« AnteriorContinuar »
inquiry into the cause of your journey through *The charge, Mr. Waverley, I grieve to say, the country at this unfortunate and distracted is of a very high nature, and affects your charactime.
ter both as a soldier and a subject. In the Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks now stood forth, former capacity, you are charged with spreadand communicated to the magistrate all he ing mutiny and rebellion among the men you knew or suspected from the reserve of Waverley commanded, and setting them the example of and the evasions of Callum Beg: The horse desertion, by prolonging your own absence upon which Edward rode, he said he knew to from the regiment, contrary to the express belong to Vich Ian Vohr, though he dared not orders of your commanding-officer. The civil tax Edward's former attendant with the fact, crime of which you stand accused is that of lest he should have his house and stables burnt high treason, and levying war against the king, over his head some night by that godless gang, the highest delinquency of which a subject can the Mac-Ivors. He concluded by exaggerating be guilty.' his own services to kirk and state, as having And by what authority am I detained to been the means, under God (as he modestly reply to such heinous calumnies ?' qualified the assertion), of attaching this sus- ' By one which you must not dispute, nor I picious and formidable delinquent. He inti- disobey.' mated hopes of future reward, and of instant He handed to Waverley a warrant from the reimbursement for loss of time, and even of Supreme Criminal Court of Scotland, in full character, by travelling on the state business form, for apprehending and securing the person on the fast-day.
of Edward Waverley, Esq., suspected of treasonTo this Major Melville answered, with great able practices and other high crimes and miscomposure, that, so far from claiming any merit demeanours. in this affair, Mr. Cruickshanks ought to de- The astonishment which Waverley expressed precate the imposition of a very heavy fine at this communication was imputed by Major for neglecting to lodge, in terms of the recent Melville to conscious guilt, while Mr. Morton proclamation, an account with the nearest was rather disposed to construe it into the magistrate of any stranger who came to his surprise of innocence unjustly suspected. There inn ; that as Mr. Cruickshanks boasted so much was something true in both conjectures; for of religion and loyalty, he should not impute although Edward's mind acquitted him of the this conduct to disaffection, but only suppose crime with which he was charged, yet a hasty that his zeal for kirk and state had been lulled review of his own conduct convinced him he asleep by the opportunity of charging a stranger might have great difficulty in establishing his with double horse-hire ; that, however, feeling innocence to the satisfaction of others. himself incompetent to decide singly upon the It is a very painful part of this painful conduct of a person of such importance, he business,' said Major Melville, after a pause, should reserve it for consideration of the next that, under so grave a charge, I must necesquarter-sessions. Now our history for the sarily request to see such papers as you have on present saith no more of him of the Candlestick, your person.' who wended dolorous and malcontent back to "You shall, sir, without reserve,' said Edward, his own dwelling.
throwing his pocket-book and memorandums Major Melville then commanded the villagers upon the table; "there is but one with which to return to their homes, excepting two, who I could wish you would dispense.' officiated as constables, and whom he directed 'I am afraid, Mr. Waverley, I can indulge to wait below. The apartment was thus cleared you with no reservation.' of every person but Mr. Morton, whom the "You shall see it then, sir; and as it can be Major invited to remain ; a sort of factor, who of no service, I beg it may be returned.' acted as clerk; and Waverley himself. There He took from his bosom the lines he had that ensued a painful and embarrassed pause, till morning received, and presented them with the Major Melville, looking upon Waverley with envelope. The Major perused them in silence, much compassion, and often consulting a paper and directed his clerk to make a copy of them. or memorandum which he held in his hand, re- He then wrapped the copy in the envelope, and quested to know his name.—'Edward Waverley.' placing it on the table before him, returned the
'I thought so; late of the dragoons, original to Waverley, with an air of melancholy and nephew of Sir Everard Waverley of Waver- gravity. ley-Honour.'
