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some healhy hill and lake, or adding to his bands some new troop of caterans, to inquire what she does, or how she amuses herself,
And then will canker sorrow eat her bud,
And such a catastrophe of the most gentle creature on earth might have been prevented, if Mr. Edward Waverley had had his eyes ! -Upon my word, I cannot understand how I thought Flora so much, that is, so very much, handsomer than Rose. She is taller indeed, and her manner more formed; but many people think Miss Bradwardine's more natural; and she is certainly much younger. I should think Flora is two years older than I am-I will look at them particularly this evening."
And with this resolution Waverley went to drink tea (as the fashion was Sixty Years since) at the house of a lady of quality, allached to the cause of the Chevalier, where he found, as he expected, both the ladies. All rose as he entered, but Flora immediately resumed her place, and the conversation in which she was engaged. Rose, on the contrary, almost imperceptibly made a little way in the crowded circle for his advancing the corner of a chair.“Her manner, upon the whole, is most engaging,” said Waverley to himself.
A dispute occurred whether the Gaelic or Italian language was most liquid, and best adapled for poetry : the opinion for the Gaelic, which probably might not have found supporters elsewhere, was here fiercely defended by seven Highland ladies, who talked at the top of their lungs; and screamed the company deaf, with examples of Cellic euphonia. Flora, observing the Lowland ladies sneer at the comparison, produced some reasons lo show that it was not altogether so absurd; but Rose, when asked for her opinion, gave it with animation in praise of Italian, which she had studied with WaverJey's assistance. She has a more correct ear than Flora, though a less accomplished musician,” said Waverley to bimself. “ I suppose Miss Mac-Ivor will next compare Mac-Murrough nan Fonn to Ariosto!”
Lastly, it so besell that the company differed whelher Fergus should be asked to perform on the flute, at wbich he was an adept, or Waverley invited to read a play of Shakspeare; and the lady of the house good humouredly underlook to collect the votes of the company for poetry or music, under the condition, that the gentleman whose talents were not laid under contribulion, that evening, should contribute them to enliven the next. It chanced that Rose had the casting vote. Now Flora, who seemed to impose it as a rule
upon herself never to countenance any proposal which might seem to encourage Waverley, had voted for music, providing the Baron would take his violin to accompany Fergus. “ I wish you joy of your taste, Miss Mac-Ivor," thought Edward, as they sought for his book. “I thought it better when we were at Glennaquoich; but certainly the Baron is no great performer, and Shakspeare is worth listening to."
Romeo and Juliet was selected, and Edward read with taste, feeling, and spirit, several scenes from that play. All the company applauded with their hands, and many with their tears. Flora, to whom the drama was well known, was among the former; Rose, to whom it was allogether new, belonged to the latter class of admirers. “She has more feeling too,” said Waverley, internally.
The conversation turning upon the incidents of the play, and upon the characters, Fergus declared that the only one worth paming, as a man of fashion and spirit, was Mercutio. “ I could not,” he said, “ quite follow all his old-fashioned wit, but he must have been a very pretty fellow, according to the ideas of his time.”
" And it was a shame," said Ensign Maccombich, who usually followed his Colonel every where," for that Tibbert, or Taggart, or whatever was his name, to stick him under the other gentleman's arm while he was redding the fray.”
The ladies, of course, declared loudly in favour of Romeo, but this opinion did not go undisputed. The mistress of the house, and several other ladies, severely reprobated the levity with which the hero transfers his affection from Rosalind to Juliet. Flora remained silent until her opinion was repeatedly requested, and then answered, she thought the circumstance objected to, not only reconcilable to nature, but such as in the highest degree evinced the art of the poet. “ Romeo is described," said she, “ as a young man, peculiarly suceptible of the softer passions ; his love is at first fixed upon a woman who could afford it no return; this he repeatedly
"From love's weak, childish bow she lives unbarmed;'
'She hath forsworn to love.'
Now, as it was impossible that Romeo's love, supposing him a reasonable being, could continue to subsist without hope, the poet has, with great art, seized the moment when he was reduced actually lo despair, lo throw in his way an object more accomplished than her by whom he had been rejected, and who is disposed to repay his attachment. I can scarce conceive a situation more calculated to enhance the ardour of Romeo's affection for Juliet, than his being at once raised by her from the state of drooping melancholy
in which he appears first upon the scene, to the ecstalic state in which he exclaims
come what sorrow can,
“Good now, Miss Mac-Ivor," said a young lady of quality, “do you mean to cheat us out of our prerogative? will you persuade us love cannot subsist without hope, or that the lover must become fickle if the lady is cruel? O fie! I did not expect such an unsenlimental conclusion.”
“A lover, my dear Lady Belty," said Flora, “may, I conceive, persevere in his suit under very discouraging circumstances. Affection can (now and then) withstand very severe storms of rigour, but not a long polar frost of downright indifference. Don't, even with your attractions, try the experiment upon any lover whose faith you value. Love will subsist on wonderfully little hope, but not altogether without it."
6 It will be just like Duncan Mac-Girdie's mare,” said Evan, " if your ladyships please; he wanted to use her by degrees to live without meat, and just as he had put her on a straw a-day, the poor thing died!"
