Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

his body:

[ocr errors]

gospel-searching nobleman, the Earl of Glencairn, having surmounted the ascent, were out of ken in whilk I am so designated. While I live, í for the present. Gilfillan, with the pedlar, and am and will be called Habakkuk Gilfillan, who a small party who were Waverley's more immewill stand up for the standards of doctrine agreed diate guard, were near the top of the ascent, and on by the ance-famous Kirk of Scotland, before the remainder straggled after them at a considershe trafficked with the accursed Achan, while he able interval. has a plack in his purse, or a drap o' bluid in Such was the situation of matters, when the

pedlar, missing, as he said, a little doggie which 'Ah, said the pedlar, “I have seen your land belonged to him, began to halt and whistle for about Mauchlina fertile spot ! your lines have the animal. This signal, repeated more than fallen in pleasant places !—and siccan a breed o' once, gave offence to the rigour of his companion, cattle is not in ony laird's land in Scotland.' the rather because it appeared to indicate inatten.

‘Ye say right,-ye say right, friend,' retorted tion to the treasures of theological and controGilfillan eagerly, for he was not inaccessible to versial knowledge which was pouring out for his flattery upon this subject, -'ye say right; they edification. He therefore signified gruffly, that are the real Lancashire, and there's no the like he could not waste his time in waiting for a useo' them even at the Mains of Kilmaurs;' and he less cur. then entered into a discussion of their excel. ‘But if your honour would consider the case lences, to which our readers will probably be as

of Tobit' indifferent as our hero. After this excursion, * Tobit!' exclaimed Gilfillan, with great heat; the leader returned to his theological discussions, Tobit and his dog baith are altogether heathenwhile the pedlar, less profound upon those ish and apocryphal, and none but a prelatist or mystic points, contented himself with groan- a papist would draw them into question. I doubt ing, and expressing his edification at suitable I hae been mista'en in you, friend.' intervals.

Very likely,' answered the pedlar, with great • What a blessing it would be to the puir composure ; but ne'ertheless, I shall take leave blinded popish nations among whom I hae to whistle again upon puir Bawty.' sojourned, to have siccan a light to their paths ! This last signal was answered in an unexpected I hae been as far as Muscovia in my sma' trading manner; for six or eight stout Highlanders, who way, as a travelling merchant; and I hae been lurked among the copse and brushwood, sprung through France, and the Low Countries, and a' into the hollow way, and began to lay about Poland, and maist feck o' Germany; and O! it them with their claymores. Gilfillan, unappalled would grieve your honour's soul to see the mur- at this undesirable apparition, cried out manmuring, and the singing, and massing, that's in fully, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon !' the kirk, and the piping that's in the quire, and and, drawing his broadsword, would probably the heathenish dancing and dicing upon the have done as much credit to the good old cause Sabbath !'

as any of its doughty champions at Drumclog, This set Gilfillan off upon the Book of Sports when, behold! the pedlar snatching a musket and the Covenant, and the Engagers, and the from the person who was next him, bestowed Protesters, and the Whiggamore's Raid and the the butt of it with such emphasis on the head Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and the of his late instructor in the Cameronian creed, Longer and Shorter Catechism, and the Excom- that he was forthwith levelled to the ground. munication at Torwood, and the slaughter of In the confusion which ensued, the horse which Archbishop Sharp. This last topic, again, led bore our hero was shot by one of Gilfillan's him into the lawfulness of defensive arms, on party, as he discharged his firelock at random. which subject he uttered much more sense than Waverley fell with, and indeed under, the could have been expected from some other parts animal, and sustained some severe contusions. of his harangue, and attracted even Waverley's But he was almost instantly extricated from attention, who had hitherto been lost in his the fallen steed by two Highlanders, who, each own sad reflections. Mr. Gilfillan then con- seizing him by the arm, hurried him away from sidered the lawfulness of a private man's standing the scuffle and from the high-road. They ran forth as the avenger of public oppression, and as with great speed, half supporting and half drag. he was labouring with great earnestness the ging our hero, who could, however, distinguish cause of Mess James Mitchell, who fired at a few dropping shots fired about the spot which the Archbishop, of St. Andrews some years he had left. This, as he afterwards learned, before the prelate's assassination on Magus proceeded from Gilfillan's party, who had now Muir, an incident occurred which interrupted assembled, the stragglers in front and rear hav. his harangue.

