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Waverley was now considered as a received lover in all the forms. He was made, by dint of smirking and nodding on the part of the lady of the house, to sit next Miss Bradwardine at dinner, to be Miss Bradwardine's partner at cards. If he came into the room, she of the four Miss Rubricks who chanced to be next Rose, was sure to recollect that her thimble, or her scissors, were at the other end of the room, in order to leave the seat nearest to Miss Bradwardine vacant for his occupation. And sometimes, if papa and mamma were not in the way to keep them on their good behaviour, the misses would titter a little. The old Laird of Duchran would also have his occasional jest, and the old lady her remark. Even the Baron could not refrain; but here Rose escaped every embarrassment but that of conjecture, for his wit was usually couched in a Latin quotation. The very footmen sometimes grinned too broadly, the maid-servants giggled mayhap too loud, and a provoking air of intelligence seemed to pervade the whole family. Alice Bean, the pretty maid of the cavern, who, after her father's misfortune, as she called it, had attended Rose as fille-de-chambre, smiled and smirked with the best of them. Rose and Edward, however, endured all these little vexatious circumstances as other folks have done before and since, and probably contrived to obtain some indemnification, since they are not supposed, upon the whole, to have been particularly unhappy during Waverley's six days' stay at the Duchran.
It was finally arranged that Edward should go to WaverleyHonour to make the necessary arrangements for his marriage, thence to London to take the proper measures for pleading his pardon, and return as soon as possible to claim the hand of his plighted bride. He also intended in his journey to visit Colonel Talbot; but, above all, it was his most important object to learn the fate of the unfortunate Chief of Glennaguoich; to visit him at Carlisle, and to try whether any thing could be done for procuring, if not a pardon, a commutation, at least, or alleviation, of the punishment to which he was almost certain of being condemned; and, in case of the worst, to offer the miserable Flora an asylum with Rose, or otherwise to assist her views in any mode which might seem possible. The fate of Fergus seemed hard to
be averted. Edward had already striven to interest his friend Colonel Talbot, in his behalf; but had been given distinctly to understand, by his reply, that his credit in maters of that nature was totally exhausted.
The Colonel was still in Edinburgh, and proposed to wait there for some months upon business confided to him by the Duke of Cumberland. He was to be joined by Lady Emily, to whom easy travelling and goat's whey were recommended, and who was to journey northward, under the escort of Francis Stanley. Edward, therefore, inet the Colonel at Edinburgh, who wished him joy in the kindest manner on his approaching happiness, and cheerfully undertook many commissions which our hero was necessarily obliged to delegate to his charge. But on the subject of Fergus he was inexorable. He satisfied Edward, indeed, that his interference would be unavailing; but, besides, Colonel Talbot owned that he could not conscientiously use any influence in favour of that unfortunate gentleman. “Justice," he said, “which demanded some penalty of those who had wrapped the whole nation in fear and in mourning, could not perhaps have selected a fitter victim. He came to the field with the fullest light upon the nature of his attempt. He had studied and understood the subject. His father's fate could not intimidate him; the lenity of the laws which had restored to him his father's property and rights could not melt him. That he was brave, generous,
and possessed many good qualities, only rendered him the more dangerous; that he was enlightened and accomplished, made his crime the less excusable; that he was an enthusiast in a wrong cause, only made him the more fit to be its martyr. Above all, he had been the means of bringing many hundreds of men into the field, who, without him, would never have broken the peace of the country
“I repeat it,” said the Colonel, “though Heaven knows with a heart distressed for him as an individual, that this young gentleman has studied and fully understood the desperate game which he has played. He threw for life or death, a coronet or a coffin ; and he cannot now be permitted, with justice to the country, to draw stakes because the dice have gone against him."
Such was the reasoning of those times, held even by brave and humane men towards a vanquished enemy. Let us devoutly hope, that, in this respect at least, we shall never see the scenes, or hold the sentiments, that were general in Britain Sixty Years since.
