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gæ (whether the same shall, be rendered boots or brogues,) save that of the said Baron of Bradwardine, who is in presence ready and willing to perform the same, it shall in no wise impinge upon or prejudice the right of the said Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine lo perform the said service in future; nor shall it give any esquire, valet of the chamber, squire, or page, whose assistance it may please his Royal Highness to employ, any right, title, or ground, for evicting from the said Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine the estate and barony of Bradwardine, and others held as aforesaid, by the due and faithful performance thereof."
Fergus highly applauded this arrangement; and the Baron look a friendly leave of them, with a smile of contented importance upon his visage.
“Long live our dear friend, the Baron," exclaimed the Chief, as soon as he was out of hearing, “ for the most absurd original that exists north of the Tweed! I wish to Heaven I had recommended him to attend the circle this evening with a boot-ketch under his arm. I think he might have adopted the suggestion, if it had been made with suitable gravity."
“And how can you take pleasure in making a man of his worth so ridiculous ?”
“Begging pardon, my dear Waverley, you are as ridiculous as he. Why, do you not see that the man's whole mind is wrapped up in this ceremony? He has heard and thought of it since infancy, as the most august privilege and ceremony in the world; and I doubt not but the expected pleasure of performing it was a principal motive with him for taking up arms. Depend upon it, had I endeavoured to divert him from exposing himself, he would have treated me as an ignorant, conceited coxcomb, or perhaps might have taken a fancy to cut my throat; a pleasure which he once proposed to himself upon some point of etiquette, not half so important, in his eyes, as this matter of boots or brogues, or whalever the calige shall finally be pronounced by the learned. But I must go to headquarters, to prepare the Prince for this extraordinary scene. My information will be well taken, for it will give him a hearty laugh al present, and put him on his guard against laughing, when it might be very mal-à-propos. So, au revoir, my dear Waverley."
THE ENGLISH PRISONER.
The first occupation of Waverley, after he departed from the Chieftain, was to go in quest of the officer whose life he had saved. He was guarded, along with his companions in misfortune, who were very numerous, in a gentleman's house near the field of battle.
On entering the room, where they stood crowded together, Waverley easily recognised the object of his visit, not only by the peculiar dignity of his appearance, but by the appendage of Dugald Mahony, wilh bis battle-axę, who bad stuck to him from the moment of his captivity, as if he had been skewered to his side. This close attendance was, perhaps for the purpose of securing his promised reward from Edward, but it also operated to save the English gentleman from being plundered in the scene of general confusion ; for Dugald sagaciously argued, that the amount of the salyage which he might be allowed, would be regulated by the state of the prisoner, when he should deliver him over to Waverley. He hastened to assure Waverley, therefore, with more words than he usually employed, that he had “keepit ta sidier roy haill, and that he wasna a plack the waur since the fery moment when his honour forbad her to gie him a bit clamhewit wi' her Lochaber-axe."
Waverley assured Dugald of a liberal recompense, and, approaching the English officer, expressed his anxiety to do any thing which might contribule to his convenience under his present unpleasant circumstances.
“I am not so inexperienced a soldier, sir," answered the Englishman, “as to complain of the fortune of war. I am only grieved to see those scenes acted in our own island, which I have often witnessed elsewhere wilh comparative indifference.”
“Another such a day as this," said Waverley, “and I trust the cause of your regrets will be removed, and all will again relurn to peace and order."
The officer smiled and shook his head. “I must not forget my situation so far as to attempt a forinal consutation of thal opinion ; but, notwithstanding your success, and the valour which achieved il, you have undertaken a task to which your strength appears wholly inadequate."
At this moment Fergus pushed into the press. “ Come, Edward, come along; the Prince has gone to Pinkie
house for the night ; and we must follow, or lose the wbole ceremony of the calige. Your friend, the Baron, has been guilty of a great piece of cruelly; he has insisted upon dragging Bailie Macwheeble out to the field of ballle. Now, you must know, lhe Bailie's greatest horror is an armed Highlander, or a loaded gun; and there he stands, listening to the Baron's instructions concerning the protest ; ducking his head like a sea-gull at the report of every gun and pistol that our idle boys are firing upon the fields ; and undergoing, by way of penance, at every symptom of flinching, a severe rebuke from his patron, who would not admit the discharge of a whole battery of cannon, within point-blank distance, as an apology for neglecting a discourse, in which the honour of his family is interested.
“But how has Mr. Bradwardine got him lo venture so far? said Edward
“Why, be had come as far as Musselburgh, I fancy, in hopes of making some of our wills; and the peremptory commands of the Baron dragged him forward to Preston after the battle was over. Ile complains of one or lwo of our ragamuffins having put him in peril of his life, by presenting their pieces at him; but as they limited his ransom to an English penny, I don't think we need trouble the provost-martial upon that subject. So, come along, Waverley."
Waverley !” said the English officer, with great emolion ; "the nephew of Sir Everard Waverley, of —-shire ?”
“ The same, sir,” replied our hero, somewhat surprised at the tone in which he was addressed.
“I am at once happy and grieved," said the prisoner, “ to have met with you."
“I am ignorant, sir,” answered Waverley, “how I have deserved so much interest.' “Did your uncle never mention a friend called Talbot ?"
