Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

brave enemy a prisoner under such circumstances. Besides,' said he, I think I can justify myself to my prudent advisers, by pleading the good effect such lenity will produce on the minds of the great English families with whom Colonel Talbot is connected.'" “ There the politician peeped out,” said the Colonel.

Well, at least he concluded like a king's son. « Take the passport; I have added a condition for form's sake; but if the Colonel objects to it, let him depart without giving any parole whatever. I come here to war with men, but not to distress or endanger women."

Well, I never thought to have been so much indebted to the Pretend -

" To the Prince," said Waverley, smiling.

“To the Chevalier," said the Colonel ; “it is a good travelling name, and which we may bolh freely use. Did he say any thing more?"

Only asked if there was any thing else he could oblige me in; and when I replied in the negative, he shook me by the hand, and wished all his followers were as considerate, since some friends of mine not only asked all he had to bestow, but many things which were entirely out of his power, or that of the greatest sovereign upon earth. Indeed, he said, no prince seemned, in the eyes of his followers, so like the Deity as himself, if you were to judge from the extravagant requests which they daily preferred to him.”

Poor young gentleman,” said the Colonel, “ I suppose he begins to feel the difficulties of his situation. Well, dear Waverley, this is more than kind, and shall not be forgotten while Philip Talbot can remember any thing. My life-pshaw-let Emily thank you for thatthis is a favour worth fifty lives. I cannot hesitate on giving my parole in the circumstances : there it is—(he wrote it out in form)-- And now, how am I to get off?”

“All that is settled : your baggage is packed, my horses wait, and a boat has been engaged, by the Prince's perinission, to put you on board the Fox frigate. I sent a messenger down to Leith on purpose.”

“That will do excellently well. Captain Beaver is my particular friend : he will put me ashore at Berwick or Shields, from whence I can ride post to London;- and you must intrust me with the packet of papers which you recovered by means of your Miss Bean Lcan. I may have an opportunity of using them to your advanlage. -But I see your Highland friend Glen--what do you call his barbarous name? and his orderly with him-1 must not call him his orderly cut-throat any more, I suppose. See how he walks as if the world were his own, with the bonnet on one side of his head, and his plaid puffed out across his breast! I should like now to

לל

meet that youth where my hands were not lied : I would tame his pride, or he should tame mine."

“For shame, Colonel Talbot ! you swell at sight of tartan, as the bull is said to do al scarlet. You and Mac-Ivor have some points not much unlike, so far as national prejudice is concerned."

The latter part of this discourse took place in the street. They passed the Chief, the Colonel and he sternly and punctiliously greeting each other, like Iwo duellists before they take their ground. It was evident the dislike was mulual. “ I never see that surly fellow that dogs his heels,” said the Colonel, after he had mounted his horse, “but he reminds me of lines I have somewhere heard -upon the stage, I think :

Close behind him
Stalks sullen Bertram, like a sorcerer's fiend,
Pressing to be employed.'"

ול

“I assure you, Colonel," said Waverley," that you judge too harshly of the Highlanders.”

“Not a whit, not a whit; I cannot spare them a jot; I cannot bate them an ace. Let them stay in their own barren mountains, and puff and swell, and hang their bonnets on the horns of the moon, if they have a mind; but what business have they to come where people wear breeches, and speak an intelligible language?—I mean intelligible in comparison to their gibberish, for even the Lowlanders talk a kind of English little better than the Negroes in Jamaica. I could pity the Pr, I mean the Chevalier himself, for having so many desperadoes about him. And they learn their trade so early, There is a kind of subaltern imp, for example, a sort of sucking devil, whom your friend Glena-Glenamuck there, has sometimes in his train. To look al him, he is about fifteen years; but he is a century old in mischief and villany. He was playing at quoits the other day in the court; a gentleman, a decent-looking person enough, came past, and as a quoit hit his shin, he lifted his cane : But my young bravo whips out his pislol, like Beau Clincher in the Trip to the Jubilee, and, had not a scream of Gardez l'eau, from an upper window, set all parties a scampering for fear of the inevitable consequences, the poor gentleman would have lost his life by the hands of that little cockatrice.”

A fine character you'll give of Scotland upon your return, Colonel Talbot.'

“O Justice Shallow," said the Colonel, “ will save me the trouble* Barren, barren, beggars all, beggars all. Marry, good air,'—and that only when you are fairly out of Edinburgh, and not yet come to Leith, as is our case at present.'

In a short time they arrived at the sea-port :

לי

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“The boat rock'd at the pier of Leith,

Full loud the wind blew down the ferry;
The ship rode at the Berwick Law".

“ Farewell, Colonel ; may you find all as you would wish it! Perhaps we may meet sooner than you expect : they talk of an immediate route to England."

“Tell me nothing of that," said Talbot; “I wish to carry no news of your motions.”

“Simply, then, adieu. Say, with a thousand kind greetings, all that is dutiful and affectionate to Sir Everard and Aunt RacbelThink of me as kindly as you can-speak of me as indulgently as your conscience will permil, and once more adieu,"

“ And adieu, my dear Waverley; many, many thanks for your kindness. Unplaid yourself on the first opportunity. I shall ever think on you with gratitude, and the worst of my censure shall be, Que diable allait-il faire dans cette galère?

And thus they parted, Colonel Talbot going on board of the boat, and Waverley returning to Edinburgh.

CHAPTER LVII.

