Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors]

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 anticipate, in the following tale, an imitation of the romance of Cervantes. But he will do my prudence injustice in the supposition. My intention is not to follow the steps of that inimitable author, in describing 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 dictated by his musings. He neither had nor wished to have a confidant, 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 have hesitated to refer the former infliction. This secrecy became oubly precious, as he felt in advancing life the influence of the awakening ions. 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 to 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 favourite 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 personal 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

* See Hoppner's Tale of The Seven Lovers.

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 to 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 little 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 field sports and country business. He had often, he said, himself regretted that he had not spent some time in study 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 administration, 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 to the genealogical pedigree, an authority which Sir Everard was never known to contradict. In short, a proposal was made to Mr. Richard Waverley that ' son should travel, under the direction of his present tutor, Mr. Pembroke, with a suitable allowance from the Baronet's liberality. The father himself saw no objection to this overture; but upon mentioning it casually at the table of the Minister, the great man looked grave. The reason was explained in private. The unhappy turn of Sir Everard's politics, the Minister observed, was such as would render it highly improper that a youn gentleman of such hopeful prospects shoul travel on the Continent with a tutor doubtless of his uncle's choosing, and directing his course by his instructions. hat might Mr. Edward Waverley's society be at Paris, what at Rome, where '' manner of snares were spread by the Pretender and his sons—these were points for Mr. Waverley to consider. This he could himself say, that he knew his Majesty had such a just sense of Mr. Richard Waverley's merits, that if his son adopted the army for a few years, a troop, he believed, might be reckoned upon in one of the dragoon regiments lately returned from Flanders. A hint thus conveyed and enforced was not

to be neglected with impunity; and Richard | solicitor and ordinary counsel who conducted Waverley, though with great dread of shocking the defence of some of these unfortunate gentlehis brother's prejudices, deemed he could not men at their trial. It was generally supposed, avoid accepting the commission thus offered him however, that had ministers possessed any real for his son. The truth is, he calculated much, proof of Sir Everard's accession to the rebellion, and justly, upon Sir Everard's fondness for ħe either would not have ventured thus to brave Edward, which made him unlikely to resent the existing government, or at least would not any step that he might take in due submission have done so with impunity. The feelings which to parental authority. Two letters announced then dictated his proceedings were those of a this determination to the Baronet and his young man, and at an agitating period. Since nephew. The latter barely communicated the that time Sir Everard's jacobitism had been fact, and pointed out the necessary preparation gradually decaying, like a fire which burns out for joining his regiment. To his brother, Richard for want of fuel. His Tory and High-Church was more diffuse and circuitous. He coincided principles were kept up by some occasional with him in the most flattering manner, in the exercise at elections and quarter-sessions ; but propriety of his son's seeing a little more of those respecting hereditary right were fallen the world, and was even humble in expressions into a sort of abeyance. Yet it jarred severely of gratitude for his proposed assistance ; was, upon his feelings, that his nephew should go however, deeply concerned that it was now, un- | into the army under the Brunswick dynasty; fortunately, not in Edward's power exactly to and the more so, as, independent of his high comply with the plan which had been chalked and conscientious ideas of paternal authority, it out by his best friend and benefactor. He him- was impossible, or at least highly imprudent, to self had thought with pain on the boy's inactivity, interfere authoritatively to prevent it. This supat an age when all his ancestors had borne arms; pressed vexation gave rise to many poohs and even Royalty itself had deigned to inquire whether pshaws, which were placed to the account of an young Waverley was not now in Flanders, at an incipient fit of gout, until, having sent for the age when his grandfather was already bleeding Army List, the worthy Baronet consoled himself for his king in the Great Civil War. This was with reckoning the descendants of the houses of accompanied by an offer of a troop of horse. genuine loyalty - Mordaunts, Granvilles, and What could he do? There was no time to con- Stanleys, whose names were to be found in that sult his brother's inclinations, even if he could military record; and calling up all his feelings have conceived there might be objections on his of family grandeur and warlike glory, he conpart to his nephew's following the glorious career cluded, with logic something like Falstaff's, that of his predecessors. And, in short, that Edward when war was at hand, although it were shame was now (the intermediate steps of cornet and to be on any side but one, it were worse shame lieutenant being overleapt with great agility) to be idle than to be on the worst side, though Captain Waverley of Gardiner's regiment of blacker than usurpation could make it. As for dragoons, which he must join in their quarters Aunt Rachel, her scheme had not exactly terat Dundee in Scotland, in the course of a minated according to her wishes, but she was month.