ing joined the others. At their approach, the The rays of the sun were lingering on the Highlanders drew off, but not before they had very verge of the horizon, as the party ascended rifled Gilfillan and two of his people, who rea hollow and somewhat steep path, which led mained on the spot grievously wounded. A few to the summit of a rising ground. The country shots were exchanged betwixt them and the was unenclosed, being part of a very extensive Westlanders ; but the latter, now without a heath or common; but it was far from level, commander, and apprehensive of a second am. exhibiting in many places hollows filled with bush, did not make any serious effort to recover furze and broom ; in others little dingles of their prisoner, judging it more wise to proceed stunted brushwood. A thicket of the latter on their journey to Stirling, carrying with them description crowned the hill up which the party their wounded captain and comrades. ascended. The foremost of the band, being the stoutest and most active, had pushed on, and

[ocr errors]

WAVERLEY IS STILL IN DISTRESS.

distinction anciently general through the HighCHAPTER XXXVII.

lands, and still maintained by those chiefs who were proud of their lineage, or jealous of their separate and exclusive authority.

Edward had lived at Glennaquoich long The velocity, and indeed violence, with which enough to be aware of a distinction which he Waverley was hurried along, nearly deprived had repeatedly heard noticed ; and now satisfied him of sensation; for the injury he had received that he had no interest with his attendants, he from his fall prevented him from aiding himself glanced a disconsolate eye around the interior 80 effectually as he might otherwise have done of the cabin. The only furniture, excepting a When this was observed by his conductors, they washing - tub, and a wooden press, called in called to their aid two or three others of the Scotland an ambry, sorely decayed, was a large party, and swathing our hero's body in one of wooden bed, planked, as is usual, all around, their plaids, divided his weight by that means and opening by a sliding panel. In this recess among them, and transported him at the same the Highlanders deposited Waverley, after he rapid rate as before, without any exertion of his had by signs declined any refreshment. His own. They spoke little, and that in Gaelic; and slumbers were broken and unrefreshing; strange did not slacken their pace till they had run visions passed before his eyes, and it required nearly two miles, when they abated their extreme constant and reiterated efforts of mind to disrapidity, but continued still to walk very fast, pel them. Shivering, violent headache, and relieving each other occasionally.

shooting pains in his limbs, succeeded these Our hero now endeavoured to address them, symptoms; and in the morning it was evident but was only answered with Cha n'eil Beuri to his Highland attendants or guard, for he agam,' i.e., 'I have no English,' being, as Waver- knew not in which light to consider them, that ley well knew, the constant reply of a Highlander, Waverley was quite unfit to travel. when he either does not understand, or does not After a long consultation among themselves, choose to reply to, an Englishman or Lowlander. six of the party left the hut with their arms, He then mentioned the name of Vich Ian Vohr, leaving behind an old and a young man. The concluding that he was indebted to his friend- former addressed Waverley, and bathed the conship for his rescue from the clutches of Gifted tusions, which swelling and livid colour now Gilfillan; but neither did this produce any mark made conspicuous. His own portmanteau, which of recognition from his escort.

the Highlanders had not failed to bring off, The twilight had given place to moonshine supplied him with linen, and, to his great surwhen the party halted upon the brink of a pre-prise, was, with all its undiminished contents, cipitous glen, which, as partly enlightened by freely resigned to his use. The bedding of his the moonbeams, seemed full of trees and tangled couch seemed clean and comfortable, and his brushwood. Two of the Highlanders dived into aged attendant closed the door of the bed, for it it by a small foot-path, as if to explore its re- had no curtain, after a few words of Gaelic, from cesses, and one of them returning in a few which Waverley gathered that he exhorted him minutes, said something to his companions, who to repose. So behold our hero for a second time instantly raised their burden, and bore him with the patient of a Highland Æsculapius, but in a great attention and care, down the narrow and situation much more uncomfortable than when abrupt descent. Notwithstanding their precau- he was the guest of the worthy Tomanrait. tions, however, Waverley's person came more The symptomatic fever which accompanied than once into contact, rudely enough, with the the injuries he had sustained did not abate till projecting stumps and branches which overhung the third day, when it gave way to the care of

