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seemed to increase. He had at first spoken with his eyes fixed on the ground; he now cast them around as if beseeching, and anon as if commanding attention, and his tones rose into wild and impassioned notes, accompanied with appropriate gesture. He seemed to Edward, who attended to him with much interest, to recite many proper names, to lament the dead, to apostrophize the absent, to exhort and entreat and animate those who were present. Waverley thought he even discerned his own name, and was convinced his conjecture was right, from the eyes of the company being at that moment turned towards him simultaneously. The ardour of the poet appeared to communicate itself to the audience. Their wild and sun-burnt countenances assumed a fiercer and more animated expression; all bent forwards towards the reciter, many sprung up and waved their arms in ecstacy, and some laid their hands on their swords. When the song ceased, there was a deep pause, while the aroused feelings of the poet and of the hearers gradually subsided into their usual channel.
The chieftain, who, during this scene, had appeared rather to watch the emotions which were excited, than to partake their high ione of enthusiasm, filled with claret a small silver cup which stood by him. «Give this,» he said to an attendant, « to Mac-Murrough nan Fohu
(i. e. of the songs), and when he has drank the juice, bid him keep, for the sake of Vich lan Vohr, the shell of the gourd which contained it. » The gift was received by Mac-Murrough with profound gratitude; he drank the wine, and, kissing the cup, shrouded it with reverence in the plaid which was folded on his bosom. He then burst forth into what Edward justly supposed to be an extemporaneous effusion of thanks and praises of his chief. It was received with applause, but did not produce the effect of his first poem. .
It was obvious, however, that the clan regarded the generosity of their chieftain with high approbation. . Many approved Gaelic toasts were then proposed, of some of which the chieftain gave
guest the following versions : «To him that will not turn bis back on friend or foe.»
«To him that never forsook a comrade.» «To him that never bought or sold justice.» « Hospitality to the exile, and broken bones to the tyrant.»
« The lads with the kilts.» Highlanders, shoulder to shoulder, » -with many other pithy sentiments of the like nature.
Edward was particularly solicitous to know the meaning of that song which appeared to produce such effect upon the passions of the company, and hinted his curiosity to his host. « As I observe,» said the chieftain, « that you have passed the bottle during the last three
rounds, I was about to propose to you to retire to my sister's tea-table, who can explain these things to you better than I can. Although I cannot stint
clan in the usual current of their festivity, yet I neither am addicted myself to exceed in its amount, nor do I,» added he, smiling, « keep a Bear to devour the intellects of such as can make good use of them.»
Edward readily assented to his proposal, and the chieftain, saying a few words to those around him, left the table, followed by Waverley. As the door closed behind them, Edward heard Vich Ian Vohr's health invoked with a wild and animated cheer, that expressed the satisfaction of the guests, and the depth of their devotion to his service.
The Chieftain's Sister.
The drawing-room of Flora Mac-Ivor was fur. nished in the plainest and most simple manner; for at Glennaquoich every other sort of expenditure was retrenched as much as possible, for the purpose of maintaining, in its full dignity, the hospitality of the chieftain, and retaining and multiplying the number of his dependants and adherents. But there was no appearance of this parsimony in the dress of the lady berself, which was in texture elegant, and even rich, and arranged in a manner which partook partly of the Parisian fashion, and partly of the more simple dress of the Highlands, blended together with great taste.
Her hair was not disfigured by the art of the friseur, but fell in jetty ringlets on her neck, confined only by a circlet, richly set with diamonds. This peculiarity she adopted in compliance with the Highland prejudices, which could not endure
that a woman's head should be covered before wedlock.
Flora Mac-Ivor bore a most striking resemblance to her brother Fergus; so much so, that they might have played Viola and Sebastian with the same exquisite effect produced by the appearance of Mrs Henry Siddons and her brother in those characters. They had the same antique and regular correctness of profile; the same dark eyes, eye-lashes, and eyebrows; the same clearness of complexion, excepting that Fergus's was embrowned by exercise, and Flora's possessed the utmost feminine delicacy. But the haughty, and somewhat stern regularity of Fergus's features, was beautifully softened in those of Flora. Their voices were also similar in tone, though differing in the key. That of Fergus, especially while issuing orders to his followers during their military exercise, reminded Edward of a favourite passage in the description of Emetrius :
whose voice was hcard around, Loud as a trumpet with a silver sound.
That of Flora, on the contrary, was soft and sweet, «an excellent thing in woman;» yet in urging any favourite topic, which she often pursued with natural eloquence, it possessed as well the tones which impress awe and correction, as those of persuasive insinuation.