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linued the impatient Chieftain, “what made an old soldier, like Bradwardine, send dying men here to cumber us?”
Callum came with his usual alertness; and, indeed, Waverley rather gained than lost in the opinion of the Highlanders, by his anxiety about the wounded man. They would not have understood the general philanthropy, which rendered it almost impossible for Waverley to have passed any person in such distress; but, as apprehending that the sufferer was one of his following ', they unanimously allowed that Waverley's conduct was that of a kind and considerate chieftain, who merited the attachment of his people. In about a quarter of an hour poor Humphrey breathed bis last, praying his young master, when he returned to Waverley-Honour, to be kind to old Job Houghton and his dame, and conjuring him not to fight with these wild petticoat-men against old England.
When his last breath was drawn, Waverley, who had beheld with sincere sorrow, and no slight linge of remorse, the final agonies of mortality, now witnessed for the first time, commanded Callum lo remove the body into the hut. This the young Highlander performed, not without examining the pockets of the defunct, which, however, he remarked, had been pretty well spung'a. He took the cloak, however; and, proceeding with the provident caution of a spaniel hiding a bone, concealed it among some furze, and carefully marked the spot, observing, that if he chanced to return that way, it would be an excellent rokelay for his auld mother Elspat.
It was by a considerable exertion that they regained their place in the marching column, which was now moving rapidly forward to occupy the high grounds above the village of Tranent, between which and the sea lay the purposed march of the opposite army.
This melancholy interview with his late sergeant forced many unavailing and painful reflections upon Waverley's mind. It was clear, from the confession of the man, that Colonel Gardiner's proceedings had been strictly warranted, and even rendered indispensable, by the steps taken in Edward's name to induce the soldiers of his troop to mutiny. The circumstance of the seal, he now, for the first time, recollected, and that he had lost it in the cavern of the robber, Bean Lean. That the artful villain had secured it, and used it as the means of carrying on an intrigue in the regiment for his own purposes, was sufficiently evident; and Edward had now little doubt that in the packet placed in his portmanteau by his daughter, he should find farther light upon his proceedings. In the meanwhile, the repeated expostulation of Houghton,-"Ah, squire, why did you leave us ?” rung like a knell in his ears.
“Yes,” he said, “I have indeed acted towards you with thoughtless cruelty. I brought you from your paternal fields, and the pro
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lection of a generous and kind landlord, and when I had subjected you to all the rigour of military discipline, I shunned to bear my own share of the burden, and wandered from the duties I had undertaken, leaving alike those whom it was my business to protect, and my own reputation, to suffer under the artifices of villany. O, indolence and indecision of mind! is not in yourselves vices, to how much exquisite misery and mischief do you frequently prepare the way!”
THE EVE OF BATTLE.
ALTHOUGH the Highlanders marched on very fast, the sun was declining when they arrived upon the brow of those high grounds which command an open and extensive plain stretching northward to the sea ; on which are situated, but at a considerable distance from each other, the small villages of Seaton and Cockenzie, and the larger one of Preston. One of the low coast-roads to Edinburgh passed through this plain, issuing upon it from the inclosures of Seaton-house, and at the town or village of Preston again entering the defiles of an inclosed country. By this way the English general had chosen to approach the metropolis, both as most commodious for his cavalry, and being probably of opinion that, by doing so, he would meet in front with the Highlanders advancing from Edinburgh in the opposite direction. In this he was mistaken; for the sound judgment of the Chevalier, or of those to whose advice he listened, left the direct passage free, but occupied the strong ground by which it was overlooked and commanded.
When the Highlanders reached the heights above the plain described, they were immediately formed in array of battle along the brow of the hill. Almost at the same instant the van of the English appeared issuing from among the trees and inclosures of Seaton, with the purpose of occupying the level plain between the high ground and the sea ; the space which divided the armies being only about half a mile in breadth. Waverley could plainly see the squadrons of dragoons issue, one after another, from the defiles, with their videttes in front, and form upon the plain, with their front opposed to that of the Prince's army. They were followed by a train of field-pieces, which, when they reached the flank of the dragoons, were also brought into line, and pointed against the heights. The march was continued by three or four regiments of infantry marching in open column, their fixed bayonels showing like successive hedges of sleel, and their arms glancing like lighl
ning, as, at a signal given, they also at once wheeled up, and were placed in direct opposition lo the Highlanders. A second train of artillery, with another regiment of horse, closed the long march, and formed on the left flank of the infantry, the whole line facing southward.
While the English army went through these evolutions, the Highlanders showed equal promptitude and zeal for ballle. As fast as the clans came upon the ridge which fronted their enemy, they were formed into line, so that both armies got into complete order of ballle at the same moment. When this was accomplished, the Highlanders set up a tremendous yell, which was re-echoed by the heights behind them. The regulars, who were in high spirits, returned a loud shout of defiance, and fired one or two of their cannon upon an advanced post of the Highlanders. The latter displayed great earnestness to proceed instantly to the attack, Evan Dhu urging to Fergus, by way of argument, that “the sidier roy was tottering like an egg upon a staff, and that they had a' the vantage of the onset, for even haggis (God bless her!) could charge down hill.”
But the ground through which the mountaineers must have descended, although not of great extent, was impracticable in its character, being not only marshy, but intersected with walls of dry stone, and traversed in its whole length by a very broad and deep ditch, circumstances which must have given the musketry of the regulars dreadful advantages, before the mountaineers could have used their swords, on which they were taught to rely. The authority of the commanders was therefore interposed to curb the impetuosity of the Highlanders, and only a few marksmen were sent down the descent to skirmish with the enemy's advanced posts, and to reconnoitre the ground.
