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young men of his own rank and expectations, he felt an inferiority in their company, not so much from deficiency of information as from the want of the skill to command and lo arrange that wbich he possessed. A deep and increasing sensibility added to this dislike of society. The idea of having committed the slightest solecism in politeness, whether real or imaginary, was agony to him; for perhaps even guilt itself does not impose upon some minds so keen a sense of shame and remorse, as a modest, sensilive, and inexperienced youth feels from the consciousness of having neglected etiquelle, or excited ridicule. Where we are not at ease, we cannot be happy; and therefore it is not surprising that Edward Waverley supposed that he disliked and was unfitted for society, merely because he had not yet acquired the habit of living in it with ease and comfort, and of reciprocally giving and receiving pleasure.
The hours he spent with his uncle and aunt were exhausted in listening to the oft-repeated tale of narrative old age. Yet even there his imagination, the predominant faculty of his mind, was frequently excited. Family tradition and genealogical history, upon which much of Sir Everard's discourse turned, is the very reverse of amber, which, itself a valuable substance, usually includes flies, straws, and other trifles; whereas these studies, being themselves very insignificant and trifling, do nevertheless serve to perpetuate a great deal of what is rare and valuable in ancient manners, and to record many curious and minute facts which could have been preserved and conveyed through no other medium. If, therefore, Edward Waverley yawned at times over the dry deduction of his line of ancestors, with their various intermarriages, and inwardly deprecated the remorseless and protracted accuracy with which the worthy Sir Everard rehearsed the various degrees of propinquily between the house of Waverley-Honour and the doughly barons, knighls, and squires, to whom they stood allied ; if (notwithstanding his obligations to the three ermines passant) be sometimes cursed in his heart the jargon of heraldry, its griffins, its moldwarps, its wyverns, and its dragons, with all the bitterness of Hotspur himself, there were moments when these communicalions interested his fancy and rewarded his attention.
The deeds of Wilibert of Waverley in the Holy Land, his long absence and perilous adventures, his supposed death, and his return on the evening when the betrothed of his heart had wedded the hero who had protected her from insult and oppression during his absence; the generosity with which the Crusader relinquished his claims, and sought in a neighbouring cloister that peace which passeth not away' ;-to these and similar tales he would hearken
· There is a family legend to this purpose, belonging to the knightly family of Bradshaigh, the proprietors of Haigh-hall, in Lancashire, where, I have been told, the event
lill bis heart glowed and his cye glistened. Nor was he less affected, when his aunt, Mrs. Kachel, narrated the sufferings and forlitude of Lady Alice Waverley during the Great Civil War. The benevolent features of the venerable spinster kindled into more majestic expression, as she told how Charles had, after the field of Worcester, found a day's refuge at Waverley-Honour, and how, when a troop of cavalry were approaching lo search the mansion, Lady Alice dismissed her youngest son with a handful of domestics, charging them to make good with their lives an hour's diversion, that the king might have space for escape. “And, God help her," would Mrs. Rachel continue, fixing her eyes upon the heroine's portrait as she spoke, “ full dearly did she purchase the safety of her prince with the life of her darling child. They brought him here a prisoner, mortally wounded; and you may trace the drops of his blood from the great hall door along the little gallery, and up to the saloon, were they laid him down lo die al his mother's feet. But there was comfort exchanged between them; for he knew, from the glance of his mother's eye, that the purpose of his desperate defence was attained. Ah! I remember,” she continued, " I remember well to have seen one that knew and loved him. Miss Lucy St. Aubin lived and died a maid for his sake, though one of the most beautiful and wealthy matches in this country; all the world ran after her, but she wore widow's mourning all her life for poor William, for they were betrothed though not married, and died in—I cannot think of the date; but I remember, in the November of that very year, when she found herself sinking, she desired to be brought to Waverley-Honour once more, and visited all the places where she had been wilh my grand-uncle, and caused the carpets to be raised that she might trace the impression of his blood, and if lears could have washed it out, it had not been there now; for there was not a dry eye in the house. You would have thought, Edward, that the very trees mourned for her, for their leaves dropt around her without a gust of wind; and, indeed, she looked like one that would never see them green again.”
From such legends our hero would steal away to indulge the fancies they excited. In the corner of the large and sombre library, with no other light than was afforded by the decaying brands on its ponderous and ample hearth, he would exercise for hours that internal sorcery, by which past or imaginary events are presented in action, as it were, to the eye of the muser. Then arose in long and fair array the splendour of the bridal feast at Waverley-Castle; the
is recorded on a painted glass window. The German ballad of the Noble Moringer turns upon a similar topic. But undoubtedly many such incidents may bave taken place, where, the distance being great and the intercourse infrequent, false reports concerning the fate of the absent Crusaders must have been commonly circulated, and sometimes perhaps rather hastily credited at home.
tall and emacialed form of its real lord, as he stood in his pilgrim's weeds, an unnoticed spectator of the festivities of his supposed heir and intended bride ; the electrical shock occasioned by the discovery; the springing of the vassals to arms; the astonishment of the bridegroom; the terror and confusion of the bride; the agony with which Wilibert observed that her heart as well as consent was in these nuptials; the air of dignity, yet of deep feeling with which he flung down the half-drawn sword, and turned away for ever from the house of his ancestors. Then would he change the scene, and fancy would at his wish represent Aunt Rachel's tragedy. He saw the Lady Waverley seated in her bower, her ear strained to every sound, her heart throbbing with double agony, now listening to the decaying echo of the hoofs of the king's horse, and, when that had died away, hearing, in every breeze that shook the trees of the park, the noise of the remote skirmish. A distant sound is heard like the rushing of a swoln stream; it comes nearer, and Edward can plainly distinguish the galloping of horses, the cries and shouls of men, with straggling pistol-shots between, rolling forwards to the hall. The lady starts up-a terrified menial rushes in--but why pursue such a description !
