Imágenes de página

Andrew's denominated it. And, once more, Captain Waverley, right glad am I that ye are here to drink the best my cellar can make forthcoming. This speech, with the necessary interjectional answers, continued from the lower alley where they met, up to the door of the house, where four or five servants, in old-fashioned liveries, headed by Alexander Saunderson the butler, who now bore no token of the sable stains of the garden, received them in grand costume,

In an old hall hung round with pikes and with bows,
With oid bucklers and corslets that had borne many shrewd


With much ceremony, and still more real kindness, the baron, without stopping in any intermediate apartment, conducted his guest through several into the great dining parlour, wainscotted with black oak, and hung round with the pictures of his ancestry, where a table was set forth in form for six persons, and an old-fashioned beaufet displayed all the ancient and massive plate of the Bradwardine family. A bell was now heard at the head of the avenue; for an old man, who acted as porter upon gala days, had caught the alarm given by Waverley's arrival, and, repairing to his post, announced the arrival of other guests.

These, as the baron assured his young friend, were very estimable persons. « There was the young Laird of Balmawhapple, a Falconer by surname, of the house of Glenfarquhar, given right much to field-sports--gaudet equis et canibus—but a very discreet young gentleman. Then there was the Laird of Killancureit, who had devoted his leisure untill tillage and agriculture, and boasted himself to be possessed of a bull of matchless merit, brought from the county of Devon (the Damnonia of the Romans, if we can trust Robert of Cirencester). He is, as ye may well suppose from such a tendency, but of yeoman extraction -- servabit odorem testa diuand I believe, between ourselves, his grandsire was from the wrong side of the Border one Bullsegg, who came hither as a steward, or bailiff, or ground officer, or something in that department, to the last Girnigo of Killancureit, who died of an atrophy. After his master's death, sir,-ye would hardly believe such a scandal,--but this Bullsegg, being portly and comely of aspect, intermarried with the lady-dowager, who was young and amourous, and possessed himself of the estate, which devolved on this unhappy woman by a settlement of her umwhile husband, in direct contravention of an unrecorded taillie, and to the prejudice of the disponer's own flesh and blood, in the person of his natural heir and se

venth cousin, Girnigo of Tipperhewit, whose family was so reduced by the ensuing law-suit, that his representative is now serving as a private-gentleman-sentinel in the Highland Black Watch. But this gentleman, Mr Bullsege of Killancureit that now is, has good blood in his veins by the mother and grandmother, who were both of the family of Pickletillim, and he is well liked and looked upon, and knows his own place. And God forbid, Captain Waverley, that we of irreproachable lineage should exult over him, when it may be, that in the eighth, ninth, or tenth generation, his progeny may rank, in a manner, with the old gentry of the country. Rank and ancestry, sir, should be the last words in the mouths of us men of unblemished race-vix ea nostra voco, as Naso saith.—There is, besides, a clergyman of the true (though suffering) episcopal church of Scotland. He was a confessor in her cause after the year 1715, when a whiggish mob destroyed his meeting-house, tore his surplice, and plundered his dwelling-house of four silver spoons, intromitting also with his mart and his meal-ark, and with two barrels, one of single and one of double ale, besides three bottles of brandy. My Baron-Baillie and doer, Mr Duncan Macwheeble, is the fourth on our list. There is a question, owing to the incertitude of ancient orthography, whether he belongs




to the clan of Wheedle or of Quibble, but both have produced persons eminent in the law.

As thus he described them by person and name,
They enter'd, and dinner was served as they came.


The Banquet.

The entertainment was ample, and handsome according to the Scotch ideas of the period, and the guests did great honour to it. The baron eat like a famished soldier, the Laird of Balmawhapple like a sportsman, Bullsegg of Killancureit like a farmer, Waverley himself like a traveller, and Baillie Macwheeble like all four together, though, either out of more respect, or in order to preserve that proper declination of person which showed a sense that he was in the presence of his patron, he sat upon the edge of his chair, placed at three feet distance from the table, and achieved a communication with his plate by projecting his person towards it in a line which obliqued from the bottom of his spine, so that the person who sat opposite to him could only see the foretop of his riding periwig.

This stooping position might have been

« AnteriorContinuar »