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Henry gives of Fluellen," said Waverley, as his friend and he walked towards their bivouac :
Though it appears a little out of fashion,
“ He has seen much service,” answered Fergus, “and one is sometimes astonished to find how much nonsense and reason are mingled in his composition. I wonder what can be troubling his mind-probably something about Rose.-Hark! the English are selling their watcb."
The roll of the drum and shrill accompaniment of the fifes swelled up the hill--died away-resumed ils thunder-and was at length hushed. The trumpets and kettle-drums or the cavalry were next heard to perform the beautiful and wild point of war appropriated as a signal for that piece of nocturnal duty, and then finally sunk upon the wind with a shrill and mournful cadence.
The friends, who had now reached their post, stood and looked round them ere they lay down to rest. The western sky twinkled with stars, but a frosl-mist, rising from the ocean, covered the eastern horizon, and rolled in white wreaths along the plain where the adverse army lay couched upon their arms. Their advanced posts ware pushed as far as the side of the great ditch at the bottom of the descent, and had kindled large fires at different intervals, gleaming with obscure and hazy lustre through the heavy fog which encircled them with doubtful halo.
The Highlanders, " thick as leaves in Valumbrosa,” lay stretched upon the ridge of the hill, buried (excepling their sentinels) in the most profound repose. “How many of these brave fellows will sleep more soundly before to-morrow night, Fergus!" said Waverley, with an involuntary sigh.
“You must not think of that," answered Fergus, whose ideas were entirely military. “You must only think of your sword, and by whom it was given. All other reflections are now TOO LATE.”
With the opiale contained in this undeniable remark, Edward endeavoured to lull the tumult of his conflicting feelings. The Chieftain and he, combining their plaids, made a comfortable and warm couch. Callum, sitting down at their head (for it was his duty to watch upon the immediate person of the Chief), began a long mournful song in Gaelic, lo a low and uniform lune, which, like the sound of the wind at a distance, soon lulled them to sleep.
When Fergus Mac-Ivor and his friend had slept for a few hours, they were awakened, and summoned to attend the Prince. The distant village-clock was heard to toll three as they hastened to the place where he lay. He was already surrounded by his principal officers and the chiefs of clans. A bundle of pease-straw, which had been lately his couch, now served for his seat. Just as Fergus reached the circle, the consultation had broken up. rage, my brave friends!” said the Chevalier, “and each one put himself instantly at the head of his command; a faithful friend' has offered to guide us by a practicable, though narrow and circuitous roule, which, sweeping to our right, traverses the broken ground and morass, and enables us to gain the firm and open plain, upon which the enemy are lying. This difficulty surmounted, Heaven and your good swords must do the rest."
The proposal spread unanimous joy, and each leader hastened to get his men into order with as little noise as possible. The army, moving by its right from off the ground on which they had rested, soon entered the path through the morass, conducting their march with astonishing silence and great rapidity. The mist had not risen to the higher grounds, so that for some time they had the
'The faithful friend who pointed out the pass by which the Highlanders moved from Tranent to Seaton, was Robert Anderson, junior, of Whitburg, a gentleman of property in East Lothian. He had been interrogated by the Lord George Murray concerning the possibility of crossing the uncouth and marshy piece of ground which divided the armies, and which he described as impracticable. When dismissed, he recollected that there was a circuitous path leading eastward through the marsh into the plain, by which the Highlanders might lurn the sank of Sir John Cope's position, without being exposed to the enemy's fire. Having mentioned his opinion to Mr. Hepburn of Keith, who instantly saw its i portance, he was encouraged by that gentleman to awake Lord George Murray, and communicate the idea to him. Lord George received the information with grateful thanks, and instantly awakened Prince Charles, who was sleeping in the field with a bunch of pease under his head. The Adventurer received with alacrily the news that there was a possibility of bringing an excellently provided army to a decisive battle with his own irregular forces. His joy on the occasion was not very consistent with the charge of cowardice brought against him by Chevalier Jobnstone, a discontented follower, whose Memoirs possess at least as much of a romantic as a historical character. Even by the account of the Chevalier himself, the Prince was at the head of the second line of the Highland army during the battle, of which he says, “It was gained with such rapidity, that in the second Jinc, where I was still by the side of the Prince, we saw no other enemy iban those who were lying on the ground killed and wounded, though we were not more than fifty paces behind our first line, running always as fast as we could to overtake them.”
This passage in the Chevalier's Memoirs places the Prince within fifty paces of the heat of the battle, a position which would never have been tbe choice of one unwilling to take a share of its dangers. Indeed, unless the chiefs had complied with the young Adventurer's proposal to lead the van in person, it does not appear that he could have been deeper in the action.
advantage of star-light. But this was lost as the stars faded before approaching day, and the head of the marching column, continuing its descent, plunged as it were into the heavy ocean of fog, which rolled its white waves over the whole plain, and over the sea by which it was bounded. Some difficulties were now to be encountered, inseparable from darkness, a narrow, broken, and marshy path, and the necessity of preserving union in the march. These, however, were less inconvenient to Highlanders, from their habits of life, than they would have been to any other troops, and they continued a steady and swift movement.
As the clan of Ivor approached the firm ground, following the track of those who preceded them, the challenge of a pairol was heard through the mist, though they could not see the dragoon by whom it was made—“Who goes there?”
” cried Fergus, hush! Let none answer, as he values his life-Press forward ;" and they conlinued their march with silence and rapidity.
The patrol fired his carabine upon the body, and the report was instantly followed by the clang of his horse's feet as he galloped off. “Hylax in limine latrat," said the Baron of Bradwardine, who heard the shot; " that loon will give the alarm.”