his attendants and the strength of his constituAt the bottom of the descent, and, as it seemed, tion, and he could now raise himself in his bed, by the side of a brook, (for Waverley heard the though not without pain. He observed, howrushing of a considerable body of water, although ever, that there was a great disinclination, on its stream was invisible in the darkness) the the part of the old woman who acted as his party again stopped before a small and rudely nurse, as well as on that of the elderly Highconstructed hovel. The door was open, and the lander, to permit the door of the bed to be left inside of the premises appeared as uncomfortable open, so that he might amuse himself with and rude as its situation and exterior foreboded. observing their motions; and at length, after There was no appearance of a floor of any kind ; Waverley had repeatedly drawn open, and they the roof seemed rent in several places; the walls had as frequently shut, the hatchway of his were composed of loose stones and turf, and the cage, the old gentleman put an end to the conthatch of branches of trees. The fire was in the test, by securing it on the outside with a nail, centre, and filled the whole wigwam with smoke, so effectually that the door could not be drawn which escaped as much through the door as by till this exterior impediment was removed. means of a circular aperture in the roof. An old While musing upon the cause of this contradicHighland sibyl, the only inhabitant of this tory spirit in persons whose conduct intimated no forlorn mansion, appeared busy in the prepara- purpose of plunder, and who, in all other points, tion of some food. By the light which the fire appeared to consult his welfare and his wishes, afforded, Waverley could discover that his at it occurred to our hero, that during the worst tendants were not of the clan of Ivor, for Fergus crisis of his illness, a female figure, younger than was particularly strict in requiring from his his old Highland nurse, had appeared to flit followers that they should wear the tartan striped around his couch. Of this, indeed, he had but a in the mode peculiar to their race ; a mark of very indistinct recollection, but his suspicions

the pathway.

were confirmed when, attentively listening, he | from the window, or rather the shapeless aperture often heard, in the course of the day, the voice which was meant to answer the purpose of a of another female conversing in whispers with window, upon a large and rough brook, which his attendant. Who could it be? And why raged and foamed through a rocky channel, should she apparently desire concealment? closely canopied with trees and bushes, about Fancy immediately aroused herself, and turned ten feet beneath the site of his house of captivity. to Flora Mac-Ivor. But after a short conflict Upon the sixth day of his confinement, Waverbetween his eager desire to believe she was in ley found himself so well that he began to his neighbourhood, guarding, like an angel of meditate his escape from this dull and miserable mercy, the couch of his sickness, Waverley was prison-house, thinking any risk which he might compelled to conclude that his conjecture was incur in the attempt preferable to the stupifying altogether improbable ; since, to suppose she and intolerable uniformity of Janet's retirement. had left the comparatively safe situation at The question indeed occurred, whither he was to Glennaquoich to descend into the Low Country, direct his course when again at his own disposal. now the seat of civil war, and to inhabit such a Two schemes seemed practicable, yet both atlurking-place as this, was a thing hardly to be tended with danger and difficulty. One was to imagined. Yet his heart bounded as he some- go back to Glennaquoich, and join Fergus Mactimes could distinctly hear the trip of a light | Ivor, by whom he was sure to be kindly received; female step glide to or from the door of the hut, or and in the present state of his mind, the rigour the suppressed sounds of a female voice, of soft- with which he had been treated fully absolved ness and delicacy, hold dialogue with the hoarse him, in his own eyes, from his aļlegiance to the inward croak of old Janet, for so he understood existing government. The other project was to his antiquated attendant was denominated. endeavour to attain a Scottish seaport, and thence

