Imágenes de página


after leaving the village of Duddingston, was | again,' said the wounded man; "they left me to for some time the common post-road betwixt live or die here as I could, when they found I Edinburgh and Haddington, until they crossed would say nothing about the strength of the the Esk at Musselburgh, when, instead of keep- | regiment. But, o squire ! how could you stay ing the low grounds towards the sea, they turned from us so long, and let us be tempted by that more inland, and occupied the brow of the fiend of the pit, Ruffin ?—we should have foleminence called Carberry Hill, a place already lowed you through flood and fire, to be sure.' distinguished in Scottish history as the spot “Ruffin ! I assure you, Houghton, you have where the lovely Mary surrendered herself to | been vilely imposed upon.' her insurgent subjects. This direction was 'I often thought so,' said Houghton, 'though chosen because the Chevalier had received notice they showed us your very seal; and so Tims was that the army of the government, arriving by shot, and I was reduced to the ranks.' sea from Aberdeen, had landed at Dunbar, and 'Do not exhaust your strength in speaking,' quartered the night before to the west of Had said Edward ; 'I will get you a surgeon predington, with the intention of falling down

sently. towards the seaside, and approaching Edinburgh He saw Mac-Ivor approaching, who was now by the lower coast-road. By keeping the height, returning from head - quarters, where he had which overhung that road in many places, it was attended a council of war, and hastened to meet hoped the Highlanders might find an opportunity him. “Brave news !' shouted the Chief, 'we of attacking them to advantage. The army shall be at it in less than two hours. The Prince therefore halted upon the ridge of Carberry Hill, has put himself at the head of the advance, and both to refresh the soldiers, and as a central as he drew his sword, called out, 'My friends, I situation, from which their march could be have thrown away the scabbard. Come, Waverdirected to any point that the motions of the ley, we move instantly.' enemy might render most advisable. While A moment-a moment; this poor prisoner is they remained in this position, a messenger dying ;—where shall I find a surgeon ?' arrived in haste to desire Mac-Ivor to come to Why, where should you? We have none, the Prince, adding, that their advanced post had you know, but two or three French fellows, who, had a skirmish with some of the enemy's cavalry, | I believe, are little better than garçons apothéand that the Baron of Bradwardine had sent in a few prisoners.

'But the man will bleed to death.' Waverley walked forward out of the line to 'Poor fellow !' said Fergus in a momentary fit satisfy his curiosity, and soon observed five or six of compassion ; then instantly added, "But it of the troopers, who, covered with dust, had will be a thousand men's fate before night; so galloped in to announce that the enemy were income along.' full march westward along the coast. Passing 'I cannot; I tell you he is a son of a tenant still a little farther on, he was struck with a of my uncle's.' groan which issued from a hovel. He approached “O, if he's a follower of yours, he must be the spot, and heard a voice, in the provincial looked to; I'll send Callum to you. But English of his native county, which endeavoured, diaoul !--ceud milla mallaghdort!' continued though frequently interrupted by pain, to repeat the impatient Chieftain—what made an old the Lord's Prayer. The voice of distress always soldier like Bradwardine send dying men here found a ready answer in our hero's bosom. He to cumber us ?' entered the hovel, which seemed to be intended Callum came with his usual alertness; and, for what is called, in the pastoral counties of indeed, Waverley rather gained than lost in the Scotland, a smearing-house; and in its obscurity opinion of the Highlanders by his anxiety about Edward could only at first discern a sort of red the wounded man. They would not have underbundle ; for those who had stripped the wounded stood the general philanthropy which rendered man of his arms, and part of his clothes, had it almost impossible for Waverley to have passed left him the dragoon - cloak in which he was any person in such distress ; but, as apprehendenveloped.

ing that the sufferer was one of his following, * 'For the love of God,' said the wounded man, they unanimously allowed that Waverley's conas he heard Waverley's step, 'give me a single duct was that of a kind and considerate chieftain, drop of water !!

who merited the attachment of his people. In You shall have it,' answered Waverley, at about a quarter of an hour poor Humphrey the same time raising him in his arms, bearing breathed his last, praying his young master, him to the door of the hut, and giving him some when he returned to Waverley - Honour, to be drink from his flask.

kind to old Job Houghton and his dame, and 'I should know that voice,' said the man ; but conjuring him not to fight with these wild looking on Waverley's dress with a bewildered petticoat-men against old England. look-'no, this is not the young squire !