The clan of Fergus had now gained the firm plain, which had lately borne a large crop of corn. But the barvest was gathered in, and the expanse was unbroken by tree, bush, or interruption of any kind. The rest of the army were following fast, when they heard the drums of the enemy beat the general. Surprise, however, had made no part of their plan, so they were not disconcerted by this intimation that the foe was upon his guard and prepared to receive them. It only hastened their dispositions for the combat, which were very simple.
The Highland army, which now occupied the eastern end of the wide plain, or stubble field, so often referred to, was drawn up in two lines, extending from the morass towards the sea. The first was destined to charge the enemy, the second to act as a reserve. The few horse, whom the Prince headed in person, remained between the Iwo lines. The Adventurer had intimated a resolution to charge in person at the head of his first line; but his purpose was deprecaled by all around him, and he was with difficulty induced to abandon it.
Both lines were now moving forward, the first prepared for instant combal. The clans, of which it was composed, formed each a sort of separate phalanx, narrow in front, and in depth ten, twelve, or fifteen files, according to the strength of the following. The best-armed and best-born, for the words were synonymous, were placed in front of each of these irregular subdivisions. The others in the rear shouldered forward the front, and by their pressure added
both physical impulse, and additional ardour and confidence, lo those who were first to encounter the danger.
"Down with your plaid, Waverley," cried Fergus, throwing off his own; “ we'll win silks for our tartans before the sun is above the sea.
The clansmen on every side stript their plaids, prepared their arins, and there was an awful pause of about three minutes, during which the men, pulling off their bonnets, raised their faces to heaven, and uttered a short prayer; then pulled their bonnets over their brows, and began to move forward at first slowly. Waverley felt his heart at that moment throb as it would have burst from his bosom. It was not fear, it was not ardour,-it was a compound of both, a new and deeply energetic impulse, that wilh its first emotion chilled and astounded, then fevered and maddened his mind. The sounds around him combined to exall his enthusiasm ; the pipes played, and the clans rushed forward, each in its own dark column. As they advanced they mended their pace, and the muttering sounds of the men to each other began lo swell into a wild cry.
At this moment, the sun, which was now risen above the horizon, dispelled the mist. The vapours rose like a curtain, and showed the two armies in the act of closing. The line of the regulars was formed directly fronting the attack of the Highlanders; it glittered with the appointments of a complete army, and was flanked by cavalry and artillery. But the sight impressed no terror on the assailants.
“ Forward, sons of Ivor,” cried their Chicf, or the Camerons will draw the first blood!”—They rushed on with a tremendous yell.
The rest is well known. The horse, who were commanded to charge the advancing Highlanders in the flank, received an irregular fire from their fusees as they ran on, and, seized with a disgraceful panic, wavered, halted, disbanded, and galloped from the field. The artillerymen, deserted by the cavalry, fled after discharging their pieces, and the Highlanders, who dropped their guns when fired, and drew their broadswords, rushed with headlong fury against the infantry.
It was at this moment of confusion and terror, that Waverley remarked an English officer, apparently of high rank, standing alone and unsupported, by a field-piece, which, after the flight of the men by whom it was wrought, he had himself levelled and discharged against the clan of Mac-Ivor, the nearest group of Highlanders within his aim. Struck with his tall, martial figure, and eager to save him from inevitable destruction, Waverley outstripped for an instant even the speediest of the warriors, and, reaching the spot first, called to him to surrender. The officer replied by a thrust with his sword, which Waverley received in his
target, and, in turning it aside, the Englishman's weapon broke. At the same time the battle-axe of Dugald Mahony was in the act of descending upon the officer's head. Waverley intercepted and prevented the blow, and the officer, perceiving further resistance unavailing, and struck with Edward's generous anxiety for his safely, resigned the fragment of his sword, and was committed by Waverley to Dugald, with strict charge to use him well, and not to pillage his person, promising him, at the same lime, full indemnification for the spoil.
On Edward's right the battle for a few minutes raged fierce and thick. The English infantry, trained in the wars in Flanders, stood their ground with great courage. But their extended files were pierced and broken in many places by the close masses of the clans; and, in the personal struggle which ensued, the nature of the Highlanders' weapons, and their extraordinary fierceness and activity, gave them a decided superiority over those who had been accustomed to trust much to their array and discipline, and felt that the one was broken and the other useless. Waverley, as he cast his eyes towards this scene of smoke and slaughter, observed Colonel Gardiner, deserted by his own soldiers in spite of all his attempts to rally them, yet spurring his horse through the field to take the command of a small body of infantry, who, with their backs arranged against the wall of his own park, (for his house was close by the field of battle,) continued a desperale and unavailing resistance. Waverley could perceive that he had already received many wounds, his clothes and saddle being marked with blood. To save this good and brave man, became the instant object of his most anxious exertions. But he could only witness his fall. Ere Edward could make his way among the Highlanders, who, furious and eager for spoil, now thronged upon each other, he saw his former commander brought from his horse by the blow of a scythe, and beheld him receive, while on the ground, more wounds than would have let out twenty lives. When Waverley came up, however, perception had not entirely fled. The dying warrior seemed to recognise Edward, for he fixed his eye upon him with an upbraiding, yel sorrowful look, and appeared to struggle for utterance. But he felt that death was dealing closely with him, and resigning bis purpose, and folding his hands as if in devotion, he gave up his soul to his Creator. The look with which he regarded Waverley, in his dying moments, did not strike him so deeply at that crisis of hurry and confusion, as when it recurred to his imagination at the distance of some time. ?
'The death of this good Christian and gallant man is thus given by his affectionate biographer, Dr. Doddridge, from the evidence of eye-witnesses :
"He continued all night under arms, wrapped up in his cloak, and generally sheltered under a rick of barley, which happened to be in the field. About three in the morning he