I have heard him lalk with great regard of such a person," replied Edward ; "a colonel, I believe, in the army, and the husband of Lady Emily Blandeville ; but I thought colonel Talbot had been abroad.”
“I am just relurned," answered the officer ; "and, being in Scotland, thought it my duly lo act where my services promised to be useful. Yes, Mr. Waverley, I am that Colonel Talbot, the husband of the lady you have named ; and I am proud to acknowledge, that I owe alike my professional rank and my domestic bappiness to your generous and noble-minded relative. Good God! that I should find his nephew in such a dress, and engaged in such a cause !"
“Sir,” said Fergus, haughtily, “ the dress and cause are those of men of birth and honour,"
“My situation forbids me to dispule your assertion," said Colonel Talbot ; 66 otherwise it were no difficult matter to show that neither courage nor pride of lineage can gild a bad cause. But, with Mr. Waverley’s permission, and yours, sir, if yours also must be asked, I would willingly speak a few words with him on affairs connected with his own family."
“Mr. Waverley, sir, regulates his own motions. You will follow me, I suppose, to Pinkie," said Fergus, turning to Edward, 66 when you have finished your discourse with this new acquaintance?” So saying, the Chief of Glennaquoich adjusted his plaid with rather more than his usual air of haughty assumption, and left the apartment.
The interest of Waverley readily procured for Colonel Talbot the freedom of adjourning to a large garden, belonging to his place of confinement. They walked a few paces in silence, Colonel Talbot apparently studying how to open what he had to say; at length he addressed Edward.
“Mr. Waverley, you have this day saved my life; and yet I would to God that I had lost it, ere I had found you wearing the uniform and cockade of these men."
"I forgive your reproach, Colonel Talbot ; it is well meant, and your education and prejudices render it natural. But there is nothing extraordinary in finding a man, whose honour has been publicly and unjustly assailed, in the situation which promised most fair to afford him satisfaction on his calumniators."
“I should rather say, in the situation most likely to confirm the reports that they have circulated," said Colonel Talbot, by following the very line of conduct ascribed to you.
Are you aware, Mr. Waverley, of the infinite distress, and even danger, which your present conduct has occasioned to your nearest relatives !”
“ Yes, sir, danger. When I left England, your uncle and father had been obliged to find bail to answer a charge of treason, to which they were only admitted by the exertion of the most powerful interest. I came down to Scotland, with the sole purpose of rescuing you from the gulf into which you had precipitated yourself; nor can I estimate the consequences to your family, of your having openly joined the rebellion, since the very suspicion of your intention was so perilous to them. Most deeply do I regret, that I did not meet you before this last and fatal error.
“I am really ignorant," said Waverley, in a tone of reserye, “why Colonel Talbot should have taken so much trouble on my account.”
“Mr. Waverley," answered Talbot, “I am dull at apprehending irony; and therefore I shall answer your words according to lheir plain meaning. I am indebted to your uncle for benefits great
er than those which a son owes to a father. I acknowledge to him the duty of a son ; and as I know there is no manner in which I can requile his kindness so well as by serving you, I will serve you, if possible, whether you will permit me or no. The personal obligation which you have this day laid me under (although, in common estimation, as great as one human being can bestow on another), adds nothing to my zeal on your behalf ; nor can that zeal be abated by any coolness with which you may please to receive it.”
“Your intentions may be kind, sir," said Waverley, drily; " but your language is harsh, or at least peremptory.”
“On my return to England," continued Colonel Talbot, “after long absence, I found your uncle, Sir Everard Waverley, in the custody of a king's messenger, in consequence of the suspicion brought upon him by your conduct. He is my oldest friend - how often shall I repeat it-my best benefactor ! he sacrificed his own views of happiness to mine-he never ultered a word, he never harboured a thought, that benevolence itself might not have thought or spoken. I found this man in confinement, rendered harsher to him by his habits of life, his natural dignity of feeling, and- forgive me, Mr. Waverley, -- by the cause through which this calamity had come upon him. I cannot disguise from you my feelings upon this occasion; they were most painfully unfavourable to you. Having, by my family interest, which you probably know is not inconsiderable, succeeded in obtaining Sir Everard's release, I set out for Scotland. I saw Colonel Gardiner, a man whose fale alone is sufficient to render this insurrection for ever execrable. In the course of conversation with him, I found, that, from late circumstances, from a re-examination of the persons engaged in the mutiny, and from his original good opinion of your character, he was much softened towards you ; and I doubted not, that if I could be so fortunate as to discover you all might yet be well. But this unnatural rebellion has ruined all. I have, for the first time, in a long and aclive military life, seen Britons disgrace themselves by a panic flight, and that before a foe without either arms or discipline : And now I find the heir of my dearest friend—the son, I may say, of his affections-sharing a triumph, for which he ought the first to have blushed. Why should I lament Gardiner? his lot was happy, compared to mine!”
There was so much dignity in Colonel Talbot's manner, such a mixture of military pride and manly sorrow, and the news of Sir Everard's imprisonment was told in so deep a tone of feeling, that Edward stood mortified, abashed, and distressed, in presence of the prisoner, who owed to him his life not many hours before. He was not sorry when Fergus interrupted their conference a second time.
“ His Royal Highness commands Mr. Waverley's attendance.”