As living in this ideal world became daily more delectable to our hero, interruption was disagreeable in proportion. The extensive domain that surrounded the Hall, which, far exceeding the dimensions of a park, was usually lermed Waverley-Chase, had originally been forest ground, and still, though broken by extensive glades, in which the young deer were sporting, retained its pristine and savage character. It was traversed by broad avenues, in many places half grown up with brushwood, where the beauties of former days used to take their stand to see the slag coursed with greyhounds, or to gain an aim at him with the cross-bow. In one spot, distinguished by a moss-grown Gothic monument, which retained the name of Queen's Standing, Elizabeth herself was said to have pierced seven bucks with her own arrows. This was a very favourile haunt of Waverley. At other times, with his gun and his spaniel, which served as an apology to others, and with a book in his pocket, which perhaps served as an apology to himself, he used to pursue one of these long avenues, which, after an ascending sweep of four miles, gradually narrowed into a rude and contracted path through the cliffy and woody pass called Mirkwood Dingle, and opened suddenly upon a deep, dark, and small lake, named, from the same cause, Mirkwood-Mere. There stood, in former times, a solitary tower upon a rock almost surrounded by the water, which had acquired the name of the Strength of Waverley, because, in perilous times, it had often been the refuge of the family. There, in the wars of York and Lancaster, the last adherents of the Red Rose who dared to maintain her cause, carried on a harassing and predalory
warfare, till the strong-hold was reduced by the celebrated Richard of Gloucester. Here, too, a party of cavaliers long maintained themselves under Nigel Waverley, elder brother of that William whose fate Aunt Rachel commemorated. Through these scenes it was that Edward loved to “chew the cud of sweet and bitter fancy,” and, like a child among his toys, culled and arranged, from the splendid yet useless imagery and emblems with which his imagination was stored, visions as brilliant and as fading as those of an evening sky. The effect of this indulgence upon his temper and character will appear in the next chapter.
CHOICE OF A PROFESSION.
FROM the minuteness with which I have traced Waverley's pursuits, and the bias which these unavoidably communicated to his imagination, the reader may perhaps anticipale, in the following tale, an imitation of the romance of Cervantes. But he will do my prudence injustice in the supposition. My attention is not to follow the steps of that inimitable author, indescribing such total perversion of intellect as misconstrues the objects actually presented to the senses, but that more common aberration from sound judgment, which apprehends occurrences indeed in their reality, but communicates to them a tincture of its own romantic tone and colouring. So far was Edward Waverley from expecting general sympathy with his own feelings, or concluding that the present state of things was calculated to exhibit the reality of those visions in which he loved to indulge, that he dreaded nothing more than the detection of such sentiments as were dictaled by his musings. He neither had nor wished to have a confident, with whom to communicate his reveries; and so sensible was he of the ridicule attached to them, that, had he been to choose between any punishment short of ignominy, and the necessity of giving a cold and composed account of the ideal world in which he lived the better part of his days, I think he would not bave hesitated to prefer the former infliction. This secrecy became doubly precious, as he felt in advancing life the influence of the awakening passions. Female forms of exquisite grace and beauty began to mingle in his mental adventures ; nor was he long without looking abroad to compare the creatures of his own imagination with the females of actual life.
The list of the beauties who displayed their hebdomadal finery at the parish church of Waverley was neither numerous nor select.
By far the most passable was Miss Sissly, or, as she rather chose lo be called, Miss Cecilia Stubbs, daughter of Squire Stubbs at the Grange. I know not whether it was by the “ merest accident in the world," a phrase which, from female lips, does not always exclude malice prepense, or whether it was from a conformity of taste that Miss Cecilia more than once crossed Edward in his favourile walks through Waverley-Chase. He had not as yet assumed courage to accost her on these occasions ; but the meeting was not without its effect. A romantic lover is a strange idolater, who sometimes cares not out of what log he frames the object of his adoration ; at least, if nature has given that object any passable proportion of per-, sonal charms, he can easily play the Jeweller and Dervise in the oriental tale,' and supply her richly, out of the stores of his own imagination, with supernatural beauty, and all the properties of intellectual wealth.
But, ere the charms of Miss Cecilia Stubbs had erected her into a positive goddess, or elevated her at least to a level with the saint her namesake, Mrs. Rachel Waverley gained some intimation which determined her lo prevent the approaching apotheosis. Even the most simple and unsuspicious of the female sex have (God bless them!) an instinctive sharpness of perception in such matters, which sometimes goes the length of observing partialities that never existed, but rarely misses to detect such as pass actually under their observation. Mrs. Rachel applied herself with great prudence, not to combat, but to elude, the approaching danger, and suggested to her brother the necessity that the heir of his house should see something more of the world than was consistent with constant residence at Waverley-Honour.
Sir Everard would not at first listen to a proposal which went to separate his nephew from him. Edward was a litle bookish, he admitted ; but youth, he had always heard, was the season for learning, and, no doubt, when his rage for letters was abated, and his head fully stocked with knowledge, his nephew would take to fieldsports and country business. He had often, he said, himself regretled that he had not spent some time in sludy during his youth : he would neither have shot nor hunted with less skill, and he might have made the roof of St. Stephen's echo to longer orations than were comprised in those zealous Noes, with which, when a member of the House during Godolphin's administralion, he encountered every measure of government.
Aunt Rachel's anxiety, however, lent her address to carry her point. Every representative of their house had visited foreign parts, or served his country in the army, before he settled for life at Waverley-Honour, and she appealed for the truth of her assertion
'See Hoppner's tale of the Seven Lovers.