquence, and attracted the general admiralion of the company. The conversation gradually assumed the lone best qualified for the display of his talents and acquisilions. The gaiety of the evening was exalted in character, rather than checked, by the approaching dangers of the morrow. All nerves were strung for the future, and prepared to enjoy the present. This mood of mind is highly favourable for the exercise of the powers of imagination, for poetry, and for that eloquence which is allied to poetry. Waverley, as we have elsewhere observed, possessed at times a wonderful flow of rhetoric; and, on the present occasion, he touched more than once the higher notes of feeling, and then again ran off in a wild voluntary of fanciful mirth. He was supported and excited by kindred spirits, who selt the same impulse of mood and lime; and even those of more cold and calculating habits were hurried along by the torrent. Many ladies declined the dance, which still went forward, and, under various prelences, joined the party to which the
| They occur in Miss Seward's fine verses, beginning
“ To thy rocks, stormy Lannow, adicu."