under the necessity of submitting to circumSir Everard Waverley received this intimation stances; and her mortification was diverted by with a mixture of feelings. At the period of the the employment she found in fitting out her Hanoverian succession he had withdrawn from nephew for the campaign, and greatly consoled Parliament, and his conduct in the memorable by the prospect of beholding him blaze in year 1715 had not been altogether unsuspected. complete uniform. There were reports of private musters of tenants Edward Waverley himself received with aniand horses in Waverley-Chase by moonlight, mated and undefined surprise this most unexand of cases of carbines and pistols purchased pected intelligence. It was, as a fine old poem in Holland, and addressed to the Baronet, but expresses it, like a fire to heather set,' that intercepted by the vigilance of a riding officer of covers a solitary hill with smoke, and illumines the excise, who was afterwards tossed in a blanket it at the same time with dusky fire. His tutor, on a moonless night by an association of stout or, I should say, Mr. Pembroke, for he scarce yeomen for his officiousness. Nay, it was even assumed the name of tutor, picked up about said, that at the arrest of Sir William Wyndham, Edward's room some fragments of irregular the leader of the Tory party, a letter from Sir verse, which he appeared to have composed Everard was found in the pocket of his night- under the influence of the agitating feelings gown. But there was no overt act which an occasioned by this sudden page being turned up attainder could be founded on; and government, to him in the book of life. The doctor, who contented with suppressing the insurrection of was a believer in all poetry which was composed 1715, felt it neither prudent nor safe to push by his friends, and written out in fair straight their vengeance farther than against those un- lines, with a capital at the beginning of each, fortunate gentlemen who actually took up arms. communicated this treasure to Aunt Rachel,

Nor did Sir Everard's apprehensions of per- who, with her spectacles dimmed with tears, sonal consequences seem to correspond with the transferred them to her commonplace book, reports spread among his Whig neighbours. It among choice receipts for cookery and medicine, was well known that he had supplied with favourite texts, and portions from High-Church money several of the distressed Northumbrians divines, and a few songs, amatory and jacobitical, and Scotchmen, who, after being made prisoners which she had carolled in her younger days, at Preston in Lancashire, were imprisoned in from whence her nephew's poetical tentamina Newgate and the Marshalsea; and it was his / were extracted, when the volume itself, with other authentic records of the Waverley family, | or whether the deep and flaming bars of em. were exposed to the inspection of the unworthy | broidered gold, which now fenced his breast, editor of this memorable history. If they afford defied the artillery of Cecilia's eyes; but every the reader no higher amusement, they will serve, arrow was launched at him in vain. at least, better than narrative of any kind, to acquaint him with the wild and irregular spirit

Yet did I mark where Cupid's shaft did light;

It lighted not on little western flower, of our hero :

But on bold yeoman, flower of all the west,

Hight Jonas Culbertfield, the steward's son.
Mirkwood Mere.
Late, when the Autumn evening fell

Craving pardon for my heroics (which I am
On Mirkwood-Mere's romantic dell,

unable in certain cases to resist giving way to), The lake returned, in chastened gleam,

it is a melancholy fact, that my history must The purple cloud, the golden beam :

here take leave of the fair Cecilia, who, like Reflected in the crystal pool, Headland and bank lay fair and cool;

many a daughter of Eve, after the departure of The weather-tinted rock and tower,

Edward, and the dissipation of certain idle Each drooping tree, each fairy flower,

visions which she had adopted, quietly conSo true, so soft, the mirror gave, As if there lay beneath the wave,

tented herself with a pis-aller, and gave her Secure from trouble, toil, and care,

hand, at the distance of six months, to the A world than earthly world more fair.

aforesaid Jonas, son of the Baronet's steward, But distant winds began to wake,

and heir (no unfertile prospect) to a steward's And roused the Genius of the Lake ! He heard the groaning of the oak,

fortune; besides the snug probability of succeedAnd donned at once his sable cloak,

ing to his father's office. All these advantages As warrior, at the battle-cry,

moved Squire Stubbs, as much as the ruddy Invests him with his panoply: Then as the whirlwind nearer pressed,

brow and manly form of the suitor influenced He 'gan to shake his foamy crest

his daughter, to abate somewhat in the article
O'er furrowed brow and blackened cheek, of their gentry; and so the match was con-
And bade his surge in thunder speak.
In wild and broken eddies whirled,

cluded. None seemed more gratified than Aunt Flitted that fond ideal world,

Rachel, who had hitherto looked rather askance And, to the shore in tumult tost,

upon the presumptuous damsel (as much so, The realms of fairy bliss were lost.