Having nothing else to amuse his solitude, he to take shipping for England. His mind wavered employed himself in contriving some plan to between these plans; and probably, if he had gratify his curiosity, in spite of the sedulous effected his escape in the manner he proposed, caution of Janet and the old Highland janizary, he would have been finally determined by the for he had never seen the young fellow since the comparative facility by which either might have first morning. At length, upon accurate exa- been executed. But his fortune had settled that mination, the infirm state of his wooden prison he was not to be left to his option. house appeared to supply the means of gratifying Upon the evening of the seventh day the door his curiosity, for out of a spot which was some- of the hut suddenly opened, and two Highlanders what decayed he was able extract a nail. entered, whom Waverley recogn as having Through this minute aperture he could perceive been a part of his original escort to this cottage. a female form, wrapped in a plaid, in the act of They conversed for a short time with the old conversing with Janet. But, since the days of man and his companion, and then made Waverour grandmother Eve, the gratification of inor- ley understand, by very significant signs, that dinate curiosity has generally borne its penalty he was to prepare to accompany them. This in disappointment. The form was not that of was a joyful communication. What had already Flora, nor was the face visible ; and, to crown passed during his confinement made it evident his vexation, while he laboured with the nail to that no personal injury was designed to him ; enlarge the hole, that he might obtain a more and his romantic spirit, having recovered during complete view, a slight noise betrayed his purpose, his repose much of that elasticity which anxiety, and the object of his curiosity instantly disap- resentment, disappointment, and the mixture of peared ; nor, so far as he could observe, did she unpleasant feelings excited by his late adventures, again revisit the cottage.

had for a time subjugated, was now wearied with All precautions to blockade his view were from inaction. His passion for the wonderful, although that tíme abandoned, and he was not only per- it is the nature of such dispositions to be excited mitted, but assisted to rise and quit what had by that degree of danger which merely gives been, in a literal sense, his couch of confinement. dignity to the feeling of the individual exposed But he was not allowed to leave the hut; for the to it, had sunk under the extraordinary and young Highlander had now rejoined his senior, apparently insurmountable evils by which he and one or other was constantly on the watch. appeared environed at Cairn vreckan. In fact

, Whenever Waverley approached the cottage door, this compound of intense curiosity and exalted the sentinel upon duty civilly, but resolutely, imagination forms a peculiar species of courage, placed himself against it and opposed his exit, which somewhat resembles the light usually accompanying his action with signs which seemed carried by a miner, -sufficiently competent, to imply there was danger in the attempt, and indeed, to afford him guidance and comfort an enemy in the neighbourhood. Old Janet during the ordinary perils of his labour, but appeared anxious and upon the watch ; and certain to be extinguished should he encounter Waverley, who had not yet recovered strength the more formidable hazard of earth-damps or enough to attempt to take his departure in spite pestiferous vapours. It was now, however, once of the opposition of his hosts, was under the more rekindled, and with a throbbing mixture necessity of remaining patient. His fare was, of hope, awe, and anxiety, Waverley watched in every point of view, better than he could have the group before him, as those who had just conceived ; for poultry, and even wine, were no arrived snatched a hasty meal, and the others strangers to his table. The Highlanders never assumed their arms, and made brief preparations presumed to eat with him, and unless in the for their departure. circumstance of watching him, treated him with As he sat in the smoky hut, at some distance great respect. His sole amusement was gazing from the fire, around which the others were

a

[ocr errors]

crowded, he felt a.gentle pressure upon his arm. in single or Indian file, Waverley being placed He looked round-it was Alice, the daughter of nearest to their leader. He moved with great Donald Bane Lane. She showed him a packet precaution, as if to avoid giving any alarm, and of papers in such a manner that the motion was halted as soon as he came to the verge of the remarked by no one else, put her finger for a ascent. Waverley was soon sensible of the reason, second to her lips, and passed on, as if to assist for he heard at no great distance an English old Janet in packing Waverley's clothes in his sentinel call out All's well

. The heavy sound portmanteau. It was obviously her wish that sunk on the night-wind down the woody glen, he should not seem to recognise her; yet she and was answered by the echoes of its banks. repeatedly looked back at him, as an opportunity A second, third, and fourth time, the signal occurred of doing so unobserved, and when she was repeated, fainter and fainter, as if at a saw that he remarked what she did, she folded greater and greater distance. It was obvious the packet with great address and speed in one that a party of soldiers were near, and upon of his shirts, which she deposited in the port- their guard, though not sufficiently so to detect manteau.

