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Marching in this manner they speedily reached an eminence, from which they could view Edinburgh stretching along the ridgy hill which slopes eastward from the Castle. The latter being in a state of siege, or rather of blockade, by the northern insurgents, who had already occupied the town for two or three days, fired at intervals upon such parties of Highlanders as exposed themselves, either on the main street, or elsewhere in the vicinity of the fortress. The morning being calm and fair, the effect of this dropping fire was to invest the castle in wreaths of smoke, the edges of which dissipated slowly in the air, while the central veil was darkened ever and anon by fresh clouds poured forth from the battlements; the whole giving, by the partial concealment, an appearance of grandeur and gloom, rendered more terrific when Waverley reflected on the cause by which it was produced, and that each explosion might ring some brave man's knell.
Ere they approached the city, the partial cannonade had wholly ceased. Balmawhapple, however, having in his recollection the unfriendly greeting which his troop had received from the battery at Stirling, had apparently no wish to tempt the forbearance of the artillery of the castle. He therefore left the direct road, and sweeping considerably, to the southward so as to keep out of the range of the cannon, approached the ancient palace of Holy Rood without having entered the wails of the city. He then drew up his men in front of this venerable pile, and delivered Waverley to the custody of a guard of Highlanders, whose officer conducted him into the interior of the building.
A long gallery, hung with pictures pretended to be the portraits of kings, who, if they ever flourished at all, lived several hundred years before the invention of painting in oil-colours, served as a sort of guardchamber, or vestibule, to the apartments which the adventurous Charles Edward now occupied in the
palace of his ancestors. Officers, both in the High land and Lowland garb, passed and repassed in haste, or loitered in the hall as if waiting for orders. cretaries were engaged in making out passes, musters, and returns. All seemed busy, and earnestly intent upon something of importance; but Waverley was suffered to remain seated in the recess of a window unnoticed by any one, in anxious reflection upon the crisis of his fate, which seemed now rapidly approaching.
An old and a new Acquaintance.
WHILE he was deep sunk in his reverie, the rustle of tartans was heard behind him, a friendly arm clasped his shoulders, and a friendly voice exclaimed,
"Said the Highland prophet sooth? or must second sight go for nothing?"
Waverley turned, and was warmly embraced by Fergus Mac-Ivor. A thousand welcomes to HolyRood, once more possessed by her legitimate sovereign! did I not say we should prosper, and that you would fall into the hands of the Philistines if you parted from us?"
"Dear Fergus, it is long since I have heard a friend's voice. Where is Flora?"
"Safe, and a triumphant spectator of our success." "In this place?"
"Ay, in this city at least, and you shall see her; but first you must meet a friend whom you little think of, who has been frequent in his inquiries after you."
Thus saying, he dragged Waverley by the arm
out of the guard-chamber, and ere he knew where he was conducted, Edward found himself in a presence room fitted up with some attempt at royal state.
A young man, wearing his own fair hair, distinguished by the dignity of his mien and the noble expression of his well-formed and regular features, advanced out of a circle of military gentlemen and Highland chiefs, by whom he was surrounded. In his easy and graceful manners, Waverley afterwards thought he could have discovered his high birth and rank, although the star on his breast, and the embroidered garter at his knee, had not appeared as its indications.
"Let me present to your royal highness," said Fergus, bowing profoundly
“The descendant of one of the most ancient and loyal families in England," said the young chevalier, interrupting him. "I beg your pardon for interrupting you, my dear Mac-Ivor, but no master of cere monies is necessary to present a Waverley to a Stuart.
Thus saying, he extended his hand to Edward with the utmost courtesy, who could not, had he desired it, have avoided rendering him the homage which seemed due to his rank, and was certainly the right of his birth. "I am sorry to understand, Mr. Waverley, that owing to circumstances which have been as yet but ill explained, you have suffered some restraint among my followers in Perthsire, and on your march here; but we are in such a situation that we hardly know our friends, and I am even at this moment uncertain whether I can have the pleasure of considering Mr. Waverley among mine. He then paused for an instant, but before Edward could adjust a suitable reply, or even arrange his thoughts as to its purport, he took out a paper and proceeded:"I should indeed have no doubts upon this subject, if I could trust to this proclamation, sent forth by the friends of the Elector of Hanover, in which they rank Mr. Waverley among the nobility and gentry
who are menaced with the pains of high-treason for loyalty to their legitimate sovereign. But I desire to gain no adherents save from affection and conviction; and if Mr. Waverley inclines to prosecute his journey to the south, or to join the forces of the Elector, he shall have my passport and free permission to do so; and I can only regret that my power will not extend to protect him against the probable consequences of such a measure.-But," continued Charles Edward, after another short pause, "it Mr. Waverley should, like his ancestor, Sir Nigel, determine to embrace a cause which has little to recommend it but its justice, and follow a prince who throws himself upon the affections of his people to recover the throne of his ancestors, or perish in the attempt, I can only say, that among these nobles and gentlemen he will find worthy associates in a gallant enterprise, and will follow a master who may be unfortunate, but I trust will never be ungrateful."
The politic chieftain of the race of Ivor knew his advantage in introducing Waverley to this personal interview with the royal adventurer. Unaccustomed to the address and manners of a polished court, in which Charles was eminently skilful, his words and his kindness penetrated the heart of our hero, and easily outweighed all prudential motives. To be thus personally solicited for assistance by a prince, whose form and manners, as well as the spirit which he displayed in this singular enterprise, answered his ideas of a hero of romance; to be courted by him in the ancient halls of his paternal palace, recovered by the sword which he was already bending towards other conquests, gave Edward, in his own eyes, the dignity and importance which he had ceased to consider as his attributes. Rejected, slandered, and threatened upon the one side, he was irresistably attracted to the cause which the prejudices of education, and the political principles of his family, had already recommended as the most just. These thoughts rushed
through his mind like a torrent, sweeping before them every consideration of an opposite tendency; the time, besides, admitted of no deliberation; and Waverley, kneeling to Charles Edward, devoted his heart and sword to the vindication of his rights!
The prince (for although unfortunate in the faults and follies of his forefathers, we shall here, and elsewhere, give him the title due to his birth) raised Waverley from the ground, and embraced him with an expression of thanks too warm not to be genuine. He also thanked Fergus Mac-Ivor repeatedly for having brought him such an adherent, and presented Waverley to the various noblemen, chieftains, and officers who were about his person, as a young gentleman of the highest hopes and prospects, in whose bold and enthusiastic avowal of his cause they might see an evidence of the sentiments of the English families of rank at this important crisis. Indeed, this was a point much doubted among the adherents of the house of Stuart; and as a well-founded disbelief in the co-operation of the English Jacobites, kept many Scottish men of rank from his standard, and diminished the courage of those who had joined it, nothing could be more seasonable for the Chevalier than the open declaration in his favour of the representative of the house of Waverley-Honour, so long known as cavaliers and royalists. This Fergus had foreseen from the beginning. He really loved Waverley, because their feelings and projects never thwarted each other; he hoped to see him united with Flora, and he rejoiced that they were effectually engaged in the same cause. But, as we before hinted, he also exulted as a politician in beholding secured to his party a partizan of such consequence; and he was far from being insensible to the personal importance which he himself acquired with the Prince, from having so materially assisted in making the acquisition.
Charles Edward, on his part, seemed eager