After indulging the prisoner, for such our The same.'
hero must now be considered, with what he “Young gentleman, I am extremely sorry thought a reasonable time for reflection, Major that this painful duty has fallen to my lot.' Melville resumed his examination, premising,
• Duty, Major Melville, renders apologies that as Mr. Waverley seemed to object to superfluous.'
general questions, his interrogatories should be * True, sir ; permit me, therefore, to ask you as specific as his information permitted. He then how your time has been disposed of since you proceeded in his investigation, dictating, as he obtained leave of absence from your regiment, went on, the import of the questions and answers several weeks ago, until the present moment?' to the amanuensis, by whom it was written down.
'My reply,' said Waverley, 'to so general a 'Did Mr. Waverley know one Humphrey question must be guided by the nature of the Houghton, a non-commissioned officer in Garcharge which renders it necessary. I request diner's dragoons ? ' to know what that charge is, and upon what *Certainly; he was sergeant of my troop, and authority I am forcibly detained to reply to it?' son of a tenant of my uncle.'
'Exactly—and had a considerable share of 'I assure you I am not only entirely guiltless your confidence, and an influence among his of the plot you have laid to my charge, but I comrades?'
detest it from the very bottom of my soul, nor 'I had never occasion to repose confidence in would I be guilty of such treachery to gain a a person of his description,' answered Waverley. throne either for myself or any other man alive.' I favoured Sergeant Houghton as a clever, ‘Yet when I consider this envelope, in the active young fellow, and I believe his fellow- hand-writing of one of those misguided gentlesoldiers respected him accordingly.'
men who are now in arms against their country, But you used through this man,' answered and the verses which it enclosed, I cannot but Major Melville, 'to communicate with such of find some analogy between the enterprise I have your troop as were recruited upon Waverley- mentioned and the exploit of Wogan, which the Honour ?
writer seems to expect you should imitate.' Certainly; the poor fellows, finding them- Waverley was struck with the coincidence, but selves in a regiment chiefly composed of Scotch denied that the wishes or expectations of the of Irish, looked up to me in any of their little letter-writer were to be regarded as proofs of a distresses, and naturally made their countryman, charge otherwise chimerical. and sergeant, their spokesman on such occasions. 'But, if I am rightly informed, your time was
Sergeant Houghton's influence,' continued spent, during your absence from the regiment, the Major, extended, then, particularly over between the house of this Highland Chieftain those soldiers who followed you to the regiment and that of Mr. Bradwardine of Bradwardine, from your uncle's estate?'
also in arms for this unfortunate cause ?' ‘Surely ;—but what is that to the present 'I do not mean to disguise it, but I do deny, purpose ?'
most resolutely, being privy to any of their "To that I am just coming, and I beseech designs against the government.' your candid reply. Have you, since leaving 'You do not, however, I presume, intend to the regiment, held any correspondence, direct or deny that you attended your host Glennaquoich indirect, with this Sergeant Houghton ?' to a rendezvous, where, under a pretence of a
I!-I hold correspondence with a man of his general hunting-match, most of the accomplices rank and situation !-How, or for what purpose ?'
of his treason were assembled to concert measures That you are to explain ;—but did you not, for taking arms ?' for example, send to him for some books ?'
'I acknowledge having been at such a meetYou remind me of a trifling commission,' ing,' said Waverley ; 'but I neither heard nor said Waverley, 'which I gave Sergeant Houghton saw anything which could give it the character because my servant could not read. I do re
you affix to it.' collect I bade him by letter select some books, From thence you proceeded,' continued the of which I sent him a list, and send them to mé magistrate, with Glennaquoich and a part of at Tully-Veolan.'
his clan to join the army of the young Pretender, And of what description were those books ?' and returned, after having paid your homage to
“They related almost entirely to elegant litera- him, to discipline and arm the remainder, and ture; they were designed for a lady's perusal.' unite them to his bands on their way south
Were there not, Mr. Waverley, treasonable ward ? ' tracts and pamphlets among them ?'