men skilful in every art of predatory warfare, Here then was fresh food for conjecture. Was like those with whom he now watched their Alice his unknown warden, and was this maiden ineffectual precautions. of the cavern the tutelar genius that watched his When these sounds had died upon the silence bed during his sickness ? Was he in the hands of the night, the Highlanders began their march of her father ? and if so, what was his purpose ? swiftly, yet with the most cautious silence. Spoil, his usual object, seemed in this case Waverley had little time, or indeed disposition, neglected; for not only was Waverley's property for observation, and could only discern that they restored, but his purse, which might have passed at some distance from a large building, tempted this professional plunderer, had been in the windows of which a light or two yet all along suffered to remain in his possession. seemed to twinkle. A little farther on, the All this perhaps the packet might explain; but leading Highlander snuffed the wind like a it was plain from Alice's manner that she desired setting spaniel, and then made a signal to his he should consult it in secret. Nor did she again party again to halt. He stooped down upon seek his eye after she had satisfied herself that all-fours, wrapped up in his plaid, so as to be her manæuvre was observed and understood. scarce distinguishable from the heathy ground On the contrary, she shortly afterwards left the on which he moved, and advanced in this posthut, and it was only as she tript out from the ure to reconnoitre. In a short time he returned, door, that, favoured by the obscurity, she gave

and dismissed his attendants excepting one ; Waverley a parting smile and nod of significance, and, intimating to Waverley that he must ere she vanished in the dark glen.

imitate his cautious mode of proceeding, all The young Highlander was repeatedly des- three crept forward on hands and knees. patched by his comrades as if to collect intel- After proceeding a greater way in this inligence. At length when he had returned for convenient manner than was at all comfortable the third or fourth time, the whole party arose, to his knees and shins, Waverley perceived the and made signs to our hero to accompany them. smell of smoke, which probably had been much Before his departure, however, he shook hands sooner distinguished by the more acute nasal with old Janet, who had been so sedulous in organs of his guide. It proceeded from the his behalf, and added substantial marks of his corner of a low and ruinous sheep-fold, the walls gratitude for her attendance.

of which were made of loose stones, as is usual ‘God bless you! God prosper you, Captain in Scotland. Close by this low wall the HighWaverley !' said Janet, in good Lowland Scotch, lander guided Waverley, and, in order probably though he had never hitherto heard her utter to make him sensible of his danger, or perhaps to a syllable save in Gaelic. But the impatience obtain the full credit of his own dexterity, he of his attendants prohibited his asking any intimated to him, by sign and example, that explanation.

he might raise his head so as to peep into the sheep-fold. Waverley did so, and beheld an outpost of four or five soldiers lying by their

watch-fire. They were all asleep, except the CHAPTER XXXVIII.

sentinel, who paced backwards and forwards with his firelock on his shoulder, which glanced red in the light of the fire as he crossed and

recrossed before it in his short walk, casting THERE was a moment's pause when the whole his eye frequently to that part of the heavens party had got out of the hut; and the High- from which the moon, hitherto obscured by mist, lander who assumed the command, and who, in seemed now about to make her appearance. Waverley's awakened recollection, seemed to be In the course of a minute or two, by one of the same tall figure who had acted as Donald those sudden changes of atmosphere incident Bane Lane's lieutenant, by whispers and signs to a mountainous country, a breeze arose, and imposed the strictest silence. He delivered to swept before it the clouds which had covered Edward a sword and steel pistol, and, pointing the horizon, and the night planet poured her up the tract, laid his hand on the hilt of his full effulgence upon a wide and blighted heath, own claymore, as if to make him sensible they skirted indeed with copsewood and stunted trees might have occasion to use force to make good in the quarter from which they had come, but

passage. He then placed himself at the open and bare to the observation of the sentinel head of the party, who

moved up the pathway in that to which their course tended. The wall

A NOCTURNAL ADVENTURE.

their

His port

of the sheep-fold, indeed, concealed them as they bility, in communicating the cause of their lay, but any advance beyond its shelter seemed delay (for the words 'Duncan Duroch' were impossible without certain discovery.