Evan's illustration set the company a-laughing, and the discourse took a different turn. Shortly afterwards the party broke up, and Edward returned home, musing on what Flora had said. “I will love my Rosalind no more,” said he; “ she has given me a broad enough hint for thal; and I will speak to he brother, and resign my suit. But for a Juliet-would it be handsome to interfere with Fergus's pretensions ?-though it is impossible they can ever succeed : and should they miscarry, what then?-why then alors comme alors." And with this resolution, of being guided by circumstances, did our hero commit himself to repose.
A BRAVE MAN IN SORROW.
If my fair readers should be of opinion that my hero's levity, in love is altogether unpardonable, I must remind them, that all his griefs and difficulties did not arise from that senlimental source.
Even the lyric poet, who complains so feelingly of the pains of love, could not forgel, that, at the same time, he was “ in debt and n drink,” which, doublless, were great aggravations of his distress. There were, indeed, whole days in which Waverley thought neither
of Flora nor Rose Bradwardine, but which were spent in melancholy conjectures on the probable state of inatters at Waverley-Honour, and the dubious issue of the civil contest in which he was pledged. Colonel Talbot osten engaged him in discussions upon the justice of the cause he had espoused. “Not," he said, " that it is possible for you to quit it at this present moment, for, come what will, you must stand by your rash engagement. But I wish you to be aware that the right is not with you; that you are fighting against the real interests of your country; and that you ought, as an Englishman and a patriot, to take the first opportunily to leave this unhappy expedition before the snow-ball melts."
In such political disputes, Waverley usually opposed the common arguments of his party, with which it is unnecessary to trouble the reader. Bul he had little to say when the Colonel urged him lo compare the strength by which they had undertaken to overthrow the government, with that which was now assembling very rapidly for ils support. To this statement Waverley had but one answer : “ If the cause I have undertaken be perilous, there would be the greater disgrace in abandoning il.” And in his turn he generally silenced Colonel Talbot, and succeeded in changing the subject.
Ore night, when, after a long dispute of this nature, the friends had separaled, and our hero had relired to bed, he was awakened about midnight by a suppressed groan. He started up and listened; ; it came from the apartment of Colonel Talbot, which was divided from his own by a wainscoted partition, with a door of communicalion. Waverley approached this door, and distinctly heard one or two deep-drawn sighs. What could be the matter? The Colonel had parted from him, apparently, in his usual slate of spirits. He must have been taken suddenly ill. Under this impression, he opened the door of communication very genlly, and perceived the Colonel, in his nighl-gown, sealed by a table, on which lay a leller and picture. He raised his head hastily, as Edward stood uncerlain whether to advance or relire, and Waverley perceived that his cheeks were slained with tears.
As if ashamed at being found giving way to such emotion, Colonel Talbol rose with apparent displeasure, and said, wilh some slernness, “ I think, Mr. Waverley, my own aparlment, and the hour might have secured even a prisoner against”
Do not say intrusion, Colonel Talbol; I heard you breathe hard, and feared you were ill; lhat alone could have induced me lo break in upon you."
“I am well," said the Colonel, “perfectly well."
“ But you are distressed,” said Edward : “is there any thing can be done?”
“Nothing, Mr. Waverley; I was only thinking of home, and some unpleasant occurrences there."
“Good God, my uncle!” exclaimed Waverley.
“No, it is a grief entirely my own. I am ashamed you should have seen il disarm me so much; but it must have ils course at times, that it may be at others more decently supported. I would have kept it secret from you; for I think it will grieve you, and yet you can administer no consolation. But you have surprised me,- I see you are surprised yourself, and I hate mystery. Read that letter,"
The letter was from Colonel Talbot's sister, and in these words :
“ I received yours, my dearest brother, by Hodges. Sir E. W. and Mr. R. are still at large, but are not permitted lo leave London. I wish to Heaven I could give you as good an account of matters in the square. But the news of the unhappy affair at Preston came upon us, with the dreadful addition that you were among the fallen. You know Lady Emily's state of health, when your friendship for Sir E. induced you to leave her. She was much harassed with the sad accounts from Scotland of the rebellion having broken out; but kept up her spirits, as, she said, it became your wife, and for the sake of the future heir, so long hoped for in vain. Alas, my dear brother, these hopes are now ended! Notwithstanding all my watchsul care, this unhappy rumour reached her withoul preparation. She was taken ill immediately; and the poor infant scarce survived its birth. Would to God this were all! But although the contradiction of the horrible report by your own leller has greally revived her spirits, yet Dr.-- apprehends, I grieve to say, serious, and even dangerous, consequences to her health, especially from the uncertainty in which she must necessarily remain for some time, aggravated by the ideas she has formed of the ferocity of those with whom you are a prisoner.
“Do therefore, my dear brother, as soon as this reaches you, deavour lo gain your release, by parole, by ransom, or any way that is practicable. I do not exaggerate Lady Emily's slate of health ; but I must nol-dare nol-suppress the truth. Ever, my dear Philip, your most affectionate sister,
“ LUCY TALBOT.”
Edward slood molionless when he bad perused this letter; for the conclusion was inevitable, that, by the Colonel's journey in quest of
him, he had incurred this heavy calamity. It was severe enough, L'even in ils irremediable part; for Colonel Talbot and Lady Emily,
long without a family, had fondly exulted in the hope which were now blasted. But this disappointment was nothing to the extent of the threatened evil; and Edward, with horror, regarded himself as the original cause of both.
Ere he could collect himself sufficienly lo speak, Colonel Talbot