When his last breath was drawn, Waverley, This was the common phrase by which Edward who had beheld with sincere sorrow, and no was distinguished on the estate of Waverley slight tinge of remorse, the final agonies of Honour, and the sound now thrilled to his heart | mortality now witnessed for the first time, with the thousand recollections which the well- | commanded Callum to remove the body into known accents of his native country had already the hut. This the young Highlander performed, contributed to awaken. 'Houghton !' he said, not without examining the pockets of the degazing on the ghastly features, which death was funct, which, however, he remarked, had been fast disfiguring, can this be you?' 'I never thought to hear an English voice |

* Scotticè for followers.

pretty well spunged. He took the cloak, how. | Edinburgh in the opposite direction. In this ever, and proceeding with the provident caution he was mistaken ; for the sound judgment of of a spaniel hiding a bone, concealed it among the Chevalier, or of those to whose advice he some furze, and carefully marked the spot, listened, left the direct passage free, but occupied observing, that if he chanced to return that the strong ground by which it was overlooked way, it would be an excellent rokelay for his and commanded. auld mother Elspat.

When the Highlanders reached the heights It was by a considerable exertion that they above the plain described, they were immediregained their place in the marching column, ately formed in array of battle along the brow which was now moving rapidly forward to of the hill. Almost at the same instant the van occupy the high grounds above the village of of the English appeared issuing from among the Tranent, between which and the sea lay the trees and enclosures of Seaton, with the purpose purposed march of the opposite army.

of occupying the level plain between the high This melancholy interview with his late ser- ground and the sea ; the space which divided the geant forced many unavailing and painful re armies being only about half-a-mile in breadth. flections upon Waverley's mind. It was clear, Waverley could plainly see the squadrons of from the confession of the man, that Colonel dragoons issue, one after another, from the deGardiner's proceedings had been strictly war files, with their videttes in front, and form upon ranted, and even rendered indispensable, by the the plain, with their front opposed to that of the steps taken in Edward's name to induce the Prince's army. They were followed by a train soldiers of his troop to mutiny. The circum of field-pieces, which, when they reached the stances of the seal he now, for the first time, | flank of the dragoons, were also brought into recollected, and that he had lost it in the cavern line, and pointed against the heights. The of the robber, Bane Lane. That the artful march was continued by three or four regiments villain had secured it, and used it as the means of infantry marching in open column, their fixed of carrying on an intrigue in the regiment for bayonets showing like successive hedges of steel, his own purposes, was sufficiently evident; and and their arms glancing like lightning, as, at Edward ħad now little doubt that in the packet a signal given, they also at once wheeled up, placed in his portmanteau by his daughter he and were placed in direct opposition to the should find further light upon his proceedings. Highlanders. A second train of artillery, with In the meanwhile, the repeated expostulation of another regiment of horse, closed the long Houghton-'Ah, squire, why did you leave us ?' march, and formed on the left flank of the rung like a knell in his ears.

infantry, the whole line facing southward. Yes,' he said, 'I have indeed acted towards While the English army went through these you with thoughtless cruelty. I brought you evolutions, the Highlanders showed equal from your paternal fields, and the protection of promptitude and zeal for battle. As fast as the a generous and kind landlord, and when I had clans came upon the ridge which fronted their subjected you to all the rigour of military dis- enemy, they were formed into line, so that both cipline I shunned to bear my own share of the | armies got into complete order of battle at the burden, and wandered from the duties I had same moment. When this was accomplished, undertaken, leaving alike those whom it was my the Highlanders set up a tremendous yell, which business to protect, and my own reputation, to was re-echoed by the heights behind them. suffer under the artifices of villany. O indolence The regulars, who were in high spirits, returned and indecision of mind ! if not in yourself vices, a loud shout of defiance, and fired one or two to how much exquisite misery and mischief do of their cannon upon an advanced post of the you frequently prepare the way!'