often repeated), when Duncan himself appeared, The Highlander eyed the blue vault, but far out of breath indeed, and with all the symptoms from blessing the useful light with Homer's or of having run for his life, but laughing, and in rather Pope's benighted peasant, he muttered high spirits at the success of the stratagem by a Gaelic curse upon the unseasonable splendour which he had baffled his pursuers. This, inof Mac-Farlane's buat (i.e., lantern).* He looked deed, Waverley could easily conceive might be anxiously around for a few minutes, and then a matter of no great difficulty to the active apparently took his resolution. Leaving his mountaineer, who was perfectly acquainted with attendant with Waverley, after motioning to the ground, and traced his course with a firmEdward to remain quiet, and giving his com. ness and confidence to which his pursuers must rade directions in a brief whisper, he retreated, have been strangers. The alarm which he exfavoured by the irregularity of the ground, in cited seemed still to continue, for a dropping the same direction and in the same manner as shot or two were heard at a great distance, they had advanced. Edward, turning his head which seemed to serve as an addition to the after him, could perceive him crawling on all- mirth of Duncan and his comrades. fours with the dexterity of an Indian, availing The mountaineer.now resumed the arms with himself of every bush and inequality to escape which he had entrusted our hero, giving him observation, and never passing over the more to understand that the dangers of the journey exposed parts of his track until the sentinel's were happily surmounted. Waverley was then back was turned from him. At length he mounted upon one of the horses, a change which reached the thickets and underwood which the fatigue of the night and his recent illness partly covered the moor in that direction, and rendered exceedingly acceptable. probably extended to the verge of the glen manteau was placed on another pony, Duncan where Waverley had been so long an in- mounted a third, and they set forward at a habitant. The Highlander disappeared, but it round pace, accompanied by their escort. No was only for a few minutes, for he suddenly other incident marked the course of that night's issued forth from a different part of the thicket, journey, and at the dawn of morning they and advancing boldly upon the open heath, as attained the banks of a rapid river. The if to invite discovery, he levelled his piece, and country around was at once fertile and romantic. fired at the sentinel. A wound in the arm Steep banks of wood were broken by corn fields, proved a disagreeable interruption to the poor which this year presented an abundant harvest, fellow's meteorological observations, as well as already in a great measure cut down. to the tune of Nancy Dawson, which he was On the opposite bank of the river, and partly whistling. He returned the fire ineffectually, surrounded by a winding of its stream, stood a and his comrades, starting up at the alarm, large and massive castle, the half-ruined turrets advanced alertly towards the spot from which of which were already glittering in the first the first shot had issued. The Highlander, rays of the sun.t It was in form an oblong after giving them a full view of his person, square, of size sufficient to contain a large court dived among the thickets, for his ruse de guerre in the centre. The towers at each angle of the had now perfectly succeeded.

square rose higher than the walls of the

building, While the soldiers pursued the cause of their and were in their turn surmounted by turrets, disturbance in one direction, Waverley, adopting differing in height, and irregular in shape. Upon the hint of his remaining attendant, made the one of these a sentinel watched, whose bonnet best of his speed in that which his guide originally and plaid streaming in the wind declared him intended to pursue, and which now (the attention to be a Highlander, as a broad white ensign, of the soldiers being drawn to a different quarter) which floated from another tower, announced was unobserved and unguarded. When they had that the garrison was held by the insurgent run about a quarter of a mile, the brow of a adherents of the House of Stuart. rising ground, which they had surmounted, con- Passing hastily through a small and mean cealed them from further risk of observation. town, where their appearance excited neither They still heard, however, at a distance, the surprise nor curiosity in the few peasants whom shouts of the soldiers as they hallooed to each the labours of the harvest began to summon other upon the heath, and they could also hear from their repose, the party crossed an ancient the distant roll of a drum beating to arms in and narrow bridge of several arches, and turning the same direction. But these hostile sounds to the left, up an avenue of huge old sycamores, were now far in their rear, and died away upon Waverley found himself in front of the gloomy the breeze as they rapidly proceeded.

yet picturesque structure which he had admired When they had walked about half-an-hour, at a distance. A huge iron-grated door, which still along open and waste ground of the same formed the exterior defence of the gateway was description, they came to the stump of an already thrown back to receive them; and a ancient oak, which, from its relics, appeared second, heavily constructed of oak, and studded to have been at one time a tree of very large thickly with iron nails, being next opened, size. In an adjacent hollow they found several admitted them into the interior court-yard. A Highlanders, with a horse or two. They had gentleman dressed in the Highland garb, and not joined them above a few minutes, which having a white cockade in his bonnet, assisted Waverley's attendant employed, in all proba- Waverley to dismount from his horse, and

* Note X. Mac-Farlane's Lantern.

† Note Y.

Castle of Doune.

« AnteriorContinuar »