'I never went with Glennaquoich on such an *There were some political treatises, into which errand. I never so much as heard that the I hardly looked. They had been sent to me by person whom you mention was in the country.' the officiousness of a kind friend, whose heart is He then detailed the history of his misfortune more to be esteemed than his prudence or polit at the hunting-match, and added, that on his ical sagacity; they seemed to be dull composi- return he found himself suddenly deprived of tions.'
his commission, and did not deny that he then, That friend,' continued the persevering in for the first time, observed symptoms which inquirer, was a Mr. Pembroke, a non- - juring dicated a disposition in the Highlanders to take clergyman, the author of two treasonable works, arms; but added, that having no inclination to of which the manuscripts were found among join their cause, and no longer any reason for your baggage?'
remaining in Scotland, he was now on his return But of which, I give you my honour as a to his native country, to which he had been gentleman,' replied Waverley, 'I never read six summoned by those who had a right to direct pages.'
his motions, as Major Melville would perceive I am not your judge, Mr. Waverley ; your from the letters on the table. examination will be transmitted elsewhere. And Major Melville accordingly perused the letters now to proceed-Do you know a person that of Richard Waverley, of Sir Everard, and of passes by the name of Wily Will, or Will Aunt Rachel ; but the inferences he drew from Ruthven?'
them were different from what Waverley exI never heard of such a name till this pected. They held the language of discontent moment.'
with government, threw out no obscure hints 'Did you never through such a person, or of revenge ;, and that of poor Aunt Rachel, any other person, communicate with Sergeant which plainly asserted the justice of the Stuart Humphrey Houghton, instigating him to desert cause, was held to contain the open avowal of with as many of his comrades as he could seduce what the others only ventured to insinuate. to join him, and unite with the Highlanders 'Permit me another question, Mr. Waverley,' and other rebels now in arms under the command said Major Melville. 'Did you not receive of the young Pretender ?"
repeated letters from your commanding - officer
warning you and commanding you to return plans of the more designing and artful; and one to your post, and acquainting you with the use of your friends at least I mean Mac-Ivor of made of your name to spread discontent among Glennaquoich-ranks high in the latter class, as your soldiers ?'
from your apparent ingenuousness, youth, and I never did, Major Melville. One letter, unacquaintance with the manners of the Highindeed, I received from him, containing a civil lands, I should be disposed to place you among intimation of his wish that I would employ my the former. In such a case, a false step or error leave of absence otherwise than in constant re- like yours, which I shall be happy to consider as sidence at Bradwardine, as to which, I own, I involuntary, may be atoned for, and I would thought he was not called on to interfere ; and willingly act as intercessor. But as you must finally, I received, on the same day on which I necessarily be acquainted with the strength of the observed myself superseded in the Gazette, a individuals in this country who have assumed second letter from Colonel Gardiner, command-arms, with their means, and with their plans, I ing me to join the regiment—an order which, must expect you will merit this mediation on owing to my absence, already mentioned and my part by a frank and candid avowal of all that accounted for, I received too late to be obeyed. has come to your knowledge upon these heads. If there were any intermediate letters — and In which case, I think I can venture to promise certainly from the Colonel's high character, I that a very short personal restraint will be the think it probable that there were—they have only ill consequence that can arise from your never reached me.'
accession to these unhappy intrigues.' 'I have omitted, Mr. Waverley,' continued Waverley listened with great composure until Major Melville, 'to inquire after a matter of the end of this exhortation, when, springing from less consequence, but which has, nevertheless, his seat, with an energy he
had not yet displayed, been publicly talked of to your disadvantage. he replied, 'Major Melville, since that is your It is said that a treasonable toast having been name, I have hitherto answered your questions proposed in your hearing and presence, you, with candour, or declined them with temper, holding his Majesty's commission, suffered the because their import concerned myself alone;
but task of resenting it to devolve upon another as you presume to esteem me mean enough to gentleman of the company. This, sir, cannot commence informer against others, who received be charged against you in a court of justice ; me, whatever may be their public misconduct, but if, as I am informed, the officers of your as a guest and friend, -I declare to you that I regiment requested an explanation of such a consider your questions as an insult infinitely rumour, as a gentleman and soldier, I cannot more offensive than your calumnious suspicions ; but be surprised that you did not afford it to and that, since my hard fortune permits me no
other' mode of resenting them than by verbal This was too much. Beset and pressed on defiance, you should sooner have my heart out every hand by accusations, in which gross false- of my bosom, than a single syllable of informahoods were blended with such circumstances of tion on subjects which I could only become truth as could not fail to procure them credit acquainted with in the full confidence of un-alone, unfriended, and in a strange land, suspecting hospitality.' Waverley almost gave up his life and honour Mr. Morton and the Major looked at each for lost, and leaning his head upon his hand, other; and the former, who, in the course of resolutely refused to answer any further ques- the examination, had been repeatedly troubled tions, since the fair and candid statement he with a sorry rheum, had recourse to his snuffhad already made had only served to furnish box and his handkerchief. arms against him.