peradventure, as her nature would permit), but Yet, with a stern delight and strange, I saw the spirit-stirring change,

who, on the first appearance of the new-married As warred the wind with wave and wood. pair at church, honoured the bride with a smile Upon the ruined tower I stood,

and a profound courtesy, in presence of the And felt my heart more strongly bound,

rector, the curate, the clerk, and the whole conResponsive to the lofty sound, While, joying in the mighty roar,

gregation of the united parishes of Waverley I mourned that tranquil scene no more.

cum Beverley.
So, on the idle dreams of youth,

I beg pardon, once and for all, of those readers
Breaks the loud trumpet-call of truth,
Bids each fair vision pass away,

who take up novels merely for amusement, for Like landscape on the lake that lay,

plaguing them so long with old-fashioned politics, As fair, as flitting, and as frail,

and Whig and Tory, and Hanoverians and As that which fled the Autumn gale.-

Jacobites. The truth is, I cannot promise them
For ever dead to fancy's eye
Be each gay form that glided by,

that this story shall be intelligible, not to say While dreams of love and lady's charms probable, without it. My plan requires that I Give place to honour and to arms!

should explain the motives on which its action In sober prose, as perhaps these verses intimate

proceeded; and these motives necessarily arose less decidedly, the transient idea of Miss Cecilia

from the feelings, prejudices, and parties of the Stubbs passed from Captain Waverley's heart

times. I do not invite my fair readers, whose amid the turmoil which his new destinies excited.

sex and impatience give them the greatest right She appeared, indeed, in full splendour in her

to complain of these circumstances, into a fly. father's pew upon the Sunday when he attended

ing chariot drawn by hippogriffs, or moved by service for the last time at the old parish church,

enchantment. Mine is an humble English postupon which occasion, at the request of his uncle

chaise, drawn upon four wheels, and keeping and Aunt Rachel, he was induced (nothing loth,

his Majesty's highway. Such as dislike the if the truth must be told) to present himself in

vehicle may leave it at the next halt, and wait full uniform.

for the conveyance of Prince Hussein's tapestry, There is no better antidote against entertain

or Malek the Weaver's flying sentry-box. Those ing too high an opinion of others, than having

who are contented to remain with me will be an excellent one of ourselves at the very same

occasionally exposed to the dulness inseparable time. Miss Stubbs had indeed summoned up

from heavy roads, steep hills, sloughs, and other every assistance which art could afford to beauty;

terrestrial retardations; but, with tolerable but, alas ! hoop, patches, frizzled locks, and a

horses and a civil driver (as the advertisements new mantua of genuine French silk, were lost

have it), I engage to get as soon as possible into upon a young officer of dragoons, who wore, for

a more picturesque and romantic country, if my the first time, his gold-laced hat, jack-boots, | passengers incline to have some patience with and broadsword. I know not whether, like the

| me during my first stages. * champion of an old ballad, His heart was all on honour bent,

* These Introductory Chapters have been a good deal He could not stoop to love;

censured as tedious and unnecessary. Yet there are cirNo lady in the land had power

cumstances recorded in them which the author has not His frozen heart to move;

been able to persuade himself to retract or cancel.

these days, when every new and foolish fashion CHAPTER VI.

is introduced to break the natural dependence

of the people upon their landlords.' THE ADIEUS OF WAVERLEY.