THE MARCH.

It is not our purpose to intrude upon the province of history. We shall therefore only remind our readers, that about the beginning of November the Young Chevalier, at the head of about six thousand men at the utmost, resolved to peril his cause on an allempt to penetrate inlo lhe centre of England, although aware of the Inighty preparations which were made for his reception. They set forward on this crusade in weather which would have rendered any other troops incapable of marching, but which in reality gave these active mountaineers advantages over a less hardy enemy. In defiance of a superior army lying upon the Borders, under FieldMarshal Wade, they besieged and took Carlisle, and soon afterwards prosecuted their daring march to the south ward.

As Colonel Mac-Ivor's regiment marched in the van of the clans, be and Waverley, who now equalled any Highlander in the endurance of faligue, and was become somewhat acquainted with their language, were perpelually at its head. They marked the progress of the army, however, with very different eyes. Fergus, all air and fire, and confident against the world in arms, measured nothing but that every step was a yard nearer London. He neither asked, expected, nor desired any aid, except that of the clans, lo place the Stewarts once more on the throne; and when by chance a few adherents joined the standard, he always considered them in the light of new claimants upon the favours of the future monarch, who, he concluded, must therefore subtract for their gratification so much of the bounty which ought to be shared among his Highland followers.

Edward's views were very different. He could not but observe, that in those towns in which they proclaimed James the Third,“ no man cried, God bless him. The mob stared and listened, heartless, stupified, and dull, but gave few signs even of that boisterous spirit which induces them to shout upon all occasions, for the mere exercise of their most sweet voices. The Jacobiles bad heen laught to believe that the north-western counlies abounded with wealthy squires and hardy yeomen, devoted to the cause of the White Rose. But of the wealthier Tories they saw lillle. Some fled from their houses, some feigned themselves sick, some surrendered themselves to the government as suspected persons. Or such as remained, the ignorant gazed with astonishment, mixed with horror and aversion, at the wild appearance, unknown language, and singular garb, of the Scottish clans. And to the more prudent, their scanty numbers, apparent deficiency in discipline, and poverty of equipment, seemed certain tokens of the calamitous terminalion of their rash undertaking. Thus the few who joined them were such as bigotry of political principle blinded to consequences, or whose broken fortunes induced lo hazard all on a risk so desperate.

The Baron of Bradwardine being asked what he thought of these recruits, took a long pinch of snuff, and answered drily, “that he could not but have an excellent opinion of them, since they resembled precisely the followers who allached themselves to the good King David at the cave of Adullam; videlicet, every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, which the Vulgale renders bitter of soul; and doubtless,” he said, “they will prove mighly men of their hands, and there is much need that they should, for I have seen many a sour look cast upon us."

But none of these considerations moved Fergus. He admired the luxuriant beauty of the country, and the situation of many of the seats which they passed. “Is Waverley-Honour like that house, Edward ?”

“It is one-half larger."
“ Is your uncle's park as

ne a one as that?" “ Il is three times as extensive, and rather resembles a foresl than a mere park.”

“ Flora will be a happy woman."

)

לל

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

יו

[ocr errors]

וי

" I hope Miss Mac-Ivor will have much reason for happiness, unconnected with Waverley-Honour."

I hope so too; but, to be mistress of such a place, will be a pretty addition to the sum total."

66 An addition, the want of which, I trust, will be amply supplied by some other means.'

“ How," said Fergus, stopping short, and turning upon Waverley—“How am I to understand that, Mr.Waverley?—Had I the pleasure to hear you aright?"

“Perfectly right, Fergus."

" And I am to understand that you no longer desire iny alliance, and my sister's hard?”

“ Your sister has refused mine," said Waverley, “both directly, and by all the usual means by which ladies repress undesired attentions.

“I have no idea," answered the Chieftain, “of a lady dismissing or a gentleman withdrawing his suit, after it has been approved of by her legal guardian, without giving him an opportunity of talking the matter over with the lady. You did not, I suppose, expect my sister to drop into your mouth like a ripe plum, the first moment you chose to open it?”

"As to the lady's title to dismiss her lover, Colonel," replied Edward, “it is a point which you must argue with her, as I am ignorant of the customs of the Highlands in that particular. But as to my title to acquiesce in a rejection from her without an appeal to your interest, I will tell you plainly, without meaning to undervalue Miss Mac-Ivor's admitted beauty and accomplishments, that I would not take the hand of an angel, with an empire for her dowry, if her consent were extorted by the importunity of friends and guardians, and did not flow from her own free inclinalion."

“ An angel, with the dowry of an empire,” repeated Fergus, in a tone of hitler irony,“ is not very likely to be pressed upon a -shire squire. But, sir," changing his tone, "if Flora Mac-Ivor have not the dowry of an empire, she is my sister; and that is sufficient at least to secure her against being treated with any thing approaching to levity.”

“She is Flora Mac-Ivor, sir," said Waverley, with firmness, " which to me, were I capable of treating any woman with levity, would be a more effectual protection.'

The brow of the Chieftain was now fully clouded, but Edward felt too indignant at the unreasonable tone which he had adopted, to avert the storm by the least concession. They both stood still while this short dialogue passed, and Fergus seemed half disposed to say something more violent, but, by a strong effort, suppressed his passion, and, turning his face forward, walked sullenly on. As they had always hitherto walked together, and almost constantly

« AnteriorContinuar »