Mr. Waverley,' said the Major, ‘my present Without expressing either surprise or dis- situation prohibits me alike from giving or pleasure at the change in Waverley's manner, receiving offence, and I will not protract Major Melville proceeded composedly to put discussion which approaches to either. several other queries to him. What does it afraid I must sign a warrant for detaining you avail me to answer you?' said Edward sullenly. in custody, but this house shall for the present 'You appear convinced of my guilt, and wrest be your prison. I fear I cannot persuade you every reply I have made to support your own to accept a share of our supper ?—(Edward shook preconceived opinion. Enjoy your supposed his head)—but I will order refreshments in your triumph, then, and torment me no further. If apartment.' I am capable of the cowardice and treachery your Our hero bowed and withdrew, under guard charge burdens me with, I am not worthy to be of the officers of justice, to a small but hand. believed in any reply I can make to you. If I some room, where, declining all offers of food or am not deserving of your suspicion—and God wine, he flung himself on the bed, and stupified and my own conscience bear evidence with me by the harassing events and mental fatigue of that it is so—then I do not see why I should by this miserable day, he sunk into a deep and my candour lend my accusers arms against my heavy slumber. This was more than he himself innocence. There is no reason I should answer could have expected ; but it is mentioned of the a word more, and I am determined to abide by North American Indians, when at the stake of this resolution.' And again he resumed his torture, that on the least intermission of agony, posture of sullen and determined silence. they will sleep until the fire is applied to awaken
'Allow me,' said the magistrate, 'to remind them. you of one reason that may suggest the propriety of a candid and open confession. The inexperience of youth, Mr. Waverley, lays it open to the
I am A CONFERENCE AND THE CONSEQUENCE.
incidents of real life had entirely dissipated. CHAPTER XXXII.
The early loss of an amiable young woman, whom he had married for love, and who was quickly followed to the grave by an only child,
had also served, even after the lapse of many MAJOR MELVILLE had detained Mr. Morton years, to soften a disposition naturally mild during his examination of Waverley, both and contemplative. His feelings on the present because he thought he might derive assistance occasion were therefore likely to differ from from his practical good sense and approved those of the severe disciplinarian, strict magisloyalty, and also because it was agreeable to trate, and distrustful man of the world. have a witness of unimpeached candour and When the servants had withdrawn, the veracity to proceedings which_touched the silence of both parties continued, until Major honour and safety of a young Englishman of Melville, filling his glass, and pushing the high rank and family, and the expectant heir of bottle to Mr. Morton, commenced. a large fortune. Every step he knew would be 'A distressing affair this, Mr. Morton. I rigorously canvassed, and it was his business to fear this youngster has brought himself within place the justice and integrity of his own conduct the compass of a halter.' beyond the limits of question.
