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The eager glance of the keen black eye, which, in the chieftain, seemed impatient even of the material obstacles, it encountered, had, in his sister's acquired a gentle pensiveness. His looks seemed to seek glory, power, all that could exalt him above others in the race of humanity; while those of his sister, as if she were already conscious of mental superiority, seemed to pity rather than envy those who were struggling for any other distinction. Her sentiments corresponded with the expression of her countenance. Early education had impressed upon her mind, as well as on that of the chieftain, the most devoted attachment to the exiled family of Stuart. She believed it the duty of her brother, of his clan, of every man in Britain, at whatever personal hazard, ! to contribute to that restoration which the partizans of the Chevalier St George had not ceased to hope for. For this she was prepared to do all, to suffer all, to sacrifice all. But her loyalty, as it exceeded her brother’s in fa naticism, excelled it also in purity. Accustomed to petty intrigue, and necessarily involved in a thousand paltry and selfish discussions, ambitious also by nature, his political faith was tinctured at least, if not tainted, by the views of interest andadvancement so easily combined with it; and at the moment he should unsheathe his claymore, it might be difficult to say whether it would be most with the view of
making James Stuart a king, or Fergus MacIvor an earl. This, indeed, was a mixture of feelings which he did not avow even to him. self, but it existed, nevertheless, in a powerful degree.
In Flora's bosom, on the contrary, the zeal of loyalty burned pure and unmixed with any selfish feeling; she would have as soon made religion the mask of ambitious and interested views, as have shrouded them under the opinions which she had been taught to think patriotism. Such instances of devotion were not uncommon among the followers of the unhappy race of Stuart, of which many memorable proofs will recur to the mind of most of
my readers. But peculiar attention on the part of Chevalier de St George and his princess to the parents of Fergus and his sister, and to themselves, when orphans, had rivetted their faith. Fergus, upon the death of his parents, had been for some time a page of bonour in the train of the Chevalier's lady, and, from his beauty and sprightly temper, was uniformly treated by her with the utmost distinction. This was also extended to Flora, who was maintained for some time at a convent of the first order, at the princess's expense, and removed from thence into her own family, where she spent nearly two years, and both retained the deepest and most grateful sense of her kindness.
Having thus touched upon the leading principle of Flora's character, I may dismiss the rest more slightly. She was highly accomplished, and had acquired those elegant manners to be expected from one who, in early youth, had been the companion of a princess; yet she had not learned to substitute the gloss of politeness for the reality of feeling. When settled in the lonely regions of Glennaquoich, she found that her resources in French, English, and Italian literature, were likely to be few and interrupted; and, in order to fill up her vacant time, she bestowed a part of it upon the music and poetical traditions of the Highlanders, and began really to feel that pleasure in the pursuit, which her brother, whose perceptions of literary merit were inore blunt, rather affected for the sake of popularity than actually experienced. Her resolution was strengthened in these researches, by the extreme delight which her inquiries seemed to afford those to whom she resorted for information.
Her love of her clan, an attachment which was almost hereditary in her bosom, was, like her loyalty, a more pure passion than that of her brother. He was too thorough a politician, regarded his patriarchal influence too much as the means of accomplishing his own aggrandisement, that we should term him the model of a Highland chieftain. Flora felt the same
anxiety for cherishing and extending their
patriarchal sway, but it was with the generous desire of vindicating from poverty, or at least from want and foreign oppression, those whom her brother was by birth, according to the notions of the time and country, entitled to govern. The savings of her income, for she had a small pension from the Princess Sobieski, were dedicated, not to add to the comforts of the peasantry, for that was a word which they neither knew nor apparently wished to know, but to relieve their absolute necessities, when in sickness or extreme old age. At every other period, they rather toiled to procure something which they might share with the chief, as a proof of their attachment, than expected other assistance from him save what was afforded by the rude hospitality of his castle, and the general division and subdivision of his estate among
them. Flora was so much beloved by them, that when MacMurrough composed a song, in which he enuinerated all the principal beauties of the district, and intimated her superiority by concluding, that «the fairest apple hung on the highest bough,» he received, in donatives from the individuals of the clan, more seedbarley than would have sowed his Highland Parnassus, the Bard's croft, as it was called, ten: times over.
From situation, as well as choice, Miss Mac
Ivor's society was extremely limited. Her most intimate friend had been Rose Bradwardine, to whom she was much attached; and when seen together, they would have afforded an artist two admirable subjects for the gay and the melancholy Muse. Indeed Rose was so tenderly watched by her father, and her circle of wishes was so limited, that none arose but what he was willing to gratify, and scarce any which did not come within the compass of his power. With Flora it was otherwise. While almost a girl, she had undergone the most complete change of scene, from gaiety and splendour to absolute solitude and comparative poverty; and the ideas and wishes which she chiefly fostered, respected great national events, and changes not to be brought round without both hazard and bloodshed, and therefore not to be thought of with levity. Her manner consequently was grave, though she readily contributed her talents to the amusement of society, and stood very high in the opinion of the old baron, who used to sing along with her such French duets of Lindor and Cloris, etc. as were in fashion about the end of the reign of old Louis le Grand.
It was generally believed, though no one durst have hinted it to the Baron of Brad wardine, that Flora's entreaties had no small share in allaying the wrath of Fergus upon occasion of their quarrel. She took her brother on the