Highlanders. The latter displayed great earnestness to proceed instantly to the attack, Evan Dhu urging to Fergus, by way of argument,

that the sidier roy was tottering like an egg CHAPTER XLVI.

upon a staff, and that they had a' the vantage

of the onset, for even a haggis (God bless her!) THE EVE OF BATTLE.

could charge down hill.'

But the ground through which the mounALTHOUGH the Highlanders marched on very taineers must have descended, although not of fast, the sun was declining when they arrived great extent, was impracticable in its character, upon the brow of those high grounds which being not only marshy, but intersected with command an open and extensive plain stretching walls of dry stone, and traversed in its whole northward to the sea, on which are situated, but length by a very broad and deep ditch, circumat a considerable distance from each other, the stances which must have given the musketry of small villages of Seaton and Cockenzie, and the | the regulars dreadful advantages, before the mounlarger one of Preston. One of the low coast taineers could have used their swords, on which roads to Edinburgh passed through this plain, they were taught to rely. The authority of the issuing upon it from the enclosures of Seaton commanders was therefore interposed to curb house, and at the town or village of Preston the impetuosity of the Highlanders, and only a again entering the defiles of an enclosed country. few marksmen were sent down the descent, to By this way the English general had chosen to skirmish with the enemy's advanced posts and approach the metropolis, both as most com- to reconnoitre the ground. modious for his cavalry, and being probably of Here, then, was a military spectacle of no opinion that, by doing so, he would meet in ordinary interest or usual occurrence. The two front with the Highlanders advancing from armies, so different in aspect and discipline, yet each admirably trained in its own peculiar mode cide committed in his presence ; for the venerof war, upon whose conflict the temporary fate able grey hair and striking countenance of the at least of Scotland appeared to depend, now veteran recalled the almost paternal respect with faced each other like two gladiators in the arena, which his officers universally regarded Nim. each meditating upon the mode of attacking But ere he could say "Hold ! an aged Hightheir enemy. The leading officers, and the lander, who lay beside Callum Beg, stopped his general's staff of each army, could be distin-arm. 'Spare your shot,' said the seer, ‘his hour guished in front of their lines, busied with spy | is not yet come. But let him beware of toglasses to watch each other's motions, and morrow.-I see his winding-sheet high upon his occupied in despatching the orders and receiving breast.' the intelligence conveyed by the aides-de-camp Callum, flint to other considerations, was and orderly men, who gave life to the scene by penetrable to superstition. He turned pale at galloping along in different directions, as if the the words of the Taishatr, and recovered his fate of the day depended upon the speed of their piece. Colonel Gardiner, unconscious of the horses. The space between the armies was at danger he had escaped, turned his horse round, times occupied by the partial and irregular con- and rode slowly back to the front of his regiment. tests of individual sharpshooters, and a hat! By this time the regular army had assumed a or bonnet was occasionally seen to fall, as a new line, with one flank inclined towards the wounded man was borne off by his comrades. sea, and the other resting upon the village of These, however, were but trifling skirmishes, for Preston ; and as similar difficulties occurred in it suited the views of neither party to advance attacking their new position, Fergus and the in that direction. From the neighbouring ham rest of the detachment were recalled to their lets the peasantry cautiously showed themselves, former post. This alteration created the necesas if watching the issue of the expected engage sity of a corresponding change in General Cope's ment; and at no great distance in the bay were army, which was again brought into a line two square-rigged vessels, bearing the English parallel with that of the Highlanders. In these flag, whose tops and yards were crowded with manœuvres on both sides the day-light was less timid spectators.