Here then was a military spectacle of no ordinary interest, or usual occurrence. The two armies, so different in aspect and discipline, yet each admirably trained in its own peculiar mode of war, upon whose conflict the temporary fale at least of Scotland appeared to depend, now faced each other like two gladiators in the arena, each meditaling upon the mode of attacking their enemy. The leading officers, and the general's staff of each army, could be distinguished in front of their lines, busied with spy-glasses lo watch each other's motions, and occupied in dispalching the orders and receiving the intelligence conveyed by the aides-de-camp and orderly men, who gave life to the scene by galloping along in different directions, as if the fate of the day depended upon the speed of their horses. The space between the armies was at lines occupied by the partial and irregular contest of individual sharp-shooters, and a hat or bonnet was occasionally seen to fall, as a wounded man was borne off by his comrades. These, however, were but trifling skirmishes, for it suited the views of neither parly
to advance in that direction. From the neighbouring hamlets, the peasantry cauliously showed themselves, as if watching the issue of the expected engagement; and at no great distance in the bay were lwo square-rigged vessels, bearing the English flag, whose tops and yards were crowded with less timid spectators
When this awful pause had lasted for a short time, Fergus, with another chieftain, received orders to detach their clans towards the village of Preston, in order to threaten the right flank of Cope's army, and compel him to a change of position. To enable him to execute these orders, the Chief of Glennaquoich occupied the churchyard of Traneni, a commanding situation, and a convenient place, as Evan Dhu remarked, “ for any gentleman who might have the misfortune to be killed, and chanced to be curious about Christian burial.” To check or dislodge this parly, the English general detached two guns, escorted by a strong parly of cavalry. They approached so near, that Waverley could plainly recognise the standard of the troop he had formerly commanded, and hear the trumpets and kettle-drums sound the signal of advance, wbich he had so often obeyed. He could hear, too, the well-known word given in the English dialect, by the equally well-distinguished voice of the commanding officer, for whom he had once selt so much respect. It was at that instant, that, looking around him, he saw the wild dress and appearance of his Highland associales, heard their whispers in an uncouth and unknown language, looked upon his own dress, so unlike that which he had worn from his infancy, and wished to awake from what seemed at the moment a dream, strange, horrible, and unnatural. “Good God !” he muttered, “am I then a traitor to my country, à renegade to my standard, and a foe, as that poor dying wretch expressed himself, to my native England!”
Ere he could digest or smother the recollection, the tall military form of his late commander came full in view, for the purpose of reconnoitring. “I can hit him now," said Callum, cautiously raising his fusee over the wall under which he lay couched, at scarce sixty yards' distance.
Edward felt as if he was about to see a parricide committed in his presence; for the venerable grey hair and striking countenance of the veteran recalled the almost paternal respect with which his officers universally regarded him. But ere he could say " Hold!” an aged Highlander, who lay beside Callum Beg, stopped his arm.
Spare your shot," said the seer, “his hour is not yet come. But let him beware of to-morrow--I see his winding-sheet high upon his breast."
Callum, flint lo other considerations, was penetrable to superstition. He turned pale at the words of the Taishatr, and recovered his piece. Colonel Gardiner, unconscious of the danger he had
escaped, turned his horse round, and rode slowly back to the front of his regiment.
By this time the regular army had assumed a new line, with one flank inclined towards the sea, and the other resting upon the village of Preston ; and, as similar difficulties occurred in altacking their new position, Fergus and the rest of the detachment were recalled to their former post. This alteration created the necessity of a corresponding change in General Cope's army, which was again brought into a line parallel with that of the Highlanders. In these manæuvres on both sides the day-light was nearly consumed, and both armies prepared to rest upon their arms for the night in the lines which they respectively occupied.
“There will be nothing done to-night," said Fergus to his friend Waverley; were we wrap ourselves in our plaids, let us go see what The Baron is doing in the rear of the line.”
When they approached his post, they found the good old careful officer, after having sent out his night patrols, and posted his sentinels, engaged in reading the Evening Service of the Episcopal Church to the remainder of his troop. His voice was loud and sonorous, and though his spectacles upon his nose, and the appearance of Saunders Saunderson, in military array, performing the functions of clerk, had something ludicrous, yet the circumstances of danger in which they stood, the military costume of the audience, and the appearance of their horses, saddled and picquelled behind them, gave an impressive and solemn effect to the office of devotion.
“I have confessed to-day, ere you were awake,” whispered Fergus to Waverley; “yet I am not so strict a Catholic as to refuse to join in this good man's prayers.”
Edward assented, and they remained till the Baron had concluded the service.
As he shut the book, “Now, lads,” said he,“ have at them in the morning, with heavy hands and light consciences.” He then kindly greeted Mac-Ivor and Waverley, who requested to know his opinion of their situation. “Why, you know Tacitus saith, 'In rebus bellicis maxime dominatur Fortuna,' which is equiponderate with our vernacular adage, ‘Luck can maist in the mellee.' But credit me, gentlemen, yon man is not a deacon o' his craft. He damps the spirits of the poor lads he commands, by keeping them on the defensive, whilk of itself implies inferiority or fear. Now will they lie on their arms yonder, as anxious and as ill at ease as a toad under a harrow, while our men will be quite fresh and blithe for aclion in the morning. Well, good night. - One thing troubles me, but if to-morrow goes well off, I will consult you about it, Glennaquoich."
“ I could almost apply to Mr. Bradwardine the character which