Sir Everard had done his best to correct this

unnatural disposition of the times; for he had It was upon the evening of this memorable brightened the chain of attachment between the Sunday that Sir Everard entered the library, recruits and their young captain, not only by a where he narrowly missed surprising our young copious repast of beef and ale, by way of parting hero as he went through the guards of the feast, but by such a pecuniary donation to each broadsword with the ancient weapon of old Sir individual, as tended rather to improve the Hildebrand, which, being preserved as an heir conviviality than the discipline of their march. loom, usually hung over the chimney in the After inspecting the cavalry, Sir Everard again library, beneath a picture of the knight and his conducted his nephew to the library, where he horse, where the features were almost entirely produced a letter, carefully folded, surrounded hidden by the knight's profusion of curled hair, by a little stripe of flox-silk, according to ancient and the Bucephalus which he bestrode concealed form, and sealed with an accurate impression of by the voluminous robes of the Bath with which the Waverley coat-of-arms. It was addressed, he was decorated. Sir Everard entered, and with great formality, 'To Cosmo Comyne Brad. after a glance at the picture and another at his wardine, Esq. of Bradwardine, at his principal nephew, began a little speech, which, however, mansion of Tully-Veolan, in Perthshire, North soon dropt into the natural simplicity of his Britain. These — By the hands of Captain common manner, agitated upon the present Edward Waverley, nephew of Sir Everard occasion by no common feeling. "Nephew,' he Waverley, of Waverley-Honour, Bart.' said ; and then, as mending his phrase, 'My The gentleman to whom this enormous greetdear Edward, it is God's will, and also the will ing was addressed, of whom we shall have more of your father, whom, under God, it is your duty to say in the sequel, had been in arms for the to obey, that you should leave us to take up the exiled family of Stuart in the year 1715, and profession of arms, in which so many of your was made prisoner at Preston in Lancashire. ancestors have been distinguished. I have | He was of a very ancient family, and somewhat made such arrangements as will enable you to embarrassed fortune ; a scholar, according to take the field as their descendant, and as the the scholarship of Scotchmen, that is, his learnprobable heir of the house of Waverley; and, ing was more diffuse than accurate, and he was sir, in the field of battle you will remember | rather a reader than a grammarian. Of his zeal what name you bear. And, Edward, my dear for the classic authors he is said to have given boy, remember also that you are the last of that an uncommon instance. On the road between race, and the only hope of its revival depends Preston and London he made his escape from upon you ; therefore, as far as duty and honour his guards; but being afterwards found loitering

Il permit, avoid danger-I mean unnecessary near the place where they had lodged the former danger — and keep no company with rakes, night, he was recognised, and again arrested. gamblers, and Whigs, of whom, it is to be His companions, and even his escort, were surfeared, there are but too many in the service prised at his infatuation, and could not help into which you are going. Your colonel, as I inquiring, why, being once at liberty, he had am informed, is an excellent man—for a Presby- not made the best of his way to a place of safety; terian; but you will remember your duty to God, to which he replied, that he had intended to do the Church of England, and the'- (this breach so, but, in good faith, he had returned to seek ought to have been supplied, according to the his Titus Livius, which he had forgot in the rubric, with the word king; but as, unfortunately, hurry of his escape.* The simplicity of this that word conveyed a double and embarrassing anecdote struck the gentleman, who, as we besense, one meaning de facto, and the other de fore observed, had managed the defence of some jure, the knight filled up the blank otherwise) — of those unfortunate persons, at the expense of

the Church of England, and all constituted Sir Everard, and perhaps some others of the authorities.' Then, not trusting himself with party. He was, besides, himself a special any further oratory, he carried his nephew to | admirer of the old Patavinian; and though his stables to see the horses destined for his probably his own zeal might not have carried campaign. Two were black (the regimental | ħim such extravagant lengths, even to recover colour), superb chargers both; the other three the edition of Sweynheim and Pannartz (supwere stout active hacks, designed for the road, posed to be the princeps), he did not the less or for his domestics, of whom two were to attend estimate the devotion of the North Briton, and him from the Hall: an additional groom, if in consequence exerted himself to so much purnecessary, might be picked up in Scotland. pose to remove and soften evidence, detect legal

'You will depart with but a small retinue,' Haws, et cetera, that he accomplished the final quoth the Baronet, .compared to Sir Hildebrand, discharge and deliverance of Cosmo Comyne when he mustered before the gate of the Hall a Bradwardine from certain very awkward conlarger body of horse than your whole regiment sequences of a plea before our sovereign lord the consists of. I could have wished that these king in Westminster. twenty young fellows from my estate, who have The Baron of Bradwardine, for he was generally enlisted in your troop, had been to march with so called in Scotland (although his intimates, you on your journey to Scotland. It would from his place of residence, used to denominate have been something, at least; but I am told their attendance would be thought unusual in

* Note B. Titus Livius.

him Tully-Veolan, or more familiarly, Tully), no sooner stood rectus in curiá, than he posted down to pay his respects and make his acknowledgments at Waverley-Honour. A congenial passion for field-sports and a general coincidence in political opinions, cemented his friendship with Sir Everard, notwithstanding the difference of their habits and studies in other particulars; and, having spent several weeks at WaverleyHonour, the Baron departed with many expressions of regard, warmly pressing the Baronet to return his visit, and partake of the diversion of grouse-shooting upon his moors in Perthshire next season. Shortly after, Mr. Bradwardine remitted from Scotland a sum in reimbursement of expenses incurred in the King's High Court of Westminster, which, although not quite so formidable when reduced to the English denomination, had, in its original form of Scotch pounds, shillings, and pence, such a formidable effect upon the frame of Duncan Macwheeble, the laird's confidential factor, baron-bailie, and man of resource, that he had a fit of the colic which lasted for five days, occasioned, he said, solely and utterly by becoming the unhappy instrument of conveying such a serious sum of money out of his native country into the hands of the false English. But £ as it is the fairest, so it is often the most suspicious mask of other feelings; and many who knew Bailie Macwheeble, concluded that his professions of regret were not altogether disinterested, and that he would have grudged the moneys paid to the loons at Westminster much less had they not come from Bradwardine estate—a fund which he considered as more particularly his own. But the Bailie protested he was absolutely disinterested—

