Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

regimental colour), superb chargers both; the other three were stout active hacks, designed for the road, or for bis domestics, of whom two were to attend him from the Hall; an additional groom, if necessary, might be picked up in Scotland. « You will depart with but a small retinue, » quoth the baronet, «compared to Sir Hildebrand, when he mustered before the gate of the Hall a larger body of horse than your whole regiment consists of. I could have wished that these twenty young fellows from my estate, who have enlisted in your troop, had been tơ march with you on your journey to Scotland. It would have been something at least; but I am told their attendance would be thought unusual in these days, when every new and foolish fashion is introduced to break the natural dependance of the people upon their landlords.» Sir Everard had done his best to correct this unnatural disposition of the times; for he had brightened the chain of attachment between the recruits and their young captain, not only by a copious repast of beef and ale, by way of parting feast, but by such a pecuniary donation to each individual, as tended rather to improve the conviviality than the discipline of their mareh. After inspecting the cavalry, Sir Everard again conducted his nephew to the library, where he produced a letter, carefully folded, surrounded by a little stripe of flox-silk, according to ancient form,

and sealed with an accurate impression of the Waverley coat-of-arms. It was addressed, with great formality, « To Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine, Esq. of Bradwardine, at his principal mansion of Tully-Veolan, in Perthshire, North Britain, These-By the hands of Captain Edward Waverley, nephew of Sir. Everard Waverley, of Waverley-Honour, Bart.»

The gentleman to whom this enormous greeting was addressed, of whom we shall have more to say in the sequel, had been in arms for the exiled family of Stuart in the year 1715, and was made prisoner at Preston, in Lancashire. He was a man of a very

ancient family and somewhat embarrassed fortune; a scholar, according to the scholarship of Scotchmen, that is, his learning was more diffuse than accurate, and he was rather a reader than a grammarian. Of his zeal for the classic authors, he is said to have given an uncommon instance. On the road between Preston and London, he made his escape from his guards; but being afterwards found loitering near the place where they had lodged the former night, he was recognized and again arrested. His companions, and even his escort, were surprised at his infatuation, and could not help inquiring, why, being once at liberty, he had not made the best of his way to a place of safety; to which he replied, that he had intended to do so, but,

in good faith, he had returned to seek his Titus Livius which he had forgot in the hurry of his escape. The simplicity of this anecdote struck the gentleman, who, as we before observed, had managed the defence of some of those unfortunate persons, at the expense of Sir Everard, and perhaps some others of the party. He was, besides, himself a special admirer of the old Patavinian, and though probably his own zeal might not have carried him such extravagant lengths, even to recover the edition of Sweynheim and Pannartz (supposed to be the princeps), he did not the less estimate the devotion of the North Briton, and so exerted himself to remove and soften evidence, detect legal flaws, et cetera, that he accomplished the final discharge and deliverance of Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine from certain very awkward consequences of a plea before our sovereign lord the king in Westminster.

The Baron of Bradwardine, for he was generally so called in Scotland (although his intimates, from bis place of residence, used to denominate him Tully-Veolan,or,more familiarly, Tully), no sooner stood rectus in curia, than he posted down to pay his respects and make his acknowledgments at Waverley - Honour. A congenial passion for field-sports, and a general coincidence in political opinions, cemented his friendship with Sir Everard, notwithstanding the difference of their habits and studies in

other particulars; and having spent several weeks at Waverley-Honour, he departed with many expressions of regard, warmly pressing the baronet to return his visit, and partake of the diversion of grouse-shooting upon his moors in Perthshire next season. Shortly after, Mr Bradwardine remitted from Scotland a sum in reimbursement of expenses incurred in the King's High Court of Westminster, which, although not quite so formidable when reduced to the English denomination, had, in its original form of Scotch pounds, shillings, and pence, such a formidable effect upon the frame of Duncan Macwheeble, the laird's confidential factor, baron baillie, and man of resource, that he had a fit of the cholic which lasted for five days, occasioned, he said, solely and utterly by becoming the unhappy instrument of conveying such a serious sum of money out of his native country into the hands of the false English. But patriotismn, as it is the fairest, so it is often the most suspicious mark of other feelings, and many who knew Baillie Macwheeble, concluded that his professions of regret were not altogether disinterested, and that he would have grudged the moneys paid to the loons at Westminster much less had they not come froin Bradwardine estate, a fund which he considered as more particularly his

But the Baillie protested he was abso. lutely disinterested

own.

« Woe, woe for Scotland, not a whit for me !!!

The laird was only rejoiced that his worthy friend Sir Everard Waverley of Waverley-Honour was reimbursed of the expenditure which he had outlaid on account of the house of Bradwardine. It concerned, he said, the credit of his own family, and of the kingdom of Scotland at large, that these disbursements should be repaid forthwith, and if delayed, it would be a matter of national reproach. Sir Everard, accustomed to treat much larger sums with indifference, received the remittance of L. 294: 13: 6, without being aware that the payment was an international concern, and indeed would probably have forgot the circumstance altogether, if Baillie Macwheeble had thought of comforting his cholic by intercepting the subsidy. · A yearly intercourse took place, of a short letter, and a hamper or cask or two between WaverleyHonour and Tully-Veolan, the English exports consisting of mighty cheeses and mightier ale, pheasants, and venison, and the Scottish returns being vested in grouse, white hares, pickled salmon, and usquebaugh. All which were meant and received as pledges of constant friendship and amity between two important houses.

It followed as a matter of course, that the heir apparent of WaverleyHonour could not with propriety visit Scot

« AnteriorContinuar »