nearly consumed, and both armies prepared to When this awful pause had lasted for a short rest upon their arms for the night in the lines time, Fergus, with another chieftain, received which they respectively occupied. orders to detach their clans towards the village. There will be nothing done to-night,' said of Preston, in order to threaten the right flank Fergus to his friend Waverley. “Ere we wrap of Cope's army, and compel him to a change of ourselves in our plaids, let us go see what the position. To enable him to execute these orders, Baron is doing in the rear of the line.' the Chief of Glennaquoich occupied the church When they approached his post, they found yard of Tranent, a commanding situation, and a the good old careful officer, after having sent convenient place, as Evan Dhu remarked, 'for out his night patrols and posted his sentinels, any gentleman who might have the misfortune engaged in reading the Evening Service of the to be killed, and chanced to be curious about Episcopal Church to the remainder of his troop. Christian burial.' To check or dislodge this His voice was loud and sonorous, and though his party, the English general detached two guns, spectacles upon his nose, and the appearance of escorted by a strong party of cavalry. They Saunders Saunderson, in military array, perapproached so near, that Waverley could plainly forming the functions of clerk, had something recognise the standard of the troop he had ludicrous, yet the circumstances of danger in formerly commanded, and hear the trumpets which they stood, the military costume of the and kettle-drums sound the signal of advance, audience, and the appearance of their horses, which he had so often obeyed. He could hear, saddled and picketed behind them, gave an too, the well-known word given in the English | impressive and solemn effect to the office of dialect, by the equally well-distinguished voice devotion. of the commanding officer, for whom he had 'I have confessed to-day, ere you were awake,' once felt so much respect. It was at that in whispered Fergus to Waverley; yet I am not stant, that, looking around him, he saw the so strict a Catholic as to refuse to join in this wild dress and appearance of his Highland good man's prayers.' associates, heard their whispers in an uncouth Edward assented, and they remained till the and unknown language, looked upon his own | Baron had concluded the service. dress, so unlike that which he had worn from As he shut the book, "Now, lads,' said he, his infancy, and wished to awake from what have at them in the morning, with heavy seemed at the moment a dream, strange, horrible, hands and light consciences.' He then kindly and unnatural. "Good God!' he muttered, greeted Mac-Ivor and Waverley, who requested

am I then a traitor to my country, a renegade to know his opinion of their situation. Why, to my standard, and a foe, as that poor dying you know, Tacitus saith “In rebus bellicis wretch expressed himself, to my native England ?' maxime dominatur Fortuna,” which is equi.

Ere he could digest or smother the recollection, ponderate with our vernacular adage, “Luck the tall military form of his late commander can maist in the mellee.” But credit me, gentlecame full in view, for the purpose of reconnoi men, yon man is not a deacon o' his craft. He tring. 'I can hit him now,' said Callum, | damps the spirits of the poor lads he commands, cautiously raising his fusee over the wall under by keeping them on the defensive, whilk of which he lay couched, at scarce sixty yards' | itself implies inferiority or fear. Now will they distance.

lie on their arms yonder, as anxious and as ill Edward felt as if he was about to see a parri-, at ease as a toad under a harrow, while our men will be quite fresh and blithe for action in hastened to the place where he lay. He was the morning. Well, good night.-One thing | already surrounded by his principal officers and troubles me, but if to-morrow goes well off, I the chiefs of clans. 'A bundle of pease-straw, will consult you about it, Glennaquoich.'— which had been lately his couch, now served for

'I could almost apply to Mr. Bradwardine a seat. Just as Fergus reached the circle, the the character which Henry gives of Fluellen,' consultation had broken up. “Courage, my said Waverley, as his friend and he walked brave friends !' said the Chevalier, and each towards their bivouac :

one put himself instantly at the head of his com

mand ; a faithful friend * has offered to guide us 'Though it appears a little out of fashion, There is much care and valour in this “Scotchman.”

by a practicable, though narrow and circuitous

route, which, sweeping to our right, traverses 'He has seen much service,' answered Fergus, the broken ground and morass, and enables us ' and one is sometimes astonished to find how to gain the firm and open plain, upon which the much nonsense and reason are mingled in his enemy are lying. This difficulty surmounted, composition. I wonder what can be troubling | Heaven and your good swords must do the rest.' his mind—probably something about Rose. - The proposal spread unanimous joy, and each Hark! the English are setting their watch.' leader hastened to get his men into order with

The roll of the drum and shrill accompaniment as little noise as possible. The army, moving of the fifes swelled up the hill—died away-re- by its right from off the ground on which they sumed its thunder-and was at length hushed. had rested, soon entered the path through the The trumpets and kettle-drums of the cavalry morass, conducting their march with astonishing were next heard to perform the beautiful and silence and great rapidity. The mist had not wild point of war appropriated as a signal for risen to the higher grounds, so that for some that piece of nocturnal duty, and then finally time they had the advantage of star-light. But sunk upon the wind with a shrill and mournful this was lost as the stars faded before approachcadence.