"God forbid !' answered the clergyman. When Waverley retired, the laird and clergy- 'Marry, and amen,' said the temporal magisman of Cairnvreckan sat down in silence to trate ; but I think even your merciful logic their evening meal. While the servants were will hardly deny the conclusion.' in attendance, neither chose to say anything on 'Surely, Major,' answered the clergyman, 'I the circumstances which occupied their minds, should hope it might be averted, for aught we and neither felt it easy to speak upon any
other. have heard to-night ?' The youth and apparent frankness of Waverley 'Indeed !' replied Melville. But, my good stood in strong contrast to the shades of suspicion parson, you are one of those who would comwhich darkened around him, and he had a sort municate to every criminal the benefit of of naïveté and openness of demeanour, that clergy.' seemed to belong to one unhackneyed in the “Unquestionably I would : mercy and longways of intrigue, and which pleaded highly in suffering are the grounds of the doctrine I am his favour.
called to teach.' Each mused over the particulars of the exami- " True, religiously speaking ; but mercy to a nation, and each viewed it through the medium criminal may be gross injustice to the comof his own feelings. Both were men of ready munity. I don't speak of this young fellow in and acute talent, and both were equally com- particular, who I heartily wish may be able to petent to combine various parts of evidence, and clear himself, for I like both his modesty and to deduce from them the necessary conclusions, his spirit. But I fear he has rushed upon his But the wide difference of their habits and fate. education often occasioned a great discrepancy “And why? Hundreds of misguided gentlein their respective deductions from admitted men are now in arms against the government; premises.
many, doubtless, upon principles which educaMajor Melville had been versed in camps and tion and early prejudice have gilded with the cities; he was vigilant by profession, and names of patriotism and heroism ;-—Justice, cautious from experience; had met with much when she selects her victims from such a evil in the world, and therefore, though himself multitude (for surely all will not be destroyed), an upright magistrate and an honourable man, must regard the moral motive. He whom his opinions of others were always strict, and ambition, or hope of personal advantage, has sometimes unjustly severe. Mr. Morton, on the led to disturb the peace of a well-ordered contrary, had passed from the literary pursuits government, let him fall a victim to the laws ; of a college, where he was beloved by his but surely youth, misled by the wild visions of companions and respected by his teachers, to chivalry and imaginary loyalty, may plead for the ease and simplicity of his present charge, pardon.' where his opportunities of witnessing evil were 'If visionary chivalry and imaginary loyalty few, and never dwelt upon but in order to come within the predicament of high treason, encourage repentance and amendment; and replied the magistrate, 'I know no court in where the love and respect of his parishioners Christendom, my dear Mr. Morton, where they repaid his affectionate zeal in their behalf, by can sue out their Habeas Corpus.' endeavouring to di aise from him what they But I cannot see that this youth's guilt is knew would give him the most acute pain, at all established to my satisfaction,' said the namely, their own occasional transgressions of clergyman. the duties which it was the business of his life to 'Because your good nature blinds your good recommend. Thus it was a common saying in sense,' replied Major Melville. Observe now : the neighbourhood (though both were popular this young man, descended of a family of characters), that the laird knew only the ill in hereditary Jacobites, his uncle the leader of the the parish, and the minister only the good. Tory interest in the county of —, his father
A love of letters, though kept in subordination a disobliged and discontented courtier, his tutor to his clerical studies and duties, also dis- a non-juror and the author of two treasonable tinguished the pastor of Cairnvreckan, and volumes — this youth, I say, enters into had tinged his mind in earlier days with a Gardiner's dragoons, bringing with him a slight feeling of romance, which no after body of young fellows from his uncle's estate,
who have not stickled at avowing, in their way, and pedantic in composition as mischievous in the high-church principles they learned at their tenets. But can you suppose anything Waverley-Honour, in their disputes with their but value for the principles they maintain would comrades. To these young men Waverley is induce a young man of his age to lug such trash unusually attentive; they are supplied with about with him? Then, when news arrive of the money beyond a soldier's wants, and inconsistent approach of the rebels, he sets out in a sort of with his discipline ; and are under the manage- disguise, refusing to tell his name; and if yon ment of a favourite sergeant, through whom they old fanatic tell truth, attended by a very sus. hold an unusually close communication with picious character, and mounted on a horse their captain, and affect to consider themselves known to have belonged to Glennaquoich, and as independent of the other officers, and superior bearing on his person letters from his family to their comrades.'
