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tion; and, as Edward proceeded to the hall, she gave him her blessing, in the Gaelic proverb, «May the open hand be filled the fullest!»

The hall, in which the feast was prepared, occupied all the first story of lan nan Chaistel's original erection, and a huge oaken table extended through its whole length. The apparatus for dinner was simple, even to rudeness, and the company numerous, even to crowding. At the head of the table was the Chief himself, with Edward, and two or three Highland visitors of neighbouring clans; the elders of his own tribe, wadsetters and tacksmen, as they were called, who occupied portions of his estate as mortgagers or lessees, sat next in rank; beneath them, their sons and nephews, and foster-brethren; then the officers of the chief's household, according to their order; and, lowest of all, the tenants who actually cultivated the ground. Even beyond this long perspective, Edward might see upon the green, to which a huge pair of folding doors opened, a multitude of Highlanders of a yet inferior description, who, nevertheless, were considered as guests, and bad their share both of the countenance of the entertainer, and of the cheer of the day. In the distance, and fluctuating round this extreme verge of the banquet, was a changeful group of women, ragged boys and girls, beggars, young and old, large grey

hounds, and terriers, and pointers, and curs of low degree; all of whom took some interest, more or less immediate, in the main action of

the piece.

This hospitality, apparently unbounded, had yet its line of economy. Some pains had been bestowed in dressing the dishes of fish, game, etc., which were at the upper end of the table,

, and immediately under the eye of the English stranger. Lower down stood immense clumsy joints of mutton and beef, which, but for the absence of pork, abhorred in the Highlands, resembled the rude festivity of the banquet of Penelope's suitors. But the central dish was a yearling lamb, called «a hog in harst, v. roasted whole. It was set upon its legs, with a bunch of parsley in its mouth, and was probably exhibited in that form to gratify the cook, who piqued himself more on the plenty than the elegance of his master's table. The sides of this poor animal were fiercely attacked by the clansmen, some with dirks, others with the knives which were usually in the same sheath with the dagger, so that it was soon rendered a mangled and rueful spectacle. Lower down still, the victuals seemed of yet coarser quality, though sufficiently abundant. Broth, onions, cheese, and the fragments of the feast, regaled the sons of Ivor who feasted in the open air.

The liquor was supplied in the same pro

portion, and under similar regulations. Excellent claret and champagne were liberally distributed among the chief's immediate neighbours; whiskey, plain or diluted, and strong-beer, refreshed those who sat near the lower end. Nor did this inequality of distribution appear to give the least offence. Every one present understood that his taste was to be formed according to the rank which he held at table; and consequently the tacksmen and their dependants always professed the wine was too cold for their stomachs, and called, apparently out of choice, for the liquor which was assigned to them from economy. The bagpipers, three in number, screamed, during the whole time of dinner, a tremendous wartune ; and the echoing of the vaulted roof, and clang of the Celtic tongue, produced such a Babel of noises, that Waverley dreaded his ears would never recover it. Mac-Ivor, indeed, apologised for the confusion occasioned by so large a party, and pleaded the necessity of his situation, on which unlimited hospitality was imposed as a paramount duty. «These stout idle kinsmen of mine,» he said, « account my estate as held in trust for their support; and I must find them beef and ale, while the rogues will do nothing for themselves but practise the broadsword, or wander about the hills shooting, fishing, hunting, drinking, and making love to the lasses of the strath. But what

can I do, Captain Waverley? every thing will keep after its kind, whether it be a hawk or a Righlander.» Edward made the expected answer, in a compliment upon his possessing so many bold and attached followers.

«Why, yes,» replied the chief, « were I disposed, like my father, to put myself in the

way of getting one blow on the head, or two on the neck, I believe the loons would stand by me. But who thinks of that in the present day, when the maxim is,—“Better an old woman with a purse in her hand, than three men with belted brands.'» Then, turning to the company, he proposed the « Health of Captain Waverley, a worthy friend of his kind neighbour and ally, the Baron of Bradwardine.»

« He is welcome hither,” said one of the elders, «if he come from Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine.»

«I say nay to that,» said an old man, who apparently did not mean to pledge the toast. « I say nay to that ; — while there is a green leaf in the forest there will be fraud in a Comyne.»

a There is nothing but honour in the Baron of Bradwardine,» answered another ancient, « and the guest that comes hither from him should be welcome though. be came with blood on his hand, unless it were blood of the race of Ivor.»

The old man, whose cup remained full,


replied, « There has been blood enough of the race of Ivor on the hand of Bradwardine.»

« Ah! Ballenkeiroch,» replied the first, « you think rather of the flash of the carbine at the Mains of Tully-Veolan, than the glance of the sword that fought for the cause at Proud Pres


« And well I may,» answered Ballenkeiroch; « the flash of the gun cost me a fair-haired son, and the glance of the sword has done but little for King James.»

The chieftain, in two words of French, explained to Waverley that the baron had shot this old man's son in a fray near Tully-Veolan about seven years before, and then hastened to remove Ballenkeiroch's prejudice, by informing him that Waverley was an Englishman, unconnected by birth or alliance with the family of Bradwardine; upon which the old gentleman raised the hitherto-untasted cup, and courteously drank to his health. This ceremony being requited in kind, the chieftain made a signal for the pipes to cease, and said, aloud, «Where is the song hidden, my friends, that Mac-Murrough cannot find it?» Mac-Murrough, the family bhairdh, an aged man, immediately took the hint, and began to chaunt, with low and rapid utterance, a profusion of Celtic verses, which were received by the audience with all the applause of enthusiasm. As he advanced in his declamation, his ardour

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