ing day, and the head of the marching column, The friends, who had now reached their post, continuing its descent, plunged as it were into stood and looked round them ere they lay down the heavy ocean of fog, which rolled its white to rest. The western sky twinkled with stars, waves over the whole plain, and over the sea by but a frost-mist, rising from the ocean, covered which it was bounded. Some difficulties were the eastern horizon, and rolled in white wreaths now to be encountered, inseparable from darkalong the plain where the adverse army lay ness,-a narrow, broken, and marshy path, and couched upon their arms. Their advanced posts the necessity of preserving union in the march. were pushed as far as the side of the great ditch These, however, were less inconvenient to Highat the bottom of the descent, and had kindled landers, from their habits of life, than they large fires at different intervals, gleaming with would have been to any other troops, and they obscure and hazy lustre through the heavy fog continued a steady and swift movement. which encircled them with a doubtful halo. As the clan of Ivor approached the firm ground,

The Highlanders, “thick as leaves in Vallam- following the track of those who preceded them, brosa,' lay stretched upon the ridge of the hill, the challenge of a patrol was heard through the buried (excepting their sentinels) in the most mist, though they could not see the dragoon by profound repose. 'How many of these brave whom it was made-Who goes there?' fellows will sleep more soundly before to-morrow ‘Hush !' cried Fergus, hush !- Let none night, Fergus !' said Waverley, with an involun- answer as he values his life.—Press forward !' tary sigh.

and they continued their march with silence and You must not think of that,'answered Fergus, rapidity. whose ideas were entirely military. "You must The patrol fired his carabine upon the body, only think of your sword, and by whom it was and the report was instantly followed by the given. All other reflections are now TOO LATE.' clang of his horse's feet as he galloped off.

With the opiate contained in this undeniable Hylax in limine latrat,' said the Baron of remark, Edward endeavoured to lull the tumult Bradwardine, who heard the shot; 'that loon of his conflicting feelings. The Chieftain and will give the alarm.' he, combining their plaids, made a comfortable The clan of Fergus had now gained the firm and warm couch. Callum, sitting down at their plain, which had lately borne a large crop of corn. head, (for it was his duty to watch upon the But the harvest was gathered in, and the eximmediate person of the chief,) began a long panse was unbroken by tree, bush, or interruption mournful song in Gaelic, to a low and uniform of any kind. The rest of the army were followtune, which, like the sound of the wind at a ing fast, when they heard the drums of the enemy distance, soon lulled them to sleep.

beat the general. Surprise, however, had made no part of their plan, so they were not disconcerted by this intimation that the foe was upon

his guard and prepared to receive them. It CHAPTER XLVII.

only hastened their dispositions for the combat,

which were very simple. THE CONFLICT.

The Highland army, which now occupied the

eastern end of the wide plain, or stubble field, WHEN Fergus Mac-Ivor and his friend had so often referred to, was drawn up in two lines, slept for a few hours, they were awakened, and extending from the morass towards the sea. summoned to attend the prince. The distant village-clock was heard to toll three as they

* Note CC. Anderson of Whitburgh.

The first was destined to charge the enemy, the clan of Mac-Ivor, the nearest group of Highsecond to act as a reserve. The few horse, whom landers within his aim. Struck with his tall, the Prince headed in person, remained between martial figure, and eager to save him from inthe two lines. The Adventurer had intimated evitable destruction, Waverley outstripped for a resolution to charge in person at the head of an instant even the speediest of the warriors, his first line ; but his purpose was deprecated and, reaching the spot first, called to him to by all around him, and he was with difficulty surrender. The officer replied by a thrust with induced to abandon it.

his sword, which Waverley received on his target, Both lines were now moving forward, the first and in turning it aside the Englishman's weapon prepared for instant combat. The clans of which broke. At the same time the battle-axe of it was composed, formed each a sort of separate | Dugald Mahoney was in the act of descending phalanx, narrow in front, and in depth ten, upon the officer's head. Waverley intercepted twelve, or fifteen files, according to the strength and prevented the blow, and the officer, perof the following. The best-armed and best-born, ceiving further resistance unavailing, and struck for the words were synonymous, were placed in with Edward's generous anxiety for his safety, front of each of these irregular subdivisions. resigned the fragment of his sword, and was The others in the rear shouldered forward the committed by Waverley to Dugald, with strict front, and by their pressure added both physical charge to use him well, and not to pillage his impulse, and additional ardour and confidence, person, promising him, at the same time, full to those who were first to encounter the danger. | indemnification for the spoil.