SHAKESPEARE. EDWARD, attended by his former servant Alick Polwarth, wbo had re-entered his service at Edinburgh, reached Carlisle while the commission of Oyer and Terminer on bis unfortunate associates was yet sitting. He had pushed forward in haste, not, alas! with the most distant hope of saving Fergus, but to see him for the last time. I ought to have mentioned, that he had furnished funds for the defence of the prisoners in the most liberal manner, as soon as he heard that the day of trial was fixed. A solicitor, and the first counsel, accordingly attended; but it was upon the same footing on which the first physicians are usually summoned to the bedside of some dying man of rank; the doctors to take the advantage of some incalculable chance of an exertion of nature the lawyers to avail themselves of the barely possible occurrence of some legal flaw. Edward pressed into the court, which was extremely crowded; but by his arriving from the north, and his extreme eagerness and agitation, it was supposed he was a relation of the prisoners, and people made way for him. It was the third sitting of the court, and there were two men at the bar. The verdict of Guilty was already pronounced. Edward just glanced at the bar during the momentous pause which ensued. There was no mistaking the stately form and noble features of Fergus Mac-Ivor, although his dress was squalid, and his countenance tinged with the sickly yellow hue of long and close imprisonment. By his side was Evan Maccombich. Edward felt sick and dizzy as he gazed on them; but he was recalled to himself as the Clerk of Arraigns pronounced the solemn words: “Fergus Mac-Ivor of Glennaquoich, otherwise called Vich Ian Vobr, and Evan Mac-Iyor, in the Dhu of Tarrascleugh, other
wise called Evan Dhu, otherwise called Evan Maccombich, or Evan Dhu Maccombich — you, and each of you, stand attainted of high treason. What have you to say for yourselves why the Court should not pronounce judgment against you, that you die according to law?"
Fergus, as the presiding Judge was putting on the fatal cap of judgment, placed his own bonnet upon his head, regarded him with a steadfast and stern look, and replied in firm voice, “1 cannot let this numerous audience suppose that to such an appeal I have no answer to make. But what I have to say, you would not bear to hear, for my defence would be your condemnation. Proceed, then, in the name of God, to do what is permitted to you. Yesterday, and the day before, you have condemned loyal and honourable blood to be poured forth like water. Spare not mine. Were that of all my ancestors in my veins, I would have peril'd it in this quarrel.” He resumed his seat, and refused again to rise.
Evan Maccombich looked at him with great earnestness, and, rising up, seemed anxious to speak; but the confusion of the court, and the perplexity arising from thinking in a language different from that in which he was to express himself, kept him silent. There was a murmur of compassion among the spectators, from the idea that the poor fellow intended to plead the influence of his superior as an excuse for his crime. The Judge commanded silence, and encouraged Evan to proceed.
“I was only ganging to say, my lord,” said Evan, in what he meant to be an insinuating manner," that if your excellent honour, and the honourable Court, would let Vich Ian Vohr go free just this once, and let him gae back to France, and no to trouble King George's government again, that ony six o' the very best of his clan will be willing to be justified in his stead; and if you 'll just let me gae down to Glennaquoich, I'll fetch them up to ye mysell, to head or hang, and you may begin wi' me the very first
Notwithstanding the solemnity of the occasion, a sort of laugh was heard in the court at the extraordinary pature of the proposal. The Judge checked this indecency, and Evan, looking sternly
around, when the murmur abated, “If the Saxon gentlemen are laughing,” he said, “because a poor man such as me, thinks my life, or the life of six of my degree, is worth that of Yich Ian Vohr, it's like enough they may be very right; but if they laugh because they think I would not keep my word, and come back to redeem him, I can tell them they ken neither the heart of a Hielandman, nor the honour of a gentleman.”
There was no farther inclination to laugh among the audience. and a dead silence ensued.
The Judge then pronounced upon both prisoners the sentence of the law of high treason, with all its horrible accompaniments. The execution was appointed for the ensuing day. Fergus Mac-Ivor," continued the Judge, “I can hold out no hope of mercy. You must prepare against to-morrow for your last sufferings here, and your great audit hereafter."
“I desire nothing else, my lord,” answered Fergus, in the same manly and firm tone.
The hard eyes of Evan, which had been perpetually bent on his Chief,' were moistened with a tear. “For you, poor ignorant man,” continued the Judge, “who, following the ideas in which you have been educated, have this day given us a striking example how the loyalty due to the king and state alone, is, from your unhappy ideas of clanship, transferred to some ambitious individual, who ends by making you the tool of his crimes for you, I say, I feel so much compassion, that if you can make up your mind to petition for grace, I will endeavour to procure it for you. Otherwise — "
“Grace me no grace," said Evan; “since you are to shed Vich Ian Vobr's blood, the only favour I would accept from you, is - to bid them loose my hands and gie me my claymore, and bide you just a minute sitting where you are!" “Remove the prisoners,” said the Judge;
"his blood be upon his own head.”
Almost stupified with his feelings, Edward found that the rush of the crowd had conveyed him out into the street, ere he knew what he was doing. His immediate wish was to see and speak with Fergus once more. He applied at the Castle where his