expressing high rancour against the house of ‘All this, my dear Major, is the natural Brunswick, and a copy of verses in praise of consequence of their attachment to their young one Wogan, who abjured the service of the landlord, and of their finding themselves in a Parliament to join the Highland insurgents, regiment levied chiefly in the north of Ireland when in arms to restore the house of Stuart, and the west of Scotland, and of course among with a body of English cavalry — the very comrades disposed to quarrel with them, both as counterpart of his own plot -- and summed up Englishmen, and as members of the Church of with a “Go thou and do likewise," from that England.'
loyal subject, and most safe and peaceable Well said, parson !' replied the magistrate. character, Fergus Mac-Ivor of Glennaquoich, - 'I would some of your synod heard you.—But Vich Ian Vohr, and so forth. And, lastly,' let me go on. This young man obtains leave of continued Major Melville, warming in the absence, goes to Tully-Veolan—the principles of detail of his arguments, where do we find ! the Baron of Bradwardine are pretty well known, this second edition of Cavalier Wogan? Why, not to mention that this lad's uncle brought him truly, in the very track most proper for execuoff in the year fifteen; he engages there in a brawl, tion of his design, and pistolling the first of in which he is said to have disgraced the commis- the king's subjects who ventures to question sion he bore; Colonel Gardiner writes to him, his intentions.' first mildly, then more sharply-I think you Mr. Morton prudently abstained from argunot doubt his having done so, since he says so ; ment, which he perceived would only harden the mess invite him to explain the quarrel in the magistrate in his opinion, and merely asked which he is said to have been involved; he how he intended to dispose of the prisoner? neither replies to his commander nor his com- It is a question of some difficulty, considering rades. In the meanwhile, his soldiers become the state of the country,' said Major Melville. mutinous and disorderly, and at length, when Could you not detain him (being such a the rumour of this unhappy rebellion becomes gentleman-like young man) here in your own general, his favourite Sergeant Houghton, and house, out of harm's way, till this storm blow another fellow, are detected in correspondence over?' with a French emissary, accredited, as he says, 'My good friend,' said Major Melville, 'neither by Captain Waverley, who urges him, according your house nor mine will be long out of harm's to the men's confession, to desert with the troop way, even were it legal to confine him here. I and join their captain, who was with Prince have just learned that the commander-in-chief, Charles. In the meanwhile this trusty captain who marched into the Highlands to seek out and is, by his own admission, residing at Glenna- disperse the insurgents, has declined giving them quoich with the most active, subtle, and desperate battle at Corryerick, and marched on northward Jacobite in Scotland ; he goes with him at least with all the disposable force of government to as far as their famous hunting rendezvous, and Inverness, John-o'-Groat's House, or the devil, I fear a little farther. Meanwhile two other for what I know, leaving the road to the Low summonses are sent him; one warning him of Country open and undefended to the Highland the disturbances in his troop, another perempt. army. orily ordering him to repair to the regiment, Good God !' said the clergyman. 'Is the which, indeed, common sense might have man a coward, a traitor, or an idiot ?' dictated, when he observed rebellion thickening 'None of the three, I believe,' answered Mel. all round him. He returns an absolute refusal, ville. "Sir John has the common-place courage and throws up his commission.'
of a common soldier, is honest enough, does what 'He had been already deprived of it,' said Mr. he is commanded, and understands what is told Morton.
him, but is as fit to act for himself in circum‘But he regrets, replied Melville, 'that the stances of importance, as I, my dear parson, to measure had anticipated his resignation. His occupy your pulpit.' baggage is seized at his quarters, and at Tully- This important public intelligence naturally Veolan, and is found to contain a stock of diverted the discourse from Waverley for some pestilent jacobitical pamphlets, enough to poison time; at length, however, the subject was rea whole country, besides the unprinted lucu- sumed. brations of his worthy friend and tutor Mr. 'I believe,' said Major Melville, 'that I must Pembroke.'
give this young man in charge to some of the ' He says he never read them,' answered the detached parties of armed volunteers, who were
lately sent out to overawe the disaffected dis'In an ordinary case I should believe him,'tricts. They are now recalled towards Stirling, replied the magistrate, ‘for they are as stupid and a small body comes this way to-morrow or