'Down with your plaid, Waverley,' cried On Edward's right, the battle for a few Fergus, throwing off his own ; 'we'll win silks minutes raged fierce and thick. The English for our tartans before the sun is above the sea.' infantry, trained in the wars in Flanders, stood

The clansmen on every side stript their plaids, their ground with great courage. But their prepared their arms, and there was an awful extended files were pierced and broken in many pause of about three minutes, during which the places by the close masses of the clans; and in men, pulling off their bonnets, raised their faces the personal struggle which ensued, the nature to heaven, and uttered a short prayer; then of the Highlanders' weapons, and their extrapulled their bonnets over their brows, and began ordinary fierceness and activity, gave them & to move forward at first slowly. Waverley felt decided superiority over those who had been his heart at that moment throb as it would have accustomed to trust much to their array and burst from his bosom. It was not fear, it was discipline, and felt that the one was broken not ardour,-it was a compound of both, a new and the other useless. Waverley, as he cast his and deeply energetic impulse, that with its first eyes towards this scene of smoke and slaughter, emotion chilled and astounded, then fevered and observed Colonel Gardiner, deserted by his own maddened his mind. The sounds around him com- soldiers in spite of all his attempts to rally them, bined to exalt his enthusiasm ; the pipes played, yet spurring his horse through the field to take and the clans rushed forward, each in its own the command of a small body of infantry, who, dark column. As they advanced they mended with their backs arranged against the wall of their pace, and the muttering sounds of the men his own park (for his house was close by the to each other began to swell into a wild cry. I field of battle), continued a desperate and un

At this moment the sun, which was now risen availing resistance. Waverley could perceive above the horizon, dispelled the mist. The that he had already received many wounds, his vapours rose like a curtain, and showed the two clothes and saddle being marked with blood. armies in the act of closing. The line of the To save this good and brave man, became the regulars was formed directly fronting the attack | instant object of his most anxious exertions. of the Highlanders ; it glittered with the ap But he could only witness his fall. Ere Edward pointments of a complete army, and was flanked could make his way among the Highlanders, by cavalry and artillery. But the sight impressed who, furious and eager for spoil, now thronged no terror on the assailants.

upon each other, he saw his former commander ‘Forward, sons of Ivor,' cried their Chief, or brought from his horse by the blow of a scythe, the Camerons will draw the first blood !'—They and beheld him receive, while on the ground, rushed on with a tremendous yell.

more wounds than would have let out twenty The rest is well known. The horse, who were lives. When Waverley came up, however, percommanded to charge the advancing Highlanders ception had not entirely fled. The dying warrior in the flank, received an irregular fire from their seemed to recognise Edward, for he fixed his fusees as they ran on, and, seized with a dis eye upon him with an upbraiding, yet sorrowful graceful panic, wavered, halted, disbanded, and look, and appeared to struggle for utterance. galloped from the field. · The artillerymen, But he felt that death was dealing closely with deserted by the cavalry, fled after discharging him, and resigning his purpose, and folding his their pieces, and the Highlanders, who dropped hands as if in devotion, he gave up his soul to their guns when fired, and drew their broad his Creator. The look with which he regarded swords, rushed with headlong fury against the Waverley in his dying moments did not strike infantry.

him so deeply at that crisis of hurry and conIt was at this moment of confusion and terror, fusion, as when it recurred to his imagination at that Waverley remarked an English officer, the distance of some time.* apparently of high rank, standing alone and / Loud shouts of triumph now echoed over the unsupported by a field - piece, which, after the whole field. The battle was fought and won, flight of the men by whom it was wrought, he had himself levelled and discharged against the | * Note DD. Death of Colonel Gardiner.

« AnteriorContinuar »