Woe, woe, for Scotland, not a whit for me !

The laird was only rejoiced that his worthy friend, Sir Everard Waverley of WaverleyHonour, was reimbursed of the expenditure which he had outlaid on account of the house of Bradwardine. It concerned, he said, the credit of his own family, and of the kingdom of Scotland at large, that these disbursements should be repaid forthwith, and, if delayed, it would be a matter of national reproach. Sir Everard, accustomed to treat much larger sums with indifference, received the remittance of £294, 13s.6d., without being aware that the payment was an international concern, and, indeed, would probably have forgot the circumstance altogether, if Bailie Macwheeble had thought of comforting his colic by intercepting the subsidy. A yearly intercourse took place, of a short letter, and a hamper, or a cask or two, between WaverleyHonour and Tully-Veolan, the English exports consisting of mighty cheeses and mightier ale, £ and venison, and the Scottish returns

ing vested in grouse, white hares, pickled Salmon, and usquebaugh. All which were meant, sent, and received, as pledges of constant friendship and amity between two important houses. It followed as a matter of course, that the heir - apparent of Waverley - Honour could not, with propriety, visit Scotland without being furnished with credentials to the Baron of Bradwardine.

When this matter was explained and settled, Mr. Pembroke expressed his wish to take a private and particular leave of his dear pupil. The good man's exhortations to Edward to preserve an unblemished life and morals, to hold fast the principles of the Christian religion, and to eschew the profane company of scoffers and latitudinarians, too much abounding in the army, were not unmingled with his political prejudices. It had pleased Heaven, he said, to place Scotland (doubtless for the sins of their ancestors in 1642) in a more deplorable state of darkness than even this unhappy kingdom of England. Here, at least, although the candlestick of the Church of England had been in some degree removed from its place, it yet afforded a glimmering light; there was a hierarchy, though schismatical, and fallen from the principles maintained by those great fathers of the church, Sancroft and his brethren; there was a liturgy, though wofully perverted in some of the principal petitions. But in Scotland it was utter darkness; and, excepting a sorrowful, scattered, and persecuted remnant, the pulpits were abandoned to Presbyterians, and he feared, to sectaries of every description. It should be his duty to fortify # dear pupil to resist such unhallowed and pernicious doctrines in church and state, as must necessarily be forced at times upon his unwilling ears. Here he produced two immense folded packets, which appeared each to contain a whole ream of closely written manuscript. They had been the labour of the worthy man's whole life; and never were labour and zeal more absurdly wasted. He had at one time gone to London, with the intention of giving them to the world, by the medium of a bookseller in Little Britain, well known to deal in such commodities, and to whom he was instructed to address himself in a particular phrase, and with a certain sign, which, it seems, passed at that time current among the initiated Jacobites. The moment Mr. Pembroke had uttered the shibboleth, with the appropriate gesture, the bibliopolist greeted him, notwithstanding every disclamation, by the title of Doctor, and conveying him into his back shop, after inspecting every possible and impossible lace of concealment, he commenced: “Eh, octor ! Well—all under the rose—snug—I keep no holes here even for a Hanoverian rat to hide in. And, what—eh, any good news from our

friends over the water ?—and how does the

worthy king of France? Or perhaps you are more lately from Rome?—it must be Rome will do it at last—the church must light its candle at the old lamp. Eh! what, cautious? I like you the better; but no fear.” Here Mr. Pembroke, with some difficulty, stopped a torrent of interrogations, eked out with signs, nods, and winks; and, having at length convinced the bookseller that he did him too much honour in supposing him an emissary of exiled royalty, he £ his actual business. The man of books, with a much more composed air, proceeded to examine the manuscripts. The title of the first was, “A Dissent from Dissenters, or the Comprehension confuted; shewing the Impossibility of any Composition between the Church and Puritans, Presbyterians,

« AnteriorContinuar »